Penny Arcade: Dragon Age Spoilers Ahoy

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Dec 2, 2009

Filed under: Random 24 comments

Mere words cannot convey the sense of relief that comes from the fact that my comic preceded this Penny Arcade by a single day.

Last Friday I had an article titled “Evony and Irony“. I thought it was clever in a stupid pun sort of way. Then someone pointed out that Christopher C. Livingston already used that joke a few months ago. This stung a little, since Livingston is famous for doing a GMod comic, and now I do a semi-GMod comic, and therefore I sometimes get a little crap from people for “stealing” his idea.

Anyway, it’s always preferable when the less famous person manages to fire off the joke before the more famous one. If the two Dragon Age comics had appeared in the opposite order, I’m sure I’d get flak for “stealing” the idea.


Spying on those guys is really paying off.


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24 thoughts on “Penny Arcade: Dragon Age Spoilers Ahoy

  1. Rutskarn says:

    I wrote a story a while ago. It didn’t go anywhere, so I never published it, but it began with two characters having the following conversation (I’m quoting directly, trimming out everything but the lines themselves:

    “Do you think everything happens for a reason?”

    “I don’t care one way or the other. Things happen. We deal with them.”

    I liked the lines, so I saved them to use for a later story. Then, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog comes out.

    “Well, everything happens…”

    “Don’t say, ‘For a reason.'”

    “I was just going to say, everything happens.”

    Not the exact same sequence, but enough to give me pause in using my initial exchange.

    What I’m saying is, I get the feeling.

  2. Audacity says:

    This recently happened to my twelve year old sister. A few years ago she wrote this great short story about an AI secretly manipulating the survivors of a nuclear holocaust, in an attempt to create the perfect world, which is found out and eventually destroyed by the survivors.

    **POSSIBLE FALLOUT 3 SPOILERS!** Only the ( horrible ) ending of Fallout 3 turned out incredibly similar to this! She was kinda frustrated when I told her about it, but the last straw fell when we saw the film Eschalon Conspiracy — Do NOT see that movie! — which completely rips off F3!

    In light of this freakish sequence of events I have been forced to officially conclude that the Writer’s guild of America has a network of spies combing the country for short stories written by little girls that they can steal.

    She’s never read “I have No Mouth, but I must Scream” by the way.

  3. Rutskarn says:

    Yeah, that’s probably not the kind of thing you read when you’re twelve.

  4. General Karthos says:

    @ Audacity: I was gonna bring up “I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream”. I’m glad you mentioned it. :)

    @ Shamus: Well, if you’re gonna catch flak for “ripping off” (unknowingly) a joke, at least it was the horrible pun and not the excellent material.

  5. I was thinking today “wow, they must be at the same point in the game.”

  6. Arquinsiel says:

    Wait… does the Penny Arcade comic imply that the game will remove your access to DLC you paid for as a micro-transaction through “plot”? Am I reading too much into that?

  7. Mr_Wizard says:

    I bet someone will still think you ripped Penny Arcade off, regardless of when those comics went up.

  8. Adam says:


    That’s pretty much the plot of Wasteland, and if you replace “AI” with “mutant” it’s the plot of the original Fallout as well.

  9. Mephane says:

    Wait… does the Penny Arcade comic imply that the game will remove your access to DLC you paid for as a micro-transaction through “plot”? Am I reading too much into that?

    That’s what I am wondering, too. It would be an absolute mess if that can happen. It bad enough if an NPC takes a nice item with him/her when leaving, but if it’s something you specifically paid real money for…

    Well, I suppose that the particular item wouldn’t be totally lost, only on the savegame where the NPC took it. But that makes it suck only a little less.

  10. Sheer_FALACY says:

    DLC items aren’t treated specially. You can put them on an ally who vanishes forever, you can put them on a vendor who then proceeds to die, or you can just destroy them.

    They still have access to the rest of the DLC, I assume. And it’s only for that playthrough. No real reason for the game to treat DLC items differently from items in the rest of the game.

  11. Adam says:

    It doesn’t remove access to DLC, it just takes your equipment, just as it would take any other piece of equipment.

    That said, party members that permanently leave with your stuff should be a no-no. Everyone’s just going to load and do what Shamus does anyways, so why make it necessary? As long as RPGs rely on the nonsense of magic clothing, they need to add other nonsense to adapt.

  12. Jeff says:

    You can always unload the DLC, force load the save, save, then load the DLC, which will spawn the item in your inventory.

    The funny thing I’ve found is that the DLC doesn’t need me to be online to play, yet yells at me sometimes if I’m online about needing my (legally owned) stuff to be authorized.

  13. Groboclown says:

    The biggest “rip-off” I’ve heard of was with Arthur C. Clarke’s 3001 ending, which mirrored the Star Trek episode where they had a plan to end the Borg. Apparently, Clarke wrote that he had his idea long before that Star Trek episode came out.

  14. Joe says:

    I’ve always used NPCs like pack mules. If I have more than one NPC traveling with me, I use them for different things. One pack mule will have all armor, another weapons, another ammo, misc items, etc. If a party member ever left permanently, such as this new occurrence in DA, I’d be up shit creek without a paddle in one of those collectible groups.
    There have been instances where party members have turned on me, but it was just an issue of murderizing them and getting my stuff off their corpse. I haven’t played DA, but I assume that murderizing isn’t an option as BioWare is infamous for their rails.

  15. General Karthos says:

    In this game, all the inventory is collective, aside from what people wear. Not being able to murder your party companions isn’t really railroading. Most people wouldn’t just murder a party companion. That’s for psychopaths.

  16. Audacity says:


    That's pretty much the plot of Wasteland, and if you replace “AI” with “mutant” it's the plot of the original Fallout as well.

    @Adam: Except in those first games (Wasteland and Fallout 1) it was well written and made sense. :)

  17. Smirker says:

    @16 – *Smiles at the mention of Wasteland*

  18. Danel says:

    Actually, you do get the opportunity to murderize most of your companions, though it only happens at very specific points and only if they have insufficient approval of you. You can also just order them to leave from the camp, and most of them will take off.

  19. blue_painted says:

    A pet peeve of mine …

    …”flak” ..

    Not “flack”

  20. Girl Gamer says:

    I nearly e-mailed you about the PA comic, but I figured you read it anyway. This item theft must be a big deal in DA:O for you both to do comics about it. I don’t know that I’ve ever played a game where someone walked off with my stuff; I’m used to a shared inventory system. Though I have played games where characters died mid-battle and I couldn’t get needed healing items off the corpses thus leading to a tpk.

  21. Susie Day says:

    It’s kind of funny, I started reading twenty sided for its RPG aspect, which Shamus hardly ever talks about any more :-( and I started reading Penny Arcade for the computer games, and because they are famous, and I figured I should give them a glance through to see what all the fuss was about. Anyway, since the guys over at penny arcade have been doing news posts about D&D .. it’s great, I really like those. And the video game stuff over here is good too… it’s just funny how things switch around like that.

  22. Gavin says:

    You should probably link directly to the PA comic you’re talking about now, since the /comic/ URL links to a more recent one.

  23. blue_painted says:

    @Shamus – huge thanks for that edit! s/flack/flak

    (I’m a programmer: to me it’s not pedantry but accuracy :-))

  24. Miral says:

    Heh, was just about to post the same thing as Gavin in #22 (which is even more amusing since that’s my real name too!). But (for the other archive-trawlers), here:

    Also: @Jeff (#12): if you’re offline (game server not contactable), the game will let you play with your DLC without complaint. If you’re online (game server contactable), it will require a validation check before letting you play. This generally means that if you’re online and you hit Continue too soon after starting the game you’ll get an error; if you’re offline or if you wait a little longer before hitting Continue then you won’t get the error.

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