#DragonAge has a hidden town with 3 houses, shop, temple, and about a hundred cultists. Houses must get really crowded at bedtime. No farms.
The town of Haven is hilariously mis-named, given that it’s an isolated den of bloodthirsty killers, located far up in the mountains.
Can they still be called cultists if they outnumber everyone else? Well, they outnumbered the other factions until I came along. #DragonAge
The town of haven is small. But what isn’t small is the massive complex of caverns next to the town, which is packed to the ceiling with cultists.
Dude, I just killed everyone you’ve ever known. Are you SURE you want to offer me a quest? #DragonAge
I met the cult leader, and he wanted to try and cut a deal with me.
I said no.
I do wonder how things would go for him if I accepted. He was the last person left. Was he going you walk over the pile of corpses back into town and sit there all alone for the rest of his days?
The entire cultist village in #DragonAge was disappointing. What a horrible case of dungeon logic.
We’re here to get the ashes of the Prophet Andraste, which are rumored to have healing properties. The Arl of Redcliff is in a coma and will die unless we can get a pinch of the ashes.
Haven is a minuscule town, far up in the mountains. It is isolated from the outside world and has been so for generations.
They do not have a single farm or other obvious means of supporting themselves.
You meet exactly one civilian in the village. He’s a shopkeeper. Everyone else is a highly trained warrior, mage, or assassin. An isolated town with dozens and dozens of assassins?
The village is tiny, and the purpose of the village is ostensibly to guard the ashes. So the inhabitants spend all day hanging around inside of their massive cave complex.
|Whoopsie. In the upper-left there’s cluster of polygons where the uv coordinates on the texture mapping are hosed. So of course I’m showing you a picture of that, instead of the hundreds of screenshots I have of gorgeous scenery, wonderfully designed buildings, and evocative vistas. I’m doing this because I’m a jerk.|
Beyond the caves are wonderfully built ruins with statuary and marble columns. It’s a massive structure with traps and puzzles and inhabited by guardian spirits who test you through conversations and riddles. The ruins are nicer than anything the cultists have, although it’s clear they never set foot in the place. It’s also not clear who built the temple, considering what an undertaking it must have been.
Then you get to the room with the Urn of sacred ashes. Despite their incredible “get out of dying free” properties, you can’t actually do anything with them aside from taking ONE pinch. Not two pinches, much less make off with the most important artifact in the world.
But back up a second…
The Arl of Redcliff is an old man. The only reason we need him awake is to ask him to give us troops. (He does more after that and becomes crucial to our efforts later, but at this point in the game all we’re looking for is a guy who can authorize some soldiers to fight a demonic horde which is right on the doorstep of the town anyway.) Surely there are rules of succession in place? Is this really the best use of time? To quest for an artifact that most people don’t even believe exists? And which is only rumored to have healing properties, even if it’s not just a legend?
There is some weak justification about needing the Arl in order to convince the men to ally behind you, but it’s pretty thin in the face of what you’re up against.
|You’ve faced the monsters. You’ve beaten the assassins. You’ve solved the puzzles. You’ve answered the riddles. But nobody can withstand the dreaded Guardian Who Will Ask You Highly Personal Questions.|
If the U.S. President (any of them) fell into a coma and Canada launched the attack we all know they’ve been planning for decades, would it make sense to sit around and do nothing while we wait for a team of people to see if they could track down the Ark of the Covenant in the hopes that it will make him better, because he’s so much better at inspiring the troops than the veep?
So we’re doing quests that don’t make sense to obtain an object of questionable utility so we can talk to a guy. This is not quite as bad as the Neverwinter Nights 2 Plot Door of Inanity, but the writing here still comes off like an air horn in the middle of a concerto. There are just too many plot hacks here and the whole thing leaks like a battleship made out of chain-link fencing. I know a lot of games suffer from this sort of thing, but this is really uncharacteristically sloppy for a BioWare game and it really stands out in a story with so much gritty “realism”.
Dear lady running the brothel in #DragonAge: Pick an accent – or a FAMILY of accents – and stick with it.
She kept switching between upper and lower class accents. Now, she was ostensibly a madame of a whorehouse, so maybe this is part of the… sales pitch. But if so, someone should have at least taken notice or remarked on it in-game. When her voice changes and nobody seems to notice, it sounds like the voice acting is hosed.
Slavers are the Nazis of the Middle Ages. People to kill, guilt free. #DragonAge
There they are. I thought we were going to get all the way through a BioWare game without bumping into slavers.
Slavers always ask for mercy in BioWare games. I’ll bet they don’t get it very often. (I’d love to see the numbers, though.)
The writing on this slaver leader was excellent. He was both believable and loathsome. An opportunist and a businessman. He was fun to hate.
#DragonAge has an effect in “haunted orphanage” area to make the screen look like 4 bit color mode. That’s progress for you.
This effect must have been designed by a young person, because anyone over 30 will look at this and see CGA color mode.
#DragonAge has a realistic response to PC generosity to beggars: Give, and you attract MORE. Worth the money just to see what happens.
I meet a guy on the street, begging. Looks healthy. Claims to be a “veteran”. I give him some coin.
Next time through. He’s got a couple of friends. All young, healthy men. All claiming – unconvincingly – to be veterans and orphans. What the hell? They amuse me and I’m rolling in cash right now. I give them some coin.
Next time through. There is a crowd of “vets”. Their lie is so transparent that it’s kind of insulting. This is the best lie you could come up with? A reasonable response might be to try to get them to do some sort of token work for the coin and see how many are actually willing to bother, which will separate the needy from the lazy. But this is a computer game. If I was playing my character, I would have sent them packing, but I wanted to see where this went. So I gave them money again.
Then I forgot to go back. Drat.
A Star is Born
Remember the superhero MMO from 2009? Neither does anyone else. It was dumb. So dumb I was compelled to write this.
The true story of three strange days in 1989, when the last months of my adolescence ran out and the first few sparks of adulthood appeared.
Let's ruin everyone's fun by listing all the ways in which zombies can't work, couldn't happen, and don't make sense.
So what happens when a SOFTWARE engineer tries to review hardware? This. This happens.
Mass Effect 3 Ending Deconstruction
Did you dislike the ending to the Mass Effect trilogy? Here's my list of where it failed logically, thematically, and tonally.