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 Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion

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Nakia the Rogue
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PostSubject: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:07 am

Dragon Age Origins was a very good game in my opinion. It did not come up to the standards set in the Baldur's Gate Series but it was fun. I did not do all the possible combinations but I did each of the Origins. My favorite was the common dwarf female rogue. I even wrote up a little diary for her which unfortunately was deleted when the forum it was on was drastically and suddenly changed.

I enjoyed the elf mage and the void he has to enter at the beginning. Each character gets different reactions from people which is good.

The graphics were excellent and on the whole the fighting was system was good. I did find the story rather linear. Many of the side quests just did not add to the story for me or for that fact were interesting. I would rather have fewer quests that were interesting. The add-ons that I did were in my opinion not worth the money..

After all the hype I found the camp disappointing. I expected the companions to actually be doing things. The companions' side quests were good. Of all the companions I think I liked the dog the best. I did install a mod that made it possible for me to take him with me most of the time. Too bad there was not more companion dialogue.

I enjoyed the game but think it could have been better.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:15 pm

I've never got past the tutorial on DAO Sad was playing it on my laptop and the camera angles won't shift with the touch-pad mouse so I can't finish the tutorial and play the game. I'll have to stick it on my desktop and have a bash

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:25 pm

I use an Xbox controller for the PC and Xpadder. It makes the game much more enjoyable than keyboard and mouse.

My favourite origins are the City Elf and the Dwarf Commoner. I like rooting for the underdog. I've never liked playing Mages in this game... Found them really boring whereas Rogues rock.

The flaws Nakia points out are real. The NPCs and the dialogue make up for it in some ways. It's a real pity that they are ditching all the things that I liked in DA2 (no non human PCs and an emoticon system for dialogues... What are they thinking?) DAO is still a very addictive and entertaining game but it suffers from all the money grabbing bull... It really feels like they're milking customers like cows. I say customers not players. If they respected the people who bought their game they would have patched it for real instead of advertising the next game and its preorder signature edition. I won't get DA2 because I don't want to deal with that kind of bull anymore. Day one DLCs and extra content that you can only get if you preorder a game is not a good thing especially when it's taken to such an extent... DAO was bad already with the Warden's Keep DLC being advertised in the game itself... Having a line reading [buy and download DLC] in the actual game is really as bad as it can get...

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:00 am

I liked Dragon Age quite a bit, though I agree it had some major flaws.

I enjoyed the combat a lot. Talents like "shield bash" or "dirty fighting" made playing rogues and warriors a lot more interesting. When I go back and play older Bioware games, I miss those abilities. Playing a rogue in those earlier games is just all about moving your character behind enemies and auto-attacking. And if your backstab misses and the enemy turns to face you, you have to just hope it works out. In DA, you can hit them with "Dirty Fighting" and "Below the Belt" and beat them down. The talents make the combat a lot more dynamic.

I do somewhat miss the complexity of the D&D based games, but I guess they want to appeal to a larger audience than that, and if it means they make enough money to make more single player RPGs, it's worth it in the long run. In Baldur's Gate, you really needed to understand the system in order to survive. Protective magic was absolutely essential to getting through the game. I remember the first time I ran into Beholders in BGII, and my entire party was hit with fear and hold, and all I could do was sit and watch as my disabled party was massacred. I had to go back and try again and again until I found a working strategy. They don't seem to make RPGs with that kind of punishing difficulty anymore.

Yes, the sidequests in DA were pretty lame, and I almost don't understand why they even went through the effort of including them. Most of them didn't even involve the character going off the beaten path of the main quest. I think there were only three or four that included their own areas on the world map, and those were very small. In terms of side quests, there's simply no comparison between DA and Baldur's Gate II. In fact, looking at the Mass Effect series as well, Bioware's talent for sidequests really seems to have taken a nosedive.

Also, I agree that the DLCs were not worth the money, and I never did get the last one (Witch Hunt). The only one that I would actually consider worth paying for (The Stone Prisoner) was included for free with the purchase of the game. Bioware was even more brazen with their DLC for Mass Effect. They had one DLC for that game which included nothing but alternate outfits for three characters.

I found the main storyline of DA to be pretty unoriginal. It seems like Bioware has become focused on these "save the world" plots, and I think it's getting a bit tiresome. Still, while the storyline was derivative, the writing was pretty good, and the characters were great. Alistair is one of the best video game characters in a long time. I find it difficult to play an evil character in the game because I like Alistair so much.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:29 am

I agree on most points although I have to state that I had a great time playing an evil character. It's a very rewarding gaming experience and the only real problem is coming up with a way to justify not fleeing away from the Blight.

The crime wave quests were not that bad and some sidequests had some funny twists but I do agree that most sidequests were not very satisfying.

The game wasn't that difficult either (even on nightmare) and it could get way too easy with mages in the party.

I don't miss the old D&D/ BG system as it was filled with incoherent rules and very limited. Alignment? That sucked. Memorizing spells? What a hassle. Cleric only weapons? I never understood why before the third edition Clerics couldn't use blades. The old excuse that they couldn't shed blood was absurd given what a warhammer or a morgenstern can do to a human body.

The DLCs were pretty boring. Darkspawn Chronicles was IMO the worst. Return to Ostagar could have been nice if it had been a challenging hack and slash module. Golems of Amgarrak was linear and boring. Leliana's Song was nice but limited. Witch Hunt was another example of recycled areas with some dialogues thrown in...

Add to that the fact that patches broke things that weren't broken and that many bugs were never fixed and I wonder how the people at Bioware have the nerve to treat players like this.

It's true that the writing was good but there was some silly moments (question about the Human origin: how did the guards inside the locked vault die? I'm pretty sure Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot would have been baffled by this mystery). The characters are great. I really dislilked Wynne because of who she is (a ruthless tool of the templars), Leliana and Morrigan are interesting characters and Zevran is well defined (and more importantly he is not a caricature). Oghren's concept is rather simple but it works and the Sten is perfect for players who like strong silent NPCs. I've read Alistair is based on Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What is nice about Alistair is that he can be both a decent guy or a jerk depending on your choices.

Another flaw that we haven't considered yet is the major annoyance relating to stealth and cutscenes. Why can't you set a ambush? Why do your characters leave their positions to have a chat with the bad guy just before the fight starts? That is so stupid it becomes hilarious.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:48 am

Carabas wrote:

Another flaw that we haven't considered yet is the major annoyance relating to stealth and cutscenes. Why can't you set a ambush? Why do your characters leave their positions to have a chat with the bad guy just before the fight starts? That is so stupid it becomes hilarious.

I forgot about that. That is very annoying, and quite a few other RPGs in this style do it, too. It's really annoying when your PC is a mage, too, as when the dialogues end, your squishy little mage is always stuck out in the front line where your tank should be.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:57 pm

Another reason to use your mage as a tank! A buffed up Arcane Warrior can do the trick.

By the way, if you've never played Witch Hunt I must say that there is one good thing going for this DLC and that's the fact that you can play it between the Original Campaign and Awakening. If you ever plan on playing through DAO again you may consider getting it. Just bear in mind that like other DLCs it recycles existing areas (although some were only used in some origins) and story wise it features some dialogues that won't dramatically change the game.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:51 pm

Cara, have you started playing this game again? Anyone else playing it?

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:09 pm

I've played through the City Elf, the Human Noble and the Mage origins one
more time.

I have a poor sad Rogue City Elf, a spoiled female Warrior who is stronger than she looks and isn't afraid to speak her mind and a Qunari Mage turned Monk who has become a Monk in his search for balance between the teachings of the Qun and the doctrine of the Chantry.

Looking for new ways to enjoy this game, I find playing a female character refreshing and it actually makes more sense to play a female character in the Noble origin.

By the way, I've also updated the DAO mod list and there are some mods that port stuff from DA2 (armours, some weapons and some updated appearance for elves and qunaris).

EDIT: here are some pictures of my current characters

Spoiler:
 

Spoiler:
 
Spoiler:
 

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:10 am

Thanks, Cara, is that last picture your Qanari? Looks like one tough dude.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:40 pm

Yes, he is an unarmed specialist (using the Monk class from the Chantry Monk mod). The Qunari Update mod allows us to use DA2 models in DAO so we get to have horned Qunaris in the game and they really get across that grey giant vibe in the game. The Sten is particularly impressive with this mod.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:28 pm

At some point I may have to reactivate DAO with those mods just to play that character. He looks very interesting and different. There is a lot in DAO that I did like it is dealing with EA that I don't like.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:40 pm

You shouldn't focus on the EA stuff too much.

Now regarding this guy, I had to play with the toolset to get him to look like this in game. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:45 pm

Cara, when I hate I really hate. Most of the time I stay away from things I hate, like cauliflower. Toolset, eh?

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:49 pm

That or I'll have to edit your savegame for you. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:18 pm

Edit my savegame. Don't worry it will be a while before I get around to DAO. I will want him or her to be a really tough looking character. One you really wouldn't want to mess with.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:33 pm

Looks are important in these games. In fact the more eye candy we get the more it's important to have a character who looks really good.

I had a hard time making a fairly decent character in Oblivion but DAO is more user friendly when it comes to making a pretty face.

Have a look at my latest Dalish Elf:

Spoiler:
 

Cute can be tough or is it the other way round. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:07 am

Hey, I was thinking of finally finishing the Awakenings expansion. I noticed while on the bioware website that another DLC had been released, the one where the Morrigan arc came to a close. Did anyone play that quest? Is it worth the 7$? And how about the Leliana DLC? Is it good?

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:48 pm

I've played every DAO DLCs and the problem is that they are rather linear and short so don't get them expecting more than that.

Leliana's Song is fairly decent, the problem has to do with recycling areas and the fact that it is a stand alone DLC which means that nothing you do will affect the main game. You get a cool extra item that will be added to your main character but that's it. The only reason to get this one is if you really like Leliana and want to have fun playing her (she is voiced so she will speak the lines you pick). The story is good, it is not boring but it is not connected to the main game. When you meet Leliana in Lothering she won't be anything like the Leliana you've played at the end of Leliana's Song. Also don't expect the story to take you to Orlais... It is a bit of a letdown but the game keeps recycling stuff.

Witch Hunt was supposed to tie things together but let's be frank it doesn't. In the end it's more like a teaser for things to come (DA3?) and as such it doesn't live up to expectations. As always the areas are recycled so it feels like you've played it before. There are some references to what happened in the main campaign and it is not a standalone (which is good) in fact you can play Witch Hunt after finishing the main game and before starting Awakening. So this DLC has some replay value if you intend to play through DAO at least a few times.

Both Leliana's Song and Witch Hunt are fine, they will keep you busy for a few hours. Leliana's Song is worth it if you like this character and wish to play her in a prequel. Witch Hunt is focused on Morrigan and your character's relationship with her. It's integrated into the main story but it doesn't bring the Morrigan storyline to a close.

By the way check out the mod list I've posted. Even if you're not into heavy modding there are some former promotional items that can be downloaded and used in your game without any special registration (not all of them are available but it's nice for variety and that's official content).

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:30 pm

Right, I know I'm late to the party (having kids seriously puts a crimp in your gaming life) but does anyone else feel to urge to climb into the game and knock a few peoples heads together?
Some of these people are so needy!

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:10 pm

I think about it once in a while. I never got the extension or the second game. Surely they are on sale now. I don't care for EA but if the games are cheap maybe it is time to resurrect my dwarf or maybe an Elf Archer. The Organs game had some good points to it. Now that I know not to expect to much it might be fun.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:30 pm

It's a break from my lovely little virus importers and it was cheap. Still annoying though. I mean, they're getting jumped up and down on by a bunch of orcs or whatever and all anyone seems to care about is getting their rocks off.

Then again, I'm not overly fussed on people in real life so my opinion is probably a little biased

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:23 pm

DA:O is linear in its quest line. There are some side quests. I found the fun of the game to be in the various Origins. My favorite was a female dwarf commoner. The elf mage was good. I never completed the woodland elf. You do have options for different endings.

I suggest getting the dog slot and picking up the dog. Also the user made mod that adds storage to your camp is very useful.

The menus were hard for me to read but a couple of people including Carabas found a mod that helped with that.

It is a fun game if you don't expect too much.

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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:31 pm

In terms of storytelling and character interaction its a really good game. Its one of Bioware's better later efforts and while its not a sandbox game and is completely linear that works to its advantage. Its a game where you're supposed to get on with the main quest not look for ways to avoid doing it like in a TES game. It also has several endings and your character can be pretty evil if you like.
Its a fun RPG that I enjoy a lot and the music is great. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Dragon Age:Origins My Opinion   Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:45 pm

In a pure integration into the game way, I actually thought the second game was better. I really felt the game was "my game", like the story was evolving purely based on my choices. You get that feeling in DAO, but not as intense as in DA2. But all in all, to me, DAO is leagues ahead of DA2 in the overall appreciation of the game.

(Though I must admit that the second time I played the game, the whole Orzammar quest line felt toooooo loooooooong. It seemed like half the playing time was spent undeground in Orzammar)

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