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Everything posted by deganawida

  1. Has there been any definitive answer as to whether or not we'll have to play through ME1 again to get our choices right, or can we configure them through gameplay in ME2? As fun as ME1 was (though it took me three times to really enjoy it), I really don't want to have to play through the game 4 or 5 times just to get enough different playthroughs to make ME2 the way I want it.
  2. LOL, it was your gripe that set me off on the "show, don't tell" diatribe, so on offense taken :D
  3. Is that the Japanese version of Sesame Street? I just want to know what that wire on the girl is and where it's going...
  4. Okay, here's something that I do not understand: How can anyone honestly state that DA:O is darker than BG2? Darker than BG1, yeah, I'll buy that. But BG2? No way. In DA:O, the darkness seems to be of a kiddie variety. Sure, you're told that elves are second class citizens, but the only times that you're really shown that are . Otherwise, it seems to be some sort of soft racism that is barely noticeable. The Pearl, as well, is not an example of "dark" or "mature"; where are the consequences for the exploitation of women there? There's nothing but some fast-food nookie for the kiddies. In BG2, the hookers had a horrible story. In terms of which is darker and more mature, I have to say hands-down it's BG2. DA:O is darker and more mature than NWN1, but that ain't saying much. Final note: Will someone please tell Gaider and the other writers to show, don't tell?! Seriously, it's getting annoying at how much blasted exposition is in every Bioware game. Want me to know that elves are violently repressed? Fine! Show it to me in the game through cutscenes, random encounters, etc.. Don't tell me, "Oh, poor elves have it so rough" and then for 95% of the game show me elves mixing with humans with no consequence . It's a simple rule of modern writing, and Bioware seriously missed the mark on it in this game (Darkspawn are a great example of a threat built up in exposition but not carried through in the story).
  5. Thanks! I always wondered if there was a point to Pick... you mean a purpose other than showing how poorly elves is treated? the sword is actually a solid get for so early in the game. our recollection is that it is tier 2 grey iron, gives +2 to attack and +10 to physical resistance. but am probable off on one o' those attributes. HA! Good Fun! Honestly, I found the servants in Castle Cousland, coupled with Iona's comment about how well Bryce Cousland treats his elves, a better example of the poor treatment of elves than Pick. Pick just came across as a village idiot whose only real use was as a gopher. If Bio had followed up on that red-headed elven woman that the quartermaster asks you about, that might have been better. Imagine helping him find her, then she gets whipped. You step in to stop the whipping, and everyone turns on you because you don't seem to realize that whipping elves is good for them (NOT in an S&M fashion) and that what's being done is proper. Now that would have appropriately demonstrated how poorly off the elves are in Fereldan, IMO.
  6. Thanks! I always wondered if there was a point to Pick...
  7. What two quests are there, and how do you get the longsword? The only quest that I knew that required coercion was ; what's the other one?
  8. From what I understand, it's simply "THE Dragon Age Setting" abbreviated, which was originally done by posters in the old discussion boards, and was eventually adopted by Bioware after they found themselves calling it that.
  9. Not an idiot, just on your first real play-through. One of the things that I've learned about this game is that it is far better to never need hit points or mana than to have large pools. So, if you can only cast 10 Winter's Touches before being OOM, but each one takes off 25% of your enemy's life, then you don't need as much mana.
  10. LOL! Redcliffe is a saturday night pub fight in comparison to the rest of the game! in terms of actual duration, redcliffe is probable the longest single battle... which is what makes it so taxing for wrong built & low-level parties that is unaware they need a large stock o' potions. in every other portion o' the game you may inch towards daylight... fight & rest, fight & rest. heck, those lyrium veins that show up in various places significantly ameliorate the player's need for potions as the mage types may re-charge on-the-fly and then heal party or smote foes. no such option is available in redcliffe. also, aristes did dahlish first, if we recall correct... and then the mage tower. HA! Good Fun! A low level melee party that goes to Redcliffe first (gee, thanks Alistair) will get zombie-lynched by hordes of undead mobs with no daylight on the horizon. That's what happened on my first playthrough & 'twas a nightmare. However, since then, my fireball toting mage makes light work of them without even needing to use health potion. This brings up an interesting point: Much of the game seems to be designed around system mastery and meta-knowledge. If you choose junk talents or good talents at the wrong time, you will get slaughtered (this goes for Denerim bandits, too, Vol). If you use Sten or Oghren before getting them above, say, level 11, you'll find that they die a lot. If you follow the path that the game nudges you toward (Redcliffe, then Mage's Circle, etc.), then you'll be unprepared. If you invest in Constitution (as a Warrior) or Willpower (as a Mage), you'll be much less effective than if you invest in Strength or Magic. I'm not sure if this is a deliberate design-choice, the result of constant revisions, or the side-effect of trying to design one's own RPG world and rule-set that hearkens to D&D while still being original. Regardless of which it is, though, it is a bit disappointing. Mass Effect used a new ruleset, and I felt that it was more balanced and did not need advance knowledge of how to build one's characters. NOTE: Before anyone flames me, I do enjoy Dragon Age and am still playing it. I do not think that enjoyment of a product precludes criticism of faults, however.
  11. Gotta agree with Vol on this one: City Elf has one nasty trap that could possible kill you and your comrade. I think it triggers differently than normal traps.
  12. The problem with this, is that by labeling her as a "blood mage who killed her fellow mages that she lived and worked with, tried to kill you...[who] has done too much [where] there must be a reckoning", you're presupposing she's evil beyond redemption. Never mind that latter qualifier of redemption for the time being. I don't believe we have enough information to even label her as evil. Practicing blood magic isn't inherently evil. Opponents of blood magic in the DA universe primarily believe it be because the Chantry says so. Well, the Chantry isn't exactly the paragon of spiritual purity. They're fanatical religious zealots enamored with ritual whose express purpose is expansionism in order to spread the Chant to the four corners of the globe. Just look how the ousted the Elves from the Dales via their crusade to vanquish the heathens. True, blood magic can also be used to entry another dreams within the Fade and mind-control them. But practice of blood magic doesn't necessitate this any more than driving a car necessitates running down pedestrians. Just like any tool, it's a means to end; thus, using that tool for an evil purpose doesn't automatically make that tool a malum in se. The Templars would have you believe is evil, but that's only a malum prohibitum because they say it is so. Which brings us to our next point. Not all the blood mages in the tower were aligned/stayed aligned with Uldred (and his plan to turn the mages into abominations). Indeed, most of the rebel mages were motivated by escape. Look at it from the mages perspective. The Circle is but a glorified gilded cage, their home and prison both. Virtually, all the mages were drafted to the circle against their wishes. Is not freedom a fundamental right? Does not everyone have a right to personal liberty until they it has been forfeited? I don't believe that it is evil at all to for one of those mages to try and escape. And excluding the blood mages aligned with Uldred, the rebels only crimes were revolting against their Templar captors. It's not unreasonable to believe that the Templars are the ones with the lower moral standing, as they're the one's keeping the mages imprisoned against their wishes. On top of that, the Templars were poised to invoke their Right of Annulment. If this doesn't qualify as evil, I'm not sure what does. It essentially a blanket sentence of genocide - no due process, no fundamental safeguards for individual rights. And given that the Circle was locked up by the Templars, it would not be unreasonable for an ordinary prudent mage in her position to presume your presence in the tower was on behalf of the Templars. So I don't blame her one bit for attacking you on sight. If anything, your vehemence in belief of her alleged irredeemable evil is tantamount to the fantastic job Bio has done in weaving a setting of morals shades of grey, rather than black & white. What you call "moral cowardice and stupidity", I call redressing injustice. She was part of a surprise attack on the mages that she lived and worked with in the Tower, killing some and enabling Uldred's plan to go forward. If you converse with her, she denies any real regret for the choices she made (change must be violent, I believe is what she says), only regret for how it turned out to be something she did not want (though only one specific conversation path leads to this dialog). She made evil choices before you arrived, and rather than, upon seeing armed people who were not templars, attempt to surrender beforehand, she attacks your party on sight and only begs for a chance for redemption when her death seems eminent. I don't need to look at it from the mage's perspective. All that matters to me is that they killed their colleagues without warning because they disagreed with them. Their colleagues weren't event the ones oppressing them! The treatment of the mages by the Chantry? Immaterial to the blood mages' actions, insofar as the blood mages were not forced into the path that they took. There were other options, but the blood mages chose the easy route. Didn't turn out the way they wanted? Perhaps they should have tried not turning to the one thing that would give them an instant death sentence from every Thedasian government save the Tevinter Imperium. EDIT: Let me put it in other terms: Should you let an office worker who, after being pressured by his bosses, joins in a violent conspiracy at his big company to kill everyone who makes the same money as the office worker, is no higher in position than the office worker, has family barbeques with the office worker, and labors under the same oppressive restrictions as the office worker, live and go free just because he says he's sorry? Even though he struck out against fellow sufferers and not the oppressors? No, of course not! That way lies folly!
  13. Death penalty is one thing, letting evil people go with no punishment at all is another. Seriously, there's not even a slap on the wrist for these people. You fight them, they give up, throw themselves on your tender mercies, and then you just let them go, never following up on whether or not they actually gave up their evil ways. It makes you responsible for all evil acts that they might commit after you set them free, because you did not stop them (by death or incarceration, doesn't matter) when you had the opportunity. Also, if Bio doesn't believe in the death penalty, then they should put in some option where a surrendered opponent is remanded to the proper authorities. They do this with , but they don't do it anywhere often enough. Seriously, the choices too often boil down to, "I'ma gonna keel you 'cause I like deathblooddecapitation!" or, "You poor dear, you've had such a hard life, I'm going to let you go after talking really sweet to you in the hopes that you'll change your notnice ways, bless your heart." That is not morality; that's what I see in my daughters' Care Bears movies.
  14. I was just chatting with a colleague who also has the game, and he brought up the , and that brought up a major complaint that I have about BioWare's definitions of good and evil. I know many people hate Bio's stuff because their evil is often moustache-twirling caricatures, but good is also a caricature. Bio seems to think that sparing is the good thing. No, it's not. That character has done too much, and there must be a reckoning. Letting the character go is an act of moral cowardice and stupidity. Seriously, it's like Bio thinks that every evil PC choice should make the PC Dark Helmet and every good choice should follow Dark Helmet's "good is dumb" axiom. Mass Effect's "Bring Down the Sky" bit had the most realistic portrayal of good and evil that I've seen in a Bio game, and I really wish that had been present in DAO, too. So, Bio, listen up: Being good doesn't mean you have to be a chump. This isn't Eloi vs. Morlocks.
  15. 2h is different, but you is actual probable less dependent on abilities than the other builds because your base damage is much higher. do +65 base damage and have an attack rating o' over 120. as such, you is actual less dependent on abilities to do large and consistent damage. boost str and willpower... dex and constitution ain't genuine necessary 'cause you is Not a tank. 'course, abilities does make a big difference, just as they does with sword and board and dual wield. playing sword and board would be lame without shield bash and assault, no? a 2h warrior with high willpower and some fatigue boosting armour, can easily get 2 or 3 mighty blow attempts in each battle... and we pretty much had indomitable active 24/7. with indomitable you is not gonna be stunned or knocked off your feet, which means that you is dealing damage when other party members is struggling to stay in the fight 'gainst all those mobs with scatter shots and war crys. even dragons can only knock you back a little: they won't knock you out/over. again, don't think of a 2h as a tank and you will be fine. at high levels you got a persistent chance to stun and with the fatigue regen ability you may be able to use abilities often enough... but even without abilities you is probable doing some serious and consistent damage even to critters with extreme heavy armour. 'course, if your plan is to make a 2h warrior your party tank, then things may not work out so well, and Gromnir got little suggestion as to how to build proper. HA! Good Fun! Nah, wouldn't make him tank, just off-tank. I find Alistair amusing, so I want him to have a purpose in my party. How'd you get your attack rating that high? When I finished on hard, I had I think 113 with my sword'n'board, who had 50 strength and 30 dex.
  16. Has anyone been able to make a TH warrior work? I've been doing a little reading and some theory-crafting, and it looks as though, contrary to every other warrior build, two-handed requires you to use abilities often, as if you were playing an MMO. Given that the activated attacks launch as soon as you push the button (assuming that one is within range and not stunned/knocked down/out of stamina), and that the activated attacks for two-handed seem to have a higher animation speed, this does seem to be the way to go.
  17. Which ones are these? While I don't deny it'd be possible to render a character useless, I would think you'd have to specifically try (like Dex dump a mage or something). LOL, I kept giving Leliana rogue talents (the "Dirty Fighting" chain), the mechanism talents, and her bard talents. That meant that in combat she would fire twice and then run in and attempt to melee without having any particular aptitude for it, nor the stamina to use the rogue abilities I gave her. Basically, the best role for her at that point was to miss with her arrows and sing. Not much use there IMO. On my current game, I'm going to give Lel Melee Archer and other ranged talents first, and then move on to bardic and mechanical abilities. I made the mistake of having Morrigan delve too deeply into healing, and Wynne too deeply into fire. This gave me more flexibility, but at the cost of decreased effectiveness in their primary roles. I set up some nice tactics for them both to take advantage of the flexibility, but they chugged pots like mad due to constant lack of mana. This time around, I'm keeping them focused where they are.
  18. Ack! I'm not a min/maxer, honestly! I just didn't want to render my PC useless in combat. I envisioned the younger Cousland as a peerless warrior, skilled enough that Duncan knew of him before even meeting Teyrn Cousland and his family, and I tried to build him into that warrior. Yes, I'll confess that I do like my PC to do damage, but I've actually avoided giving him the best equipment on any of my (aborted) playthroughs because it didn't fit the character that I had in my mind. Thus far, my biggest hang-ups have been Leno chin, fighting style (settled on sword and shield as it's faster than two-handed and it has some awesome animations), and my other specialization class (Champion is set in stone). Oh, and bad choices on leveling up some of those NPCs, to the point where they were rendered useless.
  19. That honestly amazes me. I'm no whiz with these games, nor am I an exploiter or cheater, but even hard difficulty is sometimes too easy for me. There's only been a handful of fights which have caused me problems: Other than that, I've found combats to mostly require some good use of abilities, some tactical thinking, and the ability to adapt. Didn't you also put a fair bit of research into your character though, in order to properly min/max it? That is true. I didn't even think about that, to be honest (and thank you again for all your help with that). I guess that I just figured everyone would study the system, as well, and plan out their characters.
  20. That honestly amazes me. I'm no whiz with these games, nor am I an exploiter or cheater, but even hard difficulty is sometimes too easy for me. There's only been a handful of fights which have caused me problems: Other than that, I've found combats to mostly require some good use of abilities, some tactical thinking, and the ability to adapt.
  21. Leliana can teach you how to be a bard, Enoch, if you ask her. Wynne is great, but I put her on default healer tactic and she blows all her mana in the first couple minutes of a long fight. I need to do some tweaking there, I think. Leliana can be very useful if you get the right archery feats. Depending on how you do her companion quest, she can get a very nice bow. I use her primarily to kill mages.
  22. Has anyone actually sat down and evaluated what each warrior specialization is good for? Champion seems good overall, and Reaper sounds like it's made for a tank (frightening presence, the ability to do more damage when close to death, the ability to gain health from corpses), and Berserker probably works best for a damage-dealing warrior. However, I could be wrong here, and wanted to hear what others thought.
  23. It cannot be done. The faces were created by Blur based on R/L models and didn't use the game character creator at all. Honestly though, I found the GW bland looking compared to Leliana, Morrigan, and Sten were very interesting. It can be approximated, though, yes? I suck at creating characters, as all my characters have Leno-chins. I've played with chin height and had no luck. Alistair's model is good, but I can't figure out how they did that. If I found out how to do that face, I can tweak it until I get something that approximates the GW.
  24. Yes. It's normally very low, which is why Death Blow is so good. You can notice it in long fights, though, like with the ogre at the Tower of Ishal.
  25. Has anyone figured out how to make the face in the Sacred Ashes trailer? The one for the Grey Warden? Also, I don't think Berserker is worth it. ~8 damage for practically no stamina regen even after talents and Death Blow? And Berserk dies any time you're not in combat? Ugh, I made a mistake there. Going to go Champion next.
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