dragon age II

***Wanna know what I thought about this game before I ever played it? Click here.***

DRAGON AGE II LOG

May 3rd, 2011: The magic begins (or so I hope)

Last Sunday afternoon, I devoted a few hours of my life to Dragon Age II. Unfortunately I was frequently interrupted by things that weren’t worthy of interrupting my first time with the game (example: I was barbequing hamburgers and all five patties literally, like, crumbled apart and fell onto the charcoals, which consequently caused a plume of hamburger smoke to engulf my entire apartment complex) but nevertheless, I was able to get a light grasp on the sequel to one of my favorite games.

Locating the save file I wanted to import into DA2 was like trying to find a needle in a haystack (seriously, I had racked up about 30 DA:O save files) and I spent several minutes eyeballing every single friggen’ save (I even loaded a few of them) to ensure I was importing the right one. Eventually I found the correct Witch Hunt save.

Soon after, I was prompted to select my gender and class. Cool beans. I selected a female human warrior (don’t act surprised. I eventually want to knock boots with Anders.) but what sucked was that I was immediately thrown into battle with some Darskpwan and an Ogre.

(BTW—This is all leading up to my first real “BWUH?” moment.)

The problem? I hadn’t been able to customize Hawke. During the battle, she looked like the “generic” female Hawke with her short, black hair, and with a streak of blood across her nose.

And because I thoroughly enjoy embracing the role of God, I was freaking out. I was thinking to myself, seriously? You can’t customize your character? THIS IS A BIOWARE GAME! Customizing my character had been one of the things I was looking forward to the most (it’s like playing with adult barbies),and I felt the sense of a boner-kill looming over the horizon.

In fact, I was so worried that I had missed the character customization screen (and that I would be stuck with a black butchy hairdo) that I restarted the game a few times, mid-battle, looking for a “customize” button I might have missed. Finally, I succumbed to the player’s guide. God bless it. I discovered that the option of customizing your character comes after you play the opening scene of the game.

Fueled by motivation, I restarted the game for the umpteenth time and finished the opening battle with my generic black-haired Hawke. The battle was simple enough, consisting of mostly Hurlocks, until a big ‘ol Ogre decides to join the rendezvous. He says “ohai” and, ultimately, you kick its ass. OK. Then, a dragon perching on a cliff overseeing the battlefield says “ohai”, and burns the surrounding Darkspawn to a crisp. Why, thank you Mr. (Miss?) Dragon.

After the battle had ended, I was rewarded with the option to customize my character. But wouldn’t it have made more sense to customize your character before the game even started…? At that point, I didn’t worry about it and shoved the thought to the back of my mind.

Now, life is good. I’ve got my smokin’ hot blonde Hawke chick trudgin’ around with her companions. I’m slaughtering Darkspawn left and right, kicking ass, taking no prisoners, until I found myself in that EXACT SAME battlefield as I was just in. Sure as shit, the Hurlocks come. Then Mr. Ogre makes a grand reappearance. But I was now fighting with my customized Hawke and my five companions. I slaughtered the Hurlocks and killed the Ogre.

Juuuust like the first time, the dragon swoops down and torches the remaining Darskpawn, saving the day. THEN, Miss Dragon decides to turn into a striking human-figure (I say human-figure because I’m convinced that this thing isn’t a human), ultimately revealing herself to be a shape shifter. She had this crazy white hairdo and piercing, yellow eyes.

Then she talked.

OMFG IT WAS FLEMMETH. I KNEW IT WAS HER. But she looked SO different, and immediately my mind was racing. So, Flemmeth truly didn’t look like a raggedy old woman in DA:O. She just took on that appearance. Not only that, but what’s up with her and saving important people from guaranteed death, anyway? Thanks to DA:O, I knew that she had recently saved my Wardens from the atop the tower in Ostagar.

I can’t remember the entire conversation, but at one point Hawke asked Flemmeth to accompany her and her companions to Kirkwall. Flemmeth coyly replied, “I have an appointment to keep.”

AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT THAT APPOINTMENT IS, DON’T WE? Yeah. She’s going to talk to Elissa and Alistair (<3) and convince them to take Morrigan with them, so that Morrigan can eventually boink my Ferelden King and conceive a demon-god-baby thing. BAAAAAAH.

Ahem.

Ok, going back to the beginning of the game: When I found out my family was fleeing the destruction at Lothering I got a little giddy. After all, I was back in Ferelden, and thanks to DA:O, I knew exactly when this was occurring in terms of the historic timeline, and it made me happy. Also, I read the codex entry on Hawke and read that she and Carver fought at Ostagar. They both knew (and surprisingly, the player is told this in the intro) that Loghain deceived Cailan on the battlefield.

In terms of the DA:O storyline, the Battle of Ostagar recently ended, therefore Loghain has yet to spread rumors that the Grey Wardens were the ones who abandoned Cailain. I wonder if I’ll hear of those rumors during DA2, or if they’ll even come into play during this story. Either way, Hawke and Carver seemed convinced that it was Loghain’s wrongdoing. Atta’ kids.

First impressions of the characters:

Mother (Leandra): She seems fragile and helpless. Elissa’s mother in DA:O was so much more of a badass than Leandra. When the going got tough, she threw on her armor, equipped her sword, and killed a ton of men. Hawke’s mother just stands around looking old. Will she die? Probably. It could be the motivational, albeit stereotypical, factor that pushes Hawke to become the Champion.

Bethany (sister)- I like Bethany. According to our “Friend/Rival” meter, we have a good relationship. She’s a mage, which is always nice to have around, and she’s hot. She seems like a badass. I’m guessing she’s going to stick around during the story.

Carver (brother)- I was confused about who Carver was at first. I probably missed it in the codex or in an introduction, but I had no idea he was my brother. I knew we were more rivals than we were friends, but before I could really get a feel for the dude he was, uh, pummeled by an Ogre. Unfortunate, because I wanted to know more about him. He seemed like a character with a lot of angst and interesting backstory. According to the codex, he never knew where he fit in. Mariane was more focused and skilled, and Bethany was an apostate, and he was just…there. I actually was hoping he would be an early romance option LOL. But yeah, dude was my brother. Awkward.

Aveline (firecrotch with freckles): Y’know, I don’t care for Aveline. She seems like a boring character. No spunk. She seems like she can hold her own, don’t get me wrong, but that personality of hers is DULL. Or maybe I’m biased it’s because there are enough vaginas in my party already.

Ser Wesley (Templar): If Wesley were a Necromorph, he’d be in a lot of trouble. In any case, he succumbed to the Darkspawn infection and was killed by Aveline. WUSS.

And with that, I’ll cut this entry short. I proceeded a little further into the game, but this is pushing tl;dr status. I’ll get another update soon!

May 4th, 2011: Leveling up

[Ohai! This was actually a part of yesterday’s log, but since the entry was so freakin’ long already, I cut these paragraphs out. Hence, this log number is 1.5. God, I’m so witty.]

Maybe I’m reading too much into what I’ve heard from others, but as soon as I heard the opening music and saw the “Press any key” screen, my oh-so-keen instinctive gamer radar immediately warned me that Dragon Age II was going to be a very different game than Origins. More…modern. I’m thinking I won’t see many villages and castles, but instead, cities and towns. I remember reading in the Dragon Age: Origins CE Guide that Ferelden is slower than other lands when it comes to “catching up with the times”, so it would make sense if that were the case.

Apparently, the setting isn’t the only thing that’s different in DA2. I know I can’t be the only one when I say the new, spiffy leveling up system reminded me of the sphere grid in Final Fantasy X. My only complaint so far is the inability to choose what direction I want to spend my points in.  Maybe it’s because I’m at such a low level, but my path to select a skill was black and white. I could select THIS skill in THIS grid, or THAT skill in THAT grid. If that’s how it’s going to be, why wouldn’t they just have kept the same leveling style they used in Origins? That seemed easier to read, and makes this look just like a fancy-pants makeover.

Also, I didn’t see a grid that offered persuasion bonuses. Does that mean you can’t intimidate or sweet talk characters in DA2? I find that hard to believe, seeing as this is a Bioware game. I’m going to assume I missed something.

On another note, I had a huge issue with the frame rate. Granted, my PC wasn’t built specifically for gaming, but it’s pretty freakin’ new (I had it built several months ago) and compared to how Origins ran, this thing CHUGGED. I tweaked almost every setting possible, until I had to settle on running it with DirectX 9 with low quality graphics. Honestly, whatever, graphics aren’t a big deal to me, but even with those settings the game still gets a little choppy at times, especially during battle.

[The following paragraphs were also part of yesterday’s log. I was wondering WHY THE HELL you had to fight the same battle with the Darskpawn twice---first, with generic, black haired Hawke, and then with your hot and sexy customized Hawke.]

Here’s a theory: In terms of story, Hawke starts of his/her journey looking the way you customize him/her but during the course of the story, Hawke will ingest a vile of badassery, join some group, or army, that will require him/her to modify his/her hair and appearance, and apparently, this group requires their members to wipe blood across their nose. More likely, it’s probably something Hawke does to amplify the badassery that lives inside them.

…unless. Unless that seriously was just a way for you, the player, to get accustomed to the combat? But that would be stupid. Why wouldn’t the player be presented with an in-game tutorial upon confronting the first Darkspawn? That would make more sense.

Again, I’m calling it now:  Sometime WAY later in the game, I’ll be that Hawke with short, black hair and I’ll be fighting that mean Ogre.

[BOTH theories were debunked, as Jaym told me that it was that dwarf’s construed recollection of the Champion’s events, but I thought I’d include it anyway, just to embarrass myself.]

May 9th, 2011: Enchantment?

I finished running the errand for that elf in Kirkwall, which, true to Dragon Age fashion, required the slaughtering of about 15 thugs. A cutscene was then initiated (one of many to come, I’ve been told) and in it, all of my efforts in Dragon Age: Origins was summed up in a few seconds. While I can’t remember the exact wording, it went something like, “The awesome hero of Ferelden pwn’d the Darkspawn. She married a handsome firecrotch, who happened to be a king. The end.”

That’s right kids, 70 hours of gameplay was wrapped up in a few short sentences, and while Mariane, Bethany and my old hag of a mother were working off their debt in Kirkwall, Elissa defeated the archdemon. THANKS FOR NOTHING MARAINE. What kind of name is Mariane anyway? (I’m going to forget that I’m the one that approved that name…)

Well, that’s that. I need to remind myself that this is NOT Dragon Age: Origins, but an entirely different game. But still, I can’t help but be a little sad. How cool would it have been to travel to Ferelden during the midst of all that chaos and experience it from a different perspective? The only way my disappointments will be undissapointed (yes, I just made that word up) will be if I can truly experience some post-archdemon events. Ferelden better be a part of this game. JUST SAYING.

Also in the cutscene (oh, just a warning. I took really shitty notes, and I’m writing this three days after playing. I’m probably off.) Qunari apparently landed in Kirkwall? If this is the case, maybe I’ll see my Stenny-Sten-Sten? <3. Also, the templars are drunk off of power or some shit. It sounds like they’re clamping their hold over the mages.

And because the templars are acting like they have a stick up their ass, Mariane and Bethany are looking for a way out of Kirkwall, which leads me to Varric. First of all, can I just say that I think I love his brother?—oh, bummer. I tried googling his name and came across a thread called “Should I kill Varric’s brother or spare him?” FUCKING SPOILERS. But that was my fault.

Anyway, I can’t remember his name nor read my handwriting. Bartrin? Is that his name? Whatever, anyway, I love him because the first thing I heard him say was “Andraste’s tits!” Bahaha. I also codex-stalked him and he seems like a good dwarf. But now that I know I’ll eventually have to make a “kill or not to kill” decision, who knows.

Anyway, this Bartrin guy won’t let the Hawke’s go with him into the deep roads for an expedition. (I hate the deep roads. I had my fill and THEN some of them between Dragon Age: Origins and the DLC. It’s a boring location, despite its rich history. Tons and tons of rocks, tunnels and Darkspawn. Wee.) And if I can remember, Bethany and Mariane want to either escape while they’re in the deep roads or try and find a valuable treasure to buy their way out. Either way, I have a feeling I’m venturing into those bad boys again.

My guess is that I’ll come across Darkspawn at one point or another, and people will be like, “ZOMG HEY! DARKSPAWN! I thought these were dead because we’re from Kirkwall and we’re stupid!” OR, maybe we’ll try to escape, therefore potentially killing Bartinorwhatthefuck, or we’ll find something valuable, sell it, and move on to another location.

I don’t know what to think of Varric. I know little about him, other than he’s Bartrinorwhatthefuck’s younger brother, he’s a rogue, he named his crossbow Bianca (Bianca is such a dwarven name. I’m guessing it’s his dead, or presumed to be dead, lady friend or wife. Maybe he named it after a pet Bronco. That’d be hilarious) and he’s the one narrating my story, so to speak. He seems like a likeable character though, unlike Aveline. I don’t know if I spelt that right. I’m too scared to Google it.

OH! I also read in the codex that Carver was Bethany’s twin. #random

Now, onto best and most important part of Dragon Age II thus far:

EFFIN SANDAL IS BACK.

You can see my excitement in my notes:

Oh man, I love this kid. I was super happy when I saw him in Witch Hunt (confirming that he and his father survived DA:O) and watching him scratch his ass as he says “I like enchanting” made my day. His and Bodahn’s face look different, which I totally understand is due to boost in graphics, but I have to admit, Sandal looked possessed. And Bodahn’s voice was different. He went on to tell me about his travels with Elissa and that he’ll pretty much be stalking me throughout the game.

Time to bitch.

DA2 fucking CHUGS on my computer. I don’t get it— DA:O ran incredibly smooth, so I can’t understand why DA2 runs like utter shit. Maybe Kirkwall is too much stimulation for it, but I literally have to stop moving, stand still and look at my surroundings before I venture anywhere. Otherwise it’s too damn choppy to wander around. The only saving grace is that the cutscenes look beautiful. If those were choppy as well, I’d have to commit hari-kari.

I stopped playing DA2 as I was wandering around Kirkwall. I’m looking for weapons, armor, etc. For whatever reason, Bodahn wouldn’t sell me his shit. Bastard.

RANDOM POINTS:

  • Apparently, there are home bases in DA2? I remember reading somewhere (probably on a loading screen) that the home bases are where I should talk to my characters for in-depth conversation, or something like that. I’m assuming that it’s like camp in DA:O.
  • I’m happy that there still are the in-game conversations between party members. Bethany and Varric popped that cherry when the talked about Carver.
  • I noticed that some of the background noises in Kirkwall were also in DA:O. That might be testament to how obsessed I am with DA:O, but hey, I thought it was funny.

May 10th, 2011: A little bit o’ this and that…

Last night I spent a few hours roaming Kirkwall, doing bitch quests. Since it’s Dragon Age, however, I found these bitch quests enjoyable, and even sometimes fascinating as story lore is revealed through them. But most of last night’s progress didn’t evolve the story much, and honestly I found I was jotting down notes of things I noticed were new or different in the game. Therefore this log will be just that..bullet points.

  • There’s now a “Sell All Junk” button. That’s convenient. That wasn’t in DA:O was it? Because if it was, I’m the worst self-proclaimed most hardcore fan of all time. Also, while buying/selling items, there isn’t the sound of change upon a transaction. For some reason, that makes me sad.
  • While browsing the items for sale in Kirkwall I noticed I PRATICALLY CAN’T BUY ANY OF THEM. Either my constitution was too low, or my dexterity, or my cunning…and so many of them were restricted to Marian.

IT WAS DONE BETTER IN ORIGINS, DAMMIT.

  • Oh, speaking of Marian, I’ve been spelling her name wrong this entire time. My bad.
  • To buy things in DA2, you don’t speak to the vendor. You speak to the nearby chest/sack/etc full of goodies. This explains why I couldn’t buy anything from Bodahn earlier.
  • Bartrin said the best thing ever—”NUGHUMPING DIRTFARMER” <333
  • Bethany also said something that made me giggle. “I miss the old chantry in Lothering. Sister Leliana told the best stories.”
  • I figuredout why DA2 was chugging so terribly bad on my PC. I had some setting called “anti-aliasing” on 4x. As soon as I turned that off, all was well. It’s a good thing, too—I was getting motion sickness from the screen tearing and choppy movement. :/
  • Here’s a random thought for you—if Bethany doesn’t want to be known as an apostate, why is she carrying around a staff…?
  • Aveline was named after that one girl that Leliana told me about. The dalish found her or something, and she was a fierce warrior who hid the fact that she was a girl. She won this tournament, her competitor found out she was a chick and killed her. Maybe that will happen to my Aveleine. God, she’s boring as hell. Maybe she’ll sacrafice herself or some shit. She’s gonna die methinks.
  • Funny conversation between Aveleine and Varric (I may have forgotten some words)

Varric: What do you do for fun? Surely you’ve heard of it. What do you do in your off duty hours?

Aveline: These are my activities.

Varric: And the trend of you scaring the piss out of me continues.

  • I noticed that words phrases like “Son of a bitch” and “shitless” are used more often in DA2. Maybe it’s because Kirkwall is more advanced culturally then Ferelden.
  • I’m totally digging that you’re given an option to swap out party members in certain areas. That was a big pain in DA:O. Also, city map is nice. It alerts you to what quests you have in that area.
  • While in the Bar of the Hanged Man or whatever, the bartender relayed some information that made me chuckle, especially “The pigeon population has taken a nose dive in Ferelden. What kind of sick individual preys on those innocent things?” YAY SHALE! Also, he looks like Alistair’s ugly cousin or something.

  • Another funny quote from a “talkative man” in the bar “Do you ever feel like you’re part of a story someone else is telilng? Maker, I wish the teller of this story would have made me more handsome.”
  • Inside the Blooming Rose, I found the body of a…nug? Anyway, I’m glad they gave it the appropriate…erm, body part holes.

  • Inside the Blooming Rose (and in other locations) I FOUND THE CREEPY GUY FROM OCARINA OF TIME’S COUSIN.

  • YAY! I came across my first gay character! Just from what I’ve heard, Bioware has apparently taken some heat from a few fans about the gay characters in the game. Anyway, here’s their convo:

Chick: He didn’t really ask you to wear a feather boa, did he?

Dude: Orleasians, darling, you’ll get used to it. ::he said it with the best lisp ever::

  • There really isn’t an accompanying story with the side quests. You find an item, a side quest ensues and you drop that item off to its owner. Interesting…
  • There’s now a rumor section under quests. I’m not sure how this works….perhaps I have to follow up with the rumor and a quest will instigate.

Okay, I lied. I did progress a bit within the story. I recruited Anders and that white-haired elf dude. I can’t remember his name…is it Frenris? But you know who he kind of reminds me of? Thane from Mass Effect 2. Just saying. Anyway, apparently his slaver is after him, and white-haired elf dude intends to murder the shit out of him. He seems like a badass. But…humble. Kinda freaky. Like Thane.

So, here was my reaction upon finding out that a Grey Warden was in Kirkwall:

THERES A GREY WARDEN IN THE CITY?!?!?!? OMG WHO IS IT? ANDERS? COULD IT BE ANDERS? DID HE EVER…OHGREN!??!?!?!?!? DID ANDERS TAKE THE VIAL? I DON’T THINK HE DID…DID HE? IT HAS TO BE OHGREN.

Came in with other refugees. HMMMM.

He’s a healer…apparently he is not a warden now…heals people, delivers children? ANDERS DELIVERING CHILDREN?! Hahahaha HA! IT IS ANDERS. Bahahahahaha.

So, I’m hoping Anders will be witty, funny, cute, stupid, a badass, pretty much what Alistair is. Will he have ser pounce a lot?!

“THOSE BASTARDS MADE ME GET RID OF MY CAT! Poor Ser Pounce a lot….a noble beast. Swatted a Genlock on the nose.” He gave him to a friend in Amaranthine. He escaped the wardens.

Hahaha…I’m such a spaz. As of right now, I think I’m going to go after Anders. And by go after, I mean force him into my tent or house or whatever it’s called now and have my way with him. Another interesting tidbit on Anders: He joined up with Justice from DA: Awakening. At the end of the fight at Warden’s Keep, the body Justice had been inhabiting was beheaded, and I was hoping I’d find out what happened to him. Now, though, Justice has become “one” with Anders and has turned into Vengeance. I wonder if that’s something I can fix by boinking him—I mean, befriending him.

Also, I clarified what the Qunari are doing in Kirkwall. Are they even in Kirkwall? BAHAHA. Fail. Anyway, their ship was fighting another and they crashed on the reef. They’re currently waiting for a boat back to Par Vollen. WILL I SEE STEN!?!?!

AAAAAND…I think that’s it! I’m about to break into my family’s estate and try to reclaim the will that my uncle left there. That asshat.

May 12th, 2011: My homies

Y’know, this game is really starting to grow on me, regardless of the fact that I’ve spent the first 18 hours of the game in Kirkwall and its surrounding areas in order to complete 50-odd side quests.

MY GOD, the side quests. Do they ever freakin’ end?! Apparently Hawke is supposed to become the champion of Kirkwall (unbeknownst to me until someone told me on Twitter) so I can understand if a few quests here and there need to be completed to build up the rep or whatnot. But I can’t get over the sheer amount of side quests I’ve encountered so far! There are collecting quests, rescue quests, companion quests, combat quests, quests, quests, quests. Thank Andraste for the quest locators (yeah, I just did that). Otherwise, there is no way in hell I would spend hours of my time blindly wandering Kirkwall (not to mention its surrounding areas) hoping to find the correct location, person or item I need to complete a quest. NO. EFFIN. WAY.

Now in regards to actual story progression, I’ve gotten a few more details about where this mysterious story in DA2 might take me. For starters, I’ve recruited all of the characters I’ve heard about. I’ve got a good gaggle of people in my posse already, but I’d be surprised if I’ve recruited all of them. After all, Anders and Fenris are the only dudes in my par-tay. I want a Qunari.

Updated impressions:

Bethany: My dear 18-year-old sister that I never have in my party. I think there will be a lot of conflict in the story that stems from her, you know, being an apostate and all that. Truth be told, I haven’t interacted much with Bethany. I ALREADY HAVE A MAGE (see: Anders).

Anders: Anders, Anders, Anders…I have my eye on you, boy, and you better not let me down. The first time I tried hitting on him he stopped me and said “maybe a year ago we could have had something” and that he’ll just break my heart. WHOA. Who said anything about falling in love? I was juuust trying to get my mack on, brah.

But in all seriousness, I find Anders to be a mysterious character. He’s so passionate about his beliefs regarding the Circle and the Mages, yet he’s very fair in his approach. At one point he told me that mages who claim to hate the templars make his blood boil, because (I’m rewording this) hate just breeds more hate. Another side of him is completely boyish and goofy (calling Ser Pounce A Lot a noble beast, and he meant it too) but then…there’s another side. The glimmer into this other side of his came via an in-game conversation between him and Isabel. During this conversation I learned that Anders recognized Isabel from The Pearl (a brothel) in Denerim and that Anders (according to Isabel) “was that runaway mage that could do that thing with electricity” and it “was niiiice”. ORLY?!

I’m worried that something is going to happen with Anders that will fuck everything up. LOL. I’ve read random tweets that say nothing more than “DAMN YOU ANDERS!” and “Let me know what you think about Anders towards the end of the game”. WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?! DON’T TELL ME. I don’t know near enough to take any educated guesses, but I’m going to assume the Circle of Magi will be a huge factor in this game (actually, someone kinda told me that a few months ago. Whether they were lying or not, I dunno. BOO.) and Anders will do something stupid that will make me cry. Kind of like when Alistair sacrificed himself for my Grey Warden in Origins. That asshole.

Fenris: Fenris is another interesting character. Like I said before, he reminds me of Thane from Mass Effect 2. A serious dude, with a broken and troubled past. He may even carry a burden on his shoulders. He is very wary of mages, therefore him and Anders bump heads quite often. In fact, I got so sick of his oh-so-serious views on everything that I switched him out of my party. Anyway, he wants to go to Seharon, as that’s where he’s been told he’s from. He’s been on the run from this Danarious guy for three years now, who is a slaver. I want to say Danrious is a Magister? So, yeah, I can see why Fenris wouldn’t be all bubbles and rainbows on the inside.

Aveline: She’s like the mother figure, and she’s boring, though I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. She has a distinct (albeit BORING) personality, and now that I’ve met more interesting characters, she has a place within my group. Just not my immediate party.

Isabela: I LIKE THIS CHICK. I knew I liked her as soon as she told me, “You’re nothing but tits and ass to the men in this place, and they won’t hesitate to grab at both.” She was a captain of a ship, but she won’t tell me how it crashed and is vague on other details of her life. Inside that tough outer shell is a vulnerable woman who wants a good, strong shoulder to cry on. It better not be Anders’ shoulder or there will be dire consequences. She also avoided the Qunari when I visited them in Kirkwall. I wonder if her and their ship fought and that’s how her ship wrecked? HMMM…

Also, she uses my favorite phrase of all time.

Merril: Uh, I’m convinced that Merril is the cutest character created in the history of FOREVER. She’s so adorably awkward, I can’t stand it…actually, she reminds me of how I act when I get nervous. I still don’t know why she had to leave the clan, and according to her old keeper, Merril chose this path for herself. I don’t know much more, other than that.

Varric: This guy is awesome. Not very dwarven (like Oghren was) and you can tell he was raised on the surface. He seems like he could be a genuine friend of Hawke, but I still don’t know why he’s being interrogated in the beginning, nor will I for a while. I don’t think it’s from him being a traitor. If it is, though, I’m going to look back on this and laugh. I think I’ll find out more about him when I venture into the Deep Roads.

Progression points:

  • So I came across Flemmeth again, or whatever the Dalish called her. Ashabranna or some shit. Turns out that I’m practically the reason that bitch survived the little run in my Grey Wardens and her had in DA:O, because I was toting a piece of her around in a stupid amulet this entire time. “A bit of security, should the inevitable occur. And if I know my Morrigan, it already has.”

Here are some of my immediate reactions pasted directly from my notes

GAHHHHHHHH. Is that how she’s still alive!??! Bah.

YOU MAY HAVE SAVED MY LIFE. Just as how I’ve saved yours. FUCK. The son is going to pwn her. FUCCCCCCCK. “you have my thanks…and my sympathy.”

  • There is this order called Secrets of the Truth. If I remember correctly, they are above the templars, and watch for any abuse throughout the Circle and are masters at hunting down Apostates. This is the first time I’ve heard of them. Methinks they will come into play at some point and go after mah mages. For now, it’s just interesting lore.
  • While I was wandering the Wounded Coast I came across a former werewolf that was surrounded by a Dalish assassin and her counterparts. The assassin said that this human, while he was in werewolf form, killed her mother. She said that her mother’s name was Danyla or something…which, if I recall, was the name of the recently-turned werewolf I killed in the Bercilian Forest as a side quest in DA:O. Her husband was sad panda that she had gone missing, and when I found her all beasty, she requested that I kill her. Anyway, +1 to Bioware for putting this conversation in DA2. I talked the assassin out of killing the human.
  • I found a letter addressed to the (whom I assume to be) Elissa, the Grey Warden Commander regarding the Architect from a man named Avernus. I think I saved Avernus in DA:O Awakening instead of that dude’s super old grandma…anyway, thinking out loud. That name just sounds familiar. I didn’t even think about the Architect coming into play at some point. ::scratches beard:: ::waitwhat::
  • I liked Saarebas. I’m sad that he committed hari-kari. Although I couldn’t stop staring at his sewed together lips because they scared the shit out of me…
  • ARE THERE NO GIFTS IN DA2?! BOOO.
  • Apparently demons can possess anyone (not just mages) with the right help, or magic, or whatever. Uh, that’s scary.

I’m guessing that the main plot of DA2 is going to revolve around the Circle, Secrets of the Truth and the templars. There have been far too many quests and conversations about that clusterfuck for it not to continue being an issue.

May 18, 2011: Bitch Bitch Bitch

Gripe #1: Lack of variation with locations.</strong> Okay, I get it. Hawke is supposed to become the “Champion of Kirkwall”, so it only makes sense that most of your adventure takes place in and around the surrounding areas of the ancient city. But for the love of God—I’m over 20 hours in (note: I’ve spent some of that time finishing side quests) and the only change of scenery I’ve had is in the dark and dreary Deep Roads. And I hate those. But, it’s still early. If a greater variety of locations became accessible, I’ll wipe this gripe clean.

Gripe #2: Repetitive layouts.</strong> Not only are your traversable locations the same (seriously, how many times can I visit Lowtown, Sundermount or the Wounded Coast?) the dungeon, hideout, housing, etc layouts are spitting images of each other.

A cavern’s layout in Sundermount will look the same as an apostates’ hideout off of the Wounded Coast. An underground passageway hidden in Lowtown will look exactly like the Blood Mage’s experimenting grounds in Darktown. Bioware, in a failed attempt “mix” things up and make up for the lack of innovation, sealed off certain doors with an impassible cement block. So, in layout A the door may be sealed, but in layout B it’s open. IT’S LIKE A WHOLE NEW DUNGEON! /sarcasm FAIL, Bioware, FAIL. ::grumble::

Gripe #3: Character interaction. </strong>I can’t quite figure the character interaction mumbo-jumbo out. I like the idea of each character having their own “home base”, but I haven’t seen any significance to it. Sure, you can visit that character in their home, and some quests require you to do so, but a random visit to a character won’t get you anywhere; a conversation wheel isn’t initiated, and oftentimes you’ll only get a one liner out of them (and that one liner is generally something like “We should move on” or “Let’s go”).

The approval rating system flat out sucks. I’m disappointed and a half by this. Unlike in Dragon Age: Origins where you had to work your way up from “Neutral” to “Love” (or “Friendly” if you didn’t wish to romance that character), Dragon Age II has “Friend” and “Rival” with a bar connecting them and a little pointer that marks your approval. That’s it. There is no indication as to where you stand with a character. Do they consider you a friend? Foe? Are they interested in you? Your guess is as good as mine.

So imagine my surprise when Anders started talking mushy to Hawke. I was like, dude, I’ve only had a few minor conversations with you, and you’re talking like Alistair was before the battle with the Archdemon. Since when are you interested in me? And if you are interested in me, why is the left end of your approval bar still labeled as “Friend”?

Despite my bitching, I will say that I’m enjoying Dragon Age II. My journey in Thedas is still very young, and I’m holding out hope that these things will improve, although I have this inkling that the phrase “What you see is what you get” may apply in this situation.

If this is the case I may have to clutch my Alistair pillow* and cry myself to sleep every night.

*I do not have an Alistair pillow.

May 23, 2011: Damn you, Bartrand (and Qunari?)

Okay, so it’s been a few days since I played Dragon Age II, so I’m going to try my hardest to write down a recap.

First of all, I have to admit something. I thought Bioware had done away with the random blood stains that cover your characters post-battle, but it turns out that they weren’t showing up because my graphics settings were set on low. HURRDURR. And since we all know Dragon Age isn’t Dragon age without the blood stains, I figured out a way to tweak the settings so I can run the game with “normal” graphics. W00t!

Before I ventured into the Deep Roads I was greeted with a cut scene showing Varric and that lady with the short brown hair having a nice lil’ chit-chat. Turns out she is a Seeker! I think I made a prediction on my last blog that had something to do with ‘dem folk. ::finds it::

  • There is this order called Secrets of the Truth. If I remember correctly, they are above the templars, and watch for any abuse throughout the Circle and are masters at hunting down Apostates. This is the first time I’ve heard of them. Methinks they will come into play at some point and go after mah mages.

Uh, well besides failing and calling them SECRETS of the Truth…anyway, yeah this pretty much confirms my theory that this story will revolve around mages, the Circle, templars (especially this Meredith bitch I have yet to meet) and the Seekers.

Now I’m totally getting off track, but there are so many fucked up things going on in Kirkwall. You have the elven Alienage, the issues with the raiders, the qunari, the whole mages vs templars shindig, not to mention the smaller, corrupt factions in Darktown…Ah, Kirkwall, ‘tis a glorious place to live.

ALRIGHT! So, after we venture into the deep roads Bodahn frantically tells me that Sandal has gone missing. I couldn’t help but get a flashback of finding Sandal alone in Denerim Castle, covered in blood shortly before the battle with the archdemon. Remember that? Anyway, I just haaaad a feeling that I was about to experience some déjà vu.

Sure as shit, I later found Sandal scratching his ass, covered in blood, surrounded by a bunch of dead Darkspawn and a frozen Ogre. O_O. When I asked him how that happened he responded with “NOT ENCHANTMENT!” Bahaha. <3.

Now, I had a slightly misconstrued theory on how things were going to play out in the Deep Roads. I knew something was going to happen with Bartrand because I knew I would eventually have the option to kill him (damn you, unintentional spoilers). I thought that he would try to steal something from within and turn on us, or try to have us killed, and we’d confront him in the Deep Roads shortly after his failed attempt.

Well, I was half right.

I think I called Bartrand every name in the book after that cocksucker locked my party in the room that used to contain the Lyrium Idol. The douchebag didn’t want to share the profits. As he left, I figured it would eventually corrupt Bartrand. Generally, dwarves are immune to the effects of raw lyrium. But because he is now a surface dwarf, he probably lost some of that resistance (which is why I found him three years later acting like a fucktard). Of course, I’m predicting that it’s going to fall into the wrong hands and will also play a significant part in the story.

Eventually I made my way out and fought the Ancient Rock Wraith. Now THAT was a battle, and a badass boss. Afterwards I was greeted by MONIEZ.

For some reason, this song was stuck in my head…

After I got out, I went home and Miss Bethany was taken to the circle. I didn’t really use her anyway, but I friggen KNEW that was going to happen when I left her with our momma. I also thought it was a little funky that I had three mages in my party. I’m guessing she’ll come into play when shit really hits the fan. I wonder if I’ll be able to visit her in the Circle? ANYWAY…

I was introduced to another cutscene, which depicted my richness and famousness. Apparently the seeker thought that Bethany was a “connection” to something, but Varric told her it wasn’t. I have no idea WTF they’re talking about. She also thought that all of my companions and I knew each other from Ferelden, not Kirkwall. When she was talking about my companions, she also said “…and that mage Anders…” Varric replied with “Don’t remind me, I introduced them!” Is he talking JUST about Anders, or everyone else? Cuz that totally doesn’t sound good. UGH. Why do I have this feeling something bad is going to happen =__=

Also, the Qunari are becoming a bigger problem. They still haven’t left Kirkwall and claim to be waiting for their ship. BOLLOCKS! People are becoming skeptical, and the viscount is stresssiiin’. I’m telling you, that weird creature thing from the DA2 trailer looks like the Arishock, and the viscount has the same crown as the one that falls down the steps. I think they’re going to try and take over Kirkwall. BASTARDSDJKDJSKL.

Now that I have a mansion, does this mean people can move in?! I saw someone’s tweet a while ago that read “Finally got Merril to move in with me” so…yeah. OHAI ANDERS.

May 24th, 2011: Oh, Sten.

Okay, so the Qunari launched their (predicted) war against Kirkwall. I get it, they had every right to be pissed off. Four of their messengers were captured and killed under the Divine’s name (unbeknownst to her, it seems), mother Patrice or whatever killed the viscount’s son (who had just converted to the ways of the Qun, or something, I think the conversion has an actual name) and THEN Aveline and I tried to take back our elven convicts, but since they had converted as well they were under the protection of the Arishok. So they weren’t too pleased when we tried to, um, take them away.

Like I said above, I saw this war coming from a mile away. Actually, the dead giveaway is the Dragon Age II trailer itself, as the entirety of it consists of the battle between the Arishok and the Champion. Because I had seen the trailer at least a million times, I recognized the Arishok the first time I saw him. And when I saw the viscount and the crown atop is bald little head, I put two and two together and VOILA!

Actually, the first time I saw the DA2 trailer I thought the Arishok was a new breed of Darkspawn. If someone had told me that that thing was a Qunari…wait. WAIT. Is that Arishok the same when Sten talks about in Dragon Age: Origins?

Oh, speaking of Sten. HAHA. Hmmm. Okay, so when I was embarking on Isabela’s quest to acquire her relic, I saw a group of Qunari waiting for us. Before I initiated interaction with them, I stood back from afar and ran my curser over to see…fuck, I don’t know why I did it. I knew they were Qunari. Anyway, I saw this:

This is embarrassing but I’m going to tell you anyway. I squealed “STEN!”, paused the game and jumped up and ran into my living room so I could retrieve my camera and take the above picture. I seriously wish I could show you the flamboyant walk/dance I was doing throughout my apartment. So I get back to my desk, take a picture and resume the game.

The next thing I know, my party initiates a battle with the group of Qunari. And before I know it, I’m killing Sten.

I absolutely REFUSED to fight my old comrade, so I stood back and whimpered as I watched Sten’s health meter deplete. I watched in horror as he collapsed to the ground. I figured at this point a cut scene would initiate and he’d be like, ohai, bahbahbah I’m Sten. But he remained still. No cut scene followed.

NUUUUUU....

I was fucking PISSED. I had to pause the game and fume for a few minutes.

I thought, seriously Bioware? Did I actually just kill Sten, my companion from Dragon Age: Origins? REALLY?! Why would you do that to me? Even worse, he went down so easily! Sten would have put up a real fight! Sten was a proud, strong and honorable warrior; there is NO WAY he would have fallen so quickly! I really liked Sten as a character, and for his ending to come by my hand… MOTHER FUC-

—something clicked.

…wait.

WAIT.

Fucking wait.

I recalled a conversation Sten and Zevran had in DA:O. Sten told Zevran that Sten was not his name, but his rank. Therefore—oooooooh. Oh. Okay. Got it. There are many Stens.

Fail.

Needless to say, I felt stupid. I felt even more stupid as I came across several more Sten in the following minutes. But that’s okay. I justified my bitchfit by reminding myself that I happen to care about my fake friends, that’s all.

May 27th, 2011: Ohai! I know you.

It looks like I’m about to run into a few of my buddies from Origins. The first being good ol’ Nathaniel, who is the unfortunate spawn of Rendon Howe, aka the douchebag-traitorous-bastard from Dragon Age: Origins. Nathaniel’s sister was in Kirkwall (I originally met her and Nathaniel in DAO: Awakening) and she told me Nathaniel and other Grey Wardens ventured into the Deep roads in search of the abandoned Thaig. She begged, pleaded and even flashed me her virtual boobies in effort to persuade me to accept the quest of locating her brother.

Okay so I made that up. I readily accepted the quest without the persuasion of boobies. While I was speaking with his sister, Anders chuckled to himself and made a smartass remark about Nathaniel and his lack of humor. That’s the kind of stuff I love!

The next character I’ll cross paths with will be Zevran. He’s my favorite lil’ blonde elf. He also happens/happened to be an Antivan Crow assassin who once tried to kill me <3. While wandering Kirkwall I ran into some distressed folks from Antiva, and one of the men claimed to be a noble hunting an assassin. Apparently this assassin is an elf, and in an effort to hide, is blending in with the Dalish. It’s my job to find him.

Now, let’s do some basic math.

Antivan+Elf+Assasin=Zevran.

And if it’s not Zevran I’m pursuing, I might just throw myself out of a window. This is going to be the first DA:O character I’ve come across in Dragon Age II. If Bioware thinks I’m going to kill Zevran in exchange for gold and experience points, they have another thing coming! BAH!. Hell, you saw the mental breakdown I had when I thought I’d killed Sten. Even if Zevran blindly chucks a dagger into a crowd of people and it strikes Hawke’s uncle and mortally wounds him, I’d still be like OHAI Zevran accidents happen you can go now.

I know. I’m sick.

I’ve said from the get-go that one of the things I want from Dragon Age 2 is multiple references to Dragon Age: Origins. I will give credit when credit is due, and Bioware gets a heaping lump of sparkling, shiny credit for bringing these characters back, even if it’s for nothing more than a cameo.

May 31st, 2011: Its been a while, Alista—WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR FACE?!

It was the pivotal moment in Dragon Age II I had been waiting for. King Alistair sent Marian Hawke a letter requesting a meeting at Viscount’s Keep.

Now, I knew Alistair would be making a cameo at one point or another, but I was uncertain as to when, and I certainly didn’t think I would hear from him via letter. I expected him to gallantly trot up on his noble white steed and sweep me off of my feet or something.

As I walked into Viscount’s Keep…

...????

!!!!!!!!

EGADS! What happened witcho’ FACE?!! It’s all…contorted! Geez man, I know it’s been six years, but you look like an old man! Your face is like, thin and your eyes are freak-ay! SORR-Y for making you king! Had I known you’d end up that way I probably would have just killed you off!

Hehe. I kid about that last sentence. But for reals…eggggh. But as soon as he opened those thin lips of his and his witty charm and tone of voice flooded my ears, I was smitten. Better yet, he brought Teagan with him! <3

And yes, I LOL’d like the geeky fangirl I am when Alistair said “Swooping is bad.” I LOL’d even harder when Alistair said that he better get back to the “old ball and chain”, referring to my Warden he married in Dragon Age: Origins.

Oh, Ally, thanks for stopping by.<3 Next time you come visit, let me know so I can have a paper bag ready. <3.

June 1st, 2011: I Are Champion.

Sooo I sorta kinda accidentally finished Dragon Age 2 last night. I know, I know…that sounds super weird. You’re probably wondering, “Britt! How does one accidentally finish a game?” Well freakin’ A! I had no idea where the story of Dragon Age 2 was going, and therefore I had no idea the game was about to wrap up until I was balls-deep into the last mission. I’ve said all along that I never understood what I was trying to accomplish in Dragon Age 2. Why was I wandering around Kirkwall, doing good for this city? Who am I trying to defeat? What issue am I trying to resolve? There were the obvious missions of “Kill this guy for this reason” or “Help this person for that reason”, but there was never one continuous, pertinent issue.

But back to the ending. I ended up siding with the mages, but I’m wondering (in the grand scheme of things) if it really mattered who Hawke sided with. Sure, you might lose a few companions depending on which side you choose to assist, but it sounds like Orsino will morph into a fleshy lump of decomposing goo (aka the Harvester. Remember those bad boys in the Golems DLC?!) no matter what, as will Meredith become corrupt by the Idol (I KNEW the Idol was going to come into play at some point).

Ewww

WTF is that?!

Hehehehe.

After pwning Meredith, Hawke and her companions left Kirkwall and ultimately split up (although it sounded like Anders stayed with Hawke). More and more Circles began uprising and the Templars started fighting back. The world is about to go seriously batshit (if it hasn’t already) and the Seeker, Cassandra, needs Hawke’s help to set things right. So. What I gathered from all of this is that Cassandra thought Hawke was the initiator for that Mage/Templar clusterfuck. But as Varric told Hawke’s story, the Seeker realized that she had the story twisted all along and now she wants Hawke’s babies.

Also, it’s mentioned that the Warden is gone as well. As in MY Grey Warden, Elissa Cousland from Ferelden. How cool would it be if the two ended up working together for a unified cause, and characters from Origins and Dragon Age II collaborated? That seems to be the route Mass Effect 3 is taking, isn’t it? Maaan that would make me so happy in the pants. Oh, and Miss Leliana made a brief cameo at the end. She wants to find the Warden and Champion as well. <3.

So let’s say the Warden and Champion team up. Where could the story take them? I could toss theories around left and right, but here are a few loose ends that might be touched upon in Dragon Age 3.

Flemmeth: The last time I saw Flemmeth was when Merill performed that elven ritual in Sundermount. I had been carrying her around in an amulet since our encounter outside Lothering, protecting her crazy ass. But it’s curious that she knew Morrigan would eventually try to kill her, that’s why she protected herself long before the attempt occurred. HOW DOES SHE DO IT?! What is she? In Witch Hunt, Morrigan said she isn’t truly human. Greeeaaat.

Morrigan (and child): This was barely touched upon in Dragon Age 2, sans Flemmeth name dropping once or twice. I thought Morrigan and her demon-god baby would come into play at some point. My best guess is that he’s still hiding somewhere, awaiting his “destiny” as Morrigan would say.

Grey Wardens: There was a few cameos by these guys, one of them being Nathaniel Howe. He said Hawke had ventured further into the Deep Roads than anyone thought possible. It sounds like they were doing some excavations. Why? Also, I came across Grey Wardens in Kirkwall during the Qunari clusterfuck. They could not offer their help, and they said they had more important issues to deal with. Which leads me to…

Orlais: When Alistiar made his cameo *EEEE* he made it sound like several Orlesians want their long lost Ferelden back. Could this be hinting of a future war with Orlais and Ferelden?

The Architect: This dude, although now dead (thanks to yours truly) has to have some impact in one way or another. I mean, he was a prominent character in Dragon Age: The Calling AND in Dragon Age: Awakening. Nathaniel Howe said that The Architect has given a few Darkspawn (known as the disciples) the gift to think and speak. DUN DUN DUN…

Varric and Bianca: I want to know why Varric’s crossbow is named Bianca.

Merrill and the Eluvian: Merrill wanted to activate the Eluvian. Morrigan used an Eluvian in Witch Hunt to teleport somewhere. Did Merrill ever succeed in activating the Eluvian? Or did she flee Kirkwall before she got the chance?

Ser Pounce A Lot: C’mon. You know you miss the damn cat as much as I do.

HMMMMM.

What do you think is going to happen in Dragon Age 3? What did you think of the ending? I now allow spoilers! ;)

June 2nd, 2011: Tackling the Rumors.

Alright! With Dragon Age II completed, time to go through my original “rumors list” and reflect on them. Just to clarify, these were the things I had heard about Dragon Age II, and were written just before I installed the game.

“It’s not nearly as great as Dragon Age: Orgins.”

Yeah, I have to agree on this one. The settings were repetitive, the story wasn’t as deep, and companion interaction had its faults as well. It’s hard to top a game as massive as Dragon Age: Origins.

“You need time to adjust to the game before you will appreciate it.”

Once I made peace with the fact that I’d be spending the entire game in Kirkwall and its surrounding areas, I came to appreciate the game a little more for what it was, and not what it could (or should) have been.

“You can’t have sex multiple times with your romance partner (BOO!)”

I think Anders and I boinked twice, and the romance scenes were super lame. I’m not asking for full on nudity or humping, but c’mon. The romance scenes in Dragon Age: Origins were more intimate.

“The combat system has vastly improved.”

I played DA:O on PC, and the combat felt pretty much the same in DA II. But to be honest, it could have been vastly different, but I didn’t pay much attention to that. I just click, hit random keys and hope for the best. Perhaps on the consoles it had been improved greatly.

“Alistair may be a playable character, if he wasn’t made king or killed during the Landsmeet (this is what someone hinted, anyway).”

Negative! I came across Alistair once, and he looked deformed. That’s all I have to say about that.

“It is SUCH a different game than Dragon Age: Origins and is not a suitable successor.”

I think DA II was a necessary catalyst for the franchise, and Bioware did what they could to make it as enjoyable as possible. It does feel a tad different, but I still felt like I was playing a Dragon Age game the entire time. Sometimes it just felt like a huge DLC expansion.

“Zevran makes an appearance at one point (Ok, so I stumbled upon this mini-spoiler myself. DAMN YOU YOUTUBE!)”

He did. And I would have boinked him had Anders not been in my party at the time. GRRR. He looked super elvy, too, with his bug-eyes and all that.

“The game was described as Dragon Age and Mass Effect’s lovechild.”

Mmm…okay, I get where some would have come up with this. Dragon Age II adopted the conversation wheel, the mail/letter system and perhaps the console combat reflects Mass Effect’s, but I don’t know. Although it’s blatantly obvious that it’s the same developer, it still felt more Dragon Age-y than Mass Effect-y.

“The setting is in Kirkwall (I may have known this at one point, but I had forgotten about it until someone tweeted me).”

Oh, yes. Good. Old. Kirkwall. I was so sick of that place by the end.

“…you should know that I avoided reading almost every Dragon Age II article I’ve come across. I know little to nothing about the story and the characters. I know the story takes place over 50 years or so. I know Hawke is voiced, and the dialogue is now more Mass-Effecty. I’ve seen screen shots. That’s it.”

W-wait. 50 years?! Where the heck did I hear that from?

June 2nd, 2011: Did I Get What I Wanted?

Since Dragon Age: Origins quickly became one of my favorite games of all time, I had high expectations for the sequel. Before I began Dragon Age II, I compiled a list of things I wanted from the successor. Below is a list I wrote about a month ago, along with some updated commentary. by yours truly.

I wanted….

“Alistair, in some form or another. I made him king in Dragon Age: Origins, so I’m assuming he’ll pop up at one point or another. PLEASE. “

Although *King* Alistair did make a cameo, it was brief and his face was messed up. Like, deformed. Even so, I squealed like a little girl. He came to see the viscount regarding issues with Orlais, which leads me to believe some shit is about to go DOOOWN between the two countries.

“Intelligent characters. Make them interesting. Make them react to their surroundings. After their approval is maxed out, don’t stop giving me different dialogue options. That was one of the issues I had with Dragon Age: Origins.”

This one is kinda tricky. In terms of conversation, I thought there were less opportunities to have random chit-chat with your companions. But there were more companion-driven quests. Since there really wasn’t a story for the characters to, there wasn’t much input from them unless they were in your immediate party while crucial decisions were being made. There wasn’t a detailed approval system, only Friend and Rival. No in-between. Finally, unless you were prompted, it was near impossible to have a random conversation with your party members. All they spouted off were one-liners. All in all, I suppose I was content with the companion interaction, but not excessively pleased.

“Multiple references to Dragon Age: Origins. Now this might sound kinda “DUH” as DA2 is a sequel of sorts to Origins, but I spent SO much time reading about the game’s history and culture that it would be a huge disappointment if that stuff was ignored in DA2. I shouldn’t worry, as Bioware is known for creating game history, but it’s on my “must-have” list.

BioWare did a solid job at incorporating DA:O into DA II. There were returning characters, issues, and several mentions of things I immediately recognized. I can’t help but wonder how much DA II would have made sense had I not known learned what I had from DA:O.

“Different settings. Exploring Ferelden and all of its landmarks Dragon Age: Origins was exciting, but like I said above, I’ve read so much about the game’s history that I want to explore places I’ve read about, like Orlais, Tevinter, Antiva, and the Free Marches.”

Well, this is awkward. Little did I know I would be spending the entire game in Kirkwall and other surrounding areas of the Free Marches. Not only that, but environments were recycled over and over again. While it was neat to see Kirkwall inside-out, different locations would have been pleasing. But, the settings must follow the course of the story I suppose. You can’t be the Champion of Kirkwall and spend all of your time in neighboring countries.

“Cameos by the characters I met in Dragon Age: Origins. I know Zevran says “ohai” at one point or another (will I see him in Antiva?!), but I hope to see cameos from the others as well. The characters in DA:O are some of my favorite, and I would be a sad panda if they like, stopped existing or something.”

Who did we see…we saw Zevran, Alistair, Bann Teagan, Nathaniel, Leliana, Flemmeth, Nathaniel’s sister, Knight-Captain Cullen, Sandal, Bodahn…I’m sure I’m missing a few. I was hoping to see others, but I’m happy I was able to see the ones I did. After all, it wouldn’t make sense if every character decided to say “Ohai’ in Kirkwall. But I thought for SURE I would see Stenny-poo. Blegh.

Sweet! Now all I need to do is an updated character impression post and I’ll be done writing about DA2…until I play the DLC, anyway. ;)