Dragon Age: Inquisition

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EvanED
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby EvanED » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:42 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:Controls for PC are obnoxious, there's no beating around that bush (no shift/alt modifiers for keybinds like instandard MMO's, can't bind middle mouse wheel click and other auxiliary mouse buttons; because your basic attack is with left click, you can't move and turn at the same time by pressing both mouse buttons). If you can get through it, the game's good.
Interestingly, none of your complaints register as important to me. I haven't played any MMOs, but I don't think DA:O had any of those things either. I definitely didn't know about any of them.

If you can't, plug in a console controller.
That is all but guaranteed to be worse. I've never been a console person so am not particularly fluent with a controller; for almost all games, even fairly poor mouse/keyboard controls are much better than good controller controls for me. The games that are an exception is where movement is primary (so you have analog control) and you don't have to aim except perhaps to determine movement direction... Mirror's Edge and Mark of the Ninja are the two examples I've thought of where I prefer controllers. (I'm ignoring Mirror's Edge combat. I never finished the game because of the combat.)

Also, I doubt a controller would fix the "you can't zoom out" problem, which is what I'd anticipate being the most disappointed at. That has the potential to make tactical view "technically present and possible to use, but worse than useless if you actually try to use it most of the time." (I'm also perturbed by the people who said there is no edge scrolling.)

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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Xanthir » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:44 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:P.S. If you are not averse to tricking/cheating the game because you don't want to farm mats or repetitively kill mobs or mine items for a rare ingredient, you can open any chest in the game, and so long as you leave one item in the chest (that means, don't take everything), you can leave the area and come back and the chest will replenish. This is useful for the chest in Redcliffe where you can get a fade touched obsidian material which is immensely useful for crafting (each hit gives 3 guard, it's pretty OP for keeping your healthbars full and absorbing occasional damage).


The other really important duping point is

Spoiler:
Crestwood, after you finish the story part and everything is nice and bright and not raining anymore. A house that was previously locked in the town (right within view from the fast-travel point) contains a looting point with an Amulet of Power for the main character, and some other trash. Fastest way to farm this I've found is to grab it, fast-travel to first camp, head into Drowned Caves, turn around, fast travel to town, repeat.


And then there's the store-based duping trick:

Spoiler:
Kill all your valuables. Now mark the item you want to sell as valuable. Head to the Sell Valuables screen in a store, and quickly press Sell All followed immediately by Sell. The Sell All button, for some reason, takes a fraction of a second to work, so if you're fast you can get the Sell action to go through as well, so the store now has two of the item. Buy them both back, repeat as needed.


And if you need to level your Inquisition:

Spoiler:
Once you reach Skyhold, a quest will show up soon after that causes a merchant to show up who sells books/etc which boost your Inquisition XP when bought. Funny thing - they take effect as soon as you buy them, but they don't disappear from your inventory until you leave the store screen. Buy some of the cheapest ones, then sell them and buyback. Repeat as needed for unbounded amounts of Inquisition XP.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Obby » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:13 pm UTC

You can also skip the timers on the war table missions by adjusting the clock on your PC. You don't even need to close the game, just alt-tab out.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby WilliamTheConqueror » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:58 pm UTC

i got my game replaced and made it to
Spoiler:
skyhold. holy shit. i ended up siding with the mages, because idk mages, and the when the Red Templars showed up i honestly wasn't expecting it. that entire battle was fun but also suckish because my character wasn't fast enough to save everyone in Haven. :( i tried going to the Hissing Wastes immediately after i acquired Skyhold, and that was a terrible idea? level 17 Pride Demons coming out of a rift made me nearly piss my pants.


i tried fighting my first dragon too, and that ended badly. i'm only one level lower than it was, but my party still got their asses kicked. :T anybody have dragon slaying techniques?
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Obby » Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:49 pm UTC

WilliamTheConqueror wrote:i tried fighting my first dragon too, and that ended badly. i'm only one level lower than it was, but my party still got their asses kicked. :T anybody have dragon slaying techniques?

Spoiler:
Easymode: use Vivienne with her specialization (or your character, if you play a mage with the Knight Enchanter). Knight Enchanter makes short work of just about everything by itself, you don't even need a party unless you're playing on Nightmare.

If you don't like Vivienne, or otherwise don't want to/can't use a KE mage, then you need to make sure your tank keeps control. Give the tank a weapon with +guard on hit, if you can, but if not just be prepared to micro manage the tank's potion use yourself (AI tends to be bad at this). Have your ranged characters focus on the head for the most part. During the wing-sweep phase where the dragon sucks everyone in, make your whole party run towards the dragon and stand inside the radius. This will prevent most of the damage from that attack. Move them back out afterwards. Dodge any ranged attacks the dragon throws out, kill any adds quickly.

The key to the dragon fights is mostly about dodging damage and keeping the tank alive. If you can manage those two things, you should be able to kill them.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Chen » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:08 pm UTC

Even on Nightmare you don't need your party with a Knight-Enchanter vs Dragons. I killed the level 19 one in the Storm Coast at level 17 solo, after it decimated the rest of my party including the tank. Knight-Enchanter is just plain broken. The fact your spirit blade does extra damage vs guard just means whenever the dragon puts guard up you more easily keep your barrier up. Not that he was managing to hit me much between fade step and fade cloak.

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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Xanthir » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:47 am UTC

WilliamTheConqueror wrote:i tried going to the Hissing Wastes immediately after i acquired Skyhold, and that was a terrible idea?

Yes. ^_^ Rough level guidelines for the areas can be found here. That site also has the *best* maps I've found, much more accurate and detailed than the Prima ones. I download them and mark things off in Gimp to keep track of stuff.

And seconded KE against dragons (or anything, really). KE is invincible, end of story. Make sure you grab the passive that boosts mana generation while you have barrier on (from the Dispel line), and the one that reduces cooldowns every time you cast a spell (from the Fire line). Really, all the Barrier-boosting passives are nice, and the passive that uses up half your barrier to power up fire spells is also nice, making your Immolate or Fire Mine bite a little harder. Do *not* forget to use Fade Cloak constantly; it's not only a necessary part of your defense (especially with the cooldown-reducing passive, letting you keep it up about half the time), but it's also an extremely valuable offensive spell, with the "materialize inside of someone for 10x weapon damage" upgrade. That can often fill up half your barrier by itself.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Lucrece » Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:59 am UTC

Dragons are easy for the simple fact that every attack of theirs is avoidable, with huge tells.

I suspect people who have difficulty with dragons is because they're babysitting the terrible AI in this game.

So, to fix the AI's awful behavior somewhat, set all of them to follow themselves, take down their mana/stamina threshold to 0% or close to it. Make a habit of parking your party members to the sides of the dragon, at a distance close enough to quickly run in when the dragon does its wing flapping and far enough to not trigger his kicks.

When the dragon raises his head, he's gonna breathe on someone so move your followers accordingly. Your mages should have fade step and your rogues should have evade and your warriors should have Roll.

Finally, when a dragon flies up, use terrain to shield you from projectiles. Curiously enough the hardest dragon will be the Hinterlands one because the most difficult part of the game is pre-Skyhold, when you have no gear and not enough skillpoints to create power synergies. It's the nature of an RPG, you're always at your weakest in early game.

Knight Enchanter is not even broken.

A knight enchanter cannot kill the lv23 dragon on nightmare solo within 20 seconds without using a focus ability. An assassin spec rogue can. Knight Enchanter is simply a favorite because it's a turtle character that is forgiving to play, but rogue by far takes the cake for broken mid to late game, with reaver closely behind. Mage damage is nothing to write home about by comparison, but they make up for it with cc and group utility.


So, yeah, don't really need Vivienne. Also make sure to gather herbs as you go by. Those regen potions upgraded in addition to your 12 healing potions (you start with 8, but a perk gives an additional 4; you should have that perk and the 10% damage reduction for the group and the extra potion slot to either have healing mist or a resistance potion).

Also make sure if you're using mages, that their staff is of an appropriate element to counter the dragon.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby poxic » Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:59 pm UTC

This game has reached a point where the irritation level is exceeding the enjoyment. I spent most of my last gaming session angry at the level design. Goddamn tree roots everywhere, ankle-high shit that your character can't seem to manage stepping over, so you're leaping everywhere with that massively inefficient (as in like reality, not like Doom/Quake/CoD) jump ability that was never a thing in the previous games.

And hidden access points. Missed that tiny gap in the wall? You're now wandering around the entire edge of the map trying to figure out how to get to the markers in the unexplored areas. And yes, that's another shard way out on the edge of another goddamn cliff that the map gives you no indication of how to get to. And most caves/buildings just use the same region map as the outdoors, giving no hint as to their layout or which parts you haven't been to yet. Resources refresh so quickly that their absence can't be used as "been here done this" markers. I'm an adult, for fuck's sake. I don't have endless days/nights in which to waste time on this. I feel like I shouldn't be trying.

I'm usually a completionist. I've found myself in the last few maps just hitting the plot-related points, picking the nearby resources, then getting the hell out. I'm hoping it gets better, because the story is really engaging when it isn't buried under an avalanche of frustrating design. It's like there's a manager somewhere saying "make the player take longer to do this so we can claim that the game has X hours of content". One of the fastest ways to turn me off.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Lucrece » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:02 am UTC

Never had those issues tbh. If you are out of patience just don't do what's currently irritating you. Until the final mission you can simply do story quests for each map and kill dragons and you'll have the level you need to do content.

My second playthrough I simply skipped shards/collections. Maps went by quickly, and don't forget to use your mount to get around I see a lot of people just walking to their objectives and it's a lot of time lost.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby AngrySquirrel » Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:00 pm UTC

I love this game.

Ok, so there's far too many things to collect and sometimes getting to things is highly annoying. There's one landmark in the Hissing Wastes that I can't figure out how to get to at all, and there's some areas I can't quite figure out where are even though I've seemingly explored the entire area.

But! I love the characters. They feel nice, they are nice, I actually sort of care what happens to most of them, Cole is wonderful, Iron Bull has depth. Sera, a character I initially loathed, I now really like. Only Cassandra and Blackwall feels sort of expendable. I haven't reached the ending yet, and I'm playing 3 different characters at once so all the collecting is incredibly time consuming and tedious, mainly cause I need to get ALL THE THINGS. Also, playing on xbox360 so the loading times are kind of long (which is actually good otherwise I'd never go to the toilet). But if I ignore the jumping/getting stuck in stupid spots/annoyingly placed landmarks/collecting, this game is at least so far, right in my sweet spot.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby poxic » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:02 pm UTC

I'm leaning that way as well. I restarted with a slightly different character (fairly common for me to not finish my first run at a game) that is easier to roleplay. I was doing a young male Dalish elf and it was all kind of weird, now it's an older female Dalish elf. The decisions I make seem more logical coming from her. Somehow.

When I get back to the mages vs templars decision point, I think I'll save, go for the templars, then possibly restore and redo as mages if that turns out to be less fun. (And also take better care of my clan. :( )

(Edit to add, now that I'm remembering: goddamnitsomuch, BioWare. Why the hell do you give your female characters that ridiculous hip swishy run animation? I feel degraded having to watch that all the time. Seriously, I switch over to controlling Varric half the time because fuck that noise.)
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby maybeagnostic » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:35 am UTC

I got 90 hours into my SP play-through and ended up kind of giving up a bit. I made the mistake of getting through The Hissing Wastes (at levels 13-18) and Emprise du Leon (at level 18-23) immediately when they became available. That had the effect of getting my inquisitor to level 23 (and the rest of the party to the cusp of going up to 23) before I ever got into any of the other low- and mid-level zones. Now I've gone through all of Storm Coast, Crestwood, Emerald Graves and nearly all of the Exalted Plains without anyone in my party gaining a level. I've also been completely destroying all opposition and ended up jumping from tier 1 to tier 3/4 gear and almost completely skipping tier 2. So my advice to anyone else who, like me, is tempted to skip to the final zones early for the challenge- don't do it. It makes a huge portion of the game trivial as the battles are not the least bit challenging (even by the end of Emprise du Leon, I soloed both of the highest level dragons there on my reaver inquisitor without breaking a sweat), your characters stop progressing mechanically and the item rewards are a joke (The Sulevin Blade is supposed to be the most awesome two-handed weapon in the game but I'd crafted myself a way better two-handed sword way back in the Hissing Wastes; in fact, now I just toss the most powerful uniques in the to-sell pile immediately upon getting them because I've crafted better gear for all the companions I ever use).

I've also been playing a lot of MP lately. Incredibly bug-ridden but oddly compelling. I like getting to try all the different playstyles without having to dedicate dozens of hours for a SP play-through.

poxic wrote:(Edit to add, now that I'm remembering: goddamnitsomuch, BioWare. Why the hell do you give your female characters that ridiculous hip swishy run animation? I feel degraded having to watch that all the time. Seriously, I switch over to controlling Varric half the time because fuck that noise.)

Hmm, do all the female characters run that way? I noticed it on Vivienne and it was a bit ridiculous but it really fit with her whole persona. If all female characters run that way though, getting through the game with a female inquisitor might get a bit annoying.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby poxic » Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:45 pm UTC

Yes, even Cassandra. I try to not look at my character when running.

Also: there is a plethora of returning characters. Including at least one that was very wat.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Xanthir » Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:30 am UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:(The Sulevin Blade is supposed to be the most awesome two-handed weapon in the game but I'd crafted myself a way better two-handed sword way back in the Hissing Wastes;

Interesting. I'm at roughly the end-game, and I can't craft a better one yet. I can get approximately the same DPS, but substantially lower strength, and without as cool of an ability. What recipe did you use?
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby maybeagnostic » Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:40 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:
maybeagnostic wrote:(The Sulevin Blade is supposed to be the most awesome two-handed weapon in the game but I'd crafted myself a way better two-handed sword way back in the Hissing Wastes;

Interesting. I'm at roughly the end-game, and I can't craft a better one yet. I can get approximately the same DPS, but substantially lower strength, and without as cool of an ability. What recipe did you use?

It's the masterwork serrated greatsword schematic. Got it from one of the many tier 3 chests in the Hissing Wastes. It's a 281 damage (and 25 electricity damage on top), +35% attack, +28 Strength, +11 Willpower greatsword. No special power at all but the only things I haven't been able to kill in just a few hits so far are dragons and the demon(spirit?) at the Emprise du Leon keep. Basically, my dragon rages hit for 2-3k (or 4-5k with crit which are quite common) in a pretty decent AoE.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby poxic » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:18 am UTC

Number of fennec foxes accidentally vaporized: Probably over 100 by now. Sorry, little dudes.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby BlackSails » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:45 pm UTC

The search quests, especially the ones scattered all over the entire map and without a directional ping are incredibly fucking stupid.

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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby poxic » Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:32 am UTC

Has anyone actually completed one of the mosaic piece collections? Or are they just there to annoy you?
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Xanthir » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:35 pm UTC

Yeah, done all but the hinterlands one, because the Hinterlands is bugged - two pieces are in unreachable positions. (One is inside of a rock, the other is *technically* reachable if you use a horse to jump into a location that shouldn't normally be accessible.)

But I also used a guide for all of them. game-maps.com has the best maps I've ever seen.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby BlackSails » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:27 pm UTC

poxic wrote:Has anyone actually completed one of the mosaic piece collections? Or are they just there to annoy you?


I dont even mean those, although those are stupid as well. I mean the ones like "WELCOME TO OUR FORTRESS. PLEASE FIND SEVEN LETTERS FROM FALLEN SOLDIERS. THEY ARE NOT IN ANY PARTICULAR PLACE ON THE MAP"

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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Xanthir » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:04 pm UTC

But you do have pointers for those. They don't pinpoint them *precisely* (you get that purple cloud), but it's not hard to find them - just look for corpses you didn't cause, usually on or just off a main road. The only *truly* dickish non-collection quest is the one for finding the scholar's papers in the Hissing Wastes - there are 8 of them, scattered around with no map markers at all. They're not hidden by any stretch, but it's still easy to accidentally pass one by, and there's *no way* anyone's going to scour the wastes a second time to find them.


Unrelated: I really wish DA:I had kept the copper/silver/gold system from previous DAs. Psychologically, the difference between 1000 and 10000 isn't very large (I had to count my zeros carefully there, because my eyes can't actually reliably distinguish the two numbers from each other, so I guess it's a lack of visual distinction as well as psychological), so it doesn't feel all that special when you start buying really expensive things. My brain stops being able to do even simple math once things get large enough, too - how many 300gp things can I buy with 10kgp? Dunno. How many 3silver things can I buy with 100silver? A little over 30. Same exact answer, but one I can actually do with immediate mental math while the other requires explicitly activating division routines in my brain.

The CSG system just keeps all the relevant numbers in nice easy ranges, easy to work with mentally, and visually separates them so it's trivial to tell a pricey thing (tens of silver) from a *really* pricey thing (1 gold or more). You immediately know what level of merchant you're working with without even looking at the numbers, just from seeing the "shape" and color of the price. You also feel really important and powerful when you finally save up an entire gold. ^_^

All this, and without complicating literally anything else, since all it does is take the price in coppers and puts some images between some of the digits. It's just a currency format call, which is common in displaying money everywhere.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby poxic » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:25 am UTC

Well, shit.

I had to go find and read someone's blog post for "Dragon Age: Inquisition's Ending, Explained". Because I needed it.

Lo, spoilers (obviously):
Spoiler:
The hell, Solas? You're all that and you weren't any more help than a regular party member?

Also: not even one shag? Never romancing you again, you annoying prick.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Xanthir » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:42 pm UTC

Okay, so mondo ending spoilers:

Spoiler:
So, Solas is the Dread Wolf, recently awoken from the long elvhan sleep, and Flemeth is possessed by/merged with Mythal.

Flemeth heavily implies that the Archdemon soul inside of Kieran is another elven god.

Solas claims that the elven gods were just people, very powerful people, but nonetheless flawed mortals (as "mortal" as any of the elvhan were back then; Solas implies they really were immortal).

The murals in the elven temple heavily imply that the elven gods were dragons, or had dragon forms; two of the poems explicitly talk about dragon-ish features. This is further supported by Morrigan being able to become a dragon when she is empowered by Mythal.

Solas hates the Grey Wardens to an unreasonable degree, and goes ape-shit when he hears their plan to hunt down the remaining deep dragons before they become corrupted into archdemons.

All of this together suggests that the elven gods were hyper-powered elves with dragon forms. For some reason, they were also the Tevinter gods, though they acted much more remote (but a lot of the Corypheus lore, plus the fact that Tevinter magic is built on ancient elvhan magic, suggests that they were still "active" gods compared to the Maker). The underground dragons that turn into archdemons are *also* the elven gods, suggesting they were the Tevinter gods too.

Solas suggests that he sealed the elven gods away for some reason he thought was good at the time; Mythal had already been murdered by then, but he got the other 7. (That's why there are only 7 Tevinter gods, but 8+1 elven gods.) Doing so drained him enough he had to enter the long sleep, and when he woke up and saw what his actions had done, he tried to reverse it by using the orb. He was too weak, though, so he helped free Corypheus and used him, but was betrayed. He also suggests that the Veil didn't always exist, or perhaps was weaker than it was today.

My theory is that Solas *created* the veil, perhaps as a side-effect of what he was actually trying to do. I'm not sure of his exact motivations, though I've got two theories; one is that he thought the elven gods were becoming tyrannical madmen, and wanted to free the elves from them. (The elvhan weren't great people; the elven face tattoos are a remnant of an ancient elvhan slave-marking system, like cattle-branding.) The other I'll get into in a moment.

The creation of the veil partially sundered elven souls from their bodies. This had the effect of sealing away the elven gods, leaving their only-somewhat-conscious dragon forms behind (which later whispered secrets to the Tevinter magisters, as random snatches of half-lucidity), but it also broke the elves, rendering them mortal as their souls were sealed away behind the Veil. This caused great warfare between the elves in the ensuing chaos due to the collapse of their undying society, and when the Tevinters arrived from across the sea (remember, humans aren't native to the Thedas continent, only elves and dwarves are) they barely had to work at conquering the shattered remnants.

Now, here's a crazier aspect to the theory. The other weird thing about the Veil is that dwarves don't dream at all, can't cross it (and thus can't do magic). Arcanist Dagna, when studying lyrium too closely, temporarily merged with a sort of dwarven "overmind". The dwarves also worship The Stone rather than any gods. But the DA2 Ancient Thaig, where the red lyrium was found, suggested a *magic-wielding* dwarf society *with a polytheistic religion*. The elven gods are also on record as having fought "The Forgotten Ones", before they were all sealed away by the Dread Wolf (Solas).

What I suspect is that the dwarves were the actual target of Solas's attack. I think the ancient dwarves *could* do magic like anyone else, and their pantheon was a super-powered set of dwarves, just like the elven gods were. They warred with the ancient elves, and at some point Solas struck at them, using some ritual to cut out their ability to use magic entirely by separating their souls from their bodies. This created the first Veil, which, contrary to Solas' plan, went on to slice out *everybody's* souls, though not as completely as it had done for the dwarves. This unintentionally sealed away the elven gods and destroyed elven society.

Further, I think Lyrium is actually *crystallized dwarf soul*. That's why they're more resistant to its harmful effects, why it's magical (otherwise only the Fade itself is magical), and why the dwarves now instinctively worship The Stone - they realize at some level that half their selves lives in the earth and can be mined out.

The Blight still isn't fully explained; we need more information. It could be a super-weapon from the dwarves that prompted Solas' actions, or it could be a final revenge strike by the dwarven gods, or a side-effect of the dwarven souls being separated from their bodies, or even a defective defense system from Arlathan.

Which brings up a third possible explanation for Solas' creation of the Veil. It's strongly implied that the Golden/Black City is Arlathan, and Corypheus claims it was already Black when he entered it. Perhaps the Blight was something that had infected Arlathan, and it was "sent away" to protect the rest of the world; the shielding was more powerful than Solas intended and cut out everyone's souls too.

Anyway, that's a fun infodump!
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Obby » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:13 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:Okay, so mondo ending spoilers:

Spoiler:
So, Solas is the Dread Wolf, recently awoken from the long elvhan sleep, and Flemeth is possessed by/merged with Mythal.

Flemeth heavily implies that the Archdemon soul inside of Kieran is another elven god.

Solas claims that the elven gods were just people, very powerful people, but nonetheless flawed mortals (as "mortal" as any of the elvhan were back then; Solas implies they really were immortal).

The murals in the elven temple heavily imply that the elven gods were dragons, or had dragon forms; two of the poems explicitly talk about dragon-ish features. This is further supported by Morrigan being able to become a dragon when she is empowered by Mythal.

Solas hates the Grey Wardens to an unreasonable degree, and goes ape-shit when he hears their plan to hunt down the remaining deep dragons before they become corrupted into archdemons.

All of this together suggests that the elven gods were hyper-powered elves with dragon forms. For some reason, they were also the Tevinter gods, though they acted much more remote (but a lot of the Corypheus lore, plus the fact that Tevinter magic is built on ancient elvhan magic, suggests that they were still "active" gods compared to the Maker). The underground dragons that turn into archdemons are *also* the elven gods, suggesting they were the Tevinter gods too.

Solas suggests that he sealed the elven gods away for some reason he thought was good at the time; Mythal had already been murdered by then, but he got the other 7. (That's why there are only 7 Tevinter gods, but 8+1 elven gods.) Doing so drained him enough he had to enter the long sleep, and when he woke up and saw what his actions had done, he tried to reverse it by using the orb. He was too weak, though, so he helped free Corypheus and used him, but was betrayed. He also suggests that the Veil didn't always exist, or perhaps was weaker than it was today.

My theory is that Solas *created* the veil, perhaps as a side-effect of what he was actually trying to do. I'm not sure of his exact motivations, though I've got two theories; one is that he thought the elven gods were becoming tyrannical madmen, and wanted to free the elves from them. (The elvhan weren't great people; the elven face tattoos are a remnant of an ancient elvhan slave-marking system, like cattle-branding.) The other I'll get into in a moment.

The creation of the veil partially sundered elven souls from their bodies. This had the effect of sealing away the elven gods, leaving their only-somewhat-conscious dragon forms behind (which later whispered secrets to the Tevinter magisters, as random snatches of half-lucidity), but it also broke the elves, rendering them mortal as their souls were sealed away behind the Veil. This caused great warfare between the elves in the ensuing chaos due to the collapse of their undying society, and when the Tevinters arrived from across the sea (remember, humans aren't native to the Thedas continent, only elves and dwarves are) they barely had to work at conquering the shattered remnants.

Now, here's a crazier aspect to the theory. The other weird thing about the Veil is that dwarves don't dream at all, can't cross it (and thus can't do magic). Arcanist Dagna, when studying lyrium too closely, temporarily merged with a sort of dwarven "overmind". The dwarves also worship The Stone rather than any gods. But the DA2 Ancient Thaig, where the red lyrium was found, suggested a *magic-wielding* dwarf society *with a polytheistic religion*. The elven gods are also on record as having fought "The Forgotten Ones", before they were all sealed away by the Dread Wolf (Solas).

What I suspect is that the dwarves were the actual target of Solas's attack. I think the ancient dwarves *could* do magic like anyone else, and their pantheon was a super-powered set of dwarves, just like the elven gods were. They warred with the ancient elves, and at some point Solas struck at them, using some ritual to cut out their ability to use magic entirely by separating their souls from their bodies. This created the first Veil, which, contrary to Solas' plan, went on to slice out *everybody's* souls, though not as completely as it had done for the dwarves. This unintentionally sealed away the elven gods and destroyed elven society.

Further, I think Lyrium is actually *crystallized dwarf soul*. That's why they're more resistant to its harmful effects, why it's magical (otherwise only the Fade itself is magical), and why the dwarves now instinctively worship The Stone - they realize at some level that half their selves lives in the earth and can be mined out.

The Blight still isn't fully explained; we need more information. It could be a super-weapon from the dwarves that prompted Solas' actions, or it could be a final revenge strike by the dwarven gods, or a side-effect of the dwarven souls being separated from their bodies, or even a defective defense system from Arlathan.

Which brings up a third possible explanation for Solas' creation of the Veil. It's strongly implied that the Golden/Black City is Arlathan, and Corypheus claims it was already Black when he entered it. Perhaps the Blight was something that had infected Arlathan, and it was "sent away" to protect the rest of the world; the shielding was more powerful than Solas intended and cut out everyone's souls too.

Anyway, that's a fun infodump!

Very interesting.

Out of curiosity, how much of that is recorded canon and how much of it is speculation on your part? I hadn't heard or thought of hardly any of that, even after playing through all three games and all the DLC.

Spoiler:
Particularly the bits relating to Solas sealing away his own gods. That's an entirely new bit of information for me. Granted, I haven't touched the games since I beat Inquisiton several months ago, so my memory may be a bit shoddy at this point...
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:02 pm UTC

I found the game to be a little too big. The main quest and the interesting side quests were enough content. Maybe one or two bear ass quests in the hinterlands when the game opens up.

I disliked the maps, they failed to show you how to get from A to B, which is why you make maps in the first place. Roads and topography needed to be better shown. Especially in the forbidden oasis; I don't mind finding my way the hard way once, but I do the second time.

One thing I dislike about video game plots is that you often go from being a nobody to the world revolving around you very quickly. DA:O did a decent job with this. In DA:A this wasn't a problem because you started out as someone important. DA:2 did a very good job of gradually building Hawke up. This one felt kind of forced, especially since the leadership was in place before you joined.

Spoiler:
So when you enter the fade in the "here lies the abyss", I noticed you can't see the black city.

At first I though: OMM, we're there! I was expecting a big reveal, especially when Cole freaked out, but then nothing, not even a hint. Did they just forget it?

Regarding the demands of the Qun: I assumed a lot of the people on the dreadnought would be killed if it sunk; So to me it came down to a few friends or many strangers.

Did those of you who choose the chargers assume otherwise?
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Xanthir » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:22 pm UTC

Obby wrote:
Xanthir wrote:Okay, so mondo ending spoilers:

Spoiler:
So, Solas is the Dread Wolf, recently awoken from the long elvhan sleep, and Flemeth is possessed by/merged with Mythal.

Flemeth heavily implies that the Archdemon soul inside of Kieran is another elven god.

Solas claims that the elven gods were just people, very powerful people, but nonetheless flawed mortals (as "mortal" as any of the elvhan were back then; Solas implies they really were immortal).

The murals in the elven temple heavily imply that the elven gods were dragons, or had dragon forms; two of the poems explicitly talk about dragon-ish features. This is further supported by Morrigan being able to become a dragon when she is empowered by Mythal.

Solas hates the Grey Wardens to an unreasonable degree, and goes ape-shit when he hears their plan to hunt down the remaining deep dragons before they become corrupted into archdemons.

All of this together suggests that the elven gods were hyper-powered elves with dragon forms. For some reason, they were also the Tevinter gods, though they acted much more remote (but a lot of the Corypheus lore, plus the fact that Tevinter magic is built on ancient elvhan magic, suggests that they were still "active" gods compared to the Maker). The underground dragons that turn into archdemons are *also* the elven gods, suggesting they were the Tevinter gods too.

Solas suggests that he sealed the elven gods away for some reason he thought was good at the time; Mythal had already been murdered by then, but he got the other 7. (That's why there are only 7 Tevinter gods, but 8+1 elven gods.) Doing so drained him enough he had to enter the long sleep, and when he woke up and saw what his actions had done, he tried to reverse it by using the orb. He was too weak, though, so he helped free Corypheus and used him, but was betrayed. He also suggests that the Veil didn't always exist, or perhaps was weaker than it was today.

My theory is that Solas *created* the veil, perhaps as a side-effect of what he was actually trying to do. I'm not sure of his exact motivations, though I've got two theories; one is that he thought the elven gods were becoming tyrannical madmen, and wanted to free the elves from them. (The elvhan weren't great people; the elven face tattoos are a remnant of an ancient elvhan slave-marking system, like cattle-branding.) The other I'll get into in a moment.

The creation of the veil partially sundered elven souls from their bodies. This had the effect of sealing away the elven gods, leaving their only-somewhat-conscious dragon forms behind (which later whispered secrets to the Tevinter magisters, as random snatches of half-lucidity), but it also broke the elves, rendering them mortal as their souls were sealed away behind the Veil. This caused great warfare between the elves in the ensuing chaos due to the collapse of their undying society, and when the Tevinters arrived from across the sea (remember, humans aren't native to the Thedas continent, only elves and dwarves are) they barely had to work at conquering the shattered remnants.

Now, here's a crazier aspect to the theory. The other weird thing about the Veil is that dwarves don't dream at all, can't cross it (and thus can't do magic). Arcanist Dagna, when studying lyrium too closely, temporarily merged with a sort of dwarven "overmind". The dwarves also worship The Stone rather than any gods. But the DA2 Ancient Thaig, where the red lyrium was found, suggested a *magic-wielding* dwarf society *with a polytheistic religion*. The elven gods are also on record as having fought "The Forgotten Ones", before they were all sealed away by the Dread Wolf (Solas).

What I suspect is that the dwarves were the actual target of Solas's attack. I think the ancient dwarves *could* do magic like anyone else, and their pantheon was a super-powered set of dwarves, just like the elven gods were. They warred with the ancient elves, and at some point Solas struck at them, using some ritual to cut out their ability to use magic entirely by separating their souls from their bodies. This created the first Veil, which, contrary to Solas' plan, went on to slice out *everybody's* souls, though not as completely as it had done for the dwarves. This unintentionally sealed away the elven gods and destroyed elven society.

Further, I think Lyrium is actually *crystallized dwarf soul*. That's why they're more resistant to its harmful effects, why it's magical (otherwise only the Fade itself is magical), and why the dwarves now instinctively worship The Stone - they realize at some level that half their selves lives in the earth and can be mined out.

The Blight still isn't fully explained; we need more information. It could be a super-weapon from the dwarves that prompted Solas' actions, or it could be a final revenge strike by the dwarven gods, or a side-effect of the dwarven souls being separated from their bodies, or even a defective defense system from Arlathan.

Which brings up a third possible explanation for Solas' creation of the Veil. It's strongly implied that the Golden/Black City is Arlathan, and Corypheus claims it was already Black when he entered it. Perhaps the Blight was something that had infected Arlathan, and it was "sent away" to protect the rest of the world; the shielding was more powerful than Solas intended and cut out everyone's souls too.

Anyway, that's a fun infodump!

Very interesting.

Out of curiosity, how much of that is recorded canon and how much of it is speculation on your part? I hadn't heard or thought of hardly any of that, even after playing through all three games and all the DLC.


It's a mixture! A lot of supposition and conclusion-drawing-from-scant-evidence is going on. However, everything before "All of this together" is definitely recorded canon. Most of the stuff following that is supposition from the evidence.

Spoiler:
Particularly the bits relating to Solas sealing away his own gods. That's an entirely new bit of information for me. Granted, I haven't touched the games since I beat Inquisiton several months ago, so my memory may be a bit shoddy at this point...


That's from the Dalish legends, which say that the Dread Wolf tricked both the good and bad gods and sealed them all away, leaving himself as the only divine being left in the world.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Xanthir » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:34 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:One thing I dislike about video game plots is that you often go from being a nobody to the world revolving around you very quickly. DA:O did a decent job with this. In DA:A this wasn't a problem because you started out as someone important. DA:2 did a very good job of gradually building Hawke up. This one felt kind of forced, especially since the leadership was in place before you joined.

One thing to note is that a lot more time is passing than what it feels like - between the start and the journey to Skyhold, it's at least several months, then at least a year between then and the end of the game. Initially you're involved because of your Anchor, which is the only way to close rifts so they *have* to drag you around, and you're a powerful religious figurehead for the Quiz to use to gather power when their base is still extremely shaky. So the initial "importance" you have is all because of the Quiz purposely putting you in that position for practical and political reasons.

After the Setback, your status as a religious figurehead is even stronger; the Quiz basically has its hand forced in putting you somewhere visible and important-looking. You've been closely interacting with the Quiz leadership for the last few months anyway, so staying close in the decision-making process is a pretty organic thing. (You could have just been a figurehead, of course, but at this point you're friends with the leadership and have proven yourself beforehand, and also it would be boring gameplay probably.)

In other words, you become important because the Inquisition becomes important, and it's basically required to put you in a visible and important-looking position. This is different from DA:O and DA2, where you personally become important and powerful on your own merits. In DA:I you're just at the right/wrong place in the middle of some very important political forces.

Spoiler:
So when you enter the fade in the "here lies the abyss", I noticed you can't see the black city.

At first I though: Oh me yarm, we're there! I was expecting a big reveal, especially when Cole freaked out, but then nothing, not even a hint. Did they just forget it?

Regarding the demands of the Qun: I assumed a lot of the people on the dreadnought would be killed if it sunk; So to me it came down to a few friends or many strangers.

Did those of you who choose the chargers assume otherwise?
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby poxic » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:43 pm UTC

Here Lies the Abyss spoilers:
Spoiler:
According to the DA wiki: "The Black City is visible in the background when visiting the Fade in the Grey Warden storyline. It is difficult to see and is partially hidden beyond other floating islands. If Solas is in your party he will comment that he has never seen The Black City so close before."

I didn't look for it when I did that quest. I'll see if I can find it in my next playthrough.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:05 pm UTC

@Xanthir: I get what they we're trying to do, but I never "bought" it.; which is to say they failed to have the transition have an emotional impact on me. From the moment you're "allowed" in the war room you're functionally in charge.

They're also way too subtle about the passage of time. During that whole year in Skyhold that puddle in the courtyard never evaporated.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby poxic » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:25 pm UTC

I could have been convinced that the planet simply doesn't turn. Except for the one or two places that change from night to day after a point.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Xanthir » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:44 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:@Xanthir: I get what they we're trying to do, but I never "bought" it.; which is to say they failed to have the transition have an emotional impact on me. From the moment you're "allowed" in the war room you're functionally in charge.

They're also way too subtle about the passage of time. During that whole year in Skyhold that puddle in the courtyard never evaporated.

Yeah, I get that. They definitely didn't put a lot of effort into making it obvious. Just pointing out that the canon timeline is actually reasonable. ^_^
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:23 pm UTC

If I was hired by Bioware as "director of making it look it time is passing", here's how I would have done it:

Program in a number of "days', divided between several "months". Each region has a specific weather for each day. Weather for each month is seasonally appropriate.Weather is expressed in terms of the sky (bright and sunny, dim and sunny, overcast, stormy, night, twilight), the air (clear, light/heavy rain, fog, blowing sand),ground textures (snow, puddles, mud, dry or green vegetation), and party comments.

Major main plot events cause the time to advance to the first day of the next month, regardless of what day of the current month it is. Minor main plot events and major side plot events cause the day to advance.

Minor npcs would address the inquisitor and gossip about him/her based on month. This will improve in tone, maybe a small group of nobles you pass by might say "I heard Quanari <racist thing>" then "The Crossroads are becoming a regular town", then "I can't believe the X rebellion is over!", then "Well, the sky's closed now, how could a heretic do that?"

Major NPCs would at least mention time passing like "In the months since X," and "I've had time to get over/adjust to X".
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby poxic » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:45 pm UTC

It is ... interesting ... to hear NPCs say things like "Now that the Herald has ended the war between the mages and templars, we can go home!" This from a resident of Redcliffe just after going through the "choose the mages" quest. It struck me as true enough to life. People hear a thing and extrapolate like hell until they get back to 100% wrong again.
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby WilliamTheConqueror » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:39 pm UTC

DLC!!!!!

...except it's only for the Xbox One and PC for now. :x Oh well, I wanted to get it for the PC anyways.

Honestly I would pay actual money for DLC that involved all of the characters they kind of forgot to mention in DA:I from previous games. Like Zevran. mostly Zevran And all of the LI's from DA2. :C
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby Xanthir » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:53 pm UTC

Zevran had a whole War Table mission line dedicated to him!
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby poxic » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:50 pm UTC

Which I haven't found yet. Is it something to do with how the Wicked Hearts event ends?
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby WilliamTheConqueror » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:10 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:Zevran had a whole War Table mission line dedicated to him!


he's the only Origins LI that doesn't physically show up in game, though. :(
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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby cphite » Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:59 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:Dragons are easy for the simple fact that every attack of theirs is avoidable, with huge tells.

I suspect people who have difficulty with dragons is because they're babysitting the terrible AI in this game.

So, to fix the AI's awful behavior somewhat, set all of them to follow themselves, take down their mana/stamina threshold to 0% or close to it. Make a habit of parking your party members to the sides of the dragon, at a distance close enough to quickly run in when the dragon does its wing flapping and far enough to not trigger his kicks.

When the dragon raises his head, he's gonna breathe on someone so move your followers accordingly. Your mages should have fade step and your rogues should have evade and your warriors should have Roll.

Finally, when a dragon flies up, use terrain to shield you from projectiles. Curiously enough the hardest dragon will be the Hinterlands one because the most difficult part of the game is pre-Skyhold, when you have no gear and not enough skillpoints to create power synergies. It's the nature of an RPG, you're always at your weakest in early game.

Knight Enchanter is not even broken.

A knight enchanter cannot kill the lv23 dragon on nightmare solo within 20 seconds without using a focus ability. An assassin spec rogue can. Knight Enchanter is simply a favorite because it's a turtle character that is forgiving to play, but rogue by far takes the cake for broken mid to late game, with reaver closely behind. Mage damage is nothing to write home about by comparison, but they make up for it with cc and group utility.


So, yeah, don't really need Vivienne. Also make sure to gather herbs as you go by. Those regen potions upgraded in addition to your 12 healing potions (you start with 8, but a perk gives an additional 4; you should have that perk and the 10% damage reduction for the group and the extra potion slot to either have healing mist or a resistance potion).

Also make sure if you're using mages, that their staff is of an appropriate element to counter the dragon.


I had a lot of trouble with my first couple of dragons because I was trying too hard to stay away; the trick is to get in close, preferably behind them. They can do some melee damage but not enough to worry about.

Regarding the Assassin being broken... yeah, that's an understatement. By the last few hours of the game, you can simply hit an enemy with Mark Of Doom, then hit them with Overkill, then trigger the Mark. I was doing around 12k damage from Overkill and then another 12k damage from the Mark each time. And then while those two abilities recharge you simply stay behind (or below) the dragon and do normal attacks.

As far as the rest of the party, I generally just used the three mages, made sure they were wielding staves of the right element, and let them do their thing.

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Re: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Postby EvanED » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:43 am UTC

Late to the party, I know, but I got the GOTY edition of this a couple months ago and have been playing through. I'm not sure how far I am... probably 1/2-2/3 of the way through, at least trying to play pretty completeist. (I'm sure I'll miss a ton nevertheless.) And overall, it's a blast; I'm loving it. Some thoughts below, with unmarked ultra-minor, either revealed very very early or pretty much meaningless spoilers (like the name of an enemy you have a brief interaction with):

And just for reference, here's where I am:
Spoiler:
Opened up most or all of the areas you get after Skyhold and before Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts. Most of them I have cleared as far as I know; Emprise du Lion and Crestwood has maybe half the map unexplored each, I need to wrap up the last couple shard-controlled rooms in the Forbidden Oasis, and I haven't gone to the Warden meet up in the Western Approach yet, though I did meet Hawke and Stroud in Crestwood. I haven't killed any dragons yet though; I'm not sure if I'll bother. I just took the keep in Emprise du Lion after fighting Imshael, which is what prompted this post.


I'm going to start out by ranting though.

The main negative is the controls. I feel like they somehow made it mostly worse than DA2, which maybe given the number of times that Bioware took something that worked well in one game and then made it much worse in later games (e.g. inventory in KOTOR vs ME1) should stop surprising me, but whatever. Tactical camera is terrible. Even in the best case you can't zoom out nearly enough to get a good overview of the battlefield, which pretty much prevents using it outside of a pause-unpause gameplay style IMO. In my fight with Imshael the tactical camera was going absolutely wild sometimes and was completely uncontrollable; my suspicion was that when I was trying to move the camera view from the main arena to the walkway around it, it discovered that fact and tried to re-adjust the view in a way that made the control I was inputting move the view back down to the main arena. And there's often trees and other crap that completely obscures anything that's going on. I wish that they had gone back to DA:O and actually played that instead of just saying "huh apparently people are complaining about DA2's controls being worse than DA:O, let's say we're implementing a more DA:O-like system" but not actually figure out what made DA:O work so well. The one thing it does right over DA:O is the info about your foes that pop up if you hover over them; that's nice. And the game is better for having it compared to if it just wasn't there... but only by a tiny bit.

The other super-duper obnoxious control thing they did (which is why I say it's worse than DA2) is remove the ability to click on ground to move there outside of tactical view, or even to click on a chest or something that you're more than six inches from (which in DA:O and DA2 would make your character.. walk over to it!). Maybe they removed that because of all of the jumping you need to do to access certain places, but I feel like there's some middle ground. And speaking of jumping, whoever designed this and this jumping puzzle should be sentenced to an eternity of repeating it over and over, because they're both terrible. The second is extremely fiddly with the controls because it's very very difficult to, say, turn without walking off. The former is technically easy to do, but the problem is that the hinting is very poor of where you can actually jump. If you don't get it pretty close to just right, you'll slide down and think that isn't the right place to try to get up. Meanwhile, the nice stair-case looking thing of broken bricks 2 feet to the right also just doesn't work.

Now, onto (mostly) good stuff.

I remember hearing a long time ago that there was no heal spell, and was reminded of that when I went to play. For a while I was really nervous about this, especially seeing that your health doesn't recharge between fights. But I've actually come to really really like it. Barriers and guard compensate a lot for it, without being just a straight replacement for heal. And what comes out is something that I think encourages a more careful play then I had in DA:O or DA2. In those games I'd just spam heal heal heal, but you can't quite do that with DA:I. It also reminds me a bit of one of my opinions on fast-recharge health systems like are present in most FPSs now. (The one I'm most familiar with is Mass Effect 2, but the examples are countless.) What I don't like about that is, while they can add a bit of excitement (and in the case of ME2 I think make vanguard a lot more fun which almost makes me forgive it), they do it by removing a lot of tension. If you make a mistake in ME2 or another game with fast-recharge health, one of two things happen within the next few seconds: either you die, or you duck into cover and your health recharges. In the latter case, it's like you never made the mistake in the first place. If you contrast with something like Half Life 2, if you get shot up and are at 2hp, you're at 2hp until you can find some place with a medkit, and you have to deal with that. It adds an element of "I need to not screw up here." Low-hp situations almost remind me of the older Rainbow Six games, where you had three health levels (good, injured, and dead) and if you were lucky, getting shot only dropped you one level, and that's a good comparison. Now, back to DA. DA:O and DA2 had that tension within a fight but not between them; if you had a particularly brutal fight, that's OK because everything was restored when you were done. (You were still down potions I guess, which cuts into this argument some.) But in Inquisition, that's not true... if you have a bad fight, you will go into the next fight hurting. And that means you have to be more careful and play more tactically, both in this fight and the next, and I really like that aspect. (One of the things that I really like'd about DA:O is that if you zoom out to an overheadish view, it almost feels like you're playing a real-time chess.)

And that leads me to the fight against Imshael. As I was semi-aimlessly making my way toward his location, I was being a bit careless and took some damage, and used up four of my eight health potions. (Also, I'm not very good, and this was the first time of facing encounter after encounter of enemies that I wasn't severely over-leveled for, probably because I misplayed an aspect earlier.) Then I got to the keep, where you have to fight a couple of those strong enemies, and those further depleted my supply. I got to I------ with either 0 or 1 health potions left, and most of my regeneration potions gone. And that fight was amazing. It was really tense, and really close. I felt like I had to pull a bunch of tricks, like a couple times have my characters stand in range of each other's regen potion uses to regain hp, and I used all four characters' focus abilities at the same time. And I got him down to about 10% health, and then his full bar of guard popped up, and I thought I was screwed... until I checked my characters and saw that Varric had three jars of bees (and, probably, some wasps), which I proceeded to chuck at him. When the fight finished, I had no health potions, no lyrum potions, no regen potions, no bees, and my inquisitor had 0hp thanks to the "don't die and toss up a barrier" ability. Close calls can happen with any health system of course, but that never would have been anywhere as tense if DA:I had either a free heal spell or the between-fights recharge thing of DA:O and DA2.

I will say a couple negative things about the spells. First, there are some spells I miss from the earlier games, in particular, crushing prison, sleep, and walking nightmare. (Also mana clash from DA:O was always fun, if removed for good reason and not in DA2.) Second, you get what feels like a really limited number of spell slots -- just 9. It's really easy to wind up with more than that, and you can't use the excess (without swapping around your quickbar only between encounters). So I've found myself picking up some extra abilities that I don't care about and will probably never use just because I'm making my way to a passive ability in the skill tree. Earlier games had this, but I felt like to a lesser extent. The other thing is I feel like your mana/stamina pool is too small. If the earlier games had a large pool with a slow recharge, this has a small pool with a fast recharge. But I don't like this, and I again make an analogy to something I don't like about ME2. In Mass Effect 1, each ability was on a separate cooldown. (It's like DA but with no/infinite mana pool and longer cooldowns.) In ME2 and ME3, all your abilities share a cooldown. But at least when I'm playing, the main thing this accomplishes is makes me use just the same one or two powers over and over. In ME1 as adept, I'd throw that enemy, lift this other enemy, singularity that group there, stasis that one in the corner, etc, and there were interesting interplays between do I use this ability that's ready now or wait for another one to become available. But in ME2, because the battlefield isn't likely to change too much from now to three seconds from now, the same power that's useful now is also pretty likely to be useful three seconds from now. So it gets used again and again. In Inquisition, a similar effect happens: you can't go and cast five spells in a row because your mana pool isn't big enough; but if you cast two, by the time you have enough mana for a third, your first two will be off cooldown again and quite likely are the things you'll go to. It still has more variety than ME2; there are four or five spells that I use frequently instead of just one or two. But DA:O and DA2 probably had twice that. (In some ways this mitigates the first problem because if you only use 5 spells plus a focus ability or two there's room on the quickbar for that and more, but you can't even have the excess spells available to cast.)

Anyway, I haven't even started talking about the story, but I'm much more invested in it than I was in DA2. I feel like it's actually going somewhere. It's a tossup between Origins and Inquisition for which I like better, so far. Inquisition has a much bigger sense of foreboding, which I'm really liking; you don't really know what's going on as you're going (e.g. where'd all this red lyrium come from? -- I still don't know anything about this). DA:O had a solid story, but after Ostagar, you pretty much know the broad arc -- get allies using Warden treaties, confront archdemon. But with Inquisition, I "know" we'll be confronting Mr. Evil at some point, but the threads of how we'll get there are a lot more obscure. I'm also more invested in the characters in Inquisition than in DA2; Cassandra in particular really surprised me with how well-written she is. I don't know if she's fleshed out more in the DA2 DLC, but when I heard she was going to be in it as an NPC on your side, I was like "uh, okay...", but she's great and the interplay between her and Varric is also great. I'm also surprised by how smoothly, to a large extent, the side quests fit into the story, even the "go put flowers on my wife's grave" style quests. The guy asking is prevented by the world's events, not just because he's lazy or something. (Disclaimer: this is probably the first really-open-world game of this style I've played, so maybe this is pretty typical; I'm sort of going by some of the complaints.) One thing I don't like about the quest thing is that I wish more of the info in the journal steps was conveyed in-game. Sometimes I know what to do because the journal tells me what to do, but I don't think there's any reason that the Inquisitor would know what to do; it breaks RP a little bit for me. Just a couple lines from one of the companions suggesting something would be appreciated. (Sometimes there is one, but it is said after the journal entry appears on screen, and that should be delayed until after the dialogue line.) I also really dislike the ever-on-screen journal thing; I have to keep going into the journal and setting the current quest as inactive. The operations mechanic is pretty neat; it makes me feel like I'm actually in charge of something big rather than having to do everything myself. I seem to be straying from the story... it's good, but I guess I don't have a lot to say at this point, not having gotten super far into it.

I am also now disappointed that I didn't play the DA2 Legacy DLC before this, though maybe less disappointed then if I had seen a "definitely play Legacy before Inquisition" warning as that might have made things too obvious.

Anyway, I've said most of what I can think of, so I'll stop rambling now. :-)


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