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Dragon Age: Origins
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Toger
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November 6, 2009 - 1:25 pm
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It has begun.

I only played for about 40 minutes last night - didn't realize it was so close to my sleepy-time when I started - so I've just started out my female City Elf's story and getting a handle on the controls. I've decided she'll be a warrior as I have no patience for mages. I might change my mind and restart as a Rogue as I've never played one before.

No combat as yet as everything starts out all sunshine & roses... well, if living in an Elven ghetto can be called sunshine and roses.

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kaythomas
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November 6, 2009 - 3:14 pm
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Toger,  keep posting your impressions.   I plan to use your observations to decide whether to try this game or not.   Kay

Imagine life with no hypothetical situations. 

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Scout
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November 6, 2009 - 5:33 pm
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Yeah. I'm keen to hear what you think of this beast, Toger.

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Yapette
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November 6, 2009 - 6:04 pm
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Mine arrived today. But in an hour, so does the flight carrying #2 son & possible future d-in-law. Until Wednesday. Never fear, while they're occupied elsewhere with age-appropriate activities, I'll install & ... [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Toger
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November 7, 2009 - 1:36 pm
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Yapette said:

Mine arrived today. But in an hour, so does the flight carrying #2 son & possible future d-in-law. Until Wednesday. Never fear, while they're occupied elsewhere with age-appropriate activities, I'll install & … [Image Can Not Be Found]


Spoken like a true gamer. [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Pokey
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November 7, 2009 - 4:35 pm
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I'm waiting to hear everyone's impressions on this game. There are at least a couple things that bother me. First is the party you have to manage, even moving them behind obstacles so they don't die. I prefer playing without a party, though I enjoyed Anachronox and Planescape Torment, but those games had great dialogue between the party members. I hear that the controls can be a bother to use. I prefer the usual WASD and mouse.

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Yapette
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November 7, 2009 - 9:49 pm
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Pokey, Scout and Kay, you may have to wait awhile for much from me. I did go through the monkey hoops required to create accounts, install codes for bonus stuff & the patch.

Now I'm playing the mage tutorial/origin part. Next I will play all five other starter areas assuming the game allows that many characters: Dwarf Commoner/Noble, Elf City/Dalish, & Human Noble. Figure that knowing their roots & all, I can better lead my party (management of which I dread as I suck at it). Or maybe I'm just putting off learning how to use management tactics. [Image Can Not Be Found]

First Impressions: I was not favorably impressed with the mage/Fade test sequence. If I weren't playing on Easy, I'd still be dead without a handle on casting spells although I dearly love the tactical auto heal @ <50%.

Movement: I'm using hold-down-LM+RM to move & steer, second nature after WoW.

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Pokey
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November 8, 2009 - 3:09 am
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I believe that Drakensang used both mouse buttons to navigate as well. I don't care for it but can handle that. Sounds like a hassle before you can start playing the game.

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Ernest
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November 8, 2009 - 7:01 am
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I started Dragon Age as a human but haven't gotten past the first conversation in the game.  Sigh.  Then I went back to Borderlands.  YAY!  Lots of running around and shooting stuff and ducking and healing up and waiting for my shield to recharge and more shooting stuff and running around and looting oh boy the loot!  And this game has attitude and a half!

I'm sure Dragon Age will be wonderful, but heck I haven't even finished Mass Effect or Drakensang or Splinter Cell Double Agent or....Come to think of it, I never even finished Freedom Force.

But as for Pokey's concern about managing a party, Pokey, if you haven't played Knights of the Old Republic 1/2, you should.  They are GREAT!  And you'll quickly see that Bioware totally figured out how to allow you to run parties in this type of gaming system; you just pause during combat and issue orders.  It's terrific design.

And for Yapette, congrats on your possible future daughter in law!  Maybe she's a gamer who's just too shy to mention it to your son!  If she's not, here's your chance to make her into one!

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Pokey
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November 8, 2009 - 11:20 am
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Ernest, I did play KOTOR 1 and enjoyed it, but don't remember much about the party management. It must have been a small party.

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Scout
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November 8, 2009 - 2:44 pm
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How is the party interaction? I don't mind party management if it is interesting ala Planescape Torment or Anachronox.

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Toger
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November 8, 2009 - 2:46 pm
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Disclaimer: I'm playing on Xbox 360 so my experience may differ from any playing on PC.

I've played through my origin – female City Elf; warrior – and have reached the Korcari Wilds. I haven't had any problems managing my “horde” just yet; although to be fair, up until this point I've only had to worry about myself or one other person.

Playing through my origin in the castle made me wish I'd put more points in lockpick as there were a bunch of locked chests and cabinets that I could not open. I'm not sure Soris (my companion at the time) was a Rogue or not as I've not figured out how to tell. Heck, it took me until the Wilds to remember how to switch out my lead character! Since I've not progressed much beyond the origin, I'm considering starting another character as a Rogue just to experience the ability to open the damned things. Curiosity and all.

One of my current companions – Daveth – is a self-proclaimed former Cutpurse (he's now a Warder initiate just like me) yet when I attempted to get him to open a locked chest, his response was “no way!” Nothing worse than a convert to goody-two shoes-ism. [Image Can Not Be Found]

Managing my party has been fairly painless – most companions come with some tactics already set. For those with a set of tactics already set I usually only altered one: to allow for them to heal themselves once they read >25% health. Those companions without any tactics, I added the health one and at least one other so that they'd not just stand there and become cannon fodder. So far, that has sufficed. We'll see how that works as I progress further.

Yap, I'm pretty sure you can do all the permutations of character origins as I remember reading on another forum that several people had done that just to see all the origin stories.

*edit: for me, party interaction is on par with KotOR or Planescape. That's how I found out Daveth was a former cutpurse. I talked his ear off. Apparently, if you ignore them too much, they will grow displeased and possibly leave your ass high and dry.

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Toger
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November 10, 2009 - 10:14 am
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I started another female Elf, this time as a Rogue, where-upon I got Soris and myself killed repeatedly before resigning myself to my original Warrior. Yes, I could open all those sparkly chests and cabinets, but I (not my character) didn't have the skill-set necessary to keep a Rogue alive. It's sad when you're dumber than the character you run. [Image Can Not Be Found] I will eventually go back to my Rogue because it occurred to me -while standing in the shower this morning – what I'd done wrong and I want to see if I'm right.

I'd like to thank BioWare for knowing that just because I'm female doesn't mean I only require armour to cover the naughty bits. Of course, they may want to mention that to the Wilder Witch I ran into last night. I'm still trying to figure out how she's defying gravity with that outfit… unless… it's magic! [Image Can Not Be Found]

Ilonka (named after the Librarian's assistant in Yoomurjak's Ring), female Warrior Elf, has survived the “joining” and become the newest Warder. Prior to the joining she managed to kill off the entire party because she ran willy-nilly into a nest of Gremlock's that made mincemeat of everyone, saving her for last. She's since learned from her mistake and now cautiously ventures forth into battle knowing that her companions will more or less follow her lead. Those Gremlocks will think twice before messing with her again! Ilonka has also learned to leave ash-strewn piles of rocks alone for you-know-not-what may be conjured forth if you sprinkle said pile with more ash. Listen to your gut when it screams, “don't do it!”

For the coming big battle – which the King is dead sure will be immortalised in songs of glory – Ilonka and Alistair have been assigned to climb the tower in Ostrich (or something to that effect) to light the signal fire. They're not well-pleased with having to miss the main battle, but they're becoming friends. Ilonka received a +1 improvement to their relationship!

*edit: Oh! and I figured out what the deal was with Daveth, the Rogue, not opening chests when we were in the Korcari Wilds - he didn't have enough points in Cunning. He was, in fact, a Rogue based on the moves he used in battle, but for some reason he'd been created without the necessary points to unlock chests. Hopefully, I'll be able to come back when I've created my own party and find out what's in the chests as the suspense is taunting me.

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Steerpike
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November 11, 2009 - 10:32 pm
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I've played through my origin – female City Elf; warrior

HOT.

I've decided to wait for Santa Claus to deliver me this game, but it gets increasingly difficult every day. I have a Best Buy Gift Card burning a hole in my pocket. I'm going PC this time around (love Mass Effect for Xbox though I did, despite the inventory system), and durn if I'm not excited about an RPG that might get me  as turned up as Morrowind!

You kids carry on with this thread, but I'll not be joining you until I've put my hours in after Christmas.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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lokimotive
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November 13, 2009 - 7:51 am
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I just got this yesterday on Steam (downloading 15 gigs is a little patience trying) and just touched on the Origin story of a female city elf. I decided to switch over to a female Human noble to see who was oppressing the City Elves. 

I'm really unaccustomed to BioWare RPGs. I bought Baldur's Gate a long time ago, installed it played it until I killed an innocent kid and alienated half my party and then forgot about it. It seems like the controls are substantially similar here as is the general feel.

Here are my completely superficial complaints. First, there's a noble child that you talk to briefly and he sounds like a cockney chimney sweep. That bothered me probably more than it should've.

Second, the blood is ridiculous. After a fight your party is splattered in the blood of the fallen. This may work well for large battles, but the first fight takes place in a larder where you're killing rats. When you're done you go talk to the cook who tells you a story. And you covered in little splotches of blood. I don't know about any of you but I would at least wipe my face off.

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Steerpike
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November 13, 2009 - 8:49 am
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We should do a count of RPGs that start you out killing rats. It's got to be a huge percentage. It's like the rat is the pre-goblin of the fantasy RPG world. Not even just fantasy - if memory serves, you start out killing space rats in Phantasy Star 4, which despite the title is a sci fi game. With swords and space rats.

Maybe it's just a fantasy game on another planet. Like Final Fantasy, which also has rats.

15GB?! I've got to clean off my games drive...

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
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November 13, 2009 - 10:19 am
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Yeah, the fact that no one bothers to wipe the blood off their face or body is a little wierd. The first time I saw it I was yelling at my girl to find a towel to clean up. Just because you've spent the better part of your life living in a ghetto doesn't mean you shouldn't worry about your appearance! Loki, do you have persistant gore turned on or off? I don't think it matters for the splatter, but if the gore is off you shouldn't get the massive arterial spray (one too many episodes of CSI).

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Pokey
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November 13, 2009 - 1:26 pm
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The game is now selling for $39. It is looking more interesting. I just started playing Baldur's Gate 2. I am not doing well with it with the top down tiny characters. I'm hoping Dragon Age has a better presentation.

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lokimotive
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November 13, 2009 - 3:28 pm
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Toger said:

Loki, do you have persistant gore turned on or off? 


I think I have it on. I don't really mind the arterial sprays that much. It's all part of the game world which is rather brutal... the blood makeup just bothers me, in part, because Bioware seems so proud of it. All of the videos I saw had the characters covered it in. I thought there was some reason... like it was connected to the game world and would be explained... no... they're just covered in blood. And again, that's really what confuses me. Everyone seems so blase about it. Again, I'm a noble female, and although the mother is portrayed as a badass (under certain circumstances) I still can't believe that she wouldn't be like, "Jesus Voltairine, clean yourself up! You look atrocious!" Well, whatever.

One other small thing I forgot to mention, it bothers me that the weapons the characters are carrying aren't so much strapped to their backs as they're just floating there. This would be fine if the rest of the character models weren't so detailed. Maybe the armor is highly magnetic.

Oh so what about the game? Seems slow moving now. It's early. I'm guessing it'll pick up later. I've also learned I suck heartily at fighting Bioware style. My party has a tendency to rush headlong into battle and die horrible tragic deaths soon before I do.

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Pokey
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November 14, 2009 - 12:34 pm
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I just ordered the game from Amazon after watching some videos of gameplay on Youtube. I was impressed with the look of the game. Thinking I might choose Dalish Elf warrior.

Doing a lot better with Baldur's Gate 2 as well.[Image Can Not Be Found]

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