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Dragon Age: Origins
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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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November 14, 2009 - 5:27 pm
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Slow and steady wins the race, Loki - pause a lot and consider your options.

I still haven't played this, but I'm getting a lot of starting pointers from you guys.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
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November 14, 2009 - 9:50 pm
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That's what I like to hear Pokey: I've helped enable someone else to drop some ducats on a game. [Image Can Not Be Found]

Ilonka and Alistair have survived lighting the Mage's Tower – it only took three (or was it four) tries to take down that freakishly huge Orc. I won't spoil what happened after that…

I've added Morrigan to my party (mage). She & Alistair spend the majority of their free time bickering with each other. Morrigan finds him beyond stupid while he finds her annoying. I think it's a love match! I also acquired a Mabari (huge dog) as a pet who I've named Brutus. Morrigan claims he's flea-bitten while Alistair talks to him in that wierd sing-song voice humans use with pets. It's very amusing. They've made it as far as Lothering: chased off some bandits, settled a dispute between price-gouging merchant & the townspeople, tricked a priest… you know, the normal quest-y things.

I only notice the floating weapons when someone's wearing a shield on their back. The dog cleans up the blood splatter… ugh! I'm pretty sure anyone down wind will smell me coming a mile away what with the combination of blood, sweat and whatever-the-hell-the-dog-eats-saliva covering my body. Yum.

I tend to save quite a bit as I'm never sure when I've royally “stepped in it”. Since acquiring Morrigan, Alistair has fallen a couple of times. I think I need to alter her tactics. The mage I had in the Tower was much more powerful. Too bad I couldn't take him with me. On the other hand, he wasn't a “save your allies” type of mage either. Totally meant as a kiling machine – he even flamed-dipped my sword and daggar for me. We all know how much I love swords dripping fire. :D

Alistair has contracted this strange red glow and I think it's a bad thing. I've looked at his stats and it appears he's got a cracked skull and crushed elbow, but I don't know where it came from nor how to remedy the situation as it appears to be some sort of negative effect… just don't know from what as I've not changed any of his hardware… I think.

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lokimotive
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November 15, 2009 - 1:24 pm
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Toger said:

Alistair has contracted this strange red glow and I think it's a bad thing. I've looked at his stats and it appears he's got a cracked skull and crushed elbow, but I don't know where it came from nor how to remedy the situation as it appears to be some sort of negative effect… just don't know from what as I've not changed any of his hardware… I think.


That's what happens when someone falls during battle. They're injuries and can be cured with an injury kit. I've found this out because most of my party members die. A lot. I've upped my herbalism skills so that I can make lesser health poltices... a tactic I have used for everyone is having them use the lowest health poltice when their health gets below 50%. That seems to keep them alive, though I have to remember to have my character do it.

There's a chance to get at least two (probably more) party members at Lothering. One of them is a Sister who Morrigan hates probably more than Alistair. I love Alistair's various lines when talking to other party members, unforunately I had to put him aside (and strip him naked which made for some awkward cutscenes later) to add another party member.

When you get to a camp you can ask your characters more about themselves, unfortunately you can't ask Morrigan why she is wearing such a ridiculous outfit.

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Toger
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November 15, 2009 - 7:53 pm
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Thanks, loki! I found out about the status effects once I decided to actually open the strategy guide last night.

I've released the quanari from the cell and now have Leilani (or something to that effect) in my party. Huzzah, finally someone able to open the locked cabinets and chests that have been taunting me no end… although, now that I think about it I completely forgot to lift the key to the cabinet in the chantry. Oops.

Finished Lothering and have made it to my first camp where I made a nuisance of myself asking questions of my companions. The interactions between the others and the dog are fascinating. Still having problems keeping Alistair alive and I'd hate to put him aside in favor of Sten. Alistair is entertaining; Sten just wants to atone.

*edit: hah! Stupid me. I just needed to upgrade Alistair's armor to keep him alive. What the hell I was thinking? (that right there could be the problem) We've arrived in Redcliff and survived the night's attack of reanimated dead – alas, they weren't the fun-loving zombies I was expecting. Something is amiss in Castle Redcliff… Isolde has convinced Teagen to go with her into the castle and we're to follow by using the hidden entrance. We're not expecting to be welcomed with tea and crumpets.

Note to self: step away from the fire. You are not 100% fire resistant.

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Pokey
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November 16, 2009 - 6:28 pm
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My game arrived today. Only 2 days over the weekend, and that is with free shipping. I have been playing Baldur's Gate 2, so am getting used to managing a large party. The game is a lot of fun. Toger, are you still a City Elf Warrior, or have you changed? Yapette, are you planning to start?

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Yapette
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November 16, 2009 - 7:58 pm
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Pokey, I'm holding off DA:O for now. Playing Farewell to Dragons, Memento Mori (thanks to a loaner from Spike) & last night created characters in the open beta of Alganon (MMO). Plus Overlord and Shivering Isles.

I'll stand back & kibitz this first round.

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Toger
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November 17, 2009 - 10:20 am
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Pokey said:

My game arrived today. Only 2 days over the weekend, and that is with free shipping. I have been playing Baldur's Gate 2, so am getting used to managing a large party. The game is a lot of fun. Toger, are you still a City Elf Warrior, or have you changed? Yapette, are you planning to start?


Yep, been working my City Elf Warrior's last nerve. [Image Can Not Be Found]

We've arrived in Castle Redcliff and opened the main gate to allow any surviving knights entry. Of course, they only helped in the main floor audience room. As soon as we went up the stairs to the second floor, they all found something else to do. Discovered Morrigan can create potions, so put her to work whipping up some injury kits as someone – Alistair – is always needing a few things mended; unfortunately, the merchant in Redcliff Village didn't have enough of the distillation agent needed so we had to high-tail it back to camp to hit up our dwarven camp follower. I like being able to jump-travel from one place to the next without having to endure eleventy-million random encounters along the way *cough* every Japanese RPG known to man *cough*

I've actually developed something of a strategy – open a door using my archer (Leliana), while she hangs back with Morrigan who blasts cold or ice or something from the rear; Alistair and Ilonka (me) charge in swinging. For the most part it works and we escape with minimal damage. Especially if we gang up on something that's been frozen solid. Sometimes, we get over-whelmed by a mob containing something more powerful and things turn to shit. Reload is my friend. [Image Can Not Be Found]

Ilonka has set her cap for Alistair by giving him a gift. I figure that will offset the hit I took in his approval points when I released Jowan, the Blood Mage. Setting him free finally got an approval from Morrigan. Just about everything up to that point she'd disapproved. She's a tough nut to crack.

Note to self: Do not cook food in the oven while playing for "only 45 minutes". Charred is not a good taste sensation for everything.

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Helmut
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November 18, 2009 - 10:24 am
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Errm Toger or loki, can  you stop the breathless gushing about these game features and just tell us if it's fun? [Image Can Not Be Found]

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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Toger
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November 18, 2009 - 3:18 pm
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You're just jealous that you're too busy building a real-live, actual house instead of playing. [Image Can Not Be Found]

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lokimotive
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November 18, 2009 - 7:15 pm
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Last night Voltairine (my Female Rogue Nobel) and her merry band of whatsits went to a brothel. I learned a specialization from someone by cheating at cards and then decided to talk to the madam. You can choose a male, a female or "a little of both." Apparently I'm not particularly experimental in my role playing (I mean, besides playing as the opposite sex) so I went with a dude, a human dude. The Mr. Human come hithering on the bed and me standing awkwardly in my underwear. It was probably about as satisfying and useful as going to a real brothel. When I woke up in the morning, I was left standing in my undies in an empty suite. Oddly my movements still made a clanging noise. As I left the room my clothes magically came back on and my friends trotted up next to me (where they waiting outside the whole time? Perverts).

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what that accomplished. Perhaps later in the game there's some important purpose to the brothel. Currently it just seems like a tavern with a door that leads to a line of sex partners. I did learn a little about Morrigan as she quipped while entering, "I've never understood brothels; in my experience you always have to pay for sex." Oh Morrigan, will you ever find true love?

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Toger
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November 19, 2009 - 10:40 am
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I love this game! Sounds like you're much further along than I, loki.

Ilonka and her crew are still hanging around Castle Redcliff. They've managed to clear out all the lesser abominations in the castle and now it's decision time. We've come up against the Desire Demon - she of the g-string and nipple pasties (I'm thinking only women who figure large in the story have perky breasts as the regular female townsfolk have normal, gravity-affected boobage. Even Ilonka is sporting the lovely "lift and separate" breastplate to keep her girls in line... but I digress).

What was I talking about?

Oh yes, the Desire Demon... we've taken her out twice, but I'm unsatisfied with either outcome. So far, both have involved a sacrifice: the first time I accidently triggered the battle before talking to Connor and that didn't end well. Once the battle was over, I reloaded and tried another option. I didn't like that outcome either - going into the Fade made me realize that I'd been using Morrigan for mere crowd control  and alone she didn't have anything with punch. Took forever to bring down that demon - and neither did Alistair. When we made it back to camp he yelled at me for going the Blood Magic route. That hurt. There's one more option to try and perhaps I'll like that one better. Of course, Morrigan will probably disapprove of it. She wasn't much pleased by my deciding she had to go into the Fade either. There's just no pleasing that woman.

Note to self: Make sure you're not in the line of fire when Morrigan let's fly with her Cone of Ice. Frozen solid + metal breastplate is not a good look.

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Scout
Portland, Oregon
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November 19, 2009 - 8:37 pm
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Okay Toger. You did it. Now I have to get this game.

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Toger
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November 20, 2009 - 9:59 am
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Scout said:

Okay Toger. You did it. Now I have to get this game.


My work here is done. [Image Can Not Be Found]

'Fess up, it was the Desire Demon wasn't it?

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Scout
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November 20, 2009 - 12:22 pm
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Actually it was your descriptions of Morrigan and to a lesser degree the rest of the party. And then the Desire Demon in at third.

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lokimotive
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November 20, 2009 - 12:51 pm
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I got yelled at by Alistair too. I thought I talked him down from it using my astounding persuasive skills. I still lost 10 points, though. Well whatever. Oddly Morrigan is the most sympathetic towards me right now. I really don't know how that happened, but I don't think it helps me much. I'm not getting any nookie from her. As far as hot pixelated lesbian relations go I have more of a chance with Leliana who seemed intrigued (and a little embarrassed) when I made a sexually charged comment about her "forbidden fruit." As for my relationship with the stoic Sten, the slider implies that he kind of likes me, his demeanor implies otherwise. I confronted me twice when I entered camp, once demanding a plan for ending the blight, and once openingly wondering about the contradiction in my fighting and my genitalia ("You are a woman and you fight. I do not understand"). It bothered me that I could not tell him the obvious plan that we were doing to answer his first question. I had to side step it, which upset him. Sometime the dialog choice in this game, as in many, leave a lot to desire.

Two things happened last that I'd like to point out. It involves some minor spoilers (beyond just discussing locations) so if you care and haven't beaten the Urn of Ashes quest or started the Dalish/Grey Wardens quest then stop here.

You're given the option to dribble some blood into the Urn of Ashes to... consecrate it or something... for some crazy cultists. Doing so desecrates the ashes and royally pisses off Leliana who attacks you. Alistair isn't happy either but you only lose 10 points with him and he actually backs you in your fight against Leliana and the ghostly night who's gaurding the temple. I quickly died in that fight, which was fine as I just wanted to see what happened, however before I did I managed to kill Leliana, and Voltairine actually chopped her freakin' head off. I found that unnecessarily brutal and it made me very sad.

As far as the Dalish elves, when you go to them to attempt to get them to honor your treaty, they seem more than willing except that they're dealing with their own personal blight right now... of werewolves. For some reason I became incredulous when the Dalish leader mentioned werewolves. Werewolves? I thought, werewolves don't belong here! It bothered me even more that no one in my party was particularly upset by this. People had a problem with believing in the Witch of the Wild and even the power of the Urn of Ashes, but werewolves are apparently okay. It made no sense to me.

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Toger
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November 20, 2009 - 2:27 pm
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:shielding my eyes:

I remember getting that whole "you can't be a woman and fight" conversation from Sten. I can't remember what all I said to him, but he seemed to approve once the entire exchange was finished.

I think Leiliana has the hots for Morrigan... at least judging by her whole "you'd look fab all dressed up" conversation. I love listening to my companions' conversation as we wander Ferelden. They keep me very entertained. If I'm going to save the world, someone needs to entertain me!

Apparently my dog left a dead hare in Morrigan's pack. She was all kinds of happy. [Image Can Not Be Found]

Tonight begins a glorious 9-day hiatus from having to get up and go to work. I should be able to spend some serious time in Ferelden... except for that small window when I'll stop to engorge myself with turkey. [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Pokey
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November 21, 2009 - 12:44 pm
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I started last night as a Dalish Elf Warrior. I like that the dexterity is pretty high to begin with so I can use the bow or sword. Right now I am mainly using the bow and letting my companions do the close up melee. We are now at the Grey Warden camp, that's Alistair and me, and have gone into the Korcari wilds with a couple helpers looking for papers. So far the combat has been easy and the game looks great, though I've had a couple ugly crashes with an Nvidia error.

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Toger
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November 21, 2009 - 1:44 pm
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Welcome to Ferelden, Pokey!

I've heard tell that the mechanics for using the bow may be broken in that it only calculates dex for damage instead of dex + str. I haven't been paying attention enough to know if it's broken in both versions; however, I do have Leilana using a bow with no obvious problems. At the moment, she's not using a really powerful bow as I've only had her in my party since Lothering. And I'm not enough of a RPG geek to really notice.

Last night, Ilonka and her homies began door# 3 at Castle Redcliff. (Here's hoping I like the outcome for this option better.) In so doing, we've begun the Broken Circle quest in the Mages Tower (once that quest is begun, you're literally locked in until the conclusion) Thinking they may need a little more power, we completed one or two sidequests, so we all entered the tower at level 9. We've met up with Wynn and she is an awesome healer! (Leilana was sent back to camp to keep Sten and the dog company) Already Morrigan and Wynn have clashed over the whole “chantry controls mages” issue. They should be fun to have around. Alistair has offered to teach Ilonka Templar skills (I think he's warming up to her; especially after she found and returned a certain item he'd mentioned losing years before. Alistair is adorable. If anything bad happens to him it will crush my soul.) The Mage's Tower is infested with horrors that upon dying, explode in a big-ass ball of flame. Fire hurts.

Note to self: Just because you find a vial tucked inside a broken statue doesn't mean said vial is free.

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Pokey
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November 22, 2009 - 1:18 am
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Well, we were cruising along, crushing everything in our path–though I did have a problem finding those trail markers in the Wilds–and then we ran into the Ogre in the tower. He demolished us very quickly. I see I'm going to have to devise some strategy and also read the manual to find what is possible. I haven't had to do much with the different skills or even check out the NPCs to see what they have available. I'll be back when I have a plan. [Image Can Not Be Found]

Alistair is great. I'm hanging onto him. All the characters are interesting and the cutscenes are fantastic.

Edit...In our next battle with the Ogre, we used some smarter tactics and beat him with no one dying.

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Toger
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November 22, 2009 - 8:39 pm
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Yep, that's about the place I contemplated something more than just rushing in, too.

Ilonka n' crew are still in the Mage's Tower. We've made it to the 4th floor and met another Desire Demon. This one had a Templar enthralled. We all know how the converted can be rather over-zealous. Poor Templar. Truth to tell, that fight kicked my ass a couple of times as I'd been messing with everyone's tactics by then. I actually dropped the difficulty level from "normal" to "casual" - I am a combat weenie. [Image Can Not Be Found] Then we met a Sloth Demon and he pretty much does what you'd think. He sent us all to the freakin' Fade and now I'm working my way through - alone - to find my companions. Not only do I have to find my crew, I have to navigate the maze-like Fade and remember where things are in order to come back to them. In true adventure game style, what I need isn't near to hand so I'm wandering thither and yon. To help navigate, I've been granted the ability to shape-shift into the following: mouse (negotiate too-small openings); Burning Man (able to walk through fire and cast a crazy fire bomb with knock-back... it even knocks me off my feet); and a spirit-like mage. I've also found permanent boosts to cunning, willpower and dexterity so it's not all bad.

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