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Late to the Party: Discovering a Gem
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Yapette
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February 6, 2011 - 1:33 am
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Anyone else done this: play a game long after release & wonder why you didn't sooner? Especially if you preordered the game or owned it for near forever?

That's me, stupidly late to Dragon Age: Origins. Twenty-six months to get through the tutorial! Entered the mage tower in November 2009, finally reached Ostegar in February 2011. Loooong trip, yes?

I know Toger loves this game & I can (now) see why. Besides tactics-that-make-no-sense-to-me, I love the banter, the attitudes, the whining. Thank goodness Alistair doesn't get on my nerves & whoo-hoo, we just met Morrigan. I love playing with mouthy companions. An added bonus is textures & people are modded so we not only sound great (VOs have always been superior), but we look positively ravishing. 

Here's hoping DA:O will fill me with enough wonder to continue the simultaneous battle with MW mods*.

 

* Bollocks thread has details

Scout
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February 6, 2011 - 2:11 am
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DA:O is a great game. The tactics never made sense to me either. I read several explanations but it just never clicked for me. Every character is vivid and alive. Lots of fun quests and one of the best endings I've seen in a long time. I got to just before the last boss battle and realized I needed to beef up a character and was able to go back and do that very easily.

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Armand
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February 6, 2011 - 12:43 pm
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It is indeed a very fun game. I had a total man-crush on Alister on my first go at it (played 3-4 times.) It's also the first game I was able to play as an "evil" character and enjoy. If I tried playing a bad guy in a Fallout game, I'd always feel bad for my actions and roll a new "good" guy. But my evil dwarf (poor, not royal) was real fun!

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Toger
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February 6, 2011 - 7:16 pm
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It's about flippin' time you played it, Yap. [Image Can Not Be Found] There's a linky in the Bollock's thread that explains the tactics rather nicely. If it makes sense to me… [Image Can Not Be Found]

The banter just gets better and better as the game continues. Did you get any of the DLC? Most notably Stone Prisoner. The Stone Prisoner quest nets you Shale who is even more of a snark than Morrigan, if that's even possible.

I need to replay the game to get the "happily ever after" ending.

I'm breathlessly awaiting DA2 and hoping it will be as good (or better). Alas, I won't be able to play it until I come back from Italy.

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Yapette
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February 6, 2011 - 10:58 pm
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I need help with a party question.

How (in hell) do we separate out one party member & give specific orders leaving the rest standing/waiting somewhere back in safety? Like I want one to run in & grab aggro and kite mobs back to the group.

In a similar vein, how do we give each party member orders, like where to go? Pause…then what?

Even though I'm inefficient as a commander, so far not a single death! Granted, since I'm playing on easy we don't have to deal with friendly fire. [Image Can Not Be Found]I've been manually controlling Alistair as point man/tank & letting Me (a mage) use tactics via AI. What a weird way to play myself!

I will miss Duncan. [Image Can Not Be Found]

Yes, I can get Shale. I also know I'll want more in my party than I'm allowed. For that reason I'm using a mod that allows the Dog to stay as a 5th party member. [Image Can Not Be Found]

I will go lfind the thread with the link.

 

EDIT: currently skimming the thread where you (Toger) mentioned Alistair was all red. MY Alistair is also red, I thought he might be carrying a flaming sword! (duh) Luckily I learned the error of my thinking, he is hurt & needs fixing.

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Toger
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February 7, 2011 - 11:53 am
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For the most part, I didn't give party members specific orders. I totally relied on the AI which worked 99% of the time. (Morrigan would sometimes run off and take on other things while the rest of us were battling a mob, but that was okay with me as she was capable of taking care of herself... with the added benefit of the rest of us not being frozen by her Cone of Cold spell.) That said, I would sometimes manually take control of one of them if I wanted them somewhere specific.

Someone will come along and tell you, I'm sure. Plus, you'll need that ability for a specific quest puzzle.

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Steerpike
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February 7, 2011 - 12:56 pm
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I just couldn't get into it. What's the matter with me?

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
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February 7, 2011 - 1:15 pm
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Steerpike said:

I just couldn't get into it. What's the matter with me?


How much time have you got? [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Steerpike
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February 7, 2011 - 2:48 pm
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Ouch! Snap! Burn!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

Scout
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February 7, 2011 - 3:52 pm
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I think I played the opposite of Toger. I manually placed and fired each character for most of the game. I can't remember but I think I just clicked on each character, placed them with mouse clicks and then sent one in or up close to trigger aggro. Then I would go from character to character throughout the battles. I used Morrigan's Cone of Cold a lot even if it meant freezing my own team because it seemed they thawed out quicker and it was more valuable to me to freeze the monsters, even if only for a few seconds longer than I froze my own team. At the end it got ridiculous how little I was moving through the game in my own character and how much through Morrigan.

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Armand
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February 8, 2011 - 11:15 pm
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If I remember, giving orders to each party member means pausing the game, selecting individual people (forget if it's left mouse, right mouse, or click and drag) and then issuing commands. After each person has one command, unpause, let them do their thing, then pause, repeat. If your playing the game on easy mode, you really don't need to apply tactics though. The developers said this themselves. Easy mode is supposed to let you play with your main and just have fun.

All that said, the mage class is EASILY the most powerful in the game. The other classes are just there to hold of the swarm while the mage drops one killer spell after another onto the monsters. Spells like paralyze are very powerful, but check out an FAQ to find out the real killer ones. Within a handful of levels, you can have a walking death machine in a mage.

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Toger
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February 9, 2011 - 11:05 am
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Armand said:

If I remember, giving orders to each party member means pausing the game, selecting individual people (forget if it's left mouse, right mouse, or click and drag) and then issuing commands. After each person has one command, unpause, let them do their thing, then pause, repeat. If your playing the game on easy mode, you really don't need to apply tactics though. The developers said this themselves. Easy mode is supposed to let you play with your main and just have fun.

All that said, the mage class is EASILY the most powerful in the game. The other classes are just there to hold of the swarm while the mage drops one killer spell after another onto the monsters. Spells like paralyze are very powerful, but check out an FAQ to find out the real killer ones. Within a handful of levels, you can have a walking death machine in a mage.


(emphasis mine)

Then those devs are liars! Until I figured out the tactics, I cannot tell you how many times my companions ran off on their own to attack something that one-swipe killed them and I was left alone with a mob. Using the tactics kept them from attacking something before I did or fogetting to heal themselves (they're adults, they don't need me to heal them [Image Can Not Be Found] )... and we survived Redcliffe's Night of the Living Dead.

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Yapette
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February 17, 2011 - 12:57 am
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Sooo glad I let Zevran live, what a smartass! Of course I let him join us.

Very soon I must give some attention to party members who've spent the entire game (so far) parked in camp. I'm betting the game will jerk me around in the future by disallowing my regulars or some such hateful nonesense. 

Currently we're clearing out Castle Redcliffe & Little Demon Boy.

Jakkar
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February 17, 2011 - 2:26 am
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... Hypothetically, were I to say "I think Dragon Age: Origins is a pile of shit and Bioware need to die"...

 

.. How quickly would I be lynched?

 

*withholds further comment for now*

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Toger
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February 17, 2011 - 10:56 am
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Yap, there's only a couple of instances where you'll be required to leave/take a specific party member. You don't have to use them all; however, I did always chat them up/give gifts while in camp. I travelled with Morrigan, Alistair and Wynne 99% of the time until the very end. I only swapped out companions when I wanted to do their personal quests.

jakkar, Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You wouldn't be lynched but you would be given a serious stink eye. What's your issue with DA:O and/or Bioware?

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Scout
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February 17, 2011 - 5:22 pm
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I think I killed Zevran for reasons I never did understand other than he jumped out at me whilst I was in a killing frenzy. Poor little Zevran. Yeah, this game can sneak up behind you and clobber you if you ignore parked party members for too long. I would at least take the time to manually level them and outfit them. At least outfit them properly.

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Toger
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February 17, 2011 - 5:44 pm
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Yeah, you'll definitely not want to leave them hanging around the campfire in their undies. Things have a way of happening...

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Yapette
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February 17, 2011 - 8:51 pm
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See, that's exactly what I'm afraid will happen. My less than fav campmates (anyone besides Wynnnie, Al & Malcontent) have gotten a few gifts (maybe) and received a few minutes of conversation but not a one has any better gear than what they arrived in. Oh-oh.

Any suggestions on where to take them "out" so they can taste combat without dying? Screw it, maybe I'll simply bring them to Denerim (once I get there) and we'll go shopping together.

It could be disheartening to realize without a doubt that the A.I. is better than I am. Isn't though. I'm thankful someone has the wherewithall to prevent our dying cause it sure isn't me. Even when I control Al (alas, game insists I control at least one), he does better when I stop clicking & let him go. Not a single death yet. Unbelievable. Or could be having three mages in my party.  [Image Can Not Be Found]

Jakkar
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February 17, 2011 - 9:22 pm
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Ah, how open-minded ye are.

 

I found the game to be.. KOTOR in new clothes, a poorly written series of jokes tied together with repetitive 'monster corridor' combat that played like Neverwinter Nights crossed with World of Warcraft, lacking any of the tactical depth or variety of Baldur's Gate 2. It carried on the KOTOR/Mass Effect tradition of running a combat section followed by an EPIC MORALE CHOICE MOOOOMENT, which involves a lot of extraneous exposition by all parties to very scientifically tug on your heart-strings leading to an ultimately binary choice between something 'good but painful' or 'bad but complicated', with none of the natural feel or realistic scenarios of Fallout, Planescape Torment or BG2.

 

It feels.. Like entertainment made by scientists to achieve specific goals. The story has no soul, the visuals are a gothification of Peter Jackson's/WETA's Lord of the Rings, the setting is Bioware's attempt to cash in on the success of The Witcher's dark and dirty fantasy playground.

 

Yet it's also a lot uglier than the Witcher, which was built on Bioware's own Aurora engine as a base. The engine that powered Neverwinter Nights ONE.

 

... Yes, I really, really dislike Bioware these days =x I think my issues with their games explain my issues with them well enough.

 

As you said, it all comes down to opinion - what doesn't? But this is a sore topic for me, for I feel very much alone in this one >.<

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Toger
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February 17, 2011 - 10:53 pm
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Yap, I'm pretty sure I didn't make a conscious effort to keep the trapped-by-the-fire companions in upgraded gear. If anything, they got the cast-offs that I couldn't bring myself to sell… just in case I wanted them back. On the other hand, I did make it a point to gift them all every time I went to camp just because I wanted to see what I could get out of the deal… and I was weighing my options of Alistair vs Zevran (or possibly Leliana. Never Morrigan as she made me laugh and sex would have totally ruined that relationship. Or so I played it. Sten did nothing for me.) I did manage to complete all the companion quests save Leliana's. Apparently, I didn't get her approval of me high enough before heading to Landsmeet.

Poor Jakkar. I'm here to make your head explode. [Image Can Not Be Found]

I've never played BG2 (or BG for that matter, but I do own both), didn't finish Planescape (although I've attempted to do so three times. I've even purchased the GOG version in the hopes that I'll actually play it all the way through. Each attempt gets me further than the last.) and didn't play Fallout (any of them). I adored KotOR and NWN (Yap, Jen and I had massive Bollocks threads for NWN and its two expansions). I've not played the Witcher, but I have it and I will eventually.

If there was an algorithm to make me care about the characters then its coder needs a raise… and a hug. For me, the story did have a soul albeit a fairly uncomplicated one and that's okay with me. I'm not looking for epic. I'm looking for entertainment. If a game (book, movie, what have you) succeeds in entertaining me in some manner – even if I'm laughing at the ridiculousness, cuteness, calculated heart-string tugs [Image Can Not Be Found] – then I'm a happy girl.

In the end it's okay if you didn't like it as much as I did. I have electic tastes, but very narrow ones. Clones of games (books, movies, etc) that I adored rarely click with me. :shrug:  There's always something else that's bright and shiny to capture my attention.

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