What was wrong with Dragon Age Inquistion

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trunkage:

TheFinish:
Really unbalanced gameplay, especially if you're adept at min-maxing.

interesting, can you elaborate on this?

I distinctly remember beating all ten high dragons by taking Vivienne (was that her name?), putting the party far away and sending her in alone to spam that Knight Enchanter attack where she conjures a blade for a melee attack against a hind leg. Since she gained shield with every hit and the mana cost was negligible, she effectively became invulnerable because the dragon could not hurt her fast enough to deplete the shield and she could just stand there and hack away until it died. Then it was simply a matter of using the shield spell when the dragon did its' flying thing before going back to hacking that leg.

TheFinish:
But in Dragon Age's case, you could've just swapped Leliana and Zevran for a new character if they were killed in 1, and not lose anything. Instead they chose to circumvent player agency and have 'em alive and kicking for no adequately good reason.

I don't know. I did a run of Mass Effect 3 where I had a lot of people killed in pervious games. It didn't have the same impact and felt like... out of place? Like the story didn't make sense EDIT: I understand your point, though

Several reasons, in no particular order:

- SJW/Liberal Nonsense: BioWare's first Full-SJW game virtue signals up the kazoo and does so at the expense of the world's own lore and history. The violent, racist, grim world of Origins is now a 20th century liberal utopia with none of its own established rules. If you want to groan, ask Iron Bull about the transgender person in his crew.
- Single player MMO: You go to a bunch of open zones, complete a number of fetch quests, find certain collectables and score so many fuckabout points before you can proceed with the main quest. Utterly tedious, shallow gameplay.
- Characters: They pretty much sucked across the board. I can hardly remember most of them.
- Story: I finished the game, and I cannot remember anything about the story or villain except for the green hand thing. I can still tell you everything about Origins and even 2, which was pretty mediocre.
- Action Driven: Instead of a strategic, party based RPG, it was an action game.
- No

It looked pretty average and was ultimately a boring, forgettable game not worthy of sharing shelf space with BioWare's past catalogue. There were a couple of good bits. The mission at the palace was exceptional and absolutely the highlight of an otherwise very bad game. I also liked Flemeth's appearance and the lore presented in the post-credits. In summary, it's a boring, forgettable game with little to recommend it. Gone is everything unique about the world in exchange for a virtue-signalling, pseudo-open world game of busy work and nebulous "content" in lieu of actual storytelling or world building.

KingsGambit:
Several reasons, in no particular order:

- SJW/Liberal Nonsense: BioWare's first Full-SJW game virtue signals up the kazoo and does so at the expense of the world's own lore and history. The violent, racist, grim world of Origins is now a 20th century liberal utopia with none of its own established rules. If you want to groan, ask Iron Bull about the transgender person in his crew.
- Single player MMO: You go to a bunch of open zones, complete a number of fetch quests, find certain collectables and score so many fuckabout points before you can proceed with the main quest. Utterly tedious, shallow gameplay.
- Characters: They pretty much sucked across the board. I can hardly remember most of them.
- Story: I finished the game, and I cannot remember anything about the story or villain except for the green hand thing. I can still tell you everything about Origins and even 2, which was pretty mediocre.
- Action Driven: Instead of a strategic, party based RPG, it was an action game.
- No

It looked pretty average and was ultimately a boring, forgettable game not worthy of sharing shelf space with BioWare's past catalogue. There were a couple of good bits. The mission at the palace was exceptional and absolutely the highlight of an otherwise very bad game. I also liked Flemeth's appearance and the lore presented in the post-credits. In summary, it's a boring, forgettable game with little to recommend it. Gone is everything unique about the world in exchange for a virtue-signalling, pseudo-open world game of busy work and nebulous "content" in lieu of actual storytelling or world building.

Can you imagine Sten from DAO in the same room with Iron Bull? I don't think it would go over well.

It seems like Iron Bull's purpose is to retcon Qunari society, in order to make it more 21th century Earth politically correct. To transform them from bad communists into "good" communists.

I understand that video games and other art forms have always contained political messages. But DAI was so heavy-handed about it that it is immersion-breaking. Instead of becoming lost in the fantasy world of Thedas and its story, I found myself constantly snapped back to reality, thinking about the thinly veiled political motives of the writers.

The problem was the side questin' stuff is fucking tedious in DA:I. Other than that, I'm not as negative as I used to be (though I'm only slightly less consistent than Stephen King movie adaptations, so be aware that I might hate it again next week). The gameplay is definitely better than The Witcher 3 and I prefer the fantasy epic, generic as it is, to the poor man's GoT that was DA:O. It's also visually stunning (well, the landscapes are at least) and it sounds great.

But the side stuff, for me at least, always boiled down to either fetch quests or killing all the dudes in an area. While that type of design works in, say, your average Action-Adventure fare, I expect more from an RPG. Particularly a Bioware RPG. And in an open world, where side stuff is incredibly important, that shit will not fly.

The Witcher 3 has clunky-er gameplay, but the story and sidequest aspects are also much stronger (though slightly undercut by Geralt's voice acting). It's kind of like comparing Icewind Dale to Planescape: Torment. Or comparing Chrono Trigger to Final Fantasy VI.

Kerg3927:
Can you imagine Sten from DAO in the same room with Iron Bull? I don't think it would go over well.

It seems like Iron Bull's purpose is to retcon Qunari society, in order to make it more 21th century Earth politically correct. To transform them from bad communists into "good" communists.

I understand that video games and other art forms have always contained political messages. But DAI was so heavy-handed about it that it is immersion-breaking. Instead of becoming lost in the fantasy world of Thedas and its story, I found myself constantly snapped back to reality, thinking about the thinly veiled political motives of the writers.

Sten was Sten because they needed a cardboard cutout of a character to represent his race, the Quanri. Just like most of the characters in Origins, they didn't have personalities, they had cultural stereotypes place on them. Think of Oghren - typical Dwarf. Think Morrigan and "evil witch" (seductive outfit and all), Wynne and "good witch." They could never really outstepped their bounds.

I think DA2 characters better because they weren't trapped into stereotypes like the first. Iron Bull was Iron Bull because they already had the cardboard cut out and they could actually write something interesting instead.

As to retconning - was gender politics a thing in Origins? I mean, it had to be. 3 females are party of your group (4 with shale), that's pretty PC. Was women banned from fighting by the Qun? Transsexuals? Because I don't remember that at all.

Also, just because Lenin was central government all the way, doesn't mean communists are. They are generally put next to anarchist on the political scale because the overall intend is to get rid of government in the long term. That's the opposite of the Qun

KingsGambit:
- SJW/Liberal Nonsense: BioWare's first Full-SJW game virtue signals up the kazoo and does so at the expense of the world's own lore and history. The violent, racist, grim world of Origins is now a 20th century liberal utopia with none of its own established rules. If you want to groan, ask Iron Bull about the transgender person in his crew.

I think your forgetting Zevran. He was in your face and you had to deal with his nonsense. With Krem, you had to go around asking about them. It was far more discrete and you had to search it out if you wanted to know. I know which one I'd pick. (The Trespasser section with Krem was pretty bad, though)

trunkage:
Iron Bull was Iron Bull because they already had the cardboard cut out and they could actually write something interesting instead.

Iron Bull wasn't interesting, he was an oxymoron, who spoke and behaved like quirky internet forum cool guy. Despite being a representative of a rigid, personality less dictatorship he's a jovial casual guy who's like 'EEEeeeeeeeeeey, my homeland'. So does that mean he left, and decided to be the opposite of what the Qun is? Oh, no he's still all up in that shit, all hail the dictatorship, they have the right way of living. Like, what?

Him, and Sera and some of the other characters behaved in such stupid fashion, they are so badly out of place in the setting. Iron Bull is written to be Cool McProgressiveFace who happens to be a Qunari, so he basically spouts his gibberish wacky modern sarcastic dialogue, then he has to say the qunari stuff on top of his other crap.

I mean, I like the part where you shit on Sten, and the other cast of Origins, but they have personalities. On the surface they make sense for what they are and represent, but then you talk to them and you find out they have full fleshed out beliefs and thoughts. And problems. And quirks too, like Sten ends up loving sweets, and likes cats.

It's like, congrats you recognise that the cast of Origins are tropes. That doesn't make them bad or good. Execution does, tropes are the equivalent of a mathematical formula you use to achieve results. Tropes exist to be effectively used to get a desired response. You just recognised the trope. And if you recognising the trope makes you look down on a thing, well my friend, you don't care for or desire quality. You desire novelty. Irrespective of quality.

Sten is a trope, but well realised and executed, Iron Bull is novel, but a poor idiosyncrasy.

trunkage:

Kerg3927:
Can you imagine Sten from DAO in the same room with Iron Bull? I don't think it would go over well.

It seems like Iron Bull's purpose is to retcon Qunari society, in order to make it more 21th century Earth politically correct. To transform them from bad communists into "good" communists.

I understand that video games and other art forms have always contained political messages. But DAI was so heavy-handed about it that it is immersion-breaking. Instead of becoming lost in the fantasy world of Thedas and its story, I found myself constantly snapped back to reality, thinking about the thinly veiled political motives of the writers.

Sten was Sten because they needed a cardboard cutout of a character to represent his race, the Quanri. Just like most of the characters in Origins, they didn't have personalities, they had cultural stereotypes place on them. Think of Oghren - typical Dwarf. Think Morrigan and "evil witch" (seductive outfit and all), Wynne and "good witch." They could never really outstepped their bounds.

I think DA2 characters better because they weren't trapped into stereotypes like the first. Iron Bull was Iron Bull because they already had the cardboard cut out and they could actually write something interesting instead.

As to retconning - was gender politics a thing in Origins? I mean, it had to be. 3 females are party of your group (4 with shale), that's pretty PC. Was women banned from fighting by the Qun? Transsexuals? Because I don't remember that at all.

Also, just because Lenin was central government all the way, doesn't mean communists are. They are generally put next to anarchist on the political scale because the overall intend is to get rid of government in the long term. That's the opposite of the Qun

Sten wasn't a cardboard cutout, he was Qunari. In fact he was so Qunari, he's sent to Ferelden because the big Three think he and his bros have what it takes to complete their mission without getting compromised. And that's how they are: rigid, with little emotion, and mostly unwilling to change. Sten changes through the travels with the PC (and, in fact, becomes Arishok post DA2, somehow) and Iron Bull has been changed through his time in Seheron, though he's still Qun at heart (as shown with what happens if you complete his unique mission and let the Chargers die). But that doesn't change that the Qun between DA:O/2 and Inquisiton went from oppressive, relentless bastards to a sort of ok dictatorship that isn't so bad.

And yes women are banned from fighting in the Qun. Warriors are all male. Now, that doesn't mean a woman can't fight, it just means she isn't a woman anymore if she does, she's a man. There's a whole conversation about it in DA:O if you have a female PC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKSi_KZ6tck

PS: Also, Oghren isn't your typical Dwarf. He's shunned and mocked because he's an alcoholic with no self restraint and lecherous, and he behaves entirely different to all the other dwarfs you meet. Wynne isn't your seterotypical good witch either, because I don't recall good witches being staunchly religious, do you?

MC1980:

trunkage:
Iron Bull was Iron Bull because they already had the cardboard cut out and they could actually write something interesting instead.

Iron Bull wasn't interesting, he was an oxymoron, who spoke and behaved like quirky internet forum cool guy. Despite being a representative of a rigid, personality less dictatorship he's a jovial casual guy who's like 'EEEeeeeeeeeeey, my homeland'. So does that mean he left, and decided to be the opposite of what the Qun is? Oh, no he's still all up in that shit, all hail the dictatorship, they have the right way of living. Like, what?

Him, and Sera and some of the other characters behaved in such stupid fashion, they are so badly out of place in the setting. Iron Bull is written to be Cool McProgressiveFace who happens to be a Qunari, so he basically spouts his gibberish wacky modern sarcastic dialogue, then he has to say the qunari stuff on top of his other crap.

I mean, I like the part where you shit on Sten, and the other cast of Origins, but they have personalities. On the surface they make sense for what they are and represent, but then you talk to them and you find out they have full fleshed out beliefs and thoughts. And problems. And quirks too, like Sten ends up loving sweets, and likes cats.

It's like, congrats you recognise that the cast of Origins are tropes. That doesn't make them bad or good. Execution does, tropes are the equivalent of a mathematical formula you use to achieve results. Tropes exist to be effectively used to get a desired response. You just recognised the trope. And if you recognising the trope makes you look down on a thing, well my friend, you don't care for or desire quality. You desire novelty. Irrespective of quality.

Sten is a trope, but well realised and executed, Iron Bull is novel, but a poor idiosyncrasy.

I agree with all of this.

Sten is one of my favorite characters in all of Bioware's games (and I've played them all except for Jade Empire). Yes, he is a trope if you just look at the surface. But his dialogue is very well-written and executed, and he shows a lot of depth the more you get to know him.

Part of what makes Sten interesting is that, yes, he is a grumpy, judgemental elitist prick from what he sees as a superior race and culture, but at the same time he is an absolute personal failure in that he lost his sword (unforgiveable in his culture), lost his self-discipline, panicked, and in his fear slaughtered a bunch of unarmed peasants, including women and children. The story of Sten is him reconciling these two conflicting facets as he seeks redemption for his failures - which the Warden gives him a chance to do by recruiting him to fight the Archdemon - and in the process he gains a modicum of respect for other foreign points of view. Plus, I find his dry-as-a-desert sense of humor to be hilarious.

trunkage:
As to retconning - was gender politics a thing in Origins? I mean, it had to be. 3 females are party of your group (4 with shale), that's pretty PC. Was women banned from fighting by the Qun? Transsexuals? Because I don't remember that at all.

Yes. Example...

Sten: Why are you here?
Leliana: What do you mean?
Sten: Women are priests, artisans, farmers or shopkeepers. None of them have any place in fighting.
Leliana: I have no idea how to answer this...
Sten: It is not done. There is no more to it.
Leliana: Do you mean your people have no female mages or warriors?
Sten: Of course not. Why would our women wish to be men?
Leliana: What are you talking about? They don't wish to be men.
Sten: They shouldn't. That can only lead to frustration.
Leliana: Sten...no, never mind. Let's drop this.

LINK

trunkage:

KingsGambit:
- SJW/Liberal Nonsense: BioWare's first Full-SJW game virtue signals up the kazoo and does so at the expense of the world's own lore and history. The violent, racist, grim world of Origins is now a 20th century liberal utopia with none of its own established rules. If you want to groan, ask Iron Bull about the transgender person in his crew.

I think your forgetting Zevran. He was in your face and you had to deal with his nonsense. With Krem, you had to go around asking about them. It was far more discrete and you had to search it out if you wanted to know. I know which one I'd pick. (The Trespasser section with Krem was pretty bad, though)

Honestly, I think it's less Krem's existence than the greater implications of the conversation. Functionally, Krem has two roles in the story: To be a face to put to the Chargers (thus giving some weight to the end of Bull's quest arc) and to expand on Qunari culture. And it's the latter that makes Krem come off as so out of place and inorganic. Through Krem, the first trans-inclusive culture is revealed to be...the Qunari. The culture with such an extreme interpretation of collectivism that they don't have a concept of individual identity, and who believe that those who refuse to accept their roles (and the Qun) are ill and in need of forcible reeducation (up to and including destroying their minds if they refuse to be taught)...those people are the ones who embrace the transgender? That does not feel like a natural extension of Qunari philosophy.

The worst part is that just off the top of my head I can think of three more organic alternatives. The simplest being Bull simply acknowledging that the Qunari wouldn't accept Krem and the difference between what he knows about Krem and what the Qun tells him Krem should be adding to his internal conflict over whether he is really the Iron Bull or Hissrad (or if you prefer, whether or not he should become Tal-Vashoth).

Or the other two come in if we want to directly invoke a culture as embracing the transgender. Orlais openly acknowledges the dichotomy of person and persona through their masks, and between that, the bards, chevaliers, political intrigue and the like, there was a golden opportunity for a character inspired by Chevalier D'eon. On the other hand, we also have Tevinter, a country practically defined by their willingness to push the boundaries of magic and unofficially turning their nose up at the rules against blood magic. I could easily see Tevinter's less constrained magic allowing them to develop a mystical form of SRS, which would have been a step towards justifying their "ends justify the means" philosophy in players' minds. It would have helped to convey that while the philosophy had long since been established as enabling evil, it was also capable of producing good. And in the case of Tevinter, you have Dorian's backstory as a counterpoint...and honestly, I'm loving the implied contrast in Tevinter's case. The implications make the country so much more interesting.

But Krem was with the Chargers and assured that the Qun would embrace him as a man. And that doesn't fit with what we know of the Qun, and not in a good way. It doesn't feel like an organic extension or nuance. It feels like something imposed upon the culture to make it slightly more palatable. And therein lies the problem. People start assigning ulterior motives to actions when the execution feels off.

Honestly, I think it's less Krem's existence than the greater implications of the conversation. Functionally, Krem has two roles in the story: To be a face to put to the Chargers (thus giving some weight to the end of Bull's quest arc) and to expand on Qunari culture. And it's the latter that makes Krem come off as so out of place and inorganic. Through Krem, the first trans-inclusive culture is revealed to be...the Qunari. The culture with such an extreme interpretation of collectivism that they don't have a concept of individual identity, and who believe that those who refuse to accept their roles (and the Qun) are ill and in need of forcible reeducation (up to and including destroying their minds if they refuse to be taught)...those people are the ones who embrace the transgender? That does not feel like a natural extension of Qunari philosophy.

It's not necessarily a weird idea. Iran has a lot of transgender operations because their attitude is that they would rather have a gay person categorized as a woman than subvert masculinity. However if we follow the idea that the Qun demands rigid characterization, then it's unlikely they would openly discuss the transition.

They would also loose their shit at gender queer or gender fluid stuff.

MC1980:

trunkage:
Iron Bull was Iron Bull because they already had the cardboard cut out and they could actually write something interesting instead.

Iron Bull wasn't interesting, he was an oxymoron, who spoke and behaved like quirky internet forum cool guy. Despite being a representative of a rigid, personality less dictatorship he's a jovial casual guy who's like 'EEEeeeeeeeeeey, my homeland'. So does that mean he left, and decided to be the opposite of what the Qun is? Oh, no he's still all up in that shit, all hail the dictatorship, they have the right way of living. Like, what?

Him, and Sera and some of the other characters behaved in such stupid fashion, they are so badly out of place in the setting. Iron Bull is written to be Cool McProgressiveFace who happens to be a Qunari, so he basically spouts his gibberish wacky modern sarcastic dialogue, then he has to say the qunari stuff on top of his other crap.

I mean, I like the part where you shit on Sten, and the other cast of Origins, but they have personalities. On the surface they make sense for what they are and represent, but then you talk to them and you find out they have full fleshed out beliefs and thoughts. And problems. And quirks too, like Sten ends up loving sweets, and likes cats.

It's like, congrats you recognise that the cast of Origins are tropes. That doesn't make them bad or good. Execution does, tropes are the equivalent of a mathematical formula you use to achieve results. Tropes exist to be effectively used to get a desired response. You just recognised the trope. And if you recognising the trope makes you look down on a thing, well my friend, you don't care for or desire quality. You desire novelty. Irrespective of quality.

Sten is a trope, but well realised and executed, Iron Bull is novel, but a poor idiosyncrasy.

I meant more interesting than Sten. Its a low bar IMO. I also see that there are racial tropes (Quanri act a certain way) separate from personality troupe (progressive/conservative, or clean freak, nerd or sports joke). I personally think personality troupes are better than racial, especially in conflict. Eg. Sten is a failed warrior and we see what that means in Origins, that's racial. He seemed to be quote directly from a book. (Quirks... I don't know if they get up to a level of being troupe noteworthy, but yes they give him flavour.)

As to personality troupes, here's how I see Iron Bull. He's progressive conservative. He wants to hold traditions but include everyone in those traditions. I've had friends how are church goers but progressive. 80% of the time it doesn't matter, but certain things require... bending of the truth to make both ideologies fit together. A man does men jobs and Krem, Iron Bull thinks, is a man. He was, all the time, a salesperson for the benefits of the Qun. And like all "good salespeople" he glosses over the truth.

And then there's the moment when he is forced to decide to stay or go. Both his ideologies in direct conflict. I thought most of the time Cool McProgressiveFace was just a fa?ade put up to stop people realising his inner torment.

Him following the Qun was about being conservative. Him bending the Qun was progressive. The Qun doesn't define him like Sten does.

Iron Bull being the salesperson was what I that was wrong with his character. He didn't do a good job selling the Qun to me.

I spent months trying to place my finger on what it was that was wrong. Was it the new art direction? The gameplay? The characters? In the end I came to the conclusion that, for me, it was all of the above. It all came together to create an experience that felt massively detached from the previous two entries, Origins more so than II.

Do you know how many times I played through Dragon Age: Origins? To experience the story from both a Dalish and City elves perspective. Same for the common and noble Dwarven perspective? Then at least twice more to do human noble and a mage run. Two areas that are given a new flavour depending on your race are further split by your place within that race. Then you have how the rest of Ferelden considers you. Playing City Elf first, I went for what I thought were the obvious moral choices in each questline. Then playing again as a Human noble, I got another side to the quest because people would actually fucking talk to me properly!

I played through Inquisition twice. Once as an Elf, where I did all the dialogue and heard all the extra stuff with Solas. The second playthrough was an absolute slog as a human. The game starts the exact same way and stays that way for a good 30 minutes. Combined with the boring gameplay, I don't know how I managed it in retrospect. Not only that, but they stole a good number of my spells. I built an entire character around control and entropy, two really interesting aspects of magic you don't see explored often. Removed in Inquisition. Along with all the tactics I could set for my party, so that I felt like an absolute genius when I was timing my fights on Nightmare difficulty.

Everything said, it's all largely personal. I didn't click with any of the companions in Inquisition, but that was largely because I felt like I had very little attachment to either of my Inquisitors. I mean, I struggled to gel with Hawke at first, but once I went full on secret Blood Mage, I got attached to the story because I felt like I was part of it (I will forever uphold the belief that playing DAII as anything other than a mage is thoroughly pointless).

trunkage:

TheFinish:
But in Dragon Age's case, you could've just swapped Leliana and Zevran for a new character if they were killed in 1, and not lose anything. Instead they chose to circumvent player agency and have 'em alive and kicking for no adequately good reason.

I don't know. I did a run of Mass Effect 3 where I had a lot of people killed in previous games. It didn't have the same impact and felt like... out of place? Like the story didn't make sense EDIT: I understand your point, though

It was stuff like this that kind of put me off. It's not just about the choices either. It's about how, no matter of large scale the threat in previous game, the consequences never seem as world shattering as they're made out to be. I think it's the fatal flaw you run into when you load your game with choices. They have to be meaningless, or you're hobbling yourself in future entries. Leilana's death in my Origin story was important, showing the huge ideological ravine between her and my Warden, the cost of her betrayal was her head. No seriously, I literally cut her head off. Yet here she is in Inquisition, unharmed.

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