Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 1

In the first hour of Dragon Age: Origins, my wedding day is interrupted by BIGOTRY. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to begin Dragon Age.

Oh my god, this is going to be awesome. And hard. REALLY, REALLY HARD.

As is customary in the Mark Does Stuff world, I like to be upfront about whatever spoilers I do know regarding a new project that I’m starting just so we’re all on the same page.

  • Dragons?
  • Elves?
  • My good friend does an awesome cosplay of a character named Merrill. (HI, GABS.)
  • My editor Shiyiya has been begging me to play this game for a while now.
  • ??????

Yeah, I don’t know what I’m getting into. At all. That’s kind of frightening? And I’m pretty sure I’ve not once played a game like this in my entire life, so this should be agonizing to watch unfold.

If this is your first time on Mark Plays (as I imagine there will be lots of new people around), please make sure to read the Site Rules and Spoiler Policy page, as well as the FAQ before you make your first comment. I have a rigid anti-spoiler policy in place. We used rot13.com to cypher any and all spoilers. Please never post any sort of spoiler, whether it’s your expectations for a certain part, a plot twist, telling me I missed something, etc. You can discuss all of these using rot13. (I suggest installing a rot13 plugin for your browser.) On top of that, the community rules might seem a little more strict here than other places, so please read and follow those as well.

Since this is a very new thing for me, I had to figure out exactly how I was going to split up these posts. There are no chapters, and it’s entirely possible that if I tried to split this up by experience level, sometimes I’d have to play for like ten hours just to get one review. In the spirit of being creative and in an attempt to purposely cliffhanger myself for added drama, I’m going to split up posts for Dragon Age: Origins by the hour. I generally refrain from ever Googling anything I’m doing, but I was curious as to how long the average playthrough of this game took. That thought led me to the absurd and entertaining idea that I should track my gameplay as if this were a diary. So, in essence, I will play for an hour, purposely stop wherever I am, and write about my experience. It’s kind of awesome because then you’ll have an idea how long it took me to play this game.

Additionally, since I’m playing this on my PS3 (add me, I’m xpanasonicyouthx), I have lost the ability to take screenshots or video, at least until I can afford one of those nifty devices that can record my gameplay. (Note: If any of you have any advice on what product I should get if I’ve got a PS3, a Samsung HDTV, and a MacBook Pro, I am all ears!) I will largely be using my lovely Bioware social profile to visually keep track of my progress. I wish there were an easier solution, but gaming is hella expensive, and I am not rich.

Generally, as I work my way through a television show or a book, there are always folks who are following along for the first time. I would like to accommodate these people! You are welcome to play Dragon Age: Origins and log your own progress in the comments. (Oh god, I love this aspect of the community.) (EnigmaticAgentScully, please play along so all your comments can upstage my reviews like you are currently doing with Angel/Buffy.)

Here are the rules!

  • Please begin all of your comments with “First Time Gameplay” in bold. This will notify people that your comment is about your progress through the game. This way, if people don’t want to be possibly spoiled, they can skip your comment.
  • List what race, class, and origin story you are playing next. As I understand it, each specification allows for a different story. This is so people who might want to play that specific origin story can skip your comment if they don’t want to be spoiled for that story.
  • rot13 any portion of the story pertaining to the main Grey Wardens plot that goes further in the story than where I have been. Oh god, I realize how arrogant it is to say HEY YOU SHOULD ACCOMMODATE ME FIRST, but I’d like to still be able to read the story.
  • If a moderator rot13’s a part of your comment, please do not fight them on it. It is most likely for a good reason.
  • Do. Not. Pretend. To. Play. This. For. The. First. Time. This happens more than you might imagine. Don’t do this. If my mods suspect you’re masking your ignorance in order to troll others or amuse yourself, I have given them permission to ban you. Don’t. Do. It.

Okay, so, let’s DO THIS.

Hour One

So that opening monologue is FUCKING GREAT. During my first readthrough of The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, I admitted that I’m not much of a fantasy guy. I was turned off by the genre at an early age by really annoying fans, and I’m only now discovering how much fun it can be. (Thanks for ruining this shit for me, you goddamn nerds in junior high. If I could even remember your names, I would put you on blast right now for how awful you were to me.) Plus, this game starts out with the legend of how these assholes DESTROYED HEAVEN. Okay, that is how you drag me into a story immediately. EVIL, IN THE FORM OF DARKSPAWN, CAME FROM THE DESTRUCTION OF HEAVEN. Yes, please. I’m introduced to the concept of the Grey Wardens, some sort of do-gooder band of FIERCE WARRIORS who VIOLENTLY GUT AND SLASH BAD GUYS. Oh my god, there’s so much blood. In the 400 years since the darkspawn last attacked the world, the Grey Warden have become the Men on the Wall. Sorry, I can’t ignore the lovely similarities to A Song of Ice and Fire, and I’ll probably make a billion references to that series.

But it is a fantasy world, and there are a lot of fantasy mainstays in this game. Clearly, Dragon Age is setting me up to either join the Grey Wardens or… wait, what if I’m the darkspawn??? I would totally play the hell out of a game as the villain. Anyway, the first real element of gameplay that shows up is CHARACTER MAKING. And this isn’t just picking what your character looks like. YOU PICK THEIR BACKSTORY AND THEIR ORIGIN AND I LOVE WHEN GAMES ALLOW ME TO DO THIS. So I decided to be a female city elf from the rogue class. Seriously, one of my favorite things to do in the Fallout games is sneak around, so I’m way into being a ~secretive~ character. Basically, as soon as I read the description of that class, I thought, “THIS WAS MADE FOR ME. I WANT TO BASICALLY REVERSE ROLES AND ALWAYS BE PREPARED FOR ONCE.”

My character is named Roslin, and she is more fabulous than you.

A dark-skinned elf wearing silver and gold armor with a leather skirt thing around her waist. She is wearing high legged boots made out of iron.

YOU CAN HAVE FACE TATTOOS. As someone who is very visibly tattooed all over, THIS WAS A REALLY PLEASING THING TO SEE IN THE GAME. But honestly, there is so much to be pleased about in this game. Right from the start, the game is about my character. The class and origin I chose is explicitly addressed, and I imagine that what I’m doing now is entirely different than if I’d been a human or a dwarf.

I also didn’t expect the political and social system of this story to be addressed so expliclty, Within the first five minutes of the start of the game, I find out the elves live in an oppressed caste, they’re threatened with violence constantly, they support their own thriving and varied culture, and that misogyny exists. And is addressed. ALL OF THE TIME.

WHAT THE FUCK WHEN DID GAMES START DOING THIS. I mean, I realize that I am ridiculously behind on what video games are doing these days. You know, this is part of the reason I am: I have not had the most positive experience being a queer person of color and dealing with video game communities. I have almost never played online in any sense. The first time I ever did, when I played one of the Call of Duty games at a friend’s house, I was called at least five different slurs in the first hour of the game. It got so bad that my friend just apologized and turned the game off, as he had never really experienced that himself beyond a few unfortunate insults here and there. I got picked on for having a voice that didn’t sound terribly masculine, and then because I wasn’t very good at the game, got called… well, you know, WE DON’T NEED TO SHARE THOSE THINGS. It was pretty bad.

So that’s one of the reasons I stuck to what I knew when I first started gaming. No one picked on me during Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Katamari Damacy was to joyous and weird to make me feel bad. And I could choose to have DIRTY DIRTY GAY SEX in the Fallout games if I wanted, and I wasn’t demonized for doing so.

SO YES. I AM REALLY IMPRESSED WITH THIS SO FAR. The humans in Dragon Age are portrayed to be UTTER BIGOTS. With the exception of Duncan, they all outwardly despise elves. Oh gosh, does that mean if you choose to be a human, you play as a bigot??? These are things that I think of.

For the most part, you play through a defined story for the first half hour or so of the game. Roslin is stuck in an arranged marriage (with a butt ugly betrothed, I might add) that she’s rather distasteful of. Well, wait, I should say that I made her that way. Oh my god, it was so fun being able to choose to be obedient or sassy as fuck. Guess what I chose. I was a REVERSE RACIST right back to the humans every chance I got, but I was nice to my father, my cousin, and any random person I spoke to in the streets. Hell, this one couple GAVE ME MONEY just for knowing my dead but totally badass mother Adaia? What the fuck, my dad is dead, why don’t people in the streets pay me for the privilege of knowing him? I AM OPPRESSED.

The situation escalates until Roslin is capture WHILE SHE IS ABOUT TO BE MARRIED, and here comes my tiny complaint: wow, this game was really quick to make a story involving a female character be about the threat of rape. I mean, I get that it’s a part of the fictional world’s universe, but holy shit. That was so fast. I imagine that might be uncomfortable for a lot of people? Also, I bet none of the dude characters ever get a story like this?

Anyway, this story was also quick to get to a SHIT JUST GOT REAL MOMENT. When those soldiers come in to take the women elves to Vaughn’s party, THEY KILL AN ELF RIGHT IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. Oh, you are all going to die. And that is one of the true joys of this game: right from the beginning, you are murdering bigots. It’s immensely satisfying! I can’t lie!

Through this, the game teaches you how to play through pop ups that you are not allowed to ignore. (I think you can turn them off in the options menu?) I’ll admit straight up that I am unbelievably overwhelmed with how many options there are. I felt the same way about Fallout 3, though, and I learned how to navigate the menus. But my god, THERE’S SO MUCH. And after annihilating the guards in the cell, I leveled up to XP level 2 and THERE ARE EVEN MORE OPTIONS. Oh shit, my character class allows me to do so much! I will say that despite feeling bewildered by how much there is, I really love a leveling system that allows you to pick skills and build a character that way. I’m already planning on making Roslin a sneaky, cunning, and manipulative queen. I can’t wait.

And then I learned ENTIRELY BY ACCIDENT that you can switch party members. During that fight in the mess hall after Soris comes to get you, I mistakenly hit R1 and I WAS SUDDENLY SORIS. Oh shit, I can give him things I have picked up. I wonder if I’m allowed to build elements of his character, too? Probably not, but I got a sweet crossbow that I gave to him.

I was a bit frustrated with the attack gameplay; the only other skill I added was under the Rogue class, and Roslin can now do Dirty Fighting. That’s great (when I don’t Miss), but otherwise, I just have to repeatedly stab with the sword. I hope that I get more options that I can pre-program into the keys, as I imagine that things get more complicated down the line.

Oh, and right around the end of the first hour? I died. Twice. That’s when I figured out how to Quick Heal. I probably should have looked that up before I died twice. Those guards in that second room take a lot of damage, y’all. I have a Iron Broadsword that does more damage already, but I don’t have enough Strength to use it. Oh, well. Onwards to hour two!

My Character Stats

Strength: 11
Dexterity: 17
Willpower: 14
Magic: 13
Cunning: 16
Constitution: 11

Heroic Stats

Kills: 4
Damage Dealt: 429
Friendly-fire damage dealt: 0
Greatest damage dealt: 18
Contribution to party damage: 100
Hit rate: 89
Most powerful foe slain: Guard
Injuries: 0

Story

07:45: Level up – 1
23:02: On Valendrian
24:13: On the Grey Warden, Duncan
33:29 Level Up – 2

Mark Links Stuff

– You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for any updates and live commentary on upcoming reviews I’m writing.
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– Mark Reads is now on YouTube, and you can watch all my videos right here! 
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252 Responses to Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 1

  1. Randomcheeses says:

    Been waiting for this post for ages! I was wondering what origin you were going to pick, and can I say, it's really cool that you chose to start off your first playthrough as a female protagonist. I was hoping for, but not really expecting that. You made my day!

    Aand now I want to go do my female city-elf run through all over again.

    Also, you totally need a new badass Dragon Age page header. If I did not suck at such things I would be making one for you right now.

  2. BornIn1142 says:

    Woooo, city elf! That was also my first origin story! Well, actually, that makes me sound more experienced with this game than I am. I've played through the main game with my first character once, but started a second playthrough (human noble) before I got to most of the DLC, which I then abandoned half-way through. I expect I'll do some playing along with both characters where appropriate. I'm not even familiar with the other origin stories.

    Oh, and I just remembered that the game automatically logs the appearance of your characters, so here she is:

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/lsZzD.jpg"&gt;

    I named her "Eureka" because I think it's an awesome name. If I had a daughter, I'd name her that. She's a Fighter.

    Also, on the spoiler front: UNUN, qvq ur whfg nfx "jung vs V’z gur qnexfcnja?"

  3. krissyjump says:

    I'm very exited to follow you through on this. It's one of my favorite games :D

  4. @KCoxDC says:

    Ahahaha. My first go at the game (uncompleted, I started over later as a different character) was a female city elf rogue. I admit to hoping that'd be the character type picked for this, explicitly because of how much race, class, and gender are addressed in the first fifteen freaking minutes of that origin.

    But now I have too many thoughts and even with ROT13 I don't trust myself not to leave spoilers everywhere, so I'm going to just go hide in the back and giggle quietly through the rest of the DAO logs.

  5. This game is one of my favorite games of all time (I need to make a list of that. Haven't done that in years!) I gotta say this is a pretty exciting way for Mark to go through this game. We should get more in depth about this game than he's ever managed to get about anything before… And… Expectation Spoilers (I suppose): Vg'f tbvat gb gnxr uvz…zbaguf gb trg guebhtu guvf tnzr. Nf na rkcrevraprq cynlre (V'z ercynlvat guebhtu zl fvkgu cynl guebhtu V oryvrir) V'ir tbg n yvggyr bire 42 ubhef chg va naq V'z ebhtuyl 65% guebhtu jvgu gur tnzr. V'z nagvpvcngvat zl svany pbhag orvat orgjrra 50 naq 60 ubhef. Naq gung'f abg pbhagvat nal bs gur aba-vagrtengrq QYP be Njnxravatf. Fb Znex pbhyq or irel frevbhfyl cynlvat QN:B naq vg'f QYP naq rkcnafvba sbe 3-5 zbaguf. Abg gung V'z pbzcynvavat yby.

    So City Elf eh?
    I haven't played City Elf in nearly 3 years but I recall it being one of the better origins (Dwarf Commoner and Human Noble are vying for the top spot imo.)

    Currently I'm playing a Female Human Noble. I've tried playing male characters but I get bored for some reason.

    I don't know what else to say at this point. Just generally excited to follow Mark along on this ride. I'm in the middle of playthrough but I'm planning to do a few more before I finally play Dragon Age II.

    • Tahaneira says:

      My "official" playthrough, the one where I did everything exactly the way I wanted it to go, clocked out at svsgl-gjb ubhef. Not counting Awakening. I wonder if he'll realize this and abandon the hourly count eventually, especially if he does sidequests and all the backtracking that entails.

      My official playthrough was as a Human Noble. I did all the others, but that was the one that I'm drawn to the most. Vg srryf yvxr, fvapr V'z abovyvgl, Sreryqra vf ZL pbhagel, ZL ubzr, naq vg vf orvat orgenlrq. V unir gb cebgrpg vg, naq svtug sbe vg ab znggre gur pbfg gb zlfrys, guebhtu zl qhgl nf bar bs vgf ehyref, naq gurersber vgf cebgrpgbe. Qhgl gb gur Jneqraf pna bayl trg lbh fb sne. Abg fnlvat gur bguref pna'g unir gung xvaq bs zbgvingvba nf jryy, vg'f whfg gur bar gung pyvpxf jvgu zr gur zbfg zbgvingvba-jvfr.

      • V guvax vg nyfb urycf univat Ney Ubjr nf n zber crefbany rarzl va gur tnzr. V zrna nyy gur bevtvaf unir gvr-vaf naq lbh trg gb gbhpu onpx ba lbhe bevtvaf yngre ohg Ney Ubjr unf gur zbfg cebzvarapr.

        • Tahaneira says:

          Gehr rabhtu. Vg qbrf tvir n frafr bs pybfher. Bayl gur Zntr naq Qnyvfu Rys fgbevrf ynpx n pyrne nagntbavfg va gurz. Uhzna Aboyrf unir Ney Ubjr (naq guebhtu uvz, Ybtnva tnvaf rira zber fgnghf nf na nqirefnel, V srry), Qjneira Aboyrf unir Ouryra, Qjneira Pbzzbaref unir Wneivn, naq gur Pvgl Ryirf unir Inhtuna. Va gur Zntr naq Qnyvfu bevtvaf, fghss xvaqn whfg unccraf, naq sbe gur Qnyvfu gurl unir gb jnvg hagvy gur Jvgpu Uhag QYP sbe nal bs gung gb pbzr onpx vagb cynl.

          V whfg srry yvxr fvapr Ubjr jnf jbexvat qverpgyl sbe Ybtunva naq gur nggnpx jnf qbar rvgure ng uvf beqre be jvgu uvf oyrffvat, V sryg sne zber bs na nqirefnevny pbaarpgvba gb gur hfhecre guna va bgure bevtvaf.

      • misterbernie says:

        My latest playthrough clocks in at ~sbegl gjb hours, though having no qualms about cheating helps a lot in reducing playtime – I play it for the story, not the fights :P

        • guest_age says:

          I like the way you think! I'm on my second play through and I've found myself wishing, "Why can't I just skip all these battles and get to the STORY?"

        • My problem with reducing difficulty comes from not wanting to be bored. It's less of a problem with Dragon Age but say with the Mass Effect series I have to keep raising the difficulty to prevent boredom. I mean I'm not some ultra leet gamer or anything but I do get better each playthrough and if I don't increase difficulty the action starts to become tedious. I guess I'm in it for the whole experience. But I never look down on people who reduce difficulty and hate when people shame those who do. Everyone has to find what works for them best. If I ever played some actually hard games I'd probably reduce the difficulty (or at the very least never increase it.) But as it is most of the games I play tend to be of moderate difficulty at best.

    • TheDMG says:

      Playtime expectations spoilers to follow

      Jura V fnj gung ur'q or qbvat vg ol gur ubhe zl svefg gubhtug jnf, "Jbj, vg'f tbaan or zbaguf orsber jr rira frr gur raq bs gur znva tnzr, yrg nybar QYP be Njnxravat." Jura V svefg cynlrq QN:B, V jnf bayl fyvtugyl zber rkcrevraprq guna Znex (gur bayl erzbgryl pbzcnenoyr tnzrf, tnzrcynl-jvfr V'q cynlrq jrer gur K-Zra Yrtraqf tnzrf) naq zl svefg cynl guebhtu jnf evtug nebhaq 100 ubhef jvgu ab QYP. Bayl cynlvat ba jrrxqnlf, jvgu 1 ubhe cre qnl, gung'q or va gur 4-5 zbagu enatr. Zvtug or n orggre vqrn, vs ur pna fcner gur gvzr (juvpu zvtug or n ovt vs, tvira uvf fpurqhyr), gb zbir hc gb 2 ubhef cre qnl.

      • V'z thrffvat uvf fpurqhyr qbrf snpgbe vagb vg. Cyhf ur qvq fnl ur ybbxrq vagb glcvpny cynl gvzr yratguf fb ur nccneragyl unf fbzr fbeg bs pyhr ubj ybat vg zvtug gnxr uvz. Be znlor ur qbrfa'g pner ubj ybat vg gnxrf?

    • guest_age says:

      Zl svefg cynl guebhtu gbbx zr 64 ubhef…ba gur rnfl frggvat. Ur jvyy qrsvavgryl or ng guvf sbe dhvgr njuvyr.

      • misterbernie says:

        V ubcr jura ur raqf hc fcraqvat gjb ubhef genpxvat onpx naq sbegu guebhtu gur Oerpvyvna sberfg nybar orsber urnqvat vagb gur ehvaf, ur znl vapyhqr gubfr gjb ubhef ng bapr. Orpnhfr gur onpxgenpxvat qbrf trg xvaqn obevat nsgre n juvyr.

        • guest_age says:

          V'ir arire cynlrq gur jubyr guvat guebhtu nf nalguvat bgure guna n zntr; qb aba-zntrf unir gb qb gung vaperqvoyl ybat naq obevat guvat va gur Snqr gung gnxrf ubhef ba vgf bja? Gung vf tbvat gb or na rkgerzryl grqvbhf frevrf bs cbfgf, un.

          • affableevil says:

            V npghnyyl hfr n "Fxvc Gur Snqr" zbq naq vg vf snagnfgvp. Vg tvirf lbh gur phgfprarf jurer lbh svaq lbhe cnegl va gur snqr naq nyy gur fgng hctenqrf lbh trg va gurer naq lbh fxvc nyy gur ernyyl obevat cnegf.

            V qvq gur jubyr Snqr frdhrapr shyyl bapr naq gung jnf cyragl, yby. V'z yvxr Oreavr, va vg sbe gur fgbel.

          • misterbernie says:

            *uvtusvir sbe Fxvc Gur Snqr naq sbe orvat zber be yrff gur fnzr crefba* Guvf vf jul V ybir tnzvat ba gur CP ^_^

          • misterbernie says:

            …oh god PC in rot13 is CP i am way more amused than I should be

          • Vaqrrq gurl qb. Vg'f cebonoyl zl yrnfg snibevgr cneg bs gur tnzr. Nfvqr sebz gur onpxgenpxvat Oreavr zragvbarq. V pbhyq gbgnyyl frr Znex pbzovavat ubhef riraghnyyl hayrff ur'f ernyyl uryyorag ba gur sbezng.

  6. Tahaneira says:

    HAHA YES DRAGON AGE. WELCOME TO FERELDEN IT HAS BLOOD, RACISM, AND DARKSPAWN ENJOY YOUR STAY.

    Oh man. This is going to be so awesome. I love these games so much and I think you'll enjoy them too. But I had to laugh when you played an elf. HAHA YOU CAN DO SO MUCH BIGOTRY WHEN YOU'RE AN ELF. ESPECIALLY DALISH. Well, you can do bigotry as a human, too. Or a dwarf. Or a mage. You know what, you can do bigotry no matter who you are, but that's where the beauty of BioWare games comes in: you can CHOOSE to be a bigot. You can also CHOOSE NOT to be a bigot. It's just wonderful.

    I am looking forward to this so much.

    I'm not sure if this is a spoiler or not, so I'll rot13 it and someone else can tell me if it's okay. Fun fact: Nyy bs gur bevtva fgbevrf unccra jurgure lbh pubbfr gurz be abg. Gur bayl qvssrerapr vf jurer Qhapna pubfr gb or ng gur gvzr. Lbh'yy eha vagb rivqrapr naq gur pbafrdhraprf bs gurz guebhtubhg gur tnzr bu Tbq V PNAABG JNVG GB CBVAG GURZ BHG.

    And can I give you some advice, since this is your first BioWare game? Am I allowed to do that? Am I just being that annoying idiot who yells at people what to do? Fuck it, I have some words of wisdom anyways. I'm too excited and I want you to get the most out of this experience.

    These are not listed in order of importance, but the order in which they follow each other:

    1. GO EVERYWHERE. Every building, every place on the map. Search every nook and cranny.

    2. TALK TO EVERYONE. If they have a name, if they don't have a name, chat with them. Story in this game is unlocked through conversations, so explore every path.

    3. DO EVERYTHING. All sidequests, which you will get by TALKING TO EVERYONE. In these games, the tiniest thing will come back either to help you or bite you in the ass.

    4. TALK TO EVERYONE. AGAIN. Your party members will have new things to say after (and sometimes during!) most major quests. Also as you gain or lose their approval. They have so much to say and SO MUCH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. It is wonderful.

    I also want you to read the Codex, even though I'm pretty sure it has more than a hundred entries by the end of the game. It is nigh impossible to keep track of what I have and haven't read, but I READ IT ANYWAYS. So much world-building.

    Oh God, I'm probaqbly being the worst annoyance on the planet right now, but EXCITEMENT.

    • guest_age says:

      V ybir jung lbh fnvq nobhg orvat noyr gb pubbfr jurgure be abg gb or n ovtbg. Zl svefg cynl guebhtu jnf n uhzna zntr, guvf gvzr na rys zntr. V qvqa'g cynl n ovtbg jura V jnf n uhzna, nf Znex'f erivrj zvtug'ir fhttrfgrq jvgu uvf dhrfgvba bs vs lbh pubbfr uhzna, ner lbh cynlvat n ovtbg. Rirelguvat va guvf tnzr vf n PUBVPR naq nyy bs lbhe pubvprf znggre naq gung vf ORNHGVSHY.

      • misterbernie says:

        Lrf, V ybir gur pubvprf, naq gur cynlguebhtu V'z ohvyqvat zl pheerag QN2 tnzr ba unf n znyr aboyr Ureb bs Sreryqra jub jnf fvzcyl fcbvyg fjrrg (lrc, fcbvyg fjrrg thl). Jub'f gur ybire bs Xvat Nyvfgnve orpnhfr zbqqvat ba gur CP, shpx lrnu.

        • guest_age says:

          bzt lbh pna QB GUNG? Jryy, V'z cynlvat ba n Znp fb CP zbqf cebonoyl jba'g jbex ba zvar ohg V YBIR XABJVAT GUNG GURL RKVFG NAQ NER CBFFVOYR. Shpx lrf! /

          • misterbernie says:

            V ybbxrq vg hc naq vg nccrnef zbqf fubhyq jbex ba obgu. Guvf vf gur zbq sbe ebznapvat nyy punenpgref nf nal traqre (gurer jvyy or n srj zvftraqrevat yvarf, ohg ba gur jubyr vg jbexf engure jryy.

            As long as you have a folder along the lines of BioWare/Dragon Age/packages/core/override (it's under documents on the PC, not in the main game folder; I don't know how Mac handles the folders, but it's in the same superfolder to the one where saves are stored), you just need to drop the files in there and tada.

          • guest_age says:

            Gung vf nznmvat. V jvyy or gelvat gung jura V trg ubzr sebz jbex. Gunax lbh!

          • misterbernie says:

            You're welcome (and I hope I haven't been talking out of my arse and this will actually work).

        • snapsnzips says:

          And that's why the PC always wins for me despite having to play at my desk instead of on the couch. Because Mods. I can't imagine playing this now without the zillions of hair, skin, freckles, tattoos, orggre haqvrf and gender bending mods. (Ner gur fvyyl haqvrf n fcbvyre?)

    • ZeynepD says:

      I'll add one thing to Tahaneira's excellent list of advice: 5. TALK TO EVERYONE, NO SERIOUSLY. And check the codex entries, espeically for characters.

    • accidentalbeard says:

      In terms of your maybe-spoiler: YES that really struck me on this play-through. Gur svefg gvzr V cynlrq gur tnzr, V jnf n qjnes pbzzbare, naq V qrpvqrq ba guvf cynlguebhtu (uhzna zntr) gb gb tb Bemnzzne svefg (orsber Erqpyvssr rira, GNXR GUNG NYVFGNVE) naq zl urneg whfg oebxr jura fbzrbar bss-unaqrqyl zragvbarq gur vapvqrag jvgu n OENAQ qvfehcgvat gur cebivat. Naq V ernyvmrq gung jnf ZL SREBPVBHF, NZNMVAT UNMRYAHG OEBFPN jub jnf cebonoyl vafgnagyl rkrphgrq. Jvgubhg Qhapna gurer gb vagreirar, gurer'f nyy guvf uvqqra gentrql unccravat gung gur pheerag Jneqra qbrfa'g rira xabj nobhg. =(

      • misterbernie says:

        (general spoiler about your situation) Npghnyyl… unir lbh svavfurq Bemnzzne ba n aba-qjnes pbzzbare lrg?

        (specific spoiler) Orpnhfr lbh npghnyyl svaq gur pbzzbare'f pbecfr va Wneivn'f uvqrbhg.

        • accidentalbeard says:

          BU SHPX lbh ner evtug. V erzrzore frrvat gur pbecfr gurer EVTUG ARKG GB YRFXR ohg V qvqa'g znxr gur pbaarpgvba. ;_; ABBBBBB

          • Tahaneira says:

            "Zl sevraq va gurer qvqa'g znxr vg. Whfg… fgbccrq rngvat bar qnl. Nyy sbe n fghcvq org!" Gur oehgnyvgl. Bu Tbq, V pna'g jnvg gb frr Znex'f ernpgvba gb gurfr. V nyjnlf srry fb thvygl.

          • misterbernie says:

            Znex fubhyq cynl shyy tnzrf jvgu NYY gur Bevtvaf, orpnhfr ur jba'g unir n pyhr jung gung zrnaf, bgurejvfr :(

          • Tahaneira says:

            Which is why we're here to tell him! :D

          • misterbernie says:

            Problem is of course that telling him now would be expectation spoiler-y. CONUNDRUM

            Personally, V cynlrq nyy Bevtvaf va fhpprffvba orsber cebprrqvat gb gur znva tnzr, naq V'z rire fb tynq V qvq fb V tbg fbzr bs gur ersreraprf evtug ba gur svefg cynlguebhtu.

          • Tahaneira says:

            V cynlrq guebhtu pbzcyrgryl, gura qvq rnpu bevtva fgbel orsber qbvat zl frpbaq cynlguebhtu. Gurer jrer znal rawblnoyr zbzragf bs, "Bu, fb GUNG'F jung gung jnf! Gung znxrf fb zhpu zber frafr!"

            Naq V qvqa'g zrna evtug abj. V jnf cynaavat ba tvivat uvz n fhzznel bs rnpu bevtva nf ur tbg gb ersreraprf gb vg. Gur Pbzzbare jura ur ernpurq Yrfxr naq gur pbecfr, gur Uhzna Aboyr jura ur svefg frrf Ubjr, gur Zntr jura ur zrrgf Wbjna (V guvax Veivat be fbzrbar ryfr va gur Pvepyr Gbjre zragvbaf na vapvqrag jvgu gur culynpgrevrf? V'z abg fher), rgp. Bar ng n gvzr, fbeg bs guvat.

          • Lrnu pbhag zr nf bar jub qbrfa'g jnag Znex gb yvxr fgbc jung ur'f qbvat naq onpxgenpx gb cynl nyy gur bgure bevtvaf. Ohg V jbhyq or bx jvgu uvz tbvat onpx nsgre gur raq naq qbvat gurz.

          • misterbernie says:

            Modhat comment: Gung jbhyq snyy haqre fcbvyref, gubhtu. Fb bapr ur'f qbar, fgebat hetvat gb cynl gur bgure Bevtvaf? LRF NOFBYHGRYL. Ohg cbvagvat bhg "guvf ersref gb gung" vf n ab.

          • Tahaneira says:

            Aww. :( Oh well. Zl yvar bs gubhtug jnf gung vs ur jnfa'g tbvat gb cynl gur bgure bevtvaf, gura gung jnf snve tnzr sbe rkcynvavat gb uvz jung gur ersreraprf zrnag, yvxr ubj ur bxnlrq vasbezngvba sebz bgure fbheprf, jrofvgrf, vagreivrjf, rgp., orpnhfr ur jnfa'g tbvat gb ernq gurz naq fb jbhyq unir ab jnl bs xabjvat. V frr abj ubj V jnf jebat.

            Vs ur fnlf ur jba'g cynl gur bgure bevtvaf naljnlf, gura pna V gryy uvz? *chccl rlrf*

          • misterbernie says:

            Vs ur fnlf ur jba'g cynl gur bguref, gura V'q fnl vg'f snve tnzr. Ohg vs jr pna trg uvz gb cynl ng yrnfg gur bevtva fgbevrf yngre ba, V'q fnl yrg'f jnvg sbe gung naq frr vs ur znxrf gur pbaarpgvbaf gura. Zber sha sbe rirelbar!

          • misterbernie says:

            WOOPS second, revised modhat comment: I actually asked Mark because I wasn't quite sure after rereading the intro (lol what is reading comprehension), and he seems to be okay with it. I got a bit overboard, it seems, sorry!

    • jerssica says:

      Fun fact about my playthrough (regarding the talk to EVERYONE point):
      Unysjnl guebhtu gur tnzr, V ernyvmrq gung nyy bs zl cnegl zrzoref uhat bhg ng gur pnzcsver naq gung vf jurer V jrag gb gnyx gb gurz nyy. BBCF. Jura V svanyyl jrag gurer, V jnf obzoneqrq jvgu n ZVYYVBA pbairefngvbaf sebz zl ragver cnegl.

  7. @redbeardjim says:

    Man, I *wanted* to like Dragon Age so much when I played it, but I just…..didn't. Part of my problem was that gur pencfnpx jbeyq, crbcyrq nyzbfg ragveryl ol nffubyrf, qvqa'g tvir zr nf n cynlre zhpu ernfba gb pner vs V fnirq vg be abg. Fb jura gur tnzrcynl fgnegrq obttvat qbja sbe zr, V qvqa'g srry onq nobhg dhvggvat.

    • @KCoxDC says:

      I can see that.

      Vg'f xvaq bs nznmvat ubj zhpu bs n qvssrerag crefcrpgvir qvssrerag bevtvaf perngr. Zl frpbaq tb jnf nf n uhzna srznyr aboyr, naq fur jnf gbgnyyl guvf cevivyrtrq tvey whfg fyhzzvat vg jvgu nyy gur bhgpnfgf va ure cnegl (juvpu gurl -nyy- ner, sbe bar ernfba be nabgure) — hagvy V jrag shyy qbex naq znqr gur tnzr unir gur Qvfarl raqvat. Gurer'f n ybg gb hacnpx va gurer, ohg vg'f qrsvavgryl gehr gung gur jbeyq vf abg arprffnevyl… sevraqyl, unun.

    • @Joysweeper says:

      Same here. Commoner dwarf female playthrough. I finished it, but I didn't feel the need to pick it up again, and I think you nailed why.

      Nyfb V whfg… qvqa'g *yvxr* rabhtu bs gur punenpgref. Yvxr, ng nyy.

      Sbe bgure OvbJner ragevrf V zvk zl cnegvrf va inevbhf jnlf, ohg va guvf tnzr V bayl yvxrq nobhg guerr bs zl cnegl zrzoref, fb gurl jrer gur bayl barf V hfrq. …Cenpgvpnyyl rire. Naq V qvqa'g yvxr rira gubfr gur jnl V qvq gur crbcyr va XbgBE, be Wnqr Rzcver, be Znff Rssrpg.

  8. skymt says:

    I just started a new character yesterday (my n'th character, for a surprisingly large n considering I've never actually beaten the game), and he's — purely by chance — a male city-elf rogue. :) Would it be spoilery to talk about how the origin is different as a dude?

  9. Peter says:

    THIS

    [youtube oWFEVbfCcOY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWFEVbfCcOY youtube]

    First Time Gameplay

    So, I don't really game much anymore; I did when I was younger, but I really don't have that much time for it anymore and don't want to spend the money on something that I don't do a whole lot. So I'm being totally honest when I say the Mass effect trilogy represents the only games I have played (like for a prolonged period of time, and not with friends) since 2010! I owned Dragon Age: Origins since about June 2011, but I never actually started playing it until Mark decided to! I am so glad I did, because as soon as I heard that theme music I was just like YES GOOD, THIS SHALL DO.

    I'm playing as a male human nobleman warrior named Sigurd, and he is an absolutely ridiculous, pompous ass for about an hour, until UVF JUBYR SNZVYL TBG ZHEQRERQ BZTJGS, and then I started making him a little bit softer and emotionally vulnerable, and then totally badass again as the main storyline ended and ur rzonexf ba n dhrfg sbe iratrnapr ntnvafg Ybtunva naq Ubjr! So far, I've played through Bfgntne, Ybgurevat, naq Erqpyvssr, and I'm loving the plot of this game, and the characters!

    But specifically on the origin story… I'd heard about the game having incredibly distinct beginning plots, but I wasn't sure how well it would work. But Mark's experience is indeed completely different from mine, and I think it's a pretty cool testament to what Bioware can do that the different stories will at some point flow together (I mean, they have to, right?). I agree with Mark that the start of the action was pretty abrupt, but I'm not sure that's necessarily a bad thing. In my case at least, it brought the origin story to what I think was its close (jura Qhapna gnxrf lbh gb Bfgntne?) after what seemed like only a VERY short period of time, and it seems to me that's what it's supposed to do.

    So after playing Mass Effect for like YEARS, it was so weird having to adjust to OMG A DIFFERENT GAME, WITH SWORDS AND SHIT. But so much fun! I feel like I'm going to have to give Skyrim a play after finishing Dragon Age. DAMN YOU MARK FOR GETTING ME BACK INTO VIDEO GAMES.

    Also, Mark: best. character. name. EVER.

    Spoilers for future Mark Plays Project (xbgbe): "jnvg, jung vs V’z gur qnexfcnja??? V jbhyq gbgnyyl cynl gur uryy bhg bs n tnzr nf gur ivyynva."

    unununununununun V pna unf Znex Cynlf XBGBE abj cyrnfr?

    • stormwreath says:

      The various Origin Stories are all different up to a certain point, when they come together and the main game starts.

      That point is:
      Whfg nsgre Qhapna oevatf lbh gb Bfgntne, jura lbh unir gur pbairefngvba jvgu gur Xvat. Nsgre gung raqf, Qhapna gryyf lbh gb tb bss naq nzhfr lbhefrys, lbh trg gur npuvrirzrag sbe cynlvat gur bevtva, gur znva tnzr fgnegf, naq lbh pna fnir lbh punenpgre gura tb onpx naq fgneg n qvssrerag bar vs lbh jnag.

    • Plactus says:

      Spoilers for future Mark Plays Project (xbgbe): "jnvg, jung vs V’z gur qnexfcnja??? V jbhyq gbgnyyl cynl gur uryy bhg bs n tnzr nf gur ivyynva."

      unununununununun V pna unf Znex Cynlf XBGBE abj cyrnfr?

      Zl svefg gubhtug jnf "Gur Qnexfcnja Puebavpyrf."

  10. affableevil says:

    I AM EXCITE FOR THIS

    THAT IS ALL

  11. AzuraLuna says:

    My city elf warrior is my favorite DA:O character, I dragged her everywhere.
    After you finish the game, I recommend playing through the other origins just to get their stories. And gender does make a difference with some of them.

  12. Jojo says:

    I'm so exciiiited

    and I just can't hiiiide it

    :D

  13. Eeeeee.

    I've played this through a couple times, but my favorite PC was Iria, my little elven mage. Forgive her silly hat. And the fact that I have no idea how to embed images. ;) http://social.bioware.com/da_game_other/avatars/5

  14. stormwreath says:

    Heh. My second run-through of the game – which was also the playthrough where I did the DLCs, and which I count as my 'official' one – was also with a female City Elf rogue. Meet Caitlin:

    <img src="http://www.mdd-marketing.co.uk/files/Caitlin_DA-O.jpg"&gt;

    The bit I loved most in the Origin Story was when your friend comes to rescue you, and the two guards are totally unafraid of him… then instead of attacking them he slides his sword across the room to you, you pick it up… and the guards are both instantly terrified. It's clear who's the badass in the room. :)

    Mark, a question; do you consider it a spoiler to give comments, advice, anecdotes, suggestions etc on purely gameplay-related issues, not referring to the plot? For example, I've played as a rogue myself, so I could talk about what combat tactics I used, which abilities I found most useful, and so on. But maybe you want to figure all that sort of stuff out for yourself?

    • affableevil says:

      I would say unless he specifically asks for help to otherwise let him figure it out :) Part of the fun of a new game is not knowing what you're doing!

  15. jerssica says:

    YES! I am so excited about this!! For reference, I've beating both Dragon Age 1 and 2. I was a Human Noble Warrior in Dragon Age 1, because I'm really bad at sneaking and I just like to smash shit up. I have to say, I LOVED my character so much and I LOVE playing as a lady in this game (naq gb n yrffre rkgrag Znff Rssrpg) because of how extra personal all of the misogyny felt to my character and how I could choose my responses. All of it really added to my experience. Oh Mark, I am so very excited for you. And I'm excited to see what happens in the City Elf storyline! Also now that I've read all of ASoIaF, I should probably replay the game. I bet there are a bunch of parallels I never noticed.

  16. Haeralis says:

    Oh god this game. I've only ever played it once, and only for about three hours. After a long while, my brother finally convinced me to give it a try and we sat down together to play it while he helped me out with any questions I had. He was so excited for me to pick my own character and race and class and everything! Not knowing what I was getting into, I picked at random and went with a female city elf. I still remember the way his face fell as he recalled the specifics of that origin story and battled with himself about whether or not he should advise me to pick something else, or if he should just let it happen.

    I made a lot of sad faces at him later.

  17. accidentalbeard says:

    I'm SO EXCITED to see you start this game! I played Origins and DA2 a while back, and have been wanting to do another Origins play-through. I started last week and will probably play quite a bit next week as I recover from surgery. So it'll be really interesting to see your thoughts on the game when the events are still very fresh in my mind.

    Just for the record, my initial play-through was with a female dwarf commoner rogue (Hazelnut; I am terrible at names and was hungry I think) and I loved her origin story and enjoyed backstabbing my way through the game. I thought playing as a mage might be more technically challenging since there are so many options (and I never played the many PC games that focus on that sort of combat), so that's what I'm doing now just to see what it's like. I'm playing as a human mage (DA2 spoiler: orpnhfr V ybir gur vqrn bs Unjxr orvat eryngrq gb gur Jneqra) and so far I'm not as lost as I thought I'd be. And it is pretty satisfying to make enemies explode!

    There are SO MANY choices to be made in this game: character customization, plot, and how you treat party members and other characters – it goes a long way to making the game really immersive and exciting to me. I'm not very far on this second play-through but I'm trying to get into the head of a different character and see what choices he might make that are different than what my original protagonist did.
    I love the origin system; I would love to eventually play them all although I don't know that I really have the time to dedicate to that many playthroughs. I'm pretty familiar with all the origins, but I know the least about the Dalish one so I'll probably pick that if I ever do a third playthrough.

    • ZeynepD says:

      Several of my friends (all of whom always get to play games before I do) did one complete playthrough of each game, then they played through several of the other origin stories up to wbvavat gur Terl Jneqraf. I would guess that really doesn't give you anywhere near a complete experience, but at least would give you tastes…

      • accidentalbeard says:

        Yeah, I may do that at some point just to see them all, although of course gurer ner bevtva-fcrpvsvp ryrzragf gung pbzr vagb cynl jura lbh erivfvg jurer lbhe fgbel fgnegrq naq V'q zvff gubfr. But it's something, at least.

  18. misterbernie says:

    fbzr fbeg bs qb-tbbqre onaq
    <img src=http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m8bcb9FYNy1r3kgny.gif>

    And I could choose to have DIRTY DIRTY GAY SEX in the Fallout games if I wanted, and I wasn’t demonized for doing so.
    <img src=http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6qsqajPxh1r7k3tso3_250.gif>

    I’ve looked through my oldest saves and I think this was my first character, a human noble warrior:
    <img src=http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbbwuzH9681r7k3tso2_250.jpg>
    I remade him for a recent playthrough as a rogue, because I like rogues more.

    Second to last playthrough was this lovely mage, though:
    <img src=http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbbwuzH9681r7k3tso3_400.jpg>
    Looking forward to when I can use other, actual screenshots later on :D
    ALSO AM I EVER EXCITE THAT YOU ARE PLAYING DRAGON AGE

    • affableevil says:

      BERNIE LET'S BE EXCITED TOGETHER

      ununun EVTUG?? V guvax ur xvaq bs rkcrpgf gur Jneqraf gb or yvxr ubj Jlaar qrfpevorf gurz, naq gura vg'f zber yvxr "Jr qba'g ernyyl pner jung lbh unir gb qb gb fgbc gur oyvtug, whfg QB VG"

      • misterbernie says:

        YOU ARE RIGHT, LET US DOUBLE THE EXCITE \o/

        V rkcrpg n ybg bs ubyl fuvgf jura Qhapna xvyyf Wbel. Gbb onq Znex cynlf nccneragyl gur oner tnzr ba bevtvaf, fb ur jba'g frr Qentba'f Crnx :(

  19. Plactus says:

    My experience with Dragon Age

    • Full playthrough as an elf mage. (Irritatingly, if you play a mage, you're locked in to a single origin. Vg znxrf fbzr frafr – zntv va Gurqnf ner yvxr gur Wrqv, vqragvsvrq ng n lbhat ntr naq oebhtug gb yvir va gur Pvepyr (bayl Wrqv ner zber serr gb yrnir gur Beqre guna zntrf ner gb yrnir gur Pvepyr) – ohg V qba'g frr nal ernfba abg gb unir na Ncbfgngr bevtva gung unf lbh ba gur eha sebz gur Grzcynef va, fnl, gur Oerpvyvna Sberfg, naq Qhapna vagreirarf jura gurl pngpu lbh naq znxrf lbh wbva gur Jneqraf vafgrnq.) Includes Njnxravat, "Gur Fgbar Cevfbare," "Jneqra'f Xrrc," and "Erghea gb Bfgntne." I don't know why I never played "Yryvnan'f Fbat," tvira ubj zhpu V ybir Yryvnan; my only guess is that V'q urneq fghss nobhg gur frdhry gung vexrq zr.
    • I did the City Elf origin (can't remember warrior/rogue), then deleted the character for some long-forgotten reason.
    • I did the Dwarf Noble origin (I think rogue), then deleted the character because if I heard "Can I get you a ladder, so you can get off my back?" one more time I would have snapped. (Note to self: Never, ever choose the "violent" voice set again.) Then Mass Effect 2 came out and consumed my gaming time for months anyway.
    • I played about halfway through DAII with a mage before getting bored and stopping. (Knights of the Old Republic and Dragon Age II spoiler: Lrf, V anzrq ure Roba Unjxr.)

    I've started a new run to semi-play along with Mark; although now I'm through Ybgurevat naq unir tbar gb Ubaayrngu naq cvpxrq hc Funyr, so it'll be a while before Mark catches up. This time, I'm playing a human mage, so stuck with the Magi origin again.

    (Spoilers from here to the end are safe to decipher if you've completed the mage origin.)

    Zl svefg gvzr guebhtu, V qvqa'g rira guvax bs orgenlvat Wbjna naq Yvyl gb Veivat. V jnfa'g fhecevfrq bhe cyna gb qrfgebl Wbjna'f culynpgrel raqrq hc jvgu hf pnhtug, ohg V jnf fhecevfrq jura Wbjna npghnyyl ghearq bhg gb or n oybbq zntr. V xabj, V fubhyqa'g unir orra. Ohg V jnf. V gura cebgrfgrq gung V qvqa'g qrfreir gb tb gb gur Jneqraf, gung jungrire chavfuzrag Terntbe naq Veivat unq va zvaq – rkrphgvba, Genadhvyvmngvba, Nrbane – jnf qrfreirq. Sbeghangryl, nal bs gubfr jbhyq znxr sbe n irel obevat tnzr, naq fb Veivat naq Terntbe qrpvqrq gb fraq zr bss jvgu Qhapna.

    Guvf gvzr, V jrag gb Veivat. Vg nyy cynlrq bhg zber be yrff gur fnzr sebz gurer; V fgvyy pyrnerq bhg gur fcvqref va gur fgbentr ebbz, ohg unq Veivat fvta gur sver ebq sbez gb nibvq trggvat gur Fravbe Rapunagre va gebhoyr sbe urycvat zr. V npghnyyl srry jbefr nobhg guvf bcgvba, orpnhfr bs Yvyl; fur jrag sebz qbvat guvatf fur jbhyqa'g unir vs fur unqa'g orra yvrq gb nyfb orvat n cnja gb nyybj Veivat gb uhzvyvngr gur Punagel. Cbbe tvey.

    Oh, and a quote:

    Fybgu Qrzba: Bsgra jvyy V fcva n gnyr, arire jvyy V punetr n srr. V'yy nzhfr lbh na ragver rir, ohg nynf, lbh jba'g erzrzore zr. Jung nz V?
    Zr: Na naablvat evqqyre?
    Fybgu Qrzba: Qb lbh xabj jung V qb gb crbcyr jub tvir zr fzneg nafjref? V rng gurz.

    • misterbernie says:

      I did a mage playthrough recently, ohg V arire pna oevat zlfrys gb orgenl Wbjna. V unaqjnir vg ol univat cynlrq ure nf na bireyl gehfgvat/fyvtugyl Pvepyr-fprcgvpny zntr jub yngre ba orpbzrf vapernfvatyl nagntbavfgvp gb gur Pvepyr naq cnegyl obaqf jvgu Zbeevtna bire gung.

    • Lrf, V anzrq ure Roba Unjxr.

      <img src="http://i.imgur.com/erqOq.gif&quot; title="Hosted by imgur.com" alt="" />
      <img src="http://i.imgur.com/y8oIm.gif&quot; alt="" title="Hosted by imgur.com" />

      I just, I can't. That is… AWESOME

    • puzzlestuecke says:

      "(I think rogue), then deleted the character because if I heard "Can I get you a ladder, so you can get off my back?" one more time I would have snapped. (Note to self: Never, ever choose the "violent" voice set again.)"

      Omg, this is sooo annoying!! I first thought this is just "normal funny game sh*t" until my friend pointed out that the violent voice is the reason. My first character keeps saying that all the time, but I still want to keep her. Very irritating!

  20. Psyched180 says:

    My experience with Dragon Age is limited to the Dragon Age 2 demo on PS3, which I never finished because I hated the combat intensely…so I can't really follow along here and that makes me sad ;.;

    I have now learned that there are elves and other races in Dragon Age, I DID NOT KNOW THAT

    Um…

    Here's hoping I'm able to get a hold of Mass Effect trilogy! Whenever that actually comes out! …woo!

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Yeah, there's no way I'm playing this either; I agree that the combat is atrocious. I was struggling to kill five RATS in a cellar. It just was too awkward lining up my sword with the enemy, and when I DID connect there just wasn't any feeling of weight or impact to the blow.

      Oh––and THEN my naked human was thrust into a battle against waves of armored foes that I had no chance of beating. Everyone kept saying "Don't fight! Just run out of the castle!" But I couldn't find out where to go and every time I tried to look ten invincible guys would pop out and kill me. Such a crock.

    • kartikeya200 says:

      If it helps, the Dragon Age 2 demo is pretty much the worst demo I've ever played. Ever. I want to slap whoever designed that thing with a wet fish. It's REALLY BAD.

      I honestly think they lost more business with that demo than they would have if they just released the game without one.

      • Psyched180 says:

        That's encouraging to hear

        I really wish there had been a Dragon Age 1 demo, but I don't think there is, maybe I'd like that better Iunno

    • snapsnzips says:

      DA2 combat and well, everything is nothing like DA:O. I never made it past the character creator in DA2 but I played DA:O to death.

      • Psyched180 says:

        Everyone's making me wish there was a DA:O demo… Is there one on PS3? 360? Not one on Steam, anyway…

        Also wish I knew why half of the Intense Debate notifications end up in my SPAM folder… Only half…I don't get it!

          • Psyched180 says:

            I require the PS3 version, though, which seems more expensive, and I'm wary of dropping twenty US Dollars on a game I don't really think I'll like in the first place

            Even though I'd really love to keep following along here

          • snapsnzips says:

            That's what happened to me. I kept running to articles about it online, a few months after it came out. I've never gamed much and I hadn't played anything since Neverwinter Nights. I hit a lull in my work load so I snagged a copy and came up for air about 6 months later.

  21. guest_age says:

    I AM SO HAPPY THAT YOU ARE PLAYING THIS, MARK OH MY GOD.

    I wanted to re-play along with you, so I created a rogue city elf to follow along. Only, I am terrible at playing anything other than a mage. And, as you say, the origin story for the rogue elf was INCREDIBLY uncomfortable for me as a survivor of rape. That, plus my inability to play a rogue had me starting back over with an elf mage rather than continue the play through as a rogue city elf. Sorry I'm not sorry.

    I've never played as a male character, though (I probably should some day, but this only marks my second play through, so…eventually!), so I have no idea if the origin story for a male rogue city elf would've also involved rape. I dunno. Anyone know and want to answer me (in rot13, of course)?

    Eventually I will share with you the story of when I met David Gaider (one of the writers) at Comic Con this summer but I want to be absolutely certain that I won't be spoiling anything when I share our conversation. EXCITE.

    • stormwreath says:

      If you play a male City Elf:

      Gur uhznaf fgvyy xvqanc gur rys jbzra: lbh'er cneg bs gur erfphr cnegl. Crefbanyyl, V cersreerq cynlvat gur srznyr Pvgl Rys naq serrvat zlfrys…

    • misterbernie says:

      The difference is gung lbh tb va gb erfphr gur rirelbar, ohg gur encr bs Fuvnaav fgvyy unccraf. Ubjrire, gur znyr rys'f svnapér fheivirf.

      • guest_age says:

        lrnu, qrsvavgryl tynq V cvpxrq n srznyr rys sbe gur bar naq bayl gvzr V jvyy or cynlvat gung bevtva.

        • misterbernie says:

          Have you played (spoiler for a DLC) Yryvnan'f Fbat?

          Orpnhfr vs abg, V jbhyqa'g erpbzzraq vg gura.

          • guest_age says:

            Ab, V unira'g. V unira'g qbar zbfg bs gur QYP lrg. V fxvccrq vg naq jrag fgenvtug gb QNVV. Gunaxf sbe gur nqivpr.

          • Koryd says:

            What happen va Yryvnaan'f fbat ? V cynlrq vg bayl bapr naq V qba'g erzrzore n ybg bs fghssf sebz vg.

          • misterbernie says:

            (tw: rape) Juvyr vg qbrfa'g fnl gur jbeq 'encr', vg znxrf vg zhpu zber rkcyvpvg gung Yryvnan jnf encrq juvyr fur jnf uryq pncgvir, vapyhqvat gur gnhagf ol gur svany obff.

  22. EvaLilith says:

    I just kind of gasped when I saw you picked female city elf without knowing things because… yeah, rape. Are you going to go through at the end and do the different origins, just to see what that first bit of gameplay is for all of them? They’re all very different, and I would LOVE to see you do the dwarves.

  23. Ryan Lohner says:

    Hello, all. I don't have much to say yet, just that my experience with Portal was so great that I've now decided to follow Mark onto this game, which I know nothing about. I'll probably have actual thoughts by tomorrow.

    • Yeah I followed along with Portal 2 even though I've only played Portal. I could see myself doing that more often with Mark Plays than MW or MR.

    • snapsnzips says:

      It's all I can do to not bust out my copy and go to town with another playthrough. Must avoid OCD video games….

  24. Zetal says:

    So, Dragon Age. I've played through completely as a female human noble warrior and a male city elf rogue, and done all of the other origins – [origin spoiler] gjvpr nf n zntr fb V pbhyq frr gur qvssrerag bcgvbaf sbe orgenl Wbjna/qba'g.

    I love the characters and the setting and the plot. Dragon Age is one of my favorite games ever. I'm considering buying it on Steam because I don't know what I did with my discs and I want to Play With Mark. Unfortunately that would cut into my GW2 addiction so I'm still on the fence about it.

  25. stumpoman says:

    Just curious, are you playing DLC?

    sorry if its been answered before

    • affableevil says:

      I believe he has the Ultimate version which includes the DLCs and Awakening.

      • misterbernie says:

        I think he said he has the Ultimate version on steam, but the base game on the PS3? I may be misremembering though.

        MARK ANSWER THIS THIS IS VITAL

        • He first said he had the Ultimate Edition but later clarified that he was playing it on the PS3 where he only has the normal edition. Now the next question is did he buy it new or used? If new it should come with Gur dhrfg jvgu Funyr unless I'm remembering wrong.

          He said he would buy the DLC after finishing the game but some of the DLC is unplayable after beating the game so that might be a problem.

  26. Laurellas says:

    So I started this a few months ago, really enjoyed it, but had to stop a few hours in because of exams and stuff. I'm just about to open it up now, gonna replay what I've done and (hopefully) start commenting once I reach the same point. I was a city elf the first time, thinking of trying a different pathway this time though.

  27. Passing by says:

    Does it count as a spoiler to reference other origin stories?
    If so, then: gur "Fbat bs Vpr naq Sver" pbzcnevfba orpbzrf rira zber ncg sbe gur Uhzna Aboyr bevtva: lbh ner bar bs gur urvef gb n uhzna aboyrzna, jubfr pnfgyr trgf fnpxrq ol n fhccbfrq nyyl. Gurl zvtug'ir jryy orra pnyyrq "Fgnex".

    My first character was a male Human Noble rogue, specializing in flanking, backstabbing and dual wielding, who I tried to play as nice as possible. My second playthrough was as a female Dalish Elf rogue, specializing in crossbows, whom I tried to play as resentful to humans a possible. I didn't finish that one though. The (cross)bow build didn't really draw me in all that much.

    Personally, I'd prefer to play Dragon Age on PC: playing on a computer has a distinct tactical advantage, because, when you pause mid-combat, you can have a better overview of the enemies, and plan your attacks better.

  28. BettyTheThird says:

    My first playthorugh was female human noble warrior and I named her Alanna and she was FIERCE AND FLAWLESS, except for her eyes that I somehow made really…bulgy…but idk, maybe she saw like really good with them, so still FLAWLESS!

    am excited for Mark to experience everything, gubhtu vg jvyy cebonoyl gnxr n juvyr jura ur xrrcf qbvat 1 ubhe n qnl ;)

  29. Shiyiya says:

    YESSSSSSSS. SO EXCITE. I love Dragon Age. I've played through Origins like six times, with four characters. (I've played two characters through twice each, yes.)

    I'm not sure if this counts as a spoiler or not, so rot13 just in case: V jvyy abgr gung V'ir cynlrq sbhe bs gur fvk cbffvoyr bevtvaf, naq V sbhaq pvgl rys gur zbfg genhzngvp.

    And more definitely spoilerly: V guvax QNB unf n ybg va pbzzba jvgu jung Znex vf rawblvat nobhg Arjfsyrfu, jvgu gur pencfnpx jbeyq naq gur cbyvgvpny fgehttyrf ntnvafg n onpxtebhaq bs zvaqyrff zbafgref, naq V nz RKPVGR gb frr ubj ur ernpgf gb gur fgbel.

    V'z nyfb ernyyl phevbhf gb frr juvpu ybir vagrerfg ur cvpxf – vg fbhaqf yvxr uvf Gnoevf vf znffviryl ubfgvyr gb uhznaf naq zvtug raq hc jvgu Mriena yvxr zvar qvq, OHG ZNLOR UR JVYY TB SBE GUR TNNNNL NAQ CVPX YRYVNAN? Be na bhgfvqr punapr bs Nyvfgnve.

    • V srry yvxr jr fubhyq or ubyqvat orgf ba gurfr guvatf (abg ernyyl. Naq tnzoyvat vf vyyrtny va Grknf nalubj.)

      Hzz… fb jub jvyy Znex ebznapr? Vg zvtug or rnfvre gb svther bhg bapr ur'f zrg gur punenpgref. V'z tbvat gb tb obyq naq fnl Nyvfgnve be znlor Yryvnan. Ohg Nyvfgnve. Lrnu gung'f zl org sbe abj.

      • misterbernie says:

        Sbe abj V'z npghnyyl nsenvq Znex jvyy npghnyyl zvff bhg ba cvpxvat hc Yryvnan, be qrpvqvat gb xvyy Mriena >_>
        UR VF ARJ GB TNZRF UR QBRF ABG XABJ UBJ GUVATF JBEX – yrggvat na nffnffva frag gb zheqre lbh gb qrngu yvir vf n gbgnyyl jvfr yvsr pubvpr!

        V'z gbea orgjrra ebbgvat sbe LNL TNL be ZL YBIRYL YBIRYL NYVFGNVE. … lrnu fbeel, Nyvfgnve vf jvgubhg n qbhog gur svpgvbany punenpgre V'ir pehfurq gur uneqrfg ba.

        y b y

        • Bu zna V qvqa'g rira guvax bs gung!

          • misterbernie says:

            Bar qnl V jvyy cynl n tnzr jurer V npghnyyl jvyy xvyy Mriena EC-jvfr. Bar qnl.
            (fnzr nf V jvyy bar qnl cynl n tnzr jurer V pna xvyy Pbaabe naq abg erybnq vzzrqvngryl nsgre znxvat Nyvfgnve FHCREFNQ naq NATEL)

          • V'ir xvyyrq Jlaar yvxr nyzbfg rirel gvzr ohg V arire xvyy Mriena. Vg whfg srryf… jebat.

          • misterbernie says:

            … ubj pna lbh xvyy Jlaar D:
            (thrff jub cynlf Grnz Tbbql Gjb Fubrf naq hfhnyyl tbrf nqiraghevat jvgu n grnz bs Nyvfgnve, Yryvnan naq Jlaar)

          • Lbh ershfr gb uryc ure jura lbh ragre gur pvepyr gbjre. V pna'g erzrzore gur rknpg qrgnvyf bs gur qvnybthr. Fur'yy ershfr gb yrg lbh cnffrq naq lbh unir gb xvyy ure naq gur bgure zntrf.

          • misterbernie says:

            V qvq gung bapr. Gura V erybnqrq gur cerivbhf fnir vzzrqvngryl.

          • V'z fb zvfhaqrefgbbbbbbq!

          • Shiyiya says:

            Zna, V qvqa'g rira xabj lbh PBHYQ xvyy Jlaar hagvy V fnj fbzrbar ryfr ba ghzoye zragvba vg.

            V fubhyqa'g'ir orra fhecevfrq, gubhtu, tvira gung zl Gnoevf yrsg Erqpyvssr gb qvr, naq gurl, hu, qvq. Nyy bs gurz. Bevtvaf unf fbzr oehgny pubvprf.

          • Shiyiya says:

            Zl svefg cynl V xvyyrq Mri! Jvgu zl Pbhfynaq. Ohg V XARJ ABGUVAT GURA.

            V frrz gb or tbbq ng ubeevslvat qrpvfvbaf sbe EC ernfbaf, gubhtu. Zl Enryla Gnoevf, hz, yrgf Naben unir Nyvfgnve rkrphgrq. Nyvfgnve ORTTVAT LBH gb yrg uvz yvir jnf FBHY-QRFGEBLVAT. Rira gubhtu Enryla ungrq uvz. V unq gb jnyx njnl sebz zl yncgbc sbe n juvyr orsber V pbhyq oevat zlfrys gb pyvpx vg.

          • misterbernie says:

            V qvq gung bapr fb sne… naq vg jnf nabgure ABCR TBGGN ERYBNQ zbzrag. V'z npghnyyl ernyyl onq ng EC-vat fbzrgvzrf. FBEEL V YVXR ORVAT TBBQ.
            V'ir orra cynaavat ba n ehguyrff cynlguebhtu, ohg V xrrc chggvat vg bss >.>

        • affableevil says:

          V qrsvavgryl zrgn-tnzrq gur qrpvfvba gb xrrc Mriena nyvir orpnhfr V fnj gur tnzr ybtvp bs vg – url, gur tnzr vf vagebqhpvat n arj pbzcnavba gb zr! – ohg vg ernyyl qbrfa'g znxr frafr sebz n gnpgvpny fgnaqcbvag. Va gur jvfr jbeqf bs Fbxxn:

          "Lrnu, yrg'f OEVAT gur thl jub'f pbafgnagyl gelvat gb xvyy hf."

          • Shiyiya says:

            Zl Gnoevf'f ragver ybtvp jnf VG'F N ERNY CREFBA V PNA SVANYYL UNIR N ERNY CREFBA NEBHAQ NTNVA V'Z ABG TBVAT GB XVYY N ERNY CREFBA. Juvpu vf… qhovbhf ybtvp.

        • mreeb says:

          Jvgu nal yhpx ur'yy gnxr gur nqivpr va gur pbzzragf naq rkcyber nyy gur ohvyqvatf naq rirelguvat naq svaq Yryvnan, ohg V npghnyyl qvq zvff bhg ba ure NAQ Fgra gur svefg gvzr (abg sbe ybat, zl fvfgre znqr zr tb onpx). Jung, V jnf arj gb tnzvat, V gubhtug vg jnf jrveq gb eryrnfr n znff zheqrere naq gnxr uvz haqre zl jvat UBJ JNF V GB XABJ UR JNF SYNJYRFF. Ba gur Mriena sebag, ubcrshyyl ur'yy qb jung V qvq naq jnxr uvz hc sbe dhrfgvbavat vafgrnq bs whfg xvyyvat uvz bssunaq, orpnhfr ur vf fb punezvat gung bapr V'q fcbxra gb uvz V unq gb gnxr uvz nybat, qrfcvgr gur univat whfg gevrq gb xvyy zr guvat. Znlor ur'yy punez Znex gur fnzr jnl.

          Nyy gung fnvq, cneg bs gur sha bs jngpuvat n arj crefba cynl vf gb frr gurz gnxr ny gur cnguf lbh qvqa'g.

          • Abg n sna bs Fgra (be Jlaar sbe gung znggre.) V qba'g xabj jul. V zrna V yvxr gur Dhanev onpxtebhaq vasbezngvba ohg nf n punenpgre ur whfg xvaq bs qbrfa'g vagrerfg zr gung zhpu. Be znlor vg'f whfg gung V ybir Zbeevtna, Nyvfgnve, Yryvnan, Bteura, Mriena naq Funyr fb zhpu gung gubfr gjb fgvpx bhg nf orvat yrff vagrerfgvat.

            V crefbanyyl ubcr Znex cebirf hf nyy jebat naq unf n gbgnyyl synjyrff cynlguebhtu.

          • mreeb says:

            Lrnu, Fgra naq Jlaar nera'g zl snibhevgrf (gubhtu zl yngrfg cynl guebhtu V gnyxrq gb Jlaar n ybg zber naq jnf n zntr naq xvaqn unq guvf urnqpnaba zragbe eryngvbafuvc jvgu ure naq fur xrcg fnlvat guvatf gung nqqrq cresrpg punenpgre zbgvingvbaf sbe zl zntr gb znxr gur pubvprf fur qvq fb Jlaar unf tebja ba zr n ybg), ohg V fgvyy ybir gurz. V guvax V whfg ernyyl rawbl grnfvat Jlaar naq ure erfcbaqvat fnff. Naq fur unf fbzr terng cnegl onagre. Jvgu Fgra, uvf pbairefngvbaf ner zbfgyl gurfr zbabflyynovp pvephyne qvfphffvbaf gung ner uryyn sehfgengvat sbe zl Jneqraf, ohg RAQYRFFYL UVYNEVBHF gb zr. Ohg V nyfb frr jul gung zvtug or obevat gb abg-zr crbcyr. Zbfgyl, V guvax guvf vf nyy n grfgnzrag gb gur jevgvat bs gurfr punenpgref gung V nqber rira zl yrnfg snibhevgr cnegl zrzoref.

            "V crefbanyyl ubcr Znex cebirf hf nyy jebat naq unf n gbgnyyl synjyrff cynlguebhtu."
            Zr gbb. V zrna, V pbzsbeg zlfrys jvgu gur vqrn bs ivpnevbhfyl yvivat guebhtu uvf cbgragvnyyl Mrienayrff cynl guebhtu orpnhfr V jvyy arire unir bar, ohg ernyyl V'q cersre sbe uvz gb rkcrevrapr nyy gur punenpgref va nyy gurve tybel. V nyfb ubcr ur trgf Qbt.

          • Shiyiya says:

            V *fgvyy* qba'g unir n cynlguebhtu jurer V'ir erpehvgrq Fgra be Funyr. Vg whfg… unfa'g orra fbzrguvat gur punenpgref jbhyq qb.

          • mreeb says:

            Bu zna, V erfcrpg gung fb zhpu. V'z n ovt znxr-pubvprf-va-punenpgre crefba ohg svaq vg uneq abg gb zrgn tnzr. Gung'f njrfbzr, jryy qbar.

            (side story not about not-Dragon Age RP: My friends and I are playing a tabletop RPG together and most of the players are super committed to making in-character decisions and I think we're destroying our GM's carefully laid plans by doing things that are stupid from a meta perspective but are in character. Like, in our first session, my friend's character tried to punch a high ranking NPC on our side in the face because he annoyed her – meta stupid and made our GM go WHAT ARE YOU SERIOUS, but in character for her – and my character tried to stop her and we came to blows. So the very first combat rolls for the entire campaign were between two players who are supposed to be on the same team. It was awesome.)

          • Shiyiya says:

            V qvq unir gb oraq n ovg ba zl ernyyl qribhg Nzryy abg ybbgvat guvatf naq qrpvqr gung fur'q ybbg obqvrf, whfg abg fgrny sebz pbagnvaref, orpnhfr bgurejvfr V JBHYQA'G UNIR ORRA NOYR GB QB NALGUVAT ORPNHFR V JBHYQA'G UNIR NAL QNZA RDHVCZRAG BE ZBARL. Ohg ol naq ynetr, V pna'g abg qb va punenpgre guvatf. Zryvnan xvyyrq Mri naq Angunavry, Enryla yrg Naben xvyy Nyvfgnve naq jbhyq unir zheqrerq Btuera va gur snpr vs gur tnzr'q yrg zr, naq abar bs zl punenpgref lrg unf orra jvyyvat gb yrg Fgra bhg – zl qrnq Zryvnan Ubabe Naq Qhgl Pbhfynaq jnf yvxr “jryy ur jnf vzcevfbarq sbe n ernfba, V'z abg yrggvat uvz bhg”, Pnqramn Qribhg Nzryy jrag “ZHEQRERE! ZHEQRERE!”, Enryla Furz-Ungvat Gnoevf znqr n ynetr pvepyr nebhaq gur uhtr uhzna-ybbxvat zna, naq Wlargu Shpx Rirelbar Jub Vfa'g Qnyvfu Znunevry vf abg tbvat gb gnyx gb nalbar fur vfa'g sbeprq gb. Naq fb sne gurer whfg… unfa'g orra n ernfba nalbar jbhyq'ir gnyxrq gb gur zrepunag jurer lbh trg Funyr. V'z cynaavat ba na nzbeny zrep-l Oebfpn cynl gb zrrg Fgra naq Funyr – V unira'g qbar rvgure qjnes bevtva lrg. (V nyfb unira'g qbar n Fhenan, ohg gung'f yrff bs n cevbevgl fvapr V'ir qbar na Nzryy naq gung'f onfvpnyyl gur fnzr. Abg gung zl Nzryy jnf zhpu bs n punenpgre, nf V zbfgyl qvq ure gb or onpxtebhaq/fnir svyr sbe n fcrpvsvp Unjxr V cynaarq.) FBEEL V UNIR N YBG BS SRRYF NOBHG ZL PUNENPGREF NAQ V UNIR N YBG BS PUNENPGREFAnd pffff, that's awesome.

          • mreeb says:

            QBA'G NCBYBTVMR ZR GBB GURL NER ZL ONOVRF.

            Nununun, V yvxr nyy lbhe cfrhqb-zvqqyr anzrf. Hayrff gurl'er abg cfrhqb ohg npghny zvqqyr anzrf, va juvpu pnfr RIRA ORGGRE.

            V znantrq gb trg njnl jvgu zl jneqraf cvpxvat hc nzbeny fvqr punenpgref ol unaqjnivat vg jvgu "qrfcrengr gvzrf rdhnyf qrfcrengr zrnfherf," ohg V'ir bayl pbzcyrgrq gjb cynl guebhtuf naq gung jba'g or rabhtu sbe nyy zl pheerag jneqraf (V unir guerr tbvat fvzhygnarbhfyl evtug abj yby jung vf sbphf). V abj unir n arj erfbyir gb fgvpx gb zl thaf naq abg zrgn tnzr ng nyy jvgu gurz. Purref!

            V guvax gur uneqrfg bar fb sne jnf jvgu zl svefg jneqra, n Fhenan (jub ebznaprq n Xvat Nyvfgnve fb QBBZRQ ERYNGVBAFUVC fur jnf fb bccerffrq), jub V ernyvmrq ybtvpnyyl, vs npgvat va punenpgre, jbhyq n) abg gnxr Zbeevtna'f qrny orpnhfr n puvyq jvgu n cbffvoyr pynvz gb gur guebar pbhyq pbzcyvpngr Nyvfgnve'f yvsr va gur shgher, guhf cbffvoyl shegure pnhfr vffhrf sbe Sreryqra, rira vs gur puvyq *jnfa'g* tbvat gb unir gur fbhy bs na byq tbq naq o) fur jbhyq znxr gur fnpevsvpr urefrys, rira vs Evbeqna unq yvirq, orpnhfr Nyvfgnve unq gb yvir naq or xvat naq Evbeqna unf zber Terl Jneqra rkcrevrapr naq vf gur orggre pnaqvqngr sbe fgnegvat hc gur beqre ntnva. Naq gura V jnf fnq naq vg gbbx n ybg bs jvyycbjre gb sbyybj guebhtu orpnhfr FUR JNF ZL SVEFG naq V jnf IREL NGGNPURQ GB URE naq gurer jrer grnef. Vg jnf yhpxl V qvqa'g gnxr Nyvfgnve gb gur svany onggyr, gubhtu, gung jbhyq unir orra hasbeghangr. Zl urnq!pnaba jnf gung fur qvqa'g jnag gb evfx uvz gnxvat gur oybj sbe ure, naq V fbba yrnearq gung jnf jung npghnyyl jbhyq'ir unccrarq, fb gung jnf yhpxl. Bx, abj V'z tbvat ba naq ba naq bayl nobhg bar bs zl Jneqraf gbb V'YY FGBC ABJ.

            It *was* awesome. Some groups get annoyed at that sort of thing because it "makes life difficult" but I have an awesome group this year and all the players are on board with our shenanigans. Even the GM, despite his initial shock and need to improvise, seemed pleased about it.

          • mreeb says:

            Holy god this comment is longer than I thought OOPS CAN'T STOP TALKING. :/ aaaaaah SORRY.

          • Shiyiya says:

            Gurl'er cfrhqb zvqqyr anzrf, gubhtu fbzr bs gubfr trg hfrq vafgrnq bs svefg anzrf fbzrgvzrf, yvxr gnyxvat nobhg zl qrne Ubabe Naq Qhgl Pbhfynaq :C Zryvnan vf UHTR ba gur qhgl bs gur abovyvgl gb gur crbcyr. Fur zneevrq Nyvfgnve orpnhfr fur ybirq uvz, lrnu, ohg nyfb orpnhfr fur'f n grlea'f qnhtugre naq ur jnfa'g envfrq gb ehyr naq jbhyq *arrq* ure uryc. Vg jnf ure QHGL GB SRERYQRA gb uryc uvz. Naq gb chg uvz ba gur guebar – oybbq evtugf naq oybbq erfcbafvovyvgvrf. Zl Nzryy qvqa'g qb gur evghny orpnhfr fur jnf qribhg nf uryy naq ungrq Zbeevtna gur ncbfgngr – frag ure njnl pyrne onpx ng Ybgurevat. Naq fur tbg Nyvfgnve gb zneel Naben. Naq fnpevsvrq urefrys. Juvpu QRFGEBLRQ zr, orpnhfr gur tnzr tnir zr ab bcgvba gb gryy Yryvnan (ure YV) jung jnf tbvat gb unccra. Naq Yryvnan jnf gurer. Jngpuvat. Jvgu ab vqrn jung jnf unccravat. Jura Pnqramn gbbx gur oybj naq qvrq. ZL SRRYF. V qvqa'g rira ybir Pnqramn gung zhpu fur rkvfgrq gb or onpxfgbel sbe zl qrnerfg frys-ybnguvat zntr Pnqrapr Unjxr (ebznaprf Sraevf). (Bu tbq, V unir FB ZNAL SRRYF NOBHG ZL PNQRAPR. Cbbe tvey. Pna'g qb urnyvat zntvp, qrnq zntr pbhfva, qrnq zntr sngure – jub qvrq va ure nezf orpnhfr fur pna'g qb urnyvat zntvp naq pbhyqa'g fnir uvz – qrnq zntr fvfgre fur pbhyqa'g fnir, fur nppvqragnyyl frg Pneire ba sver jura fur jnf gjryir… Bu zl cbbe tvey. Ure yvsr fhpxf. Naq gura fur snyyf sbe SRAEVF, Ze “Zntvp Fcbvyf Rirelguvat Vg Gbhpurf”, jub enagf nobhg ubj rivy zntrf ner va sebag bs ure, naq fur nterrf jvgu uvz, naq bu Pnaqnaproo.)

          • mreeb says:

            Bzvtbq Yryvnan naq Pnqramn gung vf raqyrffyl gentvp. V zrna, V tbg nyy rzbgvbany jura zl ryira zntr, Ynphf, jnf fnlvat tbbqolr gb nyy ure sevraqf jvgubhg nal bs gurz ernyvmvat fur jnfa'g pbzvat onpx naq zl srryvatf jura gurl jngpurq ure qvr bu ybeq ohg vs gurl'q orra YV gung'q or RIRA JBEFR. 0.b Ng yrnfg Ynphf tbg gb fnl n cebcre tbbqolr gb Nyvfgnve. (Nyfb, V gbgnyyl whfg fgnegrq na Nzryy jvgu gur rkcerff checbfr bs frggvat hc n Qentba Ntr VV cynl guebhtu nf jryy.) Bu, lbhe cbbe Pnqrapr Unjxr. V pna bayl vzntvar gur haerfbyirq rzbgvbany vffhrf fur unf…fur zhfg unir orra qryvtugshy gb cynl, va n urnegoernxvat fbeg bs jnl. <-abg rira fnepnfz. Haerfbyirq rzbgvbany vffhrf ner zl oernq naq ohggre, V fjrne. V unir n zntr Unjxr, Oeraan, jub vf nyfb frys-ybnguvat naq qngvat Sraevf. Zrnag fur nyfb unq n tbbq eryngvbafuvc jvgu Pneire, gubhtu, naq va fbzr jnlf ure cynl guebhtu jnf bar bs zl unccvre barf. Hayvxr Frertvy Unjxr, jub vf qvfgehfgshy naq fhfcvpvbhf (fur unq n sevraq nf n puvyq jub sbhaq bhg fur jnf n zntr naq gura znavchyngrq gur fuvg bhg bs ure jvgu guvf xabjyrqtr) naq gura Naqref oebxr qbja ure jnyyf naq vg jnf ornhgvshy hagvy ur oyrj hc gur Punagel juvpu fur Qvq Abg Nterr Jvgu naq fur sryg fb orgenlrq naq xvyyrq uvz orpnhfr fur sryg vg jnf ure erfcbafvovyvgl naq fur jnf fb natel naq uheg naq fb abj fur'f ybfg gur ybir bs ure yvsr naq unq ure novyvgl gb gehfg guebja onpx frireny lrnef naq lrnu fur'f xvaq bs ernyyl oebxra, zl cbbe qneyvat.

          • Oh hi there. Looks like we were both referring to the same person (I'm further down this thread).

            Lbh xvyyrq lbhe Naqref? Nsgre n ebznapr jvgu uvz? V PBHYQ ARIRE qb gung. Zl svefg punenpgre (zntr jvgu eryngviryl srj rzbgvbany vffhrf eryngvat gb vg) ebznaprq uvz naq vg jnf gur ORFG EBZNAPR BS NAL TNZR RIRE RKPRCG ZNLOR GUR GEVYYBTL YBAT XNVQRA EBZNAPR (fbeel, V unir n ybg bs srryf nobhg ubj tbbq naq ernyvfgvp naq urnegjnezvat Oevqtvg naq Naqre'f vagrenpgvbaf naq phg fprarf jrer). V irel zhpu QVQ ABG NTERR jvgu gur punagel guvat (yvgrenyyl sryg fvpx gb zl fgbznpu jvgu ubeebe juvyr jngpuvat gur phg fprar naq ernyvfvat jung ur unq qbar) ohg zl punenpgre pbhyq ARIRE unir oebhtug urefrys gb xvyy uvz. V thrff fur whfg unf yrff jvyy cbjre naq zbenyf guna lbhef (naq V gbgnyyl erfcrpg lbhef sbe qbvat gung). Fur gbyq urefrys gung nsgre nyy gur svtugvat jnf qbar fur jbhyq arrq gb unir n gnyx gb Naqref naq znlor guvf zrnag guvf jnf gur raq bs gurve eryngvbafuvc ohg fur nyfb xarj (be ng yrnfg sreiragyl ubcrq) gung vg jnf zbfg cebonoyl Whfgvpr/Iratnapr naq abg Naqref gung jnf gur qevivat sbepr oruvaq jung ur qvq. Fur jnf n irel haqrefgnaqvat, pna frr rirel fvqr, sbetvivat punenpgre gubhtu gung qvqa'g unir n znwbe orrs jvgu nal bs ure pbzcnavbaf. Rkprcg Zreevy fuvggrq ure n ovg ohg fur jnf nyjnlf sevraqyl naq avpr gb ure rira vs fur arire qvq ure fvqr dhrfg be unq ure va ure cnegl rire.

          • mreeb says:

            Why, hello! We totally were, I just browsed through the thread and found the stuff you were talking about.

            V XABJ V'Z N ZBAFGRE. Vg jnf gur fnqqrfg guvat. Ohg V unq nyy gurfr srryvatf nobhg ubj Naqref naq Frertvy jrer gbtrgure orpnhfr vg jnf ernyyl phgr naq fur fgnegrq gb trg zber fanexl naq yrff ntterffvir naq gura GENTRQL. Vg jnf yvxr…Jryy, svefgyl, Frertvy unq npghnyyl nyybjrq urefrys gb gehfg uvz juvpu jnf n OVT QRNY sbe ure naq gura sryg fhcre orgenlrq abg bayl orpnhfr fur qvq abg nterr ohg nyfb orpnhfr ur znqr ure na hajvggvat cnegvpvcnag, fb cnegvnyyl vg jnf guvf crefbany guvat (fur zvtug abg unir xvyyrq uvz vs fur'q ebznaprq fbzrbar ryfr – uvture lbh evfr gur snegure lbh snyy naq nyy gung – gubhtu, bx, cebonoyl fur fgvyy jbhyq unir) naq gura, frpbaqyl, fur sryg erfcbafvoyr sbe uvz. Va ure zvaq, fur fubhyq unir xabja orggre gura gb yrg ure thneq qbja, bs pbhefr ur jnf tbvat gb orgenl ure riraghnyyl gung'f jung crbcyr qb, naq znlor fur jbhyq unir frra vg fbbare vs fur unqa'g orra fb anvir nobhg uvz naq fur bjrf vg gb gur crbcyr fur snvyrq, vapyhqvat Naqref (naq fur qbrf srry ba fbzr yriry nf gubhtu fur snvyrq uvz gbb, gung fur pbhyq unir punyyratrq uvz zber vs bayl fur'q frra guvf pbzvat fbzrubj), gb xvyy uvz urefrys. Rirel vagrenpgvba gurl unq ohvyg gb guvf gentvp snyy fb cresrpgyl, gubhtu, V pbhyqa'g uryc ohg or xvaq bs cyrnfrq rira nf zl urneg funggrerq gb n zvyyvba cvrprf. (Vg jnf ernyyl dhvgr oehgny.)

          • [Dragon Age 2 spoilers ->] Zl Unjxr qvqa'g unir gur fnzr natfgl vffhrf nf lbhef fb fur sryg yrff crefbanyyl orgenlrq naq jnf pncnoyr bs orvat zber sbetvivat V fhccbfr. V qba'g xabj ubj lbh fheivirq gubhtu. Whfg yrneavat jung ur'q qbar jnf oehgny rabhtu sbe zr. Xvyyvat uvz jbhyq unir funggrerq zr sberire
            [ME3 spoilers->] (nf jngpuvat Wbxre naq RQV ubbx hc va ZR3 nyzbfg qvq hagvy V qrpvqrq gb JEVGR ZL JNL BHG BS VG!)

      • Shiyiya says:

        Lrnu, vg qrsvavgryl jvyy. Naq V ybir Nyvfgnve qrneyl – zl Pbhfynaq zneevrq uvz – ohg vs ur'f tbg n furz-ungvat rys, V zvtug abg rkcrpg Znex gb tb sbe uvz? V znl or ovnfrq orpnhfr zl Gnoevf qbrfa'g frr furz nf erny crbcyr naq yngpurq bagb Mri yvxr n qnza yvzcrg orpnhfr ur jnf n ERNY CREFBA naq fur jnf fb ybaryl naq fur qvqa'g tvir n qnza jung ur jnf yvxr, ohg. (Naq Mri vf punezvat, rira vs ur'f n fznezl onfgneq bs na nffnffva.)

    • Shiyiya says:

      Oh, and hey, have a picture of my city elf rogue, Raelyn Tabris, from my first playthrough of her – she was my second character, my first play of the game was a human noble warrior named Meliana. (The second one I installed the DA2-style elves mod, and got the more hairstyles mod working with the vribrant colours mod, so she looks really different.) (The vibrant colours mod is on on her here, which is how she has these hair and eye colours.) (I didn't even REMEMBER until later that red and purple was Alanna's hair and eye colours.) (Okay, too many parenthesis.)

      <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m70qb7Ezxw1qaoe2y.png"&gt;

    • Ununun sbe n frpbaq V sbetbg gung Znex jnf cynlvat n srznyr punenpgre naq V jnf nyy rkpvgrq guvaxvat gurer zvtug unir orra n qyp gung bcraf Nyvfgnve hc sbe znyr punenpgref. Ohg ab :(

      Ng gur zbzrag Znex'f Gnoevf vf n Furz-ungvat rys ohg V qba'g frr ubj ur pbhyq cbffvoyl ungr ba Yvyvnan sbe ybat onfrq ba gung. Fur'f whfg gbb avpr naq njrfbzr! Fb V guvax fur'f gur zbfg yvxryl orpnhfr V qb guvax gurer'f n irel uvtu punapr ur jvyy xvyy Mri naq vs ur qbrfa'g ur'yy nyernql unir unq n punapr sbe Yvyvnan gb tebj ba uvz ol gur gvzr Mri pbzrf nebhaq naq fur'f whfg njrfbzr fb gurer. Ohg V guvax Mri vf zber yvxryl guna Nyv hayrff Znex snyyf va ybir jvgu Nyv vafgnagyl yvxr V qvq. NYVFGNVE ZL NVQHPNA YBIRF LBH GB GUR RAQ BS GVZR JUL QVQ LBH UNIR GB QB GUNG GUVAT LBH QVQ NAQ GURA GUNG BGURE GUVAT NF JRYY NG GUR RAQ BS URE CYNLGUEBHTU?!?!?! *pevrf nyy gur grnef*

      • Shiyiya says:

        Jryy gurer'f n *zbq* gung yrgf lbh ebznapr Nyvfgnve jvgu qhqrf naq Zbeevtna jvgu tveyf ba CP, ohg :CZl furz-ungvat rys npghnyyl ershfrq gb qb nalguvat be uryc nalbar va Ybgurevat, fb fur whfg fxvccrq bire Yryvnan ragveryl orpnhfr gurer jnf ab rneguyl (Gurqnfyl?) ernfba fur'q tb vagb gung ohvyqvat. Jrag fgenvtug guebhtu gb gur rkvg.

        • Uzz. V jvfu V pbhyq znxr zlfrys cynl gung jnl. Ohg V trg gbb nggnpurq gb punenpgref naq guvatf. :(

          • Shiyiya says:

            V npghnyyl pna'g znxr zl punenpgref qb BBP guvatf. Vg'f ernyyl vapbairavrag. Enryla ershfrq gb jrne nal evat ohg ure jrqqvat evat gur ragver tnzr, jber punvaznvy vafgrnq bs yrngure gur ragver tnzr orpnhfr gur yrngure nezbe fubjrq gbb zhpu fxva/ybbxrq gbb srzvavar naq fur ershfrq gb or ybbxrq ng yvxr gung, naq fcrag unys na ubhe ehaavat nebhaq gur rqtrf bs Bfgntne ybbxvat sbe n jnl bhg. Naq gura nsgre gur eriryngvba gung Nyvfgnve unq orra ylvat gb ure (sbe ntrf, orpnhfr fur qvq Erqpyvssr ynfg orpnhfr GREEVSLVAT ABOYR FURZ) naq jnf abg bayl n furz ohg n ABOYR furz, fur syvccrq bhg naq fcrag gur ragver erfg bs gur tnzr jvgu BAYL MRIENA VA URE CNEGL orpnhfr fur ershfrq gb unir nal furz ng ure onpx ntnva. V ybir zl Gnoevf, ohg fur vf NJXJNEQ NF NYY URYY gb cynl.

          • misterbernie says:

            Ungf bss gb lbhe qrqvpngvba. Abg fjvgpuvat rdhvczrag, bu tbq. Zl ynfg Pbhfynaq qvq pneel uvf snzvyl fjbeq naq fuvryq jvgu uvz ng nyy gvzrf, gubhtu, rira vagb Jvgpu Uhag, nygubhtu ur jvryqrq Qhapna'f fjbeq naq qnttre yngre ba. Ohg gurer jnf ab jnl gubfr gjb jbhyq trg fbyq bss, be yrsg gb or sbetbggra va gur fgbentr ng Fbyqvre'f Crnx.

          • Bu jbj, V jvfu V unq lbhe qrqvpngvba gb gung. V cynl fvzvyneyl ohg vs gurer'f fbzrguvat V ernyyl jnag zl punenpgre gb qb, V svaq n jnl gb whfgvsl vg. Sbe rknzcyr, V unira'g svavfurq zl furz-ungvat rys cnfg ure bevtva fgbel ohg vs V jnagrq ure gb erpehvg Yvyvnan, (juvpu V qb orpnhfr gur gubhtug bs cnffvat hc pbzcnavbaf sernxf zr bhg, rfcrpvnyyl Yvyvnan) V jbhyq gurbevfr gung svefgyl, fur jrag vagb gur cho orpnhfr fur jnf guvefgl. Fur znl abg yvxr be gehfg Furzf ohg fur vfa'g fpnerq bs gurz naq fur jba'g yrg gurz fgbc ure qbvat nalguvat fur jnagf gb qb. Nyfb gung juvyr ng Bfgntne, zrrgvat Qhapna urycrq ure ernyvfr abg nyy Furzf ner gung onq, gubhtu fur fgvyy qbrfa'g gehfg be yvxr gurz va trareny, gurl unir gb rnea gung sebz ure. Fb jura fur zrrgf Yvyvnan fur qrpvqrf ba gur fche bs gur zbzrag gb yrg ure gnt nybat orpnhfr, jryy onfvpnyyl gb ure vg'f orggre guna univat Nyvfgnve nebhaq orpnhfr fur qbrfa'g ernyyl yvxr uvz nyy gung zhpu. Gubhtu fur vf n Qnyvfu rys fb ure oenaq bs Furz ungvat jbhyq or qvssrerag gb gung bs n pvgl rys. Zl pvgl rys jnf n frys-freivat ebthr jub qvqa'g ernyyl yvxr uhznaf ohg qvqa'g ungr gurz rvgure. Ur znqr rirel qrpvfvba onfrq ba ubj jvyy guvf uryc zr gubhtu ur jnf arire bireyl sbaq bs uvf uhzna pbzcnavbaf & ur raqrq hc ebznapvat Mri.

          • Shiyiya says:

            Zl Enryla qvqa'g whfg ungr furz, fur jnf GREEVSVRQ bs gurz, naq fur ungrq naq erfragrq Qhapna sbe qenttvat ure njnl sebz ure crbcyr – fur unq shyyl rkcrpgrq gb or rkrphgrq, naq fur jnf BXNL jvgu gung, orpnhfr vs gurl rkrphgrq ure znlor gur furz jbhyqa'g ergnyvngr ng gur erfg bs gur nyvrantr, fb fur oynzrq Qhapna sbe gur evbgf. Inhtua'f zra cnjrq bire ure, naq fur jnf irel njner bs ubj aneebjyl fur rfpncrq jung unccrarq gb Fuvnaav, naq fur xarj gung abobql pnerq jung unccrarq gb na rys. Naq fur jnf fheebhaqrq ol furz, gbb ovt, naq gbb ybhq… Fur jnf abg sha gb cynl, orpnhfr V jnf ng yrnfg unys va gur urnqfcnpr bs ure punenpgre, fb *V* jnf whzcl nf uryy. Gur Qrrc Ebnqf jrer rfcrpvnyyl hacyrnfnag, orpnhfr nsgre Btuera znqr fbzr yrrevat pbzzragf ng Zbeevtna naq n fcvqre uvg ure jvgu jro naq fur pbhyqa'g zbir fur SERNXRQ GUR SHPX BHG naq fgnegrq univat synfuonpxf naq lrnu. NALJNL. Enryla vf VAPERQVOYL enpr-sbphfrq, fur frrf furz nf n ybjre sbez bs yvsr, zber pehqr naq ivbyrag naq yrff vagryyvtrag, naq gung'f jul gurl'er njshy gb gur ryirf – gurl'er yvgrenyyl abg erny crbcyr gb ure. Fb fur yngpurq bagb Mri orpnhfr fur jnf VAPERQVOYL YBARYL naq ur jnf n ERNY CREFBA naq fur jnf qrfcrengr.

          • Jbj, lrnu, V pna frr jul fur znqr gubfr qrpvfvbaf gura. Zl furz-ungre unq ab-jurer arne gur fnzr rkcrevraprf jvgu uhznaf fb vg jnf jnl rnfvre sbe ure gb pbzr nebhaq gb fbzr bs gurz vs gurl cebirq gurl pbhyq or gehfgrq naq gurl jrer avpr. V nz va njr bs lbhe qrqvpngvba gb lbhe punenpgref.

          • mreeb says:

            Pna V whfg fnl V ybir guvf guernq? RIRELBAR XRRC GNYXVAT NOBHG LBHE JNEQRAF. V ybir urnevat nobhg bgure crbcyr'f punenpgre zbgvingvbaf. Nf cynlref, jr pna unir bhe punenpgref qb ernyyl fvzvyne guvatf sbe pbzcyrgryl qvssrerag ernfbaf naq vg'f njrfbzr naq V svaq vg snfpvangvat.

          • Buuuu lbh qba'g jnag gb fnl gung gb zr orpnhfr V jvyy jevgr rffnlf ba zl 2 znva punenpgref sebz rnpu bs QN, QN2 naq gur Znff Rssrpg gevybtl (naq Snyybhg 3 & AI nf jryy nf Fxlevz juvyr V'z ng vg) jvgu rira gur fyvtugrfg cebibpngvba. V ernyyl pna'g evtug abj orpnhfr V'z npghnyyl fhccbfrq gb or fghqlvat, ohg yngre ba V cyna gb qvfphff zl Qjnes pbzzbare juvpu V nz tbvat gb cynl nybatfvqr Znex nf jryy nf zl Nvqhpna juvpu V'ir nyernql gbyq lbh n ovg nobhg naq zl Gnoevf juvpu vf zl bgure znva QN punenpgre. :)

          • mreeb says:

            ZBFG RKPRYYRAG. V QB ABG ZVAQ GUVF. Frevbhfyl, V ybir ernqvat nobhg bgure crbcyr'f Jneqraf/Unjxrf/Furcneqf. Re, V zrna, fghql uneq!!

          • This is a rare case where I really can't afford not to study (assessment due on Monday, barely started, already got week long extension) and actually it is ALL MARKS FAULT for starting this game (not really but it feels good blaming someone other than my lazy ass right now). But once it is submitted next Monday, I may just write a bit about my characters in my live journal and link you. Plus I'd love to hear about yours as well. Be warned I wasn't kidding about the essay part. I am notorious amongst my online friends for going on and on to infinity.

          • mreeb says:

            Well, you have opened the same can of worms by saying you'd love to hear about mine, as I will also seriously write essays, so the JOKES ON YOU. Case in point: I'm in a tabletop RPG group right now and the Game Master asked us to send him our character backstories so he could work them into the campaign and I sent him five and a half pages, typed and single spaced, the next day. The tiny backstory section of my actual character sheet just says "see attached file." (He read it all and has already incorporated it into the game, bless him.) So ESSAY AWAY! I wasn't kidding about the loving that stuff. The conversations my sister and I have about our characters are never short. Good luck studying!

          • I was serious about wanting to hear about yours, the more you write the better. Bring it on! (After Monday.) Do you have a livejournal account or is there somewhere else it would be most convenient for both of us to start this conversation?

          • mreeb says:

            I have a really old LJ account that I may or may not remember the password on. I also have a wordpress blog if I can't remember my old LJ account information or it's been deleted or something. I shall look into it.

          • Well I should be able to use my intense debate account to comment on your wordpress right? But if you figure out your lj mine is: http://cloned-fiction.livejournal.com/

          • mreeb says:

            I FOUND IIIIIIIT I'll be responding as cptgigi so I can now check up on your LJ when you've written something POST AWAY

          • Posted it! (About my main DA:O character at least.) That took way longer than I expected.
            http://cloned-fiction.livejournal.com/40976.html

          • mreeb says:

            Bbu, lbhe punenpgre zbgvingvbaf ner fb njrfbzryl gubhtug bhg VG VF GUR ORFG. V zrna, jbj, gung fbhaqf vapbairavrag, ohg qnza V nqzver vg.

            Zl jneqra Pntnyyv jber bgure evatf, ohg fur arire gbbx bss ure jrqqvat evat. Fur qvqa'g rira jnag gb trg zneevrq gb ure svnapé. Fur qvqa'g abg yvxr uvz be nalguvat, fur whfg qvqa'g yvxr orvat va na neenatrq zneevntr. Fur jnf, ubjrire, fhcre gbhpurq gung ur unq vafvfgrq gb pbzr naq trg ure orpnhfr gung'f jung fur yvxrf gb guvax fur jbhyq unir qbar. Fb Pntnyyv jnezrq hc gb uvz whfg va gvzr sbe uvz gb qvr naq fb fur jber uvf evat va uvf ubabhe. Gur ovttrfg tnzrcynl-uvaqrevat qrpvfvba V znqr jnf univat Pntnyyv chg ure jrqqvat qerff onpx ba ng gur raq bs gur tnzr, naq vg jnfa'g rira gung zhpu bs na vffhr orpnhfr fur unq cerggl uvtu qrkgrevgl ol gung cbvag. Gung qerff, gubhtu vzcenpgvpny fb fur qvqa'g jrne vg ryfrjurer, jnf nyjnlf va ure vairagbel orpnhfr vg jnf jung fur jnf jrnevat jura fur svanyyl fnvq rabhtu. Nsgre na ragver yvsr bs jvfuvat guvatf jrer qvssrerag ohg srryvat cbjreyrff gb punatr vg fur qvq fbzrguvat. Fur sbhtug sbe ure naq ure sevraqf' serrqbz naq xvyyrq n ungrq bccerffbe. Naq gura fur orpnzr cneg bs fbzrguvat rira ovttre jvgu gur Terl Jneqraf nf n erfhyg, naq sbhaq n snzvyl jvgu Mriena, ure YV, naq Nyvfgnve, gur uhzna jub harkcrpgrqyl orpnzr n oebgure gb ure naq jbhyq yvfgra gb ure naq sbyybj ure. Fur orpnzr n yrnqre, fur znqr n qvssrerapr, fur niratrq gubfr fur pbhyqa'g fnir, naq fur svanyyl fgbccrq srryvat cbjreyrff. Fb jura fur jrag gb svtug gur nepuqrzba, gur fbhepr bs gur Oyvtug naq rirelguvat vg pnhfrq, fur ubabherq ure svnapé naq rirelbar fur pbhyqa'g fnir orsber fur jnf n Terl Jneqra naq sbhtug gur svany onggyr va ure jrqqvat qerff.

          • Shiyiya says:

            Enryla jnfa'g fcrpvsvpnyyl rkpvgrq nobhg ure svnapr gb ortva jvgu, ohg fur jnf rkpvgrq gb bssvpvnyyl or na nqhyg, naq fur gehfgrq ure sngure gb pubbfr fbzrbar tbbq sbe ure. Naq gura Arynebf jnf fb qnza fjrrg naq cebzvfrq gb fcraq n yvsrgvzr yrneavat ubj gb znxr ure unccl naq HTU ZL SRRYF naq fur TBG fcrpvsvpnyyl rkpvgrq nobhg zneelvat uvz, naq gura ur qvrq va sebag bs ure, naq fur gbbx gur evat naq jber vg nf n flzoby bs ure pbzzvgzrag gb ure crbcyr – fur bayl nterrq gb or n Jneqra orpnhfr fur xarj gur Oyvtug jbhyq xvyy erny crbcyr nf rnfl nf furz, fb fur'q chg hc jvgu gur qhgl naq gur geniryvat jvgu furzyra naq nyjnlf orvat fheebhaqrq ol rarzvrf sbe ure crbcyr'f fnxr, gb fnir gurz. Fur jnf nofbyhgryl greevsvrq bs Nyvfgnve, orpnhfr ur jnf n furz zna, naq nsgre gur eriryngvba gung ur jnf ABOYR fur ershfrq gb gnxr gur ylvat furz naljurer jvgu ure (gurl'er nyy gur fnzr qnza gurz nyy), naq whfg… yngpurq bagb Mriena yvxr n qnza yvzcrg orpnhfr ur jnf nyy gurer jnf. Naq fur chg Fuvnaav va punetr bs gur Nyvrantr, ohg fur ernyvmrq fur jnf gbb oebxra naq gbb punatrq, zl cbbe tvey, naq fur pbhyq arire ernyyl tb ubzr ntnva, naq vg oebxr ure urneg gb gel naq srry gung fur qvqa'g orybat, fb fur ena bss jvgu Mri. (Fur xrcg ure jrqqvat qerff, ohg fur arire chg vg – be NALGUVAT erfrzoyvat n fxveg – ba ntnva, orpnhfr gur vqrn greevsvrq ure. Fur pbhyqa'g unaqyr orvat ybbxrq ng yvxr gung.)

          • mreeb says:

            Gung'f fb fnq ohg fb njrfbzryl gubhtug bhg. V ybir gung fur pbhyqa'g tb ubzr, gung'f urnegoernxvat naq ernyyl qevirf ubzr jung jnf fnpevsvprq. Jnvg, ybir srryf yvxr gur jebat jbeq, ohg VG'F GEHR, V ybir tbbq ynlrerq punenpgref rira vs V jvfu gurl pbhyq or unccl fbzrubj. Nxnwtnuw, V whfg ybir urnevat nobhg crbcyr'f punenpgref, gunax lbh sbe funevat!!

          • Shiyiya says:

            I HAVE SO MANY FEELS ABOUT MY CHARACTERS I COULD PRETTY MUCH TALK ABOUT THEM FOREVER(And then recently I've finally managed an original setting and I basically just have INFINITE FEELS ABOUT IT with my best friend it's great EVERYTHING IS TRAGEDY)

  30. Andie says:

    OMG GUYS I AM SO EXCITE

    I did my first playthrough on my brother's PS3 and my second on my Xbox, and then last night my friend was playing on his PC and talking about all the mods he has, and I got all jealous and he just went and bought me the Ultimate Edition for PC. And now I don't know if I should play along with Mark on my Xbox or on my PC so I can use rockin mods, and I don't know what origin to do — I'm an achievement nerd so I've actually played all the origins already — and OMG SO MANY CHOICES.

    Also, if any of you have a Raptr account (it's a site that tracks all your gaming IDs and achievements and gameplay time and stuff) then you can totally add me — I'm here. Omg please everyone join raptr, I want more friends so bad. SO, SO BAD.

    • misterbernie says:

      oh god you have the BEST friend

      Also, you should play on the PC because MODS ARE LIFE
      …plus, you can unlock all the achievements all over again.

      • Andie says:

        RIGHT? He keeps buying me things! He bought me Portal 2 and KOTOR and SWTOR, too. I feel sort of bad about it. I keep telling him he doesn't have to buy me stuff, and then he does it anyway! I would think he was trying to ~get some if he wasn't gay.

        • affableevil says:

          I have a friend who's very insistent about buying me stuff, and simultaneously refuses to take my money when we order food at her house or something. I've taken to hiding money in her house for her to find later, and I've gotten her to understand that I feel bad about accepting gifts when I can't reciprocate, though.

          • Andie says:

            I would totally go the hiding money route if I lived in the same country as him. But I also don't feel that bad. I'll tell him a couple of times every time he offers that he doesn't have to and then he insists and we do that a couple of times and then I'm like WELL IF YOU INSIST. I love getting presents. I'm fine accepting them if people are insistent and as long as they don't feel obligated or anything.

          • affableevil says:

            I think this is just how my mother raised me to feel super guilty about receiving presents unless it was my birthday or Christmas.

            Once she got really angry with me because I let my aunt buy me an $8 ceramic to paint. It stuck with me :s

          • Andie says:

            D: That sucks. I love giving people presents too, so I can't imagine what I would do if one of my friends got upset if I bought them something.

          • affableevil says:

            I don't think it was even really bad parenting on her part, because I was a pretty whiny child and I had a habit of whinging until I got what I wanted (which never even worked, I don't know why it took me so long to drop it). I think she just didn't want me to go around begging people to buy me stuff all the time. Unfortunately I took the message to heart a little too much and now as much as I want something and someone wants to gift it to me, I feel super guilty accepting it.

  31. puzzlestuecke says:

    Ahhhhh, OMG, it started, it started!! *dances* The posting time is so much more convenient for German readers, so I can’t refrain from commenting RIGHT NOW, even though I’m sitting in the bath tub (the place where I just enjoyed – or rather hope-nope-NOPE-headshaked at – the latest Angel episode you reviewed).

    Sooo, Dragon Age Origins, yay! <3 I started playing DAO about two months ago and fell in love with the many different character choices, starting with the origins of each character but also with the dialogue options, the many side quests and that your actions really impact the whole story all the time (however, this is only my secong RPG after Skyrim, so maybe that’s common stuff :P). V jnf nyfb vzcerffrq gung lbh pna pubbfr gb unir be yrnir pbzcnavbaf, gur qvssrerag ebznagvp bcgvbaf naq gur qvssrerag raqvatf (unira’g tbggra gurer lrg, ohg fbzrobql fcbvyrq zr… *fnq snpr*), fbzr rira bayl onfrq ba gur enpr bs lbhe punenpgre -– bevtvaf vg vf, gehyl! Naq nyfb: Zbeevtna!! *nqber*

    I started playing as a female human mage (love the magic!) named Tara [Buffy S6 spoiler: orpnhfr Gnen jnf zl snibhevgr punenpgre ba OgIF, naq ure qrngu nyzbfg znqr zr fgbc jngpuvat gur frevrf *pevrf*], whom I wanted to be black… but I got disappointed ’cause there is no real black skin color. :( No black hair either (only dark brown), so I made her dark skinned with white hair (the magic wisdom!!). — Anyway, I won’t tell you anything more about the mages at this point. ;)

    After playing for maybe two weeks, my curiousity got the better of me and I created a second character – a male, pale and bald city elf rogue by the name of Darrian (it’s the standard name, but it just fit.) When I came to the point where those bastard humans took the elven women with them, I was kinda shocked about that rape trope I have seen in so many places before. :( You only call this a “tiny complaint”, but honestly? I would have stopped playing DAO right at that point if I had started with a female city elf. If a rape scene/hint comes that ealy in a game I would not give it a chance from my female perspective… even though it might have gotten majorly awesome afterwards – this I would not have known!! >:(

    For those who want to see all the different origins, someone uploaded walkthroughs on YouTube that are cut and only show the plot (the human noble is the whole game walkthrough, I think, but the rest is just the beginnings). This saved me a lot of time, because if I had started yet another character out of curiosity, I would have fallen in love with him*her also – but I already AM playing two different characters and haven’t yet finished the game once. :P

    Anyway, I’m glad I started playing a second character, cause I got so confused by all those gaming options and fighting (not used to this, I’m a Sims player!!) that I missed important plot parts about which I only learned much later – my first character’s story makes so much more sense now!

    Anyway, more to come. I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!

    PS: Damn water turned cold… xD

  32. xyliane27 says:

    Dragon Age Dragon Age Dragon Age DRAGON AGE DRAGON AGE

    Well, wait, I should say that I made her that way. Oh my god, it was so fun being able to choose to be obedient or sassy as fuck. Guess what I chose.

    Welcome to RPGs, specifically those of the land of Bioware. I hope you enjoy the ride. (And not just because you've got another 30-40h left of DAO.)

    I played a Female City Elf Rogue for my…third playthrough? My main playthrough was with a Female Human Noble, which was a brilliant and fantastically fun ride, followed by a delightfully nasty Male Elf Mage. I adore all of the origins (although the dwarf noble jnf naablvat orpnhfr Pubemmnzne irefvbaf bar naq gjb) but the City Elf one is probably my favorite.

    Not much else to say, except SO EXCITED.

    <img src="http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/17ufhcrkl69mlgif/cmt-medium.gif"&gt;

  33. Andie says:

    This excites me. :3

  34. megotelek says:

    Okay, so I dug out my copy of Dragon Age: Origins that I've had since my birthday a couple years ago but never played, and finally started to play in anticipation of this. Here's Myriel, my warrior city elf:

    <img src="http://social.bioware.com/da_game_other/avatars/4015000/4014166/4014166.jpg&quot; />

    Can I just say that I love that the female armor (so far) is actually armor and not metal bikinis/belly shirts? LOVE it. Although, I may reroll as a mage because the whole warrior/tank thing is starting to bore me, I find myself leaving her in combat and playing as other members of my party (specifically, Zbeevtna be Yryvnan).

    • Clothing expectation spoilers:
      Gur srznyr nezbe zbfgyl znxrf n ybg bs fvapr. Vg'f cebonoyl fyvtugyl zber frkl guna shapgvbany.

      • misterbernie says:

        Gur yvtug nezbhe graqf gb or n ovg evqvphybhf, rfcrpvnyyl gur ryira barf… nyfb jung vf Zbeevtna'f obbo fpnes o_o

      • megotelek says:

        I'm sorry, "clothing expectation spoilers" just made me giggle for almost a minute. It's like over on Watches when we had Buffy's hair spoiler threads.

        Lrnu, V qba'g trg Zbeevtna'f gbc rvgure. V zrna, vg qbrfa'g ybbx shapgvbany, vg'f abg ernyyl ~frkl~, vg'f whfg bqq. V yvxr gur enaqbz srnguref gubhtu.

      • AzuraLuna says:

        Qrsvavgryl zber frkl guna shapgvbany. "Obbo phcf" ba n oernfg cyngr jbhyq oernx gur jrnere'f evof vs gurl tbg uvg, jbzra jub qb erranpgzragf hfhnyyl ovaq gurve purfgf naq jrne synggre oernfgcyngrf. V unir gb tvir Ovbjner perqvg sbe abg chggvat nyy bs gurve srznyrf va punvaznvyyr ovxvavf.

  35. ZeynepD says:

    Question: I'm approximately 60 hours ahead of you, but it's still my first playthrough. So I should probably put in the header as specified when I'm commenting about plot, yes?

  36. July says:

    I'm so excited that you are playing this! Dragon Age is the best game ever!
    I was a female rogue city elf on my first playthrough too, I really do like that origin and that class :)

  37. SpaceElves says:

    it is so awsome that you picked an elf. i like elves for some reason, and will allways play as one if there is an option to.

    • misterbernie says:

      I'm a bit opposite there; Dragon Age is one of the few settings where I don't hate elves. Probably because they're not humans-but-intrinsically-better-and-angelicker like they are in most others.

  38. kartikeya200 says:

    Agonizing? More like THE BEST THING EVER. I love this playthrough already, for serious.

    I've heard the console versions don't add as many options (quickbars mostly) as the PC version, but I am console version ignorant, so I don't know if (barring the quickbars, because QUICKBARS) this makes the game easier or harder.

    Plus, mods. Mods are always a hilarious reason to go PC. FYI, last time I checked (which was, uh, two years ago? Whoops) there was a mod that let you play as a Na'Vi. By which I mean it just gave you the skin texture options. For as weird as that is, it was pretty well done, if unfinished.

    I wondered if it would let me play a blue dwarf. It DID. I have screenshots, but dunno if those would be spoilery (I didn't play past the dwarf origin, but BLUE DWARF).

    • In my opinion the console version is much easier to play than the PC. But it still feels… off. So easier doesn't really equal better.

    • AmaneSaiko says:

      Consoles have 6 'hotkeys' I'm on 360 so it's X,Y,B then hold trigger down for 3 more. It is sort of horrible? I play as a mage a lot so you can imagine how annoying it is to only have 6 buttons I can quickly hit to fire off spells. I am so jealous of the quickbars, WHERE IS MY QUICKBAR!

      I am so close to just re-buying it for PC. I would get the benefit of mods too. Cause mods seem so fantastic.

  39. kartikeya200 says:

    Also, my first character was a female city elf rogue, but the one I tended to play most was a female Dalish elf rogue, pictured here:

    <img src="http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/kartikeya/dragonage.jpg"&gt;

    She tended to start off as a total bigot towards humans, then soften somewhat as the story went on.

    • ZeynepD says:

      Your character design is amazing.

      My first time playthrough, I haven't finished yet
      My female Dalish elf is still a bit stand-offish towards humans, in a "your problems ain't my problems, guys" kind of way. Jvgu fbzr rkprcgvbaf (fbzr cnegl zrzoref) naq bar tynevat rkprcgvba (bar cnegl zrzore va cnegvphyne). Nyfb, fur ernyyl pna'g or univat vg jvgu nyy gung Naqenfgr abafrafr naq vf cngvragyl gbyrenag gbjneqf gur Punagel ng orfg.

  40. Charli says:

    Ooh how exciting! I am kinda gratified that you are playing as a City Elf Rogue as that's my favourite. The first time I played this origin I pretty much watched dumbfounded at what was unfolding before me. Then I went and played it through and then wrote a fanfic about it, such was the intensity of my feelings!
    What a nerd…

    Am so looking forward to watching this!

  41. snapsnzips says:

    You make me want to go home and fire up my DA:O. But I can't. Must code. Will have to settle for living vicariously through you. Your question about what happens to dudes in this story line made me realize I'd never played a male city elf origin. I played a male magic user once, but that's it. I actually have no idea what happens to a male city elf here.

  42. AmaneSaiko says:

    So I prayed to the gaming gods that Mark would go with City Elf, I am so pleased right now. I really, really like City Elf Origin, I just feel like it is such a brutal introduction to the world of DA and it makes you uncomfortable and horrified and WANTING TO MURDER ALL THE BIGOTS. So I think it does a good job in putting you into the shoes of an oppressed elf.
    (I also really like Mage Origin… for similar reasons… also Mages [And Phyyra])

    I have one piece of advice…. READ THE CODEX! Seriously, put some time aside to just read it because it is beautiful.

    I am currently replaying DA:O as an Elven Mage and I am so happy, mages are so much fun to play. My elf is also slightly racist and fierce as anything and is currently dealing with severe trauma delivered via plot. (Gur jubyr guvat jvgu Vfbyqr orvat hfrq nf n fnpevsvpr sbe n oybbq evghny xvaq bs tbg gb ure, lbh xabj… haqrefgnaqnoyl fb ). She is now also questioning herself as a mage, ah I love developing characters. I take my roleplay seriously!

  43. caysie renee says:

    I might have flailed to my bff over aim when I started reading the review today.
    timaeusTestified: omg
    timaeusTestified: mark is playing a female city elf omg
    timaeusTestified: omg she's even a rogue this is everything i ever wanted

    CAN YOU TELL HOW EXCITED I AM OH MY GOD I KINDA WANNA START A NEW PLAY THROUGH. RIGHT. NOW.

    Okay so. My first character, as played on PS3, was a warrior Human Noble, Ciana.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/7wQlq.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/GQlsv.jpg"&gt;

    I liked her well enough, except for the fact I'm totally balls at warrior class and shouldn't ever be allowed to play it again, but my favorite play through was my second character, Sethin, my rogue City Elf dude:

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/q8SCz.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/OLHDz.jpg"&gt;

    But again, I'm just so excited you're playing this and ughhhh I just love the City Elves so much. My previously mentioned bff's darling character is also her City Elf

  44. theduck says:

    Eeep, I'm so excited for this! My first character was a female city elf rogue too. I can't wait to see what you think of so many things in this game oh my god

  45. ensignkt says:

    YES, female City Elf, my first and favorite origin! (Though I played as a fighter, admittedly. Never got into the habit of sneaking, even when I do play rogues.) I like all the origins, but this one will always be my favorite.

  46. TCM says:

    City Elf origin is definitely one of the most dark and compelling, both of the Dwarven origins are also pretty good — Mage is kind of fun, but it made me feel railroaded towards being a 'certain way' towards mages lest things not make any sense, Human Noble is basically traditional high fantasy origin right down to rat killing in a cellar, and Dalish Elf is the least involved with any plot later on.

  47. kelseyofcake says:

    I just started playing this game for the first time, so I'm really excited about these reviews. I have no idea where the game is taking me, and feeling unprepared is not something I get to experience too often on Mark's sites.

    For the curious, my progress so far: V whfg yrsg Erqyvssr gb tb gb gur Pvepyr Gbjre naq trg uryc sebz gur Zntrf gb fnir Pbaabe.

    I'm also playing as a rogue city elf. Here's my character:
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/auego.png"&gt;

    I REALly liked the origin story I got with this character. I've never played a game where I got to spend the first hour of gameplay killing misogynistic bigots before, so that was nice. Really, I just love the story for the elves as a whole, so I'm very happy with the character I chose so far.

  48. snapsnzips says:

    I am not going to be able to resist firing up the game. And then I will obsess all night with mod installs.

    here are a couple of my playthrough characters:
    <img src="http://social.bioware.com/da_game_other/portraits/1745000/1744253/1744253.png"/&gt;
    <img src="http://social.bioware.com/da_game_other/portraits/3731000/3730862/3730862.png"/&gt;
    <img src="http://social.bioware.com/da_game_other/portraits/2328000/2327268/2327268.png"/&gt;

  49. Cakemage says:

    This is another game that I have but haven't played much even though I really liked it, mostly because all of the text is so small that I have to be really, really close to the TV screen in order to read it, which can be uncomfortable at times. Anyway, even though it's been a while I still remember how badass my character is. She's a redheaded dwarf noble named Jenarie, and she's a warrior who hardly ever dies, which is pretty surprising given that I'm the player.

  50. @Joysweeper says:

    I remember my first playthrough. Commoner dwarf fighter, I think. Loved the tattoo stuff, gave her skin that turned out to contrast pretty starkly with her relatives'. I named her Shefarad, because corruption of Shepard, because I'd just finished Mass Effect 2 and loved it.

    Ol gur raq, V zhpu cersreerq Znff Rssrpg. Abg gung V qvqa'g rawbl cynlvat guvf tnzr jura V cynlrq vg, ohg… vg'f ernyyl abg gb zl gnfgrf.

    I have a vague desire to start another playthrough, but….

  51. So, Dragon Age!

    Does anyone else play like me? Basically, I role play my characters inside my head. Every action my character makes (including the order they do quests in, what they wear, who they talk to, what they say, what combat methods they use, what they look like, what their names are, etc) all relates at least a little bit to who I think they are as a character in my head. I start on the character creation screen deciding their general outlook/views and personality based on what they look like and what class I pick and what I know of the game then I name them appropriately. If I'm playing a game for the first time then I will have no clue what will happen to them and this can't factor in to how I make them here. In my second and beyond playthroughs, the spoilers I am aware of will effect my decisions to the point where I will build their personality based on how I pre-plan they will react to certain events/characters/etc. This is fun too, because it guarantees that I will be able to experience as many different choices and paths as possible while staying in character but the first playthrough is always my favorite because of spontaneity and surprises and going off on random tangents I never anticipated.

    My first playthough for this game was a female Dwarf Noble warrior named Creidhe (taken from a book as all my character names are) as I played through on her she begun by reacting to the world and events filtered through the personality I had thought up for her, but eventually the world and events she experienced begun to change that personality in some subtle and other major ways (obv. details of this involve spoilers so will not get into that). No matter what though, every decision I made HAD to gell with my character's current personality/mood as well as all of her experiences of life throughout the in-game story as well as through the back story I made for her before the game started. I could of course decide to do something that looked out of character for her and then come up with justifications as to why she did this out of character thing (else the game would quickly be less fun and more utterly frustrating to play). But I always take this seriously. Some people (all my friends) say I take it way too seriously For example I once spent 20 minutes in character creation deciding on a tattoo for a DA character because he was a human warrior and I thought he'd definitely be the kind of guy to have ink, but all the ones looked too elfy or dwarfy and I racked my brains for why this human would have a dwarf tattoo but eventually couldn't come up with a reason that gelled with the rest of his characterisation so I decided he didn't have a tattoo after all. But I legit spent 20 min on that decision, after 10 min deciding whether he was ginger or strawberry blonde (two radically different shades in this game).

    This is how I play every game ever whether they give me very limited ability to decide things and customize my character (obeqreynaqf for eg) or nearly infinite possibilities (snyybhg among others). This is also why I cannot contribute anything meaningful to the discussions of this game that isn't rot13'd because even if my character picks the same option yours does it will be informed by countless spoilers of other parts where we haven't picked the same thing and, beleive me, I always have to talk about why my character did everything. Especially since city elf was my second playthrough and the one I put the most time into so I'm not interested in doing that again. I'm either going to play my human mage, human noble, or dwarf commoner along with you because they are the three I have most wanted to actually finish one day. Most likely my dwarf commoner, because he's the most different personality-wise from anything I've played before.

    But before I do, I need to check a possible spoiler with the mods/general community. Zl qjnes vf anzrq Ebfgb naq V jnf jbaqrevat vs gur zbqf gubhtug zragvbavat gung anzr ha-ebg13'q (jvgubhg rire zragvbavat jub/jung ur jnf anzrq nsgre bs pbhefr) jbhyq pbafgvghgr n fcbvyre. V jnf jbeevrq gung pbzovarq jvgu nal qrgnvyf V tvir njnl nobhg zl qjnes punenpgre'f crefbanyvgl, pynff naq pubvprf zvtug (vs sbe fbzr ernfba vg fgvpxf sberire vagb Znex'f zvaq) fcbvy uvz n senpgvba bs n frpbaq rneyl jura ur riraghnyyl pbzrf npebff guvf punenpgre va na hcpbzvat pbasvezrq cebwrpg – orpnhfr gurer vf nyjnlf n ernfba zl punenpgref ner anzrq jung gurl ner. Nyfb, bgure punenpgref V znl zragvba va gur shgher gung unir orra vafcverq ol obbxf Znex vf pbasvezrq gb ernq vapyhqr n znyr Furcneq (Znff Rssrpg tnzrf) nyfb anzrq Ebfgb, N QN zntr anzrq Fnaqenyvar naq nabgure Furc anzrq Orxn.

    –edit to add: For those who've played DA before and don't care about spoilers, here's a link to my bioware profile with all the characters I've started and their various progressions: http://social.bioware.com/playerprofile.php?nid=2… —

    • mreeb says:

      "Does anyone else play like me?"
      YES. I try very hard not to meta game (and do fail) on play throughs (by which I mean I try to make decisions as the character not the player as opposed to meta gaming because I know the results of some decisions because of spoilers, if that makes sense). And then on second play throughs, I meta game a bit by thinking through my character's personality a LOT so I can have justification to have a particular type of play through and design my new character based on the kind of play through I want. That said, I may plan to do something with a character when I created her/him and then, when the moment comes, do something different because of other factors that changed what my character would do in that moment. I have almost as much fun thinking up backstory details, quirks, that one thing that will make an otherwise calm character freak out, and what not as I have actually playing. I spend a lot of time on the name and appearance as well. Often, especially if I know the game well, I have thought out a lot of the character creation decisions before I even start the game and I STILL spend several minutes getting it just right.

      • :D None of my friends play like this at all, and I have never met anyone who mentioned doing it but I knew there must be others. I AM NOT ALONE! Although, I met someone else in these comments who's really dedicated to playing like this & I'm just in awe. Including wearing armour that isn't effective stat-wise, only having one other party member because she (the character not the player) hates the rest and passing by options that I never could (erpehvgvat Yvyvnan sbe bar). When it comes to stuff like this, I either ignore it *yn yn yn V'z erpehvgvat Fgra abj, yrgf whfg cergraq V unq n zbzragnel qrcnegher sebz zl zvaq be fbzrguvat* or I come up with very thin justifications. "V qhaab, V'ir nyjnlf orra phevbhf nobhg gur Dhvanev?"

        Ohg naljnl, zl svefg cynlguebhtuf ner nyjnlf fb gentvp obgu orpnhfr V qba'g unir gur punapr gb gjvfg zl cynlguebhtu gb trg bhgpbzrf V jnag naq orpnhfr V qba'g xabj jung'f tbvat gb unccra fb vg'f n fhecevfr. Sbe rknzcyr, zl svefg QN cynlguebhtu jnf n Qjnes Aboyr jub jnf fb va ybir jvgu Nyvfgnve vg jnfa'g shaal ohg V qvqa'g xabj V unq gb uneqra uvz naq gung jnfa'g jung zl punenpgre jbhyq unir fnvq ng gung cbvag fb fur qvqa'g. Gura ur oebxr hc jvgu ure. Gura fur ershfrq gur evghny orpnhfr fur ernyyl qvqa'g gehfg Zbeevtna. Gura V qvqa'g xabj gung gur bayl bccreghavgl gb fnpevsvpr lbhefrys jnf gb xabpx uvz bhg ng gur ortvaavat bs gur pbairefngvba (gubhtu V ernyyl fubhyq unir xabja ur jbhyqa'g yrg zr nal bgure jnl) ohg zl punenpgre vf n yrgf or ernfbanoyr nobhg guvf naq gnyx vg guebhtu xvaqn crefba fb ur raqrq hc fnpevsvpvat uvzfrys sbe ure. Naq V pbhyq unir er-ybnqrq n cerivbhf fnir V fhccbfr, ohg V yvxr gur urneg-jerapuvat hacercnerqarff xvaq bs gentrql zl svefg cynlguebhtuf trg vagb nf n erfhyg bs cynlvat yvxr guvf. Vg frevbhfyl qrinfgngrq zr gubhtu.

        • mreeb says:

          My sisters are both like this too (though my younger sister hasn't played much yet, but I'm working to remedy that), so I had this opposite thing where I thought this was normal and then found out a friend played and he was all "wow, you really put a lot of thought into your characters" and I was all "You mean you don't write a six page essay on your character motivations before every play through?!" (I don't actually write an essay.) (I totally would if I had more time though.) (I have a problem.) Yeah, I also met someone (possibly the same someone?) in these comments who had characters who wouldn't even loot if that's not what the character would do. Gotta respect that. I usually handwave it or make a quick justification too, but if it's something super serious I will take a lot of time to really figure out exactly what circumstances would allow my character to make that choice (much easier on a later play through). Mass Effect 2 (including DLC) spoilers: V unq n Gunar ebznapvat Furcneq jvgu jvpxrq erartnqr fpnef ol gur raq bs gur tnzr. V ybirq gurz, V xarj fur ybirq gurz, ohg V nyfb gubhtug ybbxvat yvxr gur grezvangbe qhevat Gunar'f raqyrffyl gentvp ebznapr fprar zvtug chyy zr bhg bs gur zbzrag. Zl fbyhgvba jnf gb unir ure qb Neeviny orsber gur Fhvpvqr Zvffvba fb gung fur jbhyq unir gur cebcre zbgvingvba – "V fubhyq cebonoyl abg ybbx yvxr na rivy ebobg jura V tb gb gevny sbe orvat n jne pevzvany" – sbe trggvat gur fhetrel.

          (Back to Dragon Age spoilers) V unq n fbzrjung fvzvyne guvat jvgu zvar: fur jnf na ryira zntr jub ybirq Nyvfgnve naq znqr uvz xvat. Zvar jnf yrff gentvp va gung fur qvq uneqra uvz – V pna'g erzrzore vs zl byqre fvfgre gbyq zr gb qb gung be abg, V guvax fur zvtug'ir naq V jnf arj rabhtu gb tnzvat gung V unqa'g ernyyl pbzzvggrq zlfrys gb gur va-punenpgre cynlvat nfcrpg lrg – naq fur znqr gur fnpevsvpr urefrys. Ol gur raq bs gur tnzr V'q orpbzr pbzzvggrq gb cynlvat va punenpgre fb fur qvqa'g gnxr Zbeevtna'f qrny. Fur qvq gehfg Zbeevtna, ohg qvqa'g jnag n puvyq jvgu n tbq'f fbhy jub jbhyq cbgragvnyyl unir n pynvz gb gur guebar ehaavat nebhaq. Vg jnf yhpx gung V qvqa'g gnxr Nyvfgnve jvgu zr: va punenpgre, V sryg fur jbhyqa'g jnag gb evfx gur xvat (naq ybir bs ure yvsr) svtugvat gur nepuqrzba, rfcrpvnyyl xabjvat jung jbhyq unccra vs ur fgehpx gur svany oybj. Zl urnq pnaba jnf gung ur jbhyq unir fnpevsvprq uvzfrys sbe ure. V sbhaq bhg fbba nsgre gung zl urnq pnaba jnf npghnyyl pnaba pnaba naq gung jbhyq unir npghnyyl unccrarq. Vg jbhyq unir orra pbby vs V unqa'g yrnearq gung, gubhtu, fb gung V pbhyq rkcrevrapr fbzr qrinfgngvat fubpx ng gur varivgnoyr shgher cynl guebhtu jurer V jbhyq'ir hajvggvatyl gnxra Nyvfgnve jvgu zr. Lrnu, gurer vf fbzrguvat raqyrffyl gentvp (va n fngvfslvat jnl) nobhg gubfr vaabprag svefg cynl guebhtuf.

          • You mean you don't write a six page essay on your character motivations before every play through? If my character's story/personality starts to get complicated, I totally write up a quick bio on them. It helps when I step away from the game for a long time. And I also write a detailed profile and timeline from birth through to the ending of cannon if I write fan fiction about my characters (done once so far – my [Mass Effect spoilers] Furcneq/Wbxre).

            [more Mass Effect trilogy spoilers] V ybir lbhe whfgvsvpngvba sbe gur fhetrel. Gung'f irel pensgl :) Nyy zl Furcf unir orra cnentba be n cerggl rira zvk bs cnentba/erartnqr fb sne fb V unira'g pbzr hc ntnvafg vg. Gur bayl shyy erartnqr V cyna gubhtu vf na rtbgvfgvpny funyybj wrexsnpr (gb ortva jvgu ng yrnfg – snyyvat sbe Wnpx vf tbvat gb fbsgra uvz n ovg) fb ur'q cebonoyl qb nalguvat gb fnir uvf cerpvbhf snpr.

            [Dragon Age spoilers] Zl Nvqhpna gbbx Nyvfgnve jvgu ure orpnhfr gurl qvq RIRELGUVAT gbtrgure & fur pbhyqa'g oner gb snpr gur Nepuqrzba jvgubhg uvz. Nyfb fur jnf gung zhpu bs n ybtvpny & cenpgvpny guvaxre gung fur pbhyqa'g evfx bayl gnxvat bar Jneqra gb gnxr qbja gur nepuqrzba. Jung vs fbzrguvat unccrarq gb ure, naq fur unq whfg yrsg gur bayl bgure Jneqra va gur ynaq va n cbfvgvba juvpu pbzcyrgryl jnfgrq uvz whfg orpnhfr bs ure srryvatf? Bs pbhefr, vs V'q jnagrq gb yrnir Nyvfgnve oruvaq V pbhyq unir pbzr hc jvgu whfgvsvpngvbaf bs jul, ohg V ernyyl qvqa'g jnag gb. Ng guvf cbvag V jnf cerggl zhpu whfg nf va ybir jvgu uvz nf fur jnf naq V unq uvz jvgu zr NG NYY GVZRF fb gung V qvqa'g zvff bhg ba n fvatyr cvrpr bs Nyvorne njrfbzrarff. (Unir lbh frra gur sna neg bs Qentba Ntr gung na negvfg anzrq Nvzb qenjf? Vg vf njrfbzr naq V pna ab ybatre qral gung V znqr na Nvqhpna jub ebznaprq Nyvfgnve nf zl svefg cynlguebhtu orpnhfr bs ure pbzvpf vaibyivat ure Nvqhpna naq Nyvfgnve. Vg jnf guebhtu ure neg gung V qvfpbirerq Qentba Ntr naq tbg grzcgrq gb npghnyyl gel vg.) Nyfb, V arire va n zvyyvba lrnef gubhtug gung gur tnzr jbhyq npghnyyl gnxr gur qrpvfvba gb fnpevsvpr zlfrys bhg bs zl unaqf (vg jnfa'g gvyy jnl nsgre V svavfurq zl cynlguebhtu gung vg jnf pbasvezrq gb zr gung V'q rire unq n punapr gb qb vg, naq gb zr chapuvat uvz bhg pbyq ng gur ortvaavat bs n pbairefngvba jnf fbzrguvat gung vg jbhyq arire bpphe gb zr gb znxr zl punenpgre qb).

            V qba'g xabj vs V'z tbvat gb or noyr gb unaqyr jngpuvat Znex cynl guvf. V raivfvba ur'f tbvat gb znxr zber zvfgnxrf bs guvf xvaq jvgu uvf cynlguebhtu guna V qvq orpnhfr ur unf yrff gebcr njnerarff ba gurfr tnzrf naq V'z whfg tbvat gb pel rgreanyyl sbe nyy gur zvffrq bccbeghavgvrf. (Abbbbb jul jbhyq lbh xvyy gung frkl naq punezvat rys thl jub jnf gelvat gb nffnffvangr lbh QBA'G LBH XABJ NALGUVAT NOBHG GUVF XVAQ BS GUVAT?!?!?!)

          • mreeb says:

            Mass Effect spoilers:
            Unun, gunaxf. V qb unir nabgure Furc jub vf ernyyl frys ybnguvat naq gurersber xrrcf ure erartnqr fpnef rira nsgre Neeviny orpnhfr fur srryf gurl npphengryl ersyrpg gur zbafgre fur vf (fur'f zl bayl Furcneq fb sne, rira nzbat gur cnentbaf, gb fnir Fvqbavf qrfcvgr orvat ol sne gur zbfg erartnqr, orpnhfr fur jnf nsenvq bs jung ure erartnqrarff jnf qbvat gb Tneehf naq qvqa'g jnag uvz gb orpbzr ure). V'z pheeragyl jbexvat ba n snasvp nobhg gur fvk zbaguf ba rnegu nsgre Neeviny, orpnhfr pyrneyl *fbzrguvat* unq gb trg ure va n zber cbfvgvir urnqfcnpr sbe ure fpnef gb or tbar ng gur ortvaavat bs Znff Rssrpg 3 naq V unir gb svther bhg jurer fur'f ng rzbgvbanyyl orsber V pna pbagvahr ure cynl guebhtu.

            Dragon Age Spoilers:
            V unqa'g urneq bs Nvzb orsber ohg V vzzrqvngryl gbbx gb tbbtyr naq ynxwtnxwtnfxtwunf jung snohybhf neg! Tnnnu, fb phgr naq svyyf zr jvgu SRRYVATF.

            V'z ubcvat Znex'f qrfver gb gnyx gb punenpgref jvyy xrrc uvz sebz xvyyvat Mriena. Ur'f gbb punezvat gb xvyy bapr lbh jnxr uvz hc, evtug? EVTUG? bu tbq v'yy or fb fnq vs ur xvyyf mri

            Guvf *vf* tbvat gb or fgerffshy. Ohg sha. V pna'g jnvg hagvy gur Ynaqfzrrg, V xvaq bs ubcr vg'f n gvvvval ovg bs n qvfnfgre. Orpnhfr vg jbhyq or ragregnvavat naq V'z rivy. Whfg fb ybat nf Nyvfgnve qbrfa'g trg rkvyrq. Be rkrphgrq… :/

          • Isn't Aimo just the most awesomest?!? I can't wait till Mark gets to a place where all of her art wouldn't be just horribly spoilery so I can post it here.

            Fur qenjf fhpu njrfbzr Nyvfgnve (naq fb zhpu bs vg gbcyrff *has*) Naq V ybir ure Srz!Nvqhpna/Nyvfgnve guvat nf jryy nf ure Znyr!Zntr!Unjxr/Sraevf pbzvp naq rirel gvzr fur qenjf Ineevp rire. Fur nyfb qenjf fbzr njrfbzr znff rssrpg neg.

            Links to my faves:
            Warning major Firefly/Serenity spoiler as well as a more minor Mass Effect one
            Mass Effect spoilers
            Major Mass Effect 2 spoiler
            Dragon Age 2 spoilers
            Dragon Age 2 spiolers as well as slightly NSFW description (though no images) of sex
            Dragon Age 2 spoilers
            Dragon Age 1 spoilers
            Dragon age 1 slight spoilers
            Dragon Age 1 slight spoilers

          • Oh my god! *has* is the rot13 of *unf*! That's so random to me that one random word which is technically not actually a word but a bunch of nonsensical letters that have been given meaning is rot13'd (a process that turns real words into nonsense) into an actual word!

  52. djinn says:

    I have never played these games, don't know anything about them and don't even have a copy to play along, so I'm curious about this and will read all your adventures, Mark.

  53. kartikeya200 says:

    Okay, it occurred to me hours ago that this game really does need a trigger warning RE: rape for anyone playing through/thinking of playing through it for the first time, but I've only just been able to write up specifics. I'll try to post this earlier on in the thread tomorrow too, since it's likely to be missed here.

    Warning, plot spoilers will be alluded to within.

    – Nf zragvbarq, gur Srznyr Pvgl Rys bevtva qrnyf urnivyl jvgu guvf. N punenpgre (abg gur cynlre'f) vf cerggl pyrneyl va gur nsgrezngu bs univat orra ivbyngrq, rira vs abguvat tencuvp vf fubja. Znyr Pvgl Rys unf gur fnzr fgbel, ohg gur cynlre vf abg xvqanccrq. N punenpgre vf fgvyy nggnpxrq.

    – N znwbe cybg erirny va gur ynggre Bemnzzne frpgvba bs gur znva dhrfg vaibyirf n perrcl fvat-fbat cbrz gung vapyhqrf zragvba bs tnat encr.

    – Va gur Qnyvfu Rys frpgvba bs gur znva dhrfg, gurer vf zragvba bs n oehgny encr univat orra pbzzvggrq va gur cnfg.

    V ubcr guvf urycf nalbar jub zvtug or gevttrerq ol rapbhagrevat gurfr guvatf va gur tnzr. Vs V'ir zvffrq nalguvat, cyrnfr cbfg vg va ebg13 fb crbcyr pna or cebcreyl jnearq.

    • misterbernie says:

      – Vg'f urnivyl vzcyvrq va pbairefngvba jvgu Yryvnan gung fur jnf encrq nsgre orvat vzcevfbarq. (Naq ure QYP fnlf vg bhgevtug)

  54. mreeb says:

    Bbbu, lnl!! V unir sbyybjrq naq obbxznexrq sbe shgher ernqvat (V fubhyq ernyyl or tbvat gb orq abj ohg QENTBA NTR vg'f whfg fb uneq). 8Q

  55. tethysdust says:

    I've already played this one, but maybe I can comment as you go along with memories from my own game :). I was a female city elf mage named Li Yen, and my beginning story was also very different. Being female, elvish, and a magic user, I was apparently the trifecta of being oppressed. Li Yen went the sassy route too, as far as interacting with bigots goes, and she is unfailingly loyal to her friends.

  56. graymalkyn says:

    City Elf was my fourth origin. The story is one of the top three for me. I hope you like the game as much as the DA community does. Not many of us around, but we're very loyal.
    Also, I love your site rules / spoiler policy thing. Very true. I'll be following your progress :)

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