Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 12

In the twelfth hour of Dragon Age: Origins, SLOTHS. Okay, not actual sloths, but still. Also, I couldn’t find a way to stick a Burning Man joke in here. Drat. If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.

Hour Twelve

It may have taken twelve hours to get here, but I finally feel like the mechanics of gameplay in Dragon Age: Origins don’t confuse me anymore. I’m not overwhelmed by the Tactics menu, by learning how to switch between my Shapeshifter identities, by developing solo techniques to defeat all the enemies that I face, and by being TOTALLY FUCKING AWESOME.

It definitely helps that this entire sequence in the Fade is so complicated and challenging that it forced me to learn real quickly. Many times, I had to switch from Roslin to the Burning Man and then the Golem in a matter of seconds, so until I figured out that I could program them into my R2 menu. Some characters/shapeshifters were way better at attacking certain baddies, and then I got Golem and OH MY GOD HE IS SO SATISFYING TO USE.

Anyway, for the entire time I’m in the Fade, I’d like to chronicle the exact path I take through this part of the game:

The Burning Tower

I figured I might as well start with the closest part of the Fade. The enemies were relatively easy to defeat, as Roslin’s electric sword and dual attack DECIMATED THEM. I kept Peter Pettigrew-ing my way into other rooms until I was able to get the Burning Man form. OH SHIT HIS SPECIAL POWERS ARE SO AMAZING. Not only can you walk through fire, you spit out a beam of fire and then you do that thing where it’s like RING OF FIRE and I swear, one day, I will learn the proper terms for these things. It’s also nice that Roslin can still use her dual-wielding weapons, too!

The Mage Asunder

Believing that I was totally prepared for the Fade, I haughtily traveled to The Mage Asunder, ready to destroy a bunch of mages.

I was killed six times in the first sixty seconds. WELL. THAT WAS SOBERING. I realized that Mages can cast spells and hexes through the wall. You fucking cheaters. I think the next time I play through Dragon Age, I want to be a mage. Their skill/special trees are SO LARGE. Oh my god, there’s so much you can do! So it took me being creative to take them down. First, before I even approached the door they were all hiding behind, I’d use Roslin and go into Stealth mode. I ran past the door so that they’d open it, but since I was invisible, their initial spells didn’t work. Then I snuck in the room, got behind the most powerful mage, immediately stunned him and then did my DOUBLE STUNNING BUTTSTAB OF DEATH. He’d be dead in three hits, and I could focus on the other two, wherein I’d shapeshift to Burning Man and drop a fire bomb to light them up and annihilate them.

Shit. Yeah.

This area was far more complicated than the Burning Tower, and I certainly died a few times before I made it to them room with THE GOLEM POWER. OH SHIT. Now I could up the Metal Doors! And I could mass stun people.

Before that, though, I picked up the Essence of Magic, earning a permanent +1 to magic. YES. YES. I LOVE GETTING REWARDED FOR GOING INTO EVERY ROOM. Despite this, though, I then faced the most difficult villain in the game so far: Rhagos. Fourteen. That’s how many times he killed me before I finally was able to stun him enough times and combine the Golem, Burning Man, and Roslin specials to destroy him. My god, he fucked me up. I felt rather satisfied that I beat him, though. I’m learning. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL.

But all the deaths and repetitive fights drained down my hour, and after only conquering two areas of the Fade, I was out of time. DAMN IT. MUST FIGHT BETTER TOMORROW.

My Character Stats

Strength: 24
Willpower: 16
Magic: 14
Cunning: 16
Constitution: 19+6 (Y’ALL ARE JEALOUS. Okay, you’re not.)

Heroic Stats 

Kills: 216
Damage dealt: 32742 (FUCK YEAH, I RULE)
Friendly -fire: 0
Greatest damage dealt: 46
Contribution to party damage: 38
Hit rate: 86
Most powerful foe slain: Abomination
Injuries: 4

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77 Responses to Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 12

  1. I think it's easy to say that mages certainly feel like the most powerful class in this game. And they are certainly the most diverse. I always feel bad that Morrigan always get stuck being a healer in my playthroughs. I know it's not what she would want. I'm always expecting her to take me aside and hex me for making her heal.

    • Tahaneira says:

      I gave Morrigan Healing as well. I always imagined her glaring daggers at the back of my head every time I turned my back on her. Though it's not as bad as the fact that I gave Wynne Nepnar Jneevbe. Zntrf va znffvir nezbe vf evqvphybhf.

      • V xabj. Zl pheerag punenpgre vf Nepnar Jneevbe sbe gur yhym. V trg gb pnfg yvxr bar fcryy naq gung'f vg hayrff V puht Ylevhz Cbgf. Vg'f nofheq.

        • Owl_In_Daylight says:

          Jryy, gur Nepnar Jneevbe'f checbfr vf gb onfvpnyyl orpbzr na haxvyynoyr gnax. Lbh qba'g pnfg fcryyf, lbh whfg arrq gur yetr znan cbby sbe nyy lbhe fhfgnvanoyrf. Trggvat ntteb vf gbhtu, ohg vg'f fgvyy irel rablnoyr. Whfg guvax bs lbhefrys nf n jneevbe jub hfrf fcryyf bayl gb vashfr lbhefrys jvgu fgeratgu. Fbeg bs yvxr n Eriranag.

          • biblioteknician says:

            Ernyyl? V arire unir gung zhpu gebhoyr jura V znxr Jlaar (be zl Jneqra) Nepnar Jneevbef. Znlor vg'f orpnhfr V whfg qb vg fb gurl pna jrne nezbe naq gura arire hfr nalguvat ryfr, ohg V nyjnlf orpbzr gur jbeyq'f zbfg haxvyynoyr fcryypnfgre. Vg jbexrq jura V unq zntrf jub jrer nyfb Fcvevg Urnyref naq Oybbq Zntrf.

            Naq bu zl tbbqarff, bapr lbh uvg gur QYP naq pna cvpx zber fcrpvnyvmngvbaf? Zl Fcvevg Urnyre/Oybbq Zntr/Nepnar Jneevbe jnf 100% haqrsrngnoyr, fynhtugrerq rirelguvat va uvf cngu, naq jnf n onpxhc urnyre. Rira ba uneq zbqr ur unq mreb gebhoyr. V ybir vg.

            Vg nyfb urycf gung V nyjnlf unir bar bs zl ACP zntrf znk bhg ba Ureonyvfz naq tvir zr n arireraqvat fhccyl bs ylevhz cbgvbaf.

            … I just really like being a mage.

          • Owl_In_Daylight says:

            Qvq lbh zra gb ercyl gb gur pbzzrag nobir zvar? Orpnhfr V nterr, NJ vf haxvyynoyr naq onfvpnyyl gur Tbqzbqr bs QN kQ

          • biblioteknician says:

            It was a little in response to you and a little in response to the above. Basically what I meant was being an Arcane Warrior never got in the way of being the most powerful mage to ever exist ever. I don't use mine to tank, I still leave that to the warriors. I just like being able to wear armor because when enemies realize I'm the most powerful player on the field, they can't take me down. :)

      • Andie says:

        My brother always gives Wynne Oybbq Zntvp. Orpnhfr ur guvaxf vg'f uvynevbhf. Ur'f fhpu n wrex.

        • SpaceElves says:

          I usually have morrigan damage and wyn heal. though i make wyn a blood mage, because blood magic is just too darn usefull.

      • EmberQuill says:

        V tnir Jlaar Nepnar Jneevbe nf jryy, nygubhtu V xrrc ure va yvtug be zrqvhz nezbe. Vg'f n tbbq genqrbss jvgu vapernfrq qrsrafr lrg ybj sngvthr.

        • Owl_In_Daylight says:

          Gur gevpx vf gb tb sbe zngpurq frgf gung tvir lbh n ovt zvahf va sngvthr, yvxr gur Jneqra Pbzznaqre frg sebz gur QYP, be Pnvyna'f nezbe sebz gur EgB QYP. N tbbq nezbe pbzob sebz gur inavyyn tnzr vf Riba gur Terng'f Znvy naq Jnqr'f urnil obbgf naq tybirf. Gur tnzr gerngf gubfr guerr nf n frg fb lbh fgvyy trg gur sngvthr erqhpgvba.

          Nyfb, gur fgnzvan ertra ba fhpu nezbe cvrprf vf gerngrq nf znan ertra sbe NJf, fb lbh pna zvk vg hc n yvggyr naq or zber bs n zryrr/pnfgvat ulevq, vafgrnq bs n fgenvtug gnax.

    • wantthepharaohs says:

      Mages are super dynamic but it's actually the archer specialization for the rogue that's the must completely unbalanced and thus the most powerful. Archers have the highest damage dealing attack in the game! Not that it's necessarily the most fun class to play, but they're ridiculously strong.

  2. Tahaneira says:

    And so the Fade continues.

    Yeah, I haven't got much. Other than to repeat that I loved just looking around all these places. The Fade just looks so weird that it's awesome. I kept trying to look for the Black City.

    Won't really have much to say until you reach your companions. So… yeah. Keep at it, Mark!

    Quote of the Day:
    Leliana: Ooh! A windmill! I once took a ride on the sails of a windmill. Didn't turn out well.

  3. guest_age says:

    I think the next time I play through Dragon Age, I want to be a mage. Their skill/special trees are SO LARGE. Oh my god, there’s so much you can do!

    Yup. And this is why I always play a mage. If I were like, super into the actual fighting in the game, then I'd probably want it to be more challenging and I'd pick a rogue or a warrior so that the fights would be harder for me to win. But I'm here for the story, and honestly fighting as a mage is both easy and fun, and lets me keep the story moving.

    It's a personal preference, though, and I have to say that your joy over playing Roslin as a rogue, what with all the buttstabs of death and all, is making me want to try to play through as one.

    • Owl_In_Daylight says:

      Definitely try rogue. Mages are always a fun class to play because you have a crapton of options for your attacks, but stealthing, backstabbing and stunning enemies before they even know what hit 'em? Pure joy. Plus, you get some pretty cool-looking animations from your skills and the finishing moves when you inflict the last hit on an enemy (not just the slow-mo Ogre kill).

      • accidentalbeard says:

        YES. I actually never did stealth for some reason, but backstabbing/stunning was incredibly satisfying. Also I really like slathering poisons all over my weapons.

        • Owl_In_Daylight says:

          Stealth in higher levels is AWESOME.

          Lbh xabj ubj gurfr qnza Rzvffnevrf nyjnlf uvg lbh jvgu Pehfuvat Cevfba be Sveronyy gur frpbaq lbh trg va gurve yvar bs fvtug? (tenagrq, V qb gung, gbb kQ) Jvgu uvtu rabhtu fgrnygu lbh farnx oruvaq gurz, trg gur erfg bs lbhe cnegl gb zbir va (V bsgra hfrq crbcyr -anzryl Nyvfgnve- nf onvg, gbb) naq gur frpbaq gur Rzvffel fgnegf gb zbir, fgha gurz naq whfg fgneg onpxfgnoovat yvxr jubn. V pbhyq hfhnyyl qbja n lryybj rarzl evtug nf gur fgha jber bss juvyr zl cnegl qrnyg jvgu rirelbar ryfr.

    • Eliestav says:

      I'm just annoyed that while mages have the most variety, they only have one origin.

      • guest_age says:

        Me too! Somehow I'd forgotten that they only had the one origin and I wanted to play an elf this time (last time I played a human) so it was a sudden shock to be reminded that even playing as a different race, the class still only allowed for one origin. What if I want to be an apostate mage? Or a blood mage (as an origin, not just as a specialization further on in the game)? OPTIONS ARE NEEDED.

      • Inky says:

        I thought until recently that the Dalish origin let you be a mage, and was surprised when it didn't. But I guess Dalish mages are supposed to be really rare, considering what Zreevyy fnlf jura fur gnyxf nobhg vg in Dragon Age 2.

        And hey, at least you unir n punapr gb or na Ncbfgngr zntr in DA2.

  4. enigmaticagentscully says:


    sorry, that's all I heard when reading this post :P

    On the subject of mages, I think they are one of the most powerful classes, but I always find them very hard to control because there are so many options. Also, because most of their powers are ranged stuff and I suck so bad at doing ranged attacks. Give me a big pointy sword to stab people with any day.

    This is why I'm somewhat dreading attempting Mass Effect again (which I never got very far with but am DETERMINED to try again when Mark does it) because it's basically all guns if I recall, and I can't aim for shit.

    Also I really want to do some videos or something of playing Mass Effect because I've seen that sort of thing on YouTube before and it looks like a lot of fun, but I have no frickin' idea how to do that.

    • Mass Effect gameplay spoilers (sort of):
      Lbh pna or n ovbgvp juvpu qba'g unir gb hfr thaf nf zhpu.

    • accidentalbeard says:

      I was so hesitant to play Mass Effect even though I loved watching my partner play it, because I had never done FPS-style games and was worried I'd just shoot blindly past every enemy. And it was tough at first, because my aim is pretty crappy too, but it did get better as I slowly got used to the controls.
      Plus I loaded up with a bunch of skills that were less dependent on exact aim and that helped a lot. Hopefully if you give it another try you can find something that works for you.

    • Peter says:

      I second Alchemygangster.

      (Mass Effect gameplay spoilers)
      Ovbgvpf qba'g ernyyl eryl ba gurve thaf gung zhpu, naq vg'f sha. Znff Rssrpg vf nyfb qrsvavgryl jbegu vg sbe vgf fgbel.

      And I for one would totally watch your Mass Effect YouTube videos! I also plan on commissioning Mark to make at least one (during Ivezver) if he ever gets the tech for it!

      • There need to be more female LPers anyway. I understand why female gamers are afraid of potentially exposing themselves to the gaming communities terrible misogyny but I would much rather listen to them over the majority of the droll/boring male LPers out there.

        • enigmaticagentscully says:

          It's something I've always kind of wanted to do, just because I have to habit of talking to myself as I play games anyway, so it seemed like a natural progression to record it and maybe at least give other people some enjoyment from my endless stream of epic fails.

          I know the gaming community can be a little misogynistic, but I'm pretty thick skinned, so that doesn't bother me much? Mainly I'd just be worried about it not being very interesting. :/

          So yeah it would be a lot of fun if I could pull it off, but I'm just not tech savvy enough to know how, really. I wouldn't know where to start…

          • Well I've never done it. If you're thinking of doing it on the PC then I know a lot of people use FRAPS. I've never used it so I don't know that much about it. I "think" you have to pay for it to get the best use out of it. And obviously you need a microphone. You also need a computer with a lot of memory (and hard drive space for that matter.)

            As far as detailed specifics… there are LPers on youtube with like how to guides that would be helpful I'm sure.

    • @undefined says:

      For what it's worth, I've always felt that the first mission in the first Mass Effect game is just terrible. I started the game twice, and bailed after an hour twice, before a promise to my spouse and a mutual friend got me past it. It's a terrible way to begin what's really an awesome series.

    • TheDMG says:

      If aiming is a problem, you should do what I did: play as a Biotic. I've never been a big fan of first-person shooters and one of the big reasons is that I suck at aiming. My main ME character was a biotic and I'm betting that ol gur guveq tnzr I managed to make it through shooting less than 200 bullets all game long because I pretty much relied almost entirely on a combination of the powers of myself and my squad mates. So much for aiming :)

      Of course, Biotic's are a ranged class and you did say you don't like ranged classes so another potential option is their cousin class Vanguard which is kind of a combination of biotics and close range attacks although that class vfa'g jryy-qvfgvathvfurq hagvy gur frpbaq tnzr.

      • mreeb says:

        I agree 100% with all of this. I'm terrible at aiming, but Vanguard is SO MUCH FUN to me (gameplay/specific power spoiler: V yvir sbe zl arkg punapr gb punetr fbzrbar). That last bit of TheDMG's rot13 is also accurate, though, so I would recommend starting (gameplay/class recommendation spoilers) jvgu na Nqrcg va Znff Rssrpg bar naq gura, jura lbh trg gur punapr gb punatr pynffrf va gur frpbaq tnzr, fjvgpu gb Inathneq. Lrf, lbh'yy hfr lbhe tha zber bsgra nf n inatnheq, ohg lbh'yy nyjnlf or pybfr gb lbhe rarzvrf, gurersber nezrq jvgu n fubgtha, naq nvzvat vfa'g arneyl nf ovt bs n ceboyrz. Nqrcgf ner ernyyl sha gbb, gubhtu. Lbh znl or ybat enatr, ohg lbh qb n uryyhin ybg bs qnzntr naq unir gb guvax cerggl gnpgvpnyyl, juvpu vf terng.

        Also, videos would be AMAZING. FRAPS is a good program on PC for recording, but the free version only allows you to record thirty seconds at a time (you can keep repeatedly pressing record, but that'll be distracting and there's about a second after one recording ends before you can start the next one), so you may need to buy the full version (I only have the free one, so it's all I can speak for), as well as a mic and headphones (to prevent echoes in the recording). Also, the files are HUGE, so make sure you get them into an editing program and compress them before your whole computer fills up.

    • BornIn1142 says:

      Just to clarify – did you try ME on a console? Obviously, aiming is much easier with a mouse…

    • jerssica says:

      Not really spoilers, just more advice/encouragement for not giving up Mass Effect:

      V ybir Znff Rssrpg 1 n jubyr ohapu, ohg gur tnzrcynl pna trg ernyyl sehfgengvat. V unq gb ort zl oblsevraq gb whfg fhpx vg hc naq xrrc cynlvat. Vg qbrf trg SNE rnfvre naq yrff ohttl ol Znff Rssrpg 2. Qba'g tvir hc naq cynl nf n ovbgvp punenpgre! Lbh trg fcnpr zntvp!

    • Gillyweed says:

      OMT, are you me? Give me two big swords, a massive armor, and bring it on. I also love seeing my city elf girl in heavy armor for some reason.
      As for Mass Effect, my shift button is worn out completely thanks to it. The only game I didn't suck as much with aiming was Fable 3, I have no idea why.

    • biblioteknician says:

      Gameplay spoilers for Dragon Age and Mass Effect: V hfrq gb or gung jnl nobhg zntrf hagvy Qentba Ntr, naq V guvax n ybg bs vg vf gur jnl Qentba Ntr frg hc gur fxvyy jurry naq gur dhvpx novyvgl bcgvbaf. Bapr V znfgrerq gung nf n jneevbe (juvpu ntnva, V graq gb or ernyyl onq ng hfvat ybgf bs fxvyyf va zbfg tnzrf fb V nyjnlf cvpx n jneevbe pynff naq unpx rirelguvat gb cvrprf) V ernyvmrq whfg ubj zhpu SHA orvat n zntr vf.

      V jvyy abg yvr gb lbh, Znff Rssrpg vf n qvssvphyg tnzr gb yrnea gb fubbg jvgu. Ohg ntnva, bapr V tbg gur unat bs vg, vg orpnzr zl snibevgr frevrf rire. Naq VZB, gur svtugvat vzcebirf nf gur frevrf tbrf ba.

  5. accidentalbeard says:

    I played a dual-wielding/butt-stab-happy rogue my first playthrough too and felt completely overwhelmed by mage options early on. I was SO GLAD I hadn't chosen that, and honestly I just picked spells for my mages that looked neat and let the tactics figure themselves out (although I think I hit a 360 bug this playthrough because most of my pre-set tactics have vanished for all companions and I don't know how to bring them back). But when I realized I wanted to replay Origins I figured it would be fun to give magery a try.

    And I will admit – early on I had NO clue how to best optimize my spells. There were so many options! How could I do things that were cool without overlapping on Morrigan's or Wynne's skills too muh? I kind of skipped around in assigning spells and wasn't optimizing too well at first. But after a while I got used to it and started having a lot of fun with mage combat. Full disclosure: Walking Bomb/Virulent Walking Bomb are a HUGE part of that because it's a blast to infect enemies with a spell that makes them EXPLODE in a hilarious shower of guts. Very grossly satisfying.

    I was going to say "this would be better if Sloth were an actual sloth" but actually… then I'd just feel terrible for having to defeat a sweet-faced sloth. So I suppose it's best this way.

    • cat says:

      YES Virulent Walking Bomb is probably my favorite spell in the game. My mages always have six-figure friendly fire counts because of it though, LOL. The least painful way I've found to use it so far is (strategy rot13):
      -fraq bhg fbzrobql jvgu guerngra va sebag; ohvyq n yvggyr ntteb juvyr rirelbar ryfr vf ba ubyq.
      -qebc n sbepr svryq ba gurz nf gur pebjq pybfrf va ba gurz
      -uvg bar bs gurz jvgu Ivehyrag Jnyxvat Obzo, gura fjvgpu rirelbar gb enatrq jrncbaf naq gnxr gurz bhg
      -nyy rarzvrf rkcybqr va n evqvphybhfyl bire gur gbc pybhq bs tber

      It's so easy to kill enemies as a mage that it would almost take the fun out of it, if there weren't so many different ways to kill them.

    • ShadowLash says:

      I LOVE Walking Bomb/Virulent Walking Bomb! Those spells are quite possibly the best part of playing a mage. Watching enemies exploding into fountains of gore is just too much fun. Also: shattering. Cone of cold+stonefist=smashing enemies like they’re made of glass.

      Ah, I definitely sympathise. It took me a pathetically long time to figure out how to actually use tactics to my advantage, especially as a mage. I think figuring out what spells I should be using and what I should leave to Morrigan and Wynne (and what wold be good to double up on, like the basic lightning and fire spells) was the most difficult part.

  6. Peter says:

    Wait… Mark… are you saying the Fade seems to be taking longer than you expected? What? Color me shocked!! ;)

    First Time Gameplay

    I still like the Fade. I get that it is long, and it did seem weird to basically have this giant area of the game inserted into the Circle Tower, but I just found it so cool to explore like a puzzle. I too, became obsessed with going back to every room and every area after I got a new form, because THOSE +1'S TO MY STATS ARE SO WONDERFUL (As an aside, I was basically loaded up on inventory because of DLC like Erghea gb Bfgntne because I didn't have the strength to equip the good stuff yet, and even after the Circle Tower I still didn't, but getting those +1's made me feel like I was getting so much closer. It was ~satisfying~).

    Anyway, I consider the Fade just a really cool maze-puzzle, so that's why I like it, despite the fact that it did take me bire sbhe ubhef to complete. But that's not just the Fade itself; it's partly because I like to take my time.

    Aaaaaand in other news… my Xbox 360 returned to the Stone yesterday. At first I thought my copy of DA:O was either scratched or just defective because the Xbox version is (supposedly) notoriously glitchy, but then I put in another disk to see if it was DA:O or the Xbox, and it was definitely the console. That time, I couldn't even get the new game to start because the Xbox froze on the dashboard, and every time after that it has frozen during startup. SO I HAVE BEEN EXILED FROM FERELDEN WHILE I ATTEMPT TO FIND A SOLUTION/CONVINCE MICROSOFT TO GIVE ME A NEW XBOX EVEN THOUGH IT'S NO LONGER UNDER WARRANTY. I don't know if that will happen. Probably not.

    • TheDMG says:

      If its not under warranty, they'll likely repair it for $100. That's what happened to me about a year ago. I was too broke to buy a new console, so I went with the repair and its worked well since.

  7. TrampyMcBitca says:

    Golem SMASH!

  8. Ryan Lohner says:

    First Time Gameplay

    Well, I did it. The game is beaten. So, no more of these to start out each post. V unq gb xvyy Mriena. Vs V qb guvf ntnva, V'yy pregnvayl gnxr orggre pner gb znxr fher ur yvxrf zr. Nyyvfgnve naq Zbeevtna'f qrzba puvyq fnirq gur qnl, fb ab bar unq gb qvr, naq Naben pregnvayl frrzf yvxr fur'yy or n tbbq ehyre. Xnyyvna vf onpx jvgu gur Terl Jneqraf, gubhtu fur nyfb jnagf gb genpx Zbeevtna qbja fbzrqnl.

    Bu zna, vf vg njrfbzr orvat noyr gb eha nebhaq gurfr onggyrsvryqf xvyyvat zbfg bs gur rarzvrf va bar uvg, naq trggvat uryc sebz nalbar V jnagrq. Vg'f yvxr gur qrirybcref jrer fnlvat "Lbh znqr vg guvf sne, fb urer, unir n purng pbqr." Nygubhtu gur fghcvq ryirf qvq xrrc trggvat va gur jnl bs zl onyyvfgn nggnpxf ba gur Nepuqrzba.

    I hardly ever left the golem form once I got it. Who would ever want to do that?

    If anyone's interested, I'm recording my first playthrough of Mass Effect on the Spoils boards.

  9. Andie says:

    Sort of Stone Prisoner DLC spoilers but not really? Maybe? Can a mod inform me on this?

    V jnag gb ohl n ivqrb bs Znex qbvat Fgbar Cevfbare. Vf vg n fcbvyre vs V fhttrfg gung ur pbafvqre qbvat vg orsber ur urnqf gb Bemnzzne?

    • affableevil says:

      V qba'g guvax Znex vf tbvat gb or cynlvat vg, hasbeghangryl. Ur'f cynlvat ba gur kobk naq V qba'g guvax ur unf gur QYP'f sbe gung irefvba.

      • @undefined says:

        I thought The Stone Prisoner was the one bit of DLC everyone has – it was available at launch and all new copies include a code for it. It's basically an incentive for not buying a second hand copy.

  10. Jae says:

    Welp. You are now deep into the part of the game that nearly made me quit playing the game. There exists a mod called "Skip the Fade" and it's for EXACTLY WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE, because I was not alone. I admire, at least your perseverance. ;)

    The sad thing is how long it took me to really figure out the trick of how to get through there, but we won't be discussing my fail. Ahem.

    The thing that bugged me the worst about the Fade, really, is that it forced me to stop playing the game I wanted to play, because I was in it for the character interactions and the story choices, and in the Fade? You're stuck in there by yourself. No one to talk to. No way out. I was so frustrated I literally injured myself slamming my fist on the desk. There's another main story area in the game that's long as hell, but your party's there with you, they have comments, you can stop to talk, and at the map transitions, YOU CAN LEAVE! You can decide "to hell with this, I need a break for a few minutes, I'm going to Denerim for some shopping," and the game is fine with that! You can do sidequesty things and then return! The Fade, though…. the Fade is the game devs going "LOOK AT OUR CLEVER DESIGN! YOU WILL REMAIN HERE UNTIL YOU FIGURE OUT HOW _WE WANT_ YOU TO THINK AND PLAY!" And it drives me frelling _spare._

    Memo to developers everywhere: don't do this, ever, especially if you're switching gears midway to do it. Player agency, choice and options are IM. PORT. ANT. Just saying. End rant. :)

    • Peter says:

      I definitely the reasons that people don't like the Fade. Especially in that you can't leave. I for one was afraid I was going to run out of health poultices (I USED LIKE 75% OF MINE IN THE FADE).

      But on the other hand (incredibly minor Fade spoiler): rira gubhtu lbh'er abg jvgu lbhe cnegl zrzoref sbe gur zbfg cneg, trggvat gb frr gurve avtugznerf jnf npghnyyl bar bs zl snibevgr cnegf bs gurve punenpgrevmngvbaf (sbe Jlaar, Mriena, naq Fgra, naljnl). Vg gnhtug zr n ybg nobhg Fgra va cnegvphyne, orsber ur'q jnezrq hc gb zr rabhtu gb npghnyyl qvfphff gurfr guvatf va pnzc. Va snpg, V guvax V npghnyyl tbg pnzc qvnybthr bcgvbaf gb qvfphff uvf avtugzner. Whfg crefbanyyl, gung'f bar bs gur ernfbaf gung V QB yvxr gur Snqr.

    • celestineangel1 says:

      I gave up trying to be fair in the Fade and pulled up a GameFAQs walkthrough. I have to admit though, that once I figured out how to get the Burning Man form, the rest was pretty… well, I won't say easy, but easier.

  11. SpaceElves says:

    I really liked the buring man form. especially against fire based enamies. i could just ignorethem and poke them to death

  12. Owl_In_Daylight says:

    Rot-ing this because I'm not sure whether Mark has come across it yet:

    Qvq ur zragvba nalguvat nobhg fcrpvnyvmngvbaf lrg? V pna'g erzrzore vs lbh trg nal haybpxrq sebz gur trg-tb.

    Funcrfuvsgre – Zbeevtna
    Oybbq Zntr – Snqr Qrzba
    Nepnar Jneevbe – Trz guvatl va gur Jrerjbys Ynve
    Fcvevg Urnyre – Jlaar? Be jnf vg n znahny va Qrarevz?

    Orefrexre – Btuera
    Ernire – Xbytevz
    Grzcyne – Nyvfgnve
    Punzcvba – Ney Rnzba

    Qhryvfg – Vfnoryyn
    Nffnffva – Mriena
    Oneq – Yryvnan
    Eatre – Znahny sebz Obqnua

    Vs ur qbrfa'g xabj nobhg gurz lrg, fubhq jr zragvba nalguvat?

    • @undefined says:

      V jnf jbaqrevat nobhg gung. Vg'f cresrpgyl cbffvoyr ur'f abg haybpxrq nal lrg – V erzrzore zl ebthr ba svefg cynl-guebhtu jnf va gur grraf orsber V sbhaq n fcrpvsvpngvba V pbhyq hfr, naq nyy gur bgure punenpgref pna bayl nqq n frpbaq fcrp ng yriry 14.

  13. Andie says:

    Oh, Mark, I know you said we should mention anything we'd like to see included in future reviews (like approval ratings, etc), and it's not really a stat but I wouldn't mind seeing mention of any conversations you have in your party camp. Just a vague rundown of how the conversations play out, I mean, since there are lots of different ways they can go. JUST A SUGGESTION.

  14. Shanabi says:

    Hey, first -time post. Been a follower for a long time, though (starting with Harry Potter). Finally had some motivation to comment because not only are you WATCHING MADOKA — never thought I'd see the day, honestly — but you're playing one of my favorite games ever. Dragon Age is my comfort food; any day I feel horrible, I pop it in and play for a few hours. :DDD

    I hate the Fade. I have played this level so many times its embarrassing when I can never remember the order of things. Mouse, Burning Man, Fcrpgre, Golem, maybe? Or Mouse, Golem, Burning Man, Fcrpgre? Backtracking is synonymous with the Fade. It's infuriating. I HAVE THE GUIDE AND EVERYTHING AND STILL FUCK UP. Always save the Tower for last because of it. I usually go straight to Orzammar, if only because Btuera tvirf zr yvsr. Zl qnl vf abg pbzcyrgr jvgubhg uvz cnffvat bhg qehax va pnzc. Naq Jlaar'f n ulcbpevgr, V pna'g fgnaq ure. AB, V QB ABG JNAG GB URYC LBH, TB NJNL.

    Do you have the downloadable content? Please say you do, if only for the Stone Prisoner expansion. Funyr vf zl dhrra. <33

    • Owl_In_Daylight says:

      If you play on the PC, you could always use the 'Skip the Fade' addon.

      • Shanabi says:

        I have a PS3, my laptop can't handle most games. But I find the 'Skip the Fade' mod hilarious in a sad way.

        • Owl_In_Daylight says:

          It is xD But, y'know, by the 5th time you're going through, you're all: "Man, I've done this shit a hundred times, I KNOW where everything is." So you just skip it xD

          Like some other posters said, what mkes the Fade stand out from other long parts of the game is that you're alone. Playing through the whole game again and again gives you the option to change many things, like the party you want to use, your own Warden's personality etc It doesn't feel like the same game, but the fact that you're alone in the Fade makes the repetition a little tiring.

          • Shanabi says:

            I don't mind repetition all that much. What I get frustrated with is I can never remember the order of things. Which one do I go to first? Why can't I get here? Why don't I know this by now? It's pathetic.

            The best part of DA is easily the companions. Every playthrough, I discover something new and interesting about them. Main example: Alistair. V nofbyhgryl nqberq Nyvfgnve ba zl svefg cynlguebhtu. Ur jnf zl orfg sevraq naq fanex-ohqql. Qhevat gur Ynaqfzrrg — rira gubhtu V sryg n erny pbaarpgvba jvgu Ybtunva naq flzcnguvmrq jvgu uvz, V pubfr gb xvyy uvz sbe Nyvfgnve. V unir erterggrq gung fvapr (juvpu znxrf zr srry jrveq, fvapr V pbhyq unir, l'xabj, erqbar vg).

            Ba zl arkg tnzr, V fnirq Ybtunva. Naq Nyvfgnve guerj fhpu n gnagehz juvpu, juvyr V haqrefgbbq, ghearq zr bss yvxr ab nabgure. Vg jnf fb crggl naq engure ulcbpevgvpny gb rirelguvat gur Jneqraf fgnaq sbe: yvxr Evbeqna fnvq, rirel Jneqra pbhagf. Ur yrsg zl cnegl naq orpnzr n jnaqrevat qehax. Ernyyl?

            Nsgre gung, V whfg frrzrq gb cvpx hc ba gur gval, sehfgengvat ovgf bs uvf crefbanyvgl. Jurernf gur rknpg bccbfvgr unccrarq sbe Fgra naq Mriena: gur zber V yrnearq nobhg gurz, sebz zl vavgvny qvfyvxr, gur zber V fgnegrq gb ybir gurz. Mriena hfrq gb rzoneenff gur fuvg bhg bs zr naq Fgra hfrq gb trg ba zl areirf orpnhfr, ernyyl, qvq ur unir gb dhrfgvba zl RIREL QRPVFVBA?


          • accidentalbeard says:

            V nz fb zhpu zber vagb Mriena guvf cynlguebhtu guna V jnf orsber. V xvaq bs jnagrq gb ebznapr uvz orpnhfr V jnagrq gb qb n dhrre cynlguebhtu guvf gvzr (V jnf nyy frg sbe gung zl svefg gvzr ohg gura Nyvfgnve fubjrq hc naq bbcf, ovt urnegf rehcgrq sebz zl urnq) ohg nf V gnyxrq gb uvz zber naq unq uvz va zl cnegl V ernyvmrq ur'f zber vagrerfgvat guna V gubhtug. Ynfg gvzr V jnf n qhny-jvryqvat ebthr fb V qvqa'g oevat uvz bhg zhpu, ohg abj V'z n zntr fb V unir uvz jvgu zr zber.

          • Owl_In_Daylight says:

            V'z irel fgevpg nobhg qbvat rknpgyl jung zl punenpgre jbhyq jnag qhevat na ECT gung yrgf zr znxr pubvprf, yvxr QN. Fb qrfcvgr ubj V sryg nobhg n qrpvfvba be n pbzcnavba, V nyjnlf gevrq gb chg zlfrys va zl Jneqra'f fubrf naq qb jung gurl'q qb. V pbasrff, gur svefg gvzr nebhaq V whfg jnagrq rirelbar gb ybir zr, fb V orpnzr bofrffrq jvgu svaqvat gur evtug tvsgf, gur orfg qvnybthr bcgvbaf rgp kQ Ohg vg'f fb zhpu zber sha gb zvk vg hc, fb gunaxshyyl V bhgterj vg. Vg'f gur bayl guvat V oryvrir jnf vzcebirq hcba va QN2, jurer lbh pna znk bhg lbhe nccebiny jvgu n pbzcnavba, ohg tb ba rvgure n Sevraqfuvc be n Evinyel cngu. V jnag gb or ernyvfgvp, ohg V fgvyy jnag zl nccebiny obahfrf sbe onggyr, qnza vg!

            Zl Pbhfynaq ybirq Fgra sbe uvf qvfpvcyvar, sbe rknzcyr, naq guebhtu ure rlrf, V terj gb ybir uvz, gbb. V'z abg fher V'q chg hc jvgu n erny-yvsr znapuvyq yvxr Nyvfgnve, ohg ur onynaprq ure bhg irel jryy naq V tbg gb frr whfg ubj fjrrg ur pbhyq or. Nyfb, uneqravat uvz nsgre lbh svaq uvf fvfgre vzcebirf ba n YBG bs uvf juvavarff, fb gung urycrq. Nyvfgnve jgu n fcvar, fgnaqvat hc sbe uvzfrys va gur Ynaqfzrrg? Lrf, cyrnfr.

            Zl Qnyvfu nepure tny, gubhtu? Fur'q unir chg hc jvgu abar b' gung. Cyhf, Nyvfgnve vf n furz (lnl, erirefr enpvfz!) naq Mriena erzvaqrq ure n yvggyr ovg bs Gnzyra, jub fur'q unq n uhtr pehfu ba rgp… Lbh trg gur tvfg.

            Zl bayl erterg vf abg ebznapvat Zbeevtna, ohg hasbeghangryl, fur jnfa'g ninvynoyr sbe n fnzr-frk ebznapr naq gur bayl punenpgre bs zvar jub jbhyq'ir qrsvavgryl yvxrq ure ba n ebznagvp yriry jnf zl qjnesrggr kQ Zl thlf jrer rvgure gbb fpnerq bs ure (uryyb gune obl Pbhfynaq), gbb ranzberq ol Yryv'f fvatvat (q'njjjj, ryira zntryvat), be whfg cynva havagrerfgrq va nalguvat ohg cbjre naq chggvat Nyvfgnve ba gur guebar fb ur pbhyq or gur pybfrfg guvat gb Xvat *guhaqre penpxyvat naq zjnununf* (rivy zntryvat).

            V nyfb unir guvf jrveq guvat nobhg arire ebznapvat gur fnzr pbzcnavba jvgu gjb punenpgref. Nyvfgnve'f ibvpr npgbe znqr vg ernyyl uneq gb fgvpx gb gur cyna, qnza uvz.

          • EmberQuill says:

            V qb gur fnzr guvat, naq yrg zl punenpgref znxr qrpvfvbaf. Vg'f erfhygrq va fbzr cerggl vagrerfgvat pubvprf. Ng bar cbvag, V hfrq gb ntbavmr bire jub gb cvpx orgjrra Ouryra naq Uneebjzbag fvapr obgu fvqrf unq tbbq naq onq cbvagf. Ohg ba gur Pvgl Rys cynlguebhtu V'z qbvat evtug abj, fur fvqrq jvgu Ouryra vzzrqvngryl orpnhfr fur jbhyq unir fcbggrq gur fvzvynevgvrf orgjrra gur Pnfgryrff naq gur Pvgl Ryirf. Ouryra cebzvfrf gb punatr gur pnfgr flfgrz, fb vg jnf n ab-oenvare.

            Bqqyl rabhtu, zl Pbhfynaq qvqa'g yvxr Fgra NG NYY. Va snpg, fur yrsg uvz gb qvr va gung pntr va Ybgurevat. Fb fbba nsgre gur nggnpx ba Pnfgyr Pbhfynaq, fur jnfa'g nobhg gb unir nalguvat gb qb jvgu fbzrbar jub fynhtugrerq nabgure snzvyl.

          • biblioteknician says:

            V pnaabg yvr, nf zhpu nf V pbzcyrgryl NQBER Nyvfgnve, zl snibevgr guvat V rire qvq jnf uneqra uvz, trg uvz gb nterr gb zneel Naben, naq gura fcner Ybtnva. (V whfg ernyyl ybir Ybtnva bx rire fvapr ur gbyq zl Pvgl Rys arire gb yrg nalbar gryy zr jbzra pna'g or onqnff. Naq nyfb bgure ernfbaf. Ohg zbfgyl gung.)

            Fb lrf. V znqr Ybtnva Nyvfgnve'f sngure-va-ynj, naq vg nzhfrq zr GB AB RAQ. V erterg ABGUVAT.

          • Owl_In_Daylight says:

            NUNUNUN, gung'f RIVY kQ V jnf gbea ba xrrcvat uvz nyvir be abg sbe zl znyr Pbhfynaq cynlguebhtu. Riraghnyyl V qvq, whfg fb Ybtunva pbhyq crfgre uvz nobhg univat xvqf jvgu Naben. Naq irel yvxryl guerngravat pnfgengvba vs ur rire uheg uvf yvggyr tvey. Nyfb, V'z cerggl fher ab thl jbhyq srry pbzsbegnoyr gb fgneg na ratntrzrag ol zheqrevat uvf orgebgurq'f sngure :/

          • biblioteknician says:

            Orvat rivy jnf n guvat V dhvgr rkpryyrq ng va gung cynlguebhtu, vs V erzrzore pbeerpgyl. (V'z cerggl fher gung jnf zl oybbq zntr. Ur naq Ybtunva jrer oebf. Ur nyfb pnzr gb ivfvg zr va Njnxravat gnyxvat nobhg ubj Naben jnf whfg n yvggyr ovg gbb cyrnfrq jvgu urefrys sbe fraqvat uvz ba reenaqf nf n Jneqra. V pbhyq bayl vzntvar ubj zhpu gung unq gb unir naablrq Nyvfgnve. V pbagvahr gb ERTERG ABGUVAT.)

            V'z cerggl fher Naben jbhyqa'g unir zneevrq lbh vs lbh xvyyrq sngure- fur ershfrf Nyvfgnve vs ur'f gur bar gb svtug naq xvyy Ybtunva. V sbhaq gung bhg gur uneq jnl. JUBBCF.

          • Owl_In_Daylight says:

            V guvax fur qbrf, ohg V qvqa'g yvxr gur pubvpr ba n ebyrcynlvat yriry. Orfvqrf, zl punenpgre jnf fgnegvat gb orpbzr centzngvp naq xvyyvat Ybtunva jura gurl arrqrq rirel ynfg ovg bs znacbjre frrzrq evqvphybhf gb uvz.

  15. stumpoman says:

    V rawblrq cynlvat n zntr hagvy v yrnearq ubj gb pnfg Fgbez bs gur Praghel. Gura vg jnf nznmvat naq gura obevat.

  16. jackiemreuter says:

    I…I do not hate the Fade. I actually like doing that part of the game mostly because, well, shapeshifting is awesomely fun. My first playthrough was frustrating though–so many rooms! So much backtracking! The only part I really hate? Mage Asunder. It doesn't matter what class I am, I always get killed like twenty times, unless I pettgrew to the back, then go all burning man on them. It helps if they've started fighting amongst themselves though.

    And then there's gur guerr bhgre vfyrf jurer lbhe pbzcnavbaf tb. V'ir gnxra nyzbfg rirelobql va whfg gb frr jung gurve qernzf ner.

  17. theduck says:

    Oh my god, on my first playthrough I absolutely hated the Fade. Well, I still do, but now that I've played it 5 or 6 times I can get through it pretty quickly. It's just… I don't know, it's the only part of the game that I actually find BORING. All the running back and forth and shapeshifting… I don't know, it just doesn't appeal to me. But then again, I love Gur Qrrc Ebnqf and it seems like everyone else in the Dragon Age fandom hates that part, so I guess it's just a matter of opinion. xD

    • EmberQuill says:

      The fact that there's a mod to let you skip the Fade means that a lot of people hate the Fade just as much as you do. I hate it too. But like you said, now that I've been through it in a few playthroughs, it doesn't take nearly as long to get it over with any more.

    • Owl_In_Daylight says:

      V ernyyl yvxrq gur Qrrc Ebnqf ng svefg. V qba'g guvax V'yy rire sbetrg ubj V arneyl fung zl cnagf jura V jnf trggvat pybfr gb Urfcvgu naq ure perrcl cbrz fgnegf gb cynl. Zna, whfg guvaxvat nobhg vg naq jung fur fnlf orsber gur Oebbqzbgure svtug puvyyf zr gb gur obar.

      Gur ernfba V –naq V nffhzr zbfg bgure cynlref- qvfyvxr ergheavat gb gur Qrrc Ebnqf vf orpnhfr vg gnxrf FB qnza YBAT.

  18. xyliane27 says:

    I love the Fade. Even with all the running back and forth and shapeshifting weirdness and sometimes horribly difficult fights…I love it. It's so much fun to try discovering things, the background is suitably off-putting and mildly distressing, and then the snqr qernzf ner oevyyvnag.

    Cyhf, vg'f abg gur Qrrc Ebnqf. V'ir orra chggvat gurz bss sbe n srj qnlf abj ol qbvat rirel fvqrdhrfg rire, naq abj V unir gb tb gb Bemnzzne. /fvtu

  19. Inky says:

    You know, Mark, I find your excitement when you figure out the game mechanics more really refreshing! I had a really difficult time with Dragon Age when I first played it, and about halfway through I pretty much just RAGEQUIT and knocked the difficulty level down to Easy so I could breeze past the battles to get to the story bits, which was the only part I was interested in. It's really encouraging to see you so determined to learn instead of getting frustrated when you keep dying. I really need to learn to be better about that!

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      Oh gosh, thank you! You know, it's also hard because I didn't grow up with anything aside from Mario Bros. So not only did I feel left out, I felt like the whole world had already long passed me by.

      I try to learn new controls in waves. Like, deal with the basic stuff, then integrate one new layer, then another, etc.

  20. tethysdust says:

    Based on the comments, this section seems to be really polarizing. I loved this Fade section, and it kind of cemented my love for the game. But I also had a friend who warned me before I started: "Dragon Age isn't that good. You get to this one section where you have to be a rat and all kinds of bullshit and its boring." My reaction on getting to this section was more like "Wow! This is so extensive! I love all these puzzles and new forms! Why isn't it always like this!!!" I guess different people like different things :).

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