In the fifteenth hour of Dragon Age: Origins, I discover the enormity of Denerim. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.
It’s fun when you’re traveling on the map and you trigger a random skirmish. That’s how I got Zevran, so I was eager to see what would happen while I was on my way to Denerim.
I GOT SLAUGHTERED SO MANY TIMES. For some reason I didn’t intially understand, my whole party would die within ten seconds. No matter what! It took three attempts before I realized there was a mage standing above and behind me on a hill, raining fire bombs down on us. I WILL MURDER YOU WITH ENDLESS BUTT STABBING. Which is what I did! yes. Unfortunately, no new party members yet. I imagine I won’t get one until I seek out the dwarves, but that’s okay. As I said yesterday, I decided to take Sten along for a trial run to see how he’d do! Mostly, he’s great at stunning enemies and dealing heavy damage. His health? Pretty awful, even if his tactics are programmed to take a health poultice when he gets <50% health.
What I didn’t expect is Wynne to utterly hate him. I know that the other party members interact often even when I’m not, but these two got into four arguments over the course of this hour of play. Mainly, Sten isn’t too keen on women being in battle. Oh. Oh. Is that so, Sten? I loved when Wynne turned on him at one point and said something like, “So, would you like me to become a man?” And it just weirded him out so much that he shut up. Meh, after Denerim, I’ll probably switch him out unless he turns out to be fantastic. I did gain 9 points to his approval rating, and that was because I gifted him dirty pantaloons. I can hear you asking, “Mark, where did you get dirty pantaloons?”
Well, that would be Adama’s fault. Twice in Denerim, Adama ran off and brought me something back. The first time, it was a pair of dirty pantaloons. The second time? AN ACTUAL CHILD. No, seriously, he brought me an eight-year-old boy. I had to tell Adama to put the child back where he found him. Is he trying to send me a message that I need to procreate or something???
Denerim is utterly massive, a brilliantly designed city that’s far more bustling and expansive than anything else I’ve come across in the game. I mean, I know I came from there, but I haven’t really gotten the chance to see it in this way. It’s so fun to get such a different experience as I travel across Ferelden. Where I just came from was so much more claustrophobic and frightening than where I am now. That’s not to say I won’t feel those things in Denerim, but as I made my way through the city, it was impressive to get such a varied feel from the same game. I’m having more conversations. Most of the missions I picked up here – and by gods, I must have picked up 15 new ones – are all about doing favors. They’re far less violent, though violence is an option. It reminds me of getting missions to win a person’s respect in the Fallout games. Here, though, it’s nice that I can go from something that was heavily about tactics and battle formations to a style of gameplay where I can uses Roslin’s rogue skills to get people to do things for me without lifting a finger.
That includes me playing a round of Wicked Grace with Isabela. Roslin FINALLY unlocked a specialist skill, and now she’s got Duelist, which is the very first thing I upgraded when I leveled up to level 11.
I’ve brought up how progressive Dragon Age feels for a fantasy-style game, so I wanted to bring up a small moment at The Pearl that was awesome. I had forgotten that another small character had told me that the place was a brothel, so after scaring out the mercenaries and murdering the ones who wouldn’t leave, Sanga offered me the opportunity to visit any of her companions for only 20 silver. I chose a gorgeous woman, Roslin had sex with her (BY THE WAY, ROSLIN IS STILL COVERED IN BLOOD WHEN SHE IS ONLY IN HER UNDERWEAR WHAT THE FUCK), and the game did nothing to shame me or make fun of me for this. That’s awesome. I need to try and romance more people. Why can’t I marry Wynne yet?
This game is also feeding into my desires to complete everything. I’ve got the Circle of Magi quests, some other random missions going, all the stuff on the Chantry board, the missions helping Sergeant Kylon, and the missions from the bartender at the Gnawed Noble Tavern. THIS IS A LOT OF STUFF. But I’m doing it on purpose. It’s satisfying to complete so many, and most don’t take a long time. Plus, I’m earning HELLA money and XP, and I’d love to be leveled up further by the time I seek out the dwarves and then Loghain. Most of the time, I was heading through the back alleys of Denerim to clean out the mercenaries and rogues who were fucking life up for citizens.
It was doing the Chantry mission in the alleys where I was finally met with the most frustrating scene for me so far. It was in the final alley where a group of ten rogues set upon my party. Just… what the fuck? It was so hard to get them to split up. Having six or seven rogues on you is nearly impossible to conquer. I must have replayed that scene ten times before I was finally able to run away without getting stunned. Thankfully, only two thugs followed me, and it was much easier to pick them off that way than trying to battle multiple ones at first. Also, Adama’s howl stun was INCREDIBLE when they did gang up on us.
The last thing I managed to do in this hour was accept that mission concerning the Urn of the Sacred Ashes. Only by pure accident did I try to go into that closed room, and I certainly didn’t expect that my conversation with Weylon would go south so quickly. But it got me curious: what was he so desperate to hide in that room?
THE BODY OF THE REAL WEYLON.
Oh, I can’t wait to go to the village of Haven later. I MUST KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON. Honestly, it’s really awesome that such a small plot point that I might have otherwise never seen has gotten be so excited about this game. Bless you, Dragon Age.
My Character Stats
Damage dealt: 41120
Greatest damage dealt: 90
Contribution to party damage: 38
Hit rate: 85
Most powerful foe slain: Uldred
Approval stats are the same with the exception of Sten, who gained a +9 for being a dirty pervert.
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