Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 22

In the twenty-second hour of Dragon Age: Origins, I solve the crisis in Redcliffe while earning Alistair’s ire, and then I decide it’s finally time to go visit the dwarves. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Dragon Age: Origins.

Hour Twenty-Two

Maker bless this game. Seriously, I can only begin to tell you how happy I am that I chose Dragon Age: Origins for the first longterm Mark Plays game. I admit that I was (and still am!) incredibly nervous about the execution of this project. Without defined beginnings and endings, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull it off. Plus, technical problems are the WORST. Nothing is more frustrating than knowing your issues aren’t defined by a lack of creativity or by the presence of writer’s block. But now that I’m using Elgato Game Capture to record my gameplay and share it with you, I feel like I’ve finally reached the full potential of Mark Plays. I can document my discovery for y’all in multiple ways, I can express my frustrations and my joys, and I can wax poetically about the engaging experience that comes along with playing a video game.

I firmly consider myself of the camp that believes video games are an art form in and of themselves, and I especially think that Dragon Age: Origins provides a medium to tell a story. While you could probably play the entire game without giving a rat’s ass about the story, I think it’s intrinsically tied to the experience. On top of that, this is my first experience with an RPG that’s more RPG than first-person shooter. While the Fallout games do provide character building, they don’t share the same mental process I’m going through with this game. I’m making decisions based on what I think my character would do. And look, I admit that I have never waltzed into the world of roleplaying. I follow some roleplaying Tumblrs because they’re fascinating, and I’ve watched some RP board games take place, but I always felt like an outsider. I didn’t get what was going on, and I didn’t understand the appeal. Now, I’m not saying that Dragon Age: Origins is a pure RPG. I have to put this game in perspective of my own history. I’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons, I’ve never been a part of a roleplaying community online, and, as I just mentioned, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas are the only games I’ve played that come close the experience of in-depth character building.

So that’s where I’m at mentally as I play this game. This whole process that I’m documenting is new to me on multiple levels, and I’m just happy that there are so many of you who read along each day, post your own commentary, and make me excited to do this. My other two sites don’t have this learning aspect to them. I’m literally learning to do something new along the way, and I’m so appreciative that y’all are here, too. It’s weird that I’m basically… oh gosh, how do I put this? I’m performing in a way because playing Dragon Age is about skill, you know? So it’s not a matter of simply reacting to the text. I’ve got to also achieve certain tasks, and I was so terribly worried that I would be so abysmal at playing this game that no one would ever want to follow me ever. But y’all have been so wonderful! Well, accept for the small contingent of folks who yell at me over Twitter and email about Lelani or whatever her name is? I have no idea what I did wrong with this character, but someone sent me the ANGRIEST email about how I need to create new saves every hour so I can go back and get her? I DON’T GET IT.

Anyway, let’s talk about what I did this hour! I was shocked at how easy it was to conquer everything in the Fade realm. In fact, I have video proof of this!

LOOK, I DIDN’T EVEN DIE ONCE. HELL YES. Oh gosh, I’d forgotten how fun it was to play with Morrigan, especially now that I’ve focused certain spells and hexes in her Spell/Talent trees. She annihilated everything! Okay, so granted it wasn’t that hard, but I was pleased I was able to free Connor from Quor’toth. I mean, the demon. Right. Not only that, BUT I HEALED ARL EAMON. Oh god, I was so fucking worried that the game wouldn’t recognize that I had the Sacred Ashes since I did the story a bit out of order. BUT ALAS. ARL EAMON LIVES. And so does Jowan, whose life I spared. I almost thought he might get to be one of my companions for a bit, since I don’t have anyone in my party who is a blood mage. Of course, if I accepted him, I imagine that Alistair and Wynne would not put up with my shit.

Redcliffe gets a bittersweet ending, but it was nice to know that I had just one final contract to secure with the dwarves. Oh fuck, this game is coming to a close soon, isn’t it? ALLOW ME TO PROLONG IT FOR SOME TIME. I headed back to my camp to heal everyone, and Alistair immediately confronted me. Turns out he was more pissed about my choice to sacrifice Isolde than I realized. Whoops? I was somewhat relieved when I was able to persuade him that I did my best, BUT THEN I STILL LOST 9 DISAPPROVAL POINTS. ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? Oh, fuck. Now he’s totally neutral towards me! I ended up buying some gifts of Bodahn to bring my approval rating back up, but dude. DUDE. What was I supposed to do? GAH.

SO! It was time to head to the Frostback Mountains. Y’all, I was so excited to see what new story the game had for me. What fucked up twist would I have to deal with in Orzammer? Initially, that twist is the fact that the entire dwarf city IS UNDERGROUND. Which… okay, yes, that should be expected, they’re dwarves, but it was still cool to see how this was designed. I love it! Orzammer is massive and seemingly ENDLESS. I knew I should talk to as many people as possible, so that’s what I set myself out to do. Turns out that the previous king is dead, and there’s nearly a civil war amongst the dwarves. WHAT SIDE SHALL I ULTIMATELY JOIN? I don’t know quite yet, but it looks like it might be Harrowmont. I accepted the mission to join the Proving? Yeah, just call it the Gauntlet. It’s totally a gauntlet-style battle, isn’t it? I also helped a dwarf with his lost nugs, which sounds really dirty, but nugs are GODDAMN ADORABLE. Can’t I keep one? Please?

Oh god, Dagna. HOW. HOW ARE YOU REAL. She is so fucking adorable, and I’m going to break her heart. She’s a dwarf! She can’t do magic! I also couldn’t help but draw parallels between her and like ALL OF US WHO WISH HARRY POTTER WAS REAL. Right? We understand her Muggle hope. WE UNDERSTAND IT.

I’m surprised how not fucked up this story seems. The civil war is mostly political, unless whatever the deepstalkers are in the mine are connected, which I highly doubt. Creatures with worms for their heads? NO THANK YOU. Otherwise, I think this is a nice break from experience ultra-disturbing plot lines. I’m off to Prove myself and then get access to the mine. LET’S DO IT.

My Character Stats

Strength: 26+2
Dexterity: 25+6
Willpower: 20
Magic: 14
Cunning: 18
Constitution: 24

Heroic Stats

Kills: 379
Damage dealt: 74474
Friendly fire: 0
Greatest damage dealt: 90
Contribution to party damage: 35
Hit rate: 84
Most powerful foe slain: Piotin
Injuries: 8

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Does Stuff

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146 Responses to Mark Plays ‘Dragon Age: Origins’: Hour 22

  1. Ryan Lohner says:

    "While you could probably play the entire game without giving a rat’s ass about the story, I think it’s intrinsically tied to the experience."

    And this is actually the major problem I had with games like this for a long time, and why I stopped playing games altogether for several years until this brought me back. I care about the story a lot. Which means it's an unbearably frustrating experience to not be able to see any more of it because I can't beat a certain boss, or solve a certain puzzle. I literally care zero percent about that side of things; all I want is to see how the damn story ends. So I played through the whole thing on easy mode, and there were a few times that I shamelessly used cheat codes to get past anything I was having trouble with, and immediately looked up any puzzle solution online. Maybe that makes a lot of people in the gaming community frown on me, but I hope I've explained myself well enough to show why I did it.

    Orzammar is…big. As in, it could almost be an entire game by itself, to the point that I wonder if that's what Dragon Age started out as before they decided to expand the world.

    • celestineangel1 says:

      While I do try to give every battle a fair chance and play it through several times before giving up and using cheats, I do look up puzzle answers immediately (the bridge in the gauntlet at Haven being a prime example), because I am no goo at puzzles. And I have no problems using cheat codes if, like you said, I'm having trouble with a battle and just can't beat it. Because in the end, I'm with you, and love the story.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      Just for the record, I made four videos just to cover your commission, and they're ridiculous.

      my god you picked the absolute best part of the game to have me record

    • I am completely with you on this 100%. I play games to make stories, and build and RP characters. That is it. Aside from trying out harder modes in Mass Effect just to see if I could do it (I was better than I thought I'd be, but it was not fun) I always play on the easiest most casual setting and take any and all advantages I can. Though I don't look up walkthroughs for fear of spoilers. Spoilers ruin all the things for me.

    • Cinebeast says:

      I'm glad I'm not the only guy who plays this way. I'm pretty shameless about my looking up walkthroughs and playing on the easiest difficulties.

  2. Jojo says:

    "V guvax guvf vf n avpr oernx sebz rkcrevrapr hygen-qvfgheovat cybg yvarf"

    Svefg qnl, gurl pbzr naq pngpu rirelbar….

    Mark, you are so unprepared!

  3. ferafaces says:

    SO NOT PREPARED. omfg.

    nepuqrzba svtug sgj. :]

  4. BornIn1142 says:

    V’z fhecevfrq ubj abg shpxrq hc guvf fgbel frrzf.

    Shpxrq hc? Bemnzzne? Ab jnl.

  5. biblioteknician says:

    D: I know a lot of us are sad you didn't get Leliana and feel you are missing out, but I am so sorry some people are being total dicks to you about it!

    On a brighter note, it is fun to see you enjoying this so much. It was also *my* first experience with such an immersive, build-your-own-character sort of RPG, and I'm having the best time reliving that experience through you.

  6. Well, Leliana IS amazing.

  7. Passing by says:

    Ah, yes, whole will be the successor to the throne.
    Crefbanyyl, V jvfu gur vagragvbaf bs obgu cnegvrf jurer n ovg pyrnere, nfvqr gurve vavgvny punenpgrevfngvba.

    Svefg jr unir cevapr Oruyra, jub gheaf bhg gb or n ehguyrff qjnes, naq xvaq bs na nff. Ohg ur nyfb vf n eribyhgvbanel guvaxre, nobyvfurf gur VAPERQVOYL vauvovgvir pnfgr flfgrz naq vapernfrf genqr jvgu gur fhesnpr.

    Gura gurer'f Ybeq Uneebjzbag, jub frrzf yvxr n xvaq naq jvfr byq sryybj. Hasbeghangryl, ur'f nyfb irel vairfgrq va qjneira genqvgvba. Gur pnfgryrff pbagvahr orvat bccerffrq haqre uvf ehyr naq Bemnzzne gheaf vfbyngvbavfg.

    Nyfb Oebbqzbgure.

    • MisterBernie says:

      Bapr V trg gb Bemnzzne ba zl aboyr qjnes, V jvyy unir gb sbepr zlfrys gb ebyrcynl cebcreyl naq pubfr Uneebjzbag. Va trareny, V pna'g uryc ohg zrgntnzr zl punenpgref nf pubfvat Ouryra.

      • Passing by says:

        Metagaming is also kind of a problem for me, especially in RPGs, and Bioware games even more so. The moment there are people to be saved/redeemed/mysterious and troubled pasts that need uncovering, any notion of roleplaying is thrown out the window, 'cause I feel the irresistable need to save everyone.

        Except in Fable 1. The people in there where about as engaging as a wet towel, and everyone of my characters turned into Evil McVillainpants.

        • MisterBernie says:

          Hah, yesss, this so much. I can't not go for 100% completion and in DA, get ALL the sidequests (DA2 spoiler: naq guhf tnzvat nyy zl pbzcnavbaf' nccebiny engvatf hc; V yvxr gung va QN2 V pna unir n evinyel jvgu gurz naq fgvyy trg gurve pbzcnavba dhrfgf)

          Fable 1 is one of the few games where I don't feel guilty about slaughtering everybody in sight. I even feel bad in the Elder Scroll games, where most NPCs have the character of, well, an interestingly patterned wet towel.

      • Gillyweed says:

        Fnzr urer. V guvax gur ovttrfg ceboyrz vf gung gurer ner ab pbafrdhraprf bs lbhe pubvpr hagvy lbh ernpu gur rcvybthr. V fgvpx jvgu Ouryra orpnhfr V pna'g ybbx ng Uneebjzbag gur fnzr jnl nsgre V ernq jung ur yrgf Oenaxn qb. Ouryra vf n wrex ohg ng yrnfg ur trgf guvatf qbar.
        V unir gb fnl, pubbfvat gur xvat vf zl yrnfg snibhevgr cneg bs gur tnzr.

    • elenuial says:

      I dunno. I like how it ersyrpgf gur ernyvgl bs cbyvgvpf: fbzrgvzrf gur thl jvgu terng vqrnyf sbe fbpvrgl vf n gbgny nffubyr ba gur fhesnpr naq vf jvyyvat gb qb hapbafpvbanoyr guvatf gb ernpu gubfr vqrnyf, naq fbzrgvzrf n crefba jub vf tbbq naq xvaq crefbanyyl vf nyfb n <fgevxr>erchoyvpna</fgevxr> crefba jub qbrfa'g haqrefgnaq gung gurve oryvrsf ner gbkvp naq unezshy gb zbfg bgure crbcyr.

      Va zbfg ectf, vg'f rnfl gb frr "Urer gurer or tbbq thlf," naq "JR NER GUR YNAQF BS IVYR QNEXARFF ANB." V nccerpvngr guvf bar fgbelyvar orpnhfr vg fhoiregf gung rkcrpgngvba.

      • Passing by says:

        Gur guvat vf, V unq ab vqrn jung Ybeq Uneebjzbagf oryvrsf jrer. V qbag arrq uvz gb or pnegbbavfuyl rivy, ohg V'q yvxr gb znxr na vasbezrq pubvpr.

  8. Tahaneira says:

    "Bgurejvfr, V guvax guvf vf n avpr oernx sebz rkcrevrapr hygen-qvfgheovat cybg yvarf."

    Ha.

    Aha.

    Hahaha!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Oh God, poor Mark.

    I never did the 'kill Isolde to save Connor' thing because I always saved the mages. You get a choice to go to the tower and bring a bunch of expert mages and a lot of lyrium to send someone into the Fade the… 'normal' way? Anyways. No, I didn't do the kill Isolde thing even in my evil playthrough. I just killed Connor. Damn, that was a harsh scene, especially because Isolde did it herself. You think Alistair was angry at you over Isolde? Be glad you didn't check Arl Eamon's room before exorcising Connor.

    Naq V ernyyl ubcr ur qbrfa'g jvaq hc fhccbegvat Uneebjzbag. Gubhtu ur cebonoyl jvyy. Gubhtu V qba'g xabj, ur zvtug znxr gur pbaarpgvba bs 'Uneebjzbag = genqvgvbanyvfg = qjnes ovtbgel' va gvzr.

    Quote of the Day:
    Leliana: I once drank a thimble of dwarven ale. Woke up a week later in Jader wearing nothing but my shoes and a towel.

  9. Plactus says:

    V nyfb urycrq n qjnes jvgu uvf ybfg ahtf, juvpu fbhaqf ernyyl qvegl, ohg ahtf ner TBQQNZA NQBENOYR. Pna’g V xrrc bar? Cyrnfr?

    Jryy… vs lbh unq Yryvynan…

    V fhccbfr V fubhyq trg onpx vagb vg naq qb Bemnzzne, ohg… V xvaq bs ntterffviryl qba'g jnag gb. Znlor guvf jrrxraq.

  10. DktrAgonizer says:

    Just curious, but why do you skip through so much dialogue? I understanding skipping through scenes you've seen before, but I wasn't aware people did that on a first run-through, especially when they enjoy the game. Do you just not care for voice-acting or…? It just seems really weird to me, that's all. :x

    Also, I don't believe this counts as a spoiler, but apparently Jowan was initially going to be a recruitable companion until the devs changed their minds. I was sad when I learned that. I kinda like Jowan.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      Oh, I'm not skipping it. I am an INCREDIBLY fast reader, that's all. I had to stop myself in next week's videos because I realized it must look weird. It generally doesn't happen as much in next week's videos.

      • DktrAgonizer says:

        That's what I was wondering but I wasn't sure, haha. Thanks for answering!

      • stumpoman says:

        I did the same on my first playthrough as well. I read fast and always wanted more of the story so i went through it as fast as I could. I did accidentally skip some longer scenes though

        The second playthrough took much longer.

      • »Paula« says:

        Haha, this annoyed my friend a lot when I played and they only heard half sentences because I skipped it after reading the subs. I later turned them off and actually enjoyed the game more than before (but I did not only have an hour to play each time, so that's different :D).

  11. celestineangel1 says:

    Yeeaaaah, Alistair is upset with you no matter what you do (unless, I imagine, you managed to save the Circle and had that option, which I wouldn't know about, because I didn't, so I didn't). It's even worse if you kill Connor, because Alistair was actually advocating killing the abomination, and never once objects to the idea, unlike he does with the blood magic ritual, until it's all over and you get to camp. That soured me on Alistair for a little while, to be honest. (As people who've been reading the rot13 know, LOL.

    Also: "V’z fhecevfrq ubj abg shpxrq hc guvf fgbel frrzf."

    HAHAHAHAHAHA SO UNPREPARED.

    Urfcvgu'f fbat. GUNG FBAT. BU QRNE TBQF JUNG. OEBBQZBGURE. OENAXN.

    Someone actually angrily emailed you about Leliana? Uh… I thought that whole thing was a fun joke, but I guess some people are taking it way too seriously?

    (LOL someone email you AND Leliana? Best typo ever. I want to email Leliana.)

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      Whoever she is, I'm sure I'll find her whenever I play through it again. And it is a fun joke! Just don't expect people on the internet not to be creepy and weird. It's like a common thing for me. Every day, I think, "So, who's gonna send me an unsettling email today???"

      • celestineangel1 says:

        I'm crossing my fingers for no one today. :(

        • Mark Does Stuff says:

          TOO LATE I ALREADY GOT A WEIRD AS FUCK EMAIL AT LIKE 6 IN THE MORNING

          one day i am going to write a book based solely on this sort of stuff because as uncomfortable as it is, it IS fascinating? like, none of these people would ever say this stuff to my face, but the Internet facilitates this bizarre combination between entitlement, anonymity, and comfort that intrigues me forever. And it's not like people are MEAN to me often! It's rarely that. It's like… someone will decide that one of my posts was clearly a clarion call for them to send me really angsty poetry about how they self-identify with Spike, and how much they need me to love Spike so I can love them so they can start loving themselves.

          i wish i was joking about that email

          • TrampyMcBitca says:

            Wow

          • celestineangel1 says:

            O.O

            Uh… whut?

            On one hand I know this is someone who might possibly read through all the comments and I don't like to purposefully hurt anyone, but on the other hand… wow.

            And yet, if you wrote that book, I would totally read it.

          • MisterBernie says:

            WELP

            I just get extremely sexual tumblr anons. I am not sure if that's better, but I think I prefer it at any rate.

          • Dee says:

            I think you could probably write a book about all the fandom wars you've seen explode, but you wouldn't want to relive them.

  12. »Paula« says:

    Gosh, why are people so annoying and pushy about Leliana? Yes, it's sad that she's not part of this playthrough, and if Mark ever replays the game he'll know what we mean, but still… seriously, GET A LIFE, PEOPLE!

    Nyfb, V ubcr Znex jvyy tenag Qntan ure jvfu gb tb gb gur Zntr'f gbjre abar gur yrff. :)

    • TrampyMcBitca says:

      Gosh, why are people so annoying and pushy about Leliana? Yes, it's sad that she's not part of this playthrough, and if Mark ever replays the game he'll know what we mean, but still… seriously, GET A LIFE, PEOPLE!

      I hope that the "pushiness" doesn't sour him towards Leliana. Does that make sense?

      • MisterBernie says:

        It absolutely makes sense. It's one of the reasons why I rarely engage with a fandom; excessive character love can turn me off that character on principle, because I'm apparently still 15 at heart and can't like cool things >_>

        (Though it generally hits me worse when the writers seem to be in love with a character and want to push me to liking them when there's not enough substance. Can turn apathy or even mild like into outright annoyance, as with (DA2) Gnyvf or (Downton Abbey) Ongrf.)

    • accidentalbeard says:

      Qntan!!! Fur vf bar bs zl snibevgr ACPf va guvf tnzr orpnhfr fur vf Whfg. Fb. Rkpvgrq!!!! nobhg zntvp. V ybir gung fur xabjf fur pna'g cresbez vg ohg jnagf gb yrnea nobhg vg nyy gur fnzr. V fcrpvsvpnyyl genpxrq ure qbja va gur Pvepyr gbjre nsgre V frag ure gurer gb frr ubj fur jnf frggyvat va.

  13. TrampyMcBitca says:

    Lelani or whatever her name is?

    GASP! It's Leliana, and she's awesome! ;)

  14. adaptation says:

    I'm sorry people are being jerks about Leliana. She's just a character you can pick up for your party by stopping at a tavern in Lothering, but you have to do it before you do your first main plot quest.

    I'll tell you a secret though — I give zero fucks about Leliana. I think she's boring, don't tell anyone, they'll throw things at me.

    PS. my favourite thing is calling people nug-wranglers. They get so offended and they don't even know why.

    • biblioteknician says:

      LE GASP

      HERE IS A THING

      I THROW IT AT YOU

      EN GARDE!

      (Ahahaha, not really. My sister never much cared for Leliana either. She's…. I can see not liking her.)

      • adaptation says:

        hahaha I don't dislike her, I'm just mostly indifferent about her. She seems like a nice girl, really!

        • Eliestav says:

          Personally I only started to be interested when, vg ghearq bhg fur jnfa'g whfg n furygrerq punagel fvfgre, naq fur zvtug unir znqr hc ure ivfvba va beqre gb nyvrivngr gur snpg gung orvat n punagel fvfgre vf gbgnyyl obevat. Gung ohzcrq ure hc n abgpu.____Whfg n abgpu gubhtu, orpnhfr fur fgvyy NPGF yvxr n furygrerq fvgre, naq juvyr fur znxrf tbbq qvnybthr jvgu gur yvxrf bs fgra naq Funyr, vg vf n yvggyr qvfncbvagvat.

          • elenuial says:

            I totally agree with you. Most of the characters I end up liking the most are the ones who show growth and dimensions beyond the schtick they start with (as opposed to qehaxra qjnes or Fcnavfu nffnffva frk znfgre (all the love to Btuera and Mriena! I still like them, but I like other characters MORE)).

    • jerssica says:

      I'm kinda with you. She grew on me a little bit? but on a whole, I was never as crazy about her as pretty much every other character.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I love Leliana personally, but I can't believe people are being dicks to Mark about not finding her. So he missed out on one companion? Jeez, it's not the end of the world, is it?

      Gaming community, you so awesome.

    • Cleo says:

      I thought I was the only one who didn't like her. For me it's like Morrigan, Wynne and the warden are strong, powerful, give zero fucks women, and then, there's Leiliana.

      Fubrf!

      Jul qvq gurl znxr ure tvqql nobhg qnza fubrf!

      • elenuial says:

        Why can't a woman who stabs stuff really well and very self-assured ALSO not yvxr fubrf? If that were the only type of woman represented in the game, I would be totally be revolted and think Bioware should hire some women for the writing team, but in the context of the other kinds of kick-ass women, I think it's good to show that women can like certain things and express themselves in a traditionally feminine way and still be strong and powerful.

        • Cleo says:

          Honestly it's the joygasms she has over them, it really bothers me, that and that the game mechanics for archers were really messed up when I got the game (I'm not sure if this is the case any longer) and made her completely weak and ineffectual. So obviously your gameplay experience of her was different to mine because for you she seems actually useful.

    • Gillyweed says:

      Same here. I'm really indifferent and think of her kind of ok from time to time, she just doesn't give me feels like Wynne or Morrigan or Zreevyy or Vfnoryn. I think my biggest thing is I'm not that into eryvtvbhf characters. That's why I feel the same way towards Fronfgvna in DA2, I just can't identify.

    • snapsnzips says:

      I prefer Zevran to Leliana although she's fairly entertaining. I've never understood the enormous amount of gushing that happens over her song. Although truth to tell the only character I'm really emotionally attached to is Alistair.

    • True story: V pnyyrq ure "cerggl ynql" nyy guebhtu zl svefg cynlguebhtu orpnhfr V pbhyq arire erzrzore ure anzr. Fur jnf gur bayl bar bs gur jubyr cnegl jub V unq gebhoyr erzrzorevat naq vg jnf zbfgyl orpnhfr ure eryvtvbhf fvqr uryq ab vagrerfg sbe zr. She grew on me through multiple playthroughs, but she's not one of my favourites.

      Though I did react with suitable angst when it became clear that Mark had missed out on her, but mostly because a) srzfynfu :,( and b) I can't stand the idea of missing any party members, except maybe for RP reasons. I'm a bit of a completionist.

  15. Oh the nuns they hurt.

    And I just want to state for the record that Orzammar is my favorite part of the game.

    • Mark Does Stuff says:

      I think it will be interesting to see what my ultimate favorite part is. IT'S ALL SO GOOD. I haven't had a "bad" part of the game yet. I think I might be torn between the Circle of Mages and Orzammar.

  16. TrampyMcBitca says:

    First Time Gameplay

    End Game spoilers

    Ybtunva'f n Terl Jneqra
    Zbeevtna vf jnaqrevat gur jbeyq jvgu na byq tbq oha va gur bira
    Nyvfgnve yrsg gur tebhc naq V oryvrir orpnzr n qehax?
    Zl Jneqra vf nccneragyl bss nqiraghevat jvgu Yryvnan naq Mriena. Jbb!

    YBY, Fgra jnf rkcrpgvat pnxr naq fnlf "Gur pnxr vf n yvr!" Gung znqr zr ynhtu bhg ybhq.

    V qba'g erzrzore jung rirelbar ryfr vf qbvat. :(

    Znlor V unir n fnirq tnzr arne gur raq gung V pna ercynl.

  17. Bookman230 says:

    Ah, Alistair. It's whining shit like this that makes me ercynpr lbh jvgu Ybtunva rirel gvzr. You don't get to wuss out and put the novice warden who has just been thrust into this life and has just weeks/months earlier experienced great tragedy because 'waaaah, I'm not a leader' and 'waaaah, Duncan', then complain when they have to do what's needed with you being barely helpful at all. If you stepped up and actually acted like the superior Grey Warden you claim to be, then you'd have the right to whine about what the others do, and find that perfect, happy option that surely had to be there and that the Grey Warden must've not done out of sheer cruelty. Till then, shut up.

    Alistair's an amazingly well written character. Reactions like this makes him fleshed out and fits with his overall character. So I don't hate the writing or the writers. In fact, I commend them for getting me to hate Alistair as a person, not as a character. You know what I'm saying?

    • accidentalbeard says:

      It's interesting to me that I really see Alistair this way on my current playthrough. The first time, maybe it was because I was a female Warden and mostly made choices he liked? But I saw him as sweet and romanced him.
      This time, though, I keep thinking "SWEET ANDRASTE, why are you putting me in charge when you're the senior Warden? And since you're leaving it up to me to make decisions, STOP COMPLAINING if you don't like them! I'm trying to stop a Blight and that might mean doing things that make you (and other people) unhappy!"

    • celestineangel1 says:

      What mostly bothered me about this (after the playthrough where I killed Connor in which is supported this decision while it was happening and freaked out about it later) was that the game gave me no options to call him on it. I really wish there had been a dialogue option along the lines of "Uh, Alistair, you said yourself it was the only way to deal with an abomination." If, at any point at Redcliffe, he'd expressed any sort of hesitation about the course of action Celestine chose, I wouldn't be so bothered by his reaction. It's the "I've thought about it and HOW DARE YOU?" with no option to call him a hypocrite that really got to me.

    • Eliestav says:

      This is my first playthrough, and I've never had a serious conflict with Alistair, so it he was always my favorite. Fb jura V znqr gur qrpvfvba gb fnir Ybtunva, uvf sernx pnzr ragveryl bhg bs yrsg svryq gb zr. Vg jnf fb wneevat, naq gur guvatf ur fnvq jrer ernyyl uhegshy pbafvqrevat jrer fjrrgurnegf hc gvyy gung cbvag.

      V raqrq hc erfrggvat gur jubyr guvat whfg orpnhfr bs gung, naq V'z gelvat gb cergraq gung arire unccrarq.

      • GenGinger says:

        That happened to me my very first play through. I haven't yet entirely forgiven him, I think.

      • Bookman230 says:

        Ah, yeah. His reactions there are so petty and immature and mean, but above all else, it's so un Grey Warden.

        Yrg'f snpr vg, n zna bs Ybtunva'f grzcrenzragny vf zhpu zber fhvgrq sbe gur Jneqraf' guna n zna jvgu Nyvfgnve'f. Ybtunva trgf gung crefbany iraqrggnf zhfg or frg nfvqr sbe gur zvffvba(zbfg bs gur gvzr), gung fnpevsvprf zhfg or znqr, naq ur unf n urnq sbe fgengrtl. Nyvfgnve jbhyq unir hf jnfgr n inyhnoyr erfbhepr, n gnpgvpny travhf jub vf n ureb gb gur crbcyr, tenagvat hf obgu n terng zvaq naq n uvture choyvp npprcgnapr, bhg bs fbzr frafr bs whfgvpr.

        • Eliestav says:

          Wow, none of that is even close to true.

          Ybtunva'f vanovyvgl gb frg nfvqr crefbany iraqrggnf vf jung fgnegrq GUR CYBG BS GUVF JUBYR TNZR. Ur pbhyq unir npprcgrq gur nvq bs gur sbervta Tenl Jneqraf, ohg jbhyqa'g orpnhfr gurve nvq jnf na beyrfvna pbafcvenpl. (Yrg nybar npprcgvat gur nvq bs Beynvf vgfrys). Gur bayl gvzr ur unf ybbxrq cnfg n tehqtr vf jura ur tbrf guebhtu gur Wbvavat, naq gung jnf n qrngu fragrapr.

          Nf sbe fnpevsvprf, juvpu barf ner jr gnyxvat nobhg? Gur bar jurer ur jnf fryyvat Sreryqra pvgvmraf vagb fynirel gb shaq uvf cbvagyrff jne? Be ner jr gnyxvat nobhg gur bar jurer ur "fnpevsvprq" gur gebbcf ng Bfgntne, orpnhfr gura ur pna qrpyner uvzfrys erntrag? Gur svefg vf pbzcyrgryl vzzbeny, naq gur frpbaq nyfb qvq sne zber unez guna tbbq.

          Nf sbe orvat n fgengrtvfg, V unir lrg gb frr nal rivqrapr bs guvf. V'z gbyq gung ur jba gur Sreryqra eroryyvba fvatyrunaqrqyl, naq gur pvivy jne ntnvafg gur onaabea vf tbvat terng sbe uvz, ohg gur bar gnpgvpny zbir V npghnyyl frr vf Bfgntne, juvpu pnhfrq n YBG zber ceboyrzf va gur ybat eha. Ur qbrfa'g rira haqrefgnaq gung gur Oyvtug vf gur erny guerng naq vf jnfgvat nyy uvf rssbegf ba na vzntvarq erzngpu jvgu Beynvf. Va nqqvgvba gb gung, ur'f tbg n GREEVOYR tenfc bs cbyvgvpf naq choyvp eryngvbaf, naq V xabj gur byq nqntr nobhg trarenyf naq cbyvgvpf, ur qbrfa'g ab rabhtug abg gb qrpyner uvzfrys obgu.

          Naq ur fgbccrq orvat n orybirq svther nsgre gur Ynaqfzrrg. Orsber gung rira, tvira gur pvivy jne. Gur bayl ernfba gb xrrc uvz nyvir vf bhg bs zrepl, naq gb tvir uvz gur punapr gb svk gur NOFBYHGRYL GERZRAQBHF SHPX-HC UR YRSG LBH VA.

          Qrfregvba naq Ertvpvqr ner obgu pncvgny pevzrf, naq nf V fnvq, gur Wbvavat vf uvf qrngu fragrapr. V pna gbgnyyl haqrefgnaq Nyvfgnve abg jnagvat gb or va gur fnzr ebbz jvgu Ybtunva. Abar bs gur cnegl zrzoref qb. Nyvfgnve whfg unf zhpu zber crefbany ernfbaf.

          Naq vs jr'er tbvat gb tb jvgu furre centzngvfz, Ybtunva jvyy or fragraprq jvgu rkrphgvba ol gur raq bs gur Ynaqfzrrg, juvyr Nyvfgnve vf cbchyne rabhtu gb or ibgrq Xvat bs Sreryqra. Ur vf n SNE zber hfrshy nyyl guna Ybtunva

          • Bookman230 says:

            Gung jbhyq or gehr… vs abg sbe Erghea gb Bfgntne, juvpu fubjf Ybtunva jnf evtug. Pnvyna jnf pbafcvevat jvgu gur Rzcerff bs Beynvf gur jubyr gvzr, nf fubja ol n yrggre sbhaq va vg. Gur ernfba jul Ybtunva'f fb cnenabvq bs gur Beynvfvnaf naq vf fb cbfvgvir ur'f evtug? Vg'f orpnhfr hfhnyyl ur vf. Ernq gur cerdhry abiry. Uvf penpxcbg gurbevrf ba gur Beynvfrnaf ner jung fnirf gur qnl znal gvzrf,

            Naq ba Bfgntne, gur onggyr jnf ybfg. Rirel irgrena lbh zrrg nterrf gung vg jnf gbb yngr gb ghea gur onggyr nebhaq. Yvxr ntnva, gur irgrena bs gur onggyr lbh zrrg va Erghea gb Bfgntne. Gur gvzvat jnf bss; gur fvtany jnf abg yvtugrq ng gur evtug gvzr. N cyna juvpu jnf evfxl va gur svefg cynpr jnf abj guebja vagb pbzcyrgr qvfneenl. Ybtunva znqr gur evtug pubvpr gb cerfreir uvf gebbcf naq yrnir Sreryqra jvgu fbzr xvaq bs qrsrafr.

            Gur fynirf….. lrnu, V'yy tvir lbh gung bar. Ohg jr nyy znxr zvfgnxrf, naq arvgure gur Jneqraf abe lbhe cnegl ner fuvavat rknzcyrf bs zbenyvgl. Fgra naq Mriena ner cevzr rknzcyrf.

            Gur tnzr naq pnaba cerfrag uvz nf n fgengrtvfg. Vs gur jevgref qvqa'g cbegenl gung jryy, gura V qba'g xabj jung gb fnl.

            Jebat, Obuqna fnlf gung zbfg crbcyr npebff Srenqnya ner tynq Ybtunva yvirf, vs lbh nfx uvz nobhg ehzbef nsgre gur Ynaqfzrrg, orpnhfr gurl fgvyy guvax Ybtunva vf n ureb..

            N xvat jub pna rnfvyl or znavchyngrq ol Rnzba, jub, ntnva, unf orra fubja va gur Erghea gb Bfgntne QYP gb qb gur fnzr gb Pnvyna, cerffhevat uvz gb zneel gur Rzcerff. Orfvqrf, n Uhzna Aboyr Cevapr Pbafbeg jbhyq tenag zber cbjre gb gur Jneqra, juvpu jbexf whfg svar sbe zl Jneqra.

          • Eliestav says:

            V'ir jngpurq gur "Ybtunva tbrf gb Bfngntne" ivqrb, naq sebz jung V pna gryy sebz uvf ernpgvba, Gung'f gur svefg gvzr ur'f frra gubfr yrggref. Naq gurer'f yvggyr va gubfr yrggref gb fhttrfg Pnvyna jnf qbvat nalguvat vyyvpvg. Creznarag nyyvnapr jvgu Beynvf vf abg rdhvinyrag gb zneelvat Pryrar, rira gubhtu V pbhyq haqrefgnaq jul Ybtunva vf ubfgvyr gb gur vqrn. Vs uvf cnenabvn pnaabg or whfgvsvrq jvguva gur tnzr, gura V qba'g guvax vg'f sne gb znxr zr ernq n gvr-va abiry gb rkcynva uvf npgvbaf.

            Ohg yrg'f nffhzr ur qvq unir fbyvq cebbs bs jung gur xvat jnf cynaavat, be rira unir qrprag fhfcvpvbaf. Bfgntne jnf gur jebat jnl gb tb nobhg vg. Ur pbhyq'ir oebhtug vg hc ng n Ynaqfzrrg, jurer ur pbhyq tneare fhccbeg sebz gur abovyvgl, Znal bs jubz jrer irgrenaf bs gur jne, naq jbhyq abg ybbx xvaqyl gb Sreryqra orvat n cebivapr bs Beynvf ntnva. Ab, ur unq orra cynaavat guvf sbe n juvyr; gung'f jul ur cbvfbarq Ney Rnzba, (Naq V'z nffhzvat ur jnf pbzcyvpvg va gur Pbhfynaq znffnper, orpnhfr gurl jrer Pnvynaf ovttrfg fhccbegref, naq ur'f nyy ohqql-ohqql jvgu Ubjr, ohg V zvtug or jebat)

          • Eliestav says:

            Erzrzore gur fgengrtl zrrgvat jurer Pnvyna'f fnlf "vg funyy or n terng qnl sbe hf!" naq gura gur pnzren fjvgpurf gb Ybtunva, jub'f va gur funqbjf naq yvxr "lrf… n terng qnl sbe hf nyy…" Gung'f sberfunqbjvat. Ur bevtvbanyyl jnagrq gb fraq uvf bja zra gb yvtug gur ornpba, jurer cerfhznoyl gurer jbhyq or ab yvg ornpba ng nyy, naq ur pbhyq xrrc uvf unaqf frzv-pyrna.

            Ohg rira nffhzvat gung Ybtunva jnf abg cynaavat nyy bs guvf, jryy gura jr'er onpx gb gur ovg jrer Ybtunva ershfrq nqqvgvbany sbeprf gung jbhyq'ir xrcg bhg bs gung fvghngvba. Naq V'z cerggl fher Bfgntne jnf uvf onggyr cyna va gur svefg cynpr, fb gung uneqyl pnyyf sbe uvf fgengrtl.

            Nf sbe znxvat zvfgnxrf, vg'q or bar guvat vs Ybtunva vf erzbgryl erzbefrshy bire gur jubyr fynirf guvat, nf obgu fgra naq mriera ner, ohg ur'f fgvyy qrsraqvat gung npgvba vs lbh pbasebag uvz nobhg vg nsgrejneqf. "Tbbq bs Sreryqra" ur fnlf qrfcvgr gur ryirf orvat Sreryqraf gbb.

          • Eliestav says:

            Naq V'yy unir gnxr lbhe jbeq ba gur ehzbef, ohg V xabj gung qhevat gur rcvybthr vs Naben vf dhrra naq Ybtunva jnf rkrphgrq abobql ivfvgf uvf fgnghr, fb ur bayl fgnlf orybirq nf ybat nf abobql yabjf jung ur qvq.

            Naq Rnzba arire jnagrq Pnvyna gb zneel gur rzcerff, ur jnagrq gurer gb or n ivnoyr urve ol yrnivat Naben, na Vqrn gung Pnvyna jnf dhvgr ubfgvyr gb nccneragyl. Rnzba pnerf n ybg nobhg yvarntr, naq oryvrirf gung jvgubhg n fba bs Znevp ba gur guebar, gur pbhagel jbhyq qribyir vagb pvivy jne. Gung'f jul ur fhccbegf Nyvfgnve va gur svefg cynpr. Naq vs jr'er fcrnxvat bs crefbany cbjre, Nyvfgnve vf sne zber jvyyvat gb qrsre gb n uhzna aboyr cevaprff guna Naben vf gb n uhzna aboyr cevapr. Naq vs lbh'er gur punapryybe, ur'f fgvyy tbvat gb zbfgyl yvfgra gb lbh.

  18. @westeros says:

    OH GOD ORZAMMAR

    AKA ME SCREAMING FOR 10 HOURS

  19. Cleo says:

    I think I must be the only person who dislikes Leliana. I asked her to leave in my first playthrough. I wish I knew why her conversations wound me up so much.

    Still, the dwarves are my favourite part of this campaign. This story man, I've played this game three times and I am still unprepared

    • celestineangel1 says:

      Zl frpbaq punenpgre, Xvreana, unq na vagrerfgvat pbairefngvba jvgu ure. Ur'f na rys, naq fur fgnegf tbvat ba nobhg ubj ryira freinagf ner gerngrq fb zhpu orggre va Beynvf, naq pna fbzrgvzrf or evpu, naq gurl'er fb ornhgvshy, naq oynu oynu oynu.

      Naq Xvreana jnf onfvpnyyl yvxr, "Lbh qb ernyvmr V'z abg whfg na rys, V'z n crefba, evtug?" Ur jnf univat abar bs guvf "fynirel vf orggre va Beynvf orpnhfr vg'f pnyyrq fresqbz" penc sebz ure.

      Naq V YVXR Yryvnan! Naq V nyfb yvxr gung uvf ernpgvbaf znqr ure fgbc naq erpbafvqre ubj fur gubhtug nobhg ryirf.

      • Cleo says:

        V'z abg n sna bs ryirf va snagnfl trarenyyl, orpnhfr V qba'g yvxr gur jubyr 'jr'er na ubzbtrarbhf tebhc bs crbcyr' guvat. Qentba ntr urycrq zr n yvggyr orpnhfr vg znqr gurz gur haqre qbtf n ovg ohg gung jnf ehvarq ol gur sberfg pnzcnvta. Mriena vf gur bayl rys V unir rire yvxrq va cerggl zhpu nal frggvat rire.

    • baruchan says:

      I also don't like Leliana, mostly because I hate her voice. Yes, it's a stupid and shallow reason for disliking a character, but I don't care. It just irritates the hell out of me.

  20. guest_age says:

    As far as Leliana goes, please ignore those people immediately. I've played the game through twice and never so much as met her (and only knew she existed because of fandom) and I enjoyed the game just fine. Now, on my third play through, I've finally picked her up, and while she's perfectly interesting and such, I don't feel like my playthroughs without her were deficient in some way compared to the one I'm on now.

    *shrug*

    Anyway. AHAHAHA NOT PREPARED, SIR. NOT AT ALL.

  21. Peter says:

    First Time Gameplay

    So I'm a little late today, and EVERYONE ELSE has already said this, but I can't help it:

    "V’z fhecevfrq ubj abg shpxrq hc guvf fgbel frrzf."

    Bu, cbbe, cbbe Znex. V nz cerggl fher jr jvyy zrepvyrffyl oevat hc guvf dhbgr va gur pbzzragf jura ur trgf gb Urfcvgu naq gur Oebbqzbgure. Gung vf yrtvgvzngr avtugzner shry.

    V ybir guvf tnzr fb zhpu, naq V'z abg fher jung zl snibevgr cneg vf, ohg vg'f cebonoyl Unira naq gur Fnperq Nfurf. Gung orvat fnvq, gurer'f ab dhrfgvba sbe zr gung gur zbfg shpxrq-hc cneg bs guvf tnzr vf Bemnzzne. Yvxr, vf gung rira n dhrfgvba sbe nalbar? BS PBHEFR, V UNIRA'G TBGGRA GB GUR YNAQFZRRG BE NALGUVAT CNFG VG LRG. FB V QBA'G XABJ.

    Orzammar is HUGE. There are so many more shops and areas than the other main quest locations. I loved the political aspect though. I understand that once I get to the Landsmeet, this political aspect of choosing a new king will likely return, but for now, the dwarves have given me my political intrigue fix. Have fun with the dwarf quests, Mark! Lbh'yy or gurer sbe RVTUG BE FB UBHEF.

    As for Dagna, bless her heart. I never consciously made the connection, but I suppose it is a whole lot like wishing Hogwarts were real. V yrg ure tb gb gur Pvepyr, gubhtu. Bs pbhefr, gurer jrer Zntv nyvir sbe zr gb gnyx gb gurer… vf vg cbffvoyr sbe Znex gb gnxr ure gurer pbafvqrevat ur nppvqragnyyl xvyyrq gurz nyy?

    Now I feel really guilty for joining the Leliana lament in the comments a few weeks ago. Although I can honestly say I've never sent Mark and tweets or emails about it. Gosh. (1) What does it matter, SHE'S A VIDEO GAME CHARACTER (although she IS probably my second favorite in this game) and (2) it's just a new aspect for Mark to experience if he plays this game in the future. That's one of the great things about RPGs, especially Bioware games – the replay value is so high, because things can unfold so differently.

    And as for me, I'm currently in the Brecilian Forest, in the ruins, specifically, and I was talking to this little ghost boy and then just got DESTROYED when seemingly EVERY SKELETON IN THE FOREST converged on me. Oh, this game has everything. Dragons, werewolves, demons, darkspawn, generic bandits, giant spiders, SHPXVAT OEBBQZBGUREF, the undead, basically Ents, and EVERYTHING ELSE YOU COULD EVER THINK OF. Bravo, Bioware.

    • celestineangel1 says:

      Nf sbe Qntan, V nppvqragnyyl xvyyrq nyy gur zntrf (qvqa'g xabj ubj gb hfr gur Yvgnal, fb V qvqa'g qb vg ba checbfr!), naq Terntvbe (be jungrire jrveq jnl uvf anzr vf fcryyrq) sbeovq ure sebz pbzvat gb gur gbjre.

      • Gillyweed says:

        V xarj gurer'f n ernfba V qba'g yvxr uvz :/

        • celestineangel1 says:

          Lrnu, V qba'g yvxr uvz zhpu, rvgure. Ohg gura, V'z ntnvafg gur jubyr vqrn bs gur grzcynef va guvf tnzr, fb…. Jryy, ab, gurl pna rkvfg va gur tnzr, ohg V qvfnterr jvgu gurve checbfr? Qbrf gung znxr frafr? YBY V QBA'G XABJ JUNG V'Z FNLVAT.

  22. Oh Mark in case no one has told you yet the Mass Effect Trilogy for PS3 will apparently be out on Dec. 4th.

  23. Dee says:

    Ha ha ha ha. You are not prepared. Someone get the nuns ready.

    I LOVED that city though. The set design for Orzammar is fantastic. I think it might be up there as one of my favorites, although this game has a lot of really fascinating designs. I think someone mentioned that you pretty much lose points with Alistair no matter what. Just keep buying him shiny things and it'll be all good.

  24. Fajen says:

    Where's the Leliana backlash coming from? At first I thought it was dickish because I counted it as a spoiler, personally, but then it seemed like it was turning into good-natured 'endless/eternal'-style ribbing. I'm sorry if the comment I made yesterday hurt people.

    EDIT: Wait, people came after Mark off-site?! I don't care what it's about; that is uncalled for. And it's just going to make someone indisposed to the subject in the future. This is what I have trouble communicating to my ultra-fundamentalist relatives…

    Note to self: In future, read whole article before scanning replies.

    • snapsnzips says:

      I think we can still tease in the comments. There's a difference between meme-ing and obsessing over insignificant details.

  25. celestineangel1 says:

    Can I say that I miss all the Disney characters? :( Especially Edna.

  26. affableevil says:

    It's kind of funny to me that you're getting such a reaction over Leliana. I mean, I love her as much as anyone, but part of you going into games without prior knowledge or help like this is that you're going to miss stuff, and do things differently than we would, and that's part of the fun! And hey, you can always do another play through on your own time (lol if you ever have free time again) and experience the joy of having Leliana around for yourself.

    Also reading about how happy you are learning how to play this game makes me wish I could take you under my wing in an MMORPG because THAT WOULD BE SUPER FUN and I'm always trying to find more people to play with, but I suspect you really wouldn't have time for that.

    mark trying pvp would be amazing, though

    • Fajen says:

      He's said he's tried pvp stuff before, but had to quit because of the pervasive homophobia and slurs. MMOs are no better; I couldn't do one basin match without some horde asshole constantly pressing the translated *** macro key.

      • affableevil says:

        Yeah, that is the really awful part about gaming online :C I've found that it varies from game to game depending on the quality of the community, but it's incredibly pervasive in all of them and disheartening.

        I love my MMO's but I definitely don't begrudge anyone not wanting to deal with that shit. Games are supposed to be fun, not more awfulness in your life.

        • Passing by says:

          Server-based multiplayer kind of gives an advantage here. A good moderator can keep the community clean, and there's always the option to put a password on your server.

          Speaking of differences across games and communities, there was this "thing", at the start of the year, where it came out how the fighting game community is absolutely rife with rampant sexism, racism and other such nasty things. And, apparently, they're proud of it. Usually in console multiplayer, obnoxious players are generalized as shrieking 14-year olds, but THESE are grown men. There's an article of the whole thing on Penny Arcade Report: http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/

          Eugh

        • MisterBernie says:

          When I used to play City of Heroes, it was remarkably devoid of that.

          However, PvP there was optional and I only ventured in those zones to grab some badges you couldn't get any other way.

          • affableevil says:

            I usually deal by having all world chats turned off and only associating with a select few people in game, which works pretty well in my current MMO because the pvp itself isn't so rife with the slurs. If people yell anything when they kill you, it's usually "bad". Amusingly, the people yelling that are often the ones running around in huge groups and picking off solo players. Oh noes, I got beat in 6 v 1, I'm so bad at the game!

  27. kartikeya200 says:

    Completely unprepared FOREVER.

    So, can I talk about the dwarves? Because I really, really love Dragon Age's dwarves. Most fantasy worlds basically just crib off of Tolkien (DnD included), and make them short people with beards who live underground and like to make stuff. Oh and they get drunk a lot. Oh, and they all talk using a lot of 'ayes!' and such. And you pretty much never see female dwarves. And that's basically WHERE THEY LEAVE IT. Dwarves are never developed further than that. They generally all behave the same, and have the same characterization. Even some dwarven characters that I really enjoy (such as a certain person in NWN2) mostly fall right into this stereotype and don't go much further.

    Not so in Dragon Age. Dragon Age dwarves are as developed as any other cultural group. They've got a history, and it's fascinating. They've got a caste system. They're political to the point of it being an elevated art form. You see plenty of female dwarves. They're not all drunks. They're not all obsessed with crafting. And on top of that, they're total badasses, holding back the darkspawn at all times even when a Blight isn't present. And, you know, other things I can't get into yet. I just really love what Bioware did with dwarves in this game. They didn't treat them as a joke, or simply get lazy and go with the same stereotype every other RPG falls back on.

    Also, their city just looks amazing. I love that they have their own architectural and armor styles.

    • cogsandcurls says:

      +1 on the dwarf culture love. Bioware really did an amazing job with it.

    • elenuial says:

      This. This is why Dwarven Commoner remains my favorite origin, and not just because I picked it first (at random). All the others either feel really stereotypical or you have the City Elf one, which makes me uncomfortable because I feel like it whitewashes American racism.

      I mean, I get that the writers might want to have racial oppression on the table as a theme, but if they're going to go down that road, they should put some non-white people in the world somewhere else so that there's still some non-white visibility. It just makes me sad when the only colored people in Fantasyland are the Orcs, especially when the writers are trying to make Statements About Race in the midst of gleefully slaughtering the Evil Evil Orcs.

      • cat says:

        This to the second part of your comment so hard. I often make my own wardens non-white to try to offset this tendency a bit, but it really makes it stand out that for every single origin except for the mage origin, where you don't know who they are, your player's entire family is white. :/

  28. sertaki says:

    alas, the time is here – i can't continue reading "Mark plays dragon age", because you reached the point at which i stopped playing :O

    I shall restart sometime and catch up later with you.

    But be assured i will return when you finaly dive into mass effect to find yourself on planet unpreparedia in the wtf galaxy.

    Well i'm off reading his dark materials and your awesome thoughts about the series :D
    (makes the books twice as fun for me at least – and i enjoy them a hell of a lot!)

  29. kartikeya200 says:

    Oh hey, so can I go completely off topic here because I must flail about this http://updates.kotaku.com/post/34758374456/dreamf

    (Any spoilers in ROT13 since this is a series proposed on the suggestion thread).

    Right. So. Flailing. Forever.

    FUCKING FINALLY.

  30. Fajen says:

    There is one thing that is bugging the SHIT out of me: The walkable areas. The invisible walls I keep running into rarely make sense, and after New Vegas and Skyrim, it's all just…It's almost claustraphobic.

  31. BettyTheThird says:

    ahaha Alistair complaining about Isolde…this reminds me that I sacrificed her on my first playthrough as well 'cause my Warden was like "….there is an abomination running around, we don't have TIME to go to the circle first"
    He can be such an annoying little shit, but 3 1/2 out of 5 of my characters romanced him…oops
    Mainly because he says things like "Actually I was wondering whether I was too tall" when my girl was all like "ohoho but could you ever get it on with a dwarf??"
    bless your heart, Alistair

    and yay Orzammar! I love it! I hate it!

  32. biblioteknician says:

    …. Also, did Mark miss Nyvfgnve'f zbgure'f nzhyrg? Orpnhfr gung vf…. zl snibevgr tvsg va guvf ragver tnzr naq vg whfg znxrf zl urneg unccl. Naq V jvyy or irel fnq vs ur arire svaqf vg.

  33. shadoedseptmbr says:

    Oh, this tickles me no end. I just noticed the videogame thing and thought "I'll recommend DA, he'll get a kick out of it." Lol. I love the internet. *sits back to watch*

  34. cogsandcurls says:

    Comments section, I am disappointed in you. No love for Dagna???? :(

    She's so adorable. I've never not helped her realise her dreams. I can't help it, she's so enthusiastic! And I think she has a point about her and the Circle being able to learn from each other. Who am I to stop her from finding out exactly how far she's willing to go to chase what she loves? (Okay, so she'll be casteless, but fuck that, casteless dwarves are still awesome nf qrzbafgengrq ol Ze Purfg Unve uvzfrys sbe fgnegref!)

    Also, ORZAMMAR. Okay, I might just be biased because my first/canon Warden is a dwarf noble, but I LOVE ORZAMMAR SO MUCH. I know a lot of people hate the politics, but…hnng. I really like it. And I really love how different Dragon Age dwarf culture is to the usual GOLD-GOLD-AXES-GOLD-AND-NO-WOMEN dwarven culture you often get in fantasy literature. Dwarves are usually my Least Favourite Fantasy Race in anything, but it's the total opposite with Dragon Age. I love it so.

  35. elenuial says:

    This is just to say that after a year or so of lurking, I finally started posting comments. And after posting two comments, I just went ahead and made an account.

    I love what happens here, and I'm glad to finally join the conversation, although I'll be a little late most of the time since I live in Japan. ^_^

  36. Mikka says:

    Losing 9 points pushed Alistair to neutral? Now I'm really curious to see the vid that shows where everybody's aproval stands! :)

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