Dalisclock plays through the Dragon Age Trilogy and makes a lot of running commentary along the way. Spoilers abound.

Gordon_4

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Oh don't get me wrong. I went Knight Enchanter too. The "squishy" mage jumps into the frontlines and turns into an unkillable Jedi? SOLD!
Well if you’ve got the master craft item that grants “5 Guard on Hit” slotted for your armour, you’re almost as good.
 

Dalisclock

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Holiday stuff got in the way but I did get a fair bit of progress. Started the quest "Here lies the abyss" which took to the "wonderful" Village of Crestwood, which initially feels a lot like Fallow Mire. It's rainy, it's dark, it's wet, it's spoopy and apparently its tied to the missing grey wardens. Interestingly, the first thing I run across is rather large lake with a rift in the middle of it, that's causing the dead to come out of the lake and harass the people living in the nearby village of Crestwood. Unfortunately, the rift is unreachable because of being in the middle of the lake so I can't just walk over there and fix the problem. Investigating a little bit more at Crestwood, I find a couple of grey wardens who are helping with the problem but can't stick around, so of course it's up to me and the inquisition(so basically me). I also find out that during the blight 10 years ago(the one from DAO), the local dam was attacked by darkspawn and flooded the lower part of the village, drowning a bunch of refugees who were taking shelter there, which explains all the undead coming out of the lake. It also reminds me suspiciously of the story of New Londo from Dark Souls, where much of the city was flooded and has to be drained to proceed.

After bumbling around a bit, I find Hawke and a Warden named Stroud, who I guess I'm supposed to know for some reason but whatever. I'm told the Wardens have all fucked off to the Western Approach because Big Cory is apparently making them all hear the calling and freaking them out. Except Stroud and the Hero of Ferelden, who is still MIA. They leave for the western approach and I continue on to the dam, which I quickly drain the water from the lower village. Though I'm not sure how the dam actually is supposed to work, because operating it opens the sluice gates to drain the lake, which means that the dam was designed downstream of the village and would flood the village (quite quickly apparently, considering the number of people who perished) if the sluice gates were ever shut....and shouldn't it be the opposite, where the dam it upstream of the village to create more arable land and.....hydroelectric power(?) and would only be a problem if water was released in an uncontrolled fashion. I realize it's for a video game and they wanted to be able to drain the lake for the reveal but still.

Oh, and also the mayor left a handwritten note in his own flooded home(surprisingly legible after 10 years at the bottom of a lake) that he was the one who flooded the lower village because there were too many blight infected refugees arriving and while I can see why this is a problem, herding all the refugees into the lower village and caves below those and then opening the floodgates in the middle of the night to drown them all is pretty fucked up, just saying. Also lying to everyone and saying the darkspawn did it. The fact he scampers off once you learn the truth and leaves another note implies he knew it was an awful thing to do or at least didn't want to be punished.

Once the rift is closed, the sun comes out and I can wrap up a number of quests in the area, like reporting back a command spirit who was in the flooded ruins and asked me to kill an elite Rage Demon who I had to kill to proceed anyway so...cool. It is kinda cool how the area feels a bit safer and is literally a bit brighter once the situation is dealt, something I haven't seen much of in this game so far.

That dealt with, off to the western approach, which is a whole lotta desert. Also some red lyrium to destroy by hitting it real hard. And hyenas. Fucking Hyenas. One area leads to surfer pits which I can't access right now but becomes an option to unlock in the war room. I don't do a ton here, bypassing most of the area to reach the ruins where it turns out the Wardens have gone fucking cra cra and doing blood magic because...fucking reasons. Ohay, It is better justified then that...a little. I guess with Corypheus giving them all the calling, the Wardens got desperate and one of the venatori or something offered them the plan of:

1.) Use blood magic....a lot
2.) Summon and bind a bunch of demons
3.) Kill all the old gods ASAP to prevent any future blights.

And while I'm dealing with a couple crazed wardens and demons, the guy running the show fucks off....backstage.....somehow, which is hilarious because the fight lasts no longer then a minute and also the area he's last seen escaping into has NO EXISTS. The only way out is the way I came in and Hawke was presumably covering that extrance and she say anything about the big warden guy escaping. However, he does and flees to the Warden Fortress Adamant, which apparently they're gonna do a really BIG Demon summoning/Blood Magic ritual and thus the inquisition has to take the fortress by force.

So I'm gonna break off here for a moment to say I'm kind of torn about this whole "Wardens decided to go full blood magic crazy to summon demons because Cory is messing with their collective heads" plotline. On one hand, this is generally consistent with what we know of the wardens and cory. We know the Wardens can and will go to any lengths to defeat blights and darkspawn and just because I played the Warden in DAO as a generally heroic person, it's also just a cannon for the Warden to be a complete power hungry asshole who saves the kingdom in the harshest possible manner. Including Blood Magic and making deals with demons. It's also established that Magister Darkspawn like Cory and the Architect can fuck with both darkspawn and wardens. Cory in particular was a massive danger to wardens in his fucking sleep by singing to them and driving them to want to wake him and even there had brainwashed most of the wardens into helping him. There's even a bit near the end of DA2 where you meet a bunch of wardens in kirkwall who are going to take care of someone else and have a mysterious new ally and it's complicated and they don't feel like talking to you.

That being said, while the premise of "Cory is controlling the wardens and is trying to use them to help him achieve his aims of Making Tevinter Great Again( I think that's part of it) and getting back to the Black City because it worked so well last time" isn't inherently bad, but man it feels like it's being handled particularly poorly. Like the wardens more or less all seem to be fine with this Blood Magic/Demon Summoning Extravaganza for dubious reasons and I can't help but think the writers forgot to justify this in a way that makes me believe the Wardens would go this extreme this quickly. To be fair, it has been 10 years since DAO and the last time I really talked to a warden other then Anders was near the end of DA2 so maybe they've been going mad this entire time and it just wasn't depicted.

That out of the war, the assault on Adamant is a sight to behold and is quite engaging, even if it is basically a linear combat mission with some pyrotechnics till a reach a big ass fade rift the wardens are opening. After much shaniganians and a dragon trying to zap me, the Warden commander dies after turning on her more evil counterparts and me and my group(as well as Stroud and Hawke) fall into another fade rift from the top of the fortress(or maybe it's the same fade rift). Either way we all end up in the fade for a rather creepy ass and very well presented run through the fade. The little notes and bits of reality scattered around add some cool worldbuilding and it also doesn't have the puke filter anymore like DAO. I had to be reminded that I went to the fade in DA2 but it took me a moment to remember when. Oh, and Divine Justina is here, or something that looks and sounds a lot like her. It's never really clear if it's actually her or reflection of her or maybe a spirit that's impersonating her and she's rather cryptic about the entire thing. I have a feeling it's meant to be open to interpretation.

The sequence does fill in some gaps from the early game, making it clear Justina or the spirit pretending to be her helped the Herald to escape the fade, but more interestingly, revealing the cause of the explosion at the Temple in the first place. Apparently Cory was trying to open the fade rift using the orb and sacrificing Justina when the Herald/Inquisitor showed up and interrupted the ritual, getting the anchor instead of cory and very likely turning the controlled rift into a massive explosion and the breach. Considering the entire Temple of Sacred Ashes is apparently surrounded by Lyrium deposits, that goes a LONG way to explaining how the entire ritual spiraled completely out of control. Ironically, everyone blaming the Herald at the beginning for the fade breach was kinda right. They were indirectly responsible for it. Though cory completing his ritual as intended probably wouldn't have been good either. Ironically, if Cory had just LOCKED THE FUCKING DOOR, he might have succeeded.

I feel like that famous quote from Half Life 2 is applicable here.

The Right (Wo)Man in the Wrong Place can make all the difference... in the world. So, wake up, Mister Freeman Herald. Wake up and... smell the ashes.

I get to the fade portal and fight the spider demon guy to escape, except then the MOTHER OF ALL FUCKING SPIDERS tries to block our path out and I'm presented with the Dragon Age take on the Virmire choice from Mass Effect. Both Hawke and Stroud(who both feel into the rift with my team) ended up in the fade with me and both argue they should hold off the nightmare spider so everyone else can leave the fade, with the implication whoever holds off the creature will be left behind and be as good as dead and I'm forced to pick between them. And man, that is a tough choice. I really like Hawke and spent 30+ hours as Hawke in the last game and while I don't know much of Stroud, Stroud might be the most senior warden who is also still fucking sane and uncorrupted......and someone needs to rebuild the wardens with the Hero of Ferelden being MIA(and possibly not even in a position to lead the Wardens).

I tell Hawke to cover the escape and we arrive back in Adamant and close to the rift and then Varric pipes up and says "Where's Hawke?" And Immediately regret my choice. I tell him Hawke died a hero....and varric just walks away, with great disapproval and that fucking hurts. Despite the fact Varric was in the fade with us because I normally have him in the party as my rogue(I have two archers and Sera annoys me), so he was there when I made that decision. It doesn't help that we get back to Skyhold and he tells me a story about Hawke and some Assassins before saying he needs some time alone. Don't do this to me Varric. I've been trying to play the role of preserving as many lives as reasonably possible, making decisions to have the inquisition soldiers not take unnecessary risks and protect innocents, because the way I see the Inquisition is a force that works for the good of the many across Thedas. Then I have to sacrifice someone I either care a lot about personally or someone who can rebuild one of the most important groups in the world. I want to think I made the right choice by choosing the needs of the many over someone I personally really like and who had a pretty rough life(Hawke). I'm hoping I made the right choice.
 
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Gordon_4

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Holiday stuff got in the way but I did get a fair bit of progress. Started the quest "Here lies the abyss" which took to the "wonderful" Village of Crestwood, which initially feels a lot like Fallow Mire. It's rainy, it's dark, it's wet, it's spoopy and apparently its tied to the missing grey wardens. Interestingly, the first thing I run across is rather large lake with a rift in the middle of it, that's causing the dead to come out of the lake and harass the people living in the nearby village of Crestwood. Unfortunately, the rift is unreachable because of being in the middle of the lake so I can't just walk over there and fix the problem. Investigating a little bit more at Crestwood, I find a couple of grey wardens who are helping with the problem but can't stick around, so of course it's up to me and the inquisition(so basically me). I also find out that during the blight 10 years ago(the one from DAO), the local dam was attacked by darkspawn and flooded the lower part of the village, drowning a bunch of refugees who were taking shelter there, which explains all the undead coming out of the lake. It also reminds me suspiciously of the story of New Londo from Dark Souls, where much of the city was flooded and has to be drained to proceed.

After bumbling around a bit, I find Hawke and a Warden named Stroud, who I guess I'm supposed to know for some reason but whatever. I'm told the Wardens have all fucked off to the Western Approach because Big Cory is apparently making them all hear the calling and freaking them out. Except Stroud and the Hero of Ferelden, who is still MIA. They leave for the western approach and I continue on to the dam, which I quickly drain the water from the lower village. Though I'm not sure how the dam actually is supposed to work, because operating it opens the sluice gates to drain the lake, which means that the dam was designed downstream of the village and would flood the village (quite quickly apparently, considering the number of people who perished) if the sluice gates were ever shut....and shouldn't it be the opposite, where the dam it upstream of the village to create more arable land and.....hydroelectric power(?) and would only be a problem if water was released in an uncontrolled fashion. I realize it's for a video game and they wanted to be able to drain the lake for the reveal but still.

Oh, and also the mayor left a handwritten note in his own flooded home(surprisingly legible after 10 years at the bottom of a lake) that he was the one who flooded the lower village because there were too many blight infected refugees arriving and while I can see why this is a problem, herding all the refugees into the lower village and caves below those and then opening the floodgates in the middle of the night to drown them all is pretty fucked up, just saying. Also lying to everyone and saying the darkspawn did it. The fact he scampers off once you learn the truth and leaves another note implies he knew it was an awful thing to do or at least didn't want to be punished.

Once the rift is closed, the sun comes out and I can wrap up a number of quests in the area, like reporting back a command spirit who was in the flooded ruins and asked me to kill an elite Rage Demon who I had to kill to proceed anyway so...cool. It is kinda cool how the area feels a bit safer and is literally a bit brighter once the situation is dealt, something I haven't seen much of in this game so far.

That dealt with, off to the western approach, which is a whole lotta desert. Also some red lyrium to destroy by hitting it real hard. And hyenas. Fucking Hyenas. One area leads to surfer pits which I can't access right now but becomes an option to unlock in the war room. I don't do a ton here, bypassing most of the area to reach the ruins where it turns out the Wardens have gone fucking cra cra and doing blood magic because...fucking reasons. Ohay, It is better justified then that...a little. I guess with Corypheus giving them all the calling, the Wardens got desperate and one of the venatori or something offered them the plan of:

1.) Use blood magic....a lot
2.) Summon and bind a bunch of demons
3.) Kill all the old gods ASAP to prevent any future blights.

And while I'm dealing with a couple crazed wardens and demons, the guy running the show fucks off....backstage.....somehow, which is hilarious because the fight lasts no longer then a minute and also the area he's last seen escaping into has NO EXISTS. The only way out is the way I came in and Hawke was presumably covering that extrance and she say anything about the big warden guy escaping. However, he does and flees to the Warden Fortress Adamant, which apparently they're gonna do a really BIG Demon summoning/Blood Magic ritual and thus the inquisition has to take the fortress by force.

So I'm gonna break off here for a moment to say I'm kind of torn about this whole "Wardens decided to go full blood magic crazy to summon demons because Cory is messing with their collective heads" plotline. On one hand, this is generally consistent with what we know of the wardens and cory. We know the Wardens can and will go to any lengths to defeat blights and darkspawn and just because I played the Warden in DAO as a generally heroic person, it's also just a cannon for the Warden to be a complete power hungry asshole who saves the kingdom in the harshest possible manner. Including Blood Magic and making deals with demons. It's also established that Magister Darkspawn like Cory and the Architect can fuck with both darkspawn and wardens. Cory in particular was a massive danger to wardens in his fucking sleep by singing to them and driving them to want to wake him and even there had brainwashed most of the wardens into helping him. There's even a bit near the end of DA2 where you meet a bunch of wardens in kirkwall who are going to take care of someone else and have a mysterious new ally and it's complicated and they don't feel like talking to you.

That being said, while the premise of "Cory is controlling the wardens and is trying to use them to help him achieve his aims of Making Tevinter Great Again( I think that's part of it) and getting back to the Black City because it worked so well last time" isn't inherently bad, but man it feels like it's being handled particularly poorly. Like the wardens more or less all seem to be fine with this Blood Magic/Demon Summoning Extravaganza for dubious reasons and I can't help but think the writers forgot to justify this in a way that makes me believe the Wardens would go this extreme this quickly. To be fair, it has been 10 years since DAO and the last time I really talked to a warden other then Anders was near the end of DA2 so maybe they've been going mad this entire time and it just wasn't depicted.

That out of the war, the assault on Adamant is a sight to behold and is quite engaging, even if it is basically a linear combat mission with some pyrotechnics till a reach a big ass fade rift the wardens are opening. After much shaniganians and a dragon trying to zap me, the Warden commander dies after turning on her more evil counterparts and me and my group(as well as Stroud and Hawke) fall into another fade rift from the top of the fortress(or maybe it's the same fade rift). Either way we all end up in the fade for a rather creepy ass and very well presented run through the fade. The little notes and bits of reality scattered around add some cool worldbuilding and it also doesn't have the puke filter anymore like DAO. I had to be reminded that I went to the fade in DA2 but it took me a moment to remember when. Oh, and Divine Justina is here, or something that looks and sounds a lot like her. It's never really clear if it's actually her or reflection of her or maybe a spirit that's impersonating her and she's rather cryptic about the entire thing. I have a feeling it's meant to be open to interpretation.

The sequence does fill in some gaps from the early game, making it clear Justina or the spirit pretending to be her helped the Herald to escape the fade, but more interestingly, revealing the cause of the explosion at the Temple in the first place. Apparently Cory was trying to open the fade rift using the orb and sacrificing Justina when the Herald/Inquisitor showed up and interrupted the ritual, getting the anchor instead of cory and very likely turning the controlled rift into a massive explosion and the breach. Considering the entire Temple of Sacred Ashes is apparently surrounded by Lyrium deposits, that goes a LONG way to explaining how the entire ritual spiraled completely out of control. Ironically, everyone blaming the Herald at the beginning for the fade breach was kinda right. They were indirectly responsible for it. Though cory completing his ritual as intended probably wouldn't have been good either. Ironically, if Cory had just LOCKED THE FUCKING DOOR, he might have succeeded.

I feel like that famous quote from Half Life 2 is applicable here.

The Right (Wo)Man in the Wrong Place can make all the difference... in the world. So, wake up, Mister Freeman Herald. Wake up and... smell the ashes.

I get to the fade portal and fight the spider demon guy to escape, except then the MOTHER OF ALL FUCKING SPIDERS tries to block our path out and I'm presented with the Dragon Age take on the Virmire choice from Mass Effect. Both Hawke and Stroud(who both feel into the rift with my team) ended up in the fade with me and both argue they should hold off the nightmare spider so everyone else can leave the fade, with the implication whoever holds off the creature will be left behind and be as good as dead and I'm forced to pick between them. And man, that is a tough choice. I really like Hawke and spent 30+ hours as Hawke in the last game and while I don't know much of Stroud, Stroud might be the most senior warden who is also still fucking sane and uncorrupted......and someone needs to rebuild the wardens with the Hero of Ferelden being MIA(and possibly not even in a position to lead the Wardens).

I tell Hawke to cover the escape and we arrive back in Adamant and close to the rift and then Varric pipes up and says "Where's Hawke?" And Immediately regret my choice. I tell him Hawke died a hero....and varric just walks away, with great disapproval and that fucking hurts. Despite the fact Varric was in the fade with us because I normally have him in the party as my rogue(I have two archers and Sera annoys me), so he was there when I made that decision. It doesn't help that we get back to Skyhold and he tells me a story about Hawke and some Assassins before saying he needs some time alone. Don't do this to me Varric. I've been trying to play the role of preserving as many lives as reasonably possible, making decisions to have the inquisition soldiers not take unnecessary risks and protect innocents, because the way I see the Inquisition is a force that works for the good of the many across Thedas. Then I have to sacrifice someone I either care a lot about personally or someone who can rebuild one of the most important groups in the world. I want to think I made the right choice by choosing the needs of the many over someone I personally really like and who had a pretty rough life(Hawke). I'm hoping I made the right choice.
You meet Stroud in DragonAge 2. If you send your sibling to the Wardens it’s him that takes them in the Deep Roads, he should also be the Warden in charge of the team in Kirkwall during the Qunari assault at the end of Act II
 
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Dalisclock

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With all the main plot stuff out of the way, the rest of this is side stuff that happened along the way.

Iron Bull introduces me to the chargers at the tavern who are an diverse, eclectic bunch who remind me of the group from DAO in a weird way. Including an apostate mage who insists her staff if actually a bow and.....oh, that's a reference to DA2 and mages walking around with "Bows" in plain sight. Nice one. Also Krem is either Non-binary or trans and that's cool. I'd wondered but it was finally mentioned explicitly.

There's also a side quest where Bull mentions the Qunari want to ally to fight Cory and the Venatori at the Storm coasts, which in a short missions where my group and Bull's chargers attack a couple of positions to clear the way for a Qunari Dreadnought to come close to shore. Which sounded cool but the actual events feel very much like a SFX failure, featuring some low poly ships doing stuff that didn't look very interesting. And then a couple more ventori showing up to attack the other position, so the choice is to sacrifice them or let the dreadnaught get destroyed. I don't remember why you can't just go down and aid the chargers since it doesn't look like the enemy mages are very far away, so you just get this weird binary choice where you either leave the chargers to die or tell them to pull back which sacrifices the dreadnaught and then the Qunari are mad at you and Bull is treated like a traitor. Yeah, I choose to save the chargers because they meant more to me then a Qunari Battleship which for some reason couldn't be bothered to have any escorts to prevent such a thing. Also I don't particularly trust the Qunari and this whole thing was meant to be an alliance f convenience. Not long after the Qunari attempt to kill Bull at Skyhold, though he's expecting it and easily deals with the threat. He even describes it as "Two assassins isn't a hit. It's a formality" to let him know he's officially Tal Vashoth, though I tell him he's the leader of the chargers and that's the more important thing. Honestly I'm starting to really like Bull. He may not be true Qunari(technically he's not Qunari anymore) but he's very fun to be around and talk to. I also take bull on most of my missions considering he's a great AOE fighter and a Reaver to boot. And unlike Sten from DAO, he seems far more effective at being a berserker type.

Cassandra told me about seekers going missing and I follower her quest to a castle in Ferelden, where a group called the Promisers were kidnapping Seekers because apparently they want to end the world or some such. It turns out the head seeker was working with them, saying the Seekers weren't really working like they were meant to. I clear them out and retrieve the seekers big book of secrets that normally only the lord seeker gets the read, and now cassandra gets to find out. So in one of the conversations with Cassandra she talks about one of the differences between Seekers and Templars is that Templars use Lyrium for their powers while Seekers don't. Instead Seekers do a year of what's basically solitary confinement in mediation to empty themselves of everything but faith and focus before getting their power and the deprivation apparently makes the final return to the world feel amazing. The book, however reveals that what's really happening is that during that year(called the Vigil) the Seekers are made Tranquil and then it's reserved at the end. Also the seekers have been able to undo tranquility pretty much since always and never told anyone(in fact only the lord seeker seemed to know this). Even better, one of the causes of the mage/templar war was apparently the whole tranquil issue, though cassandra agrees the war was a long time coming and probably would have happened regardless. Kirkwall was the spark that lit the powder keg, not the keg itself. Also the Seekers are apparently done at this point and according to some of the ambient dialogue in Redcliffe that Mage/Templar was is apparently over, I guess. It seems since I recruited the templars and the mages joined the Ventori or were taken down the war effectively puttered out or something.

There's also a fun cutscene where Cassandra is hitting Bull with a stick because it helps Bull clear his head(after fighting Demons in the fade), except for some reason at one point Cassandra is seen walking around in the background for a moment(I should say a separate cassandra) and man it totally breaks the mood for a moment. It's an amusing scene though. There's a couple weird glitches in the game here and there. Off the top of my head: An NPC flash stepping across a room after a cutscene. An NPC on the battlements of skyhold walking through the solid part and patrolling in the sky above steep drop to the mountains below, an NPC sitting on a chair where there is no chair, and of course, the minstrel in the tavern at skyhold singing a song with stringed instrument accompaniment but without her instrument. And then I recall all those stupid animation glitches in Andromeda everyone laughed about and see the Dragon Age team was having the same problem.

So yeah, good times all around.

I have enough Power to do "WIcked Eyes and Wicked Hearts" so I think that's gonna be my goal for tonight. I've heard people tend to either really like or really dislike that mission.
 
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Dalisclock

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You meet Stroud in DragonAge 2. If you send your sibling to the Wardens it’s him that takes them in the Deep Roads, he should also be the Warden in charge of the team in Kirkwall during the Qunari assault at the end of Act II
I remember that scene but didn't catch the name, considering there was a lot going on. I remember meeting Nathaniel howe from Awakening in the Deep Roads for one mission though. The fact I had him around for Awakening is probably why I remember whereas Stroud is some new guy. Maybe he was in one of the novels I never read so I don't know.

Sorry Bioware, these games are all pretty long. I'm not reading a bunch of novels on top of that.
 

Asita

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That being said, while the premise of "Cory is controlling the wardens and is trying to use them to help him achieve his aims of Making Tevinter Great Again( I think that's part of it) and getting back to the Black City because it worked so well last time" isn't inherently bad, but man it feels like it's being handled particularly poorly. Like the wardens more or less all seem to be fine with this Blood Magic/Demon Summoning Extravaganza for dubious reasons and I can't help but think the writers forgot to justify this in a way that makes me believe the Wardens would go this extreme this quickly. To be fair, it has been 10 years since DAO and the last time I really talked to a warden other then Anders was near the end of DA2 so maybe they've been going mad this entire time and it just wasn't depicted.
Long story short? Cory got in their heads in more than one sense and they were panicking. The thing that freaked them all out and made them so desperate to make sure there would never be another blight was that every Grey Warden got their Calling at once, which naturally carries with it the strong implication that the time of the Grey Wardens is ending and that the current 'generation' of Grey Wardens is not only the last one, but is already living on borrowed time. Ie, if they don't immediately find an alternative to the Grey Wardens or a way to stop any and all future Blights...they won't have any way to combat them at all.

That is to say, the Wardens basically were faced with circumstances that made them think they had - at best - a few months to get their affairs in order and were desperately grasping at straws in the hopes that the extinction of their order wouldn't cause the extinction of the rest of the world.
 
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Long story short? Cory got in their heads in more than one sense and they were panicking. The thing that freaked them all out and made them so desperate to make sure there would never be another blight was that every Grey Warden got their Calling at once, which naturally carries with it the strong implication that the time of the Grey Wardens is ending and that the current 'generation' of Grey Wardens is not only the last one, but is already living on borrowed time. Ie, if they don't immediately find an alternative to the Grey Wardens or a way to stop any and all future Blights...they won't have any way to combat them at all.

That is to say, the Wardens basically were faced with circumstances that made them think they had - at best - a few months to get their affairs in order and were desperately grasping at straws in the hopes that the extinction of their order wouldn't cause the extinction of the rest of the world.
I kinda got that, I just felt it wasn't developed as well it as probably could be. I really am torn because it's not a bad idea it just feels like the writing wasn't quite up to the task here. On a related note, I'm starting to notice despite Cory being the big bad here, I'm still not entirely sure what his big goal is other then "Restore Tevinter Supremacy" and/or "Become a god by reaching the golden city again". Even the little crystals in the Shrine of Dumat(which I pretty much skipped over here because not much happens) are just a bit of him monologuing but not saying a lot. The whole concept of Cory is generally fine but the execution feels lackluster.
 
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There's also a side quest where Bull mentions the Qunari want to ally to fight Cory and the Venatori at the Storm coasts, which in a short missions where my group and Bull's chargers attack a couple of positions to clear the way for a Qunari Dreadnought to come close to shore. Which sounded cool but the actual events feel very much like a SFX failure, featuring some low poly ships doing stuff that didn't look very interesting. And then a couple more ventori showing up to attack the other position, so the choice is to sacrifice them or let the dreadnaught get destroyed. I don't remember why you can't just go down and aid the chargers since it doesn't look like the enemy mages are very far away, so you just get this weird binary choice where you either leave the chargers to die or tell them to pull back which sacrifices the dreadnaught and then the Qunari are mad at you and Bull is treated like a traitor. Yeah, I choose to save the chargers because they meant more to me then a Qunari Battleship which for some reason couldn't be bothered to have any escorts to prevent such a thing. Also I don't particularly trust the Qunari and this whole thing was meant to be an alliance f convenience. Not long after the Qunari attempt to kill Bull at Skyhold, though he's expecting it and easily deals with the threat. He even describes it as "Two assassins isn't a hit. It's a formality" to let him know he's officially Tal Vashoth, though I tell him he's the leader of the chargers and that's the more important thing. Honestly I'm starting to really like Bull. He may not be true Qunari(technically he's not Qunari anymore) but he's very fun to be around and talk to. I also take bull on most of my missions considering he's a great AOE fighter and a Reaver to boot. And unlike Sten from DAO, he seems far more effective at being a berserker type.
I like Iron bull, but that mission was probably the worse in the game after the mage mission. The charger are right over there (if your a mage and you have the little flash ability you can get there in less than 10 seconds) and the Dreadnought really should be able to hold its own against 4-5 mages, same with the charger. I do think it would make a lot more sense to help the Quanari, the charger are just a group of rando and, presumably, the inquisition at this point has thousands of rando, while an alliance with the Quanari should be much more valuable (although if there ship are this easy to sink, maybe not).
 
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I like Iron bull, but that mission was probably the worse in the game after the mage mission. The charger are right over there (if your a mage and you have the little flash ability you can get there in less than 10 seconds) and the Dreadnought really should be able to hold its own against 4-5 mages, same with the charger. I do think it would make a lot more sense to help the Quanari, the charger are just a group of rando and, presumably, the inquisition at this point has thousands of rando, while an alliance with the Quanari should be much more valuable (although if there ship are this easy to sink, maybe not).
If I thought the Qunari would actually be a steadfast ally, I might be more likely to go farther for them, but I also know the chargers and don't want to see them get wasted for no reason.

And watching the vaunted Dreadnaught go down so fast doesn't give me a ton of confidence in the qunari either.

The whole thing just feels very haphazardly put together. There's a few justification but then you're given "Well, you save the chargers or the dreadnaught" when it doesn't feel like it should have to be a choice at all the way it's presented. The mages aren't even in a concealed position either when they attack the ship, they're exposed on the beach and the ship has already completed it's goal so at this point it should be good to either attack or pull away from the shore.

Though I still feel that any capital ship that gets wasted because it's that close to the shore without escorts kinda deserves to get taken down because they suck at naval tactics. So the real lesson from this is that the Qunari don't know how to Navy. I bet the captain only knows how to Open water battle because the Qun says so and now he's helpless against any shore based threats. Really, one could argue the Qun's crippling weakness is that they can do one thing and suck at everything else AKA the Qun gave you a hammer, so all problems seem like nails(or you just stare at the problem trying to figure out how to use the hammer).
 
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Yeah, there's no real defending that quest, it just came off as contrived and made the hand of the author all too apparent.
 

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Navying was in the same lost chapter of the Qun as pastry making.
When the war against the Qunari comes, the South needs to offer pastries to those who surrender. The real problem might be if they have enough room for all the prisoners.

Also, a feel like a dummy for noticing this just now but the map of thedas is basically like that of Europe but flipped.
Ferelden= England
Orlais=France.
Antiva=Spain
The Kokari Wilds=Scotland, the far north nations?
Navarra=is apparently Prussia and knowing Cassandra that checks out though the positon the the map is a bit off.
Anderfells=Sounds German (Weisshaupt) but that's all I got.
Tevinter=Byzantine Empire/Roman Empire.
Par Vollen=North Africa and/or just the east in general? Some of the Qun seems vaguely Buddhist(I'm simplifying a lot here).
 
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Krem is indeed trans, due to how the Qun view gender roles. It's one of the neater aspects of Dragon Age: Inquisition. That quest, though...yeah, if you are going to give us a choice, maybe don't make it so obvious what the "right" choice is, and make it a bit less contrived.f
 
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Pastries are probably the one area that french cuisine isn't massively overrated.
It's wierd because from what I've gathered is French Cuisine in general are a lot of food based around sandwiches or bread and then you get some dishes with duck/goose that can be considered a little bit more exotic. Stuff like Escargot is like special occasion shit if people eat it at all. A lot of it seemed really basic type stuff.

Maybe it was based on places I ate in Paris a couple years back few of which could have been considered high end( I think one place had Foi Gras and goose as a big part of it's menu) but I think the conception of "French" food is based a lot off fancy ass expensive restaurants which I don't think is the type of food the average french person eats on a regular basis. I'm basing this entirely off personal experience though and am not a expert on French food/culture so I might be totally wrong.
 

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Yeah, there's no real defending that quest, it just came off as contrived and made the hand of the author all too apparent.
To me the quest made sense on a thematic level but was far too truncated and badly presented to work as was intended. I don’t agree that it’s a particular author’s hand at work though: it’s the hands of everyone who’s written the Qunari from DragonAge’s beginning. Plus for all the Inquisition has been gathering support from the two primary nations it’s involved with, neither Ferelden nor Orlais are going approve or support you formally allying with an ostensibly (although certainly not outright) hostile foreign power.

Or, more basically: BlackWater can’t have it’s Headquarters in Virginia and also become a formal ally of China without some eyebrows being raised and questions asked.
 
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To me the quest made sense on a thematic level but was far too truncated and badly presented to work as was intended. I don’t agree that it’s a particular author’s hand at work though: it’s the hands of everyone who’s written the Qunari from DragonAge’s beginning. Plus for all the Inquisition has been gathering support from the two primary nations it’s involved with, neither Ferelden nor Orlais are going approve or support you formally allying with an ostensibly (although certainly not outright) hostile foreign power.

Or, more basically: BlackWater can’t have it’s Headquarters in Virginia and also become a formal ally of China without some eyebrows being raised and questions asked.
Yeah, the qunari are an interesting faction in premise. The writing sometimes lives up to that but more often seems to stumble.

Bioware has moments of great writing and quitte a few moments of crappy writing. We just seem to remember the good stuff a lot more.