IntPiPoMo – Dragon Ages

[For the benefit of Gamer Girl’s sanity, these are pix 22-43.]

I have not finished a single one of the Dragon Age games, but I still enjoyed the hell out of what time I spent in them — which is almost none for DA:Inq, but I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually; it pouts at me every time I open Origin and then click on the Sims 4. And I have literally five million screenshots from the various games, which in non-hyperbole-land translates to somewhere around 1,000. Which is still quite a lot.

So here are a few of them for IntPiPoMo. Click to enlarge as usual.

Dragon Age: Origins

[Edit — so I didn’t mean to put in quite so many DAO pix but seriously, they’re all awesome and they all bring back memories, which is exactly what screenshots should do. I might just have to play the game again over Thanksgiving…]

“What’s all this Ridley Scott pollen shit in the air anyway? My allergies are killing me.”

DAO1One of my favourite characters ever, looks-wise. Even though bald and tattooed isn’t usually my thing. She was just BADASS.

DAO2Another badass DAO character. Come to think of it, they were all badass, even the elves (and that’s saying something).

DAO3Yes, I really liked playing the Origin stories. Don’t judge me.

DAO4A) I’m kinda liking this bald thing. It’s a lot more comfortable under helmets. B) My armour may have totally ridiculous cleavage, but at least I’m not wearing a belt over my boobs like that witch bint up there.


But she does get all the best lines.


Shit just got real, yo.

DAO6Demon bad.



Hey hero lady, I don’t suppose you can do something about us constantly being covered in blood? My dry-cleaning and armour-scouring bills are killing me.


And of course, a dragon.. or eight.


Dragon Age 2 – The Unsubtitled

Still with the dragons?! Oh right, it’s Dragon Age…


Morrigan’s mum, also dragony, also clearly a graduate of the Maleficent School of Sartorial Style.


If the kid says “Enchantment? Enchantment!” ever, at all, where I can hear him, I’m going to gouge his eyes out with a spoon. And I’m not even sure why…


And, uh, that’s it apparently. I got a bit further than that in game but it just wasn’t grabbing me as much.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Which is still better than how far I got in this game: maybe 3 hours and barely out of the tutorial (I think). Even so, I have 90 screenshots, which averages out to one every 2 minutes, so either I knew IntPiPoMo was coming up (a whole year down the line almost to the day), or I just thought the game was very pretty. Hell, even the “Game is loading” screen was awesome.

I should actually play this sometime, I suspect.


I’m only in the character creation section and already I’m way more badass than the other bints you made. Keep me. We will kill many things together.


Holy crap these game controls SUCK. Or YOU suck. You almost made me shoot an arrow up my own butt!


I swear, guys, I have no idea where that’s coming from!


DA:I demon – now with 25% more arachnid!


Did I die and end up in Medieval Band heaven? Well, at least the outfit’s not bad.







Too much of a good thing

Sometimes, like today, I’m almost nostalgic for the days when I only had one or two games to choose from. I’ve got no work on today and likely none over the weekend either (yay!), and I’m faced with so many games I don’t know which to choose.

There’s World of Warcrack, and the expansion remains highly entertaining. I’ve got 4 level 100 chars with garrisons to manage and stuff to accumulate, which is always fun, even though it sucks up time like a black hole. Eventually I’m sure the luster will pale but nothing beats WoW for simple, mindless levelling joy. I don’t dungeon, so my go-to in WoW tends to be to find (or make) an alt and just quest for a few hours. It’s relaxing — and that’s why I play WoW. It’s also where I hang out on Vent with old WoW and Asheron’s Call friends and get my dose of socialising for the month week day.

Drood hanging out

Then there’s Elite: Dangerous, which is exactly the opposite. I did get it installed and I did get in to play, once, but that was over a week ago and, I’ll admit, I’m super intimidated by the game. No game has ever made me feel quite as noobish and useless as this one does. I don’t even know how to fly the ship. I didn’t expect flying the beginner ship would be quite that difficult (and I’m not the only one*). I actually expected that I’d be able to pick it up in a half hour or so and then start doing the trading and possibly mining thing, which was why I bought the game. Instead I feel like a noob, in a bad way, and I’m not sure I want to try again. But I will, if only because $60 for a half hour of entertainment is not really good value… and because I fully expect that eventually — provided I play enough to feel comfortable with the controls — I will love the game and play it to death, because it’s exactly the sort of thing I enjoy.

I also picked up Civilization: Beyond Earth during one of the (many, thank god, because I suck at catching them) Steam sales for that game. Don’t believe the people who tell you it’s only superficially like Civ — it’s 110% Civ, just Civ in space with aliens instead of barbarians and a revamped tech tree (it’s a wheel now). However, that’s not a bad thing in my book and the new tweaks in the game are a lot of fun. I tend to play this on the non-nightmare modes and I prefer non-military victories, so it’s another relatively mindless exploration and building game.**

Sims 4 is of course still kicking around, though I don’t think I’ve fired it up in most of a month. I think I’m holding a grudge with the bugs that hit my Mirage legacy, not to mention the fact that none of my Sims are able to have children without having twins or triplets. It’s amusing to write about, but it gets real old real fast when you’re trying to play. Less is more in this case. I guess I could go with adoption… I dunno. I’m still a little narked about the whole thing, so I’ll pretend the Sims 4 aren’t in my game case for a few months and then go back to it. As far as single-player games go, the Sims is one of the most enduring for me so it’s a fair bet I won’t ignore it forever.

I also picked up Theme: Hospital by accident on Origin the other day, mostly for nostalgia’s sake and because it was a freebie. Memory served up this image of people chain-vomiting in the halls and that sounded like fun in the middle of flu season, but I haven’t had time to fire it up yet. Still, it should be good for a few hours of remember-when fun.

The Secret World keeps looking at me sadly because I update it and then don’t log in. Again, I think right now I want mindless from my games, and TSW requires a little more attention than I’m willing to give. Which is a shame, because as far as atmosphere goes it’s probably my favourite MMO ever (and the one in which I take the most screenshots).

And then, in no particular order because the post is getting long, the other icons on my desktop include Diablo III (never made it past level 15 or so), Landmark (haven’t logged on in months because it gave my gfx card fits), EQ2 (still haven’t bought the Altar of Malice expansion, though I’m sure I will sooner or later), and Shroud of the Avatar (ditto the not logging on in months, though really I put money into it to support the development, not to have it wtfbbqNAO). Oh, and all 3 Dragon Age games, of course. I barely played DA2 and only spent a couple of hours in DA3 (not even sure I made it out of the first section), and I’m sure DA3 is worth some more intensive play. I can’t be arsed to link all those, so let your fingers do the Googling.

It’s actually a great thing to have a butt-ton of games to play and not know which to pick. I tend to default to WoW at the moment because I can pick it up and put it down easily and it doesn’t have the “just … 5 … more … minutes!” hold on me some of the other games have, which is helpful these days because on the list of useful and/or productive things to be doing with my time, games are not anywhere near the top, nor should they be.

But still, sometimes I kind of wish I only had one or two games to pick from. It would mean less time wasted gazing at my desktop and wondering which flavour I’m in the mood for today. #firstworldwoes and all.


* Ermahgerd, a pingback circle jerk! That’s just so wrong.

** You may be sensing a theme here. Yes, I prefer my games to not engage my adrenal glands too much. For one thing, adrenaline and I don’t get along all that well (I am the exact opposite of a thrill-seeker), and for another I play games to unwind, which for me means generally laid-back and not requiring an excessive amount of thought. Oh god, I’ve just branded myself a disgusting casual carebear player. However will I cope with the stigma?

It's Smiting Time!

I managed to avoid staying up late for the US launch of Dragon Age: Inquisition and couldn’t play it yesterday, but now I think it’s time.


This had better be good. And maybe I’ll actually finish a Dragon Age game one of these days…*

And for you UK readers who are still waiting for the release: NEENER NEENER.**

Opening screen

*Note – if you’re like me and never finish a game, you can still go to the Dragon Age Keep and put in what you *have* played, or what you wish had happened, in DA 1 and 2. Thanks to The Blogger Formerly Known as Lum for the pointer.

** It’s been that kind of a day.

Choices? Choices!

There’s a lot going on in my game and MMO world right now, and in the next couple of weeks.

There’s The Secret World’s Halloween event, which I’ve mentioned with a few screenshots; I did a few related bits and pieces but they’re intended for more powerful characters (or characters with help), and I’ll get to them next time. I don’t want to get into the ‘must do everything right this second’ craze, because for me that inevitably leads to burnout. The events will be available next year.

There’s my Sims 4 legacy challenge family, which I’m playing a little less these days and which therefore has only just reached the point of conceiving generation 4. I suspect the double whammy of twins in gen 2 and triplets in gen 3 burned me out on that a bit too – it was just a LOT of Sims to keep track of, especially for a control-freak like me.

Then there’s the EverQuest 2 expansion, Altar of Malice, that launches tomorrow for super-special (i.e. subscription) people like me. I haven’t logged in to EQ2 in a couple of weeks, what with TSW and WoW and everything else. I should log in and claim my monthly Station Cash, however. And I will log in for the expansion, if not necessarily tomorrow, because the Isle of Refuge is back and anyone who played EQ2 in the early days knows what that means. I think I’m a few months off getting it as housing from the veteran reward, though buying expansions usually adds some time to one’s account, but it’s going to be awesome! (Meaning I’ll get it, plonk my research assistants down and never do any decorating, even though I’ll plan to decorate every time I log on. I predict this with absolute certainty.)

Speaking of World of Warcrack, Warlords of Draenor launches on Thursday (the 13th) — and while I’m not much of one for WoW’s endgame content, their levelling content is usually a lot of fun. It’ll give me a chance to hook up with guildies I’ve hung out with for 10 years now (and more if you count the original Asheron’s Call lot who went to WoW), and I’m also looking forward to the new garrisons. If it walks like a house and talks like a house, it’s a really laboured metaphor – but still, it’s housing.

And THEN there’s Dragon Age: Inquisition, which launches on the 18th. We’d originally splurged for 2 collector’s editions of Dragon Age: Origins, 5 years ago (man, that long already?!) but those got lost in one of the 3 moves we’ve done since then, so when the game was offered for free on Origin I went ahead and downloaded it. I’ve been playing it here and there for the last few days, just to see if I want to get DA:I when it comes out, and I think I do. I had forgotten how good some of the cut-scenes are, and how funny a lot of the dialog between Alistair and Morrigan is; Steve Valentine was truly inspired casting. I recreated Antimony, the mage I played through the Origin story back when the game launched, and although it’s not my favourite class to be playing (rogues and rangers 4 eva!), I’m enjoying the replay. Plus I think her Sinnead look is boss.

DAO Banter

It’s a good thing work is relatively light at the moment, so that I may fully appreciate the quandary of having too many fun and interesting games to play. Now if only I could stay awake enough to play in the evenings, I could get some truly epic sessions in (long story, boring, suffice to say I tend to wilt pretty much right after dinner and am good only for Netflix binge-watching). Sadly it is not to be, and I’ll have to content myself with what I can cram in during the day. Yes, it truly sucks to have so many choices and so many good games to look forward to. Life is tough.

Time flies when you’re having fun

Time is a relative thing, especially in games. Specifically: if I’m enjoying something, it flies, and if I’m not, it crawls. This is true of most things in life, but it was brought home to me by some of the comments on yesterday’s post.

I probably wasn’t clear. The Fade/Circle of Magi thing isn’t taking me any longer to complete than any of the other long plot sections (if you’re OC about doing everything like I am). It just feels like it’s taking twice as long. That’s not helped by the fact that, knowing I still have a node boss to slaughter and buddies to free, I really can’t be arsed to fire the game up and slog my way through it.

(If anyone thought I was ranting generally about Dragon Age yesterday, this should set the record straight. I am finding the Circle of Magi bit in the Fade to be excessively long to play. I do believe a few design ideas were overused, which increases this impression of painful repetition, but that doesn’t equate to a sudden “Dragon Age sucks!” ruling.)

In games, a slog is bad. A romp is good, but can easily become so rapid you stop experiencing the game and end up merely experiencing the speed of your progress. The trick is pacing a game so that the player still feels as though they’re romping but is also going slowly enough to feel like they’re experiencing a LOT of stuff. This applies to MMOs just as much as it applies to single player games. I expect most MMO players have had at least one conversation with another player where content was experienced entirely differently by each (“zomg so SLOW and BORING!” vs “wow, that went by so fast I almost wish I could do it again”).

An added design problem is that pacing differs for each individual. We don’t all play at the same rate, do all the same things, or spend the same amount of time admiring scenery and dungeon art. It takes work to provide a smorgasbord of content that the content locusts can NOM NOM NOM their blind hungry way through, but that the … let’s call them content slugs can enjoy much more slowly and completely.

Okay, Content Slug just doesn’t cut it, especially since I’m one of them. Will have to find a better term.


Dragon Age: Fade to Tedious

I think this means my honeymoon with Dragon Age: Origins is over. This post is subtitled: Murder Your Darlings, from the writing principle that if you ever write (or design) something you think is way great!!11oneone then you should probably delete it, stat. Or at least make it much, much shorter.

* * * WARNING: Contains some spoilers * * *


They're like sheep. Sheep with magical powers!

Over the weekend I finally started the plot section that involves freeing the Circle of Magi from whatever it is some silly mage has unleashed upon it. You know what mages’ greatest weakness is? Their geek-like inability to ever believe anything can go wrong. “What, one tiny slip and the whole world will go up like a Roman candle and everyone will die horribly? 99% chance that this will happen? Noooo worries, we’ll just trust in the 1% — the odds are in our favour!” Actually, as a species they tend to remind me of Sir Didymus in Labyrinth, only less fuzzy and forgivably cute.

Stupid mages.

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Dragon Age: more screenies

In the last couple of weeks I’ve fit a little more Dragon Age into my schedule. Yeah, I should probably have been doing NaNoWriMo stuff, but life’s been stressful enough without it, and my limited spare time has been devoted to having some fun instead. If nothing else, I’ve discovered I still can write and that’s really what the whole thing was about, for me; I’m not guilt-tripping about having stopped at my not-quite-10k. I’ll pick it back up when things are a little less crazy.

So what, you all say? Quite right too, so back to Dragon Age. I’m still on the fence about spoilerish stuff, but I have been taking a ton of screenshots — 250+ of my own, not counting the ones the game itself takes — and I figured I could share a few of those. I’ll do what I did last time and keep them small, so if you don’t want to know anything about the game, don’t look and don’t click! (I’ll put a break in the post on WordPress, but I don’t think RSS readers cooperate with those. So scrunch your eyes up and scroll on past if you want to avoid anything remotely spoilerish!)

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Dragon Age: Origins – the last two

Last weekend I found another few hours to play, and decided to finish off the last two Dragon Age: Origins — the human noble and the dwarven noble.

I started off with Taizu, human noble warrior who — cough cough — doesn’t look anything like the other members of her family. There was no particular intent to make her look Asiatic when I sat down, but that’s how she ended up in the character creator and given her looks and class I named her after one of my favourite early C. J. Cherryh books, The Paladin. In the first screenie below you’ll see Taizu’s whitebread — if very noble whitebread — family, and below that you’ll see Taizu herself, with her mother. I kept wanting to ask Mater if she had something she wanted to tell me.


The human noble origin is, in many ways, the most standard in terms of both RPGs and fantasy fare in general, just as the Daelish elven one was the most D&D-like (explore dark underground temple). What that doesn’t mean is that either are bad. Dragon Age does a great job at taking fantasy and RPG tropes and using them both well and, when appropriate, humorously. Much has already been said about having to kill (ten-ish) rats in this origin, so I won’t bang on about it here.

Taizu’s story is somewhat cliched, but it’s still very involving and I found myself empathising with her much more than I expected. She’s a warrior, but she has to stay behind and “watch the castle” (aka do nothing useful or fun) while big brother and Dad get to ride south to help in the war with the Darkspawn. It doesn’t help that Mum, who was once “quite the swordmaiden herself” — in her own words — has now settled down to being a noble chatelaine, and isn’t very sympathetic to Taizu’s requests to be allowed to go off to war and/or join the Grey Wardens. (Duncan is there, of course, as he is in all the Origins.)

Very early on Taizu had to go fetch her supposedly misbehaving Mabari Wardog out of the kitchen pantry, which was a nice touch. Ferelden noble culture is based on those hounds, and in most of the lore you get to read that isn’t written by a Ferelden native, Fereldans are described as being only a few short steps past barbarianism. (Of course, all the cultural and historical lore in DA:O is very evidently skewed by the perspective of its writers, which adds another layer of depth to an already complex package.) Civilised or not, Ferelden nobles love their dogs and anyone as exalted as Taizu and her family apparently are wouldn’t not have some of these. I’d already found that out from playing previous Origins, and it was another example of how consistent the game is in general.


There’s not a whole lot else I can say about this Origin without giving spoilers. The human noble Origin plot isn’t, as I said, particularly difficult to predict, but it’s excellently executed and paced. There’s a great mix of furious fighting and pathos, and no punches pulled when it comes to the wanton murder of innocents. There’s a reason this game has an M rating and it’s not just the silly gore. The only downside of this Origin is that I was so involved in the story that I didn’t even recognise Tim Curry voicing Arl Howe. At least, I’m pretty sure Arl Howe was in this one. Hopefully I’ll get to meet him again later in the story.

By this time I was getting pretty tired of having to stop playing a character every time they started to get interesting, so I was glad to get to the final origin. I’d seen the spousal unit play this one — Dwarven noble — out of the corner of my eye, and since the Dwarven casteless origin had left me kind of meh (more the setting than the story) I wasn’t all that fired up.

So I made Kaitou more out of a sense of duty to you lot than out of any real enthusiasm. She’s a rogue, mostly because I’d only just finished a warrior origin and because and given the choice between fighter and rogue, I’ll always pick the rogue. Also, I wanted to see how a non-warrior type would play out in the Dwarven noble origin, which seemed on the surface to be rather biased towards being a fighter.


(For those who care about such things, “kaitou” means — or so the internets tells me — sharp sword in Japanese, and it took me a while of going through words until  found one I liked and wasn’t too un-Dwarven. Just now, while double-checking this assertion, I Googled “kaitou” and apparently there’s a slew of anime and game characters already called this. Goes to show that there’s just no being original with character names anymore. Sure, I could have used a “standard” Dwarven name but I’m pig-sick of those, just as I am of “standard” elven names.)

Anyway, I figured I’d blitz my way through this Origin and finally be able to pick a character for good and move on with the story. I hadn’t counted on yet another bloody good introduction, this time replete with political maneuvering and intrigue. Dwarves in DA:O aren’t the standard greedy-but-jolly types you’ll tend to see elsewhere. They’re greedy for sure, but they’re certainly not all jolly and they have the most restrictive caste system this side of medieval India. If you’re not born it, you’re pretty much SOL. And even if you are born it, you’re SOL if you don’t know how to play the game… and Kaitou isn’t the sharpest political player in the deck, at least not at the start of her Origin (not the way I was playing her, anyway).

I’d also not counted on her faithful Warrior-caste friend, who shows up in Scene 1 and is by her side right up to the point the shit hits the dwarven fan. When I first saw him I thought he was a glorified minder and Kaitou thus instantly disliked him, but he turned out to be amusing, loyal, and full of hard common-sense that stopped Kaitou from putting her foot in it once or twice. Despite plenty of opportunities for it in the other Origins, this was the first time I actually felt one of my characters might want to get something romantic started in DA:O, though the opportunity didn’t really arise. Most of the time we were too busy trying to make sure we weren’t about the get stabbed in the back or ambushed from the front.

It’s difficult to post any meaningful screenies from this Origin without giving spoilers, so again I’ll ad a few as thumbnails and you can avoid them if you please. They’re not captioned or anything and I don’t think they’re too spoilerish, but you never know. Click at your own risk etc etc.




I won’t reveal who I ended up deciding to play onward (it wasn’t who I was expecting, that’s for sure!) — that’ll be for next time, whenever that is, and provided I can write anything without giving too much away. There’s so much story in this game that it’s almost impossible to say anything without, er, saying anything!

I’m very impressed that I found each of the six Origin stories entertaining. Some were more to my taste than others, but that’s down to personal plot preferences and playstyle, and there’s enough variety in the backgrounds that I’m pretty sure anyone can find a character they’ll enjoy playing, unless they’re dead set on making a Dwarven mage, which just ain’t gonna happen.

While I don’t usually like to grade stuff or even give recommendations, I will say this: if you’re still on the fence about this game and if you’ve got the wherewithal to get it now, do so. Otherwise you’ll be dodging spoilers for the next few weeks/months, which may lessen your enjoyment. On the other hand, if you’re not bothered by spoilers then it’s no big deal to wait, especially since a few useful things (like a chest in the party camp) are being patched in as we speak. Not that I’ve applied any patches after last week’s silliness, but sooner or later I’ll get round to it.





Dragon Age bonus items: warning, Will Robinson

sadpandaThis is a pretty specific thing, so it’s difficult to give warning without spoilers, but here goes. If you’re playing a noble dwarf and you’ve got any kind of bonus items (like the Memory Band, those Skill/Attribute tomes, and other stuff), you might want to either use them for the one-shot items or not get too attached to them for the rest.

The spousal unit just realised he’d missed out on using his. How he realised is because I opened my big mouth, so I’m currently writing this from under the desk as he throws things and howls with rage. Well, maybe not quite howling.

It’s only a game after all, but it’s irritating to be 12 hours into the campaign and realise you didn’t use items when you could have and now you don’t have them at all anymore. Come to think of it, those wearable items would be gone regardless, meaning that anyone who plays the Dwarf noble caste Origin story is going to get similarly screwed.

While this is probably relatively minor in the context of the game/progression as a whole, that would still irritate me and it’s a bit of a glaring oversight.

EDIT — as Winged Nazgul pointed out below, this workaround will return the downloadable items to your inventory. I didn’t get the Memory Band back, but I can’t recall what gave that in the first place and besides all it does is give a 1% XP bonus; while that probably adds up to a fair amount over the course of the whole game, it’s not a big deal to me not to have it. Five or ten percent and I might be singing a different tune. Anyway, thanks againWN!


  • Save the game
  • Quit to menu
  • Desactivate dragon armor dlc (and any other item-giving content)
  • load the game and FORCE LOAD
  • Save in another slot (just in case)
  • reactivate DLC items previously turned off
  • Load the new save
  • You should have the armor in your inventory.

Dragon Age: Origins — Two lousy hours

(WARNING: Minor spoilerishness ahead.)

Porphyry_001Some of you are sick of hearing about Dragon Age: Origins. I’m looking at you, KIASA boys! Well, suck it up. It’s a great game and to make things worse I’ve only had a few hours to play it since I got it; okay okay, not counting the most-of-the-afternoon I spent on the first session. Since then, however, I’ve been neglecting NaNoWriMo and DA:O. Stupid real life. Stupid stuff that happens. Sometimes I wish I could be 17 again — as long as I get to keep my experience and brains. Physically 17, yay. Mentally 17, god help me no.

So uh, where was I? Ah yes, Ageing. I managed to get a little playtime in yesterday and got through the Origin for a low-class Dwarven warrior. That’s her to the left, of course, and Spinks was right — dwarven lasses are really rather cute. And clearly in possession of superior Gillette shaving power, even when completely down and out. Girl’s gotta have some standards, I guess, even if she is letting a total slimebag pimp out her sister.


That’s the slimebag in the middle. I was very interested to see that Porph’s sister (and other family members) all had the same red hair as she does. Did the game do that? Was it just total coinkidink? I’m almost tempted to start that one again with a different character just to see what they look like.

The Go Dwarf Brigade (you know who you are!) is likely to string me up for this one, but personally I find it hard to see what’s so damn amazing about dorfs. This might be because I’m rather dwarflike in real life, and I play games at least partly to experience a different condition — why be short and round when I can be tall and disproportionately skinny? Besides, I’m really, really bored of big stone underground dwarven cities with lava in them. YAWN! Been there, Ironforged that. Some may think it’s daft to care about whether one is indoors or out when it’s just on a screen, but I’m funny that way. So if I had a hard time connecting with this Origin story it may be more to do with me than with any failings in the story.

In fact I’m sure it is, because the story is the most M-rating deserving of the three I’ve played so far, and it’s rather good. It’s not filled with twists and turns and unexpected events, but that’s become pretty bloody hard to manage in fantasy and thus, for what it’s trying to do — which is to rip your character out of their comfortable or miserable life and send them off to the equivalent of the Ferelden Foreign Legion — it does very well. I’ll add these screenies as thumbnails so those of you who don’t even want to be picture-spoilered can’t see too much; the rest of you can click through.



I like my Dwarven warrior gal, she’s feisty and she takes no shit from anyone — and she has the axes to stick in your skull to prove it. Maybe now that she’s away from the underground city and the whole smothering over-Dwarf atmosphere I might have a better time of it.

But that was only three of the six Origins, and so your dashing reporter saved and started yet another character. See how I work my rampant altoholism into a blogging virtue? As Dennis Hopper would say I am one suave f***.

Anyway, next up I thought I’d go back to the Elves, so I started up a City Elf rogue. Needing a contrast from feisty-cute, I made moody-emaciated Goth. Here she is in the miserable hovel she shares with her widower dad:

Threnody_001All I really know so far is nothing more than you can find out from the blurb, which is that there’s to be a wedding and that my character is somehow involved. (Okay, I know a bit more than that by now but I’m not going to spoil it.) I’ve already seen that the range of dialogue responses is quite large, from the “Oh yay, I’m so brainlessly happy!” to “Grrr, I won’t do this (whatever it is) because I’m a miserable bitch AND I’m feeling emo today. So sod off!” with a selection in between.

One thing I’ve noticed with almost all the Origins is that there really are choices. I’m not entirely sure to what extent they influence the plot of a given Origin since you do after all have to end up in the wider world and at a specific place, but they do provide at least the illusion of choice and even just that is rather nice in an intro phase. I’m quite sure now that the decisions my characters make after the intro will have a long-reaching effect on how the game turns out in detail for them. More importantly for me, choices help you to establish who your character is by deciding what they’d do in given situations, and that’s the essence of role-playing in what is, after all, an RPG. Sure, it’s a little multiple-choice still these days, but Dragon Age: Origins does a pretty good job at masking the mechanics behind a tapestry of high-quality dialogue and acting.

I’m looking forward to the next two hours I can rip, blood-spattered and screaming, out of the fabric of my life!