Real talk: In the way people say that Jennifer Hale gives a better performance than Mark Meer in Mass Effect, I think Nicholas Boulton does Hawke better than Jo Wyatt.
Definitely, male Hawke is far superior. I’ve never seen that much girl Hawke and watching it now, it’s way less fun.
On my current playthrough, all my PCs from each game were women. In DA:I where so many of the key players are female, it was super cool when girl Hawke showed up to round out the ensemble of ridiculously capable and powerful women.
It’s the new year, I need something comfy, I’m recommitting myself to this series! This is probably going to be the stuff I take into DA4, so I’m gonna make all the choices I like the best! As such, here’s my new boy:
It is very difficult to make a strapping dwarf lad using this game engine.
Gonna document your playthrough anywhere?
Here, probably. It won’t be a stream of consciousness type thing, but I’ll definitely try to post what I’m thinking.
Strapping dwarf lad, straight from Orzammar.
Firm disagree here. I have no issue with Boulton’s Hawke - well, beyond the way he was pushed in all the marketing in that classical BioWare, ‘we’ll let you play as a woman, but we’ll be damned if the marketing department actually tells anyone about it!’ style - but I absolutely love Jo Wyatt’s sarky Hawke. She almost eclipses Shepard for me, which is absolutely incredible when you consider that we only got the one, relatively short, game with her, instead of a whole trilogy.
As someone who just finished a playthrough of DA:I for the third time and is already scheming about when they can start the fourth playthrough of all 3 games: I love all of them?? So, I’m biased and think everyone should play all three. I apologize for how much I’m about to Go On about them, but here’s some tips:
-if you do start with Origins, clock the difficulty down to easy (I think it makes the game much less of a slog to get through, and allows for focusing more on the story and less on the often unwieldy mechanics).
- While the DLC for Origins is sometimes fun, you can skip all of it (I’ve played only about half of it tho, so maybe I’m missing some gems?). Probably Witch Hunt and Leliana’s Song are the most interesting ones, because Morrigan and Leliana are core characters in the series. The Stone Prisoner adds an additional character to the game, and it’s a pretty dope character, to be fair!
- Conceivably, you could skip Origins and just play the (much shorter) Awakening, which I think is worth it, and sets up DA2 nicely.
- DA2 improves on the gameplay mechanics, and the story is fantastic. Yes, the game recycles environments a lot, which can get kind of annoying as you get further along. But, to me, the story and the characters are everything that’s good about DA2. So I found it easy to just chuckle and shake my head at the recycled environments and enjoy the narrative and writing. It’s one of my top five games of all time tho, so again, I’m biased!
- I think Mark of the Assassin and Legacy are crucial DLC for DA2 - one of those situations where that stuff probably should have been in the full game, because they make the game’s story richer (and sets up some stuff that gets explored more in DA:I). Bioware has a habit of doing this, but oh well, I love lore and I ate these DLC up. Ya got me, Bioware.
- Definitely agree that if you’re finding the collect-a-thon/side quest abundance overwhelming and/or boring in DA:I, you can move on from areas ASAP. All the areas have a couple main quest threads, and sticking to those/the party member quests will result in you playing the majority of that game.
- Also, most of the big story missions give you a level you ought to be at ideally to complete them, and those goals are not hard to hit by just doing the above. I always end up way, way overleveled by the end of the game because I like doing every single thing, haha.
- I think all the DLC is really interesting in DA:I, but the only “crucial” one, to me, is Trespasser (acts as a second ending to the game, since it’s set a couple years after the end of the base game, and “gets the gang back together” for another story arc). The Descent also has some excellent lore, but also requires having to chew through a lot of enemies before you can get to That Good Shit.
- Dragon Age Keep is very handy to use if you do end up skipping anything along the way, including DLC. You can also fill out exactly as much of Keep as you want to, if I recall correctly.
And lastly, the easiest classes to get into, I’ve found, are dual-wielding rogues and mages - warriors take a bit to get going (but end up being very powerful/fun to play), and I need to improve on bow rogue… but that’s just my experience. I’ve had the most fun playing with the first two there, I think.
If you do end up diving in anywhere along the Dragon Age lineage in 2019, I hope you enjoy!! They’re not short games tho, so if you do end up just reading the lore notes for the first 2 and skipping right to DA:I, that’s a reasonable choice to make.
How do you feel about embodying a Grey Warden, the Champion of Kirkwall, and the Inquisitor? Did you come away more connected to any one of the roles?
I’m well into my Inquisition playthrough now and I’ve flipped on Sera again. The first time I played through I thought she was a brat and some sort of bizarre joke by the writers (the option to kick her out always being present, her impenetrable dialogue). The second time, I gave her a fair shot and found her politics to be a great antidote for and perspective on the political machinations of Thedas. She is always on the little guy’s side, which is a level of moral clarity that none of the advisors have.
However, playing through as a Dalish Elf has exposed me to a lot of her internalised racism. Some people have already highlighted it in this thread. Her exclusive focus on class and utter disdain for communities and cultures not defined by class boundaries means she comes across like the caricature of a Chapo trap house listener or one of the hosts of Red Scare. I’m not sure whether this is deliberate, the game takes pains to highlight the flaws in all political positions and doesn’t take a moral stance on anything without the player’s input, but it does affirm the value of role-playing in general.
Relatively speaking, I think Sera probably has the most goodest politics of all your companions, but I just cannot stand to hear her fucking talk.
Now that sounds like someone who’s never rolled a Dalish or mage-quisitor.
I put emphasis on “relatively speaking” for a reason.
I mean Varric–And some one check me but this may be the first mention of him in this thread–is totally there to ruffle no feathers and have the most goodest politics and/or no ability to commit toward anything.
Yeah, Sera’s whole “sticking up for the little guy” thing sounds good at first despite her shitty Deadpool-ass dialogue, but then her incredibly a narrow definition of what counts as “the little guy” and refusal to consider any other viewpoints makes it clear she cares infinitely more about hurting the rich and powerful than she does about helping the poor and disenfranchised.
Who’s gonna be the one who dares to make a political compass for this franchise?
Dwarves are underrepresented in this franchise and I’m real heated about it.
Listen Bioware, all we want is ONE horny dwarf. PLEASE!
Lucky for me I can be the horny dwarf.
Take that, Bioware ya squares.