A Crabby Dwarf and Party of Three

This has absolutely zero to do with World of Warcraft, but rather, is about Dragon Age: Origins which I have been playing quite a bit as I keep misplacing my authenticator (Bad Windsoar!)  If you’ve got no interest in other games, feel free to come back in a day or two.

Dirt.  Or maybe even less than dirt, my new dwarven lass Natia starts in the slums of the great Dwarven city–poor, pissed, and ready to kill people to make a living since washing bedsheets cannot be done by the untouchables.  Yep.  Nice, huh?

I had previously started DA: O twice, the first time as a mage, and the second as a ranger.  I stopped playing the mage because, well, I was healing things and I really wanted to be killing things, and the ranger because I was able to move the whole she-bang over to my new shiny desktop.  My laptop wasn’t capable of running the game, and I was thus forced to rely on the lack of interest of my husband for computer time to play a game I’ve had since Christmas.  As  you can imagine, I haven’t exactly made it very far.

I’ve also discovered some unsettling truths about my play-style which make branching story-lines and the general RPG experience a time consuming and rather frustrating (albeit fun in a masochist way) for me.

No One Is Allowed to Die

Ever.  No exceptions.  You know those random NPC’s you pick up that don’t even have a name except mage and fighter.  They are not allowed to die.  I don’t care if they can pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and resume the party as soon as I’ve dispatched the latest round of enemies.  I don’t care if I have 99 stacks of the magic powder that cures all their status ailments from death.  If characters fall in battle, the auto-load button is used.  Needless to say I load a lot of games.  Even easy encounters can take a couple of swipes, because, well…. I’m sure I could do this fight without utilizing that health poultice.  ::sigh::

There Has to Be a Correct Choice

One of these days, I just know I”m going to piss off a certain caster or bard so badly that they’ll strip off their gear, throw it at my feet, and then cast conflagrate on the whole mess setting everyone in the camp on fire.  Or something like that.  See, when you’re sassy and street smart, it’s hard to be nice to people.  I know, I’m sitting in front of my monitor and clenching my teeth or yelling expletives at the guards prior to picking their pockets for being such asshats.  But in a game like DA, you’re required to, if not kiss the ass of your comrades, at least keep from kicking them in the head on a daily basis–I have a feeling an overuse of abuse and heckling will eventually cause certain members to leave, or perhaps lose their combat points forcing me to rely on thrown rocks instead of ice spears.  So… the conversation tree is a bit of a nightmare to your intrepid adventurer looking to keep her party and bring her full sassy-ness to bear.

Unfortunately, conversation trees are not only initiated with party members.  Oh, no.  You must navigate conversations with potential party members, bandits, town beggars and councillors, not to mention that really hot Templar ::cough:: Say the right thing, people hand you money, arms, men (or women); say the wrong things, pitchforks appear and you find yourself beating a hasty retreat before the peasants.  Shit.  ::auto-load::  There is no such thing as a non-thorny conversation.  Even the most kind-hearted and generous person would have a hard time making it through every conversation in the game without a hitch.  You could be losing out on fabulous prizes and great guests to add to your cadre of willing party members… or insufferable rock-throwers depending on that conversation.

All in all, for someone who likes to have her way, the conversation tree is a nightmare waiting to happen.  I can’t just say “my character would say this” and do it.  Oh no.  I must save, talk, load, talk, load, talk, load and hope my F9 key doesn’t get turned on by all the constant stroking.

And the Combat Trees!

You wanna know how I ended up being a healer on my mage?  I thought, “Oh, this would be useful,” picked a healing spell and then got stuck in some kind of primordial dimension that doesn’t allow you to change your mind or take another tree worth of spells easily.  You can be a jack of all trades…. but you just know you’re going to suck at it.  I can get a general idea of how my skills should go for certain characters, because certain skills require X stat.  However, I don’t really know how long I have to level the character, whether I need to be able to make traps *NAO!* or whether it can wait a few levels.  I have gotten so used to a game where everything is neatly laid out by the concept of max level, that I am almost completely flabbergasted by the simple “put points where you want, and play with your tree however.  We’re not going to stop you from maiming yourself!  Ta, ta!”

Sheesh.

All in all, I am enjoying playing something a bit different.  I played a multitude of RPG’s long before I discovered the on-line kind and started spending such an inordinate amount of time there.  However, it is definitely a change of pace.  Auto-save IS your friend… and for the horribly perfectionist ::sigh, raises hand:: mutliple saves are something that have to be done.  Having not done them for years, I have to nearly sticky note my monitor to death to remember that, but, eventually, I’ll get the hang of it again.

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4 thoughts on “A Crabby Dwarf and Party of Three

  1. I’ve been play DAO off and on as well, but I’m having a really hard time getting into it. This makes me sad because of my absolute love for Mass Effect. I sense the same potential in this game, but I just can’t seem to find it.

    I’m not sure if it’s really hard or I really suck. But I wipe. A lot. The only way I’ve found to get around it is to carefully maneuver to only attract the attention of 1 or 2 mobs at a time out of a whole pack, draw them back to my waiting group, and beat them down. But it doesn’t feel like the way it was meant to be played. So…yeah.

    Gonna keep trying, though.

    • I have discovered trappage is awesome. My previous ranger type didn’t do the whole trap thing, so I spent the game kiting things back to the waiting party. Now, I still kite things back, but I have nasty traps to blow up or arrest extra mobs on the way. Huzzah!

      I was expecting more of an Icewind Dale (or other Bioware D&D rip-off of your choice) in a more 3-d type way, and it definitely is NOT that.

  2. You've actually resparked my interest in DA:O again…im gonna have to remake a character and see if i can actually get somewhere this time. Last time for some reason i just got to a point that didn't excite me anymore. Try Try again I always say. But now that I've gotten God of War III its going to be very difficult putting away my pocket-god-wannabe and playing anything for a while…first final fantasy 13…now this game has my soul…aparantly my soul is easilly swayed.

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