Dragon Age: Origins – The Drooling Effect

So I finally got my hands on Dragon Age: Origins, which is the only 2009 game title that I was really wanting to play. I spent a good portion of the this past weekend playing it, or wishing I was playing it.

I’m uncertain if the game has the 100(?) hours of gameplay that Ray Muzyka mentioned some time ago, but I’ve played a lot of hours (doing a lot of side quests in the process) and I doubt I’ve gone past one fourth of the game’s story.

We bought the Collector’s Edition, preordered from GAME UK, and sadly their CE does not include the cloth map, which I was somewhat interested in. That was expected, as I had contacted them regarding the information they had on their website. The only thing we should have gotten and didn’t was the preorder bonus item code, and my sweetie has sent them an e-mail asking about it. I don’t really care for the +1% XP much, but if we’re entitled to it…

Anyway, I rolled a Human Noble Fighter, dual wielder extraordinaire. The only down side of this is that since I’m dual wielding, I focus a lot of my points on Dexterity, instead of Strength, and the bonus Dragon Armor requires a ton of Strength to wear, so it will have to wait for a lot more level ups.

What I’m liking so far:

Awesome graphics, which have been running smoothly on my PC so far. Some of the spell and abilities’ animations are very well done also.

The world design. I haven’t seen all of the environments in the game, but so far I’m impressed with what I’ve seen.

The combat system. It’s not perfect, but I like real time combat (or something that simulates that well enough), not turn-based combat, which is the main reason I usually can’t be arsed playing japanese RPGs.

I’m especially liking the dialogues and the characters. I thought I’d hate Morrigan, but so far she’s been very entertaining, with her cold outsider views of the world and bluntness. The interactions between party members have also been entertaining, as have been some of their backstories. I don’t know who BioWare hires to write the plots, and develop characters, but they deserve praise because I never ever would think of, say, a certain story Leliana tells involving birds. I’ve had a quite a few laughs out loud moments while playing the game, and that’s a very good sign.

Little details like being able to offer gifts to party members to gain approval add to the coolness also. Incidentally, my sweetie, who’s also been playing the game decided to offer Leliana a lamb bone or something, and was surprised that she didn’t like it. I gave her flowers, and she loved it. A girl liking flowers over a bone? Go figure. πŸ˜‰ Regarding this system I’ve noticed that some gifts are more effective on party members than others, and that you can sometimes figure the ‘correspondence’ out by talking to them about their stories. A little spoiler incoming in the rest of this paragraph: for instance, if you talk to Leliana long enough you realize she loves fashion, especially shoes. You can buy shoes from at least one merchant in the game, and if you give them to her she loves getting them.

What I haven’t liked:

Small inventory space. 70 slots for 4 characters in the party isn’t much. I hear the already available downloadable content introduces more space for items, somehow, but even though I’m liking the game, I prefer waiting a bit longer before cashing in another 6,35€ for content. Also, I just love the euro/dolar conversion: $7 = 6,35€. Okay…

Call me a sissy but I’ve started finding the game really hard after a point. At the moment I’m stuck in front of a boss with a grand total of three healing pots because before I got to her, I had to slay huge groups of mobs non-stop, and having no healer in the party I developed a… drinking problem. Fortunately, the peeps over at BioWare seem to have realized this and it seems that patch 1.01a addresses this among other things.

Spiders. Urgh. Okay maybe this isn’t a game flaw. πŸ˜› I just really hate spiders and the last few hours of gameplay have been filled with unending hordes of giant spiders. Which I hate. Brrr… *shivers*

What I’m still looking forward to:

The Dragon Age Toolset. It’s out and I want to get it asap. I’m probably only going to try it out after I finish the game, though.

Knowing how some stories work out.

Will Morrigan turn evil(er)?

Will Alister become who he doesn’t want to be?

Will Leliana ever get enough shoes?

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7 thoughts on “Dragon Age: Origins – The Drooling Effect

  1. I recommend getting the warden’s keep download as soon as possible if only so that you get the extra storage (I won’t spoil anything in case you don’t know what it is). It IS worth it, if only to be able to keep all the extra crafting components, unique weapons & Armour (much of which my people can’t use yet), etc. 70 slots is too little.. they could have at least done it by weight πŸ˜‰

    The content itself is a little… short IMO… Especially if you are paying 7 euros… jees. But I still feel it is worth it just for the storage and the merchants (you can get a really awesome weapon via one of the merchants… I won’t spoil how).

    I also like the gift bit, except the amount of room they take up! (another reason to get the DLC). My party contains Liliana and Morrigan as well, their banter is awesome. especially the bits where Liliana talks about dressing up Morrigan , etc πŸ˜‰

    I’ve on a number or occasions run into battles where I:
    a) died
    b) had almost my entire party wiped out and just my main left standing, and gone through almost all my healing.

    Have you done the Ashes quest line yet? OMFG. Death a lot.

    Is it just me or are the tactics kinda like FFXII’s gambits? you can even unlock more ‘tactics’ from skill upgrades (similar to the license board in FFXII). Well I loves the gambit system anyway, it made battles better and your NPCs a little less stupid.

    I’m looking forward to getting DA:O for PC eventually (prolly after xmas, when i can afford to upgrade my PC or get a new one).

    The graphics on Xbox aren’t as sharp as the PC. they are still good.. just not stellar… the graphics in Forza III are better.

    One thing I will note is the amount of blood is borderline ridiculous. Especially the amount that stays on your characters πŸ˜‰ I know… I can turn it off.

    PS: I gave Morrigan healing abilities so she can act as a backup healer if we run low on supplies.

    Oh… and I HATE spiders (and scorpions, millipedes, etc) as well. I don’t think I’ve run into any yet? I ran into LOTS in Torchlight though.. *cringe*.

  2. Exactly how much extra storage space does that DLC give? You’ve left me curious with what you’ve said.

    I haven’t done the Ashes quest line I think. I’m at the dwarven kingdom and went to some tunnels. Despite only having died once, I’ve had several fights lately which ended up with half the party dead or only one alive. And those have been won with my ‘drinking problem’ technique since I don’t have a healer. :p

    I should have been smart and done that with Morrigan also, giving her healing skills instead of turning her into The Ultimate Nuking Machineβ„’. Is Wynne a healer? I have to get her to replace someone if so.

    To me, the funniest thing about the absurd amount of blood is how they chat on happily while covered in it.
    My mind imagines something like:
    ‘So, tell us, how’s the weather?’
    ‘Slight northern winds and a tad of blood falling from the sky. Back to you, Jim!’

    The spiders show up a lot in the tunnels I’ve been questing on. One of the times they showed up (no spoilers), I literally jumped off my chair.

  3. Well, the Dwarves were my next stop.. maybe I’ll save them until after the elves 😐

    I have yet to run out of storage space.. suffice it to say that it is a lot of space. a lot.

    Yes, Wynn is an excellent healer, and an okay nuker as well, but not as good (IMO) or as fun to listen to & look at as Morrigan.

    Take a LOT of healing with you on the ashes quest. Wynn might be useless at the second half of this quest line (long) cause I think she would die too quickly. I can’t really say more without giving stuff away. Then again you may not have such a hard time if you aren’t like me (“shoot first, shoot later, shoot some more and then when everybody’s dead try to ask a question or two”… Hey.. diplomacy is for people without weapons, no?)

  4. I’m playing on EZ mode (really, i’d skip all combat if i could – i play these things for the story), and still i’ve had my butt kicked a couple times.
    I hate Morrigan. I hope i get to make a bloody mess out of her later on. She was dumped as soon as i found Wynne (which thankfully was pretty early on) πŸ˜›
    Wynne is awesome – hello healbot! Alistair and my character have been getting it on *cough*a lot*cough* and Wynne is endlessly amused by it. Once she even gave Alistair the birds and the bees talk… The only time i laughed more was when i got a dialogue option that said “I’ve licked my share of lampposts and then some” – in a very innuendo filled conversation with Alistair regarding his virginity :p
    What?! Like you didn’t know i was a perv :<

  5. I curse the day I decided to buy this through Steam. I’ve been downloading it for DAYS and the downloading speed doesn’t get past 70 kB/s… Still 5 gigabytes to go -_-;

  6. @Christien Lomax I’ve finished the Dwarves’ area last night, after geting Wynne the night before last. It was really a lot less complicated with her in the party. πŸ™‚

    So far I’ve been liking the character, but Morrigan has been proving to be interesting to get to know. She’s someone who’s never really had people being nice to her just because they like her, so she’s not used to it or to being nice herself. Wynne is like the cool old lady of the party, but I haven’t talked as much to her yet.

    @AlmaMavis Yeah, I’ve decided to go on Easy mode also, and also because I care more about the story than the rest. Also, I don’t have as free much time as I used to have, so that makes my useage of time more effective. :p

    I’m doing the Leliana romance plot. She seems very cool, but I wonder if what Wynne told me yesterday will end up being a prophecy of sorts… We’ll see.

  7. @TheEnt We bought ours from GAME UK. it arrived one day after launch but we were only able to go get it from the mail service a couple of days later.

    When you do start playing let me know what you think of it. πŸ™‚

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