Asked by Anonymous
I don’t know, what IS up with DA?
first up, i have poor taste in everything.
second up, the DA series isn’t really that expansive yet, but there’s much inconstancy between titles; it’s definitely a series under constant renovation.
so! Dragon Age: Origins. If high fantasy approached on a more intimate level sounds good to you, you might like DA:O just fine. I didn’t like it, but more in a wincing, embarrassed way than in an I’M ANGRY AT ALL way. I’m not a fan of high fantasy, tbh! ..Though if i could distill low fantasy and magical realism into soap i’d wash with that shit like six times a day. …Anyway, I felt that DA:O is just incredibly awkward in so many ways, and annoying in others. Playing it is just not fun to me! Normally I could deal with no fun (I HAVE PLAYED PERSONA 2 I AM NOT A PROUD PERSON), but the pacing of the story is also not fun, and that’s the deal breaker. The lore wasn’t so well explained or integrated in gameplay proper, which is sad because there are some pretty funny and interesting details to the setting that aren’t in evidence in the main plot.
The second game is DA:Awakening, which is an expansion of and direct sequel to Origins. Everyone in it is horrible. Horrible, except for Justice and Sigrun. It’s very similar in origins in terms of storytelling and gameplay, though much smaller in scope.
Honestly, Awakening not a super good bridge between the writing style of the Origins and the second game. It feels unnecessary in the greater scheme of things. The main character’s story really ends in Origins, so Awakening is more like “The Further Adventures Of…” but if you liked the cut of DA:O’s jib, maybe that’s just fine! Who knows?
There’s a DLC for Origins called Witch Hunt that is much more representative of what you’re going to get in the next game. From what i’ve gleaned, that DLC was not very well received by Origins fans, so there’s a portent for you. Personally I liked it because it’s silly, the characters are cute, the plot is is the opposite of grandiose (distilled into five words, the plot is : “let’s find babby momma, friends!”) and there’s a LIBRARY CARD CATALOG quest. It is only in video games that i can fufill my dream of being a librarian who can shoot fire at people
DA2 is annoying in different ways than the first and a half games. There were so many batons dropped in development, or ideas that couldn’t be implemented. It can be pretty frustrating to see something and think THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO COOL HAD THEY ACTUALLY FINISHED IT. It definitely was not a complete product at release, and the plans to flesh it out in DLC pretty much dissipated due to its lukewarm reaction. AND YET…
The structure of it (episodic quests w/ story arcs divided into three parts) is at odds with the first game’s more traditional Tolkiensque psuedo-epic narrative, and that really appeals to me. Generally I like the way the characters are written, as often their most admirable traits are their worst traits (see also Aveline and Isabela’s near-absolute sense of self for details). There’s also a smattering of much appreciated supplemental scenes that show the characters having interesting lives and relationships outside of being sass-talkin’ satellites orbiting the player character, which I appreciate. That said, would you like it? Well, judging from the average reaction PROBABLY NOT????
The games are on sale often on the usual digital dispensaries, and can be found for dirt cheap at used game stores! They’re not a huge investment, money wise, but the first game is a massive investment time-wise. If you have lots of time, maybe check it out and see what you think?
Shieldy madness! UPDATED 17 Mar 2013
Almost all of these are canon per the toolset filenames or the game. Where the two contradict, I always go with what’s said in-game.
The only ones I chose for my own map-making and storytelling purposes are:
- West Hill (actually Andruil: Goddess of the Hunt according to filename)
- River Dane (just called “ursubera” in the filename)
- Lothering (probably Mythal: the Great Protector based on filename).
Some notes on how I’ve labeled these:
Why did I feel it was ok to arbitrarily stick elvehn pantheon heraldry on human bannrics? Well, a lot of the heraldry files are named with things that didn’t end up being their eventual use. Harrowmont's heraldry is labeled “Dumat” who was the archdemon in the First Blight. Denerim's is Razikale, one of the two Old Gods who haven't yet had a Blight, and the Dragon’s Peak heraldry is Lusacan, the other sleeping Old God. The Templar heraldry is actually the symbol for the primal school of magic, with the file actually labeled “templar” having two crossed swords above a sun.
Filenames for arlings and tyrnirs were labeled with an “aof” and “teyof” for “arling of” and “teyrnir of” respectively. There were no official heraldry for any bannrics that I could discern.
Conversely, the heraldry that was originally meant to be for the Cousland family was labeled “teyrncous” so I assume that this means that it’s the heraldry of the Couslands themselves rather than of the teyrnir. That the soldiers have the Cousland heraldry on their shields says, to me at least, that the heraldry applies to the family and not to Bryce himself.
Just to muddy the waters, though, the Howe family heraldry was labeled “aohowe” which gives the impression that at some point Howe was a place and not a person, but given that the DA team isn’t known for its consistency in minor details I’m just going to assume that they meant it to be for the Howe family because otherwise it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
The Ferelden heraldry was labeled “kingfere” so again, I assume that this means it applies to the Kingdom of Ferelden and not to the Theirins as a family.
The Avvar one is Hakkon Wintersbreath, one of the Avvar gods, so not the heraldry of the entire Avvar race but still applicable. I probably should have labeled it as such in this image.
The Alamarri one is from Gregoir’s heirloom shield and is labeled as being Alamarri, but the heraldry is actually Lady of the Skies, another Avvar deity. Fun fact: Avvar don’t burn or bury their dead, they just leave them out on a peak and let the birds eat them, in honor of the Lady of the Skies.
If the heraldry had a shield-shaped background I just expanded that to fill the shield; it seemed silly to have some sort of meta-shield thing going on.
Here are the individual shields for some of the ones that don’t have defined places/groups or wouldn’t show up in my story/maps in the next post. I made these composite images solely so that I could quickly look at them while writing and making maps rather than having to look at each individual shield file.
i like the amarathine one. it really just screams WE’RE A BUNCH OF FUCKING BEARS
today’s progress and revisions on morrigan! very magpie. much skull necklace
i wish i could cut out the fur sole shoulder thing but it’s CONCEPTUALLY IMPORTANT to the costume program in ways i am TOO TIRED to discuss??????? ugh CONCEPTS
Kirkwall Kops by Kundagi.
This is a hilarious comic. You can find the whole thing on Kendagi’s Deviant Art page.
But this panel is my favourite thing ever. Their expressions ^-^ “Justice First”
I just keep thinking “A wizard did it.”
MAKER I CANNOT BREATHE AFTER READING THIS. CANNOT BREATHE.THEIR FACES. EVERYBODY’S UNHELPFULNESS. THE LAST PANEL. MHURDUR.
Some moments, I miss deviantART. This is one of them.
let’s bring this back because I’ve been contemplating another stupid multipage comic along these lines