The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 5: Dragon Age: Origins (Over)

Sorbicol wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

So it's a Japanese dating game. I can swing that.

Yeah. When you stop and think about it - it’s as weird as f**k.....

Ahhhh! That explains why the Madd Gift Guide mod is so popular.

In. For PC, controller or M&K?

Okay, that whole "Nexus mods generally come with good installation instructions" might be true for games that aren't that old, but I was pretty confused trying to figure out what to do from the individual mod pages.

I stumbled onto this video however, made this year by a guy who sounds German. I'm pretty sure almost any German would be much better at this than I am, so I'm going to give it a shot.

EDIT: So far so good. I've got a memory patch installed, and have enabled the console command window. I'm now downloading the Mod Manager.

This game is a lot like Skyrim!

I'm almost done with my pile games for the year, so I thought I'd get a bit of a head start on this one. I'm playing the Xbox 360 version via backward compatibility.

It is not the most attractive game. True to its generation, it is very brown and grey. I sometimes forget just how brown and grey games were for awhile.

I started with an Elvish mage, because I was struck by the depiction of elves as the destitute, cast aside elements of society. I'm sure it was a self-aware choice on the writers' part to put elves in such a different position from typical fantasy, but it seemed interesting.

I have to say that I learned more from my first hour with this game—hell, from just the character selection screen—about the dynamics between the different races, the mages and the templars, demons and the Fade, than I got from literally dozens of hours with Inquisition. This game, probably simply by virtue of being the first one, really cares if you understand things; Inquisition does not.

I'm still a bit unsure of playing a BioWare game, but my impressions are positive so far.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I started with an Elvish mage, because I was struck by the depiction of elves as the destitute, cast aside elements of society. I'm sure it was a self-aware choice on the writers' part to put elves in such a different position from typical fantasy, but it seemed interesting.

I always figured they cribbed that detail from The Witcher series. Maybe someone who knows more about it can confirm or refute that?

Count me in! I’ve been meaning to do a replay of the Dragon Age trilogy for a while now and this is the perfect opportunity. I will be streaming as I play, so I’ll be glad if anyone of you join me.
2009, though... has it really been nearly 10 years? Doesn’t seem all that long ...
I’ll be using a bunch of mods, mostly cosmetic and some convenience. However, I haven’t quite figured out which. The only one I am certain I will use is the spell that unlocks chests because I love playing as a mage, and it is so frustrating to run into locked chests in Ostagar.
And maybe there’s a mod where Morrigan isn’t half naked.

Clumber wrote:

In. For PC, controller or M&K?

Mouse and keyboard.

(my) story so far...

IMAGE(https://smackfolio.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/20180802234603_1.jpg)

Lyra, the human mage has:

Spoiler:

Helped clear the mage tower of demons, survived the fade, rescued Redcliffe from it's undead and demon problem, saved the boy from the lust demon, and then done a bunch of DLC stuff (recovered Shale and cleared the old Warden Tower).

Right now i was just decided whether i should take a detour for Denerim, head into the woods to recruit the Daelish elves or tackle the Dwarf stuff next. I'm leaning towards the Dwarves, because I find the Daelish bit rather dull and because I don't want to leave the dwarves till last like i did last time.

IMAGE(https://smackfolio.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/20180804211120_1.jpg)

Hoping to get started with this on Saturday, after we get back from a couple nights out of town. In terms of mods, so far I've settled on the DA Redesigned mod, the Morrigan restoration patch (fixes and adds in some cut content), the Lore-friendly epilogue rewrite (tweaks some ending slides to match up with the lore in later games), and the Madd Gift Guide (because I'm lazy). Gonna have to look up that locked chest mod that Eleima mentioned, as that sounds handy.

I remain very torn on which Origin to start. Pretty sure I'm going to try one of the elf Origins, but beyond that, I'm not sure as I'm not sure if I want to re-explore outcomes I experienced on my first play-through (that I really enjoyed about the game) or if I want to go for something totally different.

I've been meaning to replay the trilogy but there is so much new stuff I haven't played. This is my favorite DA. Morrigan is awesome, I love her manner of speaking. In general the characters are well done, an area where Bioware excels. I need to stop buying stuff and re-enjoy some of the great games I have, or even just play some of the games for a first time!

ubrakto wrote:

Gonna have to look up that locked chest mod that Eleima mentioned, as that sounds handy.

Right this way, good sir.
Pyxi, your Warden looks really great!

robc wrote:

Morrigan is awesome, I love her manner of speaking.

Well, it's Claudia Black, so... yeah, it's Claudia Black. <3

Sorbicol wrote:
Clumber wrote:

In. For PC, controller or M&K?

Mouse and keyboard.

Controller for me.

Even being Claudia Black, I love the lyrical, deliberate way she speaks as Morrigan.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL1o...

EDIT: So far so good. I've got a memory patch installed, and have enabled the console command window. I'm now downloading the Mod Manager.

This game is a lot like Skyrim!

Thanks, following this guide right now.

Edit: Well, skipping the companion mods. Damn it makes them look much worse.

Eleima wrote:
ubrakto wrote:

Gonna have to look up that locked chest mod that Eleima mentioned, as that sounds handy.

Right this way, good sir.
Pyxi, your Warden looks really great!

robc wrote:

Morrigan is awesome, I love her manner of speaking.

Well, it's Claudia Black, so... yeah, it's Claudia Black. <3

Thank you!

Also, yeah. Morrigan is at the heart of my conflict over what to do with my Grey Warden, as she and her arc (as it played out for me) are on my short list for favorite Bioware anything. So on one hand, I'd like to explore some new/different aspects of Origins, and on the other, she is my warden's sun and stars and ever it shall be so.

Eleima wrote:
ubrakto wrote:

Gonna have to look up that locked chest mod that Eleima mentioned, as that sounds handy.

Right this way, good sir.
Pyxi, your Warden looks really great!

I agree, she looks fantastic. Pyxi, what mods are you using to improve the graphics?

Per some of the discussion over here, I think I'm going to play a city elf. I also bet Eleima's right that the female city elf story line will feel more powerful, so I plan to go with that. I started up last night and got just a few beats into the story -- but I had forgotten that while Dalish have tattoos, city elves don't. That'll bother me forever, so I think I'm going back to the character creator.

I don't remember which exact hairstyle mod it was, but here's what's currently running...
I didn't want to affect gameplay too much, so these are mainly just for character creation.

A bunch of new hairstyles to pick from
- Hairstyle Day : All in One
- Jenya's random hairstyles
- LOTC Hairstyles - HF LOTC Hairstyles v1.0
- More Hairstyles 0.51

To make headwear invisible at all times (except in the inventory screen)
- No Helmet Hack 1_6 Origins
- No Helmet Hack 1_5a Awakenings

Eye Colours
Pineappletree's Vibrant Colours
Shedevil Eyes

Lip Colours
SJCs Lip Colours

I still have a bunch to do in Divinity but

IMAGE(https://media.giphy.com/media/ChMy4X2DkiLTy/giphy.gif)

Ran into an issue with the game's DLC that's worth sharing should anyone also experience this.

For the Ultimate Edition, Steam-using contingent, I found that none of the included DLC or Awakenings were showing up as installed when looking at the in-game Downloadable Content menu. The Bioware servers for this game are gone, so none of the options to even see or download content from that menu system work (as far as I can tell). Steam will offer up your keys that are supposed to unlock this content, but nothing in game triggers asking for or activating them. Fortunately, there is a work-around.

From the Steam forums:

Make sure DAO is shut down
In C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam2\SteamApps\common\Dragon Age Ultimate Edition\redist

Run DAOU_UpdateAddinsXML_Steam.exe
Run DAUServiceSetup_Steam.exe

Obviously, the exact folder will depend on where you installed Steam, but this should work. Once I did this and restarted, all DLC and the expansion appeared as they should in the Installed Content section of the Downloadable Content menu.

^ ROCK! Thanks ubrakto ! Haven't tried the fix yet, but fits my scenario (purchased the UE off of Steam a short bit ago) and initially noticed same. Got distracted with the moddening.

Finally got the built-in Bioware config tool, ENB file, and proper 21:9 ~menu hack (and sidebars begone!) playing nice together. It was crashing on launch :/ Now to see if Dracomies secondary NPC ~facelifts are still out there from years ago.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'm almost done with my pile games for the year, so I thought I'd get a bit of a head start on this one. I'm playing the Xbox 360 version via backward compatibility.

It is not the most attractive game. True to its generation, it is very brown and grey. I sometimes forget just how brown and grey games were for awhile.

I started with an Elvish mage, because I was struck by the depiction of elves as the destitute, cast aside elements of society. I'm sure it was a self-aware choice on the writers' part to put elves in such a different position from typical fantasy, but it seemed interesting.

I have to say that I learned more from my first hour with this game—hell, from just the character selection screen—about the dynamics between the different races, the mages and the templars, demons and the Fade, than I got from literally dozens of hours with Inquisition. This game, probably simply by virtue of being the first one, really cares if you understand things; Inquisition does not.

I'm still a bit unsure of playing a BioWare game, but my impressions are positive so far.

I did the same. Xbox 360 with an elven mage. I have no memory of this game. I had some save files so I played, but don't remember anything. I'm old. Looking forward to playing this one. Couple hours in at this point and enjoying it alot.

ubrakto wrote:

Ran into an issue with the game's DLC that's worth sharing should anyone also experience this.

For the Ultimate Edition, Steam-using contingent, I found that none of the included DLC or Awakenings were showing up as installed when looking at the in-game Downloadable Content menu. The Bioware servers for this game are gone, so none of the options to even see or download content from that menu system work (as far as I can tell). Steam will offer up your keys that are supposed to unlock this content, but nothing in game triggers asking for or activating them. Fortunately, there is a work-around.

From the Steam forums:

Make sure DAO is shut down
In C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam2\SteamApps\common\Dragon Age Ultimate Edition\redist

Run DAOU_UpdateAddinsXML_Steam.exe
Run DAUServiceSetup_Steam.exe

Obviously, the exact folder will depend on where you installed Steam, but this should work. Once I did this and restarted, all DLC and the expansion appeared as they should in the Installed Content section of the Downloadable Content menu.

In case a visual demonstration of how to do this would help, it's in that Modding Dragon Age video I posted earlier. It worked fine for me. Well, I haven't tested it yet, but the computer didn't explode or anything.

Seeing as I am closing in on the end credits with Divinity Original Sin, and highly doubt any immediate return to either Pillars of Eternity, or Jade Empire, I shall try my hand at Dragon Age Origins.

So, um, I'm in.

Let's see how long character creation takes.

I finished the Magi origin story and have made it to Ostagar.

I wasn't surprised, but I was a bit disappointed, that for all that the game seems to give you multiple ways of navigating the major story arc of the origin, all roads seem to lead to Rome, as it were.

Spoiler:

Whether you choose to help Jowan or betray him to Irving, you end up doing the same dungeon crawl, and the end result is the same: Jowan escapes, Lily is imprisoned. Irving might be mad at you, or Jowan might be, but there aren't actually multiple solutions to the same problem.

I don't really mind that, but it's good to know that the choices are mostly illusory.

Well, imagine how big the scope of the game would be if they didn’t do that!
I like the Mage Origin story a lot. If only to make Cullen squirm in his armor...

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I don't really mind that, but it's good to know that the choices are mostly illusory.

I think that mostly holds true for the whole game, you always go through the same areas. But the decisions and outcomes can change wildly - and the available npcs likewise, which sometimes change how you can solve the story arcs. It is not exactly Witcher 2 though.

Got myself to Ostagar yesterday too. After murdering every human being at my wedding party. One of those times it is completely justified at least.

I’ve done the Christmas thing of too many games in the steam sale, and now my mate has got me Total War: Warhammer. I’m still in but it might take me quite a while to finish the game.

I installed the Ultimate edition, DLC was included from the start. Then I logged in to the EA account and saw I had played through Mage, Human Noble and City Elf Origins story. And I remembered nothing of it.

Next I decided laziness wins the day, and ... I can play the game as it was, no need to change anything for a first play-through. Yeah, that's it.

So I did what I had to do, and that is play as a mage, of course... Just because that's what I do, at least on a first play. As i kept playing, I started that fun "remember what is going to happen" thing where I constantly spoiled plot points for myself. Thanks brain.

Gambit the Mage is a polite young gentleman.
IMAGE(https://tormodh.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/Gambit-the-Mage.png)

Spoiler:

Loyal to the Circle, I first denied helping Jowan. Then in order to cause as little trouble for everyone involved, I informed the First Enchanter of the plan. I also came clean about what I had done to Jowan before we were stopped by the Templars. He still saw it as a betrayal, before showing his power and running away.

In Ostagar I kept being polite. I helped the hound, the prisoner, talked to and learned from everyone. As the law abiding citizen I am, I didn't steal from any of the chests around... that were locked, anyway.

I also decided I was to be a loyal Grey Warden, they seem an honorable and dedicated group. In the wilds I explored the whole area, taking everything not nailed down... or locked in a chest. I need a thief rogue-ish person in my group. I will deliver the inheritance cache intact.

The battle was kind of straight forward, though I learned I need more mana. And inventory space. I'm now out of Ostagar, and have done the talking needed to leave the Deep Wilds. Both Alistair and Morrigan approves of me a bit.

I'm done with the battle at Ostagar and ready to head out in the world. I think this is as far as I've played before, from here I'm probably playing blind. I've got healing, the spirit creature spell, built up to Fireball and am in need of something to make enemies stay still when I blast them. And more inventory space. And someone to open chests.

I'm in.

Going to try to do some modding first. Do you need to do all the modding before starting or can you mod and not mess up save games ?

Hardek wrote:

I'm in.

Going to try to do some modding first. Do you need to do all the modding before starting or can you mod and not mess up save games ?

There are a few foundational things, like installing a different .exe to prevent memory leaks, that seem like they'd be helpful to do before adding mods. It took me about 20 minutes, maybe, to follow the video and take care of them.

Based on what I read on the mod pages on Nexus, it does seem like there is some potential for mod conflicts, but that probably depends on how hog wild you go with them?

I'm just going to try to update the graphics a bit. Like tormodh, I'm going to try to keep the gameplay mainly as is.

Oh, it does sound like a mage is a fun way to play the game, so I'll likely add that mod for the mage unlock locks system.

Other than that, I have a tendency to go overboard with mods, and I'm trying to stay away from that so I actually play and finish the game.

tormodh wrote:

Gambit the Mage is a polite young gentleman.
IMAGE(https://tormodh.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/Gambit-the-Mage.png)

A fine looking young gentleman indeed! Looks the perfect mage!