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    dkirschner's Dragon Age: Inquisition (PC)

    [June 9, 2017 05:33:33 PM]
    Finished. Not as long as I thought, as I wound up going pretty much straight through the story. You would be SO overpowered if you actually did all the quests in all the areas. The final boss battle is recommended level 16-19, and I was 16-17 in the last area. And yeah, seriously there are like 5 zones (that I know of) that I didn't even unlock, and another few that I did unlock that I never visited. So. Much. Content.

    All in all, Inquisition is highly enjoyable. It's top-quality BioWare role-playing with everything you would expect if you've played Dragon Age or Mass Effect (or The Witcher 3, which it begins as very similar to, but is distinguished from after a while). This is probably the most fleshed out, complex game world ever. BioWare is always heavy on lore, but this exceeds the previous two Dragon Age games in scope. I bet there are a thousand notes and Codex entries scattered around to find. It's like novel-level fantasy with the level of detail. And that's the main reason I am curious to go back in and play through my companions' questlines and knock out the main quests in some other zones, because these stories and characters are so intriguing. I've got 16 days left of my EA Access membership...

    There is absolutely collectible bloat. One zone (damn that zone!) even requires that you find all the shimmering shards (usually 10-15 of these per zone) in order to complete its quests. The shards open doors that give you stat boosts. I agree with making you collect shards once for something, but there is so much other crap to collect too, and none of it does much of anything. Take the resource gathering that you are encouraged to participate in. There are herbs and ore all over the damn place. In each zone, you get a series of "requisitions" to turn in stuff; some quests require collecting herbs and things; and you need them to replenish potions, upgrade potions, and to modify weapons. Here's a secret: You will never, ever need to modify or craft weapons, upgrade potions, or complete requisitions. You get the most minor of rewards for requisitions (+1 power), and you'll keep finding better weapons, and by the end of the game (except the occasional really hard [mini]boss), you won't be short of potions. Collecting resources is just a massive time sink.

    The difficulty curve does smooth out as the game proceeds and the Inquisition becomes more powerful. Every character at some point gets access to a special skill tree (#4), and the main character gets access to...something else. I'm not sure what it is, maybe yet another skill tree. As a rogue, I get to choose between traps, bombs, and blades, and I started the quests. Anyway, my team began to feel real badass as time went on, rarely dying and never running out of potions.

    A notable exception to this was the last boss. Good lord, the archdemon phase was hard. The boss himself was glitching out soooo I had some help from a bug. He'd just stand in place and not do anything as I pummeled him. But then the archdemon came, a huge dragon. I was doing alright, but then he was keeping my mage and DPS warrior dead (you can revive party members by standing next to them and holding A). Every time I'd revive them, they'd die pretty quickly. So my tank was keeping him in check and I'd DPS him a teeny bit at a time. The problem was that every so often he flies away and armors up, so then you have to remove a full health bar's worth of armor from him, and THEN start in on his health again, and then he flies away and armors up, etc. And I was using potions here and there and running low. I finally realized that if I could revive my mage, he'd usually stay alive if he was positioned at range, plus he would cast barrier and save me from running out of potions, plus he did recent damage, so that's what i did. That part of the boss fight alone probably took 15 minutes. VERY satisfying to beat!

    Most of my initial thoughts from the last entry still stand. Potions are the only healing (besides some lifesteal equipment); your party will not attack enemies on sight (incredibly annoying as a rogue); party tactics are tragically limited compared to previous games. A couple things I really ended up liking were the war table and Skyhold. Skyhold is a mountain fortress the Inquisition moves into in the middle of the game, and it is hands down the biggest base I've ever had in a game. It's a full castle. There's a jail, a garden, towers and ramparts, weapons, soldiers, merchants, the war room, research laboratories, blacksmith, aviary...the entire Inquisition is there and it feels vibrant. Diplomats and people from all over Thedas come and there is tons of incidental conversation to listen in on. And the war room is cool because it's like a grand strategy element to watching the Inquisition increase in power and influence. You send your military commander, spymaster, and diplomat off to take care of missions, and so many of these are interesting despite you not really doing anything. You read the story, choose an adviser, each of whom deals with each story differently, and wait for them to finish. But some of these open up other quests, or are extensions or even tied into other quests. It's very cool.

    The game is so big and I could go on and on, but I did see the credits roll last night, so I think I'm gonna take a break and play something else. I may or may not return to this before my EA access expires and do some more adventuring!


    I was going to do it. I was REALLY going to do it! To play a game after I beat it. But all the companion quest lines are unavailable after the main quest is complete. I guess I could load an earlier save but...motivation is gone. What's next?

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jun 9th, 2017 at 18:06:56.

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    [June 5, 2017 08:36:06 AM]
    Crammed many hours into this over the past few days, and will write initial (20-hour) thoughts.

    Whereas DA1 and 2 were pretty similar, Inquisition is different in many respects. Dare I say, it looks more Witcher 3 than Dragon Age sometimes, with its horse (and horse races) for navigating a big new open world, its infinite collectibles for brewing potions and bombs and stuff, and its packs of enemies. It's hard not to make comparisons since I played all the Witcher 3 content in the past year.

    The open world is nice, but these environments are so damn hilly. I'm probably not even halfway through with the Hinterlands (the first zone), and I have done maybe 1/3 of the (something) Coast. The Hinterlands is humongous. There are quests everywhere, and I hate to say that most of them are really dumb, of the MMO variety: Kill 5 wolves; bring 5 apostate mage caches; search these three areas for some books; etc. There is NO shortage of things to do.

    In addition to a bajillion quests, which I am doing my best not to become lost in completing, there are oodles of collectibles in the form of shimmering shards, codex entries, picture pieces, and more. There are little observatory things where you play a connect-the-dots mini-game. Do that for all the observatory things in a zone and it points you to a treasure. Hidden caves and secrets are everywhere. I easily see why this game is so long. I wonder how long the main quest is, as I already seem to be at the high end of the recommended level range for main quests even though I have skipped like half the content so far.

    Combat is much more action-oriented, and suspecting this, I made a dual-wielding rogue. But I did not suspect that lockpicking would be gone! What use is my cunning if I can't use it to pick locks? Oh well. At least I'll be able to micro-manage my party. Wait what? That's been neutered! You can go into "tactical mode" and assign individual actions to party members during combat, but honestly it's tedious. And the tactics settings are gone. All you can do is tell party members when and how many potions to drink, and to attack enemies being attacked by x character or to defend x character. That sucks. And you can't prioritize abilities with the same detail that you could in the other Dragon Age games. Why?! Well, I'm glad I picked a melee character so I can have more hands-on combat.

    There also seems to be no healing magic (unless I haven't read the trees well or unlocked a particular character), so you ONLY heal with potions, which can be upgraded for greater effect. To do that, you have to harvest LOTS of plants. Like SO many plants. To do that, you need to use the "search" function, which means I run from place to place clicking left stick, which was really annoying at first and is now less so, but I'm beginning to dislike spending so much time collecting plants. I'm supposed to be saving the world, and I'm head of the Inquisition. Can't I make other people do it for me?

    There is way less party banter in Inquisition, and less party member character development so far. This is probably partly because the game is open world now and therefore more spread out, so their banter doesn't seem as condensed. But party interactions were some of my favorite parts of previous DA games, and that they're so much fewer or less frequent here makes me shed a tear. Also when you're riding the horse, the party doesn't talk, and you can't collect herbs! And I'm not sure how much faster you actually go because you wind up having to jump up cliffs and things. Is the mount kind of useless? Maybe...

    Oh also, last random thought goes back to combat, your allies will not automatically attack enemies in range! As a rogue, I go into stealth, my party doesn't even "appear" sometimes until I initiate combat, and that means attacking someone. Well, I'm a damn rogue. I don't want to be alone with 5 enemies because I'll die. Other times, my three party members just stand and watch. I've taken to sort of pulling enemies toward them. Maybe I just switch to a tank to initiate combat encounters. It's annoying.

    Stealth works great for interrupting fade rifts though.

    Ok, all for now. Looking forward to continuing and getting through more of the main story while selectively ignoring side quests and collectibles.
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    dkirschner's Dragon Age: Inquisition (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Saturday 3 June, 2017

    GameLog closed on: Friday 9 June, 2017

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Beautiful AAA Dragon Age game. Open world. Enjoying for the most part. ---------- Solid. So much content.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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