While Dragon Age may be one of best RPG series of the 21st century, there are some moments that should be erased out of existence by the Maker, with all of them being painful to sit through.
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Dragon Age: Origins
- Retloclive: Having to support Bhelen Aeducan, a very unsympathetic character, to become the dwarf King over Pyral Harrowmont just so the Orzammar dwarves can get their good ending. I get that the whole point of this is to establish an interesting dilemma where even though Harrowmont is established as the good person here, it would soon turn out in the epilogue that Harrowmont knows nothing about being a leader, and causes Orzammar to fall to ruins compared to Bhelen, who begins to return the Orzammar dwarves to their former glory. The thing that annoys me is that there's no build up to show that Bhelen would make a better ruler than Harrowmont. Were just supposed to believe that Bhelen turned out to be a better ruler than Harrowmont, just because BioWare wanted to throw the player a curve-ball that not everything will turn out ok if you choose to support a nice guy over an unsympathetic douchebag. In the end, by choosing Harrowmont, I just felt like I did all that work in Orzammar for nothing, because there was nothing beforehand to give even the slightest hint that I was making the wrong choice.
- Cheed: I agree wholeheartedly with the above. I think that BioWare was relying solely on the fact that as the player quests in Orzammar, they slowly learn what a backwards and old-fashioned society it was. However there is nothing in the game that alludes to Harrowmont being a deep-rooted traditionist whose good-nature begins and ends with the fact that he benefits from those unfair traditions, or how Bhelen's ruthlessness stemmed from feeling it was the only way he would ever be able to introduce a progressive change to his stubborn people.
Dragon Age II
- Mightymoose101: I'd be more comfortable saying that everything the sequel went out of its way to annoy me, but the revelation that Orsino worked with and aided a serial killer truly struck a bad chord. Bioware, we get it, the world of Thedas is oh-so-much darker and edgier than most fantasy settings. But hamfistedly shoving nonsense like this into every nook and cranny in a desperate attempt to invoke Gray and Gray Morality doesn't make the game any better, it just makes me lose all motivation to continue.
- ManInTheMoon: I think I was one of maybe 10 people who actually loved this game - not just "tolerated" or "liked," but LOVED. I can rave about it for a few hours, in fact. Had its flaws? Sure. Departed too much from Origins? Absolutely. Still a top notch game in its own right IMO. But, as with all things, I have some major complaints. And my biggest complaint is how poorly Fenris's return to the team after his switching to the Templars (given the player's choices) is. I found him as one of the most interesting emo, jerky, hypocritical characters, and well-done deconstruction of said characters. And yet, the scene mentioned above happens with one freaking line. "You... are right." Not said dramatically or anything, just matter-of-factly. We have this HUGE buildup to Fenris being a morally conflicted character - having to choose between hating mages and hating slavery - and all we get is "Oh darn, I guess Hawke has a point. So sure, why not."
- cricri3007: Removing my entry about Retcons to say that my DMoS for this game is the end of Act 2. The Qunaris decided that they had enough of Kirkwall and tried to destroy/convert the city to the Qun. Isabela is responsible for the Qunaris' presence in the first place because she stole a relic from them. You have, at the end of the Act, the option of giving them Isabela. Everyone of your companion treats this as a Moral Event Horizon, despite the fact that Isabela is directly responsible for all the shit that happened as a result of the Qunaris showing up. I could understand Isabela, Anders or Fenris disapproving (since they hate the Qunaris/slavery) but Aveline, the captain of the City Guard, disapprove of your companion being given to the Qunaris! And to top it off, it's implied (and outright stated in the next game) that if you chose to give your companion to the Qunaris, they still escape them! Making them a Karma Houdini, which is a trope I hate.
- Lady Norbert: For me the frustrating thing was the friendship/rivalry system. I genuinely did not understand how it worked, and I didn't feel that the mechanics explained it very well at all - I presumed that rivalry was a bad thing. Having recently replayed it after leaving it untouched for at least two years, I've reached the conclusion that it's a better game than I originally gave it credit for being, but I still think that particular aspect was just plain weird. I get, now, that making a character a rival doesn't mean that you dislike one another, but that you challenge his/her views rather than agreeing with them; in that respect it makes sense. But given that the word 'rivalry' suggests an antagonistic relationship, couldn't they have worded it another way? I was relieved when they went back to the simple approval meters in Inquisition, even if I sometimes had trouble with that too.
- Crazyrabbits: The Deep Roads section of II is a mere shadow of the Deep Roads from Origins, which comprised a good six (sprawling) gameplay areas, each with their own sidequests, minibosses and objectives tied in from other locations in the World Map. Despite Act 1 building up to the expedition to the Deep Roads, the entire level is a straightforward, linear affair, with no real exploration and only a single boss fight to break up the monotony. It also doubles-down on a Noodle Incident from the previous game (Sandal somehow killing an entire room full of Darkspawn in Fort Drakon) and manages the impressive feat of establishing and breaking the rules of red lyrium in its introductory scene — Hawke and Varric handle and stare at the Red Lyrium for several seconds with no problem, but the lyrium somehow possesses Bartrand before he even lays his hands on it. And the whole mission is capped off by the group finding a random "Treasure Room" in a non-descript corridor, located right beside a door that has a convenient escape route for the party.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
- Master of Chaos: The Dethroning Moment of Suck for me was the quest near the end of the game, "What Pride Had Wrought," and made me lose a good chunk of respect for BioWare. Long story short, the whole quest is learning that everything the Dalish thought they knew was wrong, and basically blaming them for their current condition. No, they actually fought with themselves! Their gods actually abandoned them! Arent they stupid for trying to reclaim a past that they have lost? And its worse if youre playing as a Dalish Inquisitor and you're romancing Solas, where you learn that you actually have slave markings on your face, just to further kick you while you're down, and then he breaks up with you. Considering that (former) head writer David Gaider stated that the Dalish are an allegory for Jewish people/ethnic minorities... did nobody at Bioware realize that they literally just wrote a whole narrative blaming an oppressed group for their own oppression?