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lu: The problem with giving Cole knives is that the AI in Inquisition is terrible so he'll die immediately in every fight. Giving him a bow will let him survive reasonably often. Also, Blackwall is tankier than Cassandra, which you'll see when the specializations show up.
By the way, you should probably turn enemy strength scaling on if you haven't already and are anything like me 'cause otherwise as you play through the game you'll completely outlevel everything.
Jerek: I've heard sword and board Reaver is actually a really good spec, but I don't really like playing as a warrior so I don't know for sure.
Edited by Arha on Jun 7th 2019 at 12:05:58 PM
Reaver is one of those specializations that the AI cannot play well, or even decently. That spec demands a heavy DPS method of fighting that only a player is able to pull off.
Iron Bull worked fine for me, even with 2 handed weapons. I had to make sure I speced Reaver so he wouldn't damage himself, and give him some abilities in Vanguard, to have him build up guard. So he was mostly a tank.
Though, by the time I was using Bull regularly, I had already played through the game and could use the nug to craft good gear for everyone early on.
Edited by SilentColossus on Jun 7th 2019 at 12:41:06 PM
I mostly just accepted that Bull was going to be a DPS barbarian and not a tank, and put him in a party with Blackwall on that run.
I'm just miserable I cannot romance Cassandra. T__T Also told Blackwall to stay away from me. His whole "turn me down cause I'm a coward" shtick was just irritating. Get some backbone!
Also saw my first dragon. Though it breathed ice instead of fire. Bull's reaction was priceless.
I thought reading the Masked Empire would make Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts a bit more meaningful, but nope. I still hate all of those three. None of them should be anywhere near the throne, especially Briala. Which is why I just proceeded to blackmail them and keep them under my thumb under the guise of working together. Tarts!
@Arha yeah the sword and board reaver feels weird. AS the tree LOOKS like it should favour two handed weapons and becoming a lawn mower. Buuut instead thats hield just buffs the tankier side and makes you a damage dealing damage sponge.
It's not QUITE as broken as Knight Enchanter... but then most DA: I party AI elements are horrifically busted.
^^ I put Celene on the throne with Briala as an advisor because it gave me the most gameplay benefits... and also because it's what I would have done anyway since Celene seemed the least likely to start a war.
I knew Celene and Gaspard were jerkheads but what did Briala do again? I didn't read the novels so I don't remember much from reading about her.
Briala stopped Celene's champion Ser Michel from killing Gaspard, because she realized that Celene would screw over the elves again if she won. This isn't mentioned in the game proper though.
In the game proper, she just acts a bit shifty and might have tried to get one of her spies killed because she knew about her affair with Celene.
She also sabotaged and killed both Gaspard and Celene's messengers to make things worse. Gaspard's attempt at a coup is bad enough, but that both of those two let him go ahead with it is just...ugh. No wonder Bull says Orlais is full of crap.
I mean, it is, but given how little power elves actually have and how many of her people Celene and Gaspard have killed, it definitely doesn't make Briala the worst of the lot. But you are supposed to come away from the whole Winter Palace affair being pretty fed up and disgusted, I think.
These games really have a problem with background music. Why does it barely play at ll? The Emerald Graves are about the only place I might get some consistent music.
Also, is Emprise Du Lion supposed to be the high-level area? The best crafting materials seem to be here...still haven't been to the Western Approach or Frostback Basin yet. Or Crestwood.
Emprise du Lion and I think Hissing Wastes are the two highest-level areas, right?
I like putting Gaspard on the throne the most, since he's the least interested in the Game.
I put Briala as the Power in the Throne because it turns out, yes, she is a piece of crap but the Elves are in the most need of benefits.
On actual playthroughs, this is one of those choices where I'll probably flip-flop depending on my mood and current RP, but generally speaking my preference — and this isn't entirely an answer to 'Who do I think would be best for Orlais?' — is to either reunite Celene and Briala (probably the more pragmatic choice) or to try to put all three to work together (a less definitive choice, but maybe a less shady one).
And partly it's because I'm hesitant of Gaspard's brand of militarism, and because as distasteful of the Game as he is I don't think he'd solve Orlais's core issues concerning elves, classism, etc. Partly it's because I'm hesitant about the idea of a prominent country's leader being a puppet controlled solely via blackmail — now that's a recipe that sounds like it'd end up with disaster.
But also, well, it feels a little, er, questionable, as leader of the Inquisition here on a diplomatic mission, to deliberately allow the assassination of a country's current leader in hopes of replacing them with someone I find more politically advantageous. Could you imagine if word got out about that? Blimey. That'd cause some backlash, let me tell you.
Also I like beating Florianne at the Game over beating Florianne in a tedious boss fight. That may be part of it.
Edited by Lavaeolus on Jun 12th 2019 at 2:30:11 PM
I can't reunite Briala and Celene knowing the latter murdered the former's family then seduced her knowing this fact.
Not that this ever comes up in game.
It was appropriate that Sera had her crisis moment over this.
"Saints don't DO that."
Doubly so because I played a The Paragon and Lawful Good Captain Fereldan until that point.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Jun 12th 2019 at 6:00:53 AM
Yes — I haven't read The Masked Empire personally, but as I understand it Celene and Briala's relationship isn't the most healthy one. Which is one reason I'm a little less inclined to go for it than I might otherwise be. The hoped-for benefit, I suppose, is that Briala will retain some influence on Celene's rule and that will translate to reform for the elves, but on the flipside even with the game glossing over the darker details of their history, it's implied during the epilogue that their relationship could once again sour.
The most stable ending might probably be Celene alone, with Briala and Gaspard executed — but there is a certain injustice there, given Celene's own sins and the fact she deliberately baited Gaspard by allowing him to sneak in soldiers. And while Celene will seemingly lead Orlais as a country relatively well, she's probably not going to do anything dramatic to help elves or alter the Game.
The two are perfect for each other though.
Forget it, it's Orlais.
I tend to reunite Celene and Briala because it seems like it'd be the best outcome for Orlais in the end.
And there's no way in hell I'd support Gaspard since he's a militaristic asshole.
Edited by M84 on Jun 12th 2019 at 10:41:26 PM
That was always one of my major problems. Masked Empire is just so... out there. It doesn't fit within the questline we were given. It's hard to believe that, not only is it canon, it was written during game production and by one of their best Staff Writers.
I can't exactly look passed the Masked Enpire considering the context it intends to give and just how awful an toxic that relationship is, but it contradicts the tone, story, and characters as presented in the game.
Just... flat out, Brialla and Celene are completely different people. With no hint at the presentation in the game being some facade or elaborate ruse or manipulation. And most tragic of all, they're far more boring characters in the game.
Like, I could get if Masked Empire was some clever reveal that really added depth to the dialogue in game, gave context to those ending slides or the choices you must make, and maybe even suggested that the characters were manipulating you. But those scenes dont feel nearly that smart.
Which is arguable for a lot of Inqhisition's characters and storylines; interesting first acts establishing characters and plot, less so on developing them.
Personally, I tend to just reunite Brialla and Celene and try not to think much on the romanticized abuse that Masked Empire and the game give Unfortunate Implications to.
I also consider Masked Empire as non-canon. And to be honest, I absolutely have no problem with Celene committing atrocious acts like she did in Masked Empire, but Briala should have responded realistically, with idk, more screaming and name-calling instead of just taking her back within a few seconds. If there's anything that Dragon Age writers should have learned by now, it's that ramping up Darker and Edgier and Grey and Grey Morality doesn't necessarily make the story "good". I'd absolutely love it if they just keep the Lighter and Softer tone, instead of going the other direction and coming off like they're trying too hard to be Obsidian.
Edited by HottoKenai on Jun 13th 2019 at 7:27:45 PM
Well, Briala immediately admitting to her relationship with Celene before you find the elf that can testify against her was also strange. Isn't that what you should be keeping under wraps, woman?!
Aaaaand poor Imshael is dead on the ground. It's marvelous how weak to ailments Red Templar Horrors are.
I feel like there has to be a production story on why theres such a massive difference between Masked Empire and Inquisition. I feel like there's no way it just never came up.
Just, the only possible explanation I can think of is that the original take was TOO dark and grey to the point of apathy and they found more value in being more cut and dry (Keep the monarchy, overthrow the monarchy, evolve the monarchy, or a bad alliance attempt) and reuniting the happy lesbian couple. Or a different issue I'll get to in a moment.
And I get that. But it doesnt change that Masked Empire just flat out doesnt work in the larger franchise.
I feel like it was probably conceived when Inquisition was more ambitious and directly related to works like Game of Thrones. But then production was a nightmare, crunch was hitting hard, and other issues occurred (as we later learned via post-Andromeda and Anthem interviews) leading the scope being cut back and they didnt have the time to explore the characters as they needed, so they were drafted back to simple easy to read choices for the throne.
Curse the man who thought 8 ability slots were enough! >:< I want to play with all my fancy skills!
...I only just realised Sera, Bull and Vivienne have been spending far too much time on the bench. Cole was on the same boat, but I gave him Mark of Death now so he's happy. Trying to round up companion quests before I kill off Stroud (no way is there Warden business that will let him get out alive).
...I felt sorry for Maddox. T__T
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