I was also late to the party and it all started when my friend showed me a picture of Cassandra and my lesbian heart was lost forever. And then i was ‘what do you mean i cant romance Cass with a female Inquisitor??’. Like, this will be my Forever Salty thing. They created most wonderful archetype of stone butch and didn’t make her at least bi… Anyway, where were i?
DAI i’ve played multiple times both for romances and different Inquisitors, but then since i loved this game so much and spotted DAO and DA2 for almost nothing i decided to give it a try. For some reason DAO refused to launch (i fixed it later), so i started with DA2. And one destroyed life later i was absolutely devoted fan of DA franchise. I simply love whole story in DA2, i feel it is so well done and i’ve read only a few books that had so well developed plot. Yes, it is in way lesser scale than DAO i DA2 and there a lot of poorly done things in this game, there are so many replays in the game that actually replaying it is quite tedious, but the story!! and the characters!! I love the climate of this game, it’s way darker than DAI and even DAO, a bit claustrophobic and the conflict is not heroic saving the world, but kinda tedious ‘all choices are bad and you can only hope it’s not worse’. In my first gameplay i really tried to do my best, but it ended You Know How, so at my 2nd i played red!Hawke and pretended i don’t care, bc it won’t be worse, no? It. Was. Worse. I both hate and love this game.
But then i went back to DAI and was hit right in the face with something i could only describe as Chantry propaganda. Mages vs templars conflict is so flat in DAI and when i was playing it the first time i just bought their rhetoric bc didn’t know better. But now, when i knew DA2 i had Mission and decided to show it… only to discover that i can’t really? I’m missing so many dialogue options it makes me furious. I’m playing a bloody dalish elf and can’t argue with Dorian about Tevinter? I’m playing as a mage who supported revolution (why else they’d be in the temple?) and i can’t tell Viv and Cullen what i think about them?
Don’t get me wrong, i love DAI, but after DA2 i feel like BioWare or whoever created the script tried to be as diplomatic and unoffending as possible. Did they not consider that people would have strong opinions about certain matters in this game? (and people have strong opinons about mage rights or elf slavery bc for many people it hits so close to home and we see there ourselves). The fact that i can’t voice it and can’t play ic just frustrates me. Yes, the world is big and pretty and i love it, but why it came at the cost of cutting corners somewhere else? Bc that’s how i feel - they’ve got that generic male-human-warrior Inquisitor and didn’t really liked to give players too much diversity. That’s the problem i had also in DAO when i played with my angry city elf, but i’m not as invested in DAO plot. DA2 is another thing, Hawke always have that part of Haweness in them and could be consider the same character. In DAI it just makes me angry and i don’t really have time to write so many fics to address all those problems.
If you didn’t notice in my rant, yes, i’m hardcore mage supporter and i’ll fight whoever i need but Anders was right. I have so many thoughts about this, but i don’t know if you even what to read this. It’s a lot of hate in a general direction of the Chantry (not even the templars, the Chantry was a lot worse).
Funny enough i also love Fenris, my spiky sunshine. I feel like he’d be good friends with Anders if only he accepted that there are different circumstances and the south isn’t Tevinter - but also kinda understand why he can’t ‘get over’ it. That’s another topic i love but when we have an actual Tevinter mage as a character in DAI we get what? one mention and goodbye? Dudes. I also love Dorian and he should be protected at all cost, but this one argument i’d like to have at least. Apart form shipping him with Bull (best ship ever) i tend to ship him with a dalish Inquisitor just bc of that conflict, but only in fics, in game it’s just frustrating.
You’ve also mentioned Cullen. I’ll be honest, templar or no, i really like Cullen in DAI, he’s nice and cute. But. Considering his history and the fact that he appeared in both DAO and DA2 and it wasn’t really flattering appearances, it’s almost like putting together a different character. Where is my Cullen Redemption Arc (apart from my fic)? I need it. And i can’t even be mean to him with my hardcore pro-mage Anders fanboy Inquisitor, bc you can’t be mean to DAI Cullen, even if in DAO i’d gladly toss him out of the tower window. There should be growth, not ‘and now it’s different’. Leliana’s character was really nicely done, why they couldn’t do that to the Ferelden boi.
Also why no one is mentioning that Isabela is working for the Inquisition? (Varric, she’s your friend). Why Leliana and Morrigan act like they don’t have a lot of common history? Why Bull is explaining my dalish Inquisitor dalish customs? Why i can’t import my 100% pro-Anders Hawke to DAI? You know, all those little things that get on my nerves.
Comparing to later games DAO come off rather dull for me. I totally get the sentiment when it was the first DA someone played and still have a soft spot for some things (playing as city elf!! city elves are the group i most identify with) and versatility of developing characters (finally i can recreate Kiril from my stories - a battlemage who both stabs ppl with a sword and freezes their asses), but i’m not as invested in characters. Objectively i prefer that way of making ‘save the world’ plot, when the biggest difficulty is forcing people to cooperate, also Corypheus comes out pretty lame comparing to the archdemon (even if it should be another way round). But my main issue are the characters. I really like Zev, Leliana and Wynne, but comparing to, lets say, Anders, Fenris and Isabela or Cass, Dorian and Sera? Nah, not even close.
I’m starting to ramble, i know. All i have to add is that i recently discovered multiplayer so if anyone is up for a match you can find me as Niofo. Discovering multiplayer was bad, bc suddenly i have even more characters and let me tell you, Rion is absolutely appearing in my current Anders fic.
E: it’s the longest text i’ve written in English for a long time so i apologise if something come out unclear.