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The Descent: A Dragon Age f**k-up

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1 The Descent: A Dragon Age f**k-up on Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:17 pm

"What's that? You want to know why? You don't understand? Well I guess you'll just have to try to wrap your head around our mental gymnastics for now until the next game comes out!"

This is the problem with the Dragon Age team. For Mass Effect, it's denial. And keeping Mac Walters. For Dragon Age, it's throwing in M. Knight twists they hope that players will hang onto and buy the next game to get their answers for, who cares if it's stupid, right?

I've never played The Descent. With only things beforehand being the Deluxe Edition content and the Black Emporium, my game cuts from the end of the main game right to Trespasser. I looked at this: http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/The_Descent#Plot

So out of the blue, Titans are a thing. They make the world. Wow, gee, isn't that nifty? So is that what the darkspawn want? To get into the world of the Thedas continent's heart-of-hearts and jack it up beyond repair? We don't get our answer. And some dwarves are capable of using magic. WHAT. I'm inclined to say this is stupid, because "WHY!?" And the person who led you here, who could have answered your questions, BECAUSE WHAT REASON WOULD YOU HAVE TO NOT TELL THIS PERSON WHO COULD HELP YOU, just says "deal with it" and vamooses. Whoo-boy, what a setup for the next game, right? RIGHT?

I don't know whether I can trust them to do something really awesome with this in the next game or whether to stop caring.

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2 Re: The Descent: A Dragon Age f**k-up on Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:50 pm

What's that? You want to know why? You don't understand? Well I guess you'll just have to try to wrap your head around our mental gymnastics for now until the next game comes out!

You mean like how they resolved the whole deal with The Architect in DA2? Or was it DA:I?

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3 Re: The Descent: A Dragon Age f**k-up on Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:34 pm

That was Origins: Awakening. Hang on...the Architect's model looks similar to Corypheus'. Okay, reading.

The Architect is not Corypheus but a different high priest, specifically Urthemiel, the archdemon in Origins. He awoke in Thedas after cast down from the Golden City, but with no memory. He used a reverse-Joining to free darkspawn from Urthemiel's control. No, that's actually interesting, but they're dropping that for a New World vs Old World conflict, it looks like. "Darkspawn? Who cares? Look over here!"

And the Architect and the invention of the Disciples in the setting is beyond fucked. His intentions are admirable, but even when awakened the Darkspawn are just more trouble than they're worth.

There are two Old Gods who haven't woken, Razikale and Lusacan, and there are six other nameless high priests of the Old Gods. This includes the Architect, who merely had his vessel slain by the Warden-Commander if he chose to do so, not killed off forever like Corypheus. The writing staff should do something with this. I just don't see the Architect getting his wishes regarding the darkspawn. I think he just needs to have his noble sacrifice, and then bring darkspawn back to simply being horrible disgusting minions that need to be wiped out along with the Old Gods.

Who are not cool, btw. They are apparently very strong spirits who decided for whatever reason ("because screw the Maker," if you believe the Chant) to jack up the Fade beyond repair or something equally bad, and sought the help of those 7 Tevinter mages to try.

But deciding some dwarves can use magic takes a huge chunk of what makes them different and interesting, what their culture is based around in the setting, and mashes it to bits. Y'know, if Arch's "they're constructs" theory still pans out, it's actually even worse. That would actually be very interesting. And y'know, you think the elves have it bad? Just visit Orzammar. Go to the Deep Roads. Go to the Thaigs. The dwarves have it way worse than everyone else. And they tell everyone about their problems, and everyone just ignores them because their problems are ones that they can't see from the surface.

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4 Re: The Descent: A Dragon Age f**k-up on Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:39 am

Mmm what I meant is that it's been two sequels and the Architect's plot with the Darkspawn hasn't fully been resolved yet, so I wouldn't expect the giants/magic dwarves plot in the dlc to pay off in the next game. Which is good, or at least better than ME's approach of introducing big concepts that weren't hinted at before (like the Collectors, the Crucible)

I thought the Archdemons were implied to be the elven "gods"?

Even if some dwarves can use magic, it doesn't take away from the culture they already established. I think there's potential for the whole thing to be recontextualized because their lack of mages is no longer just a race trait, it begs the question, why can't the dwarves of Orzammar use magic, and what's the meaning behind their weird relationship with lyrium and their lack of dreams.

And well, the dwarves at least still have their own kingdom and they're mostly free to go wherever they please. If you're an elf you're either a whiny dalish woods frolicker, living in the ghetto, or bald. Truly the worst of all fates.

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5 Re: The Descent: A Dragon Age f**k-up on Mon May 01, 2017 4:55 am

Luslanz wrote:Mmm what I meant is that it's been two sequels and the Architect's plot with the Darkspawn hasn't fully been resolved yet, so I wouldn't expect the giants/magic dwarves plot in the dlc  to pay off in the next game. Which is good, or at least better than ME's approach of introducing big concepts that weren't hinted at before (like the Collectors, the Crucible)
It would be nice if there was a recurring reminder for us. That's what makes tying in an unresolved plot serviceable. Not that I would know, but compared to what we have in absence of reminders or build-up, it just feels like it was dropped completely.

Luslanz wrote:I thought the Archdemons were implied to be the elven "gods"?
Oh, of course, I was just looking at the wiki. I'm sure it was buried in the Inquisition spoilers tab. It's interesting to me that the Old Gods who whispered to the seven Tevinter mages and urged them to enter the Fade were, as Corypheus says, absent from the "throne" he found, as he remembers it. Perhaps the suggestions really came from Pride demons who sensed the mages' power, and the suppressed desire to get in. That creates this possibility: that the Old Gods erased all life and discourse that the Seven had perceived and experienced (if any, if they even allowed themselves to be seen) before casting them back to the word.

Luslanz wrote:Even if some dwarves can use magic, it doesn't take away from the culture they already established. I think there's potential for the whole thing to be recontextualized because their lack of mages is no longer just a race trait, it begs the question, why can't the dwarves of Orzammar use magic, and what's the meaning behind their weird relationship with lyrium and their lack of dreams.

I'll grant you that and then some. I'm just skeptical of any of this being used.

Luslanz wrote:And well, the dwarves at least still have their own kingdom and they're mostly free to go wherever they please. If you're an elf you're either a whiny dalish woods frolicker, living in the ghetto, or bald. Truly the worst of all fates.
Having your own kingdom is nice and all, but it, like other things, is a factor that applies to your standard of living, not determining it.
deep breath...:
You're a dwarf: 80% of your old kingdoms have been "conquered" by nightmare fuel and your ancestors all killed or made into "them", if they haven't successfully fled. Your people now hold back the tide of darkspawn indefinitely with a legion of those you consider criminals or casteless scum, and the rest of the world ignores you. You might even be casteless scum. The meritocracy rewards you only for excelling in battle or in the affinity associated with the cast you were born into. You abide by a strict and harsh hierarchy, and social mobility exists only in the now before your offspring are born, and only applies to them. You are far removed from most religious people whose hearts bleed for you, and if Burkel's chantry exists and you subscribe to its beliefs, you're halfway to casteless status just for that.

You're an elf: you might frolic in the woods and that's because you love it there and people hate you for it, but so what? You're super special awesome, and there's no social hierarchy holding you back from living a socially acceptable way of life as dictated to you from birth by your elders. Your people face discrimination at best, getting blamed or murdered or worse for shit you didn't do, but you pretty much do the same, it's all very give and take and at a generous rate. If you live in the city, there is a whole religion that may tend towards discrimination but is greatly sympathetic toward you if you are impoverished or needy. Two in fact, the other provided you give up your individuality and you're okay with that.

An elf as an individual who lives in the city has it worse on the whole than a dwarf who has the balls or the shame required to walk on the surface without fear of falling into the sky. To get there as a dwarf, you have to have it worse beforehand. As a people, elves have it better than the dwarves, who battle darkspawn and the perils of underground living on a daily basis. This stuff hangs over every dwarf whether they realize it or not.

Elves face racism, but they have the ability to overcome it. They were slaughtered  in the past, but the Marches marched against the people inhabiting what are now the Free Marches, not all elves everywhere. Their monsters of the past were only figurative. Dwarves have managed to halt extinction, but their existence is still under imminent threat daily. Their monsters of the past are real and hostile to this day.

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6 Re: The Descent: A Dragon Age f**k-up on Wed May 03, 2017 11:30 pm

Oh, of course, I was just looking at the wiki. I'm sure it was buried in the Inquisition spoilers tab. It's interesting to me that the Old Gods who whispered to the seven Tevinter mages and urged them to enter the Fade were, as Corypheus says, absent from the "throne" he found, as he remembers it. Perhaps the suggestions really came from Pride demons who sensed the mages' power, and the suppressed desire to get in. That creates this possibility: that the Old Gods erased all life and discourse that the Seven had perceived and experienced (if any, if they even allowed themselves to be seen) before casting them back to the word.

Well consider how Tevinter stole so much of their culture from the elves, and how there are  both 7 old gods and 7 elven gods trapped in a city in the fade according to each religion. Also one elven god we've met can transform into a dragon. It seems to add up.

As for why the throne was empty... would Corypheus even recognize a god if he saw one? Dumat looks like a monkey person in their old temples after all. Also, we don't know exactly what happened when they got into the city. He said the throne was "empty", but what if instead of literally nothing he found something that couldn't be a god in his eyes... like an elven mage? And well, he'd be right, because not even the elven gods consider themselves as such. Anyway, I think it's more likely that the old gods themselves "summoned" the mages in order to escape; surely don't lack the motive to do so. If it was all caused by pride demons it would be a bit... anticlimatic? Besides, it would be out of character for a demon to drag people into the Fade, when their usual goal is to use them to get themselves out of it.

You're a dwarf: 80% of your old kingdoms have been "conquered" by nightmare fuel and your ancestors all killed or made into "them", if they haven't successfully fled. Your people now hold back the tide of darkspawn indefinitely with a legion of those you consider criminals or casteless scum, and the rest of the world ignores you. You might even be casteless scum. The meritocracy rewards you only for excelling in battle or in the affinity associated with the cast you were born into. You abide by a strict and harsh hierarchy, and social mobility exists only in the now before your offspring are born, and only applies to them. You are far removed from most religious people whose hearts bleed for you, and if Burkel's chantry exists and you subscribe to its beliefs, you're halfway to casteless status just for that.

You're an elf: you might frolic in the woods and that's because you love it there and people hate you for it, but so what? You're super special awesome, and there's no social hierarchy holding you back from living a socially acceptable way of life as dictated to you from birth by your elders. Your people face discrimination at best, getting blamed or murdered or worse for shit you didn't do, but you pretty much do the same, it's all very give and take and at a generous rate. If you live in the city, there is a whole religion that may tend towards discrimination but is greatly sympathetic toward you if you are impoverished or needy. Two in fact, the other provided you give up your individuality and you're okay with that.

We're talking about modern dwarves though. If we're counting ancient kingdoms for oppression points then the elves also lost Arlathan... and pretty much the rest of the surface when the humans came around. And their immortality too. And while the darkspawn are a constant problem, we know it's manageable enough that they can afford to refuse outside help. As a dwarf your success may be limited by your caste, but as an elf there is no social mobility. You live in a world that seems to barely tolerate you. Elves who worship the Maker are just as ostracized as the dwarves who do in Orzammar.

The Dalish are nomadic only because they don't have a place to settle, you may retaliate sometimes but at the end of the day you know that the shem could wipe you out if they really tried and your clan's movements revolve around their mood. You are still salty about stuff that happened hundreds of years ago.

An elf as an individual who lives in the city has it worse on the whole than a dwarf who has the balls or the shame required to walk on the surface without fear of falling into the sky. To get there as a dwarf, you have to have it worse beforehand. As a people, elves have it better than the dwarves, who battle darkspawn and the perils of underground living on a daily basis. This stuff hangs over every dwarf whether they realize it or not.

But not all dwarves fight the darkspawn. Fighting is reserved for the Warrior caste (+ the Legion) and they're actually quite happy to do the job for all the glory and prestige that comes with it. Elves have it worse, because if you're a dwarf you live in relative safety and you're guaranteed a job that is worthy of respect even if you're just a servant. If you're casteless you can leave Orzammar. Surface dwarves generally do fine, selling fine dwarven crafts and stuff. If you're an elf everything is crap no matter where you go.  

Elves face racism, but they have the ability to overcome it. They were slaughtered  in the past, but the Marches marched against the people inhabiting what are now the Free Marches, not all elves everywhere.

The thing is, I have a hard time coming up with elf characters who are "fine", as far as the setting allows (except Zevran? maybe.) Whenever an elf is involved in a quest it's like there's a cloud of tragedy hovering over them. Dwarves for the most part lead fairly normal lives.

Their monsters of the past were only figurative. Dwarves have managed to halt extinction, but their existence is still under imminent threat daily. Their monsters of the past are real and hostile to this day.

# of dwarven settlements lost in modern times: 0
# potential dalish camp massacres since DAO: 3


So in conclusion, Qunari mages < Casteless < Mages < Elves < Dwarves < Humans < Nugs

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7 Re: The Descent: A Dragon Age f**k-up on Thu May 04, 2017 2:17 am

*Clap* I don't think I've ever been this rekt before. Well done.

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8 Re: The Descent: A Dragon Age f**k-up on Thu May 04, 2017 12:05 pm

The thing with the elven/old gods is that they are two distinct groups who were in a war. Elven gods in the Fade and the old gods in the underworld. After the murder of Mythal, Fen'Haral (who had been playing both sides until then) sealed the elven gods away in the Fade by creating the Veil, which consequently robbed the elves of their immortality.

The old gods then were trying to get into the Fade to end their enemies and used the Tevinter magisters to do just that.

Seems funny that the Chant of Light appears to the only fake religion in setting.

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9 Re: The Descent: A Dragon Age f**k-up on Thu May 04, 2017 7:54 pm

The elven gods were at odds with the "forgotten ones", but I don't think there's enough lore to really say whether the old gods are the same thing as either group. IMO the forgotten ones may have been ancient elves who rebelled against the elven gods because in Trespasser there's a story about how Fen'Harel created a refuge for them inside the magic mirror land. That way Fen'Harel sealed the elven gods away in the Fade and the slaves/forgotten ones in the "void" between mirrors, which fits the elven legends somewhat.


And really all religions are a game of telephone

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10 Re: The Descent: A Dragon Age f**k-up on Wed May 10, 2017 6:21 am

Well perhaps the Chant of Light calls back faintly to the origin of humans, and we just haven't gotten to see that yet. Think we'll be so lucky?

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11 Re: The Descent: A Dragon Age f**k-up on Thu May 11, 2017 1:11 pm

Luslanz wrote:
What's that? You want to know why? You don't understand? Well I guess you'll just have to try to wrap your head around our mental gymnastics for now until the next game comes out!

You mean like how they resolved the whole deal with The Architect in DA2? Or was it DA:I?


It seems they are really struggling with how they're gonna include The Architect in future stories.
Actually he was supposed to appear in DAI, during Here Lies the Abyss, the quest about Grey Wardens at Adamant, but the writers changed the original quest, and The Architect didn't make it into the final game.
To me, this implies they actually WANT to include The Architect, they just don't know how to...

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