Well, as much as I dislike the Circle Tower quest, the Fade and Brecilian Forest, the thing I dislike most is of a more technical issue.
The damn loot lag when after an hour of a playing session, it takes about 20 seconds before you can loot a body. I play Origins on Xbox and it certainly has this issue. Not sure about PS3 and PC, but the loot lag takes a lot of enjoyment out of the game.
You need to meet the Warden ally in Crestwood, only after that will you get the quest.
Stop at all costs.
He just resurfaced after 2 years of being missing and declared that he wants to destroy the world, kill almost everyone in Thedas, and showed us that he has the means to do it. Why the hell should I attempt to redeem him. Even in real life, if one of my best mates came to me after 2 years of not seeing them and told me that they want to start a war a ruin Earth, I would show no mercy to them and actually take it upon me to stop them personally no matter what.
^If we are going to use DA2's personality system, it would be good to actually broaden it to:
The colors in conversations may be the same for all pairs, but I find Hawke's replies and overall tone quite different between respective pairs. While Sarcastic Hawke is a complete goofball, Charming Hawke is actually that - charming, without an excessive use of humour. As such, I would say Cullen is probably best described as Direct, he is usually blunt and doesn't run circles around an issue, but he is not aggressive about it.
^The Inquisitor of course doesn't know that they need the Orlesian support for only a few weeks or months, as far as they're concerned, the War against the Elder One could take several years before it truly ends, years during which Briala's position could be revealed and ruin the Orlesian support.
I, however, agree that each result of the quest is basically equal in a non-metagaming run and for the Inquisitors who only care about the Breach, it all depends on the way they are played and the support of each candidate can be explained/defended according to the PC. Such is the charm of the game.
^^^ "Girls like aggresive men"
If we are really going to generalise like that, then I would actually say girls like funny and interesting men who can and will show concern when it is needed - even if it is in their own light-hearted way.
I would say Varric fits these attributes just fine, as we have seen him concerned, helpful, sometimes even a but rowdy, and especially funny and capable of bringing a smile to every woman's face (maybe with the exception of Meredith, but she doesn't count).
Since I don't find metagaming to be much of a fun anymore, I usually decide based on my characters, and to the Inquisitor, the overall outcome of the war is not much of a concern. As such, it usually comes down to one of these two outcomes - the three-way truce or Gaspard's victory.
The truce may not be a stable outcome, but the Inquisitor has no way of knowing that and even if they did, why the hell would they care? To them, stopping the Breach is the priority, and the truce seems like a perfect outcome for this goal - the forces of all three sides become (or theoretically should become) available for the war effort, and after the Breach is closed all three of them can go back to clawing at each other's throats.
To advocate for the decision to support Gaspard, the Inquisitor may choose similar approach as above, this time, however, outright going with the choice of a military leader with the allegiance of most of the Chevaliers, who will owe the Inquisition for his position and be more likely to lend his help. I will, however, admit that letting Celene just die like that is not to my liking, so I usually "bend the game" a bit and act like the Inqusitor truly did not come in time to save Celene instead of deciding to let her die, and choosing Gaspard is then the most sensible choice.
As for the other outcomes, the Inquisitor could not care one bit about Celene's and Briala's romantic past enough to bring them together and wish them well, plus it involves having to execute Gaspard, a military commander who could be useful, so that is out of the picture.
Celene alone could be theoretically fine for no-metagaming Inquisitors, but yet again, why wouldn't they just go with a truce when they have them all rounded up like that. The only exception I can think of is not having blackmail materials on all of them or not having enough court approval. In that case, having Celene alone is a viable choice, either with sparing or executing Briala and Gaspard.
Lastly, Briala through Gaspard. I personally never play an elf in the Inquisition - being an elf just doesn't fit into my playthroughs. An elf Inquisitor may have some personal desire to help the elves of Orlais, even though the Inquisitor is Dalish, however, what motivation do the other Inquisitors have to put Briala on the throne and possibly jeopardizing the whole Orlesian support? Feeling sorry for the elves? Sorry enough to put this problem above the possibility of destruction of the whole world? Now do not get this wrong, as this not come from my personal view on thinga in the real life, but in history and this particular series, the fact is - prejudice is, always has and (unfortunately) always will be present, in the world of Dragon Age included. The Inquisitor may feel sorry for the treatment of the elves, but to stomp their foot and say "Forget the end of the world, this here is the perfect opportunity to become a civil rights warrior and to improve the lives of the elves in this one country!" is just foolish.
Tl;dr - truce or Gaspard make the most sense for non-metagaming and because I like to be controversial.
^^ This is honestly the first time I have heard anyone say they hate Aveline.
Anyway, for me it is probably Sera. Perhaps there is someone I dislike more, but no one else comes to mind.
And then there's me, who has never gotten the Eyes of the Maker war table operation before! Honestly, I did not even know such an operation existed and have always had The Archives of Montfort no matter who I sided with, so perhaps the particular operation is indeed bugged or requires additional/different prequisite?
My guess on the impact of the decision?
If you disband, the Inquisitor and his inner circle will create a secret organization/band dedicated to stopping Solas, codename something like "Wolfeater."
If you preserve, the Inquisitor and his inner circle will creare a secret band within the Inquisition dedicated to stopping Solas, codename something like "Wolfeater."
Call me a pessimist.
^ yes, but on the other hand, I always found Anders to be a lot more manipulative, and the romance overall to be "abusive." I mean yes, Anders doesn't hide who he is, and he drops the "you should leave me, I don't deserve you" trick like twice a day, but at the same time, he uses this love and Hawke's loyalty to literally force and blackmail Hawke into helping him (his last companion quest immediately comes to mind.)
The way I see it, Solas may be more of a bastard overall, with his whole "tear down the world" thing, bur at least he tries his very best to not include the Inquisitor in his plan and not to use her feelings towards him to further his plan, while Anders does just that, and then just blatantly covers it up with "Wow, I don't deserve you and you should find someone else, Hawke, I'll call on you the next time I need your help."
Come on, people, we all know the spot goes to Carver!
Out of 13 times I've played the game, I have only managed to trigger it 2 times, once on a Dalish Elf and once on a Magi origin. I believe, however, that triggering, or rather not triggering the quest has something to do with either the Origin played, or with the DLC/ "rewards for achievements" items you have equipped on your imported character.
The Dalish character was my first run of Origins ever, so I had none of the items awarded for achievements (in my case especially Sash of the Forbidden Secrets, The High Regards of House Dace and Vestments of Seer) and I unlocked the quest without a problem. All the subsequent runs I had mainly these items equipped while importing my next characters, and out of 8 Magi runs, I only triggered it once - when I improted my character equipped with only the base game items either found or bought from vendors. On the next 3 Human Noble runs, once again I was not able to trigger it again, though I can remember I imported the Warden-Commander Armor to have its stats, so I technically had it equipped.
I am currently doing another run with a Dalish Elf and I am planning to import her without any bonus otema equipped to see if that is the case (if I have time I might even import her with these items afterwards and see what changes), so hopefully that adds some new data to this little hypothesis.
Vivienne (though she becomes a little bit more likable after coming to Skyhold)
Bethany/Carver (I like both of them equally)
Anders (even DA2 Anders, though I always let the murder knife do its magic with him)
Murder knife - the only companion you can really trust
The Fade! 'Nuff said.
Rian gave a worried look at the map as the captain of his unit explained the newest plans of the counterattack at the ever pushing Qunari. The plan commanders came up with was rather clear and simple - attack the Qunari situated between Antiva City and Treviso, cut off the coastlands around Antiva City from the main bulk of force on the borders between Antiva and Rivain and in the northern Antiva, and retake the coastlands with an attack from both two sides.
The plan had only one problem Rian saw - it couldn't possibly work. It relied solely on the ability to push back the northern Qunari forces and create a rift in their army, which, with the current state of the Thedosian army, was quite impossible. The Qunari were superior in strength and numbers, their dreadnoughts mantained a stable presence in the Rialto Bay, the fact a body of water to the north of Antiva City would need to be passed... all the factors needed to show the desperateness of this plan. Rian was sure their commanders were aware of all of these problems - they just didn't have any better idea.
"Sir, if I may," Rian approached his captain after the meeting.
"I'm not sure you should delay, soldier, we have our orders," the captain brushed him off, clearly not interested in any signs of insubordination.
"Sir, with all due respect, this plan is just an elaborate plan to get us all killed," Rian insisted, despite the possible trouble it could get him into, "there is just no way we can push back the army with a head-on attack."
Rian stood at the captain's side and pointed at the maps of both Thedas and the planned battlefield: "We cannot defeat their numbers with ours in an open battle, but look here, if we got -"
"I was not aware the nurses have promoted you to the rank of general while you were recovering there, soldier," captain stopped him with anger in his eyes. "If I, or any of your superiors, ask you for your opinions and ideas, you are welcome to share them, but since you were not asked to do so, I suggest you go prepare yourself for the attack. Now."
With that, Rian resigned, saluted and left the captain's tent. As he walked through the camp, he passed the medical tent he had been until recently confined to, and realized that if he found himself in it again after the coming battle, he could actually consider himself lucky.
I'll take it as a compliment.
Yet another surge of pain woke Rian up from his shallow sleep. He has been resting in a camp to the north of Antiva City for about two days now, ever since his unit had found itself under attack of Qunari trying to breach their defence and expand further into the mainlands. While Rian was rather lucky, with only his leg being injured, many other of his fellow soldiers succumbed to the Qunari wave, which ultimately succeeded in their attack and pushed the line of battle closer to Antiva City itself. It was clear that Antiva City might soon become a battlefield itself.
"Awake again, are we?" asked one of the nurses in the medical tent. She was clearly overworked and tired. "Just trying to be symphatetic and sleep while you obviously cannot," joked Rian, though his attempt at a joke had fallen on deaf ears, as the nurse was apparently not in a joking mood. "We have done all we can to treat your wounds and ease your pain, and where we were helpless, magic has done its work however,, you still need to rest, and rest you will," the nurse shot back at Rian with a cold tone. Then she added, with melancholy in her voice: "For as long as you can until you have to return to the battlefield."
With that, she turned her attention to other patients while Rian was left with his thoughts. It was an unfortunate truth - he, and many other wounded and tired soldiers, would have to fight again soon, before they had a chance to properly recuperate, and with the tide of Qunari closing in on the current allied Thedosian positions, it was only a matter of time.
I just want to apologize for myself for not replying/participating in the RPG yet, I've been buried in work and exams 'till today. Once I get home tomorrow, however, I will fully engage myself in stopping the Qunari heathens, and the party will be wild!
Well, since I'll probably never finish the Dragon Age D&D I started writing, I might as well join a venture of someone who is not as lazy as I am (thanks pal!)
Name: Rian Maxwell
Title: Soldier of Starkhaven
Appearance: Rian is of average height and build. He sports thick, brown hair which he keeps slightly longer with light stubble he shaves clean the moment it gets too long. The most prominent facial features are his bright blue eyes and slightly longer nose, as well as a rather pale complexion when compared with his peers. As a junior member of the Starkhaven military, Rian is adorned in a medium armor (Scale Armor Set from DA: Origins comes to mind).
Talents: While certainly not a best swordsman in the military, Rian is a decent warrior who may use sword and shield as his arms, but still favors speed over brute, unconcentrated force. As such, Rian's current armor fits him just fine, as it offers a nice compromise between defense and speed. He is also an adept tactician, but his unfocusness and uncertainty in his path does not allow him to either capitalize on his tactical mind or to progress further with his martial skills.
Personality: Rian may seem different to every person he meets: some view him as arrogant and above everything and everyone; others see him as a shy and lost young man. All of these views stem from Rian's uncertainty in many things, most of all in the way his own life is going. Together with the fact that he is often lost in his own thoughts leave people around him with mixed feelings about him. Once he gets to know someone better, however, he is more open to show his other face - that of a warm man with a dry sense of humor he uses to diffuse tense situations with only one desire in his life - to belong somewhere and to do something meaningful.
Relationships: Rian is on good terms with his family, who supported him in his decision to join the military - although mainly due to him changing his mind about his career constantly, so they were glad he had finally decided to actually do something. Apart from his family, Rian has a few friends back in Starkhaven, and he has bonded with some of his fellow colleagues.
Background: Born in 7:32 to a blacksmith and a tavern waitress, Rian was always close to swords, and had often snuck into his father's smithy to play with them. As the years had passed, playing turned into training with his younger brother. It was during his childhood that he had decided to become a great warrior, and this notion led him to train vigorously during his early years.
Once he turned 16, however, something has changed. Rian suddenly found himself faltering in his resolve, as he could not decide in what way e wanted to shape his life - he may have had the skills, but he had no vision, and his opinions were changing over night. One day, he'd wanted to be a guard, the next he realized he did not want to be stuck in Starkhaven forever and decided to join the Templar Order, whose duty is surely meaningful. After a while, he found his faith not as strong as expected of the holy warriors, and found the notion of joining the Grey Wardens appealing. These repetetive changes went on for 3 years, during which his skills stagnated, as his intensive training turned into short irregular spars meant only to keep at least some of his skills intact.
Then finally after 3 years of working with his father in their workshop has Rian decided to finally choose his path, and applied for the military. His childhood training, disrupted as it was, helped him gain his place in the army, and while at times he may still find himself wondering of what may have been, he tries his best to cope with the life that is laid before him.
Now, after a little over a year of his service, during which he brushed off his rusted skills at least to some extent, Rian is among the troops sent to Free Marches' northern neighbours to stem the tide of the invading Qunari forces.