The dialogue wheel is a game mechanic in Dragon Age II used during conversations. Instead of choosing the exact dialogue lines for Hawke, the player chooses between short paraphrases of the fully voiced dialogue that will follow. An icon in the center of the dialogue wheel shows the type and/or tone of Hawke's response.
Though it may not be apparent at first, Hawke can exhibit one of three personalities based on the dialogue choices that you favor.
- Diplomatic/Helpful: Green or Light Blue highlight
- Humorous/Charming: Purple highlight
- Aggressive/Direct: Red highlight
This personality type will decide the tone of Hawke's voice whenever it is not directly controlled by the player, which will happen during cut-scenes and also during conversations between the player's dialogue choices. On occasion the tone of unique dialogue options the player can choose will depend on the personality type, and Hawke's remarks during exploration mode (when controlling another character and selecting Hawke) and the character's lines during combat will also be influenced by it.
The very first dialogue choice you make sets Hawke's initial personality. Note that this is the dialogue choice made during the introduction sequence, that will occur after class and gender are chosen, but before Hawke's appearance, portrait, the events of Dragon Age: Origins and the game difficulty are set.
If your first pick is a Diplomatic option, for example, Hawke's voice will adopt the Diplomatic tone. As you keep choosing similar options at the dialogue wheel, they "stack". If you were to decide to change your personality later on, it would take more than twice the amount of (either Humorous or Aggressive) dialogue lines to activate that version of Hawke's voice. The idea behind this system is to ensure a consistency in Hawke's delivery throughout each Act. After a certain number of specific dialogue choices, Hawke's personality is effectively crystallized.
At the start of each Act, Hawke retains his or her established personality, but the "stack" of the previous personality choices is reduced. This gives you a window of opportunity to change your dominant tone.
Some options do not affect Hawke's personality, but rather, some are dependent on it. These are highlighted gold.
Icon meanings Edit
|Diplomatic||Core dialogue choice for the Diplomatic personality type. Very rarely causes offense, likely to engender friendship increases. Hawke usually reacts well to an event that just occurred, or takes the tactful approach to a problem.|
|Helpful||Part of the Diplomatic personality type. Generally appears when Hawke is poised to assist someone or if sympathy or understanding is called for.|
|Humorous||Core dialogue choice for the Humorous personality type. Rarely causes offense. Hawke makes a sarcastic comment or jokes about the situation. Tends to be a fairly neutral option among companions, though Isabela and Varric oftentimes respond favorably.|
|Charming||Secondary dialogue choice for the Humorous type personality. Hawke assumes an appealing or smooth tone of voice. Rarely sees rivalry or friendship points added.|
|Aggressive||Core dialogue choice for the Aggressive personality type. Hawke reacts negatively to something that just happened, and speaks in a confronting tone. Most likely to cause rivalry increases with companions.|
|Direct||Secondary dialogue choice for the Aggressive personality type. Hawke speaks rudely or bluntly about the current topic of conversation.|
|Combat||Initiates combat immediately and dismisses further dialogue. The actual result (and effect on companion rivalry and friendship) depends on the context. Cutting short a conversation with a demon or brutal slavers to attack without compunction could be viewed favorably by those present; executing a misguided yet hapless pawn in a larger scheme might invite ire.|
|Call on companion||Invites the specified companion to intervene in a conversation. Those often lead to a unique (and, usually, non-violent or profitable) solution to a given situation. May also lead to a friendship increase.|
|Flirt||Engage with a companion in an amorous or suggestive manner. Flirting is the only way to instigate a potential romance.|
|End romance||Used to reject a romantic proposition from a companion or end an existing romance. Will often lead to a rivalry increase. Note that this does not always prevent further romance options from appearing in the future.|
|Yes||Accept a proposal or offer as put forward by another character. Usually leads to new quests.|
|No||Reject a proposal or offer as put forward by another character. Be very wary when rejecting potential quest opportunities, as you may not get another chance.|
|Choice||Appears when Hawke can choose from multiple responses that all address the situation in different ways. May lead to a rivalry or friendship increase. Your guide should be your knowledge of the person in question.|
|Special Choice||This rare dialogue option represents a unique choice that may lead to a special outcome. These appear in accordance with Hawke's personality, with Diplomatic, Humorous, and Aggressive types all having their own opportunities at set points in the story. These also emerge when certain events have taken place. Some are determined by Hawke's class. Others may be determined based on friendship/ rivalry (if displayed during a companion's conversation)|
|Pay/Extort||Used to pay or bribe people or to inquire about a possible quest's rewards. May also be used to press for further payment at the conclusion of a quest or even blackmail or extortion in certain instances.|
|Lie||Attempt to lie in order to extricate Hawke from a difficult situation. A rare option, this may not always lead to a desired result.|
|Investigate||Choose this option to open a sub-menu where you can ask questions to learn more about a given topic. These may in turn offer further queries and even unlock otherwise unavailable options in other conversations.|
Special choices Edit
The following choices provide special outcomes during specific conversations that cannot be achieved with a different personality, or at most with only one of the alternative two. Note that their exclusivity does not necessarily make them superior to the default choices in terms of rewards (e.g. experience, gold, or friendship/rivalry points).
- In the quest Tranquility, when the angry refugees outside Lirene's Fereldan Imports question Hawke about seeking Anders, usually Hawke must either ask Bethany/Carver to step in or fight the refugees. A diplomatic Hawke, however, has a special "We're on the same side" option that allows Hawke to successfully persuade the refugees to leave without needing the assistance of their sibling. This option yields friendship with Merrill and Aveline, but less with Carver than calling on him to resolve the situation, and yields the same amount with Bethany as calling on her.
- Dragon Age: Origins prerequisite - If the Warden chose to either break the curse on the werewolves, or at least to side with the elves against the werewolves during Nature of the Beast, there will be an encounter on the southern path of the Wounded Coast in which an alleged former werewolf is accosted by elves. Usually, Hawke must either defend the man and thus fight the elves, or avoid a fight by letting the elves hunt and kill the man. However, a diplomatic Hawke has a special option that convinces the elven assassin that killing the man isn't what her mother would have wanted, causing the elves to leave peacefully. Any option leads to a reward of 500 xp and 50 silver for resolution, but the special dialogue avoids a fight with the elves, thus missing 103 xp from killing them (the same as letting the elves kill the man). None of the outcomes have any effect on the rest of the game.
- In the quest All That Remains, normally Gascard DuPuis joins Quentin in the quest's final battle, if his assistance was solicited to find the mage. However, a diplomatic Hawke can turn Gascard away from taking Quentin's offer so he'll join you in the final battle instead of Quentin. If Varric is in the party, he anticipates a betrayal and puts a bolt in Gascard's throat before his decision can be made, making Hawke's personality a moot point.
- In the quest Demands of the Qun, Orsino and Meredith get into an argument about conflicting plans regarding how to battle the Qunari. Normally, Hawke must choose either Orsino's plan or Meredith's plan. However, a diplomatic Hawke has a special option to convince them both to stop arguing, and Orsino will decide Hawke should lead them and make a plan. This doesn't affect anything, as Hawke must still choose between Orsino's distraction or Meredith's charge.
- In the quest The Destruction of Lothering, a charming Hawke can convince Cavril to give up the profits he owes to Athenril. Usually, he has to be intimidated by Hawke or Aveline to receive the payment. Although this is also a non-violent means of getting the money, there are no friendship points gained, unlike when Hawke asks Aveline to intervene.
- In the quest Act of Mercy, if the player agrees to lie to Ser Kerras that the mages he's seeking are already dead, a sarcastic Hawke has an additional lying option upon returning to Kerras; a sarcastic Hawke can choose "I'm your best friend." Hawke will convince Kerras that Hawke's doing him a favor by telling him about the mages already being dead but the leader having fled towards the coast. The templars will leave for the coast without a fight. However, Varric can spin a similar tale just as easily if the option is unavailable.
- In the quest Finders Keepers, during the segment of the quest in which the player must infiltrate Woodrow's Warehouse, a sarcastic Hawke can lie to the guards and persuade them that there's a fire nearby that they must investigate. (However, this option will not work if Merrill is in the party, as she will naïvely question if there really is a fire, forcing you to reveal it's a trick and fight the guards.)
- In the quest Finders Keepers, an aggressive Hawke can successfully threaten Aden into giving information about Martin's cargo. Other personalities will not be successful in their threats, and will need to either bribe the assistant with 2 sovereigns or come back at night and search the records.
- In the quest Blackpowder Promise, an aggressive Hawke may convince the Tal'Vashoth deserter (Maraas) to fight alongside them against the Tal'Vashoth. On Nightmare difficulty his assistance can be a great boon, but it is by no means necessary.
- In the quest Wayward Son, when Hawke interrogates Vincento about Feynriel's location, normally Vincento will clam up and a mage Hawke or Bethany must use a special dialogue option to prove Hawke a friend of runaways. However, if the player is using an aggressive Hawke, they can simply threaten Vincento into revealing Feynriel's location.
- In the quest The Deep Roads Expedition, if Hawke makes a deal with the profane hunger demon so the demon would tell him the location of a key that unlocks the upper levels, the demon will reappear at the end of the quest in a futile effort to convince you to take only the key and not any of the treasure. Hawke normally ends up either fighting the demon or asking Varric to kill it; however, if the player is using an aggressive Hawke, there is an additional special option to threaten the demon to back off.
- In the quest Raiders on the Cliffs, an aggressive Hawke can rally the guardsmen to join in the fight, earning rivalry from Aveline. The option is available to diplomatic Hawkes as well, but the aggressive prompt earns rivalry rather than friendship, more rivalry than would be earned by refusing to get them involved.
- In the quest Offered and Lost, usually Hawke must fight Ser Varnell and his horde of Chantry fanatics. However, an aggressive Hawke is able to side with them to kill the captured Qunari. This allows the player a later option of siding with Petrice in Following the Qun (which makes it more difficult to earn the Arishok's respect), and Hawke can also recognize a few of the fanatics during Favor and Fault in Act 3, now part of Jeven's entourage, causing some amusing reactions.
- In the quest All That Remains, normally Gascard DuPuis joins Quentin in the quest's final battle, if his assistance was solicited to find the mage. However, an aggressive Hawke can threaten Gascard away from taking Quentin's offer so he'll join you in the final battle instead of Quentin. If Varric is in the party, he anticipates a betrayal and puts a bolt in Gascard's throat before his decision can be made, making Hawke's personality a moot point.
- During No Rest for the Wicked an aggressive Hawke can ask Velasco to kill Isabela. It is still a bluff and Velasco doesn't do it, but Isabela is shocked. The quest proceeds normally.
- ps3 Some dialogue in certain conversations can be repeatedly clicked, and be repeated; these could possibly bring infinite stacks of any kind of dialog, resulting in a more permanent personality. These exist when there are right side responses to left side "investigate"s that then return to the main conversation branch. These are rare, however.