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(Making Hawke a Person)
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I think maybe if we'd been given the option to choose a specific background within the Hawke family (examplary eldest sibling, odd one out, mummy's little boy/girl). And a life-changing event (watching or even helping a templar take out a murderous blood mage, finding acceptance in the army, being the one to pick up the pieces after your father's death). And if your surviving relations had treated you differently depending on this, I wouldn't have minded Hawke as a character as much. [[User:Kestrella|Kestrella]] ([[User talk:Kestrella|talk]]) 22:35, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
 
I think maybe if we'd been given the option to choose a specific background within the Hawke family (examplary eldest sibling, odd one out, mummy's little boy/girl). And a life-changing event (watching or even helping a templar take out a murderous blood mage, finding acceptance in the army, being the one to pick up the pieces after your father's death). And if your surviving relations had treated you differently depending on this, I wouldn't have minded Hawke as a character as much. [[User:Kestrella|Kestrella]] ([[User talk:Kestrella|talk]]) 22:35, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
 
:True again. And again, we don't have much choice in DAII - everybody's role in Hawke family is already pre-made. Using your classification, Hawke is an examplary eldest sibling, Carver is an odd one out (he's really odd:)) and Bethany is mummy's and daddie's little girl (given her constant need of protection from the templars). Again, more choices please.[[User:-Algol-|-Algol-]] ([[User talk:-Algol-|talk]]) 22:50, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
 
:True again. And again, we don't have much choice in DAII - everybody's role in Hawke family is already pre-made. Using your classification, Hawke is an examplary eldest sibling, Carver is an odd one out (he's really odd:)) and Bethany is mummy's and daddie's little girl (given her constant need of protection from the templars). Again, more choices please.[[User:-Algol-|-Algol-]] ([[User talk:-Algol-|talk]]) 22:50, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
+
::Wasn't it the same in DAO? I mean if you chose to be a human noble it's pretty much the same thing, you have your preset family and no previous background to chose from, if you chose to be bad or good or humorous through the game it's your choice and not because of something that happened in your Warden's childhood right? -- [[User:T-Shark|T-Shark]] ([[User talk:T-Shark|talk]]) 00:57, December 8, 2011 (UTC)
   
 
==Continuity and General Plot Holes==
 
==Continuity and General Plot Holes==

Revision as of 00:57, December 8, 2011

Forums: Index > Game Discussion > DA2: The Way It Should Have Been
Note: This topic has been unedited for 3143 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not continue it unless it really needs a response.

This has been coming looong but I didn't feel like writing that horrible wall of text I had on mind, so let's do it differently. There have been several discussions on what we would like to change in DA2 but I'd like to keep this thread concentrated solely on story improvements, particularly on those issues almost everyone feels uncomfortable with, and I believe it should be kept neat and organized.

-And civil. "Haters gonna hate" arguments are not welcome, and neither are "DA2 sux 'cus it's the worst game evar". Other than that, feel free to add as many topics as you wish.--Ygrain (talk) 16:17, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

I'm all for this topic :D--SunyiNyufi (talk) 16:53, December 7, 2011 (UTC)


Fill mage plot-holes

I included three of the most common plot holes below. Feel free to add to the list. Fritzywiggins (talk) 17:34, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

  • There are no repercussions for being a blood mage, not even in party conversation. What might have been: affected party members could have brought the issue up in conversation, resulting in the party member leaving or possibly even attacking based on dialogue options chosen.
  • Mage party members practice magic in the streets, which Anders and Merrill can somehow get away with for a decade without even having to leave their homes. Worse, Anders becomes visibly possessed by Justice, while Merrill can use blood magic, which makes their use of magic in the streets of Kirkwall even more conspicuous. However, party members address this issue in conversation, at least. What might have been: Quests involving Anders' and Merrill's status as apostates might have resulted in a more logical reason for their unusually stable housing situations. Another possibility is that Anders and Merrill could have changed home bases between chapters, which could be explained to the player in the codex and journal.
Actually, Varric pays those dangerous elements off as he mentions in party banter; he bribes the thugs to leave Anders and his clinic, and to let Merrill stroll during the night. I think Merrill can still remain hidden, as she said that Keepers don't perform magic in public even amongst their people. You still have a more realistic alternative though.
Wikia sig NicKeL BreaD Talk 21:54, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
  • Staves and robes are ridiculous dead giveaways that Hawke and other party members are mages. What might have been: The easiest solution would have been simply having more subtle armor and staff models, considering that the entire game takes place in the same city.
A couple of details in my older thread Forum: Being An Apostate In Kirkwall, but feel free to develop on any idea here, as well. --Ygrain (talk) 18:10, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

Incorporating family: Leandra

/copied from Forum: Why Hate?/I had an idea that during ActI, Leandra could have been a quest-giver. A strong and open-minded woman as I believe her to be, it would be little surprise if neighbours soon started to address her with their problems, which she in turn would present to Hawke: those little fetch missions, and even some of the main quests. In fact, Leandra insisting that Hawke really should do something, would be a nice indicator that This Is Important (and, to an unwilling Hawke, a little talk along the line "You're not getting any dinner, Garret Hawke, until-!"). I really wondered during ActI why I should bother following some vague rumours, or do these quests at all, and having Bartrand inform me that I have some unfinished business was rather lame (instead of "No, you're not going anywhere, darling, until you help our friends in need, didn't I and your father teach you at least that?") --Ygrain (talk) 15:29, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, I could totally see Leandra as quest-giver and it would really make sense, and would give an other reason for a sarcastic Hawke to grow up a bit and get more serious. In Act 1 I thought that Hawke would just pretty much do anything as long she/he gets paid, and Bartrand's warning is at least more subtle than the one in Fallout New Vegas, where it pretty much says there is no turning back...yet some people complain about it lol. --SunyiNyufi (talk) 15:47, December 7, 2011 (UTC) /--Ygrain (talk) 16:17, December 7, 2011 (UTC)/


Introducing Orsino and Meredith during ActI

There are several ways they could have introduced Orisno and Meredith, and it should have happened way before the end of Act 2, though I'm not sure if Act 1 would be the right place for that. As I see it the best time for an intro would be the very beginning of Act 2. Hawke is already a noble at the time, heir to a very well known family (one of them almost became viscount after all), and is someone whom the viscount himself asks for a favor, so there is no reason for Hawke not to know the most important people in the city. They could have been introduced during a noble party, and interact a bit. Like Meredith saying what she says at the end of Act 2 only a bit different:

M: I know you. *dramatic pause* The name Hawke came up many times in my reports. Too many times.

H: Just trying to keep my home safe.

M: That is....admirable.

Or something like that. This way a mage Hawke wouldn't be outed right away, yet the tension of prey meeting hunter would be there. As for Orsino, I imagine he would be pretty casual with Hawke at first, since everyone in the city knows that Leandra ran away with an apostate, so he would chat with Hawke about Malcolm.--SunyiNyufi (talk) 16:53, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

We didn’t have to work for them right away, much in the same way we didn’t work for the Viscount until Act II, but we should have at least had some idea of who they were before Act III rolled around. This could easily have been done by following the classic Grand Theft Auto structure (especially given Hawke’s rise from the gutters): we hear about them from the start, brush up against people connected to them as we take our first low-paying jobs, eventually get work from their underlings, then do jobs for them directly (probably needing to pick sides, at that point). They sort of do this (kind of) with the Arishok, in that you come into contact with him before interacting with him becomes super-important to the plot. HELO (talk) 16:57, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, something like that. I think it's vital for a story to introduce the main characters early on. If Hawke could be more involved in Wayward son, e.g. delivering a letter from Ariani to Orsino (she was in touch with him somehow, or am I wrong?), they could establish a first contact, and on the way through the Gallows, Hawke might encounter Meredith - even without actually talking to her, merely be witness to some issue she solves. Also, flashscenes of events Hawke is not directly experiencing, might serve this purpose - like in DAO when we saw what Loghain was doing while the Warden was elsewhere. --Ygrain (talk) 17:16, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
"Hawke might encounter Meredith - even without actually talking to her"- well, we sorta had that in the very begining of Act1, when she walked past the thief, who stole Hawke's purse. On my first playthrough, without any prior knowledge, I thought that: 1) it's the head templar of the city and 2) she's batshit crazy-Algol- (talk) 20:34, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
Funny, on my first and only playthrough, I never noticed. Anyway, not what I'd call an introduction of a character. --Ygrain (talk) 20:43, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
It's not a proper introduction, I agree. But at least we know that Meredith is out there. My problem with her further introduction during the qunari attack, and her general attitude towards people, is too unrealistic. They should have given at least some ammount of common sense to her. Because if a raving lunatic is in charge, the whole city just chips in and hires the Crows. I mean, look at her first appearance during the liberation of the Viscount's Keep: she is a commander of an elite military organization. Now she deploys some brilliant tactics of headrushing a fortified position, full of high-valued hostages, the viscount included. My reaction to this was "I'll handle the fight, while you do this city a favor, and hang yourself from the nearest tree, please". Then during the attack on the Gallows, her templars rush just through the only chokepoint, like the batshit fanatics they are, and naturally get torn to pieces. Same with Cullen. We all know, that the events in the Ferelden Circle, when he was sitting in a forcefield, had a serious impact on his fragile little templar mind. Now he's been appointed a high-ranking officer, instead of being sent to a mental institution. Who the hell would follow his commands? More realism, please.-Algol- (talk) 21:25, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

Use the Resolutionists

We know (or at least heard) there’s an extremist faction of the mage underground identified with the Resolutionist fraternity that is supposed to actively work against/attack the Chantry. Why not use them? They could have given much more weight to the whole mage/templar conflict in the city (instead of just templar prejudice vs. the existence of mages), because then we’d have an actual semi-organized conflict (essentially a gang war) between Meredith’s hardliner crew and some full-on rebels.

And it would be easy for Hawke to get mixed up with them: he essentially works for anyone who will hire him, so he could do some small pro-mage missions early on that would bring him into contact with (and thus connect him to) the Resolutionists, allowing him the opportunity to either support the pro-mage cause more actively or use his insider knowledge to help the templars root them out.

PLUS it opens up the possibility of swaying Anders away from the extremist path without taking away the chantry-blows-up plot point. (That is, the Resolutionists will always destroy the chantry at the end of the game, but Anders does not have to be the one to pull the trigger. It would just be a special bonus knife-twist if he is.) HELO (talk) 20:09, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

... That's brilliant. Nothing more to add really. WHY did no-one at Bioware come up with this?
Not only would it clarify Hawke's place in the conflict, it would justify Meredith's decision to wipe out the Circle. Because obviously she'd conclude the Resolutionists have influenced all the mages in the city. It would also give us a better final mage boss than Randomlygonecrazy!Orsino. The Resolutionists could collectively decide to turn to blood magic in a last effort to protect their fellow mages, and it would backfire on them. Kestrella (talk) 22:41, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

Re-frame the Story

I hope this section qualifies for this thread:

Awhile back I proposed a theory that DA2’s frame (the interrogation) was one that, at its core, could only lead to a disappointing story, because it made the point of the story “proving to Cassandra that Hawke (someone we’ve never heard of) wasn’t important” instead of “what made Hawke a legend…plus some gritty details the legends usually leave out!” I argued that this was similar to hearing a de-romanticized version of Robin Hood without any prior knowledge of the Robin Hood story.

As such, I think the story would benefit from a better frame: no interrogation, just Varric‘s voiceover at the beginning telling us that the legends are true (or true enough), but that the whole truth is an even more compelling story. It sets Hawke as an exciting figure--and let’s be honest: he did do some exciting stuff--without the danger of setting him up as the most important figure in the history of Thedas only to show us that he isn’t. HELO (talk) 20:44, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

The topic definitely qualifies, though I think this is probably the most difficult part. Some people claim that it was the framed narrative per se that doomed the game; I am not convinced of this.
While your Robin Hood point is valid, the clash here is not caused by the story itself but mainly by an exceptionally bad marketing move: advertising the product as one thing ("the most important person in the history of Thedas"), and presenting actually something else ("the most important bystander", as someone aptly put it here on the forums). If this discrepancy was never allowed to exist, the concept of busting Hawke's myth we never knew existed might have worked better.
I definitely wish the framing was more compelling: TW2 intro was also framed, and definitely did not lack the thrill --Ygrain (talk) 21:22, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
The “Rise to power!” marketing choice was definitely hurt how I perceived the game on my first playthrough. But when I started to look at what was actually going on when I did my next couple of playthroughs, the interrogation frame really stood out to me. Cassandra knows Anders--not Hawke--blew up the chantry before the game starts, so she’s not looking for Varric to implicate Hawke as the bomber. She thinks he’s the mastermind of the Mage/Templar rebellions, that it was all some carefully calculated scheme to destroy the Chantry (with Anders acting under orders from Hawke). And it’s up to Varric to show the very insistent Cassandra--note that she’s not looking for “what really happened” but “how Hawke did it”--how uninvolved in the major event Hawke really was. Which, to me, automatically means the story needs to be more detached and unimpressive with regard to the relevant events…which is then further intensified by a lack of context, which is then further intensified by the inaccurate marketing.
But regardless of which frame did which amount of damage, DA2 really needed a better (and, as you said, more compelling) frame. HELO (talk) 22:17, December 7, 2011 (UTC)


Meaningful Quests

One of my largest complaints with DAII is that almost none of the quests seem to be going anywhere. Until the Arishok invasion, I felt like I was just playing errand boy for everyone in the city. they paid me, I did stuff, who cares? And then after the Arishok I thought "hey, maybe we're finally going somewhere" then act three came and I was like well @@@@, it's the same damn thing. Then the chantry got blown up and I was like hey! Finally, something exciting happens and then I was like: Oh... it's over. The quests should have been much more interdependant. --Isolationistmagi (talk) 21:10, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

I agree. I hope this can be considered story-related but I'd like to expand upon that if I may. I'd like to see side-quests that link to the story in the future. And I don;t mean the compulsory "side quests" (which were essentially main quests) in DAII, I'm talking about optional side quests which actually have an impact on story. For example, completing The Trial of Crows in Origins could win you an extra vote in the Landsmeet, I'd like to see more of that, but on a much larger scale with much more impact. Chantry symbol King Cousland | Talk   21:18, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
Seconded, I just suggest we split this even further and come up with particular solutions to particular quests. --Ygrain (talk) 21:23, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
Well, for example I would have liked for A Noble Agenda or The Last Holdouts to have more impact, and also felt that The Mage Underground (with Mistress Selby) had some potential. Just off the top of my head, I would have liked to see more heat on Aveline for assisting apostates. Chantry symbol King Cousland | Talk   22:42, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

Purpose and Cohesion

It's a generally accepted principal that a good story needs a driving force; something that the protagonist works towards. In Origins, we were Grey Wardens: sworn guardians who worked towards finding Old Gods and eliminating the darkspawn. In DAII, we were Fereldan refugees whose aim was to get rich and rise to power. In Origins, fulfilling your duty as a Warden spanned an entire game and an expansion. DAII's goal was completed by the beginning of Act 2. And then we were forced to become a diplomat. And then we tried to...stop extremists...and, then fought in a war. Oh, we're Champion now? Great! So I guess this means we can just kick back - oh, what's that? Trouble with the mages? Not sure why we're involved, but okay...

I think you get the point. I'm not necessarily advocating being part of an organization that has a mantra and some sort of obligation to fulfil, I just want some sort of purpose. A single grand goal that we work towards in the long term, instead of having disjointed plots that had been thrown together as with DAII. Chantry symbol King Cousland | Talk   21:33, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

The problem there is Hawke being the Most Important Bystander Ever rather than the Most Important Person Ever. S/he's a catalyst, not a driving force. There's only one good way I can think of to make the story goal-oriented:

The Amells were far more important in Kirkwall. As in, you become royalty or damn close to it when you regain your social status. This gives you a duty to protect the city and play politics. Perhaps have Liandra come after Hawke with a dough roller or something if s/he tries to shirk his/her responsibilities. Still not a purpose like the Warden's, because there's no immediate threat to defend Kirkwall from, but it would give Hawke a reason to be involved. It would also paint a clear "ask me for help!" target on Hawke's forehead that would explain random people popping up out of nowhere and expecting him/her to fix their problems. Kestrella (talk) 22:55, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

Becoming the Champion/Viscount

Ultimately, I didn't see how Hawke became suitable for a highly political position like Viscount just by stopping the Qunari and slaughtering the mages and Meredith. There's no political development. In DA:O, by the time the Warden shows up in Denerim for the Battle of Denerim, he's got some clout. Entire peoples have trusted his leadership and sworn to follow him into battle. And what's more, you go through many, many quests earning that trust. Except for the origin, every group you approach for help looks at you as an outsider, and you have to prove your worth over and over again. Doing the something similar in Kirkwall would have really made the Champion title felt earned.

For example, I wanted to spend that year working for the mercenaries or the smugglers, not just skip over it. I wanted to maneuver through Kirkwall's politics as well as its alleys. I wanted to spend time playing factions against each other and gaining allies and enemies. And when the time came to step up as Viscount, my allies would join me and our enemies would hopefully be dead or running. A sense of progress could have been developed in so many ways, from choosing which mansion you get in which neighborhood, to approaching competing gangs for help instead of just slaughtering them all in the streets. anyways, there's my two cents. Enchantment! (talk) 22:00, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

Took the words right out of my mouth. I agree 100%. And think how much more compelling the mage/templar war in the streets would have been if you'd literally been in charge of the city (as viscount) while it was all going on. HELO (talk) 22:17, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
True and true. I expected to have the game formed by my choices, and have many of them, but the only way I'm given to become viscount, is to support a certain faction, which I hate more then Anders does (you might have noticed that:)). The previous viscount wanted to oust the templars, and failed. Good idea, bad execution. And my Hawke is good at executions, all kinds of them:). So why can't I became viscount, when the nobles support me, and the only ones, who are against me are mostly dead after the final battle (I can't get why don't I have a choice to finish Cullen and the remaining templars)? Or at least I want a DLC, where I can take over Starkhaven, as there is a vacuum of power, and Sebastian is as capable ruler, as the Arishok is a capable relic-finder. Besides, I always wanted to bring him closer to his Maker, after he threatened me, my friend and my city. More choices, please-Algol- (talk) 22:23, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
Absolutely. On top of this, was I the only one who liked the political stuff in Awakening? I really enjoyed quests like A Day In Court and A Brewing Conspiracy, and would loved to have seen more of that kind of thing in DAII. Truth be told, I was a little disappointed we didn't get to play at being Viscount. Chantry symbol King Cousland | Talk   22:42, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
Enjoyed the mentioned quests too, need moar politics:)-Algol- (talk) 22:53, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

Making Hawke a Person

/copied from [1]/ Strangely, Hawke is a more open character than the Warden (or Shepard, since I'm using ME comparisons). We're told who Hawke's family is, and that his/her father trained the mage children and they moved around a lot, but that's it. We choose a personality without an accompanying in-game explanation for how that personality came to be.

Nobody ever asks Hawke why s/he turned out the way s/he did. The player is never given cause to question this either. Your exact relationship with your siblings, mother, and father is entirely in the player's head. If mage Hawke sides with the Templars we're left to make up a story for how this came to be.

I think maybe if we'd been given the option to choose a specific background within the Hawke family (examplary eldest sibling, odd one out, mummy's little boy/girl). And a life-changing event (watching or even helping a templar take out a murderous blood mage, finding acceptance in the army, being the one to pick up the pieces after your father's death). And if your surviving relations had treated you differently depending on this, I wouldn't have minded Hawke as a character as much. Kestrella (talk) 22:35, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

True again. And again, we don't have much choice in DAII - everybody's role in Hawke family is already pre-made. Using your classification, Hawke is an examplary eldest sibling, Carver is an odd one out (he's really odd:)) and Bethany is mummy's and daddie's little girl (given her constant need of protection from the templars). Again, more choices please.-Algol- (talk) 22:50, December 7, 2011 (UTC)
Wasn't it the same in DAO? I mean if you chose to be a human noble it's pretty much the same thing, you have your preset family and no previous background to chose from, if you chose to be bad or good or humorous through the game it's your choice and not because of something that happened in your Warden's childhood right? -- T-Shark (talk) 00:57, December 8, 2011 (UTC)

Continuity and General Plot Holes

I can't speak much on this subject as I've only played the demo for DA2 and looked up a few things on here but I thought this needed a section here. Hopefully others can point out some things I can't. but here's what I can point out at least. The biggest problems I know of are, Anders, Justice and Leliana. If you imported a save where they were dead they should have stayed dead and EA/Bioware should've properly prepared for that possibility in DA2. I'm sure there are some other possible similar plot holes at least for other companions and Flemeth that others could better clarify. I realize making a version of DA2 where Anders and Justice hadn't joined to make Vengeance and the Seekers of Truth didn't have Leliana would possibly completely change the games story but that's kinda the point. --Vampire Damian (talk) 23:23, December 7, 2011 (UTC)

Combat and Tactics Improvements

Copied from [[2]] 'Combat. This is the thing DAII didn't do right. We have speed and intensity, but we sacrifice tactics and common sense. Enemies appearing out of nowhere, right near your carefully positioned mage, teleporting rogues and mages - the list could go on and on. Two things I hate in particular - 1.Class restrictions for weapon and armor and non-customizable companion armor. Now we can't experiment with some interesting builds and tactics, like we did in Origins - Arcane Warrior, heavily-armored Morrigan or Leliana, for instance. And 2. Overpowered rogues. I can't possible understand why my weapon-and-shield warrior chews on Arishok for ages, while my dual-wield rogue wasted him in six blows. Not saying that cross-class combos are the only way to win a fight on harder difficulties, and if you don't have them - critical hits are your only option. Well, at least the devs hopefully understand what they did wrong.'

Concerning teleporting - Gaider told that mages actually go really fast, so nobody can see them. That's basically what teleporting is, according to some theories on the possible nature of teleporting, if such thing existed.

And a couple more things: two-handed weapon warriors wield those huge mauls without any visible effort, dealing not very much visible damage. The weapon-and-shield warrior's role turned purely in soaking up damage, unable to deal some damage on his own, while the rogues turned into main damage dealers instead of support. The design of many weapons was too unrealistic either. And also I wanted to see some spell combos, like in Origins, in addition to cross-class combos. So could we please go 'back to the roots', or should I say 'back to the origins'.

BTW, I really like how this forum gets filled with good ideas. Maybe we send the contents to BioWare, with the hope of improving future DA installments?-Algol- (talk) 00:01, December 8, 2011 (UTC)

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