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While we are discussing in the other thread who "is to blame" for the plot, I have a question to everybody. If you had three things in the plot you could change, other than:

  • Death of Leandra
  • Anders blowing up the Chantry and Meredith invoking ROA
(there would arguably be no DA2 without these)

what would they be?

For me: 1. Meredith and the idol.. it would be so much better if she became a zealot without an additional plot device, by the virtue of character development alone. She is too simple in the game. Btw I liked this short story. It is in the top 5 list of winners of the writing contest, I wish they made it canon. 2. More interactions with Elthina. Her motives are not clear at all, it is puzzling. And they are vital to the plot. 3. Fenris (Fenris' fans, don't kill me) on friendship and rivalry. He stays almost the same whatever path you take. Imho they've done much better job with Anders, Merrill and Isabela in this regard. Asherinka (talk) 10:00, February 3, 2012 (UTC)

Hmm...I guess I have to agree there! Comparatively, Fenris really didn't change like the others did on their separate paths. You can make or break Anders, and make Isabela want to be a responsible person or encourage idea about Merrill though. Xelestial (talk) 08:19, February 5, 2012 (UTC)

Ash, you should stop apologizing for having an opinion in every second sentence. It's okay to have one, and it's okay for it to differ from other opinions, you know? :) On topic - I'd swap Leandra's death with Arishok's razing of Kirkwall, because I deem the former unimportant to anyone but Hawke siblings and the latter is a key plot point. I also don't think three things would be able to save this Titanic of plots, but - 1)Grace and her blood mage posse + Ser Thrask. The stunt they pull in Act 3 by itself makes for, like, 15% of total game's nonsensoleum. 2)Orsino. The very introduction of him - you meet him in Feynriel's dream and instantly think "Now who the hell is that?" - shows how little effort was put into what had to be an important figure - mages vs templars, right? He's got even less character development than Meredith. 3)Leliana. Go away already. Dorquemada (talk) 10:41, February 3, 2012 (UTC)

[[1]] - There was a great forum, that encompasses this topic. Feel free to bring it back to life.-Algol- (talk) 11:54, February 3, 2012 (UTC)

Whoah, that one feels familiar :D --Ygrain (talk) 19:14, February 3, 2012 (UTC)

My issues were always more structural rather than content based. Interesting to see if structure over content is more prevalent actually. I might peek at this later and check....I'm sure it's been discussed, but I can't really recall. I'll read the link though Algol, thanks for posting.

1) being forced to be Hawke after having so many other options before. 2) being forced to stay in one location for 95% of the game. 3) the extreme lack of customization options and item based issues that are so apparent in the game.

I can forgive story issues on many levels, as long as it is not awful, as it's a matter of taste. Though I was personally not fond of the mage templar junk and could never really give a rats a$$ who prevailed. I suppose I could if it ties strongly back into where we began, but we'll see. There's too much else. Summing up, you can't switch so much mid-stream. You lose too many people. I still wish DAO and DA2 where different IP's. After this much time, that wish is even stronger. The Grey Unknown (talk) 12:37, February 3, 2012 (UTC)

The plot is a complete wreck. You couldn't save it with three simple steps, you'd have to completely rewrite it. The complete structure of the story is basically that of a soap opera's season of episodes: each chapter (episode), something dramatical happens, the protagonists have to deal with it; little to no continuity or connection between them, you could even argue that some of the chapters could be swapped in chronological order. Everything feels tacked on, there's just no core to the game. That's why some have felt during the arishok confrontation that they are at the last stage of the game. In fact, the game might as well have went on after the mages/templars war. With a story like this, the number of possible chapters is virtually unlimited. Lemonaidz (talk) 14:10, February 3, 2012 (UTC)

I wouldn't change much really but I would have made the Arishok the main antagonist. Also I completely agree that there should have been many more options about the character choice. It kinda sucks you can only be a Hawke.--JD (talk) 19:22, February 3, 2012 (UTC)

Personally I loved Dragon Age II, the story was there but the game mechanics were not. Had EA not forced such a quick development, DA2 could have been far better. Someone above mentioned Leandra's death, I would keep that - the very fact that I welled up inside, provided how well done it was, and how necessary it was to the story. I would have also kept Meradth as the main antagonist, (the Arikshok would make little sence in the grand scheme of things).

  1. Meradith's fight - A. it was too easy, they should have made it tougher, and B. her flying into the air. Other than that, I loved it.
  2. The fact that Templars ignore the fact that Hawke can travel around in a party that includes 3 apostate mages, in what is suppose to be one of the Templars greatest fortresses, and the centre of the power. Hawke could for example, make choices in story related to the display of magic, if she hides it well then their is less occasions you are followed and challenged by the Templars - you get the jist. There's also the fact that Ser Thrask and party call you a 'pawn of Meradith' regardless of the fact that you might be an apostate like them, and or publically and privately opposing Meredith your self.
  3. Finally I would make it so, if the right choices were taken you cold become Viscount at the beginning of act 3 - it is possible to have the support of both the city guard, and the towns nobles. (Having a bad relationship with Avaline might prevent this for example). I would also make it so when the Templars initiate the rite of annulment, that you (as viscount) can order the city guard to support who you support, (e.g. if supporting the mages, they could be found across the city fighting the Templars, rather than having all those mages fight you anyway.

Alexsau1991 (talk page) 20px 20:40, February 3, 2012 (UTC)

Three things I would I would chnage if I could? Thank-you for braod terminology.

1)Act 1, way too disjointed and lacked a moving forcing. Take origins for example, it's act one would roughly be the origin and ostagar. The orcurences in your origin may come back to see again, ostagar set the stage that is Fereldan. Expaned unpon below.

2)Act 3, Incredibly disjointed, it was supposed to be the set up for the final climax the rite of annullment however, I stil felt I was running errands just like way back in act 1. Again looking back at Origins, this is just before the Landsmeet and onward. A meeting of the most powerful people in all Fereldan to decide the leader they will follow agaisnt the Blight. DA2 Orsino: Meredith, you templars are mean. Meredith, You mages are dangerous and possibly maleficar. ELthina: What do you think Hawk? Hawke: *Shrugs* (s/he achives just as much) End scene. Admitidlly, as much as I dislike who did it, Vengence's destruction of the Chantry was well handled. Then it's both the one you support and oppose decding that they're evil and attack you. Then Cullen either crowns you or says good-bye. That's it. Origings we get a funeral or a party then a nice epilogue of pretty much everything and it felt complete.

3) The epilogue, there wasn't one, there should've been. Point.

All in all, the game should've focused on the Qunari and the Arishok as the main Antagonist. Act one (note: what is act one in the game, not what it chould've been) should've been based around the raising tensions between the Qunari and Kirkwall (you know shows rather then imform us.) maybe incorperate the smuggler or mercenary missions into and have those act as our introductions into the companions. Ignore the templar/mage war and act 3 unitl an expansion. The final parts of act 2 were well put togeather and felt more like the Battle of Denerim then anything act 3 gave us.CrowInvictus (talk) 16:01, February 4, 2012 (UTC)

The problem with the Arishok being the main Antagonist is that the whole story would then have to be changed. The story of DA2 was not only Hawkes rise from rags to riches, but setting the scene for the Mage/Templar war, the whole inclusion of the Qunari was to give strength to the Chantry fanatics, and to give Meradith the opertunity to seeze complete control of the city. The Qunari may play they're part in the Mage/Chantry war but it won't be a desisive part. It wouldn't even be clear who they'd support, since the Chantry see them as Heratics, and the Qunari treat their Mages worse than the Chantry do. Alexsau1991 (talk page) 20px 16:20, February 5, 2012 (UTC)
That's for me wouldn't be a problem. That's actually the simple way fo saying what should be changed. For me the entire story really lacked a overarching... feel? coninutiy?... something that really linked it all together. I propse that the Arishok and Qunari would've given that. Also, the game's promo slogan was "Rise to power, by any means nessary." It really should've been about Hawke and his\her rise as the champion. Also, Qunari treat their mages worse by a Chantry standard but in Qunari scociety their bothed feared and respected. I would've prefered that the mage-templar conflict be pushed backed to a an expansion becaused, it really wouldn't have fit with what DA2 would've been had my changes been implimented from the start. I beleive that it would've improved the story but that's just my opinion. I gave my arguement and stated my opinion, it won't change. You don't need to agree with me but you don't need to agrue it either.CrowInvictus (talk) 07:32, February 6, 2012 (UTC)

1. Option to take `Chantry/Kirkwall Loyalist` stance at endgame - you pretty much have to either support mage revolution or extermination - their should be an opportunity to take the orthodox position and try to restore order without invoking annulment. It wouldn't be that unrealistic considering that whatever happens both sides end up almost completely eviscerated by the endgame, including both leaders. Especially considering that this would (and explicitly does) seem to be the position of all the not-murderously-insane authority figures (ie. Cullen, Aveline. Sebastian) and treating the exploding of the Chantry as a crime, not an act of war - and punishing the criminal accordingly (yeah, this would necessitate killing Anders, probably along with Orsino and Meredith). It always annoyed me that the `Champion of Kirkwall` always had to take a course involving engulfing Kirkwall in bloody revolution/annulment.

2. Being able to turn Anders and maybe even Merrill into the authorities. It would kind of break the plot, but if you play mages-are-bastards!Hawke you'd think you'd be able to get Anders arrested on grounds of maybe being an abomination (not to mention possibly committing unjustified psychopathic murder in act 2 on Ella - hell, you'd think Aveline, Sebastian or Fenris might do a little more than just stand there) and Merrill, nice or not, is a Blood Mage - you know, those things even die-hard apostate terrorists spit on - but Templar!Hawke can't do more than look a little shocked. Once.

3. More bits with Varric screwing with the story, like the intro and Bartrand's house. When I played the demo I really liked the idea and hoped it would come up more, but they only used it twice (unless it was used in MotA, which I don't have). Even having the `Game Over` involve Cassandra saying something like the `bullshit!` line might've been nice, though I suppose it might have got a bit grating eventually TheTeaMustFlow (talk) 23:00, February 4, 2012 (UTC)

1. Meredith & Orsino: Why? Why the hell do we have to kill them both? It is completely non-sensical & is one of the biggest examples we have of EA fucking with Bioware's development.

2. Orsino & Quentin: We know that Orsino was helping Quentin out by sending him books & alerting him to some of the Templars' activities. Here's an idea: Introduce Orsino & Meredith earlier on in the game, have them be more active involving Hawke & Co.(mage characters concealing their magical abilities in front of Meredith), and getting to know where Hawke stands on the Mage/Templar issue. If Hawke is pro-Mage, Orsino could alert him/her about Quentin and have that information potentially save Leandra's life. But Orsino would withhold that info from a pro-Templar Hawke, sealing her fate.

3. Leliana: While I personally don't have a playthrough where I killed her, I believe that she should stay dead if it happened. That was a total dick move to people who didn't want her around. --CommanderCousland (talk) 00:35, February 5, 2012 (UTC)

I don't really know if what I have in mind would make the game any better or not, but these are things I personally am interested in and would have loved to see happen.

1. Bethany and Carver both live - I realize their death is a part of the whole "Hawke is the last man/woman standing" but I'm really curious about how it would have developed both of their characters if the entire family made it to Kirkwall. More Carver than Bethany though. You can tell what Carver's about and what motivates him, but I can't really tell with Bethany so I'm less sure how she would change (if she did at all). But would Carver still join the Templars (would they even let him if they already caught Bethany)? Does he become less of an ass? Do they both still faithfully follow Hawke everywhere or do they stick together and focus on themselves while Hawke goes through his/her story?

2. More focus on subplots. Seamus, Petrice, Feynriel, and the Viscount for example. I really liked each of their stories and wish that they didn't feel so unimportant. Yes you can see the impact they make on the Arishok, and I feel like Feynriel was being set up to have more importance in future installments, but really all of the subplots in DA2 feel kind of empty and I would have liked for them to feel more connected to the main story.

3. I don't have a 3rd worth mentioning at the moment. :/ TKismyname (talk) 02:43, February 5, 2012 (UTC)

For me, there are WAY more than three things I would of liked to change in DA2. Here are the three that I think are most needed.

1. More than one origin or at least a meaningful substitute. I was not that big of a fan of Hawke or his family. They just felt... kind of boring. Bioware tried to create another Shepard and failed. I would of at least would have liked to change some of my background like you can do in Mass Effect, even that would have suffice. But no, Hawke and his family remain static for the most part in all playthroughs.

2. Include more than one city. In DA:O, you could of explored an entire region. Why not continue that and let us journey throughout the entirety of the Free Marches rather than just Kirkwall. There could be more of a focus on the politics between the cities and each one could have a distinct look. But no, we are limited to a single bland city that is only slightly larger than Denerim.

3. MORE CHOICES!!!!!! I cannot stress this hard enough, DA2 was dreadfully lacking in choice. This is the sole reason for my hatred towards the game. If the amount of choice had even been near the levels of DA:O, I could of stomached a majority of the other shortfalls. Here's a few examples:

- Allow Hawke to choose between more than one path in the mage vs templar path. Why not add a middle ground? - Find a way to persuade Anders to NOT blow up the Chantry or if you choose to, encourage him. - Not be forced to kill BOTH Meredith and Orisno - Be able to save Leandra. This can be done by catching Quentin beforehand, Leandra dying could be a consequence for not doing this.

Those are just a few of the many ways more choice could have been implemented. Aleksandr the Great (talk) 03:25, February 5, 2012 (UTC)

This is too hard. Only 3? Ugh.

1. Yes, Leandra's death I would have loved to change for one.

2. Next, the depth/frequency of conversations you can have with companions. DA2's best and most saving grace, was the excellent interactions you could have imo. And it was too little and far in between.

3. And last...the frame narrative I guess. This is sort of like asking a genie for more wishes, but it counts. It limited us in so many ways, like choices (man it would be nice to replay this game and change the direction of the train wreck at anytime) and it was absolutely ridiculous to me that all these years had passed and barely anything changed about Hawke or his/her friends. I feel like there could have been a different way to make sure the mage/templar war happened. Xelestial (talk) 08:19, February 5, 2012 (UTC)

This is a lot more than three points but I'm going to post it all anyway since I've been thinking it over for a good part of the day. It's still very rough and doesn't make allowances for every character yet, but I think it would have been a good start to fixing the plot within the currently existing framework of the game. Ultimately the goal would be to bring a large chunk of side stories and characters that really have no bearing on the main plot into closer relation with the overall story and prevent the Act 3 plot from seeming so illogicaly erratic. Comments, criticisms, and suggestions are welcome and encouraged.

  • Flemeth does not request delivery of the amulet to the elves, she does however give the amulet as a gift before helping Hawke and company flee Ferelden in return for payment to be rendered in the future. We are given the ominous notion that this feels like a deal with the devil. Leandra seems very taken with the beauty of the amulet. (See where I'm going with this?)
  • During Act 1 and 2, we continue to follow the various encounters between mages and templars, we learn about all the good and bad things they do for and to each other, and we can still take sides.
  • Anders' Mage Underground is now a tangible organization that we can visit and talk to. It is composed of moderates and extremists just as the templars are.
  • Danarius is now Tevinter's ambassador to the Free Marches. He is reviled by templars, while circle mages look up to him as a beacon of freedom. Fenris no longer has access to the mansion, but his personal plots remain largely unchanged until the very last one, where Danarius is not present/killable.
  • At the beginning of Act 2, if Hawke's influence score with Isabealla is sufficiently high, in a momemnt of weakness she will confide in Hawke the real story of why the Qunari are in Kirkwall. This will open up a quest in which Isabella and Hawke can track down Castillon and the Qunari Relic in hopes of returning it to the Arishok before the Qunari sack the city. A second influence check will be used at the end of the act to determine if Isabella will run off with the relic or not. If she does, she will not return.
  • If Hawke does the right thing and informs Aveline about Isabella's story, and passes another influence check; Aveline will have guardsmen on standby to apprehend Castillon at the end of the encounter, and once the meeting with the Arishok has taken place, Castillon can be presented to the Arishok as the prisoner necessary to restore his honour, instead of Isabella.
  • If Hawke solves the Qunari problem with diplomacy, the relic, and Castillon/Isabella as a prisoner. The Arishok will still request a duel with Hawke as a sign of respect and a test of their battle prowess. The respectful duel will not be to the death, but will preserve the boss fight.
  • During Act 2 we learn that an unknown party (Danarius) has a heavy influential hand in the mage underground and is actively promoting the spread of blood magic and anti-chantry rhetoric throughout the city. While I am still unsure what Danarius' motivations for doing so would be, it could potentially become part of a larger plot in which the Imperium intends to expand its influence heavily into the Free Marches and other areas of Thedas to form an annex around Orlais, or merely to regain a foothold in what was an important city of the empire. In a similar situation, we return to Ser Alric and his tranquil solution and his plan to turn every mage in the city into an obedient slave. These developments are devastating to both Anders and Fenris, but on a personal party level, they begin to develop some common ground and even a sense of grudging respect for the other's plight.
  • During Act 2, Leandra's behaviour becomes noticably odd as she starts taking an interest in Sandal, his enchantments, his odd behaviour and other things Leandra previously would have had no interest in. After the celebration of Hawke's defeat of/negotiation with the Arishok, Hawke returns to the manor to find a flustered Gamlen ranting about Leandra disappearing. This opens up a quest, or line of quests to find Leandra, which end with the discovery that Flemeth has taken control of Leandra's body through the amulet. This is due to the destruction of Flemeth's current body, whether due to the Warden, Morrigan or some other undisclosed means. Plan for emotional turmoil still pending.
  • During Act 3, Meredith and Danarius (not Orsino) are engaged in a violent argument about the Chantry's oppression of mages. Though it will seem more like Danarius is merely baiting the bear for fun, knowing that she cannot take action against him. We once again have the option of taking sides or, shock horror, the middle ground. Our decision here is crucial however, as it will have a large impact on the coming events. The gathering is then broken up by both Elthina and Orsino who are the moderate voices of both sides.
  • All the missions will have the same basic premise but from different perspectives. Pro-Meredith Hawkes will accept a series of missions from Meredith to reel in or deal with rogue mages on the templar's radar. Similarly, Pro-Danarius Hawkes will receive missions from Danarius to bring rogue mages into the underground and deal with Templar interference. If you fail an influence check with Anders or Fenris at their respective points on these paths, they will permanently leave your party and not return. Moderate Hawkes will receive missions from Orsino and Grand Cleric Elthina through Orsino alone, as she cannot openly influence your actions, instead using Orsino as her go-between. This partnership of Elthina and Orsino is used to demonstrate Elthina's desire to break away from the strict chantry regime of mage oppression.
  • Anders no longer acts alone but instead has worked in tandem with the mage underground to bring about the actions to destroy the chantry, bringing us back to the end-game. If our influence score with Anders is high enough, he will have a crisis of faith, during which he will provide Hawke with a quest to clear the Chantry before the bomb goes off. Depending on Hawke's decisions to this point, you will be sent down one of three paths once again, however this may be an automated choice depending on the number story points you have put into Pro-Mage, Moderate, and Pro-Templar hidden values. Similarly, if one of the three hidden values is significantly smaller than the other two it will be closed off to maintain Hawke's character integrity. Regardless of whether Hawke rescues Elthina and the clerics or not, the Chantry building is still destroyed and becomes the symbol of the coming conflict.
  • A final influence check with Aveline will determine whether or not the city guard respect Hawke enough to allow him to decide the fate of Kirkwall. If this influence check fails, the city guard will act alone in trying to clean up the mess, and Aveline and her men will also become enemies to the party. If the check passes, the guard will of course aid Hawke in his endeavours to restore order to Kirkwall, regardless of his alliances.

The branches would divide as so:

  • Pro-Templar:
  • Hawke sides with Meredith, and all the templars fall into line behind them. Meredith joins as a temporary party member, and the extermination of Kirkwall's mages begins. If Anders still lives at this point, he will leave the party regardless of any influence.
  • Boss #1: Orsino and the Senior Enchanters. (NO TRANSFORMATION) Orsino will plead with the champion to change his mind, but his complaints will fall on deaf ears.
  • Boss #2: Danarius. Danarius being a more evil oriented character is entirely unrepentant and kills Meredith as he transformers into the big-bad of the pro-templar path. (Be it a harvester or whatever.)
  • Ending: Kirkwall, under Hawke, becomes the starting point for the Mage/Templar war, as Hawke leads rebel templars from all over Thedas on a pseudo-exalted march against all mages.
  • Pro-Mage:
  • Hawke sides with Danarius, and all the mages fall into line behind them. Danarius joins as a temporary party member, and the mage underground swarms upon Templar hall, eradicating everything in their path. As with Anders, if Fenris still lives at this point, he will leave the party regardless of any influence.
  • Boss #1: Cullen and the Templar-Lieutennants. Similar to the Orsino battle, Cullen will plead for sanity and the middle ground but will ultimately be defeated.
  • Boss #2: Meredith. Just as before, except she will kill Danarius with the super mega lyrium sword of red sparkliness.
  • Ending: Same as above, Kirkwall, under Hawke, becomes the starting point for the Mage/Templar war blah blah blah, except they're the general of the mage freedom army instead, leading them on a crusade against the entire templar order.
  • Moderate:
  • Hawke lays down the law! Sides with nobody, stating they will bring the city to order under their own terms. Cullen and Orsino, both battling with their loyalty to their respective organizations and their desire for peace, ultimately side with the champion, and behind them the moderates from both sides. Templar and Mage, unite under Hawke and do battle with the extremists that threaten the city from either side. Led respectively by Meredith and Danarius.
  • Boss #1 & 2: Meredith and Danarius. Which order? I don't know, but neither do I think it really matters. They're both going to die.
  • Ending: Kirkwall is restored to peace, and Hawke as its new leader, declares that the tyranny of slavery and oppression must end. And with those words, mages and moderate templars from all across Thedas rally to Hawke's cause, instigating the Mage/Templar war with the goal of freeing the circle from the shackles that have bound it for so long.


Thoughts? TL;DRs and STFUs are fine too. :P

20px-3431068.png Tekka Ijuin | Talk 
10:20, February 5, 2012 (UTC)
You made both templars and mages much more crazy then they are in the game. I don't like it. There is no need to introduce "black left<=>white middle<=>black right" when we have "grey<=>grey". I like the idea of the Chantry as the third side, but it must be unsympathetic in some way not to make the choice too easy. Asherinka (talk) 11:02, February 5, 2012 (UTC)
Noted, the three branches do go to extremes. It's difficult to work a way to a branching storyline while maintaining necessary story conflict while maintaining our goal of starting a war that stretches across the map. I struggle to think of any way to make it all work without going back to the emotionless quagmire we started with. If you have any suggestions how we could grey things up a little without ending back up in the same position, help me see the light! Or the not quite light/dark... stuff.
20px-3431068.png Tekka Ijuin | Talk 
15:21, February 5, 2012 (UTC)
@Michael I like that it's actually a pretty decent idea on how those slight changes could make the game a whole lot more enjoyable and have the story make a shread of sense. Danarius was already pegged as an evil character, due to his treatment of Tevinter slaves etc, and would have made a whole lot more sense to be a main antagonist than the supposed leader of the Kirkwall circle. Mages are portrayed as a 'Bruce Banner' style character, who, if they stub their toe, instantly turn to blood magic to take their vengeance on anyone they see.
The third scenario you posted the 'moderate' one holds a lot of appeal, as it would be more of a civil war than the clear cut mage vs templar war we have now. Fathers vs Brothers, Masters vs Apprentices etc. Of course, the fact that the choices you outlined would be a lot more welcome than the feeble attempts of hiding the fact that freewill is actually an illusion in DA2. Hawke could actually be influencing the events surrounding him, rather than giving a non- commital shrug to any proposal before being launched into combat anyway. James Ward1987 (talk) 11:16, February 5, 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the kind words, I appreciate it more than you know.
20px-3431068.png Tekka Ijuin | Talk 
15:21, February 5, 2012 (UTC)
The Pro-Templar and Moderate plotlines would I think be excellent ideas. However. I really, really can't imagine voluntarily siding with Danarius. Meredith is different in that she at least has some justification for her behavior. Danarius is just plain cruel for no particular reason. There is nothing even remotely sympathetic about him, and I'm having a hard time thinking of a background for Hawke that would lead him/her to side with someone like that. A better choice would be a mage who's been so badly abused by (Alrik) templars s/he would do anything for revenge. And yes that would probably require introducing a new character, at least I can't think of anyone in the existing story who fits the bill. But I think that would work better than Danarius.
Also, as Asherinka said, there should be consequences for choosing the Moderate option. One thing in DA:O that really bothered me was the Dalish/werewolf storyline, where you can have the best of both worlds without paying much of a price. It makes it far too tempting to choose the "good" path rather than one of the extremes. So, Moderate will result in Hawke restoring order, but having severe trouble keeping Kirkwall under control afterwards as the non-templar/mage population (particularly the nobles) rebels against the notion of "uncontrolled" mages. This weakens Kirkwall's position in the Templar-Mage conflict. Or something like that anyway :)Kestrella (talk) 13:55, February 5, 2012 (UTC)
This. I also disliked the Dalish/werewolf storyline greatly for the same reason. Asherinka (talk) 14:19, February 5, 2012 (UTC)
Completey agreed, the Danarius that we know is entirely unsympathetic, evil, and a total douche. We need this though, as he is one of our new main villains. This is where our character writers come into play. Danarius would need to have his character and motivations suitably beefed up to serve his new role. So imagine for a second that we're playing the game for the first time, and we have no idea what to expect from Danarius besides Fenris barking in our ear that he is the hellspawn born from the darkest depths of the deep roads. Our new Danarius would need to be suitably sly and crafty to fit the role of a politician with an agenda to bring down the city establishment. One that he can never let on to in public. It would be our character writers job to have this Danarius convince our hero that despite their differences, they both want the same thing, and that is an end to the circle and freedom for the mages of Kirkwall. When in reality, the scheming scumbag doesn't care about the mages at all, they're just pawns for his long term goal. Initially because of Fenris, and Danarius' reputation, our hero could rightly not be totally sold on Danarius' commitment to mage freedom. Here we could employ a number of plot devices which could swing the player's opinion in favour of siding with Danarius. The first one that comes to mind is to use Bethany in much the same way we are using Leandra to demonstrate the bad side of mages. Rather than have Bethany remain a useless brick in our character select screen, or simply just die fighting the Darkspawn, we can use her to show just how cruel the Templar regime actually is. By subjecting her to the same tortures the rest of the circle mages have suffered, and every time our Hawke sees and hears from her, her situation seems to have worsened considerably. This, if nothing else, I believe would be sufficient grounds for our player to swing their support over to the side of the shady guy who promises to help us rescue our sister. It needs some fleshing out, but I want to make the point that we can write our way out of any problem if we make the effort to do it well.
20px-3431068.png Tekka Ijuin | Talk 
15:21, February 5, 2012 (UTC)
I still don't think it'd work. The leader of the Pro-Mage side should be the equivalent of Meredith: good intentions corrupted by bad life experiences, too much power, and paranoia. It has to be someone you can sympathize with on some level. Danarius simply comes off as too obvious a backstabbing snake compared to Meredith, so it's not a balanced choice. If Hawke picks the Pro-Mage side, it should be out of the conviction that it's the most morally correct route. If Danarius is in charge I wouldn't be able to do that, no matter how strongly my Hawke believes in mage freedom. The scenario you described with Bethany would feel like plot shoe-horning to me. If I had free reign in the game at that point I'd have Hawke slit Danarius's throat, take over leadership of the resistance, and stage a rescue mission. Also, in using Danarius, you're combining Pro-Mage with Pro-Slavery.
The only way it'd work for me is if Danarius's character were re-written so he didn't keep slaves, didn't kill people to use their blood as fuel, didn't rape Fenris, steal his memories, keep him around as a prize pet for years, psychologically torture him with the help of his sister... Basically to the point where you may as well introduce a completely new character, because what's left wouldn't be recognizable as Danarius anymore. Kestrella (talk) 18:09, February 5, 2012 (UTC)
I can see your point and there could be an adjustment where Danarius is completely removed from the pro-mage finale for the sake of what should be a good natured hero. Perhaps by making him the game's final boss in all scenarios. But at the same time I don't see why the opposition leader should have to be a carbon copy of Meredith either, and why the game can't have someone bad pretending to be good, in order to woo a hero into unintentionally joining his cause, which in the end would ultimately be the villain's undoing anyway. A common complaint is that the game lacks a proper antagonist right? This could be the perfect opportunity to add one. Set up correctly, the hero may not even learn the true depths of his benefactor's depravity until it's too late to go back. Perhaps when the chantry goes up and both sides are ready to do battle would be a good time for that reveal. Fenris will be there to say "I told you so..." XP
20px-3431068.png Tekka Ijuin | Talk 
18:29, February 5, 2012 (UTC)
Ah you know what, forget it. This whole thing was a silly idea. I shouldn't be so brazen with my stupid off the cuff plot corrections. Forgive me.
20px-3431068.png Tekka Ijuin | Talk 
19:16, February 5, 2012 (UTC)

1. More time in Lothering: I would have loved to get to know Hawke's family better in a more natural setting and their life in the village, before the blight or at least a day or two before it hits Lothering, it would also give more of an opportunity to know the other sibling before they are killed off, so you know we can give a crap about their death. It might have also given more insight into Leandra so that her death would have actually been more devastating to both the player and the story (I would say we should be able to prevent her death in the first place but that is a restriction lol), but anyway I think this would have created such a good and memorable basis for a story that is going to be this focused on Hawke's family and survival of the blight. I would have liked this or at least some origins.

2. More places: As someone mentioned above we should have been able to explore the Free Marches, if Bioware really wants to explore and tell the story of the world they should do it region by region not city by city. Anyone who knows me knows that I HATE kirkwall so dang much, it is so bland and screwed up and it's like a mental asylum, I literary blame the place for everything in the game. Anyway wouldn't it be interesting if we could go from city to city in the free marches see the differences in politics and geography in each city? It would also be a nice way to implement kirkwalls mage laws, if you are caught doing magic in kirkwall, maybe you can move to another city in the free marches that isn't so anti-mage. I can't stress enough how interesting it could have been to move between the 9 (or the 3 major ones) different cites and deal with their people and their problems.

3. Area development: Lastly is what I think is a HUGE miss on biowares part. When developing a game taking place in one area over several years, the greatest thing about it is seeing how the city develops and changes over the years and events, and Kirkwall did not change at all (yes I'm sure a few people died and such but that is not really changing). No structural damage from the Qunari Conflict, no new buildings created, no people walking depending on your factions, no winter, summer, spring, or fall differences, no weather effects, no real day and night cycle, no new places to explore, no political shifts depending on your choices, no people moving homes (save for your love interest), there are NO CHANGES once so ever! I could have dealt with living in only Kirkwall if some of these things were implemented but they weren't and it made Kirkwall really friggin boring and static and just as unrealistic, how does a place not change at all after seven years of craziness? There should have been other cities in the first place, but if not a fluid changing city system should have been essential to making Kirkwall personalized and interesting. This also goes into my 4th opinion that I should not have but will say anyway.

4: More impacting choices: going back to the possible city development and more places arguments wouldn't it have been awesome to see how your choices change Kirkwall or the free Marches over seven years? To see new leaders rise from your choices, factions rebel, areas destroyed, areas built, different companions, etc changes set by Hawke's choices. I mean he/she was supposed to be one of the world most important figures who changed the world, so show us that, show us how Hawke changed the world over time, what he/she did that made them so important. Hawke can't change almost anything in the city much less save his family or change his companions opinions. Change is nowhere in this game and choice is basically limited to your love interest and how you want to respond to a situation as a goody goody two-shoes, a sarcastic joker, or an aggressive SOB, which isn't enough when it comes to a game like this. And I hate the Argument that "This game teaches that you don't always have a choice, inevitability, that things happen anyway, blah blah" every game, show, book, and movie does that! I play Dragon Age and Bioware games to get away from that so that I can see my choices affect things. As if we haven't seen inevitability since the beginning of time, you have to save princess peach! You have to let Dom die! You have to help Terra! Inevitability is everywhere, DA is supposed to rectify that, especially in a game where the main characters ACTIONS are supposed to change the world; not unchangeable and unpreventable events, that just makes him/her a bystander! Ugh sorry for my wall of text. MrRexfire (talk) 12:59, February 5, 2012 (UTC)

Maybe instead of executing Anders right after he blows up the Chantry, if you decide to side with the Templars, Anders should have taken the place of Meredith as the final boss in a full blown abomination form where he has the magical power that would rival an army of Tevinter magisters, and even using resorting to blood magic as a means to an end. Of course, I'm an Anders fanboy, so this is really biased. OneDeadTemplar (talk) 23:28, February 5, 2012 (UTC)

I've actually been spending some free time ever since I played the game trying to come up with improvements to the story and sometimes gameplay, coming to a number of different possibilities. But, three things I can think of spontaneously to change are:

  1. Prioritize and/or reorganize quests - many main quests in the game felt like they should have been sidequests or at least been given in a different order. The goal of the 1st act is, after all, to collect gold to invest in Bartrand's expedition - despite this, the main quests you get first don't seem to promise any significant rewards. Wayward Son and Enemies Among Us, for example; the quests are given by a poor woman and an alienage elf (who're even poorer) for crying out loud. The only reason you turn a profit from those quests is because you end up killing people with lots of coin on them or happen to meet somebody else who's in a better position to pay you. Other than pity, there's really no reason you should have to do those quests, since as far as you know, you shouldn't be able to turn much profit from it. You can't even argue that they're essential for the future plot; Cullen doesn't really serve a purpose other than being Meredith's flunky and making fangirls squee (something any other templar character could've done), and that templar-possession plot is never brought up again. Similarly, Wayward Son just serves to introduce Thrask and Feyrniel, the latter not being essential later in the game (the latter quests involving him are sidequests), and the former appeared in the far more suitable Act of Mercy, so it's not like it was his only chance to get introduced before his Act 3 appearance (besides, why did he get more screentime than Meredith and Orsino? They're supposed to be far more important characters, and yet they got the shaft until the last hour of act 2). Conversely, Act of Mercy, Blackpowder Promise and Shepherding Wolves - that is, the main quests that actually does promise much coin - are the quests you get last - and by that time, you're likely to already have the coin you need anyway, so your rock-solid motivation to do those went down the drain. Also, quests like The Bone Pit, Magistrate's Orders and The First Sacrifice, that also promise coin, AND carried interesting possibilities in the latter acts, were relegated to sidequest status (heck, the last one actually sets up an important event in act 2, and yet it wasn't deemed main quest-worthy!?). So yeah, placing more emphasis on other quests and making others sidequests would be my first priority; it's the first thing that starts to bug me every time I start another DA2 playthrough.
  2. Pick a focus for the game's story and sticking to it - another jarring thing about the story was how it seemed to jump around, unable to choose something to focus on. While smaller stories within the bigger stories are interesting (DAO had that too), there still needs to be some form of central conflict taking focus to keep you engaged. Starting with one story, then teasing you endlessly about the other stories in the future acts was just distracting, and really served to make act 1 the mess it was; it seemed like it was more about teasing what would happen in act 2 and 3 than actually telling a story. On the other hand, act 2 was an improvement in this department; it chose to focus on the conflict with the qunari, and run with it all the way through - exploring the rising tensions, develop the parties involved etc. As a result, it had more of a focus and allowed it to be more compelling. With some modifications in earlier portions of the game, I could easily see the end of act 2 being the overall ending. But of course, there was act 3 left, where BW tried to awkwardly tack on the mage-templar conflict after having spent the earlier portions of the game on other things. And there's no denying that act 3 was the most disappointing - admittedly, this was largely due to how rushed it was and the awful ending, but I still think it'd have been more compelling if BW had simply focused on telling that story from the beginning. So, in other words; if BW wanted to tell a story that resulted in a drastic change of Thedas' status quo by introducing the mage-templar war, fine, but then they should've gone all out with it. Relegate those side stories to optional sidequests for flavor in the background unless they actually have some meaningful impact on the core conflict - like in DAO where you needed to deal with the other factions' problems to acquire their aid against the blight.
  3. Introduce consequences to the player's choices - there seems to be a slight misconception here at times regarding choices in DA2; that there aren't any choices. There actually are a fair amount of choices - it just doesn't matter at all what you choose 90% of the time, and when it does matter it's usually only very little. Oh, don't get me wrong; choices in DAO were hardly world-altering when you stop and think about it. But the way they were presented still gave you a sense of freedom - it was rare to feel "yeah, the writers are forcing me in this direction". In DA2, the plotrailway is constantly getting hammered down your throat by the writers, whose first reaction to the PC making a choice this time around seems to be to go all "well too bad, this is what I/we want to happen and you'll like it!" Characters are often forced to stop acting like characters and rather as plot devices for the writers to get you to the next fight. I'm not asking for world-altering choices all the time; just a sign that choices do have an effect, whether minor or major.

And that's all I have to say on that for now. Matt-256 (talk) 21:39, February 7, 2012 (UTC)

1) For people who had Leliana die at least have her replaced with maybe Cassandra or a entirely new character. Or for those who just did not recruit her, just make sure she confirm that she met the Warden briefly but did nothing more. The whole thing with Leliana just felt lazily done.

2) I also would of liked some people in the game to have actually taken notice of Meredith's big glowing sword (earlier then the final boss fight I mean). Given the size of it and the markings on it you'd think someone would of pointed it out.

3) Kirkwall although I enjoyed walking around there, was like exploring 5 or 6 different areas in Denerim and 3 areas around it aside from the occasional deep road and caves. Maybe a little mining outpost for dwarves and maybe a new make-shift camp for the renegade Qunari. Or even a Tevinter camp for a Fenris plot quest, just more locations then the city basically. User:Edocrack

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