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BEWARE!!! SPOILERS FOR ALL THE GAMES BELOW!!! Today I have finally finished Dragon Age Inquisition for the very first time and I have mixed feelings about. Not about the awfully repetitive and boring side quests, the locations, that are too big for my taste or the story, that has been more than decent. It is about the lore and the direction this series is going. I think they are doing too much with the lore and the whole "the history you knew your entire life is a lie" thing. In Origins and II. the stories were quite simple and mysterious. You had several religions : the most known Maker, the mysterious Elven Pantheon, the evil Old Gods of the Tevinter Imperium, the quite confusing Stone etc. The history was rich with the elven enslavement and the fall of Arlathan which was the doing of the Tevinter, the great eluvians, which were a mystery to everyone, the almost unknown Fade a the Black City... I could go on for a few more lines, but the point is, that the world had this aspect of mystery that nothing was for certain. All of that changed with Inquisition. The whole Evanuris turned out to be a bunch of very powerful mages that the elves worshipped as gods, the world and the Fade used to be one (which I just can't comprehend) and a very powerful mage managed to separate the tho world with the help of the Veil. That means the Maker didn't really create the Fade and then the real world. So that might be a clue that the Maker might not even be real. There's a lot of other things, that twisted the lore (like the fact, that Tevinter didn't destroy the Elven Kingdom) but I don't have the time to write all of it. I just think tha Inquisition has taken A LOT of the mystery from the lore and the world and let's be honest, the mystery was one of the greatest aspects of the game. I'm just a little worried that DA 4 is going to take it a level higher and the lore and the world will be completely broken for me. But that is just my opinion anyway... Pokerek (talk)
- It sounds like the problem here is the assumption that what in world characters said was synonymous with absolute truth dispenses by the development team. The very first spoken words of the entire series are "The chantry teaches us...", not a disclaimer handed down from on high but "This organization (which has no shortage of fanatics and ideologues in its history and has more than once sponsored wars against other faiths or denominations) tell us that events happened this way...". We are not meant to take that as gospel (if you'll pardon the pun). It is received wisdom which is taken as wisdom because no one is allowed to or is able to actually check if it is true. The elven history is no different. Thousands of years of slavery and then betrayal and second class citizenship. Of course they would romanticize their most powerful epoch, it like every other foundational myth for every society ever, is a glorious and uplifting fiction loosely rooted in truth. That isn't twisting the lore, that is just the nature of information which becomes garbled over an extended period of transmission.
Well, that is a very good point you have there. I've never thought about it that way. Maybe I'm one the Chantry's fanatics too XD But I still think, that BioWare is really overcomplicating the whole lore thing and it's becoming very tangled. And since you made so many desicions throughout the three DA games, in a certain time the series will be just too complicated and I'm not sure I'll be glad to see it. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Dragon Age, but it just seems, that the series is slowly drowning by being so confusing. Pokerek (talk)
- Removing mystery makes things less confusing. By definition. So which is it, is the story loosing mystery or is it becoming confusing? Because you can't have both. Regardless, Dragon Age was never about mystery, I don't know where you got that. It's a fantasy RPG, and like virtually all fantasy RPGs, details about the lore get revealed over time. Seriously, have you ever played another fantasy RPG before? I can't even think of one that doesn't follow this trope.
- Inquisition isn't the first game in the series to do this, it just provides bigger answers than the others. In Origins, we learn the truth about the anvil, about where the Brecilian Forest werewolves came from, about demonic possession and how to possibly undo it, about why the grey wardens are needed to kill the Archdemon, and about how darkspawn reproduce. In Awakenings we learn that the Architect started the Fifth Blight with a botched experiment. In DA 2 we learn that demonic possession can be tested by punching (which is a much bigger deal than the game lets on) and in Legacy we learn that the Chantry's account of magisters invading the Black City is mostly true. Inquisition simply expands on all this. It continues the trend, it doesn't start a new one.
- If you want mystery, try a horror game. RPGs are about discovery, both physically and intellectually. The fact that Dragon Age expands on its lore in creative ways is a good thing, not a detriment. And if you don't like the answers, that's not the game's fault - although that would make more sense than not liking the fact that they actually gave any answers at all.
- There are reasons to not like Inquisition, most of which you listed. But enriching the lore is most definitely not one of them. In fact, it's probably the best thing about the game. Silver Warden (talk) 21:27, January 21, 2018 (UTC)
- I can agree from a more broader angle. I remember being hopeful that with DA2 we'd have less of the fantasy-based storylines now that the Blight was over and the Darkspawn's role would be diminished. I was more of a fan of the Landsmeet/Arl of Amaranthine/Orlesian Civil War types of stories. Where we're at right now, though, I don't quite see DA being able to venture off its current course just yet, though. TBH, I at this point wouldn't be surprised if we find ourselves actually able to enter the Black City before too long. DAWUSS (talk) 22:04, January 21, 2018 (UTC)
- ...which would be awesome! I'm baffled at this the line of thinking. At what point did the series ever give any indication that it was going to drop all the fantastical elements from its plot? Fantasy RPGs tend to go in the exact opposite direction.
Well, Mr. Warden I can have both. Removing mystery might be less confusing for you, but maybe not for me. For me, Dragon Age was about the mystery. From a certain point of view. I liked the idea, that there is nothing for certain. Are the elven gods real? Is the Maker real? How did the world get created if they aren't real? And I very enjoyed the fact, that there might be something divine going around, something on a "More than magic" level. You see, when I wrote this post, I just freshly completed Inquisition and was very confused. But the more I've thought about it, the more it made sense to me. I wrapped my head around it and accepted it, maybe I even like it now But of course, I'm just a RPG newbie, who hasn't played any other RPGs in my life, right? Because only your opinion is the right one and if I have a different point of view, maybe I'm not suited for RPGs. Thanks a lot for this warm welcome to this site, Mr. Warden :) Really appreciate it Pokerek (talk)
- Chill. When someone disagrees with you it isn't a personal attack. No need to get all prickly about it.
- Anyway, there's a difference between saying "mystery was the greatest part of the series" and "I like mystery". The first statement is incorrect. The second statement is a matter of personal taste. I can't (and don't care to) speak toward your personal taste. But when you (or anyone) says something that is just blatantly wrong, it's only fair that I should be able to point that out.
- I know what you're going say next: "it's my opinion that the mystery is it's greatest aspect and it's your opinion that it's not". Well, I'm not expressing my opinion here. Mystery cannot be the series' greatest aspect because it was never intended to be mysterious. If you read mystery into it and enjoyed that, that's fine. But that doesn't make mystery the "greatest part", or even a significant part, of the series. It's like looking at a painting and saying "the frame is the greatest part of that painting". That is obviously incorrect - the frame is not really part of the painting.
- When I asked if you had ever played RPGs before, it wasn't a rhetorical question (although I can see how it could be interpreted that way). I genuinely wanted to know, as that would explain your viewpoint somewhat. Likewise, when I wrote "if you want mystery, try a horror game" I was being sincere. I can see how that could easily be taken as sarcasm, though. I suppose I should have phased those words in such a way as to make my intent clearer, and I am sorry if you thought they were meant to be insulting.
- Just to clear things up, let's make sure we are both talking about the same kind of mystery. When a work of fiction is called a "mystery" that typically means it is part of the mystery genre, and that solving a mystery is it's core element. In this sense, Dragon Age is clearly not a mystery, nor was it ever meant to be. My entire point was that there was never a genre shift from mystery to fantasy as you seemed to believe - it has always been fantasy.
- Mystery can also mean puzzling or obscure (i.e. confusing) and it seems strange that someone who enjoys mystery would not enjoy confusion. Finally, mystery can mean secret or unknown. Secrets are meant to be revealed, and the unknown is meant to become known. Dragon Age does have secrets and unknowns, as pictures typically have frames, but they are part of what the series is composed of, not it's essence or purpose. Dragon Age has dragons too, but it can hardly be said to be about dragons.
- One final question, not really on topic: what did you mean by "more than magic"? Something is either magical or not, there is no third option. If you are talking about gods, those are simply particularly powerful magical beings (as the series as shown, incidentally). So I don't know what else you could expect to find. Would super-powerful ancient spirits living at the center of the Fade really be any different? Not in any functional sense. This is Dragon Age's answer to "are there gods?" and not liking that answer is not the same thing as removing mystery from something that was never really meant to be "mysterious". Silver Warden (talk) 18:43, January 23, 2018 (UTC)
Alright, you got me. I have probably overreacted a little bit about the "insults" and all that and I'm sorry about that. Let's keep the things more civil from now on.
So let's start with this. I never wrote, that mystery was "the greatest part of the series". I wrote, that it was one of the greatest parts of the series. I never intended to make it sound, like I thought, that the whole series was about mystery. I know, that that is not true. And if it seemed that way, I apologize for it. As I wrote above, when I wrote the article, I've freshly beaten the game and I was confused with everything that happened in Trespasser, because I have played the DLC from start to finish in one day and that surely wasn't really healthy. Now that everything has settled in my brain and after I read all your comments, I think I can give a more clear view on my opinion about it all
First of all: I have played quite a few RPGs, the most notable being the incredible Witcher series (except for 3, because my PC is very old) or the post-apo Fallout series (except for 4, same reason as for Witcher 3). Maybe I'm not the biggest RPG veteran, but I have played a good deal of such games.
And now to the main point: When I wrote, that mystery is one of the greatest things about the series, I never meant, that DA was a mystery RPG. I just liked the mystery about the divine things, such as the Maker or the Evanuris. I liked, that there is no certainty if the gods are real or if they aren't. And I liked the fact, that we might never know the truth. It just a matter of opinion really. It's like God in real life. You will never know if He's real. You will know when you die, but well...the info will be useless by then. I know, that DA isn't about that, but for me, it was a good part of the series. That there was something mysterious you will never know. I think I can relate to Sera in this situation. She's scared, that the Maker might be real and she would rather live in constant mystery about it. Maybe I'm scared of the truth too. And I know, that that is not how the world works and that it's my problem. I just can't help it. I hope you understand it better now. I'm sorry about the pointless confusion I've made.
And for you final question: Well, when I wrote "more than magic" I meant something more, than usual human magic. Even something more than the ancient super duper powerful elven magic. Something unnatural. Something, that created something from nothing ("Then the Voice of the Maker rang out, The first Word, And His Word became all that might be...", the Chant of Light), something, that could create life etc. I hope that you understand. I know I might just be horribly wrong in your eyes, but that's my vision and I know I can do nothing about it, if DA 4 takes a different route.
But for my final words. I said, that the info has settled in my brain. And that's correct. Now, that I've comprehended all the facts, I'm not so negative about the things the did. It is still not very optimal for me, but I get it and I'm ready to enjoy Dragon Age 4 when it comes out (if I can run it...which is very unlikely...)
- Fallout is a sci-fi series, not fantasy, so you wouldn't experience the same tropes. I never played the first Witcher game, but the second does a pretty awesome job of subverting most fantasy tropes. I'm not saying a thing about the third. My point is, despite playing RPGs in the past, your lack of experience with fantasy RPGs (Witcher aside) is likely why you did not see this trope coming. That's not meant to be an insult, just an observation. And this particular series does a great job of the "revealing the fantastical elements of its backstory over time" trope, so expect that to spoil you for any future fantasy RPGs you might play.
- In my mind "magic" and "divine" are just two different flavors of the supernatural, with no functional difference. If you're talking about some omnipotent force, the only equivalent in the games would be the devs themselves, since an entity within a universe cannot create said universe. The most the Maker could possibly be is an avatar of the devs (which would be kinda cool, but also shatter the 4th wall so...).
- I played Trespasser in one day too (possibly one sitting actually) and I had the exact opposite response. I was delighted that some of my big questions about the lore had been answered, that the Solas character had been further explored and - best of all - the elven gods were real. Your take might have been that the fact that they were once flesh and blood (or still are?) made them less real or somehow disqualified them as true gods. But the old gods were real, physical beings, yet they were still worshiped. The Evanuris were likely far more powerful and older. They are also basically immortal. They had worshipers. And just one of them was able to create the Veil and more or less make the Fade. That's a lot closer to godhood than anything else in the series thus far. If they were spirits rather than elves, and everything else about them was the same, wouldn't they be viewed unquestionably as gods?
- FYI you should sign your posts with 4 ~ it's easier for other people to tell who wrote what that way. Silver Warden (talk) 03:39, January 24, 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn't say, that I am not experienced with fantasy RPGs. To be honest, I don't really think, that there are any qualifications for being really experienced in such genre. You're either an RPG fan or you're not and RPG fan, simple as that. I enjoy fantasy RPGs (and RPGs in general really), but didn't really like the desicion with the Evanuris. It's just a matter of taste really, not experience. But that's just my opinion once again...
And you see, I just hoped, that there might be some omnipotent force, that could create the universe, like the Maker. I know that it might not really be true now, but I hoped, you know. I just wanted it to be something more than flesh and blood, something, that couldn't be really explained. "Magic" and "divine" also have a difference between them. Magic can be learned and mastered (if you're lucky enough to be able to use magic), but being divine isn't about learning it. It's something, that has even more power than magic. It's something...well...divine XD I'm not saying I'm disappointed about the decisions of the devs. I just didn't like it very much.
And also. I thought, that the Old Gods weren't really gods, they were just spirits. But that is discutable, since they were angry at the Maker for abandoning them etc. etc. But despite the Chantry's beliefs, I still think, that they could be only spirits. Pokerek (talk)
...the Old Gods are telepathic dragons. Or maybe spirits possessing High/Great Dragons (like Hakkon in the Jaws of Hakkon DLC). Either way, they physically existed, as you see in Origins when you kill one. Yet the ancient Tevinters considered them to be gods.
Would a god, by any other name, still be divine? I think god is just a title that is bestowed upon powerful beings that are worshiped. There's no reason for anything to need a god tag in the software to be called a god. Why does god have be a class of beings? If it looks like a god and quacks like a...okay that one doesn't work as well, but you get what I mean. With enough power and worshipers, anything can be a god.
As you pointed out, magic can't be mastered by just anyone in Thedas - you have to be a mage. And to be a mage, you have to be an elf or a human or a qunari, so not just any living being can do magic. So it's not just a skill, its an ability only certain beings have. Why can't "divinity" be a more powerful and/or rarefied form of magic? The Evanuris weren't just any mages - they were Dreamers, and from what I gather comparing a powerful, experienced Dreamer mage to a garden variety mage is like comparing a wyvern a dragon. To Solas, the entire population of Thedas is basically tranquil. Solas's and Mythal's power and actions are so close to godhood, the only thing separating them from the stereotypical image of gods are wings and a halo.
Oh wait. Mythal had wings.
The Maker is obviously a stand-in for the god of the abrahamic religions, who is literally incomprehensible. If something is incomprehensible it is also incomputable, and obviously if something can't be computed it can't be programed. The devs lack the software, hardware, and superhuman mental faculties that are required to manufacture an actual god, so there can't ever be a Maker-like entity in these or any games. If your standards for a god are that high, you will never find a digital one. Sorry.
All right, I think we are starting to go in circles and I'm not interested in that. I could probably go on about my opinion for a very long time and you could also go on about your opinion for a very long time, but we would never hit a clear conclusion, because none of us are willing to step down from their points, so let's just leave this topic and move on in our lives. But I'm grateful for the patience you obviously have and for the whole discussion. I can see why your opinion is such as it is and I respect it. I hope the same goes for you, because otherwise this whole discussion was pointless. Well, not for me. You've shown me a new perspective on the "divine" stuff and I'm really grateful for it. Live well a let us all enjoy Dragon Age 4 when it finally comes out. Dareth shiral Pokerek (talk)