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LadyBrain_64Puncherson_64

Note: limited spoilers on DAI main plot, some spoilers on romance

Feminina:

On another matter, speaking of the keep in the Western Approach (which we were several posts ago: I have a long memory), here’s a minor rant I’ve been saving.

First, I’ve noted that we seem to have more swear words in this game than in previous BioWare games. Which is fine: I got nothing against some well-placed swearing.

But as you wander through the keep in the Western Approach, there’s someone training some people on the second level, and I heard him yell something like “listen up, recruits! None of you tubs of women’s shit would last a minute out there!”

And I was like, hey, why you gotta throw in a gendered slur right there? I mean, the implication is that women’s shit is obviously EVEN MORE PATHETIC AND USELESS than normal (i.e., men’s) shit, right? Purely because it comes from women, since, objectively, shit is kind of just shit. I mean, as far as I know, in the absence of a codex to explain the significant differences that may apply in Thedas.

So you’re essentially using the time-honored tradition of shaming men by comparing them to women, which is…problematic, but could be excused on the grounds of ‘historical’ ‘accuracy’ or whatever, except YOU SEE WOMEN SOLDIERS ALL OVER THE PLACE, dude. Not just your Inquisitor, even (hello?). Cassandra. Sera. Scout Harding. The requisitions person. Vivienne would set you on fire as soon as look at you.

Why are you even using ‘women’ as a negative qualifier in this world where it…really doesn’t seem to be that? Women seem to do OK for themselves in positions of authority in Thedas. You see them around, doing stuff. Fighting, rebelling, shopkeeping, etc. (Even if they are only a third of your possible companions.)

Someone needs to send that guy to diversity training. He’s obviously a holdover from a more benighted era, and somebody’s going to demote him to permanent latrine duty if he’s not careful.

Butch:

I HAVE noticed that! Casual swearing. Even characters who didn’t do that in prior games, like Varric.

Missed that comment. But I tune the throwaways out. Skyrim taught me they have nothing to say.

But yeah! Hell, I’M a woman! Leliana best not hear that. I hear the Hissing Wastes needs a requisition officer at that ONE camp….

That’s weird. Bioware is not known for that.

Be warned, though. TW3 is not set in a very tolerant world.

Feminina:

Well, that’s the thing: if it’s set in a world where that inequality makes sense, then it doesn’t seem weird. I mean, hell, if it was set in the real world today, it wouldn’t seem particularly weird. It just seemed weird to me in Dragon Age, you know? Now if they’d said “you tubs of knife-ear shit,” that would have been perfectly relevant–offensive in context, and based on social inequalities established within the game world. Even if there was an elf soldier right there, it might not occur to people that it was a problem to imply that elves are inferior beings, because…everyone knows that, right?

I’m sure they don’t vet all the throwaway lines as closely as they do the main story. I don’t hold it against them: there must be thousands to review. And that was totally a drill sergeant kind of line–just not in that specific setting.

But yeah, way more casual swearing. I don’t mind, but I have to say I’m not quite sure why they did it. It doesn’t offend me, but it also doesn’t significantly add to the experience. Like, “oh, wow, I’m TOTALLY immersed now that there’s a chance someone will say ‘fuck’!”

Are they trying to be more ‘grown-up’? More ‘serious’? “This is a gritty, adult game for adults who swear”? (Because teenagers NEVER use foul language. I certainly never would have let such words pass my lips in my youth.) Maybe it goes along with increased nudity, like, “if we’re going to get rated for sexual content, we might as well throw in some swearing while we’re at it.”

Meh. Overall, neutral on this decision.

Butch:

This is true. And fiction has to play by its own rules. Someone missed it.

I think that they played the hell not just out of Skyrim but out of the Witcher. That and they’re not immune to the hype surrounding TW. I mean, they’ve already cribbed some gameplay things (like the search button. Even the sound the little circle makes is cribbed). They said “People want mature,” and fell for the idea that “mature” means “Things that’ll get you an M.” Swears and boobs. We’ve never seen boobs before in DA, either.

Sorta worries me that “mature” equals “swears and boobs.” But, that’s the world we live in.

But on that, are you banging ANYONE in DAI yet?

Feminina:

NO ONE! I haven’t even had an option to enter a relationship, except that touching moment with Sera in her room, where I said I wanted to be friends instead of flirting with “I like you.” Because I do like her, but I figure we might as well play the game differently SOMEHOW, and at least romance different people.

I need to figure out who wants what side mission completed before I can flirt properly with them. I just found Blackwall’s last warden trinkets, so I could probably get him next time I play if I want, but…meh. He’s so…moody. And any armor he puts on turns bright red. I don’t like his fashion sense!

Iron Bull is funnier. I might like him better.

Butch:

Homophobe.

Or you heard that there’s a mess of nudity if you bang Blackwall and you want to see what Qunari look like nude.

Feminina:

Look, if I could woo every companion in the game simultaneously and have the relationship culminate in a 10-way orgy, I would. (Man, THAT deserves a trophy.)

But since it appears we’re going to have to get exclusive: Mr. O’ has his eye on Cassandra, you’ve got Sera, and Vivienne isn’t interested, so in order to branch out, I have to look at the dudes.

And there, Solas only likes elves, Dorian is gay, Cole is creepy and possibly not even romanceable (I don’t think I’ve seen any ‘heart’ options with him), Varric isn’t romanceable–so it’s Blackwall or Bull, and Bull is funnier.

I did flirt with Scout Harding, and she’s pretty cute with her freckles and her no-nonsense attitude (“how did the river freeze so suddenly?” “It got really cold really quickly”), but with her being away so much (and, you know, being written that way), I’m not sure she’s full-fledged relationship material. Although I should talk to her some more in Skyhold, because you never know. Shepard could date Kelly, after all.

Butch:

I’d so go after Cassandra. She harbors a romantic side, and, deep down, MUST like women. But I don’t think so. And Sera’s fun.

You could have Josephine, you know.

Feminina:

Yeah, Cassandra definitely has a romantic side. Her love of Varric’s books proves that. You may be right that she won’t romance a woman, though.

I’m not really managing to click with Josephine. I’m not snarky enough for her. I think it was all over between us when I said Haven was OK, and missed out on the catty bonding session talking about what a dump it was. But I do need to finish trying to save her family name or whatever, and maybe she’ll like me after that.

Butch:

She’s so totally trying to give me the puppy dog eyes, trying to pull me away from Sera. Not gonna happen. I’m a sheltered lass who has been swayed by carefree fun.

And, as there’s no blond in TW3, variety.

Feminina:

We did have a nice conversation about her family and so forth, and I didn’t completely disgrace myself at the ball in Orlais, but I still think I’m a bit unsophisticated for her.

However, we shall see. I haven’t made any commitments yet.

Butch:

Haven’t yet been to the ball. They’re going to shit when I show up with Sera.

Feminina:

Ha! I was afraid of that, so I left Sera at Skyhold. Took Cassandra, who was bored, and Blackwall, who was kind of bored but also got romantic under the moonlight, and Vivienne because she should know how to handle herself at an Orlesian ball, right? I think she had a good time…she barely bothered to talk to me.

I was trying to pick people who would impress the crowd with our ability to clean up well, but I like your “screw ’em” approach too. You should take Sera, Iron Bull and Cole. In his weirdo hat. See how that flies.

Butch:

Well, I’m taking Sera, cuz she’s my lady and balls and all, I was going to take Varric cuz he’s a smooth talker, and Dorian cuz mustache. Plus, my Dorian is all up in the fire spells and he kicks ass.

Hmm. Suave dude with fire spells, hot Brit with electric spells……it’s DAO all over again!

Feminina:

I’ve got Vivienne doing fire, and Dorian electricity. Solas handles cold, although for some reason he also has a mean meteor swarm spell that’s all about flaming comets. Myself not being a mage, it works out fine that way with no duplication. Dorian’s mustache would make an excellent addition to any ball, though, that’s definitely true.

Butch:

What I need to get SOMEONE is dispel. Dispel would be very handy. I do not have dispel.

Meteor swarm? I want meteor swarm.

Ventinori are vulnerable to electricity. HA! Usually, the opening is sneakysneakysneakyCAST THAT SHIT THAT PUTS STATIC IN THE AIR AND PULLS THEM TO THE MIDDLE AND KILLS THEM! Then nuke them with fire and chain lightning until the warrior shows up and whirlwinds them.

BOOM!

Feminina:

Solas dispels for me. Handy. He also revives us, which is also extremely handy. I do find I sometimes wish I’d played a mage…I play a mage better than the AI does a lot of the time, and it’s like well, should I play my own character, or hop over and handle this mage who without my attention can’t always remember to get the hell out of melee combat? (Which should be pretty much the first lesson in Mage School.)

Ah well. I’m not going back to do those 80 hours again in another character class. I mean, until I decide to play it on Hard and then Nightmare in order to get platinum. When I lose my job and my feral child runs away and it’s just me and the console.

Butch:

Ah, see, Sera and her stealth is great for revive. Hide, sneak, revive. Perfect. And I like that she says, so plaintively, hurtfully, “Stop dying you!” with real fear when I die. That’s being needed.

Job, child…… Uh…….loving husband? (I mean, let’s face it, he’s your biggest threat as he hogs the console…..)

Feminina:

I was assuming he’d be at work to pay for the power to run the console and the roof to play it under, and perhaps some food to keep my going, but it’s true, on the occasions when he was home he WOULD pose a problem with his wanting to play once in a while himself.

Stealth is definitely handy for one-off reviving, but Solas has a spell that can get everyone up at the same time. It’s saved our asses on a number of occasions.

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