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Note: potential tiny location-related spoilers for DAI

Buttons:

DAI… Finally closed out everything else and got on with the destruction of haven. Checked out all of stormhold…I’m not having any difficulty finding my way around, and finally went to the forbidden oasis. The shards grant u access to various doors in the temple. Open a door, fight some enemies, and then loot the sarcphogus. When you loot it, you’ll be rewarded with spirit, cold, or fire resistance and the deeper u go, the tougher the enemies are. I completed all the cold ones and then started the spirit one and then ran out of shards.

I didn’t have much of a problem with the trebuchet… I think I was a higher level than u when I did it? But it was the first truely ‘tough’ fight I’ve had.

I’m very much enjoying the game, although the oasis level design is bugging me… up and down up and down… oh, u just revealed 4 more shards? There are two down and two up and u have to backtrack around a quarter of the map to get on the ass end of the rocks u have to travel along the top of to drop down to get that shard, and u still have 3 more to figure out how to get to. Sigh.

Anyways, I’ve been back to stormhold again and did see that improvements got made. But why did they split them in 2? I go to the undercroft and my stormhold customization is down near the forge, but then another type of improvements and done through the quartermaster all the way across the hold? Why? Gah.

Actually got to flirt with people. Was surprised they didn’t let u flirt with Hawke, although that would have been some bizarre digital masturbation of a sort.

Right now I’m a level 11 and have finally gotten 3 perk points that I’m saving for the lockpick perk. I feel like I had to do way more that I should have for 3 measely perk points but I still don’t quite get that economy.

But I’m enjoying the game. First game in a while that I’ve actively wanted to find more time to play rather than just be happy I have some time to play. I’ve kind of missed that feeling.

Butch:

Skyhold. SKYhold.

Wow. You did get shards. I opened the first two cold doors then said fuck it. I may go back later. Dunno.

I think you must’ve been higher level at Haven than I was. You certainly spent more time on the hinterlands than I did, so there ya go. I was maybe level seven? Eight? And I don’t think I had the best possible party (Me, without many area effects, Sera, Varric, Cassandra. Too many rogues.)

I find even talking to Hawke weird. WEIRD. But understandable.

Re: wanting to play–Indeed. That is a nice feeling. This game is both thought provoking and FUN, which, after one plays TLOU, is needed. TLOU is not fun.

Feminina certainly is WAY ahead. I don’t play on weekends. Too many kids. But Mrs. McP goes back to school next week. Off I go. But I’m also trying to savor this until Witcher 3 comes out.

Buttons:

Skyhold… right.

I’ve only got one shard I can’t figure out how to get to so I’ll be coming back to the temple later anyways. BTW; those temple rooms are full of loot from previous adventurers. Don’t forget to ‘ping’ the entire room to get the loot hidden in the corners.

Butch:

Dude, I hit that ping so much my party thinks I must have a neurological condition as I can’t take more than a step and half at a time.

Loot. Feh. Who needs loot when I could be flirting?

Feminina:

Although to be fair, Stormhold is an equally awesome name.

Yeah, you really do have to scout every corner of those temple rooms. There are piles of coins everywhere! I went back a couple of days ago and opened all the fire and cold doors. Still need about 20 shards to finish up the spirit doors, and I wonder if that big door on the main level when you first come in will then open?

Deft Hands, Fine Tools is worth getting if only to avoid irritating moments when you get to some final door of some castle and find you can’t open it. Thinking specifically of the Fallow Mire, where I ran into this issue, but there are also examples in other regions.

I’m curious why it’s just this rogue skill that you have to upgrade (and work pretty hard to upgrade, too). That is, there are special things that only members of specific classes can do as you wander around: rogues pick locks, warriors bash walls down, and mages ‘energize’ to create/destroy barriers and light veilfire braziers. You don’t (as far as I’ve noticed to date) have to accumulate four Inquisition Perks to improve ‘bash’ enough to break down really tough walls, or to improve ‘energize’ so you can light REALLY BIG veilfire braziers. How come rogues are the only class you have to buy skill improvements for?

Butch:

But Stormhold is WRONG. So there.

Doors that you need advanced lock-picking to get through: See that irritating keep thing that I stumbled across in the Western Approach. Watch: it had a supply crate. Just to mock me.

Dunno why you have to buy that upgrade. It’s an odd question. Or why can’t an individual rogue learn it as a skill? Better than combat skills, really.

Feminina:

I can see them not wanting to make it an individual rogue skill, because then you’d run into questions of “do I want ALL my rogues to do this at the expense of other things, or do I mainly want to travel with the only one who can, or do I want to have to come back later with the one who can if I run into something” (we had this in DA2, where picking locks was on the skill tree, and frequently I would be annoyed by one rogue’s inability to pick a lock another one might have managed). Easier to just apply it to all rogues, I don’t really argue with that. (Just like you don’t want to have to give one of your warriors the ability to bash walls, and leave all the rest standing around clutching their bruised shoulders.)

But still, why is it important to make you gain a bunch of OTHER rogue-ish perks before you can even do this?

Are they afraid no one would take any of the rogue-related perks unless forced? Maybe their research indicates that everyone goes straight for the other categories unless they’re pushed to take the sneaky stuff by added ‘incentives’?

There’s not, really, anything behind any of the locked doors I’ve seen so far that suggests you should be a certain level to see/fight/loot it, so it doesn’t seem to be a means of keeping certain story or equipment features out of reach until you’re tough enough to handle it.

It just seems like an odd choice to have made. I’m sure there’s some reason they went with this in terms of game play, but I can’t figure out what it is.

Buttons:

I think it was a design decision to allow those people who don’t take rogues in their party and who don’t rogue themselves to still access these things. Why not just offload that edge-case to a single perk. I know I’m saving up to get the deft hands perk myself but more to sublimate my own OCD about getting into every location rather than to get it because I don’t have a rogue.

So… last night I was playing and I finally went to… forget the name of it; it’s frozen, the river froze quickly thus destroying the town’s economy and there are supposedly red Templars everywhere. Well, I encountered an ‘advanced rift’ or something and got my ass soundly handed to me. First time I had to tell a mage to use a revival spell on me and still, the whole party died.

On the plus side I got to flirt with the Scout Harding (the scout that introduces each new location when you travel to it). Wasn’t expecting that!

Butch:

Oh man I always take a rogue. Everywhere.

Frozen river? Whoa! New place! I haven’t been there yet, nor have I met an Advanced Rift!

There’s MORE? Game’s huge.

Feminina:

Ah…you think Deft Hands, Fine Tools allows non-rogues to pick these locks? That didn’t even occur to me (as a rogue, I always pick all locks myself), but yeah, if that’s true than I guess that would be an argument for that design.

The question then is, why wouldn’t people bring rogues, and if they for some well-known reason don’t want to, why is it more important to enable people to travel without rogues than it is to allow them to travel without mages or warriors (since there’s no equivalent bash- or energize-extender)? Perhaps we shall never know. My theory is: Skinner likes dogfood. Also, someone at BioWare secretly hates rogues.

Emprise du Lion! The frozen place. I was just there over the weekend, slaying my first dragon. Sniff. So many memories.

Butch:

Maybe they do hate rogues. But then, can you really improve BASH? I think they added “tools” to that so it’s not just a skill. It’s a thing.

And…..just like that I’m behind. Everyone’s been to this frozen river place but me.

Feminina:

You’re not behind, you’re just in a different place, doing different things. We all approach exploration of the various non-major-plot regions at our own pace!

Yes…tools…I can sort of see that as a justification. I still think it reflects an anti-rogue bias, though. Just because we’re always trying to get into your locked rooms and steal your stuff, people somehow don’t trust us.

Butch:

Nope. I’m behind.

Yet rogues seem to always be rather powerful and respected. Except Sera, who really is roguish. Varric? He’s a damn businessman.

Feminina:

I dunno, Varric is a semi-respected businessman, true, and Leliana is extremely powerful, but as you say, Sera is a classic shady rogue, and Cole is just a freak. I’d say 50/50 at best in terms of rogues having much social capital. And Leliana doesn’t even travel with you.

Butch:

I have a feeling that they thought up Cole, then said “Shit, now what? What IS he? He’s a good character…..but…..”

Buttons:

Well, just like the freaky people who like to fill a house with cheese wheels in skyrim, I’m sure there are some players who try to do things like a ‘mage run’ or ‘rogue run’ through the game where they staff their party with only one type and see how far they can get. Basically, if the game supports it, the design should as well. “Well, we allow the player to stack their party with only warriors. Do we cut off access to this game content just because the player chose something non-standard! No! We should support the choice that we ourselves allow.”

But then this doesn’t explain the lack of – as you mentioned – a bash perk or enchant perk. Dunno.

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