Thursday, November 17, 2011

Exit Wharf, Enter Dwarf, Gaider's Job, Never Ending The Trashmobs

When we last left off, Valerie was embarking upon her thrilling first year at Kirkwall.

Wow, it's pretty cool how instead of putting the effort into communicating this stuff visually they just lazily slap in a line of exposition on top of a static image.

Show, not tell, Gaider.


One year later, we return to Kirkwall to meet...

This anime-haired shifty motherfucker.

He's scoping out the babealicious Hawke sisters as they're trying to hire on to a Deep Roads expedition.

Valerie, ever the master negotiator, remains blissfully oblivious to how clearly off-putting others find her alcoholism.

In a shocking turn of events, Valerie has apparently met the first dwarf in all of fantasy fiction that isn't a raging alcoholic. (Bioware has masterfully subverted the tropes of fantasy storytelling yet again!) He leaves, clearly unimpressed by our gambit.

Jesus Bethany, could you try to sound a little less like Mom here?

Actually, this entire game is a joke.


Bethany puts on her coolface.

Anyway, Valerie and Bethany are on their way when suddenly-

The newest up-and-comer of the Kirkwall underworld gets pickpocketed by ginger Vegeta.

Fortunately, before he can get too far, he gets pinned to a wall by a crossbow bolt.

Fired by the most ridiculous fantasy weapon this side of Squall Leonhart's fucking gunblade.
While the pickpocket is hypnotized by his attacker's greased Thor's hammer of chesthair, our sexy dwarven bear punches him out and reclaims the coins.

Valerie gasps, shocked by the temporary physical appearance of her money after presuming it was simply a collection of abstract numbers on her inventory screen for so long.

This is Varric, our "loveable" narrator. you can tell he's a sexy dwarven rogue by his exposed chest hair and prominent lack of a beard, evidencing his devil-may-care attitude towards society's rules and expectations. Now ladies, before you get too excited: no, we can't fuck him. The Bioware forums are literally caremad over this.

Varric introduces himself as the brother of the dickbag dwarf who turned down Valerie moments earlier and says he wants to bring her on board the expedition.

Having known Valerie for all of 15 seconds, Varric knows that this is exactly the business partner he needs.

For only fifty gold you could be spending on better equipment or healing items, you too can risk life and limb in darkspawn filled tunnels. This sounds like a great deal!

For reference, it probably takes about 15-20 hours of gameplay in the first Dragon Age to accumulate this much money. But have no fear, Varric has a plan!

What are we going to do together? Who knows! Judging by the fact that he doesn't actually propose any jobs, it's obvious that Varric sure doesn't!

Coincidentally, that's the same thing I said when installed this game. We can see how that turned out.

And with that, we're off to find work in Kirkwall.
NOT Awesome! ... Right Jerk

Ah Varric, you're all heart.
Speaking of Varric's brother, let's go give him the good news that we are joining his party after all.
In all fairness to Bartrand, if my brother dressed like a dwarven Scott Stapp I'd be suspicious of him too.

"Remember those humans you told to piss off? I realized that they're actually totally hot!"

Because otherwise there'd be no motivation to move this idiot plot forward?

So anyway, Bartrand tells valerie to piss off until she has the coin to fund the expedition, then goes back to his busy schedule of standing stationary and doing nothing. With a work ethic and fundraising skills like this, it's becoming apparent that Bartrand needs all the help he can get.

Anyway, as we're leaving Bartrand's expedition party, we run into a duo that will be familiar to anyone who played DA:O
That's right, it's Bodahn Feddic!

And his mongoloid adopted son Sandal!

Pay close attention here, because this is probably the only time Sandal will say anything other than "enchantment? enchantment!"

Valerie figures she might as well see what rare goods Bodahn has for sale.

Apparently Bodahn, and by extension all other the shopkeepers in this game, suffer from severe social anxiety disorders, as they refuse to actually open the sales window when you talk to them, only deigning to sell if you directly approach their merchandise. This brilliantly counter-intuitive inversion of the expected gaming formulas established by Dragon Age Origins as well as practically every other RPG of the past several decades is never explained in game, and left for the player to figure out. Also, the finicky nature of DA2's system of designating hotspots means that you will occasionally have to pixel-hunt for the exact camera angle to click on the location that allows you to open the shop.

Disgusted by Bartrand, Bodahn and Bioware's incompetence, Valerie, Bethany and Varric head off in search of some prospective venture capitalists to invest in their hot new deep roads startup. Along the way, they run into an old friend.
God Valerie, you are such a bitch.

Bethany points out that Aveline may have some work for us, so we head off towards the city guard barracks. Along the way, we run into some classic Bioware incidental dialogue.
Haha yeah, owned! By logic! This exchange will soon end up as a rage tapestry upon the popular public bulletin board "reddyte".

So we arrive at the city guard barracks and seek out Aveline.

What's up gurrrl? Hard at work or hardly workin'? Heh, little quip for ya...

Oh come on, are you still holding a grudge over that whole "stabbing your husband in the heart" thing?

Valerie Hawke may be a blackout drinker open to a wide variety of sexual fetishes when intoxicated, but she's pretty sure exhibitionism is not one of them.

Yeah, how's that working out for you? Husband still dead?

Blindly ignoring the obvious opening for an , Valerie locks in on what really matters: LODS OF EMONE.

idgaf about Kirkwall, but I just gots ta get paid.

I got psyched to put Valerie's criminal skills to the test and do some robbery with a corrupt cop, but then I realize that Aveline means we have to stop the ambush.

...for a price.

And so we're off!
We arrive at the ambush site, and promptly get an achievement. As far as I can tell, this game gives you a completely meaningless cheevo every time you enter a new area. Not that it matters, because I didn't connect this to my Bioware social account at all anyways.

Aww yeah, it's combat time and you know what that means! *every bandit and raider comes in for a HUGE trash mob*

Thankfully, these encounters are limited to one additional wave spawning in at most, so they're over pretty quickly.

Valerie stumbles across a chest containing a new staff for Bethany. I tried to get a screenshot of the staff, but a bunch of archers spawned out of midair as I pressed F12. Instead we get a great view of the mechanics of Varric's hilarious quad-crossbow with invisible bowstrings.

So after a few more trash mobs and some garbage loot (It's literal garbage. The inventory icon for it is a dented trashcan), we stumble across the ambush.

Valerie and her companions make short work of them.

One quest down, 419 more to go!

Presented without comment.

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