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Finished Dragon Age 2 [spoilers]


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#1 Kulyok

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 08:17 AM

Well, obviously, spoilers. So don't look if you haven't played it to the very end yet.


Female Rogue Hawke. Party: Anders, Fenris, Aveline/Varric(50/50 of the time). Full friendship with everybody but Fenris(full rivals). Supported the mages in the end.

Romance: Anders.

The romance was kind of nice, but sorely lacked nakedness and there was very little of it. To the point that when my mom died, I was kind of happy to get an extra romance-related dialogue. Dear me. I liked the ending, though(it turned out that Anders was a Really Important Plot figure, blowing up the chantry and all).

Alistair's cameo was very funny, but him, Zevran and Leliana were terribly ugly. At least Flemeth and Merril got cool new look. But it was nice to see old faces, though all of them, except Cullen, played little role, if any. I wish I could meet Nathaniel, but I did "Fools' gold" quest, so I couldn't meet him in Act 3.

I really felt sorry for Orsino. His "Yay! Abomination!" transformation happened really out of nowhere, and it was as if developers really, really needed another boss battle. Well, they could've made Alain do it, or anyone! Sigh. Stupid.

I liked the main storyline a lot, though it was a little shorter than I have expected. The supporting quests were really very nice and varied in Act 1, but in Acts 2 and 3 there are fewer and fewer of them, and less varied, too, so I got the impression that either they were rushed, or overwhelmed with all these multiple quest outcomes. And bugs(at least three minor quests were bugged, Sketch's, Rescue(Act 3) and Evil Tomes). Alas.

The world hasn't changed any between the acts, though. New house - yes. Nothing else. Even owning a mine didn't matter that much in the end.

I saw that the developers really, really wanted to impress us with multiple paths and characters from older quests(Acts 1 and 2) turning up in Act 3, but to me it all rang hollow, like Hawke says each time: "Uh, and who are you again? I helped you when?"

The pre-battle dialogues were nice, though I thought that Merrill and Isabella really got no character development. Isabella was just jumping here and there, and Merrill never got her loneliness issues resolved. And what's up with that mirror? How could Morrigan and my Warden step through it if Merrill had it four years later? And if they had already stepped through the mirror, why had Alistair said that the Hero of Ferelden should be in Denerim soon?

And poor Aveline! Got married, had a dream job, and has to be on the run again. Come to think of it, Varric's business got ruined, too. Not that he cares much. And I wonder what happened with Fenris: no friends, no family... I think my Mage Hawke might romance him next, just to see that sexy naked screenshot.

Anyway, that was my first playthrough. What about yours?

#2 princesspurpleblob

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 12:10 PM

Here is mine:

I played female mage Hawke who romanced Anders and sided with mages.

Oh I loved the romance! It really broke my heart though. Poor Anders! You can see that as time goes by, all his thoughts were filled with blind vengeance. What he did was too drastic, it may be no good for mages at all! Too big a risk, but I guess in eyes of Justice/Vengeance that was the right thing to do. Anders was losing battle to Justice who was his friend once. All he did was doing what he thought was best for both of them and it turned out worst decision he has ever made! He even betrayed Hawke's love and trust. I guess you saw it coming when he almost slew that girl if Hawke didn't stop him. Poor guy. I remember him so jolly, full of dry jokes in Awakening! My heart really goes for him.

I really loved Alistair cameo too. It was a bit out of blue lol. I really loved all old faces; Anders, Alistair, Nathaniel, Flameth, Cullen and Leliana. I haven't seen Zevran though -- how do you meet himt? It was funny how all of them look terribly farmiliar and yet... UGLY! I didn't like this new graphic at all. Also hate the voice acting. They kept same voice actor for most of old NPCs. Why change Anders? Massive hate on Hawke's voice. Bring in Jennifer Hale please!

I also loved all my companions except for Merrill. Can't stand her at all! My absolute favourites were Anders, Fenris and Aveline. I will try romancing Fenris next. I thought Varric, Isabela were ok, and hated Carver in the beginning. His hate towards mages (especially his sister) drove me nuts which is funny 'cause Fenris also hates mages beyond reason, but I really liked him! Oooh and I loved Aveline's love quest. Hilarious! It is so Aveline though!

I hated combat. The endless freaking combat. At one point, I thought I must have wiped whole population of Kirkwall at the rate I am going *sigh* Last 2 boss fights were extremely ridiculous.

I really feel unsatisified though. I feel cheated a bit. Where is my warm, fuzzy ending with Anders??

Edited by princesspurpleblob, 13 March 2011 - 12:10 PM.


#3 Kulyok

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 10:29 PM

Well, Anders stays with the heroine in the end. Uh, until it's time for him to go into the Deep Roads. He's a mage, though, and Justice supports his body, so I guess he'll live longer than he expects. (The line about the children in the ending was bitterly funny, though: Children? After seven years of Grey Wardening? Uh-huh).

Anders really did what Sophia Perovskaya did to Alexander II in 1881, I think. I did feel very uncomfortable about him lying to Hawke, but Anders expresses it brilliantly in one single sentence: "I thought you'd try to stop me. Or worse, help me." This "or worse" makes all the difference, I think. Jennifer Hepler really shines. I should try her Sebastian next time.

Zevran is available in later acts, there's a quest that starts in Hightown. You can even flirt with him, though I never tried, myself.

Edited by Kulyok, 14 March 2011 - 12:40 AM.


#4 princesspurpleblob

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 01:42 AM

I agree with you. That one sentence "I thought you'd try to stop me. Or worse, help me." made me forgive him.

So does Zevran appear in Chapter 3? Not that I want to flirt with him... he freaks me out.

#5 Kulyok

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 03:31 AM

Here is a topic for you with more details: http://social.biowar...-6460094-1.html . If you don't want to read all, here: "In Act 3 next to the entrance to the Blooming rose will be a quest giver who starts your meeting with him." In my imported playthrough from DA:O, Zevran was just a friend, so he didn't mention Warden, I think.

#6 Kulyok

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 04:48 AM

By the way, for those who are not Russian: Fenris's real name is "Summer"(Leto). How cool is that? I still don't know if I'm gonna try his romance: Fenris dumps Hawke after having sex with her, and doesn't approach her again, not for years. And also bangs Isabella if Hawke's not interested. But the name is cool.

EDIT: Then again, Vecna is "Spring" in Russian, but Vecna(as in Robes of Vecna) was a lich, not a hot elf, so probably no one else finds it cool.

Edited by Kulyok, 14 March 2011 - 05:02 AM.


#7 berelinde

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 01:07 PM

Yes, but if you have flirted with Anders at some point, you can go back to Anders after Fenris dumps you. Apparently, it's really sweet. I may try it this time. I don't know who you wind up with in the end, though. When I romanced Anders, he was the one who stayed with my mage PC.

I was kind of meh on Fenris, but I had him on the friendship track. I think it might be more fun to do as a rivalry.
"Imagination is given to man to console him for what he is not; a sense of humor, for what he is." - Oscar Wilde

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#8 Kwiat_W

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 02:34 PM

Here's the most ridiculous bug I have found...
In 3 act there is quest "Best Served Cold", a tamplar tells me that daelish elven woman was kidnapped from the hightown, so I went to free the hostage. Notice my party setup...
Posted Image

...and now who was kidnapped...
Posted Image

Maybe it's not a bug? Maybe Merril has a twin sister and we will learn more about her in next DLC? :lol:

Merril romance is terrible. Basically I just told her few times that she is sweet and looks pretty and than suddenly she shows up at my house ready to sleep with me. After this one night she moves in. You slept with her, now you have to spend the rest of your life with her - It's so romantic! :rolleyes: And we didn't even kissed once before that! :woot: (or maybe I just don't remember?)
And thou I romanced Merril, I really hated her. She is so annoying and so, so stupid. How could she be chosen to be her clan next keeper?

Has anybody Romanced Sebastian? Is he bisexual like all the rest?

It was my first and last playthrough of this mediocre game. I wouldn't rate it higher than 7/10.

Oh, and I killed Anders. He deserved it. He stabbed me in the back, so I did the same to him. :cheers:
Posted Image W_GUI - a GUI replacement for Baldur's Gate 2/TUTU/BGT/CA
Posted Image W_PackMule - Your own pack mule for Baldur's Gate 2/Tutu/BGT/CA, BGEE and BG2:EE

Posted Image Psionics Unleashed - play as a Psion, mod for Baldur's Gate 2/Tutu/BGT/CA, BGEE and BG2:EE

 


#9 princesspurpleblob

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 05:07 PM

I didn't know Fenris dumps Warden after sex... and he bangs Isabela? My respect with him dropped heaps just then. I might try going back to Anders after Fenris dumped me though. Sounds interesting :o I think Anders is the only one I feel strong enough to romance in this game.

Edited by princesspurpleblob, 14 March 2011 - 05:08 PM.


#10 Kulyok

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 10:24 PM

I tried starting a new game to do a Fenris or Sebastian romance(=Sebastian is only for females and there's no sex at all), and do a rivalry with Anders, but I just couldn't. Ah well. Silly me.
(If you don't take Fenris and Isabella into party, then you won't hear their banter and won't hear about their, ahem, relationship).

I did a rivalry with Fenris, but he is so lonely at the end. Even my uncle found his daughter! Maybe a friendship track will help.

And in my game, Bethany was abducted in Best Served Cold. I guess it's Bethany or Merrill.

#11 berelinde

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 11:27 PM

The order of preference for the kidnapping is sibling>LI>greatest friend/rival. The only time it isn't your sibling is if they're dead. If you don't have your LI with you, he or she is kidnapped. If you do have your LI with you, it's whichever of your remaining companions is your greatest friend or rival. In my game, it was Carver. He blamed the mages (big surprise <_< ).
"Imagination is given to man to console him for what he is not; a sense of humor, for what he is." - Oscar Wilde

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#12 Kulyok

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 11:45 PM

Oooh, my LI is kidnapped! That's gonna be FUN! Oh, but I'm going to let Carver become a Grey Warden, which means he won't be dead and he will be kidnapped instead. :( And I don't want Carver to die. Sigh. Such a humiliation for him, probably - in the shadow all the time, and now, when he finally is on his own path, he is kidnapped and rescued by none other than his big sister.

#13 princesspurpleblob

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:43 AM

(If you don't take Fenris and Isabella into party, then you won't hear their banter and won't hear about their, ahem, relationship).


If you have both Anders and Isabela in party... you also get to hear interesting things. Apparently they have met at Pearl before... and Anders did some "electricity" thing on one of the girls there... (not happy with you, Anders!)

Edited by princesspurpleblob, 15 March 2011 - 02:25 PM.


#14 Kulyok

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:50 AM

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah! And my Hawke said: stop right there! :)

Me, I'm thinking that pre-Justice Anders is another figure entirely, so, yeah, whatever it was he was doing before Hawke is his own business. Though it's funny how many romance interests were womanizers(or similar for girls) in their past. Anders, Zevran, Isabella, Sebastian, even Leliana. (Probably not Morrigan, since she's rather possessive of the Warden, but her mother showed her some naughty examples, I doubt it not). I was kind of relieved I didn't have any flirting options with Varric. "You love Bianca? Right. Let's drink another pint."(or something).

#15 EvaineDian

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:05 AM

Good thing I didn't play the demo, because I wouldn't have bought the game otherwise - during Act 1 I constantly thought "WTF, BioWare?!", but once I was a few hours in, I found a decent enough game under those layers of shit. :)





The good: :)


+ Companions:

I like all of them! I can't quite pick a favourite, but Varric is definitely high up on my list. I think he's the first dwarf in any game/book/film I've ever really liked and might even have romanced.

Companions have more interjections than in DA:O, haven't they? Plus they have quite a lot of banters between them and loads of quests.

I love how they come visit Hawke's house and leave notes, books and other stuff all over the place. What I enjoyed most is how it is hinted that over the years, they've become friends with each other as well, not just with Hawke. They visit each other, have drinks, play cards, hook up... I like it when you get a feeling that they have lives of their own, as well, and not just exist for the PC.


+ Plot:

I'm not interested in the Qunari at all and I didn't care much for the Circle/Templars conflict in DA:O, but somehow by the end of Act 2, I was quite hooked on the story, and even more so in Act 3. In Act 2, I got the feeling that there was something serious going on behind the scenes, but I didn't quite know what. Liked Meredith and the escalation in Act 3! I played a mage, romanced Anders and sided with the mages. I'm quite curious what will change if I play a pious templar type the next time around. I sincerely hope that this time we'll see where the Warden and Hawke disappeared to, not like in KotOR I&II. <_<


+ Story within the story:

Unreliable narrators are my favourite narrators in books, and I enjoyed it here, too, though you don't see much of it. I forgot all about it and was first confused, then amused when Varric was suddenly alone in his brother's house, single-handedly killing his guards. :)


+ Cameos:

There are lots and lots of them. I know it's cheap to exploit a previous game so much, but I enjoyed every single one of them. I squealed a little when I found a written reference to Sten and when I met Zevran, I reloaded, left Anders at home and let Zevran take me to his tent. ^_^ And Cullen is back and even has a huge role, I never expected that! There's also an interesting crack theory about Sandal's part in the whole story - I don't know what he is, but there's definitely something going on with him.


+ Save game from DA:O:

Just wonderful how they added little things about the Warden. For example if the Warden had a threesome with Isabela and Alistair, they will reminisce. I just love little details like that!


+ Codex:

So much better!





Good ideas, bad implementation: <_<


* Timespan:

Good concept with much potential, but not done well. The places look identical and so do the people, and they even joke about this in game (Merrill couldn't fix her roof in six years, two women in the brothel joke about having had the same hairstyle for six years, etc.). As the setting of the whole game in Kirkwall is so very limited, they could have put in more effort to depict those seven years realistically, people aging/reproducing/leaving/dying, buildings changing, etc. There are elements of this in there like Aveline and Donnic getting together, but my immersion suffers when I can ask Donnic if he's alright THREE YEARS after he was ambushed, and this is just one of many instances.

The worst examples are the romances. So I flirted a bit with Anders in Act 1, and three years later we still haven't even kissed. I'm very shy in RL, but not even I am that slow! So we end up in bed eventually, and that's it, cut to Act 3, three years later. BioWare left out all that is exciting about a relationship - the time when you get interested in him, hope he notices you, flirt with him, wonder if you love him, wonder if he loves you back, first kiss and, of course, have tons of hot sex. Instead, I first have to wait three years (in RL, my infatuation would have passed at this point...), then there is ONE (badly animated and voiced) kiss, one nookie and suddenly it's three years later, when routine has kicked in and you're sick of his not loading the dishwasher properly and leaving dirty hankies, old yoghurt pots and used dental floss all over the place. <_< And you don't even get the good parts of a long-term relationship, like trust, shared experiences, a feeling of comfort, let alone weddings and babies.


* Dialogue wheel:

Having a voiced PC is nice for a change, but it's too easy when you see exactly which option is the flirty one, etc.


* Inventory:

Neater, but very dumbed down. No quest items, no ingredients and no proper icons for random junk. :(


* Romances:

Well, see timespan. There's just not much to them. I told Merrill she had pretty eyes and three years later, she turned up and wanted to sleep with me! Romances get shorter, cheaper and less significant with every game. :(

Personality wise, I can indeed imagine the LIs to be bi, but that doesn't change that this is just a cheap way to get as many romances in there with as little effort as possible. I’d prefer less, but longer ones.

I wouldn't say they are entirely bad, but they used to be so much better in the past.





The bad: :angry:


- Initiating dialogues:

I hate that you can’t just talk to your companions whenever you want to, but have to wait until they have a quest and are in their houses. Why do I have to talk to Anders about his quest in his clinic even after he has moved in with me? WTF?


- Area design:

Not bad per se, especially Lowtown looks beautiful when you look up (love those long hangings between the buildings), but the recycled caves and warehouses got on my nerves.


- Combat:

Uhm, yeah. Second waves of enemies appearing out of thin air, not once or twice or where it would make sense (like the spiders abseiling from the cave ceiling), but ALL THE TIME. Battles are too unimaginative in general. The only one I liked was the one against Meredith at the end, when the slave statues come climbing down, that looked cool at least.

Is there any friendly fire at all in DA2? I played on Normal and there wasn't any. I can't remember, but I thought in DA:O, friendly fire was possible and that was why I never used fireballs and such? In DA2, fireballs, firestorms etc are my best friend.

Combat isn't super easy, but... I don't know, it just got very boring very quickly. I think you can't even combine freezing and shattering somebody as nicely as you could in DA:O. It's all so incredibly dumbed down.


- Clipping:

Bad, bad clipping everywhere, especially on eyebrows. You could see Hawke's hair coming out of the back of her cowl half the time and some of the ugly mage staffs with blades cut off her feet when walking.





Undecided: :mellow:


* New (race) designs:

The new qunari faces looks good, but the horns are a bit over the top. The elves are horrible, I didn't recognise Zevran! I like the new Flemeth. It's odd that Isabela was so different in DA:O, but she looks very nice in DA2.


* Different Anders:

I liked his old voice. I wouldn't have minded if Cullen and Anders had shared the same voice. His personality has changed so much, though. He was fun in Awakening, but I don't like what Justice has made out of him. I still romanced him, but the constant babbling about the poor mages to everyone and their dog is getting on my nerves. He has little else to say. :(





Overall, I’d say they had some good ideas, but instead of tapping that potential, BioWare decided to dumb it down. I hope that enough people complain about that so that the next installment of the story won't have the same flaws.

Edited by EvaineDian, 15 March 2011 - 05:14 AM.

Oh, take your clothes off, won't you, please?
You don't have to talk to me
Just leave the light on so I can see
You've got everything I need
Oh yeah

#16 Kulyok

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:52 AM

I love how they come visit Hawke's house and leave notes, books and other stuff all over the place. What I enjoyed most is how it is hinted that over the years, they've become friends with each other as well, not just with Hawke. They visit each other, have drinks, play cards, hook up... I like it when you get a feeling that they have lives of their own, as well, and not just exist for the PC.


Oooh, I hated that. I was so jealous! They were drinking together, playing Diamondback, bringing each other food, watching out for each other, and no one invited Hawke! Each time I entered their houses and saw cutscenes(Varric and Merrill and so on), I felt like I was an intruder in their lives. The only exception was Aveline. Well, and Anders, obviously, but he was the romance interest.

#17 berelinde

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:06 AM

Evaine Dian: I'm with you 100% right up until you get to combat. I didn't mind the waves of enemies too much. I don't play the game for combat, so brainless waves of button-mashing don't fuss me. I'm back with you on the clipping issue, but I'm not bothered about the elves. I kind of like how horse-faced they all look. Gets away from that Suish "all things best and beautiful" rubbish. But I'm going to break ranks with you completely when you get to Anders. I was and am a huge Anders fangirl in Awakenings, but to my surprise, I find that I like him even more now. Yes, he's dark and broody and the joy has gone out of his life, except for the time Justice lets him spend with the PC, but considering what he's been through, is it all that surprising? And yes, that really is all he can talk about. After what Justice has done to him, and vice versa, that's all he is. Poor Anders, you make my heart hurt.

If there is a DLC, I want one that lets my PC free Anders from Justice for real.

Edit: I loved the house-visiting. Especially the one where Anders scolds Isabela for her promiscuity when she goes to him for treatment of a venereal disease.

Edited by berelinde, 15 March 2011 - 06:08 AM.

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#18 berelinde

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:32 AM

I kind of wonder what's going on in Edmonton, right now. Well, since it's 7:30am, they're probably just waking up. But I wonder how the meetings will go, later on in the day. "OK, team, we didn't do so good. We need to assemble another focus group to identify the key issues. Don't worry about what the rabble on the forums are saying; the gaming public is a different animal entirely."

That isn't fair, I know. It's just that after months and months spent hearing how a hand-picked focus group was more representative of the overall gaming population than a several-thousand-member forum, it felt good to hear the forum's concerns repeated in the critics' post-release reviews. "Not a rush job" indeed!
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#19 EvaineDian

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:45 AM

@ Kulyok:
Oh, I'm very jealous in RL and I did feel my Hawke was a bit left out sometimes, but I really like the hint of realism the companions having an own life adds to the game. :)


@ berelinde:
I don't play games for combat, either, and I've played tons of games with brainless fighting and enjoyed them very much. The thing that bugs me here so much is that it's a BioWare game and I don't want them to go down the road of streamlining (dumbing down) their games to appeal to a wider audience (make more money). Well, we all know they've gone that road already, and gone quite far. I was fine with DA:O, but this is even a step further down and it makes me sad.

About Anders, I think what I wrote came out wrong and I don't quite know how to say it better. I liked Awakening Anders and I do like DA2 Anders, too! There are some very touching moments in there. I just meant that it breaks my heart what Justice has done to him and how Anders is so obsessed now with freeing the mages. Of course he can't be his sunny old self anymore, the rebellious rascal he was in Awakening has now grown up and turned into a terrorist. It's heartbreaking what the Circle has done to him.

It's indeed realistic that he has little else on his mind and talks about his cause with every single person he meets (or so it felt) to raise awareness and get support, and of course he would like to share his sorrows with Hawke, but sometimes I thought he forgot about their love. He could be broody all he liked, if he just talked to me! Hawke can give him a tiny bit of joy back, but you don't get to see much of it. I felt that Hawke and Anders were drifting apart, Anders got more and more fanatic and I couldn't do anything about it! What it all comes down to is that he needs more LTs to flesh out this romance - the concept is good, but the execution is lacking.

I'd love to see a continuation of his story, too!



@ reactions:
How is the general reaction to DA2 so far? What do the critics say, what the fans? (Sorry, I haven't followed this at all and I'm scared of the BioWare forums...)

Edited by EvaineDian, 15 March 2011 - 10:58 AM.

Oh, take your clothes off, won't you, please?
You don't have to talk to me
Just leave the light on so I can see
You've got everything I need
Oh yeah

#20 princesspurpleblob

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 02:32 PM

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah! And my Hawke said: stop right there! :)

Me, I'm thinking that pre-Justice Anders is another figure entirely, so, yeah, whatever it was he was doing before Hawke is his own business.


I agree. I was surprised how much Anders has changed since Awakening. I half expected him to throw dry jokes here and there, especially after first meeting at the clinic (Ser Pounce-a-lot and all). But since merging with Justice, he's become more mature -- I actually think I'm more attracted by him because of that. He if were same old Anders, I might have enjoyed having him around but also try out other romance options as well. This new Anders is preventing me doing so lol.



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