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Dragon Age Origins: Awakening - review

Discussion in 'Playground' started by Marceror, May 20, 2010.

  1. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

    May 3, 2003
    Likes Received:
    I finally purchased Awakening a couple of weeks ago, and just finished it yesterday. All in all, it was a fun expansion. It didn’t exactly compare to the grandeur of Origins, but the story was interesting, the battles were a blast, and the high quality voice acting and level designs really gave it an impressive immersion factor. It felt more like a $30.00 expansion rather than a $40.00 expansion, but as I really needed the escape (my RL job has me working constantly these days… constantly), I’m not going to gripe about this too much.

    I encountered a few bugs, like losing some equipment in the Silverite Ruins… though I didn’t mind replaying that section to work around the bug. There were also quest bugs here and there, where an NPC had the quest icon over their head, but no quest dialogues were offered. Fortunately, those only occurred on a couple of very minor quests… and as far as I can tell the game had technically given me credit for having completed them (Bombs Away was one quest where this happened).

    I had fun with the runecrafting skill, but a BIG warning to folks who wish to use this. Make SURE that you give runecrafting to your main character, and not one of your companions. The reason for this is that the NPC that sells runes and enchants items is in your “camp” (i.e. the main hall of Vigil’s Keep), but only your main character can access his/her crafting skills while in camp. So I was CONSTANTLY buying runes in the camp, exiting to the courtyard of Vigil’s Keep, and having Anders craft runes. But often I would realize I had forgotten something, or I run out of crafting components. So THEN I would have to go back into the main hall, purchase, and leave again. It’s also annoying that when you are in your camp, you can’t open the runecrafting interface to see what recipes you do and do not have. A great way to work around all of this headache is to simply make your main character your runecrafter. It was bad enough that my son, who would occasionally pop into my office to watch me play, thought I was nuts for going back and forth so often.

    Also annoying about runecrafting is that there is no logical sorting of rune recipes. The recipes appear to show up in the order they are added. Once you have a few dozen of them, it becomes a real pain in the neck to determine which recipes you have. If I wanted to craft, say, a masterpiece frost rune I would be forced to look through my entire list to see if I had all the necessary recipes.

    “Um, okay, there’s the journeyman version. Alright, uh, where the hell is the expert… oh, there it is. Uh… uh… okay, I have master. Hmm, uh oh, crap, I don’t appear to have grandmaster! Back to the main hall, to see if it's available there, I guess....”

    The rune recipes should be grouped by type, so that a player can easily identify any missing recipes in a particular progression. Patch please!

    Another gripe is that once your characters are uber high level (I think I ended around level 35), you simply don’t have enough slots on your quick bar to include everything. So you are forced to start pulling stuff off the bar, which for me, ensures that I will never use those abilities again. I would have preferred something akin to NWN2, where your quickbar has multiple “pages.” Again, patch please!

    All in all it was an entertaining expansion. It didn’t diverge from what made Origins a great game, which was a safe and smart way for Bioware to play it. I greatly enjoyed learning the new character specializations, abilities and spells. And damn did my characters become powerful in this game. A mage with >900 mana pool is something to be feared. Combat was definitely on the easy side for most battles, but there were a handful of tougher fights, which were always a welcome change of pace.

    If I were to give it a rating, I’d give it a solid 7.5. With a more appropriate price tag, I might go as high as an 8 or 8.5. It’s definitely worth picking up if you’re into Dragon Age!
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