My Dragon Age 4 Wish List

Dragon Age 4 “behind-the-scenes” snippet shows off concept art and  works-in-progress - VideoGamer.com

For those of you who have been with me for a while now, you know of my long love affair with the series Dragon Age. I have taken part in nearly every aspect of the fandom – the love runs deep. Very few details have been released in the last couple of years in regards to the next installment since it was teased at the 2018 Game Awards. And when any little hint does come to light, fans analyze every minute detail for clues and concoct wild theories based on the scarce evidence.

The Art Of Dragon Age 4 - Concept Art and Making Of

December tends to be DA news month but Christmas came early this year when a number of images of concept art were recently released. You can imagine the subsequent frenzy that ensued. With the release of the latest novel, Tevinter Nights, characters both new and familiar were revealed along with story details that we could weave together in the hopes of understanding where the next game would lead us.

Dragon Age 4' Gamescom reveal highlights wild new landscapes and characters

In the FB group I’m a part of, people regularly prompt the members by asking what they want to see in the next game. Besides better hairstyles, which is a major pet peeve among us (I even wrote about it a while back), there are a lot of ideas floating around. With all this in mind, I’ve decided to share my own take on what I’d like to see in the next game. Here are my top 7. I tried to stop at 5 but that was difficult, so I’ll do my best to be concise.

*This will include spoilers if you have not read the comics and books, and with the understanding that the reader has played the games.

Every Dragon Age 4 Screenshot or Piece of Concept Art Revealed So Far
  1. The return of the Hero of Ferelden. The protagonist of Origins, the tainted hero who saves the world from The Blight we learn, years later in Inquisition, is in search of a cure for what will eventually kill them. My hope is that we are given closure to this storyline and the character that brought us into the series in the first place.
  2. The trouble with the Grey Wardens and the return of griffons. In the closing credits of Inquisition we learn that something is happening within Warden ranks and Weisshaupt has gone quiet. In the novel, Last Flight, we learn the fate of the griffons during the 4th Blight and the possibility of their return. I’m a fan of the Wardens, one of their symbols is part of my tattoo (I told you, the love runs deep, skin deep 😉 ), so I’d like to revisit the order and learn what’s going on.
  3. The return of beloved characters. Dragon Age needs to follow Mass Effect’s format of reintroducing characters and bringing us closure, especially in light of the position many of our favorite companions have or may have found themselves in since we last saw them.
    • Sten is now Arishok, as revealed in the comic series, The Silent Grove, and with the Qunari threat revealed in Inquisition and the war in Tevinter, he should make an appearance as the commander of the military.
    • Zevran and the Antivan Crows. There is a chapter in Tevinter Nights that deals with the leaders of the houses of the assassin’s guild, one of them being the house of Aranai. Zevran has made an appearance, in some form, in all three games so with this history, and the disarray that the Crows may find themselves in since the enlightening chapter, he should reappear. There is concept art that shows a Crow, and he’s also an elf. ((wink wink))
    • Fenris received his own comic recently, Blue Wraith, although there wasn’t enough of him in it for my liking. The story involves the Qunari and Tevinter so he should make an appearance. And fans would be thrilled. We love Broody!
    • Merrill, I think, is a shoe-in for a reappearance. In DA2 she was working at restoring an eluvian, and after Inquisition, we’re all aware of their importance. As an elf with strong ideas of keeping elven traditions alive, she’d make a great recruit for the Dread Wolf’s army.
    • Dorian & Isabela also appear in the concept art, and given Tevinter as a most likely location for the bulk of DA4, it’s only natural to presume Dorian would be a major player. Isabela has also made an appearance in all three games, in some way, and with her history with the Qunari I think it’s time to get reacquainted with the admiral.
  4. The return of “The One” sacrificed to be left in the Fade. Depending on the world state you imported into Inquisition, you will be faced with a potentially difficult decision at the end of Here Lies the Abyss, a mission in which you choose between leaving Hawke, the much loved protagonist from DA2 or a Grey Warden, one of whom could be the adorkable Alistair, behind. If Solas succeeds in his mission to tear down the veil, it is my hope this character will be revealed escaping or strutting out of the Fade, given who it might be.
  5. The Architect and the strange experiments with the darkspawn. The Architect was an intelligent darkspawn introduced to us in the Origin’s DLC, Awakening. He was attempting to free the darkspawn from their compulsion to awaken the Old Gods hence starting another Blight and actually started the 5th. He can just disappear at the end of the DLC and then we learned in Tevinter Nights that the darkspawn are experimenting on each other creating even more terrifying abominations. There’s something weird going on there, and I’m not sure I truly want to know why. But I do.
  6. Learning the true purpose of the ancient Elven Artifacts that we turn on as we run about in Inquisition. Solas tells us that these globe-like items will help to strengthen the veil, but since it’s his intention to tear it down, what purpose do they really serve?
  7. I hope we return to being able to use the Ability Wheel from Origins and DA2; the option to open the wheel of all those abilities you have acquired so you can actually use everything in your arsenal instead of having to pick and choose.
I Rank the Dragon Age 4 Concept Art on How Much I Want to Date Everyone -  Gayming Magazine

With all I have to say on this subject, I couldn’t share all the artwork too, so here is a link to see all the beautiful designs.

Dragon Age 4' Gamescom reveal highlights wild new landscapes and characters

Are you as excited as I am for the next installment? What are your hopes for Dragon Age 4? It’s still a ways off but hopefully there will be another book, or comic, or more hopeful news, like a release date in December (or all of the above) to tide us over. ((sob)) Want to commiserate with me? Let’s talk Dragon Age!

Rambling Review – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

*Spoiler free review ahead.

Witcher 3

This “more than just a piece of eye candy” is Geralt of Rivia.  Swoon.  He’s from a fantasy land where once upon a time, a conjunction split the veil between worlds, allowing mystical creatures to spill into his.  In an effort to battle the “forces of evil”, the Witchers were created by terrible means, Geralt among them.

This 2015 Game of the Year winner has all the facets of well, everything, not just gaming, I’m drawn to – Medieval-like fantasy world, old world order of potential do-gooders, magic, sweeping backdrops with a rich, layered history – it was without fail that this would become my new favorite thing.

I was nearing the end of my first playthrough when for Christmas this year, The Sis bought me a series of books, and that’s when I learned a bit of the history of The Witcher.  I had no idea the game was based on novels by fantasy author Andrzej Sapkowski.  The first book, The Last Wish was published in 1993.  That’s a long time to be clueless about something I was destined to love.  There are currently eight books in the series, three games, a failed Polish movie and tv series, and a new show by Netflix was just announced.  Now that could prove interesting as everyone is on the hunt for the next Game of Thrones-like series.

I started the game completely oblivious to the storyline as I had not played the previous two.  Not the best idea when the world you’re walking into is already so established.  Maybe it was because of this, I felt a bit of disconnect initially from Geralt.  I didn’t know who he was, where he had been, or why people hated him because he was a Witcher.  His purpose seemed like a good one.

There was war brewing on all fronts and with monsters running amok, no one seemed concerned with the other impending threat, the Wild Hunt.  Frightening, almost unstoppable warriors with skeletal armor from another world, the Wild Hunt appears with a frost that dramatically affects the world around them.  And these “things” were chasing after my (Geralt’s) ward-like daughter, Ciri.Ciri

The beautiful girl with an interesting background and the voice of a Dragon Age character (Hawke from DA2) immediately became my concern (and I do mean mine).  And that became the true purpose of the game – find and protect Ciri.

I had to force myself to play the game the first few times, which did not thrill me because I had been so excited to play after watching a trailer.  This one, specifically: (*Be forewarned that this includes content not suitable for all ages.)

After those initial attempts, I decided to just follow the main storyline objective and things became more clear.  I was still a bit lost when it came to matters of politics and the hatred towards witches and non-humans, but the further I delved into this world, the easier it became to navigate, and then suddenly, I was in love.

The game is beautiful and expansive.  Cut scenes are cinematic, and there are a lot of them.  Many times I felt like I was in a movie that I was lucky enough to be able to move around in.

*Helpful hint: Unlike some games, you can not put the controller down and walk away during conversations.  Often times there are timed responses, so you don’t want to lose out on that choice.

There were a number of comments made by people in-game who thought they knew who Geralt was.  I chose to make him more kind, almost out of spite because no one was going to talk about my boy like that in front of me and get away with it.  Also, in part because I always play the “nice guy” when morality meters are involved.  Sometimes we chose to fight, but sometimes we were merciful, giving our enemies reason to pause.  The more I played, the more I liked him.  The mutagens given to him as a boy to make him a Witcher made his hair turn white and stripped him of his outward emotion, but he has a good sense of humor, is loyal, and cares deeply.

As the game progressed, I learned why people both liked and feared him.  Witchers are considered freaks themselves, unnatural.  As a hired monster slayer known as the White Wolf, not only is he a fearsome warrior with a bloody reputation, he’s also known as being quite the womanizer.  There are a few women to romance in the game, and Geralt, looking the way he does and having women throwing themselves at him took each opportunity.  Although to be honest, I’m not sure how likely this all would have been back in 2007.  Thank the advances of technology!

Geralt's Gaming Versions

Helpful tip: Romancing multiple characters can bite you in the a** if you’re not careful. 

The witch in the trailer is Yennefer, Geralt’s long time, on again-off again lover. Triss She’s powerful and self-assured with a biting wit, and it’s easy to see why she and Geralt are continually drawn back to one another.  While she aligns herself with powerful allies, like kings and emperors, the adorable and sweet Triss Merigold is helping witches escape the fires as hunters close in.

There’s history with each of these women, and more of their pasts are divulged as the game continues, making it understandable why Geralt, and I, had a hard time choosing. 😉

There’s a great deal to discuss with this game.  There are many facets and intricate details that made this game so mesmerizing and engaging, but I will draw my rambling review to a close.  Perhaps in the near future I will post a Witcher Review: Part II.

Like Dragon Age, where your character’s decisions influence the world around you, I failed on occasion to complete certain side quests in a timely fashion and that ended up shaping the world for the better or worse (Eh, it was my first playthrough after all, and it’s all a learning curve.), but because of the immersive quality, this is a game that has definite replayability.  It’s a word.

If you enjoy the fantasy trope RPG, this will, without a doubt, speak to you…as it did me.  By far, one of the best games I’ve played.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It’s up near Dragon Age.  And now that I have a few books at my disposal, let the new obsession begin.

 

5stars

So, I’m smitten.  How about you, fellow gamers?  Have you played?  Let’s discuss!

Escapism

Alistair&Lady(Disneyesque)Today is about escape.  I need a little break from the recent bout of insanity that has made a home for itself in my life.  As my blog is not only about writing, but fantasy and romance as well, I thought today would be a good day to just drift…

I have a minor obsession with a video game called Dragon Age.  The first game in the series is brilliant, and I will hold myself back from commenting further as this is not meant to be a review.  I Googled it and found myself on Deviant Art, a wonderful site, where artists take characters they love and create new and beautiful images (and other art, cosplay, fan fiction, etc.).  I cannot draw, and that saddens me sometimes when I see images like these.  Here are a few from DA that I wish I had on my wall:DAII-Fenris

As a writer, an image is sometimes a great way to visualize a character or place.  If you visit my Facebook page, you’ll find albums of pictures I’ve discovered that help me with each story https://www.facebook.com/RachaelCMarek/photos_albums), and give you a little insight into the types of stories I’m working on.  In each, I have one I refer to as a “touchstone”.  One image that defines the story in my mind.  Enjoy!

Artists displayed: rooster82.deviantart.com, smilika.deviantart.com, and rinacane.deviantart.com

FenrisThank you to them for their beautiful work and for giving this fangirl something more for her obsession and imagination!  I’m now inspired to escape by playing a little DA…Have a good day!