Finally sealed up that Dragon Age: Inquisition Solomancer run and can now move onto other things

After months of searching, I found my screenshot folder!

I started my second playthrough of Inquisition while waiting for Andromeda to come out. I think. I may have started it before I knew it was going to come out. If I was bad at following news before I went overseas, I’ve only become worse. Ed marks release dates on my calendar and says “buy this on this day” and I say ok. But anyway, I started the playthrough because I wanted to see why there was so much fuss about playing an elf and romancing Solas. Then Andromeda came out the day after I rushed to finish the base game and I didn’t get to Trespasser until Sunday.

I spend a lot of time reading the Dragon Age subreddit and one thing that comes up pretty frequently is that the game is meant to be played as Miss Lavellan who romances Solas.

My initial playthrough was mage Trevelyan – for no other than reason that I always play human mages first. My Warden was a human mage, I loved her, so Hawke and Evelyn inherited her legacy. I play my mages as friendly and very curious people, partly because that’s my personality and greatly because that’s how you get the most of out Dragon Age. So I actually thought Solas would be a good match for her, they got along well and she didn’t pick up on his snobbishness since she wasn’t elven. You don’t even get the flirt option as a human, though, so I went straight to Cullen. Good choice too. Unbearably sweet at times, but it’s nice to see the poor guy get a break for once.

As far as a second playthrough goes, I have to admit that I liked it better than my first. There wasn’t the anxiety of “if I say x, will it ruin everything?” or “will my game outcome suck if I don’t pick this flower?” Plus a second playthrough allows you to appreciate the hints and foreshadowing hidden throughout Orlais and Ferelden. There’s a lot of criticism of Inquisition, but when it comes to layers upon layers within a story, the game is a masterpiece.

Is the elf player treated as “the default”?

I didn’t feel that. Human noble Trevelyan, even as the sheltered circle mage that she is, understood and played politics with the ease of someone who was born and bred for it. And there are a lot of oppertunities for politically inclined human to shine. Lavellan, on the other hand, was confused by the large scale games, but had personal interest in the copious amounts of elven lore that are handed to you on a silver platter throughout the game. So I didn’t feel like the game favored one over the other. Perhaps the dwarf or qunari inquisitors are given the shorter end of the stick since there is a lot less lore concerning their cultures, but I think there is beauty in that too: an inquisitor coming out of nowhere with way less fucks to give about (or a totally different perspective on) human political games and elven history.

As an added note, I found that Lavellan seemed actually somewhat underutilized in the very elf-heavy quests. She doesn’t have much to say about the Temples of Mythal or Dirthamen and doesn’t react much to Morrigan schooling her about things she should know. Had she been given more opportunity to express herself, then yes, I would have said the game was skewed toward her, but her thoughts and reactions are left to the player’s imagination enough that it doesn’t feel like she is the favorite Inquisitor.

As for romancing Solas

The romance with Solas, I have to admit, is very well written, acted and animated. In how it grips you in and makes you desperately need want more, I think it’s the most intense romance I’ve played so far in any game. There is, however, very little content. Save a few kissing scenes and some “my heart”s in elven, you don’t get much that you wouldn’t get with a Solas friendship. Still, it’s the only time I’ve pulled up youtube videos of all the conversations options, read all the analysis of “see his face here? he must thinking this.” and maybe even gave into the urge to read a couple of fanfics.

So I totally get where Solasmancers are coming from, I was hooked pretty bad. But the lack of content and the (SPOILER – LOOK AWAY) total absence of any reference to the romance in the last scene of the base game (I know Solas is gone, but he could have left a letter, did some weird dream thing, or the Inquisitor could have reminisced, but no, nothing. Yes, he speaks through Cole, but that’s well after the game ends and you have to seek him out at the tavern. And I think he does it whether you romanced him or not.)(OK SPOILER OVER) really doesn’t give me the feeling that the romance was meant to be default.

Perhaps it feels that way if you romance him on your first playthrough. Personally, if I had romanced him first, I would have been inconsolable. I like my happy endings and felt like I dodged a bullet with Cullen. Yet, since all the romance scenes except for one are small extensions of the friendship ones, romancing Solas did not feel particularly special or exclusive. Only…really, really…addictive. For the first time, I’m not sure if I want to bring my original (human mage) game state into DA4 (if DA4 ever happens) or my Solasmancer Inquisitor.

Despite not thinking that “female elf romancing Solas” was meant to be cannon in the game, if something awful happens and DA4 can’t be release as a game and the story is wrapped up as a novel instead, implying that Solas has feelings for the Inquisitor would make for a more interesting tale.

And now what?

Now that I don’t have WoW as baseline in my life, whenever I finish a game, I get this big empty feeling. What should I throw myself at next?

Ed’s been wanting to do something multiplayer for months. I suppose that’s the problem you face when one of you works an officy job and the other works a fast-paced people job. At the end of the day, one of you wants to do cooperative stuff and the other just wants to embark on a personal journey through their imagination.

I’ve been curious about ME:A’s multiplayer. I really enjoyed ME3s, although it was pretty repetitive and I didn’t play it longer than I had to. Been considering giving WoW a shot too, but I’m a little intimidated by it. I’ve been gone so long, would I be able to rekindle the magic? Or worse, am I going to get so immersed that I have plan my life around my gaming schedule again? That, I don’t miss.

Then there’s a few games sitting in my library. I’ve been wanting to give the Witcher 2 and 3 a try. After being spoiled with DA and ME, I don’t like being forced to play a specific character (especially one who seems like a dirty, creepy ass dude) but people who have similar taste to me seem to like the games. I have the 2013 Tomb Raider game which I’ve been hearing good things about. Then a couple of “on the house” games from Origins (Nox and Siberia II). Plus, like everyone, my Steam library is full of surprises from sales day impulsive purchases.

Oh what to do!

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