andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
Within the space of an hour, I found out that David Gaider is leaving BioWare and Steven Moffat is leaving Doctor Who. While I wish them all the best in whatever they do next, I am also going to take a moment to be sad :(.

Gaider has been my favourite BioWare writer for a long, long time - ever since Baldur's Gate 2, really. (I am one of the five people on the internet that loved Anomen Delryn and enjoyed his romance, even though I agree that Anomen was a jerk and there should have been more options for female characters.) He created many of my favourite DA characters - Alistair, Morrigan, Zevran, Fenris, Dorian and Cassandra - and was instrumental in building the world they inhabit. Also, he wrote Deekin Scalesinger and Valen, the two characters that make the NWN expansions so much better than the original campaign <3.

I'm interested to see where he goes from here - we know that it was his decision and that he's parting with BioWare on amicable terms, so I wonder whether he's going elsewhere in the games industry or planning to write novels full time. He'd already handed off Dragon Age to Patrick Weekes, and I'm sure the Sekrit New IP is in good hands between Mary Kirby, Sheryl Chee and Lukas Kristjanson. Still, I will miss having him create new BioWare characters!

It's probably time for Steven Moffat to move on from Doctor Who - by the time he actually leaves at the end of 2017, he'll have been responsible for six whole series. On the whole, I've loved his run. It wobbled a bit for me after Amy and Rory left and before Elven regenerated, but outside of that I've consistently enjoyed it. Here's hoping Series Ten is also great and he goes out on a high note.

I've got mixed feelings about Chris Chibnall, who's taking over - on the one hand, he wrote some mediocre episodes of Doctor Who and some downright awful Tochwood. (Everyone is talking about how bad Cyberwoman was, and it is awful, but for my money Countrycide is one of the worst episodes of anything I've ever seen.) On the other hand, he improved at Torchwood as he went along, his more recent episodes of Doctor Who were OK, and I liked the first series of Broadchurch. (Haven't seen the second one yet.) So I guess we'll see how that turns out, come 2018.
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
Rating: G

Warnings: None, unless you have a deathly allergy to female dwarves.

Word count: Circa. 850

Summary: When Harding met Dagna.

Author's Note: This is actually a teaser for something longer, so not posting to AO3 yet.

See, I saw a Dagna/Harding prompt on [community profile] areyougame and anime hearts appeared in my eyes as I said 'THAT WOULD BE THE MOST ADORABLE THING EVER.' I figured I could easily knock out a drabble or ficlet in the week and a half I had to produce something. Only then I started, and after a few days I had three thousand words of dwarf femslash that showed no signs of being done. It had even developed something with a suspicious resemblance to an actual plot. Anyway, it became obvious that there was no way I was going to get it finished, edited and betaed by July 6th when I was meant to be posting.

So here is the first bit! I am going to try to finish the rest by the end of the month, but I think this stands up fine on its own as a scene from life at Skyhold. It is not actually very slashy yet, alas.

Things exploding below the cut. )
andraste: The first official screenshot of Lady Hawke, female protagonist of Dragon Age 2. (New Worlds)
Seams and Scars (1621 words) by Andraste
Fandom: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Blackwall/Cadash
Summary:

After, during, before. Blackwall and Cadash try to keep things together.

andraste: The first official screenshot of Lady Hawke, female protagonist of Dragon Age 2. (New Worlds)
Dear Self,

Do not read any threads on the Pillars of Eternity forums that mentions BioWare or any BioWare games in the title. Just stop. No good will come of it. In fact, just stop reading a post as soon as the words 'BioWare' 'Dragon Age' or 'EA' appear. You will be happier for it.

Love,

Your steadily rising blood pressure.

Today BioWare sent Obsidian a box of cookies to celebrate the release of their new game. So of course the thread instantly degenerated into BIOWARE ARE EVIL AND THEY MAKE TERRIBLE GAMES THE COOKIES ARE PROBABLY POISONED. *sigh*

I am willing to add a 'actually, I love PoE AND Dragon Age!' verse to my 'actually, I've been playing CRPGS since 1994 and I still love Inquisition!' song on the BioWare forums, because I live there and feel that I should be able to express my opinions the same as anyone. But I need to avoid the whole subject of Dragon Age on the Obsdian forums.

If there is one thing that drives me up a wall about the CRPG community, it's the weird conviction so many people have that you can only like one style of game and all the styles you don't like are terrible and shouldn't get made.

I mean, there are styles of CRPGs that I don't like - but that doesn't mean they're bad games. I've given up on Bethesda, for example, because I get bored with their stuff after a few hours and it seems like a waste of time and money to even start. And I played The Witcher and Gothic for a grand total of one hour each before realising I loathed everything about them and uninstalling them forever. I've never even considered buying Dark Souls or any of it's kindred. And yet, all of those games have enough devoted fans to make me think that they're probably pretty good if you like that sort of thing. And I somehow manage to restrain myself from going to video game forums and yelling about how much I dislike them.
andraste: The first official screenshot of Lady Hawke, female protagonist of Dragon Age 2. (New Worlds)
... fifty hours of Dragon Age: Inquisition later, I think I'm about half way through this marathon.

(Yes, I have been playing ten hours a day. No, I am not sorry.)

My anticipation for the game was ludicrously high, and I kept telling myself not to expect too much ... and yet, in many ways I'm enjoying it more that I hoped. It has its imperfections, sure, but I just love being in Thedas so much, and this time around you can see so much MORE of it. And I have never fallen in love with the ENTIRE cast of a BioWare RPG quite so badly. Even Cullen has won me over, after years of Cullen-neutrality.

I made the cutest dwarf in Thedas (seriously, I should post a picture) and in between stabbing people in the kidneys and collecting elfroot, the story is exactly what I was hoping for. Today alone, I experienced one of the most heartbreaking moments in the series and two of my happiest.

Spoilers big and small for the first half of the game. )
andraste: The first official screenshot of Lady Hawke, female protagonist of Dragon Age 2. (New Worlds)
I have:

- filled the freezer and the fridge with food.

- made a giant jug of iced tea (and a tray of ice cubes.)

- done a pile of laundry.

- told my family and friends not to worry if they don't see or hear from me for days.

... and most importantly ...

- paid off my Inquisitor's Edition of Dragon Age: Inquisition.

- set up all eight of my world states in the Keep. Not that I'm going to need seven of those right away, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

Now all I have to do is wait nine more hours and get the game home.


If it sounds like I'm over-reacting, I am merely basing my preparations on my two previous experiences of Dragon Age game releases. During my first run of DAO, I pretty much lived on takeaway food. I was better organised for DA2, but I still ended up eating lunch at four pm more than once because I had nothing in the house and the supermarket is FIVE WHOLE MINUTES away. I think lots of bagels and things for putting on bagels should solve that one. I have a deal with myself that if I want chocolate/icrecream/cake then I do have to go outside.

(Leaving Thedas for long enough to eat is one thing. Leaving Thedas for long enough to shower and put on pants and go shopping AND eat all at the same time is just too much some days. Those dragons aren't going to slay themselves.)

Anyway, I will be back when I've killed ... um, something. I assume. I've been on spoiler blackout for almost three months and have no idea who or what the Big Bad is! Which is pretty cool.
andraste: The first official screenshot of Lady Hawke, female protagonist of Dragon Age 2. (New Worlds)
"Dragon Age: Inquisition will be PLAYABLE in the EA Games Australia Community Lounge at ‪#‎PAXAus‬ this weekend!"

Eeeeeeee!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAX!!!

Ahem, yes. I guess we know how I will be spending my weekend ...

(Thank you for letting me know [personal profile] bride_of_lister! I promise I will not spend the entire time waiting in line for this ...)
andraste: The first official screenshot of Lady Hawke, female protagonist of Dragon Age 2. (New Worlds)



EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

I also want to smack the guy who referred to the Inquisitor as 'he' and mentioned that you can be a dwarf, an elf or a qunari, but not that you can be a woman. But mostly:

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
Fair warning: I have gone from 'over-excited about Dragon Age: Inquisition to 'more excited than I was about the first two games.'

Doubtless the people who know me IRL are thinking 'but how is that even possible?' Yet I have found a way. WE CAN PLAY AS QUNARI. Or, more probably, as Tal'Vashoth. (See, this is why 'kossith' is a good and necessary word, despite what David Gaider says.)

My first run will still be as a dwarf, because I'm so excited to have them back, but after that it's horns all the way. Female kossith mage, assuming mages are a playable class for them. (And there's no reason why not - dwarves can't be mages because, well, dwarves can't be mages. Kossith don't that problem.)

And now I am looking at those screen shots of 'Iron Bull' and hoping my kossith Inquisitors can tap that. Humans, elves and dwarves are all very well when you are one, but they're so ... short.
andraste: The first official screenshot of Lady Hawke, female protagonist of Dragon Age 2. (New Worlds)
Apparently it is my week for excited fannish noises: DRAGON AGE INQUISITION IS GOING TO HAVE RACE CHOICES AGAIN!!!

I loved DA2 and was reconciled to playing as a human again in DA:I, but I'm over the moon that I can be a dwarf or an elf. (They might even add kossith, but I get the impression that this is an 'if we have time' goal for them and they're rightly concentrating on elves and dwarves first.)

I CAN BE A DWARF AGAIN! OH FRABJOUS DAY! And since Varric is confirmed as a companion, I have high hopes that my lady dwarf Inquisitor is going to be able to ride off into the sunset with him. Possibly literally, since they're also putting in horses *g*.

E3

Jun. 12th, 2013 02:26 am
andraste: The first official screenshot of Lady Hawke, female protagonist of Dragon Age 2. (New Worlds)
It's been a big E3 for me so far on two very different fronts: Dragon Age and Pokemon. (And suddenly I'm wondering what a fusion between those universes would look like. Morrigan would have a team full of Dark types. And Flemeth would have all those ridiculously OP Dragons. I wonder if Anders would join Team Plasma?)

The big news about Dragon Age is that it's being held over until northern autumn 2014. I'm torn between thinking this is a good thing for the game overall and wailing and rending my garments. HOW CAN I WAIT ANOTHER YEAR AND A HALF? Especially when the trailer looks like this? And that's all in-engine footage, not CGI. At least I know when I'll be replacing my ageing PC - some time between when the optimum specs for this are released and launch day.

Minor spoilers at best, and only for the trailer. )

As for Pokemon, I'd started to think the rumours of a new type were true a few weeks ago, when it became increasingly apparent that they were holding off on revealing Sylveon's typing for a reason. And now we know! THERE ARE ACTUALFAX FAIRY POKEMON! Take that, OP Dragons. (Merrill would have some Fairy types in her team, for sure. Especially if Fairy/Dark is a thing that exists.)

I'll be interested to see how many old Pokemon they change in the switchover - we already know that Marill, Jigglypuff and Gardevoir are becoming part-Fairy, and I'd lay money on the Clefairy line as well. (It's in the name, after all.) Marill was an unusual choice, although it is in the Fairy egg group. The only one I really hope they'll change is Togekiss - Normal/Flying is a boring type for such an odd-looking critter, and I think Fairy/Flying would suit it much better.
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
Rating: Pure fluff that's E for Everyone.

Characters: Leliana, Morrigan, Shale, a hapless salesman.

Summary: "I keep telling you, there's nothing wrong with my shoes."

Double drabble below the cut ... )
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
Yes, three weeks in a row. I think that maybe my writer's block may actually be gone. My RL friends will be shocked that it has taken so many years for me to write something in this fandom.


Summary: The Grey Wardens and their allies wield many different weapons. These are some of them.

Characters: Femme!Cousland, Eleanor Cousland, Alistair, Wynne, Justice, Finn.

Pairings: Passing mention of Femme!Cousland/Alistair, but I'd call it gen nonetheless.

Contains: Unlike the game, no sex, swearing or bloodspatter whatsoever.

Word Count: Circa 2,000.

Author's Note: The weapon descriptions are taken directly from BioWare's in-game text.

Weapon of Choice )
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
First of all, thank you to everyone who wished me well with the unemployment situation. Apart from that whole making me redundant via e-mail thing (which turns out to have been down to incompetence rather than malice) my former employers were good about it. I got a generous redundancy payment, so I have a bit of leeway in regard to finding a new job. There's one thing I've applied for that I think I have a fair chance of getting, so I'm waiting to see how that pans out before I look too hard for something else. In the meantime, I am engaging in that great traditional pass-time of the unemployed: playing videogames.

I've finished Dragon Age 2 for the sixth time, which was a bittersweet achievement. It wasn't until I was taking Gideon Hawke through Legacy (my favourite part of the game) that I realised that I would probably never play him again after I was finished. While I do plan to replay once more with my first Hawke, I'm pretty much done until DA3 comes out. While I'm looking forward to that, I'm sad about the Exalted March expansion getting cancelled :(. DA3 is probably the best part of a year away, at the least. It could be a lot longer than that if they decide to hold off and put it out on the next generation of consoles.

Luckily, I have another BioWare RPG to be going on with. I've never been very interested in MMOs, but when I heard that Star Wars: The Old Republic was going to have a STORY and COMPANIONS and VOICING and ROMANCES ... well, I caved. As it turns out, the timing is perfect, since it's not like I have a lot else to do right now.

Currently I am a Level 17 Sith Inquisitor who has just received her very own spaceship. Amazingly, I do not suck! Well, not now that I have Khem Val. Melee combat without a pause button is way too confusing for me, but it turns out that shooting Force Lightning at people and healing is something I'm OK at. I've even teamed up with some total strangers for some Heroic missions, only fifty percent of which have involved my party getting facerolled. (And the second time was so not my fault! The DPS pulled aggro. See, I have totally learned the lingo through years of WOW osmosis.)

I love Khem, although he affection for me is not too high because I keep telling him not to eat people. Sadly, the gift vendor I found did not have an expendable Force user for sale, so I bought him a skull instead. He seemed to like it.
andraste: The first official screenshot of Lady Hawke, female protagonist of Dragon Age 2. (New Worlds)
Hanging out on the official Dragon Age forums is usually an exercise in frustration. It's not that I don't think there are any valid criticisms to be made of Dragon Age 2, or that I don't understand why some people hated the game. I'm just slightly bewildered about why anyone would hang around a forum for seven months to complain about it. I mean, I hate the original Neverwinter Nights campaign, but you don't see me on message boards every day making posts about how much I loathe Aribeth. (I could, though. Don't get me started.)

It's worth it, though, for threads like this one. Finally, someone speaks out about what's really wrong with the game! The official dev response is a perfect illustration of why I love BioWare *g*.

For comparison, mostly we get stuff like this - legitimate criticism mixed in with ridiculous complaints and lots of loud yelling. (Yes, that is me trolling in that thread. I think anyone complaining that there are 'no eleves' in a game deserves all the snarkiness I have available.)
andraste: The first official screenshot of Lady Hawke, female protagonist of Dragon Age 2. (New Worlds)
You know, other than his great video game writing and awesome snarkiness on the Dragon Age forums. (Especially in the face of homophobes and people slut-shaming Isabela.)

However, now I have another reason. He had lunch with a fangirl and this was one of the things they talked about:

I THINK THAT IS IT. Besides the bit where we talked about X-Men, specifically the potential of a Magneto/Professor X/Fenris crossover slash story. Specifically Magneto/Fenris, since, you know, lyrium is a metal so magneto can do whatever the hell he wants with Fenris. Gaider was somewhat dubious about this because he imagines lyrium like mercury, and can Magneto control mercury? Jordan and I assured him that this is fanfiction, an thus anything goes.

I love that his only objection to crossover slash involving his character is physics-based. Of course, given that he apparently wrote the Fenris romance with a male protagonist in mind, this is probably not that surprising. (I also feel like PM-ing him to let him know that comicverse Magneto often seems to be able to control non-ferrous metals for some strange reason, but someone probably did that already.)
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
So, I have finally emerged blinking into the light after completing Dragon Age II! On the whole I thought it was great - while there were a handful of changes I didn't like and the recycled areas were grating, I thought the story was a stronger than the one in the first game. The characters and dialogue were fabulous as ever.

Unfortunately, something that has not emerged into the light is the opinion of certain community members about all the love interests being bisexual this time around. This man, who made the same thread at least four times, is a particularly unshining example of the type. How dare BioWare neglect straight male gamers by offering them exactly the same number of romance choices as gay men and lesbians!

(Straight female characters get an extra option, but he's sworn a vow of celibacy and wants you to swear one one as well. Unless your PC is asexual and/or religious or you enjoy that kind of angst, I don't think this is too much to miss out on. You still get to listen to his sexy Scottish Starkhaven accent, after all.)

What's heartening is that so many people on the forum turning out to tell him to check his privilege, including one of the devs. I always enjoy seeing David Gaider smack down idiots, but even more so when they're bigoted idiots:

And if there is any doubt why such an opinion might be met with hostility, it has to do with privilege. You can write it off as "political correctness" if you wish, but the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They're so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance. They don't see anything wrong with having things set up to suit them, what's everyone's fuss all about? That's the way it should be, any everyone else should be used to not getting what they want.

And the person who says that the only way to please them is to restrict options for others is, if you ask me, the one who deserves it least.


Also, the reaction from some people on forums to a certain character's flirting has made me realise as never before that a lot of straight men see unwanted sexual attention from a man as a HORRIBLE ASSAULT ON THEIR MASCULINITY, rather than something mildly irritating that happens sometimes. Apparently almost half the human race is wandering around never getting hit on by dudes who get annoyed when you turn them down. I wonder what that's like?
andraste: The first official screenshot of Lady Hawke, female protagonist of Dragon Age 2. (New Worlds)
Not only did I get my copy of Pokemon White early, I arrived home to find out that all the love interests in Dragon Age II are confirmed bisexual. Now my gay and lesbian characters will actually have a choice about who they romance. Truly, there is a good reason I love BioWare.

AUFGESTOCKT!

(Er, sorry. Forum meme that is probably even more confusing for German speakers *g*.)
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
As gamers may have already heard, today is the day the last DLC for Dragon Age: Origins is being released. While I'm not expecting a great epic for the princely sum of $7, I am looking forward to seeing Morrigan again and giving my Grey Warden a proper farewell. I was planning to stay up until whatever ungodly hour Australian time it's released so I can start the download and play tomorrow.

Only I cannot buy it. You have to buy points in order to get downloadable content. I have bought the points, I have a receipt from PayPal and my purchase history claims that the transaction went through. But my account has no points in it!

Customer support have not-so-helpfully informed me that it can take up to forty-eight hours for purchases to be processed and I should hurry up and wait. I cleared my schedule tomorrow specifically so I could finish the game without any interruptions! And I have stuff to do on Thursday/Friday/Saturday!

*bangs head on desk*
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
So after a couple of days of hosting my parents, which prevented me from working my way through any more quests, I have completed the game for the first time in just under two weeks! Some wrap-up thoughts in future, probably, but for now I'll just say: awesome game! Awesome ending!

Spoilers for said ending. )

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