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Dragon Age Thread - Bring your boxing gloves!

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    NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    I do not recall that getting mentioned in the games. sure lyrium and blood magic can break the veil but I do not think they always do unless it was mentioned in DLC.

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    SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    Wyborn wrote: »
    I don't think Warden's Keep was blood magic in the traditional sense

    That was blood magic that involved manipulating the taint of the Blight

    That is approximately one billion times worse; blood mages seem to do all right as Wardens in general

    I didn't mean the blood powers that the Warden can get.

    I was referring to how the Veil got torn there. The mage summoned demons, which requires blood magic (lyrium can't do it), and he tore the Veil, giving demons free access to the area.
    I'm pretty sure lyrium can do it. Or where else would the random deep road demons come from, not like dwarves can use blood magic

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    Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Blood magic doesn't always break the Veil unless you want it to, but it does always weaken it. Doesn't matter if you learned it from a demon or another mage. That's why demons love teaching blood magic to mages. Even if the mage doesn't plan on breaking the Veil to summon demons, it still weakens it over time for them to possess a mage later.

    Lyrium doesn't weaken the Veil unless used specifically for that purpose.

    The Chantry is full of shit on a lot of things, but blood magic is banned for a reason.

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    SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back. Registered User regular
    Simply the act of using blood magic weakens the Veil. It doesn't matter if the user is Goody McTwoshoes, Paragon of all Paragons, and they only use their own blood to fuel spells that make sparkles and rainbows, it still weakens the Veil.

    Where does it say this?

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    WybornWyborn GET EQUIPPED Registered User regular
    Is there an Alpha Protocol thread?

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    PreciousBodilyFluidsPreciousBodilyFluids Registered User regular
    Simply the act of using blood magic weakens the Veil. It doesn't matter if the user is Goody McTwoshoes, Paragon of all Paragons, and they only use their own blood to fuel spells that make sparkles and rainbows, it still weakens the Veil.

    Where does it say this?

    As much as it pains me, it seems to check out...

    The Dragon Age wiki says:
    Common wisdom holds that there is no way to use blood magic with good intentions. Inevitably, even blood mages who tap their own blood find a need for the power of others, or find a need to control minds or summon demons.[5] The use of blood magic itself is treacherous; as it allows the Veil to be opened completely so that demons may physically pass through it into the physical world.[6]

    And then cites the official game guide.

    Damnit.

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    PreciousBodilyFluidsPreciousBodilyFluids Registered User regular
    Wyborn wrote: »
    Is there an Alpha Protocol thread?

    There is!

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    WybornWyborn GET EQUIPPED Registered User regular
    I'd only accept something like that based on in-game codexes, nothing else qualifies as The Text

    *pushes up horn-rimmed glasses*

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    cmdchickencmdchicken Registered User regular
    So hows that mage OP going? :P

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    SoundsPlushSoundsPlush yup, back. Registered User regular
    That says "common wisdom holds" which doesn't strike me as much of an argument, more than say, the protheans building the mass relays. Why would "common wisdom" know anything about something arcane, feared, and suppressed by a zealous and pervasive religious institution? Plus that doesn't even say that the use of blood magic in any capacity weakens the veil, only that it can be used to open it completely.

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    AcharenusAcharenus Registered User regular
    Back to why blood magic is always bad.

    Simply the act of using blood magic weakens the Veil. It doesn't matter if the user is Goody McTwoshoes, Paragon of all Paragons, and they only use their own blood to fuel spells that make sparkles and rainbows, it still weakens the Veil. Which allows demons easier access to the world.

    So, even the Warden and Hawke, with their protagonist powers, make the world a shittier place by using blood magic, for any reason. Sure, it doesn't affect Hawke, the Warden, and Merril, but what about that five year old girl who is a mage? It's now easier for her to get possessed against her will, because you wanted to make it easier to set a darkspawn on fire.

    So again, blood magic is bad.

    Always.

    All magic use weakens the veil.

    It's kind of hard to have any debate about mages when you have the corrupted blood mages did it card to draw in the background of kirkwall, even if said mages are part of an empire with a long and storied history of power hunger and corruption to the point that it's chantry and templars are considered beyond redemption.

    Maybe next game there wont be a giant contrived "A wizard did it" in the background.



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    WybornWyborn GET EQUIPPED Registered User regular
    I thought the primary conceit behind Kirkwall, that a mage could basically give themselves over to a demon at any moment if they so chose, made things interesting

    Like, nobody blames that girl, who was about to be raped and shipped off to Tevinter, for what she did. And really, can you blame anyone who, if they are about to cease to exist anyway, chooses to cease to exist in a way that will also harm their attackers?

    It was a very interesting element of the setting to me, especially in Kirkwall where mages are all essentially slaves

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    PreciousBodilyFluidsPreciousBodilyFluids Registered User regular
    cmdchicken wrote: »
    So hows that mage OP going? :P

    Oh it's ready. It's so ready, and we're so close...

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    WybornWyborn GET EQUIPPED Registered User regular
    I mean just for perspective

    The asari treat Ardat-Yakshi better than people in the Free Marches treat mages, and the a-y are essentially life-eating demons. Life-eating demons who, if they behave well, get to go on supervised field trips and regularly visit with their families via conference call.

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    BlackjackBlackjack Registered User regular
    I'd say you should include a section dedicated to non-terrible mages of Dragon Age, but I'm not sure a section with two names is worthwhile.

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    AcharenusAcharenus Registered User regular
    Oh I agree, it just makes any debate kind of impossible. I was going to bring up that a large portion of templars were abducting and making mages tranquil and it was heavily implied that the head of that movement was using the female tranquils as his own harem earlier but..."the veils thin it effects everyone...because mages did it" is an answer all response really.

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    WybornWyborn GET EQUIPPED Registered User regular
    Non-terrible mages in Dragon Age that I have met:

    Wynne
    That head enchanter from the first game
    Bethany
    Ketojan, who was The Coolest
    Alain (another victim of abuse actually)
    Morrigan
    Flemeth (well, she's terrible, but not like awful terrible, just like "damn you old woman" terrible)

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    Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    It's mentioned in the Codex.

    You have to get past the Chantry propaganda. The author of the entry was a First Enchanter, not a priest, so there is some authority in it.

    This specific part though.
    Blood magic allows the Veil to be opened completely so that demons may physically pass through it into our world.

    Game also mentions that blood magic isn't inherently evil by itself, but the weakening of the Veil is what allows demons to pass through. If there were no bad Spirits, this wouldn't be a big deal, but since blood magic weakens the Veil, giving access to evil spirits, blood magic is bad. Mentions

    A few other characters and places in the game mention how the use of blood magic (or lots of death) weakens the Veil. Like with giant spiders, the game mentions that they can only exist when the Veil is weakened.

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    BlackjackBlackjack Registered User regular
    Wyborn wrote: »
    Non-terrible mages in Dragon Age that I have met:

    Wynne
    That head enchanter from the first game
    Bethany
    Ketojan, who was The Coolest
    Alain (another victim of abuse actually)
    Morrigan
    Flemeth (well, she's terrible, but not like awful terrible, just like "damn you old woman" terrible)

    This one kind of invalidates everything, as you clearly have no idea what "terrible" means. :P

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    WybornWyborn GET EQUIPPED Registered User regular
    Lots of things weaken the veil, though

    Like incredible amounts of murder, or lyrium in large quantities, or being named Meredith

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    Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Well, yeah, but the intrinsic value of a murder is evil.

    Lyrium is an inannimate object with no opinion on the matter and is simply following its natural laws.

    Blood magic is being debated as neither good nor evil, which is true. The catch is that it also follows certain natural laws, which dictate that it weakens the Veil and can tear it. So while the users intentions can be good, it still does bad things to the world and the consequences can be felt by others.

    You need an emergency heal a person on the brink of death? Using blood magic can save them, which is a good thing, but now you just made it easier for a Hunger demon to possess a corpse or some spiders.


    I'm not seeing much on lyrium being used to weaken the Veil, just that it allows mages to enter the Fade while awake. Blood magic is what's used to weaken and tear it.

    Don't forget that a shit load of dwarves died in all those Thaigs, so that's probably why the Veil is so weak in the deep roads.

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    ErlecErlec Registered User regular
    So in my reckoning (and recent replay of the game) primary story of the mage vs chantry in Kirkwall was to drive one thing through to the player:

    Spoilers for Da2, trying to avoid straight game events but they are hinted at:
    This circle situation is untenable in the long run.

    Kirkwall was just a worst case scenario that became the small pebble that started the landslide. From the Templar side they are told that mages can turn into killing machines at a drop of a needle. In order to make the Templar the best at countering the mage's powers, they have to drink lyrium often. This made them stronger against the mages, but it also made every Templar an addict to a substance which already is hard to manufacture. In order to combat addicts, the divine put down quotas for daily consumption of lyrium, this became ignored very fast due to lyrium addiction, thus fuling a lyrium smuggling trade. Those that did not get enough lyrium or did not feel enough of a buzz compared to their novice days, became irritable and angry. Thus they take it on mages and blame it on various other influences (rebellion, otherwise). This is the scenario for most circles and is only controlled by the goodwill on all sides (traders for giving secure amounts of lyrium, Templars for humane treatment of mages and mages control over their own and respect for the chantry rule). If war breaks out, rebellion and anything minor happens (natural disasters, darkspawn, no more lyrium nearby) then the entire circle break down.

    Mages are also to blame (even though they have very little control over it) for giving into the temptation for demons and various fade influences. Every mage that turns to blood magic will hurt 100 other "pure" mages due to how the templar treat them. Putting a lead enchanter was a great move to allow the mages control themselves, but the enchanters are given too little control of their daily work in order for their position to be effective. Turning them into tranquil makes them easy to handle, but ruins their connection to the fade and their human self. Every tranquil that walks around is a stark reminder for every mage what the templar can do to them. Thus fueling their desire to be free and using blood magic to become "free".

    Kirkwall just became a screwed up situation, even before Hawke made his/her way to the city. Already being a former imperium city with tons of residual magical forces that would corrupt the weakest mages, in 9:21 Dragon; the former viscount Perrin Threnhold tried to expel the templar order and killed the former knight-commander Guylian. Meredith manages to overthrow the viscount and appointed Marlowe as next in line (but stayed in control). Already mistrustful of mages and the kirkwall goverment she turned her templars into a fanatic faction that turned even a minor offence into a capital crime.

    This straight up references the ending:
    When she got the lyrium shard she turned more paranoid and is the primary reason why she wouldn't appoint another viscount. Thus since no public official was in charge, most citizen became against the Templar and tried to help most mages trying to break free. They also would help due to Anders work in darktown, which gave mages free access through the lower parts of the city (efficiently starting a huge underground movement). When Anders removed the person Meredith trusted the most outside of the Templar, she went according to her own reasoning correctly to call for annulment. Since the Templar are supposed to wait for a chantry official to confirm the annulment she made an illegal action and thus made the situation much more awful for everyone involved.
    The problem with Da2 as a game is that the combat engine is very simplistic. The soldier, lieutenant, boss system is very annoying during the largest fights and the constant reinforcement system removes all notions of strategy (aside from the exploit system). It shares the same fate as several other "story" focused games. There are plenty of small moments that are genuine fantastic (companion dialogue with eachother, some of the writing), but it's marred by some huge stretches of really dull gameplay (combat, ability point system), some story faults (3 year skips never made sense to me compared to how the situation was told) and environmental surrounding repeats. There are some solid improvements since origins, the graphics look better, most of the models are better detailed (except the darkspawn) and Hawke is his/her own person. Most of the same complaints can be levied towards Mass Effect 3 where some mistakes can ruin the entire game for a player.

    Most complaints towards Da2 are valid though, even with it's very short development the game could be helped by removing some aspects of the story which was not helpful for the game's entirety (some parts of act 1, 2 and over half of the sidequests). Sorry to bring up this argument again, I just want to focus on Da3 development and look forward for whatever the Bioware team will do with it. I just felt like I had to comment on the entire situation. The conflict isn't just a one sided affair, blame is on both sides.

    If you liked Da2, there are several other games that have some interesting story bites in exchange for mechanical faults. Games such as the Game of thrones RPG, Alpha Protocol and Spec ops the line are some in the same cloth.
    There are much better story games though, such as Cart life and torment focus on the story much more through their own mechanics. A great game works it's story through the rules the player has to work in. Hopefully we'll see more of mechanical storytelling in future installments of the Dragon age series.

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    Fleur de AlysFleur de Alys Biohacker Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    I don't mind conceding that Blood Magic always results in evil; I just want to see that the argument used to advance that idea is valid. Which this new one is if we assume that the sources are truth (we know from the Mass Effect series that we can't automatically trust the Codex entries; however, I will say that it's probably better to assume that a Codex entry is true until there is specific reason to disbelieve it).

    I mean this kind of thing is nothing new. Most versions of D&D (excepting 4E and Eberron, I believe) hold that negative energy magic is always evil because it draws upon a power source that is itself intrinsically evil. You can still have a negative energy user that's non-evil (though being good is super-hard if you cast such spells very often at all), but the magic itself is auto-evil.

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    BlackjackBlackjack Registered User regular
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