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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Dragon Age » Dragon Age: Origins » Approval system sure is annoying.

Default Approval system sure is annoying.

November 26th, 2009, 04:28
So I'm playing Dragon Age, and it's fun. I mean, of course it is, any of us playing it (and certainly any of us posting on a CRPGG site) are pre-friggin-disposed to like these things, so it's not like the bar's that high. But yeah, it's fun. Except damn I'm sick of Morrigan's disapproval.

It's just driving me crazy. What, Bioware? You want me to save before every frigging conversation I have, so I can go back and change my party before each little quest I accept, then switch the goodies back out so I can go on playing with the people I actually want in the party? Or do you actually want me to skip entire quest lines just to appease your stupid one-dimensional characters who aren't even making sense.

Oh, what Morrigan? You're a smart girl, you really DON'T understand why we might want to go through the effort of helping our allies so they can stand with us against the blight? That's funny, since you frigging signed on to the main quest TO HELP STAND AGAINST THE BLIGHT. Or is this a C&C thing, skipping the main quest? Maybe I should try it.

The elves need your help! No!
The mages need your help! No!
The nobles need your help! No!

Ok, let's get to the boss fight. I like an RPG you can complete in 3 or 4 hours.

Obviously no one's going to play that way, so why is this character penalizing me for playing the stupid game? It's annoying. The gift system goes like this: Every time you give a gift, the next one's worth -1. That means you can buy her off with gifts a few times, but eventually you'll need 5 frigging gifts just to make up for one stupid -5 I get for saying yes to some STUPID LITTLE QUEST in some area WE'RE GOING TO BE CLEARING OUT ANYWAY.

No, I'm just going to keep tossing her out of the party for the conversations, and bringing her back when it's time to ACTUALLY DO the things she's theoretically disapproving of.

Is this good game design? Seriously?
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November 26th, 2009, 06:16
Hrms, about gift mechanics I didn't realize you lost anything when giving multiple gifts but I did notice that if you give a gift thats better suited to the character's taste you get much more return….

Although I agree with you to a certain extent about finding Morrigan annoying during conversations , I don't think they should have made it any different. I mean, I usually play somewhat like what "neutral good"… And its just that it doesn't suit Morrigan's character. She's more toward the chaotic neutral alignment i'd say .

If you decided go the easy way about quest, doing what you feel like doing when it suits your need, using others or demanding rewards when you are in a position to do so, then she'd most likely approve. Keep in mind you don't have to help the mages outright, nor do you have to save Connor and her Mother etc…You can gain allies more easily and forcing them or misleading them to be your allies under other circumstances without having to work your goodie twoshoes ass off.

If you want to be nice to people all around you would probably be better off with Leliana if you are going for a romance…. Sten is also annoying like that, if you're trying to be nice to him you'll get - at first.. You need to be cold and uncaring toward him at first for him to start respecting you. I actually rather like that the characters have their own personality….

It also ensures that if you go for a second or so playthrough using a different playing style that you'll still have something to do. You could side with cultists, you could help templars instead of mages, you could side with a different faction of the dwarves… and the list goes on.

The way the game is made ensures that there's enough different ways to solve problem that you can actually play it again and I love that and think its great game design .
Last edited by Galaad; November 26th, 2009 at 06:34.
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November 26th, 2009, 09:58
I have to admit that I find both Sten and Morrigan annoying, due to the reason you listed. They both want to stop the blight, but they never seem to see the point in trying to get allies, yet they both agree that it's a monumental task to stop the blight. Some small task is insignificant if it can help gain the support of an army.

I've discussed this very topic with a friend of mine who also play DAO, and we both find it redicilous.

Other than that, most party members are quite decent, with good backgrounds and so on.
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November 26th, 2009, 12:06
Guys, guys, guys. Morrigan loves me. Her disposition towards me is in the friggin nineties! She's even been saying lately that she enjoys my company, and sees me as a friend, and got all choked up saying it… and when I say: Morrigan, jump! She says: Yes, boss, how high?
Firstly, gifts do NOT diminish in efficacy the more you give them, wherever did you get that idea?
However, giving the correct gift to suit each person's taste, is where the crux lies.

Morrigan loves jewellery. So you need to give her chains, lockets, earrings, - that kind of thing. Giving her Flemeth's grimoire will hoist her disposition a heck of a lot and agreeing to help her with her personal quest, even more so.

Exhaust all possible conversation topics with her, always choosing the response where you are praising her to be clever and strong. Never imply she is weak or nasty (even if she is nasty) - that will lower the score.

Save before talking to her, in case you mess up.

Sten, is just as easy to win over, once you realise how. In fact, his personal quest was the very first companion's personal quest I tackled, even before I did Morrigan's personal quest. I wanted to punch him in his face for his comments about mages, btw, but I tried to reply as neutrally as possible, and got a bit of a disposition increase. Sten loves pictures and paintings, so send all of those his way.

Every gift to a party member that is spot on, will receive a +6 disposition increase, no matter how many you have given, so if you get less than 3, you'll know it was given to the wrong person.

Leliana likes anything with religious overtones, and Wynne likes books and scrolls.
Zevran likes gold and silver, and Dalish/Elven/leather articles.
Shale likes stones, and Oghrim likes anything alcoholic.
Alistair likes arcane artifacts and stones, also those stautuettes, and of course his mother's amulet will increase his disposition a lot.

Of course, even with their dispositions high, certain plot choices will still severely affect some party members, but here it's more Leliana, Alistair, and especially Wynne who are the worst culprits. Shale, Sten, Zevran and Morrigan, have never attacked or left me for anything I've done, though, of course
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November 26th, 2009, 12:15
Never said it was hard to gain influnece. I simply think they have a redicilous attitude towards helping (at least when helping will lead to getting help in return - you'd think someone as cynical as Morrigan/Sten would relish the idea of getting an entire army for very little effort). In fact, Morrigan and Sten are both easier to gain influence with if you keep them in the camp 24/7 (especially Morrigan, who is easy to reach 100 with simply by talking to her/doing her quests).

Also, Morrigan might leave if..
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November 26th, 2009, 12:32
Ok, but one can simply ignore their comments. Why let what they say bother you to the extent of even swapping out party members? I've tested the battle efficacy of each member, by saving/reloading and trying the same battle over and over with different party members, and my party always consists of either Shale, Morrigan and Wynne (I am a DPS warrior myself), or if I need to included him for plot purposes, then Alistair, Wynne and Morrigan. I always include Morrigan, because she simply has the best spells.

Btw, I've found Dog to be a better tank than Sten, who seems to die awfully quickly, no matter how much I pump up his armour and constitution. I guess that Alistair and Shale simply have better defensive skills.

Shale and Alistair provide the best company though, and both have buffing modes, since I gave Alistair the Champion speciality.

So I'm ignoring their babble and just focussing on their combat advantages.
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November 26th, 2009, 12:54
From a min/max point of view, I'd probably go with Shale (best tank), Lelilana (open locks/remove traps), Wynne (best healer + good CC if you spec her for it) and the main character. Either that, or simply three mages + Shale (which is probably the most powerful combo overall).

Anyway, I often choose party members for their company, so when someone acts as silly as Morrigan/Sten tends to do (despite claiming all they really want is to stop the darkspawn), I just get annoyed. I did play through the whole game once with Morrigan as a party member though (a semi-evil party), but I don't think it's something I intend to do too often. Wynne is simply less annoying.
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November 26th, 2009, 13:08
Different strokes, I guess. I again, don't care about the locked chests, they never seem to have that much superior goods, and my inventory tends to overflow anyway, even with 120 slots… Also, why I prefer Morrigan, is that I tend to find Wynne intensely annoying with her self-righteous preachiness, and only keep her for the healing and some CC, but with Morrigan's multiple stun/sleep/freeze abilities, it's actually quite easy to quickly quaff potions while she keeps the crowd at bay; and I certainly get much less lip from Morrigan than from Wynne.

Since I find Sten to be a poor tank (I guess he's more built for damage-dealing) I don't care that he's an unpleasant oaf, - I just simply never take him along anymore, since I don't find him useful in combat or for anything else anyway.

You know, strangely enough, before I really started working on Alistair's disposition, his normal responses upon simply selecting him would irritate the #$%^ out of me - he'd always respond with grumbling, and a very nasty "what is it now?" response. Who knows - you might just find Morrigan pleasanter if you up her disposition a bit? Did you get it close to 100% last time?
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November 26th, 2009, 13:09
I don't think locks/traps should enter the min-max picture, to be honest. There's literally zero good loot in non-story chests/rooms - and traps are very VERY rarely a big concern. Occasionally, yes, but you can always get around them somehow - because they know they can't force you to have skills dealing with that.

Personally, I'd go with Shale, 2 mages (both with healing), and a DPS character of your choice. I don't think any mage can compete in terms of singletarget DPS with a competently built rogue - and quite a few encounters are resistant to magic, so that'd be my first choice. That way, you can also have some investment in trap-disarming if you wish.
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November 26th, 2009, 13:23
Well, a high level archer is very useful, having decent debuffs they can apply from afar, a good AoE stun, and very high single target damage (once they reach a certain point). They are especially good vs enemy casters, in addition to Revenants (decent damage without getting hit by the annoying double swing ability). Unfortunately, archers are rubbish untill they reach a certain point.

Also, I prefer to have a lockpicker around due to money. If you want to min/max your character, you're going to have to dish out a lot of gold. Quite a few of the best items are sold for 80-150 gold per item, in addition to tomes in the 12 (attribute) - 22 (talent point) gold range. I see no way to get the kind of money needed without looting/selling like crazy, nor do I see any way of maximizing characters without actually buying all the good items (they are too good to ignore).

Then again, if min/max is the only thing you're interested in, you can just go with Shale + 3 mages, and then backtrack with Leliana from time to time to loot the various places you've cleared.
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November 26th, 2009, 13:24
I never found Morrigan all that annoying. She is very practical, likes power and sees love and compassion as a weakness. That's pretty much all you need to know. She's never against getting help from the elves, dwarves etc., she's against the lovey-dovey approach a pure-hearted good character normally takes because it makes her vomit.

Wynne is like the polar opposite and can be slightly annoying in her own way. I was playing a mostly neutral mage with good tendencies and had both of them in my group. It was easy enough to keep both of them happy. Wynne snarled once or twice, Morrigan a bit more often, but I tried my best to mediate.

Shale was with us too, and she's neutral. Sort of. Likes to crush and kill things, but hates controlling evil wizards. And pidgeons.

Regarding gifts by the way, as RW wrote every NPC has one type of gift they particularly like, which makes for a +6 bonus up to +10. The do diminish though. It's easier to please them with gifts when they are neutral, harder when the already like you a bit. If you only get +1 you should probably have given that gift to someone else. Some gift's are mediocre and only give +5 at most.

One part of the problem is the fact that the party members' classes are not diverse enough. There's only two mages (Wynne and Morrigan), only two Rogues (Zhevran and Leliana) and five (!) warriors. So if you want a mage in your group, your options are quite limited.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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November 26th, 2009, 13:41
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Regarding gifts by the way, as RW wrote every NPC has one type of gift they particularly like, which makes for a +6 bonus up to +10. The do diminish though. It's easier to please them with gifts when they are neutral, harder when the already like you a bit. If you only get +1 you should probably have given that gift to someone else. Some gift's are mediocre and only give +5 at most.
Ok, thanks for refining the point. Still, there is quite a jump in disposition points from neutral to warm, etc., if you see what I'm saying, so depending on how effective each gift/conversation has been, the gift potency will start to decline eventually, but not per gift given, as seemed to have been the impression.
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November 26th, 2009, 14:10
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Well, a high level archer is very useful, having decent debuffs they can apply from afar, a good AoE stun, and very high single target damage (once they reach a certain point). They are especially good vs enemy casters, in addition to Revenants (decent damage without getting hit by the annoying double swing ability). Unfortunately, archers are rubbish untill they reach a certain point.

Also, I prefer to have a lockpicker around due to money. If you want to min/max your character, you're going to have to dish out a lot of gold. Quite a few of the best items are sold for 80-150 gold per item, in addition to tomes in the 12 (attribute) - 22 (talent point) gold range. I see no way to get the kind of money needed without looting/selling like crazy, nor do I see any way of maximizing characters without actually buying all the good items (they are too good to ignore).

Then again, if min/max is the only thing you're interested in, you can just go with Shale + 3 mages, and then backtrack with Leliana from time to time to loot the various places you've cleared.
I agree that archers can be very useful, but I was referring to the lockpicking aspect. You can build a rogue archer for yourself if you prefer, but I'm more into raw DPS. It's a matter of style, I suppose.

About money, I never felt the need to buy much beyond the skill books - because most of what you need is found. Weapons are the exception (well, not really), but you don't really need anything for shale and you find excellent staves during the story. Armor you get either through story or DLC, and I think I only needed to buy a single weapon to upgrade my gear.

There are a few rings/amulets - but I could afford them - I just didn't feel I needed them. You get significantly more stuff from dead bodies and quest related things than from chests if you compare the amount of dead people to the amount of non-story locked chests.

Also, 3 mages would be a mistake if you want to take down bosses fast - but whatever.

It's not like it's important and I think everyone should just play the way they feel is best.
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November 26th, 2009, 14:26
We were discussing min/maxing, which means maximum performance. In that regard, you need all the best items and all the best skills, in which case several of the very expensive items are mandatory.

As for the three mage thing - I've never actually tried it. I've simply read that people are experiencing even Nightmare difficulty as "too easy" when running around with three mages, due to the overpowered synergy between certain spells (especially when you can get every possible spell combo due to having three mages to spec differently).

I'd say Revenants might still be a bit tough, but other than that it sounds like it's a walk in the park.

I am very interested in trying out the three mage thing however, or reading a first hand impression from someone here who has. I'd also be interested in knowing exactly what specs and combinations they use to defeat Revenants and similar (generally, I find rogues, both archers and dual wielders, almost mandatory when defeating Revenants, due to their high physical damage).
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November 26th, 2009, 14:30
As I said, I disagree strongly about the items. I found the best stuff through the storyline with a few notable exceptions, but those I could afford.

However, I'm not interested in a pedantic go-around about this.

Again, play as you think is best and all should be fine
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November 26th, 2009, 14:46
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
I never found Morrigan all that annoying. She is very practical, likes power and sees love and compassion as a weakness. That's pretty much all you need to know. She's never against getting help from the elves, dwarves etc., she's against the lovey-dovey approach a pure-hearted good character normally takes because it makes her vomit.
This is it. I found that Morrigan behaviour suited her character in majority of the cases. Like Arhu she only bitches if you do any "goody goody" stuff. She also bitches when you do things which are against your main objectives. Key example is the Anvil of the Void quest for the dwarfs.

Approval system is only annoying if you want the followers to like all the things YOU are doing.
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November 26th, 2009, 16:57
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I am very interested in trying out the three mage thing however, or reading a first hand impression from someone here who has. I'd also be interested in knowing exactly what specs and combinations they use to defeat Revenants and similar (generally, I find rogues, both archers and dual wielders, almost mandatory when defeating Revenants, due to their high physical damage).
Iīve been using tank + 3 mages combo from time to time and itīs certainly a very viable configuration. Combination of hexes, force field/ crushing prison on more powerful enemies and AoE damage spells on mobs is very effective and quite tedium reducing in some more combat heavy parts.
Sleep is very useful in ambushes and against scattershooting archers, you can have two cone of colds/crushing prisons/force fields etc, and with three healing spells you can sustain your tank easily.
Also, thereīs now a bit cheaty mod which adds an unlock spell into the game, eh.

Iīve recently found out that against single bosses, my cute little female dwarf sword&boarder + Wynne is everything I need. Misdirection + vulnerability hexes + heroic offense and healing spells on tank = dead vial revenant/Flemeth.

On a bit different note, I really dig the No Follower Autolevel mod - at least on hard, as long as you have one mage with force field, cone of cold and some AoEs, just about any party combination is viable which is useful for trying different companions for interactions etc without feeling underpowered in battles.
And even that one mage doesnīt seem that crucial to have.

I might add that I consider a force field on party member a no-no since enemy AI canīt react to it properly and itīs quite a fun killer to me.


Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
This is it. I found that Morrigan behaviour suited her character in majority of the cases.
Ditto.
Would be boring if every companion would agree with playerīs decision.
In some cases, the disapproval may seem illogical but I think itīs usually quite well justified by respective companionīs background.
Plus, thereīs a lot of gifts to get Morrigan back on the friendly track anyway.
With Sten it may be somewhat more difficult though.
Btw, Sten doesnīt seem to receive a specialization point at level 7 which effectively makes him the weakest party member.
Last edited by DeepO; November 26th, 2009 at 18:07.
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November 26th, 2009, 18:45
Morrigan is hot, and she puts out.


I also didn't find Sten that difficult to make friends with. Once you start to grasp the way he thinks, the correct dialogue choices are obvious.

With the exception of Zevran, I'm actually quite fond of everyone, and I rotate my party members frequently.
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November 26th, 2009, 19:15
They say Zevran is a hot lova in a 3-some.

I haven't had the guts to try it out, tho… *cough*
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November 26th, 2009, 22:48
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
They say Zevran is a hot lova in a 3-some.

I haven't had the guts to try it out, tho… *cough*
apparently you can have 4 some! you, Zevran, Lelian and the sailor (can't remember her name)
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