In the Hands of the Prophets – Anna plays Inquisition – Part 1
After a longer break between games I finally got around to start Inquisition. People who follow me on tumblr know how divided I am about this game. There are parts that I love and then there are parts that I absolutely loathe. What has the upper hand largely depends on my mood and how well the game is behaving. But for the most part for these blog entries I am going to focus on the things I actually like because a) no one wants to read about negativity all the time an b) I certainly don’t want to write about it constantly either. Doesn’t mean I will never complain but I see this as sort of a disclaimer: Yes I am aware of the issues this game has and have lots of things I don’t like – but I am enjoying it mostly anyways.
Now that this is out of the way: My backstory for my character Amara, who is not technically a “Lavellan” but the game will treat her as such, is an elaborate try to make some of the plotholes when it comes to playing an elven Inquisitor make sense. She is a city elf that has only been with the Dalish a short while, therefore is not very well versed in elven lore and has no overly strong ties to the culture. It also makes the constant presence of the andrastian religion in every aspect of the game more bearable and less annoying for me.
Amara is a bit older than my previous two DA OCs. While Aren was 19 and Cassia in her early 20s at the start of their respective games, Amara is 35 when Inquisition starts. She has been around for a while. She is also not a mage, another aspect where she differs from the other two. She is neither well read like Aren nor does she have the family ties, stability and support that Cassia had. She is not very quiet, the opposite of layed back and probably the most in your face character I have had so far.
While in earlier DAI playthroughs I focused on the aspects of my OCs backgrounds that would help them become a good leader (Lynn didn’t have experience but she had conviction, Finn had the education to help her etc) with Amara I am doing basically the opposite. She is absolutely terrible at this. Unfit to lead a duck across the road basically. She has a very scewed moral compass, no experience that is in any way helpful for this, has massive insecurities about herself as a person and a mountain of trust issues. On top of having little self discipline, a colourful criminal past and no ambition to change any of this. In short she is probably the worst case scenario for the Inquisition. She doesn’t fit into the position at all and so far I am having a blast in playing that out.
She went to the conclave because her keeper asked her to. And because this is the woman who gave her a chance at a fresh start Amara accepted, even though she really didn’t want to. But her past as a professional spy and criminal comes in handy for this and she knows she will probably fare way better than anyone else in her clan. She goes, shit happens and since then she curses the day where she did a reasonable thing.
So everything blows up and Amara is super helpful when Cassandra asks because she knows that if the chantry gets involved you better don’t disagree with them. Especially as an elf. So she promises to help, planing to bail at the first opportunity. But there is this weird magic thing on her hand and probably no one outside that weird group of people she is suddenly with that knows anything more about it. So she stays for the time being. At least until they can find out what exactly happened to her and how to remove it.
When they try to involve her into decisions she tries to deflect. Mostly defers to Cassandra. Cass seems like a decent person to her and like someone who knows what they are talking about. She has also been direct and very honest with Amara from the start. So as far as trust goes Cassandra is the one that gets Amara’s trust the most. She doesn’t really get a feeling for Cullen and she doesn’t spend that much time around him. Leliana on the other hand she feels like she can pinpoint easily. She feels like she is like her. And Amara doesn’t trust her at all because of that. Varric and Solas both don’t seem like they are actually as honest and open as they pretend to be to her. But neither of them seems malicious to her so she lets it be for the time being.
After her first encounter with a pride demon and the breach she makes it to haven. Shaken and confused. She has no experience with magic, the fade or demons. None at all. With people she can deal with but this is something else and it terrifies her. So does everyone and their mother calling her the herald of Andraste. But she stays and they keep sending her on errands. Go talk to this person, go pick that one up. So after a while it gets crowded in haven. Blackwall, Vivienne, Sera and Iron Bull join the party. Vivienne is terribly intimidating to Amara. Mostly because she is probably the most cultured person she has ever met. But she is also strangely kind. So far every socially high ranked person Amara has ever met has been some sort of horrible. Vivienne has strong opinions but she is still kind and friendly and very frank and direct towards her. So even though Amara is intimidated she also admires her.
Blackwall gives off the same kind of vibe as Solas and Varric do to her but since he is a warden and they are kinda known for their secrecy she blames it on that for the moment. Now Sera and her get along from the get go. There is an instinctive understanding between the two that makes them feel like they’ve known each other for way longer than they do. The Iron Bull is the last one to join their illustrious group for now and Amara feels like she should be weary. After all he is a Qunari spy. But he also told her exactly what he was from the get go, voluntarily and direct. In a way where she felt like she could make an informed decision of accepting or rejecting his offer. Something that she only realises a bit later she respects deeply.
After they discover that there is a Tevinter magister in Redcliffe Amara starts to get even more worried. Everyone is arguing for a different choice and Amara feels ill equipped to cast the deciding vote between Cullen and Leliana. Her solution is to ask Cassandra what she should do…
I haven’t played Inquisition in almost a year I think. And I must say, gameplay wise I missed it. I do thoroughly enjoy the combat in this game and have loads of fun with my first archer, now reskilled into a dual dagger rogue. The reason for that was the prologue. I am playing on Nightmare with a couple of trials on and the dual dagger rogue, while super powerful once you got a few more levels and skillpoints, is very weak and vulnerable in the beginning. Better to be an archer and keep your distance there. On nightmare I simply have too much trouble getting past the first pride demon.
The first rift in the hinterlands also thoroughly kicked my butt. But I do enjoy having a bit of a challenge and prefer it to face rolling through the game. I also think I am rather good at this kind of gameplay and since I enjoy the actual fighting a very easy combat would be counter productive for me. I mean, it is great that you can put the game on very easy settings. And a pure storymode for people who hate fighting would be a good addition. But for me personally, with this kind of combat I like it to be as hard as possible. And at this point (level 9) even with nightmare and trials on I still find it kinda easy and most enemies fall super quickly. I remember when I played this game for the first time and stumbling over a bear early in the game was a real challenge, even on easy settings. Now I take the bear on solo and it is dead in seconds. I guess those 600+ hours I played DID have me improve my abilities a bit after all. But especially after learning how to solo the multiplayer the single player gameplay seems a lot easier. It was the same with Mass Effect 3 back then so I am not that surprised. I just hope the higher difficulty settings will make the endgame a bit harder and more interesting for me later on.