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Thread: Dragon Age

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    Default Dragon Age

    I haven't actually played any of the games in the series but they have been recommended to me. I have limited time and money so if I could only play one game in the series which one would that have to be? However if I did happen to buy the whole series in which order should they be played? (I own a PS3)
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Save both time and money and don't. You won't be missing much. I ground through maybe eight hours of the first DA before it became clear how unspeakably dull and pedestrian most of it was. I think I managed to play about ten minutes of DAII before giving it up as a bad joke.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Dragon Age Origins is great, but if you've got limited time it may not work, as the story took me about 100 hours with all of the side stuff completed. It's a pretty in-depth RPG.

    Dragon age II is sub-par. People criticize it heavily, but it's only terrible in comparison to the original.

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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    There are only two games in the series as of yet.

    Origins, the first one, is pretty good. It drags in spots, but overall it's quite enjoyable. I like it a fair amount, but if you've limited time it does take a fairly long time to play (although I myself generally consider that a good thing). I wouldn't bother with Dragon Age II. It can be sort of interesting to play through once, combined with rather annoying, and that's about it.

    That's a very biased opinion, though. If you prefer older roleplaying games, Origins is pretty good (though not as good as most of them and significantly more expensive, so you'd be better off picking up an older game you haven't played yet); if you like Mass Effect and so forth, you might like Dragon Age II.

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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Quote Originally Posted by Remmirath View Post
    There are only two games in the series as of yet.
    I typed "dragon age" into the search on gamefaqs and ended up with a rather long list.

    Any tips for playing DA Origins?
    Last edited by azulanaga; 2012-11-04 at 04:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Origins had a rather long list of dlc, you could've been seeing those.

    And the game is story driven; I'd put that first in choosing class and race. That combination dictates minor aspects of the entire story, and your first bit, which is about an hour long.

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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Gamefaqs also lists all the dlc as separate entries.
    If you don't have hours to waste, then skip the whole series. If you really are into old school rpgs then pick up origins, I'd say skip II.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Both Origins and DA2 are fine. Not ground-breakingly great, but they're decent time-sinks, if you like old-school RPGs. Still, if you have limited time they might not be the best choices since like I said, they're time-sinks.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Origins is the first game, and will definitely serve as the better introduction to the setting and series, so if you're looking for a place to start, that's it.

    Don't listen to the people bashing DA2 though. If you like the series when you try Origins, give it a try too. You may find that, like me, you actually consider it superior to its predecessor.

    There's also Awakening, which is a DLC expansion for Origins set after its main plot. Worth getting if you like Origins (play after Origins, before 2), but not really as good as either of the main games. Introduces one interesting character who could make a great plot hook later on, and that's about it when you get down to it.

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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Dragon Age (at least Origins) + limited time = not a good idea. It's a pretty extensive game, particularly if you like to explore everything. The game pushes you to explore everything, since the core quests are pretty long, and there are a good amount of sidequests, particularly if you want the right amount of levels and whatnot.

    Limited money, and still interested in playing? The Ultimate Edition of DA: Origins gives a lot of value for your buck, because it has essentially all downloadable content in two discs. It contains Awakening (the game's expansion) for extra hours of play, plus a few scenarios (one where you control the main enemies of the game, one where you learn about the story of an NPC, a "stand-alone" scenario and what's essentially an epilogue) for extra playing time.

    Can't say much about DA II, except it doesn't has a Ultimate Edition (as far as I know of) and most people believe it's an inferior sequel. It has a fixed main character (you can customize him/her, but it's mostly a human), and the story is a bit more contained than the first one.

    The third game in the series is coming about one year from now, so no one can tell you if that's the game you should play. In any case, if you're decided to play a game, it's best to start with the beginning for a wide variety of reasons.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Dragon Age origins is by far the better game IMHO, but then I am old school and DA:O is very close in gameplay to an updated Baldur's Gate.

    DAII is more of a bastard child between Diablo and Neverwinter Nights (and not in a good way) with the dialogue system from Mass Effect.

    I have rather strong oppinions on the matter, but for me: DA:O is one of the top 5 games I have ever played, while I never bothered with finishing DAII.
    Last edited by Avilan the Grey; 2012-11-05 at 05:08 AM.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    DAO is a great game if you like older RPGs like Baldur's Gate and the like. But it's long, at times slow, and doesn't play well on console.
    DA2 is a good game if you like action-rich RPGs and it plays far better on console than on PC. It's not as phenomenal as most other games by the developer, but that still makes it a good game. DA2 also has no direct links to DAO and the character has no knowledge of anything that happened in the first game. It's the same world, but mostly entirely seperate games.

    I played through 1 once, and got maybe halfway into the Addon, but I don't think I'll give it another try. DA2 is something I like to get out every now and then as it is much faster paced and gameplay is more exiting.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-11-05 at 04:41 AM.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    I agree that DA2 does not deserve the bad rep it gets. Perhaps it's because I don't consider DA:O to be a terrific game, merely a good one. There are problems with DA2, definetly, but there are also things it gets better than DA:O.
    Last edited by Morty; 2012-11-05 at 08:20 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    I agree that DA2 does not deserve the bad rep it gets. Perhaps it's because I don't consider DA:O to be a terrific game, merely a good one. There are problems with DA2, definetly, but there are also things it gets better than DA:O.
    It's all subjective of course. I have less problems with the gameplay part of it (I like the dialogue wheel, and can accept the combat (minus the stupid wave mechanic)) but cannot STAND the "story" or most of the characters.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    I'll agree with the person who said that DA was incredibly dull. The story was nice-ish, but nothing new, the characters weren't unlikeable, but didn't really stick in my mind and the setting had a few interesting spins on old ideas. That's the good part.

    The bad part is the gameplay. My god was that horrible. You'll fight the same three types of enemies over and over and over and over for hours. There are areas where you really only walk about three steps betwen random encounters with yet more black magic zombie orcs.

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    Well, the Gameplay is Baldur's Gate Gameplay with updated graphics.
    I think it did an excelent job as a Baldur's Gate successor, but 15 years later that is not neccessarily the best way to make RPGs.

    And the problem with the story is that it seems so complex and exciting at the end of the prologue and you really want to know what everything means and what things you don't know and will discover later on. But unfortunately, at the end of the prologue the story is basically over. There are four decent side-plots, but the main story is nonexisting.

    I wouldn't say that DA2 is clearly the better game. I think I even would go so far to say that overall, DAO is of considerably higher quality. But regarding the opening post, I think DA2 would clearly be the better choice. That doesn't sound at all like something for which DAO would be a good suggestion, but DA2 might very much fill the bill.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Well, the Gameplay is Baldur's Gate Gameplay with updated graphics.
    I think it did an excelent job as a Baldur's Gate successor, but 15 years later that is not neccessarily the best way to make RPGs.

    And the problem with the story is that it seems so complex and exciting at the end of the prologue and you really want to know what everything means and what things you don't know and will discover later on. But unfortunately, at the end of the prologue the story is basically over. There are four decent side-plots, but the main story is nonexisting.
    My problem was that my origin story was at least mildly interesting. By the time I got the big old Helm's Deep battle where long odds says Obi-Wan bites it, it was abundantly clear that the story I was actually getting was a chirpy YA rendition of watered down sub-Tolkien drival that had been thoroughly played out twenty years ago. I maybe could have shlecked through to unite the peoples and stop the ancient evil yet again, but it was pretty hard to care about that when the game had just shown me it could do better. Not stupendously better perhaps, but the origins were at least trying.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Both games are dirt cheap right now, though DA2 is cheaper. Also, the demo for DA2 is still available, so if you're REALLY broke you could always download it and see what you think.

    I would say that Origins is the better game, if only because they put some more effort into it. That's not to say DA2 is bad, but it's generally accepted that it would have been better if they hadn't rushed it.
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    I'm also one of the few who find DA2 to be the better game. DA:O was boring with dull characters, a brown and gray world on brown and gray armor with brown and gray bosses. It's realistic, but dull dull dull. The complains lodged at the enemies is a bit true, you fight maybe 4 different types of enemies through out the entire game and that does get a little boring. It only takes 20 of the same world ravaging enemies killed by fire balls for me to seriously doubt the veracity of the threat. The characters in Origins are for the most part... unlikable or just paper cut outs. Maybe that's just my own feelings projected but it sort of suffers from Bioware's inability to set up a good cast in their first game. They're mostly just the generic adventuring party you find in any game. Fiesty Dark Woman, Happy Religious Woman, Optimistic Knight, Drunk Dwarf, Wispy Elf Ranger, Motherly Healer. The list goes on. None of them are offensive or all out bad but...they've been done better other places. It does feel rushed, the first Act by far the best act, but even the other smaller acts are enjoyable.

    DA2 is much flasher with a superior combat system. Sure, the storyline is a little cliche but DA:O is as well so you get what you give I guess. The enemies are a bit more varied and they at least tried to make it seem like you were in a wretched hive of scum and villainy what with enemies descending from the rooftops to try and kill you for the fun of it. The city isn't ugly but it is a shame that is pretty much the only thing you're going to see. The characters in 2 are a bit more fleshed out with actual wants and desires. They're still a bit cliche but they still come across as more believable. Dialogue wheels and the added morality system has the problems that system always does but it never really feels important.

    So, if you want more gritty and brown tactical based combat then go for DA:O and it's many DLCs. If you're looking for flashy combat than go for DA:2. My suggestion would be to skip DA:O, it's a time sink you really don't need to delve into.
    Last edited by Tebryn; 2012-11-05 at 02:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Seeing I have 12 named characters in Origins character creation screen and 3 in Dragon Age 2, I recommend the former. I don't even want to tell my playing hours, but if you are a perfectionist and wish to do all the side quests in game, first play trough of Origins will take around 60 hours. Origins has good metascore of 91/100 and was more successful game of the two. Bioware even bailed out making an expansion to DA2.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    I'll also echo the sentiment to not buy any Dragon Age. First one is an average game of standard orc bashing generic fantasy and second one is a bad game made of terribly executed dumb ideas. They're both all right if you're a diehard CRPG lover. But limited time and money is definitely better spent elsewhere.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    DA:O was one of those games I really enjoyed the first time I played it, but then on reflection and later replays seemed to lack the same grab. It hasn't held up to me as much as Planescape Torment on repeated playing, despite all the former's flaws and more clunky interface.

    DA2 I haven't played more than an hour or so (ditto DA:O Awakenings), so aside from those facts alone, I can't really past judgement. (Though that, I think, somewhat speaks for itself.)

    PS:T, by the by, if you haven't played it, is available dead cheap, and is still arguably the best RPG ever made in my book. (Provided you're prepared to accept having to deal reading all the dialogue and dealing with some of the eccentricities of AD&D and dealing with the fact your main character is pre-generated for you (the whole point of the plot).) I think it just hit the perfect storm of clever writing, good companions (with a lot of interaction), mystery and a unique setting (and I don't even like Planescape all that much normally) and a flexibility in actions that in a lot of ways, is better than most open-world games (different kind of flexibility, but better.)



    I'm hoping Oblivion's upcoming Eternity will be closing on Torment territory; I am beginning to think DA:O just wasn't quite different enough (unlike, say, Jade Empire) to rise above the crowd.

    DA:O is, in my opinion, still a very solid game, though.

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    I'm actually with Warty on DA:O being bad. It got lots of attention for good graphics and (snort) adult content, but the story was trite, and the cast of supporting characters falls squarely into Bioware's predictable tropes. All that may have been reasonable to deal with had the game not been mechanically a poorly designed shambles. The magic system was insanely broken, to the point where it trivialized the entire game. The AI's default behaviour (for your party) was abysmal, and the scripting system they used to allow you to manage your party's behaviour was arcane, took away from your companion's other utility, and still wound up producing awful results.

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    I enjoyed DA:O enough to play through it multiple times. DA2, though, I decided not to bother with after going through the demo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    I'm actually with Warty on DA:O being bad. It got lots of attention for good graphics and (snort) adult content, but the story was trite, and the cast of supporting characters falls squarely into Bioware's predictable tropes.
    You can pigeonhole any character into a category if the requirements are broad enough. For instance, that list also describes the cast from Firefly:

    Charming Lead- Mal
    Naive Minx-Kaylee
    Wise Mentor-Book
    Bitch- Inara
    Murderous Sociopath-Jayne

    Or Order of the Stick:

    Charming Lead-Roy
    Naive Minx-Haley
    Wise Mentor-Durkon
    Bitch-Vaarsuvius (well, s/he may not have breasts, but it fits otherwise)
    Murderous Sociopath-Belkar

    Man, these are character archetypes. You might as well deride them for the cliché of speaking English.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Basically it boils down to:

    What kind of RPG do you like?
    Old School "proper" RPGs? Clearly you will enjoy DA:O.
    Action RPG? Clearly you will prefer DA2.

    Do you have the ability to enjoy a depressing and dark adventure?
    If not at all? Neither game is for you.
    If yes, as long as the game has strong silver linings: DA:O, but not DA2
    If yes, period: Both games.

    Do you prefer voiced protagonists?
    Yes: DA2
    No: DA:Origins
    Doesn't matter: Both games, obviously


    And the last one is very subjective and just put here because I enjoy ranting:
    What kind of companions do you prefer?
    Well written characters with unique backstories and compelling personalities? DA:O
    Badly written Emo characters with too much JRPG influences and carrying idiot balls the size of an arch-demon: DA2.
    Last edited by Avilan the Grey; 2012-11-06 at 04:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    DAO is fairly typical for a Bioware rpg. If you've liked most of them, chances are it will entertain you to some degree at least. The world is fairly well crafted, the companions fair, the plotline decent (if not very original) and as a whole knitted together quite well. It's not a work of art by any stretch of imagination, but it's a quite well made game.
    The mechanics suffer a bit from artifacts from older games, so depending on how high tolerance you have for such systems that can alter your perceptions. The origins themselves were fresh and interesting, but not nearly as well utilised as they could have been sadly.

    DA2 is bolder, but suffers a lot from execution. It's the first time in a long time Bioware moved away from their "standard plot model". It's still unmistakingly a bioware game, and if that is not your cup of tea then I doubt the plot will excite you much. The protagoniost is much less of a blank slate though, which has the benefit of actually being able to interact with the plot but may result in a percieved loss of agency.
    The mechanics are largely the same, but with a few crucial changes to creation, encounters and pacing. It's much faster than DAO.
    The companions are quirky and provides less setting exposition than in DAO, but are very involved in the plotlines and have their own story-archs through their multiple companion quests.
    Sadly, the game suffers a lot from a short development cycle and perhaps from a poor decision or two. The DLC adventures shows significant improvement in these regards, but if you didn't like the original then it's no point in acquring them.

    A key difference is that DAO is fundamentally an epic, it's about heroics and adventuring and in the end of the day triumphing but perhaps with a bittersweet note.
    DA2 is not. It's more of a drama or a tragedy.It's not about adventures, it's not about saving the world. It's about you and being dragged along in a series of events.

    I personally liked DA2 more than DAO (but I love that game too), but that's neither here nor there.

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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Also, one thing that DA:O had going for me was that it's HUGE, or rather, LONG. If you like it, you'll get a lot of game for your money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    My problem was that my origin story was at least mildly interesting. By the time I got the big old Helm's Deep battle where long odds says Obi-Wan bites it, it was abundantly clear that the story I was actually getting was a chirpy YA rendition of watered down sub-Tolkien drival that had been thoroughly played out twenty years ago. I maybe could have shlecked through to unite the peoples and stop the ancient evil yet again, but it was pretty hard to care about that when the game had just shown me it could do better. Not stupendously better perhaps, but the origins were at least trying.
    I disagree: The plot in DAO isn't exactly riveting or interesting, but it's not supposed to be.

    DAO's plot was more of a roadtrip story than a heroic epic, even though it tried to sell itself as the latter (not the least of its marketing mistakes, so I hear). It's a set of Interesting Things for the audience to marvel at while the plot serves as little more than a device to shuffle the audience (in this case, the player) from one Interesting Thing to the next.

    Think of it like The Odyssey, or Alice in Wonderland, or The Wizard of Oz: The plot in all three of these is simply that the main characters want to go home, but keep getting caught into obstacles that prevent them from doing so. It's not the process of overcoming these obstacles that makes these stories interesting, but rather what the obstacles themselves have to show us.

    Now, whether or not the journey in DAO was Interesting enough to draw you in is a whole 'nother story, and I'm definitely not without criticisms for the game. Personally though, the world of Thedas was enough to keep me playing. There's plenty of interesting stuff there beneath the obvious Tolkien influences (which, really, are mostly satirical) if you take out the time to look.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Dragon Age

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    I disagree: The plot in DAO isn't exactly riveting or interesting, but it's not supposed to be.

    DAO's plot was more of a roadtrip story than a heroic epic, even though it tried to sell itself as the latter (not the least of its marketing mistakes, so I hear). It's a set of Interesting Things for the audience to marvel at while the plot serves as little more than a device to shuffle the audience (in this case, the player) from one Interesting Thing to the next.
    By the time I canned DA:O, I had seen:
    1) Westeros Decaf Lite. I played the human noble, dwarf noble and dwarf commoner origins, and continued the human noble. That one came with one of the more unintentionally hilarious death scenes I've witnessed in a while, mostly because the pool of Eddard Stark's blood kept disappearing and reappearing between every camera cut. This could have been interesting.

    2) Skim Milk with a shot of Real Imitation Tolkien Decaf Lite Flavor! Let's see: world under threat from ancient evil god? Check. Lots of corrupted evil beings? Check. Desperate last stand at a mountain fortress? Check. All this built around philosophical musings about the nature of divinity, evil and creation? No. Lots of yammering about blood though, so let's add pretentious metaphors lifted from Vampire the Masquerade to the list.

    3) The set of a really low-budget episode of Xena. For a supposed military encampment, Helm's Deep sure felt like a soundstage after the extras budget had gotten axed. And the backgrounds really sucked. Halo had better distant landscapes than this. Also the art was godawful.

    4) I see annoying people. Mostly I remember wanting to beat most of the NPCs to death with a mop. It would have been less soggy than keeping them around. I tend to find Bioware's companion characters so transparently pandering I can't take them seriously, and this lot were no exception. It was like a line-up of obvious tragic pasts and personal flaws just waiting for the healing touch of my special snowflake-ness. Also my special snowflake crotch, because only sex with a PC can really lead to emotional healing.

    5) Should I fall asleep in battle. Combat was boring. There was too much of it, much of it serving no detectable narrative function. I'm OK with spending a lot of time in games killing things, but please make it fun, and change up the formula a bit, OK?

    6) Fine grit sandpaper. So it's all dark and stuff, and there's metaphors about corrupt blood and the church is super-mean to mages but it's complex because the mages can turn into demons at any time also people are racist toward elves and... and everybody acts like a middle class American white guy with whom you'd have a slightly annoying conversation at Starbucks. Also you can still totally kill everybody who pisses you off in a dialog-tree approved fashion and feel awesome about it.

    See, Dragon Age is the sort of fantasy I thought the world needed when I was like sixteen or eighteen. At some point in the preceding years I'd realized that people didn't take fantasy seriously because all the stuff I had liked up to that point was a way for the consumer to pretend to be a wizard for a few hours. So what fantasy clearly needed was to be all Dark and about Real Stuff, while of course still letting me pretend to be a wizard. Obviously if I wasn't pretending to be a wizard, I might as well go read boring real-world books.

    I think of this as the 'Terry Goodkind doesn't suck' period of my life. Looking back on it it's quite embarrassing, but there you have it. The problem I have with this sort of thing is that the intersection of dark'n'gritty and wizard power fantasy doesn't really work very well. It's a lot easier to deal with special snowflake protagonists in a world that's clearly set up for fun adventure times. Soon as you turn on the grit though, the specialness of the protagonists goes from fun to slightly weird.

    Basically go Witcher, go Drakensang, or go home. That is to say either do grit, do wizard adventure fantasy fun time, but please don't try to do both.


    Think of it like The Odyssey, or Alice in Wonderland, or The Wizard of Oz: The plot in all three of these is simply that the main characters want to go home, but keep getting caught into obstacles that prevent them from doing so. It's not the process of overcoming these obstacles that makes these stories interesting, but rather what the obstacles themselves have to show us.

    Now, whether or not the journey in DAO was Interesting enough to draw you in is a whole 'nother story, and I'm definitely not without criticisms for the game. Personally though, the world of Thedas was enough to keep me playing. There's plenty of interesting stuff there beneath the obvious Tolkien influences (which, really, are mostly satirical) if you take out the time to look.
    So wait, your entire plot being about an ancient god trying to conquer the world with an army of corrupted creatures, while warping the minds of any who have contact with said god is Tolkien satire? What's it look like if you play Tolkien straight?

    There are some worlds that I genuinely want to spend time in for their own sakes. They have to be considerably weirder though, because that thing where I journey to exotic locales to unite the people in a fantasy-land of elves and dwarves and men? I've done it. I've done it a lot. I can even still enjoy doing it, but I need a stronger atmosphere than what feels an awful lot like somebody's highschool D&D game from circa 1995.
    Happiness yesterday and happiness tomorrow, but never today... It can't be because it's only an illusion after all, and illusions only look real from a distance. We're over, my dreamy lost love, over, and that's the best thing of all, because it's the only thing that makes it good.

    George RR Martin, Dying of the Light, 1977.

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