Part 4: Let's get this party started.
Let's get this party started.
Here we formally meet our advisers. Two of them you'll know if you played previous DA games. Cullen has mellowed out a lot since he proposed a Final Solution for the mages in Origins. After the crazy in DA2 he's hung up his Templar shoes and now works for us. He'll be commanding our forces (such as they are). And Leliana makes a return as a full-fledged character instead of the cameo we got at the end of 2. Yes, even if you killed her in DA:O. The game will actually explain this if you chose the option in the Keep. We went a different route, but the gist of it is the Hero of Ferelden offed her at the Temple of Sacred Ashes and she woke up some time later. I guess this is what happens if you kill someone next to a relic with fantastical healing powers. Needless to say if that's your world state she isn't too fond of the HoF. Josephine is the person who has to put a good face on all our
Our first area is the Hinterlands. It's a woodsy, mountainous area and where Redcliffe (of the first game) is located. Since it's the starting area you'll find at least one of each type of game-thing; collectibles, landmarks, etc. Sort of an extension on the tutorial but out in the open world. Enemies are generally low-level, though there are a few surprises such as rifts that will spawn as high as level 12 enemies. These are best avoided to say the least, until you're high enough to deal with them. Generally that's within 3 levels. Common crafting materials include iron, drakestone, onyx, obsidian, elfroot, royal elfroot, embrium, spindleweed blood lotus, and a rare plant called Crystal Grace which you can only find here. Crafting materials respawn if you go to another zone and head back, so once you know where stuff is it's pretty easy to run a circuit if you need to for crafting stuff. It's also crammed with shit to do. Right at the top of the regular Games thread is a big flashing sign to get the fuck out as soon as you can. New people have a tendency to try and do everything and get bored and overleveled for the rest of the game. You'll see just how fast the sidequests start rolling in. There are only two points in the game where you will be cut off from doing content, and they both pertain to companions/their personal quests. So it's fine to gtfo and go elsewhere if the place is getting stale. We can't actually advance the plot until we have 4 power at our disposal, but that comes quickly. It also requires power to unlock new areas, so it's a good idea to bank around 12 or so before leaving as otherwise you won't have many options.
A note on the Keep: Since DAI was going to be across platforms and console generations they did away with straight importing. Now you use the Keep to choose what you did in the first two games and their DLC's. It's not mandatory and there is a default world state for those who choose not to use it. It really doesn't have much of an effect on DAI except for possible cameos and some background (like Leliana coming back from the dead). You can speak with Varric and Leliana in Haven to find out if your world state imported correctly and we'll do that in a bit so you'll know what's going on. I can also link my Keep if people are curious and not worried about getting spoiled, so let me know.