[Dragon Age] Season of the Witch (Hunt)

For any fans of Dragon Age Origins who have been living in a bubble, today marks the latest (maybe the last) DLC release for the game. It’s called Witch Hunt, is set a year or so after the end of DAO and … you’ll get to find out what happened to Morrigan. Not only that, but one of the three companions is the Dog. (Or /A/ dog, if your warden didn’t survive or you want to play a different character.)

Bioware promise the chance here for players to tie up the last loose end from the original game. What happened to Morrigan and her unborn child? Personally, I can’t wait to find out.

The original game had a pretty satisfying ending, so I don’t feel that Bioware have been holding out on anything or released an incomplete game. They’ve also been as good as their word about supporting the game with DLC – a mixed bag according to reviews but a nice collection of different takes on how a DLC should play out. (Surprisingly I can’t find a page reviewing all of them but the pick of the bunch seem to be Stone Prisoner, Warden’s Keep, Leliana’s Song). Do you want a quick gear hunt? A chance to play parts of the game through a different perspective? A prequel from the point of view of one of the companions? More golems?

If they have fallen down it’s partly because players expected the same quality from the DLC as from the original game. A tricky expectation to manage when the original was fully voiced (with the notable exception of the main character) and took years to develop. And the other reason is because when you are paying piece-wise for content, the price is always going to be compared against the original game and the original will always look like better value for money. You can buy DAO for about £12 on Amazon at the moment – that’s about 40-60 hours gaming. A 1-2 hr DLC can’t compare with that for price/value.

I’m glad DAO has done well for Bioware, it was a fantastically enjoyable gaming experience for me so anything that encourages them to do more sits well here. And then all that remains is the inevitable game of the year edition with all of the DLC bundled in. Maybe some DLC-bundles for the holiday season too for people who already own the original.

Anyhow, I’m looking forwards to Witch Hunt. Who is with me? And if you’ve played any of the other DLC, what did you think of them?

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12 thoughts on “[Dragon Age] Season of the Witch (Hunt)

  1. “A 1-2 hr DLC can’t compare with that for price/value.”

    There’s always community modules, which offer infinite value for price ;)

  2. You just reminded me to check if I can already buy Witch Hunt, today is release day, I will immediately surf to Bioware after this SHORT comment:

    I simply love Claudia Black aka the voice of Morrigan. She is better than phone sex and usually gets to play very special female characters, like Morrigan or Vala in Stargate. Her sultry voice is the showcase example for proper voice acting and how it can enhance the gameplay experience.

    Short rating of the DLCs:

    Warden’s Keep:
    PRO: Gives players a stash to store stuff, the best sword in Dragon Age 1, and a perfect place to upgrade armor like Cailan’s Armor through selling/rebuying to the smith there.
    The story is also very nice and it is quite a chunk of extra content
    CON: The special abilities gained are not as valuable or fun to use though. The stash should have been in the game right away, not to be patched in manually or through buying this DLC.

    The Stone Prisoner:
    PRO: You get a Golem, very humorous story, Shale is a lot of fun. Also interesting is that the story is split up, you get to visit the place where Shale was created late in the game. Very well integrated into the main story.
    CON: Shale is weak, hard to find a use for this golem, its abilities usually cannot compare to those of other specialized party members.

    Return to Ostagar:
    PRO: Tons of cool weapons and armors that can be upgraded easily by selling/rebuying. Cailan’s Armor is the highlight, it is even after Awakening the best or 2nd best (compared to Sentinel Armor) massive armor in the game, due to the extremely low fatigue value.
    CON: Weak and short story, this is basically an item-sale of the Kings Armor and his weapons.

    Feastday Gifts/Pranks:
    PRO: none
    CON: I shall pay cash for this??? Should have been a free Valentine’s gift. You can basically alter approval of a char to +100 or lower it. This is a cheat item sale, but you can do this for free by using the console, so what.

    Darkspawn Chronicles:
    PRO: You get to play all kinds of Darkspawn, and they are very well balanced – you get to fight strong party NPCs, you can kill Alistair, Sten, Zhevran, Wynne, etc… The combat is very challenging, especially if you want to keep your initial Ogre alive. A combat oriented expansion, but with very cool cutscenes and I was really surprised how fun it was.
    CON: Despite the more challenging and fun combat (I loved playing a Shriek in Assassin style) and the quite good story, at the core it is a “X vs Y” style experience and offers no quests and has the most linear replay experience.

    Leliana’s Song:
    PRO: Very cool gangster-style intro of the young Leliana and her companions. Strong story. Marjolaine makes for a great villain! There is also well balanced combat, not too hard, not too easy – very well done. Maybe the best DLC.
    CON: It is so good that it feels rather short – it probably is not.

    Golems of Amgarrak:
    PRO: Puzzles, Dungeon environment. Great gear – your companion starts out with kickass gear you can also get in Awakening, for example. Also quite nice story and puzzles as mentioned.
    CON: The final fight with the Harvester is, unlike the whole DLC, extremely hard. But what means hard? Hit SPACE every 5 seconds to make people swallow potion after potion after potion. Do this for some 10 minutes, most of the time spent pausing and unpausing the game – then you get the achievement to have killed the Harvester on “HARD”. This beast is already about as nasty on normal, it only gets more annoying. Somewhat disappointing boss fight, a bit like a raid boss with random phases.

    DSC, LS and GoA unlock various really good items for Dragon Age and Awakening.

    My favorites?
    1. Leliana’s Song
    2. Warden’s Keep
    3. Stone Prisoner – only because of the cool demon

    Amgarrak and DSC are hard to compare, they are both fun in their special way.

    The worst DLC are the gifts/pranks and Ostagar, which is a pure item sale. But hey, you get premium armor there. ;)

    And now off to download moar Morrigan!

    • Whoever the anonymous author of this lengthy and well-researched and very helpful comment is, he should have a blog so we wouldn’t have to hunt him down in the comment pages of other people’s blogs, PicasaWeb, and Twitter!

  3. P.S. Awakening suffers from weak combat, you are either under- or hopelessly overgeared and the skills you get, especially as warrior, are absolutely imbalanced. So combat seems to be either a boring cakewalk or, as other players reported, a pain in the ass.

    While this expansion has quite a nice story, it is still quite bugged, save before the Wending Woods, there are plot stoppers and chances to lose gear permanently there.

  4. Ohhhh Morrigan … and your ridiculous costume and your gorgeous voice acting … I cannot resist…

    *slinks away to throw yet more money at Bioware*

  5. I have enjoyed all of the DLC that I have done. Of course, I haven’t finished DAO yet so I’ll save the Witch Hunt until I have. My favorite so far was Leilana’s Song. Soldier’s Keep was also very good. Return to Ostagar was, as mentioned above, a trip to go find the King’s armor and nothing else.

    Esri

  6. Meh, I don’t think I have purchased any DA DLC except The Awakening. I like my content big and juicy, not in tidbits I finish in a day. No, I would buy an expansion any day, but not for a single little adventure.

  7. I’m a little surprised by the love for Leliana’s Song. As my favorite character from the game, I was bitterly disappointed by the DLC. The plot holes were like doughnuts, and it was incredibly too short. Ironically, I indicated in a blog post that they should’ve just done Morrigan’s story instead, because then they could re-use areas without retconning the whole storlyline. And here we are – and I will buy it today. :)

    I love DA:O, and really the only disappointment for me has been Leliana’s Song (didn’t buy the feastday stuff).

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