Dragon Age announces expansion. Awakenings!

While the Return to Ostagar paid add-on is still delayed for the time-being, Bioware has just announced the first full expansion for Dragon Age. In Dragon Age Awakenings you are tasked with rebuilding the Grey Wardens. Me, I’ll see if I can get them to have a little bit more respect for life, as I’m pretty sure murdering anyone who decides not to drink their foul poison or asks too many questions is not doing them any favours in the long-term.

It appears to be an all new campaign to play through, though you can import your character from Origins. It remains to be seen how big it actually is. According to Gamestop’s pre-order page, the expected release date is the middle of March.

For centuries, the Grey Wardens—the ancient order of guardians, sworn to unite and defend the lands—have been battling the darkspawn forces. Legend spoke that slaying the Archdemon would have put an end to the darkspawn threat for centuries to come, but somehow they remain.

You are the Grey Warden Commander and have been entrusted with the duty of rebuilding the order of Grey Wardens and uncovering the secrets of the darkspawn and how they managed to remain.

How you choose to rebuild your order, how you resolve the conflict with “The Architect”, and how you determine the fate of the darkspawn will be but some of the many complex choices that await and shape your journey as you venture to the new land of Amaranthine.

A Stunning World Expanded: BioWare’s deepest universe to date just got bigger with an all new area of the world to explore, Amaranthine

* Unlock the secrets of the Darkspawn and their true motivations
* Rebuild the Grey Warden order and establish their base of operations at Vigil’s Keep

All-new Complex Moral Choices: Embark on an epic story that is completely defined and reactive to your play style

* Shape your entire experience based on the choices you make and how your handle complex situations

New Ways to Customize your Hero: Experience additional spells, abilities, specializations, and items to further personalize and customize your hero and party

* Import your character from Dragon Age: Origins or start anew as a Grey Warden from the neighboring land of Orlais
* Encounter five all-new party members and an old favorite from Dragon Age: Origins

Even more Bone-Crushing, Visceral Combat: Battle against a new range of horrific and terrifying creatures

* Put your skills to the test against an evolved, intelligent breed of Darkspawn and other menacing creatures including the Inferno Golem and Spectral Dragon!

The Spectral Dragon from Dragon Age: Origins - Awakenings

The Spectral Dragon from Dragon Age: Origins - Awakenings

Dragon Age Origins 1.02 Patch Notes

This one is rather more fulsome than the previous efforts. It supersedes the test mod that many of us have been using that fixed the archery and dagger issues. You can grab the patch at the official 1.02 Dragon Age Patch page.

Dragon Age: Origins 1.02:

You do not need to download patches prior to Patch 1.02. Downloading Patch 1.02 contains all previous patches. Downloading Patch 1.02 will provide you with all patch data available.


* Daggers now apply 0.5 points of damage per additional point in dexterity and 0.5 points of damage per additional point in strength, as originally intended. This increases dagger damage for high-dexterity characters.
* During combat, mana or stamina reserves now correctly regenerate more quickly when reserves are low. This allows players to occasionally use an talent or spell in the later stages of lengthy fights.
* When exploring, mana and stamina now regenerate more quickly at higher character levels. This reduces downtime between fights.
* The spells Force Field, Crushing Prison, Cone of Cold, and Blizzard now have shorter durations and/or longer cooldowns. This ensures that combatants can no longer stun-lock each other by repeatedly casting the same spell.
* The cooldowns for several low-level sustained abilities are now shorter. This ensures that players are not penalized for accidentally deactivating them.
* Certain battles were not scaling properly, resulting in excessively difficult fights. They now scale as intended.
* Enemy corpses now drop health poultices and money more appropriately, resulting in less clutter in the player’s inventory.


* In rare cases, enemy corpses were selectable when they contained no loot. This no longer occurs.
* Party members whose combat tactics were set to defensive behavior no longer stop attacking after using a spell or talent.
* In rare cases, combat tactics conditions could fail to determine whether a character had enough mana or stamina to use an ability. This no longer occurs.
* The Rally talent no longer repeats its audio effect if it is active during certain conversations.
* The Rally talent no longer deactivates upon area transitions or conversations.
* The Shimmering Shield spell now deactivates when the character is out of mana.

PC Specific

* Controlling a summoned creature (like a ranger’s pets) during certain special area transitions no longer results in odd behavior.
* Creating a character in a custom module did not create a folder for saves. This could result in corruption of main campaign saves. This no longer occurs.
* In some cases, the class icon was set incorrectly for characters imported from the downloadable Character Creator. This no longer occurs.
* The options menu now includes a setting to automatically download previously purchased content that is not currently installed.
* After installing new downloadable content, the game now always reminds the user to restart the game.
* The icons for some promotional downloadable content items were missing. They now appear correctly.
* The screenshot upload GUI would stop working from time to time on the client. There was a memory override that was fixed. It is a client fix. It doesn’t affect the other problems we have seen on the server.

Plot *Spoiler Warning*

* Promotional downloadable content items now remain in the player’s inventory when standard items are removed at the end of the dwarf noble origin.
* Repeatedly talking to Duncan after gathering the vials in the Korcari Wilds but not the treaties no longer provides duplicate experience.
* Leliana’s personal plot can now be completed if the player substantially increased her approval (through gifts) before talking to her.
* During the siege of Redcliffe, enemies are no longer able to spawn in locations that would break the plot.
* Bann Teagan no longer disappears when he is supposed to be accessible during Urn of Sacred Ashes.

Dragon Age Patch 1.01b released

Dragon Age’s second game patch has arrived!

Dragon Age Patch 1.01b patch notes:

Fixed potential corruption of character statistics.
Fixed portrait appearance sliders when importing a character from the downloadable Character Creator.
Fixed import for preset face settings from the downloadable Character Creator.
Made Easy difficulty easier.
Slightly increased attack, defense, and damage scores for all party members at Normal difficulty.
Fixed video issues when running on a very wide screen display, including ATI Eyefinity displays.
Fixed an issue with Dragon Age and Windows Game Explorer.
Updated Visual C runtime libraries.

They’ve been holding back the toolset patch til this game one was released, to ensure they matched up correctly, so hopefully that’ll be along real soon.

The Dragon Age Toolset: Destroyer of Worlds.

It is possible that I have just become a lot more stupid than I used to be, but try as I might, I couldn’t get Dragon Age’s editor to do ANYTHING without something going horribly wrong. Even though I’d not even changed anything, I somehow managed to break the main campaign and corrupt my saves. Weirdness abounded, with my party just standing about, refusing to follow me, and greeting me as if we were meeting for the first time. Talking to my dog (Chompy) teleported me below the ground. All around there was misery and gnashing of teeth.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one, and there was actually quite a good reason. The toolset’s database is mismatched with that of the live game, so without jumping through a few hoops it’s very hard to make a mod that isn’t going to be having some issues. As I am a very strong believer in not releasing buggy mods, I have decided not to make any until the toolset is patched sometime next week. Sorting out my own bugs is one thing, but I need to be able to trust the toolset to not be throwing in some extra ones. Modding is hard enough without faulty tools.

If you’ve found your game is broken after trying out the toolset you may be able to get things working again by following these instructions. They worked for me at least.

How to fix Dragon Age if the Toolset broke it.

1. Open up the toolset. Go into File, Manage Modules, and create a new module. Don’t ever open up the Single Player module again, as just opening it is enough for it to start writing files and causing trouble. As the toolset automatically loads up the last module it had, and the Single Player one was it’s default, that’s why just opening the toolset was enough to break things. With another module loaded now, you should be safe from that issue going forward.

2. In the Tools menu in the toolset select “Empty Export Directories”.

3. Go into your My Documents/Bioware/Dragon Age/Modules folder and rename the Single Player folder.

With any luck Dragon Age is now fixed and your regular campaign game will now be working properly, though any save games you made while you had mismatched data will still be messed up. Hopefully you have a recent save from before that happened!

I’m looking forward, once the toolset is fixed, to making a few modules of my own. We’ll see how that goes.

Dragon Age Patch 1.01a released

Aye indeed. I’ve picked up Dragon Age: Origins, and am hoping to do a spot of modding for it if it turns out to be within my abilities. I never really got into Oblivion, but I greatly enjoyed the Morrowind and Baldur’s Gate 2 modding scenes.

Bioware have just set loose their first post-release bug fix, which you can download here. It performs the following works of wonder:

* fixed potential corruption of character statistics
* fixed portrait appearance sliders when importing a character from the downloadable Character Creator
* fixed import for preset face settings from the downloadable Character Creator
* made Easy difficulty easier
* slightly increased attack, defense, and damage scores for all party members at Normal difficulty
* fixed video issues when running on a very wide screen display, including ATI Eyefinity displays