And now we take a fond look back to where all this dragon business began, at least for me. Today's question comes from ossobuco, who asked me to talk about my "favorite quests in Dragon Age Origins & II, why they struck you or stayed with you, and (of course) what choices [my] Wardens and Hawkes made." (See all the questions, or ask one of your own!)
My favorite of the big plot quests in DA:O is Redcliffe and the Sacred Ashes. Of all the major storyline quests, I find that this one has the most variety in the kinds of things you're asked to do. I like that it ranges all over Ferelden -- you have to travel around a bit, find your way to things, figure out what to do and where to go and whom to talk with next. One of my biggest grips with the Circle Tower quest is how you're forced to do it all at once. There's no backing out to take a break, resupply, grind a little, get a change of scenery. For this quest line, you have a some freedom to decide how you want to deal with the various obstacles placed in your way. Some of the choices are more optimal than others (everyone should try leaving Redcliffe before the first undead attack once, for science), but the choices are still there, and they hold more short-term meaning than, say, whether to put Bhelen or Harrowmont on the throne.
All of my wardens have chosen to fight for Redcliffe, except for Loral Mahariel who could not have cared less about these shemlen and these problems of their own making. Loral is also my only Grey Warden to execute Connor and to desecrate the Sacred Ashes (he has Opinions about the Chantry). Kasia Brosca didn't know enough about magic to ask the right questions to learn about the third option for dealing with Connor, so she accepted Isolde's offer to sacrifice her life to save his. My other wardens all asked the Circle for help, killing the demon and saving Connor's life. (Elissa Cousland and Kasia both sent Jowan in, Sereda Aeducan asked Wynne, and Alim Surana did it himself.)
For smaller quests, I have a soft spot for Captured! -- another quest with many possible outcomes, and it's fun to see the different ways that the companions try to get into the fort. I also enjoy Crime Wave, especially if I'm playing a stealth-and-stab rogue because the final mission uses that skill set so perfectly.
In Dragon Age 2, my favorite quest by far is Legacy. I missed the Grey Wardens in DA2, so I reveled in a chance to spend some time in a Warden space, surrounded by Warden lore, dealing with the fallout from their actions. I've never done these missions without Anders and the surviving Hawke twin along, and I love the dimensions those characters and their reactions add, by their Warden connections (if the twin is a Warden) and by the bits of family history we learn. Another space that feels like it has more variety, too, especially after the sameness of three years in Kirkwall. All three of my Hawkes sided with Larius, and all three of them put down Corypheus with extreme prejudice.
My favorite sidequests in DA2 are both companion quests in Act 2: Aveline and Varric. Both quests are entertaining and amusing (Varric's Last Stand might be my favorite moment in the whole game), and both revealing for their characters. In a game with as many downers as DA2, it's nice to have a couple of lighter moments (even if Varric's gets quite dark by the end), particularly in the case of Aveline where it's all about bringing her the happiness she deserves. All of my Hawkes have helped Aveline with Donnic and let Bartrand live (although the latter was a near thing with Marissa -- she was personally very angry with Bartrand, but even she could see that he needed help, not murder, and that Varric wanted to at least try).
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