I’ve been working very hard at Dragon Age: Origins recently. In fact, just the other night, Natia, our hard-as-nails dwarven Grey Warden, preserved the Anvil of the Void, sided with Bhelen to get the steel men on our side, and then had some decent sex with Leliana after listening to the bard prattle on and on for, lack of a better word, ages. That’s all well and good, but what I was more excited to see Natia accomplish was the following:
Menacing (20G): Succeeded at 10 difficult Intimidate attempts
See, Dragon Age: Origins is all about the dialogue options. That’s BioWare’s thingy. Mass Effect allowed you to go down the paragon or renegade path by choosing different ways to answer folks. The same thing exists in Ferelden. Characters can either be persuaded or intimidated, the former being the nicer route and the latter a little more direct and threatening. On my first playthrough, I went with the nice personality, and quickly got the persuasive Achievement. This time around, I knew I wanted to go after the intimidate one, and so I made sure to construct Natia in the right manner. The odd thing was that I’m positive I did well over 10 intimidate options before unlocking this Achievement, which leads me to believe that some are classified as more “difficult” than others.
And here’s where the problem sits: how does one know if it’s a difficult intimidate option or not?
I mean, the dialogue option that helped unlock Menacing was about forcing a scared little boy to give us a key to a treasure chest in his mother’s bedroom. Pretty sure the nicest, sweetest, kindest old man in Orlais could intimidate a youngling like that. However, it was a “difficult” attempt. Guess it has more to do with behind-the-scenes dice rolling than anything story-related, but still, I’d like to know a bit more before trying out anything. Fallout: New Vegas handled it decently if a bit perfunctory for its skill checks, and Dragon Age: Origins could do it in the same vein, with a percentage of success or a visible indication that there’s no way the option will work.
At least going forward on Natia’s quest to save Ferelden from the darkspawn, I won’t feel compelled to immediately select the intimidate option. Sure, I might…because roleplaying her as a cut-your-throat badass dwarf (with a hidden soft side) is a lot of fun. If only I could intimidate Alistair into getting down and funky with a dwarf; I think I missed my chance to woo him as he’s disapproved of a lot of group actions. Wah.