Hi, thank you for being you! Why was Anders chosen over Velanna as the returning character in DA2? I read somewhere she was suppose to be in DA2
For two reasons:
1) Because we needed a mage whose main concern was mages. Velanna’s main concern was the Dalish. We talked about trying to make it work with both, but it just didn’t seem very feasible… not without looping in far more Dalish story than we were prepared to do.
2) None of the writers were very keen on writing her—at least, not in the context of “Velanna possessed by Justice”… which seemed, to us, to be “take Velanna in Awakening and multiply everything annoying about her by 10”. Maybe that idea seems interesting to some folks, but it didn’t to us.
So, ultimately, the consideration passed pretty quickly—there was never a “plan” for this insomuch as a brief consideration in the early development process (among numerous others). I imagine we could have made it work had we been intent enough on doing so, but—like I said—nobody wanted to.
(Cue some folks getting angry about how we should have wanted to, I suppose… but oh well. That’s how writing works. You’ll never get a writer interested in writing something solely because someone else thinks it should be there.)
EDIT: Unless that “someone else” is also your boss, in which case you grit your teeth and find a way to make it work—and pray to God you have a boss who chooses not to invoke that power very often.
Jowan? Jowan who is very likely to be dead? Jowan, who for most players, would be “hey, remember that guy from the middle part of Origins?” Not that it couldn’t be done—we’ve ignored deaths before, even if none quite so statistically likely, and brought forward Merrill regardless of the fact most people never even met her in Origins… but Jowan had no issues at all, other than his own survival. He was meek, one could even say cowardly, and there’s no chance he ever met Justice.
If that’s what you call a “brain lapse”, then I’m not really sure what to tell you. I’m sorry if you thought DA2 ruined “perfect, wonderful, beautiful” Awakening-Anders, but seeing as I’d already written that character twice (three times, if you count the first novel), I really didn’t need to see it yet again… and that also doesn’t make Jowan a more plausible substitute.
I am of the opinion that people that put Awakening-Anders on a pedestal over DA2 Anders weren’t paying attention to the foreshadowing.
I played Awakening AFTER Dragon Age 2 and with foreknowledge… it is no surprise that Awakening Anders would some day blow up a Chantry. IMO, at least.
He just loses his smile inbetween Awakening and DA2 and frankly… that happens.
People failing to realize that characters change just like real life people is not a failing for the writers.
Justice!Anders was perfectly visible in Awakenings. People want to boil Awakening Anders down to Pounce A Lot and “we don’t wear nuffin under our robes” but they forget the morose Anders that got all “the Chantry has to change!” And the Anders that pesters Justice about… Justice for the mages.
I would agree with this… to a point.
I wrote both Anders and Justice in Awakening. The idea of what was going to happen to them was already actively in my mind at the time, and if you follow the dialogue between them (not to mention their dialogues with others), I’d think that’s pretty clear. The discussion at the beginning of DA2 was whether we would follow through on that idea, and how, and whether it might be better to do with another character (like Velanna). It was not something that simply came up out of the ether.
To me, Anders in Awakening is the angry, oppressed person who’s been embittered and rendered apathetic by constant defeat. He covers that with jokes, but the smoldering elements of it are still there… or so I thought I made obvious. Certainly Justice pulled it out of him.
The character in DA2 is not Anders. Or, I should say, it’s not solely Anders. If one was looking for him to be solely Anders, that character is not there. He is both Anders and Justice. As I’ve said previously regarding Anders in DA2, if there was anything I would go back and try differently, it would be to make the transition between the old character and the new a bit less jarring… have him be lighter and jokier in the first Act before he dives into angst.
Then again, for those who were looking solely for Awakening Anders, that would be unlikely to satisfy them anyhow, since that was never my intended development for the character, even back then. That and there’s always an element of this type of reaction from fans who want characters to never change at all. It’s not a desire I’ll ever be willing to accommodate, but I’m not going to knock them for feeling as they do.
As a consumer of entertainment myself, I too have seen characters/plots I like go in a direction I didn’t necessarily want (even if I might appreciate it, which is different). I’m not going to try and make an objective case out of it, as such enjoyment is very much subjective, but people will deal in different ways… and more power to them.