Guide to the Dragon Age Origins Downloadable Content
Thinking of buying one of the dlc packages for Dragon Age Origins? This guide gives an overview of the main downloadable add-ons, including what you'll pay and what you'll get in return.
Can't Get Enough? Get Some Dragon Age Origins Downloadable Content
If you are enjoying Dragon Age Origins but want to add more to the experience, BioWare has provided us with a variety of downloadable content (dlc) packages for this hugely popular RPG. The packages range in price and amount of content, but each adds something new to the in-game experience. Here is a run-down of the Dragon Age Origins DLC, both those that come with the game and those that will cost you a little extra.
All these downloadable packages except the Blood Dragon Armor can be purchased at BioWare’s website.
The Stone Prisoner
This is the most extensive downloadable add-on, and comes free with a new copy of the game. If you buy the game used or borrow it from a friend, The Stone Prisoner will cost you $15 to download. This is nearly a third the price of the game itself, so it’s questionable whether it’s actually worth it to buy this add-on, but it does offer a number of additions to the game. The most notable is Shale, a brand new party member. Shale is a humorous, well-rounded character with a unique personality and background story, though as a stone golem is not available for romance. Shale is also worked smoothly into the Orzammar segment of the main quest. You can begin the quest to find Shale by visiting the in-game location of Sulcher’s Pass
The Stone Prisoner also includes two new locations, to go along with the two new quests. On the quest to find Shale you’ll visit a small village, with little of interest except for a mini-dungeon, and Shale’s personal quest adds an area in the Deep Roads of Orzammar. Shale requires a special type of armor and weapons—large and small crystals respectively—which are available in these new areas, from certain merchants, and occasionally as random loot. In addition, you’ll find and be able to buy new gifts specific to Shale. You’ll also find a few new, very nice items usable by other members of your party. For example, in the village of Honnleath you’ll find the Helm of Honnleath, a helmet that grants +3 to armor and +2 to all the character’s attributes.
Blood Dragon Armor
This content is also included with a new copy of Dragon Age Origins, and is not available to buy separately. It is the smallest of the add-ons, and gives you one 4-piece suit of armor. When you download the armor one of the four pieces will appear in your inventory, and you will have to buy the others from the merchant in your party camp. The Blood Dragon Armor is one of the best in the game for a warrior, with impressive stats and bonuses if you wear the whole set, though it requires 38 strength. Also, if you download the Blood Dragon Armor you will also be able to use it in BioWare’s Mass Effect 2.
The Warden’s Keep Dragon Age Origins DLC
You’ll get this one for free if you buy the Digital Collector’s Edition of Dragon Age Origins, otherwise you can buy it for $7. For this price it adds a decent amount of content. Most notable is the new party camp, which includes a storage chest where you can keep items you don’t want to carry with you. The chest doesn’t have unlimited capacity, but it can store quite a bit of loot. You’ll also have access to two new merchants.
The main point of this ad-on is the quest, however, which takes place in a new location called Soldier’s Peak. It is a short but well-designed area, and the quest storyline is compelling and offers one of Dragon Age’s trademark moral decisions. Along the way you’ll find a number of cool new items and several codex entries. Finally, you can gain access to two new abilities based on your class, which are dark and fairly powerful. You can start this quest by talking to Levi Dryden in your party camp.
Return to Ostagar
For $5 you can buy the opportunity to revisit Ostagar, the site of the battle that started it all. This mini-quest offers the chance to kill some darkspawn for experience and learn a bit more about some of the game’s key characters, though it doesn’t add much to the overall storyline. It gives you another opportunity to recruit the Dog if you missed it the first time around, and you’ll find some decent items that are particularly useful if you’re still early in the game. Return to Ostagar is not as extensive as The Stone Prisoner or The Warden’s Keep, and may seem out of place if you are playing it through late in the main storyline.
Feastday Gifts and Pranks
This is actually two separate downloadable packs: Feastday Prank Pack and Feastday Gifts. Each is $2, and gives you twelve new gift items (one for each possible party member and two extras). The Prank items reduce your party members’ approval and the Gift items increase approval, and all elicit humorous new dialogue. Some of the items can be used after giving them to the appropriate party member, with minor effects (a few give small permanent bonuses to attributes, for example, and some just generate new dialogue).