So, after finishing Dragon Age 2, and after having gone through the entire Mass Effect trilogy, I decided that I really wanted to do the same for Dragon Age and finish the entire series by playing Dragon Age: Inquisition. So I bought the PS4 version — I now have one and don’t really have anything to play on it, or much intention to play on it right now except for the games where it really, really matters — and figured I’d start to play it when time allowed. And then I remembered that I’d probably want to import a save, and then decided that the PS3 would be more convenient. So I ordered the PS3 version.
Now, anyone who has followed the development of DAI will already know what I discovered next: you can’t import saves from a previous version of the game on any console. So buying it for the PS3 wouldn’t help me at all. So, after some thought, I sent the PS3 version back (and grumbled a bit to myself for not waiting for the Game of the Year version to get more of the DLCs, but I haven’t really done any of the DLCs for any of the Dragon Age games), because if I wasn’t going to be able to just import a save, I might as well play the game the more powerful system, especially since I already owned the game for it. But, then, could I create the world the way I wanted?
Well, it turns out I can, through Dragon Age Keep, and thus create a world state that I could import into the game. Okay, it’s a bit annoying, and it looks like it won’t let me decide the looks or name for my main characters, which is annoying, but, hey, it’s better than nothing (of course, letting create all of this through the in-game engine like Mass Effect would have been far better than that), so I figured I’d give it a try. Eventually, I went to Dragon Age Keep … and it wanted me to log in with my EA account. Wait, did I have an EA account? Well, it turns out I did, from The Old Republic, so I was able to log in. While the site itself was odd and a bit balky, I managed to create my world relatively easily, and was even able to set the state of DLC-specific stories, which was kinda cool. Still a bit of a convoluted way to do it, but hey, maybe this won’t be that bad.
Then I decided to try to import that world.
Now, it’s important to note that since I don’t play multiplayer, I don’t have the Internet hooked up to my PS4 or PS3 regularly. So I don’t have any fancy routers or anything, and so if I want to actually do anything on-line on my consoles I have to move my set-up from a completely different room to where the consoles are. This is why I needed to dedicate some time to doing this … and it also means that if I need to go online with my PC at any point I have to physically move it back. Remember that.
So, first, I “installed” DAI on my PS4. That … took a surprisingly short amount of time. Then I tried to access the Keep from the handy-dandy menu item in “Extras” … and it said that I had to log in and go to the website. Now, I thought that that meant that I had to log in through the game and also through the site, and to tell you the truth as far as I know that is what you have to do. So, I first tried to log in to the EA servers. It complained that I had to be connected to PSN. Fine, I did that for ME3 to get the extended cut … aw, crap, what’s my password? I couldn’t figure it out, so I said that I had forgotten my password, and they sent an E-mail to the address … and then told me to log in to that using a PC.
So I moved the connection back — which involves moving the modem back — and logged in. Entered a password. It didn’t really say anything, but did stay on the page for changing a password, so I figured it had worked. Moved the connection back, tried it … and it didn’t work. Moved the connection back to the PC, tried it, and it didn’t work. Tried changing the password again from the open form, and it claimed the token had expired. Started from the E-mail again, tested it on the PC, moved the connection back, logged in to PSN, logged in to the EA servers … and it said that it needed to update. Went to downloads, triggered the download, and noticed that it would take almost two hours to finish. Sighed, and went to read for a bit (I read a chapter in Richard Carrier’s “Sense and Goodness Without God”, which so far is the absolute worst atheist book I’ve ever read. I got through that chapter but was simply not in the mood to get through his discussions on the nature of reality which made up the next two chapters), and finally it was updated. Tried to connect again. Consistently it went to a black screen and did absolutely nothing. Poked around with starting and stopping things and logging in and all sorts of things, and then at some point it just miraculously started working. Okay, fine, now I can import my world, right?
Well, wrong. It turns out that my account only had the PC registered, not the Playstation. Okay, so how do I register the Playstation? The instructions say that if you used the same E-mail address for Origin and PSN, all you need to do is log into your game from PSN and Origin will do it for you. Okay, considering that I don’t use PSN, how do I do that? I tried multiple things, and it didn’t work. Eventually, I decided that I’d try doing it the hard way, in case I was doing something wrong. Sure, I have to do that on the PC, which means moving the connection back, but, hey, let’s try it.
The hard way involves installing the Origin client, which since I don’t play Origin games at all on the PC I didn’t have. But there’s a link on how to do that, so let me go there. It’ll probably take me to a download site for it with some instructions. Well, in fact, that’s not what it does. Instead, it takes you to a video that tells you how to do that. A video. A video where the person spends the first part of it talking about how wonderful Origin is going to be and how great it is that you’re going to use it. I just want the download link you moron! But, hey, maybe it’s more complicated and I’ll get some good advice on how to do it!
Nope, it just tells you to go to the link and download it. Well, at least I finally got to the link, even if they never, ever, directly link you there, meaning that I had to enter it manually. Fine. Get it. Download it. Install it. Run it … oh, crap, now it needs to update. Why does it need to update? I just this minute downloaded it from you!. At least this only takes a couple of minutes, so run it, follow the procedure for linking the account, and notice that the above statement that the E-mail address is what counts is almost certainly a bald-faced lie, because the association is with the screen name … and I used different screen names for my EA account and for PSN, because they were two completely separate applications.
Okay, fine, move the connection again, go to the keep, note that they are associated, try to create a character … and it still won’t take the world. Check the export status, check the procedure, figure that maybe the running instance didn’t notice the association, restart the game, try to create a character … and notice that it did, in fact, finally work. Create my human mage, get through the intro, stop for the night.
For something that Bioware had to know that everyone was going to want to do, this was a remarkably convoluted process. It also demonstrates that as consoles get into these more complicated sort of interactions, things are going to be very tough, as the consoles aren’t built to do searching and the like as easily as PCs are.
That being said, the ability to set everything — except the look and name of your character — from the Keep is a nice idea. I just wish they’d done it in-game instead of outside of it.