Tweaks, Fixes, and More
I love DAO ... the story, the characters, choosing my Warden’s origin. Now it's time to refresh. More options in Character Generator - check. Dialog and other bug fixes - check. Add the unexpected to the same old battles, increase the challenge - check.
Run the game from Vortex at least once before you start modding it to verify it launches properly. This will allow Vortex to set up any files/folders it needs. For more information on getting started, tips, etc. you can go here.
ABOUT THIS COLLECTION
How many times have I played Dragon Age Origins? 30? 40? After awhile it does become a little too familiar. And you start to notice small errors or inconsistencies. The mods I included address those issues. Dozens of hairstyles and other changes to the character generator give me a unique looking Warden every time. I included mods which address most, if not all, of the little bugs and odd notes.
Perhaps the biggest change, though, is to combat. I consider myself a rubbish to fair fighter - why I usually prefer bows or magic and to set up tactics for my companions. But even I can be an expert on Nightmare when I know who, how many, and what my enemies are. Now I don't. Sure, the usual suspects are there, but not only them. Each game spawns different enemies when you enter a new area. Once I had to fight wild drakes on the way to light the Tower of Ishal!
I hope you enjoy the changes to your game.
After installing, make sure the fonts.erf is in Documents\BioWare\Dragon Age\packages\core\ data and not your override folder.
If you don't already have it, download and install the ChargenMorph Compiler. After all your mods are deployed and before you start the game, run the ChargenMorph Compiler, remember to click 'Remove Bad References...' before you close the Compiler, and re-deploy so you can enjoy all those options in the character creator.
Ser Gilmore and ZDF: If you're playing with Ser G, you'll need to install "ZDF Dialog Fix - Ser Gilmore Compatible" file in options. It will/should overwrite "ZDF Dialog Fix".
When downloading Tucked Hair and Neutral Teeth, make sure to hit the Red Download Now below the file information. (Watch out for popups with download buttons).
Another thing about Tucked Hair,
this is what I call a 'Master' .zip, meaning this .zip files contains the 3 actual .zip files you need to install. It might be easier to download it first to your "...Vortex\downloads\dragonage" directory, then extract the 3 zip files inside it to that same directory. Install.
Or you can wait and after you finish downloading the collection, go to your mods tab and click the 'Open...' icon and 'Open Mod Staging Folder.' Find and open the folder 'tuckedhair'. You'll see the 3 .zip files. You can just extract the contents right there in that folder, even delete the .zips if you want (earring_hair.zip, tucked_hair.zip, and tucked_hair_chargenmorphcfg.zip). Go back to Vortex and Deploy mods again. Now the right information is in your override folder. You'll need to run the ChargenMorph Compiler, and re-Deploy.
FYI, many people find it a good practice to install a Collection in a new profile so you start on a cleaner slate. Then, when that's up and running, if you want to install other mods you can better incorporate them with the Collection.
About Slinks S3 RAVAge: the Origins and Awakening versions cannot be enabled at the same time.
Ready to play Awakening? Do not uninstall the Origins version, just disable it and run 'Deploy Mods'. Any Slinks items in your inventory should transfer to the new campaign. Do the reverse when you want to play Origins again. At this point the Collection is technically 'incomplete', but that's okay. The changes to your .ini file (see below) won't need to change between Origins and Awakening.
Two of the mods in this Collection require you to edit your DragonAge.ini. Actually, 2 base mods plus 1 optional mod for a total of 3. Anyway, go to Documents\BioWare\Dragon Age\Settings and find DragonAge.ini. Copy it and paste it someplace safe.
Now for the changes to your .ini:
1st, for the new video intro, open DragonAge.ini and scroll down until you find "[Movies]". Make these changes:
Now when you run Dragon Age, you'll get clips from the game trailer. You'll find a more extended version in the optional downloads. This ini tweak works for both versions.
2nd, add a new section so you can take advantage of Slinks s3 RAVAge's additional capabilities. At the bottom of your DragonAge.ini, add the section, [RAVAge] (including the brackets). Below [RAVAge] you need to add the parameters below. These settings are the settings I use and are maximum difficulty. Once you copy and paste into your .ini file, you can change the difficulty settings - anywhere from 1-5. :
As you can see, the settings don't just refer to combat difficulty. Read the document in the Slinks S3 RAVAge archive for more information about what these settings mean and how to tweak them to suit your gameplay.
3rd, if you choose to install Lock Bash
Here's the information from the mod page (there is no other readme):
"add the following lines to the bottom:
Most of these options are self-explanatory but here are some details on the less obvious ones:
- BashNoRequirements will always allow bashing regardless of stats (applies to doors always, but chests only when BashItemBreakChance is set to NONE).
- BashItemBreakChance has four settings, LOW (~20%), MEDIUM (~33%), HIGH (~50%), and NONE. When set to NONE there is no chance of breaking items, however you will instead have to pass a "bash" check, unless BashNoRequirements is also set.
- BashAchievement causes bashing to count towards the lockpick achievement.
- BashJustBash will cause the player to bash away even if there is a chance to break items and an eligible lockpicker (other than yourself) present.
- BashDifficulty has three settings, EASY, NORMAL, and HARD, which correspond to the stat requirements to bash the most difficult locks in the game (31, 46, and 61, respectively)."
This Collection will install (or try to install) 3 tools to your Vortex dashboard: The ChargenMorph Compiler mentioned above, the DAO launcher with console enabled, and Dragon Age Mutator. DA Mutator allows you to apply a variety of small tweaks w/o having to install several different mods. Each tweak has a description that includes how safe or risky it is to apply. You can download it and set up the tool in Vortex yourself or the Collection will try to install it to your D:\ drive.
You might want to try setting these up yourself before downloading the Collection, especially if you don't have a d:\ drive or your game setup is somehow unusual. Since the ChargenMorph Compiler can be used for both DAO and DA2, I installed it in "...\Documents\BioWare\DAO-DA2 Chargenmorph Compiler". Open the 'DA_CharGenMorphCompiler.exe', select a game and go to Path Configuration to make sure it finds the" ...\Documents\BioWare...packages\core\override folder' for your game(s).
Set up the tools in Vortex as you would any other game tool.
THE OPTIONAL FILES
Most of these are origin related. Best practice is to only install the one(s) you need for your next playthrough because they are not all compatible. One not on the list, but I can highly recommend, is the Human Commoner Origin and its optional weapons and armor archive. However, it is definitely not compatible with Dalish Mage Origin, for example.
Of Noble Cast is a mod for the human noble origin. Since it contains both a .dazip file and an override folder (called 'armor tints'), only the .dazip will be installed. Manually add 'armor tints' to your override folder; it contains alternate colors for your noble armor. I would also download the readme to 'armor tints' for easy reference later.
Farewell Ser Gilmore is for the human noble origin. Ser Gilmore companion NPC - Fully Voiced is completely independent of any origin and you can add him as a full party companion in Lothering. If you want Ser G in your party, remember, you will need to install "ZDF Dialog Fix - Ser Gilmore Compatible" file in options. It will/should overwrite "ZDF Dialog Fix"
I added some additional troubleshooting info in the Comments