I have just ordered the ultimate edition online, but I wonder how to play this game. I have the normal edition (without stone prisoner / blood dragon armour nowadays, because of new xbox & account), but I just wanted all DLC and expansions.
but because these expansions and DLC are unfamiliar to me, I do not know when to play them to make for the most fluid gameplay with the best items possible. for example, what DLC should I play before Awakening, and which should I play after Awakening. I am familiar with the fact that no DLC items transfer over to Awakening, but story is also something I value.
In conclusion, keeping in mind fluid gameplay, best equipment and story elements, how and when should I access the available DLC? --- War does not determine who is right - only who is left
You can complete Stone Prisoner/Return to Ostagar/Warden's Keep any time during your Origins playthrough. You may want to do them sooner than later as each one gives you excellent equipment that will last the rest of the game.
Storywise, Witch Hunt and Golems of Amgarrak take place after the events of Awakening. Leliana's Song happens before the events of Origins, and Darkspawn Chronicles happens concurrently (you play the role of a Darkspawn during the Blight). All 4 of these expansions have achievements that upon completion will import high-level items into all current/future Origins/Awakening campaigns, if that influences the order you do them.
The required order for importing is Origins (including Stone Prisoner, Warden's Keep, and Return to Ostagar)->Awakening->Golems of Amgarrak->Witch Hunt.
You can skip any of the content you want, but you cannot import backwards.
As for Darkspawn Chronicles and Leliana's Song, they are completely separate, they don't use imported characters, and you can't import your character from them into other campaigns.
Darkspawn Chronicles is a version of the final battle from the PoV of the darkspawn, in an alternate reality where your character in Origins is not around (Alistair is head Warden), and does contain a number of spoilers if you haven't beaten Origins before, so it is usually recommended to play it any time after beating Origins if you care about spoilers.
Leliana's Song is a version of her back story, which you learn a version of from her through conversations/romancing her in Origins, and it does contain spoilers, so again, it is recommended that you play it after beating Origins if you care about spoilers.
DC and LS also unlock items for use in Origins and Awakening (two different versions, one for Origins, and one for Awakening, GoA, and WH), DC for beating it, and LS for completing the Armor of the Provocateur, so you may want to do them before starting Awakening, or before starting Origins again if you have already beaten it before so the spoilers won't matter. --- R.I.P. Eve English (Feb. 12, 1968 - Oct. 13, 2010) Momma Eve, you will be missed.
so I see, thanks. so by getting the achievements, I will get those items in any playthrough. so If I were to get the new equipment in Origins, I will get the same items in Awakenings, but with better stats (since items to not literally transfer)? --- War does not determine who is right - only who is left
Not necessarily better, just different, although, in most cases, yes, they are better.
I believe Blight Blood (the sword from DC) is the same for both versions, but it has been forever and a day since I've used either version (basically, used it for a single playthrough on one of my characters just after unlocking it when DC was first released, and haven't used it since). --- R.I.P. Eve English (Feb. 12, 1968 - Oct. 13, 2010) Momma Eve, you will be missed.