During a late Saturday night, Dragon Age developers addressed the concerns of fans and laid out their plans for the future of the Dragon Age franchise. Lead Designer, Mike Laidlaw, Executive Producer, Mark Darrah, Art Director, David Goldman, Lead Writer, David Gaider, Senior Producer, Alain Baxter were all on deck to help explain the direction they wanted to go.
First, they address the concerns that combat would end up being an action game. That is not the case, they want fights to be strategic as oppose to being hack-n-slash. They feel that even origins didn’t meet their expectations for strategic combat and that’s something they are going to work on. “It’s about designing encounters, instead of fights,” said Mike Laidlaw.
It all boils down to three mantras, preparation, positioning and teamwork. Preparation is terms of who goes with you and why take X instead of Y. Piggy backing on designing encounters instead of fights, they want to tie-in using the environment a lot more and making positioning more important, “We want Hawke to say “Look over there, on the hill”, instead of “Another wave!” said Mike Laidlaw. They feel that the cross-profession combos are a good starting point for teamwork and they hope to expand upon that.
The world of Dragon Age 2 was small, while Origins encompassed a whole continent. Teasing the Dragon Age 3 will have players traveling to around the world, from Anderfels back to Ferelden, they want the player to feel traveled.
Customization was also a hot button for some fans, the biggest change they are looking to implement is bringing that back and allowing players to customize their companions again. They didn’t specify if they will have set armors or if they will allow them to use anything that associates with their particular class.
Like Mass Effect, they want to show you the consequences of your actions. In Dragon Age 3, it will be able saving the world from itself. The templars have separated themselves, the mages are revolting, Ferelden and Orlais are on the brink of war, there is always the Qunari waiting in the north. They teased concept art with the very last one showing Morrigan burning down a Flameth’s hut cementing their commitment.
After addressing some for the core problems, they allow fans to ask questions. The Q&A revealed that we would see more of Varric in the future. They are considering the fact that the Warden and Hawke will meet but whether the player will be around to witness the encounter is still up for debate. Lastly, the Warden story is done; they won’t be a playable character in future installments but Hawke still has a story to tell, although they didn’t indicate if he/she would be in Dragon Age 3 or if they plan to finish the story with DLC.
A question for the readers, has any of this alleviated some of your concerns with the direction Bioware is taking the Dragon Age franchise? What are some of your concerns with the plans moving forward.