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Default Dragon Age: Inquisition - PAX Australia Tidbits

July 20th, 2013, 01:08
The bioware forum has new information posted from PAX Australia 2013. Bioware was there showcasing Dragon Age: Inquisition. The origin of the news comes from NeoGAF.

Bioware panel - PAX Australia

First of all, everyone from Bioware was incredibly nice and enthusiastic, and Patrick Weekes is genuinely hilarious. They couldn't say much about DAI *at all*, and so the response to almost every question was "we can't talk about that yet". Cameron had a presentation prepared but most of the session was Q&A.

I wasn't able to copy exactly what people said in many cases, so don't overanalyse the language I'm using here - I got pretty much everything related to Dragon Age down on paper, but it's not exactly using the words that the Bioware staff used.

- The E3 trailer was made by approximately 30 people and took 5-6 weeks - they deliberately included certain scenes and characters because they wanted to get a few messages across to the fans.

- The DAI artwork of the Inquisitor reaching for a helmet (and wearing rings) is more about a representation of the player being immersed into the game, and that it's *our* story. This was a theme that they constantly repeated, they want DA Inquisition to feel like "our" story. Cameron said people had wondered a lot about who the helmet figure was, and what the rings were for - he never really explained either of them, though.

- They want to emphasise "an epic story and a world in chaos". A bigger, broader story like Origins. Cameron pointed to a few of the new creatures in the trailer: one is a new type of demon, the crystal/rock monster thing has a giant club to use in combat, and the thin, skeletal one is called a "Nightmare". At the same time as a demon invasion is happening from a breach in the Veil, chaos also engulfs human nations and factions as they go to war with each other. The story is a long one (that sounds obvious but it was part of a larger sentence and I forget the second part).

- Another section of the E3 trailer was intended to represent "decisions that matter". The scene with Varric and the dead bodies actually occurs in the game - a village is destroyed and its people wiped out because of actions that the Inquisitor did, or failed to do. They want consequences for our choices to ripple through the game.

- Old news, but the player leads the Inquisition - and the Inquisition is not part of the Chantry.


- The map scene with Cassandra from the trailer was the Inquisition plotting and planning an attack, with various people gathered around the table, plotting.
More information.

"Beware the potato for he is easily angered."- Couchpotato
Last edited by Couchpotato; July 20th, 2013 at 11:17.
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July 20th, 2013, 01:09
Here is the full tidbits as it's to large for the front page.

Bioware panel - PAX Australia

First of all, everyone from Bioware was incredibly nice and enthusiastic, and Patrick Weekes is genuinely hilarious. They couldn't say much about DAI *at all*, and so the response to almost every question was "we can't talk about that yet". Cameron had a presentation prepared but most of the session was Q&A.

I wasn't able to copy exactly what people said in many cases, so don't overanalyse the language I'm using here - I got pretty much everything related to Dragon Age down on paper, but it's not exactly using the words that the Bioware staff used.

- The E3 trailer was made by approximately 30 people and took 5-6 weeks - they deliberately included certain scenes and characters because they wanted to get a few messages across to the fans.

- The DAI artwork of the Inquisitor reaching for a helmet (and wearing rings) is more about a representation of the player being immersed into the game, and that it's *our* story. This was a theme that they constantly repeated, they want DA Inquisition to feel like "our" story. Cameron said people had wondered a lot about who the helmet figure was, and what the rings were for - he never really explained either of them, though.

- They want to emphasise "an epic story and a world in chaos". A bigger, broader story like Origins. Cameron pointed to a few of the new creatures in the trailer: one is a new type of demon, the crystal/rock monster thing has a giant club to use in combat, and the thin, skeletal one is called a "Nightmare". At the same time as a demon invasion is happening from a breach in the Veil, chaos also engulfs human nations and factions as they go to war with each other. The story is a long one (that sounds obvious but it was part of a larger sentence and I forget the second part).

- Another section of the E3 trailer was intended to represent "decisions that matter". The scene with Varric and the dead bodies actually occurs in the game - a village is destroyed and its people wiped out because of actions that the Inquisitor did, or failed to do. They want consequences for our choices to ripple through the game.

- Old news, but the player leads the Inquisition - and the Inquisition is not part of the Chantry.

- The map scene with Cassandra from the trailer was the Inquisition plotting and planning an attack, with various people gathered around the table, plotting.

- Cameron showed a screenshot from the E3 trailer of the environment/fortress where lightning strikes (the one dotted with statues, I don't have a picture) and said this place appeared normal but strange things happened there. This location has been something they've been working on for the last few months.

- Three new pieces of concept art (I don't have pictures, but people were taking them):

- A desert scene, Cameron mentioned it had oases, with a door and some kind of symbol above it.
- A swamp landscape, "hidden ruins"
- A really interesting shot of a qunari sitting/lying in a sandy/arid location, next to a large-ish reptilian animal (someone said "dragon" but it didn't look like it?) that had *qunari-shaped horns*. Cameron made the connection between the qunari's horns and the animal's, which were exactly the same shape and type.

- Again, they're aiming for a mix between the tactical combat of Origins and the "fluidity" of DA2.

- Patrick Weekes seemed to imply that the tensions or conflict between Empress Celene and Grand Duke Gaspard will be a significant plot point in DAI. The reason he's writing The Masked Empire is that (to paraphrase) they wanted to give more background about internal Orlesian politics and the characters of Celene and Gaspard, and a novel was the appropriate narrative method to do it justice in terms of length, etc.

- Karin Weekes said dealing with the writers was occasionally like, I quote, "herding rabid cats"

- Lots of exploration, they mentioned Bioware's history of exploration in previous games and said it was a theme they were returning to.
- The player can explore maps and find new things, including (I have it quoted as, by Cameron) "small dungeons or big dungeons".

- DAI has a diverse range of environments. Patrick said (like Mike has said at other events) there won't be the same cave repeated seventeen times, etc. The team went through and listed some, as well as showing all the concept art we've seen so far (including the new ones they showed at PAX Aus).
- Desert, swamps, mountains, grasslands, ruins, snowy locations - possibly some more but I didn't catch them.

- On save-files, they can't reveal anything yet but decisions will carry across.

- They're not going to scrap "Bioware-style choices", and there was an interesting discussion of persuasion options (Patrick said Mass Effect arguably became 'pick the glowing blue/red option to win'). They want to have *some* other influence on dialogue and choice outcomes, whether that be stats-based, or having certain options require having a particular companion present, or having dialogue or choices dependent on other things said earlier in the conversation.

- Patrick said the best choices are the ones that get people genuinely thinking and debating the one they chose. He wants to write them so that each choice looks "right", depending on the player's worldview or philosophy - not just "save the baby or save the warlock", which are absurdly obvious binary good/evil choices.

- Patrick, Cameron and Chris (I think Chris was involved) talked about the proposal of using random numbers in determining the outcome of dialogue options or choices, and said they've basically rejected doing this. Players like seeing the consequences of their choices, and seeing a cause -> effect relationship, and introducing an element of randomness to choices/dialogue could be seen as unfairly punishing them. Also, players would reload if they "randomly" got a "bad" outcome, or something they didn't want, and anything that forces the player to constantly reload their saves isn't very fun gameplay.

- On dialogue:
- Patrick Weekes was talking about the reaction to Hawke and the way dialogue in DA2 was affected by previous things the player had said in the conversation. He said some players found this confusing and that they were looking at it for DAI.
- Patrick also said (unprompted) that they're aware of the backlash against ME3's 'autodialogue'
- People were also occasionally frustrated by dialogue paraphrases in DA2 (where the dialogue option they picked didn't really sound like what Hawke actually said), Patrick and Karin Weekes had an interesting and entertaining conversation about the difficulty of paraphrasing. It's an issue that they're kept in mind when developing DAI.

- Finally, they said more information is coming, eventually. They're asking us to be patient, but with an extra year of development the panel really seemed to be positive about DAI's potential.

"Beware the potato for he is easily angered."- Couchpotato
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July 20th, 2013, 01:23
It reads okay, but Mike Laidlaw was so earnest he had me convinced that DA2 would be excellent and it really wasn't…

so I mostly like what I read there, but I'm still far more wary than interested.
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July 20th, 2013, 01:52
I'm still not "convinced". They could send an inquisition on my doorstep to put me in the right place, yet I can't find something in the text that would persuade me to preorder this game when it gets out.
But who knows, more news are promised, so… Can't be 100% sure.

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July 20th, 2013, 02:10
They're not going to scrap "Bioware-style choices",

just doesn't have the same meaning it used to. Still very skeptical about this.
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July 20th, 2013, 02:57
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
- The E3 trailer was made by approximately 30 people and took 5-6 weeks
This is exactly what is wrong with the game industry these days, all the money and time go into marketing.
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July 20th, 2013, 10:41
Why didn't they go to the RPC ? Why PAX ?

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 20th, 2013, 12:34
Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
This is exactly what is wrong with the game industry these days, all the money and time go into marketing.
That was my instant thought too. Thirty people and 5-6 weeks? Imagine the content you could create in that time and with that manpower.
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July 20th, 2013, 13:24
Originally Posted by abharsair View Post
That was my instant thought too. Thirty people and 5-6 weeks? Imagine the content you could create in that time and with that manpower.
The trailer content is from the game though. I think what he meant is that 30 people and 5-6 weeks were required to make all those models, lightning and scenes. But they aren't losing those things, because most of it is in the game.
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July 20th, 2013, 16:21
I sense that some of you DA2 haters are starting to loosen your stance on DA3. Before it was, "I'll never buy this game" but now it's "I won't preorder". By this time next year it'll be "No way will I buy horse armor". LOL

I think BioWare deserves another chance. While it may not be the game everyone wants, I think they learned the big lessons from DA2.
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July 20th, 2013, 16:47
Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
I think BioWare deserves another chance.
I lost interest in Bioware a long time ago, not simply from DA2. So your comment should read more like, "Bioware deserves a fifth chance." Another chance to do what, exactly? Increasingly shallow gameplay, tactics, and story at the cost of shiner graphics and party banter to prop the game up?
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July 20th, 2013, 17:08
Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
I sense that some of you DA2 haters are starting to loosen your stance on DA3. Before it was, "I'll never buy this game" but now it's "I won't preorder". By this time next year it'll be "No way will I buy horse armor". LOL

I think BioWare deserves another chance. While it may not be the game everyone wants, I think they learned the big lessons from DA2.

This is how this works for me.

I never finished BG even once, and I bought it on release. I liked it, overall, but found it very slow.

I did finish BG2, twice, once right away and a second time maybe three-four years ago. Really liked it. Great game!

LOVED KotOR. Played it about four times. Awesome game. And I am NOT a fan of Star Wars at all.

Super-excited for NWN. Took me over five years to play through the OC once, many starts and stops. In the end my need for loving it failed. I hated NWN in the end. And it helped me understand how much I dislike 3E D&D.

Enjoyed Jade Empire for one play. But never got far in any replay, and in retrospect I don't think the game was that good. Glad they tried something different here, but in the end it didn't really work for me.

Mass Effect. Played that four times all the way through, one was a + game. Love ME greatly. Amazing game, universe, etc.

Dragon Age: Origins. This was a game I had wait for, for a long time, and it didn't fail to deliver. It was excellent. Three full playthroughs, many starts but not finished since (currently playing one right now.) My favorite BioWare game, and one of my favorite cRPGs.

ME2. Improved a lot of gameplay mechanics, took care of a lot of little annoying things about ME1. Great game, but I like ME1 more.

DA2. Huge, HUGE disappointment. Many series changes made that I just do not like, a few things were improved but mostly a bad series of decisions, especially the story and the ending. A solid game, if taken as something separate from DA:O, but as a follow up to Origins it really fell flat. THAT SAID, I still mostly enjoy the game.

ME3. Improved more COMBAT gameplay mechanics, stripped a lot of character and role-playing from the series. HORRENDOUS last act, specifically from the charge of the elevator forward. Gainax ending. Ending so bad it spoiled what had been, otherwise, a fairly stellar gaming experience. In retrospect, the focus on combat over all else in ME3 really hurts my opinion of it as well.

While I did try TOR, and somewhat enjoyed my month of playing it, I'm not an MMO-gamer and in the end I wish they hadn't done it.

So the direction of BioWare in their last three games (towards MMO, towards actiony-twitch combat, the dialog wheel, dumbing-down dialog choices, gutting C&C, towards multi-player, etc.) has move further and further away from me.

DA:O was strong enough a game, and DA2 was enjoyable enough, that I still hold SOME interest, in passing, for Inquisition. But BioWare has gone from a pre-order Colletor's Edition game company (for ALL games from BG2 forward for me) to a "I'll check it out and probably pick it up on sale" which is QUITE a fall.
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July 20th, 2013, 19:04
Im curious about the "exploration", if they went open world it would be good for winning back disgruntled fans. That's the kind of change im lookin for

No scrapping of Bioware-style choices? Big surprise there!
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July 20th, 2013, 19:15
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
The trailer content is from the game though. I think what he meant is that 30 people and 5-6 weeks were required to make all those models, lightning and scenes. But they aren't losing those things, because most of it is in the game.
Well, if that's the case then it's certainly fine, but then it should have been phrased differently.
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July 20th, 2013, 19:22
Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
I sense that some of you DA2 haters are starting to loosen your stance on DA3. Before it was, "I'll never buy this game" but now it's "I won't preorder". By this time next year it'll be "No way will I buy horse armor". LOL

I think BioWare deserves another chance. While it may not be the game everyone wants, I think they learned the big lessons from DA2.
I never preordered a game in my whole life and I certainly won't start doing it now (unless you consider backing Kickstarter projects to be preordering).

It's also not a question whether BioWare deserves another chance or not. I certainly don't boycott them because of their somewhat questionable recent game history. If they manage to deliver a decent (in my eyes) product, I'll buy it. It's just that I don't have any faith whatsoever in them doing so, but hey, I'd love to be pleasantly surprised.
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July 20th, 2013, 21:28
I didn't buy DA2 at all. I don't know whether that puts me in the 'hater' camp or not. (It's difficult to hate a game you never played at all.) I'll do for DAI what I did for DA2, namely wait for player reviews and make a decision then. I don't have a shortage of alternatives to fill my leisure time if Bioware screws the pooch again.
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July 21st, 2013, 19:45
Since this is BW the game is going to suck until we have proof of the opposite. Who was their last non stereotypical character, Kreia ?
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July 22nd, 2013, 09:28
Kreia was in KotOR2, so that was Obsidian. She was written by Avellone if I recall correctly.

By the way, what is Patrick Weekes role in all this? Just a regular writer or something more? I seem to remember him being responsible for some of the best writing in ME2, like Moridin Solus.
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July 22nd, 2013, 13:21
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
By the way, what is Patrick Weekes role in all this? Just a regular writer or something more?
Regular writer for the game. I do know that he writes one of the companion. He is also writing the "tie-in" novel about the political events in Orlais prior to the DAI events.
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