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Default RPGWatch Feature: Dragon Age Inquisition Interview

September 5th, 2013, 04:04
While at Gamescom I had the opportunity to talk with Dragon Age: Inquisition Producer Melanie Faulknor and Cinematic Director Jonathan Perry about combat, some of the RPG elements of the game and the new engine they are using.

My first interest was the combat in Dragon Age: Inquistion and what it would be like compared to its predecessors. Jonathan Perry (JP) started out with saying that they received a lot of feedback on combat and how it changed from Dragon Age: Origins to Dragon Age 2. They are taking all this feedback while developing Dragon Age: Inquisition to define what combat will be like in the game. Overall Dragon Age: Inquisition will be much more focused on tactical combat. Using your party members' unique abilities, you can get more strategic about how you are using your party in combat. For this purpose you can use what JP named Pause and Play (which sounds as Real-Time-with-Pause) to position your party members and give them commands for what they will use as attack or defense action once you continue to play, thus making full use of your party's abilities. This should accommodate the more strategic players, but Dragon Age: Inquisition will also keep the very fast reactive combat from Dragon Age 2 as they feel it worked very well for a lot of players too. These two styles will be meshed so you can decide for yourself which combat style you want to use.
More information.
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September 5th, 2013, 04:04
Nice interview, thanks! If I had to speculate as to what setting BioWare chose for their new mystery IP, I'd guess one of the following:

1) Forgotten Realms/D&D- based game. I realize "new IP" could mean simply a new game franchise in the D&D universe, and not specifically a new universe altogether. I wouldn't rule out a return to Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter Nights.

or

2) Post-apocalyptic setting. Let's face it, this type of setting is batshit crazy popular right now, and I've wondered when BioWare was going to jump in with their own take of the Fallout/Wasteland/Zombie scenario.
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September 5th, 2013, 06:21
Hmm. I find that if the game is balanced for "fast reactive combat" then it becomes a bit too easy for turn based. On the other hand, if the game is balanced for turn-based, it becomes a bit too difficult for real time.
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September 5th, 2013, 07:19
Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
Nice interview, thanks! If I had to speculate as to what setting BioWare chose for their new mystery IP, I'd guess one of the following:

1) Forgotten Realms/D&D- based game. I realize "new IP" could mean simply a new game franchise in the D&D universe, and not specifically a new universe altogether. I wouldn't rule out a return to Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter Nights.

or

2) Post-apocalyptic setting. Let's face it, this type of setting is batshit crazy popular right now, and I've wondered when BioWare was going to jump in with their own take of the Fallout/Wasteland/Zombie scenario.

Of your two theories, I'm going with #2. Although they worked on SW:TOR, I get the impression that they are looking to stay away from licensed IPs and stay with their own (hence, Dragon Age and Mass Effect). It gives them more freedom and probably costs less. I could see them doing something with zombies, that wouldn't surprise me at all.

A horror RPG would be cool.
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September 5th, 2013, 08:01
Originally Posted by dpc76 View Post
A horror RPG would be cool.
I wish they'd do something more creative than that. I'd love to see an RPG in which you are a member of the French Resistance during World War II. Plenty of role-playing opportunities in a setting like that, and it would be nice to explore parts of the time period other than the ones that have been done to death by Call of Duty.
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September 5th, 2013, 09:58
Thanks for the interview. Unfortunately, not having played DAII, I still don't understand what the combat system will be like. Is it like: I pause, give my party commands and AI rules/packages and then I jump into action combat with my main character (click to strike, hotkey to cast, etc.), until I pasue againg? Or what?
How would I e.g. pull of spell combos as in DA:O in such a system?
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September 5th, 2013, 10:23
but Dragon Age: Inquisition will also keep the very fast reactive combat from Dragon Age 2
Any interest I had in this game is now gone.
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September 5th, 2013, 10:46
Unfortunately the two I talked to we're not that knowledgeable on the combat aspects, so I had to do with what they did know. From what I understand you can use the playing style of DA:O. So pause the game, give commands, unpause to see things happen in real time, pause the game, give commands, unpause, etc.
When not paused you can control your main character completely if you like and have it use the fast paced action combat style of DA2, but you don't have to.

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September 5th, 2013, 11:08
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
Unfortunately the two I talked to we're not that knowledgeable on the combat aspects, so I had to do with what they did know. From what I understand you can use the playing style of DA:O. So pause the game, give commands, unpause to see things happen in real time, pause the game, give commands, unpause, etc.
When not paused you can control your main character completely if you like and have it use the fast paced action combat style of DA2, but you don't have to.
So, I can pause, que up commands, unpause and watch my rogue do a superhuman DA2 flip over my enemy's head to pull off a backstab? Theyre trying to play both sides of the fence here, which is exactly what they did with DA2. You may recall how, early on in the DA2 hype, they kept emohasizing how they were going to preserve the tactical play of DA:O (which I personally didn't think was very good to begin with) and refused to acknowledge, until much kater on, that the overhead view had been dropped.

Forgive me if I doubt what they say is actually going to happen.
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September 5th, 2013, 11:10
Is it just me, or does it sound as if they're going more and more back to Origins, but they have to throw in DA2 here and there just to make it sound like less of a failure?
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September 5th, 2013, 11:18
I already told people from Bioware awhile ago to do a Cthulhu Old West rpg so that is what they are doing next.

They have shown the overhead tactical combat view in one of the videos so unless they remove it there will be a tactical view in DAI.
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September 5th, 2013, 15:34
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
I already told people from Bioware awhile ago to do a Cthulhu Old West rpg so that is what they are doing next.
Sounds like a General commanding his troops.
Sorry, but I just had this mental image …

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September 5th, 2013, 16:17
I'd love to see an RPG in which you are a member of the French Resistance during World War II.
I love that idea.
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September 5th, 2013, 17:10
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Thanks for the interview. Unfortunately, not having played DAII, I still don't understand what the combat system will be like. Is it like: I pause, give my party commands and AI rules/packages and then I jump into action combat with my main character (click to strike, hotkey to cast, etc.), until I pasue againg? Or what?
How would I e.g. pull of spell combos as in DA:O in such a system?
DAII combat was like DAO for the control part (auto-attacks, hotkeys, tactics, pausing, switching characters, etc). It just didn't have the overhead tactical view. Only console had an optional click-to-strike feature as well. Animations were faster and over the top in some cases (lots of knockback and jumping). The combo system was crap though (and quite limited). There was no spell combos like in DAO, but it didn't stop Pull of the Abyss + Firestorm being op when used together…

Going by the the pre-alpha demo, they are bringing back DAO more than sticking to DA2. Animations aren't as over the top, they are slower, but still faster than DAO. You can see the return of the "shatter" effect in that demo too. Tactical view is back as well. No word about spell combos, but it might be replaced by a more organic system, more thing like fire spell set grease (boat too!) on fire and less X + Y makes spell Z.
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September 5th, 2013, 18:52
Originally Posted by Capt. Huggy Face View Post
So, I can pause, que up commands, unpause and watch my rogue do a superhuman DA2 flip over my enemy's head to pull off a backstab? Theyre trying to play both sides of the fence here, which is exactly what they did with DA2. You may recall how, early on in the DA2 hype, they kept emohasizing how they were going to preserve the tactical play of DA:O (which I personally didn't think was very good to begin with) and refused to acknowledge, until much kater on, that the overhead view had been dropped.

Forgive me if I doubt what they say is actually going to happen.

They may have said that they were going to preserve tactical play, but they were pretty clear from early on that the overhead view was being dropped in DA2. If I recall, they had said something about it not fitting into the design of the game. And for the record, you could play DA2 in a pause/issue commands/play tactical manner, it just didn't work well without the overhead view.

It sounds to me like they are making a point to make DA:I feel as much like DA:O as possible. They are obviously aware of how the previous game fared (sales aside, the internet backlash was pretty hard to miss), and these early previews keep highlighting the various features that they are bringing back or expanding upon from DA:O. It's clear that their mission is to woo back the disgruntled DA:O fans.

Given that I felt that combat was one of the better aspects of DA2, I love the idea of combining the overhead tactics of DA:O with the smoother action of DA2.
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September 5th, 2013, 19:04
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
DAII combat was like DAO for the control part (auto-attacks, hotkeys, tactics, pausing, switching characters, etc). It just didn't have the overhead tactical view.
Yeah aside from the speed, which I didn't like, I couldn't see much difference between the combat mechanics of the two games. They were still RTWP, essentially. The main problem with DA2 was the encounter design, which didn't have much in the way of variety or lend itself to RTWP particularly well. Enemies always spawned on your head, and character placing was just a bit pointless. In the end, the only time I swapped characters was when I wanted someone to use a healing potion - apart from that, the characters pretty much got on with killing stuff and it didn't really matter whether I bothered taking control of them or not. DA:O was a bit like this sometimes, but there were still plenty of fights where I had to give a bit more thought to character placing and tactics etc.

I think they could blend the two and end up with a decent system, as long as they learn the right lessons from DA2 (I'm not convinced they have though, yet).
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September 5th, 2013, 19:31
None of their responses make me excited about the game. I loved DA 1 but didn't even finish the demo of DA 2. I'm in a wait and see mode now. If the masses on the internet like the game and say its much more like DA 1 then I'll probably get it otherwise ….

Anyone have sales figures comparing DA 1 and DA 2? I'd be curious to see those.
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September 5th, 2013, 19:54
Originally Posted by Pongo View Post
and character placing was just a bit pointless.
Just a bit pointless? You position your chars carefully utilizing cover and chock points. You start combat….. and your team materializes in the middle of the room surrounded by a mob.
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September 5th, 2013, 20:38
Originally Posted by Toff View Post
Anyone have sales figures comparing DA 1 and DA 2? I'd be curious to see those.
I don't know exact numbers but DA 2 sold significantly less.DA 2 actually started well(better than DA:O) and was on top 10 on best seller list in first 2 weeks but after that(I guess when people, based on feedback, figured out reviews are paid) sales dropped, 2 DLC went really poor and planed expansion(IIRC work was already started at that point) and DLC where canceled.
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September 5th, 2013, 21:01
I just want to know if you can scout ahead with your thief which was taken away in DA2?
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