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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Dragon Age: Inquisition - Map Size Details

Default Dragon Age: Inquisition - Map Size Details

June 17th, 2014, 10:24
Gamingbolt has posted a short article about the map sizes for Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Dragon Age Inquisition was showcased in full glory at last week’s E3. We have no doubts that it was one one of the best games showcased at E3 besides the likes of Witcher 3 and Sunset Overdrive. GamingBolt got the chance to speak with Mike Laidlaw from Bioware who is the creative director of the game and among the various topics we discussed, we got to know how big the map will be in Inquisition.

Not only does Dragon Age Inquisition looks absolutely gorgeous but its map size is absolutely massive. But is it bigger than the one we found in Origins and Dragon Age 2 combined? The entire region from Dragon Age Origins will fit into a single level of Inquisition. Now that is massive.

“You can take the whole of [Dragon Age] Origins and the level we are demonstrating today and it will fit, all of it. The game is a multi-regional open world, it’s not like one big space. But if you travel you will come across places which are full of demons or may be a desert. They all have a distinct feel. So ye, if you can fit one game in one of the levels, we can fit of two of them with no problem in Inquisition,” Mike Laidlaw said to GamingBolt.
More information.
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June 17th, 2014, 10:24
Inquisition looks really promising, especially taking into account the big failure that was Dragon Age 2.
Anyway, comparing an open world map to a Baldur's Gate style map is just non sense.
In fact, I have 2 questions :
1/ Is Inquisition really open world?
2/ What's its size compared to Skyrim. Skyrim is the unit when we're talking about size, right?
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June 17th, 2014, 12:12
1. yes it is
2. there is no word on the world size yet and I seriously doubt someone will go compare almost bugfree game with a bug-o-rama

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June 17th, 2014, 13:23
1. No, its not - if you mean ONE big open world. They call it multi-region open world - few big maps in one game.
See also discussion here:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showt…t=23641&page=3
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June 17th, 2014, 13:55
1. It's still openworld otherwise you could say Gothic 2 is not openworld (as it's multiregion per your description). They can call it anything they want, it's fans who'll have the last word just as in the case where Steam doesn't allow pay2win tag but that didn't stop players from using it.

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June 17th, 2014, 14:09
Originally Posted by Risine View Post
1/ Is Inquisition really open world?
2/ What's its size compared to Skyrim. Skyrim is the unit when we're talking about size, right?
1. Depends what you mean by open world. It's made of ~10 different maps (aka regions, the 10 I heard in an E3 interview). The map themselves are open world with no level scaling and no loading screen, but some needs to be "unlocked" by sending troops/spies to create an outpost first. Some of those regions also change over the course of the game going by what happens to Redcliff in the E3 demo (story based changes). Oh and stuff do not really respawn, you can exterminate the entire popular of bear on a map. I say "not really", because some stuff is story based and might not stop generating mobs until it is dealt with (like veil tears spawning demons).

2. The map with Redcliff on it is larger than all of DAO maps put together. The dev called it medium sized at E3. Hard to tell the Skyrim-related size though. The demo at E3 was apparently 40 minutes long, but there was fighting and they didn't exactly go in straight line. The map did look large though.
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June 17th, 2014, 15:34
Claims of world size, alas, are not that informative. A lot depends on things like how the landscape is structured (large open regions, impassable terrain like lakes and mountains etc.), content density, content quality, repetitiveness etc.

Effective travel time, for instance, can be surprisingly short with a swift horse and a large expanse of relatively open terrain. It doesn’t take long to cross the large plains of central Skyrim around Whiterun, or the great savannah of Two Worlds II’s second-largest island of Erimos. Other areas, where you are confined to narrow paths hemmed in by impassable terrain are another thing.
Travel times in an old-fashioned, non-contiguous ‘tunnels and caverns’ kind of overworld, on the other hand, can be surprisingly long. They often tend to be quite winding, and as a result they can take a longer time to cross than one of the large, expansive plains I mentioned.

From what they showed in the videos, it seems they went for a relatively ‘constrained’ zone, with a ‘tunnels and caverns’ structure. More open and presumably less linear than DA:O or DA2, but more ‘linear’ and constrained than much of Skyrim or what we’ve seen of The Witcher III. The closest analogies I can think of are Amalur and the more ‘tunnel-like’ overland sections of Skyrim.
That could mean comparatively long travel times and a feeling of being hemmed in.

Other zones, like the desert area we’ve seen, may be more open. However, desert areas are a bit particular in the sense that it is relatively easy to ‘anchor’ content to points of interest that are easily visible from a great distance, which is more difficult to do in wooded and / or hilly / mountainous areas.
The bulk of a desert can be, quite literally, waste, featureless empty surface that’s there primarily to create a sense of scale (the same would apply to a steppe area, by the way, or an expanse of sea that you can sail across).
There’s also the fact that, even in a desert, you can artificially create something like a ‘tunnels and caverns’ structure by filling it by mobs of critters that make most of it difficult or nearly impossible to cross. At least, until you’re a much higher level than the level range the area and its denizens are intended for.

Of course, this is something that will only become clear once you play the game. Even a demo wouldn’t be conclusive (and it appears we are not getting a demo anyway).
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June 17th, 2014, 15:47
"size", IOW traversable space in relation to your speed of travelling, is only desirable IMO if it enhances the survival aspect of an RPG. Like, how self-sufficient is your character (skill wise, ability wise, Equipment wise)? Do you really have to prepare more for a trip from one town to another than you'd have to for a trip to the nearest cave? Are your preparations gonna differ in any respect (like having to pack food for a longer trip, buying a map, paying for rumors so you get a rough idea of potential enemies etc.)?

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June 17th, 2014, 15:55
The Witcher 2 is another example of a tunnel-like structure that is tedious and deceptive in terms of size.

If your game isn't brag-worthy long in terms of productive content then I just wish they wouldn't make it brag-worthy long in terms of play-time. There are even more tricks than were listed above. You can set running speed to a trot. You can limit fast travel to edges of maps. You can force people to double back after doing something. You can make a town quest that goes a,b,c,a where all the points are as far away from each other as possible ect.

I have never seen an isometric-style game where huge maps was a good thing.
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June 17th, 2014, 16:22
Originally Posted by Burress View Post
The Witcher 2 is another example of a tunnel-like structure that is tedious and deceptive in terms of size.

If your game isn't brag-worthy long in terms of productive content then I just wish they wouldn't make it brag-worthy long in terms of play-time. There are even more tricks than were listed above. You can set running speed to a trot. You can limit fast travel to edges of maps. You can force people to double back after doing something. You can make a town quest that goes a,b,c,a where all the points are as far away from each other as possible ect.

I have never seen an isometric-style game where huge maps was a good thing.
I found Witcher II's tedium (in terms of traversing the landscape) not too bad, but I totally agree on the tunnel structure. It felt waaaaaaaaaaaay more tunnelly than the first game. That's partly the result from the fact that the first game had 'open' looking skyboxes with fields and some locations in the distance, some of which you could visit later on. There are ways of making tunnel + cavern overworlds 'airy', and ways of making 'open' worlds 'tunnel-y'.

Personally, I can stand 'tunnel-y', if it makes sense in terms of the landscape, for instance a series of connected canyons, or the very narrow paths along mountainsides of a high valley. If it's all canyons or the forest turns out to be canyons with trees, I can get rather annoyed however.
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June 17th, 2014, 16:27
Originally Posted by Fluffyhotep View Post
I found Witcher II's tedium (in terms of traversing the landscape) not too bad, but I totally agree on the tunnel structure. It felt waaaaaaaaaaaay more tunnelly than the first game. That's partly the result from the fact that the first game had 'open' looking skyboxes with fields and some locations in the distance, some of which you could visit later on. There are ways of making tunnel + cavern overworlds 'airy', and ways of making 'open' worlds 'tunnel-y'.

Personally, I can stand 'tunnel-y', if it makes sense in terms of the landscape, for instance a series of connected canyons, or the very narrow paths along mountainsides of a high valley. If it's all canyons or the forest turns out to be canyons with trees, I can get rather annoyed however.
This reminds me of the Risen 2 game world design. It was tunnel-y but still felt open somehow. It wasn't straight corridors, you were able to explore to the left and right of the path and there were numerous paths you could take. So, it felt like an evolution of the open-world design to me. It was compact enough to not be tedious or overwhelming, yet open enough to not feel cramped and still have rewarding exploration. I think it was really a great design.
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June 17th, 2014, 17:31
Originally Posted by Fluffyhotep View Post
From what they showed in the videos, it seems they went for a relatively ‘constrained’ zone, with a ‘tunnels and caverns’ structure. More open and presumably less linear than DA:O or DA2, but more ‘linear’ and constrained than much of Skyrim or what we’ve seen of The Witcher III. The closest analogies I can think of are Amalur and the more ‘tunnel-like’ overland sections of Skyrim.
That could mean comparatively long travel times and a feeling of being hemmed in.
As far as I know there is no invisible walls in DAI stopping you from going off the path or jumping off a cliff to your death.
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June 17th, 2014, 19:18
Who cares how big the land is, it's what I do on that land that matters.
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June 17th, 2014, 21:05
Amalur is a good comparison. It was a huge game, but you never had that sense of wideness and freedom you have in Skyrim, you have always the sensation of being entraped in a small map.
Anyway, as sakichop said, that's not necessarily the most important aspect of a game.
If they can mix the modern aspect of 3d games with the greatness of a Baldur's Gate sense of exploration and gameplay, it will be great. Fingers crossed.
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June 17th, 2014, 21:10
I honestly hope DA:I has nothing even similar to Amalur.

TW2 that was mentioned in a few posts is not openworld.

"tunnel-y" system is present also in Gothic3 where three huge areas are connected with "tunnels". Risen 1 town, monastery and mountain dungeon are the same way (a tunnel) connected to the outside huge map. Both those games are openworld.

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June 17th, 2014, 22:01
<DAI won't have tunnels between maps, it has a loading screen.
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June 17th, 2014, 22:57
I didn't heard any comparison concerning the visuals with witcher 3 from people who saw both of them running. Does someone have feedback concerning this point?
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June 18th, 2014, 00:20
If you ask if someone here actually played demos of those two games on E3, then no, we don't have such person here.

But from vids on E3 two things are pretty obvious.

DA:I seems visually far superior to DA2. It's not just basic and dull background with even more basic textures on characters - everything in the new DA game is "decorated". Not much was shown but I really liked what I've seen. Very much.
Even if the game in the end is not openworld in the style of FarCry3, if they didn't mess up the story/characters and if they don't skin the people alive with DLC, it's highly possible DA:I makes GOTY this year. This is coming from me - and on this forum I'm probably the one who hates EA the most.

TW3 (at least IMO) looks so impressive it was maybe too intimidating to other companies. And when you're scared, you look for flaws. So you'll probably see some comments "meh, Geralt walks like a retarded person". Those same people failed to spot Shepard's legs problem in ME series.
TW3 visuals probably scared off Bethesda and Square Enix so we didn't see FO4 nor new Final Fantasy announcement on E3. They were probably too ashamed to show their visuals.

Comparision? Visuals only?
TW3 looks better than anything I've seen in my life.
DA:I looks better than it's predecessors, but visually can't compete with Watch Dogs which will not matter in the end as Watch Dogs is a festival of repetitiveness and dull stories in a fancy package and we don't need such crap in RPGs.

IMO

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Last edited by joxer; June 18th, 2014 at 00:33.
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June 18th, 2014, 02:44
Originally Posted by Risine View Post
I didn't heard any comparison concerning the visuals with witcher 3 from people who saw both of them running. Does someone have feedback concerning this point?
What if I said that DAI doesn't show up on "best graphics of E3" nominations while The Witcher 3 does?

But at the same time, The Witcher 3 do not have as much going on the screen in fights. A lots less spell usages and less player controlled party members too.
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June 18th, 2014, 02:58
Could careless how big the game is in land mass, it will come down to what they do within the area.

DA2 every dungeon or cave looked and felt the same to the point where all they did was block the way you could go in some of them.
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