Thursday, January 1, 2015
Influx of details for Dragon Age: Inquisition

Influx of details for Dragon Age: Inquisition

Being Game Informer’s September issue cover game, the publication has revealed a massive amount of new Dragon Age III: Inquisition information.

Dragon Age: Inquisition, powered by Frostbite 3.0, will release in 2014 for “next-gen platforms” — we speculate, Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC — in 2014.

Special thanks to some NeoGAF members who compiled all the details in one handy, tidy list. Check it out!

  • Instead of just your characters growing, you also grow your inquisition army through lots of various methods ranging from doing favors, blackmail, finding ancient lore, getting ancient relics, obtaining secrets, making connections, etc, etc. An example of how this helps you is that say a castle turns you away. If you only have a few people, you might just be turned away. However, if your inquisition is an army, you can just siege the castle to get inside.
  • Question: Is there multiplayer in this game?” “BioWare: Boy we really loved Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer. They just knocked it out of the park.”
  • The world is split up into parts across multiple countries, but they’re large and explorable. Instead of progress being gated by how many of the missions you’ve completed, you are gated by the power of your inquisition. So, you have to go explore across all these areas and find ways to increase the power of your inquisition. Basically think of like DA2’s first act where you had to amass a ton of gold, but on a much larger/broader scale with a lot more choice/variety in what you do, and that the entire game works like that. Also, the inquisition buffing stuff doesn’t overlap with your character growth mechanics like gold did, so you don’t have to avoid buffing yourself to save your cash. Their goal is that ultimately you can do the types of content you like and explore the places you like and still finish the game.
  • They want to increase the variety of things you do. Think of your traditional kind of open world game where you have all sorts of various quest option types.
  • The map spans from Eastern Ferelden to Western Orlais. “Each of the areas we’re building is bigger than anything we’ve done before.”
  • The zones are all traditional open world zones where it’s large open and there’s interesting stuff scattered all around that can start quests or open a new side dungeon, etc, etc.
  • You can run into random monsters in the wild and have a mount to help go through the giant open areas. There’s a lot more environmental variety.
  • Okay in summary if you’ve played Skyrim you know how this open world works.
  • Environmental interaction is a notable focus. Mages can repair bridges, if you find an abandoned fort you can turn it into an inquisition base, and things like that.
  • The PC version’s controls will be tailored to the PC unlike DA2.
  • Wants to make the action less frantic and more deliberate, returning to more tactics-oriented approach to encounters. Big return to party-based tactics
  • Part of that is slowing down speed of attacks, more important is designing enemies that force you to examine the battlefield and choose actions carefully
  • Battles veer away from button mashing toward a structure where observation and reaction take precedence
  • Instead of swarming enemies, your foes have specialized roles; work together and force you to size up the battlefield
  • You won’t regularly see waves of new bad guys appearing out of nowhere to extend encounters
  • PC gamers getting an optimized version; “PC actually is different, especially from a controls standpoint”, trying to “recapture the very tailored experience of DA:O on PC”
  • Going from Eastern Ferelden to Western Orlais; repetitive environments are nowhere to be found in DAI like in DA2.
  • Players aren’t just funneled down narrow corridors, the demo showed a bog, desert, a mountain range, all enormous and freely explored in third person.
  • Lots of hidden things to find, caves, dungeons, corpses, etc that create other unique sidequests
  • Trying to drive exploration- something that frankly, Bioware hasn’t done in a while.” “In a way like Baldur’s Gate, areas that existed in part just to spaces that you went to, but they had a story of their own.”
  • Want to make sure there a sufficient number of caves in the game that are each unique, and optional. If you have a mage in your group, you can use a spell to reassemble a crumbled bridge to reach a new area.
  • Can also restore a ruined desert outpost into an Inquisition stronghold
  • So much ground to cover that mounted creatures are implemented
  • Monsters, and dragons for example, do not level up with you. Some are vastly more powerful, forcing you to come back later with proper experience
  • Some environmental destructibility
  • Warrior class has grappling chain that can pull enemies in close
  • Enemy scenario: Fighting a massive, armored dragon, you can target a leg, send warrior into melee range to bash off armor, rogue can sneak up and poison the exposed limb, dragon stumbles around allowing others to unleash spells etc
  • Weather effects can impact exploration, ex. Rainfall, desert sandstorms
  • Rainy weather can make areas muddy, slowing down your traversal/agility in combat, while sandstorms can inflict damage causing you to seek shelter
  • A new mage joins your party, Vivienne
  • Heavy hinting at Leliana and Aveline making a return
  • Both Varric and Cassandra also join you
  • Working hard to make large areas interesting; slopes, rocks, elevations and your character has tailored animations for overcoming each. Ease of movement key.
  • Morrigan is not a party member; not a cameo role though
  • Collect resources/materials and craft armor for you and all your party members; heavy emphasis on customization
  • Each armor retains a certain iconic look, but looks different on each character. They want the squadmates to each have an iconic look, but customize armor to tailor to each while retaining elements of that iconic look
  • 3 classes to choose from of course: Warrior, rogue, and mage
  • At least 3 races to choose from; when asked about Qunari, Mike Laidlaw says “Do we go to four? I don’t know. Definitely these are the safe bet”.
  • Your racial choice colors your interactions with others; for example elves may be persecuted in some parts, but an enclave of elves is more likely to open up to one of their own.
  • Chantry/Templars don’t respect your Inquisition, you have “persuade” them through your own means. You can come across a fortress and if refused entry, you can lay siege to it and break down the doors. What you do from there is your choice.
  • Hinting that you have a base of operations, maybe a castle to call your own
  • Dialogue wheel returns, but the team has focused a lot on making the selections accurate to what your character says. They’ve now added an optional addition to the wheel that gives you better idea of what to expect
  • A lot of loose ends will be resolved in the story; expect full resolutions to things like Red Lyrium, the activities of the Grey Wardens, and Flemeth, and also Morrigan
  • Working very hard to ensure your saves/decisions will carry over to next-gen consoles


– Game begins as Thedas is in chaos
– Chantry and the mages are at war
– The Seekers of the Truth and Templars are no longer tied to Chantry rule
– Ferelden continues to recover from the darkspwan Blight that ended 10 years ago
– Orlais is involved with a civil war
– Tear in the sky links the real world to the Fade
– Magic and demons come from Fade
– Rip allows demons to cross freely instead of using a mage host
– Demons/abominations are running free all over
– With everything going on, “there is a suspicious level of chaos in anticipation of this event”
– Reinstitute the Inquisition
– This is an organization that doesn’t answer to any outside power
– Inquisition puts aside politics and extracts answers
– “…about looking into what conspiracies happen, what kind of dastardly deeds could occur, when people are weak and naturally torn apart”


– Your hero acts as the head of the Inquisition
– Lead the organization rather than controlling a foot soldier
– You’re left as the only survivor early on, which leads to this ascension
– Create and guide the Inquisitor however you please
– 3 classes: warrior, rogue, and mage
– At least 3 races: human, elf, dwarf
– No pre-set name
– Fully voiced
– Can be male/female
– Events take place as you perform them, not being relayed by another character
– Will need to overcome resistance, but this becomes easier as the Inquisition gains more power/respect
– Inquisition’s reputation/strength go up as you finish objectives, gain items, help others


– Inquisition has a long reach
– Visit multiple large locations
– Several different regions
– Structural style like Dragon Age: Origins
– Access key story beats by reaching certain levels of power
– Explore to achieve that power
– Collect magical relics, solve mysteries, fight dragons, help others
– Don’t need to do everything
– Different resources to acquire better equipment and continue the story
– Won’t always be able to move from one area to another seamlessly
– “each of the areas we’re building is larger than anything we’ve built before”
– No repetitive environments
– Areas include a bog, desert, mountain range, can be explored freely in third-person
– Can take on unique quests by coming across things like an arcane device that lets you pinpoint the location of magic items
– Locations are like self-contained open worlds
– Each has a bunch of items to find and content to experience during day and night
– Game will have a mount system
– This will be more involved than just riding a horse around
– Very little is scaled to your level
– Can encounter monsters that are much more powerful than you
– Freedom is big, but BioWare as a story to tell


– Huge areas are made possible due to the move to Frostbite
– “We’re very happy with what we can do with the technology.”
– Will have some destructibility, game has a bigger focus on building
– Having a mage allows you to reassemble a crumbled footbridge to reach a new area
– Convert a ruined desert outpost into an Inquisition stronghold
– “If you destroy something, you can construct something.”
– Frostbite 3 allows the team to develop more easily on five platforms at once
– Better visuals on PS4/Xbox One than PS3/360
– Content being kept the same
– “Frostbite 3 is intended to bridge the gap between current-gen and next-gen”


– Will be optimized for the platform
– “The PC actually is different, especially from a controls standpoint.”
– Caters to mouse and keyboard, unlike its predecessor’s tradition


– Will encounter lots of resistance
– Battle pace lies between Dragon Age 1/2
– Not always a pause-and-play affair, but not always filled with tons of action
– Directly control a character and you’ll notice control similarities to Dragon Age II
– Switch between all characters in your party at will
– Choose AI behaviors for allies if you’d like
– Commands are performed right away with a button push
– BioWare looking to make things less frantic and more deliberate
– Slowing down the speed of attacks while also creating enemies that force players to examine the battlefield
– “We’ve got that mesh of action and RPG.”
– Enemies have specialized roles that work together
– Better AI for enemies
– Enemies seem to make planned attacks based on their strengths and work together logically
– Players have a number of skill trees, specializations, abilities
– Classes have their own powers with tactical significance
– Party members can work together

More world details

– Areas will change based on what time it is
– Weather impacts exploration
– Rain can make a bog muddy, making travel slower
– Still has classic enemies including ogres, elves, qunari


– Dialogue/story sequences are the best way to learn about your allies and their abilities
– This can also be done to a lesser extent in battle
– Vivienne: Inquisitor mage who was in line to hold the position of first encharter in the Circle of Orlais
– She wasn’t able to take the osition due to the Orlesian civil war
– Writers analyze the story’s main themes and conflicts, then create certain characters around them
– Not all characters are created so that you’ll like them
– Other allies and their loyalties are currently unknown
– Learn early on that there’s someone behind the demon breach and resulting chaos
– Won’t learn who you’re dealing with early on
– Cassandra and Varric from Dragon Age II are playable party members
– Morrigan won’t be a party member
– Morrigan’s role seems to be more than just a cameo

Crafting system

– Use materials from around the world and enemies you defeat to make customized armor
– “Crafting in Inquisition is about customizing yourself, your character, your looks…”
– You can, technically, eventually create any colored version of the armor your start out with on par with what you find late in the game
– Characters will keep their look, but the armor will have huge influence on how they look


– Will need to make choices as problems develop
– Not always about dark choices
– BioWare is looking for players to think about potential consequences and deal with them if they happen
– Dialogue wheel similar to that of Dragon age II lets you make choices
– Some improvements
– Optional addition being added to the wheel for more clarity
– Choices have an impact throughout the world
– “Loose ends are a constant problem… We have a responsibility to resolve at least some of them if we’re going to introduce new ones…”
– Choices involve themes, mysteries from previous Dragon Age games
– Game will offer clarity on things such as Red Lyrium, Grey Wardens’ activities, Flemeth, Morrigan’s fate
– BioWare working on the issue of bringing over previous choices in Inquisition
– “It’s very important to people, and it’s very important to us. We don’t want people to feel like they can’t buy a new console or change the platform they’re buying this game on simply because they want to make sure their saves are maintained.”


– Not confirmed/denied
– “it was surprising how well it was received in Mass Effect, and we were really happy with how that worked out…”

About Christos Chatzisavvas

Senior Editor. Your go-to man for everything you need, from games to Games Thirst; I'm always here to help. Gaming lover, web developer going for HND and Bachelor, founder and developer at Underground Journey. When I'm not under the faint light of a PC monitor or TV playing games, I try to lead a life as exciting as I can. Follow me on Twitter @CrashOkami, or Facebook.
  • Benzo

    I am very skeptical of this game. The combat in the the 1st turned me away, then the 2nd the characters werent likable and the combat was still lacking. I dont know about this one….

  • Crash Ōkami

    The multiplayer team of Mass Effect 3 is working on it, and if they’re skeptical about MP in this one, I think they will further refine combat. Neither the combat from the first or the second could carry successfully into multiplayer territory, even as a co-op game. I have faith in this one, seeing it more as a reboot than anything else!