As a note, approximately half of this information is about Dragon Age 3 while the other half is about Dragon Age 2 DLC.
They've detailed the companion armor system for Dragon Age 3.
You can fully equip your followers again, but it doesn't change their appearance.
However, they're also adding more ways to change the appearance of your followers through a separate system.
Mike Laidlaw has been promoted to Creative Director of the Dragon Age franchise, cementing him as the #2 person on the team. He is also now on Twitter.
The PAX Panel:
Here are two accounts of the panel that BioWare linked to. If anyone has more, please feel free to share.
Originally Posted by Nerd Appropriate
On hand were Creative Director Mike Laidlaw, writer David Gaider, executive producer Mark Darrah, and art director Matt Goldman. The bulk of the questions were answered by Laidlaw and Gaider who know more about Dragon Age than anyone else on the planet. It’s kinda scary.
I’m going to quickly run down all the major points that were addressed during the panel and do my best unravel some of the cryptic language that was used.
1) How battles should be fought: There is a new mantra being used by the development team while working on upcoming DLC and it involves preparation, teamwork, and positioning. They discussed how battle needs to be incredibly tactical with the player preparing his team for combat, utilizing the strength of his party-mates, and correctly placing his characters in the perfect tactical positions. More on this in a sec.
2) The Scope – A map was briefly shown of Ferelden in comparison to the entire world of Dragon Age, it was quite small. Next a map was shown of Kirkwall which was essentially a Rhode Island sized spec (the crowd laughed). Next Laidlaw showed a slide of a massive area of the map which was easily four or five times larger than Ferelden and hinted that this was the direction that the franchise was heading in. People seemed to like that.
3) Player Customization – Bioware is fully aware that players want to be able to customize their companion’s armor and appearance, and it looks to be coming back. Briefly shown on the screen was a shot of Meryll in an entirely new suit of armor with head, chest, hand, and foot slots unlocked. I think it would be a real challenge to implement as DLC, so we may have actually seen a quick glimpse of DA3 or perhaps an unannounced expansion pack.
4) On DA3 Premise – Dragon Age: Origins was about saving Ferelden from the Blight, whereas Dragon Age 2 was all about creating the conflict that fuels DA3. It was mentioned that DA2 was “the big setup” with the goal of the third game being “saving the world from…. itself”.
5) Will Hawke Ever Meet The Warden Commander ? - I’m glad this question was addressed because it really was on everyone’s mind. There were some very big missed opportunities in DA2 to have the Warden and Hawke cross paths, but it appears as though we will get our wish. Gaider simply hinted “we are perhaps so inclined (to have their paths cross)”.. so it’s coming for sure.
6) Global Conflict and a Witch: The world will be at war during the third game with both mages and templar vying for power and control. The player will be traveling to various “exotic” locations in order to try and bring the peace. Orlais and Tvinter were mentioned on several occasions… oh yeah, there was also some concept art of a certain disapproving witch standing in front of a burning barn. Witches HATE barns. [Nirolak's Note: The witch is Morrigan.]
7) Protagonists: Hawke’s story is not quite done, whereas the story of the Hero of Ferelden.. is over. This does not mean that the Warden Commander isn’t an important character in the universe, just that you won’t be playing him/her as the main protagonist of the story. Gaider also hinted that the future of the franchise may rest with an all new unseen hero.
8 ) Dragon Age MMO?: Nope
9) Felicia Day and Redemption: I can’t seem to go anywhere these days without running into Felicia Day. I swear she must have the ability to replicate and teleport at will…anyway…we were treated to a quick look at Day’s new Dragon Age web series Dragon Age: Redemption and got to see a handful of shots of folks getting all chopped up and stabbed … Dragon Age style. The series looks very promising and I can’t wait to actually see the damn thing.
10) Teamwork: In the future the player will receive some sort of “party bonus” for having certain members in their party. More than just a “buff” these bonuses may stack in special ways and will exist to motivate the player to choose a particular character for their team “pick me!“.
Originally Posted by BioWare Social
* An art book is "possible," according to Matt Goldman.
* The cultures in DA started out with some real-world inspiration, but there are many differences, and you can't point to one culture in DA and one in the RW and say they are the same. Mike Laidlaw said it's more about the real human condition than real-world cultures.
* Maric has "at least two" children, according to David Gaider.
* The change in Anders' personality, according to DG, could probably have used some kind of intermediary step, but it was something DG liked. Returning characters need to evolve, so if they come back, they too might be different.
* The world of DA started out as a Tolkien-inspired fantasy world to an extent, but the goal is for it to become a standard in its own right. Superficial similarities were intentional, but there are many differences.
* More instances of the party working together, like passive bonuses? Answer: Yes (Mike Laidlaw) - Not sure I totally got the gist of that question.
* A female fan was broken-hearted that she was unable to romance Varric. David Gaider said nothing pleases him more. We will see more of Varric though. (DA2 DLC I assume)
* Arcane Warrior coming back? Laidlaw: Not exactly, but something similar is possible (I'm guessing something like the battle mage)
* A guy thought DA2 was the better game. A few of us clapped, many booed. He went on to say that a smaller area makes it easier to get in-depth than a globetrotting game might. Mike Laidlaw agreed to some extent, saying that the DA2 story fit its scope, but said they can scale it somewhat. It probably would hurt the story to jaunt around from country to country without much of a reason, but it is possible to have such a reason.
* Any chance of co-op? Even just 2 players? Mike Laidlaw said it's not really a focus, they don't really have plans for it, the engine doesn't support it super well, but it's not 100% off the table. There is some precedent.
* Someone asked which kind of combat they're going for: DAO's more MMO-esque combat, or DA2's more hack and slash type? Mike said it could be slowed down a bit, but he is still firmly anti-shuffle. (Yay!) They want to design encounters, not fights. Hawke should be shouting "more coming over the hill" and not "here comes another wave!" Also the environment should play a bigger role.
That's pretty much all I got. Oh, later on, after the panel, I asked Mike if everything would be taking place at the end of DA2's ten years, or if we might backtrack a bit and see what happened in other countries. He said there'd be some before that ten years is up and some after. My gut says this just means more DA2 DLC set pre-endgame, then DA3 and beyond will be after, but that's definitely just speculation. He reminded me that there wasn't necessarily something exciting happening everywhere during those 10 years.
The PAX Interviews:
Originally Posted by Delta Gamer
We’ve got enough facts so that even the most hardcore Dragon Age fan will be pleased. The brief points below come from a brief interview between Dragon Age producer Fernando Melo and Marketing Director David Silverman, and 2 Q&As.
-Fans liked the Legacy DLC, and BioWare was very happy with the response. They will continue to use Legacy formula.
-Next DLC is an Item Pack to be released today Tuesday, Aug 23.
-BioWare will be able to release more info about upcoming DA2 related content in the coming weeks after gamescom, particularly at PAX Prime this weekend.
-Players liked the Legacy DLC’s final battle. But BioWare admitted that party members AI is pretty broken on that fight, so they want to keep the fights interesting but fix the AI.
-BioWare is going to take their time with future DLC as they did with Legacy and that turned out well.
-They will try to get out some non-story content DLC like item packs in between story content.
-BioWare don’t have any plans for companion specific DLC at this time. This is based on what players seemed to want from DA:O DLC, as they preferred it when they got to play DLC with all the available characters.
-Question came in about a Varric romance DLC. They said “we’ll see”.
-Grey Wardens are a “pillar” to what’s going on in Dragon Age.
-They are not done with Hawke’s story and it will be the focus of most incoming DLC.
-Melo couldn’t answer a question about Hawke and Warden returning, and he said it’s quite possible.
-We will see Leliana again “sooner than we think”.
-Melo noted that potential biggest feedback about Dragon Age II is that decisions don’t appear to matter. They will “absolutely” be working on it in the future. They seemed to imply that your decisions that impact the world will absolutely carry over, but perhaps not smaller, character specific ones, unlike Mass Effect.
-There will not be as much as DLC for DAII as for DA:O because of the length and quality issues with some of DA:O’s DLC. They would like to spend a longer time on DLC and produce higher quality which in essence means less.
-We will be seeing more cameos from Origins and DAII characters in the future.
-Melo stated that Morrigan was critical to the world, and so is Warden, therefore we will definitely be hearing about them or seeing more of them in the future.
-Chances are we will have more DLC in different parts of Kirkwall, but they are going to try to keep it short-lived and minimize reusing environments.
-We will likely be seeing other cities in the Free Marches in the future.
-There was a screenshot fans weren’t allegedly supposed to see that they wouldn’t talk about. It was apparently Hawke riding a dragon.
-They would most likely want to do an expansion but can’t confirm any plans at this time.
-Melo dodged question about Sandal’s prophecy in DAII coming true or not.
-The book Dragon Age: Asunder will take place towards the end of Dragon Age II, and will set up events that will occur in the future.
-There are no plans for a Varric romance, but if it something that fans desperately wants, they will “see what they can do.”
-We will find out what happened to Hawke’s companions in future content.
-The decision of whether to have a set character in the style of DA2, or multiple origins a la Dragon Age: Origins will be based on fan feedback.
-We will find out more about the Hawke family in future DLC, specifically, Hawke themself.
-There is “a lot of depth” to Sandal, and we “might be surprised” by him in the future.
-There are no plans to see Shale again, but Melo thinks it would be a “great idea” to see her again.
-We will definitely see Flemeth again.
-The team will try to resolve the situation regarding the “Old God Baby”, and will try and show fans what happened regarding the child.
-Melo would love to see more of Isabela.
-Future content will see the same companions and love interests return.
-It is likely that we will encounter female Kossith (Qunari) in the future.
-It is unlikely that we will see a huge difference in graphics and art style in DAIII.
-“Time will tell” whether or not we will ever see Par Vollen or “a few other cities.”
Melo stated he has some regrets regarding DAII, where he feels things could have been executed better. He mentions that Bioware wants to make sure combat feels natural, and no environments are reused. He also mentions that he agrees with people who reacted negatively to the impact of choice (or lack, thereof), saying that the main story quest All That Remains comes to mind. Melo reaffirmed that choices and their consequences will be a major focal point of future content.
Old Stuff From Previous Thread:
Just in case anyone missed it, here are a few highlights from the old thread. There is a lot more here: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=29872921
http://i.imgur.com/SQidG.png (Notes about re-use, waves, choices, and follower customization.)
http://i.imgur.com/uCigD.png (Each Dragon Age starring a new character.)