New Dragon Age: Inquisition details from PAX Australia [Full Panel Video]

Sep 2, 2011
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#1
Gamespot finally posted the recording of the panel. It's only on Gamespot right now it should be on Youtube later.

http://au.gamespot.com/mass-effect-...-down-under-panel-pax-australia-2013-6411947/
Someone on BSN posted a summary full with DA:I details from the Bioware panel at PAX Australia. Gamespot apparently recorded the whole thing and it will be on Youtube later.

Bioware Social Network said:
Stop press: just heard that Gamespot AU recorded the entire panel, it'll be uploaded most likely tomorrow Australia time (so 12-24 hours from now). I'll link to it if I can, but somebody else will probably find it first.

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.
http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/371/index/14137082/360

Recording of the Panel:

http://au.gamespot.com/mass-effect-...-down-under-panel-pax-australia-2013-6411947/

 
Sep 28, 2010
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#2
Hell yes, anything Dragon Age or Mass Effect gets me wet.

*starts reading*


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

- 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.

- Patrick also said (unprompted) that they're aware of the backlash against ME3's 'autodialogue'
 
May 28, 2013
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#5
A couple of the points they made sound good, but BioWare has been saying every single time they make a game that their choices are going to be "better than picking the red or blue option", and every single time it turns out to be a lie.

So I'm not exactly filled with hope, especially since the open world thing they talked about seems antithetical to a game with good storytelling. Maybe they'll pull it off, but their last four or so games do not inspire confidence.
 
Feb 5, 2007
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#6
Everything I know about DA:I seems to point that the game is heading to the direction I wanted. It's just a matter of delivery now and I haven't seen any, besides that E3 trailer and the single screenshot.

Just don't let dialogue choices represented by numbers, here.
 

DietRob

i've been begging for over 5 years.
Dec 5, 2008
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#10
I'm waiting for our fearless leader to post a pile of shit....

I dunno I could be excited for this if it didn't involve Origin (the 'service') which we all know it will.
 
Dec 4, 2007
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#11
Hmmm....

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.
Curious if this is in response to the criticism of how people felt like they were the Grey Warden, while they were playing Hawke. Having the character be "the inquisitor" is one way to avoid having to have a canon name.

- 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).
Guessing this is a response to the direct criticism of DA2's "smaller" story? The problem was that having a smaller story is just fine, they just fucked it up nine ways from Sunday.

- 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.
Clearly a response to people complaining about the end bits of DA2. But I don't like how this is worded (and I hope it's been mangled in translation). So the village is going to get destroyed no matter what ("did, or failed to do")? Or is there a version of the game where the village doesn't get wiped out?
 
Dec 4, 2007
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#14
Also while I am certainly nowhere near as negative as many people are, I am withholding my true support until we get some fairly in-depth looks at the battle system.

I'd also like to say that I kind of liked how DA2 picked up on your patterns and adapted the dialogue to fit (i.e. if you kept picking the sarcastic responses, Hawke would still be slightly sarcastic in his other answers even if you didn't pick the "funny" option.)
 
May 28, 2013
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#16
Clearly a response to people complaining about the end bits of DA2. But I don't like how this is worded (and I hope it's been mangled in translation). So the village is going to get destroyed no matter what (" did, or failed to do")? Or is there a version of the game where the game doesn't get wiped out?
It's BioWare, so more likely than not the event will still happen both ways, but with slight tweaks to make you either feel better for at least having tried, or worse for screwing up entirely.

Nice to see BW finally acknowledge it though.
They acknowledged it directly when talking up Mass Effect 3, as well. They literally said the ending wouldn't be an "A, B or C choice like you think"...and then that's exactly what it ended up being.

They always say their choices are "really gonna mean something this time, you guys!", and they're always lying.
 
Sep 9, 2009
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I'd also like to say that I kind of liked how DA2 picked up on your patterns and adapted the dialogue to fit (i.e. if you kept picking the sarcastic responses, Hawke would still be slightly sarcastic in his other answers even if you didn't pick the "funny" option.)
This was one of the better things to come out of DA2. It's something I'd love to see Mass Effect adapt as well. It's a nice step forward on the actual role-playing front in modern RPGs.
 
Dec 26, 2011
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#22
It's BioWare, so more likely than not the event will still happen both ways, but with slight tweaks to make you either feel better for at least having tried, or worse for screwing up entirely.



They acknowledged it directly when talking up Mass Effect 3, as well. They literally said the ending wouldn't be an "A, B or C choice like you think"...and then that's exactly what it ended up being.

They always say their choices are "really gonna mean something this time, you guys!", and they're always lying.
Well they do always say that (I remember the "choices really matter this time guys" thing from before DA2 was released as well) but saying that ME's conversation system basically boiled down to the color options is a step further I feel, because they're talking about conversations and not the ending. Lots of journalists and BW people as well as other devs had a real hard-on for the ME-style conversation system and I always though it was dumb so it's nice to see that BW is coming around to that style of thinking too.
 
#23
DA2's combat was "fluid"? Like diahrrea maybe.
They mean when you pressed a button your action happened immediately instead of going through the simulated cycle system of the first game, as opposed to everything being incredibly cohesively designed.

Basically they still intend for it to function like an action RPG.
 
Dec 4, 2007
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#26
They mean when you pressed a button your action happened immediately instead of going through the simulated cycle system of the first game, as opposed to everything being incredibly cohesively designed.

Basically they still intend for it to function like an action RPG.
I normally hate when people do this, but I really hope that if they do continue down the action RPG path, they look at something like Dragon's Dogma which had an incredibly fluid and good feeling combat system.
 
Dec 28, 2012
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#27
All of this sounds awesome. Now I want to know about the character models and art direction as a whole. I really hope they update the models since the ones in the trailer look all sorts of bleh.
 
#29
I normally hate when people do this, but I really hope that if they do continue down the action RPG path, they look at something like Dragon's Dogma which had an incredibly fluid and good feeling combat system.
I think it kind of makes more sense for them given it's not really strategy heavy enough to be a great isometric game, in the same way I felt it was the right call for The Witcher series to move from the isometric button press timing thingy to a more straight forward over the shoulder action game.

They could still use significantly better encounter design though.
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
Jan 29, 2008
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#30
The better parts of Mass Effect, then? I'm in.
Ja. He's very interested in characters who deal with morally complex themes or go through significant developments that change their perspective. Aka, Mordin and Tali.
 
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#32
It's been 10 years and developers still treat decision making as a noteworthy game mechanic. Will the village burn, or will it be saved? The choice is yours! Wow!
 

Chairman Yang

if he talks about books, you better damn well listen
Sep 14, 2005
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#33
Dragon Age: Origins did choice and consequence reasonably well, and while it definitely had some "Bioware-style choices", it also had some well-made dialogue situations with nuance, moral ambiguity, high reactivity, and unintended consequences.

Basically, despite being pessimistic of the overall quality of this game, I think Bioware can pull off something solid when it comes to the player having an interesting impact on the world and story.
 

Prismo

Neo Member
Apr 15, 2013
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#34
Mass Effect 3's ending, Dragon Age II's myriad problems and all the EA related bullshit that comes with Bioware games nowadays (like carving an important chunk out of ME3 and making it day one dlc, and Origin...).

Yet I can't stay mad at them...
 

Data West

coaches in the WNBA
Sep 20, 2010
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#36
I just hope its better than II. That game had major issue, the biggest one is recycled environments, so I'm glad to read that is getting fixed.
Given the amount of development time, it HAS to be better than 2.
I think it kind of makes more sense for them given it's not really strategy heavy enough to be a great isometric game, in the same way I felt it was the right call for The Witcher series to move from the isometric button press timing thingy to a more straight forward over the shoulder action game.

They could still use significantly better encounter design though.
Nah. Witcher's was a perfect move because it rode a line between the two and never seemed sure of what it wanted to be until 2.

DA:O was outright. It wanted to be a more accessible version of CRPG style combat. Which it did. DA2 was when they were like 'what if like we just made it more hack and slashy but really just made it so you had to hit x a lot more to do the same thing.' The idea of Dragon Age having Dragon's Dogma combat is already a bad idea because it makes the game seem even more fantastical like 2 was with random teleporting melee.

Leave the combat the exact same as DA:O.
 
Jan 30, 2013
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#37
- 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.
I really can't until the word "immerse" goes out of style, because it's really making me sick.

Anyway, the details sound interesting, though I'm a bit worried about their constant use of the word "exploration", especially when (going by ME1) that's one of Bioware's weakest aspects.
 
Dec 4, 2007
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#38
I really can't until the word "immerse" goes out of style, because it's really making me sick.

Anyway, the details sound interesting, though I'm a bit worried about their constant use of the word "exploration", especially when (going by ME1) that's one of Bioware's weakest aspects.
DA:I is supposed to be open world, so exploration should be a large element of it.
 
Sep 12, 2009
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#39
- 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.
Good, good. The choice system really went to crap.

They should do it like the witcher games. Always give you every option but with the rather uncertain consequences.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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#40
Also while I am certainly nowhere near as negative as many people are, I am withholding my true support until we get some fairly in-depth looks at the battle system.

I'd also like to say that I kind of liked how DA2 picked up on your patterns and adapted the dialogue to fit (i.e. if you kept picking the sarcastic responses, Hawke would still be slightly sarcastic in his other answers even if you didn't pick the "funny" option.)
Yeah that part of DA2 was awesome. I wish they would be keeping that.
 
Apr 24, 2011
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#41
Ja. He's very interested in characters who deal with morally complex themes or go through significant developments that change their perspective. Aka, Mordin and Tali.
Wasn't he also the guy who leaked info on the PA boards about how unhappy he was with the ME3 ending because Walters didn't even discuss it with the other writers and did it on his own, and almost got fired for it?
 
Dec 4, 2007
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#42
Good, good.

They should do it like the witcher games. Always give you every option but with the rather uncertain consequences.
Given 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.
I doubt they want to do the delayed reaction to your choices stuff that the Witcher does. Sounds like they feel like their player base wants to see the immediate consequences.

I could be reading it wrong, however.
 
Jan 14, 2012
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#44
Hell yes, anything Dragon Age or Mass Effect gets me wet.

*starts reading*


Even Dragon Age 2? Ok then.

Anyway that whole panel was worthless. Sorry Bio, this time I need to be fully convinced that the combat actually takes a braincell and that I can actually equip my party.

As a side bonus it would be wonderful if I could actually create my character (forced to play as a human in a fantasy rpg is trash) and if all the npcs weren't bisexual. I would prefer no romance at all instead of handling sexuality that way.

0% hype for this game after the horrific DA2. Will certainly purchase if Bioware goes back to DAO as party based wrpgs are as good as gaming gets.

Edit: Is Mike Laidlaw still involved with this project? I assume no as any competent company would fire him for such a grand failure.
 
#45
Given this:



I doubt they want to do the delayed reaction to your choices stuff that the Witcher does. Sounds like they feel like their player base wants to see the immediate consequences.

I could be reading it wrong, however.
I think they mean actually doing a dice roll for the response to a chosen dialog option.

Think of a charisma roll in D&D.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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#46
I would be happy with just a return to DA:O style gameplay............but I still hold out hope that this could turn out good.

If Bioware have an ounce of brains they must surely realize they can't go on like this or there will be no fans left.
 
Jun 6, 2012
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#48
My biggest hope for this game is that EA learned, based on the backlash against Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2, that you can't rush BioWare. If you let them take their time and polish their games, they turn out good.
 
Sep 12, 2009
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#49
Given this:



I doubt they want to do the delayed reaction to your choices stuff that the Witcher does. Sounds like they feel like their player base wants to see the immediate consequences.

I could be reading it wrong, however.
Yeah, it will probaly be a lot more direct, but this quote gave me a bit hope:

- 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.
They basically did this with the
Quarian vs. Geth decision
in Mass effect 3 where labeling one decision as good and the other as bad worked kind of against it
 
Dec 4, 2007
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#50
I think they mean actually doing a dice roll for the response to a chosen dialog option.

Think of a charisma roll in D&D.
Oh, I realize that's what he's specifically speaking about, but I think you can interpret it to also mean that in general they think their player base desires to have immediate consequences to their actions.