Dragon Age II Save Import To Be Like 'Importing The World'

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Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -

You can't regain access to your Dragon Age: Origins Grey Warden when you transfer your old save file to Dragon Age II, but your heroic or nefarious exploits will still have a meaningful impact in the forthcoming sequel. 
 
In a recent interview with Now Gamer, lead designer Mike Laidlaw described save importation as more of a world import. The overarching political and geological stuff you've had a hand in, such as what happened with the Dwarves, Laidlaw cites as an example, will be carried over, instead of the specific stats, weapons, and relationship junk we'd expect with something like Mass Effect 2.



"We look at it as importing the world, really," Laidlaw said. "I’ve always seen Dragon Age as a franchise as about more than any one character. It’s about entire an entire span of history and the whole world that’s affected by what happens.  
 
"So, that was our approach and I think the importing stays true to that in the sense that the decisions your Warden made and the person they were all affects Dragon Age II," he continued. "You know, who’s in charge of Ferelden, what happened with the Dwarves, who’s running Orzammar? All of these things are reflected and accounted for in Dragon Age II."

Dragon Age II takes place years and years after the end of Dragon Age: Origins, but the new story remains centered in the original game's Ferelden. And as you may already know, the main character in the game is a voiced character named Hawke instead of your old shoulder-shrugging sociopath. So, with this in mind, Laidlaw's details about save importation sound especially good, if only because it's easy to imagine BioWare simply wiping the slate clean and starting over without regard for the previous adventure.
#1 Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -

You can't regain access to your Dragon Age: Origins Grey Warden when you transfer your old save file to Dragon Age II, but your heroic or nefarious exploits will still have a meaningful impact in the forthcoming sequel. 
 
In a recent interview with Now Gamer, lead designer Mike Laidlaw described save importation as more of a world import. The overarching political and geological stuff you've had a hand in, such as what happened with the Dwarves, Laidlaw cites as an example, will be carried over, instead of the specific stats, weapons, and relationship junk we'd expect with something like Mass Effect 2.



"We look at it as importing the world, really," Laidlaw said. "I’ve always seen Dragon Age as a franchise as about more than any one character. It’s about entire an entire span of history and the whole world that’s affected by what happens.  
 
"So, that was our approach and I think the importing stays true to that in the sense that the decisions your Warden made and the person they were all affects Dragon Age II," he continued. "You know, who’s in charge of Ferelden, what happened with the Dwarves, who’s running Orzammar? All of these things are reflected and accounted for in Dragon Age II."

Dragon Age II takes place years and years after the end of Dragon Age: Origins, but the new story remains centered in the original game's Ferelden. And as you may already know, the main character in the game is a voiced character named Hawke instead of your old shoulder-shrugging sociopath. So, with this in mind, Laidlaw's details about save importation sound especially good, if only because it's easy to imagine BioWare simply wiping the slate clean and starting over without regard for the previous adventure.
#2 Posted by Finscher (146 posts) -

I'm actually having difficulty telling whether I like this more than the more linear Mass Effect approach. Well done, Bioware. Quite subtle of you.

#3 Posted by Belgo (41 posts) -

yay!

#4 Posted by Venatio (4493 posts) -

Sounds crazy

#5 Edited by Lemoncookie01 (1666 posts) -

I just want Cristof (my grey warden) to show up.

#6 Posted by sixghost (1679 posts) -

I'm calling bullshit on this after the huge letdown that was importing your save into ME2. It'll change 6-7 meaningless things and be largely the same exact game regardless of what you did in DA:O.

#7 Posted by OtakuGamer (1283 posts) -

sweet, cant wait for this.

#8 Posted by Fontan (318 posts) -

I'm still not confident in this fixed main character approach. I know, it's Bioware and they'll probably come up with something great, but I'd prefer creating my own character or continuing with the old one.

#9 Posted by Videogames (257 posts) -

You will get letters given to you by horseback saying THX FOR KILLING ALL THOSE ZOMBIES LOL - Redcliffe

#10 Posted by dsd21 (141 posts) -

Wow that actually sounds interesting. For once I'm somewhat interested in DA2 now.

#11 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -
@sixghost said:
" I'm calling bullshit on this after the huge letdown that was importing your save into ME2. It'll change 6-7 meaningless things and be largely the same exact game regardless of what you did in DA:O. "
Dragon Age Origins was already WAYYYYYY more dynamic than either of the Mass Effect games.
#12 Posted by Mystyr_E (1205 posts) -

as awesome as this sounds...I confess I haven't beaten Dragon Age 1 yet so better get my ass in gear I suppose

#13 Posted by Skyler (59 posts) -

I'd take this with a grain of salt. Bioware has a history of not coming through on big statements like this.

#14 Posted by Keavy_Rain (131 posts) -

I'm still leery about the changes, but am warming up to DAII.

#15 Posted by Tonic7 (240 posts) -

This may be asking too much, but has anybody read if you can import a "world" across platforms? I played Dragon Age: Origins on my PC and enjoyed it even though it was grossly underpowered for the game (played it at the lowest settings), and I'm hoping to play this new one on the Xbox.

#16 Posted by FunExplosions (5407 posts) -

The ogre in that picture... what?

#17 Posted by YodaShinoda (16 posts) -

All i can say is i hope this turns out better than the last one! Good gameplay, terrible graphics and look!

#18 Posted by Jayross (2365 posts) -

It's no Mass Effect import system, but I guess seeing your decisions through another character's eyes is pretty cool.

But... Is the story in the same kingdom? That would not be fun.

#19 Posted by Cybexx (1217 posts) -
@sixghost said:
" I'm calling bullshit on this after the huge letdown that was importing your save into ME2. It'll change 6-7 meaningless things and be largely the same exact game regardless of what you did in DA:O. "
Huge Letdown? I couldn't believe how much influence my ME1 save had on the game. I was expecting some of the big choices to carry over, but there are literally hundreds of things that changed because of your actions in ME1. From minor conversations I had with side characters to how I chose to deal with the counsel it was all reflected it some way, you at least got an email from someone you interacted with in the first game.  
 
No other series has even come close to having those connections between games. No it didn't result in an entirely different gameplay experience but you have to be realistic with your expectations, at some point they actually have to ship a game and creating a large amount of content that maybe only 5% of your audience is going to see is not worth it. For me they went above and beyond my expectations for the import feature.
#20 Posted by AndrewB (7686 posts) -

But what if I start a new character in Origins with the name "Hawke"? Aha! Now I can totally import my character!

#21 Posted by RsistncE (4496 posts) -

"The overarching political and geological stuff you've had a hand in..." 
 
Uhhh, I think you mean geographical, not geological..

#22 Posted by nasher27 (91 posts) -
@sixghost said:
" I'm calling bullshit on this after the huge letdown that was importing your save into ME2. It'll change 6-7 meaningless things and be largely the same exact game regardless of what you did in DA:O. "
I couldn't agree more. I was supremely disappointed to realize that the decisions that I thought would shape the entire galaxy could be summed up in one conversation and not change anything about how the second game progressed.
#23 Posted by DeathbyYeti (761 posts) -

so this will mean 10 additional lines of dialogue that will probably differ?
neat

#24 Posted by KainCarver (116 posts) -

God i hate dwarfs

#25 Posted by TheKeywork1989 (50 posts) -
@Tonic7:  If it's like the Mass effect one then no. 
#26 Posted by J2D3 (11 posts) -

I'm hopefully cautious...

#27 Posted by Frypot (21 posts) -

Cool I was worried my activities in DA:O wouldn't effect the DA2 world.  Now i really need a 120/250 HDD.

#28 Posted by Dustpan (1694 posts) -

This has been known about for quite sometime.

#29 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Weird. I'd take the werewolves over the elves anyday.

#30 Posted by Sil3n7 (1198 posts) -

I'll import your world
 
...Baby.

#31 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I am very curious about Dragon Age 2 and where it will go. The first Dragon Age was a project which started back in 2004 or so - way before the first Mass Effect.
 
Seeing how Bioware improved on Mass Effect 1, I can't begin to imagine how awesome Dragon Age 2 will be. That said, I'm not one of those adamant 'classic' WRPG forumla defenders. I very much like to see the genre move forward into a more realtime-mechanics modern experience.
 
Like Bioware's Dragon Age meets Mass Effect meets God of War or something. Catch my drift?

#32 Posted by Jasta (2217 posts) -

I'm glad the Protagonist is voiced this time round, not hearing him say the dialogue choice I had picked bummed me out for a while.

#33 Posted by ajamafalous (12129 posts) -
@Tastyburger8 said:
" You will get letters given to you by horseback saying THX FOR KILLING ALL THOSE ZOMBIES LOL - Redcliffe "
Lol'd.
#34 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@RsistncE said:
" "The overarching political and geological stuff you've had a hand in..."  Uhhh, I think you mean geographical, not geological.. "
Didn't you do the Harry Potter tie in mission?  You know the one with the Philosopher's Stone?
#35 Posted by MichaelBach (889 posts) -
@Jasta said:
" I'm glad the Protagonist is voiced this time round, not hearing him say the dialogue choice I had picked bummed me out for a while. "
Agreed! I like the Mass Effect 2 style better in this regard.
#36 Posted by Rawrnosaurous (768 posts) -

Dragon Age 2 isn't placed years and years after Origins, it starts off during origins when lothering is destroyed. That happens after you leave the town so maybe an hour or two into the game. From there it goes for a decade into the life of hawk. So it starts during Origins and ends ten years later.

#37 Posted by Unchained (1089 posts) -

The interview was very interesting in some places. The PC version will still have an action bar. The game play will still be pause-and-play enabled. Laidlaw also mentioned that the Fade will be back.  
 
Good read.

#38 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

How do you maintain some kind of balance between dynamism influenced by the player, and a development cycle that doesn't take years and years to account for all of that?  Even if you don't approach true choice at all, at what point do you say you're done?  Interesting challenge.
 
That being said, I think that Bioware failed miserably with how they implemented saves between Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2.  The choices made by the player mostly amounted to, "YO, CHECK IT.  REMEMBER WHEN YOU DID THIS?"  On the other hand, for the bigger stuff like what you chose to do with the council, I'm not sure how Bioware could have written the game any other way they did.  It's just such a huge bummer to find that huge, massive choices you made in the first game were near inconsequential in the next.

#39 Posted by smcn (926 posts) -
@SeriouslyNow
@RsistncE said:
" "The overarching political and geological stuff you've had a hand in..."  Uhhh, I think you mean geographical, not geological.. "
Didn't you do the Harry Potter tie in mission?  You know the one with the Philosopher's Stone?
FYI, The Philosopher's Stone is not a Harry Potter thing.
#40 Posted by RsistncE (4496 posts) -
@SeriouslyNow: Actually, geological and geographical are two entirely different things and using geological in that sentence makes no sense...unless you were doing some "scorch the earth" type stuff in the first game haha
#41 Posted by DrRandle (1206 posts) -
@sixghost said:
" I'm calling bullshit on this after the huge letdown that was importing your save into ME2. It'll change 6-7 meaningless things and be largely the same exact game regardless of what you did in DA:O. "
On top of this, I still can't fathom why anybody cared enough about DA:O1 to care. :/
#42 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@smcn said:
" @SeriouslyNow
@RsistncE said:
" "The overarching political and geological stuff you've had a hand in..."  Uhhh, I think you mean geographical, not geological.. "
Didn't you do the Harry Potter tie in mission?  You know the one with the Philosopher's Stone?
FYI, The Philosopher's Stone is not a Harry Potter thing. "
FYI, It was a joke.  I know the context of Alchemy.  Harry Potter sucks.
 
@RsistncE said:
" @SeriouslyNow: Actually, geological and geographical are two entirely different things and using geological in that sentence makes no sense...unless you were doing some "scorch the earth" type stuff in the first game haha "

Scorched Earth policy FTW.  M.A.D!
#43 Posted by Lazyaza (2206 posts) -

Cant wait to see the differences my two playthroughs will cause in DA2, I mean crap in my 2nd I recruited the bad guy and then had him die so my guys lived.

#44 Posted by Xeiphyer (5608 posts) -
@nasher27 said:
" @sixghost said:
" I'm calling bullshit on this after the huge letdown that was importing your save into ME2. It'll change 6-7 meaningless things and be largely the same exact game regardless of what you did in DA:O. "
I couldn't agree more. I was supremely disappointed to realize that the decisions that I thought would shape the entire galaxy could be summed up in one conversation and not change anything about how the second game progressed. "
Yeah I think a lot of people felt the same way, although I wonder if that is because they didn't intend to make the data carryover a big deal, and thus didn't record very many things. I mean, it was their first game of a new IP, they didn't know how well it'd sell or be received so they didn't set up a huge data recording thing within the game. 
 
I guess we won't really know until we see DA2, and thats assuming they had the checks in place in DA:O to make all your decisions able to be carried over, considering how some of the DLC shit didn't work right and all that, I kind of wonder =x
 
Actually now that I think about it, they DID say that they couldn't access a lot of data from ME1 saves that they wanted to use because they didn't plan for it and/or it just wasn't able to be obtained. So who knows. Regardless, DA2 will be awesome, I couldn't care less about which dude in running Orzrammar. You know, that guy or that other guy.
#45 Posted by Yummylee (22304 posts) -

I assume it's referring to Origins save files only? I hope so because of the mess I've got with all multiple saves with characters for Origins, Awakening, Omgarrak, Witch Hunt...

#46 Posted by sixghost (1679 posts) -
@Cybexx said:
" @sixghost said:
" I'm calling bullshit on this after the huge letdown that was importing your save into ME2. It'll change 6-7 meaningless things and be largely the same exact game regardless of what you did in DA:O. "
Huge Letdown? I couldn't believe how much influence my ME1 save had on the game. I was expecting some of the big choices to carry over, but there are literally hundreds of things that changed because of your actions in ME1. From minor conversations I had with side characters to how I chose to deal with the counsel it was all reflected it some way, you at least got an email from someone you interacted with in the first game.   No other series has even come close to having those connections between games. No it didn't result in an entirely different gameplay experience but you have to be realistic with your expectations, at some point they actually have to ship a game and creating a large amount of content that maybe only 5% of your audience is going to see is not worth it. For me they went above and beyond my expectations for the import feature. "
They are just binary switches. Sorry, I think killing/saving Wrex should make a bigger difference in the world than 1 conversation tree, same with Kaiden/Ashley. Same with wiping out/saving the Rachnii, the only difference is an email. I had much much bigger expectations from that feature. The way that Bioware guy on the Bombcast was talking about it made it seem like it was this huge integral part of the game, when it was really just a throw away that never effected the 2nd game more than one conversation or email.
#47 Edited by Undeadpool (4989 posts) -

I was great with how ME2 used my save. Yeah, it wasn't a completely game changing experience because they didn't have time to make six entire games based on your choices. I mean every time they change something, they have to do new programming, new voice work, new EVERYthing. So...I was thrilled with ME2. 
I can't wait for DA2 either, though I hope they integrate stuff from the DLC.

#48 Posted by HappyCheeze (101 posts) -

I like to see that game developers are learning from their past work and improving on their future games. Congrats Bioware :)

#49 Posted by Dork_Metamorphosis (251 posts) -

Ugh, I'm really not ready to start thinking about a Dragon Age 2 yet.  Still not totally finished with DA1.

#50 Edited by Cybexx (1217 posts) -
@sixghost said:   

They are just binary switches. Sorry, I think killing/saving Wrex should make a bigger difference in the world than 1 conversation tree, same with Kaiden/Ashley. Same with wiping out/saving the Rachnii, the only difference is an email. I had much much bigger expectations from that feature. The way that Bioware guy on the Bombcast was talking about it made it seem like it was this huge integral part of the game, when it was really just a throw away that never effected the 2nd game more than one conversation or email. "


 
Fair enough they are binary switches but so is every other choice in basically every other game. Within Bioware and other moral choice games you make about the same difference. They still need to build the content that most people will see with just enough variation to justify the really hardcore going through again. At most you will have one story thread in one area of the game lead you to two slightly different sequences. What surprised me with ME2 was the sheer volume of stuff read in from ME1 and tiny things that pretty much only the developers know about, like how the ads on the citadel change based off ME1 choices. I believe 700 something triggers are brought over from ME1.
 
I never really expected the changes to go much deeper than that, I agree it would be nice to have whole different sections of game based off choices in the last game but thats not too realistic, especially since many players probably did not bring their ME1 save in for whatever reason and thus they would be getting locked out of major content which makes the elitists happy but not much beyond that. I do have a suspicion that the Rachnii choice actually has real significance in ME3.

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