Lead Devs Talk DA3 @ PAX

#1 Posted by TerraMantis (283 posts) -
Original Source
 

 

 
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.

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!“.

There you have it.  Those were some of the major reveals from last evening’s Dragon Age panel at Pax Prime.  While Dragon Age 3 has yet to be “officially announced” I got the feeling that the team is already hard at work planning the long term future of the franchise.

#2 Edited by AyKay_47 (293 posts) -

Dragon Age is Bioware's Piñata. It started off great, but now they're just beating all the good things out of it, then trying to stuff some of it back in cuz they realized they fucked up.

#3 Posted by Marz (5641 posts) -

#7 fucking sucks... I do not want to play some predestined character like hawke.   I want my own character and it would have been nice to see my Warden through the next game and tie up some loose ends.

#4 Posted by RE_Player1 (7544 posts) -

It's good to know they wanted to make DA2 "the big setup" for D3 instead of making it a good game with a good story... I didn't really like the first Dragon Age having played through it on the PS3 but from what I've seen of DA2, from all the video footage and watching my diehard Dragon Age fan friend play through portions of the game, it looks like they totally missed the reasons why the first one is loved so much.

#5 Edited by TerraMantis (283 posts) -

My opinions of the changes.
 

1) How battles should be fought: This sounds right. No waves, no pop-outs. Tactical placement and preparation.

2) The Scope – Sounds great. I've always wanted to see Tivinter, Orlais, and maybe some Antiva or Weisshaupt (The Warden's Headquarters). The reason DA:O had much better locations is because it took you all over Ferelden and you saw much of Orzamar, Redcliffe, Brecilian Forest, Denerim, and so on.

3) Player Customization – Bioware appears to be seeing how they can cut-corners to give the gamers what they want (diverse armor options for their companions) while also making it easier and faster development for themselves (not having to render movement animations for every piece of armor on every character in every combination). I do not think this is an unfair compromise. That being said, companion armor was not the real reason why Origins' armor was so much better. It was a combination of Specializations, stats, and armor that made TEAM-customization far superior in Origins than DA2. I hope that the culmination of these things comes into their mind and just not simply aesthetics.

4) On DA3 Premise - I don't really know where they're going with this...i assume the Templar/Mage feud. Although,  i always thought the next logical step in the storied franchise wasn't where they went in DA2 anyway. I always thought that a continuation of the beloved Gray Warden/Dark Spawn tale would have made for a much better trilogy or series of games. The next logical conclusion, to me, was...why do the inhabitants of Thedas just sit around waiting for Blights to happen? With 4/7 old gods dead there are going to be 3 more blights...why do they wait for the Archdemons to be unearthed? Take the fight to them for once. I always thought the next step in the story of the franchise would be the Wardens forging a campaign to unearth the Archdemons themselves...and kill them before forming the horde. Also, part of "The Joining" involves a drop of Archdemon blood to become a Gray Warden...doesn't that sound like a "chicken and the egg" situation? If the Wardens are an absolute necessity to kill an Archdemon...how did they get that blood to become Gray Wardens in the first place to kill the first Archdemon? Anywho, here is a little thing i wrote that is a bit convoluted but was an okay idea for how i imagined it all played out.

5) Will Hawke Ever Meet The Warden Commander ? - I personally don't care if they cross paths. And when they do...i just wonder how much i'll care because it is going to be done in such a pathetic "cameo" way i'll probably wish they never implemented it. Because ask yourself, actually how awesome, stupid, or just down right awkward can a meeting between a voiced protagonist and one whom never spoke aloud really be? Are they just going to meet and give each other a high-five and Hawke is like..."you don't talk much do you?" and then the Warden gives a thumbs-up and sinks into some molten rock Terminator 2 style? Either way , having them meet will be very hard to write-in and have it be interesting and seem like it was done intelligently and not just a fanboy-pleasing-mechanism.

6) Global Conflict and a Witch : Sounds great. I want to see more on the conclusion of the Mage/Templar feud and i want to know EXACTLY what is going on with Flemeth and Morrigan.

7) Protagonists:  "Gaider also hinted that the future of the franchise may rest with an all new unseen hero." I hope so.

8 ) Dragon Age MMO? : "Nope." Great, it is a game about single-player micromanagement...not leader boards and dungeon queues.

9) Felicia Day and Redemption:  I am slightly interested in watching this web series.

10) Teamwork:  I'm not sure about this "pike me!!!" thing. It almost sounds like a good way of creating an illusion of choice while making players boxed into picking the characters that the developers want you to bring along with you. Could be awesome though if done right...so this one i can't say much on until actually experiencing their execution of it.

#6 Edited by Lotus (204 posts) -

Andraste's tits!, i hope this works out, i really do.

#7 Posted by Tumbler (161 posts) -

EA/Bioware should shelve this IP the way Eidos did with Deus Ex after Invisible War. Talking about Dragon Age 3 feels like a huge slap in the face...let the dead rest. You killed the franchise, congratulations. Lets not torture the fans of the first game anymore, ok?

TL;DR Fuck Dragon Age.

#8 Posted by MentalDisruption (1618 posts) -

This game better be pretty fucking great to make up for DA2.

#9 Posted by babblinmule (1262 posts) -

So so soooooooo happy that theyre not going to be turning this into an MMO.
 
Just please Bioware, take your time making Dragon Age 3.

#10 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4513 posts) -
@Tumbler said:

EA/Bioware should shelve this IP the way Eidos did with Deus Ex after Invisible War. Talking about Dragon Age 3 feels like a huge slap in the face...let the dead rest. You killed the franchise, congratulations. Lets not torture the fans of the first game anymore, ok?

TL;DR Fuck Dragon Age.

Man, you're so right. I totally want you deciding what I can and can't play, let alone what I can and cannot enjoy. 
 
Fuck off.
#11 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5133 posts) -

My body is ready for another Dragon Age, bring it on Bioware!

#12 Posted by strangone (179 posts) -
@TerraMantis said: 

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.


This sounds well and good but I suspect that "tactical" combat will fall victim to the reality of modern RPG development: 
 
Tactical combat needs an overhead view. 
Overhead view on a console is tricky... 
...unless combat is turn-based. 
Turn-based combat isn't gonna happen. 
Game ends up with action combat.
#13 Posted by StarvingGamer (7906 posts) -

I liked DA:O

I liked DA:2

I am hype for DA:3

#14 Edited by Gabriel (4055 posts) -

Don't give a shit about Hawke, kinda bummed Warden Commander is done. I'd also like to see Justice again just not in Anders which is impossible really since I iced him.

#15 Posted by Hairy_Fish (366 posts) -
@TerraMantis said:

5) Will Hawke Ever Meet The Warden Commander ? - I personally don't care if they cross paths. And when they do...i just wonder how much i'll care because it is going to be done in such a pathetic "cameo" way i'll probably wish they never implemented it. Because ask yourself, actually how awesome, stupid, or just down right awkward can a meeting between a voiced protagonist and one whom never spoke aloud really be? Are they just going to meet and give each other a high-five and Hawke is like..."you don't talk much do you?" and then the Warden gives a thumbs-up and sinks into some molten rock Terminator 2 style? Either way , having them meet will be very hard to write-in and have it be interesting and seem like it was done intelligently and not just a fanboy-pleasing-mechanism.


I would be happy for them to use one of the battle voices you selected for the Warden in Origins. That would require a lot of voice actors and effort. That of which I doubt they'd put in.
#16 Edited by TerraMantis (283 posts) -

@Hairy_Fish
 
I doubt it too. Also, it wasn't that the Warden never said anything because he did. The Warden just didn't speak aloud like Hawke...but he did speak. So, i guess they could really just throw any voice in there for The Warden. All the Warden really ever said was "ARGHuwah, my spell" and "done, anything else?". With the liberties they took from DA:O to DA2 with the aesthetics of the Qunari i doubt they wouldn't restrict themselves to not just giving the Warden a single voice for Male/Female. I guess it could be more interesting than i originally thought.
 
Oh yeah and your name...hairy fish...weird, gross, and i like it.

#17 Posted by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -

If they don't significantly improve the engine then it won't matter what changes they make, because the game will still be an awkward, pedestrian action RPG with terrible positioning and encounter design. DA2 was betrayal and I'm not optimistic about this installment.

#18 Posted by Kraank (74 posts) -

My warden died lol

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