Bioware Q&A + Raptr Wrap Up

Josephine, 8 romance options, Cullen and Cassandra confirmed as straight... want even more spoilers? Check out the video!


Transcript

Hello everyone, my name is Ashe. Let's talk Dragon Age.

On the 8th of July, Bioware held a Q&A session on Raptr, talking about Dragon Age: Inquisition and its gameplay, characters, romances, and so much more. Of course, the developers could not throw in any story spoilers for Inquisition; but, they did throw in a lot of new and awesome facts. How many questions were answered? A lot. So...

Let's go over everything! I'll be leaving out a lot of what we already know or have talked about in recent videos, like the Keep, but be assured that everything here will be quite relevant to your interests. Starting with the Inquisitor.

As you very well know, the Inquisitor is the player's character. Before the game starts, you will have the option of customizing your character's physical appearance, and, to a certain extent, background. The character customization will be intense and some choice sliders were mentioned: eyebrows, scars, hair, and eye color. Two sets of colors for eyes, actually: the outer color of the iris, as well as the inner color. Sadly, no chest hair customization. Freckles are still being investigated, possibly for the skin preset. For Qunari, you can choose what type of horns and their size you like. Qunari will be big, but smaller than the Iron Bull. While the player can't change the body type or height, nor the color of their clothes just yet, many different appearance choices are available. 

Background will play a bigger role in the Inquisitor's interaction with the world. We already know the Elven background to be Dalish and the Qunari Inquisitor's to be Vashoth. We now know that Cadash Dwarves will be surface dwarves, while non-mage humans will be noble. The background chosen will explain the reason why the Inquisitor is present at the peace talks at the beginning of the game. Instead of having race only play a part of the beginning of the story (like Origins did), all throughout the game, others will notice what race the Inquisitor is and react accordingly - both positively and negatively. And they will refer to you as either the Inquisitor, or the Inquisitor's surname. Humans called Trevelyan, Elven are Lavellan, Dwarven are Cadash, and Qunari as Adaar.

Beyond background, others will take notice to the Inquisitor's specialization. You can choose "up to one" specialization. Or, more specifically: the Inquisitor can choose to earn a specialization. Or not have a specialization at all, if they so desire. 

As for the voices of the Inquisitor? Two female and two male: The first is Alix Wilton Regan, known as Comm Specialist Samantha Traynor from Mass Effect 3 and Ser Cauthrien from Dragon Age: Origins; Second is Sumalee Montano, known as Nyreen Kandros from Mass Effect 3's Omega DLC. Third is new to Bioware's games, Harry Hadden-Paton. And the fourth is Jon Curry - also known as Zevran.

Let's talk more about characters. Lady Josephine Montilyet, well known in the community as Scribbles, was finally revealed today. An Antivan noblewoman whose skill is not in swords and battle, but in diplomacy. She works as an advisor and ambassador for the Inquisition, brought in by Leliana, and will greatly center on tactics in discourse opposed to throwing troops into the fire. Another announcement during the Q&A? She is the first officially announced bisexual romance.

Dragon Age: Inquisition will have 8 romances. 2 of those romances are race-gated for narrative reasons, and one of the romances is not any of the companions or advisors. Cullen and Cassandra were confirmed as straight romances as well, which brings the known romanceable count to 5: Sera, Dorian, Cassandra, Cullen, and Josephine. It's greatly hinted that Iron Bull will be a romance due to his rather promiscuous behavior, as well as Blackwall since he was hinted at during the Q&A. But, at the very least, the 5 have been confirmed.

Who's not romanceable? Morrigan and Leliana, as the writers will not touch the romances the Warden may have made. Cole will also not be a romanceable character, best explained that he has the mentality of a child.

More romances will be announced, but there will be at least one male bisexual option to be told.

Romance scenes will encompass more than just a focus on sex. Mike Laidlaw states that "in all cases, [Bioware] will strive to keep all romantic moments both moisturized and supple, like a well-tended leather jacket, swaying gently on the back of a bar's patio chair in the twilight of the first warm day of the year". 

I don't know - he said it. Leave your interpretations in the comment section below. Or don't. It's kinda weird.

Moving on!

The approval system has changed for Inquisition. While it has a similar system to what we've seen before, simply giving a character a gift to increase approval rating does not cut it anymore. Helping characters achieve certain goals will affect the character's approval rating of you. Conversely, while the player can't go "full evil", Inquisitors can choose rather unsavory choices. Oppositely, Mike Laidlaw says that "if you piss them off, they might just leave". Advisor approval handles differently from companion approval as well; if you piss off an advisor, that may be more detrimental to the stability of the Inquisition. Good luck keeping everyone together, Inquisitors. 

As far as traveling and the party itself, let's cover our bases. Advisors cannot join the party. There's no Mabari companion, either, and no mabari can assist in combat. While traversing Thedas, you can engage in banter between your companions, or in simple words: the Inquisitor can participate in the conversation. However, if you don't act on it quickly enough, the interaction will time out and the other characters will continue on their own. You can talk with your companions and advisors at the bases, but not in the middle of, as Laidlaw puts it, a "blood-soaked murder field (of death)". I'm thinking Dragons.

More companion tidbits? Sure. While not completely part of the Raptr Q&A, Patrick Weekes did note on three characters: The Iron Bull, Solas, and Cole. Dragon Age: Inquisition will show Bull facing post-traumatic stress disorder within the story, drawing on his past as a former soldier who worked for the Qun and moved to a mercenary life. Solas is a Dreamer who is devoted to all shades of perception regarding the Fade, and Cole is quoted having "an utterly selfless drive" to help those who are hurting. Heartbreak's abound for these new characters. It calls into question whether we will see it all in one playthrough of Inquisition.

If you're curious about our former companions, good news...bad news...and other news. Good news? Mark Darrah says we may see Gideon Emery again - the voice of Fenris. Bad news? Zevran and Shale are not in Inquisition. At least, for now. And in other news, Mark Darrah made a quick note about half-elves only having human attributes. In reference to that point, Darrah uses Alistair as an example. Now, it's never been clear whether Alistair was half-Elf or not, with many speculations of Fiona (a former Grey Warden mage, former Grand Enchanter of the Circle of Magi, and former lover of King Maric) and her identity as Alistair's mother. Now, it's clearly confirmed, as Mike Laidlaw confirmed Fiona as mother of Alistair. Just a small confirmation for those curious on the lineage of Alistair, especially going into Inquisition now that both Fiona and Alistair can be integral to the state of mages and Ferelden.

As far as gameplay is concerned, lot of small details so let me make this as fast as possible. Difficulty will range from Easy to Nightmare, just like the previous games. Story mode doesn't exist..."yet".

Loot will be color-coded to indicate rarity. No war assets. You can take prisoners and judge them, but no torture shown. Each class has a number of talent trees to invest in. Level cap for characters is between 25 and 30. There are no quick time events. There ARE respecs available. And that glowing, fisting thing Fenris can do? You can't phase through objects like that - I'm sorry.

For weapons and armor, a lot of clarifications have been made. Rogues can use bows, as well as, quoted "daggers up to really large daggers". Warriors themselves will not be able to dual-wield, as Bioware wants them to wield differently than rogues. Sadly, after much deliberation, warrior dual-wielding didn't make it in this game. Qunari won't wear helmets, as they have a different head slot. Blame the horns. Mage Inquisitors can wear heavy armor, given they craft "the right armor". Weapons are still restricted by class, however. The only exception that exists is that Varric will not equip any other bow or crossbow other than Bianca. (But he can use daggers).

As far as mounts are concerned, most will be acquired throughout the plot. Griffons, however, will not be in Inquisition. Neither will flying mounts. If you are interested in the famed griffons of old, however, you can read the book Last Blight that will cover the griffons in detail. The book releases in September - you can pre-order it at the link in the description.

Locations? 

No Kirkwall. No Orzammar. And no Kal-Sharok. The thaig or underground city we saw in the Discover the Dragon Age trailer has yet to have a name, but surely we will see in the future what and where that location is within the span of Orlais and Ferelden.

What's next on Bioware's agenda? Well, let's start with what isn't coming anytime soon: at the present moment, there's no demo and no character creator demo planned. However, they do want to show character creation, possibly in a video, though no promises. Also, there will not be a toolset at launch. While it's something that's possible down the line, there are very complicated challenges to making a fresh toolset for the Frostbite engine. It's impossible to scale such a feat before the game's release.

What will Bioware show? They definitely will show the war table before release. As I mentioned before, possibly a video on character creation. And 100% for sure they will be showing more gameplay, especially for PC, before the game releases in October. 

And that's the game! I'm done for now - GaymerX is next on the list, where I'll be covering the panels...especially the Bioware ones. I know this was a lot but thank you for watching. If you want to keep informed on the latest Dragon Age news, please subscribe. Peruse my wares, my trailer breakdowns, book readings, and lore guides. But until next we meet again, my name is Ashe. Take care and I will see you...next time.