Romance confirmations, Release Date hints, Dragons and more! Everything about Dragon Age: Inquisition mentioned at PAX East that’s relevant to your interests.

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Transcript:

Hello everyone, my name is Ashe. Let’s talk Dragon Age. Last weekend, I was at the Bioware Base at PAX East, checking out almost all of the panels. Most of what I found can be seen at my blog at ladyinsanity.com/dragonage. But because videos are so fun, let’s address all the information you want to know about Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Before we start, there is no new information regarding the next Mass Effect. The developers were very tight-lipped about any question regarding the new game, but we may see something new at E3 or the EA conference in June.

As we all know, Dragon Age: Inquisition runs on the Frostbite engine, hacked by the designers to fit the RPG-style we are familiar with in Origins and 2, which used the former Eclipse engine. Inquisition’s development stands on three principles: provide area variety, make the areas significant, and re-discover discovery.

The devs vividly remember the feedback from the previous games, especially DA2, and are working on making the world so engaging that you become lost in it. Based on internal datatracking and recent QA and playtests, you most likely will not find every place on your first playthrough. Both man-made and natural structures are scatted across the landscape. Additionally, players will not be informed about all of the locations they can explore, and will be left to decide on their own whether a location is worth visiting. To explore certain locations may involve a terrible risk, but the prize…

Regarding ecosystem, Thedas and its lands will be directly affected by the Inquisitor’s decisions. Not only on a storyline scale, but reacting to decisions like if the Inquisitor poaches an entire area of its wildlife. If you wipe out a certain creature in an area, said creature’s population will progressively decrease, with the possibility of it being extinct within that area. Be mindful when you hunt.

The environments you explore will range in a variety of geographical types, including (but not limited to): desert ruins, coastlines with steep hills, and more. While day and night is not on a dynamic system, weather has its own system and will impact the area. In order to find more about the world around the Inquisitor, scouts are your primary source of information. Between finding bases to conquer and pointing out new points of interest like caves and ruins, they will help the Inquisition expand.

And furthering your adventuring spirit, fast travel is currently instantaneous. While it is being tested internally whether to have an event-interrupting system similar to Origins, where enemies can ambush your party or NPCs find you along the road, fast travel stands now as a simple switch to different areas. Bioware made a conscious decision to make travel between regions faster, in order to allow scripted events, like arriving at a base camp or stronghold, easier for the storyline’s progression. The regions themselves are vast and wide, so players have more time to do what they want.

The Fade was lightly described during the panels. While players will have the option of entering the Fade, experience within the realm is limited and will not be available to freely visit at any time. At the very least, we do know that the Inquisitor is one of the very few capable of closing the rifts caused by the tear in the Veil.

Regarding other areas the player can explore, the Highlands is a newly revealed location. A snowy place within the mountains, littered with red crystals. The Red Templars inhabit this region and have war camps throughout, with their base protected in the back. The war camp is a great support for the Red Templar faction, and conquering this area will be great not only for strengthening the Inquisition, but also reducing the Red Templar assets. Considered a tier-2 encounter, the Inquisition will need to follow a series of steps in order to climb the mountain and take the location from the Templars. The developers say this scripted, somewhat linear encounter will involve pushing through the enemy and taking land one step at a time.

On creatures, both Dragons and the newly announced Behemoth were detailed in Inquisition. Dragon fights are scripted specifically for the region they exist in. Their presence is controlled by a certain number of conditions, including (but not limited to): the Inquisitor’s location, health, in-combat/out-of-combat status. Each fight will be a challenge, even more for melee-specific characters since Dragons are smart enough to avoid direct contact. Most fights will have players targeting the limbs before aiming for the head. The party will take damage over time from environmental hazards, like the dragon torching the ground with its fire breath. Taking on a dragon is its own quest, as it requires lots of preparation and geared companions.

The Behemoth is a red creature that runs with the Red Templars. It has the ability to affect the environment directly around it. It’s assumed to have melee-specific abilities, as it’s mentioned to be supported by archers and other soldiers. Destroying a specific faction’s soldiers will help the Inquisitor be more capable of defeating that faction in the future. But good luck defeating the Behemoth, as it will take careful strategy not to get killed.

As far as romance is concerned, two characters are confirmed as love interests - Cullen, the troubled templar from Origins and 2, and Cassandra Pentaghast, hero of Orlais, Seeker of Truth, the Right Hand of the Divine, and many other things. While Cassandra is confirmed as a companion, Cullen is not and the developers are tight-lipped about his involvement in Inquisition. This leads two situations: 1, he is the third warrior companion or the more likely situation 2, he is an NPC we can simply have a relationship with. Similar to Samantha Traynor or Steve Cortez of Mass Effect 3. Cullen and Cassandra are only the first romances to be confirmed for Inquisition, and we will see more options to come.

I’d like to take a quick moment clear up the situation regarding my first post on romances in Inquisition, as well not only one but two clarification posts that I had to make. You may already know the situation from Twitter, but here’s the gist. Some news sites have misinterpreted my blog posts from PAX, sourcing me and claiming that Bioware has confirmed three types of relationships, like affection/humor/rivalry, as well as the ability to hate your love interest? Let me state that this is not the case and what they are claiming is incorrect. All of it is wrong and out of context. Thankfully, a few sites have changed and amended their statements to my clarifications from the morning after the panel, as well as my second address on this issue. However, there are many others who still have the wrong information up. Please ignore these statements as they are incorrect. Frankly put, when it comes to news about romance, it’s a thing in Inquisition and we’ll be getting a lot of lovin’ this fall.

Inquisition will begin not too long after Varric and Cassandra’s parting in Kirkwall. The Inquisition itself will be handling a conspiracy raised by a hidden antagonist. Being left as the sole survivor of a catastrophic event, the Inquisitor him or herself will have extremely unique abilities, such as closing the rifts, and be put in a position of power.

Beyond the Inquisition itself, the game will tie in previous history from other sources in the Dragon Age franchise. At least one character from the book Dragon Age: Asunder will be present in the next game; also, different elements and at least one character from The Masked Empire will be present not only in the next game, but in the Highlands (where the Red Templars are). The developers say that reading other sources like the books and comics, will offer more rewarding context for players to enjoy Inquisition.

As far as other characters we know returning, Flemeth will most likely appear at some point in the near future. Additionally, player characters, aka the Warden and Hawke, also have a quoted “solid possibility” of returning. At the very least, both the Warden’s and Hawke’s disappearances will be addressed in the next game. For other characters, the developers have made it clear that if former companions or characters from previous games return, they want to use said characters in a “significant, meaningful” way. As I mentioned in my original post, they will avoid having insignificant, small cameos where the characters barely interact. The following names are some of the only characters from past games that are mentioned or included in Dragon Age Inquisition: Morrigan, Alistair Therein, Cassandra Pentaghast, Varric Tethras, Cullen, and, briefly mentioned, Dagna. As far as book and comic-related characters, Empress Celene and Duke Gaspard de Chalons will be featured, though we do not know whether they will make a physical appearance.

Dragon Age Keep is the free, web-based feature that will allow players to generate their world and game choices to import for Inquisition. The panels barely talked about the logistics behind Keep as of right now, as it is still in closed beta, but in the future they will open it up for other players who previously applied for the beta last year. However, something specific said during the panels is that Keep will “allow you to shape and share your experiences”. Bioware is happy with Keep, as it builds confidence for making future games that do not force the player to revisit each previous game. More Keep information will release this year.

Looking into the future, new Dragon Age: Inquisition information will definitely come out at E3 in June, most likely during the EA conference that prefaces the official E3 show. Mike Laidlaw stated the following: “If we do our job, you’ll tell us in six months.” This is the first hint at a release date, which would place Inquisition hitting stores in October. This falls in line with a Fall 2014 date, but nothing has truly been confirmed yet. But, the first indicator of its release is welcomed news.

That’s the end of everything new by Bioware, from PAX East. More details I missed here can be found on my blog at ladyinsanity.com/dragonage, not just featuring Dragon Age but other topics involving Mass Effect and Bioware.

Thanks for watching. If you have a positive or negative response to this video, leave it in the box below. If you have a question, post it and I will do my best to answer. Links are in the description. Take care everyone and I will see you next time.