Bioware Panels Rundown - Day 2 (Saturday)

It’s past 4AM. Let’s get Saturday broken down for your viewing pleasure, shall we?

For the “Dragon Age: Inquisition - An Introduction to the Inquisition” panel, please see its individual blog post here

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Bioware wants to make more challenging combat and more integral strategy.

TACTICAL CAMERA
The original tactical camera that is featured for PC players will now extend across all platforms for Inquisition (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4). 

AI
Creatures will behave smarter and in roles. It’s like playing chess; each piece will fulfill its role. Some will interact with others and behave in a group. Some will flank, while others will target specific classes such as mages.

The party will support you and react smarter. Even after you command your companion to do a certain ability, depending on their class, they will work together with other companions and play off strengths.

DESTRUCTIBLE ENVIRONMENTS
Specific elements within the level can be destroyed. While retaining the active environment is important (which is why they will never make everything destructible), they choose to have interactive elements in order to achieve different objectives or help with specific enemies. One example is having an ice wall block between to points, to make a barrier.

ABILITIES
Freeze -> Hit Him -> Shatter

The developers want logical pathings with magic and other abilities to mesh well. Freezing a character should make him incredibly fragile. By hitting the ice block, the enemy dies. More abilities like this will be featured in the next game.

EXPLORATION
The biggest thing on exploration is the need to give consequence to actions. While there may be 3 bandits on the road, they are still three bandits you may sacrifice health for. Considering you may not be well equipped, it could actually be a strain to take on those enemies (despite that there are experience points for the taking). It’s risk and opportunity - you are given the tools, but how well prepared you are will challenge your need to level and progress.

BALANCE
The developers fine-tune many things, including enemies based on a number of conditions: quantity of enemies, difficulty, and the number of enemy classes (3 warriors versus 3 warriors and a guardsman, which makes the encounter twice as hard). 

"Dragon will own you" Because enemies do not level up with you, you can put a pin on the map to indicate where dangerous foes are and can come back to them when you are more prepared and at a higher level.

RANDOM BITS

  • Stupid red barrels with explosives in them are being phased out
  • Potion quality increases with alchemy and rare herbs

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The panel “Making Your Mark” was centered around the idea of the Inquisitor reacting to his or her world. In Dragon Age 2, Hawke was a reacting character. You did the best you could with the events that came to be. But now, nations will watch your every move as you gain more power. You are a force of nature within the world. 

EXPLORATION
Mike Laidlaw says that there is a “fundamental joy” in creating a ridge and running to it. Exploration is a necessary, powerful thing in DAI. The narrative is so important for growth of a character, and pushing discovery to become a mechanic best shapes the world.

THE INQUISITOR
Respect: Players will see a slight difference between human, elven, dwarven and qunari Inquisitors. Some will be distinctly treated different, such as elves as a lower class or Qunari as a constant, not-to-be-trusted enemy. Mike Laidlaw noted how a quest will be very difficult to gain a specific ending, in comparison to a human or elf. Like the Warden, despite normal stereotyping between races, Inquisition soldiers and other nations will progressively see you as “The Inquisitor” and ignore your race.

Classes: No Dwarven mages. Bioware is sticking to the core classes. They may expand in the future, but the time is not now.

Races seem to have a specific racial bonus. Qunaris may have a statistical advantage in magic resistance. Mike Laidlaw joked how it shouldn’t be 5% but 20%.

DOING IT RIGHT
"Not going to talk until we’re ready to talk" is the way the developers are pushing. Many questions were raised, such as whether characters will have a specific background (like the human nobles or Dalish elves) and vocal dialect. They will not give the choice for multiple backgrounds, unless they can do it right and have voices varied. 

RANDOM BITS

  • A sword that looks like a tuning fork (two blades attached to one base)
  • "I can’t come up with something we can’t make in Frostbite" - Matt Goldman
  • Players are completely allowed to look the same throughout the game, but progress in stats