Finally, Dragon Age 3 Details: Open-World, Dialog Choices, & More

New details of Dragon Age: Inquisition‘s conversation and dialogue system have surfaced at a BioWare panel at PAX Australia this weekend. Like the previous games in the Dragon Age series, Inquisition is said to be heavy on dialogue and provides players with the option to make decisions based on what they choose to say in conversations with non-player characters, thereby influencing the story and informing the game’s narrative.

Speaking at the panel, Cameron Lee, the game’s Producer, said that the developers intend for the player to feel as if Inquisition is “their story.”

Unlike the second game in the series, which had a small focus on Hawke and the city of Kirkwall, Dragon Age: Inquisition will be much larger in scope and be comparable to that of the first game, Origins. The plot is said to revolve around an “epic story of a world in chaos.” The developers implied that Orlesian Empress Celene and Arch Duke Gaspard are in conflict and this will be a significant aspect of the game’s story.

Conversation options may be further influenced by certain player stats or having a specific companion in your group. Patrick Weekes, a writer on Inquisition, said they want the best choices to be included in the game instead of binary options such as “save the baby or save the warlock.”

The developers intend for dialogue to have a clear effect on player choice rather than having it influenced by random chance at any point. Such a distinction is important in order to give players a feeling of control over the decisions they make in the game.

Weekes added that the developers were overhauling the conversation system of the previous game, and said that there had been a negative reaction to Mass Effect 3′s auto-dialogue options. On that same note, the team mentioned that players had a problem with Dragon Age 2‘s paraphrasing system in which the dialogue offered by the game’s protagonist, Hawke, didn’t quite match the choices made by the players.

Beyond dialogue, the developers stated their awareness of the repetitive nature of Dragon Age 2′s environments, and intend to provide a diverse, “open world” experience in Dragon Age: Inquisition with locations as diverse as deserts, swamps, mountains, grasslands, ruins, and snowy environments. The game is said to offer “lots of exploration”, and that BioWare’s history of exploration in previous games—especially its early titles like Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate 2, is a theme that they intend to return to. Among some of the things players will discover out in the wilderness are “small dungeons or big dungeons” that may not necessarily be tied to the main story.

As for the game’s combat, it will be a combination of Dragon Age: Origins’ tactical combat and the “fluidity” of Dragon Age 2′s more accessible gameplay mechanics.

Last, but not least, is the reveal that save files from the previous games will carry across to Inquisition. While it’s easy to see how this could be done with the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or PC, it remains to be seen how they’ll handle it with the next-gen platforms like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 that the game is also releasing on.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is set for release in Fall 2014.

Source: BioWare Social Network

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26 Comments on Finally, Dragon Age 3 Details: Open-World, Dialog Choices, & More

CS

On July 19, 2013 at 10:12 am

My biggest problem with DA2 was the paraphrasing of the dialogue options. I’ve always roleplayed in RPGs by choosing the dialogue option that is the least character breaking option of the choices since you can never get the “perfect” response in a non-tabletop roleplaying environment. By paraphrasing the dialogue options i cannot make an informed decision regarding what option to choose and therefore i ended up reloading the game after a conversation a lot. Either due to the choice i picked was not something the character i was roleplaying would say or paranoia that one of the other choices would actually have been a more optimal response.

Only played up until the Deep roads excavation before i gave up and watched the rest of the game on youtube like a movie. I still read the novels and play DA:O, since i am a sucker for the lore of Dragon age, but i am probably going to watch DA:I on youtube from the get-go.

Aedelric

On July 19, 2013 at 10:41 am

Twenty five separate endings based on your three dialogue choices (May be shortened to three red green blue before release.)

Choices that matter and change the world. (So long as continue the set linear main quest narrative.)

Return of all your favorite iconic characters. (Even if you hate them, killed them or even if their appearance makes absolutely no sense.)

Hundreds of enemies to slay. (Reusing the same five models over and spawning them in waves.)

Explore a new dynamic world set in the exotic land of Orlais. (Several small maps, constantly repeated over the course of the game.)

Enough sarcasm, Bioware burnt me one too many times. I will not believe a single bit of the PR hype, they have lied before in their PR drives, this will be no different. The only way to convince me now is with physical proof, they need to release a demo, they lost that customer trust.

I dread to think what will happen to Bioware if DA3 flops.

R.J.

On July 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm

The real question is how much of what they say will actually be delivered. Needless to say, everything they say will be viewed by me with heavy skepticism.

Pedro

On July 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Open-world really? Plz NO!

Kevin

On July 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Negative reaction to ME’s dialogue system? You don’t say!

And stating that combat will be a mix of the two games…. youi can’t do that. The combat systems were diametrically different. one was a plan several moves in advance tactical RPG, the other was a button mashing pseudo-fighting game where positioning and tactics meant absolutely nothing for most battles, just DPS the hell out of everything. One was built around customizing your companions for different scenarios. DA2 was “iconic” in that characters had basically one look and you could only define them in one particular way.

There is no happy medium between these two. The only way you could maybe do it is via ripping off the Witcher, where you add in the potion minigame, and numerous combo attacks. Yet I don’t think the fanbase will react kindly to blatantly ripping off CDPR, especially when Witcher 3 will be out around the same time doing it better.

Aids

On July 19, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Yawn, trying to use peoples nostalgia to sell something that will probably bomb and piss off consumers like oh lets see DA2, ME3, and oh yeah ToR. You’re on a roll EA. Good job strip mining out the talent and repacking the same old SHlT

Axetwin

On July 19, 2013 at 11:51 pm

I’m just waiting for them to reveal what sort of monstrosity they have planned for the multiplayer.

Ebalosus

On July 20, 2013 at 12:48 am

@Aedelric

+1

Unless they address the elephant-in-the-room that is the ending to ME3 (I mean PROPERLY address it, not just making vague statements about why we didn’t like it), then I can guarantee that this game will suffer in the sales department.

Even if the game is better than expected, sales WILL suffer due to the reaction to both ME3 and its ending. I think that if this is especially bad, be prepared to hear from the likes of Michael Pachter, IGN, Kotaku, et cetera that “the whiners should get over the ending to ME3, and go buy DA3.” Ironically, this will harm sales more than it will help them, because nobody likes to be patronised by people whom give of the impression of a suckup.

Time will tell if this is the beginning of the end for Bioware, or the end itself…

CYY

On July 20, 2013 at 3:23 am

Is there conversation wheel or classical tree ?

crazyyoco

On July 20, 2013 at 3:25 am

what kind of coversation opist are there going to be ?
con. wheel or classic tree ?

Axetwin

On July 20, 2013 at 5:42 am

*sigh*

We really need a way to report spam posts like that of wendytowell.

sep

On July 20, 2013 at 6:08 am

Agree with axetwin…. waiting to be disappointed by the multiplayer reveal…. :/

ted

On July 20, 2013 at 6:47 am

Well. It all sounds good. I, personally, am just going to wait it out.

Mark Burnham

On July 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm

@Axetwin Spam terminated, thanks for the shout.

Scott

On July 21, 2013 at 9:27 pm

I absolutely loved DA1 … it def could have been much more .. that being said … It was still my fav of the DA series … by far .,.. i tried twice to play DA2 and just couldnt do it … lame kept coming to mind … DA3 had better wow people or i fear that what Aedelric said will come true… Bioware will be a big flop … i can say this … they stole my money on the DA1 ex-pac … and da 2 etc. They dont get a dime until i hear rave reviews … dont lie Bioware …. you know what we say is the truth … do it better or leave it to the others that will ….

Tweress

On July 22, 2013 at 5:10 am

I want to be optimistic about this… But can’t. We’ve all seen what BioWare is becoming and I’m afraid that this will be just another bitter taste of the changes made to the company after EA took over. I remember the time when hearing any BioWare-related news was a reason to cheer… Sad, really. The Doctors knew when to back out of this company…

Awaiting the multiplayer announcement, hearing how simplification of the storyline makes it more “universal” and info about big chunks of primary content thrown into paid (and overpriced) DLC.

Death Apparent

On July 22, 2013 at 8:24 am

Fool me once BioWare, shame on you. Fool me twice, I’d deserve lobotomisation.

Fox Lonestar

On July 25, 2013 at 9:27 am

This is one game that I’m going to sit out on, instead of pre-ordering for the cool stuff. Bioware sort of angered me with the First Day DLCs on DA2 and ME3, and the whole debacle of the ME3 ending and Bioware’s flippant response to players left a very sour taste in my mouth. If and when I get this game, it’ll be the Complete/Game of the Year/All DLCs included version, and $30 on PC (which means another 2-3 years of waiting after release), because I’m not paying for something with content disabled on the disc and paying another $10 to enable it. I hope that “aggressive researching” of Skyrim Bioware is doing shows them this.

Cas

On July 27, 2013 at 11:07 am

People who preorder this game after the disasters of DA2 and ME3 are complete idiots and deserve whatever poor product they receive.

I might buy DA3, but not until it’s been out a week or two and I see some non-purchased reviews of what it’s really like.

Good Ju Ju

On July 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm

A single player RPG does NOT need multiplayer.

Hawke

On August 1, 2013 at 6:51 am

This is crazy, all you people doubting Bioware, and Dragon Age as a series.. I liked the first one, and the second one.. I played through both of them several times. I have all of the trophies, and found all of the secrets… It’s lore, its game.. The first one was a great game, so was the second one.. the Second game was BASED in Kirkwall.. It was ABOUT Kirkwall, and the struggle going on there.. setting up this third story..The battle of Templar, and Mage.. I didn’t mind the repeated environments.. It was supposed to be in the city.. Most of the towns we live in, the houses, and apartments.. are constructed.. exactly the same way.. I have bought all DLC.. for both games, and for all the Mass Effects.. I have beaten and played through all of them multiple times as well… I love Bioware, as a Company.. I’m awaiting this game.. more than anything.. I will finally have a game I can totally enjoy.. all the people who have criticized this game, and the developers, and EVERYTHING about it… are just making them make a more complex, harder to make game.. You’re going to hate whatever they do.. You’re not a real bioware fan.. or a Dragon Age lover.. you’re snobs….

hylion

On August 2, 2013 at 2:30 am

Not that DA2 or ME3 were without issues, but I found them both to be good games. I’ve enjoyed Bioware games enough to take the time to platinum all of them. I’m looking forward to DA3.

jdemonicus

On August 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I’ve enjoyed all of the games as well. I’ve had ME3 for awhile. . .still haven’t played it yet. Really looking forward to DA3. . .heck, my neck’s starting to itch. . . .

Amy

On August 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Any influence from DA2 needs to be complete scraped. It was a complete and utter failure that not only rebooted the series when it was nonsensical to do so, but destroyed the combat by replacing it with dynasty warrior hack and slash that utterly destroyed immersion with its unnatural and over the top animations.

Anca

On August 4, 2013 at 6:07 am

The paraphrasing system grew on me after a while – it really gave Hawke a lot of character and made him feel like a real human rather than a player avatar. I’d hate it if the next protagonist was a blank slate.

And I also liked the short and repeating dungeons – they made the game more fun because you revisited old locations and didn’t have to memorize new maps. DAII was generally a lot more fun and relaxing than Origins – them returning to ‘big dungeons’ would be a serious step back.

Emma

On August 5, 2013 at 5:51 am

For what it’s worth, I enjoyed DA2 – although I’m under no illusions it was a great game and it did take the piss with repeated locations, it was still fun in its own right. I’ll be giving this a shot.

If you have been personally wounded and disheartened by Bioware’s questionable decisions recently it’s quite simple: don’t buy DA3 or play it.

Interested to see if the Open-World claim will be lived up to, or if like its predecessors we’re going to see loading into different parts of the same dirt road, field, etc.