For fans hanging on to every detail being released about Dragon Age: Inquisition, you’re in luc. The Bioware team– Creative Director Mike Laidlaw, Producer Cameron Lee, and Executive Producer Mark Darrah—entered a lengthy question-and-answer session with folks on Raptr this past Tuesday. While the questions and responses are buried in a massive discussion thread, we’ll discuss some of the highlights below. In addition, some of the features detailed in the Q&A were fleshed out in the 16-minute gameplay video Bioware posted the next day.
First and foremost, Bioware really seems to be pushing the dynamic nature of Inquisition’s world and stoy-arc. “Hunt all the bears in a region—perhaps for a new suit of armor—and their numbers will dwindle,” says Mark Laidlaw in the gameplay walkthrough. “Similarly, spread your Inquisition to a new region, and you’ll see your troops patrolling the roads, and signs of their presence.”
Similarly, the Q&A brought up sidequests, which the team suggested would have an impact on how the Inquisition was received in a new area. Rather than sticking you off on a side errand in the midst of a crisis, Bioware says that side quests will fit within the main narrative as logical extensions of the Inquisition’s goals.
Combat has come a long way from the early days of Dragon Age Origins. “The tactical combat is more like DAO with the tactical camera (extra improved” Cameron Lee writes in the Q&A, “…real-time combat is slower with more weight behind the attacks, defense, hits etc. You can swap between these modes whenever you like and as always you can swap between party members at any time,”
To our eyes, the combat on display in the walkthrough has something of the pace and flow of firefights in Mass Effect 3. While combat pace seems noticeably slower, it also appears even more hectic than before, and your attacks seem to have a satisfyingly dramatic effect on your enemies—hit an enemy with a power-charged arrow from one of your party’s archers, and your opponent stumbles with the blow.
Major changes have also come to how you balance the favor of various members of your party. “Major characters all track something similar to approval,” Laidlaw writes in the Raptr discussion, “but the system has changed to put more focus on what you are doing and what you say instead of grinding by constantly giving them gifts. Each follower does have their own set of goals they want to achieve and if you help them, they will appreciate it. And if you piss them off, they might just leave,”
The walkthrough also shows the Inquisitor calling a horse to gallop off on, greatly reducing travel time. Mounts are a new feature to the series; however, it’s rumored that none of the available mounts will fly. So dreams of capturing and taming a dragon as your steed will have to be put on hold for now.
We’ll bring you more on Dragon Age: Inquisition as we get nearer to the October release. In the meantime, check out Bioware’s narrated walkthrough below.