Dragon Age 3 hints dropped at PAX panel

By Alice O'Connor, Apr 11, 2012 9:45am PDT

BioWare's not yet officially talking about a third Dragon Age--one's yet to be announced, for one thing--but in the aftermath of Dragon Age II's expansion being scrapped, it has dropped some heavy hints at what it's planning. During a panel at PAX East over the weekend, BioWare addressed three common calls from fans: for "decisions that matter," "equipment for followers," and to "stop reusing levels."

Creative director Mike Laidlaw explained that after revealing DA2 had been wrapped-up, BioWare posted a thread soliciting feedback from fans. From their often-contradictory likes and dislikes, those three points stuck out the most. Stressing that he wasn't talking about a specific product or making promises, he revealed solutions BioWare is looking at, which should give "a pretty good sense on where things are headed for the future."

Dragon Age II notoriously re-used interior spaces dozens of times, shutting off portions and changing the furniture a little to present it as somewhere new. Fans called for this to stop, and Laidlaw's response was clear: "Will do!"

"We're looking for variety, we're looking for space, we're looking for scope," he said, casually showing a slideshow of concept art with everything from green hills to dark and forbidding spaces. Laidlaw also teased that it may visit Dragon Age's not-technically-France-but-super-French nation of Orlais, saying "If we really need to go somewhere more urban, let's make sure it's not Kirkwall, maybe let's go somewhere new, somewhere a little more French."

Hot on the heels of the rigmarole surrounding Mass Effect 3's ending, Laidlaw made clear that BioWare's planning "decisions that matter."

"We will absolutely make sure that's what we're delivering, including your previous games," he said. "We'll make sure that this time your choices as a player are determing the impact that your player has on the world."

BioWare's also planning to bring back proper equipment choices for all party members, without sacrificing visual uniqueness. Characters in DA: Origins could mix-and-match armour, but DA2 party members only had one outfit, improving automatically over time and upgraded with items found in the world.

Demonstrating with a male Grey Warden companion and a female Chantry Seeker, Laidlaw showed concept art for how armour sets could adapt to their wearer. While a breastplate on the Warden was chunky and bold, it was more elegant yet still recognisable on the Seeker--retaining each character's style and silhouette. Laidlaw also teased that there could be options to change the colour and material of armour.

Dragon Age 3 hasn't been formally announced, but BioWare has previously said that such a thing would marry the best of both games and has drawn a little inspiration from Skyrim.

Check out the concept art shown off in this video of the panel, captured by GameSpot:

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