Dragon Age 3 hints dropped at PAX panel

BioWare's not yet officially talking about a third Dragon Age--one's yet to be announced, for one thing--but it has dropped some heavy hints addressing common calls from fans: for "decisions that matter," "equipment for followers," and to "stop reusing levels."

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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."

Dragon Age: Origins

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:
From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 11, 2012 9:45 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Dragon Age 3 hints dropped at PAX panel.

    BioWare's not yet officially talking about a third Dragon Age--one's yet to be announced, for one thing--but it has dropped some heavy hints addressing common calls from fans: for "decisions that matter," "equipment for followers," and to "stop reusing levels."

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      April 11, 2012 9:47 AM

      DA3 in Orlais, with all the shitty shit from DA2 kicked to the curb? Sign me up!

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        April 11, 2012 9:52 AM

        i'm skeptical. will not preorder, will not buy, should reviews sway me it might be a rental but i feel like i was really ripped off between that and ME3. fuck these guys :(

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          April 11, 2012 9:56 AM

          I'll give them a second chance, but only if pre-release materials (videos, previews, quicklooks, etc) clearly show that the quality of their work has improved significantly. Everything they've released since being devoured by EA has been inferior to their prior work.

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            April 11, 2012 10:22 AM

            The problem for Bioware is that a lot of people probably consider ME3 to be the "second chance."

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              April 11, 2012 10:31 AM

              It was for me. I'm not preordering anything from BioWare again.

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              April 11, 2012 11:06 AM

              I flat out skipped it, so I guess I didn't count it. I didn't care that much for ME2 in spite of the shackhype, so I wasn't that invested in the series.

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            April 11, 2012 10:32 AM

            how many second chances do you need to give them?

            DA:A, DA2 and ME3 should be enough to convince you that the old Bioware is dead and buried.

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          April 11, 2012 10:00 AM

          same here. I skipped DA2. loved DA and DAO and I even have signed art from it. huge fan.

          but damn man... it sounded like DA2 was just so disposable and so many corners cut :(

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            April 11, 2012 10:03 AM

            It wasn't a terrible game, but it was so much worse than what it could have been. Just a few extra months of development is all it would have taken.

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          April 11, 2012 10:01 AM

          That's where I am with this.

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          April 11, 2012 10:21 AM

          The Bioware of yore is gone, good SIr.

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          April 11, 2012 10:56 AM

          yup. this.

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          April 11, 2012 7:46 PM

          Same here.

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        April 11, 2012 10:35 AM

        If Lilliana returns I'm in. She charmed me so much. I've never missed a fictional girlfriend so much.

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          April 11, 2012 10:49 AM

          But not charmed enough to properly remember her name?

          What a pig you are.

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          April 11, 2012 11:07 AM

          One of my favorite things in DA:O was sitting around in the camp listening to Leliana tell stories. Fantastic voice actor and quality writing.

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      April 11, 2012 9:54 AM

      Needs more strategic overhead camera.

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        April 11, 2012 10:02 AM

        Yep. The UI in DA2 was a major step backwards compared to DA1, in addition to how it implemented friendly fire.

        I also don't give a shit about equipping my followers. The less inventory busywork, the better.

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      April 11, 2012 10:06 AM

      Community manager is hot, anyways that vid was great those three things:

      - stop reuisng levels
      - decisions that matter
      - equipment for followers

      are welcomed changed so I am happy and look forward to 3. Let see what they make, could be good.

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      April 11, 2012 10:09 AM

      done with Bioware, so I don't even care anymore.

      They've basically run their franchises to the ground, have become nothing more than corporate shills and seem to have lost all semblance of a quality focused studio. That they green-lit the ME3 ending should be enough proof for all to see that the Bioware of old is dead and gone. There's a blatant DLC advert at the end of ME3, come on, how fucking arrogant is that.

      Fuck them.

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      April 11, 2012 10:10 AM

      Whatever Bioware. DA went from buy-without-hesitation to wait-and-see.

      You had a great game and they took 15 steps back with the sequel. What a disaster.



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        April 11, 2012 5:11 PM

        My sentiments too. DAO didn't blow me away, and I hate ME.

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      April 11, 2012 10:22 AM

      I didn't play ME3 or DA2 yet but I really just don't get the impression that Bioware can or wants to make decisions more difficult and impactful. The ME style gives a more obvious feedback loop (here's some good guy points!) and caters to a more mass market style. I'm not sure I see them going to The Witcher's style and making people straight up not know who the good or bad guys are when choosing, and hiding/delaying results of that choice for long stretches.

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      April 11, 2012 10:47 AM

      ha ha ha... good one Bioware... good one.

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      April 11, 2012 10:49 AM

      that was a good talk. they know they fucked up shit with part 2 and seems like they really want to go back to DA:0 roots

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      April 11, 2012 10:59 AM

      seriously, who wants decisions that matter? Not going to happen any time soon with EA breathing down their necks to push product out the door. You just cant do it correctly, to build up alternate story lines and dialogue, why cant people understand this.

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      April 11, 2012 11:01 AM

      I think I'll just wait and see what the shack things of it then buy it on discount if it's halfway decent. I don't trust Bioware enough at this point to bother with a full price day one purchase.

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      April 11, 2012 11:02 AM

      those are 3 good points to ask for. i'm looking forward to it. with the action oriented controls of the 2nd with the big world from the first would be a good mix to take for DA3

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        April 11, 2012 11:04 AM

        They need to move away from the wave based combat though and bring back the more strategic combat of DA1.

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          April 11, 2012 11:13 AM

          yeah i forgot about the weirdly spawning enemies.

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      April 11, 2012 11:09 AM

      Less than thrilled. There's no way I'm preordering this, I MIGHT look at it once it lands and I hear a bunch of positive reviews / screens.

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        April 11, 2012 11:13 AM

        i will preorder for the limited edition

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      April 11, 2012 11:19 AM

      I think Bioware's best days are behind it. I'm ready to just forget about them.

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      April 11, 2012 1:41 PM

      dragon age 3 eh *spins on heel out the door*

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      April 11, 2012 2:06 PM

      meh. they need an exorcism at this point. there's some batshit level weirdness in their company the past few years and that kinda kills consumer trust.

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        April 11, 2012 7:54 PM

        Why bother? I have more games than I can even play these days including a lot of really solid RPGs of all sorts. There's even some ex-Bioware folks over at Beamdog bringing back Baldur's Gate with an enhanced edition with the hopes that they'll then create a full fledged officially sanctioned sequel.

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      April 11, 2012 2:14 PM

      If Mike Laidlaw lead designs DA3, I won't buy it. Full stop.

      By saying stuff like "This time round we'll do this..." just confirms that LAST time your game was actually a bag of shit.

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        April 11, 2012 2:24 PM

        Even though at the time you defended it to the hilt. So funny to watch people stand beside a turd and try to pass it off as a piece of gold...you're only fooling yourself.

        I'm thankful for DA:O and Awakening, might buy Witch Hunt some day, but I doubt I'll buy another Dragon Age title, unless it's the second coming and they knock out something as good as Baldur's Gate!

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      April 11, 2012 2:59 PM

      The noises they were making about this were pretty much: "Ok, we will give you some minor stuff like not copy pasting levels and follower customization, but we aren't changing the gameplay back to the Origins style or even acknowledging that the wave system sucked tactically"

      So its basically going to be DA2 with a little bit more customization and more bland empty but unique corridors.

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        April 11, 2012 3:10 PM

        Like I said, Mike Laidlaw has even less creativity than he does vision or forward thinking. No doubt if he designs DA3, it'll turn out a turd. Didn't the guy used to work in marketing or some shit?

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      April 11, 2012 6:07 PM

      Trying so hard to say all the right things.

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      April 11, 2012 7:44 PM

      After the atrocity that was ME3, not thanks.

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        April 12, 2012 2:40 AM

        lol, atrocity, fucking come on.

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      April 11, 2012 8:01 PM

      Nope, nope, nope. That company is poison.

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      April 11, 2012 8:15 PM

      No promise of leaving out the the horrid yaoi shit and Joss Whedon fanfiction writing style, also don't see "combat will have some depth again".

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      April 12, 2012 12:14 AM

      really sad that Bioware needs to assure fans a game will have "equipment" and "levels"

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        April 12, 2012 12:18 AM

        that chick was hot though - im back in!

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      April 12, 2012 1:28 AM

      DA2 has made me super keen for DA3. Very excited to see what's going on.

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      April 12, 2012 2:42 AM

      The amount of ongoing Bioware hate is pretty astonishing. They're still one of he best game developers we have, and frankly there are so few even decent RPG developers that we should be grateful. those games are huge and hard to make, stop expecting them to be perfect of the same very time.

      For the record, I'm enjoying the fuck out of my Imperial Agent story in SWTOR, it's fantastic and I'm astonished at the time, co-ordination, talent and effort that went into this game.

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        April 12, 2012 3:31 AM

        We hate them because they are not living up to expectations. They had such a long pedigree og amazing games, but are ruining themselves by cranking out sup-par sequels like DA2, not taking their own products seriously like the hastily cobbled together ME3 ending, and showing that they are losing their innovative touch with SWTOR. I really hope they can turn this around, but I fear that train has already left. They got too big, too corporate.

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        April 12, 2012 3:45 AM

        The DLC for DA:O was pretty much trash as was DA2. ME3 was clearly rushed out the door hence why the game becomes increasingly incoherent towards the end culminating in a lazy plot hole ridden mess at the end. And it seems like every successive title they release is increasingly riddled with bullshit DLC and inane game mechanics pushing their fans to pay more for less. Ending ME3 with a buy more DLC for more stories of Shepard dialog was insulting.

        The Bioware of late has been a nickel and dime kind of outfit that's less interested in delivering exceptional games than they are in making money. They strike me as greedy, especially in the light of companies like CD Project RED and Bethesda. That's right, the company that made the infamous misstep with horse armour makes Bioware look like misers.

        So we should be grateful? Are they're doing me a favour somehow?

        What I'm grateful for is Idle Thumbs coming back. I'm grateful for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition coming out on a bazillion platforms thanks to the folks at Beamdog, including ex-Bioware folk. I'm grateful for the huge resurgence of 2D games and XCOM being re-imagined. I grateful for the awesome guys at CD Project RED yet again released an enhanced edition for free. I'm grateful for the incredible volume of indie games coming out from people who love what they're doing and more. Those things are worth being grateful for.

        There are so many developers out there making amazing games. More than I can finish, and even more than that I can reasonably buy. But Bioware? Fuck Bioware. If they want my respect again they can earn it just like they earned my distain with their arrogance in the form of multiple games and fuck ton of DLC.

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          April 12, 2012 4:12 AM

          I totally agree. They sold their soul a while ago, and we're really starting to feel the consequences these days. ME3 is such an amazing game, it is a atrocity that they did not take the time to finish it properly. Plz Bioware, stop trying to belch out annual sequels and shitty dlc schemes, and get you pride back. Yes it will mean less money short term, but you'll avoid losing the rest of your once great reputation.

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      April 12, 2012 2:52 AM

      I have a feeling Dragon Age 3 will be decent. I'm not happy of BioWare and am saddened when I have little to look forward to from them. But I think they will be putting a lot of effort into not fucking this up.

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        April 17, 2012 9:11 AM

        The only way there will be a good Dragon Age is if Bioware decides to start competing with real developers like Bethesda and include an actual "WORLD" in the game...Instead of making players pay a subscription fee to explore.

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