Dragon Age: Inquisition Information Thread
Supported Players: 1
Release Date: Nov.18. 2014
ESRB Rating: M
Platform: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
Suggested Manufacturer`s Retail Price: $59.99
Explore a vast, fantasy world at the brink of catastrophe in Dragon Age™: Inquisition, a next-generation action RPG, where your choices shape and drive the experience. In this upcoming video game from BioWare, makers of Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age: Origins, you’ll make your mark in an expansive, story-driven open world filled with complex characters, challenging combat and difficult decisions.
A cataclysmic event has plunged the land of Thedas into turmoil. Dragons now darken the sky, casting a shadow of terror over a once-peaceful kingdom. Mages have broken into an all-out war against the oppressive Templars. Nations rise against one another. It falls to you to restore order as you lead the Inquisition and hunt down the agents of chaos - your choices will forever change the Dragon Age.
Dragon Age: Inquisition uses the spectacular Frostbite™ 3 engine to bring to life a vast and varied open world including ice-capped mountains, twisted marshes, and scorching deserts.
Choose and lead a group of characters into challenging, visually spectacular battles against a variety of enemies – from earth-shattering High Dragons to demonic forces from the otherworld of the Fade. Go toe-to-toe in visceral, heroic combat as your followers fight by your side, or switch to tactical view to coordinate devastating offensives using the combined might of your party.
See the tangible, visible results of your journey through a living world – raise structures, customize outposts, and change the landscape itself as environments are re-shaped in the wake of your Inquisition.
Lead a party chosen from nine unique, fully-realized characters – each of whom react to your actions and choices differently, forming complex relationships both with you and with each other.
Create your own character from multiple races, customize their appearance, and select their powers and abilities as the game progresses. Extensive customization options allow you to choose everything from the color of your follower’s boots to the features of your Inquisition stronghold.
Become an agent of change in a time of uncertainty and upheaval. Shape the course of empires, bring war or peace to factions in conflict, and drive the ultimate fate of the Inquisition. Will you stop the cataclysmic anarchy gripping the Dragon Age?
The Grey Wardens and the Darkspawn
The Grey Wardens
The First Blight had already raged for 90 years. The world was in chaos. A god had risen, twisted and corrupted. The remaining gods of Tevinter were silent, withdrawn. What writing we have recovered from those times is filled with despair, for everyone believed, from the greatest Archons to the lowliest slaves, that the world was coming to an end.
At Weisshaupt fortress in the desolate Anderfels, a meeting transpired. Soldiers of the Imperium, seasoned veterans who had known nothing their entire lifetimes except hopeless war, came together. When they left Weisshaupt, they had renounced their oaths to the Imperium. They were soldiers no longer: They were the Grey Wardens. The Wardens began an aggressive campaign against the Blight, striking back against the darkspawn, reclaiming lands given up for lost. The Blight was far from over, but their victories brought notice, and soon they received aid from every nation in Thedas.
They grew in number as well as reputation. Finally, in the year 992 of the Tevinter Imperium, upon the Silent Plains, they met the Archdemon Dumat in battle. A third of all the armies of northern Thedas were lost to the fighting, but Dumat fell and the darkspawn fled back underground. Even that was not the end. The Imperium once revered seven gods: Dumat, Zazikel, Toth, Andorhal, Razikale, Lusacan, and Urthemiel. Four have risen as Archdemons. The Grey Wardens have kept watch through the ages, well aware that peace is fleeting, and that their war continues until the last of the dragon-gods is gone.
- From Ferelden: Folklore and History, by Sister Petrine, Chantry scholar
Those who had sought to claim
Heaven by violence destroyed it. What was
Golden and pure turned black.
Those who had once been mage-lords,
The brightest of their age,
Were no longer men, but monsters.
- Threnodies 12:1
Sin was the midwife that ushered the darkspawn into this world. The magisters fell from the Golden City, and their fate encompassed all our world's. For they were not alone.
No one knows where the darkspawn come from. A dark mockery of men, in the darkest places they thrive, growing in numbers as a plague of locusts will. In raids, they will often take captives, dragging their victims alive into the Deep Roads, but most evidence suggests that these are eaten. Like spiders, it seems darkspawn prefer their food still breathing. Perhaps they are simply spawned by the darkness. Certainly, we know that evil has no trouble perpetuating itself.
The last Blight was in the Age of Towers, striking once again at the heart of Tevinter, spreading south into Orlais and east into the Free Marches. The plagues spread as far as Ferelden, but the withering and twisting of the land stopped well beyond our borders. Here, darkspawn have never been more than the stuff of legends. In the northern lands, however, particularly Tevinter and the Anderfels, they say darkspawn haunt the hinterlands, preying on outlying farmers and isolated villages, a constant threat.
- From Ferelden: Folklore and History, by Sister Petrine, Chantry scholar
Dragons Keep: Within the Dragon Age Keep, you'll be able to customize a Dragon Age historical world state to your exact specifications drawn from Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II.
You will be able to transfer over the modifications you made to your Warden in Origins or your version of Hawke in DA II. Your companions and romances can be carried over, and who rose to power or succumbed to defeat will also be taken into account to determine the overall legacy you'll take into Dragon Age: Inquisition. All of your settings customised in the Keep will be imported into the new game, avoiding the issue of porting saves between current and next-gen consoles. Dragon Keep has been said to use the Cloud.
BioWare is planning on fusing elements of both earlier games in the series, Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2, into the creation of Dragon Age: Inquisition. The game will feature larger environments with much more opportunity for exploration.
BioWare has confirmed that multiple playable races are returning, both female and male. Players can play as a Human, Dwarf, or Elf, additionally, Qunari are also playable.
The romance aspect of the game has been overhauled. As opposed to Bioware's previous gift and dialogue based system, romance will occur in reaction to events and variables specific to each character.
Players will be able to gain influence in areas of the world by capturing keeps or forts. This is achieved by defeating the occupants of the keep or fort. Once The Inquisition has a base in the area new areas, if applicable, will open up and become available to the player. These areas were blocked before such as by a hazardous gas. With the opening up of such areas players will not only be able to explore the whole of an area but will also be able to visit previously unreachable locations and side quests.
Inquisition will also feature two forms of combat system. The first is reminiscent of that found in most action-RPG's, including Dragon Age II. This system is action orientated and follows the player in a typical over-the-shoulder third person style. The second is closer to that of an old RPG, including Dragon Age: Origins. This combat system allows players to pause the game, assign locations and orders to the characters in their group and then resume the game to see it played out.
Player choice is said to play a large role in Inquisition because players control the leader of the Inquisition, The Inquisitor. This means that choices made by the player may close quests and whole areas off. Once such example would be the destruction of a village, which means that while this area can still be reached no associated content for that area can be accessed. This though works both ways as areas previously unreachable can be reached, such as capturing forts or keeps
Inquisition possesses a Skyrim-esque style compass bar across the upper section of the HUD. This navigation bar marks both discovered, visited locations and those that are yet to be found. Undiscovered locations appear with a ? on the navigation bar
Players are able to take control of any member of their party during battle and use each characters special abilities to aid them against particular types of enemies in battle.
As The Inquisitor players also decided how to deploy agents and troops of The Inquisition. This includes withdrawing from attacks by enemies.
The game features some destructibility, as players can destroy wooden bridges to help dispatch enemies quicker, gates, crates, etc. The various regions that make up the game world do not scale in level. They have a fixed level, which means players can be either too weak or strong for the enemies found in that region.
Inquisition’s story is an enormous, 200 hour commitment for completists, so BioWare wants multiplayer to work in short 20-30 minute bursts. Each of the three multiplayer campaigns available at launch randomly generates a large level comprised of smaller sections. you’ll fight through five of 10 pre-designed areas in one go, each with distinct variables. Next time, you may see the same stage in a new spot, or an entirely different collection of arenas entirely, all with different enemy encounters, ideally making multiplayer missions replayable indefinitely.
Missions have a loose connection to the campaign, but the signature BioWare storytelling is reserved for single-player. “The campaign is a story about you, and your growth, and your Inquisition,” Creative Director Mike Laidlaw said, so there’s little room for dialogue wheels in a group setting.
Multiplayer runs sort of parallel to the Inquisitor’s story -- you’re working for the Inquisitor, running behind-the-scenes Operations with a squad. “One of the things that came out of early explorations is that we wanted the multiplayer characters to becharacters,” Laidlaw said. BioWare didn’t want templatized, boring heroes lacking personalities. “They’re kind of like mini followers, and they banter among themselves.”
Single-player is aiming for a smart marriage of narrative and gameplay systems. Multiplayer is pure, meant to attract role-playing junkies with a passion for loot, combat, and team-based battles in the gorgeous, brutal world of Dragon Age. After completing a multiplayer quest, you’ll take home your found gold to spend on treasure chests, which include items such as item recipes, new equipment, potions, grenades, and salves of varying rarity. Some may even unlock a new hero or character skin. Nine heroes join Dragon Age: Inquisition’s multiplayer roster at launch -- three for each mage/melee/archer class, each unique in their appearance, abilities, and characterization.
If you’d rather not grind, you can purchase Platinum, which is an “optional time saver” currency. “Nothing is behind a paywall,” Costa said. “We will never sell you an item.”
Like League of Legends’ business model, you’ll have to play plenty to earn enough for a prize, or you can pay outright to accelerate your unlocks.
The real-time combat doesn’t allow for Inquisition’s tactical camera, but instead requires careful coordination of magical buffs, timely heals, area-of-effect slows, damage-over-time grenades, and ranged-fire coverage as broadsword-wielding fighters assault enemies in an area.
Costa hopes fans “commit to a multiplayer service. That means lots of DLC, lots of new heroes and levels.” Service? Fortunately, BioWare isn’t planning any sort of subscription or premium plan for additional multiplayer content. Costa said, “It’s all free DLC for everyone.”
The Exalted Plains
The Exalted Plains of the Dales are characterized by equal measures of beauty and strife. It was here, centuries ago, that the elven nation met its bitter end. On these fields, the holdouts of the elven army faced the forces of the human Chantry and died, defending their promised land to the last breath. This legacy of conflict has endured, and battle once again rages in the Dales.
The Exalted Plains are now a contested battleground in the Orlesian civil war, and soldiers fight and die here in vast numbers. As the boundaries of reality weaken across Thedas, the memory of injustices past and present draws the attention of restless spirits who rise to possess the dead and stalk the living across the blood-steeped earth.
Exploring the Dales’ Exalted Plains
Within the Dales, the Exalted Plains is a massive stretch of land ravaged by civil war and ripe for exploration in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Each distinct area of the Exalted Plains has its own complex ecosystem, creating the Plains’ physical space in the game was no easy task.
“The first thing we [did] was try to portray the civil war and the impact it’s having on the environment and the people of that region,” says senior environment artist Andrew Farrell. “In these spaces, we try to provide opportunities for the Inquisition to come in and make its mark on the area. Then the people there rally around that.”
The Inquisition arrives at the Exalted Plains during a ceasefire between two armies at war. The bodies of fallen soldiers mysteriously rose from the dead and have driven the armies back to their respective castles in retreat.
As this is the Dales, one might wonder: what’s become of the Dalish elves?
“They’ve retreated into an area with more security away from all the fighting,” explains Farrell. “Of course, they’ve got a few problems of their own.”
The Crow Fens is one section of the Exalted Plains. In contrast to the sprawling hills elsewhere in the area, the Fens is claustrophobic, creating tension as you wonder what lies in wait for you around the next corner. According to Farrell, the Fens was the perfect playground for his imagination to run wild.
Using the power of the Frostbite 3 game engine and next-generation technology, utilizing water in levels is one of the achievements the team is most proud of.
“Interactive water is one of the key things we’ve added to next-gen,” says lead environment artist Ben McGrath. “It’s got realistic reflections, and also realistically ripples and splashes as you walk through it.”
This is all made possible by a technology advancement known as “displacement mapping”. McGrath describes the benefits it adds to the game:
“Displacement mapping adds a new level of realism to the environment. Normal maps [in previous-gen technology] brought great detail to surfaces, but displacement mapping actually pushes those details out so you can see them in the silhouette. The place where it’s probably the most noticeable is on terrain. Pebbles, sand ripples, cobblestones, and other details all pop out from the terrain and make it far more detailed than ever before.”
Once an area is built, its ecosystem brings it to life. While exploring the Exalted Plains, you’re likely to see the halla, birds, and wolves that have made it home. Make your way into the Crow Fens, and you’ll find yourself amidst drakes, dragonlings, and dragonkin.
Don’t let the looming threat of danger deter you from adventuring, however.
“Get off the beaten path!” says Farrell. “Just like exploring in real life, look under all the rocks, under all the bridges, and in all dark corners of the map. Take the path less-traveled and you might something interesting… or surprising.”
As expansive as the Exalted Plains is, Farrell and McGrath agree that you shouldn’t worry too much about missing anything, because you can return to it at any time.
“You won’t be locked out of an area,” Farrell says. “We’ve got a lot of space, so you definitely don’t need to try and see everything on your first playthrough.”
The Fortress of Adamant
Of all the decisions we Grey Wardens were forced to make over the lean years, withdrawing from the fortress of Adamant was perhaps the most difficult. It had been built to stand as a bastion against the darkspawn spilling out from the Abyssal Rift—a symbol of how we had done the impossible and pushed those creatures back into the shadows where they belonged.
We kept the land safe from further encroachment, but as each new age dawned, memories of our sacrifice became a little fainter. The entire Western Approach had become a wasteland, and thus the expense of maintaining the fortress became harder and harder to justify. There were no more griffons to fill its weyrs, too few Wardens to man its battlements, too many good men and women killed by demons creeping through the thin Veil... Each visit of the Warden-Commander made it more and more apparent that Adamant had instead become a symbol of our decline. Many said that, even if darkspawn did still emerge from the chasm, who would they threaten other than the Grey Wardens themselves?
So in the dawn of the Blessed Age, we sealed the fortress's mighty gates. We left the great griffon statues to tarnish and wear in the blowing sand, retreating to Montsimmard with a sense of loss and shame. I recently returned with a small expedition to retrieve supplies left behind and was surprised to see it still standing. The dwarves did well by us, and I suspect Adamant will remain for ages to come... but should the Order ever return, they will find it difficult to resurrect this place. Only spirits roam its halls now, alongside the memories of those who gave their lives to protect us all from darkness.
- From the journal of Veldin, Grey Warden of Orlais, 8:18 Blessed
My lord Arl Teagan,
I retired to the Hinterlands for peace and quiet away from the politics, and because the wide open spaces were perfect to let my horses run. Instead, the war between the mages and the templars has turned your beautiful hills into a series of burning battlefields.
The farmers who live in the Hinterlands are good folk. Many of them left Redcliffe village because they couldn't bear to be there anymore, not after the Blight and the walking dead left so many bad memories. Now we've got apostates running around setting fire to anyone who looks at them sideways, and templars looting houses and cutting down those who protest as mage sympathizers.
My wife Elaina sent off our field hands to stay with her family in the east, but there are a lot of poor people here with nowhere to go. We get more refugees every day: this village attacked by mad mages or that farmstead burned to the ground by templars who can't tell a hoe from a staff. I suppose you're stretched thin, but anything you can do to lessen the burden of these poor folk would be much appreciated. I'll do as I can, and if your men need better mounts, say the word.
Best of luck to you, my lord. Remember not to let Duchess puff out her gut when you saddle her.
Yours in service,
-A letter from Redcliffe's former horsemaster to Arl Teagan Redcliffe (undelivered)
"I have heard the complaints. Some of you do not understand why we train in a castle in the wilderness when you're to seek out corruption among the masses. You question the Seekers' foresight. Doubt assails you. Why have you come to Therinfal? What can you learn here you could not on your own?
Patience is what you will learn. With no city to distract or tempt you, you will practice. You will fail. You will suffer. And when we are done, you will be a rock upon which demons break.
Now let us begin."
This transcription of a speech by Lord Seeker Alderai to a batch of students beginning advanced lessons is dated 7:70 Storm. The Seekers used Therinfal Redoubt as a training ground until around 8:99 Blessed, when their finances were insufficient to keep the fortress in desirable condition.
- From Notable Fortresses, Castles, Towers, and Other Edifices of Interest in Ferelden by Henry Lannon
What does it mean to pierce the Veil, that which separates our world from the realm of dreams and demons? For the average man and woman, it is a frightening thought to consider just how fragile this separation actually is. The Veil is not a physical curtain, not a structure limited to a particular place—it is everywhere. It is in their home, in the streets where they walk, in farmers' fields as well as remote mountain vales.
At any moment it could be torn to shreds, allowing demons and other horrors to flood into our world like water through a burst dam. Known lore tells us that small rifts can be sealed... but what about a large one? What if some catastrophic magical event created a rift so large and horrific, it weakened the integrity of the Veil as a whole? Such a "breach" would threaten our entire world, turning concerns about occasional demonic intrusion into a charming anecdote compared to the monsters we would then face. If there is anything to be done, any reason we should look at magic with fear, it is for that possibility more than any other.
- From The True Threat of Magic by Lady Seeker Alandra Vael
Source and official sites:
Official site: http://www.dragonage.com/
Dragon Age Keep: https://dragonagekeep.com/
I'm really looking forward to this game. I just hope I can get me a PS4 before the game is released. Of Course, I can still buy the game anyway. It would just be nice to be able to play it. lol
But it's not exactly next-gen, innit? It's on 360 and Xbox One. It's not really a "true" next-gen experience unless the game can't run at all on the older platforms. Not that I'll enjoy it any less because of that.
Add me as a friend to chat or just play games -- PSNid: seraphim_falconu
I was thinking of making a thread but since they put the Dragon Age section into the archives, I just spend my time over at the bioware forums to discuss the game. This is one my games of 2014, that I will be picking up. I enjoyed both games I think I have about 14 or so playthroughs between the two.
I'm certainly going to love it however it is a bit disappointing that so many games are cross-generation this time around.
Not for people who only have a PS3. But in good news for us next-genners, it looks like all of the goodies added in the PS4 version of Diablo III won't be able to run on PS3.
Add me as a friend to chat or just play games -- PSNid: seraphim_falconu
Only Dragon Age game I played was Origins and it was pretty good. A few problems with the ally AI when dealing with AoE spells on Nightmare, but that was only an issue in a few spots.
Looks like though they are really evolving their gameplay (and graphics of course) in Inquisition.
Seems like they are taking some inspiration from Demon's Souls/Dark Souls in their gameplay, but lately seems like the entire genre is (and this is a good thing IMO, it works). For turn based RPGs stat based hits/misses are fine but I think people realize it doesn't work out too well in real time action RPGs.
I'm guessing you import your DA Origins character from the EA Origin servers they are saved on? That's pretty cool, think I'll take my blood mage into Inquisition and try to get some more of that sweet Morrigan love.
As much as I wish PS4 would of had some RPGs at launch, looks like late 2014 I'll be stuck inside all sorts of fantasy worlds. Dragon Age Inquisition, Elder Scrolls Online, Witcher 3. I also suspect From Software will end up announcing a next-gen game soon. Gonna be good times.