Dragon Age 3 announcement

Logo for Dragon Age III Inquisition

The Dragon Age series has been discussed frequently on this site. Today marks an official announcement of the Dragon Age 3 on the BioWare blog. The series has an ever growing set of wonderfully rich characters and we look forward to the new characters in the 2013 game.

The following has been confirmed so far (by Mark Darrah from the blog post):

  • The next game will be called Dragon Age III: Inquisition.
  • We won’t be talking about the story of the game today. Though you can make some guesses from the title.
  • This game is being made by a lot of the same team that has been working on Dragon Age since Dragon Age: Origins.  It’s composed of both experienced BioWare veterans and talented new developers.
  • We are working on a new engine which we believe will allow us to deliver a more expansive world, better visuals, more reactivity to player choices, and more customization. At PAX East, we talked about armor and followers… Yeah, that kind of customization. We’ve started with Frostbite 2 from DICE as a foundation to accomplish this.

Border House people, are you looking forward to the game? What do you hope to see from this iteration in the series?

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38 Responses to Dragon Age 3 announcement

  1. Ms. Sunlight says:

    I want more of the same, with storyline choice. I don’t want an arbitrary “choose faction A or B” like DA2, where no matter your choices up to that point you could go either way, I’d like a true branching storyline that starts early in the game.

    Oh, and more dwarves!

    • lynn says:

      To be fair, the lack of dwarves is I think a direct result of having real choices in the first game.

      You could have let Harrowmont rule, therefore the only dwarves you could meet in DA2 are surfacers.

      I’d be super curious to see story-wise what happened to the dwarven heretical circle from Origins (if you decided to help Brother Burkel) in DA3, but realistically I don’t expect to see anything except for a potential allied force for the end battle or a random cutscene like for the werewolves/elves in DA2.

    • Alex says:

      There better be Dwarf ladies in DA3 or I will be very sad. There weren’t ANY in DA2! What the heck!

      • Ms. Sunlight says:

        Indeed. We need dwarf women. We need dwarf surfacers of all sexes and children, too. What does it matter to them what goes on down in Orzammar when they’re busy getting on with their surface lives?

  2. I hated the “tactical” combat from DA:O. To me it was slow and boring as hell. And I like a voiced MC. In general I vastly preferred DA2. But I’ll play DA3 and very likely enjoy it.

    • Alex says:

      One thing they said at the PAX East panel is that they will NEVER (literally, never!) go back to a silent protagonist, so there is that at least.

      • Hooray, more money for voice actors!

        (My secret, selfish reason: solidarity. Also I really don’t like the quiet types.)

      • K. Cox says:

        Huh, really? I was at that panel and watched the 10-minute video twice yesterday but totally don’t remember that. (On the other hand, I also haven’t gone back through my old notes or audio recording.) Yay! That makes me weirdly happy,

  3. Alex says:

    I have no doubt BioWare will deliver on memorable, interesting characters. That is one thing they do consistently well. So the thing I really want to see is a story like DA2’s that is complex, personal, and political, not just saving the world from a terrible evil. Act 2 in particular was just incredible, and I’d love to see the team develop that type of storytelling further.

    Also, more neat character designs that I can cosplay :p

    • I’ve always wanted to do default Hawke. (I kinda look like her anyway.) What stops me is laziness, and being so busy I can’t even take a vacation.

    • Laurentius says:

      Aye, though the problem with Bioware is that in comparison to other game companies they perfected writing, especially characters but got pretty much waylay in terms of tying it with “game skeleton”. I think that people flock to different kickstarter rpg projects because they crave not only great writing but also meaningful playing elements.

  4. Lima Zulu says:

    I hope they don’t make too good on their “giving the players what they want” statement. Sure, some player input can be good, but considering the input Bioware got with Mass Effect 3, I hope they stick to their guns. Don’t shy away from the social justice and don’t give in to complaints.

    • I worry that BW *will* negotiate with terrorists. :(

      • Lima Zulu says:

        I really hope not. :(

        • I hope for the same. Giving in to the angry, neckbearded mob means the terrorists win. And that’s just un-American. I mean un-Canadian.

          • SleekitSicarian says:

            Yeah, watching the comments section/forums for the Project Eternity kickstarter (which I have backed, mind) has been a somewhat depressing reminder of precisely what yon neckbeard mob thinks constitutes a real fantasy RPG. (Covered under previous articles as to disingenuous calls for grimdark ‘realism’ and the positioning of The Witcher as the heterosexual savior of the genre)

            • Seagloom says:

              That isn’t true of everyone who is interested in Project Eternity. At least not in my case. I’m excited to see what Obsidian comes up with, but I wouldn’t have been if it was anything like the Witcher games. Or any modern RPGs for that matter.

              I don’t think there is any way to do a “real” fantasy RPG, and that is where I usually part company everyone else. BioWare’s current style has its place; as does the retro Infinity Engine approach. I do wish the whole us versus them mentality would stop on both sides. Some days I get really, *really* tired of being associated with unyielding nostalgia blinded “neckbeards” as you referred to them as, solely because I prefer an older series such as Baldur’s Gate to a modern one.

              As for DA3, I can’t say I’m excited. I preordered DA2 long before its release date, and have yet to play through it once. At first I was too consumed by my seemingly infinite backlog to jump into it. Then life happened. I’ll buy it eventually as I buy all RPGs released on PC, but to me it’s just another game.

              One thing I will be watching closely in DA3 is how trans characters are handled, if any appear. I haven’t forgotten David Gaider’s reply to the BSN forum thread criticizing Serendipity’s scene in Mark of the Assassin.

            • Ms. Sunlight says:

              Got to admit I went to the Project Eternity forums after reading your comment, and I wish I hadn’t. It took less than a minute to see a comment extolling the use of rape as a plot device in dark fantasy storytelling, with someone else (male) saying how they loved the City Elf origin story in all it’s rape-filled glory.

              I’ve supported the project to the sum of $35 because I want to play the game. I just hope that “dark fantasy” doesn’t mean “let’s see if we can catch some Game of Thrones fans if we make it super ultra grimdark and rapey!”

              I have a love / hate relationship with Obsidian. Love, because I think NWN2 and its expansions were some of the best iterations of pulp fantasy RPG I’ve ever played, and because I adore KotOR2 and the story it has to tell. Hate because WHY YOU NO LET MY EXILE MACK ON ATTON??!?!?!?? (Seriously. Male exile gets sweet love, female exile gets nothing? Shame on you Obsidian!) But even so, I hope they’ll do better than that and they do have a fairly good recent track record in doing grimdark in a thoughtful manner. After all, I found Caesar’s Legion in Fallout: New Vegas deeply unsettling but I also felt that, as the player, I was meant to, and generally it felt like it was showing me just how unpleasant some of the common tropes in post-apocalyptic fiction are.

            • Seagloom says:

              The forums are sadly awful for the most part. There was a thread on the first day discussing armor for women. At first it looked promising with J.E. Sawyer’s two responses. Then it quickly devolved into some of the most sexist nonsense I’ve read in the last year. …or maybe I don’t read enough forums. I dunno. :p

              The responses from Obsidian’s devs are encouraging either way. I don’t think they’ll take most of those suggestions seriously.

            • SleekitSicarian says:

              Just as an apology to Gloom: I didn’t mean that everyone looking forward to a retro game (I love modern RPGs, old Infinity Engine games, and FPS’s, so. I dig variety.) was part of that ‘mob'; it’s just that that’s become the stomping ground of a lot of the anti-Bioware crowd and the’s been a ton of the usual rants against romances, inclusivity (“pandering to PCness”) and a severe misunderstanding of what folks like J E Sawyer mean when they say ‘mature themes’.
              I think well of the people involved and doubt they read those posts without at least eyerolling massively, but the community is undeniably a prime example of what Glynis was talking about.
              Sorry to have implied otherwise.

            • Seagloom says:

              Thank you for the consideration, but an apology isn’t necessary. I do appreciate the sentiment, though! I didn’t honestly believe you were implying everyone looking forward to a retro release was like that. I mean, you mentioned kicking in a donation so on some level you must be interested to.

              I was trying to “speak to the room” and did a poor job of it. The most extreme forumites are the ones everyone notices, but they definitely don’t speak for me. I try to be even-handed in my criticism, and I don’t let nostalgia blind me to the flaws in an older game if I can help it.

              I can understand why anyone would find those forums off putting. I’ve had an account there since 2009 and rarely posted because the community felt so unwelcoming. PE’s announcement drew me back, but after spending a few days there I’m done… again.

              In any case, sorry if it came across like I was angrily calling you out. It wasn’t my intention. I guess I’m touchier about the division among RPG fans than I realized. Every time I dare to mention appreciate a game like say, Planescape: Torment, I get dismissed as hater of all things current.

              In reality I’m just always late to the game. Heck, I only finished Fallout: New Vegas for the first time a week ago. :p

          • Alex says:

            I share those worries too. But something that gave me confidence was actually the PAX East panel back in April. Especially during the Q&A, Mike Laidlaw stood by a lot of the decisions that were made for DA2 that some of the fans asked about or criticized–one thing I remember specifically is him talking about how they were able to focus on different themes than past games (such as family) because the game wasn’t about saving the world from a great evil, and that this was a good thing! So they keep insisting that they are listening but I don’t think they are crowd-designing the game, either.

            You can watch some of the panel here, more video might exist at GameSpot I think: http://blog.bioware.com/2012/04/10/bioware-and-dragon-age-at-pax-east/

            • SleekitSicarian says:

              That is reassuring. Thanks for the link. Recent discussion with some devs has also suggested that inclusivity has shown to be pretty good for sales as well and so not likely to be tossed by the wayside altogether. (And John Epler’s posts on the forums also make me fairly happy.) It’s just easy to get worried in the face of this big wave of awfulness.

              My issues with Bioware tend to stem directly from the marketing and art teams, so we’ll see how that goes :p

            • Alex says:

              The marketing, oh god. I try to tell myself to just ignore it, it will probably have nothing at all to do with the actual game, but… I just… CAN’T

              I follow John Epler on Twitter and he seems like a pretty rad dude.

  5. Korva says:

    If I’m honest, I’m completely disinterested. I enjoyed Origins immensely, but it was really the last Bioware game that “spoke to me” and “worked” for me. Most of what I know of the DA expansion and sequel left me totally cold or even outright put me off. So I skipped them, and my interest in the series fizzled out as a result. Unfortunately the features I don’t like seem to be Bioware-standard now. I hate the dialog wheel, for example. How on Earth am I supposed to believe my character is actually my character, how am I supposed to be immersed and roleplay if I’m not even in control of what she is saying because all I have to go by are inaccurate, severely abbreviated snippets of the full dialog options?

    Origins it had its issues but it gave me what I wanted and needed at the time — including the character death I’d been hoping for ever since learning about the Gray Wardens and their “Calling”. I guess I’m very lucky because I really love the sacrifice ending — it gave me a fantastic closure for my character, the game and ultimately the franchise too. They might still surprise me, but I’m not holding my breath. With Awakenings, DA2, the ME series and TOR, Bioware lost most of its appeal for me.

    Which is a shame, since Bioware pretty much single-handedly resurrected the genre with BG1, and since they’re one of the few companies that don’t pander 99.99% to the stereotypical entitled straight white cis man gamer that David Gaider smacked down on their forums once.

  6. Katie says:

    What is it with nerds and skeevy gender politics, and rape-tastic storylines in RPGs and speculative fiction? Is it some sort of fucked up idea of a safe haven from all those Ebil Feminists, and the P.C. police telling them its not OK to be creepy hateful arseholes?

    • SleekitSicarian says:

      …Pretty much? There’s an insular clubhouse mentality going on.
      In all seriousness, though, the Eternity announcement drew out folks from all manner of online communities, including some infamously awful ones, so.
      Just makes me appreciate Gaslamp Games that much more.

  7. Katie says:

    Just looked at Project Eternity. I’ve never played an old-school CRPG before(never owned a PC), so I wouldn’t mind trying it out when they are able to fund it for the MAC. The forums though, creepy stuff. I didn’t see the worst of it, but there was a lot of whining about LGBT inclusion, and fond nostalgia of Imoen being tortured by Irenicus in Baldur’s Gate 2 (no idea if that’s what happened, never played it). And of course the whole “it must be grimdark, man, grimdark! or else it’ll suuck”. I hope this current fad for dark fantasy dies in the near future. Why can’t I play something that actually feels like escapism for once?

    • Ms. Sunlight says:

      Funny isn’t it how “dark fantasy” is so rarely dark in any kind of transgressive way?

      Anyway, in BG2 Jon Irenicus experiments on Imoen. It’s not sadistic so much as contemptuous, and it’s not sexualised – he sees her as a lesser creature and a means to an end, a lab rat rather than a person. So yes, it’s horrid, but if people are interpreting it in a sadistic and rapey way it’s them doing it more than the original game.

      • Korva says:

        Yeah, I agree. I never saw Imoen’s obvious trauma as a result of rape, and it always disturbed me how many fans apparently did. It’s just another iteration of “women are for sex” and “of course all men would rape given any chance”. Two-way sexism at its finest.

    • SleekitSicarian says:

      Off-topic: They actually did reach the stretch goal for a Mac version. :D

      I was tired of grimdark nonsense back in the 90s, and much-dismayed to find it embraced anew as if it were subversive. Also I think the constant misuse of the term “PC” by whinging entitled dudebros is going to give me a rage-induced stroke, if the constant denigration of romance subplots in favor of more ‘mature’ subjects like decapitating dwarves doesn’t do it first.

      I’m actually completely unreasonably excited for DA3, and have apparently forgotten to mention this in any of my posts on this thread. :P I’m just…not going to be visiting either set of forums. :P (At least, not until Obsidian gets some sort of ‘dev-posts only’ display option going like the BSN has)

  8. Narf says:

    Tentatively looking forward to it. I liked DA2’s story, but the gameplay was horrible. If they make it available without Origin, I might actually buy it for PC.

  9. Korva says:

    The tree structure reached its limit so I’ll comment outside of it on the issue of “mature” and “dark” themes in gaming. I admit I have developed a severe knee-jerk reflex against these words because I find that so many people have such an absolutely twisted, grotesque and myopic definition of them. What they want boils down to torture porn and a reinforcement of their own superiority. Lots of sex, lots of brutality, preferably at the same time but only against women of course, and no need for any consideration for the representation and treatment of marginalized people. Seriously, that’s the bloody opposite of “mature” to me — it’s puerile at best.

    Unfortunately, the state of the industry being what it is, developers seem to prefer that definition, so I’m extremely jaded with anyone who claims to be making a “mature” game.

    Project Eternity sounds interesting, and the retro-looking isometric perspective hopefully means more resources will be freed for story and characterization. Besides, I love a good old-fashioned isometric game. But thanks a lot for the warning about the forums, I’ll just wait and see where this project goes, and which definition of “mature” wins out there.

  10. Katie says:

    Even if the torture wasn’t sexualised, the poster still came across as a creepy neckbeard fondly reminiscing of the suffering and distress of a young woman. Which is very creepy, and one of the reasons why I despair of gaming culture.

  11. brian psi says:

    Really looking forward to DA3. I’m a DA2 evangelist myself, one of those heretics who really believes that it is superior in almost every way to its predecessor (yes, except for the inexcusable recycling of assets). My personal wish list for DA3:

    -More Lore! (Ok, another area in which DA2 is outshown by Origins).
    -We know we’re going to Orlais, but I hope hope hope we also spend some time in Tevinter.
    -Voiced protagonist! I know that it is controversial, but I’m pretty happy with the dialogue wheel/tree, especially with the enhancements from 2 which added some visual context for the shorthand (although it would be nice to have a clearer distinction between the flirt and friendship symbols).
    -Same level of character writing and interaction as 2 (the first game I’ve ever played in which the people traveling with me were convincingly other people).
    -The ability to romance any/everyone, regardless of the gender of your character.
    -More Varric!
    -I don’t care too much about divergently branching storylines, but I would like whatever the different endings are to be illustrated with cutscenes, not with choose-your-own adventure style text boxes (Origins) or 2-3 lines of voiceover (DA2). [OH,hHow I longed for a two second shot of my Hawke sailing into the sunset with Isabella! At least I have my imagination, I suppose. /cry]
    -DA2 style tabbed skill trees, with the same symbol differentiation for activation type.
    -I’m OK with re-adding party armor, so long as the inventory and purchasing/selling system is not too cumbersome, and BioWare carry through with the concept they unveiled a few months ago about keeping consistent visual themes for the NPCs (no magister separatists wearing templar vests, plz!).
    -Minimal/no reuse of dungeons! (and if they absolutely must, for sidequests, etc., at least make *some* effort to disguise it, like different color palettes, flipped ordinal directions, different ambush/encounter areas, etc.)

    In any case, this nascent Inquisitor is just glad that DA is coming back!


    • I’m like you: DA2 4 eva!

      I have no sympathy for the asset recycling complaints when SO MANY OTHER GAMES do it and it’s just as annoying there.

      Omar Little and I are planning a podcast called “Don’t Read the Comments”. They want the first episode to be called Bioware vs The People. They’re always sending me rage links to the Bioware forums. :(

    • Alex says:

      Welcome to the DA2 cabal, psi. *nods sagely*

      I love the dialogue wheel, too. I really liked how they improved on it from Mass Effect, also, by adding the tone icons. It made it clear what your intent was, even if the other characters didn’t react the way you might want them to (which is realistic!).

  12. Raja says:

    Open world to explore

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