The Dragon Age panel was packed to capacity forcing some party members to wander the halls of PAX in search of other adventures. As folks started to file into Manticore hall, I noticed the front three rows filled with familiar Bioware characters. Fans in Bioware themed costumes were granted early access to the panel as well as some fancy front row seats. Gotta say, sitting in the front of the hall surrounded by Bioware’s creations was a little surreal… In a good way.
While Dragon Age 3 has yet to be officially announced, there was a veritable bounty of information revealed about the future of the franchise.
1) “We’re going talk about ‘ideas’ not specific products..” : This statement was made to solidify the fact that Dragon Age III has NOT been announced and everything being discussed during the panel (and in this article) should be considered theoretical in nature. We all know something brewing though, right?
2) DA3 will be about “decisions that matter, character agency and player agency..” : Player choice will be more important than ever in DA:3. It also seems as though the team is going to great lengths in order to make the player’s decisions from DA:O and DA:2 have narrative weight in DA:3.
3) Follower’s equipment: Much to the joy of everyone in attendance, follower equipment will return! Followers will have upgradeable armor pieces that will change the appearance of the follower when new gear is discovered and equipped. The devs stated that they wanted to make sure each companion has a unique look that won’t be radically altered by the gear that they end up wearing. We looked at some concept art on how the process would work, and I’m happy to say that it’s more than a mere palette swap! (so don’t flip a table and get yourself in trouble). Oh, “..and maybe you can customize armor, color, material.. Theoretically speaking of course.”
4) Multiplayer in DA3: The crowd was actually very supportive of a possible multiplayer component. According to Mike Laidlaw, the team would look to titles like Baldur’s Gate for MP inspiration. Personally, I think this would be a total blast if correctly implemented. There is something amazing about cooperative multiplayer that really brings the community together. You build it, and we’ll play it.
5) Old favorites return: Lead writer David Gaider stated that the cast of DA3 (if it actually existed) would consist of old favorites and as well as some new faces. This move would be done in order to appeal to new players, but would still give Dragon Age vets those incredibly popular “family reunion” moments. There were more hints of possible Seeker party member from Orlais. Cassandra?
6) Voiced protagonist? :Bioware is still leaning toward a voiced protagonist for DA:3 as opposed to the silent Warden from DA:O. However, the team did mention that the conversation system and dialoge wheel were being examined and tweaked… if there was a game that is.
7) On RPG depth: If DA:3 did in fact exist, it would contain a level of depth that would encourage players to return, lvl, and explore. It sounded as if there would be increased depth to keep min/maxxers happy for years to come.
8 ) On Voicing The Warden: There were a few hints that led me to believe that players may get to choose the voice of their warden should he/she in fact appear in DA:3, Heck if Saints Row The Third could have six voiced main protagonists, which not a party member with multiple voice options?
The panel was highly enjoyable and filled with laughs. It seems as though many folks have moved past their issues with DA:2 and are now simply awaiting DA:3… Should it even exist.