Dragon Age: Inquisition–New Details about Returning Characters, New Characters, and Combat

Today, a Q&A session was held with Mark Darrah (executive producer), Mike Laidlaw (lead designer), and Cameron Lee (producer) about Dragon Age: Inquisition where so many questions were answered that my brain hurts.

But hey, there were PLENTY of new details and confirmations that came out of it. Check ’em out! Each piece of information is organized according to different categories so that hopefully, when you’re done reading, your brain doesn’t hurt as badly as mine does.

Combat may not be changing much from past entries in the series, but there are still some things worth noting:

There are elemental deaths for many enemies, but physical finishing moves (like in Origins) remain to be seen.

Unbalanced teams (stacking your party with too many mages, for example) remain questionable. “Sometimes it will work, sometimes you may find you need agro control.”

Bioware experimented with some crouching and stealth/sneak mechanics to kill enemies in combat, but that sort of system does not work particularly well with party mechanics, which are of the utmost priority for the development team.

There are some “great” spell-casting animations and the video effects are “the best we’ve ever done.”

Like in Origins, and unlike Dragon Age 2, specializations will need to be earned.

Players can set up traps as rogue characters and plan ambushes even outside of combat.

And then some stuff about the game’s many characters:

There will be many returning faces and characters from previous games. Some will appear in cameos while others, such as Cassandra and Varric, will be followers.

Your Inquisitor will have a background story based upon your choices.

Major characters still work on something similar to the approval system you may remember from Origins. However, Laidlaw stated that “the system has changed to put more focus on what [you] are doing and what you say instead of grinding by constantly giving them gifts. Each follower does have their own set of goals they want to achieve if you help them, they will appreciate it. And if you piss them off, they might just leave.”

Dagna will not be a follower in Inquisition, but she will appear in the game.

A Scribbles reveal is coming soon.

Varric’s past is likely to be explored to some degree in Inquisition.

Inspiration for characters tends to begin with larger themes of the game. In Inquisition, two large themes are faith and leadership. From there, the team looks for characters that would interact in interesting ways with those themes and, better, with each other. Visuals are simultaneously developed between the writing and concept art teams. Naturally, more character sketches are created than are actually used, and the ones that inspire and intrigue the most move in for further development.

Bioware chooses which characters from past games to bring back in terms of what “makes sense.” That is, even if fans want a particular character’s return, if that character returning does not make sense in the context of the story, he or she will not be brought back.

Several NPCs from previous games will also be making returns.

Hello Morrigan sweetie please come back to me soon. Ahem. Make sure you give Bioware some thanks for providing us with so much info!

And still, these weren’t the only details to emerge from today’s Q&A. There were also plenty of details shared about character customization, romance & modding, as well as story & gameplay. Make sure you take a look!

You can look forward to Dragon Age: Inquisition launching later this fall, October 7th, on all of PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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