The game covers areas from Eastern Ferelden to Western Orlais. Each area is a large, open world area with lots of scattered points of interest: dungeons, towns, secrets, random monsters, etc.
Fortresses can be re-purposed to harbor your inquisition forces. Environmental manipualtion is possible - fixing bridges/battlements.
PC version’s controls are entirely separate from consoles, and designed to take advantage of that user interface. This is good, but I hope they leave the option to play with a gamepad on PC in there as well.
Wants to make the action less frantic and more deliberate, returning to more tactics-oriented approach to encounters. Big return to party-based tactics
Part of that is slowing down speed of attacks, more important is designing enemies that force you to examine the battlefield and choose actions carefully
Battles veer away from button mashing toward a structure where observation and reaction take precedence
Instead of swarming enemies, your foes have specialized roles; work together and force you to size up the battlefield
You won’t regularly see waves of new bad guys appearing out of nowhere to extend encounters
PC gamers getting an optimized version; “PC actually is different, especially from a controls standpoint”, trying to “recapture the very tailored experience of DA:O on PC”
Going from Eastern Ferelden to Western Orlais; repetitive environments are nowhere to be found in DAI like in DA2.
Players aren’t just funneled down narrow corridors, the demo showed a bog, desert, a mountain range, all enormous and freely explored in third person.
Lots of hidden things to find, caves, dungeons, corpses, etc that create other unique sidequests
“Trying to drive exploration- something that frankly, Bioware hasn’t done in a while.” “In a way like Baldur’s Gate, areas that existed in part just to spaces that you went to, but they had a story of their own.”
Want to make sure there a sufficient number of caves in the game that are each unique, and optional. If you have a mage in your group, you can use a spell to reassemble a crumbled bridge to reach a new area.
Can also restore a ruined desert outpost into an Inquisition stronghold
So much ground to cover that mounted creatures are implemented
Monsters, and dragons for example, do not level up with you. Some are vastly more powerful, forcing you to come back later with proper experience
Some environmental destructibility
Warrior class has grappling chain that can pull enemies in close
Enemy scenario: Fighting a massive, armored dragon, you can target a leg, send warrior into melee range to bash off armor, rogue can sneak up and poison the exposed limb, dragon stumbles around allowing others to unleash spells etc
Weather effects can impact exploration, ex. Rainfall, desert sandstorms
Rainy weather can make areas muddy, slowing down your traversal/agility in combat, while sandstorms can inflict damage causing you to seek shelter
A new mage joins your party, Vivienne
Both Varric and Cassandra also join you
Working hard to make large areas interesting; slopes, rocks, elevations and your character has tailored animations for overcoming each. Ease of movement key.
Morrigan is not a party member; not a cameo role though
Collect resources/materials and craft armor for you and all your party members; heavy emphasis on customization
Each armor retains a certain iconic look, but looks different on each character. They want the squadmates to each have an iconic look, but customize armor to tailor to each while retaining elements of that iconic look
3 classes to choose from of course: Warrior, rogue, and mage
At least 3 races to choose from; when asked about Qunari, Mike Laidlaw says “Do we go to four? I don’t know. Definitely these are the safe bet”.
Your racial choice colors your interactions with others; for example elves may be persecuted in some parts, but an enclave of elves is more likely to open up to one of their own.
Chantry/Templars don’t respect your Inquisition, you have “persuade” them through your own means. You can come across a fortress and if refused entry, you can lay siege to it and break down the doors. What you do from there is your choice.
Hinting that you have a base of operations, maybe a castle to call your own
- BioWare listened to feedback on previous games
- “A lot of the decisions we’re making are about Dragon Age and what this generation of RPGs will look like.”
Cool little gif:
Looks like the areas are indeed quite expansive.