Dragon Age PAX East Panel Report

07 Apr 2012

The direction BioWare intends to follow with Dragon Age III seems to have been the primary subject of a PAX East panel with lead designer Mike Laidlaw, at least according to this GameTrailers report. Less recycled areas, more customization, and decisions that really matter seem to be some of the areas on which the team will focus more on the next title:
"Suppose, in your party, you have a Gray Warden. And suppose you had a Seeker," he said, showing a male Gray Warden and female Seeker. "And you had this thing: a suit of armor, a chest piece, and it had stats and stuff."

Laidlaw showed that armor set applied to the Warden, then to the Seeker, in concept art form. The armor looked slightly different on each, with "thematic" aesthetic differences applied so "they don't lose their identity in the process." Laidlaw then showed a slew of concept art, with various armor pieces from helmets to shoulder guards to bracers, then full sets, each applied to the two different classes.

He also teased the possibility that players might be able to fully customize armor pieces, applying color and types of material (cloth, leather, mail) to armor sets.

On the topic of "decisions that matter," Laidlaw said BioWare is looking to add more character agency ("My character has an active effect on his or her world, determined by my choices") and player agency ("I have control over my gameplay experience") to future Dragon Age games.

And player decisions that carry over from game to game could be given more attention, he said.

This doesn't look too different from the stuff BioWare talked about at PAX Prime last year, but it's good that at least those principles haven't been abandoned.

Update: Mike Laidlaw has been tweeting some questions and answers from his panels too:
Q1: Will we be able to talk more freely with followers? As in: Not just when they have a quest?

A1: Yes! Lots of interactions in DAII, but limited access. We will make sure you can have "fireside chats"...or hugs...when you want.

Q2: Voiced Main Character? Yes/No?

A2: Voiced. However, team's working on ways to improve clarity/predictability of wheel. More details to come, will want feedback on new bits

Q3, from Dawn of the Seeker Q&A: Will DotS have any info about Morrigan?

Q4: Nope, Morrigan's only for the games. Too personal for a fixed script. Can confirm there WILL be more of her story coming.

Q5, from Bioware Base: Enchantment?

A5: Enchantment!

Q6: Will we see more class-specific stuff? Mage only storylines, etc.

A6: Yes. In general, more exclusive content based on how you play / choices you make on all fronts.

A6b: Considering more story impact for specializations, for instance. (Blood Mage, especially.)