Dragon Age II Preview

After receiving a hands-on demonstration of Dragon Age II's rogue class from executive producer Mark Darrah, Joystiq has conjured up a detailed preview that includes quite a bit of Mark's commentary. Hopefully there are some decent non-combat skills for the rogue, but I wouldn't bet on it given the "action RPG" label the game now employs:
"The big thing, the problem with the Rogue in Origins was they didn't know what role they were trying to fill," Darrah suggested. "Rogue was sort of half-warrior, half-nothing -- it had some of the same talents as the warrior: You had dual-wielding; you had archery; many of the same things the warrior did. So what we're trying to do here is make sure each of the classes has a distinct personality and purpose." I couldn't directly compare the Rogue to any of the other classes since the Rogue was the only one playable, but its strengths and weaknesses were very clear. Once I got acclimated to the dualist Rogue's abilities, it was apparent that it wasn't the tank the warrior is, but still an excellent class built around some strong melee combat abilities.

I was also able to sample another locale: the Hightown area of Kirkwall. Here, I was accompanied by Isabela, who appeared briefly in Dragon Age: Origins. She's apparently "a much more central character" in Dragon Age 2, with "quite a bit of story around her." Darrah also promised that you'll see more of Flemeth, as well as other returning characters -- it's all part of EA's goal to focus attention on the world of the series and not exclusively on any particular character.

"We will import your decisions, in choices like who became king and the male/female gender of the Warden," Darrah said. "In terms of Witch Hunt decisions, we will be importing them into the game, but Morrigan doesn't have a huge role in Dragon Age 2, so it's more about having them for the future and making sure that we keep those. We will be maintaining and preserving those decisions, but we may not have a big reaction to them in DA2." But if you're one of those people who can't wait to see what happened to Morrigan, Darrah offers hope: "We're definitely not done with Morrigan."