Dragon Age: Inquisition Community Q&A and Video Interview

I've been wanting to post about this Raptr community Q&A with the Dragon Age: Inquisition developers for a while, but never had the time to round up the answers until now. There is a ton of information in there, so I took the liberty to just quote the questions and answers I found to be actually interesting or relevant in some way:

Hi! The game will change with our choices, or the decision is just in the last fight to see a diferent cinematic?

Your decisions have impacts throughout the entire game, not just the end. For example, there's parts of the game you'll only see if you make particular choices.


Beside the new locations, will we be able to visit the locations of Dragon Age Origins and II like Denerim, Orzammar or Kirkwall?

You'll revisit some locations from Origins, like Redcliffe village.


Are we going to still have the companion quests from Origens [sic] and 2?

Yep there's still companion quests in DAI.


Will there be a lot of grey areas in the choices you make, or is it more like the "pet the dog or kill it" morality we've seen in past BioWare titles?

There's lots of of grey choices. It depends on how you've being playing the game.


i would like to know how large will the world in dragon age inquistion will be. i love to explore in open world games and aslo i would like to know if we have complete freedom in exlporing such a large world. i thank you for you time

There's 10 massive open world regions for you to explore and discover. There's a lot of freedom for you to find lost dungeons, cool loot, monsters and all kinds of interesting people.


Is Dragon age: Inquisition going to cover years within the game(like Dragon age 2) or is it more like months? Do Dalish elves still possess the Irish and Welsh accent, like they did in DA2? and if they do can your inquisitor have it? Also Can your Mage Inquisitor still be a Blood Mage?

We do use Welsh for some elves. Not the player elf, however Dragon Age: Inquisition is a more contiguous time period than DA2.


The Keep is said to have numerous decisions to choose from in regards to how you played through DA:O and DA2; with so many events to recall, will the finalized system be simplified for returning gamers who can't recall their choices and new gamers who just want to craft a different world?

The major choices from the previous games are explained and have art to help you remember. If those are all you can remember then that's fine :) For those who want to specify every little decision and action they made the Keep will allow them to do that as well.


RPG's are becoming redefined in this modern era for gaming. Dragon Age: Origins was considered innovative in its companion, choice, and story focussed fantasy role playing experience. What do you think will really define the Dragon Age: inquisition experience? And are there any aspects of gameplay that you think are truly innovative and something that you hope the genre as a whole will adopt in their games?

I think RPG's in this new generation will be successful in merging compelling, deep storytelling with a vast world to get lost in. A more complex answer is that for an RPG of the size of Inquisition there's just so much which players can get involved in. So in one way I think the scale and depth of RPG's will in this new generation will be a defining factor also.


Will we only visit Ferelden and Orlais, or will we be able to see other nations across Thedas? ex. Antiva, Tivinter, Free Marches, etc.

Does the fade count as another nation? ;)

You'll be visiting the best parts of Ferelden and Orlais, both central areas and some on the very edges of civilization.


So, you guys keep talking about how awesome your crafting system is, any new details about alchemy and such?

Well you can make bombs full of bees :p

Yep the crafting is really deep, for example you can create a hilt separately from a blade then put them together, modify them, enchant it etc. Crafting is based on templates, rather than recipes, meaning you have a choice of what materials to use which will then change the finished items stats and appearance. There's lots more too it which we'll go into at a later date.


Could you elaborate on the theme and mechanics of the Knight Enchanters? Is there a particular playstyle or party role you envisioned, and is this specialization similar to the Arcane Warrior from DA:O?

Yeah, you know what: yes, I can. The Knight Enchanters were designed to let mages get up close and personal and the abilities in that tree encourage you to do so, including the ability to be effective at melee ranges. They're different from Arcane Warriors, though. Less tanky.


Since this latest game will be running on frostbite 3, how will this be implemented? How difficult is it to adapt a first person engine into a game like this? And will you be supporting mantle?

I can't speak to mantle, but there's been a lot of both challenges and opportunities in shifting engine: it's GORGEOUS, though, so it's been worth it.


Will a human mage be family of the previous Dragon Age protagonists? Much like Hawk was the cousin of the hero of Feralden if the hero of Feralden was a human mage.

Nope. Humans come from the Trevelyan family. Not related.


I understand that people will react differently to you depending on your race. Like if you're a human and you try to interact with Dalish Elves they'll probably be hostile towards you. But if your an Elf they'll probably be inclined to hear you out.

But my question is will people react differently to you because of your classification?

Example #1: You want to resolve a situation with some mages dug into some ruins peacefully but they don't trust you because you're a Templar.

Example #2: You want to negotiate with some Templars but they refuse you because you're a Necromancer.

Example #3: You want to find some information in the criminal underworld and you know just what to say and do because you're a rogue.

Ya see what I'm sayin'?

I see what you're sayin', yes, and there are instance in the game where your specialization affects the story. Not necessarily all of them, but some!


Is necromany [sic] a controversial form of magic in Thedas?

It's definitely a grey area, but the Nevarrans treat it carefully and with respect.

Most of Thedas burns their dead out of fear of undead, but the Nevarrans don't, so they have their own cultural rituals.


Is there any Pole-arms? NOT spears, exactly pole-arms. My weapon-fetish friend wants to hear it.

Not for DAI


It must be pretty liberating for you guys when you're actually allowed to answer things lol, but I mostly would just like to know more about your keep or base. :) Is it like the camp in origins and what can you do there? At least give me something vague to think on :) heh. Thanks for the time, and thanks so much for this amazing series!

We'll reveal a ton of info on this before release but I can tell you it's way, way more than the camp from Origins. It's the HQ of your entire Inquisition so there's a TON of people in it to talk and interact with. You can customize your castle, rebuild some things, perform crafting and research etc. Lots, lots lots.


So...umm..I love how the mages' outfits look in this game,but I'm going to roll a rogue for my first playthrough. Can I make a mage-looking armor but with bonuses that fit a rogue?

If you collect the stuff to craft it, yes.


I recall in the past a mention of difficulty modes being a possibility for DAI. Will a story mode and perhaps a nightmare mode be included in the game for those of us that want to either see the story without worry about constantly dying because we fail at basic combat or those that want intensely hard battles? Or is the difficultly just one setting?

Difficulty ranges from Easy to Nightmare, just as with the previous games.


How exactly does the targeting system work in Dragon Age Inquisition? In the trailer at E3 it appeared as though mages had to aim a la third person shooter. Or is it like previous games where you select your target and you maintain focus? Also, I find character circles useful as a PC player, are those coming back as an option?

The latter. And yes, the ground rings can be turned on.


1.How are you tackling side quests in the game will it be simply collect x amount of this or will they have interesting stories?

2.Does each region have different have different wildlife specific to them?

3.Are you planning to have a new game plus mode like you did with some of your other games?

4.Will each dragon have different attacks or will they be the same each time?

1. We've tried to make the side quests really interesting.
2. You won't see a snow fox hanging out in a desert
3. You can keep exploring and getting lost in the world of DAI after the main story so NGP doesn't make much sense anymore. We've even built specific regions that are so high level you'd only want to tackle them after the main story.
4. Dragons won't be the same in combat each time but they do share some characteristics since they are all massive scaled lizards with sharp claws and big teeth that like to each people :)


What were your main deciding factors when choosing to have the Tactical Camera return versus leaving it out completely? Did you decide to aim for the audience that will enjoy and use that function; or was it the fact that it was in DAO and you believed it to be a core function that every upcoming game needed?

It is designed to be another tool in your toolbox. Not a must use (except at the hardest difficulties) but available

More that for a party based RPG that has a focus on tactical combat, the tactical camera was critical for us to get in for Inquisition.


Can any character equip any weapon if they have thriving stats for it? Can I be a dual wilding warrior or a bow-toting Mage if the mood struck me? What about companions?

Weapons are restricted by class, just as before. Companions can equip any weapon that belongs to their class with the notable exception that Varric will ONLY use Bianca and not another bow. He can go dual daggers, but once you go Bianca, no other bow will do.

And no, we looked long and hard at it, but there are no dual-wielding warriors in DAI. If we do them, they will fight completely different from rogues, and developing that move set was not in the cards for this game.


Will players be able to choose more than one specialization, like previous Dragon Age games?

You will have (up to) one specialization.


1) You've talked previously about non-combat based solution to quests. Can we assume that these alternatives still feature in the game?
- Some quests

2) To what extent will we be able to customise the Inquisition?
- Some extent

3) Can the Inquisitor participate in "The Game" played by Orlesian nobility?
- Well you are moving in some pretty high circles...

4) To what extent will we be able to customise the Inquisition's main headquarters?
- A variety of customization options are available

5) Will the companion approval system be more similar to Origins with approval/disapproval or Dragon Age II with friendship/rivalry? Or perhaps something entirely new?
- We are looking for something a little more obfuscated.

6) Without spoiling, could you elaborate on the number of endings available and how these will be presented (for example, a slide show like Origins or various cut scenes)?
- Not without spoiling, no

7) Given the large number of factions in Dragon Age, will the Inquisitor be able to build alliances and rivalries with certain groups and if so, how will these relationships affect the overall narrative?
- Yes and it will

9) Given Yavana's statements in the Silent Grove and their redesign, it seems like dragons have a deeper and more meaningful connection to the world than we know. Will this be expanded upon in the game?
- You'll have to see

10) One of the trailers and promotional images shows the Inquisition gathered around the war table, arranged as a clear nod to Da Vinci's Last Supper. Would you say that it's accurate to call the Inquisitor a messianic figure with the companions as their apostles?
- That's really up to the player's interpretation.

11) Can the demons win?
- Yes but that would be really bad.


will there be different origin stories like in da origins or will all race choices have the same beginning like in skyrim

Game starts at the same place.
You get a different background

Your race choices play a part throughout the entire story, unlike origins when it was just the beginning.


Since armors will no have class restriction I was wondering, if I find a chest piece that has +20 strength and stamina and I'm a mage and decide to equip it will the +20 strength be converted to +20 magic but we get reduce willpower?

Correction to that: you CAN make armors that do not match your class (plate for mages, etc), but there are still restrictions on normal armors. I think people may have taken "can" as "always."


What about the out-of -combat special talents, and by that i mean; lockpicking etc, what do the warrior and mage have? if any? and are there stats (other then cunning) that have an effect on this?

Warriors can bash down walls and mages can energize things which repair things.


What I find always breaks my game is when NPC's don't interact with your progress in the game; specifically when the game allows you to be royal, feared, loved, praised, hated, famous or laughable. Will the NPC's interact with the proper respect with whatever stage you are at in the game without repeating the same arrow in the knee lines?

The NPC's in the world will react to what state you've put the world in. Though some NPC's consider themselves important enough to ignore that or they just don't care who you are because that's the sort of person they are.


I'll try again :) About mana-management. If mana indeed can restore during fight what's preventing spam-healing?

There's a new combat mechanic which gates those powerful abilities and spells.


Does the origin of a dwarf Inquisitor have to be in the deep roads like in Dragon Age: Origins, or can you be a surface dweller?

You are a surface dwarf if you are a dwarf in DAI


What is the level of mod-ability? Will it be like Skyrim?

No toolset planned at the moment


While in Tactical Mode, can we detach the camera and move/angle it wherever we please?

You can move and angle it. There are limits as to how far from the party you can get


How much freedom will we have to explore the "open world" while we are completing the main story line and minor plot lines? I am assuming there will be points in the game where the linear storyline will have to take precedence over exploration...

Only in the begining prologue, after that you're in control over when you do story and when you do exploration.


Will there be a way to customize the appearance of armors and weapons? For example changing armor A to look like Armor B while retaining its stats.

In a way. What you would do is find the template of the new armor you want to look like, then make it from materials which give it the look and stats you want. You wouldn't modify the original armor.

Will spell combinations return? If so will there be more combos and more refined animations for them.

Yes there's some combos between spells and abilities

Does the environment affect combat? For example will wet terrain make fire spells weaker and lightning spells stronger or will swamp hinders movement speed. In the previous game, player can hit explosive barrels to hit the enemies indirectly, can the player hit trees, set grass on fire or do anything else to the environments to defeat the enemies?

Destruction and environment plays a part in combat, not like wet grass though.

To what extent can we customize the armor for the companions or the whole Inquisition? For example can the companions wear the same armors as the Inquisitor or they have their own set of armor? In Dragon Age Awakening, the Warden commander could gather materials to outfit the army of the keep with better armors and weapons which lead them to be known as the Silver Order. Can the Inquisitor do the same thing?

You can put armor on your followers, or craft it yourself so you can make them look the way you want to look.

Will console command return?

Don't think so, I could be wrong


What were some of the most interesting aspects of working with the Frostbite 3 engine for Inquisition? Were there any technical complications that you had to work around?

The most technical challenge was to turn a shooter engine into an RPG engine. We had to write many of the systems from scratch and add them into the core frostbite engine.


So, what is your guys' process for deciding what specializations you guys put in the game for the classes? You guys are bringing back Champion from DA:O, and what looks to be (I know you won't reveal) Templar and Reaver. Whereas the Mage is getting, what looks to be 3 new specializations, Knight Enchanter and Arcane Warrior might sound similar, but it doesnt sound like it EXACTLY, and Rift Mage and Necromancer are the others that are speculated. I am not asking for confirmation, but how do you guys choose and come up with this stuff to fit the game?

During early concepts for DAI, I sat down with the combat team and we developed three "fantasy archetypes" we wanted to deliver for each class. Our goal was to develop abilities that let you feel like you were pushing your class in a specific direction, like being a "Walking Fortress" as a warrior, or a "Controller" as a mage.

Those core fantasies influenced all of our ability designs.


Given the proximity to the Rift in Orlais, will the Darkspawn be making an appearance again at all?

They do appear


Will we be able to climb? (cliffs, rocks, walls, etc.)

You can jump, but not QWOP-style clambering, becuase that would be so damn hard.


How is leveling up paced out? Fast with minor but frequent boosts, or slow with substantial boosts (or the near limitless region in between)? Is there a level cap, and if so, is that something you can share, or at least an approximation?

Fast in the early game, slows down as your levels climb.


Any word on a physical deluxe edition for PC in Uk/europe?

Likely not going to happen.
Items in it will be made available for purchase separately.


Will using The Keep be required in order to play Inquisition, or will there be premade world states?

There is a pre made world state if you don't want to or can't use the Keep.


What is the level cap of the characters?



Will we be able to have the tactical camera on during normal run-around game-play rather than having to hold a key only during combat to enable it? (I know this was suggested earlier so wanted to see if you had made any headway on that)

It will pull you out for cutscenes but you can spend most of the game like that


Is there weaponless combat like in DA:O? If so are the animations better than the flailing drawback punch? Thanks.

No weaponless combat


I've played The Last of Us and I was wondering if we could do that crouching, stealthy mode and then either sneak behind to kill enemies or just shoot at them from the place you're hiding, sort of like in Skyrim.

Stealth mode with awareness meters?

We experimented with that to some degree, but it does not mesh well with party mechanics, and we are ALL about party.


Will there be snow and rain and dust storms? Will there be a weather system?

In some areas yes

You'll certainly experience all three of those.


Can you talk about the dialog tree? In Dragon Age 2, it seemed there was the three emotive responses. The saint, the joker and the big meanie. Will Dragon Age Inquisition have the same setup?

The overall tone is more neutral, until you hit what we call a "reaction" hub, where you can respond more strongly, often to questions, by being pleased, stoic, angry, sad, etc.


Any chance of seeing gameplay footage featuring the PC UI before release?

Yes, but not today.


Hi, I was wondering if item descriptions would be back like in DA:O or if they are gone/limited to a few in the codex like DA2.

Some of them are described, but "This is a normal long sword. It is long, and a sword." is not the best use of words, IMO.


Will all areas be available from the start or will they unlock as we progress along the main quest?

Some areas will be unlocked once you have a rational reason to visit them


Will the Inquisitors special powers affect combat?

Having control over fade rifts may provide some interesting possibilities in combat :)


How will the rarity of loot be classified and will they be colour-coded? (Example: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Ultra-Rare).

I can't recall the specific names of the categories but there is a colour code to the loot. We didn't want people to miss those unique powerful items.


In Origins we had approval, in II we had friendship vs. rivalry. What kind of system will we have in Inquisition?

Major characters all track something similar to approval, but 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 and if you help them, they will appreciate it/

And if you piss them off, they might just leave


Since a lot of people are asking I'm going to reveal that out British Male voice actor is: Harry Hadden-Paton

And the American male Inquisitor actor is Jon Curry

And the American female Inquisitor's actor is Sumalee Montano.


The Inquisitor will regularly be referred to by his or her surname, yes.

Bonus: There are things very much like skills that act similar to the persuades from Origins, but they're acquired and work a different way. There's no levels, just different areas of knowledge.

If you're more interested in having details on lore, character writing and romances, you might want to check this video interview with David Gaider instead, courtesy of video producer and competitive gamer Ashe "Lady Insanity" Soriano: