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BioWare's executive producer Mark Darrah has tweeted the first screenshot of Dragon Age: Inquisition's PC UI, while creative director Mike Laidlaw offered more information on its makeup and related subjects via Twitter (the bolding notes the questions coming from other users in their original wording):
PC question 1: 8 Ability slots?
A: Yes, per character. Changeable between combat.
PC Question 2: What is that TAB thing?
A2: Highlight stuff in the world.
Sorry for the dumb question, is also possible on consoles?
Different "key" obviously, but yes.
PC Question 3: Why 8?
A: 32 abilities (along with passives/upgrades) across the party provides a broad spectrum of tactical options.
Ability count clarity: DAI is about roles, planning ahead and making tactical decisions. Potions, ability choice, gear, party composition.
I recognize that not everyone will be happy with the change, but better to let you know about it now than a surprise later.
So its not because of Multiplayer?
Multiplayer characters have 4 abilities, so, no.
Then why bother with 200 abillities when the're useless in the end?
(200 abilities, passives, and upgrades in the game, across 3 classes and 9 specializations). Not (200 actives on one character)
May be missing context, so to clarify: characters have many abilities, choose 8 active ones to use at a time?
Game has many abilities. Each character's class has a subset. You buy them with talent points. Your map them to your controls.
And then if I realize the new ability has a cool synergy with my old X ability, I could map that to Y to try them together.
Pretty much, yup. You can map 8 active abilities per character in your party, and their passives always apply.
Cool. Are potions/passive abilities handled by the radial, or are they slotted?
Potions are on the radial on console, on their own section of the quickbar on PC.
Also worth noting, BioWare has recently given a preview of its Dragon Age Keep world state system to a few select YouTubers, who then went on to post videos of it on their channels. I'm going to embed the one from user "gamermd83" given it includes both the presentation of Dragon Age Keep and a Q&A: