Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening Previews and Interview

The wave of Awakening press coverage continues with two more hands-on previews and an interview with Dragon Age: Origins online producer Fernando Melo.

The first preview is up at Game Revolution:
Luckily, if you need to prove yourself in battle, your character will begin from Level 18 (imported characters lower than that will be brought to Level 18 as well), along with matching weapons and armor if necessary. To complement the increased level cap from Level 25 to 35, over 50 new talents and skills have been added, with Level 20-minimum talents like Time Spiral, Elemental Chaos, and Massacre as well as skills like Runecrafting, Vitality, and Clarity.

The other is at TeamXbox:
To get an idea of some of the new content, BioWare dumped me at a point early in Awakening as I set out to explore bizarre happenings under the dwarven kingdom of Orzammar. It seems as though the Darkspawn remaining after the Arch-demon's fall are up to...well, something, and they've routed a large contingency of the Legion of the Dead (the army of casteless dwarves that patrol the Deep Roads near the dwarves lost Thaig yeah, expect more language-heavy lore overload in this new content). This section found me paired with the previously revealed elven mage Valenna and the human mage Anders as we stumbled upon a lone dwarf under assault from Darkspawn.

And then the interview can be found over at Bitmob:
Bitmob: You guys finished the PC version of Origins quite a while ago, and spent a number of months getting the console versions ready for a simultaneous launch -- did you split a team off at that point to start working on Awakening?

FM: It's not like PC development just stopped, we continued to do a lot of bug fixes, etc. [But] the majority of the team had moved on to console development. We also created an online group that was dealing with the creation of downloadable content, as well as Awakening. That was just over a year ago...a little bit more than that. We first started with our initial DLC, and then that team rolled on to Awakening as more and more people were coming off of Origins.

But the writing itself, a lot of the seeds had already been sown well before we started in earnest on Awakening. For example, even with David Gaider's books, where he talks about the character of the Architect, and there's a couple of other characters that he mentions in the book, The Calling, which feature into Awakening as well.

The nice part about the franchise is that all these pieces are interconnected. Initially, it may not always seem like it, but over time you'll start to see all these correlations and some of the foreshadowing in something even as small as some of the items. They talk about a place or a person or something of interest, and then later on you'll actually get to meet that person or potentially go to that location and live out some of that history, which is really cool. And in this case you'll actually be creating history.