Rock, Paper, Sorcerer? Dragon Age Tools

By Jim Rossignol on November 8th, 2009 at 8:20 pm.


The Dragon Age toolset has been released, which is surely they only sensible way to defeat the DLC demon that walks in our shadow. Purge it with the capacity to “build new, original campaigns, quests, or cut-scenes,” or even “create your own stories with the powerful cinematics editor that offers full control of the camera, voice and lip syncing tools, and a full character creator.” Hmm. It’s 472mb in digi-girth, and even has its own trailer, posted below. Get the toolset here or here, and probably other downloady places too. The important issue, however is whether anyone going to make us an RPS campaign? Eh? Anyone?

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86 Comments »

  1. Heliocentric says:

    I’m actually pretty indifferent to dragon age, dlc is a large component of that indifference. I don’t want to buy it and then get nickel and dimed. I’d rather hold out and buy the complete collection. This toolset if it gets a good reception is even more reason to wait. Just like oblivion and stalker, neverwinter nights and others the ultimate version of this game will be crafted by the players, player made Yiff campaigns aside.

    • Saul says:

      Yes, because the retail release is soooo short on content, you’ll be forced to get all the DLC to make it worth the purchase. Seriously, is 60-100 hours not enough for you? It’s complete in itself– DLC is only going to add a bunch of optional sidequests, which may even take away from the epicness of it all.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Seriously, just buy it. Those concerns are meaningless considering the quality and quantity on offer.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Oh, i intend to. But i’ve not even finished mass effect yet, and i’m not double dipping bioware. It makes their habits even more annoying. I know bioware are walking away from “eat the baby” or “eat the baby” but i’ve tasted witcher so i’m refusing to pay for rrp while the hype is still fresh.

  2. Heliocentric says:

    Wait, did i just post that toolsets may reduce shortterm sales? Umm… What i mean to say Mr Publisher is that you have a USP and your SKU’s will generate greater revenue and market penetration.

    Phew, that was close, i mean those guys really pay attention to the first paragraph in every post, i bet the head of IW would self harm if he read one of our MW2 comment threads while he felt vulnerable.

  3. Alexander Norris says:

    Of note: you can’t install the toolset if you don’t have DA:O installed. It’s a mite silly, but I presume the toolset uses the game’s asset, which would make sense.

  4. Kalain says:

    I’ve played around with the toolset and, so far, I’m incredibly impressed. It is a lot more indepth than NWN1, NWN2 and The Witcher toolsets. Probably play around a lot more before I start planning a basic module out..

  5. Heliocentric says:

    Does the toolset support application of infinite bear? An rps campaign would require that.

    • Wulf says:

      Infinite bear might actually make Dragon Age: Origins mildly interesting to play, especially if one could keep it active in cutscenes. The hilarity of being a talking animal for the entirety of the campaign and not having anyone bat an eyelid is mildly appealing. I did that for pretty much the entirety of NWN2 and Mask of the Betrayer.

      So yeah, that … and a font size which doesn’t require incredibly expensive binoculars to read. Those two things might make DA: O worth it.

      In more intereting news, TorchED, the Torchlight editor, will be arriving tomorrow.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Infinite bear might use up too much memory.

    • Rei Onryou says:

      Who do you think the Maker is in-game? Some sort of a-typical god? Pfft. I’ll give you a hint, his name is Horace and he’s only known to have 2 paws.

      Of course, I’d pay for a mod that replaces all mentions of the Maker for Horace.

    • Psychopomp says:

      You can import custom models, I believe. I guess all you’d need to do is make a very long bear torso,.

    • Taillefer says:

      Maybe he could be procedurally generated.

    • Tei says:

      Re: Infinite bear.

      What this Infinite bear?
      I suppose you can edit the particles, say… replace the fire particles by a sprite of a bear, and attach this FX to a blade, and put that blade “Infinite bears blade” in a bendor for 1 silver.
      That way you will have a blade that radiate bears in every direction. If you can’t mod the size to be bear-size, it will be small bears… (will look like flies).

    • LukeE says:

      Horace the endless bear is the god of rocks, papers and shotguns.

  6. TCM says:

    The moment I saw “additional campaigns”, I expected a NWN style toolset.

    Looks like we’ll have plenty of highly impressive free content to occupy us, if the modding community steps up and takes charge.

    • Vinraith says:

      It’s funny, the presence of mod tools and active developer support of a modding community makes me far more likely to purchase DLC, as I actually want to support the developer and the game under those circumstances. As opposed to, say, Empire, where I feel like mod tools are being withheld so they can sell crappy unit sets.

      The presence of mod tools also demonstrates a certain level of developer confidence that their DLC is of sufficiently high quality that it’s WORTH buying in a field populated by quality free content, as well.

    • TCM says:

      I can safely say the Soldier’s Peak is an excellent questline, though it may be a bit pricey. And a tad short.

      The Stone Prisoner seems equally worth its cost, since it’s a party member with his own incidental dialogue, questline, and unique skillset. Though I wonder about Day 1 DLC…why not include him in the game to begin with, considering he’s so well integrated?

    • Psychopomp says:

      It’s just a used games sales thing. You give as much back to the developer by buying it used, as you do pirating it.

    • Psychopomp says:

      EDIT >:|

      “Bioware’s openly admitted on the forums, to ripping him out of the game for that reason,” is supposed to be in there.

    • Kommissar Nicko says:

      I found it amusing that when I saw the headline for this article, the first thing I did was check comments to see if Vinraith was going to mention: 1) gladness for mod tools and 2) Creative Assembly and Empire: Total War. I’m glad to see I wasn’t let down.

    • Vinraith says:

      I’m a terribly predictable modding whore, aren’t I?

    • Schmitzkater says:

      Yes you are. And rightfully so.

  7. Squirrelfanatic says:

    Let’s hope somebody finds a workaround dealing with the limited inventory space.

    • neems says:

      There already is one… buy the dlc :-)

    • Fumarole says:

      Is eighty items to carry really too few? Stop hoarding and sell that loot you know you’re not going to use.

    • Pemptus says:

      80 items IS too few, yes. I hate having to permanently destroy my stuff.

      Here’s a copypasta from some forum I googled:

      1. open up your savegame with extension of .das
      2. open up savegame_partylist
      3. change savegame_max_item to 999.
      4. save, load your game, done.

      It works perfectly, I set mine to 250 and am enjoying the game much more, with its silly carrying capacity mechanics and lack of BLOODY “drop” option.

    • Psychopomp says:

      I’ve never run out of inventory space >_>

  8. Magnus says:

    I’d love to see some high-quality campaigns out there… I hope this gets the modders seal of approval.

    I have no talent for such things, so I especially appreciate other peoples work. Modding can turn a game from a one-playthrough wonder, to a lasting experience worth revisiting time and again.

    Is anyone aware if you will be able to make additions into the main campaign (similar to the DLC)? I’d love to see what changes people would make if they had the power…

  9. OJ287 says:

    I bought expansion packs for Rome and Medieval 2 Total War purely for the mods that required them. I’m in no rush to get Empire (and any expansions). Not because I’m ‘boycotting’, I dont really expect it to be that good before its modded.

  10. Meatloaf says:

    Confound it all. This and the UDK-for-free shenanigans are going to ruin me. I’ll never leave my desk again. Too many things to be built. I had a hard enough time with the G.E.C.K. and TES Construction Kit.

  11. Jeremy says:

    Yes, I hate it when developers give me free DLC. Douche bags.

    • JKjoker says:

      they dont actually give it for free, they force you to open accounts in the ea/bioware social crap which are so utterly broken that it feels like torture (they might as well force you to play in one of those NutCracker Japanese shows for them), and then, after all that, they patch the game making the game and the dlcs stop working, there are many, MANY sad stories about DOA and their stupid “get the DLC” minigame

      yeah, douche bags

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Christ you will cry about anything Joker won’t you? They did the DLC this way to try to reduce piracy and the trade in second-hand copies. Oh no, you have to sign up to a website (which offers a bunch of great additional features including auto screenshot upload), the fucking humanity.

    • Psychopomp says:

      That’s not what he was crying about Biscuit. A lot of people are having trouble with the Bioware site, as it utterly melted about two days before launch. I had to go edit an XML file, to get my Stone Prisoner to work, as it hasn’t authorized correctly.
      Thing *are* getting worked out, but the anger is far from unreasonable.

    • Primar says:

      For the record, my experience has been:

      Click DLC button in-game.
      Click redeem code.
      Enter a couple of account bits since apparently I’ve not logged in before.
      Enter code.
      Download gubbins.

      For the paid bit of DLC that I got just to be completist, just add “Click buy points, insert details, click ok” in there.

      Completely painless and dead simple. Yes, I imagine molten servers would complicate matters somewhat, but that’s not exactly indicative of the system as a whole, is it? For example, trying to download stuff over GfWL is a nightmare at the best of times, and I don’t think I’ve ever succeeded.

    • LintMan says:

      @Primar:

      By contrast, here was my DLC experience:
      + Click DLC button in-game
      + Login
      + poke around web site looking for where to enter code to activate DLC
      +enter code – guess which of the three codes I need to enter first (my “Digital deluxe” version came with 3 codes)
      + guess was wrong – code rejected
      + enter different code – guessed wrong again – code rejected
      + enter third code – code accepted, but apparently this only registered my game
      + poke around the web site more to find out how to activate the actual DLC
      + enter DLC code – accepted
      + enter second DLC code – I’m told’ it’s “invalid”
      + retry second DLC code – again, told invalid. Now I’m thinking about those “your codes are only valid once” warnings and wondering if I screwed it up somehow, or if someone keygenned my codes already.
      + retry second DLC code again – whew, it’s accepted this time.
      + Back in game, watch as all the DLC *slowly* downloads over 30+ minutes
      + Downloading finished, all DLC says “downloaded, but remains listed in the “download” tab, and nothing shows as “installed”.
      + poke around at the screen trying to figure out how to make the DLC actually install, no luck.
      + exit game, and when I re-enter, some of the DLC has reverted to 0% downloaded status.
      + re-download that, but it still won’t install and neither will the rest.
      + My game had been patched to 1.01 before I downloaded the DLC, did that matter?
      + call it quits for the night.
      + spend hours combing forums for solutions, trying all sorts of suggestions (verify steam cache, optimize cache, restart updater service, etc, etc) No luck.
      + In desperation, I deleted the entire Bioware directory in My Documents.
      + Re-download all the DLC for the next 30+ minutes.
      + Hurrah! It’s actually installing this time!
      + And it only took me 5 hours!

    • TCM says:

      I was told all my codes were invalid, but it worked anyway.

      So, haha?

    • kr8 says:

      @TotalBiscuit:
      “They did the DLC this way to try to reduce piracy and the trade in second-hand copies”

      You might want to read up on this:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine

  12. Saul says:

    Having a character standing in my campsite trying to sell me a DLC quest was pretty offensive. On the other hand, everything else about the game is wonderful, so I’m finding myself forgiving that small piece of corporate cynicysim. As for future DLC, I doubt I’ll have any interest in it, given the already enormous size of the game. I think I will have had enough by the time I get to the end. That is unless they manage to manage to make the DLC really interesting and original, in which case I’m happy to pay.

    In any case, really glad they released the tools! Should see some fun stuff coming from the community.

  13. EthZee says:

    All I can contribute to this discussion is to hope that the term ‘digi-girth’ is used more often.

  14. Psychopomp says:

    1)The accusations that an 80+ hour game is “incomplete” without a single dungeon are utterly ludicrous.

    2)The DLC salesmen are a terrible idea, and should never have been implemented. Period.

    3) At the very least, this toolset pretty much solidifies that future DLC will be substantial. They’ve basically got competition from their own fans, except their competition is giving it away for free.

    4)WHY WAS THE FIRST MOD A NUDE SKIN?

    5)Poked around with the toolset a bit. Head hurts. Realized I never even learned how to script in Neverwinter Nights.

    6)BRB, more Dragon Age

  15. blainestereo says:

    Dragon Age is so mature even its toolset has an M rating!!1

  16. Lilliput Kingq says:

    The DLC salesmen make me sad, because the game is by and large so horrifically excellent it makes me sob.

    But hurrah for mod tools ‘n all that. I never really played any of the mods for NWN, as the engine just didn’t really agree with me, but the DA engine is much better, and so will hopefully attract more attention.

  17. Gutter says:

    I want someone to make a Discworld RPG…

    I don’t know why, I can’t stop thinking about Discworld characters when I play Dragon Age.

    • Fumarole says:

      Without pterry contributing I am afraid it would disappoint. Given his current situation, I doubt he’d be able to contribute. So sad too, as I think it would be a splendid thing if done right.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Let’s not bury him before he’s dead; pTerry’s got at least a few years left before his condition “kills” him. It’s better than nothing, I guess. :(

  18. Po0py says:

    Agreed on point 3. They’ll have to man up and create some proper storylines and content that is worth the money.

    Personally, the only mod I’m looking forward to at the moment is a font size mod. Give me that and I will be a happy gamer.

    • Po0py says:

      That was supposed to be a reply to Psychopomp’s post. This comment system is terrible. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve done this.

  19. Heliocentric says:

    This comment reply works perfect for me. And i post on a mobile mostly, if it was going to fail for anyone i’d expect it to be me.

  20. Andrew says:

    So if this toolset is anything like the one for NWN 1/2 expect great things. There really were some works of genius that outshone the original game. Hope that continues with Dragon Age

  21. EBass says:

    I didn’t think the DLC selling NPCs were particularly bad. They didn’t just say “BUY THIS DLC!” they told a story and generally weren’t too intrusive.

    I’m more against the principle of the thing rather than how they affected my game, because they really didn’t.

    • Psychopomp says:

      They *are* implemented rather well, but that’s a lot like saying they’re the best kick in the balls ever.

    • Atalanta says:

      I think the thing I find infuriating about the DLC salesman is the giant shiny exclamation point hovering over his head — I’m one of Those Gamers, who can’t bring herself to pass up a sidequest without feeling a pang of regret, so having it constantly floating at the edge of my campsite drives me up the walls.

      If it were just some random dude in the marketplace in Denerim I’d probably have bought it by now, honestly, but the fact that it’s in my camp and I can’t get it to leave makes me irrationally angry.

    • whalleywhat says:

      That’s what’s annoying about it. He’s basically pitching you on it, and then “BUY BUY BUY GIVE US YOUR MONEY DUMBASS” is one of the dialogue options. I had no reason to think he was any different from any other NPC in the game.
      I’ve got no problem with selling add on content for the people who feel that a 60+ hour game isn’t enough, but having a character try and sell you something in the game is world-breaking, to say the least.

  22. Dean says:

    Few points: Shale was cut as when they first put him in they discovered he broke a lot of stuff as he couldn’t fit through many doorways. As the release date was nearing, he had to be cut. With the delay, they’ve been able to work on re-implementing him. He wasn’t cut just so he could be sold as DLC.

    The main campaign should be moddable, though apparently at the moment not all the campaign assets are available. This should change.

    Finally, this is about more than just mods that make the game better, or add in a couple of extra interesting things. NWN2 had (still has) an amazing modding community that basically built a whole bunch of new games from the ground up. Stuff like the Dark Waters trilogy, an epic pirate adventure with nothing to do with the original game or story, and enough content to be a full game in and of itself. There are loads of similar projects, a surprisingly large number of which have actually reached completion. If this modding tool takes off it’ll add so much content to the game, not to mention Bioware have in the past hired some of the better modding groups to produce DLC campaigns.

    I find this all quite exciting.

  23. Taillefer says:

    Somebody should do that whole “one big city” thing.

    • TCM says:

      As in, make a giant city without loading screens in which a full storyline takes place?

      I always love that sort of thing. Frig, I bought NWN2′s expansions just for the “Fate of a City” campaign.

  24. frags says:

    Just a reminder this toolset has issues with WIndows XP SP2. Installation of MS SQL 2005(which is needed for this toolset, comes with the toolset installation) on XP SP2 will lead to your machine to a infinite loop of constant rebooting.

    Only install once you have updated to XP SP3.

  25. Tei says:

    Imagine… arrows of “Inferno”. Every hit spawing a inferno. Also “grease grenades”. He… you can mod a ninja!.

  26. Melf_Himself says:

    Just thought people might like to know that the download from bigdownload.com appears to be borked. A few people posted there saying the install was corrupt. I didn’t read that, and when I tried to install it, it f—ed my comp up so bad I had to reinstall Windows. Fun times.

    Anyway, think ima wait a few days and get it from the bioware site or something.

  27. tekDragon says:

    One of teh bioware folks even released a party storage for your campground mod.

    http://social.bioware.com/project/463/

    btw: the party storage from the DLC is lacking, it also has a space cap.

  28. Rob says:

    I bought the special edition online, so I never had to deal with the whole buy buy buy thing in game (yet), but while I have not yet finished it the Soldier’s Peak dlc is pretty good so far. It included the first fight where I really began to realize the depth of the combat system, and I was honestly very impressed with it. I am not sure if I will finish Soldier’s Peak yet because I am probably too low level for it (but I have a hunch that it scales and i am just not very good at the game yet).

    Anyways kudos to Bioware for releasing such powerful community tools right out of the box, I hope they (and WE) are rewarded well for this and I look forward to getting a lot of life out of this game for a good long while.

    • tekDragon says:

      The game has scaling with floors and ceilings, kinda like fallout. You should be able to deal with Soldier’s peak right away. I know I and most of my friends who play went straight there and managed.

      Last fight is tough.

  29. KilgoreTrout XL says:

    It would be great if someone makes a mod where I can see buffs/debuffs underneath each character portrait of my party instead of having to individually select them. I liked in BG:II where you could stack so many buffs & resistances before a fight that you could hardly see your player’s face by the time you charged in.

    As for my spells wishlist: (1) Abi Dalzim’s Horrid Wilting (2) Time stop, (3) Spell trigger, (4) Stoneskin.

  30. ChampionHyena says:

    BIGDOWNLOAD FILES CORRUPTED

    FILEFRONT DOWNLOAD PAINFULLY SLOW

    OFFICIAL SITE EXPERIENCING EXTREME LOAD

    DYING

    AAAAAAAAAAAH

    bluh

  31. cypher says:

    Awesome, I’ve been wanting to dip my toes into modding for some time and this looks like the perfect opportunity… If only it would download! >.<

  32. Evorez says:

    I briefly tried using my 1st tier ‘steal’ skill to unceremoniously blag the DLC from that toad in my camp.
    It didn’t work. Maybe level 2…
    And yes, I assumed the flanking angle.

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