Dragon Age Multiplayer in BF3 Engine?

By Jim Rossignol on November 30th, 2011 at 11:49 am.


Activate the rumour siren! Bee-WOOP! Etc. Kotaku have posted saying that an “insider” has revealed a multiplayer Dragon Age game in the pipeline. Here’s the vague heart of the rumour: “The insider wasn’t sure if Dragon Age multiplayer was going to be part of a full, stand-alone title (ala Dragon Age 3) or available separately as a downloadable game. It is apparently being developed on DICE’s Frostbite 2 game engine (used for Battlefield 3), and even early-on the game apparently looks stunning.” Apparently! Apparently dragons will be playable, too. Take that, other dragon-based gameplay experiences! It does make a lot of sense, though – a dragon’s tail whipping through a destructible building as you mill about with chums trying to kill it with hammers. We’ll find out of if this is a true thing soon enough.

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85 Comments »

  1. Ed123 says:

    Gott im himmel. Keep ****ing that chicken, EA.

    • Commisar says:

      hey look everyone, a COMPLETELY UNSUBSTANTIATED RUMOR. LETS ALL TAKE IT AS FACT. Plus it come from Kotaku, a BEACON OF JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY.

  2. Faceless says:

    That’s a very modest siren for a rumour this… colourful.

  3. Sankis says:

    Betting this is a standalone multiplayer version akin to Medal of Honor’s multiplayer but for DA3. EA seems to have a thing for shoe horning multiplayer into everything as if it was 2001 again.

  4. Yhamm says:

    sounds like an other stupid idea from bioware/ea

    • Dreamhacker says:

      I don’t know, a first-person Dark Messiah-clone with DA-trappings and BF3-powered multiplayer sounds like…

      EA, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! :)

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      I sincerely doubt that Dark Messiah would have been even half as great if you replaced Xana with Anders and a choir of whiny elves.

  5. jezcentral says:

    Dammit. Modding is really dying a death in Bioware’s games. DA:Origin’s set-up was great, but DA2 was reduced to re-skins.

    Come on Bioware. People like Modding. Look at Skyrim! What are you afraid of?

    • Faceless says:

      Nude mods and higher resolution chest hair textures, probably.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      The mod that let you take Dog with you on every mission without taking up a party slot in DA1 justified Bioware’s support for modding on its’ own. That there was far more awesome stuff made by modders is just icing on the cake.

    • Delixe says:

      Funny thing is in the interview with David Gaider on his new book he was asked how people can get into writing for video games and he said modding. He then ummed and aahed a little and finally said “well Origins has a toolset”. Sad,

    • Shooop says:

      Because in EA’s world, you will play the game only if they decide you even can. And they have to be watching your computer every minute while you do so.

    • d32 says:

      Modding tools are not yet released for Skyrim, so it doesn’t have any real mods currently.

  6. rocketman71 says:

    Still Origin. Still NO.

  7. ZIGS says:

    The industry won’t rest until they rape everything sacred with multiplayer

  8. Hoaxfish says:

    Given that this is a fantasy setting, I’m predicting the worst scrum-style PvP from the dregs of the MMO market.

    What happens when an unstoppable AWESOME hits an immovable AWESOME anyway?

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Is mmo pvp really that unlikeable? It’s been years since I played WoW, but I loved how you had to change your strategy when dueling against different classes and builds. Trying to anticipate when an opponent would use their more powerful cooldown abilities was a mindgame on it’s own.
      The capture the flag maps could also be hilariously unpredictable, even if some classes got the short end of the stick.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Some PvP isn’t. I certainly enjoyed Guild Wars PvP.

      Others devolve into just smacking each other until you die.

  9. Starayo says:

    Hooray, with mass effect and dragon age both raped beyond recognition, EA is no longer relevant to me.

    • theleif says:

      Drama queen

      That said, I preferred DA to DA2, even though I liked the combat (except for respawning of enemies, a very stupid idea), especially the class combos in DA2. The Etropy mage tree made for even more combat fun. Also I don’t think DA2 gets enough credit for letting you, for once, not play the hero that saves the world, and I must say that he choice of what to do with Anders was one of the most difficult character choices I’ve ever had to make in an RPG.
      I also think MA2 was a much better game than MA. I preferred the story, the character missions (especially the ones about Legion, Jack, and Mordin), and the final mission was one of the more engaging game moments I’ve had this year (didn’t play it until this summer).
      The side missions in MA1 on the other hand was mostly a variation on the same crater-filled warehouse, much like the dungeons in DA2.

      I mean, I can can fully understand the reasons why someone don’t like these games, but acting like the sequels ate your hamster is just silly.

  10. TormDK says:

    Dragon Age 3 in Frostbyte 2?

    YES PLEASE!

  11. simonh says:

    This game could potentially be amazing. Imagine Battlefield 3 but with dragons instead of helicopters, ogres instead of tanks, and with mages, sieges and melee combat. Essentially Mount-n-Blade with a big budget and fantasy elements. That being said, it’s probably just going to be some sort of lame small scale combat thing.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Yes, I am cautiously enthusiastic.

    • Lobotomist says:

      That was done allready several times.

      There was this series similar to battlefield , the name escapes me. But they had LOTR battlefield , Star Wars Battlefield… etc

      Let me tell you. It was not terribly successful

    • apocraphyn says:

      Terribly fun, though. Star Wars Battlefront or whatever it was called was bloody fun to play. If it turns out being anything like that, then sure, I’ll probably play it for a while.

      (which would naturally lead to HAWKE AND FLEMETH ARE HERO CHARACTERS WITH 10x THE HEALTH OF NORMAL UNITS!!11111!1)

    • pakoito says:

      I remember that LOTR wargame that was supposed to be (KUF-level) awesome. Then they cut development in one year and we had N3 instead.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Oh wow, I’d totally forgotten Battlefront. I had some good times playing over LAN with friends. That format would actually suit Dragon Age pretty well. You could even switch out the vehicles for ogres and golems and whatnot. Derivative as all hell, but that could make for some fun co-op.

    • Springy says:

      @Pakoito: N3? As in Ninety-Nine Nights? Originally a LotR title? I’ve never heard that, nor did I know that a Japanese studio has ever been entrusted with the LotR licence.

      Unless there’s another N3.

  12. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    When I read the title I was expecting it to be Co-op multiplayer. Which I think could work well, in a kind of Fable 2 style

  13. Justin Keverne says:

    I actually think if this turns out to be true I’m done with gaming. If this is what people want I’m so utterly out of touch.

    • D3xter says:

      It couldn’t be fucking worse than Dragon Age 2 now, could it?

    • DiamondDog says:

      What a strange thing to say.

    • Dariune says:

      Im kind of with you (in a less drastic way) Kinda feel the gaming industry left me behind somewhere.

      Bioware pretty much encapsulates about everything i dislike about the industry in its current state … not gonna give up playing games though ;) just wont play their games any more.

    • TheApologist says:

      By releasing this are they going to remove all other games past, present and future from existence? Is that what Origin is *really* for. Eek!

    • DiamondDog says:

      I really dislike current pop music and its trends, so I will listen to NO OTHER MUSIC AT ALL.

      ALL MUSIC IS DEAD TO ME.

      Come on. Find your niche and support it. Unless you do actually hate all the games.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Obviously that was an overreaction. But I can sympathise I feel completely out of touch with games now. They are constantly taking steps backwards, taking away as much depth and complexity as possible.

      I fear there will never be another mainstream game anything like Planescape. When it comes to the games as art debate im of the opinion that they were at one point, but not anymore. Now they attempt to appeal to the broadest and most stupid audience they can find.

      However, I don’t think this is just true of games. It applies to any media with a huge budget behind it.

    • Justin Keverne says:

      Hyperbole
      Noun:
      Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

      :p

    • BattleXer says:

      I’m with you on this one.

      I think the only way that games are ever going to go the other direction again, is if consoles (and the people playing them) start to grow up.
      At the moment however, I do get the impression that ALL games seem to converge into being this one meta-game: Everything needs to be FPS, have chest high walls, needs multiplayer with unlocks, Facebook and Twitter integration, and will be released as half a game, so there is room for enough paid DLC.

      Kinda frustrating.

  14. Njordsk says:

    Back to DAO please.

  15. GenBanks says:

    Sadly to me this translates as “we can’t be bothered to create another single player RPG which is as detailed and takes as long to make as DA:O. We are exploiting the IP with titles that take far less time to make.”

    Not that epic fantasy fighting in the frostbite 2 engine doesn’t sound awesome. BF3 with swords, arrows and magic, please.

  16. fallingmagpie says:

    Are dragons the new zombies? They’re everywhere.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      To be fair the series is called “Dragon Age”. Although I get where your coming from.

    • Wulf says:

      And yet the dragon game I’ve been longing for still hasn’t arrived yet.

      I await you, Dragon Commander, to show me your rocketpack-sporting dragonny goodness, your beautiful art, and the clever humour I’ve come to expect from those chaps.

  17. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Oh thank god. This is exactly why I didn’t buy Dragon Age 2 despite considering Origins one of the finest RPG’s ever made. Thank you for bringing us the multiplayer Dragon Age experience we’ve all been crying out for… oh no wait a second… on further consideration the one thing I wanted from the next Dragon Age game, even less than being like DA2, is multiplayer.

    What a bizarre idea. Hope it’s a rumour but I doubt it somehow. It could actually be ok thinking about it, but I really hope it’s a separate thing they’re working on rather than the actual DA3 and the future direction of the DA series. Also not an MMO.

  18. TheApologist says:

    Really, when did this logic break down:
    PEOPLE LIKED DA:O. MAKE THAT AGAIN BUT BETTER.

    I’m fine with a good sequel to a good game.

  19. bleeters says:

    Oh for christ’s sake.

  20. Bhazor says:

    “Insider”, huh? Horse pucky.

    Either name your source or don’t report what they’ve said.
    Thats from page 1 of The Lady Bird Beginners Guide to Journalism

  21. ninjapirate says:

    If you take away all the “apparently”s, couldn’t this just end up being the same type of (optional) multiplayer thing they’re working on with Mass Effect 3?

  22. Mordsung says:

    I find it funny that many people here are complaining about a game that will effectively be “Battlefield: Fantasy”.

    Only something I have hoped and prayed for for over a decade.

    I’m beyond excited for this.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      I find it funny that you’re judging people solely based on your jumping to conclusions.

      Here’s a hint: the fact that they could be using Frostbite 2 doesn’t at all mean or even imply that it’ll be a “Fantasy Battlefield”.

  23. kyrieee says:

    I guess I should be glad that my dislike for EA is lining up with them producing games I have less and less interest in. Now I don’t need to feel conflicted about buying them.

  24. Vinraith says:

    …and Bioware’s slide into irrelevance continues.

  25. Beelzebud says:

    I never thought I’d see the day were Bethesda makes more compelling role playing games than Bioware, but here we are. Thanks EA.

    • Brun says:

      The change really happened when the main character in BioWare games started being a named character with voiced dialogue rather than a mute guy with no name.

      Bethesda games tell YOUR story. BioWare games tell Shepard’s story, or Hawke’s story, etc.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      Wait until Bethesda gets bought by EA or Activision or some other giant conglomerate, then they’ll start making games just as crappy as BioWare and Blizzard are now (at least as far as single-player games go).

    • alundra says:

      @FataMorganaPseudonym

      uhmmm…I don’t know how to bring you this news but….Bethesda has been bought by Zenimax media, more than 10 years ago…

    • gwathdring says:

      Hang on a minute. I love Dragon Age: Origins. And I love RPGs. But the idea that role playing games (or games in general) are better at telling YOUR story when the main character is a faceless mute is beyond ridiculous to me as a table-top RPG gamer. If you really think that role-playing is always better when you can be a voiceless nothing or a carbon copy of yourself with the exception of being more well muscled, faster, more charismatic, better with guns and so on and so forth … then I’m sort of at a loss for how you came to that conclusion. This said, what’s more important than the character having a voice and a name in this sort of game, to my mind, is the character being able to impact the world and make the player feel instrumental in deciding the character’s fate and place in the world. I see how one could make the argument that Mass Effect 2′s completely illogical story significantly erodes the feeling of meaningful impact or of player choice–it doesn’t give you difficult or uncomfortable choices. It gives you non-sequitur choices. That’s the trouble here, to my mind.

      If there was a way to get all of the player dialog in Dragon Age: Origins voiced competently? I’d take that game over it’s current for hands down. Dynamic conversations make for a much better role playing experience. It’s enormously frustrating in any game when I hear characters talking to me and can’t talk back. To have people say things to each other, and respond to my questions … but almost never approach me except as part of a quest or major triggered event. These sorts of things make me feel profoundly isolated in game worlds, when Allister banters on with Morrigan and I sit there amused but unable to deliver my own repartee. Sometimes I would rather have my character say more things I can’t control and bend my role playing to incorporate them and have that interaction there. It really breathes life into the world. Now. I understand what games like DA:O are about, and I know exactly why the endless quantities of player dialog aren’t voiced. But it’s still sad not to be able to contribute to all of that banter and to have so many people mutely standing around at their stalls waiting for you to click on them and so forth.

      Then games like Oblivion, Fallout and now Skyrim come along. And you’re still mute. But it’s getting closer. People say hello to you on the street, or start conversations with you, and so forth. People react when you steal from them, or punch their friend in the street. But you know what’s even better? The games in which, as I mull about, my character makes comments about the things around us. One of my favorite parts of ACII was that every now and then, Ezio would see a building or person or vista that caused him to mutter something to himself. I LOVE that sort of thing. And I can understand where you’re coming from, as far as preferring the CRPG standard style of giving you a blank slate. But saying the opposite is what’s WRONG with more recent Bioware RPGs when it has the potential to make the world so much more alive … is enormously unfair.

      I had loads of issues with ME2, and have no interest in DA2 at this juncture. But I still have to vehemently disagree.

  26. vodka and cookies says:

    Dragons will probably be the equivalent of fighter jets in BF3 so really not that out there, the engine is all set up for that kinds of stuff.

  27. Shooop says:

    They forgot to mention the other great features: no mods, no customer support, Origin spyware, and chance you’ll be banned from playing any other games you bought.

  28. ffordesoon says:

    Because THAT was the problem with DA2: no multiplayer. Not the shoddy pacing, lack of the barest illusion of agency, reused dungeons, static world, achingly limited dialogue wheel, tedious combat (not the same as “tedious combat system“, for the record; DA2′s system was a fundamental improvement on the first one, but the scenarios in the game never actually allowed it to be fun), or the plot that managed the difficult feat of rendering an extremely interesting premise that deserved a game to itself less interesting than the dull-as-dishwater LOTR-with-elf-racism-and-Canadian-dwarves premise of DA: O.

    No, the problem, the thing fans ached for, the thing they woke up in the middle of the night demanding, was a very pretty Battlefront game mashed awkwardly on top of a resolutely single-player RPG whose combat has never been at even 1/10th of where it would need to be for competitive multiplayer to make even a slight amount of sense.

    MYSTERY SOLVED.

    Seriously, I don’t mean to be one of those assholes who judges things before he plays them, but Mass Effect at least made a little bit of sense from a gameplay perspective as a multiplayer shooter. Unless they’re just redoing the gameplay entirely in the single-player (and they may be, to be fair), I have no idea why the hell they would think DA’s mechanics are robust enough to work as a competitive multiplayer mode. There’s a reason shooters are the most popular games that have both multiplayer and single-player modes, and it’s because shooting dudes is a relatively easy mechanic to simulate entertainingly. Even in Hellgate: London, a terrible shooting game indeed, it was still fun for a second to make the gun go bang-bang. Multiplayer (in the traditional sense of the term, anyway) must be elementally satisfying even when you’re not paying attention. Deep RPG mechanics don’t lend themselves to satisfying multiplayer gameplay unless you simplify them to the point that you don’t have to pay constant attention to the screen, as in something like WOW – which, not coincidentally, then turns a lot of people off, myself included, because that is not why I play RPGs.

    And, I mean, I’m not averse to the idea of a multiplayer RPG. I love the idea, and I’ve certainly played some WOW in my time. But WOW is good at what it does, and those who love it aren’t going to suddenly start playing a game exactly like it, because they don’t need other games to give them what WOW gives them, particularly not games designed around a strong single-player narrative originally.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      To be fair, the rumor (unless I read wrong) doesn’t mention competitive multiplayer, merely “multiplayer”. If it’s co-operative it doesn’t really have to be robust enough to be competitive-friendly.

      Although I do agree with your general sentiment. BioWare has far more problems with the Dragon Age series than the lack of multiplayer.

  29. Bob Sacamano says:

    They started out with DA:O calling it “the spiritual successor to baldur’s gate II”. And this is where they ended up.

  30. Bart Stewart says:

    I wasn’t very far into DAO before it dawned on me that copying-and-pasting many of the core mechanics of MMORPGs (aggro, buffs, cooldown timers, tank/DPS/healer class designs) was a pretty good clue that the single-player Dragon Age games were essentially marketing promos for the real goal: a subscription-based MMO.

    Just as Warcraft 3 did for WoW, and Reckoning is doing for Kingdoms of Amalur, the single-player Dragon Age games feel like ways of getting gamers invested in the lore of an IP — hence the strong use in DAO and DA2 of the Codex.

    Is this reaching? Or does it fit (as I think it does) with a strategic business plan to shift EA’s revenue sources away from single-player to always-tethered online/multiplayer games?

    • Brun says:

      @Bart:

      Those “core mechanics” are the core of action-oriented RPGs, not just MMORPGs. Many of those elements were present in Baldur’s Gate 2. I think DAO’s mechanics represent a slide away from the D&D-based TRPGs from which it descended, and toward more Diablo-like, ARPG combat mechanics (a slide which has continued with DA2). I don’t think it was intended to be a lead-in to an MMO – just a natural evolution of mechanics to become more accessible (which is consistent with the industry trend in the years since its release).

      I agree that WC3 was a lead-in to WoW, but not as a means to get people invested in the IP. Warcraft I and II had already established the IP and the universe, both had large and dedicated fanbases, and both were developed long before plans for an MMO were really part of the picture at Blizzard. WC3′s purpose (in addition to being a great RTS) was to converge the storylines and lore so that (from a story perspective) the world would be viable in an MMO. WC1 and WC2 were very focused on the war between the Orcs and Humans (or Horde and Alliance). WC3 shifted the focus to external threats so that the lore would make sense in a PvE-based MMO.

      As for the shift from single-player to always-tethered online/multiplayer games, that’s following a larger trend, not only within the game industry but also within the larger software and technology industry as a whole. Providing services is many times more profitable for companies than simply creating software (or products). The software industry has been gradually shifting to a software-as-a-service model and away from the software-as-a-product model over the last decade. The gaming industry has followed suit, although they have lagged behind a bit. Expect to see that trend to continue, and not just at EA.

    • Bart Stewart says:

      Brun, I’ve heard and considered that perspective before, and I still don’t think it holds up.

      Bearing in mind that this is much in the realm of subjective perception, most RPGs up to Dragon Age have pretty much rolled their own unique skill systems specific (to a greater or lesser degree) to themselves. DA is the first single-player RPG I’ve seen that so completely abandoned this in favor of copying — with virtually no change — most of the mechanics that, as conventions, distinguish MMORPGs as a genre from individual CRPGs.

      It’s certainly possible that BioWare did this because they just liked those mechanics, or (though I don’t believe this) because they were just too lazy to invent bespoke mechanics for Dragon Age. But I’m willing to give EA credit for encouraging BioWare to start designing games so as to serve EA’s stated strategy of emphasizing online play as part of being a digital “platform” (see http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/34514/Riccitiellos_EA_Shifts_From_Defense_To_Offense.php), regardless of whether other big publishers are trying to do this as well or not.

  31. elnalter says:

    Dragon Age 2 was intended to be the worst game of all time, that way Dragon Age 3 can be a bad game and still be better than Dragon Age 2. Just as planned.

  32. FataMorganaPseudonym says:

    I stopped reading at “multiplayer.”

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