By Nathan Grayson on May 17th, 2012 at 10:00 am.
Somehow, I doubt Dragon Age 3 is going to reuse levels at every all-too-familiar turn. And while BioWare still isn’t mentioning the next swords ‘n’ sorcery sequel by name because ours is a silly, silly industry, it’s now launching an official monthly “series of questions and discussions around Dragon Age” with the goal of getting a feel for what fans want. Do not, however, expect your fanfic simply titled “Anders: Lion Rider” to ride a red carpet right into series canon. “We’re not making promises,” emphasizes BioWare. “We’re talking about ideas.”
BioWare’s Jessica Merizan outlined the month-by-month plan on BioWare’s official blog:
“Beginning today, we’ll do a series of questions and discussions around Dragon Age. Consider this a conversation between fans, the community team, and the developers. Everyone at BioWare is incredibly excited about the future of the franchise but we’re interested in what you have to say. Every month, we will discuss a topic or question about Dragon Age and game development. You will have one week to post your thoughts, desires, and hopes before we close the thread for review. Moderators and developers will pop into the thread to chat every now and again, so keep an eye out.”
“However, it’s worth reminding that we’re not making promises, we’re talking about ideas. We won’t guarantee that things we discuss will materialize and we’re not showing anything until we’re ready. And as a last bit of housekeeping, the purpose of these exercises isn’t crowd sourcing or soliciting your game dev concepts (keep those close in case you want to make a game someday!). This should remain a discussion between BioWare and fans about what you loved about Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2—what this franchise means to you.”
This month’s question is “What kinds of things would you like to discover and learn about the Dragon Age world?” You can flex your brain’s lore cortex (henceforth known as a loretex) in this forum thread. Obviously, it’d be more productive to voice your thoughts into the wall BioWare has its ear pressed against, but RPS never stops listening. Even when you don’t want us to.
For whatever it’s worth, I actually liked some aspects of Dragon Age II. While the execution was extremely sloppy and rushed, the idea of focusing on a single location over the course of many years is something few games do. Party members had their own lives, jobs, and responsibilities. They weren’t just lackeys that barked, bit, and fetched Hawke’s newspaper at his merest whim. Dragon Age II also managed to be thematically daring within its own incredibly confining limits, exploring topics like religion, sexuality, and terrorism.
Yes, its character progression paled in comparison to Origins’ branching, masterfully interweaving skill trees, and caves now make me legitimately afraid of being bored to death – as opposed to bear-ed to death, like they’re supposed to. DAII was undeniably flawed, but here’s hoping all that rough doesn’t completely obscure a few very bright diamonds during these discussions.