Posts Tagged ‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’

Dragon Age lead designer Mike Laidlaw leaves BioWare

BioWare veteran Mike Laidlaw has parted ways with that RPG rabble after 14 years. He was co-lead writer on Jade Empire, a lead designer on the first two Dragon Ages and the creative director of Inquisition, and did a little design on Mass Effect. Laidlaw announced his departure last night with a tweeted statement. He doesn’t explain why he’s away but I suppose it’s not our business. What’s next? Well, for starters, a lot of Twitch and Twitter. Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: Saving World Quests

Previously in this column, somehow not taken up by the industry as of yet, I suggested that the word ‘quest’ was being somewhat damaged of late by the fact that it can be anything from ‘Kill the Great Red Dragon’ to ‘bring me some orange juice.’ I advocated a system where instead, tasks were split between two basic categories – what used to justifiably be called ‘quests’, and the more prosaic ‘shit to do’. I realise now though that I missed an important third category, World Quests, named because scattering mostly pointless crap everywhere is much easier than actually filling an open world.

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The modders making games more gender-diverse

Hannah just wanted to be a farmer. Not a male farmer. Not a female farmer. Just a farmer that didn’t have to suffer NPC after NPC lumping them into one gender or the other. Hannah’s hopes rose with the release of Stardew Valley, but after jumping into the farming sim they discovered it offered only male and female gender identities, with he/she pronouns to match. As someone who identifies as non-binary, Hannah couldn’t help but be disappointed.

“I’ve almost come to expect little to no representation,” says Hannah. “Being able to play a character that is different from myself is fun and interesting, but playing one true to myself I find is often more fun. It feels more real if you are in the world rather than just an observer playing a person in that world.”

Unwilling to sit idly by, Hannah took it upon themselves to broaden Stardew Valley’s gender diversity, modding the game so that NPCs referred to the protagonist with gender-neutral pronouns and replacing the gender symbols in the character creator with ungendered body-type indicators.

The response from other players was overwhelming. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Mass Effect 2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I know you’re supposed to say the first one’s best, but Mass Effect 2 is definitely my favourite in the series. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Dragon Age: Inquisition?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Back in the spotlight recently, due to Bioware’s latest game, Mass Effect Andromeda, to some extent aping its MMO/Ubimap-like structure. I have mixed feelings about Dragon Age: Inquisition. On the one hand, I thought it had a great cast of companion characters, boasting both charisma and weirdness (say hello to Solas, above). On the other, I never finished the thing, having burned out on frantic random encounter combat, endless pursuit of icons and the ever-spinning loot’n’craft wheel before the storyline could resolve. Read the rest of this entry »

EA’s All-You-Can-Eat Games Subscription Comes To PC

If you like a lot of big-budget on your biscuit, join this club. Enormo-publisher EA just announced that its previously console-only Access service is now available on PC, as a bolt-on for its Origin game store. Pay a monthly Origin Access subscription fee of $4.99/€3.99/£3.99 and you’ll get all-you-can-eat access to a (currently) small archive of recent EA titles. Perhaps more likely to flog subscriptions is that they include access to ‘trials’ of new releases five days before the full games go on sale, as well as 10% off Origin purchases. The walls around the garden just got taller.
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Dragon Age: Inquisition GotY Edition Coming In October

Well blow me down! BioWare are releasing a DLC-bundling Game of the Year Edition of one of their RPGs! It’s been a while since the last – long years of me grumbling about EA’s add-on pricing and decision to stop making easy ways to buy the whole thing.

The GotY Edition of Dragon Age: Inquisition [official site] is coming soon too, on October 6th. It’ll include the base game along with all its story DLC, its gubbins DLC, and the gubbins from its Deluxe Edition. EA haven’t stated a price, but I bet it’s cheaper than the – strewth! – £102.46 it currently costs individually.

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Not Dinosaurs: Dragon Age’s Trespasser DLC Released

You’ve inquired, exsanguinated, and imbibed your way across half of Thedas, but now the adventures in Dragon Age: Inquisition [official site] are drawing to a close. BioWare today released the final DLC for their fantasy RPG, named Trespasser (no, not dinosaurs), and say “Character relationships and big moments are at the forefront of the Inquisitor’s final adventure.” That makes me imagine it may be like Mass Effect 3‘s Citadel DLC, which gave the whole gang a big old send off before they went away to die, become cyborgs, and whatnot. The base game’s on sale to mark the launch too.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition’s New Story DLC – The Descent

Depending on where you stand on the Darkspawn fence, this could be either good or bad omen for the future trajectory of the Dragon Age series. Dragon Age – Inquisition [official site] is getting what basically looks like a Diablo-style descent into the depths of the Deep Roads – an enormous network of tunnels that originally belonged to the dwarven empire and is now full of bad dudespawn. Named The Descent, the single-player DLC – which, confusingly, ends up looking like a weird single-lane MOBA in the trailer – is launching on August 11th.

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Six Hours Of World-Saving – Dragon Age: Inquisition Demo

As a sprog replaying demos again and again to draw out the stretches between getting new games, I loathed timed demos. I’d happily replay the same two or three levels over and over. As a growed-up, mind, I’d much rather have a one-off timed chunk to explore a game and see what it’s really about. It’s especially handy for open-world games – difficult or pointless to section up.

It’s high time that Dragon Age: Inquisition [official site] got a demo, and I’m glad that it’s a timed one. It’s on Origin. Six hours of singleplayer isn’t bad, and it offers unlimited multiplayer time too.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition MP Gets Easier, More Difficult

If you’ve mastered the multiplayer side of Dragon Age: Inquisition [official site], killing everything and saving everyone a dozen times over, good news: the game’s latest update has added a new ‘Nightmare’ difficulty setting to tackle and new rare weapons to collect.

Conversely, if you’ve barely scratched Inq’s multiplayer and find it a bit overwhelming, good news: the update also added a tutorial, which teams you up with AI characters on a guided experience through your first adventure.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition Free Multiplayer DLC Next Week

BioWare, in their deep and powerful wisdom, have decided that we puny mortals like stuff that’s free. So starting May 5th, a new multiplayer add-on called Dragonslayer is coming to Dragon Age: Inquisition [official website] at exactly no cost to you.

Dragonslayer gets you three new playable characters: an Avvar warrior called Skywatcher, a rock ‘n’ roll bard known as Zither the Virtuoso, and series veteran Isabela, the Raider Queen of the Eastern Seas. Also coming is a new location in the form of a Ferelden castle.

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Swinging A Stick: How Landscape And Childhood Are Key To The Continued Popularity Of Fantasy Fiction

Once at primary school I tried to convince my teacher that we needed a new word – or at least that we needed one that might exist already, but that we’d somehow forgotten. This is going to be a piece partly about words, and “fantasy” was one that I was never totally happy with. It lacked, as I saw it, the generic precision of “science-fiction,” and I wanted a more specific description for that strand of fantasy storytelling and world-building that (I did not really know at the time, but would have pretended to if asked) has flowed from Tolkien’s consolidation of elves and dragons, dwarves and orcs. I wanted to be able to pin, with a single word, that mixture of magic and folklore, that particular set of imaginative boundaries with which I was so often engaged and so thoroughly obsessed. The best I could come up with was “fantamystical”, which, if you’ve been paying attention for the last twenty years, did not catch on.

Luckily it’s been a very kind twenty years for this area of fiction, to the point where we hardly need the word fantamystical at all (although I am willing to give it one last push if you guys are). A combination of, among other things, Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, and screen retellings of The Lord Of The Rings and A Song Of Ice And Fire have made my adolescent anxieties about the ambiguous categorizations of fiction redundant, leaving me with merely dozens of other anxieties, and us with Tolkien-fenced fantasy imprinted on our culture, and our games (this is being written in the gap between the arrival of Pillars Of Eternity and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, with Dragon Age: Inquisition still questing, exploring and adventuring in the background).

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The RPG Scrollbars: How Long Is Too Long?

Ha! I completed your game faster than you! Prick!

Please welcome Richard Cobbett to our roster of weekly columnists. Every Monday at 1pm, Richard will be donning his +8 cap of writing to present a ragbag of news and reflections on role-playing games.

It’s been a great year for epic, old-school RPGs. A good tax-year anyway, since that conveniently scopes in everything from Divinity: Original Sin to Wasteland 2 to the other week’s Pillars of Eternity, to say nothing of several smaller titles. As we all know, part of the joy of a good RPG is slipping into a world – when everything works out, the long playtime feels like an epic journey rather than a commitment. Or at least it should. In the wake of The Witcher 3 promising 200 hours or so to see everything it’s got though, I’ve been thinking – at what point do the scales start to tip?

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In The Trees – Dragon Age: Inquisition Story DLC Released

A nice spot for a dip.

Video game forests: yes, more please, thank you. Big trees, dappled sunlight, ferns, moss, lichen, wild flowers, and hidden ponds: ooh twist my arm.

BioWare released the first singleplayer DLC story hunk for Dragon Age: Inquisition [official site] today and while I understand there’s something about Inquisitors and dragons in it, the real take-away is that it has a big forest. With ferns, tree houses, mystic groves, ancient ruins, some huge cliffs with waves crashing at the bottom, and something about an old god and ice dragon, ‘Jaws of Hakkon’ is on Origin for – cripes! – £11.99.

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Magic Makeovers: Dragon Age Inq Adding Customisation

Mirror mirror, on the wall, give me blue hair and make me six feet tall.

Give me a long, sprawling RPG with appearance options and I will replay the first hour at least six times. I didn’t realise how ugly that haircut actually is. I didn’t know its lighting would make that skin tone so ugly. I’d forgotten to make them interesting from behind. On reflection, that hair colour is awful. What was I even thinking with that tattoo? And I should tower over puny NPCs more.

When I get around to Dragon Age: Inquisition [official site], I might be able to skip that for once, as the next patch is due to add ways to customise your chap mid-game.

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Que Sera Sera: Free Dragon Age Pub Songs & Sheet Music

AAAAAAAAAAARGH I'd almost forgotten the horror

In all honesty, I’m not especially on fire with passion at the news of free Dragon Age Inquisition song downloads, but I don’t often get to use the phrase “sheet music” in this line of work, so carpe diem.
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Dragon Age: Inquisition Patch Ups The Banter

Are we nearly there yet?

I was reading through Dragon Age: Inquisition‘s 1.03 patch notes for the information on how the banter system has changed. I haven’t actually got to Inquisition yet in my playing of the series so I was kind of peeking but trying to squint so I could look away at the first sign of a spoiler* without having accidentally read the whole thing.

The banter change is just a minor change to make the chatter less random in when it occurs and thus avoid long periods of silence – a good thing I’d say (confidently, having not played Inquisition) because the banter is the reason I really warmed up to the series.

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10 Things To Do During Holiday Gaming Load Screens

In this quietest time of the year, as people take their spare holiday days to fill the gap between Horacemas and the destruction of the Old Year, there will be many who are using the time to catch up on games they’ve missed. Top of that list for many will be BioWare’s epic RPG, Dragon Age: Inquisition. But what to do with the 95-99% of dead-time playing the game leaves, as you stare at its loading screens between moments of playing? Or maybe you’ll boot Far Cry 4? How to wile away the hours during those intro titles? Are you catching up on Shadow Of Mordor, and need activities while it’s showing you yet another close-up of an Orc Captain?

I’ve come up with some suggestions of how to fill this time. Read the rest of this entry »