Dragon Age: Inquisition dev discusses Mass Effect 3 plot comparisons, strategy & more

Friday, 3rd January 2014 11:15 GMT By Dave Cook

Dragon Age: Inquisition might sounds like a fantasy take on Mass Effect 3 – what with trying to rally all the world’s warring factions to take down a single threat and all that – but BioWare producer Cameron Lee has explained why it’s not all that similar, along with insight into the game’s morality, classes and much more.

Speaking with OXM, Lee was asked about the similarities between the Dragon Age: Inquisition premise and Mass Effect 3′s Reaper-vanquishing tale. He replied, “Well, it’s interesting that that’s the impression that you got – it’s not really the case.

“We have this event that occurs and the world is in chaos, sure, but in Mass Effect, you always knew what the threat was, you always knew that the reapers were there. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, whilst there is a humongous tear in the sky, and all these powerful factions and nations are in chaos – all this is happening at once, and that’s a little too strange to just suddenly occur and be coincidence.

“So the player has more of an investment in uncovering what’s going on here. And it’s not necessarily about uncover some truths and get this person on side in order to deal with the thing at the end, it’s a lot more complex than that. And you know, you are a force. Yes you’re a character, but you lead this organisation, this inquisition, which has a really significant presence in the world, a presence and an influence on these different nations and factions.

“So in Mass Effect you formed factions but it was mostly on a personal scale, whereas in Inquisition you’re talking about having a personal impact, but mostly through these big crunchy, meaty decisions and impacts that the Inquisition can have on the world. It’s kind of like the difference between being a Jedi, and founding the Jedi Order.”

Elsewhere, Lee touted Inquisition’s greater emphasis on customisation and strategy, stressing that players will have more moral responsibility than before, a duty to really look out for their followers and more of a say in how their character looks and acts. To this end, he suggested that Inquisition is more like Dragon Age: Origins, rather than Dragon Age 2.

When asked about recent multiplayer hires on the Inquisition team, Lee replied, “I have no idea at all in terms of hiring, but you know, the Mass Effect multiplayer stuff is really good, so we’ve certainly looked at options like that, but we haven’t decided on anything in terms of multiplayer at this point.”

Lee also addressed Inquisition’s delay into Q3, 2014 and the addition of the Quanari as a playable race. Just how will the people take to these brutish warriors leading the charge for the world’s salvation? “There’ll be people out there who understand the Qunari and their religious beliefs and how all that work,” Lee explained. “There is a valid reason why Qunari are sitting on the throne of the Inquisition, as there is for an elf.

“Elves have been persecuted in this world, so how would a human nation feel about having an Elven inquisitor come up to them and talk to them? So there are ways that all this fits together. David Gaider and the writers are hard at work putting that together. But it’s interesting to see it all take shape.”

How do you think the Quanari will fit into the war-torn world of Dragon Age: Inquisition? Let us know what you think below.



  1. Luciferous

    First play through will be as an Elven rogue… But the second run will be as a Qunari mage, because having an unleashed sera’bhas should be hilarious if the devs get their own stuff right, she’ll walk in to any room and everyone present should instantly fill their pants.

    #1 12 months ago
  2. SplatteredHouse

    “Yes you’re a character, but you lead this organisation” but, does the player feel like a leader, or are his actions once again acting as somebody else’s hands?
    How much RPG is there in Dragon Age 3?

    As far as “the lore” and all that is concerned. I literally don’t care! MY Warden sat at the right hand of his Queen as consort – until plot contrivance threw him back underground and back into conflict.

    I still haven’t gone on to play II.
    There’s something about Origin that just puts me off…Oh, that’s it. It surely accounts for <1% of my number of games, so it's a nuisance HAVING to deal with EA's proprietary bullshit just to play Dragon Age (and the same's true for DS3, except that I don't own that one – but because I can't play it elsewhere, I decide instead, just not to buy/play it). :/

    In these answers, I find it offputting that he is trying to disprove a point by reinforcing (through reference) the point of comparison he is trying to distance DA3 from.
    He didn't say "these are the things that we – DA3 – do". He said "this is what ME3 did – but we're not like that"!

    Then gave really fuzzy examples that made it seem as if he was aware of the likelihood of such comparison arising, beforehand. Which leads me to then ask, well, why didn't they design around it.

    #2 12 months ago
  3. Luciferous

    @2 What are you going on about? It’s no more difficult to play Dragon Age than it is to play any other game, EA or no EA.

    Is this the modern version of an old fart sat in his recliner refusing to get up and change the channel because he can’t find the remote?

    #3 12 months ago
  4. SplatteredHouse

    @3 I wouldn’t be against playing the game. I’m not interested in supporting/using Origin. It’s just a solution to a problem of the creator’s making. What is the point of Origin, other than to fake-out Steam? It’s sole purpose is to keep EA’s games from one other companies’ client.

    #4 12 months ago
  5. Dendroball

    @4 So I guess you’re also not playing games from Blizzard and Ubisoft (Ubisoft games are still available on Steam but you have to use two services instead of just one) ? It’s EA’s and every other developer’s right to build their own services or directly provide their games in order not to give up that 30% cut Valve is taking (for example Mojang with Minecraft and their other games).

    #5 12 months ago
  6. Luciferous

    It’s like anything else, saying that – I’ve never once loaded up Origins to play any store bought EA games, I’ve used it for beta access and besides being a bit clunky there is nothing wrong with it.

    The alternative is play their games on consoles.

    EA, like every other company, is out to make money, they are big enough where they don’t need Steam to shift products, but to participate in digital distribution they did need their own platform – hence Origin – It’s no more nefarious than any other digital distribution platform.

    My only issue with EA is that some of the suits up on high have lost touch with what the common gamer wants/needs which has lead to a few questionable decisions. In the end they have under their banner some of the best developers and minds in the industry.

    #6 12 months ago
  7. SplatteredHouse

    @6 They closed most of those, or lost the people – unless we’re only referring to the current pool, at which point that doesn’t apply. I don’t see EA as nefarious or anything. They’ve put in (and removed) poorly received measures. If they want their own platform as an option – go right ahead, but they hold a monopoly over a minority. @5 Is it their right?

    Of course it is. But just to TRY their game (in the cases I mentioned they weren’t well received) am I going to want, am I going to be enthusiastic about loading up a different client that I’m not in favour of? No. If they can make Origin an attractive option (and I am most keen to see what Mr Wilson does to shake-up EA, and what the Origin reform comes to under his watch) then that’s a different matter. Atm, I am happy enough to use other clients. I am not, to use Origin. So typically, I don’t.

    There’s also the idea that the market, the possible number of games to choose from is expansive, to say the least, and that reduces the usefulness of monopoly holder.

    #7 12 months ago
  8. Luciferous

    @7 But why are you so against Origin, it’s free, it’s not particularly resource intensive. The idea of them holding a monopoly is a bit silly, you can still get a fair share of Ea games elsewhere without Origin… Although I think anything Sims related that you buy on Steam registers on Origin.

    Personally I see no harm in them having their own platform, if I need to use it loads within ten seconds and it conveniently places any games I might have that registers with it in one place, the interface and store are a little clunky.

    I just really don’t see the point you’re trying to make.

    #8 12 months ago
  9. Dendroball

    @7 But it can’t be called a monopoly when it’s their own games they’re selling on their own platform (then I guess Steam is also a monopoly since Valve is only publishing its PC games through it).

    Sure you can ignore every other games EA makes because you hate with a passion their client but claiming after you’re fine with using other exclusive or partly exclusive platforms just doesn’t help your argument of monopoly which, according to you, should only apply to EA and none other publisher/developer.

    You just don’t like EA and its decision to make its own client, and that’s fine as far as I’m concerned, but the monopoly argument is just an excuse to justify yourself.

    #9 12 months ago
  10. SplatteredHouse

    @9 On reflection it was more a poor choice of terms, that monopoly. I’m not trying to justify my pov just explain it. It’s true I don’t like them mandating their own client on a small percentage of the total market, but that was already established in reply 4, and then further explained in 7. Their stance is restrictive, and I don’t support what they’re doing. That’s not a direction I want things to go. So, there is my point of opposition.

    “But why are you so against Origin” I am opposed to not having the option not to use Origin to play their games. It just indicates that they are opposed to attracting broader custom.

    @8 I suppose in terms of its use, I find it yes, clunky, but also disjointed. Like it’s pieced together in slapdash arrangement. Most of my interaction with it was with Bioware stuff, but Bioware has its own account, too, that ties all its game content to that not Origin (leading to you when updating/reinstalling games having to navigate between them, and the game you wanted to play) – all because EA has yet to get its house in order, still. Because it’s not challenged to?

    So, if even in using it I have a poor experience, I feel like my time’s being wasted, and I’m unable to play the game I intended in good time…Then, why would I choose to return to, and give that service – that’s supposed to facilitate me to be able to enjoy my game – my continued support?

    #10 12 months ago
  11. Dendroball

    @10 But still you’re not opposed to having to use Blizzard’s BattleNet to play any of their games or having to use Ubisoft’s Uplay in addition to Steam to play their games (or even having to use Steam to play any Valve game). That’s a strange position for sure, something applies to EA but not to the others, while in the end the restrictions are basically the same with all of them.

    #11 12 months ago
  12. SplatteredHouse

    Yes, there’s, but I feel that the games playing experience is enhanced by, and the GUI of that is seamless.

    When it comes to Uplay, I wasn’t in favour of it at first, but they made changes and they offered a number of games that I was interested in. Comparatively, my usage of Origin is minor.
    When I use it the experience wasn’t good, and to switch over to play the one game when there are SO many other options, Origin would have to prove it was worth it. It hasn’t. It stands as a hindrance against playing the EA titles that insist on its use.

    #12 12 months ago
  13. FlyBoogy

    There are two option:

    a) the world will realy react to the player race and close some option entirely(or open new ones) like old CRPG used to do

    b) the fact that the player has a not so popular race will be mentioned in conversations but will have no impact what so ever on the players options in the world like Skyrim for example

    And it the writers are the only ones that are affected by the players choice of race I think its prety clear wich one it will be

    #13 12 months ago
  14. TheWulf


    It could also be that, unlike Steam, Origin is a poorly programmed piece of shit that only the computer illiterate would leave running all the time. Let alone all of the unauthorised scanning it does on a regular basis — and though I don’t have too much of a problem with that, it does put a drag on any system when it happens.

    It’d be like a virus scanner that runs scans at irregular intervals, without asking you, and without having any kind of configuration for said scanning. So the scans occur even while you’re playing games, resulting in stutter due to ridiculous levels of HDD accessing.

    Everything it does, and how it does it, is wrong.

    There should be a button somewhere that I can press to have it scan for things, it shouldn’t do so on its own, it shouldn’t go ploughing through active memory and across my HDD without even notifying me. And yes, I can tell when a program is doing this (it’s fairly obvious if you know how your computer works).

    The only time Steam does this is with VAC protected games, and you’re notified of VAC protection. At all other times, Steam does not do this. And what’s worse is that the VAC scanning is nowhere near as intensive or hungry as Origin’s scans.

    So, no. This has nothing to do with your idiom, but more to do with being computer literate enough to object to how EA does things.

    Edit: On top of that, I’ve had no end of issues with the Origin overlay. My ASUS Republic of Gamers laptop (which is hardly lacking) has never had any issues with any other game or piece of software, and I can keep multiple games/instances of software open at the same time as I like varied distractions. Despite this, the only thing that’s ever given me a bluescreen in the history of gaming on this laptop is the Origin overlay.

    And I’m not the only one. It’s a known issue. It’s also a known issue for the overlay to just suddenly stop working in games like Mass Effect 3, which interferes with the multiplayer capabilities.

    Origin may be shinier and fancifully polished in that special Apple sort of way that large swathes of humankind has been programmed to like (thanks, marketing), but as a competent computer program it fails on every single level. Give me Steam any day of the week, I don’t want Apple software, I want software that actually works.

    #14 12 months ago
  15. Dendroball

    @14 I would be glad to get a link or anything that back up your unauthorized scanning claims (what does it scan exactly ?) because for sure I must be that computer illiterate, as you said, to leave it running on my computer and not noticing any major drag on my system (just looking at the moment, in its idle state it takes up around 34MB of RAM and around 90MB when fully opened which is more or less what Steam is using also, and also no scanning whatsoever and no CPU dragging). As computer illiterate as I may be, I fail to see the horrors you’re describing, so maybe the client has been patched and it’s working fine now. At least try to keep up with the state of the client before making such definitive statements.

    #15 12 months ago
  16. Luciferous

    @15 you summed up what I was going to reply.

    All I hear is the same anti EA twaddle masked as more specific Origin hating. as far as I’m concerned my rig has never been hindered by Origin, but as #14 said, he likes to open every program and it’s offspring to run on his laptop… and then blame the program that probably has the least impact on system resources.

    Obviously EA are out to get us all!

    I would love to see the proof of Origin’s scanning, though.

    #16 12 months ago
  17. Inspectre

    He talks as if Mass Effect 1 didn’t happen. wtf.

    The DA team seems to follow the ME teams design choices, trying to latch on to that success.

    Also, I’m looking forward to the new IP, and not looking forward to the new Mass Effect.

    … I need sleep.

    #17 12 months ago
  18. Mineral4r7s

    I don’t get all the fuzz about Origin. Its not like EA is making any games that are worth playing.

    #18 12 months ago
  19. Hybridpsycho

    How about BioWare learn how “Choice matters” actually works. Their “choices” and “consequences” are simple minded and retarded.

    Wish they would learn some from CD Projekt Red or never say the phrase “choice matters” ever again.

    Although im kind of looking forward to DA3, hoping they will redeem themselves for the shitpile that was DA2.

    EDIT: Also I forgot to laugh at TheWulf post #14

    Steam is just as trash as Origin. They do the same kind of “Scanning”, although it’s not as much as you seem to think it is and its coding is terrible. You sound like the people who complained about Steam when it was released. People only accept steam because it has good deals and has been there forever, it’s still a pile of shit.

    #19 12 months ago

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