If ever there was a theme for BioWare this week it would absolutely be damage control. After first announcing DLC that would appease Mass Effect 3 fans disappointed by the game's ending, the developer is now vowing to improve upon its other key franchise Dragon Age.
Earlier this year the developer said that they would be factoring in fan criticism and suggestions into their development process, but as far as specifics they wouldn’t give any. Speaking at PAX East today, however, Mike Laidlaw revealed three key areas that would be changed/improved for Dragon Age III.
The first change is one that directly connects with the problems that gamers had with Dragon Age II: the reuse of levels. Though BioWare had created a rich world of diverse characters, the levels in which those characters inhabited were fairly derivative of each other.
In fact, most of the game's dungeons were reused several times, with only key areas being unlocked based on a given mission. As Laidlaw explains, BioWare is "looking for variety, space, and scope."
Another new feature promised for Dragon Age III will be the ability to equip your party members with their own unique items, or at least ones that tailor to their design and skill set. For example, when the same type of armor is placed on on a Warden it will look much different than if it was placed on a Seeker.
Laidlaw also dropped a hint that suggested customization of armor for party members might go much further — allowing the player to add color and change material.
The final, and perhaps biggest, change coming to Dragon Age III will be decisions that matter. BioWare has always been a developer who prides themselves on actions with consequences, but typically the extent of those consequences isn't felt so in an impactful way. Part of that comes from Dragon Age 1 and 2 being so disconnected, but also it has to do with the story that is created.
It definitely appears that BioWare knows where they want to go with Dragon Age III, and they hope to include fans in the developmental process as it progresses. Each of these three improvements should put them on the right track, and might even completely redeem the franchise if done well.
Which of the three new improvements for Dragon Age III are you most excited for BioWare to implement? Is there any other glaring issue with the previous Dragon Age games that you feel needs to be addressed?