Dragon Age: Dreadwolf

Antimatter

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We had a small thread where @dmwyvern (btw, how have you been doing?) shared his Dragon Age playthroughs, but I think it's time for a separate topic, now when the next Dragon Age received its title.

In today's blog, BioWare announced Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and said the game won’t be releasing this year.

Fans of the series will know the Dreadwolf is a reference to Solas. Without going into spoilers, Solas was a magical party member and potential love interest in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Probably it was a good idea on my part to actually try and complete Inquisition romancing Solas. Seems I have a lot of time for that. ;)

“Solas, the Dread Wolf. Some say he might be an ancient elven god, but some say not,” the blog says. “Others say a betrayer of his people… or a savior who now seeks to rescue them at the cost of your world. His motives are inscrutable and his methods sometimes questionable, earning him a reputation as something of a trickster deity — a player of dark and dangerous games.”

Credit: EA, BioWare

BioWare says that using Solas’s namesake “no doubt suggests a spectrum of endless possibilities of where things may go. But at the core of this, like every past game, is you.”

Solas has been teased for the next Dragon Age game since 2018, but BioWare says veterans and newcomers to the franchise will get their chance to meet the Dread Wolf in due time.
 

alice_ashpool

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Joking aside though, I very disliked Inquisition's fusion of rpg with the trend of "meaningless objective filled open world with light rpg-elements" The "Thou shalt tick off objectives" of gameplay, coupled with lack of investment in Coriolanus or who-ever, and exactly the same "rift closing" combat encounter over and over again. I felt they did not know where they were going so it ended up being pseudo-assassins creed endless objective ticking. Stopped playing after about 10 hours of tedium.

I hope they make some radical changes to the DA2-DA3 formula. But I won't be surprised if the corpse of bioware fails to spontaneously generate new life.
 

BelgarathMTH

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Joking aside though, I very disliked Inquisition's fusion of rpg with the trend of "meaningless objective filled open world with light rpg-elements" The "Thou shalt tick off objectives" of gameplay, coupled with lack of investment in Coriolanus or who-ever, and exactly the same "rift closing" combat encounter over and over again. I felt they did not know where they were going so it ended up being pseudo-assassins creed endless objective ticking. Stopped playing after about 10 hours of tedium.

I hope they make some radical changes to the DA2-DA3 formula. But I won't be surprised if the corpse of bioware fails to spontaneously generate new life.
I finally bought Inquisition since it's on sale at Steam for $8 USD, and I started the tutorial just to get a feel for it. It won't let me map movement to the mouse, which is going to make it a pain for me to control. I can use the arrow keys to move, which I do for Might and Magic games, but I also need to control all the abilities on my num pad, which means even that adjusted control scheme is going to be very awkward for me, with needing to move my left hand fingers back and forth between arrow key movement and num pad ability control.

I might be able to get used to it with some practice, but the game needs to be awfully good to incentivize me. Given that I'm really busy gaming-wise with Elder Scrolls right now, it will be a long time, if ever, before I give it a fair try. But good grief, those PC controls put me off. Who thought it was a good idea to take away mouse movement from a Dragon Age game?
 

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I finally bought Inquisition since it's on sale at Steam for $8 USD, and I started the tutorial just to get a feel for it. It won't let me map movement to the mouse, which is going to make it a pain for me to control. I can use the arrow keys to move, which I do for Might and Magic games, but I also need to control all the abilities on my num pad, which means even that adjusted control scheme is going to be very awkward for me, with needing to move my left hand fingers back and forth between arrow key movement and num pad ability control.

I might be able to get used to it with some practice, but the game needs to be awfully good to incentivize me. Given that I'm really busy gaming-wise with Elder Scrolls right now, it will be a long time, if ever, before I give it a fair try. But good grief, those PC controls put me off. Who thought it was a good idea to take away mouse movement from a Dragon Age game?
Totally reasonable. I would recommend looking here: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/602134/#Comment_602134

I would also recommend managing only your main character and leaving everyone else to their AI (which you can set up). Put the difficulty on normal, and you'll be fine.
 

BelgarathMTH

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Antimatter

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Thanks, I read your post from the old forum. That advice might be enough to incentivize me to keep trying. I'll keep it in mind.
I know @Cahir had problems with staying in Inquisition as well. It just happens for some people. But I know there is a good game there, under a few layers of unneeded stuff and stuff you can ignore. If you run into blockers or problems, let me know, I'll try to provide some tips on how to make the gameplay smoother.
 

Nimran

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My disdain for what Dragon Age has become can be explained with two simple words: less options. Less skills, less spells, less…everything that mattered. Less options. Graphics don’t impress me. Open worlds don’t impress me. Single-player MMO-like gameplay doesn’t impress me. You know what does impress me? Options. Taking in-depth character customization options away for any of those things mentioned above is a cardinal sin, in my opinion.

Characters in DA:O, especially mages, had so many options to choose from. I played the heck out of that game, trying out all the different spells and skills that made each of my different play-throughs unique. In DA2, I played through it once and was done, because there was only one way I wanted to play the game.

DA:I was a disappointing slog. Some areas were just too big (Hissing Wastes as one example), and the story stopped being interesting about halfway through. By far the worst part, however, was the lack of good options for character builds. Mages in particular were basically reduced to “which color laser beams do you want to shoot”. I don’t know, I’m not feeling it this time, unless BioWare somehow reverses their design trends (doubt it).
 

BelgarathMTH

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My disdain for what Dragon Age has become can be explained with two simple words: less options. Less skills, less spells, less…everything that mattered. Less options. Graphics don’t impress me. Open worlds don’t impress me. Single-player MMO-like gameplay doesn’t impress me. You know what does impress me? Options. Taking in-depth character customization options away for any of those things mentioned above is a cardinal sin, in my opinion.

Characters in DA:O, especially mages, had so many options to choose from. I played the heck out of that game, trying out all the different spells and skills that made each of my different play-throughs unique. In DA2, I played through it once and was done, because there was only one way I wanted to play the game.

DA:I was a disappointing slog. Some areas were just too big (Hissing Wastes as one example), and the story stopped being interesting about halfway through. By far the worst part, however, was the lack of good options for character builds. Mages in particular were basically reduced to “which color laser beams do you want to shoot”. I don’t know, I’m not feeling it this time, unless BioWare somehow reverses their design trends (doubt it).
I was disappointed in my first short sampling of the tutorial that I couldn't play a healer like I wanted to. Healing isn't even a thing any more in DA:I as far as spellcasters go. They want you to spam potions like an action RPG, which I thought was a serious move away from the spirit of DA:O.

In DA:O, opportunities to roleplay a healer abound. You can play as a student of healing with Wynne to teach you, and there's even a prestige class for it.

I really can relate to what you're saying about streamlining a game franchise like Dragon Age being a bad thing. The "evolution" (more like devolution) of the Dragon Age franchise reflects an overall trend in all of gaming that I find unfortunate. It's very rare I find any new game I enjoy, because most of them follow the trend of streamlining options. The currently dominant development philosophy seems to be that players today want a game to just tell them what to do, or to only have a choice between one or two things at level ups.

I'm not saying it's an easy balance to find, because I also don't enjoy games with *too many* choices, especially when some of them are traps that lead to completely ineffective characters. I was put off by Owlcat's Pathfinder games in part because of that.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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I was disappointed in my first short sampling of the tutorial that I couldn't play a healer like I wanted to. Healing isn't even a thing any more in DA:I as far as spellcasters go. They want you to spam potions like an action RPG, which I thought was a serious move away from the spirit of DA:O.

In DA:O, opportunities to roleplay a healer abound. You can play as a student of healing with Wynne to teach you, and there's even a prestige class for it.

I really can relate to what you're saying about streamlining a game franchise like Dragon Age being a bad thing. The "evolution" (more like devolution) of the Dragon Age franchise reflects an overall trend in all of gaming that I find unfortunate. It's very rare I find any new game I enjoy, because most of them follow the trend of streamlining options. The currently dominant development philosophy seems to be that players today want a game to just tell them what to do, or to only have a choice between one or two things at level ups.

I'm not saying it's an easy balance to find, because I also don't enjoy games with *too many* choices, especially when some of them are traps that lead to completely ineffective characters. I was put off by Owlcat's Pathfinder games in part because of that.
Huh. Until your last sentence, I was going to suggest Pathfinder games (especially WotR, as I remember you weren't too happy with Kingmaker, and many people will confirm that the second game does it better), but it seems that defining "not enough choices" and "too many choices" and the comfort zone that lies between them is something very subjective, and the gap can be very narrow for some people. I was wondering what draws some people to continuing to play the same old games, but of course if you can't enjoy the story anymore because you're upset with gameplay mechanics, it gets complicated.

I haven't played DA2 and DA:I yet, I'll share my opinion about the changes and my experience with them when the time comes.
For now, I appreciate any new RPG that's being made, simply for the fact that RPGs are still made and there must be good ones among them.
 

Mirandel

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To be fair, Bioware (EA, actually) had a reason for the switch. Bethesda's games have an excuse for a plot yet selling so well. Plus the metrics, that prove that not so many people even finish the plot-heavy games. BW was trying to lean heavier on gameplay (not their thing at all!) and it had to come with a cost.
BW is (was) very famous among RPG-fans, but that is not the largest part of the gamers. What is good for Owlcats - a relatively small studio - might not be enough for a part of EA. Unfortunately.
 

Nimran

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I understand why they do it, but that doesn’t really change my opinion. I’m old enough and wise enough to understand that I’m just not part of their target demographic anymore. Conversely, I don’t have to care about them either, so I won’t. It’s better for my wallet that way, at least :).

To be clear, I’m not trying to make a political statement about it. I’m not here to tell people not to get the next DA. I’m just saying that I personally won’t be getting it, and explaining why.
 

BelgarathMTH

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Huh. Until your last sentence, I was going to suggest Pathfinder games (especially WotR, as I remember you weren't too happy with Kingmaker, and many people will confirm that the second game does it better), but it seems that defining "not enough choices" and "too many choices" and the comfort zone that lies between them is something very subjective, and the gap can be very narrow for some people. I was wondering what draws some people to continuing to play the same old games, but of course if you can't enjoy the story anymore because you're upset with gameplay mechanics, it gets complicated.

I haven't played DA2 and DA:I yet, I'll share my opinion about the changes and my experience with them when the time comes.
For now, I appreciate any new RPG that's being made, simply for the fact that RPGs are still made and there must be good ones among them.
So, I stumbled across this video that perfectly makes the point about what I would consider "too much choice" in character building. It's hilarious and hits the nail right on the head.
 

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Gary McKay, BioWare's General Manager, has shared that Dragon Age: Dreadwolf had reached the Alpha milestone.

"For the first time, we can experience the entire game, from the opening scenes of the first mission to the very end. We can see, hear, feel, and play everything as a cohesive experience.

Of course, the game is not finished by any means, but Alpha is one of the most important game development milestones for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we can now turn our sights toward bringing the visual fidelity to its final form and iterating on gameplay features. The big question now is, “Where do we focus our efforts?” To answer that, we solicit feedback from a number of sources, including our Community Council members who each have unique perspectives and experiences, our quality verification team, and extensive internal playtesting. Gathering feedback from multiple sources gives us the greatest insight on where we need to spend more time improving the experience.

Additionally, we can now evaluate the game's pacing, how relationships evolve over time, and the player’s progression, as well as narrative cohesion—essentially how the story comes together. We can take the story we’ve written and see if we’re expressing it well through the characters, dialogue, cinematics, and ultimately, the player’s journey. Now that we have the ability to do a complete playthrough, we can iterate and polish on the things that matter most to our fans.

Hitting Alpha was the culmination of so much effort from the entire team and we used this milestone as an opportunity to come together and celebrate. We held a hybrid-style event with people onsite while others joined remotely and the team showcased their work to everyone at BioWare. We even took some time to do something fun and non-work related—a virtual escape room where we had to work together to help someone on camera find their way out. It was a really great time, and no matter where our devs are, it's important to share these types of moments together".

 

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Sounds more and more likely that in order to enjoy Dreadwolf, they want players to play Inquisition (as all those characters are from that game). This is a big change compared to, say DA II and DA: Origins. Not that we didn't have nice cameos or easter eggs, or even choices imported, but if I haven't played Inquisition, I would be very uncomfortable reading all this. The famous FOMO as they say (Fear of missing out).

And considering I have never actually finished Inquisition and its DLC (and the DLC is especially important for the context of this new game's plot), I kinda want to do that now. Well, not immediately now, but definitely before Dreadwolf arrives, or its marketing campaign starts fully.
 

Antimatter

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On February 4, a Reddit user by the name u/revanchisto shared purported screenshots and a brief gameplay clip of Dragon Age sequel, Dreadwolf. They have since taken their images and video down, but you can still see some of them live on Twitter from user mintsoir, as well as shared by the author Felipe Pepe:



The extant gameplay clip and screenshots show an elf warrior rocking a sword and board fighting through a stone vault. The UI indicates that this is Weisshaupt Fortress, the legendary home base of the Grey Wardens in the Anderfels, far to the north of Origins' Ferelden. This is surprising, but also not too far away from Dreadwolf's previously-confirmed setting of Tevinter.



 

WarChiefZeke

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Reminder that it has been 8+ years since the release of Inquisition. There were 2-3 year gaps between each game before. How many people are still really invested? The time to capitalize on the Dragon Age name has long since come and gone imho. Not only that, but the fact that it was a multiplayer game later retooled into single player more than halfway through development practically guarantees it will be a failure on the gameplay front. And Bioware is far from the storytelling giant it used to be. I was once the biggest fan of Dragon Age, but I can't bring myself to care at all about this.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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More than 8 years since the last game also means different people will be working on it with different tools, gameplay is described as "a bit more like Diablo" and with Dragon Age: Absolution there's an animated series in the same universe, so it seems they're out to gather new fans for a new concept instead of simply continuing where they left.
It may or may not work, but I remain curious at least (but also haven't finished DA2 and Inquisition yet).
 
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