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New info & articles

posted Oct 3, 2014, 1:26 PM by Princess Stabbity   [ updated Oct 3, 2014, 1:26 PM ]
Some new information and articles that have come out over the last few days (not including the Crafting & Customization Q&A and videos linked in other news posts):

The Gamers Hub: Interview: The Art And Inspiration Of Dragon Age Inquisition
BSN User Ferico21 with some spoilers from an art workshop in Edmonton

from the AusGamers article, someone had a question on the forums:

For armour, a lot of people looked at our inventory screen and went "wow there's only one slot for armour and one slot for helmets, where's my gloves and my legs?" And they're actually incorporated into the armour. So you can find and craft different arms and different legs and insert them into the suit of armour to change its look and improve its stats again.

Cameron Lee on October 3, 2014 12:42 PM answers:

Here's a pic of what I mean by that.

You can see on the right that there's an arm and leg slot. This picture is someone modifying an existing suit of armor to include new arms, hence the list of arms on the left which they are picking from. Arms and legs can be added to armor as many times as you like and they change the look and stats of the final suit of armor. Arm and leg upgrades can be found, bought or crafted, just like hilts, blades and other types of upgrades for weapons which use the same type of modification system.

A question about mounts from Twitter:

Hi, Mr.Mike, what if you encounter some enemies while riding a horse? Do you have to get off of your mount?
Mike Laidlaw ‏@Mike_Laidlaw
If they damage you enough, you will be knocked off. If are not damaged, you ride past.

On the Warden appearing or not:

David Gaider
October 1, 2014 - 1:40 PM

It's been stated elsewhere, but I'll just say it again:

All we've said is that you won't see your DAO Warden appear in-game.

That does not mean he/she is not mentioned. It does not mean he/she is not in any way involved in the story, or that you won't find out what happened to him/her with regards to the "disappearance". It also doesn't mean that any of these things definitely will happen either, of course, but to assume the lack because it's not stated outright doesn't really follow. We're not going to re-assure you further, other than to let you play the game and find out for yourselves.

If the suggestion is that saying the DAO Warden went missing at the end of DA2 meant implying they would play a larger role in the sequel, however, as in that they would appear in person...sorry if someone finds that disappointing, but as cool as that might (potentially) have been, I don't think that follows either.

We collect a lot of information on the choices in previous games to let you build a consistent world state, and those choices will play into DAI in various ways. That's all I'll really say on the topic.

On Healing in the game:

Lukas Kristjanson
30 September 2014 - 05:18 PM

A lot of people are picturing trying to play DAO/2 with no heals. Of course that wouldn't work, those games weren't balanced for that. But how well were they balanced with heals, really? I'm not a numbers guy, but I like a good fight. And here's what made it make sense for me.

There's a very simple reason why this is a good decision, and it's also why the balance in DAO/2 was all over the map. It's in the question "How many health points does a player have?" Because we need to know this before we can design an encounter and know how balanced it is.

So, how many HP? Well, we'd hope it starts with "somewhere between the minimum for a mage and the max for a warrior, varied based on party makeup." Okay, good place to start. That's a real number. We can build encounters that do somewhere within that range of total damage + effects.

Now add in healing. How many HP does the player have? "Somewhere between the minimum for a mage and the max for a warrior, plus somewhere between the minimum and maximum number of healing spells/potions and between the min/max of their mana/potions."

Okay, how much HP is that exactly? Since potions restore mana, and potions also restored HP, the actual number of potential HP was somewhere between the minimum for a mage and the total amount of gold you had available to spend on potions. And the later in the game it was, the more the top reached astronomical numbers. And so the greatest power the player had in previous games was not any one of their abilities, it was the ability to make the number of HP impossible to estimate.

And to counter effectively infinite HP, "balance" meant we needed to hit the player with far more potential damage than their characters could withstand, and do it all but instantly. In effect, replacing HP damage (unknown limits) with death/resurrection (known limits). Or we had to stop them from chaining potions, meaning more enemies that put them to sleep or confused them, or otherwise made the player not able to take action. Alpha strikes and crowd control, neither of which were tactics that were fun to face again and again, because they "balanced" by removing actions, by removing control.

Now in Inquisition, by reducing healing, by actually defining HP to a range that can have real numbers in it, we can better balance encounters. And no, players can't rely on chaining potions. So what do they get instead?

Abilities/gear/choices that actually have an effect on the battle that is greater than infinite health on your belt. And because your greatest ability isn't chugging potions, we need less effects that shut you down. You spend more time in control of your characters making more varied decisions to have a greater effect on the flow of the battle. You have regen from spells and potions and gear. You have effects you can craft that grant health on enemy deaths. You have damage mitigation through abilities and buffs and crafting. Limiting health and balancing enemies accordingly makes more tactical choices viable while keeping the challenge.

Does this make it more difficult? On Nightmare, Well, you asked for a challenge, and you'll have one that you can overcome in many more viable ways than previously possible.

But what about Easy? Well, last weekend, on Easy/Casual, starting the game with a mage and me not saying a word, my seven year old played for two hours that included many battles, including rifts and beating the crap out of a low level Pride demon. No party wipes. I covered his ears once.

I think you'll be fine.