Dragon Age is a world where our decisions matter. And in order for Inquisition and any following games to know what our character's past decisions were, we need a way to import them at the beginning of a new game. But what if you change from an Xbox to a PC? Or upgrade your 360 to an Xbox One? Or (Maker forbid), lose all your saves?
Enter the Dragon Age Keep
The Dragon Age Keep is how all our decisions from prior games will be included in new Dragon Age games. It's not an import system itself, but a way to tell our Warden's and our Hawke's stories so that Inquisition can include them. Who did we choose to put on Ferelden's throne? Who killed the Archdemon? Did our Hawke side with the mages or the templars? All of these, and hundreds of other decisions, are saved online in a web site application and made ready for import. All of our hero's attributes, details about the companions, who our hero romanced, which quests we finished and what we chose in them are all taken into account by the Keep. This world state can then be imported by Inquisition on any platform.
If someone is new to Dragon Age, the Keep will have information about the world of Thedas and the events of the past games so that they can learn about the world and the lore. A new person can fill out their own world state if they wish, or opt to use a default world state when they start Inquisition.
If you're going to play Dragon Age: Inquisition, you're going to want to use the Dragon Age Keep.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a "beta"?
Software goes through a development cycle, and different stages of that cycle have names like Alpha, Beta, and GM (Gold or Gold Master). Each software company has different standards for when a project hits those stages, but Bioware determines Alpha as being Feature Complete (all features are in). Beta, at many companies, means that the features are not set in stone but are ready to be tested by people outside of the company. At this stage, many companies invite people to test the software to help expose any bugs they may have missed and to give feedback on the overall product. At this point in development, there is still time to fix bugs or change a feature based on feedback, but the main functionality is finished. This is where the term "beta test" or "beta testers" comes from.
When a software product is declared "Gold" or GM, it means it's ready for deployment or sale. The Keep will never be done, however; it's meant to be used for many games to come, so they will be expanding and adding to it as time goes on.
It means that everyone is welcome to use it. Most, if not all, functionality exists and works but there may be a bug here or there that they need to fix. If you see any issues in the Keep, please report them using the Beta Feedback tool in the upper right corner of the Keep Tapestry.
How will the Keep record our decisions?
We will log into the Keep web site and choose them. We'll have what's called a "world state," which is the state of Thedas after our Warden ended the Fifth Blight, then after the Kirkwall Chantry blew up and our Hawke rid Kirkwall of Meredith. We will set the stage for Inquisition by verifying the choices made in both games and creating one world state from them. That world state is what will be imported by Inquisition.
Does this mean Inquisition has to stay logged in while I play?
No. The world state will be imported very early in the game, and for that you will need to be online and logged into your Origin account; after that, you can play offline as long as you wish. If you want your decisions from Inquisition to be reflected in that world state in the Keep, you can either log back in and play for a bit so it has a chance to upload your choices, or choose them manually in the Keep.
Why is the Keep a good thing?
But I made a perfect run-through of both games to have my perfect saves! I can't use them?
There is a remote possibility that game save files will be able to be imported into the Keep to start/create a world state; however, the devs are only looking into the possibility at this time. Besides, with the bugs in the prior import system, it would be possible to import those same bugs into Inquisition this way, and that's a major problem they are trying to avoid. Bugged imports mean players don't get the content that matches their decisions, and nobody wants that.
You will be able to recreate your perfect saves with the Keep. To make sure you remember all your prior decisions, you could always load up the games and look at your quest journal to verify what decision you made, and then enter that in the Keep. There are also save game viewers for looking at prior choices and The Dialogue Wheel's Keep Companion for looking up quest information.
What will the Keep cost?
Nothing - The Keep is free. The only things you'll need are an internet connection, an Origin login, and time enough to set up your world states.
Can we have multiple world states? I have 27 play-throughs!
Yes, we can have multiple world states. It is unknown at this time how many we'll actually end up being able to have, but "multiple" is definite. Right now the maximum is 10.
Even if there is a low maximum number, we can always adjust one of the world states we've already made in preparation for our next play-through.
What if I don't remember a certain decision the Keep asks about?
If you don't remember a quest at all, the Keep will have help in some form to remind you either what the quest was about, who was involved, or what the end result was. If you don't remember what you decided, you can either load up a prior save in the game and look at your quest journal, or just choose one based on what the Keep says the result of the decision is. You could also look the quest up on the Dragon Age Wiki to get more information and context if you need more than what the Keep provides.
There are a couple of save game viewers that you can use to list your game decisions.
The Dialogue Wheel's Keep Companion is also a good place to check out for quest information specific to the Keep. Do a search for your quest at the top of the page.
Will the Keep include decisions made in the DLC? What if I don't have or have never played the DLC?
The Keep will include some, if not all, of those decisions. You can still enter decisions for them even if you did not own or play them.
When can we start setting up our world states?
Now! The Keep is in Open Beta, meaning you can log in and set up your world states. There may be the occasional odd bug or fluke but it is mostly ready. If you do see any issues in the Keep, please report them using the Beta Feedback tool in the upper right corner of the Keep Tapestry.
If the Keep is still in Beta, is there a risk of our world states being wiped out?
The team has said they do not think it is likely. They have not had to do this yet and do not think they will need to.
What if I don't want to enter all my decisions, and just get right to playing Inquisition?
There is a default world state that can be imported without you having to create your own. This is the same world state that will be used for someone new to the games who starts with Inquisition. The default Warden from Origins is a Dalish elf who did not do the Dark Ritual and died killing the Archdemon, and Alistair is king. Default Mage Hawke from Dragon Age 2 sided with the mages. I don't have any information on any of the other decisions for the default world state.
If you want to fill out some of the decisions but not all, you can do that, too. There will be a default for each decision you don't make yourself - people who don't want to worry about things they perceive as "minor" may wish to only mark the major decisions and leave the rest at default.
What if I modded my copy of Dragon Age?
The Keep will only accommodate decisions from the vanilla game.
Some questions answered directly by @DragonAgeKeep on Twitter:
Q: will there be mobile access to the keep?
A: Yes, the Keep will be accessible on mobile devices and tablets!
Q: Will it be an app or just web based?
A: Web based, but it will work on mobile.
Q: Can I delete a world state after I play Inquisition with it? That would give me infinite playthroughs!
A: You can delete world states, yes.
Update: The ability to delete Inquisition world states is coming in a future update to the Keep.
Q: How will i be able tell the difference between the different world saves when importing into the game?
A: You can name each world state and add a description, so you should be able to tell which is which :)
Regarding Keep syncing
I'm confused about all this syncing. Who syncs what, where?
If you played Dragon Age: Origins and/or Dragon Age 2, these games sync your character data and story to the old Bioware Social Network (BSN). The Keep will sync with the old BSN to pull over a subset of that data to give a starting point on creating a world state.
Game -->[character data and story]--> Old BSN -->[only character data]--> Keep
What exactly does the Keep sync from the old Bioware Social Network?
Some information can be brought into the Keep from the old BSN if you want (this is completely up to you) - your character's name, portrait, class, race and achievements. The decisions of that Warden or Hawke will not be transferred - that is what you will enter into the Keep when you create your world state.
In regards to the portrait that will be imported:
Dragon Age Keep @DragonAgeKeep
To further clarify: It's just the 2D images of your Warden/Hawke that are uploaded to the Keep, as avatars for your heroes.
I'm having trouble syncing my saves from my game to the old Bioware Social Network, what can I do to troubleshoot?
See this page for help troubleshooting.
For more information and updates, follow the Dragon Age Keep on Twitter @DragonAgeKeep