Dragon Age: Inquisition


Yeah, I just don’t care about that stuff. Dungeon Siege had this all figured out in 2002 when they gave the player a spell that turned loot into gold. Sure it’s gamey and breaks immersion but who cares?


In Soviet Russia, inventory manages YOU!


We need virtual reality games where somehow the headsets and controllers get heavier the more inventory slots you use. We MUST suffer for our immersion.


But bag tetris is one of the hallmarks of Diablo-alikes!


Btw, playing Hardcore really helped me in this regard. Suddenly, I was starting characters left and right, and I quickly got a feel for what type of loot keeps showing up for every character. Hence, it’s not something I need to save in a stash, since nearly everyone can get access to it on their own. This included lots of epic (blue) items. Once I knew they were common, I started selling them right away. So very little gets saved in my shared stash now, which solved my inventory problem.

When I was playing softcore, it was a big agonizing decision; what to store, what to throw away. Hardcore was a bit of an eye-opener. Most stuff in the game you can acquire on your own. So no need to keep stuff for other characters. They can find their own loot for the most part.


Also, I haven’t really been keeping up with Dragon Age generally speaking, but Mark Darrah tweeted that he is working on both Anthem and DA4, just in case anyone wasn’t sure DA4 wasn’t on the way (I hadn’t seen an announcement) -


We know Anthem is poisoned by open world crap, but hopefully DA4 will escape that fate.


I think it’s immersive to have things take up in-game time, since otherwise everyone is apparently teleporting around instantaneously. That needn’t necessarily translate to real-world time passage, of course.


Sure, but we were talking about real time, not in-game time. Dragon Age: Inquisitions has missions that take an hour of real time to complete.

This is obviously an artificial time gate, like you see in facebook type social games. But they have a reason to exist; users can pay money to skip the timer. DA:I is a single-player game without microtransactions, monetized by the initial purchase, so there’s no reason for thess time gates to exist. They’re just annoying.

If you put missions in the game with zero cost and don’t want players to keep pumping them out, destroying the economy, rather than making the player wait an hour for missions to finish, better to set them to instantly complete but constrain reward volumes by not spawning new missions until the player goes out and completes some quests. This isn’t brilliant game design, it’s an obvious solution to the problem. So why didn’t they do it?

My guess is EA did plan to sell “energy” microtransactions to immediately complete these time gated missions, but then wussed out. Remember this was 2014 EA, not Star Wars Battlefield 2 EA.




The open world in DA:I is boring and terrible, as was the open world in Mass Effects where you drove around a boring terrible moonscape for awhile. From what I’ve reads, the open world in Mass Effect: Andromeda is also boring and terrible. EA doesn’t make great open worlds, they’re far worse at it than Ubisoft and nowhere near the frontrunners like Rockstar and the guys that make the Witcher.

You have fun in DA:I in spite of the open world, not because of it.


OK, so you meant “poisoned by a crap open world”. Which I didn’t find to be the case in Andromeda at all, but mine is the minority opinion there. Have to get back to you about Inquisition when I finally play it. If I do, I should probably say.


The open world in ME: Andromeda is really good on most of the planets I played. Eos was really good, but the snow planet, I forget its name, was stellar. The jungle planet open world I didn’t like very much.


I haven’t played ME:A yet so I don’t have an opinion, but its open-world stuff was poorly reviewed upon release.

Much more so than DA:I, where most of the problem was the first very large boring area (the Hinterlands) where players stuck around for hours doing quests where you returned lost buffalo to farmers, killed rams to collect 10 pieces of mutton, crap like that.


yeah MEA wasn’t really open world. same ol’ gated bioware planets/zones.


I think the actual design intent behind that is that you are being actively encouraged by the timers to a) journey out into the world while that time passes instead of just micromanaging your table, and b) preferably be forced to actually switch up your party from time to time due to War Table commitments. Also, since they actually put some real content into that thing (gated, but real), they needed to make sure you couldn’t just blow through everything at once, then have to wait for more to unlock via external progression.

I can understand why they’d want to do that. You design a bunch of characters, and you don’t want players committing to a limited subset because that’s who they like, and that’s all they want to play, and you make all this content and you need to find a contextual way to gate progress on it so people don’t just min\max blow through it then say “This sucks” when there’s nothing on the War Table until you complete some arbitrarily gating mission in the narrative.

I’m not saying it was a good idea, but I get it.


Nobody in your active party has any role on the War Table.

Personally I don’t get why the timer is a big deal. Anything that actually gates main game content finishes instantly, the rest is just something to toss on the burner while you go play the real game. I did find having to go back to the castle annoying, though, mostly because the load times used to be absolutely egregious.


Oh shit, that’s right. I forgot you sent out your other Inquisition folks. Well, the remainder of the argument applies, but the intent behind is even more goofy now. I didn’t hate the timer, ever, but I always thought it a bit weird. I didn’t mind the subtle reminders to head out, but since I usually War Table’d first, by the time I did the rest of my base management, the short timers were expiring, so I’d head back over and reassign before heading out. I think they always meant for it to be the last thing you did, since it’s also where you picked where to go, right? But I wanted those juicy rewards when I got back to the castle.


Jokes aside, the timer does something really important: it stops you gorging on what is essentially a side dish to the main course. I like that the war table says, “No, no, this isn’t the meat of the game - go off on an adventure and I’ll have some little bits of theme and story for you when you’re back”. Handed out piecemeal in this way, it’s a pleasant distraction. Were I allowed to just sit and click on ‘all the things’ every time I went to the war table it would be a frustrating piece of busywork.

And that’s also really important for the war table to convey that you’re running a big complicated organisation where things happen while you’re away, not just when you’re around.

I suppose they could have added a ‘sleep for X days’ option in your bedroom to let you skip time. But that’s dull as anything. Wouldn’t you rather be adventuring to pass the time?


Shit. It WAS Soren Johnson: https://www.designer-notes.com/?p=560