Fans have been eagerly awaiting what BioWare is now calling Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, as the developers teased it at the end of Inquisition’s Trespasser DLC. However, seven years after the release of Trespasser, there are many unanswered questions about the upcoming game. Among them is whether Dragon Age: Dreadwolf will be able to continue the tradition of Origin Stories and how.
Although Origins was present in both Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age Inquisition, each game solved them completely differently, and some felt that Inquisition’s Origins left much to be desired. However, fully playable prologues of the original game also represent a significant investment of time and money that developers may find impractical. However, there are ways Dragon Age: Dreadwolf can improve Inquisition’s Origins without breaking the budget.
Origins in Dragon Age: The Inquisition
The origin of the characters did not play such a significant role in Dragon Age: Inquisition, as in Origins, and it is clear why some fans were not impressed with this version of the function. For Dragon Age, there is one character each: elves from Inquisition, dwarves and a new game kunari, and people get a backstory of either a magician or a nobleman. Instead of a game prologue, players will receive a summary of their character’s backstory, followed by a short chain of War Table missions later in the game.
However, these missions are easy to miss, especially for those who didn’t like Dragon Age: War Table from Inquisition. Also, unlike other choices in “Dragon Age: Inquisition”, the outcome of these missions does not have a significant impact on the rest of the game, even if it seems like it should. For example, the entire clan of the Elven Inquisitor may die during one of the Missions of the Inquisition Battle Table, but this will remain completely unnoticed by either him or any other main character. Limiting Origin Stories to text fields also makes them less important and personal than in the original game.
Origins in Dragon Age: Origins
Compared to Inquisition, it’s easy to see why some might prefer the Dragon Age: Origins game prologues. The choice of Dragon Age races and classes determined which of the six different initial chapters he could choose. These prologues helped establish various locations, people, concepts, and plot points for further use in the game, with each Origin having at least one point where it intersects with the main story. During these scenes, players receive Origin-related dialogues in addition to the added context provided by each of the six prologues. These origin stories are also great for role players as they give them context to build their character’s personality.
However, the Dragon Age: Origins approach also presents a lot of content that not every player will see. Although BioWare can get away with reusing resources and sometimes entire locations for some Origins, it still takes time and money to encode and record dialogs for each of them. In addition to this, 80% of Dragon Age: Origins players chose human characters according to a comment by former Dragon Age screenwriter David Geider on the now defunct BioWare social network. This means that relatively few people have experienced all six prologues. Thus, it may not make sense to allocate so many resources to Origin Stories instead of working on other parts of the game.
What Dragon Age: Dreadwolf could Do
Assuming that a fully playable in-game prologue is out of the question, there are still a few options that could allow Dragon Age: Dreadwolf to improve Inquisition’s Origins. In fact, some of these features have already been implemented by BioWare in some of its early games.
The easiest option is to follow the example of Mass Effect. For those who don’t remember, in Mass Effect, players determined Shepard’s backstory by choosing a backstory and psychological profile during character creation. They will open and significantly change some side quests in Mass Effect 1, and all of them will serve to concretize Shepard’s backstory. The developers were able to copy this system almost one-on-one in Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, giving players one unique quest for each race and one more depending on the character class.
Alternatively, BioWare could have shown a little more ingenuity by including Origins in the prologue of Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. For example, in the 2016 role-playing game Tyranny by Obsidian Entertainment, there was a unique interactive prologue in which players made a choice on the game’s setting map. This allowed the introduction of Tyranny to cover a significant amount of time very quickly, allowing players to decide what choices their characters made at each intersection. Although this technique may be better suited for some stories than for others, developers should think about it.