What I want from Dragon Age 3

Many know of my incessant love for all things Mass Effect.  Shepherd, Wrex, Liara and Garrus are all staples in my regular conversation.  Just recently Bioware asked it’s community on the forums what it wants from Dragon Age 3.  Here are a few of my responses.

No load times

This 2007 trope permeate through each and every bioware game this generation.  From Mass Effect’s elevators to the static facts about Kirkwall, Bioware’s technological proficiency should allow Dragon Age to bypass the loading screen.  With sprawling games like Skyrim and Kingdoms of Amalur: Recokining, another EA-published title, minimizing load times, there should be many ways Bioware can address this issue.

Voiced Codex

This feature alone made Mass Effect infinitely more interesting.  The draw of the lore is what makes Dragon Age and having someone read it to would make it better.  Then, if these entries could be cued up while exploring, players would have no reason, or desire, to stop.

Main channel voiced audio (lose the directional sound)

Dolby 5.1 surround sound is awesome watching a movie.  Isolated voiced dialogue into direction-based surround sound channels is not fun.  I having to face and center an NPC who’s talking to me just so can hear them clearly.

Kinect/Voice Integration

I truly appreciated Kinect implementation in Mass Effect 3.  Even Bethesda took notice of voice integration and patched the functionality into Skyrim four months after release.  If headset voice support was included in the game, that could boost Voice integration’s overall possible consumer base (those who own a gaming headset don’t necessarily own a Kinect).  While it is a novel idea, the resources required to implement this feature are likely far greater that its benefits.

 Legacy Decisions

I wanted decisions from Dragon Age 1 to return and bite me in Dragon Age 2 but that never happened.  Some interesting events unfolded in both games but it appears the story I wanted to weave was not important.  Please build in a decision-consequence system that permeated the Mass Effect series and made it the best gaming series ever. I want my decision to make babies with Morrigan to really matter.

Massively related

While the Kasumi DLC in Mass Effect 2 whispered the notion that the Dragon Age and Mass Effect universes are related, imagine the intricate possibilities of the universes existing on the same plane.. Because of the two vastly different time periods and settings, this dichotomy is perfect.  To have these two 7th generation IPs related would be astonishing.  Write it in Bioware.  I know Laidlaw can help make it happen.

Gucci Helm

Custom armor for other members in my party must return.  As nice as Isabella looked in her Rogues costume, I remember a few Mage Robes she would have broken, and possibly stabbed, a few hearts in.

New Locales

I think this was the most popular gripe about the game.  With many different quests taking place in the same dungeons, the grinding in Dragon Age 2 became tautologous.  New locations for each story beat combined with the  possibility of returning to a locale from our Dragon Age origin story would be fantastic.

Open World & New Game+ upon completion

The combat in Dragon Age 2 never tired.  If I could have returned to Dragon Age 2 and completed my outstanding sidequests or rolled a character, I would have been in heaven.  However, when I saved Kirkwall, I couldn’t even attend my own victory parade.  Hawke stayed walled up in Hawk Estates until DLC let me out.  That is not a good end-game strategy

Beautify the fast travel system, keep the voiced main character, and add a timer to decision tree. If Bioware just handles a few of these changes, Dragon Age will be king of the fantasy RPG heap once again.