Former Dragon Age Lead Writer Talks About What He Loved And Hated About Working On Dragon Age 2

Back in March, I wrote a retrospective deep dive into Dragon Age 2 and talked about how it’s a phenomenal sport buried beneath repetition and a rushed timeline. With slashed sources and an unrealistic timeline imposed on the BioWare staff by the writer, Dragon Age 2 was rife with redundant areas, glitches, and a story that was a lot shorter than that of Dragon Age Origins. Even nonetheless, the sequel managed to inform a story that had unimaginable worth and a few of the greatest character growth in video games throughout that era. Don’t consider me? Check out the deep dive here and provides me an opportunity to elucidate, however first, let’s check out what former Dragon Age lead author David Gaider needed to say. 

Gaider is somebody I’ve admired, as a author, for a very long time on this business. He is without doubt one of the staff members at BioWare that has given me a few of my most beloved characters in gaming historical past, and I like how he interacts with the followers and the group as an entire. Gaider’s strategy has all the time been extremely sincere and upfront, so once I noticed him begin tweeting about what he liked and did not love about engaged on Dragon Age 2, I instantly sat straight up and was all ears. 

It all started when Twitter consumer @MzSparky211094 requested Mark Darrah “Was Dragon Age 2 your favorite in the franchise?” after he shared a video of some nostalgic Dragon Age “swag.” Gaider Quote Tweeted the query shortly after, saying, “DA2 was the project where my writing team was firing on all cylinders, and they wrote like the wind because they had to! Pffft. Plot reviews? Pffft.” He added that he was extremely happy with the staff for having achieved what they did underneath the earlier constraints, including that he did not suppose it was potential, particularly when it appeared just like the cuts had been countless. 

One factor that I notably thought was fascinating was his commentary on Orsino and Meredith. For people who have not performed (which I extremely suggest in case you plan on taking part in Inquisition, there’s a lot nuance misplaced in case you do not), there are spoilers past this level

What was the cope with Orsino?

One of the prevalent themes of the Dragon Age franchise is the battle between Mages and Templars, with the previous being held captive towards their will on account of their magical talents. Orsino is the Elven First Enchanter within the Circle of Magic inside Kirkwall. He is supposed to be in a robust place to guard the mages underneath his cost, however Meredith, the Knight Commander of the Templar Order, was satisfied that each one magic was harmful, evil, and that mages wanted to be saved underneath heel. Throughout the three chapters of Dragon Age 2, the escalation between the 2 teams could possibly be felt and Orsino may see the destiny of all mages in Kirkwall hanging within the steadiness. Following the occasions that Anders kickstarted following failed negotiations between Meredith and Orsino, he did the unthinkable: he turned to blood magic, one thing he swore he would by no means do. This turned him right into a disgusting abomination that finally ends up being a boss battle for Hawke and the gang. 

This occasion could possibly be argued for, completely, however it all the time felt a bit of rushed, a bit of off. Understandable, provided that a lot of this sport was rushed because of the writer’s timeline, however Gaider added a bit of extra perspective as to what the encircling dialog was like when wanting on the larger image. 

Similar to the article I wrote exploring Dragon Age 2 and its hidden worth, he added that “Dragon Age 2 is a fantastic game hidden under a mountain of compromises, cut corners, and tight deadlines.”

He then added that Orsino was initially slated to have “his own version of Meredith’s end battle” if the participant sided with the Templars, however that was lower. Because the staff was nonetheless inquisitive about utilizing the mannequin created for that call’s consequence, we obtained a creepy Orsino/demon hybrid anyway. 

Expansion versus sequel

A query that has come up quite a few instances via the years is “Would Dragon Age 2 have been received better if it were an expansion rather than a sequel?” Awakening was a prolonged growth for Dragon Age Origins and served as the right introduction to Anders, a personality that turns into very important to the narrative of Dragon Age 2. Dragon Age 2 does a lot of the identical for Dragon Age Inquisition, giving us Varric (who later turns into a companion within the third sport and a starring character within the companion comics) and it launched us to Corphyeus, the principle villain in Inquisition. 

When that query got here up as soon as extra within the surrounding Twitter thread, he answered, “Hard to say. It was either going to be an over-scoped expansion or an under-scoped sequel. If it had stayed an expansion, it might never have received the resources/push it DID get.”

BioWare’s Patrick Weekes additionally playfully added that he appreciated Gaider utilizing the “diplomatic use of the past tense of ‘had'” in his response when speaking about “when to stop” through the sport’s growth. 

What may have been

Gaider finally responded to a different query, this time from @TObias_1703 after they requested, “What do you think would have changed, storywise, if you had more time for Dragon Age 2?” Gaider answered, saying, “I would have taken out that thing where Meredith gets the idol. It was forced on me because she needed to be “super-powered” with red lyrium for her final battle.”

He added, “Being “loopy,” however, robbed her side of the Mage/Templar argument of any legitimacy. I hated, hated, hated that.” 

He then went on a lengthier thread, dubbed Zack Snyder Dragon Age 2, about what he would change, if he may: 

He ended the thread by correcting a mistype with DA: Exodus the place he meant to say Dragon Age: Exalted March, which was an growth that was initially deliberate by later canned. I’m not mad at it being non-existent although, as a result of he added that the deliberate growth resulted in Varric’s loss of life, and nope. Absolutely not. No way, nope. NOPE

Honestly, the complete thread is extremely eye-opening. With Dragon Age 4 on the horizon (which you’ll be able to learn my complete evaluation of Red Lyrium and that silly egg-head Solas right here), it is fascinating to see what may have been. 

As I noticed all the time on social media, I’d love for (*2*), to offer the imaginative and prescient an opportunity to be realized with out an unrealistic timeline and lower off sources. 

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