Monday, September 17, 2012

Dragon Age 3 Inquisition, Story Implications and Predictions

With Dragon Age 3 officially announced today it's fun to speculate on the direction the Dragon Age team will take us on this new entry into the series.  I'll be honest and say I'm not an expert on the lore of the Dragon Age universe but I like to think I know enough to grasp what is going on in this universe.  Dragon Age Origins is one of my top 5 favorite games from the last five years and while I liked Dragon Age 2 I could agree with a majority of folks who felt let down by it.  But honestly I'm really excited for Dragon Age 3 and I want to continue seeing the story unfold before my eyes as I'm still heavily invested in this universe.  So I'll let my thoughts and opinions trickle out from here on.


So what is the Inquisition in the Dragon Age universe?  Basically during the first blight they were a group of people who fought against evil magics, heretics and cultists.  Their goals aligned with the Chantry and they eventually merged when Nevarran Accord was signed and established the Circle of Magi.  When this happened they splintered into two different orders; the Templars and the Seekers of Truth.

Dragon Age 3

So what does Inquisition mean for Dragon Age 3?  We can only assume the timeline occurs after the events of Dragon Age 2 where Templars and Mages are in a full scale conflict with each other after the rebellion of Kirkwall mages and thus started a chain reaction where the other circles were broken.  So in the novel Dragon Age: Asunder, Lord Seeker Lambert van Reeves(leader of the Seekers of Truth) declares the Nevarran Accord null breaking the Templars and the Seekers of Truth away from the Chantry so they can act on their own accord.  So it really does sound like the Inquisition will walk the land again as it's own organization once again.

The Role Of The Protagonist

So it will be interesting where Bioware will place the player in this setting without severely restricting the player's choice of class as the two extremes would be Templars and Mages who are in conflict at the moment.  It is quite possible that the player may be put in the role of a Seeker, trying to assemble a squad of people to find the Warden and Hawke, protagonists of the previous games. Find allies and try to fix the world literally. Lord Seeker Lambert seems inherently like a jerk and probably the main antagonist so it's quite possible there is internal conflict inside the order and thus have splintered into two different Seeker factions ones that are still loyal to the Divine (leader of the Chantry) and those who are extremists who align with Lambert.  This is purely speculative and hopefully the Dragon Age team has something utterly more complex and interesting than what I could come up with.

Also if this leaked quote of a survey is to be believed.

From the ashes of that explosion, something new rises: The Inquisition. As the Inquisitor, it falls to you to build up your power and martial your forces, uncover secrets and build connections across the world. You must explore forgotten spaces, uncover ancient mysteries and uproot those who would destroy the fabric of the world.

It's possible the splintered seeker group will be the new Inquisition

Which Characters Will Return? Possible Companions?

Cassandra Pentaghast
Cassandra Pentaghast is probably most known as the lady interrogating Varric as she was looking for answers to the whereabouts of the Hawke the champion of Kirkwall in Dragon Age 2 and she is also the main protagonist of the animated film Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker.  It seems only natural that she would play a major role in Dragon Age 3 as her goals seem to want to quell the conflict between Mages and Templars and she is also considered the right hand of the Divine due to her actions in the animated film.  I could easily see her as being a companion to the main protagonist of Dragon Age 3.

Fan favorite from the first game, it is well known Leliana is an agent of the Divine and at the end of Dragon Age 2 you could see her wearing armor with the Seeker emblem on it and working with Cassandra Pentaghast.  It would be great to catch up on what she has been doing and have her at your side again.

I put Varric here mostly because he's a personal favorite of mine and he brings much needed personality and comic relief in what probably will be a very serious in tone RPG.  Although he probably doesn't take any personal interest in the whole Templar / Mage conflict.  It's possible he needs more adventure in his life and wants another story he can tell the next time he visits a tavern.

Flemeth and Morrigan
While I don't see Flemeth or Morrigan coming back in a companion type of role It would be interesting to see how plot lines between mother and daughter play out.  Flemeth is still this mysterious powerful being that needs more exposition on her origin and Morrigan left us wondering what she was preparing for in the Eluvian mirror.  Perhaps we'll see her emerge in Dragon Age 3 and more details of what happened to her, the warden, the child will be shown.

There are lots of characters I would definitely like to see return but there always has to be room for new characters and new plotlines.  Hawke and the Warden are also some very important people that should have some importance in the story, although I can see the complications of trying to introduce them back into a new game as they can be variably different characters in terms of personality due to different people's play styles.

There are quite a few locations in Thedas that can be used for the setting.  Though I would only single out a few which could be explored in the next installment of the series.
Orlais is an easy choice to make in my opinion.  The most powerful nation in Thedas and home to the Chantry and Divine.  We heard alot about it through stories Leliana has told us during some conversations in the first game and of past conflict and tension mentioned between Ferelden and Orlais.  Val Royeaux the capital city of Orlais seems like it would great place to have a base of operations for the main character and his companions.  Though one concern might be that everyone you talk to might have a french accent and that might feel awkward after awhile.
Tevinter Imperium
It would be great to see some areas of the Tevinter Imperium and how their society works as they are mainly known for being ruled by mages, and their reaction to the Templar / Mage conflict might play a significant role into the story of Dragon Age 3. 

These were just a few of my own thoughts about what I think might happen in Dragon Age 3 and what kind of story specifics I can speculate about the next game.  Obviously I can't comment on any gameplay specifics as they haven't really showed anything yet and how multiplayer will affect the game in general.  So hopefully this was somewhat informative and maybe you agree or disagree with what is said here.  Here's hoping Bioware delivers us a great RPG that we can remember.