When gamers get burned, they also get vocal. While Dragon Age II has its fair share of admirers, a significant chunk of the existing Dragon Age community expressed feelings of betrayal -- and they haven't kept those feelings a secret.
Well, BioWare hears all, and a recent talk with Dragon Age Senior Producer Fernando Melo suggests the studio does care very much about all its fans, new and old. Based on how the man describes the upcoming Dragon Age II - Legacy downloadable content, it does sound like BioWare hopes to please both sides.
As the game's first real DLC -- and just not an extra character -- Legacy will raise the difficulty by making combat more tactical and draw a bridge between Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II. We find out, for instance, why Hawke is such an important character in the series: his blood. In fact, there is a criminal organization hunting Hawke for his blood. Morbid.
As the name implies, Legacy deals with Hawke's lineage by delving into his father's past, and according to Melo, this is "the biggest DLC [they] have done since the retail expansion pack for Origins." All in all, the main questline should last you between one to two hours, and the entire add-on can stretch five hours.
“The really nice thing with this content is that there’s a lot of additional side quests and exploration areas, and a couple of easter eggs as well. This is one of the things we wanted to address from previous feedback," Melo stated. “Our hope is that people get snagged into the story and they want to find out more about Hawke’s father and some of the other elements. What we’ve seen is that most of our fans do enjoy exploring the areas and finding the nooks and crannies, and there’s a lot more of that in here.”
Darkspawn will be returning as the primary enemies in Legacy, so be prepared to see both familiar and new minions. Makes sense, considering Hawke will be visiting an ancient Grey Warden prison.
Regarding the high (and extremely low) hopes the Dragon Age community has for Legacy, Melo had some interesting things to say. He seems well aware that for many fans, the new DLC is a "make-or-break" factor in how they view the franchise in its current state.
“It’s not really a make-or-break thing. It’s our privilege to be able to serve additional content to the fans," he explained. "So long as they want it, we will make more content for them. But clearly, if people do not like this and the numbers show that and the feedback we get shows that, then we either will take a new tack and a different approach on the next piece of content, or we’ll see what that means."
Still, he points out that the second game has supporters, meaning BioWare now has an even wider audience to please. Finding the right balance will be tougher than ever for the developer, though they're hoping Legacy does the trick.
"But Dragon Age II has been successful," he added. "We’ve attracted a lot of new fans and even old fans who said, ‘You know, I struggled with Origins or I wasn’t able to complete it, and I found DA2 much more palatable’. At the end of the day, right now that is our audience.
"There are a lot of people who enjoyed DA2 and they’re looking for more content, and that is the primary audience for this. But I’m hoping that we can also win back a lot of people that were perhaps expecting something else with DA2 and are willing to give it a chance. I think they’ll see a lot of improvement in here already, and hopefully we can continue to show them that we’re on the right course and we are listening to them and making those changes.”
Legacy will be out on July 26 for $10, as noted before. The super special-awesome class-specific weapon you pick up in Legacy can be taken back to your core game and used in Hawke's Kirkwall adventures. However, it will not carry over into new games unless you play through the DLC in that file as well.