For all you Dragon Age fans wondering how your decisions across the previous two games will factor into Dragon Age Inquisition, BioWare has an answer. Today, the devs have revealed Dragon Age Keep, and it's way cooler than the interactive comic for Mass Effect 3.
The Keep is basically a way players will be able to customize and recreate (depending on whether you've played before) Thedas as you see fit, before transferring the results to Dragon Age Inquisitions. As executive producer Mark Darrah puts it, "How did you modify your Warden and Hawke? Who were your companions? Who did you choose to romance? Who rose to power, and who fell in defeat? What legacy did you leave?"
The Keep also fills in a lot of the lore stuff, which will come in handy as a refresher for long-time fans or a comprehensive crash course on all things Dragon Age for the newbies. And if you're feeling lazy and don't like decisions you've previously made, the Keep is a good alternative to replaying the previous games.
Here's Darrah's explanation for how the Keep works:
"We realized that in order to make this work, we’d have to look into a cloud-based solution. Moving to the cloud allows players to take their unique world state into any platform (present or future) and even other media. For existing fans, an advantage of being in the cloud is that (if you are ok with spoilers) you can fully explore what-if scenarios, and become aware of events and consequences in our past games that you may not have known were possible. You can then fire up the previous games and go exploring for those moments.
"Even if you don’t go back and re-play the previous games, you can still establish that scenario as part of your world state, and import it at the start of a new DAI game to see the consequences of your actions."
So why can't they just let you transfer your save files? Well, that comes down to the issue of cross-gen compatibility, as well as moving to a new engine. Yes, BioWare is still looking at this option, but even The Witcher devs at CD Projekt have already noted the difficulty of this.
The Keep has other benefits, too, making life a little easier for the Dragon Age team.
"Choices in our games are immense, and on occasion subtly perceived. In some cases, the consequences of decisions you’ve made in a past game won’t reveal themselves until some future story. Handling all these permutations is complex. Really complex. Tracking all possible prerequisites and potential knock-ons, even just to create the simple acknowledgement of a choice is very detailed — and prone to error.
"As an example, an import from DAO to DA2 brought across something in the order of 600 different data points, most requiring complex logic solving to answer correctly the question of “how did the player settle this choice at the end of the game.” As a result, some current save imports are buggy, which is our fault, and something we’re committed to fixing. Permanently. The Keep allows us to do just that. Users of the Keep won’t have to suffer with these types of logic inconsistencies any longer."
Dragon Age Inquisition will be out next year on PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4.