Everything we know about #Dragonage II


For original source and working links go here: bioware forums – Much thanks to post Author/Compiler “SirOccam”

Until there’s an official FAQ, I thought it might be useful to post what few cold, hard facts we have in one place, with links. New items are colored red until the next update.

NOTE ABOUT SPOILERS:
I originally decided to leave some stuff out of the list if I deemed it too much of a spoiler. At first the rule of thumb was any storyline stuff that happens after the demo they had at conventions in 2010 was a spoiler. But now some early Kirkwall stuff is becoming common knowledge, and opinions and definitions vary widely on what is or isn’t a spoiler anyway, so I’ve decided I’m just going to put it all in. There’s not going to be any end-game spoilers or anything (if I came across one of those I would take it as a sign that I waited too long to start my media blackout and would leave the forums right then), but beyond that I make no promises. Read this thread at your own risk. So…
*SPOILER ALERT!**SPOILER ALERT!**SPOILER ALERT!**SPOILER ALERT!*

There.

2/2/2011: February has arrived, and thus so has my media blackout date. This update will include as much as I know up to this point, but after this I’m afraid I won’t be updating the list anymore (assuming my willpower proves strong enough to resist coming here, that is). I wanted at least one follower to be a surprise, and I have a feeling we’ll be getting some news about him pretty soon, so I gotta get out while the getting’s good. If someone who has a post on this first page wants to keep adding stuff, feel free, or someone can make a brand new thread and copy/paste everything from here if they want. I hope this has proven useful to you all. See you (a few days after) March 8th!
1/14/2011: Just a small update this time. Mostly miscellaneous information.
1/8/2011: Infosplosion! Lots of tidbits from the various articles that came out recently, plus added Sebastian. I did take my sweet time doing this one though, so as always, if I missed anything, let me know. I split the NPC section so companions have their own section, then added info about each companion to make it a little more encyclopedic. Hopefully it’ll make it easier to find information. Finally, I added a small area (at the very bottom) for things many people are accepting as true but for which I haven’t seen a good link (or else I saw it but can’t remember/find the link). If someone can provide sources, that’d be great, or they can just stay there in that little box until another source confirms/refutes it. Oh yeah, and new info is now in orange instead of red. Eye strain bad.
12/16/2010: Lots of little bits and pieces. No new podcast this month, but added info about Meg Fenris. And a gameplay video!

Sources:
Dragon Age 2 Official Home Page
Official Dragon Age 2 FAQ
Official Dragon Age Twitter account
BioWare Blog
TRAILERS:
Destiny [Extended Version] [Extended with pop-up “facts”]
Rise to Power

General:
DA2 will be released on March 8th, 2011 (in North America) and March 11th, 2011 (in Europe) [FAQ] for PC, XBox 360, and PS3 [FAQ]
A demo will be released on February 23rd, 2011. [Demo page on bioware.com (in the fine print)] 2/2
DA2 is a single-player game [Chris Priestly]
There is no “morality meter” in the style of Mass Effect’s Paragon/Renegade meter [David Gaider]
Decisions made in DA:O will show up in future iterations of the DA universe. [Podcast – Episode 1]
“Our intent is to include information and decisions from Awakening as well as Origins into DA2.” [Mike Laidlaw]
The famous 2/1/2011 date from the insert in Awakening packages has been revealed to be…the start of closed beta for Dragon Age: Legends. Please, hold your applause. [Chris Priestly] 2/2

Recommended:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz Processor or equivalent
CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 Triple core 2.8 GHz or equivalent
RAM: 2GB (4 GB Vista and Windows 7)
Video: ATI 3850 512 MB or greater
Video: NVIDIA 8800GTS 512 MB or greater
DirectX 11: ATI 5850 or greater
DirectX 11: NVIDIA 460 or greater

Minimum:
OS: Windows XP 32-bit with SP3
OS: Windows Vista 32-bit with SP2
OS: Windows 7 64-bit
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (or equivalent) running at 1.8 GHz or greater
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 (or equivalent) running at 1.8 GHz or greater
RAM: 1 GB (1.5 GB Vista and Windows 7)
Video: Radeon HD 2600 Pro 256 MB
Video: NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS 256 MB cards
Disc Drive: DVD ROM drive required
Hard Drive: 7 GB
Sound: Direct X 9.0c Compatible Sound Card Windows Experience Index: 4.5

No different editions confirmed yet [Chris Priestly], but “We will definitely be talking about a special edition at some point” [Mike Laidlaw – G4 Article]
Anybody who pre-orders Dragon Age II before 11 January 2011 will receive the Signature Edition of the game for no additional cost. This includes additional missions, unique armor/weapons, the game’s soundtrack, and a new character. [Official Signature Edition page], [Chris Priestly] 10/20
The Signature Edition will not be available after 11 January 2011, but the standard version will. [Chris Priestly], [Chris Priestly] 10/20
The Signature Edition IS the Collector’s Edition. There is no other Edition available. [Chris Priestly] 10/20

Morrigan’s Dark Ritual is NOT canon, nor is any other ending. [David Gaider], [David Gaider]
There will be more DLC and patches for DAO before DA2 is released [Chris Priestly], [Chris Priestly] NOTE: this was posted before Witch Hunt. There is no more DLC for DAO before DA2 comes out.
“Yes, there will be inventory.” [Mike Laidlaw] 08/12
The codex will not be voiced. [David Gaider] 09/17

Setting:
DA2’s story will span 10 years [press release], [David Gaider]
This timeline partially overlaps that of Dragon Age: Origins, and Hawke’s story begins in Lothering shortly before it is destroyed by the Darkspawn. [GameInformer article]
Events from Dragon Age: Origins may be seen from a different viewpoint [GameInformer print article]
Hawke escapes the destruction of Lothering with “his family” and he eventually makes his way to Kirkwall [Podcast Ep. 1] in the Free Marches [Five Facts]. Kirkwall is located on the southern edge of the Vimmark Mountains, north of Ferelden [this map].
“Hawke will also spend time in other areas of the Free Marches” [Five Facts]
Kirkwall is “quite a bit” larger than Denerim. [David Gaider – 18:23] 09/09
There is still slavery in the Tevinter Imperium, mostly Elves, and it’s a big part of their culture. [David Gaider – 25:27] 09/15
Kirkwall was once the center of slave trade in the Tevinter Imperium. There is an old quarry where slaves used to work. The area in and around that basin is called Low Town, and is populated by the poor. The area above the basin is called High Town and is home to the more wealthy. [David Gaider – 33:54] 09/15
Kirkwall is ruled by a Viscount [David Gaider – 36:05] named Marlowe Dumar [GameTrailers pop-up trailer], [GameInformer’s Timeline of Thedas] 09/15
There is a race native to Par Vollen called the Fex. [David Gaider – 06:16] 09/15
Kirkwall has one of the largest Mage circles in Eastern Thedas, larger than the one in Ferelden. It is also “the center of Templar power in Eastern Thedas,” and is host to a Templar army. [David Gaider – 52:03] 09/15
The Free Marches are a loosely-aligned collection of city-states. They have no common ruler except very rarely, and even then only temporarily, during times of crisis, such as during the New Exalted Marches against the Qunari. They have, on some occasions, banded together and cooperated to fight against a common enemy. Other than that, they often squabble amongst themselves [Dan Lazin – 11:57], [David Gaider – 04:35] 09/15
The Free Marches and Ferelden are generally reasonably friendly, but due to the Blight and droves of Fereldan refugees, there is some tension between Free Marchers and Fereldans, and refugees (including Hawke) are often treated with dismissiveness or disdain. [Dan Lazin – 17:30] 09/15

The Tevinter Imperium has its own language, but most people speak the common tongue as well. [David Gaider] 01/14

Storyline/Plot:
“Dragon Age II has a framed narrative structure, which means that the exploits of Hawke occurred in the past, but are being retold in the present.” [GameInformer magazine article]
Cassandra is interrogating Varric the Dwarf on the actions of Hawke over the last 10 years to better understand how the world came to be on the brink of war. [Podcast Ep. 1]
“No exclusive organization. No saving the world. No ancient evil.” [David Gaider]
“The player decides whether Hawke is a kind ruler or an unscrupulous despot. He’s called Champion – the question is: ‘By whom?'” [GameStar Sept 2010 article]
Flemeth saves Hawke and co. and asks that he deliver a package for her in repayment. [IGN] 08/22
Boons granted at the end of Origins may be mentioned and/or affect the story of DA2 and in the future. [David Gaider – 54:05], [David Gaider] 09/15

There will be montages and/or cinematics between each time jump. [David Gaider] 1/8

About Hawke:
The main character’s surname is Hawke [press release].
Male Hawke’s default first name is “Garrett” (possibly spelled differently). [Podcast, Episode 2] 08/05
Female Hawke’s default first name is Marian. [David Gaider] 08/05
Hawke can be male or female [David Gaider], [Mary Kirby], [Chris Priestly]
Hawke is human [Chris Priestly]
Hawke will be voiced [Five Facts]
Hawke survived “the Blight” [press release]
Hawke is known as “the Champion of Kirkwall” [press release]
Hakwe’s mother’s maiden name is Amell, and her side of the family is nobility and lives in Kirkwall. The “Hawke” family name is not nobility. [David Gaider – 09:22] 09/15
Hawke is not related to Andraste, Flemeth, or Maric. [David Gaider – 37:24] 09/15

Hawke’s father was an apostate mage, and tutored Bethany (and Hawke if he is a mage) in magic. [David Gaider – 16:04] 09/15
Morrigan is NOT Hawke’s mother; Hawke is NOT the “god baby” [Victor Wachter]
“Hawke can, indeed, be a mage.” [Mary Kirby]
All Hawke voiceover artists have already been cast. [David Gaider]
“we refer to the DA2 player far less often as Hawke than we referred to the player as Warden in DAO. Only people who know you intimately use the name, and even then we tend to avoid direct references as a rule to avoid repetition. Most people who don’t know you will use an honorific (or even by race, if they’re not human).” [David Gaider]
Hawke is sometimes called Hawke, sometimes as “the Champion,” sometimes “Fereldan,” and “Brother” or “Sister” by Hawke’s siblings. [Dan Lazin – 30:38] 09/15
Hawke lived in Lothering during the events of DA:O, fled north to Kirkwall [Five Facts]
Hawke is the oldest of his siblings. [David Gaider] 10/20

Companions:
There will be companions/followers [David Gaider]
There will be romanceable characters [Greg Zeschuk interview – Page 3], [FAQ]
“…the DLC from Origins will be tied to this game as well. You will see characters from that DLC in this game.” [Mike Laidlaw – G4 article]
Hawke’s party will still be limited to 4 (Hawke + 3 companions). [Dev Chat – 12:58] 08/22
There will be at least 2 of each class as potential companions [GameStar Sept 2010 article]
Party composition may affect dialogue with NPCs [GameStar Sept 2010 article]
The left side of the dialogue wheel may feature opportunities for companions to interact with the NPC Hawke is speaking to. [GameStar Sept 2010 article]
It is likely that Nathaniel Howe will appear, as he spent time in Kirkwall before the events of Awakening. [Mike Laidlaw]
“You can even be openly hostile to your party members and still unlock combat bonuses.” [GameInformer article] 08/08
Hawke can get quests from and even romance companions regardless of where you are on the friendship/rivalry scale you are. But it may play out differently. [Mary Kirby] 09/15

BETHANY/CARVER HAWKE:
Fan Thread (Bethany)
Fan Thread (Carver)
Hawke has a brother named Carver (a Warrior) [IGN] and a sister named Bethany (an apostate Mage) [Gamestar (English translation)]
Bethany and Carver are twins. [David Gaider] 10/20
Hawke’s mother also accompanies him during the escape from Lothering. [IGN]
You won’t be able to romance Bethany. [David Gaider] Just in case you were…you know…wondering.
Bethany will survive the prologue (and be a companion) if you play a Rogue or Warrior; Carver will survive if you play a Mage. The other sibling will may be killed. [The Escapist article], [Seb Hanlon] 1/8

AVELINE VALLEN:
Official Page
Fan Thread
Hawke meets Wesley, an injured Templar, and Aveline, his wife, while fleeing Lothering. [IGN] 08/22
Aveline’s arms were modeled after a muscular man’s. [Dan Lazin – 15:00] 09/15
Aveline’s last name is Vallen. [Official Aveline page]

VARRIC TETHRAS:
Official Page
Fan Thread
Varric is a Dwarf who was with Hawke on his travels and is a narrator [Gamestar (English translation)]
“Varric is most definitely not a king.” [Mary Kirby] 08/11
“Varric was born in Kirkwall. His family was noble before they became skyers. He is, therefore, a merchant prince among the surface dwarves. And that’s probably all I can tell you about him for now.” [Mary Kirby] 08/11
Varric is a Rogue. [David Gaider – 02:10] 09/14
Varric is a follower. [David Gaider – 31:02] 09/15
Varric is the younger son in the Tethras family, who discreetly “maintains a spy network” for the family. Varric’s older brother is the head of the family and runs the family business. Their family is part of the Dwarven Merchants Guild. [Mary Kirby] 09/17
Varric’s older brother is named Bertrand. [DA2 main page] 11/11
Varric is voiced by Brian Bloom. [Mary Kirby] 10/01
Varric’s crossbow goes by the name Bianca. [Mary Kirby] 11/11

ISABELA:
Official Page
Fan Thread
Isabela is returning, as a follower. [DA2 main page] 11/11
Mika Simmons is not voicing Isabela as she did in Origins; this is to reduce confusion as she also voiced Anora in Origins. [David Gaider] 11/11
Isabela’s VO artist has not done any work for a BioWare game before. [Sheryl Chee] 11/11
Isabela is Rivaini. [David Gaider] 11/11
“Isabela” is not her birth name. Her true name (and surname) are unknown. [Sheryl Chee] 11/11
Isabela has worked with an Antivan pirate group call the Felicisima Armada, but does not officially belong to it. [Sheryl Chee] 11/11

FENRIS:
Official Page
Fan Thread
Fenris is a former slave to a Tevinter magister. He was altered by that magister, who burned Lyrium into his flesh. One effect of this was that his memory was erased. [Official Fenris page] 12/16
Fenris has an aversion to physical contact. [David Gaider], [David Gaider] 1/8
Fenris is not a Mage. [David Gaider] 1/8
Fenris will occasionally use words from the language of Tevinter (usually when upset or swearing). [David Gaider] 01/14

SEBASTIAN VAEL:
Official Page
Fan Thread
Character Trailer
Sebastian Vael is an exiled prince seeking revenge on those who murdered his family. [Official DA2 Addon page] 1/8
Sebastian is available for free with the Signature Edition, or as paid DLC ($7/560 Microsoft points) later on. [Official DA2 Addon page] 1/8
He is voiced by Scottish actor Alec Newman. [David Gaider] 1/8

Other NPCs:
Cassandra is an “Inquisitor” with an interest in Hawke’s activities. [Gamestar (English translation)]
Cassandra is an Inquisitor in the employ of the Chantry. [Podcast – Episode 1]
Cassandra is Nevarran. [David Gaider – 10:50] 09/09
Cassandra is a member of the Pentaghast family. [David Gaider] 11/11
The Pentaghasts are the royal family of Nevarra, and were the line responsible for nearly wiping out dragons hundreds of years ago. [David Gaider] 11/11

Flemeth will appear [Print magazine]
Flemeth is once again voiced by Kate Mulgrew. [DA Wiki interview with Fernando Melo] 08/22
Hawke meets Flemeth after the Warden met her in DAO, but before the Warden had a chance to get and perform Morrigan’s task to kill her. [David Gaider] 11/11

Alistair will likely make a cameo appearance. Steve Valentine seems to have done some work on DA2. [SV Twitter: 1, 2] 10/01
Adam Howden (voice of Silas Corthwaite) has also done some work on Dragon Age 2. [Adam Howden’s Twitter]

“Orsino is a character in DA2.” [David Gaider] 1/8

Merrill (from the DAO Dalish Warden Origin) will appear. [David Gaider] 01/14
She is written by Mary Kirby. [Mary Kirby] 01/14

Combat/Gameplay:
Skill ENCYCLOPEDIA – The most up-to-date and specific information we have on skills.

AUTO-ATTACK:
PC has auto-attack, and consoles will have it but it was not implemented yet at PAX. [David Gaider – 6:03] 09/09
The status of auto-attack on consoles remains unclear. David Gaider (as noted above) and Sebastian Hanlon (at 2:29 in this video) at PAX indicated that it was not in-game at the time, and they seemed to like it that way. Then Peter Thomas indicated that auto-attack was not on by default, but could be selected from the radial menu. 09/15
FINAL WORD: PC and Consoles both have auto-attack functionality, but pressing A/X on XBox 360/PS3, respectively, will perform a basic attack. To make a character auto-attack, you can select it from the radial menu. [Mike Laidlaw] 09/20

CAMERA:
There is a tactical camera in the PC version, which is similar to the one in Origins [1up Article]
It seems this may be misleading. The camera does certainly have similarities to Origins’ camera, but with a significant difference:
“The camera is attached to your currently controlled character. It may be rotated freely.” [Mike Laidlaw] 1/8

The same classes are returning: Mage, Rogue, and Warrior [FAQ]
May be fewer mage spells, but they will be customizable/upgradable. [Mark Darrah – GameInformer print article]
Followers have a unique talent tree. [Mike Laidlaw] Isabela’s is called Swashbuckler. [Isabela talent tree screenshot] 11/11
Combat should be much more reactive. Companions will leap straight into battle instead of shuffling forward and getting into position. [Podcast, Episode 1]
Combat on the consoles is being streamlined to better utilize the controller interface. Combat on the PC should be largely the same. [GameInformer article]
Melee characters can participate in combinations like mages could in Origins. [GameInformer article]
Mages now have “finishing moves” like melee characters did in Origins. [GameInformer article]
There are still class specializations. [Mary Kirby]
Occasionally, Varric will be “embellishing” his retelling, which will result in exaggerated combat for the duration of the sequence (until Cassandra calls him out on it). [Mike Laidlaw]
Console players can order companions to move to a location instead of having to manually run them there. [Sebastian Hanlon – 03:44] 09/15
Potions (mana and stamina) will have a shared cooldown timer. [Peter Thomas]
There is a similar, but not identical, travel system to Origins (points on a map). [Dan Lazin – 06:50] 09/15
Friendly Fire is only active on Nightmare difficulty. [Peter Thomas] This includes Warrior basic attacks, but they will only deal 1/10th the damage to party members. [Peter Thomas] 12/18

Inventory is shared, as it was in Origins. [Mike Laidlaw] 11/11
Hawke’s inventory is just like Origins. Same slots and functionality. [DA2 Podcast #5] 11/11
Followers still have ring, amulet, belt, and weapon slots, but they have a single slot for outfits. [DA2 Podcast #5] 11/11
Follower outfits are still upgradeable…just not with the same gear you can use for Hawke. [DA2 Podcast #5] 11/11
Follower gear will upgrade automatically over the course of time jumps. [DA2 Podcast #5] 11/11
You do not have to carry around crafting components any longer. Once you locate the source of a component, all crafting vendors from then on will have access to it. [The Escapist article] 1/8

Dialogue:
The dialogue wheel will have up to 5 choice options and up to 5 “investigate options” (to leave room for “investigate” and “return” options, respectively) [Craig Graff], [David Gaider]
There will be an icon that illustrates the tone of each dialogue response (snarky, aggressive, peaceful, romantic, etc.) [Mary Kirby], [Destructoid]
There are “personality choices” and “action choices.” The tone icons for the former affect your personality, and depending on your choices, you will develop a “dominant personality” that can affect how Hawke delivers lines. The icons for the latter indicate intent. [David Gaider]
You can’t initiate full, cinematic, camp-style conversation with followers anywhere, just at their home base. They can initiate conversations whenever they want, though. [David Gaider], [Mary Kirby] 01/14
Followers can also show up at Hawke’s home base to initiate conversations. [David Gaider] 01/14
You won’t have a full list of dialogue options when you go to speak to a follower. You can speak to them at their home base, but only if they have something to say. You will be notified in your journal if this is the case. [David Gaider] 01/14

Party member approval is based on your actions, not your personality/tone. [David Gaider]
Hawke will participate in party banter to a limited extent. [David Gaider – 6:37] 09/09

Quests:
Some sidequests can become unavailable after a time jump, some will still be able to be completed, and some may change in their circumstances. [David Gaider – 05:23] 09/14
There will be some “Chanter’s Board”-style quests that are not heavily involved with the main plot, and other sidequests of varying complexity and plot involvement. [David Gaider – 22:11] 09/15

Art Direction/Music:
Female bodies have their own separate shape, and no longer resemble men in the shoulders and hips. [David Gaider], [Dan Lazin – 11:30] 09/15
Different characters do not always share animations. [David Gaider]
Elves, Dwarves, and Qunari will have updated looks. [GI: A Look at the Qunari]
The armor Hawke is wearing in the Destiny trailer is already in-game. [Mike Laidlaw] 08/22
No bowstrings, cloaks, or horses. [David Gaider – 11:31] 09/09
We will not see any female Qunari in DA2. [David Gaider – 29:50] 09/15
Hawke will encounter some “leashed” Qunari mages. [David Gaider – 40:30] 09/15
There is flowing hair “in certain circumstances,” as well as some “flowing” armor too. [Dan Lazin – 07:25] 09/15
Characters’ poses will be a lot more natural, and walking animations will vary based on gender and personality. [Dan Lazin – 08:25] 09/15
Mages will appear less muscular than warriors and rogues. [Dan Lazin – 11:00] 09/15
Underwear is getting redesigned. [Dan Lazin – 15:40] 09/15
Dark complexions have been redesigned to look better. [Dan Lazin – 19:07] 09/15
When in melee range, mages will use their staffs as a melee weapon, rather than just standing there firing (“pew pew pew”). [Dan Lazin – 27:58] 09/15
Ferelden accents are still English mostly, and City Elf and Dwarf ones are still American. The Orlesians still speak with a French accent, and Antivans with Spanish. Dalish Elves now have Welsh accents. [David Gaider], [David Gaider], [David Gaider] 09/17

Players will not be able to edit/tweak the default face for Hawke. They can still customize their appearance, but they can’t use the default as a starting point. (As of 09 Dec 2010) [Chris Priestly] 1/8
If you give your Hawke dark skin, your family’s skin will be changed to match. [Dan Lazin – 21:52] 09/15
Hawke’s family’s facial structure will be based on the preset face you start off with, so unless you vary the structure wildly from where you started, there should be a likeness there. Then there is a second pass to match their skin tone to yours. Hawke’s family will always have black hair. [Mike Laidlaw] 2/2

Some locations (mostly major areas of Kirkwall) have two versions, allowing you to specify whether you visit there during the day or night. This is selected on the city map. The different versions may include a different set of NPCs. [David Sims] 1/8

Inon Zur is composing the game’s score. [David Gaider – 34:30] 09/15
The music in the trailer is a remix of music that is part of Dragon Age 2 (but the electric guitars were added for the trailer). The trailer includes what is called “Hawke’s Theme.” [David Gaider – 38:15] 09/15

UI:
The inventory features stars next to items that represent their value relative to your current level. Items that start out with 5 stars will eventually have none as you level up. You can still inspect items to see their full stats. [Mike Laidlaw] 11/11
PCs will still have a customizable quickbar. [Mike Laidlaw] 11/11
PC players can still press number keys to choose dialogue choices. [Mike Laidlaw] 11/11
Diamond icons in the quickbar (at least on PC) are activated skills. Hexagons are sustained abilities. [Mike Laidlaw] 12/16
There are no “Mission Complete” screens like in Mass Effect. [Seb Hanlon] 01/14

Advertisements

, , , , , ,

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: