Four Things I Learned About Dragon Age: Inquisition's Multiplayer

The Reaving.

Yesterday when I strolled onto the show floor of PAX Prime 2014 and picked up an Xbox One controller to play Dragon Age: Inquisition's new multiplayer mode, I felt like I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. I knew this was BioWare's attempt to take some of the co-op ideas it toyed around with on Mass Effect 3 and build on them in the fantasy setting of the company's other popular role-playing franchise.

The big difference, of course, is that there are no single-player ramifications for what you achieve in multiplayer, no galactic readiness or anything like that. Multiplayer in Dragon Age: Inquisition, I knew, was its own separate adventure. A bit of four-player questing through dungeons filled with enemies where loot and class-based co-operating is very much a focus.

Here's what else I found out after actually playing the thing.

It's pretty fast-paced

The multiplayer campaigns in Dragon Age: Inquisition are made up of levels where the actual rooms you explore are all hand-made by level designers, but the larger sequencing of these areas is randomized. But no matter how those arrangements shake out, one thing seems pretty consistent: you encounter a lot of baddies in a lot of places.

It leads to a quick sense of pacing, where you know there's always something waiting for you around the next corner. You can take a little time to breathe and collect yourself after you clear out a room, and there are some hidden areas that you can find by exploiting cracks in the walls, but generally speaking you aren't doing a lot of sightseeing here. It's definitely something that encourages you and your team to keep it moving and go to town on as many enemies as you can.

It's tough to be a complete jerk

When one player smashes a vase filled with gold or opens up a glimmering treasure chest, every other player on the team will instantly receive their share of the loot. So don't go thinking that you can just plow through each level expecting to bogart all the gold from your teammates. Not that I would ever do that. No, sir. Never!

I hope every class is as interesting as the Reaver

I didn't get to pick my class before playing, but that might have been for the best. I ended up going with a tough lady wielding a massive battle axe known as the Reaver. What makes her fun is that the lower her health is, the more damage she's capable of dishing out. So it creates this very high-risk, high-reward situation where you're encouraged to dance along the razor's edge, just on the brink of death without completely going over.

Her abilities give her some flexibility in these situations, of course. One of those is called devour, and it essentially lets her syphon health from nearby enemies when things get a little too dangerous. That comes in handy considering that each player only gets two health potions to start out with, but of course it comes with the drawback of lower attack stats. Add in her massive, sweeping heavy attack that lands with a devastating thud and this class offers a nice balance of rewarding moment-to-combat combat and enough strategy to make it feel like you're not engaged in a fantasy turkey shoot.

It's just plain fun

I don't know how much longevity Dragon Age: Inquisition's multiplayer will have, or how rewarding the crafting and loot systems will be, or whether playing through its various environments will eventually feel repetitive. But one thing I can say after a little bit of hands-on time is that it's just fun. The combat feels good, the visual effects add a nice sense of atmosphere, and the pacing keeps things flowing. Will there be enough to the multiplayer to pull me away from the allure of exploring a big open world with all its storytelling and characters? Maybe, maybe not. But it certainly makes a good first impression.

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Discussion

79 comments
fabs1
fabs1

Number 1: That it shouldn't have a multiplayer.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

I just don't consider co-op as a solid multiplayer. It's just another game mode like Gears' Horde or CoDs Zombies. The real multiplayer is PvP. They could have made it like a loose MMO where you do fight monsters together but have zones meant for PVP. You get caught in the zone, you're dead. That would encourage teamwork and strategy.

Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

Not sure how much I'll play it, but I'll give it a try. 

Faith256
Faith256

Did you happen to learn why EU/British customers have to pay £59 for digital deluxe pre-order while American customers have to pay $59 for same order, or is this just another example of how much EA values its customers?

Rafficus_III
Rafficus_III

The same critics said ME3's MP would die out and be a wasteland in three months at most. Yet, the success of ME3's MP kept many around that would have abandoned the series after the ending fiasco, generated new fans, was financially successful by being able to pay for itself, and has even led more fans to the Dragon Age series. 


You can scorn this decision all you want, pound your fists, and wail to the nine's, but that won't stop people playing it or the positive reviews I keep hearing from this game.

lpool8
lpool8

tbh though i liked the fact that ME multiplayer tied into the campain give me a reason to actually play it (as i usually dispise online) although tbf it didnt make a blind bit of difference.. and to everyone crying bare in mind this is a co-op fantasy dungeon crawler made by baldurs gate in other words its just baldurs gate

gameroutlawzz
gameroutlawzz

1 thing I know for sure is that Ill stay away from this overhyped turd and stick to Dark Souls 2 + Crowns DLCs and Lords of the Fallen until bloodborne is out.

IndySandbagTrik
IndySandbagTrik

Sounds like ME3 MP in Thedas with better loot....


THROWS MONEY AT SCREEN


stryph42
stryph42

I was hoping one of the things you'd learned was that the multiplayer didn't exist...like they said initially.  I knew it was going to end up with multiplayer stuck in though, since the guy in charge of EA has already said he will NEVER green-light a game without multiplayer.

almighty_
almighty_

This game better not suck like DA2 and ME3. 

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

Good ad, i mean article, always welcome more commercials... I mean news for DA I's tacked on multiplayer. 

I am going to give my same advice i gave for Dead space 3, do not buy launch day wait a week and read some reviews, or see how launch goes, cancel preorders there will be a ton of games laying around. Matter of fact all games published by EA i would wait a few months to buy. Least you will get a good idea of what the game is like, some new DLC, and a better price. 

flyincloud1116
flyincloud1116

I am saving my money that was previously allocated to Dragon Age to purchase something else.

Necrotron
Necrotron

Wise for them to not have single player tie-ins this time. Was pleasantly surprised by the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, totally expected to not be interested at all in it and ended up playing it every night for about a year.

Now I'm excited to see how Dragon Age plays as co-op multiplayer this time around, Bioware won me over.

jasongm
jasongm

Is the multiplayer loot similar to that of Diablo or TorchLight?

sammoth
sammoth

Wait it adds nothing to the single player experience.


Funny when you watch the multiplayer trailer :16-:18 seconds in she say they work to further the inquisition scores ?


They are lying or it's something different. Last time I checked you had to build up that score in the single player game.



grove12345
grove12345

Lots of negative feedback about this feature, yet people still love Diablos micro transaction brainless button mashing for some reason.

kane6911
kane6911

Final fantasy please hurry up because this just looks really sad 

Wrathesoul
Wrathesoul

"Four Things I Learned About Dragon Age: Inquisition's mutiplayer " 1. I want nothing to do with it. 2. I want nothing to do with its master EA scams. 3. Dragon age is NOT good for multi player its only good for single player and by adding BS multi player the single player game will be that much more crappy like all EA games. 4. I refuse to touch games that are not 100% done at launch (bugs are fine as can be fixed) and if they have F2P in the title or micro crapactions, day one dlc as it should be in the game if its done at launch not greed people out of more cash, forced online as that is simply BS for a console game, online forced check ins BS as well and lastly made by EA or crapcom not touching anything made by them greedy SOB's.

biggest_loser
biggest_loser

Does it look like you have a lot less spells than the first Dragon Age?! Someone tell me how many you can have in your bar thing. 

MattyTheButcher
MattyTheButcher

If you can't be a complete jerk, then why the hell would you want to buy is shaun?

Pupchu
Pupchu

Will i be able to romance other players?

Slash_out
Slash_out

ME's MP was fun even if it got repetitive faster than most other MP games.

But it was definitively worth it as a free addition to the game as it kept me entertained for a dozen hours or so.

So as long as this did not remove any actual content from the SP (like stuff cut out because they needed people for the MP) I'm all for it.

The facts that it Shaun had fun and that it is not an arena kind of gameplay are great news too.

Darkhol0w
Darkhol0w

I think I am one of the biggest skeptics regarding this multiplayer mode, but what the hell I will try it out once I finish the campaign.

IndySandbagTrik
IndySandbagTrik

@jenovaschilld But then you will miss that awesome hype-fun wave that accompanies a game when it's new and fresh and the servers are full.... well, for the MP part anyways (I actually agree re: waiting if it's just a SP game, GOTY editions all the way!).

Barighm
Barighm

@jasongm Like ME3 Multiplayer's loot system: you earn gold from the dungeons to buy loot chests between missions. 

This has already been mentioned, plus EA did make a pretty big deal about how much money they made from that system, so no chance in heck we won't see anything like it this time around.

II_Exile_II
II_Exile_II

@sammoth It has a very loose story that ties into the events of the single player, but it doesn't impact your single player save game in any way.

ahpuck
ahpuck

@grove12345 Time to crawl out of you cave. NO ONE loved Diablo's micro transactions, which is why it no longer exists. All games are button mashing, if you really think about it.

sammoth
sammoth

@grove12345  Diablo has micro transactions ? What Diablo are you playing ?

IndySandbagTrik
IndySandbagTrik

@Wrathesoul 1. Good for you 2. Take your tinfoil hat off 3. Tell me some more facts that are your opinion 4. Good luck finding those now in 2014 buddy.


Time to evolve I'm afraid hombre.

Barighm
Barighm

@Wrathesoul 1. Your loss. 2. Fair enough, but you can always buy the game used so they still don't get your money. 3. That's what they said about ME3, but the multiplayer was actually a lot of fun. Messy, but for a first effort, pretty darn good. Nothing wrong with the actual design of the gameplay. Mostly just technical stuff. 4. Funny you say that since the vast majority of bugs in ME3 were never fixed, but they were ultra quick to patch out any exploit.

IndySandbagTrik
IndySandbagTrik

@Slash_out I agree, it's like a bonus that wasn't required but is most definitely welcome in my books.


Can't wait to give this a go!  If it's on a par with ME3's MP I'll be over the moon!!!

Kentation
Kentation

@Slash_out The free DLC and weekly balance changes helped make it refreshing though. It was immense fun.


Hopefully there will be less bugs and connection issues to deal with.

simon1812
simon1812

@Tribesmaster @almighty_  I did think I would hate DA2 when I first saw the reviews and what it was about, but when I actually gave  it a try (price dropped) it was rather enjoyable.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@IndySandbagTrik @jenovaschilld I get you too, you know the problem is over the years many publishers will hold content for DLC and offer it up the same day, (most times a few weeks in), or over a several months. Now this content seems clearly part of the main storyline and not just add on or expansion to a certain character. The main game feels hollow, but with GOTY editions, it feels solid like a single player game should be - like KOTOR. While some people the MP may well be their thing, but any RPG single player tacked on MP always seem flimsy and games like MW3 always beat it out. You know a game that is designed heavily to be great multiplayer. 

This is why the game was delayed - which is fine - we all can wait, but for tacked on MP ah that sucks. This gives EA two things - one:  everything it can do to keep gamers from beating the game and selling it used within the holiday and few several months will save them plenty of money. (i get it, but if you just make a damn good RPG like say elder scrolls - people will keep that game for years or until it wears out).  two: The value and profit to be made on customer metadata collection during that time is getting more and more valuable when sold to third parties (see gameindustyinternational and polygon for articles) The when, where, who, what becomes $$$ when collected about a young men 16-60- I would'nt mind a commercial or two at start of game, or at least some kickback on my personal data, but using as another form of revenue without giving full disclosure is wrong. 

sammoth
sammoth

@II_Exile_II @sammoth  Sorry I heard that crap before. Now as far as getting yeah I will get the game. However, doesn't mean I believe them as it not being tied in esp. when it says it clear as day in the video.

Barighm
Barighm

@II_Exile_II Yeah, that's what they said about ME3. Turned out to be a bold faced lie. This is the first time I'm hearing about it.

II_Exile_II
II_Exile_II

@sammoth @grove12345 I assume that's meant to be a reference to the real money auction house which Diablo 3 had at launch, though that was patched out long ago.

moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

@Kentation @Slash_out Main problem with ME MP was how grindy it was with that damn random unlock system, unfortunately given that they still have a pay for progress system no doubt they will be ensuring progress is just as grind focused.

KerrinScott
KerrinScott

@sammoth @II_Exile_II It says no such thing...

It's been made clear, here and IGN, by folks who've played the game, and on the Bioware forums that it will have no impact on the single player campaign. The *story* of the MP establishes that the 12 characters ARE agents of the Inquisitor, and they are operating in different theaters throughout Thedas, taking on missions that are *vital* to the success of the Inquisition, but that doesn't mean they're sending back resources or whatnot. I assume the way it will be positioned is that they are a tactically elite force of agents who are eliminating other high-threat groups, taking over tactically-important positions, or just that they're *working for the Inquisition*.

Leliana is narrating the video, and that makes perfect sense. I'm sure she's being positioned as the spymaster for the Inquisition -- sort of the head of the Thedas branch of the CIA, if you will. She's going to be heading all espionage, infiltration, and *special operations*, probably alongside Cassandra, for the Inquisitor. Why does that necessarily equate to: "You have to play it to get stuff for single player...*single tear*"?

sammoth
sammoth

@II_Exile_II @sammoth @grove12345  Well the RMA is not micro transactions. Those prices are put in by the people (players/ gold farmers). In no way did you ever have to use it.

sammoth
sammoth

@KerrinScott 

Reading and comprehension.  They said that before about ME3.  Bioware claimed that ME3 Multiplayer was not needed to play either. Then it turned out if you missed a few quests are didn't have enough points for a better ending.


If you listened to the beginning of the trailer it clearly says to add points to your inquisition.


Don't give me that tear c/r/a/p. I was simply expressing how I felt about it. They have a track record and with EA puppeteering Bioware I would not be surprised they are lying.


Don't let me even get into that abomination what they called DA2.

KerrinScott
KerrinScott

@sammoth @KerrinScott I did listen to the trailer...four times...just to be certain.

There is NOTHING in the trailer about *points* of any kind. You are wrong -- period. You may also want to visit an audiologist. Seriously, there is nothing in the trailer that even hints at any kind of attachment to the single player campaign.

Lelianna says that "They work to further the cause of the Inquisition" -- that's it. That's the only thing that could even be REMOTELY construed as suggesting that there was even the hint of a modicum of a sliver of a connection to the single player campaign.