The former Dragon Age lead writer has many, mostly positive, thoughts on Veilguard’s romance options, story, and setting


Former Dragon Age lead writer and co-founder of Summerfall Games, David Gaider, collected some opinions on Xitter – the original ground for all opinions – on the full Dragon Age: The Veilguard reveal video, expressing broad enthusiasm for the fresh RPG’s narrative tone, combat system and environments , while also offering a more ambivalent analysis of BioWare’s decision to allow players to seduce every member of their team.

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Yesterday these Xeets came. Since then, after a series of articles summarizing his thoughts, Gaider has done so he added with a chuckle that “I should shut up about Dragon Age for a while” and that “I have other things to do than provide fodder for news articles that like to talk about what the ‘former head writer of Dragon Age’ is finally tweeting.” Oops!

I’ve seen this kind of jovial baiting before, where an industry luminary shares an insight on social media, waits for the internet mosquitoes to swarm into the jar, then slams the lid shut and traps those stupid journalistic insects in an atmosphere of subtle professional embarrassment and self-loathing myself. Well, I couldn’t get into your damn jar yesterday, David. At the time, I was out and about hanging around Monster Hunter. So here I am flapping towards the window, trying to join my brothers. Let me in, David! I’d also like to drink the sweet nectar of your Dragon Age 2 comparisons!

This is Gaider starting thread on full gameplay footage – not to be confused with the very faded plot trailer that’s one step away from Chris Pratt sliding through the ceiling in a tuxedo. “Overall, I’d say it’s a better introduction than the trailer,” Gaider begins. “We see a certain story that seems much darker and more DA in terms of tone. Like I said, trailers are often meant to be taken with a pinch of salt, and I have a feeling many fans are relieved. Which is great.

“I could choose a few things,” he adds. “The stylized characters will take some getting used to, but DA’s art style changes with each game, so it’s nothing fresh. The combat is more action with no tactical elements, but it seems okay. The style isn’t too different from, say, DA2 combat.”

There is some comment about the environment which “looks amazing, period. To see the vast Minrathous – wow. It’s a shame we couldn’t do this for Kirkwall or even Val Royeaux. Totally gorgeous, width and tone sells, great job.” Gaider also notes that Veilguard’s dialogue icons resemble those from Dragon Age 2 and is happy to see Solas return and cause confusion. “I could probably talk about the ramifications for days and how it fits (or doesn’t) with where I think this story is going… but I won’t. I just can’t wait to see where this all leads. Bio people: great job.”

In response to a reply to his thread, Gaider had a bit more to say about the combat in Dragon Age: The Veilguard, noting that “it’s not that far from where DA is going, although I will miss the more tactical elements of the game of the past, That’s true. I think they’ll make it a lot of fun anyway.

So everything is in a very sanguine mood! In my own preview of the game from SGF, I focused on the comparison with Dragon Age: Inquisition, the latest version of Dragon Agera, but it’s worth reaching for the connection to Dragon Age 2. Depending on whether you’re playing in 2011 or a year later, say in 2015 , Dragon Age 2 is either Dragon Age’s worst moment or its finest hour. It’s the more impetuously warped action of existing Dragon Agers, especially before the introduction of a proper auto attack, and the least extensive or, if you prefer, more focused in terms of setting. Perhaps a better way to think of The Veilguard is that it is a sequel to Dragon Age 2, not a streamlined version of Inquisition.

IN separate threadresponding to an article by our colleagues at the Ian Acquisitions Network, Gaider provided a more detailed assessment of the game Dragon Age: The Veilguard allows you to win the hearts of each of your companions, noting that if you make a video game character your love, it stops you from doing much else with them things.

“First of all, the fandom is quite divided on romance design,” he wrote. “Most of them just want who they want, and NOT having an affair with them is tantamount to a slap in the face. Others like characters with more agency, even (or perhaps especially) if it doesn’t align with their preferences.

“Honestly, there is nothing wrong with either desire,” the thread continues. “It all depends on what you want from your game. We’re not all here for the same reasons, OK? The only unfortunate aspect, in my experience, is that the two approaches are more or less diametrically opposed, starting from the design point of view.

“The DA writers finally realized that as soon as you make a character romantic, it limits the type of character he can be and the type of stories he can tell. They become committed to their love story and ultimately their need to be attracted.

“Why is this a limitation? Because not all character story arcs are defined as compelling to the player. Even if the appeal of the plot is intended for a relatively narrow audience, the appeal requirement inherently limits potential stories to a fairly narrow set.

Going back to the undressed Githyanki in the room, Gaider also believes that Baldur’s Gate 3, full of tissues and tissues, would be better if certain supporting characters were unavailable. “Several characters would have had a stronger arc without the romance, and the feeling it gave me that this whole huge crew was ready to dump you if I blinked wrong… meh.” However, he believes that Veilguard should be able to handle it perfectly, provided they “thorough it unapologetically as BG3 did,” concluding that “it’s a legitimate approach, as I said, and many fans will be delighted and cheerful with this reason.”

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