Here at Bio Break, we are declaring a new, one-time-only holiday: Dragon Age Day! Why? Even though the game isn’t out yet (oh, but we can drool thinking about it), it’s close at hand, and today BioWare have released their character editor (320 MB download) so we can get a head start on making our future beloved characters.
Why am I so excited about this? I honestly tried to keep my head down and ignore as much Dragon Age info as possible, because I knew that I’d get worked up if I gorged on the news — I’m a huge BioWare fan, and Baldur’s Gate II remains one of my top RPG experiences of all time. Dragon Age is the spiritual successor (they are creating their own IP, independant of D&D), with a much darker edge — Conan, Song of Ice & Fire and The Witcher are often referenced as influences for the bloody fantasy tone of the game. I just know that BioWare’s going to tell me a great story, and that I’m going to want to replay it a few times to get different experiences out of it.
Before you do anything else, however, it’s imperative that you get thee over to the official Dragon Age site and watch the “Sacred Ashes” trailer (NSFW) — literally, I had chills, it was that good. The Penny Arcade crew has also created a comic promoting the game, which is well worth a lookie-loo.
Giantbomb.com has a great 20 minute hands-on look at the game, including character leveling options, that might sate your thirst a bit. If you’re looking for lots of info and lore and are not afraid of a few spoilers, the Dragon Age Wiki is out there, just waiting to be plucked. And don’t forget to visit Dragonchasers and read Pete’s background piece on the Grey Wardens, one of the primary factions in the game!
For a MMORPG connection, Dragon Age is important because (1) it will continue to showcase BioWare’s dedication to telling awesome stories and throwing complicated choices at the player as they hopefully will in The Old Republic, and (2) it is a peek into their emerging stance on microtransactions. One of their recent announcements concerned a pair of downloadable content packs for launch — one which comes free if you get the game at the stard, and one which will cost around $7. It’s a little bit irksome to me to be given a game on day one and then told that I don’t have the complete experience, and if I want it, I need to pony up some more cash. Unlike Arbitrary, I probably will, because I do want that full experience, but it’s a bit much to have right at the beginning. At least some of the content will be free, so it’s not all rainclouds and doom.
P.S. – The BioWare Blog has posted a few alternate download sites for the character creator, as well as a way to earn a free in game item!