Dragon Age: Inquisition - Crafting and Customization Q&A.

Crafting and Customization Q&A With creative director Mike Laidlaw:

Before we dive into your questions, let's talk about Inquisition's crafting at a high level. Our goal in allowing you to create your own armor and weapons was twofold. First, we wanted you to have a lot of opportunities to customize your look. Second, we wanted to encourage experimentation and, if things were really cooking, targeted creation.



One example we always used when describing the goals of crafting was that of the dragon hunter. We wanted you, as a player, to have the tools necessary to build armor and weapons custom-tooled toward hunting one of our massive namesakes.

To that end, we developed the concept of the schematic. A schematic determines the shape of the blade if you're crafting a sword or the shape of the core armor if you're crafting protective gear. Each schematic takes some combination of metals, leathers, and cloths, and the materials you choose to use determine the effectiveness of the gear, any bonuses built into it, and the visual appearance. A serpentstone blade, for instance, will be a dull greenish color, and onyx will be a shiny black.

Once you have a core piece of gear, you may also be able to upgrade it. If an armor can take upgrades, they will change the shape of the armor as well as add new properties, but will inherit the color scheme of the core body of the armor. Similarly, if you install a new hilt or pommel onto your sword, it will smoothly unify to match the rest of the blade's color scheme.

Oh, and you can name any gear you create, of course. Perhaps you're a Chumbawamba fan and want to call your war hammer "Nugthumper." Who are we to deny you such simple pleasures?

Now let's get to your questions!

If I choose not to craft, will I still be able to find unique or powerful weapons and armor? —Evgeny Negurista, VK.com, Russia

[CHRIS PICKFORD, PRODUCER]: Absolutely, the game doesn't rely on crafting as a necessary component. There are plenty of shiny things to find in Thedas!

[MIKE LAIDLAW]: One of our goals is to let you play the game you want to, so if you want to loot only, loot on!

How will the inventory of your backpack be managed in DAI? Will it be determined by number of slots or weight of objects? —Bejita Saiyajin, Facebook, France

[CP]: Inventory is determined by number of slots. We found this worked better because for most people, it's easier to keep mental track of a straightforward number. Additionally, as you power up your Inquisition, you can improve your inventory slots via Inquisition customization.

Will there be schematics to craft weapons and armor? —Anton Pavlov, VK.com, Russia

[CP]: Yes, schematics are found or bought, and they give you access to a very wide range of options for your weapons and armor.

[ML]: There's quite a wide collection of them, too, and since your Inquisition's crafters are, well, crafty, you can find some pretty exotic mixes. An Enchanter Mail schematic, for instance, might use more metal than normal mage armor schematics, but the result will also look sturdier.

Are craftable weapons comparably strong to looted ones? —Jannis Fritsche, Facebook, Germany

[CP]: They can be, yes. It depends how you manage your crafting materials. For instance, dragon bone is one of the hardest crafting materials you can get. Do you put it into an armor slot to harden your defense? Or do you put it into an attacking slot for high damage per second? Or maybe a utility slot for a strength upgrade? Or what about a masterwork slot for a chance to cast a special attack? Powerful items like these take time, effort, and planning to create.

Can we craft weapons with elemental effects? —@yohanksm, Twitter

[CP]: Absolutely. Both the masterworking system and the runes system can apply elemental effects, some of which can help trigger cross-class combos with other abilities. An example is a masterwork material that gives a chance to cast Chain Lightning on a hit, shocking enemies and setting them up for a detonation attack such as Explosive Shot. Runes are exceptionally useful for targeting specific faction groups such as dragons, demons, and undead.

[ML]: In addition to the rarer systems Chris points out, base enchanting applies visual effects to your weapons as well. The writers have gotten a little competitive in the past few weeks, trying to out-craft one another. A greataxe crackling with electricity is a heck of a thing on the battlefield.

Can mage staves also be modified? —Mari Villoz, Facebook, Spain

[CP]: Yes, staves can also be modified, and they even get some special runes that apply only to them.

[ML]: You can also change the shape of the bottom's blade and the grip, and as with every other modification, you can also build custom mods that apply exactly the properties you want and install them, should off-the-shelf purchased modifications not suit.

Can you craft absolutely unique armor or weapons? —Mikhail Panasyuk, VK.com, Russia

[CP]: Yes, and we even let you name your equipment at the end! Between item creation, modification, runes, and masterworking—you've got a lot to play with.

Will there be new materials to the series to craft items with? —Askold Sivoronsky, VK.com, Russia

[CP]: Yes, we've had to expand the number of crafting materials to cover all the gameplay improvements we wanted to make. There are even some materials that allow characters to wear armor that isn't necessarily allowed for their class… but it's very rare.

Will there be rare crafting materials, or are most of them easy to find? —@FreshRevenge, Twitter

[CP]: As with any major system, it will vary. Common crafting nodes will be plentiful and easy to spot, whereas the rare or legendary crafting nodes will take some exploring to uncover. That said, when you start getting into masterworking, you might find a top-tier common material with an unusual property. For example, iron is a very common material; however, if you find top-tier masterworking iron, it can give you a chance to become Unbowed on a hit. You'll have to find out what that means later. ;-)

[ML]: To continue being a tease: you'll find that the Inquisition's crafting capabilities grow over time, too. The system starts out quite flexible, but adds even more complexity after certain events.

COMBO QUESTION!

What level of customization will we have with our companions? —Emil Hellberg, Facebook, Sweden

Does the customization of our companions' outfits show visual changes for them? —Dragon Age Fan Page, Facebook, France

Is there an opportunity to change colors of armor and robes? Also, are there cloaks and hoods in the game? —@Worlddragonage, Twitter

[CP]: All companions have the same customization system as the Inquisitor, so all characters can be modified to your will.

[ML]: The characters do have their own themes, though, so an Enchanter Mail (as referenced above) will look different on Dorian, Solas, Vivienne, and the Inquisitor. Many properties do carry over, though, especially colors, so predominantly red outfits will still be red across characters—they'll just be styled to better reflect their personalities. We figure that, with its army of smiths, the Inquisition can handle a few tweaks here and there. Of course, if you find more emblematic armor, like, say, Grey Warden mail, you can expect that to look like its namesake on whoever wears it.

Will the Inquisitor have civilian or casual clothing to wear while at Skyhold? —Pierrick Boyet Trinity, Facebook, France

[ML]: While you're in Skyhold, your Inquisitor will be in more casual wear, yes.

Will we be able to craft items for "decorating" our keep? —Francis Blaxell, Facebook, Sweden

[CP]: We do allow customization of the keep using themes such as Ferelden or Orlais; however, they are earned in a different system unique to your Inquisition. That said, we do have the requisitions system that interacts directly with crafting and helps you to power up your Inquisition, leading to more cool stuff for Skyhold.

Regarding mounts, will we be able to modify the accessories, color, etc.? —Eaven D. R. Redondo, Facebook, Spain

[CP]: As you progress through Dragon Age: Inquisition, you'll get access to sturdier mounts of different styles and patterns. While you won't be able tweak each component for mounts, we do allow you to choose from different styles and colors for your steed.

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