Dragon Age: Inquisition devs talk factions, dragons, and a 50-hour story arc at E3 2014

Ian Birnbaum at

After our double-dose of Dragon Age: Inquisition videos yesterday, we were already pretty amped up for the huge open-world take on the Dragon Age mythos. Today, executive producer Mark Darrah and creative director Mike Laidlaw joined the Twitch.tv E3 streaming broadcast to talk more about the game’s story, crafting systems, and squad-control mechanics.

Laidlaw and Darrah spoke for about half an hour about how and why you’ll move through the massive open world in Inquisition. Players will be able to customize their weapons’ hilts, blades, and guards, equip their followers with upgraded armor, and work to make the Inquisition a powerful force in the region.

“Ultimately everything you’re doing is designed to strengthen you and your party, or you’re doing things that strengthen the Inquisition,” Laidlaw and Darrah said during the gameplay video. “One of the core tenants of Dragon Age: Inquisition is that you’re the leader of an organization, and this allows you to do things you couldn’t do as an individual.”

Gathering ingredients and crafting is also a key part of strengthening the Inquisition. Dragons in particular have been redesigned to be end-game battles with valuable crafting components—but you’ll need some help to take them down.

“We’ve reworked dragons from the ground up. Rather than targeting a dragon as a giant circle, you can now target individual limbs. And they’re so big that you can really get inside it, under it, beneath it. There are different types, different breeds, but they’re all apex predators.”

According to Laidlaw, the game will take about fifty hours to complete if you ignore every sidequest and just burn through the story content. If that’s accurate, it means there’s a staggering amount of plot to explore as the head of the Inquisition. We’ll also get to see some familiar faces return from early Dragon Age games, including Leliana, Morrigan, and Cullen.

You can catch up on all of our E3 2014 coverage here.