Delving Into Dragon Age’s Keep

Due to time & energy constraints from working full-time on top of finishing my up last internship & semester of graduate school, I haven’t really been doing much gaming in the last few months or keeping up with gaming news.  However, one bit of gaming news that I have been keeping tabs on is the impending release of Dragon Age: Inquisition.  Due to its release on both current & next-gen consoles, BioWare decided that their usual save import system wouldn’t be sufficient this time around (not to mention there are always bugs with these systems).  Instead, they’ve been working on a system known as The Keep.  The Keep is, for lack of a better way to describe it, a browser-based system that allows you to build your version of Thedas based around the decisions from the previous games, save it to your Origin account, and later upload it into your game.

By logging onto the Dragon Age: Keep site, you’re presented with The Tapestry.  This is where you customize what your world will be like.  The Tapestry presents different tiles where you can choose from the various decisions you could have made across both previous games & all of their DLCs.  For example, you can select your character’s class & backstory, who they romanced, & if certain side characters died during your playthrough.  I was able to select my Hawke from the second game (although none of my decisions on that character were selected), but I didn’t have the option of selecting my version of the Warden from the first game.  The site will also tell you when you’ve selected a combination of options that aren’t possible & make you choose which you want to keep or change.  For example, depending on the gender of your Warden, certain romance options aren’t available.  So you can’t cheat your way to choices that weren’t allowed.

Dragon-Age-Keep-Gets-More-Details-from-BioWare-461200-2After playing around with it for a bit, I was pleased with the breadth of options available.  Obviously all of the major decisions were represented, such as who you sided with at the end of DA2 or if you cleansed the Circle in DAO.  But there were also a lot of side quests.  Some of which I couldn’t even remember & actually had to look up to remember what I’d chosen.  Some of the obscure ones were things like if you reunited Hawke’s uncle with his daughter or smuggled lyrium for the dwarves.  Obviously not every decision was included.  I assume BioWare only included the ones that were actually going to have some effect on Inquisition.

I did have a problem, though, that prevented me from completely recreating my experience, but that was due more to one of the bugs I mentioned with importing saves.  It’s a known bug.  In DA2, there’s a bug where the game didn’t register if Nathaniel survived.  His status was affected two possible quests you could receive.  Meaning if he was alive you got one quest, but if he was dead you got another.  But even though he’d survived in my playthrough, & the summary at the beginning said as much, I got the dead-Nathaniel quest.  But like I said, that wasn’t The Keep’s fault.

The Keep also allows you to save nine different worlds.  I find this to be a nice feature, because it means you can play around with the different options without having to constantly replay the other games.

Naturally, I can’t give a full opinion on this system until I actually play Inquisition & see how well it acknowledges my choices.  The system is still in beta, & will probably be until after the game’s release, so I fully expect there to be bugs for BioWare to iron out.  Also, because you must have access to an Origin account, people who don’t play connected to the internet will probably be stuck choosing from pre-made worlds.  But for now I’ll say I’m intrigued by this system & look forward to playing around with it in future.  Because I will be dropping everything else to play Inquisition when it comes out later this month.

– GamerDame

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