Why did BioWare not do a good job with DA: Inquisition?


Elite Member
Nov 29, 2009
The problem was that they made it for consoles.

Now please this isn't a knock against consoles but I don't think anyone would mind admitting that console gamers and PC gamers generally want something different in their control schemes.

It's not even as if this is a shock for Bioware. Dragon Age: Origins had great UIs and controls for both the console and PC version of the game. Not once while playing the console incarnation of Origins did I ever feel restricted.

Hell it isn't often Dragon Age II gets praise but even with that title Bioware realised that what works for consoles doesn't always work on the PC and vis-versa.

With Inquisition though it's pretty clear they made the console versions and then thought "let's do as little as possible to get this working on PC."

Bioware honestly need to get back to their PC gaming roots. Because honestly, I think that helped them make better console games too.


Muse of Fate
Sep 1, 2010
Bombiz said:
But if you play for the multiplayer why would you sell it? Also I'm not too keen on selling games.
I live in Canada btw.
I really only play multiplayer games that I feel are the best. Why play Shooter B's MP when Shooter A has better MP? I dedicated myself to playing the shooter with the best gameplay. I used to like to keep my games, but way back in high school I realized, I rarely ever replayed any of my games. So, I started eBay-ing my games. Now, not being a kid/teenager, I don't even have the time to play through all the games I want to let alone replay games. Even if I did want to replay a game later, by then it's super cheap ($5-$10) or it's free on PS+ already. Like Dishonored's DLC is on sale on PSN this week, I actually didn't sell my game (but borrowed it to a friend) but I noticed I can just download Dishonored digitally because it was apparently free on PS+. I sold Bioshock Infinite before it's DLC came out, but I was still able to play the DLC because Infinite is free on PS+.

Charcharo said:
And the PS4 version of Advanced Warfare looks like shit compared to the real one (PC). I was comparing the one I played to Vanquish.

Which CS will die out? And which will take its place? Seems like people want what CS gives them.
*Cause Battleshit 4 is better than Wolfenstein ET ROFL*
The rest is something I cant support and goes against my "games as an art form" beliefs...

No mate. PCs are necessary. Consoles are luxury toys.
"both a low-end PC just for work plus a console for the same price as a gaming PC."

EXACTLY! So you agree with me?
Why do you constantly change the subject? It all started with COD being so expensive because of optimization for lesser hardware. Yet it can't be that well optimized if a lower budgeted game has better graphics. It makes no sense to compare a current gen game to a last-gen game; of course, the current gen game is going to look better. Now, you make a statement about PS4 COD looking like shit compared to PC, just moving further and further away from the original point because you already were wrong.

CS will eventually die out. There's loads of things that CS has that I think most modern shooters should have but there's also things that modern shooters have that makes CS dated from a gameplay standpoint. Same exact thing I'd say about the PS2 SOCOMs. It's not really if there will be a game that comes out that takes CS's place, it's just a matter of when.

Huh? You can have a perfectly functional PC + a console for the same price as a gaming PC. Both options allow for a PC and are both the same cost. Hell, you can get refurbished i5 laptops for $200, what the hell would a nearly 10 year old Core 2 Duo desktop cost? Maybe $100. So, $100 plus $400 (for a PS4 w/ a game) is $500, which is what a decent gaming PC costs. Games are luxuries and hobbies, it doesn't matter if it's a PS4/Xbone/WiiU game or a PC game. And, consoles are PCs; PS2/PS3 can run Linux.


New member
Feb 25, 2012
As someone who liked DAI, I think it was two major things. One, all the negative feedback from DA2 may have been misinterpreted or misguided. I mean, the hatred was so seething for the game that I know a few people who basically wrote it off entirely, saying it was bad all over and completely unplayable, which really wasn't true. It had some major problems, for sure, but people let it go from "bad compared to DAO" to "E.T. levels of bad" which caused Bioware to go in a very different direction. Saying it was all bad while not highlighting what was good or what should have been done sent the wrong message.

Think about, DAI in many ways is basically the anti-DA2. DA2 was confined in one city, DAI has huge open-exploration with hardly any big cities you can explore. DA2 was a personal story that had an "angsty" ending with no good outcomes, DAI was about the FATE OF EVERYTHING and you beat the bad guys decisively and have a party afterward. I could go on an on but I think there was a conscious effort to make it look nothing like DA2, and that order might have come down from on high as these things happen.

Speaking of things being from on high, Skyrim also came out in the interim between DA2 and DAI, and someone may have told them to make it more Skyrimmy. This can be seen with the various small quests. But like Skyrim and the recent Fallout games, its fun to play completely once, but it takes a lot of time before you can work up the energy to do it all again, making replay value with doing EVERYTHING a bit tough. People were used to doing literally everything in past Bioware games without having to make it their part-time jobs.

So if I'm interpreting the question correctly ("why doesn't Bioware just make a DAO clone in a new setting!") then I would say it's a mixture of misinterpreting past criticism and trying to be too derivative and make their crap look too much like other games.

Bat Vader

New member
Mar 11, 2009
Lightspeaker said:
I'm going to say that probably the single biggest problem for DAI is that they tried to make the combat more like DAO whilst also preserving DA2's system and merging the whole lot into an open world MMO-type system. Which was never, ever going to work.

DAO had probably the single worst combat system of any game I have ever played. DA2's system was a huge step up (with some absolutely glaring flaws such as the "waves of enemies" thing) but a lot of people disliked it because, god knows why, they liked the system in DAO. But whatever, that's all opinions and isn't really the thrust of the point here. The thing to take away there is that they play very differently.

And the point is that rather than then trying to pick something and stick with it they tried to cherry pick bits and put it all together in a manner rather like the experiments of a certain Dr Frankenstein. Which resulted in this weird cobbled-together thing with a dodgy DAO-type tactical setup and a more poorly-done DA2-type action system. Making it the worst of both worlds and, frankly, rather incoherent to play.
I disagree. I preferred DAO's combat system muck more than DA2's. I was hoping for DAI that they would go back to the Origin's combat system but instead they did a combination of the two and while I find it fun I still prefer DAO's combat system over the other two.


Trust me, I'm a Doctor.
Jul 30, 2013
"Next up: Why do you think Ion Storm did a bad job with Deus Ex?"

Man. It's the same formula Bioware has been using and improving since KotOR. It's a pretty good game, and as long as they keep doing that in different settings, I'll keep getting and enjoying them. So, no, I don't think they did a bad job. They did a terrific job. Anything that grabs my attention for more than 4 hours in a row is doing something right.


New member
Jan 19, 2014
Malpraxis said:
"Next up: Why do you think Ion Storm did a bad job with Deus Ex?"

Man. It's the same formula Bioware has been using and improving since KotOR. It's a pretty good game, and as long as they keep doing that in different settings, I'll keep getting and enjoying them. So, no, I don't think they did a bad job. They did a terrific job. Anything that grabs my attention for more than 4 hours in a row is doing something right.
Yeah, I actually didn't think DAI was all that bad either. :p

My feelings on it are... odd, though. I enjoyed what I played of the game, but I'm finding it difficult to get into a second playthrough. I'm finding that while the game has some great high points, they're all buried in the open-world, and I can't justify sinking the time or effort in to go through all that fluff just for the small spots where the game really shined. It ends up in this weird place where I liked the game, but I ultimately feel disappointed... or teased, maybe, by it all. I adored a lot of the main quests. The attack on Haven, the siege at Adamant, the Temple of Mythal - they were all great, and it just seems so glaring next to areas like the Hissing Wastes or the Fallow Mire, which are pretty, yeah, but they're so lacking in substance and depth. It makes me wonder what we could've had if BioWare had cut down on the number of areas and given each the attention they'd given to the main quests, or even just to Crestwood. It leaves me feeling let down, since I can practically see what the game could've been.

Combine that with all this praise about the Witcher and how it's "what Inquisition wish it could've been," and I'm left feeling that most feel that Inquisition's a flop or a failure. Maybe I just need to stay out of the Witcher vs. Inquisition threads.


New member
Aug 5, 2009
Because of dumbing down games for a much larger audience. In the end, money is important to any company. Dragon Age Origins felt like a game made for a smaller audience, for a more serious fanbase. The differences between the two are many, but I'll just give combat as an example. DA:I is more "action-ey", less "tactic-ey". They were unable to make charecters interesting, which was a huge downfall after Origins and I cannot understand why, because storytelling and characters are two of Bioware's main strong points. They couldn't deliver on immersion for me.

Don't take me for a DA:O extreme fanboy , but I find the comparison useful. DA2 had too few good things for me to take it in consideration in this discussion.

I think it is because the association with EA, I really do. They like to think big on the target audience and numbers in general, less on content.

P.S. I really tried to finish the story, but it was bland. I quit after 40-50 hours. The exploration is extremely dull and seems like empty filler content, except for some cool areas.

Edit: I want you to know that I still liked the game and I do not regret getting it (50 hours of gameplay is still very good in my book). I'll probably finish it someday, still had two main quests to go, but it let me down in the areas that I know they can and have done alot better with other games.


New member
Apr 12, 2010
Possibly the development team size, they had what... 400+ people working on it? Okay so maybe only 30-50 were actually working on story related content, but that is still a massive number of chefs working to make a single massive meal.
With that in mind it's not really surprising that so many big budget games have a fairly janky main storyline and mounds of irrelevant side-quest content.

Daelin Dwin

Accidentally Prescient
Feb 3, 2014
For a start Witcher 3 isn't an aborted fetus of a Dragon Age MMO that Inquisition felt like.

But that said the two games are pretty different. Ones a custom-character, party based RPG, the other's a defined role, singleplayer-with-maybe-a-companion-or-two-that-you-have-no-control-of endeavour.


New member
Feb 16, 2011
I've just finished the main quest of Witcher 3, still got a few side quests to complete. Finished Inquisition during Xmas holidays. My opinion is that Witcher 3 is vastly superior (I'm actually debating with myself whether or not TW3 is my new favourite game ever, surpassing DA: Origins).

I can't really say why Bioware did a poor job because I don't work for them so I didn't see their internal decision making process. All I can say is why I preferred TW3, and its up to Bioware to figure out the reason behind each point.

Spoilers follow, obviously.

The key points that occured to me are

- TW3 story is better. Ciri is a fantastic character and the second half of the game there were lots of really emotional moments between her and Geralt. I legitimately cared about trying to save her. After finishing DA:I, one complaint that I had was the villain (can't even remember his name) was underdeveloped, hardly ever appears on screen. TW3's villains, Eredin/Wild Hunt, Emhyr/Nilfgaard, Radovid/Redanian Witch Hunters had much more depth. Having said that, I would have liked to see a bit more conflict between Nilfgaard and Redania. They caused some problems for Geralt, but they never really attacked each other.

- Rest of the companions, writing and voice acting are about equal. Its always been Bioware's best strength.

- TW3 combat is vastly superior. I don't really have a preference between tactical party combat and solo action combat. Dragon Age Origins combat is equal to TW3 in my opinion. But my biggest complaint about Inquisition is that Bioware completely gutted the tactics from the earlier games. I mean, DA2 wasn't great, but even that was better. For Inquisition, they removed the companion orders menu (for example stuff like "when health is below X%, use ability Y") and removed healing magic. Meanwhile TW3 was exactly what I expected, only better. Fast paced, skill based, lots of abilities that are useful in different situations because the various creatures have different strengths and weaknesses.

- TW3 had a much more interesting open world, and far more attention to detail in the quests. Inquisition had alot of filler content, fetch quests, kill 10 of this, find 10 rocks. Pretty much every side quest in TW3 had an actual story to it. Its kind of like a TV show (Supernatural comes to mind) where you've got the overall season arc, and then the one off episodes where the heroes just go and hunt a monster.


New member
Oct 1, 2009
hentropy said:
Speaking of things being from on high, Skyrim also came out in the interim between DA2 and DAI, and someone may have told them to make it more Skyrimmy. This can be seen with the various small quests. But like Skyrim and the recent Fallout games, its fun to play completely once, but it takes a lot of time before you can work up the energy to do it all again, making replay value with doing EVERYTHING a bit tough. People were used to doing literally everything in past Bioware games without having to make it their part-time jobs.
My guess is that they took a lot of people from the Star Wars: The Old Republic team and pushed them onto DA:I when SWTOR development wound down. Those people, both designers and artists/coders, had worked up lots of experience making MMO environments, quests etc. and they probably took that with them when they went to work on DA:I.

Keep in mind, I am not saying that this is how it went down, but it makes sense timing-wise and would explain the "MMO-feel" of DA:I.


New member
Jul 18, 2010
Sniper Team 4 said:
So...we're not supposed to list Inquisition's flaws, but you want us to explain why it under-preformed in our opinion? Um...I don't think I can do that, so here we go.

As so many people have been saying, the game felt extremely padded. I'm playing through it again on Nightmare, and this time I'm just doing the minimum of the areas, because I just want to be done. I want my platinum. Why do I want to be done? Well, the padding isn't helping. A lot of these side quests feel half-finished. It's like BioWare went, "Okay, that's good enough. They got the exp. What else do they need?" Like the woman who jumped off the cliff. It's easy enough to tell that a demon convinced her to do that, but when you complete the quest, no one says anything. The mages don't explain what happened, the other characters don't react to the truth. Heck, even your character just reads the journal and moves on like nothing happened. That's...really underwhelming compared to past BioWare games.

But I think the biggest problem that BioWare ran in to is that they shifted gears in the story in the last ten minutes or so (I'm exaggerating a bit, but that's what it feels like). Throughout the vast majority of the story, we are told that Corifie-spit is the main threat. The characters harp on and on about him, and if you played Legacy, you understand. This guy is bad news. He is a threat that the world has never faced, and he is messing with forces that humans, elves, dwarves, and all the other races should not touch.
And then, on the second to last mission, the game makes a hard right. Cory becomes secondary as all this elven lore gets stuffed into your face. It raises so many questions and throws a wrench so hard and deep into the main story that the main villain, and his boss fight, feel like an afterthought at the end. It's like BioWare suddenly decided they wanted to tell another story, and it doing so, the sucked the 'feel' of the Dragon Age games right out of Inquisition.

Now, why did they do this? I think that's what you're looking for, right? I think it's because BioWare's eyes got a little too big for their stomachs. Ever since Dragon Age: Origins, I've always suspected that we're missing something. The Maker vanishing, the elven gods vanishing, the Fade, the Darkspawn, Flemeth, and many other things. BioWare has slowly been revealing little clues about all of these things, and I've suspected that they're all related since the first game. Something major happened that has been wiped from history, and BioWare is trying to clue us in with their lore.
But with this game, they tried too hard. I think they thought this would be the game where they can finally turn everything on its head and get fans really talking, but it wasn't. They wanted to drop as many hints as they could--I mean, have you seen that after-credits scene?--but they got carried away. They were like little kids in a candy shop, and instead of savoring each piece, they stuffed it all in their mouths at once.

I get it. The elf lore that we've been lead to believe is wrong. Terribly wrong. And they were much more involved in everything than we've been lead to believe (again, something I've long suspected), but this all comes so fast, and so close to the end of the game (probably because BioWare suddenly realized, 'Crap! We're out of time! Uh...screw it, let's do this!'), that it suddenly feels like you are playing a completely different game for the last hour or so. And because of that, the entire game deflates for me, and that's why I think it under-preformed.
I agree.
And to build on this, they also expanded an expansion for DA2. Which is where I think the "padded feeling" comes from in DA3.

Personally, I didn't find it all that padded, but disjointed.
Padding is when there is a great length of nothing between "story packets". A good example of padded would be FFXII. You get a boss, then *could* head over to the next part in the story... but you'll be so severely underleveled that you'll need to grind for hours to level up to the appropriate level for that story chunk.
While disjointed is when the story just sort of happens with only threadbare ties to the overall plot... if at all.

Take what is the obvious holdover from the DA2 expansion: Exalted March.
We can deduce from basically what are the least disjointed parts of DA3 what is likely to have been included.
Templar v Mages, Corypheus, and possibly the Wardens.
Corypheus is center stage to all these conflicts, and given the axed expansion's title, it's obvious that the Templar v Mage war would be the focal.
However, the game would be over FAR too soon with just those areas and events... so they added ideas that were on the table for DA3 (eg the game after the expansion for DA2 that was merged with the expansion to give us Inquisition).
The Empress, Imshael, The Well of Sorrows, etc all hold the most slightest of tangential of obscure relations to Corypheus.

And that's why I believe the game feels "padded" to people... because those conflicts are not ultimately relevant to the game's desired main conflict: The Ancient Darkspawn Magister Lord who wants to be a god/is crying about his god being dead. (Throughout the game he's all "I'mma be a god!" but then at the end he's all "wha wha wha Dumat, Y U no talk no mo!?"...)

Not to mention that Corypheus was a terrible fight.... I mean... I have 0 desire to play the Witcher 3, so I can't compare to the final boss there... but... as final bosses go... Corypheus was pathetic. (I blame the multiplayer's BS tainting the game.... guard, barriers, no heals, etc...)
He was 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000x harder in DA2's Legacy... because he was a real mage, and not this gimped MP mage BS.
Or just compared to Meredith, a fairly easy fight, but one that is infinitely harder than Corypheus in DA3...
He couldn't even finish his taunt VO because Bull killed him too fast so he zoomed to the next area. Something Meredith was allowed to finish... even after all the OP items and extra levels from all the DLCs.
He is probably the worst designed fight in the entire franchise.
And personally, I blame the shit mechanics demanded for MP shenanigans for a large reason. (his dragon was 10000000x harder than him, just because he is a generic mage.)
And while the Archdemon from Origins isn't something that I would consider difficult, there was a flow to the battle that made it fun and a challenge. (Again, the same with Meredith)

However, even with all these faults, DA3 is still better than an unmodded DA2. (I say unmodded because with certain mods, DFA being a large one, you can get DA2 to be basically a poorer Origins.)
So it's not bad... it's just not very good.
It's faults are rather large but it's story is pretty good and the characters are nice. (I didn't hate any of them, but I loved all but the one companion in DA2 I hated, Fenris, and the one I was disappoint in, Anders. And you can hug Varric here.... so kill off Hawkes!)
But the ME/MP bleed of gameplay adjustments sort of compound (or even generate) many of the technical issues with the game. (And yes, plot is a technical issue.)

EDIT: Also! WTFH was with them axing the ONLY good things that came out of DA2!?!? Unique companion trees, friendship/rivalry and bonus (though I AM glad they went back to the approve/disapprove because gaining friendship points was SUPER immersion breaking), and why in the world did they get rid of the ability to actually level??? (Oh yeah, cause that wouldn't be balanceable in MP and people liked no level ups in Skyrim... 9_9)


New member
Aug 13, 2008
1. Fan reaction to DA2 and ME3 led to Bioware trying to make DA:I as safe and unrisky story-wise as possible. They reined in their creativity a great deal and went with a basic, cliche, safe hero story with everyone kissing the PC's butt (unless they are a big meanie) and making the player feel super powerful. This was a huge complaint about DA2. Not everyone worshiped the ground Hawke walked on when they did perceived "nice" things, Hawke didn't feel really powerful to the player, Hawke was a one city hero and generally not hugely important on the world scale compared to Bioware's history of planet/galaxy saving, perfect, unstoppable heroes. (I personally loved that.)

2. I've read the game was originally intended to be some kind of MMO. When fans reacted like they did about DA2, and then with the great success of Skyrim, Bioware abandoned that MMO idea. They Frankensteined those ideas with ideas meant for the final DA2 DLC, and Dragon Age Inquisition was born.

3. As much as I like having the multi-race/multi-background, in retrospect I feel like that just ties up the writers hands and makes the personal story less focused for the hero. They did a really terrible job applying it in Inquisition. I loved playing a qunari but I felt like it had minimal affect on things besides people pointing it out and saying a few racist things every now and then (also, being taller than everyone else was cool). I had gone into the game expecting things like my character having problems with Varric because his experiences in Kirkwall made him a bit twitchy about qunari. When I had finally played DA:O that first time (I played DA2 first) I felt like it wasn't a huge, ground breaking thing like everyone made it out to be, but it was certainly done better than Inquisition. DA2 in my opinion though, just had a much better, more focused personal story for Hawke because they cut it back to just a human PC. That allowed the writers more room to work for a more personal and interesting story.


New member
May 19, 2012
I think the problem with DA:I is simply that the combat system they designed stinks. They insist that they don't want to create something that's basically just Baldur's Gate, but as we all saw from Pillars of Eternity and Dragon Age Origins there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. They also insist that they don't want to create a fantasy Mass Effect so they don't put any real sword fighting or companions that aren't idiots in the game. What we ended up with is an unholy mess of a combat system where the difficulty setting just adds tedium and nothing ever feels satisfying.

Blood Brain Barrier

New member
Nov 21, 2011
I think they went for the 'shopping list' approach. Instead of coming up with a deep, bold and well thought-out concept for a game, they went ahead and wrote down all the things that said game should have. God knows where they got these ideas - marketing stats, developer's likes and dislikes, asking the fans. But it's pretty clear they wanted to have 'something for everyone', and ended up with nothing really for anyone except a weak collection of not particularly interesting activities on a sprawling map.

And of course, such an approach requires a very large team which didn't seem to be coordinated very well. They probably had a whole division working on fetch-quests, another for combat or the war table, another for crafting. The whole thing felt like ten different games smashed into one against their will, ending up with no distinctive character of its own.

For me the game is proof you can't just sit around a table like it's a corporate meeting, throwing ideas at the team leader. 'A War table, huh? Brilliant!'. Such an approach is always going to feel inorganic and without the personal touch all the best works of art have.

Bioware has simply grown too large for its own good.


New member
Jan 20, 2009
Blood Brain Barrier said:
I think they went for the 'shopping list' approach. Instead of coming up with a deep, bold and well thought-out concept for a game, they went ahead and wrote down all the things that said game should have.
We can end the thread here.
Something could have been said about Bio lacking some talent too, but then the fans haven't been very picky sofar, so that's not what's causing the new disappointments. So a lack of focus, the end.


New member
Nov 18, 2009
My only gripe was the shards was annoying gameplay. The jumping in 3D environments was annoying at times. This was highlighted by the shard collection. The quest attached to it became obsolete as you completed more of it. You had to effectively complete the game to get a mid-game level reward. (The passive resistances to the main character was nice).

Hissing Wastes was a hell hole. Vast empty night time desert where the zone's quest was hidden in a far side corner of nothingness.

I felt like the ratio of side:main content was too far in the side of things. I felt like there wasn't enough main content. There was enough gameplay for it all. I suppose in DA:O you knew you needed to do all the treaties and then something will carry on. You knew where you were in the story. DA2 you knew it was 3 acts. DA:I you had no idea. I thought I completed the game when the breach was seal. I then thought the last level was sieging the elf temple.

I didn't like the real time completion map missions. They added worldness to the game, but the real time aspect was weird. Rewarded unplay.

Everything else was amazing.

I can say Witcher 1 and 2's gameplay I did not like at all.

So each to their own?

DA:I had some weird bugs, but they could be worked around.


New member
Nov 14, 2011
DA Inquisition felt like an MMO that had been repurposed into a single player game because there was going to be a big backlash if Bioware didn't get back to its roots. There was an abundance of fetch quests as opposed to meaningful content with consequences, there was too much backtracking between zones and Skyhold, the combat and gameplay lacked depth, and the game overall was simply poor.

This was different to The Witcher 3, because TW3 had a world which was designed to feel lived in, gritty and alive. The quests, whilst they did follow a formula, were well designed and each had an interesting backstory behind them. The third act was flawed, but it was a game that felt designed by individuals and love instead of by a committee.


New member
Nov 30, 2012
1) You are the leader of a group of people. At no point are you ever anything other than the Person in Charge of Everything. All real decision making is yours & yours alone. Even if you technically have superiors above you, they still let you do whatever you want.

2) There are no real consequences. Oh the cut-scenes at the end will be different, the dialog will change a little, but in the end your choices don't really affect your Great Destiny in any meaningful way. By the way, for old fart who remember pen & paper RPGs, that is the hallmark of a bad dungeon master with delusions of grandeur.

3) Binary morality system with little to zero middle ground. Couple that with a system where all the best perks lay only at the very ends of these opposing extremes, thus further discouraging any independent thought or real ethics driven decision making - all that falls to the wayside in favor of Min/Maxing your perks on the blue/red slider.

4) The world stops for dialog. You can be in the middle of a war but if there is dialog to be had then all time around you slows to a halt until we get done with this mini-cutscene, dangit.

5) The background lore is more interesting than the gameplay mechanics.

Now the punchline: Which Bioware game I talking about? KotoR? Jade Empire? Dragon Age? Mass Effect?