The Dragonslayer multiplayer expansion is now live for Dragon Age: Inquisition, adding dragons and so much more.
We recently sat down with the dev team to find out how the update came together, and now associate producer Billy Buskell, assistant producer Blair Brown, and quality analyst Luke Barrett are back with some tips and tricks to share.
Are there any new ways to play DAI with the Dragonslayer update?
Blair Brown: The Dragonslayer expansion includes a new gameplay event that can happen in any of the destinations: the veilfire event. One of the zones fills with poison gas and does damage to the party over time.
An agent must grab the torch that creates a protective bubble and the party must fight their way to the end of the zone. Stay together and play defensively to make it through!
How are the dragon fights in Dragonslayer different than the ones in single-player?
Billy Buskell: In single-player, the player is in control of their whole party, which allows for tight coordination of attacks since one person is doing the planning and the executing.
In multiplayer, there are up to four players attempting to take down the dragon. This introduces an element of chaos since no single person plans and executes for the full party. It's up to the team to coordinate and execute as a group.
Players will also find that there are two trebuchets in the arena, which can deal damage to the dragon while she is perched on the towers. The timing can be tricky, so try "pre-loading" the trebuchets so there are only a couple cranks left before it fires.
Once you see the dragon perch, run over and finish cranking the wheel to fire and hit for big damage. It may take a couple tries to find the sweet spot on the timing, but it can make all the difference.
How do players find dragons to fight in Dragonslayer multiplayer?
Billy Buskell: Players will need to create or join a match set to the new Ferelden Castle destination. Before entering the match, at least one player in the party will need to have the brand-new Dragon's Call item in their inventory.
The Dragon's Call is required to smash the gong in Zone 3 to summon the dragon down for the final encounter in Zone 5. Players can craft the Dragon's Call with existing materials from their inventory in the Weapon Crafting screen.
If your party does not have a Dragon's Call, you'll face the enemy faction boss while the dragon continues to attack from the sky. If you have been collecting fire, cold, or electricity resistance potions in your inventory, this is the place to use them!
Dragons can roost in DAI multiplayer. How does verticality change the way fans play the game?
Blair Brown: Verticality is something we've been trying to introduce more of in Dragon Age: Inquisition. The Frostbite engine has really allowed us to implement new ideas and push ourselves out of our comfort zone with level creation. The single-player DLC Jaws of Hakkon did a great job in creating that feeling of verticality, and we tried to carry over that momentum with Dragonslayer.
The new Ferelden Castle destination is full of ledges, ladders, overpasses, and sniper spots for the player or enemies to take advantage of. We also opened up huge sightlines so you can plan ahead which routes to take as you climb the castle.
The dragons also take advantage of these open areas to shoot fire (or frost) balls and take huge strafing runs to attack the party. When you're fighting the dragon, even though she can perch up high to take potshots at your party, there are a couple trebuchets in the area that may help you dislodge her.
Dragonslayer adds a few new class types. What new abilities are available with the Duelist?
Luke Barrett: Isabela, the Duelist, is all about putting her Vendetta on creatures and exploiting new abilities to convert that into stacks of Elusive, her new evasion mechanic. She's got many new abilities to do both of these things but also a couple extra tools at her disposal.
One of my favorite new mechanics that we made is the Blinding Shot ability, where she shoots an enemy with explosive blinding powder, causing that enemy's next attack to miss. This is extremely useful on hard hitting slower enemies like the giants.
Another great one just for the pure feel of it is the Broadsides ability. You can almost feel the kickback of her crossbow when she fires it!
The Virtuoso is a musically adept mage. What are some keys for fans to keep in mind when using the Virtuoso in the game?
Luke Barrett: Mechanically speaking, all of the songs that he plays have a radius of eight meters, so make sure your allies are in range (there is a ring around you that only you can see to show the distance). He was built with the concept of being very flexible, both in his ability style (you can technically have all 10 songs available at once) but also in his mobility.
When you're playing as ZITHER!, you should be constantly moving: all of his attacks are built to work while moving, and one of his default songs grants bonus movement speed. No one can stop the music!
What are some quick tips fans should keep in mind while playing through the new multiplayer content?
Luke Barrett: I know everyone will be super-excited to try out the new map and fight the dragon, but rest assured, this is no easy task. The creature density on the new maps is much higher, and even if you make it to the dragon, it's a tough encounter. Be prepared! Bring a good group mix (tanks, barrier generators, damage) and don't be afraid to unleash the bees.
The Virtuoso has a steeper learning curve than most of the other characters. The mechanics are very different and may take some practice before you can really feel his true strength.
Billy Buskell: Don't be discouraged if you're not reaching or defeating the dragons on your first few tries. Ferelden Castle and the dragons themselves are designed to be more challenging content. Even top-level players accustomed to running Perilous dungeons might want to try a few runs on the lower-difficulty dragons before heading into combat on Perilous.
Once you've gotten the hang of the new Ferelden Castle destination on Routine difficulty, try jumping up to Threatening and Perilous. Defeating dragons on the higher difficulties can earn you rare item drops.
Bring the elemental resistance potion that matches up with your choice of dragon in Ferelden Castle. Even if you don't have a Dragon's Call or intend to fight the dragon in the final encounter, having the resistance for her elemental blasts can be the difference between making it to the next health-recovery font or entering the Fade.