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BioWare prepping "beefier" DLC experience for Dragon Age II

on 11 March 2011

Dragon Age II will boast a “beefier” DLC offering than its predecessor says developer BioWare, with more post-release pleasures currently in the pipeline for the acclaimed RPG sequel.

Speaking during a chinwag with Eurogamer, lead designer Mike Laidlaw said the firm’s busy hammering away on more DLC beyond the planned Exiled Prince and Black Emporium packs, and plans to keep hero Hawke in the spotlight for future releases.

"We're going to keep it very focused on your character [Hawke],"  said Laidlaw. "Some feedback we caught out of Origins was that while people liked Leliana's Song, where you primarily played as her, they wanted their Warden to be a part of that story."

"We don't have a solid date on [more DLC]; we certainly have some more in the works. But we'll be announcing more of that as we get closer to locking it down. A big focus for us is to make sure we get it right and we make sure it's, honestly, a beefier experience than the Origins DLCs and one that introduces something new to the Dragon Age game."

BioWare released seven DLC packs for Dragon Age: Origins, though quality-wise things were a bit of a mixed bag. However, Laidlaw has questioned exactly what boxes one must to tick in order to nail “a DLC 9/10.”

"With DLC it's tricky: what exactly constitutes a DLC 9/10?" he observed. "It's actually hard to say because we've only seen very few examples.

"For me, the core goal of DLC is to deliver an experience that integrates very smoothly with the game, one that feels like it works no matter when I'm playing so I don't have to start a brand new game - I want to be able to load a save near the end or almost at the end. And I want to feel like if I've done stuff in the DLC then it does matter; be it loot or experience or knowledge or information or something new that I saw - a new creature or something - those are all the kinds of things you want to see in downloadable content, because what they do is enrich the overall tapestry, which again ties to our idea that you are playing as Hawke - your character and your followers have that same consistency all the way through."

"As a general rule," he added, "you can assume that some new characters are always critical to anything that's going to have story in it, for sure. But I can't go into any specifics."

Elsewhere, in regards to scheduling plans for fresh DLC, Laidlaw said there is currently no “specific” time-line in place, stating, "It's something we'll evaluate as we go forward.”