Dragon Age: The Veilguard RPG gameplay

Dragon Age: The Veilguard Gameplay Won’t be as Action Heavy as Mass Effect

It’s been a busy week for BioWare, who revealed Dragon Age: The Veilguard’s gameplay showcase on Tuesday. While it saw a more positive reception than the divisive Xbox showcase trailer, it’s still left some concern about how important its RPG systems will be. However, according to Design Director Corinne Busche, they will be very important indeed.

What did Corinne Busche say about Dragon Age: The Veilguard gameplay?

“So,” Busche told RPG Site, “if I were to contrast Mass Effect versus Dragon Age, for instance . . . I really view Mass Effect as an ARPG. Big action, minor RPG. We’re almost the total inverse of that.”

The Mass Effect comparison didn’t come out of nowhere. The companion ability wheel shown in the Dragon Age: The Veilguard’s gameplay reveal resembles the one from BioWare’s sci-fi RPG shooters. One could also be forgiven for coming away from the showcasing thinking that active abilities and tactical depth had taken back seat to button mashing.

However, unlike Mass Effect, which only has a few abilities per class, Veilguard’s skill trees are “absolutely enormous,” according to Busche. She also explained the skill tree’s structure, comparing it to a spiderweb or the Sphere Grid from Final Fantasy X. The basic Mage, Warrior, and Rogue class skills are at the center of the grid. Abilities get more advanced as the player moves outward, with the Specialization trees arranged on the outer ring. Players should expect to reach a Specialization around mid-game.

The player’s companion’s abilities don’t seem as flexible, however. She explained how each party member has five core abilities, with their skill trees focusing on upgrades. “Neve and Bellara are both Mages,” Busche explained, “so they share two core Mage abilities between each other, right? However, the other three are class or character-unique.” The different upgrade branches will also change how characters behave in Dragon Age: The Veilguard’s gameplay.