Dragon Age: The Veilguard’s Progression Mechanics Are “Heavily Influenced” by Final Fantasy 10 and 12

dragon age the veilguard

Dragon Age may have started out as a CRPG, but with time, the series has increasingly committed to becoming a more action-driven experience instead, and it looks like the upcoming Dragon Age: The Veilguard will keep that trajectory going. But though the game’s combat is clearly going be significantly more action-focused than Origins or even Inquisition, where its progression mechanics are concerned, it doesn’t look like BioWare is trying to dial things down.

Speaking in an interview with RPG Site, when asked about the game’s progression and upgrade mechanics, game director Corinne Busche revealed that Dragon Age: The Veilguard will feature an “absolutely enormous” skill tree, which, of course, will also change based on which class you’re playing as. On top of that, the game will also add more options and progression pathways in the form of specializations, which each class will have multiple of.

In fact, according to Busche, The Veilguard’s progression mechanics are going to be “heavily influenced” by Final Fantasy 10 and Final Fantasy 12, both of which she counts as some of her favourite games. As per Busche, though the actual progression options themselves will be similar in nature to the latter, in terms of how they’re presented, they will be more like Final Fantasy 10’s Sphere Grid.

“Heavily influenced! Absolutely,” Busche said when asked about The Veilguard’s progression system’s similarities to Final Fantasy 10’s Sphere Grid. “Final Fantasy 10 – one of my all-timers. I will tell you that 12, especially the Zodiac edition, is my favorite. The level of ability selection, passives, in our case also traits – I would say the amount of customization is more analogous to that. The organization is more similar to the Sphere Grid.

“So Final Fantasy 12 might be in my top three favorite games. I’m highly influenced by that when it comes to our progression. But if you, if you want to paint a picture, the spear grid is more… not an exact match, but it’s more akin.

“What we’ve done though, to make it more accessible, is that each of the specializations is on the outer edges of the grid.”

In addition to specializations, each class’ skill tree will also be split into three categories, each pertaining to different kinds of skills and unlocks.

“It is divided into three sections in addition to the specializations,” she explained. “In the case of Warrior for instance you have a section that’s more defense-oriented, one that’s more weapons oriented, and one that’s more ability oriented. So what you might do trying to get to, say, the Reaper specialization is go… Rather than going up through defense into Reaper, I’m going to go down through Ability into Reaper.”

As for party members, they will each have their own unique skills as well, but Busche says that the fewer options will be presented here so as not to overwhelm the player, with the focus being around bringing mechanical changes to companions’ core abilities, which each of them will have five of.

“hey all have unique skill trees, too,” Busche said. “Now, those ones – we don’t want to overwhelm the players. So their skill trees are organized around their individual abilities. So when you unlock their full suite of abilities, each one has a skill tree full of choices where you can get autonomous usage, or lower the cooldowns, or add additional effects to the ability.”

Busche also revealed that the game will feature a level cap of 50, and that players will also be able to freely respec their entire skill tree, with the goal being to be “very player-friendly.”

Dragon Age: The Veilguard launches this Fall for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Stay tuned for more details on the game, especially with a developer Q&A session set for June 14.

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