ZThemes

theveganmothership:

The crazy looking Valais Blacknose Sheep from Switzerland

ladyinsanity:

"If we do our job, you’ll tell us in 6 months. Probably on a forum somewhere."

The Panel

  • Andrew Farrell, Senior Artist
  • Dean Roskell, Senior Level Designer
  • Jason Barlow, Development Manager
  • Leah Shinkewski, Associate Producer (DA Keep)
  • Mike Laidlaw, Creative Director
  • David Hulegaard, Community Manager (and panel’s Moderator)

"[Bioware] spent a long time in pre-production," as Frostbite originally was used for first-person shooters like Battlefield 4. Everything was hacked by the level designers to prepare for dialogue, communication, and other Dragon Age elements. 

Adventuring

The Frostbite engine allows Dragon Age: Inquisition to implement and use big spaces. Players will travel through multiple regions, similarly to Origins of a fast-travel across the nation. The developers have kept three goals in mind:

  1. Area Variety. Keep the environments fresh and organic for the player to explore.
  2. Make the areas significant. “Why is the Inquisitor here?” Each place has purpose.
  3. Re-discover discovery. Allowing players to traverse the world in any direction they want to go.

The Inquisitor will experience and shape the world through directly influencing the world. With the antagonist hidden and an environment clouded in conspiracy, soldiers are uprooting evildoers at your command and the Inquisition is gaining prestige and power. Your party is the “vanguard” that heads change. By sending troops to fix towers and gain extra areas, your power rises. You, as the Inquisitor, have very unique abilities, involved with closing the rifts, that no other man or woman can do. It’s up to you how to handle the chaos in the world.

Because of multiple regions, every level offers its own challenge. Enemies are unique to the ecosystem, while environmental elements like desert ruins or the coastline with steep hills offer different conflict. 

Highlands

A snowy area where “something goes wrong” and may force conflict with the Red Templars (templars influenced by red, raw lyrium). The location is not simply a small camp - it’s a territory strongly owned and enforced by the Red Templars. The Inquisition’s job, if the player chooses to engage this area at all, is to keep the front moving into this entrenched area by slowly pushing up the mountain.

The main base of operations is protected in the back. War camps protect the front. Red crystals scatter across the snowy fields.  It’s impossible to freely roam this area, as the soldiers litter across the war camps, until the Inquisitor and armies complete certain tasks to alleviate the Red Templar command. 

Highlands is a Tier-2 encounter, scripted like a puzzle. They are not simple highwaymen walking down some path; it’s an army. The Red Templar faction is a full force, dabbling in powerful lyrium and gaining new powers. However, it’s hard to leave them alone, as their base is a big supply position and its continued presence will only help the Red Templars thrive.

Beyond the Red Templars, the Behemoth will be a challenging opponent. A great creature of raw, red power that influences the environment around it. As it will stand firm, with the help of other templars to distract, it’s up to the Inquisitor’s judgement how to handle such a strong opponent. 

The quest line is a terrible risk, but the prize… “You may have gone somewhere else entirely. Like not going to this area at all, but still progressing in this part of the game.” You can drive the story without needing to stop to help at every turn, though it may help the Inquisition for better purposes. Gold is the most immediate treasure, but influence and a new location of a good supply position will help. Your choice.

(Small note: A character from The Masked Empire will appear in the Highlands. It apparently makes sense that they are present.)

Hunting and Gathering

If you want to go dragon hunting, you can. If you want to pick herbs, you can. If you want to hunt deer or nugs (HOW DARE YOU), you can. 

Keep in mind that ecosystems deplete over time, if you hastily wipe out an area. Sometimes you will have to wait for certain areas to repopulate. The developers are not encouraging grinding/farming in these systems, but to make sure that the ecosystem is organic to how an area would naturally feel. 

Kill a few wolves. Let them live. Come back a few times every now and then, and you get a new coat. Maybe down the line, you’ll make a pair of shoes. 

But, kill them all at the same time and you might wait be out of luck the next time you need fancy armor.

Short Things

  • Elfroot is rare
  • Specific kills against a creature faction will benefit combat against that faction in the future
  • "Big *** creepy spiders" are in caves. And possibly in crates. Do not open. (You’ve been warned)
  • Time to crate, a term to describe “how long does your game manage until you have to break a crate”

A Moment for Combat

Traps, stealth, and abilities were improved to help preemptively plan for battle. Walls of ice (edit: magically made ice walls) and blockades will force archers to move into line of sight. 

Dragons

Dragons are designed to rip your head off. Good luck getting in direct contact enough to swing a blade, as they are terrifyingly difficult encounters. In most cases, you will target the limbs enough to attack the head. Dragons have dynamic flight patterns, where it adjusts to certain details: your health, your in-combat/out-of-combat status, and your location. However, dragons are not simply generating out of the sky; each dragon is an individually scripted encounter. It exists for its environment.

Preparing to kill a dragon is your first step. Gearing and preparing your party is second. Dragon hunting alone is giving yourself quests, as many prerequisites exist to not get utterly torched by one.

Quick tip: THE FLOOR IS LAVA.

Ah, well. Not really. Just a tip that dragons can scorch the earth and its fire can damage an Inquisitor’s pretty feet.

DA Keep

The free, web-based experience Keep will “allow you to shape and share your experiences”. The best part of Keep is its ability to help discover and illustrate new areas that the player may have not seen before. Developers are happy with using Keep, as it builds confidence in making sure it’s not detrimental whether the player has or has not played Origins or 2. Going into the future, the Keep will be an effective tool in helping players import worlds and share stories with others. 

Quick Answers

Happenings outside the DA games franchise (i.e books, movies) will relate in the timeline of all events. - Mike Laidlaw, said right before The Masked Empire being referenced in Inquisition

Day and Night cycles? No, as it is driven by story. Not on a dynamic system, as a stylistic choice. This way, different environments can have very strong atmosphere and mood in sync with the crafted music and script. On a long term basis, however, it is something the developers may look into.

Weather changes? Yes, as demonstrated by the rain in the Dragon Age: World of Thedas environmental trailer.

Overworld travel map is currently instant-fast travel between nations. Random encounters experienced in between fast-travel, like Origin’s system, is still being investigated and nailed down by the developers. The issue is that entering an area involves scripted encounters for your base. The context of the game has changed so much that it feels unnecessary, but is still being evaluated for Inquisition.

Elements from the novel Asunder will, at the very least, be explored. At least one character from Asunder will appear.

No MMO planned, as of now. While they do have gameplay fundamentals mirroring MMO-mechanics, they want to concentrate on building story. Experience is for “one player coordinating actions of the party”.

Scouts are sent out to show possible places to overtake, like old keeps or outposts. They will tell you the initial storyline and purpose/advantage for the Inquisitor to venture out. These bases captured will be safe harbors for that regional area, once claimed.

49,126 plays

escaped-ocelot:

the most important 5 seconds in all of metal gear history and quite possibly video game history as a whole

mybeautifulidiot:

*settles into bed with blankets laptop headphones a drink and everything* ahh yes perfect. I have to pee. 

(Source: flabebes)

(Source: metalgearzeta)

(Source: staticwind)

alicekaninchenbau:

The Many Tiaras of Sailor Moon, and a few other ones as well

Sailor Moon has had a TON of different tiaras, especially during the development process of the comic, so I thought I’d make a quick collection of the different types of tiaras!

Prototype Tiaras: There’s a few tiaras which have the hair ornaments attached to the tiara itself, which is interesting since in the final comic they weren’t attached to the tiara. There’s a Prototype Sailor Moons that entirely lack said ornaments so that’s naturally interesting. You can also notice that some of the original versions had a more round gem on the tiara, while in the final project the gem is oval shaped. There’s one tiara that had details on it (far right), one that was half gold half silver, and the crazy tiara on the far left.

Tiaras in the Comic: There’s the regular tiara, the upgraded tiara, two different versions of the tiara that has a crecent moon on it instead of a gem, and as a bonus I put Moon Tiara Frisbee there. And as we all know, Eternal Sailor Moon lacks a tiara, she now has only her Moon Symbol (this also applies to Sailor Cosmos. Sailor Galaxia lacked a tiara entirely, but she seemed to have a crown of sorts).

Tiaras in the Cartoon: There’s the regular tiara as well as the more detailed tiara that you could only see in Moon Tiara Action’s stock footage. I also added the tiara when it’s not on Sailor Moon’s head. Then there’s the upgraded tiara. I also found purely by accident an unknown tiara in some concept art in Tadano Kazuko’s Artbook ‘Final Sailor’. Some say it’s for a doujinshi, but I haven’t seen any proof of this. I don’t know what’s up with this trippy tiara but at the very least it’s a fun bonus to show to people.

Tiaras in the Musicals: From the little I know, the first four actresses of Sailor Moon in the musicals all had the same tiara (or at least one that looked similar, finding references wasn’t easy), while the fifth actress had a different looking tiara that’s more accurate to the source material. (Some Eternal Moons had Crecent Moons on their foreheads but they weren’t tiaras really.)

Tiaras in PGSM: While Sailor Moon’s tiara looks fairly similar to the source material (the gem only lacks a piece of metal around it, and it has fairly very obvious moons on it), Princess Sailor Moon has a very unique tiara; the gem has gone from a bright pink to red and the tiara itself is made of golden pearls/balls.

Other Tiaras: This gallery was intended to focus on Sailor Moon’s tiaras so I’ll briefly go over other tiaras: in the comic Jupiter’s tiara always has an antenna (while in the cartoon the antenna would only appear when she performed Supreme Thunder). Other than that the Inners and Outers all had the exact same tiara. Super Chibi Moon did have a moon instead of a gem on her tiara, but all Eternal Soldiers except Moon had a star-shaped gem. Chibi Chibi is the only exception; she had a pink, heart-shaped gem on her tiara. The Starlights as well as Sailor Kakyuu all had a different looking tiara entirely. In the comic the tiara itself looks very, very thin and has a star in the middle, while in the cartoon the tiara was a lot thicker. In PGSM, Dark Mercury has a very unique looking Tiara with lots of details.

You might be able to see the details better by clicking on the images! And, if I did any mistakes, well, my bad! ^^;

pinopora:

Pinoco

michellemagica:

This was all well and good, but so impressed was she by him that the princess vowed to become a prince herself one day. But was that really such a good idea? (x)
OH MY GOD IM CRYING OVER THESE PICTURES IM CRYING OVER UTENA ILL NEVER COME OUT OF THIS COFFIN ILL NEVER BE A PRINCE IF I CANT STOP SOBBING
Im so passionate about this series and Im so glad I got to cosplay her ! more photos to come soon !!

(Source: avetts)

(Source: acornking)

broadway-aradia:

i really want to carry a torch in a cave just like one time

urthemieline:

If you ever need to feel sadder about Zevran Arainai think about his Fade nightmare.

Each companion, when convinced that they are indeed trapped in a nightmare, aids you in the fight against the demons who turn on you. Each, with the exception of Shale, Dog, and Zevran. The first two, because no fight is necessary to wake them from their dreams. The last, because Zevran is simply too scared to help you, even after remembering that he is already a Crow.

Despite remembering you, despite knowing you tell the truth, he stands aside, not daring to raise his blades against the faces of his Crow tormentors. It is not until they lie dead that he can find his bravado again, chuckling about a good racking and asking where those luscious wood nymphs had gone. Repress, deny, survive.

If you ever want to feel even sadder about Zevran Arainai think about the curious appearance of his Crow torturers.

Wonder about their elven background and the vallaslin adorning their faces. Consider Crow demographics and the likelihood and potential circumstances of a Dalish elf becoming a Crow. Then ponder on Zevran’s comment to Harhen Sarel at the Dalish camp, on how they have Dalish up in Antiva City, though they’re much more violent, or so he’s heard. Think about a young Zevran escaping the Crows and running off to join the Dalish when they came near Antiva City, eyes bright and full of hope, thoughts on soft leather and delicate embroidery and a family he never knew. Think about a young Zevran somehow ending up on a rack undergoing his Crow initiation regardless. Thoughts of warm hands and kind smiles repressed, denied.

If you ever want to feel happy about Zevran Arainai think about how much he’s grown.

How he may have killed the last four assassins they’ve sent after him, and ah all their men, oh and the Guildmaster. How two of the seven Crow Guildmasters are already in his pocket and the Guildmaster of Rialto is mysteriously dead. How every disaffected Crow ever cheated of their tithes, driven into hiding, or threatened into silence is being found and turned by Zevran. Think about how the Crows are being torn apart from within by a single elf in a pair of fine Antivan boots, soft Dalish gloves, and a smile that finally reaches his eyes.

(Source: griev0r)