BioWare have been busily answering questions about the Dragon Age: Inquisition crafting and customisation systems, the results of which have been collected at the official site. The Q&A compilation comes with some new crafting-based images (below) and a fairly detailed introduction from Mike Laidlaw.
Laidlaw says the main goal of having such a crafting system in Dragon Age: Inquisition was to provide as much appearance customisation as possible, while also allowing weapon experimentation. The development team wanted to give players the chance to create a specific weapon/armour combination for a specific, high-level task, such as hunting a dragon.
As previously discussed by BioWare, the main component of any weapon or armour is the schematic. These are the base items from which your customisation stems. Every schematic determines the basic shape of the item, but depending upon what set of materials you use to forge it, the item will gain different properties and a different appearance. Laidlaw gives the example of a blade made from serpentstone (which would be a dull green) versus the shiny black tones of an onyx blade.
Further upgrades may change the shape of the armour of weapon still further, while retaining the colour scheme. Dragon Age: Inquisition will let you name your custom weapons, so you can finally have that hammer called Ground Pound McSmashySmash.
The Q&A segment confirms that you won’t be forced into crafting if you don’t fancy it. So if you want to rely on found loot alone and not bother doing any customisation, the game will still be possible to beat that way. BioWare say that crafted weapons “can be” more powerful in comparison to purely looted stuff, though. It all depends on how smartly you manage your found or purchased materials. Powerful items will take “time, effort and planning” to create.
Inventory is said to be determined by number of slots rather than a weight function, and this number of slots can be increased through improving and upgrading the Inquisition as an institution.
Both the masterworking and runes system mean that elemental effects can be applied to weapons in Dragon Age: Inquisition, so things like chain lighting are an option (and will come with relevant visual effect.) Mages, fear not, your staves can be modified and customised just like other weapons. They will even have some unique stave-only runes.
Naturally, rarer crafting materials will be harder to find. However, Laidlaw also mentions that certain “common” materials sometimes have unusual properties: “when you start getting into masterworking, you might find a top-tier common material with an unusual property. For example, iron is a very common material; however, if you find top-tier masterworking iron, it can give you a chance to become Unbowed on a hit.” He adds that players will have to wait to find out what “Unbowed” means in the game’s context.
All of the Dragon Age: Inquisition companions use the same crafting system as the player, so you can style them with whatever visual combinations the game will allow. Each companion is said to have their own “style,” so a given piece of armour will look slightly different on (say) Vivienne than Solas. Things like predominant colours will carry over, though.
It’s added that when in Skyhold, your Inquisitor will switch out of their armour into more “casual” wear. It’s also mentioned that as you progress through the game, your character will have access to different coloured mounts.
If you missed all the Livestream stuff about character creation, head over here to read about that. Dragon Age: Inquisition will be released in November.