Bioware developer Mark Darrah shared some interesting insight on Dragon Age Inquisition’s development, as the ideas for it predate Dragon Age 2.
Basically, the original design for Dragon Age Inquisition was for a multiplayer online only game. While online multiplayer is no longer the main mode for the game, it is what informed its overall design.
Darrah’s statement is below:
It was a Dragon Age game, multiplayer only, that was in development before Dragon Age II came out. That became the core of what became Dragon Age Inquisition, the techlines, more than any of the development, so we’ve actually been looking at [multiplayer] a long time.