BioWare is going to be changing the way romance works in the newest installment of the Dragon Age franchise. According to an interview Lead Writer David Gaider and Creative Director Mike Laidlaw gave GameInformer, the team is trying to take a step away from the “approval rating”-based romance, which is essentially when you try to agree with everything a person says in order to get them to like you. Instead, BioWare is going to make romantic interactions in Dragon Age more event-driven. Essentially, conversations with characters will happen whether their approval rating of you is high or not. This allows for certain situations such as “I don’t approve of what you did but we are friends so I trust you” to occur, where previously they could not.
Laidlaw expanded on the topic: "Your interactions aren't just, 'Hello, I'm here by my tent waiting for you,' but instead something that feels like an outgrowth of all your adventures together and the kind of things that you've been doing. In my ideal scenario, your interaction with the character isn't just about having interacted with them; it's about your interaction with them in relation to the whole game that you've chosen to play. So if you make really sweeping decisions in other parts of the game, that may actually change the nature of those interactions." BioWare aims to seamlessly transition from the adventure part of the story to the romance part. In reference to merging romance into the rest of the game, Gaider said, "“If it’s seamless, the player isn’t going to be able to distinguish between those two paths necessarily.” Although romance options are an important aspect in BioWare titles, the team doesn't see them as essential.
Gaider also added, "We could add a lot more nuance and stuff, but it's really a question of, 'How much content do we want to add for something that's essentially optional?'" Dragon Age: Inquisition will release in the later half of 2014.
Source: The full interview can be found at GameInformer
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Senior Contributing Writer