Dragon Age: Inquisition AI is smarter than you

4 min read

Strategy combat DAI

Even die hard Bioware fans will confess that the AI in their games hasn’t always been stellar. Enemies would often cause their own deaths and companions weren’t always the most capable without micromanagement. The new Dragon Age game promises to change all of that.

In an interview with PlayStation LifeStyle, Bioware Producer Cameron Lee talked about the smarter foes players will encounter in the game. The Tactical Camera is a way for players to slow things down if it all gets too hard in real time.

This is quite a complex answer, but when you look at…. Say you were playing on normal difficulty, and all difficulty in Inquisition means tougher than Origins, definitely tougher than Dragon Age 2. So, each different player has different thresholds of how much pressure they can handle separately. So, the way we look at the tactical view – it’s almost like a pressure release valve. So, if you’re in real-time view and you’re battling away, and there’s just too much going on, you know, there’s too many enemies or they’re too tough or something’s gone wrong, maybe, as you were fighting, a pack of wolves came along at the same time and decided to get involved in this three way fight. You could, that could be too much pressure for me, so I might want to go to the tactical cameras, but for you, you might be quite comfortable to keep banging away in real time. It really depends on the player, but we would expect from the majority of players playing on normal mode.. that they would definitely find some of the more challenging fights easier if they use tactical combat – tactical view. But if they want to persevere, they can certainly do so.

The tactical mode is certainly all about micromanagement, though. You can send your tank to hold a specific point or sneak your rogue around to flank the enemies. However, you don’t really need to do this if you build your companions and set up their AI in advance.

I don’t know that you have to micro-manage people in Inquisition, you can if you want to, but the AI is pretty intelligent. So, they will do things like, for example, if you have Cassandra in your party – she’s a warrior, and if you’ve built her to be kind of like a tank warrior, an offensive warrior, she’s going to try and draw aggro across everyone, all the enemies around her. In particular try and draw the agrro from enemies you’ve got targeted as well. So, they’ll be quite intelligent in how they react. And of course from there you can customize how those companions behave and what sort of abilities they use more often than others and how they use their own resources in terms of health, and stamina, and mana, and stuff like that as well.

Wow, that’s better than I usually manage to do. Then again, I don’t usually play as a tank, I’m more of a DPS kinda player in general. But it’s nice to know that my tanks will know how to play that role while my healers and rogues will presumably do well with those, too.

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Do you tend to micromanage where possible? Do you like to set exactly health levels for when companions can use precious items, or do you trust in the AI and jump right into combat?

Last Updated: September 25, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

  • Micromanage indeed. Looking forward to this game now. Really enjoyed the first (won’t talk about the second!).

    • JJ the Reus

      It’s EA, so expect some microtransactions with the micromanaging.
      I also quite enjoyed the first. Hated the second.
      But not quite sure how I feel about this one yet.

      • If there are microtransactions that affect the game, I am not playing it.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Guess what game you’re not going to be playing.

          • Do you think they would make that mistake? I know EA are evil bastards but surely by now they know they’ll lose a large in-store base?

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            No they won’t, it’s too late by then. People have already bought the game 😉 Any microtransactions, etc after that are bonus cash, and plenty of people will buy it.

          • Probably true. And I know you love EA so to be honest means must be… Because logic 😛

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            They’re pioneers in business practices that are good for them & bad for me. THE WALLET HAS SPOKEN.

          • mainak

            No microtransactions in single player. Optional micro transaction in multiplayer

          • Travi

            ..so just pirate it then? I mean it’s not like they’re getting any money out of it. I don’t usually support piracy, but screw EA, man.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Nah, I’ve reformed. Besides, it’s not like I have to play it – still got a ton of other games I want to get through.

          • Kuro

            I pre-ordered Borderlands Pre-Sequel and Shadows of Mordor even Final Fantasy XIII so yeah you could say that I support fair developers and publishers. I’ll buy it if they release it on Steam otherwise, I’ll just have to resort to pirating the game. Not to mention if I buy it on Origin there might be DRM aside from Origin’s online DRM.

      • Hammersteyn

        Conflicted? Well that’s how I feel.

      • ReaperOfSquirrels

        *select character you want to attack* message pops up “you need to pay $5 to do this attack” *RAGE QUIT* *Sell game*

      • mainak

        At least in single player nothing like this present

  • Admiral Chief 0


  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    AI is smarter than UI.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    That’s not a really high bar, I don’t even swim away from danger.

  • Brady miaau

    The main attraction of DA 1 and DA 2 was the fact that I could micromanage my team without doing so in a fight, using the complex Tactics system. That was awesome and a great feeling when it worked as you planned it. Then you only worry about your own actions in a fight. Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!! When it worked out that way……. which was not always

    I doubt the AI is smarter than me. I mean really. Also, it is my birthday (AND MY WIFE GOT MY CIV BEYOND EARTH), so today I must be super smart.

    • Admiral Chief 0

      Yeah, that was pretty schweet

      • Brady miaau

        It was so “schweet” it caused me to overlook DA2’s sameness and weak ass ending while actually playing the game.

        • Admiral Chief 0

          Yeah, I got trolled with the game as a gag gift. Turns out it was quite fun (minus the faults)

          • Brady miaau

            Try not to admit that, I have been flamed for saying that.

  • Wyzak

    And just a few days or weeks after release the Internet will be littered by thousands of complaints of how useless the AI is in situation x and y. Don’t promise what you can’t achieve.

  • Willem Swanepoel

    As a die hard bioware fan, I also know that they can speak a lot of BULLSHIT during press conferences and interviews.

    I have not seen a game after Mass Effect 2 that was “put your money where you mouth is” in a game 😉

    although they managed to get me to put MY money where their asshole is hehehe

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