5. No More Respawning Enemies
One of the most annoying things about Dragon Age II was the constantly respawning enemies. You’d be in combat, and just as you’d kill the last enemy, 10 more would appear out of thin air or jump down from a 40 foot high rooftop. Aside from being cheap and annoying, it was also an immersion killer. The second 5 bandits literally materialize out of nothing right in front of you, you’re reminded that you are playing a game. It’s disappointing and a somewhat baffling when a game goes to such lengths to portray a believable world with interesting characters and a story told with such seriousness, to then go and have silly gameplay elements like this, and this feature has to go for Dragon Age III.
4. More Strategic Combat
Respawning enemies was unfortunately not the only problem with combat in DA2, though there were actually some improvements to combat made over Origins that should absolutely remain. I thought the expanded tactics options for your party members was a fantastic improvement that really let you create roles for your party members in battle. The only problem with this was combat had become much more mindless than in Dragon Age Origins. Combat was sped up, which isn’t inherently bad, but the game just felt like it required less strategy than Origins. I think a more nuanced combat system could really make use of the expanded tactics system and make Dragon Age III feel more like an RPG and less like an action game.
3. Bigger Areas
One of the biggest complaints fans had with Dragon Age II was the size of the world. Every area in the game was basically a corridor, with virtually no exploration to be had. For a game to be interesting to move through, there needs to be more to do than simply walk down a hallway. There were very few instances where you had the option to walk off the beaten path, and that needs to change for Dragon Age III.
2. More Areas
It won’t be enough for Dragon Age III to just have substantially bigger areas than DA2, it is imperative that there are far more areas as well. Let me make this clear, many, many more areas is a must, like at least 5 times as many individual areas, preferably more. When you ask people what their biggest problems with Dragon Age II are, it is almost inevitable that they will mention the lack of different locations among their biggest issues. The game takes place entirely in Kirkwall and the (very small) surrounding areas. I still find it laughably absurd that a role playing could be made that only features one city. By the end of the game I was so bored seeing the same handful of locations over and over again. If Dragon Age III is to have any chance of being good, there has a be at least as many locations as Dragon Age Origins.
1. Dungeon Variety
This one ties into number 2, but this is the big one. The first time I played Dragon Age II and experienced the dungeons, I was stunned that they would actually take cookie cutter dungeons to the extent they did. Fans of RPGs are familiar with repetitive looking dungeons, but Dragon Age II took it to a whole new level. Most games would use the same texture set and simply randomize the layout, but Dragon Age II literally used the same map for 90% of the dungeons in the game. I almost felt like the game was trying to fool me, like “See, this time you came you in from the other side, this is totally a different place!” or “Look, this door doesn’t even open this time, it’s not even a door, it’s a wall that looks like a door, this is not the same area!” In a game where you spend potentially dozens of hours in dungeons, variety is a huge factor in keeping you from getting burnt out, and Dragon Age II utterly failed in that regard. Dragon Age III needs to have dozens more unique dungeons than DA2, especially after Skyrim raised the bar last year with the ridiculous number of unique dungeons that were in that game.
As of right now, I am cautiously optimistic about Dragon Age III. I loved the first game, and I probably liked Dragon Age II more than most people did, though obviously I had my problems with it. So far, Bioware has been saying all the right things regarding Dragon Age III, and as you can see from some of the concept art shown above, it looks like they have taking fan concerns to heart. Dragon Age III: Inquisition is currently set for a Fall 2013 release date, and all we can really do is wait and see how it turns out.