Since the release of 2014’s Game of the Year, Dragon Age: Inquisition, the Bioware’s been making it a point to listen to player concerns. Along with more frequent forum interactions and Twitter updates, patches have appeared quickly and efficiently – and Bioware promises even more player involvement within their latest patch, the DAI Patch 5 Beta Program.
“We want to open up our upcoming Patch 5 to a select group of PC players via signup in a closed, developer-like environment,” Bioware explained in their latest blog post. “This not only allows us to more quickly identify and respond to future issues, but gives our developers a great, new way to work directly with our players.”
The last four patches for the game included a number of bug and exploit fixes, along with additions of a few small features. This one’s meant to be the biggest they’ve released, and will address more of the community concerns regarding the state of the game. Inquisition was a pretty solid release, but it did have a few noticeable kinks to work out, especially the infamous party banter bug that prevented players from enjoying one of the key aspects of the game. Patch 5 will add a few more sought-after features.
Beta participants will be able to access the Black Emporium, an underground black market style shop run by a merchant with his own little piece of in-game lore. Previously introduced in Dragon Age 2, the Black Emporium includes rare epic weapons, schematics, and accessories, as well as a mirror to let you change your character’s voice and appearance. Given how much the character creation improved between installments, we’ve been begging for an appearance changer – yes, it really is a big deal to slide your character’s nose a few inches to the left.
As a present for the hoarder in all of us, Bioware’s also adding party storage to Skyhold. If you really couldn’t bear to part with Cole’s hat, you at least now have a place to stash it instead of hauling it around in your bags. There’s also a new option within the crafting interface to let players use crafting materials to change the colors of their armor. Previously, you could only change the parts of the armor specified by the material needed to make it. In a nutshell, you couldn’t make a completely blue outfit because the main area of it was forever tinted green. Who says style doesn’t matter when you’re saving the world?
Other changes and improvements include an auto-attack key, subtitle size adjustments, and shader quality settings.
“For Dragon Age: Inquisition, we’ve developed a faster and more compressed patch schedule than any prior BioWare game,” Conal Pierse wrote in the post. “However, due to the nature of the certification process, it can often still take weeks after developing a fix to release it on different platforms. Because of this, we continue to explore new ways to foster better communication between our players and developers.”
Currently, the beta program is available to selected players only, although others will be able to sign up through the Dragon Age Keep at a later date.