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BioWare adding multiplayer to Dragon Age - report

Arena PVE and PVP fights. Can be a dragon.

BioWare will offer multiplayer either in or around Dragon Age 3, according to an insider-based report on Kotaku.

The multiplayer constitutes arena battles either with monsters and AI, or other human-controlled players.

Apparently you can choose to be a dragon.

Dragon Age multiplayer is being built using the DICE Frostbite 2 engine, reportedly. Kotaku's insider said it looked stunning.

The source wasn't sure whether multiplayer would be included in Dragon Age 3 or as a separate downloadable mode.

There was no mention of humans grouping their heroes together cooperatively.

Dragon Age leader Mike Laidlaw told Eurogamer earlier this year that multiplayer would "absolutely work" for the series.

"Just from a fundamental idea: [multiplayer] absolutely would [work]," he said. "A big part of that is going back to fundamentals of the Dragon Age series and that sense of team; that we are stronger together than we are divided, which is in many ways a story theme through DA2.

"Any time you have a game that is aware of the advantages of teamwork, what it's like when multiple classes combine their abilities, be it a rogue not just stunning enemies but helping to conceal his friends so that they can take damage better - that's where you do an allegory that says yeah, we could do multiplayer here for sure."

Laidlaw talked about the faster-paced Dragon Age 2 laying an "interesting groundwork" for multiplayer.

"Long-term that's something we have to consider," said Laidlaw, "because obviously multiplayer is something that's a huge undertaking, it presents technical difficulty. And frankly it's something that if done, has to be done really well, otherwise it feels very tacked on. So we'll have to make any decision about that within that context."

The decision to go for arena battles sits well with BioWare's history, as Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire and Dragon Age: Origins all featured them. Mass Effect 1 offered an arena mode through DLC.

CD Projekt recently opted for a similar approach with The Witcher 2, although the add-on arena mode wasn't multiplayer.

BioWare will introduce multiplayer to its other key RPG series Mass Effect next year in Mass Effect 3. This will manifest as a wave-based co-op mode that can contribute towards - but does not interfere with - your single-player campaign.

Dragon Age 2 featured cross-class combos - perfect fodder for multiplayer.

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