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BioWare details Awakening char transition

Add-on is "massive", DLC delay explained.

BioWare has explained how you will be able to approach upcoming Dragon Age expansion Awakening either as a new character or using an existing one.

Online producer Fernando Melo told IGN that the game takes place in the new area of Amaranthine in the north of Ferelden, and if you begin from scratch you arrive as an Orlesian Grey Warden Commander.

"It's not the same depth of something like an origin story, but there is a brand new beginning to the campaign there, and then you're thrust into the tale," he said.

If you prefer to continue on with an existing character, you can do this at any time with a save-game, but if you haven't finished Origins you should be aware that any progress in Awakening cannot be reversed back into the main game.

"Once you make the jump to fast forward that amount of time, you effectively end that Origins campaign and you begin the Awakening campaign with that character," Melo explained.

"You can always go back to your Origins save and continue that separately, but once you go into Awakening, because of the level-up and the time passage, there is no coming back to Origins at that point.

Melo said to expect Awakening to be available at retail and via download, although he didn't clarify if the latter meant PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 or just PC.

Oh, and it probably goes without saying, but it's "fairly massive". "I don't think we know how to make games differently," he said. "It'll be bigger than most retail games."

Melo also explained the recent delay to the Return to Ostagar DLC. Apparently a problem was spotted "literally at the last minute" while the game was in final testing.

"We probably could have gone with it, but it's something that was serious enough that we felt it impacted the quality and we made the choice to delay it to give our fans the best experience with it," he said.