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Dragon Age: The Veilguard story progression is about enticing factions, not grinding resources

Shard mode disabled.

Dragon Age: The Veilguard screenshot three of its companion characters holding weapons.
Image credit: BioWare

One of the most common bugbears about Dragon Age: Inquisition was the need to go find Shards - collectibles scattered across its various open-world zones you could then trade in for War Table influence. It's safe to say these aren't returning for BioWare's upcoming sequel.

Instead, Dragon Age: The Veilguard will focus its story progression around the world's various factions, and your success at coaxing each to your side.

"The message of The Veilguard is you're not saving the world on your own – you need your companions, but you also need these factions, these other groups in the world," The Veilguard's creative director John Epler told Game Informer. "You help them, they help you now."

Dragon Age: The Veilguard reveal trailer.Watch on YouTube

This makes more narrative sense than players gathering 200 random resources - such as Shards - to save the world, Epler continued.

Factions tie into your own version of the game's protagonist, Rook, for whom you'll be able to pick a starting faction to align with. Several of these will be familiar to Dragon Age fans, such as the Grey Wardens and Antivan Crows. Other options include the Mourn Watch, Shadow Dragons, Lords of Fortune and the Veil Jumpers.

As well as Rook, factions will also be represented within your inner circle of companions, many of whom will be tied towards the groups found throughout The Veilguard's world.

"Gameplay-wise – each of our classes has a specialisation, and each of them is tied to a faction," Epler said. "But beyond that, each faction has a [companion] as well as [people we're calling agents, ancillarily] who exist as the faces of these factions.

"We didn't want to just say, 'Here's the Grey Wardens, go deal with them.' We wanted characters within that faction who are sympathetic, who you can see and become the face of the faction, so that even if there are moments where the faction as a whole may be on the outs with you, these characters are still with you; they've still got your back."

Eurogamer went hands-on with Dragon Age: The Veilguard earlier this month, and came away impressed. "Whisper it, but Dragon Age: The Veilguard has me thinking the unthinkable," Chris Tapsell wrote. "It looks like BioWare is back."

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