Dragon Age: Veilgard leads the name change and Solas’ role in the story

Dragon Age 4 was revealed years ago under the name Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. However, with months to go before the game’s fall 2024 launch, BioWare announced that it would be changing its name to Dragon Age: The Veilguard. Before that announcement, Game Informer Our Dragon Age: The Veilgard cover story visited BioWare’s Edmonton office for an exclusive look at the game. I learned that the name has changed here.

I interviewed various Veilgard leads for the cover story, and one of the first questions I asked each of them was, “Why the name change?” Here’s what everyone told me:

Leads to Bioware’s name change to Dragon Age: The Wildguard

Weilgard game director Corinne Busche: “First of all, I’d say these games are reflections of the teams that make them, and part of that means we learn a lot about what the heart and soul of the game really is as we develop it. And we quickly learned that the whole heart of this game is these authentically diverse companions, and as we always do, we Always reviewing our decisions and making sure they still represent our game, felt we needed a title that represented what this game really is.

Now, I want to be clear: I adore Solas (and) he plays an important role in the game, but this is not a game about Solas. So in everything we do, trying to capture that authentic experience, we felt the title really needed to change.

Weilgard creative director John Eppler: “Dragon Age is always about not just the villains, but the characters of your team, your companions, the other characters in the world. And when we were building Dragon Age: The Veilguard — there’s this analogy that I like to use. ‘If you want to carve an elephant out of marble, you take a piece of marble and make something that doesn’t look like an elephant. Remove everything.’ As we were building this game, it became really clear that we were less trying to make The Valeguard and more like The Valeguard was taking shape as we built the game.

Solas is still the central figure in it. He is still a remarkable character. But in fact, the focus shifts to the team. It’s about the people you hire. It’s about stopping the end of the world with this group of experts, these incredibly interesting and diverse characters that you recruit to your team. (We) realize that Dreadwolf suggests a title focused on a specific individual, whereas Wheelguard, like Inquisition, focuses more on the team.”

BioWare General Manager Gary McKay: “First, let me say: Solas is still very much a part of this game. It’s absolutely nothing to say that he’s taking a back seat. But when we really reflected on the heartbeat of this game, we really saw companions jump out at us (these companions) that we have seven incredibly unique characters. I think, each of them have deep stories both interact with these characters in ways that shape their story but also influence the main story, have a chance to affect their fate.

It’s not just a story; They are integral with the game. And so when you really look at what the heartbeat of this game is, the core of the game, it’s all about the companions – the wheelguard. We felt that the title needed to reflect what we felt was the focus of this game.”

Former Dragon Age executive producer and Veilgard consultant Mark Darrah: “I think it’s absolutely the right choice. Names can gain momentum. Arguably, this game has been called DreadWolf to some extent since its earlier days. As the game evolved, (Bioware) figured out exactly what it was, and it was too mature to step back and say, ‘We made it something.’ Does it really reflect what the game is?’ And I think it’s great that the team is willing to take that step, and I think it’s absolutely the right decision.

The Solas in the Room

When I ask about Solas’ role in the story after learning that his name isn’t in the game’s title, Darra says that Velgard is still taking the elven god narrative in a good direction. He adds, “It will hopefully allow us to make a better judgment for all the different attitudes towards Sola that are going to come from people who love Sola, who agree with Sola, who hate Sola, who want to kick Sola. About a building – I think we’ll give you a chance to bring it up close, but then The Wellguard Tell more stories about and about the whole world.”

Speaking with Eppler, I learn more about how Solas isn’t quite the big bad I expected before seeing the early hours of the Valeguard. Everyone’s favorite bald elf has even more nuances.

“The most interesting villains to me, and honestly most people, aren’t straight up saying, ‘I want to end the world.’ For them, they’re the heroes of the story, and Solas is no exception,” Eppler tells me. “Solas always thinks he’s a tragic hero but a hero, so what he did, what you stopped him from doing was right – firmly believing you were wrong. But now he’s trapped. And can’t reach out and actively affect (Thedas), so he has to work with you.”

“It allows us to provide a lot of nuance to that relationship,” Eppler says.

If you’re wondering what Eppler means when he says Solas is trapped, he’s quite literal — in the game’s prologue, which is part of BioWare’s recently released 20-minute gameplay segment (video above), player-character Rook and companions Lace Harding, Varric Tethras, and Neve Gallus are the wizards of Fade and Solas stops an attempt to destroy the Veil, the barrier between Thedas. I won’t spoil exactly what happens here, but Rook passes out moments later and wakes up in a dreamlike landscape to the voice of Solas… because he’s trapped here.

He explains that he is trying to move Elgar’nan and Ghilan’nain, who are part of the Evanuris or Elven Gods of old, into the new prison because the old one no longer properly contained them. Unfortunately for Solas, he’s trapped here – the Fade – by our work and Elgar’nan and Ghilan’nain are free, diseased and roaming Thedas. It’s up to Rook to stop them, but to do so he’ll need to work with Solas (or at least listen to his guidance and advice).

“So one of the principles we took when we were pre-developing the story of The Valeguard was that we wanted the beginning of the game to feel like the final chapter of the previous story, and you’re coming right at the end, you’re coming in like you’re chasing Solas – (Dragon Age: End of Solas: Inquisitions Trespasser DLC) who’s going to end the world and rip off the veil. said,” adds Eppler.

Eppler says players will see more of Solas in you as a controlled rook, especially “parts they probably don’t want to face” early on (and as the narrative develops throughout Veilgard). As a result, there is an interesting push and pull between Solas and Rook. He says players can define the relationship between these two characters with their choices in dialogue.

“You can continue to be suspicious and hostile towards him, or you can start to see him and find common ground between the two of you, and develop a really different relationship over the course of the story,” Eppler says.

For more information on the game, including exclusive details, interviews, video features and more, click the Dragon Age: VeilGuard Hub button below.

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