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All the Dragon Age 4 rumors and spoilers leaked so far

Years have passed since BioWare released Dragon Age: Inquisition in November 2014. In the meantime, revelations in Trespasser, Inquisition's final DLC, left fans clamoring for the next installment in the fantasy franchise. 

The Dragon Age series has received praise from critics and fans since the release of Dragon Age: Origins in 2009. The intricate magic system, in-depth setting, well-developed characters, and diverse romance options captured the hearts of players. Though Dragon Age 2 met with mixed reviews, Inquisition took Dragon Age to new heights, receiving over 130 Game of the Year awards.

Despite the voracity of the fandom, BioWare has remained tight-lipped about the possibility of a fourth game in the wake of Inquisition's success. Though they officially announced the project at the 2018 Game Awards, details remain elusive. The teaser trailer that accompanied the announcement is little more than a minute long and contains no gameplay. The title of the game, if one exists, is still shrouded in mystery.

For those craving another dose of Dragon Age, here are the Dragon Age 4 rumors and spoilers uncovered so far.

It won't release until 2020 at the earliest

Before the announcement at the 2018 Game Awards, work on Dragon Age 4 was something of an open secret. Mike Laidlaw, former senior creative director at BioWare, confirmed the existence of a new Dragon Age project back in September 2017. 

In a blog post on Dec. 6, 2018, Executive Producer Mark Darrah supported this, stating BioWare has been "working on a new Dragon Age game for quite a while now." 

Despite all that work, the game has no set title and won't release until at least 2021 according to Venture Beat's sources. The delay likely is related to BioWare pulling staff from other projects to focus on Anthem. Laidlaw's departure and a development reboot may have also contributed to the delay.

There is hope for those who do not want to wait until 2021 for a new entry in the franchise. According to IGN Greece, an anonymous source at BioWare revealed the company had entered the voice-over stage for an upcoming title. The source did not name the series but hinted it was not Anthem or Mass Effect and that it involves an "old setting." If the upcoming title mentioned is Dragon Age 4, you may be looking at a release as soon as 2020.

The Dread Wolf rises

BioWare finally released the first teaser trailer for Dragon Age 4 at the 2018 Game Awards. Though open to interpretation, the trailer appears to depict Solas fending off the Dread Wolf with the corrupted red lyrium idol from Dragon Age 2 suspended between them. 

In the final scene of DA: Inquisition, Flemeth addressed Solas as "Dread Wolf." Expanding on this shocking plot twist, the Trespasser DLC revealed more about his place in Elven history. The DA4 teaser ends with Solas saying, "You've found me at last. I suspect you have questions," echoing his words to the Inquisitor when you catch up with him at the end of Trespasser.

The teaser trailer and accompanying hashtag make it clear the next game will focus on Solas and his quest to tear down the Veil. The choice of imagery may show the internal struggle that Solas may have with his own Dread Wolf aspect, and that your choices as the protagonist will influence which aspect becomes more dominant. 

You may redeem Solas and band together to face a greater threat; alternatively, your quest for vengeance may push him further down the villain's path.

Dragon Age 4 will be a "live game"

According to Kotaku's unnamed source, BioWare rebooted Dragon Age 4 to incorporate more "live" elements into the game. Though vague, the statement seems to support EA's recent focus on releasing games as a service over standalone titles with a single price tag. Following the article's release, fans voiced their concerns about introducing microtransactions in the next Dragon Age game. This came on the heels of the strong backlash EA endured over the sale of game-changing loot boxes in Star Wars: Battlefront 2.

Addressing the panic, BioWare general manager Casey Hudson assured fans the game would be "story & character focused." According to Hudson, "Live … means designing a game for continued storytelling after the main story." Hudson's response implies there will be more story-based DLC following the release of Dragon Age 4, but there may be more to it than that. EA reintroduced loot boxes to Battlefront 2 in March 2018, but clarified game-impacting items were no longer available for purchase. 

According to an October 2018 report, EA and Activision showed a combined growth of $79 billion since 2012. This jump in revenue is largely being attributed to their "games as a service" model. With numbers like that, post-launch content is certainly here to stay, though what that means for the future of Dragon Age remains unclear.

A world with no Warden

Mike Laidlaw, Dragon Age's former creative director, has said multiple times that the Warden (your PC from Dragon Age: Origins) will not return in future games. 

One of the possible Origins endings involved sacrificing your character to kill the Archdemon. With many Wardens dead in player timelines, giving the character a story-shaping role in a sequel would remove a lot of the player agency the series has built its legacy upon. 

Despite the challenges, many fans continue to clamor for the chance to play their Warden again. Discussions on how BioWare might achieve this pop up on Reddit all the time. With Laidlaw's departure from the company in October 2017, this option may be back on the table. 

No additional commentary about the Hero of Ferelden's return has come from the current Dragon Age development team. It seems unlikely BioWare will devote a portion of the game's budget to a character who will only be onscreen for certain playthroughs. Though with EA's love of the live service model, maybe they'll treat fans to a Warden-focused DLC.

You're headed to the Tevinter Imperium

Though not much has been confirmed about Dragon Age 4, clues from the previous games point towards the story taking place in the Tevinter Imperium.

Inquisition made sure you were well educated about the Imperium and its current status through Dorian Pavus' progression. This included the recent assassination of Dorian's father and his plans to return to Tevinter to take up the vacant position in the Magisterium.

The final cutscene in the Trespasser DLC also shows the Inquisitor stabbing a dagger into the Tevinter Imperium on a world map. As the Legacy DLC from Dragon Age 2 set Corypheus up as the villain for Inquisition, it's reasonable to think the reference in Trespasser may serve the same purpose for Dragon Age 4.

If Dragon Age 4 takes place in Tevinter, BioWare has their pick of storylines to explore. Corypheus was once a magister and pockets of his cult continue to skulk in the nation's shadows. Corruption and blood magic abound, and the series has spent years seeding a coming war with the magic-hating Qunari (another strong theme from Trespasser). With Solas returning and Tevinter's ongoing enslavement of elves, the Imperium seems like a logical setting for the next game. You may even witness its downfall as several hostile forces converge there.

Your choices will matter

One of the greatest appeals of the Dragon Age franchise is the effect your previous game choices have on how future storylines unfold. This has been a consistent feature so far, with your DA2 protagonist even appearing in Inquisition.

Choices made in Inquisition that may feature in Dragon Age 4 include: siding with the mages or Templars, choosing Solas as your romance option, disbanding the Inquisition or downsizing to a more specialized organization, choosing to save Stroud or Hawke in the Fade, and many more.

Though the jury is still out on the live-service experience for the next installment, Anthem's approach to narrative in a shared world may offer clues about BioWare's future storytelling model. In Anthem, your decisions influence Fort Tarsis, its in-game hub. The online aspect of the game also allows the developers to take advantage of reactive storytelling. According to Mark Darrah, DA's and Anthem's executive producer, you may see a similar reactivity and depth in future Dragon Age games.

The Inquisition is on its last legs

As its title suggests, Dragon Age: Inquisition focused on the fledgling organization developed by the player character and their allies. The future of the Inquisition was a key theme during the Trespasser DLC, with the Inquisitor given the option to disband the group or transition it into a peacekeeping force in the service of Divine Victoria.

Even if you didn't choose to disband the Inquisition, things aren't looking good. Leliana lays out the threats facing the organization in Trespasser's epilogue. Solas' familiarity with the Inquisition's inner workings, accompanied by the ample time he had to seed it with spies and his relationship with the Inquisitor, make the group less than ideal to handle the threat he poses. 

As the Inquisitor says, they will need to look outside of their own people for allies. This also points to a new character acting as the protagonist for Dragon Age 4, especially since Solas removed the Inquisitor's hand to prevent the anchor from killing them.

Red lyrium will continue to spread its corruption

The red lyrium idol shown in the Dragon Age 4 teaser trailer reveals red lyrium will continue to be a core part of the story. Fans have also noted the red eyes of both Solas and the Dread Wolf, a sign of red lyrium corruption. 

The red eyes first showed up in Solas' Trespasser tarot card. Coupling this with his line, "I would not have you see what I become," suggests he may have been planning to use red lyrium for some time. Whether his intention is to power himself up to finish destroying the Veil or to accomplish something else is unclear. Whatever his goal, it would seem he is willing to pay the cost that comes with red lyrium use. 

It's also possible this corruption may have been an unintentional side-effect of pursuing his real objective. Something similar happened to Corypheus, though he eventually used the unique properties of red lyrium to his advantage. Solas may follow in his footsteps, albeit to a different end.

The Return of the Evanuris

The Trespasser DLC revealed the origin of the Veil and the fate of the old Elven gods, also known as the Evanuris. The Dread Wolf used the Veil to seal them away but stripped his people of their immortality and advanced magic in the process. Though he sought to save the elves from the machinations of the gods, he inadvertently condemned them to a future of wandering and slavery.

To right his mistake, Solas intends to destroy the Veil. When this happens, it's likely the Evanuris will emerge from their prison and unleash their fury upon the world. The struggle between Solas and his own Dread Wolf aspect once more comes into play, with the protagonist's actions likely pushing him towards the role of reluctant ally or a determined nemesis. If Solas manages to destroy the Veil, it's possible the Evanuris will exact their vengeance upon him and all he holds dear. Power always comes with a price.

The Blade of the Faith

A Reddit user has put forth a compelling theory about the identity of Dragon Age 4's protagonist. 

A prophecy appears in the Chant of Light, predicting the return of the Maker, the destruction of the Veil, and the awakening of the Titans. According to lore, Andraste delivered this prophecy to an emperor named Drakon, saying, "Look upon the Light so you may lead others here through the darkness, Blade of the Faith!"

Much of this prophecy has started to take shape: Solas is in the process of destroying the veil and a Titan appears in the Descent DLC. Based on this, it's possible the Dragon Age 4 protagonist will be the "Blade of the Faith" mentioned in the chant. 

This would keep with the "reluctant chosen one" formula BioWare has used in the previous games. The Blade of the Faith storyline would also contribute to the rebuilding of the Chantry, which took heavy losses during Inquisition

Tevinter follows its own interpretation of the Maker's commandments, known as the Imperial Chantry. Exploring the prophecy there would put a new spin on the religious narrative encountered in the other titles.