Early today, Dragon Age Keep, the web-resource for blending and creating a Dragon Age storyline from the first two games to import in the upcoming sequel, Dragon Age Inquisition, was launched upon the world in the form of a closed beta test.
Dragon Age Keep is supposed to provide save game interconnectivity by allowing players to edit, and create, a playthrough down to miniscule details based upon existing quest flags and save it as a 'world' that can be imported in the Inquisition. While NDAs were apparently signed for the closed beta, a lot of info is leaking out about it on various social media, not all of it good.
Harkening back to an interview, it has been previously mentioned that direct save imports would not be a thing. While it didn't raise many eyebrows then, people in the beta have been reporting that even imports from Bioware's legacy social site, which hosted character profiles and which is the only source of 'synchronisation' only manages to import the name, portrait profile, race and class. And that's how it was actually supposed to be.
What does this actually mean?
If nothing changes by launch in this regard, it seems that players that wish the world that they formed in the previous games come to life they have to MANUALLY input all the choices, even down to the minor ones, without even knowing which of them would affect their Dragon Age Inquisition playthrough.
If that isn't enough, Bioware seemingly forgot that Dragon Age Origins came out five years ago, with Dragon Age 2 about three and a half and gives no option to read or visualize your choices from within the saves. I'll get back to that a bit further down.
Why does that matter?
It matters because some people, me included, have almost all but forgotten some choices they made. Choices that they would remember given proper context, and choices that they would love to revisit or come to terms with in Dragon Age Inquisition.
People are bantering that while the major plot points they remember, the finer points of various quests or whether some characters die or stay alive are mostly lost in time. Apparently the Keep goes very deep into some granularity when regarding various choices and quests, and again, we have no way of knowing if one is used or not for Inquisition.
What's there to do?
Reinstalling Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2 and reloading your saves doesn't help as much as you'd think, as the journal entries for quests are very succinct and oftentimes doesn't represent the full outcome of a quest. Some have mixed this with side-by-side reading of the wiki as well, trying to piece together context and remember all the minutiae that can be input into the Keep.
If you were to go looking for third-party apps, you'd be out of luck. While there exists save game editors for all the Mass Effect games that go very in depth and present you with plot points that you can change, apparently there are none so easy to use for Dragon Age.
Others have mentioned using the Dragon Age Toolset to be able to make more sense of the mess of quests and outcomes, but for the average day player, this might be too much.
So for who is the Keep?
New players can set up a generic world to use if they want, but the details of characters or even major arcs will pass them by. Old players are virtually left completely out of luck and have to scrape logs, toolsets and wikis to try and piece together what they already have on their hard drives to reshape their world.
It can be argued that if you don't remember a choice, it shouldn't affect you anyway, but i for one would have my immersion broken if halfway through Inquisition characters from previous games start coming back to life when they shouldn't or events happening differently than i remember them unfolding just because of a wrong choice in the Keep that i just didn't place at that time.
Again, this might all be null and void by the time Keep launches, as all of this was gathered off third party comments from a closed beta, but given the fact that there really isn't much time until Inquisitions launches, i doubt it.
It's just amusing that Bioware keeps doing these things when they fully know how much universes and characters matter to players. Anyone remember the bugged face import in the first days of Mass Effect 3's launch?