Dragon Age's New Update Took Away My Damn Scars

Dragon Age's New Update Took Away My Damn Scars

Dragon Age: Inquisition's second big patch went out today, largely focused on the RPG behemoth's PC version. I took it for a spin and discovered a few tiny tweaks paired with a big change for the worse: my character's scars are gone — her face pristine as fresh plastic — and I'm not alone in that.

The patch, released earlier today, was primarily focused on squashing some minor bugs and improving the PC version user interface a little bit. You can read the full patch notes here. Unfortunately, I found the interface tweaks to be minor — not the overhaul things like tactical view so desperately need — with the ability to make the tactical camera "strafe" being the only change that really felt significant.

And while BioWare claims to have taken care of hitching issues in conversations, I didn't see it. Conversations in my game continued to go into slideshow mode in places, something that definitely takes me out of the moment. If nothing else, overall game performance seems a little better. On my thoroughly aged (though not in the cool dragon way) mid-range machine, I was getting a few extra frames per second in most areas. It wasn't a huge leap, but it was nice.

I'm also glad BioWare improved item-finding, if only slightly. Now pressing the V key highlights items that are further away and — rather wonderfully — marks them with little dots on your mini-map, like so:

Dragon Age's New Update Took Away My Damn Scars

Oh, and if you're an appearance obsessive like me, you'll be happy to know that characters' hair is no longer quite as weirdly shiny on lower graphics settings:

Dragon Age's New Update Took Away My Damn Scars

Now the bad news: for some reason, scars are gone. Here is my thoroughly battle-tested, tough-as-nails elf lady pre-patch:

Dragon Age's New Update Took Away My Damn Scars

(Apologies. I don't have any good close-up shots.)

And here she is after:

Dragon Age's New Update Took Away My Damn Scars

The scar issue appears to only affect your character, not, say, Cassandra here:

Dragon Age's New Update Took Away My Damn Scars

It's not just me, either. Tons of people are reporting the issue, as well as some other facial graphics problems, on both Twitter and Reddit:

Dragon Age's New Update Took Away My Damn Scars
Dragon Age's New Update Took Away My Damn Scars

I don't know about you all, but for me this is a HUGE DEAL. In some ways my character is defined by her scars. I role-play her as someone who faced the worst of what Dragon Age's harsh world could throw at someone who's both an elf and an apostate mage. Racism, fear, needless brutality. As a result, she's wary nearly to the point of paranoia, bitingly sarcastic, and quick to lash out in word and deed. To me, those scars represented her history, the foundation from which she grew, and opportunities to grow into a better person — rather reluctantly, at first — by leading a bunch of strangely pleasant crazy people on a quest to save the world.

I've reached out to BioWare to see how they plan to fix the issue. I'll update this post when I hear back.

On the upside, bigger changes to other issues, for instance PC controls, are apparently in the works. BioWare wrote: "After Patch 2 goes out, our next priority is to improve the PC mouse/keyboard controls further. We're investigating how to expand on PC usability and functionality to address specific requests from the community."

Major problems like the dreaded banter bug — which causes party members to be voiceless lock-step toy soldiers instead of, you know, people with interesting conversations — will also be addressed in future updates.

I'm glad BioWare's paying attention, but the lack of big improvements in this patch is kind of a bummer. And of course there's the scar thing, which is gonna drive me batty until my character's face is once again a map of jagged craters and rivulets. How's the new patch treating you?

Update: BioWare has said that they're working on a solution to the problem, and in the meantime they have offered a (relatively) quick fix you can manually apply by tampering with your command line. Word of warning, however: you will have to re-alter your command line after BioWare nips this unexpected nip and tick once and for all.


    I really, really, REALLY! hope they fixed the SLI issues..

    I loved this game but just didn't feel like the quests had the depth they did in the first two ( yes even the second one )

    I only just got my hold though ( Still spent 50 hours + )

      Is it? I'm running SLI too and it is actually not that bad.

        It improves my FPS but gives me odd an odd texture popping bug

        A number of uses have reported it but don't know the exact numbers.

        Running SLI 680s

          Ah I had the weird texture issue before the patch as well. Especially the mountains, they flicker sometimes.

          I'm running SLI 670s. I'll give it a whirl tonight to see.

          Is this like the ground blinking at you? I didn't know it was SLi related. Running GTX680ms in SLi. I haven't really ever tested if it runs faster with it. just assume so...


            Last time I am using SLI ever, it has been an issue ever since I got my first one which was a 8800 Ultra ( 6 generations old ) and they still haven't got the shit to work.

    Oh and spend some of that big fat gaming journalist pay check on a better graphics card because those screenshots offended my eyes xoxo

    Iā€™m also glad BioWare improved item-finding, if only slightly. Now pressing the V key highlights items that are further away and ā€” rather wonderfully ā€” marks them with little dots on your mini-map...


      Doesn't that mean the inquisitor perk to increase the item-finding range is fucked? The whole point the perk is there is because the normal item finding range is small.

        I didn't think it improved the range of the item view thing.
        I'm pretty sure it just highlights the items for longer and displays them on the minimap, so I think the perk would still be valid

    I noticed the loot dots on the mini map, god that is a welcoming little feature!

    Off-topic, but related to 'updates':

    Did anyone notice the MASSIVE 2.5GB Shadow of Mordor update? It started automatically for me last night. Can't find any info. on what it's about.

    Last edited 11/12/14 10:37 am

    I've seen performance dive with this patch (and it seems like I'm not the only one). I've gone from running on a mix of High/Ultra (with MSAA off) generally running high 40s-low 50s fps to having regular stop/start lagginess just running through maps without any significant effects active. Hoping they get a fix out before the weekend.

    Wow using Bitmaps for the images...did we travel back to the 90s while I was gone?

      lol yeah I just noticed that. He musta been using Paint on a Win95 machine ;)

    The patch made my (already sketchy) PC version even more unstable. Now it crashes multiple times an hour rather than once or twice

      Strange, mine has not crashed once. It did freeze a couple of times on the main menu, but I fixed that by turning off Auto-Login in DAI and turning off 'Use origin in games' in origin
      I have played for about 20 hours now, in 3 stints as I only got the game on Monday, a very long one of 8 hours yesterday, and yeah no crashes at all. Win7-64bit, 8gb ram, i5-3570k, nvidia gtx-670

    There is apparently a command line temporary fix for missing scars etc, apparently there is a hotfix in the works to fix it properly
    Basically set your game command line option as -ShaderSystem.ShaderQualityLevel High
    (though you do need to set your ShaderQualityLevel to be the same as you have it in the game itself)
    See here for more details http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/25618/article/dragon-age-inquisition-pc-graphics-workaround-for-patch-2/

    Last edited 11/12/14 12:29 pm

    Win 7 x64, 16gb ram i7 2600k crossfire 6970's. Maybe its the crossfire? who knows... maybe I need to turn off auto login??

    I can't imagine the will it would take to write an article about temporarily losing one aspect of aesthetic design to a single character in a video game.

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