Apart from the canceled DLC, the dwarf was also supposed to die in Inquisition, although this plan was scrapped due to resource allocation issues.
Former BioWare writer David Gaider has shared that he wanted to "kill" Dragon Age's Varric twice but both times these plans were scrapped.
The fact that Varric from Dragon Age 2 should have died in one of the DLCs for the game has been known for quite some time. This expansion was eventually canceled, and Varric became an important character in the third installment of the series, Inquisition.
Recently, Gaider took to Twitter to reveal that the dwarf was also set to be killed in Inquisition, however, this plan was also ultimately discarded.
According to the writer, the original plan for Inquisition involved a story mission where Corypheus would attack Skyhold, the restored Inquisition headquarters. It was in that scene where Gaider had hoped to accomplish what he couldn't in Dragon Age 2 – to kill Varric. However, due to resource allocation issues, the plan had to be canceled and the dwarf remained alive.
"This was one of the tougher cuts in Inquisition: Corypheus attacking Skyhold, originally meant to happen late in the game (prior to the Temple of Mythal beat, if I remember right)," Gaider shared. "I don't think its absence was noticed that much (?), but it was difficult to swallow at the time."
According to the writer, Skyhold was already a complex structure with various upgrades and characters that could be present in different locations at any moment. Testing such a scenario would have been a "nightmare", according to Gaider. This is why the team was unable to include the attack in the game.
Gaider noted that the decision not to include an attack on Skyhold was the right one. He explained that this choice was made early enough that no significant progress had been made on the attack and the team was able to shift the story around to adjust to the change. However, as a result, the upgrades to Skyhold became only cosmetic which, according to Gaider, wasn't what the team had initially intended.
Still, the writer pointed out that the absence of this scene led to the fact that Corypheus never felt like a significant threat. "An attack on Skyhold would have upped the ante, maybe I could have killed someone finally... but, instead, Corypheus remained a remote villain you chased but were rarely chased by," he explained.
"I think people see the story as something the narrative designers delivered at some point and that the team implemented... but you have to constantly compromise throughout development. That's our main job. You only hope you do it well enough that the holes aren't too noticeable," Gaider concluded.
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