Dragon Age II on PC may be retaining its strategic combat mode, but there are other PC-specific features that won't be included in the game's sequel.
In an interview with French magazine Joystick, BioWare's Mike Laidlaw has revealed that the "Baldur's Gate" camera perspective available to PC owners in the first game won't be returning in the second game. According to a translation on the game's official forums, Laidlaw explains:
"For budgetary reasons, we focused our work on a 3rd person view, that asks for very detailed and nice textures so that the player can admire the game with a close-up view. With an aerial view [isometric] we should cover much more ground and so create other textures. Now, the game mainly sold on console, so we're going the way of the audience".
Also gone will be the modding toolkit included with the first game, though in this instance, no reason or explanation is given for its exclusion.
It's nice the sequel is coming out so soon after its predecessor, but these kind of exclusions won't go down with the PC crowd very well at at all, particularly considering much of the love for Dragon Age on the platform was earned by including such PC-specific features as a "strategic" camera and toolset.
UPDATE - Laidlaw has taken to the game's forums to address some of the issues arising from the interview, and clarify some matters that may have been lose in translation (or regretted once said). There's good news for modders, and...different news for fans of the zoomed-out camera from the first game.
On the subject of mods, he says:
The tools we're using to make Dragon Age 2 are very, very close to the tools you guys have used to make your mods for DA:O. They're not identical, as we've made a few in-house improvements, but they're almost identical. As such, there isn't a new toolset to release, per se.
While we won't be releasing a toolset update in tandem with Dragon Age 2, we ARE investigating what it would take to update the community toolset to match ours, along with providing DA2 content in the future.
While for the game's camera, things are a little more vague:
While we likely won't pull as far up as we did in DA:O, I have always felt that the key to tactical play was actually freeing your camera from the character you're controlling to issue precise orders, which is what we're tuning now. So, this means you can still maneuver the camera around the battlefield and issue orders from a remote location, just as you could in Origins.