Allow me to shed some light on the matter.
David Graider, lead designer at Bioware told me that the date in the magazine is false as they havn't set a date yet. It might be a yer and half, it might be 2 or whatever.
That screenshot was taken from the latest alpha build, and the devs said there's still a lot of work to do, so don't take this screenshot as a definite..
As fo DA itself, it's a spiritual sucessor to Baldurs Gate, KOTOR and NWN.
It's NOT D&D, Bioware has come up with their own system (details very sketchy at this point)
The world is also of their making and it seems they prepared for a project like this for a long time, since they have thousands upon thousands of pages of backgorund info, histroy and everything else. They also hired linguists and experts from other fields.
As far as I understand they want to maek the game as atmospheric as possible and closer to our world. Tehre is no proof of Gods existance in THEDAS (The Dragon age Setting), and definately nothing that can be called "devine magic". So there are no paladins, alltough there will be a "similar" class.
It's a low-magic setting where magical itmes are rare and powerfull.
Party numbers are uncertain, ranging from 2 to 6, probably 4.
Here's a few interesting quotes from the Dev's:
Take a simpler example: I had an artist come to me today and tell me he needed to know more about a particular ruin so he could get a better idea of how to concept it. So I proceeded to tell him the basics of the culture of the people who had lived there, what had destroyed that particular place, what brought the players there, etc. He listened but seemed puzzled, and when I asked him why he said, "I really just wanted to know how old it was."
No dwarves don't have any gunpowder. Mind you, they aren't big on the axes, either (chopping is not an activity they have a great need for). There *is* gunpowder in the world, and by that I mean primitive cannons, but it's not the province of the dwarves.
There are some other skills that the dwarves specialize in where they have what might be considered "rudimentary tech"... but it doesn't approach anything like in Warhammer or in the steampunk genre.
Keep in mind the screenshot is still not the final game. Although it is taken from the latest build's in game footage, by the time the game is actually released things could change. GUI elements can be altered, graphics will improve, etc. It looks good now, but it'll look even better later
We had a company meeting today where Scott and Trent showed off some of the cool newness for DA and one of the little things shown was the shadows. Sure, in the grand scheme of story, art and such, shadows are a tiny detail. But I personally love it when any game gets the little details right. It makes for a more realistic game imo and I was glad to see the work (which may be explained firther in the future) was done on this.
There's no half-anything. The races either breed true, or not at all.
I didn't mean exactly like the Roman Senate.
Our dwarves are more recognizeable than our elves, perhaps, but they're not quite the short subterranean vikings that some might expect. That's all I'm saying.
Tall dwarves would be an oxymoron, wouldn't it?
No, dwarves and elves should be enough like you'd expect in order to justify using the name. Otherwise we may as well just call them pigwigglies or whatever. With that in mind, all I'm saying is that the elves vary more from that norm than the dwarves do.