Dragon Age 2, or as I perhaps obnoxiously refer to it on twitter, Dragon Effect, fairly successfully translated what I liked about Dragon Age: Origins (moral relativity through interpersonal situational ethics being chief among them) into a form factor I could more easily love (and could actually complete). Primarily the combat for the most part got out of my way so I could play the real game of beautiful interactive movies.

Ultimately, Dragon Age 2 has been a mistress to provide the sort of dalliance between Mass Effect games I had hoped for when I picked up Origins... I'm sure that I make it clear that I will pretty much always prefer the "lowly" space opera to "high fantasy". However, the Dragon Age franchise has clear moments where it aspires to science fiction [1] and I wish to nurture that in whatever means that I can. Those hints of games that I want to play with tools such as those provided by Dragon Age 2.

Rather than reiterate any of the great words of high criticism and praise elsewhere, I am interested in talking about what I would like to see from future Dragon Age games which would truly rise the series in my estimation. I'll start with an obvious tangent that in my dealing with Isabela in DA2 my whistle has been whet for Dragon Age: Privateer. I will be extremely disappointed if BioWare cannot make that happen.

More crucially, what I really want to see from Dragon Age is that it would be an Age of Enlightenment. It may be a tall request, but I'm hopeful that the hints that do exist truthfully point that is the direction the winds are blowing...

In the game world there are many rumors and brief discussions of the "far off" (with respect to Ferelden and the Free Marches from which most of the current games take place) Tevinter Imperium. It should be obvious that Tevinter is a Roman Empire analogue: it is the once glorious empire from whence most of the "modern world" in the series derives its major institutions (Circles of Magi, Templars, and the Andrastian Chantry -- the state religion of Tevinter and thus the most common religion in the rest of Thedas, an obvious analogue to the Roman Catholic church).

I've never seen Tevinter, but I really want to play Nero and fiddle as Tevinter burns for good. The obvious BioWare structure is already there: rise up from Slavery to lead a rebellion that destroys the Imperium. I've got a feeling that they might want a few more games to continue building up to the mage-ruled Tevinter Imperium, but I do think that this is the obvious story to tell and Dragon Age writers probably already know that.

In Tevinter the power structure is (for obvious reasons including spiritual interpretations of Chantry scriptures) inversed with respect to the exported version. In Tevinter the Circles of Magi and their inter-circle Senate rule.

I really want to help export true democracy to Thedas. I want to play the General Washington in some great analogue to the American Experiment, but with dragons and mages.

I want to apply the scientific method to Dragon Age's magic. I seek to give every single person, elf, dwarf, and qunari the opportunity to learn magic.

I want to help preach critical reasoning above the droning superstitious chants of the Chantry.

I want to help citizen guards, who are not above the law themselves, win out over religious-addled, drug-using militias like the Templars.

Sure, an Age of Enlightenment and an American Experiment may not last against the brutal forces of dragons and dark spawn and against a backdrop of freedom to learn magic. But even failure could be awesome to play. I'd love to be the Dragon Age's Andrew Ryan [2] nearly as much as I'd love to be its General Washington. Given the interactive nature of the medium I could play both in the same game, and that would be amazing replay value...

[1]Not in the space opera sense, but in Pern or the Baroque cycle sense: smart fiction that filters today's reality through an intelligent looking glass (or scanner) and asks good "what if" questions.
[2]The Dragon Age meets BioShock fan fiction has already started writing itself in my head and on twitter.