DA2 was originally called Dragon Age Exodus. You can disagree all you want but this is a fact.
Another fact: the direction of the game was so appalling that the lead designer of DA:O quit Bioware.
Anyways, I hope they can turn DA3 around and appease fans of both origins and 2.
Brent Knowles didn't quit bioware because the direction was so "appalling". He felt DA 2 would lead in more a mass effect type game and since that's not his style it wouldn't be right for him to be lead designer of the game. Its not that mass effect style is terrible, its a more action-RPG style.
That said, the gameplay videos have shown they are going back to the combat style of origins with set enemy encounters and more focus on the tactics. Futhermore, he was still working for Bioware when he made his post on why he was leaving. Hes not going to bad mouth the company he was still currently working for. His post was not nearly as negative as people now make it out to be.
As for Dragon Age Exodus, not sure what that has to do with anything. Marketing choose to change the name because you don't really need to play DA: O to understand DA 2 story. The name exodus doesn't in any way imply that the game was going to be a spinoff. Not sure where this weird idea that DA 2 was meant to be a spinoff game started because its not in the thread where the Exodus logo was found.
So no, I don't except either of those statements as fact.
:( At all the Meryl hate. I found her rivalmance to be extremely enjoyable.
To be fair, there doesn't seem to be a single mage in the Dragon Age universe who doesn't resort to blood magic at the drop of a hat. Guess the templars were actually right all along...Insanity is literally in the air in Kirkwall thanks to the veil being thin there, resulting in just about every mage turning to blood magic eventually. Mages outside of Kirkwall tend not to have the same tendancy for blood magic.
The game does state there are more blood mages in Kirkwall than normal.
And poor Merrril, her rivalmance is SO cute. lol *highfive* fellow Merril fan. Well, there are lot of Merril fans. I guess it depends on if your reaction to her is to protect her or smack her. I'd say both are valid. As for her personal quest:
you can avoid having to kill her clan.
That said, Isabela was the funniest character in the game. Isabela + Varric was hilarious.
Also, yay! more interest in the game. Definitely go watch the two part demo of the game which shows off how the combat is more tactical this time around.
Edit: Her names spelt MERRILL not Meryl. :P