Pretty much all the changes in DAI were direct responses to complaints about DA2.
The biggest ones were stuff like:
- “There isn’t nearly enough to do/there are no minor quests or collections.”
So they went completely and ridiculously overboard on fixing this in DAI. There’s way too much to do, and it gets in the way of the game. You’re going to literally want to ignore quests, and leave areas before you’re done with all the quests - the first big area is literally infamous for this - tons of people just gave up on the game trying to do all the zillions of quests there - The Hinterlands I think it’s called - instead you should leave ASAP (you can come back later).
Plus they put in this entire annoying mobile-game-style deal with the map, which like, I swear to god, just get a mod to fix it - https://www.nexusmods.com/dragonageinquisition/mods/479
There’s a reason it’s the second most popular mod on the DAI Nexus lol.
- “There aren’t enough different places/there’s too much repetition of maps/I hate just playing in one city.”
They also went insanely overboard on this - instead of too few maps, there are far too many areas. Like one of the areas, the Hissing Waste IIRC, is beautiful, atmospheric, stylish, and just has literally no main or important quests in it, just tons and tons of unimportant sidequests.
- Combat isn’t interactive enough/combat isn’t enough like DAO!
So they got pulled in directly opposite directions on this one, and tried to make both sides happy… and actually it’s probably overall the best combat in the series… so maybe it worked out? But there’s a ton of it.
You don’t actually have to hold down to auto-attack, you just need to bind a key to it (which iirc cannot be LMB or RMB, but maybe they changed that). That said as you level up you will use autoattack less and less as any class.
- “Loot is oversimplified and dumb! There’s not enough crafting! Simple loot means it’s not an RPG!!!”
They didn’t go quite as overboard here, thankfully, but I still think that they did too much. Especially with the resource-gathering. If you have the blackmarket-type DLC (which comes with the “full” edition of the game IIRC), you can just use gold to buy resources and honestly it’s generally worth doing that over going looking for them.
All that said, so long as you GTFO from the Hinterlands ASAP, mod the map table, and preferably have the Trespasser DLC, it’s pretty great. I don’t think it’s tight or engaging an experience as DA2, but it is good, and I know it appealed to a much larger audience (it sold extremely well).