On the whole DAW integration topic…Dorico will continue to get abilities and features that might seem to some as being ‘DAW Like’, out of necessity, but I don’t see that is Dorico trying to ‘become and replace’ the mid-range or high-end tracking DAW’.
For a while yet, any features making it into a scoring app that seem DAW like will be out of necessity to translate written music into sounds. Not so much to compete with, or attempt to replace a dedicated tracking DAW.
I think it’s important to understand that there are many different sorts and levels of applications for ‘DAW’ users, just as there are many different applications for people who need Scores/Parts/Worksheets/etc. in notation form.
There is a pretty big difference in the capabilities of something like Cubase Elements to Cubase Pro, and going from Pro to Nuendo is mega leap in working with enterprise class hardware, more tools to time/sync music with video/film, and gaining post-production features.
It seems reasonable to me that someday Dorico will pack many of the power/abilities of Cubase Elements right out of the box (better mixer/new-improved VST effect plugins, ability to record audio [probably just one stereo track at a time at first, maybe more eventually], and sync a decent number of audio tracks), as these are basic needs of the average composer who wants to work with notation; however, I don’t expect it to ever fill the shoes of Cubase Pro (precision editing of audio wave-forms, hundreds of included audio processing plugins, etc)…and most certainly not Nuendo (scads of conversion tools, surround sound support, tools to integrate with video/music/gaming-engines, mastering and packaging data for professional streaming/distribution, and more)!
As long as one of the goals of Dorico is to provide an ability to translate marks on a score into ‘sounds’…then ‘DAW-like’ features (at least from the VST and MIDI instrument realm) will always be part of the plan. I don’t really see that as attempting to wrap a ‘DAW’ into a scoring app. Some of the sound making interfaces might be modeled after various DAW workflows, and some might not be…either way, they are necessary elements if the software is going to translate scores and parts into sound.
Handling VST and MIDI instruments will be redundant to some degree with what modern tracking DAWs are expected to do, but that in and of itself isn’t sufficient for Steinberg to ‘market’ Dorico as a DAW.
Focus 1: Notation with a good workflow for composers and publishers.
Focus 2: Ability to translate the score into sound, with ever improving features to eventually make it possible for ‘some people’ with the right ‘third party’ additions to do higher quality mock-ups of said scores.
If the day ever comes that Dorico can stand alone and do all the precision audio editing of Cubase Pro, and the post production wizardry of Nuendo…then they’d most likely have more versions at different price points depending upon your needs.