Some random Dragon Age questions

My rogue is wearing a massive armor set, mainly because the chest has a +15% backstab bonus and other rogue-friendly stats. It looks badass as well (warden set) That seems odd, but even more odd is the fact that I can still get off most of my abilities during combat before I run out of stamina. Medium and light armor just seems very, very inferior to heavy and massive, and even wearing that massive set my rogue feels a little ‘squishy’ (he should of course, just saying).

I’ve found a total of two usable robes for Morigan, both story-related drops. Is the game short on caster drops overall, or is this just because my main is a rogue? Similar story for caster weapons, Morigan has been using the same rank7 staff for most of the adventure. If you play a mage as your main, are your choices as limited?

I’ve used swords almost exclusively the entire time for both my rogue and Alister. Is the armor penetration of axes/maces that big a factor, or are swords really as OP as they seem by comparison? I’ve also found far more special swords than any other weapon, so even if I wanted to use maces or axes, I would only be able to do so at the expense of performance.

In a second play through, does everything restart, or are things like specializations already opened for you? Are the specialization books you can buy from merchants different based on your class? I’d like to specialize right at level 7 and play more of a focused character sooner. At level 17 with two specializes right now, it has more of a min/max feel than a roleplaying aspect.

For anyone who has played a significant way into a second+ playthrough, just how different does the game play out based on your origin and choices? Do the differences only apply to the immediate situation and some ‘final’ impact, or is it more game-changing than that?

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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22 Responses to Some random Dragon Age questions

  1. Tipa says:

    My Morrigan can wear massive armor, but she instead wears a Senior Enchanter robe because it looks cool. The storyline-dropped robe duplicates her starting robe, and I hate the look so I sold it.

    I, too, have wondered about the lack of any decent mage weapons, aside from a very few. I believe light armor is an option for mages. (light=mage, med=rogue, haevy/massive=tanks). Since both my Morrigan and Wynne are Arcane Warriors, they can wear anything they like.

    My main, also a rogue, uses the superior drakescale armor. The dragonbone armor required too much strength, and I needed the cunning for my persuasion and lockpicking, though I am working up strength now (level 17). Morrigan was wearing the massive dragonbone, but now Sten wears it. Alistair wears one of the other sets, I believe a dwarven one from Deep Roads, along with the quest sword from Deep Roads with three enchantment slots.

    In any playthrough, I’d be going with a Arcane Warrior anyway, so not that concerned about mage-specific drops :)

    • SynCaine says:

      So you wear the stat-less armor sets over the unique drops with magic bonuses? Because all my guys are in unique-named gear, or a unique set like the Wardens or the one from the graves in the forest (forget the name, t7 massive armor that’s all shiny and gives a ton of magic resistance)

  2. Paragus says:

    I’m on my second playthrough, this time on nightmare difficulty. All of your specializations from the first playthrough are unlocked out of the gate. So where I didn’t learn spirit healer on my mage until I was probably level 10 or so when I got the book, I could get it right away at 7 the second time around.

    There is a glitch with specializations though. If you buy or unlock one, then load the game, it remembers you unlocked it. This means you can buy the expensive books and load the game and get your money back but keep the spec.

    As far as choices go, I am making some different choices this time around and using different party members. How it all plays out in the end has yet to be seen since I haven’t completed it a second time, but the most important choices that affect the ending are made in the last few hours of the game around the time where you confront Loghain.

    Some of the minor quests have minor effects on the ending as well. Completing some of them may lead to mention of certain things in the ending sequence where they tell you about what happens after the story. Also some choices may effect who you have access to in the final battle in terms of party members and armies.

    One example is the dwarf scenario which gives you a choice to side with the golems or the crazed paragon. Some of the guys in vent sided with the golems, but I sided with the paragon. As a result I had access to golems AND dwarfs in the final assault. I think most of the choices don’t matter as much as you would think, but I need to finish a second playthrough to understand the full extent.

    • SynCaine says:

      Good to know about the unlocked specializations, and I guess I could also console-command unlock them anyway.

  3. Mordiceius says:

    This is not an item game. Hell, you could probably beat the game in your starting equipment if you play it right.

    As for the limited amount of weapons, it is true there are. Also, a lot of vendors have very rare and good weapons for expensive amounts. If you play a good character, you probably won’t be able to afford many (as good characters often receive lesser rewards since they don’t lie, cheat and steal), but evil characters can easily buy most things.

    As for rogues wearing massive armor: do not do it. One simple reason – monsters are attracted to heavier armor (yes this is counter-intuitive) but this means the heavier armor is more likely to attract enemy ire.

    It is funny though as I currently have my rogue in a robe. The starting rogue armor is statless and just has like 2.5 armor with 1.5% fatigue. In Kokari Wilds, one of the hidden quests there gives a robe that has +6 armor on it and robes give no fatigue. So while still not a lot of stats, it is better than the starting armor and will last a little while.

    Yes, searching out and constantly upgrading your armor does make the game easier, but the game is still easily beatable without much attention being paid to gear. I prefer this personally as it lets you focus more on the story and gameplay than the inventory/item portions of the game.

  4. Derrick says:

    Yup, it’s decidedly not gear based, *except* for your tank(s).

    High-end weapons are better than basic stuff, but not so enormously as we MMO folk are accustomed to.

    I don’t wear helmets on most of my toons, actually, because I think most look terrible and the actual stat bonus from them is so minor there’s no real difference.

    I’ve found a few good sets of mage gear, though, which is handy because I’m playing a mage, and have two other mages in my party. You can’t have too many mages; they are easily, measurably the best class. They are either equal to others or better in every single way. Best ranged dps. Best crowd control. Even arguably the best melee dps and tanking, with a blood/arcane build.

    Poor rogues, they’re largely useless in comparison. Yeah, you can open chests, but there’s nothing really worthwhile in them. Anyone can steal (My mage got an awesome high end two handed sword stealing in Lothwhatever when I was level 5) so that’s not a bonus. Archery is absolutely terrible, too, and other skills are largely useless. Rogues aren’t bad, though, they’re just not nearly as good as mages :(

    Stealing is *very* important. There’s a LOT of good gear to be found, but you need to steal from absolutely everyone, all the time.

    • spinks says:

      The thing with rogues is that they get a lot of points to spend on skills. So you can really push on with the traps and poison (which gives you plenty of AE and crowd control), plus if you pump stealth you can do a lot of that while stealthed.

    • Ysharros says:

      Archery isn’t as useless as you think. Given that the AI isn’t overly smart, you can plink-kill stuff one/two at a time from out of a crowd of bad guys. It seems very cheaty, but it’s eminently possible.

      Also, once you get the archery up high enough (the bard bint starts with a good base for that), you can do some serious debuffing and a bit of crowd control. It may not be as flashy as the two-hand stuff, but it’s not useless. ;)

      I’m also going to stand up for the rogues since I’m playing one. My gal is more mobile than anyone else on the field, can’t be stunned or knocked back all that easily now (can’t remember what line gives that), and seems to stand up longer than the plate wearers. So she uses them as meatshields — that being what they’re for — and just stabbities stuff to death while they take the heat.

  5. Derrick says:

    Oh, re: specialisations:

    They are profile wide. Once unlocked, they are unlocked for everyone on your account, even totally different games. You can actually buy a specialization book, learn it, then reload before you bought the book and you’ll have the money and know the specialization. I actually got most of the specs and restarted entirely because I’d butchered my character builds (and didn’t have the respeccing addon yet).

    It helps a lot, actually, even if you don’t want to game it (save, learn, reload) to get the specs then start a new toon and select your specializations earlier. Apparently, while the level hard cap is 25, most people end around 20. So, you only can really count on a set number of talent points, if you want to max two specialisations you need to start early.

    Also, remember: You don’t need to spend points when you level up. If there’s no spell/skill you want (maybe you don’t yet have the requirements for what you want?) then just don’t spend the points and continue along your way.

  6. Bronte says:

    And yes, I agree about the mage armors. There are too few of them. Even the shop in Denerim has less than average pieces. Morgaine is still in her original robes actually.

    Another thing that annoyed me: the DLC said you can have the Blood Dragon Armor upon purchase. That is well and good. Except you just get the chestplate. You have to buy the rest from the dwarves. That is irritating to me.

  7. Jomu says:

    besides the circle of magi tower.. VERY few mage drops as a mage.. quest rewards from the main questline seems to recognize your class and gives you the appropriate item (unfortunately it can’t tell what lvl you are)

  8. Bhagpuss says:

    Lots of interesting stuff in here.

    I really wish I had followed my first whim and made a Dwarf Rogue instead of the Dwarf Warrior. Also since I am deeply uncomfortable playing even mildly evil characters, I haven’t done any of the stealing, lying or cheating, which apparently means I can;t expect good gear. I certainly don’t have the cash to buy it.

    I’ve found that while DA started incrediblt strogly and I played it non-stop for a couple of days, I’m already losing interest. The plot line is hackneyed, the fights are beginning to feel grindy and repetetive and the number of concessions to playability (you can call it “dumbing down” if you prefer) is nudging my suspension-of-disbelief over a cliff.

    I’m at level 10 now and last night I didn’t play DA at all. I played Fallen Earth and got completely lost in it and forgot all about DA. Tonight Ifeel more like playing the WAR Endless Trial and gettign my Squig Herder fully kitted-out with oRvR gear than I do plodding on through DA.

    I still hope to finish DA, but I think it might have to be in small chunks over a long time. Odd though it seems to say it, the single-player RPG format seems a bit, well, trivial after all these years of MMOs and I do feel more like I’m ‘wasting my time’ playing DA than I’ve ever felt while playing an MMO.

    I think it’s given me a very clear answer to the perennial question of why people solo in MMOs: it feels like you *are* somewhere. An offline RPG doesn’t seem able to give that same multiple sense of being simultaneously at home, in an imagined world AND out and about in the real world, all at once. Instead, it’s just sitting at home consuming entertainment, and if I’m going to do that, there’s a lot of other entertainment I’d prefer to consume than DA.

  9. Silentway says:

    I thought what bhagpuss said was interesting simply because most people would agree that MMO’s are a grind and DA simply isnt a grind. Their are times when the game becomes stale but all you have to do is open dialogue with someone or stop and do something else.

    I think most people got to lvl ten in a few hours and those few hours were pretty entertaining so perhaps this game truly isnt for you. I have played coutless online MMO’s and I found it to just be a gear grind. I grind to get my player to a certain lvl then I spend the rest of my time grinding for the next best gear. In addition I have to pay monthly.

    I was finally relieved when DA came out because I wasnt grinding to all the time, their was an actual story and not just a intro and go play, I’m not competing for gear, and best of all I dont need to spend every day on it to keep up with anyone else. I think best of all there is a clear beginning middle and end and online MMO’s simply just give you a beginning then you get tired of it and quit.

  10. Sofy says:

    It is funny though as I currently have my rogue in a robe. The starting rogue armor is statless and just has like 2.5 armor with 1.5% fatigue. In Kokari Wilds, one of the hidden quests there gives a robe that has +6 armor on it and robes give no fatigue. So while still not a lot of stats, it is better than the starting armor and will last a little while.

  11. I’m also going to stand up for the rogues since I’m playing one. My gal is more mobile than anyone else on the field, can’t be stunned or knocked back all that easily now (can’t remember what line gives that), and seems to stand up longer than the plate wearers. So she uses them as meatshields — that being what they’re for — and just stabbities stuff to death while they take the heat.

  12. The plot line is hackneyed, the fights are beginning to feel grindy and repetetive and the number of concessions to playability (you can call it “dumbing down” if you prefer) is nudging my suspension-of-disbelief over a cliff.

  13. dresy says:

    Odd though it seems to say it, the single-player RPG format seems a bit, well, trivial after all these years of MMOs and I do feel more like I’m ‘wasting my time’ playing DA than I’ve ever felt while playing an MMO.

  14. ’ve found that while DA started incrediblt strogly and I played it non-stop for a couple of days, I’m already losing interest.

  15. So while still not a lot of stats, it is better than the starting armor and will last a little while. I have played coutless online MMO’s and I found it to just be a gear grind. I

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