Forums » General Gaming

Playing Dragon Age Origins

    • 773 posts
    August 27, 2014 6:23 AM EDT

    So, last weekend I was rooting around some boxes in my garage and came upon the Prima Guide for the game 'Dragon Age Origins'.

    What happened was that I bought the game when it first came out, played it for a while but never really got anywhere. Then I got back into Oblivion, I think it was, and forgot about Dragon Age. I **think ** I picked up the Guide at some Car Boot Sale ( I think you Yanks call them 'Yard Sales' ) with the intention of one day getting back into Dragon Age. But Skyrim came out, and it never happened...

    Anyway, I decided to take another shot at it. With my copy of Dragon Age long since lost or missing, I picked up the Ultimate Edition for a measly £7 on Amazon - pretty neat for the original game, Awakenings and all the DLC.

    Well, that's a bit of a convoluted tale to get to my point, and that is to ask what party people would recommend for this game. I don't want to play as a tank (boring!). So I'm thinking of going as a damage dealing mage, and taking a tank, a rogue and a healer - something like that.

    So, does anyone remember this game and have advice? and is there anyone still actually playing it?

    • 627 posts
    August 27, 2014 6:37 AM EDT

    Alistair is a pretty good sword and board tank, but if u want a more damage dealing one go with Sten or Oghren. As for a healer the only one other than your character is Wynne; with Morrigan being more of a damage mage. The problem with rogues is (and they may have changed this) that they use strength for damage but their abilities need dex or cunning; although there is a passive ability that lets them use cunning if it's higher than strength.

    If your going to play a mage i would recommend taking arcane warrior it lets you wear armour and with a certain set you can have plus 16 mana regen/sec which is enough to counter the drain of some sustained spells.

    It is also pretty funny and powerful pairing blood mage and spirit healer together.

    • 627 posts
    August 27, 2014 6:48 AM EDT

    I actually play more of this game (past and present) than i do skyrim 

    • 773 posts
    August 27, 2014 6:53 AM EDT

    What about playing as the rogue, and then taking Wynne AND Morrigan?

    How would that work?

    • 627 posts
    August 27, 2014 7:01 AM EDT

    Seeing as you can control any of the four party members the only difference it would make would be the party banter that goes on as you travel, the reactions to your decisions and maybe some alternate dialogue options during interactions.

    • 708 posts
    August 27, 2014 7:16 AM EDT

    Definitely one of my old favourites here! If you're planning on playing a damage dealing mage you can pretty much have yourself set up right near the start of the game. Alastair is a superb tank and you can pick up Wynne at the circle right after Lothering - or alternately spec Morrigan for support for some much more amusing party banter. Leliana is probably the best choice for a rogue companion, ensuring that only Alastair is in melee combat meaning you can toss AoE spells around without having to worry too much about injuring weaker party members.

    • 1483 posts
    August 27, 2014 8:26 AM EDT

    For a mage my favorite were the

    Creation school -> Glyphs

    Both Glyph of Paralysis and Glyph of Repulsion are great on their own but together they provide one of the most powerful crowd control combos in the game akin to Skyrim's Mass Paralysis. Just need to be careful not to get caught in explosion. Glyph of Warding is a nice boost for your allies and Glyph of Neutralization is another way of dealing with mages.

    Spirit -> Death and Telekinesis

    For Death line, all spells are pretty useful, walking bomb explosions are very powerful, death syphon can help if you run out of mana in the middle of a fight, animate dead creates a meat shield 

    For Telekinesis line, Force Field has a great synergy with walking bomb spells from Death line. Cast Force Field on your tank, let enemies gather around him and hit one with a Virulent Walking Bomb. The resulting explosion will severely damage all the enemies (if not kill them outright) and when the tank snaps out of the force field he can take them much easier. Crushing Prison can be a great way to deal with enemy mages if you don't want to invest in Mana Alteration line, which is less useful IMO (though the last two spells are quite good). Mind Blast provides a good stagger mechanic if you're cornered and Telekinetic Weapons are a nice boost for rogues.

    Entropy -> Draining

    Draining line is quite useful to dish out damage and also to heal yourself. Drain Life has somewhat low damage but it has a very nice trick to it - it goes through walls and enemy separates himself from a group to investigate. That allows you to thin enemy numbers by killing them one by one. It is also useful when running away from Ogres in close quarters :D Death Magic can provide healing in combat, Curse of Mortality - one of the most annoying enemy spells now in your hands, Death Cloud - AoE damaging spell, works best with immobilized enemies, see Glyph line above.

    For Specializations - Arcane Warrior and Blood Mage are the most powerful. Personally I like to take Spirit Healer and remove Wynne from party. It also has a nice combat health regeneration bonus. Shapeshifter can be good but you have to really focus on it, putting points in strength etc. There is a guide on Bioware forums: here

    • 485 posts
    August 27, 2014 9:31 AM EDT

    If you decide to go rogue theres quite a lot of options at your disposal. The two main types of rogues are dexterity based rogues and cunning based rogues - both of which have their pros and cons.

    Dex rogues have an absurdly high evasion rate. These guys can take down a mob of enemies without so much as a scratch on the half the time. They also tend to have alot more stamina than their cunning counterparts so they get much more use out of those costly dual wield skills. The downside is you don't do nearly as much raw damage as a cunning based rogue. You'll definitely want duelist as on of your specialties. The assassin specialty pairs well with the duelist. 

    Cunning rogues are all about massive raw damage at the cost of survivability. These guys make their money with backstab damage and can take a powerful target from healthy to dead in mere seconds. The best way to play these guys is to amplify your attack and critical damage and stack on as many sustaining skills (skills that remain active as long as they are toggled at the cost of reduced max stamina) and go to town on the enemy's flank. With that being said you want to avoid being targetted at all cost. These guys have nowhere near the evasion of a dex rogue so they tend to get dropped fast. Countering that requires a good tank which makes Alistair a valuable teammate. The Assassin speciality is your #1 priority. The bard specialty provides sustainable buffs that further improve your DPS. 

    • 773 posts
    August 27, 2014 3:01 PM EDT

    Lots of really useful advice here guys. Thanks 

    If anyone else has DA:O advice it would be great to here 

    • 13 posts
    August 27, 2014 5:53 PM EDT

    I love this game!  In fact, in order to get ready for the release of Inquisition, I just started a new arcane warrior/blood mage character, and plan to continue with a rogue Hawk in DA2.  As far as advice goes, mine would be to customize all your party member's tactics.  For example, you can program your warrior or rogues to protect your mages from melee attacks.  I would also suggest trying to maximize your party members' approval ratings in order to raise key talents (constitution for Alistair; cunning for Leiliana; magic for Morrigan).

    Unlike Skyrim, gold is hard to come by in DAO, but if you're willing to put some time into making potions, you can use Morrigan to help you earn what you need.  (It's just tedious and boring )

    • 13 posts
    August 27, 2014 5:56 PM EDT

    That Shapeshifter build looks like a lot of fun.  I might have to give it a run.  Thanks for the link!

    • 627 posts
    August 27, 2014 9:44 PM EDT

    I always found that if I was having trouble with a certain fight it could be helpful to set each of the character's final tactic to Enemy: target of controlled character ---> attack, this makes it so that all the other tactics that the character has are still used, but once they are performed they will work together to kill each target until the higher priority tactics activate again.

    • 44 posts
    August 31, 2014 6:26 PM EDT
    The str for dmg has been fixed in a patch. Arcane warrior is very Op and fun to play. Same for spirit warriors.
    • 215 posts
    July 9, 2019 11:01 AM EDT
    Well I guess resurrecting this old thread. I was looking through my list of Steam games the other day and saw DAO. Had some free time so decided to fire it up for the first time in quite a while. Playing as an arcane warrior. Thinking about Blood Mage and the second option.