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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Dragon Age » Dragon Age: Origins » Newcomer to Dragon Age: Origins in need of help

Default Newcomer to Dragon Age: Origins in need of help

February 17th, 2011, 17:02
Awhile ago i bought DAO for my Xbox 360 and i tried to play it, i finished a few quests but i never could really get into the combat system. I am used to games like Oblivion,Fallout 3,Two Worlds II, Gothic, etc, i never really played RPGs where you need to take care of party members as well, so this is all very new to me.

When i started playing it, i was a elven warrior, and even though i finished several quests, i had a very hard time doing so, and i died ALOT during combat. I put the game away for like a year maybe and recently picked it up again, only to find out that i kept dying again and i simply didn't understand why i died all the time. It was then that i decided to start over again but this time as a mage and its going quite good so far. But then again..i put the difficulty to casual, which is basically easy in any other game and i never do that, but for DAO i found it nessecary.

Basically what i need is some help/advice. I'll tell what my party members are and then i hope people here can tell me what strategies and tactics and powers are good to use.

So i am a level 12 mage, i use Cone of cold Stonefist alot, its a nice start for a battle i find. I always use Bloody grasp alot, for enemies in the distance i use either Tempest,Fireball, Inferno.I use Shock and Lightning too.

Currently i am in Orzammar. My party at this moment is…

Leliana ( Green blade, Splintmail armor,leather boots,Splintmail gloves,Studded helmet)

Morrigan ( Morrigan's Magic staff,Morrigan's robes)

Zevran (Whitewood bow, all leather clothing…basically)

Not in my current party but also available are…

Dog
Sten
Alistair

What i notice is that Leliane dies alot, maybe i have given her the wrong talents and wrong weapons..i have no idea. Basically i need some info/advice on what talents i should choose for my members and what do i do in terms of tactics? Should i leave it at default or change it? Like i said..i am not used to games where i have to pay attention to other party members, the RPGs i know..that's just solo. So yeah..basically..what strategies are recommended for all my members during combat?

Help would be greatly apreciated.
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February 17th, 2011, 17:18
Well, what you seem to be missing are melee fighters. They have an easier time taking care of themselves and more staying power than archers.

Try playing for a while with 2 melee fighters (the dog and Alistair will work fine), one rogue (archer or melee), and one spell caster.

And nothing wrong with playing on casual. DA:O is a story heavy game.
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February 17th, 2011, 17:21
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Well, what you seem to be missing are melee fighters. They have an easier time taking care of themselves and more staying power than archers.

Try playing for a while with 2 melee fighters (the dog and Alistair will work fine), one rogue (archer or melee), and one spell caster.

And nothing wrong with playing on casual. DA:O is a story heavy game.

actually for most of the game i've had Alistair in my party , all the quests i had done was with Alistair in the party. But when i went to Orzammar, i don't know..i just decided to choose Zevran. Stupid move indeed…cause now i have two rogues in my party and not a warrior/tank. I'll go change that.
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February 17th, 2011, 20:53
The Dog could be a good close combat fighter there, imho.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 18th, 2011, 05:08
Leliana can be a great thief and if you make her an archer first and then fighter second she should do better at surviving. But keep in mind arrows/bolts can be hard to come by.
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February 18th, 2011, 06:09
Don't take it personally that you die a lot. I think it's just a failing of the game to be properly adapted to the 360. I died a lot until I turned it down to the easiest setting. It was awfully hard to swallow my pride and take the difficulty down but it was worth it. From then on, the battles were still not exactly a walk in the park but I only died every once in a while. I haven't played it since the first time so I don't specifically remember what caused it to be hard, I just think the game needed the tactical view that is on the PC version.
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February 18th, 2011, 09:21
Actually, the reason you die a lot is simple: Orzammar is, by far, the hardest place to start. The easiest route is Mage Tower -> Redcliffe -> Orzammar or the Dalish.

Also, I generally prefer Leliana as an archer (she's really squishy as melee), but both will work out in the end.

By the way, do you have the Stone Prisoner DLC? It should come with any original copy of the game. If you have the DLC installed, you should have Sulcher's Pass or some such thing on the map - I strongly recommend heading there and doing that questline so you get Shale, a very powerful melee fighter.

Edit:
I'll add a few pointers that should make combat easier.
- Get the Telekinisis line of spells on at least one of your mages (the line that ends with Crushing Prison). Mind Blast is a great AoE stun, Crushing Prison is excellent if you start out fights by popping it on enemy casters and Force Field is a very nice utility spell: You can use it either to make sure dangerous enemies can't do anything, or protect party members that take a lot of damage (for example use it on Leliana if a lot of enemies are hitting her - they'll keep on hitting her, but she'll be immune to the damage).
- Make sure at least one mage (I prefer all) is a Spirit Healers. Group Heal alone is more than worth it, and Cleansing is an excellent buff for intense fights (don't use it all the time though, it drains mana too fast). Also, Cleansing removes injuries on everyone but the mage, so losing party members will no longer require you to use truckloads of injury kits.
- Set up the tactics of fighters/rogues to be somewhat decent - for example by adding stuff like:
* Self: Any - Activate Mode: Whatever mode you want them to constantly use
* Enemy: Attack enemy targeted by the controlled party member (or some such thing, I don't remember the exact name - bottom line, it lets the party member attack the same target as the member you control).
* Self: Health < 50% (or 25% if you like taking a risk) - Use some sort of defensive cooldown or healing.

After that, control the mages primarily so you can control the fight through healing, buffing and generally making sure enemies are locked down (Cone of Cold, Crushing Prison, Paralyze, Petrify, Force Field and so on and so forth).
Last edited by Maylander; February 18th, 2011 at 10:43.
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February 18th, 2011, 11:56
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Actually, the reason you die a lot is simple: Orzammar is, by far, the hardest place to start. The easiest route is Mage Tower -> Redcliffe -> Orzammar or the Dalish.

Also, I generally prefer Leliana as an archer (she's really squishy as melee), but both will work out in the end.

By the way, do you have the Stone Prisoner DLC? It should come with any original copy of the game. If you have the DLC installed, you should have Sulcher's Pass or some such thing on the map - I strongly recommend heading there and doing that questline so you get Shale, a very powerful melee fighter.

Edit:
I'll add a few pointers that should make combat easier.
- Get the Telekinisis line of spells on at least one of your mages (the line that ends with Crushing Prison). Mind Blast is a great AoE stun, Crushing Prison is excellent if you start out fights by popping it on enemy casters and Force Field is a very nice utility spell: You can use it either to make sure dangerous enemies can't do anything, or protect party members that take a lot of damage (for example use it on Leliana if a lot of enemies are hitting her - they'll keep on hitting her, but she'll be immune to the damage).
- Make sure at least one mage (I prefer all) is a Spirit Healers. Group Heal alone is more than worth it, and Cleansing is an excellent buff for intense fights (don't use it all the time though, it drains mana too fast). Also, Cleansing removes injuries on everyone but the mage, so losing party members will no longer require you to use truckloads of injury kits.
- Set up the tactics of fighters/rogues to be somewhat decent - for example by adding stuff like:
* Self: Any - Activate Mode: Whatever mode you want them to constantly use
* Enemy: Attack enemy targeted by the controlled party member (or some such thing, I don't remember the exact name - bottom line, it lets the party member attack the same target as the member you control).
* Self: Health < 50% (or 25% if you like taking a risk) - Use some sort of defensive cooldown or healing.

After that, control the mages primarily so you can control the fight through healing, buffing and generally making sure enemies are locked down (Cone of Cold, Crushing Prison, Paralyze, Petrify, Force Field and so on and so forth).

Thanks alot for the replies. You know what the strange thing is…so far Orzammar has been rather easy, i did The Proving without much problems and currently i'm doing Harrowmont's last quest. I haven't done Deep Roads however….it's not that i now die alot, only Leliana is, but thats because of several reasons like wrong tactics and such.

When i first started playing the game, which i think was either somewhere last year or so…i died alot, but on my second try i'm actually doing good. But i noticed i barely used my party members and thats why i asked advice for that Last week i actually tried to fight the high dragon and i got pretty far in there, it was because of the wrong tactics and selected spells/atttacks that i lost the battle.
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February 18th, 2011, 13:37
I honestly don't think the order in which you visit those areas really matters that much, due to the level scaling.

That said, I think it makes the most sense (story-wise) to visit Redcliffe first.
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February 18th, 2011, 15:50
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I honestly don't think the order in which you visit those areas really matters that much, due to the level scaling.

That said, I think it makes the most sense (story-wise) to visit Redcliffe first.
Actually, Dragon Age uses a levelling scaling similar to Gothic 3 with a minimum and maximum range. You'll notice this if you get the hunting skill as you'll be able to see their level on the minimap.

Generally, avoid Denerim and Orzammar until you're at a fairly decent level - the bandits of Denerim and most enemies of Orzammar will flatten you in a few shots if you head there right away, especially at higher difficulty levels.

Also, if you DO head to Denerim or Orzammar too early and somehow survive, the rest of the game will be far too easy as most of it will be several levels below you at all times (except the ending).

Bottom line: It is entirely possible to pull a Gothic in Dragon Age and run into areas with enemies you'd best avoid. Unfortunately, most people think DA has Oblivion style scaling, so they just assume they're doing something wrong and get frustrated (the classic example is being flattened by the bandits of Denerim - the fights are actually quite easy if you head there at the appropriate level).
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February 18th, 2011, 16:02
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Unfortunately, most people think DA has Oblivion style scaling, so they just assume they're doing something wrong and get frustrated (the classic example is being flattened by the bandits of Denerim - the fights are actually quite easy if you head there at the appropriate level).
Nah, I could immediately tell the scaling in DA:O was nothing similar to Oblivion. I agree about Denerim being a place to avoid early on, I got my ass kicked there a few times before I was ready. It doesn't make sense to go there early anyways.
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February 18th, 2011, 16:16
It's best to follow the natural flow of the story which indeed sends you to Redcliffe first and Denerim last. Yes, you *can* go anywhere but it is a story-driven game so following the story is usually the best idea.

I am reminded of a (serious!) walk-thru of Fallout 2 where the recommendation was to sneak into Navarro and get powered armor before going back and doing the rest of the game. Sigh.
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February 18th, 2011, 16:34
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
It's best to follow the natural flow of the story which indeed sends you to Redcliffe first and Denerim last. Yes, you *can* go anywhere but it is a story-driven game so following the story is usually the best idea.

I am reminded of a (serious!) walk-thru of Fallout 2 where the recommendation was to sneak into Navarro and get powered armor before going back and doing the rest of the game. Sigh.
Hah, that's actually why I recommend the Mage Tower - in addition to being easy, you get a lot of stuff there (won't specify due to spoilers).
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February 18th, 2011, 18:18
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Actually, the reason you die a lot is simple: Orzammar is, by far, the hardest place to start.
I agree. But I started in the Dalish area, actually. Meanwhile, I went to the mages tower, and then came back to the Dalish area.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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