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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Dragon Age » Dragon Age: Origins » Dual-wielding vs shield skills

Default Dual-wielding vs shield skills

November 7th, 2009, 12:33
I'm not sure if I've just made a mistake. I'm using my main character, a warrior, as my tank, since I got a ranger and magic-user as auxiliary party members.

When leveling up just now, I vaccilated between starting the shield-skill range of skills or the dual-wielding range of skills, and in the end decided to go with dual-wielding, since I always find this looks very cool in combat.

Not sure if tactically speaking the shield-skills, like for instance shield-bashing would tactically have been a better choice; though I'm thinking that perhaps even when used as an offensive weapon, my shield would not have dealt as much damage and an extra sword would have, and converseley, I wonder if the extra sword aids at least a little in blocking?

Any thoughts?

Now what has made me even more unsure of the wisdom of choosing dual-wield vs shield, is that I saw somewhere that shield can be used against ranged attacks at a certain skill-level.
Last edited by RivianWitch; November 7th, 2009 at 13:08.
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November 7th, 2009, 14:31
I'm not that far ahead in the game yet to know what is to come, but at my level for my tank, I find Shield Tactics invaluable. I do tend to get myself surrounded by all sort of nasties and where I used to use poultries like a crack addict, I can easily survive for the heals to land. Throw in the Champion specialization and the Warcry AoE knockdown skill, OH MY <3

As for damage, that is why I have partymembers for.
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November 7th, 2009, 14:41
Hm. Thanks. I have now in any case reloaded a save before I levelled up, and chose another more generalised skill that I was able to, (The second "Warrior" skill).

Next time I level up, I'll be sure to choose shield then, tho I must say it will be rather sad to close off the dualwielding and two-handed paths by doing that, but I suppose with these three, it is a case of "either or" unless you have tons of exp and weapons, - perhaps later on in the game…?
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November 7th, 2009, 15:44
I have found dual-weilding is very useful in terms of extra attacks, but I also love the shield skills. My secondary character (paladin like … my mage is my primary game) is working on longsword & shield … and the shield skills are very nice.

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November 7th, 2009, 17:02
Shield tactics work great for me. In an Ogre battle I put my tank on "shield defense" and just held the Ogre there while everyone else went ranged. By the time my warrior got to 20% health or so the Ogre was nearly finished.

Shield bashing takes enemies out of critical damage dealing rounds. I'm on the Warden path and have 2 similarly classed warriors. Tactically every engagement is won based on leveraging shield skills.

Plus its just plain satisfying to bash folks down

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November 8th, 2009, 11:04
The Sheild talents are very useful. The Sheild Bash line is great with stuns, knockdown, etc. The talent that makes you un-flankable is also brilliant (and requires a sheild).

Remember, tanking is about holding the mobs' attention, and not dying. Damage dealing is the role of the rest of the party. DW talents aren't that well suited to tanking, IMO.

Definitely go sword and board for tanking.
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November 8th, 2009, 11:09
Well, you get good NPCs for practically anything, so don't worry about it. Stick with whatever is cool. You'll get a good tank warrior, and a good dps warrior, so just replace the guy whose role is identical to yours.
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November 8th, 2009, 12:48
I've done the warrior "Origin" now, and I see what you guys are talking about…

Yeah, it seems as if one can choose almost any origin - you'll get all the other supplements later on; -though it seems to me as if my main character levels up more often?
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November 8th, 2009, 23:10
Well, I guess the main character levels more often because most companions that join you are higher level so their exp bar needs more exp.

As for the dual wielding vs. shield, it all depends on what you want. And you can also have both if you want, they're not exclusive. Have a dual wield in weapon set 1 and a weapon + shield in weapon set 2 and switch as you see fit. In any case, both are good, dual wield does more damage, sword + shield is more defensive.
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November 9th, 2009, 01:49
You'll end up with a far better character if you focus on just one weapon style. Most of the talents from each weapon style don't do anything when you're not using the appropriate weapon setup.

You'll get good party members for all the roles, so just pick whatever you want. If you want to Dual Wield, though, you shouldn't think of yourself as the tank. Tanks should wear heavy armor for one thing, and the fatigue from that reduces your DPS significantly. Also, not useing a sheild makes you much less survivable.

I will probably make a Dual Wield Rogue for my second play-through. They seem to have awesome damage potential.
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November 9th, 2009, 11:44
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
-though it seems to me as if my main character levels up more often?
I thought so too. but I have "Memory Band" on my toon which is supposed to increase the exp I am supposed to get. I am not sure if the ring affects my toon only or others in party as well.
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November 9th, 2009, 12:23
I've decided to keep Alistair as my tank for now, since he already came with good shield skills - I just need to work on his constitution a little. I'm playing two seperate paths concomitantly, warrior and mage.

So in my warrior playthrough, since it's a Dalish Elf with rather a good dex, a nice crossbow and some good archery skills, I've been thinking of going with crossbow for ranged and, since dualwielding wants a a high dex, then maybe dualwielding for the melee alternative.

Another idea is to "scout' out the game first with the mage, to see what companions one finds later on, and then make the warrior decisions based on that..

*Sigh* decision, decisions…
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Default How not to get whipped DW?

November 10th, 2009, 16:03
Im playing a duel-wielding warrior, (human noble)
first went with a shield guy but I restarted since I want Alistair for the story elements and 2 shield bashers felt like one to much.

I still havent figured out how to use tactics to my advantage and getting something useful out of dual wielding (seriously getting my A$$ handed to me when going for wardens keep)

Heavy armour or not?
putting some points for the bow?
sharing points between str, dex and con?

Im in serious danger of once again joining the Restarters Anonymous so pointers appreciated ;-)

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November 10th, 2009, 21:45
Originally Posted by Crilloan View Post
Im playing a duel-wielding warrior, (human noble)
first went with a shield guy but I restarted since I want Alistair for the story elements and 2 shield bashers felt like one to much.

I still havent figured out how to use tactics to my advantage and getting something useful out of dual wielding (seriously getting my A$$ handed to me when going for wardens keep)

Heavy armour or not?
In one of the loading screens I saw a tip I didn't know. Mobs go to heavy armored characters first, so maybe have heavy armor in the tank and medium armor in the dps?
putting some points for the bow?
sharing points between str, dex and con?
I'd say go full str/con, although check the talents you want in advance, there is a line that's based on Dex.

Im in serious danger of once again joining the Restarters Anonymous so pointers appreciated ;-)
I always start any game with a 'tutorial character', i.e. I already know it won't be my real character, so I use it to learn the ropes.
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November 10th, 2009, 21:54
You have to realise that shields are jsut that shields, they arent enchantable. And if you look closely at the dual wieldign ti has 2 aoe abilities the dual weapon sweep and whirlwind. Very useful.

EDIT and some enemies NEED to be killed fast. SO in the end i prefer dual weapons.
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November 11th, 2009, 00:36
I think dual wield is the worst dps line for a warrior. Shield Wall (knockdown immunity) and Indomitable (knockdown AND stun immunity) are too valuable to give up. Especially against the darn ogres/dragons. Not to mention every melee class seems to have 2/3 stuns/knockdowns.

As it is, I don't bother with AoE attacks anymore unless I can control/kill the pack fast.

See mobs ahead. Activate Threaten and Shield Wall. Send tank up first until everyone is focussed on tank. Ranger fires off a Scattershot. Hits whole pack, dead ranger.

Every bloody time. Makes me want to install Omen.
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November 11th, 2009, 01:05
@_@, you also got momentum and flurry. Ogres are a cake walk on any difficulty unless you are takign on more than one in which case killing quickly is preferrable.


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November 11th, 2009, 18:11
Crappity, but, the thing is that a single greatsword deals 12 damage whereas my warrior now only seems able to equip daggers which only deal 4 damage each….

..or is that made up for in speed?
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November 11th, 2009, 21:26
Apparently is is supposed to be made up by bonus to damage you get from your dexterity, but there seems to be a bug with that.


ie try using two weapons that arent daggers for now.
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November 11th, 2009, 21:49
Hm, i can manage to put one longsword an one dagger, but for some reason i cannot place 2 longswords, it simply won't go into the slot. I was figuring that either my dex or my strength might not be high enough?
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