Dragon Age: Origins. Lets talk tactics!

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I've been playing DAO for a couple of days now and really enjoying the experience; however, this game is kicking-my-ass. It's very hard but I refuse to turn down the difficulty because I don't want this game to loss that you-might-die-at-any-moment feeling. That being said, I think that my problem is I'm not using the tactics menu the most effective way possible. What I would like to set-up is a way for my three party member to focus fire down one target at a time. I'm using Alistair in heavy armor and sword and board as a tank, Morrigan is my DPS/healing caster, and Leliana is my ranged DPS, I have myself set-up for DPS and off tanking as I like the role of filling up gaps and improvising. Ideally what I would like to have happen at the start of every encounter is for Alistair to pick out targets, weakest to strongest, and for Morrigan and Leliana to only attack his target. Is there anyway for this to be set up? Can anyone offer some insight into how to use my companions effectively?

For farther information all of my companions have six tactics slots opened at the moment.

Edit: THIS IS FOR THE PC VERSION! I realize that the console users can beat this game without having to micro-manage, but your nightmare difficulty is like normal on the PC.

I never thought of doing something like that. You could probably accomplish what you want with some odd key binding, or something. Not exactly sure how though.

I won't spoil the where and whos, but theres a battle later on where the main boss is pretty damn tough and it summons lots of low and mid level enemies to help it as its HP gets to 75%, 50% and 25%

At first I tried to use area of effect attacks to kill the low level guys so I can focus on the boss, but this doesn't work, the boss has devastating attacks that can KO someone in a blink of an eye.

This took me at least a dozen attempts, I had my main character, a mage, use blood grab, and morrigan use vulnerability hex, and the other not alister guy put on death mark, all on the boss for the first round of the battle. Then I used Mage and Morrigan the nuke the crap out of the boss, If I hadn't been pausing the game every half second to reissue orders, I imagine the whole thing would have lasted maybe 10 seconds in real time. Once the boss died, I had a huge ass room full of enemies left. I used Alister's taun to group them up and one well placed blast of chain lightning and morrigans mind blast to stun the survivers.

This plan worked eventually, but I had many difficulties. One time the chainlightning was Resisted and did jack squat to anything, without that, I got overwhelmed pretty quick. Other times, I just got unlucky as the boss had resisted too many spells to die fast enough.

I think in the tactics menu where you can tell them what to cast in certain situations you can have them attack whatever target you or alistar are attacking. This way they will focus fire down whatever you are on. It is pretty effective but the best way to play is by using the pause menu to queue up your attacks for each person and then resume the game. Once they have all casted their attacks then pause again and queue up more attacks for each party member. This way you can dictate exactly what you want to attack with and whom which makes for the most effective way to fight.

Bah the stop and go pause method is NOT what I want to do for every single fight :(. Let me post some screens of what I'm trying to do to give some visual on the topic.

Alright I mostly would like to know why when I have my tactics set up like this I get red actions.

I know. The tactics menu is shit. I tell my healer to heal if anyone gets below 50% health and what does the bitch do? Charges in and fights and does not even heal! And for the life of me I can not figure out what status to put down for revive. There is no "unconscious" or "dead" option!
The freaking AI needs a serious overhaul.
Now I really am missing Final Fantasy XII.

Edit: To answer the red thing. Its because you are targeting the enemy. Not yourself or a member of your group.

Double Edit: I am also annoyed since originally I specced Alistair to be a shield user. That was before I found out shields are not worth shit.

Avykins:
Edit: To answer the red thing. Its because you are targeting the enemy. Not yourself or a member of your group.

Wait... does that mean that my setup is fine? Its just red because its an enemy that is being targeted?

Ayrav:

Avykins:
Edit: To answer the red thing. Its because you are targeting the enemy. Not yourself or a member of your group.

Wait... does that mean that my setup is fine? Its just red because its an enemy that is being targeted?

Yup. That is all it means.
Also you may or may not have figured this out already but you do know you can also change priority by dragging em up and down the list, also can disable ones you don't want in a specific battle by unticking the cross next to em.

My usual plan is to make Sten, Morrigan and either Alistair of myself hold near a doorway or behind a corner and send either Alistair or myself to attract the attention of a couple of the enemy and make them follow back to the group. By doing this I can pick them off in groups of two or three, making the combat much easier. It also gives me a chance to save and heal between combat. Also by doing this I can easily get enemy spellcasters and archers into combat. You can't do it in every combat, obviously, but in places like the Andraste temple it really helps.

The only combat I have had a lot of problems with is in the Guantlet when:

Tactics? I've never used tactics once, and I've already completed the game.

That said, I had it on Casual, and the Broodmother still beat the living shit out of me. Repeatedly. Maybe I'm doin it wrong?

There's a tactics menu? I never knew that. No wonder I kept getting my ass kicked.

Man, there's a lot I don't know about this game.

Tactics?? Heh, the run straight for the enemy and stab, smash, burn, freeze, maul approach has worked pretty well for me so far. I've only died a few times and I'm playing it on normal. The only tactic slot I have set so far is Wynn and she does nothing but heal, and i don't even really use her much.

I only put a few basic tactics on; the only fights I really had to pick actions for each group member were large battles or boss fights. My setup was me (dps mage), alistair (tank), wynne (healer), and leliana (dps i guess)

Ayrav:
I've been playing DAO for a couple of days now and really enjoying the experience; however, this game is kicking-my-ass. It's very hard but I refuse to turn down the difficulty because I don't want this game to loss that you-might-die-at-any-moment feeling. That being said, I think that my problem is I'm not using the tactics menu the most effective way possible. What I would like to set-up is a way for my three party member to focus fire down one target at a time. I'm using Alistair in heavy armor and sword and board as a tank, Morrigan is my DPS/healing caster, and Leliana is my ranged DPS, I have myself set-up for DPS and off tanking as I like the role of filling up gaps and improvising. Ideally what I would like to have happen at the start of every encounter is for Alistair to pick out targets, weakest to strongest, and for Morrigan and Leliana to only attack his target. Is there anyway for this to be set up? Can anyone offer some insight into how to use my companions effectively?

For farther information all of my companions have six tactics slots opened at the moment.

In the tactics menu, select the condition: Enemy > Target of Party Member > [In this case probably Alistair], and the behavior Attack. Do this for [In this case Morrigan and Leliana] and the result is that any time Alistair will target a given enemy, Morrigan and Leliana will target the same one. This way, at the start of battle, select Alistair and have him target who you want or, alternatively, you can set the condition (for Alistair): Enemy > Rank > Target rank is critter, and the action: Attack.

You could set up subsequent tactics (progressively lower down the priority list):
Enemy > Rank > Target rank is normal | Attack
Enemy > Rank > Target rank is elite | Attack
Enemy > Rank > Target rank is boss | Attack

This way, if there are no critters, he'll attack normals and if there are none of those he'll attack elites, etc.

Mr.Tea:

Ayrav:
I've been playing DAO for a couple of days now and really enjoying the experience; however, this game is kicking-my-ass. It's very hard but I refuse to turn down the difficulty because I don't want this game to loss that you-might-die-at-any-moment feeling. That being said, I think that my problem is I'm not using the tactics menu the most effective way possible. What I would like to set-up is a way for my three party member to focus fire down one target at a time. I'm using Alistair in heavy armor and sword and board as a tank, Morrigan is my DPS/healing caster, and Leliana is my ranged DPS, I have myself set-up for DPS and off tanking as I like the role of filling up gaps and improvising. Ideally what I would like to have happen at the start of every encounter is for Alistair to pick out targets, weakest to strongest, and for Morrigan and Leliana to only attack his target. Is there anyway for this to be set up? Can anyone offer some insight into how to use my companions effectively?

For farther information all of my companions have six tactics slots opened at the moment.

In the tactics menu, select the condition: Enemy > Target of Party Member > [In this case probably Alistair], and the behavior Attack. Do this for [In this case Morrigan and Leliana] and the result is that any time Alistair will target a given enemy, Morrigan and Leliana will target the same one. This way, at the start of battle, select Alistair and have him target who you want or, alternatively, you can set the condition (for Alistair): Enemy > Rank > Target rank is critter, and the action: Attack.

You could set up subsequent tactics (progressively lower down the priority list):
Enemy > Rank > Target rank is normal | Attack
Enemy > Rank > Target rank is elite | Attack
Enemy > Rank > Target rank is boss | Attack

This way, if there are no critters, he'll attack normals and if there are none of those he'll attack elites, etc.

Awesome! I've been messing around with the tactics menu ALOT since Avykins set me straight on the Enemy/Red thing. I've just about got it down to how I want it, I just need to open more tactics slots so that I can get my companions to rotate their abilities correctly.

Edit: Almost forgot, does anyone know if the generic 'Attack' effect is just a standard, no ability, continuous attack? or does it rotate though the companions combat abilities as well as start their swing timers?

How do you set up someone to DEactiveate an ability after combat?

Pretty sure there isn't an 'Combat Ends' cause :(. You can set-up your companions to change their Abilities when certain things happen to them in combat though. Why do you need them to turn off combat abilities between encounters anyway? That feels like it would take up to many tactics slots.

Ahhh, the Tactics! First of all, you can't automate your party members 100%, you can only reduce the time you need to spend micromanaging them, such as drinking healing pots, switching on modes when stamina is low, casting buffs and recovery spells.

A handy trick is to automate turning on modes when mana or stamina gets low (so there's no cost). My fighters and rogues all sitch to combat modes after blowing all their stamina. My mage switches to Death Syphon after dropping bellow 50% mana and such. Wynne is almost completely automated, except in large scale battles where I need Group Heal and Revive.

As for automated focus fire, try this:
Enemy->Target of party member->Controlled party member => Attack
Put this in everybody's tactics list and they'll attack whoever is being targeted by your currently controlled character. You could also substitute "Controlled party member" for a specific member of your party if you occasionally want to take an individual party member for a specific task while the others stick to what they were doing.

Avykins:
I know. The tactics menu is shit. I tell my healer to heal if anyone gets below 50% health and what does the bitch do? Charges in and fights and does not even heal!

See that "Behaviour" tab in the upper right corner of the tactics tab? The one you probaby left on "Default"? CHANGE IT! Seriously, it's not that hard...

Jandau:
See that "Behaviour" tab in the upper right corner of the tactics tab? The one you probaby left on "Default"? CHANGE IT! Seriously, it's not that hard...

Having my best luck with the 'default' behavior atm, although a handy breakdown of what each mode does and doesn't would help... As I mentioned before I made a DPS/OT hybrid as my main, and currently I'm the hardest hitting character in my party, however I don't really get to play her at all because I constantly have to control my mage to CC all the damn enemies :(((. Setting up Shield Bash on my tank for when a caster or ranged attacks her is easy, getting the AI to optimize when to Mind Blast and Cone of Cold is an entirely different animal.

Ayrav:
Having my best luck with the 'default' behavior atm, although a handy breakdown of what each mode does and doesn't would help... As I mentioned before I made a DPS/OT hybrid as my main, and currently I'm the hardest hitting character in my party, however I don't really get to play her at all because I constantly have to control my mage to CC all the damn enemies :(((. Setting up Shield Bash on my tank for when a caster or ranged attacks her is easy, getting the AI to optimize when to Mind Blast and Cone of Cold is an entirely different animal.

The breakdown of each mode is included in the game, just highlight each mode for a couple of seconds and a tooltip should show up detailing what it does.

As for crowd control optimization, that's VERY tricky. What you can do is use the various Character:"surrounded by X enemies" or Enemy:"surrounded by X allies" tactics to automate some of those. It won't be perfect, but it might help. Cone of Cold should me manually targeted since it's tricky business. However, Sleep, Paralyze, Horror, Glyph of Paralysis, Waking Nightmare can all be safely automated if you want. I have my mage on auto for the Sleep + Horror combo (cast Sleep if 3 or more enemies are together, then cast Horror at a sleeping target).

3 mage 1 tank team seems to be the best. get forcefield and enjoy some aoe nuke rape. Also avoid rogue archers they are worthless if your going to have an archer make it a warrior archer because rogue archers cant do any damage worth a shit. 2 mage 1 tank 1 war archer works well too if you play it right. honestly what i always end up doing is pulling the whole group together and using cone of cold grease and other aoes to just rape the enemies while all my spellcasters are blood/spirit healer meaning i always have a set of heals and no mana restrictions so i do really really well. but ive tried 2 melee users and i dont think it works very well just too many targets to heal and generally if its a rogue or anything without a shield he wont live to see the end of the fight. but a very well specced dual user ass/duelist rogue will definitly survive and do very good damage. the team can work but for first timers id suggest 3 mage 1 tank its just a bit easier. when you get the hang of the game make a plan of how your going to level your rogue(cough get lethality asap cough) and go through with making your party(i generally start at the magis tower no matter what because gwynn will make your adventures just far less painful.)

Chrissyluky:
3 mage 1 tank team seems to be the best. get forcefield and enjoy some aoe nuke rape. Also avoid rogue archers they are worthless if your going to have an archer make it a warrior archer because rogue archers cant do any damage worth a shit. 2 mage 1 tank 1 war archer works well too if you play it right. honestly what i always end up doing is pulling the whole group together and using cone of cold grease and other aoes to just rape the enemies while all my spellcasters are blood/spirit healer meaning i always have a set of heals and no mana restrictions so i do really really well. but ive tried 2 melee users and i dont think it works very well just too many targets to heal and generally if its a rogue or anything without a shield he wont live to see the end of the fight. but a very well specced dual user ass/duelist rogue will definitly survive and do very good damage. the team can work but for first timers id suggest 3 mage 1 tank its just a bit easier. when you get the hang of the game make a plan of how your going to level your rogue(cough get lethality asap cough) and go through with making your party(i generally start at the magis tower no matter what because gwynn will make your adventures just far less painful.)

Lady have you played D&D? Specially min/max style D&D? My heart aches for your knowledge.

Ayrav:

Chrissyluky:
3 mage 1 tank team seems to be the best. get forcefield and enjoy some aoe nuke rape. Also avoid rogue archers they are worthless if your going to have an archer make it a warrior archer because rogue archers cant do any damage worth a shit. 2 mage 1 tank 1 war archer works well too if you play it right. honestly what i always end up doing is pulling the whole group together and using cone of cold grease and other aoes to just rape the enemies while all my spellcasters are blood/spirit healer meaning i always have a set of heals and no mana restrictions so i do really really well. but ive tried 2 melee users and i dont think it works very well just too many targets to heal and generally if its a rogue or anything without a shield he wont live to see the end of the fight. but a very well specced dual user ass/duelist rogue will definitly survive and do very good damage. the team can work but for first timers id suggest 3 mage 1 tank its just a bit easier. when you get the hang of the game make a plan of how your going to level your rogue(cough get lethality asap cough) and go through with making your party(i generally start at the magis tower no matter what because gwynn will make your adventures just far less painful.)

Lady have you played D&D? Specially min max style? My heart aches for you knowledge.

no :P i just sit on the DAO forums and play around with ALOT of different builds to find out what works best for me and get all the broad stats to understand how the game works :) just like how most people dont know strength contributes to bow attacks far more than dexterity and dexterity only gives a bonus for its increase in accuracy as a rogue. and since lethality doesnt apply to bow attacks it makes getting cunning rather pointless and so theres no point in playing a rogue if your not going to need any cunning?(especially since as a rogue your going to have to spread out your abilities enough :) if you wanna talk more strat you can add my email.

Jandau:

Ayrav:
Having my best luck with the 'default' behavior atm, although a handy breakdown of what each mode does and doesn't would help... As I mentioned before I made a DPS/OT hybrid as my main, and currently I'm the hardest hitting character in my party, however I don't really get to play her at all because I constantly have to control my mage to CC all the damn enemies :(((. Setting up Shield Bash on my tank for when a caster or ranged attacks her is easy, getting the AI to optimize when to Mind Blast and Cone of Cold is an entirely different animal.

The breakdown of each mode is included in the game, just highlight each mode for a couple of seconds and a tooltip should show up detailing what it does.

As for crowd control optimization, that's VERY tricky. What you can do is use the various Character:"surrounded by X enemies" or Enemy:"surrounded by X allies" tactics to automate some of those. It won't be perfect, but it might help. Cone of Cold should me manually targeted since it's tricky business. However, Sleep, Paralyze, Horror, Glyph of Paralysis, Waking Nightmare can all be safely automated if you want. I have my mage on auto for the Sleep + Horror combo (cast Sleep if 3 or more enemies are together, then cast Horror at a sleeping target).

I think DAO has sold me on micro-management. I have my tank and DPS set well for regular encounters, I've found I have to manage for the elite/boss fights regardless. Which I really have been liking. It passes time fast, makes me think, use my resources wisely, and challenges me to think on my feet.

Chrissyluky:

Ayrav:

Chrissyluky:
3 mage 1 tank team seems to be the best. get forcefield and enjoy some aoe nuke rape. Also avoid rogue archers they are worthless if your going to have an archer make it a warrior archer because rogue archers cant do any damage worth a shit. 2 mage 1 tank 1 war archer works well too if you play it right. honestly what i always end up doing is pulling the whole group together and using cone of cold grease and other aoes to just rape the enemies while all my spellcasters are blood/spirit healer meaning i always have a set of heals and no mana restrictions so i do really really well. but ive tried 2 melee users and i dont think it works very well just too many targets to heal and generally if its a rogue or anything without a shield he wont live to see the end of the fight. but a very well specced dual user ass/duelist rogue will definitly survive and do very good damage. the team can work but for first timers id suggest 3 mage 1 tank its just a bit easier. when you get the hang of the game make a plan of how your going to level your rogue(cough get lethality asap cough) and go through with making your party(i generally start at the magis tower no matter what because gwynn will make your adventures just far less painful.)

Lady have you played D&D? Specially min max style? My heart aches for you knowledge.

no :P i just sit on the DAO forums and play around with ALOT of different builds to find out what works best for me and get all the broad stats to understand how the game works :) just like how most people dont know strength contributes to bow attacks far more than dexterity and dexterity only gives a bonus for its increase in accuracy as a rogue. and since lethality doesnt apply to bow attacks it makes getting cunning rather pointless and so theres no point in playing a rogue if your not going to need any cunning?(especially since as a rogue your going to have to spread out your abilities enough :) if you wanna talk more strat you can add my email.

Please link me your source :). Have you beaten DAO on the PC?

Avykins:
I know. The tactics menu is shit. I tell my healer to heal if anyone gets below 50% health and what does the bitch do? Charges in and fights and does not even heal! And for the life of me I can not figure out what status to put down for revive. There is no "unconscious" or "dead" option!
The freaking AI needs a serious overhaul.
Now I really am missing Final Fantasy XII.

Edit: To answer the red thing. Its because you are targeting the enemy. Not yourself or a member of your group.

Double Edit: I am also annoyed since originally I specced Alistair to be a shield user. That was before I found out shields are not worth shit.

The reason why your healer does not heal and attacks is because you have her on aggressive. Put her on passive and she will sit around and do jack shit but heal you all day. Set up your tactics a little more intelligently and you can convince her to buff you whenever you fight a seriously hard mob as well.

Chrissyluky:
3 mage 1 tank team seems to be the best. get forcefield and enjoy some aoe nuke rape. Also avoid rogue archers they are worthless if your going to have an archer make it a warrior archer because rogue archers cant do any damage worth a shit. 2 mage 1 tank 1 war archer works well too if you play it right. honestly what i always end up doing is pulling the whole group together and using cone of cold grease and other aoes to just rape the enemies while all my spellcasters are blood/spirit healer meaning i always have a set of heals and no mana restrictions so i do really really well. but ive tried 2 melee users and i dont think it works very well just too many targets to heal and generally if its a rogue or anything without a shield he wont live to see the end of the fight. but a very well specced dual user ass/duelist rogue will definitly survive and do very good damage. the team can work but for first timers id suggest 3 mage 1 tank its just a bit easier. when you get the hang of the game make a plan of how your going to level your rogue(cough get lethality asap cough) and go through with making your party(i generally start at the magis tower no matter what because gwynn will make your adventures just far less painful.)

3 mages and focus on spamming Forcefield + Crushing Prison? That works all the time except on Revenants, Boss fights, fights where you're ambushed and surrounded... basically every fight that matters the Shockwave combo is somewhat useless. Also, Blood Magic isn't that great since you are practically immune to healing while in that mode, and if you turn it off to heal you need to wait for it to cool down.

3 mages group is great for clearing trash, but you need more than that to clear harder encounters. Also, a properly built Rogue will put any mage to shame when it comes to single target DPS. Another problem is that a 3 mage group assumes you are familiar enough with the spells to know which ones to pick, which in turn assumes familiarity with the game, so not something I'd reccomend to first-timers

Don't get me wrong, if it works for you, great! It doesn't for me, but I've found other combos that I like better. That's the great thing about DA:O - there isn't one perfect way to set it up, there are tons of options that you can use. Well, except Archers. Archers suck. However, they are getting patched soon, so that'll probably change.

I usually run with 1 Tank, 1 melee DPS (Zevran, Sten or Dog, I don't like Oghren), Wynne for heals and crowd control (Petrify, Glyphs, Paralysis Explosion) and my Mage for AoE damage, Crowd Control and off tanking. He's Arcane Warrior in heavy armor + Rock Shield + Shimmering Shield = maxed resists and 60-70 armor. He tanked Flemeth and barely took damage...

Even on the console version you have to use tactics. Don't hate on those of us who can't run the PC version on our crap consoles.

OT: I think you're problem is you're not utilizing magic to the best of your ability. Seriously, making Morrigan your healer and DPS mage is just...stretching it. She's got the shapeshifter specilization which makes her useful as a mage who can also melee. So don't cut her out of the fray and stick her in the back casting healing spells. That should be Wynn's job.

The team that works best for me is 1 Tank, 1 Rogue, 1 DPS mage, and 1 Healer mage. My PC is a DPS mage (shapeshifter specilization, going for arcane warrior next). I run with Alastair, Zevran, and Wynne. Nothing can stop us. Wynne's group heal and rejuvenation spells are just insane, and if you can get her special abilities unlocked you basically won't die ever again. Then, have your DPS mage get at least up to flying swarm in their ability. That way you can avoid taking damage and basically keep at least one party member alive throughout all battles.

As others have said, though, there's really no wrong way to play this game. If you're dying a lot, try to tweak some things, but it seems to accommodate a wide variety of play styles. So stick with it, maybe think about changing your party up a bit, and keep going. I freakin' love this game!

high_castle:
Even on the console version you have to use tactics. Don't hate on those of us who can't run the PC version on our crap consoles.

OT: I think you're problem is you're not utilizing magic to the best of your ability. Seriously, making Morrigan your healer and DPS mage is just...stretching it. She's got the shapeshifter specilization which makes her useful as a mage who can also melee. So don't cut her out of the fray and stick her in the back casting healing spells. That should be Wynn's job.

Actually, Morrigan can heal quite well. Get her Heal and Regenerate, then spend her level 14 spec point on Spirit Healer and she's a fair replacement for Wynne. Granted, Wynne still has Vessel of the Spirit special, but it can be replaced witha few lyrium potions every now and then.

Jandau:

high_castle:
Even on the console version you have to use tactics. Don't hate on those of us who can't run the PC version on our crap consoles.

OT: I think you're problem is you're not utilizing magic to the best of your ability. Seriously, making Morrigan your healer and DPS mage is just...stretching it. She's got the shapeshifter specilization which makes her useful as a mage who can also melee. So don't cut her out of the fray and stick her in the back casting healing spells. That should be Wynn's job.

Actually, Morrigan can heal quite well. Get her Heal and Regenerate, then spend her level 14 spec point on Spirit Healer and she's a fair replacement for Wynne. Granted, Wynne still has Vessel of the Spirit special, but it can be replaced witha few lyrium potions every now and then.

Yeah, but it's still a waste of Morrigan's abilities. If she's tied up on healing duty, then she can't shapeshift. Part of what makes her so useful as a DPS mage is her shapeshift ability. She can be thrown into melee combat when her mana runs low, but not if you need her to heal. And you're going to spend a lot of time dying before she can take spirit healer at level 14 anyway. I just think this isn't the right move for her, and I maintain it. She can be a more effective mage if she's concentrated in shapeshifter talents and DPS.

high_castle:

Jandau:

high_castle:
Even on the console version you have to use tactics. Don't hate on those of us who can't run the PC version on our crap consoles.

OT: I think you're problem is you're not utilizing magic to the best of your ability. Seriously, making Morrigan your healer and DPS mage is just...stretching it. She's got the shapeshifter specilization which makes her useful as a mage who can also melee. So don't cut her out of the fray and stick her in the back casting healing spells. That should be Wynn's job.

Actually, Morrigan can heal quite well. Get her Heal and Regenerate, then spend her level 14 spec point on Spirit Healer and she's a fair replacement for Wynne. Granted, Wynne still has Vessel of the Spirit special, but it can be replaced witha few lyrium potions every now and then.

Yeah, but it's still a waste of Morrigan's abilities. If she's tied up on healing duty, then she can't shapeshift. Part of what makes her so useful as a DPS mage is her shapeshift ability. She can be thrown into melee combat when her mana runs low, but not if you need her to heal. And you're going to spend a lot of time dying before she can take spirit healer at level 14 anyway. I just think this isn't the right move for her, and I maintain it. She can be a more effective mage if she's concentrated in shapeshifter talents and DPS.

The thing is, Shapeshifting is borderline useless. It doesn't scale well and is a liabilty later in the game. Also, shifting when at low mana isn't very helpful since all the animal special attacks require mana. On the other hand, the default staff attack is actually quite useful since it's guaranteed to hit and ignore armor.

I've found the best build to be 2 mages, a tank and a DPS. With one of the mages (me in this case) being a blood mage. This setup lets me use the tactics page for the tank and DPS, while I need full control over the mages to take full advantage of the enemy status and resistances.


Blood mages are rediculously good (at least 22 hours into the game they are). With some skill in entropy, healing, a high cunning stat, and some good management, I effectively have limitless mana (as long as the tanks keep agro off me). I can do heal and a bit of nuke at the same time, while the other mage is equipped with complementary spells (mostly hexs) for maximum spell effectiveness. I haven't even gotten the last two blood mage spells yet (the last one looks rediculous).
Most of the time magic is more for buffing/debuffing uses, since the rogues can dish out some insane damage.

Jandau:

high_castle:

Jandau:

high_castle:
Even on the console version you have to use tactics. Don't hate on those of us who can't run the PC version on our crap consoles.

OT: I think you're problem is you're not utilizing magic to the best of your ability. Seriously, making Morrigan your healer and DPS mage is just...stretching it. She's got the shapeshifter specilization which makes her useful as a mage who can also melee. So don't cut her out of the fray and stick her in the back casting healing spells. That should be Wynn's job.

Actually, Morrigan can heal quite well. Get her Heal and Regenerate, then spend her level 14 spec point on Spirit Healer and she's a fair replacement for Wynne. Granted, Wynne still has Vessel of the Spirit special, but it can be replaced witha few lyrium potions every now and then.

Yeah, but it's still a waste of Morrigan's abilities. If she's tied up on healing duty, then she can't shapeshift. Part of what makes her so useful as a DPS mage is her shapeshift ability. She can be thrown into melee combat when her mana runs low, but not if you need her to heal. And you're going to spend a lot of time dying before she can take spirit healer at level 14 anyway. I just think this isn't the right move for her, and I maintain it. She can be a more effective mage if she's concentrated in shapeshifter talents and DPS.

The thing is, Shapeshifting is borderline useless. It doesn't scale well and is a liabilty later in the game. Also, shifting when at low mana isn't very helpful since all the animal special attacks require mana. On the other hand, the default staff attack is actually quite useful since it's guaranteed to hit and ignore armor.

Flying Swarm can actually basically prevent you from taking damage from almost any enemy. It's very effective for keeping people alive, especially with Master Shapeshifter. But again, playstyles differ. I tend to run with my PC mage and Wynne. That combo means that my mana's never really low, since Wynne's constantly replenishing it. But spells still have a cooldown time, so once I rotate through my most powerful attacks, it's into Flying Swarm or Bear for me to pick off my enemies in the melee range. Flying Swarm can draw a lot of targets off your rogue or healer, too, allowing them to do more damage from behind.

Jandau:

Chrissyluky:
3 mage 1 tank team seems to be the best. get forcefield and enjoy some aoe nuke rape. Also avoid rogue archers they are worthless if your going to have an archer make it a warrior archer because rogue archers cant do any damage worth a shit. 2 mage 1 tank 1 war archer works well too if you play it right. honestly what i always end up doing is pulling the whole group together and using cone of cold grease and other aoes to just rape the enemies while all my spellcasters are blood/spirit healer meaning i always have a set of heals and no mana restrictions so i do really really well. but ive tried 2 melee users and i dont think it works very well just too many targets to heal and generally if its a rogue or anything without a shield he wont live to see the end of the fight. but a very well specced dual user ass/duelist rogue will definitly survive and do very good damage. the team can work but for first timers id suggest 3 mage 1 tank its just a bit easier. when you get the hang of the game make a plan of how your going to level your rogue(cough get lethality asap cough) and go through with making your party(i generally start at the magis tower no matter what because gwynn will make your adventures just far less painful.)

3 mages and focus on spamming Forcefield + Crushing Prison? That works all the time except on Revenants, Boss fights, fights where you're ambushed and surrounded... basically every fight that matters the Shockwave combo is somewhat useless. Also, Blood Magic isn't that great since you are practically immune to healing while in that mode, and if you turn it off to heal you need to wait for it to cool down.

3 mages group is great for clearing trash, but you need more than that to clear harder encounters. Also, a properly built Rogue will put any mage to shame when it comes to single target DPS. Another problem is that a 3 mage group assumes you are familiar enough with the spells to know which ones to pick, which in turn assumes familiarity with the game, so not something I'd reccomend to first-timers

Don't get me wrong, if it works for you, great! It doesn't for me, but I've found other combos that I like better. That's the great thing about DA:O - there isn't one perfect way to set it up, there are tons of options that you can use. Well, except Archers. Archers suck. However, they are getting patched soon, so that'll probably change.

I usually run with 1 Tank, 1 melee DPS (Zevran, Sten or Dog, I don't like Oghren), Wynne for heals and crowd control (Petrify, Glyphs, Paralysis Explosion) and my Mage for AoE damage, Crowd Control and off tanking. He's Arcane Warrior in heavy armor + Rock Shield + Shimmering Shield = maxed resists and 60-70 armor. He tanked Flemeth and barely took damage...

rogues never outdps a mage... mage has the highest dps you will not outdps them with anything. tough encounters are even easier. you dont do the shockwave combo you have your tank use taunt and forcefield him up then commense to have all your mages aoe him. he takes no damage the enemies are attacking him and they really cant get out of earthqauke+blizzard even if the aggro is changed. and even when its revenants i can burst him down with single target attacks considering the 3 mages. and dog is an awful party member i dont know why you would use him theres a reason everybody ditches him for sten or pretty much anyone else. rogues have the most steady dps this is true but they will never outdps a mage. and blood magic is ridicoulusly powerful. it has great aoes a godly crowd control and you can easily hurt your teammate for some hp if you get too low its just to keep your tank up while spellbloom is on recharge. and btw the sacrifice move barely hurts your teammate its like a splinter. and a rogue without duelist will never see the end of the battle.

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