Saturday, January 02, 2010

Dragon Age Thoughts

  • It is refreshing in this day and age to come across a game which is challenging even on the "Normal" difficulty setting. Some 30 hours into the game I still wipe regularly and have to go back and rethink my strategy.

  • Character progression is very sloooow. After 30 hours I am still only level 8 and you only get one skill and one talent per level. That isn't nearly enough to explore all the options I would like to try out.

  • Itemisation is not particularly impressive. My level 8 Rogue is still wearing gear he picked up in the starter zone. You pick up plenty of junk in your adventures but genuine upgrades are few and far between.

  • A rogue was probably not the best choice as a main character. I had visions of creating a high utility character who could skulk about stealthily opening locks, disabling traps and taking out enemies with devastating backstabs. In practise the rogue can do one of those things but not all of them. The rogue doesn't get any additional skill points and the very slow progression means you just don't get enough points to do multiple jobs. One big surprise is that a rogue can make a fine archer if you pick the right skills. Unfortunately I only realised this after I had already set my rogue down the path of being a gimped melee fighter.

  • Mages seem to be the most powerful class in the game. I use the hench-person Morrigan as a crowd control mage. It is no exaggeration to say that she can single handedly win battles.

  • I really haven't gotten the hang of the combat tactics function. It sounds very powerful - allowing you to tell your henchmen exactly when to use key skills. Unfortunately it seems to miss some basic commands like telling a rogue to stand behind a mob when attacking or telling one character to stand still while another moves. I still find myself doing a lot of micro-management.

  • Despite my niggles I am still very much enjoying the game. I have deliberately avoided reading guides and walk-throughs which is unusual for me. I know this means I will miss out on some key features but it means that everything I do discover is a genuine surprise.


Jayedub said...

I love Dragon Age, an excellent game. The tactics took me awhile to grasp, but once you do it will help out a lot. One thing to do for sure is set up a tactic for each party member to drink a health poultice when their health reaches a certain percentage.

I personally played the game on easy because I grew tired of my mages aoe attacks killing my party, so more power to you if you can beat it on normal.

Tipa said...

At level 8 you may be weak, but by the time you get to the midpoint of your leveling and the game, a rogue will be able to pick locks, disarm traps, and be a devastating fighter all at the same time. Keep an eye out for books and other things that let you learn extra skills.

mbp said...

Hi Jaye, Hi Tipa.

Good to hear that the rogue is not such a bad choice later in the game. At the moment my mage hench lady is much much more powerful. The only problem is Morrigan is one cranky lady and everything I do upsets her. I just know she is going to leave some day in a hissy fit.

I spend some time setting up individual tactics for each character Jay and it does help a bit. It took me a while to figure out that it reverts to the start of the tactic list it once it gets any tactic to work but once you take that into account it is easier to set up.