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Old 02-20-2011, 03:52 PM   #1
Albromor
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Unhappy Starting Over: Some Buld Questions, etc.

For several reasons I will be re-starting the game (which means I get to go through the Fade again… joy ). One major thing I realized was that I could have done a much better job of building not only my character (mage) but also my NPC companions. My favorite play combination is Alistar, Leliana, Wynn, and my mage though I certainly used Morrigan, my dog, and Sten from time to time. So please tell me if I am off in any way in the following emphasis:

Alistar - He is my main tank. This time around I will concentrate heavily in upping first his strength and second dexterity. I was thinking a 2-1 distribution of points at leveling. I could use some ideas as to what skills would also be wise for a tank build.

Leliana - I wanted to make her an archer but I believe my distribution of stats points hampered her considerably. And I did a very poor job of setting up her combat tactics. From what I gather in researching builds dexterity and especially cunning are critical for a rogue/archer combination. Would you say this is correct? Also, like Alistar, skills you would recommend.

* This next question is very noobish but can one just purchase/find regular arrows? I have found fire, ice, etc. either adventuring or from merchants but nothing "normal" or am I missing something?

* Then I really goofed because I got her approval rating up high too fast. We were "just friends" at 100%.

Wynn - She will be for healing and buffing; any other spell combinations and skills you would recommend?

Thanks.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: Starting Over: Some Buld Questions, etc.

On the PC, having either 'No follower auto-level' or 'Respec' mods are nice to take more control over the NPC builds. With no auto-level, companions start at the correct level, but have not invested any of their stat or skill points, so you can customize them as you wish. The Respec mod adds the ability to start over with all points unassigned and re-do your leveling if you think you made a mistake.

*Regular arrows are not buyable in game, characters are assumed to have an unlimited supply, so they will keep firing with nothing in the arrow slot.

Alistair: Consider pumping dex more, at least at first. If you are going the shield skills route, they require min. dex to learn, and you want to get them quickly. Key skills are Taunt to draw aggro, along with defensive stances and shield bash type skills to knock down enemies. As a tank, his role is to hold the attention of the enemies (wearing the heaviest armor and using taunt help with this), not necessarily to do the most damage. Since he should be the target of the majority of melee attacks, having high armor is crucial, and high dex helps with dodging attacks.

Leliana: Dex will up her bow damage, and is the required stat for bow skills. Cunning helps with stealing, lockpicking, and makes bard songs more effective. One consideration for stat distribution is that lockpicking works as Cunning + 10 per level of lockpicking skill. The most you need for the toughest chest is 70. So if you plan to get all four levels of lockpick, 30 Cunning is enough. If you'd rather save some of the skill points for other things, just add 10 Cunning for each level you're missing (+Cunning gear also helps with lockpicking).

Wynne: I'm a fan of Crowd Control spells. Not so much friendly fire spells like Cone of Cold (which I use if my PC is a mage, but never let NPCs use via Tactics). There are some nice party friendly ones though. The Paralyze line is nice, with both Paralyze and Mass Paralyze. Sleep is another good one, disables enemies over a wide area without affecting the party. Just be careful not to do area damage right after (like Scattershot from Leliana), or they all wake up.

I set up Wynne's tactics like this:
Self-->Target of melee attack, Mind Blast (even when enemy resists the stun, it resets the threat level on that enemy, so they likely retarget on Alistair due to his high armor rating)
Self-->HP<25, drink health potion
Ally-->HP<75 Heal
Ally-->HP <50 Group Heal (you can also save group heal for manual use)
Enemy-->Using magic attack, Paralyze (or Glyph of Paralysis)
Enemy-->Clustered, Mass Paralysis (or Sleep)
Enemy-->Asleep, Horror (if I'm using sleep)

Another mod I like is 'Advanced Tactics'. It adds lots of new triggers (HP/MP levels every 10% instead of 25%) and conditions (favorite is enemy frozen/petrified--I can finally have tactics set up to take advantage of shattering frozen enemies). There are also mods to give all characters lots more tactics slots. Could be slightly unbalancing since you don't have to use Talent points for tactics anymore, but I use it to try to minimize switching character and running closer to real time just using the PC.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:15 PM   #3
Albromor
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Default Re: Starting Over: Some Build Questions, etc.

Thanks again Olorin.

Your info on arrows confirms that I had Leliana's Tactics very messed up because she never used her bow even though I would equip it. This is why I asked about regular arrows. I thought that she didn't use her bow because none were equipped. And here all along it was due to my poor tactic decisions. What do you think of Pining Shot vs. mages?

In fact I had everyone's tactics wrong. I am going to have to really take my time in tactic combinations per NPC.

Also, another question on Mods. I looked at the link you gave me in another thread and I was wondering if they Quinn's Fix Pack works with the game patched to 1.04? Many of the mods seem to be designed for patches 1.03 and earlier.

* By the thanks for the heads-up on the paralyze line especially with mobs/crowd control. The game manual has to be one of the worst I've read.

Last edited by Albromor; 02-21-2011 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Starting Over: Some Buld Questions, etc.

I had the same problem with Leliana, and it turns out that on the tactics screen you can set their default behavior. Make sure that your archer is set to Ranged behavior, otherwise they will switch to melee weapons once an enemy is close and never switch back.
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:35 PM   #5
Albromor
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Default Re: Starting Over: Some Buld Questions, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazilan View Post
I had the same problem with Leliana, and it turns out that on the tactics screen you can set their default behavior. Make sure that your archer is set to Ranged behavior, otherwise they will switch to melee weapons once an enemy is close and never switch back.
So then it would be better to just choose default rather than using the tactics options?
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Starting Over: Some Buld Questions, etc.

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Originally Posted by Albromor View Post
So then it would be better to just choose default rather than using the tactics options?
Actually, there is a 'Behaviour' setting in addition to the Tactics list. For an archer, you want to change them from Default to Ranged so they won't switch to a melee weapon. Ranged works well for mages too.

As to the mods, a lot of them are for 1.03 and not 1.04 (1.04 came out fairly late, so a lot of the modding community had moved on). For the mods I use, I haven't had anything break on me using something like Quinn's fixpack with the 1.04 patch.

The only issue I really have with DA:O is the occasional crash to desktop. That's due to a memory leak issue that somehow never got fixed, but it's rare enough not to annoy me too badly (just make sure you hit quicksave regularly!).
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Starting Over: Some Build Questions, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albromor View Post
Thanks again Olorin.

Your info on arrows confirms that I had Leliana's Tactics very messed up because she never used her bow even though I would equip it. This is why I asked about regular arrows. I thought that she didn't use her bow because none were equipped. And here all along it was due to my poor tactic decisions. What do you think of Pining Shot vs. mages?

In fact I had everyone's tactics wrong. I am going to have to really take my time in tactic combinations per NPC.

* By the thanks for the heads-up on the paralyze line especially with mobs/crowd control. The game manual has to be one of the worst I've read.
Pinning shot is not bad vs. Mages. My preference is to use my mages to disable enemy mages for a couple of reasons:
1. Glyph of Warding, Paralyze, Crushing Prison last longer than Pinning Shot. They also take effect earlier (no aiming), especially Glyph and Prison which just appear at the target instead of being a projectile.
2. Pinning shot is hard to see, so it's difficult to tell exactly when it wears off. The spell animations are much more blatant.

Another issue is that I don't like to duplicate effort. If Wynne is set to Paralyze magic users, and Lel is going to use Pinning Shot, then they'll often both target the same enemy at the same time, and both effects will wear off at the same time. For the same reason, I don't have Wynne set to use multiple disablers on spellcasters, since she would just double Paralyze them. I DO however follow the disable spellcaster tactic with multiple damage spells aimed at the caster to try to kill them before the the Paralyze wears off (so I might also have Lel set to use damage skills vs. the mages to help kill them off).

My preference for Pinning Shot is to set it to Enemy-->Attacking (Alistair or whoever is tanking).
Takes one of the melee guys pounding on the tank out of the fight for a little bit, but it's not a crucial role where I need to know if it succeeded and when it wears off.
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