Dragon Age Nightmare Mode Strat Guide: Warrior Class
This post is a part of an ongoing feature here at Nightmare Mode to provide you with an expert’s strategy guide on playing Dragon Age.
For the Dragon Age newbies, playing as a warrior is probably your safest bet. The most versatile and easy to use class will serve as a good introduction to the game. Playing as a two-handed warrior is a fun damage-dealing way to romp through the game for a veteran player, too.
Since levelling up in Dragon Age is limited and there is no level grinding (which is one aspect that makes this game so awesome), knowing where to put your talent points is key for most classes. You are unlikely to go over level 22 even if you do everything you can in the game, choices pending of course. First time players are probably going to be tempted to even out the distribution of points–I highly recommend not doing that. Each class benefits greatly from plugging a couple of key attributes. Warrior is of course no different.
However I will say as I will with all classes, it’s worth it to pump your cunning at the beginning of the game to around 20-22, as well as getting your coercion skill up. Opening up conversation options and different choice trees makes for an entertaining experience.
So, how do we go about building a unstoppable tank of a Warrior, cutting through everything in it’s path?
The most important statistic for the Warrior is, unsurprisingly, strength. Over the course of the game, you want to get your strength to at least 60. There is a balance between strength and dexterity, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a sword-shield user, or a two-handed user. Get your dexterity to at least 30, there is nothing more frustrating or annoying as missing attack after attack.
The one thing you do not need is magic. I was also going to say willpower is useless but that isn’t entirely true–it is a very minimal statistic. Using your special attacks doesn’t take up all that much energy after all. The catch is, you are probably going to want the kick-ass armour in the game, something like the Juggernaut set, Legion of the Dead set, or King Cailan’s set (if you’ve got the DLCs, which I highly, highly recommend). These things take up a lot of willpower by default, since they are heavy armour, their fatigue stats are much much higher. But don’t plug willpower points too too much, rather spread out a point here and there throughout the game. This serves two purposes: one, you want to reserve as many points as possible for strength and dexterity, and two, your willpower rises slowly as you get better and better armour.
Constitution is always a tricky stat for me to balance, no matter which class I’m playing. Primarily because I know that, at some point, I will get the Lifegiver, which gives a +10 bonus to constitution. Like willpower, once in awhile put a point into constitution. For Warriors, constitution is more important than any other class, if only because you’re on the front lines taking a beating. Every class has a stat like this, one that is kind of important but you only increase once in awhile. What I usually do is use the points you can purchase at various merchants for this extra statistic. Tomes and other things you can buy, different ones for 12-20 gold. It’s really crucial you save your rupees for these things and get them all.
Skills. What skills? Always always give yourself Coersion, until it’s maxed out. For the Warrior though, you’ll have to occasionally hold back on completing the Coersion tree as you’ll quickly run out of abilities to learn, which will require the Combat Skills tree. These are the two most important ones. After that, it’s up to you.
Lastly, party members. Choosing party members based on what you like might work if you’re playing on the easiest difficulty setting. If you’re like me and you live and breathe Dragon Age and you can play on something more difficult, you need to choose party members based on their attributes. Who you like plays into the strategy a little bit, as of course you don’t want to end up with someone who hates every decision you make.
Which characters are best to have beside your Warrior? Let’s go over what you need, first. As a Warrior on the front lines, you’re going to need yourself a medic. That would be Wynne. Let her sit in the back, fill out her spirit healer skills and every possible healing spell you can get. You’re going to need some backup support too, a sniper behind the lines so to speak. My recommendation would be Morrigan, and there hasn’t been a DA: Origins game that I have played without Morrigan. Make sure you get the Cone of Cold spell, and micromanage Morrigan to freeze a bunch of enemies at a time. As a Warrior, you’ll have no problem shattering frozen enemies.
So you do have options for your fourth character. You can go one of two ways, and take your personal preference into account. If you want a frontline support buddy, you need another Warrior. Either Alistair, Sten, or Shale (DLC) will do. I personally have affection for Shale, I like Sten and I cannot stand little whiny Alistair. You can also choose Ohgren if you choose to go to Orzammar early in the game, although this is not reccomended for new players.
The second option is using a Rogue. There are only two options, Leliana or Zevran. Both have their ups and downs. Zevran comes with the Assassin tree and a headstart on the Duelist skills, but no lock-picking skills. Leliana comes with some handy Bard songs and basic lock-picking, great for early in the game. Despite these basic starting differences, by the end of the game they’re pretty much identical. If you’re going Rogue as your fourth Character it’s all in who you like, baby.
So to recap, recommended party: Wynne, Morrigan, and Leliana.
Recommended final stats: Strength 58