Dragon Age: Origins – Arcane Warrior

Dragon Age: Origins

As some of you might know, I’ve been playing Dragon Age: Origins pretty solidly for the last few weeks. I had bought Mass Effect on Steam, talked about the richness of the game with Richard and he gave me his copy of DA:O because he said it had the same depth. I started playing it a little bit, then a lot, then abandoned Mass Effect all together in favour of DA:O (to be picked up later) and now I’m pretty hooked.

The game has an over-arcing storyline, with four sub storylines and several dozen smaller storylines running through it. The four sub storylines are like separate chapters in the story that you can follow in any sequence you desire. You can either go to Castle Redcliffe, where Arl Eamon, a powerful ally has been gravely ill. You can go to the Circle of Magi, who’s tower has been overrun by deamons. You can go to the Dalish Elves, who have been set on by werewolves, or you can go to the Dwarves of Orzammar, who are currently without a king while two factions are vying for the throne.

I first went to Redcliffe, only to find out I really needed the Circle of Magi to finalise that storyline, so I went to the Circle of Magi after completing 99% of the story in Redcliffe. Then completed them both in succession and went on to the Dalish Elves, which I thought was a really solid storyline. That’s where I picked up the Arcane Warrior specialisation for my Mage. Then I went to Orzammar and completed that last night.

What I only realised in Orzammar is that heavy armour suddenly didn’t require higher strength to wear, but higher magic! I could finally take off those horrible robes and wear a kick-ass set of armour. Holy mac, the game suddenly took a turn for the awesome! The idea of the Arcane Warrior was one that I was attracted to almost immediately, but I couldn’t figure out where to unlock it, so I chose the Spirit Healer as my first specialisation. It was the most practically applicable most of the time. I usually run around with Alistair as the main tank (champion/templar), Leliana for traps, lockpicking and archery, and Wynne for the needed healing backup.

Man, if I had know how cool the arcane warrior was, I’d have done the Dalish Elves storyline first and then the rest. I think I made a lot of mistakes with my build, and unfortunately you can’t respec in the game.

4 comments on “Dragon Age: Origins – Arcane Warrior

  1. Grifter

    Huh, I think you and I are at about the same point in the game. I’m about to travel to the Landsmeet to oppose Loghain. I haven’t taken the Arcane Warrior-spec myself, though. I have myself as main Tank (Champion, Alistair (Templar), Leliana (Archer/Rogue) and Morrigan (healing and debuffs). It’s a very good game with a lot of rich dialogue and I will probably play through it again with another set of characters.

    1. DV8 Post author

      I use Morrigan sometimes when I need another damage dealer, but her shapeshifter specialisation is pretty useless. The Champion/Templar combination is a really good tanking spec for a warrior, but supposedly, a Blood Mage/Arcane Warrior is even better provided you take Wynne into your party to do some healing.

      I think I’m going to run around Orzammar for a little bit, doing some of the “unsanctioned” proving fights to grab a little XP and I think I’m going to find that girl Oghren is looking for before I tell Arl Eamon to call the Landsmeet.

      Also, Richard tells me that DA2 is an absolute waste of time. (In case you were thinking about playing that.)

  2. Grifter

    Hadn’t thought about it yet. Still have ME2 and Amnesia: The Dark Descent to finish.

    And yeah, I tried Morrigan’s shapeshifting once. Never again. But with her mass-paralyze and mass-sleep I can rip through most group of monsters with relative ease.

    Unrelated sidenote: Listening to Leliana’s voice for longer than five minutes requires me to take a cold shower. ;)

    1. DV8 Post author

      Yes, great voice acting all around — for the companions, that is. Leliana’s pretty sultry, I like the banter between Morrigan and Alistair, or the talks Alistair has with pretty much anyone. Funny as hell!

      “And now we have a dog. And Alistair is still the stupidest member of the party.” – Morrigan

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