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.