is this game hard or do i suck?

#1dominatinggamerPosted 4/11/2012 1:19:58 PM
combat in this game is destroying me. I'm a mage and never really came to these boards to look at "builds" or anything so I feel my current skill choices may be part of the reason for my failures. I'm not too far into the game, I'm lvl 7, and I was in the first town after the darkspawn kill the king etc. Just the normal bandits with their dogs killed me 10+ times before I finally made it through that part of the game with 3 people dead. Now I'm fighting to protect the city (redville?) from onslaught and die from the waves and waves of skeleton looking guys. Finally made it past that after constant healing for all members. Its crazy. I feel like i have to have warriors with high defense and shields just to last long enough to kill any mobs. My mage has only 2 damage spells currently. fire blast and the arcane missle. Is that the problem? I have heal, which is my most used spell. :(

I feel imdoingitwrong. Because these fights im dying on don't seem like they're suppose to be this hard!
#2Metal Gear FredPosted 4/11/2012 1:58:52 PM
The game is difficult. Going to the Circle Tower would have been the best choice. You'll see why when you finish it.

If you're a damage dealer, that should be your focus. Let your team use poultices while you nuke eveything in sight. Cone of Cold will be of much use to you. It freezes enemies, temporarily taking them out of the action to give you a bit of breathing room. You can even combine elements to create more powerful spells.

How you build your team is just as important as how you build your character. A good tank can soak up the damage while you and the rest of your team deal it out.

I almost gave up on this game when I first tried it. Those bandits shredded me aswell at first. I thought about the situation, restarted and dealt with them easily. Sometimes you can provoke a few enemies in a squad to attack, using ranged attacks (i.e. Bows, Crossbows). You can set up your squad to ambush them, so you can focus all of your team onto a few enemies in multiple ambushes. DA:O is one of my all-time favourite games now.

I'll say it again, Circle Tower first would have been best. Have you considered restarting? Not trying to put you off or anything like that. You could continue with a challenge that will most likely teach alot, but if you're struggling so much that you don't enjoy it, it probably isn't worth continuing.

Out of curiosity, how many team members can you choose from, not including your character?

Are you experimenting with tactics? Are you willing to try mods? Some mods improve the game without changing it too far from the vanilla version.

Personally, I don't like to use damage-dealing mages. The friendly fire from AoEs is too irritating. I tried playing as one once, but gave up as soon as I reached the camp, after Lothering.

So, the game is hard to begin with, and I doubt you "suck". Along with myself, there will be plenty of others to help you. It is a great game. : )
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"You can lead a man to knowledge, but you can't make him think!"
#3dominatinggamer(Topic Creator)Posted 4/11/2012 2:18:44 PM
Metal Gear Fred posted...
The game is difficult. Going to the Circle Tower would have been the best choice. You'll see why when you finish it.

If you're a damage dealer, that should be your focus. Let your team use poultices while you nuke eveything in sight. Cone of Cold will be of much use to you. It freezes enemies, temporarily taking them out of the action to give you a bit of breathing room. You can even combine elements to create more powerful spells.

How you build your team is just as important as how you build your character. A good tank can soak up the damage while you and the rest of your team deal it out.

I almost gave up on this game when I first tried it. Those bandits shredded me aswell at first. I thought about the situation, restarted and dealt with them easily. Sometimes you can provoke a few enemies in a squad to attack, using ranged attacks (i.e. Bows, Crossbows). You can set up your squad to ambush them, so you can focus all of your team onto a few enemies in multiple ambushes. DA:O is one of my all-time favourite games now.

I'll say it again, Circle Tower first would have been best. Have you considered restarting? Not trying to put you off or anything like that. You could continue with a challenge that will most likely teach alot, but if you're struggling so much that you don't enjoy it, it probably isn't worth continuing.

Out of curiosity, how many team members can you choose from, not including your character?

Are you experimenting with tactics? Are you willing to try mods? Some mods improve the game without changing it too far from the vanilla version.

Personally, I don't like to use damage-dealing mages. The friendly fire from AoEs is too irritating. I tried playing as one once, but gave up as soon as I reached the camp, after Lothering.

So, the game is hard to begin with, and I doubt you "suck". Along with myself, there will be plenty of others to help you. It is a great game. : )


I'm at work so let me see if I can remember the characters I have...
me (mage)
alistar
liliana
morrigan
sten
the wardog

I can still make myself a primarily healing spec mage. Most of my spells are defensive/protective. I had/have no idea what I'm doing in terms of specs so I figured putting all points in one type would be best. Creation is the one I chose. So I have the spell bloom/grease. Paralysis trap thing and the protecting glyph. Heal. I actually "love" my spec and didn't really want to get the fire skill but felt I needed more firepower. As is I just think my spec is more support but I'm still not in a position to heal super effectively/fast enough. I prob won't restart but I may focus more on being a healer than a damage dealer if that is what will be needed. I guess I should have a designated tank, dps, healer breakdown whereas I was going more for just having a ragtag group of people. - not going to work I see.

Is there a way to change party configuration while in a town?

Thanks for the positive attitude. I don't want to quit but when it's taken me 9+hrs to get where I am now and I feel I have sooooo much left to do it makes me question if it's worth the headache :/
#4edbinPosted 4/11/2012 2:43:12 PM
i feel your pain. I'm just ahead of you after redcliffe castle and feel like throwing the towel in so many times but still i come back again and again. glutton for punishment? i'm a rogue and i think i turned the corner after i gained lethality cos i'm doing nearly twice the damage as i used to be now. its still tough and i reload hundreds of times but i think it more manageable. so keep going:)

my main tactic is to use the h button and hold the party apart from you obviously and then run into a room and run back out again and alot of the time you can lure a smaller amount of enemies after you. kill and heal and repeat. doesn;t work in all situations and they the ones i have trouble with i suppose.

i had a horrible time with the waves of undead in redcliffe, must have reloaded 20-30 times - i ended up having all my party die in about a minute so tried something new. i just ran up to the top, helped the templars which wasn't too bad cos the undead were targeting the templars but when they eventually stopped spawning i headed down to the bottom and lured some up bit by bit on my own and just ran around the top while the templars attacked them - nightmare really! took over an hour on that last try alone never mind the others!

suppose just hang in there and try different stuff when all else fails. my team is rogue, dog, morrigan and a new character you haven't seen yet so i wont ruin it for you. sort of game i can't really enjoy because i know there is another screen smashing moment just around the corner. you can always turn the difficulty down?
#5dlewis67Posted 4/11/2012 2:43:45 PM
It sounds like you have made your character more of a defensive mage, which is okay but gives you less firepower. Alistair is your tank and his job is to absorb damage, not dish it out. Sten is a little weak when you first get him and needs heavier armor than you probably have right now to keep him from dying too quickly. Lelianna is also kind of weak on the damage dealing side this early in the game. So you're pretty much left with Morrigan as your primary damage dealer, and she's not the strongest party member.

Even though you can do the main quests in any order, the developers scaled the enemies in each section to a certain level of character. The order that they intended is as follows.

The Circle
Redcliffe
Haven
Orzammar or Brecilian Forest.

So by going to the village of Redcliff right after Lothering, you set yourself a hard task. Since you don't want to start over, then what you can do is lower the difficulty of the game to get by those fights that are giving you so much trouble, then raising it back up afterwards. Also, once the village is safe you can leave it and go do other things without worrying about it. They'll wait for you as long as you want. I suggest going to The Circle of Magi next and completing that main quest. It serves many purposes: raising your levels and getting you some much needed gold for better equipment being the two main ones.

There is also a Respec Mod on the Dragonage Nexus forums. By downloading it and installing it, you will be able to completely respec all your characters without starting over. This way, you can change things up and see what works best for you.
#6Metal Gear FredPosted 4/11/2012 3:22:03 PM
I think it's good that you aren't restarting. You'll get huge satisfaction when you find something efficient that works for you. : )

What I'd recommend then is focusing your character into a support mage, primarily buffs, with healing support. Don't use offensive magic, or you'll draw too much threat. Your offensive weapons should be glyphs/hexes instead. That bottom branch of the Spirit talent tree is very good. Crushing Prison is exceptional against enemy mages, Mind Blast can save you if you get swarmed and Force Field can be applied to a Tank, preventing them from doing damage but not taking any damage themselves.

I'd use Alistair as a Tank and control him when getting into range of the enemies. That will make him draw all of the initial threat, with Taunt making him keep it for a bit longer. His role should be to primarily generate and hold threat. If you don't know, threat is what determines how much of a target you are. I think most enemies target the character that poses the biggest threat to them. Giving your Tank massive armour helps generate threat "naturally".

I'd also use Leliana, but not as an archer. I'd use the console to respec her into an dual-wielding Assassin.

http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Console_%28Origins%29

If you consider the console cheating, and don't want to use it, I'd go with Sten, in medium armour to get a good balance of protection and fatigue.

For the fourth member, I'd use Morrigan as a Debilitator. Her primary role would be to "lock-down" enemies, stopping them from attacking or atleast reducing their effectiveness, with a secondary role of emergency healer. She would get that bottom line in the Spirit tree, along with most of the Entropy tree. Mass Paralysis should be a priority.

By doing that, you get two melee and two ranged characters. Having more than two melee characters can get tricky, as their often isn't enough room to manoeuvre them into position. You quite often get two attacking and the other sidestepping all over the place trying to get into reach. If you use Sten, you need to make sure as many of his swings connect as you can.

I'd also experiment with tactics. Something I found useful was having the main damage dealer focus on the enemies with the highest health, while the others focus on lower health enemies. When an enemy's health dropped below 30%, the secondary damage dealers would all focus on it to quickly finish it off. I'd highly recommend the Advanced Tactics mod at Dragon Age Nexus.

http://dragonage.nexusmods.com/

So, your character needs Heroic Offense for your melee damage dealer, Heroic Defense for your tank, and Haste as soon as possible. Rejuvanate, or it's Mass equivalent would be good for all of your team. Make sure someone in your party has the Flaming or Frost Weapons talent. Might aswell have a damage bonus.

Your Tank needs the best armour and shield you can get, but a general rule is not to buy generic equipment from vendors. You can usually get much better stuff dropped or as quest rewards. Your Tank needs to focus on the passive and sustainable shield talents. Don't bother with the shield attack skills yet. Powerful, Threaten, Bravery and Taunt should be priorities. Try to get Shield Expertise and Shield Mastery as soon as he reaches level 12. Thinking about it, there are some bugs in the game that can be fixed through mods.

http://dragonage.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=1601

These are just the things I'd do. I played through all of Origins, the DLC and the expansion, Awakening, doing what I mentioned here. It was great fun.
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"You can lead a man to knowledge, but you can't make him think!"
#7Metal Gear FredPosted 4/11/2012 3:22:24 PM
Don't feel like you need to follow exactly what people post here though. You have plenty of freedom to create useful characters as you see fit. I think it would take alot of effort to make a useless character, and you could use the console to undo most mistakes. You could remove a skill or talent that you changed your mind on, and add a different one, as though you selected it in the first place. : )
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"You can lead a man to knowledge, but you can't make him think!"
#8dominatinggamer(Topic Creator)Posted 4/11/2012 4:00:11 PM
I think I like the idea of a healer/support mage more than I do a damage mage. I've read that for a mage magic is the only worthwhile thing to dump points in. I assume that was with a dmg dealing mage in mind but is that still true for other specs?

A few general questions:

How is experience given? Do all characters gain exp equally? Do dead members or members not in your party still gain exp?

I played wow for a while so I know about threat/dps/tanking etc. in that game and I assume its similar here. Is there healing threat in this game that I would need to worry about?

Also, is the wardog useless? I love the little guy but now I'm thinking he may be a bit gimp when compared to 'real' characters.

Thanks for all the help!
#9EnjoyMePosted 4/11/2012 6:24:12 PM
I didn't read all the posts, but here's my thoughts anyway:

I had only played a few RPGs before DA:O (KotOR, some of the Final Fantasies), and found normal to be very difficult on my first time though, so don't feel bad. Nightmare is incredibly easy now, so here's some quick tips that I follow for almost every playthrough:

- Mages own hard. If you want to really cheese the game, run with 3 mages (yourself, Morrigan, Wynne) and a tank and you can let your 5 year old cousin plow the game on Nightmare. It goes the same for enemies, though. If you see a mage enemy, they need to die ASAP or at least be CC'd into oblivion. Also true for elite enemies... CC them (because they usually have more HP), kill their henchmen, then start taking on the elite after you've eliminated most of the enemies.

- Leads into the next tip: CC is king. Stuns, knockdowns, freezing, sleep, etc. are overpowered and you will want an abundance of those conditions to inflict on your enemies.

- Which leads into: if you plan to only run one mage, it needs to be support. Having a mage dedicated to healing and CC is *much* more valuable than a mage there for damage. This means taking Heal, Spirit Healer advanced spec. (Group Heal is really all you need from that spec.), maybe Rejuvenate/Restoration in the Creation tree and lots of CC (I like to focus on one area for RP reasons, but typically, the amazing CC spells that will really help for your first time through are Cone of Cold, Crushing Prison, Force Field, Mind Blast, Sleep, Paralysis/Mass Paralysis, and Glyphs... with the right setup, your mage can pretty much CC 75% of the enemies you encounter constantly.) Now, imagine you have 2 or even 3 mages in your party, all with CC, Heal and damage... you can see why it trivializes the game completely.

- Focus fire. Pretty standard for all RPGs, but it's much better to have 1 enemy dead and 2 alive, than 3 enemies at half HP.

- Stat wise, a mage just needs a ton of Magic and Willpower, with a little Con. Your Warriors want tons of Strength and if they're tanking, enough Dexterity until they're pretty much dodging everything. 18 to 20 Con is perfect for Warriors. Rogues want Strength, enough to equip gear, Dex for talents, then pump Cunning like hell and get the Lethality talent to use your Cunning for damage instead of Strength.

- Pull packs of mobs to your party. A lot of the time, there will be numerous archers and mages in great positions to destroy your party when you walk into the room. The easy solution is to put your party on hold, leave them around the corner, agress the enemies, and run back to your party around the corner. Either all the enemies will follow you, pulling the ranged enemies out of their great "sniping" positions and into melee range (because you line of sighted them) or, only half of the enemies will have interest in actually chasing you, essentially splitting up a huge encounter into 2 smaller ones, which is much easier. Also note, that when you do this, the enemies will arrive at you party "one at a time", because of different run speeds and different distances in which the started moving toward your "trap".

That's all I can think of ATM, but those should be enough to really improve your experience.
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[E[]V[]e *also responds to Santana*
#10dzimmPosted 4/11/2012 7:12:22 PM

It can be quite challenging at first, but you'll get better and your characters will improve.  I'm on my second play through and am finding things much more manageable this time around.