30, recovering failure in life, friendly enough for an introverted sci-fi/fantasy nerd, just realized I haven't updated this in another two years. Some people think I'm smart and/or funny, but I think I'm an idiot. I spent most of my time here writing up strategies, and haven't felt much reason to come back since DA4 disappeared into development hell. I tried to avoid big collaborative projects and article organization since there's always someone with a better idea that can erase it at will, though most of my contributions remain. Thanks for not being dismissive and as strict as the other wikis I've been to, glorious admins. :)
Contribution to the CauseEdit
Last time I was here, I was working on a comprehensive dissection and dissertation of every ability in Inquisition. Then Trespasser happened...
I write strategies where I can/find it appropriate, from as "neutral" a perspective as possible:
- Play on Nightmare difficulty, with Friendly Fire enabled in Inquisition. Trials ignored or enabled only for the required duration to complete the trophy requirement, then disabled. This allows any tactics employed to scale downwards to easier difficulties. What works on Nightmare will work just as easily on Normal, but not vice-a-versa.
- No premium or promotional content, including tomes that provide extra XP, gold, and runes; the former encourages the pay-to-play, pay-extra-to-win scam in gaming, some of the latter is no longer available, and it's too much work to figure out what's still available and what you have to jump through hoops for.
- Story DLC items allowed, as players would need to play those campaigns to get the full narrative experience, and the items must be obtained in the campaigns and are often useful throughout campaign. Allowed in vanilla parts if they are sufficiently inferior to vanilla gear.
- No required main character class; if a tactic is especially powerful for a class or weapon style, write from the perspective of a companion character who can do the same. Make a note where a specific Warden/Hawke/Inquisitor must be used, and provide alternatives.
- No respecs mid-playthrough, except in Inquisition; it's not possible in Origins and requires premium content in DA2 (albeit it's now free to download). Inquisition seems to encourage it at least once by providing a necklace called The Tactician's Renewal, which can be purchased infinitely and offers the first one for a single coin.
- Specific character builds should follow default talent investments, if applicable, and require only minimal investment to develop. These reflect the most efficient use of their allotted talent points without having to re-spec them and thus logically follows that many players would continue these investments. Variations in combat mechanics between games favor complete mastery of certain talent trees (i.e. defaults) under certain circumstances and only partial investment in others, which should also be taken into consideration. If an ability merits direct mentioning, it should be no more than 2 ability points in a chain away from a character's default unlocks, e.g. Cone of Cold, so that a player can make use of it without going out of their way to obtain it.
- Inquisition: Limits on the use of the Amulet of Power. Due to poor foresight in programming, a few intrepid gamers were able to duplicate them infinitely and create utterly broken character builds. Unable to fix this, the developers simply removed most of the amulets that could be found in a loot container (read: nearly all of them), sparing only the few that couldn't possibly be duplicated. The end result is that characters get 1 or 2 amulets if the player makes very specific story decisions, to the exclusion of others. Notably, Dorian gets 0 amulets unless you take the bad outcome for Iron Bull's companion quest. Therefore, the Amulets should not be rigorously referenced in forming strategies.
This is deliberate so that:
- The strategies can be applicable for all players. Most Youtube video strategies place heavy emphasis on the player character, that they must be the right class built a certain way, and therefore those strategies are only useful for that player and not the audience.
- The high-tier premium/promotional items (e.g. Final Reason) that are not, were not, and never will be available to us common louts are not considered essential. Granted, most of the stuff is now free or comes with the Ultimate/GOTY Edition, but I leave their use up to your own discretion. As DA2 has no "complete" edition, the extras are all full price even six years later, so I'd stay away.
For Origins, I've revamped the Attack at Nightfall strategy, demonstrating that it is quite feasible to keep everyone alive on Nightmare at low levels, regardless of how you've built the Warden. Also, that wall of text added to the Sloth Demon strategy page is my handiwork as well.
As of 10/2, I've completed my second Nightmare run of Dragon Age II, this time as a rogue. It remains as annoyingly-unbalanced as ever, but I've worked out a neutral perspective strategy for just about every single quest in the vanilla game, without the benefit of DLC materials. I can confidently say it is possible to beat the game on Nightmare without having to shell out additional money for powerful premium equipment.
Since Mark Darrah appears to be on Ambien® and screwing around on Twitter of late, particularly in regards to Dragon Age, maybe we'll hear something soon. Maybe I'll even give the franchise another run-through as it was meant to be played; on the glorious gaming master race platform better known as PC.
Personal World State Edit
Who cares what I did? Play the games how you want. (Tapestry's probably the same as yours anyway. Minus the romantic tastes you sick basra. :P)