Dragon Age Origins I need an RPG bootcamp

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by bob5820, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. bob5820 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2006
    35°0′36″N 80°40′45″W (35.0
    I'm currently trying to get the hang of Dragon Age Origins but as my first RPG, and coming from a FPS and TBS background I'm finding it a bit daunting. The users manual, in game help, and the Prima guide all seem to be written for someone who is more or less familiar with the mechanics of previous Bioware RPG's. Can anyone recomend a good learning source, sort of a RPG boot camp. The combat system is what is throwing me the most. What I get from the game is that I should pause prior to combat and asign targets or strategies to my party but I'm not sure I understand how that works. I found a video tutorial on You Tube and even though it wasn't in English it helped but I still feel that I'm missing something significant about how it works.
  2. fcamilleri macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2009
    In Your Mind
    Try Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, or neverwinter nights.

    Not all RPGs are that complex, its just Dragon Age is DND based, and dungeons n dragons rules can get quite complex.

    If youre coming from that kind of background, may I recommend Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction? Its quite aged but mowing down hordes of the damned is fun, no matter how old it looks.
  3. Coalman macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2008
    What class are you playing as? I'd start as a fighter class since you are coming from a FPS perspective. The ingame management of these games might be a bit tedious, otherwise.
  4. aki macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2004
    my 2c

    the rules in DAO are actually simpler than many serious rpgs - i think BG and Neverwinter would be harder to start from. DAO is more actiony overall.

    the single best thing you can do especially if you are a strat player is try to play in "rounds" with the "tactical" view

    this means

    first set your game to autopause when enemy sighted

    when you are in combat, mousewheel out the view till you have a top-down look on the battlefield. once you know what you are doing the fps style cam is cooler but for understand what is happening birdseye is much better

    now, in old games like BG you could set the game to autopause after each round. that meant it was easy to play combat "tactically". DAO doesnt do that, but you should still play like that anyway. basically, pause the combat after each few hits or after each spell is cast, and then check what each character is doing and adjust targets and actions as needed. dont let them do anything, micromanage everything. once you know how everything works you can get away with a bit more hands off but to start with you want to be monitoring everything

    two other small tips help when you start

    first id suggest turning off the AI strategy thing completely. Its not that its not clever and powerful, it is, and thats the problem. it takes a bit of rules knowledge to use properly. otherwise your characters will be doing "stupid" things you dont want all the time and you wont really understand why and it will just make things harder. micro it all first. once you get the hang of how the rules work, then play with the AI stuff.

    second, spells can be very powerful in DAO, but you have to know how to use them and that only comes with practice/trial and error. so dont be too impatient with your spell users. youll find some combinations of spells and spells and abilities work really well.

    ok third and more minor tip. dont be afraid to use poisons and other kinds of buffs. they all add up.

    ok fourth and important tip. gang up. this is the same as in your RTS games - basically if a lot of your people attack one of theirs, thats one enemy you arent going to be taking damage from much longer. generally speaking, its best to concentrate fire (select whole party, target enemy)

    and fifth (i keep thinking of things) don't be afraid to use terrain where you can especially in dungeons. basically, when facing large numbers of enemies, the more you can "stagger" them the better. if you have area effect spells or spells or abilities which can paralyze or freeze, use them to reduce the number of enemies you will be in melee with at one time. If you can pick off nearer enemies without "waking" ones further away by using carefully targeted missile shots, do that. Try to avoid getting "swarmed", especially if you have a more "sneaky"-style party like I do.

    youll get the hang of it. there is a logic to it all, you just have to play a while to see it (like any genre)

    good luck!

    PS I'd mildly disagree with two former posts. DAO doesn't actually use D&D rules, of course it is the same general idea but it is a new ruleset and fairly simplified especially in the spell area. This makes it a bit easier to pick up. Secondly, in the DAO rules (compared to D&D) not only are spellusers simpler to play but warriors have a lot more special techniques and abilities - ie. in some ways they aren't a whole lot different from playing spellusers. So I think you can be brave and play whatever class you think you'd enjoy. The truth is at least compared to regular D&D in this game playing a mage and a fighter aren't so hugely different.
  5. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Make sure you are playing on "easy" until comfortable. DAO can be challenging even on easy if you are a novice. I'm don't really enjoy micromanaging a group, but you can easily manage some tactics in a fight. As mentioned previously, ganging up is an excellent idea and pretty much a rpg standard to take down adversaries (imo), by selecting all of the party members and attacking a single mob. As mages have some of the most powerful attacks and area effect attacks, it is good to take down the casters first imo.

    In some of the scenarios, melee units will attack you with a ranged group behind them firing arrows. I'm playing a mage. If I see this, sometimes they are grouped so I can put an AOE (Area of Effect) attack on the ranged units which does things like freezes them, puts them to sleep, or gives them dimensia. This allows the melee units to finish off the other enemy melee units and then go after the ranged units which usually go down relatively quickly

    Tactics- just takes some time and look through the tactic choices. If you are not a healer and have a healer, it would be good to check their tactics to make sure healing is one the things they do. You can set others to come to your aid or if being attacked by ranged mobs to attack them.

    For fighting groups I also like putting the party on "hold" ideally around a corner, then take one party member and move them towards mobs to aggro them, ideally just a couple and pull them back to your group, then group attack and take off the "hold" so your fighters can move to melee.

    Finally make sure whatever class you play you focus level development on just a couple of talent areas so you get them to a high level quickly. If you spread yourself to thin, your attacks won't be that powerful.
  6. bob5820 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2006
    35°0′36″N 80°40′45″W (35.0
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'd already picked up the 'pause often' tip on another board and I'll work in some of the other strategies such as concentration of force, using the terrain, and putting the party on hold. DAO is a much deeper game then I had originally thought. Fortunately it has a good story but that may be part of the problem. It seems easy to get caught up in the story and not stop to look and the situation and plan out your strategies rather then just jumping in.

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