Note: general DAI plot discussion, no real spoilers
So… 11 of 12 Dragons dead, all landmarks, quarries, logging stands, shards, regions, and copies of Hard in Hightown found. Level 23, 313 power, all companion quests complete, romancing Josephine, and about 112 hours in.
Since I last wrote I did the story missions of the Wardens at the Abyss and the Winter Ball. Doing these and some of the companion quests opened up a smorgasbord of things to take care of on the war room table. So I’m trying to stall and do shorter tasks, like talk to each of the companions until the game runs out of cutscenes, while I wait for war room things to finish.
I think the only things left in the world for me to pursue are the 1 remaining dragon and the mosaic pieces. I’m not going to chase all the bottles. I wonder how many more story missions there are before I run out of game. I’d really like to finish the war table before ‘accidently’ stumbling into the last mission.
Having played a portion of the game with focus now… I still don’t get it. I don’t really use my focus powers because I can’t tell when they fill up. Because I can’t quite figure out when I earn them (honestly haven’t put that much work into it, although I do understand (like the tutorial text tells me) it’s based on combos and hits) I’m too afraid to use them because I can’t tell when I’ll need to use them and can’t tell how to replenish them. There’s a lot of lovely visual language when the player hits an enemy with fire or electricity or cold; color-synch numbers. And the game tells me when something’s immune to something as well, although it’s always grey so I can’t tell if it’s my fire or my other mage’s electricity. But there’s nothing visual to show the player they gained focus apart from a little blip on the focus meter going up. And in combat I don’t look at that bar long enough to verify what actions make the tiny gold blip advance. So I don’t use the powers except in extreme emergencies because I can’t predict when I’ll get them back. I want to use them more often. Whine.
Also, I think I read in a previous post that you were wondering how well tactical view worked in this one on the PC? It was something I enjoyed using in DA1 and 2, but the camera view for this one is… well I just don’t like it and so I don’t use tactical view at all. Which is something I miss, but not as much as I thought I would. I’m certainly making less decisions about where people get positioned and when they use what, but I liked setting them up with a conditional ruleset and seeing how my plans worked out anyways. Once I figured out how to set them to use their powers as preferred I was able to get back into the DA groove I liked. Too bad it took me more than half the game to figure that out. Set em up once, revisit occasionally as new powers come online, and you’re good to go; set and forget.
Good work! I gave up on the mosaic pieces…and the bottles, although I only wound up missing about three of them.
There shouldn’t be any danger of accidentally stumbling into the final mission. If I recall, you have to spend Power to unlock it, and it gives you an explicit warning that “this will lead to the end game, so if you have anything you want to finish up first, do that.”
So you should be good. But running through all the cutscenes first is extra good. You can keep playing after you finish the game, but I’m not sure how many of the companion side quests would still be active. I somehow never did get Dorian’s thing with his father. Sigh. I don’t know how I missed it, I talked to him plenty, but I guess not at exactly the right time.
I know the feeling, that you have to save focus because you don’t know when it’s going to come back. I initially tended to horde it, and then consciously decided that I should just use it if a fight was tough because “the sooner you spend it, the sooner you start building it up again!”
It was always kind of annoying, though, because I never knew how long it was going to take to recharge. Sometimes it would seem to be back in one fight, sometimes not for ages. Undoubtedly something to do with the effectiveness of my combos and hits, but like you, I never found this very clear, so the result was that it was always pretty much a mystery when I would get back the focus power.
Man, it was sweet when it was there, though. As a rogue I didn’t have many area effects, so I loved this one.
I know there must be a lot left for me because I keep getting my ass kicked.
Last night: Repaired the bridge in Emprise. Know what’s on the other side? Of course you do. A dragon. I swear, I tried four times and I didn’t dent the fucker. Not a damn dent. So I ran, found a rift, THAT killed me four times. I’m not even strong enough to torch every rift! Rifts are still kicking my ass.
So I bugged out, went off to the storm coast, cleared out a dwarf fort of red templars, that went well. Found a rowboat, that took me to dragon island which had….yeah, a dragon. Made a small dent in that one, but a very, very small one. I’m 16th, 17th level. Why can’t I dent them? What am I doing wrong?
So I got tired of fighting, so I went to Val Royeaux, met Joesephine, met the assassin, and failed entirely to find the book dealer that was supposed to sell me the last thing I need to be a rift mage.
Hm. I can’t remember exactly what level I was when I first killed a dragon (that same one at the end of the bridge in Emprise), but it must have been around where you are. What’s your specialty? (Cold, fire, etc?) Maybe you have to bring another mage to hit its vulnerability? At least two warriors, also. You need people to get in there and whack at it. I tended to take Bull and Cassandra, but Blackwell did OK for me as well.
Stocking up with regeneration potions (and upgrading to PROXIMITY regeneration for the warriors, so they can heal each other as they both stand there and chop at its feet) was key for me with dragons. The fights are so damn long, you need people to be constantly healing up as they go. Just staying alive is the main thing.
If you can find the bookseller in Val Royeaux, he also sells a ton of tonic recipes, including some for elemental resistance (which you can upgrade to proximity resistance), and that can be good for surviving the dragon’s breath attack, although to be honest I didn’t find that guy until about 21st level myself (he’s around a weird little corner?), so most of my dragon-fighting was done without this advantage.
I’m generally very electric, though I just learned winter’s grasp and immolate to round myself out. I tried taking Dorian, too, as he’s fire, but nothing. Maybe my gear sucks or something. And I had Sera, who really wasn’t very helpful. And Blackwall.
I’m trying to stock up! I am! But I’m always short herbs! Really! I just got the perk that gets me up to 12 healings instead of 8. That ought to help.
You mean that bookseller that DIDN’T have the tome I made to become a rift mage? Him? Yeah…..I know that guy…..
Electricity is usually good! (Aside from electricity dragons…which, there’s this one in a swamp, and so when it breathes the electricity goes through the water and zaps EVERYTHING–good, evil trick there, dragon. You just have to scream “out of the water!” every time it prepares to breathe.)
I don’t know, I might have been a couple of levels higher than you. I do remember that dragons were just impossible until a certain point, and then they became merely long, hard slogs. They have a million hit points, so it’s always going to be a long, hard slog, but when you get to the point that you can recover as quickly as they can damage you, you’ll get them in the end. Maybe go back in a level or so, that’s what I kept doing until it eventually worked. There’s too much to do in this game to waste time fighting things you can’t quite defeat.
Oh, so you found the bookseller, but he didn’t have your book? Well, at least you have a bunch of tonic recipes for whenever you have the herbs. Can you grow herbs yet? I found that handy for the rare ones that you only need a few of. It’s not so great if you need 40 bloodroot or whatever, since you just can’t grow that much at once.
Mr. O’ eventually found the tome he needed in the barn, next to Blackwall, for some reason. He had to check the internet to figure it out. It’s like, the tome is either at the bookseller, or in some random location. I never did find the damn thing, myself.
Ooo, electricity in the water is evil. Must get ring of no shock or something.
There is too much to do. Honestly, it seems the dragons are there because a) it’s called DRAGON age, so there ya go and b) cuz it’s nodding to Skyrim. Random dragon? No real point outside of scales and a trophy later? Hmm. Where’ve I seen that? Ah yes, the RPG that made a billion and a half dollars. That one.
I did wonder to myself “Why am I taking the time to wander around DRAGON ISLAND? I mean, what do I think is here BESIDES a dragon? Answer: four elfroot. And a dragon.
I can grow herbs, though I totally forget I can. Though that’s by Morrigan, so there’s a reason to go back there.
MAN Blackwall gets the shaft. “Perhaps you are here to talk? Some companionship? I have such heavy emotional burdens-” “Nope, just need this book.” “Oh…..ok…..”
Yeah, it was evil. I had to salute it, though. Good use of your natural weapons, dragon! You unspeakable bastard.
You forgot the 15 dragonLINGS on Dragon Island! At least there’s something you can kill. That dragon was one of the last ones I killed, and it was really tough and annoying. Don’t go back there right away. (Although at least it didn’t shock you through swamp water.)
Poor Blackwall. At least when I wandered down there looking for books that weren’t there, I’d kiss him, because why not now that we’re in a relationship. Not like anybody else is kissing me. Siiigh…
Blackwall [hopefully]: Are you here to make out?
Me: Yes…I suppose…since I didn’t find anyone else on the way here who looked interested…
Poor Blackwall. But hey, I stuck by him even after his terrible secret was revealed. That’s got to count for something. I may not be enthusiastic about our relationship, but I’m loyal, damn it.
Indeed. Hooray for environmental hazards!
Oh right! I did kill a couple of dragonlings. Forgot. Then I was feeling my oats and said “HA! Dragon island isn’t so bad oh yes it is.”
If you go talk to Sera and do roof time or ask her something practical first, THEN go back and kiss, she’ll say “Bout time, yeah?” Which is awesome.
I sure hope I get to know Blackwall’s secret without banging him.
No fear, his terrible secret will be revealed even if you aren’t in a relationship, as long as you follow through with his side quests. Of course, now that I think of it, one of the side quests is “bang Blackwall…”
Nah, he just likes moldy flags.
Working on it, Blackwall.
Blackwall: Man, I wish I had more moldy flag pieces…they really keep me company through those lonely days out here in the barn reading other peoples’ tomes.
It’s so sad when all you have is flags. I, at least, have a PS4.
Maybe the flags secretly assemble into some sort of primitive game console. Or at least a puzzle he can work on putting together. I like to imagine him out there, carefully frowning over fragments of decaying fabric, saying “aha! This is part of the dragon’s tail!”