The lights are on
Dragon Age II hit store shelves today, and RPG fans across the
country are beginning to craft their versions of Hawke’s story. However,
even the most powerful person in Kirkwall could use a little advice;
I’ve already played through Dragon Age II, and these are a few pointers
that I wish someone would have told me before my journey began.
Spread The PowerI know it sounds obvious, but you should try to
advance your two key attribute points at approximately the same rate.
For instance, for rogues, you should be spending your points pretty
evenly between Dexterity and Cunning. It is particularly important that
you do this for Hawke, regardless of class. The reason is that both of
your main strengths have to cross a threshold before you can equip
certain pieces of gear. For example: An awesome new mage robe might
require that your Magic and Willpower are both at 30…so if you’ve just
been pumping your points into Magic, you’ll have to spend a few levels
playing catch-up with Willpower before you can wear the robe. Best to
keep the attributes as even as possible until they hit 30ish, then pick
your favorite of the two and focus.
Check All ShopsKirkwall has plenty of places to shop, and you’ll
want to investigate all of them – even if you don’t think they sell what
you want. The reason is that sometimes they’ll carry unique items that
don’t fit with the rest of their stock. Furthermore, you’ll want to
check in with each merchant in each new act, because they might get new
items. For instance, a dude who sells robes (which you wouldn’t need
unless you’re a mage) also sells an extra inventory expansion…but not
until the final part of the game.
Be Careful With Your MoneyThe first act of the game involves
Hawke saving up 50 gold in order to go on an expedition. You earn this
money by completing various quests for people around Kirkwall and
advancing the story missions. Be warned: You don’t have a ton of wiggle
room with your savings. I’d advise against going crazy buying weapons,
armor, or runes until after you’ve gone on the expedition. If you’ve
spent too much money, it is possible to hit a point where you run out of
quests and cannot hit the 50 gold mark. While the story does give you a
workaround, you want to avoid it if possible. In the first act, I
recommend only spending money on the essentials: inventory expansions,
ally-specific armor upgrades, and potions (as necessary).
Roll Force MageFor your first specialization as a mage, I highly
recommend Force Mage. The main reason is the spell Gravitic Ring (or
Gravitic Sphere when upgraded). The ability slows down the movement and
attacks of enemies inside its large radius. While that’s cool as it is,
this makes it a great spell to combo with one of your area-of-effect
damage spells, like Firestorm. By stacking the slowing effect and the
damage in the same area, you ensure that enemies are within the blast
radius longer and take more damage.
Email the author Joe Juba, or follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Game Informer.