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Combat Talents and Rogues

Discussion in 'Dragon Age: Origins' started by Caradhras, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Most players tend to pick Dual Wielding or Archery (or a little of both) for Rogues. I'd like to point out that it isn't necessary.

    Most will agree that what a Rogue needs is Riposte and Momentum to get the best out of dual wielding daggers (obviously Riposte to stun foes and Momentum to get more attacks).

    As far as Archery is concerned if you don't want to specialize simply going for Arrow of Slaying gets you the most effective ranged attack (damage wise). Unless you plan on Archery to be your main focus (oviously).

    The point I'm trying to make is that although other talents like Punisher and Whirlwind look cool they're not that useful for a Rogue who means to backstab foes as much as possible and that these talents are better suited for Warriors (who have more stamina).

    I would go even further. IMO a Rogue can be pretty deadly without investing any point in Combat Training or weapon talents by focusing on Rogue talents and specializations instead.

    I've tried a build that relied on the Assassin and the Duelist specializations and skipped weapon talents altogether. It was rather effective and lead me to recognize the value of the Duelist specialization as a valid substitute to Dual Wielding. Bard is an interesting alternative but is more useful with a high Cun (60 points or so) and really shines as a support character.

    The greatest drawback of the Duelist talent line is that it takes away from your stamina (Dueling is a sustained talent) when other talents need stamina to be used or maintained (like Momentum). So it's hard for a Rogue to use both (and going for Momentum is an obvious choice to get more attacks).

    The Duelist line provides an interesting alternative that allows for a Rogue to skip combat talents altogether without crippling a Rogue's fighting abilities.

    You may lose on dual wielding but using a dagger with a shield is not necessarily such a bad choice (you don't have as many attacks but the damage is higher).

    Skipping Combat Training and combat oriented Talents also allows a Rogue to focus on Skills and Talents that would have been taken much later if the character had focused on combat lines instead.

    What I've tried is delaying spending points until my Rogue reached the necessary level hence taking several talents at the same time.

    As far as Rogue builds are concerned, if a high Cun Rogue was the best backstabber in Origins you need 52 points in Dex for the best Rogue Talent in Awakening and it shifts things quite a bit. Another advantage of delaying taking talents and skills is the fact that you can finish Origins, reach the level cap (level 25) and still have quite a few points to distribute when you start Awakening thus allowing you to pick Awakening Talents and Skills right from the start.

    DAO certainly seems rather straightforward as far as builds are concerned but that doesn't mean that there is only one way to go about building your character.

    I used a dagger and a shield for that character but other weapons could have been interesting choices and made for a fun game. Not that I recommend a Rogue using Mauls but breaking the pattern may end up making the game more fun (it's all too easy to become a bit jaded after a while as all characters end up with the same "optimized" build).
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
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    I'm building a character similar to your build; however, I will only be taking the first talent levels of dual wielding. After that all of my talents will be used for the specializations and rogue talents.
     
  3. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Won't you eventually run out of stuff to point your skill points into with that approach?

    By the end of the game I usually have all rogue talents, all dual wielding talents, all talents for my specializations. I usually end up putting points into talents that I don't even want, simply because I have talent points to spend.

    This is true with rogues and warriors. Not so much with mages, as there are always more cool spells to obtain.
     
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    I don't think that was Caradhras point; his point was that with a rogue you do not need to take many or any of the bow or dual wielding talents to make a rogue good in DAO.
     
  5. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    What I mean is that not investing in Combat Training and regular combat talents (Archery and Dual Wielding) doesn't necessarily makes a Rogue "bad" in a fight (most people will probably argue that going for Momentum is a "better" option, I'm not disagreeing with that but there are certain advantages for trying a different approach -mainly more points to spend on skills and talents and earlier access to the fourth rank with some talents -I'm thinking of Stealth in particular).

    @Marceror: Not really, you don't run out of skills or talents to put points into if you take the character to Awakening.

    It also makes a huge difference as far as timing is concerned. Going for a regular build means that you're probably going to take Dual Wielding talents earlier (presumably) and it also means that you probably won't get to max out talents like Stealth as soon as possible.

    The problem with spending all the points in Origins is that if you take this character to Awakening you'll lose out on the (overpowered) Awakening talents and skills. What I suggest here is taking this one step further. ;)

    As far as skills are concerned, skipping Combat Training works for every class except Warriors (obviously they get more return on investing in weapon talents thanks to their higher stamina -some may say Mages as well if only to avoid spells being disrupted when taking damage but that is not a high priority if you make sure that your Mage doesn't get hit in the first place).

    What skills does a (main) character really need?

    -Coercion obviously if Cunning is not maxed out (otherwise more than one rank is a complete waste).

    -Stealing (useful to unlock the Crime Wave questline, only worth it if you plan on using it throughout the game -since only a few NPCs give away good stuff you may not want the main character to max it out though).

    -Trap-Making, only one rank is needed to set a trap if you have an NPC to craft traps for you.

    -Survival, the bonuses are limited but they are bonuses so why not take them? It's not like a Rogue can't afford spending skill points on this.

    -Herbalism, you can get another character to invest in this. Apart from a few dialogue lines there is no real benefit for a main character.

    -Poison-Making, it's the same as Traps, only one rank is needed to use any poison or bomb. No particular reasons to invest in this skill if an NPC can save you from spending these points.

    -Tactics? Useless if you intend to remain in control of your main character (or your characters).

    In Awakening Vitality and Clarity have to be taken by your main if you want to benefit from these skills.

    If you've reached the level cap in Origins, you will be able to take the three first ranks of Vitality and Clarity at the beginning of Awakening (you have to reach level 26 for the fourth rank). If you've already spent these skill points in Origins it's unlikely you'll ever get these skills in Awakening (and I'm not even considering Rune Crafting).
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
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    How do you skipt not selecting a skill or a talent during level up and still level up the character? I know when I play on the PS3 you have to select a talent and skill when available to level up the character. Are you recommending keeping the character between level 15-20 after acquiring the skills/talents that a player wants?
     
  7. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    On the PC you can put points in stats and skip skills and talents (to spend these points you only have to click on the level up cross it can be done at any time except during combat).

    If you're playing Awakening you could try not going beyond level 20 as otherwise that will limit your access to Awakening abilities (or perhaps level 18). I can't say that it will work on the PS3 like it does on the PC though.
     
  8. Scythesong Immortal Gems: 19/31
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    I find this build more powerful for Origins. I accidentally made a rogue like this since I couldn't decide whether to pick bows or dual-wielding, so I ended up taking all of the rogue skills.

    The Deft Hands line allowed me to disable every trap I found, which I abused by seeking out quests and random encounters with lots of traps. I think I gained a total of 2-3 levels thanks to this, that's significant early game especially for Morrigan (SS talents) and my Rogue (more skills/talents). I was able to juggle Coercion, Trap-making, Poison-making and Combat Training early game thanks to this.

    The Dirty Fighting and Below the Belt lines were amazingly effective in keeping my Rogue alive (Feign Death at level 12 woot). Since I focused on traps and throwing bombs (70 damage each, I had the highest "damage done" score in the party) survivability was basically all I needed. The offensive talents were still very useful though, allowing my rogue to deal above average (backstab) damage even when I didn't have a single weapon talent.

    Stealth was... nice. Heh. I didn't use it much TBH. I took Bard (for "support") and Assassin. Somewhere around level 20+ I finally ran out of skills to take, so I chose dual-wielding.
     
  9. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Stealth can be overkill, it lowers aggro and allows automatic crit if the hit connects. Nothing too shabby if you ask me. ;)
     
  10. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I'm trying something different Rogue wise. Iv'e started a new Rogue and I intend to skip Dual Wielding (at least for now and as long as I possibly can) and use bigger shields and armour.

    The build will be focused on Strength and Dexterity instead of Cunning and Dexterity.

    Pros:

    -larger weapons and heavier armours available (fatigue may be an issue, I shall have to see how much of an issue it really is).

    -more straightforward build that doesn't rely on Lethality (although the bonus is still interesting).

    Cons:

    -less armour penetration (a Mace might be a good choice when this matters, especially since the lower critical rate for Maces doesn't matter when backstabbing).

    -Rogue talents won't benefit from a lower Cunning (not a problem if I just skip them and use an NPC for disabling traps, breaking locks and stealing).

    -Exploit Weakness is not that great with a lower Cunning (and that's the only real disadvantage of that build IMO).

    -the Bard specialization is out as it would be pretty bad with a lower Cunning score (as I consider this specialization to be very good for a support character and I will probably be using Leliana it is not such a problem).

    -> I intend to find out whether this build would work nicely or not. Possibly using bigger weapons at one point (Nugcrusher) for fun. I may skip Duelist to take advantage of Awakening specializations when I get there (Shadow and Legionary Scout). Or go for dual wielding maces just for fun (it's really not a very effective choice).

    As far as I can see this build could still work really well as a backstabber. Larger weapons will slow it down quite a bit so I'll have to see if this is something that will work or whether I'll have to invest into Dual Wielding to equip a dagger in the off hand to make it work better (whether or not investing in the Dual Wielding line will be necessary is something I'll have to find out as I'd really like to skip it and save some talents for Awakening -the optimal choice would probably be to get Momentum if need be and not invest any further -or not at all).

    The idea came from using a Dwarf Commoner with a mace and a shield and started as a fun experiment but it seems to be working out nicely so far.
     
  11. Scythesong Immortal Gems: 19/31
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    There are other Pros and Cons.

    Pros:
    -higher attack rating
    -more autonomy (I guess this is an extension of the "more straightforward" part). This character basically has everything needs by itself, and it doesn't need anyone else to babysit it while it goes around killing things.
    -enemy HP does not progress much that you'd need all-out damage rogue

    Cons:
    -You will kill bosses slower than cunning builds. It can't be helped. Everything else will die just about as fast, though.
    -you will look odd
    -aggro is annoying, especially since you won't be taking many DW skills (less AoEs). You never know when you'll end up in a situation where you're being chain stunned/knockback/knockdown.
    -weak Stealing. If you plan on making/spamming bombs, I don't know how you plan to sustain it
    -this build will compete with warriors for armor

    Less armor penetration is not really a con. The AP you get from 50 cunning is only 5 points, for example, and 50 cunning is already pretty high. What's important is you don't abandon using daggers - then your AP should remain decent. Strength = cunning where daggers are concerned. It's not like you'll be focusing purely on str.
    In Awakenings you will be taking Legionnaire Scout and Shadow, so you don't have to worry about Exploit Weakness. You can always take Ranger. :p It is a pretty solid spec, Cara.
    I would recommend Duelist for this build. The added armor means you will take aggro, and that means you won't always be hitting enemies from behind while they focus on someone else (and that's not something you want anyway. You can tank, after all, with your high dex and high armor. Might as well capitalize on that)

    The build I mentioned earlier in this thread was actually heavy Cunning. I dunno, I guess I just thought it didn't make sense to focus on str since I spent most of my time away from the "heat" of combat.

    This build though I tested on Sigrun and she did well with it. She was doing good DPS and had great survivability. Haven't tested it in Origins.
     
  12. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    The build does not have more autonomy since you need a trap disabler lock picker in the party to deal with that kind of stuff.

    Looking "odd" is part of the appeal. Definitely not a con.

    I really don't think it's any worse at taking down bosses (especially if the character sticks to daggers -or at least one dagger).

    The Rogue will draw unwanted attention but getting a Warrior to use his skills to manage aggro will make it work. Stealth is a great way to evade unwanted attention.

    Tanking with this character is a possibility but it won't make the build shine (flanking is not the only way to dish out backstabs fortunately).

    Regarding aggro, it is definitely not a problem either as stealth is a very easy way to deal with aggro. No need to turn the Rogue into a tank.

    It's not a solo, I can have Leliana do the stealing for my party.

    Competing with armours with Warriors is not a problem (there are a few decent armours around, Grey Warden armour, Cailan's armour to mention only the DLC ones -from the base game Juggernaut, Chevalier, Effort, Legion of the Dead, etc.) that's not an issue.

    I'm not even dual wielding daggers (went for mace or axe/dagger mainly for the looks) and it still works.

    Exploit Weakness works but the bonus is not huge with a lower Cunning.

    Ranger sucks :p (in my books) apart from a summon it doesn't bring anything good (and I've hated summons ever since I first played BG1). It'd definitely cramp my style... And style is everything (I'm not playing a Dwarf for the bonus but because of the way the character looks).

    I'm not rushing into the Duelist specialization either. Runes of paralysis work wonders with weapons with many rune slots. Stunned foes can be taken down without careful positioning.

    When this character will get to Awakening he will rock no matter what. The only thing required in Awakening for a build to work is to meet the steep requirements for endgame talents. Other than that the game becomes a joke.

    The hardest part in game is definitely the Origin part especially on nightmare with mods that make the games more difficult (the City Elf Origin is probably the hardest part in that respect -low supplies, many foes, really tough start).

    I'm looking into some mods that may make the game even more difficult.
     
  13. Scythesong Immortal Gems: 19/31
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    Autonomy as in does-not-need-babysitting. As in can-randomly-wander-into-a-group-of Darkspawn-and-somehow-survive-while-you're-busy-controlling-someone-else. The character can take risks and come out alive, very unlike a dex/cun rogue.

    He/she is a tank, you know. Even if you don't intend to use him/her as one. That high dex, the sheer number of defensive Rogue/spec talents, that high armor and the fact that he/she can do enough damage to keep a monster's attention (assuming it hasn't died already). IMO the only thing capable of outtanking that is a true sword and board warrior. More so, come Awakenings.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  14. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I didn't get that it was what you meant by autonomy. That is correct although I wouldn't advise not controlling a Rogue. They need to be managed to reveal their true potential (at least in melee).

    Having a heavy armour means that you don't just rely on Defense (which won't help with some attacks).

    I don't want to get into an argument on gaming semantics but I find that the ability to tank does not necessarily make a character a meatshield. The most important thing is how you use that character.

    The Rogue benefits from Evasion (great advantage if you want to tank) but a Warrior will have more health and the ability to become the focus of attacks with talents like Threaten or Taunt (whereas the Rogue will have to draw attention by dishing out damage -usually not a problem :)). The Rogue's particular talents (mainly Stealth and Feign Death) are devised to allow enemies to focus on other party members instead so they don't make a Rogue a better tank but they are just perfect to flank enemies and lower aggro.

    The most traditional tank is definitely the Sword and Shield type (difficult to flank which is an advantage) but Arcane Warriors are perfect tanks with Fade Shroud, Shimmering Shield, Rock Armour... It's really easy to get everyone's attention with a nasty spell and then tank with those spells.
     
  15. Scythesong Immortal Gems: 19/31
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    Nah I wasn't arguing semantics. I just mean that this character can tank, Carad. Very well.

    Oh yes. AW's. I forgot about them, no surprise there. :p
     
  16. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I agree, a Strength focused Rogue build is much better than a Cunning build as far as tanking is concerned, there is no doubt about that.
     
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