Forums: Index > Game Discussion > Why does enemies resist "Horror"?
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Hi. Often when I use abilities like Horrify, Confusion or other status effects many enemies (often liutenants that you REALLY need to CC) just reists these effects. Why is this? Nothing in the manual states magic resistance can actually make you avoid spells, just reduce their duration. I'm playing on Nightmare. Dragon Age 2.

Because you're playing on nightmare. The enemies probably have resistances that are so high, the duration of the effect is computationally zero. Thus, they avoid the spells.
I'm not saying you shouldn't play on nightmare - DA 2 is so easy cranking up the difficultly to 11 is the best way to make it fun. But upping the difficultly means more enemies and stronger enemies - and those stronger enemies have higher stats. Damage spells will deal less damage, and CC spells will be less effective. Silver Warden (talk) 01:21, June 10, 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, I sort of figured that out myself after awhile - their magic resistance/fortitude must be 100% so the abilities has no effect at all but thanks for the input!

I think it's quite hard actually, harder than DA:O but then again I had massive troubles in the early game of DA:O aswell, it got better ones I aquired some powerful gear and spells and I assume the same is true for this game, come midgame I chould be ok. Nightmare is the only mode with friendly fire and I think it makes no sense whatsoever to cast a massive fireball on your own party and noone gets hurt. :D Besides, I consider myself a tactical genius; I'm oldschool, Baldur's Gate-player so yeah. :) The only thing I don't like is that some random lowtown thugs are usually tougher than save a Revenant or Dragon. What do you mean crank it up to 11 by the way? - Nocturne

It's a saying: take something to the extreme. If 10 is the maximum, 11 is beyond that. Which is impossible, but the phrase is intentionally hyperbolic. Anyway, Origins is definitely trickier in the beginning, especially on your first playthough - after that it gets easy unless you fight something that the game doesn't want you to face yet (like those guys outside Orzammar) or if you try to fight a superboss at a low level (like going directly to Haven after Redcliffe and then trying to fight the High Dragon).

The difficulty of DA 2 does depend a lot on what class and skills you have: rogues tend to be squishy in DA 2 - and Inquisition for that matter, they can never get the defensive values they could in Origins again. Rogues do okay against one big, powerful target, but if they get swarmed by tons of mobs they go down fast. Warriors can hold their own in either situation. Most mages need to keep their distance, which is of course impossible in tight spaces with dozens of mobs. But Spirit Healer mages are basically invincible. Run all of their shields at once and they heal faster than anything can damage them. They also boost the regen of the entire team, which allows everyone to do their jobs better. This is of course what Spirit Healers should do, but the skill tree is so overpowered in DA 2 virtually nothing can take them down. The fact that they can't use offensive spells is only a minor convince. Since staves are 100% accurate, a good one will deal moderate damage consistently, which is just as good (or almost as good) as dealing lots of damage inconsistently.

So yeah, on nightmare playing as a normal mage or rogue early can get tricky, especially on your first playthrough. But for warriors and Spirit Healers? Cake walk. The default AI is stupid through, so you also have to micro-manage the tactics set up of your companions when you first get them, and when you switch your team up. This doesn't matter as much on lower difficulties since the fights will be short enough for them to survive, but on Nightmare they need to be told what to do. Silver Warden (talk) 01:28, June 11, 2017 (UTC)

I've been replaying DA2 to get the trophies added to my PSN/wrap up some of my work for the wiki in that regard, and I've had the opposite experience, i.e. Warriors not named Fenris (he gets all the best passives of all three specializations with none of the noise) are virtually useless, whereas my dual-wielding Hawke is actually getting through encounters without having to drop to Casual mid-fight. Then again, I probably did something wrong in my first go-around back in 2011.
That being said, Horror is one the few talents and spells not specifically keyed to only work on Normal ranks and below. Miasmic Flask and Pommel Strike, I've found, are pretty much useless simply because the enemies they need to be used on the most are auto-immune by virtue of their rank. Horror, even when it only lasts for a couple seconds, can disable the health-regenerating aura of "commander" style Elite warriors, making it much easier to kill whatever support they have. Second, Nocturne, if you're still reading, take a look at the Force page, which should lay out how to actively resist enemy knockback effects while building yourself to apply your own. The enemies you face don't have 100% fortitude, it's just very high relative to where you are, but the short answer is to boost your damage output and seek abilities with decent force multipliers that also have good base damage unto themselves. RShepard227 (talk) 16:23, June 11, 2017 (UTC)
Oh yes, Force is basically required for a mage, if only to keep yourself from getting knocked around. As for the warriors, I've always found Aveline to be pretty sturdy too, through Carver is the weakest of the three by far. And dual wielding rogues are much better than archers in DA 2, since there's no room to maneuver in many cases. Dual-wielders do okay on normal, but I've never been able to use them on Nightmare. I'm probably not building them offensively enough. My instincts are to build melee classes defensively, but that doesn't work with rogues after Origins. Silver Warden (talk) 22:03, June 11, 2017 (UTC)
Pure offense is really the way to go in DA2, unfortunately; Aveline can eat pretty much any attack thrown at her, but she can't dish it back fast enough to compensate if everyone else gets cacked, and she'll eventually get brought down by death-of-a-thousand-cuts. Fenris' pure offense approach is even better at generating threat by virtue of slamming his greatsword into 3-5 enemies at once per basic attack w/Giant's Reach, doesn't even need Taunt. In fact, now that I think about it, that's what I did wrong with my very first 2H Hawke; Templar-Berserker with Warmonger, not Berserker-Reaver with Vanguard. 2nd play I tried Templar-Reaver with Vanguard and didn't do much better. Conclusion: Templar sucks, hence Carver sucks. 3rd play was a Primal Force Mage start ("Jedi") that pivoted to Elemental and Spirit Healer in Act 2. In hindsight I would've done it the other way around, just to annul the injury mechanic for the entire game. Aveline does, however, have access to abilities with high force multipliers, which is her saving grace with a stronger sword and a heavy Strength investment. They aren't FF-proof, however, but they're way less risky than Mighty Blow, Scythe, and Whirlwind.
My starting loadout for DW Hawke is to focus on Dual-Weapon talents, banking the level 5 point and taking the Level 6 upgrade to Backstab so I can get Twin Fangs at Level 6 without burning a point in Lacerate (which is useless post-patch 1.03), then concentrate on Assassin talents. Invest points to get 24 Dex by Level 5 so he can equip The Bodice Ripper and Arm of Adruil, while I build Cunning on Varric to open chests. On that note, Varric banks points 5 and 6 to get Rhyming Triplet, Archer's Lance, and Rapid Pinning Shot in one fell swoop at Level 7 (RPS available at Level 6, but you have to spend all points at once). Bethany gets every point in Magic to get it to 24 by Level 5, then equips the Acolyte's Staff from the Lowtown shop, which effectively supercharges her basic and spell damage to Deep Roads levels (and prevents the annoying "Immune!" popups at the worst possible times), and I've decided to give her Entropy spells this time around after getting the basics in Elemental. It's a world of difference compared to Heal, Spirit Bolt, and even upgrading her Elemental stuff (6/7/8 she gets Hex of Torment/Horror/Deep Freeze in that order, then upgrade something else to get Elemental Mastery at Level 10, at that point she's fully cooked). With Fenris, avoid the damage-stacking talents until your base damage is actually worth talking about (i.e. weapon upgrade), using Control and Lyrium Ghost so his attacks aren't simply "glancing blows" that deal 1 damage. Low attack means fewer hits at full damage, and less damage overall means less force, which means the enemy gets more chances to respond in kind. Cleave is a 75% damage increase for 10 seconds, but 11 base + 75% is 18, over x amount of hits in 10 seconds gets maybe 55-70 extra damage, so what kind of numbers are we talking here? Same goes for Blindside on your rogues; save that until much later in the game, when a 20% increase in flanking damage isn't just 15 + 3. Haven't decided on builds for the others, but so far it's worked pretty well (still have to pull enemies, but not nearly as much as in previous plays, I can actually stand and fight). Things like attack and force often get ignored in favor of putting up "numbers porn" on the screen, but they really do make the difference between a potion-quaffing slog and a fair fight (well, as "fair" as every group of enemies having a hidden backup wave on every rooftop in the sodding city can be). But we'll see if my tune changes in Act 2. RShepard227 (talk) 01:27, June 12, 2017 (UTC)

Well I'm level 15 and game isn't getting any easier. I have a melee rogue Hawke (Which I might respec to archery because I think it's cooler and because I played a melee rogue in DA:O aswell.), Merrill, Avaline and Anders. Aveline just can't hold aggro anymore so alot of kiting is still needed. Fenris just dies too easily - probably my talent choices aren't exactly perfect. I can't figure out a proper build for Merill I'd really like her as a tank but I'm not sure that's even possible (or viable, more importantly) for Nightmare. I really could use a respecc potion but I despise DLCs (They tend to make the game alot easier and they're a cheap moneygrab, but I'm contemplating getting The Black Emporium) - is there no other way to respecc your characters?

Keep in mind this is my first playthrough so no spoilers please! Thanks for all your input so far guys! :) NocturneN (talk) 21:26, June 20, 2017 (UTC)

The old Bioware forums lauded Merrill's Blood Magic talents, since they gave her a means to use spells while also giving her every Sustained spell under the sun, which is at the core of her "tank" role; Wrath of the Elvhen, Rock Armor, and Arcane Shield. Except Death Syphon is useless as a blood mage (mana is useless when Blood of the First is active, and even the upgrade's healing effect is negated), she can't get Heroic Aura, and I haven't decided on who to use Elemental Weapons (if both mages try to use it, one will override the other, then they'll reactivate it after cooldown and kill the other's, repeat ad infinitum, so I give it to Anders). So just Wrath of the Elvhen, Rock Armor, and Arcane Shield, for a total reduction of 50% of her mana. Don't bother with upgrades to Arcane Shield, they require too many points, and tbh I found the whole spell to be underwhelming, so I go with Wrath of the Elvhen as her must-have sustained talent and Rock Armor depending on how many points I have when I finally get around to using her in a playthrough (which in turn takes only 30% of her mana, not 50). Chasing Galvanism just to boost Rock Armor even further (which averages out to 6.25% additional damage resistance...) costs too many points.
Since she has points dumped into Spirit Bolt and Chain Lightning Stonefist, consider upgrading them to exploit Disorient combos. Spirit Bolt gets the higher damage by far, but Stonefist has a little extra force for knockdowns and is elemental immunity-proof. To hit the quota, Walking Bomb is actually pretty useful against Gangs; if you set it to cast on Normal-ranked enemies below <10% health (use one condition for the next tactic), it should wipe out any Critter ranks next to them. Other than that, upgrade it at your own risk, because friendly fire is still a thing, and I actually heard good things about Dispel Magic (even though its upgrade is useless to a blood mage, it does good things for the other party members). Beyond that, it's a matter of trying to justify Spirit Mastery and the points you'll have to put up to get it. +10% critical chance, on a mage that does an additional 50% critical damage with no investment in Cunning, translates to a critical hit once every 10 strikes, thus a 5% overall increase in damage, so it may not be worth it compared to Galvanism or Elemental Mastery.
Ultimately the lessons of Inquisition can retroactively make your gameplay in DA2 much cleaner and simpler; stick to a handful of activated talents that synergize with each other and upgrade them, rather than trying to learn every ability under the sun and let the tactics sort them out (especially with the latter two games more action-oriented, not a lot of focus on stopping to pick which one of twelve distinct spells is the best to use). Consider her available mana/health and the cost of the activated spell as it leads into another, as well as the roughly 20% tribute to maintain any and all sustained modes, and the cooldowns before you can do the combo again. An example of this synergy is: Merrill uses Stone's Throw to reach an ally in trouble, hit the enemies with Ensnare (45 mana), activate Blood of the First, then drop Wounds of the Past on top of herself (30 health due to 1:2 conversion), then deactivates it to get her mana back (or leave it on, your choice). Repeat when Wrath of the Elvhen has restored her health enough. The components of character specializations often have better synergy with each other than the contents of default talent trees, so figure out how those talents can work together and pursue them with every character. On top of this, the activated spells I have for her atm are Chain Lightning, Spirit Bolt, Petrify, Stonefist, Ensnare, and Wounds of the Past, six points plus five more for upgrades is 11, the 12th already in Hex of Torment, 13 for Horror, and four more to round out Dalish Pariah. A solid build, friendly fire-proof, at 18 points (19 with Rock Armor) that incorporates all of her defaults with plenty of room to run in Act 3.
Of course, this doesn't take into consideration that they aren't all available immediately and require some unlocking in a precise order. When deciding which ability to take next, which gives you the greatest utility as you build to the character's ultimate layout? When deciding between upgrades, where do you get the most benefit? Do you get more damage from upgrading Spirit Bolt, or for ticking damage over time with Nightmare? Are you Disorienting enemies enough with your rogues that even upgrading Stonefist is a good idea? For this reason it's almost not worth it to take the combo "detonator" upgrades so early on because many of them, as well as the "primer" upgrades from other classes, aren't even available until post-Level 7. (You can get Pommel Blow at Level 3, but that requires wasting two points in a fairly useless skill, when Sunder and Pummel do well enough to inflict Stagger on multiple enemies without Pommel Blow's "one enemy, Normal-rank and lower" restrictions on the stun effect required to confer the Stagger effect, and Pummel is available at Level 6. Aveline can use Shield Bash every 10 seconds, and Fenris can get 30% critical chance without even trying). Lastly, consider the big battles where an ability would most useful during the game (e.g. Winter's Grasp during the ancient rock wraith fight, Firestorm during Night Lies) and if you don't have a better way around it with a different ability or character. If that character doesn't ultimately need it for those fights and won't be in a similar fight later, then they don't need it, period.
...It's a lot to consider, but that's part of what makes Dragon Age fun. Even years later I'm still rebuilding characters I was happy to just barely scrape over the finish line with. I'll be around if you have any more questions, and I'm still testing that Merrill build I pitched so I might have addendums later.

RShepard227 (talk) 20:06, June 21, 2017 (UTC)