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So archery is weaker in terms of DPS. I don't see the problem in this. It's also the only damage dealing style that can potentially keep attacking from start to finish without stopping, and while the other weapon styles are still running towards their targets archery has already done serious damage. Some archery skills also have effects not mentioned in their description. I'm pretty sure one of them knocks back a target on hit. Finally Arrow of Slaying is not about DPS, it's about killing something. It may be inferior to three critical hits, but would really rather risk normal attacking a mage? Two mages?

I agree that its ridiculous that people find it underpowered though.


I'm pretty sure one of them knocks back a target on hit.

That's Shattering Shot. I've updated mechanics section for all talents, so it is mentioned now.

It may be inferior to three critical hits, but would really rather risk normal attacking a mage? Two mages?

Sadly, there are much more efficient ways to deal with mages in this game. Mana Clash, first and foremost. Full archer party (3 archers + Shale) should stick to auto-attacking the mage, in fact. The very first barrage (= 3 crits) is usually enough. All in all, Arrow of Slaying only works well vs. white creatures (critter or normal rank), which limits its usefullness. I see no reason to spend 3+ seconds just to deal 1000 damage to one white enemy, unless it is a mage, and you: (a) have no mage with Mana Clash; (b) have only one archer in your party. IN 10:21, March 1, 2010 (UTC)

Here's an interesting tidbit. When using Arrow of Slaying as an opening skill in practice, and your stamina is high enough, you are usually able to regenerate a large part of the stamina you lost before the battle actually starts. This makes it very powerful as a pre-emptive skill. I think the main thing about archery in this game has already been mentioned. An archer is basically the only character who can attack as soon as battle starts and just keep attacking as long as everyone else is doing his/her job. The sad thing though is that the AI is very easy to trick with skills like Taunt, so as long as a melee-er gets in position it can outdamage an archer. If the AI was smarter, archery would be a lot more viable (eg. A warrior and a rogue are attacking a dragon. Despite the rogue's massive damage the dragon ignores him and keeps attacking the warrior because of Taun/Threatent. 1 swipe would have been enough to cripple the rogue, but dragon keeps fixating on the warrior anyway. So much for draconic intelligence).

Actually, it's not an AI limitation, that's the way damage-based threat calculation formula works. Elite Bosses are virtually unaffected threat-wise by damage dealt to them: only distance-based and ability-based ('built-in') threat coefficients matter. Refer to Threat for additional details. IN 09:42, March 15, 2010 (UTC)

Shale Edit

Is this article assuming usage of the Shale bug that nets 20%? That's not a great tool to rely on for autocrit

Of course. That +40% bonus to critical chance with Aim is the only possible way to attain permanent auto-crit. Just don't leave the aura's limits -- that's actually very easy to do. Personally, I find it extremely reliable. IN 06:33, March 12, 2010 (UTC)

It's certainly reliable in the sense that the bug is easy to exploit, but you should mention in the article that you're exploiting a bug which could be fixed in a future patch. Can you also put a chart or something to illustrate what the actual max crit % you've achieved is?

Rock Mastery description was updated by me with all the necessary information a while ago. I see no reason to duplicate it here. Anyway, as of patch 1.03, double RM effect is not fixed. The moment BioWare decides to fix it, I'll update this article. However, I doubt it will ever happen, since BioWare's policy regarding bug-patching is... well... you know... Concerning charts and illustrations: the article contains a link to short video hosted on YouTube, where I demonstrate critical chance modifiers for all relevant party members in-game at the end of Flemeth battle. I assume that's a perfectly adequate illustration. IN 07:24, March 15, 2010 (UTC)

Since rock mastery is bugged why not just keep zoning to get 100% crit rate w/o using +crit% items? Does the bug only work for the 1st zone?

That is correct. That's exactly the reason I categorize RM stacking as a relatively minor exploit. For example, in 1.02 it was possible to stack Rally infinitely to get astronomical attack and defense ratings of 1000. That's not the case with Shale's RM aura. All negative bugs affecting archery taken into consideration, it's hard to be ashamed of putting Rock Mastery and Repeater Gloves to good use. Fight fire with fire, so to say :) IN 11:15, March 15, 2010 (UTC)

Stacking rapid aim items Edit

So if I don't use shale or rapid shot, how many rapid aim items should I stack to achieve the best attack speed? Armsman's tensioner+far song+repeater gloves will stack?

Theoretically, yes. But there is absolutely no point in equipping such a combination of items. Why? Because you cannot lower Base Attack Timing with it, neither can you go lower than 0 as far as Aim Speed is concerned. Say, you have Aim activated, and your party is using Haste. That's +2.3s aiming time. Armsman's Tensioner + Far Song + Repeater Gloves will account for a whopping -3.6s. Technically, that's -1.3s, but, obviously, aiming animation speed cannot be negative, so your Aim Speed is still 0. So you are bored and throw Swift Salve in! Okay, that's another +0.9s. But you are still at -0.4s Aim Speed, that effectively translates into Aim Speed 0. Provided you don't equip massive chest armor (and why would you?), your Base Attack Timing will be 0.8s. Add another flat +0.8s for animation loop, and you'll have the same old 1.6s per shot fire rate. IN 01:36, March 13, 2010 (UTC)

What if one doesn't have RTO? Would equipping Armsman's tensioner + far song while aim is on while playing solo (so no haste or rock mastery) be worthwhille?

Worthwhile - no doubt, as it will reduce the +1.5s penalty imposed by Aim to only +0.9s. Your fire rate will be 2.5s. IN 15:35, March 13, 2010 (UTC)

I just verified that basically all the information you've listed here is correct for the XBox 360 as well, repeater gloves do in fact give a whopping bonus to speed and reduce it to the minimum 1.6s per shot with Aim turned on. Tivadar 19:53, March 13, 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Tivadar. Great job! Now console users can abuse the hell out of this exploit, too! ;) Just kidding: not much to abuse, truth be told. IN 20:45, March 13, 2010 (UTC)
Well it at least makes playing an archer viable, given that archery was never patched for us. We get 0.3 bonuses from strength and dexterity rather than 0.5 on both shortbows and longbows. Tivadar 20:53, March 13, 2010 (UTC)
That's very unfair. You cannot fix it with fan-made patch, so you, and the rest of console users, are basically stuck with nerfed archers. BioWare's failure to address this issue on consoles was outrageous. Even given limited time frame and human resources: there are bugs, and then there are bugs. Archers being only 60% as effective as they should be is one of the issues BioWare should have found time and manpower to fix. IN 20:58, March 13, 2010 (UTC)

Tivadar actually on the PC and PS3 version it is kinda the same. It's 0.5 x 0. 675 x dex/cun/str. O.675 is from the random number generater w/ takes 50%~75% of the listed attribute value for dmg. That's 0.3375 x dex/cun/str. Maybe that's the 0.3 you're talking about.We just got RTO on the PS3 so it seems soloists will have to look to using repeater's gloves.

crit bonuses and archery Edit

w/c crit bonuses work w/ archery? Obviously song of courage, ranged critical chance from weapons and rock mastery works. How about blood thirst, precise striking, bravery and the flanking bonus to crit (a little bit higher if one is a rogue and has combat movement)?

Blood Thirst and flanking bonus work. Precise Striking doesn't. Bravery is tough to check, but it probably doesn't. Anyway, warrior archer is not a great idea in DA:O. Maybe things will change in DAA, though: several new warrior specialization talents, such as Beyond the Veil, can be very useful for an archer. IN 15:52, March 13, 2010 (UTC)
Update on Bravery. It works, if you can afford being surrounded by enemies within melee distance. In practice, if you have a very high Dex - why not get surrounded? They won't hit you anyway. IN 07:45, March 25, 2010 (UTC)

I see so combat movement will be useful for a sniper (what we call rogue bow users on the PS3). Blood thirst is affected by the ranged attack speed bug as well so it won't improve ranged attack speed right? Actually on the PS3 I've tried soloing as an archer (what we call warrior bow users on the PS3) and it'ss quite a viable build as it can serve as the party's tank. The sniper deals more dmg though.

(1) No, it won't slow down aim speed, as it affects melee attack speed only. You can use Blood Thirst with no penalty to aim speed. (2) Yes, it's a viable tank build. Though I feel Scattershot-using two-handed Reaver is still a better choice: more threat management options, more durability. IN 22:30, March 13, 2010 (UTC)

rock salve + rapid aim? Edit

I know you listed haste, swift salve and aim as sources of increased aim speed but how does rock salve fare here? Since the rapid aim items stack, it might be beneficial to add rock savle to that list since the rapid aim items like repeater's gloves might be able to offset the increased aim speed and you gain extra armor and physical resistance.

Thanks for pointing this omission out. Anyway, Rock Salve is bugged and does not affect attack speed (melee or ranged) in any way. Tested, verified with scripts. IN 02:37, March 15, 2010 (UTC)

critical shot and arrow of slaying works w/ freezing? Edit

Do these shatter frozen/petrified opponents? And since the objective of this approach is auto-crit archery, do crit auto-attacks shatter frozen/petrified opponents?

Critical Shot and natural crits - yes. Pinpoint Strike-induced auto-crit - no. As for Arrow of Slaying, it's nearly impossible to test, and here's why: using AoS on Critters/Normals with lvl 25 archer (no saves from lower levels, sorry) always results in instant death; while Lieutenants and above, that take -90% bonus damage from AoS, are immune to shattering as of patch 1.03. Anyway, using AoS for shattering is a really, really, really odd idea :) IN 05:11, March 15, 2010 (UTC)

corruption vs helm of honleath Edit

I know the corruption gives +5 while helm of honleath gives +4 but won't helm of honleath still win out dps wise becasue the +2 cun from HOH not only adds to attribute bonus to dmg but also to song of courage, tainted blade and armor penetration?

Given that you get corruption in the last ~30 minutes of the game or so, and given that after that, the only thing that really matters is awakening, given the new archery ability in awakenings that focuses on dexterity, I'd think corruption would win out hands down. Tivadar 17:26, March 16, 2010 (UTC)

Hmm... would accuracy outbonus dps wise tainted blade, armor penetration from alotta cun and song of courage? This would settle the debate whether dex or cun is better for a sniper. I find atk and ef to be non-ssues as it's quite easy to disable enemies to auto-hit them and to use a tank so the sniper doesn't need thigh survivability.

but won't helm of honleath still win out dps wise becasue the +2 cun
Not really, I always use max + cunning gear for pre-buff. 0.28 pt. AP is not a huge addition, given how freaking high cunning-based rogue's AP gets at that point anyway.

I see. Yeah i did the math and +1 dex from corruption nets you .06 points more if you pre-buff everytime. I pre-buff song of courage but I rarely do tainted blade since I walk around in stealth so that's why I gave the edge to helm of honleath.

In DAA I still stick to Corruption (even though there are certain interesting Tier 8 items) -- though HoH imported smoothly, too, as did all SP items :) By the way, major update on DAA archery forthcoming. IN 17:37, March 16, 2010 (UTC)

Hmm... I thought only return to ostagar items imports? Is this a PC thingy? Yeah oh and keep up the good work. I regularly read this thread you have.

We don't know yet. Many people reported successful import of SP items, and several people -- of WK items. It's more like a random pleasant surprise at this point. IN 12:02, March 18, 2010 (UTC)

Accuracy Edit

Is it really this insanely good? It looks as if it gives huge bonuses with absolutely no drawbacks. Am I correct in assuming that now, given you are a high dex archery rogue, use accuracy for ~40% critical chance, have another cunning rogue use song of courage for ~10% critical chance, then aim would give you the full 100% right off? And at that point you'd be wanting +x% critical damage and +dexterity equipment. Also, this would make shortbow rogue rather amazing... Tivadar 17:32, March 16, 2010 (UTC)

Yes, Accuracy is a very powerful ability. However, I re-considered using Aim in conjunction with Accuracy. Accuracy + triple Song of Courage already gives a very high crit chance and insane damage output. I prefer to rely on Pinpoint Strike, when the situation calls for auto-crit. Look up my latest post at the forum. IN 10:15, March 17, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah but wouldn't you still wanna use aim, especially if you have master archer, for the dmg and armor penetration bonus? If I'm reading the formula right once you reach 110 dex you will auto-crit w/ aim+accuracy. Accuracy is quite a powerful ability and should change the way snipers are built. Dex should take precedence over cun now becaue the ratio according to the formula on the accuracy page is 1 dex=1 dmg. That beats 0.2 dmg per cun from tainted blade, 0.14 armor penetration per cun and 0.05 dmg per cun from song of courage. This also makes the spec bonuses of duelist, legionairre scout and assassin quite attractive. What specs would you recommend IN for maximum dps?

Refer to my post http://dragonage.wikia.com/index.php?title=Forum:DAA:_Second_Impression_(No_Plot_Spoilers). My archer party is currently three Assassins/Duelists/Bards (and Velanna as a tank/safety mechanism). My PC archer is currently at 95% critical chance (SoC x 3, Far Song, Accuracy), so I think I'll replace Duelist (as Pinpoint Strike will become obsolete) with Legionnaire Scout (Mark of the Legion, +1 passive dmg) soon. However, Nathaniel & Sigrun will remain Duelists for Pinpoint Strike, as Song of Courage stacks selectively. As to why not to use Aim: +1.5s aiming speed you cannot offset in DAA totally kills the potential DPS increase from Aim (no Shale; and Repeater Gloves do not have anything useful, aside from Rapid Aim bug - not to mention I have three archers in my party, but only one pair of Repeater Gloves). IN 07:59, March 18, 2010 (UTC)

Err... doesn't have legionairre scout and duelist have the same spec bonus? Why assassin though? Mark of death stacking for bosses? I see your reason for not using aim though if there is only 1 bow-user in the party or if a person solos then it's still vialbe w/ repeater gloves right? What do you mean though the 1.5s aim speed cannot be offset in DAA? Repeater gloves doesn't work anymore? Seems to me the best specs for a solo sniper would be bard, legionairre scout and ranger though assassin would be a decent sub for bard due to mark of death. Then for a party w/ an arcane warrior w/ animate dead it seems to me bard, legionairre scout and duelist are best. Again assassin woud be a decent sub for any of the 3 specs due to mark of death. Does mark of the legion provide a hidden +1 dmg or are you talking about the spec bonus?


Err... doesn't have legionairre scout and duelist have the same spec bonus?
Similar bonuses, but after you reach certain attack/defense rating, Dueling's fixed +10 bonus becomes miniscule, and after you :reach permanent auto-crit, there is no reason to use Pinpoint Strike. On the other hand, Mark of the Legion grants a whopping :+10 strength.

I agree. I only would choose duelist for the spec bonus. So since you like str bonus that means you'd be skipping lethality now?

Indeed. Str/Dex is the way to go in DAA. Cun 22 is mandatory, of course (Master Stealth). With pre-buff +cun gear, you'll reach ~45 anyway, so Song of Courage bonus will be significant. IN 12:30, March 18, 2010 (UTC)


How do you reach 45? Awakening gear? So far here's what I've got to add to 22 base: +1 bard spec bonus, +3 tier 7 fang, +3 duncan's longsword, +2 quicksilver arming cap, +2 andruil's blessing, +2 key to the city and +3 dusk ring. That's only 38. Again, I'm on the ps3 so I don't have access to guildmaster's belt no importing dead thaig shanker over to awakening. I only got the tier 7 fang because I'm a city elf. If I used another origin then that would be removed or if noble dwarf replaced by aeducan family shield's +1.

Dead Thaig Shanker imported for me. Otherwise, yes -- Awakening gear. Don't want to spoil it for you by posting the exact details (some of them directly quest-related), but you'll get to 41 (if you are at 38 now) very soon, and then, gradually, to 44-45 (depending on the order of quests/rewards/acquisitions). IN 09:29, March 19, 2010 (UTC)


Why assassin though? Mark of death stacking for bosses?
+2 dex, anti-boss Mark of Death x3. And I don't like ranger (great soloist, not great at all for party synergy). Besides, with three rangers it will become a zoo, not an archer party.

I'm on the ps so we can't do 3 rangers. I just think w/ the higher level cap, if the mechanics are the same w/ master ranger, they will provide the most dps of any rogue spec. I didn't like rangers alot before however because I am a soloist. They hinder my ability to stealth around and kill mages. Now that I look back at it, the reason I stealthed alot then was mages. Now w/ legionairre scout's ability to be spell-immune, I think it'll be more feasible to roll around w/ a ranger pet and have no need to stealth anymore.


I see your reason for not using aim though if there is only 1 bow-user in the party or if a person solos then it's still vialbe w/ repeater gloves right? What do you mean though the 1.5s aim speed cannot be offset in DAA? Repeater gloves doesn't work anymore?
Yes, perfectly viable for soloing or if you have one archer in your party. They work, of course. But: (a) there is only one pair of Repeaters; (b) it's annoying to keep them equipped when there are so many potentially great archery gloves in DAA.

I looked at the gloves you mentioned in your post, stormchaser gauntlets, and did some math. I compared stormchaser gauntlets vs aim+master archer+repeater gloves. Assuming you auto-crit and accuracy is on already, unless your crit dmg multiplier is 3.8, aim+master archer+repeater gloves will out dps stormchaser gloves. Both will net you the same attack speed. This is because the combo nets you +3 dmg and +6 armor penetration (this becomes significant now on a low-cun rogue).

Interesting. Thanks for the calculations. Presumably, there are even better gloves later on -- again, I haven't advanced far. Anyway, for soloing, Repeaters are the way to go. That said, party-wise, my first argument stands intact: Repeater Gloves' efficiency is limited by their being usable by one character only. IN 12:28, March 18, 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. But why not have only your warden use repeaters gloves and aim and the others stick to not using aim? I mean you auto-crit anyway w/ or w/o aim due to the song of courage and accuracy's initial crit bonus. The reason to use aim is simply the +8 effective dmg you get from it. Have you found any other interesting gloves so far?

Yes, that's reasonable... I'll get some specific character-oriented calculations done: maybe Cailan's, w/ other +X% critical damage gear, could be an even better option at this point for my PC (though I don't believe it). IN 16:44, March 18, 2010 (UTC)


Does mark of the legion provide a hidden +1 dmg or are you talking about the spec bonus?
The latter.

IN 11:59, March 18, 2010 (UTC)

Why would it make a shortbow rogue amazing? Is it the new shorbows? I'm currently on the PS3 so no mods for overpowering shortbows.

I was speaking for the PC, where shortbows get 100% damage from dex, as opposed to longbows, which are 50%dex/50%str. So basically, as a shortbow rogue sinking all your points into dex gets you twice as much damage. I'm on the XBox, which has the same issues as the PS3, so this isn't doable for me either sadly. Tivadar 13:32, March 17, 2010 (UTC)

Ouch! Missed this one, somehow. Guys, PC shortbows are 50% Str/50% Dex, not 100% Dex (unless you use Herr Zoeller's game-breaking archery hotfix: Georg is good at game-breaking, as we all know). Don't spread heresy, please! ;) IN 04:38, March 19, 2010 (UTC)

awakening Edit

Since accuracy will be changing how bow-users will be built, wouldn't it be more optimal now to go w/ a warrior instead of a rogue? Cun is not going to be increased alot anyway and you won't get massive benefits from song of courage,armor penetration or tainted blade. And as you indicated in your post you'd be using corruption and raising str to equip it, so why not make raising str beneficial and go warrior since alot of the warrior talents have str prereqs? You'd also get a higher dmg bonus per level, the bravery dmg bonus and berserk to make up for the lost specialization dmg bonuses, tainted blade dmg bonuses, song of courage dmg bonuses and armor penetration. Spirit warrior would be an interesting thing to research to see if the bonuses work on archery. Then you can round the specs w/ templar for another ranged aoe attack talent in holy smite?

Yes, I actually plan to do a warrior archer playthrough (I have a Dwarf Noble Warrior post-coronation save -- not archer at all, but it doesn't matter, since we have respecialization tomes now) after I finish this one if SW talents work with archery. IN 12:07, March 18, 2010 (UTC)

Warrior Archers in DAAEdit

Well, I take it back. I'm not willing to do a whole playthrough with this strange masochistic archer build. All right, let's start with the good news: Beyond the Veil works with archery. Spirit damage and staff-like AP, both for auto-attacks and archery talents, is nice. Kind of. Testing with respecialized Oghren with Bregan's Bow, I did not notice damage difference between BtW spirit/non-BtW physical on Lieutenant-rank creatures (probably due to Bregan's +6 AP bonus). I did not test the final SW talent, since I haven't reached level 28 yet. It is supposed to increase the warrior's attack speed, and I'm curious to see if it's bugged, a la Haste/Swift Salve, or just does not affect archery, a la Blood Thirst. I'm such an optimist, you know ;) The only other new talent that can be marginally useful for an archer is Second Wind -- marginally, since, as we all know, archery talents are all situational and have solid cooldown times.
The rest is either useless or just doesn't work with ranged weapons. In fact, I'm unsure of how to respecialize a warrior archer: Spirit Warrior and Champion are decent, but Templar, Reaver, Guardian and Berserker range from nearly useless to completely incompatible with archery. I suppose, I'd go with Berserker for a spec bonus.

Anyway, by this point it is clear to me the only viable archer in DAA is a rogue archer. Warrior archers suck a bit less when compared to their DA:O counterparts, but they still suck. IN 04:32, March 19, 2010 (UTC)


I'd say go w/ templar for another ranged aoe attack talent, berserker for the berserk dmg bonus (IIRC it works w/ archery if you activate it w/ a melee weapon then switch to a bow) and spec bonus then thine final spec should be spirit warrior.I do agree however that it seems a sniper would do more dps as they get more little bonuses.


Never played a Berserker, so I wouldn't know :) Yes, if the activation is Pinpoint Strike-style, it is worth picking: damage bonus is very significant. However, I don't think Holy Smite is worth it, actually. It's pretty good for a tank, but what is archer supposed to do with it, really? IN 09:40, March 19, 2010 (UTC)


Well it's ranged aoe crowd control? There's really just a lack of choices I guess. Guardian is kinda useless if you're not tanking for the party. Basically the last spec boils down to champion vs templar though champion doesn't provide alot in terms of dps either, just the +0.14 ap. Reaver could add a little to dps but requires you harming youself.


Gave it some thought. Perhaps with min Str for gear, high Dex, high Wil, and loads of +X% spirit damage gear, SW/Champion/Templar can be an interesting archer/pseudo-mage build. Haven't tested BtW with +X% spirit damage, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work, and SW and Templar AoE talents are Wil based and spirit-damage. Second Wind actually makes sense in this case. Such a character can make a good soloist, but will not synergize well with the party. Anyway, still not crazy about warrior archers. IN 05:05, March 19, 2010 (UTC)


Why would you want to reduce dex for will? That'll reduce your base dmg and your dmg bonus from accuracy. I do agree however on the +spirit dmg gear if it works. Just get some will bonuses from equips. Why would second wind be good? What does it do exactly? Oh and why pick champion? Doesn't add anything except a spec bonus.


I thought more of a hybrid build, relying on Holy Smite and Fade Burst as much as on archery damage. Why Champion? Superiority-Enhanced War Cry is a great spacing tool for an archer: quick, cheap, short cooldown. Rally doesn't hurt, either. Of course, if Berserk works with ranged, Berserker is preferable to Champion. IN 09:40, March 19, 2010 (UTC)


True. But I don't see war cry being useful in a pary atmosphere unless you're tanking. Most likely you'll stay at range and never get to use it. Rally adds stuff you already have alot of.


More thoughts: a duo with a Hex-oriented mage can be an interesting idea for BtW warrior archer. Critical Scattershot or Burst Shot with max +spirit damage against a group of -100% spirit res targets can be a sight to behold. I just don't think there is enough +% spirit damage items (even counting runes) in DAA to allow for a full SW archer party. They have to go full Str/Dex SW/Champion/Berserker, of course. Wil (and Templar) not really needed if the mage is joining the fray. Well, it can be an interesting experiment, after all. IN 05:25, March 19, 2010 (UTC)


Yeah affliction hex + beyond the veil + burst/scattershot sounds interesting. But hmm... I wonder if this can outdps a duo of assassin+bard+legionnaire scout/duelist snipers...


I can't tell until I try it :) The idea seems interesting enough to guarantee a separate playthrough :) IN 09:40, March 19, 2010 (UTC)

Normally I am loathe to comment in a thread that refers to fantasy-genre archers as "snipers," but I have found warrior archers to be far superior to rogue archers in both DA:O and DAA. However, I use the Rules Fixes mod that addresses many of the haste/ranged attack speed bugs and enforces fixes that make many of the exploits cited in this guide non-viable. Armor penetration simply isn't a big enough problem to focus on Cunning in DA:O - not when you can simply amplify damage instead. And it isn't even mentioned in DAA with the unanimous move toward Dex-based, Accuracy-using rogues. The only problem I have with warrior archers is that they take up a party slot without filling a vital role (tank, rogue, mage). This isn't a huge problem, but can make it unwieldy when you have to have a particular character in your party for a quest.Kastagir (talk) 19:05, February 3, 2011 (UTC)

Aim + Repeater Gloves vs. No Aim + Dex Gloves Edit

Some in-game testing conducted, verified with logged scripts. The latter is preferable even with Stormchaser (even though I have now Fingers of the Nimble, that give +6 dex and a lot of crit bonuses). Why? DamageBonus attribute is capped at +100. After that point, the game just ignores any additional +damage from abilities and gear. Unfortunately, I was well over +100 due to nice gear, SoC x 3, pre-buffed Accuracy, etc. Weapon tier and attribute damage calculate separately, however (and, of course, AP contributes to damage non-directly). Therefore, it's safe to assume Repeaters+Aim is a sub-optimal setup in DAA (unless you have yet to reach the 100 value in DamageBonus). Only AP bonus remains, but if you need more AP, equip Bregan's Bow. IN 00:48, March 20, 2010 (UTC)

Isn't this only true when you already have 100% crit chance without Aim? I mean, I wouldn't use Aim if I already had 100% chance to crit, but attaining that requires either multiple items or a party with at least a couple bards in it, which highly restricts your party build. Tivadar 01:22, March 20, 2010 (UTC)


Still, it's possible to achieve thanks to Accuracy. IN 05:21, March 20, 2010 (UTC)

I would still use aim due to the armor penetration and dmg bonus. Rapid shot nor defensive fire does nothing for me anyway. IN is the dmg bonus cap for accuracy only or is it a combination of all bonus dmg like spec bonus, song of courage, accuracy, weapon enhancement, level ups, tainted blade, etc? If it's the latter wherein armor penetration and attribute bonus to weapon dmg is the only relevant way to increase dps, then wouldn't the optimal build then be to increase dex until you hit the bonus dmg cap due to accuracy then pump cun so you gain not only attribute bonus to dmg but armore penetration as well? Does mark of death allow you to go past the cap? I know +crit/backstab dmg on weapons is capped at +200%, for a total of +350% as the cap, wouldn't be another nice way to increase dps after hitting the cap? I reckon a hybrid might be better due to your discovery. Furthermore, if all the +dex gloves does is ass to attribute bonus to dmg because you've hit the dmg bonus cap for accuracy, why would it be better than aim? Technically, repeater's gloves removes aim's drawback and is basically a +1ap item while aim still provides you the chance to auto-crit even while soloing and +5 ap. Now even if you auto-crit already due to SOC, gear and accuracy I think +6 ap>+6 dex. Why? 0.5 x 0.675 x 6 = 2.03. That +6 dex only gives you 2 dmg while 6 ap will equate to 6 dmg to most targets for a low cun sniper. But if you have a +crit dmg multiplier then of 300% (+150% from gear) then the +6 dex edges ahead of the +6 ap.


then wouldn't the optimal build then be to increase dex until you hit the bonus dmg cap due to accuracy then pump cun so you gain not only attribute bonus to dmg but armore penetration as well?

Not exactly. Don't forget Dex=Accuracy, that affects critical range. Get critical range to the maximum first. Then you might want to invest into Cun.


Yeah the general idea is to get the minimum crit% you can get from song of courage + accuracy to 50%, which is easily achieveable at almost 100 dex. The once one has 50% that'll be 100% w/ aim.


Does mark of death allow you to go past the cap?

Of course. As Weak Spots does. Those are pseudo-hexes, i. e. debuffs affecting enemies, not damage-boosting buffs.

Now even if you auto-crit already due to SOC, gear and accuracy I think +6 ap>+6 dex. Why? 0.5 x 0.675 x 6 = 2.03. That +6 dex only gives you 2 dmg while 6 ap will equate to 6 dmg to most targets for a low cun sniper.

2 dmg, 3% critical range, 3% crit chance (I won't mention attack rating, as it's not a problem by this point). The main problem is you seem to ignore the gear properties altogether. Fingers of the Nimble have +10% crit chance and +15% crit range properties. I firmly believe +6 ap is not superior to the total of +2 dmg and +18% crit range you get with Fingers. IN 05:21, March 20, 2010 (UTC)


What's the difference between crit chance and crit range? Aren't they the same? Anyways ignoring +crit% is ok because it's quite easy now to reach 100% crit w/ aim, accuracy, song of courage and whatever crit bonuses you get from equips. Care to list the stats for fingers of the nimble as I'm really confused w/ what's crit chance and crit range? Are you referring to +crit dmg?


Attribute CriticalRange = X% critical/backstab damage. Anyway, article updated, and Fingers entry added (a lot of stuff added, actually). Enjoy! IN 13:55, March 21, 2010 (UTC)

I see. It would be less infusing if you just put +crit dmg. Hehehe. Have you checked if the cap is still the same? 150% base + 200% from gear? Good info on the equips. I've been doing some number-crunching w/ no aim and song of courage on and I was able to reach auto-crit solo just by accuracy and gear alone. So I'm changing my stance now, repeater's gloves are replaceable later on in awakening. You'll also reach a point eventually where you can turn aim off and still get 100% crit solo. I did do the computations though w/ a level 35 character specializing in ranger, legionairre scout and bard. I suppose w/ song of courage on I can take away some points from dex.


With Bregan's Bow, Aim + Repeaters seem to remain the best setup against heavily armored enemies. +12 AP is very significant. However, for 80% of the enemies, Misery (Tier 9 Longbow, base damage 10.80, base ap 11.00, +10% crit range, +2.5 ap) + Gloves of the Nimble is preferable. IN 05:30, March 20, 2010 (UTC)

When I think about it, it seems Bregan's + GotN may prove to be the best solution. Ah, whatever, the differences are miniscule. Truth be said, I care much more about optimizing party's performance than about maximizing the damage output of the specific character. IN 05:36, March 20, 2010 (UTC)


I see. This is why our viewpoints on aim and repeater's gloves are different. I'm naturally a soloist so I maximize my character 1st. The party is there to support me as much as I support them if i ever use them.

Range modifiers Edit

I've read somewhere that your atk gets a penalty if you exceed the ranged weapon's maximum range at the rate of -1 atk per 1m your over the maximum range. Can you explain how this works exaclty? Can you also explain if exceeding the maximum range for a ranged weapon affects crit% or damage?

(1) That's correct:

float fDistance = GetDistanceBetween(oAttacker, oTarget);

float fNoPenaltyDistance = MaxF(POINT_BLANK_RANGE,GetItemStat(oWeapon, ITEM_STAT_OPTIMUM_RANGE));
   fDistance = MaxF(fDistance-fNoPenaltyDistance,0.0f);

   float fAttackRoll = 50.0;
   float fPenalties = fDistance; // every meter distance past the free range is -1!
   float fAttack = fAttackRating  + fAttackRoll + fFlanking - fPenalties;
However, this penalty is practically significant only: (a) on lower levels, when attack rating has yet to reach astronomical heights; (b) when shortbows are used, as optimum range for longbows is very decent. Since there is exactly one good shortbow in DA:O (Whitewood Bow), and exactly one good shortbow (albeit a very good one -- Bregan's Bow (Awakening)) in DAA, it is a largely irrelevant concern.
(2) No. Neither ranged critical chance, nor damage are affected by range. IN 07:24, March 25, 2010 (UTC)

but what about warriors? Edit

the article has some good stuff about rogue-archers, but what bout warriors? Awakening has Spirit Warrior spec that should prove interesting for raising DPS to the limit against armored targets. It's also one way to use all that excess mana I suspect all archers have.StealthFire1 01:46, March 26, 2010 (UTC)


Yeah but snipers have at least above average cun w/c gives them enough armor penetration to offset the armor bypass of spirit warriors. furthermore, besides berserker and reaver no other spec contributes to dps for archers. Snipers on the other hand benefit from having specs whose spec bonuses are benficial. All the specs can be used. Rangers raise dps via the pets. Bards raise dps via song of courage and the spec bonus. Duelists and shadows raises dps via the spec bonus. Legionnaire scout raises dps via the spec bonus and maybe even via mark of the legion. Assassin raises dps via the spec bonus and mark of death. Oh and snipers also have the awesome tainted blade bonus.


In fact, I'm adding a section on warriors with demo vids today. Some huge surprises there :) IN 11:46, March 26, 2010 (UTC)
Update: Done. IN 13:55, March 26, 2010 (UTC)


Ah yes. I forgot about the +50% elemental dmg gear and the hexes. Does that take into account everything (including accuracy bonuses, level bonuses, etc) or does it work like crits again? The warden can gain extra crit% from blood thirst right? Why didja use far song as the bow? I'd pick templar as the 3rd spec since holy smite is also spirit dmg and is a range aoe attack. Reaver couold also be a candidate for soloists due to aura of pain also being spirit dmg.

Yes. Basically, it is another *2.5 multiplier on top of crit damage multiplier. That's a huge surprise, actually. Blood Thirst is not transferred into DAA properly (buggy as of patch 1.03). There is a third-party fix for it, but we are talking vanilla DAA. Far Song has a +10% backstab/crit damage. The only other tier 7+ bow with this property (+15%) is Bregan's Bow. But during the test it was unavailable, and I didn't want to replay. With Bregan's, I would have reached +165% crit damage. Concerning the Templar spec: Holy Smite is Wil-based, both for damage and for stun, so I don't think it will be such a hot addition to SW archer's arsenal. Soloing with such char is possible, of course, but take into account his efficiency is very party-dependent. No Hexes = steep decrease in damage output. IN 17:20, March 26, 2010 (UTC)

So no +10% crit? The entry here for blood thirst is wrong? I still stick to reaver or templar because champion doesn't really offer anythin'. At least aura of pain or holy smite is aoe spirit dmg. It'll be good for mobs though I'd lean towards reaver her since it's always active. All you have to do is draw mobs around the archer w/c isn't hard to do solo. W/ no hexes, I agree the spirit warrior won't have much of an advantage over the sniper who has weak points and mark of death. I think those 2 will cancel the +50% spirit dmmg the spirit warrior gets. The hexes is what gives the spirit warrior the dps advantage.

The entry where? At the Wiki? No, it's not wrong. The talent grants +10% crit chance in DA:O all right. The troubles begin when you export your char into the DAA. About AoP/HS: I don't think that character scoring regular crits for 900+ damage will feel the difference, if +20 spirit damage will be dealt over each 4s... Except the annoying self-inflicted damage animation, of course :) Actually, +50% spirit damage still puts the SW in the lead, though not by much. It will be about 350-400 vs. 400-450 dmg crits. IN 03:09, March 27, 2010 (UTC)

What happend to the power of blood talents in awakening? They dont work? They don't work properly? How about tainted blade? Agreed that it doesn't make much of a difference, but at least it provides something unlike champion w/c only provides the spec bonus. Since I solo almost everytime, I'm usually surrounded anyway w/c allows me take advantage of holy smite/aura of pain. The knockdown of war cry would've been useful in that situation if I was getting hit but since I have high dex... I rarely take hits.

Yes, PoB talents/spells are transfered to DAA in a very weird way. There is a talent icon and an animation, but no real effect. IN 10:30, March 29, 2010 (UTC)

Just for the PC or also for the consoles? Tainted blade seems to be working fine on the PS3.

PC. I don't play DAA on consoles. IN 10:41, March 29, 2010 (UTC)

Two Dreamsever Rings Edit

Several people asked me how did I get two Dreamsever rings. Honestly: no idea. The first one was an import, the second one... just was in my inventory by end-game. That's all I can really say. Either one of the merchants sells it - pre- or post-Lilith (they sell a lot of DA:O unique stuff, in fact), or it is a drop (a rare drop, perhaps?) from someone, somewhere. No idea, really, since I was playing rogue archer party, and the idea of experimenting with SW came to me very late into the game. Consequently, I wasn't paying much attention to the acquisition of the non-rogue stuff. I'll document the second Dreamsever acquisition details during my new playthrough, but at this point I really cannot help you much. An obvious alternative before you stumble upon the second Dreamsever would be equipping the Spiral Band imported from DA:O. IN 09:36, March 30, 2010 (UTC)

+armor penetration, +cun, +dex or +crit/backstab dmg? Edit

Which is better to focus on w/ equip in awakening assuming max dex for a sniper? We know there's an easily reachable cap for dmg so w/c of these should I focus on 1st in awakenin when it comes to gear? How would you rank them in terms of priority or value?

For a rogue: +crit/backstab, +dex (as CriticalRange max of 200% is not easily reachable), +AP (it really doesn't change things cardinally, once you crit for 300+ damage -- I have a note regarding this issue in the guide), +cun (since +7 cun = +1 AP). For a SW, the order is the same, just remove +AP/+cun from the list, obviously. IN 05:40, April 1, 2010 (UTC)

So you'll get more dmg by increasing +crit/backstab dmg instead of +dex where you get attribute bonus to dmg and some +crit/backstab dmg as well?

As long as the trade-off is reasonable, yes. The attribute values are high enough to make the percentile bonus matter more than plain increase to base damage. However, take a look, for example, at our headgear options: trading +5 dex/+6 strength for +5% crit/backstab is not a great idea until the very cap (levels 34-35). IN 10:46, April 1, 2010 (UTC)

weak points + archery Edit

It's stated in the weak points page that it doesn't work w/ archery. Can you confirm this IN? Oh and can you change the notes there to include the info on weak points dmg scale bonus?

I'll test it again tomorrow. Currently, I'm inclined to think it does work with ranged. However, the problem with high damage output is the fluctuations are very significant, so my testing could have been faulty, indeed. IN 10:59, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
IN: It probably does work with archery, since there are no conditions in the ABI file usually associated with different requirements (such as melee, or DW, etc). Also, one way you can reduce the amount of fluctation is to use crossbows since it has no attribute bonus. Or if you REALLY need to eliminate fluctation, make your own item type that has no attribute or weapon flux (therefore, all bonus damage). May be a lot of work, but I'm sure you are up to the challenge ;)--User:Thc 22:57, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
Great ideas. Thanks, I'll definitely try xbows. Currently, I'm inclined to think it does work, it's just that the bonus it offers is nothing to write home about. Still, if you aim for max DPS, be sure to toggle Weak Points on. IN 04:04, April 14, 2010 (UTC)

to equip massive armor Edit

I just started awakening, need help on equiping the massive armor without adding too much strenght any advice on that? 220.255.7.172 12:12, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

You don't need to invest in strength at all. Having a Legion of the Dead crest on the shield + Mark of the Legion passive will give you +30 strength. Throw in some good strength-enhancing accessories, such as Dawn Ring, and that should be enough for all purposes. IN 04:18, April 14, 2010 (UTC)

I don't get it, how is he supposed to use a shield as an archer? Or do you mean juggling gear to satisfy str req on items?--83.28.237.147 (talk) 01:02, September 14, 2010 (UTC)

pre-buffing aim? Edit

Can aim be pre-buffed ling song of courage and tainted blade? Can I activate aim w/ the long sight on for example, get a +10% crit bonus, then switch to helm of honnleath and retain the +10% crit bonus I got from the long sight + aim?

Incompatibilities with this guide and Rules Fixes Edit

Many of the exploits (regarding STR requirements of equipment) as well as bug mitigation techniques (specifically with regard to ranged attack speed/haste bugs) become problematic when the Rules Fixes (http://www.dragonagenexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=1601) mod is used. This mod unequips items for which you don't have the required attributes and addresses the many haste errors on attack speed. If this mod is used (and with all the fixes it includes, there is no reason NOT to use it), many of the strategies in this guide will need to be reassessed.Kastagir (talk) 18:58, February 3, 2011 (UTC)

Hey, Kastagir :) Long time, no see. I'm back in business, FYI (yep, obviously because of DAO2 coming soon). Now, to the point: your evaluation is certainly true. However, there is one very important caveat to it: Rules Fixes, with all due respect, is by no means an official add-on/DLC/patch. Most of the people playing DAO (as well as those that will play DAO2) do not use mods. All my guides were written with this in mind: I'm assuming my reader is using the bare-bones vanilla DAO. Now, 1.04 doesn't change the validity of the guide, right? I was absent since mid-April last year, so... In the following few days, I shall attempt a minor re-write of my guide, taking into account the newer items from DLCs I haven't played. IN (talk) 21:59, March 3, 2011 (UTC)

two dreamsever rings? Edit

I don't know how you could get two dreamserver rings, I dont think its possible without exploits or something, so wouldn't spiral band be a better choice? you still do massive damage.

critical chance bug?Edit

Is there a bug with critical chance %?

Sorry, I don't know where else to ask, I am a ranged rogue using the spells Tainted Blade, Aim and Song of Courage... While I was fighting in Redcliffe I had a crit chance of 22.5% and after the battle I took a look and my crit chance is 18.00%, I haven't changed any of my gear or spells... I cant imagine why it would change on it's own, is this a bug?


If you're running two rogues and turn SoC on/off, you can have some strange stacking behavior with SoC bonuses. The first rogue basically "wins" and gets two SoCs. The second only gets his own SoC. All the non-bards get all the SoCs. I've also noticed some outright squirrelly behavior with the character sheet stats. Sometimes you need to check it a couple times before it will register your actual stats.

BTW, you almost never want to use aim. It will nearly always reduce your DPS by quite a bit. Check Talk:Aim for details.

67.180.131.58 (talk) 10:09, January 4, 2012 (UTC) Bjond

Defensive Fire omitted? Edit

What about the insane +30 defense bonus from the Defensive Fire? This little ability makes it possible to have 100+ defense by level 6, assuming that you invest all your points in it. By level 10+, your only concern is magic. 4Ferelden (talk) 04:17, April 3, 2012 (UTC)

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