25, living in New Jersey studying psychology in grad school, friendly enough for an introverted fantasy nerd. I spend most of my time here on the forums with occasional edits/cleanup. I try to avoid big projects and article organization since there's always someone with a better idea that can erase it at will, though most of my contributions remain.
To this end, I write strategies where I can, from the perspective of playing on Nightmare without using any premium content items, with the exception of story-based DLC (i.e. Starfang from Warden's Keep as opposed to the Band of Fire), since most people would download those to get the full story experience anyway, and without factoring in the player character's build. This is deliberate so that:
- The strategies can be applicable for all players, regardless of what class they're playing. Most video strategies place heavy emphasis on the player character, that they must be the right class built a certain way, and therefore those strategies are only useful for that player and not the audience. This makes them virtually no better than a means for the uploader to show off how good he is with his own particular method of clearing Nightmare. This is less of an issue in II with Maker's Sighs available, but Origins doesn't have the luxury of resetting your parameters until the Awakening expansion, you get one chance to get it right, which isn't an issue since the Ultimate Rule is at its strongest in Origins.
- The fancy premium/preorder items (ex. Final Reason for example) that aren't normally available to us common louts are not essential. I abhor the "pay-to-win" trend in gaming, particularly from EA, and this is why I avoid using premium items wherever possible. Granted, most of the stuff is free/comes with the Ultimate Edition nowadays, but I leave it up to your own discretion to use those items or not. They make very little difference if you use them, it just means you don't have to keep re-equipping that slot. The Ultimate Rule of a Dragon Age playthrough is knowledge of the enemy and mastery of the game's tactical systems, everything else is secondary in the grand scheme of things.
For Origins, I've revamped the Attack at Nightfall strategy, demonstrating that it is quite feasible to keep everyone alive on Nightmare at low levels, regardless of how you've built the Warden. Also, that wall of text recently added to the Sloth Demon strategy page? That's my handiwork as well.
In II, Nightmare is an untested, unbalanced nightmare of a challenge if there ever was one. Regardless, I managed to generate useful strategies for the Gangs battles, the fight against Ser Varnell in his mosh pit, the Antivan Crows fight, and contributed to and refined the Malvernis strategy.
- Disclaimer: I was a mage Hawke, and I equipped the companions with their leveling, exclusive accessories from the Item Pack DLCs (ex. Eye of the Bearded Dragon, etc., with the exception of a couple that provided immunities, too useful). Regardless, my strategies place the most emphasis on the Ultimate Rule, and while it has less sway in the untested environments of Kirkwall, tactics such as pulling/retreating to choke points, kiting, and dropping out of combat to heal and save where possible, are indispensable. Like I said before, I consider it much more important that strategies are applicable to all players, not just Elemental Primal Force Mage Spirit Healer Hawkes. Gypping the AI was a necessary condition in about 80% of the battles, in order to keep the strategies relevant to as many players as possible. I'm 95% confident that the premium accessories made little to no difference in the end.
- Furthermore, I finished Nightmare without using any Maker's Sighs, which meant I was also holding myself back with wasted talent points and postponed level ups until I actually needed the new abilities, so it could have been much easier than I made it. That should speak for the reliability of my strategies.
I've submitted my first Inquisition contribution here. Spoilers for those who have yet to begin, but hopefully it will be of assistance.
I'm also an admin over on Dragon Age Answers, stop on by if you want to ask quick questions of the game without turning it into a big forum. If you use that link, I only ask that you read carefully before typing anything on the main page. You'll see what I mean if you come by.
Right now I'm playing around with making a custom signature. I've plagiarized Loleil's as a template, now I just need something similar to Inquisition's box font that's HTML compatible.
I'm also building a signature for one of my lackeys at DA Answers, the Bann of Bullshit:
Dragon Age: Origins Edit
I play DA:O as as Dual-Wielding Warrior, Human Noble named Ryan Cousland.
- Everyone recruited and personal baggage dealt with
- Alistair and Leliana hardened
- Morrigan romanced, left for Leliana
- Mages saved
- Connor saved with Mages' help
- Werewolf curse lifted
- Anvil destroyed, Bhelen crowned king
- Ashes preserved
- Shale recruited, regained memories
- Avernus' concoction destroyed, ethical restrictions enacted
- Cailan's corpse recovered and cremated
- Bann Vaughan killed
- Subdued and thrown in Fort Drakon, Oghren and Zevran rescue
- Slavers killed
- Landsmeet won, Loghain executed, Alistair and Anora rule jointly
- Ritual performed
- Sided with guards, defended trade routes, struck down conspiracy w/Dark Wolf's help
- Amaranthine saved, Nathaniel/Oghren/Sigrun kill Architect and Mother
- Bid Morrigan goodbye, claimed book and began preparations for the "harrowing to come."
Dragon Age II Edit
Sided with the mages for the most part. Karras was killed, Feynriel went to Tevinter, Arishok was killed in a duel, helped the templars once for the achievement(s), then helped the mages every time after that. Everyone stayed until the end and remained loyal, except that one guy who did something horrible at the end. He's dead now.