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Arcane Warrior - Surgical Room

Hollowness September 7, 2011 User blog:Hollowness

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Phase 1


Good Points
Opinion Based or generally may want to be removed
My notes and some compiled info

Mechanics and tactics

In all cases having an Arcane Warrior in your group gives you a lot of added flexibility, and removes to a certain extent the need to have a second warrior character with you for the purposes of soaking damage when fighting large groups of enemies. The key to Arcane Warrior mechanics lies in two trade offs, one defensive between armor and fatigue, the other offensive between sword or staff, and mana managing.

This is the general overview of the mechanics and theme and I think can be complied with some the the information below.

Defensive

For the first, having the ability to wear the armor, which you acquire as soon as you get the Combat Magic ability, does not remove the associated fatigue increases on the mana cost of spells, and so heavy armor limits how many spells your character can use. Note that fatigue penalties also cause potions to become less useful, and you will lose significant amounts of combat time and damage output by relying on them.

The above is a good note but doesn't have much to do with the Arcane Warrior as Defensive. This can be added somewhere else.

Offensive

The second trade-off is offensive, between sword, the preferred weapon for close-up combat, and staff; this affects which spells you can cast. Going the sword route is possible, but if you try to cast spells for which the sword must be sheathed, your character will sheathe the sword, then cast. This causes a mid-combat delay which can cause a significant amount of trouble. By pausing the game and using the weapon-switch ability you can avoid the time penalty (weapon switch becomes instant in this case) and so micromanage your way around this. You can also add the weapon set to a hot key and swap your weapon set that way. That is also instant and has the added benefit that you can map your spells to the weapons you have in hand. So with your sword and shield, you will have drawn spells in your quick keys, but with your staff you will have your empty hand spells. This gives you a total of 10 spells across both weapons slots. However that requires a significant amount of player involvement if you use the radial dial. See Arcane Warrior Spellcasting for a complete list of spells that can be cast with a sword in hand.

The above seems opinion based player style with no real direction besides touching on mana managing and arcane warrior spellcasting. That general info can be added somewhere easily.

Sustained abilities and mana

Arcane Warriors can use their sustained abilities to get very high levels of defense/armor/spell resistance. This can be powerful, but can limit what the Arcane Warrior can do to basically being an auto-attacking machine with decent damage and great defense. The various sustained Arcane Warrior abilities tend to have very heavy mana cost, and so a common tactic is to leave them off until you are low on mana. This allows you to open a fight with heavy area damage like Fireball and expensive crowd-control spells, and since casting a sustained ability does not cost you mana if your max mana is low enough, it is essentially free. At what point you switch is down to personal preference - the longer you leave it, the more flexible your casting options are. Nevertheless the Arcane Warrior as a melee fighter is a good way to extend a fight, giving you a little extra durability when you need it (much like Shapeshifter's Bear form ability). The small delay while you turn on your abilities does not usually matter much.

Observation then straying to opinion player preference. Mention of the sustatined abilities give high defense/armor/resistance at a heavy mana cost. This can be added as a general AW mana managing.

An Overview:

An Arcane Warrior gives flexibility to the mage and the party. This flexibly to the mage allows them to equipment most armor and weapons in the game but in the case of armor at a greater fatigue loss compared to other classes and specializations. Trading off on fatigue and mana managing, allows the mage to be played as a hybrid weapon user and/or armoured mage. The mage can use their sustained abilities to get very high levels of defense/armor/spell resistance but at a heavy mana cost, this and high fatigue limits how many spells your character can use. Note that fatigue penalties also cause potions to become less useful. If equipped and attributes placed accordingly an Arcane Warrior can mimic a Warrior or Rogue in base damage but with mage abilities and spells. See Arcane Warrior Spellcasting for a complete list of spells that can be cast with a sword in hand.

Play styles

Players have adopted three main styles for Arcane Warriors: Mage, Tank, & Hybrid.

I am gonna stop this right here. Even in other guides I have never heard these versions in that order, this must be opinion based. Defender/Tank - standard, Damager/Nuker (melee or casting) - varies and Healer/Support -standard, (anything in combo with crowd control and debilitator or not quite the mentions is lumped in to custom/hybrids).

Mage style

The Mage style Arcane Warrior remains primarily a ranged attacker with a decent mana pool; they rely primarily on lighter armor (fatigue < 15%) for defense and a staff as a weapon. Since they are more robust than standard mages, they can lead from the front or double as an alternate tank; however, they are not meant to be a warrior replacement. Since Shimmering Shield does not require Combat Magic to be active, they can stick with standard Mage Armor, along with mana regen gear, and use Shimmering Shield for the resistances and armor bonus. resistances should not be boosted unnecessarily high: elemental resistances cap at 75% (85% in Awakening); spell resistance caps at 100%, while mental & physical resistances have caps at 100 (150 in Awakening).

This is more about gearing and opinion based info This is more about gearing. The resistence note cane be merged or moved.
.

Tank style

Arcane Warriors can be setup to tank every bit as well as a warrior, if not better. The ability to wear heavy armor and manage fatigue makes this caster extremely tough, at the expense of a weaker mana pool. This also makes it tougher to maintain aggro on opponents, as it's hard to keep dealing damage after when mana runs out in 4-5 spells. With the Combat Magic spell active, melee weapons use Magic instead of Strength to determine damage, so hits can pack some real punch. The downside is that a typical Mage character usually has an undeveloped Constitution and can not take a whole lot of damage. One remedy would be to take advantage of the specialization's strong defensive spells in conjunction with regular defensive mage spells. By activating Shimmering Shield, Rock Armor, Combat Magic, Arcane Shield, Miasma and other buffs, the character can be made almost invincible. However, there are two noticeable disadvantages with this method: First, the character will be essentially limited only to basic attacks, with the slight possibility of casting a low level spell depending on willpower (this can be offset by taking blood mage as a specialization, see below). Secondly, the vast amount of buffs used in unison can make the game very prone to crashing, even on a console.

Although the Arcane Warrior can equip any type of melee weapon, keep in mind that two-handed weapons are slower than one-handed ones. You may prefer to have a one-handed weapon (together with a shield) as your secondary weapon, since it allows you to hit your opponent more times before falling in battle.

This is more about gearing and recapping fatigue/mana managing and opinion bases info (this can be generalized better).

Hybrid style

The hybrid style attempts to combine the best of the Mage and Tank styles. The 'hybrid Arcane Warrior' primarily relies on getting close to the enemy and using short range or area-of-effect spells (while having your Staff equipped) to help manage opponents, such as Cone of Cold, Fireball, Mind Blast, and other snares. Then, proceed to switch to your secondary weapon (usually a one-handed sword) to strike your closest enemy. Remember to keep in mind which spells work best with this type of weapon (see Arcane Warrior Spellcasting).

Another form of hybrid is sustained ability overload. Keep active defense spells like Rock Armor, Spell Shield and Arcane Shield, and also keep active Frost Weapons (or Flaming Weapons or Telekinetic Weapons) and Combat Magic for both a good offense and an almost impenetrable defense. This, of course, renders the Arcane Warrior melee-based instead of spell-based.

Too opinionated can be generalized better. Hybrid is too personal and custimizable this shouldn't really be considers a 4th your style type style.

With other Specializations

Blood mage

Blood Mage is a popular second specialization choice for an Arcane Warrior because it can help to offset the disadvantages of a low mana pool at the cost of health by allowing the Arcane Warrior to cast Blood Magic spells using health as mana. Presumably the heavy armor will give the Arcane Warrior enough headroom on health to do this, although a reasonable constitution would be highly recommended. The effective Blood Wound spell can also be acquired, which is an ideal choice for both a more offensive Arcane Warrior an a tank drawing Threat. This combination works with all three play styles.

Spirit healer

The other main choice, spirit healer, producing a mixed character with offensive and defensive magic and good durability. This combination works best with no more than medium armor, since a decent amount of mana is needed to power the high-level healing spells. Also worth noting is that Cleansing Aura can draw as much aggro as a Warrior with Threaten (source?).

Shapeshifter

Shapeshifter is an interesting combination but unpopular choice with Arcane Warrior. There is a fair bit of redundant overlap between the two, as they both offer exclusive options in melee, but a foremost Shapeshifter with secondary Arcane Warrior can use massive armor and Bear Shape and be incredibly hard to kill with weapons. The main problem with this is the fact that Shapeshifter overall does very poor damage because of the fact that, unlike what the tooltip for Shapeshifter says, it does not actually use magic to calculate damage.

Battlemage

Battlemage is an especially potent combo of subclasses as you can use the buffs and spells from the Battle Mage and go straight into the thick of combat wearing heavy and massive armor. This has drawbacks however, do not expect to be able to cast ANY spells except buffs, and it limits your ability for area of effect (AoE) spell use, as you might not like getting hit by your own spells. But the advantages outweigh the drawbacks significantly, use Flaming Weapons or frost weapon with elemental mastery and elemental chaos active as well as mage armor and shimmering shield and you get a very high DPS and defense

Add Keeper maybe clean up or edit but over all fine

Arcane warrior: equipping

Weapons

Currently there is only one arcane warrior specialization specific item in the game:

  • Ico longsword SpellweaverSpellweaver
    Longsword
    Silverite (Tier 6)
    Requires: 27 strength/magic

    Damage: 10.50
    Critical chance: 3.00%
    Armor penetration: 3.50
    Strength modifier: 1.00
    Rune slot Rune slot
    +5 magic
    +1 or +2 mana regeneration in combat
    +10% spell resistance
    +3 electricity damage

Equipment

Carefully kit your Arcane Warrior with appropriate bonuses, especially mana and/or stamina regeneration.

  • It is possible to completely offset Shimmering Shield's -10 penalty to Combat Mana Regeneration if you choose the correct equipment and skills. Combine any of Wade's Superior Dragon Armor Sets (+2 regen) and Andruil's Blessing (+2 regen) with Cailan's Arms (+5.75 regen) and the second tier Combat Training (+0.5 regen). The previous numbers are from the PC version, on Xbox and PS3, you have more equipment options, as the regen amounts are twice as high (except the +5 set bonus from Cailan's Arms).
  • If you equip the full set of Wade's Superior Dragonskin Armor Set, you'll receive a -25% fatigue bonus (among other things). Besides counting with a good armor rating for your Arcane Warrior, the reduced fatigue bonus lets you cast more spells with the same mana pool. Remember: you have to work out a good balance between 'armor rating' and 'fatigue', depending on the style you plan to follow (Mage, Tank or Hybrid).

This is a lot of detailed opinionated information, this should be generalized as equip armor sets with -fatigue, equipment/weapons with + stamina/wilpower, and + dodge and/or resistant items, + damage/backstab damage and of course +magic/spellpower. For melee close combat and tanking. The offsetting shimmering shield could be aded to the sleep it self under a note.

Phase 2

Mechanics and tactics

An Arcane Warrior gives flexibility to the mage and the party. This flexibly to the mage allows them to equipment most armor and weapons in the game but in the case of armor at a greater fatigue loss compared to other classes and specializations. Trading off on fatigue and mana managing, allows the mage to be played as a hybrid weapon user and/or armoured mage. The mage can use their sustained abilities to get very high levels of defense/armor/spell resistance but at a heavy mana cost, this and high fatigue limits how many spells your character can use. Note that fatigue penalties also cause potions to become less useful. If equipped and attributes placed accordingly an Arcane Warrior can mimic a Warrior or Rogue in base damage but with mage abilities and spells. See Arcane Warrior Spellcasting for a complete list of spells that can be cast with a sword in hand.

Play styles

Players have adopted three main styles for Arcane Warriors: Damager/Nuker, Defender/Tank, & Healer/Supporter, further customizations are refereed to as Hybrids.

Damager

A damager can be either melee with casting or casting with a staff. There is less of a need of heavier armor and with the advantage of equipment items you cannot without specializing as an Arcane Warrior and with better armor your mage isn't as vulnerable. Mana managing is easier because you can either not active Combat magic as a caster or you will have less armor and fatigue not being a tank.

Defender

Arcane Warriors can be setup to tank with the ability to wear heavy armor and manage fatigue makes this caster extremely tough, at the expense of a weaker mana pool. One can take advantage of the specialization's strong defensive spells in conjunction with regular defensive mage spells. By activating Shimmering Shield, Rock Armor, Combat Magic, Arcane Shield, Miasma and other buffs. However, limited only to auto attacks, with the slight possibility of casting a low level spell depending on willpower.

Healer

Similar to a casting damager without the need of heavier armor and with the advantage of equipment items you cannot without specialization.

Hybrids

Hybrids are variations of play style, gear, attribute placement and role in the party. This is also what is considered when picking up a second or third specialization.

With other Specializations

Blood mage

Blood Mage is a popular second specialization choice for an Arcane Warrior because it can help to offset the disadvantages of a low mana pool at the cost of health by allowing the Arcane Warrior to cast Blood Magic spells using health as mana. Presumably the heavy armor will give the Arcane Warrior enough headroom on health to do this, although a reasonable constitution would be highly recommended. The effective Blood Wound spell can also be acquired, which is an ideal choice for both a more offensive Arcane Warrior an a tank drawing Threat. This combination works with all three play styles.

Spirit healer

The other main choice, spirit healer, producing a mixed character with offensive and defensive magic and good durability. This combination works best with no more than medium armor, since a decent amount of mana is needed to power the high-level healing spells.

Shapeshifter

Shapeshifter is an interesting combination but unpopular choice with Arcane Warrior. There is a fair bit of redundant overlap between the two, as they both offer exclusive options in melee, but a foremost Shapeshifter with secondary Arcane Warrior can use massive armor and Bear Shape and be incredibly hard to kill with weapons. The main problem with this is the fact that Shapeshifter overall does very poor damage because of the fact that, unlike what the tooltip for Shapeshifter says, it does not actually use magic to calculate damage.

Battlemage

Battlemage is an especially potent combo of subclasses as you can use the buffs and spells from the Battle Mage and go straight into the thick of combat wearing heavy and massive armor. This has drawbacks however, do not expect to be able to cast ANY spells except buffs, and it limits your ability for area of effect (AoE) spell use, as you might not like getting hit by your own spells. But the advantages outweigh the drawbacks significantly, use Flaming Weapons or frost weapon with elemental mastery and elemental chaos active as well as mage armor and shimmering shield and you get a very high DPS and defense

Keeper

Keeper is an area of effect and crowd control specialization with a passive health regeneration ability. This can be very useful for any play style. This is a high threat combination and with the draw back of rooting with Thornblades and may want to be a third specialization.

Arcane warrior: equipping

Weapons

Currently there is only one arcane warrior specialization specific item in the game:

  • Ico longsword SpellweaverSpellweaver
    Longsword
    Silverite (Tier 6)
    Requires: 27 strength/magic

    Damage: 10.50
    Critical chance: 3.00%
    Armor penetration: 3.50
    Strength modifier: 1.00
    Rune slot Rune slot
    +5 magic
    +1 or +2 mana regeneration in combat
    +10% spell resistance
    +3 electricity damage

Equipment

  • For melee close combat and tanking, equip armor sets with -fatigue, equipment/weapons with +stamina/willpower, and +dodge and/or resistant items, +damage and/or +critical/backstab damage and of course +magic/spellpower.
  • For casting unless wearing heavy armor in which case you can invest in fatigue as well. +magic/spellpower, +stanima/willpower and reduced threat.
  • Any further equipment and gear choices can be customized to your play style.

Recovery Room

Note: Please give feedback on this draft, I am not the best writer!

Mechanics and tactics

An Arcane Warrior gives flexibility to the mage and the party. This flexibly to the mage allows them to equip most armor and weapons in the game but in the case of armor at a greater fatigue loss compared to other classes and specializations. Trading off on fatigue and mana managing, allows the mage to be played as a hybrid weapon user and/or armoured mage. The mage can use their sustained abilities to get very high levels of defense/armor/spell resistance but at a heavy mana cost, this and high fatigue limits how many spells your character can use. Note that fatigue penalties also cause potions to become less useful. If equipped and attributes placed accordingly an Arcane Warrior can mimic a Warrior or Rogue in base damage with their auto attack but with mage abilities and spells. See Arcane Warrior Spellcasting for a complete list of spells that can be cast with a sword in hand.

Play styles

Play styles for Arcane Warriors: Damager/Nuker, Defender/Tank, & Healer/Supporter, further customizations are refereed to as Hybrids. Many recommendations to how to play an Arcane Warrior can be overwhelming but is it key to understand all mage Spells knowing how combinations work and what does not work together will give you an advantage.

Damager

A damager can be either melee with casting or casting with a staff. There is less of a need of heavier armor and with the advantage of equipping items you cannot without specializing as an Arcane Warrior and with better armor your mage isn't as vulnerable. Mana managing is easier because you can either not active Combat magic as a caster or you will have less armor and fatigue not being a tank.

Defender

Arcane Warriors can be setup to tank with the ability to wear heavy armor and manage fatigue makes this caster extremely tough, at the expense of a weaker mana pool. One can take advantage of the specialization's strong defensive spells in conjunction with regular defensive mage spells. By activating Shimmering Shield, Rock Armor, Combat Magic, Arcane Shield, Miasma and other buffs. However, limited only to auto attacks, with the slight possibility of casting a low level spell depending on willpower.

Healer

Similar to a casting damager without the need of heavier armor and with the advantage of equipment items you cannot without specialization. This can be in combination with Spirit Healer due to its further healing spells.

Hybrids

Hybrids are variations of play style, gear, attribute placement and role in the party. This is also what is considered when picking up a second or third specialization.

With other Specializations

Blood mage

Blood Mage can help to offset the disadvantages of a low mana pool at the cost of health by allowing the Arcane Warrior to cast Blood Magic spells using health as mana. A reasonable amount of constitution would be highly recommended with this specialization combonation. The effective Blood Wound spell can also be acquired, which is an ideal choice for both a more offensive Arcane Warrior an a tank drawing Threat.

Spirit healer

Spirit healer, producing a mixed character with offensive and defensive magic and good durability. This combination works best with light and medium armor, since a decent amount of mana is needed to power the high-level healing spells.

Shapeshifter

Shapeshifter is fair bit of redundant overlap between the two, as they both offer exclusive options in melee, but a foremost Shapeshifter with secondary Arcane Warrior can use massive armor and Bear Shape and be incredibly hard to kill with weapons. The main problem with this is the fact that Shapeshifter overall does very poor damage because of the fact that, unlike what the tooltip for Shapeshifter says, it does not actually use magic to calculate damage.

Battlemage

Battlemage is an especially potent as you can use the sustained and activated spells from the Battle Mage with the Arcane Warrior's ability to wear heavy and massive armor. This has drawbacks however, mana managing is is even more intense, and it limits your your use of sustained and activated spells. However, with good spell combinations can be very effective in damage and threat.

Keeper

Keeper is an area of effect and crowd control specialization with a passive health regeneration ability. This can be very useful for any play style. This can be a high threat combination and with the draw back of rooting with Thornblades and may want to be a third specialization.

Arcane warrior: equipping

Weapons

Currently there is only one arcane warrior specialization specific item in the game:

  • Ico longsword SpellweaverSpellweaver
    Longsword
    Silverite (Tier 6)
    Requires: 27 strength/magic

    Damage: 10.50
    Critical chance: 3.00%
    Armor penetration: 3.50
    Strength modifier: 1.00
    Rune slot Rune slot
    +5 magic
    +1 or +2 mana regeneration in combat
    +10% spell resistance
    +3 electricity damage

Equipment

  • For melee close combat and tanking, equip armor sets with -fatigue, equipment/weapons with +stamina/willpower, and +dodge and/or resistant items, +damage and/or +critical/backstab damage and of course +magic/spellpower.
  • For casting unless wearing heavy armor in which case you can invest in fatigue as well. +magic/spellpower, +stanima/willpower and reduced threat.
  • Any further equipment and gear choices can be customized to your play style.

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