I was originally researching the topics I mentioned on Monday and was frightened of this explanation of the metagame that I quit with my head spinning. No matter how much I love my math—my mother calls me well-round while trying to keep a straight face—these formulas are ten times more nightmare-inducing than trying to understand the game from a strictly tactical perspective. No matter how friendly the wiki has been to me with walkthroughs and letting me cheat so that I don’t put my character’s foot in her mouth, this level of depth is not what I was looking for.
Thankfully the more commercial sites gave me the much more simple information I was looking for.
On IGN, I got a lot of things broken down for me, some of which I had already been doing through common sense and some I had never stopped to think about. Though nothing I found here was a true revelation, it still helped me with the framework of knowledge I had never bothered to figure out. My desire to burn through the game when I started and my assumptions that its battle and upgrade systems would work like other RPGS clouded my judgment for thirty-odd hours of gameplay. First I’ll start with the few things I’m proud I figured out on my own that I read:
1. Constitution and strength as stats.
Here it is suggested to consistently upgrade constitution as it is your measure of health. Considering how often I’m dying, I would be dimwitted not to do this. Strength is, well, strength, meaning upgrade it for warriors, some for rogues, and not at all for mages. Mainly I understood these because they are exactly the same as other RPGs.
As I have talked about before, I learned this one the hard way. What I read definitely backed me up on this and explained some of the problems I encountered. The game’s difficulty varies difficulty in one area alone. That means that just because you easily defeated the last horde of enemies does not mean they will all be that easy. Saving is the best defense against its unpredictability.
In case you haven’t noticed, these are by biggest distraction and time suck. Luckily the way the game works, pursuing these over the main quest is the intended path. Otherwise the main story will become insurmountably difficult.
And as for a few things I had never thought of?
1. Dexterity and willpower
From the start, I had only been giving my main character, a rogue, the dexterity stat, not seeing its use for anyone else. What I didn’t realize is that this is what makes all party members light on their feet and evasive. This makes it useful for your front-line warriors because it likens their chances of avoiding their enemies’ attacks. Willpower was a stat I all but ignored, not really understand what it was for. Turns out it is the key to learning new tiers of specialized attacks and spells. It is crucial for mages, meaning Morrigan is about the become the most strong-willed witch in the wilds.
2. Experience points and limited leveling
I have spent a lot of time going through difficult areas with a less-than-ideal party–basically any party without a mage–in an attempt to keep my members equally leveled. Surprise! Experience is divided equally between not only the four active party members, but all of them. I can’t wait to start playing after this knowing I can take Morrigan everywhere from now on without feeling like she is going to become the equivalent of only ever using your starter Pokemon.
3. Pause for everything
As I mentioned before, I am used to either real-time combat or a strictly turn-based fighting style. This hybrid is completely outside of my wheelhouse. This means that, out of habit, I am trying to command my characters to heal and attack and expecting immediate results. I will be trying to command my rogue to use a health poultice and have her struck down before I can hit the keystroke. The space bar is about the become my new best friend for this. I tried it a little after reading this, and healing definitely became less tedious.
Speaking of healing, I read up on a lot of tactics, but Wynne is my best bet for having first-hand knowledge of it. I will let you know next time once I’ve ventured to see the Magi. Stay tuned.