Dragon Age: Inquisition is a massive, in-depth RPG that allows players to create their own personalized Warrior character and become part of a richly developed world complete with majestic environments, involving storylines, well developed characters, and of course, epic battles. The character customization system allows you to set and alter almost every physical aspect of your character’s outer appearance while a streamlined equipment crafting system determines the look of your armor. With over 100 hours worth of gameplay content, amazing voice-over dialogues, an intense combat system that combines real-time and command-based mechanics, and an expansive world that you can explore from end to end, Inquisition will give you the experience of becoming a warrior like no other game has before.
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- Weapons and Armor
- Item Crafting
- Skills and Abilities: Overview
- Skills: Specialization
- Adventures: What Awaits Your Warrior
- In-Depth Guide: Warrior Abilities
- In-Depth Guide: Warrior Specializations
- A game review from a Warrior's Perspective
Fighting as a Warrior in Dragon Age: Inquisition is nothing like what you will find in games like Skyrim or Fable; more than just blindly hacking and slashing, you control the flow of battle with skills and abilities that forces your enemies to lose focus of their targets, protect your allies, fend off massive blows, and most importantly, bring down the toughest of foes. You will also get to choose a specialization later on, one of three skill trees that will provide your warrior with unique abilities and powers.
More importantly, more than a warrior, you are also the Inquisitor; and in this capacity, you do more than fight, you must also lead. As leader of the Inquisition, you take on the responsibility of making important decisions that affects the game’s storyline in fundamentalways. Throughout the game, you will be presented with a wide range of choices during narrative discussions and quests –each new answer or direction you take will open up completely different results, so even if you finish the game once, there will be something new to try the next time you play it!
The Story: A Breach in the Sky To Top
Welcome to the mythical land of Thedas, a world where swords and magic prevail; where man, elves, dwarves, and the qunari find connection through a shared faith. But when the leader of that faith, the Divine Justinia V, is killed in an explosive attack so massive that it literally tears a hole in the very fabric of reality and demons start spilling out into the realm, things start falling apart pretty fast. As a single survivor rises from the ashes of the explosion, they are labeled both as witness and suspect to the greatest tragedy Thedas has ever known –and that survivor, is you, the only person in the world who has the power to close the breach.
Having lived through the attack which killed the Divine and granted with a power that no one else has, it is now up to you to uncover the truth of what happened on that fateful day of the explosion, find the ones responsible, earn the trust of people, and unite them against the greatest danger that the world has ever faced.
A Warrior’s Weapons & Armor To Top
Warriors are able to wear heavy armor for defense. As for weapons, they have the option of wielding large two-handed pieces or a combination of a one-handed weapon and a shield.
As expected of the heavy armor category, these items have the best armor rating of all three types of equipment (the other two being light and medium armor) and when crafted properly, could help make your warrior tougher than even the hardiest of foes. Visually, armor styles vary in form and shape in this game, from the padded-leather and metal look of the Adventurer’s armor, to the more traditional looking Defender armor.
Two-handed weapons are large and focus heavily on delivering plenty of damage. These include dwarven war hammers, jagged battle axes, Templar great swords, mauls, and more. In combat, these weapons give a much slower swinging speed, but they have larger paths and allow you to hit multiple enemies in a single attack. Due to their immense size, two-handed weapons are able to deal huge amounts of physical damage.
One-handed weapons are versatile in both speed and attack, allowing players to equip a shield in the off-hand to combine attacking and defending. These include long swords, thrusting swords, arming swords, dwarven maces, raider hatchets, bearded axes, and more. These weapons are always complemented by shields like the tower shield, round shield, masterwork shield, warden shield and more. In combat, one-handed weapons rely on the use of a shield in order to make attacking and defending more effective. And while the damage they do is not as strong as a two-handed weapon, they are easier to swing and they allow your warrior to attack faster.
Item Crafting: Look and Function To Top
Like many RPGs, you will be able to find weapons and armor from inside chests, the bodies of fallen enemies, purchasable from shops, and other typical sources. But one other way to get equipment in the game is by finding a recipe and the necessary raw materials for it. Crafting in Inquisition is a very simple matter of choosing which specific items to use. Take the more generic Wide-Blade Sword for example –sure, you can find one of these quite easily in the field and they will usually have a damage of about 100. But through crafting you can make one that can do up to 111 points of damage. And if that sword’s handle looks a little too brown for you, crafting also allows you to change the color. The same applies to crafting other equipment like armor and shields. Through crafting, you are able to create and fashion weapons and armors with better stats, more useful enchantments, and visually, more appealing colors.
One important bonus to crafting is the ability to remove class restrictions on armor –this will allow you to equip light or medium type armor on your warrior should you ever fancy a different aesthetic design (or in the case of the Dalish armor, the medium variant actually looks bulkier than the heavy version). This would require the use of special metals or leathers depending on the item.
Warrior Skills: Abilities To Top
A Warrior’s skills in Dragon Age: Inquisition allows players to personalize the way they fight by choosing the skills they wish to learn. Naturally, choosing to equip two-handed weapons would heavily benefit from learning the skills in the two-handed skill category while those with weapons and shields have their own skill tree. Aside from those, you can also spend skill points on the Vanguard or Battlemaster categories.
Vanguard Skill Tree
Under Vanguard, you learn techniques like that allow you to increase your defensive capabilities (like Untouchable Defense) and also gives you the ability to tank better by forcing enemies to target you instead of your allies (like War Cry and Challenge).
Battlemaster Skill Tree
The Battlemaster category focuses more in helping you increase your warrior’s ability to do damage with passive abilities that empowers your attacks as well as giving you the ability strengthen your allies or weaken your foes with battlehorns.
Mix & Match: The Best of Both
One basic formula we like is combining the Weapon and Shield skills with the abilities of Vanguard –this kind of warrior is fun to play since they are extremely tough and able to take plenty of damage without faltering.
Warrior Skills: Specialization To Top
As you progress in the game, you will also have the chance to provide your warrior with one of three possible specialization skill sets: Champion, Templar, and Reaver. Champions are heavy defense based warriors that increases their guard capabilities so much that they can even tank dragons. Templars are the perfect anti-demon class and their ability to stun large groups of enemies with a single spell makes them excellent tactical fighters. Lastly, Reavers give a fast-paced, high-risk/high-reward kind of gameplay with their powerful attacks and counter-balancing buffs.
Start Over Any Time You Wish
The best part of choosing your skills in Dragon Age: Inquisition is that the game actually allows you to reset your skill points (for a small amount of gold per reset). This means that if you found that you want to unlearn certain abilities or want to try out new ones, you can choose to do so. The one thing you cannot reverse however, is your specialization choice –once you choose your warrior’s specialization, it can no longer be changed.
Click here for a more in-depth look at the Warrior’s abilities and specializations.
Adventures: What Awaits Your Warrior To Top
The path from being a survivor of a tragedy to becoming a leader that unites all races under the banner of the Inquisition is not a short or simple one, and it is filled with momentous events that combine edge of seat excitement with deeply somber moments.
After the events of the game’s introduction sequence, you will be able to explore the vastness of the Hinterlands –a massive open area filled with mountains, forests, villages, and it’s largest city, Redcliffe. Here you will discover many characters and engage in many quests that will introduce you to the game’s well-developed world.
Enter a bar and you will hear singing and gossip, journey into a forest and you will find herbs to pick and wildlife to hunt for leather; the world of Thedas is alive –your character becomes a part of it and by your actions, you will also change it.
Early in the game, there is an ongoing conflict between the Mages and the Templars –you can even get caught in the crossfire when you venture into their battlefields. When you walk amongst the refugees at the Crossing, you can overhear them talk about their worries and fears about being displaced by the war. As you further explore the vastness of the Hinterlands you will be able to clear out the encampments of the warring factions. Do that, and you will stop encountering them on the field. When you step into town, the general mood and dialogue of the NPCs will also change to reflect the effects of your actions.
At any time, you can return to Haven, the base of the Inquisition; and in your first return, you will realize that the Hinterlands is just one of the many great areas of Thedas that you can explore. There are other maps, each with their own unique environments, inhabitants and tales to tell. You can fight gigantic dragons, seek out and seal demonic rift portals, explore long abandoned dwarven ruins, visit exotic cities and learn of unique cultures –this game allows your warrior to do all these and more.
In-Depth Guide: Warrior Abilities To Top
Abilities: Weapon and Shield To Top
There’s more work to be done when it comes to weapons and shields –at the very least, you will need to craft two items instead of just one. But the effort is not without payoffs –the shield is more than just a way to block attacks, it can also serve as an offensive strength. A well placed ‘Shield Bash’ or ‘Lunge and Slash’ can quickly overcome a foe, and combining abilities like ‘Shield Wall’ and ‘Payback Strike’ ensure that any enemy that strikes you pays dearly for it.
Most players who build their warrior with this set will eventually drop ‘Shield Wall’ in the later stages of the game. When specializations become available, you can start playing the game with a more offensive approach (you will have to re-spec, and potentially lose ‘Bear Mauls the Wolves’, but that’s easy to overcome later on). However, until that point, sword and shield users must learn that much of the damage dealt during a fight will come from your rogues and mages (and of course, The Iron Bull). Even Cassandra and Blackwall play a more defensive approach until they gain their respective specializations.
So yes, the Weapon and Shield proficiency makes you pretty slow in terms of killing enemies but, it also makes you pretty tough to strike down. A single sword and shield warrior can tank for a full party (again, never underestimate the early game value of ‘Shield Wall’). Also, the passive skills for this tree are designed to improve your defensive capabilities. ‘Turn the Bolt’ is insanely useful as enemy spells and arrows literally bounce off harmlessly. Adding in ‘Turn the Blade’ makes even melee enemies easier to deal with. In Nightmare, there will be plenty of times that your party members may get completely wiped out by enemies; but as a weapon and shield warrior, fret not, you may be slow in killing, but you are likely to be the last one standing if you play carefully.
Abilities: Two-Handed Weapon To Top
When using two-handed weapons, warriors are focused more on dealing damage than being able to resist it. But that does not mean all defensive play goes out the window. Proper position helps to avoid getting flanked while the use of skills like ‘Block and Slash’ or ‘Pommel Strike’ is a good way of building up your guard or slowing the enemy down. Another important point to consider is the use of crowd-control abilities like ‘Whirlwind’ and ‘Earthshaking Strike’ in order to effectively deal with larger mobs.
‘Block and Smash’ is the bread and butter of a two-handed warrior –it counters attacks and generates a huge amount of guard (as long as you remember to upgrade it). Best of all, you can spam the skill –this makes it one of the most reliable abilities for dealing with really tough foes like elite bears. The pattern is simple, keep countering until you get a high amount of guard, and then keep attacking normally to regenerate stamina. By the time your guard drops, you will have enough stamina to bring it back up again.
‘Mighty Blow’ is not a bad skill, but try to save it for occasions when a rogue puts an enemy to sleep or your mage freezes a target –the detonation capability of the skill will allow you to do plenty of damage as opposed to just using it on its own.
One thing to remember about this class is that two-handed weapon skills tend to deal damage to the area and not just the target. If you choose to not get ‘Whirlwind’ and ‘Earthshaking Strike’, you can still be fairly effective in crowd control simply by knowing how to position yourself in a battle.
Abilities: Battlemaster To Top
The Battlemaster skillset is primarily designed to provide support for the player’s party and also to provide a bit of maneuverability to the warrior. ‘Combat Roll’ and ‘Grappling Chain’ make chasing down enemies or getting out of harm’s way a whole lot easier while the two Horn abilities are focused on increasing the party’s defensive or offensive stats.
Not a lot of people are fond of ‘Combat Roll’ since the Vanguard skill ‘Charging Bull’ pretty much allows the same thing but also does damage and generates guard so most builds do not incorporate it. ‘Grappling Chain’ however, is a good all-around tanker skill that almost all warriors should not do without. Since a warrior’s main focus is to prevent attacks on party members, ‘Grappling Chain’ is a great move to use on those foes who avoid being taunted by ‘War Cry’ or ‘Challenge’ (the stun and damage upgrade from ‘Give Them the Boot’ is also extremely helpful).
So should you focus on the skills here? Honestly, not so much. While the horn skills are nice, it is not really a warrior’s place to buff the party or debuff enemies. And the only passive skill of true value is ‘Deep Reserves’. Our advice is to get ‘Grappling Chain’, upgrade it, then spend your points elsewhere.
Abilities: Vanguard To Top
As the name implies, the vanguard is all about keeping your party safe from harm and having all the enemies focus on your tanking warrior. More than just attracting aggro, vanguard abilities also provide the warrior with various ways to increase defense. The default ability, ‘Warcry’, already does both, and so do passive abilities like ‘Untouchable Defense’ and ‘Trust the Steel’. On the other hand, ‘Charging Bull’ makes for a very formidable attack that also helps you maneuver into a better guarding position.
Here’s the lowdown on this skill set: you need it. No matter what build you make, you need either ‘War Cry’ or ‘Challenge’ to build up guard fast at the start of a fight. The good thing is that investing in this tree is rewarding regardless of your final build. The big question lies in whether you need all the passive abilities or not.
Since using ‘War Cry’ and ‘Challenge’ is pretty much self explanatory (basically, you force enemies to put aggro on you while you gain guard in exchange), we will skip to the more fun ability: ‘Charging Bull’. This ability turns your character into an unstoppable force that charges forward, knocks aside enemies (and thus ruining whatever formation they may have), and yes, gains you plenty of guard while you are at it. Upgrade this and it even turns your next ability into a zero-stamina skill; which makes it pretty devastating when combined with skills like Devour or Wrath of Heaven.
Getting ‘Unbowed’ is a matter of personal preference –it generates guard real fast, and if upgraded, increases the maximum guard you can have. However, getting to this skill will mean shaving off a skill point elsewhere. Our opinion, take it if you can, as it is absurdly useful to have in the middle of a tough, overwhelming battle as it can generate a huge amount of guard in a flash.
In-Depth Guide: Warrior Specializations To Top
Aside from the 4 basic warrior skill sets, players can also choose one specialization upon reaching the Skyhold –Lord Chancellor de Lion offers Champion, Ser offers Templar, and Breaker Thram offers Reaver. Also, each of these sets unlocks a focus ability as well. Since players can only choose one, it is best to know a little about these skills before making a decision.
Specialization: Champion To Top
The ultimate line of defense, literally. With ‘Line in the Sand’, the Champion is able to control the flow of the battlefield, meanwhile, ‘Walking Fortress’ turns the warrior into the ultimate tank. This specialization is geared heavily towards shield users, though high-defense two-handed warriors can also make good use of it. Note that ‘Bulwark’ and ‘Adamant’ are similar to two Vanguard skills.
If you want to see a tanker solo a dragon, this is the specialization tree you learn. Champions are made to be tough and nearly impossible to kill –the big tradeoff comes in the form of having a lower damage dealing potential. But when you are playing a character who constantly takes lowered amounts of damage and keeps replenishing guard, you can afford to be patient. After all, you know you won’t die, so what’s the rush?
First off, ‘Counterstrike’, the almighty focus ability of the Champion; this is actually not all that impressive. For one, you cannot counter a dragon’s breath, and simply auto-countering for 20 seconds at third tier does not feel all that powerful. So yeah, be sure to check out your enemies before using this as casting it in a room full of archers and mages is a bad idea. That said, two-handed weapon users can definitely use this skill (though we really recommend having someone else use the focus bar instead).
One Champion skill that a lot of people overlook is ‘Walking Fortress’ –this is actually an awesome power. In Nightmare, you can cast this while walking straight up to a rift and then disrupting it (then have your party do detonation specials on all the stunned demons). Against a dragon, time the use of this skill right before a major attack and have your party stand far away while you have a hearty laugh. Oh, and do not forget to acquire ‘Siege-Breaker’ as this upgrade will help you gain guard while being invulnerable.
So, should you go for a Champion? It really depends on how patient you are –and Champions need plenty of it. As we mentioned, killing enemies left and right will be a slow process for this specialization, but it is also the one that puts you at the least amount of potential risk.
Ultimate Tank Champion Warrior Build Video
Specialization: Templar To Top
As the story of Dragon Age goes, the Templars are knights who are trained to specifically hunt and bring down apostates. In Inquisition however, the Templar’s skills are geared more towards party support and anti-demon bonuses. ‘Spell Purge’ can be boosted to deal damage to buffed enemies while abilities like ‘Blessed Blades’ and ‘Wrath of Heaven’ are primarily for dealing with demons and bosses.
So how many demons do you actually fight in Inquisition? They are a big majority of the overall enemies you meet in-game, especially when you have to deal with anything rift-related (which is often). And this matters a lot for anyone planning to take up the Templar skill set. Of course, there are plenty of ways to overcome the heavy anti-demons only approach of this skill.
First off, combine ‘Wrath of Heaven’ with ‘Spell Purge’. This is a nutty way of depleting your current stamina at the cost of dealing plenty of damage on your enemies; and just to make sure you target a lot of foes, try taunts and ‘Grappling Hook’ to bring them into range first. This works great even on non-demon targets while able completely obliterate an entire wave of rift demon targets.
The focus ability of the Templar, ‘Rally’, gives your entire party faster stamina and mana regeneration –which is actually powerful since you get to spam a whole lot of skills while doing this. Just be sure to manually command the entire party in order to fully maximize the bonus.
Another important thing to remember is that the Templar tree has a lot of great passive skills, so regardless of whether you use a two handed weapon or a weapon and shield, this specialization can adapt either way. The big question is whether you feel like doing set-ups for attacks (which the Templar relies on), or you would rather have more straight forward skills (like the Champion and the Reaver).
Two-Hand Templar Warrior Build Video
Specialization: Reaver To Top
The Reaver is one of the riskiest skillsets that are present in the Dragon Age series –and is pretty much a souped up berserker in many ways. Reavers focus on increasing damage –and often at the cost of the player’s own HP like ‘Ring of Pain’, ‘Dragon-Rage’, ‘Blood Frenzy’, and a few others. These are compensated by abilities like ‘Devour’ and ‘Rampage’ which allows the Reaver to regain lost health.
The Ring of Pain
In this specialization, players are forced to focus on luring enemies inside the ‘Ring of Pain’. This is easily done by using a combination of ‘War Cry’, ‘Challenge’, and ‘Grappling Hook’. Inside this area, certain skills become more powerful and are faster to use. The catch is that you are most effective when your HP is low. This brings us to the second part of being a reaver: keeping your HP down. The idea is to take plenty of damage and then boosting your guard before your health drops way too much.
Devour and Dragon Rage
Now, two skills you will want to keep alternating with are ‘Devour’ and ‘Dragon Rage’ –the first steals HP from an enemy, while the second reduces your HP for more damage. These two, combined with the Ring and the rest of the Reaver’s passives, all complement each other in ways that other skill trees do not –however, this also means that to be a truly effective Reaver, you will have to spend a lot of skill points in the tree.
The Reaver’s focus ability, ‘Rampage’, is decent at a low tier (a 10% lifesteal, speed, and damage bonus is noticeable, but do not expect it to turn the tide of battle instantly). At third tier, with a 30% bonus, it turns your Reaver into a potential boss killer –just be sure to watch your guard.
Most folks think that the two-handed warrior’s more aggressive play-style is better suited to the Reaver (The Iron Bull is a great example of this), but it also works great for shield users too. Being able to control the damage you take at low health is easier with a shield (which, conversely, allows you to maintain the damage bonus longer). Consider this edge-of-your-HP-risky skill tree if you feel that the Champion’s uber-safe gameplay is too predictable or the Templar’s more traditional approach too tame for your tastes.
Reaver Warrior Build Video
Dragon Age Inquisition Review: from a Warrior’s To Top
The strong emphasis on role-playing in Dragon Age: Inquisition makes it one of the few games that can balance a great narrative with solid combat mechanic. With its amazingly crafted visuals and excellent character models, it is easy to lose hours in the game’s world as you explore it from end to end. The battles are fast-paced and exciting, but you also have the freedom to slow down the pace if you want. You can customize your warrior to an extent that is greater and deeper than any other game before it. And best of all, the Dragon Age series provides you with a rich and dynamic world complete with characters, lore, and more.
Playing as a warrior in this game is very different from clumsy sword swinging of Skyrim or the hastily designed mechanics of Fable. Battles are in real time, but you also have the ability to switch to a tactical camera and turn combat into a command based active-time controlled affair. But even with the standard real-time battles, you have access to features such as target locking and party commands; and with these, you can quickly turn a deadly ambush into a tactical skirmish. Also, you do not fight alone. Having a full party allows for a more in-depth approach to combat strategies as well (not unlike Baldur’s Gate or Neverwinter Nights, though Dragon Age has a better application of cross-class skill synergy with its’ detonator combo system). That is far more than what you can do with the single companion that you can bring along in Skyrim. You can, of course. play the game on your own (in the party select screen, simply deploy without selecting additional units), though expect everything to significantly harder.
Story Progression and Exploration
Unlike other ‘open world’ games, Inquisition’s overall delivery urges and encourages the player to keep moving forward with the story. Taking your time exploring, grinding for better equipment, accomplishing sidequests, and more –are all going to benefit the Inquisition. Basically, even when you are not pursuing the main story, every action you take feels like a step in that direction. This is quite unlike other open world games like Skyrim or even the GTA series –sidequests have no correlation to the main storyline.
Your warrior class choice however, is not given much emphasis in terms of the story. It is more likely that your choice of race gets mentioned (a Dwarf Inquisitor is likely to have their race pointed out more than a human Inquisitor would). And this makes sense in the game as only mages tend to have their class pointed out. Race does matter a little more (particularly with the Elves who are considered to be lower class and the Qunari who are treated as outsiders) but even that is ultimately minor in terms of what you can expect in most NPC interactions.
Speaking of the effect of class choice in the story, one of the things that Skyrim did have that Inquisition does not are class-inspired quests –despite the fact that you cannot have a ‘class’ in Skyrim; there are quests for groups like the thieves guilds, mage academies, the Brotherhood and more. It would have been interesting if there were special quests in Inquisition exclusively designed for each of the three classes instead of just having the Specialization quests.
Why Dragon Age: Inquisition is Easy to Love
Even at first look, Inquisition is undeniably, a beautiful game. There are lush environments filled with a huge variety of plants and unique landscapes. NPC characters populate villages and major locales and you can literally find yourself being part of their culture and way of life. The music is well designed –mostly reliant of ambient sounds that immerses you in the environments and when you enter a major fight, the battle themes gets your blood boiling with excitement.
But more than its’ aesthetic value, we love the way that Inquisition is able to triumph the emphasis on the game’s story in a way that champion’s the players efforts. What you do, no matter how small you may think it is, matters. And the way that the game will surprise you with actual impact of your victories is what made us want to keep playing this game from beginning to end.
The Little Things We Noticed
Of course, Inquisition is not a perfect game, and with its’ huge amount of content, there are plenty of little bugs and glitches (nothing game-breaking fortunately). One of the biggest issues we noticed is that most of the default character animations during cut scenes are designed for the human character models –there are occasions where a Qunari Inquisitor would be too tall for a fixed camera angle, or when a face clips with the collar or sleeve during a close-up of a head turn. Hopefully, they would create a patch for race-specific character animations and camera angles.
And while not a bug, the game has over 5 hours of ‘banter’ between party members (basically idle, but oftentimes funny, chit-chat between your party members), and since triggering them is a little random, it is likely that you will not get to hear all of it during a single playthrough.
Lastly, and one of the most important things we noticed in the game, is the fact that once you get to the Hinterlands, it takes a while before the game reminds you that it is possible to return to Haven –which you will need to do in order to explore other areas of the game. While the Hinterlands is a large and wonderful map to explore, there are plenty more things that can be done during the start of the game.
Like No Other
Playing the Inquisition’s Warrior class shows that having a great level of defense can be as visually impressive as being able to do tons of damage. There is something invigorating about being able to pull all the enemy attention towards you and still remain standing despite the onslaught of attacks. Outside of battle, you delve into a storyline that is both engaging and well written. And all throughout the experience, you are treated with well-crafted visuals, beautiful animations, and an emotionally charged score. Dragon Age: Inquisition is an incredibly long and content-heavy game, and it is worth every single moment that it delivers.