How to play an Arcane Warrior?

This forum is to be used for all discussions pertaining to BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, and all addons.
User avatar
GawainBS
Posts: 4452
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:43 am
Location: Glabbeek, Belgium.
Contact:
How to play an Arcane Warrior?

Postby GawainBS » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:14 pm

You equip them with armour and a weapon and put some sustained spells like Stone Skin, Arcane Shields, and the Arcane Warrior buffs. Anything else? A specific type of weapon that works best? Sword & shield? Twohander?
Cone AoE spells seem like a good choice too.

And another question, but spoilerish:
[SPOILER]
I found a Spell Sword in the cave leading to the Urn of Andraste's Ashes. Is it part of random loot, or is it fixed? I couldn't use it, since I was a Warrior.[/SPOILER]

Thanks in advance!

User avatar
BuckGB
Posts: 1576
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2000 10:00 pm
Contact:

Postby BuckGB » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:33 pm

Yes, the Spellweaver is a static drop from the Cultist Overseer in the caverns before the temple. You'll have a much better idea of what your best equipment options are once I get the finalized version of my equipment database up. It's going to be good, trust me :) .

User avatar
Crenshinibon
Posts: 2665
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:35 pm
Contact:

Postby Crenshinibon » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:46 pm

I'm playing an Arcane Warrior as well. That's essentially what I'm doing. I intend to use my mana for sustained spells and my health (Blood Mage) for the activated spells.

With Combat Magic, Spell Shield and Rock Armor, I'm tankier than Alister (85 defense with Heroic Defense at level ten) and I do more damage as well. The enemies barely hurt me.
[font="Times New Roman"]“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.”[/font]

User avatar
Ragin Cajun
Posts: 476
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2002 3:09 pm
Contact:

Postby Ragin Cajun » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:12 pm

hmm, I may need to go that route at level 14.. I took blood mage at level 7.

User avatar
GawainBS
Posts: 4452
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:43 am
Location: Glabbeek, Belgium.
Contact:

Postby GawainBS » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:05 pm

I think I'll get Shapeshifter as my other spec, since Bloodmage is a big RP no-no for me.
Thanks for the answers, though. I suppose you can always switch between onehander & shield and a twohander, since you aren't bound by talents?

BTW, Buck, any plans on incorporating the info on the mechanics-link I posted earlier here on Gamebanshee?

User avatar
Crenshinibon
Posts: 2665
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:35 pm
Contact:

Postby Crenshinibon » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:27 pm

The good thing about shapeshifter is that they have a much faster talent progression than the Arcane Warrior or Blood Mage, though they synergyse the least due to the inability to cast or sustain spells while shapeshifted. On the other side, as the Arcane Warrior, by pumping your magic/spellpower, you could be pretty powerful while being independent of items.
[font="Times New Roman"]“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.”[/font]

User avatar
GawainBS
Posts: 4452
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:43 am
Location: Glabbeek, Belgium.
Contact:

Postby GawainBS » Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:16 pm

Crenshinibon wrote:The good thing about shapeshifter is that they have a much faster talent progression than the Arcane Warrior or Blood Mage, though they synergyse the least due to the inability to cast or sustain spells while shapeshifted. On the other side, as the Arcane Warrior, by pumping your magic/spellpower, you could be pretty powerful while being independent of items.


I'm aware of that, but the stat bonuses seem to be worth it, of all the specializations. Remember, Blood Mage isn't an option.

Just to be sure, once you unlock a specialization, it remains unlocked for all playthroughs, doesn't it? Or have I misread that?

User avatar
Crenshinibon
Posts: 2665
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:35 pm
Contact:

Postby Crenshinibon » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:09 pm

As far as I heard, that seems to be the case. You only have to unlock the specialization once.

So you plan to make an Arcane Warrior/Shapeshifter?

I honestly don't know whether the armor matters or not when you're in an alternate form. It would be an interesting build though, since you can alternate between a heavy caster, a semi caster/tank and a dedicated tank, though I think it may be overkill since again, barely anyone has been able to get my main character to half health.

The Spirit Healer would pretty much make you a druid, which isn't bad either. Actually, I'm curious as to what would happen if you put ALL your points (sixty at level twenty, more with tomes) into Magic so you could get a very high spellpower, which is the determining stat of your forms' strength.

I've found that so far, without putting any points into Willpower, at level ten, I have over two hundred mana, which is enough for any normal battle and most boss battles.
[font="Times New Roman"]“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.”[/font]

User avatar
GawainBS
Posts: 4452
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:43 am
Location: Glabbeek, Belgium.
Contact:

Postby GawainBS » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:43 am

Spirit Healer is another option, yes. The +1 armour & +2 CON seem to outweigh the +2 MAG & combat health regen. However, Spirit Healer definitly has more useful skills. On the other hand, I'll probably take Wynne again with me, and two heales seem overkill + I don't want to be a healer. (Done enough of that in WoW ;-)).
Virtually all points in MAG seems the way to go, allthough I think you can't neglect DEX either, to crank up your to hit. Come to think of it, how needed is STR for damage? Will Flame Weapons be enough to offset it?

EDIT: I read Combat Magic closer: It seems like Spellpower, and thus MAG, determines damage & attack.

User avatar
Sirfin
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2002 11:18 am
Contact:

Postby Sirfin » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:17 am

Aw

Hi Folks,

Not popped in here in awhile. :) Nice to see some familiar names. How are you guys allocating stats for AW? What spell lines are you investing in?

So far tried: Spellpower / Magic / Con pretty evenly.

Primal - Cold & Stone
Entropy - Through Miasma

Also line of spells with FF & Stone Prison. Seems to be working. :) I'll probably go blood for 2nd line..... It's not quite BG II But it's still hella fun.

User avatar
GawainBS
Posts: 4452
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:43 am
Location: Glabbeek, Belgium.
Contact:

Postby GawainBS » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:36 am

I dumped almost everything in MAG, 4 or 5 points in CON, and some WIL. MAG (and Spellpower) are the key stats, nothing else.

User avatar
Crenshinibon
Posts: 2665
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:35 pm
Contact:

Postby Crenshinibon » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:32 pm

In my opinion, the best route to go is to dump EVERYTHING into Magic. Willpower is a useless stat for mages since Lyrium potions are dirt cheap (some three to five gold for ninety nine Lesser Lyrium Potions).

Spells to get:

Mage - Arcane Shield
Arcane Warrior - Combat Magic, Aura of Might, Shimmering Shield, Fade Shroud
Blood Mage - Blood Magic, Blood Sacrifice, Blood Wound
Creation - Heal, Glyph of Paralysis, Glyph of Warding
Entropy - Weakness, Paralyze, Miasma, (Mass Paralyze)
Primal - Rock Armor, (An offensive tree of your choice, I like the fire one as towards the end of the game, Flaming Weapons adds about fifteen damage. Cone of Cold is also a great crowd control spell, so you may want to consider it.)
Spirit - Mind Blast, Force Field, Telekinetic Weapons, Crushing Prison, (Walking Bomb, Death Siphon, Virulent Walking Bomb, Animate Dead - The bomb spells seem to be good AOE spells and Death Siphon could possibly help recover as much health as a Lesser Health Poultice, which is enough, given the fact that you are near invulnerable. The main point of this is to get the Animate Dead spell, which would tank for you while you fling spells, of course then, you should also get Spell Might, which is three talent points, so it's something to consider. I would only use this if I were to solo though. Maybe. I don't have a lot of experience with this tree, so it's all theory.)

Generally you have two ways of playing: walk around with all your sustained skills on and act as a tank or play as a normal mage. The beauty of Arcane Warrior is in the sustained spells: you can activate them when you have no mana. So, you can walk onto the battle field, fire off some spells, drain your mana supply, activate all of your sustained spells and auto-attack everything to death. The noly reason for more Willpower is to sustain more spells.

The Arcane Warrior is the best tank you can have. Even the High Dragon barely did any damage to me, so I was able to solo him.

Anyway, for equipment, this is what I used towards the end of the game:

Head: First Enchanter's Cowl
Weapon: Spellweaver OR Blood-Gorged Amulet
Belt: Anduril's Coil
Neck: Spellward
Off-Hand: The Rose's Thorn OR Fade Wall
Boots: Imperial Weavers
Body: Reaper's Vestments
Gloves: Wade's Superior Dragonbone Plate Gloves

This is the best setup for a nice balance between tanking and casting, with a nice 40% dodge bonus.
[font="Times New Roman"]“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.”[/font]

User avatar
GawainBS
Posts: 4452
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:43 am
Location: Glabbeek, Belgium.
Contact:

Postby GawainBS » Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:51 pm

Actually, you can't activate a sustained spell if you don't have enough mana, ot at least I can't. (Really can't, tested it.) So Willpower isn't useless at all, certainly not at the start.

User avatar
Crenshinibon
Posts: 2665
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:35 pm
Contact:

Postby Crenshinibon » Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:01 pm

I haven't put ANY points into Willpower and finished the game without any problem, constantly sustaining the following spells: Rock Armor, Arcane Shield, Combat Magic, Shimmering Shield, Flaming Weapons and Miasma.

A sustained spell has an "Upkeep Cost" which isn't paid in mana, but rather in "mana space". So it doesn't matter whether or not you used that space on the spell or not. It's just less wasteful to empty your mana bar first and then start sustaining.

I just tested it and I was able to turn on all of my sustained spells after using up ALL of my mana. I had around 275 mana without spending any points in willpower.
[font="Times New Roman"]“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.”[/font]

User avatar
GawainBS
Posts: 4452
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:43 am
Location: Glabbeek, Belgium.
Contact:

Postby GawainBS » Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:11 pm

I couldn't turn on a sustained spell if that would drain my manapool to the negative; i.e. to caste a 60 mana Haste, I had to have at least 60 mana.
Which patch are you using?

User avatar
Crenshinibon
Posts: 2665
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:35 pm
Contact:

Postby Crenshinibon » Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:40 pm

I'm not using any patch.

Turning on sustained spells doesn't drain mana but instead "reserves" it for that spell alone. Haste however drains mana per second and once your mana hits zero, the spell ends. Shimmering Shield also drains mana, but unlike Haste, it doesn't turn itself off.

Do you get an "Insufficient Mana" message? Because to cast Haste you don't need to have sixty mana. You just need to have sixty available mana space.

So, it doesn't matter whether or not that "mana space" is filled. Just as long as it's there.
[font="Times New Roman"]“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.”[/font]

User avatar
GawainBS
Posts: 4452
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:43 am
Location: Glabbeek, Belgium.
Contact:

Postby GawainBS » Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:39 am

Yes, it was there. Each and every test I did came up the same: I need to have the required amount of mana available to turn the spell on.
I played Titan Quest, so I'm well aware of how reserved mana works. :)

User avatar
Crenshinibon
Posts: 2665
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:35 pm
Contact:

Postby Crenshinibon » Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:44 am

It's strange that we have different results, though the patch may have something to do with it. I looked around the social site and people seem to have experience that is similar to my own.

Hopefully some other members will post and clear this up.
[font="Times New Roman"]“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.”[/font]

User avatar
Scottg
Posts: 1721
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:35 pm
Contact:

Postby Scottg » Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:52 am

GawainBS wrote:I couldn't turn on a sustained spell if that would drain my manapool to the negative; i.e. to caste a 60 mana Haste, I had to have at least 60 mana.


I can't either - it actually blackens out the spell on the quickbar. (pc version.)

User avatar
Nightmare
Posts: 3141
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Postby Nightmare » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:43 pm

I'm pretty sure I can caste things like Haste and Cleansing Aura without having 60 mana, but they shut off pretty fast since they both stop when you reach 0 mana.
If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.