Playing rogues(minimal spoilers)

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Julian
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Playing rogues(minimal spoilers)

Postby Julian » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:00 am

So, I've had a good 15 hours of gameplay so far. I've had Leliana in my party since Lothering, but I can't really find out what rogues are good for in combat. I just let her go on AI.

I have a feeling she's not doing much good. The rest of my party is Wynne, Alistair and my 2-handed warrior. I'm fighting the sloth demon right now, so can't even change her if I wanted. Any tips on what she is good for in combat? Not even sure what kind of weapon benefits her the most.

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Postby Crenshinibon » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:16 am

The rogue shines as a DPS (damage per second) character. The AI doesn't do it for you, but as a rogue, you want to always attack from behind (attack the black part of your enemy's circle). This does increased damage. If you have the Coup de Grace talent, any hit you land on a stunned or paralyzed opponent also counts as a backstab. This class is VERY good at taking down opponents quickly. Outside of combat you can use them for scouting, opening locked doors and chests as well as picking pockets.

Leliana's talents have her start out as an archer, though it's not too late to respec her and start putting points into her Rogue and Dual Wielding talent trees. As for stats, should you decide to make her melee, I'd suggest putting all points into cunning and then picking the Assassin specialization.
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Postby Julian » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:34 am

Thanks for the tips. Out of curiosity, how viable is a archer in this game?

I'm not sure if I'll keep Leliana through the game, but my worst nightmare in rpgs is leaving a chest of loot because it's locked.

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Postby Crenshinibon » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:39 am

I really can't comment on that as I'm using the archery for the first time this playthrough. It seems to be viable as people have soloed an archer through nightmare difficulty, or so they claim.

Also, from what I understand, instead of putting a talent point into lockpicking, you can just pump your cunning and work with that. I've heard accounts of picking a talent being worth ten points in cunning after thirty:

1 - 40 Cunning
2 - 50 Cunning
3 - 60 Cunning
4 - 70 Cunning

But if you intend to put so many points into cunning, then you should be a melee rogue, to take advantage of the lethality talent.
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Postby Aqua-chan » Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:47 am

Rogue being my class of choice in all games, I have had good and bad experiences with them in this setting. I've played as a rogue twice - completing once as a melee rogue, another as an archer.

Leliana is built to be an archer up until the point you meet her, although she can redirected if you decide early enough what you want to do. I found that I did not enjoy the archer talents in this game much when I played as one under the Ranger spec, but then again I prefer my ranged DPS members doing magic damage, not physical anyway.

It seemed to me that I never had enough stamina to maintain a solid balance between sustained abilities and activated powers; what's more, sustained abilities often have a drawbacks that, to my playing style, made them mostly a bad tradeoff. Aim was decent enough, but Defensive Fire and Suppressing Fire just never felt worth it. Given Crippling Shot/Pinning Shot/Ranger's animals, there should be no real reason why your archer shouldn't have plenty of distance between himself and the attacker, so I never used Defensive Fire.

The activated talents also felt uncreative to me... Much of the same thing in every regard. Critical Shot was well and good, but Arrow of Slaying (the fourth tier talent of that tree) never got much use in my case since anything with a name higher than a yellow seemed to ignore it, and it screws with your already slow energy regen speed. About the only talent that I was moderately happy with was Shattering Shot as it briefly stuns all enemies in the target area while doing decent damage, but the power pulls aggro like mad. It literally felt like an "Oh crap" ability, like the medi-gel button in Mass Effect.

That's not to say melee rogues are awesome in every regard, but I found that I was much more flexible in my talents. Still, it is a matter of personal opinion - I won't deny that.

I'm not sure how far you have gotten in the game, but Leliana is not the only recruitable rogue. The other is specced utterly opposite to her - being his specialty is in melee rapid damage/disabling abilities. The drawback to him is that he has no inherent lockpicking abilities when you pick him up, however, and he's typically around level 13 when you meet him. That means it can be a long time in before you accumulate enough levels for him to match Leliana's lockpicking talents and can have him opening stuff. Given that you already have two warriors in your team anyway, it would probably be also redundant to bring him along unless all you use Leliana for is DPS.
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Postby Julian » Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:20 am

I am currently fighting the sloth demon in the Fade, though I did Redcliff up to the point where I decided to ask the Circle for help with the "problem" there. So apart from my party I only have Sten and Morrigan available. The main reason I kept Leliana when I met Wynne was for lockpicking.

Without saying to much, will I miss out on a lot without lockpicking in my party?

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Postby GawainBS » Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:29 am

I would say yes. You won't miss critical stuff, but you'll miss out on a lot of loot and XP. Your Rogue is also probably the character that disarms traps, which is a) useful in itself and b) also provides XP.
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Postby Aqua-chan » Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:01 pm

Since Leliana is your only choice right now in terms of lockpickers, so you're best off just doing what you're doing for now. ;)

When I don't play rogues myself I tend to not like Leliana in my party due to my my previously mentioned disappointment in her talents. Typically what I do is take my "war party" through an area - dungeon, combat zone, what have you - and then return to civilization. Sell all the excess gear, then trade out somebody in the team for my lockpicker. A quick second sweep through the cleared out ruins and everything you had missed before is yours, and you'll probably have more room for it. It may seem like a pain to do, but you do earn more money that way since you can haul out more crap to sell.
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Postby Xandax » Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:55 pm

Basically - IMO - if you're not a rogue yourself (main character), I wouldn't bother with rogues overall. The Companion rogues are simply not worth it in my book. Leillana is terrible underpowered and only good for stealing and lockpicking which does not warrant a spot in a group.
So do the "clean up" sweep like Aqua above suggests if you want to get the loot and some of the XP, but well - I wouldn't bother with them in group outside this.

The Rogue is a fantastic player character and combining the Assasin and Duelist, is a very good single target DPS character with utility for traps/locks.
But it's problematic that the NPC rogues are so terrible.
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Postby Solusek » Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:05 pm

Opposed to what most people here are saying, I think that Leliana can be quite a valuable addition to your party as a Ranger/Bard if you have the right setup.

E.g. Main Char(DW/TH warrior) + Alistair(Tank) + Wynne/Morrigan(Heal + CC)
Combined with Leliana's pets, her archery talents and her bard songs as support this makes an excellent party imo. Of course the can be easily substituted by a mage when it comes to pure combat but we are also talking about lockpicking, disarming, etc. here.


So long,
Sol

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Postby GawainBS » Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:17 pm

Solusek wrote:Opposed to what most people here are saying, I think that Leliana can be quite a valuable addition to your party as a Ranger/Bard if you have the right setup.

E.g. Main Char(DW/TH warrior) + Alistair(Tank) + Wynne/Morrigan(Heal + CC)
Combined with Leliana's pets, her archery talents and her bard songs as support this makes an excellent party imo. Of course the can be easily substituted by a mage when it comes to pure combat but we are also talking about lockpicking, disarming, etc. here.


So long,
Sol


I concur. Just spend some time on configuring her tactics, and shoot for the Lethality talent. The Dexterity hotfix makes archers (and rogues in general) more worth it.

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Postby Xandax » Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:46 am

Solusek wrote:Opposed to what most people here are saying, I think that Leliana can be quite a valuable addition to your party as a Ranger/Bard if you have the right setup.

E.g. Main Char(DW/TH warrior) + Alistair(Tank) + Wynne/Morrigan(Heal + CC)
Combined with Leliana's pets, her archery talents and her bard songs as support this makes an excellent party imo. Of course the can be easily substituted by a mage when it comes to pure combat but we are also talking about lockpicking, disarming, etc. here.


So long,
Sol


Outside the rogue elements (locking, stealing and disarming) - she can be easily replaced by any combat character for additional crowd control/off-tanking or dps.
I've not tested the summons much yet, but they look very lacklusting.
If for example you take the Marabi, you get access to a very usefull AE stun, and the overpower tactic.

I'm not saying you can't, shouldn't, use Leilana, but outside the pure rogue abilities, her position is as easily used for another party member.

The time used to put her tactics right and the levels used to guide her into something useful (if needing to wait to give her Ranger levels etc) is similar time spend on the other NPCs who become useful much much faster.

The only reason I see to take Leilana along is for story/roleplaying elements, which worth it on their own. But outside this - I leave her at camp almost each and every time.


GawainBS wrote:<snip>The Dexterity hotfix makes archers (and rogues in general) more worth it.


Oh - rogues are very much worth it. My human rogue is cutting through NPCs like warm butter as long as somebody tanks for him. He can't outdo a mage, but he doesn't put his party on fire either :D
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Postby Aqua-chan » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:20 am

Indeed, combat effectiveness should not be the only factor in deciding who gets brought in your team. If that were the case I'd probably play each game with the same party each time, and that kills replayability real quick. :D I only mean is the party rogues are not much missed in my initial combat runs because most rogue-exclusive talents do not add much to the fighting tactics according to how I play. I'd rather have a pair of mages in a major boss battle and survive than get my butt kicked repeatedly because I wanted to have my thief on hand for the treasure chests.

I will say that Stealth, particularly when maxed out, is awesome though. The second of the two NPC rogues is great in that regard because he comes with Combat Stealth standard, but without any lockpicking or trap detecting talents you have to wonder why you would bring him along as opposed to a tank or mage. His build lacks one of the things that make his class crucial. :P

That said, I adapt. The second rogue is my favorite NPC in terms of character, so he gets brought along. If one wants to play through this game with the so-called "weakest" party members at their side, it'll happen. It'll be difficult, but I doubt that there is any combination of team mates that can't get through any situation. If you like Leliana and she's holding her own on your team, bring her.
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Postby GawainBS » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:42 am

I'm always so pissed off when I encounter a chest that I can't open (in every game) because my Rogue lacks the skills. It feels like part of the game is denied to me. :D

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Postby Solusek » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:39 am

Xandax wrote:Outside the rogue elements (locking, stealing and disarming) - she can be easily replaced by any combat character for additional crowd control/off-tanking or dps.
I've not tested the summons much yet, but they look very lacklusting.
If for example you take the Marabi, you get access to a very usefull AE stun, and the overpower tactic.

I'm not saying you can't, shouldn't, use Leilana, but outside the pure rogue abilities, her position is as easily used for another party member.
...


Please don't even get me started on how useless the dog is once you get some decent equipment for your humanoid companions....

As I said Leliana can indeed be replaced by another companion when it comes to combat performance alone, but certainly not easily. You really underestimate the summoned pets and her bard support. A good archer can be invaluable at times too.


So long,
Sol

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Postby Aqua-chan » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:50 am

Dread Howl is probably among the best abilities the squad members get. It's dwarfed by by Shattering Shot, but unlike with your archer, you can actually afford to pull aggro to the dog.

I played an archer Ranger without taking a second spec. Bard, maybe. But ranger? Never again. In one instance where I had to drop my team and go in solo, my most powerful critter fell quickly to only a handful of mercs. Thus I was left high and dry, quite literally. What's more, the animals, even at their strongest, were not very powerful. I felt literally as though I was calling animals to my side for the sole purpose of buying my real tanks time to do the serious damage. Ranger is a role play class, but certainly not for the hardcore combat tactician.

Any archer that splits between Ranger and Bard is going to be struggling with stamina as it stands. Between your firing modes and sustained summons, it's a wonder there's any stamina left for activated powers at all.
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Postby Crenshinibon » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:05 am

The only use for stealth I've found is sneaking up behind enemy casters or losing aggro. While it's probably necessary when soloing, I think then when playing the game with a party, it can be completely avoided, saving you four skill points.

You can "bruteforce" most chests by just having a lot of points in Cunning, thus not really requiring you to put talent points into the Device Mastery line.

The Ranger pets are pretty strong, on par with the actual classes in terms of damage and health, however, a bard/duelist may be a better combination for the better attack, which is the biggest problem for a cunning based archer.
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Postby Scottg » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:14 am

Stealth has some additional uses beyond combat maneuver/backstab.

1. It enhances Pick Pocketing if you pick-pocket from stealth. Particularly with no *complete* failure. In and of itself that might not seem like much, but consider that pick-pocketing requires a SKILL, that you probably want to spend on something else for the character.. like the Trap Setting line ..and speaking of:

2. Trap Setting and Trap Disarming. IF you select your Trap-Disarming Rogue and move about that way, you spot traps more often AND once you do you can enter Stealth and often disarm the more potent traps without getting hammered by a mob. You can also move about and disarm traps DURING COMBAT without getting hit. Like-wise you can do the same for setting traps.

3. A Rogue in Stealth mode selected as the "lead" character can come up to and *see* an upcoming battle without the opponents spotting you, allowing time for strategy, trap setting, spell casting, first strike, etc.

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Postby cornoratu » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:25 am

Aqua-chan wrote:Any archer that splits between Ranger and Bard is going to be struggling with stamina as it stands. Between your firing modes and sustained summons, it's a wonder there's any stamina left for activated powers at all.


I haven`t had the chance to try my ranger in solo, but i can say a few things about the stamina management:

First of all, get a bow with rapid aim, that way, you can ignore rapid shot and only use suppressing fire and the pet as sustained abilities for a 'measly' 110 stamina

I have no idea how much stamina or willpower i had, but apparently i always had enough stamina to make a full rotation of all my abilities(except arrow of slaying, since i wasn`t using it much because i didn`t like the cost+penalty it gave, + it took too long to actually shoot it, and by the time i was done shooting it, sten or the dwarf would already finish the guy i was gunning for)

On a side note, i used arrow of slaying for the achievement, and i was pretty much dealing 300+ damage almost all the time (and my arrows would hit their targets too, however on the alpha darkspawns i was barely hitting 200, no idea why, because with normal attacks my damage wasn`t reduced THAT much). Keep in mind that while 500 damage may not be much, i was doing that damage on rapid shot mode, which reduces your damage in favor of speed, if i would have used the aim mode, i`m pretty sure i would`ve hit a lot higher(i didn`t have a rapid aim bow at that time).

About the pets, i`m pretty satisfied with the spider, i have all 4 talents from the ranger specialization, and the spider`s web is quite powerful (it lasts quite a lot), its damage is decent, and i usually have a tank to take the damage, so i don`t know how tough it is, although from what i`ve noticed out of the few times it was getting hit, the guys who were bashing on the spider were barely scratching him, so i`m guessing he`d be a viable tank vs packs of normal monsters (monsters with white names and even some with yellow).

Then again, i`m playing the game on normal difficulty, so maybe that`s why i`m getting different results here...

And about the second specialization, i just took bard for the willpower bonus, as the archer can always use more stamina(note that i didn`t take any bard talents because i knew i couldn`t support them. Anyways, i have 25 base willpower +4 from gear and spec, so 29 in total and as i said earlier, i`m not having stamina problems at all (maybe it`s because of the set bonus which reduces the stamina cost of abilities)

I think i missed something in this post, but i`ll edit it if i remember what else i wanted to say =))

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Postby Scottg » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:35 pm

A Ranger ARCHER in a solo context is nearly useless. In fact a solo Rogue should focus on utilizing stealth to it's fullest - making special attacks from far away (Archer) and then hiding.

In a party context however it's exceedingly useful. Most specialized attacks aren't necessary, and a well designed Archer should have enough stamina for a few Scattering Shots in addition to the Ranger summon.

With Ranger Mastery the Bear has Rage and Slam with good damage and high hit-points - EXCELLENT for the toughest "boss" fights.

Other basic fights are well served via the Wolf - which has the best attack numbers and attacks per second (..but it won't last anywhere near as long as the Bear).

I personally find that the Spider is the *least* useful of the grouping, though yes: it's web is good.