I’ve got to try out all the specialisations! I have plenty of time, since they keep delaying Witcher: Wild Hunt…
So now that I’ve managed to finish Inquisition’s main storyline and killed some dragons, apart from waiting for DLC, there’s not much to do with my first character. Here’s a journey into finding out what each specialisation can do. I’ve managed to make a few characters and here is my impression of the warrior specialisations they’ve stumbled on to so far…
Warrior – Reaver (Iron Bull)
Look, I love the thought of swinging around a big axe or a big sword in the midst of a bunch of enemies. But sadly, the two-handed warriors of Dragon Age: Inquisition are squishy. Like an over ripe grape. Conversely, the shield tanks are nigh on unkillable. If you ever take Iron Bull out with you, you’ll know just how quickly he dies if he uses a two-hander compared to a shield and one-handed weapon.
Unfortunately, the Reaver, which is ultimately a DPS warrior, is difficult to play precisely because he’s squishy. But once you get to about level sixteen, it’s probably safe to actually change over from shield and one-handed to two-handed weapons. But that’s a long time to wait.
Oh, and you’re going to need armour that gives you guard on hit, because you will need that extra level of protection, all the time. This is a pretty big change from Dragon Age 2, where the two-handed Hawkes were still legitimate tanks because their attack speed wasn’t so damn slow. Plus, Hawke would automatically stagger enemies with his huge weapons.
Anyway, changes are changes, and each game is different. My Reaver warrior is currently using the build outlined in this guide, because no other build allowed enough survivability…
Warrior – Champion (Blackwall)
Champions are the classic RPG tank characters of Dragon Age Inquisition. They are also nearly invincible, as Blackwall repeatedly demonstrates when we go and fight dragons. About the only time I’ve ever played as a Champion is when everyone in the part has wiped, and Blackwall is the only guy left standing. I will also kill the dragon, just with Blackwall’s To The Death skill, and lots of guard building.
The sad thing about playing as a Champion is that you don’t really do much damage, and as a result, I find that really boring. On the other hand, there’s a nugget of wisdom from motor racing that says: “in order to finish first, first you must finish”. Blackwall may well be the lowest DPS character in the whole game, but he will always be standing tall at the end of a long battle.
If you don’t have a problem with playing the tank and getting pounded on, then this is absolutely the class for you. Just make sure the rest of your party consists of a bunch of high DPS mages and rogues.
Warrior – Templar (Cassandra)
The Templars are sort of the middle ground between the suicide-DPS of the Reaver, and the punching-bag Champions. They also have lots of area of effect support skills, and even a version of Dispel, which is really helpful in fights against mages and demons. And there are heaps of those!
Similar to the Reaver, Cassandra can also use a two-handed weapon after about level sixteen, and still remain as a viable tank. Things start to die very quickly when Cassandra and Iron Bull show up, even without a rogue or mage dealing long distance damage.
I haven’t seen any standout Templar builds, but I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to spend the skill points in this class. It fills quite a powerful front line support role, which goes a long way to increasing overall party damage and effectiveness.
Warriors in general
The biggest weakness of the warrior classes comes down to closing the distance and their ironic squishiness. Really, you have two options, and both are good. The first is using Charging Bull and its upgrade, which gives you guard on hit each time you knock down an enemy. The other is Grappling Chain and its upgrade, which is probably better for weaker enemies like archers.
Because you’re likely going to get smashed on a lot, guard, which is the second layer of health warriors can build up, is crucial. War Cry, Unbowed and Challenge are probably key to your ability to stay up and swinging.