Playing as a rogue in a Bioware RPG is the only socially acceptable way to stab someone in the back. A lot.
Now, there are two ways of playing as a rogue in Inquisition. You can definitely play as the stabby stabby type, with twin daggers. Or, you can play as the long range DPS support with your bow and arrow. They’re both fun, extremely mobile, yet different enough that I’d count them as different classes.
I know in the character creation screen, you have the option of choosing one over the other. But fret not. If you find one style not to your liking, you can always go to the merchant at the blacksmith and buy the amulet that resets your skill points. It’s cheap and only takes a minute of your game time.
I suppose that a dual dagger rogue is probably more “fun”, if you like to duck in and out, and using stralth, without having to constantly engage enemies. It is rewarding in this way, but your sustained damage, if you don’t kill off your target quickly isn’t as good as an archer’s. On the other hand, the archer build is probably a bit boring if you like to get your hands dirty.
The rogue specialisations are, far and away, better than the ones available to warriors. I did say that warriors are comparatively boring in Inquisition, and the abilities available to rogues (and mages as well) just magnifies this feeling.
Now, I’ve mucked around a little bit with Varric, just because I’m curious as to how the Artificer plays. And, well, it’s not immediately obvious just how good or bad his chosen career path is. The problem isn’t that the Artificer is a bad spec. It’s just that the other two specs are so overpowered from a pure damage perspective that it puts him to shame.
The Artificer is probably the “support” class of the rogues. You get a party-wide five per cent increase in critical chance for a start, and a status effect duration bonus. Of course, this only really works well if you have a party that does a lot of critical hits and status effects in the first place.
Then there are the mines. I personally love the Elemental Mines/Throw Everything skill, because those mines, coupled with your increased critical chance means big damage. But, they’re just not quite big enough. I’ll explain why later.
However, this specialisation really works well with an archer, mainly because of the Focus Ability of Hail of Arrows. It seems like it would be a very fun class to play through, and indeed I’ve decided to do a playthrough as Daniel Craig Trevelyan (who, sadly doesn’t look much like Daniel Craig. I’ve tried, it just doesn’t work that well…). Mostly, it’s because I imagine that a medieval James Bond would pick up all the mines and gadgets from medieval Q.
This is probably the most overpowered of all the rogue classes. After all, Thousand Cuts at maximum output will take down a significant chunk of any of the dragons’ health bar, without any additional potions. I’m looking at you, Mighty Offense. There are videos of Tempests taking down the biggest, baddest dragon in twenty seconds, solo, with this class. Here’s one example:
The Tempest is all about the three flasks; Ice, Fire and Lightning. Having played with a Tempest as both an archer and a dual dagger build, the main difference is that you wouldn’t spec the ice flask as an archer, since that’s mainly a melee skill.
Flask of Fire, with its upgrade gives you instantaneous skill cooldowns, with no stamina loss. I mean, you can fire off four Full Draws in that time. That’s 3200% weapon damage right there, not including the bonus 800% if the target is undamaged to begin with. I haven’t tried to see how many Spinning Blades (which is awesome, by the way) that is yet either.
If you want insane DPS, this is absolutely the class to go for if you’re a rogue.
The Assassin tree is also quite general in how it can be played. As an archer or a dagger rogue, you’ll have lots of fun with this class. It does require a lot more micromanagement than the Tempest, because it relies on stealth to be the primary damage dealer.
Honestly, this is probably the most fun rogue class, because you can do so much damage while being completely stealthed most of the time. Hidden Blades is honestly the best skill. Go to stealth, throw Hidden Blades, kill enemy and restealth. Everyone aggros your tank and then you go in and take down someone else.
Even better, is that you get passives to armour penetration, and automatic criticals when attacking from stealth. You will be exploiting this a lot, but micromanagement of target selection is key to maintaining that stealth.
For the really big, tough to kill monsters, you have Mark of Death, which essentially doublesthe damage dealt to something, by storing it over time and then dealing that damage to the target once the timer runs out. Really useful for those giants in the Emerald Graves. And dragons.
The focus skill in this tree, Cloak of the Shadows is not something I used. Mainly because you don’t need it. You don’t need your party to be stealthed anyway, but I suppose it could be quite fun with a four rogue party. The possibilities…