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This post contains spoilers for Dragon Age. Do not read on if you do not want to read them. Specifically, it talks in some detail about the city of dwaves and some party members.

I preordered the game, watched Steam do the countdown, unlocked it and started playing at 5am on Saturday morning. That weekend I clocked up 30 hours game time.

I’m playing Elf Warrior (link requires Bioware Social login), equal ranks archery and sword & shield. I’ve done Redcliffe, Mages Tower, City stuff, and most of the Deep Roads, and am level 13ish.

See most of? That’s where I stopped.

Went though the Deep Roads, found Branka, got locked in the dungeon with Shale, Oghren & Morrigan, got to the Anvil.

At the point where I’ve hit the anvil, I’ve fought a few medium-heavy waves of Darkspawn, some Stone Golems in serial, some stone golems in parallel and a dozen dwarves who don’t know when to sodding die.

Oghren has the survivability rating of a small paper boat in a barbecue, I’d have left him behind but I can’t do it without him in the party, so he’s got a few injuries. I’m running low on potions (I’ve got a “If you’re below 10%, quaff” on the PCs, and Mori’s got standing orders to heal anyone under 25%) and I enter the final fight.

I’ve got packs full of crappy stuff to sell, I can’t go back to find healing stuff because I’m locked in, my potion-creating characters are useless because there’s no resources anywhere, and I’m stuck repeating a fight against half a dozen stone golems and an elite boss that I just cannot win. With tactics, planning, pausing every half second and a dozen tries, I can beat everyone except the elite (While the king golem stands and watches, which is annoying).

Eventually, I bite the bullet and go back to my last save game, which is just before the Broodmother. I take everyone back to camp and reform the party. Bronka says the place is full of traps, and we have an entire dedicated class for solving that kind of problem, so I swap out Shale for Leliana (Which is annoying, because Shale’s plot in this bit is great), download the Respec Raven mod and swap out all the archery, because archery patently sucks in this game, for dual weaponary, and go back. If I can avoid the traps, and therefore the golems, maybe I can do this after all.

So, it would appear that the traps which are so carefully mentioned? Rogue proof. You cannot avoid the damn golems. Which is a shame, because you’d have thought a “Maze of traps” would be a good place to have a rogue. Plus, I’ve lost one of the better fighters to find this out.

So I’m going to have to do it again, I suppose. A new party of Mori (to freeze the golems), Shale (to hit them), Oghren (to complete his plotline and die repeatedly), and my elf who has magically forgotten that he used to be able to shoot a bow.

Maybe this time I’ll get though, but it’s been about two weeks since I first got stuck at this bit, and repeatedly dying is not making me feel the need to double click the “Dragon Age” icon on my desktop, so maybe I won’t.

(This is all done at “Normal” with a drop to “Easy” if I’m being consistently pounded into the earth.)

  1. (Not entirely sure how the whole feed-to-LJ thing works, so I figured it might be an idea to copypaste my comment from there to here. As follows:)

    *scratches head*

    I didn’t actually have much trouble with this bit, although the lockin was a bit annoying, and I was using the same party as you. I did make shale tank-muggins.

    For the final fight, I found the best thing to do was burn the whitename golems down ASAP, then the yellows, then the boss (who I distracted with shale). Managed it without excessive potionchuggery, too. I *did* have morrigan ranked up as a Spirit Healer, though (because group heal is nice, and revive is handy if something goes a bit wrong. Lifeward is good too. 4th skill is OM NOM NOM MANA so not worth using in a fight :/) The combination of Death Tap (or whatever the dead-enemies-to-mana conversion skill is) and the multiple Lyrium Veins lying around meant I managed to avoid drinking much in the way of mana potions, too.

    Agreed on ohgren being a bearded pile of useless, though.

  2. Yeah, I think it’s mostly the injuries that are doing me in at the last fight, it’s just frustrating that I can’t actually do anything about that.

    IRT Livejournal’s comments: LJ does not sync comments back, deletes RSS entries and all associated comments after a few days, and does not notify me when people comment. The only reason it has comments on it at all is because I cannot turn them off.

  3. You do not have injury kits enough to fill a very large room then I take it? My inventory seems to be stupidly full of them…

    It shall be interesting to see how I do when I get there. I have just come to Denerim with my mage after having done the mage tower and Redcliff. My current standard party is Wynne, Leliana, Alistair and myself which so far have had not too much problems getting through things. The only place I’ve had any real trouble was with the Revenant in the Mage tower, also playing on Normal mode.

    OTOH mages tend to be rather powerful in this game so having two might be helping me a bit there.

  4. If you kill Branka the Golems stop attacking you, having Shale on maximum taunt helps as well. I finished this I think because I had Wynne (for healing) and my mage for Cone of Cold and other stuff like Earthquake to keep the Golems busy. Playing with an archer rogue is definately the Hard setting for the game though.

  5. Took me two goes to get past this even though I was level 19 by this point. Not sure exactly how the level scaling works so maybe that isn’t an issue.

    What I found helpful is realising that you can Heal the allied Golems if you target them specifically with the spell (Group heal doesn’t work on them), which keeps them alive long enough to serve as distractions for some of the nasties.

    Just a few side-quests to finish up now and then I’m off to the end game.

  6. lol I’m posting this here to say this came up on the 5th hit for “dragon age icons.” lolwat?

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