by: M.S. Smith
; edited by: Bill Fulks
; updated: 4/18/2012
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The warrior is Dragon Age's primary melee class, and it can be specialized into many roles. Both sword-and-board champions and barbarians wielding massive two-handed swords start life as a humble warrior. This warrior class guide will get you started.
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A Hard Knock Life
Dragon Age's classes are set up around the same basic three-class system which most RPGs have been using for years. Rogues are there for utility powers and high damage, mages are there for ranged damaged-doing and crowd control, and warriors are there to take huge amounts of damage while giving back as good as they give.
Warriors are particularly important in Dragon Age due to the game's reliance on tactical combat. Letting your party be surrounded is a bad idea, and having good warriors capable of keeping an opponent at bay is critical. This guide is focused on the creation of a warrior as the player character, but the advice here is also applicable to the NPC warriors you can recruit in the game.
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All new characters have 5 points to spend in attributes at character creation time and then they gain three points for attributes for every level gained. Where you want to place those points depends on what kind of warrior you're trying to create.
Strength and Willpower are the most important stats for warriors who are looking to be a wrecking ball on the battlefield. The main reason to boost strength is to boost weapon damage with melee weapons, but strength also makes it more likely an opponent will fail a physical resistance check against one of your attacks. Willpower should not be overly boosted, but it can be important because it increases the warrior's stamina pool.
Defensive warriors will want to be most concerned with Dexterity and Constitution. Dexterity is known to have some effect on chance to hit and physical resistance checks, but the main bonus for a warrior is the increase in the warrior's defense rating. Constitution increases the hitpoints of the warrior by 5 for every point of constitution added.
Note that some degree of balance is likely to be desired. For example, a two-handed warrior shouldn't completely forget about constitution and place all points into strength.
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Warriors, like all classes, can specialize into sub-classes later in the game. Note that NPC warriors usually come with their subclasses already picked.
The berserker subclass is focused entirely on damage. Entering this subclass gives a bonus of two strength and ten resilience and access to four subclass specific talents. Two of these talents increase damage at cost of stamina, and the other two help reduce the stamina penalties incurred by the first two talents.
Templars are mage-killers. They gain a +2 to magic and +3 to magic resistance upon entering the subclass. The Templar's four talents are focused towards draining mana from opponents and beefing up the party's defenses against magical attacks.
Champions are warriors who rise to be leaders in combat. They gain a subclass bonus of +2 to willpower and +1 to cunning. All of the Champion's four subclass talents are area of effect buffs or debuffs.
Reavers are warriors with a mean streak. They gain a subclass bonus of +1 to constitution and +5 to physical resistance. Two of the Reaver's subclass talents allow the Reaver to do increased damage in trade for a penalty to health. Reavers also can heal themselves using corpses of fallen opponents and force enemies to cower in fear.
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The warrior talents are divided into four main sections. The first section is the general warrior tree which works no matter what the warrior is armed with. These talents are not as exciting as some of the weapon-specific talents, but they are still very useful and some, like Threaten (which taunts enemies) are basically required.
The first weapon specific talent section is the Dual Weapon category. The talents in the Dual Weapon category are focused on allowing a character to use two weapons more accurately and on special attacks which allow the warrior to attack with numerous strike in a small period of time. Dual Weapon warriors can be very deadly, but don't have a lot of control over the battle due to a low number of crowd control talents and no real defense talents.
Sword and Shield, the second tree, focuses on the traditional sword-and-board warrior. It has one offensive line and two defensive lines. The most useful trait of the Sword and Shield talents is that a warrior who specs heavily into these talents will be able to take talents that make him or her entirely immune to flanking attacks and extremely resistant to incoming arrows.
The Two Handed section focusing mainly on doing a large amount of damage in one big hit and also focuses on debuffing enemy armor and knocking enemies prone. Like Dual Weapon warriors, Two Handed warriors don't have much when it comes to defensive bonuses. However, they do have a very effective low-level knock down, Pommel Strike, and Stunning Blows. This makes them somewhat more tactical when compared to the sheer offensive fury of a Dual Weapon warrior.