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Rogues in Dragon Age Origins
When I loaded Dragon Age Origins for the first time on my PC, it didn’t take long for me to choose the Rogue class for my character to play in the game. The warrior class has its benefits and is great for newbie players, and I’ve never been too partial to playing mages, so the rogue was right for me. Now that I have been playing a while, here’s some help on how to get the most out of your rogue during combat.
One of the most common mistakes gamers make when playing a rogue is that they want to play them like a warrior. It’s kind of hard to resist all that heavy metal armor and large swords, but those just weren’t made for a rogue type character. A rogue is supposed to be quick on their feet and able to do things like pick open locks and trip up their opponents. Where a warrior is all strength and power, the rogue is more about dexterity and speed. If properly played, most rogues should be able to take down a warrior of equal level in a one on one match.
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Stealth works really well in this game, perhaps even better than in Dungeons & Dragons. It could be because of my rogue’s high dexterity or other attributes, but I have yet to be detected when in stealth mode. Not only is stealth great to use for invisibly scouting ahead to see what you’re about to fight, but it’s perfect for sneaking in and pulling off a backstab before combat starts. If you’re playing a rogue and not regularly using stealth, then you are not playing a rogue correctly.
In combat, I always use stealth to sneak into a room and backstab the most threatening spellcaster. The way many of the fights are set up, your party will have to deal with a bunch of warrior types while spellcasters and/or archers hang back and cause damage from afar. This can be devastating to your group when they are toe to toe with bad guys and still getting nailed with spells and arrows. Since spellcasters have the potential to cause the most damage, I like to use stealth to get right up behind them and then backstab for max damage. This will initiate combat, and then I quickly finish off the mage or cleric with Dirty Fighting.
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The greatest benefit that a rogue brings to a party is his ability to backstab the enemy. This vicious attack is performed whenever a rogue flanks the enemy, and can actually cause more damage than a critical hit. Never mind my heavily armored warrior with the huge magically-charged sword, because my little elf rogue with his two daggers can typically do more damage than the warrior. A rogue can still do decent damage when face to face with the enemy, but you should take advantage of every backstab opportunity that comes up, especially when fighting in a group. It also helps to involve your poison making ability for even more damage.
During combat, enemy targets will be outlined in a red circle with an inner colored red portion and a black portion. The black portion indicates the angle from which you can flank them, and its size depends on your rogue’s level and ability. You must strike from the angle of the black portion in order to get the backstab bonus.
Backstabbing is fairly easy to do during combat. If you are in stealth mode, then you just get up behind the enemy character and stick them with your dagger. Otherwise, you will have to move your rogue in position behind the enemy in order to flank them. When fighting one on one, this is quite difficult to do unless you stun them first. The best time to get a backstab is when the enemy is already engaged with someone else. That’s why it is good to have a strong warrior in the party with a rogue, because the warrior can distract the enemy while the rogue slips around behind them for massive backstab damage. Now that’s what I call teamwork.
Once you have mastered the rogue, you should look into buying the Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening expansion pack to add many more hours of gameplay and further hone your rogue's skills.