Must-Have Mods for Dragon Age Origins
Dragon Age Origins is an amazing game, but it is not meant to be left alone. Bioware has provided a toolset which gives the mod community the ability to change large parts of the game. As a result, some great mods have been made by the community, and they change the way the game is played.
The Age of Mods
Dragon Age Origins is an outstanding game. But when you've beat it, it doesn't have to be over. One of Bioware's goals with Dragon Age Origins was to create a game which could be easily modified using a powerful toolset provided by Bioware. The mod community has become quick to start projects. These projects cover a variety of topics, from changing the rules of combat to changing the way NPCs work. There are many available, and a surprisingly large number of them are good. The three listed here, however, are my the ones I suggest trying first.
Innodils Pocket Plane
The party camp in Dragon Age is pretty useful, but there are many ways it could be better. There is limited inventory space, for one. The lack of variety in the provided store is also limiting, particularly if you're into crafting. And then there is just getting to the camp - at times, it can be hassle.
No more. The Innodils Pocket Plane mod puts an item in the inventory of the main character which instantly teleports him or her to their own magical camp with a huge number of features. There is nearly unlimited storage available, a merchant who has unlimited numbers of every crafting item in the game, and an area where you can change your party while in the plane. There are even some customization options.
Annoyingly, the Innodils Pocket Plane mod is a little unbalanced. There is a Tomb of Secrets which can unlock any specialization, and some versions of the mod give access to unbalanced weapons. If you can restrain yourself from abuse, however, the Pocket Plane is an essential download.
Combat in Dragon Age is extremely engaging and a hell of a lot of fun, but it isn't perfect. So in comes the Dragon Age Combat Tweaks mod, ready to try and set things right and make the combat that much closer to perfection. Like the Advanced Tactics mod, the Combat Tweaks mod is a must-have do to some minor but important changes it makes to Dragon Age.
The changes in Combat Tweaks help make combat more intuitive by clearing up a few gray areas in how combat works. For example, feedback about special melee attacks is strangely absent in the stock game. If you hit an enemy with Shield Bash and it does nothing, you don't know why. Combat Tweaks changes this by showing that the attack was blocked or resisted. Also, the effects of things like runes and poisons don't seem to work with some attacks in the stock game, and Combat Tweaks changes this.
This is really only the tip of the iceberg, however. There are a lot of little changes made, and for the most part they are for the better. Most of the potentially unbalancing content is optional, as well, so Combat Tweaks probably won't make the game feel too easy.
The tactics which are available in Dragon Age: Origins aren't for everyone, but they can be extremely handy for those who don't want to look over absolutely every single detail of combat. However, the tactics don't go far enough for some people. There are certain conditional effects which would be handy but aren't in the standard game, and some AI behaviors which don't make sense.
The Advanced Tactics mod tries to alleviate this by adding new conditions and changing the way pre-existing conditions work. For example, there are new conditions which check to see if debuffs are active on a target and conditions concerning the number of opponents which are dead or alive. A particularly ingenious planner could create some very elaborate battle plans using this system.
The Advanced Tactics mod is not just for condition settings, however. It also modifies the AI in ways everyone can appreciate. One of the most important is the modifications it makes to auto-attack behavior. Character in Dragon Age have an annoying tendency to "forget" their attack orders against enemy targets from time to time, and the Advanced Tactics mod changes that behavior for the better. It is worth downloading for that alone.