How to Play Dragon Age: Origins Awakening Solo as a Rogue
by: Sheila Robinson
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/18/2012
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Have you ever thought of playing DAO solo? Some fans have found this game expansion a bit easy and may be looking for a challenge. In this walkthrough, find the strategy, tips and guidelines you will need to beat the game as a solo rogue.
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Why Play Solo?
For some DAO fans, the Dragon Age Origins Awakening expansion is less of a challenge than the original game. It gives gamers a big advantage since it allows characters to be imported with all the skills, specialties, equipment and inventory. Unlike the original game, where the best option was to play solo as an Arcane Warrior, this new expansion makes the Rogue character the best choice with the new improved abilities and specializations.
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General Points to Remember
When you follow this Dragon Age Origins Awakening PS3 walkthrough, don’t use any imported characters from the original DAO game. If you do, it will give you too much of an advantage. You should also set the level of difficulty to “Nightmare".
No NPC characters can help you during your solo game play. This means not using them to create potions, poisons, traps, unlock chests, rune making etc. When a character is added (and you have no option to remove them), you will need to shut off all of their tactics. To do so, press the Select button, then R2 twice to access the tactics menu. Press the R1 button to select the appropriate character and the triangle button to open the tactics. Once in the tactics screen, press the triangle button again to disable all tactics for that character (do not just turn off each tactic because this will not completely disable the character). Then press the O button to close the menu.
Always use a sword and dagger for your dual weapons.
Focus on side quests until you reach level 22. You will then re-spec your character at this point to prepare yourself for the main quests and final boss battle.
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Creating your Solo Character
To start, create your rogue as a human character. Use the following statistics as a general guideline:
Select the Duelist and Ranger Specialty
Distribute the62 points given as listed:
Dexterity - 39 points
Strength - 39 points
Cunning – 22 points
Constitution- 13 points
Note: A high strength is needed since you will want to wear heavier armor and have more damaging attacks. 22 points is also needed in cunning to gain access to access to the 4th tier stealth ability.
Distribute the 11 points given as listed:
4 points into Coercion (Master Coercion)
1 point into Trap Making
1 point into Herbalism
Add 2 points to Poison (you start off with a single point in this category)
Add 3 points to Combat Training (you start off with a single point in this category)
Note: Although later in the game points can be placed into Runemaking, Vitality and Clarity, it is not possible since these categories are not available until level 20.
Distribute the 21 points given as listed:
Row 1 – Dirty Fighting
Row 2 - Below the Belt, Deadly Strike, Lethality and Evasion
Add 4 points to become Master Ranger. Casting animals will be a good diversion for enemies and can do extra damage.
Add 3 points into this category. These are the Dueling, Upset Balance and Keen Defense talents useful for extra attack and defense.
Duel Weapon Talents
Row 1 – Dual-Weapon Training, Dual-Weapon Finesse
Row 3- Dual Weapon Sweep, Flurry, Momentum
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General Combat Tactics
During combat, use your Ranger specialization ability and cast an animal as a diversion to enemies. Try to flank what the animal is fighting for the best advantage. When the animal dies, immediately go into stealth. Cast another as soon as you can. Use bombs, poisons and traps as needed in combat. The Deathroot poison extract is especially effective when used with the Coupe de Grac rogue ability, since it stuns enemies.
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Costs to Avoid Paying
Don’t pay Voldrik the dwarf 80 sovereigns to rebuild the Keep’s walls (Cost of Doing Business side quest) or pay the Dark Wolf 50 sovereigns to locate your conspirators (A Brewing Conspiracy).
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Important Items to Purchase and Find
Your solo rogue character cannot survive on skill alone. Here are key items you should buy and find in the game:
Voice of the Velvet – This is an great dagger that has + 1 health regeneration, +3 damage, 5% melee critical damage, 25% chance to dodge attacks, 100% critical/backstab damage and +5 to cold damage and 3 rune slots. Buy from the Dwarven Bartender at the Crown and Lion Bar for 175 sovereigns
Sentinel Armor – From Blackmarsh area. Obtain main piece after you kill the “First". However, before you kill him, make sure all tears in the veil have been repaired. The remaining Sentinel armor pieces can be found in chests in areas where the tears in the veil once blocked your path.
Ring of Severity – You can find it in a locked chest in the Blackmarsh dock area. Access this ring after completion of the Shadow of the Blackmarsh quest.
Tingler Ring – Found in Vigil’s Keep Basement, behind a secret door that is next to the Statue of Andraste.
Nature’s Blessing Amulet- You will find this item in a sarcophagus in the Trade District of Kal’ Hirol. It has +6 Combat Health/Mana Regeneration and +1.5 to Combat Stamina Regeneration, Note: Must complete the sarcophagus puzzle in order to retrieve it.
Wade’s Vigilance Sword – Obtained when you complete the Worked to the Bone side quest for Wade. This is triggered off in the Blackmarsh area when you complete the Lost Dragon Bone quest and defeat the Spectral Dragon (Queen of the Blackmarsh). You will find the Eldest Dragon Bone close by.
Runes, Salves, Poisons and Bombs
Create high level runes for your weapons– Fire, Paralyze and Physical Resistance. Fire rune is also a crucial ingredient for obtaining Wade’s Vigilance sword.
Create runes for your armor as well - +10 constitution (stout rune) and immunity rune +25
Purchase Incense of Awareness and Rock Salves from merchants.
Purchase 2 or 3 Greater Nature Salves for use in the final boss battle with the Mother.
Buy poison/bomb recipes as needed. Otherwise purchase from merchant.
Before you reach the final boss battle with the Mother, make sure you have a decent bow.
Dworkin’s Explosives – Obtained after completion of the “Bombs Away" side quest. Dwokin will make the bombs when you give him enough Lyrium Sand. Save these for the final boss encounter with the Mother.
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Using Manual of Focus to Respec Character at Level 22
At level 22, it is important to do a minor shift of skills and specializations to prepare yourself for the main quests and final boss battle with the Mother. Buy the Manual of Focus from Herren in Vigil’s Keep and adjust the following items:
You will want to move some of the skill points around so that you have 2 points in Runemaking and 1 or 2 points in Vitality and Clarity. It is also suggested that you take 2 points away from Coercion to pay for some of these new skills.
Level 22 also permits you to add a new specialty – select Legionnaire Scout and move 2 talent points into its category (Mark of the Legion and Strength of Stone).
Note: Keep in mind that these attribute statistics are before any armor or other equipment is added to your character.
Trap Making: 2 points
Herbalism: 1 point
Poison: 2 points
Combat Training: 4 points
Runecrafting: 4 points
Vitality: 3 points
Clarity: 3 points
Row 1: Dirty Fighting, Combat Movement and Coupe de Grac
Row 2: Below the Belt, Deadly Strike, Lethality and Evasion
Row 3: 4 points into Device Mastery
Row 4: 4 points into Stealth
Ranger, Legionnaire Scout and Duelist Specialties – Each have 4 points to maximize all talents in these areas (total of 12 points)
Dual Weapon Talents
Row 1: Dual Weapon Training, Dual Weapon Finesse
Row 2: Dual Striking (optional)
Row 3: Dual Weapon Sweep, Flurry and Momentum
Row 3: Twin Strikes and Find Vitals
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Final Boss Attack in the Dragonbone Wastes– The Mother
Note: Be sure to have on hand – 2 or 3 Greater Nature Salves (to protect against children spittle), Dworkin’s explosives and Sash of Power (optional)
Killing the Mother is in the last mission and will complete this Dragon Age Origins Awakening solo Rogue guide. To defeat her, first focus your attention on the five tentacles. Attack them until they are all at low life. Then, destroy one of them. The Children will start to appear in droves as soon as you destroy one of the tentacles. Use the Architect’s special ability – “Architect’s Pyre" to set them all on fire. Immediately cast the Strength of Stone ability to protect yourself from the fire and the poison damage from the children. This will give you immunity for 15 seconds from all physical and magical damage. After the fire disappears, throw one of the special dwarf bombs to mop up remaining children.
Cast an animal as a diversion for the Mother. Shoot at her with arrows from a distance, periodically eliminating Children who randomly appear on occasion. Note: Whenever the Children appear, cast the Strength of Stone from protection against their attacks. Once eliminated, keep going until Mother is dead.