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Being a Dragon Age Berserker
The Dragon Age berserker is all about dealing out damage to the enemy, and lots of it. When in combat they can enter a berserk mode that puts them in a blind fury and gives them a bonus to damage. Other talents and attribute bonuses focus on increasing the berserker’s strength and health, and the final talent in the berserker warrior class tree is a powerful all-or-nothing deathblow.
The berserker can work fairly well as a tank, with the ability to survive for a long time in the midst of multiple enemies. But this specialization lacks area of effects talents, and so shines more in one-on-one melee combat. The berserker is pretty simple to play and is one of the least complicated specializations. So if you’re looking for a warrior to do significant physical damage to the enemy and who needs little direction, read on to find out what the benefits of the berserker specialization are and how to use them effectively.
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Dragon Age Berserker Talents and Benefits
The berserker gains a permanent +2 to strength and +10 to health, as well as the following tree of new warrior talents.
Berserk: This sustained talent puts the berserker into the signature fury of the class. Berserkers gain a bonus to damage while in this mode, though suffering a deceased ability to regenerate stamina. The benefits of this mode are obvious—it allows the berserker to do a great deal of quick damage. Both Resilience and Constraint modify this talent.
Resilience: Once learned, this passive talent reduces the stamina regeneration penalty incurred by Berserk, allowing the warrior more chances to use special talents and abilities. In addition, the berserker gains a permanent bonus to nature resistance and a bonus to health regeneration while in Berserk.
Constraint: This passive talent further reduces the stamina regeneration penalty applied when in Berserk mode.
Final Blow: When activated against an enemy, this talent makes the berserker put all his or her remaining stamina into one attack. If the attack is successful, it does extra damage based on the amount of stamina used. This is an excellent way to cripple or finish off a powerful enemy, particularly close to the end of a battle when stamina will soon be no longer needed. Its effectiveness is increased by Resilience and Constraint, since both ensure the berserker will have more stamina to use.
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How to Unlock the Berserker
There are two ways to unlock the berserker specialization, both of which are quite simple. If you have Oghren in your party and his approval of you is fairly high, he will teach you or anyone in your party to be a berserker. If not, you can buy the berserker manual in the Denerim Market District, from the dwarven merchant Gorim.
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Now that you’re a berserker, what second specialization should you choose? Alternately, if you already have one specialization is berserker a good second choice? Each combination of Dragon Age specializations has different advantages and drawbacks, and some are clearly better than others.
Berserker + Reaver: For the warrior who wants to specialize in melee combat, this is the perfect combination. Both specializations focus on dealing out a lot of damage, and are best with one-on-one fights but offer limited area of effect options just in case. You even get modest health, constitution, and physical resistance bonuses to help with defense, along with the reaver talent Devour. The berseker/reaver can still be difficult to keep alive for long, though, so be prepared with plenty of potions and poultices.
Berserker +Champion: This is a combination for the balanced warrior, who wants to be able to tank and melee. These specializations complement each other pretty well, since the champion focuses on defending him/herself and others and the berserker focuses on attack. You also gain the ability to deal with both large numbers of enemies (champion) or one enemy at a time (berserker). So this combination doesn’t excel at one thing, but is able to handle many challenges fairly well.
Berserker + Templar: An interesting combination, templar and berserker don’t exactly compliment each other but they aren’t terrible together either. Templar focuses on area of effect and fighting mages, while berserker focuses on damage and one-on-one fights. So you’re able to handle a large number of challenges fairly well, but you aren’t going to be really good at any one thing (except doing a whole lot of damage to mages). You’ll want to bring a lot of potions, though, since neither of these specializations help you out much with defense (again, except against mages).
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Tips for Maximizing your Dragon Age Origins Berserker
Stats: The berserker focuses on dealing out damage, so you’ll want to pour a lot of points into Strength. Try to get it up very high early on, so your berserker can use the best weapons and armor available. Constitution and Dexterity are also important, and some points in Willpower can help further reduce the stamina penalty incurred while in berserk mode.
Combat Strategy: It’s often a good idea to send your berserker after the toughest enemy on the field. Alternately, he or she can be used to quickly eliminate many of the weaker foes. It’s best to concentrate on one enemy at a time, since the berserker lacks area of effect talents, unless you have also specialized in reaver or possess the finals talents of either the champion or templar specialization. Either way, it’s best to spend as much time as possible in berserk mode, but not the whole battle so you have stamina left to use other warrior talents. And be sure to use Final Blow strategically. If you aren’t directly controlling your berserker, adjust its tactics to keep it from using Final Blow prematurely. Save that talent for the end of the battle, so you don’t run out of stamina early on.