Dragon Age Legends Guide to Finishing the Game

Dragon Age Legends Guide to Finishing the Game by Carsomyr80

Hi all!

This guide covers 8 topics:
1. Links to excellent data sources on Dragon Age: Legends
2. Tactics for the Poor and Lonely players / players who enjoy demonstrating their skill by finishing games on Hard Difficulty.
3. Bestiary
4. Video links showcasing gameplay with this style
5. Places to “grind”
6. Raids
7. Donations
8. Help!

1. Data sources
There are many useful data sources on the forums in DA: Legends. They are dispersed in separate topics.

I’ve collated them here for easy reference, so you don’t have to keep hunting around for them:

General Beginner’s Guide to game mechanics, by Moekelpoekel. Good explanation of basic concepts – Dragon Age Legends Beginner’s Guide

Castle Builder’s Guide (the castle building information here is more detailed and useful than the one in the link above, but the data on effects of each consumable is slightly outdated) – Dragon Age Legends Castle Building Guide

Worker’s happiness- Dragon Age Legends Happiness Effects Guide

Mage summoning spells (anyone who’s interested in summoning spells, and especially any Mage who wants to solo through the game) – Dragon Age Legends Mage Summon Spells Guide

2. Tactics for the Poor and Lonely / Players who like challenges / Players who want to finish the game on Hard Difficulty.

Many players use real, hard cash to obtain Crowns for virtual advantages (room upgrades, premium equipment), or invite multiple super-powered “friends” along in battles, or create multiple duplicate accounts to help their main characters.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with playing with real-life friends who enjoy the game with you, or helping out lower-level players over a particularly rough spot.

However, most players take it to the extreme, recruit all the most powerful “friends” they can find, and lean on the free “gifts” offered. Quite amusing to see all the players offering up thinly-disguised bribes in the form of offers of gifts.

So, why not give in to temptation and do what everybody else does? Use all these powerful “friends” with Crown gear and attributes in the 50s’ to over 100?

Playing with super-powered “friends” is practically playing the game on Easy mode.

That is because you are letting others handle the hard fights for you. Quite a few so-called “top-level” players on this forum state proudly that they got high-level characters or no longer need to use consumables, and they have hundreds of “friends”.

That is the same as declaring:

“I used lots of help to make the game as easy as possible for myself, so that I could get a high-level character”.

As for purchasing Crowns, there are plenty of reasons to. Some players do so because it makes the game easier. Others like to make their character look nicer.

I’m completely neutral towards all of this, as viewers of my Youtube video guides/walkthroughs on various games (such as Dragon Age: Origins) will be familiar with by now: I’m not here to tell other players to play things my way.

Here I say: to each his/her own style of play.

In DA: Legends, my style involves no cash used for Crowns, and having mainly NPCs’ as allies in the battles. In other words, Poor (no cash) and Lonely (NPCs’ as allies). Why?

Because I like challenges, and not relying on crutches when I do not need them in the slightest bit.

I pride myself on my superior skill, tactics, foresight, and speed. And accomplishing what most others cannot.

Having no such advantages from Crowns or multiple friends means that the player really needs to be efficient in developing a character, winning battles, and building a castle.

If you, too, are someone who derives satisfaction from thinking and winning through a game on Hard Mode, knowing that you are one of the most skilled players in the game, but are worried that DA: Legends might be mite bit too hard for comfort after all the latest updates, fret not.

I’m here to help.

Let’s take this in chronological order. Out of the tons of information listed in the links above, I’ve distilled the key concepts you need to know.

The very last section has links to my video walkthroughs.

(Players who do use Crowns or have many high-level friends may still find this useful, since it really is all about simple and effective tactics to sail through the game)

-> Stay updated on game information
An efficient player understands game mechanics well to make the correct decisions. Please use the links above to the data sources. In addition, pay attention to the Announcements forum to stay current on changes with each update.

-> Character creation
The early part of the game is the most difficult, when your character is generally weak with few abilities to speak of.

In order of increasing difficulty with the game, the classes are:
Mage > Warrior/Rogue.

This is because of the abilities each class has, which dictates their role on the field. A well-built mage can single-handedly clear a multi-wave battlefield. Currently, this requires use of Mass Paralysis, Mana Drain and Frost Bombs to do so.

Mages, though they have the least starting health (3 hearts) of all the classes, have the biggest variety to choose from. Their roles, in order of decreasing effectiveness, can be:
– Disabling caster (Entropy school)
– Offensive caster (can do tremendous damage to a single target, or damage multiple targets)
– Healing/support caster (Creation school)

Warriors have the most health, and can use both melee and thrown weapons – to focus on a single target or take out multiple targets. Their support and disabling/weakening abilities (limited to only a single foe at a time) are less than a mage’s.

Rogues have more skills dedicated to survival (e.g. Feign Death, Evasion). The most useful of these skills is Throw Voice.

Pick your class based on your preference, but also bearing in mind the information here.

-> Combat
DA: Legends is at least as much about combat as the fun of building your own castle and developing your character. Knowing the mechanics well helps you win fights quickly and (relatively) painlessly:

– When entering fights, always ensure your character has 2 weapons equipped that can fulfil different roles, using the right weapon for the right opponent.
– Bring along enough consumables – tough battles will require these. Don’t forget to equip these in your item slots! More than one player has walked into a tough fight after having built high-powered Kits and Salves – then realised at the last moment that he/she forgot to equip them for the fight!
– Choose a mix of allies for each fight. Melee + ranged/mage maximises your flexibility against foes. Some foes are susceptible to melee attacks, some to magic, some to ranged. Having the right allies and right weapon sets maximises your damage potential.
– Pay attention to the turn queue at the middle-bottom of the screen. Anticipating possible damage to your party, and taking out/disabling opponents in advance to minimise damage, is essential! This point cannot be over-emphasized.
– Know each opponent’s style and abilities. See the Bestiary, below, for a quick breakdown on how to anticipate enemy tactics.
– Keep your allies alive – fallen allies aren’t available for the rest of that battle, and their recall time for the next fight is extended to at least 5 hours (or more). Also, a fully-healed ally has a lower recall time, as opposed to someone who ends a fight with some damage. Some tips to keep them alive through every battle:
(a) Ensure that your NPCs’ are fully healed at the end of each wave
(b) You have Frost Bombs in stock, and
(c) You end each wave with a character that can disable a foe using a special ability (read: with Frost Bombs, that character can disable 2 opponents right from the start of the new wave). If your party has characters whose Agility is far higher than all your upcoming enemies’ (i.e. they’ll almost certainly get to move immediately after the character who finished off the last wave), then another tactic is to have a lower-Agility character finish off a wave. That way, at the start of the next wave, you have both that slower character and your faster character(s) taking turns before any other foes move, giving you more free shots at the enemy.

-> Castle Building
Do not build any room expansions until you’ve filled up the 9 rooms you start out with. Gold is very limited to a Poor player like you (and me), so you can’t afford to waste too much of it by building expansions you don’t need to use yet.

The consumables you’ll be targeting, dictates the order in which you build rooms. My suggestion of the order is:
– Alchemy Lab. Go for Fire Bombs (which remove the mana of most opponents, preventing them from using their most dangerous abilities), then Shock Bombs (which wipe out those multiple-opponent waves handily).
– At least 1 more worker room. You should have 2 workers filling both chairs in the Alchemy Lab practically all the time. I usually go with a total of 2 workers at this point.
– Infirmary. Go for Team Injury Kits, which allow a single member of your party to heal the entire party at a go. Helps keep everyone alive.
– Another worker room. You should have 1 worker making mainly Team Injury Kits, and 2 in the Alchemy Lab.
– Infirmary, again. This time, go for Team Mana Salves. If you have been winning every fight up until this point, you should have just attained level 8, which means you and your allies will have significant mana-using abilities that can make fights much easier. The Team Mana Salve allows you to restore everyone’s mana with a single pop.
– Another worker room. Now, you should have 2 workers in the infirmaries, and 2 in the Alchemy Lab. Rarely, you may need to shift 1 worker to the Apothecary to make healing potions, if you run low.
– Here, you have 3 options.
(A) Go for the Frost Bomb upgrade in your first Alchemy Lab, or
(B) build another Lab for Poison Bombs (which can take out very durable opponents over many turns), or Acid Bombs (useful for multi-attack skills). If you do build another Lab, get 1 more worker. You should have 5-6 workers at this point.
(C) build a Throne Room, unlock Furnaces, then build Furnaces to increase your production rate. However, this costs quite a bit of gold.

I would usually throw in a storeroom before, or just after, building a second Lab.

The next most viable option here is to build a second Lab for Poison and Acid Bombs, together with another Worker Room. Poison Bombs kill off high-health foes easily, while Acid Bombs soften up all enemies for your attacks, making these particularly effective with characters that have multi-attack capabilities.

Thereafter, you may build a Throne Room to get Furnaces (don’t bother with the Tavern for now. I only used Taverns after I had enough Furnaces to get 20 Gears for my Labs), or go for the Frost Bomb upgrade.

Some questions you may ask are:
Q: Why build 2 infirmaries? Why not just upgrade 1 infirmary to make both Team Injury Kit and Team Mana Salve?
A: 2 reasons. First, it is more expensive to upgrade 1 infirmary for both consumables, than making 2 infirmaries. Second, most players need both working simultaneously. The same holds true for creating a second Alchemy Lab for the Acid Bomb/Poison Bomb tree.

Q: Why not Frost Bombs or Time Bombs initially? Why Shock Bombs?
A: Frost Bombs disable single opponents, but by the time you get them, some of your NPCs’ and possibly yourself, would have skills that disable opponents, effectively duplicating this ability. Time Bombs have received a welcome buff as of the update on 14 September 2011, but the problem with allowing your enemies to take potshots at you (and heavily damaging or dropping your party members) until they detonate means that they are less versatile than Shock Bombs. The difficult bit by the time you attain level 4-5 onwards is waves of 4 or more foes. Shock Bombs clear the field very quickly before they can wipe you out.

Q: How many worker rooms and consumable-producing rooms do I need?
A: 6 worker rooms, 2 infirmaries (Team Injury Kits, Team Mana Salves), 2 Alchemy Labs (Fire Bomb/Shock Bomb/Frost Bomb, Acid Bomb/Poison Bomb), and your starting Apothecary will do. Spend the rest of your gold on Furnaces and upgrading storerooms (I suggest 3 storerooms, each at level 5 by the time you reach level 20). Feel free to add 1 more worker room/1 more Alchemy Lab if needed.

After ensuring the quality of your consumables is the best you can get for your chosen playing style, the mistake most novice players (including Crown-purchasing players) make is to produce lots and lots of worker rooms and lots of Labs/Infirmaries. By the time you reach level 16, you won’t need more than the bare minimum I mentioned above (unless you’re terribly unskilled and keep losing fights). Most of your workers will be sitting around doing nothing, because your storerooms can’t accommodate all of them producing consumables you can’t use up on time. On the other hand, focusing on furnaces (you should have the gold and the sufficient quality of your main consumables to start working on this at level 15) means that by the time you reach level 16, when you decide to produce something, you’re getting a lot of your consumables free via your furnaces, and you don’t have to keep clicking more than 7 times each round, to make your workers produce things. Even then, not all of your workers will be busy – at level 20, I had at least 1 worker cooling his heels most of the time.

By the time I reached Kirkwall (level 31), I had enough gold to fully-upgrade all the furnaces around my key labs (obtaining 8/12/20 items for the Alchemy Labs, and 6/9/15 items for the Infirmaries) if I so chose, upgraded Taverns to have 7-8 happy faces for my 7-8 workers, and still couldn’t burn through my consumables at full worker capacity. Had 3 fully upgraded storerooms to store all the stuff.

As of this writing, my Mage and Warrior have over 100,000 gold pieces in their reserves, with their Labs and Apothecary all going at 30 gears, and the Mana Salve infirmary at 26 gears.

Q: Which is better, a single high-level furnace or multiple low-level furnaces?
A: Multiple low-level furnaces. I recommend level 2 furnaces if possible. A diamond-pattern of four level 2 furnaces costs 8000 gold plus the cost of 4 rooms (800-900 gold), and increases production of 4 rooms to 5 gears (the sweet spot for production), the central room to 9 gears, and peripheral rooms to 3 gears each. A single level 4 furnace costs 8000+200 gold, increases production of 4 rooms to 5 gears, and that’s it. At level 25 or so, though, you should have enough gold to have multiple level 3 or 4 furnaces surrounding all your labs.

-> The new NPCs’As of the new update on 21 October 2011, 3 new NPCs’ of great power were introduced. Each requires their specific room to be unlocked from the Throne Room, and then the room itself built, before they can be used. I highly recommend unlocking all 3. However, you may want to hold off until after you have built Furnaces around your most important labs. The reason being that, though they are useful, they are also expensive relative to their use: you can only use each one for one battle, and then they have a long cooldown period as they will usually be of higher-level than you. Consumables, on the other hand, are important for every battle, so your priority should still be to get Furnaces first. Barkspawn is quite cheap relative to the rest, though, so you may want to consider picking him up early on. Their one major weakness is their low Luck attribute. Their rooms can be upgraded, each upgrade giving a fixed bonus to the same attributes, but consecutive upgrades cost about 7 times the previous ones!

You should have all 3 of them by the time you are level 23; my Rogue, at level 22, already has the Fire Drake.

– Barkspawn, the Mabari Hound: His Kennel takes up one room, and costs 750 gold to build. Best value-for-money, especially for cash-strapped characters. Starting attributes if you are a level 42 character are: Atk 62, Def 24, Stm 32, Agl 32, Lck 12. 7 Hearts of life. 20% Melee Resistance, 40% Ranged Resistance. Each room upgrade gives +5 to Atk, and +2 to Lck. Cost of room upgrades in order are: 750 gold, 5250 gold, 36750 gold. Definitely pick up the first upgrade early on, and the second one once you have gold to spare. Special Abilities: 8-upgrade Shred (always Crit when it hits, and also does half heart damage per turn for 12 turns), fully-upgraded Dread Howl (paralyses the frontline foe of your choice for 6 turns, and all adjacent enemies for 3 turns), 4-upgraded Charge (+115% Atk, cost 2 Mana), Quick Lunge, Growl (identical to Terror) War Cry, Mabari Fury (identical to Rage), Evasion.

( For a level 23 character, Barkspawn’s statistics are as follows: Atk 26, Def 24, Stm 22, Agl 24, Lck 12. 5 hearts. No resistances. Special Abilities: 4-upgraded Charge (+115% Atk, cost 2 Mana), 3-upgraded Dread Howl (paralyses frontline foe for 4 turns, adjacent foes for 2 turns), 5-upgraded Shred (always Crit when it hits, and does half heart damage per turn for 9 turns, Growl, Quick Lunge, War Cry, Mabar Fury, Evasion.)

– Isabela: The lady from Dragon Age 2 is a formidable Rogue, but is the most fragile of the 3 optional NPCs’. Her Practice Room takes up 3 rooms, and costs 3000 gold to build. Starting attributes if you are a level 42 character are: Atk 54, Def 29, Stm 20, Agl 58, Lck 13. 6 Hearts of life. 10% Melee Resistance. Each room upgrade gives +2 to Atk and +5 to Lck. Cost of room upgrades in order are: 3000 gold, 21000 gold. Special Abilities: Ambush, Confuse, Harsh Language, Poison Daggers, 7-upgrade Coup de Grace (+140% Atk), Evasion, Bravado, Feign Death, upgraded Stealth (12 turns duration), 8-upgrade Exploit Weakness (+97% to melee attack).

– Fire Drake: The most powerful of the 3 optional NPCs’. The Dragon Roost requires 6 rooms, and costs 5000 gold to build. Starting attributes if you are a level 42 character are: Atk 71, Def 40, Stm 24, Agl 27, Lck 17. 8.5 hearts of life. 10% Melee Resistance, 20% Magic Resistance. Each upgrade gives +2 to Def, and +5 to Agl. Cost of room upgrades in order are: 5000 gold, 35000 gold. Special Abilities: Overrun, fully-upgraded Fire Breath (+90% Atk, removes temporary status on all targets, costs 2 mana), 6-upgraded Drake’s Disdain (drains 1.5 hearts of life and 3 mana), fully-upgraded Lightning Breath (+90% Atk, hits all targets in a row, costs 1 mana), 4-upgraded Ice Breath (+40% Atk, freezes target for 4 turns and adjacent enemies for 2 turns, costs 2 mana).

(Even for a level 22 character, the Fire Drake is level 24 and has impressive abilities: Atk 45, Def 36, Stm 16, Agl 23, Lck 17. 6.5 hearts of life. No resistances. Fire Breath has 6 upgrades (+60% Atk), Ice Breath has 1 upgrade (+10% Atk), Lightning Breath has 3 upgrades (+30% Atk), and Drake’s Disdain has 3 upgrades (Drains 1 heart, 2 mana))

Character Development
This is the main crunch for many players. Bad choices can leave you with a half-effective character.

Below is the breakdown for the most effective characters, but feel free to make your own builds based on your preferences.

The main concept here is: Go offensive, not defensive. Defensive builds fare badly in mid- to late-game.

For attributes for all classes, the emphasis is the same: Attack and Agility are your main concerns.
– Attack boosts your offensive power; Agility lets you start out early enough in the turn queue to loose your spells before enemies can act, plus giving you a better chance to dodge enemy strikes (and thus, increases your survivability).
– Stamina should be boosted to at least 10 (to gain an extra half-heart and increase your Energy). I prefer to boost Stamina all the way to 15 early on, giving my Mage an extra heart (and therefore, longer survival) and energy that allows me to “use up” both my allies (taking 1-2 along in each fight) and energy simultaneously
– Luck is a secondary interest (to cut down on Glancing Blows). High-Luck characters aren’t as effective as high-Attack characters:
–> they don’t crit that much more frequently,
–> investing in Luck instead of Attack means, by late-game, you’ll be doing at most a half-heart of damage every time you fight tough opponents. High Luck helps you Crit more, but when you already do a tiny amount of damage every time you hit, Critting means double of a tiny amount of damage into…a small amount of damage. In contrast, if your Attack attribute is fairly high, you’ll be doing 1+ hearts of damage with your base attack, and this will be most of the time. And crits double this number.
–> Therefore, I generally try to increase Luck to 10, and thereafter, would recommend a Luck attribute that is no more than half or one-third your Attack attribute.
– Defense is the least useful attribute. If you want to be able to survive enemy blows, either invest in Agility (allows you to evade, or move before your opponents do, allowing you to disable/kill opponents fast enough before they can even attack you) or Stamina (allows you to survive more than a single powerful ranged attack, such as Arcane Bolt), or both. Agility is the more important of the two, which is why I emphasized it as a primary attribute. Defense does have some utility if you’re a soloing Warrior or Mage, as this means you need to be able to take the occasional lucky shot from a powerful foe.

A) Mage:
– Skills: The most powerful mages go straight for Paralyse/Mass Paralysis initially, allowing them to dominate the battlefield very early on (and making most fights very simple). They then add offensive spells, either against single targets, or multi-attack spells. This depends on their choice of consumables and their allies’ abilities. Some add Heal/Mass Heal to cut down the need for healing potions/injury kits.
– Early game Active Skill recommendations (level 5-15): Varied, depending on your preference. Versatility is useful here so you should get a few different skills to handle different situations initially. My preferred offensive spells are: Paralyse, Mass Paralysis, Storm, Mana Drain, and 1 other spell of any type (such as Arcane Bolt or Lightning. I would go Lightning, since high-damage single-target spells are almost unnecessary once you have Paralyse. For buffs, Heal and Mass Heal should be primary priorities, with Rock Armor, Flaming Weapons and Magic Shield as nice secondary choices. Eventually, if you wish to solo, a good summoned pet is needed to tank. The best options-for-mana here are the Halla (1 Mana), Bear (2 Mana), and Drake (3 Mana). The Halla is the most economical in terms of a tank, but can’t do much damage; a Bear has fair hitting power and slightly better survivability than the Halla; and the Drake is really, really cool with the attack strength and survivability befitting its astronomical mana cost. See the Summoning link at the top of this page for the breakdown on pets.
– Mid-game Active Skill recommendations (level 15-25): Push up Mana Drain to be able to drain 2 mana per turn. Thereafter, either fully upgrade Mass Paralyse, Flaming Weapons (to boost your party’s attack power and your own), and/or Rock Armor (useful for surviving the high-damage blows from foes from the Waking Seas onwards). If you’re into pets, consider getting a pet with upgrades, such as the Drake. Remember what I said about Lightning, Storm and Arcane Bolt for the early-game skills? Consider switching to other offensive spells at this point, such as Walking Bomb and Stinging Swarm. When upgraded, Walking Bomb/Stinging Swarm do tremendous damage regardless of your enemy’s Defense attribute. Storm is good for Mages with very high Attack attributes, but Poor-and-Lonely-style players usually won’t be able to attain this without sacrificing on every other attribute. Staff Mastery can be considered, but bear in mind that you will be sacrificing upgrades in your other spells to spend points here.
– Late-game Active Skill recommendations (above level 25): Concentrate on upgrading your chosen skills. Foes at this stage will be quite powerful, have high Agility and can inflict tremendous damage, so some attention to the Entropy school may be warranted if you haven’t already done so.
– Equipment: Either go with 2 Staves – 1 with high Agility, and the other with high Attack for specific situations where you need more attack power – or go 1 staff, and 1 melee weapon (if you want flexibility against foes susceptible to melee attacks)
– Soloing: For Attributes, this requires high Agility (40 or more), and some Defense (at least 25) with Stamina (at least 15) to survive the shots that do get through. For skills, fully-upgraded Mass Paralyse, Mana Drain upgraded to drain at least 3 points per use, defensive skills including Rock Armor and possibly Magic Shield, and an upgraded Pet (I recommend either Hallas, Bears or Drakes) are all necessary. For a Poor and Lonely Style player who wishes to solo the latest areas, this generally means a Mage of at least level 40.

– My Build: Nimage Sho is a hybrid mage. I started out with my focus on Mass Paralyse and Mana Drain, picking up Lightning, Storm, and buffs such as Flaming Weapons, Rock Armor, Heal and Mass Heal afterwards. With this basic set of spells to ensure versatility and thus, the capacity to shift roles in any situation, I then focused on upgrading Mass Paralyse and Mana Drain as these allow my character to leave foes helpless and get the mana to power all my spells, respectively. I had initially begun upgrading my Drake summoning spell, but then realised that the combination of Mass Paralyse, Walking Bomb and Weaken provided the perfect balance of survivability and offensive power. I have re-spec’ed accordingly, for the Level 40 Raid. Currently level 44.

Current base attributes without gear: Atk 13, Def 12, Stm 35, Agl 23, Lck 10

Current attributes with main weapon set (Legendary Staff of Windfall/Legendary Dagger of Windfall; Legendary Envenomed Armor; Legendary Envenomed Belt; Legendary Helmet of Windfall; Legendary Amulet of Windfall; Legendary Ring of Windfall. Vanity Wear: Legendary Robe of Windfall): Atk 31/22, Def 45, Stm 53/50, Agl 47, Lck 26. 7.5 Hearts. 40% Melee Resist, 60% Ranged Resist, +50% Dodge.

Best Carthriss Raid Time: 1 hr, 47 mins

B) Warrior:
– Skills: the Defense tree, with Shield Bash, is quite useful. Most effective warriors would use a thrown weapon, and therefore a shield in at least one of their weapon sets. Quick Lunge/Overrun/Power Attack is also useful in many situations. Finally, passive skills that boost Attack are always prudent choices, but it takes awhile to build these up. Eventually, you’ll want to have Scattershot and Double Throw (for your throwing power against opponents) as well to maximise your combat effectiveness.
– Early game Active Skill recommendations (level 5-15): As with the mage, get a few different skills first for versatility. For attacking skills, I would pick Shield Bash, Quick Lunge, Overrun, Double Throw and Scattershot. Why not Destroyer or Power Attack?…because Shield Bash can disable a single powerful foe for your allies to slay; this foe might not be taken out by Destroyer/Power Attack. For buffs, Focus is a must for Overrun/Scattershot. Rage, War Cry, Shield Tower and Shield Wall are all good secondary choices, though I prefer the Rage+Focus+Overrun/Scattershot combination (which can use up to 3 mana at a time). The newest skill, Pommel Strike, also has potential as it allows you to stun up to 2 targets during your turn, when used with Shield Bash. Consider replacing Double Throw with this skill if you choose this route.
– Mid-game Skill recommendations (level 15-25): You should begin upgrading your chosen active skills, and your passive skills of choice for your chosen weapons to bump up your attack rating. By this point in the game, even though a 6% increase in Attack attribute or critical chance won’t seem like much, remember that you’ll be making multiple attacks almost all the time. With passive attack bonuses drastically reduced since May 2011, and the more powerful opponents seen late-game, a one-handed weapon+shield combination has slightly less hitting power than a 2-handed weapon, but far more survivability. Thus I recommend a 1H weapon+shield and picking up the passive Shield defense bonuses as well.
– Late-game Active Skill recommendations (above level 25): Fully upgrade your skills of choice. I would favor Scattershot, the Thrown passive skill, and possibly your primary melee weapon passive skill.
– Equipment: Of your two weapon sets, one should be a thrown weapon+shield, for foes susceptible to ranged attacks. The melee weapon set may either be shield+one-handed weapon (for slightly better Defense/Agility/Luck attributes), or two-handed weapon (for greater attack power). With the latest updates that nerf passive attack bonuses, and more powerful foes, I would recommend getting the passive Shield defense skill, with a one-handed weapon and shield.
– Soloing: Poor and Lonely Style Warriors will find it the hardest of all 3 classes to solo. Without Throw Voice or Mass Paralyse, this Warrior has to have enough speed and offensive power to kill foes, combined with sufficient Defense to weather most attacks. For Attributes, this requires decent Attack (at least 40) as even weak melee foes can do “chipping” damage to a high-Defense warrior on the same level as them, meaning that a pure-Defense warrior will still get worn down if he/she allows enemies to whack at him for too long; high Defense (at least 60; a more accurate number would be at least 50% higher than the highest Attack attribute among the enemies in a battle) with some Stamina (at least 15), and decent Agility (at least 25). For skills, fully-upgraded Shield Mastery, Shield Bash with a few upgrades, and all the offensive skills mentioned above are necessary. Equipment has to comprise a shield and a throwing weapon, and a shield with one-handed melee weapon, for both sets. For a Poor and Lonely Style player to solo the latest areas, this generally means a Warrior of at least level 35.

– My Build: Niyaji Sho is a hybrid. I started out with my focus on getting Overrun, Quick Lunge, Double Throw, Scattershot and Shield Bash, then Focus, Taunt and Rage. Afterwards I moved towards upgrading the passive Thrown weapon skill and at the late-game stage, maxing out Shield Mastery. A couple of points went into Shield Bash, and getting Shield Strike (which can make him almost invulnerable to most physical and magical attacks).  This Warrior can switch roles with ease: solo, or function within a party as a tank/damage-dealer. Currently level 43.

Current base attributes without gear: Atk 25, Def 13, Stm 25, Agl 10, Lck 15

Current attributes with main weapon set (Legendary Envenomed Amulet; Legendary Envenomed Armor; Mythic Envenomed Ring; Legendary One-Handed Sword of Windfall/Rare Runed Steel Throwing Knife of Fortune): Atk 42/47, Def 92, Stm 35, Agl 35/32, Lck 45/39. 7 Hearts. 35% Melee Resist, 50% Ranged Resist, 50% Magic Resist.

Best Carthriss Raid Time: 2 hrs, 27 mins

C) Rogue:
– Early game Active Skill recommendations (level 5-15): Throw Voice is a must-have; consider upgrading it to at least 5 turns’ duration, it will save you taking a lot of damage. For a melee Rogue, the Stealth tree unlocks many key abilities. Ranged rogues will want to pick up Rapid Shot and eventually, Mass Volley.
– Mid-game Skill recommendations (level 15-25): Primary attacking skills would be Pinning Shot, Rapid Shot, Mass Volley, Ambush, and 1 other skill of your preference. Start picking up the passive weapon skills of your choice. Your Throw Voice should be upgraded to at least 6 turns’ duration. Consider upgrading Mass Volley if you are using it.
– Late-game skill recommendations (above level 25): Upgrade your chosen passive skills, as well as Coup de Grace and Ambush if you are using these.
– Equipment: Again, 1 weapon set should be a bow, and the other a melee weapon. I recommend a dual-wield set for the melee weapon, as constant use of Throw Voice should mean you are free to focus more on offense, and less on defense.
– Soloing: Poor and Lonely Style Rogues need to balance attack power with initiative and dodging chance. For Attributes, this requires good Attack and Agility (both at least 30), and Stamina (at least 15). For skills, upgraded Throw Voice is absolutely essential. Rapid Shot, Feign Death and Pinning Shot are also important; Confuse will come in useful once your Feign Death skill has been upgraded sufficiently to ensure a constant flow of mana. Feign Death allows you to regenerate mana whilst your Throw Voice leaves your foes whacking each other, and Pinning Shot/Confuse will keep the target of your Throw Voice unable to attack you. Mass Volley is worth considering.  Equipment has to consist of a melee set and a bow set. A Rogue of any level can solo using this combination of skills.

– My Build: Lycoran is a new character that was just started on 10 September 2011. Pinning Shot, upgraded Throw Voice, Rapid shot, Mass Volley, and upgraded Feign Death is the sequence of skills. Currently level 27.

Current base attributes without gear: Atk 12, Def 10, Stm 20, Agl 20, Lck 15

Current attributes with weapon sets (Expert Amulet of Windfall; Expert Dagger of Windfall/Rare Sylvanwood Bow of Bravado): Atk 20/25, Def 25/16, Stm 25, Agl 39/31, Lck 26/25. 5.5 Hearts. 10% Melee and Ranged Resistance.

-> Consumables of Choice
Shock Bombs and Fire Bombs will be your most useful weapons at the beginning, as some waves may feature multiple opponents with low Health and Mana (relative to the foes you’ll encounter by level 15+), which is why I go with those initially. My preferences for the other 3 bomb slots are: Frost Bomb (to disable dangerous foes), Poison Bomb (will take out high-life opponents, all you need to do is just keep them disabled until they conk out), and Acid Bomb (makes foes more susceptible to your party’s attacks, works nicely with characters that can attack multiple opponents at once).

I don’t go Shard Bombs by the time I have all 5 of the Bombs above, because the Frost Bomb makes Shard Bombs redundant. Time Bombs are more difficult to use to get the most effect out of them, and Grease Bombs are the least useful of all the Bombs.

As for buffs, Team Injury Kits, Team Mana Salves, and Greater Health (or Full Health, but you’ll find the need for Full Health potions very rare) potions are musts. Of the other 2 slots, you can either configure them for Team Talent and Team Battle Poultices (which nicely buff the whole party, and I tend to pick these), or other potions of your choice.

-> Not wasting Crowns
You get the chance to pick up crowns along the game, and by saving them up, you’ll eventually be able to afford a mid-level premium item or upgrade. Some players mention inadvertently wasting Crowns by clicking on the wrong Healing potion that they didn’t have in their inventory (“Buy and Drink” button), prior to entering a fight with less-than-full health.

To minimise the chance of this, do keep ordinary Health and Greater Health potions in your inventory at all times.

-> Best use of free Crowns
I noticed a topic posted on the forum where players threw up their ideas for best use of free Crowns.

Here is what I think:

Since you will only get a limited number of free Crowns, it is best to use it where the benefit is permanent (or as long-lasting as possible) and significant, correct?

Therefore, I would suggest amassing enough Crowns to buy a good premium item from the store. Currently, that would require 200-250 Crowns, which is under the maximum obtainable (465; some players may have 10-40 more free Crowns) as of this date. A good premium item at level 20+ would exceed the quality of most of the ordinary loot drops through to level 50, so you can foresee yourself using it for a long, long time if you continue to play the game.

The DA: Legends Wiki had the list for Crown items, but it appears not to have been maintained and is currently down. The link was: http://dalwiki.com/index.php?title=Crown_Gear_List

Having looked over the list, I’ve compiled the best items that cost under the maximum 465 free Crowns attainable at this time:
* indicates that item is recommended in the category. For defensive gear with elemental resistance, I would suggest the fire resistant ones, because the most powerful and common special abilities that enemies employ are all fire-based (Inferno, Fire Breath, etc.).
“Advantage” spells out the specific advantage that item has in the category above the others.

Offensive-style players may want to pick items that focus on Attack and Luck, while players looking for defensive gear should go for Agility and to a lesser extent, Defense.

This list is updated up to Warrior items of level 43, Mage items of level 43, and Rogue items of level 25.

For Warriors, Rogues and offensively-built Mages, I currently recommend purchasing the Sylvan Root (ring), Vorpal Hex (amulet) and Smoulder (belt), which combined give a nice bonus to Agility, Attack and Luck for a total cost of 297 Crowns. Furthermore, these won’t get swapped out when you switch weapon sets.

For Warriors favoring one-handed weapons, the Secured Skull with Ser Collan’s Axe are both excellent, low-budget Crown items.

(*Fireproof)… Spangen – Advantage: Defense, Luck. Requires: Level 18, cost 249 crowns. Stats: Lck 5, Def 5, +20% specific elemental Res
(*Fireproof)… Pileus – Advantage: Agility, Luck. Requires: Level 31, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Agl 8, Lck 5, +30% elemental Res
(Warrior only) *Horned Armet – Advantage: Attack, Defense. Requires: Level 26, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 5, Def 8, +60% Melee Res
(Mage only) *Leather Bascinet – Advantage: Attack, Defense. Requires: Level 26, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 5, Def 8, +50% Ranged Resistance
*Lorekeeper’s Disguise – Advantage: Agility. Requires: Level 35, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Agl 9, Def 5. +20% Magic Resistance

*Sylvan Root – Advantage: Attack. Requires: Level 16, cost 99 crowns. Stats: Lck 8, Atk 3, +10% Nature Res
*Vorpal Ring – Advantage: Agility. Requires: Level 18, cost 149 crowns. Stats: Lck 6, Agl 6, +20% Lightning Res
Solid Smoke – Advantage: Def, Fire Res. Requires: Level 20, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Def 7, Lck 6, +50% Fire Res
*Furious Band – Advantage: Agility, -miss%. Requires: Level 34, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Lck 8, Agl 6. -20% Miss.
*Ring of the Hearth – Advantage; Stamina, Luck, Fire Res. Requires: Level 43, cost 99 crowns. Stats: Lck 8, Def 5, Stm 2. +30% Fire Res

Vorpal Hex – Advantage: Attack (until level 26). Requires: Level 13, cost 99 crowns. Stats: Atk 4, Stm 2, 20% Lightning Res
*White Eye Amulet – Advantage: Luck, +Dodge%. Requires: Level 16, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Lck 5, Stm 2, +20% Dodge
*Visionary Pendant – Advantage: Agility, Luck. +Dodge%. Requires: Level 36, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Agl 6, Lck 4, +20% Dodge
Stark Pendant – Advantage: Stamina, +Dodge%. Requires: Level 42, cost 99 crowns. Stats: Stm 5, Def 5. +15% Dodge

*Smoulder – Advantage: Attack. Requires: Level 12, cost 99 crowns. Stats: Atk 4, Agl 3
Ionic Discharge – Advantage: Agility. Requires: Level 15, cost 149 crowns. Stats: Agl 6, Atk 2, +20% Lightning Res
Rainsplitter – Advantage: Luck. Requires: Level 17, cost 149 crowns. Stats: Agl 5, Lck 4, +10% Ranged Res
Etherial Belt – Advantage: Defense. Requires: Level 19, cost 99 crowns. Stats: Def 7, Agl 3, +10% Cold Res
Ever-glowing Girdle – Advantage: Agility, + Crit%. Requires: Level 42, cost 249 crowns. Stats: Def 6, Agl 7. +25% Crit

1-Handed weapons (warrior)
Treefell Axe (Axe) – Advantage: Defense. Requires: Level 22, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 6, Def 6. +20% Ranged Res
Shimmersword (Sword) – Advantage: Agility, +Crit%. Requires: Level 23, cost 249 crowns. Stats: Atk 8, Agl 3. +20% Crit
The Steel Spine (Club) – Advantage: Agility, Dodge. Requires: Level 23, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 8, Agl 5. +30% Dodge
*Ser Collan’s Axe – Advantage: Agility, -miss%. Requires: Level 26, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 10, Agl 5. -50% Miss
Guiding Light (Club) – Advantage: Agility, -miss%. Requires: Level 33, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 9, Agl 5. -20% Miss.
Sinister Cleaver (Axe) – Advantage: Def, +dodge%. Requires: Level 35, cost 249 crowns. Stats: Atk 10, Def 5. +25% Dodge.
Dragonscale Saber (Sword) – Advantage: Def, +melee resistance. Requires: Level 35, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 9, Def 6. +25% Melee Resistance
The Northern Force (Club) – Advantage: Def, +dodge%. Requires: Level 36, cost 399 crowns. Stats: Atk 12, Def 4. +50% Dodge
*Garrak’s Talon – Requires: Level 39, cost 99 crowns. Stats: Atk 11, Lck 3. -15% Miss.
*Paragon’s Hatchet (Axe) – Advantage: Luck, + Crit%. Requires: Level 42, cost 149 crowns. Stats: Atk 12, Lck 4. +20% Crit
Bann Taulin’s Blade (Sword) – Advantage: Agility, + Crit%. Requires: Level 42, cost 99 crowns. Stats: Atk 12, Agl 2. +10% Crit

2-Handed weapons (warrior):
*… Dominion (sword) – Advantage: Luck, +Crit%. Requires: Level 25, cost 249 crowns. Stats: Atk 11, Lck 5. +20% Crit, elemental damage
Nightfall Axe – Advantage: Luck, +Crit%. Requires: Level 21, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 7, Lck 7. +20% Crit
Ser Noress’ Axe – Advantage: Stamina, -miss%. Requires: Level 27, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 11, Stm 5. -30% Miss
*Frenzied Axe – Advantage: Agility, -miss%. Requires: Level 36, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 12, Agl 4. -20% Miss
Ogrebone Greataxe – Advantage: Defense, -miss%. Requires: Level 42, cost 149 crowns. Stats: Atk 15, Def 6. -20% Miss.

Pirate’s Throwing Dagger – Advantage: Attack (until level 21), +Crit%. Requires: Level 17, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 6, Def 2. +30% Crit
Bladed Flare – Advantage: Defense, -miss%. Requires: Level 29, cost 99 crowns. Stats: Atk 8, Def 3. -10% Miss
*Imbued Hook – Advantage: Agility, +dodge%. Requires: Level 33, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 10, Agl 4. +30% Dodge.

Warrior Armor:
Wyrmscale Plate – Advantage: Agility, Fire Res. Requires: Level 12, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Def 9, Agl 3, 50% Fire Res
Armor of the Rising Dawn – Advantage: Luck, -miss%. Requires: Level 17, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Def 10, Lck 2, -20% Miss
*Colossal Armor – Advantage: Agility. -miss%. Requires: Level 28, cost 249 crowns. Stats: Def 11, Agl 5, -25% chance to miss
*Black Iron Cuirass – Advantage: Luck, +Crit%. Requires: Level 34, 249 crowns. Stats: Def 12, Lck 5. +25% Crit

*Secured Skull – Advantage: Attack. Requires: Level 15, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Def 8, Atk 3, 20% Nature Res
*Ominous Gaze – Advantage: Agility, Dodge. Requires: Level 19, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Def 7, Agl 4, +20% Dodge
Chitin Shell – Advantage: Defense, Agility. Requires: Level 26, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Def 10, Agl 3, +10% Crit
Drudge – Advantage: Defense Luck. Requires: Level 32, cost 249 crowns. Stats: Def 11, Lck 4, +30% Ranged Res.

Mage Robes:
Brozen Bulwark – Advantage: Attack (until level 27). Requires: Level 11, cost 149 crowns. Stats: Atk 3, Def 5, +20% Ranged Res
Dalish Suit – Advantage: Luck, Dodge. Requires: Level 17, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Def 6, Lck 4, +30% Dodge
Resolutionist Gown – Advantage: Defense, Luck. Requires: Level 28, cost 249 crowns. Stats: Def 10, Lck 6, -25% Miss
*Flowing Magus Robes – Advantage: Defense, Agility, +Dodge%. Requires: Level 34, cost 249 crowns. Stats: Def 11, Agl 6. +25% Dodge

Mage Staves:
Moon’s Last Sliver – Advantage: Dodge. Requires: Level 23, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 8, Agl 3, +30% Dodge
*Lethal Feather – Advantage: +Crit%. Requires: Level 26, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 9, Agl 3, +30% Crit
*Mender’s Branch – Advantage: Attack, -miss%. Requires: Level 34, cost 249 crowns. Stats: Atk 11, Def 6. -25% Miss.
*Spiteful Grasp – Advantage: Agl, Melee Resistance. Requires: Level 43, cost 399 crowns. Stats: Agl 14, Lck 11. +25% Melee Resistance

Rogue Armor:
Outlaw’s Code – Advantage: Agility, -miss%. Requires: Level 16, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Def 8, Agl 5, -10% Miss
*Brigandine – Advantage: Attack, Melee Res. Requires: Level 20, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 4, Def 9, +30% Melee Res

Rogue Bows:
*Serpentine Bow – Advantage: Agility, +Crit%. Requires: Level 17, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 7, Agl 7, +30% Crit
*WarBow – Advantage: Luck, -miss%. Requires: Level 19, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 9, Lck 6, -30% Miss
Baleful Bow – Advantage: Stamina, Magic Res. Requires: Level 21, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 10, Stm 4, +30% Magic Res
Kirkwall Peacemaker – Advantage: Agility, -miss%. Requires: Level 22, cost 399 crowns. Stats: Atk 12, Agl 4, -30% Miss
Wilder Bow – Advantage: Defense. Requires: level 24, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 11, Def 5, +30% Ranged Res

Dual-wield Rogue weapons:
*Swords of the Vashoth – Advantage: Agility, +Crit%. Requires: Level 15, cost 199 crowns. Stats: Atk 8, Agl 4, +20% Crit
*…Sunset – Advantage: Luck, -miss%. Requires: level 18, cost 249 crowns. Stats: Atk 8, Lck 5, elemental damage, -30% Miss

Let us examine the other options:
– Why not the hero room upgrade? Because 1 extra mana for each fight is insignificant. Your consumables and well-built Hero won’t notice the difference, in contrast to a good premium item’s bonuses.
– Why not the premium upgrades for castle rooms (e.g. more workstations, increased range of rooms)? Because you won’t need those extra consumables with the proper tactics.
– Gold? Hah. You can amass that infinitely with play. You don’t need to waste Crowns on that.

3. Bestiary

There are a few different enemy races in Dragon Age: Legends, each of which have several classes that you may face throughout your adventure.

Here, I will cover how to recognise the base enemy type from its appearance and statistics, the main tactics to anticipate and deal with each type of foe, and the specific characteristics unique to that particular race.

I have described each Race in the order you will encounter them in.

Generally, your first priority to take out/disable should be any foe that can disable your party members or slay an ally with a single attack. This includes dual-wielding Rogues, Archers, and back-row Spellcasters that are not Conjurors.

As of 3 June 2011, I have added area-specific notes. I have also described the location of the crown cache and expected enemies on the map. As these may be spoilers for some players, feel free to skip this section.

Base Enemy Types:

-> 2-Handed Weapon warrior (usually a battleaxe, sometimes a greatsword)
These guys tend to have high Attack, high Health, and will spend their mana points using Overrun, hitting all opponents in the front row facing them. Expect to take heavy damage from each hit, and if you do have more than one member of your party in the front row, consider disabling them or removing their mana early on.
– among the animals, Bears fall into this group.
– among the Zombies, the ones with 2 or more mana points fall into this group.

-> Sword-and-shield warrior
There are two types:
– Use Shield Strike mainly, such as Skeletons
– Use Shield Tower in combination with Quick Lunge, such as Elves

-> Spellcaster, Offensive/Disabling
These are generally back row spellcasters with an Attack Attribute of at least 15, and specialise either in:
– Paralysing spells (Paralyse, Frostbite), such as Elven Chillers and Shades
– Heavy-damage spells to a single target (which can inflict 2-3 hearts’ worth of damage to a single party member with low Defense, like Mages), such as Arcane Horrors or Elven Firebrands
These foes are priority targets in any battle!

-> Spellcaster, Summoner
You can generally ignore these guys if you want them to summon more foes to give you additional experience. Be sure that you can handle the added number of opponents if you do so! All Summons expend 1-2 Mana points.

-> Spellcaster, Healer
Disable or drain the mana of these foes if you don’t want them to keep healing your enemies. However, if you can do enough damage to exceed the rate at which they heal their allies, you can ignore them since they don’t do anything else, and their attacks are weak.

-> Melee Warrior/Rogue hybrid
These wield a single dagger and prefer to use Quick Lunge, allowing them to attack twice in a turn. They have low Health and can be swiftly defeated by melee attacks. Among the Animals, Wolves fall into this group.

-> Dual-wielding Rogue
There are two types:
– the Stealth+Cripple rogues, which are priority targets in battle.
– the Skeletons which tend to use Targeted Attack

-> Dart- or Hatchet-throwing rogue in the back row
These will either employ Deadly Toss against a single target, dealing significant damage, or use Fire Bombs, which have the annoying result of removing your Mana points. The Skeleton Sapper differs in the sense that it tends to use half-strength Shock Bombs (dealing half a heart of damage to everyone in your party) instead. The Templar version is the most annoying – throwing Rasp Bombs, which function both as half-strength Shock Bombs and drain 1 mana point each, to boot!

-> Archer
The stronger ones are priority targets, as they can use Incapacitate.

-> Spiders
These are melee fighters, but will first use their Mana to deliver poison attacks. The ones in the back row can poison anyone in your party. If you can’t kill them quickly enough to avoid this happening, a Fire Bomb will neutralise them instantly.

Enemy Race specifics:
-> Darkspawn
These take extra damage from Acid bombs.
– Hurlock Conjurors summon animals up to the Halla
– Hurlock Shamans cast Heal and, when devoid of mana, cast Burst (regenerates 1 mana for all allies). The strongest ones can also cast Mass Heal
– Hurlock Emissaries cast Lightning, Arcane Bolt and Grease. The strongest ones (Alpha and Omega, generally found in the Orzammar area onwards) can also cast Rock Armor, Mana Drain,  Frostbite and Inferno
– Ogres (seen in Orzammar onwards) are friendly, huge, beasties with tons of health and high Attack and Defense values. Thankfully, they’re not particularly agile. They use Rock Barrage and Power Strike.

-> Undead
– Skeletons who are melee fighters tend to sit around draining mana instead of attacking. This means that if you have lots of mana points among your party members, you will tend to take much less damage from these foes whilst you destroy them. Skeletons are susceptible to lightning, and hence take extra damage from Shock Bombs and the mage spells Lightning and Storm.
– Zombies generally use their mana to Life Drain, if they have taken any damage at all. If not, they will use their mana for Rage.
– Arcane Horrors cast Paralyse, and Arcane Bolt

-> Animals
– The Bereskarn Alpha (6 hearts of Health), in addition to its powerful melee attacks, sometimes uses its 2 Mana Points to summon a Bereskarn.
– The Blight Wolf Alpha can also summon normal Blight Wolves.
– Corrupted Tuskers use Shred, which does half a heart of damage per turn for 4 turns, in addition to their melee damage.

-> Elves
Elves tend to have high Agility, and are susceptible to melee attacks.
– Handlers cast Heal, and can summon Blight Wolves.

-> Mercenaries
Mercenaries tend to have high Defense, and are susceptible to ranged attacks.

-> Demons
These are susceptible to magic attacks, and being also susceptible to electricity, will take extra damage (1.5 hearts) from Shock Bombs, as well as the mage spells Lightning and Storm. All of them deal ranged magic damage. There are 2 types:
– Shades will use Paralyse, Terror and Life Drain
– Rage Demons generally use Tongue Lash, which deals light damage to a single row. However, the ones with 5 Hearts or more of health can deal significant damage if they use Rage, and the strongest of them can use Fire Breath (which deals heavy damage to a single target)

-> Werewolves
You will encounter these after leaving Green Dales: Tianne’s Camp. What makes them dangerous at this early stage of the game is their combination of high Agility and heavy-hitting blows. Make sure all party members are healed as much as possible. Fire Bombs are useful for removing their potent, Mana-reliant special attacks. They are susceptible to Melee and Magic attacks.
– The standard Werewolves will use Quick Lunge, and summon Blight Wolves.
– The black werewolves behave as melee Rogues, using Stealth and Low Blow
– Rabid Werewolves use Poison Strike, and will sometimes use Rage.

-> Treants (trees)
These are particularly susceptible to melee and fire attacks. Fortunately, none of them are powerful melee fighters.
– Rotting Sylvans will use Poison on any of your party members. Grand Rotting Sylvans drain mana when they hit in melee combat.
– Charred Sylvans (identifiable by their red coloration) will use Flaming Weapons, then attack in melee. The ones with at least 5 hearts’ worth of health are dangerous, as they can use Fire Breath, which does tremendous damage to a single target.
– Stormstruck Sylvans will use Lightning.

-> Dragon cultists
These are essentially tougher versions of the generic warrior/rogue/spellcaster classes encountered in the earlier areas. With their increased Hit Points and mana pools, Poison Bombs and Frost Bombs are the most useful consumables to employ against them.
*Note: Except for Tamer Recruits, all other Recruits do not use their mana.
– Zealots start off using their mana for Harsh Language, which doubles the cost of your own mana-using abilities. They will also use Quick Lunge, War Cry, and Evasion. Disable them fast if you don’t want to be wasting a lot of mana yourself.
– Tamers rely mainly on Overrun, and will sometimes use Quick Lunge
– The hatchet-throwers use Rage, but do not throw bombs.
– Seductresses cast Heal. The ones with 5 Hearts or more are particularly dangerous, as they cast Paralyse and Mass Paralysis.
– Conjuror cultists summon Spiders and Wolves, and use Arcane Bolt.
– Cultists use Heal and Mana Drain

-> Dragons
Dragons all have high Attack values and do heavy damage with every hit. The full-sized Drakes also have deadly breath attacks. Poison and Frost Bombs work great against them.
– Fire Drakes use Fire Breath
– Frost Drakes have an area-of-effect breath weapon that does damage and paralyses its victims
– Swamp Drakes have a powerful breath attack that also does poison damage over time.
– Storm Drakes have an area-of-effect breath weapon, similar to the mage spell Storm.
– Dragonlings use Desperate Swipe.
– Dragonlings with a subtype (e.g. Storm Dragonling) can use Fireball, which damages a single target

-> Templars
First encountered in the second half of the Waking Seas when going to visit the First Enchanter in the town of Jainen, Templars are tougher versions of the generic classes, with one additional ability: each of them also have the ability to drain one mana point from their target when attacking.
– the Templars which use greatswords can use the Rogue ability, Confuse. This disables the victim just like the Mage spell, Paralyse. The update introduced on 4 August 2011 also added varying levels of magic immunity to these Templars; the stronger the Templar, the more spells/magic the unit is immune to.

-> Carta Dwarves
All of these have high attributes and hit very, very hard. They do not have spellcasters, so you won’t be using the mage skill of Magic Shield. Focus on disabling/defeating the Carta Chiefs/Overseers/Moguls.
– Brawlers employ Precision Attack and Quick Lunge
– Berserkers can use Berserk, which doubles their Attack attribute but drops their Defense attribute.
– The Carta Warriors’ version of Overrun can also stun all foes who get hit.
– Carta Chiefs, Overseers and Moguls are your priority targets! They use Rally for their allies (boosts all the dwarves’ Attack and Defense above their already very-high levels). Carta Overseers and above use Ale Party when their fellow Dwarves are damaged; this special ability heals 2 hearts of life to all your dwarven foes.
– The crossbowmen (Arblasters) are particularly dangerous. Their Double Bolt special attack inflicts heavy ranged damage to any target. With their high Agility, if there is more than one of them in a wave, it is vital to disable at least one, if not both before they can attack together – two Crossbowmen using Double Bolt/Pinning Bolt (and each Pinning Bolt can stun up to 2 of your party members at once) can spell the end of your party before you know it.
– The axe-throwers are, surprisingly, the least dangerous foes of all. Novices and Apprentices tend to throw Rasp Bombs, which drain 1 mana point per hit. The more powerful ones throw Fire Bombs. Veteran Sappers can throw Splash Bombs, which inflict 1 heart of damage and drain 1 mana point of the target, and half a heart of damage to surrounding allies. Having said that, compared to all the other Carta Dwarves (who all do heavy damage), these guys are less dangerous.
– Veteran Defenders can use Lynchpin Defense, which drastically drops their Attack, Defense and Agility whilst simultaneously boosting the Defense attribute of all their allies.

-> Deepstalkers
These creatures are the subterranean lizards found in the Deep Roads. They are susceptible to ranged attacks. There are two main types:
– the small ones have very high Agility (50), which means you can expect to have lots of glancing blows when you attack them. Luckily, they don’t hit very hard.
– the big ones have ranged attacks, and some special abilities including Weaken and Grease.
– the third type, the Matriarch, is rarely seen. It has Ground Slam, which halves your party’s Defense attribute; and Quick Lunge.

-> Deep Roads Darkspawn
“Huh? Yet more kinds of Darkspawn?” That’s right. The most dangerous aspect of meeting these guys, however, is not the darkspawn themselves…but rather, the Corrupted Brontoes that sometimes serve as their “tanks”. Focus on disabling/taking out the Brontoes. They are even more dangerous than Ogres.
– Corrupted Bronto: High overall stats, susceptible to melee attacks. They are even more dangerous than Ogres. Their special abilities are nasty: Ram is similar to the skill Shattering Blow, reducing the target’s Defense attribute by 50%; Animal Rage, which drops your Defense by 50% and simultaneously boosts your enemies’ attack power by 50%; and the strongest Brontoes have Charge, which does heavy damage to the target, and anyone behind the target (can take out a spellcaster ally in one hit).
– Rasping Hurlock: Crossbow-wielders that fire Rasp Bolts. These drain 1 mana per hit. They also use Pinning Shot.

-> Thaig Spiders
The Deep Roads’ version of giant spiders is far more deadly than their surface cousins. These spiders have 6 (or more) Hearts of life each, high Agility, and can poison+paralyse your party members to death. Therefore, using party members with high Agility (30 or more) and special abilities that disable foes is essential to survive waves that contain multiple (more than 3) spiders. There are 2 main types:
– The “standard” Thaig Spiders and Thaig Crawlers employ Web (paralyses their target), Webster (decreases Agility of your entire party) and Poison Strike
– The Corrupted Thaig Spiders mainly use Corrupted Strike, which temporarily decreases their target’s Attack attribute. The strongest ones with ranged attacks (read: back-row spiders) can summon melee versions into a fight. All Corrupted spiders are susceptible to lightning, so lightning-based spells and Shock Bombs do extra damage to them.

-> Golems
Coming in many different shapes and sizes, Golems are as varied in their vulnerabilities as they are in their roles in combat. Their Defense attributes tend to be high. Also, their standard attacks carry a small chance of paralysing the victim for up to 4 turns.
– Genlocks use Low Blow and Harden, which temporarily boosts their Defense attribute. Alphas and above can use Ground Slam (halves Attack and Defense of everyone in your party).
– Humanoids use Harden and Rock Slide (damages target and adjacent allies, like the Mage spell Lightning; also has a chance to stun its victims).
– Quadrapeds use Evasion, Quick Lunge and Low Blow. The Alphas can use Sharpen (boosts attack power).
– Emissaries are spellcasters. They use Mana Steal (drains 2 Mana), Lightning, Blizzard, and Magic Shield.
– Constructs function like Ogres, with the following extra abilities: they can use Rage and Ground Slam. The strongest ones with 2 mana points can use Caridin’s Cataclysm: this expends 2 mana points of the Golem and its allies, the Golem takes damage to itself, and inflicts heavy damage to everyone (including its allies, but your party members take more damage) on the battlefield!
– Grinders hurl spikes. They can use Rage, Sharpen (boosts their attack power), and the strongest ones can use Scatter Spike, which hits all targets.
– Corrupted Humanoids can use Corrupted Bite, which decreases the attack power of its victim.
– Unstable Constructs are suicide bombs, and will self-destruct themselves against the nearest target. The explosion is powerful enough to kill low-Defense characters (i.e. spellcasters) outright – if you are a soloing Mage, don’t let these guys hit you! Magic Shield does not protect against the explosion. (If you use Throw Voice on another enemy, these Constructs will self-detonate against that foe instead!)
– Golem Saboteur: Removes the Control Rods of the Unstable Constructs, which depletes their mana (there is no other apparent benefit to doing so). They use Dirty Fighting.

-> Raiders
The first foes you will encounter in Kirkwall, Raiders are more powerful versions of the Mercenaries you’ll have met in previous areas. In addition, they have a few unique units:
– Wardogs use Evasion and Quick Lunge. The Alpha type also uses Terror
– Chiefs use Rally and War Cry. Chief Masters can also use Bracing Kits. Chiefs also have varying immunity to spells and staff bolts; the stronger the Chief, the higher the degree of magic immunity he/she has.
– Witches use Healing, Mass Heal, and Emancipation (frees a single enemy from paralysis). The strongest Witches can use Mass Emancipation (frees all enemies from Paralysis)
– Heretics are elemental mages. Heretic Masters can cast Inferno, Flaming Weapons and Mass Paralyse.
– Savages throw Shock Bombs, and use Bracing Kits on their allies.

-> Coterie
The Coterie are tougher versions of the Mercenaries you’ll have met in the Green Dales.
– The Capodecima is rarely seen, but very dangerous. In addition to having immunity to certain magic spells, he can also use Harsh Language and Pay Day. Pay Day doubles the Agility of all your foes, making your attacks more likely to glance off and allowing your enemies to take many more turns than usual in combat!
– Bodyguards can use War Cry.
– Arsonists throw Fire Bombs and Lyrium Bombs, which drain a lot of mana.
– Alchemists are annoying foes: they use Weaken and Flaming Weapons. The Alchemist Masters can also use Mana Convert (steals one of their own allies’ mana to replenish their own) and Mana Combustion (drains mana of one target, and deals damage to that target in proportion to the amount of mana drained).

-> Kirkwall Templars
Tougher than their counterparts in the Waking Seas, the Kirkwall Templars also have a couple of new units.
– Healing Mages cast Stinging Swarm most of the time. On occasion, they cast Summon Bronto.
– Conjuring Mages cast Mass Heal.
– Sentinels use Rage, and Shield Bash.

-> Shadow Elves
You’ll meet these defending the entrance to Low Town. They have very high Agility and Attack, and are extremely deadly foes with a huge variety of special abilities.
– Melee fighters (Hunters and Blighted Elves) can use Blood Magic, which costs 1.5 hearts of their life to temporarily boost their Agility or Defense.
– Hunters are essentially Rogues, with Stealth and Backstab (similar to Dirty Fighting). Their normal attack is Impure Strike, which halves the Nature Resistance of their victim.
– Sighters cast Heal and can use Impure Shot (inflicts -50% Nature Resistance to the victim)
– Marksmen can use Poison Shot, in addition to other archer special abilities.
– Blighted Elves function as sword-and-shield warriors, and can also use the ability Poison Strike.
– Enchanters use Mass Heal and Summon Sylvan (costs 2 mana). Rotting Sylvans are summoned. The strength of the Sylvan summoned depends on the power of the Enchanter; the strongest Enchanters will summon Grand Rotting Sylvans. Another spell is Nature’s Essence; at the cost of 1 mana point, the target regenerates 1 heart of life for 6 turns. The strongest Enchanters can also use Nature’s Synergy, which costs 2 mana and allows all your enemies to regenerate 1 heart of life for 4 turns!
– Casters use Life Drain and Arcane Bolt. They can also use 1 mana point to summon Shadows. The stronger the Caster, the stronger the Shadow. Recruit casters summon a Shadow that has Atk 35, Def 12, Agl 36, Lck 5, 3 hearts of life, and is worth 4 XP when beaten; standard Casters summon a Shadow that has Atk 36, Def 15, Agl 40, Lck 10, 3 hearts of life, and worth 6 XP when beaten; Master types summon a more powerful Shadow that has Atk 37, Def 18, Agl 44, Lck 15, 4 hearts of life, and is worth 8XP when beaten. All Shadows can only be damaged by staff attacks or Bombs, and use Arcane Bolt.
– Sappers can throw Poison Bombs, Fire Bombs, or Gas Bombs, which do poison damage for 4 turns, to your whole party.

-> Greater Animals
First encountered in the Vimmark Wastelands, these are far tougher versions of the Animals you have met earlier.
– Blight Wolf Omega/Boss/Elite Boss: Have very high Agility (the Elite Boss has the following attributes: Atk 45, Def 42, Agl 73, Lck 26). Coupled with their Quick Lunge ability, they can do significant damage. The Boss has significant damage resistance.
– Corrupted Tuskers: use Charge
– Bereskarn Omega/Boss: These have more life, and damage resistance.

-> Greater Darkspawn
Far more powerful versions of the darkspawn you met in the Orzammar and Deep Roads areas.
– Hurlock Shaman Bosses: These can use Weaken and Life Drain, in addition to their other usual abilities. The Elite Boss and Uber Elite Bosses have the highest attributes (Atk 59, Def 42, Agl 45, Lck 23), and a lot of health; the Uber Elite Boss has 11 hearts. The Uber Elite Boss can also use Magic Shield and Drain, which saps both the life and mana of its target.
– Hurlock Elite/Uber Elite Boss: Has very high stats (Elite Boss: Atk 70, Def 36, Agl 33, Lck 30. 13 Hearts. 85% Melee Resistance, and other resistances), and a lot of health. Can use Pommel Strike and Shield Charge in addition to all its other usual abilities.

-> Major Bosses
Soleil in Glendel’s Ruins, Tianne in the Green Dale, Deymour in the Waking Seas, Beirus in his Retreat, and Hagen in Kirkwall’s Low Town, are the major bosses. Keep them disabled, or drain their mana quickly, as their special abilities can destroy you with astonishing ease. Of the minor bosses:
– Bolgar is the Carta Dwarf boss in Orzammar itself; he is a very Agile (Agility 55) Scattershot-using Warrior, with the highest attributes among all foes in the game, as of this writing.
– The Thaig Spider Queen in the Deep Roads is avoidable if you stay to the side of the cave; she uses Life Drain and Poison Spit.
For the major bosses:
– You will get to fight Beirus twice; he escapes the very first time you drop his life to 2.5 hearts or less.
– Hagen is the Carta Dwarf boss in Kirkwall Low Town. He is a dual-wielding Rogue who is immune to ranged projectile (throwing knife, arrow) attacks. You will get to face him at least three times; the first two battles are brief, while the third battle is a full-blown, multiple-wave, multiple-enemies Boss battle. After beating him the third time, you have the option of letting him join you as an NPC, or executing him in a final, fourth battle and taking his belt. Aside from high Nature Resistance (+40%) and Agility (+8), though, his Belt isn’t particularly useful otherwise and imposes a penalty on Luck (-3).

Area-specific notes:

-> Planasene Forest
You will start out with the relatively simple job of fighting Raspin. After that, you are then told to secure the Safe House where Lukesh and Eiton are.
– Towards the Ruins: There are 3 paths to choose from. Take the right-most path to exit the map. The Crown cache is on the far right of the map.
– Glendel’s Ruins: The Crown cache is on the far right of the map. At the very top of the map, you will have to face Soliel, your first major Boss.

-> Green Dales
Upon entering the area, you realise all is not right when the Elves and Demons attack you.
– Tianne’s Camp: Sendis’ house is in the top corner of the camp. After you’ve beaten the enemies in that fight, you are tasked to find Sendis, somewhere in Belwain’s Dale. The Crown cache on this map is on the bottom, immediately after you cross the lower bridge and the path towards the camp has a fork.
– Belwain’s Dale: After finding Sendis’ house in Tianne’s Camp deserted, you’ll head here to look for the ranger. He is hiding in the top left corner, 5-energy-node battle. Winning this fight will fulfil this goal. The Crown cache is at the top of the map.

-> Waking Seas
You will face mercenaries initially. From the Drake’s Nest area onwards, you will encounter Dragon Cultists and Dragons. Poison, Acid and Frost Bombs are most useful.
– Heading Inland: Take the left path when the choice appears. The Crown cache is at the top left of the map.
– Drake’s Nest: The Crown cache is at the top left of the map.
– North Jainen Coast: The Crown cache is at the bottom of the map, right after the very first fork in your route.
– Jainen: The Crown cache is at the bottom right of the map.

-> Outside Orzammar
Released on 1 June 2011, this area has high-energy nodes with multiple (5 or more) enemy waves, of which half comprise 4-6 enemies. Poison, Acid and Frost Bombs will be your most useful consumables here. Allies with multi-attack capabilities are also useful; the Darkspawn are generally susceptible to melee attacks, while the Mercenaries are susceptible to ranged attacks. Once you get the the gates of Orzammar, you’ll encounter some animals on the side path. (There are a few 11-energy-combat nodes. Those usually have 2-3 Ogres in the last few waves. Remember to bring enough Frost Bombs, and ensure everyone in your party has a special ability that can disable opponents. Having 2-3 Ogres simultaneously Power Strike your party members can end the fight very quickly.)
– Ferelden Coast: The crown cache is on the far right of the map.
– Gherlen’s Pass: The crown cache is on the far left of the map.
– Gates of Orzammar: The crown cache is on the bottom left of the map.

-> Inside Orzammar: Orzammar Thaig
After all the heavy fighting outside Orzammar against multi-foe waves of Darkspawn, the fewer waves and numbers per fight in Orzammar itself are a relief.
– The Crown Cache is near the exit. A few nodes away from this map’s exit, there is a fork that extends towards the bottom right of the map. The cache is at the end of the path.

-> Deep Roads
On the first map, titled Deep Roads, you will face Carta Dwarves, Deepstalkers, underground-type Darkspawn, and the Thaig Spiders.
– the Crown Cache is at the end of a passageway. Here is where it is: once you enter this map, the passageway goes straight towards a dead end. The Cache is on the other side of the rock pile that ends the passage. To reach the Cache, you need to take a roundabout route, going past the Thaig Spiders’ nest, before you reach it.

-> Deep Roads: Davroken Thaig/Beirus’ Retreat
Released on 6 July 2011, this area showcases new foes: Golems! Do not be fooled by their (mostly) small size – they can hit as hard as Carta Dwarves (if not harder). However, with the right tactics you should not have any problems winning every fight, and gold should be pouring in by now with each victory (on entering the area, my Warrior and Mage each had more than 20,000 gold in reserve, 20 Gears for their main Labs, upgraded taverns, 3 fully-upgraded Storerooms, and still could not use up consumables as fast as their 7-8 workers could produce).
– Davroken Thaig: Take the right fork once you enter this map. Another fork towards the right will appear, leading you to Tharin. This will give you the quest to find Isalda. You will find both Isalda, and the Crown cache, at the top left of this map.
– after defeating Beirus at his Retreat, do not leave the map immediately! More nodes appear, some containing loot. The important one is on the far right of the map, on the first island after the starting point; the Crown cache is there, becoming accessible only after Beirus is beaten.

-> Kirkwall High Town
Released on 4 August 2011, this area introduces you to the Raiders and Coterie. The first set of choices you make will cause either Varence, Marsa or Korznik to leave your party for the duration of this area. On the plus side, you’ll have the NPC ally Tovez, a very tough and hard-hitting (Atk 69) dwarf who uses a greataxe. Later on, you get to fight Templars too; the update introduced with this area means that veterans who fought the earlier versions of Templars will realise some of them are now immune to magic! Likewise, the Raider Chiefs are immune to Magic. Once you finally learn that Lukesh is in Low Town, you’ll meet Carta Dwarves and Shadow Elves defending the entrance to Low Town.
– The Crown Cache in this area is in the bottom right of the map, just 4 nodes away from the exit. Here’s how you get there: once you clear the 9-energy-node fight that bars the exit, head due north through 3 more nodes (Energy 8-> 7 -> 9) and you’ll come to the Crown Cache.
– If you want to hang around to do more fighting, clearing the energy node that bars the exit also unlocks all the nodes in the area that were previously closed by the decisions you made earlier.

-> Kirkwall Low Town
You’ll encounter first Carta Dwarves, then more Shadow Elves. The Boss of this area, Hagen, is a Rogue who is immune to ranged attacks. You’ll have to fight him at least 3 times. The 3rd battle is a full-scale Boss battle, after which you decide whether to let him join you as an NPC, or execute him and take his belt.
– The Crown Cache in this area is in the bottom left of the map, a few nodes away from the exit.

-> Vimmark Wastelands
Released on 21 october 2011, this area has mostly Greater Darkspawn and Greater Animals, though you will get the opportunity to fight Raiders as well. Completing this area will net you about 11000XP.
– The Crown Cache is 15 nodes south of the exit. See the end of my Mage’s Vimmark Wasteland video link for the path.

4. Video Section showcasing Poor and Lonely style of gameplay

I will intermittently modify this section to add links to a DA:L video guide, in the style of my other video walkthroughs.

Viewers who have seen my Youtube video guides on games such as Mech Commander and Dragon Age: Origins (such as the Invincible Arcane Warrior or Fade Run walkthrough series) will also recognise my tendency to emphasize proper planning, tactical play, and cutting-edge builds to sail through games on the hardest difficulty settings, or show that certain often-thought-impossible feats are very, very possible.

These represent progress through casual play. A hardcore player (even someone who has more than the 1-2 hours I have, at most, every 1-2 days) can probably progress faster.

Viewers familiar with the Mage and Rogue builds may find the battles somewhat monotonous, since the play style required to solo here is quite uniform.

(Note: Some of the videos are quite long, especially the Boss battles. Feel free to skip through the first and last few minutes if needed, since each video starts out showing the character’s setup and equipment, and ends showing the current Castle)

Warrior links:
Level 9, going to 10 (in 5 days of play) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fUzDg9Javc

Level 14 (in 2 weeks of play) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOpvvMPWaUk

Level 16 (in 24 days of play) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys_SyIMxexg

Level 17 (in 27 days of play), Boss battle: Tianne – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmd56aOR2mk

Level 20, going to 21 (in 50 days of play) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4CjbeMTVao

Level 21 (in 55 days of play), Boss battle: Deymour – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJvtvoy0MiM

Level 25 (in 76 days of play). Gates of Orzammar – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd2dq6Yr2z0

Level 29 (in 98 days of play), Boss battle: Beirus – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFZf2WquSS0

Level 32 (in 122 days of play, including 18 days of grinding), Boss battle: Hagen – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMUBLiCJIi4

Level 33 (in 128 days of play, including 24 days of grinding), first solo attempt – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q4DZtSUF_U

Level 41 (in 183 days of play, including 79 days of grinding), Level 40 Raid: Carthriss – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YQ3J6sDC4U

Mage links:
Level 10, going to 11 (in 5 days of play) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLR0KELBwPE

Level 14 (in 2 weeks of play), Boss battle: Soleil – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvHqXkLOaQU

Level 17 (in 24 days of play), Boss battle: Tianne – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWZIX_ommyk

Level 18, going to 19. first half of Waking Seas completed (in 32 days of play) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdo6_GhjpsQ

Level 21 (in 50 days of play), Boss battle: Deymour – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDDmluxDJHY

Level 26 (in 76 days of play), Gates of Orzammar – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dpyt4MDXgw

Level 29 (in 98 days of play), Boss battle: Beirus – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj1zbetOKiI

Level 32 (in 122 days of play, including 20 days of grinding), Boss battle: Hagen – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHof05uMozA

Level 41 (in 180 days of play, including 78 days of grinding), Level 40 Raid: Carthriss – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLkk6uWsDBY

Level 42 (in 190 days of play, including 88 days of grinding), Level 40 Raid completed in under 2 hours! – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yranT5k8gOA

Level 42 (in 200 days of play, including 93 days of grinding), Vimmark Wasteland Final Battle – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmLTNIwrqIM

Rogue links (soloing):Level 14 (in 10 days of play), Boss battle: Soliel – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24zGrG6J0RI

Level 16 (in 18 days of play), Boss battle: Tianne – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Puz_uy53Fxk

Level 20 (in 34 days of play), Boss battle: Deymour – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgGxRRb77HI

5. Best Places to Grind

The best place to grind, for XP as well as high-end items, is the Vimmark Wasteland (24 XP per point of energy if you allow the Conjurors to summon all their animals; 22 XP otherwise)

The Carthriss Raid is consumable-intensive and not suited for Warriors. (22.7 XP per point of energy)

The third-best area would be Gherlen’s Pass, in the Orzammar area. Certain encounters re-spawn here regularly, and you will be fighting powerful Darkspawn. Each 8-11 energy battle contains 4-5 waves of 3-6 enemies, and will yield 100-245 XP per fight (if you allow the Summoners to keep summoning pets for more easy experience, the maximum I’ve gotten from a battle is 245 XP on a 10-energy node battle). For the amount of XP given, the foes are much easier than the ones in Kirkwall. Average XP per point of energy, assuming you allow Conjurors to summon all their Pets – 19.4 to 19.5.

6. Raids

Carthriss the Spider Queen has claimed many victims as the promise of riches and glory in Davroken Thaig draws scores of hapless adventurers to her…

…the bones of would-be heroes, close to and at level 50, litter her cave. Many of these thought that Crown Gear, and Crown-geared allies, would help them win through.

They discovered the hard way that a ton of expensive gear can’t compensate for poor judgment, and their spirits now haunt the forums, warning all others of the dangers of taking on Carthriss…

Raids are targeted at high-level characters, with money to spend. Crown Gear, with hordes of Crown-geared player allies, all gifting each other with energy pills, are the intended audience. This is due to the high difficulty, and astronomical energy requirements, of the Raids.

The Level 10 Raid is more suited to level 20+ players with Crown Gear, and is not worth tackling for Poor and Lonely players. It covers a minimum of 20 battles, and a Boss battle, for a total of 109 Energy required.

The Level 40 Raid, however, does offer passable loot, a worthy challenge, and glory for those who consider themselves the most skilled players in DA: Legends: the Poor and Lonely who hone their skills relentlessly. Those truest to the spirit of the Poor and Lonely style, eager to seek out the hardest encounters, will find the level 40 Raid a formidable test.

As author of the Guide, I establish the precedent of a Poor and Lonely player, at the barest minimum of the Raid requirements, completing the Raid with a decent time at my very first try…

…and prove once again that there is no substitute for skill and tactical genius.

The Level 40 Raid is a good test of a Poor and Lonely player’s judgment, as well as mastery of all the mechanics of the game.

If you’re worried it might be a bit too hard for you – the tips below should make life far easier, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say those tips would make the Raid easy…

Technical Specifications of the Raid:
Level 40 Raid: Carthriss, the Spider Queen

Energy Requirements: 140, plus 10 for the Boss Battle

Minimum number of battles: 20, excluding the Boss Battle. Energy requirements are 5/6/7/8/9, in order of increasing difficulty.

Enemies: Spiders with high Agility, Defense, Attack, and the ability to finish off your entire party if you make a single wrong move. They have varying immunities; some are immune to all Bombs, some to certain schools of Spells, such as Primal spells, or to Mass Paralyse, or to Stinging Swarm/Life Drain.

Minimum time required to complete for a grandmaster of the Poor and Lonely Style: Just under 2 hours (assumes no Energy Potions, Evra’s Horns, or Smelling Salts used) with level-up, for a Mage; Rogues and Warriors can do this in just under 3 hours, with level-up.

(The Raid can also be completed in 8 hours by a Rogue or Mage with Stamina of at least 25. This allows Poor and Lonely characters to repeatedly tackle the Raid to get the Silver Tier gear, without waiting to level up! Warriors will find this impossible, due to the ease of losing NPCs’ throughout the Raid.)

Experience given per point of energy expended: 22.7

Detailed Insights:
1. Re-spec your character for the requirements of the Raid if you haven’t done so.
– Attributes: Your Stamina should be 25 (you’ll need the added Health to survive the Poison and Bilious Spits); your Agility should be at least 30; and your Defense needs to be balanced against your attacking power.
– Skills: fully upgrade your crowd-control and disabling skills. I would recommend having at least 2 for each class:
Mage-> Fully-upgraded Mass Paralyse for crowd control. For offense, a fully-upgraded Drake, or 2 of the following: Walking Bomb/Stinging Swarm/Life Drain
Warrior-> upgraded Shield Bash and Pommel Strike for crowd control. You will also need Shield Mastery to be fully upgraded, and Taunt to draw enemy attacks to you when you have allies with low Defense. By keeping your allies alive, and drawing enemy fire to yourself (which you should be able to survive), this allows you to last through the waves in each battle.
Rogue-> fully-upgraded Throw Voice+Confuse+Pinning Shot for crowd control; upgraded Feign Death to regenerate mana; and at least 2 of the following: Cripple/Coup de Grace/Dirty Fighting/Mass Volley

(Note: Warriors have the hardest time completing this Raid compared to the other classes, as their crowd control skills are inferior to the Mage and Rogue’s.)
2. Begin the Raid with 900-1450 XP short of your next level up. This allows you to level up at the end of the second of the 4 waves, refreshing all fallen/resting NPC allies for use again.

3. Poison Bombs, Frost Bombs and Acid Bombs will be your main Bombs. Grease Bombs, Shock Bombs and Fire Bombs are secondary Bombs. Among the secondaries, I recommend Fire Bombs as a must.
– You should have at least 80 of the main Bombs, and at 40 of your chosen secondaries, when you start the raid.
– For your Potions/Salves, I recommend Full Health Potions, Team Mana Salves, Team Injury Kits, Greater Mana Potions, and 1 other consumable of your choice. Most players should consider going with Greater Mana Salves in the last slot, as mana will likely be the most precious commodity to you.
– Space out your use of consumables, especially your mana salves/potions and try to save at least 2 Poison, 2 Frost, and 1 Acid Bomb for the last wave of each encounter. The last wave usually contains the most, and toughest, enemies.

4. You don’t need to bring along a full party of 3 for the first 1-2 battles of each 5-battle-wave. This is especially important if your NPC resting time is the main limiting factor for your going on to the next battle at once.
– Certain NPCs’ with crowd-control skills are invaluable for the 7-9 energy battles in the Raids. These are: Varence, Sendis, Korznik, Joslin, Cerlais. Use the NPCs’ for these fights.
– Ensure all party characters are healed fully before the battles end. This lowers cooldown time. With proper planning, and Stamina of at least 25, a Poor and Lonely Mage/Rogue can complete this Raid in 8 hours without levelling up, allowing a skilled player to make repeated attempts at Silver Tier gear without waiting to level up.

This is my suggested NPC sequence of use for a Poor and Lonely Mage, which I use each time I enter the Raid. My Mage can solo the first 3 battles of each wave.
Wave 1, battle 4: Cerlais
Wave 1, battle 5: Varence
Wave 2, battle 4: Korznik
Wave 2, battle 5: Sendis
—> If level up here, can complete this Raid in under 2 hours.
Wave 3, battle 4: Korznik
Wave 3, battle 5: Varence
Wave 4, battle 4: Hagen
Wave 4, battle 5: Cerlais
Boss: Tovez, Sendis

5. Enemy Specifications: (* indicates an especially dangerous enemy that should be disabled or slain as quickly as possible)
– Many Spiders use Bilious Spit, which is a ranged attack with double the strength of the spider’s attack attribute.
– Many Spiders can also use Web, which halves the Agility of their target. This is particularly deadly if you finish off a wave without waiting for the Webs to wear off, as your party will enter the next wave with very poor turn initiative.
– Thaig Spider Servant: Uses Burst. Can use Poison Spit. Will not do anything if it is alone and has no mana.
– Thaig Spitter: Uses Poison Spit. Immune to Walking Bomb.
– Thaig Helper: Uses War Cry, Thaig Armor (+50% Def to all spiders for 5 turns). Immune to all bombs.
– Thaig Spinner:  Atk 55, Def 95, Agl 41, Lck 22. Immune to all bombs and ranged attacks. Ultimate defensive unit, susceptible to Stinging Swarm, Life Drain, and Inferno. Uses Quick Web as a free action.
– Thaig Weaver: Uses Mass Web (similar to Mass Paralysis, but works on a maximum of 2 foes), and Poison Spit.
– Thaig Mender: Support unit, uses Nature’s Essence (regenerates 1 heart of life per turn for the target, for 4 turns); Poison Spit; and Bilious Spit as a standard attack. Immune to melee attacks. Immune to Walking Bomb, Mana Drain and Stinging Swarm.
– Thaig Mother: Uses Corrode Armor (halves all allies’ defense for 6 turns), and Spawn up to 2 Hatchlings (each spider can immoblise and poison a target) as a free action, which means this spider can spawn up to 2 lesser spiders if it has at least 2 mana remaining, in a single turn!
– Thaig Feaster: Uses Envenomed Web as a free action. This drains 1 mana of everyone in your party.
– Corrupted Spawner: Spawns Corrupted Hatchlings, which use Poison Strike

– *Blazing Thaig Arachnid: Atk 75, Def 45, Agl 61, Lck 22. Able to use Fire Breath and Inferno. This can kill most characters with a single hit! Worse, it also has Disintegrate, where it self-detonates with enough power (Attack strength about 300) to kill any NPC, and most players instantly. It uses Disintegrate when it is low on mana and there is no Spider barring its path to its target. Immune to Fire and Shock Bombs. Immune to Walking Bomb.

– *Frostbitten Thaig Arachnid: Atk 45, Def 85, Agl 61, Lck 22. Able to use Frostbite and Frostball; Frostball seems to be a cold-based version of Arcane Bolt. Estimated attack power of Frostball is about 90. Immune to melee and Frost Bombs.

– *Thaig Hoarder: Atk 55, Def 75, Agl 61, Lck 22. Every time it has a turn, it can use Bulk Up (+2 Mana, + 50% attack) first, then attacks. After 2 uses of Bulk Up, when it has 5 or more mana and typically an Attack attribute of 110, it automatically uses 5 Mana points for Furious Bite – this attack functions identically as Destroyer, which means it usually hits with an Attack power of 330. This will kill any NPC, and most players at once – my own Warrior lost 3.5 hearts to this.

– *Carthriss: Atk 50, Def 178, Agl 75, Lck 35. Uses Life Drain. Quickest way to disable her is a Fire Bomb, followed by 2 Poison Bombs to finish her off.

– Spiders that take extra damage from Walking Bomb: Crawler, Mender, Helper, Spider Servant
– Spiders that are immune to Walking Bomb cast directly on them: Spitter, Feaster, Mender, Blazing Thaig Arachnid.

Video links:
The video link for my Mage’s very first battle against the Level 40 Raid Boss, Carthriss, is:
Time taken: 6 hours, 40 minutes.

This link shows my Mage, finishing off the Carthriss Raid in under 2 hours:

The video link for my Warrior’s first battle against the Level 40 Raid Boss, Carthriss, is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YQ3J6sDC4U
Time taken: 8 hours, 6 minutes.
(I miscalculated my choice of allies at the last 9-energy battle of the Raid, forcing me to retreat and wait to build up enough energy to complete it. This took an additional 2 hours of waiting.)

I have penned a couple of story-style descriptions of the Dragon Age: Legends world, centered around the Level 40 Raid. These can be found in the topic on this forum, “Level 40 Raid Completed! Poor and Lonely Style, Level 41 Mage”. The link is: Dragon Age Legends Level 40 Under 2 Hours

7. Making a Donation

Though I have pointed out that only highly skilled players can get through the game with this playing style, this should not stop you from making a donation (i.e. paying money) to the game developers to thank them for their efforts, if you feel it is warranted. The developers do make quite a lot of money from the other players who rely on purchasing Crowns to survive, but I have always felt that if someone’s effort should be rewarded, please go ahead and do so.

Whether you choose to then use the Crowns you purchased, is up to you.

8. Help!

Finished reading the Guide, but still need some personal help from time to time? Or perhaps you’re getting tired of playing with only NPCs’?

Have no fear! For adherents of this Style, this thread will fix that:

I also advise and outfit players of all levels with gear, including Raid and Rare/Epic gear. There is also a small inventory of Crown gear. The link is:

Highly-skilled players of the Poor and Lonely Style, or valuable contributors in any way will be acknowledged here (if they aren’t already mentioned in the first part of the Guide).

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