Dragon Age Inquisition Beginner’s Crafting Guide

Dragon Age Inquisition Beginner’s Crafting Guide by JanissaryJames

This is my attempt at a beginner’s guide to crafting in DA:I. A lot of the information here will be biased toward what I find to be the more relevant points of crafting and barely touching, if at all, on other points that are less crucial to an effective build or what I find to be just all around poor investments. SO without further ado, here we go…

In DA:I, each character can equip:

  • Armor: This is the clothes you wear to look pretty while slaying bad guys and demons in the field. This will not have any effect on the royal pajamas you wear in Haven/Skyhold. Most armor you will loot and all (but a handful of crafted armor found in the later hours of the game) will also have two upgrade slots as well:
    • Arms: adds stats directly to your base armor. Changes the appearance of your armor from the shoulders to the ends of the arms.
    • Legs: adds stats directly to your base armor. Changes the appearance of your armor from the groin to the ends of the legs.
  • Weapon: tool of destruction for dispatching baddies and bringing order back to the land in your wake.
    • Grip/haft: adds stats directly to your base weapon. Changes the appearance of your weapon where your character places their hands on the weapon.
    • Pommel/Blade: Only available on two handed warrior weapons and mage staves respectfully. Adds stats directly to your base weapon. Changes the appearance of your weapon at the end nearest to the ground while wielded.
    • Rune: adds a flat damage to each attack with your weapon whose magnitude is dictated by the rune in question and the enemy being used against and is taken into account into a weapon’s DPS number calculation. Runes focused on a specific enemy type will add more damage than elemental runes, but are ineffective against enemies that do not fall under their jurisdiction. Elemental runes at first glance appear weaker, but will result in more reliable damage across the board and therefor are usually a better investment. Runes of Dragon-Slaying are the poorest overall investment due to their narrow focus. Spirit runes can only be used on staffs and are the only elemental rune that can be applied to staffs. Dagger/dagger rogues should apply a demon slaying and a corrupting rune in each hand to maximize their DPS.

In DA:I you cannot craft without schematics. In every schematic, you will have 2-4 mat slots. These slots will each be one of 4 flavors and they are created far from equal. Below are the 4 types, listed in order of importance to an effective overall build:

  • Damage/armor: Present on every single base weapon and armor schematic respectfully. Determines a weapon’s damage and an armor’s armor rating directly. This slot is unavoidable and should just be as high as you can get it without exception.
  • Offense: only found on weapons and weapon upgrades. Affects derived offensive stats such as critical damage, armor penetration, barrier damage bonus, ect. Most importantly: certain cloth and metals increase your attack % directly and in greater magnitude than any other means. These are the most important upgrades to have after weapon damage. Leather does not offer attack % bonus and therefore schematics containing “Offense: X Leather” slots should be passed on. We’ll go over slot preference hierarchy later.
  • Utility: can be found on any schematic. Offers in increase in primary attributes. Gear that will be equipped to a mage will benefit from “Utility: X Cloth,” rogues benefitting from “Utility: X Leather,” and warriors benefitting from “Utility: X Metal” slots.
  • Defense: Only found on armor and armor upgrades. Offers and increase in derived defensive attributes. This is pretty much the least desirable slot to have in a schematic as it offers no offensive improvement.

Before we can begin crafting effectively, we need to understand how to make effective builds, and thereby need to understand primary attributes, and what exactly the points you put in them do to affect your derived attributes. The most important derived attribute is attack. Some would argue this is an over simplification, which may very well be true, but a good offense is the best defense and it is undeniable that increased attack will improve every class and character’s combat prowess. You simply cannot have too much attack. If you are crafting a piece of gear with a utility slot, the most desirable stat bonus to improve attack will vary from class to class:

  • As a mage, magic and willpower are tied for best in class and are only found on “Utility: X cloth” slots. Stack as much of either or both you can into one slot. If one material type offers “+15 magic” and another offers “+10 magic/+10 willpower” The latter is the definitively the better choice as it results in more points overall being added to you attack %. Avoid other Utility slots.
  • As a rogue, Dexterity is the best primary attribute to stack, so look out for whatever adds the most dexterity in your “Utility: X Leather” slots. Cunning is less desirable as it does not add to your attack %, so if one material type offers “+15 Dexterity” and another offers “+10 Dexterity/+10 Cunning,” the former would be the preferred choice by a very slim margin so don’t be afraid of taking cunning in conjunction with dexterity, so long as dexterity gets preferential treatment. Again, some may argue this is an over simplification but each point of cunning has varied levels of effectiveness on a case by case basis and would require much math to determine cunning’s effectiveness in your situation, and since this is a beginner’s guide, we’ll go with the sure bet. Willpower is a close runner up to Dexterity if no “Utility: X Leather” slots are available, so take “Utility: X Cloth” in this scenario. Avoid “Utility: X metal” slots.
  • As a warrior, Strength is the primary attribute to go for if you have “Utility: X metal” to fill, Willpower if you have “Utility: X cloth” slots. Both are equally effective. Always pass on “Utility: X leather” slots.

In practice all this ordering and precedence can get very confusing, so try to remember this list and attempt to get these slots on your schematics to achieve these bonuses:

  1. Offense: X Metal/Cloth – +attack % (only found on weapons and weapon upgrades)
  2. Respective class’s Utility slot – +respective primary attribute as detailed above
  3. Utility: X Cloth – +Willpower
  4. Offense: X Leather – +flanking damage %
  5. Defense: X Metal – +max health and +melee defense% are probably your best bet if you couldn’t avoid taking a defense slot. (Only found on armor and armor upgrades)
  6. Defense: X Cloth/Leather – +magic defense% and +ranged defense% are you best bets if you absolutely have to take one of these slots.

So, with all that in mind you should be ready to go out and collect schematics and start putting them to use! The merchant up the stairs over the fountain in Val R., the dwarf bookseller near the piers in Redcliffe, the fort merchant in Emprise du Lion, and the merchant in Hissing Wastes near the western camp are the best merchants to buy schematics from. Remember, craft early and craft often and don’t be afraid to use what you have. Better to use something too early and get a little bit of use out of it than to hold on to it forever and never use it.

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