DAMP CARDS

Dragon Age: Inquisition Multiplayer – 5 tips to Be Not Terrible

 

DAMP_CARDS

Dragon Age Inquisition. The game has barely been out for a few weeks, yet you’ve already played 200+ hours and are waist deep into your second playthough in order to cultivate new romances and/or explore new narrative branches. However, I would like to encourage everyone to take a look at the Main Menu again, its the one that appears just after you press Start. Before you compulsively click Continue, I implore you to review the other menu options, specifically the one that says Multiplayer. Just as we’ve all made that scary voyage away from the Hinterlands, so too must you be brave and explore Dragon Age Multiplayer (herein affectionately referred to as DAMP). It’s time.

Of course, I poke a little fun. But DAMP is a blast, and even better with a group of friends. We had a chance to get a sneak peak at PAX Prime and talk to a few of the folks that have built out this awesome experience. I have also had some narrow successes and colossal failures with the full experience. In short, DAMP is challenging, especially when you’re starting out. While I do not claim to be awesome at it myself I’ve adopted one simple mantra: Be Not Terrible. To that end, I’ve come up with five basic principles to help get you on the path to success in DAMP. So without any further ado…

1. Get in the right head-space. 

What’s great about playing a lot of games is that you build up a lot of meta-knowledge that transfers from one game to another. Its part of the reason why we don’t need game manuals anymore… we just load up a mental model and start playing (sort of like the Matrix). What is a mental model, you ask? Mental models are knowledge frameworks that guide your understanding of how a system functions. Of course, you can load up the wrong mental model and struggle mighty. Case in point, DAMP is not ME3MP, and its’ not Gauntlet, and should not be played as either (but folks do this anyhow). Standing in a group of enemies holding the attack button will end in your early demise and the frustration of your teammates (looking at you, Legionnaire). Remember how tactically you approached single player combat? Do that. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised.

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2. Everything is shared.

EVERYTHING. Coins, XP, and Loot Cards. To reinforce tip #1, there is absolutely no need to be the first to reach a chest, to bust open a vase, or to kill an enemy. You might feel that need to run off and crush as many enemies as possible. Someone will inevitably do these things, just make sure its not you. Take your time, stay by your teammates, and use the D-Pad to call out secondary doors leading to bonus loot. Sure, running off might get you sweet kill streaks in game, and medals at the end of a match, but the rewards associated with an overall team victory far outweigh the need to finish in the top position.  Which leads to…

3. Live together, die alone.

Seriously, you can revive teammates when one falls, but trouble adds up quickly. If one player falls, then another needs to go revive them… instantly you’re team is now operating at 50% capacity. Fall three times, and you automatically bleed out. Oh, and the enemies get stronger with each player that falls. So maybe take a break every once in a while to hang back and let your fully healed teammates (looking at you, Assassin) finish off those last few enemies in the stage 75% > 50% yay, maths!). There’s a healing station after each round, just get there (also, see #2). Save your revive chances and potions for the 5th stage, you’ll need them there more than anywhere else. Maybe try a Barrier instead every once in a while (looking at you, Keeper). How else can you stay out of trouble? Well…

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4. Look at the skill trees, have a plan.

You may be tempted to unlock as many activated abilities as possible. Let’s face it, they look cool, and it gives you something to do other than standing in one place, holding down the attack button (looking at you, Archer). However, each of the two skill trees available to each class has a veritable cornucopia of passive and second-tier abilities that will greatly influence your success in battle. Read each description when building a new character, and find synergies that will work for you. I’m fairly certain its possible to make a build with only passive abilities and wreck shop. It’s may not be sexy, but winning is pretty hot too, amiright?!

4a. (BONUS TIP) Offense wins games, defense wins championships. 

Speaking of non-offensive abilities: combat rolls, evade, and barriers. Remember what I said about staying out of trouble? This is how we do it (looking at you, Montell Jordan). All four players should not be constantly attacking. You might ask yourself, why would I drop a Point into Fade Step when I could do some awesome Chain Lightning instead? Well, for starters you’ll probably live longer, and the second tier of Fade Step (Frost Step) allows you to freeze enemies when you run through them. How about combat rolling into a flanking position for greater damage? And to reiterate, I’m convinced there is no better way to gain the love of your teammates by casting a Barrier every once in a while…. seriously… cast it … takes you two seconds, and could save the whole damn team. =)

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5. “No one will remember you for your failed frontal assault.”

This cheeky little tip frequently appeared on loading screens in DA:O, it’s still true in DAMP. The final stage of the round is sort of like a horde mode with a boss to defeat. Don’t be that person to rush solo into battle (looking at you, Reaver), and DO NOT wait for the horde to come to you. Stay in one place long enough and the team is quickly swarmed by enemies and defeated. Although, with four people who don’t really know one another that’s usually what the strategy is. [Alternatively, some players have also recently started standing in the door leading to the final map in an effort to bottleneck the horde (like the old “fort kick ass”). It doesn’t always work, and will probably be patched out anyhow.] Instead, try fighting on the move around the map edge. If you can, kite the horde around while picking enemies off. Watch your back too, as enemies will frequently appear behind you. Maintaining situation awareness with the mini-map is key (and judging by the number of secondary doors missed I’m convinced not everyone looks at the map). If all else fails, just try and stay with your group, but don’t clump together unless you want a tree-creature to AOE strike your team from underground. That’s a bummer.

Hopefully these tips will get you out of the Hinterlands all the way into the multiplayer side of the game. DAMP is a ton of fun, and a little teamwork will go a long way towards victory. And Victory leads to more coin, which leads to more/better loot, which leads to crafting better gear and unlocking more characters (looking at you, Arcane Warrior). Got a DAMP tip? Insert it below… wait… that wasn’t… er… and remember, Be Not Terrible !

Scott

Hi, I’m one of the founders of Nerd Appropriate and the Rated NA podcast. I like good and bad sci-fi films and tv, pho, and the retrofuture. I am primarily an Xbox gamer, but also do some PC and Wii U gaming as well. By day, I am a research scientist, mostly in topics related to human-computer interaction and user experience. Before all this, fellow NA co-founder Matt and I played music together in various bands. I also used to make "comedy" videos for my high school morning news program before there was a place to post them online. Favorite Star Wars character? Admiral Ackbar. Best Bond era? Timothy Dalton (Craig a close second). Game of all time? Maybe System Shock 2. Thanks for being a part of this labor of nerdy love with us.
  • Viktor Engholm

    Good tips! I hope the bottle neck gets patched out, it’s kinda boring.

    • 3 Keepers and no barrier…

      Yeah, winning is SO boring! Using a choke point to avoid getting hit by 30 ranged attacks isn’t a valid tactic – I prefer to die ad nauseam, and watch my team wipe like the ADD honeybadgers we are!
      -Leeroy Jenkins

      • Viktor Engholm

        Well if you put it like THAT.

        • 3 Keepers and no barrier…

          Yeah, the choke point wouldn’t be necessary if the group stayed tight and the barrier classes actually casted barrier. Keepers NEVER have a reason not to barrier the tank classes. EVER. Even when I play my Elementalist, the first skill I build to is barrier. When you have a group with two barrier casters that can alternate, you can always win. Even going against the demons that pop out of the floor. Constant barrier means you get knocked down, but you don’t get killed.
          The main problem is, pick up groups are almost always described by the Elementalists chatter – “Look at me, I did that!” And that’s why those of us who are not sprinting through as fast as possible end up looting all of the urns, soloing the treasure rooms, picking up the scrolls and walking through areas where everything is already dead, including the honeybadger solo Rambo’s. So we get the honor of constantly reviving them so that they can sprint to the next zone and teleport us before we can loot everything.
          Eventually you can add enough TEAM players to play as a group here and there, but there will always be times when your people aren’t online and you have to group with the folks who sprint to their suicide. The most frustrating part is that when they die, the mobs that they pulled come after the rest of you.
          Back in Everquest, those people would have been blacklisted, because death meant you lost hours of experience. No one would have played with them, because wiping came with a HUGE penalty. Now days, games don’t have a penalty for death, so no one cares if they wipe 5 times on the first zone. And they don’t EVER get that it’s because of their crappy playing.

      • Shaco

        Yeah they will have to nerf ranged attacks if they take out the bottleneck. There’s something really “off” about how the final areas are designed. They are really wide open, with many routes to travel through, but using the bottleneck tactic makes the whole area pointless.

  • I’m thinking that the choke point might be necessary when you cannot get your team to communicate. Although a knock-down-drag-out battle all over the map ending in victory would feel more satisfying.

  • I’m thinking that the choke point might be necessary when you cannot get your team to communicate. Although a knock-down-drag-out battle all over the map ending in victory would feel more satisfying.

  • Peter Hart

    I bought Dragon Age Inquisition, and I cried my eyes out. I play the game, the story is great, combat is fluid, and graphics are amazing. Yeah, there could have been a few more armor pieces, but overall a great game. As soon as I dipped into multiplayer, my smile faded away. Within fifteen minutes, I was bored and I had turned my xbox off. (I don’t know if this is a problem with other people, but super high level people would rush through the dungeon and kill everything, basically eliminating the challenge factor). Great tips though! Ashley Sevilla, if you are reading this, we need you, I haven’t read for the past 5 chapters, and we are going about 1 chapter a week. WE MISS YOU

  • RinuCZ

    Keepers casting a barrier like once per round are the worst :D. When I started playing DAI:MP, my team has been constantly dying. When I switched to Keeper, I was like “Holy mother of god, this build can easily save even the butt of suicide attacker.”

    Support keeper is pretty great. I just wish people played the class a bit more to understand that sometimes it is good to come closer at once, so I can cast barrier for whole group 🙂

    And I admit I recently dropped to the floor a lot thanks to my “Oooh, so this is the reaver!!!” rushing forward. I feel sorry for my teammates.

    I adore there are so many classes are female and the fact that the most clingy outfit wears a male character, Reaver :p.