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    Dragon Age II

    Game » consists of 16 releases. Released Mar 08, 2011

    This sequel to Dragon Age: Origins features faster combat, a new art style, and a brand new, fully voiced main character named Hawke.

    How important is a tank?

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    Hunkulese

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    #1  Edited By Hunkulese

    I really don't like Aveline and I'd like to have my party composed of Hawke (Primal/Force) Merrill(Elemental/Entropy) Anders (Healer) and Verric.  
     
    Will I run into any problems having a group of 3 mages and a rogue? I'm playing on normal.

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    melcene

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    #2  Edited By melcene

    When I fought my first  
     

     
    I was really happy to have both Aveline and Carver, because when one was taking too much damage, I'd have the other taunt off.  (My Hawke is a mage, and I have Varric as the 4th party member.
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    weltal

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    #3  Edited By weltal

    Try it and find out?  I always run with Aveline though so I wouldn't know.

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    Llama

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    #4  Edited By Llama

    3 mages that die when an enemy sneezes in their direction and a rogue that draws way too much agro... no you'll be FINE :>

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    project343

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    #5  Edited By project343

    You'll need a warrior with (a) taunt and (b) some way to constantly maintain high stamina levels. 
     
    Why? Well, two reasons: 
    1. Damage focus/mitigation 
    2. Keeping enemies grouped together 
     
    If all your enemies are clumped around Aveline, the mage and rogue can mass control/damage the entire group. Better yet? Have Anders throw barrier on the tank to reduce incoming damage even more. I'm on Act 3. And take it from me, when I started using Fenris without a proper stamina management system (i.e. to keep taunts going), it was a slaughterfest. You can't have 10+ enemies all over the battlefield attacking every party member--on even normal difficulty, this will destroy you.

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    deactivated-5e49e9175da37

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    I'm having problems keeping Aveline's stamina up.  Too often I have to start kiting fools around to stop them from stepping on Merrill or Varric.

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    Hunkulese

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    #7  Edited By Hunkulese
    @Llama: Up until Anders joined the party my group has had 2 mages and a rogue and nobody has died yet.  I have a lot of cc and everything dies quickly.  
     
    I'm just worried about bosses that are immune to cc. 
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    Hunkulese

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    #8  Edited By Hunkulese
    @project343 said:
    " You'll need a warrior with (a) taunt and (b) some way to constantly maintain high stamina levels.  Why? Well, two reasons: 1. Damage focus/mitigation 2. Keeping enemies grouped together  If all your enemies are clumped around Aveline, the mage and rogue can mass control/damage the entire group. Better yet? Have Anders throw barrier on the tank to reduce incoming damage even more. I'm on Act 3. And take it from me, when I started using Fenris without a proper stamina management system (i.e. to keep taunts going), it was a slaughterfest. You can't have 10+ enemies all over the battlefield attacking every party member--on even normal difficulty, this will destroy you. "
    Do you think the force spell that draws enemies together and slows them would be viable? 
     
    If a tank is necessary do I need a healer as well. Merrill and Varric are the two characters that seem the most interesting to me and I'd like to keep them in my group but maybe I'll have to save that for a warrior playthough. 
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    lord_canti

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    #9  Edited By lord_canti
    @melcene said:
    " When I fought my first  
     
     I was really happy to have both Aveline and Carver, because when one was taking too much damage, I'd have the other taunt off.  (My Hawke is a mage, and I have Varric as the 4th party member. "
    my experience exactly i was so happy to have a tank then
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    TheSeductiveMoose

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    Well, I played up until the boss in the Deep Roads on normal (raised it after) and I could get away with just picking whomever I felt like picking most of the time. So, I'm guessing you could roll with that setup for at least the first half of the game.
     
    Oh, I play as a 2h warrior, though.

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    EvilTwin

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    #11  Edited By EvilTwin
    @melcene: 
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    ryanwho

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    #12  Edited By ryanwho

    You don't need a tank. If everyone is offensively oriented nothing lives long enough to rough you up. Dragons can be a bit rough but if you have a rogue, you can make decoys. 

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    deactivated-5a1a3d3c6820c

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    @EvilTwin said:
    " @melcene: 
    "
    Funnily, that's not too far off what I did. 
     
    Everyone in my party but Merrill died (who I have specced debilitator) when the dragon was around 30%. I ended up kiting the dragon, waiting for my cooldowns and stunning/sleeping him as often as possible. I'd get a few hits in each time. 
     
    That took a while.
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    BraveToaster

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    #14  Edited By BraveToaster

    I have 3 mages and Fenris in my group and I'm not having any problems. I use force to pull all of my enemies in one spot, then I use my mages to summon the AOE elemental spells.

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    ryanwho

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    #15  Edited By ryanwho

    Fenris is kind of ridiculously overpowered, though. Second only to Anders. So basically you go through the game with them and fill the third slot with whoever the hell, it doesn't matter. Probably Verric or Merril. At that point its just different shades of easy.

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    project343

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    #16  Edited By project343
    @Hunkulese said: 
    Do you think the force spell that draws enemies together and slows them would be viable?  If a tank is necessary do I need a healer as well. Merrill and Varric are the two characters that seem the most interesting to me and I'd like to keep them in my group but maybe I'll have to save that for a warrior playthough.  "
    As a force mage myself, I'm going to say no. To be quite honest, I'm horribly disappointed by all 3 mage specializations (unless you're specced to be a full healer). The spell would be far more useful if it kept the enemies in the vortex for 5-10 seconds, but it's simply a pull. 
     
    With a proper tank, you can have waves of enemies spawning and running at the tank for 10-15 minutes without having to worry. And, again, when you have clusters like that, damage output goes through the roof. New group? Taunt again. Easy as pie. And even if you don't want a hefty tank, simply speccing a warrior to be able to hold aggro will suffice. No need to put points into damage mitigation. I'm using Fenris, and aside from a couple abilities, he's all damage. A true beacon of death.
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    keyhunter

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    #17  Edited By keyhunter

    If DA 2 is anything like the first game you can make a team of invincible arcane warriors, or just have a full team of dual wielders and drop any enemy in seconds.

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    McGhee

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    #18  Edited By McGhee

    You may be able to get away with it on normal difficulty, but above that, I think it will be a problem. Yeah, Aveline isn't the most interesting or attractive lady, but she's really useful.

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    Cornman89

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    #19  Edited By Cornman89

    I'd recommend a warrior of some kind. Neither rogues nor mages are known for their survivability. I just load Aveline up with sustained abilities and set her loose, but I guess a vicious enough Fenris could fill the same role.

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    sickVisionz

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    #20  Edited By sickVisionz
    @ryanwho said:
    " You don't need a tank. If everyone is offensively oriented nothing lives long enough to rough you up. Dragons can be a bit rough but if you have a rogue, you can make decoys.  "
    This is essentially how I played DA1 and it worked fine for every difficulty setting outside of Nightmare.  I don't think it works in a min-max way though.  I dabbled around with my powers and my group's powers and all of my mages could do some level of healing and I had a dedicated healing mage.  That was pretty much all I needed to keep people alive or make sure that there was always someone could resurrect characters, even if the pure healing mage went down.
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    Red

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    #21  Edited By Red

    I'm playing through as a 2h warrior, and I can tank relatively well. The only problem I see is your lack of melee classes. Larger bosses will, indeed, be much more difficult.  
    If you dislike Aveline, though, Fenris could probably make a decent tank. The only thing you really need in a tank is for them to be able to stay alive long enough for a cooldown on heal or their potions to go away--depending on the number people with heal you have (it looks like 2) that is probably 10-15 seconds. At the very least, spec one of your mages with some armor spells (rock armor, barrier...etc) so they could take a beating for long enough.

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    Cataphract1014

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    #22  Edited By Cataphract1014
    @Brodehouse said:
    " I'm having problems keeping Aveline's stamina up.  Too often I have to start kiting fools around to stop them from stepping on Merrill or Varric. "
    Battlemaster with Bolster, Second Wind, and improved Rally.  You will never run out of stamina for any length of time for any character.
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    ryanwho

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    #23  Edited By ryanwho

    Something totally ridiculous that works with Merril: teach her every sustained magic and then override it with blood magic. The sustain magic will take a percentage from the mana pool then the blood magic takes from you HP. So if you do that, then you don't invest anything in willpower because the mana pool is drained on percentage, then put all that willpower into your HP and you've got a ton of blood magic. Basically it means you get all these boosts like Arcane Shield and Elemental Weapons for free, and now you HP supplements offensive magic exclusively. Its ridiculously effective. I went ahead and redid Fenris too, gave him all sustained attributes so his stamina is empty, but he's ridiculous because he's got all those permanent boosts along with Merril's. And because Merril has so much HP she's rarely targeted. Haven't figured out the best thing for Anders yet.

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    TragicallyErock

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    #24  Edited By TragicallyErock

    I run with two rogues (1 daggers, 1 ranged) & two mages (1 fire/ice based, 1 nature/lightening based) 
    MOST battles are over well before I need to worry about healing anybody.

    My dagger rogue starts off any fight with a few quick stabs on bosses/stronger enemies to attract their attention.
    Everyone else stands back casting heavy damage spells/abilities, followed by large Area of Effect spells.
    the enemies then turn their focus on the high DPS mages.... but they have to walk through storms of fire / lightening / arrows to get to them.
    all the while, my daggers character is nailing the strongest enemy in the back with critical shots.
     
     This has been extremely effective.
    14hrs in, I've only had to use 2 injury kits, and I also killed that dragon in the bone-yard on my first try.
     
    So, in short... No you definitely do NOT need a tank.

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    invadernick

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    #25  Edited By invadernick

    I think the only problem you will find is that Anders will not get along with the elf on blood magic issues.

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    Cataphract1014

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    #26  Edited By Cataphract1014
    @ryanwho said:
    " Something totally ridiculous that works with Merril: teach her every sustained magic and then override it with blood magic. The sustain magic will take a percentage from the mana pool then the blood magic takes from you HP. So if you do that, then you don't invest anything in willpower because the mana pool is drained on percentage, then put all that willpower into your HP and you've got a ton of blood magic. Basically it means you get all these boosts like Arcane Shield and Elemental Weapons for free, and now you HP supplements offensive magic exclusively. Its ridiculously effective. I went ahead and redid Fenris too, gave him all sustained attributes so his stamina is empty, but he's ridiculous because he's got all those permanent boosts along with Merril's. And because Merril has so much HP she's rarely targeted. Haven't figured out the best thing for Anders yet. "
     o_o that is good to know!
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    TragicallyErock

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    #27  Edited By TragicallyErock

    PS, my setup will likely be less effective later on once I face more mages & high fortitude / elemental resist enemies.
     
    I'll need to transition into more disorienting/debuffing abilities, rather than all-out damage. 
    But I expect it will still work quite well with a few adjustments. 

    The key to my setup is keeping the enemy on the move, and not letting them attack any 1 character for too long. 
     
    Either way, I find it a much more interesting way to play & I recommend it for anyone who's looking for something different.

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    Hunkulese

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    #28  Edited By Hunkulese
    @TragicallyErock said:
    " I run with two rogues (1 daggers, 1 ranged) & two mages (1 fire/ice based, 1 nature/lightening based)  MOST battles are over well before I need to worry about healing anybody.My dagger rogue starts off any fight with a few quick stabs on bosses/stronger enemies to attract their attention. Everyone else stands back casting heavy damage spells/abilities, followed by large Area of Effect spells.the enemies then turn their focus on the high DPS mages.... but they have to walk through storms of fire / lightening / arrows to get to them. all the while, my daggers character is nailing the strongest enemy in the back with critical shots.  This has been extremely effective. 14hrs in, I've only had to use 2 injury kits, and I also killed that dragon in the bone-yard on my first try.   So, in short... No you definitely do NOT need a tank. "
    I'm just wondering if you've finished the expedition yet. The final boss was way harder than anything thing you see up to that point and after as well. Were you able to kill it with your setup?
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    iKANNIBAL

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    #29  Edited By iKANNIBAL

    My main character, Hawke is a Rogue tank. 
     
    I have 3 mages in my party, Anders, Merril, & Bethany, all are tanks, i have them set up so they all let out Temptest, Firestorm, and other AOE moves at the same time, they literaly kill everything in the room LOL. Combined with the stunning/confusing abilities of my Rogue all 4 together equal a force to be reckoned with.
     
    Merril is my designated DPS, she has all sorts of sick damaging moves she rapes people with, Anders is my healer, and Bethany is DPS/Controller/Buffer.

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    Tennmuerti

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    #30  Edited By Tennmuerti
    @ryanwho said:

    " You don't need a tank. If everyone is offensively oriented nothing lives long enough to rough you up. Dragons can be a bit rough but if you have a rogue, you can make decoys.  "

    This.
    Even on Hard difficulty you don't need a tank. I'm a DW rogue, rolling with Fenris/Anders/Verric. Everything DIES
    A rogue can even be made into a semi tank with Dueling specialisation. 80%/80%/80% defence against everything even bosses
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    ryanwho

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    #31  Edited By ryanwho

    The key to staying ahead of harder enemies is giving yourself the boost instead of giving them the status ailment. They might be immune to your ailment, but throwing the gauntlet works on everything because it boosts your character. The only status ailment that works on every enemy is mark for death.

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    Entus

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    #32  Edited By Entus

    It's not really necessary to have a tank but it is really good to have one of each class so you can brittle, disorient and stagger. i.e. Stagger + Fist of the Maker or Disorient + Walking Bomb. You'll see a lot of big numbers.

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    dillonwerner

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    #34  Edited By dillonwerner

    Not important, I killed the High Dragon with 2 Rouges and 2 Mages.

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    ryanwho

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    #35  Edited By ryanwho
    @DillonWerner said:
    " Not important, I killed the High Dragon with 2 Rouges and 2 Mages. "
    Dragons are allergic to makeup.
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    Seppli

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    #36  Edited By Seppli

    Take Fenris for tanking - 2handed Warrior's are perfect for tanking, if specced correctly (gotta get quite deep into Defender talents for a very high knockback/knockdown resistance). His 'personal speciality' sustained buff is -20% damage taken, amongst other things suitable for tanking.
     
    My Hawke is specced 2hand Warrior. Very deep into 2hand weapons and defender talent trees and starting to build up reaver specializaiton. A total beast. Already beat chapter 1's dragon encounter with him as a tank. Always evade a meleestrike - pause - 'zippy-charge' auto-attack or 'Scythe' back and deal 1-2 blows - evade attack again - awesomeness.
     
    You need a tank playing on Insanity. Don't know if you can set-up a melee rogue for that purpose. Certainly have your rogue learn 'Goad', which is most awesome to keep the aggro where it belongs. On your tank.

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    Hunkulese

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    #37  Edited By Hunkulese
    @Seppli said:
    " Take Fenris for tanking - 2handed Warrior's are perfect for tanking, if specced correctly (gotta get quite deep into Defender talents for a very high knockback/knockdown resistance). His 'personal speciality' sustained buff is -20% damage taken, amongst other things suitable for tanking. My Hawke is specced 2hand Warrior. Very deep into 2hand weapons and defender talent trees and starting to build up reaver specializaiton. A total beast. Already beat chapter 1's dragon encounter with him as a tank. Always evade a meleestrike - pause - 'zippy-charge' auto-attack or 'Scythe' back and deal 1-2 blows - evade attack again - awesomeness.  You need a tank playing on Insanity. Don't know if you can set-up a melee rogue for that purpose. Certainly have your rogue learn 'Goad', which is most awesome to keep the aggro where it belongs. On your tank. "
    I hate elves though
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    NoCookiesForYou

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    #38  Edited By NoCookiesForYou

    On normal tank role isn't that crucial, i never really took Fenris or Aveline and i still managed to beat every boss battle that was thrown at me.

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    melcene

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    #39  Edited By melcene
    @Hunkulese said:
    I'm just wondering if you've finished the expedition yet. The final boss was way harder than anything thing you see up to that point and after as well. Were you able to kill it with your setup? "
    I've been wondering this about a lot of these rogue/mage setups.  I took Carver with me to be able to have a plot outcome I wanted, and it was still a fair challenge. 
     
    @ryanwho said:
    " Something totally ridiculous that works with Merril: teach her every sustained magic and then override it with blood magic. The sustain magic will take a percentage from the mana pool then the blood magic takes from you HP. So if you do that, then you don't invest anything in willpower because the mana pool is drained on percentage, then put all that willpower into your HP and you've got a ton of blood magic. Basically it means you get all these boosts like Arcane Shield and Elemental Weapons for free, and now you HP supplements offensive magic exclusively. Its ridiculously effective. I went ahead and redid Fenris too, gave him all sustained attributes so his stamina is empty, but he's ridiculous because he's got all those permanent boosts along with Merril's. And because Merril has so much HP she's rarely targeted. Haven't figured out the best thing for Anders yet. "
    This is really interesting to know.  Does Fenris have something that makes it so that his Activated abilities come from his health and not his stamina (like Blood Magic for mages).  I had already been considering using the console to add the spirit healer tree to Anders, but the thought of adding the Blood Magic tree and using this tactic is also interesting.
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    alistercat

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    #40  Edited By alistercat

    It was important in the first game because of strategic battles. They are important in this too, but more as crowd control. There are significantly more enemies so they need to tank by drawing agro from large groups 

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    ryanwho

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    #41  Edited By ryanwho
    @melcene said:
    " @Hunkulese said:
    I'm just wondering if you've finished the expedition yet. The final boss was way harder than anything thing you see up to that point and after as well. Were you able to kill it with your setup? "
    I've been wondering this about a lot of these rogue/mage setups.  I took Carver with me to be able to have a plot outcome I wanted, and it was still a fair challenge. 
     
    @ryanwho said:
    " Something totally ridiculous that works with Merril: teach her every sustained magic and then override it with blood magic. The sustain magic will take a percentage from the mana pool then the blood magic takes from you HP. So if you do that, then you don't invest anything in willpower because the mana pool is drained on percentage, then put all that willpower into your HP and you've got a ton of blood magic. Basically it means you get all these boosts like Arcane Shield and Elemental Weapons for free, and now you HP supplements offensive magic exclusively. Its ridiculously effective. I went ahead and redid Fenris too, gave him all sustained attributes so his stamina is empty, but he's ridiculous because he's got all those permanent boosts along with Merril's. And because Merril has so much HP she's rarely targeted. Haven't figured out the best thing for Anders yet. "
    This is really interesting to know.  Does Fenris have something that makes it so that his Activated abilities come from his health and not his stamina (like Blood Magic for mages).  I had already been considering using the console to add the spirit healer tree to Anders, but the thought of adding the Blood Magic tree and using this tactic is also interesting. "
    No Fenris doesn't, but with all those abilities he doesn't need to do anything other than attack. One of the abilities (I forget its name, its to the right of the rally ability) basically acts like a permanent taunt, attracting most people to him. 
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    buft

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    #42  Edited By buft
    @ryanwho said:
    " You don't need a tank. If everyone is offensively oriented nothing lives long enough to rough you up. Dragons can be a bit rough but if you have a rogue, you can make decoys.  "
    you can't be serious some of the bosses can one shot the non warriors
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    ryanwho

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    #43  Edited By ryanwho
    @buft: Use more skill.
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    Bloodgraiv3

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    #44  Edited By Bloodgraiv3

    They come in handy, but I don't think you need them. 
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    myslead

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    #45  Edited By myslead

    I'm currently on my third playthrough 
    and will try the Two Handed Warrior Tank build... let's see how that goes 
     
    my first playthrough I rolled a tank... 
    my second playthrough I was a rogue and was using Aveline as a tank 
     
    it seems like a couple of fights requires to at least have one high def/constitution character... the high dragon comes to mind.

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    azrailx

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    #46  Edited By azrailx

    u need  tank if ur not playing on normal or on console, moreso than da1 since enemies constantly spawn from every direction, often behind your mages

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    Tennmuerti

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    #47  Edited By Tennmuerti
    @buft said:

    " @ryanwho said:

    " You don't need a tank. If everyone is offensively oriented nothing lives long enough to rough you up. Dragons can be a bit rough but if you have a rogue, you can make decoys.  "
    you can't be serious some of the bosses can one shot the non warriors "
    Only really difficult bosses are at the end of chapters.
    Chapter 1 boss should be avoided in melee anyway untill he is vulnurable.
    Chapter 2 boss has to be kited regardless of class/setup if you are soloing him
    Chapter 3 boss can't one shot anybody regardless.
     
    @myslead said:

    " I'm currently on my third playthrough and will try the Two Handed Warrior Tank build... let's see how that goes  my first playthrough I rolled a tank... my second playthrough I was a rogue and was using Aveline as a tank  it seems like a couple of fights requires to at least have one high def/constitution character... the high dragon comes to mind. "

    High Dragon is quite slow and you don't need to get hit most of the time except with AoE.
    Plus a rogue can have 80% defence against a boss.
    Grab move just needs one heal.
     
    @azrailx said:

    " u need  tank if ur not playing on normal or on console, moreso than da1 since enemies constantly spawn from every direction, often behind your mages "

    Hard is equaly fine without a tank.
    Nighmare might be a different story.
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    #48  Edited By ryanwho

    You can range the high dragon and just dodge the attacks. It only does a lot of damage when you're close in on it. Also, just equip fire proof armor and accessories and you don't even need to dodge. Use more skill, guys. You don't need a tank.

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