Knight Enchanter...so powerful, so boring

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announakis

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#1  Edited By announakis

I would appreciate some insights from people who are well ahead in the game / finsihed it as Knight Enchanter and who also played as another melee (dual dagger or Two handed warrior).

DA:Inq is a massive game..So I to make sure that the character I was going to play for dozens of hours was the right one, both aesthetically and mechanistically.

After trying all classes up to level 10, I wanted to declare that I am settled on Knight enchanter (KE) but I am not really sure.

KE is really powerful: you take all useful passives in shield and KE trees...you basically need spirit blade, barrier and dispel / mindblast to eldritch detanate and go...all you need to do is mash X or whatever button you have attributed spirit blade to...

while highly satisfying to mash through all enemies on hard without the need to pause / kite ever, I can see this game getting old very quickly...I played one hour as KE so far on hard and...well, it is already getting old...

now I hope that once I have a few more points to put into the cold tree to freeze targets around me more often, I will be allowed to mind blast more usefully every now and then, making it more interesting and varied but I doubt this will change much.

basically, playing melee as a dual rogue or a two handed warrior is much more satisfying (although very infuriating because of the far too frequent hit-and-miss / bad hit boxes / slow to trigger detonators etc...) mostly because of the movement abilities being on such short cool downs: combat roll / evade on 2 seconds...awesome! the ability to parry / riposte : YES! those 2 elements make playing melee more fun than KE

but KE is so great at tearing through barriers / guard without even needing to dispel it first....and the damage output of twohanded warrior is rather underwhelming somehow.

In the end I really wonder whether KE is not all designed to be left played by the AI of vivienne since it basically requires nothing more than mashing spirit blade...

what are your thoughts ?

cheers

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bargainben

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People would have been angry if there wasn't something resembling a healer class in the game. But any kind of healer class in a game where the AI is self-regulating to generally do the most appropriate move availible in context is going to make the game way too easy. I've said it before but taking out the gambit stuff and replacing it with a more userfriendly, automatic system took half the fun out of the game. Discovering the right set of moves for a class instead of the AI intuitively knowing is a big part of why I was able to stick through DA2. Basically the battle system there was the only thing keeping me going. They've made a full 180 in that regard. And Bioware is not a company intent on perfectly balancing things, they want you to see everything in the game so anything broken (favoring you) will probably never get fixed.

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Humanity

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I play as a KE and really the only time I use the blade is when fighting against dragons. For typical mobs I just use spells and maybe the slow-mo bubble. Also I think it really depends on your mindset. I love being completely overpowered in RPG's. I love being able to tear through everything and feel like a complete badass. This is why I really appreciate static enemy levels - because they make weaker enemies feel pathetic as they should and higher level enemies a challenge or more. There is nothing worse for me than a game like Skyrim that dynamically scales and you never feel any progression because each time you level up you meet harder enemies.

Also I have a real hard time actually doing combos in the game so I enjoy being able to not rely on them. In Dragon Age Origins back on the ol' PC I felt it was really easy. Freeze some enemies and use bash to shatter them. Put enemies to sleep and cast horror over them to make them panic. Etc, etc. In Inquisition I find it difficult to tell Sera to go use a knockout powder and then have Cassandra lumber over there before that enemy either wakes up or gets hit by someone else. Apart from spells all the melee abilities have this incredibly long wind up. Then again I've been playing as a mage all along so whenever I switch over to Cassandra or Iron Bull I feel completely lost.

I also wish the spell selection was a little better. Sleep, Mass Paralysis, Weaken, Fireball. Those were some of my favorite spells from the original. Here they're either missing or seem a lot weaker. Immolate is alright but fireball was devastation and knocked people back. Then again people are already claiming the game is too easy and this or that is too powerful so I can only imagine if they brought back all those original spells there would be even more complaining how overpowered mages are.

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pyrodactyl

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My reaver main seems to have a much higher damage potential than vivienne. Playing on hard the game stopped being challenging the moment I got a good end game weapon. That dragon slayer greataxe you can buy straight up melts any enemy

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announakis

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@humanity said:
In Inquisition I find it difficult to tell Sera to go use a knockout powder and then have Cassandra lumber over there before that enemy either wakes up or gets hit by someone else. Apart from spells all the melee abilities have this incredibly long wind up. Then again I've been playing as a mage all along so whenever I switch over to Cassandra or Iron Bull I feel completely lost.

I also wish the spell selection was a little better. Sleep, Mass Paralysis, Weaken, Fireball. Those were some of my favorite spells from the original. Here they're either missing or seem a lot weaker. Immolate is alright but fireball was devastation and knocked people back. Then again people are already claiming the game is too easy and this or that is too powerful so I can only imagine if they brought back all those original spells there would be even more complaining how overpowered mages are.

I am with you here. I came to realize recently that setting my tnak on "follow controlled character" is what prevents some of my orders to be executed properly: for example, I freeze mob with solas, I order in tactical cam to Cassandra to lunge to frozen mob to shatter, switch to other toon, issues other orders...etc...then forward time and Cassandra is attacking another mob than the forzen one I told her to attack...this is because she is following the controlled character who also happen to not attack the frozen mob ==> hence cancellation of initial order.....GRRRRR.....gimme freaking tactical slots back!

and yes the spells totally suck I find....they are good when they set up combos but esthetically, they are underwhelming...

that being said, how can you play KE and not use the blade is beyond me: you lose all the practical interest of the class becasue not real damage output, no regeneration of mana / shield at incredible rate...why? you are better off using necro or Rift mage then.

My reaver main seems to have a much higher damage potential than vivienne.

I suspected as much. I suspect the ultimate team would be

1) two handed warrior taking agro / able to AoE and cut through guard

2) KE vivienne destroying the guard / AOE without getting noticed

3) archer raining poison and arrows or AoE mage (Static cage or Blizzard?) (you get more options for shatters but lose the nightmare cross option..)

4) rift mage AOE weakning all this lot and grouping them on the 2 melee monsters.

rinse and repeat

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Humanity

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@announakis: Well don't get me wrong I still use the sword plenty, I just don't use it exclusively. If some mobs decide to aggro on me instead of the tanks I will kill them with the sword and sometimes if there is just one boss style character left and we're obviously doing well enough where I don't need to be on barrier duty then I'll jump in and hack him up. Other than that I like standing back and watching the fireworks, although I think we can all agree that the camera angle for casting spells is pretty awkward.

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bargainben

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#7  Edited By bargainben

@humanity: Agreed. I think there's room for people in between autobattle and turning off tactics to manage it all yourself. There could have been a second set of commands set to, say, the directional pad and left trigger, and these would be commands for other companions that you could set from a new menu so full party combos could happen on the fly without having to switch characters. Not regular commands, one button push would queue up a specifically assigned attack for each of the other 3 companions. So with that you could have up to 8 party combos set on the directional pad that your hero can "order" and have more of a hand in the fight without having to pause and mico, which many people would rather not do in the heat of things.

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#8  Edited By Humanity

@bargainben: Well as much as they touted the tactical camera, it's pretty safe to say that it's not very good. I guess because they didn't want to figure out how to make interiors look proper when the camera zooms out high up and we're stuck in this super awkward zoomed in overhead. I honestly find the tactical camera so cumbersome to use that it's one of the main reasons why I don't set up combos. Everything about it is unwieldy. From the way you select enemies, to the way your characters will often not execute on the commands you've queued up to small annoyances like the camera panning to the character you've selected forcing you to pan back up to the single enemy you're stacking effects on.

For a long time I couldn't figure out why it feels so different from Origins and I guess it's because it doesn't feel like you're in control of a "team" but rather it's like you're the leader of a squad. The focused down camera on a single playable character really eliminates the advantage of tactical planning. I've just recently realized that I have no idea how any of the attacks of my other characters look like, or even how most enemies look like in detail because I'm always far away from the action, shooting spells, with the camera almost clipping into my shoulder.

I really love the game. I think the idea of smaller contained zones as opposed to one big open world map is brilliant and it lets the game give each individual area it's own unique style as well as help cut out the fat. Also I understand why they're still appealing more to the console market instead of making a full out Origins 2.0 for the PC crowd. That said they really need to decide on one style and go with it. Right now it feels like the game is 80% console specific with 20% holdover pc mechanics getting sort of in the way. The tactical camera is half baked and the combat is kind of trying to be tactical while mainly being an action game. I think they should have just gone full on with the combat and made it more dynamic. When you freeze an enemy the game should automatically go into slow mo' for a second and a context sensitive prompt should pop up if one of your nearby characters can execute a combo. So you'd freeze a guy, slow mo, a prompt appears over their head with Shield Bash and Cassandras icon above it, you press X and time resumes with Cassandras shield bashing the dood. If more than one combo is possible it would show more icons with a particular skill for each party member that isn't on cooldown in a neat cross pattern.

I know that sounds really dumbed down and action oriented but if you're going to keep the game in an over the shoulder perspective that would make it work a lot better. Kinda rambling now though, so apologies. Bioware you can steal this idea I give you full permission!

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rethla

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I have my main as an invulnerable tank and Iron Bull as a two handed reaver dishing out obscene amounts of damage, the other two slots are whatever i feel like to get some partybanter going. Yes the combat is very dull and to play it "right" i think is really exhausting and never rewarding. At least this way i can tear through everything very quickly even on nightmare and be done with it.

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I finished the game on Hard with a dual dagger rogue as my Inquisitor. I ended up doing A LOT of damage with mix of assassination / basic dagger spec. It also lends itself to a pretty cool and active style when you are jumping around the battlefield backstabbing fools. Only difficulty comes with heavy hitting 2handed melee enemies since their big swings tend to hit you even when you are behind them.

I used a party of Cassandra (basically unkillable past a certain point), Vivianne (also unkillable with her Knight enchanter stuff and double Res spells) and Varric just because I like him as a character.

I set all the AI to Follow themselves which made them act pretty much according to their "roles" as ranged and a tank. I usually just hit L1, picked a melee enemy and selected "attack my target", then ran past the enemies in stealth and 1shot/almost 1shot whatever ranged / caster enemy was there.

Also if you want to, you can pick up the Shadow Strike ability in the stealth tree, just because the animation (at least for female humans) is just a freaking uppercut. For some reason it has physics attached to it so if you use it as the killing blow, the enemy ragdoll kicks in as they die and your uppercut will send them flying into space (or about 20feet into the air, might as well be space).

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rethla

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#11  Edited By rethla

@giefcookie said:
I set all the AI to Follow themselves which made them act pretty much according to their "roles" as ranged and a tank.

Good tip, I generally found those descriptions very diffuse, "follow" and defend" wtf?

As an example whatever i set my tank to he will just stand in the middle of the fight doing absolutely nothing unless i directly takes controll of him and walks him over to an enemy and initiates an meleebattle with it. I never got the "Defend" command to work and i dont even know what "follow" is supposed to mean. Is my barrier casting mage gonna "follow" my tank or whats up?

I will try your tactic of setting them all to "follow" themself and see where it ends up.

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pyrodactyl

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@announakis: I mean, still need a tank for enemies that hit hard. A 2 handed warrior speched for damage can take more hits than a mage but not by much. Dragon rage is also a big drain on your HP even with devour to bring it back up when you have the stamina. But MAN is that dragon rage powerfull, a fast 3 hit combo with the last hit hitting twice for 300% of weapon damage on each hit + flanking + 30% crit chance + horn of valor + like 3-5% for every % of HP lost (sometimes you opperate at 10-20% health) = MAD damage

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@humanity: All that said, allowing me to set the gambits (tactics) up myself is a very under the hood mechanic. I would've liked if they included a mode where that was a requirement, in the same way a lot of these games have an "ironman" setting divorced from the difficulty, I would've liked a "classic tactics" or "manual tactics" setting option right at the start, where the AI doesnt automatically intuit what it should do and you have to set everything up yourself.

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@bargainben: Also notably the AI often doesn't do the right thing. Dagger rogues for example (depending on the abilities) are particularly poorly utilized by the AI.

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My hero was a dagger rogue so I mostly didn't have that issue. But when I brought Cole in a few times and saw him in action I was like "dude what the hell are you doing get on the same page"

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My favorite class in the Dragon Age universe was Arcane Warrior from DA:O. When I heard that they didn't include it in Inquisition I was so incredibly disappointed. Alas, I prefer mages so I picked it and bam, KNIGHT ENCHANTER!

...except, not really. No heavy armor, no fancy spells, no unique qualities. Just a melee mage. It feels so empty. I eventually finished the game with him and found that I didn't need to use any strategy. All I ever did was mash X and by the end I just wanted it all to end. And with that said, I am so incredibly thankful BioWare made Vivienne a KE. Thanks to her, my warrior and rogue characters can take down dragons with very little effort. Then again, that is strangely depressing. Whenever I find myself putting her in my party, I immediately know its so the rest of my party can die and she can go all magic-sword on them.

I wish they would have made it a little more tank-ish and require a bit more effort on the players part, but truthfully the whole mage class feels very thin and empty. The spells are so boring. Truthfully, only necro seemed to have some character. Still, KE is fun and doesn't require much thought.

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announakis

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#17  Edited By announakis

@irish87 said:

My favorite class in the Dragon Age universe was Arcane Warrior from DA:O. When I heard that they didn't include it in Inquisition I was so incredibly disappointed. Alas, I prefer mages so I picked it and bam, KNIGHT ENCHANTER!

...except, not really. No heavy armor, no fancy spells, no unique qualities. Just a melee mage. It feels so empty. I eventually finished the game with him and found that I didn't need to use any strategy. All I ever did was mash X and by the end I just wanted it all to end. And with that said, I am so incredibly thankful BioWare made Vivienne a KE. Thanks to her, my warrior and rogue characters can take down dragons with very little effort. Then again, that is strangely depressing. Whenever I find myself putting her in my party, I immediately know its so the rest of my party can die and she can go all magic-sword on them.

I wish they would have made it a little more tank-ish and require a bit more effort on the players part, but truthfully the whole mage class feels very thin and empty. The spells are so boring. Truthfully, only necro seemed to have some character. Still, KE is fun and doesn't require much thought.

I so agree with this.

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#18  Edited By ArtemisxEntreri

Eh, Silverite solves all your problems on with wanting heavy armor. Load up on HP with a silverite heavy armor and you can solo the game on Nightmare with no issues. Aside from the extra time it takes because of losing out on the DPS of 3 other characters of course.

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