Dragon Age Noob

TAZ427

Elite Guru
Nov 29, 2007
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#1
I just started playing last night, put about 2hrs into it, got past the Demon Pride at the first major Rift.

I failed on my first attempt. I did the drain rift, and then ran over to wail on the Demon Pride w/ my crew. Then a couple of demons get dumped in, I take them out and go back to wailing but it was immune at that point. I looked around and I didn't see that I could drain the rift again (wouldn't pan up, which I tried.)

I ran around a bit around the base of the rift and no prompts and I was hitting x to try to drain it from random spots. My crew has used all but 2 of my potions and are now dying at this point. Finally I went into turn based to slow things down and see if I can figure it out because I recalled draining the rift was needed to make the Demon Pride vulnerable. Finally when moving the cursor over a spot and hitting x and then R2 to move forward I was able to drain the rift. It was too late at this point, but very annoying. Second play through of this, I had figured it out and we wiped it clean w/ only a couple of health potions used (I haven't used any health potions on myself outside of this battle, but I can tell that I hate the health potion system, sure give me a health potion option, but let me heal over time as well.)

My question, are there a lot of battles that require you to do something that isn't obvious (or obvious how to do it, such as this case?) Effectively making you go into turn base mode. I'm sure I'll end up using turn based mode, but so far it's not my favorite mode. I probably need to get used to it though.

I'm a two hand wielding human male. I'd be interesting to hear peoples tactical approaches. I tend to dive into towards the biggest baddest thing on the screen, maybe knock out some of the PIA peripheral mobs if they're going to do too much damage. But I'm willing to learn any effective strategies for such a character, who I'll probably play mostly as a tank.
 
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#2
Luckily, at least until now, game's pretty straightforward with what you're supposed to do, apart from some awkward moment, I guess.

After a while, you will unlock a potion slot, and in there you will be able to research some heal over time potion I cannot remember what's called now. Just make sure you go and talk to the herbalist in Haven and research potions.

So those HoT's potions, combined with health potions will carry you through. Get elfroot, you need one to make a HoT potion.

My fighting strategy is go in in real time, but first I will pause and check the level and immunities of the enemy. If my party starts going through the first health potion, things just got bad, and will issue commands myself, including some HoT's to keep them from eating through health potions too fast.
 
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Shingo

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Dec 21, 2011
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#3
Are you playing the game on hard or nightmare difficulty Taz? Because especially nightmare difficulty needs lots of management on the turn based mode, as I heard of from the reviews. I am playing on normal, and never used tactics screen except some boss fights. I am playing on normal difficulty tho.
 

TAZ427

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Nov 29, 2007
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#4
I'm on Normal mode. I made it into the hinterlands and got about 3hrs more in the game last night. I did a lot of the Haven side quests before going to the Hinterlands (Looked online and I finished the other 2 that I hadn't done after the battles and meeting Mother Giselle), did some equipment upgrading, made the regen potions (much better for between some of the harder battles to get health back up and elfweed or whatever it is made of is about everywhere I've got 5 Regen on everyone but my Mage and still have about 30 elfweed in stock.) Probably had about 1 - 1.5hrs of really playing in the Hinterlands, w/ a fair amount of exploring, claimed about 6 sites, 2 camps, closed a couple minor rifts, collected 5 shards, killed a couple lvl 8 bears w/ my lvl 4 crew. For the bears I go into turn based, I want to make sure my Rogue stays away, my Mage flames him and barriers us and then the Warrior and myself beats the living crap out of it.. Also when fighting the Templars and Mages, I'd go into it just to stop time, count the enemies, and if it's less than 4, I'd go back out of turn base mode and fight regularly. I want to make sure I'm not being swarmed by something like 8 of them. Also, making sure I'm not stumbling across a crew of lvl 8's like I found at the south end of the Lake.

I'm not neglecting the War Room either. I've done all the 'No Points Required' ones available and keep sending out someone after money one that's re-doable. I did one of the 4 power points (I think I Scouted the Storm Coast) but I didn't do the Val Royeaux Chantry mission. I figure I'm going to do a lot more side missions and exploring before moving on.

I figured out the fade rifts, I wasn't turned to face them, and so it wasn't allowing me to drain that major rift. I had a small bit of the some issue on a small rift because I was turned away from it and it wouldn't drain or close, quickly figured it out and moved on.

I haven't had the major confusion that I had on the first Pride Demon / Major Rift battle, since then so all is good.
 

Shingo

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Dec 21, 2011
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#5
Glad you get in to it :icon_thumright: Don't get bored with "shards" they are not useless , that is all I am saying :lol:
 

EvilJ0k3r

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Jun 25, 2012
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#6
Yes, Shingo is right about Nightmare mode, it DOES require a lot of usage of the tactical screen. I played it and beat it on nightmare my first play through and I used the tactical screen in like 90% of my battle as it is much more difficult to just run in there, smash some things up, then on to the next enemies. And the shards, yes!!! Very good thing to do, and don't be afraid to go adventuring into any cave, as that is where you find some of the best schematics! Save materials, and DO NOT only focus on equipping just you and a few select companions, try to keep them ALL generally well equipped as you will find each companion has their strengths and weaknesses, I used all of my companions throughout my story, a different op arty build depending on the enemies I was fight, the quests that needed to be done, etc... But yeah it's pretty straight forward, a few (optional) puzzles you can do in a later quest in the main storyline, and a few for some side quests, but other than that, piece of pie!!! Good luck, look forward to hearing of your game experience!
 

Major

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Apr 10, 2014
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#7
I've been playing through on Hard. Definately need the tactical view from time to time but my warrior + shield is doing ok most of the time. I find the best thing for me is to enter a battle then go into tactical mode and set a couple things up, then i can run in and start slashing and shield-bashing then go back into tactical if things start going pear-shaped.Definately need tactical view for the bigger battles though.

Otherwise i've found Archers need taking out early or they just tear you up when you're in close combat with another enemy.

One of my main mistakes is not setting ranged characters to Hold Position, keep just moving them but eventually they run in to close combat and get battered.

The Fade drain thing is annoying sometimes though, goes off top of screen and can't see if blue X is there for the draining.

Fought the Dragon in the Hinterlands for 1st time last night, got beaten lol. Didn't do too bad though, got him down to half health before my party fell. That was lvl 12 though so maybe a few more levels before i can beat him.
 

TAZ427

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Nov 29, 2007
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#8
Thanks for the advice. I've been reading up on a number of suggested strategies to use, as I expected most are common sense for someone with a lot of RPG experience, but there's a few gems tossed in there on things I wasn't aware of. I think one thing I haven't been doing is killing animals for Hide's, didn't realize I could switch to another party member while running around in free play, but I should have. I've got some schematics to make my mage and rogue a bit better Armor but both require cloth types (I did use some cloth type on Bianca's grip but that used up what little I had.)

I have been making sure not to neglect my companions, which I only have the three at the moment, but I also know better than to totally neglect equipment on 'unused' companions. I do plan to pretty much play the hand-me-down game though, while working hard to keep my main companions w/ the latest and greatest.

I can see the thing I'm going to like the least about the game is the inventory and lack of long term storage. Probably will spend way too much time disassembling equipment when making new equipment and upgrading it.

One question for pre-order equipment (Something like Flames of Inquisition Weapons and Armor IIRC.) How good was it, and how quickly did you out grow it?

I've found more and more that the Pre-order Freebies, become useless pretty quickly, and in some cases are totally useless from the first point you could use them (i.e. AC:U's Amazon Pre-order one was crap - like a 1000 Livre pole weapon and in a weapon group that I only used to kill 20 enemies just to get the Trophy unlock.)

Currently using a 92DPS 2-handed Maul with a grip modifier, upgraded all my companions weapons as well (done all 3 base level mods to Bianca for Varric.)

12mins and I'm heading home from work for a few more hours of DA:I woot woot.
 

Christopher

Community and Technical Manager
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Jun 1, 2007
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#10
[QUOTE="EvilJ0k3r, post: 6404240]Yes, Shingo is right about Nightmare mode, it DOES require a lot of usage of the tactical screen. I played it and beat it on nightmare my first play through and I used the tactical screen in like 90% of my battle as it is much more difficult to just run in there, smash some things up, then on to the next enemies. And the shards, yes!!! Very good thing to do, and don't be afraid to go adventuring into any cave, as that is where you find some of the best schematics! Save materials, and DO NOT only focus on equipping just you and a few select companions, try to keep them ALL generally well equipped as you will find each companion has their strengths and weaknesses, I used all of my companions throughout my story, a different op arty build depending on the enemies I was fight, the quests that needed to be done, etc... But yeah it's pretty straight forward, a few (optional) puzzles you can do in a later quest in the main storyline, and a few for some side quests, but other than that, piece of pie!!! Good luck, look forward to hearing of your game experience![/QUOTE]

yeah, I've found schematics to be more valuable than finding existing equipment. I've crafted several suits of armor that are much better than what I've gotten from random looting. But you have to be sure to stop and pick up all those ores that you see sticking out of rocks. And I do a lot of hunting so I have plenty of leather on hand. But the premium cloths are usually dropped by enemies, it seems.

Oh, and I made a big mistake early. I couldn't figure out how to implement upgrades. I was trying to just do it in my inventory, but that wasn't working so eventually I destroyed a bunch of upgrades in frustration cuz my inventory was full. Eventually figured out you have to go to the armor dude's tent in Haven and then the undercroft in Skyhold and find the bench to "modify armor/weapons". Then find the empty upgrade slot and select the upgrade. Same for runes.

sigh.....this was probably obvious to everyone but me since I've never played Dragon Age before. It may have even said how to do this early on in tutorials, but I missed it. But just in case anyone else is as thick-headed as me.....well, there it is...

[QUOTE="Admartian, post: 6404323]Can't clear the Demon's Pride rift at Dwarfson's Pass. I suck...[/QUOTE]

when I get to a rift that I just can't seem to beat, I go elsewhere and do stuff and level up and then come back and beat it. Think that has happened to all of us.

Uh....except for EvilJ0k3r. Dude makes all look like pathetic weaklings. hate that ass-hat.

lol....kidding, bro!
 
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Shingo

Forum Guru
Dec 21, 2011
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#11
I hate him too!! taking down dragons in 2 minutes and finishing game on nightmare, this is too much for me to handle :p

Oh btw there is no dismantling right? RIGHT? I mean if there is I am going to cry in the corner for five minutes:lol:
 
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#12
[QUOTE="Shingo, post: 6404446]I hate him too!! taking down dragons in 2 minutes and finishing game on nightmare, this is too much for me to handle :p

Oh btw there is no dismantling right? RIGHT? I mean if there is I am going to cry in the corner for five minutes:lol:[/QUOTE]
You can dismantle armor legs and arms, if they have them already when dropped or after you enhance your own creations and you outgrow those or find better armor/schematics. You cannot dismantle runes, though, unfortunately.
 

TAZ427

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Nov 29, 2007
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#13
[QUOTE="Admartian, post: 6404323]Can't clear the Demon's Pride rift at Dwarfson's Pass. I suck...[/QUOTE]

I just watched a video of it, I haven't tried that rift yet, but it looks like the biggest issue would be killing the two lesser terror's that spawns on top of the ledge. I'd make sure I'd get someone focused on a couple of them, and make sure you drain the rift. The video of the guy with lvl 5 char did it w/o going into turn based. I'd probably have gone into turn based once or twice to set a couple chars focus but it looks to be a fairly easy rift.

What Lvl are you and what difficulty are you playing on?

[QUOTE="Aeorath, post: 6404458]You can dismantle armor legs and arms, if they have them already when dropped or after you enhance your own creations and you outgrow those or find better armor/schematics. You cannot dismantle runes, though, unfortunately.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I've gotten into a habit of always checking this. I break it down before I sell it off, and recombine with other equipment. I haven't found a lot of schematics for Arms and Legs (purchased a couple for my mage) so it's definitely worth spending a couple seconds to check and then dismantle at the armory on both armor and weapons.

Spent a few more hours in it last night, went to Val Royeaux, found a key and unlocked a special merchant. I only wish I knew what stats I'd get from the various schematics there. I've only got 3K in gold, and there's several that look interesting, so I chose not to buy any. I'll see if I can find some details online today ;-)

I did buy a slightly upgraded staff at one of the merch's and got some arms and legs plans for my mage to upgrade his Armor.

A couple more rifts closed, an Astro puzzle solved, four more shards, a few more side quests done. Up to just shy of lvl 8. It says I've got 11hrs played, but it's more like 9hrs. I leave it running when I go eat dinner or my wife asks me to do something. That said, lvl'ng is definitely a slow burn in this game.

I unlocked a couple more companions. No deaths, only one Regen potion used, no regular potions used. Plenty of fights but with the better equipment and mostly lower enemies now where I've been running, not much in way of damage. I'm sure that's likely to change, big time! LOL

I did upgrade my Regen heal amount per second, and my Health potion by 50 health, I'm sure I'll quickly be needing these upgraded so I'm spamming the L3.

I still haven't done the horse quest and wander if it's really worth focus on it early if I'm constantly needing to scavenge. I'll get it done when I get in the area but I'm not sure why some guides focus on it. I don't mind running across the map as long as it's being productive while doing it.

Ok, that's my status update for the day, LOL

EDIT: looks like I was really lvl 5 going on 6, now I'm lvl 7 and close to 8
 
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#14
Just killed my first dragon, Hinterlands one, at level 15, pretty close fight, but did it. Some nice loot off of it. But this one was a level 12, but it was a tight fight, since I am a noob.

Also encountered another dragon, a level 19, in Emprise du Lion, cold-based, but no go for me at level 15.

So far I've put 54 hours into the game, just doing side quests, and exploring.
 

TAZ427

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Nov 29, 2007
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#15
Looks like I'm a long way from being toasted/chilled by a dragon, LOL. I think I'm going to do some Spelunking in the game tonight and see what's in some of the caves in the SE area of the Hinterlands.
 

Admartian

Wibbly Wobbly
Nov 28, 2006
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#16
@TAZ - I was at lvl4-ish I think? Was on normal.

Beat it now, just had to buy potions. Tweaked my tactics a bit - wish it was more fleshed out but no biggie.



Is there an opportunity to increase your healing potion capacity later in the game?
 
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#17
[QUOTE="Admartian, post: 6404523]@TAZ - I was at lvl4-ish I think? Was on normal.

Beat it now, just had to buy potions. Tweaked my tactics a bit - wish it was more fleshed out but no biggie.



Is there an opportunity to increase your healing potion capacity later in the game?[/QUOTE]
Yes, you can later unlock potions' slots, and also increase the number of potions carried.
 

Admartian

Wibbly Wobbly
Nov 28, 2006
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#18
^Sweet!

I lowered Varric's and Solus' potion threshold and limit. Upped mine (2H warrior) and Cassandra's. I mean we're doing all the work​ right? :snicker
 
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#19
[QUOTE="Admartian, post: 6404525]^Sweet!

I lowered Varric's and Solus' potion threshold and limit. Upped mine (2H warrior) and Cassandra's. I mean we're doing all the work​ right? :snicker[/QUOTE]
I haven't done that yet, since I am playing the game on normal difficulty, but sometimes, they do eat through those potions pretty fast, if you don't keep close tabs on them.

I am level 15 now, but am still running with the original crew, Varic, Solas, and Cassandra, even though I unlocked other companions as well. I just feel some weird connection with them, since it's with those guys I spent first few precious hours. It might sound stupid, but oh heck, it's an RPG and I put some soul into it.

And even though I play a female rogue, I am romancing Cassandra... Go figure ;)
 
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#21
[QUOTE="Admartian, post: 6404529]What's the max amount of party members at any one time? 3 (+1 you)?[/QUOTE]
Yes, indeed, at least so far, but I am pretty sure that's the maximum number.
 

TAZ427

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Nov 29, 2007
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#22
[QUOTE="Admartian, post: 6404523]@TAZ - I was at lvl4-ish I think? Was on normal.

Beat it now, just had to buy potions. Tweaked my tactics a bit - wish it was more fleshed out but no biggie.



Is there an opportunity to increase your healing potion capacity later in the game?[/QUOTE]

Good to hear, I'd say tactics adjustments are probably more important than reliance on potions for the long game. While you can add potion slots, and you can add I think 4 more (from what I recall reading) heal potions, if you're relying on them to survive battles against mobs that are really you're lvl, then you're tactics and/or equipment needs to be changed instead of worrying about increasing the capacity of potions which won't greatly change.

Sounds like you're really at the beginning though, so I'm sure you're flesh this out quickly.

I found a relatively good guide covering most topics in Dragon Age: Inq. And while the writer seems to have English as a second language, the overall info for Dragon Age seems to be very on key and complete. http://guides.gamepressure.com/dragonageiii/guide.asp?ID=27745

I spent a couple hours reading through it a couple days ago, didn't find any spoilers FWIW.

If you haven't done the quests in Haven, go back and do them (i.e. when you get to the war room and you first use it, it seems like they want to through you into Hinterlands, you don't have to go.) Use the opportunity to do a few quests in Haven, get some experience, a bit of gear while you're at it. Learn how to use the Armory to build things. Take some of the money you got and buy some schematics and upgrade some equipment.

Much better to take less damage with better equipment and tactics than worry about potions (which I hate personally.)

PS: If you haven't learned it yet, hit L3 to do a search pulse while walking around. Pick up everything!!! This is key to getting what you'll need to survive and upgrade.
 

TAZ427

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Nov 29, 2007
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#23
Latest update. I found out that I had lied on my last updated. I wasn't almost lvl 8, I was lvl 5 almost lvl 6 and I was taking on groups of lvl 8's w/o much difficulty at the time. Now I'm almost lvl 8 and the only time I've had a bit of trouble is coming up against about 8 or so lvl 8's Shields, Archers, and a brute with a big arsed maul. I new I was going to take some damage so before my guys got to far down in health I made them drink some Regen, that way they didn't eat through my potions.

That was fun, but I did go in and out of tactical a couple times to make sure things I wanted to have done got done.

Got the last two campsites fixed, got my horse, finished the other two Astropuzzles, closed a couple more rifts. Ran away from the dragon (was trying to sneak out into the area and see if I could find some Obsidian.) I'm waiting a bit before I come back into the dragons realm. Finished bunch more quests.

Found a bunch of places that I need keys or lockpicking ability at the least, such as in Redcliff. I've got probably 85-90% of the map visible now, Only the SW corner just SW of the camp in the SW and then the area just west of the Lake (I assume you come in from around the bridge to the North of it) to open up. I believe that leaves only two rifts in the Hinterlands to close.

To bad it's date night with the wife tonight, and I'm busy half of tomorrow.
 

EvilJ0k3r

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Jun 25, 2012
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#24
Okay so my game is beat, all dragons slain, now to just do some trophy hunting, found all the cheats except for 21 it says on my list, all shards found, and all but 3 Astrariums completed, I will let everyone know what happens after those Astrariums cuz I don't know, I'm down for some Coop if anyone would want to join me from time to time?
 
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TAZ427

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Nov 29, 2007
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#25
[QUOTE="EvilJ0k3r, post: 6405579]Okay so my game is beat, all dragons slain, now to just do some trophy hunting, found all the cheats except for 21 it says on my list, all shards found, and all but 3 Astrariums completed, I will let everyone know what happens after those Astrariums cuz I don't know, I'm down for some Coop if anyone would want to join me from time to time?[/QUOTE]

Congrats on beating the game. I haven't even looked at the trophies on this one. I seriously doubt that I'll platinum it, but who knows.

I'm still only lvl 9, didn't get to spend much time over the weekend on it. I did the Champions of the Just mission (fairly big one) and then I went to the The Storm Coast and did a few of the early missions on it. Beat up some spiders and then grabbed some popcorn to watch the Dragon and Giant fight out a sea.

Did get a little bit of equipment upgrade out of the Champions of the Just but not too much. The only companion I haven't unlocked yet is Dorian. That said I'm still using Cassandra, Varric and Solas. I figured I'd try to stick with them through the game, or at least as far as I felt I could realistically go. If I find I need someone really specialized in something, I can train them up at that point. Not sure if it's the wisest plan, but we'll see.
 

EvilJ0k3r

Superior Member
Jun 25, 2012
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#26
[QUOTE="TAZ427, post: 6405875]Congrats on beating the game. I haven't even looked at the trophies on this one. I seriously doubt that I'll platinum it, but who knows.

I'm still only lvl 9, didn't get to spend much time over the weekend on it. I did the Champions of the Just mission (fairly big one) and then I went to the The Storm Coast and did a few of the early missions on it. Beat up some spiders and then grabbed some popcorn to watch the Dragon and Giant fight out a sea.

Did get a little bit of equipment upgrade out of the Champions of the Just but not too much. The only companion I haven't unlocked yet is Dorian. That said I'm still using Cassandra, Varric and Solas. I figured I'd try to stick with them through the game, or at least as far as I felt I could realistically go. If I find I need someone really specialized in something, I can train them up at that point. Not sure if it's the wisest plan, but we'll see.[/QUOTE]

I am currently 6 trophies from platting it! These last ones are difficult!
 

thanatos144

Elite Member
Jul 5, 2013
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#27
[QUOTE="EvilJ0k3r, post: 6405579]Okay so my game is beat, all dragons slain, now to just do some trophy hunting, found all the cheats except for 21 it says on my list, all shards found, and all but 3 Astrariums completed, I will let everyone know what happens after those Astrariums cuz I don't know, I'm down for some Coop if anyone would want to join me from time to time?[/QUOTE]
Holy shit man do you have a life? I am like 70 hours in and and dont think i am near finished. I have killed three dragons now though. Two were grueling battels one was easy. I was well above its level

tapatalk
 

EvilJ0k3r

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Jun 25, 2012
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#28
[QUOTE="thanatos144, post: 6407203]Holy $#@! man do you have a life? I am like 70 hours in and and dont think i am near finished. I have killed three dragons now though. Two were grueling battels one was easy. I was well above its level

tapatalk[/QUOTE]

I do infact have a life, just I played this game non-stop on my day off work every week when I first got it, I never play except for my days off work when my wife is at work, cuz I can't play any other time cuz I work 12 hour shifts at the coal mines here, and also I have been off for 2 weeks cuz my left hand got smashed to bone powder thanks to a piece of roof rock lol
 

Christopher

Community and Technical Manager
Staff member
Jun 1, 2007
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#29
[QUOTE="EvilJ0k3r, post: 6407204]I do infact have a life, just I played this game non-stop on my day off work every week when I first got it, I never play except for my days off work when my wife is at work, cuz I can't play any other time cuz I work 12 hour shifts at the coal mines here, and also I have been off for 2 weeks cuz my left hand got smashed to bone powder thanks to a piece of roof rock lol[/QUOTE]

lol....beat the game one-handed. I bow to you sir!

:p
 

EvilJ0k3r

Superior Member
Jun 25, 2012
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#30
[QUOTE="Christopher, post: 6407208]lol....beat the game one-handed. I bow to you sir!

:p[/QUOTE]

Lol I had a hand and my fingers! It was more or less a game of balancing my controller in my one hand well enough to poke the buttons with my other fingers haha