DA: I – Companion Combat Behavior

One thing I really like about Dragon Age is the ability to manipulate my companion’s AI. Albeit, the AI in Inquisition is excellent, the command list is rather short.

I am disappointed that my companions doesn’t have the ability to burst a dying target anymore. Or focus fire on a target and have my mage companion cast a big spell when the enemy’s health drops down to 50%. I’m also missing the ability to have the tank use taunt on the enemy that’s attacking me.

In Dragon Age: Origins, I can have my mage and ranged rogue DPS the boss while my tank companion tanks it. As soon as adds comes out, my tank switches target to whoever is attacking my ranged DPS. At the same time, my ranged DPS will use a specific skill to drop aggro or keep their distance.

In Inquisition, I have to rely on the game’s awesome AI to make critical decision that’s almost feel like I’m not even playing the game anymore. It’s one thing to have a powerful AI and another to take away the control from the player.

I’ve created a mage last night and the adds just keeps rushing towards me, regardless of who is attacking who, which I ended up dying because I can’t command my tank to taunt the adds off me. So I went back to my warrior and it’s the same problem. The mobs just keeps rushing to my ranged DPS companion but at least this time I can taunt them off myself.

In comparison, the game is tuned to be more enjoyable for the warriors than for the mages — and that’s not a good thing.

Another player control that is missing is the ability to re-position my companion by the click-to-move functionality. In my mage, we wiped on the demon fight only because my companion clustered in front of the boss and they all died when it pound the ground. Then he use a hadoken style attack to me to intagibs my mage. Not what I’ve experience when I was playing my warrior — with my warrior it actually feels too easy, but on my mage, the companions seems dumb. One good thing though is the addition of a SWTOR-like rez system so I don’t have to rely on my mage to cast a resurrection spell.

The combat is frustrating, yes because it’s different, but it’s not a deal breaker for me since I get what Bioware is trying to do here. It seems that Inquisition favors an active companion control that I do in DA2, which means, less reliance on the conditional AI and more about directly commanding my companions by taking control of them. It rather feels like I’m playing a Final Fantasy game.

I can set the amount of mana my mage companion can use on their own, for example, and the default 50% is just about right. This way, I can have my mage companion use what ever they want and leave the rest of the 50% up to me on how I would want my mage would use the remaining mana. I can also lock skill that I reserve for myself so that my companion will not put that skill in cooldown. So I think overall it’s going to be fine even though I really miss the conditional AI.

That’s it for now. So far, I have recruited Viviene and Sera and the Ironbull quest just popped up before I exit the game. Unfortunately, I still have other matters to attend to so my next play time would be sometime this weekend.

Author: Enzovic

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