You finished your first playthrough of Dragon Age: Inquisition, and now want to try it on Nightmare mode. Unless of course, you already started off that way. If you did, hats off to you.
You are probably thinking about how the game unfolded, the best order in which to unlock new areas, where you found good loot and get it again, and “Oh Gosh, I am not looking forward to THAT fight on Nightmare.”
Here are a few tips from a fellow player who is playing Nightmare. This is not the way to do it, but it’s the way it worked for me. I am not going to go through builds in detail or best party composition, as this article is for the players who want to play any class, and not just a tank warrior or a Knight-Enchanter. Nothing wrong with those, they are fun, but what about all those other skill trees? If you just want some general direction on how to make your life easier on Nightmare mode, this is the place to be.
As a final note, I am going to presume you are familiar with the story, so you may see minor spoilers. I will try to keep those to a minimum where I can.
Let Haven Rip
As much as it’s a nice place and you might not want Haven reduced to ashes, try to push the story forward to the point where you get to Skyhold. Once you are in Skyhold the operation to unlock your specialisation will appear at the War Room table. Some specialisations make your life a lot easier, some less. But the earlier you can start on your path to your planned build, the better.
I found that once I acquired my specialisation the game became easier. I am not sure what the minimum level to unlock your specialisation is, but I was able to do so at level 9. Closing the Rift’s recommended level range is 8-11 so my guess is level 8.
Yes, that does mean leave The Hinterlands. Temporarily at least. Remember: you can go back there after Haven if you really insist, and this time you will have learned your beloved specialisation.
Craft Better Gear
I tried to aim that darn trebuchet over and over, and failed miserably each time. I don’t know how many times I died. I thought I was playing the Edge of Tomorrow. I considered lowering the difficulty, but that would have prevented me from earning the Inquisitor achievement. I thought, “Let’s grind more exp in The Hinterlands and try this at level 11 rather than level 8.” I even thought of rerolling another class.
I didn’t need to do any of those and I am glad I stuck with it. I loaded the save just before the assault and unlocked the perk in the Forces section that granted me the rare crafting patterns for my class.
I got myself a new weapon (and also made one for a companion), new armour, went back into the fight and completely owned it this time. I also made sure my tank, Cassandra, had the best possible armour I could give her. Since then the playthrough has gone considerably smoother. This leads to another point.
Collect everything you see, so you can craft. You can also check this article for crafting material locations.Even if you are an animal lover I would also kill the odd Druffalo or Fennec for their leathers.
Ignore Requisitions Until You Are Happy With Your Gear
Requisitions are an easy way to gain power. But they also drain your crafting resources. Unless you want to pretty up your Skyhold or want to unlock your garden for extra herbs, I would not touch them. You can earn power easily by other means, such as discovering camps or doing sidequests, and having a lot of power early to unlock difficult zones when you are not well geared or are at lower levels will only lead to frustration.
Start Off With the Forces Perks
The first perk I unlocked was Massache’s Method to gain extra exp. Since most of the enemies you encounter don’t scale with your level, it’s a good thing as you can equip higher level items. And gear in this game is king. It will also help you with the Veteran achievement if you want it.
I then increased the amount of potions carried and unlocked some rare gear patterns as I said before. The point is that the hardest part of this game on Nightmare difficulty is combat and Forces helps you enhance that. Optimal cutting in Secrets is also good, as it helps you gather crafting materials for your gear.
I am not saying that the other trees aren’t worth unlocking or that they don’t help. But the Forces tree synergises with the rest of the advice in this article.
Go Back to Earlier Areas if Needed
Yes fine, go back to The Hinterlands. Go escort that Druffalo you love so much. Was it your childhood mate or something? But if it means you get more crafting materials or earn that extra level to gain the edge in that fight you just can’t win, then do it. Of course The Hinterlands isn’t the only place you can go back to.
There may be more tips coming in the near future, but this is the general advice I would give as a Nightmare mode player. There are obviously optimal class builds that will make the game a lot easier, but as I stated previously, this guide is not class specific. I found the game was harder at the start, and by doing the above it became more manageable.
If you have just started your Nightmare run and feel you want to give up, stick with it. Do these things and you will overcome it.