Dragon’s Dogma was released in late May of 2012. It has been compared to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Shadow of the Colossus, Monster Hunter, and Devil May Cry. It is an action rpg that follows the a character whom you create using the pretty detailed Character Creation interface, and their quest to slay the Dragon. This will take you all across Gransys, with plenty of adventures and fun along the way.
The game is purely a single player experience. However, each player creates a “pawn” that will follow them throughout their adventures. They control this pawn’s development as well as its equipment and skills. This brings forth the only real online interaction within the game. A player is able to have three pawns in his party. To get to three, the player is able to recruit pawns that other people have made. These pawns aren’t taken away from the player who made them and the creator can receive items and rift crystals (which can be used to recruit higher level pawns) in return.
Each member of the party will have a vocation. This vocation determines that character’s stat growth, skill set, and weapons. For example, a mage will have low health, attack, and defense, though they will have high magic and magic defense. While they will be able to use magic, they will not be able to use, say daggers and a bow like a strider or a sword and shield like a fighter. There are nine vocations in total, though pawns can only become one of the first six. Each vocation plays extremely different from the others, and out of all the ones I’ve played, they’ve all been enjoyable (though the ranger and warrior are my favorites).
The strider is the most agile vocation in the game, as well as the most balanced between melee and ranged attacks. The strider has pretty much middling stat growth in everything, allowing for a very balanced character development. The strider has core skills that allow for double jumps and evasive rolls. The strider has high movement speed with both daggers or the bow in use, which allow for quick movement and evasion while attacking. The strider has the most dagger skills in the game, as well as being the best class at grappling onto larger creatures.
Bow-wise, the strider is still inferior to the ranger. The ranger’s longbow does much more damage and has a lot more range. However, the strider’s bow shoots faster and with a higher movement speed, the strider can get closer to an opponent than the ranger and maintain a degree of safety with the bow out. Also, the five-fold flurry is still a good skill, though it pales in comparison to the ten-fold arrow of the longbow. The cloudburst volley is a strider specific technique and it can be used to great effect with practice. Using five-fold flurry and the cloudburst volley are highly recommended.
Melee range, the strider is a much better choice than the ranger. The strider has more core skills and augments that cover dagger range and grappling with opponents. Also, with more dagger skills to choose from, the strider has a lot more options and ways to play up close than the ranger. Implicate can pull multiple enemies onto the ground in front of the strider, allowing for follow up attacks. There are plenty to choose from though.
The strider needs to be played quickly. It’s preferable to switch to the strider after playing as a fighter or warrior so that you will have high enough attack power to actually do some damage with the bow. Whenever I played with the strider, I found that, while the daggers are powerful, they need to be used as more of a last resort than anything else. Without a shield or high knockback and stagger resistance, it’s easy to get knocked out of a combo, especially since daggers have low stagger ratings. The strider’s main strength is the bow. Use cloudburst volley and five-fold flurry for maximum damage as much as you can. To let your stamina recharge just use regular shots. It is also helpful to get some of the ranger’s augments to help with the strider’s bow skills.
Just remember to stay mobile. Try to stay out of the enemy’s way and let them concentrate on your pawns while you pick them off from afar. If one or two does get close, use implicate or whichever dagger skills work best for you, and if that doesn’t work, just dodge away from them and get some distance between you and the enemies. Never try to duke it out with an opponent and you should be fine.
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