Dragon Age: Inquisition remains one of my favorite games to date and not a year passes that I do not replay it once or twice (or more). And just like any fan of the franchise I am eagerly awaiting Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, the sequel to this gem. You can read up on the main game in my post Dragon Age: Inquisition – A Replay In 2021
Since I had time on my hands these past few months I returned to the world of Thedas once more, more specifically, the game’ s DLCs, The Descent, Jaws Of Hakkon and Trespasser. Beware of SPOILERS.
What Are The DLCs About?
The important thing first: Both The Descent and Jaws Of Hakkon can be played while the main story is still ongoing – though both require high level gear and specializations. Trespasser sets the stage for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and therefore becomes available only after you have finished the main quests. Also, every other side quest will become unavailable once you start the DLC, so – to quote Commander Cullen, “be certain you are prepared”.
In The Descent, the Inquisitor is asked to investigate strange events in the Deep Roads. Tremors have already damaged one dwarven thaig and cost numerous lives. The party has to find out what’s behind those tremors. In doing so, they will investigate the Deep Roads, that are filled with a host of Darkspawn and other horrors. The linear storyline is intense and – driven oward by an awesome score – I usually finish it in a couple of days.
The Jaws Of Hakkon is a longer DLC thanks to a ton of side missions. The main quests themselves do not take up that much time, but they require thorough preparation, as you will need to invest in new outfits that help you withstand the bitter cold. The Inquisitor and party travel to the Frostback Basin in order to uncover their predecessor’s last resting place. As such, the DLC deals with Inquisitor Ameridan’s story and the first Inquisition.
Finally, Trespasser takes place two years after Corypheus’ defeat. The Inquisition’s future is at peril, as both Ferelden and Orlais have plans that could see the organization either weakened or dismantled. The Inquisitor and friends travel to Halamshiral to meet with both nations’ representatives and Divine Victoria. Yet a new threat arises at the talks that will command all of the Inquisitor’s attention. Someone is trying to overthrow Thedas’ leaders and the answer to who they are lies in the Crossroads and beyond. Like The Descent, this linear story will have you want to play to the end as fast as possible to find out what really is going on.
There are just two quests that lead the Inquisition a little ways into the Deep Roads during the main game. These are “Deep Trouble” and “Well, Shit”, both set in the same location in Valammar. That first taste of the Deep Roads does not nearly compare to what awaits in The Descent. Exploring the crumbling dwarven structures and crossing into the Unknown is oppressive at times, since you will operate exclusively underground. But there is a grand, morbid beauty to the abandoned thaigs and roads and awe-inspiring wonder once you reach the abysss.
The Frostback Basin of Jaws Of Hakkon is an exotic new region unlike any other in the game. The tall trees, thick undergrowth and aggressive wildlife make exploring this colorful landscape fun.
The Crossroads in Trespasser are a unique setting, and they change a little depending on whether your Inquisitor is an Elf or not. Which I totally adore! They are a place where anything seems possible. And they lead to eluvians, which in turn lead to towers and fortresses set presumably in Tevinter, through that does not become entirely clear. The Inquisitor once comments that they don’t know “If we ar even in Orlais anymore”.
Enemies and Combat
First things first: both The Descent and Jaws of Hakkon favor mages specialising in Storm and/or Fire. Warrior and Rogue weapons should be equipped with Lightning runes, as most enemies are weak to lightning damage. Also, invest in Guard. You will need high level gear. I usually don’t play these DLCs until the party is level 20 or above.
The Descent will bring you face to face with the Darkspawn horde, but aside from familiar foes such as emissaries and hurlocks there are a few new enemies. Since the setting is mostly caves and corridors, your party should prepare for close-quarters combat but also ranged attacks.
Jaws Of Hakkon is notorious for cold damage. Investing in outfits that help you withstand that is key, but you will also need your mage(s) to be able to dispel their allies when they are frozen in place by the enemy. The human enemy classes are familiar, warriors, mages and rogues, as well as the creatures, demons and spirits you’ll encounter. But, they are high level, so you need good stats and weapons, too.
In Trespasser you will also need to invest in good gear and in Guard. The enemies are punishing indeed and even warriors such as the usually unkillable Blackwall will suffer, so best equip Regeneration Potion each time before you head into the Crossroads. I usually bring Dorian as Pyromancer, and I thought it both odd and a pleasant surprise that he will be available to you as a companion even if you decide to kick him out of the Inquisition after you have rediscovered Skyhold. That came in handy when I found myself down to just one mage in my party, which was Vivienne. While she can certainly hold her own, I usually play her as Ice Queen and that is not as effective as Dorian the Pyromancer. Another fun fact: Having drunk the Well of Sorrows will make your life much easier during the first part of the DLC.
If I had to rank the DLCs Jaws of Hakkon would land second and The Descent first place. Trespasser does not have any side quests and pretty much ties up a few loose ends in preparation for the next game, but for obvious reasons – Solas! – it is a very investing storyline.
Until next time, keep on playing!