Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

Building a Phenom - Step-by-Step

Nathan Garvin

You should now know what attributes to shoot for, and have an idea what the Vocations do-you just need to pick what build you want to go for when you start up the game. The second you actually start the game you’re forced to make a decision that influences your starting stats, so… no backsies. Because information tends to be pretty spread out, and it’s a bit to digest at once, this section will condense that information into some steps that explain in brief what to do in order to develop a potent Arisen.

  • After becoming an Arisen, choose your starting Vocation, which affects at the very least your first ten levels of development, as well as your starting stats. Hybrid builds and Strength builds should go Fighter, Magick builds should go Mage.
  • Make your way to Gran Soren by following the rather linear quests. Delaying means earning extra experience, which means extra levels, which means wasted attributes. Your goal should be to reach Gran Soren as close to level 10 as possible, change your Vocation into your leveling Vocation, and go from there. At Gran Soren the Hybrid and Strength builds should change to the Assassin Vocation, while Magick builds should change to the Sorcerer Vocation. Do not spend Discipline before you reach Gran Soren, to ensure you'll have enough to change into these new Vocations.
  • Keep Pawns around and complete quests until you're about level 25-30. By which time you can seriously consider attempting to plunder Heavenspeak Fort and Soulflayer Canyon, which contain some of the best gear in the early-to-mid game. You will be weak, monsters will be strong, you must take it slow, and when necessary, run past concentrated groups of enemies to reach Soulflayer Canyon. If you can reach it, you shouldn't have much trouble looting it, despite the enemies within. Some gear from this place can easily deal over twice as much damage as any of the initial weapons you have. The higher your Strength and Magick are, the easier life will be.
  • By this time (around 30th level) you should have maxed your new Vocation (Assassin or Sorcerer). Now consider changing Vocations to gain Discipline and hence Vocation Rank in them, switching back only to level up. Hybrid and Strength-build Assassins will want to change to Warrior (for Clout) and, amusingly enough, Magick-build Sorcerers will want to change to Assassin (for Bloodlust and Autonomy.)
  • Once you have either Clout or Acuity (Strength-build and Magick-build, respectively), Bloodlust and Autonomy, ditch your Pawns and equip those Augments. Your Strength/Magick scores should soar with those Augments equipped even with levels in the mid-30s, so long as you have Soulflayer Canyon loot. This will make you able to explore solo, which nets much more experience. Your Main Pawn will catch up very quickly when you bring them back-which you might want to considering doing when you do story-related quests, so they can gain knowledge.
  • Play the game, complete missions, and in general, kill stuff and earn experience. Your Strength/Magick score should sky-rocket just from adding levels, which should be easy to do given your already decent attributes, and if you're playing sans Pawns. This should easily see you through the story, whereupon you'll make further gains by getting superior gear and facing mighty late-game foes.
  • When you decide to tackle Bitterblack Isle, you'd be well-served by bringing back your Pawns, since the more potent creatures there won't really be very impressed with your 2000~ Strength/Magick score... at least, you should have this if you're around level 100, have good Everfall gear, and decent Augments. Once you score powerful Bitterblack Isle gear, you should be able to ditch your Pawns again.
  • Guide Information

    • Publisher
    • Platforms
      PC, PS3, PS4, 360, XB1
    • Genre
      Action RPG
    • Guide Release
      18 January 2016
    • Last Updated
      12 March 2021
    • Guide Author
      Nathan Garvin

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    You live the tranquil life of a fisherman in the small, quiet village of Cassardis, at the edge of the sleepy duchy of Gran Soren. This peaceful life of mundane obscurity is shattered one morning with the Dragon, Grigori, a beast of legend, attacks your town and you fall in its defense. Now reborn as an Arisen, you must lead the Pawn Legion into battle as you deal with court politics, combat apocalyptic cultists, and chase down the enigmatic Dragon. But beware, there could be more to the Dragon's challenge than it originally seems...

    • Full sequential walkthrough of all main quests, side quests and notice board quests.
    • Each area painstakingly described, including enemy encounters and notable loot drops.
    • How to get the best gear out of the Everfall and Bitterblack Isle.
    • Descriptions and tactics of every beast, large and small, that you'll face in the game.
    • Character creation information, so you can build the mightiest Arisen and Pawn possible.
    • New Game +, Hard Mode and Speed Run Mode fully explained.
    • Portcrystal and fast-travel system fully explained.
    • Romance information and affection-boosting guide: never accidentally romance the wrong NPC again!

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