Part 17: You're My Wonderwall
You're My Wonderwall
We've recruited the mages, stopped a horrible future, and are ready to seal the breach. But instead we'll go fucking off. The Forbidden Oasis is unlocked after you've collected some of the shards from the Ocularum. You'll get a War Table mission to study them, which in turn opens up the area. Because collecting shards is completely optional some people skip the area entirely. It's a very small area as far as DAI goes, even smaller than Fallow Mire. Since we came here before we advanced the plot the only enemies are hyenas and whatever the rifts decide to spawn. There are some decent crafting materials - your first chance at a tier 2 (Paragon's Luster) and the only place to find Dragonthorn and Witherstalk. Witherstalk in particular is hard to find. There are only about a half dozen on the map and they look very much like weeds so use the search liberally.
Coming here as soon as you can isn't a bad idea. By running all the way through one track you can get your hands on T3 schematics before you're supposed to. The enemies in the last area can be a real bitch at low levels but they won't exit the room, so they can be cheesed with magic and archery. Takes awhile but it's risk-free. I did it on Nightmare with just Sera, since even though I told them to stay put my warriors ran in and got murdered. In order to unlock all the doors you will have to collect every shard in the game. I only did it once to get the trophy - the reward at the end is ok but not enough for the effort IMO.
I also show off examples of minor companion quests. These are more or less collectathons and can be done at any time to patch up hits to approval. You get them from Solas, Varric, Vivienne, and Blackwall. I haven't picked up Viv's yet, most of it is done when we unlock new areas so I left it for now. Other squadmates' quests vary; some of them involve killing specific enemies or enemies of a certain type (Bull digs it if you kill Venatori with him in the party). They're just easy ways to gain XP and keep on people's good side. Not mandatory by any stretch but great for manipulating approval, especially if you're trying to romance someone.
The next plot mission marks the end of Act I. It's very action-filled. Expect the first part up in a couple of days.