- Estimated achievement difficulty: 8/10
- Offline: 50 
- Online: 0
- Approximate amount of time to 1000: 80 hours+ (highly skill-dependent for Nightmare)
- Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 1 [2 recommended]
- Missable achievements: 6 - "Belle of the Balle," "The Brightest of Their Age," "On Burning Wings," "Persuasive," "People Person," and "Beloved and Precious."
- Does difficulty affect achievements?: Yes
- Glitchy achievements: "Dragons' Bane," "Veteran," and "Persuasive"
- Extra equipment needed?: None
Jaws of Hakkon DLC
- Difficulty: 4/10
- Time to 165: 8-10 hours
- Glitchy/Missable/Unobtainable: None
The Descent DLC
- Difficulty: 1/10
- Time to 165: 2-4 hours
- Glitchy/Missable/Unobtainable: None
- Difficulty: 5/10
- Time to 240: 25 hours+ [depending on saves]
- Missable: Several [see below]
In Dragon Age: Inquisition, you begin as a relative nobody (henceforth referred to as the Herald), thrown into a perilous situation by an unknown antagonizing force. The Chantry as you and Thedas knew it has crumbled around you and you are at the center of the smoking political ruin left to reshape the state of two neighboring states, Ferelden and Orlais: Ferelden currently in turmoil and accepting apostate Mages and rogue Templars; Orlais in a vicious battle of words and subterfuge to determine who comes out on top amidst the Chantry’s chaos.
The combat structure of Inquisition is akin to the first entry in the series. At any time you wish, you may pause combat, engage a tactical camera view, and issue commands to any or all of your party. If the command involves movement, a line is drawn from the character taking the action to where they are moving. Unlike Dragon Age: Origins, however, the combat is much more fluid now, taking what was good from Dragon Age 2 and adapting it to a slightly slower play style. On easier difficulties such as easy or normal, the tactical camera will not be necessary outside of tough battles, or unless you simply like to use it. On hard or nightmare, however, it becomes a necessity. Learn it, love it, and prepare to use it regularly.
In the early stages of the game, you can easily clear out some quick achievements like "Well-Prepared," "Customized," "Sharp-Eyed," "Well-Read," "Skilled," "Synergized," "Decorator," "Cavalier," and "Trailblazer." These will require little to no effort.
Throughout the middle-to end-game, you will start unlocking many of the longer ones that have multiple requirements like "Specialized," "Pathfinder," "Stargazer," "Liberator," "Persuasive," "People Person," "Loremaster," and "Quartermaster." These will require moderate effort, mostly just keeping an eye open for their requirements and acting on them when possible.
In regard to difficulty, it is recommended that you begin on hard in order to get Herald on your first playthrough, as well as learning how the tactical camera works and synergy between party members. If you are new to the series, I recommend normal as your first playthrough. Regardless of what you start with, nightmare will most likely be a second journey into the game for most of you, and you can get any of the missable achievements you may not have gotten your first time on top of finally getting Inquisitor and the completion.
Once you complete the game, you are able to continue play and get the final achievements you may have missed. For the average gamer, these will most likely include "Botanist," "Master Alchemist," "Dragons’ Bane," "Veteran," "Peerless," and "Invincible."
Follow the achievement descriptions below to polish these off.
Jaws of Hakkon DLC
Welcome to Jaws of Hakkon, the first official DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition. This downloadable content brings your Inquisitor and his or her party far south on a mission to discover lost truths of the Inquisitor before. In this mountain-strewn land, you will find new friends and foes alike, uncover secrets hidden to the world of Thedas, become an integral part of an Avvar conflict, and if you're lucky, you might even get some upgrades to your gear.
If you haven't completed the full game first, it is highly recommended that you do, even though this DLC doesn't quite touch upon the events from the main story. The enemies here are quite powerful (starting in the early 20s), and if you haven't completed the original game, you might struggle a bit in combat; even after dropping the difficulty. Be prepared for a steep learning curve compared to what you last fought.
The two story-related achievements ("Historian" and "Winter's End") are not missable and will pop as you finish the main questline for the DLC, so be sure to focus your attention on making extra saves in case you miss something while working on "Firestarter" and "Legend-Marked." With a few extra saves a single playthough should suffice.
The Descent DLC
In the latest installment of DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, we are granted access to the Deep Roads during The Descent. You will meet a host of new characters, not surprisingly almost all Dwarves, and do the typical Dragon Age formula: meet people, do quests, get loot. This DLC is intended for characters who have finished the game and are geared well, but level scales, and you will quickly be pit against some of the hardest foes you have fought to date (difficulty does not affect achievements. If you need, feel free to bump down the difficulty - keep in mind for characters that have not yet completed the game that this will obviously disable the hard and nightmare related achievements from the original 1000).
"Giant Slayer" will be the first to unlock naturally as you progress, then "Deep Roads Commander" will very shortly follow. Keep an eye out for the prompt detailed below as soon as you unlock the first campsite. Next will be "Fact Finder," and finally, "Shaper of Stone" will both unlock naturally by the end of the DLC.
You may also take this time to search for the three (3) Astrariums and twelve (12) shards for additional loot.
If needed, return to unlock "Deep Roads Commander," but you should easily have all four achievements for 165 with one playthrough.
Overall, not as long as hoped/anticipated, but still a fun foray back into the world of Thedas, nonetheless. Enjoyable if you have the Dragon Age itch and need a good scratch for a day or two. If you've already geared your characters with Masterwork crafted items with Dragon materials, you are unlikely to find much gear worth anything to you here, but we all know the real fun comes from the ambiance and atmosphere BioWare provides us, as well as both the new and existing relationships.
Set two years after the defeat of Corphyeus, the Trespasser expansion acts as an epilogue that follows a narrative filled with political strife and misfortune. Oh, and there’s also a great evil threatening all of Thedes which must be stopped, meaning the gang will be rounding up together once more. Given this expansion acts as an epilogue, it will not be available at the War Table in Skyhold until the base game has been completed. By extension, it's very difficult given the new enemies’ end-game levels, so it’s advised against playing it on Nightmare. Achievement wise, there are eleven in total but they’re split between two different areas of the game; three are related to Trespasser, while the remaining eight are tied to new “trials” that must be done via the base game, be it off previous save files or a new playthrough. These new trials act as modifiers that, in one way or another, change the way you play the game (i.e. less XP earned, decreased health potion regeneration, etc.). With all of this established, it’s recommended to focus on the Trespasser expansion first (while simultaneously working on 1 of the 8 trials), and then moving onto the other 7 trials separately.
After completing the base game (and preferably the previous two expansions), visit the War Table in Skyhold and you can embark to the Winter Palace for a new quest that costs 8 Power. Once the mission has been accepted, you will not be able to return to Skyhold! Therefore, make sure to create a manual save before accepting this mission so that should you choose to, you can continue playing on this character later on; there is no post-game anything after Trespasser is complete.
Upon completing the entirety of the Trespasser narrative, "Marked Forever" will unlock. Along the way, there are also two sets of missable collectibles (Taken Shape Gear and Ancient Statue Caches). Finding all four pieces of the Taken Shape Gear set will unlock "Coroner," while opening all four treasure caches guarded by Ancient Statues will yield "Lateral Thinker". Refer to the guide below for more information on these.
Lastly, when you first arrive at the Winter Palace, open the main wheel and head into “Options.” Now click on “Trials” and activate the trial called “Walk Softly.” This trial will randomly “promote” enemies on the battlefield by giving them more health. By the time you finish the Trespasser narrative, you should have naturally unlocked "Trial of the Emperor" for killing 20 enemies affected by “Walk Softly.”
Base Game Trials:
The remaining seven achievements that come with this DLC are all tied to the other trials found in the “Options - Trials” menu. If you’re lucky, you may have previous save files from earlier on in your playthrough that will help here a lot. The saves you will need, at a bare minimum, are as follows:
- For "Trial of the Magician", a save prior to beginning the “In Hushed Whispers” or “Champions of the Just” quests
- For "Trial of Temperance", a save prior to ever entering Emprise du Lion
- For "Trial of the Empress", a save prior to slaying the Fereldan Frostback Dragon in The Hinterlands
- For "Trial of the Tower", a save prior to slaying the Hivernal High Dragon in Emprise du Lion
If you happen to have those saves, you will end up saving yourself many hours of having to go through a new character/playthrough. If not, the guide below will detail everything needed for those four achievements. Luckily, "Trial of the Hermit" can be completed on any post-game save file of your current character, as all it requires is to kill 10 Great Bears in the Emerald Graves that are promoted by the “Grizzly End” trial.
Last but not least, the final two achievements, "Trial of the Lovers" and "Trial of the Fool", must absolutely - no matter what - be completed on an entirely new character/playthrough. If you do not have the aforementioned save files listed above, everything can be done in one new playthrough, though it will take a very long time to do so.
The Trespasser expansion is bittersweet. While the narrative present in the epilogue finally adds some much needed closure to certain characters and events from the base game, the trial related achievements really sour the overall mood. Two of these trials will require a rushed, tedious playthrough, and unless you’re lucky and have perfect saves necessary for another four trials, stacking all six of these achievements in one playthrough will be one of the most unenjoyable experiences yet. At any rate, you’re looking at several hours of gameplay in order to see everything done, and remember…Trespasser’s two collectible sets are missable!
Dragon Age: Inquisition is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling RPGs to date, and I don’t mean just this year. Even if it is a little heavy on the waypoint hunting, the story and character interactions are top notch and the voice acting is what you’ve come to expect from BioWare. A rich and satisfying combat mechanic round out the whole positive experience. You won’t have many troubles with most of these achievements and you’re in for a long, enjoyable ride.
[XBA would like to thank Floyd. for this Roadmap]
[XBA would like to thank Floyd. & bantycakes for the Jaws of Hakkon DLC Roadmap]
[XBA would like to thank Floyd. for The Descent DLC Roadmap]
[XBA would like to thank BiggD for the Trespasser DLC Roadmap]