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Hang on tight!

Climbing is a core mechanic in Dragon's Dogma.

Description

Climbing allows the Arisen and their Pawns to take on larger monsters. They may grab onto, climb up, and attack giant enemies, and get to otherwise unreachable weak points such as the eye of a Cyclops or the heart of a Drake.

Stamina is the deciding factor on how long one can stay attached to an enemy as climbing uses stamina. When their stamina is fully depleted, the climber's grip is lost and they will fall.

Stamina will be used up very rapidly if the monster attempts to shake off the climber.  During such violent motions the climber can only cling, and will be temporarily unable to attack. Some creatures will grab a climber, smash them on the floor, or try other motions to dislodge them; colliding with structures when climbing will also cause loss of grip. Whislt supported from below, such as on the back of the Ur-Dragon or an Ox stamina is not used but, but it does not replenish either.

Mounted combat

Climbing Arisen and allies are restricted in the attacks they can perform: Dagger wielding combatants can carry out light and heavy attacks, whilst staff users are restricted to light attacks.  The heavy attack Magick Billow can be used once, but the force of the blow will cause dismounting. Fighters and Warriors are also limited to light attacks.

Generally, non-core skills can not be used whilst climbing, with a few exceptions: The dagger skills Scarlet Kisses, Hundred Kisses and Thousand Kisses can be used when mounted on a large creature, and are ideally suited for that purpose. Assassins also can use Gouge with a sword. The Magick Archer skill Immolation (and its variants) is very effective.

The inclination Scather encourages climbing, as most larger dangerous monsters are climbable.

"Jump climbing" is a popular sport, and for many vocations is the quickest way to gain height on a creature. Whilst mounted simply jump to dismount, and then when higher, grab again to begin climbing again.

Environmental climbing

Ledges of most large rock formations, walls, large scale wooden structures and so on can be grabbed onto with a jump and then scrambled up.

Walking near a ledge or fall causes a hesitation response; if the Arisen continues in the same direction, they will go over the drop.  Pressing in the back direction immediately once falling usually causes the Arisen to grab onto the ledge and dangle. This dangling allows fall height to be reduced and often turns a damaging fall into a safe one.

Vocation and build effects

Stamina use

Encumbrance Stamina use
"Ultra Light" 100%
Very Light 100%
Light 150%
Average 200%
Heavy 250%
Very Heavy 300%
Overencumbered 300%

Striders are unique in having greatly reduced stamina use when climbing - consumption is reduced by one third compared to all other vocations, giving climbing time of half as much again. The also gain an increase in attack power compared to Rangers and Assassins when climbing giant monsters.

Encumbrance plays a major role in stamina drain whilst climbing - tripling tiredness from very light to very heavy encumbrance.

Other factors such as Character Weight have no direct effect on climbing stamina consumption.

Climbing speed

State or Effect Speed bonus
Strider 2x
Gloves of Might ~1.5x
Dexterity no effect
Character Height
Character Weight

In general all vocations climb at the same speed, except Striders who climb almost twice as fast. Character Weight and Character Height have no effect on movement when mounted on monsters.

Unlike walking and jogging and runing, Encumbrance has no effect on climbing speed.

The Assassin skill Wind Harness will also boost climbing speed, as well as all other actions.

Augments and equipment

  • Dexterity improves climb speed on environmental objects like rocks, (but not ladders), and does not improve the speed of climbing on creatures.
  • Arm-Strength reduces stamina use when climbing.
  • Adhesion improves grip whilst climbing, reducing the effect of monsters flailing.
  • Opportunism increases attack strength whilst climbing.
  • Gloves of Might improve climbing speed.

Monster behaviour

Climbing on monsters sometimes affects their behaviour - many large creatures will attempt to throw off or grab anything they detect crawling over them.

These counters can be divided into 'grabs', that usually allow them to attack the climber; 'shakes', that interrupt a climber; and more violent moves that interrupt as well as rapidly depleting stamina, or knocking the climber off.

There are a few additional climbing techniques that give the Arisen and allies an advantage in battle - these include : weighting down a Griffin with several allies to ground it; grabbing a stampeding Ogre to throw it off balance, and a similar move for Cyclops involving grabbing it on the leg to cause it to hop, and the fall over.

Stamina restoratives can be used whilst climbing.  When climbing enraged monsters it is advisable to keep the stamina level high enough to compensate for sudden violent motions that will exhaust stamina.

Attacks

Species Action Description
Dragonkin Heavy shrug Shakes its torso from the shoulders, interrupting climbers
Drake, Wyvern Aerial Spin Spins rapidly when aerial, draining a massive chunk of stamina.
Cyclops Grab Attempts to grabs a climber on or near its headand follows with a biting attack. An armored Cyclops will remove its helm first to see its victim.
Wriggle Shakes its back, disturbing any climbing on it.
Butt Stomp Jumps and falls on its rear, staggering any on the ground nearby, and disturbing any climbing on it
Ogre Back Suplex If climbed on its back, it will leap up and land on its back, flattening anyone behind it.
Evil Eye Mouth Drop One of the two upper tentacles will grab a character and drop them into the 'mouth' of the Eye, which then performs its biting attack. Can also happen to those nearby on the ground.
Evil Eye, Gazer Spin Knocks off any climber, as well as damaging or knocking any nearby on the ground
Ur-Dragon Sweeping Backhand A sweeping blow with either one of the front legs to knock off anything climbing on its rear parts.

Additionally both Griffin and Cockatrice's 'flailing flight' are so violent to prevent climbers from attacking almost completely. Golems and Cyclops both may swing an arm to knock (or throw) off a climber, and the Golem's transition to "energizer" mode also throws off climbers.

Monster motions may sometimes knock off a climber through collision on walls and pillars in the environment - in some cases the climber may simply be 'budged' to another location on the creature.

Notes

Monster climbing

  • The increase in Strider's attack power whilst climbing is around 50%. This boost only occurs against certain creatures, including the Ur-Dragon, Drakes, and the Gazer, but not vs lesser foes like Cyclops, Ogres, or Oxen.
  • Oxen, all Dragonkin, Ogres, all Cyclopes, Cockatrices, Griffins, Hydra, Evil Eyes, the Gazer, Golems, Chimeras, all Giant Saurians, Skeleton Brutes, Eliminators, Garm, Poisoned Undead, and Living Armor can all be climbed.
  • Depending on the position on the creature, monster climbing uses "tank controls" - that is: forward/backward, and rotate left/right or "strafe controls" - that is: forward/backward, and shuffle left/right.
    • The movement also depends on the view - so if the creature turns 180° the controller input may need to be inverted too, or the Arisen will climb back where they came.
  • Very rarely an climber on the Ur-Dragon may find themselfs propelled into the Everfall entrance platform in battle (usually unreachable) - in this case the Dragon will fly off prematurely.

Environmental climbing

  • Crates and Barrels can be scaled with a jump.
  • Frigor based spells create a temporary climbable spire of ice.
  • Some objects can be climbed, such as the Hanging Bodies found in some locations on Bitterblack Isle.
  • When dangling from an object, press "down" to drop, and "forward" to climb up.

See also