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Hang on tight!

Climbing in a core mechanic in Dragon's Dogma.

Description

Climbing is a prominent combat mechanic in Dragon's Dogma, allowing the Arisen and his or her pawns to take on a monster larger than they; it makes it possible for Arisens and their party to grab onto, climb up, and attack giant enemies, and permits them to reach 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; climbing uses stamina. When stamina is fully depleted, the climber's grip is lost and the character falls.

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 make other motions to dislodge them; colliding with structures when climbing will also cause loss of grip.

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.

General 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) functions when climbing, and is very effective.

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

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

Encumbrance Climbing
Stamina use
"Ultra Light" 100%
Very Light 100%
Light 150%
Average 200%
Heavy 250%
Very Heavy 300%
Overencumbered 300%
Figures relative to very light encumbrance

Different vocations climb at innately different rates.  The fastest climbers are Striders, with Rangers and Magick Archers also being effective. Heavy or tank-like classes such as Warrior or Mystic Knight are slow climbers.

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.

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

Smaller characters also climb monsters faster than larger characters, dependent on Character Weight. However heavier characters may be better at encumbering creatures when climbing.

Augments and equipment

  • Dexterity improves climb speed on environmental objects eg 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 monster flailing
  • Opportunism increases attack strength whilst climbing.
  • Gloves of Might improve climbing speed.

See also

Notes

Monster climbing
  • Dragonkin, Ogres, Cyclops, Cockatrices, Evil Eyes, Golems, Chimera and Griffins 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
  • Jumping while clinging to an enemy propels the Arisen much higher than even a double jump, in return for some stamina expenditure — this coupled with the height of the creature and a double jump may be used to reach heights and/or ledges normally unaccessible.
  • The creature you are climbing may use a variety of tactics to attempt to dislodge you:
    • Some moves deal next to no damage to you or the party members but effectively eat away your stamina. The most obvious of these are the wet-dog-shaking-dry moves.
      • Stamina restoratives can be used whilst climbing.  When climbing enraged monsters it is advisable to keep stamina level high enough to compensate for sudden violent motions that will exhaust stamina.
    • Attacks aimed at a party member on the ground or at the climber itself may easily stagger you and thus cause you to fall off the creature.
      • Clinging to a Cyclop's arm while it strikes with it will probably get you flung to the ground badly bruised, but riding a raging Ogre's arm is usually safer than being in any other place around it.
    • If none of the above works — the monster can just keep moving in rapid motions causing you to dangle and simply run out of stamina over time, especially if you are loaded with heavy loot.
      • In a case of a non-damaging collision of creature's limbs a climber may autonomously reattach themselves from the former part of the creature to the colliding one — e.g. such as from a Cyclop's face to its arm when it tries to feel its damaged eye.
      • Monster anatomy can pass through arena/chamber boundaries whereas the Arisen and pawns cannot. For example, if a dragon's head or tail passes through landscape features as it spins, any Arisen or pawn mounted on boundary-breaking anatomy will instantly drop off.
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 hanging corpses in Dark Arisen.
  • When dangling from an object, press "down" to drop, and "forward" to climb up.