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Not sure if it's just me or AI is ass in this game, some research suggests its both.
I can't get Cassandra to use War Cry under any circumstance, even with it set to the only ability that is preferred.
As for Mage, I have Dorien whose Barrier usage could be better, but also never casts dispel on enemy barriers and such.
What are the best settings/abilities for these roles in AI hands?
Thats odd, my cass uses warcry everytime, apparently it is a good idea to have character follow themselves (for some reason)
I leave cass attacking abilities disabled and give her war horn upgraded, shield wall, war cry and bullcharge, all guard generating abilites, sometimes its best to go into tactical and tell her to use shieldwall, usually if her guard is down. I use her combo trigger abilities manually, for example... when their barrier runs out and freezes enemies around with the proper barrier upgrade.
For mages dispel is best left on disabled so you can tactically cast it where is best needed. Barrier and revival are good on auto, they arent very smart getting out of melee which makes it a good idea to give them fade step so when you see them getting attack pause and task them to move away. KE is self sufficient to survive melee specially.
Ive been tempted lately on dropping cass and making the inquisitor the main warrior since ive been swtching to other chars for dps, later on when dps is high enough you dont even need a "tank" since you can kill everything quickly.
There are many youtube guides on this, a lot of them go into great depth. There is actually a lot more to optimizing your AI than just setting their preferences.
For example, IIRC setting their mana reserve to 0% changes their behavior to become a lot more aggressive. It's also optimal to set every party member's target to share your main character's target. There's a lot of tricks you can do to make them "smarter" and more self sufficient, it's worth looking up a guide on youtube.