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  1. #1
    Community Member Gnarkh's Avatar
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    Talking The Stonehenge (efficient survival caster)

    This build is not dragonmarked anymore . If a moderator reads this, please change the title to:
    "The Stonehenge (efficient survival caster)"


    May I present the all new...

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Stonehenge
    Dwarven Druid 17, Favored Soul 2, Wizard 1
    True Neutral

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    Playstyle: Spell point efficient offensive and support caster with excellent survivability and great CC, debuffing and healing capabilities. Control aggro with Intimidate. Fun zerger as well...gather mobs, drop AoE, watch everything turn into a helpless, slow moving pile of goo...gather even more mobs while spells are on cooldown, rinse & repeat.

    Strengths: PRR, amazing hit point pool, huge SP pool, temp SP with Just Rewards, self sufficiency. Decent will and fortitude saves, especially against magic effects.

    Weaknesses: No evasion, terrible reflex save, loses some DCs and caster levels for the splash, little dodge.

    The build should be quite newbie and first live friendly. It's an 'early bloomer', the longest part of the heroic levels you'll progress as a pure druid and will be a welcome asset to every party as a healer or self sufficient zerger. After level 15 you start specializing for more spell points, defense and spell efficiency. Only prerequisite obviously is unlocking the Favored Soul and Druid classes.

    While tomes and past lives (especially Sorcerer to push Evocation DC) will make the build more powerful, it should be a ton of fun and tough to kill without extra boosting. Paladin lives will be great for more healing amplification as well. Spell penetration is a minor consideration on a druid, but wizard would also open up the active Arcane Initiate feat for extra DCs. No tomes are required for feats except a +3 constitution for Epic Toughness. (+1 does the trick as well, see below)

    The level split sacrifices some sheer casting power (for most spells 2 max. levels) and spell DCs (-1 for evocation, -3 for conjuration and transmutation) for more defenses, spell crit, an extra feat, a higher spell point pool and temp SP gained by spell criticals from fire, light and untyped spells. If anyone wants to math it, go ahead, I believe the potential DPS to be slightly lower than a pure build, but close enough to make splashing a valuable trade off.

    By choosing Dwarf the build gains saves and an amazing amount of extra hit points. (quite easily adaptible to human as well, losing HP and saves, but gaining heal amplification and an extra feat)

    After two overhauls I believe the build to be very smooth to play in Epic Elite, especially in a group or duo situation, for its versatility, great defenses, CC, buffs, debuffs and healing capabilities. I haven't played the toon to cap yet, so judge by yourself how it might perform as a soloing build.


    Recommended Starting Stats:

    28 pts. 32 pts. 34 pts. 36 pts.
    Strength 8 8 8 8
    Dexterity 8 8 8 8
    Constituition 18 18 18 18
    Intelligence 10 14 14 14
    Wisdom (levels here) 18 18 18 18
    Charisma 6 6 8 10

    Wisdom for DCs and will save. Constitution for HP and fortitude save. Spare points dumped into Intelligence for extra skill points and draconic DC. Even more spare points dumped in Charisma for UMD and Intimidate

    Options: Lower charisma and intelligence for more constitution. Recommended, if you don't have a +3 con tome available!


    Skills

    Concentration, Heal, Spellcraft, UMD, Balance, Intimidate, 1 point in Tumble. Spare points in Diplo for Tea with the Queen.


    Feats

    1st Maximize
    3rd Empower
    6th Empower Heal
    9th Heighten Spell
    12th Shield Mastery
    15th Improved Shield Mastery
    16th (1st Wizard) Quicken Spell
    18th Spell Focus: Evocation
    21st Toughness
    24th Epic Toughness
    26th Guardian Angel
    27th Epic Damage Reduction
    28th Mass Frog or Elusive Target


    Offense Options:

    - if you feel you don't need as much metamagics (see this interesting discussion in the Evoker thread), these can be replaced with Mental Toughness or more Spell Focus Evocation and/or Arcane Initiate. I'm currently considering to replace at least Empower at higher level, as it's got a bad efficiency vs. spellpower gain ratio in my currently planned enhancement setup.

    - another option would be to sacrifice PRR and replace the Shield Mastery feats. Or Epic Damage Reduction which would open the possibility to take Toughness at level 26 and Epic Toughness at level 27, freeing another feat.

    - Mass Frog. While Elusive Target isn't exactly popular I personally think it's a great feat, given this build has low avoidance from dodge to push that into diminishing returns too much (and yeah, math me on it...)

    Defense Options:

    - Dodge, 3% avoidance and doesn't require a twist.



    Level Order

    The order of leveling and picking up the feat lines has little consequences to the build, I'd recommend 15xDruid (unlocks Heal and Earthquake) first:

    Recommended:
    15x Druid -> 1x Wizard -> 2x Favored Soul -> 2x Druid


    Level Split

    For 17 levels druid you get:
    All SLAs except Storm Of Vengeance, all the good stuff from druid casting up to level 9 spells

    For 2 levels FvS you get:
    More spell points, spell power and 4% spell crit for fire/light, Just Rewards (temp SP), 10 PRR, 15 HP

    For 1 level wiz Wiz you get:
    More spell points, an extra feat, 1% spell crit

    By the splash you lose:
    -5 caster levels, -2 caster max levels, -2 WIS, -2 DC each for Conjuration and Transmutation, -3 Spell Penetration. The max levels will be missed, the added caster levels not so much, for many spells will cap on the way to 28 anyways or have a level independent damage component. This build ignores Spell Penetration, as very few druid spells check for it.

    For 20 levels Dwarf you get:
    4 CON, 30 hit points, +5 saves vs. magic, +4 Balance, +2 saves against poison, 4% more max health, +3 fort saves, -3 reflex saves

    Options: As kuro_zero pointed out an option is to replace the FvS levels with Cleric. (see this comparison in post #7): Loses some fire crit, situational spell power from Scourge and the temp SP from Just Rewards. Gain Nimbus of Light SLA and permanent spell power. The spell point increase evens out more or less, depending on your gear stats.


    Defenses (selfbuffed)

    - lots of PRR
    - huge hit point pool
    - great will and fortitude saves, especially against magic effects
    - empowered, quickened Heal and Regenerate
    - True Neutral, minimizing alignment damage and taking advantage of Stability gear
    - 10 DR/Adamantite from Stoneskin
    - vast CC and debuffing arsenal, which should perform excellent up to EH and perform some at EE
    - full self buffs: Freedom Of Movement, Death Ward, Fire Shield, Barkskin, Resist Energy
    - additional short term buffs: Nightshield, Protection from Evil, Remove Fear
    - Elemental form: +10 saving throw against magical poisons, immunity to natural poisons, sleep, paralysis and stun, 100% bonus to fortification
    - a quite decent AC, which helps avoidance while leveling and in EN/EH.
    - whatever you fit on gear, probably around 10% dodge, 10% incorporeality and 25% - 50% concealment.


    Enhancements

    Dwarven Racials: 7 AP Total
    7 AP - Core 5x (+2 constitution, +30 hit points)

    Druid - Seasoned Herald: 48 AP total
    4 AP - Core 4x (Spellpower and SLAs)
    3 AP - Beguile 3x (debuff attack speed and spell power on spell hit)
    8 AP - Wax and Wane 4x (more spell crit depending on season)
    4 AP - Wisdom 2x
    6 AP - Improved Metamagic: Maximize
    3 AP - Autumnal Susurrus 3x (acid negative and lightning spells get 40% to cause shaken)
    1 AP - Spring Resurgence 1x (buff ally or self to AoE heal at 50%)
    3 AP - SLA: Produce Flame 3x
    3 AP - SLA: Creeping Cold 3x
    3 AP - SLA: Call Lightning 3x
    2 AP - SLA: Word Of Balance 2x
    2 AP - Time and Tide (+1 caster level and max caster level for season spells)
    2 AP - Strength of the Solstice (more DC)
    2 AP - Crown of Summer (buff ally or self for +15% heal amp)
    2 AP - Winter's Heart (cold damage proc)

    Favored Soul - Warpriest: 8 AP total
    1 AP - Core 1x
    3 AP - Toughness 3x (15 hitpoints)
    1 AP - Awareness 1x (1 spot wohoo!)
    3 AP - Wall Of Steel (10 PRR)

    Favored Soul - Angel of Vengeance: 11 AP total
    1 AP - Core 1x
    3 AP - Scourge 3x (stacking spell power on fire / light casts)
    4 AP - Smiting 2x (4% spell crit, fire force, light and physical)
    3 AP - Just Reward 3x (10 temp SP on crit with fire force or light spells)

    Wizard - Archmage: 6 AP total
    1 AP - Core 1x (free Grease clicky wohoo!)
    3 AP - Energy of the Scholar (90 SP)
    2 AP - Spell Critical (1% spell crit)

    Options:

    - drop Winter's Heart to gain 2 AP
    - drop Improved Metamagic to gain 6 AP
    - add wand&scroll mastery in Seasoned Herald for 6 AP
    - add +3 saves against magic in Angel of Vengeance for 6 AP
    - add 30 more hitpoints in Pale Master for 7 AP



    Epic Destiny

    I'll need to playtest and evaluate the options before I make recommendations. Primal Avatar, Shiradi Champion or Draconic Incarnation are all possible candidates for various situations. By all means suggest viable ED layouts for this build.

    Twist Brainstorming (yes, this thread is also my personal notepad...):

    - Healing: Cocoon (cheap heal/shield not requiring LoS), Renewal (dito), Endless Faith (10% more SP, Echoes restores 30 SP)
    - Defensive: Legendary Shield Mastery (+15 PRR 7% doublestrike)
    - Saves: Impregnable Mind (+6 concentration, +6 will saves, no fail), Perfection of Body (+6 fort saves, no fail)
    - DCs: Evocation Specialist (+3 DC), Precise Casting Evocation (+2 DC)


    Gear and Tactics

    See the level up guides below in the thread.


    Recommended Spells

    Level 1: Faerie Fire, Entangle, Jump, Pass Without Trace, Merfolks Blessing

    Level 2: Resist Energy, Creeping Cold, Gust Of Wind, Barkskin, Flameblade

    Level 3: Protection from Energy, Call Lightning, Salt Ray, Quench, Spike Growth

    Level 4: Cure Serious Wound, Freedom Of Movement, Ice Storm, Dispel Magic, Enveloping Pack

    Level 5: Stoneskin, Call Lightning Storm, Wall Of Fire, Death Ward, Reincarnate

    Level 6: Vigor Mass, Fire Seeds, Fire Shield, Greater Creeping Cold, Word Of Balance

    Level 7: Regenerate, True Seeing, Body of the Sun, Freezing Spray

    Level 8: Heal, Earthquake, Sunburst

    Level 9: Regenerate Mass, Storm Of Vengeance

    Favored Soul: Nightshield, Protection from Evil, Remove Fear

    Wizard: Sonic Blast, Obscuring Mist, Detect Secret Doors


    Damage mitigation: PRR, DR and avoidance

    Short version

    The build with good gear will reduce the dreaded 300 damage melee hit in EE to:

    177 maximum damage
    164 maximum damage (if under 50% health)

    (About 15 less, if you actively shieldblock.)

    Those hits will be often avoided, depending on the circumstances, resulting in...

    ...best case, trash and displacement active
    65 average damage
    60 average damage (if under 50% health)

    ...worst case, red named with true seeing

    151 average damage
    143 average damage (if under 50% health)

    As you see, the damage gets quite manageable, considering you're a ranged character and have lots of CC, fully meta'ed heal and regenerate.

    Long version

    Code:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Physical Resistance Rating
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    + 15 PRR from Madstone Aegis and Improved Shield Mastery 
    + 15 PRR from Legendary Shield Mastery
    + 10 Epic Damage Reduction
    + 10 PRR from Warpriest Enhancements
    + 16 PRR from medium armor
    + 24 PRR enhancement bonus from Guardians Ring
    ==========
    90 PRR = 38,69% physical DR
    
    + 20 PRR bonus under 50% health from Guardian Angel
    ==========
    110 PRR = 43,48% physical DR
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Damage Reduction
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    -> 10 DR from stoneskin      => 10 reduced,  290 remaining
    -> PRR reduces               => 113 reduced, total damage: 177
    -> PRR reduces (under 50%)   => 126 reduced, total damage: 164
    
    You'll get 15 more DR before PRR kicks in, if you actively shield block.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Damage Avoidance, fighting a trash mob with active Displacement
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    5%  Miss on a 1       => 9   (8)   reduced   => remaining 168  (156)
    50% Displacement      => 84  (78)  reduced   => remaining 84   (78) 
    10% Ghostly           => 8   (8)   reduced   => remaining 76   (70)
    10% Dodge             => 8   (7)   reduced   => remaining 68   (63)
    5%  Elusive Target    => 3   (3)   reduced   => remaining 65   (60)
    
    Total damage: 65 or 60 (under 50% health)
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Damage Avoidance, fighting a boss mob bypassing blurry and ghostly
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    5%  Miss on a 1       => 9   (8)   reduced   => remaining 168  (156)
    10% Dodge             => 17  (16)  reduced   => remaining 151  (140)
    5%  Elusive Target    => 8   (7)   reduced   => remaining 143  (133)
    
    Total damage: 143 or 133 (under 50% health)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Feedback, suggestions and build criticism is very much welcome.

    Please keep the thread focused on the general build idea and the druid class. Please keep discussions of the pro / contra of going pure versus going multi class pragmatic and unbiased. Thanks!

    Feel free to send Snowfang on Khyber a tell for any questions.

    Also, what's a 'Henge' anyways?
    Last edited by Gnarkh; 03-16-2014 at 04:23 PM.
    "Don't mess with dragons for thou art crunchy and go well with ketchup."
    Proud citizen of Khyber, Dabbler in the arcane art of creating flavor dwarf builds:
    The Stonehenge (Efficient Druid Survival Caster), The Starman (Ranged Coup De Grace Assassin)

  2. #2
    Community Member Gnarkh's Avatar
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    Changes:

    - 2014-03-01 Reposted the build after a serious overhaul
    - 2014-03-03 More major changes, aiming for more endgame survivability, no mo' dragonmarks *sniff*
    - 2014-03-04 Fixed a couple typos, added some ideas from feedback I got, added some PRR numbers for the defensive feats, added FvS and Wiz spells
    - 2014-03-06 Had fun with math and added some tank mitigation hard numbers
    - 2014-03-13 The math was faulty, however....fixed it (hopefully). Also started a level up guide, see below
    - 2014-03-13 Some changes to starting stats and feat order
    Last edited by Gnarkh; 03-14-2014 at 12:27 AM.

  3. #3
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    if you take the wizard level you should use shiradi with magic missiles.
    you can increase caster levels with 3 piecese of abishai set, twilight staff, chaosrobe... I don't remember the other bonuses.

  4. #4
    Community Member Gnarkh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michele View Post
    if you take the wizard level you should use shiradi with magic missiles.
    Might be an option, yes. You can get it to 2 missiles max I think with a kind of heavy gear investment? Would make a nice 'cheap' chain with MM, SLA MM and unmeta'ed fire seeds with terrible damage, but as sort of a fallback? Not sure I get your idea here. Feel free to go into more detail and suggest viable gear options for this, using a staff and a robe would hurt PRR a lot, and I don't think it would be worth the effort in this specific case.

    I'll have to play with this build a bit and test, idea was mostly to proc Just Rewards with firewall, aura and the light/fire spells druid would use anyways. While this will surely help spell point efficiency, I don't think it will be anywhere near the 'shrine? what's a shrine?' attitude you develop on a shiradi arcane.

    Speaking of PRR, I'm contemplating to drop dragonmarks, switch race (dwarf for against magic saves, hp and con or human for heal amp and the extra feat) and maybe add shield feats for extra PRR. Which would make i.e. Epic Toughness quite accessible and help survivability a lot on a better geared version of this. (sigh...gotta make clickies after all I guess...)

    Can one change the thread title by the way? Only figured out how to change the first posts title...sigh.
    Last edited by Gnarkh; 03-03-2014 at 06:50 AM.

  5. #5
    Community Member kuro_zero's Avatar
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    The enhancements in AoV seem off.

    Scourge is a pre-req for Just Rewards. You need 4 points spent in Tier1 (plus 1 in first core) to unlock Tier 2 but I only see Smiting in Tier1.

    I think it should probably look something like:

    1 Core
    2 Smiting I
    3 Scourge
    3 Just Rewards
    2 Smiting II
    --
    11

    Since you're boosting WIS, have you thought about 2 Cleric instead? Still have access to Warpriest, and Divine Disciple has some nice things.

    Following is to compare SP and whether you gain more from FvS or Cleric being based on wisdom referencing this: Assuming a CHA of 30 and WIS of 50.

    Code:
    SOURCE	FvS	CLR
    Base	150	75
    Wiz X	275	250
    GS SP	165	150
    30 CHA	110	0
    50 WIS	0	220
    TOTAL	700	695
    So we're looking at pretty much a wash in terms of SP gains of FvS vs Clr although consolidating items as negates the need to slot CHA. You gain +2 SP per point in AoV, so around +24 with 12 points spent. You get ahead if you invest in the SP enhancement in Divine Disciple.

    Divine Disciple you lose fire spell crit, ~12 Universal Spell Power (AoV +1/point spent in enhancement tree), up to 30 fire and light spell power (Scourge) and temp SP (Just Rewards)

    Your light spell crit stays the same (or go with the universal to increase other SLA crit chance), you gain Nimbus of Light as an SLA, and "always on" spell power without having to build Scourge up.

    I'm just throwing out another option but comparing the two now as I typed it out I'm agreeing with the FvS splash. As far as total SP gain, I think it's pretty even considering the massive WIS you'll have compared to CHA. The temp SP gain from Just Rewards could be huge however, but max+emp+quickened Nimbus is nice as well and not needing to slot CHA in gear makes things simpler.
    Last edited by kuro_zero; 03-03-2014 at 06:23 AM.
    Officer of Disciples of the Apocalypse on Sarlona
    Himawari Life 3 - 1 FvS | Svipul Life 3 - 1 FvS | Chikaze Life 2 - 2 PAL / 2 MNK / 4 FVS
    Completionist Project: GLaDOS - Life 14 of ??: Bladeforged 'Zeus' - Started 22/02/14

  6. #6
    Community Member Gnarkh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuro_zero View Post
    The enhancements in AoV seem off.
    Indeed they are. Thanks for mentioning that. I'll correct it after breakfast.

    Quote Originally Posted by kuro_zero View Post
    Since you're boosting WIS, have you thought about 2 Cleric instead? Still have access to Warpriest, and Divine Disciple has some nice things.
    Honestly I only took a quick glance and intuitively decided on FvS for Just Rewards and spell crit. I'll have to think about this a bit. Thanks for the awesome comparison (feel free to throw more nicely layouted spell point breakdowns at me ).

  7. #7
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    1 wizard + 3 abishai + 2 twilight + 1 chaosrobe = level 7 arcane caster = 4 magic missiles

    so you have 1 magic missile sla with full metamagic and 1 magic missile spell.

    also the abishai and twilight and chaosrobe will add caster levels to your energy burst!

    I'm currently going in draconic ice specced and using energy burst and energy vortex ice, I mostly use creeping cold and greater creeping cold dots togheter with earthquake and ice storm with 400 spell power ice at level 26 and mobs blow up at epic elite content (mantle of icy soul gives -4 reflex saves to enemies and if you care about intelligence stat you will have a good chance that the epic elite mobs will not succeed the reflex save; I'm currently sitting on 50 energy burst DC without considering mantle of icy soul and I'm planning to increase it further).

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnarkh View Post
    Might be an option, yes. You can get it to 2 missiles max I think with a kind of heavy gear investment? Would make a nice 'cheap' chain with MM, SLA MM and unmeta'ed fire seeds with terrible damage, but as sort of a fallback? Not sure I get your idea here. Feel free to go into more detail and suggest viable gear options for this, using a staff and a robe would hurt PRR a lot, and I don't think it would be worth the effort in this specific case.

  8. #8
    Community Member Gnarkh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michele View Post
    1 wizard + 3 abishai + 2 twilight + 1 chaosrobe = level 7 arcane caster = 4 magic missiles
    Thanks for the breakdown and presenting a very interesting gear option. This would indeed be a viable and probably almost free little chain to cast then.

    My worries here is the suggested gear is not meshing well with the build imho (see changes I made after your original post regarding i.e. shield feats):
    - Twilight for me is less than ideal, as I'd want to use a shield like the Madstone Aegis, obviously. And maybe a Sage's Locket.
    - I'd probably prefer medium armor for more PRR unless I'm using primal ED with evasion (situationally at best as I'd have to drop the shield as well).
    - Five parts of the Abishai set would be five gear slots with imho not very desirable stats at cap, although the bonus is obviously great for the setup you mentioned

    I'm also not sure, if your breakdown is correct regarding Spell Augmentation:
    - It seems to not affect archmage SLAs. Which naturally makes me wonder if it affects epic destiny SLAs. Can someone clarify?
    - While the Wiki wording is a little vague here, you sure two different tiers (Twilight and Chaosrobe) of this effect stack?

    Source: http://ddowiki.com/page/Spell_Augmentation

    All things considered, my gear focus would probably aim for balancing defenses, DCs, healing stats and different spell elements, so Abishai and a staff would carve deep into the item budget and I'm not sure I could fit anything I'd want.

    An interesting suggestion nonetheless for maximizing DPS or if someone chooses to drop the shield feats. I also might evaluate this differently, if I had tons of 'legacy caster gear' on the character already, a couple more past lives and a spare raid box.

    Interesting idea to go draconic. I'll have to check that out as well a little bit more in depth. What's your layout for ED and twists?
    Last edited by Gnarkh; 03-04-2014 at 04:17 AM.

  9. #9
    Community Member Gnarkh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuro_zero View Post
    Since you're boosting WIS, have you thought about 2 Cleric instead?
    I added this as a build option in the main post now. I'll personally still stick with FvS for the temp SP mainly. Thanks again for making this balanced comparison.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnarkh View Post
    Thanks for the breakdown and presenting a very interesting gear option. This would indeed be a viable and probably almost free little chain to cast then.

    My worries here is the suggested gear is not meshing well with the build imho (see changes I made after your original post regarding i.e. shield feats):
    - Twilight for me is less than ideal, as I'd want to use a shield like the Madstone Aegis, obviously. And maybe a Sage's Locket.
    - I'd probably prefer medium armor for more PRR unless I'm using primal ED with evasion (situationally at best as I'd have to drop the shield as well).
    - Five parts of the Abishai set would be five gear slots with imho not very desirable stats at cap, although the bonus is obviously great for the setup you mentioned

    I'm also not sure, if your breakdown is correct regarding Spell Augmentation:
    - It seems to not affect archmage SLAs. Which naturally makes me wonder if it affects epic destiny SLAs. Can someone clarify?
    - While the Wiki wording is a little vague here, you sure two different tiers (Twilight and Chaosrobe) of this effect stack?

    Source: http://ddowiki.com/page/Spell_Augmentation

    All things considered, my gear focus would probably aim for balancing defenses, DCs, healing stats and different spell elements, so Abishai and a staff would carve deep into the item budget and I'm not sure I could fit anything I'd want.

    An interesting suggestion nonetheless for maximizing DPS or if someone chooses to drop the shield feats. I also might evaluate this differently, if I had tons of 'legacy caster gear' on the character already, a couple more past lives and a spare raid box.

    Interesting idea to go draconic. I'll have to check that out as well a little bit more in depth. What's your layout for ED and twists?
    3 pieces of abishai set, not 5.
    get cloak for 7 const, boots for 2 slots, and choose one between gloves and bracers.

    shield is useless in epic elite content, the will cut you in half when they hit you for 200 damage per hit

  11. #11
    Community Member kuro_zero's Avatar
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    Abishai hasn't aged very well. Tying up three item slots for a single spell seems like a waste. Plus, he has a better option is using Shirardi, which is unmeta'd Earthquake and Body of the Sun (fire elemental form) which Shirardi has a chance to proc on each tick of those two spells.

    @OP - Its been a long while since I've even looked at a shield, but back in the day I used to occasionally pull out a heavy shield on my ranger to shield block and I could still evade with it. Whether it is still works like that or if does/does not work with tower shields is something I would have to check.

    If you can still evade with a shield/tower shield, it might be beneficial to try to maximize your PRR with light armor and get as close to dodge cap as you can (Dodge feat is an option then) and you can use animal form to gain evasion when its more beneficial than elemental form.
    Officer of Disciples of the Apocalypse on Sarlona
    Himawari Life 3 - 1 FvS | Svipul Life 3 - 1 FvS | Chikaze Life 2 - 2 PAL / 2 MNK / 4 FVS
    Completionist Project: GLaDOS - Life 14 of ??: Bladeforged 'Zeus' - Started 22/02/14

  12. #12
    Community Member Gnarkh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michele View Post
    3 pieces of abishai set, not 5. (...) shield is useless in epic elite content, the will cut you in half when they hit you for 200 damage per hit
    Thanks for clarifying that. And my bad reading the set bonus wrong.

    Shield (example is Madstone Aegis) with feats adds:
    - 15 PRR from feats
    - 15 PRR from Legendary Shield mastery (tier 2 twist, though)
    - 16 DR, if actively blocking, while standing in AoE goo.
    - a blue augment slot, which might or might not be used on more PRR
    - AC, not useful in EE, but useful everywhere else, which for me and the builds target audience will be a consideration, spending a good bunch of time farming EDs.

    That's 16.82% more physical DR compared to not using a shield at least, not counting active blocking or the extra slot. I noticed you're a big fan of PRR in your other posts?

    How much you value defenses in EE is another matter entirely. I can only speak from my experiences on my other divine that the parts add up, and you turn out to be a lot less squishy and have that little edge in survival that often counts. It's why I changed the build a lot the last week, I feel that druids Heal Over Time meshes a lot better with steady mitigation (PRR) and a big HP pool than with avoidance (dodge). For me that's tanking 101, but then again I like defensive builds a lot.

    My point was, I'll lose a lot of synergy: losing shields (PRR), medium armor (even more PRR) and additional item slots might not be worth it for me on a build meant to be a supporter first, DPS second. There are other arguments for not using Twilight as well imho. (like a +5 DC item wouldn't stack).

    On a personal note, this whole 'EE will teach ya!' attitude of yours is not helpful. The truth imho is, even on EE you don't insta die the second something melees you. People exaggerate a lot, how survivable EE really is. Especially in groups. Especially on a well built divine. Especially in 95% of the EE content.

    Just to clarify, I'm not trying to build a dedicated EE soloer or a max DPS monster. I'll play in groups and a static duo with a dedicated DPSer mostly and survival is my first concern to keep people healed and deploy CC and debuffs. Maximizing DPS obviously is important, but it's a secondary concern.

    It's simpy a trade off. Kill speed vs. defenses. Take your pick. I'll include both options in a gear list, when I put one in the build post.

    As stated in the build post, dropping shield feats is a great option and a good argument can be made to add more DC or Mental Toughness instead. In that setup, using shields wouldn't make sense.

    The tl;dr of your quite provocative posts, also in other threads, is 'go pure, maximize dps and use my build'. Which of course is an option. Care to put it on the forum, I'd be interested.
    Last edited by Gnarkh; 03-05-2014 at 05:52 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuro_zero View Post
    If you can still evade with a shield/tower shield, it might be beneficial to try to maximize your PRR with light armor and get as close to dodge cap as you can (Dodge feat is an option then) and you can use animal form to gain evasion when its more beneficial than elemental form.
    Yeah. Evasion works with all shields. Only requirement is robes or light armor. I personally feel, shields are very underrated at the moment for historical reasons. Call me a fan . They can add plenty to a build with PRR, blocking DR, extra item budget, doublestrike and even energy resistance, if you got the feats for that.

    And yup, I had that in mind for situations, where evasion is immensely beneficial or for lazy mode EN/EH zergs. I'm not sure I'd use a feat on dodge as it's so soooo feat starved, but it surely is an option as well. Can't argue with 3% avoidance. I agree with the general idea to dodge cap. Having little experience with using medium armor, I'd have to do the math at some point, if going light armor as a default wouldn't be more beneficial as a general setup here.

    I'll have to see in actual combat. Evasion will be very limited on the build in the current incarnation, due to the terribly low reflex save. At the very least, if I find it helpful, I'd switch out the +3 fort / -3 reflex enhancement again. Chances are, on lower difficulties I wouldn't bother switching gear and ED, on higher difficulties the saves just won't cut it.

    Quote Originally Posted by kuro_zero View Post
    Plus, he has a better option is using Shirardi, which is unmeta'd Earthquake and Body of the Sun (fire elemental form) which Shirardi has a chance to proc on each tick of those two spells.
    That. And firewall. Also to proc Just Rewards. Can anyone verify that Body of the Sun procs that?
    Last edited by Gnarkh; 03-05-2014 at 05:56 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnarkh View Post
    Yeah. Evasion works with all shields. Only requirement is robes or light armor.

    And yup, that's what I had in mind for situations, where evasion is immensely beneficial. I'm not sure I'd use a feat on dodge, but it surely is an option as well. Can't argue with 3% avoidance.

    I'll have to see in actual combat. Evasion will be very limited on this build after the last changes, due to the terrible low reflex save. (at the very least, if I find it helpful, I'd switch out the +3 fort / -3 reflex enhancement again).
    Ohhh completely forgot about druid's horrendous reflex save progression. So yea, getting a viable reflex save is going to be tough.

    The suggestion for dodge was to make it easier to get higher dodge if using light armor since you're limited to equipment otherwise (?) not having monk or other class enhancements that make reaching dodge cap easier.

    Also, instead of an augment for PRR (which is max +16), there's the easy to get Guardian's Ring for a huge 24 PRR.

    U21 has a pair of bracers with +30 PRR as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnarkh View Post
    Thanks for clarifying that. And my bad reading the set bonus wrong.

    Shield (example is Madstone Aegis) with feats adds:
    - 15 PRR from feats
    - 15 PRR from Legendary Shield mastery (tier 2 twist, though)
    - 16 DR, if actively blocking, while standing in AoE goo.
    - a blue augment slot, which might or might not be used on more PRR
    - AC, not useful in EE, but useful everywhere else, which for me and the builds target audience will be a consideration, spending a good bunch of time farming EDs.

    That's 16.82% more physical DR compared to not using a shield at least. (not counting active blocking or the extra slot)

    How much you value defenses in EE is another matter entirely. I can only speak from my experiences on my other divine that the parts add up, and you turn out to be a lot less squishy and have that little edge in survival that often counts. It's why I changed the build a lot the last week, I feel that druids Heal Over Time meshes a lot better with steady mitigation (PRR) and a big HP pool than with avoidance (dodge). For me that's tanking 101, but then again I like defensive builds a lot.

    My point was, I'll lose a lot of synergy: losing shields (PRR), medium armor (even more PRR) and additional item slots might not be worth it for me on a build meant to be a supporter first, DPS second. There are other arguments for not using Twilight as well imho. (like a +5 DC item wouldn't stack).

    On a personal note, this whole 'EE will teach ya!' attitude of yours is not helpful. The truth imho is, even on EE you don't insta die the second something melees you. People exaggerate a lot, how survivable EE really is. Especially in groups. Especially on a divine. Especially in 95% of the EE content.

    It's simpy a trade off. Kill speed vs. defenses. Take your pick. I'll include both options in a gear list, when I put one in the build post.

    The tl;dr of your posts, also in other threads, is 'go pure, maximize dps and use my build'. Which of course is an option.
    I have 45 prr: light blue dragonscale armor for invisibility scroll spell failure, 24 prr from guardian's ring, 9 from 3 past lives pdk.
    you can grind 27 more prr from divine epic past lives.

    but the point is: you can keep the mobs at distance or keep them in an earthquake, you are a caster after all.

    in epic hard mobs explode with an energy burst and hit for low damage, so it's not needed 100+ prr.

    and ok, let's say that you have enough defense to survive epic elite attacks, you sacrificed too much offensive power yo be able to bring down a boss with 350000 hit points... you need at least 400 spel power cold and at least 3500 spell points and use creeping cold spells.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuro_zero View Post
    Abishai hasn't aged very well. Tying up three item slots for a single spell seems like a waste. Plus, he has a better option is using Shirardi, which is unmeta'd Earthquake and Body of the Sun (fire elemental form) which Shirardi has a chance to proc on each tick of those two spells.
    it's not only a single spell: it's energy burst and energy vortex and dragon breath.
    I only use them together with creeping cold spells to deal damage in epic elite content.

    by equipping 3 pieces of the abishai set, energy burst deals about 500 more damage.
    if you consider 2 more levels from arcane augmentation IX you will deal even more damage.
    twilight staff is bad because I can't maximize cold spell critical, but an alchemical scepter (or shield for the shield lovers! ) allow you to equip a glaciation scepter of ice lore.

    Also I tested both tactics and the ice draconic path unleash tons more damage then a shiradi earthquake\bodyofthesun caster.

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    Community Member Gnarkh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuro_zero View Post
    Also, instead of an augment for PRR (which is max +16), there's the easy to get Guardian's Ring for a huge 24 PRR. U21 has a pair of bracers with +30 PRR as well.
    Probably the better option by all means.
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  18. #18
    Community Member Gnarkh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michele View Post
    it's not only a single spell: it's energy burst and energy vortex and dragon breath. (...) Also I tested both tactics and the ice draconic path unleash tons more damage then a shiradi earthquake\bodyofthesun caster.
    *nods* I see your point. And you're tempting me to test draconic on this build sooner rather than later . (and maybe even invest in some intelligence for kicks...)

    My reasoning for the shiradi approach is...a different mindset altogether...less damage per second, but better spell point efficiency, figuring in Just Rewards. Which requires sort of a fire / light / physical based attack chain. Hence stacking unmeta'ed damage over time spells and SLAs as very cheap casts. Doing less damage per second, but very efficient damage nonetheless. At least that's my assumption as I'll have to playtest how often Just Reward procs and from which spells.

    It's a big reason why after reading the Evoker discussion as you suggested, I plan to keep full metamagics, as it helps both Shiradi procs and SLAs.

    It's beyond my theorycrafting abilities in this game to figure out, which setup has the better total damage potential, if time is not a factor. Your approach surely will bring down bosses in less time. My approach surely has added perks as well, like dumping a cheap firewall and cast each spell at 10 less spell points (i.e. while healing or kiting).

    I have to admit here, I'll be the first to dump the build and go pure, if it doesn't feel right while playing. It works great on arcane Shiradi builds, though (which obviously have their magic missile chain on top).

    You can also use both approaches, depending on the situation and availability of shrines in the quest. (and if the mobs are ice or fire immune...)


    Regarding PRR. If I got my math straight, every point of PRR adds to your mitigation equally:

    100 damage -> 10 PRR -> 6.22% reduction -> 6.22 damage less

    remaining damage: 93.88

    93.88 damage -> 10 more PRR -> 6.22% more reduction *grabs calculator* -> 5.84 damage less

    remaining damage: 88.04

    If you add those up right away it seems to have diminishing returns (11.84% not 12.44%).

    If you look at it from the "10 PRR more" perspective, each tier reduces damage by the same percentage, though.

    So, in my personal tank math reasoning, there's no such thing as too much PRR .

    The only diminishing return of sorts you have is that healing countering the damage is an absolute value.
    Last edited by Gnarkh; 03-05-2014 at 08:50 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnarkh View Post
    *nods* I see your point. And you're tempting me to test draconic on this build sooner rather than later .
    if you test draconic and took less than 20 levels you need the abishai set to make them cap.

    another downside of draconic is that regenerate mass is less effective.

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    "Humble beginnings now. Or rather naked ones. On a beach…great."

    Snowfang, oddly shaped level one druid, awakens.



    Level 1

    So….I finally TRed, after a little bit of preparation. Before I used a +20 heart of wood to respec to sorcerer to grab a free +1DC passive past life feat. The character also has one more past life, druid. Fits nicely.

    At character creation I decide on a first build change, I have 36 points available and add some more versatility:

    Str: 8
    Dex: 8
    Con: 18
    Int: 14 (for skillpoints and at Michele's suggestion Dragonic DC)
    Wis: 18 (main attribute)
    Cha: 10 (for UMD and Intimidate)

    This gives me some opportunity to test various aspects of the build later. At the cost of 2 con, which doesn't hurt the build. I have a +3 Con available to unlock Epic Toughness later on. For the other stats, Snowfang has +2 or +3 as well, which is nice, but not essential.

    Dialing in the numbers I realize I really want intimidate. I got a shield already, armor and a good chunk of PRR in mind. A tank mage! Throwing lightning and flame strikes! (oh, the nostalgia…).

    I set skill points accordingly for: Heal, Spellcraft, Concentration, Intimidate, UMD, 1 point in tumble and balance.

    Feat: Maximize (for more oomph)

    Spells: Lesser Vigor and Ram's (as every little bit helps with 8 strength)


    I summon my pet (and also keep a wolf summoned in quests).

    Next, grab something to wear and a water breathing ring from the tutorial. Say hello to a friend waiting at the Korthos harbor for me! The weather is great.

    Speaking of which, I have the great fun and honor to share this TR with two level bodies…I mean, buddies, uh…so let's call them Humpty, a dwarven con barb…'nuff said. And Dumpty, a dwarven centered kensai we force to do traps for us.

    Dumpty and me shortman Korthos. Melee, red alert and being barrel shaped is fun. Kensai gal doesn't die, which comes sorta…unexpected. ^^ I'm glad to have friends, though (as my dog is beating me in damage)

    Back in the harbor, I set up my toolbars and suffer from my usual TRRS (Twink Resources Relog Syndrome). As I recently picked up some basic crafting skills, I decide to plan ahead for once and make stuff with a low storage footprint I could reuse on other lives and characters.


    Starter Gear

    --- Sir Craft-a-lot…'an hour later...'

    I'm using shards of masterful craftsmanship, if you don't have enough house C favor for that (on any toon), add +2 min levels to most items. If you feel like reusing the equipment on other characters later, Sharn and other low level quests give you BtA items you can use as crafting blanks.

    These can be crafted by buddies as well! For a very moderate amount of resources.

    - screaming of bleeding scimitar (level 1)
    - holy of righteousness scimitar (level 2)
    - wooden shield of stability (level 1, upgrades at level 4 (greater) and 8 (superior))
    - leather armor of invulnerability (level 2, upgrade at 4 with a mobile shard)

    - helmet: wisdom +3 (level 3, upgrade at level 5/7/9)
    - necklace: constitution +3 (level 3, upgrade at level 5/7/9)
    - belt: false life +10/+20/+30 (level 3, upgrade at level 5/7)
    - boots: intimidate +7/+10 /+13 boots (level 3, upgrade at level 5/9)
    - gloves: strength +3 (level 3, upgrade at level 5/7/9, if you prefer it over Charged Gauntlets)
    - ring of feather falling (level 1)
    - ring of underwater action (level 3)

    Goggles I fill with a deadly item. I got Masterful Fortification Rings luckily, one for level 1 (40%), one for level 5 (80%). The second slot uses strength, devotion, featherfall or underwater, whichever I need most.

    I crafted screaming of bleeding hand wraps (transformed to a collar) and another leather armor of invulnerability as well for my dog buddy.

    --- Sir Shop-A-Lot…

    100 x Cure Severe Wounds
    100 x Remove Blindness
    100 x Remove Curse
    100 x Remove Disease
    100 x Neutralize Poison
    100 x Restoration
    100 x Haste
    100 x Shield of Faith (+3)
    Druid Spell Ingredients (levels 1-3, 999 each)

    --- Sir TR-A-Lot…

    Very easy equipment to farm, if you haven't stashed it.

    - 2x Anger's Step (level 1) for Expeditious Retreat
    - Cloak of Flames (level 3, various upgrades), house Cannith challenges
    - Bracers of Wind (level 3, various upgrades), house Cannith challenges
    - A Chronoscope set (level 5): Charged Gauntlets, Helm of Frost, Boots of Corrosion, Envenomed Cloak and Scorched Bracers
    - Ring of the Archbishop (level 3), Deleras
    - Trapblast Goggles (level 1), Seal of Shan-To-Kor
    - Stalwart Trinket (level 4), for …thematic reasons, Crystal Cove Event
    - an upgraded Lordsmarch set (level 13)
    - Potions of Mnemonic Enhancement (for emergencies, can do without usually)

    Getting all this prepared took a while. On the good side I won't need a lot of gear for a long while, besides crafting upgrades.

    I discover my TR bank is cluttered with now basically useless 'twink gear'. Trashed it! That felt right….


    Level 2

    No hard choices here. Choose wolf. Transform, wreak some havoc. Intimidate if you feel like it. Damage and healing output is quite terrible, but with summons and wolf speed it's smooth to play nonetheless.

    Skill points: Concentration, Heal, Intimidate, Spellcraft, UMD, balance

    Spells: Jump (because I carry way too many potions as is…)

    Enhancements: Beguile

    I equip my prepared weapons, armor and shield from the bank, ship buff and head to the harbor quests. With invulnerability and full energy resists, obviously you are impossible to kill.


    Level 3

    I equip all my level 3 gear. 82 hit points, 297 spell points. It's a start .

    Feats: Empower (for a little more oomph…)

    Enhancements: Wax and Wane, Produce Flame

    Spells: Flame Blade ('cause your wisdom rocks), Barkskin (make you and your friends look even more like barrels)

    Canine melee does take a quantum leap with a Flame Blade. Produce flame hits for 80-ish on a crit. If it hits. A fire breathing wolf. Cute.

    As it's quite late, I solo for a bit, completing all level 2 quests.
    Last edited by Gnarkh; 03-13-2014 at 03:09 PM.

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