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cforce
11-13-2007, 08:28 AM
Here's a new reference I've been working on which gathers some observations that I've made with those of few friends who are also Warforged enthusiasts. As always, (constructive) criticism, suggestions for more material, and other commentary is welcome.

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What's in Your Warforged?
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A well-built and well-played Warforged can be a huge boon to a party. Likewise, a poorly-built and poorly-played Warforged can be a huge detriment, perhaps more so than any other race. Because of a Warforged's unique penalties -- a double-stat penalty, and the half-healing penalty -- simply taking a good build from another race and saying, "same build, except Warforged" doesn't always work out, and in some cases, can have very negative consequences!

But, the Warforged race brings a lot to the table, too. Some really great immunities, innate DR potential... the list of possible Warforged upside build options is quite long. When planning out a Warforged build, it's important to figure out what particular "upside" options you're going to try to take advantage of, and make sure that you're getting more benefit from the advantages than you're losing from the penalties.

It probably goes without saying: "Play whatever way is fun for you." This guide is not for everyone. However, part of what is "fun" for a large number of folks is building a character that contributes well in diverse party formats, and that other players grow to think of as a good team member to have along. This guide is for folks who build their character with this in mind.

We'll start by taking a closer look at the penalties and how to minimize their impact. Then, we'll look at all the possible benefits, and how to take advantage of them. Finally, we'll take a look at each class, and how it matches up with the Warforged advantages and penalties.

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Healing/Repairing
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Some Clerics will try to heal you, even if you tell them not to.

Some Clerics will not heal you, even if you ask them to.

Aye, there's the rub! Unless you always run with a dedicated group, you're likely to run into *both* of the above. If you want to be a truly versatile contributor, you have to play nicely in both situations -- even though they are in direct opposition!

The basics: Positive-energy based healing spells have a base 50% efficacy on you. Arcane repair-based spells, the Cleric Divine Healing enhancement, Rogue Way of the Mechanic, and the Paladin Lay on Hands ability, heal you at 100%. So, the bad news is, the party member who is most used to covering healing is less effective. The good news is, somewhere between 3 and 5 of your other party members probably have the ability to give you hit points in some form or another!

So, let's talk about the first Cleric above. In pick-up-groups, the Cleric is not likely to remember quickly which names in the party list belong to Warforged, and which don't, without doing a visual double take to match up red bars with character models. But many of the best Clerics do well because of their hair-trigger response to incoming damage. These Clerics may not be able to keep all the new names straight to remember which one is you, and they probably shouldn't try -- the trigger delay they introduce by constantly re-checking their targets could result in a party member's untimely demise because they did not act quickly enough! It's best to accept that some Clerics *will* try to heal you, and do what you can to minimize the resource drain.

How is this accomplished? Healer's Friend, for starters. The first level of Healer's Friend offers a 15% increase in efficacy, up to 65%, and only costs 2 AP. While 15% doesn't sound like much, remember to compare it in relationship to the base 50% -- it's actually like giving the Cleric an Improved Devotion item that only works when they heal you, but stacks with everything else they have. How many Clerics do you know who would drool over an item that gave them a 30% *stackable* bonus to their existing healing? Try "All of them".

Now, don't get carried away. The next two tiers offer significantly reduced bonuses (5% each) for a huge action point cost (4 AP and 6 AP). This is like giving your Cleric a stackable item that does *less* than a Lesser Devotion item. To put it bluntly, they are junk -- don't take 'em!

How else? Don't take a lot of damage! I know -- easier said than done, right? But as we'll explore later, Warforged have unique defensive capabilities that can typically allow them to take less damage than their fleshy counterparts. Look at things you can do to take less damage -- it's the Warforged way! Also, manage your aggro. While this is important for any character, a Warforged who is not managing their aggro well can do a lot more damage to a party than a fleshie who is not managing their aggro well. With great power comes great responsibility!

On the other hand, some Clerics simply won't heal you! And, while the arcane casters in the party may agree to watch you, they *won't* generally have the hair-trigger reflexes of a good cleric. In these cases, it's really best to plan to be self-sufficient. If you're not a wizard or sorcerer, you should plan to potion-repair or wand-repair yourself if needed. Note that self-suffiency isn't only for the Clerics who won't heal you -- it really helpful for the Clerics who will heal you, too. Being able to say, "if just make sure I don't hit the floor in battle, I'll wand-heal myself between battles," goes a long way, and is almost always appreciated, even by Clerics who already were planning on healing you.

On repair by Arcanes: think of it as a nice bonus when it happens, but assume that it won't. Even arcane casters who are willing to play 'Warforged Repairman' as a semi-dedicated role won't pay the same attention to hit point bars that a good cleric will, and won't have the repair-response time to really serve you as well as a Cleric serves a fleshie. While there are rare exceptions, it's best to plan for not receiving timely repairs, and be pleasantly surprised when it happens.

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-2 WIS, -2 CHA
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-2 to a stat doesn't gimp you!

One of the most pervasive myths in DDO seems to be that "Warforged don't make good Clerics/Sorcerers/Paladins/Bards", simply because of the penalty to WIS or CHA. While it is a penalty, it's not a radically game changing one. For caster classes with a primary stat, it equates to a difference in end-game spell points of only a few percent, and a -1 to DC on spells -- a difference of 1 enemy save in 20 on offensive casting. Show me a player who says they can notice the difference in playing with a sorcerer with a 70% success rate and a 75% success rate on offensive casting, and I'll show you a liar! While there's no taking away from the fact that there *is* a penalty, most people seem to *expect* your effectiveness to drop off more like you actually had a -4 DC -- a significant, noticeable difference in play. -1 DC simply is not that big a deal, and is nearly impossible to notice in the course of play.

The other thing this may play into is Will Save. However, you may have noticed that you're immune to many of the most detrimental will-save spells and effects. And for those which you aren't, it only costs 1 AP to get a +1 bonus to saves vs. Will-based enchantments. For a meager cost of 1 AP, you've mitigated most of the saving throw penalty associated with your "double stat penalty".

Don't let the stat penalty dissuade you from trying a particular class -- just make sure you're offsetting it by using some of the unique benefits Warforged bring to the table.


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Immunities
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Welcome to Tribal Council -- you've won immunity! The Warforged immunities are often the main selling point that get people to consider a Warforged in the first place. These immunities include:

- Sleep: technically a nice to have, but mobs that try to put you to sleep are few and far between.

- Poison: much more common than sleep, but rarely life-threatening for fleshies with a Cleric nearby -- this also falls into the category of a convenience

- Nausea and Fatigue: better -- these effects are slightly more common, and can be a real in-battle problem. (Also of *particular* interest for Barbarians!)

- Hold/Paralysis: Now we're talkin'! Hold/Paralysis effects range between 'really annoying' to 'quickly lethal'. (Held characters are auto-critted, which often equals a fast trip on the Soul-Stone Express.)

- Energy Drain: Arguably, the pinnacle of Warforged Immunities, as being level-drained is usually very, very bad news. Ignoring Enervate and similar level-draining effects can leave you full of vim and vigor when your fleshy counterparts would be running around with -8 penalties or coughing up a soul stone.

How do you best press this advantage? By making sure to shoulder the burden and take the brunt of aggro from things that would otherwise be wreaking havoc on the squishy meatbags. Now, fleshies are like children. No matter how bright they seem, you can't trust to have good judgment. Just like you wouldn't leave a child playing by a busy street, there are certain encounters where you have to gently tell your fleshies to stand back and let you take care of the nasty monsters. Here are some examples, but there are many more:

Earth Elementals: Try to make sure that you're the first face *every* Earth Elemental sees. Just a few Earth Elementals can wreak havoc on the fleshies with Earthgrab. However, for you, Earthgrab is a weakness -- it leaves them nice and exposed for a good 5 seconds of free, unhindered beatdown! Rush to meet these folks whenever you see them, and tell the fleshies to hold back.

Glass Spiders: Many a fleshie has fallen just by stepping on too many of the toxic eggs these guys lay during battle. Keep them away, and take care of these folks yourself. This goes double if you happen to have any DR, since the little glass babies won't be able to attack through it, anyway.

Beholders: This is perhaps the most important point. For god's sake, don't let your fleshies go near the Beholders! They'll Flesh to Stone 'em. They'll level-drain them to 0. These things are like Kryptonite for the fleshies. I've heard rumors some fleshies will spontaneously disintegrate just by thinking about a beholder!

With a Deathblock docent in, pretty much the *only* dangerous thing a garden-variety beholder can hit you with is Disintegrate. Did I mention that, as a Warforged, you enjoy a significant CON bonus? While among the most dangerous mobs in the game to fleshies, these things are just slow-moving, low-AC target practice for you. Don't, don't, don't let your fleshies try to play with the beholders. Tell them to stay back, and take care of them yourself.

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Armor Class
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A popular refrain on the forums lately has been that AC doesn't matter in the high-end content. Nonsense! While some mobs can hit through a 40 AC on a roll of a 2, these high-to-hit mobs are certainly not the majority. While a 45 AC is not going to make you a tank, it will sometimes be the difference between taking damage so fast that the healer can't keep up, and getting healed up just in the nick of time to keep you in action.

Warforged enjoy some distinct advantages in the AC department. Start with the fact that Warforged can get what amounts to a +6 docent from the Necropolis trinket upgrades, and then add specific advantages for particular body feats. Choosing a body feat is one of the most important decisions in building an effective Warforged, so we'll take a quick look at each possible option.

Composite Plating: For any non-heavy-armor application, Warforged enjoy some distinct advantages in the AC department. With the "+6 Docent", add to that a base armor of 2 with composite plating, and you have a starting base of 8 points of armor bonus to AC, with unlimited DEX bonus. The best most high-DEX robe-wearing Rogues and Rangers can hope for is bracers of armor 6, and more likely, can only currently (circa Mod 5) get their hands on a 5. That a 2-to-3 point advantage for builds which try to get high AC through high DEX.

For composite plating, it's important to understand how WF Armor bonus and other sources of Armor bonus interact. The help text on docents uses over-simplified language that many have found confusing. What it really *should* read is, "Adds +5 to the armor bonus *of your body*." Since it doesn't explicitly state this, many folks have assumed it would add to your *highest* armor bonus -- say, from bracers of armor.

So, for example: if you got Composite Plating, a +3 Docent, and Bracers of Armor 4, you've got (a) 5 points of armor bonus from your composite plating -- the 2 base points, +3 for the docent, and (b) 4 points of armor bonus from the bracers. Like bonuses don't stack (except for dodge-type), so you take the highest -- 5. If you had only a +1 Docent, you'd take the 4 from the bracers, instead.

Mithral Body: For the light-armor crowd, Warforged can basically start the game with a pocket Mithral Breastplate -- which itself can be further improved with feats for even higher DEX bonus. With the aforementioned Docent, this could give you a virtual +6 Mithral Breastplate with max DEX 6 in the bank just for deciding to play a Warforged! Great for Rogues, Rangers, Evasion tanks, Bards, TWF builds... and arcanes!

That's right -- as a Warforged, you can be an arcane-with-AC. Warforged enjoy a line of enhancements that allow them to reduce ASF, as well as docents which serve the same purpose. If you're willing to accept some of the pain of ASF through the early ranks, you can roll a caster that runs around in a nice +6 Mithral Breastplate! And honestly, the pain is not that bad. Combining enhancements and a Lesser Arcane Sigil docent, and you're already at only 5% by level 2, and should be able to fairly easily hit 0% by level 7. And, if you're a wizard willing to spend a few feats, you could go high-DEX, take dodge and mithral fluidity, and be eventually running around with a 45 AC. (10 base + 11 armor + 6 DEX + 6 shield (mithral light) + 5 protection + 2 chaosguarde + 3 chattering ring + 1 dodge(feat) + 1 self-haste)

Adamantine Body: The only armor option for Warforged that's "as bad" as fleshies' options for AC is Adamantine Plating. Whereas an uber-looted fleshie will probably be working with Mithral Full Plate, you've only got "+6 Adamantine Full Plate", which gives up a point of AC vs. +5 Mithral Full Plate. Of course, in exchange for that one point of AC, you get....

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Damage Resistance
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Spend enough feats, and you can get yourself a "permanent stoneskin" -- almost. With the various body options, you can get yourself up to:

9 DR - Adamantine Body (+4 DR feats, 3 enhancements)
7 DR - Mithral Body (+4 DR feats, 3 enhancements)
8 DR - Composite Plating (+5 DR feats, 3 enhancements)

Now, a lot of folks feel like DR isn't very good because you'll often get hit for 30-plus-ish points of damage on a non-crit in the endgame, and 60-plus-ish on a crit. In large part, this is because the difference between DR and no DR is *very* hard to notice during the course of play. It's very hard to "feel" the difference a few points of DR makes. But when you look at the hard numbers, the story is a lot more compelling.

First of all, if you're investing in DR, you'd darn well better find a way to get 100% fortification; it's easier and more valuable than getting the DR. Now that we've got *that* assumption out of the way, let's look at the non-crits.

Hypothetically, let's say you're a 180 hit point character, taking 30 point of damage per hit. Without healing, you'll be able to take 6 hits before dropping to 0. Now, let's say you've got 8 points of DR, and will be taking 22 per hit. Now, you won't be dropping until 9 hits. (Well, technically, about 8.1, so we'll be conservative an round down to 8.) That's an extra two 30-damage hits you're able to take, which ends up acting (in melee) like you've got 60 more hit points. People will drool over items of Greater False Life, which only give you an extra 30, but then turn around and say that 8 DR isn't very good, even though the effect in melee is the same as getting two Greater False Life items that stack with each other!

Oh, but wait, it's better than that -- because it doesn't require that extra 60 points of healing to heal you back to full. So, it's actually like getting 2 Greater False Life items *and* giving your healer a 25% stackable boost to their healing effectiveness!

Now, to play Devil's Advocate, this comparison is contextual; it doesn't have the same effect for spell damage. However, the effect is *so* good, it's still pretty valuable just for melee damage, which is by far the dominant incoming damage type in the game.

Now, the extremes I list above are expensive, costing 4-5 feats and 12 AP. But, you need not feel like you need to max DR to get value. Let's take more conservative approach, and say we're only going to get it up to 5: Adamantine Body, 1 Improved DR feat, and 6 AP. In our scenario above, this still factors out to 1 extra hit taken, or a virtual 30 hit points and ~15% healing boost. Even *some* DR, while it may be hard to *feel* like its doing a lot of good, has a subtle aggregate effect that really can make a difference.

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Fortification
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I mentioned that, as a Warforged, you should find a way to get 100% Fortification. This one's really a no-brainer... you can have 100% Fortification starting at level 7 (5 with race-restrictions) with a relatively inexpensive Moderate Fortification item, whereas most classes have to seek much more expensive Heavy Fort items at higher levels. Get to 100% Fortification by your mid-levels; it's entirely worth the item slot, and you're really throwing away one of the key benefits of rolling a Warforged if you don't.

This is important enough to be worth saying twice: regardless of your class, try to get a Moderate Fortifications item by level 7.

Now, you *can* also take a feat to give you full-time Heavy Fortification at the expense of no longer being able to be healed *at all* by Cure spells. This has been a subject of some debate, but I would recommend against it except in *very* exceptional circumstances. If you're planning to be flexible in pick-up group play, and need to react to the makeup of the group, this simply cuts off too many options. Really, the only time I'd ever advocate this is if you always play with the same dedicated group, *and* you can self-repair. Even then, I'd personally avoid it, although I concede that it's value in this case is debatable.

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More Hate!
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For aggro-control builds, Warforged get a line of enhancements that allow them to increase their melee hate. This is another one that qualifies as "tough to notice the impact of" -- the fact that you're generating 10% more hate with your melee attacks doesn't feel a lot different during play, but will subtly shift more aggro to you. If you're building a tank, this enhancement line gives you a good race-specific tool for holding aggro.

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Strategery
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Along with Dwarves, Warforged have a line of enhancements raising the DC of active combat feats - enabling 'strategist' type builds even in classes which don't typicaly have good enhancement support for combat feats. Strategist Ranger? Strategist Rogue? Strategist *Bard*? For Warforged (and Dwarves) they're as viable as a Figher-based strategist build.

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And Much, Much More!
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OK, I'm not actually going to list out every single feat and enhancement a Warforged can take. There are other good ones, but the ones listed above are really the ones to base a build around. Most of the others (CON, Construct Thinking...) are good, but they're gravy to add on top of an otherwise solid base.

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Classes
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I'm firmly of the opinion that there's no class that's "bad as a Warforged". (In fact, more often than not, I find myself making the *opposite* judgment call -- what possible benefit for a fleshie class is going to be worth giving up immunities for!) Here are a few things to think about around each possible class. This is by no means a comprehensive list of 'good Warforged builds', but it is at least food for thought when deciding to build *your* Warforged.

**Barbarian**
Take care, here. Badly played Warforged Barbarians have done more damage to the reputations of Warforged than all other Warforged classes combined. Not necessarily because it's harder to build/play a good Warforged Barbarian, but because a badly built/played one can be far more of a resource drain than any other class! A badly played Barbarian has more capacity to take large chunks of damage than any other class, and when combined with the Warforged healing penalties -- look out! If you're going to play a Warforged Barbarian:

- Get DR boost, and use it. If you have difficulty remembering to use boosts, a different class might be a different fit for you.
- Same goes for Uncanny dodge. The AC makes a difference in the early going, and the reflex save makes a difference in how much spell damage you take in the late game.
- Get at least 5 points of DR from either the WF side or the Barb side (note that they don't stack).
- For pete's sake, let the tanks take the initial aggro! If you always want to be in the front of the charge, this may not be the race/class combo for you, as you'll really want a tank to take aggro before you enter the fray.

Now, once you're doing what you can to mitigate your incoming damage, Warforged gives you some really nice perks. Fatigue immunity gives the Warforged Barbarian a distinct play advantage vs. fleshie types post-rage. WF natural CON bonus plus the available enhancements means overall CON only matched by Dwarves. And stacking the Rage will save bonuses with Warforged construct thinking can leave you with a Paladin-class will save (as well as outright immunity to the most debilitating will-save based effects). A Warforged barbarian can be very good when played well.

**Bard**
At first glance, Warforged seem like an unnatural choice for a Bard, what with the -2 CHA penalty. On the other hand, many folks play Bards with little-to-no offensive casting, focusing more on buffs and healing -- and for the occasional Otto's Sphere, the -1 DC is not a killer. On the upside, immunities and other defensive advantages make Warforged a natural fit for any 'battle bard' type build; the Warforged Bard will be able to handle more aggro than their fleshie counterpart, when built to take advantage of the WF strengths.

**Cleric**
Being a WF cleric means never having to say 'I'm sorry you need to heal me'. As with Bards, many Clerics spend more time focusing on buffs and healing than doing significant offensive casting, so the loss of DC due to -2 WIS is not a deal-breaker. Also, as with Bards, the innate defenses make Warforged a good choice for any 'battle cleric' oriented build.

**Fighter**
There are many different kinds of fighter builds, but all should be able to pick some piece of the Warforged platform to take advantage of. Whether it be a pure tank focusing on high DR, and Evasion tank or TWF build taking advantage of high AC, a Strategist build starting fighter combat feat enhancements with Warforged combat feat enhancements, or a DPS build looking to compensate for a low will save with key immunities, there's really a little something for any build, here. Fighters get a *lot* of feats, which makes it perhaps easier to focus on DR with a Warforged fighter than with any other class -- give at least some thought to boosting DR regardless of what your fighter build is trying to do.

**Paladin**
People are often surprised to see a Warforged Paladin. But, there's one very good reason Paladin is a great class for Warforged: Lay on Hands works at full strength on Warforged! While CHA is the nominal "main stat" for Paladins, STR is more often than not the actual highest stat that many Paladin builds focus on, and Charisma can, of course, be enhanced.

**Ranger**
With DEX enhancements and a high starting DEX, you have the opportunity to really push the AC envelope; any high-DEX based Ranger build is going to be able to get a bit more AC with composite plating than a fleshie robed ranger could. Or, don't push DEX as high, and take advantage of your +6 Mithral Breastplate.

**Rogue**
The same goes for rogue as for ranger; the DEX enhancements give you many of the same build options. Since you'll be investing in INT, consider the synergy between a Warforged's naturally good defensive capabilities, the INT requirements for Combat Expertise, which is a prerequisite for improved trip, which can be enhanced by the combat feat enhancements! Also, there is a natural fit for a enhanced Stunning Blow for rogues, as a stunned opponent gets sneak attack every time.

**Sorcerer**
While the CHA penalty may seem like a large price to pay, a Warforged sorcerer can self-repair faster than any other class in the game. Combined with the natural AC advantages of a Warforged and higher CON, a tough, self-healing Warforged Sorcerer has lot of advantages. The key to playing this calls well, when playing with a Cleric who will try to heal you even if you tell them not to, is to try and 'beat the Cleric to the punch' -- repair yourself before the Cleric has a chance to react.

**Wizard**
As with sorcerer, a Warforged wizard can achieve higher AC than their fleshie counterpart. Also, the Wizard bonus feats open up the possibility you can spend some feats on DR, resulting in an uncommonly resilient Wizard! In some ways, one wonders why anyone makes a Wizard that's *not* a Warforged -- save Drow, all races are on equal footing with INT, and the Warforged CON bonuses help what is debatably any wizard's second-most important stat. Neither the WIS or the CHA penalty hurt too much, so in many ways it's like getting the immunities, possibility of better AC, and possibility of DR for free!

**Multiclasses**
Of course, there are to many multiclass possibilities to count. My favorite Warforged is a Fighter/Pally/Rogue evasion tank -- a friend has started a Warforged Longblade Sorc (Sorc/Pally) that is working out well so far. But the principles are really the same -- think about how you can take advantage of the unique strengths of a Warforged.

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Summary
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A well-played Warforged brings a lot to the table. combining Immunities, better AC, DR, and Fortification, the good Warforged will often remain standing long after their fleshie peers would be leaking all over the floor. Play any class as a Warforged you'd like -- the benefits are good enough that every class "works" if you do a good job building it. Just be sure, when planning your build, to make sure to take advantage of the strengths, and adjust your playstyle to maximize them. Good luck, and watch out for Rust Monsters!

parvo
11-13-2007, 05:13 PM
You might want to include a note on Divine Healing. Any "pure healer" Cleric carries this and uses it to keep Toasters in top shape.

Glenalth
11-14-2007, 12:17 PM
There are also the Power Attack enhancements that can be interesting for some builds.

VonBek
11-14-2007, 01:44 PM
Ran with a Rogue the other day, keep hitting me with Way of the Mechanic Repair ability. Really, really neat.

cforce
11-14-2007, 04:08 PM
There are also the Power Attack enhancements that can be interesting for some builds.

In the past, when I've run the numbers on the Power Attack enhancements, I don't actually find them all that beneficial. The main Power Attack feat, for two-handed use, gives you a much richer +2 damage/-1 to-hit tradeoff. This gets you up above the threshold of "adding enough damage to compensate for the to-hit penalty and increase your DPS". However, the +1/-1 that the Warforged enhancement adds lowers DPS in too many cases vs. the flat +10 damage/-5 to-hit from Power Attack.

True, if you're fighting enemies where you hit on a 2 anyway, regardless of -5, -6, etc, then the extra damage raises DPS. However, this is what a gamer friend of mine refer to as a "wawg", short for "wins already won games". A "wawg" is something that makes the quality or flashiness of your victory more spectacular in situations where you almost certainly would have still emerged victorious without it, but does not increase your victory chances in scenarios that are actually more challenging.

So, if you're hitting on a 2 with a -7 penalty, there's a pretty good chance you're in a battle that you're going to win with one hand tied behind your back, even with only "regular" Power Attack. If you're up against a higher AC opponent that's actually presenting a challenge, then the Warforged enhancement is likely giving you a net *negative* to your DPS, rather than a positive.

Now, that being said, some folks are more interested in having a higher kill count in easier quests than they are having fewer deaths in harder quests. There's nothing wrong with this -- for many, the big, flashy victories with big floaty numbers are the fun part, and having more trouble in challenging content isn't a big deal. Personally, I can't recommend this enhancement as a 'good' enhancement, because the number-crunching I've run suggests it reduces DPS when it matters, and is a "wawg". I'll certainly be willing to revisit my opinion if someone points me at some numbers that seem to show the opposite, though.

Just to clarify, I'm not condemning PA itself -- it's still pretty great in a variety of cases with THF. It's only the enhancement I don't think is worthwhile.

cforce
11-14-2007, 04:31 PM
Extra sources of repair added -- nice catches, guys.

Glenalth
11-14-2007, 05:01 PM
In the past, when I've run the numbers on the Power Attack enhancements, I don't actually find them all that beneficial. The main Power Attack feat, for two-handed use, gives you a much richer +2 damage/-1 to-hit tradeoff. This gets you up above the threshold of "adding enough damage to compensate for the to-hit penalty and increase your DPS". However, the +1/-1 that the Warforged enhancement adds lowers DPS in too many cases vs. the flat +10 damage/-5 to-hit from Power Attack.

True, if you're fighting enemies where you hit on a 2 anyway, regardless of -5, -6, etc, then the extra damage raises DPS. However, this is what a gamer friend of mine refer to as a "wawg", short for "wins already won games". A "wawg" is something that makes the quality or flashiness of your victory more spectacular in situations where you almost certainly would have still emerged victorious without it, but does not increase your victory chances in scenarios that are actually more challenging.

So, if you're hitting on a 2 with a -7 penalty, there's a pretty good chance you're in a battle that you're going to win with one hand tied behind your back, even with only "regular" Power Attack. If you're up against a higher AC opponent that's actually presenting a challenge, then the Warforged enhancement is likely giving you a net *negative* to your DPS, rather than a positive.

Now, that being said, some folks are more interested in having a higher kill count in easier quests than they are having fewer deaths in harder quests. There's nothing wrong with this -- for many, the big, flashy victories with big floaty numbers are the fun part, and having more trouble in challenging content isn't a big deal. Personally, I can't recommend this enhancement as a 'good' enhancement, because the number-crunching I've run suggests it reduces DPS when it matters, and is a "wawg". I'll certainly be willing to revisit my opinion if someone points me at some numbers that seem to show the opposite, though.

Just to clarify, I'm not condemning PA itself -- it's still pretty great in a variety of cases with THF. It's only the enhancement I don't think is worthwhile.

It is very situational.

Though, it's also nice when you can only hit on a 20. Not that it comes up much at this point.

Borrigain
11-14-2007, 05:50 PM
...

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What's in Your Warforged?
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...!

Hmmm....don't quite know......but when I put him back together I have this bolt left over? You think it's important?

:D
Borr.

Ann_Shadow
11-16-2007, 03:32 PM
I like to take my time and not zerg a dungeon. I just returned to the game and do not know any of the dungeons. Since everyone else around is on their 100th alt. They want to finish the dungeon, get the exp, item, and start again or move on.

So, I looked for solo'able builds and found an elf rogue1/paladin3/ranger10 (I am really enjoying the rogue aspect so I may go more there).

It is a dex build and archer build (and with the extreme fixes for bows coming in Mod6, it should work pretty well).

What I am asking is is there a good Solo build for warforged race multiclass character. It has to have rogue abilities. Can ignore healing for repair since it will not group with a healer.

Perhaps part wizard for healing and spells
Part rogue.
Part melee class?

or a rogue/wiz


I Need some advice

VonBek
11-16-2007, 04:45 PM
Hmmm....don't quite know......but when I put him back together I have this bolt left over? You think it's important?

:D
Borr.

I just checked my Warforged characters. The only bolt I could find was for .....







THE SAFETY

:rolleyes:

cforce
11-16-2007, 04:53 PM
Ann, I actually had a pretty good start soloing with my Warforged "offensive tank", a Fighter 9/Paladin 3/Rogue 2. He was a 32-point build, but can also be done with a 28-point build by dumping Dex and giving up on Evasion, using Adamantine Body instead of Mithral. Basic build is:

STR 16 (+3 at 4/8/12, +2 Fighter STR)
DEX 15 (+1 Rogue Dex)
CON 10
INT 14
WIS 6
CHA 13 (+1 Pally CHA)

Base Feats: Mithral Body, DR x4
Fighter Bonus: Dodge, Combat Expertise, WF: Bludgeoning, gWF: Bludgeoning, Imp. Crit: Bludgeoning

Maxxed skills: (for me) Intimidate, UMD, points in many, many others (include rogue skills)

With above-average AC in most stages of the game, melees are generally easy. Get your house P favor and the 20-point resists ASAP, and farm multiple DeathWard clickies from Tangleroot for Inflict Wounds, and the only thing you need to worry about is Searing Light. Wand-repair yourself with UMD, and get resist wands for mid-quest resists.

Get the Lay on Hands enhancement for 2 Lay on Hands (at full power).


So, I can vouch that this guy works as a good solo build. I basically did nothing but solo him (mostly through at-level content) through about level 8 (to catch up to an earlier build so I could retire it), and still solo a lot of the end-game stuff (although some will remain out of reach until I can get myself a Chattering Ring.)

Something I can't personally vouch for, but suspect may be an *awesome* solo build, is a WF Sorc 10/Pally 2/Rogue 2.

VonBek
11-16-2007, 05:20 PM
What I am asking is is there a good Solo build for warforged race multiclass character. It has to have rogue abilities. Can ignore healing for repair since it will not group with a healer.

Perhaps part wizard for healing and spells
Part rogue.
Part melee class?

or a rogue/wiz


I Need some advice

In addion to cforce's wonderful guide and insights, these might help get your mental wheels spinning:

WF solo build (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=124675)
Arcane Psychoe Reborn (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=116254)
Warforged Arcane Trickster (A build by request) (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?p=1305507#post1305507)

Consider if you want strict soloing, or occasional grouping, and whether or not you will twink it off a "gear daddy". You may want to search out posts by forum regulars, "Ghoste", & "MrCow". Both have put out some thoughts backed by experience.

binnsr
11-17-2007, 09:53 AM
Something I can't personally vouch for, but suspect may be an *awesome* solo build, is a WF Sorc 10/Pally 2/Rogue 2.

I'm currently leveling this build (currently l9) as a battle mage and am finding that he doesn't really shine until the late game (when I get firewall and can fight in those) - mostly because if you take all the melee stuff early for survivability, you end up at lvl7-9 with just a smidgen of casting power - although being able to cast my own blur now is a big improvement.

He's also veery expensive at the early levels - low AC means you take a lot of damage so repair wands and pots are a must. Barkskin pots, heroism pots, haste pots, blur scrolls (once you can cast them) and rage pots all add up very quickly. Eventually, most of this gets replaced by your spellpoints, but in the early game (i.e.1-7 or so), you'll spend a lot of money on one of these builds. This guy is really all about his buffs - you have to carefully monitor them and if something like blur goes down, you probably are too .. :D

On my build, I didn't focus on rogue skills either - just put some points into OL and used the rogue levels to shore up some of my other skills.

GeneralDiomedes
11-17-2007, 10:47 AM
One of the most pervasive myths in DDO seems to be that "Warforged don't make good Clerics/Sorcerers/Paladins/Bards", simply because of the penalty to WIS or CHA. While it is a penalty, it's not a radically game changing one. For caster classes with a primary stat, it equates to a difference in end-game spell points of only a few percent, and a -1 to DC on spells -- a difference of 1 enemy save in 20 on offensive casting. Show me a player who says they can notice the difference in playing with a sorcerer with a 70% success rate and a 75% success rate on offensive casting, and I'll show you a liar! While there's no taking away from the fact that there *is* a penalty, most people seem to *expect* your effectiveness to drop off more like you actually had a -4 DC -- a significant, noticeable difference in play. -1 DC simply is not that big a deal, and is nearly impossible to notice in the course of play.


A quote from someone on our guild boards ..



The general consensus of the DDO forum boards believe (Umbra any help here?) is that players role d20 + save bonus (check your combat log) and monsters roll d10+10+save bonus.

My personal experience does support the fact that even a +1 difference to spell DCs (stat of 20 for drow or spell focus feat) seems to have a greater affect than it should. It should only increase a spell's effectiveness by 5%. It seems to be more than this. In general monsters seem to save way more than they should overall - which has lead to the suggestion that they roll 1d10+10 and not 1d20 for saves.

cforce
11-17-2007, 02:21 PM
A quote from someone on our guild boards ..

That's an interesting theory, although I'd like to see some numbers to back it up gathered from two casters who are 1 DC apart.

I have a lot of skepticism because human nature tends to make us poor estimators of probability from "general feel". A large part of this tends to be because we remember the negatives much more vividly than the positive. If you asked each of us to estimate the ratio between the number of saves mobs made vs how many they failed, we'll almost all be off by a good bit towards the negatives; they just tend to stick with us more.

Add to that the fact that, in certain ranges, a 5% change in probably means *double* the number of mobs will save. If your DC is in 'they only save on a 20' range, and then drops 5% to 'save on a 19', it feels *huge*. Run 1, and 5 monsters make a save throughout a quest, run 2, 10 save? Most people, if they run those two runs without really paying attention, would swear that the difference was more like 50%, not 5%.

Like I said, though ... I could be convinced with some hard numbers.

VonBek
11-17-2007, 07:33 PM
In addition to their effects on AC and ASF, Body Feats affect the following skills:


Balance (Dex)
Hide (Dex)
Move Silently (Dex)
Tumble (Dex)
Jump (Str)
Swim (Str)

Adamantine Body, -5 (double that for Swim)
Mithral Body, -2 (double that for Swim)

The Mithral Fluidity feat reduces the armor check penalty by one.

I can get this much by reading, then rolling three test dummies (Rogues, with the three different Body Types) to confirm. It appears a WF with a first level splash of Rogue could select the Adamantine Body plating, and suffer no skill penalty to DD/OL. UMD should not suffer on the skill check, but ASF will impact the attempt severely, unless Inscribed Armor enhancements, and ASF gear have been selected. Unfortunately, cross-classing these skills could get prohibitively expensive. Attempting such a build might fall under the same conditions as including Improved Fortification. I could be done, but you'd have to really have the gear to make it feasible, a group that understands and helps support your choice.

By class, Rangers, and Rogues may forego armor, or use Light Armor. Barbarians are restricted to Medium or lesser armor. I'm not sure if a Barbarian, Ranger, or Rogue will feel other effects if selecting the Adamatine Body feat.

If you want to run a solo WF, combining Rogue, Wizard, and Melee classes, you need to consider your Body Plating, and it's influence on ASF for your Repair spells.

MrCow
11-17-2007, 07:40 PM
The general consensus of the DDO forum boards believe (Umbra any help here?) is that players role d20 + save bonus (check your combat log) and monsters roll d10+10+save bonus.

My personal experience does support the fact that even a +1 difference to spell DCs (stat of 20 for drow or spell focus feat) seems to have a greater affect than it should. It should only increase a spell's effectiveness by 5%. It seems to be more than this. In general monsters seem to save way more than they should overall - which has lead to the suggestion that they roll 1d10+10 and not 1d20 for saves.

In my fairly extensive saves testing for monster stats I have found it to be very close to the save + 1d20 (as monsters use their HD and ability stats for saves, some humanoids types might get unseen bonuses from "equipment").

Also, sadly I don't have the numbers you exactly want to back this up for the DC difference of 1 (being the spells were on different targets for a bugged monster) but you may want to check these threads for the numeric data I gathered during halt undead tests. A few have DC 21 halts and some have DC 22 halts (if I remember right).

Test 1 (http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=1373318&postcount=15)
Test 2 (http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=1389071&postcount=40)
Test 3 (http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=1404227&postcount=64)
Test 4 (http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=1419984&postcount=68)

Craggath
11-17-2007, 08:26 PM
I really like the Warforged race and recently made a little lowbie WF barb. I did not take any armor feats (though I can respec, thanks to dragonshards and learning that I can't get a dragonmark!) as I followed the advice that AC doesn't matter endgame and he was offensively oriented. I'd be interested to hear your views on if I should:

1) leave him as is
2) take Mithral Body
3) take Adamantine Body*

*I know that Barbarian abilities still work in Heavy Armor, and are not limited like the rogue's evasion. So adamantine body may be the best option but it feels a little cheesy.

However, my feats as a barb are rather taken up thus:

1: THF
3: PA
6: ITHF
9: I-crit
12: GTHF

Once the cap is raised to 16 it may be a different matter altogether, as I would then have another feat to work with.
He's level 2 now. I want the THF feats so if I drop something it will be Power Attack--i.e. I'll respec THF for a body feat and take THF at 3. Worth it?

VonBek
11-17-2007, 10:22 PM
He's level 2 now. I want the THF feats so if I drop something it will be Power Attack--i.e. I'll respec THF for a body feat and take THF at 3. Worth it?

I think you'll find the Body Feats must be taken at 1st Level.

Valiance
11-18-2007, 12:28 AM
2 things-

1- Warforged battle/arcanes rule...almost unbelievable. Mine is a 1barb/13 wiz based on arcane psychoe. Ridiculous.

2- WF power attack works like regular power attack. I.e. one level gets you a minus 1 to attack but a plus 2 to dmg when using two handed weapons. I have it on my battle wiz Breakbeat.

Craggath
11-18-2007, 09:38 AM
I think you'll find the Body Feats must be taken at 1st Level.

Origianally this was true, you could not respec them later. However, they changed it so that you could respec to a body feat. You still have to use your level 1 feat slot though.

BlueLightBandit
11-18-2007, 11:56 PM
Dumb question, but do the WF Power Attack and Barbarian Power Attack enhancements stack?

Generally you find that class enhancements stack with racial enhancements, dwarven toughness comes to mind... but I just took my 7 wf barb to barb pa 2 and wf pa 1, and I swear it lowered the tohit listed on my inventory screen.

Mhykke
11-19-2007, 12:15 AM
Dumb question, but do the WF Power Attack and Barbarian Power Attack enhancements stack?

Generally you find that class enhancements stack with racial enhancements, dwarven toughness comes to mind... but I just took my 7 wf barb to barb pa 2 and wf pa 1, and I swear it lowered the tohit listed on my inventory screen.

Yes, they stack.

cforce
11-25-2007, 02:55 PM
2 things-
2- WF power attack works like regular power attack. I.e. one level gets you a minus 1 to attack but a plus 2 to dmg when using two handed weapons. I have it on my battle wiz Breakbeat.

Hm, interesting. I've got a friend working on a WF PA-using build; I'll ask him to corroborate once he gains a few levels. If the WF enhancement gives you -1/+2 on two-handed weapons, I'll have to give it another look.

Thanimal
12-19-2007, 02:43 PM
I'd really like to see this article stickied for two main reasons:

1) A well-built WF is SO DAMN FUN to play or to party with. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say this article will result in more DDO subscribers over the long haul.

2) A badly built WF is SO ANNOYING to have in your party.

It's by far the race most affected by build decisions, so a good guide to building them is essential!

Thanimal
12-19-2007, 03:02 PM
Ann, I have a solo WF with full Rogue skills that I absolutely love. The high level outline is Rogue 7/Fighter 4/Paladin 3.

If interested, I can give you more details. It's sorta similar to cforce's evasion tank, but with Rogue skills instead of Intimidate.

Thanimal
12-19-2007, 03:47 PM
Ann, I have a solo WF with full Rogue skills that I absolutely love. The high level outline is Rogue 7/Fighter 4/Paladin 3.
If interested, I can give you more details. It's sorta similar to cforce's evasion tank, but with Rogue skills instead of Intimidate.

I should also mention: cforce helped me to design it! :)

Hvymetal
12-20-2007, 12:44 PM
One thing I discovered today and posted on the Rogue boards. A Warforged Rogue can use the Repair over time skill from Way of the Mechanic on themselves. Very handy I must say.

VonBek
12-20-2007, 01:18 PM
I couldn't recall the name of the mark on WF foreheads, and did a little digging. Thought I'd post these links as they are "from the source" and might satisfy the curious, or help someone with back-story for a character.


Dragonshard Archives: The Warforged, Part 1 (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20050627a)

Dragonshard Archives: The Warforged, Part 2 (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebds/20050711a)

Warforged Psychology (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20050408b&page=1)

Thanimal
01-02-2008, 11:21 AM
Origianally this was true, you could not respec them later. However, they changed it so that you could respec to a body feat. You still have to use your level 1 feat slot though.

I wanted to follow up on this, because I've recently noticed that quite a few WF builds do better in the early levels with a different body feat than they want in the end-game. I think it's often worth considering a planned respec -- start with one body and then switch to another. This is even more compelling now that you can use the free Lockania respec for it.

Some examples:

Ranger or Rogue with high Dex. Eventually, Composite is likely to provide the best AC and frees up an extra feat. But typically you need a Dex of 26 for them to even tie, and there's no hope of that in the early levels. Mithral may thus be significantly more effective though perhaps level 8 or so.

Battle arcane. It can be maddening to deal with arcane spell failure (ASF) in the early levels, so starting in Composite is reasonable, especially since the Shield spell is actually a *good* shield in the early game. But at high levels, spending 6 action points and a feat for +3 AC is probably required if you plan to enter the fray with an arcane. Level 10 is the obvious spot to make this switch, since you can eliminate the ASF with action points at that point. It's even possible to consider Adamantine in the late game, especially if you want to max DR instead of trying to get a good AC.

DPS Barbarian. One reason WF Barbs have such a bad rep is that a lot of people build them with Composite, resulting in HORRIBLE early game AC compared to any other race. In the end-game, it's arguable that a pure DPS Barbarian can't get high enough AC for it to do anything, so actually *should* be in Composite. But in the early game, Adamantine provides very reasonable AC. A planned switch from Adamantine to Composite somewhere after level 10 could make a lot of sense.

Evasion Tank. Eventually, you can't use Adamantine body because it prevents Evasion. But I think most tanks prefer AC and DR in the early game. Starting a tank in Adamantine can let you cakewalk the early levels, and then switch down to Mithral when your Dex gets better and you need Evasion, somewhere between 5 and 10, depending on your starting dex and your views on Evasion.

There are probably plenty of other examples. Keep it in mind!

Thanimal
02-07-2008, 02:53 PM
I really like the Warforged race and recently made a little lowbie WF barb. I did not take any armor feats (though I can respec, thanks to dragonshards and learning that I can't get a dragonmark!) as I followed the advice that AC doesn't matter endgame and he was offensively oriented. I'd be interested to hear your views on if I should:

1) leave him as is
2) take Mithral Body
3) take Adamantine Body*

*I know that Barbarian abilities still work in Heavy Armor, and are not limited like the rogue's evasion. So adamantine body may be the best option but it feels a little cheesy.

However, my feats as a barb are rather taken up thus:

1: THF
3: PA
6: ITHF
9: I-crit
12: GTHF

Once the cap is raised to 16 it may be a different matter altogether, as I would then have another feat to work with.
He's level 2 now. I want the THF feats so if I drop something it will be Power Attack--i.e. I'll respec THF for a body feat and take THF at 3. Worth it?

Dang - I don't think anybody ever answered your question, though *maybe* I did indirectly with my post on planned respecs. Here's my opinion:

In the end-game, I'd say dropping PA is *insane*. In fact, now that it is confirmed that the enhancements grant -1/+2 with a two-handed weapon, I'm fairly sure you'll want to max BOTH the WF and the Barb PA lines. Additionally, a straight THF Barbarian cannot achieve end-game-useful AC (even as a WF!), so eventually a body feat becomes completely useless. Easy choice.

BUT, in my personal experience PA doesn't really get all that worthwhile until around level 9 or so, and conveniently that's about the same point to which Adamantine Body provides passable protection! So if you're willing to respec twice, having Adamantine/THF for a while and then eventually respecking to THF/PA is probably optimal.

steelblade
02-07-2008, 04:48 PM
beat that ppl who think wf sucks ^.^