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Cryohazard
05-07-2011, 06:40 PM
Palemasters got some attention after U9. We PMs learned how to be Zombies and Vampires and our spells costs got cut down significantly. However, I think there are a few things that should be considered for changes in future updates, namely the PM shrouds.

Introduction:

The Palemaster PRE is generally used for 2 types of build(and I’ve played both): Casters and PM Monks. I’ll be using both as reference in this post.

Casters: These builds are generally straight Level 20 Wizards.
PM Monks: These mele-based builds have Monk at the core. They take advantage of the PM Shrouds’ unarmed effects to increase damage output, as well as the death auras for steady and reliable self “unhealing”. The most popular build for these is Wiz12/Monk8, and they commonly use Wraith and Vampire shrouds for battle.

The Good Undead Forms:

Lich: This the kingpin of all the PM forms, and is suitably placed at level 18 for the ultimate DC breaking casters. The +4 CON and temporary HP when hit are welcome boosts in endgame content.

Vampire: Not as good as Lich, but it does make a good caster even better at the midgame content (Gianthold through Vale). For PM monks, the +1hp of healing per hit adds to survivability, and the 1d6 CON damage on critical is lethal for stunned targets.

The Meh Undead Forms

Wraith: Doesn’t do anything positive for caster builds, but it doesn’t do anything negative either. For PM Monks, Incorporeality is nice for damage avoidance, and it has a similar CON drain on crit hits. Other than looking seriously bada$$, the form lacks the pizzaz of Lich and Vampire

The Bad Undead Forms

Zombie: ...uhhhh…basically useless. (won’t comment on the horrific attack animations). For casters, -2 INT doesn’t help them much, and could give first time PMs a negative outlook on the prestige line. Zombie is equally useless to PM Monks. To be sure, the 5 DR-/Slashing and 2 step increase to unarmed hit dice is nice, but the -20% attack speed severely cripples the ability to land the zombie-boosted strikes quickly (something Monks specialize in)

My Proposed changes:

-Delete Zombie. As mentioned above, it hurts the caster builds and it almost useless for the mele builds. If not delete, then at least remove the -20% attack speed

-Move Wraith shroud to PM-1 (Wiz6). Wraiths are seen early in the game, so they should be accessible to PMs early too. Granted, it doesn’t bring anything particularly shiny for the casters, but it looks pretty darn cool, and might get first time PMs interested in the build. It would help both Mele and Caster builds out with damage avoidance. The Con drain on crits will be especially nice for the mele builds.

-Introduce new mele-specific shroud at PM-2 (Wiz12). Don’t get me wrong, the Vampire is great for PM Monks, but it shares some of its focus on casters as well. So I would like to now propose the introduction of the Wheep Shroud.

Shroud of the Wheep
Prerequisites: Wizard Level 12, Wizard Palemaster II
Benefit: You shroud yourself with negative energy and assume many traits of a wheep. While in this form you gain 25% incorporeality (and ignore incorporeal miss chance), float as if affected by featherfall. You are surrounded with an aura of fear, and any living creature that strikes you must make a will save or become shaken. On unarmed strikes, you inflict heart-stopping terror on living targets, triggering Phantasmal Killer on a natural 20.

Why Wheep? When I think necromancy, fear is one of the first things that comes to my mind. It seems like the Palemaster line is missing a fear-based shroud and I think the inclusion of the Wheep would be great for the Necromantic theme. The incorporeality and shaken guard is great for the Wiz12/Monk8 PM Monks, and the Phant Killer proc gives a PM Monk a “Touch of Death” like feeling.

Anyway, that’s my 2 cp. Feel free to comment!