PDA

View Full Version : STR-based Artificer?



dkyle
08-18-2011, 02:37 PM
Does a STR-based, low INT Artificer make sense?

Some thoughts on this:

1. Artificer doesn't actually get a ton out of INT. Obviously, loss of SP and DCs, but Artificers don't get especially great DC-based spells to begin with, and plenty of melee Clerics, FvS, Bards, and even Arcanes give up on DC-based spells. Blade Barrier is plenty effective with a dumped DC.

There are some class features that cap at INT mod: the bonus to caster level on scrolls, potions, etc. But if my understanding is correct, the bonus is capped, not the resulting caster level, so nothing that can exceed +5 anyway. A 20 INT is easy to get; 12 base, plus 2 tome, plus 6 item. And in the case of wands and scrolls, once you cap, it doesn't matter anyway, because the capstone has no INT-mod limit on the caster level increase (unless it's hidden). The DC-boost is, of course, INT-based.

That leaves Retain Essence, which is always improved by having more INT. It's something, but overall, a pretty minor bonus.


2. Artificers INT-based combat is limited. They must choose go get either to-hit, or damage. STR adds to both. STR is also generally easier to boost than INT. Giving up the class ability score enhancements is a shame, though.


3. STR-based means not using a crossbow. How things compare between xbows and melee are in quite a lot of flux right now. First, we got nerfs compared to live, now we've got incredible buffs compared to live, perhaps too much. I'm guessing the current state on Lammania isn't going to be the final state. I would expect, ultimately, that xbow attack rate will not even match, and especially not exceed, melee rate, but this is, of course, speculation.


4. So, without xbows, what does a STR-based Artificer use? The three big options are:

A. Rune arm + one hander, likely Scimitar, Rapier, BSword, DAxe, or Khopesh. Artificers aren't exactly feat starved, so I'd think one of the exotics, plus the THF line would make sense. Edit: as pointed out below, the Rune-arm applies its passive bonus damage to all glancing blows. This still seems like the lowest single-target DPS option to me, but the rune arm does still provide some nice versatility.

B. Forget the Rune Arm: just a two-hander. So far, I've been rather unimpressed with the active abilities of the rune arm, and it seems unlikely that the passive DPS boost of the arm would outweigh the superior DPS of a two-hander. On a xbow, Rune arm is an obvious choice, because there's nothing else to put in the off-hand slot. With melee weapons, the choice is less obvious.

C: TWF. This one seems like a long shot to me. It means putting points into DEX, but on the other hand, double the weapons means double the benefit from weapon infusions. Well, not quite, more like 80%.


For the sake of discussion, here's a possible build, focusing on THF:

WF, Artificer 20

STR 18
DEX 8
CON 18
INT 14
WIS 6
CHA 6

Normal Feats:
Toughness
PA
THF
ITHF
GTHF
Imp. Crit
EWF: Dwarven Axe (for situational use with Rune Arm; any better options? Insightful Reflexes maybe?)

Bonus Feats:
Augment Summoning
Quicken
Extend (does this work on item buffs?)
Maximize
Empower


So, bottom line is, for a STR-based Artificer like this to make sense, they'd have to out-DPS INT-based Artificers, to make up for the lose of INT-related abilities. Right now, given the xbow firing rates, I'm not sure that's the case. But, any other thoughts? Should a viable STR-based Artificer be something the Devs should aim for?

junta74
08-18-2011, 03:02 PM
I started with a 16 strength and picked up Bastard sword on my WF. He's only level 4 right now, but I see how it goes.

voxson5
08-18-2011, 03:14 PM
the + insight damage to onehanded weapons/xbows is very very tasty though..

I mean, sure you could do a lot with a 2hander - full PA line etc

or you could just have a bastard sword & a decent int for the same effect (glancing blows) *and* have the passive bonus from the rune arm (which could outweight the THF 2x PA damage bonus)

say you start with 16 STR & 16 INT (+3), by lv 8 you have +3 items, have taken +2INT from enhancements & +2 STR from level ups, and eaten a +1 tome / +1 airship buffs:

16 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 22 each ( +6 mod)

so with PA on (no enhancements)

2d6 (greatsword) + 10 PA + 9 STR = 26 base damage avg

1d10 (bastard sword) + 5 PA + 6 STR + 6 STR +runearm passive = 22.5 + runearm passive

Pretty close.
Not sure that 2HF would outweigh it by much, if at all (IMHO)

dkyle
08-18-2011, 03:18 PM
1d10 (bastard sword) + 5 PA + 6 STR + 6 STR +runearm passive = 22.5 + runearm passive

Insightful Damage replaces the damage stat, it doesn't add to it. So it would just be 1d10 + 5 PA + 6 INT + runearm = 16.5 + runearm, which is quite a bit less than the greataxe.

Jackal912
08-18-2011, 03:19 PM
I went for a 16 int 18 str 8 dex 14 con build on my dwarf. I'm using the dwarven axe enhancements to pump up the attack and damage of a dwarven axe, and taking advantage of the fact that the bonus damage a runearm adds to a weapon is added to ALL glancing blows, not merely a small percentage of them.

On top of that, I'm using the flamethrower runearm from WW with superior combustion II crafted onto it to further boost damage, since a big perk of runearms is that you can charge, and fire one, without interrupting your attack chain - it's completely separate (including with xbows), and the flamethrower is one of the better ones for not having to aim - it's essentially a slightly shorter Scorch.

So far, at level 7, he's pretty doing pretty good damage, actually! The main problem I've been having is he's kind of squishy - I've been ehhhhhing over whether I should get heavy armor mastery and just full plate him, or stick with medium armor, or just screw it and stick with light/robes.
I've been worried a bit over arcane spell failure, as while it doesn't seem to be applying to spells now it seems to imply that it SHOULD be, and if it's begins to apply to our abilities heavy armor would screw up my ability to self heal with repair moderate wounds and eventually reconstruction. (I nabbed Construct Essence for easier self healing). So far making my pet a buff as hell intimitank seems to help mitigate the damage a lot, but relying on him won't work forever.

rimble
08-18-2011, 03:23 PM
I've been worried a bit over arcane spell failure, as while it doesn't seem to be applying to spells now it seems to imply that it SHOULD be, and if it's begins to apply to our abilities heavy armor would screw up my ability to self heal with repair moderate wounds and eventually reconstruction. (I nabbed Construct Essence for easier self healing). So far making my pet a buff as hell intimitank seems to help mitigate the damage a lot, but relying on him won't work forever.

I think ASF is only going to be applicable when you're UMDing things that have ASF...like Wizard or Bard (depending on your armor) scrolls...

dkyle
08-18-2011, 03:27 PM
I went for a 16 int 18 str 8 dex 14 con build on my dwarf. I'm using the dwarven axe enhancements to pump up the attack and damage of a dwarven axe, and taking advantage of the fact that the bonus damage a runearm adds to a weapon is added to ALL glancing blows, not merely a small percentage of them.

That's very interesting to know. That does tilt things in favor of the rune arm. So far, the best damage Runearm seems to be 2d8. That would give about 15 bonus damage standing still vs a single target, 9 while moving.

Cyr
08-18-2011, 03:34 PM
I imagine a two handed weapon fighting art would be pretty similar to a warchanter type build for dps output and build strategies.

Also like a warchanter build it would rely upon getting hit alot in combat for sp regen. In the artificers case though I would imagine that the extra mana would be sufficient to self heal and do some aoe dps until endgame.

Cyr
08-18-2011, 03:35 PM
That's very interesting to know. That does tilt things in favor of the rune arm. So far, the best damage Runearm seems to be 2d8. That would give about 15 bonus damage standing still vs a single target, 9 while moving.

Nod, did not know that either...epic fang would be my suggestion then for a str based artificer build.

Darkrok
08-18-2011, 03:38 PM
I'm going to roll up one of these tonight. I think the best part on this is that you actually have options without build changes. As long as you take the right feats you can go Exotic+Rune Arm or you can go purely THF.

The rune arm's additional damage adding to all glancing blows sounds like it may be a bug. Even if it's not a Warforged with the Great Weapon enhancements and THF line would get a lot of glancing out of the rune arm. Is it enough to warrant a feat + using a lesser weapon? Honestly don't know there. I'm thinking despite WF'd great weapon aptitude being a nice boost a human would be the way to go here. The big bonus is you can take DM's of Making to do triple-duty. You get some free self-healing out of them (assuming you take the feat to be able to repair self). You get boosts to your crafting making this the ultimate crafting toon. And you get big bonuses to the Epic Chimera's Fang under U11 where any dragonmarks will grant proficiency with it. I'd probably level without the rune arms but then consider a high-quality rune-arm + epic chimera's fang at cap.

EDIT: You could also take the Bastard Sword Prof early on and swap it later. Still think human's the way to go in any case as you make the most use out of all the feats involved and get a top-notch craftingbot to boot.

Letrii
08-18-2011, 06:46 PM
The PrE requires crossbow enhancements btw.

Aerendil
08-18-2011, 07:05 PM
The PrE requires crossbow enhancements btw.

Only tier I, though. Spending 2, maybe 3, AP isn't a huge cost if you decide to forego ranged/Fusillade. Although Fusillade is certainly quite fun :)

Letrii
08-18-2011, 07:07 PM
Only tier I, though. Spending 2, maybe 3, AP isn't a huge cost if you decide to forego ranged/Fusillade. Although Fusillade is certainly quite fun :)

Might require more when we actually get the other tiers though.

junta74
08-18-2011, 08:54 PM
Might require more when we actually get the other tiers though.

By that time we may have another Pre:)

Has anyone taken adamantine body with Inscribed armor. The current Pre give a 10% decrease so would you have to take all the levels of Inscribed armor?

sly_1
08-18-2011, 09:05 PM
working on one now, no reason to think it won't work out seeing as how there's nothing wrong with str based bards, for example.

End of the day silver lit II's = sex, slather a little str on there and you are good.

My prediction is 12, 14, 18, and 16 lvl break mc str based arti builds will emerge in full force in short order:

- 12 = min lvl to get silver weapons
- 14 = a bit more arti but enough to still get silver and 1 tier of some other pre like kensai, fb, etc
- 16 = most arti enhancements (inc pet enhancements) top out, so room for 4 lvls of whatever
- 18 = hit that tier 3 pre, whatever it's gonna wind up, seeing as how the capstone assumes big int, screw it, a melee str based arti won't care similar to how a melee bard has little reason to go to 20.

Aerendil
08-18-2011, 09:47 PM
working on one now, no reason to think it won't work out seeing as how there's nothing wrong with str based bards, for example.

End of the day silver lit II's = sex, slather a little str on there and you are good.


Despite my "pro STR-based Arti" previous posts, just to be difficult, here's an anti-STR-based Arti post...

If silver Lit II's is your incentive to making a STR-based Arti, do keep in mind the spell *can be cast on others*.
So you *can* have your cake and eat it too as a different melee (Kensai, Tempest, Monk, etc). Provided it works properly, which I don't think many of us have tested yet.

'Course, then you can't have Deadly Weapons cast on you.
So...yeah. Silver Lit2's? Or +4-5 silver XXX of evil outsider bane with Deadly Weapons on it?

I vote the later.

Letrii
08-18-2011, 09:54 PM
By that time we may have another Pre:)

Has anyone taken adamantine body with Inscribed armor. The current Pre give a 10% decrease so would you have to take all the levels of Inscribed armor?

I ignored ASF, it only applies when using UMD.

sly_1
08-18-2011, 10:15 PM
Despite my "pro STR-based Arti" previous posts, just to be difficult, here's an anti-STR-based Arti post...

If silver Lit II's is your incentive to making a STR-based Arti, do keep in mind the spell *can be cast on others*.
So you *can* have your cake and eat it too as a different melee (Kensai, Tempest, Monk, etc). Provided it works properly, which I don't think many of us have tested yet.

'Course, then you can't have Deadly Weapons cast on you.
So...yeah. Silver Lit2's? Or +4-5 silver XXX of evil outsider bane with Deadly Weapons on it?

I vote the later.

Ok, but how is this an anti str arti argument? If I'm an str basted arti with +5 globs and deadly weapons, will I not be pwning faces?

Personally I have about less than zero interest in crafting, never have been into crafting in any game I have ever played. As such, I can stomach running shroud because at the end of the day it's a quest that tho repetitive has its own kind of charm.

If I run enough I can craft some decent kit without also having to grind out "crafting levels". So for me personally, silver lit II's are gonna work just fine, as the overall dps might not be 100% top shelf but it will be 95% as good and easier to obtain.

If I ever do get into crafting well, my str arti will have a big bonus to crafting and will make those sexy deadly +5 silver globs we all drool about, and won't be dependent on some other fool to cast it on me.

Meanwhile you will be waiting for 45 minutes for your lfm to fill so you can get me in your group to cast dw on your weapons :p

LeLoric
08-19-2011, 12:02 AM
The build I leveled is pretty similar to what you have here.

I started WF 32 pointer 18 str 8 dex 16 con 16 int 6 wis 6 cha

The sentinels rune arm gives free bastard prof which is nice

Ran all three thf feats and all tiers of great weapon aptitude.

very poorly geared and sitting at 30 str, 28 int, 26 con at level 18.

Real expected gear would probably sit at about 36 str 34 int and 32 con at 20.

DPS wise I seem to be fairly fine although it's hard to tell with no gs/no bloodstone/other gear etc.

I did go with the prestige as it gives me some more melee dps and the option to swap to an insightful striked/ point blank imp crit xbow for fusilade fun.

Spell wise playing around in some high level content right now BB seems fine and still getting some love from the lightning motes for increased lightning dmg, love to see this build with a lit II bastard and heavy repeater. Also not wanting to use the rune arm charge due to slow bug probably cuts out on what is possible here.

To hit is a little harsh right now with poor gear (+3 weapon and low str) and wf power attack gonna go craft some +4 to hit goggles.

Overall I think it's a pretty viable build. Gives a mix of moderate melee dps, mild to moderate spell/ranged option.

Valakai
08-19-2011, 01:19 AM
I would advocate going with B-sword over Greatsword/Greataxe. Adding 2d8 to damage as well as to all glancing blows is pretty big imho. Also while most of the runearms are not that big on the damage, they do have some passive buffs and you can also craft stuff into them.

Personally I am going for max int and mod str build was thinking of the other way around but wanted good int for bladebarrier and it also affects rune arm castings. So I am going to be a few points behind in to hit but my BBs and runecannon will do more. Hard to say which one is "better"

To someone who was pondering getting heavy armor proficiency mithral full plate is medium armor so just get one of those. Craft invulnerability on it (+1 shard) and cast ablative skin or whats its name and you are good to go.