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EllisDee37
08-11-2013, 10:39 AM
I've been going through my builds on lammania to come up with new versions for the enhancement pass, and ran across an issue with the pale trapper. I'd like to solicit feedback on the best way to go:

My first thought was to drop toughness to take empower, since forms (lich, wraith) no longer have feat prereqs. I then penciled in toughness as the level 26 epic feat since there's not much worth taking there. I figured it was all good, came up with a nice set of enhancements and a schedule for skills (which was rougher than I imagined) and all was good.

The only non-caster feat in the whole build is insightful reflexes, and starting a human rogue on level 1 you have to take two non-caster feats. I decided to placeholder one of them with toughness, then swap it out to empower at level 3 (100 fragments + 640 plat) which is cheap enough even for a brand new player. All good, right?

The problem is that Fred is too smart; he won't let me swap the feats I took at level 1 with caster feats because he knows I had no caster levels at level 1. Doh! This means that taking rogue at level 1 absolutely requires you to have two non-caster feats. Ugh.

Now my options are:

1) Keep toughness and skip empower, like the build has always done.
2) Take the rogue levels at 2 & 9 instead of 1 & 9.
3) Drop an enchantment focus feat (build normally takes 2 of them) to fit in empower.

The second option loses a ton of skill points, but most of those are thrown away on crappy skills like haggle, swim, etc... Still, it's a noticeable skill hit. And you get no trapping skills until level 2. All told, it feels pretty inelegant.

Dropping an enchantment focus feels like a bad choice because the stated design goals are to be necro/enchant focused. DPS is a secondary build feature, so empower is technically optional. However, the build is planned to take the full efficient maximize/empower/quicken/heighten lines. (Not much to take in the wizard trees.) If I drop empower I can move those 6 AP over to other quality enhancements*, but geez, not including fully-improved empower in a build that can easily fit it feels wrong.

Any feedback is appreciated.

*EDIT: To clarify, I originally didn't plan on empower and just picked every enhancement I might want. It ended up being exactly 80 AP. Wow. Normally it's like 100 and I make the tough choices to remove 20 of them. In this case I simply removed 6 to fit in the improved empower line, but I can switch back if empower isn't taken. But empower would only cost 9 sp from level 3 on; I gotta take it, right?

Stoner81
08-11-2013, 10:57 AM
I thought they were removing the Toughness feat anyway due to the changes to Heroic Durability? Anyway I would say that option 1 is the best bet imho since it lets you do everything that you want the build to more or less. Since the original build didn't include Empower you would not be losing anything technically speaking.

Stoner81.

PsychoBlonde
08-11-2013, 11:30 AM
I thought they were removing the Toughness feat anyway due to the changes to Heroic Durability? Anyway I would say that option 1 is the best bet imho since it lets you do everything that you want the build to more or less. Since the original build didn't include Empower you would not be losing anything technically speaking.

Stoner81.

Toughness feat is still a feat, it just doesn't get you access to toughness enhancements so it isn't a "required" feat any more--you can take it if you want, and it'll get you level+3 total hp and it is still a requirement for epic Toughness. I plan to skip it on most of my characters--there's better stuff out there for them in most cases.

What race are you planning on doing, human?

Human: Insightful Reflexes
1: Toughness
Wizard 1: Empower Spell
3: Spell Focus: Necromancy
W5: Quicken Spell
6: Maximize Spell
9: Spell Penetration
12: Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
W10: Spell Focus: Enchantment
15: Heighten Spell
W15: Greater Spell Focus: Enchantment
18: Greater Spell Penetration
21: Epic Spell Penetration
24: Epic Spell Focus: Necromancy
27: Epic Toughness or Epic Spell Focus: Enchantment you pick

EllisDee37
08-11-2013, 12:08 PM
What race are you planning on doing, human?

Human: Insightful Reflexes
1: Toughness
Wizard 1: Empower Spell
3: Spell Focus: Necromancy
W5: Quicken Spell
6: Maximize Spell
9: Spell Penetration
12: Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
W10: Spell Focus: Enchantment
15: Heighten Spell
W15: Greater Spell Focus: Enchantment
18: Greater Spell Penetration
21: Epic Spell Penetration
24: Epic Spell Focus: Necromancy
27: Epic Toughness or Epic Spell Focus: Enchantment you pickI go with extend, and great int for the 24 & 27 feats. Note: You slotted a greater focus in a wizard bonus feat. They only take regular focus, not greater. (None of your post-15 feats can be taken as a wizard bonus feat at 17.)

1: Insightful Reflexes
1H: Toughness (would like to replace with empower @ level 3 but Fred won't let me)
2W: Enchantment Focus
3: Past Life: Wizard (or Greater Enchantment Focus if first life)
6: Extend
6W: Heighten
9: Maximize
12: Spell Penetration
12W: Necromancy Focus
15: Greater Necromancy Focus
17W: Quicken
18: Greater Spell Penetration
21: Epic Spell Penetration
24: Great Int
26: Toughness?
27: Great Int
28: +20 Nullification?

Therigar
08-11-2013, 03:10 PM
My first thought was to drop toughness to take empower, since forms (lich, wraith) no longer have feat prereqs. I then penciled in toughness as the level 26 epic feat since there's not much worth taking there.

I think the suggestion to take Insightful Reflexes and Toughness at L1 are good suggestions. I might even consider dropping Toughness for a Skill Focus.

I think that the real issue is the L26 epic bonus feat. This is a nice place for a bonus feat but the choices seem rather limited depending on how many epic destinies you have unlocked. I would have liked to have seen the ability to choose more heroic level feats other than just Toughness.

I think this will become an issue for players who do not have multiple epic destinies maxed out from multiple destiny spheres as, for them, the only feat marginally worth taking will end up being Toughness. And, as in your case, this may be a very suboptimal or even a very bad choice for their build.

I would rather see a list of heroic feats also available to the character based on some minimum level of character classes. Heroic feats can be divided into martial, arcane, divine and specialist groupings so that a character with so many wizard levels might get metamagics as an option or a character with an abundance of fighter levels might get martial feats.

mna
08-11-2013, 03:46 PM
Well, I have one toon going with your "Pale Trapper" build and was thinking about the same thing... and it seems to me that Augment Summoning might still be a not entirely useless feat to have? Especially for a newbie going largely solo with a hireling...

According to the wiki it has no prerequisites even if it could also be taken as a wizard bonus feat, and works for hirelings too. (And Charmed minions... Command Undead on the Arcane Skeletons seems a good tactic in a lot of undead-heavy quests so far even without it?) As well as the old enhancement-based iron defender summon that even pure rogues could get (BTW, is that still there? At least there's a much narrower selection of skeletons for PMs to summon in the new system, it seems...)


Certainly seems likely to be more useful than, say, Nimble Fingers, or Discipline, or some such...?

EllisDee37
08-11-2013, 07:06 PM
I might even consider dropping Toughness for a Skill Focus.That's an interesting idea.

I like your idea of splitting the heroic feats into spheres and offering those as the 26/28 bonus feats if you have enough class levels in that sphere.


it seems to me that Augment Summoning might still be a not entirely useless feat to have?Hey, now that's an idea. I won't spend any AP on that skelly summon line in the new PM tree, but wizards do get summoning spells.

bsquishwizzy
08-12-2013, 04:26 PM
I've been going through my builds on lammania to come up with new versions for the enhancement pass, and ran across an issue with the pale trapper. I'd like to solicit feedback on the best way to go:

My first thought was to drop toughness to take empower, since forms (lich, wraith) no longer have feat prereqs. I then penciled in toughness as the level 26 epic feat since there's not much worth taking there. I figured it was all good, came up with a nice set of enhancements and a schedule for skills (which was rougher than I imagined) and all was good.

The only non-caster feat in the whole build is insightful reflexes, and starting a human rogue on level 1 you have to take two non-caster feats. I decided to placeholder one of them with toughness, then swap it out to empower at level 3 (100 fragments + 640 plat) which is cheap enough even for a brand new player. All good, right?

The problem is that Fred is too smart; he won't let me swap the feats I took at level 1 with caster feats because he knows I had no caster levels at level 1. Doh! This means that taking rogue at level 1 absolutely requires you to have two non-caster feats. Ugh.

Now my options are:

1) Keep toughness and skip empower, like the build has always done.
2) Take the rogue levels at 2 & 9 instead of 1 & 9.
3) Drop an enchantment focus feat (build normally takes 2 of them) to fit in empower.

The second option loses a ton of skill points, but most of those are thrown away on crappy skills like haggle, swim, etc... Still, it's a noticeable skill hit. And you get no trapping skills until level 2. All told, it feels pretty inelegant.

Dropping an enchantment focus feels like a bad choice because the stated design goals are to be necro/enchant focused. DPS is a secondary build feature, so empower is technically optional. However, the build is planned to take the full efficient maximize/empower/quicken/heighten lines. (Not much to take in the wizard trees.) If I drop empower I can move those 6 AP over to other quality enhancements*, but geez, not including fully-improved empower in a build that can easily fit it feels wrong.

Any feedback is appreciated.

*EDIT: To clarify, I originally didn't plan on empower and just picked every enhancement I might want. It ended up being exactly 80 AP. Wow. Normally it's like 100 and I make the tough choices to remove 20 of them. In this case I simply removed 6 to fit in the improved empower line, but I can switch back if empower isn't taken. But empower would only cost 9 sp from level 3 on; I gotta take it, right?


I look at this in two ways: you want to kill them outright, or you want to be able to maintain a support role in a PUG?

When I re-worked my straight PM, I noticed that my spell power scores all went up as opposed to what I was seeing on the live server. I’m not 100% sure if this true, but if so that give you an opening to just go with elemental damage, and skip enchantment. You’ll still need the spell pen for necro anyways, so that’s not a wasted investment.

Now I have an elf. I’m not 100% sure if that figures into the change in spell power or not. I worked mostly on my pally. But if I am right, and your spell power goes up universally that makes empower all the more attractive.

The second issue is: do you really need to take a rouge level at 1. Level 1 is a fleeting moment for virtually all builds, and even a pure caster build, at level 1, is going to do melee. Most of the stuff at level 1 doesn’t require rogue skills to complete. Taking rogue levels at two is basically small potatoes. And as you pointed out, most of your skill points lost are on some pretty petty stuff. Your only killers are – as far as I can see - Search, Spot, and UMD.

I’m a big necro / enchant fan myself. However, with the PM build I find that I’m hanging out in necro far more than I do in enchant nowadays. Both schools have an overlap as to the types of mobs that are unaffected by the spells: mainly constructs and the like, and stuff with high spell pen. Plus, there can be some pretty detrimental side-effects when using the wrong necro spell against undead, and enchantment spells are usually ineffective on undead. So in some ways, there is overlap in that area too.

Where there is very little overlap is stuff like necro / conjuration and necro / evocation. Your mileage may vary.

bsquishwizzy
08-12-2013, 04:32 PM
That's an interesting idea.

Hey, now that's an idea. I won't spend any AP on that skelly summon line in the new PM tree, but wizards do get summoning spells.

I generally don't go down undead pet route, and generally do summons. I don't miss it that much, but two summoned creatures is much better for agro management than one.

A lot of that depends on play-style...

EllisDee37
08-12-2013, 05:15 PM
The second issue is: do you really need to take a rouge level at 1. Level 1 is a fleeting moment for virtually all builds, and even a pure caster build, at level 1, is going to do melee. Most of the stuff at level 1 doesn’t require rogue skills to complete. Taking rogue levels at two is basically small potatoes. And as you pointed out, most of your skill points lost are on some pretty petty stuff. Your only killers are – as far as I can see - Search, Spot, and UMD.Well, in the xpack the killers end up being spellcraft and heal. heh. But yeah, this is kind of what I'm thinking, too.

I use enchantment all the time, even solo. When grouping I spec in mass hold monster, when soloing I spec in dominate monster. I lurve dominate monster. And I use dball a ton, both solo and in groups. Plus in the xpack I greatly look forward to the hold monster SLA, with free heighten.

Because it's so easy to take the full improved empower line I'm really not comfortable just skipping empower and calling it done. The only reason I can justify skipping it on live is because it's so expensive to use. (15, compared to maximize which costs me 12.)

However, you are correct that DCs go up across the board, plus in addition to that enchantment DC gets a new +1 from the archmage tree that wasn't available to PMs before. So dropping an enchantment focus feat wouldn't be the end of the world.

I think I'm leaning toward taking rogue @ 1, keeping toughness and dropping an enchantment focus. As an added bonus, taking empower @ 2 (instead of enchantment focus) would fit the leveling concept very well. (Level 3 would be better, but 2 is pretty darn close.)

mna
08-12-2013, 05:38 PM
I use enchantment all the time, even solo. When grouping I spec in mass hold monster, when soloing I spec in dominate monster. I lurve dominate monster. And I use dball a ton, both solo and in groups. Plus in the xpack I greatly look forward to the hold monster SLA, with free heighten.
Well, that'd sort of point towards Augment Summoning, as it augments also charmed/dominated mobs according to the wiki. (Haven't tested myself yet, I was thinking about possibly waiting for more experienced players such as yourself to get somewhere with the new system before doing the LR, and while doing that going to Fred and experimenting with AS...)

...there's also a charm monster SLA, and command undead, it seems?


I think I'm leaning toward taking rogue @ 1, keeping toughness and dropping an enchantment focus. As an added bonus, taking empower @ 2 (instead of enchantment focus) would fit the leveling concept very well. (Level 3 would be better, but 2 is pretty darn close.)

...so even the school-based SLAs no longer require the corresponding focus feat? Interesting.

Is there a writeup of the new skill-based spellpower system anywhere, for those of us who aren't on Lamannia? (Should wizards put skill points in heal in addition to spellcraft, then?)

EllisDee37
08-12-2013, 05:47 PM
...so even the school-based SLAs no longer require the corresponding focus feat? Interesting.The only prestige feat prereqs left are some secondary kensei abilities still require weapon focus/specialization. No more feats for pale master shrouds, archmage slas, etc... The biggest beneficiary of this change is tempest rangers, who on live need a whopping 4 feats to qualify for tempest III. Four free feats!


Is there a writeup of the new skill-based spellpower system anywhere, for those of us who aren't on Lamannia? (Should wizards put skill points in heal in addition to spellcraft, then?)Skills give a 1:1 bonus to spell power. The following skills give that bonus to the listed spell powers:

Heal: positive and negative
Repair: repair
Perform: sonic
Spellcraft: all other spell power lines (fire, ice, force, etc... but not positive, negative, repair or sonic)

When you factor in stat mod bonuses, item effects, greater heroism, good luck, etc... you'll be looking at 50+ spell power from skills. (23+8 = 31 simply from maxing a native skill. Sadly, heal isn't native for pale masters.)

PsychoBlonde
08-12-2013, 06:01 PM
I go with extend, and great int for the 24 & 27 feats.

Ugh, I dislike the stat feats, they are generally wasteful compared to what else you can get.

EllisDee37
08-13-2013, 05:34 AM
Ugh, I dislike the stat feats, they are generally wasteful compared to what else you can get.Okay, just so I understand:

You recommend taking necro focus at 24 and possibly enchant focus at 27 for +1 DC to two schools, and then respond with "Ugh" at the idea of taking +2 int with those two feats for +1 DC to ALL schools?

Therigar
08-13-2013, 05:57 AM
Okay, just so I understand:

You recommend taking necro focus at 24 and possibly enchant focus at 27 for +1 DC to two schools, and then respond with "Ugh" at the idea of taking +2 int with those two feats for +1 DC to ALL schools?

Let's not confuse things with facts. :p