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Fherrit
12-14-2013, 04:47 PM
Hello all you Learned Sages of DDO Monkdom;

My Google-Fu has left me wanting as finding a pointed answer to my questions seems either not to have been answered previously or...I just did poorly at the search (the more likely possibility). My apologies in advance for how long winded it is, the TLDR version first, then the more indepth version below.

TLDR:
Does /Vorpal_Strikes (http://ddowiki.com/page/Vorpal_Strikes) perform the same with Handwraps as Ninja Master does with Shortswords/Kamas?


Longer Version:

I'm playing a Drow Ninja right now, just hit level 20 and love the Vorpal effects, but it was a tough road for me until I did a shift at level 16 towards handwraps. This was brought on by finding a pair that had Vorpal effect on them and I wanted to see how Vorpal plays, but it left me doubtful of my SS style. Handwrap fighting outclassed SS/Kama by a large margin, things just melted around me between Vorpal procing and Whirlwinding my way through packs. Up till then my playstyle was stealth oriented with a lot of stealth peeling of groups and towing a npc cleric along for heals since as a Dark Monk, healing/Undead/Outsiders were a chore. Levels 10-16 were slow for me, I learned a lot about stealth style play in DDO but it got progressively harder as a SS focused Ninja. So at level 16 when I found those Vorpal Wraps of Ghostbane III (hardly optimal) I equipped them and was amazed at two things.

1) the Vorpal effects, very nice.
2) Big shift in performance using Handwraps.

My build emphasized Dex and Wisdom with only a 14 base Str, usually running Water Stance, I still did stealth peeling but less so for I was much faster in taking down critters even when the Vorpal effects weren't taking their toll, fighting unarmed I flat out hit harder, faster and had more options in my stances, with Earth/Water being my preferred ones. A steady creeping thought I was a royal idiot chasing Drow/SS/Ninja Master started to take root. I dug to find some answers and everything I found said that just like Ninja Poison does not proc with Handwraps of any kind, neither does the Vorpal effect from Ninja Master. I decided to experiment at level 16 and emptied my Drow tree of everything, went heavy Ninja with dips into Henshin and Shintao.

In Henshin I picked up Animal Form: Clever Monkey and Mystic Training 3.
In Ninja Spy I went up to Touch of Death, replaced Unbalancing Strike with Fist of Iron, +4 Sneak Attack, +2 Wis, dropped Ninja Poison and otherwise opted out of the remaining Tier 4/5 abilities since I had no Stunning Fist and Flashbang even fully bought usually did little but buy me "A Brave Sir Robin" (Monty Python reference) to bravely run away.
In Shintao I took up to Iron Fist, Deft Strikes 3, Conditioning 3 and Dismissing Strike.


I parked my collection of SS/Kamas in the vault, fished out all the Handwraps I had been saving for a Shintao life to address certain shortcomings that the Vorpal/Ghostbane ones had. I ran the same content that i had finished two days ago on Heroic Hard (I rarely do Elite and always solo) as a SS wielder so I was familiar with how it played, and did it again as a unoptimized Handwrap driven combatant. My feat allotment had no Stunning Fist and no Imp Crit: Bludgeon (I still had IC: Pierce), and yet I cleared the same content significantly faster and easier. I had to stealth peel less and could handle larger groups while critters that the Dismissing Strike worked on let me do "assassinating" moves similiar to the QP moves I was using against Casters. I suddenly felt powerful again, and while some of that ease was due to the Vorpal effects, no small amount of it was due to just sheer Unarmed performance. Whirlwind Attack (seemed to) perform better as well, I'd do my spinning kick and critters just exploded vs when I did it with SS/Kama they'd just wince and stick a wet finger in my ear for my efforts.

I stayed in this configuration with no SF/IC:Bludgeon till I hit 20 and shifted back to Drow/SS focus with Ninja Master to the test. I dressed down Shintao to just Deft Strikes though I retained my Henshin choices, dropped Touch of Death line and picked up Drow SS/Dodge/Poisons line (for now) and Shadow Double. Running with a pair of mid level AH purchased SSs, I ran the Seigebreaker on Elite till I could make some Vampiric Shortswords, I know that there are better but I'm still building and my gear is still a bit of a issue. The result was the Vorpal effects were nice, but I noticed that my Whirlwinds went back to being lackluster and not once in doing that chain 4x to get all the drops i needed, did it proc the Vorpal effects. When I was Handwrapping my way from 16-20 with the wraps that had VOrpal on them, I got Vorpal procs off Whirlwind plenty of times. Seriously, I'm not exaggerating this, I used to giggle as most insane Fherrits do when I'd Vorpal-Spin-Kick a group of critters, but when I was wielding SS with Ninja Master, not once did my Whirlwind proc a Vorpal. By the 2nd run through of Seigebreaker I was looking actively for the procs, not once. WAI or bug?


Sorry about all that backstory and I am grateful for your patience in having gotten this far, now to the conundrum I face and the education from your collective knowledge that I seek.


I only recently discovered the Vorpal Strike mentioned above. Lets ignore for a moment that I'm a Drow and they tend to pursue SS/Shuriken. If I train the Vorpal Strike feat, it seems like the effect is exactly the same as having Ninja Master, sans the Dex boost. The Dex Boost is nice certainly, but that's only a +1 to Dam/Hit/Reflex, the real juice IMO is the Vorpal effect.

But I feel I've been duped. If Vorpal Strikes does the same thing as Ninja Master but with 2 less Dex, and yet Handwrapping fighting produces overall better results when Vorpal isn't proccing, I got to thinking that going full on Ninja Spy is not such a good deal. Instead, pursue the unarmed style with SF/Helpless pummeling, ditch the ninja poison/ToD line and go more Shintao. Yes, the race now suddenly says bad choice, should've gone Gnome (kidding, I know Gnomes aren't in the game, The Fherrit is being subtle with its humor). Then, because The Dew often makes this Fherrit rush into things, I thought...maybe I should post and see if I'm missing something in my analysis. I still consider myself a newbie to DDO, maybe there's something obvious or subtle that I haven't picked up on?

So basically, is buying the feat Vorpal Strike and building towards a unarmed fighting style way better than pursuing Ninja Master/SS fighting style? It seems like all I'm missing out on is +2 Dex if I go with the more traditional bare knuckle style. Thoughts?

Regards;

Mad-Fherrit-Drinks-the-Dew

inspiredunease
12-16-2013, 05:49 AM
Hello all you Learned Sages of DDO Monkdom;
So basically, is buying the feat Vorpal Strike and building towards a unarmed fighting style way better than pursuing Ninja Master/SS fighting style?

Basically, yes. Unless you have two Celestias/EE brush-hooks/fully-upgraded rebellions lying around and are specifically building for ninja spy, you will do better DPS unarmed, and vorpal strikes is an awesome feat. Take it at 21.

TeacherSyn
12-16-2013, 12:11 PM
Basically, yes. Unless you have two Celestias/EE brush-hooks/fully-upgraded rebellions lying around and are specifically building for ninja spy, you will do better DPS unarmed, and vorpal strikes is an awesome feat. Take it at 21.

...Unless you're a Ninja using a shuriken almost exclusively.

One popular build takes advantage of Ninja Master's vorpal effect with the rapid firing and multiple effects of throwing stars (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/423018-Shiradi-Shuricannon) for a remarkably effective dragon and boss slayer (http://orderofsyncletica.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/power-slaying-szyncletica-at-endgame/). Not all Monks need be unarmed stun-bots unless you enjoy it, 'cause it still is a fun thing to do.

That said, Vorpal Strikes remains a potent attack option for unarmed Monks and should be pursued. Unarmed attack is generally faster than typical armed attacks (ranged attack builds notwithstanding). But getting any insta-kill options is a good thing. As a fully trained Ninja Spy that switches around as the need arises, you just get both options and isn't a bad deal at all.

Fherrit
12-16-2013, 01:37 PM
Basically, yes. Unless you have two Celestias/EE brush-hooks/fully-upgraded rebellions lying around and are specifically building for ninja spy, you will do better DPS unarmed, and vorpal strikes is an awesome feat. Take it at 21.

This has been my creeping suspicion, that I am on a path that stresses certain named weapon pursuits. I've been playing a bit with the Vampiric Fury SSs and running in Windstance most of the time, its ok but without the Vorpal effects kicking in I'd be unhappy with how fragile I am. Water is my usual preference for the saves and dodge, or Earth for its crit and robust defense, but both of those stances seem to synergize better with Fists than SS.

If Vorpal Strikes performs as well as the Ninja Master Vorpal effect, then this is definitely the thing to pursue going pure unarmed. Thank you for the time you took reading and responding Inspriredunease, I appreciate it.


...Unless you're a Ninja using a shuriken almost exclusively.

One popular build takes advantage of Ninja Master's vorpal effect with the rapid firing and multiple effects of throwing stars (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/423018-Shiradi-Shuricannon) for a remarkably effective dragon and boss slayer (http://orderofsyncletica.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/power-slaying-szyncletica-at-endgame/). Not all Monks need be unarmed stun-bots unless you enjoy it, 'cause it still is a fun thing to do.

That said, Vorpal Strikes remains a potent attack option for unarmed Monks and should be pursued. Unarmed attack is generally faster than typical armed attacks (ranged attack builds notwithstanding). But getting any insta-kill options is a good thing. As a fully trained Ninja Spy that switches around as the need arises, you just get both options and isn't a bad deal at all.

Hello Spencerian, I was hoping you'd take the time to respond to my thread, your Book of Syncletica and blog have seen me lurking a lot over the past 4 weeks, much of what I know of Monks is based upon your extensive writings. My sincere gratitude for the time it requires you to maintain that site.

I have followed your posts regarding Szyncletica and her style of Ninjitsu with interest, especially as my Ninja is a Drow and benefits from the free Shuriken feat, something I have made good use of as I leveled with a lowly Shadow Star. The playstyle has me intrigued, but I feel its more advanced than my current level of expertise of DDO and resources lets me pursue. I may be wrong here, but it seems like due to game itemization issues, its essential to have access to a crafter to make the variety of stars you need in order to deal with the vagaries that adventurers run into. I particularly appreciated your commentary on what Szyncletica finds as difficult foes as it mirrored what I had encountered running with SS/Kamas to a lesser extent up till my dabble in a unoptimized barehand style. However even unoptimized for barehand, I see what you're saying by taking it as a fully trained Ninja since that does allow me to make use of some very useful handwraps I have stored.

I'm also constantly intrigued by the Henshin Mystic, which I understand is still your favorite and is also not a fisticuffs sort of Monk. I dabbled in the playstyle as a Hork due to the racial sunder/THF/Str assets and also enjoying the imagery of a wise stern "Tetsubo" (Qstaff) wielding powerhouse. And while I understand that there is a dearth of Shuriken drops, I've run across many more interesting staffs than I have SS by a huge margin.

Straying a bit on my original topic, but what both replies have done is pushed me past the tipping point of continuing on the path of the SS Ninja. I like the stealth style play, but I have been noticing my Ninja pays a steadily increasing price for it and similiar to a Shuriken build, would be greatly eased by having suitable crafting resources.

It looks like its time for a TR, my first in fact, both your answers have made this choice easier to make and I thank you again for the time in responding to my post.

Regards;

Mad-Fherrit-Drinks-the-Dew

str8nger
12-16-2013, 02:24 PM
Hi, I know you are asking specifically about vorpal strikes and ss vs unarmed but as a long time Drow monk player I would like to offer another point of view. I have gone both dark and light, unarmed and armed pre enhancment pass and post pass. Sure, you do more damage with your fists most of the time etc. and it may seem like a huge burden to gear up for your SS build to work, but I can tell you this...it's not always about how fast you can kill or how big your numbers are. Keep at the SS ninja, keep redoing the enhancements to find that sweet spot, keep looking for gear, use stars and shortswords, keep playing with different feats. I encourage you not to give up on the ninja. I have found there are many ways to make and play a monk. It sounds like you enjoy the idea of a ninja and like the idea of stealth etc. there are ways to make it work for you. Sure you could go Shintoa earth monk, but that is not a stealthy ninja. Pure monks can be many things IMHO. I only add my 2 cents cause like Spencerian, I love playing a monk. And as a result of that love, I have made many different play style monks and loved almost all of them. Keep at it. Gear is great but it is not always the end of the line...others may disagree and that is fine. If you ever care to look me up I am on Sarlona, Perpensity is my sweet baby monk. Good Luck.

FuzzyDuck81
12-18-2013, 05:08 PM
I love my shortsword monk & they can definitely be a lot of fun, if you want to use the weaponised approach i'd say go for it - though if you need more survivability you could consider being a light-side ninja (since you'll be armed & can't use touch of death) & pretend to be a jedi :) My own uses that approach, and is a dragonmarked elf... not the highest dps option i know, but decent up close or at range, has great stealth capabilities, and with the displacement, high dodge, incorporeal & decent AC, is very hard to pin down :)

TeacherSyn
12-19-2013, 04:30 PM
I love my shortsword monk & they can definitely be a lot of fun, if you want to use the weaponised approach i'd say go for it - though if you need more survivability you could consider being a light-side ninja (since you'll be armed & can't use touch of death) & pretend to be a jedi :) My own uses that approach, and is a dragonmarked elf... not the highest dps option i know, but decent up close or at range, has great stealth capabilities, and with the displacement, high dodge, incorporeal & decent AC, is very hard to pin down :)

Thanks for your words, Fherrit. I'm not so much an author (and certainly nowhere near "uber" or experienced as others that play). I just try to compile a guide from information that others have provided to make digesting it easier.

Going with what Fuzzy said, there are quite a number of shortswords that aren't hard to attain or upgrade. The Crystal Cove event has one set, but look to the Sora Kell upgrades to break a Blade of Fury greatsword into two Vampiric Fury Shortswords for some good damage and lesser vampirism per strike. The Envenomed Blade is also a potent one as you move to L16 and beyond.

While you can't use Touch of Death with a shortsword equipped, you can use Quivering Palm, a potent assassination-like attack that kills very well and often.

We'll certainly toss lots of ideas on the forums but don't get overwhelmed. Some builds, like the shuriken ones, do have a steeper resource need since crafting might be important on its first life. Looks like it may be good to roll any Monk up and play. Just remember that Ninjas have fewer self-healing options than their Shintao brethren--although with the new enhancements, you can greatly add many variations.

Fherrit
12-31-2013, 11:03 PM
Sorry for the long absence/delay from this thread, I am still interested in it but holidays, self-employment, and distractions all added up to some absentism on my part.


Hi, I know you are asking specifically about vorpal strikes and ss vs unarmed but as a long time Drow monk player I would like to offer another point of view. I have gone both dark and light, unarmed and armed pre enhancment pass and post pass. Sure, you do more damage with your fists most of the time etc. and it may seem like a huge burden to gear up for your SS build to work, but I can tell you this...it's not always about how fast you can kill or how big your numbers are. Keep at the SS ninja, keep redoing the enhancements to find that sweet spot, keep looking for gear, use stars and shortswords, keep playing with different feats. I encourage you not to give up on the ninja. I have found there are many ways to make and play a monk. It sounds like you enjoy the idea of a ninja and like the idea of stealth etc. there are ways to make it work for you. Sure you could go Shintoa earth monk, but that is not a stealthy ninja. Pure monks can be many things IMHO. I only add my 2 cents cause like Spencerian, I love playing a monk. And as a result of that love, I have made many different play style monks and loved almost all of them. Keep at it. Gear is great but it is not always the end of the line...others may disagree and that is fine. If you ever care to look me up I am on Sarlona, Perpensity is my sweet baby monk. Good Luck.

Hi Str8nger, thank you for your thoughts as they tapped into what I have been trying to do as time permits. Without bogging down into details, I'm currently level 22 following GMoF path with 17 pts invested so far and doing epics right now is flat out painful for me if they're at level and also I solo 98% of the time with a hireling of some sort of healing variety. I'll try to minimize venting my frustrations but to sum up in a nutshell this is what I run into:

Pre epics, my stealth skills served me well, but the deep health pools on even EN settings is such that my measely +4d6 SA amounts to a inconsequential damage, were I to group I'm sure that would add up since I could actually get the SA to fire up, but running solo mostly it almost never has a opportunity to manifest, so as you suggested some tweaking is definitely in order. What has me frustrated is when I compare myself running with SS vs Handwraps. I have Whirlwind Attack, when I use it with SS's it on average right now hits for around 40 pts of damage and given the long animation of it, while it may hit everything around me, its actually a detriment for me to use. I don't know if this is WAI or a bug, but when I make use of WA unarmed my damage is on average triple that of SS. I know it sounds like hype and exaggeration, but I tested it repeatedly in Bargin of Blood, even on a single target, the damage output was on average 2.5-3x higher than with SS, and the animation is faster to boot. Being a Drow, I naturally built for SS use along with Ninja Master, and to have WA performing so less effecitvely with the weapons I'm supposedly designed to make use of is both frustrating and aggravating.

Mostly its the vastly deeper health pools. I ran Bargin of Blood the other day, my weapons (another issue I'll get into later) are a CL:14 acid metaline SS and a CL20 SS of Shattering that adds +8 to my sunder feats. I have a pair of Vamp Fury SS's, at level 12, but I've found this combo to be generally of better performance. I had just gotten to the slave area in Bargin of Blood when both my SS's were at 1/3 their durability, fights were long, and that's despite having had pretty good success making use of QP to "assassinate" spell casters and what not. I'd say a rough guesstimate would put me around a 40% success rate with QP and that landed way more often than the Vorpal effects from Ninja Master. I have Ninja Poison on, which I can't tell exactly how well its doing, but I do see a steady stream of purple 'poison' damage and I'm almost debating trying a variation where I have the Drow Poison enhancements. But I'm getting a little long winded here.

The short of my experience running this is that despite fighting exclusively humanoid targets vulnerable to critical hits, Vorpal rarely mattered, my QP was far more telling in fights, and when I had to swap to unarmed because my swords were about to break, I was actually doing better. This despite being dex based and being weapon focused (Improved Crit Pierce instead of IC:Blunt). This is where I keep having difficulty wrapping my head around this, I understand on the one hand the common wisdom that says Monks are built for Unarmed, but then why is there a entire tree devoted to making use of piercing/slashing weapons when in my monk's hands they perform so much worse? I feel like I'm trying to force a square peg into a round hole, despite having piled on the feats and enhancements that all point to a successful Ninja build.

So for right now the plan is to try and phase out the SA line, going to try Deadly Exploits and Flashbang as my AP expenditures and see if I don't get more consistent value from that. If you have any suggestions about the Ninja style of play I'd be very grateful to hear them.




I love my shortsword monk & they can definitely be a lot of fun, if you want to use the weaponised approach i'd say go for it - though if you need more survivability you could consider being a light-side ninja (since you'll be armed & can't use touch of death) & pretend to be a jedi :) My own uses that approach, and is a dragonmarked elf... not the highest dps option i know, but decent up close or at range, has great stealth capabilities, and with the displacement, high dodge, incorporeal & decent AC, is very hard to pin down :)

Hello FuzzyDuck81, thanks for your comment as I found the Jedi comment worth a good chuckle. I'm still a Dark path, I do struggle with survivability, but the hireling healbot tends to give me my support even when they are absurdly ******** in their AI. I make use of Shadow Veil extensively, every fight I pop it going in. I have a Ghost-Waking Cloak that gives me +10% to my incorporeal (or at least, that's my understanding of it, if I'm wrong please straighten my novice butt out on this) so I'm usually hitting 35% incorpereal rating in a fight. Which is a good thing because otherwise I'm getting quite frustrated and annoyed with how readily I get hit. I don't have raid gear and being a WoW refugee who used to raid extensively, I have come to abhorr that kind of content and like I said, I solo mostly, so if one were to accuse me of having laxed on the gear I am highly receptive to suggestions, just so long as they don't tell me to join a raid. But I digress.

My AC right now is best when I use a Dragoncraft Robe where I sit at 65 without Combat Expertise running, giving me a 49% defense chance at level. With CE running its at 54% and I've read the AC thread several times and have come to the conclusion that don't ignore AC, but the Devs obviously want to beat on me so its of limited value because thats how they want it. Again if I'm in error on this, I welcome anyone to straighten me out and will be thankful for the guidance. But that's my impression of it from what I've seen so far. My Dodge is maxed at 28% and if it weren't for Shadow Veil I'd be torn to shreds in short order, I get hit routinely in melee, if I'm fighting more than 2 critters at once, my health pool will go down to 15% by the time I kill off both almost guaranteed. The reason being, my fights take too long, I'm simply not doing enough damage and the war of attrition then favors the critters and not me. This problem becomes all the more pronounced fighting LTs and Bosses, where their healthpools are significantly deeper than mine, and my specials aren't allowed to work. I can't blind them, or freeze them all I can do is whittle away. The mechanic where bosses are immune to special moves is really...really aggravating. And again it seems to push everything to the big numbers, without the big numbers the fights last too long, and their health pools and immunities tip the scales heavily in their favor. I have managed to win so far, but barely. If I don't have my hireling healer with me, I flat out cannot win, I've gone from feeling pretty good about the character, to feeling its a failure.

Still, Im stubborn and think maybe what I should do is shift to Legendary Dreadnought and pursue a weaponized ED, since that's what the character is using in the first place. What winds up nagging at me is this more than anything else, I keep wondering, what is the kind of equipment I should be looking to acquire and where do I get it? I've checked the Wiki and it mentions various shortswords, who drops the lesser version and then scrolls you need to upgrade them. But where do these scrolls drop? It says chests, is it any chest in any dungeon for these scrolls? Such loot lottery mechanics are something I frown upon, I don't mind having to run a instance a few times to get a drop, but there's a difference between a few runs and 100s. I recently tried to get the Staff of the Cheiftan, thinking I'd try out a Henshin life. I got stubborn about it and ran the Mindsunder quest 33x and accessed the chest with the 4 dream disks 8x, not once did that staff drop. While there are some that would chuckle and say I just need to put in more time and "work" for it, my rebuttal at that point would be, I get paid when I work, not have a carrot endlessly dangled in front of me. APologies, I'm venting a little.

But perhaps I'm behind the times? I run across threads every now and then as I seek to solve this puzzle that says, don't bother with loot from old content like that. That such items no longer have merit and needs updating, that instead I should be doing the latest raid (not going to happen) and Eveningstar Challenges. Is that in fact what I should be doing? Please, anyone who wishes to chime in and smack sense into me, I heartily welcome it.


Thanks for your words, Fherrit. I'm not so much an author (and certainly nowhere near "uber" or experienced as others that play). I just try to compile a guide from information that others have provided to make digesting it easier.

Going with what Fuzzy said, there are quite a number of shortswords that aren't hard to attain or upgrade. The Crystal Cove event has one set, but look to the Sora Kell upgrades to break a Blade of Fury greatsword into two Vampiric Fury Shortswords for some good damage and lesser vampirism per strike. The Envenomed Blade is also a potent one as you move to L16 and beyond.

While you can't use Touch of Death with a shortsword equipped, you can use Quivering Palm, a potent assassination-like attack that kills very well and often.

We'll certainly toss lots of ideas on the forums but don't get overwhelmed. Some builds, like the shuriken ones, do have a steeper resource need since crafting might be important on its first life. Looks like it may be good to roll any Monk up and play. Just remember that Ninjas have fewer self-healing options than their Shintao brethren--although with the new enhancements, you can greatly add many variations.

Spencerian, thanks for your response and I have acted on a earlier piece of advice you gave me. I have acquired the Vampiric Fury Shortswords and have invested in every weapon enhancing spend I could under the GMoF and Improved Martial Arts as well. Unfortunately they don't help out my QP, and as you stated QP is a excellent assassination move, I rely on it a lot and prefer weaponizing my Ki with it far more than with any other move. One of my SS gives me a +8 to my sunder feat, and I tend to run in Ocean stance for the greater wisdom which is my understanding, further enhances the success rate of QP. However I definitely need better than what I got, I don't know by how much, I've looked at the epic versions of weaponry on the Wiki, but as stated above I've been running into various threads that suggest my time is better spent farming Eveningstar Challenges. Any thoughts you'd care to express regarding that?

Also I must respectfully point out that it has been my experience I am able to use Touch of Death with my SS's in hand. I tend not to do it very often, as I find the ki cost is rather high and the critter I'm fighting tends to save more often than not, I'm better off weaponinzing my ki with Fist of Darkness or Fist of Earth, but I am able to make use of ToD with either Kamas or Shortswords in hand.

As always fellow Enthusiasts, I appreciate your time in responding to my questions and look forward to reading whatever you have time and/or inclination to share with me.

Regards;
Mad-Fherrit-Drinks-the-Dew

Fherrit
01-01-2014, 02:29 PM
A addendum to my novel just above this post, I had the night unexpectedly off on NYE and blissfully locked myself in my Man-Bear Cave to indulge in some gaming escapism. I decided to replay the Spinner of Shadows on EH to see how I'd do, my enhancement allotments were unchanged, I still retained my Sneak Attacks (SA) and was still sporting my Shortswords of CL:14 acid metaline SS and a CL20 SS of Shattering and mostly Heroic level gear. I had my level 22 FvS Hireling in tow and to be brief, it went very poorly. I flat out could not handle the run on EH, I died at the gateway several times before eventually releasing. Frustrated and annoyed, I went back in on EN telling myself not to be stubborn about this. EN I handled it just fine, nothing inspiring, just functional. Ok I thought, maybe its a gear ceiling, right now EN is probably all I can handle till I get some more appropriate gear who's cumulative effect takes me from zero to hero. Time to start doing Eveningstar Challenges, weapons, Sun Soul collection.

I ran the Arena challenge to see what it was like. On level 22 (my level) and a hireling firmly in tow I managed to win it, barely, but when my hireling died to the Hag I went down in swift succession. Into town for repairs I decided instead of running challenges, I'd do a run with the gear I got, to establish a base line of how I'm doing with the old gear before assuming the new gear is the solution. My twin Vampiric Fury short swords were picked up and I chose to do the High Road chain, feeling masochistic, I go in at EH. I don't get very far, up to the old castle as the issues plaguing me replay, fights are long, attrition favors the foes and without the hireling healing me I'm toast quick. I died to a wizard and his umbral rats, release, repair, grab a bottle of Dew and I go at it again this time on EN.

This is it, if I can't handle this chain on EN I'm TRing the character and abandoning Ninja forever. I did a few things differently this time. Usually I run in Ocean stance, I favor how it buffs saves/AC/Dodge/QP DCs. I'm in GMoF 19 pts as of this writing and have reset it several times in different configurations to find a sweet spot. I got to thinking, maybe I should try out Wind stance more and shift to Water/Earth more situationally instead of a default preference? But i hold off on that, change one thing at a time and use it before changing other things. I go in on EN and with my hireling in tow, I'm doing ok. Despite that I'm not content, this isn't giving me any reassurance to continue as a Ninja for all the reasons stated in the above post. On a lark, I equip my twin Furies and...the fights got easier. I have my damage tracker set up to show the floating damage as N + N + N so that I have a better feel for what's being applied, and I saw the damage to Con and wondered if this the magical difference? Up till now I've been told that only the highest value of any given effect applies, so I had assumed that if a attack damages a stat, it damages it once and thats it Con-1 as a net effect which is underwhelming IMO. its also why i didn't take Crippling Strike, a -2 STR doesn't do anything really, its 1 pt less damage the opponent inflicts, for 2 APs and a T5 ability at that, just not worth it. However if these effects stack, if its -1 Con or -2 Str per strike thats a game changer. Does it stack?


I moved into Windstance, mostly to prove to myself that despite the Furies making things a little better, its time to TR as the only difference will be I will collapse quicker and do very little damage still, just do it a lot faster. I was very, very wrong.

In Wind stance, weilding the Furies, on EN admittedly, things started to just melt. Ki built up faster in Wind vs Water and I had more breathing room weaponizing my Ki. ToD isn't quite the huge ki hit anymore, chaining specials is also easier because of the enhanced speed, and damage numbers scrolled off the critters heads at a brisk pace. Things were melting, enough so that I was having fun. It'd been a while since I had fun, and I wasn't within the last 10% of my health after each fight. I'll spare you blow by blow details, I ran all the instances, swapping between my sunder SS and my Furies as situation demanded and I felt like a hero again. The final escort mission was particularly enjoyable as I was downright deadly at that point, my QPs landed on the spell casters regularly (I'd shift to Ocean/swap in the Sunder SSs to stack the odds) and even the dire bears melted pretty quick under the onslaught of the Furies with the power of Windstance behind them. Curious, I ran the wilderness zone again on EH, applying what I had learned to see how I'd perform, I did better, but it was still a difficult struggle. Vorpals were noticeably fewer, and QPs landed successfully less often, and I was usually pretty beaten up at the end of the fights regardless what stance I fought in, but in Wind at least, things were dying a little faster than in Water/Earth.

When I called it a night I was left with several questions. Obviously Ninja isn't broken on Epic settings, I'm doing something less wrong than I was before, but being able to point with certainty at one thing as the reason for EH being hard eluded me. The Furies have very minor healing effect, the constant +1 health spam that floats up is nice, but only in Wind stance does it really amount to more than a gimmick, and in Wind its the equivilant to chugging a CSW pot which I admit helps. I still need my hireling, I still get hit alot, but things are dying faster and usually I'm at the 50-70% health at end fight on EN if it was a "tough one". Also my Vorpals would land more often on EN than on EH. Are EH's coded to roll fewer 20s? Are critters granted blanket PRR bonuses that shifts my damage to the wet noodle range when I go into EH vs EN? It seems like it, my average hit on EH is 27-35 per sword strike, but on EN its hitting in the high 40s with crits happening fairly frequently and netting 60-70s. How does one tackle that? When I look at the weaponry in the item base the different ratings aren't so obviously superior. I.E. you find a weapon that is +6 instead of +5, and has a extra elemental die, that seems huge but the math of it is on average 4 pts more damage against stuff that has a health pool 2000+? Yes it adds up, but the discrepancy of my health value vs theirs, and how hard they hit me vs how hard I hit them means it doesn't add up fast enough.

I watched this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNUeCj4EvTg) to prep myself for the arena and what struck me was this Bard was level 23, only 1 level higher than me, and her hits were much harder than mine, the only time I see a 500 hit is when I do ToD and they don't resist, and my likelihood of doing it without a healer was zero, let alone facing the dragon solo. Clearly I have a lot to learn but I feel like I'm driving a VW Bug vs a Porshe 911 when I watched that.

There were two more things I was careful to notice and would go through the combat logs to verify. The first is in regard to Whirlwind Attack. It flat out hits way softer with weapons than it does unarmed, I tested this repeatedly on the same critter, unarmed WA would hit for 2-3x more damage regularly. Vs 1 or several critters, the damage unarmed was uniformly significantly higher unarmed and it have left me with the impression that WA is fantastic if you're a unarmed fighter, but if you're using weapons, its lackluster. Were it not for Combat Expertise's value, I'd be tempted to say the feat line isn't worth pursuing past Mobility if you're a weapon user, if anyone has any wise counsel to snap me out of this belief I'd welcome it.

The other thing i noticed was Ninja Poison. When fighting critters I tend to do combos, favoring the blind or the freeze dark fist finisher as it synergizes with my SA. When fighting Lts or Bosses however, that are infuriatingly immune to most of my special moves just because they're that rank and that's how "harder" is defined, I've found that the poison finishers are actually better than ToD moves and so far within my limited experience, no Boss or Lt has been immune to them. IT has me wondering if the Deadly Exploits enhancement is worth greater consideration on my part as I have up till now, not invested or used it much. Any Ninjas wiser than me care to comment?

Finally, long post, if you got this far, my humble gratitude for your patience in enduring my wall of text and am as always, grateful of any time taken to respond to my questions.

@ Spencerian:
50 at 50...I hear you loud and clear Brother, walking a similar path myself. Allow me to raise a hot coffee in honor of our battles to come on this particular journey.

Regards;
Mad-Fherrit-Drinks-the-Dew

Firewall
01-02-2014, 07:19 AM
Having read all of your posts i actually do not even know at which end to start improving your character.

First thing: I would not try to solo anything on epic hard with a lvl 14 shortsword. As with all melee characters you have to have multiple sets of weapons to be effective against specific monsters. Against undead pull out your Disruption set, against Constructs pull out your Smiting set, against Elementals and other Extraplanars pull out your Banishers and so on.

AT LEAST start with acquiring the Epic gear that you can get from Commendations in Eveningstar. Cleric Commendations also include a shortsword with two random effects on it. Try to get Holy Burst or Greater good and maybe a disruption one. Get the full Villager set (robe, belt, bracers) for the Set Bonus and also the Helm and Gloves from the Purple Dragon Knights. The Druids have some nice Goggles and Boots for a start.

Try to get the highest Deadly item that you can wear at your level. Probably on a necklace or cloak slot and you will already see much higher damage numbers.

In Henshin Mystic take Patient Tortoise as Animal Form. +20 HP and +4 Concentration are needed if you go melee.

While it would be interesting to see your whole build to make improvements to it i just want to point out that as per DDOWiki Whirlwind Attack is bugged with weapon attacks (http://ddowiki.com/page/Whirlwind_Attack). You would be better off investing in other feats. If you can get high enough STR Overwhelming Critical is what you want to go for.

As per your Epic Destiny:

Get Drifting Lotus which is one of the best AOE attacks with Crowd Control, Hail of Blows and the Stance upgrades. Lily Petal and Orchid Blossom which are a requirement for Drifting Lotus can damage enemies already from afar and make good starting moves with high damage for low Ki cost.

For a Melee toon i would always choose Mountain Stance and invest the few points in Shintao to get the additional PRR. It's just that good.

As for Vorpals on EH: If a mob is at above 1000 HP when the vorpal hits you don't instakill it but just do 100 points of damage to it. This is why you see less instakills on EH content because the mobs have higher HP. This is different for QP since it even kills the mob when the HP are above 1000. Only the failed save is necessary here.

Raids are crucial to get the best gear in the game. If you don't do them you will loose quite a bit of power for your toon.

Perhaps you really have to TR which doesn't mean that the game does not support playing Ninja Spy SS builds but only that you have to specifically optimize your build for it from the start.

If you want a more stealthy approach i would advise to try the Shuricannon so you can take out mobs from afar. You will take less damage and do more. Shadow Star is easy to get and Snowstar too and you can get great spelltouched shuriken from the eveningstar challenges. Also you can get some nice items from the House C challenges. There are no named shuriken in the raids anyway. You just have to look for a good offhand item.
I bet you would perform far better at it than with your actual toon.

Fherrit
01-02-2014, 11:04 PM
Hello Firewall;
Thanks for taking the time to read all my posts and offer up some advice, I'm always grateful when someone invests some time in me through such actions. I hope you don't mind but I'm going to respond to your points in sections (mainly so I can keep myself from digressing, I tend to do that :rolleyes:)


First thing: I would not try to solo anything on epic hard with a lvl 14 shortsword. As with all melee characters you have to have multiple sets of weapons to be effective against specific monsters. Against undead pull out your Disruption set, against Constructs pull out your Smiting set, against Elementals and other Extraplanars pull out your Banishers and so on.

AT LEAST start with acquiring the Epic gear that you can get from Commendations in Eveningstar. Cleric Commendations also include a shortsword with two random effects on it. Try to get Holy Burst or Greater good and maybe a disruption one. Get the full Villager set (robe, belt, bracers) for the Set Bonus and also the Helm and Gloves from the Purple Dragon Knights. The Druids have some nice Goggles and Boots for a start.

This is the conclusion I've come to as well, the Eveningstar Commendations were a late find for me, even though I've been leveling into the ED I've been mostly running Eberron content despite having both xpacs. I ran across the Sun Soul set being mentioned on Spencerian's blog and thats where I discovered the Eveningstar gear and did the /facepalm realizing I'd been being a idiot about all this. However, thanks much for pointing out the other vendors, I'll look into them first chance I get and make it a point to acquire those.

RE: Not running epic hard. Thanks, that's confirmation that my opting to shifting to EN till I get better gear isn't opting for easy mode. When I started running EN on this monk, I started to have fun again, and as you pointed out, get the Eveningstar gear assortment and then tackle the EH. In hindsight its very obvious, but as I said, discovering the Eveningstar items was a big aha moment for me. Far easier than hitting up some of those rare spawns several times and not getting the drop necessary. Can't tell you how many times I tried to get Sting or Zephyr and walk away empty handed, Eveningstar is much friendlier.



Try to get the highest Deadly item that you can wear at your level. Probably on a necklace or cloak slot and you will already see much higher damage numbers.

In Henshin Mystic take Patient Tortoise as Animal Form. +20 HP and +4 Concentration are needed if you go melee.

I do have a Deadly item, currently sitting at +5 value and you're absolutely right, prior to acquiring it I noticed a big difference after getting it. I'm keeping an eye out for a better one as mine is currently a level 15 item.

I'll make the change in my Henshin tree and give that a try, currently all I have is the Mystic Training.



While it would be interesting to see your whole build to make improvements to it i just want to point out that as per DDOWiki Whirlwind Attack is bugged with weapon attacks (http://ddowiki.com/page/Whirlwind_Attack). You would be better off investing in other feats. If you can get high enough STR Overwhelming Critical is what you want to go for.

I rely on the wiki a lot, but there are times when the posts are tough to nail down how current they are. I thought since that post was early U19 that perhaps it had been fixed but obviously not. I had to pound that fact into my head with close observation to make sure I was right in my interpetation of it being broken. Pity, as its stellar for unarmed. Unfortunately, the 23 Str requirement makes Overwhelming Crit simply impossible for me to get, and as a Ninja, Dex is the hit/damage stat which the Drow is more optimized for. I'd have to TR to make that big of a change.


As per your Epic Destiny:

Get Drifting Lotus which is one of the best AOE attacks with Crowd Control, Hail of Blows and the Stance upgrades. Lily Petal and Orchid Blossom which are a requirement for Drifting Lotus can damage enemies already from afar and make good starting moves with high damage for low Ki cost.

For a Melee toon i would always choose Mountain Stance and invest the few points in Shintao to get the additional PRR. It's just that good.

I tried the Lilly Petal/Orchid Blossom for a bit, but got extremely frustrated with how often Orchid Blossom would fire the bolt off into some beyond effed up direction and not land where I wanted it to go. I'd have a group of critters around me and have the one infront of me tab targeted, hit OB and the stupid thing would fire off against a far wall. At first I assumed I wasn't targeting it correctly, but when the glowing white ring is around the target's base telling you that yes, this is your target, and you toss the OB and it still goes off into the void, what exactly could I be doing wrong? I tried moving my camera view to directly overhead to see if that would land the OB where I wanted it, and it was still prone to going off into the wilds. So I reset my tree and opted out of it, since if I can't rely on the thing to land where I want it to land, that's too much aggravation. (Side Note: On my Sorc I've run into the same problem casting Fireball and Lightning Ball, I'd have the critter targeted, am certain of it, and upon cast, get deducted the spell points but no effect at all, checking of the combat log would show me casting it, and then the game ignoring it, also very frustrating to endure).

So instead I opted for


Running with the Wind 3/3
A Dance of Flowers 3/3
Hail of Blows
Perfection of Body 2/3
Perfection of Mind 1/3
Piercing Clarity 2/2
Wisdom 4x
Everything is Nothing


I'm still figuring this this out and will likely change something as I either get more feedback and/or experience, but for now this is what I'm running.


This is different for QP since it even kills the mob when the HP are above 1000. Only the failed save is necessary here.

Raids are crucial to get the best gear in the game. If you don't do them you will loose quite a bit of power for your toon.

Perhaps you really have to TR which doesn't mean that the game does not support playing Ninja Spy SS builds but only that you have to specifically optimize your build for it from the start.

I love QP, and my only disappointment with Vorpal is when the HPs are as deep as they are EH, it seems a 'cheat' for the critters given that its the capstone effect of the Ninja tree. Its already a Vorpal (i.e. nat 20 on the roll), knocking its effectiveness down due to how much HPs something has is something I could go off on a rant on, similiar to the theme of bosses being immune to most things but I'll restrain myself from going there. You may be right about having to at least LTR the character, as I made a few mistakes in the build in skill allotments and obviously, Whirlwind Attack is a waste for a weapon user. Bare minimum I should swap that feat out for something else, any recommendations would be considered.



If you want a more stealthy approach i would advise to try the Shuricannon so you can take out mobs from afar. You will take less damage and do more. Shadow Star is easy to get and Snowstar too and you can get great spelltouched shuriken from the eveningstar challenges. Also you can get some nice items from the House C challenges. There are no named shuriken in the raids anyway. You just have to look for a good offhand item. I bet you would perform far better at it than with your actual toon.


I confess the Shuricannon build does intrigue me, alot, but as much as I've followed Spencerian's blog on about the toon he's playing that style on, what struck me is how often he referred to crafted shuriken, and I have not done anything with crafting as of yet other than stockpile mats. The intent was to build up a deep pool of mats, acquire a couple crafting xp potions, and speed level it as much as possible. I do have the Shadowstar and another one that returns with a magical ability on it, but I am of the impression this is a advanced playstyle where you need to have more resources built up beyond just stockpiled leveling items, but also the ability to build up a arsenal of appropriate shuriken since their itemization as far as I've seen is rather poor if you don't have crafting available to you.




For a Melee toon i would always choose Mountain Stance and invest the few points in Shintao to get the additional PRR. It's just that good.

Raids are crucial to get the best gear in the game. If you don't do them you will loose quite a bit of power for your toon.

Perhaps you really have to TR which doesn't mean that the game does not support playing Ninja Spy SS builds but only that you have to specifically optimize your build for it from the start.

Also you can get some nice items from the House C challenges. There are no named shuriken in the raids anyway. You just have to look for a good offhand item. I bet you would perform far better at it than with your actual toon.

As I stated, I noticed I'm performing better running in Wind stance, though i cringe every time I activate it as I agree, Mtn Stance and Water are my 2 favorites. I've experimented with Mtn Stance in repeating quests I did in Wind, and as I mentioned, I was surprised at how I was wrong that Wind would make me crumble, I actually was able to make things melt down pretty quick though I'm still puzzled by how this works exactly. The 2 Vampiric Fury SSs I have do Con damage, and I can't tell if its something that stacks and that in turn weakens the critters dramatically as the sheer volumn of hits adds up really fast, or if its just the volumn of hits alone that's doing it. I literally feel as if a Slow spell has been cast on me when I'm in Mtn Stance now. Mind you, I'm not disagreeing with you, I would've made the same assumption but the play has pointed me to run in Wind/Water depending on what I'm doing.

As for Raids. Firewall, I stress again, thank you for taking the time to respond to me, and I don't refute that Raids would indeed gear me up in a fast hurry. I however, have a lot of scarred emotional baggage regarding them. I used to play WoW and was part of a guild that Raided constantly, became a coordinating officer for our 250ish some member guild and loot master, it became a second full time job and the play style it required is like driving hot poker irons into my eyes and ears. I found myself doing the same thing in Rift, which is where I came to DDO from and while I wish to stress my appreciation for your council and suggestion, Rifts raids were better and yet it bored out the last vestige of tolerance I had for that style of content, raiding for me is simply not an option. If it means I can go no further than EH I'm fine with that, the playstyle of raiding I have come to feel is one of the single worst elements of MMOs and I really wish game publishers would wake up and realize a evolution in game design and content is far past due.

You mentioned wanting to see my build, I have put together my toon on the DDO builder though its a little in error in that it gave me more skill points than I actually have (hence the Spellcraft, I don't actually have it, I just put the excess points in it) and it miscalculates the Drow racial tree at 25 APs instead of 19. I've amended the full list of Enhancements I have manually so if the math doesn't add up that's why. RE: The racial tree, this is something I'm currently experimenting with and am likely to change, I just wanted to see what the poisons would do with Eveningstar content as I found it beyond annoying that the class that is immune to poison (Diamond Body, DC immunity of 46 for my toon) has constantly weakening to poison effect to Drow. If this was a table top game and a GM said that to me I'd flat out get up and leave. Straying into pet peeve area again, anyway below is my build, any suggestions you or anyone else cares to make I'm happy to consider them and see what I can do with them.


Character Plan by DDO Character Planner Version 04.19.03
DDO Character Planner Home Page (http://www.rjcyberware.com/DDO)

Level 23 Lawful Good Drow Male
(20 Monk \ 3 Epic)
Hit Points: 276
Spell Points: 1957128
BAB: 15\15\20\25\25
Fortitude: 14
Reflex: 19
Will: 18

Starting Ending Feat/Enhancement
Abilities Base Stats Base Stats Modified Stats
(28 Point) (Level 1) (Level 23) (Level 23)
Strength 12 14 14
Dexterity 16 18 19
Constitution 12 14 14
Intelligence 12 14 14
Wisdom 16 23 23
Charisma 10 12 12

Tomes Used
+2 Tome of Strength used at level 3
+2 Tome of Dexterity used at level 3
+2 Tome of Constitution used at level 3
+2 Tome of Intelligence used at level 3
+2 Tome of Wisdom used at level 3
+2 Tome of Charisma used at level 3

Starting Ending Feat/Enhancement
Base Skills Base Skills Modified Skills
Skills (Level 1) (Level 23) (Level 23)
Balance 6 16 22
Bluff 0 1 4
Concentration 4 19 25
Diplomacy 0 1 4
Disable Device n/a n/a n/a
Haggle 0 1 4
Heal 3 6 12
Hide 7 27 33
Intimidate 0 1 4
Jump 3 22 28
Listen 3 6 11
Move Silently 7 27 33
Open Lock n/a n/a n/a
Perform n/a n/a n/a
Repair 1 2 5
Search 2 12 17
Spellcraft 1 3.5 6.5
Spot 3 12 17
Swim 1 2 5
Tumble 4 6 12
Use Magic Device 0.5 4 7

Level 1 (Monk)
Skill: Balance (+3)
Skill: Concentration (+3)
Skill: Hide (+4)
Skill: Jump (+2)
Skill: Move Silently (+4)
Skill: Search (+1)
Skill: Tumble (+1)
Skill: Use Magic Device (+0.5)
Feat: (Monk Bonus) Dodge
Feat: (Selected) Two Weapon Fighting
Feat: (Automatic) AC Bonus
Feat: (Automatic) Attack
Feat: (Automatic) Defensive Fighting
Feat: (Automatic) Drow Spell Resistance
Feat: (Automatic) Elven Keen Senses
Feat: (Automatic) Enchantment Save Bonus
Feat: (Automatic) Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Kama
Feat: (Automatic) Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Shuriken
Feat: (Automatic) Finishing Moves
Feat: (Automatic) Flurry of Blows
Feat: (Automatic) Heroic Durability
Feat: (Automatic) Immunity to Sleep
Feat: (Automatic) Martial Weapon Proficiency: Handaxe
Feat: (Automatic) Martial Weapon Proficiency: Rapier
Feat: (Automatic) Martial Weapon Proficiency: Shortsword
Feat: (Automatic) Shuriken Expertise
Feat: (Automatic) Simple Weapon Proficiency: Club
Feat: (Automatic) Simple Weapon Proficiency: Dagger
Feat: (Automatic) Simple Weapon Proficiency: Heavy Crossbow
Feat: (Automatic) Simple Weapon Proficiency: Light Crossbow
Feat: (Automatic) Simple Weapon Proficiency: Quarterstaff
Feat: (Automatic) Simple Weapon Proficiency: Unarmed
Feat: (Automatic) Sneak
Feat: (Automatic) Spell Save Bonus
Feat: (Automatic) The Way of Air
Feat: (Automatic) The Way of Fire
Feat: (Automatic) The Way of Earth
Feat: (Automatic) The Way of Water
Feat: (Automatic) Unarmed Strike


Level 2 (Monk)
Skill: Concentration (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+0.5)
Skill: Use Magic Device (+0.5)
Feat: (Monk Bonus) Mobility
Feat: (Automatic) Evasion
Feat: (Automatic) Meditation
Feat: (Automatic) Sunder
Feat: (Automatic) Trip


Level 3 (Monk)
Skill: Concentration (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Spot (+2)
Feat: (Monk Path) Path of Inevitable Dominion: Fists of Darkness
Feat: (Selected) Power Attack
Feat: (Automatic) Fast Movement
Feat: (Automatic) Finishing Moves: Path of Harmonious Balance (ALL)
Feat: (Automatic) Finishing Moves: Path of Inevitable Dominion (ALL)
Feat: (Automatic) Still Mind


Level 4 (Monk)
Ability Raise: WIS
Skill: Concentration (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+0.5)
Skill: Spot (+1)
Skill: Use Magic Device (+0.5)
Feat: (Automatic) Ki Strike: Magic
Feat: (Automatic) Slow Fall


Level 5 (Monk)
Skill: Concentration (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+2)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Use Magic Device (+0.5)
Feat: (Automatic) Improved Heroic Durability
Feat: (Automatic) Purity of Body


Level 6 (Monk)
Skill: Concentration (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+1)
Skill: Use Magic Device (+0.5)
Feat: (Selected) Combat Expertise
Feat: (Monk Bonus) Spring Attack
Feat: (Automatic) Adept of Forms


Level 7 (Monk)
Skill: Balance (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+0.5)
Skill: Use Magic Device (+0.5)
Feat: (Automatic) Wholeness of Body


Level 8 (Monk)
Ability Raise: WIS
Skill: Balance (+1)
Skill: Concentration (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+2)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)


Level 9 (Monk)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+3)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+0.5)
Feat: (Selected) Improved Two Weapon Fighting
Feat: (Automatic) Improved Evasion


Level 10 (Monk)
Skill: Balance (+1)
Skill: Concentration (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+0.5)
Feat: (Automatic) Curse of the Void
Feat: (Automatic) Ki Strike: Lawful
Feat: (Automatic) Moment of Clarity


Level 11 (Monk)
Skill: Balance (+1)
Skill: Concentration (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Spot (+2)
Feat: (Automatic) Diamond Body


Level 12 (Monk)
Ability Raise: WIS
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+0.5)
Skill: Spot (+1)
Skill: Tumble (+1)
Feat: (Selected) Whirlwind Attack
Feat: (Automatic) Abundant Step
Feat: (Automatic) Master of Forms (ALL)


Level 13 (Monk)
Skill: Balance (+1)
Skill: Concentration (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+0.5)
Feat: (Automatic) Diamond Soul


Level 14 (Monk)
Skill: Balance (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+2)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+0.5)


Level 15 (Monk)
Skill: Concentration (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+1)
Feat: (Selected) Greater Two Weapon Fighting
Feat: (Automatic) Quivering Palm


Level 16 (Monk)
Ability Raise: WIS
Skill: Concentration (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+1)
Feat: (Automatic) Ki Strike: Adamantine


Level 17 (Monk)
Skill: Balance (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+1)
Feat: (Automatic) Timeless Body


Level 18 (Monk)
Skill: Balance (+1)
Skill: Concentration (+1)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Search (+1)
Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Piercing Weapons
Feat: (Automatic) Grandmaster of Forms (ALL)


Level 19 (Monk)
Skill: Balance (+1)
Skill: Concentration (+2)
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Feat: (Automatic) Empty Body


Level 20 (Monk)
Ability Raise: WIS
Skill: Hide (+1)
Skill: Jump (+1)
Skill: Move Silently (+1)
Skill: Spellcraft (+1.5)
Feat: (Automatic) Perfect Self
Feat: (Automatic) Shining Star


Level 21 (Epic)
Feat: (Selected) Epic: Improved Martial Arts


Level 22 (Epic)


Level 23 (Epic)
Enhancement: Drow - Spell Resistance (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Drow - Drow Dexterity (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Drow - Vermin Lore (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Drow - Vermin Lore (Rank 2)
Enhancement: Drow - Vermin Lore (Rank 3)
Enhancement: Drow - Venom Lore (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Drow - Venom Lore (Rank 2)
Enhancement: Drow - Venom Lore (Rank 3)
Enhancement: Drow - Ambidexterity (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Drow - Ambidexterity (Rank 2)
Enhancement: Drow - Improved Dodge (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Drow - Improved Dodge (Rank 2)
Enhancement: Drow - Improved Dodge (Rank 3)
Enhancement: Drow - Venomed Blades (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Drow - Venomed Blades (Rank 2)
Enhancement: Drow - Venomed Blades (Rank 3)
Enhancement: Henshin Mystic (Mnk) - Riddle of Fire (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Henshin Mystic (Mnk) - Mystic Training (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Henshin Mystic (Mnk) - Mystic Training (Rank 2)
Enhancement: Henshin Mystic (Mnk) - Mystic Training (Rank 3)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Ninja Training (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Ninja Training (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Shadow Veil (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Poisoned Darts (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Diversion (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Ninja Master (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Wave of Despair (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Stealthy (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Stealthy (Rank 2)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Stealthy (Rank 3)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Sneak Attack Training (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Faster Sneaking (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Faster Sneaking (Rank 2)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Faster Sneaking (Rank 3)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Acrobatic (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Acrobatic (Rank 2)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Acrobatic (Rank 3)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Poisoned Soul (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Sneak Attack Training (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Agility (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Agility (Rank 2)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Agility (Rank 3)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Poison Exploit (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Sneak Attack Training (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Sting of the Ninja (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Impending Doom (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Sneak Attack Training (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Ninja Spy (Mnk) - Touch of Death (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Shintao (Mnk) - Bastion of Purity (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Shintao (Mnk) - Deft Strikes (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Shintao (Mnk) - Deft Strikes (Rank 2)
Enhancement: Shintao (Mnk) - Deft Strikes (Rank 3)

Enhancement: Shintao (Mnk) - Conditioning (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Shintao (Mnk) - Conditioning (Rank 2)
Enhancement: Shintao (Mnk) - Unbalancing STrike (Rank 1)
Enhancement: Shintao (Mnk) - Dismissing Strike (Rank 1)



Regards;
Mad-Fherrit-Drinks-the-Dew

Firewall
01-05-2014, 06:48 AM
Just a quick reply with some comments:

Since you are a first life character i would think about Heroic TRing your character for the additional stat points and the past life feat (Maybe Epic TR before that if you want to work your way up to lvl 28).

Drop INT to 10 at least and max out the concentration skill. Its your most valuable skill. I'm not sure why you bothered to put any points in Search and UMD. Invest the 2 points you saved in CON since as a melee you wont last long with low HP and to start with 12 for a melee is a no-go in my opinion.

The Jump Skill caps at 40 so on all of my toons i don't invest more points in it than to bring it up to a +10 value and rely on clickies, pots, a spellcaster in the group or even cookies to bring me up to 40. You may want that CL15 Jump Belt with 3 clickies from the Amrath content. If you still have spare Skillpoints invest them into Balance. Usually you don't need points in Hide. Use an Invis Potion or even one or more 3 minute low-level invisibility clickies. Move Silently is still needed while invis.

Choose between going mainly DEX or WIS:
Every two points of DEX give you +1 attack, +1 damage, AC, Balance, Move Silently, Hide, Reflex save and Tumble
Every two points in WIS give you +1 AC, Will save, DCs of Special Attacks, Spot, Listen, Heal

If you ask me go for DEX since Reflex save is more valuable than Will and you get a lot more permanent damage with every attack plus better stealth skills if you wanna go that route. Attack DCs are nice but you dont get that much benefit from it with shortswords because you don't have Stunning Fist and have no use of Vorpal Strikes. Since you will only run Epic Normal and Epic Hard your DCs should still be ok i think.

Improved Martial Arts only gives you 0,5 W damage instead of 1W when going unarmed so if you end up on an uneven stat in DEX or WIS it might be more beneficial to make that stat even by choosing a Great WIS or DEX Feat.

I woudnt go for Mobility and Spring Attack (since you wont take Whirlwind Attack anyway) and they are too expensive. Take Deflect Arrows instead as lvl 6 monk feat. It is much better than it looks. Perhaps you might also want to invest one of the feats in Toughness. Unfortunately i have no time right now to put up a whole shortsword build for a first life toon here. Just giving some tips.

If you take damage from trash mobs Crowd Control is your best friend. That is why you definately need Drifting Lotus even if you don't use the prerequisitive enhancements. You already loose the best monk weapon Stunning Fist by choosing Shortswords. Also try to get an Improved Paralyzing Shortsword from the Eveningstar Challenges and Maybe a Frozen Tunic from the House Cannith Challenges (for Heroic Levels you can also get the Envenomed Blade from the Lord of Dust Quest. It has only normal Paralyzing and is ML 16 but is easy to get).

Enhancements:

Drop Vermin Lore completely.
Take Full Xendrik Weapon Training and both DEX core enhancements and all spell resistance. Spell resistance is worth it on epic normal and hard.
Ambidexterity and Tier 2 and 3 of Venom Lore and Venomed Blades are too expensive for my choosing but keep them there if you have nothing better to spend them on.

Get the Full Tier 3 of Iron Skin and Conditioning from the Shintao Tree and you will feel that your Mountain Stance outperforms Windstance.
Also try to free up some points to get additional DEX or WIS points from the Hensin or the Shintao tree.

If you want higher attack speed get an item with the Speed enhancement on it or one with Melee Alacrity (Jorgundals Collar or the Fabricator Gloves for Example). Also items with Doublestrike help.

That are all changes from just a quick glance on your build but they will improve it by a lot already.


I still would advise you to try out the Shuricannon build. It does its damage from the insane number of attacks and packing each attack full of effects rather than from a good base weapon damage so even with a bad shuriken you can do lots of damage. Also the Shiradi Procs already come with a built-in crowd control in form of Nerve Venom and some of the Double rainbow effects and you can kill targets at far range most times without pulling aggro from surrounding mobs. At the level of play that you use DDO in it will be far better and far less demanding of crafting shuriken since damage reduction is not that big of a problem there. But the biggest pro is: You can get the best shuriken in the game by running Eveningstar Challenges for Spelltouched shuriken. Those come for ML 16, 20 and 24 and have six (ML16, 20) or eight (ML24) weapon effects per throw on them. They will outperform any shortsword you can find outside of raids (except maybe for the Epic Envenomed Blade which will take you ages to acquire a set of) and you will have way better attack speed and take much less damage since you are ranged.