View Full Version : Returning Mr. Cow Disciple- Pure Sorc Help

02-24-2014, 12:03 PM
I haven't played for a few years and everything is craaaaaazy. When I did play I used to study Mr. Cow's solo arcane videos and was able to successfully TR a wiz into a sorc, soloing everything. Now I have returned, my Sorc is currently level 14, the enhancements tree looks crazy, I don't know if these elemental savant lines are even good anymore, I can't use a bunch of my items which is a problem since they are my scepters/daggers with my % damage buff casts on them (says they need level 21, ***?)

So I feel really lost like I'm back at square one. All the spells and enhancements and items have all changed and I could really use some direction for a solo/stealthy minded pure WF sorc. Basically I just want to be able to blaze through hard/elite missions solo using all the crazy trick we get as sorcs. Running that one medusa quest where you stealth into the fortress and assassinate a minotaur lord and his henchmen was one of my favorite experiences in the game and I want to recapture that :)

Has anyone put together a gear list for items to shoot for at certain levels given these new crazy item levels? What spells are worthwhile now? What is considered to be the best solo line (arguably used to be earth for free acid spells that ignore many resists)?

Thank you thank you thank you.

02-24-2014, 12:53 PM
Everything below is my opinion as a recently returned player after a 2 year absence. It may not be perfectly accurate.

Playstyle for a blasting type sorcerer hasn't changed much, except that it's gotten even more powerful.

A "stealthy" sorcerer, like Mr. Cow used to play, is a bit tougher now. It's still doable in a lot of quests, but what harmed it more than the enhancements pass was the stealth system overhaul. Invisibility without sneaking has become a lot less powerful than it used to be. It's a good change, overall --hide and move silently used to be pretty pointless -- but it does mean that Mr. Cow's playstyle is probably much better accomplished by a wizard/rogue (18/2, with Insightful Reflexes and points in hide and move silently).

You can still do it, but there will be some quests that are hard or impossible to stealth through unless you splash 2 levels of rogue or monk, spend some points on Int, and invest in hide/move silently.

One quick note -- not sure if this was implemented at the time you left, but it is now possible to set metamagics to apply "always" or "never" to certain spells. Right-click on a spell once it's on one of your quick bars, and you can choose to set each relevant metamagic to "always on", "always off", or "standard" (which means it will do whatever the global metamagic feat toggle does -- if Heighten is turned on, Heighten will apply). You'll want to set all metas to Always On for your SLAs, since metamagics do not increase the SP cost of spell like abilities. For other spells, you'll have to make judgement calls (e.g., I have Reconstruct set to Quicken always on, Scorching Ray and Sonic Blast set to all metas Always Off, etc.).

Has anyone put together a gear list for items to shoot for at certain levels given these new crazy item levels?

I'm not aware of one.

The key changes are:

The concept of "spellpower" is all-important to sorcerers. You want to get the highest spellpower you can get in your primary elemental schools. (I like fire/acid or fire/force while leveling.)

You can find or buy lootgen casting weapons (e.g., Combustion scepter of Fire Lore). The prefix (Combustion) provides a flat boost to the appropriate spell type (fire in this case). The level of the prefix depends on the level of the item. In the mid levels, you might find something like a Combustion 78 Scepter. The 78 means that it will increase your spellpower by 78 points. This is an increase of 78 on the base damage of the spell. Your total spellpower (including enhancements, items, skills, etc.) is displayed on your character sheet, broken down by spell type. This spellpower increases the damage of your spells. A spellpower of 200 means that your spell will do an additional 200% of the base damage (in other words, it's a multiplier of 3.)

Metamagics now work by adding a flat amount of spellpower. They have therefore become a bit less useful, especially at higher levels. Maximize adds a flat 150 spellpower at a cost of 25 extra spellpoints. That's great, but if you already had 200 spellpower (which is very possible), then Maxmize only takes you from a multiplier of 3 to a multiplier of 4.5. On something like delayed blast fireball, which costs 25 spellpoints, you're doubling the cost for a 50% increase in damage -- very useful, sometimes, but not efficient.

Lore on items increases the critical chance. This is also very important at least for your primary spell type, and ideally for a secondary one.

One thing that helps is that we now have "item slots" of various colors in many items. Spellpower augments can go in red slots. So if you found a Combustion of Fire Lore scepter with a Red augment slot, you could fill it with an Impulse augment crystal -- it would then boost your fire and impulse spell power, along with your fire critical chance.

The items that you described that had their min levels raised were probably clickies, right? It used to be that you could just use a clicky to get all the benefits (actually, more than the standard benefit) of an item's boost to your spell damage; as long as you were diligent about clicking your clicky every 3 minutes, you could use whatever other weapon and shield you wanted and not have to worry. That was obviously a bit imbalanced, and it no longer works that way. Those clickies now offer a (much smaller) stacking alchemical boost to spellpower; this can mostly be replaced with potions. You have to get your spellpower boosts from an actually equipped item.

In addition to the direct spellpower effect on these casting weapons, they will typically have something called an "implement" bonus. This is stacking bonus to universal spellpower, whose magnitude depends on the "+" value of the weapon (a +4 scepter will have an implement bonus of 12 to all spellpower). This is less essential, but still useful; it provides an advantage to using actual casting weapons rather than just slotting effects in augment slots or on other gear. For a mostly-pure sorcerer, this is totally fine. (It's just another tradeoff to consider for hybrid melee/casting builds.)

If you're VIP and have access to the House Cannith Challenges (http://ddowiki.com/page/Vaults_of_the_Artificers), you should check those out; some people hate them, some people really enjoy them. I think they're fun. They're a pretty easy way to get geared up on a sorcerer; the loot (http://ddowiki.com/page/Vaults_of_the_Artificers_loot) comes in tiers for different level ranges, and some of it is exceptionally good at level. I love the Boots of the Rock, Ring of Master Artifice, and Cloak of Flames on a typical fire/earth warforged sorcerer.

Quick note on spellpower -- it's not just affected by gear, but also by enhancements and even skills. Any sorcerer will want to max the new Spellcraft skill, which affects most spellpowers -- each modified point in the skill directly adds one point of spellpower to each of Acid, Cold, Electric, Fire, Force and Light. Repair/Reconstruct spells are now affected in the same way by the Repair skill, which you'll want to increase on a warforged sorcerer. Positive and Negative spells are affected by the Heal skill -- really important to divines, bards, and palemaster wizards, but not to sorcerers. Sonic spells are affected by Perform -- mostly not worth it except on bards, since you'll use Sonic Blast (and, maybe, Greater Shout) for the CC rather than the damage.

What spells are worthwhile now?

Depending on when you left, this may not have changed much. Fire wall has gone out of favor quite a bit, since so many of us zerg through our levels and don't want to wait for the wall to slowly tick; it's mostly been replaced by cheap SLAs (which are quite powerful due to the free metamagics) and spells like fireball.

Did the two level 5 DOT spells (Niac's and Eladar's) exist when you were here? They're essential for good, efficient boss DPS. Even a fire/acid savant, whose elements are directly opposed to these two spells, should probably take both.

What is considered to be the best solo line (arguably used to be earth for free acid spells that ignore many resists)?

Ask two people, and you'll get two answers. My strong preference is fire for leveling. At least until level 18, but honestly I keep it primary through cap. Delayed Blast Fireball, Scorching Ray, and the Fireball SLA are just ridiculous. And if you splash 2 levels of Favored soul, there's a great enhancement that gives temporary spellpoints every time you get a critical with a fire spell. There aren't as many fire immune enemies as there used to be, now that Amrath/Shavarath is largely skippable. For a secondary, I like either Acid (good damage, virtually nothing is immune to both fire and acid, Acid Rain and Black Dragon Bolt are awesome) or Force (works on everything, better for endgame/epic levels, especially if you're going for Shiradi -- which is a special type of epic caster that benefits greatly from bonus effects that occur on SP-efficient multi-proc spells).

A lot of people like Air. This offers arguably better damage at high levels, if you've got good DCs, some nice CC through the Electric Loop SLA, and more survivability (knockdown immunity, wind dance).

Most people see Ice and Earth as better options for secondary schools than primary, although definitely not everyone feels that way.

02-24-2014, 01:38 PM
Oh man, thats a lot to go over. Thank you very much for all the info and the quick reply. Total bummer about the stealth change.

I'm not a VIP but I believe I purchased the challenge pack so I'll have a look at that.

Depending on if I decide I want to still play given all these changes I may look into creating an item list myself as I always found that helpful when I first started playing as a barb (get house denith chain at this level, carnifex at this level, deathblock item this level, etc.)

Again thank you so much, looks like I have a lot of work to do.

02-24-2014, 02:01 PM
Oh man, thats a lot to go over. Thank you very much for all the info and the quick reply. Total bummer about the stealth change.

When they made all these changes, they distributed a +20 lesser heart of wood to all existing characters (I think). You should have one of those. I would hold onto it for a bit, and first try playing a quest or two with your character as it stands now. You might find that the stealth overhaul didn't affect you as much as you might be worrying.

Invisibility is definitely still useful, it's just not as godlike as it used to be. What tends to happen now when you're invisi-zerging is that you successfully avoid notice from many of the farther-away enemies, but collect a trail of enemies who sort-of know where you are and are following (because they can hear you). A perfectly viable strategy is to invisibly run through an area, collect a few enemies behind you, run around a corner where people that aren't already following you can't see you, then blast your collected followers with a DBF, a fully-metaed SLA fireball, a fully-metaed SLA scorch, and a fully-metaed SLA burning hands. Very little, if anything, will survive that. So then you invis again and continue on your way.

It's not as "ghost-like" as the old Mr Cow playstyle, but it can still be very fun.

If you try that and don't like it, go ahead and use your heart to give yourself 2 monk levels and invest in hide and move silently. You'll get sneak skills and various other monk benefits (saves, free feats, evasion). Then get to at least 14/2 sorcerer/monk (to get DBF) and make a decision. You could either cap out like that, which is totally viable -- or you could grab 2 levels of favored soul (Just Rewards enhancement to regenerate temporary spellpoints when casting fire spells) or paladin (charisma bonus to saves, awesome for an evasion sorcerer). A 16/2/2 build is extremely viable in end game, and the hide/move silently works well too. You lose out on the level 9 spells, but most of your damage comes from lower level damage spells any way.