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DDOBobC
02-24-2014, 01:00 PM
Background : very new to the game (3 weeks so far), but not the D&D ruleset. Right now I'm messing about with most of the classes to try and settle in on a main. I've done Rouge up to about 9 and like it, and now want to play my Pally a bit more as I've always preferred to play tanks in MMOs. I've decided I want to drop in 2 levels of Fighter for some feats, and while I've seen loads of info on different builds I haven't seen anything which says when you should take your first multi-class levels (other than take any Rogue levels at 1 for the extra skills).

I forget the name of the spec lines, but I'm going sword and board and only occasionally whipping out a 2hander, trying to make a tank build, not a DPS one. So I'm wondering if there's a sweet spot for when it's best to take a few fighter levels? Like 'taking them before 10 makes future content a lot easier in the end', or 'don't bother until you hit 18', or what have you. Since I don't have a lot of time invested (only level 6 now) I'm not opposed to killing it off and rerolling either now, or down the road if it looks like I messed something up. But I would like to know what the general consensus is for taking a level or 2 of Fighter.

Any thoughts?

Cardtrick
02-24-2014, 01:31 PM
There are some (well, actualy, many) class splits where this question is very important. Typically this is because you need to keep certain skills up, or you need to hit a particular level of Base Attack Bonus (BAB) before one of the feat levels (6, 9, 12, etc.), or you need a bonus feat to use a prerequisite for a later feat so that you can get something, or you have to wait to get bonus feats until after you've increased a particular attribute enough to qualify for the feats you want.

However, for a sword-and-board paladin/fighter, it almost certainly doesn't matter that much. The only reason I could think that it might is if you want to use a shield and Bastard Sword and want to get the full Two-Handed Fighting chain (bastard swords qualify for glancing blows when used with a shield), but only have 28 point builds and therefore are starting out with low Strength. You might then want to push the fighter levels late enough that you have enough ability increases to hit the 17 STR requirement. But even on a 28-point build, you should be starting with at least 15 or 16 STR on most melees, so that's probably not relevant.

Barring that, I'd say either take your fighter levels early, to get Haste Boost from the Kensai tree and a couple of useful feats (Power Attack, Cleave, and Great Cleave should all be taken early on any melee, even sword-and-board). Or, wait until right after Level 15 to take them -- that gets you another use per day of Smite Evil and two Level 4 Paladin spell slots (one for Zeal, which you'll want to keep always up -- the doublestrike chance it gives is probably the best single thing available to near-pure Paladins -- and then either Death Ward or Cure Serious, both of which are very useful).

On a side note, have you ever tried the Character Planner (http://www.rjcyberware.com/DDO/)? From your post, you sound like the sort of person who puts some thought into your character build. You might enjoy using the planner. It can help you avoid mistakes, and "theory-building" characters can actually be a lot of fun.

DDOBobC
02-24-2014, 02:44 PM
<...> The only reason I could think that it might is if you want to use a shield and Bastard Sword and want to get the full Two-Handed Fighting chain (bastard swords qualify for glancing blows when used with a shield)< ...>

On a side note, have you ever tried the Character Planner (http://www.rjcyberware.com/DDO/)? From your post, you sound like the sort of person who puts some thought into your character build. You might enjoy using the planner. It can help you avoid mistakes, and "theory-building" characters can actually be a lot of fun.

I'm really glad you mentioned the bit about bastard swords above - I'd seen people talking about the THF feats with a bastard sword and had no idea why. Now I see. Didn't know that bit about glances.

And thanks for that char planner link. I hadn't seen that either. Looks like I could spend a few hours messing about in that. Being new I'm relying on drops for gear (don't have hand-me-downs), so most of what I'm exploring as far as options on characters is focused on the builds themselves, and not specific gear, tomes, etc.

Ralmeth
02-24-2014, 02:46 PM
I would probably go straight Paladin through level 14, so can pick up your first 4th level spell, which you'll want zeal. Then pick up a Fighter level for haste boost and a feat. After that, take your 2nd fighter level whenever you want another feat.

Teh_Troll
02-24-2014, 02:47 PM
best place for non-pally levels is 3-20.

unbongwah
02-24-2014, 03:20 PM
OP: as you can see, not everyone like pallies or S&B builds these days. You're pretty much volunteering for "redheaded step-child" status. :rolleyes:

That said, you can see my take on a typical S&B pally here (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/431057-Pal-fighter?p=5178520&viewfull=1#post5178520). There's some discussion of pros & cons as well as alternate builds in that thread (and elsewhere).

Irenae
02-24-2014, 03:56 PM
That depends a lot upon your build, however in general it's best to go 1 rogue, 1 fighter then 4 levels of pally first in that order so you get the best benefets as early as possible. After that, you should probably put in 1 more rogue then fighter to get both to level 2, then add 2 more pally so you get remove disease which fuels a few special abilities. Then at level 11 decide if you want 3 rogue or fighter, or just get 16 levels of pally. This works best, as you get the best benefits of each of the levels as soon as possible. I don't know about Monk, never tried to splash that, both have evasion but rogue lets you open doors and disarm traps for more chests and optionals while solo so you have to wonder if it is worth it to splash monk, although if you can stay centered as a paladin and that is your playstyle it can do good as well. Also with this build I recommend light chainmail armor which lets you use the evasion feat while preserving the most possible ac. Seeing as how you are new, and monks are hard to master I would not recommend that atm at least, and considering your familiar with rogue and rogue is a very nice splash for a pally to go along with fighter at 20 you should look like this: 15 pally 2 fighter 2 rogue last level is up for grabs, and I recommend to see if you want any level 3 fighter or rogue enhancements as some of them are very good depending upon your build. This may seem complicated so I recommend using something like DDO CHARGEN to plan out your levels.

DDOBobC
02-24-2014, 04:09 PM
OP: as you can see, not everyone like pallies or S&B builds these days. You're pretty much volunteering for "redheaded step-child" status. :rolleyes:

That said, you can see my take on a typical S&B pally here (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/431057-Pal-fighter?p=5178520&viewfull=1#post5178520). There's some discussion of pros & cons as well as alternate builds in that thread (and elsewhere).

I figured I'd get a variety of replies, so it's nice to have different PoVs to look over. Thanks for linking that build - looks interesting to me at this point since it's not built around using loads of tomes and specific drops to be viable, and I could start toying with it now (on a reroll) just to see how it plays out.

DDOBobC
02-24-2014, 04:13 PM
That depends a lot upon your build, however in general it's best to go 1 rogue, 1 fighter then 4 levels of pally first in that order so you get the best benefets as early as possible. After that, you should probably put in 1 more rogue then fighter to get both to level 2, then add 2 more pally so you get remove disease which fuels a few special abilities. Then at level 11 decide if you want 3 rogue or fighter, or just get 16 levels of pally. This works best, as you get the best benefits of each of the levels as soon as possible. I don't know about Monk, never tried to splash that, both have evasion but rogue lets you open doors and disarm traps for more chests and optionals while solo so you have to wonder if it is worth it to splash monk, although if you can stay centered as a paladin and that is your playstyle it can do good as well. Also with this build I recommend light chainmail armor which lets you use the evasion feat while preserving the most possible ac. Seeing as how you are new, and monks are hard to master I would not recommend that atm at least, and considering your familiar with rogue and rogue is a very nice splash for a pally to go along with fighter at 20 you should look like this: 15 pally 2 fighter 2 rogue last level is up for grabs, and I recommend to see if you want any level 3 fighter or rogue enhancements as some of them are very good depending upon your build. This may seem complicated so I recommend using something like DDO CHARGEN to plan out your levels.

I might need to read a bit more on the Wiki, but in later levels would just 1 or 2 Rogue levels get you enough Disable to be useful? My full blooded Rogue with maxed Disable will still blow up the occasional trap in Elite mode instances where things are only a level or two above me. If I've got 1 level of Rogue going up against traps in a level 10+ instance, is that going to be useful for anything (actual honest question, since I don't know the answer)?

Krelar
02-24-2014, 04:29 PM
I might need to read a bit more on the Wiki, but in later levels would just 1 or 2 Rogue levels get you enough Disable to be useful? My full blooded Rogue with maxed Disable will still blow up the occasional trap in Elite mode instances where things are only a level or two above me. If I've got 1 level of Rogue going up against traps in a level 10+ instance, is that going to be useful for anything (actual honest question, since I don't know the answer)?

The number of levels you have doesn't matter it's all about having enough skill points. As long as you can keep search and disable skills maxed you will be just as effective as a pure rogue would be with the same stats.

unbongwah
02-24-2014, 04:38 PM
Thanks for linking that build - looks interesting to me at this point since it's not built around using loads of tomes and specific drops to be viable, and I could start toying with it now (on a reroll) just to see how it plays out.
The reality is there's very little if any need for a "classic" tank in DDO these days. I largely blame that on the power inflation, particularly due to EDs, TRs, etc.; a sufficiently well-geared toon can plow thru anything and keep themselves healed without needing a dedicated aggro magnet to keep them alive. S&B these days involves too much DPS lost for too little gained. I've spent a lot of time with my Dwarven Defender since U19 rolled out and I've had a lot of fun; but I can't think of a single instance where I felt, "Yeah, I totally saved the day there `cuz I'm a S&B tank." :cool:

DDOBobC
02-24-2014, 04:39 PM
The number of levels you have doesn't matter it's all about having enough skill points. As long as you can keep search and disable skills maxed you will be just as effective as a pure rogue would be with the same stats.

Yeah, I realize that, I just worded my question poorly. How I meant to phrase it was, since Disable would be a non-class skill for me for the Pally levels and my Int won't be all that high, would it even be possible to put enough points into Disable at higher levels to make it work.

Cardtrick
02-24-2014, 06:33 PM
For what it's worth, I really like unbongwah's second build in the thread he linked -- the 15 paladin / 2 monk / 3 fighter version. If I was ever to make a sword-and-board paladin, that's probably the direction I'd go. Does require access to monk, though, obviously, and I have no idea if you have that available.


Yeah, I realize that, I just worded my question poorly. How I meant to phrase it was, since Disable would be a non-class skill for me for the Pally levels and my Int won't be all that high, would it even be possible to put enough points into Disable at higher levels to make it work.

Unless you feel like buying a large INT tome (either from the DDO Store with Turbine points or with in-game money if you get lucky and stumble across something worth a lot to sell) . . . it will be extremely tough. It's not impossible, but you've got to make sacrifices, and I don't recommend it for a new player these days. If nothing else, the fact is that with the last few rounds of loot changes, it's become a lot harder to get good trap gear until you get to higher levels, unless you farm out certain specific named items.

Ideally on any Paladin you want Concentration (so you can heal yourself while getting hit) and Heal (to boost your positive spellpower, improving your heals).

For a tank specifically, it's also a good idea to have Balance; you can live without it, but if the idea is to always be the last one alive, it's good to have a skill that helps you also be the last one standing.

And I personally will not build any characters anymore without UMD, even if it's just a cross-class skill. I just can't live without Teleport, Invisibility, and Fire Shield scrolls.

14 Int is enough to handle those skills; or 12 Int if you go human, which is probably a good idea anyway for the healing amp enhancements. If you want to get useful Search and Disable, with no more than 2 rogue levels, you're going to need at least 3 additional skillpoints; that means it's only possible at all on a human and it requires maxing INT, which means huge sacrifices elsewhere. So you'd end up dropping at least one or two of the other skills -- Balance is the easiest to lose, and then maybe UMD.

But even then, you wouldn't be great at traps in hard content, mostly due to gear. And you won't have Spot, which is the skill that lets you know where the traps actually are. You'll see a lot of multiclass builds where the person keeps trap skills up, but doesn't put any points into Spot. That works if you're a veteran and already know where the trap boxes in all the quests are. It's a heck of a lot less fun when you're new and have to find traps by running face first into them. And to even get this sort of half trapping ability, you have to gimp your character in many other ways -- and, to be perfectly frank, there's not a lot of room to gimp a sword-and-board paladin and still leave it playable.

Irenae
02-25-2014, 02:22 AM
Actually, Although monk and rogue are different both have the evasion feat and are very desirable for splashing on a pally and I actually prefer 2 rogue over 2 monk but then again I never liked monk to start with as it's just not my playstyle, also with 2 rogue you can get the majority of locks and traps in the game if you plan your skills for it and your int is high enough to give enough skill points.

Ralmeth
02-26-2014, 03:11 PM
The reality is there's very little if any need for a "classic" tank in DDO these days. I largely blame that on the power inflation, particularly due to EDs, TRs, etc.; a sufficiently well-geared toon can plow thru anything and keep themselves healed without needing a dedicated aggro magnet to keep them alive. S&B these days involves too much DPS lost for too little gained. I've spent a lot of time with my Dwarven Defender since U19 rolled out and I've had a lot of fun; but I can't think of a single instance where I felt, "Yeah, I totally saved the day there `cuz I'm a S&B tank." :cool:

I agree that in a lot of cases you don't "need" a classic tank, but in the some token you don't "need" any particular build in most cases. This is kind of nice, in that it lets us take the first 5 that hit the LFM and roll. Having said that, a properly built and well played tank can be a valuable asset to a group if they have a decent DPS and aren't built all for defense, which is a build mistake IMHO. Because this is a build mistake, I was really surprised to see the Defender tree be almost all defense oriented. I think this can easily be misleading to someone wanting to play a Pally tank. The developers should lower the costs of the Defender tree so even if you max out the tree, you still have half of your points that you're forced to spend elsewhere. Personally, I have about half of my APs for defense and the other half in offense. Anyways, a well played tank can grab agro for the rogue to get max DPS, use intim to grab agro of mobs zerging after ranged toons, grab agro of a group of mobs when they first spawn / appear, help others out with a LoH, Raise, etc,and even help keep someone else healed who doesn't have self healing, such as a Fighter. Oh yeah, and you can save the day when things go sideways. So generally, you can help out to make the quests nice and smooth (I usually get comments at the end of my PUGS when on my Pally that the run was really smooth).

As for opportunities to save the day, you just need to challenge yourself more! If you always run in a full 6-person party while 2 levels over the quest, generally you're going to stomp the quest. Everyone is so powerful these days, and the developers haven't upped the difficulty of the quests to match. However, I like to sometimes challenge myself by running a quest while under level, perhaps with just 1 or 2 other people. Get yourself in over your head, and see what you can do:)

Psiandron
02-26-2014, 03:33 PM
Yeah, I realize that, I just worded my question poorly. How I meant to phrase it was, since Disable would be a non-class skill for me for the Pally levels and my Int won't be all that high, would it even be possible to put enough points into Disable at higher levels to make it work.

No, you'll be terrible at it at high levels. As you noted, your Int would be too low even if you were able to keep up on the points spent. You could potentially be okay at DD on lower levels, but at high levels, it just isn't feasible.

The fact is that if you're going to multiclass with rogue, it helps to make rogue the first class that you take so that you can get the starter skill points for the class. But, regardless of that, the main reason for having a couple rogue levels combined with a class like paladin is that you get evasion (from 2nd level of rogue) combined with high saves (from Paladin).

unbongwah
02-26-2014, 04:45 PM
Because this is a build mistake, I was really surprised to see the Defender tree be almost all defense oriented. I think this can easily be misleading to someone wanting to play a Pally tank.
Stalwart D. has a couple of useful S&B-specific DPS bonuses, namely Shield Striking and Block&Cut; I'm surprised Sacred D. doesn't have anything similar, rather than aura boost this and PRR that.

As for opportunities to save the day, you just need to challenge yourself more! If you always run in a full 6-person party while 2 levels over the quest, generally you're going to stomp the quest. Everyone is so powerful these days, and the developers haven't upped the difficulty of the quests to match.
This is what I was getting at: most epic chars these days are so OP compared to quest difficulty that a tank build is usually unnecessary, even counter-productive. Tanking is really only useful when mobs / bosses are sufficiently dangerous to other party members that it makes sense to bring along a tough aggro magnet.

What I'd like to do is join a guild or static group that's focused on twink-free first-lifers; you're only allowed to use things which you or a fellow party member loots while adventuring (no Auction House, no vendor purchases except for consumables). Then elite quests - which are trivial for multi-TRed demigods blinged out with a Smaug-worthy horde of raid gear - actually become challenging again. I find permadeath too stressful, though...my old-geezer nerves can't take it! :o

DDOBobC
02-27-2014, 01:40 PM
Stalwart D. has a couple of useful S&B-specific DPS bonuses, namely Shield Striking and Block&Cut; I'm surprised Sacred D. doesn't have anything similar, rather than aura boost this and PRR that.

This is what I was getting at: most epic chars these days are so OP compared to quest difficulty that a tank build is usually unnecessary, even counter-productive. Tanking is really only useful when mobs / bosses are sufficiently dangerous to other party members that it makes sense to bring along a tough aggro magnet.

What I'd like to do is join a guild or static group that's focused on twink-free first-lifers; you're only allowed to use things which you or a fellow party member loots while adventuring (no Auction House, no vendor purchases except for consumables). Then elite quests - which are trivial for multi-TRed demigods blinged out with a Smaug-worthy horde of raid gear - actually become challenging again. I find permadeath too stressful, though...my old-geezer nerves can't take it! :o

Hearing this makes me a wee bit sad. I'd always preferred tanks as my main in MMOs, and enjoy playing the role of 'meat shield who makes mobs mad enough to want to hit him and only him'. I haven't done any grouping yet (apart from hirelings) as I'm still learning the ropes on all the different classes. It sounds like a classic 'end-game tank' isn't really needed at this point, which is feeling too much like LotRO in its current state.

Ah, well, it's still fun plugging away at different classes just to see how they all work, even if I end up deleting any given char and going back to my 'steal everything not nailed down' Rogue.

Loromir
02-27-2014, 02:08 PM
Hearing this makes me a wee bit sad. I'd always preferred tanks as my main in MMOs, and enjoy playing the role of 'meat shield who makes mobs mad enough to want to hit him and only him'. I haven't done any grouping yet (apart from hirelings) as I'm still learning the ropes on all the different classes. It sounds like a classic 'end-game tank' isn't really needed at this point, which is feeling too much like LotRO in its current state.

Ah, well, it's still fun plugging away at different classes just to see how they all work, even if I end up deleting any given char and going back to my 'steal everything not nailed down' Rogue.


I foyur grouped with a group of the high end elite players...then yea, a tank is not really necessary. If your in a group of jsut average to below average players, a tank can be of some use. I think you might feel a bit left out however if you are trying to fill a tank role in a group.

With that being said, don't give up on DDO...it is a great game (bugs not withstanding). Take this opportunity to try out some different playstyles. That is the beauty of this game. With the customization options available, you can become anything you want to...even a tank. Character build options are almost infinte.

DDOBobC
02-27-2014, 02:27 PM
I foyur grouped with a group of the high end elite players...then yea, a tank is not really necessary. If your in a group of jsut average to below average players, a tank can be of some use. I think you might feel a bit left out however if you are trying to fill a tank role in a group.

With that being said, don't give up on DDO...it is a great game (bugs not withstanding). Take this opportunity to try out some different playstyles. That is the beauty of this game. With the customization options available, you can become anything you want to...even a tank. Character build options are almost infinte.

That's one thing I have going for me - the rules are familiar (ish) from the pen and paper version, but the game and everything else is entirely new. And I'm playing using only rewards/drops because I don't have high level alts to hand down the +6 Vorpal Wave Motion Gun of Hurtiness for my lvl 4 char to use. I've been trying to run all quests in Elite (that certainly made 'Freshen the Air' ... interesting) so there's been no shortage of challenge. I've found a few quests or specific areas in quests I'm not too fond of, but so far the low level stuff is enjoyable enough to where it's still fun to run a 4th or 5th character through the same quest just to see how the different classes play out in different circumstances.

Having fun so far, which is I guess what I'd paid for. Now if I could just find a way to have my Pally bash down that wall which I KNOW is a secret door and get to the stuff beyond ...

eachna_gislin
03-01-2014, 08:34 AM
best place for non-pally levels is 3-20.

I agree.

At two paladin levels, you get a boost to your saving throws based on your Charisma bonus. Once you have that, the next bonus of real interest (as others have mentioned) is the Zeal spell.

So, either take your two fighter levels at 3,4 to get the feats early and open the fighter enhancement lines. Or, push to 14 and take the fighter levels at 15/16.

If you're planning on staying in epic levels for a while (farming epic tokens and comms, earning epic destiny xp for fate points, etc) then you can save your two fighter level for 19 and 20. This gives you a chance to really see how a (mostly) pure paladin plays, and then you benefit from the extra feats during your epic play.

eachna_gislin
03-01-2014, 08:46 AM
I might need to read a bit more on the Wiki, but in later levels would just 1 or 2 Rogue levels get you enough Disable to be useful? My full blooded Rogue with maxed Disable will still blow up the occasional trap in Elite mode instances where things are only a level or two above me. If I've got 1 level of Rogue going up against traps in a level 10+ instance, is that going to be useful for anything (actual honest question, since I don't know the answer)?

Levels don't matter (much). It's all about the skill points. It's pretty common to play trapper wizards who take 2 levels of rogue for the skills and evasion. Search for Ellis's "Pale Trapper" build. He goes into a pretty good explanation on why the skill points are allocated the way they are, and you can apply that information for other builds. Right now I'm using a similar plan for a cleric-rogue (18/2). There's not as much synergy as clerics depend on Wisdom, unlike wizards who are already maxxing out Intelligence. But, the role plays.

Adding a level of rogue later is crippling. You 'need' the 1st level on your character to get the extra rogue skill points. I've tried it both ways (adding a level of rogue in after 1st, and starting with 1 rogue level) and it makes the difference between a viable build or not.