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giftie
03-23-2014, 12:21 PM
In a recent thread on the subject ( https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/435676-Melee-Rangers-Viable-in-EE ), it was concluded a pure Tempest could hold its own against a centered Kensai damage-wise, but would suffer lower survivability. However, the calculations in that thread included Sword of Virtue, which - as far as I understand - is now a core enhancement of Divine Crusader rather than a T1 or T2 twist.

I re-read the Santa's Little Slayer thread ( https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/431464-Santa-s-Little-Slayer-Another-Elfin-Centered-Kensai ), and I was thinking that Elven racial enhancements and dragon marks could be utilized to mitigate the loss of Sword of Virtue and Shadow Fade.

The build is fairly straight-forward, max STR with remainder spent on CON and DEX. Feats are Least Dragonmark of Shadow, Extend, Dodge*, IC:R**, PA, C and GC with epic feats OC, Emp. Heal and Blinding Speed. I have two Paladin past lives for Hamp, but I obviously wouldn't mind a third pally PL.

* As far as I can tell, Black Dragonscale has the highest maximum dexterity bonus with 19, and it's possible to increase with enhancements (requires Mobility, though) and augments making Dodge worthwhile. With a different armor this can be changed to another feat as you'll hit dodge cap early on.

** Assuming dual Balizardes which are already keen.

Enhancements gave me the biggest headache - everything is a trade-off between damage and survivability.

Elf (18 AP): Weapon Training IV, Skill, Greater Dragonmark

DWS (14 AP): Exposing Strike, Stealthy III and Empathy

Tempest (48 AP): Core VI (capstone), Whirling Blades IV, Improved Parry III, Improved Dodge III, Haste Boost III, Strength II, Critical Damage III, Improved Evasion

Epic Destiny:

Divine Crusader actually looks kind of tempting, but I haven't had a chance to test on Lama. +1 crit range, +6 damage (well, same as Fury), +10 sacred doublestrike, +25% mob vulnerability, party-wide +10% to damage, healing aura, and hopefully an epic moment worth the name. Admittedly a lot of spell oriented stuff but at least it's possible to take STR as fillers.

Before that happens though, Fury as usual since I need to grind karma for +doublestrike epic past life.

Twists: Rejuvention Cocoon, Endless Faith*, Hail of Blows**

* I realize Endless Faith is a bit of an odd bird for a melee build, but echoes is pretty much mandatory in all my builds and I don't have a feat to spare. Non-stop use of Cocoon is the most important factor for my survivability in the days of BYOH EEs.

** I actually usually twist a 6th favored enemy instead since I do a variety of quests.

With Hail I'll be sitting on 36% main hand and 35% off hand doublestrike which is kinda tempting. Triple Fear thunder forged rapiers look awesome.

I'm using Santa's Little Slayer as a rough base for my gear, and I'm currently working on my epic past lives for more doublestrike, but so far really like it. The Bladeforged monkchers blow me out of the water (why aren't these nerfed yet? =), but I hold my own against virtually any other melee (including centered kensais) and am quite happy with the staying power. At least it's something different.

unbongwah
03-24-2014, 09:34 AM
If you plan to Twist Endless Faith, you ought to invest enough APs into AA to max Energy of the Wild, which grants Echoes of Power.

giftie
03-24-2014, 01:46 PM
If you plan to Twist Endless Faith, you ought to invest enough APs into AA to max Energy of the Wild, which grants Echoes of Power.

Yes, the 4 points in STR II could easily be put there, and freeing up a twist slot would compensate the loss of +1 hit/dam since I don't have to worry about DCs. This is sound alternative, and I intially considered it. Eventually I figured I'd get more mileage out of continued use of FoM and Protection from Energy during prolonged quests, as well as the ability to follow Cocoon with an immediate (non-empowered) CSW for a little more survivability.

EDIT: since Steathly will cost 3 AP less in U21.1, this will make the case much stronger for getting Energy of the Wild. It'd be nice to have the option twist Endless Faith depending on quest rather than a mandatory twist.

CThruTheEgo
03-27-2014, 08:59 AM
I had originally intended the character who became Santa's Little Slayer to be a pure tempest, until I found out about the broken capstone. When the capstone was fixed I reconsidered a pure tempest again. I've just always wanted to play a pure melee ranger, don't know why. But comparing it to Santa's Little Slayer, I just didn't see any real advantages.

DPS between the two is probably comparable. This build has higher doublestrike (both main and offhand), but Santa's Little Slayer has a higher critical threat range, dance of flowers, and the monk earth strikes (which can increase base damage, critical threat range, and crit multiplier and can be spammed constantly). Santa's Little Slayer can also get up to 34% mainhand doublestrike with two more epic past lives.

A pure tempest definitely has weaker defenses. Without going dex based evasion won't be effective. Wind stance actually makes dex based higher dps than str based on Santa's Little Slayer. If you went dex based on a pure tempest it would definitely be lower dps than str based.

Both builds have the same concealment from the elf dragonmark. Santa's Little Slayer will have higher incorp. I don't know if you get 25% dodge on this build or not, but I think it would be harder to do without the bonus from monk levels. A pure tempest might be able to get a higher PRR than Santa's Little Slayer in wind stance (the default stance), but not by much if it can. Although with Santa's Little Slayer, I can swap to earth stance if I need the boost to PRR, then I can't see a pure tempest getting higher.

I'm not trying to shoot down the build, just offering my own perspective. I really wanted to play a pure tempest, but I just didn't see the advantage. The loss of survivability will make a difference and I'm not sure the gain in dps (if any) is worth it.

EDIT: Also wanted to mention the shadow scale light armor has the same max dex bonus as black scale, 19. Shadowscale offers nothing for Santa's Little Slayer because I'm stuck with robes, but you can get the sneak attack on the light armor. That with the sneak attack and deadly 11 on the dragon masque might be a better combo than the black dragon set. Lots of sneak attack might have more benefit on a build with such high doublestrike than just another 3% doublestrike. Just something to consider.

Eth
03-27-2014, 09:32 AM
Dex based pure tempest looks very interesting combined with thunderforged scimmies.

giftie
03-29-2014, 06:41 AM
A pure tempest definitely has weaker defenses. Without going dex based evasion won't be effective.

Very true, it's probably not possible to reach 60 reflex, which is why I went for Improved Evasion. Won't help Cometfall trips, but it does help overall defences. I'm not sure full DEX would have such an impact, though - about 10 points, which works out to 5 reflex. Neither reaches Divine Grace-like numbers.

It's also worth noting that pure Tempest can take Empower Healing, which makes Cocoon hit harder, and has CSW.


Both builds have the same concealment from the elf dragonmark. Santa's Little Slayer will have higher incorp. I don't know if you get 25% dodge on this build or not,

20% according to character sheet, but most likely glitched somewhere.


but I think it would be harder to do without the bonus from monk levels. A pure tempest might be able to get a higher PRR than Santa's Little Slayer in wind stance (the default stance), but not by much if it can. Although with Santa's Little Slayer, I can swap to earth stance if I need the boost to PRR, then I can't see a pure tempest getting higher.

25 from light armor and enhancements versus 15 for Santa's in earth without twist. Like Santa's, the bulk of the PRR will come from other gear, though.


I'm not trying to shoot down the build, just offering my own perspective. I really wanted to play a pure tempest, but I just didn't see the advantage. The loss of survivability will make a difference and I'm not sure the gain in dps (if any) is worth it.

I don't know this build would hold up in a direct comparison with Santa's, but I'm not really trying to compare it to your build.

What I am trying to achieve is to increase the survivability of a max-DPS Helf Tempest by utilizing ideas I came across in your build, without gimping damage too much. The basic premise of this build is that Tempest DPS is in fact higher than a Cetus-style TWF Kensai verus favored enemies, and I'm assuming the latter would beat Santa's DPS-wise.


EDIT: Also wanted to mention the shadow scale light armor has the same max dex bonus as black scale, 19

Not a bad idea. I went with Skirmisher's Bracers and PDK Gloves instead of conv. bracers and Backstabber's Gloves (mostly because of ease of acquisition), so the Masque looks tempting. No Improved Deception, but I'd have to work that in anyway. My gear is still very much TBD.

giftie
03-29-2014, 06:45 AM
Dex based pure tempest looks very interesting combined with thunderforged scimmies.

Why scimitars instead of rapiers?

Why DEX-based?

Wipey
03-29-2014, 07:54 AM
Twists: Rejuvention Cocoon, Endless Faith*, Hail of Blows**

3 ranks of Elven Feywild Tap, and you will never run out of sp then you can use twist for something more useful like reflex/dodge from Magister, Brace for Impact, Grim precision or Balanced attacks.

Free Ghostly and you can use it on others too.
I think it's one of the best things in Elven tree.

It's 6 ap but maybe it would let you get to 60 - 65 reflex and get rid of improved evasion ( which doesn't hurt in new raids though ).
I don't know if it's possible on pure or even dex pure, mine has 4 pally levels.

giftie
03-29-2014, 08:37 AM
3 ranks of Elven Feywild Tap, and you will never run out of sp then you can use twist for something more useful like reflex/dodge from Magister, Brace for Impact, Grim precision or Balanced attacks.

Free Ghostly and you can use it on others too.
I think it's one of the best things in Elven tree.

It's 6 ap but maybe it would let you get to 60 - 65 reflex and get rid of improved evasion ( which doesn't hurt in new raids though ).
I don't know if it's possible on pure or even dex pure, mine has 4 pally levels.

I really like this suggestion - it's a very interesting alternative to getting Energy of the Wild, and would potentially free up a gear slot for ghostly. I have one filler point in racial tree, and U21.1 will lower the cost of Stealthy, so it's easy enough to scrounge up another 2 APs without removing Improved Evasion.

EDIT: a bit underwhelmed about the low amount of temporary SPs. I'm not sure if and how the SPs scale with character level (only tested it with a fresh Morninglord), but I most certainly will run out between shrines.

Wipey
03-29-2014, 09:07 AM
If you do EE Thunder Peaks regularly I would keep improved evasion.
Otherwise I think those points are better spent elsewhere if you have good reflex for 95% of the stuff.

Just saying if you go gimpy/flavour/nonhuman/robot race, then getting as much use of racial stuff makes sense.
Feysight is free TS too for example ( saves you scrolling TS or Optics or whatever you use for TS on gear ).

You can always try different stuff with just AP resets anyway. I only keep 2 points for Arcane arrows as big convenience and 11 in Derpwood for Exposing/sneak and Devotion permanently. And keep messing with the rest all the time.

Threre is lot of good stuff in Tempest, Deflect Arrows is surprisingly useful so I sacrificed some Whirling Blades points for that for example.

CThruTheEgo
03-29-2014, 12:22 PM
Very true, it's probably not possible to reach 60 reflex, which is why I went for Improved Evasion. Won't help Cometfall trips, but it does help overall defences. I'm not sure full DEX would have such an impact, though - about 10 points, which works out to 5 reflex. Neither reaches Divine Grace-like numbers.

It's also worth noting that pure Tempest can take Empower Healing, which makes Cocoon hit harder, and has CSW.

Good points. Improved evasion and more/better healing should make up for those differences. I have also seen the limits of evasion on Santa's Little Slayer. It's useful, but certainly not perfect.


I don't know this build would hold up in a direct comparison with Santa's, but I'm not really trying to compare it to your build.

Understood. The comparison is just automatically there for me since Santa's Little Slayer is the character I had intended to go pure tempest with, and then reconsidered tempest after turning him into Santa's Little Slayer.


What I am trying to achieve is to increase the survivability of a max-DPS Helf Tempest by utilizing ideas I came across in your build, without gimping damage too much. The basic premise of this build is that Tempest DPS is in fact higher than a Cetus-style TWF Kensai verus favored enemies, and I'm assuming the latter would beat Santa's DPS-wise.

I don't honestly know about how the dps compares between the different builds, but I would say you have accomplished your goal of a tempest with effective survivability without gimping dps.


Why scimitars instead of rapiers?

Why DEX-based?

With the elf enhancements I'd go with rapiers since those enhancements affect long bows (Pinion) as well. Other than that, I don't see any difference between rapiers and scimitars.

Regarding magical training: do you know how much sp you'll have at cap with an sp item? Santa's Little Slayer has about 450ish and that is way more than I have ever needed. I only have three uses for mine though: cocoon, jump, and ram's might. Being a pure ranger you might be buffing others at some point so you may need it, I don't know.