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Legault
06-03-2014, 12:33 PM
So I've tried playing DDO on and off since 2010, but I've never really been able to get into it (no character of mine has ever made it past level 6). Maybe with all the changes that have happened since my last attempt, I'll finally be able to settle on something.

My main problem is finding a build that I can actually work with. No matter what class I choose, it always seems to go downhill by around level 5 or 6. I prefer working alone and not in a party, and I don't like having to buy hirelings to get healed. (Maybe I've been spoiled by playing Guild Wars 1 and 2 for the past 9 years, but having to chug potions or rely on someone else is really boring to me.) I'm not just a lone wolf though. I have three main reasons for playing solo:

1) I often have to go AFK unexpectedly and generally without knowing how long I'm going to be away. It's not fair to other player to have to wait on someone who's acting as a dead weight to the rest of the party, and I'm not the kind of person who would intentionally burden others like that.
2) The few times I've joined parties, they just zerg through content and don't stop for optional objectives or loot. Nobody explains anything, nobody waits for me to catch up, nobody fills me in on what to do or not to do. This also segues into the next point:
3) I'm a completionist, and if I'm going into a quest area, I'm going to smash EVERY container, pick up EVERY item that drops, kill EVERY enemy in the zone, and find EVERY secret door (and disarm every trap and pick every lock if I'm a rogue). Combine this with the first of these three, and it can take me up to an hour to get through a decent-sized zone, with lots of AFKs and sitting around.

My second problem is that I hate micromanagement. Pretty much all the builds I read are min-maxed optimization builds that require perfect knowledge of everything in the game and massive micromanagement skills with "clickies" and using buffs at the exact right times. I can't stand that. All I want is a simple, easy to understand build that will get me through the game, mostly alone (with a hireling healer if necessary), with a minimum of clicky use and/or spell use. I can deal with things like "use an acid resistance clicky here since you'll be fighting a bunch of casters" or "be sure to have deathward up when fighting this type of enemy," but constantly having to use clickies is maddening for me.

So, with all those disclaimers out of the way...can anyone recommend a good build for me? Here are some things to keep in mind:

*I'm not a fan of casters. Clerics I can deal with as long as I'm only responsible for using heals and buffs on myself. Otherwise, the most casting I'd be comfortable with would be along the lines of a Bard, Ranger, or Paladin. I would much rather be a specialist character like a rogue (my favorite class concept across most/all RPGs) or a really powerful melee character who can wade through enemies without having to worry much about dying.
*I have a Premium account, with the following unlocks: Monk, The Red Fens, The Catacombs, Demon Sands, and Delera's Tomb. That's all I have, so please limit your answers based on that. I'm not going to be spending more money on this game.
*Please don't give me your favorite "pet build" that's min-maxed to hell or is designed around a gimmick. I don't want gimmicks or optimized builds, just something simple and effective. I don't care if some high-level fight is going to take 5 minutes instead of 4:30 because I didn't take a +2 in X ability; my philosophy is that if it works, it works, and you can't argue with results--but at the same time, getting the BEST results isn't a priority for me at all. I'm looking for a build where I can follow your directions to the letter and have an effective character with the absolute minimum possible micromanagement.
*I'm a hoarder in RPGs and I have a lot of trouble with the way DDO works in that you have to buy healing items and use them if you want to survive. I'm the kind of person who keeps things in my inventory far longer than they're actually useful to me because I'm afraid of not having the right item for the right situation. Basically, if I'm in a fight where I should be chugging potions, I'm not going to use any for fear that they'll be more useful later on--and then I get to the end of the game and realize I should have been using them all along. Plus, I hate spending money on consumables, I'd rather use my money on really useful stuff that will last me a long time. It would be very helpful if someone could tell me what I absolutely, without a doubt need at/by certain points in the game, and what would be useful but not required along the way. I'm familiar with D&D mechanics, and (for example) I've learned through trial and error that spells like Bull's Strength and Owl's Wisdom are important buffs for many if not most situations, both for fights and for puzzles/traps/obstacles. I would really appreciate someone explaining what the most important things to look for are. Stat/skill advice would also be helpful--don't just give me flat numbers to plug in, explain what I need it for (and I mean "need," not "want"), and let me know what the viable options are that I should take into consideration.

And to head off some objections or questions:

*"Why aren't you playing GW2 instead of this game if you like it more?" I take breaks from Guild Wars to try out some other games from time to time, and just because I have a favorite MMO doesn't mean I'm excluded from playing others. This game seemed to have a lot of potential when I first tried it, and from what I gather it's gotten even better as more content has been added.
*"Maybe this game isn't for you. Go somewhere else and quit complaining." Maybe so, but the D&D setting interests me and I want to try my best to give this game a fair shot. I've never done tabletop play (but I'd like to) and I want to learn more about D&D through experiencing it in this game. Seeing pen-and-paper concepts in action through the lens of this game has made it easy for me to understand concepts like saving throws, ability bonuses, feats, and spells. In fact, what I learned from playing this game got me into old-fashioned D&D-esque RPGs like Baldur's Gate, KOTOR, and the semi-retro Dragon Age.
*"You can't get through this game without consumables or other players." Fine, then tell me how best to limit my need for those things. I don't mind grouping up once in a while, but I want to be able to do things at my own pace and on my own for the most part.

I hope I haven't scared off or disgusted everyone with this massive ranting wall of text. I would REALLY appreciate some in-depth, knowledgeable responses that take the factors I've described into consideration. I look forward to discussing this with you guys.

TekkenDevil
06-03-2014, 12:46 PM
Artificers are pretty straight-forward if you do some basic homework, and are surprisingly powerful for what little effort goes into playing them.

barecm
06-03-2014, 12:48 PM
Pick a class that can heal itself (examples: cleric, favored soul, ranger, paladin, druid) or a combination of class and race (like war forged and arcane caster).

A lot of the high dps builds you see running around are dependant on epic destinies to self heal, so if you are not getting into that, then I would pick something that can heal out of the gate. There are plenty of war priest builds out there that can get you started.

barecm
06-03-2014, 12:49 PM
Artificers are pretty straight-forward if you do some basic homework, and are surprisingly powerful for what little effort goes into playing them.

For sure easy to run. War forged can self heal easily and they are very good lvl 1-20 for sure. High end repeaters are easy to get as well even in the gold AH.

Legault
06-03-2014, 12:55 PM
Artificers are pretty straight-forward if you do some basic homework, and are surprisingly powerful for what little effort goes into playing them.

Problem: I don't have artificers unlocked, and I'm not going to pay or farm favor to unlock them.


Pick a class that can heal itself (examples: cleric, favored soul, ranger, paladin, druid) or a combination of class and race (like war forged and arcane caster).

But if I'm a cleric, won't I be expected to heal others when I'm in a group? I definitely want to avoid that. Working as a team healer/buffer/debuffer is something I absolutely can't stand.

To clarify, what would help is an explanation that starts from the very beginning of the game and walks through what I'll need (in general and as a particular class) as I level, put into terms that someone with zero experience past level 5 or 6.

Rougemastert
06-03-2014, 01:34 PM
I'd suggest going with Monk. At level 3, going down the "Path of Light" grants self healing every hit. Granted, you need some skill with clicking stuff/hitting numbers assigned to your hotbar, but it is a small price to pay for self-sufficency. You also get access to some nice abilities, as well as the stances. For Race, I would suggest Human- the Heal Amp goes a long way, especially at higher levels. It also helps that Monk combines a high dodge, Ac, PRR, and Other miss effects to boost their chances in combat.

To help a bit with the micro-management with the Monk combos, I recommend finding one or two that you can rely on all the time, and place them in a certain order on your hotbar (For example, placing Wind:Light:Wind in order, to ease up on managemt... just spamming through those will give 20% Blur)

Anyway, I hope this just gives a basic idea of what could be useful.

Legault
06-03-2014, 01:39 PM
I'd suggest going with Monk. At level 3, going down the "Path of Light" grants self healing every hit. Granted, you need some skill with clicking stuff/hitting numbers assigned to your hotbar, but it is a small price to pay for self-sufficency. You also get access to some nice abilities, as well as the stances. For Race, I would suggest Human- the Heal Amp goes a long way, especially at higher levels. It also helps that Monk combines a high dodge, Ac, PRR, and Other miss effects to boost their chances in combat.

To help a bit with the micro-management with the Monk combos, I recommend finding one or two that you can rely on all the time, and place them in a certain order on your hotbar (For example, placing Wind:Light:Wind in order, to ease up on managemt... just spamming through those will give 20% Blur)

Anyway, I hope this just gives a basic idea of what could be useful.

What stats will I need? I once made a halfling monk with high dexterity but low strength, and I ended up severely limiting my damage. Also, what stances should I work with? Unless I'm missing something, no way to get to Grandmaster level in more than one stance.

As a monk, what weapons are useful? I went through the Catacombs and had to use Kamas instead of my fists since the zombies have DR/slashing. What armor options do I have, and what miscellaneous stat boosts or passive abilities are helpful?

On the plus side, the combos are definitely manageable to me. I was able to pull them off consistently and at the right time to be useful. But is there more to the monk than just combos and Ki management? Do things change at later levels? Will I still be relevant and viable in high-level areas? What will be some things a monk will always have trouble with, and how can I mitigate them?

Grimlock
06-03-2014, 01:41 PM
Monk. Or if you want slightly more advanced - Monkcher.

Run around in circles with auto-attack turned on. Avoid getting too close to enemies. Plink plink until they die.

Hobgoblin
06-03-2014, 01:49 PM
What stats will I need? I once made a halfling monk with high dexterity but low strength, and I ended up severely limiting my damage. Also, what stances should I work with? Unless I'm missing something, no way to get to Grandmaster level in more than one stance.

As a monk, what weapons are useful? I went through the Catacombs and had to use Kamas instead of my fists since the zombies have DR/slashing. What armor options do I have, and what miscellaneous stat boosts or passive abilities are helpful?

stonedust wraps are good and the base items drops in a f2p quest if i member right

as to the monk question - if you are keeping it simple - go pure.

at 1 6 12 18 you get the stances for free. so you dont have to worry about it.

that being said -play with each stance and see what works for you

At 18 you get as a newer player
Fire: +4 str -2 wis - lots of ki gen, more str not bad, but it lacks something for me
Wind: +4 dex - 2 con increased doublestrike/speed, very very fun
water: the i dont die stance.:) +4 wis - 2 str bonus to saves/ac - harder to hit, harder to kill, but until you grind out gear a wet noodle has more dps
EArth: +4 con -2 dex more hp but move slower. more damage, but only on crits

I will let someone else post the build for it lol.

hope that helps

hob

Legault
06-03-2014, 01:54 PM
stonedust wraps are good and the base items drops in a f2p quest if i member right

as to the monk question - if you are keeping it simple - go pure.

at 1 6 12 18 you get the stances for free. so you dont have to worry about it.

that being said -play with each stance and see what works for you

At 18 you get as a newer player
Fire: +4 str -2 wis - lots of ki gen, more str not bad, but it lacks something for me
Wind: +4 dex - 2 con increased doublestrike/speed, very very fun
water: the i dont die stance.:) +4 wis - 2 str bonus to saves/ac - harder to hit, harder to kill, but until you grind out gear a wet noodle has more dps
EArth: +4 con -2 dex more hp but move slower. more damage, but only on crits

I will let someone else post the build for it lol.

hope that helps

hob

OK, that helps quite a bit. I could have sworn that back when I was playing, you had to meet certain stat requirements to use each of the higher-level stances, like 18 DEX for grandmaster of storms or something.

How do monks scale? Will they be as useful as other melee characters as the game progresses, or does the fact that their weapons are severely restricted cause problems? Speaking of which, what are the types of weapons and armors to look out for as a monk, other than the aforementioned Stonedust Wraps?

Hobgoblin
06-03-2014, 01:55 PM
On the plus side, the combos are definitely manageable to me. I was able to pull them off consistently and at the right time to be useful. But is there more to the monk than just combos and Ki management? Do things change at later levels? Will I still be relevant and viable in high-level areas? What will be some things a monk will always have trouble with, and how can I mitigate them?

what a lot of people miss on monk is "i want big numbers each hit!" while that works, you really have to build/gear for it. for a new player, what you should be concentrating on is ok damage delivered very fast.

What do monks have issues with?

not much.

zombies are about it.

its hard for them to break slashing/piercing dr - so you need to either do one of two things - do it in a group and kill the things you are good at ie skellies while the party kills the zombies or rely on weapon procs for you damage -ie disruption, shock holy that sort of thing. or go kamas with the ninja spy tree and take teh first two cores getting dex to damage and hit

most of the rest is just playing and learning the quests taking out casters first etc

hope that helps

hob

Hobgoblin
06-03-2014, 02:00 PM
OK, that helps quite a bit. I could have sworn that back when I was playing, you had to meet certain stat requirements to use each of the higher-level stances, like 18 DEX for grandmaster of storms or something.

How do monks scale? Will they be as useful as other melee characters as the game progresses, or does the fact that their weapons are severely restricted cause problems? Speaking of which, what are the types of weapons and armors to look out for as a monk, other than the aforementioned Stonedust Wraps?

they do scales quite a bit - especially if you are using fists as your damage increases as you take more monk levels.

also do the cannith challanges as the frozen tunic is very nice. it may take you a while to do as you arnt grinding favor or payin but u do get the one token a day to run challenges

some of these may be outta reach of you, but this just a list of decent wraps

scorching wraps (3bc)
devotion (deleras)
stonedust (1st lordsmarch, eyes of stone)
vamperic stonedust (2nd lordsmarch, crafted)
Alchemical (canith raids)
gravewraps (eveningstar)
challange wraps from evenging star


and ya before they changed enhancments you had to have an 18 in the stat that was getting a bonus to get the stance. that was really awesome to change.

hope that helps

hob

Rougemastert
06-03-2014, 02:14 PM
Focus on Dexterity, Strength, and Constitution. And Wisdom, if you want to focus On DC's. I never found myself with not enough Ki past levels 2 or 3- besides, you get more Ki per hit when in Fire stance. On Stances, I recommend Fire for lower levels, you can build ki really fast for extra damage with the elemental strikes. Around 6-7 I started using Earth Stance for a slight AC and PRR boosts from the Shintao tree (that is the one that is on the far right as default). After that, just play around with all of them- you will learn some tactics for each one. Finally, get Shadow Veil from the Ninja Spy tree... 15% Incorp for one minute- YES PLEASE! Going back to stats, the best I can say is just play with them, you will find what is best

cru121
06-03-2014, 02:17 PM
I would go bard. Noone expects much from a bard, except perhaps a song when entering the quest. This means, if you underperform, noone will be disappointed.
perhaps this:
https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/424103-Str-based-THF-melee-bard-New-Player-Friendly

General advice while pugging: You need hit points so that you're not kicked out of party on sight, movement speed to keep up with the vets... aand a stack of 100 CSW pots. Done. Strategy: optionally, say that you're new. Find someone competent looking (often person with more HP than the rest of the party combined), and just follow them.

Hobgoblin
06-03-2014, 02:17 PM
just a basic build



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

Level 20 Lawful Good Human Male
(20 Monk)
Hit Points: 262
Spell Points: 0
BAB: 15\15\20\25\25
Fortitude: 14
Reflex: 17
Will: 14

Starting Feat/Enhancement
Abilities Base Stats Modified Stats
(28 Point) (Level 1) (Level 20)
Strength 14 14
Dexterity 15 20
Constitution 14 14
Intelligence 8 8
Wisdom 15 15
Charisma 8 8

Starting Feat/Enhancement
Base Skills Modified Skills
Skills (Level 1) (Level 20)
Balance 2 5
Bluff -1 -1
Concentration 2 2
Diplomacy -1 -1
Disable Device n/a n/a
Haggle -1 -1
Heal 2 2
Hide 2 5
Intimidate -1 -1
Jump 2 2
Listen 2 2
Move Silently 2 5
Open Lock n/a n/a
Perform n/a n/a
Repair -1 -1
Search -1 -1
Spellcraft -1 -1
Spot 2 2
Swim 2 2
Tumble n/a n/a
Use Magic Device n/a n/a

Level 1 (Monk)
Feat: (Selected) Cleave
Feat: (Human Bonus) Power Attack
Feat: (Monk Bonus) Two Weapon Fighting


Level 2 (Monk)
Feat: (Monk Bonus) Stunning Fist


Level 3 (Monk)
Feat: (Monk Path) Path of Harmonious Balance: Fists of Light
Feat: (Selected) Weapon Finesse


Level 4 (Monk)


Level 5 (Monk)


Level 6 (Monk)
Feat: (Selected) Great Cleave
Feat: (Monk Bonus) Shuriken Expertise


Level 7 (Monk)


Level 8 (Monk)


Level 9 (Monk)
Feat: (Selected) Improved Two Weapon Fighting


Level 10 (Monk)


Level 11 (Monk)


Level 12 (Monk)
Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Bludgeoning Weapons


Level 13 (Monk)


Level 14 (Monk)


Level 15 (Monk)
Feat: (Selected) Greater Two Weapon Fighting


Level 16 (Monk)


Level 17 (Monk)


Level 18 (Monk)
Feat: (Selected) Toughness


Level 19 (Monk)


Level 20 (Monk)

Legault
06-03-2014, 02:39 PM
Focus on Dexterity, Strength, and Constitution. And Wisdom, if you want to focus On DC's. I never found myself with not enough Ki past levels 2 or 3- besides, you get more Ki per hit when in Fire stance. On Stances, I recommend Fire for lower levels, you can build ki really fast for extra damage with the elemental strikes. Around 6-7 I started using Earth Stance for a slight AC and PRR boosts from the Shintao tree (that is the one that is on the far right as default). After that, just play around with all of them- you will learn some tactics for each one. Finally, get Shadow Veil from the Ninja Spy tree... 15% Incorp for one minute- YES PLEASE! Going back to stats, the best I can say is just play with them, you will find what is best

While we're on the subject, how do these new enhancement trees work? Will I be able to get (for example) Shadow Veil without taking the Ninja Spy prestige class? 15% incorporeal basically means that enemies with non-magical attacks will miss 15% of the time, if I understand it correctly, and it's a huge deal for a class without armor. Back when I was playing, you basically had to choose one prestige and its bonuses and get completely shut out of the rest. Are the enhancement trees and the prestige classes themselves different entities now?

Regarding an earlier post, I LOVE the wind stance because of how fast you can hit. My favorite archetype in RPGs is the agile character who can hit 1000 times a second and evade incoming attacks. But I must have SERIOUSLY messed up my halfling monk's stats because I was missing a lot and only getting low single-digit numbers while going through the Catacombs--and this on enemies like skeletons that I shouldn't have had trouble hitting. As I said, I think my STR was really, really low--at the time I created that character, I didn't realize that STR affects both attack rolls AND damage, and I assumed that my DEX was all I needed for damage output. Can you give me an idea of what sort of numbers are acceptable for the important stats on a monk? Also, will taking a couple fewer points of WIS at character creation gimp me down the road, or will it be fine as long as I maximize Concentration every time I gain a level? I guess my problem is that I've never had any benchmarks to gauge my progress with, since it's not always obvious whether something is effective or not without a general picture of what is considered sufficient for a given situation.

Seikojin
06-03-2014, 02:41 PM
Two really good first life builds that are pretty hassle free are both 12/6/2's. Cleric (warpriest)/ Ranger (tempest)/ Rogue (mechanic) (toys current life). Then there is something else along those lines as a Fighter/cleric/monk (or rogue if you want to do trapping). both are fairly self sufficient. You could swap cleric on the second one and put pally in there. A wizard based one would be 10/8/2 Wizard/Fighter/monk. Where you are using wizard for Eldritch Knight, and vampire, fighter for kensai and some defender, and monk for evasion and stances. Swapping enhancements as you get closer to 20 so you can focus on being in tensers all the time and utilizing the tempest strikes, or not. It has options.

Seikojin
06-03-2014, 02:43 PM
While we're on the subject, how do these new enhancement trees work? Will I be able to get (for example) Shadow Veil without taking the Ninja Spy prestige class? 15% incorporeal basically means that enemies with non-magical attacks will miss 15% of the time, if I understand it correctly, and it's a huge deal for a class without armor. Back when I was playing, you basically had to choose one prestige and its bonuses and get completely shut out of the rest. Are the enhancement trees and the prestige classes themselves different entities now?

Regarding an earlier post, I LOVE the wind stance because of how fast you can hit. My favorite archetype in RPGs is the agile character who can hit 1000 times a second and evade incoming attacks. But I must have SERIOUSLY messed up my halfling monk's stats because I was missing a lot and only getting low single-digit numbers while going through the Catacombs--and this on enemies like skeletons that I shouldn't have had trouble hitting. As I said, I think my STR was really, really low--at the time I created that character, I didn't realize that STR affects both attack rolls AND damage, and I assumed that my DEX was all I needed for damage output. Can you give me an idea of what sort of numbers are acceptable for the important stats on a monk? Also, will taking a couple fewer points of WIS at character creation gimp me down the road, or will it be fine as long as I maximize Concentration every time I gain a level? I guess my problem is that I've never had any benchmarks to gauge my progress with, since it's not always obvious whether something is effective or not without a general picture of what is considered sufficient for a given situation.

Each character can take up to 5 or 6 class prestige enhancements simultaneously. No limits on them save your AP's and the requirements for the next enhancement.

Legault
06-03-2014, 02:51 PM
Two really good first life builds that are pretty hassle free are both 12/6/2's. Cleric (warpriest)/ Ranger (tempest)/ Rogue (mechanic) (toys current life). Then there is something else along those lines as a Fighter/cleric/monk (or rogue if you want to do trapping). both are fairly self sufficient. You could swap cleric on the second one and put pally in there. A wizard based one would be 10/8/2 Wizard/Fighter/monk. Where you are using wizard for Eldritch Knight, and vampire, fighter for kensai and some defender, and monk for evasion and stances. Swapping enhancements as you get closer to 20 so you can focus on being in tensers all the time and utilizing the tempest strikes, or not. It has options.

That sounds like a lot of micromanagement and in-depth planning though. Would I be better served just taking a pure monk to 20? I think smart multiclassing is a bit over my head at this point since I don't even know what the mid and high level areas and enemies are like, and I think I'd probably mess things up due to not being familiar with the new enhancement system.

Seikojin
06-03-2014, 03:05 PM
That sounds like a lot of micromanagement and in-depth planning though. Would I be better served just taking a pure monk to 20? I think smart multiclassing is a bit over my head at this point since I don't even know what the mid and high level areas and enemies are like, and I think I'd probably mess things up due to not being familiar with the new enhancement system.

It wasn't that hard I think. I thought it was a lazy build. I am even WF and it survives everything up to EH on just about everything. For any warpiest build, you really want some ac and ameliorating strike. This can proc twice if you are using two weapon fighting. The rest is pretty much gravy. When I do builds, I try to get their defensive stuff out of the way first, since that lends to survivability, then pump up the offensive buffs later. Something important like ameliorating strike may be priority, so do 2 rogue (evasion and base skills), 6 levels of cleric, get the enhancement, then 6 levels of ranger, and then finish off cleric.

Yeah, it requires a little more than a pure build, but it is not as complex as some dps based builds that need 3 levels of one class, then 2 of another, then 2 of a 3rd, then back to the first for 3 levels, etc.

Seikojin
06-03-2014, 03:06 PM
You could get rons character planner @ http://www.rjcyberware.com/ and then be able to plan without worry. Or try builds on Lamannia when it is up.

sebastianosmith
06-03-2014, 03:10 PM
Hey Legault,

Try Ellis' Kensei Warpriest (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/426765). It's easy to play, has respectable DPS/self-healing and requires zero tome investment. It's a great learning build.

Best of luck!

Legault
06-03-2014, 03:24 PM
Hey Legault,

Try Ellis' Kensei Warpriest (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/426765). It's easy to play, has respectable DPS/self-healing and requires zero tome investment. It's a great learning build.

Best of luck!

A few questions about that build if you don't mind:

First, is the dragonmark really necessary? I don't see the use of having the dragonmark of passage when all it does is increase your balance and grant a few movement speed/transportation abilities. Please tell me if there's something I'm missing here that wouldn't be obvious to a newcomer.

Second, how useful is Cleave? From my experience, two-handed weapons already affect multiple enemies at once with glancing blows, which is very useful if you're soloing and need to fight a group. How much more of a benefit does Cleave grant you over a basic two-handed weapon?

Third, what's the best alignment for this build? True Neutral is what the build itself states as the best, but does this outweigh the utility of Holy, etc. weapons? I just don't know what the most common enemy alignments are, or what the alignments of the most dangerous enemies are, so please advise me on the pros and cons of each. (My personal alignment is Lawful Neutral, but I doubt there are THAT many Chaotic enemies in the game, so I'll sacrifice personalization for usefulness.)

PsychoBlonde
06-03-2014, 03:48 PM
Artificers are pretty straight-forward if you do some basic homework, and are surprisingly powerful for what little effort goes into playing them.

This is actually pretty solid advice, but the truth is that there's really no such thing as a "simple" yet also effective build in this game. The game is complex. Being universally effective requires you to be able to stretch to deal with that complexity. You can get close playing a shiradi caster, but you specified no casters. I find that funny because a nuking spellcaster is about the easiest thing to play in this game. Your feat choices are obvious, you stack everything into MOAR SPELLPOWER, and you just alternate between a few big boom spells. Not to mention that if you play a warforged you get enough self-healing that you don't have to pay attention to the GOBS of survival stuff that melee characters have to deal with. All your utility spells get cast at the beginning of the dungeon or after you shrine and require no more attention after that. You don't need clickies because, hey, YOU HAVE SPELLS.

Sorcerers are particularly easy because you don't ever have to worry about switching out spells--once you pick them, you've got them.

PsychoBlonde
06-03-2014, 03:54 PM
A few questions about that build if you don't mind:

First, is the dragonmark really necessary? I don't see the use of having the dragonmark of passage when all it does is increase your balance and grant a few movement speed/transportation abilities. Please tell me if there's something I'm missing here that wouldn't be obvious to a newcomer.

Second, how useful is Cleave? From my experience, two-handed weapons already affect multiple enemies at once with glancing blows, which is very useful if you're soloing and need to fight a group. How much more of a benefit does Cleave grant you over a basic two-handed weapon?

Third, what's the best alignment for this build? True Neutral is what the build itself states as the best, but does this outweigh the utility of Holy, etc. weapons? I just don't know what the most common enemy alignments are, or what the alignments of the most dangerous enemies are, so please advise me on the pros and cons of each. (My personal alignment is Lawful Neutral, but I doubt there are THAT many Chaotic enemies in the game, so I'll sacrifice personalization for usefulness.)

Dimension Door and Teleport are enormous time-savers. If you've got the room for them it's well worth one feat.

If you're doing a two-hander build Power Attack, Cleave, and Great Cleave are absolutely required feats, and the earlier you can get them the better. You also want to get Improved Crit and Overwhelming Crit for later, so plan ahead to have at least a 23 base strength.

Holy weapons don't require a particular alignment to wield. In theory they'd give you a temporary negative level if you were Evil, but you can't play Evil so the point is moot. True Neutral gives you the greatest flexibility alignment-wise, and a two-hander build that isn't focused around a quarterstaff isn't going to run into any serious weapon restrictions due to alignment. TN also prevents you from eating a lot of extra Evil damage from archers and from getting the nasty secondary effects from spells like Unholy Blight and Chaos Hammer. You also never have to worry about the (relatively few, but important) items with Taint of Evil on them. So if you don't otherwise have an alignment requirement from your class TN is a good choice.

sebastianosmith
06-03-2014, 03:56 PM
A few questions about that build if you don't mind:

First, is the dragonmark really necessary? I don't see the use of having the dragonmark of passage when all it does is increase your balance and grant a few movement speed/transportation abilities. Please tell me if there's something I'm missing here that wouldn't be obvious to a newcomer.

Second, how useful is Cleave? From my experience, two-handed weapons already affect multiple enemies at once with glancing blows, which is very useful if you're soloing and need to fight a group. How much more of a benefit does Cleave grant you over a basic two-handed weapon?

Third, what's the best alignment for this build? True Neutral is what the build itself states as the best, but does this outweigh the utility of Holy, etc. weapons? I just don't know what the most common enemy alignments are, or what the alignments of the most dangerous enemies are, so please advise me on the pros and cons of each. (My personal alignment is Lawful Neutral, but I doubt there are THAT many Chaotic enemies in the game, so I'll sacrifice personalization for usefulness.)


Don't mind a bit.

1. The DM of Passage is not strictly needed. It's very useful early to mid game (mostly Expeditious Retreat and Dim Door). It can either be swapped out later or exchanged for another at the start without doing too much in terms of viability. If you don't want it, I'd probably take THF instead and put in Quicken or Toughness at level 15. It's up to you.

2. Cleave is just about the most useful feat a two-hander can take after PA. It adds a +1[W] damage, opens up Great Cleave and, with enough Str (23 to be precise), leads to Overwhelming Critical which is a must for melees in epic content.

3. Alignment does call for making a few choices as you know. That build specs UMD which can, with sufficient gear, bypass racial and alignment restrictions. True Neutral allows for Stability on armor and gets you out of a fair bit of alignment damage in the mid levels. It's really your call.

Hope that helps.

EDIT:

Oops! Just noticed I typed TWF. So sorry about that. I meant THF. The Kensei Warpreist is most definitely a THF. I cannot apologize enough. Don't take TWF. Take THF. Sorry. Please don't take TWF.

Legault
06-03-2014, 04:49 PM
Don't mind a bit.

1. The DM of Passage is not strictly needed. It's very useful early to mid game (mostly Expeditious Retreat and Dim Door). It can either be swapped out later or exchanged for another at the start without doing too much in terms of viability. If you don't want it, I'd probably take TWF instead and put in Quicken or Toughness at level 15. It's up to you.

I think I'll go for TWF, since I really don't mind backtracking through the whole dungeon if I have to. In fact, a lot of the time it turns out I missed something like a barrel or a secret door on the way there, so the completionist in me won't let an opportunity like that slide.


2. Cleave is just about the most useful feat a two-hander can take after PA. It adds a +1[W] damage, opens up Great Cleave and, with enough Str (23 to be precise), leads to Overwhelming Critical which is a must for melees in epic content.

OK, so it's a pre-requisite. Epic didn't exist back when I was playing, so I guess the benefit was less useful. What does the +1[W] mean though? That's some notation I've never seen before.


3. Alignment does call for making a few choices as you know. That build specs UMD which can, with sufficient gear, bypass racial and alignment restrictions. True Neutral allows for Stability on armor and gets you out of a fair bit of alignment damage in the mid levels. It's really your call.

I forgot about UMD. I always forget about UMD :O

Legault
06-03-2014, 04:57 PM
This is actually pretty solid advice, but the truth is that there's really no such thing as a "simple" yet also effective build in this game. The game is complex. Being universally effective requires you to be able to stretch to deal with that complexity. You can get close playing a shiradi caster, but you specified no casters. I find that funny because a nuking spellcaster is about the easiest thing to play in this game. Your feat choices are obvious, you stack everything into MOAR SPELLPOWER, and you just alternate between a few big boom spells. Not to mention that if you play a warforged you get enough self-healing that you don't have to pay attention to the GOBS of survival stuff that melee characters have to deal with. All your utility spells get cast at the beginning of the dungeon or after you shrine and require no more attention after that. You don't need clickies because, hey, YOU HAVE SPELLS.

Sorcerers are particularly easy because you don't ever have to worry about switching out spells--once you pick them, you've got them.

That's the problem--the casters don't need clickies, but the micromanagement is the same. I don't want to have to deal with more than 2 or 3 skillbars at a time, since I've never even played a game where I need to worry about more than 1 skillbar plus 3-5 extra abilities (maybe 15 abilities in total at most). And out of that skillbar, I've never had to focus on using more than about 6 abilities in rapid succession over and over. Plus, I click on skills (except for whatever I set to keyboard 1, keyboard 0, and numpad 1) rather than using hotkeys, and I use the arrow keys and mouse to move, not WASD. From my experience, casters require a lot of manual targeting for best effect, and they have a LOT of abilities to deal with. I know about rotations and all, but I want to limit the required number of steps in those rotations to something I can handle. When given the choice, I'll almost always choose a passive bonus over an active one, just because I can't handle micromanagement.

sebastianosmith
06-03-2014, 05:10 PM
What does the +1[W] mean though? That's some notation I've never seen before.

"+n[W]" means additional "n" weapon dice where "n" is the number of dice added to the roll. If a plain old Greataxe does 1d12, adding a damage modifier like Cleave increases that to 2d12 when used. That's why Cleave and Great Cleave are so handy.

EDIT:

Oops! Just noticed I typed TWF. So sorry about that. I meant THF. The Kensei Warpreist is most definitely a THF. I cannot apologize enough. Don't take TWF. Take THF. Sorry. Fixed above as well.

Legault
06-03-2014, 05:49 PM
"+n[W]" means additional "n" weapon dice where "n" is the number of dice added to the roll. If a plain old Greataxe does 1d12, adding a damage modifier like Cleave increases that to 2d12 when used. That's why Cleave and Great Cleave are so handy.

EDIT:

Oops! Just noticed I typed TWF. So sorry about that. I meant THF. The Kensei Warpreist is most definitely a THF. I cannot apologize enough. Don't take TWF. Take THF. Sorry. Fixed above as well.

It's OK, I started out with TWF on a Rogue one time only to realize that it's not my cup of tea. In theory, it's amazing--you get more attacks in and can apply the bonuses from two weapons instead of one. But it eats up tons of feats, requires a high DEX (which takes away from STR and other class stats), and you still end up missing a lot until you get the higher level feats. I definitely prefer THF from what I've seen in the past.

Also, was Cleave always that good? For some reason I never noticed that bonus, because that's a ridiculous increase in attack power.

Regarding the Monk build that someone posted a ways back, what's the reason for 15 Wisdom rather than 14? The bonuses only improve on even numbers, right? Also, is Shuriken Expertise really necessary? Shurikens never seemed terribly useful to me. Even on other melee characters, I'd just find a returning throwing weapon and use that if I absolutely had to range.

EllisDee37
06-03-2014, 07:10 PM
Regarding the dragonmark on the kensei warpriest, it's mostly a "quality of life" feat and can be discarded without hurting the build. This makes it easy to change the race without issue, for example, because other races don't get either the dragonmark or the bonus feat it's taken with.

Expeditious retreat from level 1 is super nice for veterans, but inexperienced players won't miss it too much. It's really more about "I'm used to running level 18+ with my 30% striders, and now washing up on Korthos after a TR I feel like I'm running in molasses."

Dimension Door, however, can be extremely useful in limited situations for new players. Specifically, the couple dozen quests with points of no return. There is no such thing as a point of no return when you have DDoor. Always being able to return to the start of the quest helps free you up to explore without concern of accidentally falling down a hole before you explored that interesting hallway you wanted to check out. It's also nice in some quests where you might want to go back to the start but it's difficult to get there (eg: Shadow Crypt, Inferno of the Damned) or tedious due to respawning mobs. (eg: Diplomatic Impunity, Rainbow in the Dark.) Plus it's a nice convenience in some raids. (eg: VON5.)

For veterans, DDoor is up there with expeditious retreat in terms of quality of life, though on a lesser scale. Some vets (like me) are in the habit of DDooring to exit every quest they run instead of waiting for the interminable "Finish out" timer bar to slooooowly scroll its way to the end. It's also a nice time saver in multi-part quests like Sorrowdusk and Fire Caves / Garl's Tomb. After finishing the first quest, run back to the NPC, get the second part bestowed, then DDoor right back to the quest entrance. (This is a much bigger help in Sorrowdusk than 3BC, where you can simply recall out and reenter to achieve a similar effect.)

EDIT: Most of the builds linked in my signature are similarly aimed at new players. Maybe something will strike your fancy.

ReaperAlexEU
06-03-2014, 07:25 PM
It's OK, I started out with TWF on a Rogue one time only to realize that it's not my cup of tea. In theory, it's amazing--you get more attacks in and can apply the bonuses from two weapons instead of one. But it eats up tons of feats, requires a high DEX (which takes away from STR and other class stats), and you still end up missing a lot until you get the higher level feats. I definitely prefer THF from what I've seen in the past.

Also, was Cleave always that good? For some reason I never noticed that bonus, because that's a ridiculous increase in attack power.

Regarding the Monk build that someone posted a ways back, what's the reason for 15 Wisdom rather than 14? The bonuses only improve on even numbers, right? Also, is Shuriken Expertise really necessary? Shurikens never seemed terribly useful to me. Even on other melee characters, I'd just find a returning throwing weapon and use that if I absolutely had to range.

no, cleave wasn't that hot before. when they added the +[W] bonuses they also gave the cleave feats some lovin'

that said it was better than you remember it. while a 2-hander does indeed hit mobs surrounding you it only hits for a fraction of your base damage, and doesn't hit with your weapons special effects like flaming or pure good. cleave on the other hand hits for your full damage with all your weapons effects. great cleave then builds on this by doing the same in a much larger arc and is a great attack to mix in (it also has a bigger +[W] bonus now).

those non-cleave attacks you get on other mobs are called glancing blows (not to be confused with grazing hits that are like a commiseration prize for not being able to hit the broadside of a barn). as i mentioned a glancing blow adds a percentage of your base attack. this can be boosted with the two handed feats, giving you more opportunities for glancing blows and boosting the damage they do as well as giving a chance for your weapons special effects to proc. oh and as if all that wasn't nice enough for AoE damage the glancing blows also apply to the main mob you were attacking and hit with your full attack, so it also helps in boss fights when there is just 1 mob to hit!

so it's no surprise to see that build sporting both great cleave and greater two handed fighting, the two work wonders together.

power attack also synergises well with this as you get double the damage bonus from a two handed weapon.

improved critical is also a massively powerful melee feat as it will double the number of crits you get. overwhelming crit in the epic levels will then boost your crits even further. any crit boosting threat range or damage multiplier feat tends to attract the builders like a honey pot to bees. those two components of a crit scale up wonderfully as your raw damage ramps up with higher strength and other bonuses.

when the kensai warpriest hits top levels you'll be able to mash all the special ability buttons to let rip with tons of AoE damage from all those cleave like attacks and boosted attacks. sure you could work on perfecting the timing on the cooldowns, but in reality you can just button mash your way through :). i have a barbarian that plays a lot like that with several cleave like attacks and it's great how fast he can mop up a group of mobs.

as for the monk odd numbers are much easier to work with now as there are so many ways to even your stats out that the initial starting number has little need of being even. you can get returning shuriken and i believe there are ways to boost how fast you throw them on a monk. don't know much about monks really but they always pop up if someone wants to make a throwing build.

icekinslayer
06-03-2014, 07:29 PM
But if I'm a cleric, won't I be expected to heal others when I'm in a group? I definitely want to avoid that. Working as a team healer/buffer/debuffer is something I absolutely can't stand.


self healing requires effort. If you're not willing to put any effort into it, what's the point of playing. If you weren't as you are, I would suggest a light side monk, bring lots of potions. There is a potion for almost every ailment out there, but you need to want to keep yourself alive, not just magically hope you don't take damage and die.

CThruTheEgo
06-03-2014, 07:39 PM
You will find there are natural "barriers" throughout the game as you level. Each barrier will test both your build and your playstyle and may require adjustments of each to progress beyond. For a brand new player, level 5-6ish is one of those barriers, which is probably why you have had trouble getting past this point.

At this point you just want a build that is fun to play and will let you learn the game. For this reason, I would stay pure. Multiclass builds can offer a lot but do require much greater attention to the build than most pure builds. That can be difficult to manage while you are still trying to learn the basics of the game. You've already said you don't want a caster and you don't own artificer. Fighters and barbarians lack self healing. Rogues are not ideal for a new player who mostly solos. Bard could be an option but might be more complicated (in terms of managing buffs, etc.) than what you are looking for. That leaves monk, paladin, and ranger.

I personally would not recommend a monk. They become very clicky intensive (as in, keyboard management) later in the game. It can be very overwhelming and not fun if that is not what you're interested in. Or it might be exactly the kind of multitasking playstyle that you enjoy. And while the defenses of a monk are certainly top notch, I find their self healing ability lacking. Yes, they do have a lot of ways to self heal, but they do not have an immediate, on-demand, "I need a heal right NAOW!" ability. And this could be a potential problem for you since you've already mentioned your desire for solid self healing. I also find their dps starts to plateau around level 12ish. Mobs get tougher but the monks dps doesn't increase all that much. They are easy and perform very well in the early levels, but around the mid levels they become tricky and their power begins to plateau without sufficient gear, which you aren't likely to have as a new player.

Paladins do poor dps but their survivability is exceptional. I have very little experience with paladins so I will only direct you to other threads for that info. Unbongwah's Sacred Defender (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/438704-Revisiting-the-Sacred-Defender-for-New-Players) has a lot of info as well as a build to follow. EllisDee37's Evasion Paladin (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/422682) is another paladin build for new players. Both of those are multiclass builds, but they are the only ones I know of. Both unbongwah and EllisDee37 excel at making builds accessible to new players, so either one should be a good option if you want to try paladin.

My personal recommendation, though, is to go with a pure ranger. Ranger will offer you a great deal of versatility, both offensively and defensively, as well as self sufficiency through buffs and self healing. They get most of the two-weapon fighting and ranged feats for free so you can easily switch between the two styles as the situation demands, or whichever one you prefer. This is a great first life build to help you tackle most of the game and allow you to focus on learning the basics of the game with a fun character. Here is a brief rundown of how I would build a first life ranger for a new player.

Elf Ranger 20
True Neutral

Stats:
str14
dex18
con14
int8
wis14
cha8

Put all level ups into dex. Dex based will give you a good reflex save to make your evasion useful (it allows you to avoid damage from many traps and spells). You will take feats and enhancements that allow you to use dex for to hit and damage, so there is a lot of synergy here.

Feats by level:
1 weapon finesse
3 dragonmark
6 power attack
9 improved critical: piercing
12 improved critical: ranged
15 extend
18 empower healing
21 quicken
24 dodge
26 perfect two weapon fighting
27 blinding speed
28 epic spell power: positive

This feat selection, along with the bonus feats automatically granted to rangers, offers a solid balance between two weapon fighting dps, ranged dps, survivability, and self healing. The weapon finesse feat allows you to use dex for your to hit.

For your favored enemy feats (auto-granted at levels 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20) select them in the following order: undead, giant, aberration, evil outsider, vermin
I know most will say that vermin is an odd choice, but for whatever reason the bugs in this game hit like a truck and taking them out quickly is nice, and the other good options (elf, human, dragon, construct, elemental) won't really matter much for a new player. You can always swap it out later if you find yourself playing certain content more often.

Skills:
Max out the following skills at every level: balance, concentration, heal, spot, haggle
Haggle will be of benefit for a brand new player, it allows you to sell your junk for a higher price and buy from vendors at a lower price.
Alternatively, if you want to try out a sneaky playstyle, max out: balance, heal, spot, hide, move silently

Spells:
Keep the following spells memorized in the order that they appear in this list as you level up and try out whatever spells you want with the leftover spell slots:
1st: ram's might, resist energy, jump
2nd: cure light wounds, barkskin, protection from energy
3rd: cure moderate wounds, remove disease, neutralize poison, wild instincts
4th: cure serious wounds, freedom of movement

Enhancements:
Elf:
Core: 1 total
elven accuracy 1
Tier 1: 5 total
Phiarlan dragonmark focus 3
elven weapon training - Aerenal 2
Tier 2: 4 total
lesser dragonmark of shadow 2
elven weapon training - Aerenal 2
Tier 3: 4 total
greater dragonmark of shadow 2
elven weapon training - Aerenal 2
Tier 4: 4 total
elven weapon training - Aerenal 2
grace 1
skill 1

Since this build is dex based, you will want to get improved weapon finesse from tier 2 in deepwood stalker as soon as possible. This allows you to use your dex for damage with rapiers. Eventually you will want to replace improved weapon finesse with the elven tier 4 ability, grace, which allows you to use dex for damage with rapiers and longbows. You also want to max out the elf dragonmark line as soon as possible so you get displacement, which makes mobs miss you 50% of the time. After you get it drag it to a hotbar and right click it to apply extend to it once you have that feat.

Beyond these elf enhancements, try out different enhancements throughout tempest, deepwood stalker, and arcane archer depending on your needs and preferred playstyle. It is relatively cheap to reset your enhancement trees so you can feel free to experiment to find what you like.

Epic Destiny:
Start off in fury of the wild.

Gear:
Look for rapiers and longbows with the highest damage abilities on them. Beyond this, you simply want to keep the following gear maxed for your level: dexterity, constitution, hit points (called false life on items), fortification, striding (for sheer convenience), and resistance (for saves). These are the most important things to keep maxed. The following will be helpful but are not absolutely essential, at least not for the early-mid levels: wisdom, spell points (called wizardry), deadly, speed, seeker (especially useful after you get the improved critical feat/s), sustenance (adds to your heal skill, which adds to your positive spell power, which affects how strong your heals are).

Random loot (either found or purchased at vendors or the auction house) will be sufficient to get you to 20. When you get there start looking on the wiki (http://ddowiki.com/page/Home) to check out the gear available for whatever content you own (and maybe some you don't own to give you an idea of what to purchase next).

That's a lot of info but you asked for a full build, so I hope that helps. It will provide you with a great deal of versatility and survivability and will definitely get you through the game. Good luck.

Legault
06-03-2014, 08:54 PM
You will find there are natural "barriers" throughout the game as you level. Each barrier will test both your build and your playstyle and may require adjustments of each to progress beyond. For a brand new player, level 5-6ish is one of those barriers, which is probably why you have had trouble getting past this point.

At this point you just want a build that is fun to play and will let you learn the game. For this reason, I would stay pure. Multiclass builds can offer a lot but do require much greater attention to the build than most pure builds. That can be difficult to manage while you are still trying to learn the basics of the game. You've already said you don't want a caster and you don't own artificer. Fighters and barbarians lack self healing. Rogues are not ideal for a new player who mostly solos. Bard could be an option but might be more complicated (in terms of managing buffs, etc.) than what you are looking for. That leaves monk, paladin, and ranger.

I personally would not recommend a monk. They become very clicky intensive (as in, keyboard management) later in the game. It can be very overwhelming and not fun if that is not what you're interested in. Or it might be exactly the kind of multitasking playstyle that you enjoy. And while the defenses of a monk are certainly top notch, I find their self healing ability lacking. Yes, they do have a lot of ways to self heal, but they do not have an immediate, on-demand, "I need a heal right NAOW!" ability. And this could be a potential problem for you since you've already mentioned your desire for solid self healing. I also find their dps starts to plateau around level 12ish. Mobs get tougher but the monks dps doesn't increase all that much. They are easy and perform very well in the early levels, but around the mid levels they become tricky and their power begins to plateau without sufficient gear, which you aren't likely to have as a new player.

Paladins do poor dps but their survivability is exceptional. I have very little experience with paladins so I will only direct you to other threads for that info. Unbongwah's Sacred Defender (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/438704-Revisiting-the-Sacred-Defender-for-New-Players) has a lot of info as well as a build to follow. EllisDee37's Evasion Paladin (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/422682) is another paladin build for new players. Both of those are multiclass builds, but they are the only ones I know of. Both unbongwah and EllisDee37 excel at making builds accessible to new players, so either one should be a good option if you want to try paladin.

My personal recommendation, though, is to go with a pure ranger. Ranger will offer you a great deal of versatility, both offensively and defensively, as well as self sufficiency through buffs and self healing. They get most of the two-weapon fighting and ranged feats for free so you can easily switch between the two styles as the situation demands, or whichever one you prefer. This is a great first life build to help you tackle most of the game and allow you to focus on learning the basics of the game with a fun character. Here is a brief rundown of how I would build a first life ranger for a new player.

Elf Ranger 20
True Neutral

Stats:
str14
dex18
con14
int8
wis14
cha8

Put all level ups into dex. Dex based will give you a good reflex save to make your evasion useful (it allows you to avoid damage from many traps and spells). You will take feats and enhancements that allow you to use dex for to hit and damage, so there is a lot of synergy here.

Feats by level:
1 weapon finesse
3 dragonmark
6 power attack
9 improved critical: piercing
12 improved critical: ranged
15 extend
18 empower healing
21 quicken
24 dodge
26 perfect two weapon fighting
27 blinding speed
28 epic spell power: positive

This feat selection, along with the bonus feats automatically granted to rangers, offers a solid balance between two weapon fighting dps, ranged dps, survivability, and self healing. The weapon finesse feat allows you to use dex for your to hit.

For your favored enemy feats (auto-granted at levels 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20) select them in the following order: undead, giant, aberration, evil outsider, vermin
I know most will say that vermin is an odd choice, but for whatever reason the bugs in this game hit like a truck and taking them out quickly is nice, and the other good options (elf, human, dragon, construct, elemental) won't really matter much for a new player. You can always swap it out later if you find yourself playing certain content more often.

Skills:
Max out the following skills at every level: balance, concentration, heal, spot, haggle
Haggle will be of benefit for a brand new player, it allows you to sell your junk for a higher price and buy from vendors at a lower price.
Alternatively, if you want to try out a sneaky playstyle, max out: balance, heal, spot, hide, move silently

Spells:
Keep the following spells memorized in the order that they appear in this list as you level up and try out whatever spells you want with the leftover spell slots:
1st: ram's might, resist energy, jump
2nd: cure light wounds, barkskin, protection from energy
3rd: cure moderate wounds, remove disease, neutralize poison, wild instincts
4th: cure serious wounds, freedom of movement

Enhancements:
Elf:
Core: 1 total
elven accuracy 1
Tier 1: 5 total
Phiarlan dragonmark focus 3
elven weapon training - Aerenal 2
Tier 2: 4 total
lesser dragonmark of shadow 2
elven weapon training - Aerenal 2
Tier 3: 4 total
greater dragonmark of shadow 2
elven weapon training - Aerenal 2
Tier 4: 4 total
elven weapon training - Aerenal 2
grace 1
skill 1

Since this build is dex based, you will want to get improved weapon finesse from tier 2 in deepwood stalker as soon as possible. This allows you to use your dex for damage with rapiers. Eventually you will want to replace improved weapon finesse with the elven tier 4 ability, grace, which allows you to use dex for damage with rapiers and longbows. You also want to max out the elf dragonmark line as soon as possible so you get displacement, which makes mobs miss you 50% of the time. After you get it drag it to a hotbar and right click it to apply extend to it once you have that feat.

Beyond these elf enhancements, try out different enhancements throughout tempest, deepwood stalker, and arcane archer depending on your needs and preferred playstyle. It is relatively cheap to reset your enhancement trees so you can feel free to experiment to find what you like.

Epic Destiny:
Start off in fury of the wild.

Gear:
Look for rapiers and longbows with the highest damage abilities on them. Beyond this, you simply want to keep the following gear maxed for your level: dexterity, constitution, hit points (called false life on items), fortification, striding (for sheer convenience), and resistance (for saves). These are the most important things to keep maxed. The following will be helpful but are not absolutely essential, at least not for the early-mid levels: wisdom, spell points (called wizardry), deadly, speed, seeker (especially useful after you get the improved critical feat/s), sustenance (adds to your heal skill, which adds to your positive spell power, which affects how strong your heals are).

Random loot (either found or purchased at vendors or the auction house) will be sufficient to get you to 20. When you get there start looking on the wiki (http://ddowiki.com/page/Home) to check out the gear available for whatever content you own (and maybe some you don't own to give you an idea of what to purchase next).

That's a lot of info but you asked for a full build, so I hope that helps. It will provide you with a great deal of versatility and survivability and will definitely get you through the game. Good luck.

Sounds like a pretty good build, but why rapiers over longswords? Longswords do more damage, slashing damage seems better than piercing, and they're both covered under the elf racial enhancements anyway. Also, wouldn't it be better to put points into Search rather than Spot? I never found Spot terribly useful, and without Search you miss all the cool secret areas.

ReaperAlexEU
06-03-2014, 09:11 PM
Sounds like a pretty good build, but why rapiers over longswords? Longswords do more damage, slashing damage seems better than piercing, and they're both covered under the elf racial enhancements anyway. Also, wouldn't it be better to put points into Search rather than Spot? I never found Spot terribly useful, and without Search you miss all the cool secret areas.

it's all about the crits, both do double damage on a crit, but a rapier crits a lot more often which more than compensates for the lower dice damage.

spot is great for seeing hidden mobs before you walk into them. sure you can ignore that in a raging barbarian but it's a great help when you are trying to be careful :)

CThruTheEgo
06-03-2014, 09:32 PM
Sounds like a pretty good build, but why rapiers over longswords? Longswords do more damage, slashing damage seems better than piercing, and they're both covered under the elf racial enhancements anyway. Also, wouldn't it be better to put points into Search rather than Spot? I never found Spot terribly useful, and without Search you miss all the cool secret areas.

Exactly what ReaperAlexEU said. Also, there are far more/better named rapiers than longswords. And if you want search to find secret doors and such, then just max that instead of haggle.

MangLord
06-04-2014, 04:04 AM
When I first got into the game, maybe 2009, I briefly made a halfling rogue, which was my favorite character back when I played tabletop DnD in high school. I was in for a rude awakening once I got through Korthos and the Harbor. I quit playing for a couple years and came back after a while because I was feeling nostalgic about DnD. I'd also been primarily a console and solo RPG computer gamer, so I was wary about the social interaction.

I think what kept me around the second time was getting lucky and linking up with another guy with the same play style and level of experience. The social aspect was a lot of fun and made the game more interesting. I am a box breaker and an explorer. The dungeon is totally empty when I get through with it. I keep breaking boxes even after I get Ransack bonus when I play by myself, just because i like to. I spent a full 3 hours in Haunted Halls when it first came out, and I still love that quest because of all the optional stuff. In that way, I understand your play style and why you like to do things the way you do.

Anyways, I had made several characters that petered out around level 9 for various reasons, got deleted, but the one that finally grabbed my attention and was a real pleasure to play for my style was a halfling ranger with one rogue level, and I'm still playing that chatacter, working on the completionist feat and about to finish my 8th life. (This build was back with the old enhancements. It's probably more ideal to take two levels of rogue now) Rogue/Ranger kinda has a bit of everything. You can disable traps, you can avoid most traps when you need to, you have a solid level of damage output, you can thin out a mob from a distance and stay out of harm's way and you can eventually self heal with spells. It may not get you through all quests on elite without some gear and skill accumulation, but you will have a great time on normal and probably hard difficulty all by yourself. I don't have to bring a hireling along for the most part, which is also something I like. Unless the quest required more than one person to pull switches and such, this build is perfect for the person who likes to explore every nook and cranny.

Nowadays, my personal recommendation would be an elf ranger/rogue. I choose elf because the racial enhancement tree offers a lot of bonuses with bows, and the option to use your dexterity for damage instead of strength. It works very well with rogue, who benefit from high dexterity.

As far as trapping and skills go, the game assumes you have trapping gear. You'll need some equipment for spotting traps, searching them out, and disabling. I got into Cannith crafting, so I was able to make a set of goggles to switch through for each ability. I normally wore my spotting goggles for the quest, and switched to my search goggles when I got a trap alert, and then the disabling goggles to neutralize the trap. Another pair of goggles I'd switch to when a door or chest needed to be unlocked. You can pop all four goggles on a side hotbar and switch as needed very conveniently.

Your primary stat should be dexterity. It determines your attack modifier with bows, your reflex save (very important for trap and spell evasion), and eventually your damage modifier as an elven archer. Intelligence effects how many skill points you get each level to distribute amongst your thieving skills. Wisdom effects your spot modifier and spell points. Constitution determines HP, and no one has every died from too many HP. I would concentrate on those four stats for a ranger/rogue. You can be a good trapper with a 12 int/wis, but will probably need skill boosts from gear and such if you plan to run higher difficulties. DEX will be your bread and butter, especially past level 10, so I emphasize getting that number as high as possible. A low STR may be a bit tedious at first, but once you work your way to the top of the elf tree, you'll be glad you focused on DEX.

Another benefit to ranger is that feat choices are pretty straightforward. Rangers are autogranted a lot of bow feats and all two weapon fighting feats, so you don't need to choose those. Point Blank shot should be taken early. Empower Healing Spell helps a lot once you get access to healing spells. Quicken Spell also helps, in that your spell can't be interrupted if you're dealing with an emergency. Improved Critical: Ranged is a must have, and Dodge feats never hurt. My recommendation is that Point Blank and Improved Crit (requires level 8 or so on a ranger) should be top priority, with Empower Heal, Dodge and Quicken filling out whatever you have left over. Generally speaking, you don't need to waste feats to boost trapping skills. Gear and spell bonuses will get you through. Keep at least 50 Heroism potions with you and you'll be good.

You may need to bring a hireling along to open some STR required doors, but those are pretty uncommon. When in doubt, bring a hire, keep it parked at the entrance, and have it join you on tough fights and help pull levers.

Arcane Archer is the most versatile ranger tree, in my opinion. It's heavily focused on archery, obviously, with terrific abilities such as paralyzing arrow imbuement. You can also summon arrows when you log in and never worry about running out. Slayer arrows are incredible burst damage with manyshot, as well. Deepwood Sniper tree has an ability called Sniper Shot that is fantastic from level 1 to level 28, and it only costs one point. Your damage with a bow becomes very good very quickly. I stopped carrying melee weapons after level 6 on my latest elf ranger. It's still my favorite class several years later.

If you prefer fighting up close, a drow ranger specializing in tempest tree with short swords would also be pretty fun.

I have a similar play style to you, and I had a lot of fun sneaking around and being an archer.

MangLord
06-04-2014, 04:17 AM
I find a good Spot skill is very helpful not just for being alerted to traps and secret doors, but also in seeing hidden enemies. As a ranger, you'll often see enemies long before they're aware of you, and can get a few shots in to wear them down before they get to you. If you can just see one kobold and start shooting it, thinking its an easy fight, it's inconvenient for the other three hidden ones to come up behind you and make your life miserable. If you can see all four with a good spot skill, you can prepare and deal with the situation a lot better.

Hidden enemies become much more common and dangerous as the game progresses.

I also prefer rapiers over longswords for an elf simply because of the critical threat range. With deadly and seeker gear, a high rate of criticals makes you much more formidable. Ranger tempest allows you to treat scimitars as light weapons, requiring no Oversized TWF feat, so a tempest with improved crit: slashing is going to be tearing things up dual wielding scimitars with a 15-20 crit range.

Also, slashing damage is only really relevant for fighting zombies. Using a scimitar wielding tempest as an example, you'll eventually be more effective with scimitars against skeletons, due to elven racial damage bonuses than you would breaking the DR by switching to light maces. Rapiers are the same way. I feel that it's better and more convenient to focus on a specific weapon type and just eat the yellow damage in certain quests, rather than filling an entire hotbar with weapons sets for every special occasion. Once you get a good disruption weapon, it doesn't matter what damage you do against undead. All you need is to roll a 20 and its done. Banishing and Smiting weapons are also recommended.

I forgot to mention that Precision feat is good to take. It allows you to bypass 25% fortification, which will allow you to score criticals on undead, oozes, constructs and other 100% fortified enemies. It doesn't sound like much, but is very handy when dual wielding or using manyshot bursts.

MangLord
06-04-2014, 04:47 AM
That's the problem--the casters don't need clickies, but the micromanagement is the same. I don't want to have to deal with more than 2 or 3 skillbars at a time, since I've never even played a game where I need to worry about more than 1 skillbar plus 3-5 extra abilities (maybe 15 abilities in total at most). And out of that skillbar, I've never had to focus on using more than about 6 abilities in rapid succession over and over. Plus, I click on skills (except for whatever I set to keyboard 1, keyboard 0, and numpad 1) rather than using hotkeys, and I use the arrow keys and mouse to move, not WASD. From my experience, casters require a lot of manual targeting for best effect, and they have a LOT of abilities to deal with. I know about rotations and all, but I want to limit the required number of steps in those rotations to something I can handle. When given the choice, I'll almost always choose a passive bonus over an active one, just because I can't handle micromanagement.

This can be a sticking point when playing DDO. It's definitely geared towards hotbars and clicking things. I started out not wanting more than 2-3 hotbars bogging down my play, but you just get used to it over time. I still don't want my hotbars to creep into my playspace, so I limit myself to 8 max. This isn't a problem with a barbarian or even a rogue, but I definitely have to micromanage space as a wizard.

I play in mouseview with WASD in the FPS key layout, because I tend to strafe and kite a lot. I find the other view limits my ability to do so effectively, so maybe my comments won't apply to your style. I've always played this way, so I don't know much about other key layouts other than FPS style.

For the most part, you can easily drag ten of your most commonly used abilities/items/spells/etc onto hotbar 1 and press 1-0 for 99% of the quest. My typical main hotbar layout is 1=healing spell, 2-4=special attacks or spells, 5-6=longer cooldown abilities/spells like manyshot, finger of death and action boosts, 7-9=weapon sets to suit the quest (or more spells for a caster) and 0 as a wildcard slot. Maybe a mass heal, haste potions, displacement spell, or something I want access to quickly but might not need for every fight. It depends on the class, really. My fighter hotbar is wildly different from my wizard hotbar, but it follows the same formula. The stuff I use most is closest to my WASD and increases in distance the less frequently I need to press the button. Cleave and Great Cleave are set to 2 and 3 so I can spam them as much as possible without moving a finger off WASD much.

Two timesaving things I've found that don't require button remapping. If you play with WASD, you can use Q to toggle through interactables such as doors, barrels, dropped keys, treasure chests and press E to use or pick it up. Also, if you play in mouselook like I do, you can hold down the R mouse button and it toggles into cursor mode, so you can easily L click on something in an off hotbar, let go and be back in mouselook without hitting T all day long.

Pressing the TAB key will cycle through enemies, as well. My TAB key doesn't say TAB anymore because I wore the paint off. It's incredibly useful, especially for ranged characters of any kind. It will also prevent you from hitting an enemy you don't want to as a melee character, and allow you to keep focus on an enemy caster when you have a mob surrounding you.

theis
06-04-2014, 05:17 AM
Artificers are pretty straight-forward if you do some basic homework, and are surprisingly powerful for what little effort goes into playing them.

Agreed. Artificer was my first serious build and I ended up playing 4 lives of it 3 of them Pure and last one had rogue splash cause Haunted Halls traps were killing me..
But they are really great in Heroics lack some what in Epics untill you learn them but overall a really great class to start in on Self Heals, Spells (Mostly buffing at start couple blade barriers in if kiting) and Shooting stuff all at the same time..

just read you dont have arti class... and i can see how if you dont play all the time you wouldnt want to buy it.. but it really is a great class for what your looking for.

mna
06-04-2014, 08:34 AM
*"You can't get through this game without consumables or other players." Fine, then tell me how best to limit my need for those things. I don't mind grouping up once in a while, but I want to be able to do things at my own pace and on my own for the most part.

For this part, I still like Phidius's old self-sufficiency thread a lot, https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/332212 ...

(The 12 cleric / 6 ranger / 2 rogue split was mentioned already too, though that particular leveling order may be less than optimal nowadays.)

Actually a 12 ranger / 7 cleric / 1 rogue split may be easier to play and gets almost all the same points - more melee/ranged DPS and no offensive casting worth mentioning. Not sure of the best possible leveling order, I did an attempt at keeping trap skills at no further than 3, usually less than 2 below max at any level and max at 20, but it ended up having a cleric icon from 2 to 16, so people expected me to be the party healer...

Lerl
06-04-2014, 08:53 AM
This is an excellent blog about monks. You can also do an elven AA monk.

https://sites.google.com/site/bookofsyn/

Legault
06-04-2014, 09:09 AM
OK, I've finally had a chance to look at my old rogue. (My personal favorites were my rogue, paladin, and monk, but rogue is always my first choice for RPG classes.) I think that with the new enhancements, my rogue might actually be viable, but I have a few questions.

First: Here are my stats:
CL 6 Lawful Neutral Halfling Rogue
STR: 13
DEX: 18
CON: 15
INT: 14
WIS: 11
CHA: 10
(This includes stat-enhancing gear, but I don't have the time to go through all of that right now.
Weapons: +1 Seeker Rapier of Maiming, +1 Holy Shortsword of Maiming, +1 Cold Iron Throwing Dagger of Returning for range.

Second: Does the Assassin enhancement Knife in the Darkness mean that I don't need Weapon Finesse if I'm going to be using kukris? (I LOVE kukris in real life, they're an awesome weapon, and I hope this means that they're a viable weapon option for the Rogue now.) Actually, hold on: for Dagger in the Back, does that mean that any weapon I can use weapon finesse for now has my DEX used for damage rather than STR? Because THAT IS AMAZING. (I have the feat.) It means my character will probably have a chance at doing adequate damage and not missing every other hit!

Third: What skill levels should I be aiming for at level 6 with a Rogue? I think I might have put too few points in certain skills.

Thanks for all the help so far.

Mercureal
06-04-2014, 09:29 AM
You have to have the Weapons Finesse feat, but yes, that's what it means. However, given that Knife Specialization will effectively turn your kukris and daggers into Khopeshes, you 'll eventually want to use those almost exclusively.

For skills, with a 14 Int you should be able to Max out all of the important Rogue skills, and you'll want to keep those maxed. They are:

- Search
- Spot
- Disable
- UMD
- Bluff
- Open Lock
- Hide (for Assassination)
- Move Silently (for Assassination)


Other skills that are useful, but not as crucial in my opinion: Diplomacy, Balance, Tumble, and Concentration (if you plan to be UMDing scrolls later on while in combat). You should have at least 1 point in Tumble to unlock it, and at least several in Balance. And note that you don''t always need high Sneak skills to successfully assassinate, but it's a big help.

Legault
06-04-2014, 09:48 AM
You have to have the Weapons Finesse feat, but yes, that's what it means. However, given that Knife Specialization will effectively turn your kukris and daggers into Khopeshes, you 'll eventually want to use those almost exclusively.

For skills, with a 14 Int you should be able to Max out all of the important Rogue skills, and you'll want to keep those maxed. They are:

- Search
- Spot
- Disable
- UMD
- Bluff
- Open Lock
- Hide (for Assassination)
- Move Silently (for Assassination)


Other skills that are useful, but not as crucial in my opinion: Diplomacy, Balance, Tumble, and Concentration (if you plan to be UMDing scrolls later on while in combat). You should have at least 1 point in Tumble to unlock it, and at least several in Balance. And note that you don''t always need high Sneak skills to successfully assassinate, but it's a big help.

I dunno, if I'm going for a pure rogue, would it be better to choose a different race? I feel like I spent a few too many skill points on Diplomacy and Bluff, I could probably have allocated my stats better, and the Halfling enhancements seem a little underwhelming now. Would I be better off with a different race, and if so, can you recommend a build?

ReaperAlexEU
06-04-2014, 10:18 AM
I dunno, if I'm going for a pure rogue, would it be better to choose a different race? I feel like I spent a few too many skill points on Diplomacy and Bluff, I could probably have allocated my stats better, and the Halfling enhancements seem a little underwhelming now. Would I be better off with a different race, and if so, can you recommend a build?

i found these two threads very useful when i wanted to add assassinate to my rogue:

https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/424338-Hassan-s-Assassin/

https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/350693-Master-Assassin-an-int-based-build

they are the game taken to it's limits, but i find seeing how such builds tick lets me improve my own builds even if i don't go to the same extreme.

dabble with the character planner a bit (DDO has one highly supported and very much loved and used fan built planner, google throws it up as number 1 hit: www.rjcyberware.com/DDO)

take those end game builds and juggle them about to better suit your own level of play. one key thing to look for is any feats that need certain stats, some builds use tomes for this but you will probably want to just use starting stats and level ups (gear and buffs do not count for that). many elite builds can be tweaked like this and still come out with a solid build. you can bank on a +2 tome of your choice when you get 1750 favour, and a few +1 or +2's should be affordable by the time you reach epic levels.

for my build i matched their investment in starting INT and level up INT, took a heavy investment in enhancement INT but only a medium investment in destiny INT and no epic feat INT. so my own rogue is a few points behind these max DC assassins but for the game i play i get my kill most of the time. also before epic levels i did not have a perfect starting INT or level ups in INT, so in the heroics i was quite a bit lower than i could have been and still assassinate worked a charm.

something else to consider is getting a deception or improved deception item. i'm not sure what level they start at but they do make a very big difference when you have aggro. like the bluff skill a mob affected by deception wont be hitting you and will let you get full sneak attack damage even though you still technically have aggro. you can have both an item and a weapon with deception for extra proc chances. you can't have 2 items or 2 weapons though as those wont stack (that said i have 2 items because they offer other bonuses, i just know i'm not getting any extra deception procs from the pair).

any ability that can blind a mob is also very handy for the same reason, free sneak attacks when you have aggro.

now i don't think any of this applies at level 6, but it will give your rogue a nice performance boost when you do get such items. hmm, maybe the assassins enhancement that can blind is accessible now, you should mess with that and pair it with bluff attempts to keep your sneak attacks flowing when you have aggro.

if you rebuild with less STR and more INT you should find plenty of skill points to max all those rogue skills out.

Legault
06-04-2014, 10:36 AM
i found these two threads very useful when i wanted to add assassinate to my rogue:

https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/424338-Hassan-s-Assassin/

https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/350693-Master-Assassin-an-int-based-build

they are the game taken to it's limits, but i find seeing how such builds tick lets me improve my own builds even if i don't go to the same extreme.

dabble with the character planner a bit (DDO has one highly supported and very much loved and used fan built planner, google throws it up as number 1 hit: www.rjcyberware.com/DDO)

take those end game builds and juggle them about to better suit your own level of play. one key thing to look for is any feats that need certain stats, some builds use tomes for this but you will probably want to just use starting stats and level ups (gear and buffs do not count for that). many elite builds can be tweaked like this and still come out with a solid build. you can bank on a +2 tome of your choice when you get 1750 favour, and a few +1 or +2's should be affordable by the time you reach epic levels.

for my build i matched their investment in starting INT and level up INT, took a heavy investment in enhancement INT but only a medium investment in destiny INT and no epic feat INT. so my own rogue is a few points behind these max DC assassins but for the game i play i get my kill most of the time. also before epic levels i did not have a perfect starting INT or level ups in INT, so in the heroics i was quite a bit lower than i could have been and still assassinate worked a charm.

something else to consider is getting a deception or improved deception item. i'm not sure what level they start at but they do make a very big difference when you have aggro. like the bluff skill a mob affected by deception wont be hitting you and will let you get full sneak attack damage even though you still technically have aggro. you can have both an item and a weapon with deception for extra proc chances. you can't have 2 items or 2 weapons though as those wont stack (that said i have 2 items because they offer other bonuses, i just know i'm not getting any extra deception procs from the pair).

any ability that can blind a mob is also very handy for the same reason, free sneak attacks when you have aggro.

now i don't think any of this applies at level 6, but it will give your rogue a nice performance boost when you do get such items. hmm, maybe the assassins enhancement that can blind is accessible now, you should mess with that and pair it with bluff attempts to keep your sneak attacks flowing when you have aggro.

if you rebuild with less STR and more INT you should find plenty of skill points to max all those rogue skills out.

What sort of balance should I strike between DEX, CON, and INT? Should I reduce CON to 12 to get more INT and DEX, and should I focus level-up and enhancement bonuses on DEX for weapon damage or INT for skills and Assassination? I can't make up my mind.

I'm trying to figure out whether I should build a human or elf Rogue, specced into the assassination line. Elf gives me more DEX and weapon power with rapiers, not to mention free bow use and Spot/Search bonuses, but human gives more action boosts and versatility, plus extra attack bonuses for TWF. Any recommendations? Keep in mind I'm an intermediate-beginner, and I don't care about having the absolute best DCs for Assassinate as long as I'll be able to get by and be useful.

CThruTheEgo
06-04-2014, 11:18 AM
you can have both an item and a weapon with deception for extra proc chances. you can't have 2 items or 2 weapons though as those wont stack (that said i have 2 items because they offer other bonuses, i just know i'm not getting any extra deception procs from the pair).

Actually, you can have improved deception on two weapons and one item, those will all stack, but two items will not.

OP, ReaperAlex gave some good suggestions on adapting those builds to a first lifer. In my build, Hassan's Assassin, you'll find a link near the end of the first post to a first life assassin build if you want to take a look at that.

Mercureal
06-04-2014, 11:20 AM
I dunno, if I'm going for a pure rogue, would it be better to choose a different race? I feel like I spent a few too many skill points on Diplomacy and Bluff, I could probably have allocated my stats better, and the Halfling enhancements seem a little underwhelming now. Would I be better off with a different race, and if so, can you recommend a build?

I think Halfling has a lot of synergy with Rogue - you get Dex, bonuses to savings throws, racial Sneak Attack, bonuses to stealth and dodge, and decent self-healing for the cost of a feat and a few AP. But a few races can work well with Rogue; Human is good, you get human action boosts, heal amp, and an extra skill point per level, and Drow gets you Dex and Int (and Chr). I wouldn't worry about it too much, you can do fine with Halfling and you don't need to be super-optimized to be effective in the game.

I'd say your Stat allocation is fine - you're missing a few points of DC if you're going for "Max Assassinate", but those few points shouldn't make a difference in the quests you'll be doing. If you feel like you messed up your skill points, you can correct it on level up by putting more points into the lagging skills. I think Bluff is worth keeping maxed, so no harm there. The key skills are the three trap skills and UMD - you're getting 10 skill points a level so you can double up on each of those each level (with 2 points left over) until you get them maxed. Now, if you didn't max them out with your starting skill points at level 1, then you might have a problem.

Can you post your current skills at level 6?

Legault
06-04-2014, 11:26 AM
I forgot to ask: as an assassin, are you expected to use a pair of daggers/kukris at all times, or are there certain times when a rapier and a different offhand light weapon are better? When's the best time (if any) to make the switch over to daggers? Do the feats really make daggers and kukris that much more powerful? I would imagine that given that the damage is only 1d4, you'd want something more solid, like a rapier or shortsword, but please let me know what would be best.

ReaperAlexEU
06-04-2014, 11:34 AM
What sort of balance should I strike between DEX, CON, and INT? Should I reduce CON to 12 to get more INT and DEX, and should I focus level-up and enhancement bonuses on DEX for weapon damage or INT for skills and Assassination? I can't make up my mind.

I'm trying to figure out whether I should build a human or elf Rogue, specced into the assassination line. Elf gives me more DEX and weapon power with rapiers, not to mention free bow use and Spot/Search bonuses, but human gives more action boosts and versatility, plus extra attack bonuses for TWF. Any recommendations? Keep in mind I'm an intermediate-beginner, and I don't care about having the absolute best DCs for Assassinate as long as I'll be able to get by and be useful.

well both builds focus mostly on INT but still add a lot to DEX for the base damage. i think that is a good pattern to follow for newbies too. sure you might not be interested in epic elite, but each point in assassinate DC is a 5% chance to success, something you will notice far more than a few points to damage among the 100+ you'll be doing from just sneak attack alone (p.s. take note of fort bypass too to get that sneak attack on undead and constructs). when you lose a few points here and there from less gear and tomes having that heavy build investment in INT should still leave you with a very dependable assassinate ability in heroic content and easier epic content.

that still leaves you juggling the exact numbers, but the basic premise of INT, then DEX, then CON is a good one for newbies and vets alike.

i'd say take CThruTheEgo up on his advice of hunting about that thread for a first life version and see what you think of that.

oh, and another tip, don't ignore STR when it comes to items and buffs. it's easy to load up on too much loot and not notice your evasion has switched off due to encumberance until a fireball hits you in the face. not such a big problem for a human or elf, but it might still catch you unawares. it's a real headache on a halfling with the 3/4 carrying capacity.


Actually, you can have improved deception on two weapons and one item, those will all stack, but two items will not.

OP, ReaperAlex gave some good suggestions on adapting those builds to a first lifer. In my build, Hassan's Assassin, you'll find a link near the end of the first post to a first life assassin build if you want to take a look at that.

thanks for the correction :) my assassin is busy with the pewpew between assassination attempts so i'm not as well versed on the melee side

Legault
06-04-2014, 11:34 AM
I think Halfling has a lot of synergy with Rogue - you get Dex, bonuses to savings throws, racial Sneak Attack, bonuses to stealth and dodge, and decent self-healing for the cost of a feat and a few AP. But a few races can work well with Rogue; Human is good, you get human action boosts, heal amp, and an extra skill point per level, and Drow gets you Dex and Int (and Chr). I wouldn't worry about it too much, you can do fine with Halfling and you don't need to be super-optimized to be effective in the game.

I'd say your Stat allocation is fine - you're missing a few points of DC if you're going for "Max Assassinate", but those few points shouldn't make a difference in the quests you'll be doing. If you feel like you messed up your skill points, you can correct it on level up by putting more points into the lagging skills. I think Bluff is worth keeping maxed, so no harm there. The key skills are the three trap skills and UMD - you're getting 10 skill points a level so you can double up on each of those each level (with 2 points left over) until you get them maxed. Now, if you didn't max them out with your starting skill points at level 1, then you might have a problem.

Can you post your current skills at level 6?

Current values (with gear):
Balance 5
Bluff 7
Diplomacy 9
Disable Device 13
Heal 3
Hide 16
Jump 15
Move Silently 14
Open Locks 13
Search 13
Tumble 8
Spot 8
UMD 9

PsychoBlonde
06-04-2014, 11:36 AM
That's the problem--the casters don't need clickies, but the micromanagement is the same. I don't want to have to deal with more than 2 or 3 skillbars at a time, since I've never even played a game where I need to worry about more than 1 skillbar plus 3-5 extra abilities (maybe 15 abilities in total at most). And out of that skillbar, I've never had to focus on using more than about 6 abilities in rapid succession over and over. Plus, I click on skills (except for whatever I set to keyboard 1, keyboard 0, and numpad 1) rather than using hotkeys, and I use the arrow keys and mouse to move, not WASD. From my experience, casters require a lot of manual targeting for best effect, and they have a LOT of abilities to deal with. I know about rotations and all, but I want to limit the required number of steps in those rotations to something I can handle. When given the choice, I'll almost always choose a passive bonus over an active one, just because I can't handle micromanagement.

If you don't want to have to use a ton of quickbars, a nuker is your best option. My melee characters have MORE bars devoted to things that I actually switch out, because it looks like this:

Caster--1 bar single-target spells, 1-bar AOE spells, 1 bar utility spells (I have a few more bars of things that I don't really use in combat, I just like having them visible).

Melee--2 bars clickies/swap gear, 1 bar modal abilities, 1 bar special attacks, 1 bar defensive abilities, 1 bar short-term buffs, 1 bar scrolls, 1 bar weapon sets

Targeting in this game is actually quite easy, because you just use the tab key to rapidly cycle through enemies. High accuracy targeting isn't really necessary.

ReaperAlexEU
06-04-2014, 11:46 AM
Current values (with gear):
Balance 5
Bluff 7
Diplomacy 9
Disable Device 13
Heal 3
Hide 16
Jump 15
Move Silently 14
Open Locks 13
Search 13
Tumble 8
Spot 8
UMD 9

it's easier if you just quote the rank column so we can see where you spent your points.

also with stats if you hover over them you can get to the underlying number before buffs and gear.

Legault
06-04-2014, 11:51 AM
it's easier if you just quote the rank column so we can see where you spent your points.

also with stats if you hover over them you can get to the underlying number before buffs and gear.

I've decided I'll just remake the character at this rate, since STR no longer means much for a Rogue. I know a lot more about the game now than when I made this character, and based on what everyone has said so far I think it should be pretty easy to follow the first life halfling rogue guide, except I'll have to reduce DEX since it's a 28-point character.

Mercureal
06-04-2014, 11:57 AM
I forgot to ask: as an assassin, are you expected to use a pair of daggers/kukris at all times, or are there certain times when a rapier and a different offhand light weapon are better? When's the best time (if any) to make the switch over to daggers? Do the feats really make daggers and kukris that much more powerful? I would imagine that given that the damage is only 1d4, you'd want something more solid, like a rapier or shortsword, but please let me know what would be best.

Expect isn't the word I'd use - but once you hit level 12 and can take the enhancement for critical bonuses to daggers and kukris, they will generally be the best weapons to use. First, because you get Dex for hit and damage without spending a feat, and because of criticals. Base damage isn't the thing to look at, because it only represents a few points per hit. You want to look at critical profile, i.e. the range for critical hits and the multiplier. And once daggers and kukris become x3 critical multiplier weapons, they're better than your other options, though before that, rapiers are just a bit better if you take the Weapon Finesse feat. But I personally don't think it's worth wasting a feat on that, since you get Dex to hit and damage for knives for free.

There are a few exceptions to the general rule of course, there always are. The main one is Damage Reduction - in some cases you'll want to use bloudgeoning weapons, typically for undead.

On skills, you look to be on the right track, it seems like the only important skills you don't have maxed are Bluff and Spot, and those are only a few points off. I'd sugegst maxing those on your next level, along with your other trap skills and UMD, then following the priority list I mentioned in my earlier post.

Jump is a good skill, but not a priority to put your points into, because its effective plateau is 40 - nothing over that has any effect, and you can easily hit 40 with bonsues from spells and gear.

Legault
06-04-2014, 12:59 PM
Expect isn't the word I'd use - but once you hit level 12 and can take the enhancement for critical bonuses to daggers and kukris, they will generally be the best weapons to use. First, because you get Dex for hit and damage without spending a feat, and because of criticals. Base damage isn't the thing to look at, because it only represents a few points per hit. You want to look at critical profile, i.e. the range for critical hits and the multiplier. And once daggers and kukris become x3 critical multiplier weapons, they're better than your other options, though before that, rapiers are just a bit better if you take the Weapon Finesse feat. But I personally don't think it's worth wasting a feat on that, since you get Dex to hit and damage for knives for free.

There are a few exceptions to the general rule of course, there always are. The main one is Damage Reduction - in some cases you'll want to use bloudgeoning weapons, typically for undead.

On skills, you look to be on the right track, it seems like the only important skills you don't have maxed are Bluff and Spot, and those are only a few points off. I'd sugegst maxing those on your next level, along with your other trap skills and UMD, then following the priority list I mentioned in my earlier post.

Jump is a good skill, but not a priority to put your points into, because its effective plateau is 40 - nothing over that has any effect, and you can easily hit 40 with bonsues from spells and gear.

Do you think that it would be best to take Weapon Finesse until level 12, and then swap it out for something else with my free feat respec token from the Dragonmark quest? Considering that I've never made it to the higher levels, I won't have much equipment available to work with, so I'll probably need more options to get me up to the point where I can focus on just daggers/kukris and still have everything I need.

mna
06-04-2014, 01:42 PM
Do you think that it would be best to take Weapon Finesse until level 12, and then swap it out for something else with my free feat respec token from the Dragonmark quest? Considering that I've never made it to the higher levels, I won't have much equipment available to work with, so I'll probably need more options to get me up to the point where I can focus on just daggers/kukris and still have everything I need.

That's what I would do, at least.

Actually, I did so already, with a dex-based halfling mostly-rogue multiclass build.

(With the current state of the game, it's beneficial to be able to take Awareness enhancements from more than one class's enhancement trees. Different Awarenesses stack, and given how rare good +search and +spot items are nowadays...)

Oh and if you don't get decent knives by 12, just delay the feat swap... same thing if you feel you just can't free up the points from something else important. (Besides, isn't the Dragonmark quest closed at the moment anyway?)

Mercureal
06-04-2014, 01:44 PM
I don't really think so. Kukris on average have the same bade damage as rapiers, and they have the same critical profile. I can't think of any reasons you'd specifically need a rapier in the early-mid range. It's unlikely that the only good weapons you'll find will be rapiers, there should be a pretty even distribution.

I think it's preferable to conserve resources (like the feat respec) for occasions when you might really need it, and I don't think this is one of those. You have to do what feels best, but honestly the choice between these weapon types doesn't account for much variation in effectiveness, if any. And if you're not planning to tackle quests on elite while under-level, pretty much any weapons before level 10-ish will work fine.

mna
06-04-2014, 04:24 PM
I don't really think so. Kukris on average have the same bade damage as rapiers, and they have the same critical profile. I can't think of any reasons you'd specifically need a rapier in the early-mid range. It's unlikely that the only good weapons you'll find will be rapiers, there should be a pretty even distribution.

Without Weapon Finesse, your dex-to-damage thing only works on kukris, daggers and quarterstaves.

With Weapon Finesse, you can use also sickles, light maces, rapiers and shortswords. More than twice as many possible choices, and yes, the distribution seems to be fairly even... with the exception of kukris being noticeably less common than the others. Of course the distribution that gets into the auction house is further skewed anyway, but, more than doubling the chance of finding something useful can't be completely bad. Especially with there also being more variety in useful named items available...




(If you happen to take levels in a class with martial proficiencies, or get enough UMD to use Master's Touch scrolls, this further expands to also handaxes, light picks and light hammers. I've found some excellent examples of all three.)


BTW. Throwing daggers are daggers, right? Does Knife Specialization work with them? The dex to damage at least seems to...

Legault
06-04-2014, 04:43 PM
Without Weapon Finesse, your dex-to-damage thing only works on kukris, daggers and quarterstaves.

With Weapon Finesse, you can use also sickles, light maces, rapiers and shortswords. More than twice as many possible choices, and yes, the distribution seems to be fairly even... with the exception of kukris being noticeably less common than the others. Of course the distribution that gets into the auction house is further skewed anyway, but, more than doubling the chance of finding something useful can't be completely bad. Especially with there also being more variety in useful named items available...




(If you happen to take levels in a class with martial proficiencies, or get enough UMD to use Master's Touch scrolls, this further expands to also handaxes, light picks and light hammers. I've found some excellent examples of all three.)


BTW. Throwing daggers are daggers, right? Does Knife Specialization work with them? The dex to damage at least seems to...

That's precisely my question: other posters seem to be saying that I will never need anything BUT daggers/kukris as soon as I get to Rogue level 3 and get the DEX to damage enhancement. Is that true? Because it makes a difference as to whether I'll be taking Weapon Finesse to expand my options.

mna
06-04-2014, 05:24 PM
That's precisely my question: other posters seem to be saying that I will never need anything BUT daggers/kukris as soon as I get to Rogue level 3 and get the DEX to damage enhancement. Is that true? Because it makes a difference as to whether I'll be taking Weapon Finesse to expand my options.
Hm, "need"...

I wouldn't say you strictly speaking need them, but at least if your luck with the loot drops and the AH is as bad as mine, it'd make life easier and simpler to have the alternatives available.

(You'll need at least quarterstaves too anyway, for skeletons and such.)

CThruTheEgo
06-04-2014, 07:27 PM
BTW. Throwing daggers are daggers, right? Does Knife Specialization work with them? The dex to damage at least seems to...

Yes it does work with throwing daggers. If you're int based, the enhancement in mechanic that adds int to damage with crossbows and throwers is handy with them as well.


That's precisely my question: other posters seem to be saying that I will never need anything BUT daggers/kukris as soon as I get to Rogue level 3 and get the DEX to damage enhancement. Is that true? Because it makes a difference as to whether I'll be taking Weapon Finesse to expand my options.

I like to have weapon finesse for the sole purpose of using light maces against skeletons. Undead are one of a rogue's biggest weaknesses due to their immunity to sneak attacks, which comprises the vast majority of a rogue's dps. So I prefer to maximize my damage against them, and that means using the appropriate weapon type (i.e. blunt for skeletons). I don't bother with using slashing weapons against zombies because there are so few zombies throughout the game and they aren't very strong enemies anyway. But there are a lot of skeletons throughout the game, particularly at endgame currently, which is what I play the most. So I prefer to maximize my damage against them.

You can take some enhancements in acrobat that allow you to use dex for to hit and damage with quarterstaffs, which are also blunt and therefore break skeleton DR. But I have tried this and there is a noticeable dps difference when twf with light maces. So if you want to maximize your damage against skeletons, take weapon finesse and use light maces.

If you have weapon finesse, then use whatever finesse weapon you can find/purchase that offes the highest dps until you reach level 12 and get knife specialization. Once you get knife specialization, use daggers exclusively as your general dps weapons and only switch to light maces against skeletons. I say daggers because there seems to be far fewer named and lootgen kukris than daggers. So you will simply have much better options with daggers. And you really want to only pick one of them since you would need two improved critical feats (piercing and slashing) if you're using both.

Legault
06-14-2014, 10:40 AM
I don't know if this warrants a new thread or not, but I figure I should provide an update on my progress in case there's more stuff I need to know.

I just got my rogue to level 4, and the game is playing MUCH better than I remember. I struggled with Korthos for a while until I got the DEX to damage enhancement, but since then I've been absolutely destroying everything in the Harbor. I've played through all the level 2 quests on Normal (I understand that if you're more than 1 level above a quest's challenge level, you don't get full EXP, so I'm delaying leveling up until I get through everything I'll receive full EXP for), and most of the time I can get through the entire dungeon without taking more than one or two HP of damage. I feel even more powerful than the THF, 16 strength, 16 constitution, heavy-armor-wearing characters I tried out in the past. I have yet to get a critical failure on Disable Device checks, and most of the time I'm getting critical successes--just my luck I guess.

I did decide to take Weapon Finesse just because I know I'll need the extra edge in weapon variety my first time through the game. I've found a Shortsword of Heartseeking and a Rapier of Frost (plus a Rapier of Acid Touch for things that resist ice), so I'm pretty much set for weaponry. I also have a retributive chainmail shirt, which is also pretty nifty. Is it just me or is the loot way better than it was 2 years ago? They seem to have added more prefixes and suffixes, and magic items are much more common than before. Too bad I can't deconstruct these items right now.

Combat options are also much better now. I like the fact that they've given each class some extra fighting skills beyond Trip and Sunder. I'm loving Bleed Them Out, Shiv, the constitution poison, and the poison blade stance. It makes a huge difference.

I'm about to head into the Catacombs. I've got two good light maces, and even though I know that poisons, critical hits, and sneak attacks don't work on undead, I remember that my previous rogue (who didn't have nearly the options or combat prowess this one does) got through it pretty easily, even if he was no Paladin.

Question time. I'm a halfling rogue, so I'm not sure what I should use for my ranged option. I don't use ranged attacks much, but on old characters I used returning throwing weapons just because I hate keeping track of ammo. I noticed that there's a crossbow-oriented Mechanic tree available for rogues, and it also has useful enhancements for things like Disable Device and Open Locks. On the other hand, halflings have enhancements for thrown weapons. Which is better, and what specific weapon types should I go for? (For instance, great crossbow vs. light repeating vs. heavy repeating, or throwing dagger vs. throwing hammer vs. throwing axe.)

Also, are the alchemical throwing weapon skills under Mechanic useful? Do they require any ingredients or are they plain old combat skills like Shiv and the ability poisons?

Finally, is Thief-Acrobat worth investing in at all if I'm planning on focusing almost exclusively on Assassin, with a few Mechanic enhancements thrown in?

Thanks for all your help and advice.

Ulsio
06-14-2014, 02:55 PM
For traps in elite content, you'll need to spend 10AP in the Mechanic tree.
1 core
3 mechanics for DD, OL
3 awareness for search & spot
3 skill boost +6 boosts to yer thieving skills

get the best gear you can find for your lvl & swap as necessary.

Even as a Halfling Rogue, I used repeaters for any ranged combat.

Legault
06-14-2014, 03:37 PM
For traps in elite content, you'll need to spend 10AP in the Mechanic tree.
1 core
3 mechanics for DD, OL
3 awareness for search & spot
3 skill boost +6 boosts to yer thieving skills

get the best gear you can find for your lvl & swap as necessary.

Even as a Halfling Rogue, I used repeaters for any ranged combat.

How much better are repeaters than the great crossbow? The damage profiles are different but I assume there's something that makes repeaters more useful.

When will ranged weapons start to be necessary? In my experience (through level 6), there were maybe 2 or 3 enemies tops that I needed to range, and even then I just grabbed a returning weapon since they weren't much of a threat.

My other question is, other than those 10 points in Mechanic, is it worth it (at least at lower levels) to grab the Thunderstone and Tanglefoot abilities? How do they work, and are they useful in the early game?f

And again, is Thief-Acrobat needed at all, or will Mechanic cover everything I need?

mna
06-15-2014, 07:46 AM
How much better are repeaters than the great crossbow? The damage profiles are different but I assume there's something that makes repeaters more useful.

When will ranged weapons start to be necessary? In my experience (through level 6), there were maybe 2 or 3 enemies tops that I needed to range, and even then I just grabbed a returning weapon since they weren't much of a threat.

Repeaters are hugely better once you start to get a bunch of per-hit damage bonus. Like, say... ranged Sneak Attack, weapon and ammunition special effects, +Deadly from items, and such.
Higher-level rogues routinely do more Sneak Attack damage per hit than regular damage, even on non-resisting mobs. And Sneak Attack can still get through even when the mob has DR and/or resistances you can't penetrate.

In the higher levels, great-crossbows just can't compete except sometimes situationally, due to the slow rate of fire. Throwers might, and are easier on the feat requirements than longbows. But at lower levels... well, just use what you can get a good one of.



My other question is, other than those 10 points in Mechanic, is it worth it (at least at lower levels) to grab the Thunderstone and Tanglefoot abilities? How do they work, and are they useful in the early game?f

And again, is Thief-Acrobat needed at all, or will Mechanic cover everything I need?

I have found Tanglefoot useful occasionally, what with the acid damage and slowing (especially against undead that are otherwise annoying for a rogue to deal with), ... it's a prerequisite for Targeting Sights, which you probably want to get for repeaters anyway. At some point, maybe not yet. And dex-to-damage thrower users might not want to take it at all.

And you probably do want to get something from Thief-Acrobat eventually anyway, such as Faster Sneaking and Subtlety. Possibly even Kip Up.

Ulsio
06-15-2014, 11:31 AM
Just a few quests off the top of my head that have turrets ( stationary archers that cannot be be melee attacked). Ranging makes your job as a rogue easier, better survivability, less damage taken:

oob - 11
chains of flame - 11
tear of dhakaan - 7
haywire -9
dreams of insanity - 11
the enemy within - 11

A repeater shoots ~3 times as fast as a great xbow.

mna
06-15-2014, 12:06 PM
Just a few quests off the top of my head that have turrets ( stationary archers that cannot be be melee attacked).
oob - 11
chains of flame - 11
tear of dhakaan - 7
haywire -9
dreams of insanity - 11
the enemy within - 11


Freshen the Air - level 4. Includes stationary unreachable casters who are quite nasty on Elite, for that level.

Legault
06-15-2014, 03:48 PM
Just a few quests off the top of my head that have turrets ( stationary archers that cannot be be melee attacked). Ranging makes your job as a rogue easier, better survivability, less damage taken:

oob - 11
chains of flame - 11
tear of dhakaan - 7
haywire -9
dreams of insanity - 11
the enemy within - 11

A repeater shoots ~3 times as fast as a great xbow.

That's helpful, but I still don't understand when the best times to use ranged weapons are. (Maybe I'm just dense) Even with repeaters, I can't see any reason why melee would be less effective, barring enemy abilities that damage you when you get close or environmental factors like in the quests you discussed above with unreachable enemies. Should I be relying on melee, or is ranged objectively better after a certain point? When should I definitely be using range instead of melee? Remember, I don't know anything about the game past level 6.

mna
06-15-2014, 04:26 PM
That's helpful, but I still don't understand when the best times to use ranged weapons are. (Maybe I'm just dense) Even with repeaters, I can't see any reason why melee would be less effective, barring enemy abilities that damage you when you get close or environmental factors like in the quests you discussed above with unreachable enemies. Should I be relying on melee, or is ranged objectively better after a certain point? When should I definitely be using range instead of melee? Remember, I don't know anything about the game past level 6.

You should definitely be using ranged weapons when you can't get in melee range of the enemies you need to kill. Either due to impassable terrain (platforms too high for you to jump, say) or the enemies killing you first if you try to approach (possibly because you need to stop to disable traps or pull levers or something, while in their ranged/spell target area).

Places like Freshen the Air are sort of a mix of those - you may have trouble surviving to complete your objectives in that one room if you can't remove the ranged / caster enemies from places you can't reach for meleeing.

And in higher-level quests there may be situations where you just can't survive in melee range due to incoming melee damage. When exactly that becomes commonplace, depends on specifics... it's certainly a very common problem in Epic Elites, but some characters (caster and ranged builds at least, but then again they don't usually mind) may run into this already at fairly low levels. (Edited as I remembered the difficulties I had in some quests with one of my first characters... badly build newbie-experiment that it was...)


Given equivalent capabilities otherwise, ranged is also objectively tactically better, yes, which is why real-life militaries don't do melee much if they can help it. It's just that this game is full of melee special abilities and such, further reducing the advantage ranged would otherwise have... and melee is just plain easier to do at a basic level.

Legault
06-15-2014, 06:02 PM
You should definitely be using ranged weapons when you can't get in melee range of the enemies you need to kill. Either due to impassable terrain (platforms too high for you to jump, say) or the enemies killing you first if you try to approach (possibly because you need to stop to disable traps or pull levers or something, while in their ranged/spell target area).

Places like Freshen the Air are sort of a mix of those - you may have trouble surviving to complete your objectives in that one room if you can't remove the ranged / caster enemies from places you can't reach for meleeing.

And in higher-level quests there may be situations where you just can't survive in melee range due to incoming melee damage. When exactly that becomes commonplace, depends on specifics... it's certainly a very common problem in Epic Elites, but some characters (caster and ranged builds at least, but then again they don't usually mind) may run into this already at fairly low levels. (Edited as I remembered the difficulties I had in some quests with one of my first characters... badly build newbie-experiment that it was...)


Given equivalent capabilities otherwise, ranged is also objectively tactically better, yes, which is why real-life militaries don't do melee much if they can help it. It's just that this game is full of melee special abilities and such, further reducing the advantage ranged would otherwise have... and melee is just plain easier to do at a basic level.

OK this is making more sense now. I guess I just haven't hit a point in the game yet where melee alone won't cut it. I understand that things can get quite a bit harder as you go along because the DCs for various things become less and less accessible until only those who specialize will have any hope of making them. So far, I've gotten through quests completely unscathed, but I imagine that later on, one false step is going to be fatal. I'll try leading off with ranged attacks and then switching to melee when necessary.

Legault
06-16-2014, 08:46 PM
Further update: almost to level 5, went through the Catacombs, it was a lot harder than I remembered. I guess I'm just going to have to get used to undead being a pain until I find something to help bypass fortification. Also, the wand of eternal CMW didn't show up as a reward, and that's half of why I got the pack (I don't mind waiting for it to recharge, and the convenience is fantastic), so I guess I'll run it again on hard with a battle cleric or paladin to help with the enemies while I disarm traps and unlock doors.

Bart_D
06-17-2014, 07:15 AM
If you can craft or somehow obtain a holy blunt weapon, Catacombs, Delera's and Necropolis will be so much easier. I think i have a bta ML5 +1 holy staff and a ML7 holy staff of undead bane. It could be warhammer or whatever, i just like THF and centered monks.

A few elite heroic quests and most EE ones are rough to melees, but for almost all heroics and hard epics, you can melee just fine. And you really don't have to build your character with the aim of solo'ing What Goes Up EE or anything like that.

mna
06-17-2014, 08:18 AM
If you can craft or somehow obtain a holy blunt weapon, Catacombs, Delera's and Necropolis will be so much easier. I think i have a bta ML5 +1 holy staff and a ML7 holy staff of undead bane. It could be warhammer or whatever, i just like THF and centered monks.

And the Good part is mostly just "necessary" in Delera's, though it's helpful always.

For crafting, I think the easiest thing that fits the DR-breaking requirements would be Ghost Touch +1 of Righteousness. (Wraiths or some such need that +1 too, I think.) Oh and blunt for skeletons, too. Cold and fire are not recommended (if you can get anything else), because those are useless against blackbones and such, and did cold even heal Frostmarrows?


Ghostbane comes with a built-in Ghost Touch, the craftable Undead Banes don't but do count as more + against undead also for to-hit and not just damage.

Legault
06-17-2014, 11:15 AM
And the Good part is mostly just "necessary" in Delera's, though it's helpful always.

For crafting, I think the easiest thing that fits the DR-breaking requirements would be Ghost Touch +1 of Righteousness. (Wraiths or some such need that +1 too, I think.) Oh and blunt for skeletons, too. Cold and fire are not recommended (if you can get anything else), because those are useless against blackbones and such, and did cold even heal Frostmarrows?


Ghostbane comes with a built-in Ghost Touch, the craftable Undead Banes don't but do count as more + against undead also for to-hit and not just damage.

I can definitely tell I'll need Ghost Touch. I remembered that the Archbishop was a wraith, and even though I have a really good attack rating, I struggled against his incorporeality. I killed him right before the adds killed me, so I can see why that would be necessary.

While we're on the subject, what are some good prefixes to shoot for? I remember from when I last played that Holy is very useful given the number of non-good enemies, but I thought the elements were also good. Out of fire, lightning, acid, and cold, which one(s) would you recommend as the most useful in general? Are there other indispensable prefixes or suffixes to consider? I've read that later on, you'll need different metals to stand a chance against certain types of enemies like Beholders, vampires, and demons. When do those start showing up?

mna
06-17-2014, 03:22 PM
While we're on the subject, what are some good prefixes to shoot for? I remember from when I last played that Holy is very useful given the number of non-good enemies, but I thought the elements were also good. Out of fire, lightning, acid, and cold, which one(s) would you recommend as the most useful in general?

Elements are largely situational, but on average enemies are more likely to have something special going on with fire/cold than with acid/lightning.

Special may mean anything from +50% damage to getting healed by it, and full-out immune is common in between.

Acid is fairly good in that it usually doesn't heal any enemies... and acid and fire prevent regeneration in trolls and such. Electricity is about as reliable, doesn't prevent troll regeneration though.


Good things to use include also Bloodletting/Heartseeking/Ribcracking, Deception (especially for everyone who can do any Sneak Attack), Vertigo for trip users, Stunning for... well... you get the idea. And plenty more.


Are there other indispensable prefixes or suffixes to consider? I've read that later on, you'll need different metals to stand a chance against certain types of enemies like Beholders, vampires, and demons. When do those start showing up?

Well, EllisDee37 has a thread on weapons (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/333496), it includes discussion on where you need what even if you're using random loot rather than making your own, these are in part dependent on what content you're playing...


Metal DR is around from about level 6 onwards, though uncommon - I think in Devil Assault Normal and Chronoscope it's "Silver OR Good"? - and they sell Flametouched Iron weapons inside the Chronoscope raid which break Good DR.

Cannith Challenges, I think it was Cold Iron OR Good that can be encountered at low levels already at least.

Caverns of Korromar has demons (Cold Iron, or was it even Cold Iron AND Good already?) and a beholder, there's more of them after level 10 or so. Mind Flayers start to show up soon after too. Byeshk for those.

Then there's the vampires, DR/Silver, Church and the Cult (9) end boss and... Necropolis but I don't have those packs? Being undead they're resistant to sneak attack too.
A bunch of constructs have Adamantine DR, or even Adamantine AND blunt (Clay Golems at least), or some such. Playing a rogue you have a priority to breaking the DR on Sneak Attack immune mobs, over others.
I think the first Clay Golem is in Tear of Dhakaan? (level 7), Maruts with DR/Anarchic are in Tempest's Spine and Made to Order at least.

Yes, funny thing there - seems that even if your normal damage gets reduced to 0 by enemy DR, Sneak Attack can go through as normal. If you're getting Sneak Attack damage that is. I'd prioritize getting that undead beater and construct beater, pretty much everything else you can bluff or something.


Metal(l)ine covers all metal-based DR, Aligned is same for alignment-based. Aligned is within reach to be craftable for first-life characters before 20, Metalline is much more difficult.

Metalline of Righteousness used to drop every now and then before The Great Ghostbaning, nowadays you can get Holy of Metaline. Yes, they dropped the second l when they made it a suffix (again? I'm told it used to be a suffix way back when...)