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giftie
06-04-2014, 05:10 PM
So we all know U22 will bring some exciting things for Bards. Personally, I'm dying to try out a pure Swashbuckler in Divine Crusader that manages to reach a standing DC 60.

Anyway my question is about TF weapons, but I'll briefly present the build first:

Pure Drow Bard, 20 CHA, 14 CON, rest DEX.

CHA breakdown:

20 base
07 level-ups
05 tome
08 enhancements (2 racial, 2 SB, 2 capstone, 1 WC, 1 SS)
06 epic destiny (Divine Crusader)
10 item
03 insight item
01 exceptional item
02 Inspire excellence
02 guild ship

= 64 CHA

DC breakdown:

10 base
06 Heighten
02 enhancements (1 Enchantment Lore, 1 Marigold)
01 Spell Focus: Enchantment
03 Enchantment Specialist
06 item (Thunder Forged orb)
01 Spellsong
01 Guild
02 augment
01 profane (Flawless Shadowscale)
27 charisma bonus

= 60 DC

Heroic feats are Single Weapon Fighting x 3, IC: Piercing, Precision, Extend, Quicken. Epic feats are Inspire Excellence, SF: Enchantment and Heighten. ED feats are Perfect SWF and Lasting inspiration.

Notably no Empower Healing, but without Heal it's quite inefficient and the only spell that arguably benefits from it is MCMW. Without the extra spell points/regen from SS T5, I expect I'll have to be more careful with spell points and don't think I'll use Mass Cures much anyway. Extend, on the other hand, is still quite efficient. EDIT: positive spell power is about 35 Points lower than my Spellsinger - I might end up swapping Extend with Empower Heal after all..

Rough AP distribution (should be pretty straight-forward): Drow 9, SS 15, WC 13, SB 43.

Now, back to my question. I need advice about which TF weapon to use. I only have enough mats to craft T2 at the moment, and looking at Touch of Shadows + Dragon's Edge. As far as I understand, Divine Crusader's +1 critical range is a unique type (sacred?) that stacks with everything, including swashbuckling. So if I did my math right, I'm looking the following crit ranges for finessable weapons:

Balizarde: 13-20 x 4
Light pick: 15-20 x 4
Drow weapons: 11-20 x 3
Everything else: 13-20 x 3

1) As far as I understand, Balizarde and Drow weapons lag behind TF weapons, despite superior crit profiles, and mostly serve as stepping stones during epic levelling. But at which point should I switch to TF? 24, at tier 1, or 26 at tier 2?

2) Light picks, or something else? Light picks are slightly ahead at 37 times base damage vs 35 over 20 rolls from 1-20 (assuming miss only on 1), but on-crit effects are slightly more rare. Exploit weakness ought to benefit the bigger crits of picks more, but I'm not sure. Light pick has lower base damage (d4) than most other weapons (d6), but even at 4.5W that shouldn't matter too much. But bigger crits are... bigger.

3) Which TF upgrades are, in your opinion, most useful in each tier?

cru121
06-05-2014, 01:06 AM
If you used Balizarde or other keen (impact) weapon, you could ditch improved crit. Perhaps for precision.

TheGuyYouKnow
06-05-2014, 02:42 AM
what difficulty will you be running? if your going for ee i find it hard to believe you will kill anything in the time it takes for coup de grace to come off cd(12 sec?) so you could literally use a rusty spoon
as for general dps thungerforge, most people go first degree burns, dragons edge, mortal fear

giftie
06-05-2014, 04:05 AM
If you used Balizarde or other keen (impact) weapon, you could ditch improved crit. Perhaps for precision.

I do miss Precision and Force of Personality, and either one is probably a better choice than PL: Wiz. But I wanted to break DC 60.

Swapping out IC: Piercing (or IC: Bludgeon, still not decided) means my DPS will take a huge hit with any other weapon though.


so you could literally use a rusty spoon

And I'd get away with it, too, if it wasn't for those meddling red-names!

Anyway, this build is intended to be EE capable. 1st degree makes sense.

CThruTheEgo
06-05-2014, 02:43 PM
Stick with rapiers. For non-thunderforged named weapons, nothing is going to beat Balizarde. For thunderforged weapons, the effects are either on hit or on crit, meaning none of them are affected by crit multiplier. So they favor crit range, not crit multiplier.

And look at the number of crits between a thunderforged rapier vs light pick:

Rapier 13-20x3 - 8 crits times 3 multiplier is 24
Light pick 15-20x4 - 6 crits times 4 multiplier is 24

So the overall crit damage, not including the thunderforged procs, is going to be the same regardless of which one you use. But the thunderforged effects that proc on crit will pull the rapier ahead. So stick with rapiers.

With swashbuckling and celestial champion, shortsword, light mace, sickle, and hand axe also end up with a 13-20x3 crit profile btw.

Exploit weakness changes things, however, since it favors the crit multiplier of light pick. Whether the average additional damage from exploit weakness on a light pick outweighs the extra damage from more crit effects on a rapier is difficult to say. You have to compare the difference in average additional damage from exploit weakness on a light pick vs a rapier with the increased damage from 10% more thunderforged procs on a rapier and see which of those is greater. I'm willing to bet they aren't that far apart either way. So pick whichever weapon aesthetically pleases you the most.

And I agree with TheGuyYouKnow, first degree burns/dragon's edge/mortal fear. I'd keep Balizarde until at least second tier thunderforged, maybe even third.

unbongwah
06-05-2014, 03:38 PM
Heroic feats are Single Weapon Fighting x 3, IC: Piercing, Heighten, Extend, Quicken. Epic feats are Inspire Excellence, SF: Enchantment and PL: Wizard. ED feats are Perfect SWF and Lasting inspiration.
I would also recommend Precision; drop Extend or PL:wiz. Emp Heal would be welcome too, but as you say feats are at a premium here.

You don't list Twists, but I would definitely consider Sound Burst SLA from EA.

Exploit weakness changes things, however, since it favors the crit multiplier of light pick. Whether the average additional damage from exploit weakness on a light pick outweighs the extra damage from more crit effects on a rapier is difficult to say. You have to compare the difference in average additional damage from exploit weakness on a light pick vs a rapier with the increased damage from 10% more thunderforged procs on a rapier and see which of those is greater.
Since they're both piercing weapons, OP can swap between them to test himself, if he's willing to sacrifice the mats to make two weapons.

giftie
06-05-2014, 09:17 PM
For non-thunderforged named weapons, nothing is going to beat Balizarde.

Except Skullsmasher, actually. Same crit profile but higher base damage and Ribcracker. Assuming you'd slot the defensive bonuses elsewere, EE version beats out a fully upgraded Balizarde. And for starter Swashbucklers, EH will do just fine and is probably much easier to acquire than a Balizarde or TF weapon.


And look at the number of crits between a thunderforged rapier vs light pick:

Rapier 13-20x3 - 8 crits times 3 multiplier is 24
Light pick 15-20x4 - 6 crits times 4 multiplier is 24

Well, to be fair you should either count the total damage in the same span or only count the additional crit damage (over a regular hit). The latter would result in rapier being 8 x 2 = 16 vs 6 x 3 = 18 for light pick.


With swashbuckling and celestial champion, shortsword, light mace, sickle, and hand axe also end up with a 13-20x3 crit profile btw.

As well as daggers, kukris - well, pretty much all light weapon but kamas and light hammers (though light hammers may be an oversight). Light picks are the only ones that stands out.


Exploit weakness changes things, however, since it favors the crit multiplier of light pick. [...] I'm willing to bet they aren't that far apart either way. So pick whichever weapon aesthetically pleases you the most.

This was my thinking as well. But to be honest, they're all hideous - especially when coupled with an orb. But I think the bigger numbers on the light pick would be most aesthetically pleasing. ;)


And I agree with TheGuyYouKnow, first degree burns/dragon's edge/mortal fear. I'd keep Balizarde until at least second tier thunderforged, maybe even third.

Excellent, thank you.

giftie
06-05-2014, 09:51 PM
I would also recommend Precision; drop Extend or PL:wiz. Emp Heal would be welcome too, but as you say feats are at a premium here.

You don't list Twists, but I would definitely consider Sound Burst SLA from EA.

Since they're both piercing weapons, OP can swap between them to test himself, if he's willing to sacrifice the mats to make two weapons.

PL: Wiz stays until I loot a Litany, a +6 CHA tome and/or a +11/+12 CHA item. =) I realize Extend is a convenience feat to most, but to me it's a core Bard feat - even in these days of perma-blur and perma-haste.

Planned twists are Enchantment Specialist and Unearthly Reactions. I don't plan to twist Soundburst at the moment, because I don't see any way of avoiding having to twist Draconic Perception as well, if I am to reach a useable reflex save. I'd rather just switch to EA for quests that demand that extra bit of CC.

I don't have the mats for more than one, but I could roll up a few in the Dojo. Guess I'll go pay Sobrien a visit.

Arcanegrin
06-10-2014, 11:49 AM
Personally I'd go with short swords over rapiers as they can also be used with a Ninja's enhancements, plus there are other decent short swords out there which makes your character easier to theme. I always like crafted weapons to be useful on multiple lives as needed.

giftie
06-10-2014, 12:01 PM
Personally I'd go with short swords over rapiers as they can also be used with a Ninja's enhancements, plus there are other decent short swords out there which makes your character easier to theme. I always like crafted weapons to be useful on multiple lives as needed.

Good point! This, however, is for my dedicated Bard and I don't think I'll be grinding out completionist just yet. I'd rather just be as effective as possible without more reincarnations at the moment.

MadCookieQueen
06-10-2014, 01:47 PM
Personally I'd go with short swords over rapiers as they can also be used with a Ninja's enhancements, plus there are other decent short swords out there which makes your character easier to theme. I always like crafted weapons to be useful on multiple lives as needed.


Bards dont' mix with Monks....so no Ninja here.

unbongwah
06-10-2014, 03:34 PM
Bards dont' mix with Monks....so no Ninja here.
I think his point was "Go with the weapon(s) you can use on multiple TRs," not "aren't bard / monks awesome lol?!" :)

giftie
06-11-2014, 05:36 PM
I would also recommend Precision; drop Extend or PL:wiz. Emp Heal would be welcome too, but as you say feats are at a premium here.

You don't list Twists, but I would definitely consider Sound Burst SLA from EA.

New guild buffs are great. With Archwizard (guild bonus) stacking with Spell Song Trance (morale bonus), I don't need PL:Wiz to reach 60, so Precision is in. And with Chronoscope giving +3 Reflex, the +6 twist might not be as crucial as I feared.

So I will, as usual, follow your advice. =)

painkiller3
06-23-2014, 12:11 PM
what's the ├╝ber-buckler to go with this? is epic swashbuckler the one? you can't craft alchemical bucklers, is there a lootgen one that could beat the buckler from 3bc?

thoughts?

Purkilius
06-23-2014, 12:14 PM
so you could literally use a rusty spoon


lmao

gwonbush
06-23-2014, 01:36 PM
You have two good choices for bucklers: Swashbuckler (At least Level 4 T3, Lvl 20 T3 prefered) or Kobold Admiral's Tiller since they are the only items with Guardbreaking. Which one you should use depends on your gear and potentially destiny. The Tiller gives enough dodge combined with enhancements and songs to bring you to your increased dodge cap, as well as some DR. If you can't slot dodge elsewhere, this is your best choice. Meanwhile, the Epic Swashbuckler gives +4 Insight to saves, 6% doublestrike (doesn't matter in Divine Crusader), and +2 Insightful Dex, giving a nicer defense if you have a dodge item elsewhere.

Haphazarduk
06-27-2014, 08:17 AM
You have two good choices for bucklers: Swashbuckler (At least Level 4 T3, Lvl 20 T3 prefered) or Kobold Admiral's Tiller since they are the only items with Guardbreaking. Which one you should use depends on your gear and potentially destiny. The Tiller gives enough dodge combined with enhancements and songs to bring you to your increased dodge cap, as well as some DR. If you can't slot dodge elsewhere, this is your best choice. Meanwhile, the Epic Swashbuckler gives +4 Insight to saves, 6% doublestrike (doesn't matter in Divine Crusader), and +2 Insightful Dex, giving a nicer defense if you have a dodge item elsewhere.

Slighty noob question but do you hit things ok with low str? Is it all in the bonuses?

Hap

cru121
06-27-2014, 08:29 AM
Precision stance gives bonus to hit. Divine Crusader gives full BAB. Bardic buffs add the rest.

Haphazarduk
06-27-2014, 09:41 AM
Precision stance gives bonus to hit. Divine Crusader gives full BAB. Bardic buffs add the rest.

Hmm, seems like a lot to make up. I guess you have guild buffs as well but I could see it being a pain to level without good kit (which I'm sure the OP has. Me, less so!)

Hap

CThruTheEgo
06-27-2014, 10:10 AM
Hmm, seems like a lot to make up. I guess you have guild buffs as well but I could see it being a pain to level without good kit (which I'm sure the OP has. Me, less so!)

Hap

With the changes to to-hit, it's difficult to make a build that has problems hitting. At cap, with a to-hit stat (str, dex, etc.) in the 30s, you won't have trouble hitting.

The bard in my sig starts with 12 str, doesn't currently wear a str item or any kind of accuracy gear, and I don't bother buffing my str (with skaldic rage or rage). I'm currently level 9 and run every quest once and done on elite. I've not had any trouble hitting. It's really not a problem.

gwonbush
06-27-2014, 10:48 AM
If you do find yourself having problems hitting, you might consider spending a couple of AP to get the T4 Swashbuckler ability that makes your weapon apply Destruction(Drops AC by 1 and Fortification by 1% on hit once every 2 seconds, stacks 15 times). Heck, I've found the ability pretty worth it even without to-hit problems just for the fortification decrease for things like Constructs and Undead (especially on Augloroasa).