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Aventine
07-07-2014, 05:00 PM
So I missed the boat on DDO. I've tried most of the major MMO's over the years (WoW, Warhammer, GWs 1&2, Age of Conan, Rift, LoTR, Secret World, etc) and I have to say I'm impressed with how different DDO plays. I'm intrigued by the action style combat, the insane build diversity I can't possibly understand, and the quest system that seems to rely heavily on digestible instanced dungeons instead of lame errand style mechanics.

I'm about 10 years behind on this one, and I've tried to find reliable beginner material, but everything seems outdated- or at least not written for someone who's picking up the game for the first time.

Here's what I've gathered so far.

1. I did the Korthos Island and made it to the next area, which looks like a massive city.
2. I'm playing a cleric because i'm a FTP player and the biggest advice I've collected so far is to start off with a class that can heal itself (cleric was always my favorite P&N D&D class, but I haven't done that in 20 years).

That's about it. I'm trying not to get overwhelmed by everything. I'm running all the quests/dungeons I find solo- which there seems to be a new one every 10 feet. I haven't dared try to ruin a veteran's group dungeon by joining a co-op- but I feel like playing entirely solo is going push me away from the game.

I'm basically looking for a simple leveling type guide advice for a FTP player (if there's anything beyond "just explore")
Also tips on playing a cleric. Honestly I haven't spend any points in any of my trees and I pretty much don't cast any spells because they all seem very situational and I seem to get by just clubbing kobolds.

There's probably more, but I have to answer some work emails. Appreciate any tips/direction.

MangLord
07-07-2014, 07:13 PM
As it so happens, I'm working on my cleric life on my completionist character (you can reincarnate as a new character at level 20, keeping some past life bonuses, and attain completionist feat after you do a life of every class. It's a whole other thread, but basically your character gets better after every life.)

So far I'm finding cleric to be way more fun than I'd expected. I just hit level 10 this morning, squeezing in a couple hours of play before work. I chose elf, specializing in scimitars with the Undying Court as my deity. I'm more of a melee player, so warpriest was my primary enhancement tree choice. (You can definitely rock with light spells and turning undead as a Radiant Servant/Divine Disciple if you prefer casting, but your spell checks will always lag slightly behind arcane casters.) I'd gone through a dwarf and warforged life, so I was enthused to look at an attractive elf lady when I logged in for a change. I'd thought about Silver Flame with longbows, but I felt like I'd be disappointed after going through a couple Arcane Archer lives. I have an awful lot of heavy armor and clerical gear saved up that it feels like a waste to just vendor it with a halfassed ranger life.

The reason I chose scimitars was because I'd never made a character that used scimitars, I hadn't done a two weapon fighter in a while, scimitars have an awesome critical range, and elf tree + warpriest favored weapon bonuses synergized very well. I started searching the Auction House around level 10 of my previous life for scimitars, with a forthcoming life in mind. Warpriest has some really fun abilities in the tree, like Ameliorating Strike, Divine Might, Smite Weakness and Wrathful Weapons. Wrathful Weapons is especially devastating when dual wielding, because of the increased chance to roll a 20. Ameliorating Strike gives a small AOE heal that usually tops me off after every encounter so far.

Cleric doesn't get enough feats to take full advantage of a melee style like a fighter might, so I took two levels of fighter for the extra feats. Feats are up to you, but Empower Healing Spell pays dividends from level 1 to end game. I opted for TWF feats, Power Attack and Cleave for a quick AOE melee attack. Quicken Spell is very useful after level 20, as it provides an unbreakable emergency heal and greatly speeds up your AOE spells like cometfall. Improved Crit: Slashing doubles your critical range, so scimitars crit on a 15-20, which is amazing. I'm starting to break into the 100s on general crits at level 10 with +5 seeker and deadly gear.

Without going into every specific nuance of the build, STR is most important for a warpriest. You can kinda build the character as a warrior with the benefit of a lot of buff spells and self healing. CON gives you more HP and improves your fortitude saves, and WIS is required to cast high level cleric spells, boosts your SP bar and helps your will saves, which is never bad. CHA helps your undead turning and boosts your Divine Might, but so far I'm getting by with the Eagle's Splendor and Seek Eternal Rest spells. If you like to run up and behead mobs, an elf warpriest with two scimitars is your bag.

As far as armor goes, you need a minimum of 15 DEX to do TWF, and 17 DEX to do greater and improved TWF, (accumulated tomes count towards your base score) so I've been wearing medium armor because it has a cute skirt and I can get my full DEX bonus to AC. I didn't build my character for evasion, so I rely on a knowledge of traps with Prot from Energy, temp HP and saves boosts. If I'm lucky I can buff up a real trapper in my party and not worry about it, but a trapper usually isn't online at 7 am when I get up early to quest before work.

Elf Valenar weapon boosts provide additional stacking bonuses to scimitar damage, and elven Skill is awesome. Spot bonuses never hurt, as they allow you to see hidden enemies. Put enough points into elf tree to get max Valenar bonuses (or Aerenal if you want longswords or longbows). Bonuses to enchantment saves and spot are always good. Accessing AA tree probably won't help a scimitar build much, but would pay dividends if you choose the Silver Flame as your deity.

The reason I didn't pick elf Grace dex for damage is that Divine Might applies a STR modifier to damage. I want to stack bonuses, and I can hit Divine Might and Divine Favor for boss fights and they stack atop my STR. I'd rather save the points for something useful.

A warpriest is amazingly durable with a wealth of resources, and should be a breeze to hit 20 on your first time through. The only downside is a lack of evasion and trap mitigation, but Prot from Energy and temporary HP boosts work wonders. Heroism and Haste potions help a lot with traps. Once you eat it in a trap, you can come back and have a much easier time with proper spell and potion usage.

Anyways, you can easily hit level 20 playing normal and hard difficulty, assuming you have a few choice packs like Demon Sands, Gianthold and Vale of Twilight. There's no need to subject yourself to elite until you're on your third life with some gear and experience to fall back on. I'm sure you can grind FtP quests and hit level 20, but you should have some free TP to spend on a pack or two.

Scrabbler
07-07-2014, 07:13 PM
Also tips on playing a cleric. Honestly I haven't spend any points in any of my trees and I pretty much don't cast any spells because they all seem very situational and I seem to get by just clubbing kobolds.
Surely you're at least casting some Cure spells on yourself... or else I don't know how you've survived this long.

Clubbing monsters is a fine basic approach. Use Divine Favor, Resist Energy, and Shield of Faith to make yourself more dangerous/durable in those situations. Maybe Bull's Strength as well. There's no need to try casting spells on enemies until you've progressed a few levels higher. (Or maybe until around 9+)

I hope your weapon is better than a literal "Club". Did you get a weapon proficiency from your level 1 religion feat, such as Longsword? That or even a Quarterstaff would tend to be better than a Club or Mace.

As for enhancements, pick some from the Cleric class trees that give Positive Spellpower or spellpoints. If you'd like to try damaging enemies spellcaster-style, then get Nimbus from Divine Disciple. Otherwise go to Warpriest and grab Smite Foe and (if your Charisma is decent) Divine Might. It does not cost a lot of plat to re-do your enhancements, so just go ahead and try some out without worrying about being stuck with bad choices.


As for your big question, how to join groups. Don't start off trying to join an existing group. Make your own group entry in the Social window that's like this forum thread. Request for just 1-2 people to join up, chat with you, and let you tag along through some dungeon. Don't try to form a larger group at first, because then you'll become very outnumbered by the experienced people. Also, since the game is free, maybe you can recommend a friend from elsewhere install it and come play with you; that way there's no risk of getting in the way of a stranger who's got a lot more skill.

Zirun
07-07-2014, 09:56 PM
You can find quests appropriate for your level by opening the adventure compendium (hotkey 'P') and clicking on "Level:" right under the search bar. That'll bring up all the quests close to your level, sorted by level. Hovering your mouse over a quest will show you where the quest is located and what NPC you need to talk to to obtain it. The caveat with this is that the adventure compendium contains all quests, not just ones you can complete. Quests that you don't own or cannot complete solo due to in-quest restrictions (like requiring multiple players) will still be listed there. You'll have to learn which quests you can and cannot do on your own. Alternatively, you can find a list of free-to-play quests on DDOWiki: http://ddowiki.com/page/Guide_to_Free_to_Play#Quest_List The Cannith and Eveningstar challenges can be run for free, so long as you collect Universal Challenge Tokens (you get one per day) from a relevant NPC.

You'll want to do every quest you can at least once if possible. You may need some (a lot) of help (people, guides, or otherwise) with some of them, particularly a couple of the mid-high level ones like The Pit and Tempest's Spine. That'll help you figure out what sort of quests you like, and what your goals for the near-future of your gameplay are. You'll get some free TP (which you may have already noticed), and knowing what you like and what you want to do will help guide what you buy from the DDO Store with those points.

As for doing the actual questing... If you're going to play a Cleric, particularly solo, you'll need to be decently good at melee combat. Clerics have very few and very weak offensive spells until they get things like Flame Strike, Divine Punishment, and Blade Barrier; those are high level spells that are quite a ways away for a new player. Take spells that buff you or heal you, and if you have a decently high Wisdom, then crowd control spells can be useful as well. Nightshield, Protection from Evil, Cure Light Wounds, Command, Divine Favor, Shield of Faith, and Remove Fear are all potentially useful level 1 spells, depending on what the enemies throw at you (Nightshield blocks Magic Missiles, for example, in addition to increasing your saves which can reduce the impact of spells and traps on you). Low-level summons, damaging spells, and debuffs don't tend to be worth using at low levels due to your low pool of spell points, low damage of summons/spells, and the relatively weak enemies being not worthy of debuffing. As you level up, you'l want to take stronger healing spells, debuff-removal, and, eventually, some more offensive spells.

The final point I'll make for your character... don't be afraid to admit you don't like it or feel you did something wrong. Rerolling characters is extremely common in this game, especially for new players. It's a daunting task to learn what classes, stats, feats, skills, spells, enhancements, and items you want, and it's practically impossible to make a good character without outside help when you're brand new. Try out each class, check out the enhancements for all the races and classes, see what you like best.

Don't be afraid to continue playing what you feel like is a bad character, though: The further you get, even if your character is bad, the more you'll learn. You might not like the terrible spells a low-level Wizard has, but level 5 or 7 can be the moment that completely changes your mind, when you can throw out spells like Fireball or Acid Rain. Or even seeing your Wizard waddle around in Zombie form for the first time at level 3 can be a very satisfying experience.

If you're looking for people to group with, I'm available to help you out. I've been wanting to play with a new player for a while now, to see the game through their eyes, as opposed to the eyes of somebody who's done most of the quests so often he knows where almost every trap in almost every quest is. I promise no in-quest spoilers (I'll stay behind you in quests, no warning of traps/enemies/secrets unless my character finds them, etc.), though I'll still help you out if you have questions about items, spells, enhancements, etc. If you're interested, you can send me a message regarding when you play, and I'll see what we can do.

Jingwei
07-08-2014, 01:07 AM
In the early levels, and especially on lower difficulties, just swinging a weapon is actually the best way to go forward. Even when doing a wizard life with a base strength of 10, I mostly hit things with a stick until several levels in. That's because the spells you have access to tend to be weak, and you don't tend to have enough spell points to burn the monsters down with the spells to do have.

As a cleric, your first strong spell is soundburst (lvl 2), and not to do damage, but to do crowd control. Expecting to kill anyone with soundburst if futile, but it's cheap enough that you can cast it several times on a group of monsters and hope to incapacitate most of them. This can give you breathing room. Either to take on just one monsters at the time, or just time for your healing spells to come off cool down.

After that, direct damage cleric spells aren't really good until divine punishment (lvl 5) and blade barrier (lvl 6).

If planning to be a cleric who gets by mainly by casting spells, you'll want to invest heavily in the divine disciple tree for the spell like abilities.
Here's EllisDee37's Necro Cleric for new players (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/422552)

If you want to play something more like the classic 'paladin' who combines healing magic with hitting people:
1. Avoid a large number of levels in the paladin class, it's not very good.
2. Some combination of cleric, fighter (1 to 12 levels), paladin (2 levels), monk (2 or 6 levels), ranger (6 levels) will get you there.

Here's EllisDee37's Kensei Warpriest for new players (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/426765) as an example.

Wh070aa
07-08-2014, 03:34 AM
Invest 23 points in divine disciple SLA's (ligt based spell like abilities (Nimbus of Light,Searing Light, and most importantly Holy Smite)
Holy Smite will give monsters blindness, witch makes them 50% less likely to hit you (and it does good damage, if you have maximize,empower and quicken). That's quite an investment tho, and locks you in as a caster. You can drop the empower, if you want.
Get heavy(or highest you can) fort, item and a radiance/radiance lore. If you solo, get some healing amp, and divine vitality. It heals you for 10-ish Hp every 2 seconds for about a minute (hinter heal skill you have, longer it heals).

Also get cleric hireling, and use divine vitality on yourself for extra spell points (and you can have him heal you). Wizard/bard hirelings give you haste, and greater heroism. later on.
Get jump, striding and feather fall.

AbyssalMage
07-08-2014, 06:11 AM
I'm about 10 years behind on this one, and I've tried to find reliable beginner material, but everything seems outdated- or at least not written for someone who's picking up the game for the first time.
Even the outdated stuff has kernals of wisdom but yeah, unless you know what you are looking for...


Here's what I've gathered so far.

1. I did the Korthos Island and made it to the next area, which looks like a massive city.
2. I'm playing a cleric because i'm a FTP player and the biggest advice I've collected so far is to start off with a class that can heal itself (cleric was always my favorite P&N D&D class, but I haven't done that in 20 years).

That's about it. I'm trying not to get overwhelmed by everything. I'm running all the quests/dungeons I find solo- which there seems to be a new one every 10 feet. I haven't dared try to ruin a veteran's group dungeon by joining a co-op- but I feel like playing entirely solo is going push me away from the game.
Like you have already realized there is a lot of flexibility built into DDO; Some good, some bad. Are you following a guide from the forums? Possible Ellis or similar? That would help us out because a melee Cleric plays and requires something totally different than a casting Cleric.


I'm basically looking for a simple leveling type guide advice for a FTP player (if there's anything beyond "just explore")
You get to do lots of F2P quests. Honestly, Harbor, Market, then visit the various Houses (K, J, P, and D). Twelve and Coin Lords (?) can wait until 11+


Also tips on playing a cleric. Honestly I haven't spend any points in any of my trees and I pretty much don't cast any spells because they all seem very situational and I seem to get by just clubbing kobolds.
Warpriest if you are melee focused. Disciple(?) if you are caster. 41 points into the one that provides power to your healing. Depending on your race and feat choices, ~21 points. Enhancements can be reset (at a cost) so don't worry too much if you make a mistake.


There's probably more, but I have to answer some work emails. Appreciate any tips/direction.
1) Welcome to the forums.
2) Join a guild. Especially one with lots of active players. Even if all of you are new you can occasionally help each other out with knowledge.
3) I would group with players, just send a tell telling them you are new if you are nervous. They will either say, come on in or say no thanks. Usually, in my experience, they will take the first 5 (i.e. you) but you will get a few <censored>. Also, by grouping with people, you learn stuff you may not learn otherwise. For example: In STK (it's a Pay 2 Play pack) there is a nasty trap (on Elite difficulty) but walking on the ledge to the left allows you to avoid it. I learned this by actually grouping with others about a year ago. Yesterday, I was running the quest chain and the group came to a screeching halt as they waited for the Rogue (who got toasted in an earlier trap) to catch up to the party. Anyways, I simple jumped on the ledge, proceeded to beat the bad guys to a pulp and sat their with an open chest waiting on the rest of the party to cross the now safe bridge.
Moral of the story: Group, you will learn faster.

EllisDee37
07-08-2014, 06:27 AM
My necro cleric (link in sig) is designed for new players to run a pure cleric who can cast spells effectively. At low levels it spends most of its time casting cheap SLAs (spell-like abilities) to do direct damage to mobs. SLAs are great because you can apply metamagics to them for free.

Getting both maximize and empower for free on nimbus of light, searing light and holy smite makes them quite effective.

count_spicoli
07-08-2014, 11:29 AM
Hello and welcome to the game. Having some past dnd experience will help you. This game will keep you busy for some time with over 500 quests, challenges and wilderness areas. Remember your first char will probably be a mess. Mine was and I think most people on here will admit as much. The character building and diversity in this game is what separates it from any other mmo. But it takes some work to build just the right char for you.

What server are you on? I'd be more than happy to give you some starter scratch.

ValariusK
07-08-2014, 11:51 AM
Cleric is an excellent choice for a new player who is free to play. Speaking of the free to play, if you're lucky there will be a steep discount on something like the starter pack during the 'summer sails event'. Last year there was one cutting the price on that to $2.50 on the DDO market. That would upgrade you to premium. If you're enjoying the game enough to make a minor investment, that or buying the $10 or so turbine points package during the double bonus points event is a good deal.

My first 2 lives on my main were cleric lives. The first was cleric-19/fighter-1 with an emphasis on two-handed weapons. That's not a bad build, but my 2nd one was a lot better. 2nd life I did cleric-20 divine disciple major/warpriest medium/radiant minor. Human in both cases, the extra feat and skill points helps a lot, as do the cheap action boosts. 41 points of Divine disciple, 25 points of warpriest (dual wielding longswords, the religious weapon of the sovereign host) 11 points of radiant (enough for the positive energy boost and some turn enhancements) and like 3 points on human for +1 wisdom and a skill boost.

The SLAs and extra spells in light divine disciple rock while levelling. Split your feats between TWF (make sure to have enough dex through tomes and starting to qualify---you can probably score a +3 tome if you've got a card cruncher by trading for cards, check the ddo wiki on the anniversary event) and maximize, empower and maybe evocation focus. You might also want to make a character on each server and go up to like 25 or 50 favor. This will net you a lot of TP, enough for a pack or two. It will also give you a better idea of how the other classes play. Understanding how your potential party members play helps a LOT in knowing how to support them. In the present state of the game, if you just toss a heal every now and then, and raise the dead, most people will be perfectly happy. The days of expecting you to chain heal in a party are pretty much over outside of narrow circles. Bring your own healing is mostly the norm now.