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View Full Version : "Arcanes should use great axes." Really?



Peter_Principle
11-28-2014, 12:30 PM
I've seen this advice offered a few times, that a newb arcane should take master's touch and barbarian his way through the first 5-10 levels, but it's never made sense to me. I've played through 2.5 arcane lives so far (Wiz Sorc Sorc) and the spells at level (never mind SLAs) seem perfectly adequate for completing level appropriate content.

Now, my Carnifex + Charged Gauntlets does indeed hit for some damage, but it just doesn't compare to a maximized, empowered electric loop that hits for 100-300 damage, strikes multiple targets at once, and has a crowd control effect.

Am I missing something here, or straw manning this suggestion? Full disclosure, I did skip to level 4/5 on both my sorcerer lives; is the use of a great axe something more appropriate before you get those level 2 & 3 combat spells?

Rys
11-28-2014, 12:36 PM
I've seen this advice offered a few times, that a newb arcane should take master's touch and barbarian his way through the first 5-10 levels, but it's never made sense to me. I've played through 2.5 arcane lives so far (Wiz Sorc Sorc) and the spells at level (never mind SLAs) seem perfectly adequate for completing level appropriate content.

Now, my Carnifex + Charged Gauntlets does indeed hit for some damage, but it just doesn't compare to a maximized, empowered electric loop that hits for 100-300 damage, strikes multiple targets at once, and has a crowd control effect.

Am I missing something here, or straw manning this suggestion? Full disclosure, I did skip to level 4/5 on both my sorcerer lives; is the use of a great axe something more appropriate before you get those level 2 & 3 combat spells?

I think it's more like level 1-5. Or until you get a fireball.

cru121
11-28-2014, 12:42 PM
It's one of the options how to handle the lowest levels. Some like it, some don't. I've been throwing the ML2 named shuriken on my drow wiz because that did more damage than anything else I had. On my sorc I killed stuff dead with SLAs and sonic blast.

btolson
11-28-2014, 12:55 PM
I've seen this advice offered a few times, that a newb arcane should take master's touch and barbarian his way through the first 5-10 levels, but it's never made sense to me. I've played through 2.5 arcane lives so far (Wiz Sorc Sorc) and the spells at level (never mind SLAs) seem perfectly adequate for completing level appropriate content.

Now, my Carnifex + Charged Gauntlets does indeed hit for some damage, but it just doesn't compare to a maximized, empowered electric loop that hits for 100-300 damage, strikes multiple targets at once, and has a crowd control effect.

Am I missing something here, or straw manning this suggestion? Full disclosure, I did skip to level 4/5 on both my sorcerer lives; is the use of a great axe something more appropriate before you get those level 2 & 3 combat spells?

I don't think anyone that knew what they were doing has ever recommended going all the way to 10 as THF. Generally only up until you get fireball/acid blast.

But that was mostly only in the 'olden days'. Lots of changes since then have made leveling a lowbie arcane much easier:
-Spell point costs were reduced (magic missile et al now cost 4 sp instead of 10)
-Sonic Blast became a great spell
-Enhancement revamp grants you SLAs at level 1 instead of level 6.

moo_cow
11-28-2014, 02:00 PM
I've seen this advice offered a few times, that a newb arcane should take master's touch and barbarian his way through the first 5-10 levels, but it's never made sense to me. I've played through 2.5 arcane lives so far (Wiz Sorc Sorc) and the spells at level (never mind SLAs) seem perfectly adequate for completing level appropriate content.

Now, my Carnifex + Charged Gauntlets does indeed hit for some damage, but it just doesn't compare to a maximized, empowered electric loop that hits for 100-300 damage, strikes multiple targets at once, and has a crowd control effect.

Am I missing something here, or straw manning this suggestion? Full disclosure, I did skip to level 4/5 on both my sorcerer lives; is the use of a great axe something more appropriate before you get those level 2 & 3 combat spells?

It depends on playstlyle IMO. I have never used a greataxe at low levels because I don't stop and kill every mob. I can gather all the mobs and use 10 spell points kills them. As soon as you get level 2 scorch aoe then you are OP. If I were to use a greataxe it would be gone as soon as I got scorch or fireball. At low levels I invis past everything anyway.

Sehenry03
12-02-2014, 06:37 PM
On a Sorc I would say use a GA til maybe lvl 3 or 4 then start using SLA's and such. A first lifer might focus on the EK tree longer and just melee everything down.

On a wiz I personally focus on the EK tree til I get lvl 7. After that I get the web SLA and Firewall/Acid Rain and then life is easy peasy after that.

But to your question with Carniflex and the EK tree you will generally kill faster and more efficiently for awhile...but it depends on your play style.

Trillea
12-02-2014, 09:02 PM
On a sorc, especially if you are human, for heroic levels all you need are the SLAs because Maximize and Empower are absolutely free. Niac's Cold Ray is basically Finger of Death if they are not immune to cold. For the things that are cold immune, you can easily use whatever second savant choice you want. I like air because while the 1st lvl SLA for fire and acid are AOE, they do only a d4 per caster level while shocking grasp is a d6. Not to mention that the named staff from 3BC Brine Shaman's Staff has CHA for atk, and cold/electric spell power and crit. Best caster lowbie weap I know of.


Brine Shaman's staff: http://ddowiki.com/page/Brine_Shaman%27s_Staff

Theolin
12-02-2014, 11:15 PM
Depends.

For Sorc probably not, for Wiz ....

Great axe d12+ str or int with harper now

str on wiz with bonuses 14 to maybe 20 max
int on wiz bonuses 18 - 24 max
so 2-7 extra damage
avg 6.5 + 2 or 6 = 8.5 to 13.5 damage per swing approx 1 swings per second
approx 8.5 to 13.5 damage per second

Assumption: most spells will be non maximized & empowered as at low level as it is to expensive to do so and you would only get a couple of casts of spell & not enough to make it to the next shrine.

level* (d4 or d6) well really 2+1d2 or 3+1d3
for a d4 spell 3 damage per level approx 1 spell per 1.3 seconds
for a d6 spell 5 damage per level approx 1 spell per 1.3 seconds
About 2.3 or 3.85 damage per second per level
Lets assume you have a 30 spell power item
so About 3 or 5 damage per second per level

so 8.5 / 5 = approx 1.7 levels on the low end
or 13.5 / 3 = approx 4.5 levels on the high end

That means some where between level 2 and 5 your spell damage per second is about the same as your melee.

I realize this is quick and dirty back of napkin type math ... that does not take into account many things ..like misses or deadly or extreme stats or criticals or AOE spells, or if you only have one spell you can use on a particular mob so you have a 1 second cool down instead of the .3 it takes to fire the next spell or past lives or dx per 2 level spells or ......

Now consider a great axe that has some weapon adds like a crafted holy bleed with masterful for a level 2 ..... which does 11.5 more damage on average so that almost doubles the caster level before it evens out for single target damage. That would mean somewhere between level 4 & 10.

Now of course a good fireball/acidblase or firewall/icestorm/otherAOE and a large group of mobs is a totally different thing:)

redoubt
12-03-2014, 04:35 PM
I've seen this advice offered a few times, that a newb arcane should take master's touch and barbarian his way through the first 5-10 levels, but it's never made sense to me. I've played through 2.5 arcane lives so far (Wiz Sorc Sorc) and the spells at level (never mind SLAs) seem perfectly adequate for completing level appropriate content.

Now, my Carnifex + Charged Gauntlets does indeed hit for some damage, but it just doesn't compare to a maximized, empowered electric loop that hits for 100-300 damage, strikes multiple targets at once, and has a crowd control effect.

Am I missing something here, or straw manning this suggestion? Full disclosure, I did skip to level 4/5 on both my sorcerer lives; is the use of a great axe something more appropriate before you get those level 2 & 3 combat spells?

I do this all the time.

To me, the spell point pool is low and I'm not interested in drinking my way through (not saying anyone not using an axe is.) I typically use buff spells and an axe hits hard enough at low level to kill most stuff in a swing or two.

As the spells get better and the spell points get to a point that they can handle running with meta's on I play more and more like a caster. By level 10 I've made the complete switch and put the beaters away. Low level stuff is so fast anyway and running elite streak a MM or burning hands just doesn't have the "hit" that a great axe does at level 2.

Inoukchuk
12-03-2014, 05:05 PM
I do this all the time.

To me, the spell point pool is low and I'm not interested in drinking my way through (not saying anyone not using an axe is.) I typically use buff spells and an axe hits hard enough at low level to kill most stuff in a swing or two.

As the spells get better and the spell points get to a point that they can handle running with meta's on I play more and more like a caster. By level 10 I've made the complete switch and put the beaters away. Low level stuff is so fast anyway and running elite streak a MM or burning hands just doesn't have the "hit" that a great axe does at level 2.

Not an issue on a sorc, for level 1's burning hands is plenty, for 2's maximized burning hands SLA is plenty, at 3rd level maximized/empowered BH SLA + max/emp acid spray is plenty. At 4th add web/blur. At 6th you can probably afford scorch SLA and add heighten. Never a problem for a sorc.

But for a wizard, you can either play like a sorc without the SLAs (can get MM instead) and spell points or pick up the axe.

Sehenry03
12-04-2014, 06:15 PM
Not an issue on a sorc, for level 1's burning hands is plenty, for 2's maximized burning hands SLA is plenty, at 3rd level maximized/empowered BH SLA + max/emp acid spray is plenty. At 4th add web/blur. At 6th you can probably afford scorch SLA and add heighten. Never a problem for a sorc.

But for a wizard, you can either play like a sorc without the SLAs (can get MM instead) and spell points or pick up the axe.

The only problem is the cooldowns. SLA's are awesome and mana conservative but the MM SLA for a wiz is horrible to try to use it efficiently. I just did a wizard TR and I went wiz EK til 7 and I flew through those levels with axes. Not saying wiz's can't nuke through those levels but just trying to use a SLA is really gonna slow you down. If you want to do EE content from lvl 1-7 with wizard spells is tedious at first just because of lack of hitting power compared to a sorc of a similar level.

cru121
12-05-2014, 01:38 AM
If you want to do EE content from lvl 1-7
This might be particularly hard to do because you cannot enter epic elite until you're level 20 :D

Sehenry03
12-05-2014, 01:16 PM
This might be particularly hard to do because you cannot enter epic elite until you're level 20 :D

They never opened EE Korthos to you? Lol yeah nice typo on my part.

And I hope no one thinks I am saying you can't cast spells/SLA's and level from 1+ because you can. I am just saying SLA's are generally to slow to use extensively because of the CD's on them and yes you can nuke your way through places but mana is a bit touchy early on. Using a great axe is just faster for me. Everything dies in 1-2 hits and I can zerg without shrining or stopping.