View Full Version : Never played a caster

12-25-2014, 04:36 AM
I havne't played a caster and just tr'd into one.. he is a 2 pally/18 sorc warforged, but I need ideas for the enhancements and feat build. something simple to play with survivablity to get into the caster style of playing. Thanks

12-25-2014, 07:34 AM
At low levels I normally use a great sword with master's touch for proficiency as spells are underwhelming at lower levels.

Depending on how long you plan to play this build you may want to drop the 2 paladin levels. There is a nerf coming that will limit the save bonus from divine grace. 2 favored soul (if going fire and force) or 2 monk are probably better choices for a splash. If you want to use armor/shield for MRR/PRR 2 fighter is a better splash than 2 pal. If you definitely want to go 2 paladin you may want to consider bladeforged for the extra low-cost reconstruct sla.

First thing you have to decide with casting is to focus on DC or dump DC. DC determines whether your spells land. If you aren't sure water savant with force as backup is a safe bet because many cold spells are effective even with a lower DC - and of course so is the magic missle line. Also, the frost lance 3rd tier SLA is probably the best available SLA for sorcs.

If you go with DC you need these feats in addition to other feats:

Spell Focus Evocation
Greater Spell Focus Evocation
Epic Spell Focus Evocation

Mandatory Feats include:
Empower (adds to spell power)
Maximize (adds to spell power)
Quicken (not really mandatory on a sorc but you should take if it's your first time playing a caster)

Other useful Feats (can fit in all of these if dumping DC):
Mental Toughness
Improvement Mental Toughness
Epic Mental Toughness
Epic Toughness
Epic Spellpower

For maxing spell damage you want to get the highest possible spell power and crits. Sources include:

Spell Power:
Spellcraft skill (max out and get spellcraft item/augment + skill tome)
Implement bonus (from item)
Enhancement Trees (Sorc tree - also fvs tree if you go fire and force)
Epic Destinies (Draconic + twists possible)
Guild Ship Amenities
Empower and Maximize
Gear set bonuses (e.g., dragon armor)

Enhancement Trees
Spell Criticals Past Life

You can get really high fire spell power/crits going fire with 16 sorc / 4 fvs and the ability to twist in another 45 spell power from other destinies. Water Savant is probably the safest choice and easiest to build and lets you switch between Draconic and Shiradi.

If you are still working on filling out destiny trees DC is a good choice because you are more effective outside of Draconic and Shiradi. On EE your spells are 20% less effective without 3 past life sorc and active past life wizard which is why I always recommend someone without the past lifes dump DC and go with Draconic or Shiradi. It also frees up a twist spot since you don't need to twist in the evocation bonus from magister. All of your draconic slas + ice storm + niacs + magic missle line + polar ray + frost lance sla + ruin are all spells that don't require DC. Dumping DC makes epic destiny farming tough so when etr'ing you may need to switch back and forth between DC and dumping DC depending on what destiny you will be in.

12-25-2014, 08:09 AM
must haves

Maximize(moar dps)
empower(moar dps)
Can skip but probably should get

quicken (for reconstruct and SLA's)
Heighten (more DC's, not as good on multiclass/WF)
Spell focus evocation or conjuration (morad DC's)
Spell focus or greater focus evocation or conjuration (moard DC's)

Can get, but not much of a difference

Mental toughness line ( 3 feats + 3% criticals (1% per feat) and some spell points. ) Can get but not worth the investment, unless shiradi spam.
Spell pen line (for necro and enchantment) is kinda meh, since you alredy have -2 spell pen, and you probably wont land against resistant mobs anyway. prerequisite for
Necromancy or enchantment focus (for holds and instakills/level drains). Not the best choice on multiclass sorc, but if you invest in it, you can hold + sword(if you melee), or hold + nuke. Good damage boost, but hard to land when it matters, and its easier and more spell point efficient just to shot damage spell 2 times.
Extend- longer buffs, I guess. Nice, but not worth.


epic feats- Hell ball and ruin, and possibly extra of your main elemental damage. Way spell point intensive, and you probably not gonna use them more than once per shrine.
Epic mental taughtness/spell pen/ spell focus. Are also choices.

for enchantments , I recommend Air servant + water servant, for optimal single target nuking/dots, and medicore AOE's, or Air servant +Fire servant for better AOE's, but more problems with resistances. Air/fire is better for shiradi spammers, if you spec in force spells.
Servants, and what you get from them
Air servant- Wings, best mobility, some AOE damage, some demons are immune to it, but otherwise ok. My recommendation for tier 5. Eldars DoT. Chain lightning targeting sucks balls. Damaging stuns. Evocation based. Needs DC.
Fire servant- Best AOE's (fireballs, fire wall, meteorites), most enemies after level 11 are somewhat resistant, or downright immune. Exelent for stuff that is not resistant, or immune. Sadly a lot of stuff is resistant. SLA's suck.Evocation based. Needs DC.
Ice servant. Good single target damage. Ice storm slow. Niclacs dot. Polar ray, ice ball thing. SLA's are ok, hard to land. Mostly evocation based, exempt for Niclacs SLA. Good synergy with stuff. A lot of immune/resistant things (constructs, skeletons). Many no DC spells.
Earth servant- acid DoT's. Good dots, but they take too long, and are not weary spell point efficient.Also is opposed to air tree, witch gives you mobility. Conjuration based. Good if you can stun up and then DOT, almost no immune enemies (some oozes, but they pose no threat). Many no DC spells.

I have not played Sorcerer in couple of updates tho, so I am not sure about the latest endgame.Warforged+ massive saves should be pretty good there.

What epic destiny are you going for, ost level 20? Draconic or? It matters a lot. Also what play style? Hybrid melee or gimp nuker?

18sorc 2 paladin sacrifices damage for "survivability" , meaning you can no longer nuke down tings that kill you, and still have crappy HP. Well at least you got war forged healing, and immunities. Only thing you really get is half damage from fireballs, and disintegrates.

But as long as you get haste, air dance(air servant wing ability), and jump, you probably can dodge out of anything, but the lag monster.

12-25-2014, 10:39 AM
If you describe how you will be playing this character it can help narrow the advice.

Are you just playing to 20 and then tring again?

Will you be playing epic levels? If so what difficulty and how long do you plan to stick with this build?

Will you be soloing, playing in a group, raiding, etc.?

12-25-2014, 02:51 PM
I am doing it to learn the caster play style, I will be taking it to 28 I want to see how it works in soloing and parties, then after playing with him a little while epic and heroic tr. I need to finish filling out 3 or 4 ed's while in epic levels, shouldn't take long. I already have the splash of pally as my first 2 levels. He took the greatsword follower.

12-26-2014, 03:03 PM
The most important thing I learned when I switched to caster from melee (ages ago) was learn to use tab to cycle through targets. If you played ranged before, just ignore this.

12-28-2014, 10:56 AM
I am doing it to learn the caster play style, I will be taking it to 28 I want to see how it works in soloing and parties, then after playing with him a little while epic and heroic tr. I need to finish filling out 3 or 4 ed's while in epic levels, shouldn't take long. I already have the splash of pally as my first 2 levels. He took the greatsword follower.

To really test out casting when you hit 28 you will want to stay in a good destiny for a while. There are 2 really good destinies for sorcs - Draconic and Shiradi. Draconic is based fully on your charisma score while Shiradi has no requirements. If you are a first-life 28 pt build without alot of tomes I would definitely recommend Shiradi. Sorcs are much less effective outside their main destinies which will mean alot of Epic Normal and timing your saga xp / big slayer counts to fill out the worst destinies. You can be a first life DC caster on Epic Normal.

For heroic leveling you will want to figure out your main element. This will depend largely on the difficulty you play. If you play Normal and then Epic Normal you can probably build an effective DC caster without the past lifes. If you plan to play elite and epic elite I would strongly advise against DC casting.

Electric (air) does the most damage and requires max DC.

Cold (water) has the best spells that work when your DC isn't high enough. It would be the best choice if you want to run higher difficulties from time to time. The downside is it doesn't work on skeletons and cold-based creatures and there are alot of those at the highest epic levels. Cold is the most versatile choice.

Acid (earth) has a few spells that don't have a DC check. It has some good AOE spells (acid fog, etc.). The best thing about Acid is few enemies are immune to it.

Fire (earth) is really great for most heroic leveling until you start to encounter fire-immune or fire-resistant enemies in the late heroic levels (devils - Amarath and Vale), but you can kill mobs easy running them back and forth through a firewall (aka kiting). It's also sp friendly as you can kill many enemies with a few firewalls. The biggest drawback of fire is it lacks a DOT.

If you want to run elite/hard you should choose Cold because your enemies take half damage on a failed DC check and worse - if they have evasion they take no damage. Acid is a good back up. If you plan to run normal to learn casting (I would recommend this) Then I would go with Fire and Acid or Fire and Electric. You will always want to have a few force spells as backups (magic missle, chain missles, force missles).

I will add a few other posts with specific topics. The most important thing is to play what you find the most fun so if you want to go with a specific school please post that.

12-28-2014, 11:10 AM
There are basically 4 types of spells (my simplistic view)

1) Buffs
2) Single-target damage
3) AOE (Area of Effect) / Multi-target damage
4) DOT (Damage Over Time)

On mobs you want to group them up as much as possible and use AOE Damage - depending on whether it persists (Wall of Fire) or is a one-time burst (acid blast) you use different tactics. For persistent AOE like firewalls and ice storm you will want to kite enemies through the effect - which makes it harder for them to hit you while they are taking damage. For one-time blasts you want to get a group of them together and use it.

Example persistent AOEs
Wall of Fire (best at heroic levels)
Ice Storm (best AOE that doesn't require DC check)
Acid Rain
Acid Fog

Example one-time AOEs
Chain Lightning (best if you have the DC)
Acid Blast
Chain Missles
Cone of Cold

For bosses DOTs are very effective because as you build up stacks, the damage gets bigger. There are no DC checks for DOTs. Examples of Dots:

Niac's Biting Cold
Eldar's Electric
Acid Arrow
Burning Blood (combo of acid + fire - works against fewer enemies - not undead, etc.)
Black Dragon Bolt

Notable Single-target spells
Lightning Bolt (high damage for this level spell)
Polar Ray (best single target spell without a DC check)

12-28-2014, 11:23 AM
The biggest mistake I see new casters make is the wrong use of metamagic.

Alot of people keep metamagic on for all spells which is very expensive. The three most relevant for you are:


What I normally do is turn on all my metamagic as the default. Then I individually turn off metamagic by spell.

To do this right click on the spell and choose to turn off certain metamagic. I turn off quicken for all my buffs. There is no need to pay 10sp extra for a blur.

Always keep metamagic on for your SLAs (spell like abilities from enhancements, epic destinies, feats, etc.). They cost 0 sp on SLAs so always keep those on.

I turn off enlarge/maximize on low-cost spells that aren't SLAs. These add 40 to the cost of the spell but increase damage.

I will keep it on for a high-cost spell like meteor swarm that costs 40. For a spell like firewall I will have one version with metamagic "on" and another with it "off". If the enemies hit really hard I will use the more expensive version to kill things quicker and save on repair costs. If they don't hit hard I will use a lower cost version and let it take a little longer. The low cost version is 25 sp and high cost version is 65sp. But one extra reconstruct with quicken is 45 so it's better to kill stuff quicker rather than do a bunch of repairs.

Chain missles costs 15sp and is a backup spell. I turn metamagic off for this. You will burn through spell points quick if you keep metamagic on for spells like this. In epic levels you even keep empower/maximized turned off at the individual spell level for this.

For repair spells I always keep quicken on. I normally keep empower / maximize off but will keep a repair serious with metas as an emergency backup plan - and hopefully never to rarely use it. I prefer topping off with lower cost repair spells. As a sorc I turn it off for everything except a few slower spells. If you fail concentration checks frequently just turn quicken on for those spells. I never see failed concentration checks for things like magic missle so I turn quicken off for those.

This will save you alot of sp. Also, at higher levels farm for Mysterious Bauble. This gives you a clickie that restores about 350 or so sp each shrine.

Heighten should be on for all SLAs. The difference between the spell level and 9 is what you get in DC bonus from this. So this would change a level 2 spell to a level 9 spell raising the DC by 7. That is a huge deal. I might keep it off for a spell not in my main school like frost lance because even if the enemy has evasion they are taking half damage. Frost lance costs 10 and with heighten it;s 40 so not worth it generally. Polar ray is 20 without heighten and 25 with it so I would probably heighten that. Again with a spell like Firewall I would have 2 versions. You don't need heighten until higher levels and epic levels. I would take it either 15 or 18.

12-28-2014, 11:35 AM
Since you want to do casting as early as possible here is what I would recommend for feats

1) Maximize (for your main school SLAs)
3) Empower (for your main school SLAs)
6) Spell Focus Evocation (DC)
9) Greater Spell Focus Evocation (DC)
12) Quicken (for repair spells mainly)
15) Heighten (needed for lower level spells - raises a level 2 spell to level 9 so adds 7 to DC) but makes spell more costly. Really good for SLAs like lightning bolt. (DC)
18) Toughness (only take if you will have 21 Con by level 24. So if you start with a 16 con you would need a +5 tome) otherwise take mental toughness
21) Epic Spell Focus Evocation (DC)
24) Epic Toughness or Improved Mental Toughness if you took mental toughness @ 15
26) Spell Power <main Element>
27) Ruin (no DC big damage force spell) or if you prefer SP you can take Epic Mental toughness if you didn't take toughness
28) Spell Power Force or secondary element.

12-28-2014, 11:38 AM
For starters, at low levels take maximize and empower as first 2 feats. Use your AP on SLAs and just nuke everything with empowered/max'd acid spray or burning hands (adding acid arrow/scorch later on). Don't be afraid to take a savant path that isn't your end-game path... for instance, I went acid/fire just for the SLA's and firewall until I was in my teens (taking a blend of key fire/acid spells I needed, low level buffs, and key air/ice spells I'd use later) then swapped to air/ice and just paid plat to slowly swap out key spells (doesn't take that long, but if in a rush just use dragon's blood).

One of my 2 main toons has 3 sorc PLs, including my last life which I played as above, then went shiradi. I had a guildie friend who marveled at how I kept up with his draconic sorc while using 1/3 the spell points and not having 20 sorc levels. In the end he would out DPS me, but shiradi adds a lot of staying power with built in CC and practically unlimited spell points. Air/Ice goes nicely with it for knockdown immunity (from air), no save nukes (ice) and best dots (both). If I had to re-make that now I would wear heavy armor, which paly gives you, but you have to fit in ASF reduction into the build. That will help offset the loss of the huge save bonus from paly (still get +8, but won't get + 20ish anymore).

12-28-2014, 11:48 AM
This is the easiest part of being a sorc

As a warforged you need to use an augment or take an enhancement to reduce arcane spell failure by 5%. Warforged/Bladeforged are only race that has 5% spell failure to start so it's worth it to remove that. More Con and HP always good. The con won't count towards your 21 epic toughness requirement.

I would take all the cores, crits and all the SLAs. I would use all metamagics on the SLA and use those as your main spells at lower levels to conserve SP along with DOTs and AOEs.

DO NOT take spell penetration. It's not worth it for a sorc with on past lifes. I usually don't take the metamagic reduction options and instead choose to use my metamagic carefully. I find it more useful to have points in another tree, but if you find yourself running out of sp you may need to invest in these instead of going deeper in a 2nd element.

Take evocation focus options and any good cc effects (icy prison, earth grab)

Take the line that lets you take tier 5 awaken elemental weakness. This is a huge dps boost on bosses and benefits other party members too.

Try to get some SLAs in a second school as a backup. If you have any questions about choices please ask.

12-28-2014, 11:59 AM
Power Word Kill seems like a great choice for a level 9 spell, but I actually find energy drain much better. This is another common mistake I see - people choosing a spell like power word kill over energy drain. Both spells have a spell resistance check so don't bother on Drow or any other enemy with spell resistance.

However, power word kill works on orange names on EN only. for EH and EE energy drain not only works, it works awesome. You can reduce the hp of an orange name boss by 100k on EE with a few energy drains and possibly enervation. The total HP and levels regenerate over time but the hp loss never go back up so it's better than DPS. Enervation can be hard to fit in though esp if you want firewall and dimension door.

As for CC, otto's irresistable dance is a great spell to lock down an enemy with no save, but with a spell resistance check. Again, you will learn which enemies have spell resistance checks and know not to use it against those. But having a hard-hitting orange name dancing is a huge help to the party if you can fit it in.

These no-save cc spells and hp reduction are huge benefits in EE. For epic normal you can just use power word kill orange name bosses, but using energy drain gives you the flexibility to be useful on EH and EE against orange names.

12-28-2014, 12:05 PM
As a warforged you will already have the best defense in the game which is more HP.

Additionally you should take the following:

Blur: use it at beginning of quest and after each shrine - lasts 18 min and reduces hits by 20%

Displacement: same as blur but doesn't last as long and reduces by 50%. If you are air savant the time is increased. This is the best defense for a caster. Keep this on whenever you are in a tough fight.

Mithral Body: Sorcs are feat starved so this is a tough choice, but you can take it instead of either toughness or mental toughness. It would require an augment or some more Enh action points to reduce your arcane spell failure to 0.

Your saves will still be really nice until the DG nerf. This is great defense.

Ghostly: get a ghostly item whenever you can for 10% miss chance.

Moving and Kiting: This is critical in some content to avoid taking damage. You have to move around and kite without driving the melee crazy. This is something you have to learn by practicing. Try to move enemies through damage so you can avoid damage and cause damage at the same time.

12-28-2014, 12:11 PM
You really want a spell power item with spell critical chance boost for your main element and something to boost evocation DC. You can get these at the AH - keep an eye out for higher level weapons while leveling. There are also a few good named items while leveling, but might not be worth the grind since they only last for a few levels.

If you can find items that give you a spell power, evocation DC or crit chance boost that isn't on a a weapon - those are very good because it allows you to fit in more things. Most of the random loot with these things are on weapons and with only two hands it's hard to fit in spell power, crit and DC until you craft a completed thunderforged weapon.

12-28-2014, 03:15 PM
2 things:

1) Fire works VERY well as your main spell type...the Vale and ToD areas are the only places is is bad and a lot of people never touch those areas anyways. After 20 fire is Very good in epic levels as well all the way and including 28.

2) Do Wheloon prison quest series on Heroic for very nice caster gear and then do again on Epic for even better easy to get caster gear. Can run normal for easy completion also and still get the same reward and I think the rewards are always in the reward list.