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View Full Version : The Fusion Reactor - An Energy Efficient 21st Century Drow Evoker



Sydril
01-08-2016, 02:02 PM
The build outlined here is a utilitarian Drow Air Savant, Harper, Evoker. This is not an "idea build" or "theory craft" but a character (My main character more precisely) I have been playing for the better part of 9 years as is, with only relatively minor changes along the way. The addition of intelligence to damage recently with harper is really the only major shift, where previously the stats were spread more evenly with wisdom being the only dump stat, and that framework is perfectly viable but not optimal for Evocation DC's. Through all the little changes over the years this is the current incarnation of Vail of Thelanis (formerly Vail of Xoriat).

Stats:

First Life: 8, 16, 12, 16, 8 18 *Alternate* 13, 15, 12, 16, 8, 16
Second Life: 8, 15, 12, 16, 8, 19
Third+ Life: 8, 14, 12, 16, 8, 20


*Many newer players might find it difficult to manage encumbrance and helplessness from reduced strength early on. If this is very new for you you may want to consider a higher starting strength at least on your first life. Also a +1 dex tome would be needed on the 3rd+ life.

Skills: Tumble (1 rank), Concentration, Spellcraft, UMD, Perform, Spot, (Add Search with any Int tome bonuses)
These skills are fairly standard, with search being added in for finding secret doors in high level content.

This is a Utilitaririan "Long Range" versatile build. As such there are feats and enhancements devoted to melee capabilities. The Ability to do some form of damage outside of spellcasting, whether it's to preserve spell points, or beat on a portal, or capitalize on the vulnerable state of a helpless mob, is really paramount to any solo capable, efficient or otherwise multipurpose caster. This build uses Two Weapon Fighting, and Improved Critical: Piercing to capitalize on drow inherent rapier and shortsword proficiency. Many players might criticize the choice to play a sorcerer while sacrificing two feats to achieve mediocre melee skills, but in the long run the sacrifice is minimal.

This build does not use maximize, empower, or intensify. It also does not use SLA's. In my experience I have found maximize and empower to be largely wasteful (with the exception of maximize, combined with 6 enhancement points spent to reduce the cost, in conjunction of with Meridian Fragment) and I can say from experience that with a sorcerer's spell cooldowns being as fast as they are, you're better off not wasting feats on them. If you optimize your spell power and criticals through gear and enhancements you won't even notice aside from having a lot more spell points to cast more spells.

Feats
1 Extend (With 15+ base dex this can be exchanged for TWF)
3 Toughness (Future Lives - Past Life: Wizard or Completionist)
6 Two Weapon Fighting
9 Spell Focus: Evocation
12 Greater Spell Focus: Evocation
15 Heighten
18 Improved Critical Pierce
21 Epic Spell Focus: Evocation
24 Master of Air
26 Spell Power-Electric (First Life: Toughness)
27 Master of Music
28 SPell Power -Sonic (First Life: Toughness)
29 Dire Charge (First Life: Toughness)
30 Scion of Air

Gear is really dependent on preference. I won't engage the subject here unless someone has a particular question.

¯\_(?)_/¯

Enhancements:
There are two versions of enhancements, early on you will want to ignore the Eldritch Knight line and devote 6 of those points to Drow Charisma (the other two can go into Harper Skills). Once you feel your evocation DC is high enough, switch over to leather armor and get + 15 PRR (at level 30) along with +15 HP and some extra damage on melee attacks. That's a fair trade for 1 spell DC.

http://s21.postimg.org/u6cg5d83r/Screen_Shot00030.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
pc screenshot (http://postimage.org/app.php)

Spells:
I selected spells for efficiency and the expectation of running quests on epic elite. This is a build that can motor through many epic past lives, in multiple spheres. It can wield weapons, it can wear armor (and achieve a meaningful armor class by doing so), It doesn't need spell components, and some of the spells selected were just so I wouldn't have to bother with another pile of scrolls in my inventory. I will note that as crowd control an evoker is *exceptional* with the use of Sunburst and Prismatic Spray, combined with solid fog these spells can manage CC in some of the most deadly Epic Elite quests. Additional useful spells are the power word line (Blind, Stun, Kill) which benefit from a sorcerer's accelerated spell cooldowns. In some endgame content I can manage CC simply by cycling through Sonic Blast and Electric Loop.

Level 1: Jump, Shocking Grasp, Sonic Blast, Shield
Level 2: Resist Energy, Electric Loop, Knock, Invisibility (Blur is easily exchanged here)
Level 3: Haste, Rage, Displacement, Lightning Bolt
Level 4: Fire Shield, Solid Fog, Shout, Dimension Door
Level 5: Eladar's Electric Surge, Protection from Elements, Teleport, Niac's Biting Cold
Level 6: Chain Lightning, Greater Heroism, Greater Dispel Magic (for Spell Wards)
Level 7: Power Word: Blind, Prismatic Spray, Waves of Exhaustion
Level 8: Sunburst, Greater Shout, Power Word: Stun
Level 9: Energy Drain, Meteor Swarm, Power Word: Kill

General notes on the build:

For DPS Draconic is the best choice, but it functions quite well in many other destinies (Sentinel, Shadowdancer, Shiradi, Primal, Magister, Fatesinger, pretty much any of them).

It benefits from many past life feats. Utilitarian builds often do.

Sydril
01-08-2016, 02:20 PM
Reserved for notes on leveling, interim spell choices, play style etc.

Sydril
01-09-2016, 09:30 PM
I am currently leveling this build on Khyber from scratch under the name Griffin. First life, no gear, using the alternate stats. So far it's managing just fine.

Some of the details - currently level 9 (feats in parentheses):

Starting stats: 13, 15, 12, 16, 8, 16
Skills: Tumble (1 rank), spot, perform, spellcraft, umd, concentration

Level 1 (TWF), Expedition Retreat [to be swapped for shield later], Shocking Grasp
Level 2 sonic blast
Level 3 (SF: Evocation), Jump
Level 4 Electric Loop, +1 charisma
Level 5 False life [This is helpful for leveling, to be swapped out later]
Level 6 (GSF: Evocation) Lightning Bolt
Level 7 Displacement, Resist Energy (20 base at this level)
Level 8 Shout, +1 charisma
Level 9 (Extend - for haste & displacement), Dimension door, Haste

Planning on ball lightning at 10 (to be swapped later when chain lightning is picked up)

Pretty much all in on Air savant with 4 points in Harper and EK for the extra 15 hp in each.

skorpeon
01-20-2016, 12:40 PM
I am looking at another Sorc life, just played a MM spammer with some success. I did find myself getting killed fairly often in EE, and did a bit of hiding in groups. But managed EH ok, seemed the life flew by so now I am ready to try again.

I was geared in a mish mash kind of way, not spec'd for air (more force and fire) but I think that is easy to fix currently.

I guess building Evocation DC's are a lot more important with this build. I am not expecting to be outstanding but what basic gear should I be looking out for? More concerned with epic gear (where it is more of a struggle to survive at times).

Cheers
Tym

C-Dog
01-20-2016, 01:51 PM
...Stats:

First Life: 8, 16, 12, 16, 8 18...
I would REALLY worry about that starting Con. How do you deal w/ the predictable squishiness?


*Alternate* 13, 15, 12, 16, 8, 16
...

*Many newer players might find it difficult to manage encumbrance and helplessness from reduced strength early on. If this is very new for you you may want to consider a higher starting strength at least on your first life...
Curious if you (or others) have suggestions re "managing encumbrance" with bottom-tier Strength, but since that is OFF TOPIC, anyone should RESPOND to that question HERE: https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/470794-How-to-deal-with-Encumbrance-from-low-starting-Strength?p=5764658#post5764658

THANKS!

Sydril
02-10-2016, 11:55 AM
I would REALLY worry about that starting Con. How do you deal w/ the predictable squishiness?


Curious if you (or others) have suggestions re "managing encumbrance" with bottom-tier Strength, but since that is OFF TOPIC, anyone should RESPOND to that question HERE: https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/470794-How-to-deal-with-Encumbrance-from-low-starting-Strength?p=5764658#post5764658

THANKS!

Well I've got quite a few past lives, a +5 or 6 con tome and some pretty good gear so the 12 con doesn't bother me at all really. For a less geared build I might push the con to 14. After that its a waste of resources in my opinion.

The gear and resources also balance out the strength issue, and I'd push a less geared build to 12 base for utility.

Sydril
02-10-2016, 12:24 PM
One common theme I see here on these forums is the pervasiveness of sinking ability points into starting constitution. There is something to be said for playing a character that isn't a walking mountain of hit points. It makes you a better player when you have to think about damage avoidance.

So often I see these players join pugs and the first thing they do is summon a hireling (without asking if anyone minds) and proceed to zerg through the quest with the hireling in tow expecting all damage they might take to be mitigated, then when the hireling dies they complain about how stupid hirelings are...how ironic.

C-Dog
02-10-2016, 01:02 PM
One common theme I see here on these forums is the pervasiveness of sinking ability points into starting constitution. There is something to be said for playing a character that isn't a walking mountain of hit points. It makes you a better player when you have to think about damage avoidance.
I"m not sure "sinking" is the right word - I'd use "investing". BUT, I will admit there is also "over-investing", certainly...

And I agree that flying without that safety net forces a player to improve. The problem in lower Con (= less HP) is toward end game, when a Boss predictably delivers an average of X damage, and the math sez your build simply won't last long enough to react for for healing etc., so, in essence, a dealbreaker.

And while I, myself, can't quote specific target numbers for final HP values, it does seem that a 12 Con is below the consensus of "on the safe side of the math". (UNLESS - always "unless" - the player is absolutely sure they know differently, from long experience, that they KNOW, beyond doubt, that they have an ace up their sleeve that will keep them covered. Maybe the OP does - but most of us don't.)

Sydril
02-10-2016, 02:03 PM
I"m not sure "sinking" is the right word - I'd use "investing". BUT, I will admit there is also "over-investing", certainly...

And I agree that flying without that safety net forces a player to improve. The problem in lower Con (= less HP) is toward end game, when a Boss predictably delivers an average of X damage, and the math sez your build simply won't last long enough to react for for healing etc., so, in essence, a dealbreaker.

And while I, myself, can't quote specific target numbers for final HP values, it does seem that a 12 Con is below the consensus of "on the safe side of the math". (UNLESS - always "unless" - the player is absolutely sure they know differently, from long experience, that they KNOW, beyond doubt, that they have an ace up their sleeve that will keep them covered. Maybe the OP does - but most of us don't.)

Very nicely put. My perspective on this is that the difference between a 12 base con and a 16 base con at levels 30 is precisely 60 hit points at the loss of 10 build points. To me 60 hit points is not a deal breaker when in the end game you're aiming at 1,000+ but it's really all relative to the value of the sacrifices made.

jalont
02-10-2016, 02:56 PM
I"m not sure "sinking" is the right word - I'd use "investing". BUT, I will admit there is also "over-investing", certainly...

And I agree that flying without that safety net forces a player to improve. The problem in lower Con (= less HP) is toward end game, when a Boss predictably delivers an average of X damage, and the math sez your build simply won't last long enough to react for for healing etc., so, in essence, a dealbreaker.

And while I, myself, can't quote specific target numbers for final HP values, it does seem that a 12 Con is below the consensus of "on the safe side of the math". (UNLESS - always "unless" - the player is absolutely sure they know differently, from long experience, that they KNOW, beyond doubt, that they have an ace up their sleeve that will keep them covered. Maybe the OP does - but most of us don't.)

"Endgame" mobs hit for several thousand HP. Starting with 12 con over 14 con or 16 con isn't going to make any difference. The rest of the game is so easy that the difference in starting con doesn't make any difference.

C-Dog
02-10-2016, 04:51 PM
"Endgame" mobs hit for several thousand HP. Starting with 12 con over 14 con or 16 con isn't going to make any difference. The rest of the game is so easy that the difference in starting con doesn't make any difference.
So by that logic you advocate starting w/ an 8 Con (6 for elfs, natch)? :rolleyes: