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aumerle
04-25-2018, 04:04 AM
Howdy all,

So I'm a returning player who hasn't played since the level cap was 20. While I'm remembering quests as I do them, most of my original knowledge is either forgotten or completely useless as things have changed.

What I was thinking about doing was do a little bit of the Reincarnation grind to try to get myself back into the game - I had 3 level 20 characters and I went ahead and TRed one of them into a Warlock, using this build (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/493271-Zehnpai-s-Acid-Warlock-First-life-friendly-Heroic-leveling-VIP-Premium) - I tested it a bit on a new character first and it seemed pretty strong so felt like a good fit for doing a bit of soloing while re-learning the game.

However with my actual character I've run into some problems. Levels 1-7 or so were fine, every once in awhile I'd fall asleep at the switch or walk into a trap at low hp but mostly my fault. But now, I'm having real issues soloing anything (without dropping the difficulty down to normal which would make the levelling grind really slow). Many traps just instantly kill my character and any dungeon with a lot of casters or elemental damage is also pretty deadly.

A few examples - I soloed all of Deleras on elite until the final quest, which has that double fire trap right at the entrance. I literally could not make it through that trap without dying (I tried about 5 times hoping I'd make a save or roll lower on the damage) - I bought fire resist pots, aid spell, cleric hire, buffed up my hp with feigned health and would walk into that trap and instantly go down to like -80 hp. So then I tried Gwylin's Stand - similarly instantly killed due to a sonic trap on the steps a little ways in. Garl's tomb part 1 - those trog warlocks would either lock me down with hold person? and/or drop fire spells on me - I made it about halfway to the part where you have to jump across an area with 2 levers to pull and casters overhead killed me before I could make it to the first lever. Fire elemental at the end of Lair of Summoning killed me, but my cleric hire was able to finish it off... Shadow Crypt - I can make it to the end but the fight with the 4 named Wraiths is just death - combination of fire damage and CC locking me down.

So what I'm running into is a combination of elemental damage (sometimes from casters, sometimes from traps) and CC that's making it really difficult for me to complete anything at this level solo.

As mentioned I'm sure I could drop the difficulty down and continue, and I'll look harder for groups at my level (I'm on Thelanis and from what I'm seeing there's usually a few groups up (honestly about the same as when I played last) - maybe one in my level if I'm lucky, but quite often a quest I've already done so the xp wouldn't be great) so I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions to help with my survivability.

Full disclosure - my gear is terrible. I don't have anyone with crafting skills (I'm working on breaking down useless stuff I find to build up some essence but I'm just getting started) and while I've found a few pieces while levelling that are not completely useless, most of my gear is pretty bad. I've probably only got like +1 saves, +1/+2 to cha/con, a +power item for acid and force damage, low striding bonus, deathblock, underwater action and a feather fall item.

I found this list in another thread asking for Warlock gear advice -

Pan circlet, fanion/skyvault, ghostly item, GS HP if you have one, GS cha skill doesn't hurt but wlk UMD is crazy anyway, speed item.

crafted: lore/spellpower (and ins)/sheltering/hamp/false life/vitality/con/cha/saves/spellsight. If you have martial pasts for a good AC you might fit in protection/natural armor for extra invincibility.

Augments: blind/(usually fear, but ES has that covered)/fort/deathblock/exp.

+Conjuration DCs

The thing is I've looked some of those items up and most of the specific items listed are level 12+, I'm not even making it that far, so really looking for recommendations for lower level gear that would help my situation. Con item? Resists? Something else that would get me through a little easier? I could farm some plat for AH purchases or items that are bound to account on one of my other 20s if there's something specific that would help. I think partly I'm a bit overwhelmed by all of the mods on gear these days and it's making it difficult for me to figure out what's really important.

Thanks in advice for any help.

Selvera
04-25-2018, 10:21 AM
For starters; welcome back.

While I'm likely not the #1 person to go to for warlock gear (as I've only run one warlock life so far); I can probably help with the basics, and also offer some advice.

My #1 advice is don't feel bad about dropping the difficulty. If you take into account how much faster you clear dungeons on normal and how much less likely you are to wipe+have to repeat a dungeon, it probably isn't any slower then elite for newer players. It might even be faster then elite by a significant margin. I've always recommended that a first life run through quests on normal, then when they get ready to TR; they grind a little gear for their second life. On second life; run through stuff on hard and farm a little gear for TR for their third life. On third life run through stuff on elite.

Now onto advice about gear; for the most part; random loot can be quite good in many cases (if it rolls well). Pay attention to the list of items you can pick from at the end of quests and pick something that you might end up using, then hold onto it until you're a level to use it. You have a good list of stats there for "crafted" gear, here's the deal. Crafted is essentially (near) perfect-roll random loot, so all those things you have on the crafted list? Find them in random loot and equip the best item you find for each of those stats. Once you're level 20+ you can start thinking about crafting to replace/upgrade from your random loot.

The auction house can sometimes be a good source of random loot items to fill the gaps in your build. This is somewhat server dependent, but sometimes you find real gems on the AH.

Meanwhile if you'd like to find some good named/farmable items that can really make you more powerful that you can farm and use now, there's two great packs to get them from: Slavelords (http://ddowiki.com/page/Slave_Lords_Crafting) (min level 8 stuff) and Ravenloft (http://ddowiki.com/page/Update_37_named_items) (min level 10 stuff). And also, the mournlode cannith challenge (http://ddowiki.com/page/Mournlode_Breastplate_(level_8)) armor. (note: wiki is out of date for this page; the armor actually now gives +4 protection and +4 resistance, meaning it will really help your saves in a meaningful way).

Edit: Oh, and before I forget. Dealing with traps. The majority of traps in the game can be jumped over if you know just where to jump, time it well and have a high jump score. There are potions of jump you can buy in the market which can help with this. 40 is the maximum you can get in jump that matters. Spike-like traps will never damage you if they're "up", and most flame-jet traps shoot for a while then take a short break. Learning how to avoid traps can save you a lot of pain.

And for those traps that you just can't get past, be it the rare non-avoidable trap or you just can't figure out a way past it right now; there are hirelings. Every cleric and favored soul hireling levels 9+ has the spell "raise dead" or a similar spell. If you end up dying to a trap; you can just have the hireling raise you, then run to the other side of the trap (you know, so you don't have to run through it again) and take the raise. The vast majority of cleric/fvs hirelings even have the spell on their hotkey bar. If you're not yet level 9; you really shouldn't be doing Thrall of the Necromancer on elite (notice that the quest is "level 11 on elite").

aumerle
04-25-2018, 02:53 PM
Thanks so much for the advice.

You're right of course about dropping the difficulty. I was looking at the page with reincarnation info and thinking omigosh this is going to take a million years even on elite+, on normal it will be impossible to get anywhere. But it's better to take it slow at first and I'm sure I'll get to where I can blaze through quests on higher difficulties.

Regarding avoiding the traps, trust me jumping was happening (well at least the first few times until I realized I couldn't clear the trap) - however you mentioned something I hadn't considered - jump pots. Great suggestion, I'll be picking some of those up.

And yeah I was only level 8 so didn't have raise dead on my cleric hireling.

Okay so get back to 20 and farm some gear before Reincarnating again? That makes sense.

Another question then, do you think it would be better for a fairly new character to take a few 1-20 heroic past lives (for the class feats) first or try to go to 30 for epic past lives? I was thinking that sticking to the 1-20 range for a few passes first made the most sense but I really don't know so was curious what you thought.

I'll take a look at those adventure packs that you suggested and try to run through them at least on normal - I'd heard good things about Ravenloft already both in terms of content and gear, so I'll be giving that a shot for sure.

Thanks again!

Selvera
04-25-2018, 03:28 PM
In terms of the most optimal TR path; there are plenty of opinions on this.

Personally my advice is to get your character to 2 heroic (or racial) pastlives (to unlock 36 point builds and the ability to run elite on the first time through if you're not VIP); then to focus some on epic pastlives (to unlock/level all the destanies/feats and aquire fate points, while getting some of the most powerful pastlives in the game); then... by then you'll probably have figured out a method that works for you that you trust more then advice from little ol' Selv over here.

But what I tend to do is just sort of alternate running from 1-30 to get a racial pastlife and an epic pastlife and from 14-30 to get a class pastlife and an iconic pastlife. This way I'm constantly getting first time bonuses for nearly everything I run, which means XP is good and favor is good and I keep things fresh for myself. It also allows me to try out a bunch of different builds, since I'm TRing into a new build all the time.

Part of the downside of this option is that you're constantly needing new gear for your new builds, that you don't learn the build as well as if you keep playing the same build life after life or stay at cap in the build for an extended period of time and that not all the builds you TR into are necessarily top-of-the-meta that get your TR's done super fast.

I do know some folks who completely recommend taking your first life to level 30, then doing all the ETR's until you're a triple-epic-completionist before even touching heroic TR's in any way. This is due to epic pastlives granting significantly more power per pastlife then class pastlives.

I also know some folks who recommend just running heroic pastlives on the latest FotM warlock or artificer build and farming reaper xp, since reaper points offer a huge amount of power compared with pastlives.

But; I like my method.

aumerle
04-26-2018, 01:55 AM
Thanks for all of the useful advice. I can see the advantages of both TRing methods but I agree just grinding epics over and over with the same build, while it might be easier due to same gear etc would get boring and I could easily see that causing burnout. So yeah, mixing it up seems the way to go. I noticed that when you do an Iconic you get both the iconic pl feat as well as a class feat, so I may try to get a bunch of those before doing just the class specific ones so I don't accidentally iconic into a class that I've already maxed out on for the class feats.