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View Full Version : Feedback on Bombardier - CASTER DPS ALCH IS GOD AWFUL



Dark_Lord_Mary
02-16-2020, 03:05 PM
My friend who is new to DDO, and I, who have played since DDO has been a game, made new, level 1 Alchemists in the DPS caster tree Bombardier.

My main is a sorcerer. His main is a Wizard Pale Master Lich. We have both been on the TR train and took a break to try Alchemist with the idea of adding some lives to our TR.

We decided on DPS caster alchemist because we hoped our experience with Wizard and Sorcerer would help.

We skipped korthos and went to the Boarderlands, level 1, not using any gear, not joining a guild, just to see how the class played.
He went DPS fire. I went DPS acid.

we entered the boarderlands and we could not kill anything - we needed hirelings to kill stuff for us. Wolves killed me as soon as I got close to them, the AOE acid spell I have hit, the wolves all made their reflex saves and I did extremely low damage, and I was incapd. My friend tried to smash a heal vial on us and threw it at a tree instead. The barbarian I hired proceeded to kill the wolves. My friend's hireling healed me back up.

My friend: 'I think we did these builds horribly wrong.'

I looked - we were totally invested in the Bombardier tree. 'This is the build I said.'

He said, 'Is this supposed to be fun? I'm level 1 and I cannot kill anything. In the borderlands, everything is saving. And I am super squishy. This is painful.'

This paragraph sums up our experience: we did no damage, were extremely squishy, impotent beyond impotent - as dps casters. OK maybe this is because we were level 1.

At level 1, I had 35 hitpoints. I was hit by a wolf for 30 points of damage from one hit. I smashed a vial of cure light wounds on myself and healed for 5 points and then was killed. I failed to heal myself before because I forgot to swivel my camera to look at my feet or else I would throw the vial at a tree 20 feet away.

We stayed with it and played bombardier alchemists to level 3.
Each of us died half a dozen times in the borderlands.
we relied completely on hirelings to do almost all of our combat.

No vendor in the borderlands sells alchemist reagants.
In fact I had to spend a half an hour running around to find a vendor.

One of the most glaring issues: the DPS tree has no good SLA. The first SLA you get is a single target damage toss - which is fine, but its single target. I would get rushed by wolves, toss my acid vial, damage one, and get tripped by the other 3 and killed. When I tried my acid vial smash AOE, it did 4 damage - the wolves also made their reflex saves vs 90% of my attacks and I had a 20 intelligence, the highest you can have.

The Bombardier needs to have the other 2 useless non-dps slas removed or moved and DPS AOE SLAs need to be added. Our second SLA is obscuring mist: useless. Our 3rd SL is also useless.

Conclusion, my friend said, 'I would never play this bombardier, never buy this alchemist class; this was not fun, it was painful, and I'm sort of upset now because I was expecting a fun class and it was the opposite of fun. My pale master is amazing, and to switch to play this bombardier thing was just awful. Awful.'

The take-away: Bombardier needs to be re-thought. What is the point of the DPS caster if it is not an effective DPS caster, dies constantly, has all its dps saved even by level 1 mobs, and is not fun to play?

AlmGhandi
02-16-2020, 03:18 PM
Make us *earn* our completionist back?

Lonnbeimnech
02-16-2020, 03:25 PM
the T1 SLA you get costs 1 sp, which sounds nice until you realize the spell version costs 2 sp.

Ryiah
02-16-2020, 07:43 PM
the T1 SLA you get costs 1 sp, which sounds nice until you realize the spell version costs 2 sp.

Once you apply metamagics it's no longer 2 SP.

Montegue
02-16-2020, 11:36 PM
I was straight-up carried in every group I joined until level 10.

It doesn't even start to get better until level 8 or so.

The whole class needs an immediate overhaul. I only feel different than a wizard in that I can cast heal spells and I'm significantly weaker than a wizard.

Things I need -

More spell points.

Better damage spells at low level. Some sort of Scorch analogue, etc.

More DoT spells. What happened to the cool circular wall of fire effect they talked about? THAT would be amazing.

Persistant, damaging effects would be good.

A Shield equivalent (since the enhancement doesn't work)

Some more offensive SLAs in Bombardier. Right now it's defensive stuff and a single shot single target DD spell.

Stronger cores (spell power, something).

Tilomere
02-17-2020, 03:55 AM
I don't have alchemist, but is there a vendor to buy alchemist scrolls at? You can caster level check by class scrolls 2 levels earlier than you can cast them as that class. So you could try at level 1 taking W&S mastery out of Bombardier to use scrolls at 75 spell power (double your spell power at that point), then using scrolls of spell book level 2, caster level 3 from vendor for your dps. At level 1, this gives you spells much more powerful, at triple your caster level, and double your spell power.

Now that you are level 3, maybe you can caster level check the level 5 scrolls with fireball equivalents like a wizard or sorc could?

Lonnbeimnech
02-17-2020, 12:35 PM
I don't have alchemist, but is there a vendor to buy alchemist scrolls at? You can caster level check by class scrolls 2 levels earlier than you can cast them as that class. So you could try at level 1 taking W&S mastery out of Bombardier to use scrolls at 75 spell power (double your spell power at that point), then using scrolls of spell book level 2, caster level 3 from vendor for your dps. At level 1, this gives you spells much more powerful, at triple your caster level, and double your spell power.

Now that you are level 3, maybe you can caster level check the level 5 scrolls with fireball equivalents like a wizard or sorc could?

the vendors in the portable hole now also sell alchemist recipes. and the artificer scroll vendor in house c sells alchemist recipes for cure and cause wounds spells and maybe a few others
note: these are not spell scrolls, you cannot cast from recipes, but you can scribe them to your spell book.

Carpone
02-17-2020, 01:09 PM
Newer content like KOTB have mobs with higher saves compared to older content. My alch nuker partner had a similar experience when we went in at level 20. Aside from heroic Completionist which he was reclaiming, he had max DCs and mobs were still saving regularly.

scut207
02-17-2020, 01:16 PM
Im not finding it as horrible as you do. only at lvl 8 atm.

28Rpoints 3 Pally/1Wiz/2Tief 3 Energy crit/1 brace/1skills Past Lives

Its a bit slow, but playing a lot like an early sorc, with better AoE CC and ability to heal yourself...

Still Learning about which spells are must haves.

Staying in the right reaction is a PITA.

3 pts into the Poison Wave SLA from Vile Chemist is a must. I only have a couple points in poison Bottle sla & Crits.

can get mana starved pretty easy when the Souls arent dropping. Single mobs is just 2 bottles. But with big groups Salt-Wave-Wave-Bottle Smash, SLA Bottle at champs just melts everything with a little back peddling.

I am using Anniversary Neg energy stick & abashai set, Robe from Price of Freedom, lvl approproite Conj and Transmutation DC gear.

Grugmak
02-17-2020, 01:37 PM
Im not finding it as horrible as you do. only at lvl 8 atm.

28Rpoints 3 Pally/1Wiz/2Tief 3 Energy crit/1 brace/1skills Past Lives

Its a bit slow, but playing a lot like an early sorc, with better AoE CC and ability to heal yourself...

Still Learning about which spells are must haves.

Staying in the right reaction is a PITA.

3 pts into the Poison Wave SLA from Vile Chemist is a must. I only have a couple points in poison Bottle sla & Crits.

can get mana starved pretty easy when the Souls arent dropping. Single mobs is just 2 bottles. But with big groups Salt-Wave-Wave-Bottle at champs just melts everything with a little back peddling.

I am using Anniversary Neg energy stick & abashai set.

True, the poison spray SLA helps poison bombardiers, but this is about the bombardier tree standalone not a "oh hey bombardiers fine if you just go at least T3 or higher into vile chemist to make it viable in the first place".

The single target bottle SLA is good but again its single target and until 12 its the only offensive SLA you get. The cores are also pretty weak +1 caster level is really nice, except all the spells have a level cap and it will not increase these making the cores useless at certain levels until you hit lvl 24 and take the mastery.

It is also literally the only offensive casting enhancement tree that has only 1 offensive SLA prior to 12.

Overall bombardier doesn't look awful, in fact I'm playing one and still see more potential for it, but everything pre-12 is pretty bad comparatively with other caster class trees. Some minor changes could fix this like changing one of the (not good enough to bother sinking points into vs other abilities that give more return for point investment) utility SLAs at tier 2 or 4 into another offensive, preferably AOE, SLA with a multiselector for damage type; you could even make it a unique spell(s) tied to the tree if you were putting it at T4 instead of just a SLA version of a spell you get anyway.

Saves also "feel" borked with a lot of our spells, they may not actually be, but the saves seem to be being made way more than they should based on the DCs.

scut207
02-17-2020, 02:16 PM
True, the poison spray SLA helps poison bombardiers, but this is about the bombardier tree standalone not a "oh hey bombardiers fine if you just go at least T3 or higher into vile chemist to make it viable in the first place".

The single target bottle SLA is good but again its single target and until 12 its the only offensive SLA you get. The cores are also pretty weak +1 caster level is really nice, except all the spells have a level cap and it will not increase these making the cores useless at certain levels until you hit lvl 24 and take the mastery.

It is also literally the only offensive casting enhancement tree that has only 1 offensive SLA prior to 12.

Overall bombardier doesn't look awful, in fact I'm playing one and still see more potential for it, but everything pre-12 is pretty bad comparatively with other caster class trees. Some minor changes could fix this like changing one of the (not good enough to bother sinking points into vs other abilities that give more return for point investment) utility SLAs at tier 2 or 4 into another offensive, preferably AOE, SLA with a multiselector for damage type; you could even make it a unique spell(s) tied to the tree if you were putting it at T4 instead of just a SLA version of a spell you get anyway.

Saves also "feel" borked with a lot of our spells, they may not actually be, but the saves seem to be being made way more than they should based on the DCs.

Theres a ton of builds where have Enhancements from other trees is min/max. See warlock SE-TS Cone and +pact Die, Nothing new there.

I especially hated lvl 5 where there were no new spells. seems like they could have given a spell for each level. A little peeved that no new spells at 19 or 20... probably give 6 spell slots to 1&2&3 for QoL buffs starting at 18..

I agree that the tier 4 SLA is lackluster for a DPS caster build (would be better to be PBAoE bottle smash), Agree on the MCL on spells being too low. The final core should be +1 all + 2MCL for chosen element.

But overall, Alc is a really good support class in Heroic at least. Really good CC, Decent DPS, good healing. I feel it might be the best CC class out there, but again Ive only lvld to 8 so I dont know how long it holds its own.

Grugmak
02-17-2020, 04:34 PM
Theres a ton of builds where have Enhancements from other trees is min/max. See warlock SE-TS Cone and +pact Die, Nothing new there.


Again this isn't about min/max or even optimal, this is about baseline making the tree worth taking and in its current state its VERY lackluster, at least until 12.

And both of those warlock trees that you are listing are absolutely fine stand alone.

lillentle
02-20-2020, 10:35 AM
Again this isn't about min/max or even optimal, this is about baseline making the tree worth taking and in its current state its VERY lackluster, at least until 12.

And both of those warlock trees that you are listing are absolutely fine stand alone.

Give it a t4 SLA like sorcs do and it'll be my new racial leveler. These builds aren't complex, build em like a sorc and you'll be fine. As with most casters it's hard to level until about level 7/8 and that's only offset by sorcs big t4 SLA's(even wizard magic missile SLA's are POWERFUL at low levels) but these things are game breaking, no other class can hope to keep up with it. Well aside from inquisitor but that's because they can attack further away. Still, they can't keep up with an alchemist after level 12.

Dark_Lord_Mary
02-20-2020, 06:35 PM
UPDATE : so my friend stopped playing his alch but I stuck with mine. They get better with more levels, probably around 5; then they get much better at lvl 12. Alch is a very fun class to play, but the first 4 levels as a pure bombardier were god awful and I still believe that tree needs better SLAs that are caster DPS oriented, not obscuring mist and whatever the other one is. But i wanted to correct my tone and say that they are very fun and the devs did a great job designing this class.

lillentle
02-20-2020, 07:55 PM
UPDATE : so my friend stopped playing his alch but I stuck with mine. They get better with more levels, probably around 5; then they get much better at lvl 12. Alch is a very fun class to play, but the first 4 levels as a pure bombardier were god awful and I still believe that tree needs better SLAs that are caster DPS oriented, not obscuring mist and whatever the other one is. But i wanted to correct my tone and say that they are very fun and the devs did a great job designing this class.

So not to attack you, but to clarify. You hated it, but now that you've reached the point where it's quite OP you love it? Actually no, before the devs did a terrible design choice, and now they did great designing.

Casters without Scorch SLA or Magic missises SLA at low levels are probably about the power you expect from a lower level caster. The reason people use sorcs as racial zergers is because of the low level SLA meaning once you hit level 4 and have maximize and empower you'll be doing more damage than anyone else in the party, and using barely any SP. I consider these mechanics a worse design choice that choosing not to give alchemists an OP low level SLA.

tinyelvis
03-02-2020, 11:52 PM
I played the alchemist for the first time in the hardcore server. I have to say, it reminds me of playing casters in the old days when you needed a lot of game, character, and spell mechanic knowledge to play. But, I agree, many folks might find it tough to play.

However, I solo it elite in HC, and for me bombardier is the absolute best caster early game. Bomb has amazing SLA's. In one tree, you get a long range single target and an area effect. My, GOD, there is no sorcerer that even gets both of these SLA's in one tree. Further, in Bomb tree you can buff ALL of your freaking elements. This is amazing.



Your first two feats should be maximize and empower.
I put all enhancements in bomb tree, since the long range single shot is amazing and it's important to get to the area effect SLA as soon as possible.
You need to know or learn how to buff your intel, as well as two to three elements. All of the resources are there to start. Easy to create elemental weapon sets can be crafted in borderlands. Fox cunning is a must.
Get a bonus to conjuration
FInally, you need to understand reactions. With clever play you can manipulate your Spell power.


All together from level one, you can outperform any other DPS caster. Incredibly, all of your elemental vial spells exist on separate timers. This means you can throw a vial spell as fast as you press your button. You dont even need AOE. Just target closest and start pressing while you cycle through elements. If you happen to get into a little trouble... simple, just press the button for heal and viola, problem solved.

Velenfein
03-03-2020, 06:21 PM
Was lvl 3 Bombardier soloing R1 Borderland.. And i can tell you i have lots lots of past lives and gear, but still, what a pain!!! Luckily a friend joined my group and soloed most of borderlands quests. Still, i was running out of sp at lvl 3 for a reaper lvl 1 quest..... No Bombardier at low lvl is everything but op. It becomes very good at lvl 12 yes for tier 5 SLA. I am going full alchy lvl 20 this life to try lvl 20 multivials sla. But for enemy with high reflex + evasion, you loose a ton of sp just trying to hit them. I get rid of them by maxing transmutation dc and spamming frogs on them. But still, i could not solo any R3 epic quest on Alchy, and ended up having sometimes difficulty soloing R1 quests qith many evasion enemies....

Alchy is far from op. Depending on the situation it's very good. Others it's real ****.

That's my two cents.

cave_diver
03-03-2020, 06:47 PM
What would make the alchemist fun would be a animate ally pot

Hafeal
03-03-2020, 07:19 PM
I will say this, I have been unimpressed with Alchemist so far, but I am still below level 8 and doing it on Khyber.

What I can say, is that the Borderlands are NOT level 1 material v. Korthos. I stepped out into Borderlands on level 1 on the HC and almost immediately died and went back to Korthos on my Rogue (was going to farm a horse). You have to be a "strong" class at level 1 or wait to 3 or so to be out there. Whereas with Korthos you can be level 1 and any class and survive easily. Grab a hire and they can solo all Korthos for you with a little guidance.

To me Borderlands is really for vets with past lives to do something different. I think new characters and new players may struggle out there and if take new player + new character it may well = real struggle without help and guidance.

tinyelvis
03-03-2020, 07:58 PM
Was lvl 3 Bombardier soloing R1 Borderland.. And i can tell you i have lots lots of past lives and gear, but still, what a pain!!! Luckily a friend joined my group and soloed most of borderlands quests. Still, i was running out of sp at lvl 3 for a reaper lvl 1 quest..... No Bombardier at low lvl is everything but op. It becomes very good at lvl 12 yes for tier 5 SLA. I am going full alchy lvl 20 this life to try lvl 20 multivials sla. But for enemy with high reflex + evasion, you loose a ton of sp just trying to hit them. I get rid of them by maxing transmutation dc and spamming frogs on them. But still, i could not solo any R3 epic quest on Alchy, and ended up having sometimes difficulty soloing R1 quests qith many evasion enemies....

Alchy is far from op. Depending on the situation it's very good. Others it's real ****.

That's my two cents.

Why run reaper at level 3 you dont have access yet to your reaper points? I dont Run those until level 4 (and 5 in hardcore). Did you take maximize and empower? Do you have at least a +4 buff to intel (+6 with yugo pots)? Do you have a bonus to conj? Do you have 50 bonus on all elementals used? Are you cycling your spells?

Try this.. when high damage is necessary for few second boost. Throw Boost spell, vial of frost (no meta), cold spike (no meta), vial acid SLA (full meta)... You now are at over 150 power (not even counting your metamagic)!!! Incredible. What other spell caster can do that? All other times cycle thru three or four elementals vial tosses (only Meta the SLA). In the above you cycle through Orchidium and Back to Pyrite reaction for maximum power buff. Much of rest of time I run in Pyrite (still at higher spell power than any other caster)... but I am not sure this is best.

This class is incredible. You can put out damage like no other caster. And that is just the spell casting side to it. There is also a healing, buffing, and missile side. I have just barely scratched the surface of possibilities with this amazing class.

tinyelvis
03-03-2020, 08:20 PM
I will say this, I have been unimpressed with Alchemist so far, but I am still below level 8 and doing it on Khyber.

What I can say, is that the Borderlands are NOT level 1 material v. Korthos. I stepped out into Borderlands on level 1 on the HC and almost immediately died and went back to Korthos on my Rogue (was going to farm a horse). You have to be a "strong" class at level 1 or wait to 3 or so to be out there. Whereas with Korthos you can be level 1 and any class and survive easily. Grab a hire and they can solo all Korthos for you with a little guidance.

To me Borderlands is really for vets with past lives to do something different. I think new characters and new players may struggle out there and if take new player + new character it may well = real struggle without help and guidance.

I have to disagree. I take a gnome. I run the borderland slayer area first in hardcore (bring a healer hireling). This gives you lots of needed loot like ff item and ingots for elemental weapons (not to mention a horse). At level 1 start with maximize and with second enhancement point get that amazing SLA in bombadier. All enhancements to bombadier. Make sure you use fox cunning pots (you can also buy element buffing pots but I dont). I cycle thru multiple (up to three) elements vial tossing at closest targets (literally as fast as I can press the buttons). Only apply meta magic to SLA. Stay in Pyrite reaction. You will melt everything you encounter at very low spell point cost. For long range targets you can throw three potions in the air and all will land on head of target (killing pretty much anything even possibly bosses) before they move. I personally mix in a healing admixture (full meta) and toss it when needed (which is rarely).

I run through to hit all the bosses. With a horse I run directly to boss and fight. At second level, I go do korthos, then come back to borderlands to run the 1's there. I solo it all on elite. Cannith crystral was only quest that caused me issues and had to run twice. Targets just melt to the machine gun like barrage of vials of elemental damage. Leveling occurs very fast. Once you hit 3rd level you can get even more fancy with spell and or defense buffs.

Memnir
03-03-2020, 10:39 PM
It's a weird class. I'm not sure I enjoy it - but I don't really hate it anymore. Which is either progress or Stockholm Syndrome, I'm not sure which.

SilentRunning
03-03-2020, 11:34 PM
Possibly both Memnir ;)

Hafeal
03-04-2020, 03:35 PM
I appreciate that worked for you, tiny. I believe it reinforces the point that vets, with meta game knowledge, strong builds, strong build knowledge is what this area is for. I find the area a challenge with weaker early level characters - with my rogue for example - at level 1. The entangle and trips make death very easy, not to mention the caster trogs.

I think new players, with new characters (regardless of class) will struggle, which is what I think happened to the OP.


I have to disagree. I take a gnome. I run the borderland slayer area first in hardcore (bring a healer hireling). This gives you lots of needed loot like ff item and ingots for elemental weapons (not to mention a horse). At level 1 start with maximize and with second enhancement point get that amazing SLA in bombadier. All enhancements to bombadier. Make sure you use fox cunning pots (you can also buy element buffing pots but I dont). I cycle thru multiple (up to three) elements vial tossing at closest targets (literally as fast as I can press the buttons). Only apply meta magic to SLA. Stay in Pyrite reaction. You will melt everything you encounter at very low spell point cost. For long range targets you can throw three potions in the air and all will land on head of target (killing pretty much anything even possibly bosses) before they move. I personally mix in a healing admixture (full meta) and toss it when needed (which is rarely).

I run through to hit all the bosses. With a horse I run directly to boss and fight. At second level, I go do korthos, then come back to borderlands to run the 1's there. I solo it all on elite. Cannith crystral was only quest that caused me issues and had to run twice. Targets just melt to the machine gun like barrage of vials of elemental damage. Leveling occurs very fast. Once you hit 3rd level you can get even more fancy with spell and or defense buffs.

scut207
03-05-2020, 01:11 PM
I just hit 15, experience so far:
Early leveling slower than sorc faster than some other classes up to about lvl12
then it turned on for me.

Largest complaint is I am mana starved on some quests if I try to solo, but when with a group I feel that the class really shines.

Single spread out targets like static archers are a real pain /mana sink if they absolutely need to be killed, otherwise ignore and run past em.

Bluenoser
03-05-2020, 05:09 PM
I do think there's something off about the DCs. I was spamming Conjuration attacks with 3 Cleric PLs and the best gear possible from lvl 10 until 15 (rloft Summoner's Spectacles) with the most Int, insightful Int, and quality Int you can have and still seeing a LOT of saves on R1 solo. I eventually took the poison imbue that lowers reflex by 1 on every hit (higher versions stack to 3, then 5) as I was playing Inquisitive, mostly for champs and orange-names. My experience was that the casting got really fun and powerful from 10 to about 14, then started to drop off again; maps like the lvl 13 Amrath ones and Memories of Illusory Larcener were...unpleasant. The reflex saves in there (abishai, elven archers) are off the chart. There's a reason I eventually just went Inq + Vile Chemist with a dash of Bomb :D

While I do generally go the route of max/emp SLAs on arcane casters, that doesn't do a lot of good if most stuff makes its reflex save, as the OP experienced. And, as they said, the Bomb tree is really pretty terrible for DPS SLAs from levels 1 to 11. You only get a second one, finally an AOE, at lvl 12, and the third as the lvl 20 capstone. That's not good by comparison to really any other casting class.

mikarddo
03-05-2020, 05:15 PM
I find the Bombardier to be working quite well. I am playing it as a Thiefling for a bit more power in the early levels. With enough Racial points you can have the Ash SLA right off the bat thus making the start much smoother.

Now, at 15, it seems to work really well. I soloed RL chain 3 with zero issues and in groups the build works very well - both for dps and a bit of healing.

I do miss DDoor and Teleport though and will miss Mass Hold compared to a sorc but its holding up decently.

I am less certain the Bombardier will hold up at end game though - without Reaper CC.