There are lots of good ideas here for dealing with the damage. Step 1 is to plan the best mitigation possible, but step 2 is always going to be necessary because sometimes you are going to take some serious damage and a healer won't be around.
The vampirism weapons definitely work, but in my experience you give up some dps. This is ok for stuff like slayers, where you're wandering around for a long time and most of the fights are pretty easy. Carry the vamp weapon and your hp bar will stay pretty stable, even if it takes a couple more swings to get the mobs down. This is not the best solution in other places though, where the best damage mitigation is going to be getting the mobs down asap. Also, a fair amount of the strength of the fighter comes from having specialized weapons for different mobs... smiting for constructs, ghost touch/holy for undead, etc. If you have a veritable golf bag of weapons for certain kinds of mobs... well that vamp weapon isn't always going to be the best choice.
The beauty of the fighter class is that it can work with any other class.
For my fighter past life, I simply made a fighter/rogue. A classic character with a great deal of flavor and flexibility. Evasion and dodge help with damage mitigation, especially since you will be using light armor or something similar. What really made the toon work was sneak attack damage and deception. By alternating levels, (rogue-fighter-rogue-fighter) I was able to get both Kensai I and Mech I by 12th level. Traps were no problem, and straight up melee damage was really good. But, add in deception and SA die, and 2 out of 5 hits were out of the ball park. Add in crits and he was hitting for some seriously nice damage. So the mobs were going down so fast, he was rarely taking any damage.
And on the rare occasion that he needed healing, he could use wands and scrolls. Heals scrolls were pretty reliable by 15-16 level, and were hitting for over 400hp a pop. It was also nice to be able to use other scrolls like invis, jump, teleport, (it is so nice to be able to get back to a ship portal quickly from Siber or Meridia without resorting to suicide) and other scrolls and wands as well. And in a pinch, you can even play healer and keep someone else in the party alive or even res them if needed.
You can also multi with cleric, bard, ranger, pally, or even wiz or sorc if you're warforged to get some basic healing and buffs. And you really don't give up much since the idea of a tank in DDO is really outdated and rarely needed. But even if you do want to play tank, there are ways to sneak in some umd or healing spellpower into a mostly fighter build. A pally/fighter would make a great tank, have options for healing, (even just two levels of pally gives you a lay on hands) and some pretty awesome saves as well.
Great thread. I have a level 10 WF THF Kensai (maul) that's been on the shelf for a while. He's a lot of fun to play but since I primarily solo or duo, he hasn't seen a lot of play time because of his self-sufficiency. This thread is giving me a lot of ideas though.
Anyway, one thing I've always struggled with is resistances. Elemental spell damage is by far by biggest weakness. And since I'm in a small guild, I don't have automatic access to 20 and 30 resists. I tend to use the favor buffs in House J, which helps, but it's not a perfect solution.
Any other advice?
There are elemental resist 20 pots for sale from a vendor inside the Twelve, which last for 7 mins a pop.
Originally Posted by GlassJaw
If you have UMD, you can also use Resist / Prot. from Energy wands, which go up to lvls 11 & 10, respectively. The higher-level wands aren't for sale by vendors, though; you have to get them as loot drops or from AH.