I've had a hankering for months, now, to make a thief acrobat. However, I have a few key questions.
1. THF or no THF? The idea of making a rogue that deals considerable glancing blow damage is, well...counterproductive, isn't it? I mean, the last thing any rogue wants is aggro. Would the hate reduction enhancements help or would they be a waste of AP?
2. Pure or monk splash? I have a thing for pure classes, and I have only made one character that has ever multiclassed (an 18/2 paladin fighter). I'm leaning towards pure, simply out of habit, and because more sneak attack damage and skill points would be beneficial (acrobats do seem to have more difficulty with trapping due to having no INT, unlike mechanics or assassins). I'm just not keen on multiclassing to begin with, and with the enhancement pass looming on the now not-so-distant horizon, ridiculous cost of lesser hearts, and constantly changing gameplay, it would take a lot to convince me. I know about the Big F'n Stick builds, but don't own half-orc nor do I even care for the concept of a half-orc acrobat; was thinking more of human for the extra feat and stat versatility.
3. DEX or no DEX? Dexterity seems to be a hot button issue for acrobats. The PrE itself is pretty much based on a defensive premise, and AC/reflexes seem to play a bigger part for acrobats than other rogues. Damage comes from strength, of course, but it's still a very convoluted issue. What about combat feats like tripping or stunning blow? They seem to be a common shtick (hehe a pun) among acrobats and stunning/tripping is a common
4. Self healing. The only character I ever made that wasn't self healing was my 4th life monk (and he's shintao, so he has moderate self healing built in, anyway). My wizards, artificers, and sorcerers are always WF for quick and reliable self healing and rangers, paladins, bards, clerics, and fvs are self healing by default. With the current end-game being so dependent on self sufficiency (due to the ridiculous amounts of damage being dealt to players in places like epic GH or the high road), being a non-healing melee type class is a bit off-putting. I guess I would have to get used to scroll healing, something I never got the hang of in my sole human archmage life.
5. Gear. Other than the almost exclusive use of offensive-minded quarterstaves, is there really any difference between acrobats and assassins? Backstabbing, deception, seeker gear is obvious. Quarterstaves seem obvious, as well; dreamsplitter, rhal's might, walking stick, sireth, souleater, etc.
First, I like assassins, so keep that in mind.
On any and all rogues, Bluff is your friend. I'm sure you could dump points into diplo if you really want to, but you could also look to pout points into Subtle Backstabbing. You main benefit is the SA damage.
Originally Posted by IdleBigots
Ideally, when going rogue, with or without STR as your damage modifier, you're going to invest heavily into your weapons bag. That means keeing a decent lineup of CC weapons, and anything that will proc a special effect that either immobilzes your opponent, or kills them outright - at least that's what I do. You're not a fighter, or a pally, you're not supposed to go bare-knuckle with any mobd: you're a riogue. Fight like someone who plays dirty. The best way to do that is with special proc weapons (paralyzing, banishing, vorpal, etc.).
Most acrobats I've talked to go STR. However, if you go DEX, make sure you have a nice array of weapons with procs, as these will be the things that save your hide. STR, I think, applies to Trip which is really useful. Not sure on the use of stun.
Originally Posted by IdleBigots
My thoughs are that if this is your first acrobat build (28 pts) go dex and finesse. That way you are less constraioed on the points you need to distribute. I'm sure some wil disagree, but that's my opinion. It applies to things like reflex saves and evasion which are damage mitigators.
I kinda screwed up my rogues UMD. That being said, between wands and pots, self-healing isn't a huge issue. With DEX, Evasion, and reflex saves, I don't take a lot of damage that other toons would take in the normal course of a quest.
Originally Posted by IdleBigots
I think the main difference would be the TWF vs THF, and I'm not sure which is better. An Assassin is almost required to have a decent stealth if they want to pull off assassinations. Your acrobat doesn't have that heavy of a reliance on stealth. Plus there will be a distinct difference in the weapons procs as with TWF if you dual-wield something like Envenomed Blades, you get two chances to paralyze an opponent. With THF you've got to rely on glancing blows. Then again, as an acrobat you get some bonuses to attack speed, so it might all balance out.
Originally Posted by IdleBigots
Just finished running a new acrobat to level 20. After many , many nuke and restarts. So I can give some my personal insight.
I took the THF feats and now would skip them. I like the extra single target damage but I don't think it is enough to justify the 3 feat investment.
Grab cleave & great cleave to set you up for OC.
I also experimented with dodge , mobility line. Haven't tried stacking spring attack in yet. I decided to try stacking up some dodge as I was feeling a bit squishy. I have to say I like them.
As for monk or no monk well that is your call.
I decided on 19/1 but I started her before the AC changes. With extra wind stance stuff plus GMoF windstance doublestrike wind stance bonus plus centered +w damage is nice.
Does give up a lot of SA dice though so make your call.
A small splash doesn't hurt the thief skills at all that I've noticed with a 12or14 starting int.
Stunning blow and trip were fun till the vale then lost their luster as I couldn't keep DCs high enough.
Gear wise your named sticks seem good. But you will want a couple of the low level sticks that just got updated arlyn's staff and chieftains spear.
Do your best to get a level 10 paralyzer pronto. If you ignore everything else I have said , do this.
Paralyzer , totally awesome!
Other fun gear , golden guile. + to bluff , improved deception and dusk, ohh hecks yeah.
I'm reserving judgement on dex vs. no till the enhancement pass but I can't see str based going out of style.
Can't say I have found the self healing any good. More mitigation than healing for me.
Dusk or blur scrolls , dodge (for me) , and if you can get some displacement scrolls or clickies awesome.
14 months ago, I reserved a name for a druid when menace was announced. Late that spring, I decided I wanted an Acrobat. She's about to TR into the druid that she's named for. While doing the TR-prep work (filling in destiny XP to unlock where I want to be, getting some twink gear, finishing out greensteel, yadda yadda) I LR'd her.
Initially, she was pure dex, 14 Acrobat, 6 fighter. I took the fighter for extra feats, but did not take a prestige. Prior to U14, when Improved feint still worked correctly and AC mattered, she was unkillable and was happily feinting and sneak-attacking her way through quests. Post U14, she was extremely lack luster. Combat Expertise doesn't mean anything with the to-hit changes, and Feint is so messed up that it was more trouble to try and use it than any potential gains. Your weapon selection is extremely limited, and you really need specialized Old-Epic weapons to shine at epic levels.
So I LR'd her into a more strength based character. I do not min/max as much as others on the forums. So while her wis is dumped, she has points in all the other stats, with some weighting on the strength. After LRing, she's 14 Acrobat / 6 Kensai. The Stout-Oak Walking Stick is probably the best thing ever for her. :) Granted, I've run CitW 8 times total, have seen 1 commendation personally, and 3 weapons drop across all those runs, so I don't intend to waste any more of my time in that tedious, grueling, horrendous raid to hope for Needle for my main arti, let alone Sireth for an alt.
Anyway, She has enough int still that she can hit the DC 90 Open Lock in House of Broken Chains. She has enough dex that her reflex saves are adequate (not FotM Divine Grace Pally Splash good, but adequate). She has enough cha that she can heal scroll and resto/greater resto away neg levels... In parties, She's usually in the vanguard. Running as fast as monks and barbs, she's quick to the thick of it, and cleaving away. She tops or ties in kill count with my friends that run pure int assassins (with full SA dice). All while I am getting aggro between deception procs. I can pull aggro, despite threat reduction and "treason" gear, off moderately geared barbarians. My friends laugh to see this little halfling rogue with a big stick just cleaving through everything.
To address your questions directly: I'd recommend Cleave over THF. Cleave can proc SA and weapon effects.
I splashed fighter initially for the MDB enhancements, but I prefer Stability while levelling so I didn't want to take monk. Your preference may pick otherwise. Either is viable. I might also suggest a 17/2/1 druid build for Shillelagh and a blue bar for cocoons and stuff at epic levels.
Dex: You're a rogue. Reflex saves matter. Don't dump it, but you don't have to max it either.
Gear: Stout Oak Walking Stick. Best 15 comms you can spend. My girl scroll heals fine, doesn't take much damage to begin with, and if you do go the 17/2/1 route, you can twist in some bluebar self-healing. Since she's an alt she's not even exceptionally geared out. Finished Tinker's set, Lootgen Celestial armor of Stability, Golden Guile and ring of lies.
Minor annoyances with the game and this characters interation with it: Since you have knockdown immunity, FoM doesn't stick on you. Becareful of your will-saves. Knockdown Immunity is implemented by Turbine. ;) Dragons can't knock you down, but Flung Spider Poo (web line trip) can. Grrr. Oh, and Truthful Ones stomp has flattened me once too.
Thanks for the help, guys!
I forgot to mention: he'll be a first life 32 point build and have plenty of hand-me-down gear to use from my other characters. I haven't 100% decide on splashing, yet, but leaning towards pure. I don't know, I'm just funny like that.
2-4 levels of monk does sound interesting, though; the only issue being the annoyance of having to be centered, which means no diversity in being able to equip the many good light armors for rogues (or having to wear the hideous dragonscale robes). The upside is the qstaff is a centered weapon, which means a few levels of monk and I can get a sizable dodge bonus, which seems to be a very common trend in rogues these days.
A few levels of fighter, on the other hand would give more freedom in equips and more dps through weapon specialization. I would also have access to low tier fighter tactics for trip. Getting kensei would also greatly benefit damage output.
If I were to multiclass I would probably lean towards fighter. The large amount of feats, flat boosts to dps, and lack of annoyance of remaining centered is very appealing.
After reviewing my feats and such, I think cleave/great cleave/overwhelming critical is far superior to the negligible (and possibly harmful) glancing blows from the THF line. It also opens up a feat slot in heroic levels
Wait till enhancement pass before you make an acrobat. So far on Lammania 13 rogue/7 monk is the best build. However one unfortunate issue stands out for Acrobats. The fact that Sneak Attack doesn't proc on glancing blows is huge.
Is the Hurtlocker (which uses Acrobat 2 and Pally DOS 1) build still considered viable? Back before WF lost complete immunity to disease and poison, they were immune or highly resistant to practically anything, while being able to hit high enough AC to make a difference, get traps and provide decent DPS.
Ah, found it...
That is...way far away from anything I would ever build. That and I have a certain hatred for the khopesh. I don't use them on a matter of principle. Period.
Originally Posted by Meetch72
So, I think I've decided on pure rogue. The additional sneak attack, skill points, capstone, and rogue feats is appealing.
As for the enhancement pass, I'll probably keep this guy an acrobat and TR him. But that's months away.