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  1. #1
    Community Member Dark-Star's Avatar
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    Default Sorc vs Wiz questions for the experts

    I have always played melee toons, and this will be my first caster. Friends I have talked to in game mostly prefer sorcs over wizards for pure killing power.

    Drow over other races also seems preferential.

    What I am looking to build is a character that is primarily a killing machine, and I think from grouping in the end game with casters that I want my focus to be on PK, FoD, and the fire spells (wall and ray primarily). Flesh to stone also perhaps.

    So I started a drow sorc, and compared to my other characters, so far anyway, she is majorly squishy- to the point where it's not that fun to play her.

    The idea of self heals really appeals to me, so using a Warforged seems a natural fit for that. The issue is that WF, due to their charisma penalty, seem more suited to wizards than sorcerers.

    I have really no experience with either class yet, just impressions from watching people and asking questions.

    So on to my questions:

    1. Does a WF's 4 fewer Cha than a Drow make it not viable as a PK/FoD user in elite end game quests? Does the 4 cha make a big difference?

    2. The biggest issue I see with going wiz over sorc is the cool down. How long is the cool down on PK, Sorching Ray, and FoD for wizards? And what is it for Sorcs?

    3. Given the cooldown, do you level 14 wizards find you can kill fast enough using PK and FoD alternately in quests in Giant Hold for instance?

    4. Can a PK/FoD focused wiz out kill a sorc with the same focus?

    5. In your opinion, does the self healing aspect of a warforged outwiegh the extra cha of a Drow?

    6. If I were to go wizard, is going one level of rogue at the start a good or bad idea? My goal will not be to do rogue skills, it is for UMD. So given only doing it for UMD, is giving up the extra 70 SPs and the 1 level 6 & 7 spells worth it?

    7. Given question six, is low 20's UMD needed/worth it on a WF wizard?

    8. Lastly, for those that have played both a wizard and a sorc to 14, especially WF and/or Drow, what did you prefer in the end and why?

    Thanks for your time, posting this in the Wiz forum as well.

  2. #2
    Community Member Blind_Skwerl's Avatar
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    1. 4 charisma would make a big difference as far as PK/FoD go. That's -2 to your spells dc... ouch. No difference with your firewalls though.

    2 & 3. Not sure of the actual time in seconds, but sorcs seem to me to have about half the cooldown time a wizard does. I think for most players, alternating PK/FoD will be plenty fast for them on a wizard. I run with a bunch of power crazed zergers however, and sometime wish I had a 3rd insta-kill spell durring the miniscule cooldown... on my level 14 sorc.

    4. I think they would be of equal ability, but the sorcerer can throw out more because of the larger spell point pool. The major differences would be: casting speed & cooldown, and bonus feats for wizards (it doesn't narrow your playability as much to focus on insta-killing).

    5. That is personal playstyle prefference. If I get hit on my drow sorc, I wand up with my high UMD, after I crushed that mob into oblivion, of course. The thing to remember is that if you are self-healing, you aren't killing. If you aren't killing, whatever is killing you will continue to do so. It may work in a pinch, but for the most part I can think of better ways to use that precious blue bar durring combat.

    6. Again, personal prefference, but I would highly recommend not taking a level of rogue just to pump up UMD. Being able to run around with 2 level 7 spells is much more beneficial than a UMD in the low 20's on a wizard.

    7. Casters have little equiptment needs. A charisma or intelligence item, spell penetration and school focus items, potency and spell crit items, and the rest is all details. All easily obtainable so no need for umd there. Repair is an arcane spell and available in wands, so no need for umd there. Unless you have something like a Greater Necro Focus scepter of greater spell penetration 7: elf/drow only (hehe I wish), I'd pass on the umd for a warforged wizard.

    8. My wizard wasn't WF, but I have run both. Wizards are better for pick up groups. Random party make-up can put different needs on the caster, and it's easier to adjust when all you have to do is hit a shrine or go to the tavern. Sorcerers are better (IMO) for groups where everyone is familiar with each other's playstyle, game pace, etc. They just bring a little more offensive "oomph". Some people expect wizards in the party to be more of a buffbot/crowd controller. Which do I preffer? Gimme the 34 charisma drow sorcerer. Be warned though; playing a drow PK/FoD/Fire sorcerer will give you a superiority complex. 6 man PoP on elite - 68 party kills, 59 for the drow sorc. Solo Trial by Fire and Cabal for One. Get constant tells to join a party, while you are in group, because they know you will make the quest easy for them. It's a tough life.
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  3. #3
    Community Member DemonMage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blind Skwerl View Post
    5. That is personal playstyle prefference. If I get hit on my drow sorc, I wand up with my high UMD, after I crushed that mob into oblivion, of course. The thing to remember is that if you are self-healing, you aren't killing. If you aren't killing, whatever is killing you will continue to do so. It may work in a pinch, but for the most part I can think of better ways to use that precious blue bar durring combat.
    Of course, if you've got money to burn, at 11+ you can start stocking yourself up on Reconstruction scrolls for 110+ point self-heals. That's a fair amount of hp for a quick battle heal, and it's mana-free allowing you to use your mana on things that take your stats into account (i.e. killing the stuff attacking you).
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  4. #4
    Community Member Blind_Skwerl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemonMage View Post
    Of course, if you've got money to burn, at 11+ you can start stocking yourself up on Reconstruction scrolls for 110+ point self-heals. That's a fair amount of hp for a quick battle heal, and it's mana-free allowing you to use your mana on things that take your stats into account (i.e. killing the stuff attacking you).
    This would be almost mandatory for a WF caster. I was looking at it from my drow sorc perspective, sorry.
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  5. #5
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    Make yourself a human Sorcerer, max out the Cha and put the rest into Con.

    Most importantly, LEARN HOW TO MOVE!

    Low level monsters are PATHETICALLY easy to avoid in this game if you have any FPS skill at all. Run thru your party members so the monsters have to go around them to get to you, at level 4 you can get yourself a fearsome robe which helps alot. At level 6 you can get yourself an improved false life robe.

    I have my middle mouse button remapped to "target nearest enemy" and almost never leave mouselook mode at low levels. If things start to go badly just run backwards and start spamming Hypnotize.

    A maximized Niac's does alot of damage when it hits, but when I've got something breathing down my neck, I'm going to kill it with a maximized Shocking grasp because i KNOW it's going to land, and very few things are immune to it.

    I have alot of experience playing low level sorcerers, whenever my server was dead and there wasn't anything to do, I'd go to another one and start a human sorcerer because it's the easiest way I know of to start getting high level loot with a low level character.

    Level 1 human sorcerer
    Str 8
    Dex 8
    Con 16
    Int 8
    Wis 10
    Cha 18
    Feats
    Sf and Gsf Illusion (or taking both Enchantment feats works well too)

    Spells
    Hypnotize
    Shocking grasp

    I take shocking grasp at first level because at this stage it does about the same damage as Niac's and it never fails, and it also kills the skeletons in the ancient daggers quest which Niac's will NOT do.

    With these two spells you can solo all the goodblades quests on solo AND normal very easily. You can do The Low Road all the way to Elite if you spam Hypnotize on everything and just ignore it (you even get a bonus for not killing anything)

    Level 2 take Niac's. Now you just Niac's everything that comes into range, and finish it off with a shocking grasp if it manages to get too close. When there are too many things to deal with at once you spam Hypnotize until things stop moving then you stroll up to them and fry their little @$@#'s off one at a time.

    Level 3 I usually take MM because this is when you get your second missile, although I'm starting to think this spell is no longer a "must have" even at low to mid levels.
    Level 3 feat is ALWAYS maximize unless i decided to take it at first level for a change, in that case I take my second spell focus.

    Level 4 Hypnotic Pattern...if you took the illusion feats this thing will stop rush hour traffic, at this point I'm solo looting chests in Redwillow and Gwylan's Stand while everything stands around looking at the pretty lights.

    At this point I either get bored and go back to my home server, or I find some cool race restricted lowbie twink weapon that makes me want to start another character...what can I say I'm easily distracted just be thankful I sat here long enough to write this
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  6. #6
    Community Member yawgmoth's Avatar
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    1) Is 4 Cha penalty huge? Not at all, I FoD (no need for pk as a sorc) with the best of them-I do have sf/gsf and a sf necro item. Plus my con will max at 26. My 32 point wizard will max at 32 Con/Int (Try that on a drow)
    I often lead the kill chart with little difficulty anywhere in Gianthold and if I really try...I'll get more kills than everyone else combined.

    2) I havent played in a while, but the cool down is noticeably faster on the sorc. However, cool down time doesn't really matter unless you're competing with another arcane. Both arcane classes can spam FoD/PK fast enough to make the zerging warriors feel inadequate.

    3) Personally I haven't played a wiz that high, but the ones I've grouped with can definitely hold their own when they try.

    4) I think the wizard will come close, but if both classes are focused the same, sorc will get slightly more only because of the larger sp pool and faster cool downs.

    5) For me, yes the self healing outweighs 4 less cha. Id rather be able to survive much longer than land 1 extra FoD every -- casts. Plus with a sorc sp pool, you can spam FoD/PK, reconstruct as needed, and still have mana left before a shrine.

    6) Going rogue just for that extra few umd as a wizard is not worth the trade off. However, if you do it for the trap smithing skills, then you can come fairly close to pure rogues adding a great amount to your versatility and soloing options.

    7) If you can't come close to 30umd or better (with average buffs/gear) then you shouldn't bother. Low 20s will only give you cure light/moderate divine wands/scrolls (pretty pointless in GH) and race restricted gear. On a sorc however: I would suggest going Chaotic Good to splash a level of bard early on. You're UMD will be one of the highest achievable currently.

    ----If you go pure sorc, keep in mind you will only get 2-3 skill points per level. You're primary skill focus should be Concentration and probably jump (It's quite amazing how much jumping you will do in your adventures.) If you invest in some Intelligence as a sorc, consider taking skills like balance, umd, haggle, and maybe diplomacy.

    8) Ive tried playing wizzies but never get them very far before giving up. After playing a wf sorc to 14, I can't stand the slower cool downs of wizzies and being a squishy fleshbag just doesn't do it for me, all my future characters will be wf.
    Dragonoil-14 WF sorc-2153 favor

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  7. #7
    Founder Epsilom's Avatar
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    Posted on Wizard forum.
    GL.. and keep it WF !!

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  8. #8
    Community Member Blind_Skwerl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yawgmoth View Post
    I often lead the kill chart with little difficulty anywhere in Gianthold and if I really try...I'll get more kills than everyone else combined.
    You should be able to do that in every quest in GH, without really trying, unless you have another caster in there. Maybe that 4 missing charisma is affecting your totals?
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  9. #9
    Community Member Blind_Skwerl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yawgmoth View Post
    7) If you can't come close to 30umd or better (with average buffs/gear) then you shouldn't bother. Low 20s will only give you cure light/moderate divine wands/scrolls (pretty pointless in GH) and race restricted gear. On a sorc however: I would suggest going Chaotic Good to splash a level of bard early on. You're UMD will be one of the highest achievable currently.
    If he follows this little pearl of wisdom, he will not be able to cast FoD at all. He'd only be able to scroll it (start saving up tons of plat). It would allow for a decent umd, and nice sp pool actually, but to kill your level 7 spell slot? No thanks.
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  10. #10
    Community Member Tallyn's Avatar
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    I'm not addressing any major questions at this point, but will just point out that at low levels my Drow Sorc was very squishy. At high levels, I've become VERY resilient however.

    I started with these stats:

    Str 8
    Dex 12
    Con 14
    Int 8
    Wis 8
    Cha 20

    I have 186 HP before any buffs (Have a +6 con item and Greater False Life Item)

    Now the reason I can be pretty resilient is because of these spells which I can self buff:

    Greater Heroism (More HP/Better Saves/Fear Immunity)
    Stoneskin
    Displacement
    Protection From Energy
    Resist Energy
    Shield (For Magic Missiles and Force Missiles)
    Jump (For maneuvering/positioning)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark-Star View Post
    I have always played melee toons, and this will be my first caster. Friends I have talked to in game mostly prefer sorcs over wizards for pure killing power.

    Drow over other races also seems preferential.

    What I am looking to build is a character that is primarily a killing machine, and I think from grouping in the end game with casters that I want my focus to be on PK, FoD, and the fire spells (wall and ray primarily). Flesh to stone also perhaps.

    So I started a drow sorc, and compared to my other characters, so far anyway, she is majorly squishy- to the point where it's not that fun to play her.

    The idea of self heals really appeals to me, so using a Warforged seems a natural fit for that. The issue is that WF, due to their charisma penalty, seem more suited to wizards than sorcerers.

    I have really no experience with either class yet, just impressions from watching people and asking questions.

    So on to my questions:

    1. Does a WF's 4 fewer Cha than a Drow make it not viable as a PK/FoD user in elite end game quests? Does the 4 cha make a big difference?

    2. The biggest issue I see with going wiz over sorc is the cool down. How long is the cool down on PK, Sorching Ray, and FoD for wizards? And what is it for Sorcs?

    3. Given the cooldown, do you level 14 wizards find you can kill fast enough using PK and FoD alternately in quests in Giant Hold for instance?

    4. Can a PK/FoD focused wiz out kill a sorc with the same focus?

    5. In your opinion, does the self healing aspect of a warforged outwiegh the extra cha of a Drow?

    6. If I were to go wizard, is going one level of rogue at the start a good or bad idea? My goal will not be to do rogue skills, it is for UMD. So given only doing it for UMD, is giving up the extra 70 SPs and the 1 level 6 & 7 spells worth it?

    7. Given question six, is low 20's UMD needed/worth it on a WF wizard?

    8. Lastly, for those that have played both a wizard and a sorc to 14, especially WF and/or Drow, what did you prefer in the end and why?

    Thanks for your time, posting this in the Wiz forum as well.
    1. 4 points = +2DC - I personally find that crippling. Thats the equivalent of 2 feats for every spell sphere. So that would be 10 feats?

    2. Sorcs are about twice as fat as wizzies, but think of it like this. Wizzie gets more feats so you could in theory raised the DC for the spells you want to cast. More successful saves = less mana spent, so when you think about it you arnt that far behind a sorc. Besides there is 2 of just about every kind of spells, just cast the other and you have your speed.

    3. Personally I think both are waste of mana (PK is 2 saves for one target, FoD is only single target) but yes, you can. The spells timers are very fast.

    4. As I said, you can have the extra feats to get a +DC over the average sorc. But sorc could fully spec for same and the mana difference is about 800ish at 14 between a sorc and a wiz, so probably not.

    5. No. +2DC is irreplaceable. Small changes in tactics could fix the squish factor.

    6. Im not sure why? You get so many skill points (i never did the math) but im sure you could get (or be able to buff to 20). What is it 13.5 for max cross class? +cha item, cartouche and a hero or g.hero = 20+

    7. Like I said, IDK why you want it. Personally can't think of anyhting game breaking at a 20 for a caster.

    8. I prefer wizzie for the versatility. I have tried to make a sorc on many occasions and just cant get all the functionality to fit my playstyle. Think the highest I made it on a sorc was8 before I deleted him.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark-Star View Post
    So on to my questions:

    1. Does a WF's 4 fewer Cha than a Drow make it not viable as a PK/FoD user in elite end game quests? Does the 4 cha make a big difference?

    2. The biggest issue I see with going wiz over sorc is the cool down. How long is the cool down on PK, Sorching Ray, and FoD for wizards? And what is it for Sorcs?

    3. Given the cooldown, do you level 14 wizards find you can kill fast enough using PK and FoD alternately in quests in Giant Hold for instance?

    4. Can a PK/FoD focused wiz out kill a sorc with the same focus?

    5. In your opinion, does the self healing aspect of a warforged outwiegh the extra cha of a Drow?

    6. If I were to go wizard, is going one level of rogue at the start a good or bad idea? My goal will not be to do rogue skills, it is for UMD. So given only doing it for UMD, is giving up the extra 70 SPs and the 1 level 6 & 7 spells worth it?

    7. Given question six, is low 20's UMD needed/worth it on a WF wizard?

    8. Lastly, for those that have played both a wizard and a sorc to 14, especially WF and/or Drow, what did you prefer in the end and why?

    Thanks for your time, posting this in the Wiz forum as well.
    I have a capped 32-point WF Wizard (over 1650 favor right now). I have 230 HP unbuffed (+5 con item, Greater False Life belt, +10 HP for favor). Having 24 Con and a Toughness feat makes me happy. And my Reconstructs hit for 252 (more on a crit).

    My goal for my caster is very different than yours. I tend to get pretty mediocre kill counts even when I'm dominating a dungeon.

    My FoDs tend to land pretty consistently (depending on the target), but I reserve them for enemy casters (especially Wizard types). The casters tend to give us (the PCs) the most trouble. FoD one of them and he's not casting nasty spells at us. FoD a fighter, and you're just saving the tanks a little time.

    Going into many of the Gianthold quests with Mass Hold Person lets you dominate the dungeon even though you don't get as many kills (although, once they're stuck in place, AoE damage is your friend).

    I am considering making a nuking Sorc though, so I can share my thoughts on this topic.

    I can't actually imagine making a Drow Sorcerer or Wizard. Con is your second most important stat (in my opinion). Human gets you 2 more con and you only give up 1 point of Int or Cha (if you're willing to spend the 2 action points on Human Adaptability: Int or Cha). And the extra skill points and the extra feat are quite nice. With a +1 Tome, Human comes out even with Drow. With a +2 tome (which I never get anyways), the Drow gets one more DC.

    WF gives you increased survivability. You get a big list of immunities. You get a Con bonus (and Con enhancements, if you want them). You only need a Moderate Fortification item to get 100% immunity to critical hits and sneak attacks (when your caster gets crit, it can go poorly). Finally, people just give you whatever cool docents they pull.

    If you have good keyboard and mouse skills, you can survive by jumping around and dodging. I prefer to sit in my Wall of Fire, blocking with my shield. It drives the fighters crazy when you grab the aggro and proceed to run around the room. They don't get to attack the monsters and get the aggro back.

    1. My WF Wizard has a meager 30 Int right now (with a +6 Int item). I tend to hit those FoDs reasonably consistently. A WF sorc would be 1 DC behind me. It would certainly make a difference. If you really want to squeeze out the maximum killing power though, the Cha hit is a big cost.

    2. I don't spam cast on my Wizard. The only times I wish the cooldowns were faster is when I try to FoD a caster and he saves. I really want to get him before he casts something nasty.

    3. Yes - I feel like I kill fast enough, but I'm not trying to kill everything, just the important targets.

    4. Can I outkill a Sorcerer? I don't know and I don't care. I want the group to win. Also, the fighters are much happier if you don't FoD the monsters they have down to 20% HP. So spamming can make other people unhappy.

    5. For a Wizard, I love the self healing and the big HP. I'm struggling with whether I can justify a WF Sorc. Even if it wasn't the best killing machine ever, it might be one of the most fun.

    6. I love having the extra 6th and 7th level spells from Wiz 14. I don't really know what I would use UMD for (except maybe getting to use race restricted stat items). A Rogue level will get you 9 more points of UMD though (max ranks = 17 if you have a Rogue level vs. 8.5 without.) Human gives you a skill boost (Human Versatility) which helps your UMD for Raise Dead scrolls.

    7. For a Wizard, I don't really care about UMD. For a Sorc, using Raise Dead scrolls can make a quest easier (and you don't get stuck in a party which refuses to quest without a cleric.)

    8. Haven't played a Sorc yet. Can't comment. My WF Wizard is a ton of fun though, and that's much more important than DCs and kill counts.
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  13. #13
    Community Member BUpcott's Avatar
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    I have a build similar to math geeks

    Lvl 14 Dwarf Sorc (32 Point Build)

    259 HP unbuffed (+6 CON item, Greater False Life, +10 Favor HP)
    1670 SP (Fearsome Robe of Magi)

    Starting Stats
    STR 8 DEX 10 CON 18 INT 10 WIS 10 CHA 16

    Current Stats (with items)
    STR 12 DEX 14 CON 26 INT 10 WIS 14 CHA 30

    Put my skill points into UMD and Concentration.

    I can rez regularly, can use CSW wands without fail, and don't really have a hard time with my PKs (one hit of enervation helps sometimes).

    With that said a WF sorc or wiz can really rock; you just have to find your style of caster play to decide if wiz or sorc is better for you. I know people who sit on both sides of the fence and it boils down to more of a preference. Be aware tho that both truly reach their potential at the higher levels, so be prepared to be patient in the mid-levels.

    Good Luck and I hope you enjoy your build.
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    -1 or -2 to your DC will not make a caster useless but it will not be efficient as drow caster. The key to playing any caster is knowing when to use what spell. Once your DC is high enough -1 or -2 DC will not matter that much. For example, if you use Hold Monster on a melee type with 10 will save, spell will work almost all the time on the other hand if you try to use the same spell on a cleric with 18 will save, the extra 1 or 2 DC will matter more (which is why people use fot or fod on casters).
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  15. #15
    Community Member Pyromaniac's Avatar
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    1. Yes 4 cha would make a big difference. Though I'd go human and make it 2 cha because drow really suffer in terms of hp/survivability. I can tell the difference when I'm wearing my napkin (+1 to dc) on my sorc or not. My human sorc is at 32 cha atm.

    2. Don't know the numbers off hand, but I've tried to level a couple of wizards and stopped as they don't compare to my sorc for DPS.

    3/4 On my sorc i'd guess I can out kill with instakill spells a wizard anywhere between 3:1 to 3:2 versus a mage. Depends how long of quest, but given my mana is tons more than a wiz...

    5. Tried a WF mage with the self heal idea, it probably gets easier once you can reconstruct scroll. Sorcs have enough cha that with UMD they can heal wand themselves anyways.

    6. The major downside to a rogue/wizard is you need to have solid reflex saves are you'll get killed trying to disable some traps.

    7. Low 20s UMD will allow you to hit sometimes your cure wands. If you're WF i guess that won't matter, but maybe you can use some RR items.

    8. Didn't play a wiz and sorc to 14, though a lot of my guildees have rerolled their 14 wiz and are working on sorcs instead.

    I can't say enough about going human, my sorc is still my original toon and is going strong. 32 cha, 22 con, 21 dex with items on. I probably could have gone a little more con heavy and taken a little bit out of dex but its not bad.

  16. #16
    Community Member jkm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallyn View Post
    I'm not addressing any major questions at this point, but will just point out that at low levels my Drow Sorc was very squishy. At high levels, I've become VERY resilient however.

    I started with these stats:

    Str 8
    Dex 12
    Con 14
    Int 8
    Wis 8
    Cha 20

    I have 186 HP before any buffs (Have a +6 con item and Greater False Life Item)

    Now the reason I can be pretty resilient is because of these spells which I can self buff:

    Greater Heroism (More HP/Better Saves/Fear Immunity)
    Stoneskin
    Displacement
    Protection From Energy
    Resist Energy
    Shield (For Magic Missiles and Force Missiles)
    Jump (For maneuvering/positioning)
    add a false life wand and an aid wand and you can be at 38 temp hit points to start...

  17. #17
    Community Member roughdoughnut's Avatar
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    Default not so squishy

    with a drow you can start with 20 cha and 14 con. you can get that con up to 22 and also wear a greater false life belt. this will leave you with 200 HP

    also try to keep up aid and false life with clickies

    wear displacement, blur, ring of shadows etc

    golden greaves, bramblecasters
    stoneskin
    fearsome robes of spearblock, axeblock, hammerblock

    maybe this seems like a lot of work but you notice that you can do better than tanks with their useless AC
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  18. #18
    Founder Lehrman's Avatar
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    Smile RE:Questions

    1. Does a WF's 4 fewer Cha than a Drow make it not viable as a PK/FoD user in elite end game quests? Does the 4 cha make a big difference?

    As previously Stated 4 Cha less = -2 to the DCs on your spells. It can be the difference between a successful FOD and a cleric having to rez you. Like a melee toon that tries to maximize hitroll and damage, you will want to have as high a DC as possible. The saves on a Spell is 10+Spl Lvl+Ability Mod. At 34 Cha, you will have an ability mod of +12, so a save vs. your FOD will be 10+7+12, or 29 assuming you have no spell focus feats or items. At 30 Cha the same save will be 27. This will effectively give a higher % chance for elite mobs to save vs. your spells.

    2. The biggest issue I see with going wiz over sorc is the cool down. How long is the cool down on PK, Sorching Ray, and FoD for wizards? And what is it for Sorcs?

    The biggest issue with going wiz over sorc is not the cooldown, its the SPs and accessible spells. Wizards get a massive volume of spells to choose from and an be quite versatile, but SP count tends to be about 1300 when fully kitted. Sorcerors get a very small selection of spells, but a massive amount of SPs. My sorc is currently sitting at 1831 and is only using a magi item while some of the people I play with are sitting at over 1900.
    Since this is your first caster, I would not recommend playing a sorceror. You will want to experiment with a wide variety of spells to find a playing style that suites you and a sorceror is not a good choice for that since you have to wait 3 days each time you swap out a spell before swapping another.

    3. Given the cooldown, do you level 14 wizards find you can kill fast enough using PK and FoD alternately in quests in Giant Hold for instance?

    As a sorc, I cannot alternate PK and FOD quick enough for my tastes, so I picked up Hold Monster and Flesh 2 Stone. The result is that I hit Cleric/Wizard/Bard/Rogue enemies with FOD and F2S, I hit Fighter/Rogue/Ranger enemies with Hold Mon, and focus my PKs on Any class (except Cleric and paladin) if my FOD and F2S miss. I leave paladins and immobilized mobs to the melee types to shred.

    The reason I run with HM and F2S is because playing a good caster is not about a kill count, its about making the entire quest easier and faster by having joined a team. Your best DPS spell is not FW, COC, or FB, its an extended haste on the melee types.

    4. Can a PK/FoD focused wiz out kill a sorc with the same focus?

    Yes...for a time. Eventually the Wizard will run out of SPs and the sorc will have about 20 more castings left before he or she runs out. Keep in mind that a Wizard's greatest strength is his or her versatility when choosing spells. The secondary strength is the additional metamagic feats you will get as you level. This means that you can take spell focus and greater spell focus feats without losing the metamagic feats that are very nice to have. i.e. extend, max, empower.

    5. In your opinion, does the self healing aspect of a warforged outwiegh the extra cha of a Drow?

    It depends on the class of the WF v. the Drow. If the WF is a sorceror, then no. If the WF is a wizard, then it is a balanced trade-off. A WF wizard is immune to a wide range of spells including F2S and can have a considerably higher Con and, as a result, much higher HPs. A WF Wiz's Con can be as high as 30 if he or she has an Int of 32. A drow's Con can only be as high as 24 if he or she has a Cha of 34. In both cases, this assumes the use of +2 tomes which, excluding the favor tome, are very hard to come by.

    The difference between a WF and a Drow caster is that a WF will have 42 more Hps at lvl 14 and and a drow will have +1 to the DC of his or her spells.

    6. If I were to go wizard, is going one level of rogue at the start a good or bad idea? My goal will not be to do rogue skills, it is for UMD. So given only doing it for UMD, is giving up the extra 70 SPs and the 1 level 6 & 7 spells worth it?

    It depends on your playing style. I believe that everyone who has a charisma based toon should have UMD, but as a wizard your starting charisma should be 8 so that you can max the two stats that are core to your survival, Con and Int. If you raid with a wiz/rogue long enough, then you will get the items you need in order to keep your UMD at about 30. I would take the lvl of rogue, but only if not playing a WF wizard.

    7. Given question six, is low 20's UMD needed/worth it on a WF wizard?

    No. Think of what items you will need UMD in order to use...cleric items like rez and heal scrolls. Rez is 38 I think--its been a long time since I cast it with a non-cleric.

    Low 20's will let you hit yourself with cure light wands 100% and cure mod wands at over 80% success rates and is worth having if you decided to play a non-WF wizard or sorc.




    Hope this helps.
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  19. #19
    Community Member Gaermain's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark-Star View Post
    I have always played melee toons, and this will be my first caster. Friends I have talked to in game mostly prefer sorcs over wizards for pure killing power.

    Drow over other races also seems preferential.

    What I am looking to build is a character that is primarily a killing machine, and I think from grouping in the end game with casters that I want my focus to be on PK, FoD, and the fire spells (wall and ray primarily). Flesh to stone also perhaps.

    So I started a drow sorc, and compared to my other characters, so far anyway, she is majorly squishy- to the point where it's not that fun to play her.

    The idea of self heals really appeals to me, so using a Warforged seems a natural fit for that. The issue is that WF, due to their charisma penalty, seem more suited to wizards than sorcerers.

    I have really no experience with either class yet, just impressions from watching people and asking questions.

    So on to my questions:

    1. Does a WF's 4 fewer Cha than a Drow make it not viable as a PK/FoD user in elite end game quests? Does the 4 cha make a big difference?

    2. The biggest issue I see with going wiz over sorc is the cool down. How long is the cool down on PK, Sorching Ray, and FoD for wizards? And what is it for Sorcs?

    3. Given the cooldown, do you level 14 wizards find you can kill fast enough using PK and FoD alternately in quests in Giant Hold for instance?

    4. Can a PK/FoD focused wiz out kill a sorc with the same focus?

    5. In your opinion, does the self healing aspect of a warforged outwiegh the extra cha of a Drow?

    6. If I were to go wizard, is going one level of rogue at the start a good or bad idea? My goal will not be to do rogue skills, it is for UMD. So given only doing it for UMD, is giving up the extra 70 SPs and the 1 level 6 & 7 spells worth it?

    7. Given question six, is low 20's UMD needed/worth it on a WF wizard?

    8. Lastly, for those that have played both a wizard and a sorc to 14, especially WF and/or Drow, what did you prefer in the end and why?

    Thanks for your time, posting this in the Wiz forum as well.
    I'm not going to go through point by point, I'll just share some personal observations. I've done both wiz and sorc - both of them fleshie and WF.

    I'll skip the difference between wiz and sorc, as that has been covered. All I'll add onto that is that it's a playstyle thing for me personally. I prefer a sorc for the casting speed and the extra mana.

    Drow vs WF...Hands down, I prefer the WF for both wiz and sorc.

    As far as the wiz, the self-sufficiency, immunities, fort boost, and con boost far outweighed the difference between a a 32 and a 34 int. Being equipped, feated, and played the same, the WF and drow were identical - with differences so minor (if any) I can not even think of any to list in regards to spells landing. That being the case, the advantages to the WF race sent the drow into deletion.

    As far as the sorc, for my playstyle (read = my spell selection) my WF holds her own better than the drow - Fire/ice spec who are also addicted to FOD. I also throw out quite a bit of suggestion. I don't have any SF or GSF feats, and I don't carry any items of that sort as my hands are full of how bad I can make that fire/ice hurt. I do not have heighten. Endgame (Gianthold) my 'gimped' 30 cha, non-heightening, non SF WF sorc doesn't have any problems bombing out the FOD and/or the suggestion. Though, I must admit, sometimes it's more fun to give something a faceful of fire or ice. If I was the crowd control type, I'd make a drow and adjust my playstyle drastically to compensate for the reduced self-sufficiency.

    Before moving on, I'll cover the UMD. I would highly recommend you do not take a level of rogue for the UMD. If you're going the wizzy route, I'd ask yourself why you want the UMD in the first place - skip it, and move on. However, if you're going the sorc route, the UMD is easier obtained (as it's a CHA tied skill). Still, with a sorc - I would highly recommend you do not take a level of rogue to boost the UMD. Putting 2 build points into int at creation gets you an extra skill point while leveling - throw that into UMD (plus some of your initial skill points) and in the later levels using a raise dead scroll is very easily done.

    Personally, my favorite of them all is the WF fire/ice/fod sorc. Being immune to hold, level drain, etc is nice. Self-healing is a huge boon. The boost in con and fortification is wonderful for those moments of aggro-management whoopsies when you hit and AOE by mistake.

    In closing: wiz vs sorc I believe is a playstyle thing. Drow vs WF is also a playstyle (and in the case of sorc, spell selection) thing. Above where the advice of 'make a human' was given - was good advice to begin. Try things out, decide what you like, where you want your caster focus to be, then roll it up and go.

    Bottom line, the choice is yours to you. Wiz vs Sorc, WF vs Drow - in all combinations they have their advantages and disadvantages.

    Since this is your first caster and it sounds like you want to go the damage route, I'd focus on your aggro management first and foremost. Regardless of what you build and what race it is if you cannot control aggro you'll spend a lot of time dead and irritating your fellow party members. Here's some tips:

    Start your aggro management learning curve by damaging mobs that are beating on a melee. Though some call it "kill stealing," it's better to learn what you can kill, with what spell, how many casts it takes of that spell - as you level.

    Learn how to "peel aggro" when needed. Learn how to kite. Learn NOT to kite back to your healer. Learn to run TO the character with the huge sword/axe if you bite off more than you can chew, not away from them so they have to chase.

    Grease is fun. Even moreso if there is lava in the immediate vicinity. If you're shooting for maximum fun carry some break enchantment scrolls: use scroll right before they hit lava if they are resisted and/or protected. Hoard grease clickies - they are the shiz.

    If you want to nuke - jump, shield, stoneskin, and displacment are your friend.

    Blowing off an AOE spell at things that are fascinated ****es off bards, and hurts your party.

    Fire heals certain mobs.

    Clerics like jump.

    Blackbone skeletons are immune to fire. And ice.

    Everyone loves greater herosim.

    In closing, if you decide to go the WF route please understand the benefit of the race reaches farther than being able to heal yourself. Also, be prepared for some hate as you'll be reminded on quite a regular basis that you're 'gimped' because of the CHA penalty. I assure you, depending on what kind of spells you want to use (primarily damage instead of primarily crowd control) you will not be gimped as a nuker WF sorc.

    Just be prepared, on occasion, for people to spend an entire quest explaining to you why you should have made a drow instead. My personal favorite was showing up to Xorian's and having a party leader (who sent me a blind invite twice before sending me a tell) start freaking out about "how we're going to get the CHA ruins since WF have gimped CHA." I left the ruins alone. On purpose.

    Have fun with the class and race, whichever you choose - enjoy your very first +1000 damage single cast!

  20. #20
    Community Member Harbinder's Avatar
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    Hey my post got deleted!

    Anyways, another reason you dont' want to multiclass for umd is you lose 1 on your caster level checks.
    ~A few unintelligible words and fleeting gestures carry more power than a battleaxe when they are the words and gestures of a wizard~

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