THIS POST IS EXTREMELY OUTDATED. FOLLOW IT IN TODAY'S GAME AT YOUR OWN RISK.
The Sorcerer's Handbook: A Guide to Building and Playing Sorcerers
By: Aspenor the Beholder Slayer
Why do we play sorcerers? Because in DDO, sorcerers are the true arcane powerhouse. In pen and paper D&D, the wizard has the upper-hand on the sorcerer due to his vast array of choices and versatility. In DDO the versatility advantage is drastically reduced due to several reasons:
- There aren't really that many spells that are useful.
- The sorcerer is a charisma-based spellcasting class, and charisma powers the UMD skill.
- There aren't enough useful skills in DDO to give intelligence-based spellcasters a worthwhile benefit.
- The spell point system of DDO favors the sorcerer greatly.
From an OP perspective, there are really only 3 races to choose from when building a sorcerer. These races and their benefits are as follows:
- Human - The human sorcerer has the advantage of extra skill points. There are only a few useful skills for a sorcerer, but having the extra skill points makes it easy to optimize. Additionally, the bonus feat humans receive at level one can be a major bonus throughout the course of the life of the build.
- Warforged - Although the warforged sorcerer suffers a penalty to his primary casting stat, he also gains a racial boost to his second most important stat, constitution. Additionally, the warforged sorcerer finds his racial immunities and arcane magic-powered self-healing to be extremely useful.
- Drow - The drow sorcerer gains a racial boost to his primary casting stat, a "free" skill point for his racial boost to intelligence, but suffers a penalty to his constitution.
My opinion -
In my honest opinion, there are only two races from which sorcerers should be built, from an OP perspective. These races are human and warforged. The drow sorcerer will be quite a bit more squishy than either of these racial choices, and only gains +1 DC over a human and a few spell points for his lack of hit points. He gains +2 DC over the warforged, but will be quite a bit less survivable due to the warforged's easy self-heals and racial immunities/toughness. These DC advantages have changed slightly since the release of the Ring of the Silver Concord and the Cloak of the Silver Concord. A human can now have the same DC as a drow with equal, maxxed out gear, but the drow saves 6 AP on the last tier of Sorcerer's Charisma that they won't have to purchase.
This, of course, assumes that you have 32 point builds. If you don't, you may want to choose a drow.
A sorcerer will almost always want to max his charisma, unless you are building a melee/sorcerer hybrid. This thread is not going to discuss these hybrids. The second most important stat is constitution. Constitution governs the sorcerer's hit points and fortitude saves.
From a min/max OP perspective, these are the main two stats to be worried about. You can forget almost everything else.
- Strength: Strength gives bonuses to melee to-hit and damage. What kind of idiot full spellcaster hits anything with a weapon? The only use for strength to a sorcerer is to prevent being rendered helpless by strength damage. This can easily be avoided by drinking bull's strength potions at low levels, and wearing a strength item at the higher levels. Don't waste those precious stat points.
- Dexterity: Dexterity gives a sorcerer a higher armor class and higher reflex saves. However, beyond the lowest levels, the sorcerer is wasting his time by trying to have armor class and reflex saves. He has resistance and protection spells to make up for his clumsiness. He has stoneskin and displacement to make up for his lack of armor class. The ranged touch attack does not exist in DDO, thus making dexterity useless for all those ray spells.
- Intelligence: A sorcerer should only take enough intelligence to have enough skill points to max ranks in 3 or 4 chosen skills. My recommendation is 3 skill points/level, you may wish to have 4. Five skill points per level is a waste of stat allocation points.
- Wisdom: Wisdom gives a bonus to will saves for a sorcerer, and that's all it offers. Sorcerers have the high will save progression, and thus allocating stat points to wisdom is more often than not a waste. If you are really worried about those will saves, take Force of Personality to add your charisma bonus to will saves instead of wisdom.
Skill Point Allocation
First, you will want to make choices on which skills you wish your sorcerer to have. The following skills are, generally speaking, the only useful skills for a sorcerer.
-Concentration: This skill is of utmost importance to any sorcerer, despite the availability of the Quicken Spell metamagic feat. Quickened spells cost a lot of extra spell points, and you don't get hit every time you cast a spell. Running around with Quicken on all the time is a ridiculous drain on spell points for little benefit. Maximize your concentration skill at all times.
-Use Magic Device: Use Magic Device (or UMD) is probably the single most powerful skill in DDO. A sorcerer uses his UMD skill to have access to divine spellcasting via scrolls. A sorcerer, with his high charisma, can easily raise dead, or with UMD boosting loot resurrect his party members. A fleshy sorcerer with high UMD can easily heal himself with heal scrolls at high levels, and at lower levels can use wands for cheaper healing (and faster healing, when used in combination with potions).
-Diplomacy: Diplomacy is the twitch-players backup for armor class. Diplomacy drops the sorcerer to the bottom of a monster's aggro list for 6 seconds, and it has a 6 second cooldown. You'd have to be dense to not see the synergy there, and the usefulness of the skill. Sorcerer's get a lot of aggro throwing fireballs all over the place. With the simple press of a hotkey the sorcerer can shed all aggro onto either a more sturdy party member, or a charmed monster lackey. It's charisma-based, and thus sorcerers can use it to great results even though it's not a class skill.
- Intimidate: You, as a player, may decide that you WANT aggro. You may want to be able to grab it all to group monsters up for one big blast. You may want it to keep monsters cooking in your walls of fire. Whatever the reason, intimidate is another great skill. It's not for everybody, but can be supremely useful. It's charisma-based, and thus sorcerers can use it to great results even though it's not a class skill.
-Balance: Many other players swear by having balance on a sorcerer. Personally, it's not my preference. What the skill will do, though, might be save your ass. Balance helps you stand up quicker when tripped or knocked down.
Now that we have the essential building blocks of the sorcerer, we discuss different types of sorcerers, playstyles, and spell lists.
Please PM me the link to your sorc build if you'd like to be sponsored by this thread. I am aware not all players want the same sorc, I want to give people some options.