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    Community Member Junts's Avatar
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    Default A Guide to Creating Paladins

    Currently about 18 months and 5 levels out of date. Please do not consider for anything more than generalities (str and con and cha are good, divine sacrifice is good, divine might is good, etc).

    Perhaps this will get updated again some day.


    Whether you're new to DDO entirely or new to the paladin class, this guide seeks to provide you with good information for creating paladin characters. Established players looking for specific build information might want to page down once or twice, but if you're not really familiar with paladin mechanics, abilities and build decisions, you might as well keep reading from here. This guide is intended to be useful to people who intend to take a majority of their levels in the paladin class. I cannot review every single paladin ability and enhancement; rather, I will review the most important and most frequently misunderstood abilities and enhancements. For a comprehensive overview of paladin feats, spells and enhancements, you should consult the DDO Compendium page, which lists it much more efficiently than I ever could. Similarly, I won't spend a lot of time on the very basics of DDO character creation. Melee characters take toughness because they don't have enough hit points without it.

    The main purpose of the guide is to help you create a paladin that will age well into the endgame. Because paladins are very, very powerful at low levels in DDO, it's easy to make one that is strong at low levels and ages badly.

    A note: I don't specifically touch on the paladin prestige enhancement lines in the guide (outside of identifying how they are frequently associated with certain kinds of character). This means I don't ever discuss the Hunter of the Dead prestige enhancement line, as its primarily used for leveling and for very creative builds that are interested in it's healing amplification abilities. Its abilities don't really enhance the core focus of generic paladin builds, and so it's difficult to find it a place in the guide. It's almost exclusively used by heavy multiclass builds and levelers prior to level 12.

    A hotlink index to parts of the thread:

    DPS Paladin Information
    Tank Paladin Information
    Paladin Healing Information
    Weapon Selection & Holy Sword
    Links to Advanced Builds
    Sample Builds


    I. The Basics of Paladin Play and Combat


    Paladins are one of DDO's most thinly stretched classes statistically. Regardless of build or role, a paladin requires investment in more statistics than a fighter or barbarian designed for a similar job. This is caused in large part because paladins must make very large investments in Charisma to power their offense as well as their basic defensive (Divine Grace) and healing (Lay on Hands) abilities. For this reason, a typical paladin will have less strength and constitution than a barbarian or fighter built for similar combat style, and creating two-weapon fighting paladin builds is incredibly difficult without access to the drow race or 32 point builds. Most paladins use wisdom as their primary dump stat, in defiance of typical D&D logic. Items let you qualify for spell casting on DDO, and depending on your paladins chosen role, he may need to invest in a 12 or higher starting stat in every other statistic! There'll be more information on these kind of tradeoffs in the build examples, but as a general sort of rule you could say that two-handed fighting paladins can dump dex, wis and usually intelligence, two-weapon fighting paladins can drop wisdom and usually intelligence, and tank-based paladins can only drop wisdom. In fact, monk-based tank paladins can't even dump that! Consequently, it's very important to learn how each statistic benefits your character's role.

    Ability Scores

    Strength: Paladins are a feat-starved class, and consequently paladins built around Weapon Finesse are quite rare. Whether a tank or a damage-dealer, strength is critical to your offensive output. While paladins get many buffs and abilities which increase their damage dealing, only a few of these also help their to-hit. Consequently, while you may sacrifice a point or two of strength for other statistics, you still want as much as you can possibly squeeze in.

    Dexterity: Dexterity serves two purposes only: It helps two-weapon fighting paladins qualify for the two weapon feats, and a moderate amount is important to tank-based paladins, who want to carefully control their dexterity: You want enough to fill out the max dex bonus of your endgame armor, but anything over that is wasted. The additional reflex saves, while handy, are rarely an issue due to Divine Grace, Aura Bonuses, and etc. Because paladins are so starved for build points and have such good innate saving throws, investment in dexterity for other reasons is not advisable.

    Constitution: For every DDO character, constitution is extremely important. This is certainly true on a front-line melee class, even one with great saves and self-healing abilities. Typical advice is to invest in constitution for as long as you get 1 point per 1 build point. Paying 2 for 1 in constitution is rarely a good idea, and some two weapon human, dwarf or warforged builds will go 2 points shy of that (12 human, 14 dwarf/wf). Going under 12 is never wise, and even the listed exception is something you should approach carefully.

    Intelligence: Intelligence only has two purposes: skill points and, for tanks, qualifying for Combat Expertise. Most human and drow paladins will not spend any build points on intelligence (unless they are a tank, in whichcase they will start at 11 or 12, depending on build point availability) for CE's requirement of 13. Elf, half orc, dwarf, halfling and warforged builds may feel compelled to put 2 points here in order to get enough skill points to raise something besides the always-important Use Magic Device.

    Wisdom: Wisdom fuels paladin spell points and spell-casting. You need to have 10+spell level wisdom to cast. Any paladin that does not depend on monk's wisdom bonus to AC is well advised to not start with more than 8 wisdom. While it will be inconvenient until a +2 or 3 wisdom item is found, the additional spell points are never consequential and pretty much every other stat is important. It may be that this means you cannot cast spells initially when you acquire them at level 4 for a level or two. While this is obnoxious, it's important to remember that if you did have enough wisdom to cast them, you'd have 20-25 spell points and be able to cast them once or twice per shrine. Most new players see that tomes are used for wisdom and assume they can't dump stat it, and it's certainly an inconvenience, but it's one that will wear off by level 11, and for which you'll be glad from about level 13 upward. It doesn't take having tomes to make dumping wisdom wise, just a bit of patience. The House Phiarlan favor wisdom buff can be used to enable your spellcasting from level 5 until you locate a decent wisdom item. Since your spells at that level are quite weak until you reach level 9, you're not very disadvantaged should you die and lose the buff.

    Charisma: Charisma is incredibly important to the paladin in all areas of combat. In addition to getting their charisma modifier added to all saves (Divine Grace), Lay on Hands heals (10 + paladin level) * charisma modifier hit points instantly and with no interrupt chance. You can have as many as 4 (5, as a defender) lay on hands. Lastly, the most important paladin damage-dealing enhancement depends on your base charisma. Only starting statistic, tomes and level up points count towards qualifying for Divine Might, which adds 2/4/6/8 to every attack's damage for 1 minute for a turn undead attempt. The charisma requirements are very steep: 14, 16, 18 and 20, and the level requirements are also steep (5, 10, 15 and 20). Pure paladins seeking for Divine Might 4 consequently must start with very high base charisma statistics to reach 20 even with the addition of a tome. Drow paladins have a significant advantage in this area. It is important to keep in mind that per point spent, Divine Might gives more damage per point than Strength, until you qualify for the highest DM your level split permits. This is why you will see that every build I link to in this thread, and all the sample builds, feature extremely high base charisma. It is a critical statistic, and making a paladin that starts with Charisma as its highest stat is quite realistic and even likely. However, since Charisma's value declines rapidly after you qualify for the tier of Divine Might you intend to take, its extremely rare to put your level-up points in the statistic.

    Combat Abilities

    Paladins (and monks) are click-based classes. They both acquire many abilities with short or instantaneous durations that must be activated frequently during combat to maintain their damage output. If you do not like keeping a variety of abilities with 3-second cooldowns firing during big fights, this is probably not the class for you. A barbarian or ranger has little to do besides position while auto-attacking, but while playing a paladin it can be quite difficult to keep track of the play area and your ability cool-downs at the same time. However, a paladin that doesn't use his short-term buffs and combat abilities is a very poor character, so be warned.

    Divine Might: Already covered in the Charisma section, Divine Might is an enhancement that consumes a turn undead attempt to provide a bonus to damage for 1 minute. A higher level paladin will easily have enough turn undeads to power this ability between shrines, and as it is not a spell it doesn't slow you down when used on the run. Divine Might adds more to your damage output in most situations than any other paladin enhancement, and it is important regardless of what role you choose to play.

    Divine Favor: Divine Favor is a level 1 paladin (and cleric) spell that provides a +1 luck bonus to hit and damage per 3 caster levels, up to +3/+3 at class level 9. Its duration is 30 seconds + 6 sec/paladin level, so at low levels you will find that it is extremely short. It's rarely worth even bothering with until at least level 6, and you probably won't have the spell points to keep it running regularly until level 12-14. Once you can, though, it's a very valuable buff, and your only buff that increases your to hit as well as your damage output.

    Zeal: A level 4 paladin spell, Zeal gives you a 10% chance to double-strike. Prior to July of 2010, Zeal was an attack speed booster instead, and you may see references to it as a speed boost. Information suggesting that the spell is poor or insignificant is badly misleading and should b disregarded. This is a very important buff to maintain any time you're fighting anything. Many paladins take extend spell to improve the mana-efficiency of Zeal, which has the same duration as Divine Favor (30 sec + 6/level). Paying 25 sp for 2:12 or 35 for 4:24 of Zeal should make it clear why, as paladin spell points are not all that great. It is worth noting that the changes to Zeal made it interact even better with smite evils, which can get the double strike effect and go off more than once per use. You also can still get an offhand smite, though these will rarely coincide (you will get all 3 smites 8 in every 100 smite attempts).

    Divine Sacrifice: Divine Sacrifice is a clicky-operated ability. It costs 5 hit points and 1 spell point to operate, and has a 3 second cooldown. When activated, Divine Sacrifice will take place on your next auto-attack (or it will do an attack animation if you are not attacking). Using this ability while dual-wielding will cause you to do one with each hand when an offhand attack occurs. Divine Sacrifice adds considerable light damage (5d6/7d6/9d6) to the attack, in addition to increasing it's multiplier on a critical hit by 1. The light damage alone is considerable if the ability is used constantly, and if a weapon with high critical chance is used, so too is the additional critical multiplier. More on weapon selection for paladins later.

    Smite Evil and Exalted Smite Enhancements: While frequently the first ability that springs to mind for paladin damage, smite evil is often the least important. The Exalted Smiting enhancements make Smite evil incredibly powerful for burst damage: increasing it's sizable (pal level*3 + 7) bonus damage with improved critical ranges and multipliers can lead to critical hits in excess of 700 damage. However, the enhancements are very expensive (20 of your 80 action points to max out exalted smiting 4) and you have a rather limited number of uses: even a fully specced smiting paladin only has 13 per shrine, and they recharge at the rather slow rate of 1 per 90 seconds. Exalted smiting should not be overlooked, but if you're strapped for action points, it should be the first damage-dealing enhancement you cut out, not the last. It's limited number of uses makes it far less valuable than Sacrifice or Divine Might (which are competing with it for AP) in any fight longer than 45 seconds. Like Divine Sacrifice, dual-wield smiting can trigger a second smite with your offhand weapon with the same chance as your regular offhand attack (ie based on how many two weapon fighting feats you have, up to 80% chance of a 2nd).

    As you can see, paladin melee involves managing 3 short-duration buffs and 1-2 clicky abilities, so it will take some practice to do it well. However, it leads to a far more interactive combat than you get out of other classes. Some people will like this, and some won't.
    Last edited by Junts; 12-01-2012 at 02:56 AM.

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    II. Paladin Combat Roles


    A well-created paladin can play several roles in combat, though any experienced player will tell you (repeatedly) that choosing to take on another role doesn't mean you should ignore your damage-dealing propensity. DDO, unlike most MMO's, rarely requires a dedicated tank role, and those who do still must focus heavily on their damage dealing, as there are less benefits available to generate extra threat from monsters. While paladins have more of these abilities than any other class, they're useless if you don't do effective base damage for them to multiply.

    Melee DPS

    Most paladins will seek to fill the role of melee damage-dealers. There are two paths to this: two-handed fighting and two-weapon fighting. Using a shield is not a method of dealing damage, and even a dedicated tank build will often incorporate at least some focus on one of these two fighting styles into their build. All melee characters on DDO need the capability to crank up the damage on demand. I will discuss some of the benefits and downsides of both styles, but before doing so it should be made clear: Due to how paladin's damage bonuses and abilities work, two-weapon fighting paladins will out-damage two-handed builds. This is a fundamental class trait that is outside questions of the overall balance of the two fighting styles in general. Because most paladin combat abilities are added on every hit or also trigger on a doublestrike or offhand attack proc, the benefit they get from two-weapon fighting is much larger. That's not to say you shouldn't go two-handed, though:


    Two-Handed Fighting: Two-handed fighting has two significant advantages. For one, it doesn't require a sizable investment in dexterity. Two-weapon fighting requires 17 dexterity after tome use, and that's a very high investment for a class strapped in other areas. Secondly, and in concert with the first, two-handed fighting is generally better if you cannot take all three feats. Having only two-handed or improved-two handed fighting is much better than having only two-weapon or improved two-weapon fighting. This makes two-handed the style of choice as the alternative for many tank builds, and for most 28 point builds. The statistic spread for 28 point non-drow is prohibitive in acquiring both two-weapon fighting and an adequate level of divine might and strength. The two-handed build samples at the end of this thread will all include notes on how to reduce them to 28 point status; I will not do this for two-weapon builds. As a final comment, it is important to note that two-handed fighting gets a bit screwed with the Holy Sword spell, as the best weapon types (falchion, and less so great-axe) are not available for holy sword creation. This actually tilts the weapon availability equation towards two-weapon fighting, the opposite of the situation that exists for fighters/barbarians (where needing 2x crafted raid weapons is much harder than just needing 1). There's more on the holy sword spell below.

    Two-Weapon Fighting: On top of dealing the best damage available, two weapon fighting is the best at dealing out effect-based weaponry (like vorpalling, where only raw number of attacks matters). This makes it the preferred choice when damage dealing is the primary goal. A fully dps-specced Knight of the Chalice, two-weapon paladin deals damage competitive or better than every other damage-dealer in the game against their arch-nemesis (devils and demons, which happen to constitute 90% of DDO's endgame raid bosses). As a further advantage, all of the best weapon types for paladins (scimitars for elves, rapiers for drow, and Khopesh for everyone else) are available in holy-sword form, meaning that two weapon paladins have much more ready access to high-end, raid-quality weaponry.

    The Knight of the Chalice enhancement line is the basis for melee damage paladins. It adds tremendous damage per hit (up to 4d6 at tier 3, on top of everything else, on every hit) vs the omnipresent devils and demons, and the high-end raid belt+ring set devoted specifically to the enhancement line adds 3d6 more on top of that. It is necessary that you have the Knight of the Chalice 3 enhancement to gain benefit from the ring and belt set (which means level 18), so you will see that nearly all damage-based paladin builds have at least 18 levels in the class. Generally, the benefit of Knight of the Chalice (hereafter KOTC) 3, +5d6 damage per hit vs KOTC 2, out-weighs the benefit you could gain through more than 2 levels in any other class.

    A note on Knight of the Chalice: While epic quests provide a great deal more diversity of monsters than the non-epic endgame, there are no shortage of Evil outsider targets, and in particular many of the most dangerous monsters or bosses continue to be evil outsiders (Malicia, Demon of the Frenzied Blood, monsters in Against the Demon Queen and Zawabi's Revenge, et cetera). While the prestige line doesn't feel useful as often as you'd like, it remains strong against the strongest foes and hardest quests.

    Going to pure 20 paladin provides the capstone enhancement "Weapons of Good" which is also a tremendous addition to damage dealt: it adds 1d6 good damage vs all foes, and an additional 2d6 light damage vs undead and devils/demons. While pure 20 paladin characters are very limited (the inability to splash for extra abilities is noticable), pure 20 paladin KOTCs deal peerless damage. Many builds do forego this benefit for added versitility or survivability, however, as a pure 20 paladin damage build is a lot like a barbarian that can heal itself 4 times per shrine; the feats do not remain to gain any other abilities of note, and 20 levels precludes survivability-based splashes like 2 rogue (evasion + better UMD) or 2 monk (evasion + 2 feats). Players should understand that Paladin 20 means making a single-role character due to the feat scarcity and inability to get full ranks in any good skills.


    A note on paladins and epic weapons: There are excellent epic weapons in both two handed (Epic Sword of Shadow) and two weapon (Epic Chaosblade) available to paladins. These weapons are more potent in paladin hands than others, as they can be augmented with silver instead of good, and Paladin Weapons of Good (the capstone, see below) will allow them to bypass DR/good as well, letting them be used for raid boss fighting. The Epic Sword of Shadow is better by a couple orders of magnitude to every other two-handed weapon in the game, and Epic SOS and Epic Chaosblade paladin builds are much closer in damage dealing ability than non-epic twf and thf builds. However, while the chaosblade build is more difficult (requiring high static umd, and two epic weapons instead of 1), it does slightly more damage as well. Please don't be mislead by the fact that the epic Sword of Shadow builds are better than greensteel-using twf paladins: the equivalent epic weaponry still leaves twf builds superior, though the Sword of Shadow has its own benefits (not caring about monster alignment, being excellent with 0 two handed feats, et cetera) that may factor into your decision. As this guide is primarily designed for new players to the paladin class, I don't want to spend much more time on epic equipment, but players who are True Reincarnating from another class or designing for the long haul should take note of the differences in the two weapons. There are a -lot- more lawful monsters than there appear, so the chaosblade isn't as limited as it would initially seem. While epic equipment is generally outside the scope of this guide, paladin players intending to someday gear out to the teeth should keep this in mind when choosing their initial weapon style.
    Last edited by Junts; 05-13-2011 at 09:10 AM.

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    Melee Tank

    Paladins make phenomenal tanks at all levels. No class combines the hit points, saving throws, and innate survivability (4 nofail instant heals!) that the paladin does. However, paladin tanks are not without their downsides, and it's important when looking at them to remember that most DDO instances do not require a dedicated tank, and in fact a typical tank and DPS strategy makes them slower and more costly to do. However, when it's useful, it's very useful, and it can also be a very enjoyable role to play. There are, consequently, many, many players with tank-based paladins (including my own main), but new players getting into them should understand the following, good and bad:

    1: Many players regard dedicated tanks as a waste of a party slot.

    2: It's almost impossible to make an effective paladin tank with a 28 point build, due to their need for nearly every statistic.

    3: AC-based characters on DDO take 3-4 times longer to equip than pretty much anything else. Further, AC based characters are more dependent on rare, expensive or raid equipment than any other kind of build.

    4: No matter what role you want to play in a party, you also need to deal damage. There're are too many quests in the game where there is no need for a tank, or for melee crowd control, traps, or any of those other things - but you nearly always need damage. It has to be a consideration in your tanking character. Tanks who do no damage on DDO are worthless in every quests. You must deal decent base damage to keep the monster's aggro, even with threat bonuses! If you swing like a girl, the monster will not stay on you!

    Taking the above 4 facts in sum, I offer this as advice to everyone wanting a paladin tank: Do not make your first build a paladin tank unless you are willing to suffer all of the above. A paladin tank will benefit tremendously from you having another high-level character to twink it with top of the line armor while leveling, to help get it crafting ingredients (because it will burn them like crazy) and to make you familiar with when you should and shouldn't try to play a tank role. The coming addition of greater reincarnation removes the 28 point build problem as anything but temporary, so long as you're willing to pay the cost or grind the tokens to do a greater reincarnation to a 32 point build in the future. However, expect a 28 point paladin tank to be frustrating when you're leveling it initially. However, you shouldn't fear that your entire character concept will be useless at very high levels, though you may use your DPS alternative nearly always at first, while you're still getting the gear to have enough armor class.

    With all the above said, what are the keys to making an effective paladin tank? Most of them will be based in full plate and likely tower shields, to take advantage of the Defender of Siberys prestige line (which provides significant benefits to heavy-armor usage, and many defensive advantages). Evasion based tank builds are much more complicated, and I've never seen a buil for one that I quite liked. Once I do. it'll join the advance builds links later in this thread. So what is a paladin tank looking for?

    1: Combat Expertise. Adding +5 ac, even if its turned off when you renew your short term buffs, is essential for tanking elite quality boss types. It's too much armor class to give up. Starting with enough intelligence to hit 13 with your tome of choice is consequently important.

    2: Consider what shields to use. Before epic content, tower shields are better, but with epic shields, you can have equivalent armor class with an epic large shield and none of the drawbacks (feat, hit penalty, dex bonus cap) associated with tower shields. This makes it easier to be pure and get the powerful paladin capstone.

    3: Make sure you start with the right dexterity. While a dps paladin is building for feat and enhancement stat requirements that won't ever change (17 dex, 18 or 20 charisma), what dexterity to take on a tank is far more complicated. You'll want to figure out how much you can afford and how many modifiers to max dexterity, in addition to what armor you're likely to use, you're going to be dealing with. Many builds will go with 12 dexterity, in order to qualify for the Dodge feat with a +1 dexterity tome. This generally works out well, but dwarven builds (who get extra enhancements to increase max dex of armor further) may wish to go higher. 28 point builds will almost certainly start with less.

    4: Understand how getting the attention of monsters works in DDO. Intimidate will taunt a monster and jump you to the top of it's threat list, but if you're not producing more threat on the monster than the other people attacking it (after including your bonus buff from intimidate, the bonus from your stance, any equipment you have, etc), you won't keep the monster;s attention. With those buffs, you can maintain the monster's attention while using a shield if you're using a good weapon, buffed properly, and paid proper attention to maintaining your core damage-dealing abilities (divine might, strength, etc).

    Because of the above, the two most common splashes are rogue levels and fighter levels. With the addition of intimidate as a paladin class skill and the lack of epic tower shields, the fighter splash has become much less ideal. /2 rogue still provides significant benefits (evasion, umd, etc) that can round a character out nicely.

    Pure paladin is an exceptionally strong choice now due to the paladin capstone (discussed above), as it benefits you at all times, both when you are tanking and the much more common situations when you are not. It interfaces with the paladin threat bonus abilities. Paladins gain two ways to get threat enhancement: The divine righteousness ability, which is a 1 minute, 100% sacred bonus, and the passive bonus of the Defender of Siberys defensive stances (25%/33%/50% per tier, also sacred bonus). The two don't stack, but the defensive stance lets you gain a bonus without spending a turn undead attempt (which conflicts with divine might). Essentially, you can use the stance bonus to supplement your threat during extremely long raid fights where you have ample time by yourself with the boss (for example, tanking Horoth) and use the clicky for more intense situations. These bonuses stack with the bonuses available on equipment in an additive fashion (eg if you have a +20% item, you'd have a total of +120% to your threat with righteousness active). Since you're unlikely to have more than two item bonuses (totalling 30 or 35%, probably), you need a decent number of base damage dealt to ensure that you can keep up with people who are naturally using better combat styles and more specced for damage dealing. Using the intimidate skill will also, regardless of success, give you a +100% threat buff for 12 seconds (the cooldown is 15 seconds) when using a shield, or a 50% buff for 6 seconds when not using a shield. Paladins mixing this buff with their stance and divine righteousness should have little issues maintaining aggro over even players much better equipped than they are, as long as they have at least decent equipment and build choices.

    With the changes to intimidate, there is no longer a viable tank build that does not take into consideration its ability to deal damage, which synergizes well with the fact that in most content you will not be tanking anyway: you'll be killing.
    Last edited by Junts; 05-03-2011 at 04:43 PM.

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    III. Paladin Healing

    Any DDO player will tell you that DDO paladins are not dedicated healers. This is, in general, true; no paladin build can heal a raid. However, paladins are quite capable of other healing duties, especially at low levels. Some players are particularly interested in this kind of thing, and it bears review for all players.

    1: Wands. Paladins are capable of using wands and scrolls for any spell on their spell-list. While scrolls require you to be of the same level you have to be to cast the spell (eg, restoration scrolls require paladin 14 for no-fail use), wands have a static minimum level, and its very low. A paladin can use a cure serious wounds wand without fail at level 4, even though they can't cast the spell until level 14! Consequently, healing wands are an incredible resource to a low and mid-level paladin. Up until level 8-9, a paladin with a wand or two can easily heal a group through an entire quest, and therafter the wand makes a great supplement to potions for non-emergency healing. Wands and Potions have a separate cool-down, so you can drink-whip-drink-whip and restore your own hit points quite quickly. This remains viable until level 16 or 17, when you start running higher level raids.

    2: Lay on Hands. With enhancements, you can have up to 4 lay on hands per day with any paladin, and Defenders of Siberys get another. These are very large, instant, uninterruptible burst-heals that work at quite a long range and even through many obstacles, so they are very potent. With a good charisma, a lay on hands will refill most of your hit points, and used on others of squishier classes will probably fill them up to full. With a few lay on hands many paladins will solo quests without needing any extra healing. Most higher level paladins use their lay on hands as emergency buttons; if the whole party is getting nailed, laying yourself removes some burden from the healer, and you can use it to save another party member's life instantly, too (even that same healer!). Lay on hands has no cooldown except the time it takes for its short animation, so in an emergency you could, in theory, lay on hands yourself and then hit f2-f4 and use 3 more on 3 separate party members and refill 4 people in less than 5 seconds. While this isn't always needed, its an incredible safe-guard and most paladins will save their lay on hands for those kind of situations and not use them to top up or for more managable healing loads.

    3: Unyielding Sovereignty. Not every paladin will have this ability, but most will take it because it is far, far more powerful than the other Faith enhanccements, and you must take a faith enhancement to qualify for the 3rd tier of any prestige enhancement. Unyielding Sovereignty is the faith ability of the Sovereign host, and it's available as low as level 6, though at 6 action points (2 for follower of the SH, 4 for US) it can be expensive then. Unyielding Sovereignty is a complete-cure ability: it provides a 1000 point heal, removes all diseases, blindness, ability damage, and negative levels from the target. On top of that, it removes the touched/scarred/owned by Dolurrh penalties for death, which can otherwise only be removed by shrining or waiting. Unyielding sovereignty has no cost and no uses per shrine limit: it may be activated once every 10 minutes, and if allowed to cool down will again be available without shrining. At lower levels when the ability to remove negative levels or provide extremely large burst heals is at a premium, the ability is incredibly potent, and its ability to remove death penalties extends its worth even into the endgame. This enhancement basically simulates a level 6 and level 7 spell effect (heal + greater restoration) for free, plus removing death penalties.

    The above are available to all paladins, regardless of role or build, and pretty much every paladin that exists is going to spend 6 action points to pick up extra lay hands 1-3 to get 4 per day. Most parties will expect you to have this ability and consequently to be much more capable of surviving emergencies or saving them than anyone but the cleric or favored soul. Most healers will heal you last in emergencies because you have the instant heal button and no other melee character does.

    4: Scrolls of Heal. While Use Magic Device is not a class skill for paladins, they tend to have very high charisma, so with some effort, a use magic device skill into the 30s is quite feasible. Rogue splashed paladins will break 40 without even breaking a sweat. Scrolls of heal provide a powerful consumable healing, and even if you're not foolproof in activating them (they require a umd score of 39, which is quite high), they're quite useful for topping up between fights, in emergencies, and anyone who's any good at them can also activate scrolls of raise dead, which require 4 UMD less. The Use Magic Device skill, especially for raising, is consequently the single best investment of paladin skill points. Tank paladins may want other skills as well, but they also need to start with a higher intelligence anyway, so affording UMD should not be difficult. UMD should never be the skill that loses in a 'which of these don't I increase?' If you got 1 skill point per level, you'd want to take UMD. It may not seem that helpful at level 5, or even 10, but when you mix in the appropriate UMD boosting items and increase your level, it will pay off.

    Some paladins, however, see healing spells on their spell list and think: Why can't I make a paladin that casts healing spells? The answer is that you can, but it requires a fairly considerable investment of both feats and time. Paladins have a wholly inadequate spellpoint pool: with every sp item in the game and a max starting wisdom, you couldn't get a paladin past 750 spell points, and most paladins can't afford to spend anything on wisdom, so they're more in the 550-600 range with endgame gear. And then there's buffs that are quite short to maintain. Which is why very few paladins load healing spells or take devotion enhancements. However, through raid loot, there is a way. One piece of raid loot (the Torc of Prince Raiyum de II) and one crafted item bonus (Concordant Opposition) provide the unique benefit of spell point regeneration when you're struck in melee combat. The concordant opposition effect, which you could make multiple off, restores 20-30 spell points 2% of the time. This, alone, isn't more than enough to keep your buffs refreshed. However, the Torc of Prince Raiyum activates something around 8% of the time, and higher on ranged attacks. Use of both of these items, as well as Maximize Spell (and probably quicken spell, as your concentration score will be poor) and devotion enhancements can allow you to create sustainable, self-healing paladins. They're still not very good at healing others, but it's possible. Both of my paladins are geared this way, and I'm personally a fan. However, it can't be stressed enough that the investment is a very end-game one, involving a rare and highly valued raid item as well as crafted bonus effects to be at all functional. Without the SP regeneration gear, you'd be lucky to get more than 3-4 healing spells per shrine. That's not enough to justify 6-10 action points and 2-3 feats.
    Last edited by Junts; 12-08-2009 at 10:33 PM.

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    Community Member Junts's Avatar
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    IV. Paladin Weapon Selection

    As this applies to all paladins, it merits its very own section, and it's important enough to get one. As a cursory review of Divine Sacrifice and Exalted Smite Evil shows, paladins clicky abilities are based around getting critical hits. This in itself is fine, but it makes weapon selection very important. While the choice between an 18-20/x2 and a 20/x4 weapon is mostly taste for a fighter or barbarian, the first weapon is 15-20% better for the paladin because it provides so many more opportunities to get the critical bonuses of divine sacrifice and smite evil. Weapons with strong critical characteristics are therefore prized for paladin use, and selecting other weapons is a significant hit to effectiveness (this is part of why dwarven paladins perform poorly: a charisma penalty mixed with favoring a weapon that is ill-suited to paladin abilities).

    Paladins, therefore, are wise to select their weaponry with the following criteria. While this might seem boring or predictable, and there's certainly nothing that says you have to, it's important for a player to know that selecting other weapon types -will- be detrimental to your effectiveness a lot more so than it would be with another class (though these weapons are, in general, better for other classes, too).

    Falchions: By far the best 2 handed weapon for paladin purposes. While greataxes are better than Falchions for other two-handed fighters until they acquire very large +damage numbers, the Falchion passes the greataxe for a paladin almost immediately due to having 3x as many divine sacrifice crits and twice as many smite crits (more smite crits, in fact, if exalted smite 4 isn't being taken).

    Scimitars: Same critical profile as the Falchion, if you're an elven paladin, this is the way to go: You get racial enhancements with them

    Rapiers: As above, but for drow. This is a particularly potent combination, since drow are a very easy race for non-tr damage-dealing paladins

    Khopesh: While giving less boost than the two above weapons purely to smite evil and divine sacrifice, the Khopesh is the best weapon in the game for overall damage, and remains in this slot for the paladin, as it is for pretty much everyone else. The cost of a feat can be trying for many builds, but the overall upgrade from rapier/scimitar to Khopesh is quite noticable, especially if you don't have Epic Brigand's Cutlasses.

    Epic Note: With the change to helpless status, there's no longer a need for rapier/scimitar paladins to switch weapons for held epic mobs. Enjoy your extremely high crit chances with divine sacrifices!

    Paladin creators should remember that a major reason new players avoid the Khopesh is their extreme cost, and that paladins at level 14 can create holy swords. In fact, Holy Sword is such a big deal that it's going to get its own section.

    V. Holy Sword!

    Many people don't understand holy sword. The spell's tooltip is uninformative, and it once was far less effective than it is now. It is a level 4 paladin spell, so you'll need 14 paladin levels to use it, which is convenient, since its right around 14-16 that you'll start wanting them. Holy Sword requires specific components, which can be purchased at the Divine reagent broker in House Jorasco, or the Divine Vendor in Amrath. To make a holy sword, you'll have to purchase the same weapon type (eg, to make a rapier you buy the blessed cold iron rapier).

    Holy swords have the following statistics:

    +5 enhancement
    Holy Burst (2d6 per hit, 3d6/4d6/5d6 on crit)
    Silver, Cold Iron and Byeshk all at once
    Static Protection from Evil effect on the user when wielded
    Permanent until logout (they will vanish when you have been off-line for around 15 minutes)

    These weapons are of similar caliber to Mineral 2 crafted weapons for raid boss purposes. They will break all demon and devil DRs and do similar damage to the crafted alternative (generally, the Mineral2 is .25%-.5% better, which is a negligible difference). For this reason, paladins who can get their preferred weapon in Holy Sword are not limited by the need to craft their raid-boss weapons. Tanks in particular are likely to do so anyway (as holy sword doesn't have the other benefits you can put on crafted weapons, like +4 insight bonus to armor class), but for raw damage, it's never needed. This is a huge savings to a new player. However, holy swords can only be made in the weapon types available as components. This is fine for two weapon paladins, as Khopeshes, rapiers, scimitars and even dwarven axes are all available. However, two-handed users are limited to greatswords and mauls, both of which are rather poor weapon types. This means that the cost-effectiveness difference between two handed and two-weapon fighting tends to cancel out: while the two weapon build will need a +2 tome or two, the two-handed build has to craft a weapon to max out its damage, and a two-weapon never does. These weapons are well above the quality of typical drops, and any paladin over 14 who isn't carrying them is a fool. Some weapons will be situationally better, a vast majority of monsters over level 16 are best fought with these, and the ability to not have to craft them is a huge advantage over all other melee classes. You will literally be 2-3 months ahead in terms of damage output to a ranger, barbarian or fighters who has to gather ingredients to craft.
    Last edited by Junts; 05-15-2011 at 07:25 PM.

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    Community Member Junts's Avatar
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    VI. Advanced Build Links

    This will just be a list to a variety of fairly successful and advanced endgame paladin builds. They're not all completely perfect, and they're generally going to be more complicated than the build templates that follow in this thread, but they'll be very helpful to understanding the tradeoffs involved in paladin creation.

    Jaerlach, a self-healing tank: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=175058
    Aryenne, a self-healing dps: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=204161
    Valhelm, a dwarf tank with twf: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=214423
    Ultimega, a thf warforged dps: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=205029
    Gallowglass, a thf elf dps: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=204843


    I'd be glad to take other suggestions for things to include here.
    Last edited by Junts; 12-08-2009 at 10:36 PM.

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    Community Member Junts's Avatar
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    This post is apt to get very long, the build samples in order are:

    TWF 20 Drow DPS
    THF 20 Human DPS (w/ 28 pt variation)
    TWF 18/2 rogue Human DPS+evasion+umd (w/ drow variation)
    Tank 18/2 fighter Human w/ THF option (w/ 28 pt variation)



    VII. Sample 20 TWF Drow DPS


    Lawful Good Drow Paladin 20

    Str: 15 + 5 level ups (+6 item, +2 tome, +3 exceptional= 30, 32 with a +3 tome)
    Dex: 16 (+1 tome qualifies for twf)
    Con: 12 (+6 item, +2 tome for 20)
    Int: 10 (2 skill points; +2 tome helps for extra)
    Wis: 8 (+2 tome and +6 item is 16)
    Cha: 17 (+3 tome for divine might 3; 26-28 charisma equipped)

    Feats:

    1: Toughness
    3: Two-Weapon Fighting
    6: Extend Spell
    9: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
    12: Improved critical: Piercing weapons
    15: Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
    18: Power Attack

    Skills: Balance and Use Magic Device, every level. 2 ranks in tumble to enable tumbling at lv 1 (come from balance). With +2 tome, get some jump.

    Enhancements:

    Knight of the Chalice 1-3 (8 ap)
    Courage of Good 1-2 (3 ap, pre-req)
    Energy of the Templar 1-2 (3 ap, pre-req)
    Divine Sacrifice 1-3 (6 ap)
    Divine Might 1-4 (10 ap)
    Extra Lay on Hands 1-3 (6 ap)
    Extra Smiting 1-4 (10 ap, pre-req)
    Exalted Smiting 1-4 (10 ap)
    Racial Toughness 1-2 (3 AP)
    Paladin Toughness 1-2 (3 ap)
    Follower of the Sovereign Host (2 ap, pre-req)
    Unyielding Sovereignty (4 ap, pre-req)
    Paladin Weapons of Good (2 ap)
    Drow weapon damage 1-2 (6 ap)
    Paladin Charisma I (if needed for even)
    2 action points of your choice



    VIII. Sample Human THF DPS

    Lawful Good Human Paladin 20

    Str: 17 + 5 level ups (6 item, 2 tome, 3 exceptional, 1 human = 34)
    Dex: 8
    Con: 14 (6 item, 2 tome = 22)
    Int: 8 (2 sp/level)
    Wis: 8 (16 with tome and item)
    Cha: 17 (DM4 with +3 tome; 26-28 modified)

    28 point: 16 str, 13 con, use the human enhancement on con instead of str)

    Feats:

    1: Toughness
    1: Two-handed fighting
    3: Power Attack
    6: Extend Spell
    9: Improved Two-handed Fighting
    12: Improved critical: Slashing weapons
    15: Greater Two-handed Fighting
    18: skill focus: Use Magic Device or Stunning Blow (to taste)

    Skills: Use Magic device and balance; 2 ranks in tumble to permit tumbling. +2 tome, add some jump

    Knight of the Chalice 1-3 (8 ap)
    Courage of Good 1-2 (3 ap, pre-req)
    Energy of the Templar 1-2 (3 ap, pre-req)
    Divine Sacrifice 1-3 (6 ap)
    Divine Might 1-4 (10 ap)
    Extra Lay on Hands 1-3 (6 ap)
    Extra Smiting 1-4 (10 ap, pre-req)
    Exalted Smiting 1-4 (10 ap)
    Racial Toughness 1-2 (3 AP)
    Paladin Toughness 1-2 (3 ap)
    Follower of the Sovereign Host (2 ap, pre-req)
    Unyielding Sovereignty (4 ap, pre-req)
    Human adaptability: Strength
    Human improved recovery 1-2
    Paladin Weapons of Good
    Paladin Charisma 1 (if needed for evenness)

    Like the drow version, max dps enhancements are expensive.

    IX. Sample Human TWF/Evasion

    Lawful Good Human Paladin 18 / rogue 2 (rogue levels at 1 and 10)

    Str: 16 + 5 level ups (6 item, 1 human enh, 3 exceptional, 2 tome = 33, 34 with +3 tome)
    Dex: 15 + 2 tome (qualifies for twf .. if +1 tome only, reverse str/dex)
    Con: 12 (20 with tome and item)
    Int: 8 (2 skill points)
    Wis: 8 (16 with tome and item)
    Cha: 16 + 2 tome (qualifies for DM3: 26 charisma with assorted gear)

    Note: to do this w/o 32 point builds, go 15 16 12 8 8 16 drow, and drop Khopesh from the feat list.

    1: Toughness
    1: Two-Weapon Fighting
    3: Exotic Prof: Khopesh
    6: Extend Spell
    9: Improved TWF
    12: Improved critical: slash
    15: Greater TWF
    18: Power Attack

    Level 1 rogue: 4 ranks in balance, use magic device, tumble, jump, intimidate, pick lock, Haggle, 2 other skills of your choice
    Paladin levels: 2 points in UMD
    Rogue 10: 4 pick lock, 3 wherever you like

    Knight of the Chalice 1-3 (8 ap)
    Courage of Good 1-2 (3 ap, pre-req)
    Energy of the Templar 1-2 (3 ap, pre-req)
    Divine Sacrifice 1-2 (3 ap)
    Divine Might 1-3 (6 ap)
    Extra Lay on Hands 1-3 (6 ap)
    Extra Smiting 1-4 (10 ap, pre-req)
    Exalted Smiting 1-4 (10 ap)
    Racial Toughness 1-2 (3 AP)
    Paladin Toughness 1-3 (6 ap)
    Follower of the Sovereign Host (2 ap, pre-req)
    Unyielding Sovereignty (4 ap, pre-req)
    Human adaptability: Strength (2 ap)
    Human improved recovery 1-2 (6 ap)
    paladin charisma 1 (if needed to be even, 2 ap)
    Rogue Sneak Attack Training 1 (1 ap)
    Rogue Haste Boost 1 (1 ap)
    Paladin resistance of good 1 (1 ap)

    As you can see, the splash build picks up substantial abilities (12 umd, evasion, haste boost, and more racial enhancements) in return for its loss of max dps.

    X. Sample Human Tank

    Lawful Good Human Paladin 18 / 2 fighter (fighter at 1 and 8

    Str: 15 + 5 levels (30 endgame)
    Dex: 12 (qualifies for dodge, theoretical filling-out of best-in-game epic armor)
    Con: 14 (22 endgame)
    Int: 12 (+1 tome for ce; 4 skill points/level)
    Wis: 8 (pattern forming)
    Cha: 16 (Dm3 qualified; 26-28 endgame depending on gear)

    28 pt version: drop dex 4 points (take skill focus: umd instead of dodge), pick dex+dodge back up when greater reincarnation available

    1: Power attack
    1f: EWP: Khopesh
    1h: Toughness
    3: Two-handed fighting
    6: Extend Spell
    8f: Improved crit: slash
    9: Combat Expertise
    12: Improved two-handed fighting
    15: Greater two-handed fighting
    18: Dodge

    Fighter 1: 4 ranks in intimidate, 2 in UMD, 2 in tumble.
    Paladin levels: intim 2, umd 1 point
    Fighter 8: Intim 1, umd 1, 1 point in jump

    A +2 int tome really helps have points for other skills!

    Enhancements:

    Defender of Siberys 1-3 (8 ap)
    Paladin Courage of Good 1 (1 ap, pre-req)
    Paladin Focus of Good 1 (1 ap, pre-req)
    Paladin Resistance of Good 1-3 (6 ap, pre-req but awesome)
    Paladin Bulwark of Good 1-4 (10 ap, pre-req but awesome)
    Follower of the Sovereign Host (2 ap, pre-req)
    Unyielding Sovereignty (4 ap)
    Paladin Divine Might 1-3 (6 ap)
    Paladin Divine Sacrifice 1-2 (3 ap)
    Paladin Extra Smite 1-3 (6 ap)
    Paladin Exalted Smite 1-2 (3 ap)
    Paladin Toughness 1-3 (6 ap)
    Racial Toughness 1-2 (3 ap)
    Human Adapt: strength (2 ap)
    Human Improved recovery 1-2 (6 ap)
    Paladin Divine Righteousness 1 (1 ap)
    Paladin Charisma 1 (2 ap)
    Fighter Haste Boost 1 (1 ap)
    Fighter Strength 1 (2 ap)
    Fighter Intimidate 1 (1 ap)
    Paladin Extra Lay on hands 1-3 (6 ap)

    This character is capabale of the exact same endgame armor class as my tank (85, with perfect gear and raid-buffs), though getting all that takes months. It's also got fully functional two handed fighting for dps situations!
    Last edited by Junts; 12-09-2009 at 11:36 AM.

  8. #8
    Community Member Junts's Avatar
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    And everything's posted and open for business ... and I've got this post just in case I ever want to add something else

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    Community Member xealot7's Avatar
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    OMG, Thank you for this. I'd add rep but... I did a few days ago already.

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    Community Member Pizzasoup's Avatar
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    Question, I've been thinking of rerolling one of my Paladins into a TWFer. Would it be more viable to do a Khopesh TWFer as a Human or Rapier TWFer as a Drow?

    +1 of course for excellent much-needed advice, thanks.
    (Thelanis) Dakhos - Pal | Argond - Ftr | Luohan - Mnk | Bencao - Mnk
    Quote Originally Posted by Fejj View Post
    ⇡ ⇡ ⇣ ⇣ ⇠ ⇢ ⇠ ⇢ B A Start

    Duh

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    Community Member Junts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pizzasoup View Post
    Question, I've been thinking of rerolling one of my Paladins into a TWFer. Would it be more viable to do a Khopesh TWFer as a Human or Rapier TWFer as a Drow?

    +1 of course for excellent much-needed advice, thanks.
    It depends almost entirely on whether or not you want to splash; human get the feat to buy Khopesh, and drow don't have to (though drow rapier enhancements are verrry hard to buy), but it's substantially easier to get divine might 4 on a drow if that's what you want to do. I think human is the no-brainer if you are splashing 2 levels, and if you're going pure it's really a preference thing; humans have many nice enhancements (adaptability str, improved recovery), but like with drow rapier, afording them is nearly impossible on a build that's taking divine might 4+capstone+divine sac 3 (a 9 ap investment for the abilities gained at lv 19-20, that an 18/2 build doesnt have to spend).

    I will have a sample human 18 / 2 rogue build in the sample post you can compare to the 20 drow when I get done writing it, though admittedly those samples are far more basic than the more advanced builds people might create (like my 18 /2 monk self healing build).

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    Community Member Pizzasoup's Avatar
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    I'm considering going pure, so if I went Human and only went for DMIII, would that ease things up, then?
    (Thelanis) Dakhos - Pal | Argond - Ftr | Luohan - Mnk | Bencao - Mnk
    Quote Originally Posted by Fejj View Post
    ⇡ ⇡ ⇣ ⇣ ⇠ ⇢ ⇠ ⇢ B A Start

    Duh

  13. #13
    Community Member Junts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pizzasoup View Post
    I'm considering going pure, so if I went Human and only went for DMIII, would that ease things up, then?
    It buys you 4 action points; I'm editing the sample posts right now, as I realzied I miscounted action points in them (they're not quite as tight as they look right now), though its still quite tight.

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    Junts is the patron god of DDO Paladins :P.

    Outstanding and informative, and answers a lot of nagging questions that I couldn't find the answers for.

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    Community Member Junts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alyiakal View Post
    Junts is the patron god of DDO Paladins :P.

    Outstanding and informative, and answers a lot of nagging questions that I couldn't find the answers for.
    Several of the posters who used to play this role over the past few years have moved on, it seemed like a new version of the basic paladin build guide was needed.

    mine is 3 times longer, but thats kind of my stamp on the whole thing

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    dun mind if i add this to "how i build my toons" thread?

    thanks in advance
    If you want to know why...

  17. #17
    Community Member Junts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aranticus View Post
    dun mind if i add this to "how i build my toons" thread?

    thanks in advance

    Feel free, of course. I tried to pattern my sample builds along the lines of how you did yours, only generally 32 point and a little more finely-tuned. Making useful 28 pt paladins that aren't thf falchion or drow is very difficult :P

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junts View Post
    Feel free, of course. I tried to pattern my sample builds along the lines of how you did yours, only generally 32 point and a little more finely-tuned. Making useful 28 pt paladins that aren't thf falchion or drow is very difficult :P
    careful thou, people might think we are colluding or are best friends, as stated in that rep thread
    If you want to know why...

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    Community Member Samadhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junts View Post
    Evasion based tank builds are much more complicated, and I've never seen a buil for one that I quite liked. Once I do. it'll join the advance builds links later in this thread.
    That sounds like a challenge!!

    All right, good summary, blah blah, etc etc.

    Here's my question, though. Would a build sacrificing DMight (mostly using turn undead for DRighteousness) ever in any circumstance fall under a build you would like? The reason I ask is, on my battlecleric, I really have come to hate DMight. Yes, it is more damage, but unless you are hitting top tier of it (she hits tierIII), the amount of time lost in activating the ability is costing you damage already anyway. Considering you are already pausing your attack chain for divine favor/zeal (at least lasts longer) and the very significant value of your turn undeads for DRts - couldn't a KOTC spamming DRts hold aggro on a raid devil equivalently to a Defender and with more total damage besides?

    (I'm not trying to underplay the defensive values of DoS - which with the wiki down the compendium sucking I can't even look up exact numbers of - but there is obvious value there).

    Regardless, the build I have in mind is going to *attempt* to match Jaer in AC - beat him in DPS - but lose out in self-healing - so it will probably be a DoS anyway to hit the same AC tiers. I'm merely hypothesizing because it's late and I need sleep. Although you have stressed the value of high Cha, though, that is main thing I am NOT seeing any need to go beyond 1bp/ap just like Con.


    /runningbacktobardandsorcforums
    sravana, kirtana, smarana, dasya, atma-nivedana
    ...NAMASTE...

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    Community Member Junts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samadhi View Post
    That sounds like a challenge!!

    All right, good summary, blah blah, etc etc.

    Here's my question, though. Would a build sacrificing DMight (mostly using turn undead for DRighteousness) ever in any circumstance fall under a build you would like? The reason I ask is, on my battlecleric, I really have come to hate DMight. Yes, it is more damage, but unless you are hitting top tier of it (she hits tierIII), the amount of time lost in activating the ability is costing you damage already anyway. Considering you are already pausing your attack chain for divine favor/zeal (at least lasts longer) and the very significant value of your turn undeads for DRts - couldn't a KOTC spamming DRts hold aggro on a raid devil equivalently to a Defender and with more total damage besides?

    (I'm not trying to underplay the defensive values of DoS - which with the wiki down the compendium sucking I can't even look up exact numbers of - but there is obvious value there).

    Regardless, the build I have in mind is going to *attempt* to match Jaer in AC - beat him in DPS - but lose out in self-healing - so it will probably be a DoS anyway to hit the same AC tiers. I'm merely hypothesizing because it's late and I need sleep. Although you have stressed the value of high Cha, though, that is main thing I am NOT seeing any need to go beyond 1bp/ap just like Con.


    /runningbacktobardandsorcforums
    I don't find the extra couple swings lost to activating dm to be all that bad; Divine righteousness is excellent, too. I don't have it on Aryenne, but generally that kind of build doesn't need any help to hold aggro if it wants to. On top of that, DRt and DM have great synergy: if you use them both at the same time, you get double threat from DM's damage bonus, too. While it might make sense to conserve them, you're actually better off using them simulataneously (like I do, while tanking ToD), since the DM effectively counts double for aggro that way. There's certainly no reason a KOTC can't aggro tank; I've tanked ToD on hard with Aryenne and she certainly had no issue holding aggro. On the other hand, she has 70 less hp and 60 less armor class than the DoS does, so keeping her alive was a lot more work. Barring rolling a 1 on disintegrate right after I get hit, healing Jaerlach through a ToD tank isn't usually very difficult. Spam-mashing heals to keep Aryenne alive at 500 hp and 20 ac vs Horoth was probably very exhilerating for the cleric who did it, and while it was a resource-free run (since it only took about 3 minutes to kill him), she's a lot more vulnerable to rolling 1s (having less hp than its damage, rather than needing to be ~100 hp under max to die to it), to him chaining melee hits and dots together, and to , for that matter, Orthon aggro. But nothing says a KOTC can't tank. DoS just get hurt less. Without the DoS stances working, Jaerlach outputs threat equal to around 375 DPS, which is less than a Div, Aryenne, or Vergilicious does, but not by all that much (25-75 dps), so there's not that much rotation out that's needed for him to stay ahead of people. If the stances ever work, it'll barely matter what the real dps is, since the threat output will be something like 800 DPS with righteousness and +200% stance working together.

    The activation time for divine might is only about 1-4 attacks worth (depending on what buffs you have and whether you're twf or not), and +6-8 damage for the next minute definitely makes up that gap. I can see why you find it obnoxious, and it's not always the best thing to activate in shorter fights, but anything that involves standing around whacking on something (eg, a raid boss), DM, DF and Zeal all pay for their activation times pretty quickly.

    The time required to maintain them, though, is invariably going to be a turnoff for many players, because paladins (like monks, only worse) require a ton of micro-managing to keep them optimized in combat. The monk player at least has the benefit of being able to just whack the ki strike keys, the paladin player has to mash smite+sacrifice plus refresh the buffs on time plus move if the mob moved plus be aware of what's going on .. it requires way more concentration than most people would like to be spending on something like, say, shroud 4/5.

    The notion that even DM1 doesn't pay for its activation time over its duration, though, is mathematically fallacious. It'd take a two handed fighting build with massive +damage and only DM1 for that to have any hope of being true. Hasted ddo characters take upwards of 100 attacks per minute (per hand, twfing), and with Zeal the number is closer to 115-120. Even if you lose 4 (and you don't, its only 2 or 3) of those attacks to activation, you're picking up 660-700 (more, in practice, due to critical hits) damage on the rest of the attacks, which is a lot more damage than you could have done in 4 hits even if they were all Khopesh crits. Assuming a mean damage per attack of around 50ish, even DM1's +2 damage is a break-even, and any higher rank can't come close to losing out.

    I can appreciate how obnoxious it is, though.
    Last edited by Junts; 12-09-2009 at 01:05 AM.

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