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  1. #1
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    Default My Guide for picking spells and when to spell-swap

    I think these choices will help new players and others that don't yet have strong opinions of what spells are among the best to chose for each DDO sorcerer level.

    The following is based on my knowledge of DDO monsters and adventures, and what type of arcane magic seems to be the most useful at each level. This is a combination of what Ive learned by playing a sorcerer to 13th (current) and also playing a wizard to 20th.

    Character Levels 1-6 (more later)

    Level 1: Expeditious Retreat and Acid/Fire Spray or Niac's Cold Ray
    Level 2: Charm Person or Hypnotism or Acid/Fire Spray or Niac's Cold Ray
    Level 3: Jump or Charm Person or Hypnotism
    Level 4: Web
    Level 5: Blur, or other
    Level 6: Acid Blast, and swap Acid/Fire Spray for Jump


    Level 1: Expeditious Retreat and Acid Spray or Niac's Cold Ray

    Running around at +20% speed is very useful, both in dungeons and in town. A sorcerer's best defense is based on movement advantages and the agility of the player at the keyboard.

    The strategy early on to use Expeditious speed to gather up monsters then blast them all with Fire or Acid Spray. 2d4 damage Acid Spray is pretty weak, so it is important to hit multiple monsters with it in order for it to be worth spending spell points on. Niac's Cold Ray is much more lethal but it is only single target. You will want both damage spells so it doesn't matter which you pick first.

    I use the Fire Finger wand or other wands to finish off low Hit Point creatures (which is almost anything at this level).

    A melee-sorcerer would likely use different spells, but I won't discuss that further because my experience with the melee-arcane playing style is limited.


    Level 2: Charm Person or Hypnotism or Acid Spray or Niac's Cold Ray

    The strategy here is battle-control. There are occasionally times when limiting a monster's actions become important for completing a task or for the safety of your character/your team. In DDO you do not need to kill every monster so it is useful to have tools that give you options. If you do not seem to need the added protection of battle control at this low level, then make sure you have both Niacs and Acid/Fire Spray, for now...


    Level 3: Charm Person or Hypnotism or Jump

    If you do not yet have a battlefield "crowd control" spell then this level is a great time to get one. Sooner rather than later you will want the Jump spell though, so you may chose it now if DDO is still "too easy" for you to need a crowd control spell.


    Level 4: Web

    This is one of the most useful spells during the entire 20 levels of the DDO sorcerer. 4th level is a good time to start learning how to use it. Cast it before monsters get a chance to close within melee range then blast monsters with damage and lure them into the Web. Use Web to cover your escape when you do not wish to fight right then and there. Web, along with Hypnotism allows for you to chose the place and time when you will be fighting.


    Level 5: Blur, or other

    Blur is nice any time your teammates might be taking hits and the available healing is going to be stretched thin. Cleric Hirelings are so useful that the Blur spell really isn't needed any more at low level. Monsters die very quickly and you do not. At best the Blur spell is like adding +20% to your character's hit points or extending the spell point pool of your healer. It is not often a life-saving spell.

    The other second level spell choices are nowhere near as useful as Web, so chose whatever you want. At this low level it won't matter much for a caster-sorcerer. I wish we could chose a fifth level 1 spell, but DDO doesn't allow for that.

    Resist Energy is very nice, but you can buy a Wand of Resist Energy in the Marketplace and at low level the spell (and wand) only stops 10 damage per attack. That isn't really worth 15 spell points.

    You might enjoy the various Ability Score buffs if you and your party need the extra help. Spells like Bulls Strength also come on Wands, but these are expensive for a new character. Flaming Sphere has the ability to do a lot of damage over time, to several monsters in a dungeon. This makes the Sphere a spell point saver, with the serious downside that it will burn up your Web spells. Do not take Scorching Ray any earlier than 7th level. The damage is too low.


    Level 6: Acid Blast, and Acid Spray -> Jump

    Acid Spray/Burning Hands has outlived it's usefulness. Replace it with Jump, or one of the other 1st level spells I've listed above. If you swap it at 5th, you save some gold. As with Expeditious Retreat, the added mobility will protect your sorcerer. Jump also allows easier access to various places in the dungeon maps. Unlike other 1st level spells that rarely get used as the sorcerer acquires new power, the Jump spell remains very useful up through high level adventures.

    Your true potential as an arcane powerhouse begins now! Make sure you chose the Maximize Spell feat at 6th, if you did not chose it at 3rd. You can 1-shot kill many monsters now with Maximize (usually with Niacs), or come very close.

    Acid Blast is a Medium Range, wide area of effect damage spell that reaches its full potential at 10th level of "10d6" damage. While the Snowball and Electric Arc 2nd level spells spells also have a good range and effect area, they are very low damage compared to Acid Blast. This is now your primary source of damage in an adventure because, like Acid Spray before it, you can hit multiple monsters per casting. Very spell point efficient.

    It is important to chose Acid rather than Fire because there are a lot of relatively-low level monsters that are resistant or completely immune to fire damage, but do not resist Acid (hell hounds, fire elementals, fire mephits, blackbones) , You will be using at least couple of Fire and Cold damage spells later on so it is important to retain a 3rd type of damage for the rare monster that is immune to both fire and cold (i.e. blackbone skeleton).

    I continue using Acid Blast until it is retired in favor of Ball Lightning at 13th level, although Cone of Cold often replaces its AoE damage-dealing purpose at level 11th.
    Last edited by winsom; 01-19-2010 at 01:22 AM.
    Nightshayde, Wiz 17 (Ghallanda), Kyonna, Dru 13, Irnaetha, Mnk 15, Drelzna Art11/Rog2, Aurelyn, Pal11/Ftr2, Eidoloni, Rog 16, Tymore, Sor 20 (Khyber)

  2. #2

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    Niac + Web + acid blast, double conjuration focus and max out conjuration DC. before you get acid blast, use burning hand (or acid spray if you are acid spec'd) for AoE. You could get max damage by fully invest in the fire/ice line, using superior freeze and inferno clickie, and a ice/fire lore, and a conjuration DC weapon.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by winsom View Post
    Your true potential as an arcane powerhouse begins now! Make sure you chose the Maximize Spell feat at 6th, if you did not chose it at 3rd. You can 1-shot kill many monsters now with Maximize (usually with Niacs), or come very close.
    Great thread! I added to your rep.

    I'm not sure I'd use Maximize w/ Niacs, a 1st lvl spell. Since Max uses 25 spell points, you're using 35 points for a single double-damage shot. I don't understand the value in using maximize unless the spell already consumes at least 20 points. Since the cooldown isn't that bad, single shot seems less important than SP management.

  4. #4
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    Character Levels 7-11 (more later)

    Level 7: Resist Energy or Scorching Ray, Suggestion or Heroism
    Level 8: Wall of Fire
    Level 9: Resist Energy or Scorching Ray, Haste or other, Phantasmal Killer
    Level 10: Hold Monster
    Level 11: Displacement, Dimension Door or Stoneskin, Cone of Cold, and swap Niac's Cold Ray to Nightshield


    Level 7: Resist Energy or Scorching Ray, Suggestion or Heroism

    Scorching Ray is only worthwhile to take at 7th or higher because it has gained the second Ray per casting. Damage 4d6 becomes 8d6. Good time to train Fire/Cold damage Critical enhancements. Two rays from a single casting offers two chances to critically hit. The third ray is added at 11th caster level.

    Resist Energy is worth learning at 7th level or higher because it now offers 20 elemental resistance rather than 10. Enemy Scorching Rays will do around 20 damage, so this defensive spell becomes very useful. Resist becomes 30 at 11th caster level.

    Heroism is a great buff spell for many situations: +2 on attacks, saves and skills. The melee people in your party will hit more often and thus deal more damage over time. Your team will resist enemy spells and traps more often. Important skills that really benefit from Heroism are: Concentration, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Use Magic Device, Spot, Search, Disable Device, Open Locks. At 12th+ level you will be using Greater Heroism which is a +4 version of Heroism with added Fear Immunity. If you learn this 6th level spell you then swap Heroism to Suggestion or some other 3rd level spell. You can begin using Greater Heroism as soon as you can afford to buy 6th level scrolls from the House P merchant.

    Suggestion is a very handy monster-control spell. It is a will save to resist, which many monsters are not good at making. Failing this results in the monster fighting on your side for a reliable length of time. The 4th level Charm Person spell is functionally identical to 3rd level Suggestion except it lasts for a random duration which makes the 4th level actually less useful than the 3rd level spell in DDO.

    Haste is a good 3rd level spell but it is not as useful (yet) as Suggestion or Heroism. Learn Haste no earlier than 9th level. Monsters die easily-enough before then.

    If you are soloing or adventuring with a small party you will find Charm spells a very powerful tool for controlling and winning battles. Cast a Charm or two as soon as you see the enemies before they can attack you. This will make monsters attack each other and not target your team until you draw their anger by dealing damage to each one specifically. Suggestion becomes more helpful as monsters become more powerful offensively and are living longer due to better saves and higher hit points. It is not often worth charming a foe that can easily be killed in a few hits or an Area Blast spell. By the time your character is adventuring in the Demons Sands or the Ruins of Gianthold the monsters are dangerous and sturdy enough that charming them to your side becomes a very powerful strategy.

    I recommend you have the Extend Spell feat if you like my suggestions of buff spells (jump, resist, blur, heroism, displacement). Suggestion spell can also be extended. The Extend Spell feat will save you spell points compared to not having/using Extend if you are spending more than 8 minutes or so between Rest Shrines. This is because an Extended Resist Energy costs 25 SP for double duration compared to two casts un-extended costing 30 SP. The higher the level of spell the more SP you will save when doubling its duration with Extend.

    Do not take Mental Toughness on a sorceror as Extend is more useful and can save you spell points similar to what you get with Mental Toughness. There are better feats for you to chose such as Toughness or Force of Personality.


    Level 8: Wall of Fire


    WoF, commonly called firewall, is one of the most potent arcane spells. You want to have this spell as soon as possible! WoF persists on the battlefield and deals damage to monsters near the wall and much higher damage if inside the wall's flames. This spell deals double damage to undead creatures.

    As with your other Area Damage spells, you want to hit multiple monsters with each casting of Wall of Fire. This is best done by gaining the aggression of enemy monsters and letting them come to you before anyone else does high damage to them. With Haste or Expeditious Retreat active you can get monsters to chase you while staying just outside of their melee-range reach. Gather the foes by running circles around them and let them cook in your fire wall. The Jump spell use very useful here as it allows you to leap over angry monsters so they have a very hard time landing attacks on you.

    You can also throw an Acid Blast at a group of distant monsters to draw them into your fire wall. Use the Web spell as an additional safety-snare to catch monsters that are proving too dangerous to you. Place the Web outside of the Wall of Fire or else the burning damage will eliminate the Web. It is possible with practice to Web creatures close enough to a Wall of Fire that they will be stuck in place and taking damage.
    Last edited by winsom; 02-02-2010 at 06:18 PM.
    Nightshayde, Wiz 17 (Ghallanda), Kyonna, Dru 13, Irnaetha, Mnk 15, Drelzna Art11/Rog2, Aurelyn, Pal11/Ftr2, Eidoloni, Rog 16, Tymore, Sor 20 (Khyber)

  5. #5
    Community Member Khumbaaba's Avatar
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    Default Melee to Caster, ty

    I play Paladins. I have decided to make a sorc alt for a static group I play in that already has enough melee toons.

    After spending a fair amount of time reading forums about how to set up a sorc and not make expensive mistakes in spell or feat selection (I don't have a bunch of shards), I've found this the MOST helpful.

    Why?

    The discussion is strait-forward and the thread does not devolve into a flame-wall (excuse the pun) about a host of issues that mostly serve to confuse players new to the Arcane.

    Thanks, OP. I'm hoping this is the last time I will have to reroll my Sorc.; +1 rep

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