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  1. #1
    Community Member praetor's Avatar
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    Default Best Race for Cleric -- what are my options?

    I'm starting up a cleric and I plan to be primarily a healer with hopefully some offensive caster capability. I was wondering what race would be best for this, and if you could direct me to a full build that would be even better! I also heard that clerics have some trouble with SP in mid to high level runs, and I was wondering what you guys all do to compensate for this lack of SP. Should I consider favored souls? In what situations are Clerics preferred over Favored Souls?

  2. #2
    Community Member Rineth's Avatar
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    Cleric is one of the few classes that doesn't really have an 'optimal' race. The advantages bestowed by each race are always useful to a cleric, but unless you're playing a splashed build none of them are going to dramatically enhance your cleric.

    As you learn your way around the Cleric, with the ease of swapping enhancements and spells, you'll usually end up adding some offense to your healing, so that's not a huge concern. Focus on the dynamics of healing early on: i.e. target priority, mana efficiency, etc. Make sure you're frequently checking health bars. Just because no one has taken significant damage so far doesn't mean they're not going to take a nasty crit, and if you get lazy it always happens when you're not watching. One of the biggest problems with clerics new to the game and/or class is the amount of time it takes them to notice and heal you.

    I would direct you to a full build, but the problem with playing a pre-made build, especially in a class like cleric, is you don't really understand why you're taking what you're taking or how to use it. It's best to learn as you go and swap around as you more fully realize what's important. Don't hesitate to play around.

    As to the SP thing, it really depends on your group. If you regularly play with a guild or a group of trusted friends, you'll be a lot better with mana than PUGing it out with gimped builds that you get yelled at if you're not constantly topping off. The best way to manage it at low levels is with the use of wands. Use them for top-offs outside of combat to conserve some mana, and they're a good last resort when you're tapped out. At higher levels, giant stacks of raise dead and heal scrolls will help you out, especially if you take the wand and scroll mastery enhancements. I would never recommend a favored soul to someone who hasn't either played a cleric, or played with a lot of good clerics as the restrictive spell selection means you have a lot less versatility, which is crucial to the learning process.

    To cap it all off, I suggest you read this: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=202343. It's a fantastic description of the stages clerics go through and holds true for just about any good cleric. Don't try to jump straight to the last stage though, as the learning process at the beginning is crucial. Pay particular attention to the learning objectives, stick with it and you'll be getting compliments on your clericing in no time.
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  3. #3
    Community Member TheDjinnFor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rineth View Post
    Focus on the dynamics of healing early on: i.e. target priority, mana efficiency, etc. Make sure you're frequently checking health bars. Just because no one has taken significant damage so far doesn't mean they're not going to take a nasty crit, and if you get lazy it always happens when you're not watching. One of the biggest problems with clerics new to the game and/or class is the amount of time it takes them to notice and heal you.
    Clerics are not healers. Clerics are divine casters; they should be actively CCing by level 3. A cleric who limits themselves to healing is either going to be always out of mana or burning through plat like its coined SP. One of the biggest problems with new clerics is that they don't realize that using their SP for heals is one of the worst options they could possibly do at low levels (only with empowered healing, sup pot, and perhaps mass cures or heal does healing start to become mana-efficient).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rineth View Post
    To cap it all off, I suggest you read this: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=202343. It's a fantastic description of the stages clerics go through and holds true for just about any good cleric. Don't try to jump straight to the last stage though, as the learning process at the beginning is crucial. Pay particular attention to the learning objectives, stick with it and you'll be getting compliments on your clericing in no time.
    While that post represents the types of clerics out there, it certainly does not represent a learning process; I've met clerics who jumped to 5 or 6 after a day.

    To actually answer your question, no there is no general prefered race for clerics, although humans and dwarfs are typically the post common, as well as halfling. When it comes to mana conservation the first thing you should do is invest in a superior potency IV rod/staff which will increase all level 4 spell and lower healing by 50%, and equip the rod/staff whenever you want to heal via hotkeys or through the toolbar. The next thing you should do is focus on using your disabling spells like command on tough mobs like Ogres in order to prevent them from dealing any damage and soundburst on groups of trash enemies or casters to stop them in their tracks. This should last you until about level 7, in which by then you should usually have enough experience to figure out what spells are good or bad.

  4. #4
    Community Member Rineth's Avatar
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    Meant to mention the CC aspect, got sidetracked. Spells like Soundburst, Command, etc. are great for limiting damage to your party. Completely agree with you on that one. I stress the healing because it's so crucial. Yes, clerics should be balanced and CC and buffs help minimize the healing you have to do in the first place, but if you don't focus on good healing dynamics early on you end up learning them the hard way later on. A cleric that's a good healer without much CC is more effective at early stages than one who starts missing heals and doesn't learn some important basics because he's focused too much on being 'balanced'. If you're a fast and adaptive learner, it's not an issue. But some people aren't.

    I linked to that thread because it's a good representation of cleric stages. Again, not everyone is a fast learner. If you are one of those people, then you don't have to worry about it, you'll be a well played and balanced cleric early on. If you're not, that thread has some helpful insights.
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  5. #5
    The Hatchery sirgog's Avatar
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    IMO Human is optimal for an offensive caster specced cleric.

    Humans have the highest potential Wisdom score of any race, plus the most feats, plus healing amplification enhancements (that is for incoming healing only, but it makes a difference when you are taking enormous damage such as in Epic dungeons), plus the third highest potential hitpoints of all races (WF and Dwarves have higher potential HP but without the other advantages).

    Dwarves are excellent too. Dwarven Spell Defense and high HP are excellent.


    That said, the Cleric class gains less from a 'cookie-cutter' choice of race than many other classes do. No race is terrible for a cleric.
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  6. #6
    Community Member praetor's Avatar
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    does anyone know of some good cleric build threads? i'm not going to just blindly put points into stuff without knowing where its going, but i do want to get some sense of what is important in a cleric build. so please don't withhold info from me because you think i won't learn anything if i read a build.

  7. #7
    Community Member Anderei's Avatar
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    Many races have to throw something to a cleric:

    Humans: bonus feat in a feat sparse class, +1 Wisdom from adaptitlity
    Dwarfes: SP enhancements
    Halflings: Dragonmarks! (another healing on another timer)

    I think Warforge is not sooo ideal, since Wisdom penality, and self heal penality. However if you plan to solo much, it might be a good choice never the less! (and im confident there are also same WF-battlecleric builds)

    Elves and Drows? Don't know, if they got anything special to throw in.

  8. #8
    Community Member shores11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by praetor View Post
    I'm starting up a cleric and I plan to be primarily a healer with hopefully some offensive caster capability. I was wondering what race would be best for this, and if you could direct me to a full build that would be even better! I also heard that clerics have some trouble with SP in mid to high level runs, and I was wondering what you guys all do to compensate for this lack of SP. Should I consider favored souls? In what situations are Clerics preferred over Favored Souls?

    Ok here is another one of those posts lookng for a max race to max every possible little feat, enhancement.

    The thing is play the race that makes you the happiest. You can tweak any race to be any class in DDO and not lose anything to another race of the same class OR lose very little. In other words in game you will not notice much if any difference between races of the same class. Its all negligable...

    I play a halfling fighter for example. WHAT - some might say but your taking a -2 on strength. He is now level 17 and he leads most groups in slaughter and mayhiem. This example was made to help demonstrate my point.

    Lastly I do have a pure healing cleric and a pure healing favored soul. I definatley see my cleric as the superior healer due to having at his disposal more healing options. This is not just heal type spells. Don't get me wrong I enjoy playing on my FvS healer as I like the challenge of healing a party, I just notice the difference.
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  9. #9
    2015 DDO Players Council FuzzyDuck81's Avatar
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    For a cleric with a great deal of additional healing power, halfling is a popular choice as the dragonmarks benefit from all of the enhancements that will benefit regular healing spells, plus metamagic, at no additional mana cost - thats equivalent to something like 500-600 mana worth of healing, which cant be interrupted by attacks or prevented from casting by beholders. They also get a small boost to AC & are great for splashing 1-3 monk levels too if you want to go the high dex/wis route for a high AC

  10. #10
    Hero Hellllboy's Avatar
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    Humans can get the highest WIS-thus can have the best offensive capability.

    Dwarves and WF are the most durable-Dwarves get extra Divine mana.

    Drow can get the highest CHA for DV's

    Halflings get the Dragon mark of healing.

    What kind of Cleric do you want to make?

    If mana is your biggest concern-make a FvS.

  11. #11
    Founder Rickpa's Avatar
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    For Divine Vitality, Divine Healing, and other Turn Undead Based based enhancements, drow is very good, with the edge in charisma. If Turn Undead were to become effective at high levels, drow could be the best choice for an offensive undead killer. Still... drow isn't a bad choice.

    Elves bring longbow, and longsword as granted racial proficiencies, but the most useful might be Elven Arcanum, an extra manna enhancement. Having a raise dead at level 6, even if it's on a long timer, is also something elves bring to the table.

  12. #12
    Community Member shenthing's Avatar
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    Default cleric optimization

    1. Pick a dwarf or human... the best thing you can get out of a cleric would be extra SP/balance skill/con enhancements or extra skill points/feat/human versatility/+1 Wis enhancement. A lot of people will say DV are invaluable and can save the day, but it makes your toon kind of stale.
    2. Make sure to max out wisdom. Seems kind of obvious, but as a cleric in DDO, you want this to be as high as possible for max DCs and spell points. You want to max it out at first level and invest all level up points into Wis unless it will put you at an odd value(once you have all additioanl values added (+3 enhancement, +4 tome, +3 exceptional, +6 possibly 7 item, litany), then invest only one in something else.
    3. If you splash(which I don't suggest until you are familiar with being a cleric), do it lightly. Taking more than a couple of levels of something else will severely mess with DCs and Spell Penetration.
    Finally, have fun with your cleric. You will eventually be able to solo and short man things close to your level but will still need to party for valuable loot.
    Last edited by shenthing; 02-06-2010 at 09:31 AM.

  13. #13
    Community Member Rineth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by praetor View Post
    does anyone know of some good cleric build threads? i'm not going to just blindly put points into stuff without knowing where its going, but i do want to get some sense of what is important in a cleric build. so please don't withhold info from me because you think i won't learn anything if i read a build.
    Not really withholding. You see a lot more cleric advice threads than actual cleric build threads as pure clerics don't really require the min/maxing for endgame that a lot of other builds do. A cleric's effectiveness is primarily dependent on how you use your spells and abilities, not so much careful selection and number crunching.

    That said, I can give you some tips on creating your cleric. This is geared more towards building a balanced cleric with a slight emphasis on healing, which it seems from your first post is what you're looking for.

    -Attributes-
    Wisdom is by far your most important attribute. From there, it really depends on what you want to do with your cleric. Charisma is important if you want to get the most out of the turn enhancements like Divine Vitality, as turns per day are based on your Cha modifier. Intelligence is next to useless for clerics. You get plenty of skill points for your three class skills with just a 10 int.

    As to your physical stats, it depends on whether you want some of your offensive capability to come from swinging a weapon. Strength is important if you want to be good with a weapon in your hand. Constitution is great for the survivability and saves. Balance the two out if you want to be better than average in melee, otherwise pump those points into Con as you can always cast Bull's Strength on yourself if the low number becomes a problem. One thing to note is you'll get a spell later on that grants a +6 to Str and the BAB of a fighter, making you quite melee capable in short little bursts even with a low starting Str. I'd recommend nothing more than a 10 Dexterity. You're going to be wearing full plate which caps your Dex bonus at 1. Even when you're wearing mithral, a +Dex item will bring you up to the max dex bonus.

    -Skills-
    Max Concentration every level. It's key for getting spells off when enemies get up in your face. Doubly important if you want to be in the thick of it swinging away as well.

    Heal is useful to you not for the ability to raise incapped characters, but for the added HP at shrines. Pump a few points into it at early levels, but you don't need to raise it very high. At higher levels just swap in an item before everyone shrines, and it should be more than enough to get everyone to full.

    Diplomacy can be incredibly useful for getting enemies out of your face, especially when you'll start drawing aggro from things like blade barrier at higher level.

    -Feats-
    Metamagics will be your bread and butter, but don't become very effective until you have a couple levels of spells under your belt.

    I would suggest extra turning at lower levels, as the three extra attempts will help you power out the cleric divine abilities, most of which are a lot more useful early on. Mental toughness is good as well. More SP to throw around never hurts.

    Once you've climbed a few levels, start grabbing metamagics. Empower Healing is great, as an extra stackable 50% healing, combined with the enhancements that reduce the cost, is hard to beat. If you decide you want to be more combat than healing oriented with your spells, Maximize or Heighten Spell are better choices. Extend Spell is useful for your buffs at lower levels, but as you move up in levels your buffs will last quite a while anyway, so the extra SP isn't really worth it. It can be very nice to have around for some of the short term combat self-buffs if you're into that, as well as keeping your blade barriers running in longer fights. I would definitely suggest taking Quicken Spell. Great for spells with long cast times like blade barrier, or going offensive mode and cranking out the hurt by alternating damage spells quickly. Quickened spells also can't be interrupted, so it's good to have running when there's a lot of mobs around that could interrupt you. Quicken is a boon both to healing and to offensive casting. Best used in moderation though, as it will burn through your SP real quick if it's always running.

    -Enhancements-
    To save myself some typing I'll link you to this thread by a guild mate of mine: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=229222. She suggests exactly what I would. A big thing with cleric enhancements is how many of them are useful at lower levels but totally die off once you level a little more. With the ease of swapping enhancements, don't hesitate to take some of these and just get rid of them as you find them becoming useless.

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited by Rineth; 02-06-2010 at 06:09 PM.
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