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  1. #1
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    Default Yet another Arcane Bolt post

    I am sure everyone has seen by now threads suggesting that Arcane Bolt is not worth the spell points required to buy it. Doubtless there are reasons that my noobishness makes me unable to see, but it was the following math that got me interested in the enhancement:
    Arcane Bolt costs 50 spell points to buy and 1 spell point per use. It does 1d6/level of force damage. So, my 10th-level Wizard does 10d6 damage with each use.
    Lighting Bolt does the same sort of damage, 1d3+3 damage/level, so the same wizard does the same 10d3 + 30 damage with each casting. Lighting Bolt costs 15 sp/casting.
    As we know, metamagic feats do not work with Arcane Bolt but do with Lightning Bolt, so a one-time casting is not a far comparison. of course a Maximized Lighting Bolt doing 30+30=60 damage for 15 + 16 = 31 sp/use is not fair.
    (Maximze costs 25, and I was assuming that 2 levels of Improved Maximize reduces that cost by 3 + 6 = 9 points, so if it is only by 6 then of course the spell costs more).

    So, let us see how many time we can cast Maximized Lightning Bolt for the same cost as 20 castings of Arcane Bolt. That would be 50 (for the base cost of the enhancement) + 20 sp/use = 70 spell points. 31/70 = 2.2, but we can round to 3 castings.
    20 castings of Asrcane Bolt (this is a 10th level wizard) do a minumum of 10 points, a maximum of 60 points, and an average of 30 points each. So, 20 uses would be 200 points minimum, 1200 points maximum, and 600 points on average.
    3 castings of Maximized Lighting Bolt does 3 x 60 damage = 180 damage.

    Of course, that requires hitting at least 6 times with an Arcane Bolt to match the Lightning Bolt, which may not always be possible when playing solo, and of course there are area-of-effect spells that are more effective against groups, but this easily replaces melee weapons in most situations for me if I have some meatshields to hit things when monsters come charging at me. I can always jump around and shoot off Arcane Bolts if need be.

    So, again... I am probably missing something, but this looked attractive enough to me to my noobish brain to want to spec my wizard in this way.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Docrailgun View Post
    I am sure everyone has seen by now threads suggesting that Arcane Bolt is not worth the spell points required to buy it. Doubtless there are reasons that my noobishness makes me unable to see, but it was the following math that got me interested in the enhancement:
    Arcane Bolt costs 50 spell points to buy and 1 spell point per use. It does 1d6/level of force damage. So, my 10th-level Wizard does 10d6 damage with each use.
    Lighting Bolt does the same sort of damage, 1d3+3 damage/level, so the same wizard does the same 10d3 + 30 damage with each casting. Lighting Bolt costs 15 sp/casting.
    As we know, metamagic feats do not work with Arcane Bolt but do with Lightning Bolt, so a one-time casting is not a far comparison. of course a Maximized Lighting Bolt doing 30+30=60 damage for 15 + 16 = 31 sp/use is not fair.
    (Maximze costs 25, and I was assuming that 2 levels of Improved Maximize reduces that cost by 3 + 6 = 9 points, so if it is only by 6 then of course the spell costs more).

    So, let us see how many time we can cast Maximized Lightning Bolt for the same cost as 20 castings of Arcane Bolt. That would be 50 (for the base cost of the enhancement) + 20 sp/use = 70 spell points. 31/70 = 2.2, but we can round to 3 castings.
    20 castings of Asrcane Bolt (this is a 10th level wizard) do a minumum of 10 points, a maximum of 60 points, and an average of 30 points each. So, 20 uses would be 200 points minimum, 1200 points maximum, and 600 points on average.
    3 castings of Maximized Lighting Bolt does 3 x 60 damage = 180 damage.

    Of course, that requires hitting at least 6 times with an Arcane Bolt to match the Lightning Bolt, which may not always be possible when playing solo, and of course there are area-of-effect spells that are more effective against groups, but this easily replaces melee weapons in most situations for me if I have some meatshields to hit things when monsters come charging at me. I can always jump around and shoot off Arcane Bolts if need be.

    So, again... I am probably missing something, but this looked attractive enough to me to my noobish brain to want to spec my wizard in this way.

    You can heighten Lighting bolt you can not heighten Arcane Bolt or Blast thus, while similar dmg enemies can and will regulary save for half or no dmg against your arcan bolt vs a lighting bolt or any other spell you can heighten.

  3. #3
    Community Member Jaid314's Avatar
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    well, i suspect that it's mostly that you don't need *cheap* at level 6, you pretty much want fast. you're not looking at either lightning bolt (which, mind you, has a chance to hit twice which should be considered) *or* arcane bolt, you're looking for fireball or acid blast, and you just want things to die now so that you can keep zerging. a maximised fireball can kill 10 or more enemies, especially if they're weak ones (and a regular fireball followed up by a scorch has very fast casting time and kills most things as well, if you want to take a less expensive option).

    if you've really really got your heart set on efficient damage, then arcane bolt (and at least up to tier 3 evocation SLAs) are worthwhile. otherwise, they're just not very exciting.

  4. #4
    Founder Solmage's Avatar
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    20 arcane bolts = ~ 2 minutes to cast

    1 Fireball - kills or severely injures 4-10 enemies. 2 fireballs kill them. total time 1-6 seconds.

    That's why the bolt is useless. You have worse DPS (damage per second) than a hireling. Once you get firewall, it's no longer even amusing.

    (incidentally, the maximized lightning bolt or fireball at lvl 10 is hitting for 170 damage, give or take, and the bolt double strikes on occasion for double total damage)
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  5. #5
    Community Member Calebro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaid314 View Post
    if you've really really got your heart set on efficient damage, then arcane bolt (and at least up to tier 3 evocation SLAs) are worthwhile. otherwise, they're just not very exciting.
    This. Exactly this.
    The problem isn't that A Bolt/Blast are useless. The problem is that because they can't be meta'd, they are way too slow. They're extremely efficient during the mid levels if you're fighting single targets. Less so at higher levels because of the save. But during those mid levels you could just as easily round up a bunch of mobs and kill them all with a single cast or two of Fireball/Acid Blast. So you can meta FB/AB and kill 15 mobs, or you can nickle and dime those 15 mobs to death one at a time with SLAs. The end result is approximately the same SP spent (single target many many times versus multi-target once or twice) with much less time spent on the meta'd spells.
    So similar results, but one is ten times faster. If the results are the same, then the faster way is obviously better.
    This is why they're considered useless.
    .

  6. #6
    Community Member t0r012's Avatar
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    bolt is the cheap finisher, that is pretty much all.
    when your AoE doesn't kill all the mobs I round up just keep zerging but backwards and throw a bolt or two to finish them off rather than waste the SP on something else.
    bolt + max&emp magic missile SLA + superior impact clickie finishes stuff off fast.

    I like bolt + MM + CM SLAs out of sheer lazyness. ahh I don't need to run back to that shrine or DDoor I'll just force pluck the boss to death.
    Move along , Nothing to see here

  7. #7
    The Hatchery sirgog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calebro View Post
    This. Exactly this.
    The problem isn't that A Bolt/Blast are useless. The problem is that because they can't be meta'd, they are way too slow. They're extremely efficient during the mid levels if you're fighting single targets. Less so at higher levels because of the save. But during those mid levels you could just as easily round up a bunch of mobs and kill them all with a single cast or two of Fireball/Acid Blast. So you can meta FB/AB and kill 15 mobs, or you can nickle and dime those 15 mobs to death one at a time with SLAs. The end result is approximately the same SP spent (single target many many times versus multi-target once or twice) with much less time spent on the meta'd spells.
    So similar results, but one is ten times faster. If the results are the same, then the faster way is obviously better.
    This is why they're considered useless.
    They are still useful because they can be spammed from Echoes of Power. Not so hot for zerging, but very useful for people with less experience of the game.

    I'm not a fan, but that's only because I'm a zerger.
    I don't have a zerging problem.

    I'm zerging. That's YOUR problem.

  8. #8
    Community Member Astraghal's Avatar
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    And I thought this thread was going to be about the fastest Wizard in DDO..

  9. #9
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    Arcane Bolt is by far the worst free Pre-Class spell ever...

    Serioulsy a Reflex save on a force spell.... This is truly a first for DDO. :-p

    Yeah it needs a bit of work, make that a lot of work...... Not in the least a viable option once you get Firewall and web and toss in Acid rain....
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  10. #10
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    A few points to augment what others have said.

    3 castings of Maximized Lighting Bolt does 3 x 60 damage = 180 damage.
    That is the PnP version of Maximize. In DDO, it's (10d3+30)*2, which is around 90 per cast, and 270 total. Since Fireball, Wall of Fire, and Acid Blast take out groups, I find myself using single-target spells on archers more than anything. They don't clump like the rest. High reflex + evasion make both bolts less compelling.

    Other, better finishing moves:
    Scorching Ray (8 SP, no save): at level 11, you get (4d3+12)*3, around 60 per cast
    Frost Lance (10 SP, Fort save): at level 11, (4d5+20)*3, around 96 per cast
    Wand of Blasting (eternal wand): usable at level 10, 10d6 per use, around 33 each

    Edit: also, Arcane Bolt is 2/cast, despite what the in-game description says.
    Last edited by hiryuu42; 05-08-2012 at 12:24 PM.

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