We took the community feedback from Melee 101 and went back to the drawing board on newbie class guides for DDO. The result is creating class-specific 101 guides instead of "style-encompassing" 101 guides. Another part of making these new 101 class guides is that we'd love to have your feedback early!
The purpose of this thread is to have a constructive discussion on a preview of the ability scores, feats and skills suggested in Sorcerer 101. Please feel free to give your tips, tricks or suggestions on how you feel the guide could be improved -- but remember, this is a "101" guide for newbie players who might be feeling lost.
Edited: Added feedback from Schmoe, karl_k0ch, DemonMage, and Cauthey. Thanks!
Sorcerer 101 (Work in Progress)
==Every New Sorcerer Should Know …==
• A sorcerer's Charisma (CHA) score directly affects the strength of their spells, the Difficulty Check (DC) an enemy target must overcome, and the maximum amount of available Spell Points (SP).
• There is no single "best" race option for a sorcerer; it all comes down to personal preference. Humans are a solid choice for their level 1 feat bonus, and for the bonus CHA from Human Adaptability, an Enhancement. Conversely, warforged are popular because they can self-heal using sorcerer repair spells, and benefit from a higher Constitution (CON) -- but warforged also have lower CHA. Drow have higher innate CHA, but lower innate CON, making them strong-yet-more-fragile sorcerers.
• Train 1 rank (not ".5" -- 1.0) into the Tumble skill at character creation. In DDO, a player cannot use Tumble without training, and tumbling away from ranged attacks is a useful skill to have.
• STR - More often than not, Strength (STR) isn't useful for sorcerers -- who fight with spells, not by swinging weapons. However, STR does affect how much loot a character can carry before becoming encumbered (i.e. slower movement); consider 10 STR if this concerns you.
• DEX - Dexterity (DEX) improves Armor Class (AC), which helps defend against physical/weapon attacks, and Reflex Saves, one of three basic Saving Throws used to avoid many spells and traps. Note: investing into DEX for a boost to AC is generally a fruitless pursuit for sorcerers.
• CON - Every character in DDO should have a solid Constitution (CON) score. A higher CON translates into more Hit Points, and a higher Fortitude Save, which results in some bonus to spell defense. It's recommended new players have 14 CON; if you feel particularly confident in being able to avoid all dangers, forever, try 12 CON.
• INT - As with all classes, Intelligence (INT) affects a sorcerer's available skill points. With a high INT, more skills can be raised, but it's generally recommended to boost Intelligence no higher than 12 unless you really feel like more skill points are important to your character build.
• WIS - A sorcerer's Spot skill and Will Save tie directly into Wisdom (WIS). While a high WIS isn't useless, few sorcerers have a score higher than 12 because Will Save can be increased by taking the Force of Personality feat.
• CHA - A sorcerer's Charisma (CHA) is their bread-and-butter score. A higher Charisma allows more max Spell Point totals and nastier DCs for the spells you cast. The great majority of sorcerers start with 18 or 20 Charisma. (20 is only available to drow and 16 is the maximum available to warforged.)
Often times, new players are eager to jump into DDO right away, and that's perfectly understandable. However, an essential component of successful adventuring in DDO is planning out a character's feats. At max level (20) a sorcerer will have 7 Feats total. (Note: humans have 8.) Because there are only 7 (or 8) feats to work with, feat planning doesn't take long!
Here's an example feat selection that's perfect for a new player who wants a human sorcerer good at offensive spell casting (i.e. damage-dealing evocation spells) -- otherwise known as an Evocation Sorcerer:
• Level 1) Toughness - Increases Hit Points (HP) at first level and provides additional HP for each new level, allows a player to take the Racial Toughness Enhancement.
• Level 1) Empower Spell - While this metamagic feat is active, spells do 50% more damage but consume 15 additional Spell Points (SP).
• Level 3) Maximize Spell - While this metamagic feat is active, damage spells deal double damage but consume 25 additional SP.
• Level 6) Spell Focus: Evocation - Your spells of one school of magic (Evocation) are harder to resist and break through enemy spell defenses more easily.
• Level 9) Heighten Spell - While this metamagic feat is active your spells are raised to the highest spell level your character can cast, making them more difficult to resist but increasing their spell point cost.
• Level 12) Greater Spell Focus - Your spells of one school of magic are even harder to resist; this stacks with the bonus from Spell Focus.
• Level 15) Spell Penetration - Adds +2 to your caster level check for defeating spell resistance, making it easier to attack tougher opponents.
• Level 18) Greater Spell Penetration - Adds +2 to your caster level check for defeating spell resistance, further improving the ease with which your spells strike tougher opponents (in addition to the Spell Penetration feat).
If some of the above feats aren't to your liking, consider replacing them with any of these sorcerer-friendly feats:
• Extend Spell - With this metamagic feat active, spells with durations last twice as long but consume 10 additional SP
• Force of Personality - Add your CHA modifier to your Will Saves instead of your WIS modifier, making it tougher for several spell-types to harm your sorcerer.
• Enlarge Spell - With this metamagic feat active, spells have twice the range but consume 10 additional SP.
• Quicken Spell - With this metamagic feat active, spells cast twice as fast and cannot be interrupted by enemy attacks, but consume 10 additional SP.
• Mental Toughness - Increases your maximum available SP. Note that sorcerers already have the highest pool of SP in DDO.
• Improved Mental Toughness – Further increases your maximum available SP.
Planning out skills selection can be useful as well, but getting the basics of a standard sorcerer aren't too difficult.
Here are some solid skills to keep maxed out while leveling a sorcerer:
• Concentration – An incredibly useful skill for sorcerers! In DDO, sorcerers rely on Concentration when spell casting and taking damage from enemy attacks. When a sorcerer is damaged while casting, a Concentration check occurs – failure results in their SP being wasted while the spell fizzles out. A higher Concentration skill improves chances to succeed, so keep Concentration maxed out at all levels.
• Diplomacy – Also a very handy skill. Have you enraged a nasty enemy with your Magic Missiles or stumbled onto a deadly, sneaking foe? When used, Diplomacy may cause that enemy to decide to go after another member in your party. Crisis averted!
• Use Magic Device (UMD) – This skill allows a sorcerer the use of equipment designed for another race, or even moral alignment. UMD also allows the use of scrolls and wands normally wielded by divine classes such as clerics and paladins, opening up opportunities for a sorcerer to self-heal with divine scrolls and wands.
• Balance – Characters get knocked down by many types of attacks – both physical and magical – in DDO. With Balance, a character regains their footing more quickly after a knockdown. Avoiding a knockdown requires either decent STR or DEX, and because a sorcerer doesn’t typically invest in either STR or DEX scores, the faster recovery-time offered by Balance is invaluable.
Here are a couple optional skills that, depending on personal play style, can be useful:
• Bluff – With Bluff, a character may convince some non-player characters (NPCs) to give extra information on a quest or do something specific. Bluff also works like Diplomacy in convincing monsters to attack someone else, and unlike Diplomacy it can be used while playing solo; however, Bluff only works on one target at a time (compared to Diplomacy, which can affect multiple creatures at once.) With a sorcerer's high CHA only a few skill ranks are really needed.
• Haggle - Improve the price of items sold to NPCs and lower the cost of items bought from NPCs.
• Spot - See hidden enemies before they appear and begin attacking. A few points in Spot may make the difference between not seeing hidden enemies and seeing most of them.