I like having fun. Do you like having fun? Fun in DDO to me is building bizarre concept/theme builds that should never really work in a min/maxers world, but somehow always end up being greater than the sum of there parts. this is a build I've been working, is currently level 18 and is a great deal of fun to play to me.
The Theme - The Stormbringer
In the real world, one of the things that always make's me grin is Lightning. Nature's own weapon of war strikes with a burning, explosive force that is truly awe-inspiring. So how about a melee character that could summon his own Lightning Strikes - an 'Avatar of the Storm', if you will? With a natural Storm comprising elements of Wind, Rain and of couse, Electricity, there's plenty of scope. I decided upon a theme in the iconic Lightning strike would be the basis of any theme, but I had good idea's on the Wind & Rain aspects too.
And for pure unadulterated joy, I decided to go all out maxing out how many thunderbolts I could have raining down on the enemy
Realising the Theme in D&D Online - Nature's own Warrior
So I took a long look at what I could do around a lightning-inspired character Of course, immediately springing to mind was the the Half-Elf Dragonmark - the Greater dragonmark give you the ability to summon Call Lightning Storm (CLS), very similar in style to the Druid spell in the SRD and hopefully to the spell that Druids may get in the upcoming expansion. 3 feats is a massive investment however, and on top of that 5D10 damage ws going to need some serious amplifying to make it of use - but more of that later.
So Half-Elf was the race choice. The Dilletante was put to Rogue for the additional DPS of course, and leveraging the Half-Elf attribute enahancements for for additional HP and Heal Amp would suit self-healing very nicely. Human Versatility brings more Burst DPS as well.
Side Track: I have to admit, I must be one of the few who like Half-Elves both from a gameplay perspective and even in the character graphics. To me they have an ethereal 'other-world' look. To other, they look like plastic dolls. *Shrug*
The Class choice naturally fits Ranger. Druids are the more altruistic Nature's champion - Rangers are the more 'in your face' types that bring Melee Mayhem and Accurate Archery to the mix. Not just spells.
Ranger brings a whole load of goodies for this build:
Full Two Weapon Fighting line - why have one weapon with Lightning Strike when you can have two?
Full Ranged Attack ability - Manyshot with a Lightnign strike Bow, anyone?
Ranger 'Tempest' - Fits so well to the theme, and an additional 20% Offhand attacks means more procs of Lightning Strike weapons and more opportunities to roll 20s (see below).
However, it wasn't going to be a pure build by any stretch of the imagination. Tempest pre-requirements and Dragonmarks take up 6 feats alone. Add on an Exotic weapon proficiency, Metamagics for dragonmarks and Ranger self-healing and the usual DPS feats of Power Attack, Improved critical and the synonymous Toughness for HP - and I was at 12 feats total.
Ranger 14 brings a big leap in self-sustainability through access to very nice spells: cure Serious Wounds and Freedom of Movemement. CSW is great for self-healing, and will be in the spell slot 95% of the time. FoM can be swapped in on the rare occasion you want it for soloing. CSW + Quicken + Maximise is a powerful tool in self-preservation when mixing it up in combat.
The only way to have my cake and eat it, feat wise, was to go to 14 Ranger, 4 Fighter, 2 Monk. I agonised over this split for a long time, thinking to build in a level of Wizard for the SP and the Meta-Magic, but just couldn't do it. I couldn't get to the magic number of 14 Ranger levels and have access to 12 feats without the split designed.
That said, both Fighter 4 and Monk 2 bring a nice range of benefits each. From the Fighter it was Haste Boost 2, Toughness 2, Strength 1, and class based additional HP. For the Monk, improved saves across the board, early access to Evasion, and Wisdom bonus to AC looked like nice ways to improve the base build. 6 levels and 5 bonus feats is a tasty way to get all that I wanted.
So with base build sketched out, it was onto considering gear...
More to follow...