I agree that you can go for too versatile. Remember that your toon can only do one thing at once, when attacking you aren't healing, when you're healing you aren't CC'ing, and so forth. Personally I prefer a tad of versatility, but even then I sometimes build extremely focused characters (like my no trap skills rogue/monk toon or my enchantment archmage). In raids my focused toons tend to do better, but you only raid a small percentage of the time, and in normal questing/soloing a more versatile toon usually prevails.
I prefer versatility on my casters.
I prefer focus on my melee.
To explain, a caster to work for me needs CC and then AoE to kill the things that can't move toward you. Along with some utility like teleport/ddoor, etc.
A melee, as long as HP lasts from the beginning to the end of the quest while holding W+M1 works for me. Sadly, this is hard to achieve in DDO. :P
It's DDO. If your character is not self-sufficient, you either don't know what you are doing or intentionally nerfing yourself. Barbarians that don't kite, Wizards that don't buff, Rogues who don't do traps and clerics who don't heal are not "focused", they are just bad. It takes so little effort to make your secondary abilities work...
Kmnh * Kmn * Kmm * Knn * Knm
Leader of Templar
I think the OP was talking about stats mainly. Something like: Do you go for that 20/18 or is a 16 good enough so that you can raise that 10 to a 14 in your tertiary stat?
I love to splash and multiclass. I have a pure cleric 20, pure Sorc 20 and a fvs 13 that will most likely remain pure. But the rest of them...usually 12/6/2 splits.
So when IS it worth it to focus on an ultra-high stat?
In my opinion it is when a lot of things that make your build work depend on it.
But don't forget that you have more ways to boost a stat during a toon's life: tomes, level points, class enhancements, items, racial enhancements, spells, etc. Those can be used to make up for the lack of focus at the start. In rare cases you can even put all level points and all class/race enhancements in a single stat (Str and Dex are the two possibilities for that I think). It all comes down to planning the character. What do I want it to be able to do at level X? And what do I need at level X to be effective. Then you plan back from level X down to level 0. Along the way you have your prerequisites and preferences that make up the basis of your stat distribution.
Some examples of my personal choices to focus or focus less.
For example take a pure wizard. Spell DC's, Available spells and spellpoints all depend on Int. The DC value is so important in this game that it is worth going 18 or 20 Int and neglecting all other stats.
Now take a pure melee damage fighter. Is it necessary to go 18 Str to get that extra +1 to hit and +2 damage (assuming 2hw)? Perhaps 13 Dex or Int is also important to get qualified for feats or Half-Elf Dilettante feats. It does affect all those thousands of swings you make. I think the to-hit part is less of a pain with the new system than the damage is. To hit you can easily repair with a feat or spell, but the damage part...
And Str also affects your Combat Tricks (sunder, Stun etc). You will have to see if losing 1 point in the DC's of those is that bad. Will a 44 vs a 45 be that bad?
It gets more interesting when you start to splash or multiclass. You often have to put points in other stats to make the classes you mix up synergize.
No real focus...
My ranger6/monk12/rogue2 Arcane archer/two weapon fighting ninja Spy. I have a 16 Str, 16 Dex, 14 con and 14 wis as a starter (2nd life). The damage is based on Str mostly (for bows and short swords) so all level points will go into that. But I also want a high dex for improved precise shot (and maybe combat archery?) and Greater Two Weapon Fighting. I also needed some Wis to get some results out of 10k-stars, but with 26 at level 20 I am content. According to the calculations made on these forums it gives me 60% extra attacks. Which is more than enough. So here I chose a concept (melee and ranged) which gives me some perks, but also means I have to sacrifice some other things. That translates to the stat distribution. In this case I believe that taking an 18 over a 16 will break more than it would add overall.
My erstwhile warforged Wizard8/Fighter12 Kensei II. It needed to be able to cast level 4 spells, they were for self buff and repair only, so no DC's needed. A GS item provides 200+ SP which is more than enough on top of the base SP of this build (650 SP or so total at 20). Int 14 would have sufficed. So basically I could survive with the 8 base int of a warforged (+6 item). I did choose to not be dependent on an item and went with 10 Int base +2 tome and +2 Wiz Enh Int II. Dex, Wis and Cha were totally ignored. Con was 14 base +2 of Race. So basically I had most of my points to put in Str. And leveling up was easy. The first 10 levels I took my 8 wizard levels in. Due to good equipment and high Str/Con I meleed all of it. Around level 14-20 you did miss 2 things: 1 BaB is 16 at cap and you are always 4 behind on most melees (unless you use Divine Power like I did all the time) and you have a big chunck taken out of your hps (8*6 = 48 hps is not small thing). So while it looked like I needed to focus in 2 stats (Str and Int and some in Con) I acually didn't have to at all. I might even bring him back now that Displacement is self-only.
Multiclass with a focus!
Last example...my Rogue12/Ftr1/Arti6. Here I did go for as high an Int as possible. Because it influences all I want to be able to do with this toon. It's a Mechanic II, Battlemaster I, repeater using, trapmonkey. Int affects: spell points, skill points, damage for repeaters, attack for repeaters and my bonuses on Search and Disable Device. I needed some Dex for precise/improved precise shot and Con I would never drop below 14.
Hope this helps you decide on what you like to build!
Last edited by Nuryam; 07-11-2012 at 11:27 AM.
I recommend all characters have enough versatility to be able to make it through a slayers.
It is really annoying when my dual welding AA first life steals aggro from a barbarian because the barbarian is doing that little damage.
It is annoying when the Cleric or Favored soul can't keep the party up.
You do have a primary roll. Make sure you can do it. This doesn't necessarily mean maximizing stats. A cleric with a 14 wisdom can heal just as well as a cleric with an 18 wisdom. It doesn't matter. It really doesn't. Wisdom has to do with spell DCs which you don't need while healing. (Very important later in the game for implosion.)
Sometimes it means giving up a race. I really want to play a halfling barbarian. But I sacrifice 18 points of damage per swing by doing so. So If I really want to play a helpful role as a barbarian, I can't play halfling. Yes +1 AC and +1 saves adds versatility, but people aren't looking for versatility in a barbarian.
The need for good saves is far less than it was, unless you're an evasion person. This is because Hold and other like-spells don't last forever or nearly as long as they did in the beginning of the game. (You don't walk into a tavern and see half the people with red circles over their heads.) So, dumping my Half-Orc strength to 18 to pump my wisdom makes little sense.
I'm a raging two handed-fighter with -8 AC while raging, So spending 6 Points in Dex to raise my A.C. 3 points is kinda stupid. Makes more sense to feat Heavy armor.
Skills? I need Jump and Balance. Two Points. Check. I guess if I were a fighter I would dump my con to 16 to take points in intelligence to get these two key skills.
Intimidate and Listen? I've found that if you do enough damage, that is all the intimidation you need. Intimidate is more for sword and board fighters who have problems doing damage. Half-orcs also get threat boost. As far as listen, I've found that a Two-Handed Axe is all the monster detection a barbarian needs.
When I leveled up a barbarian, the only thing I regretted was not focusing enough on Damage because that is what a Barbarian is all about. I went for versatility and I regretted it. I really, really regretted it.
Needless to say, DPS falls to 0 when you are on the ground.
Signed, someone that put the redscale away to fit +6 to saves in their gearset.
I don't have a zerging problem.
I'm zerging. That's YOUR problem.
I prefer to focus first, then see what my options are for extra roles. My main is a twf evasion DPS. My main role is to pump out DPS. However, sometimes I can't do that, like when I'm dead, so I try to find a way to keep that from happening. So get UMD maxed and use heal scrolls if necessary.
Then work on defenses. PermaBlur, displace clickies, incorporeality, dodge, ppr, ac. Don't sacrifice your DPS for them too much, but fit them in where you can. Get your saves up. Resistance items, good luck slotted on that epic item, haste, gh. Slot dex and wisdom somewhere. Make the healers job easier, so when they do need to toss a heal your way, they don't mind. Heal amp is easy to get while still keeping best in slot gear.
Overall, do your job and do it well. Prioritize your goals, then see what else you can fit in. I can get almost all the locks in game, but it is a side effect. I can't get traps. I didn't build for it. I still get held and commanded all over the place. My will save needs some work. But when I'm DPSing and killing mobs so the caster can kill something else or dot the boss mob and the healer doesn't have to babysit me, I feel ok, because I'm doing my job and what I built for. And then some.
I've tried both ways.
Versatility is fun, especially at lower levels. At higher levels, you need the focus. Without the specialization, you will just be "meh" at several things while other party members end up doing all the heavy lifting.
I have a 2Fight/2Rog/16Bard that was enormously fun at low levels. He could fill in with any party, or solo pretty well with guerilla tactics taking advantage of stealth and sneak attacks. And there are a bunch of lower level scenarios that favor these tactics.
But as he got past about 10th level, he got less and less fun, because he was less and less useful. He couldn't find any traps on elite, even low level enemies see him even when he's invisible, sneaking, and with tons of silent/hide gear and buffs, his healing was weak, and as a hacker he falls short both in HP and AC. (For some reason his AC is only a few points higher than my 8th level wizard, even though he has a 28 DEX and can wear armor, compared to the 13 DEX of the wiz in his jammies)
Part of the problem, I'm convinced, is the game system. (Another good example of the flawed system is when the FiRoBard was soloing with a Cleric hireling and they took on a dragon. Every frickin' round, the FiRoBard was on his backside, getting knocked down by the dragon. Granted, taking on a dragon is a difficult task, and the dragon has size as well as many other tools to knock just about anyone down repeatedly. But the hireling cleric, with a DEX presumably far south of 30 and most likely not devoting a whole lot of points to balance, rarely got knocked down. Aggro? That might make sense, but the FiRoBard doesn't do enormous amounts of damage, especially not when he's laying down 4 rounds out of 5. There's clearly an issue here. Maybe he just needs new shoes)
But the system clearly rewards the specialist for the long game. It's a shame really, as it makes a lot of the characters very similar, rather than embracing the strengths that could come from versatility, whether it's multiclassing, or just staying versatile within your class structure.
At higher levels, most classes have some ability to do things that other classes normally do. Necromancers can heal, Wizzes have knock and find trap spells, Clerics can do some crowd control and even insta kills, etc. So you can at least enjoy some similar abilities of other classes.
I prefer to focus a lot. But I want to be somewhat competent in other roles, at least enough so that I can solo easier quests. For example I might build my bard to spec into mainly casting, but I might start with 6 build points in strength and get a good weapon for some DPS. Maybe it won't be worth feats or multiclassing, as being able to melee also requires better defense, but I don't want to be helpless.
The basis for many players in this game is completing quests. It is a satisfying experience to know you have overcome the challenge. You get XP, items and favor which will make your character better and able to handle more difficult challenges. Sometimes you can do it alone, and at other times you need others. You also want to do it within a timely fashion and without spending a lot of resources.
The currently prevalent DDO play style seems to be to run up to the enemies and ‘out-dps’ the opponents in a massive way. Opponents usually don’t last more than a few seconds. Many can barely get off one spell or swing before going down. Buffs laid down beforehand and healing afterwards negate most of the weak attempts that the opponents make at the characters’ lives. A crowd control build makes sure that not too many opponents engage the players at once. So, what do you need? Lots of DPS, enough healing to keep them up and one buffer and crowd controller. Focused builds provide the most chance of actually filling the role you seek, so those are wanted more and more as the stakes get higher.
I prefer the the outlandish build. I try to think of an ability thats interesting. Then I create a toon that utilizes it as it primary goal and branch off other stuff while allowing it to fill its a role in a party. I also only build pure classes. I dont like to multiclass, I like to see what I can get away with while staying true to the class. My fighter is my second toon, she was built as a UMD fighter, very common now but not so much at the time. Tactical UMD pure fighter, loads of fun. Next is my healing amp monk. which can healing ki for over 200 points she not a min max build by any means but loads of fun to play. I also have my divine archer 20 FvS no IC ranged or AA enhancment but lots of fun to play. I thought of her just before they released arties, made possible by Zen Archery and ranger dilly. Im currently working out a build that really takes advantage of flame blade by using the druid past life feat. Either monk, cleric or FvS, but only one of them can gain proficiency with scimis
GOKI monk 20 | IICO fighter 20 | EGO sorc 20 | IRRO favored soul 20
I haven't played a lot of DDO but I have played other games based on D&D. I'm taking my philosophy from Pen and Paper which is focus for casters and multiclassing for rogues/fighters. It's just more fun from a gameplay point of view since I can't imagine how much of a chore it must be to min/max as a form of entertainment..
The reason for focussing on casters is that high level spells make me a happy panda who feels like a minor deity. I tend to play Clerics simply because you can have a character that can hold their own with melee while still raining down the wrath of the Gods at level 20.
Fighters need a splash of the exotic in order to make them fun to play and not repetetive which is why I like going fighter/rogue dual/multi class.
I may not be the most efficient character but I generally have fun with them.
As long as you can fulfill your role and have fun play whatever you want.
I am a human whether you like it or not
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