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  1. #1
    Community Member A3oN95's Avatar
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    Default Augment Summon build help

    Hello,

    After a few months absent from the game, I'll have time to play again soon. In the meantime, two friends of mine tried DDO and, after a couple weeks, they appear to enjoy it a lot (more than I was expecting them to, tbh ).

    Now, while we had a lot of fun in the little time we played together, it wasn't the same when we pugged (people zerging, not being able to voice chat in our home tongue without typing, etc... it's just not as enjoyable :\). Therefore, we 3-man'ed (2-man-1-woman'ed ) every quest, and intended to keep doing it from now on.

    I've always wanted to try a sort of "summoner" build. I know that the general (probably correct) idea is that this type of character is a complete gimp, but I still wish to do it (after all, this is a mmoRPg, right..? :P). Adding to that, we're all casual players, with little knowledge about the quests (I only leveled a bard through lvl15 (pre-Vale), and the other two are just starting), non-VIP, we're going to live "off the land" item-wise, and we're not expecting to run the so called "end-game"/EE difficulty/raid stuff, so I think a build like this would be more useful in this situation than it usually is.

    Now, I'm having some trouble doing the build. These:

    http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p...17&postcount=7
    http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=311237

    were helpful regarding race and stat alocation (I was already set in playing a drow, it blends nicely with the concept of summoner in my head... stupid, I know :x. It's the only unlocked race I have too, but that's not the main reason for picking it), but I still have some doubts about the feats and enhancements to choose.

    ---

    Mandatory feats:
    -Augment Summoning
    -Toughness
    -SF Necromancy
    -GSF Necromancy
    -Mental Toughness (for Wraith form, since I want stealth and have the skill points for it)

    Optional feats:
    -SF Enchantment
    -GSF Enchantment
    -Insightful Reflexes
    -Extend
    -Maximize
    -Heighten
    -Spell Pen
    -Greater Spell Pen
    -Quicken

    I have to discard two of the optional ones, but I don't know which two :s. SF/GSF Ench seem mandatory to to charm/"command" stuff; IR seem to make me a lot more survivable (never used the feat beafore, so not sure); Extend makes SP a lot more manageable, since the auras/buffs/summons last a lot longer; Maximize improves burst damage by a good margin; Heighten appears to become mandatory too in the higher levels. This leaves me with SP, GSP and Quicken, but I'm not sure which ones are less important, or even if I should be discarding two others instead of SP/GSP/Heighten (I don't know how much SP is really needed, otherwise those feats would be the first to discard for me).

    I'm also having difficulty choosing at which level I should be picking each one of the feats in order to be able to play as a "summoner"/"army builder"/charmer as much as possible. I have more feats that I want to have as soon as I'm able to, than the number of feat slots available .

    ---

    Enhancements:

    I have to focus on Fire and Ice elements for the skeletal summons (7-2-2 each), but I don't know if those 2 are enough or if I should invest in more (if so, no idea in which one: force storm or acid..? :s). I'm also at a loss about how many SpellPen, Metamagic and Wand Enhancements I should pick, and while the DC+2 on charms with vampire form seem cool, I'm not aware on the number of f2p quests with light damage being thrown at us. If that number is high enough to not be able to use the form safely most of the time, then it's not worth it.

    ---


    Sorry about the long text, if you have advice on any of the issues I mentioned, it'd be very helpful. Thanks in advance .
    Last edited by A3oN95; 11-15-2012 at 01:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    I still don't think summoning is a good idea; but if I were to make one now, I would do a druid summoner. You get a customizable pet, all the summons for free, and a bunch of summoning-specific buffs & enhs you can play with until...well, until you get bored of summoning, I suppose.

    But if you don't have druid or you want to stick with PM, I'd say you're on the right track. A couple points about feats: a human PM gets 15 feats (7 base + 1 human + 5 wiz + 2 epic), so you really only have to drop one of the feats you list (your epic feats should be epic Spell Pen and ESF:Necro); once you reach PM III and can take lich form, you can drop wraith and swap Mental Toughness for a different meta; Quicken I would consider a must-have, if only so you can hit Neg Energy Burst for emergency (un)heals; whereas Extend is nice but not absolutely necessary, same w/GSF:Enchantment.
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  3. #3
    Community Member A3oN95's Avatar
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    Thanks for the quick reply, unbongwah.

    Forgot to add I was planning to build a drow, which gives me 1 less feat compared to a human :\

    I thought about extend because while I levelled the WC bard, I couldn't even imagine myself NOT having extend because of the need to constantly remind myself of the buffs I needed to recast. I guessed it would be even more important with the PM auras. It may be a matter of habit

    And yes, I'd love a druid, even more so than a PM, but unless the rest of the group really sticks with the game (and we can find a good sale on MotU, lol), I won't be able to roll one anytime soon

  4. #4
    Community Member A3oN95's Avatar
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    Based on the initial constraints and unbongwah's advice, I came up with this build:

    Code:
    Character Plan by DDO Character Planner Version 03.14.02
    DDO Character Planner Home Page
    
    Level 20 Chaotic Good Drow Male
    (20 Wizard) 
    Hit Points: 202
    Spell Points: 1680 
    BAB: 10\10\15\20
    Fortitude: 8
    Reflex: 16
    Will: 11
    
                      Starting          Feat/Enhancement
    Abilities        Base Stats          Modified Stats
    (28 Point)       (Level 1)             (Level 20)
    Strength             10                    10
    Dexterity            10                    10
    Constitution         14                    14
    Intelligence         20                    30
    Wisdom                8                     8
    Charisma             10                    10
    
                      Starting          Feat/Enhancement
                     Base Skills         Modified Skills
    Skills           (Level 1)            (Level 20)
    Balance               0                    11
    Bluff                 0                     0
    Concentration         6                    25
    Diplomacy             2                    11
    Haggle                0                     0
    Heal                 -1                    -1
    Hide                  2                    11
    Intimidate            0                     0
    Jump                  1                     9
    Listen               -1                     3
    Move Silently         2                    11
    Repair                5                    10
    Search                5                    12
    Spot                  1                    12
    Swim                  0                     0
    Tumble                1                     1
    Use Magic Device      2                    11
    
    Level 1 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Augment Summoning
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Spell Focus: Enchantment
    
    
    Level 2 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 3 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Toughness
    
    
    Level 4 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 5 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Spell Focus: Necromancy
    
    
    Level 6 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Mental Toughness
    
    
    Level 7 (Wizard)
    Enhancement: Racial Toughness I
    Enhancement: Glacial Spellcasting I
    Enhancement: Combustive Spellcasting I
    Enhancement: Deadly Ice I
    Enhancement: Deadly Flame I
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation I
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation II
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation I
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation II
    Enhancement: Force Manipulation I
    Enhancement: Wizard Energy of the Scholar I
    Enhancement: Wizard Energy of the Scholar II
    Enhancement: Wizard Intelligence I
    Enhancement: Wizard Intelligence II
    Enhancement: Wizard Wand and Scroll Mastery I
    Enhancement: Wizard Pale Master I
    Enhancement: Summon Skeleton Archer
    Enhancement: Summon Skeletal Knight
    Enhancement: Summon Skeletal Mage
    Enhancement: Shroud of the Zombie
    
    Level 8 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 9 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Insightful Reflexes
    
    
    Level 10 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Maximize Spell
    
    
    Level 11 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 12 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
    ENHANCEMENT RESET 
    Enhancement: Racial Toughness I
    Enhancement: Racial Toughness II
    Enhancement: Glacial Spellcasting I
    Enhancement: Combustive Spellcasting I
    Enhancement: Deadly Ice I
    Enhancement: Deadly Flame I
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation I
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation II
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation III
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation IV
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation I
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation II
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation III
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation IV
    Enhancement: Force Manipulation I
    Enhancement: Wizard Energy of the Scholar I
    Enhancement: Wizard Energy of the Scholar II
    Enhancement: Wizard Energy of the Scholar III
    Enhancement: Wizard Intelligence I
    Enhancement: Wizard Intelligence II
    Enhancement: Wizard Intelligence III
    Enhancement: Wizard Wand and Scroll Mastery I
    Enhancement: Wizard Pale Master I
    Enhancement: Wizard Pale Master II
    Enhancement: Summon Blackbone Archer
    Enhancement: Summon Skeleton Archer
    Enhancement: Summon Blackbone Knight
    Enhancement: Summon Skeletal Knight
    Enhancement: Summon Skeletal Mage
    Enhancement: Shroud of the Vampire
    Enhancement: Shroud of the Wraith
    
    
    Level 13 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 14 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 15 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Heighten Spell
    Feat: (Selected) Spell Penetration
    
    
    Level 16 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 17 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 18 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Greater Spell Penetration
    
    
    Level 19 (Wizard)
    
    
    Level 20 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Quicken Spell
    ENHANCEMENT RESET 
    Enhancement: Wizard Master of Magic
    Enhancement: Wizard Improved Maximizing I
    Enhancement: Racial Toughness I
    Enhancement: Racial Toughness II
    Enhancement: Glacial Spellcasting I
    Enhancement: Glacial Spellcasting II
    Enhancement: Combustive Spellcasting I
    Enhancement: Deadly Ice I
    Enhancement: Deadly Flame I
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation I
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation II
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation III
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation IV
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation V
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation VI
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation VII
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation I
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation II
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation III
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation IV
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation V
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation VI
    Enhancement: Flame Manipulation VII
    Enhancement: Force Manipulation I
    Enhancement: Force Manipulation II
    Enhancement: Force Manipulation III
    Enhancement: Force Manipulation IV
    Enhancement: Force Manipulation V
    Enhancement: Force Manipulation VI
    Enhancement: Force Manipulation VII
    Enhancement: Wizard Spell Penetration I
    Enhancement: Wizard Spell Penetration II
    Enhancement: Wizard Energy of the Scholar I
    Enhancement: Wizard Energy of the Scholar II
    Enhancement: Wizard Energy of the Scholar III
    Enhancement: Wizard Intelligence I
    Enhancement: Wizard Intelligence II
    Enhancement: Wizard Intelligence III
    Enhancement: Wizard Wand and Scroll Mastery I
    Enhancement: Wizard Wand and Scroll Mastery II
    Enhancement: Wizard Wand and Scroll Mastery III
    Enhancement: Shroud of the Lich
    Enhancement: Wizard Pale Master I
    Enhancement: Wizard Pale Master II
    Enhancement: Wizard Pale Master III
    Enhancement: Summon Blackbone Archer
    Enhancement: Summon Frostmarrow Archer
    Enhancement: Summon Skeleton Archer
    Enhancement: Summon Blackbone Knight
    Enhancement: Summon Frostmarrow Knight
    Enhancement: Summon Skeletal Knight
    Enhancement: Shroud of the Wraith
    Some notes/doubts:

    1- While the stat distribution is pretty standard, I'm not very fond of going past 1AP/point in CON, so I was considering lowering it to 12 and increasing STR/CHA to 12/12 or 10/14 (basically for more carryingCap, melee ability at lower lvls, enfeeblement prot. and UMD buff). However, the elven "squishyness" reports in the forum frighten me a little;

    2- As I may want to swap Augment Summoning and/or Mental Toughness later, it seems wise to pick them as normal feats instead of bonus wizard ones. This delays IR to lvl9 though, so I'm not sure if it's such a good feat distribution;

    3- Unless I'm missing something, I'll have 20(Base)+4(Feat)+2(Enh)= 26 SpellPen, before epic feats and items. I have no idea if this is too low or not though. I could pick the last SpellPen Enhancement at the cost of +3SP maximize, no wraith at cap and -10% wand effectiveness, but this sounds expensive to me...;

    4- Speaking of Maximize SP, how useful are the metamagic enhancements for a build like this? They seem nice in theory, but I'm not sure what I'd drop in order to get them (I'm already ignoring mage skellie to save AP, after reading about each one of the summons here in the forums);

    5- Is Ice-Fire-Force a good combo? As I said previously, I need the first 2 for the summons, but I can switch force for storm or acid;

    6- Concerning thread generation, I'm putting points in Diplo, not being aware if bluff would be better or not. The Subtle Spellcasting enhancements seem nice too, but again, I'm not sure what to drop to be able to pick them.
    Last edited by A3oN95; 11-16-2012 at 08:59 AM.

  5. #5
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    My main advice would be to tweak the feat order: Insightful Reflexes (1), Aug Summon (wiz 1), Toughness (3), Extend (wiz 5), SF:Necro (6), Maximize (9), Mental Toughness (wiz 10), GSF:Necro (12), Spell Pen (15), Heighten (wiz 15), GSP (18), Quicken (wiz 20), epic Spell Pen (21), ESF:Necro (24). Swap MT for SF:Enchant after hitting wiz lvl 18 and switching to lich form. And when you get finally get tired of summoning you can swap AS for Empower.

    EDIT: one other thing - don't forget AS applies to hirelings as well. If this build is intended for a static trio, a buffed hireling can help out too.
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  6. #6
    Community Member A3oN95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    My main advice would be to tweak the feat order: Insightful Reflexes (1), Aug Summon (wiz 1), Toughness (3), Extend (wiz 5), SF:Necro (6), Maximize (9), Mental Toughness (wiz 10), GSF:Necro (12), Spell Pen (15), Heighten (wiz 15), GSP (18), Quicken (wiz 20), epic Spell Pen (21), ESF:Necro (24). Swap MT for SF:Enchant after hitting wiz lvl 18 and switching to lich form. And when you get finally get tired of summoning you can swap AS for Empower.

    EDIT: one other thing - don't forget AS applies to hirelings as well. If this build is intended for a static trio, a buffed hireling can help out too.
    I see you kept extend in the feat list, meaning I shouldn't need SF:Ench to be able to charm successfully until late in the game (It'd be great if that was indeed the case :P). And AS applying to hirelings was one of the reasons I thought this could work a little better than usual, given we're just a trio.

    Thanks a lot for the help unbongwah, not just in this topic but in the whole forums (one of my two party-mates is actually using the elven variation of your tempest trapmonkey ^^). (EDIT: damn this mandatory reputation spreading warning xP)

    If anyone else has any useful input on the other notes I wrote in the build post, I'd be grateful to read them. Thanks
    Last edited by A3oN95; 11-16-2012 at 09:27 AM.

  7. #7
    Community Member Deathdefy's Avatar
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    I'm only going to nit-pick, hopefully helpfully, since it seems like a fine build given your constraints. All of what I'm going to say is at least slightly opiniony, so take it with a grain of salt.

    Alignment: Chaotic Good is fine for role playing purposes, but True Neutral gives you access to Superior Stability items which are nice. Chaotic Neutral is also nice so you don't take "Unholy", "Anarchic" or "True Chaos" damage, but I would choose True Neutral for mostly F2P questing.

    Concerns:
    1) Stat distribution: 10 STR is fine, 14 CON is good. I would leave it as is. If anything my temptation (which I would reject) would be to go 8 STR and 15 CON. UMD, though I would still take it in the hopes of Raise Dead scrolling some day, is pretty unexciting for a Pale Master since Heals, Fire Shield, Greater Heroism and Teleport are all covered by your class abilities.

    2) Insightful Reflexes is a very nice feat if you can fit it in, which you can. Don't sweat delaying it until 9 at all. It's definitely the right call to keep malleable feats in non-bonus slots so they can be changed.

    EDIT: Just saw Unbongwah's revised feats. That seems preferable so ignore this!

    3) I too was shocked by the price of Spell Penetration III. Every point of Spell Pen honestly is that good though, especially if you're charm focused.

    The Wizard Scroll and Wand line after the first enhancement (1 AP for +25%) is also reprehensibly priced for the benefits (2 AP for +10% then 3 AP for another +10%). But, that only frees up 5 AP. To get the remaining 1 you're probably right that you'll need to drop Improved Maximize. I'd use the left-over 2 points from that on Acid Manipulation I and Electricity Manipulation I since Black Dragon Bolt and Eladar's Electric Surge will hopefully be on your spell bar.

    I can't speak to the general adequacy of 26(or 27 if you take the enhancement) Spell Pen on normal, but logically it should be fine. I mean if a first-life pure wizard with full spell pen enhancements and feats can't cut it, then there's a problem. You'll also want to pick up a *something* of spell penetration to add another +2 to this number.

    4) I don't really rate any of the metamagic enhancement lines for a wizard apart from the, prohibitively expensive in this case, Heighten line. I honestly don't know if there's a conventional wisdom that runs completely contrary to that, so take that purely as 1 person who doesn't really like nuking's anecdotal evidence.

    5) I ran an Ice/Fire/Force wizard for a while. Ice and fire is unfortunate due to the Ice Storm / Fire Wall mutual exclusivity, but you have to deal with it, and most things are at least hit by one or the other (save blackbone skeletons :P).

    Force is just the worst. Chain missiles is bad damage, Magic Missile is bad damage, Disintegrate is expensive and does virtually no damage when saved against (though is necessary to keep memorized for certain enemies, making a 1/1/1 or 1/0/0 Force Enhancement distribution not totally crazy.). I think it has come back into vogue due to the Shiradi Champion destiny, which benefits most from spells which hit multiple times, which happens to be mostly force spells.

    If you get Epic Destinies some day, try out the force enhancements again, but until then I'd say it's just not a very good line. I'd recommend Acid (Acid Rain stacks with both Ice Storm and Fire Wall), or Elec (for a more powerful version of Eladar's Electric Surge.)

    6) Drawing aggro is a valid concern, but honestly, you can't do much about it apart from Diplo. Diplo is fine as a fail-safe, and I suspect you'll seldom even have to use it.
    Last edited by Deathdefy; 11-16-2012 at 10:01 AM.
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  8. #8
    Community Member A3oN95's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot Deathdefy. After unbongwah's advice and now yours, I've got pretty much everything clarified .

    As you guessed, Chaotic Good was just for "flavor" reasons. While (out of idiocy :P) I can't get myself to change the chaotic part, I'm picking Chaotic Neutral instead.

    As for enhancements, that was exactly the piece of advice about them I was hoping to get, since I never leveled any wizard past the first few levels. I'm going to check the spell list of Storm and Acid, and replace the force manipulation VII with one of those two (probably the one whose spell descriptions seem more appealing to me ).

    I end up with 7/1/2 Ice, 7/1/1 Fire, and 7/0/0 <x>, with 6 AP's left to get Spell Pen III(6) or Wand Mastery III(3) + Other elements' Manipulation I(1+1) + something else(1). I'll probably choose when I get there, after seeing how it's going up until then.

  9. #9
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A3oN95 View Post
    I see you kept extend in the feat list, meaning I shouldn't need SF:Ench to be able to charm successfully until late in the game (It'd be great if that was indeed the case :P).
    I don't know if it's ideal, but I tend to backload the Spell Focus/Pen feats as far as I can, to squeeze in other feats sooner: i.e., the other metas as well as survivability feats like Insightful Reflexes & Toughness. Extend isn't a must-have, but it's certainly nice for short-term buffs & death auras.
    And AS applying to hirelings was one of the reasons I thought this could work a little better than usual, given we're just a trio.
    Also remember you can have a regular summon in addition to your skeletal minion; I tend to favor those with CC abilities (spiders, earth & air elems, etc.).
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathdefy View Post
    Alignment: Chaotic Good is fine for role playing purposes, but True Neutral gives you access to Superior Stability items which are nice.
    Good catch and agreed.
    6) Drawing aggro is a valid concern, but honestly, you can't do much about it apart from Diplo. Diplo is fine as a fail-safe, and I suspect you'll seldom even have to use it.
    I'm not convinced a pure wiz can get high enough Diplo to do much good. A rank or two of Subtle Spellcasting and caster threat reduction gear would also help.
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  10. #10
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    Hi there!

    First off, I have TR on two different chars, done multiple raids, finished most quests pre-epic or 20, and played most classes to at least mid level, just to give my credentials for offering advice.

    I think to play a summoner your best bet is either Pale Wizard like you are choosing, or Druid. You seemed hesitant for Druid. Just in case you are unaware you can purchase Druid as a stand-alone for I believe 995 TP, or roughly 10-12 bucks. Druids get a dedicated pet and a summon spell, so they are comparable in the pet department. They also have some healing spells and less CC spells than Pale Wizard. Lastly, their past life feat is actually a mini-Augment Summoning so in the super long run the best Summoner would have 3 past lifes of Druid. That is all I will say about them =)

    Your SP is your lifeblood as a Wizard and until you are rich and can spam mana potions you need to be conservative. What this means is letting your pets and party members do the bulk of the work, and using key spells which will have a large impact for their mana. For example if you turn the corner and see 2 humanoids, odds are you should sit back and let your pets, hireling, and party members take them out. If you see 5 humanoids, a well placed CC spell or AOE damage spell could go a long way.

    Buffing should be another large focus of your SP for a summoner. Spells like Blur, Haste, Greater Heroism ect. offer really strong bang for your buck.

    As for Spell Pen, monsters with spell resistance are far and few between pre-level 10ish, so feel free to ignore it until around then. After that, as a Pale Wizard it does become important (damage spells ignore resistance, CC and insta-kills don't). Wearing an item and feating it once should be enough for normal and hard in most cases pre-20 content.

    Pick a hireling to complement your group. If you grab a Warforged you can even Repair it.

    For normal and hard, your DC should be fine if you focus on keeping INT high and ideally wearing gear to up your DCs as well. Enchantment Focus may be worth it if you focus on the CC elements. If you focus on the insta-kill elements of necro than your pre-req feats are already there. I personally recommend utilizing enchantment as its very strong in a lot of dungeons.

    Word of advice on Charms, try to grab their spell casters. These are almost always the most damaging monsters in the group.

    Word of advice on summons. Earth and Air Elementals have great CC. Create Undead's (lvl 6 summon spell) Mummy and White are both amazing (The Mummy chain fears, the White drops cometfalls which constantly knockdown). By simply using pets with CC you can be fulfilling your role without even using SP and casting CC spells.

    I would stay out of undead form until level 12. Zombie is meh. Still prestige at 6 for the extra pet though, both for flavor reasons and because its legitamently pretty good.

    If you group with a Divine, they can cast Harm spells on your undead form to heal you or your undead pet, but you should be pretty self sufficient by that point.

    Lastly, some really strong CC or Necro spells to consider (ordered by spell level):
    Charm Person - Very effective until mid levels where DC is to low.
    Web - Great CC even without focusing gear/feats on it. Dies out mid level if you don't focus on it, otherwise good whole game.
    Crushing Despair - A -5 or -7 to will save. This is equivalent to a 25% or 35% reduction in their saves, so quite significant as most targets may only have about a 25 to 35% chance to resist you to begin with. Soften up big groups with this before dropping a large CC.
    Enervation - A little pricey but lowers saves for when you need to land something on a key target
    Dominate - The real charm spell. This one has a relevantly high DC, and most importantly the minions follow you around instead of standing still.
    Ottos Sphere of Dancing - The strongest CC spell in the game by most opinions. Stuns (well, dances) groups of monsters while your party shreds them.
    Finger - Bread and Butter instakill. Maxing this DC lets you kill key targets in 1 shot from a distance.
    Ottos Irresitable Dance - Has no DC, only spell resistance. Works on most non-bosses, and even some bosses. Can trivialize key targets.
    Energy Drain - Enervations big brother, softens up saving throws for a key Finger or CC.
    Wail - End all be all instakill spell on long cooldown.

  11. #11
    Community Member A3oN95's Avatar
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    Default After some hours of playtime...

    (ok, this got a little too long, so I marked the questions with a different text color)

    Many thanks for advice Goodheals, LOTS of good information there! I'm only reading it now, after playing for some levels, but I didn't use some of the spells you listed yet, I really have to give them a try ^^

    It's Christmas break, and I finally got more time for DDO. In the last thanksgiving sale, I bought MotU at -75%, and so I got the Druid class and ED's. I was thinking about opening a new topic for a Druid summoner build at the time, since I loved to play them in other D&D-based games, but I'd already started the wizard, and... it was being too fun to stop :P, so I kept leveling it. I just got to lvl10 today, with about 1.1k favor, so I'll probably unlock 32pt builds with this one, and think about a 32pt summoner druid later (hopefully, the new enhancement system will be implemented by that time).

    Anyway, about the road so far:

    The wiz class is being a blast to play with (even more than I thought tbh)!

    I used charm only occasionally in the first few levels, since most of the time, the casters resisted it more often than I'd like in elite, and it depleted my SP really quickly;

    Web is an amazing spell. It made me use mostly Acid spells so far (the fire ones would burn the webs), but thanks to it I could safely gather a good number of enemies before landing AoE spells on them all. While still useful now, some enemies are starting to save it sometimes (maybe I should grab/craft a Spell Penetration II weapon to help with that);

    I've already reset the enhancements a few times since I first took Palemaster I. While most people advice to skip zombie form, It saved me countless times, mixes well with the summons, and for a poor, 1st life toon, it's a huge improvement to self-sufficiency.

    Speaking of summons, they're being cool to use, as expected (if only they had something like an hireling bar..). In the spell-based summons, there was a huge improvement when I got Summon Monster V (they were starting to get a little too weak for my liking before that...). The Bearded Devil is good for trash cleaning, the Earthgrab from the elemental is huge when it hits the right target, and the Umbral Worg, which would theoretically be the most useless of the 3, is healed by my death aura, making him a lot more viable than it would be if I wasn't makign use of the aura.

    As for the Palemaster Summons, I started with the regular/free skelly, to see the difference to the other ones. Most of the time after that, I've been using the Knight. While its offensive potential isn't better, it's the most durable summon I've got, by a large margin (more survivable than me, I believe :P). I've only used the other 2 recently, and while the Archer didn't impress me, the Mage (that I initially didn't plan to try) seems to be a lot more useful than I initially thought (In the brief time I used it, I saw it hold stuff regularly, and cast Ice Aoe's on top of my Acid Rains). It's a little too fragile, but again, being able to automatically aura-healing it while I'm healing myself makes it less painful to use. And seeing Earth Elementals and SkelMages CCing stuff together is simply... cute

    For both the summon types, buffing them makes a noticeable difference in their usefulness. It doesn't always seem like a good thing to do SP-wise, when I could just recast them when they die, but it actually is, because if they die in the middle of a fight, all the aggro will be on me, making me waste a lot more SP (and I don't like seeing my pets fall ). I'd like to know if there's some way or shortcut to auto-target my summons, because they're often hard to target manually;

    More often than not, I'm getting more aggro than I'd like. -20% aggro from Subtle Spellcaster II seemed to help, though I'm not sure if it wasn't just "placebo effect" (and it's another enhancement line I didn't plan to take, I'm seriously short on AP's...);

    The WF-hire healing is a cool concept too, and would make the hirelings even more viable to use, but it has the same problem I'm having with almost everything I do: lack of SP. It's been my biggest issue for the first 9 levels. between the offensive spells, buffs, heals and CC, I always seem to run out of it too quickly, even when I try to apply SP-preservation tactics. I just got Mental Toughness in the last level-up, increasing my total SP by ~15%, so maybe that will make things a little better (I'm sitting at ~730SP@lvl10, not sure if it's supposed to be higher, I'd certainly like it to be, but I don't know how to increase it besides using Power items).

    Thanks again to all of you for helping me, this is being my favorite toon

  12. #12
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A3oN95 View Post
    I used charm only occasionally in the first few levels, since most of the time, the casters resisted it more often than I'd like in elite, and it depleted my SP really quickly;
    There is definitely a rock-paper-scissors dynamic to playing an offensive caster; i.e., knowing what your enemy's weaknesses are and which spells to use to exploit it. Casters have high Will saves, "brawny" melees have high Fortitude saves, and "agile" melees (like rogues, wolves, etc.) have high Reflex saves. Facing a bunch of casters? Drop a Web in their midst. Facing a pack of warriors? Hold / Charm away. Etc.
    Web is an amazing spell. It made me use mostly Acid spells so far (the fire ones would burn the webs), but thanks to it I could safely gather a good number of enemies before landing AoE spells on them all. While still useful now, some enemies are starting to save it sometimes (maybe I should grab/craft a Spell Penetration II weapon to help with that);
    Web has no SR check, which is part of what makes it so useful; so a Spell Pen item won't help. What you need is Conjuration DC bonuses, either thru an item, Spell Focus feats, and/or Heighten. [One of my favorite things about my WF Archmage w/Conj Mastery is being able to spam Heightened Webs willy-nilly during fights.]
    While most people advice to skip zombie form, It saved me countless times, mixes well with the summons, and for a poor, 1st life toon, it's a huge improvement to self-sufficiency.
    My advice is usually to take zombie, then drop it when you take wraith, then drop wraith (& Mental Toughness) when you take lich.

    As for SP conservation, don't forget to make use of wands! Blur, Stoneskin, Resist / Protection from Energy, the various stat buffs, etc. It can get expensive to keep buying wands, esp. if you've got a bunch of summons to keep buffed too, but not as much as SP pots cost! You can even use Summon Monster scrolls if you can afford to stock up.
    Revisiting the Classics: Axesinger / Dwarven Defender / Drow Ninja / Drow Paladin / Elven Ranger / Monkcher / Sacred Vanguard
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