I can't believe no one mentioned this.
Artificers can not only spontaneously cast repair spells, but also the damage spells -- the ones that target only constructs.
This is handy because despite the fact that the spells are extremely situational, they are always there for you to use when the situation arises.
Once I get my moods under control, I might actually get a character past level 7... ooh, shiny!
Paladins got some love! Now for Warpriests...
I haven't played an Arti yet, though it's next on my list when I finish Druid.
For weapon buffs: please have and use Enchant Weapon! Elemental Weapons, or Deadly later, are great for the melees, but show some love to the arcanes & divines, too, please.
Enchant Weapon -> higher enhancement bonus on caster sticks -> higher implement spell power bonus.
Amossa d'Cannith, Sarlona, casually trying Completionist (12/14) [<o>]
Almost-never-played-alts: Arquera - Chapolin - Fabber - Herweg - Mecanico - Tenma
I want DDO to be a better game. Those are my personal suggestions on: Ammunition, Archmage, Combat Stances, Deities, Dispel Magic, Epic Destiny Map, Fast Healing, Favor, Favored Enemy, Half-elf Enhancements, Monk Kensai, Monk Stances, Past Life, Potency, Potions, Ranger Spells, Summons, Tiered Loot.
The artificer pet is what you really put into it. Buff the pet, give it epic gear, Epic blademark docent, radiance collars. I use mine in EE quests and keep it alive. 1200 hp, almost 80 AC, improved evasion it can take a few shots. You really need to invest into the repair line of spellpower because he will take damage and will need healing and with that line with ring of artifice you can heal it for 450 and 1000 on crits. He can tank and will provide you with a little dps and cc.
On construct essence, i've found it useful. Again investment of item and repair line. It is justifiable as arti's do not get the hp pool to really benifit from extreme amp. Healing for 240 and 500 with reconstruct when you have 560 hps is useful. Your not with the melees to recieve the mass heals or aura. Doesn't mean to not get amp.
Insightful reflex is a great feat and comes into its own much later. The dex to int difference isn't very big leveling but now at 25 it gives +10 to reflex save.
For a typical Artificer, the ranged aspect starts out very strong but looses impact towards the end. As a pure caster you will have a hard time due to the low sp pool and limited number of spells.
So a pure-ranged or pure-caster focus is not really recommended anyway if you are not familiar with Artificers. Your strength should come from a combination of ranged, spells and your runearm.
Recommended races are i.m.o. either warforged, human or half-elf.
Warforged is the best option if you are looking at survivability: your repair spells are indeed spontaneous, so you always have repairs available to you. An empowered & maximized repair critical is usually enough to get your health to acceptable levels in emergencies, without sacrificing any spell slot. You can then prepare the Reconstruct spell or just use Reconstruct scrolls for full healing.
The human race gives an extra feat, always welcome for an extra ranged or caster feat to increase DPS. This is the balanced option between survivability and DPS.
Half-elf is the DPS option: extra sneak attack shot for every bolt you fire. Problem that I found playing a HE is that you get aggro very fast so the sneak attack becomes meh past lvl 14. What does an extra 2d6 sneak damage matter if you lose it after firing 1 salvo of 3 bolts?
For humans and HE, healing with scrolls, pots and wands is very viable. But things can get hairy in those "oh ****" moments. Construct Essence is indeed a trap: both divine healing and arcane repairs at 50% efficiency? Blegh...
For solo play I would recommend a warforged if you really have no experience with Artificers.
The Homunculus is a formidable asset until mid Epics, if you build him for that: either make him a 100% tank or 100% an evasion-build, but not something in between. Also be prepared to gear him properly and give him orders mid-quest. With the occasional reconstruct you can easily keep him alive.
I often hear peeps in-game complaining about their dog dying all the time, only to find out they didn't bother gearing him out, never planned his enhancements and employ a byoh mentality. Pro-tip: give him a cursepewing or paralyzing collar.
The dog does lose his power in late Epics. The Flame Turret loses its usefulness already at about level 16. You can probably swap out Augmented Summoning somewhere after level 20.
Two runearms that I always had good success with were Pea Shooter and its higher-level equivalent Glorious Obscenity. They can fire up to 5 balls of acid ("peas") to a single opponent. Positive about these is that Acid is rarely resisted and that the balls have homing abilities.
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