I've run a WF FVS for a long time and haven't been happy with their performance since update 11. Before U11 they could do basically anything (including solohealing an elite VOD while also maintanking the boss, albeit with a bard reconstructing me). But the game has changed and DR 13/- isn't nearly as relevant when bosses hit for over 200.
Finally while melee DPS output has skyrocketed for 'real' melee classes, Divine Punishment hasn't kept pace. My FVS was doing anemic damage, killing one mob in the time it took a barbarian to kill five (where back in the build's day I'd have killed three with melee attacks and hurt a fourth badly with Divine Punishment in that time).
Here's an attempt at a divine that can achieve the following goals, in the spirit of the old Soul Survivor build:
- Raidhealing: the character must be good enough at healing to soloheal epic elite 6-player dungeons and to two-heal epic elite raids.
- Significant melee DPS: the character must be able to contribute something significant to the group's success and completion speed when intense healing isn't required.
- Durability: the character needs to be downright tough to kill.
- Powerful solo: I want the toon to be able to perform well solo (although not necessarily be amazing at it).
Introducing: The Radiant Titan
This is a 36 point build. If you want to try to make it work with less, drop up to six points of Dexterity. Your Reflex saves will suffer but when you have +Saves twists of fate you will still get real value from your evasion in epic elite content.
IMPORTANT: You MUST be Lawful for this build. Remember that in character creation, alignment swaps are not cheap. Both LG and LN have merit now at endgame.
Recommended Past Lives:
Like most melee builds, the build gains more from Paladin past lives (for the passive healing amp) than anything, although it can get some use out of other PLs too. It gains little from the main caster lives and if you have a toon with multiple FvS and Wiz lives I'd recommend looking into the Grandmaster of Death build instead.
Human OR Half-elf. Part of your durability is your passive healing from your aura, which drastically increases the amount of damage you can suffer without having to spend a healing cooldown on yourself. Humans and Half-elves have by far the best healing amplification of any race, giving them the best synergy with this build.
I recommend human - the extra feat gives a lot of options.
The build is feat starved. To ensure you have access to mandatory healing feats (Quicken, Empower Healing, Maximize) and full melee capacity, you need at least two feats 'free' from class levels. Viable splashes to this end are Ftr2, Mnk2, Wiz1 or some mixture of the above.
Obviously with the power level of Mass Heal and Energy Drain being so high, going under Clr17 is not in consideration. Drain does ~40000 damage no save to some Netherese EE orangenameds when they are at full health – meaning that if you cast Drain once and then go AFK all fight you will still likely be the group's top DPS.
Ftr1 gives martial weapon proficiency. In a world where the best weapon for the task changes from situation to situation, this is very valuable - you get access to the holy trinity of weapons (eSOS, Epic Antique Greataxe and a Falchion of Obscenity) without using a feat slot on any of them. So Ftr is needed.
Next Mnk2 gives evasion when in light armor and two feats.
Wiz1 adds less so I'm going with Frt1/Mnk2.
Don't mess with this lightly - you'll have feat prerequisite issues. You can't take a metamagic feat at level 1 if you start as Fighter, which is a pain as level 1 is faster when you are proficient with real weapons. And you really want Maximize and Empower both by level 7 because the burst is anemic without them.
The number after the feat indicates which level to take it at.
Power Attack (1 - general feat)
Cleave (2 - Fighter bonus feat)
Great Cleave (6 - General feat. Would rather take this at 3 but there's prerequisite issues)
Two-Handed Fighting (14 - Monk bonus feat. Fair warning: You can ONLY take the first THF feat as a monk martial feat)
Improved Critical: Slashing (12)
Overwhelming Critical (21)
Healing feats: (Some of these have incidental other uses, such as Divine Punishment/Bladebarrier)
Quicken Spell (9)
Empower Healing (1 - Human bonus feat)
Maximize Spell (3 - General feat)
Toughness (16 – Monk bonus feat)
You'll notice that the level 24 feat is not specified. This is deliberate as it gives you the flexibility to swap it around for different circumstances. If you are half-elf, you will not get this option. Some viable options: Improved Sunder (primarily to reduce fort saves on mobs, it makes a difference), Epic Toughness (requires a +4 or +5 Con tome and an LR for more Con), Completionist if you are really masochistic.
Please note - this is intended as a 36 point build.
Str: 18 + all level up points.
* I feel the need to explain this. I feel +3 Reflex saves helps your survivability more than 27 more HP and one more turn would (18/8/16/8/10/14 stat array). But feel free to experiment, your results may vary, I just hate hearing 'can't heal, Cometfalled' in raid situations. You will notice an extraordinary emphasis in gear toward Reflex saves for this reason – again, you are welcome to play around with other setups.
** This is not new player friendly. Remember you can't cast spells without level-appropriate +Wisdom items. I'm assuming you have the resources to trade for +3 tomes - if you do not, go and run 5 or 6 Epic Hard VON6's and sell off your flawless red scales.
Epic Destiny choice:
However, you should also seriously develop Unyielding Sentinel (for those situations where you just want to be tough as nails), Exalted Angel (for situations where you want maximum healing throughput) and Draconic Incarnation (for blitzing through easy content extremely fast with those lethal energy bursts of doom). You will also situationally want twists from a lot of different places such as the Magister 6 Ref save/3% Dodge effect.
Standard twists of fate:
Exalted Angel - Renew (you CANNOT use this on yourself but it is still very good)
Magister - that Ref/Dodge one
Unyielding Sentinel - Brace for Impact
Obviously change these as required. In non-EE content the Draconic Incarnation point-blank AoE damage spell is obscenely powerful and you won't need Renew.
Heroic AP suggestions:
Obviously take Radiant Servant 2 and all prereqs.
Fully develop healing throughput (Prayer of Life 4) and invest significantly in healing crits. Healing crits have immense synergy with your aura and also the Renewal ED ability. (Remember: the aura and your bigger healing spells, Heal and Mass Heal, get half benefit from spellpower but full benefit from crits if the crit doesn't result in wasted overhealing)
Invest in healing amplification. 6 or 12 AP well spent. Every time your aura prevents you needing to cast a Heal on yourself, that's one more Heal cooldown you can use on the idiot PUGger that hasn't learned to avoid mob cleave attacks.
Don't develop your Smiting line as much as most divines would. You will struggle to spare a lot of mana on DP in protracted fights.
Please note the heavy emphasis on saving throws in this. You can't heal anyone if every comet that falls nearby knocks you down or if you lose 300hp every time a Netherese Arcanist looks at you funny.
General purpose gearset:
Body: Cormyrian Red Dragonscale Armor, light armor version. **Critical hotswap item: Outfit of Spell Proofing x3 or so**
Gloves: PDK gloves
Bracers: Bracers of Twisting Shade (highest tier you can acquire, these are sick)
Necklace: Epic Torc of Raiyum. (Base item is a fine substitute but the slot is nice).
Helm: Epic Mask of Comedy with Greater False Life slotted. (Don't forget the clicky, it's awesome. You'll also want the Cha on this and the lore is relevant).
Ring 1: Tower of Despair ring (any, choose based on the stat increases not the set bonus) with 20% healing amplification on the Incredible Potential
Ring 2: Seal of House Avithoul
Goggles: Shroud-crafted Supreme Tyrant Ash (Hitpoints and Enervation Guard)
Belt: Greensteel hotswap. Concordant Opposition spellpoints most of the time. For extremely dangerous situations, Radiance Guard with +1 and +2 exceptional Reflex save. Also consider making an Epic Belt of the Mroranon so you have an alternative source of Heavy Fortification for any situations where you expect you will be using Spell Proofing swapins a lot.
Cloak: Dragon Challenge cloak. Even the level 20 one is pretty good but 24 is a big upgrade on a toon that won't usually have an implement bonus.
Boots: Twisting Shade again, highest you can get. (Dex provides Reflex saves and this is worth a gearslot).
Trinket: Voice of the Master is sadly best-in-slot unless you are ED capped (don't be the idiot that takes it off all the time and misses out on 5% XP from almost every optional, no other item you could put here will add enough to completion speed to make up for the wasted XP). When you are ED capped in your present destiny you can use other things here and should just swap this around a lot.
Primary weapon sets:
Rednameds: Epic Sword of Shadow, Epic Antique Greataxe. Easier to acquire alternative: A Falchion of Mauling with a good prefix (e.g. +6 Holy Falchion of Mauling or +4 Impellent Falchion of Mauling).
EE orange nameds: Falchion of Obscenity if you can acquire one (good luck). Otherwise, a Supreme Tyrant one-handed weapon of Ash that you are proficient with and a shield.
Trash: eSOS in most cases
Full healbot mode: Primal Shield of Superior Parrying and +6 Devotion 120 Scepter of Healing Mastery. (Yes I own that shield, no you can't have it, substitute a lesser Superior Parrying shield until you fluke one. If you can't acquire that scepter, go with a +5 Devotion 120 one which should be readily available on your server's AH and doesn't perform much worse).
Other relevant weapons: Triple positive maul, 10/15/20% fire absorb stick, 10/15/20% elec absorb stick.
Getting maximum use out of Spell Proofing items:
These are mostly for EE Drow Priestesses. Don't equip them unless you have enough DP (or Niacs) stacks on you that you are scared of the next one. Then equip this item when there's 7 sec left on your present DP. It will counter the DP that you were afraid of – then you can take it off again.
Remember: If you have the aggro of a Priestess and nothing else, it IS smart to remove your Heavy Fortification armor to do this. That third DP will either kill you or force you to spend almost all your healing cooldowns on yourself for 16 seconds which is worse than briefly going fortificaiton-less – just do not forget to swap in a heavy fort item ASAP.
This thread will be updated as necessary, I'm sure I've forgotten several things here.