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  1. #1
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    Default Human Archmage 32pt Build - suggestions please

    If you guys could take a look at this build and offer suggestions Id appreciated it... I am not ready to TR into a WF at this time. Also not really interested in going the Palemaster route.

    I haven't decided yet if I will be going the Ice/Electric route (i'm currently running Electric/Acid and and comfortable with it) ... Some of the things i'm not sure of would be:

    1) Empower or Extend
    2) Quicken or Improved Mental Toughness or a 3rd Spell Focus (Evocation)

    As always thanks for the info and help

    Human Archmage
    Level 20 True Neutral Human Male
    (20 Wizard)
    Hit Points: 212
    Spell Points: 1960

    BAB: 10/10/15/20
    Fortitude: 10
    Reflex: 16
    Will: 12

    Starting Feat/Enhancement
    Abilities Base Stats Modified Stats
    (32 Point) (Level 1) (Level 20)
    Strength 10 13
    Dexterity 8 10
    Constitution 16 18
    Intelligence 18 30
    Wisdom 8 10
    Charisma 12 14

    Tomes Used
    +2 Tome of Strength used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Dexterity used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Constitution used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Intelligence used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Wisdom used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Charisma used at level 7

    Starting Feat/Enhancement
    Base Skills Modified Skills
    Skills (Level 1) (Level 20)
    Balance 1 11.5
    Bluff 1 2
    Concentration 7 31
    Diplomacy 3 13.5
    Disable Device n/a n/a
    Haggle 3 13.5
    Heal -1 0
    Hide -1 0
    Intimidate 1 2
    Jump 2 10
    Listen 0 11.5
    Move Silently -1 0
    Open Lock n/a n/a
    Perform n/a n/a
    Repair 4 10
    Search 4 10.5
    Spot 0 11.5
    Swim 0 7
    Tumble n/a n/a
    UMD 3 13.5

    Level 1 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Empower Spell
    Feat: (Human Bonus) Insightful Reflexes
    Feat: (Selected) Toughness
    Enhancement: Improved Concentration I
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation I
    Enhancement: Storm Manipulation I
    Enhancement: Wizard Energy of the Scholar I

    Level 2 (Wizard)
    Enhancement: Glacial Spellcasting I
    Enhancement: Charged Spellcasting I
    Enhancement: Wizard Intelligence I

    Level 3 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Mental Toughness
    Enhancement: Deadly Ice I
    Enhancement: Deadly Shocks I
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation II
    Enhancement: Storm Manipulation II

    Level 4 (Wizard)
    Enhancement: Racial Toughness I
    Enhancement: Improved Concentration II
    Enhancement: Wizard Wand and Scroll Mastery I

    Level 5 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Maximize Spell
    Enhancement: Human Adaptability Intelligence I
    Enhancement: Storm Manipulation III
    Enhancement: Wizard Energy of the Scholar II

    Level 6 (Wizard)
    Feat: \cf2 (Selected) Spell Focus: Enchantment
    Enhancement: Wizard Archmage I

    Level 7 (Wizard)
    Enhancement: Wizard Intelligence II

    Level 8 (Wizard)
    Enhancement: Wizard Spell Penetration I
    Enhancement: Archmage Spell Mastery I: Enchantment
    Enhancement: Enchantment I - Hypnotism

    Level 9 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Greater Spell Focus: Enchantment
    Enhancement: Wizard Energy of the Scholar III
    Enhancement: Wizard Archmage II

    Level 10 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Spell Focus: Necromancy
    Enhancement: Wizard Spell Penetration II

    Level 11 (Wizard)

    Level 12 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
    Enhancement: Wizard Improved Maximizing I
    Enhancement: Wizard Intelligence III

    Level 13 (Wizard)
    Enhancement: Improved Concentration III
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation III
    Enhancement: Wizard Archmage III
    Enhancement: Archmage Secondary Spell Mastery I: Necromancy

    Level 14 (Wizard)
    Enhancement: Wizard Energy of the Scholar IV

    Level 15 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Heighten Spell
    Feat: (Selected) Spell Penetration
    Enhancement: Improved Concentration IV
    Enhancement: Storm Manipulation IV
    Enhancement: Wizard Archmage IV
    Enhancement: Archmage Spell Mastery II: Enchantment

    Level 16 (Wizard)
    Enhancement: Charged Spellcasting II
    Enhancement: Charged Spellcasting III
    Enhancement: Deadly Shocks II
    Enhancement: Deadly Shocks III

    Level 17 (Wizard)
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation IV
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation V
    Enhancement: Storm Manipulation V
    Enhancement: Storm Manipulation VI

    Level 18 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Selected) Greater Spell Penetration
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation VI
    Enhancement: Frost Manipulation VII
    Enhancement: Storm Manipulation VII
    Enhancement: Wizard Archmage V

    Level 19 (Wizard)
    Enhancement: Charged Spellcasting IV
    Enhancement: Charged Spellcasting V
    Enhancement: Deadly Shocks IV
    Enhancement: Deadly Shocks V

    Level 20 (Wizard)
    Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Quicken Spell
    Enhancement: Wizard Master of Magic
    Enhancement: Charged Spellcasting VI
    Enhancement: Deadly Shocks VI

  2. #2
    Hero nibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catas View Post
    1) Empower or Extend
    IMO, extend is more useful. Many people on the forums disagree with me. Extend still works great with Rage, Haste and Displacement to drop it down.

    Empower is +75 Spell Power in exchange of +15 SP per cast. 75 spell power is a good number, but realistically, at endgame, your spellpower will land at the 350+ mark (120 equipment, 15 implement, 100 enhancement, 150 Maximize = 385). This will turn the +75 spell power into a ~18% increase.

    If you invest on the maximize line, have a efficient Maximize II item, and is a pure wizard with capstone, you reduce the cost of maximize from 25 to 11. Adding 15 more on top for a ~18% increase is NOT worthy it, in my book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catas View Post
    2) Quicken or Improved Mental Toughness or a 3rd Spell Focus (Evocation)
    Quicken is necessary for 3 types of wizard:

    -Warforgeds, for Reconstruct (when you want healing, you want healing NOW)
    -Palemasters, for Negative Energy Burst (ditto)
    -Casters that want to use clouds/disco/summons on the fly instead of setting it ahead of time

    If you are not one of those types, skip quicken and don't look back.

    Improved Mental Toughness will give you 150 SP at cap. Not a top priority, but not that bad (people still reserve a GS slot for those same 150 SP). I would not take it because there are more useful feats.

    Spell Focus will open to you more level 1 SLA to archmages. I would take the secondary spell mastery to Conjuration so I could take Web as a SLA.
    Main: Amossa d'Cannith, Sarlona, casually trying Completionist [<o>]

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  3. #3
    Community Member Kinerd's Avatar
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    I recognize that you say you are not interested in the PM route. Do you have specific concerns?

    By far your strongest ability as an AM is SLA Web. I would trade 10 Enchant DC for it, but you only have to trade 2. Or you can trade 1 Necro DC for it: still an easy choice. SLA Web is incredible.

    For Empower vs. Extend, I would say neither and get SF: Conj there, which with enhancements gets you SLA Web.

    You have put a lot into Electric; 7/6/6 by my count. You will see a lot more return going 7/1/1 Electric and 7/1/1 Acid and 1/0/0 Force/Untyped instead. 7/1/1 in Cold is a great choice, no argument there.

    Archmage V is not a great return on investment when you consider the pre-reqs. 4 for EotS 4 + 1 for Conc 4 + 1 for AM = 6 AP for 105 SP. Not great, especially when you could instead use it instead to further shore up your lower Spell Pen.

  4. #4
    Community Member HastyPudding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinerd View Post
    I recognize that you say you are not interested in the PM route. Do you have specific concerns?

    By far your strongest ability as an AM is SLA Web. I would trade 10 Enchant DC for it, but you only have to trade 2. Or you can trade 1 Necro DC for it: still an easy choice. SLA Web is incredible.

    For Empower vs. Extend, I would say neither and get SF: Conj there, which with enhancements gets you SLA Web.

    You have put a lot into Electric; 7/6/6 by my count. You will see a lot more return going 7/1/1 Electric and 7/1/1 Acid and 1/0/0 Force/Untyped instead. 7/1/1 in Cold is a great choice, no argument there.

    Archmage V is not a great return on investment when you consider the pre-reqs. 4 for EotS 4 + 1 for Conc 4 + 1 for AM = 6 AP for 105 SP. Not great, especially when you could instead use it instead to further shore up your lower Spell Pen.
    Yet another subtle 'PM is OP, AM sucks' post. It really annoys me that they can each almost the same DC's in enchantment without trying as an archmage, which specializes in DC's.

    Archmage has the advantage in SLA's, and not just web SLA. Hypnotism, resistible dance, and hold person are highly undervalued as SLA's, but I swear by them. Spamming a quickened, heightened hold person for 6 SP on a fairly short cooldown is absurdly useful, and well worth the SP it costs to get.

    But I agree with you on the element lines. Speccing heavily into lightning on a wizard just isn't worth the AP, which is better spent in spell penetration and other utility.

    I would also get maximize over empower for a wizard. Maximize is more bang for the buck. I always say extend is a must on a wizard, as haste, rage, and displacement can last a very long time when extended. A wizard is more about utility, not about damage. Damage comes secondary when compared to crowd control and instant death spells.
    Last edited by HastyPudding; 01-13-2013 at 03:56 PM.

  5. #5
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    I would totally ditch the spell damage enhancements, except for acid and force, possibly one of each of the others. You never will be a DPS like a sorcerer, and when you get into epics, you likely will not have the DC to consistently hit much for the few hundred damage your spells will do. I can already tell you, on my sorcerer, it is really hard to do any damage in the few EE content I tried and you need over 40 DC to be consistent in EH content.
    Acid Rain and Ice Storm were my highest damage spells when I was an archmage, and I did not need any additional feats to make it work. However, you do need SF Evocation and focus items to make electric work, but even if you did, you will run out of SP very quickly because you'll be spending 40~65 SP a shot.

    As an archmage, go full enchantment, taking no more than the first two spell-like abilities. As a secondary, conjuration will complete your crowd control arsenal if you take the first two SLA of that as well. Otherwise, necromancy would be a good secondary if you have enough spell penetration to make your instant-kills work often; I would not take any of the enhancements other than the improved spell focus.

    1) Empower or Extend
    2) Quicken or Improved Mental Toughness or a 3rd Spell Focus (Evocation)
    Empower is not very good if you do not have many SLA to work with it. Take Quicken, which I never did, but for a wizard doing EE content, you wont cast anything if you get hit.

    Out of curiosity, why dont you make a sorcerer? You can do all the things you want with this build, but it will take less work.
    Last edited by soulaeon; 01-14-2013 at 10:48 AM.

  6. #6
    Community Member Kinerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HastyPudding View Post
    Yet another subtle 'PM is OP, AM sucks' post. It really annoys me that they can each almost the same DC's in enchantment without trying as an archmage, which specializes in DC's.
    I like to think of myself as pretty subtle, but unless I have outwitted even myself I don't believe that is what I was saying. I admit to being a (very unsubtle) proponent of self-healing, though. Given that 100% of my wizards are AMs, it follows that I do not insist upon PM to acquire this self-healing.
    Quote Originally Posted by soulaeon
    I would totally ditch the spell damage enhancements, except for acid and force, possibly one of each of the others. You never will be a DPS like a sorcerer, and when you get into epics, you likely will not have the DC to consistently hit much for the few hundred damage your spells will do. I can already tell you, on my sorcerer, it is really hard to do any damage in the few EE content I tried and you need over 40 DC to be consistent in EH content.
    It is true that a wizard in EE will struggle with DPS spells that have a DC check, but why would you want to cast those anyway? Niac's Biting, Eladar's Electric, Polar Ray, and Black Dragon Bolt are tremendous DPS with 0 saves. With wizard casting times you're not going to fit a lot more than one more spell in a DPS rotation anyway. And in EE you really, really don't want to draw aggro as a wizard anyway.

  7. #7
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    With wizard casting times you're not going to fit a lot more than one more spell in a DPS rotation anyway. And in EE you really, really don't want to draw aggro as a wizard anyway.
    I was failing diplomacy checks with a skill level of almost 60. It's almost like one should not be a caster at all.

  8. #8
    Community Member count_spicoli's Avatar
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    I would never advocate not taking maximize on any caster. My polar ray on my archmage hits for around 1200-1400 and crits for arond 2500. And fully ice specc'd with energy burst and a mass hold up i am slamming out 7k. Yes wizzy's can be dmg guys to. Irritates me when other wizzys say not to take maximize so they can pike boss fights. With niacs and polar ray my wizzy does some pretty good. Empower def not worth it.

    Also web is great as a soloer and in many quests. However in higher content many bad guy casters thro comet fall flame strike firewalls and even your own group may be doing this too making webs highly ineffective. If your plan is too run EE you most def will want to spec mostly enchant and necro second. You cam always energy drain and finger fo pick off straglers. But you most def do not want things moving around. Thatzs not good fof anybody.

    I would def encourage you to go wf here tho. Warforge archmage self healing is only sufpassed by divines in the game. You will be amazed at what qiickened reconstructs and repairs can do as well as scrolls pots and wands. But if you are set on human then good lucl and let me know if you can figurd out zome sort of way for self healing.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the help guys... with some adjustments to the overall build I think Ill have something i can work with for some fun...

    I will prob switch this guy to WF once I TR but for now stuck with Human

  10. #10
    Community Member squishwizzy's Avatar
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    Ummm...one point: you've decided to add enchantment to your list of spell focus (foci?).

    I wouldn't go Human at that point - I'd go Elf.

    Enchantment is almost linked at the hip with overcoming Spell Resistance. With Human, yeah, you get an extra featm, and better CON. With Elf you get one less feat, lower CON, and access to Arcanum which gives you extra spell points and up to 4 extra Spell Pen, which is nothing to sneeze at.

    Given that you don't *need* quicken for the AM WF reconstructs, you can learn to do without Quicken if you time and target stuff properly. However, if you are a bit hamstrung on Spell Pen, you're kinda screwed because your go-to spells (those in the Enchantment school) are basically useless.

    Honsetly, the only things I quicken are Otto's disco balls. That's about it. And I only do that because people have a bug up their butt about zerging through Shrouds. Otherwise it is a SP hit in most quests that I can avoid.

    I run AM wizzies. I usually go Enchantment and necro much like you. SR isn't a big deal at lower levels, but it shows up with claws and fangs in upper level content. You'll have to justify whether you'd prefer to take the hit on CON, and lose the extra feat for the extra spell pen. In my opinion, it's worth it.
    Antipan, Pandargon, Pandolin, Panifin, Panmorgan, Pangrael, and all other things "pan-ed"...

  11. #11
    Community Member squishwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinerd View Post
    I recognize that you say you are not interested in the PM route. Do you have specific concerns?

    By far your strongest ability as an AM is SLA Web. I would trade 10 Enchant DC for it, but you only have to trade 2. Or you can trade 1 Necro DC for it: still an easy choice. SLA Web is incredible.
    Honestly, Web is good in lower- to mid-level content, but in upper level content where stuff teleports out of it, or had a high enough DEX and/or STR to not be ensnared, that gem looses its luster. I'm talking Drow, Giants, and Devils here, of which upper-level content is chock-full of these buggers.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Web. And as an SLA, it's nice. But it's not incredible.
    Antipan, Pandargon, Pandolin, Panifin, Panmorgan, Pangrael, and all other things "pan-ed"...

  12. #12
    The Hatchery samthedagger's Avatar
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    If you are not ready to be a WF and not wanting to do PM, then you are really doing yourself a disservice unless you want a slow life with low solo ability. You will waste time casting heal scrolls (swapping to UMD gear not to mention casting time) and money buying them. You will have issues with beholders and arcane caster mobs because you will have to rely on deathward clickies or having a divine in your party. If you have a divine leveling buddy this isn't as much of an issue. Nevertheless it is important to think about.

    Still, I find most people are intransigent on this issue. So if you cannot be moved by reason, I will put in my two cents on your build.

    Pros of your build
    -Frost and Storm are two of the best elements for dots.
    -Necromancy and Enchantment is a good AM combo. It gives you good CC for most mobs and insta-kills. Don't forget to prep spells like halt undead, command undead, and undeath to death. You'll have difficulty dealing damage to golems though. Keep web prepped for that.
    -True Neutral is where it's at.

    Cons of your build
    -You're a human, not a warforged.
    -You really ought to consider maximum Con. You can get a +2 Str item at level 1 which should provide enough Str for you to not be helpless by a ray of enfeeblement.
    -Why bother with ranks in Listen and Haggle? You'll get more mileage out of Hide and Move Silently coupled with swappable H/MS items and the invis spell. Invis itself is usually enough, but sometimes sneaking is also advisable.
    -You need at least 1 rank in Tumble.
    -I would prefer Bluff or Intimidate to Diplomacy. Bluff allows you to Bluff-pull mobs from sneak mode for when you can't or don't want to take on all mobs at once (this is common in quests like VoN3). Intimidate helps keep the mobs in your ice storm.
    -I strongly recommend trying to fit in Greater Human Adaptability: Constitution and Racial Toughness III. As a wizard, your HP is the worst in the game.
    -Your feat selection leaves something to be desired. You do not need Insightful Reflexes unless you are also taking two levels of rogue or monk to get evasion. Swap Insightful Reflexes for Extend Spell. It will improve the efficiency of haste and displacement, not to mention making the early game a bit easier on SP management.
    -Personally, I would make Necromancy your primary school. Get more mileage out of Finger of Death and Wail of the Banshee.

    Other notes:
    -If you plan to go Epic, take Epic Toughness and Epic Spell Penetration until you've got at least a couple wizard past lives behind you, then you can swap Epic Spell Penetration for Epic Spell Focus: Necromancy.
    -If you want to level faster and plan to TR, go with Rog2/Wiz18. You will be able to handle all traps in the game, get improved survivability, and then Insightful Reflexes is worth considering (you can dump Greater Spell Penetration for this in that case).

  13. #13
    Community Member tekkentroop's Avatar
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    pro of samthedaggers suggestions: move silently and hide are nice

    con of his suggestions: insightful reflexes is a must even without evasion, it prevents cometfall knockdown and halves the damage from a lot of incoming spells. Id rather drop empower for extend, and just use maximize for nuking.

    general comments

    greater human adaptability con and toughness III is 7 AP for 10-30 hp. I did that in my first wiz life but with a GS hp item you wont really need it. There are many better ways to spend AP on a wiz.

    Epic Spellpen is a very efficient feat, and gives a lot of leeway in enhancement and destiny choices. I wouldnt give it up even if I had 9 spellpen from past lives.

    Makkuroi: Caster TR (4th life: human FVS/Monk in progress)--Makkutank: Juggernaut copy (3rd life: WF Arti/Monk/Pal in progress)--Bringthem Backalive: Divine Caster, former main (2nd life: human lvl 24 FVS)--Makkuros - craftbot (human lvl 20 artificer)--

  14. #14
    Community Member HastyPudding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekkentroop View Post
    pro of samthedaggers suggestions: move silently and hide are nice

    con of his suggestions: insightful reflexes is a must even without evasion, it prevents cometfall knockdown and halves the damage from a lot of incoming spells. Id rather drop empower for extend, and just use maximize for nuking.

    general comments

    greater human adaptability con and toughness III is 7 AP for 10-30 hp. I did that in my first wiz life but with a GS hp item you wont really need it. There are many better ways to spend AP on a wiz.

    Epic Spellpen is a very efficient feat, and gives a lot of leeway in enhancement and destiny choices. I wouldnt give it up even if I had 9 spellpen from past lives.
    I never put much trust in insightful reflexes without splashing of 2 rogue or monk. By end-game, those few reflexes won't matter against stronger spellcasters like drow priestesses and the wizards in the high road. You can get it early-mid game, but once you hit 20, I think the feat is better exchanged and spent elsewhere. Even with high intelligence, you still won't be evading excessively like rogues or monks, and the feat is better used on a spell focus, spell penetration, or metamagic.

  15. #15
    Community Member squishwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekkentroop View Post
    pro of samthedaggers suggestions: move silently and hide are nice
    As an aside, Move Silently and Hide are nice for solo. And as Samthedaggers suggested, having a decent bluff is GREAT for solo content, mainly for bluff-pulling.

    In PUGs, they are just about useless.

    So you have to really think about what kind of toon you are running.
    Antipan, Pandargon, Pandolin, Panifin, Panmorgan, Pangrael, and all other things "pan-ed"...

  16. #16
    Community Member tekkentroop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HastyPudding View Post
    I never put much trust in insightful reflexes without splashing of 2 rogue or monk. By end-game, those few reflexes won't matter against stronger spellcasters like drow priestesses and the wizards in the high road. You can get it early-mid game, but once you hit 20, I think the feat is better exchanged and spent elsewhere. Even with high intelligence, you still won't be evading excessively like rogues or monks, and the feat is better used on a spell focus, spell penetration, or metamagic.
    You wont evade anything without evasion... but youll take half damage often and wont get knocked down by cometfall or earthquake. 40 reflex isnt that hard to get on a wiz with insightful reflexes, without it youll lie flat on the ground more often than youd like. My wiz got all spell penetration feats, all metamagics I actually use, and greater spell focus in 2 schools, plus great int as 2nd epic feat. I think Im not missing much here and there is no better non-epic feat I could take.

    Makkuroi: Caster TR (4th life: human FVS/Monk in progress)--Makkutank: Juggernaut copy (3rd life: WF Arti/Monk/Pal in progress)--Bringthem Backalive: Divine Caster, former main (2nd life: human lvl 24 FVS)--Makkuros - craftbot (human lvl 20 artificer)--

  17. #17
    The Hatchery Wipey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HastyPudding View Post
    By end-game, those few reflexes won't matter against stronger spellcasters like drow priestesses and the wizards in the high road.
    Wizzy in magister has 50-55 reflex. You can push it even higher if you want to, nothing helps as much as godly reflex.
    With insight reflex you go from autofail to save on 3 or 4.

    My first life wizzy in signature is in draconic atm, in magister she sits at 52 I think without any twists.
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  18. #18
    Community Member skullzz's Avatar
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    I know it has been stated but quicken over extend over empower.

    Two things I don't like about the responses so far :
    1) No where in the OP does he / she say soloing. If in a party AMs none warforged rock (my current wizard) . Do I get hit hard? Yes does the cleric in my group complain? No since I am the only one who needs healed and not the rest of the group.

    2) Saying improved mental toughness is only 105 sp. This is incorrect since epic mental toughness was added which gives 200 and add twist from angel that is ≈350 sp on top of the boost already getting (my am will have over 3600sp) with a big spell pull then empower may be worth it.

    I agree that without spell pen enchantment and necromancy are next to useless when fighting devils and drow. Since you are human first life you are looking around 44 spell pen with magister and twists from draconic and fate singer.

    Main thing you want to know is how you want to play and go from there.
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  19. #19
    Community Member cultofthefish's Avatar
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    Default Huzzah!

    Is this a dead thread? Maybe

    Is this really my first post? Probably - in that case, prepare for a wall of text.

    Right, so I wrote this rambling post and thought better of it. This one is much shorter. Trust Me.

    Anyhow, I've created maybe 20 arcane casters across the different servers throughout my DDO history, probably eight of them are permanently stuck in the 8-13 realm as I learned what not to do. The ones that survived? Well I'm proud of them and I'd like to share a little bit about them. Excluding the characters in Limbo, I've got a 28 Point Elf Archmage (now Pale Master thanks to some LUCKY pulls in ADQ) focused on stupid high Spell Penetration, my main caster character that has completed 3x wiz/3x sorc/3x fvs/1x clr (AM/PM/PM - always either human or drow) with at least 2 more cleric levels soon, and a recently TR'd human sorcerer that had three previous lives as wf/human/human Archmage.

    I've played a few warforged characters, but to be honest, I don't care for them - I like having hair and I don't want to look like a linebacker (nod to Daydream). Playing a fleshy Archmage *IS* a different playstyle than, say, a warforged sorcerer or a drow pale master, mainly because you DON'T want to be hit. You move. You disable and kill from a distance. You drink potions or wand whip, but you survive. In fact, I'd argue that this sort of playstyle is an excellent way to prepare for running Epic Elites - relying on your torc and con opp items in those quests is a fool's errand when most enemies will hit for ~250+ per attack.

    I've found the Spell Like Abilities to be invaluable. As far as I'm concerned, there are only three schools that have SLA's worth considering: Evocation, Enchantment, and Conjuration. As has been previously stated, quickened/heightened webs for 3 sp are AMAZING, and I've personally found Evocation + Enchantment a potent combination during the mid levels (before Circle of Death/Finger of Death/Wail of the Banshee).

    While leveling an Archmage, I've found some swapping is necessary to best utilize your abilities, but it's fairly simple to do so. If you grab Maximize, Empower, Mental Toughness, and Spell Focus: Evocation by level 6 (easily done, humans can even grab Toughness by this point with the free feat) you'll have cheap magic missiles that can do considerable damage to foes during the early levels. Memorize Otto's Resistible Dance for those pesky earth elementals, and you've just neutralized some of your biggest threats.

    At level 9, I'll pick up Spell Focus: Enchantment, Archmage II, and the Hypnotize + Otto's Resistible Dance SLA's for LOT's of pewpew fun. You can quickly chain-stun a whole group of enemies with hypnotize, then run in and dance them one at a time - it's surprisingly effective (and fun!), though you will want to have web memorized for those enemies that are mind immune.

    Level 12 comes with a bit of a turn around; at this point you finally have access to your first AOE death spell (circle of death), AND Archmage III allows you to have a secondary school focus. At this point, I use the free feat swap (giving me a free enhancement swap as well) to swap out Spell Focus: Evocation for Spell Focus: Conjuration. Beef up the DC's of your Necromancy spells by selecting it as your primary school (usually pick up Spell Focus: Necromancy as my bonus feat at level 10), select Conjuration as your secondary school and pick up your 3 SP webs. Alternatively, you could dump Empower Spell if you like for Spell Focus: Conjuration and hang on to your cheap magic missiles for a tad longer.

    Now, web has a funny aspect to it - if you cast web on a group of enemies, they will frequently walk right through it - although it casts instantly, it doesn't seem to 'stick' to them immediately - I remedy this by tossing a cheap Hypnotize SLA at them first - Hypno affects them right away, meaning (if they're hypnotized) you can toss a web on them and watch as they get stuck without having to kite them through and get your hands dirty. From there, you can more effectively use your Circle of Death or AOE DPS spells, as appropriate. Speaking of elemental lines, I tend to work almost exclusively with a hypno (SLA) --> web (SLA) --> acid rain --> ice storm combination to make short work of groups of enemies. Hypnotize stuns your group, web keeps them in there, acid rain supplies burst damage while ice storm finishes them off - three different types of damage (acid/cold/force) mean you're VERY unlikely to encounter an enemy that will resist ALL of it. Tharashk hounds and their cyclonic blasts tend to be the only annoyance when using this tactic, but you can still dance them as appropriate.

    Levels 15 and 18 just mean more SP to work with and those feats you couldn't fit in before (Heighten/Quicken/Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy/Spell Penetration/etc.)

    Let's face it, until the Enhancement Pass comes through, Enhancement Points will continue to be incredibly tight for Archmages. Because of that, I've frequently found that I was either forced to (very dangerously, in my opinion) focus exclusively on only one element, or share the wealth between two or more elements. I'm looking for the damage types that are least likely to be resisted, and as stated earlier, I've found acid and cold to be quite effective because it's several different damage types at once. Fire + Acid can work just as well for clearing large groups, but i prefer the additional force damage ice storm offers. With a single pip in force, you get a healthy boost to your magic missile damage in the early game, then supplement your ice storm damage if you don't have the points to put in there while working on Archmage prerequisites.

    At Cap, I like to spread the wealth - although many argue that Ice + Electrical is the way to go, that means you'll be absolutely useless fighting the Abbot or any lich, so I share the wealth to all the elements that matter. I spread 15 Enhancement Points between the four elements + force (damage/critical chance/critical damage) for a moderate boost to all spells I frequently use; make an Epic Ring of Elemental Essence and you've got a solid spell power to 4 of the 5 right there. It's admittedly not UBARZ but that's not the point - I'm looking to be well-rounded and capable of adapting to nearly any situation.

    Even in epic quests, chain spamming hypno + web is surprisingly effective and incredibly SP efficient. But most importantly, I have hair, can differentiate between male and female characters, and don't look like musclebound lunkhead look.

    I'd love to hear constructive criticism.

  20. #20
    Community Member DynaTheCat's Avatar
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    I suggest you reroll a WF AM or Pale master Human. :3

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