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  1. #1
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    Default False Hope - The Paragon Battle Cleric

    Preface

    As some may already know, I have Tr'd again into a Wizard and may remain there for a change of pace. However, I thought I would return to this thread flesh out some details, post some pics and answer any questions that were brought up. So why return and advocate a build I Tr'd out of? Simple, it's still a solid concept and build that worked very well. I am just wanting to try some new things at this point and time.

    Build Concept

    This is a Battle Cleric build that sacrifices some DPS to retain most of the potential of Divine Casting. Battle clerics and FvS have in the past caught a bad reputation and that is mostly due to poor performance of the person playing the character. Whether, they elected not to heal or were not properly built or equiped, they failed at the largest expectation a group has of a Cleric or FvS icon; and that is to provide most of the groups healing. While I am a firm believer of not relegating a Class icon into performing to a fraction of their potential, the fact is that the Divine classes heal the best and with greatest ease and should provide the majority of the groups healing needs.

    It's a natural progression the more experienced a player becomes at playing a divine that, especially in good groups, healing in and of itself is largely boring and not demanding of your full attention. Some decide to spend the time when not healing to use thier mana CCing, Nuking, or landing some Insta kills; others dismiss their spell casting and add melee DPS to the group. Others, like this build, attempt to hybrid all the roles for versality. None of these options, in and of themselves is more right or wrong then the others. It's a player preference to choose one they enjoy the most.

    As with anything, you have to to give to gain. A hybrid such as this build does sacrifice some of it's spell casting to add some melee. And it's melee potential could be stronger if it abadoned spell casting. However, it comes very close in its performance in both directions allowing some flexability and the ability to change playstyle from quest to quest or group to group.

    Build Performance

    After getting a chance to play the build for a few weeks at cap both solo and grouping, I can say the following. The build achieved nearly everything I wished it would.

    Healing was very strong. Between Aura, Bursts and Renewal I barely touched my mana for healing in most 6 man quests. Even in full groups running EE I found myself only using 20 - 25% of my mana for healing purposes. That left quite a bit for applying Dots, Destructing, Imploding, etc. Was much more liberating then my experience playing as a FvS with no Aura. The loss of mana (Clr vs FvS) isn't noticed a bit with passive Aura contantly going and Bursts for surge heals. Twelve turns I found mostly acceptable. I only came close to running out when I went Burst happy with undead around. (*note* In most EE and some harder quests I elected not to melee most times and casted more and used spot scroll healing in addition to aura, bursts and renewal. This was a choice that I found just made the runs more effcient and ensured that I didn't need to drink pots unless things went pear-shaped but were still salvageable).

    Casting was decent. Up to EH difficulty DCs and Spell Pen were enough to be useful in most quests. Epic Drow I found with this build were not worth the effort casting on them any spell that would run into SR. But with picking and choosing who I knew would fail a save and destructing/imploding that one and swinging a sword on the ones I knew wouldn't allowed for some solid group contribution without feeling like I had only one trick that would work sometimes and not others.

    Melee was not as strong as I wished it to be. DPS was much better in Fury, naturally, but not being in EA did put a hurt on my SP pool as well as any ability to cast with confidence. I still found it acceptable overall, however. Since in addition to swinging a big sword, I was Doting, Instakilling, and healing my group mates. No the melee numbers would not raise any eyebrows, but they were part of the overal package that worked very well.

    Survivability was great. By far exceeded what I had hoped for. I was concerned, as others brought up as well having Evasion on a character that started with an 8 dex. But with twists (Unearthly & Brace for Impact), gear, and even self-buffs my Reflex was in mid 40's. With external buffs, airship buffs, and ability to grab a centered weapon and pop into water stance I never ran into a issue where evasion failed me (*note this discounts being silly and running through traps on EE for fun ). But even starting with an 8 dex, I did the agility and swim in crucible as well as many EE Tor runs standing on the gold throwing heals in two directions and in all of those my reflex held strong.

    The Build


    False Hope

    Half-Elf, LG

    18 Cleric/ 2 Monk (Fighter Dille)

    *Levels 2 and 13 Monk Recommened, Rest Cleric*

    Stats

    36

    Str) 16
    Dex) 8
    Con) 15
    Int) 8
    Wis) 18
    Cha) 10

    For 34 pt drop Con to 14.
    For 32 pt drop Con to 14, Wis to 17, raise Cha to 11

    All level ups into Wisdom.

    Feats

    Helf Dille) Fighter
    1) Maximize
    3) Completionist * if avail
    6) Emp Heal
    9) PL: Wiz * if avail
    12) Quicken
    15) Heighten
    18) IC: Slash
    M1) Toughness
    M2) Power Attack
    E1) SF: Evocation
    E2) Spell Pen

    If you do not have access to PL Wiz or Completionist other viable options include: Empower Spell, SF: Necro, GSF: Evo or Necro, Gtr Spell Pen


    Skills

    Concentration - maxed
    UMD - maxed

    some into jump, tumble, balance


    Gear

    With the freedom the augment system now allows to slot missing pieces in your set up, there are many options here. The things you will need to have covered are:

    Stats

    Highest + value enhancement, exceptional and insightful that you can find for: Str, Dex, Con, Wis and Cha.

    Defense

    Heavy Fort, Gtr False Life, Resistance, Ghostly, Blurry/Displace, DR, Healing Amp

    Spell Casting

    Spell Pen, Arcane Lore, Highest Devotion, Radiance, Impulse and DC increase for Impulse and Necromany (other options like Stormreaver Tablecloth that give + DCs to all schools helps consolidate.

    Melee

    Seeker, Double Strike, Competence to hit/damage, Artifact to hit/damage, Sneak Attack



    It sounds like a nearly immposible task to slot all that. And that is somewhat true. You will most likely have to do some item swapping depending on the task and what you are doing. I found that I was able to slot nearly everything and only had to swap in some Spell Casting hand held when not actively meleeing.

    In the screen shots below I am wearing:

    Helm) EH Blue Dragon, +8 Wis, +35 HP slotted, +2 Insightful Wis slotted
    Neck) GS Smoke II, 45 HP
    Trinket) Litany
    Cloak) Ghost Walking, +8 Cha, Ghostly, DR 10 Evil, +6 Resistance
    Belt) Giants Brawn, +8 Str, +200 mana slotted, +2 Insightful Con slotted
    Ring) Health Ring +8
    Ring) Ring of Djini. * I later found a Double Srike 6% ring with Colorless slot *
    Gloves) Forgotten Craft, +8 Dex, +1 Exceptional Str slotted
    Boots) GS Air +150 Mana. Then swap to Spiked Boots with Striding 30% and Insightful Dex +2 slotted
    Bracers) Greater Conv of Superior Parrying
    Chest) Flawless Blue DragonScale, Heavy Fort slotted
    Goggles) Drow Smoke, +6 Seeker, Manslayer

    Weapon) ESOS, +2 Insightful Str and 114 Devotion slotted

    That set up was functional but had room for improvement.


    Screen Shots of build capped at 25. Unbuffed, we all know what buffs we can add in.



    Last edited by Braegan; 04-06-2013 at 10:59 PM.
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  2. #2
    Community Member ThePrincipal's Avatar
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    Just one question. Can you fit in more CHA? With 18 levels Divine Might III would give you +6 damage to each fist. If there was an AP for +12 strength boost you would take it in a second.

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    What about dropping cleric to 17 and taking one level of Wiz? You could get more umph to your BladeBarriers, and score an extra meta-feat so you could qualify for Greater Evocation focus at level 21.

    I've got a melee cleric (actually, several of them) where I've dumped wisdom to just enough to cast spells with the +6 Wis from the Conc Opp... my reluctance to invest in DCs/Spell Pen is that I feel like I'd be competing with the Wizards for effectiveness, and just didn't like the comparison.

    I'd love to hear your reasons/experience in how your build has done in the past, specifically your success with Implosion (the only spell I can think of that's worth investing in both DCs and Spell Pen).
    "I require a reminder as to why raining arcane destruction is not an appropriate response to all of life's indignities" - Vaarsuvius, OoTS #674

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    I understand you're primarily a caster, but with 2 melee feats, you clearly intend for your melee to be at least slightly relevant, so why aren't you going Stunning Fist on a max-wis with Monk splash? (or at least using weapons, instead of slashers)

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    Community Member Phidius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dielzen View Post
    I understand you're primarily a caster, but with 2 melee feats, you clearly intend for your melee to be at least slightly relevant, so why aren't you going Stunning Fist on a max-wis with Monk splash? (or at least using weapons, instead of slashers)
    Excellent point, especially with the DC boost from being in Water Stance. I'd swap Imp Crit: Slash for Stunning Fist... more DPS on trash when you're more likely to be in the thick of things, as Mass Heal tends to cut into the swinging time.

    At least, that's my experience.
    "I require a reminder as to why raining arcane destruction is not an appropriate response to all of life's indignities" - Vaarsuvius, OoTS #674

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePrincipal View Post
    Just one question. Can you fit in more CHA? With 18 levels Divine Might III would give you +6 damage to each fist. If there was an AP for +12 strength boost you would take it in a second.
    I had considered that option as well. However, it cuts really deeply into build points and takes more play out of enhancements, which will be tight as it is. I could certainly see that on a build that tanked wisdom, and pumped str for a max dps perspective. The trade off I am making is slightly less damage but retain most of the caster effectiveness that a divine can achieve.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phidius View Post
    What about dropping cleric to 17 and taking one level of Wiz? You could get more umph to your BladeBarriers, and score an extra meta-feat so you could qualify for Greater Evocation focus at level 21.

    I've got a melee cleric (actually, several of them) where I've dumped wisdom to just enough to cast spells with the +6 Wis from the Conc Opp... my reluctance to invest in DCs/Spell Pen is that I feel like I'd be competing with the Wizards for effectiveness, and just didn't like the comparison.

    I'd love to hear your reasons/experience in how your build has done in the past, specifically your success with Implosion (the only spell I can think of that's worth investing in both DCs and Spell Pen).
    I had decided to stick with 18/2 split for the moment, to future proof myself for T3 PRE. And well it is a single point loss of spell pen, but that one point does make it close.

    And well I don't feel like a divine can really compete with wizards for a few reasons. Mostly the extra feats and ability to reach a much higher spell pen puts a wizzy far in the lead. Not to mention, wizzies have many more different ways to control, debuff or kill.

    But, a divine can still bring some of that to the table as well. It's just alot harder. With a single twist this build will have 37-40 SP. After I go back and do two more wiz and fvs lives I'll be in 43-46 neighborhood. That won't lock down EE Drow, Yuan-ti and perhaps a few other choice mobs, but the rest should be reasonably handled. For those few I can't bypass their SR, I'll use spells that don't worry about it, melee, etc.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dielzen View Post
    I understand you're primarily a caster, but with 2 melee feats, you clearly intend for your melee to be at least slightly relevant, so why aren't you going Stunning Fist on a max-wis with Monk splash? (or at least using weapons, instead of slashers)
    I have seen some builds that do that, and they work great. However, False has an ESOS. And it would just be wrong to not use that.
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    Hi,

    Nice build, Braegan. I would be interested to hear from you how it plays solo and in group.

    Do you expect to be able to hit a useful reflex save so that the evasion feat you have from your monk levels is worthwhile? Can you put a final number on your reflex save, and how well do you expect it to work in EE content?

    The reason I ask is because I've been trying to design a build like this one, and as much as I love the cleric class (and its PRE), FVS looks like it might be the better choice.

    Thanks.
    Astrican on Khyber

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by blerkington View Post
    Hi,

    Nice build, Braegan. I would be interested to hear from you how it plays solo and in group.

    Do you expect to be able to hit a useful reflex save so that the evasion feat you have from your monk levels is worthwhile? Can you put a final number on your reflex save, and how well do you expect it to work in EE content?

    The reason I ask is because I've been trying to design a build like this one, and as much as I love the cleric class (and its PRE), FVS looks like it might be the better choice.

    Thanks.
    Heya,

    Well I will deffinately post first-hand feedback as soon as I get back to cap again. But since this character has been a 18clr/2 ftr and a 20 fvs for the bulk of the time I expect it to just be a bigger and better version.

    I will refine the op to include various breakdowns but right now I am figuring reflex to be:

    Base: 9
    Dex: 7
    Resist: 5
    Sup Parrying: 4
    Ghero: 4
    Luck: 2
    Haste: 1
    Brace for Impact: 2
    Unearthly Reactions: 6

    For 40 Reflex. 42 vs traps (PL: Rog). Could be better, but is enough to make the evasion worthwhile to have. It does eat up two twists, which an option can be to slot higher resistance and lose brace for impact. That frees up a twist and would maintain about the same.

    A FvS/evasion splash would have higher saves, but the reason I chose Cleric is having only one level 9 spell is a deal breaker for me.
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    Hi,

    Braegan, thanks for the reply.

    A reflex save of 40 will be very handy for EH content and it's above 'don't bother' territory for EE too. Your choice of twists seems solid to me too; the extra fortification from Brace is really valuable now.

    I take your point about limited spell choice on an 18 FVS. Having to choose just one of energy drain, implosion and mass heal is pretty harsh for a caster. The cleric is definitely better off there, but what do you expect your SP to be at cap?

    Thanks.
    Astrican on Khyber

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by blerkington View Post
    but what do you expect your SP to be at cap?

    Thanks.
    Hmm, kinda hard to figure. But my 1st life on the character was 18 clr/2 ftr and she had a little over 2000 mana at 20. I imagine it would be a little bit higher (much higher wisdom achievable now) but perhaps not a signifigant amount.
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    Hi,

    That's pretty decent.

    Thanks.
    Astrican on Khyber

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    youve been tring too long and divine dc casting is a waste of time and feats but heres my 2c.

    gain - ghostly, +4 dex, +8 sneak to-hit, +13 sneak dmg/swing, +20 amp, frees up yellow slot,
    lose - not useful torc

    Helm) E Helm of Frost (+7 Cha, yellow something )
    Neck) gs sp
    Trinket) Litany
    Cloak) E Envenomed Cloak (+7 Con, + 35 Hp Slotted)
    Belt) E Belt of Mroranon (+7 Str, Heavy Fort, Toughness, 200 SP Slotted)
    Gloves) pdk
    Ring) Stormreaver (+8 Wis, +2 Insight STR Slotted, Globe of Imp Blood Slotted - +1 Excep to all stats)
    Ring) avithoul 2 wis
    Boots) ghostly boots
    Bracers) Conv of Superior Parrying
    Chest) E Marilith Chain (+14 PRR Slotted)
    Goggles) Con Op +45 HP/Smoke II +45 HP
    Last edited by andepans; 02-26-2013 at 06:43 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by andepans View Post
    youve been tring too long and divine dc casting is a waste of time and feats but heres my 2c.

    gain - ghostly, +4 dex, +8 sneak to-hit, +13 sneak dmg/swing, +20 amp, frees up yellow slot,
    lose - not useful torc

    Helm) E Helm of Frost (+7 Cha, yellow something )
    Neck) gs sp
    Trinket) Litany
    Cloak) E Envenomed Cloak (+7 Con, + 35 Hp Slotted)
    Belt) E Belt of Mroranon (+7 Str, Heavy Fort, Toughness, 200 SP Slotted)
    Gloves) pdk
    Ring) Stormreaver (+8 Wis, +2 Insight STR Slotted, Globe of Imp Blood Slotted - +1 Excep to all stats)
    Ring) avithoul 2 wis
    Boots) ghostly boots
    Bracers) Conv of Superior Parrying
    Chest) E Marilith Chain (+14 PRR Slotted)
    Goggles) Con Op +45 HP/Smoke II +45 HP
    I have been tring too long, heh. Divine DCs as I've seen them do leave alot to be desired and pale in comparison to Arcanes, but can still be useful especially in EH/EN.

    Thanks for another gear layout. At this point I am completely considering re-shuffling near everything and working on a new gear list.
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    Default on gear...

    Thinking over some different gear options I put together the following, but still feel like I am missing something.

    Helm) Blue Dragon, +8 Wisdom, +35 HP slotted, +2 Insightful Con slotted
    Neck) GS, Smoke II +45 HP
    Trinket) Litany
    Cloak) Ghost Walking, +8 Cha, Resist +6, DR 10/Evil, Ghostly
    Belt) Seven Ideals, Gtr Spell Pen 9, +200 Mana slotted, +7 Con slotted
    Gloves) Forgotten Craft, +8 Dex, +4 to hit, Gtr Evocation slotted
    Ring)
    Ring)
    Boots) GS Air, +150 SP, +6 Cha Skills
    Bracers) Gtr Conv of Superior Parrying
    Chest) Cormyr Red Dragon, Seeker 10, Hvy Fort, Toughness
    Goggles) Time Sensing, +2 Insightful Wis, +1 excep Wis slotted, +1 excep Con slotted

    Weapon) ESOS 114 Devotion slotted, +2 Insightful Str slotted

    Now the gapping hole is in the ring department. At the moment thinking of Encrusted (+6 str, +1 excep str, 20% heal amp slotted) for one. That and the rest of the setup leaves me with all even stats so it's kinda go 6 str or 8 str if I can figure where to put that. The only thing it feels I am missing is a form of SA damage, which I know avithoul could give me but the low drop rates as well as randomness of stats on them is pretty irritating to farm.

    So what should I be looking at to fill ring slots? Radiance or Impulse? Also, how does the rest of the gear look, anything it seems I am missing?

    Thanks for any help.
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    Default I found something ur missin'

    While E understands you are upset that your name is not on the leaderboards for challenges:


    http://ddowiki.com/page/Item:Ring_of_the_Stalker
    Last edited by It_Is_E; 03-07-2013 at 03:02 PM.

  18. #18
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    Given the important of - saves, evasion, and self heals in the end game, what about something like this:

    16cleric/2pally/2rogue 28 pt 1st life

    pally for saves and martial weapons
    rogue for umd and evasion (dump trap skills)
    cleric for self healing and radiant servant
    dwarf for+2 con, +5 spell saves, and +2 axe bonus
    ED: Unyielding Sentinal, if you have the expansion

    str 16/dex10/con16/wis10/int10/cha12 i dont like starting off with penalties, +5 lvls Con
    skill points needed for max intimidate and umd. ranks in jump
    feats: toughness, power attack, cleave, great cleave, quicken, empower healing, extend

    this is a self healing dps. secondary party heals most of which is through aura and heals centered on myself.

    Grab the best GA you can find and go to town. Plays like a pally protest build. Lots of clickies and boosts to play with.

    Unyielding works really well here to bonuses to healing power, offense, and defense.

  19. #19
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    Default Some thoughts on the gear setup

    Notes in red

    Quote Originally Posted by Braegan View Post
    Helm) Blue Dragon, +8 Wisdom, +35 HP slotted, +2 Insightful Con slotted Okay

    Neck) GS, Smoke II +45 HP Okay

    Trinket) Litany Nice

    Cloak) Ghost Walking, +8 Cha, Resist +6, DR 10/Evil, Ghostly A good choice for anyone, but maybe you can project for a ML25 version (however unlikely it is you can farm it).

    Alternatively, below I suggest eRing of the Djinn which actually has a DR type that far fewer mobs can break. To get another good source of +8 CHA: Stormreaver's Tablecloth {Intelligence/Charisma+8, Spell Focus Mastery+2, upgrade: empty yellow slot, Greater Spell Penetration IX} which also covers your greater [____] mastery

    Adamantine Cloak of the Bear {ML24 CLoak, Adamantine; Sheltering+9, def-Protection+7, exe-Combat Mastery+6, Incite+20%} would also provide some nice PRR to accompany your DR.


    Belt) Seven Ideals, Gtr Spell Pen 9, +200 Mana slotted, +7 Con slotted Blue dragonscale or Tablecloth would make the spell pen redundant, as well as the 80 potency. It seems as if there are many options for this slot and Seven Ideals is one of the least useful options.

    Gloves) Forgotten Craft, +8 Dex, +4 to hit, Gtr Evocation slotted Puzzling to me,

    Ring) T3 ML20 eRing of the Stalker {e-Sneak-Attack-Bonus+3, Seeker+6, Manslayer, Ghostly; colorless slot, yellow slot} Below I suggest going with flawless blue scale so this is where you can make up for your seeker, and you get manslayer, exceptional sneak attack, ghostly, and two slots.

    Ring) [COLOR=RED]eRing of the Djinn {ML25 ring; Electrical Absorption+33%, Sovereign Lightning Resistance, DR15/Lawful} better DR type than /evil, useful absorption[/RED]

    Boots) GS Air, +150 SP, +6 Cha Skills Do you ever swap these off after buffing or do you keep them on at all times?

    Bracers) Gtr Conv of Superior Parrying Good

    Chest) Cormyr Red Dragon, Seeker 10, Hvy Fort, Toughness Seems a little odd to skip out on the draconic mind set bonus just for the convenience of this consolidation item. Personally, this and white dragonscale are the dragonscales that I don't find particularly useful at their job. Flawless blue would allow you to get decent spell universal power so you can slot some useful DPS mutations in eSoS.

    Goggles) Time Sensing, +2 Insightful Wis, +1 excep Wis slotted, +1 excep Con slotted A solid choice for lvl 20 but it seems more efficient, though expensive, to use a true globe of imperial blood for exc+1-all and a +3 insightful wisdom item. Of course, this depends on your wisdom breakdown.

    Weapon) ESOS 114 Devotion slotted, +2 Insightful Str slotted I can't endorse putting spell power in here. I would also hold out on putting anything in the colorless slot in case some named augments come out for colorless slot that can possibly add DPS.

    Blue dragonscale + blue helm would give you 95 universal spell power so you don't have to waste a DPS slot on eSoS on spell power nor any other equipment slot. If you want to DoT or raid heal, try switching to 120SP/superior lore items; even an EE shamanic fetish or holy symbol of lolth swap + the major arcane lore on blue scale seems more convenient than using a red slot on eSoS for spell power.


    Now the gapping hole is in the ring department.
    All in all I don't see anything necessarily wrong with the setup, but I think you may be holding on to some items (like the Cormyrian red scale, or the Belt of the Seven Ideals) that overall seem suboptimal.

    I particularly think that eSoS should be devoted to doing as much damage as possible and diluted with any non-DPS mutations unless absolutely certain (probably with the colorless slot) that you can't add DPS.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePrincipal View Post
    Given the important of - saves, evasion, and self heals in the end game, what about something like this:

    16cleric/2pally/2rogue 28 pt 1st life

    pally for saves and martial weapons
    rogue for umd and evasion (dump trap skills)
    cleric for self healing and radiant servant
    dwarf for+2 con, +5 spell saves, and +2 axe bonus
    ED: Unyielding Sentinal, if you have the expansion

    str 16/dex10/con16/wis10/int10/cha12 i dont like starting off with penalties, +5 lvls Con
    skill points needed for max intimidate and umd. ranks in jump
    feats: toughness, power attack, cleave, great cleave, quicken, empower healing, extend

    this is a self healing dps. secondary party heals most of which is through aura and heals centered on myself.

    Grab the best GA you can find and go to town. Plays like a pally protest build. Lots of clickies and boosts to play with.

    Unyielding works really well here to bonuses to healing power, offense, and defense.
    What you have proposed is a completely different direction entirely. Perhaps, not bad just completely different from what my build does.

    My build is perfectly acceptable in any healing role situation needed, provides addtional substantial melee DPS as well as DCs that hold true through EH content. In EE content my DCs and SP fall a bit short, but that's when I melee and heal and cast spells with no checks to worry about.

    As far as a newer person, one can easily make this build with a single PL Wiz. Drop one point of Con and swap completionist for any - Empower, Gtr SF: Evo, Gtr Spell Pen. I would recommend Empower.

    Ty for you imput.
    Git off mah lawn!

    If, If's and But's was Candies and Nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas.

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