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  1. #1
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    Post "The Middle Ground" a Hybrid Assassin build

    Intro
    *Disclaimer -- All comments on other people's builds are just my personal opinion, and may be wrong. I really respect the work that both Rogann and Mellkor have done for the community and don't want to bash either of them*

    This toon is an attempt to find a happy middle ground between the "traditional" Max DPS strength rogue, typified by Rogann's build and the (arguably) newer Max Int/Assassinate style typified by Mellkor's build.

    In DDO rogues have the ability to be one of the top DPS dealers in boss fights, with fully spec'ed STR rogue doing ~300dmg per swing (provided full sneak attack + 0% fort), but the Assassin II PRE also grants rogues the "Assassinate" ability, allowing them to instantly kill (most) mobs on a failed fort save. Given the average HPs in Epic Elite content (~4,500Hp for a CR45 Hobgoblin), assassinate can offer a substantial boost to DPS when clearing mobs, provided the rogue has a sufficient DC.

    Rogann's build typifies the first style by dumping INT, maxing STR, and prioritising strength and damage increases above all else, the result is stellar "End-Boss DPS", but at the expense of assassinate DC's meaning that "Mob DPS" is much lower. Mellkor's build follows the other extreme, maximising Assassinate DC at any cost, resulting in sub-par DPS (compared to Rogann's build) when facing end bosses or Mobs that are Immune to SA/Assassinate.
    It is also worth mentioning that I feel Mellkor's build would also be more difficult to level compared to Rogann's, and is more Item dependant.

    I believe both of these builds make excellent end-game rogues, and that both builds are clearly very effective given the ardent support each receives on the forums, However I feel that both builds are too min/max'ed to suit my playstyle. So with this build I will try to find a happy "middle ground" that offers higher Boss DPS than mellkor's build, while at the same time trying to maintain an acceptable assassinate DC.

    Goals
    • Good DPS for Bosses and Mobs that are SA immune
    • Good Assassinate DC as close to 60 as possible
    • Survivable for EE content --> HP ~500, As much dodge and miss chance as possible
    • At least 21 DEX for Improved Sneak Attack and Full TWF chain



    Race

    Human
    No problems with the stat distributions, starting with 8 in all stats allows for a nice even spread between STR, DEX, INT and CON without excessive costs. Major benefit comes in the form of an extra feat on a feat starved class, enhancements are also pretty nice, allowing for activation of both Dmg boost and Haste boost at the same time, along with some increased Healing Amp and access to Toughness III. Access to any Racial PRE with the upcoming enhancement pass(hopefully).
    Stat Layout(34pts) = 15/16/14/16/8/8

    Elf
    Nothing much going for them in my opinion, the CON penalty is too much on a D6 HP class, and overall the extra DEX doesn't give you much as you have to spend the extra points to pull CON up. Enhancements are pretty lack-lustre too. Overall a bad choice IMO.
    Half-elf: I really don't think any of the dilettantes make up for the loss of a feat vs Human. Except for maybe Arti.
    Drow: Favourable stat distribution, but would require a 36 point build to even out STR and CON
    Stat Layout(34pts) = 15/16/14/16/8/8

    Halfling
    Major boost to DEX makes getting TWF and Improved SA much easier without the CON penalty of the Elves. Halfling enhancements are also quite nice offering +8 SA damage. Halflings are due to get the Assassin PRE in the enhancement update, not sure if this will be synergistic with the rogue enhancements or not.
    Stat Layout(34pts) = 14/17/14/16/8/8

    Dwarf
    Boost to con is always nice on a D6 HP class, this also allows for a much more even distribution of stats. Dwarven enhancements while not great offer toughness III and +3 tactical DC's, this might be useful if you decide to focus your level-up ability increases in STR instead of INT, allowing you to reach usable DC's on some tactical feats. Overall best stat distribution but enhancements are poor at best.
    Stat Layout(34pts)= 15/16/16/16/8/6

    Final decision: I personally feel human is the best choice, because of the even stat distribution, the double boosts and the extra feat.

    Ability Point Allocation

    Levelling from 1-25 gives us 6 chances to allocate ability points, the only absolute requirement of this build is that you allocate at least 1pt into DEX (with a +4 tome) to qualify for Improved SA, or 2pts (with a +3 tome).
    Either way this leaves you with 4pts to spend in either STR or INT.

    STR
    4 level ups into STR equates to +2 to-hit and dmg per swing, or +6 on a critical hit (if using Khoppesh). Additionally If you decide to take some tactical feats this will add upto a 10% increase in procs.
    To be honest this seemed like a very small increase to me and so I decided to put my levels into INT. Especially with the to-hit changes +2 dmg just doesn't seem worth it to me, unless you decide to take a tactical feat, in which case I think STR > INT

    INT
    On the surface of it INT level-ups seem to provide even less that STR, granting only a +10% on Assassinate chance, and some useless increases to trap skills. However I chose to go with level-ups in INT because it also synergises with some of my Shadow Dancer ED abilities, increasing the DC of shadow manipulation and Consume. When all three of these abilities are considered together, I feel it provides allot more DPS than just +2dmg.
    Additionally this build will be using the EMG, and high INT is important to get the enhancement bonus on this weapon as high as possible (A +10 enhancement will further negate the +2 dmg from str).
    Lastly if I find I do need additional damage I could always just scroll insightful strikes, to provide an INT to Damage boost. Although I'm not sure if these are available from vendors

    Final Stats
    34pt Human
    Str = 15 +3(Tome) +8(Item) +3(Insightful) +1(exceptional) +2(Ship) +2(rage) = 34Str +12 w/ Temp Buffs

    Dex = 16 +3(Tome) +2(level) +8(Item) +3(Insightful) +1(exceptional) +2(Ship) = 35Dex

    Con = 14 +2(Tome) +8(Item) +3(Insightful) +1(exceptional) +2(Ship) = 30Con

    Int = 16 = +4(Tome) +4(level) +8(Item) +3(Insightful) +1(exceptional) +2(Ship) +2(Capstone) +2(Enhancements) = 42Int + 16 w/ other Buffs



    Feats


    Essential Feats
    • Toughness (lvl1)
    • Power Attack/Precision (lvl1) --> Take power attack initially and swap once you hit lvl 20
    • TWF(lvl3) ITWF(lvl9) GTWF(lvl15)
    • Past Life Sneak of Shadows (lvl6) --> This feat can be swapped in at lvl20
    • Improved Critical: Pierce/Slash (lvl12)
    • Improved Sneak Attack (lvl 21)


    Class Feats
    • Improved Evasion (lvl10)
    • Oppertunist (lvl10)
    • Skill Mastery (lvl16)
    • Skill Mastery (lvl19)


    Optional Feats
    This leaves my character with 2 Feats left to chose from (lvl 18 & 24 if you stick to the above scheme). This is were I am having serious trouble making a decision the options as far as I can see are:

    Khoppesh
    Best Damage profile in the game for TWF.
    Improved Critical: Slashing is also required for the EMG.
    Synergy with Power attack, and may require keeping PA over Precision to be effective
    Damage bonus is proportional to Strength so not sure if this is worth it for an INT based toon
    3% doublestrike from shadowdancer ED means no khoppesh in offhand, because AFAIK 3% more hits >> Khoppesh Dmg

    Improved Sunder
    Another -10% fort, to make -30% fort without precision, or -55% fort with it. (Oppertunist + IS + Black Dragon Armour)
    Only really useful in Bad groups where other melee's don't have IS
    Guaranteed to land even with low STR due to stacking -3 fort debuff (Stacks upto -15fort)
    -3 fort debuff can help my assassinates land, and will bring my assassinate DC to equal Mellkor's (IS-->Bluff--> Assassinate)

    Stunning Blow
    Helpless mobs take 1.5 Dmg which is always nice
    Unlikely to have sufficient DC unless STR based, even then its questionable as it requires ~60DC
    Might be an option to a STR based dwarf rogue

    Skill Focus: UMD
    Only really nice for levelling, not useful at higher levels.
    Might take it at lvl6 to boost UMD until 20, then swap for PL:SoS
    Would also make using insightful strikes scrolls easier

    SAP
    Situationally Awesome for soloing, but useless in PUGs
    A 30sec no-save stun, would be very nice combined with assassinate
    18/30 sec no-save stun would be amazing in EE if you can get the group to coordinate
    Cooldown is shorter than duration allowing perma-stun, or stunning of >1 target
    Might take it at lvl6 and drop it at 20
    Doesn't count as a tactical feat for ED counters

    Hamstring
    Generally a useful feat for stopping "jumpy" mobs
    Amazing for bosses whose attack speed is tied to movement speed --> Pit fiends and lialat (anyone else?)
    Useful to run away and heal up
    Doesn't count as a tactical feat for ED counters

    QuickDraw
    Faster boost activation is always nice
    Faster gear swaps is important for UMD
    Many people love this feat and swear by it, but I've never used it myself

    Precision + Power Attack
    Option to keep both of them
    Seems redundant as you can only activate one at a time
    Usefulness depends on the prevalence of 0% fort mobs in elite content

    Dodge+Mobility
    Increased dodge is nice and adds to survivability esp in EE
    Not needed if I decide to use robes
    Only needed if there is some amazing light armour that Caps my dodge <25%

    Insightful reflexes
    Synergy with INT build
    Only likely to add +5 at most to reflex saves, this is similar to what can be achieved with a resistance/stability item
    How important are reflex saves in EE is there a difference between +40 and +45?

    Cleave
    SA + Cleave would be fun
    Unlocks some ED abilities

    Current Opinion: I'm personally thinking of going with Khoppesh + Improved Sunder, but I'm really worried that most of the benefits of Khoppesh with be lost by not going STR based.


    Enhancements

    Assassin 3 Pre-req's
    Improved Hide 2
    Improved Move Silenty 2
    SA Accuracy 4
    SA Training 4
    Subtle Backstabbing 1
    Rogue Damage Boost 2

    Other Enhancements
    Rogue Haste boost 4
    Rogue Subtle Backstabbing 2
    Rogue Wand and Scroll Mastery 3
    Human Versatility 4
    Human Improved recovery 2
    Human Toughness 2
    Human Adaptability Intelligence
    Human Greater Adaptability Intelligence


    Skills
    Pretty Much everything Maxed due to Int based Build


    Gear
    Ugh I dont want to deal with this yet

    Closing
    So there you have it that's my build Idea sofar, thanks for taking the time to read it. I'd really appreciate any advice or criticism you have to offer on the build. Id also appreciate it if someone could help me answer some more specific questions namely:

    • Is Insightful Strikes a reliable way to use INT for Dmg while leveling or in SA -immune content
    • Are Khoppeshes still the preferred weapon choice of low STR TWF-ers as we stand to gain relatively little from the crit profile
    • Does the 3% doublestrike from the shadowdancer ED provide more DPS than an offhand khoppesh
    • Has anyone used sap in high level content, and how difficult is it to coordinate
    • Does anyone know if any of the newer mobs get an attack speed penalty from hamstring
    • Does anyone currently carry both PA and precision, and how useful do they find PA in EE/EH


    Thanks again for your time
    Last edited by Sploigy; 02-12-2013 at 07:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Community Member maddmatt70's Avatar
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    I would go with the balizarde rapiers or celestria shortsword rather then khopeshes. The khopesh profiency feat could be better used for something else. I have been waiting for the enhancement pass a bit to really change my pure rogue build. I am thinking long term dex based will be the way to go then I could human on a 36 pt build with the following starting stats for 36 pt:
    16 dex + some level ups
    17 con +4 tome = 21 for epic toughness
    17 intelligence + some level ups.

    My thinking is that epic toughness and a higher con is really nice on a rogue. Then you add healing amp, blur/incorpeality, and dodge for defenses and improved evasion. Pure rogues feel a little squishy to me so I would like 700+ hit points especially when you get quests like CITW where some damage is hard to prevent.
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  3. #3
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    Assassinate is in a bad spot. There are very few mobs that you can assassinate faster than a max str rogue would DPS down.
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  4. #4
    Founder Mellkor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kmnh View Post
    Assassinate is in a bad spot. There are very few mobs that you can assassinate faster than a max str rogue would DPS down.
    LOL.

    That may be true in normal or hard quests. But not in EE quests. A well played assassin can kill 2 mobs via assassinate in a few seconds and then ALSO DPS between assassinates at about 80% the damage rate a STR based one does, so assuming the str based one doesnt bother to assassinate, then the int based one is killing 2 or 3 mobs in the time the str based guy kills one in EE quests under ideal circumstances.


    OP the build looks good for what you want to do, I would recommend Helf with arti dili. I am finding repeater xbows quite useful at times in end game, and the other free stuff from arti dili is helpful for a rogue.

    Oh, Insightful strikes doesnt work via scroll casting, so you are SoL there. It doesnt work because insightful strikes cast via a scroll applies to your mainhand weapon, and since at the time of casting, it is a scroll, you end up with insightful strikes on your scroll stack! And you cand cast a scroll from your off hand :/
    Last edited by Mellkor; 02-12-2013 at 05:10 PM.
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  5. #5
    Community Member maddmatt70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellkor View Post

    OP the build looks good for what you want to do, I would recommend Helf with arti dili. I am finding repeater xbows quite useful at times in end game, and the other free stuff from arti dili is helpful for a rogue.
    Repeater xbows are only really useful for a melee character if you are unable to melee for one reason or another which is why I advocate building some more defenses in a rogue. I have seen a few other builds like that which advocate having higher hit points etc..

    Edit: here are a couple of builds that have the correct concept for upping the defensive aspects of a rogue in order to be able to stand in there.

    http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=402394

    http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=400113

    Both builds have highish hit points, one has high healing amp and the other decent physical resistance and both have dodge, etc. One build is also a good stunner build so has that defensive measure as well.
    Last edited by maddmatt70; 02-12-2013 at 06:31 PM.
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  6. #6
    Community Member Bolo_Grubb's Avatar
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    interesting read
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  7. #7
    The Hatchery karl_k0ch's Avatar
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    Imho, both Drow and Half-Elves are worth discussing:

    Helves offer the same stat spread as Human, but the Artificer or Barbarian Dilly might be worth a feat to some. (Although you could just spend your level 24 feat for Epic Intelligence.)

    Drow have Dex, Int and Cha, and all these stats are of interest for your build. -2 Con is a downer, but then: At cap, a difference of 25 HPs is not a big deal.

    So what's your final assassinate score and HP?
    Last edited by karl_k0ch; 02-13-2013 at 08:20 AM.
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  8. #8
    Community Member dredre9987's Avatar
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    With the way To-Hit was changed I free up the khopesh feat and just use khopeshes...rarely ever noticed a difference in +/- 4 to-hit.
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  9. #9
    The Hatchery karl_k0ch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dredre9987 View Post
    With the way To-Hit was changed I free up the khopesh feat and just use khopeshes...rarely ever noticed a difference in +/- 4 to-hit.
    It's not a -4 difference. It's -25%.

    The to-hit changes gave the proficiency feat acutally a huge buff:

    http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p...19&postcount=1
    Monster’s chance to hit: (Monster’s Attack Bonus + 10.5) / (Target’s Armor Class * 2)

    Player’s chance to hit (if proficient in weapon): (Player’s Attack Bonus + 10.5) / (Target’s Armor Class * 2) + 25%, rounded to nearest 5%
    What's your to-hit, and which kind of mobs are you attacking to not notice a difference?
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  10. #10
    Community Member dredre9987's Avatar
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    Well not running end game things since I started doing that,. Did not know it was changed to a % though. Will keep an eye on it and run someone up to end game stuff this week and test.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nitesco View Post
    Oh and honestly, you are all carrying portal beaters on your casters? What on earth are you using it on often enough to clog up your bag with it?
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    Portals.

  11. #11
    The Hatchery karl_k0ch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dredre9987 View Post
    Well not running end game things since I started doing that,. Did not know it was changed to a % though. Will keep an eye on it and run someone up to end game stuff this week and test.
    The interesting thing about the new to-hit mechanic is twofold:
    1. Rogues get a huge amount of to-hit if they are delivering sneak attacks, which makes grazing hits not too likely in this case.
    2. Grazing hits apply the weapon's base damage an sneak attack bonuses.

    These two things make the to-hit situation of rogues pretty much a non-issue, and it's possible that you're coming along fine with no proficiency feat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by karl_k0ch View Post
    The interesting thing about the new to-hit mechanic is twofold:
    1. Rogues get a huge amount of to-hit if they are delivering sneak attacks, which makes grazing hits not too likely in this case.
    2. Grazing hits apply the weapon's base damage an sneak attack bonuses.

    These two things make the to-hit situation of rogues pretty much a non-issue, and it's possible that you're coming along fine with no proficiency feat.
    Do Grazing hits still grant Sense Weakness? Not really sure

  13. #13
    The Hatchery karl_k0ch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tid12 View Post
    Do Grazing hits still grant Sense Weakness? Not really sure
    Iirc, no other weapon effects apply. But I'm not entirely sure how Sense Weakness interacts with Grazing Hits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by karl_k0ch View Post
    Iirc, no other weapon effects apply. But I'm not entirely sure how Sense Weakness interacts with Grazing Hits.
    Yeah, that's why I'm not sure either. I don't really see Grazing Hits on my rogue so I've actually no idea how Sense Weakness work with that.

    But anyway, weapons effect are important to a Rog's dps also, so in every case everyone should avoid non-proficiency.

  15. #15
    Community Member dredre9987's Avatar
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    You confused me there Tid. sounds like your saying you don't get a weapons effect unless your proficient.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nitesco View Post
    Oh and honestly, you are all carrying portal beaters on your casters? What on earth are you using it on often enough to clog up your bag with it?
    Quote Originally Posted by HungarianRhapsody View Post
    Portals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dredre9987 View Post
    You confused me there Tid. sounds like your saying you don't get a weapons effect unless your proficient.
    I'm saying that, if you are not proficient with a weapon, you will, most likely (not always), get Grazing Hits because of the -25% to-hit penalty. Hence, you will only get damage equal to the base damage of the weapon + Sneak attack.

    That is why you should avoid non-prociency.

  17. #17
    Community Member dredre9987's Avatar
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    Ah ok clearer now thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by Nitesco View Post
    Oh and honestly, you are all carrying portal beaters on your casters? What on earth are you using it on often enough to clog up your bag with it?
    Quote Originally Posted by HungarianRhapsody View Post
    Portals.

  18. #18
    Community Member bhgiant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kmnh View Post
    Assassinate is in a bad spot. There are very few mobs that you can assassinate faster than a max str rogue would DPS down.
    I respectfully but seriously disagree with this statement. My rogue's DPS isn't the best but it isn't bad either. In EH I can kill 2 high HP mobs in the same time I can assassinate them. Using both effectively doubles my DPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by karl_k0ch View Post
    Imho, both Drow and Half-Elves are worth discussing:

    Helves offer the same stat spread as Human, but the Artificer or Barbarian Dilly might be worth a feat to some. (Although you could just spend your level 24 feat for Epic Intelligence.)

    Drow have Dex, Int and Cha, and all these stats are of interest for your build. -2 Con is a downer, but then: At cap, a difference of 25 HPs is not a big deal.

    So what's your final assassinate score and HP?
    The biggest problem I see with Drow is the lack of Human Versatility. That 25% damage boost alone is far superior to +2 in any stat. HElf Arti Dili is worth it though. If I had owned HElf, I would've gone that route instead of human on my rogue.


    OP, I'm curious to know why you chose not to take Slippery Mind. Also, I really like Precision, little to no reason not to get it. Also, since you are INT/STR based, I would recommend Insightful Reflexes. It boosts your Reflex by a good margin and lets you dump DEX items for an extra slot. You loose out on some AC but it's difficult to get your AC high enough to be really useful anyway imo.
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  19. #19
    Community Member .Revenga.'s Avatar
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    You forgot about half-elves, they're on the same page as humans really.

    Also 2 times INT with human adp?
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  20. #20
    Community Member Ghwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kmnh View Post
    Assassinate is in a bad spot. There are very few mobs that you can assassinate faster than a max str rogue would DPS down.
    With a high dc, assasinate is very reliable. Even with a very high dps, when the quest is over, I would give the kill count to the assasin. All while taking less damage.
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