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  1. #1
    Community Member Pilgrim1's Avatar
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    Default Guardian of Nature - EE focused druid

    I have spent considerable time tweaking and changing a druid and I have finally come to the conclusion of what is (in my opinion) the best caster-based druid for EE content.

    First off, these are the requirements of an EE druid:
    - Be viable in solo, shortman, and full raids.
    - Effective crowd control.
    - Have good survivability.
    - Solo heal groups and act as secondary healer in raids.
    - Have an effective and strong ability to do damage.

    The last one was what I have had the most difficulty with, spell DPS on a druid is rather spell point intensive and doesn't work well for anything other then single target. Melee DPS need's huge feet investment and stat points to be viable which just wasn't really an option.

    The solution to this turns out to be the capstone ability of the primal destiny: avatar of nature. In fact, Avatar of nature is so good for a druid the destiny to stay in is primal.

    First a bit about Avatar of nature. This ability turns you into a giant tree which can not cast spells but does large amounts of melee damage per swing (200,400,600,800 - 20/x2). The swings are slow but moving around improves the speed of attacks. Like most animal forms TWF and THF do not work in avatar of nature, however stunning fist and cleaves do work - along with haste and damage boosts. While this is active it consumes large amounts of spirit.

    Gathering spirit is actually very easy on a druid, these offensive spells are the best way to get spirit because they generate spirit on additional "ticks" rather then only on the first cast: Earthquake, Call lighting storm, body of the sun, and possibly storm of vengeance lighting strike ticks (not so sure about that).

    The build:
    36 points - 17 druid/2 monk/1wizard - human
    Str: 11
    Dex: 14
    Con: 17
    int: 8
    wis: 18 + lvl ups
    chr: 8

    Feets (13):
    Evocation focus
    Greater evocation focus
    Epic evocation focus
    quicken
    empower healing
    toughness
    epic toughness
    PA
    Cleave
    Gcleave
    Stunning fist
    Improved critical: blunt
    maximize

    EDIT: If madmatt70's testing shows that TWF increases the damage of avatar of nature this list will need to be updated.

    Primal avatar destiny with twists:
    Legendary tactics
    Evocation mastery
    Renewal/precise evocation

    Skills:
    concentration, bit of balance, pinch of tumble

    -------------

    Meeting goals and play stile

    - Viable Crowd Control:
    You have 3 very viable forms of CC on this build, single target stunning fist. Single or AoE blind spells via sleet storm or the 2 light spells, and AoE earthquake. Earthquake is incredibly good CC and probably the best spell on the druids spell list.

    - Healing
    When its time to heal, twist in renewal. Renewal + rejuvenating cocoon is amazing cheep healing. Toss in mass regenerate (the best heal spell in the game) and single target heal spell you can easily heal most groups. Intelligent stacking of vigor prior to short boss fights is very useful as well - I have solo healed EE blue dragon using this + spot healing.

    - Survivability
    The best way for a druid to survive in EE is to get lots of hp and heal amp and use heal over time spells, you can stack vigor's to great effect here. Don't forget displacement clickies - there a lifesaver.

    - Playstile
    Build up spirit by tossing cheep heals at people to top them off, casting earthquake or your light spells, try to keep a un-maximized call lighting storm running on you and hop into combat after earthquakes for a few cleaves or stunning the outside mobs. In shortman situations you can stack vigor's on yourself as well.

    With this most mobs should be locked down without much damage to your party and you will be generating plenty of spirit. Hop into avatar of nature and cleave and stun the pile in the earthquake - use damage human damage boost to. If your solo healing the group be ready to jump out of tree form.


    Overall druids are a very versatile and fun class to play it was a frustrating but rewarding experience to play mine. I have recently TRed my druid but i may one day go back, they certainly have the power to be very strong.

    - Variations
    * Drop IC and maximize for ITWF GTWF and stay mostly in water form.
    * Drop stunning fist and maximize for shield mastery and improved shield mastery, dump legendary tactics for legendary shield mastery and use medium armor for quite a bit more PRR.
    * If you don't have the tomes or points for that set-up try dropping dex a bit or putting a lvl up into con instead of wisdom.
    * Dump more dex, build up more str and grab some weapon and run in LD for a self healing, CCing master blitzer.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Pilgrim1; 03-22-2013 at 02:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Community Member maddmatt70's Avatar
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    Cleave and Great Cleave instead of itwf and gtwf? It wold seem that you would get a lot more dps from those other two feats. Do you do a lot of solo/shortman stuff so prefer LD? Wouldn't primal avatar with the epic moment be better overall then you could do more dps on boss and have wisdom for earthquake dc from primal. Will you be step back healing. Do not have a druid, but just threw out a few questions for yeah.

    Edit: I see you will typical be in primal avatar.
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  3. #3
    Community Member Pilgrim1's Avatar
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    As far as I can tell weapon feats have no bearing on avatar of nature attack rate. The cleaves serve the purpose of doing large amounts of AoE damage when you transform into a giant tree. The ability to do large amounts of damage as a wisdom based druid is really the key here. They have a secondary benefit that when your in LD you can charge master blitz at a reasonable rate, as well as generating a fair bit of Ki.

    Do you know how how many feats are needed for unarmed fighting to do more damage then wolf form? Eather way str on this build is low that melee is only really effective to build up spirit, ki, and to stun, or if in wolf form to provide manna.


    PS. In a standard group I find I'm able to go into tree form every other fight. There are some groups where you have that insane blitzing aoe melee or blitzing rogue where the only thing effective is to just help keep them going. Also, as i said in the OP, I don't have any experience blitzing on a druid, especially a low str druid. I would expect with stunning fist that you could have sufficient DPS to keep it going but i don't know.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim1 View Post
    As far as I can tell weapon feats have no bearing on avatar of nature attack rate. The cleaves serve the purpose of doing large amounts of AoE damage when you transform into a giant tree. The ability to do large amounts of damage as a wisdom based druid is really the key here. They have a secondary benefit that when your in LD you can charge master blitz at a reasonable rate, as well as generating a fair bit of Ki.

    Do you know how how many feats are needed for unarmed fighting to do more damage then wolf form? Eather way str on this build is low that melee is only really effective to build up spirit, ki, and to stun, or if in wolf form to provide manna.


    PS. In a standard group I find I'm able to go into tree form every other fight. There are some groups where you have that insane blitzing aoe melee or blitzing rogue where the only thing effective is to just help keep them going. Also, as i said in the OP, I don't have any experience blitzing on a druid, especially a low str druid. I would expect with stunning fist that you could have sufficient DPS to keep it going but i don't know.
    Hey thanks for sharing. very interesting idea
    I actually just made a TWF + ITWF + GTWF 17druid/3monk, and the damage is horrible.
    Now that i saw your build, im thinking of dropping all the TWF feats and moving into power attack & great cleave

    2 questions,
    1) do u continue to gain spirit while in tree form from melee attacks and spells you have already cast (like earthquake)
    2) how does the damage compare to a 2H barbarian or another melee dps class? i know i shouldnt be comparing them, but i want to know what fraction of a normal melee class i can get to be for a small amount of time.

    thx

  5. #5
    Community Member Pilgrim1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chobo View Post
    2 questions,
    1) do u continue to gain spirit while in tree form from melee attacks and spells you have already cast (like earthquake)
    2) how does the damage compare to a 2H barbarian or another melee dps class? i know i shouldnt be comparing them, but i want to know what fraction of a normal melee class i can get to be for a small amount of time.

    thx
    1 - You continue to gain spirit from both your melee attacks and spells that you have already cast. However, only a few spells generate spirit past there initial cast (as mentioned in the OP). I have yet to find a "buff" spell that generates spirit post casting.

    2 - I have never played 2h melee at cap however i do know that the damage from primal avatar ranges from ~200-800. I have seen crits on stunned mobs for 5k however. I speculate that the damage, while in form, is larger then most non-blitzing or non-adrenalin melee users can maintain. However the downside is that at best your looking at keeping primal avatar up for 30-50% of the time so a 2h barb is much better for long term damage. Of course tree form is just a supplemental damage to your CC and healing potential.

    My suggestion is to try out avatar of nature on whatever toon you have it on (hell i use it on my rogue for quests with lots of mobs that i cant crit, EE pop for example). Also don't give up on it, try it a few times - it took me a bit to figure out how do get good damage out of it.

  6. #6
    Community Member maddmatt70's Avatar
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    There is definitely a difference in combat styles, feats, or monk levels just not sure exactly what. There is a big difference between a two hander character that goes into tree form vs. a monkish character that goes into tree form - the two hander gets much less attacks. A monkish character does much more dps then a two hander character. Not sure if it is about feats, monk levels, or unarmed vs. other styles vs. two handed.
    Last edited by maddmatt70; 03-20-2013 at 12:07 AM.
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  7. #7
    Community Member Pilgrim1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmatt70 View Post
    There is definitely a difference in combat styles, feats, or monk levels just not sure exactly what. There is a big difference between a two hander character that goes into tree form vs. a monkish character that goes into tree form - the two hander gets much less attacks. A monkish character does much more dps then a two hander character. Not sure if it is about feats, monk levels, or unarmed vs. other styles vs. two handed.
    This may be entirely possible. I did notice that my twf handwrap using rogue seamed to deal more damage damage than my druid did. I had chalked it up to more use of haste and haste boosts but I have not done any real testing as my twitching skills with primal are not very good.

    I had assumed that the various fighting feats did not make a difference as per this post:
    Quote Originally Posted by Vargouille View Post
    In most ways you are fighting 'unarmed' while in Avatar form, which is indeed similar to Druid wolf and bear forms.
    If twf does make a big difference then maybe its time to change up the feats. As an aside, TWF is probably better outside of tree forum because it allows you to remain in water from with stunning fist rather than switch to wolf form. You still have to re-cast form specific buffs when avatar of nature fades which is a real pain in the ass.

  8. #8
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    hey is avatar of nature not affected by strength mod or 2[w]? that's why you put 11 in strength?

    and the OP was saying it's not affected by feats?

    so cleave, great cleave is really the only way to build it?

    im wondering if i can fit an overwhelming critical into it.

  9. #9
    Community Member maddmatt70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim1 View Post
    This may be entirely possible. I did notice that my twf handwrap using rogue seamed to deal more damage damage than my druid did. I had chalked it up to more use of haste and haste boosts but I have not done any real testing as my twitching skills with primal are not very good.

    I had assumed that the various fighting feats did not make a difference as per this post:


    If twf does make a big difference then maybe its time to change up the feats. As an aside, TWF is probably better outside of tree forum because it allows you to remain in water from with stunning fist rather than switch to wolf form. You still have to re-cast form specific buffs when avatar of nature fades which is a real pain in the ass.
    I am in the process of testing various combat styles myself. I am going to be working on my twf dual wielding rogue and see how that goes. I am thinking that it might be unarmed vs. other combat styles. One of my old guildies thought twf feats made a difference. There is obviously a big difference between thf vs. monks unarmed (guessing the monks have the twf feats). Tree form is clearly pretty tremendous on a monk to the point that for strength based monks primal avatar is the way to go in my opinion after the recent ein change.
    Last edited by maddmatt70; 03-20-2013 at 09:31 AM.
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  10. #10
    Community Member Pilgrim1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmatt70 View Post
    I am in the process of testing various combat styles myself. I am going to be working on my twf dual wielding rogue and see how that goes. I am thinking that it might be unarmed vs. other combat styles. One of my old guildies thought twf feats made a difference. There is obviously a big difference between thf vs. monks unarmed (guessing the monks have the twf feats). Tree form is clearly pretty tremendous on a monk to the point that for strength based monks primal avatar is the way to go in my opinion after the recent ein change.
    I'm very interested in your results please share when you can!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chobo View Post
    hey is avatar of nature not affected by strength mod or 2[w]? that's why you put 11 in strength?

    and the OP was saying it's not affected by feats?

    so cleave, great cleave is really the only way to build it?

    im wondering if i can fit an overwhelming critical into it.
    Strength mod does effect avatar of nature, the damage is something like: 62.5[1d6] + str. However the difference between doing say 850 damage instead of 800 damage didn't seem like it was a big deal. I'm mostly dumping str because of the lack of build points. Wisdom primary, con secondary, the rest into dex (reflex) and str. Str based druids have there own powers, and i think would be a very viable healing melee toon. You just have to give up earthquake and stunning fist. Overwhelming critical would be great on a str based toon, but you would almost certainly want to trade out the evocation feets for the twf line.

    As for only cleaves working on avatar I'm really not at all sure. Maddmat70 is looking to test the twf line's effect, natural fighting should likely also work. The bottom line is very little is really known about avatar of nature and how feets interact with it. The only thing i can say with certainty is that the crit profile is 20/x2 blunt, uses standard "unarmed" animal form attacks (tower rings and such work), and cleave deals AoE damage. You can also use stunning fist in form.
    Last edited by Pilgrim1; 03-21-2013 at 04:39 PM.

  11. #11
    Founder Dorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmatt70 View Post
    There is definitely a difference in combat styles, feats, or monk levels just not sure exactly what. There is a big difference between a two hander character that goes into tree form vs. a monkish character that goes into tree form - the two hander gets much less attacks. A monkish character does much more dps then a two hander character. Not sure if it is about feats, monk levels, or unarmed vs. other styles vs. two handed.
    Do you get the faster attack speed if you are in wolf form before you go into tree form?
    Dorian

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    Any update on combat styles in tree form?

  13. #13
    Community Member Pilgrim1's Avatar
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    I only have 1 toon with primal avatar unlocked, a twf rogue/monk mix. My other toon with primal avatar is currently TRing. I will not be able to to compare for a little while. If anyone has 2 toons with primal avatar destiny unlocked with different combat feets, I would encourage you to go to that first giant in the claw and see if you can compare any differences.

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    I think trip and sunder also caused attacks. Does anyone with a paladin know if divine sacrifice and/or smites work?

  15. #15
    Community Member Pilgrim1's Avatar
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    I took my rogue/monk twf handwrap user into the claw of vulkoor (elite) to test out the damage for avatar of nature. I ran 4 tests where i built up to 30 spirit then triggered the giant (Warlock Sobrien) and meleed in tree form until it turned off. These are my results with my inconsistent twitching skills:

    Test 1: - giant at ~50%
    Test 2: - giant at ~40%
    Test 3: - giant at ~80% (he knocked me down a bunch)
    Test 4: - giant at ~60%

    I used a random +3 screaming hand wraps, with 25 str. I removed all improved deception items so only a couple of hits got any SA damage, I had no other damage boosters equipped. No haste, stuns, or boosts were used. The toon has 6% double strike. I used Wyoh to keep me up. Primal avatar had the whole left side of the tree filled out, but no other destiny damage adders.

    If someone has a toon without the TWF feets (or even better - 2 toons with diffrent weapon feets) please toss out your results.

  16. #16
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    Do the monk d6s add more if say each [W] is 5d6? You could test with the dance with flowers twist? Could also compare wraps to uncentered dual wield.

  17. #17
    Community Member Pilgrim1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddong View Post
    Do the monk d6s add more if say each [W] is 5d6? You could test with the dance with flowers twist? Could also compare wraps to uncentered dual wield.
    They most likely do, however the weapon damage of tree form was something like 62.5[1d6] so my guess is that i was adding the 2.5 and the damage is really 20/40/60[1d6] (these numbers from memory). Also to be fully uncentered you would need to have armor equipped because weapons become automatically "handwrap" type, similar to wolf and bear form.

  18. #18
    Community Member Pilgrim1's Avatar
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    Default Fun flavor variant - Treebeards Revenge!

    I had an idea for a fun flavor variant of this, ill call it Treebeards Revenge!

    The idea is to generate the maximum amount of spirit possible while in form to extend the amount of time that you can be in tree form.

    Spirit is generated by melee, buffs/heals , and spells vs mobs.
    Melee - this one is easy, you wail on stuff and get spirit, 1 spirit every 3 seconds.

    Self buffs - if you cast spells on yourself you get 2 spirit, max every 3 seconds. From a different post I saw something about radiant servant aura giving you spirit, which is where the crux of this build comes from - 12 cleric levels.

    Spells vs mobs - you cast a spell vs a mob and it takes damage max 2 spirit every 3 seconds. AoE's do not work, other than earthquake or SoV. However, aura's can build up spirit every tick, so body of sun and the arcane death aura's work.

    So the idea is 12 lvls of cleric + 3 levels of wizard for the two auras + 5 lvls of whatever. My guess is 13 cleric/5 wizard/2 monk is the best split, however ranger or fighter or more wizard/cleric lvls or whatever should work fine, maybe even 12 cleric, 6 sorc , 2 pally.

    If the aura's generate spirit every other tick, with 2 auras active and melee you generate ~1.3 spirit a second. Tree form lasts for ~25 seconds just standing there. In 25 seconds you can generate ~32.5 spirit, in other words you can keep tree form running for a very long time. Every min you would have to drop out of form and re-cast all the auras and haste/displacement. - Understand this is all theory craft atm, I have not tested this yet.

    Tentative build idea for 13 cleric - 5 wizard - 2 monk (13 feets):
    race: half elf/human for the heal amp mostly.

    Str: 16 + 4/5 lvl
    Dex: 14
    Con: 16 + 1/2 lvl up
    wis: 8
    int: 8
    chr: 14

    Feets -
    PA
    Cleave
    Gcleave
    Overwhelming crit
    IC: blunt
    quicken
    emp healing
    extend
    toughness
    epic toughness
    ---
    Then, depending on how tree form works
    TWF/ITWF/GTWF
    Or
    Shield mastery/improved shield master + 1

    Gear focuses on heal amp, devotion, saves, damage, survivability, prr.

    Kinda a neat idea - anyone have any thoughts?
    I'm gonna try to test it out on the test server - maybe.

    PS. this build may, just may, be more than a flavor build. Is it a max DPS build??

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim1 View Post
    I have spent considerable time tweaking and changing a druid and I have finally come to the conclusion of what is (in my opinion) the best caster-based druid for EE content.

    First off, these are the requirements of an EE druid:
    - Be viable in solo, shortman, and full raids.
    What EE content have you soloed with this build?
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  20. #20
    Community Member Pilgrim1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carpone View Post
    What EE content have you soloed with this build?
    With this build I have soloed nothing, I have never even ran it. I was going to use a +3 heart to lesser into this build but i could not get my hands on one, so instead I TRed. Prior to TRing I had a druid that was similar to this - in that I tried to play and build to avatar of nature - however much worse in several ways than this build. The best I managed to solo on that was the first half of GH tor. This build is the result of me trying to figure out what was, in my opinion, the most optimal way to play a wisdom druid.

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