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Thread: Balance

  1. #1
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    The topic regarding balance today is spell resistance/spell penetration. EH should not require ANY past life spell pen in order to have NORMAL chances of success in defeating spell resistance.

    What is a NORMAL chance you might ask or, more likely, argue?
    NORMAL spell pen in the case of Ehard could reasonably be considered to be 20(pure class)+4 (both spell pen feats)+2 (spell pen item)+1/quest lvl above 20. In other words, Impossible Demands, a level 21 quest on normal or 22 on hard would have non-boss spell resistance of 28.

    Think it should be higher? Let's examine that and see what it looks like shall we? BTW, it is higher, it just shouldn't be.

    First, let me elude to the above framework. Said character had no spell pen oriented past lives. Can you guess why? Because they are supposed to be a benefit, not a requirement. Making them the standard makes them a requirement which is garbage, elitist and exclusionary.


    Second, note they invested reasonably in feats and in gear. Wanna require imp shattermantle? Bad idea, making it baseline is the death of choice..other than perhaps choosing to play another game. Remember that the above toon was pure class? Is that the only one that should be viable for said purpose? I would have to say no, if you answer was yes it seems you want a game that doesn't allow multiclass.

    Shattermantle should be there to fill that gap, don't count it in the calculation. Pure casters won't need it and wouldn't hit with their weapon anyway in most cases, other casters will hit and likewise will need it. Simple right?

    Third, 1 per spell lvl means if you do it at lvl it is at the described threshold, you do it early it is harder, later, easier.

    Finally, some will argue that it is somehow "supposed to be" harder. Let's start this with many things are supposed to be on both sides that are not and end with, put that mess in elite.

    That is all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled175 View Post
    The topic regarding balance today is spell resistance/spell penetration. EH should not require ANY past life spell pen in order to have NORMAL chances of success in defeating spell resistance.

    What is a NORMAL chance you might ask or, more likely, argue?
    NORMAL spell pen in the case of Ehard could reasonably be considered to be 20(pure class)+4 (both spell pen feats)+2 (spell pen item)+1/quest lvl above 20. In other words, Impossible Demands, a level 21 quest on normal or 22 on hard would have non-boss spell resistance of 28.

    Think it should be higher? Let's examine that and see what it looks like shall we? BTW, it is higher, it just shouldn't be.

    First, let me elude to the above framework. Said character had no spell pen oriented past lives. Can you guess why? Because they are supposed to be a benefit, not a requirement. Making them the standard makes them a requirement which is garbage, elitist and exclusionary.


    Second, note they invested reasonably in feats and in gear. Wanna require imp shattermantle? Bad idea, making it baseline is the death of choice..other than perhaps choosing to play another game. Remember that the above toon was pure class? Is that the only one that should be viable for said purpose? I would have to say no, if you answer was yes it seems you want a game that doesn't allow multiclass.

    Shattermantle should be there to fill that gap, don't count it in the calculation. Pure casters won't need it and wouldn't hit with their weapon anyway in most cases, other casters will hit and likewise will need it. Simple right?

    Third, 1 per spell lvl means if you do it at lvl it is at the described threshold, you do it early it is harder, later, easier.

    Finally, some will argue that it is somehow "supposed to be" harder. Let's start this with many things are supposed to be on both sides that are not and end with, put that mess in elite.

    That is all.
    if you spec for spell pen, it is reasonably easy for a first-life wizzy to defeat the SR of most mobs in content EH and below. I did it with the first life of my main wizzy, and was able to dance devils and even some drow on EH content...without the need of EDs.

    That being said, I had to make sacrifices elsewhere. Were my DoTs uber? No. They were OK, but not spectacular. So it really all depends on your focus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled175 View Post
    NORMAL spell pen in the case of Ehard could reasonably be considered to be 20(pure class)+4 (both spell pen feats)+2 (spell pen item)+1/quest lvl above 20. In other words, Impossible Demands, a level 21 quest on normal or 22 on hard would have non-boss spell resistance of 28.
    Actually since you roll a D20 to see if you succeed you should add another 10 or 11 (avg 10,5) to the SR and it should be right.In your example of ID like ~38.

    Think its around 50 on EH now IIRC.

    For EE: way higher for sure but thats not the point here.

    Sadly this calculation disregards the normal way SR is based on HD and we all know how inflated those must be to survive players DPS for a sec.

    So yes for a change on EN and EH but i honestly do not see it happen.

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    First, I don't see any problem with different basic mobs having different types of resistances - so drow having higher than average SR is fine. The unfortunate thing is that the last two waves of end-game have been Drow with high SR and giants with really really high saves, and DC casters who need to overcome both SR and DC have been having a hard time of it. I'm betting the pendulum swings again as the level cap goes up and new content becomes end-game.

    Second, I disagree that someone with an "average" commitment to spell pen at level should have an "average" time defeating SR on Epic Hard - if you're going to defeat SR on a caster regularly, commit to it and trade off whatever else it is you were going to get - if you want both, then get spell pen from past lives and keep your "average" commitment to spell pen, that's your luxury for past lives. So let's commit a bit more - at lvl 21 you get an epic feat, that can be Epic Spell Penetration for +4 more. And class enhancement Spell Penetration +3 seems fair to include as well. So now it's 20(20 levels) +8 (three feats) +2 (spell pen item) +3 (enhancement) +1 (some random factor you decided was appropriate for each level of quest above 20)
    So lvl 21 impossible demands, bumped to EHard, that's 35 before your d20; 46 would be reasonable and ~50 seems quite fine for mobs that are "high SR" quality. And this isn't even including epic destinies, which probably ARE fair game since while they are an add on, let's face it, EDs are basically where your power is in epic levels. Getting +3 from ED isn't really a reach; I would say more but I'm not so convinced that increasing max caster level even works properly for SR checks so let's just leave it at +3.

    I get your point, but I believe you're overstating it. Hopefully DC casters will make a comeback with the expansion, but we'll see.

  5. #5

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    I don't see an issue with some mobs having an impossibly high SR. A few here or there perhaps and certainly not a whole dungeon full of mobs, but enough to make you choose a different strategy when facing these specific mobs. I don't believe that all SR should be passable, even by fully twinked toons. I also believe that some saves should also be extremely high to the point of "only fail on a 1". Again, not on every mob, but if there is enough variation in mobs in any given quest then some should be very difficult to hit with DC based effects if you target their strongest save.

    I also think that Turbine is doing a very poor job of varying saves and SR within certain quests. As mentioned above, drow in particular warp entire classes into certain playstyles if you want to overcome the SR. There are enough of them that you change the core of your toon in order to play a certain way. In the same way, the inflated saves on epic GH mobs force you to make so many sacrifices in an attempt to make a DC based character viable that players instead choose to go an alternate route and avoid DC casting altogether. If it was Turbine's intention to make players specialize in DC and use various debuffs in order to achieve their goals, then they seriously underestimated how much effort casters want to put into that, especially when Shiradi is there to use instead. Instead of mobs having high and low saves, they have high and astronomically high saves. This causes DC casters not to adapt, but to just dump the entire concept altogether and move to an easier playstyle. Some people might say Shiradi is overpowered. I say that it only seems that way as it's the most efficient way to play a caster these days because of the extreme effort involved in playing a DC caster by comparison.
    Last edited by redspecter23-A; 05-14-2013 at 05:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeronn View Post
    Actually since you roll a D20 to see if you succeed you should add another 10 or 11 (avg 10,5) to the SR and it should be right.In your example of ID like ~38.

    Think its around 50 on EH now IIRC.
    There seems to be some confusion in the thread about what spell pen is currently required in game for drow. (Eveything other than drow requires way less spell pen.)

    Drow have spell resistance of CR+10. EH drow in MotU are CR28, meaning they have 38 spell resistance. EH drow in VON3 are CR30, meaning they have 40 spell resistance. Outside of a tiny handful of drow priestesses, nothing in the game on EH approaches this level of spell pen. If I had to guess, I'd say other "high" spell resistance mobs (mind flayers, orthons, etc...) have spell resistance equal to their CR.

    Spell pen checks do NOT auto-fail on a 1. Meaning you want 37 spell pen for "no-fail" in EH MotU, and 39 spell pen for no-fail VON3.

    Let's check the numbers on a first-life caster who cares about spell pen:

    20 levels
    8 feats
    2 enhancements (I consider the third tier a hardship for purposes of this discussion)
    2 item (magewright's spectacles, for example)
    ---
    32 base @ level 21

    You get 5 more as destiny autogrants, plus another 3 from a destiny ability if you have draconic or magister active.

    Seems just about perfectly balanced for first-lifers to run EH, IMO.
    Last edited by Ellis_Dee; 05-14-2013 at 06:11 PM.

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    I mentioned drow priestesses in passing above; they are generally 3-5 CR higher than trash drow. They also have an annoying habit of deathwarding themselves, plus self-healing by eating mobs halfway across the map, so they're their own issue even ignoring spell pen.

    But back to the first lifer, let's look at EN. In VON3, EN drow are CR22, making their spell resistance 32. That's 31 spell pen for no-fail:

    20 levels
    4 feats (no epic spell pen @ level 20; must wait for 21)
    2 enhancements
    2 item
    ---
    28

    A caster who cares about spell pen starts off needing to roll a 4 to penetrate the spell resistance in EN VON3. (And bargain of blood.) EN is pretty much immediately viable the moment you take 20. Once you grab the epic feat at 21 and a few autogrants, EH becomes viable.

    EE is an entirely different kettle of fish. 54 is the general benchmark for EE drow, which is tough to hit without past lives. I don't see much problem with that, though. It is, after all, EE.

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    Perhaps try applying this logic: Play smarter, don't build harder.

    High SR mobs? Use non-SR spells.
    High fort save mobs? Hit 'em with a will save.

    If you want to get good results from a "normal" investment, run normal.
    If you run hard, expect it to be hard.
    If your soloing epic content on a first life anything it should not be easy, especially on "hard."
    Now excuse me while I wander off to arm myself with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and hunker down behind my Armored Beer Refrigerator, while I have the UFO's take control of the Congresional Wives with the help of the International Cocaine Smugglers and the Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow

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    Just my 2cp

    We as the player base have it in our own power through Race (drow) or even Divine Spell; Spell Resistance and even before we get into Epic abilities.

    A PC Drow has a Natural Spell Resistance of - 30 at Level 20 or 35 at Level 25 (10 + Character Level)

    The Spell Resistance spell cast by a Level 20 Divine - 32 and 37 if cast at Level 25.

    So I would say the opening numbers of the OP are a bit off, but I think they are off because of the Definition of Normal Chance.

    If we take the 1st life example of being able to have a Spell Pen of 28 at level 20, what the opening numbers indicated is that Spell Resistance is a Non-Issue using the OP numbers for a first life Level 20 - in layman's terms no-fail. If that is the case the PL and even Epic Spell penetration and extras from Epic Levels are meaningless. If you already don't fail why would there need to be a need to add more of these benefits?

    Spell Resistance is the AC of Spells it should provide some protection, so what is the reasonable amount of protection it should provide? 2%, 10%, 50%?

    So what is the NORMAL Chance being discussed? 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% or No Fail

    Personally my feeling is Spell Penetration on a Epic Normal CR20 Drow should be 50/50 for a first life Level 20 spell caster with a reasonable investment (20 Levels, 2 enhancement, 2 Feats and a +2 Item) Seems to me we are already better than that.

    Why I feel that way deals more with Lore as one should be well practiced in the Arts of Magic to overcome the natural Magic that flows through the Drow.

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    What's normal is the need to change strategy against different types of enemies. One of drows' specific defenses is their spell resistance. It is normal to have to change to spells that bypass SR when facing them (webs, damaging spells, etc.) or to have to rely on non standard ways to bypass this defense (using Imp. shattermantle weapon, using EDs, having PL feats). It is NOT normal to bypass their specific defense without a significant effort. What you ask is to be able to use the same strategy as against any other monster type: that defeats the specificity of enemies, destroys any need of adaptation ... and would make the game boring imo
    Thelanis: Nassim (F18/Ro2) - Feithlin (W20) - Talienor (F20) - Stoneoak (Ba18/F2) - Hokusai (M20)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoach View Post
    Just my 2cp

    We as the player base have it in our own power through Race (drow) or even Divine Spell; Spell Resistance and even before we get into Epic abilities.

    A PC Drow has a Natural Spell Resistance of - 30 at Level 20 or 35 at Level 25 (10 + Character Level)

    The Spell Resistance spell cast by a Level 20 Divine - 32 and 37 if cast at Level 25.

    So I would say the opening numbers of the OP are a bit off, but I think they are off because of the Definition of Normal Chance.

    If we take the 1st life example of being able to have a Spell Pen of 28 at level 20, what the opening numbers indicated is that Spell Resistance is a Non-Issue using the OP numbers for a first life Level 20 - in layman's terms no-fail. If that is the case the PL and even Epic Spell penetration and extras from Epic Levels are meaningless. If you already don't fail why would there need to be a need to add more of these benefits?

    Spell Resistance is the AC of Spells it should provide some protection, so what is the reasonable amount of protection it should provide? 2%, 10%, 50%?

    So what is the NORMAL Chance being discussed? 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% or No Fail

    Personally my feeling is Spell Penetration on a Epic Normal CR20 Drow should be 50/50 for a first life Level 20 spell caster with a reasonable investment (20 Levels, 2 enhancement, 2 Feats and a +2 Item) Seems to me we are already better than that.

    Why I feel that way deals more with Lore as one should be well practiced in the Arts of Magic to overcome the natural Magic that flows through the Drow.
    50/50 for a first life toon that is pure class and invests feats for said sole purpose?

    First, a 20 mage without the feats is QUITE practiced, the game allows multiclass, unless it balances it to irrelevance..currently leaning that way..badly, for casters at any rate..

    Second, 2 feats for that sole purpose, very practiced indeed, specifically in Spell Resistance..

    Third, we get it(SR)? How hard is it for at lvl mobs to bypass?
    Last edited by Disgruntled175; 05-15-2013 at 01:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nassim View Post
    What's normal is the need to change strategy against different types of enemies. One of drows' specific defenses is their spell resistance. It is normal to have to change to spells that bypass SR when facing them (webs, damaging spells, etc.) or to have to rely on non standard ways to bypass this defense (using Imp. shattermantle weapon, using EDs, having PL feats). It is NOT normal to bypass their specific defense without a significant effort. What you ask is to be able to use the same strategy as against any other monster type: that defeats the specificity of enemies, destroys any need of adaptation ... and would make the game boring imo
    That's normal huh? So when was the last time your barbarian turned off power attack? If you build a specialist you are specialized. You expect specialization to be reward on said special situation, not punished. This situation is defeating SR and specialists for appreciable effort are inadequately rewarded. Looking at the consumption of two feats for spell pen as no big effort is sad really. I won't even go into mandatory feat consumption in other areas, like the ever-present toughness to name just one.

    By the way, is one of the drow "normal defenses" high Fort saves? Because they have them.
    Last edited by Disgruntled175; 05-15-2013 at 01:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled175 View Post
    That's normal huh? So when was the last time your barbarian turned off power attack?
    I used to turn off power attack on some really high AC mobs (generals in ECOF for instance)... but ever since they changed the to-hit system it doesn't matter anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellis_Dee View Post
    I mentioned drow priestesses in passing above; they are generally 3-5 CR higher than trash drow. They also have an annoying habit of deathwarding themselves, plus self-healing by eating mobs halfway across the map, so they're their own issue even ignoring spell pen.

    But back to the first lifer, let's look at EN. In VON3, EN drow are CR22, making their spell resistance 32. That's 31 spell pen for no-fail:

    20 levels
    4 feats (no epic spell pen @ level 20; must wait for 21)
    2 enhancements
    2 item
    ---
    28

    A caster who cares about spell pen starts off needing to roll a 4 to penetrate the spell resistance in EN VON3. (And bargain of blood.) EN is pretty much immediately viable the moment you take 20. Once you grab the epic feat at 21 and a few autogrants, EH becomes viable.

    EE is an entirely different kettle of fish. 54 is the general benchmark for EE drow, which is tough to hit without past lives. I don't see much problem with that, though. It is, after all, EE.

    Alright, let us just for a second pretend(I don't think it is pretending of course) that one should not have to take Epic spell pen immediately. What lvl do you suppose a lvl 23 "wizard" spell pen would be? Would you still answer a 28 I wonder? Because that is what it is... Our "Epic levels" do not count for that. Theirs do count for spell resist.

    That being said Eveningstar has a DC for Spell Resistance of 33 on Hard..generally. Ok, so you need a 6 or better, right? Cool, now go there and watch how many 5's you roll. Not even kidding, I get 50 percent. Reason enough to benchmark no fail.

    When I commented on the balance the point was to leave enough wiggle room for options. Optimization is well and good but if it is "necessary" it means that your only real choices where at lvl 1. Not my idea of a good time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PermaBanned View Post
    Play smarter

    High SR mobs? Use non-SR spells.
    High fort save mobs? Hit 'em with a will save.
    This is the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled175 View Post
    Alright, let us just for a second pretend(I don't think it is pretending of course) that one should not have to take Epic spell pen immediately. What lvl do you suppose a lvl 23 "wizard" spell pen would be? Would you still answer a 28 I wonder? Because that is what it is... Our "Epic levels" do not count for that. Theirs do count for spell resist.

    That being said Eveningstar has a DC for Spell Resistance of 33 on Hard..generally. Ok, so you need a 6 or better, right? Cool, now go there and watch how many 5's you roll. Not even kidding, I get 50 percent. Reason enough to benchmark no fail.

    When I commented on the balance the point was to leave enough wiggle room for options. Optimization is well and good but if it is "necessary" it means that your only real choices where at lvl 1. Not my idea of a good time.
    Unless I'm misunderstanding, you've chosen the highest SR mobs in the game (FR Drow) expect no-fail spell pen on EHard with out maximum investment (ie past lives/shattermantle) and call that balanced? Really? So what would be "balanced" for EElite? Mobs having 6 more SR so that the past lives & shattermantle will bring you back to no fail status?

    "No fail" abilities is never balanced, it's uber.

    Seriously, in the above example you have a 75% chance of success, with not even a shattermantle item, let alone imp.shattermantle or past lives. Just adding (the easily attainable on a first life toon) imp.shattermantle adds 6 to your spell pen roll. That's plenty of "wiggle room." You can drop the spell pen/imp.spell pen feats and up your success rate to 85%. Or keep just the spell pen feat and have 95%, still without "maximum investment" against the highest SR mobs in game on EHard.

    Are you sure balance is what you're seeking?
    Last edited by PermaBanned; 05-15-2013 at 03:38 AM.
    Now excuse me while I wander off to arm myself with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and hunker down behind my Armored Beer Refrigerator, while I have the UFO's take control of the Congresional Wives with the help of the International Cocaine Smugglers and the Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled175 View Post
    What is a NORMAL chance you might ask or, more likely, argue?
    NORMAL spell pen in the case of Ehard could reasonably be considered to be 20(pure class)+4 (both spell pen feats)+2 (spell pen item)+1/quest lvl above 20. In other words, Impossible Demands, a level 21 quest on normal or 22 on hard would have non-boss spell resistance of 28.

    Think it should be higher?
    Yes. Somewhat lower than current live values, but much higher than your suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled175 View Post
    First, let me elude to the above framework. Said character had no spell pen oriented past lives. Can you guess why? Because they are supposed to be a benefit, not a requirement. Making them the standard makes them a requirement which is garbage, elitist and exclusionary.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled175 View Post
    Second, note they invested reasonably in feats and in gear.
    No, they didn't. Or destinies, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled175 View Post
    Wanna require imp shattermantle?
    Nope.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled175 View Post
    Remember that the above toon was pure class? Is that the only one that should be viable for said purpose? I would have to say no, if you answer was yes it seems you want a game that doesn't allow multiclass.
    Spell pen will obviously be a bigger challenge for a multiclass character.

    A first-life Wizard could conceivably have the following alway-on, all-schools spell pen:

    20 heroic caster levels
    8 feats
    5 gear
    5 destiny caster levels
    3 destiny ability
    3 twisted destiny ability
    2 twisted destiny ability
    4 racial enhancement
    3 class enhancement
    --
    53 total.

    And they could get higher with buffs, for specific schools, etc..

    No past lives in there.

    And you think mobs should only have 6+quest-CR? I.e., only 31 for base-level-24 quests on Hard?

    OK, Wizards get the Elf advantage, and arcanes get the destiny advantages and gear advantages, and the example is pure classed.

    So how about an 18Clr/2Mnk?

    18 heroic caster levels
    8 feats
    3 gear
    5 destiny caster levels
    3 twisted destiny ability
    3 twisted destiny ability
    3 class enhancement
    --
    43 total

    No-fail on a 1 on critters with 44 Spell Resistance, on a splashed first-life non-arcane. And you think 31 is reasonable for end-game Epic Hard?

    I think the 58 Spell Resistance on some Epic Drow is too high. But your 27-31-ish range is way too low.
    Last edited by SirValentine; 05-15-2013 at 04:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled175 View Post
    The topic regarding balance today is spell resistance/spell penetration. EH should not require ANY past life spell pen in order to have NORMAL chances of success in defeating spell resistance.
    Is this what we're debating? The fact that YOU think EH shouldn't require past life investment...? Maybe wanna make your own carebear game with your own rules and then you could decide what should and shouldn't be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled175 View Post
    So when was the last time your barbarian turned off power attack?
    Isn't using Precision instead of Power Attack standard against high-Fortification enemies? I didn't cruch the numbers, but I thought those who did say it's a DPS increase to turn Power Attack off then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disgruntled175 View Post
    50/50 for a first life toon that is pure class and invests feats for said sole purpose?

    First, a 20 mage without the feats is QUITE practiced, the game allows multiclass, unless it balances it to irrelevance..currently leaning that way..badly, for casters at any rate..

    Second, 2 feats for that sole purpose, very practiced indeed, specifically in Spell Resistance..

    Third, we get it(SR)? How hard is it for at lvl mobs to bypass?
    See you focused in on one word "practiced"... However, as many have pointed out it appears that what you are asking for is for Spell Penetration to be irrelevant by making it so a first level caster without any Epic investment also has a no-fail Spell Penetration.

    I do agree that on Epic Elite SR has become astronomical on Some Drow (Priestesses), but even as others have pointed out, that is where you use the noodle and come up with spells that have a higher success rate, it is no different than using spells that don't have reflex saves when dealing with mobs that have evasion/Improved evasion. Or Fort Save Spells against Mobs that have tons of constitution. So many spells get overlooked in a caster's repertoire.

    50/50 odds on Epic Drow for a basic investment of 20 levels, 2 feats, 2 enhancements and the use of a +2 Pen item is actually "practiced". Epic Caster Levels through EDs, ED enhancements and Epic Feats along with Epic Spell Penetration Items, as well as Shattermantle will serve to improve that chance.

    Keep in mind 50/50 for Drow means better odds for all other Mobs as Drow have the Highest SR bar none.

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