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  1. #1
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    Default Basic playstyle for a sorcerer?

    Ok, a thread that is not about builds for advanced players or even basic players. This thread is asking for the type of advice you'd find in the book "Playing DDO Sorcerers for Dummies".

    I've started a 7th level sorcerer with lots of help from another thread I created recently.. This is my first sorcerer and as such I have no experience playing one (or even a main caster type).

    I'm looking for advice on what self buffs I should always be running, how i should go about attacking groups indoors/outdoors, dealing with traps when solo, I've heard mentioned jumping and casting.. not sure about that since casting has a small delay and i'm back on the ground by the time it launches. Avoiding becoming an aggro magnet.. using metamagics..

    Anyway, any hints/tips or suggestions for the newbie sorcerer would be great.
    Last edited by HardRobble; 02-22-2014 at 08:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    See my signature for methods of getting past traps.

    People advocate jump-casting because casting while walking slows your movement speed down considerably, whereas if you're in the air, your forward motion is not slowed as much. As a caster, your mobility is a powerful tool to mitigate incoming damage. Also, sorcs have very fast casting animations. You can avoid taking damage from casters or archers by running behind obstacles like pillars or doorways and peeking out when your spells are off cooldown.

    Your spell selection will vary depending on your chosen element, but at low levels, fire is a no-brainer. The main way I dealt with heroic trash over sorc lives was to Web, and then stick an AoE of my chosen element on top of it (Wall of Fire/Ice Storm/Acid Rain; and the severely underused Cloudkill--does CON damage as well as acid). You can help your webs stick by increasing your Conjuration DCs and debuffing enemies (Solid Fog = -5 Reflex, dex debuffing like Waves of Exhaustion if you can afford the scrolls or spell slots). Note however that some effects will remove your webs (e.g., fireballs, winds). Note that once you get your Fireball SLA, it might be cheaper or quicker to forget about the integrity of your webs and blow things to smithereens.

    Your SLAs should have metas on full-time, because they are free for SLAs. Max/Empower are taken early on most builds for this reason. I have not found it necessary to use Max/Empower on other spells for heroic content, although they do help boss fights go faster.

    As for spells you should carry, there are a couple of threads you should review: 1, 2. I would strongly suggest either Shield or Nightshield for Magic Missile immunity and Protection from Evil or Magic Circle against evil for Command immunity. Resist Energy is a must (I shockingly find epic-level sorcs who can't do their own energy resists). You should also try to fit Disintegrate in for the mobs which have uncommon immunities (e.g., Wizard King); in a similar vein you should carry spells which oppose your savant trees, for monsters which are immune to your main elements. If you have plat reserves, many buffs can be scrolled (GH, Protection from Elements, Fire Shield, Teleport, etc), rather than cast from your SP pool. This also saves spell slots.
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    can max/empower be set for specific spells or is it an on/off all or nothing thing? can both be used at the same time? (i have both of them)

    edit:

    nvm, i found out YES to both questions
    Last edited by HardRobble; 02-22-2014 at 11:07 PM.

  4. #4
    Community Member Lonnbeimnech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardRobble View Post
    Ok, a thread that is not about builds for advanced players or even basic players. This thread is asking for the type of advice you'd find in the book "Playing DDO Sorcerers for Dummies".

    I've started a 7th level sorcerer with lots of help from another thread I created recently.. This is my first sorcerer and as such I have no experience playing one (or even a main caster type).

    I'm looking for advice on what self buffs I should always be running, how i should go about attacking groups indoors/outdoors, dealing with traps when solo, I've heard mentioned jumping and casting.. not sure about that since casting has a small delay and i'm back on the ground by the time it launches. Avoiding becoming an aggro magnet.. using metamagics..

    Anyway, any hints/tips or suggestions for the newbie sorcerer would be great.
    If you cast a spell while walking/running your movement is slowed while going through the casting animation. If you jump cast then you move at normal rate until you land. Jump is one of the most important spells for a sorc for this reason.

    Once upon a time maximize and empower multiplied the amount of damage your spells did, now they add spell power. So lets say you are level 28, running around with 450 fire spell power, and fireball will cost 15 sp. Turning on maximize and empower will add 150+75 spell power for a total of 675 spell power, or a 50% increase, and the cost of fireball will go up to 55 or a 366% increase in spell point cost.

    A 50% increase in damage for a 366% increase in sp consumption... Really not worth it then you could have just cast 3 more fireballs. and realistically you would have more than 450 spell power by level 28, so those feats are even less of a % increase in damage.

    At lower levels they add much more, comparatively, but you still blow through sp faster then you should, and it's usually overkill to throw a maximized empowered fireball at level 7.

    imo, these feats are outdated.

    Get quicken, get heighten.
    Last edited by Lonnbeimnech; 02-23-2014 at 12:33 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnbeimnech View Post
    imo, these feats are outdated.

    Get quicken, get heighten.
    I already have maximize and empower so changing them would have to wait until i want to use my lesser heart of wood (much later) and for my current level (8) they seem pretty good at least for burning hands SLA


    What exactly does heigten and quicken do? according to the wiki heighton "This Feat makes spells harder for monsters to resist by raising the effective level of the spell to the highest spell level your character can cast, but causes the spell to consume 5 more spell points per level raised. " I don't quite understand what that means in plain english.

    Will quicken shorten the cool down or just make casting time shorter?

  6. #6
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    Quicken makes your spells uninterruptible due to damage (you can still be interrupted if you get CCed or if you do breaking animations like climbing or tumbling) and only applies to spells you cast from your SP pool (i.e., not scrolls). It also makes spells cast faster when toggled on.

    Heighten increases the DC of your low-level spells by raising their spell level to the highest spell level you can currently cast. The wiki article has quite a good explanation. Spell level is one of the components of your offensive DCs. So if you're casting Web (level 2) but you can cast level 7 arcane spells, if you toggle Heighten on for Web, you will cast it at level 7 for +5 DC.
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  7. #7
    Community Member Cardtrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnbeimnech View Post
    Once upon a time maximize and empower multiplied the amount of damage your spells did, now they add spell power. So lets say you are level 28, running around with 450 fire spell power, and fireball will cost 15 sp. Turning on maximize and empower will add 150+75 spell power for a total of 675 spell power, or a 50% increase, and the cost of fireball will go up to 55 or a 366% increase in spell point cost.

    A 50% increase in damage for a 366% increase in sp consumption... Really not worth it then you could have just cast 3 more fireballs. and realistically you would have more than 450 spell power by level 28, so those feats are even less of a % increase in damage.

    At lower levels they add much more, comparatively, but you still blow through sp faster then you should, and it's usually overkill to throw a maximized empowered fireball at level 7.
    This is all true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnbeimnech View Post
    imo, these feats are outdated.
    But I could not disagree more strongly with this. They're not outdated, they're just more situational.

    Maximize should still be the very first feat every wizard or sorcerer takes. But at first, it should be turned off for everything except SLAs. It's free on SLAs. In the first couple of levels, it's not a 50% increase in damage -- it's more like a 100 - 150% increase. And it costs nothing!

    The fact that SLAs can be fully metaed for free (maximize, empower, heighten, quicken -- all at the same time) is what keeps them useful all the way up to level 20 and even beyond. Otherwise, the SLAs would have such low damage that by the mid levels they're not worth even their low cost.

    Other than the SLAs, I basically never use Empower. Maximize I use on some things -- primarily the DOTs (Niac's and Eladar's) for big bosses, and sometimes on Delayed Blast Fireball to clear a room quick -- even in the upper teens, a Maximized DBF followed by fully-metaed Fireball and Scorch SLAs will kill most groups. Sometimes on Scorching Ray at its super long range for things I don't want getting close - primarily beholders.

    Quicken of course is essential for slow self-healing spellings (Reconstruct on Warforged arcanes, NEB on palemasters, Heal on Divines). It's also useful on certain other slow-casting spells that would be hard to target or too dangerous to use without it (Otto's Dancing Sphere, etc.).

    Heighten is tough. It's great on SLAs, of course -- many fewer enemies saving on Reflex checks. Other than that, it's most useful on CC or insta-kill spells that don't have better high-level versions. Especially web and Otto's. It rarely, if ever, makes sense to use it on direct damage spells -- there's typically a higher level spell that would accomplish the same thing but better.

    Also, Enlarge is worth considering. It's a bit tough to fit feat-wise, sometimes, but it can be pretty awesome. It lets you toss a DBF from way out of range. Beyond the obvious benefit of avoiding damage by being out of range, that often means that you can hit groups while they're still clustered close together, whereas if you moved close enough to cast a DBF normally, a couple of stragglers would have separated and been outside the blast radius. Also super nice for casting DOTs on bosses from out of their range.
    Last edited by Cardtrick; 02-24-2014 at 02:15 PM.
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  8. #8
    Community Member Sokól's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnbeimnech View Post
    If you cast a spell while walking/running your movement is slowed while going through the casting animation. If you jump cast then you move at normal rate until you land. Jump is one of the most important spells for a sorc for this reason.

    Once upon a time maximize and empower multiplied the amount of damage your spells did, now they add spell power. So lets say you are level 28, running around with 450 fire spell power, and fireball will cost 15 sp. Turning on maximize and empower will add 150+75 spell power for a total of 675 spell power, or a 50% increase, and the cost of fireball will go up to 55 or a 366% increase in spell point cost.

    A 50% increase in damage for a 366% increase in sp consumption... Really not worth it then you could have just cast 3 more fireballs. and realistically you would have more than 450 spell power by level 28, so those feats are even less of a % increase in damage.

    At lower levels they add much more, comparatively, but you still blow through sp faster then you should, and it's usually overkill to throw a maximized empowered fireball at level 7.

    imo, these feats are outdated.

    Get quicken, get heighten.
    so true even empower heal has lost its worth...
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  9. #9
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    Can we please stop suggesting sorcerers to not get Maximize, Empower and Heighten? Unless you are going Shiradi route, get all of the above feats. The extra damage is worth the extra sp.

    And good luck landing anything without Heighten. Heighten is not worth it on direct damage spells? Are we talking about Epic Normal (or even Heroic normal) here? Heighten is one of the best feat in the game and it is essential to any Arcane.

    Suggesting to consider Enlarge and not Empower/Heighten gave me a good laugh thou.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnbeimnech View Post
    At lower levels they add much more, comparatively, but you still blow through sp faster then you should, and it's usually overkill to throw a maximized empowered fireball at level 7.
    At low levels, why do you need to cast anything? Max/Emp burning hands and acid splash SLAs clear everything.

  11. #11
    Community Member Cardtrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizza View Post
    Suggesting to consider Enlarge and not Empower/Heighten gave me a good laugh thou.
    I think I'm the only one in this thread who mentioned Enlarge, and I definitely didn't mean to take it instead of Maximize/Empower/Heighten/Quicken. I mostly use the metamagics for SLAs, but I still think they're absolutely essential -- as I discussed at pretty great length in my post. If fact, I talked about every one of those metamagics and what I use them for before mentioning Enlarge.

    But the 4 main metas have been essential for sorcerers forever. And yet, we all used to build characters just fine before the enhancements pass, when Toughness was also considered mandatory due to the enhancements it opened up. In some senses, we now have a free feat, since we don't have to take Toughness. For a lot of builds, I think that free feat is better used for Enlarge than for anything else. (Especially for TR lives in the heroic levels . . . I'd rather have Enlarge than (Greater) Spell Focus if I'm not going to be using the spell focus feat as a prerequisite for epic feats or destiny abilities.)

    If you've never tried Enlarge, try it sometime. I used to think it was pure gimpness, like Eschew -- but it's actually incredibly useful.
    Last edited by Cardtrick; 02-25-2014 at 11:59 AM.
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    One day I just wrote "Why Do I Die So Much?" in party chat, and that is how I learned about fortification.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardtrick View Post
    If you've never tried Enlarge, try it sometime. I used to think it was pure gimpness, like Eschew -- but it's actually incredibly useful.
    My Wizard (I know this is a sorc thread) has enlarge but not heighten. The force SLAs do not have a save, but they do have a very short range. The sorc SLAs have a much better range, so I can see it being more of a tough choice.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ancient View Post
    My Wizard (I know this is a sorc thread) has enlarge but not heighten. The force SLAs do not have a save, but they do have a very short range. The sorc SLAs have a much better range, so I can see it being more of a tough choice.
    It is worth mentioning for anyone reading this that Ancient's wizard build (the one from his signature) is a Shiradi force-based archmage. Most of the spells he casts have no DC at all, not even the SLAs, and they are cast largely in order to trigger the Shiradi effects. Heighten would do virtually nothing for his character.

    For nearly any other kind of arcane build, Heighten is useful. And I wouldn't normally recommend Enlarge over Heighten. But if you're carrying Extend or Toughness (unless you're also taking Epic Toughness), I would suggest considering Enlarge instead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard_Zero View Post
    One day I just wrote "Why Do I Die So Much?" in party chat, and that is how I learned about fortification.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardtrick View Post
    It is worth mentioning for anyone reading this that Ancient's wizard build (the one from his signature) is a Shiradi force-based archmage. Most of the spells he casts have no DC at all, not even the SLAs, and they are cast largely in order to trigger the Shiradi effects. Heighten would do virtually nothing for his character.
    A very valid point, although I cast damage spells/SLAs to do damage and can kill/survive even outside shiradi. The choice to chase DCs or not is a huge one and there is a lot of power in DCs... but it is not a little commitment. Once you go down that path, the optimal approach is to go all in... which would include heighten (and possibly other feats). The choice to not chase DCs does free up feats, but it also reduces choices of what spells you can use effectively.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardtrick View Post
    For nearly any other kind of arcane build, Heighten is useful. And I wouldn't normally recommend Enlarge over Heighten. But if you're carrying Extend or Toughness (unless you're also taking Epic Toughness), I would suggest considering Enlarge instead.
    For any DC based build. There are other non-dc builds other than just shiradi (EK Knight, Wraith Melee, Tulkaw).

    Pulling this back to the basic playstyle for a sorc. Decide if you want to pursue DC or not. If you do, then it is a significant commitment and it should be a significant part of your build. If you don't, then go all in on something else and put any flexibility you have with feats/AP into survival because you won't have the same level of control that a high end DC caster does. I have a strong preference towards building for survival, many others have a strong preference for building for control/DCs.

  15. #15
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    To keep this simple...a Sorcerer is nothing more than a bulldozer. Choose a Main element (Fire is good except for lvls 15-20) and a secindary element. Then bulldoze your way to victory. There really is not much finesse when it comes to sorcerer (Except for Shiradi Sorcs at epic lvls).

    Good to have buffs: Blur, Displacement, Greater Heroism, Night Shield, Jump, elemental resistance and I like magic Circle against evil.

    It has become pretty popular to spash 2 lvls of Paladin on a Sorc for some really big saves.

    Sorc are not typically big time instakillers..but rather big time nukers. You should enjoy being a sorcerer.
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  16. #16
    Community Member Cardtrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ancient View Post
    A very valid point, although I cast damage spells/SLAs to do damage and can kill/survive even outside shiradi. The choice to chase DCs or not is a huge one and there is a lot of power in DCs... but it is not a little commitment. Once you go down that path, the optimal approach is to go all in... which would include heighten (and possibly other feats). The choice to not chase DCs does free up feats, but it also reduces choices of what spells you can use effectively.
    True. And I know you completely understand this, but I do just want to emphasize for others reading this that nearly all "casting" sorcerers will cast at least some DC-based spells, even those sorcerers who are focused fully on direct damage. This is because -- unlike an evocation-focused wizard, who mostly casts saveless force-based missile spells and SLAs -- the sorcerer savant SLAs all include some spells with saves for half damage, but which can have metas applied for free. That's why Heighten is likely to be a significant DPS increase on any sorcerer who makes use of their SLAs (which, again, is virtually any sorcerer, excluding the specialty melee/EK/Tukaw style builds).

    Quote Originally Posted by kinggartk View Post
    Good to have buffs: Blur, Displacement, Greater Heroism, Night Shield, Jump, elemental resistance and I like magic Circle against evil.
    If you ever group at all, you'll also want Haste, and ideally also Rage. Most groups expect the arcane to cast these on everyone. At least one of Protection From Elements and Mass Protection From Elements is extremely useful. (I prefer the mass version for versatility, since it doesn't cost much more andcan be used either solo or in a group.)

    Greater Heroism is castable from a scroll with a respectable duration and exactly the same benefits it would otherwise have. (Same for, e.g., Teleport.) Due to the limited spell selections sorcerers get, many of us choose not to take spells like GH.

    Quote Originally Posted by kinggartk View Post
    It has become pretty popular to spash 2 lvls of Paladin on a Sorc for some really big saves.
    This is especially useful for epic levels, but a new player might prefer to go straight sorcerer for at least their first character/life. If doing the splash, though, it's typically best to push the paladin levels back somewhere fairly late in the leveling process. It's definitely worth going straight sorcerer for at least 14 levels to get access to the level 7 spells; that's enough destructive power to finish leveling comfortably.

    Be aware that if you're considering something like this, you must make your character Lawful Good at the time of creation; otherwise, you'll need to perform an alignment change, which costs Turbine Points in the DDO Store.

    Another common splash is either 2 or 4 levels of Favored Soul, for increased fire/force critical chance and the ability to regain temporary spell points every time you score a fire / force critical (this is an enhancement called Just Rewards).

    I personally think the easiest way to level is as a fire savant with force as a secondary school and a couple of useful acid spells (Acid Rain and Black Dragon Bolt, in particular). 16 sorc levels, then 2 favored soul levels. Then the last 2 levels can be in any of the 3 relevant classes -- sorc, favored soul, or paladin -- depending on preference.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard_Zero View Post
    One day I just wrote "Why Do I Die So Much?" in party chat, and that is how I learned about fortification.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardtrick View Post
    I personally think the easiest way to level is as a fire savant with force as a secondary school and a couple of useful acid spells (Acid Rain and Black Dragon Bolt, in particular). 16 sorc levels, then 2 favored soul levels. Then the last 2 levels can be in any of the 3 relevant classes -- sorc, favored soul, or paladin -- depending on preference.
    This comes down to a style difference if you wish to be SLA centric or Spell centric. The 16 levels is a spell centric threshold. For my Sorc, I was able to easily get through heroics with the SLAs, scorching ray and chain missile. Reconstruct is a huge increase in survivability, so level 12 is huge milestone. I was still spending AP on sorc stuff at level 12, so it was too early to pull FVS in. I went 2 paladin levels to help with survival, followed by the FVS levels, then I finished up with Sorc. The last 4 levels could be flipped however.

    I will admit one potential flaw in my thinking however... I focused on survival because I was pulling so much agro I wanted to survive. You do bring up the possibility that if I had one shot the entire room, I wouldn't need to worry about retaliation... But if you go that route, you better be sure you really do clear the room in that one shot... or it might sting a little bit

    As far as elements, early on I went Fire/Earth savant but for spells I took scorching ray, force and utility spells. The only thing I took in earth was enough to get the acid splash SLA to level 3. That gave me two max/empowered area effect SLAs which was enough to clear almost anything with minimal mana usage. Once I reached the point where the points in Earth would have let me get the fireball SLA, I reset out of earth and went pure fire/force.

    Since max/empower is free on SLAs, I think they are easy choices for the first two feats. I went quicken next and then since I'm not DC focused, I moved over to mental toughness for the crits. A DC focused caster might start with heighten/evocation focus at that point. I would not suggest a new player skip max/empower.

    Once again, all of this post is how I leveled my sorc.

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    Hi,
    I don't have access to the WF ablity, so the
    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...ller-than-ever
    and
    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...52#post5095752

    builds look great to me, and I understand how they work... but I see a major section of it is the WF aspect.
    1) do these type of builds work as a lowly NEW non TR/LR Human that I am?
    2) what do I take instead of these WF stuff?
    3) do I need both Jump and tumble?
    --
    Basically, I am looking for the glass cannon build. I ONLY play in a group with friends, and we will be doing end game content eventually. We got our tank and healers, so as long as I don't over agro things I should be 100% fine as the glass cannon.

    If anyone could please help me out with Feats/enhancements for a 28 point starting Human sorc, that would much appreciated.
    Thanks, Finn.

  19. #19
    Community Member Lonnbeimnech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finn42 View Post
    Hi,
    I don't have access to the WF ablity, so the
    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...ller-than-ever
    and
    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...52#post5095752

    builds look great to me, and I understand how they work... but I see a major section of it is the WF aspect.
    1) do these type of builds work as a lowly NEW non TR/LR Human that I am?
    2) what do I take instead of these WF stuff?
    3) do I need both Jump and tumble?
    --
    Basically, I am looking for the glass cannon build. I ONLY play in a group with friends, and we will be doing end game content eventually. We got our tank and healers, so as long as I don't over agro things I should be 100% fine as the glass cannon.

    If anyone could please help me out with Feats/enhancements for a 28 point starting Human sorc, that would much appreciated.
    Thanks, Finn.
    A human should invest in umd, it allows you to heal with wands and scrolls. In epic content, you should also twist cocoon.

    The play style of a human is different. A wf can stand there and take it on the chin and recon through it. A human has to kite. Other than that it's pretty much the same.

    Put 1 point in tumble, and take the jump spell. Don't put points in jump, don't take the tumble spell.

  20. #20
    Community Member Sokól's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finn42 View Post
    Hi,
    I don't have access to the WF ablity, so the
    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...ller-than-ever
    and
    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...52#post5095752

    builds look great to me, and I understand how they work... but I see a major section of it is the WF aspect.
    1) do these type of builds work as a lowly NEW non TR/LR Human that I am?
    2) what do I take instead of these WF stuff?
    3) do I need both Jump and tumble?
    --
    Basically, I am looking for the glass cannon build. I ONLY play in a group with friends, and we will be doing end game content eventually. We got our tank and healers, so as long as I don't over agro things I should be 100% fine as the glass cannon.

    If anyone could please help me out with Feats/enhancements for a 28 point starting Human sorc, that would much appreciated.
    Thanks, Finn.
    max diplomacy as a skill great for aggro management and when your friend goes afk
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