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  1. #1
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    Default Barbarians Best Buddy

    Hi,

    I am looking for help and advice to guide me in the right direction for a new character to play duo with my son. He has a half-orc barbarian that he has fallen in love with, two handed axe smashing things left and right and looking for big crit numbers popping up. He will be staying pure barbarian, he doesn't do traps, he doesn't heal himself and in general is a bit reckless. We will likely just be playing duo with these characters, and we are just talking heroic dungeons.

    I am hoping to create a character to play with him that can support his barbarian nature as well as I can, my goal is to create the "Barbarians Best Buddy". I just started playing the game again after a long break and lost my old account in some purge, but I have access to whatever VIP gives and have unlocked drow and artificer. I figure I need to be able to (in order of importance):

    * Heal him and myself.
    * Do traps/locks.
    * He would love if I could buff him a bit.
    * DPS a bit either ranged or melee.

    I am not looking for a munchkin build, but something that is not broken. The goal is not that the build is fantastic on its own, but that it is a great assistant for a barbarian. Flavor is appreciated. No idea how fast we will level, the build needs to be somewhat playable from level 5-6 and onwards I suppose.

    I've been browsing over builds and enhancement trees, but there is just so much to take in that I am starting to go in circles. My current very rough ideas are either:

    1. A halfling bard, splashing a little rogue and possibly ranger. I would probably stay at 16 levels bard and splash either 4 levels rogue or 3/1 or 1/3 ranger/rogue or some similar combination. My thought was to dump STR and go high DEX. My motivations here are:
    * Flavor (tiny Halfing buddy taking care of his big Half-Orc Barbarian)
    * Heroic Companion halfling enhancement seems like a good buddy buff for a barbarian (does the damage resist stack with whatever damage resist a barbarian has from class?)
    * Healing dragonmarks from halfling
    * Evasion and high reflex saves.
    * Dex based hit/damage with dagger/kukri and thrown weapons (and maybe other weapons?)
    * Trapskills (wondering how much rogue I will need to keep them up)
    * Buffs from bard
    * Healing from bard
    * Possibly + positive spellpower from ranger enhancements to improve healing
    * Possibly some twf stuff from ranger

    I am wondering what would be a good split for bard/rogue/ranger or just bard/rogue? Is a bard only useful in full groups or can it shine in a duo? I would prefer being dex based hit/dam for flavor and personal enjoyment and since halfings are -2 str and +2 dex, but if str in any case is clearly better in the long run that would be good to know as well. Should I focus on ranged or twf for dps, what would be easiest to achieve? Would some other race be a better choice?

    2. An elf ranger splashing rogue and possibly fighter or something else. For instance ranger/rogue with 1-4 levels of rogue. My motivations here are:
    * Some flavor still in a slender elf and brutish half-orc together.
    * High dex, evasion and reflex saves.
    * I like that elf can get dex to hit/dam with bows and scimitar.
    * Trapskills
    * Should be able to both twf and go ranged (bow) passably well with so much ranger?
    * Ranger has a few buffs.
    * Ranger can heal some.

    My naive understanding is that the bard build would heal and buff a lot better than the ranger build but the ranger build would dps better both ranged and melee. I suppose trapskills would be similar for both builds depending on rogue levels and enhancement choices. I suspect that the healing of the ranger build will not be good enough. Lacking experience with the game I am leaning towards the halfling bard build being a better starting point to flesh out more, but was hoping to get some feedback on whether I was moving in the right direction. Any advice is appreciated!

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Well, ranger gets 75 devotion from tier 1 enhancements in the deepwood stalker tree, so that's something. But rangers don't even get cure light wounds -- which itself is almost useless -- until level 10, so I wouldn't want to heal a barb with a ranger while leveling.

    Ranger 6 lets you use dex for damage with light melee weapons, and ranger 3 turns scimitars into light weapons. (Both from tempest core abilities.)

    Rogue 2 is needed for evasion, so...12 bard/6 ranger/2 rogue? Such a split could easily handle traps but I'm not sure about the quality of its heals.

    6 ranger has a lot going for it, most notably that it autgrants TWF, ITWF and Manyshot. Would you consider 12 cleric/6 ranger/2 rogue?

    EDIT: I like the bard buffs for a barb though. Maybe the dragonmarks + the bard healing would be fine? I really like your flavor concept but don't see any way to get dex for damage on a halfling without 6 ranger. Do the rogue trees grant it?

    Hey, actually, what about an acrobat build? Quarterstaff fighting seems like it could be fun, and that could play well with bard as a 16/4 build I bet. Just spitballing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    Well, ranger gets 75 devotion from tier 1 enhancements in the deepwood stalker tree, so that's something. But rangers don't even get cure light wounds -- which itself is almost useless -- until level 10, so I wouldn't want to heal a barb with a ranger while leveling.
    Right, thats what I was afraid of. I suppose I will focus on the bard idea to be sure I can heal.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post

    EDIT: I like the bard buffs for a barb though. Maybe the dragonmarks + the bard healing would be fine? I really like your flavor concept but don't see any way to get dex for damage on a halfling without 6 ranger. Do the rogue trees grant it?

    Hey, actually, what about an acrobat build? Quarterstaff fighting seems like it could be fun, and that could play well with bard as a 16/4 build I bet. Just spitballing.
    My thought on dex for damage was the halfling enhancement "skillfull thrower" which gives dex to damage for returning thrown weapons, and the rogue assassin lvl 3 enhancement "dagger in the back", which gives dex to damage with dagger and kukri (and any weapons you can finesse if you have that feat)

    An acrobat build also sounds interesting, more to think about.

    Thanks for the input!

  4. #4
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangoro View Post
    * Heal him and myself.
    * Do traps/locks.
    * He would love if I could buff him a bit.
    * DPS a bit either ranged or melee.
    Rogue / bard would be my suggestion; maybe rog / druid if you have the latter unlocked. [Rog / rgrs are good for a lot of things, but "party healer" isn't one of them.] Halfling is nice for either, partly for extra sneak atk, partly for DM for added healing oomph. Normally I'd suggest TWF, but maybe a staff build would be a good alternative? Rogue / cleric would also work, but you tend to need to pump up INT to have enough skill pts to do traps as well; in that case I'd go human for extra feat, skill pts, Greater Heroism clickie if you can afford it.

    EDIT: if you were both WF, I'd recommend WF rog / wiz or artificer...but I guess that's not an option here.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangoro View Post
    Right, thats what I was afraid of. I suppose I will focus on the bard idea to be sure I can heal.
    Well, not like rangers need Cure Light all THAT much any more with the Lesser Vigor... then again you don't get all that many of those between rests. (But you don't get much sp at those levels either.)

    Still, that and the halfling DM together would add up to something... not sure if that'd be enough.


    Does VIP get you 32 point builds automatically? Because without those there could be some advantage to starting with drow... not sure...

    Bards at least get enough skill points to not need a huge investment in int to actually be able to do something with traps and locks, and there'd be a kind of flavor in teaming a warchanter with a barbarian.
    And with the extra devotion and feats, I'm fairly sure I'd go at least 2 ranger and 2 rogue anyway... maybe more of both, even, but with finesse and 2 ranger you can already use dex for damage in melee. (It's even in the same tree as the devotion, heh.)

    Hm. Halfling, dex-based, 1 rogue (feat: Dragonmark), 2&3 ranger (feat: Finesse), a bunch of levels in bard maybe (Emp Heal at 6?), 2nd rogue somewhere around 8 to 10, and...? (Or maybe not. Could be a bad idea just as well.)
    No longer completely f2p as of November 2014. Father of 3 more DDO players so far (I do have more children than that).

  6. #6
    The Hatchery danotmano1998's Avatar
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    Have you considered Artificer?
    It's a really good support class, does traps, can heal, is self sufficient, high UMD, Can be a very solid asset in ranged damage as well as a decent caster or melee, depending on how you build it.


    Best of luck to you!
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    Dude, did you see they way that guy just pressed button 1? It was amazing! A display of skill unseen since the 1984 World Games where in the men's room, between events, a man washed his hands with such unbridled majesty that people were claiming the faucet he used was OP.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    Well, ranger gets 75 devotion from tier 1 enhancements in the deepwood stalker tree, so that's something. But rangers don't even get cure light wounds -- which itself is almost useless -- until level 10, so I wouldn't want to heal a barb with a ranger while leveling.

    Ranger 6 lets you use dex for damage with light melee weapons, and ranger 3 turns scimitars into light weapons. (Both from tempest core abilities.)
    ...
    EDIT: I like the bard buffs for a barb though. Maybe the dragonmarks + the bard healing would be fine? I really like your flavor concept but don't see any way to get dex for damage on a halfling without 6 ranger. Do the rogue trees grant it?.
    Actually, 2 ranger + Weapon Finesse makes you eligible for Improved Finesse from the DWS tree... nicely after you put the APs into devotion in the same tree anyway.

    The benefit from getting that from Tempest instead is not needing the feat, it seems...
    No longer completely f2p as of November 2014. Father of 3 more DDO players so far (I do have more children than that).

  8. #8
    Community Member Lauf's Avatar
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    Halfling, 16 bard / 3 rogue / 1 ranger

    heroic feats:

    weapon finesse
    two weapon fighting
    improved two weapon fighting
    greater two weapon fighting
    power attack (requires 13+ in strength after tomes)
    improved critical: Piercing

    that's really all you need for fighting prowess, leaving you with a feat open.
    possible options: dragonmark (will allow you to remove neg levels and cast heal), extend, empower healing, precision, cleave, mental toughness

    1 ranger for that +75% to healing
    3 rogue opens up the 2nd core in the assassin tree: Dagger in the Back: You can now use your Dexterity for damage with Daggers and Kukris. If you possess the Weapon Finesse feat, this also applies to melee weapons with which you can use your Dexterity modifier to hit.
    this should take care of your dexterity build woes
    16 bard for all the bardic goodness

    hope this helps, enjoy

  9. #9
    Community Member mezzorco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mna View Post
    The benefit from getting that from Tempest instead is not needing the feat, it seems...
    Another benefit is that with tempest you add scimitars to the list, although you can with DWS too if you're at least ranger 3.

  10. #10
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    I'd personally go with the Bard/Ranger/Rogue, but I'd split it 12/6/2.

    2 Rogue for Evasion and trapping (and skill points)
    6 Ranger for TWF/ITFW, Precise Shot and Manyshot
    12 Bard for Cure Critical, Dimension Door, FOM, Haste, Displacement (Blur for your son), Rage, Good Hope and songs

    Your healing would be absolutely fine with devotion from the Ranger DWS tree, and you'd have a nice mix of being able to buff, heal, sing, fight melee, ranged, trap, open locks and UMD.

    Ranger, bard and rogue all get decent skill points per level, and the class skills are reasonably synergised, so you wouldn't have to make an enormous investment in Int.

    As for Str or Dex...unsure tbh, but I'd probably go with Str because it's more buffable. Again, just me.

    I play a similar alt, and it's a very fun character. I hamper myself by soloing with him almost exclusively, but I can see a pure barb being an amazing counterpart. Hmm...wonder if I can persuade my missus to play... :P

    Aes/

  11. #11
    Community Member Drakestor's Avatar
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    Do you have access to Warforged for both you and your son?

    If so, I suggest WF Barbarian (They start out with 10 con), and you go 18/2 WF Wiz/rogue. With repair, you can heal both of you, high int for wiz/rogue means you can get those traps, buff both of you quite a bit (Barb's just love haste), as well as having quite a bit of DPS on your side too.

  12. #12
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    Well I'm finishing my third life as a Barbarian and I usually have the same person two man army style everything with me. We always design our toons to fill everything a normal party would have Barbarians fill the tank close quarters dps, and Intimidater slots. He plays ranged typed toons in the event you neef to take out a few before the barbarian gets there. Ranger 18 / Rogue 2 The two rogue are obviously for the trap issue that Barbarians have they have low reflex saves but a lot ppl underestimate the power of a ton of hp Those are my thoughts on it. That should be all ya need.

  13. #13
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mna View Post
    Actually, 2 ranger + Weapon Finesse makes you eligible for Improved Finesse from the DWS tree... nicely after you put the APs into devotion in the same tree anyway.

    The benefit from getting that from Tempest instead is not needing the feat, it seems...
    It also works with rapiers; the Tempest enhs don't, since rapiers aren't technically light weapons.

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    Wow, so much excellent feedback! I've played a lot of online games but can't remember ever getting this much useful advice within a few hours of writing a post.

    I do have access to artificer, but my son does not want to play a warforged so I somewhat discarded that option. I haven't explored the artificer much yet but from looking at spell lists it seemed to not have so much regular healing power (but a lot of repair power for warforged).

    I looked a bit at the quarterstaff possibilities. My naive thinking is that I should probably go str based if fighting with a 2-hander? (For various feats with STR requirements). I have a preference for a dex based build if possible.

    Based on the feedback this is what I am thinking currently:

    Heavy investment in bard makes sense for healing and buffing. Also 2 levels of rogue seems clear for trapskills and evasion. I am leaning towards 2 levels of ranger to get Rapid Shot and TWF for free in addition to 6 APs in DWS tree getting me both +75 devotion and dex to damage with finessable weapons. So, a tentative 16/2/2 bard/ranger/rogue. The question is whether to add a few more levels of ranger. Level 3 ranger would get me the level 3 core tempest enhancement that gives dex to hit with light weapons and scimitars, saving me a feat on weapon finesse (and switching rapiers for scimitars). Ranger 6 would get me Precise Shot, Manyshot and ITWF (and some related enhancements), as suggested by Istaria1. I would be losing out on lvl 6 bard spells if I drop below bard 16, though. Seems like a decision I may end up postponing until I have played this char a bit.

    The progression suggested by mna makes sense to me, it seems I should start with

    1 Rogue (healing dragonmark)
    2 Ranger
    3 Ranger (weapon finesse)

    At this point I will have trapskills, TWF and dex to hit and damage with all finesse weapons, so time to start work on healing and buffing with bard levels

    4 Bard
    5 Bard
    6 Bard (emp healing)

    Slot in a level of rogue some time after this for evasion and maybe catch up a bit on open lock or some other skill that is lagging behind. If I am going to do more levels of ranger it will have to be when I have enough Bard levels to heal and buff ok.


    More questions:

    - I discovered that heal is not a class skill for bard, but it is for ranger. My understanding is that the heal skill now adds positive spellpower which powers healing spells. If bards are more healers than rangers its maybe a bit odd that heal is not a class skill for them. In any case, I realize it may be hard to keep heal maxed in addition to : UMD, Perform, Search, Disable Device, Open Lock (?), Concentration (?). Not sure how high to prioritize the heal skill, I can get it up a bit with the 2 ranger levels at least, but maybe I'll be ok healing without a maxed heal skill? Not sure how important Concentration is either. I guess those are the 2 skills I will dump if necessary, I think I should have enough points for UMD, Perform, Search, Disable Device and Open Lock.

    - I don't see much argument against halfling as race. The alternative I see is elf, which would make me better with a bow and scimitar or longsword with dex to damage options as well, better at search and also an arcane archer enhancement tree that can be unlocked. I would lose out on the healing dragonmark, Heroic Companion enhancement, some sneak attack damage and dex to throwing damage. I guess drow stats match pretty well what I need, with +2 to dex,int,cha. Also racial weapon bonuses for shortsword, rapier and shuriken is a good match. Hmm, not sure.

    - I figured if going halfling I should go with throwing weapons as my "ranged option" (dex to damage from halfling enhancements), but no idea how viable this is. I have never tried a throwing build. I see Rapid Shot from ranger (2) works with throwing weapons at least. Are there any serious issues with using throwing weapons compared to bows and x-bows? Is the range gimped or something like that? I see the damage of throwing weapons is quite low compared to the missile weapons, but I figured maybe they have a higher firing rate? Couldn't find any good description of the differences here. If the throwing weapon route is viable I think I will go with halfling, if not then maybe an elf with bows is a better route.

    I have 32 points for the build. For a halfing I might do:
    Str: 6
    Dex: 18
    Con: 14
    Int: 14
    Wis: 8
    Cha: 16

    Level-ups in dex. This should give me 8 skill points for the bard levels, so I can keep 2 class skills (perform/UMD) and 3 cross-class skills (search, disable device, open lock (?)) maxed. Is it insane to go 6 str? I see halfings have 75% carrying capacity to start with and with 6 str I might end up overburdened immediately? I have some +2/3/4 str items lying around on other chars that can alleviate this somewhat I suppose.

    In terms of feats I have not thought so much yet. I like the idea of the healing dragonmark, and I will need weapon finesse unless I go 3 ranger or choose elf. Apart from that I think I will prioritize what boosts my healing power and TWF. Any suggestions for must have feats is very welcome.

    Thanks!

  15. #15
    The Hatchery Enoach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danotmano1998 View Post
    Have you considered Artificer?
    It's a really good support class, does traps, can heal, is self sufficient, high UMD, Can be a very solid asset in ranged damage as well as a decent caster or melee, depending on how you build it.


    Best of luck to you!
    I would also recommend Artificer as a good complement to the Barbarian.

    1. Buffs through spells - can help make each swing the barbarian makes do even more damage
    2. Buffs through UMD - Artificier's are a master at using Scrolls of all types, even getting increases in caster levels so they last longer then the would otherwise
    3. Healing - Admixtures are a great source of healing early on as well as wand and scroll usage as Artificers gain level bonuses to their effectiveness
    4. Traps - You can even skip out on Spot if you want, especially if your son will spot all those traps for you with his face
    5. The Pet - Great way to retrieve your son's stone when he is in the middle of a trap.
    6. Ranged Damage Option allowing you to support your son's DPS through specialized repeaters (Paralyzers, stat damage, etc.)

  16. #16
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    Hm, so an artificer would be able to heal a non-warforged ok as well? Thats an attractive option as well then, need to read up on it more. Thanks!

  17. #17

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    I really like the flavor concept of you being a halfling.

    Artificers get what essentially amounts to cure spells, yes. They aren't super strong, but they work. Not sure how stressful it would be to heal a raging barbarian in the mid-teen levels, but by then you might be able to use heal scrolls. You also get full trapping skills. You do NOT get evasion, and your main stat will be int instead of dex so you'll want to take Insightful Reflexes.

    The thing about a 16/2/2 or 12/6/2 bard/ranger/rogue split is that the ranger levels will help "catch up" with your skills. Notably, spot and heal. This makes is desirable to space out the ranger levels, something like rogue-bardx2-ranger-bardx2-rogue-bardx2-ranger-etc... The disadvantage to this approach is that you're greatly delaying the ranger stuff.

    I think the 16/4 bard/thief-acrobat approach might be the most fun and synergistic with the barb, but I don't know much about qstaff builds so I can't say for sure it's the way to go. Also, given the new enhancement system 15/5 might be better for a tier 5 staff (some great ability I'm not familiar with), and then if 15/5 is the idea 14/6 might be better for other reasons.

  18. #18
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    I would recommend halfling dragonmarked artificer (arcanotechnician).
    Heals are pretty strong early (assuming you stack enough metamagic feats).
    You can stun mobs via Lightning Sphere SLA (assuming you don't kill them outright)
    The only problem is that you will probably have to disable metamagics on your SLAs or your son won't be able to score a kill...

  19. #19
    Community Member lyrecono's Avatar
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    if your son grabs a healing hire and listens to commands (trap over there!) you guys should be fine

  20. #20
    Community Member TheGuyYouKnow's Avatar
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    sounds like artificer, you should be able to throw curative admixtures and use heal scrolls easily enough to keep a barbarian up, if you make a WF you can repair yourself and keep the admixtures off timer for the barb
    also
    weapon buffs
    blade barrier
    traps
    decent buffs

    or you could make a 16bard/2rogue/2fighter
    get decent damage and all the buffs and heals of a bard with trapping abilitys
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