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  1. #1
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    Default Help...with melee build

    Hey all...

    Have some friends that talked me into joining DDO. So I signed up for the free to play version. Need some help with build recommendations.

    I'm free to play obviously. 28pt build. I'm rather partial to dwarves. I'm thinking my friends want me to be a tank, I have always been a fan of damage of course.

    So with that in mind...what should I do? Fighter? Barb? A mix of some of them?

    I'm really not that great at producing builds, so if you have one to direct me to, or can give me a pretty detailed idea I would be extremely grateful. Been looking at the latest update notes and this whole tree system is confusing the **** outta me.

    Thanks for all your input!

  2. #2
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    When you say "tank," are you looking for the classic S&B warrior; or are you just looking for a tough melee DPS toon who can soak up the hits long enough for the healer to keep them alive?

    Fortunately, dwarves are pretty good for either approach. Barb or ftr is best for DPS; ftr or pally is best for "classic" tanking.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    When you say "tank," are you looking for the classic S&B warrior; or are you just looking for a tough melee DPS toon who can soak up the hits long enough for the healer to keep them alive?

    Fortunately, dwarves are pretty good for either approach. Barb or ftr is best for DPS; ftr or pally is best for "classic" tanking.
    I apologize for not getting back sooner...had some technical difficulties with my posting permissions...

    Anyway...thanks for your response. To answer your question, in other games I have gone more for the DPS type. Though I am not opposed to a S&B guy if it's thought to be a more beneficial route in this game. So honestly I would be fine with either type of build.

  4. #4
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Right now a S&B tank is about as welcome as a chastity belt in a brothel among the DDO forum vets. Turbine made various changes in the latest update which make S&B tanking less effective, while making monk "tanks" more effective. [Which I find ironic, since the trend over the last year or two had been to make S&B better while nerfing monks.] That said, a good tank can still be useful, particularly to a static group (I'm presuming you plan to play w/your friends).

    Since you're new & F2P, I'd recommend sticking with a pure build: either barb built just for DPS or a ftr which is DPS-focused but can shift into S&B tanking later.

  5. #5
    Community Member PsychoBlonde's Avatar
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    DDO is not like any other MMO out there when it comes to tanking. There are only a VERY few situations where a true "tank" is actually a valuable character build--any build can be a successful aggro sponge if you know what you're doing. The roles in DDO are less "healer/dps/tank" and more based on what quest you're doing and what your party makeup is. You can run with no healer and no tank very easily and most of the real endgame stuff just flat out cannot be tanked (no healer can keep up with the amount of damage epic elite mobs dish out) and requires a different kind of aggro management strategy that minimizes enemy opportunity to DO damage rather than having one person eat it.

    If your friends are looking for you to "tank", what they really mean viz DDO is that they want you to trade some offensive power to make yourself self-sufficient so if things go to pot they can rely on you to grab their stones and make it back to the shrine. Building a self-sufficient character can be difficult on 28-point build but it's not impossible. If you're completely free to play (no favored soul, monk, artificer or druid), I'd actually suggest you play a CLERIC. Go for a decent but not super-high wisdom, save your sp for healing and buffing, and focus on melee. Paladin and Ranger are also good choices for easy self-sufficient characters because they can use wands without any Use Magic Device and self-healing capacity is VITAL. Making a melee bard (which means minimal cha but tons of strength and con) can also be a very good option. Fighter and Barbarian are VERY, VERY difficult to play in a self-sufficient way. Barbarian is basically impossible--the moment the healer goes down, you're screwed.

    If you find yourself inclined to spend a little money (or you just want to save up your favor) and you really want to do a tank type, I'd suggest picking up the Druid class. Dwarf druid/fighter in bear form is a monster tank and druids are among the most self-sufficient characters in the game. They're COMPLICATED, though, but due to the way animal form works you can get all the dwarf benefits of using a dwarven axe (including, if you invest in the dwarf enhancement tree, the ability to use your constitution score for damage instead of strength--and druid bear form gives you bonus con ON TOP of the bonus con you get from dwarf) AND use a shield but not completely nerf your dps.
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  6. #6
    Community Member Soulfurnace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoBlonde View Post
    and druid bear form gives you bonus con ON TOP of the bonus con you get from dwarf) AND use a shield but not completely nerf your dps.
    It's a BEAR. You do not even HAVE dps.
    You're at 1/2dps and that's while blitzing.

  7. #7
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoBlonde View Post
    If your friends are looking for you to "tank", what they really mean viz DDO is that they want you to trade some offensive power to make yourself self-sufficient so if things go to pot they can rely on you to grab their stones and make it back to the shrine.
    "Tank" means whatever the person saying it intends it to mean. That's one possible definition; there's about a bazillion others. OP is best off asking his friends how they want him to fit in, rather than relying on a bunch of forumites with their own biases.

  8. #8
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    Right now a S&B tank is about as welcome as a chastity belt in a brothel among the DDO forum vets.
    This is a great statement. Definite +1!

  9. #9
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    My very first character was a dwarf named Therigar back on Ghallanda -- hence my forum name. He too was a 28 point build. I used the inherent abilities of ranger to grant two-weapon fighting combined with fighter and barbarian to build a STR and CON character dual wielding dwarven axes. In many respects he was my favorite character as I look back at my time playing DDO.

    Since those early days some things have changed in DDO. The most important from a build standpoint is the changes in the armor class system. That original Therigar used plate armor and had more than sufficient AC. Today that would not work. In the current game it is necessary to have a combination of several factors in order to have good defenses -- this explains the statement above on chastity belts.

    In the present game a better approach is ranger/fighter/monk or even ranger/paladin/monk. Part of the reason has to do with the auto granted feats for these classes, part of it has to do with the importance of dodge to defenses and part of it has to do with the way enhancements work.

    The difficulty is that building these characters sometimes takes time and levels for the full potential of the build to be appreciated. Since the character level cap is L28 many players feel that this is trivial because everything that is needed will be in place by L20 when the character moves from heroic content into epic content. And, generally, heroic content is viewed as very easy.

    Of course, heroic content is only very easy because the players are not starting out with no experience in the game. They usually have the knowledge and resources to make the heroic content seem almost trivial. As a new player that probably won't be your impression.

    Still, a solid build can be gotten by going ranger 11/fighter 8/monk 1. This can be done using dwarf as the starting race and with starting stats that focus mostly on STR and CON. The advantage is that with only 2 stats to key in on the character does not have to worry about being a 28 point build.

    Start as a ranger and stick with it through L11. Now take 1 level of monk. Finally, take the 8 fighter levels. Ranger will grant you all the TWF feats you need and all but 1 of the shooting feats (point blank shot). Monk 1 will open up monk stances to you. You will have to intentionally select adept, master and grandmaster stances at levels 12, 15 and 18 but they are worth taking. Fighter gives you 5 martial feats to compensate for spending your L12-18 feats on stances. It also opens an enhancement line that lets you treat your dwarven axes as ki weapons -- keeping you centered.

    In the end this becomes a pajama build -- that is, a warrior that wears no armor but instead dresses in outfits or robes. The main advantages of this are higher dodge bonuses for increased miss chances during combat and the ability to add DEX and WIS bonuses to AC. This last might seem trivial since WIS and DEX will be low but with tomes and stat raising items even starting with 8 in each stat will let you reach ~20 for +5 to AC from each of them. A bit more work can raise both to ~24.

    These are not exceptional numbers but still adequate for most characters on a first life.

    IMO the alternative to this is to abandon dwarf and go elf or halfling instead. A halfling that focused on short swords could go ranger/monk or ranger/paladin/monk and focus entirely on DEX/CON/WIS. A build of this type doesn't need to worry about being centered because the Ninja Spy prestige lets monks count short swords as ki weapons. And, it doesn't need to worry about STR because the Tempest prestige lets rangers use DEX to hit and to damage with light (IE, short sword) weapons. In addition, Zen Archery allows monks to count bows as ki weapons. A character built this way makes for a strong melee & ranged build with even higher AC, saves, etc.

    It is probably the better route if you are not insisting on being dwarf. It can still be a workable route as a dwarf but the racial benefits of elf or halfling really argue for choosing one of them instead.

  10. #10
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    Wow, thanks for all the information!

    Not sure if it helps, but when I say I'll be playing with friends its more or less 3 others besides me. I know that those three are a cleric, a sorcerer, and a rogue. Not sure exactly how they have geared their characters though.

    Seems as though a lot of builds are including monk, which I don't have access to currently. I hate to say it but I would prefer to stay dwarf, just my flavor of character I guess.

    I was looking around the forum archives and found a build called "Axer"? that seemed kind of my speed, but I see that was before the latest update so I'm not sure if that would work or not. Also saw a Cetus and Kensei Build...but alas they also contain monk.

    I have played both characters that were solely DPS/suck up damage as well as the type with more defense/AC to avoid damage. I have very little experience with casting classes.

    Not sure if if that helps at all with any more suggestions.

    Thanks again everyone, you info has been great!

  11. #11
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    "Axer? I barely know `er!"

    badum bum

    Shade's barb guide is still a good place to start; the info on Enhancements is obsolete, of course, but the basics are essentially the same.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GR8TSC0T View Post
    Wow, thanks for all the information!

    Not sure if it helps, but when I say I'll be playing with friends its more or less 3 others besides me. I know that those three are a cleric, a sorcerer, and a rogue. Not sure exactly how they have geared their characters though.

    Seems as though a lot of builds are including monk, which I don't have access to currently. I hate to say it but I would prefer to stay dwarf, just my flavor of character I guess.

    I was looking around the forum archives and found a build called "Axer"? that seemed kind of my speed, but I see that was before the latest update so I'm not sure if that would work or not. Also saw a Cetus and Kensei Build...but alas they also contain monk.

    I have played both characters that were solely DPS/suck up damage as well as the type with more defense/AC to avoid damage. I have very little experience with casting classes.

    Not sure if if that helps at all with any more suggestions.

    Thanks again everyone, you info has been great!
    This is great news, because a cleric, sorc, and rogue covers pretty much anything and everything a party could need, so you're free to play whatever! The only thing they may lack is melee DPS for spell and sneak attack resistance targets (golems, blackbone skellies, etc).

    Since you don't have and aren't looking to pick up monk, don't need trap skills, won't have to heal yourself or the party much, I would consider a melee bard (bard 16 +4 splash of fighter and/or ranger and/or rogue), or a pure ranger tempest (elf or halfling most likely). Other decent builds would include a 12 fighter (Kensei) / 6 paladin (KoC) / 2 rogue build for evasion + great saves + great DPS. That build would give you fighter tactics + paladin saves + evasion + power boost + divine might. Dwarf would increase tactics even further, and you'll want to go two handed fighting line + power attack + cleave + great cleave + stunning blow + imp trip (requires you also have combat expertise) + imp sunder. It's not as good as having monk for centered attacks and extra feats, but should be a very capable toon and self sufficient. Pure barbarian and fighter builds would both work also since your group can heal you and take care of traps and ranged damaged.

  13. #13
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Given your static party's makeup, my advice would be to make a ftr or pally (or ftr / pally); specced for melee DPS, but with some survivability & threat bonuses from SD and the option of going S&B later if you decide to pursue that route.

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