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  1. #1
    Community Member HatsuharuZ's Avatar
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    Default Implementing Dragonmark Enhancement Trees

    Over the years, I've noticed that on the forums some people have been calling for a "Dragonmark Heir" PrE. After looking it up, I discovered that "Dragonmark Heir" was a PnP prestige class with only 3 levels, and all it gives you is extra dragonmark uses and doesn't really tie into combat at all. So, what I'm assuming some people were actually talking about was a way to apply Dragonmarks to combat in DDO. After all, this game is mainly combat, and an enhancement tree (tree now, instead of prestige enhancement line) for each Dragonmark would be useful it could be commonly useful in questing. My suggestion is that each Dragonmark be given it's own enhancement tree, with abilities that use the power of the Dragonmark in combat.

    First, some facts for people who don't know much about dragonmarks:
    - Your character must be of a certain race to take a Dragonmark feat.
    - All races current playable Ebberon races except Drow and Warforged have at least one available Dragonmark.
    - Even if you are of a race that have more than one kind of Dragonmark, you can only have one. This is due to lore reasons.
    - There are 12 Dragonmarks, but only 8 are selectable in DDO.
    - Of the 8 selectable Dragonmarks, 4 are available to humans. The Mark of Finding is shared by humans and half-orcs, while elves, half-elves, halflings and dwarves each have one.
    - Each Dragonmark feats grants the character +2 to a skill, a spell-like ability that has a limited number of uses per rest. In addition, your character can spend AP to gain two more abilities in your racial tree, which also have limited uses.
    - Dragonmark abilities come in 3 tiers: Least, Lesser and Greater. Least has the most uses per day, while Greater has the least.
    - Dragonmark abilities are SLAs.

    If you're interested in the lore behind the Dragonmarks, please check the Ebberon wiki.

    Now, here is an outline for what I think the "Dragonmark Heir" enhancement trees should do:

    1) All dragonmark trees should make dragonmarks useful in combat.
    2) The only requirement for unlocking a DH tree is the Least Dragonmark feat, along with the proper race, of course.
    3) No Dragonmark ability with a DC will be based on a stat in which that race has a stat penalty.
    4) DH will give more abilities for each of the 3 tiers of Draonmark uses.
    5) Least uses will regenerate over time... maybe. It depends on whether or not the uses can be used for offensive abilities. If they are, the uses should regenerate, otherwise there is no point.
    6) Most importantly, all DH trees must be coequal with normal class enhancement trees in every way possible.

    Now, this will be a bit of a challenge for the developers. Currently, there is only one racial tree in the game, Arcane Archer. All AA abilities require a bow, and ranged combat requires a higher number of feats to be effective than melee combat. Not only that, you must be an elf or half-elf to be able to access this tree, no matter what classes you have levels in. The strengths, weaknesses and implications are well understood. But the developers, should they ever decide to implement Dragonmark enhancement trees, will have to ask themselves some really tough qestions. Do we want House Jorasco Heirs (halflings) to be able to take on the healing role in a party? Should House Orien Heirs (humans) be able to teleport in combat? Is it even possible or practical to program that? How are we going to make the Mark of Making useful for anything but healing Warforged? Make no mistake, implementing racial trees will be a herculean task.

  2. #2
    Community Member HatsuharuZ's Avatar
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    Alright, after thinking over it a bit, I've thought up some ideas for certain dragonmark trees. I'm not going to bother typing up trees for all of the dragonmarks, but I'll suggest some key abilities that players might find interesting.

    House Kundarak: Mark of Warding

    This tree would be a mix of magic and trap skills, with a focus on persistent AoEs and "symbol" spells. The player will be able to "ward" allies with potent guard abilities, and the duration of persistent AoEs (like firewall and blade barrier) will have extended durations. They can also set magical runic traps.


    House Jorasco: Mark of Healing

    House J healers are very good at healing people, but their medical knowledge can also be used to cause harm. An heir of House J will have increased DCs to effects that target the body: Spefically poison, disease and death. Also, Positive Energy Burst will be available, but probably as a fifth-tier ability. Since they study medicine, House J heirs will have anaesthetics and other kinds of medicine available to them, which can be used to paralyze or deal ability score damage if they are used offensively.


    House Tharask: Mark of Finding

    House T does one thing: Finding objects, places and people. A House T heir will be able to find their enemies more easily, and seek weaknesses in their defenses that others are incapable of finding. They can fight very well in melee, and gain the ability to reduce enemy fortification, see through blur and displacement, and have access to single-target CC abilities that let them capture their target alive... or just let them kill the target more quickly. Furthermore, a House T heir is very practical, and has a chance of finding healing potions on the bodies of defeated foes, which are drunk immediately. Of course, more potent potions are more expensive and thus harder to find.


    House Orien: Mark of Passage

    Heirs of this house are very good at getting around very quickly. Since they can cast both Expedious Retreat and Dimension Door, it isn't hard for them to bend time and space to cast the Haste spell. Furthermore, the House O heirs can make the Haste spell more potent, increasing the movement speed and dodge benefits for others, and temporarily increase their own attack speed, although doing so can have some unfortunate side effects on themselves once the spell wears off....


    House Cannith: Mark of Making
    As the name implies, bearers of this Dragonmark can make and manipulate objects. Currently however, this mark only lets the player cast single-target Repair spells. This would be awesome if humans could actually benefit from Repair spells. So, in the House C Heir tree, there will be some abilities that amend this. One enhancement line will allow the user to become vulnerable to Repair and Rust spells in exchange for losing some healing amplification. In addition, the Construct Essence feat will have the Least Dragonmark of Making as an alternate prerequisite. Another enhancement line will allow the player to "make" metal items that can be used offensively, like grenades, caltrops, sprays of shrapnel, and various types of adamantine ammunition for bows and crossbows.
    Last edited by HatsuharuZ; 09-24-2013 at 04:07 PM.

  3. #3
    Community Member HatsuharuZ's Avatar
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    Default

    Wow, is my post that boring?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HatsuharuZ View Post
    Wow, is my post that boring?
    Not really, we just have bigger fish to fry right now.

    With Epic TR on the way, bugs coming out of our ears and updates breaking as much as they fix, I'm sure there are others like me who feel that suggesting new stuff is just too risky.

    How much would Turbine break whilst trying to implement all these new ideas?

    How much would Turbine break whilst trying to fix the things the broke when they implemented it?

    In an ideal world I'd be all for new suggestions to give more options for people to play with.

    Sadly this is anything but an ideal world and the Suggestions and Ideas section of the Forum is where nice (Though not always practical) ideas go to die.

  5. #5
    Community Member HatsuharuZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel_666 View Post
    Not really, we just have bigger fish to fry right now.

    With Epic TR on the way, bugs coming out of our ears and updates breaking as much as they fix, I'm sure there are others like me who feel that suggesting new stuff is just too risky.

    How much would Turbine break whilst trying to implement all these new ideas?

    How much would Turbine break whilst trying to fix the things the broke when they implemented it?

    In an ideal world I'd be all for new suggestions to give more options for people to play with.

    Sadly this is anything but an ideal world and the Suggestions and Ideas section of the Forum is where nice (Though not always practical) ideas go to die.
    Doesn't Turbine always break something with every update? It's nothing to be worried about, and they fix most things eventually.

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    Default not boring at all

    i'm not partial to repairing healing a human, not even a wf (i like eberron but i hate wf's tbh)

    But i think it's a nice idea, and i think is one of the forgotten things they said they would make sometime

  7. #7
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    If you're looking for ideas, the Dragonmarked book has examples of Enhancement Trees that are distinct between races.

    Cannith: Cyre Scout or Cannith Wand Adept (the latter is from Sharn, City of Towers). The former has abilities from Ranger and Artificer, since it provides infusions but also grants lots of abilities to help you survive the Mournlands. They could probably reinforce Repair spellpower, grant a few Artificer infusions as spell-like abilities (Enchant Weapons and Enchant Armor, for example), and perhaps their upper-tier abilities could enable healing and/or repairing when under a Curse of Healing. The latter makes you the ultimate wand user, so you'd end up with not just Wand Heightening and Wand Mastery, but uses to UMD and perhaps some sort of "temporary charges", where you can use the wand without expending actual charges, but using another resource (action boosts?). You'd probably also get "metamagics" to your wands, so you could use Empower Healing Spell on a CLW wand.

    Deneith: Deneith Warden. The original PrC is a sort of sheriff, akin to the US Marshals, with the authority to travel between countries to pursue criminals. This would be pretty hard to justify, but some of the benefits (like Mettle [as Evasion, but applying to Fortitude and Will saves] and Uncanny Dodge) exist. One of their signature abilities is essentially a Favored Enemy but applying only to lawbreakers, and the benefit is improved as you gain levels. Subduing Strike and Greater Subduing Strike are akin to Stunning Blow, so the Enhancement Tree could grant Stunning Blow as a feat and a direct improvement.

    Jorasco: Nosomatic Chirurgeon. Not just the PrC's name sounds cool, but the class is pretty interesting. Essentially, the Nosomatic Chirurgeon uses its healing powers as a vector of diseases, gaining immunity to them and essentially preserving them in its body. The granted powers include turning your uses of Cure X Wounds into Inflict spells, the ability to cast both Contagion AND Remove Disease, advancing your spellcasting or granting you Adept spells (an NPC class that grants some spells from Clerics and Wizards up to 5th level), and the ability to apply any disease you have treated through your Contagion. Effectively, the Core abilities would grant a bonus to diseases, the use of Contagion, and the Enhancements would work similar to how the Ninja Spy or the Assassin gets its poisons (custom diseases that require using your Least Dragonmark powers, and that are actually more effective than current diseases).

    Kundarak: Silver Key. Essentially a trapbuster in steroids, the Silver Key begins granting bonuses to Disable Device, Open Lock and Search, and then moves to granting you the ability to disable traps from a distance, Invisibility as an SLA, spell resistance and contingent protections (Water Breathing if on water, Feather Fall if you fall more than 10 or so feet, Remove Paralysis if you're held or paralyzed). The final ability of the PrC essentially lets you ignore glyphs and magic locks (like the ones that require you to have a specific ability score at a certain level). You could add stuff like Knock, for example.

    Lyrandar: Storm Sentry. Basically, a PrC that uses its powers offensively. Between its abilities, you can spend uses of your dragonmark to grant the Shocking/Burst property to your weapon, Shield and Feather Fall as SLAs, a Knockdown effect (Lyrandar's Fist), and improve the DC of your dragonmark powers such as Gust of Wind. Since it's Wind-and-Electricity related, you could grant Electricity spellpower, spell critical, and take a cue from Eldritch Knight so that it works for both spellcasters and martial characters.

    Orien: Blade of Orien. This class is pretty cool, but a bit difficult to adjust to DDO since it relies on using the teleportation powers of the class. You start by fine-tuning their Dimension Leap ability so that you can attack afterwards, carry more people, move one target from one side to another, Blink as an SLA, and finally making a full attack after teleporting. Since Orien relies on speed more than anything, it could grant Mobility, reductions to ACP and increased Max Dex bonuses with Armor and Shields, Haste and Freedom of Movement as SLAs, increased movement speed, increased attack speed, doublestrike and doubleshot.

    Phiarlan/Thuranni: Shadow Hunter. Basically a ninja-esque character, using the shadows to fight its opponents. Darkness isn't available as a spell, but you could grant them Obscuring Mist, perhaps See Invisibility as an SLA (or Remove Blindness, so you can see while under an Obscuring Mist), a Deception effect, bonuses to Bluff, reduced threat generation and bonuses to Stealth mode. Perhaps even some SA damage dice while at it.

    Tharashk: Duraak'ash (the "stalking dragon"). Definitely a suitable ranger-like Enhancement Tree, what with Favored Enemy, improved tracking abilities and so forth. Take some cues from Deepwood Stalker, and work it from there.

  8. #8
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    I'm with you on this. I've never taken a dragonmark feat because I find that they're pretty much all useless as they are (other than chest blessing, but I've not had a build where I felt that was priority enough to spend feats on).

    It would be nice for dragonmarks to have some real value in the game. Even to provide certain spells or abilities not available otherwise (e.g. chest blessing).

    I don't think this is necessarily a priority right now, but I definitely think it's something that should be fleshed out and hopefully put into the game. I'd love to have a good reason to take a dragonmark.

    Edit: When I say "useless" I don't mean that the abilities themselves are useless, but just that you can already get almost all of them from other sources in game without having to invest any feats at all.

  9. #9
    Community Member HatsuharuZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGOskar View Post
    If you're looking for ideas, the Dragonmarked book has examples of Enhancement Trees that are distinct between races.

    Cannith: Cyre Scout or Cannith Wand Adept (the latter is from Sharn, City of Towers). The former has abilities from Ranger and Artificer, since it provides infusions but also grants lots of abilities to help you survive the Mournlands. They could probably reinforce Repair spellpower, grant a few Artificer infusions as spell-like abilities (Enchant Weapons and Enchant Armor, for example), and perhaps their upper-tier abilities could enable healing and/or repairing when under a Curse of Healing. The latter makes you the ultimate wand user, so you'd end up with not just Wand Heightening and Wand Mastery, but uses to UMD and perhaps some sort of "temporary charges", where you can use the wand without expending actual charges, but using another resource (action boosts?). You'd probably also get "metamagics" to your wands, so you could use Empower Healing Spell on a CLW wand.

    Deneith: Deneith Warden. The original PrC is a sort of sheriff, akin to the US Marshals, with the authority to travel between countries to pursue criminals. This would be pretty hard to justify, but some of the benefits (like Mettle [as Evasion, but applying to Fortitude and Will saves] and Uncanny Dodge) exist. One of their signature abilities is essentially a Favored Enemy but applying only to lawbreakers, and the benefit is improved as you gain levels. Subduing Strike and Greater Subduing Strike are akin to Stunning Blow, so the Enhancement Tree could grant Stunning Blow as a feat and a direct improvement.

    Jorasco: Nosomatic Chirurgeon. Not just the PrC's name sounds cool, but the class is pretty interesting. Essentially, the Nosomatic Chirurgeon uses its healing powers as a vector of diseases, gaining immunity to them and essentially preserving them in its body. The granted powers include turning your uses of Cure X Wounds into Inflict spells, the ability to cast both Contagion AND Remove Disease, advancing your spellcasting or granting you Adept spells (an NPC class that grants some spells from Clerics and Wizards up to 5th level), and the ability to apply any disease you have treated through your Contagion. Effectively, the Core abilities would grant a bonus to diseases, the use of Contagion, and the Enhancements would work similar to how the Ninja Spy or the Assassin gets its poisons (custom diseases that require using your Least Dragonmark powers, and that are actually more effective than current diseases).

    Kundarak: Silver Key. Essentially a trapbuster in steroids, the Silver Key begins granting bonuses to Disable Device, Open Lock and Search, and then moves to granting you the ability to disable traps from a distance, Invisibility as an SLA, spell resistance and contingent protections (Water Breathing if on water, Feather Fall if you fall more than 10 or so feet, Remove Paralysis if you're held or paralyzed). The final ability of the PrC essentially lets you ignore glyphs and magic locks (like the ones that require you to have a specific ability score at a certain level). You could add stuff like Knock, for example.

    Lyrandar: Storm Sentry. Basically, a PrC that uses its powers offensively. Between its abilities, you can spend uses of your dragonmark to grant the Shocking/Burst property to your weapon, Shield and Feather Fall as SLAs, a Knockdown effect (Lyrandar's Fist), and improve the DC of your dragonmark powers such as Gust of Wind. Since it's Wind-and-Electricity related, you could grant Electricity spellpower, spell critical, and take a cue from Eldritch Knight so that it works for both spellcasters and martial characters.

    Orien: Blade of Orien. This class is pretty cool, but a bit difficult to adjust to DDO since it relies on using the teleportation powers of the class. You start by fine-tuning their Dimension Leap ability so that you can attack afterwards, carry more people, move one target from one side to another, Blink as an SLA, and finally making a full attack after teleporting. Since Orien relies on speed more than anything, it could grant Mobility, reductions to ACP and increased Max Dex bonuses with Armor and Shields, Haste and Freedom of Movement as SLAs, increased movement speed, increased attack speed, doublestrike and doubleshot.

    Phiarlan/Thuranni: Shadow Hunter. Basically a ninja-esque character, using the shadows to fight its opponents. Darkness isn't available as a spell, but you could grant them Obscuring Mist, perhaps See Invisibility as an SLA (or Remove Blindness, so you can see while under an Obscuring Mist), a Deception effect, bonuses to Bluff, reduced threat generation and bonuses to Stealth mode. Perhaps even some SA damage dice while at it.

    Tharashk: Duraak'ash (the "stalking dragon"). Definitely a suitable ranger-like Enhancement Tree, what with Favored Enemy, improved tracking abilities and so forth. Take some cues from Deepwood Stalker, and work it from there.
    Ah, FINALLY! Someone who speaks my language!

  10. #10
    Community Member Antheal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HatsuharuZ View Post
    Over the years, I've noticed that on the forums some people have been calling for a "Dragonmark Heir" PrE.
    I'm pretty sure the Dragonmark Heir Prestige was always supposed to be implemented.

    We're just calling for Turbine to finally getting around to doing what they've said they were going to do all along.
    If your "Known Issues" list needs a freaking scroll bar, then one of you needs to go.

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