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  1. #41
    Community Member Bolo_Grubb's Avatar
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    some great ideas
    Kill'em all and let their favorite deity sort'em out
    Quote from a shroud run "I am an idiot, not a newb"

  2. #42
    Community Member ThePrincipal's Avatar
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    The real difference in light and heavy reporter is attack speed. I don't know the exact calculations, but try both and you can see the difference. I'd wager about 5-10% faster.

    My mechanic is max dex. Int was secondary. My priority was the to-hit.
    Last edited by ThePrincipal; 10-04-2013 at 12:19 PM.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkin_dude View Post
    So far, my explorations into these builds show me three basic types. There is rogue mechanic, ranged artificer, and then ones with some levels of each.

    ...

    I believe the best DPS is achieved by having at least 13 rogue levels, due to sneak attack damage.
    You're forgetting /6 Rgr splash for access to special attacks from DWS such as Sniper Shot. That's worth 3 Sneak Die on its own, making up for lost Rogue levels, plus every ~third volley with repeaters is +3W/+2 Crit Threat and Mult. IMO a 14 Arti/6 Rgr puts out more pure Repeater DPS than any Rogue-Arti hybrid, especially later in the game when base damage becomes more important than stacking Sneak Die, doubly especially if you go FotW and can use Adrenaline to mulitiply your Sniper Shot.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    You're forgetting /6 Rgr splash for access to special attacks from DWS such as Sniper Shot. That's worth 3 Sneak Die on its own, making up for lost Rogue levels, plus every ~third volley with repeaters is +3W/+2 Crit Threat and Mult. IMO a 14 Arti/6 Rgr puts out more pure Repeater DPS than any Rogue-Arti hybrid, especially later in the game when base damage becomes more important than stacking Sneak Die, doubly especially if you go FotW and can use Adrenaline to mulitiply your Sniper Shot.
    This is what I am playing. My char atm is Arti 9/Ranger 6/Rog 2. The original plan was to cap with Arti 12. I probably won't do this now, but will take Ranger 9 for the Ranger PL.

    The synergy between Ranger and Arti is quite good, although there's a high AP investment for anything useful, and quite alot of traps in there (e.g. Imbued arrows - easy to misread this as "ammo"). Between Arti and Rogue surprisingly little. You'll get evasion for 2 levels, but tbh, that's about it. You'll be a bit better at traps, but I doubt I'd ever go more than 2 levels.

    I appreciate that there are more SA dice at later rogue levels, which is very attractive til you've played an arti. What I always found was that I either dominated or was very close to the top in kill score, and hence in aggro. I'd say I was sneak attacking about 1% of the time? My tactic was to murder anything running at me before it got to me. Especially once I got IPS. I actually got killed several times because the parties I grouped with were simply not prepared for the amount of aggro I could draw in a short time.

    IMO, Rogue/Arti combo for anything more than evasion is a trap.

    COuld be just my unskilled play though :P

    Aes.

  5. #45
    Community Member Singular's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePrincipal View Post
    The real difference in light and heavy reporter is attack speed. I don't know the exact calculations, but try both and you can see the difference. I'd wager about 5-10% faster.

    My mechanic is max dex. Int was secondary. My priority was the to-hit.
    Yeah, there's no reason to do that anymore. It's unlikely you're going to miss now. Plus, Int is used for skills that are useful, like disabling and umd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Istaria1 View Post
    This is what I am playing. My char atm is Arti 9/Ranger 6/Rog 2. The original plan was to cap with Arti 12. I probably won't do this now, but will take Ranger 9 for the Ranger PL.

    The synergy between Ranger and Arti is quite good, although there's a high AP investment for anything useful, and quite alot of traps in there (e.g. Imbued arrows - easy to misread this as "ammo"). Between Arti and Rogue surprisingly little. You'll get evasion for 2 levels, but tbh, that's about it. You'll be a bit better at traps, but I doubt I'd ever go more than 2 levels.

    I appreciate that there are more SA dice at later rogue levels, which is very attractive til you've played an arti. What I always found was that I either dominated or was very close to the top in kill score, and hence in aggro. I'd say I was sneak attacking about 1% of the time? My tactic was to murder anything running at me before it got to me. Especially once I got IPS. I actually got killed several times because the parties I grouped with were simply not prepared for the amount of aggro I could draw in a short time.

    IMO, Rogue/Arti combo for anything more than evasion is a trap.

    COuld be just my unskilled play though :P

    Aes.
    I don't think the party should be based around managing your aggro - I think that's your job.

  6. #46
    Community Member voodoogroves's Avatar
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    I carry a great xbow on my arti just because I love the sound when it is on fusilade.

    That said, I'm not sure it merits full-time use.

    I'm considering a Arti 6 / Rogue 13 / Fighter 1 build for one of my characters. My hope is that with enough boosts and **** I won't feel so horrid as opposed to using a repeater.
    Ghallanda - now with fewer alts and more ghostbane

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    You're forgetting /6 Rgr splash for access to special attacks from DWS such as Sniper Shot. That's worth 3 Sneak Die on its own, making up for lost Rogue levels, plus every ~third volley with repeaters is +3W/+2 Crit Threat and Mult. IMO a 14 Arti/6 Rgr puts out more pure Repeater DPS than any Rogue-Arti hybrid, especially later in the game when base damage becomes more important than stacking Sneak Die, doubly especially if you go FotW and can use Adrenaline to mulitiply your Sniper Shot.
    Well, honestly I haven't tried that type of build yet. It's one of those still on the list. So far, the ones I have done were also able to stay in the upper portion of the kill count.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singular View Post
    I don't think the party should be based around managing your aggro - I think that's your job.
    OK, I'll bite. If I should be doing less damage and/or not using damage stances (like Precise), then exactly what am I supposed to be doing? And don;t even tell me to "do less threat" because that's not too realistic.

    Aes.

  9. #49
    Community Member Jay203's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Istaria1 View Post
    OK, I'll bite. If I should be doing less damage and/or not using damage stances (like Precise), then exactly what am I supposed to be doing? And don;t even tell me to "do less threat" because that's not too realistic.

    Aes.
    bluff
    even if you didn't invest into it, use it so you get the reduced threat buff


    Quote Originally Posted by walkin_dude View Post
    Well, honestly I haven't tried that type of build yet. It's one of those still on the list. So far, the ones I have done were also able to stay in the upper portion of the kill count.
    i like my ranger/rogue/arty split
    useful for 3 different kind of TR lives
    8/6/6/ arty/rogue/ranger for arty life
    7/7/6 ranger/rogue/arty for ranger life
    7/7/6 rogue/arty/ranger for rogue life

    essentially the same build, but used for all three lives
    PS: Greensteel RUINED the game! and you all know it!
    less buffing, more nerfing!!!
    to make it easier for those of you that wants to avoid me in game, all my characters are in "Bladesworn Mercenaries"

  10. #50
    Community Member Magil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperAlexEU View Post
    so, to wrap up, repeater mechanics can be a ton of fun, and mixing in assassin for the sneak attack dice and insta kill is also great fun.
    Did read all of that. I don't plan on mixing in any of the other trees, though. Maybe a few for the sneak perks from Assassin and the Faster Sneaking from Acrobat. I dunno. Still working on the character, either way.

    Quote Originally Posted by walkin_dude View Post
    My favorite types of DDO characters seem to be ranged ones. I've had a lot of fun with various types, including repeater builds.
    Ditto. I've even been considering a Repeater Ranger at this point. With the Deepwood Stalker enhancements, it might be a bit of fun.

    I read a few posts back where someone said that they "had" to have a great crossbow, and that is a bit confusing to me. I have yet do more than test one out and determine that its fire rate was too slow. I would like to know if lacerating shots really only works with great crossbows, and if so why only the bolts from a great crossbow can produce that effect. It's nice, but it is far from the threshold of what it would take to make great crossbow viable, imo.
    It is listed as Great Crossbow only, so I assume that's the case. A lot of the enhancements in the tree favor them over the repeaters.

    You can put 1000 each of sturdy bolts and +3 sturdy bolts into a large, thin quiver, and then 1000 of some other type (silver, maybe, or along those lines), and that amount of ammo will last pretty well. You can also carry a spare quiver with the same amount of ammo in it.
    That was going to be the plan. Grab several quivers with those in it prior to TRing, and then just keep them ready.

    Still, I'm curious as to this statement about being required to use a great crossbow? Can someone expand on that?
    Many of the enhancements in the tree simply don't work with repeaters. Either specifically stating Great Crossbows, or "non-repeaters".

    Quote Originally Posted by SickCat View Post
    I've had a mechanic for quite some time. I've bounced between pure 20, 14/6 (arti splash), 18/2 (arti again) before the enhancement pass, then pure again, and now 16/4 rog/art.
    I have this thing where I just try to keep all my characters pure. I like capstones. Even if they suck, I still like grabbing them.

    (if you're using the Abbot quiver).
    Definitely going to try and grab that one. It's on my to-do list prior to TRing.

    Don't bother with the bleed damage thing...the extra damage you get from it is pretty negligible...imo.
    IN the earlier levels, running around with the bleed damage helps a fair bit. But once you hit level 6, and grab proficiency for light repeaters, it's less than helpful. THe plan so far is to use that until level 6, and then just reset those enhancements for other perks instead.

    With the changes to the blinding mechanic, my main weapon has, once again, become a Radiance heavy repeater (I haven't been able to tell any difference in the firing rate between heavy and light repeaters). You can blind large groups of mobs and they'll just run around like idiots...you can then move in closer for massive sneak damage and pull them down. This even works in EE content...actually, it's amazing in EE.
    You know, I was wondering which one to make. I am tossed up between that one and a Lit II.

    Pure Mech is still viable. If they ever fix the Bolt scroll, I'll likely go back pure...not because it's necessarily better, but because I'm absolutely addicted to sneak damage. They're both fun builds, but for the time being...I'll keep the Arti splash
    I still plan on rolling Mechanic. The Bolt Scroll is really just am inconvenience at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Singular View Post
    Great crossbows fire slowly, and their dps output is limited by their speed.

    Light repeaters fire the most bolts/min - if I remember correctly, it's 3 more bolts per min than heavy repeaters

    So heavy repeaters do more damage, unless your goal is to get more procs of something. Then you'll want light. Anyways, that's why Needle is a light repeater - slightly faster, so more damage output.
    Interesting. Thanks for the specifics. I suppose the difference is only slight, then. I'll likely keep various named ones around as needed, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by voodoogroves View Post
    I carry a great xbow on my arti just because I love the sound when it is on fusilade.
    Honesty, gotta love it. I do rather like the repeater sound more, though, but the great crossbow sounds more like a spring setting it off, if I remember. Still fun, though.

  11. #51
    Community Member Singular's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Istaria1 View Post
    OK, I'll bite. If I should be doing less damage and/or not using damage stances (like Precise), then exactly what am I supposed to be doing? And don;t even tell me to "do less threat" because that's not too realistic.

    Aes.
    I would first go with "more damage" so that they simply just die

    I think all arties grab aggro very quickly - we can pump out incredible burst damage from a variety of sources (I calculated mine at maxing around 20k in 6 seconds in Fury + boulder toss + rune arm).

    Aggro on arties can be managed in three, maybe six ways:

    - kite. Sometimes through a blade barrier. I used to rely on improved precise shot so that my kiting would get a lot of baddies, but had been enjoying archer's focus to kill one baddie quickly and move on to the next. I don't think that works any more, since AF requires that you stand still, but for a while it didn't. Oh, I kite while moving backwards and jumping around - move through the melee in your party, so they can hit the things a few times.

    - use your doggie to grab aggro. Equip it with trip, paralyzing or other CC or debuff items. Kill what your doggie attracts.

    - use the CC spells that arties have. I like to group all the baddies up, hit them with the aoe CC stuff and a rune arm that gets them all. This won't work so well in EE content, but it's magic in EN and EH, or heroic.

    - I suppose you could use diplomacy to send the baddies off somewhere else.

    - if it's a red named, let the melee engage it first, then pump out everything you have. If - when - it comes after you, block, let the melee get the aggro back, then go all out again. You'll need a displacement clickie (or several), good fortification and some self healing. If there are genuine tanks in the group, they'l be impressed that you keep stealing their aggro.

    - Alternatively, you can learn to hit just under the threshold for getting aggro. Watch the hit point bar of the red named and pump all your burst damage when it's near enough to death. I've done this a few times on the Lord of Blades. He runs over to attack me and then "dies" (collapses in grief or whatever he does).

    I don't think you should turn off your stances or do less damage. If anything, do more damage so you kill them.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Istaria1 View Post
    This is what I am playing. My char atm is Arti 9/Ranger 6/Rog 2. The original plan was to cap with Arti 12. I probably won't do this now, but will take Ranger 9 for the Ranger PL.

    The synergy between Ranger and Arti is quite good, although there's a high AP investment for anything useful, and quite alot of traps in there (e.g. Imbued arrows - easy to misread this as "ammo"). Between Arti and Rogue surprisingly little. You'll get evasion for 2 levels, but tbh, that's about it. You'll be a bit better at traps, but I doubt I'd ever go more than 2 levels.

    I appreciate that there are more SA dice at later rogue levels, which is very attractive til you've played an arti. What I always found was that I either dominated or was very close to the top in kill score, and hence in aggro. I'd say I was sneak attacking about 1% of the time? My tactic was to murder anything running at me before it got to me. Especially once I got IPS. I actually got killed several times because the parties I grouped with were simply not prepared for the amount of aggro I could draw in a short time.

    IMO, Rogue/Arti combo for anything more than evasion is a trap.

    COuld be just my unskilled play though :P

    Aes.
    i'm guessing it may change as i hit the epics but i've found the same thing with my pure mechanic, either at the top or near the top of the kill count. what will be interesting is seeing how my assassinate ability handles the transition from heroic elites to epic hards (not planning on EE any time soon). right now if the group is facerolling the quest i'll just go to town on the mobs, lining them all up and not really caring about waiting to get my sneak attacks in (loving the doublecross bow for that!). if things are going a bit slower then i'll manage aggro to milk the sneak attacks and bump off any choice targets with my assassinate (love aiming for the oranged names).

    even when i'm pulling mob aggro off 2 melees who had a head start i'll still be able to milk the sneak attacks if i want to. so i guess you've found your play style is more in favour or the arty than mine is. which is a good reason to love this game
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  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Requiem View Post
    Did read all of that. I don't plan on mixing in any of the other trees, though. Maybe a few for the sneak perks from Assassin and the Faster Sneaking from Acrobat. I dunno. Still working on the character, either way.
    ooh, faster sneaking from acrobat is well worth the splash . but keep your mind open about the assassin tree, there is quite a bit of synergy between the two, especially when you ramp INT up for both xbow damage, traps and assassinate DC. at lvl17 my DC is 36-41 (+5 if i wait for my bonus to build up) which works a charm and could be higher if i'd gone INT based (waiting for mabar before i LR). mixing the ranged combat with the odd knife to the back is a very rewarding playstyle and now that i've got the hang of it i do prefer it to just the repeater as i had on my first life. naturally splashing for extra sneak attack damage is going to be tempting, as is that poison stance that adds damage to all your attacks (works with repeaters though i think it's a bit buggy with regards to sneak attacks on un-aggroed mobs).

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Requiem View Post
    Many of the enhancements in the tree simply don't work with repeaters. Either specifically stating Great Crossbows, or "non-repeaters".
    i think it's only the bleed one that is great xbows only. the damage line gives full attack bonus and half damage bonus to repeaters, so it's not worth as much on a repeater, but then the repeater is still waaaay ahead in terms of damage so it kinda makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Requiem View Post
    IN the earlier levels, running around with the bleed damage helps a fair bit. But once you hit level 6, and grab proficiency for light repeaters, it's less than helpful. THe plan so far is to use that until level 6, and then just reset those enhancements for other perks instead.
    this is a good plan, though i'd still not want to miss out on the repeaters by grabbing the feat at lvl3 then swapping it out with the free respec token when i hit lvl12 (take heavy at lvl3 as you'll get light soon enough, more choice on the loot that way). nice to see that the mechanic can use a great xbow at lvl1 though as those first 2 levels were a nightmare without any exotic proficiency. and there is a handy great xbow in korthos to grab.
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  14. #54
    Community Member Magil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperAlexEU View Post
    ooh, faster sneaking from acrobat is well worth the splash . but keep your mind open about the assassin tree, there is quite a bit of synergy between the two, especially when you ramp INT up for both xbow damage, traps and assassinate DC. at lvl17 my DC is 36-41 (+5 if i wait for my bonus to build up)
    I'll think it over. Let's see... Stealth, SA dice, maybe the poison stance, intel and possibly the critical damage would eb all I take, if that's the case. I don't have an interest in the Assassinate, though.

    Edit: ( The Faster Sneaking will definitely help, as speed seems to be very important now for stealth. Tried sneaking past the first pair of humans in Heyton's Rest, and they had already seen me as I tried to sneak past.)

    which works a charm and could be higher if i'd gone INT based (waiting for mabar before i LR).
    I'm doing the same right now. That +5 Intelligence tome, and the level ups into intelligence anyway will make for a nice boost to skills.

    i think it's only the bleed one that is great xbows only. the damage line gives full attack bonus and half damage bonus to repeaters, so it's not worth as much on a repeater, but then the repeater is still waaaay ahead in terms of damage so it kinda makes sense.
    I was planning on possibly skipping that line entirely anyway. Would free up some points into the Human Line, especially for the action surge (Intel for reflex saves (via insightful reflexes), trap abilities, and damage), possibly the Greater Heroism ability, Greater Recovery, Skill Mastery and then the Sniper Fighting Style

    this is a good plan, though i'd still not want to miss out on the repeaters by grabbing the feat at lvl3 then swapping it out with the free respec token when i hit lvl12 (take heavy at lvl3 as you'll get light soon enough, more choice on the loot that way). nice to see that the mechanic can use a great xbow at lvl1 though as those first 2 levels were a nightmare without any exotic proficiency. and there is a handy great xbow in korthos to grab.
    That bow works pretty nice through Korthos. Sure, it's not the light repeater Cellimas offers, but it tears through enemies rather nicely all the same. I don't exactly have any named repeaters either, so at this point, it is sort of a non-issue. I do plan on eventually farming out the Doublecross Bow and the Silver SLinger, at least, as well as nabbing the Green Steel one. Still not sure if I should just grind out two of them, though. A LitII and a RadII.
    Last edited by Dark_Requiem; 10-07-2013 at 09:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Requiem View Post
    I'll think it over. Let's see... Stealth, SA dice, maybe the poison stance, intel and possibly the critical damage would eb all I take, if that's the case. I don't have an interest in the Assassinate, though.

    Edit: ( The Faster Sneaking will definitely help, as speed seems to be very important now for stealth. Tried sneaking past the first pair of humans in Heyton's Rest, and they had already seen me as I tried to sneak past.)


    I'm doing the same right now. That +5 Intelligence tome, and the level ups into intelligence anyway will make for a nice boost to skills.


    I was planning on possibly skipping that line entirely anyway. Would free up some points into the Human Line, especially for the action surge (Intel for reflex saves (via insightful reflexes), trap abilities, and damage), possibly the Greater Heroism ability, Greater Recovery, Skill Mastery and then the Sniper Fighting Style


    That bow works pretty nice through Korthos. Sure, it's not the light repeater Cellimas offers, but it tears through enemies rather nicely all the same. I don't exactly have any named repeaters either, so at this point, it is sort of a non-issue. I do plan on eventually farming out the Doublecross Bow and the Silver SLinger, at least, as well as nabbing the Green Steel one. Still not sure if I should just grind out two of them, though. A LitII and a RadII.
    i guess if you dont want assassinate then the doubleshot tier 5 in mechanic would be worth gunning for. i just wasnt all that impressed with the offerings in the mechanic tree and wanted to get my SA dice and cap stone back which had moved to the assassin tree. it will work just fine either way though

    i have a lit I (didn't get enough bits together for lit II) so i can't compare them properly, but for trash i prefer a CC repeater, paralysing from lvl10 and the doublecross is just incredible at lvl16. i'm also enjoying the silver slinger for undead and am thinking i should start grinding out a rad II if it's going to give reliable SA in epic quests (no idea when the doublecross will fade due to its static DC).
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  16. #56
    Community Member Magil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperAlexEU View Post
    i guess if you dont want assassinate then the doubleshot tier 5 in mechanic would be worth gunning for. i just wasnt all that impressed with the offerings in the mechanic tree and wanted to get my SA dice and cap stone back which had moved to the assassin tree. it will work just fine either way though
    I'll play around with it. That's the most I can really say about it.

    i have a lit I (didn't get enough bits together for lit II) so i can't compare them properly, but for trash i prefer a CC repeater, paralysing from lvl10 and the doublecross is just incredible at lvl16. i'm also enjoying the silver slinger for undead and am thinking i should start grinding out a rad II if it's going to give reliable SA in epic quests (no idea when the doublecross will fade due to its static DC).
    I was thinking of Radiance for the majority of the time, but the Lit II when I wanted something bigger kind of... dead faster. Perhaps immune to the blindness, or a boss. Something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Requiem View Post
    I was thinking of Radiance for the majority of the time, but the Lit II when I wanted something bigger kind of... dead faster. Perhaps immune to the blindness, or a boss. Something.
    i have a feeling the doublecross is better for mopping up heroic trash than a rad II would be. i say this because the sleep effect procs more often than i crit and the mobs don't run about like headless chickens making it easier for me to line em up and easier for the rest of the party to join in on the kill. compare that to epic elite where the doublecross would only proc 5% when the mobs roll a 1 and the balance switches making rad II much better. i don't know where the turning point is yet. right now i'm rocking the vale on elite at lvl17 with the doublecross (and IQ, didn't work in reavers refuge prey on the hunter, but those giant have some funky immunities). that said rad II has a lower min lvl

    you are right about wanting a pure dps xbow too though, and lit II fills that role depending on the bosses immunities. i've also been using the silver slinger on reds for the holy burst vs elecy immune mobs.

    it's a tough call to make and now that i'm shroud flagged again i'm not sure if i'll finish my lit II or get started on a rad II. i opted for lit first time round as i'm normally very good with my agro management. but the power of sneak attack inducing weapons has kinda gone to my head!
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  18. #58
    Community Member Magil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperAlexEU View Post
    i have a feeling the doublecross is better for mopping up heroic trash than a rad II would be. i say this because the sleep effect procs more often than i crit and the mobs don't run about like headless chickens making it easier for me to line em up and easier for the rest of the party to join in on the kill. compare that to epic elite where the doublecross would only proc 5% when the mobs roll a 1 and the balance switches making rad II much better. i don't know where the turning point is yet. right now i'm rocking the vale on elite at lvl17 with the doublecross (and IQ, didn't work in reavers refuge prey on the hunter, but those giant have some funky immunities). that said rad II has a lower min lvl

    you are right about wanting a pure dps xbow too though, and lit II fills that role depending on the bosses immunities. i've also been using the silver slinger on reds for the holy burst vs elecy immune mobs.

    it's a tough call to make and now that i'm shroud flagged again i'm not sure if i'll finish my lit II or get started on a rad II. i opted for lit first time round as i'm normally very good with my agro management. but the power of sneak attack inducing weapons has kinda gone to my head!
    Maybe I should just work on, I dunno... All of the above, at this point. xP

  19. #59
    Community Member Luxgolg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Requiem View Post
    Maybe I should just work on, I dunno... All of the above, at this point. xP
    Double cross is very nice and currently with the loot all ghostbane of deception, GS is coming in handy again. Once the loot table is fixed, or you are running levels 18+ the loot table gets better for the random stuff. Nothing really named after 20 for xbows that I would spend any time farming out. And currently with my 17 Arty I'm still only seeing base damage of 30-60's and some tripple digit crits. But nothing that I'm willing to TR my main to for finding out :/

  20. #60
    Community Member Singular's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Requiem View Post
    Maybe I should just work on, I dunno... All of the above, at this point. xP
    After 20, Alchemical xbows outdo GS ones in damage output by enough to count. They also have CC capabilities if you build for that and give you a stacking +2 con/dex or str, depending. Once I got my first alchemical, I shelved all my GS xbows except for the triple pos, b/c of its great situational use on undead. When I got Needle, I shelved everything except for the +++ and the cold-cold-cold alchemical for use on fire stuff. Needle outclasses every other xbow - although I haven't tried the new lvl 27 one.

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