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  1. #501

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilomere View Post
    Speaking of EQ, when you stack it do you get more damage/shiradi procs each stack or only more knockdowns?

    Also, which knockdowns/trips are elemental forms immune to?

    Have they bugfixed leathers of the celestial sage yet?
    You do get separate damage/procs off multiple Earthquakes. Though it's good to emphasize that the damage from Earthquake is so low that it's not worth applying Maximize/Empower/Intensify to it imo. This is also a good way to conserve sp.

    Elemental forms do not make druids immune to any knockdown. My knockdown "immunity" comes from being in Stand Against the Tide Sentinel stance. This, similar to Celestial Spirit warlock ES stance, will make you immune to most knockdowns except dragon pounce, giant stomp and drider web strand trips.

    I was not aware of a bug with Leathers of the Celestial Sage, though for druid I would recommend Scalemail of the Celestial Sage. You will get more PRR and AC out of it. Maybe get insightful evocation +3 from random gen or Cannith crafted if that's why you're using leathers. Just a suggestion.

  2. #502
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    Celestial leathers bug was the +3 insightful didn't cover evocation or conjuration spells. It's fixed now, applies to all schools.

  3. #503
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    Ty for your answers.

    I was thinking reaper would be a good time to go back to druid. Drop a few EQs on top of each other and an ice storm, and rotate between BoGW and dire charge for perma CC + slow + stun.

    I heard that elemental form made you immune to comet fall knockdown, but now I know will need 4 legs good. -21 AP just for knockdown resistance ouch!

  4. #504

    Default Introducing The Druid True First Life Series

    Hey everyone, this is my companion post for my new video project "Northwynd: The Druid True First Life Series". I decided to post it here within my build post because I didn't want to take up another thread in the druid forum with the same build. Here's a fun trailer for the series that I just posted today...




    The format of this series will be similar to the Favored Soul True First Life Project that I did a couple years ago. In this series I started a new toon on another server, where I have no friends, no plat, no gear, no guild and no ship buffs. The constraints of the project are:

    1. Will follow my build post exactly as I have it for feats, stats, skills, etc.
    2. Will not join a guild or use ship buffs
    3. Will not use the freebies that I have from purchasing the expansions (skill tomes, xp tomes, etc.)
    4. Will take the toon all the way to level cap of 30
    5. Will not accept help in the form of gifts and such from channel viewers who happen to be on the server that I'm doing the project on. It's not that I don't appreciate it, it's that I want this to be as "true first life" as reasonably possible. I added this one because the last time that I did a true first life series, people wanted to help me out once they saw where I was, lol.

    I am going to keep a running journal below of my experiences, thoughts and tips to help new people through the struggle of a first life. I'll talk about which quests I'm choosing to do, strategies for gearing up, amassing wealth in game and much more.

    Episode 1 - Level 2 - Elite Cannith Crystal
    Episode 2 - Level 3 - Elite Redemption
    Episode 3 - Level 4 - Elite Garrison's Missing Pack
    Episode 4 - Level 5 - Solo Circles of Power
    Episode 5 - Level 6 - Elite Irestone Inlet
    Episode 6 - Level 7 - Elite Lair of Summoning
    Episode 7 - Level 8 - Elite Ruined Halls
    Episode 8 - Level 9 - Elite Free Delera (Delera's pt 3)
    Episode 9 - Level 10 - Elite Thrall of the Necromancer (Delera's pt 4)
    Episode 10 - Level 11 - Elite Jungle of Khyber (VON 3)
    Episode 11 - Level 12 - Elite Tempest's Spine
    Episode 12 - Level 13 - Elite Maraud the Mines
    Episode 13 - Level 14 - Elite DQ Raid (Zawabi's Revenge)
    Episode 14 - Level 15 - Elite Memoirs of an Illusory Larcener
    Episode 15 - Level 16 - Elite Gianthold Tor with Dragons
    Episode 16 - Level 17 - Elite Missing
    Episode 17 - Level 18 - Elite Ritual Sacrifice
    Episode 18 - Level 19 - Elite Prey on the Hunter
    Episode 19 - Level 19 - Elite Enter the Kobold
    Episode 20 - Level 20 - Elite Mindsunder
    Episode 21 - Level 21 - Elite Weapons Shipment
    Episode 22 - Level 22 - Elite Dreaming Dark with Xachosian Eardweller optional
    Episode 23 - Level 23 - EE Lords of Dust
    Episode 24 - Level 24 - EE Battle for Eveningstar
    Episode 25 - Level 25 - EE House of Broken Chains
    Episode 26 - Level 26 - EE Don't Drink the Water
    Episode 27 - Level 27 - EE Reclaiming the Rift
    Episode 28 - Level 28 - EE Crucible
    Episode 29 - Level 29 - EE Legend of Two-Toed Tobias
    Episode 30 - Level 30 - EE DQ Raid (Zawabi's Revenge) with EN Against the Demon Queen pre-raid


    THE ADVENTURES OF NORTHWYND GALE...

    DAY 1

    Levels 1-3: The Danger Zone

    When druids first came out in 2012, a lot of people gave up on them right away because they played them for a few levels and decided they weren't as good as their sorcs and wizards and just wrote them off as lame. A druid's casting power doesn't start to ramp up until about level 5, so I'm calling these first few levels the danger zone because it's really easy to get frustrated and give up due to the lack of casting power.

    A caster druid's wolf and summons are extremely valuable at these low levels, and can be the bulk of a your dps. This is why I like to take the Augment Summoning feat, because it makes your wolf companion and your summons much more powerful (later on, Augment Summoning will be swapped for a different feat). Once you get wolf form at level 2, you can start running around and meleeing in wolf form. In fact, you will mostly be doing melee for the first few levels, even as a caster. Wolf form is especially useful against oozes and rust monsters, as it will not damage your gear when fighting them in melee with wolf form. Being in animal form severely increases the cooldown time of spells (but not your Spell-Like Abilities!) but you're not really casting much at this point, so it's not a hindrance.

    For the first few levels I decided to focus on the Nature's Warrior enhancement tree instead of Season's Herald. I'm not doing any offensive casting at this point, so the extra hit points were nice from Nature's Warrior. I picked up the Aggravate tier 1 enhancement, which gives me 6 damage reduction any time I use intimidate, which is huge at this point. Whenever I ran up to a mob I just hit intimidate and the DR lasts for several seconds and I can just hit it again as soon as intimidate comes off timer. This build is built for tanky playstyle, so it's good to get accustomed to using intimidate.

    Aside from Korthos, I did Ringleader and Haverdasher on elite, hard and normal for xp and for the collectables and loot. I made sure to check the box "Quest End Reward Based on Class" in my Gameplay settings. This was helpful to make sure I was getting usable loot in quest reward lists. Unfortunately, even though hide armor has been added back into the loot tables, it doesn't show up on a druid's end reward list. But hide armor is the best choice for early on and should be obtained as soon as possible. To finish my way to level 4, I did Bringing the Light, Information is Key and Miller's Debt. While in Korthos, I did videos for Cannith Crystal and Redemption. Both of these can be challenging to solo on elite for new players because both quests have objectives that must be protected or the quest fails.

    DAY 2

    130k plat on day 2!

    On the first day I got to level 4. Along the way I gathered as many collectables as I could and I looked at one of the DDO wiki entries about Cannith Crafting to determine their rarity and to see which collectables were used in popular crafting recipes. I then posted all my collectables on the auction house. I also scavenged through the pawn shops in the Market and House D and House K for low cost useable loot. I was also able to find a few items with slots, so I promptly disjuncted them and posted on the auction house for 35k-75k each.

    Nearly everything sold that first day and when I came back I had 130k plat waiting for me in the mail! This was huge in terms of helping me afford some low priced items on the auction house and to start gathering needed supplies like potions of remove blindness, remove disease, neutralize poison, lesser restoration and curse removal. These potions are essential for everyone who is not immune to the conditions that these potions alleviate. I also picked up a stack of Cure Serious Wounds potions, which will be my primary form of healing through single digit levels.

    Level 4: Starting to Gear Up

    I respec'd my enhancements to go with Season's Herald. The Produce Flame and especially the Creeping Cold Spell-Like Abilities (SLA's) are extremely valuable in helping to extend a caster druid's spell point pool. In fact, a caster druid should focus on using SLA's as much as possible to avoid running out of spell points. This is another trap that new druids fall into, that they run out of mana quickly because they keep casting their regular spells instead of primarily using SLA's. It takes some patience and some getting used to letting your SLA's come off timer, but it's well worth the few extra seconds of waiting.

    My first goal upon reaching level 4 was to acquire the level 3 version of Bracers of Wind. This is a really valuable item for any caster that does electrical damage. Higher level versions can be good for just about any class because of all the other goodies it has on it like blur, dodge and haste guard. The level 3 version has electrical spell power and crit chance, along with permanent blur, which is just huge, especially for this first lifer! With just 4 runs of the Circles of Power challenge, I was able to get enough ingredients to make the bracers. You can't do this challenge lower than level 4 so that's why I didn't get them at level 3. I traded 800 of the arrowheads for talismans so that I could just do the one challenge, instead of having to do the much more difficult to solo kobold island challenge for the talismans. The wolf was acting brain dead on me in Circles of Power, so I picked up a fighter hireling to park and guard the center, which made it tons easier to solo.

    Making my way to level 5, besides Circles of Power I did the Baudry chain, Butcher's Path, Durk's Got a Secret, Home Sweet Sewer, Explosive Situation and I did a video for Garrison's Missing Pack.

    Whenever I got close to a rank, I went out to the Cerulean Hills to kill a few mobs, gather a few explorers and find some rares. There are also a couple collectables not far from the entrance, so I made sure to hit those too.

    The Creeping Cold SLA was really awesome at this level. You can apply metamagic feats like Maximize and Empower to SLA's for free, so Creeping Cold became a "fire and forget" kind of spell. I could cast it on a mob and keep moving, knowing that it would be dead in a few seconds. Produce Flame SLA was also valuable. This is a tricky spell to learn to use and one that people often laugh off. But when used properly, can be very effective. It's very slow to reach its target, which is what makes it laughable. But for stationary targets it's great. It's also great to use for a mob that you're meleeing directly in front of you. Definitely a spell that you want to learn to use as part of your regular spell attack routine. Produce Flame has no save so is especially nice for archers, which not only typically stand still but often have high saves or evasion.

    DAY 3

    Level 5: Casting Begins

    My goal was to start day 3 with 250k plat. Goal achieved! I came back to a mailbox full of plat from auction house sales that put me up to about 300k plat. I then hit the pawn shops again and bought a handful of items with slots that I promptly disjuncted and posted them on the AH for 25k-75k plat each. Tomorrow my goal is to start with a half million plat.

    Another thing that I'm already doing is keeping my eye on the auction house for items that I know I'll want in the future. Heroic normal Wall of Wood, Shamanic Fetish and blue dragon scales so that I can make a set of Blue Dragonplate Armor. I'll nab these up as soon as I can find them for cheap money!

    A druid's casting power just starts to kick in at level 5 when you get Call Lightning. New druids won't have enough spell points to apply metamagics to it at this point, so it can be valuable to actually load it up twice on your hot bar. One without metas for general use and one with metas for when you want to mana dump or if you need a really big damaging spell like on a boss. At level 6 you get an SLA of Call Lightning, so you can replace the unmeta'd one on your hotbar with the SLA.

    The first quest I did at level 5 was Where There's Smoke. Right at the beginning I ran into a champion in an ambush and experienced my second death of this life. Not a good way to start out level 5! I went right back in and restarted the quest. I was doing fine until the end fight and had a couple champions so I had to duck and weave a bit around the fences until I could take them out with Creeping Cold. I then moved on to the other quest in Cerulean Hills: The Captives. Through level 5 I did the first 2 parts of Splinterskull, the first 2 parts of Waterworks, and the first part of Shan-To-Kor (STK). To finish off level 5 I did a few more House Cannith challenges, Dr. Rushmores Behind the Door and a couple more Circles of Power to get my Cloak of Flames. I did a video of Circles of Power.

    Level 6: Cheap one-shots with Call Lightning SLA

    Call Lightning is an amazing spell in heroics. At level 6 you can pick up the SLA of Call Lightning. Now with both Maximize and Empower, the Call Lightning SLA will 1-shot most mobs for just 6 spell points!

    The first quests I did were parts 3 and 4 of waterworks. Nothing interesting in the chain reward list but I was amazingly lucky to get a Vibrant Purple Ioun Stone when turning in the quest to Harbormaster Zin. There is no way for me to upgrade it on this first lifer, so I posted it on the Auction house right away for 2 million plat.

    The Wolf

    For my wolf, Mirage, I stayed away from enhancements that increase the wolf's aggro like Alpha Wolf and Growl. When a druid's wolf dies, there are steep penalties in the form of lost hp and sp, so usually best to reduce the wolf's aggro as much as possible. The wolf also benefits from sneak attack when it doesn't have aggro. Enhancements I've taken so far include Cunning Wolf, Wolf Instincts, Striding, Wolfpack Bite and Raging Wolf. I picked up some wands of Cure Serious Wounds from House of Wizardry in House Jurasco to help keep the wolf and others healed without spending mana.

    My third death came at the end of Splinterskull part 3. At the top of the ramp, beyond the spinning blade traps, where one of the quest items is located, I ran into 3 champions and I was overcome. Luckily the wolf can be used to pick up a soul stone and then directed to carry it back to a shrine. This is one of the nice little tricks that the wolf is handy for! I finished off level 6 with STK part 2 and then I did a video of Irestone Inlet.

    DAY 4

    I started day 4 with 1.8 million plat! The Ioun Stone, a small Eberron dragonshard, and a bunch of collectables and other stuff sold. I got super lucky with the Ioun Stone pull, and this put me way ahead of where I expected to be in terms of plat. This will be huge as I keep an eye on the auction house for deals on higher level items that I'm planning on using.

    Level 7: The AOE dps begins!

    At level 7 druids get Ice Storm, which is the first in a druid's arsenal of AOE dps spells. At this point I'm not using it much but it's nice to have when needed! I turned off empower for it to save spell points and because a maximized Ice Storm is plenty sufficient for anything at this level range.

    Day 4 was a short day because the servers were down for most of my play time so I spent most of that day working on the video trailer for this series. The first quest I did at level 7 was Delera's part 1 because I want to get my Voice of the Master. I met my 4th demise at the group of mobs just beyond the bridge. Champions are scary on an undergeared first lifer! I went right back in and finished it off with no problem, but mana was super tight and I was relying on the small amount of mana that I was regenerating from Echoes of Power to work through the maze. The low cost SLA's were a life saver! I then moved on to parts 5-6 of Splinterskull and STK part 3.

    Spring's Resurgence

    This is an awesome enhancement that is easily overlooked. When you drop below 50% health, an automatic heal kicks in. This is a lifesaver in traps and against hard hitting mobs like champions! It can even save you in situations where you would otherwise die, the healing kicks in even if you take damage that would put you well into negative numbers. When it triggers, it drops a visual effect of green leaves scattered on the ground, so get used to that being an indication to recast it immediately.

    DAY 5

    Before I started this series, I made a list of items that I wanted to work toward. While I may not get them all either because I don't pull them, can't find them or find something better, it gave me a plan to work toward. Here's my list...

    Bracers of Wind
    Cloak of Flames
    Voice of the Master
    Mantle of the Worldshaper
    Twisted Talisman
    Lion's Mane
    Blue Dragonplate Armor
    Pansophic Circlet
    Wall of Wood or Shield of Tireless Aid
    Mysterious Bauble
    Thunderforged Scimitar (tier 1 Glaciation 150 at level 24 and tier 2 Evocation +6 at level 26)
    Shadow Dragonplate Armor (base item at 26 and Shadow Guardian upgrade at 28)

    A huge xp quest to hit at this level is The Stones Run Red (aka Fire Caves part 1) in Three Barrel Cove. With bonuses, it's worth about 20k xp which is awesome for a 5-10 minute quest at level 7! Part 2 is good xp too. Continuing through level 7, still elite streaking, I made sure to hit Chamber of Insanity and I did a video of Lair of Summoning in House K so I can start working toward the extra bank space from house K favor.

    Level 8

    My first priority was to get my Bracers of Wind and Cloak of Flames upgraded to the level 7 versions. I couldn't do it until level 8 because the challenge needed for one of the ingredients is min level 8. After a solid run of Colossal Crystals and a couple runs of Circles of Power I had enough to upgrade both.

    DAY 6

    Due to lack of gear and past lives, my mana pool is smaller than I am used to so I decided to pick up the Efficient Metamagic: Maximize enhancement to help my spell points last longer. At this point I have most of what I want from Season's Herald (SLA, crit lines, wisdom) my next focus for enhancements is to work toward Greater Heroism in the Human tree.

    Moving on to Redwillow's Ruins I experienced 2 more deaths doing things I knew I shouldn't have attempted, but I just couldn't resist trying to do the trapped cave, lol. I managed to clear it out, but worse for the wear. Next I did Splinterskull parts 7-8 and a full round of Ataraxia explorers and rares.

    As a first lifer, I need much less xp than a multilifer, so I am reaching level well before I could do my normal routine of doing all quests each level. So I have to choose carefully which quests I want to do. For the remainder of level 8, I wanted to focus on getting House K and House P favor so I did Purge the Heretics, Caged Trolls, Forgotten Caverns and then I did a video of Ruined Halls.

    Level 9: Wall of Fire and Quicken!

    I was very happy to pick up Quicken Spell. I noticed that I was losing some of my spells in combat throughout level 8, so Quicken is needed to avoid that and also speeds up my casting times.

    Wall of Fire or "Firewall" is another outstanding member of a druid's AOE spell list. It's especially nice for undead because it does extra damage to undead. While I typically choose Ice Storm over Firewall for general use, when there are undead around, Firewall is preferred. If you're interested, check out an older video I did comparing Firewall vs. Ice Storm, where I discuss important differences and situational benefits of one vs. the other.

    The first thing I did at level 9 was to finish up the final 2 parts of Splinterskull. Sadly there's nothing interesting for this toon in the end reward list, but I got a lot of xp, collectables and House P favor along the way, so well worth doing the chain. Next was Tear of Dhakaan, which was generally smooth but had a couple close calls with 2 groups of mobs that had a couple champions. Fighting champions on a first lifer without ship buffs and twink gear is scary, lol. Especially when one of them is a hyena that keeps tripping you!

    The first life wolf is starting to get to a point where it's not holding up against champions and traps well so I'm using less and less. Don't forget that the wolf can carry your soulstone back to a shrine in an emergency so can still be handy to bring the wolf into the dungeon and park it at the start even if you're not going to use for the quest.

    I spent some time farming the undead rare chests in the Sands in hopes of pulling a Ring of Spell Storing, which could be sold or traded for something quite valuable. If you are new and want to learn more about Sands of Menechtarun and its rare chests and loot, check out my older video The Sands of Menechtarun: A Tour of All Explorer and Rare Locations.

    DAY 7

    Jackpot.

    I farmed the Sands undead rare chests until ransack and hit paydirt! I pulled 2 Dusk Hearts a Bloodstone and a Ring of Spell Storing! I also pulled several other lesser items like Robe of Fire and Dynastic Falcata that I posted for 10-15k each. I immediately posted in Market trade channel that I was interested in trading the ROSS for 20 heroic blue dragon scales and got a taker within minutes. Now I have enough scales to get my Blue Dragonplate Armor right away at level 14. That's a huge item checked off my to-do list!

    I found a random ring with a green slot, which is prized among crafters, so I disjuncted it and posted it for 95k. I posted the Bloodstone for 250k and one of the Dusk Hearts for 35k. The Bloodstone is a bit high, but with 1.9 mil plat I'm not desperate for plat at this point so can afford for it to not sell right away. I am continuing to post my essences and collectables in the auction house and they are selling well. I am also regularly combing through the pawn shops and auction house looking for deals. I found a bunch of augments for a really good price at about 10-20k each, so I bought quite a few to set aside for later like resistance, protection and wizardry augments. At this point I have dozens of items set aside in the bank for potential use at higher levels.

    With the xp gained from Sands farming, I only needed to do a few more quests to reach level 10, so I did Taming the Flames for more House K favor and then Delera's part 2 and 3 to work toward a Voice of the Master. I did a video of Free Delera (part 3). Even if you already have a VOM, it's good to get another one every life, along with a Mantle of the Worldshaper every life so that you can make your Master's Gift augments. If you've never made a Master's Gift augment, you can check out my earlier video How to Make a Master's Gift +5% XP Augment.

    DAY 8

    I was a little surprised but happy to see that the Bloodstone, along with a lot of the other items from Sands farming sold, which put me at 2.1 million plat to start the day!

    Level 10

    In my build post I indicate to swap Augment Summoning for Heavy Armor Proficiency at level 14. This is for two reasons: first because level 14 is the earliest that heavy armor is available to druid (in the form of dragon plate) [edit: Scales of Avarice came out after this series and is a new heavy armor option for druid starting at level 10. It is generally an easier farm than blue dragonplate and is now my preferred armor up til level 20], and second because the companion wolf's usefulness has diminished to a point that it's not worth spending the feat on him any longer. On this true first lifer, I found that the wolf is becoming more of a liability than help by level 10 so I decided to swap Augment Summoning out a few levels early and take Shield Mastery, which I normally would have taken at level 12. Instead, I will take Heavy Armor Proficiency at 12. While farming Sands, I looted a Siberys Dragonshard, which is the level 9-12 feat swapping shard, so that was perfect!

    Newer quests are a lot harder hitting than old quests and I felt the brunt of it when I attempted to do elite Slavers part 1. I had no chance. I died a couple times trying and didn't get out of the first hall. I wasn't surprised by this and so I will have to live without a Spinneret. No biggie.

    Having started with nothing and having no resources on Cannith, I am acutely reliant on whatever I can find and scavenge. I've been carefully looking through the pawn shops, auction house and quest reward lists and have noticed that fortification items have been virtually non-existent up to this point. The fort item that I've been using is one of the old loot gen "Belt of Moderate Fortification" that I happened to find on the AH. Perhaps the loot tables need to be tweaked to include more fort items?

    This was a short day of play for me that I finished off with Caverns of Korromar and VON 1. No sweat, but I found myself having to use every shrine in Caverns due to my small sp pool.

    A few folks have commented on the videos about the good luck I've been having and how perhaps that's not in the spirit of the series or realistic for new players to expect. But this series is not about starting with nothing and working with nothing. It's in big part about starting with nothing and to see and show how far I can get and how much I can accomplish in one life. I plan on using and discussing every legitimate angle that I can to accomplish as much as possible and in doing so hopefully others, especially newer players, will see how they can accumulate in-game wealth, farm gear and ingredients and complete content. I do realize that I've been lucky so far, and while everyone may not have that kind of luck this early on, I nonetheless farmed Sands, for example, to accomplish exactly what I did. I really want new folks to see that they too can do this.

    Despite the luck, I'm not far off from where I was in my other true first life series, where I was able to work toward getting things like dragonscale armor and a shield of legends on a first lifer, for example. Later on in this series I will show how I am able to acquire things like shadow dragon scales and expensive augments just by trading and selling collectables that I farmed.

    I am having such a blast with this series so far and I appreciate all the great comments. I am blown away that hundreds of people are following along and I've even heard from a couple people that are doing the same build and following the progress side by side with the series, how cool is that?!

    DAY 9

    Building in-game wealth for a new player can be challenging if they don't know how, but it can be easy if they do! Starting at level 10, you can access the Orchard of the Macabre, the slayer zone in upper Necropolis. Not only is this a nice area to farm slayers, rares and explorers for xp, but the rare chests can drop Shield of Legend pieces and Tome of Legend pages. Both of these items can be sold for pretty good plat, perhaps 100k or more per item. While I never got around to farming the Orchard this life, it's worth mentioning this option for new players. If you're on a toon that is looking for one of the items from the Shield or Tome of Legends turn-in, once you pull a handful of pieces, you can start posting in trade channels to trade your unwanted pieces for other pieces and you can work toward getting a shield or weapon from the turn-in pretty easily. You can also pull Shreds of Tapestry, which are another nice turn in for a selection of helms. If you're new, talk to the NPC's in upper necropolis to get your shield frame, tome binding and tapestry bag. These items can also go into your shared crafting storage bank.

    I started day 9 doing western Threnal. I did all 3 parts even though part 3 was 2 over my level. This quest chain has a non-uniform level structure, so I end up doing some of these out of level order so that I can get bravery bonus for the whole chain. I do all of western at level 10 and I'll do eastern and southern at level 11. Combining Ice Storm and Sleet Storm proved to be very valuable against the large groups of mobs that can gather in Threnal. Sleet Storm provides awesome crowd control as long as you have Freedom of Movement or other immunity to slippery surfaces. At this point I'm starting to ease into my regular playstyle of gathering groups of mobs into my AOE's and letting them chew mobs down while I stand in the middle of my own personal hurricane of Ice Storm and Sleet Storm (later Earthquake and Storm of Vengeance get added to the combination).

    With a lack of past lives and gear, I'm finding that Stoneskin is especially valuable. I haven't used this on my main toons in years, but it's great for this true first lifer! I'm also finding that shield blocking in my AOE's is a safer way to go compared to swinging a weapon when inside my AOE's. My defenses aren't where I'd like them to be at this point so I have to adjust my playstyle a bit to compensate... Kicking it old school!

    Threnal is an important chain to do every life because Mantle of the Worldshaper is guaranteed in the end reward list. This is an important piece of spell absorption loot that I keep on all my toons at all times. As I mentioned with the VOM above, even if you already have a mantle, it's good to get another one every life so that you can make your Master's Gift augments.

    Next I did The Prisoner (VON 2). This proved a lot tougher than VON 1, which was fairly easy to solo on elite. The beholders weren't the problem, however, as I could just send in the wolf to distract them and then I'd hit the beholders with a Call Lightning or 2 to take them right out. It was the Thaarak Hounds' Acid Blast and Cyclonic Blast that killed me a couple times. I eventually completed after having to re-enter once. This was humbling! Normally I would wait until epic levels to do the VON series but I wanted to do parts 1-4 in heroics so that I could be raid flagged and maybe join a pug VON 5-6 once I get into epic levels.

    Next was Stromvauld's Mine, which was no problem and a needed confidence booster after having gotten so beat up during VON 2. Stromvauld's has a strength lever to open an optional area so it's a good reminder that the wolf can be used to get a lot of levers that you're not strong enough to pull. By end game you can easily get your wolf to over 75 strength, even on a first lifer, which allows you to get the strength lever in Legendary Elite Tempest's Spine. If you missed it, you can watch one of my earlier videos How to Get 75 Strength on your Druid's Wolf. You can also use Flame Strike to break down doors that you're not strong enough to bash in.

    I finished level 10 by doing a video of Thrall of the Necromancer (Delera's part 4).

    DAY 10

    Level 11: Greater Creeping Cold for the win!

    There was a time when Greater Creeping Cold was the best damage over time (DOT) spell in the game. But I think Arcane Pulse holds that title now. Whatever the case, GCC is a very strong dot and the king dot in heroics. What makes it so great compared to most other dots is that it has such a short cool down of 2 seconds so allows you to cast on multiple targets. Creeping Cold and GCC don't triple stack on themselves like other dots, but they do stack with each other, so you can put both on the same mob. The tricky part is that these are back-loaded spells, meaning that their biggest damage is at the end of their duration, so you want to be very careful not to cast again on the same mob until it expires, else you will overwrite the previous casting and lose out on the biggest damage. I have gotten used to opening an examination window and watching for it to expire before recasting. Examination can be hotkeyed in your options>keymapping. If you're newer to keymapping in DDO and interested in learning more, you can check out one of my older videos Setting Up and Using Hotkeys.

    Greater Creeping Cold is so powerful at this point that I don't even use it except for bosses. The regular Creeping Cold SLA is still killing most mobs with a single casting! One trap that newer druids fall into is that once they get GCC they want to use it on everything. This will deplete your mana pool really fast. Stick to your SLA's for single targets and AOE's for groups. Save GCC for bosses. In epics it's great for evasion mobs and other mobs that would save against spells like Call Lightning.

    This brings me to a very important point... Druids are not traditional DC casters. This doesn't mean you can throw DC's out the window, but you don't need uber DC's like you would on a wizard with pass/fail spells like Finger of Death for example. You can achieve DC's that are plenty effective even on a first lifer. Moreover, if you are encountering mobs with high saves, don't try to force save-based spells on them. Switch to using your spells that have no save. Druids have an arsenal of spells with no save! Spells like Produce Flame, Creeping Cold, Greater Creeping Cold, Ice Storm, Sleet Storm, Storm of Vengeance (the acid damage has no save) and World of Balance all have no save and are great for evasion and high save mobs. As far as your DC's go, as a general rule, if your Earthquake is dropping most mobs most of the time then you're probably ok.

    I really wanted to upgrade my Bracers of Wind and Cloak of Flames to the level 11 versions, but one of the House Cannith challenges required for ingredients was minimum level 12, so will have to wait another level.

    I started the day by doing Eastern and Southern Threnal. Part 2 of Southern Threnal proved challenging because it's so long and I ran out of spell points. I ended up fighting the beholder near the end with just the few spell points I regenerate and using SLA's while Mirage distracted it. It was a very close fight, that ended up with me turned to stone at 5hp and being attacked by a swarm of oozes. Luckily Mirage finished everything off while I could only watch helplessly!

    Next I did Last Stand in hopes of getting a Twisted Talisman. Things started to get a little hairy during the final sahuagin wave, but was fine with a little kiting. I pulled the Twisted Talisman in the first run! This is a great lowbie spell point clickie and one that I was very happy to have. This item is exclusive so can only have 1 in your inventory but you can have both the heroic and Epic Twisted Talisman. The epic version is an old school epic item that has to be crafted by crunching the base item along with the shard, seal and scroll of the Twisted Talisman in the epic altar in The Twelve. The shard, seal and scroll drops in the epic Red Fens dungeons.

    Now it was time to finish VON raid flagging so I did Haywire Foundry (VON 4). This went much better than expected. I used the wolf to pull the lever in the cubby with all the spikes. It killed Mirage but better him than me! I'm going to druid hell for this, lol. Spring's Resurgence was very helpful for surviving the many traps in this dungeon! I finished up level 11 by doing a video of Jungle of Khyber (VON 3).

    DAY 11

    At this point I'm consistently maintaining about 2.5 million plat. I have been steadily purchasing deals in the AH and pawn shops for later use and I have built up a small trove of augments and other gear that I've set aside for possible use at higher levels.

    Level 12

    My first priority was to run House Cannith challenges to upgrade my Bracers of Wind and Cloak of Flames to their level 11 versions. The stats they already have get a boost plus the bracers get dodge and the cloak gets fire absorption. Ballin!

    I've always loved Ataraxia, so I started level 12 by doing Elite Sykros' Jewel and Reclamation. Reclamation can be a tough quest on elite for newer players because the Duergar can hit pretty hard. Make sure you have a fort item! In each of the furnace rooms I was able to jump down into the center and toss an Ice Storm and shield block while the miners got chewed up by the AOE dps. For the archers I used Produce Flame and Creeping Cold because they cannot save against those spells. If you're not strong enough, use the wolf to pull the strength valves.

    Next was Elite Chamber of Rhamat, which is the only level 10 quest in the Sands of Menechtarun. The casters and tripping hyenas in there can be a little overwhelming, so it was best to take it at a modest pace on this first lifer!

    Tempest's Spine was my first big test. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to solo this one. There are so many obstacles here and it can be really rough on a first lifer. I solo'd it on elite during the Beginner's Guide series, but that was on my native server and I had access to gear, wealth, crafting and ship buffs. My true first lifer's gear and stats are considerably inferior to the first life toon that I used in the Beginner's Guide.

    Among the serious dangers in TS are the hill giant Soothsayers, who can cast very strong Disintegrates and one failed save would toast me! There are also 2 beholders that are very scary at this point for me! Luckily I got a stack of 5 Bells of Opening from a daily roll early on, which allowed me to unlock the doors. The necessary intelligence for the intelligence rune was challenging to achieve. I had to use 250 remnants to buy a Lasting Elixir of Fox's Shrewdness (+2 stacking int) from the Monster Hunter, then along with an item and respec'ing my human enhancement tree to pick up a point of intelligence, I was able to get the requisite 18 intelligence for the rune. Ironically, if I hadn't swapped out Augment Summoning early, then my wolf would've been able to get it by using the Pact Aptitude spell. Mirage was able to get the strength lever though. Along the way I pulled a large collectables bag from one of the chests! For the end fight, I had Mirage tank Sorjek while I cast Creeping Colds on him. I stayed under the archway so that I wouldn't get thrown off by the boss. This was a fun challenge that really tested my limits. See how Mirage and I hold up against Sorjek in Episode 11 - Solo Elite Tempest's Spine!

    DAY 12

    Level 13 Fire Elemental form and Body of the Sun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Have I ever told you how much I love Body of the Sun? This is one of the funnest spells in the game. Body of the Sun works as a buff that you can cast on yourself while in fire elemental form. It creates a big orange globe of fiery death that surrounds you and melts away any mobs in your vicinity that aren't immune to fire. It basically turns you into a walking firewall and it can be extended since it is considered a buff! This is not a spell that can have damaging metamagic feats applied to it, but the damage scales really well and costs less to cast than firewall. Basically I am running around with BotS going at all times at this point. For the remainder of heroics, this spell is extremely powerful and I will be using it constantly until water elemental becomes my primary form at around level 20.

    Elemental Forms


    A druid gets lots of bonuses when in elemental form and a caster druid should stay in elemental form basically at all times. While in fire or water elemental form, you get +100% racial bonus to fortification and natural poison immunity (+10 resist to magical poison), immunity to sleep, paralysis and stun. You also get bonuses to the associated elemental spells and penalties to the opposite element in the form of +/- 3 to the caster level and max caster level of fire/water spells. Don't stress about casting opposite element spells though, as Creeping Cold and Greater Creeping Cold, for example, are still very powerful when cast in fire elemental form. You shouldn't feel like you have to constantly switch forms. Generally speaking, you can stay in one form or the other, but situationally it may be valuable to switch forms. Being in elemental form also allows you to use the level 7 spell Elemental Toughness buff that gives you damage reduction 5, which is awesome at this level!

    Don't bother purchasing level 7 druid spell components. The only 7th level spell that requires a material component is True Seeing and I would recommend just buying a stack of scrolls as a way to save on mana and so that you can use the slot for a different spell. It's not a spell you'll use very often on a caster druid, so scrolls are plenty good enough.

    I started level 13 with Spawn of Whisperdoom in hopes of getting a Widow Weave Cloak, which is one of the special rewards that can appear on the list for the turn-ins of the quest items that are in the quest. Specifically the Silver Goblet in this case has a chance to reward a cloak. The Splinterskull Battle Standard can give Crystallized Widow's Eye and the Splinterskull Historical Documents can give Widowblight. After running through the entire dungeon twice, I could only find one of the items, which is strange because I thought all 3 items appear in every instance.

    On my to-do list includes getting a Pansophic Circlet, which is a level 13 item that drops from Memoirs of an Illusory Larcener. It is the best general potency item at this level range and the legendary version is the best general potency item for end game. The heroic version has 5% magical efficiency, which I could really use on this first lifer, so I decided to hit elite Memoirs even though I was a couple levels underlevel. It was challenging to solo at level 13, but I managed. By the start of the end fight I was pretty much out of mana, so I had to do it solely with SLA's. It was a little slow going but I finally got it done. No circlet in the end chest. This will be part of my daily farm until I get a Circlet. The Pansophic Circlet, as with other clothing and jewelry from this era, can come in rare mythic +1 and +3 varieties (weapons, shield and armor can come in mythic +2 or +4).

    My next quest was Dreams of Insanity. I didn't have the intelligence to activate the runes so I had to deal with the Xoriat orbs floating around for the whole quest, lol. The beholders in the end fight proved challenging, but luckily I found a cheap Scarab of Spell Absorption on the AH and that helped me stay alive.

    I then moved on to the Sands of Menechtarun and finished all of the walkups on elite including Purge the Fallen Shrine, Raid the Vulkoorim, Chamber of Kourush and Desert Caravan. I did a video for Maraud the Mines and I also did the flagging quest Offering of Blood to finish level 13.

    DAY 13

    Level 14 Heavy Armor time!

    I am often asked how I deal with arcane spell failure while wearing heavy armor and shield on my druid. The answer of course, is that druids don't suffer from ASF because druids are not arcanes, they are considered divines for purposes of spell casting. This makes heavy armor a good option for just about any caster druid. The extra PRR is well worth the feat imo, and the extra surviveability works well with a close-quarters casting style of fighting mobs in the middle of AOE's like Earthquake, Ice Storm, etc. Druids can only wear non-metal armor, so level 14 is the first level in which heavy armor is an option with heroic dragonplate armor.

    In addition to Heavy Armor Proficiency, there are lots of other feats in my build that are there to support the tanky side of things. Defensive feats like Heavy Armor Proficiency, Shield Mastery, Improved Shield Mastery, Toughness, Epic Toughness, Deific Warding and Scion of Earth all support this end. These feats are especially valuable for newer players, even if they are not planning on tanking high-end raid bosses because a newer player or a new toon can benefit greatly from the added surviveability of these choices.

    At level 14 I joined my first pug. The dungeon scaling effects of being in a group was a difference that I could really feel. The first quest we did was elite Invaders. I got smoked twice by a beholder and a Thaarak Hound. Not surprising, this is a tough quest, especially for a first lifer! Then we moved on to the Lordsmarch 1 chain. Diplomatic Impunity went well. In Framework, things were going really well until we got to the end fight and I overconfidently ran right up the steps to trigger the spike traps. Dead. Traps are starting to get scary and one of the cold traps in the Eyes of Stone library took me out too. I really need to learn to play more conservatively on this toon, as opposed to when I play my multilifers that can run through nearly any trap. Things were starting to get very humbling. At the end fight of Eyes of Stone I got taken out again by one of the boss's Arcane Blasts. It was certainly a rough start to level 14!

    Back solo, I moved on to Demon Queen flagging quests Chamber of Raiyum (Wiz King) and Chains of Flame. Both quests went well, except I didn't have the intelligence needed to open the shrine rooms and treasure room in the basement of Wiz King. So mana was a little tight, but the 2 shrines at the start were enough to get me through. I was off ransack for the undead rare chests so I hit some of those chests while in the Sands. Then I moved on to the pre-raid Against the Demon Queen. Mana was a little tight in this one too, but I managed to make my spell points last just by focusing on using SLA's.

    My next big test was to try to solo the elite DQ raid! I was concerned about how this modestly equipped, unbuffed first lifer would hold up against Lailat's six swords. I was surprised that I ran into challenges in the entrance hall. I thought I'd be able to breeze through it, but the chain missiles that the efreet were hitting me with were quite painful, which made me very worried about the final fight. You'll have to watch the video to see how things turn out in Episode 13: Solo Elite DQ Raid!

    The DQ pre-raid can be confusing to find and to run when you're new, so if you don't know this one yet, check out one of my older videos How to Solo EE Against the Demon Queen. The epic version is basically the same as the heroic, so the information in the video applies to heroic content as well.

    DAY 14

    I had some Monster Manual rewards waiting for me and one of them was 1 astral shard. This was enough to post 1 thing on the Shard Exchange, so I posted a stack of the new collectables that I farmed. It sold right away and now with a small stack of astral shards to work with, it's off to the races on the shard exchange! There are lots of great collectables farms and if you haven't seen it, check out this nice writeup about how to farm collectables. Another cool resource for collectable farming information that I've noticed a lot of people haven't realized yet is in the new Cannith Crafting Planner, if you mouseover the collectables that are needed for a recipe, a tooltip comes up and says where to farm them. While I am not trying to build long term wealth on this server, I do intend to build up enough wealth to get the things I want for this toon

    Level 15 Earthquake!

    Earthquake is one of the best crowd control spells in the game. It's reflex save based, and most mobs don't have high reflex saves, so the DC doesn't need to be uber high to be very effective. Earthquake also does damage, but it's rather low so it's not worth applying the damaging metamagic feats to Earthquake like Maximize, Empower and Intensify. A good little mana saving tip is to turn off Maximize and Empower (and Intensify later) for Earthquake, as it's the knockdown ability that you care about most. Earthquakes can also be stacked for multiple knockdown and damage procs. Earthquake also counts as an acid spell for purposes of the Autumnal Susurrus enhancement, hence Earthquake will have a 40% chance to inflict the Shaken condition to mobs with each tick, which reduces their saves by 2 more! When running in water elemental form and using Mantle of the Icy Soul, if you throw an Ice Storm on top of your Earthquake, which I typically do, mobs will get an additional -4 to their saves from Mantle, which inflicts many debuffs on mobs affected by your cold spells, including -4 to their reflex saves!

    Wall of Wood is a nice shield option for druid. Druids can only use non-metal shields, so there is a limited number of named shields available to use. I'm a big advocate of just using the heroic normal version. It's a lot cheaper buy and usually relatively easy to find on the AH. If you can't find it for sale then you can farm it rather easy either by doing the optional in Overgrowth or by getting it on the chain reward list. Plus the normal version is level 15 so can use sooner than the hard and elite versions, which are level 16 and 17. If you don't know how the optional works in Overgrowth, you can check out one of my older videos How to Farm a Wall of Wood from EN Overgrowth. For the heroic version, if you can't find it cheap on the AH, it's probably best just to get it from the chain reward, where you can commonly find it, although it's not guaranteed to be on the list.

    I attempted to do elite Devil's Details to try to get a Shield of Tireless Aid as an alternative to Wall of Wood but I was unable to complete it. As I mentioned before, newer content is a lot harder hitting than the old stuff. What made this quest particularly difficult for me is that abishai are immune or highly resistant to a caster druid's native damage types. While I could crowd control them really well, I was not able to do much damage to them and I was eventually overrun by abishai after running out of resources. This is a quest where the build performs really well as part of a group, as it was intended.

    I moved on to Gianthold walkups; Feast or Famine, Maze of Madness, Trial by Fire, Cry for Help and Foundation of Discord. I wanted to get Agents of Argonnessen favor because the rewards are particularly valuable, especially on this first lifer. The first tier at 75 favor gives a selection of Siberys Dragonshards (used for feat swapping) and a Collapsed Portable Hole as an option, which is what I wanted so that I could get another bag space. At 150 Argonnessen favor you get the Draconic Vitality feat, which is +10 stacking hit points!

    I was able to do all the walkups with no problem except I died in the damn sonic trap in Founation of Discord. This is a particularly deadly trap that procs 3 times when you trigger it, which results in massive damage that even kills Gingerspyce at that level range. I recalled out and got a sonic absorption item and went back in and wouldn't you know it that the trap wasn't there in the second instance! This particular sonic trap has killed me so many times over the years that it has emotionally scarred me, lol.

    For my level 15 video I chose to do Memoirs of an Illusory Larcener because I wanted to talk about the importance of farming for a Pansophic Circlet.

    Level 16

    After finishing the GH walkups I took level 16 and continued with Reaver's Fate flagging quests Prison of the Planes and Cabal for One. I finished the day with some collectables farming and posted some of the new uncommon and rare collectables on the shard exchange.

    DAY 15

    I was looking critically at my trinket options and I was considering making a heroic Slave Lords trinket with ice lore and maybe a quality stat +1 so I zerged through the heroic chain, which was generally no problem at level 16, but the casters and traps were still hitting me pretty hard. After finishing the chain I decided not to go with the slavers trinket so I posted the ingredients on the shard exchange and they sold right away!

    I started the day with another run of Memoirs, which I've been running regularly because I really want to get the circlet. On what was probably my final run before ransack I pulled a mythic +1 version, woot!

    Next was Madstone Crater to flag for Gianthold Tor. I wanted to do a video of Tor to talk about farming dragon scales to make the Blue Dragonplate Armor. I expected to get a completion with no problem, but then I expected this first lifer wouldn't be able to hold up against the dragon optionals and I figured I'd have to do a video of the dragons on hard. My expectations were exceeded because I was able to do all 3 dragons on elite! Check out Episode 15: Elite Gianthold Tor with Dragons for another thrilling finish!

    The only GH quest I didn't do was Crucible, which I'll save for epics. As a VIP, I can skip one quest in a saga, so I did that and turned in the GH saga to see if there were any interesting rewards. Sadly, none of the skill tomes on the list were usable for this toon, so I decided I would leave the reward for now and collect the xp stone once I got to epics since I certainly don't need the xp now in heroics. At this point I am also saving my daily dice xp stones to use once I get to epics.

    If this were a permanent toon, I would want to also do Necro 4 quests at level 16, but this first lifer needs a lot less xp than a multilifer, plus there was no need to flag for heroic Abbot on this toon, so I took 17 after Tor.

    Level 17 - Water Elemental and level 9 spells!

    Sprigs of Sacred Mistletoe are level 9 druid spell components. There are literally no 9th level druid spells that require spell components, however, so don't bother getting them, lol. Storm of Vengeance is a great AOE dps spell. It does 2 damage types: acid and electric. The primary damage is acid, and this damage has no save, making it a very strong and important part of a druid's AOE dps arsenal. At level 18 you will get a SLA version of it too!

    Mantle of the Icy Soul is an amazing buff that you can use in water elemental form. Mantle makes targets of your cold spells take a 25% penalty to movement speed, a 10% penalty to attack speed, and a -4 penalty to reflex and fortitude saves. This means that if you cast an Ice Storm on top of your Earthquake, that mobs get -4 to their save vs. Earthquake.

    I did the 3 Wheloon prelude quests in Eveningstar: Disciples of Shar, Escape Plan and Shadow of a Doubt. Mana was tight in Disciples, but with a little patience, the SLA's carried me through to the shrine.

    I finished the day by doing a video of Missing.

    DAY 16

    Level 18 - Storm of Vengeance SLA!


    The regular version of Storm of Vengeance has a 1 minute cooldown, but having it as an SLA as well helps to mitigate the long cooldown. At just 20 spell points, an empowered and maximized SOV can go a long way in extending my mana pool!

    I've been selling some of the new rare and uncommon collectables on the shard exchange and got up to nearly 200 shards. I purchased a +3 wisdom tome for 51 shards and a Globe of True Imperial Blood, Meridian Fragment and Draconic Soul Gem for 30 shards each, so that left me with very few shards remaining.

    This was a short day that started off with Lords of Dust. This is a great quest to add to your daily routine because it can be zerged in a matter of minutes and it has 12 collectables, up to 5 chests and is decent xp for the short amount of time that it takes. It also has Golden Guile as a common drop, which is a nice general purpose charisma skills item and can also be a nice full time item for some builds since it has dusk and improved deception on it too. Deception isn't a good property to have for this build because it's designed to eliminate aggro, whereas this build is meant to hold aggro.

    Next was Elite Let Sleeping Dust Lie and Rainbow in the Dark. I also did another DQ raid. At level 18 it was little more than trivial to complete, but no luck on pulling a Torc or any named loot for that matter.

    I also couldn't resist attempting Weapons Shipment to try to get a Mysterious Bauble, which is a level 18 item. This is a level 21 quest on elite so I figured it would be a little rough and I certainly wouldn't recommend new players try to solo this at level 18. I was doing well until I ran out of mana with 2 trash waves remaining. I used SLA's to take out the last 2 trash waves, which took forever. Then I figured I'd just take my time and kill the boss with SLA's. Then he started neg leveling me and I didn't want to drink pots so I got neg leveled to death, lol. But I learned something cool! I knew the quest failed if there was no one alive in the end fight, but what I didn't realize is that this fail condition is only up to the point where the titans arrive. So I was able to recall out and get mana and come back in to complete. No Bauble though.

    I finished the day by doing some collectables farming so that I could post them on the shard exchange and make a few more shards. I wasn't able to get on much over the weekend, but I managed to pop on for a short time to farm some additional collectables. Not going to make that as a separate daily entry, lol.

    DAY 17

    Day 17 was another short day. I started by doing a video for Ritual Sacrifice. One of my long-term goals with my Youtube channel is to do a video for every quest in the game. I'm still a long ways from accomplishing that goal, but it gives me something to work toward, lol. I had never done a video for Rit Sac, so that's why I chose this quest.

    Next I did Coalescence Chamber and then finished off the Vale with Running with the Devils. I was expecting Running with the Devils to be a bit of a challenge, but as long as I can get my crowd control to kick in before the Eladrin casters go all crazy on me then it's no problem. Despite the fact that the Eladrin are floaty little orbs of light, they are nonetheless affected by Earthquake, so I was rocking that all through the quest. I skipped the Bearded Devil optional to conserve mana. This is a funny quest in that the sub boss is tougher than the bosses. The Eladrin before the 5 bosses spawn is a total bastard. His spells hit pretty hard and he self heals well. Creeping Cold and Greater Creeping Cold were able to finish him off though. After that, taking out the 5 bosses was cake. After Devils I took level 19!

    Having done all vale quests on elite gave me enough favor to get The Twelve tier 2 favor reward, which is a much needed large ingredients bag!

    DAY 18

    Level 19

    Busted!

    The first thing I did was spend 3.5 million plat on a +3 dex tome and a +2 strength tome. This drained me down to essentially zero plat. The good news is that I had been holding back on some of the collectables and essences since I was getting close to plat cap, so after draining my bank, I raided my collectables and ingredients bags and posted about a million plat worth of collectables and Cannith essences. I posted 2 stacks of a thousand essences for 300k each. Both sold right away! I probably should've priced them higher.

    After the Vale I had enough experience to put me nearly half way through 19. I decided to finish off heroic levels with Rever's Refuge quests. These are some classics that are among my favorites and are on the top of my wish list for quests to be epified! I have so many memories back in the day of running these quests when they were basically end game. I farmed them endlessly for the runes to make Dragontouched Armor. While Dragontouched has been relegated to near obsolescence, these remain fun and challenging quests for their level.

    First I did Monastery of the Scorpion. Having done this quest a bazillion times, I knew where the traps were and how to avoid them. But I have no doubt that most unsuspecting new players would die several times over in these hard hitting traps. Spring's Resurgence is huge for surviving traps! I basically used Earthquake, Body of the Sun and SLA's throughout the entire quest. The boss Sannyasi is one of the hardest hitting at-level bosses in the game. He is no one to be trifled with and can cut you down in seconds! But this tanky build holds up to him pretty well, even on the true first lifer. Soloing this end fight by doing the puzzle and not damaging the boss is quite a challenge. It took me several minutes, but I managed to do it. Even though I had done this quest a hundred times, soloing the puzzle remains a fun challenge!

    Next I did a video of Prey on the Hunter. This can be a really confusing quest for new players, so I take the time to explain things like the maze and how the end fight works. Earthquake was extremely valuable here. Even though I don't want to damage the dragon while the giants are attacking, Earthquake doesn't do much damage and was invaluable in keeping the giants under control. I decided to be a smart ass and fight the dragons instead of just finishing the quest. This was a very long fight, as I ran out of mana before the first dragon was dead and had to use SLA's for the remainder of the fight. It took forever, but I got it done, woot! This demonstrates an important point, however, that even with no mana, a caster druid can be a formidable force with just the little bit of mana that Echoes of Power regenerates and using the low cost SLA's... and a lot of patience!

    I was inches from 20 when I finished Prey. I decided to do a video of Enter the Kobold as well. The end fight can be tough for those that are new to it or for a disorganized pug, so I thought I'd do a video showing and discussing how even a non-ship buffed first lifer can do it with some strategy and planning.

    The journal continues on to epic levels in the next post...
    Last edited by Nachomammashouse; 01-09-2018 at 09:47 AM.

  5. #505

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    THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF NORTHWYND GALE...


    Level 20: Epic!!


    I am still Elite Streaking and it took a little over 100 quests to reach level 20.

    Epic Destinies are a very powerful part of being epic. They are basically enhancement trees for epic levels. It is a premium option, and I highly recommend getting these to anyone that wants to play DDO in epic levels. If you are new to epic destinies, check out my earlier video Gingerspyce's Beginner's Guide to Epic Destinies and Twists of Fate, where I go over how twists of fate work, how to acquire fate points, strategies and considerations for leveling destinies and a little on epic reincarnating and epic past lives.

    I chose to start in the Shiradi Champion Epic Destiny. As a druid, I have to start in the primal sphere, and I picked Shiradi because it was the closest one to the next sphere, since I want to start working over to Sentinel and Draconic as soon as possible. After getting 3 levels in Shiradi, I will probably get 1 level in Primal Avatar so that I can pick up Rejuvenation Cocoon for low cost healing.

    My first priority was to upgrade my Bracers of Wind and Cloak of Flames to the level 20 versions. This is as high as they can go so I will definitely upgrade them to their tier 3 versions, which will give them each 2 slots! I ran several challenges to upgrade each item, but the epic challenges needed to upgrade the tiers are minimum level 21 so the slots will have to wait 1 more level.

    By the end of the day a lot of my auctions had sold and I was back to about a million plat!

    DAY 19

    Day 19 was a short day spent in the Inspired Quarter. I had no problems with elite Shipwrecked Spy, Dream Conspiracy and I Dream of Jeets. In Shipwrecked Spy, I used a Sleet Storm on the left side to pull mobs over to where I was on the right. Sleet Storm is low cost and lasts a long time and even though it doesn't do any damage it still causes mobs to aggro on the caster.

    When I did Finding the Path I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough mana to get through the Orb of Will fight. This was a problem in my other True First Life series. This quest is almost like a level 19 version of Cannith Crystal and can easily fail if a couple champions start swinging at the orb. Like in Shipwrecked Spy, I used Sleet Storm on the Orb as a means to get aggro. In addition to Sleet Storm, I was using Earthquake on the Orb, which proved exceptionally valuable. With Sleet Storm and Earthquake running crowd control, I used low cost SLA's to take out the mobs and kept my Storm of Vengeance SLA on the Orb when it came off timer. When the 3 bosses of the Orb fight spawned, I made sure to cast an AOE in front of them before they activated, so that they'd aggro on me right away instead of running at the Orb, which can cause a quick failure if they reach it.

    DAY 20


    I farmed a few more collectables but they don't seem to be selling on the shard exchange as well as they were last week. At this point I'm back up to about 150 shards and in a bidding war over a +3 to +4 wisdom tome that is currently at 69 shards.

    My first quest was doing a video of Mindsunder. It was the beginning of my day and I was a bit groggy, lol. I hit an unexpected challenge when I realized that the Mindsunder was immune to most of my damage types. So I basically had to switch to wolf form and melee it, which took a while. I also used Wild Shot from Shiradi to do some untyped damage to it. Eye of the Titan was next. In Inspired Quarter and Dreaming Dark quests, you gotta be careful about which spells you're using on the Dream Scourges. The 3 different types are each healed by a different element: fire, cold and acid, so a lot of my spells can work against me if I'm not paying attention. Reclaiming Memories and Mining for Ancient Secrets were next. No problems.

    I was just coming off timer for the DQ raid so I thought I'd do pre-raid and the raid on epic normal. I've already done them on heroic elite so doing them on epic normal now won't disrupt my bravery bonus. The pre-raid was a cakewalk and is worth really good xp. I expected the raid to be really easy on EN as well, but the DQ hit harder than anticipated. I was able to complete with no problem, but I was a little surprised at how hard she was hitting me on EN. Still no Torc.

    A multilifer will see a massive power boost when they reach level 20 because they immediately have access to all of their epic destiny levels and twists as soon as they hit 20. On this true first lifer, it was my first experience since doing the Beginner's Guide that I hit 20 with no epic destiny levels waiting for me. But in that series at least I had ship buffs and gear and wealth from my home server. Here on Cannith I had nothing, so I wasn't keen on trying to jump into epic elites right away at 20 and I certainly wouldn't recommend that a new player try to solo epic elites right away. On a first lifer, hard streaking is the easier way to go, especially if your resources are slim.

    In my position of being a true first lifer without any benefits of past lives and resources on my home server, I decided to hit some easy xp so I did wiz king on epic normal. Just like with DQ, I already did wiz king on heroic elite, so doing it on epic normal now won't disrupt bravery streak. It was pretty easy to fly through this on EN and this is a great xp quest to include as part of your daily routine.

    For my destiny enhancements, I chose Stay Frosty and Wild Shot. Stay Frosty is a stance that must be activated by dragging into your hotbar and clicking on it. When active it has a chance to add additional cold damage to all my spells. Wild Shot is an enhancement that I don't typically take, but I was at an even wisdom score, so I didn't need the point of wisdom right away. Wild Shot added some nice additional free dps. Once I got a few more enhancement points I swapped out Stay Frosty for Prism Stance and picked up tier 1 and tier 2 wisdom.

    DAY 21

    I won the wisdom tome auction, so now I have a +4 wisdom tome going for me, woot!

    When I'm heroic leveling, my normal routine is to skip any quests that can be done on epic difficulty for epic levels. There are enough heroic only quests to reach level 20 and it makes more first time xp available in epics, which is especially valuable when planning on doing multiple epic lives. But I was glad that I did some quests out of my normal routine this life. Quests like Wiz King, OOB (Offering of Blood) and VON 3 are huge daily xp quests and since I already did them on heroic elite, I can start right away at 20 and hit these on epic normal without breaking my streak.

    First up was epic normal VON 3 (Jungle of Khyber). This was a piece of cake on EN and awesome xp. This put me inches away from 21 so I did EN OOB (Offering of Blood) to finish level 20. Easy peasy xp!

    Level 21

    My level 21 feat is Toughness. It's not a very glamorous feat, nor is it very popular these days. But on this true first lifer I really appreciated the extra hp! This will also open up Epic Toughness at level 24. Even for people that aren't interested in tanking high-end raid bosses, I feel that they will appreciate the added surviveability that feats like shield mastery, toughness and deific warding offer for the build, and I especially encourage newer players to stick with the feat set that I have in my build post. Once you are comfortable with your level of surviveability, and if you're not interested in tanking high-end raid bosses, you can ratchet back some of the defensive feats and replace them with more caster focused feats like Mental Toughness, Greater Evocation Focus and even some of the epic feats like Burst of Glacial Wrath or Hellball if you prefer. I personally love the heavy surviveability that this build provides. Though it doesn't feel so massive on this true first lifer, lol, which emphasizes the value of all the defensive feat choices.

    Festivult is here and has proved to be a nice source of free plat, as I've been selling my coins very reliably for about 1k per copper, 20k per silver and 85k per gold.

    I found an epic normal Wall of Wood on the auction house for 120k so I picked that up. Just like with the heroic version, I'm a big advocate of just using the epic normal version. It's a lot cheaper to buy and usually relatively easy to find on the AH. If you can't find it for sale then you can farm it rather easy by doing the optional in EN Overgrowth. Plus the epic normal version is level 22 so can use sooner than the hard and elite versions, which are level 23 and 24. This isn't an endgame shield, so don't stress about getting the hard or elite versions, they'll just fill your bank with unnecessary clutter.

    Now that I'm level 21 I can start doing epic house Cannith Challenges to upgrade my Epic Bracers of Wind and Epic Cloak of Flames to their tier 3 versions. The tier 2 upgrade adds a colorless slot and the 3rd tier upgrade, which adds a green slot, requires 5 Tokens of the Twelve each so I have to work on getting some of those. I did several challenges, including Time is Money, Moving Targets, a couple runs of Picture Portals and a couple runs of Labor Shortage. Upgrading the tiers requires a lot of ingredients, but it's well worth the grind for the slots, especially if you're planning on using them for multiple lives.

    I finished the day with an epic normal Lords of Dust to get some tokens. This did not break my elite streak because I had already done LOD on elite during heroic levels. Epic LOD is a great quest to add to your daily xp grind because it has 12 collectables, can be zerged in about 5 minutes and is decent xp for the amount of time that it takes to run.

    DAY 22


    I bought some cheap augments off the shard exchange, which included a sapphire of false life 30, sapphire of good luck +2, topaz of blindness immunity and a topaz of power 250. The Sapphires will probably go on my bracers and cloak once I finish upgrading them. I was up to over 3 million plat but I bought a diamond of vitality off the AH that was way overpriced because I had no luck trading for one. But I figured that the plat I have is certainly no use sitting in the bank! It set me back 1.5 mil so I raided my collectables and ingredients bags right away and posted a bunch of stuff to try to get back to where I was.

    I haven't been farming collectables as much because I have most of what I need for this life that can be purchased. But I'm still keeping an eye out for tomes and I'm also watching out for an EE Ring of Shadows, which is the lowest level item in the game with Lesser Displacement.

    Normally at level 21 I would do Amrath and House Cannith quests to flag for Tower of Despair, Lord of Blades and Master Artificer. I don't plan on running those raids on this toon, so will probably skip them, although I do recommend that others flag for every raid. You never know when the opportunity to run a raid will arise and it's good to be ready. With 75 Yugoloth favor, which you can get from running the 4 flagging quests on elite, you gain access to Yugoloth potions that can be really handy and in retrospect I wish I had done the Amrath quests because the constitution potions would've been really nice to have situationally. Doing House Cannith quests is also good to get the favor rewards. For the tier 1 reward with 50 favor you get access to the House C vendor, which offers mini crafting xp pots, boosts and most importantly Marks of House Cannith, which are used to add the extra third crafting slot for Cannith Crafting. With 150 favor you unlock the Artificer class!

    I spent most of the day doing challenges again. I got both slots on my cloak and I'm getting close to putting the green slot on my bracers. I slotted the cloak up with good luck +2 and I'd like to slot charisma on it as well, but the only charisma augment I've found for a reasonable price is +7 so that'll have to wait til level 24 to use.

    I don't feel like I'm ready to try to solo epic elites on this first lifer, so I scraped up some additional first time xp in epic hard LOD, OOB and wiz king. All went well until the end fight of wiz king. I had about 600 mana to start the fight so I thought I'd be fine and I mana dumped right away. Big mistake. I ran out of mana with the wiz king at about 25% and didn't want to drink pots. I danced around as much as I could while I waited for my WOB SLA to come off timer, but all the wiz king's casting and cursing made it difficult to stay alive and he finally got me when he was at a sliver of health. I had to recall and re-enter and when I got back to Raiyum with some mana I one-shot him with Sunbeam, lol. Whenever I do a sands quest, I do a loop around the undead rare chests in hopes of pulling more sellable and tradable loot.

    DAY 23


    I started the day by doing a video for elite Weapon's Shipment. I've done a couple videos in the past for this one, but I chose it because I wanted to emphasize the importance of getting a Mysterious Bauble, which is a critical piece of gear for any casters. It's like a free major mana pot between each rest! I attempted this one at level 18 and died at the boss because I ran out of mana and didn't want to drink pots and he neg leveled me to death. Now at level 21 there was a big difference in terms of my mana lasting long enough to get through all the waves of trash. This is a great quest to learn to solo and it has a tricky mechanic to be able to solo it and use the shrine, which I discuss and demonstrate in the video. Every caster needs to make this quest part of their daily farm until they get their bauble! I rerolled the chest 3 times as I did before at level 18 but no luck. It's a pretty rare drop so I'll be lucky if I see it this life, but that won't stop me from trying!

    I was off timer for the DQ raid so I went in for my 4th go around. I had done it on heroic elite twice during heroic levels and now I was on my second attempt on epic normal now that I'm in epic levels. Still no luck with named loot, but this is great xp!

    I had to do a couple more challenges to finally get my bracers to tier 3 and add the green slot, which I added false life 30 to. I had nothing for the colorless slot on the cloak but I found a heal +5 augment on the AH for super cheap so I figured better heal +5 than nothing. I have a charisma +7 diamond to replace it with at level 24. I needed a few more Tokens of the Twelve for the tier 3 bracers upgrade, so I did EN and EH LOD, EN OOB and EH VON 3, which took me to 22!

    Level 22

    I changed several pieces of gear at level 22, including a Planar Focus of Prowess with insightful con +3 and a con +10 belt, which boosted me by nearly 100 hit points. Huge! I still don't have a fortification item at this point. Since I don't have ideal gearing options, I decided to continue to rely on the 100% fort I get from being in elemental form, which is holding up for now. I'm hoping I can find something to add at least 50% more fort by the time I reach mid to upper epic levels.

    At this point I decided I was ready to try an epic elite quest. Did I start with something simple like The Snitch or Claw of Vulkoor? No. I decided to go on a suicide mission and try EE Legend of Two-Toed Tobias, which is 5 levels above me! But I just couldn't resist trying for a Cursed Blade of Jack Jibbers and the challenge! It was extremely difficult. I had to double stack my earthquakes, which made the mobs a lot less scary when falling prone, otherwise they were hitting me pretty hard. I skipped the vampires since I didn't have enough mana to take them out. They were pretty scary with their dancing balls and spells, but I managed to work around them. Finally at Jibbers I had one thing going for me- he couldn't petrify me because I was immune in elemental form! His spells were hitting me really hard, which made Spring's Resurgence and Regenerate extremely valuable. I ran out of mana with Jibbers at 10%, but I survived by dancing around and healing myself with scrolls while my SLA's came off timer. I got completion, but no blade. I definitely would not recommend taking a first lifer in there solo at level 22, as this was extremely challenging and I nearly died several times!

    After leaving Two-Toed, I did a round of rares in Epic Three Barrel Cove to try to get Iron Mitts, which I'm planning on wearing at level 24. No luck, but I'll keep trying every day. These are great general use gloves for mid epic levels that have value for any toon. With stats like heal amp, strength, resistance and vitality 40 they are great for really anyone and a pretty easy farm from the rare chests in epic 3BC.

    DAY 24

    A rough day.

    I was riding high off my EE Two-Toed Tobias completion from the day before and I was feeling pretty good to start the day, which I began with a run of elite Weapons Shipment because I want to keep trying for a Mysterious Bauble. Everything was going great and then during the second caster wave I got jacked by a champion caster and died. The quest instantly fails when there's nobody alive in the end fight, so that was a big waste of time and very discouraging since I had already solo'd it just fine at level 21!

    Next I wanted to do my first EE video and I chose Lords of Dust because the boss is pretty tough for the level and because this is a great quest to include as part of your daily xp routine since it has 12 collectables and is worth decent xp for what can be zerged in about 5 minutes on EN. I had the rare dog Bastion spawn so that set me back a bit in mana and then Marideth was a champion and I ran out of mana. I tried to keep going with SLA's, knowing that there would be a shrine right after her, but at about 20% health she blasted me with a 500 point disintegrate to the face. Dead again. I decided to just wait another level and try to do a video of EE LOD at 23. It's level 23 on EE anyway, and can be done as high as level 25 for full elite bravery bonus.

    I decided to do Elite Dreaming Dark for my level 22 video. I wanted to do a video of this one anyway during the series for a couple of reasons. The first is because it is a great quest to build wealth from if you're new since every third completion has a guaranteed random ioun stone in the end reward. The quest can be zerged quickly on casual and if you get a Vibrant Purple Ioun Stone or a Pale Lavendar Ioun Stone, they can sell really well. A Pale Lavendar Ioun Stone (upgraded) is also a very important piece of spell absorption gear that I like to have on every toon. The second reason to do this quest is it has an unusual optional that drops the Xachosian Eardweller, which is an interesting spell power and mana clickie. If you're not familiar with all of the mana clickies in the game, check out one of my older videos Gingerspyce's Guide to Spell Point Regeneration Items. The Eardweller has a very rare chance to drop from any mob or chest in the Inspired Quarter and Dreaming Dark chain, however there is an optional in the quest Dreaming Dark that has a much higher drop rate, which I show in the video. This was another discouraging experience for me. A lot of the mobs drain wisdom and charisma and I have such low charisma that I spent a lot of time running around helplessly with zero charisma. I managed to get completion, but not without drinking pots and not without a certain level of humiliation, lol.

    By this point in the day I was feeling pretty down and wasn't up for any more challenges. I decided to just take it easy and coast the rest of the way through level 22 with some EN dailies OOB, Wiz King, VON 3 and EN Two-Toed Tobias. After Two-Toed, I did a few rares in epic 3BC and pulled a pair of Orcish Privateer's Boots, which is a really nice item, especially for classes without Freedom of Movement. I'm not sure if I'll wear them on Northwynd, but the fire absorption might be handy situationally.

    DAY 25

    Level 23

    This was a short day and I was still feeling a bit defeated from yesterday, so I took things easy again with some EN dailies for some quick xp, including EN VON 3, EN wiz king, EN LOD and EN Two-Toed Tobias.

    On my main server, I just TR'd Voodu into a Deep Gnome and it's the first time I've had a heroic level toon on Sarlona after the new Cannith Crafting system came out. I spent a lot of time crafting some twink gear for Voodu and it made me realize that the stuff I can craft at level 15 for Voodu is as good or better than a lot of the stuff I can find for Northwynd at level 23 lolz! If you're new to Cannith Crafting and want to learn, check out my video Gingerspyce's Beginner's Guide to New Cannith Crafting.

    DAY 26

    I bought a +3 to +4 con tome off the shard exchange for 60 shards. The only problem is that my con tome is currently only a +2, so I gotta hope that I can find a +3 con tome soon!

    I am currently working through the martial destiny sphere. I've taken Legendary Dreadnaught up to level 3 and am now working on Grandmaster of Flowers. I hope to get both capped before I hit level 28 so that I'll have access to the Elusive Target epic destiny feat at level 28. I decided to jump into Fury of the Wild for 1 level because I wanted to pick up Primal Scream, which turned out to be so much more valuable on this true first lifer than I had anticipated. Not only is it a nice +5 boost to strength and con, which helps a lot with surviveability, but the AOE sonic damage is hitting for about 1000 damage on a non-crit, so is helping with dps and extending my mana pool. After picking up the level of Fury, I had a total of 3 Fate Points, so had enough to get my second twist and so I'm going to be using Primal Scream as my second twist for now.

    Back in Grandmaster, I started the day with some gear farming, first with EH Two-toed Tobias (still no Jibbers blade for me), then I farmed a couple rounds of epic 3BC rares and got my Iron Mitts, woot!

    After failing EE Lords of Dust at level 22, I wanted to have my level 23 video be my second attempt at EE LOD. It was a tough run with all 3 orange names being champions. Gnomon being a champion made things especially tough on the mana. I started the boss with only about 500 spell points, which wasn't even close to being enough. I had to embarrassingly run around a bit and I was way too emotionally invested in the quest to give up at this point, so I ended up drinking 3 major mana pots to complete. I felt the defensiveness held up pretty well on this true first lifer, but the mana pool dried up quickly. You can watch the humbling ridiculousness in Episode 23: EE Lords of Dust.

    I'm finding that running out of mana has been a serious problem on the true first lifer. I've been pushing things pretty hard, so I don't think it would be much of an issue if I was just hard streaking for example, which would probably be a smarter choice for this toon!

    After LOD I was nearly level 24 so I did a couple dailies (EN wiz king and OOB) to finish off level 23.

    Level 24

    I made a mistake and an oversight while leveling. I never realized that 21 base constitution was a requisite for Epic Toughness, which is my level 24 feat. With only a 16 starting con and a +2 tome, I was quite a bit short. I made appropriate adjustments to my build post. Accordingly, I am now recommending a starting 18 constitution for first life versions of the build, which will not only help with getting closer to the requisite 21 con at level 24, but will also help with surviveability. Discovering these kinds of quirks and snags and making appropriate notes and fixes to the build post is one of the benefits of doing this series. I also made the mistake of taking a point of con instead of wisdom. I'm currently leveling Voodu on my main server, and she's a con build, so I was in the wrong frame of mind when leveling Northwynd. Ironically, this may have been a good thing. If I can find a +3 con tome then I can eat my +3 to +4 con tome and that will get me to the 21 con I need and will be able to take Epic Toughness at level 27 instead.

    Since Epic Toughness wasn't an option, I took Intensify Spell instead, which is normally my level 27 feat. This won't really make a difference in the end if I can get my base con score up to 21 by level 27.

    I was really happy to have a tier 1 Thunder-Forged scimitar waiting for me at level 24. The glaciation 150 is a nice boost! I have enough ingredients from my earlier trades to upgrade to the tier 2 version with +6 evocation as soon as I get to level 26.

    My first quest once I hit 24 was elite Weapons Shipment, which I embarrassingly failed my last attempt due to a champion caster. This time it was a cakewalk and I used the wolf for the archer waves, which helped quite a bit. This was my third completion this life and on the third reroll I pulled a Mysterious Bauble woohoo!! So it took me 3 attempts, for a total of 12 pulls (9 rerolls) to get it. This will be a giant help with my lack of mana resources.

    My next quest was EE Impossible Demands in King's Forest. Piece of cake!

    After rerolling the bauble chest 3 times and all my other purchases, I was pretty low on shards, so I took some time to farm collectables, which I hadn't done in about a week. I posted a few stacks on the shard exchange before heading off for the night. Actually it was about 6am at this point, lol.

    DAY 27

    It occurred to me that I wish I had done a different set of quests around level 20. Normally during heroic leveling I skip anything that can be done on epic for epic levels. This saves more first time xp bonuses, which is especially valuable if you want to knock out multiple epic lives. But for this true first lifer, it has been especially valuable that I ran some of the epified quests on heroic like wiz king, OOB, VON3 and LOD so I could farm them on EN and EH in early epic levels, since EE would be way too tough for me on this toon. But an important set of quests that would've been really valuable to do in heroics on this first lifer are the Harper quests like High Road, Storm Horns and Druid's Curse chains. The Lesser and Greater Harper Pin is a really nice clickie to get out of cc effects like dancing. I guess I'll have to find a way to live without it on this toon, but I'd highly recommend new players make it part of their plan to get these.

    This day started out well. I did EE Unquiet Graves and EE Lost Thread. I thought I might run into problems with the summoner in the library, but I managed to take him down before he could even get to his fire salamander summons. The end fight boss was getting some good hits on me but my defenses were holding up for me to stand and deliver. Next I tried to do a video for EE Battle for Eveningstar. I knew this one would be tough. It started out going well but as I got to the farmstead before the end fight I was running low on mana so I decided to kite a group of mobs to that fight and as I was laying down my cc I got web line tripped in the middle of a big group and was overcome. Another death

    Later I tried to do EE Offering of Blood. I knew this one would be tough too but I wanted to try. The defenses held up, but I ran out of mana about half way in before I could get to the underwater shrine. This one has endless respawns, so the regenerative SLA's wouldn't help, so I had to just give up.

    After a couple defeats I decided to take it easy for the rest of the night and just stick to dailies while leveling my destinies.

    DAY 28

    I only play very late nights on Cannith, but sometimes I will pop on during the more active hours to check the auctions or if I'm looking to make a trade. I had some rare and uncommon new collectables that I wanted to trade for a +3 con tome so I popped on at about 4:30pm EST and posted in market trade channel and got a taker immediately. For the +3 con tome I trade an Encoded Communique, Prismatic Dust, Ornate Charm, Vial of Dragon Blood Ink, 4 Scarlet Cryptmoss, 3 Blister Beetles, 2 Fractured Femurs, Pouch of Bone Fragments, and about 5 Stone Fetishes, 15 Mortars and Pestles, 15 Hairy Trumpets and about 20 each of a couple of the new common fungi. Now I could eat my +3 to +4 con tome woot!

    At this point I was near the end of level 24 and I had worked over to Unyielding Sentinel! I still want to max out Grandmaster and Dreadnaught so that I can have access to Elusive Target at level 28, but I have some wiggle room with xp though, so I wanted to start working on Sentinel.

    Unyielding Sentinel


    I love playing in Sentinel full time and this is my permanent and recommended destiny for this build. The added defenses compliment the close quarters casting style of fighting mobs in the eye of your own personal hurricane. I also love the knockdown immunity, the added hit points and the cheap heals of Renewal. It's worth mentioning for newer players that the knockdown "immunity" from Sentinel, like other knockdown immunities, such as a warlock's Celestial Spirit, doesn't stop all knockdowns in DDO. Dragon pounce, giant stomps and drider web line trips can still knock you prone. But it does make you immune to most knockdown types, such as from battleragers, air elementals, minotaurs and trip attacks, so is still very much worth it imo. When druids first came out, I played in Shiradi Champion for a while, then switched to Primal Avatar when it was released. They are higher dps destinies for a caster druid, but I personally enjoy the added surviveability and feeling of invulnerability that comes with Sentinel.

    With the added defenses of sentinel, combined with my shiny new +4 con tome, I decided to have another go at doing my level 24 video of EE Battle for Eveningstar. This time things went much better! Mana was tight but I had a few Draughts of Sparkling Apple Cider that I traded Villager Commendations for and that helped to extend the mana pool. I didn't have the defenses to stand and deliver during the final trash wave, especially since I was so low on mana, so I had to jump around a bit but I got completion without embarrassment, woohoo ding 25!!

    DAY 29

    Level 25

    Now that I'm level 25 I slotted my Globe of True Imperial Blood in my Epic Cloak of Flames. I was able to trade about 3 rare and about a dozen uncommon new collectables for a Topaz of Greater Evocation. This will boost my Earthquake DC by 2 more.

    I started the day by attempting to solo the DQ raid on epic hard. I had only done it on EN at this point, so I wanted to see how it would go. I had to use all my mana, but I didn't have to use any consumables and got a completion without fuss. This was my 7th completion on this toon and now I know I can start doing it on EH from now on, woot!

    Next was my daily EH Two-Toed but still no luck with a jibbers blade. I've also been hitting EN or EH LOD at least once a day because of all the collectables, which are so valuable and have helped me trade for what I've needed for this toon. I figured it was time to start farming legendary Memoirs for my Legendary Pansophic Circlet. I figured LN would be really easy, but I was surprised that I had to use every last drop of mana I had to get through it. No legendary circlet yet.

    It was time to move on to the Sschindylryn chain, which is chain 2 in the Caught in the Web flagging series. Sschindylryn can be very confusing to find for a new player, but quick and easy to get to if you know how. If you don't know how to find it, check out one of my older videos How to Get to Sschindylryn from the King's Forest. My first quest was EE House of Rusted Blades. I didn't want to attempt the optional at this point, but without Dimension Door, I'd have to fight my way back to the bell. I hit 3 champions at once and I wasn't sure how things would go, but the defenses were holding and the personal hurricane was getting the job done! Next I decided to do a video of EE House of Broken Chains. After the video I finished off chain 2 with EE House of Death Undone and EE Portal Opens. I was able to do these no sweat, and I even played using my normal playstyle of kiting a bunch of mobs together and things were holding up well. At this point I feel like I've turned a corner with the toon. Being in Sentinel really helps.

    I decided to knock out a few dailies to finish off 25, so I did EN VON 3, EN wiz king and EN OOB. Every time I do wiz king, OOB or ATDQ I make sure to hit the undead rare chests in hopes of pulling another Bloodstone or Ring of Spell Storing. I hit amazing luck this day by pulling another Ring of Spell Storing!! I was shocked, but this is exactly why I always make sure to hit those chests while I'm out there. My plan is to try to trade the ROSS for an EE Ring of Shadows, which is the lowest level item in the game with Lesser Displacement, which gives a 25% concealment miss chance, so is a little better than Blur. This is an item that I'd normally like to use from levels 25 until I get Legendary Symbol of the Slave Lords at level 28. There was a time that an EE Ring of Shadows was the only item in the game with Lesser Displacement and since it is a very rare drop, it was exceptionally valuable. Today, Lesser Displacement is found on many items, including a few relatively common drops like Legendary Symbol of the Slave Lords, Pendant of Quiet Movements and Legendary Hypnotic Pendant. It is also found on Belt of Braided Beards in the Defiler of the Just raid.

    Level 26

    I made another oversight in my leveling strategy this life. I forgot that I needed to have one capped destiny in the Primal sphere in order to have access to the epic destiny feat Epic Spell Power: Cold. I was only level 4 in Shiradi and with about a million xp to cap it, I decided to just take another Toughness feat instead. I know that I there's no way I'll be able to get Deific Warding epic destiny feat this life, because it requires all 3 divine destinies to be capped, so I will try to max Shiradi and take Epic Spell Power: Cold at level 29.

    I immediately upgraded my Thunderforged scimitar to add tier 2 Dwarvencraft Evocation Focus +6! I was also very excited to now be able to get the base Shadow Dragonplate Armor. I slotted it up with Good Luck +2 and in my green slot on the Cloak of Flames I slotted Greater Evocation Focus. I got False Life on a ring now so I used the green slot on my Bracers of Wind to slot my Draconic Soul Gem. I found a Golem's Heart on the auction house for a good deal at 300k plat, so I couldn't resist buying it. I didn't have anywhere to put it at this point, but hopefully a slot will be available soon and at the latest I can add it to my Shadow Dragonplate at level 28 because it gets another slot after I upgrade it.

    DAY 30

    I started the day by doing EH Two-toed and LN Memoirs because I'm still looking for a Jibber's blade and a legendary circlet. Still no luck there. Next was a couple out in the Demonweb Trial by Fury and Deal and the Demon. Both went well and without incident. I expect the final Demonweb quest Reclaiming the Rift to be tougher, so I'll save that one til level 27. By this point I capped Grandmaster of Flowers and was working on capping Legendary Dreadnaught.

    I did my level 26 video of EE Don't Drink the Water. I wasn't sure how this one would go. I was a little concerned with all the Yaun-ti but the crowd control worked great, the AOE dps was solid and the mana lasted long enough between shrines. My biggest concern was the dragon boss, who can hit pretty hard and has some nasty acid breath. You'll have to watch the video to see how Northwynd stacks up against Tharmalos the green dragon

    I farmed a couple of the Mabar cell chests in Prison of the Planes to try for an EE Ring of Shadows but no luck and I spent most of my remaining shards rerolling the chest. I didn't have the resources to solo the whole quest on EE, but I could clear to the top, kill the giant skellie and then do the Mabar room, rinse and repeat. Even this required me to use the shrine inside the quest and then recall and use the one outside. I wasn't going for completion, so re-entry penalty wasn't an issue. After farming POP I did a few dailies to finish my way to level 27.

    At this point I was down to just 9 shards, which is the lowest I've had since I first acquired shards, so I decided to run several LOD's and post some of the uncommon and rare collectables on the shard exchange. I also posted some stacks of Cannith Essences, which seem to be selling at a rate of about 1-2 shards per 100 essences.

    Level 27

    With the +4 con tome and the accidental con point I took at level 24, I now had the requisite 21 base con to take Epic Toughness. The extra hp are especially welcome on this first lifer.

    Most endgame gear is minimum level 28, so it's time to start getting serious about trying to get some items for next level. Items I'd really like to get are Legendary Pansophic Circlet, Legendary Spinneret, Legendary Symbol of the Slave Lords, Legendary Breaker of Bodies and Legendary Earthen Mantle. These are all very farmable pieces of loot but I doubt I'll be able to acquire it all before the series ends at level 30. Wow it's almost over! It's kind of weird to think about it, which is a little sad after investing so much effort into this toon, which I've come to appreciate in her own right.

    The Earthen Mantle drops from the optional chest in Search and Rescue. There's no way I can solo this quest on LE at this point, but I was able to just do the optional on LN and recall out. The quells were very annoying since they disrupt spellcasting, which makes this a good time to mention a great piece of situational gear that I would recommend farming. Epic Glimpse of the Soul has Intercession Ward, so is great for quests like Search and Rescue, Desecrated Temple of Vol and Mark of Death to prevent the quells from impeding your spell casting. Epic Glimpse of the Soul drops from the end chest in Inferno of the Damned and can also appear in the end reward for completing all 4 epic necro 4 quests. Inferno can be a really confusing quest for newer players and even a lot of veterans don't know their way through it. If you're new to it, check out a video I did a couple years ago as part of the Beginner's Guide: How to Solo Elite Inferno of the Damned, where I'm using the same build as a first lifer but on my home server. Heroic and epic Inferno are basically the same, just tougher mobs in epic.

    DAY 31

    Determined to get a Legendary Pansophic Circlet, I posted my first lfm. It started with me soloing Memoirs on LN. As more people joined we moved up to LH and finished with 2 runs on EE. Still no circlet. Damn.

    A couple of the people from the Memoirs runs joined me for an EE Jibbers run. One of the pugs in the group was rather discouraged that he hadn't pulled a jibbers blade yet, despite having run the quest a bunch of times. This is a quest that I have personally run well over 1000 times and I've seen so many blades drop over the past two and a half years since the quest was made epic. It has been a campaign of mine to help all my guildies get it on as many toons as possible. Despite the item's rarity and particular elusiveness for some, this quest is one of the best to add to your daily routine. Not only does it have a chance at dropping one of the single best items in the game, but it's quick, great xp for the time it takes and has 4 new collectables! As I told the pug, don't be discouraged, just keep running it daily and you will eventually get your Jibbers blade and you will get tons of xp along the way!

    A little later I saw an lfm for Slave Lords that was being led by one of the people that I ran Memoirs and Jibbers with so I thought I'd join for fun. This was pretty tough for a first lifer at level 27 and I wouldn't have joined if I hadn't already run with the group's leader. I died once in a trap in part 1 and got overwhelmed by trash mobs and died once in part 3. I wasn't contributing much to the kill count, 10-20 kills at best, but I was also helping out with buffs and heals and I think the group was pretty happy that I was passing my bound ingredients, lol. I wasn't planning on sticking around Cannith long enough to use them, so I didn't want to keep them. I did 2 complete chains with the group and got my Legendary Symbol of the Slave Lords woot! This is an exceptionally nice trinket. With insightful constitution +8, it is the highest insightful con item in the game atm. It also has Lesser Displacement, which gives a 25% concealment miss chance. Add true seeing and a couple of slots and you have a trinket that is among the best in game and is a reasonable farm to acquire.

    After Slavers I did a video of EE Reclaiming the Rift. Mana was really tight at the end and I had to drink some pots but got it done without too much hassle. Afterward I turned in my true elite saga, which had four +3 skill tomes on the list but none of them were meaningful for this toon so I just took the xp.

    DAY 32

    This started out the same as the previous day... with me posting a group for Memoirs. A couple people joined and on the first run one of them pulled the circlet and passed it to me, woot! The Legendary Pansophic Circlet is the best general potency item in the game. Druids do so many different damage types that a general potency item is especially valuable.

    During Memoirs, the person that led yesterday's slavers runs invited me to join his slavers group this night as well, so I joined up with them after Memoirs. I did another 2 chains with him and died a few more times, lol. Twice in part 1 traps, once by a group of trash mobs in part 3 and then I got assassinated by the boss Nerals as soon as we started one of the end fights, lol. This time I pulled a Legendary Spinneret, woohoo! This is a truly outstanding item for just about any caster. It has 15% universal spell lore, quality potency 32, quality spell focus +2, spell pen +7 and a green slot, what's not to love?! I also pulled a Legendary Statuette of the Gods! I wasn't about to loot it since I wasn't staying on Cannith, so I rolled it off to the group.

    At this point I already had enough xp to take level 28 but I didn't have 2 capped destinies in the martial sphere yet, which is required to take the Elusive Target Epic Destiny Feat. So I decided to knock out some dailies, including EH VON 3, EH LOD and EN wiz king, which capped Dreadnaught so I was good to go on taking 28!

    Level 28

    Level 28 is a big level for a multilifer because so much endgame gear is waiting for them. It was still pretty exciting for me because I had a Legendary Spinneret, Legendary Pansophic Circlet and Legendary Symbol of the Slave Lords ready to go! These gave me some nice boosts in both offensive and defensive power.

    I wanted to see how I'd stack up in EE Gianthold quests, so I thought I'd try the easiest one and attempt to solo EE Trial by Fire. It went really well, which gave me confidence to attempt what I was hoping to be my level 28 video: EE Crucible!

    DAY 33

    I started the day with a run of EH LOD then I did the DQ raid on EH. This time I was able to finish with about 500sp remaining! It's probably time to try EE and I wouldn't mind making an EE DQ solo my level 30 video

    I tried soloing EE jibbers for the first time since I did it at level 22. This time was much much easier, lol. In fact it was pretty easy and I think I'd like to maybe make this my level 29 video.

    Next I did EE Crucible. Soloing Crucible is a milestone in one's DDO playing career. Doing everything- the maze, the trap room and the swim is a challenge to learn. This was a fun challenge for me to do on Northwynd. I didn't have the charisma skills to diplo the gnoll at the start, which meant that I would have to face an extra boss in the end fight. This made the end fight particularly challenging. I wasn't used to having to fight Harza and he kept Commanding me. It was getting ridiculous and after a few close calls, I decided it would be a good time to use some spell absorption items! With spell absorption on, Harza was little threat, but I wanted to focus on him first because my spell absorption wouldn't last long. This was a tough fight for me. The mana ran out and I had to drink a few pots. See how it all goes in Episode 28: Solo EE Crucible!

    After Crucible I did EE POP. I wasn't sure how this would go and I figured mana would be a major issue and I was expecting to have to recall out to use the shrine outside and take a re-entry penalty. I didn't do all the rooms, just enough to get enough orbs to activate the end fight, and I was surprised that I was able to do it all without drinking pots and with only using the one shrine inside the quest.

    I realized that I was just 2 quests away from finishing a saga, so I did EE servants and spinner in hopes of getting a useful skill tome. Servants was really tough on the mana in the end fight. The boss was a champion and had a ridiculous amount of health, so I had to spend a lot of time dancing around and using SLA's to finish her off. I guess bosses aren't supposed to be champions and this was a bug at this point, lol. Oh well, I got it done. Thankfully the Hezrou doesn't have to be killed to finish the quest. A lot of people don't know that! After Servants was Spinner and that went really well. Much better than servants, lol. Sadly, with my 3rd completed true elite saga, I still didn't have a usable skill tome on the list. I keep getting rogue skill tomes

    I headed out to the High Road next and did EE Rest Stop first. I skipped the optionals due to mana and was able to complete no problem. Next was EE stay at the inn. I was doing great until I got to the shadow boss Twizzels, who was a champion and was tearing me up! I managed to complete but it was a little close at times.

    DAY 34

    Level 29

    I had to go well into 29 before taking it because I wanted to cap Shiradi Champion so that I could meet the pre-requisite for Epic Spell Power: Cold Epic Destiny feat. At this point the only variation from my standard feat list is that I don't have Deific Warding. There was no way I could meet the pre-requisite of having 3 divine destinies capped on this first lifer.

    This was a very short day where I just did a Jibbers run and then I went into LN Search and Rescue just to the optional chest to try to pull a Legendary Earthen Mantle. I wasn't going for completion, so just farming the Underdark optional chest wouldn't break my elite streak, which was still going strong!

    DAY 35


    I started the day farming LN Search and Rescue to the mantle then I joined a pug EE Search and Rescue and we ran that a couple times. I also had fun doing a couple Jibbers runs with a channel viewer!

    DAY 36

    I started with my level 29 video for EE Legend of Two-Toed Tobias, which upon completion put me inches away from level cap!

    Level 30


    My level 30 feat choices are Empower Healing and Scion of the Plane of Earth. These choices are different than a more traditional caster druid would choose. I've always liked playing healers and having strong healing, but the Empower Healing feat means more than that for this build. As a tank, it is clutch for my Heals to be able to heal me to full health when I'm very low. When tanking the EE Fire on Thunder Peak dragons, for example, during the final stage they can nearly 1-shot me, so I want the extra strong heals to bring me back to full health quickly. For someone less interested in tanking high-end raid bosses, this feat can easily be replaced with a variety of other caster-focused feats like Greater Spell Focus: Evocation, Mental Toughness, Hellball, etc. In recent years, Empower Healing has become an unpopular feat choice due to power creep, but has recently become more valuable because of the healing penalties in Reaper difficulty.

    Scion of the Plane of Earth is a solid choice for any caster druid, but a more traditional caster might choose Fire or Air. I like Earth because of the big bonus to PRR. To read more about this particular choice and the other relevant Scion feats as they relate to a caster druid, check out this post.

    At this point the project was essentially complete. I wasn't sure what I was going to do for my final video and I wanted to wait until Update 34 to see if I wanted to either doing something there or feature some of the gear. During the next few weeks, while waiting for u34, I farmed a few more pieces of gear that I wanted to showcase for the final video, including the Legendary Earthen Mantle, Legendary Breaker of Bodies, Cursed Blade of Jack Jibbers and the Torc of Prince Raiyum.

    Over the next 46 days I was mainly doing a daily Jibbers run and often an EN LOD. Every 3 days I did the DQ raid. But my luck ran out with those 2 items and even with 20 completions of the DQ raid, I couldn't manage to pull the Torc.

    I also did an occasional Slavers if I saw an lfm. On one of my daily gold rolls I got a +4 to +5 charisma tome! The bad part was that I didn't have any charisma tome to start with so I had to work up to being able to use it, lol. I purchased a +2 charisma tome for 26 shards and then found a +2 to +3 charisma tome on the auction house for 2 million plat. For the final piece, a +3 to +4 charisma tome, I spammed the trade channels and end up getting one for 2500 essences, 4 ornate charms, prismatic dust, archaic logbook, shimmering spore pod, 2 scarlet cryptmoss, 3 warehouse ledger, 5 glowmoss spores, 8 mortars and pestles, stone fetish, 8 blister beetles, 2 hairy trumpets and about 100 of the new common collectables.

    For my level 30 video I decided to solo the EE DQ raid. I chose this one because I wanted newer players to see that they could do it even on a first lifer. While soloing EE DQ may be a walk in the park for some veteran players, it can seem like a daunting if not impossible task to many others, veterans and newcomers alike. This is also a good starting point to gauge and work on tanking ability and skills. See how it all ends in the series finale: Episode 30 - EE DQ raid with EN Against the Demon Queen.

    SUMMARY

    This was the first time I've ever played my own build as a "true first life" version. When Gingerspyce was first made into a druid in 2012, she had 1 past life and was a 34 point build. When I did the beginner's guide with Scaryspyce, she was a champion 32 point build and I was able to benefit from ship buffs and wealth on my home server. I stopped at level 20 in the beginner's guide, so going into epics on this true first lifer was also a new experience.

    DDO is a very different experience when playing without ship buffs, past lives, twink gear and wealth. Traps are deadly and champions are quite scary. Getting to epic levels with nothing waiting for me in epic destinies makes soloing epic elite quests a significantly greater challenge. I would definitely not recommend that new players try to solo EE's. In the mid and upper epic level videos of the series I show that it is indeed possible to solo EE's on this true first lifer, but I am benefitting from my experience with the game and familiarity with my build. I'm not suggesting that new players shouldn't try to solo EE's if they want to, rather I'm just not recommending it to the more casual players. I believe that a new player's efforts are generally better spent learning game mechanics and content than stressing about elite streaking in epics.

    I learned some things along the way, a better sense of humility being one of them. A better understanding of the limits of my build is another. Specifically how it performs without ship buffs and past lives and so gives insight into the new player experience. Being a DDO veteran of many years can make empathizing with the new player experience challenging for a variety of reason, including the unintended consequences of just being so estranged from it. There were some oversights in my build post and I made some adjustments to it to better reflect certain pre-requisites for feats. I also made minor tweaks to the op so that it would be friendlier to new players.

    In the end I think this build is a good choice for new players that are interested in any kind of caster druid or self-sufficient caster. The added defenses will help compensate for a new player's lack of gear and game knowledge, and help keep them alive in situations where they might otherwise not be. This has never been a flashy, cutting edge build, but it I think it has endured because it has never relied on the flavor of the month and has always been a kind of "works out of the box, batteries included" kind of build that is new player friendly and also good for folks that want to knock out a caster druid past life without knowing a bunch about or having much interest in druid.

    WHAT NOW?

    The following post includes suggestions for what to do next for newer players

    In 2018-19 I made a sequel to this series which you can check out later in this thread at Northwynd 2: The Druid True Second Life Series!
    Last edited by Nachomammashouse; 03-10-2019 at 01:38 PM.

  6. #506

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    Continuation of the above journal for new players once they get to 30

    Once you hit 30 there are a variety of paths you could take, so I want to take a bit to discuss them since this point can be confusing and intimidating for new players.

    Before deciding any reincarnation option, I would recommend making sure you acquire a few items first:



    If you like the build and want to stick with it and continue developing it

    You eventually want to max out all your epic destinies but from here I would recommend maxing the Sentinel destiny and then taking Exalted Angel and Divine Crusader to about level 3 each, making sure to get 6 million karma in the Divine Sphere. Then work down to Magister to unlock tier 2 Evocation Specialist and Draconic Incarnation to unlock Energy Burst: Cold.

    In the mean time start joining Slave Lords groups to farm for the ingredients to make your Slave Lords craftables. If you're new to Slave Lords crafting then check out my video How to Craft a Slave Lords Item. You should also get flagged for Legendary Shroud and run that regularly for ingredients to craft Legendary Green Steel. If you're new to LGS crafting then when you're ready check out my video How to Craft a Legendary Green Steel Item. If you want to get a Torc, keep running the DQ raid. If you felt particularly outgoing, you could also flag for the heroic abbot raid and start running Abbots to get your Quiver of Alacrity and Vile Blasphemies. Don't stress about getting every last piece of gear before deciding to reincarnate.

    If you want to stay epic, you can start working on epic past lives when you're ready by Epic Reincarnating (ER) back to 20. I recommend going for the divine epic past lives first, which give +3 PRR each. This will allow you to level up in the Sentinel Destiny, which will make things easier as a first lifer. You can run daily xp quests like EN/EH LOD, Wiz King, OOB, VON 3, Two-Toed, etc. in whatever destiny you want, but when doing higher end EE's and raiding you probably want to be in Sentinel.

    Complete sagas to work on getting relevant skill tomes.

    If you feel like you're ready to go back to level 1, first Epic Reincarnate to get an epic past life. Then immediately True Reincarnate (TR) or Racial Reincarnate (RR) to get a class or racial past life. You will start over at level 1 (or 15 if you select iconic). As a second lifer you will have additional build points to allocate toward your ability scores! If you want to keep playing as a druid that's great. Alternatively you could start working on your 3 sorcerer past lives, which are huge for a caster druid because each sorc past life gives +1 to evocation DC's (Earthquake) and +20 spell points.

    I have a sequel to this series that was made 2 years later. If you want to see how Northwynd performs in her second life in reaper mode, check out Northwynd 2: The Druid True Second Life Series. Like the first series, there are videos for every level and a companion journal with my experiences, tips and advice for newer players.


    If you don't like the build or just want to try something different

    Epic Reincarnate (ER) back to 20, which gives you an epic past life feat. Make sure you have 6 million karma in the sphere that you want an epic past life from. After ERing, immediately True Reincarnate (TR) or Racial Reincarnate (RR) into whatever else you want to try and start on your second life with a class or racial past life. As a second lifer you will have more ability points to work with to create your next build!


    Some general notes about reincarnating and past lives for newer players

    Epic past lives are generally a better investment than heroic (class) past lives. Getting epic completionist (12 total epic past lives, comprised of any 3 past lives from each of the 4 spheres) is huge because having the extra twist of fate slot that it grants is amazing. Every epic past life is meaningful to every toon. Even if you're not an AC build, for example, having all that extra AC while working through heroics in your racial lives is giant. If you enjoy playing in epics, working toward epic completionist is a great option and will give you time for raiding and working toward raid loot.

    For my build I would recommend prioritizing 3 Divine epic past lives to get the Brace stance triple stacked, followed by 3 Arcane to get Energy Criticals stance triple stacked, then Primal to get Colors of the Queen triple stacked, followed by 2 Martial to get Skill Mastery triple stacked. Once you get those 4 stances triple stacked, it will unlock Epic Completionist for the extra twist of fate slot! After that, any combination of Divine/Martial/Primal with arcane epic past lives being the lowest priority.

    Heroic (class) past lives can be very meaningful, such as sorc and wizard past lives are huge for a lot of casters. However heroic completionist is overrated and can be very difficult to fit in the feat, which costs a feat slot. It's not as valuable as it was years ago. Going triple heroic completionist is a waste of time for nearly everyone, because some benefits granted by certain class past lives are meaningless to certain builds. You certainly don't need monk and fighter past lives on a caster, for example, and a melee toon doesn't need bonuses to spell penetration and conjuration spells. Pick and choose your heroic class past lives and don't go completionist unless you intend to spend the feat slot on it.

    For my build I highly recommend 3 sorcerer past lives, which are far an above the most meaningful. After that I would focus on racial past lives, but other heroic past lives that are good for the build include Paladin for healing amplification, Warlock for MRR and Barbarian for hit points.

    Iconic past lives are really nice, but like heroic class past lives, some are going to be irrelevant to certain builds, so pick and choose the ones you want carefully. PDK (+3 PRR per life up to +9) is really awesome for everyone and the clickie it gives is nice too! Shadar-kai iconic past lives (+1 to dodge per life up to +3), for example, may be meaningless to a heavy armor wearing toon that is dodge capped.

    For my build I recommend prioritizing 3 Shardar-kai to triple stack the dodge and incorporeality effect, followed by 3 PDK to get PRR and the haste+saves boost clickie. Deep Gnome lives are also great for MRR.

    Racial past lives are a great time investment. A lot of people will and should just go for the ones that make sense for their builds, which is typically going to mean 8 racial past lives to get +2 to con and +2 to their primary stat, but there may be additional skills that are important (a specific skill point is granted for the first racial past life for each race), so additional racial lives may make sense even for someone that isn't going for racial completionist. Obviously a lot of people will do a lot more than that, especially those who want extra enhancement points to spend in their racial trees. If you are planning on getting 2 past lives of a race for a stat point, I recommend also going for the third life in that race for the extra racial AP. Racial Completionist is awesome, as it grants +2 to all abilities and skills (as a free feat), however it requires the completion of 36 racial lives, which is a huge time investment.

    For those not yet familiar with how racial past lives are tiered:

    First racial past life in a race is +1 to a skill (each race has a +1 to a different skill)
    Second racial past life in a race is +1 to a stat (each race has a +1 to a different stat)
    Third racial past life in a race is +1 racial action point to spend in your racial enhancement tree. These points may be spent in any racial tree.
    Racial Completionist is 3 racial past lives from each race (33 total racial past lives). The bonus is a +2 to all abilities and skills (as a free feat).

    For my build I would recommend prioritizing 3 each of Dwarf and Warforged for stacking 2 constitution and 2 extra racial AP's, followed by 2 each of Human and Aasimar for stacking 2 wisdom and 2 more extra racial AP's.

    If you are new to reincarnating, you might find some of my videos helpful:
    1. The Basics of Reincarnating in DDO (this was made prior to the introduction of racial reincarnation)
    2. How to Racial Reincarnate
    3. How to Prioritize Past Lives
    Last edited by Nachomammashouse; 07-28-2019 at 09:26 AM.

  7. #507

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    I was asked if I could keep a list of my deaths as I worked through the Druid True First Life Series. I mention the deaths in the journal above, but I'm going to keep a list here. This list only includes deaths up to the point of level cap of 30.


    LEVEL QUEST Solo/Group Cause/Notes
    1 Heyton's Rest Solo This was the first quest I did and I ran out of resources to heal myself in the end fight
    5 Elite Where There's Smoke Solo Champion
    6 Elite Splinterskull part 3 Solo 3 Champions
    7 Elite Delera's part 1 Solo Champion
    8 Elite Redwillows Solo Traps (died twice in trap cave)
    10 Elite VON 2 Solo Died twice from Thaarak Hound Cyclonic Blast
    10 Elite slavers part 1 Solo Died twice at first group of orcs in first hall. 2 attempts. Did not complete
    14 Elite Invaders Group 2 deaths: beholder and Thaarak Hound Cyclonic Blast
    14 Elite Framework Group Traps on steps before end fight
    14 Elite Eyes of Stone Group 2 deaths: 1 cold trap in library and 1 from boss's Arcane Blast
    14 Elite DQ raid Solo Died at very end fighting DQ in blades but got completion due to DQ being dotted (in episode 13)
    15 Elite Devil's Details Solo Overrun by Abishai. Did not complete.
    15 Elite Foundation of Discord Solo Sonic trap
    18 Elite Weapons Shipment Solo Ran out of mana at boss, didn't want to drink pots and got neg leveled to death. Was 3 under level of quest.
    21 EH wiz king Solo Ran out of mana with boss at a sliver, didn't want to drink pots.
    22 Elite Weapons Shipment Solo Champion caster during 2nd caster wave
    22 EE Lords of Dust Solo Champion orange named Marideth disintegrate
    24 EE Battle for Eveningstar Solo Tried to kite too many mobs together, got web line tripped by a drider and was overcome
    27 LE Slavers part 1 Group 3 deaths in traps (among 4 total runs)
    27 LE Slavers part 3 Group 2 deaths by groups of trash mobs and 1 death by assassin in end fight (among 4 total runs)
    29 LE Search and Rescue Group Died while heading back up the summoning chamber alone and got overwhelmed by respawned slaad knockdown (didn't have tier 5 sentinel knockdown immunity yet)



    I also had a request to list quests that I would be avoiding because they are too hard to solo on this first lifer. I will be elite streaking, so not going to attempt these solo on elite. I will probably be adding more to the list.

    Temple of Elemental Evil
    Slave Lords
    Acute Delirium
    Terminal Delirium
    Subversion
    Devil's Details
    Creeping Death
    To Curse the Sky
    In the Demon's Den

    The above quests fit into a few categories. Some I knew I wouldn't have enough resources (spell points) like in the case of Creeping Death. In quests like Curse the Sky and Subversion, the massive amounts of Abishai would make it difficult because Abishai are immune or highly resistant to a caster druid's primary native damage types. In the case of Acute and Terminal Delirium, the beholders anti-magic would make it just about impossible for me because if I can't cast spells then I can't do much of anything.

    Some of the above quests I would not try to solo even on Gingerspyce, like heroic elite ToEE, Acute Delirium and Terminal Delirium. On Ginger I like to do Creeping Death and Curse the Sky on heroic elite so that I'm Legendary Shroud flagged as soon as I get to epic levels. But soloing Creeping Death and Curse the Sky on Legendary Elite is very difficult even on Ginger, for the same reasons as listed above.
    Last edited by Nachomammashouse; 05-31-2017 at 07:49 AM.

  8. #508
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    having just watched your vid of you soloing HE TS, clearly 1st life, no gear druids are OP. Nerf druids, buff warlock.

  9. #509

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    Quote Originally Posted by TallMikeM View Post
    having just watched your vid of you soloing HE TS, clearly 1st life, no gear druids are OP. Nerf druids, buff warlock.
    lolz

  10. #510
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    in your latest episode on the Missing, you talk about efficient heighten ... but your statement was incomplete. You state that it saves you only two spell points when maxed ... but actually it saves you 2 spell points per level ...

    for example

    Earthquake would only be 2 spell points saved since you are heightening it from a level 8 spell to a level 9 thus spell point cost with only heighten on goes from 45 to 48 (instead of 50 due to normal heighten cost of 5 spell points per level).

    Entangle on the other hand with heighten adds 8 spell levels to make it level 9, thus normally adding (5x8) or 40 spell points. But with maxed out efficient metamagic heighten, it is only 3 spell points per level ... thus adding (3x8) or 24 spell points. So base cost is 10. Normal heighten would make it 50 spell points vs efficient heighten would make it 34 spell points. A saving of 16 spell points. This is only amplified in epics when we get spell point cost savings and with magical efficiency.

    This is also greatly amplified with Archmage capstone which instead of 3 spell points per level with maxed out efficient height, theirs is 2 spell points per level.

  11. #511

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tlorrd View Post
    in your latest episode on the Missing, you talk about efficient heighten ... but your statement was incomplete. You state that it saves you only two spell points when maxed ... but actually it saves you 2 spell points per level ...

    for example

    Earthquake would only be 2 spell points saved since you are heightening it from a level 8 spell to a level 9 thus spell point cost with only heighten on goes from 45 to 48 (instead of 50 due to normal heighten cost of 5 spell points per level).

    Entangle on the other hand with heighten adds 8 spell levels to make it level 9, thus normally adding (5x8) or 40 spell points. But with maxed out efficient metamagic heighten, it is only 3 spell points per level ... thus adding (3x8) or 24 spell points. So base cost is 10. Normal heighten would make it 50 spell points vs efficient heighten would make it 34 spell points. A saving of 16 spell points. This is only amplified in epics when we get spell point cost savings and with magical efficiency.

    This is also greatly amplified with Archmage capstone which instead of 3 spell points per level with maxed out efficient height, theirs is 2 spell points per level.
    Hey Tlorrd,

    Foji-video beat you to this in the video comments, lol. You are correct and I'd been told this before too and forgot, lol. At 4 action points it's still not a good investment on druid imo.

    Ty for pointing it out here, I'm glad it will get visibility here too so others can make a more informed decision


    [edit]: I made a note in the video. I appreciate when viewers bring these kinds of things to my attention.
    Last edited by Nachomammashouse; 12-24-2016 at 05:05 PM.

  12. #512
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    you might have had this discussion elsewhere ... but can you explain your thoughts on Master of Wilds feat for your build vs taking epic toughness or intensify, but really you can take both intensify and master of wilds ...

    Unless I missed it, you are not taking that feat at all, but your build touts the greatness of SH SLAs and adding 10 to those max caster levels would be incredibly powerful to the addition of metamagics Empower, Max, Intensify for +300 spell power.

  13. #513

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tlorrd View Post
    you might have had this discussion elsewhere ... but can you explain your thoughts on Master of Wilds feat for your build vs taking epic toughness or intensify, but really you can take both intensify and master of wilds ...

    Unless I missed it, you are not taking that feat at all, but your build touts the greatness of SH SLAs and adding 10 to those max caster levels would be incredibly powerful to the addition of metamagics Empower, Max, Intensify for +300 spell power.
    Hey Tlorrd,

    I do have information in the OP about Master of the Wilds. In any event, this thread has some good forum discussion of the feat and I made this video to discuss the experimenting I did with the feat. Ultimately I don't feel it is worth taking, especially on this build and most caster druids for that matter. But I would encourage you and e1 to do your own experimenting and if you like it then go for it

  14. #514
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachomammashouse View Post
    Hey Tlorrd,

    I do have information in the OP about Master of the Wilds. In any event, this thread has some good forum discussion of the feat and I made this video to discuss the experimenting I did with the feat. Ultimately I don't feel it is worth taking, especially on this build and most caster druids for that matter. But I would encourage you and e1 to do your own experimenting and if you like it then go for it
    I see why you choose not to go with it since you are in US ED and do not benefit from the increased caster levels. If you were to be in a primal sphere destiny where you would benefit, you're own numbers (albeit small sample size) actually put you in favor of taking the feat. If you look at Intensify and compare what bonus 75 spell power does vs the increase in max caster levels ... MoW will win hands down. Your own data show increases from 159% and greater. Intensify cannot match that unless your base spell power is very low. Anyways, just my 2 cents.

    As I mainly run a divine and am in a divine sphere, I see a significant dps increase from Master or Light especially when used in conjunction with boosts that give more damage ... helpless, sense weakness, etc.

  15. #515

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tlorrd View Post
    I see why you choose not to go with it since you are in US ED and do not benefit from the increased caster levels. If you were to be in a primal sphere destiny where you would benefit, you're own numbers (albeit small sample size) actually put you in favor of taking the feat. If you look at Intensify and compare what bonus 75 spell power does vs the increase in max caster levels ... MoW will win hands down. Your own data show increases from 159% and greater. Intensify cannot match that unless your base spell power is very low. Anyways, just my 2 cents.

    As I mainly run a divine and am in a divine sphere, I see a significant dps increase from Master or Light especially when used in conjunction with boosts that give more damage ... helpless, sense weakness, etc.
    I'm glad the data helped you come to a conclusion. Be careful about comparing MoW to Intensify, however, because MoW affects 4 spells and Intensify affects all damaging spells.
    Last edited by Nachomammashouse; 01-17-2017 at 09:46 AM.

  16. #516

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    I have a guilty pleasure, I am an altaholic. That's right, I cannot stick with one 'toon' and I continually start, scrap and re-start my stable of characters. So one evening, while I was perusing various builds in the DDO forums, I ran across the 'Gingerspyce' druid build, one thing led to another and I started watching a bunch of Voodu's videos on his YouTube channel.

    Now, for the record, I am, as you can note from my signature line, a proponent of Permadeath play and a founder in DDO. I thoroughly enjoy the PD playstyle and it has, shall we say, helped promote my altaholic addiction. This frankly means that for nigh on 11 years I have run a stable of characters, some of which have reincarnated, and while it has generally been enjoyable I was looking for a new challenge. Lo and behold, Voodu decides to showcase his Druid build as a True First Lifer on another server starting with nothing more than what you get from Korthos. Now, I also have played what I call Ironman style, using only what you gain from chests and can trade for so, as I thought this sounded like fun, I took a hiatus from PD on Thelanis and moved over to Sarlona and started a squeaky new Druid build.

    I will not bore you with me clawing level by level to 20, suffice it to say Voodu does better justice in his videos, watch them and learn a thing or three, I know I certainly did! However I would like to share some of my learnings along the way, especially the recent changes that Aggro had on my playstyle, and how awesome the various festivals are ;-)

    Aggro:

    Recall that my playstyle was PD, where frankly aggro and red alert dungeons are not your friend. I found that with sleet storm, earthquake and sunburst, aggro can be decently handled. So the new aggro mechanism actually works for this build; well that as well as decent AC, MRR and PRR.

    Spell Points:

    Spell points are one of the limiting factors in this build, hence you need to generate aggro to group up mobs so that the few AOE's you do have can chew into them. If you are having some difficulty with SP's, I might suggest that you avail yourself of the cleric hirelings that have divine vitality, perhaps a little cheesy, but sometimes you will need a little boost to get you to the end of a quest, for example the Memoirs of an Illusionary Larcener. The archivists necklace and twisted talisman are also nice items to have on hand to extend your spell point pool.

    SLA's are your friend!! Frankly I don't normally use the regular version of the spells in quest other than for the boss types. I ran the various challenges and got the materials to make the bracers and the cloak which boost your damage from electrical and fire spells. I also crafted a glaciated ice-lore crafter stick to boost my cold spells and some wizardry and potency items to further extend the spell pool and spell damage. On the topic of damage, House J also sells pots that stack with the various types of spellpower, I am a big proponent of these and typically chug them right before the end fight.

    Wealth:

    Started with zero plat and zero astral shards and within very little time built up sufficient wealth to buy gear for levelling with. Frankly the festivals with their coin turn-ins were a source of wealth and allowed me to generate sufficient wealth to buy Blue Dragon Scales on the AH; as well as augments from the Shard Exchange that included the Globe of True Imperial Blood, Meridian Fragment and Draconic Soul gem.

    I also managed to sell a number of items with green augment slots and uncommon and rare collectables to further extend my ability to purchase stuff off of either auction house.

    While I wasn't as lucky as Voodu on my chest pulls in the desert, I did pull several Dusk Hearts and Blood Stone that sold easily on the Shard Exchange. To this point I haven't used the trade channel, but may need to as I build towards crafting some Thunder Forged items.

    Crafting:

    Unlike Voodu, I did craft was crafting level 15 shards by the time I hit level 15. I have not advanced it much further since, as most of the shards I need or want are available at this time. I will however continue to advance my crafting levels so that I can take advantage of insightful crafting. As I understand it, Voodu used the essences and crafting collectables to generate wealth, whereas I utilised the festival turn-ins to my benefit, hence could "afford" to craft.

    Guild:

    Voodu noted that he missed the guild buffs and amenities that he was used to on his home server. Frankly this wasn't much of a deal breaker for me as most PD guilds don't allow much (if anything) in the way of ship buffs. That having been said, I decided to start my own guild. As of the writing of this journal, the guild is level 13 and provides me with 4 buffs. Not much, I know, but as it only cost in-game plat it is a cheap benefit source.

    Levelling:

    I hit level 20 after doing 101 quests, right about the same figure quoted by Voodu if I recall correctly. Levelling was pretty quick, well quick for a casual player, as I reached level 20 inside of a month despite outside commitments. Levels came so quickly in the early levels that I pretty much capped out before taking a level. Indeed I held level 18 until I capped out maximum heroic experience and took level 20. The only reason for doing so was to get the first time and elite bonus for the quests I was doing. All quests were done on elite, at level. Well all were done at elite except for the Demon Queen raid, which frankly I failed twice, back-to-back once because I ran out of mana and the second time because I was beaten to the ground and couldn't get back up. Frankly, my twitch skills are pathetic, so I tend to stand and shield block rather than kite things around!!! This is something I have to work on, and would be of some benefit when playing with only your SLA's

    With respect to class enhancements I primarily stayed in the Season's Herald tree as in the original build post and utilised the Human Race enhancement tree to get Greater Heroism. As Voodu suggested in one of his videos, I did switch to the Harper Agent tree to pick up the toughness and spell point enhancement offerings. Extra health is always good (a mantra in PD play) and the extra spell points help a little with the lack of first life spell points.

    Overall Perception:

    This is a fun build to play and highly survivable (had 3 deaths on my run to 20; 2 of which were to the DQ and the third was in Memoirs when I ran out of spell points and my buff's ran out!!). While I did not and have not as of yet pugged with this build, my impression is that this build would work extremely well in a group, what with healing, crowd control and its' boss beat down capability. My plan is to continue on with the build and I may revisit this thread with how things went on the way to 30!!

    Cheers and a big shout out and thanks to Nachomammashouse, aka Voodu, for the work and effort he has put into showcasing his build(s).

    Ciao ciao
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved state, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ... holy **** what a ride!"
    Proud member of The Sublime Permadeath Guild on Thelanis. Visit our website at http://sublimepermadeath.shivtr.com/

  17. #517

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    Hey Blair,

    Very nice writeup! it is flattering that you took the time to play the build and to add this kind of analysis to the thread. I appreciate you taking the time to add it- it's great 3rd person perspective on things.

    I wasn't sure how far I could get with crafting on the "true first lifer", so I opted to sell ingredients to build wealth. It is cool to hear that you were able to accomplish a significant enough skill in crafting to make really valuable items on your true first lifer! Definitely gives me something to consider if I do another series like this.

    I too struggled with spell points on the true first lifer, most significantly in early epics. Getting a bauble helped a ton, but I still struggled a bit when attempting to solo EE's. It made me miss my torc so much, lol.

    I may do a "true second life" series with this toon when and if the druid enhancement pass ever happens. I am considering doing what you did and make my own guild just to see how far I can take it and what buffs I can work up to. I kinda wish I had done that in this series, as several ship amenities came my way.

    I am also a little embarrassed that you died a heck of a lot less than I did on my own build from 1-20 XD

    Lastly, you did this on my home server of Sarlona, so why you no say hi?

    Thanks again for the writeup and for suggesting the build to others.
    Last edited by Nachomammashouse; 01-22-2017 at 03:47 PM.

  18. #518
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    Hello! I was thinking about doing this build come my next life while also be the party's main tank for Reaper. I planned on going Half-elf for the extra taunt...

    ...How would you change the build for a 36 Point Half-elf build? How do you think this variant of the build would fair in higher levels of Reaper as a tank? (The idea of debuffing the damage of all the enemies with Beguile, and much later Divine Crusader: Interrogation seems amazing for this stuff!)

    Edit: Oh, I almost forgot. While not a core part of the build, I've been looking everywhere but I can't seem to find it... do you know what spells proc Shiradi for Druid? I know the list and interactions are weird with this class so I'm asking out of curiosity.
    Last edited by TMTrainer; 02-04-2017 at 09:33 PM.

  19. #519

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    Quote Originally Posted by TMTrainer View Post
    Hello! I was thinking about doing this build come my next life while also be the party's main tank for Reaper. I planned on going Half-elf for the extra taunt...

    ...How would you change the build for a 36 Point Half-elf build? How do you think this variant of the build would fair in higher levels of Reaper as a tank? (The idea of debuffing the damage of all the enemies with Beguile, and much later Divine Crusader: Interrogation seems amazing for this stuff!)

    Edit: Oh, I almost forgot. While not a core part of the build, I've been looking everywhere but I can't seem to find it... do you know what spells proc Shiradi for Druid? I know the list and interactions are weird with this class so I'm asking out of curiosity.
    I'm afraid I'm not going to be a whole lot of help here, but I'll offer what I can...

    With reaper mode having just come out, I don't have enough experience with it to speak on exactly how this build performs. I would definitely not recommend it for high skull reaper tanking, but it will be fine in low skull reaper tanking. I'm not sure the exact skull setting in which things start to break down for this build's tanking ability, and certainly the number of defensive past lives will be a factor.

    As far as helf goes, I've never played one. I spend 25 points in the human tree, so that gives you plenty to spend on your favorite helf enhancements. Stat points (con and wis) are essential, spell points are great, extra intim, heal amp and you can pick up spell power boost from helf or season's herald tree. The extra heal amp from the monk dilettante seems like it would be really nice in reaper but I guess you could go with whatever dilettante you like.

    Sorry I'm not more help here. I hope to give more feedback about reaper performance soon.

  20. #520
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachomammashouse View Post
    I'm afraid I'm not going to be a whole lot of help here, but I'll offer what I can...

    With reaper mode having just come out, I don't have enough experience with it to speak on exactly how this build performs. I would definitely not recommend it for high skull reaper tanking, but it will be fine in low skull reaper tanking. I'm not sure the exact skull setting in which things start to break down for this build's tanking ability, and certainly the number of defensive past lives will be a factor.

    As far as helf goes, I've never played one. I spend 25 points in the human tree, so that gives you plenty to spend on your favorite helf enhancements. Stat points (con and wis) are essential, spell points are great, extra intim, heal amp and you can pick up spell power boost from helf or season's herald tree. The extra heal amp from the monk dilettante seems like it would be really nice in reaper but I guess you could go with whatever dilettante you like.

    Sorry I'm not more help here. I hope to give more feedback about reaper performance soon.
    Alrighty, thank you. I don't think we intended to build this party around 10 skulls or anything crazy like that, but I wondered what your experiences were with the class with reaper mode being a thing.

    And yeah, Monk Dilettante looks, on paper, to be the most useful. Getting 60% (20% from monk, 40% normal racial) heal amp seems pretty good from the racial tree. Barbarian seems to be the only other good one for tanking, unless you want to drop UMD and use your Dilettante for scroll and item usage (by going Cleric or FvS). Diplomatic Immunity also seemed really good for progression and when you are on those long periods of blocking as a Druid.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

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