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  1. #1
    Community Member Delegator's Avatar
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    Default Melee Artificer -- Bastard Sword vs Heavy Repeater?

    Prefacing this with the caveat that I have only hit level 11 with my highest-level character, I am looking for advice or experience about the relative damage for bastard sword versus heavy repeater for post-U19 artificers.

    From my limited experience it seems like the heavy repeater does much heavier single-target damage, and the bastard sword (even without the full complement of THF feats does splash damage to be more of an AE. But, I could see Improved Precise Shot changing that balance and leaving the bastard sword in the dust.

    Then again, the progressive bonuses to melee attacks could factor in as well...

    Anyway, my Arcanotechnician build is obviously using the ranged melee from the repeating x-box. But, I am also working on a Warforged Battle Engineer that is melee-focused, and that's where the question comes up. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Wouldn't a battle engineer with a melee focus kind of defeat the purpose?
    Though, I don't have squat for experience with anything other than a completely ranged/support role for my wf battle engineer.
    I think a juggernaut build is something you might be interested in.
    There are a couple of youtube vidjas with a juggernaut soloing one of the Eveningstar challenges with some sort of burly looking staff doing more damage than any of my cookie cutter melee builds.
    The only toon of mine that even comes close is my AA ranger on the FotW ED using Adrenaline, manyshot and Arrow of Slaying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Delegator View Post
    Prefacing this with the caveat that I have only hit level 11 with my highest-level character, I am looking for advice or experience about the relative damage for bastard sword versus heavy repeater for post-U19 artificers.
    Repeating crossbows are immensely powerful at early levels, but at later levels they start to fall short. When monsters die to one salvo of bolts, the long reload time is used when moving to find the next target. Later on, you spend more and more time killing the mobs, the slow reload times start to show.

    In addition to the better melee damage later on, melee is better against groups of monsters, especially if you take cleave + great cleave. Improved Precise Shot helps some, but getting opponents in a clump is much easier than getting them in a line. Clumped melee opponents of course means, that monsters can hit you too.

    Both styles work, depends on your preference. If you like ranged combat, it can work all the way. Level 11 is around the stage where repeaters start to fall behind on the dps front compared to melee, but shooting from far has other benefits. Beyond that, it's a preference thing. Super easy quests, ranged can be better as you can do damage while moving towards the enemies, spending more time shooting instead of just running towards the mobs. Super hard content ranged can also be better, where you just run around, trying to keep enemies from hitting you. The middleground, with not too dangerous opponents who still have plenty of hit points, melee is usually more efficient. But, it's a matter of preference, party composition etc. My suggestion is to go with the style you like the best.

  4. #4
    Community Member Delegator's Avatar
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    Thanks, some good food for thought. I definitely tend towards the "play what you like" school instead of the min-max school, in part because I solo a lot and generally value versatility over specialization. Thus the warforged class for my melee artificer, because of the self healing. That doesn't preclude going juggernaut, of course, but I need to refresh my understanding of that build.

  5. #5
    Intergalactic Space Crusader Livmo's Avatar
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    Default Harty

    Quote Originally Posted by Delegator View Post
    Prefacing this with the caveat that I have only hit level 11 with my highest-level character, I am looking for advice or experience about the relative damage for bastard sword versus heavy repeater for post-U19 artificers.

    From my limited experience it seems like the heavy repeater does much heavier single-target damage, and the bastard sword (even without the full complement of THF feats does splash damage to be more of an AE. But, I could see Improved Precise Shot changing that balance and leaving the bastard sword in the dust.

    Then again, the progressive bonuses to melee attacks could factor in as well...

    Anyway, my Arcanotechnician build is obviously using the ranged melee from the repeating x-box. But, I am also working on a Warforged Battle Engineer that is melee-focused, and that's where the question comes up. Any thoughts?
    I made a Harty, Half-Orc arty that specialized in 2 handed fighting with great ax. I just love his dance moves! If you want o focus on repeter then you aren't really that melee focused. I recomend going all the way if you do a melee with stats, skills, feats, etc.

  6. #6
    Community Member Asmodeus451's Avatar
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    "Why not have both?"

    seriously. there's a Rune-arm that grants Bsword Prof, keep it in a weapon set with a decent bsword, use when mobs get too close or surround you.
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    I went with bastard swords for the juggernaut i am working on. So far i like it. I am only lvl 8 or so, only have twf ( not improved or greater) yet and only have cleave atm, but he cleans up fairly well in melee while soloing elites. Yeah, quests are easy at that low level, so kind of to be expected. But doing well so far.

    I range with repeater until mob is close and then switch to two bastard swords to finish them up in close. Once i get manyshot, i will start using a bow and hit manyshot on large mobs from afar. I expect i will continue to have much killig fun. oh, and then eventually i get endless fusilage. Even more fun!

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    Community Member Panzermeyer's Avatar
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    By default a melee build would be using a melee weapon.

    Battle Engineer will give you either melee or x-bow bennies. Though to me unless you are going a one-handed weapon like the bastard sword, you are wasting a lot as lot's of the bonuses are to the rune arm.

    I'd say if you already have a x-bow user, go with a melee build for something different to try it out.

    A Juggernaught is a great build [https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...the-Warforged]

    My current 20 range focused Arti is a ton of fun to play. I am TRing another toon that I like a bit better into a similiar build, so I don't want two arties that are the same, so I am going to TR the first into a Dwarf juggernaught type using dwarven axes and rune arms.

    I wouldn't focus on which is "better" focus on what is fun for you to play.

    If your style is all about ranged combat, then go with the x-bow. If you already have that filled and want to try something different then go melee with a bastard sword.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asmodeus451 View Post
    "Why not have both?"

    seriously. there's a Rune-arm that grants Bsword Prof, keep it in a weapon set with a decent bsword, use when mobs get too close or surround you.
    Master's Touch would be a better idea. Then you could use the Bastard Sword with any Rune Arm. Or TWF with them if you so choose.
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  10. #10
    Community Member Asmodeus451's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alavatar View Post
    Master's Touch would be a better idea. Then you could use the Bastard Sword with any Rune Arm. Or TWF with them if you so choose.
    unless something's changed, MT only works on Martial Weapons, Bswords are Exotic
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  11. #11
    Community Member RavenStormclaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alavatar View Post
    Master's Touch would be a better idea. Then you could use the Bastard Sword with any Rune Arm. Or TWF with them if you so choose.
    masters touch wouldn't work. It doesn't grant proficiency with the exotics of which bastard sword is one.

  12. #12
    Community Member Oxarhamar's Avatar
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    Artificer can take Bastard Sword Proficiency as a bonus feat now.

    I preferred to use TWF on my Juggernaut without using a feat slot on Bastard Sword... still take all the cleaves to get overwhelming and nice to clear some trash... since I did not have a pinion at the time I found most other bows to be mediocre in comparison to Xbow in ranged situations and the ap spent on xbow damage was nice boost

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asmodeus451 View Post
    unless something's changed, MT only works on Martial Weapons, Bswords are Exotic
    Quote Originally Posted by RavenStormclaw View Post
    masters touch wouldn't work. It doesn't grant proficiency with the exotics of which bastard sword is one.
    Whoops.

    Thanks for the correction.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanngiostr View Post
    Artificer can take Bastard Sword Proficiency as a bonus feat now.
    And Dwarven Axe too, if one prefers that.

  15. #15
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    Early on, repeater has more upside.

    Late Heroic to early Epic, melee has more upside

    Late Epic, Ranged comes back into its own again with high-tier synergies with Shiradi or Fury EDs.

    It also greatly depends if you multiclass. There's a lot of options available for melee attacks with even just /2 Rogue; there's only really one for repeaters, and while its great, it requires a very deep splash.

  16. #16
    Community Member FlaviusMaximus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncey1 View Post
    ...There are a couple of youtube vidjas with a juggernaut soloing one of the Eveningstar challenges with some sort of burly looking staff doing more damage than any of my cookie cutter melee builds...
    Some of those videos are more of a testament to the power of master's blitz than anything else.

  17. #17
    Community Member Oxarhamar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Early on, repeater has more upside.

    Late Heroic to early Epic, melee has more upside

    Late Epic, Ranged comes back into its own again with high-tier synergies with Shiradi or Fury EDs.

    It also greatly depends if you multiclass. There's a lot of options available for melee attacks with even just /2 Rogue; there's only really one for repeaters, and while its great, it requires a very deep splash.

    Repeaters can be very viable in epic considering staying at range in many situations can be an added layer of damage mitigation


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  18. #18
    The Hatchery sirgog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asmodeus451 View Post
    "Why not have both?"

    seriously. there's a Rune-arm that grants Bsword Prof, keep it in a weapon set with a decent bsword, use when mobs get too close or surround you.
    You do not have anywhere near enough feats to do this.

    A meleeficer needs Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Cleave, Great Cleave, 3x THF feats, Power Attack, Imp Crit: Slashing and Overwhelming Critical. If you don't have at least most of those, you will not contribute in melee (except in the easier EH and EN content but a Wizard can melee fine there).
    I don't have a zerging problem.

    I'm zerging. That's YOUR problem.

  19. #19
    Community Member Panzermeyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asmodeus451 View Post
    "Why not have both?"

    seriously. there's a Rune-arm that grants Bsword Prof, keep it in a weapon set with a decent bsword, use when mobs get too close or surround you.
    Because that rune arm is like a ML 7. At end game content it is useless in both the damage that it will add to you bastard sword compared to others and in the max tier charges for both spell power and damage.
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  20. #20
    Intergalactic Space Crusader Livmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzermeyer View Post
    Because that rune arm is like a ML 7. At end game content it is useless in both the damage that it will add to you bastard sword compared to others and in the max tier charges for both spell power and damage.
    I only use Chimera's Breath for the feat at endgame to wield the Nightmare. Of course I mainly use the repeater, but sometimes I need melee, so I use the arm and sword. Also for fun. The Tide Turns on EE is a blast with the Nightmare in the end fight. Nightmare just messes them up bad. Chimera and Nightmare are fine at end game if you only expect the feat from the arm like me.

    If you take bastard sword and/or dwarven ax then you can wield them with any rune arm, which nice too. I don't take TWF in this case, because I still want to use the rune arm in off-hand for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by sirgog View Post
    You do not have anywhere near enough feats to do this.

    A meleeficer needs Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Cleave, Great Cleave, 3x THF feats, Power Attack, Imp Crit: Slashing and Overwhelming Critical. If you don't have at least most of those, you will not contribute in melee (except in the easier EH and EN content but a Wizard can melee fine there).
    Regarding feats in general I found I don't have enough to do both so I usually go full repeater or great ax.

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