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  1. #1
    Community Member sephiroth1084's Avatar
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    Default DEVS: A review of the paladin enhancements from u19, and suggestions for improvement

    Let me preface this by first saying that my paladin, a pure level 20 paladin, had been my most worked-on, favorite, primary character until the enhancement pass. He has more TRs, more epic gear, more raid completions, and more crafted equipment (greensteel) than any of my other characters, and probably more than any other two combined. My first character on DDO was a paladin, back when the game launched (on a friend's account), and my first character on my own account, started in 2008, was a paladin. My first 32 pt character was a paladin, who became the multi-TRed, geared-out character I introduced.

    And I can't bear to play him after the enhancement pass.

    Why? Because he lost HP, DPS, AC, PRR, and threat, overall. Because most of my other characters gained new tools, new abilities, that made them more interesting, if not necessarily more powerful, and forced me to make some real decisions, while this character has gained virtually nothing of significance. While all the other classes seem to have received new options, paladins had most of their existing options broken up into their individual parts and then resold at higher costs. So, this analysis is fueled by the labor of love I have made for my paladin in DDO, and the disappointment I've felt about how paladins have been treated in the enhancement pass.

    Abilities will be ranked:
    A - worth the AP investment to reach and purchase
    B - a strong ability,but not necessarily worth the AP to reach and purchase/something that could be an A with a little improvement
    C - not a very strong investment, but somewhere to spend AP for "spent in tree" prerequisites, or to fuel some better ability
    D - not worth the AP investment
    F - should be deleted from the game
    Last edited by sephiroth1084; 10-27-2013 at 02:11 AM.
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  2. #2
    Community Member sephiroth1084's Avatar
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    Default Knight of the Chalice enhancements

    Core enhancements:
    Level 1
    Slayer of Evil I: Gain additional benefits when fighting undead or evil outsiders.Choose one:

    • Fiendslayer I: You gain +1 to attack Evil outsiders and deal 1d6 additional damage against them. You resist evil influences particularly well, gaining a +2 bonus to saves against spells and effects produced by Evil Outsiders.
    • Hunter of the Dead I: You gain +1 to attack Undead and deal 1d6 additional damage against them. You resist necromantic influences particularly well, gaining a +2 bonus to saves against spells and effects produced by Undead.


    C It's nice that these are available earlier, but paladins would be nowhere near too strong (or even on-par with the major melees: barbarians, fighters, monks, rogues) if they received both of these benefits, rather than one or the other. Wasn't the reason behind merging the two PrEs that they were too narrow on their own? Now we have that same situation, to a degree. Really, there's no reason to split these up. There are still plenty of non-undead, non-evil outsiders that are relevant throughout the game.

    Level 3
    Courage of Heaven: Your aura of courage grants an additional +2 Sacred bonus to saves against fear and now grants +2 sacred bonus to saves against Enchantment. You also gain +1d6 damage to attacks against all evil enemies. (This stacks with Fiendslayer and Hunter of the Dead.)

    A Solid.

    Level 6
    Slayer of Evil II: Gain additional benefits when fighting undead or evil outsiders.Improve the same type you chose at level 1:

    • Fiendslayer II: You gain +2 to attack Evil outsiders and deal 2d6 additional damage against them. You resist evil influences particularly well, gaining a +3 bonus to saves against spells and effects produced by Evil Outsiders.
    • Hunter of the Dead II: You gain +2 to attack Undead and deal 2d6 additional damage against them. You resist necromantic influences particularly well, gaining a +3 bonus to saves against spells and effects produced by Undead. All of your attacks are considered Ghost Touch, ignoring the chance to miss incorporeal creatures.


    C- Suffers from the same issues the first core suffers from, while also not maintaining parity between the two options: if these remain separate, Fiendslayer II should gain something comparable to Hunter of the Dead II's Ghost Touch ability. Perhaps the paladin's weapons could be treated as Cold Iron?

    Level 12
    Improved Courage of Heaven: Increases the Aura bonuses granted by Courage of Heaven by an additional +2. The damage bonus against Evil enemies from Courage of Heaven improved to 2d6 additional damage.

    B Solid, if a little underwhelming.

    Level 18
    Slayer of Evil III: Gain additional benefits when fighting undead or evil outsiders.Improve the same type you chose at level 1:

    • Fiendslayer III: You gain +4 to attack Evil outsiders and deal 4d6 additional damage against them. You resist evil influences particularly well, gaining a +4 bonus to saves against spells and effects produced by Evil Outsiders.
    • Hunter of the Dead III: You gain On Vorpal: Destroy undead that fail a Will DC: 30 saving throw. Deals 500 Light damage for targets immune to instant destruction effects or that save.


    B- Suffers from the same issues as the previous iteration, though the undead half offers something a little more interesting than a straight numerical bonus. Again, it would be nice if there were parity here: give Fiendslayer III an On Vorpal: Banish ability that works the same way HotD III works, and give Hunter III the +4 attack and saves, and +4d6 damage.

    Capstone
    Champion of Good:
    You gain +2 Charisma, and increase the bonuses granted by Courage of Heaven by an additional +2. Any weapon you wield is considered Good aligned for purposes of bypassing damage reduction, deal 1d6 additional holy damage against evil opponents and an additional 2d6 light damage against evil undead or evil outsiders.

    C The old capstone with a small bonus to saves, and a boost to Cha. Some players felt the old capstone wasn't strong enough to justify going 20 levels in paladin, and I'd tend to agree with them--it has to compete against Evasion, 1d6 Sneak Attack, and access to better skills including UMD (rogue 2), Evasion, 2 bonus feats and some better skills (monk 2), and 2 bonus feats plus Tower Shield Proficiency (fighter 2), and that's without considering the enhancements such a splash would grant access to, or looking at deeper multi-class splits, which are rather strong (such as gaining a +25% double-strike bonus half the time from Stalwart Defender). This needs to offer something more significant to be worth investing those last two paladin levels.
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    Enhancements by tier:
    Tier I
    Extra Turning: You gain +1/2/3 uses of Turn Undead per rest. 1 AP/rank

    C Not spectacular, but useful. This would be much better if rank 3 granted regenerating turns at 1 per 3 minutes (slower than for clerics/Unyielding Sentinels, but still worthwhile). Also fairly puzzling as a level 1 inclusion, since paladins don't even gain access to Turn Undead until they hit level 4.

    Divine Light: Your Turn Undead ability now also deals 6d6/12d6/18d6 light damage to nearby undead. 1 AP/rank

    D (maybe a C+) It's unclear whether this is affected by metamagic or spellpower. If it isn't, it's super-weak. If it is, then it's half-decent. The way this is worded, it implies that you use a Turn Undead as normal, and it adds the damage on top of the standard turn effects. That is contrary to the way this ability used to work, when it was simply another use for Turns, but if it works that way, then this is an okay ability, if still weak. When read the best way possible (damage added to normal turns, so chance of outright destroying undead, or fearing them, and damage affected by feats and spellpower), this could maybe rank a B+ or an A, but if it works the way it used to (separate action from normal Turn, damage cannot be improved), then it's simply too weak to be useful. The last time I used this, I was trying it in Delera's on Elite over-level, and wasn't killing most of the undead with the fully powered-up version. Also fairly puzzling as a level 1 inclusion, since paladins don't even gain access to Turn Undead until they hit level 4.

    Remove Disease: You gain +2/4/6 uses of Remove Disease per rest. 1 AP/rank

    D Being immune to diseases, you have no use for this yourself, and all but the newest, most green characters are going to have some way to remove their own diseases with them anyway, and will probably take care of it before you even realize they are diseased. Since I started playing DDO in earnest 6 years ago, I think I've used Remove Disease less than 5 times EVER, and that was even when offering to hit people with it in heavily diseased quests, like Wiz-King. Most players just do not want to rely on other characters to take care of their potentially highly debilitating debuffs, when A) there is no visual marker they are debuffed for other players, and B) potions are cheap and plentiful, as well as there being wands than many characters can use, and additional forms of removing this issue (clickies, or spells that catch diseases in addition to their primary effects, like Heal). I understand that these are here to power the later abilities that allow Remove Disease charges to be used for Lesser Restoration/Restoration/Greater Restoration, but this enhancement line still feels incredibly wasteful. Also fairly puzzling as a level 1 inclusion, since paladins don't even gain access to Remove Disease until they hit level 6.

    Extra Smite: You gain 1/2 additional uses of Smite Evil per rest. 1 AP/rank

    C More smites are useful. Including only 2 at tier I, to then duplicate the offering at tier II is rather poor, boring design. Just offer 3 extra smites at tier I. It's bad enough that smites are so limited early in the game (throughout the game, really).

    Attack Boost: Activate to gain a +4/6/8 action boost bonus to attack for 20 seconds. 2 AP/rank

    D One of the weakest action boosts available to any classes, and available to many other characters. If this were 1 AP/rank, it might be worth taking, but still would be hardly worth using when Damage Boost is almost always going to be the better option. I would rather see this as an either/or option with Damage Boost, either moving Damage to tier I, or else replacing this with something more interesting.

    Tier I analysis: D There's nothing to get excited about here, and nothing new. Some basic needs, sure, but those are mixed in with some real junk, or odd decisions (Extra Smite being only 2 ranks).
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    Tier II
    Improved Turning: You count as 1/2/3 level higher when turning undead and add 2/4/6 to the number of hit dice turned. 1 AP/rank

    D Turning is fairly weak in DDO unless you specialize for it, and paladins are at a disadvantage to clerics due to being counted as 3 levels lower for such purposes. Also fairly puzzling as a level 2 inclusion, since paladins don't even gain access to Turn Undead until they hit level 4.

    Divine Might: Channel Divinity: You gain an Insight bonus to Strength equal to your Charisma modifier for 30/60/120 seconds. (Cooldown 20 seconds) 2 AP/rank

    C The change to Divine Might all but guarantees a lower damage output than a paladin could acquire under the old system. In order to gain the same +8 damage, a paladin would need a 46 Cha (+18 modifier added to Str is a +9 bonus, which accounts for the Insight bonus not stacking with a +3 Insightful Str item, and falls short by a point if that item was bringing you to an even value). That's an awful lot of investment in a stat that can't be the main focus of your character, since it can't be used for attack and damage on its own, and doesn't qualify you for important DPS feats (Power Attack, Cleaves, Two-Handed Fighting, Overwhelming Critical). It was an interesting approach to helping paladins with tactics DCs, but still comes up well short of what's needed. Change it back to adding a flat damage bonus of +4/6/8, starting at 60 seconds, and improved to 90 then 120.

    Add another enhancement called Divine Tactics that allows you to add 1/2 your Cha modifier to your tactics DCs for 2 AP
    .

    Rally: Channel Divinity: Remove fear from nearby allies. You and the affected allies gain a +2/+4/+6 Moral Bonus to Will Saves vs. Fear effects and a +1/+2/+3 Morale Bonus to Attack and Damage for 60 seconds. (Coodown: 3 miniutes) 2 AP/rank

    B The remove fear portion is rather weak, given the availability of Remove Feat clickies, Greater Heroism, Immunity to Fear items/augments, and the paladin's 1st level spell Lionheart (and few other spells to compete with the slot). The real value here is in the morale bonus to attack and damage. This allows a paladin to sub in for a bard to a lesser degree when no bard is available. As such, I'd like to see this have its duration extended to 60/120/180 seconds, or 60/90/120 and allow effects that increase the length of bard songs to also affect the duration of this ability. In exchange, reduce the bonus to Will saves vs. fear to +1/2/3. THAT would make the 2 AP/rank worth investing in, and would bump this up to a solid A.

    Extra Smite

    F Repeating enhancements from previous tiers just to fill up space in the tree is terrible design. That this design results in a net gain of 1 smite evil over what would have been the standard design of 3 ranks in tier I just outlines how awful this is. Replace this with something worthwhile. If you want to keep it smite themed, include a line that improved the regeneration rate of Smite Evil, or that adds carrier effects to smites, like knockdown or destruction.

    Damage Boost: Actvate to gain a +10%/20/30% Action Boost to weapon damage for 20 Seconds. (Cooldown: 30 Seconds) 2 AP/rank

    A Solid use of action boosts, and worth spending the AP on. Not much else to say.

    Tier II analysis: C Despite some awful filler here, and almost useless abilities, this has some important enhancements, and could be much better with just a few tweaks. Improving Rally to have a longer duration would bump this tier up to a B, I think, even with all the other junk here.
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    Tier III
    Improved Restoration: Your Paladin Remove Disease ability now also appiles a Lesser Restoration/Restoration/Greater Restoration effect to your target. 1 AP/rank

    B Two of the spells are on the paladin's spell list, and one of them has no real competition for a spell slot. Lesser Resto is available in potion and wand form, and rather cheaply at that, while Restoration scrolls are purchasable. Still, this offers a new, useful way to spend your otherwise pointless Remove Disease charges, and kind of justifies spending the AP on more uses of those, but I'm not sure it's quite worth it. Plus, puzzling as a tier III enhancement when Remove Disease isn't even available until level 6.

    Divine Sacrifice: Giving up some of your life force to win the battle, you empower your next blow against your foe. This attack increases the critical multiplier of your weapon by 1 and deals an additional 5d6/7d6/9d6 light damage, but costs you 5 hp and 1 sp, whether or not the attack is successful. 1 AP/rank

    B Worthwhile ability, but the extra damage on ranks 2 and 3 aren't really worth the extra AP unless you have it to spend. Increase the critical threat range on the attack at rank 3 to make it worth investing in the full line.

    Vigor of Life: +10% Positive Healing Amplification, and -10% less damage from Negative Energy. 2 AP

    A Solid. 10 Healing Amp is normally worth 2 AP on its own (see: human), and bundling the negative energy absorption without increasing the cost is good.

    Exalted Smite: Active: An improved Smite Evil that adds +1 to your weapon's critical damage multiplier. Tier 2: Also +1 to your weapon's critical threat range; Tier 3: +2 to critical damage multiplier and critical threat range. 2 AP/rank

    B Exalted Smite is really the only thing that makes Smite Evil truly worthwhile. Costing it at 2/rank seems excessive, but not entirely unreasonable. Consider granting some further bonus on ranks 2 and 3...maybe the smites also impose a debuff of some sort: -1/-2 to saves?

    Cha or Str: +1 to the chosen ability score. 2 AP

    B Standard package here, but good to have the choice between Str or Cha in this DPS-oriented tree.

    Tier III analysis: B Starting to see some better investments for AP here, with some key abilities for paladin DPS, and utility/healing. Could be a little stronger with some small tweaks.
    _________________________________________________

    Tier IV
    Censure Demons: You gain On Vorpal: Stun Chaotic Evil outsiders for 3 seconds. 1 AP

    B This should really have a 6 second duration, and should probably either apply to undead, or have a corresponding ability for undead at this tier.

    Passion: Your Divine Sacrifice ability gains: On Damage: Gain 5/10/15 temporary spell points if you strike an undead or evil outsider with this attack. 1 AP/rank

    C It's kind of nice that this can remove the SP cost for Divine Sacrifice if you're fighting evil outsiders and undead, but that's a little limited, and doesn't quite do enough to fuel the paladin's other SP usages. I would say that this should either be changed to grant 0/0/5 temporary HP under the same circumstances (making Divine Sacrifice completely free), or it should trigger on any use of Divine Sacrifice.

    Vigor of Life

    A See above.

    Cha or Str

    B See above.

    Tier IV analysis: B There should really be a 4th enhancement available at this tier, maybe something undead-focused to mirror Censure. Passion could really stand to be improved a bit.
    __________________________________________________ __

    Tier V
    Censure Outsiders: Censure Demons now applies to all Chaotic or Evil Outsiders. 1 AP

    B See Censure Demons. The expansion of the niche is solid, however.

    Vigor of Life

    B See above. No longer an A due to requiring 30 AP spent in tree to acquire.

    Holy Retribution: Melee Channel Divinity: Executes a powerful holy strike against the target that deals +1/+3/+5[W] damage. On Damage: Evil creatures with less than 1,000 HP have a 50%/75%/100% chance to be forced to make a WIll save (DC 10 + Paladin Level + Charisma Mod) or be destroyed. On a successful save, the affected creature takes 100 holy damage from this attack as well as -6 to all ability scores for ten seconds. (Cooldown: 6 seconds). 1 AP/rank

    C An underwhelming ability ability fueled by Turn Undead, and therefore competes with Divine Might for your damage focus, and doesn't do enough to justify spending such a limited resource. Also, ranks 1 and 2 are made exceptionally weak by this only having a chance to force a save, especially when considering the save DCs needed at endgame. This should be 100% chance at all ranks, with the higher ranks improving the +[W] and the cut-off for the save to 1,500 and then 2,000 HP, and improving the holy damage significantly for ranks 2 and 3. That way, this mimics Vorpal/Improved Vorpal/Greater Vorpal, offerring a Will save for the additional debuff, which looks balanced given that it requires expending a limited, high-demand resource, and rogues get an arguably better version of this. As is, it isn't quite strong enough to draw someone to tier V if they weren't going all the way for other abilities, but with the changes, it might be. Conversely, add this as an effect on Smite Evil.

    Sealed Life: You are immune to Energy Drain. 2 AP

    C A useful ability, but not a tier V on a class with Death Ward on their spell list. It's strong for heavily multi-classed paladins who don't have the slots to cast the spell, but even then, we have party members throwing Mass Death Ward with some regularity, and access to Death Ward clickies, all of which accomplish the same goal. There should be something more worthwhile here.
    __________________________________________________ _____

    Overall Knight of the Chalice Grade
    : C+There is just too much filler here, without enough enhancements that define the direction for the paladin, too many trash abilities, and the frustrating split focus in the Core enhancements keep this from being a more impressive tree.
    Last edited by sephiroth1084; 01-17-2014 at 08:39 PM.
    Useful links: A Guide to Using a Gamepad w/ DDO / All Caster Shroud, Hard Shroud, VoD, ToD Einhander, Elochka, Ferrumrym, Ferrumdermis, Ferrumshot, Ferrumblood, Ferrumender, Ferrumshadow, Ferrumschtik All proud officers of The Loreseekers. Except Bruucelee, he's a Sentinel!

  3. #3
    Community Member sephiroth1084's Avatar
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    Default Sacred Defender enhancemenrts

    Core enhancements:
    Level 1
    Holy Bastion: You gain +1 Hit Point and 1 Positive Energy Spell Power for each action point you spend in this tree.Each Sacred Defender Core Ability you possess grants +2% Fortification.

    A This is about as good a "get +1 'this' for points spent in tree" enhancement as a tanky paladin could hope for.
    HOWEVER, given that there are enhancements in every tier of the tree's enhancements that require the paladin to be in Sacred Defense stance, having to wait until level 6 is very poor design. My suggestion: offer the stance as an addition to Holy Bastion in the level 1 Core, but only granting +5 PRR and +25% threat generation.

    Level 3
    Divine Righteousness: Channel Divinity: You gain temporary hit points equal your Charisma score and a 100% Sacred bonus to threat generation for 60 seconds.

    B
    A core ability to the philosophy of the tree. It was good before, and it's still pretty good now. That said, it's puzzling at level 3, since paladins don't gain Turn Undead until level 4.

    Level 6
    Sacred Defense: Defensive Stance: +10 Physical Resistance, +50% bonus to threat generation. While in this stance, you move 10% slower.

    B The central ability for the tree. It comes 5 levels too late, thanks to enhancements available that don't work unless you have this active and has the baggage of offering less then the old first tier of Defender of Siberys' Defensive Stance offered at the same level, and for more AP. Add a weaker version to the Level 1 Core, and upgrade it here. This stance should probably carry with it a +5 bonus to AC.

    Level 12
    Redemption: The following spells are added to the Paladin spell list: Level 2: Raise Dead, Level 3: Resurrection, and Level 4: True Resurrection.

    A This fills in a gap that paladins have had for a long time--you're set up to be the last one standing, but not to salvage the situation after that without requiring rare-ish items, or UMD. Even if you don't have room to prepare the spells, you can use the scrolls.

    Level 18
    Glorious Stand: Channel Divinity: For a short duration you gain DR 20/epic, take reduced damage from elemental and negative energy, receive double healing from positive energy, and are immune to secondary effects of attacks such as 'wounding' or 'vorpal'.

    D Short duration, long cooldown buffs work very well offensively, because you may use the ability when most advantageous, and it's rare for a premature usage to be truly regretful later while the ability is on cooldown. This isn't true for defensive abilities, which you're more likely to hold onto, even in a dire situation, in case things get even worse in a minute. In addition, such abilities may not last long enough to see you through the situation for which you needed them, and can end up being merely a wasted effort. That this also works off of a high-demand resource (Turns), just makes it that much worse. This would work better if it had either a longer duration (about 1 minute) or a shorter cooldown (about 1 minute).

    Capstone
    Eternal Defender: Passive: You gain +2 Charisma, and your range of unconsciousness extends by 40 hitpoints.Toggle: While Eternal Defender is active, if you drop below 0 hit points but are not killed, two uses of Turn Undead are immediately expended and you receive a reactive heal for 250 points of Positive Energy healing.

    C This may be a potent tanking ability, but it's too situation, requiring you to fall within a 49 point threshold and still have Turns available. If this instead worked like the old cleric capstone, preventing death (stopping you at -9), then hitting you with the reactive cure, while expending the turns, I'd say that it would be at least a B, if not an A. Could also come with a 1 minute cooldown with that change.
    __________________________________________________ ____

    Enhancements by tier:
    Tier I
    Item Defense: You have a 25%/50%/75% chance to negate potential item wear. 1 AP/rank

    F Item wear isn't fun, or interesting. Including a tax for a few classes to avoid some of it is just really poor design. Dump this, replace it with something better, and reduce item wear for everyone across the board by 30% from what it is currently.

    Extra Lay On Hands: +1/+2/+3 Lay on Hands use per rest. 1 AP/rank

    A LoH are very much worthwhile, and having more of them is always good. Maybe not worthwhile if you have only a few paladin levels, but definitely worth it to most invested paladins.

    Improved Sacred Defense: Improves your Sacred Defense Stance.Choose one:Durable Defense: When in Sacred Defense, you gain +5/+10/+15 Sacred bonus to Physical Resistance Rating, or Inciting Defense: When in Sacred Defense, you gain 25%/50%/75% Sacred bonus to melee threat generation, or Resilient Defense: When in Sacred Defense, you gain a +1/+2/+3 Sacred bonus to all Saving Throws. 1 AP/rank

    B/B/CDurable is good, especially early in the game, but PRR offers diminishing returns and is probably not worth the AP eventually. Inciting is the bread and butter of a defender, but it doesn't stack with Divine Righteousness, making it much less attractive other than to discard Divine Righteousness (and save Turns to fuel other abilities) in which case it invalidates a Core ability, which is poor design. Resilient is hardly worth the investment, since, as a paladin, you will have incredible saves to begin with, but also since you'll want to invest in adding a bigger saving throw bonus to your aura, which benefits you and everyone else around you. Not worth having to invest in both. My only real suggestion is to change Inciting to a different bonus type.

    Sacred Armor Mastery: +1/+2/+3 Armor Class and Armor Maximum Dexterity Bonus. 1 AP/rank

    C More worthwhile for the higher Dodge cap than for the AC bonus, but still not very worthwhile.

    Saves Boost: Activate to gain a +2/+4/+6 Action Boost bonus to all saving throws for 20 seconds. While under this effect you do not automatically fail saving throws on a roll of a natural 1. 2 AP/rank

    C Saves are rarely going to be a concern for a paladin, and spending 2 AP per rank on this is just too expensive for the effect, although it might be worth a single rank just for the "no auto-fail on 1". Also, see Glorious Stand comments.

    Tier I analysis: B- There are some very worthwhile things in this tier, but also some very mediocre stuff, and some true garbage. Could really be helped by replacing Item Defense with something not totally pointless; I'm thinking an enhancement line for +1/+2/+3 Intimidate and Heal.
    __________________________________________________ ___________

    Tier II
    Instinctive Defense: You take 5%/10%/15% less damage when stuck while helpless. (Additional damage while helpless varies by difficulty setting from 5% to 25%.) 1 AP/rank

    D Abilities that only function when you fail a save, and then only serve to make the situation slightly less bad, aren't very good. If this reduced helpless damage by 15%/30%/50% (completely negated the extra damage from being helpless), it would possibly be worth investing in, but, again, paladins should be making their saves. Another option would be if this line also reduced the duration of helplessness from all effects by 0/25%/50%. Even with either of those changes, though, I don't know if I would even rank this a B.

    Bulwark Aura: Your Aura now grants an additonal +1/+3/+5 Armor Class. 1 AP/rank

    C+ AC is tricky in DDO after the combat formula changes: if you have a lot, you're looking at drastically diminishing returns, if you have a little, you may still not be seeing any sort of appreciable gains, and if you're in Epic Elite, it may all be completely worthless.

    Improved Sacred Defense

    See above.

    Sacred Shield Mastery: +5%/+10%/+15% Shield Armor Class and +1/+2/+3 Tower Shield Maximum Dexterity Bonus. 1 AP/rank

    C Depending on your shield, this may be almost completely useless, or it could be giving you +5-10 to your AC depending on how many bonuses to your shield's AC you have before the multiplier, but given that the best shields in the game are only giving you 20 AC base, it's probably not going to be all that good.

    Defense Boost: Activate to gain a +5/+10/+15 Action Boost bonus to Armor Class and Physical Resistance Rating for 20 seconds. 2 AP/rank

    C I don't think this is worth 2 AP/rank. It suffers from the same problems as Glorious Stand, though less so due to the short cooldown, and really depends on how much the bonuses affect your actual damage mitigation based on the content you're running.

    Tier II analysis: C Too many disparate AC bonuses scattered across too many enhancements. These really need to be consolidated. Nothing truly noteworthy.
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Tier III
    Resistance Aura: Your Aura now grants an additional +1/+2/+3 to Saving Throws. 1 AP/rank

    A Paladin bread and butter: better saves for you, and better saves for your allies. Not much else to say, here.

    Improved Sacred Defense:

    D See above. Grade is worse since you've probably already picked the best two of three mediocre choices.

    Greater Sacred Defense: Further improves your Sacred Defense stance. Choose one: Hardy Defense: While wielding a shield in Sacred Defense, you gain a +2/+4/+6 Sacred bonus to Constitution, orStrongDefense: While wielding a shield in Sacred Defense, you gain a +2/+4/+6 Sacred bonus to Strength, or Tenacious Defense: While wielding a shield in Sacred Defense, you gain a +10%/+15%/+20% Sacred bonus to maximum hit points. 1 AP/rank

    B/A/AThis is a major portion of the Defender tree, but comes with the baggage of having had all of this stuff wrapped up for a much lower AP investment. The Con bonus is worth a little less than the Str (needed to counter your not being able to benefit from Rage, Primal Scream, Madstone Rage, or Warchanter Bard songs), while the % HP bonus is almost guaranteed to provide more HP total than the Con bonus will. If you can afford all 3, go for it. Otherwise, I'd ditch the Con.

    Cha or Con: +1 to either stat. 2 AP

    C As standard, but the choices aren't all that exciting here.

    Tier III analysis: B We have some strong enhancements here, but also some rather poor selections. This tier would benefit from Str being a choice in addition to Con and Cha for the +1 stat, and by replacing the third tier of Improved Sacred Defense with something else. Maybe Efficient Metamagic: Empower Healing/Quicken?
    __________________________________________________ _________

    Tier IV
    Reinforced Defense: Improves the Armor Class bonuses you receive from shields or armor. Choose one: Reinforced Armor: The Armor Class bonus you gain from armor or docents is increased by 15%/30%/50%, or Reinforced Shield: The Armor Class bonus you gain from using a shield is increased by 15%/30%/50%¹. 2 AP/rank

    B I think 2 AP/rank is a bit steep. I also think we have way too many enhancements granting AC in this tree. Finally, Shield apparently doesn't stack with the same bonus from Unyielding Sentinel, we already have a percentage based shield bonus to AC earlier in the tree, and your armor is almost guaranteed to offer a bigger bonus than your shield does, making this not really much of a choice.

    Spellshield Aura: Your Aura now also grants a +2/+4/+6 Sacred bonus to Spell Resistance. 1 AP/rank

    D You have no way to get SR on your at a reasonable value, even during Heroic levels, and no way to get enough SR for serious Epic content, even with this bonus, not to mention that few of your teammates will be able to, either. Most of the time, this is going to be a complete waste of AP. This should really be changed to grant 10/15/20 + Paladin level SR, or the 2/4/6 sacred bonus to SR (basically giving you up to 40 SR on your own, or an additional 6 SR if you somehow come across a better source).

    Swift Defense: While wielding a shield, Sacred Defense no longer reduces your movement speed. 1 AP

    A It's cheap, and offsets the penalty on your central ability. Take it.

    Greater Sacred Defense:

    See above.

    Con or Cha:

    See above.

    Tier IV analysis: B Some strong investments here, with a couple of weak ones diluting the tier. Probably worth investing this far.
    __________________________________________________ __________________


    Tier V

    Reinforced Defense:

    See above.

    Harbored By Light: You gain +10/+15/+25 Physical Resistance. In addition, while you are actively blocking with a shield, enemies that attack you will take 3d4/4d4/5d4 Light Damage. 2 AP/rank

    B- The PRR is the gem here, although this may be too expensive for what it's offering, both for requiring 30 AP spent, and for the 2 AP/rank cost. The blocking guard is junk. If you simply gained a light guard effect that you could toggle On/Off (for those times where you don't want to be hurting stuff), it would be worthwhile, but anything that encourages or rewards you for actively blocking outside of particular situations is going to be rather poor.

    Greater Sacred Defense:

    See above.

    Tier V analysis: C There just isn't enough here to warrant going this far in the tree, unless you're trying to get up the 40 AP to hit the capstone. This desperately needs a 4th and 5th enhancement to select from, particularly since 2 of the 3 options are merely last picks of earlier enhancements.


    Overall Sacred Defender Grade: B- (C) There's a lot of garbage in this tree, most especially in the preponderance of AC bonuses, and breaking-up of similar effects into multiple enhancements, but if you want to be tanky, this has got a lot of the tools you'd want for the role. That said, it's probably not worth investing more than 20-something AP in the tree, and looks like it falls short of what it should be doing when compared with the Stalwart Defender tree, which relegates this tree to something more like a C- or D+. The Stalwart tree replicates almost all of the worthwhile enhancements here, while replacing the chaff with some unique offensive abilities, which are noticeably absent from this tree. Somewhere in here, should be granted free Shield Mastery and Improved Shield Mastery (probably) to make up for the paladin's lack of feats, and there should be some kind of offense in here. Sure, you can jump into KotC, but the Stalwart can jump into Kensei, which has better offense than KotC.
    Last edited by sephiroth1084; 10-27-2013 at 04:26 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Final analysis:

    There's just little reason over-all to remain a pure paladin: the capstones can't compete with a 2-level splash in any of several other classes, and there is a whole lot of rubbish in both of the available trees. KotC doesn't offer enough offense, and is still split in its focus, which leaves it feeling rather weak against creatures of the opposite type, while offense of any sort is conspicuously absent from Sacred Defender entirely. There isn't enough in the Defender tree to make up for not being able to benefit from Rage effects (with something like +9 Str/+11 Con and +5% doublestrike available), and no improvements to Intimidate, leaving them a bit behind fighters in most areas.

    Then there is the lack of synergy between several abilities, with many bonuses not stacking with others, even within the same tree! Plus, we have the early tiers on both trees filled with enhancements that cannot be used for as many as five levels because they're dealing with resources that aren't available to you until late (Lay On Hands at level 2, Turn Undead at level 4, and Remove Disease at level 6).

    Things I'd like to see added to these trees:
    KotC
    • Fiendslayer and Hunter of the Dead get rolled into one: remove the choice and just grant both. It won't be too powerful.
    • I'd like to see the Fiendslayer half of the lvl 6 core get something to balance against Ghost Touch if they remain separate, like Cold-Iron to weapons.
    • I'd like the lvl 18 core to give the Fiendslayer half a Banish on vorpal ability, and the undead half to get the completion of the damage stacking of +4, +4d6.
    • the capstone needs buffing. maybe add Mettle (Fort and Will partial abilities you save against have no effect--Evasion for Fort/Will--and you don't auto-fail Fort or Will saves on a 1). Maybe have the capstone also add a Healing Curse (monk's Fists of Light ability) to all of your attacks, or on a % of your attacks.
    • the Turn Undead and Remove Disease enhancements are kind of weird at tiers 1, 2, and 3, since you don't gain Turns til level 4, and Remove until 6.
    • Grant regeneration for Turn Undead, but slower than that clerics get, maybe 1/2 minutes.
    • If Divine Light is affected by spellpower/metamagics, and is an added effect onto normal Turn Undead, rather than a separate ability, it's probably worth investing in. If either of those aren't true, it needs a serious buff.
    • Condense Extra Smite into one enhancement with 3 ranks at tier I. Add something else at tier II. Poor design, and just acts as filler when we should be getting better, more interesting stuff.
    • Attack Bonus is fairly awful, and should either be removed or combined into a multi-pick choice between that and Damage Boost, so it isn't eating up a space for something better in the tree.
    • Ditch Improved Turning, since paladins are already at a disadvantage there due to being 3 levels lower than clerics are, or change the enhancements to jump them up to be even with clerics and then boost them.
    • Divine Might should be changed back to a flat damage bonus of +4/6/8 (+6/9/12 for two-handers).
    • Add an enhancement called Divine Tactics that adds 1/2 your Cha modifier to your tactics DCs.
    • Improve Rally by extending its duration so that it can be a reasonable substitution for a bard's Inspire Courage when a bard isn't around.
    • Increase critical threat range on tier III of Divine Sacrifice, to make it a little more worthwhile to pick up more than 1 rank.
    • Add some carrier effect on tiers II and III of Exalted Smite that isn't damage-related...a debuff, or tactics ability.
    • Censure Demons should last for 6 seconds, and there should be a parallel ability that works on undead.
    • Passion should either grant 5 temporary HP at tier 3 (Divine Sacrifice is free), or should work on any opponent.
    • Add a 4th enhancement to tier IV.
    • Holy Retribution should be 100% at all ranks, and higher ranks should have its cut-off raised to 1,500 then 2,000, and the damage should scale to 150, then 200. OR add it as a carrier effect on Smite Evil.
    • Sealed Life needs something added to it to be worth 2 AP and a tier V spot.
    • Tier V needs another enhancement that adds something new to the paladin interesting enough to draw someone up to spending that much AP in the tree.


    Sacred Defender
    • NEEDS DEFENSIVE STANCE AT LEVEL 1! There are abilities in every tier of the tree that require this...making several enhancements completely worthless until the paladin hits level 6. Provide a weaker version of the stance that offers +5 PRR and +25% threat, which gets upgraded at level 6.
    • Divine Righteousness needs something else bundled with it at Core 3, since you don't get Turn Undead for another level.
    • detachment of requiring a shield from any enhancements not specifically designed for shields
    • Improved Glorious Stand by either improving its duration (to 1 minute, I think), or reduce the cooldown significantly.
    • Add the effects of the old cleric capstone, Divine Intervention, to the effects of the capstone ability, and add a 1 minute cooldown.
    • Ditch Item Defense! It's awful and just taking up valuable space! Replace with a line adding +1/2/3 Intimidate and Heal.
    • Condence enhancements that grant an AC bonus--there are too many in the tree.
    • Seriously improve the % based AC bonus on Sacred Shield Defense. A 10% bonus on the best shield in the game is +2 AC, which is pitiful.
    • Improved Sacred Defense's Inciting Defense needs to stack with Divine Righteousness, at least partially, otherwise it's directly conflicting with a core ability, even if you want to call it an always-on lesser bonus, to be superseded and improved by Divine Righteousness, that's still a rather poor design, I think.
    • Saves Boost is not very good, and should clock in at 1 AP/rank.
    • Sacred Armor Mastery should probably be granting +2/4/6 AC.
    • Instinctive Defense should reduce helpess damage completely at the third rank, or should reduce the duration of effects that leave you helpless by 0/25%/50%.
    • Bulwark Aura should also grant +2/4/6 PRR.
    • Improved Sacred Defense should probably be only be found in two tiers, rather than three: pick the two abilities you want, and replace the enhancement in tier III with a different enhancements
    • Spellshield Aura should grant Spell Resistance of 10/15/20+paladin level, and should grant +2/4/6 sacred (stacking) SR as an aura. The idea being, it would actually grant you a reasonable amount of SR, and could benefit you or anyone that has SR from another (higher) source in the event of that occurring. There's basically no way for a paladin to gain enough SR for a +6 bonus to be worth anything later in the game. If there is some concern about this being too strong for level 4+, stick it in tier V.
    • Harbored By Light is too expensive at 2 AP/tier, and the blocking for damage effect is awful. Change it to something more useful! Actively blocking effects are rather poor. Offensive abilities contingent upon actively blocking are worse. Offensive abilities that hit for pitiful damage when you're getting attacked are terrible.
    • Grant free Shield Mastery, Improved Shield Mastery, and Shield Deflection somewhere in the tree.
    • Stick in some DPS options similar to those in Stalwart Defender. Maybe the tree can improve longswords to be 19-20/x3 and gain glancing blows as though they were a bastard sword. Maybe add Improved Shield Bash as an enhancement in there, increase the % chance of getting a bash attack, and add a rider to shield bashes that does some damage.
    Last edited by sephiroth1084; 10-29-2013 at 01:20 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sephiroth1084 View Post
    Final analysis:

    There's just little reason over-all to remain a pure paladin: the capstones can't compete with a 2-level splash in any of several other classes, and there is a whole lot of rubbish in both of the available trees. KotC doesn't offer enough offense, and is still split in its focus, which leaves it feeling rather weak against creatures of the opposite type, while offense of any sort is conspicuously absent from Sacred Defender entirely. There isn't enough in the Defender tree to make up for not being able to benefit from Rage effects (with something like +9 Str/+11 Con and +5% doublestrike available), and no improvements to Intimidate, leaving them a bit behind fighters in most areas.

    Then there is the lack of synergy between several abilities, with many bonuses not stacking with others, even within the same tree! Plus, we have the early tiers on both trees filled with enhancements that cannot be used for as many as five levels because they're dealing with resources that aren't available to you until late (Lay On Hands at level 2, Turn Undead at level 4, and Remove Disease at level 6).
    Personally, fixing only the Enhancements doesn't really solve the situation of remaining pure as a Paladin. The class itself is lacking compared to others (Barbarians' rage is awesome, Monks eventually get the Grandmaster Stances, Rangers get their Combat Style masteries, Rogues get more BAB, and Fighters get more feats, though Fighters aren't also very worthwhile to remain Pure), and their overwhelming feat starvation makes dipping a complete necessity. I've always opposed greatly to keeping Remove Disease, since there's only ONE reason you might want to keep it (the Restoration line; add that to LoH instead of Remove Disease and you make the uses utterly irrelevant), and without Remove Disease, you get pretty much everything you want by 5th level. Just replacing the uses of Remove Disease for three feats spread at 6th, 12th and 18th would make for a LOT.

    That said: a complete revision of Paladins isn't complete without its enhancements. For starters, I'd remove Knight of the Chalice entirely, and rework it as a less setting-specific version (otherwise, I'd have kept the name "Defender of Siberys" instead of the bland "Sacred Defender"). I'm always partial towards "Fist of the Gods" (based off the Fist of Raziel from the Book of Exalted Deeds), which is IMO THE definite offensive PrC for Paladins, and then weave things of Knight of the Chalice and Hunter of the Dead to it.

    Now, on to suggestions:

    Things I'd like to see added to these trees:
    • an always-on aura bonus in the Defender tree that is defensive in nature, in addition to the existing ones (PRR, fortification, save rerolls)
    • an always-on aura bonus in the KotC tree that is offensive in nature (doublestrike, attack, damage, fortification or dodge bypass, or maybe extra good/light damage vs. evil opponents), actually, if the paladin capstone were changed to grant the good and light damage to yourself and everyone in your aura, that would improve its stock dramatically!improved regeneration rate on Smite Evil
    • carrier effects on Smite Evil like tactics (knockdown, stun, sunder), banishment, or Sunburst-like effect
    • Sacred Defense (defensive stance toggle) moved to Core 1, since half the tree requires that to be active.
    • detachment of requiring a shield from any enhancements not specifically designed for shields
    • Intimidate bonus in the Defender tree
    • enhancements granting bonuses to AC consolidated a bit
    • free feats granted in both trees (Shield Mastery and Improved in Defender...not sure what in KotC)
    • an extension to Rally so that it is something you're actually looking to buff your party with effectively
    • improved Divine Might
    • Regenerating Turn Undead
    • some offense added to the Defender tree
    • Mettle+ in the Defender tree, probably at tier 5: no longer auto-fail saves (Fort, Refl, and Will) on a natural 1. Paladins have great saves, but they are irrelevant if you're failing 5% of the time
    • KotC to have Fiendslaying and Hunter of the Dead rolled into one--it still will be a little weak, but not so much as it is currently.
    • The "always-on" auras should be class features, rather than enhancement-granted, unless they're too specific to an Enhancement line. As a bare minimum, they should have a defensive aura (Aura of Good already covers this) and a offensive aura.
    • See above.
    • Agree to this wholeheartedly, but I'd go one step further. Don't step on mere knockdown or sunder; Stunning is great, and I'd say Blinding as well. I'd add a bit more: choosing this also adds extra damage (I'd say electricity damage for Stunning and light damage for Blinding).
    • No matter what (and this goes for Stalwart Defender, for Fighters), Defensive Stance should give a base +2 bonus to Strength and Constitution. Waiting until you spend 10 points on the tree to get a mere +2 to Strength OR Constitution is a bit unacceptable.
    • Also agree with this. There should be a way to make wielding a shield more acceptable; the feats are a good start, but there should be another good way.
    • Eh...sure, why not? It should come with a passive bonus to threat generation, because a +3 bonus is bland IMO. Consider that you already have Divine Righteousness, Intimidate as a class skill (and a good incentive to use it), a motivation to get good Charisma (Divine Grace; you can say Divine Might as well but most people debate that), and increased threat generation with melee attacks, something the other defender (the Fighter) doesn't get (other than sharing Intimidate as a class skill). Paladins need more threat generation than Fighters to compensate for not having as many static damage options.
    • As I said before, free feats as part of Enhancement Trees won't really cut it. They should be added as actual class features. For example: Tower Shield Proficiency should be added directly to the list of proficiencies, and a short list of extra feats. That way, you're not limited to spending AP for it (and open those slots for more stuff!)
    • Another "sure, why not?" It's a fair boost to attack and damage rolls, even though the boost to fear saves is kinda meh. I'd double the amount of damage bonus, and maybe apply the bonus to Will saves against enchantment effects. Maybe also remove charms and compulsions while at it, though that'd make Rally VERY powerful (essentially a Break Enchantment effect on ALL allies, plus a boost akin to Inspire Courage). Still, I'd support the idea of doubled damage bonus.
    • I like what they did to Divine Might, but I agree it's inefficient. I wouldn't like it to revert to the original version (a mere +8 to damage is boring, IMO), and I like to see a bone thrown to tactical DCs (particularly if Paladins get to use tactical feats as well, due to more feat slots). It's also too expensive (6 AP); it would be WAY too expensive if it was returned to the same as before (6 AP for a +8 to damage for 2 minutes is disappointing, to say the least, since you get something better through Rally (EVERYONE gets a +3 to damage, not just the Paladin; that adds up). Cha to attack, damage AND tactical DCs for 2 AP would be more than worthwhile. Even Cha to damage rolls and tactical DCs for 30 seconds would be fair enough for 2 AP. (Though it'd be a foregone dip for a PDK Iconic, obviously).
    • I can agree to many of your choices. Not to this. If you make Divine Might more attractive, and make Paladins consider carefully whether to improve their Charisma or their other stats through other options, you should get enough uses of Charisma to fuel everything in your path. Regenerating Turn Undead shouldn't appear until Clerics get it, because it makes Radiant Servants a crutch (they get less uses per day than Paladins, after all).
    • I'd say that any offense added to Sacred Defender should be reactive in nature. Harbored by Light is good, but you need to block; making Light Guard exactly as the Warpriest version could go several ways towards it. The idea is that, if you want some offensive, you'll dip towards Knight of the Chalice, and if you want some defense, you'll want to dip into Sacred Defender. Thus, adding a purely offensive option to the Defender tree makes little sense, because it would be counterproductive (it'd make more sense into the Offensive tree, after all). If made into a purely reactive option, it depends on the Paladin's defensive capabilities, hence fitting into the theme. I can understand the reason, though.
    • Mettle should be a Paladin class feature, period. Phantasmal Killer, Disintegrate and other "Fort partial" or "Will partial" effects are dangerous even if you pass the save. Get Mettle (as Evasion, but for Fort and Will saves AND can be used with full armor), Imp. Mettle (as Imp. Evasion), and once you get both, you can get "Impetuous Endurance" (which is the ability to never fail on a natural 1, potentially as a tier 5 ability).
    • May I suggest a better option? I'll put it on the suggestions below.


    Here's some more suggestions for you:
    • Fist of Raziel has many of the traits currently granted to Knight of the Chalice. I'd replace Courage of Heaven with Sanctified Martial Strike (all your weapons are good-aligned, right from level 3), Blessed Martial Strike (attacks automatically confirm critical hits), and eventually Holy Martial Strike (a Vorpal, Disruption or Smiting effect against evil creatures). All steps can grant extra damage just as Courage of Heaven does (up to 4d6 damage). That 4d6 damage alone should be enough to compensate for the choice.
    • I actually liked the idea of Mass Shield of Faith, and was looking for it (in fact, I chose the Mark of Sentinel for my Paladin because I wanted him to have Shield of Faith), so I felt sad when the devs dropped Mass Shield of Faith and Magic Circle against Evil for the Resurrection line (it makes...no sense whatsoever, if only to replace Paladin Redemption that consumed a use of Lay on Hands). I'd add some more defensive choices to Sacred Defender; maybe re-establish Mass Shield of Faith, and maybe Blade Barrier as a tier 5 SLA.
    • If you were to drop Defensive Stance to 1st level, 6th level would have nothing. Why not make 6th level net you a permanent Magic Circle against Evil?
    • Related to the above suggestion: why not make the Paladin Sacred Defender capstone grant you an effect similar to Mantle of Invulnerability (the same ability bosses get)? Both Magic Circle against Evil and the Mantle of Invulnerability are the components of Protective Aura, a key component of most high-level Good Outsiders. If you're a Paladin, you're almost the equal of Good Outsiders, so it makes sense that the defensive capstone grants the ultimate in protection.
    • I should have placed this first. AREA-OF-EFFECT SMITE. That's all.
    • Regenerating Lay on Hands. Why wait until Epic to get an option that's essential for Paladins?
    • Shift the Healing Amplification line to Sacred Defender, or at the very least make it easier to access. In fact, here's a good one: why not make healing amplification part of the frickin' class features of the Paladin at once!? Healing amplification is vastly more important for a tank than for a melee combatant, but since Paladins incline a bit more towards the defense, and their Past Life feat grants healing amplification, it makes sense to make it part of their class features.

  6. #6
    Community Member sephiroth1084's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGOskar View Post
    /snip a bunch of stuff about reworking the paladin class, which is outside the scope of this thread
    Moving on...

    Now, on to suggestions:



    • The "always-on" auras should be class features, rather than enhancement-granted, unless they're too specific to an Enhancement line. As a bare minimum, they should have a defensive aura (Aura of Good already covers this) and a offensive aura. Everything can't be a class feature: that's what enhancements are for. The idea was to add something to the paladin's existing +AC,, saves, and saves vs. fear aura.
    • See above.
    • Agree to this wholeheartedly, but I'd go one step further. Don't step on mere knockdown or sunder; Stunning is great, and I'd say Blinding as well. I'd add a bit more: choosing this also adds extra damage (I'd say electricity damage for Stunning and light damage for Blinding). It doesn't need to be adding damage: Smite Evil and Exalted Smite already do that. The only damage concerns I have regarding smite are: increase the availability of smites (more per day, shorter regeneration rate, maybe AoE effect).
    • No matter what (and this goes for Stalwart Defender, for Fighters), Defensive Stance should give a base +2 bonus to Strength and Constitution. Waiting until you spend 10 points on the tree to get a mere +2 to Strength OR Constitution is a bit unacceptable. It's not a necessity as a base ability. The difference isn't big enough to make a big issue of.
    • Also agree with this. There should be a way to make wielding a shield more acceptable; the feats are a good start, but there should be another good way. What else would you want? You cite that paladins are feat starved, and this is a fine place to make up for that. We see that in some other trees already. And as for being more acceptable, look at the Stalwart's shield based special attacks and abilities.
    • Eh...sure, why not? It should come with a passive bonus to threat generation, because a +3 bonus is bland IMO. Consider that you already have Divine Righteousness, Intimidate as a class skill (and a good incentive to use it), a motivation to get good Charisma (Divine Grace; you can say Divine Might as well but most people debate that), and increased threat generation with melee attacks, something the other defender (the Fighter) doesn't get (other than sharing Intimidate as a class skill). Paladins need more threat generation than Fighters to compensate for not having as many static damage options. Uh...Stalwart gains almost as much threat gen as Sacred Defender does, and while paladins have an incentive to improve their Cha, it doesn't necessarily weigh heavily enough to cause them to out-distance fighters in this regard. Intimidate is worthwhile, because it does things that threat generation can't do, and adds to your incite on top of that. It's a tool in your arsenal, Stalwart gets it, and most other classes have a tier I "bonus to 2 or more skills."
    • As I said before, free feats as part of Enhancement Trees won't really cut it. They should be added as actual class features. For example: Tower Shield Proficiency should be added directly to the list of proficiencies, and a short list of extra feats. That way, you're not limited to spending AP for it (and open those slots for more stuff!) I've never seen a very good argument for this. Why should it be done? Fighters getting Tower Shield Proficiency is something unique to them. Note, I didn't propose including that--if you want it, buy it. I suggested the Shield Mastery line, which improves whatever shield you're using. I think it forces a little variety in what people are using if one of the main "tanks" isn't necessarily using towers. Also, while I do agree that paladins (and bards, barbarians, clerics, druids, rogues and sorcerers) need some bonus feats, we're talking about enhancements here, not a rewrite of the class.
    • Another "sure, why not?" It's a fair boost to attack and damage rolls, even though the boost to fear saves is kinda meh. I'd double the amount of damage bonus, and maybe apply the bonus to Will saves against enchantment effects. Maybe also remove charms and compulsions while at it, though that'd make Rally VERY powerful (essentially a Break Enchantment effect on ALL allies, plus a boost akin to Inspire Courage). Still, I'd support the idea of doubled damage bonus. It doesn't need any of that. The point was that it's a weaker version of Inspire Courage. Right now, if you have a bard in your party, you may have as much as about +10 to-hit and +11 damage over a party without a bard (depending on build). An idea I've proposed in the past was to give paladins a minor version of the same ability, to expand the options for parties a little bit, and close that gap. A paladin offering +3/+3 to a party without a bard closes the gap a bit, and it's hardly something to sneer at. As for Break Enchantment, they have it on their spell list. You can prepare it.
    • I like what they did to Divine Might, but I agree it's inefficient. I wouldn't like it to revert to the original version (a mere +8 to damage is boring, IMO), and I like to see a bone thrown to tactical DCs (particularly if Paladins get to use tactical feats as well, due to more feat slots). It's also too expensive (6 AP); it would be WAY too expensive if it was returned to the same as before (6 AP for a +8 to damage for 2 minutes is disappointing, to say the least, since you get something better through Rally (EVERYONE gets a +3 to damage, not just the Paladin; that adds up). Cha to attack, damage AND tactical DCs for 2 AP would be more than worthwhile. Even Cha to damage rolls and tactical DCs for 30 seconds would be fair enough for 2 AP. (Though it'd be a foregone dip for a PDK Iconic, obviously). They don't need Cha to attack. That should remain unique to the Iconic, and having it as a sometimes on ability would just mean that you couldn't plan your character for that. +4/+6/+8 damage ends up being about as much, or more than most paladins are going to get out of the current iteration of DM. I also pointed out that there should be a separate enhancement that adds 1/2 Cha modifier to tactics DCs in the section on KotC.
    • Regenerating Turn Undead shouldn't appear until Clerics get it, because it makes Radiant Servants a crutch (they get less uses per day than Paladins, after all). What does one have to do with the other? How is Radiant Servant a crutch if paladins gain regenerating Turns (and at a slower rate, as per my proposal)? The two are unrelated: clerics spend their turns differently, and already do have a built in regeneration enhancement. What's your objection here, exactly?
    • I'd say that any offense added to Sacred Defender should be reactive in nature. Harbored by Light is good, but you need to block; making Light Guard exactly as the Warpriest version could go several ways towards it. The idea is that, if you want some offensive, you'll dip towards Knight of the Chalice, and if you want some defense, you'll want to dip into Sacred Defender. Thus, adding a purely offensive option to the Defender tree makes little sense, because it would be counterproductive (it'd make more sense into the Offensive tree, after all). If made into a purely reactive option, it depends on the Paladin's defensive capabilities, hence fitting into the theme. I can understand the reason, though. Look at the Stalwart tree: it has a few (shield-based) offensive options that include more shield bashing, double-strike, and active attacks. Fighters can go into that tree, and into Kensei, which yields a better tank with DPS (or DPS with tanking abilities) than the paladin version in many ways. It doesn't need to be offense comparable to that in KotC, but it needs some. Reactive damage isn't offense, and it is finicky: if you're trying to not get hit, most guards don't work, and the on-miss stuff is useless if you step into content where you're getting hit all the time. Plus, in quests that have enemies hitting you for tons of damage, minor guards aren't going to be all that impressive.
    • Mettle should be a Paladin class feature, period. Phantasmal Killer, Disintegrate and other "Fort partial" or "Will partial" effects are dangerous even if you pass the save. Get Mettle (as Evasion, but for Fort and Will saves AND can be used with full armor), Imp. Mettle (as Imp. Evasion), and once you get both, you can get "Impetuous Endurance" (which is the ability to never fail on a natural 1, potentially as a tier 5 ability).
    • May I suggest a better option? I'll put it on the suggestions below. Again, not discussing changes to class features. There's no need for an improved Evasion-style Mettle: one of the paladin's strengths is in their high saves, and such an ability would lessen the need for those. The idea behind Mettle would be that they aren't getting screwed by rolling a 1, although yes, it should also include negating the Fort/Will partial abilities.
    Responses in blue.
    Here's some more suggestions for you:
    • Fist of Raziel has many of the traits currently granted to Knight of the Chalice. I'd replace Courage of Heaven with Sanctified Martial Strike (all your weapons are good-aligned, right from level 3), Blessed Martial Strike (attacks automatically confirm critical hits), and eventually Holy Martial Strike (a Vorpal, Disruption or Smiting effect against evil creatures). All steps can grant extra damage just as Courage of Heaven does (up to 4d6 damage). That 4d6 damage alone should be enough to compensate for the choice. Clearly, the devs don't want to grant paladins an always-on good-aligned weapon ability early, even though paladins should probably have it at least as early as Artificers get the spell. Blessed Martial Strike is incredibly weak in DDO, and the Vorpal/Disruption/Banishing (Smiting would be out of flavor) is something already partially in the enhancements and something I suggested be expanded upon.
    • I actually liked the idea of Mass Shield of Faith, and was looking for it (in fact, I chose the Mark of Sentinel for my Paladin because I wanted him to have Shield of Faith), so I felt sad when the devs dropped Mass Shield of Faith and Magic Circle against Evil for the Resurrection line (it makes...no sense whatsoever, if only to replace Paladin Redemption that consumed a use of Lay on Hands). I'd add some more defensive choices to Sacred Defender; maybe re-establish Mass Shield of Faith, and maybe Blade Barrier as a tier 5 SLA. Why do you want Mass Shield of Faith? Protection items go higher than that does (up to +10 vs. +5 from the spell) and they don't stack. Why do you want Magic Circle as an SLA? You can prepare and cast the spell, or use wands or scrolls, or ask any wizard, sorcerer, cleric, or favored soul to cast it.

      How does Blade Barrier make any sense at all? The Raise Dead line serves a real purpose (as I explained in that section), and is much better than the old Redemption line, which forced you to conserve LoH for rezzing, rather than using them for healing.
    • If you were to drop Defensive Stance to 1st level, 6th level would have nothing. Why not make 6th level net you a permanent Magic Circle against Evil? I suggested adding a weak version of the stance to level 1, because you have enhancements at all tiers that require you to be in Defensive Stance to function, yet you won't get that until level 6. The level 6 Core would improve the stance to what it is currently at level 6. I wasn't suggesting replacing the level 1 Core, just adding the stance to it, since it is so central to the entire tree. The level 6 core would do the same thing it does now.
    • Related to the above suggestion: why not make the Paladin Sacred Defender capstone grant you an effect similar to Mantle of Invulnerability (the same ability bosses get)? Both Magic Circle against Evil and the Mantle of Invulnerability are the components of Protective Aura, a key component of most high-level Good Outsiders. If you're a Paladin, you're almost the equal of Good Outsiders, so it makes sense that the defensive capstone grants the ultimate in protection. Mantle vs. what level of spells? Honestly, Mantle is one of the stupider tools the devs have used, and I'm glad to see it used incredibly sparingly: it doesn't need to get stapled onto a character class, which would, in turn, make it far more prevalent on enemies. It's cheesy as hell.
    • I should have placed this first. AREA-OF-EFFECT SMITE. That's all. Would be nice to get either exploding or chaining Smite Evil.
    • Regenerating Lay on Hands. Why wait until Epic to get an option that's essential for Paladins? Because granting it here would mean having to go rewrite some of Unyielding Sentinel, and because it is probably a little too powerful for most heroic content.
    • Shift the Healing Amplification line to Sacred Defender, or at the very least make it easier to access. In fact, here's a good one: why not make healing amplification part of the frickin' class features of the Paladin at once!? Healing amplification is vastly more important for a tank than for a melee combatant, but since Paladins incline a bit more towards the defense, and their Past Life feat grants healing amplification, it makes sense to make it part of their class features. That's the point of enhancements: to define your character and force you to make decisions. Healing amp is important to everyone. It doesn't need to be made a permanent class feature.
    I think you have a different agenda than I'm presenting here. Maybe you should go start your own thread?

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  7. #7
    Community Member HatsuharuZ's Avatar
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    I agree with most of what you said, Sepiroth, but I don't agree that paladins should get the Shield Mastery line as enhancements. Increased PRR, yes. Increased doubelstrike, yes. But the feats themselves? Nah.

    Also, it should be noted that paladins do not get proficiency with tower shields. An enhancement that would give that proficiency would be nice to have.

  8. #8
    The Hatchery sirgog's Avatar
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    I've thought for a long time that Defender paladins should get the "One and a half handed weapons" bonuses without requiring the applicable feats when using a shield, but only when using a longsword. Possibly as a capstone.

    Help for a presently awful (but iconic) weapon type which would make it the best weapon type for one build (like shortswords are usually weak but capstoned ninja spies seriously consider using them), and allows paladins a chance to take other feats to make up some (but not all) of the feat gap between them and fighters.
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    Divine Might: Channel Divinity: You gain an Insight bonus to Strength equal to your Charisma modifier for 30/60/120 seconds. (Cooldown 20 seconds) 2 AP/rank

    C The change to Divine Might all but guarantees a lower damage output than a paladin could acquire under the old system. In order to gain the same +8 damage, a paladin would need a 46 Cha (+18 modifier added to Str is a +9 bonus, which accounts for the Insight bonus not stacking with a +3 Insightful Str item, and falls short by a point if that item was bringing you to an even value). That's an awful lot of investment in a stat that can't be the main focus of your character, since it can't be used for attack and damage on its own, and doesn't qualify you for important DPS feats (Power Attack, Cleaves, Two-Handed Fighting, Overwhelming Critical). It was an interesting approach to helping paladins with tactics DCs, but still comes up well short of what's needed. Change it back to adding a flat damage bonus of +4/6/8, starting at 60 seconds, and improved to 90 then 120.

    I'm sorry but I'm going to have to stop you here. Divine Might is the most powerful enhancement in the entire game for dps and defense. A change from 9 damage to 18 strength is divine when used properly. 18 strength is +9 all tactics, which lets you stun or trip a mob so defensively you take 0 damage. Mapped to a 20 sided die, it is 45% more likely to make a move work. Factor in twf double hits and double strike, and it will turn a 5% chance to trip or stun into around 85% chance of working.

    Offensively, a stunned mob is helpless which combines with LD +50% damage to helpless, sense weakness twist 30% damage to helpless, and enhancements of up to 30% more damage to helpless so up to 160% bonus damage.

    Defensively, it provides +9 to on the die roll against trip, which mapped onto a 20 sided die is 45% protection. So if you had 50% chance of being tripped, after divine might you have 5%.
    -------------------------------------------

    I think you are lacking an understanding of just how powerful raw strength can be and it's role in good dps. I think it is because you are looking at adding flat amounts of damage (like +8), and not looking at the big picture of how really good damage is done. Divine might can be used as a +8, but it also can be used as a +160% and +8 at the same time. This should help you in thinking about it:

    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...this-wai/page6

    Here's an example of it all put together:

    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...er-Build-Cetus


    ----------------------------

    Combine the +18 strength from Divine Might with +6 Strength from Strong defense, and you are good to do anything you want to anything.
    Last edited by Tilomere; 10-28-2013 at 01:29 PM.

  10. #10
    Community Member Sokól's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sephiroth1084 View Post
    Final analysis:

    There's just little reason over-all to remain a pure paladin: the capstones can't compete with a 2-level splash in any of several other classes, and there is a whole lot of rubbish in both of the available trees. KotC doesn't offer enough offense, and is still split in its focus, which leaves it feeling rather weak against creatures of the opposite type, while offense of any sort is conspicuously absent from Sacred Defender entirely. There isn't enough in the Defender tree to make up for not being able to benefit from Rage effects (with something like +9 Str/+11 Con and +5% doublestrike available), and no improvements to Intimidate, leaving them a bit behind fighters in most areas.

    Then there is the lack of synergy between several abilities, with many bonuses not stacking with others, even within the same tree! Plus, we have the early tiers on both trees filled with enhancements that cannot be used for as many as five levels because they're dealing with resources that aren't available to you until late (Lay On Hands at level 2, Turn Undead at level 4, and Remove Disease at level 6).

    Things I'd like to see added to these trees:
    • an always-on aura bonus in the Defender tree that is defensive in nature, in addition to the existing ones (PRR, fortification, save rerolls)
    • an always-on aura bonus in the KotC tree that is offensive in nature (doublestrike, attack, damage, fortification or dodge bypass, or maybe extra good/light damage vs. evil opponents), actually, if the paladin capstone were changed to grant the good and light damage to yourself and everyone in your aura, that would improve its stock dramatically!improved regeneration rate on Smite Evil
    • carrier effects on Smite Evil like tactics (knockdown, stun, sunder), banishment, or Sunburst-like effect
    • Sacred Defense (defensive stance toggle) moved to Core 1, since half the tree requires that to be active.
    • detachment of requiring a shield from any enhancements not specifically designed for shields
    • Intimidate bonus in the Defender tree
    • enhancements granting bonuses to AC consolidated a bit
    • free feats granted in both trees (Shield Mastery and Improved in Defender...not sure what in KotC)
    • an extension to Rally so that it is something you're actually looking to buff your party with effectively
    • improved Divine Might
    • Regenerating Turn Undead
    • some offense added to the Defender tree
    • Mettle+ in the Defender tree, probably at tier 5: no longer auto-fail saves (Fort, Refl, and Will) on a natural 1. Paladins have great saves, but they are irrelevant if you're failing 5% of the time
    • KotC to have Fiendslaying and Hunter of the Dead rolled into one--it still will be a little weak, but not so much as it is currently.
    I agree with this ^^

    The sad thing is a melee cleric, fvs or druid offer similar dps but have a lot better healing.
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  11. #11
    Community Member Ralmeth's Avatar
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    Holy wall of text, Batman! I like reading about and discussing Paladins, but wow! Could you summarize the things you'd really like to see changed, and why?

    In general, I agree with you that going pure as a Paladin is no longer the best way to build your character. The pendulum has now swung from going pure to splashing, as being more optimal. Personally, I'm okay with this and have enjoyed going from a pure build to one with a splash. I like that there are now a number of viable build options. It's just unfortunate that going pure is no longer one of them. To change this, my general thoughts would be:

    Knight
    -Make abilities that target specific enemy types, work on any evil opponent
    -Make the capstone much better, with more DPS
    -I like your idea of the Paladin's aura granting an offensive bonus of some sort

    Defender
    -Add more DPS enhancements, like in the Stalwart Defender tree. A good tank needs a mix of offense & defense
    -Lower the cost of certain enhancements from 2AP to 1AP per tier. The Defender tree is really expensive.
    -Make the capstone much better / DPS focused. It's not even worth considering, IMHO
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  12. #12

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    It's probably worth noting that many of the KOC enhancements are broken on live, at least on my WF pally

    Damage boost does not increase damage by 30%, instead I THINK it is adding +8 damage, which is worthless, clicking on damage boost so my fury smites hit for 4200 instead of 4100 is not worth my time.

    heal amp enhancements aren't working.

    and I went from having 15 smites pre patch to 9 smites... not sure where they went...

    for a better capstone how about fort bypass for undead?
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  13. #13
    Community Member maddmatt70's Avatar
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    The two things that I do not know if you covered, but are underpowered or nonexistant in DDO when compared to D&D are the paladin mount and the smite in DDO is not as powerful as the smite ability in pnp. The mount is absolutely a huge loss in DDO. The devs have never given the paladins something in lieu of the mount. Smiting is very powerful in D&D whereas in DDO it is not. Big disappointment that after all the other classes received buffed enhancements that smites for paladins never got buffed. A paladin smite should be a x4 crit multiplier and x4 crit range after the enhancement pass.
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  14. #14
    Community Member sephiroth1084's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HatsuharuZ View Post
    I agree with most of what you said, Sepiroth, but I don't agree that paladins should get the Shield Mastery line as enhancements. Increased PRR, yes. Increased doubelstrike, yes. But the feats themselves? Nah.

    Also, it should be noted that paladins do not get proficiency with tower shields. An enhancement that would give that proficiency would be nice to have.
    Why do you think they should have an enhancement granting a feat (tower shield proficiency), enhancements granting PRR and doublestrike, but not enhancements granting the Shield Mastery feats? The SM feats are kind of necessary for a S&B build, but tower shields are not, and they're just granting PRR and doublestrike... Paladins are feat-starved, and need some help in that regard, and if they just receive enhancements that grant the same abilities, that stack with the feats, it's granting a bigger bonus to those who can pick up the feats.
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  15. #15
    Community Member sephiroth1084's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirgog View Post
    I've thought for a long time that Defender paladins should get the "One and a half handed weapons" bonuses without requiring the applicable feats when using a shield, but only when using a longsword. Possibly as a capstone.

    Help for a presently awful (but iconic) weapon type which would make it the best weapon type for one build (like shortswords are usually weak but capstoned ninja spies seriously consider using them), and allows paladins a chance to take other feats to make up some (but not all) of the feat gap between them and fighters.
    It would be kind of cool if longswords got a similar treatment as daggers did for rogues...hand-and-a-half bonuses like bastard swords, and better crit stats. Just don't know where those would go, or what would be the right approach.

    I don't think the capstone is the right place for such an ability, however.
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  16. #16
    Community Member sephiroth1084's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmatt70 View Post
    The two things that I do not know if you covered, but are underpowered or nonexistant in DDO when compared to D&D are the paladin mount and the smite in DDO is not as powerful as the smite ability in pnp. The mount is absolutely a huge loss in DDO. The devs have never given the paladins something in lieu of the mount. Smiting is very powerful in D&D whereas in DDO it is not. Big disappointment that after all the other classes received buffed enhancements that smites for paladins never got buffed. A paladin smite should be a x4 crit multiplier and x4 crit range after the enhancement pass.
    Paladins in DDO definitely never really got compensated for losing their mount, the way rangers did for losing their animal companion (rangers get both the archery and TWF feat lines, instead of having to choose one or the other). Paladins should have received bonus feats, probably at 6, 12, and 18, or some new, significant abilities.

    As for Smite Evil, it's awful in D&D. The only reasons DDO's feels so much weaker are that monster HP scales up more dramatically than the DDO smite formula does, and that per day abilities that number in the single digits are pitiful when you move from, say, 20-30 rounds of combat in a day, to hundreds and thousands of rounds per day (4 attacks being 1 round).

    I do think Smite Evil could use more of a buff than I even put in my notes above when thinking about it. Compare with, say, Sniper's Shot, which is granting +2 threat range and multiplier, a bonus on to-hit, a Bluff effect (and with Sneak Attack inherent in acquiring it), and is usable every 6 seconds. Now, Exalted Strike has smaller bonuses, but they are also being added to an ability that is adding a sizable chunk of damage to your base, too. The real issue is that Smite is so limited, even with them regenerating. The problem there is in how to deal with it. Simply allowing an unlimited number of Exalted Smites would be a bit too strong for an intentionally middling DPS class, so you can't just slap a short cooldown on it and grant unlimited uses, but we also don't really want a long cooldown on it, either, because that would then just dilute the damage we're getting out of it.

    Would you rather have unlimited smites usable once per thirty seconds, or 8 smites you can dump on a boss in 30 seconds, that regenerate once/minute? Honestly, with things like Quivering Palm, Touch of Death, Arrows of Slaying, and other melee-based, high-damage, moderate-cooldown abilities, it seems silly to me to have such a highly restricted ability like Smite Evil. I think we'd be okay with the same number of Exalted Smites as we have now, but with a 30 second refresh.
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  17. #17
    Community Member Vellrad's Avatar
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    I hate paladins because their dumb enhancements are the reason that divine might for clerics was changed from a good type to type not stacking with equipment.

    Not only paladins ssucks, but their ssucking enhancements spread their fail to other classes.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by sephiroth1084 View Post
    Divine Sacrifice: Giving up some of your life force to win the battle, you empower your next blow against your foe. This attack increases the critical multiplier of your weapon by 1 and deals an additional 5d6/7d6/9d6 light damage, but costs you 5 hp and 1 sp, whether or not the attack is successful. 1 AP/rank

    B Worthwhile ability, but the extra damage on ranks 2 and 3 aren't really worth the extra AP unless you have it to spend. Increase the critical threat range on the attack at rank 3 to make it worth investing in the full line.
    Agreed that adding +1 crit range to tier 3 divine sacrifice would make it worthwhile to take all 3 ranks. That's a solid suggestion. As it stands now, I'd only take it past rank 1 if I was left with 79 AP and needed to dump one last point somewhere, and that would only be rank 2.


    Tier IV
    Censure Demons: You gain On Vorpal: Stun Chaotic Evil outsiders for 3 seconds. 1 AP

    B This should really have a 6 second duration, and should probably either apply to undead, or have a corresponding ability for undead at this tier.

    Passion: Your Divine Sacrifice ability gains: On Damage: Gain 5/10/15 temporary spell points if you strike an undead or evil outsider with this attack. 1 AP/rank

    C It's kind of nice that this can remove the SP cost for Divine Sacrifice if you're fighting evil outsiders and undead, but that's a little limited, and doesn't quite do enough to fuel the paladin's other SP usages. I would say that this should either be changed to grant 0/0/5 temporary HP under the same circumstances (making Divine Sacrifice completely free), or it should trigger on any use of Divine Sacrifice.
    I consider both Censure Demons and Passion essentially useless due to the extreme limit of mobs they target. They would be worthwhile (and not overpowered) if they worked against all evil mobs. Against just those tiny groups of mobs, waste of AP.

    Even taking Censure Outsiders leaves Censure Demons far too limited, especially considering you're now talking about a tier 5 ability. I mean, geez, a tier 5 can make the Epic Sword of Shadows a friggin centered weapon fer cryin out loud. God forbid a tier 5 paladin enhancement would help you in epic Gianthold, right?


    Holy Retribution: Melee Channel Divinity: Executes a powerful holy strike against the target that deals +1/+3/+5[W] damage. On Damage: Evil creatures with less than 1,000 HP have a 50%/75%/100% chance to be forced to make a WIll save (DC 10 + Paladin Level + Charisma Mod) or be destroyed. On a successful save, the affected creature takes 100 holy damage from this attack as well as -6 to all ability scores for ten seconds. (Cooldown: 6 seconds). 1 AP/rank

    B+ A strong ability, but is fueled by Turn Undead, and therefore competes with Divine Might for your damage focus. Also, ranks 1 and 2 are made exceptionally weak by this only having a chance to force a save, especially when considering the save DCs needed at endgame. This should be 100% chance at all ranks, with the higher ranks improving the +[W] and the cut-off for the save to 1,500 and then 2,000 HP, and improving the holy damage to 150 then 200 for ranks 2 and 3. That way, this mimics Vorpal/Improved Vorpal/Greater Vorpal, offerring a Will save for the additional debuff, which looks balanced given that it requires expending a limited, high-demand resource, and rogues get an arguably better version of this. As is, it isn't quite strong enough to draw someone to tier V if they weren't going all the way for other abilities, but with the changes, it might be. Conversely, add this as an effect on Smite Evil, otherwise unchanged, and it may be worthwhile.
    Here's our biggest difference of opinion. I rate Holy Retribution an F, and that's being generous. You essentially get to use it once per shrine, and that one use will last maybe a minute tops. Big bucket of meh if it were a 1 AP tier 1, but as a tier 5? Total fail.


    Sealed Life: You are immune to Energy Drain. 2 AP

    C A useful ability, but not a tier V on a class with Death Ward on their spell list. It's strong for heavily multi-classed paladins who don't have the slots to cast the spell, but even then, we have party members throwing Mass Death Ward with some regularity, and access to Death Ward clickies, all of which accomplish the same goal. There should be something more worthwhile here.
    You really only get deathward as a spell on a pure pally. Both zeal and cure serious wounds are leaps and bounds ahead of deathward, and you don't get a third level 4 spell until pally level 19. That makes this (undispellable) immunity to level drain very, very nice for any pally build with fewer than 19 pally levels.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by sephiroth1084 View Post
    Would you rather have unlimited smites usable once per thirty seconds, or 8 smites you can dump on a boss in 30 seconds, that regenerate once/minute?
    Both options are quite underpowered. I'd like to see Exalted Smite changed to:

    Rank 1: +1 to crit multiplier and range
    Rank 2: +2 to crit multiplier and range
    Rank 3: Regenerate 1 smite evil every vorpal

  20. #20
    Community Member sephiroth1084's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralmeth View Post
    Holy wall of text, Batman! I like reading about and discussing Paladins, but wow! Could you summarize the things you'd really like to see changed, and why?

    In general, I agree with you that going pure as a Paladin is no longer the best way to build your character. The pendulum has now swung from going pure to splashing, as being more optimal. Personally, I'm okay with this and have enjoyed going from a pure build to one with a splash. I like that there are now a number of viable build options. It's just unfortunate that going pure is no longer one of them. To change this, my general thoughts would be:

    Knight
    -Make abilities that target specific enemy types, work on any evil opponent
    -Make the capstone much better, with more DPS
    -I like your idea of the Paladin's aura granting an offensive bonus of some sort

    Defender
    -Add more DPS enhancements, like in the Stalwart Defender tree. A good tank needs a mix of offense & defense
    -Lower the cost of certain enhancements from 2AP to 1AP per tier. The Defender tree is really expensive.
    -Make the capstone much better / DPS focused. It's not even worth considering, IMHO
    Sure. Still a bit of a wall, but condensed to a more readable level, I think.

    KotC
    • Fiendslayer and Hunter of the Dead get rolled into one: remove the choice and just grant both. It won't be too powerful.
    • I'd like to see the Fiendslayer half of the lvl 6 core get something to balance against Ghost Touch if they remain separate, like Cold-Iron to weapons.
    • I'd like the lvl 18 core to give the Fiendslayer half a Banish on vorpal ability, and the undead half to get the completion of the damage stacking of +4, +4d6.
    • the capstone needs buffing. maybe add Mettle (Fort and Will partial abilities you save against have no effect--Evasion for Fort/Will--and you don't auto-fail Fort or Will saves on a 1). Maybe have the capstone also add a Healing Curse (monk's Fists of Light ability) to all of your attacks, or on a % of your attacks.
    • the Turn Undead and Remove Disease enhancements are kind of weird at tiers 1, 2, and 3, since you don't gain Turns til level 4, and Remove until 6.
    • Grant regeneration for Turn Undead, but slower than that clerics get, maybe 1/2 minutes.
    • If Divine Light is affected by spellpower/metamagics, and is an added effect onto normal Turn Undead, rather than a separate ability, it's probably worth investing in. If either of those aren't true, it needs a serious buff.
    • Condense Extra Smite into one enhancement with 3 ranks at tier I. Add something else at tier II. Poor design, and just acts as filler when we should be getting better, more interesting stuff.
    • Attack Bonus is fairly awful, and should either be removed or combined into a multi-pick choice between that and Damage Boost, so it isn't eating up a space for something better in the tree.
    • Ditch Improved Turning, since paladins are already at a disadvantage there due to being 3 levels lower than clerics are, or change the enhancements to jump them up to be even with clerics and then boost them.
    • Divine Might should be changed back to a flat damage bonus of +4/6/8 (+6/9/12 for two-handers).
    • Add an enhancement called Divine Tactics that adds 1/2 your Cha modifier to your tactics DCs.
    • Improve Rally by extending its duration so that it can be a reasonable substitution for a bard's Inspire Courage when a bard isn't around.
    • Increase critical threat range on tier III of Divine Sacrifice, to make it a little more worthwhile to pick up more than 1 rank.
    • Add some carrier effect on tiers II and III of Exalted Smite that isn't damage-related...a debuff, or tactics ability.
    • Censure Demons should last for 6 seconds, and there should be a parallel ability that works on undead.
    • Passion should either grant 5 temporary HP at tier 3 (Divine Sacrifice is free), or should work on any opponent.
    • Add a 4th enhancement to tier IV.
    • Holy Retribution should be 100% at all ranks, and higher ranks should have its cut-off raised to 1,500 then 2,000, and the damage should scale to 150, then 200. OR add it as a carrier effect on Smite Evil.
    • Sealed Life needs something added to it to be worth 2 AP and a tier V spot.
    • Tier V needs another enhancement that adds something new to the paladin interesting enough to draw someone up to spending that much AP in the tree.


    Sacred Defender
    • NEEDS DEFENSIVE STANCE AT LEVEL 1! There are abilities in every tier of the tree that require this...making several enhancements completely worthless until the paladin hits level 6. Provide a weaker version of the stance that offers +5 PRR and +25% threat, which gets upgraded at level 6.
    • Divine Righteousness needs something else bundled with it at Core 3, since you don't get Turn Undead for another level.
    • Improved Glorious Stand by either improving its duration (to 1 minute, I think), or reduce the cooldown significantly.
    • Add the effects of the old cleric capstone, Divine Intervention, to the effects of the capstone ability, and add a 1 minute cooldown.
    • Ditch Item Defense! It's awful and just taking up valuable space! Replace with a line adding +1/2/3 Intimidate and Heal.
    • Condence enhancements that grant an AC bonus--there are too many in the tree.
    • Seriously improve the % based AC bonus on Sacred Shield Defense. A 10% bonus on the best shield in the game is +2 AC, which is pitiful.
    • Improved Sacred Defense's Inciting Defense needs to stack with Divine Righteousness, at least partially, otherwise it's directly conflicting with a core ability, even if you want to call it an always-on lesser bonus, to be superseded and improved by Divine Righteousness, that's still a rather poor design, I think.
    • Saves Boost is not very good, and should clock in at 1 AP/rank.
    • Sacred Armor Mastery should probably be granting +2/4/6 AC.
    • Instinctive Defense should reduce helpess damage completely at the third rank, or should reduce the duration of effects that leave you helpless by 0/25%/50%.
    • Bulwark Aura should also grant +2/4/6 PRR.
    • Improved Sacred Defense should probably be only be found in two tiers, rather than three: pick the two abilities you want, and replace the enhancement in tier III with a different enhancements
    • Spellshield Aura should grant Spell Resistance of 10/15/20+paladin level, and should grant +2/4/6 sacred (stacking) SR as an aura. The idea being, it would actually grant you a reasonable amount of SR, and could benefit you or anyone that has SR from another (higher) source in the event of that occurring. There's basically no way for a paladin to gain enough SR for a +6 bonus to be worth anything later in the game. If there is some concern about this being too strong for level 4+, stick it in tier V.
    • Harbored By Light is too expensive at 2 AP/tier, and the blocking for damage effect is awful. Change it to something more useful! Actively blocking effects are rather poor. Offensive abilities contingent upon actively blocking are worse. Offensive abilities that hit for pitiful damage when you're getting attacked are terrible.
    • Grant free Shield Mastery, Improved Shield Mastery, and Shield Deflection somewhere in the tree.
    • Stick in some DPS options similar to those in Stalwart Defender. Maybe the tree can improve longswords to be 19-20/x3 and gain glancing blows as though they were a bastard sword. Maybe add Improved Shield Bash as an enhancement in there, increase the % chance of getting a bash attack, and add a rider to shield bashes that does some damage.
    Useful links: A Guide to Using a Gamepad w/ DDO / All Caster Shroud, Hard Shroud, VoD, ToD Einhander, Elochka, Ferrumrym, Ferrumdermis, Ferrumshot, Ferrumblood, Ferrumender, Ferrumshadow, Ferrumschtik All proud officers of The Loreseekers. Except Bruucelee, he's a Sentinel!

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