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  1. #1
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    Default Snemeis - Ranged Warchanter

    Hello folks!

    I was planning the next life for my beloved Snemeis, and it came to my mind that I never played bard. So what the heck, let's play a bard!
    Well, I know nothing about bards, but I do know how I like to play my toon, so here are the requisites for the build:

    1. Must have a good (not necessarely uber) DPS
    2. Must have a working evasion
    3. Must be a working toon on the level range 1-20 (I'll TR as I get to level 20)

    With all these new enhancements I wanted to try a ranged build, because I never played them and it seems kinda fun now.
    So this is my first hypothesis for a DEX based AA Warchanter bard-rogue elf.

    It's brd16/rog2/ftr2, and I think it is missing a lot of stuff, therefor I'll absolutely need your advice.

    Code:
    Character Plan by DDO Character Planner Version 04.19.03
    DDO Character Planner Home Page
    
    Snemeis Ranged Warchanter
    Level 20 True Neutral Elf Male
    (2 Fighter \ 2 Rogue \ 16 Bard) 
    Hit Points: 260
    Spell Points: 570 
    BAB: 15\15\20\25\25
    Fortitude: 11
    Reflex: 24
    Will: 14
    
                      Starting          Feat/Enhancement
    Abilities        Base Stats          Modified Stats
    (36 Point)       (Level 1)             (Level 20)
    Strength              8                    11
    Dexterity            20                    32
    Constitution         14                    17
    Intelligence          8                    11
    Wisdom                8                    12
    Charisma             16                    19
    
    Tomes Used
    +1 Tome of Strength used at level 3
    +1 Tome of Dexterity used at level 3
    +1 Tome of Constitution used at level 3
    +1 Tome of Intelligence used at level 3
    +1 Tome of Wisdom used at level 3
    +1 Tome of Charisma used at level 3
    +2 Tome of Strength used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Dexterity used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Constitution used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Intelligence used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Wisdom used at level 7
    +2 Tome of Charisma used at level 7
    +3 Tome of Strength used at level 11
    +3 Tome of Dexterity used at level 11
    +3 Tome of Constitution used at level 11
    +3 Tome of Intelligence used at level 11
    +3 Tome of Wisdom used at level 11
    +3 Tome of Charisma used at level 11
    +4 Tome of Wisdom used at level 15
    
                      Starting          Feat/Enhancement
                     Base Skills         Modified Skills
    Skills           (Level 1)            (Level 20)
    Balance               5                    11
    Bluff                 3                     4
    Concentration         2                     3
    Diplomacy             3                     4
    Disable Device        3                    26
    Haggle                3                     4
    Heal                 -1                     1
    Hide                  8                    16
    Intimidate            3                     4
    Jump                  3                     7
    Listen               -1                     6
    Move Silently         5                    11
    Open Lock             9                    19
    Perform               n/a                  24
    Repair               -1                     3
    Search                3                    19
    Spellcraft           -1                     0
    Spot                  3                    11
    Swim                 -1                     0
    Tumble                6                    12
    Use Magic Device      7                    27
    
    Level 1 (Rogue)
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Barbarian
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Favored Soul
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Fighter
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Paladin
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Ranger
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Rogue
    Feat: (Past Life) Past Life: Wizard
    Feat: (Selected) Toughness
    
    
    Level 2 (Rogue)
    
    
    Level 3 (Fighter)
    Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Point Blank Shot
    Feat: (Selected) Rapid Shot
    
    
    Level 4 (Fighter)
    Ability Raise: DEX
    Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Precise Shot
    
    
    Level 5 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 6 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Force of Personality
    
    
    Level 7 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 8 (Bard)
    Ability Raise: DEX
    
    
    Level 9 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Manyshot
    
    
    Level 10 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 11 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 12 (Bard)
    Ability Raise: DEX
    Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Ranged Weapons
    
    
    Level 13 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 14 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 15 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Improved Precise Shot
    
    
    Level 16 (Bard)
    Ability Raise: DEX
    
    
    Level 17 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 18 (Bard)
    Feat: (Selected) Extend Spell
    
    
    Level 19 (Bard)
    
    
    Level 20 (Bard)
    Ability Raise: DEX
    Enhancement: Elf - Elven Accuracy (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Elven Dexterity (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Elven Accuracy (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Elven Dexterity (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Elven Accuracy (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Keen Senses (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Keen Senses (Rank 2)
    Enhancement: Elf - Keen Senses (Rank 3)
    Enhancement: Elf - Aerenal Weapon Training (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Nothing is Hidden (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Nothing is Hidden (Rank 2)
    Enhancement: Elf - Nothing is Hidden (Rank 3)
    Enhancement: Elf - Aerenal Weapon Training (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Arcanum (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Aerenal Weapon Training (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Arcane Archer (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Aerenal Grace (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Elf - Aerenal Weapon Training (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Mechanic (Rog) - Arbalester (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Mechanic (Rog) - Mechanics (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Mechanic (Rog) - Mechanics (Rank 2)
    Enhancement: Mechanic (Rog) - Mechanics (Rank 3)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Arcane Archer (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Morphic Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Metalline Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Aligned Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Conjure Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Corrosive Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Force Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Force Arrows (Rank 2)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Force Arrows (Rank 3)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Frost Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Terror Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Terror Arrows (Rank 2)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Terror Arrows (Rank 3)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Flaming Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Dexterity (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Banishing Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Paralyzing  Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Paralyzing  Arrows (Rank 2)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Paralyzing  Arrows (Rank 3)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Smiting Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Shock Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Dexterity (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Moonbow (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Arrow of Slaying (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Improved Elemental Arrows (Rank 1)
    Enhancement: Arcane Archer (Elf) - Runebow (Rank 1)
    My main concerns are:
    1. I do not have enough AP to actually take the whole archer tree and warchanter tree, and I do not know what is really useful inside there, so I couldn't reason on the tradeoffs.
    2. I do not have enough skill points to maximize the rogue stuff. I never had UMD on any toon and I play just fine, but with this toon I thought it was nice to try. Even so, having UMD kills out search and disable device, which might be even more useful.

    What do you guys think? How would you improve this?

    Thanks for the feedback.

  2. #2
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    As much as I like DEX-based builds - heck, I just posted one! - I have to admit I think it's something of a trap. There's just way more STR bonuses than DEX in DDO - inc. Rage spell & Skaldic Rage, so any bard can get +6 STR right off the bat - also it forces you to invest APs into DEX-to-dmg enhs like elven Grace, rogue Dagger in the Back, or rgr Tempest.

    As for AAs: as you've discovered, if you invest in the racial AA line, it chews up most of your APs; at least 14 APs to unlock the racial tree and over 30 APs into the PrE itself (presuming you want Slaying Arrows, at least). So the first question: do you really want to invest that heavily into AA in the first place? A few rgr lvls gain you access to a lot of the "low-hanging fruit" in the AA tree while saving a bunch of APs for other things. It also opens up DWS, which has a few useful perks, like extra sneak atk and Pos Spellpower.

  3. #3
    Community Member Chai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    As much as I like DEX-based builds - heck, I just posted one! - I have to admit I think it's something of a trap. There's just way more STR bonuses than DEX in DDO - inc. Rage spell & Skaldic Rage, so any bard can get +6 STR right off the bat - also it forces you to invest APs into DEX-to-dmg enhs like elven Grace, rogue Dagger in the Back, or rgr Tempest.
    Depends why they want the dex. If it is JUST for the damage, its a trap. DEX to damage does allow new players to focus on less stats in order to pump a smaller number of stats higher. Pumping dex is also better for reflex save if going for evasion.

    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    As for AAs: as you've discovered, if you invest in the racial AA line, it chews up most of your APs; at least 14 APs to unlock the racial tree and over 30 APs into the PrE itself (presuming you want Slaying Arrows, at least). So the first question: do you really want to invest that heavily into AA in the first place? A few rgr lvls gain you access to a lot of the "low-hanging fruit" in the AA tree while saving a bunch of APs for other things. It also opens up DWS, which has a few useful perks, like extra sneak atk and Pos Spellpower.
    Does the bard want to melee and have a ranged manyshot burst, or is it a full time bow user.
    Advocating repeated nerfs in the name of "balancing the game" then complaining about how DDO is moving away from D&D, is a direct contradiction in logic - D&D 3.5 (what DDO is based on) is not a balanced game. We can either have a balanced clone MMO with homogenized classes, or we can have a D&D game. We cant have both.

  4. #4
    Community Member AzB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chai View Post
    Depends why they want the dex. If it is JUST for the damage, its a trap. DEX to damage does allow new players to focus on less stats in order to pump a smaller number of stats higher. Pumping dex is also better for reflex save if going for evasion.



    Does the bard want to melee and have a ranged manyshot burst, or is it a full time bow user.
    Just for TR'ing, I use that Gnoll bow that automatically grants str to damage. With no other archery feats, I get the same damage with a bow that I get with a two hander. That is to say, not a lot, but at least it's not worse. For traps, you can give dex a minor boost and then maybe use something like Parasitic breastplate with the +10 reflex saves. With GH and skills boost, that should get you into the low 40s reflex if you don't completely dump dex.

    But yeah, it's a compromise. You can't have it all.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chai View Post
    Does the bard want to melee and have a ranged manyshot burst, or is it a full time bow user.
    It will be a full time archer in my intents.
    I tend to like Dex based toons because I want good evasion, and I find it hard to achieve it on a casting toon with a maxed out str.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    As much as I like DEX-based builds - heck, I just posted one! - I have to admit I think it's something of a trap. There's just way more STR bonuses than DEX in DDO - inc. Rage spell & Skaldic Rage, so any bard can get +6 STR right off the bat - also it forces you to invest APs into DEX-to-dmg enhs like elven Grace, rogue Dagger in the Back, or rgr Tempest.
    What you're saying here is interesting: in a fully buffed condition, will a toon with Dex maxed out have a higher str than Dex?
    This is kinda important to know, because I want and need an uber evasion, but still it will be a dps toon...

  7. #7
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fedechicco View Post
    What you're saying here is interesting: in a fully buffed condition, will a toon with Dex maxed out have a higher str than Dex?
    STR bonuses off the top of my head: Skaldic Rage (+4), Rage spell (+2), Divine Might (+CHA), barb Rage (at least +4), Ram's Might (+2), Madstone Boots (+4), Titan's Grip (+6), Primal Scream (+5 - doesn't stack w/Rage spell, IIRC).

    Naturally, you won't necessarily have all of those on your build, but as a bard you'll have the first two, at least; and the last three come from gear or EDs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    STR bonuses off the top of my head: Skaldic Rage (+4), Rage spell (+2), Divine Might (+CHA), barb Rage (at least +4), Ram's Might (+2), Madstone Boots (+4), Titan's Grip (+6), Primal Scream (+5 - doesn't stack w/Rage spell, IIRC).

    Naturally, you won't necessarily have all of those on your build, but as a bard you'll have the first two, at least; and the last three come from gear or EDs.
    Yeah, in fact I see more than a couple that I won't be able to use in the list:
    Divine Might is not available for Bard/Rogue/Fighter/Ranger, which are the classes we were considering,
    Barb rage and Madstone are not good for a bard which wants to cast now and then,
    Titan's Grip is available only after lvl18, which is too much end game for me (at level 20 i'll TR)
    Primal Scream is epic stuff. I understand there is a bug which causes it to be usable at lower levels, but I don't have that ED anyway, so it's out of the question.

    Just out of curiosity I tried to modify the build in order to make it STR based, and I finally get this:

    STR: 18 start + 5 level ups + 2 warchanter + 4 skaldic + 2 rage spell + 2 ram's might = 33 STR (+ tomes and items, but those are the same for DEX)

    The same DEX based makes:
    DEX: 20 start + 5 level ups + 2 elven + 2 AA = 29 DEX (+ tomes and items)

    DEX gives me a loss of 2 dmg per hit with sustainable buffs, but I lose a lot in reflexes and I get even more issues when talking about AP.

    I don't know if it is worth it, for 2 dmgs per hit.

  9. #9
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    True, much depends on how you structure your build. If you won't have access to barb Rage or Divine Might, that lessens the appeal of going STR-based; though again any bard will have +6 STR almost right off the bat (Skaldic + Rage spell). Likewise if you plan to TR once you hit 20 again, thus EDs and epic gear don't matter. Still, another disadvantage of going DEX-based is you have to spend at least 18 APs in elf tree for Grace; between that and AA tree, you don't have enough APs to pick up the better stuff from bard trees.

    Plus one disadvantage shared by all bardchers is: what do you do while Manyshot is on cooldown? You can keep plinking away with your bow, ofc, and can cycle thru the special atks from AA; but your DPS will still be subpar. So I like to have a good melee option on my bardcher builds; and given the APs you spend on Aerenal, TWF w/rapiers is a natural fit. But even a humble staff can be useful if you pick up Acrobat (+15% atk speed, DEX to dmg) and a couple of melee feats.

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