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  1. #1
    Community Member Mennion's Avatar
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    Aug 2011

    Default Assassin life 2, to splash or not to splash

    I have recently TR'd my Halfling Rogue Assassin and sailed through to Level 12 on an Elite streak but feel progress is slowing. I enjoy playing a stealth rogue but wondered of the benefits of splashing a couple of levels of another class?

    I took the past life sneak of shadows feat but wonder about the usefulness of this at higher levels?

    Any advice would be much appreciated, Thank you.
    "i have of late, though wherefore i know not, lost all my mirth"

    Mennion - Tallib - Hannse - Pathfinder Society on Cannith

  2. #2
    2016 DDO Players Council PsychoBlonde's Avatar
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    Feb 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by Mennion View Post
    I have recently TR'd my Halfling Rogue Assassin and sailed through to Level 12 on an Elite streak but feel progress is slowing. I enjoy playing a stealth rogue but wondered of the benefits of splashing a couple of levels of another class?

    I took the past life sneak of shadows feat but wonder about the usefulness of this at higher levels?

    Any advice would be much appreciated, Thank you.
    +1 skills is pretty much not valuable enough to spend a feat on it at ANY level. That being said, splashing on a planned assassin build is also probably not a good idea as you live and die by your assassinate DC at higher levels and fewer rogue levels = lower dc.

    A good leveling build in DDO is not the same thing as a good endgame build. Some great endgame builds are absolutely murder to level. I almost had a fit of apoplexy when I got stuck in a party with a clueless wizard who was trying to play his low-level character as if he was running a Shiradi build. That's a good build at high levels because those sad little magic missiles they spam proc OTHER big damage effects. If you don't have ACCESS to that stuff, you need to spec for what you DO have access to. Otherwise you will contribute, well, nothing.

    Anyway, aside from assassinate, a rogue's big asset is sneak attack damage, which is somewhat limited in that it doesn't work on everything and even the stuff it does work on requires certain conditions. So, here's some questions to ask yourself to help narrow down your problems a bit:

    1. Am I having trouble getting sneak attack damage?

    If the answer to this is yes, you can do a few things to fix it:
    • Get a Deception item (either a random gen weapon or one of the named items that has Improved Deception on it--most of those are slightly above your level, though. Probably the easiest to get is the Golden Guile and it's level 17. A lower level one (13) is the upgraded Ring of Lies from The Reaver's Fate, but since that's raid loot it's much harder to get. You can also get the short sword Treason from the same raid which has the same property. So a random lootgen item (easily obtained off the Auction House) is probably the way to go.
    • Use the Bluff skill and/or the Improved Feint feat (which also requires Combat Expertise for no reason anyone can discern). This is somewhat problematic because Bluff has a channel time and is single-target and Improved Feint is currently borked for all weapons aside from handwraps, which you really need to take Monk levels to use effectively. This is not the best option but it is AN option. The Bluff skill can be used at range to pull single mobs away from groups, which is a big value to a rogue.
    • Get an item that inflicts stat drain or blindness--these aren't readily available at low levels any more, but mobs with a 0 in a stat are helpless and you automatically get sneak attack against them (plus they can't hit you back). Blind mobs have 50% chance to miss all their attacks and you get automatic sneak attack.
    • quest with a buddy and stay in stealth mode until he gets aggro
    • it's also valuable to note that some mobs have fortification which makes them resistant to sneak attacks (particularly at higher levels), in which case the Precision feat can make a big difference for you.
    • if you take monk levels and have a decent wisdom and find an item to boost the DC (on random lootgen it's currently borked so that items that say they give TRIP dc actually give STUNNING dc and vice versa) you can use stunning fist with handwraps. This is highly effective but you do need monk levels and you will need to invest in it a bit.

    2. Am I taking way too much damage?

    If the answer to this is yes, there are some things you can do to fix it:
    • what does your dodge rating look like? Rogues get bonus dodge from the Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge abilities. If you take the Dodge feat it ought to be pretty simple to get maximum dodge. -25% damage is a lot less damage.
    • AC: it's not just for tanks any more. A good AC can increase your survivability enormously. Personally, I consider anything less than a 50 to mean that you're just not trying--if I can hit that on a pure con/str barbarian, ANYBODY can get a 50 AC on ANY toon. It's really not that hard, particularly since ALL the bonuses you need are available easily on random lootgen items that you can buy off the auction house for peanuts. You should, at minimum, have the best suit of light armor you can get, +5 deflection bonus (listed as a 'protection' item), +5 natural armor, +4 shield (from UMD on wands of Shield--you need like 3 ranks in UMD to use these and they are cheap and last 5 minutes so if you're not keeping this spell up at all times you're being bad, also it makes you immune to magic missiles), parrying if you can get it (run the Wheloon chain on heroic difficulty as soon as you can and you can get a +4 AC/saves item--guardian's bracers--with a surprisingly low minimum level)
    • Saving throws: are your saving throws low? Do you have a +5 resistance item on yet? Low saves means more damage (along with sundry other unpleasantness). Heroism potions or scrolls of Greater Heroism can also help with saving throws, not to mention a Parrying item and a Good Luck item--all of those stack together. If Reflex is your ONLY decent save, you're going to spend a lot of time stoned/blind/held/etc. and get whalloped for massive amounts of damage. Getting a Parasitic Breastplate when you can (from the Harbinger of Madness chain) can help with this because you can slap a +10 to a single saving throw on that puppy.
    • Fortitfication: do you have 100% or better fortification? If not, starting very soon you're going to find yourself getting mashed by monsters with extreme prejudice. Get an item immediately if you don't have one.

    3. Am I not healing myself enough?

    At minimum, you should be able to use wands with Use Magic Device--heal scrolls are harder but not undoable, although you probably should have waited to TR until you had a +6 cha skills item out of the shroud.

    4. Am I pulling too much aggro?

    Use your stealth. Bluff-pull enemies so you can tackle them one or two at a time. Or just sneak past ones you don't have to kill.

    5. Are my HP too low?

    You should have on a hit point greensteel item (45 bonus hp), a vitality item (variable but at least 20 hp usually), and a false life item (25 or better at your level). Oh, you didn't pick up an HP item before you TR'd? GET ONE BEFORE YOU TR AGAIN. In addition, make sure you have the biggest constitution item you can find. You can also UMD Tenser's Transformation scrolls to help you out, although the duration on them is short.

    If you've resolved ALL of those problems to the best of your ability and you're STILL having trouble (or find the necessary rogue playstyle not to your liking--you can't just CHAERG everything and expect it to work out, you gotta play smart), THEN it's time to consider multiclassing, but be careful. Unless you've planned out your multi you will probably gimp yourself even worse and just make it that much harder to finish out. The two things I'd recommend are:

    Take at least two artificer levels and switch to using a repeating crossbow and a runearm. Respec your feats for range (point blank shot, rapid shot, precise shot, and improved precise shot are good ideas--you get rapid reload from the arti levels for free). The crossbow will keep you at range, the arti levels let you conjure bolts, and the Mechanic tree lets you add your intelligence to damage. With a decent Deception crossbow you can do some serious damage without getting beat down all the time.

    Take ONE druid level and AT LEAST 4 monk levels and switch to a staff build. Get power attack, cleave, and great cleave and stack your enhancement points into the staff damage on Thief-acrobat and Henshin Mystic. Ninja spy is superior to assassin--you can pick up the sneak attack damage and the other abilities in the tree are better for a staff-wielder, although you can always get at least some of assassin to up your sneak attack even more. You can do this equally well on a strength or dex build (although you need a 13 base strength to get power attack--if you can't do it, skip this option you will just not have enough basic damage to make it viable). Druid lets you use healing wands without UMD--always useful if you haven't invested properly. It also gets you the shillelagh spell which gives you extra staff damage, and you can summon a pet that can pull levers for you. The main drawback to this build is that your weapon gets damaged SUPERMEGAFAST. At later levels you probably won't be able to finish a quest without getting "YOUR WEAPON IS WORN!!!" announcements or even breaking the thing.

    Or, get 6 monk levels, use handwraps, pick up stunning fist. You can't use dex-to-damage with handwraps, so aiming for more strength is helpful but not necessary. Again, spec heavily into the Ninja Spy tree.

    Those are pretty much the most straightforward options. None of the other classes will greatly improve your situation at this point if you find you just can't hack it on a straight assassin.
    Thelanis player: Lehren (heroic/epic completionist), Kimberlei (heroic/epic completionist), Natheme, Daiahn, Arrekeh

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