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  1. #1
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    Default Swordmage TR Project - Would like some advice and help.

    Hello all, I've been wanting to play on an Swordmage for a while, but I would like a good character for it, so several (2-4+) past lives that would help the swordmage to be better.

    I'd like to know exactly which past lives, and how many everyone thinks I should take for such a project. I've access to every class (except favored souls (WIP)) and have access to every race including Iconics. I am currently VIP for another couple of months, but once this time runs out I do not think I'll be get it back, and at which time I loose access to the Warforged, unless I can spare the TP to buy it.

    Anyways, I'd like to know what possible past lives I might look into, and I have a few questions, such as:

    Is it possible for a melee and mage character to exist?
    How viable might a character be, to have access to spells and melee for dps?
    What ED's might be best to look into, also which twists?
    Would it be viable to level two ED's to max, one for Spells, and one for Melee - and switch out based upon quests and group?
    For such a character, would it be better to go Warforged - Reconstruction/Repair, or Fleshy - Palemaster Death Aura/Negative Burst?
    Without taking feats such as Spell Pen, Spell Focus, Greater Spell Focus - is it possible for a DC caster to be viable? (Finger of Death)
    Which arcane class might be better, Wizard or Sorcerer?
    - Wizard provides 5 additional spell based feats.
    - Sorcerer provides additional spell points and powerful hitting spells (enhancements)
    What feats exactly might be needed for such a character to be successful? List them all please.
    Which might be a better variety of melee dps, Two Weapon, or Two Handed?
    Is it possible for a high melee Two Handed melee DPS to be successful without taking the Two Handed Fighting feats?
    What gear might one need to search for on such a project?
    I understand that with splitting stats between two main focuses reduces the damage/dcs of spells and abilities, but is it possible to use the secondary to counteract this reduced damage?
    What variety of classes might best provide me with the following:
    - high melee dps
    - moderate-high spell dps
    - survivablity
    - self healing
    How many lives, and which Tomes might be required to make such a character successful?

  2. #2
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    Currently I am looking into the following past lives:

    Sorcerer - +1 Evo DC, +20 Spell Points
    Barbarian - +10 Hit Points
    Wizard - +2 Spell Penetration
    Fighter - +1 Attack, +1 Tactical DCs
    Favored Soul - +1 Spell Pen, +20 Spell Points
    Monk - +1 Damage

    Will possibly go with additional Favored Soul, Wizard and Sorcerer lives, for the added Evocation DC, Spell Points, and Spell Penetration that the 3 provide, to try and boost the damage my offensive spells can do, the Fighter, Barbarian and Monks, Attack, Damage and Hit Points aren't as needed, so undecided if I'll go with extra's on them.

    For the final character, I'm looking into Warforged 17 Wizard, 2 Fighter, 1 Artificer (+6 Bonus Feats, UMD or Trapping, Repeating Crossbows (Ranged backup))

    Or Warforged 17 Wizard, 2 Monk, 1 Fighter (+7 Bonus feats, Evasion)

    Leaning a little more towards the first, although even if I max UMD every level, I would only end up with 23 UMD, 25 with the Artificer's +2 to scrolls. So I do not know if this would be enough to manage a UMD high enough for Heal Scrolls (to heal others) I wouldn't be concerned with myself to much since I would have access to Reconstruct as a spell, and as scrolls, especially if I can spare a few AP to dump into scroll boosts. (Artificer/Eldritch tree)

    For the spells, if I can manage a high enough spell pen + spell DC... I'd look into CC based spells mostly, or spells like Finger of Death, and a few offensive casting spells. The offensive casting spells would be limited, due to the limited spell points of being a wizard, and limited further by not maxing out Int.

    Statwise, if I can find +4 Tomes:

    STR: 16 +4 Tome +3 Level = 23
    Dex: 12 +4 Tome = 16
    Con: 16 +4 Tome = 20
    Int: 18 + 4 Tome +4 level = 24
    Wis: 6 +4 Tome = 10
    Cha: 6 +4 Tome = 10

    This is without items, pots, buffs, or anything else that'd boost. I could do some research and be able to figure out exactly how high the str, con and int can be.. but would take me some time.

    ED: Legendary Dreadnaught (Melee dps)
    Twists: Penetrating Spellcraft, Energy Burst, Rejuvenation Cocoon

    ED: Draconic Incarnation/Shiradi Champion (Spell dps)
    Twists: Lay Waste, Momentum Swing, Rejuvenation Cocoon

    Will be looking more into the final build as I go, but in general.. the past lives are listed above.

    If anyone has anything to add.. please do so.

  3. #3
    Community Member Phidius's Avatar
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    First, let me start with the caveat that I haven't been playing DDO very much, and I'm sure the game has changed quite a bit from when I was playing like a meth addict.

    The worst case scenario, though, is that someone with more recent knowledge will jump all over my post correcting all of my errors, which is a positive thing for you

    I've played 2 different types of "Swordmages".

    1. WF 17 Wiz/2 Monk/1 Rog (Artificer would have been better) - Starting Int of 18, and every single level up into Int, as a successful save on their part means frustration on mine.
    2. WF 12 Wiz/6 Ranger/2 Rog - Starting Int of 16 (for skill points), starting Str of 16, and every single level up into Str. Doesn't cast spells with a save or spell pen check.

    The #1 used to be fun to play, but with the changes to the game since around DDO:EU was released, I've just not been excited to play him.
    The #2 is by far my most favorite character, and the only one that keeps drawing me back to the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicBlade View Post
    ...
    For the final character, I'm looking into Warforged 17 Wizard, 2 Fighter, 1 Artificer (+6 Bonus Feats, UMD or Trapping, Repeating Crossbows (Ranged backup))

    Or Warforged 17 Wizard, 2 Monk, 1 Fighter (+7 Bonus feats, Evasion)
    ...
    Without seeing how you plan to spend the 2 fighter bonus feats, I can't be positive, but I'd highly recommend the 2nd version. Evasion with a high-reflex toon is simply too sweet to pass up, especially if you're passing up the +4 to Int you could get if you were going with 20 Wizard. Improved Evasion is pretty dang nice too

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicBlade View Post
    ...
    Leaning a little more towards the first, although even if I max UMD every level, I would only end up with 23 UMD, 25 with the Artificer's +2 to scrolls. So I do not know if this would be enough to manage a UMD high enough for Heal Scrolls (to heal others) I wouldn't be concerned with myself to much since I would have access to Reconstruct as a spell, and as scrolls, especially if I can spare a few AP to dump into scroll boosts. (Artificer/Eldritch tree)
    ...
    My builds above dumped Charisma and have 23 ranks in UMD. They can throw Heal Scrolls without fail, but they're pretty decked out in gear.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicBlade View Post
    ...
    For the spells, if I can manage a high enough spell pen + spell DC... I'd look into CC based spells mostly, or spells like Finger of Death, and a few offensive casting spells. The offensive casting spells would be limited, due to the limited spell points of being a wizard, and limited further by not maxing out Int.

    Statwise, if I can find +4 Tomes:

    STR: 16 +4 Tome +3 Level = 23
    Dex: 12 +4 Tome = 16
    Con: 16 +4 Tome = 20
    Int: 18 + 4 Tome +4 level = 24
    Wis: 6 +4 Tome = 10
    Cha: 6 +4 Tome = 10

    This is without items, pots, buffs, or anything else that'd boost. I could do some research and be able to figure out exactly how high the str, con and int can be.. but would take me some time.
    ...
    Edit: I don't see the point in splitting your level-ups between Strength and Int. If you are going to want to land spells with DCs, you are going to want to get every +1 to your spell DCs that you can. Getting an additional +2 to hit/damage is inconsequential unless mobs are failing their saves on a roll of 20.

    Your lower spell point pool will be more due to only have 17 levels of wizard (840 base) versus 20 levels of wizard (1125 base), not your lower int. At level 17 Wizard, you only get an additional 26 spell points for every 2 points in Intelligence...

    I would argue that your Dex of 12 is a waste of points when it comes to a build that is supposed to melee/cast. Dex helps your Open Lock and Ranged to-hit - not worth the build points. Your Reflex save should absolutely be based on your Int, as you absolutely should be taking the feat Insightful Reflexes. Did I say "absolutely" yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicBlade View Post
    ...
    Is it possible for a melee and mage character to exist?
    How viable might a character be, to have access to spells and melee for dps?
    ...
    Possible? Definitely. Viable? That is going to depend on the person you ask. I've been extremely happy with my #2 build, while disappointed with my #1 build.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicBlade View Post
    ...
    What ED's might be best to look into, also which twists?
    Would it be viable to level two ED's to max, one for Spells, and one for Melee - and switch out based upon quests and group?
    ...
    I would imagine that with the build you are aiming for, you'd want to stay in Magister for the Spell Penetration/DCs. I haven't leveled up any Epic Destiny on my #1, so I can't really give you any information that you couldn't find on the DDO Wiki. Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicBlade View Post
    ...
    For such a character, would it be better to go Warforged - Reconstruction/Repair, or Fleshy - Palemaster Death Aura/Negative Burst?
    ...
    With only 17 Wiz levels, I'd vote for Warforged. If you had 18 Wiz levels, it might be worth getting the ability to use Lich form.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicBlade View Post
    ...
    Without taking feats such as Spell Pen, Spell Focus, Greater Spell Focus - is it possible for a DC caster to be viable? (Finger of Death)
    Which arcane class might be better, Wizard or Sorcerer?
    - Wizard provides 5 additional spell based feats.
    - Sorcerer provides additional spell points and powerful hitting spells (enhancements)
    ...
    You'll be limiting your DCs by not going 20 Wizard - you need every Spell Pen and DC point you can get your hands on.

    A melee caster doesn't worry about spell points - they worry about getting the Torc and reducing the amount of damage from each hit they take.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicBlade View Post
    ...
    What feats exactly might be needed for such a character to be successful? List them all please.
    ...
    I can't say for sure what they all are, but they should include the following.

    Insightful Reflexes
    Quicken - Wizard
    Spell Penetration
    Greater Spell Penetration
    Epic Spell Penetration
    Spell Focus: [School] - Wizard
    Greater Spell Focus: [School]
    Epic Spell Focus [School]
    Extend - Wizard
    Maximize - Wizard
    Power Attack - Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicBlade View Post
    ...
    Which might be a better variety of melee dps, Two Weapon, or Two Handed?
    Is it possible for a high melee Two Handed melee DPS to be successful without taking the Two Handed Fighting feats?
    ...
    In the old days, my #1 build used a Great Axe without THF feats and did OK. More recently, he switched to Monk and used handwraps without the TWF feats, but mostly to be able to stay in Earth stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicBlade View Post
    ...
    What gear might one need to search for on such a project?
    I understand that with splitting stats between two main focuses reduces the damage/dcs of spells and abilities, but is it possible to use the secondary to counteract this reduced damage?
    ...
    I think the only must-have piece is the Torc of Prince Raiyum-de II. The Docent of Defiance used to be a must-have for me, but when I actually play DDO, I rarely equip it.

    My #1 build above used shattermantle wraps of roaring to reduce the spell resistance and saves of mobs, but didn't spend any build points or feats on getting TWF. That's the only way I can think of to use Strength to supplement spell casting.

    Edit: You can use your Intelligence to supplement your melee damage. Cast "Hold Monster", "Power Word Stun", or "Flesh To Stone" and get +50% melee/spell damage while the mob is helpless.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicBlade View Post
    ...
    What variety of classes might best provide me with the following:
    - high melee dps
    - moderate-high spell dps
    - survivablity
    - self healing
    How many lives, and which Tomes might be required to make such a character successful?
    ...
    If you mean "high melee dps compared to a true melee" and "moderate-high spell dps compared to a true caster", I don't have any answers for you. My #2 build above has been a blast to play, and that has nothing to do with his melee/spell DPS in comparison to other builds.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Phidius; 01-06-2014 at 12:02 PM.
    "I require a reminder as to why raining arcane destruction is not an appropriate response to all of life's indignities" - Vaarsuvius, OoTS #674

  4. #4
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    Try Dwarf, 18 Wizard with either 2 Rogue or 2 Monk, Rogue for traps, Monk for 2 more feats.

    Your main stat is Intelligence and secondary stat is Constitution, and Strength for Power Attack.

    You'll gain access to Lich form, which "while in this form, you gain +4 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma, +1 to DCs of your Necromancy spells, and occasionally gain temporary hit points when damaged." If you choose to take Tier 5 Improved Shrouding, you gain 2 more Intelligence and 10 Negative Energy Spellpower.

    Spend 18 AP in Dwarf tree to take Throw Your Weight Around, and you can use Master's Touch to give yourself Axe or Pick/Hammer proficiency.

    This also solves your VIP problem with Warforged.

    This build with 2 rogue, does traps, has evasion, has self-healing, high Necromancy DCs, high hp, decent melee damage, and is essentially F2P.

  5. #5
    Community Member Draeqo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phidius View Post
    ...
    You'll be limiting your DCs by not going 20 Wizard - you need every Spell Pen and DC point you can get your hands on.
    ...
    Ahum, no, just your Spell Penetration...
    The spell DC's depend on your casting stat modifier, i.e. INT for Wizard and CHA for Sorcerer.

    SR (Spell penetration to overcome SR): 1d20+caster level+spell penetration bonuses (Includes Feats, Enhancements, Epic Destinies, and Items.)
    http://ddowiki.com/page/Spell_resistance

    DC (evocation, but also Will saves etc): 10 + Spell Level + Casting Stat Modifier + Items + Feats = DC
    http://ddowiki.com/page/DC


    You could go Wizard 12 / Ranger 6 / Rogue 2 and still have same DC on spells that only have a DC check as a L20 Wizard or Sorcerer ...
    If you max INT and put all your ability increases into it.
    So you just will not be able to land anything that has a SR check first (such as Enchantment or most Necro spells), but you can use evocation

    Quote Originally Posted by Phidius View Post
    ...
    If you mean "high melee dps compared to a true melee" and "moderate-high spell dps compared to a true caster", I don't have any answers for you. My #2 build above has been a blast to play, and that has nothing to do with his melee/spell DPS in comparison to other builds.
    Agree. If you max your STR you will still be only a moderatey effictive melee and you will hurt your spell casting even more (by now also lowering your DC's on the non-SR spells). The melee effectiveness can be helped a bit by Eldritch Knight, but IMHO not enough to be high melee dps. Perhaps OK.

    IMHO better to keep focusing on INT and focus on evocation spells, certainly if you splash more than a few levels outside wizard. The more levels of wizard that you trade for something else, the more higher levels spells you will miss. But the non-SR spells that you have will be just as effective as a wizzy with same INT but more levels.

    Wizard 12/Ranger 6/Rogue 2 with Arcane Archer, Archmage & Eldritch Knight has evasion, good reflex saves with insightfull reflexes, can do traps, can use spells without penality in light armor (EK), can do TWF (if high enough DEX, and use imbued swords if EK) & use paralyzing arrows at Rng L4 (while still having another active imbue on his arrows from EK), slaying arrows at Rng L6 and can do evocation quite well thank you.
    You stun them with Sonic Blast, Electric Loop and Paralyzing Arrows, perhaps toss a Firewall for effect and then mop them up with TWF shocking swords .

    And you can select Shiradi as 1st ED even on a 1st life character (due to 6 levels of Ranger), at which time you switch whatever wizard specialisation you had into evocation for the MM SLA's.

    It sure is fun

  6. #6
    Community Member Phidius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draeqo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Phidius View Post
    ...
    You'll be limiting your DCs by not going 20 Wizard - you need every Spell Pen and DC point you can get your hands on.
    ...
    Ahum, no, just your Spell Penetration...
    The spell DC's depend on your casting stat modifier, i.e. INT for Wizard and CHA for Sorcerer.

    SR (Spell penetration to overcome SR): 1d20+caster level+spell penetration bonuses (Includes Feats, Enhancements, Epic Destinies, and Items.)
    http://ddowiki.com/page/Spell_resistance

    DC (evocation, but also Will saves etc): 10 + Spell Level + Casting Stat Modifier + Items + Feats = DC
    http://ddowiki.com/page/DC


    You could go Wizard 12 / Ranger 6 / Rogue 2 and still have same DC on spells that only have a DC check as a L20 Wizard or Sorcerer ...
    If you max INT and put all your ability increases into it.
    So you just will not be able to land anything that has a SR check first (such as Enchantment or most Necro spells), but you can use evocation
    My comment about "limiting your DCs" was about the +2 Int from "Master of Magic" (20 Wiz in Archmage tree), or "Master of Death" (20 Wiz in Palemaster tree).

    In addition, the feat "Heighten" means that all of a 20Wizard's spell are cast at spell level 9 for the purposes of the DC check, versus the spell level 6 for a Wizard 12.
    "I require a reminder as to why raining arcane destruction is not an appropriate response to all of life's indignities" - Vaarsuvius, OoTS #674

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