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  1. #1
    Community Member Ralmeth's Avatar
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    Default Pure vs. 18 Cleric/2 FVS Light based Evoker

    I'm leveling up my first Cleric as a light based Divine Disciple (DD), with a focus on nuking with light and fire based spells. Currently I'm at 18th and am surprised how much I like the build. Generally speaking, I plan on playing up through epic hard quests, and don't expect to do any EE stuff (my play time is limited). I also don't expect to do any heavy raiding. Anyways, would it be better to go pure for the capstone or do a 2 FVS splash for the extra crit chance and temp spell points? I've gone through the Cleric sub-forum and haven't really seen a good discussion on this. As I see it, the primary advantages of both options are as follows:

    Pure 20 Cleric
    +2 wisdom
    +1 caster level
    Access to Necro Spells: For single target spells, adding in necrotic ray in the rotation looks nice
    More APs available for Radiant Servant

    18 Cleric / 2 Favored Soul
    +4% crit chance with fire, force & light spells
    10 Temporary Spell points every time you crit with fire, force or light spell
    Extra Spell power via Scourge (I don't expect this to be that big of a deal in practice)

    Thoughts?
    Aryk Stoutheart, Paladin - Sarlona
    Rindyl Twirliblade, Elven Swashbuckler - Sarlona
    Vyyndar Stoutheart, Vanguard Paladin - Argo

  2. #2
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    My current main character faced the same choice. I picked the 18/2 path and it is quite effective. The Just Reward SPs contribute a lot of longevity. Just tons. While my SPs do drain gradually even doing just SLAs the temporary SPs mitigate that quite a bit. So if you are happy with your current casting rotation and just want to be able to do it for longer then I don't think that you will regret that choice if you make it.

    However....

    As you say the APs are tight and I had to make sacrifices on good enhancements to fit everything in. The 2 levels of lost base caster level also are surprisingly noticeable at times; e.g. buffs running out just a little earlier than is convenient (I don't have Extend), and the shorter Positive Energy Auras mean that my Turn expenditures can outpace my regeneration at times.

    FWIW my eyeball treatment makes me think that the splash comes out slightly behind on DPS. The increased caster levels increase base damage before spellpower is included and thus get magnified whereas Scourge has some rough diminishing returns as base spellpower increases. A pure Cleric is 3 caster levels ahead of an 18/2 (2 from levels and one from the DD capstone), which is ~17% improvement if there's no caster level cap in effect, or ~5% on a spell with a low level cap (e.g. Searing Light vs. non-undead). If you are running around with ~300 base Light spellpower and a Lore X item, then Scourge is giving ~5% extra damage on a Max/Emp SLA and ~3% more crits. So the splash version might come out slightly ahead on a couple spells but will fall behind on others, and since there are a lot of spells and SLAs on the list with high caster level caps it "feels" like a slight loss overall. I'd have to spreadsheet that out to be sure though.

    And having the inexpensive stun (& thus +50% DPS on key mobs due to helplessness), multiple negative level effects, and additional AoEs from Dark DiDi would add a lot of capability.

    So maybe it is just a "grass is greener" thing, but if I were to do it again I think I would stay pure Cleric. I am contemplating LRing back to pure to see if my expectations hold.

    FWIW I did try both the T5 RS and T5 DD options and I would highly recommend mixing enhancements to get Tier 5 RS but take the Capstone Core from DiDi. I miss the DC and caster level improvements but the Flame Strike SLA feels anemic because so many foes resist or evade it in the higher level content, whereas I find that the extra survivability of being constantly healed (including through knockdowns and stuns) has saved me repeatedly. However your playstyle may differ from mine.

  3. #3
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Most of the light DiDi SLAs cap at either CL:10 (Searing, Smite) or CL:15 (Flame Strike), so splashing shouldn't affect them; Sunbolt & Blade Barrier also cap at CL:15. Amusingly, Nimbus looks like the only light spell w/no CL cap, albeit only +1 dmg per CL. OTOH, Cometfall is CL:20 and Firestorm, Sunbeam & Sunburst are CL:25. Divine Empowerment & Divine EDs almost make up the difference on the CL:25 spells.

    Apart from the extra Spell Pen, CL & DCs, to me it seems like the real advantage of staying pure cleric are the four extra spells you get from DiDi capstone, which puts more tools in your toolbox. In particular, I find Word of Balance to be a great single-target spell; on my lvl 26 druid I routinely do ~1,200 dmg w/WoB vs CE/LE targets (if I can breach their SR, natch), and that's with crummy first-life gear.

  4. #4
    Community Member Ralmeth's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback Caprice and unbongwah! I had been leaning towards the 2 FVS splash primarily for the spell point regeneration, but after reading your thoughts and thinking about how things might play out in game, it seems like pure would be better. I appreciate it
    Aryk Stoutheart, Paladin - Sarlona
    Rindyl Twirliblade, Elven Swashbuckler - Sarlona
    Vyyndar Stoutheart, Vanguard Paladin - Argo

  5. #5
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    Yes, the DD capstone is really sweet, giving you a ton of new tools in your toolbox. It's probably the only cleric capstone that you can make an argument for staying pure to get. I was level 20 pure cleric DD in my 2nd life and it was a lot of fun (although I also did twf that life too, so I've never had a purely casting based cleric life with all the DC boosts to go with it). Having higher dcs would help a lot in catching those pesky shadar kai in my blade barriers.

  6. #6
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralmeth View Post
    I had been leaning towards the 2 FVS splash primarily for the spell point regeneration, but after reading your thoughts and thinking about how things might play out in game, it seems like pure would be better.
    The pros of splashing FvS on a cleric are basically the same as they are on a wiz / sorc, namely the AoV bonuses. The problem is clerics don't have nearly as many spells as arcanes do which can proc AoV effects; and most of those spells cap at CL:15 or below, making them more DPS-constrained in epics. [Really wish there was a "Light Burst" ability akin to Energy Burst in the revised Exalted Angel tree!]

  7. #7
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    It isn't losing the 2 caster levels from splashing that reduces the effectiveness of most of those spells, it is the +1 max caster level from being pure and taking the DiDi capstone that increases them. So a pure DiDi capstone Cleric gets to cast Flame Strike as CL16, for a direct increase of ~6.6% damage over the splashed Cleric w/o the capstone casting it as CL15.

    Nimbus is only +1 dmg per level but the base damage is only 1d4+4, so an increase from CL18->21 is ~%12 or w/full ED contribution from CL23->26 is ~10%.

    But you're right, I was mostly looking at the granted spells rather than the SLAs when looking at the caster level caps so it is probably more of a wash.

    OTOH there's a brief pause in my SLA rotation right now even including EA's Avenging Light so either I do nothing or I cast some other spell, and I think the Negative DiDi spells are on the whole more useful for that (whereas I consider the Light DiDi SLAs are generally quite superior to the Neg DiDi SLAs). Once the new Divine ED changes add the Sunbolt SLA to EA then I will probably use that to fill the gap when I am in "max effectiveness" destiny, but since 90% of the time I am leveling an off ED or and most of the rest I am in US for survivability, and the new SLA is tier 5 and can't be twisted, I like the idea of having the stuns and negative leveling for filler.

  8. #8
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    P.S. You almost sound like you disapprove of me being able to stun mobs for you to kill.

  9. #9
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    P.S. You almost sound like you disapprove of me being able to stun mobs for you to kill.
    Perish the thought! Anything you do which makes me look better is always welcome.

  10. #10
    Community Member AtomicMew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralmeth View Post
    I'm leveling up my first Cleric as a light based Divine Disciple (DD), with a focus on nuking with light and fire based spells. Currently I'm at 18th and am surprised how much I like the build. Generally speaking, I plan on playing up through epic hard quests, and don't expect to do any EE stuff (my play time is limited). I also don't expect to do any heavy raiding. Anyways, would it be better to go pure for the capstone or do a 2 FVS splash for the extra crit chance and temp spell points? I've gone through the Cleric sub-forum and haven't really seen a good discussion on this. As I see it, the primary advantages of both options are as follows:

    Pure 20 Cleric
    +2 wisdom
    +1 caster level
    Access to Necro Spells: For single target spells, adding in necrotic ray in the rotation looks nice
    More APs available for Radiant Servant

    18 Cleric / 2 Favored Soul
    +4% crit chance with fire, force & light spells
    10 Temporary Spell points every time you crit with fire, force or light spell
    Extra Spell power via Scourge (I don't expect this to be that big of a deal in practice)

    Thoughts?
    Neither. Try 17 clr/2fvs/1 monk

  11. #11
    Community Member Ralmeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    It isn't losing the 2 caster levels from splashing that reduces the effectiveness of most of those spells, it is the +1 max caster level from being pure and taking the DiDi capstone that increases them. So a pure DiDi capstone Cleric gets to cast Flame Strike as CL16, for a direct increase of ~6.6% damage over the splashed Cleric w/o the capstone casting it as CL15.

    Nimbus is only +1 dmg per level but the base damage is only 1d4+4, so an increase from CL18->21 is ~%12 or w/full ED contribution from CL23->26 is ~10%.

    But you're right, I was mostly looking at the granted spells rather than the SLAs when looking at the caster level caps so it is probably more of a wash.

    OTOH there's a brief pause in my SLA rotation right now even including EA's Avenging Light so either I do nothing or I cast some other spell, and I think the Negative DiDi spells are on the whole more useful for that (whereas I consider the Light DiDi SLAs are generally quite superior to the Neg DiDi SLAs). Once the new Divine ED changes add the Sunbolt SLA to EA then I will probably use that to fill the gap when I am in "max effectiveness" destiny, but since 90% of the time I am leveling an off ED or and most of the rest I am in US for survivability, and the new SLA is tier 5 and can't be twisted, I like the idea of having the stuns and negative leveling for filler.
    /Agreed. It seems like the increase to your max caster level combined with access to the extra spells could lead to a higher DPS, which will be needed in epics. I like the idea of adding necrotic ray to my single target spell rotation as it has a high max caster level and the level drain will be nice too, and knowing word of balance is good I'll throw that in too, though I was hoping to avoid having to slot negative spell power somewhere. I suppose my original thought was that if I was gaining temporary spell points from the FVS splash, I could afford to throw in some metad spells to boost DPS.
    Aryk Stoutheart, Paladin - Sarlona
    Rindyl Twirliblade, Elven Swashbuckler - Sarlona
    Vyyndar Stoutheart, Vanguard Paladin - Argo

  12. #12
    Community Member Ralmeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicMew View Post
    Neither. Try 17 clr/2fvs/1 monk
    Primarily for the cores in Henshin Mystic and Shintao and extra dodge? Let's see, that would get you:
    +10 positive spell power
    +5% heal amp
    +5 fire and force spell power
    +1% crits w/ fire & force
    +2% dodge

    That's not bad. I could see living without the extra 8th & 9th level spells. Perhaps next life as I don't want to spend a LR at this point
    Aryk Stoutheart, Paladin - Sarlona
    Rindyl Twirliblade, Elven Swashbuckler - Sarlona
    Vyyndar Stoutheart, Vanguard Paladin - Argo

  13. #13
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralmeth View Post
    +2% dodge
    There's an extra +1% for being in Ocean stance; up to +3% from Ninja Acrobatic; and ofc +3% if you use your monk bonus feat for Dodge. So add a +10% Dodge item and a Mobility one and you could get up to 21% Dodge.

    The only drawback vs cleric 18 / FvS 2 (apart from lower SPs & fewer spell slots) would seem to be losing Sunburst from DiDi core, which is good vs all those undead & shadows in FR.

  14. #14
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralmeth View Post
    /Agreed. It seems like the increase to your max caster level combined with access to the extra spells could lead to a higher DPS, which will be needed in epics. I like the idea of adding necrotic ray to my single target spell rotation as it has a high max caster level and the level drain will be nice too, and knowing word of balance is good I'll throw that in too, though I was hoping to avoid having to slot negative spell power somewhere. I suppose my original thought was that if I was gaining temporary spell points from the FVS splash, I could afford to throw in some metad spells to boost DPS.
    Rather than keep all of Radiance, Devotion, Impulse, Combustion, and Nullification and all of their lores constantly slotted, I tend to keep Radiance & Devotion in constantly, with swap weapons for the others when I really need them, and I rely on a Potency item for universal spellpower to fill in the gaps. It's less effective than a specific spellpower type, but better than nothing in a pinch and beats slowing my rotation by swapping items twice (or more).

    If you have access to the Eveningstar challenges and are willing to grind a little then the "Cloak of the Dragon" line will give you an okay amount of universal spellpower as well as a universal bonus to DCs so you won't have to swap as much. Unfortunately the universal critical chance "Spell Lore" is extremely weak compared to the specific lores so that's always going to be a problem.

    If you are extremely lucky you might score a min level 21 Holy Symbol of Lolth from the MotU quests, which covers spellpower for Null/Rad/Imp (but not lores), or since it it BtCoE you might find it on the AH (ha!). Off the top of my head that is the best spellpower slot consolidation item I can think of for a Cleric. You can also hit up the Stormhorns if you have access to that, as there some guaranteed quest rewards there that give useful bonuses for a couple of slots: the Radiance/RadLore/Heavy Fort head and Combustion/FireLore googles are the big ones, but there are other useful things too. The Heroic versions are ML19 and the Epic ones are ML27. I have a Wall of Wood shield (Devotion & Healing Amp) and a ML20 Cleric of Amaunator commendation ring to cover general healing and swap in a better Devotion weapon when I need a bit more. The shield requires beating some timed fights but is BtCoE, and the commendations are easily farmed by blitzing through the Druid's Deep chain on Casual one you've got your first run for XP done.

  15. #15
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    There's an extra +1% for being in Ocean stance; up to +3% from Ninja Acrobatic; and ofc +3% if you use your monk bonus feat for Dodge. So add a +10% Dodge item and a Mobility one and you could get up to 21% Dodge.

    The only drawback vs cleric 18 / FvS 2 (apart from lower SPs & fewer spell slots) would seem to be losing Sunburst from DiDi core, which is good vs all those undead & shadows in FR.
    Ninja Acrobatic appears to be bugged and only gives 2% at max rank. Also remember that investing AP into the Monk trees means taking them from somewhere else, and I feel that I've cut pretty close to the bone already on my 18/2 - although I do have some points in the Human tree that may not be relevant to other people.

    Staying centered to take advantage of the 2% innate Monk Dodge bonus and the +1% Ocean stance dodge bonus means sacrificing basically all of your PRR. I think I am at ~8-9% damage reduction from PRR with my current medium armor and shield. While Dodge mitigation is better point for point than PRR mitigation because Dodge can prevent special damage types, losing 8% physical mitigation to gain 3% non-spell mitigation may not be the best bargain. I'd be tempted to remain in armor and skip the stance, unless you really need the extra DC from the Ocean stance WIS bonus.

  16. #16
    Community Member Ralmeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    Rather than keep all of Radiance, Devotion, Impulse, Combustion, and Nullification and all of their lores constantly slotted, I tend to keep Radiance & Devotion in constantly, with swap weapons for the others when I really need them, and I rely on a Potency item for universal spellpower to fill in the gaps. It's less effective than a specific spellpower type, but better than nothing in a pinch and beats slowing my rotation by swapping items twice (or more).

    If you have access to the Eveningstar challenges and are willing to grind a little then the "Cloak of the Dragon" line will give you an okay amount of universal spellpower as well as a universal bonus to DCs so you won't have to swap as much. Unfortunately the universal critical chance "Spell Lore" is extremely weak compared to the specific lores so that's always going to be a problem.

    If you are extremely lucky you might score a min level 21 Holy Symbol of Lolth from the MotU quests, which covers spellpower for Null/Rad/Imp (but not lores), or since it it BtCoE you might find it on the AH (ha!). Off the top of my head that is the best spellpower slot consolidation item I can think of for a Cleric. You can also hit up the Stormhorns if you have access to that, as there some guaranteed quest rewards there that give useful bonuses for a couple of slots: the Radiance/RadLore/Heavy Fort head and Combustion/FireLore googles are the big ones, but there are other useful things too. The Heroic versions are ML19 and the Epic ones are ML27. I have a Wall of Wood shield (Devotion & Healing Amp) and a ML20 Cleric of Amaunator commendation ring to cover general healing and swap in a better Devotion weapon when I need a bit more. The shield requires beating some timed fights but is BtCoE, and the commendations are easily farmed by blitzing through the Druid's Deep chain on Casual one you've got your first run for XP done.
    Thanks for the gearing tips!
    Aryk Stoutheart, Paladin - Sarlona
    Rindyl Twirliblade, Elven Swashbuckler - Sarlona
    Vyyndar Stoutheart, Vanguard Paladin - Argo

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