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  1. #1

    Default Melee Master Vampires UNITE!

    Disclaimer: This is a work in progress. I am no expert on PMs so please post your suggestions. There have been a number of threads recently with players proposing vampire builds. I also was intrigued and played a 6 monk/7 wiz/7 rogue version to cap recently out of curiosity. There are many strengths and weaknesses of this dual-fanged runt of the PM tree.

    Why Choose Shroud of the vampire
    1. The Multiclass build has under 12 levels of wizard and hence unable to use the vastly superior wraith form. I will presume this is always the case.
    2. While in this form, you gain +2 Strength, +2 Charisma, +2 to the DC's of you Enchantment spells, and generate 25% less threat from spells and attacks.
    3. On Vorpal Melee Hit: Your attack causes Energy Drain, inflicting 1 Negative Level on your victim.
    4. You have +100% critical hit resistance, are healed by negative energy, and are unaffected by positive energy or repair effects, but take triple damage from light effects.
    5. You are considered undead rather than your original type for the purpose of most effects.
    6. Undead resistances (thread)—100% stacking fortification, free deathblock, deathward, immunity to poisons such as Drow venoms, green dragon breath and nasty poison traps (and resistant to disease etc.)
    7. Tier 5: While in Shroud of the Master Vampire, you gain +2 Dexterity, your vulnerability to Light damage is reduced to 200% (from 300%), and your melee and unarmed attacks heal you for 1 point of Negative Energy damage. This currently also works on ranged attacks (throwers and bows have been tested) although it is not WAI (so don't build around it, but hey! Think of all the non-WAI stuff floating around!
    8. Self-buffing from usual arcane levels such as displacement etc.
    9. You saw a re-run on Netflix of one of those horrendous Underworld films and were dazzled by the leather tights



    Key Issues with Vampire Form
    1. You MUST take tier 5 in PM tree. This reduces the light vulnerability to the same as the other undead shrouds. However, it limits one from taking other tier 5 options. Staves give an implement bonus but will not benefit from Tier 5 Henshin or Acro.
    2. Undead vulnerabilities—vulnerability to light, needs negative healing, no neg hit points status (0=soulstone)
    3. Melees typically seek positive healing amplification via enhancement tree bonuses and gear. Divine casters will boost healing via Empower heal, healing lore, etc. You, as a PM, must do both but the latter with under twelve arcane levels (One can splash divine classes). Furthermore, your caster levels will be poor for healing due to low wizard levels AND there is only one item in the game that gives a bonus to neg healing amp (deathwyrm cloak, ML 27!). Also, to cast inflict wounds one must target oneself=PITA. (NEB does not require this.)
    4. You need 6 levels of wizard for the vampire shroud but 7 for Greater Death Aura and Neg Energy Burst. Hence consider 7 levels the absolute minimum (This eliminates splashes with 14 Paladin Levels) unless multiclassing heavily with cleric levels.



    Build philosophies should use two key goals to mitigate the poor healing and emphasize the minuscule healing-on-hit:
    1. Increase attack speed (and offhand attacks if TWF) and doublestrike for more healing on hit and perks from weapon effects (Monk unarmed, Druid Fatal harrier, various haste boosts)
    2. Add sources of temporary hit points to create pseudo-healing (enhancement trees, gear) for heroics. Epics will work better in heavy armor.


    One has the following options as well:
    1. Add sources of void lore, nullification, potency, implement bonuses (such as Cloak of the Dragon)
    2. Possibly add divine sources of healing (cleric levels for divine might and self-casting inflict spells) as an option, even using scrolls. Note that Cleric's Divine Disciple can access a Tier 4 SLA of negative energy burst for only 7 SP!
    3. Add MR to boost light resistance
    4. Twist Embrace the Light (basically, one does this instead of Brace) for light resistance
    5. Memorize this list or keep its window open: Avoiding Light Damage
    6. Buff your heal skill
    7. Add Evasion, or even Improved Evasion: via Changelingmuck: "high reflex evasion builds provide near-immunity to the sunburst spell (the only light damage spell that gives a reflex save)"


    Class and Enhancement Synergies: Mix and Match as you want Update: modified based on Andoris' suggestions
    1. Bard—swashbuckling only requires T3; CHA vamp bonus helps or one may use INT damage options for synergy with SP pool
    2. Cleric—inflict wounds spells. Inflict critical (level 4) requires 7 levels; Harm (level 6) requires 11; Tier 4 Divine Disciple SLA Neg Energy Burst of Cleric Tree; Divine Might
    3. Harper Tree—INT strategic combat/KtA; various bonuses to both SP and MP
    4. Rogue—2 rogue for evasion, helpful if swashbuckling and stuck with light armor; 10 rogue for improved evasion (special feat).



    Gear with Synergies
    1. Light resistant gear. Key of this group is Pale Rod since it merges so many needed attributes.
    2. Staff of the Necromancer—poor as melee weapon but its Arcane Augmentation will add a wiz level when casting death auras. ML 21. Easily acquired!
    3. Epic Envenomed Blade—great synergy with vorpal enervation for Swashbuckling. PITA to farm.
    4. Robe of Shadow.
    Last edited by Saekee; 03-23-2015 at 01:58 PM. Reason: changelingmuck's suggestons; Andoris's post

  2. #2
    Community Member changelingamuck's Avatar
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    You might want to mention, parenthetically, that high reflex evasion builds provide near-immunity to the sunburst spell (the only light damage spell that gives a reflex save). And, in your "build philosophies" section, you might want to add doublestrike alongside attack speed and offhand proc chance as a factor in increasing self-healing. Maybe also mention the undead immunity to most forms of blindness.

    A couple questions though: (1) I see that you're mentioning temporary hp procs as a method of damage mitigation. The last time I checked, which was a while ago, temporary hp proc effects like bodyfeeder and lifeshield didn't work while in undead form. Was this changed?

    (2) You mention "poison immunity" and "disease resistance" as benefits of the undead forms. I'm wondering if you can clarify how these benefits work in relation to the 'natural', 'magical', and 'supernatural' classification system for poisons and diseases. I started a thread, not too long ago, on the "Current State of Pale Master Immunities" and the consensus was that undead forms gave immunity to natural diseases, natural poisons, and poison damage from spell wards and the green dragon poison dot. I asked follow-up questions in that thread about whether anyone knew if undead forms also gave immunity to magical poisons and/or diseases or at least saving throw bonuses to magical and maybe also supernatural poisons and diseases. No one responded with further insight though.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by changelingamuck View Post
    You might want to mention, parenthetically, that high reflex evasion builds provide near-immunity to the sunburst spell (the only light damage spell that gives a reflex save). And, in your "build philosophies" section, you might want to add doublestrike alongside attack speed and offhand proc chance as a factor in increasing self-healing. Maybe also mention the undead immunity to most forms of blindness.

    A couple questions though: (1) I see that you're mentioning temporary hp procs as a method of damage mitigation. The last time I checked, which was a while ago, temporary hp proc effects like bodyfeeder and lifeshield didn't work while in undead form. Was this changed?

    (2) You mention "poison immunity" and "disease resistance" as benefits of the undead forms. I'm wondering if you can clarify how these benefits work in relation to the 'natural', 'magical', and 'supernatural' classification system for poisons and diseases. I started a thread, not too long ago, on the "Current State of Pale Master Immunities" and the consensus was that undead forms gave immunity to natural diseases, natural poisons, and poison damage from spell wards and the green dragon poison dot. I asked follow-up questions in that thread about whether anyone knew if undead forms also gave immunity to magical poisons and/or diseases or at least saving throw bonuses to magical and maybe also supernatural poisons and diseases. No one responded with further insight though.
    Hi Changelingamuck, thanks for your thoughts. I will amend the notations with your suggestions about reflex builds and doublestrike. Great points. I would like to add build ideas into this thread from folks who are playing them as well as the usual theorycrafting to stimulate future builds.

    1) Temporary hit point procs work for pale masters. I was using either the grave wrappings or calomels (with Lifedrinker) and had no issues. I assume that the bodyfeeder would work fine as well.

    2) great point on immunities. In the end, the immunities are really why people will want to play a vampire. They are very handy, especially when killing beholders. I will link to your thread. I can vaguely recall that I was never diseased, poisoned nor stat damaged except by Mind Flayers (CHA damage). I haven't tested it. I would like to return to a vampire form in the distant future once they add some negative hamp items.

    Were you running in any vampire forms that you would like to post here? Also your thoughts on them?
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  4. #4

    Default Build Ideas

    Here are some examples based on the first post:
    Update: See Andoris' suggestions in post below this recommending heavy armor version with cleric levels or light armor with swash. Stay tuned!

    Heavy Armor:
    • 11 Cleric/6 wiz/3 Fighter--actually forego Greater Aura for a more powerful and cheaper version of the Divine Disciple's SLA NEB; build with shield mastery and focus on defenses. Will probably have sh_t DPS. Tanky. No need for ASF since wiz spells are really just self-buffs at start of quest.



    Medium Armor:
    • 3 Druid (for Fatal Harrier); 6 Ranger tempest/11 Wiz. STR based or possibly INT with harper. You could focus on dual wielding scimitars and use the pale master rod in the offhand. Burst ranged DPS that also (for now) heals.



    Light Armor
    • 3 Bard/10 rogue/7 wiz: improved evasion version; INT based; decent SWF DPS and some buckler defenses.
    • 3 Bard/x arti/ (17-x) wiz: INT based thrower or even Xbow? Was not planning on mentioning ranged builds but this could do either.



    Pajamas
    • 9 Monk/9 wiz/2 fighter: Improved evasion and incorporeality. One could use stunning fist and focus on Wisdom. Another option is to go INT and use weapons.
    • 6 Monk/6 cleric/8 wiz: Evasion. Wisdom-based with stunning fist and DD's SLA. Nice synergy with cleric levels anyway.
    • 6 Monk/3 Druid/11 wiz: Evasion. Varied options; probably better off armed INT build from Harper with fatal harrier and incorporeality.



    Races would vary based on stat used for damage, need to overcome ASF, etc. Drow for INT builds, especially armored ones. Maybe Dwarf for heavy armored version.

    Others? If negative healing amplification items are added to the game, then all these melee builds will do much better.
    Last edited by Saekee; 03-22-2015 at 07:07 PM.
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  5. #5
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    What is your build goal? --
    Are you looking to knock out some TRs/ETRs (20 or 28, then rinse/repeat)? Are you planning on staying at cap? What content should we target EH/EE Quests/EE Raids?

    What is your assumed access to old(er)/rare(ish) items? -- Shroud of the Abbot, Demon Consort Bracers, Epic Phiarlan Mirror Cloak, Torc?

    Solo or Group Play?

    Now on to the commentary:

    Quote Originally Posted by Saekee View Post

    Why Choose Shroud of the vampire [snip]
    1. While in this form, you gain +2 Strength, +2 Charisma, +2 to the DC's of you Enchantment spells, and generate 25% less threat from spells and attacks.


    While the other points are important.. this is the critical one (imo) and adds some boundaries for the build. If you want to go Int based, pushing for Lich or Wraith form makes more sense. Vampire has the boost to Strength and Charisma which is very synergistic with Divine Might also, the boost to Enchantment spells and the lower threshold for Enchant DC's allows you to no be max Int while still having strong CC ability.

    Multi-class wise, this feels like a splash of Cleric, FvS, or Pally. Cleric, also has a nice synergy with the Divine Disciple tree, giving you cheap heals which will be very welcome with your limited spell point pool.

    Key Issues with Vampire Form
    1. You MUST take tier 5 in PM tree. This reduces the light vulnerability to the same as the other undead shrouds. However, it limits one from taking other tier 5 options. Staves give an implement bonus but will not benefit from Tier 5 Henshin or Acro.
    2. Undead vulnerabilities—vulnerability to light, needs negative healing, no neg hit points status (0=soulstone)
    3. Melees typically seek positive healing amplification via enhancement tree bonuses and gear. Divine casters will boost healing via Empower heal, healing lore, etc. You, as a PM, must do both but the latter with under twelve arcane levels (One can splash divine classes). Furthermore, your caster levels will be poor for healing due to low wizard levels AND there is only one item in the game that gives a bonus to neg healing amp (deathwyrm cloak, ML 27!). Also, to cast inflict wounds or negative energy burst, one must target oneself=PITA.
    4. You are a caster and melee. This makes juggling gear an issue. Staves give implement bonuses but will not benefit from the tier 5 of staff specialization so wielding them is poor DPS. Never enough SP for healing since you do not have enough wizard levels. In later epics there is enough gear to merge needs but by then you will be sick of your little vampire and reincarnate ASAP.
    5. You need 6 levels of wizard for the vampire shroud but 7 for Greater Death Aura and Neg Energy Burst. Hence consider 7 levels the absolute minimum (This eliminates splashes with 14 Paladin Levels, bad synergy anyway)
    6. Limitations on armor type based on some of the better synergies (below). Hence the uber heavy armored wraith with its bonus of MR against light damage cannot be attained although something similar could be followed with medium or light armor (for druid or swashbuckling). One could also go heavy fighter levels and wear heavy armor.


    1) I agree on the need for Master Vampire, no one likes to get one shot-ed.

    3) The deathwyrm cloak does present an annoyance if you plan on staying at cap, as you are likely going to want to wear Thunderforged Armor which removes Shroud of the Abbot from your geart options, and the Mirror Cloak conflicts with the Deathwyrm cloak for a slot. The good news is that you can swap between the two cloaks depending on content and in most cases you shouldn't need the extra Light absorb. (p.s. you don't need to self target to cast NEB)

    4) I don't agree with this. You are a Melee with spell support unless you at least go to level 13 to pick up Otto's Sphere and Mass Hold Person. You have stated above that you didn't want to go that high with wizard, and as there is not much in the way of strong enchant spells at lower levels and you will not have the DC's for Necro (at cap) you can just focus on Melee with your gearing options. If you are okay with going to 13 wizard my position would change.

    6) If you are planning on being in heavy melee while using negative energy healing, I would highly suggest going heavy armor. You are going to need the DR from shadow guardian and the PRR boost to allow your low burst healing to be sufficient to deal with high damage output mobs.
    Build philosophies should use two key goals to mitigate the poor healing and emphasize the minuscule healing-on-hit:
    1. Increase attack speed (and offhand attacks if TWF) and doublestrike for more healing on hit and perks from weapon effects (Monk unarmed, Druid Fatal harrier, various haste boosts)
    2. Add sources of temporary hit points to create pseudo-healing (enhancement trees, gear)
    I wouldn't worry too much about temp HP. It is nice at low levels but it is not going to be of much use at high heroics and epics. The proc off of Lich form and maybe Demon Consort (based on build goal) should be enough.
    One has the following options as well:
    1. Add sources of void lore, nullification, potency, implement bonuses (such as Cloak of the Dragon)
    2. Possibly add divine sources of healing (cleric levels for self-casting inflict spells) as an option, even using scrolls. Note that Divine Disciple can access a Tier 4 SLA of negative energy burst for only 7 SP!
    3. Add MR to boost light resistance
    4. Twist Embrace the Light (basically, one does this instead of Brace) for light resistance
    5. Memorize this list or keep its window open: Avoiding Light Damage
    6. Buff your heal skill
    7. Add Evasion, or even Improved Evasion: via Changelingmuck: "high reflex evasion builds provide near-immunity to the sunburst spell (the only light damage spell that gives a reflex save)"
    All good things to think about. As for implement bonus, your primary weapon should cover that with Spell power slotted in a red slot.

    The NEB SLA is good, but remember it will be capped by your Cleric levels (max 10) so take that into consideration when planning your class split.

    Class and Enhancement Synergies: Mix and Match as you want
    [snip]
    For a weapon set if you are playing at high level (26+) epics I would highly recommend Sword and Orb. You can use the orb to slot your caster stuff and use the tier 3 TF, Draconic Reguvination to have nearly infinite haste boosts to boost your melee dps. Also SWF style is better DPS than TWF unless you are running 5 ranger for Dance of Death (which you can't take due to Master Vampire)

    Gear with Synergies
    1. Light resistant gear. Key of this group is Pale Rod since it merges so many needed attributes.
    2. Synergy with Druid splash but not workable with neither swashbuckling nor monk.
    3. Grave Wrappings—neg levels on Vorpal; also gives Soul Eating for 35 HP on vorpal. ML 20. However, its damage is surpassed quickly by Addy knuckles and TF weapons. Easily acquired!
    4. Adamantine Knuckles—though they do not give temp hp, they offer an implement bonus as well as extra slots for adding nullification if missing
    5. Staff of the Necromancer—poor as melee weapon but its Arcane Augmentation will add a wiz level when casting death auras. ML 21. Easily acquired!
    6. Epic Envenomed Blade—great synergy with vorpal enervation for Swashbuckling. PITA to farm.
    7. Robe of Shadow. Useful if using centered monk levels.
    8. kind fellow forumites will hopefully suggest more
    1) In heroics I agree with the need for Light Absorb -- for that you can't beat Shroud of the Abbot. It has everything this build would want. At higher level epics you can get by with Light absorb as a swap item for when you need it (I recommend Mirror Cloak here)

    2) I would think about either Light Armor and swashbuckler or Heavy Armor and Cleric (recommended) -- Monk and Druid don't add much to the build and will make you much more squishy than you will like

    Gear: Think swords (likely rapiers/short swords) over hand wraps and staffs. Balizard/Celestia for lower levels and TF Rapier/Celestia for higher epics will be your bread and butter. It also works well with High level heroics and WoP rapiers for RwtD, IQ and DD.

    Once I get a good idea of your answers to my initial questions I can better focus my commentary.

    Good Luck!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andoris View Post

    What is your build goal? --
    Are you looking to knock out some TRs/ETRs (20 or 28, then rinse/repeat)? Are you planning on staying at cap? What content should we target EH/EE Quests/EE Raids?
    This thread is meant as a resource for players wanting to play vampire melees including myself. There are a few running threads currently that testify to the fascination for vampire form. I just did one and it was abominable. So at some point in the future I wish to try it again. No specific goals although aiming for EE makes sense--even my lousy build was able to do EH solo.

    What is your assumed access to old(er)/rare(ish) items? -- Shroud of the Abbot, Demon Consort Bracers, Epic Phiarlan Mirror Cloak, Torc?
    Personally I already have an ePharlian Mirror Cloak. I believe that there are players that use vamp form as 'flavor' and will not have access to the other rare goods. I would love all those items but can't get to them. I even tried to make a ConOp gs helm but somewhere in the process messed up, wasted dual shards and ended up with just an hp item.

    Solo or Group Play?
    Group, assuming no other PMs are present.

    Now on to the commentary:

    [/LIST]

    While the other points are important.. this is the critical one (imo) and adds some boundaries for the build. If you want to go Int based, pushing for Lich or Wraith form makes more sense. Vampire has the boost to Strength and Charisma which is very synergistic with Divine Might also, the boost to Enchantment spells and the lower threshold for Enchant DC's allows you to no be max Int while still having strong CC ability.

    Multi-class wise, this feels like a splash of Cleric, FvS, or Pally. Cleric, also has a nice synergy with the Divine Disciple tree, giving you cheap heals which will be very welcome with your limited spell point pool.



    All good things to think about. As for implement bonus, your primary weapon should cover that with Spell power slotted in a red slot.
    I was confused by implement bonuses, having played only melees to cap recently. I did not know that simply adding such to a red slot would cover it. Thanks.

    The NEB SLA is good, but remember it will be capped by your Cleric levels (max 10) so take that into consideration when planning your class split.



    For a weapon set if you are playing at high level (26+) epics I would highly recommend Sword and Orb. You can use the orb to slot your caster stuff and use the tier 3 TF, Draconic Reguvination to have nearly infinite haste boosts to boost your melee dps. Also SWF style is better DPS than TWF unless you are running 5 ranger for Dance of Death (which you can't take due to Master Vampire)
    Would you still recommend that combination for Tier 2 TF?



    1) In heroics I agree with the need for Light Absorb -- for that you can't beat Shroud of the Abbot. It has everything this build would want. At higher level epics you can get by with Light absorb as a swap item for when you need it (I recommend Mirror Cloak here)

    2) I would think about either Light Armor and swashbuckler or Heavy Armor and Cleric (recommended) -- Monk and Druid don't add much to the build and will make you much more squishy than you will like
    Interesting. I will add this to my post #4 on builds. I had that feeling as well. These might be the better ones?
    • 11 Cleric/6 wiz/3 Fighter--actually forego Greater Aura for a more powerful and cheaper version of the Divine Disciple's SLA NEB; build with shield mastery and focus on defenses. Will probably have sh_t DPS. Tanky. No need for ASF since wiz spells are really just self-buffs at start of quest.
    • 3 Bard/10 rogue/7 wiz: improved evasion version; INT based; decent SWF DPS and some buckler defenses. (well, orb, then, not buckler)



    Gear: Think swords (likely rapiers/short swords) over hand wraps and staffs. Balizard/Celestia for lower levels and TF Rapier/Celestia for higher epics will be your bread and butter. It also works well with High level heroics and WoP rapiers for RwtD, IQ and DD.

    Once I get a good idea of your answers to my initial questions I can better focus my commentary.

    Good Luck!
    Hi Andoris, thanks for your comments! I have put in red my responses. Would you also like to post the build setup you used for your TR lives? You mentioned in a PM (sorry for pun) that you used 7wiz/6 cleric/7 pastlifewanted--what gear/approach did you use?
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  7. #7
    Community Member Myrddinman's Avatar
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    Hi Saekee!

    I just wanted to thank you for his thread. I've been wanting to roll a Vamp for quite some time, but always talk myself out of it. There is already some great information in here, and hopefully it'll continue.

    Hi Andoris!

    Thanks for your contribution. I have your PM thread bookmarked and reference it often. Your feedback and advice is always spot on and welcomed.

    I look forward to seeing what this turns into.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myrddinman View Post
    Hi Saekee!

    I just wanted to thank you for his thread. I've been wanting to roll a Vamp for quite some time, but always talk myself out of it. There is already some great information in here, and hopefully it'll continue.

    Hi Andoris!

    Thanks for your contribution. I have your PM thread bookmarked and reference it often. Your feedback and advice is always spot on and welcomed.

    I look forward to seeing what this turns into.
    thanks for posting Myrddinman! Yes a lot of us are intrigued by the vamp form but maybe always played melees. I was really hoping Andoris would post so am very pleased.
    After all the neg levels drained and poison traps it was fun to wipe out beholders and laugh at FR drow.
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    Hey guys, cool thread! What has been haunting me here for the past few days is the idea that you must take T5 in PM, that offers a reduction from 300% light damage to 200% light damage, which is 33%? What if you could actually stack enough MRR to make up for a big chunk of that, would a heavy armor version without T5 be so bad compared to a light armor version with T5?

    Like I said, I don't like playing rogues but I would seriously consider some rog / wizard / paladin (or ftr) version here, in heavy armor with defensive stance! Going for assassin T5 with dagger and orb, int based. Use the level 20 dagger that does negative levels + con poison, add assassin constitution poison. Killer. Assassinate. Int based synergy is so good here between assassin and wizard, vamp form gives cha and str, paladin has grace and DM. One can take more wizard levels than 7 and stay in vamp form nonetheless. Can go 11 wiz / 5 rog / 4 paladin for instance.

    Disclaimer: I have never played and assassin and have no idea if anything in their tree is broken and also it's up for revamp afaik and I'm not up to date with the changes.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by moriedhel View Post
    Hey guys, cool thread! What has been haunting me here for the past few days is the idea that you must take T5 in PM, that offers a reduction from 300% light damage to 200% light damage, which is 33%? What if you could actually stack enough MRR to make up for a big chunk of that, would a heavy armor version without T5 be so bad compared to a light armor version with T5?

    Like I said, I don't like playing rogues but I would seriously consider some rog / wizard / paladin (or ftr) version here, in heavy armor with defensive stance! Going for assassin T5 with dagger and orb, int based. Use the level 20 dagger that does negative levels + con poison, add assassin constitution poison. Killer. Assassinate. Int based synergy is so good here between assassin and wizard, vamp form gives cha and str, paladin has grace and DM. One can take more wizard levels than 7 and stay in vamp form nonetheless. Can go 11 wiz / 5 rog / 4 paladin for instance.

    Disclaimer: I have never played and assassin and have no idea if anything in their tree is broken and also it's up for revamp afaik and I'm not up to date with the changes.
    Hi Moriedhal, actually what you are proposing would work better with wraith form. Wraith form gives 1d6 CON damage on crits. If you couple that with swashbuckling (which will give the same bonus as Knife Specialization) and even run in Divine Crusader along with the Sacrificial Dagger you mention (with the CON poison) you will rapidly debuff an enemy, setting up an easy CDG (although my understanding is the freeze effects are better). It would be more effective than the assassin poison, even with the upcoming rogue enhancement changes. ToEE will even have better "epic" CON drain weapons (although that dagger is rather unique). Hence you would need at least 12 wiz and then maybe 5 swash (and take its Tier 5). Then maybe add 3 fighter for feats and some defensive stances. I theorycrafted a flavor build for this a while back with some other posters when the stat drain mechanism changed for epics. Still needs a lot to make a difference on EE mobs but it would work; CON damage and neg levels reduce their FORT save and hence makes them vulnerable to CDG or other attacks.

    This is why wraith form is so much superior to vamp. The challenge is like you state--300% light damage is just devastating, even with some MRR to reduce it.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saekee View Post
    Hi Andoris, thanks for your comments! I have put in red my responses. Would you also like to post the build setup you used for your TR lives? You mentioned in a PM (sorry for pun) that you used 7wiz/6 cleric/7 pastlifewanted--what gear/approach did you use?
    The build is a bit out of date but here it is: https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...Vampire-Knight

    At heroic levels it was a beast and fun to play. The self healing was good enough that you click death aura while surrounded by a bunch of mobs, get up and go make yourself a cocktail. When you returned -- you would still be at or near max hp. As for its ability to deal with light damage, I solo'd an at level RwtD with it. I was overly cautious (and it was no speed run) but it was never really difficult or did I really worry about dieing.

    Now this build is a TR framework and as such was never intended to exceed level 18 and really didn't come into its own until lvl 11-14. While I am sure it would work in epic levels.. it wouldn't be well suited for EE play.

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    What is your build goal? -- Are you looking to knock out some TRs/ETRs (20 or 28, then rinse/repeat)? Are you planning on staying at cap? What content should we target EH/EE Quests/EE Raids?
    This thread is meant as a resource for players wanting to play vampire melees including myself. There are a few running threads currently that testify to the fascination for vampire form. I just did one and it was abominable. So at some point in the future I wish to try it again. No specific goals although aiming for EE makes sense--even my lousy build was able to do EH solo
    The vampire build really lends itself to TR (Iconic, Epic, Heroic) frameworks. I don’t think it will do well as a capped toon. The issue is that it introduces too many weaknesses and its primary strength (self healing) is weak in comparison to positive healing, post HA changes.

    What is your assumed access to old(er)/rare(ish) items? -- Shroud of the Abbot, Demon Consort Bracers, Epic Phiarlan Mirror Cloak, Torc?
    Personally I already have an ePharlian Mirror Cloak. I believe that there are players that use vamp form as 'flavor' and will not have access to the other rare goods. I would love all those items but can't get to them. I even tried to make a ConOp gs helm but somewhere in the process messed up, wasted dual shards and ended up with just an hp item.
    This will be a fairly big issue as the right gear helps a vampire build more than most. If people are okay with easier difficulties it should work -- but if they think they can run the harder content (EEs and harder HE) without being dragged through, it will require advanced player skills.

    Solo or Group Play?
    Group, assuming no other PMs are present.
    Cool... this gives me something to work with, as every member of a good group should be able to contribute in a substantial way.
    Now on to the commentary:

    For a weapon set if you are playing at high level (26+) epics I would highly recommend Sword and Orb. You can use the orb to slot your caster stuff and use the tier 3 TF, Draconic Reguvination to have nearly infinite haste boosts to boost your melee dps. Also SWF style is better DPS than TWF unless you are running 5 ranger for Dance of Death (which you can't take due to Master Vampire)
    Would you still recommend that combination for Tier 2 TF?
    Yes, for the easy access to slot +6 Enchantment DC's at epic levels and a easy place to slot spell power at heroic levels (madstone skull comes to mind). Add too it that SWF is seriously OP atm (compared to TWF) and it is a no brainer. Also, you can cosmetic the Libram and look cool with a sword in one hand and a book in the other


    1) In heroics I agree with the need for Light Absorb -- for that you can't beat Shroud of the Abbot. It has everything this build would want. At higher level epics you can get by with Light absorb as a swap item for when you need it (I recommend Mirror Cloak here)

    2) I would think about either Light Armor and swashbuckler or Heavy Armor and Cleric (recommended) -- Monk and Druid don't add much to the build and will make you much more squishy than you will like
    Interesting. I will add this to my post #4 on builds. I had that feeling as well. These might be the better ones?

    • 11 Cleric/6 wiz/3 Fighter--actually forego Greater Aura for a more powerful and cheaper version of the Divine Disciple's SLA NEB; build with shield mastery and focus on defenses. Will probably have sh_t DPS. Tanky. No need for ASF since wiz spells are really just self-buffs at start of quest.
    • 3 Bard/10 rogue/7 wiz: improved evasion version; INT based; decent SWF DPS and some buckler defenses. (well, orb, then, not buckler)

    I'll see if I can throw a build idea together in the next day or so.. however, I agree with your earlier comment that 7 wizard is the least you want to go with. Death Aura and NEB are too important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moriedhel View Post
    Hey guys, cool thread! What has been haunting me here for the past few days is the idea that you must take T5 in PM, that offers a reduction from 300% light damage to 200% light damage, which is 33%? What if you could actually stack enough MRR to make up for a big chunk of that, would a heavy armor version without T5 be so bad compared to a light armor version with T5?
    You could get away with it at epic levels as long as you were aware of the mobs you will be facing and their attacks. While in theory the same is true of heroic content -- there are just too many mobs that spam light damage in heroics for it to be anything more than a pain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saekee View Post
    Hence you would need at least 12 wiz and then maybe 5 swash (and take its Tier 5). Then maybe add 3 fighter for feats and some defensive stances. I theorycrafted a flavor build for this a while back with some other posters when the stat drain mechanism changed for epics. Still needs a lot to make a difference on EE mobs but it would work; CON damage and neg levels reduce their FORT save and hence makes them vulnerable to CDG or other attacks.

    This is why wraith form is so much superior to vamp. The challenge is like you state--300% light damage is just devastating, even with some MRR to reduce it.
    When Swash was released, I built a 12 Wiz/6 Bard/2 Rogue Wraith. This was before the stat damage change for Epics and MRR. I loved it, and was even able to do some EE content solo, if I went pretty slow. My main issue was certainly the ubiquitous lack of negative amp (having to wait until level 27) and only having 12 levels of Wiz to fuel my Death Auras. Also, due to the lower SP pool, I was not able to Emp/Max my NEB, so burst heals were wanting. Add to all of that, not having Heal as a class skill, and it was a tough road in tough content.

    I want to revisit the build, now that the aforementioned changes are in the game and thinking more about Cleric levels for the DD synergy and free Emp/Max'd NEB.
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    Awesome thread. I'm looking forward to some build ideas from this. I would prefer to play mine as a light, nimble fighter rather than an armored soldier so the SWF ideas are appealing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myrddinman View Post
    When Swash was released, I built a 12 Wiz/6 Bard/2 Rogue Wraith. This was before the stat damage change for Epics and MRR. I loved it, and was even able to do some EE content solo, if I went pretty slow. My main issue was certainly the ubiquitous lack of negative amp (having to wait until level 27) and only having 12 levels of Wiz to fuel my Death Auras. Also, due to the lower SP pool, I was not able to Emp/Max my NEB, so burst heals were wanting. Add to all of that, not having Heal as a class skill, and it was a tough road in tough content.

    I want to revisit the build, now that the aforementioned changes are in the game and thinking more about Cleric levels for the DD synergy and free Emp/Max'd NEB.
    This is really the key--the cheap NEB from the cleric tree. An SLA that can be maximized and only cost 7 sp. Otherwise one's sp is never enough in tough content due to the multiclassing. I wonder if only the cleric versions are the viable ones due to healing issues. This would change if more negHamp gear were added.

    Quote Originally Posted by Domacett View Post
    Awesome thread. I'm looking forward to some build ideas from this. I would prefer to play mine as a light, nimble fighter rather than an armored soldier so the SWF ideas are appealing.
    Thx Domacett--Andoris and others are realling helping with their experience. Seems like there are really two decent options--defensive heavy armor swf with Orb 7 wiz/11 cleric/2 fighter (or similar) or 7 wiz/10 cleric/3 bard swash in light armor.
    Either way we have serious multi-stat dependency. . .
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    I have a lot of experience playing a 20/8 Wizard in Wraith form, and an 18/2/8 Wizard/Monk in Lich form, and I have to say I like your ideas.

    I might have to try a 11/9 Wizard/Monk vampire or an 18/2 Wizard/Rogue vampire/wraith, though I know from experience the wizard/rogue requires a great deal of sacrifice to get decent rogue skills/UMD/concentration usually at the sacrifice of Open Locks as you have the Knock spell--read as many INT tomes as you can, as early as you can--

    I want to see someone make a really good Death Knight: A pure 20 EK/PM Wizard--

    ---

    Random Advice from a Monkly Lich:

    The secret to a good wizard with evasion? The Insightful Reflexes feat might seem like a waste, but it most definitely is NOT. That way you can focus on the only two stats that matter for you: INT and CON. Get those as high as you can. If you're playing a Monk splash and want a viable Stunning Fist, you're also going to have to invest heavily into WIS. The T2 Harper Enhancement Know the Angles will help a lot...

    If you're going to be relying on melee weapons other than unarmed/handwraps, remember again the Harper Agent enhancements Strategic Combat I and Strategic Combat II. It will allow you to use INT to hit and damage, which will help make up partially for your low to-hit.

    ---

    Anyhow, OP keep up the great conceptualizing.
    Last edited by Certon; 03-27-2015 at 03:49 PM.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Certon View Post
    I have a lot of experience playing a 20/8 Wizard in Wraith form, and an 18/2/8 Wizard/Monk in Lich form, and I have to say I like your ideas.

    I might have to try a 11/9 Wizard/Monk vampire or an 18/2 Wizard/Rogue vampire/wraith, though I know from experience the wizard/rogue requires a great deal of sacrifice to get decent rogue skills/UMD/concentration usually at the sacrifice of Open Locks as you have the Knock spell--read as many INT tomes as you can, as early as you can--

    I want to see someone make a really good Death Knight: A pure 20 EK/PM Wizard--

    ---

    Random Advice from a Monkly Lich:

    The secret to a good wizard with evasion? The Insightful Reflexes feat might seem like a waste, but it most definitely is NOT. That way you can focus on the only two stats that matter for you: INT and CON. Get those as high as you can. If you're playing a Monk splash and want a viable Stunning Fist, you're also going to have to invest heavily into WIS. The T2 Harper Enhancement Know the Angles will help a lot...

    If you're going to be relying on melee weapons other than unarmed/handwraps, remember again the Harper Agent enhancements Strategic Combat I and Strategic Combat II. It will allow you to use INT to hit and damage, which will help make up partially for your low to-hit.

    ---

    Anyhow, OP keep up the great conceptualizing.
    Hi Certon, thanks and also thx for the thoughts! My only experience with the PM tree was a stunning fist monk that I also splashed with rogue. It was a mess. I think if I were to do it again I would aim for heavy stunning fist-DC, so max out Wisdom and have lots of cleric levels for the SP and a powerful NEB SLA, or I would go weaponized like you suggest and max out INT with the Harper. However, monk just doesn't bring enough to the table in its weaponized form compared to swashbuckler. A key defensive offering of monk comes with 6 levels for shadow veil also which would probably eat too far into the cleric or wiz levels, so it is a tough call.

    Maybe just 2 levels of monk for iron skin, deft strikes and two feats (really one since you would take stunning fist); then do 11 cleric (for Harm and maximizing the SLA) and 7 wizard (for Greater Death Aura). BAB will be lousy but as a melee that should not be too much of an issue. Also the base damage will be very poor (1d6 plus modifiers to boost it 1 or 2W such as gear) so everything would rely on those stuns. When you can't stun something (like undead and many other mobs) I fear that you would have to whittle away for a loooong time...Your lich monk still had strong caster levels to instakill stuff or mop up with CC spells; this one would have decent defenses but those defenses would lack the MRR of armor.

    11 wiz/9 monk at least gets improved evasion and really maxes out the best of combining monk and wizard. Even then, it is SP costly to do a maximized NEB and I am not sure the death aura would tick for that much. Monks come with many ways to boost HAMP but the lack of negative HAMP would really make the build struggle at key times (EH content will anyway be easy).

    I am testing out my Twilight Blade build (still in heroics) and plan to do it for quite some time. I think when they add more sources of HAMP the vampire builds will be able to function without the cheap Cleric SLA. Until then the healing will be too difficult.
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    I rolled a quick and dirty Sun Elf Vamp, "The Ironic Iconic" (7 Cleric/7 Wiz/1 Fighter) to test a barebones NEB. Here are my thoughts:
    - Sun Elf armor (especially helm) looks /badass with the red eyes showing through and Amaunator's Flames
    - I should have just gone with Zombie so that I could max NEB with more Cleric levels (I'll do that next)
    - With no gear, fully Max/Emp NEB hits for about 100/180 crit and Inflict Critical hits for about 75/135 crit:
    --> Negative Spell Power = 129
    --> Heal Skill = 41
    --> 90 PRR/55 MRR (Sun Elf armor) need to mitigate 45% ASF in EK tree if going for Heavy Armor
    - Targeting is a pain (and I wasn't even running a quest). You have to target yourself to cast Inflict, and you can't target yourself when casting NEB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myrddinman View Post
    I rolled a quick and dirty Sun Elf Vamp, "The Ironic Iconic" (7 Cleric/7 Wiz/1 Fighter) to test a barebones NEB. Here are my thoughts:
    - Sun Elf armor (especially helm) looks /badass with the red eyes showing through and Amaunator's Flames
    - I should have just gone with Zombie so that I could max NEB with more Cleric levels (I'll do that next)
    - With no gear, fully Max/Emp NEB hits for about 100/180 crit and Inflict Critical hits for about 75/135 crit:
    --> Negative Spell Power = 129
    --> Heal Skill = 41
    --> 90 PRR/55 MRR (Sun Elf armor) need to mitigate 45% ASF in EK tree if going for Heavy Armor
    - Targeting is a pain (and I wasn't even running a quest). You have to target yourself to cast Inflict, and you can't target yourself when casting NEB

    hi Myrddinman, very interesting observations. I suppose one would work well in combat and the other outside? The ASF can be reduced very easily given the elf/EK bonuses--the EK core one anyway (5%), and tier 2 (5%), then Elf (15%) leaving the rest for some gear-related changes.
    That is very clever using the Morning Lord--funny how it really is Ironic (if that is a proper use of term!) in that the Sun Elf is all about Light Spell power.

    Zombie form might be interesting just as a test of course since it would ruin melee combat.
    I am guessing that the gear that comes with morning lord buffs universal spell power and light spell power, not negative; with some added gear that could be easily increased.

    Thanks for posting this. Love the image. Looks like fan art more than a screenie. Was it a direct screenie? Modified?
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