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  1. #21
    Community Member Tinco's Avatar
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    This was actually pretty recently, as in about two months back.

    Sure, AH is skewed because very few people actually run the quest (another downside of SoW) and even fewer know of the items . Still, it really bugs me to tell new people to stop and farm, even if they 'only' have to run SoW 4-6 times instead of experiencing content when piercing alternatives are plenty. Same goes for epics, farming a Devourer's Reaping can be very tedious, while picking up a Sacrificial Dagger for example is quick.
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  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinco View Post
    Sure, AH is skewed because very few people actually run the quest (another downside of SoW) and even fewer know of the items . Still, it really bugs me to tell new people to stop and farm, even if they 'only' have to run SoW 4-6 times instead of experiencing content when piercing alternatives are plenty. Same goes for epics, farming a Devourer's Reaping can be very tedious, while picking up a Sacrificial Dagger for example is quick.
    Epic weapons are something else, and it's easy enough to use the free respec to switch your Improved Crit choice when you get to epic levels. What weapon would you recommend to a new player swashbuckler for 12-20?

  3. #23
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    It's certainly an option, but I think Magical Training offers a better ROI. All the choices are pretty meh when you get right down to it. My thinking is that a new player will most notice having an extra 80 spell points (plus echoes!) over a couple extra dodge (which may be wasted due to MDB cap), a few extra UMD (which they may never even use), or a few hit points.
    My problem is I can't see squandering a feat slot on something which can be easily bought for 3 APs. Unfortunately, as you point out, everything else is pretty blah too. I just remembered Heal is now considered a bard spell (since it's in the Virtuoso capstone), so you don't need to UMD Heal scrolls on a bard anymore. So SF:UMD would mostly be useful for buffs like Stoneskin, Resist Energy, etc. (EDIT: or Raise Dead, ofc); certainly not bad, but also not a must-have. I thought about the DMs just for novelty's sake, but they're again of limited value: Finding DM is based on CHA (which this build lacks), Making DM is pointless (unless leveling a crafter bard), leaving only Passage (early access to DDoor and Teleport as a convenience) or Sentinel (largely for Prot. from Energy).

    The more I think about it, the more I prefer the idea of starting bard on a human; losing skill pts sucks, but it's easier to make up for that than it is to replace a feat slot.
    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    30 AP in the tree and then not to take full BAB from the ML18 core? I can't say I agree with you here. Full BAB is one of my main motivators to take 18 bard levels in the first place.
    I can't say I've ever felt like full BAB made a difference to my combat performance on any build; although the extra PRR these days is nice. Still, if that's one of your goals, my inclination would be 36 APs into Swashbuckler (Roll w/Punches, Exploit Weakness, Thread the Needle, CdG), 31 APs into WC (Victory Song, Reckless Chant, Northwind), 10 APs into SS (Magical Studies, Lingering Song, W&S Mastery), and 3 APs into human (Dmg Boost, heal amp).
    Quote Originally Posted by Tinco View Post
    The GH from human was a brainlapse on my part, although it would be available earlier than the spell version and you can always spec out of it later.
    While true, the human version costs 17 APs, so you can't take it before lvl 5; and that's only if you put all your APs in human tree, which gimps your DPS. Whereas the WC song is available at bard 6, so you can have it by lvl 7 or 8 (depending on when you take rog lvl 2) and it only costs 11 APs. I think Heroism pots / clickies / scrolls are good enough until you can take the GH song.
    Last edited by unbongwah; 04-21-2015 at 01:29 PM.
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  4. #24
    Community Member Tinco's Avatar
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    Turbulent Epee
    Envenomed Blade (!)
    Elemental Fury
    Fell Shiv

    Envenomed Blade especially is very easy to get and useable to 20 without a problem. For new players, effects are strong because their base damage is lacking and thus they don't gain as much from unusually high crit profiles.
    Last edited by Tinco; 04-21-2015 at 01:21 PM.
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  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinco View Post
    Turbulent Epee
    Envenomed Blade !!
    Elemental Fury
    Fell Shiv

    Envenomed Blade especially is very easy to get and useable to 20 without a problem. For new players, effects are strong because their base damage is lacking and thus they don't gain as much from unusually high crit profiles.
    Three of those are paid content, which a new player may not have. If they aren't VIP, Harbinger will not be a high priority purchase for sure.

    Envenomed Blade is pretty nice. ML16 makes it much later than ML12 (ML10 but want improved crit first) but it's a solid option.

    To be honest, I think Widowblight is way easier to farm than all of those other than Envenomed Blade. But Widowblight will *probably* do more dps than Envenomed Blade, and you get it four levels earlier.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    My problem is I can't see squandering a feat slot on something which can be easily bought for 3 APs.
    I view those 3 AP as way more valuable than the feat slot. If I could take a second Improved Critical, or maybe Quicken, or something actually useful I'd probably consider it a tie. But the human bonus feat isn't even worth 1 AP to me, much less 3. There's just way too many enhancements I'd like to take but can't afford.

    On my swashbuckler life I didn't take the feat or spend the AP so I didn't have Magical Training at all, and didn't miss it.

    The more I think about it, the more I prefer the idea of starting bard on a human; losing skill pts sucks, but it's easier to make up for that than it is to replace a feat slot.
    Disagree here. I view the skills as way more valuable than an extra 0 BAB feat.

    I can't say I've ever felt like full BAB made a difference to my combat performance on any build
    You mean for to-hit? I don't either. I take full BAB for the increased attack speed. It not huge, but it's not nothing. (Right?)

    if that's one of your goals, my inclination would be 36 APs into Swashbuckler (Roll w/Punches, Exploit Weakness, Thread the Needle, CdG), 31 APs into WC (Victory Song, Reckless Chant, Northwind), 10 APs into SS (Magical Studies, Lingering Song, W&S Mastery), and 3 APs into human (Dmg Boost, heal amp).
    One issue this build will have, especially for new players, is reflex saves. I'd really like to max out Second Skin but just couldn't swing it. Saves boost goes a long way to help out.

  7. #27
    Community Member Tinco's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm projecting way more into the abysmal time I had farming that item than neccessary. I still think that taking the broader approach is better in general - and slashing weapons on SB's is really tailored towards a very, very narrow set of named items, too narrow for my taste. We veterans can plan that out, farm beforehand, get ways around DR, etc, a new player might have to use a lootgen weapon for a few levels. The pressure of having to farm exactly 1-2 items with a decent chance of it taking a long time within the first life in this game is not something I personally would want to recommend for a minimal gain of dps, ymmv.
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  8. #28
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    What weapon would you recommend to a new player swashbuckler for 12-20?
    Hey, man, you wrote the list, shouldn't you be telling us?

    Setting aside crafted weapons, I think Piercing offers the most options to newbies: lots of named daggers, short swords, and rapiers to choose. [Bonus: if someone's planning to ride the TR Train, daggers are good for future lives as Assassins while SSs are good for monk lives.] Apart from what's on that list, some useful named options include: Gwylan's Blade (Songblade stacks w/most Perform gear), GotL (note d10 base dmg), Turbulent Epee (easy-to-acquire DR breaker, don't even need to finish quest to farm chest), Cannith air rapier, Star of Day, eElyd Edge (worth it just for Inspiring Echoes, IMHO).
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  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    Widowblight will *probably* do more dps than Envenomed Blade, and you get it four levels earlier.
    Actually, now I'm curious enough to run some numbers. Figure for level 18: (I'm penciling in a level 18 player as having joined a guild.)

    16 base
    4 levelups
    2 enhancements
    4 skaldic rage
    6 item
    2 ship buff
    ----
    34 strength (12 mod)

    18 strength mod (gswf)
    6 inspire courage
    5 thread the needle
    2 swashbbuckler cores
    5 deadly item
    ---
    36 base damage (+6 melee power)

    3.5 iced edges every swing
    42 resonant arms on crit (figuring 100 sonic power)

    6 seeker (on the mark II + ML15 ring of the stalker, maybe?)


    Widowblight 13-20x3
    +4 1.5[1d6] = 9 base damage + 36 bonus = 45 starting

    19 * (45*1.06 + 3.5) + 8 * (45*2*1.06 + 42 + 6*3) =
    19 * (51.2) + 8 * (155.4) =
    972.8 + 1243.2 =
    2216 / 20 = 110.8 per swing (ignoring doublestrike)


    Envenomed Blade 15-20x3
    +5 [1d6] = 8.5 base damage + 36 bonus = 44.5 starting
    +3.5 poison every swing, +5.5 poison on crit
    +105 on vorpal for deadly spider venom (nice!)

    19 * (44.5*1.06 + 3.5 + 3.5) + 6 * (44.5*2*1.06 + 42 + 5.5 + 6*3) + 105 =
    19 * (54.17) + 6 * (159.84) + 105 =
    1029.23 + 959.04 + 105 =
    2093.27 / 20 = 104.7 per swing (ignoring doublestrike)


    Essentially a wash. Widowblight gets a slightly better DC for paralyzing while Envenomed Blade gets 10% fort bypass, plus a chance for some con damage. I quite like that 10% fort bypass.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinco View Post
    Maybe I'm projecting way more into the abysmal time I had farming that item than neccessary. I still think that taking the broader approach is better in general - and slashing weapons on SB's is really tailored towards a very, very narrow set of named items, too narrow for my taste. We veterans can plan that out, farm beforehand, get ways around DR, etc, a new player might have to use a lootgen weapon for a few levels. The pressure of having to farm exactly 1-2 items with a decent chance of it taking a long time within the first life in this game is not something I personally would want to recommend for a minimal gain of dps, ymmv.
    Well, Envenomed Blade is clearly as good as widowblight, and also available from an easily soloed F2P quest (though running casual will penalize your drop rate), so I'll definitely agree with Envenomed Blade being a solid choice.

    I would say that I think when you're looking at swashbuckling weapons, unless you have a truly exceptional weapon like Envenomed Blade, your only viable choices are the ones with an expanded crit profile. On that list, I don't see piercing (or bludgeoning) as particularly more available than slashing. Cross off anything from crucible, reaver's fate, tome page turn-in, and crystal cove -- all nightmare farms for a new player -- and there's only one or two viable choices regardless which style you choose.

    That's my thinking, anyway, but you've mounted a compelling case that at very least, I'll put both in there as equally viable alternatives.

    EDIT: Actually, I could make a similar valid case for bludgeoning, so I put all three in there. I did list piercing first, but there will be a write-up in the gear section with more info.

  11. #31
    Community Member Tinco's Avatar
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    Yep. Simply list the good weapons and then they can chose an appropriate IC feat. For example, I see Ribcrackers pretty often cheap (even for a new player) in the AH and that's also a perfectly valid route.

    (edit: ...and you already had covered that in your edit)
    Last edited by Tinco; 04-21-2015 at 02:29 PM.
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  12. #32
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    I view the skills as way more valuable than an extra 0 BAB feat.
    Code:
    Bard Trapper
    18/2 Bard/Rogue
    True Neutral Human
    
    
    Level Order
    
    1. Bard . . . . . .6. Bard. . . . . .11. Bard . . . . . 16. Bard
    2. Rogue. . . . . .7. Bard. . . . . .12. Bard . . . . . 17. Bard
    3. Bard . . . . . .8. Bard. . . . . .13. Bard . . . . . 18. Bard
    4. Bard . . . . . .9. Bard. . . . . .14. Bard . . . . . 19. Bard
    5. Bard . . . . . 10. Rogue . . . . .15. Bard . . . . . 20. Bard
    
    
    Stats
    . . . . . . . .28pt. . .Level Up
    . . . . . . . .----. . .--------
    Strength. . . . 16 . . . 4: STR
    Dexterity . . . 14 . . . 8: STR
    Constitution. . 14 . . .12: STR
    Intelligence. . 14 . . .16: STR
    Wisdom. . . . . .8 . . .20: STR
    Charisma. . . . .8 . . .24: STR
    . . . . . . . . . . . . 28: STR
    
    Skills
    . . . . . B .R. B .B. B .B. B .B. B .R. B .B. B .B. B .B. B .B. B .B
    . . . . . 1 .2. 3 .4. 5 .6. 7 .8. 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
    . . . . .------------------------------------------------------------
    Perform . 4 . . 1 .1. 1 .2. 1 .1. 1 . . 1 .1. 2 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 23
    Disable . . .5. . .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .2. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 23
    Search. . 2 .3. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 23
    UMD . . . 4 . . 2 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 . . 1 .2. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 23
    Concent . 4 . . 2 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 . . 2 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 . . 22
    Spot. . . 2 . . ½ .½. ½ .½. 1 .1. 1 .6. ½ .½. ½ .1. 1 .1. 1 .1. 1 .1½ 22
    Balance . 4 . . 1 .1. 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
    Open Lo . . .3. . . . . . . . . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
    Jump. . . 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
    Haggle. . 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
    Move Si . 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
    Swim. . . 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
    Tumble. . 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
    . . . . .------------------------------------------------------------
    . . . . .36 11. 9 .9. 9 .9. 9 .9. 9 11. 9 .9. 9 .9. 9 .9. 9 .9. 9 .9
    
    
    Feats
    
    .1. . . . : Single Weapon Fighting
    .1 Human. : Shield Mastery
    .3. . . . : Precision
    .6. . . . : Empower Healing Spell
    .9. . . . : Improved Single Weapon Fighting
    12. . . . : Improved Critical: Piercing
    15. . . . : Improved Shield Mastery
    18. . . . : Greater Single Weapon Fighting
    21 Epic . : Inspire Excellence
    24 Epic . : Overwhelming Critical
    26 Destiny: Lasting Inspiration
    27 Epic . : Epic Reflexes
    28 Destiny: Perfect Single Weapon Fighting
    
    
    Enhancements (80 AP)
    
    Human (3 AP)
    
    
    • Damage Boost
      1. Improved Recovery
    Swashbuckler (36 AP)
    • Confidence, Swashbuckling, Uncanny Dodge, Panache, Roll with the Punches
      1. Tavern Shanties III, Limber Up III
      2. Deflect Arrows, Fast Movement, Double Strike Boost III
      3. Elegant Footwork, Skirmisher, Resonant Arms III
      4. Low Blow
      5. Thread the Needle, Exploit Weakness, Coup de Grace: Melee
    Warchanter (31 AP)
    • Skaldic: Rage, Weapon Training, Song of Heroism, Fighting Spirit, Victory Song
      1. Poetic Edda III, Enchant Weapon, Rough and Ready III
      2. Iced Edges III
      3. Ironskin Chant III, Frozen Fury III
      4. Reckless Chant III, Northwind III
    Spellsinger (10 AP)
    • Spellsinger
      1. Studies: Magical III, Lingering Songs III
      2. Wand and Scroll Mastery III
    Compared to your original build, I think all I gave up is a few misc. skill pts; and in exchange I squeezed in SM+ISM. Alternatively you could use the feat slots for a couple more metamagics.
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  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    Compared to your original build, I think all I gave up is a few misc. skill pts; and in exchange I squeezed in SM+ISM. Alternatively you could use the feat slots for a couple more metamagics.
    Nicely done!

    I needs my extend, though. Never haste/displace without it! hehheh. (I keep both running 24/7.)

  14. #34
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Extend / Quicken / Emp Heal is a viable alternative to SM / ISM / <metamagic>; like I said, I think feat slots are more precious than a few extra skill pts for this build concept.
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  15. #35
    Bacon Queen MadCookieQueen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    I view it like wisdom for a paladin or ranger. It's a fair point to keep in mind, though, since paladins and rangers don't have to worry about it until level 4, whereas you'll want to start casting buffs immediately at level 2. Fortunately the cha pots in the market are ML2.
    As a reminder new players tend to have a hard time with getting plat (repairs, buying items, healing potions and things of that sort will drain their little accounts dry), so I would not set them up for an automatic "you have to buy this" kind of thing. It is better to round out the stats a little more to avoid that. After playing for a while (like the next life) and they have more money in the bank and an awareness of how buffing potions work and what not, then they can make that decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    On my swashbuckler life, my fascinate was more than sufficient. Losing 3 off the DC should still be close to no-fail for heroics.
    It's a points game as any caster can tell you X points = no-fail X-1 points = don't even bother. Also please consider things like UMD, CDG, Frozen Fury, Spell Points and etc. CHA is part of all of that, it's a viable part to being a Bard. Rangers can get away with a low wisdom because their casting is pretty light and wisdom overall doesn't feed into the same amounts of various abilities that CHA does for a Bard.


    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    Int is needed for skill points, already stretched thin.
    You can go without Spot, my trappers in a multi-class situation dump Spot but keep disable and search maxed...after those four points, take whatever else you need to survive. You take Quicken, you can dump Concentration. Skill points cut back, lower INT needed and raise that important CHA.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post

    Also, I use concentration. I suspect you are accustomed to running Epic Elite, where concentration does nothing, so you don't put any ranks in it. If you max it it works great everywhere else, no quicken needed. On my swashbuckler life I did all my healing with cure spells.
    I do run EE's. I also run EEs and meet lots of new players and first lifers. When talking to them it's the...well "I followed this build" or "I thought this sounded cool" and you realize that it's a sub optimal build. These new players are trying to run elite content because of challenge or gear or maybe they just found a group that was running what they wanted but that group is running EE.

    Then they keep dying and you talk them through things and by then usually the new player is frustrated, they want to try something harder and then realize that their build lacks the capability to handle what they want to try.

    We have to set every build up like that. It should be optimized to hold it's own, no matter first, second, third life. Because it's fairly safe to assume that new people will read a build and work on it as stated, believing ti's going to take them through all that cool hard stuff.

    So what if you build something that helps a new player stomp through heroic? You'll make them feel pretty cool and when they get into the harder difficulties they won't feel like the weak link in the party. They will have a build that can handle it...all they need to do is apply gear and tactics.


    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    If I were to add 4 AP to the swashbuckler tree I'd go straight for Second Skin.
    If you had the 4 points laying around doing nothing...no problem. But for what you want to do here...you dont' have that luxury.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    How is Blow By Blow? Wiki says the damage doesn't scale with sonic power, so it's just the crit range increase. That's of course still good, though. What's the cooldown? Does it cost mana to use?
    I loved it on my Firestarter build, the cooldown was pretty quick, and no SP needed. The sonic damage wasn't that beefy but with mass doublestrike, haste and swing speed of SWF...all those little ticks add up. The extended crit range makes it a winner hands down.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    I'm not a fan of guard procs, so Sword Dance doesn't appeal to me. I especially don't like it in "don't kill those mobs" quests like Sleeping Dust. I think Deflect Arrows has better defensive utility. Looking more closely at Elegant Footwork, that does look nice on a skirmisher. Not sure why you put Fast Movement in a second time at tier 3; it's only in tier 2 from what I understand/remember.
    If deflect arrows actually worked reasonably well, i'd agree with you but with all my playing, I've never seen it actually be useful.

    elegant Footwork is virtually a must in any SB build. 20% chance for no save knockdown = prone = bonus damage = WIN!

    Fast Movement is in tier 2, it was a typo putting it into tier 3.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    Lingering III is a very high priority since the build is running with Skaldic Rage going 24/7.
    Well since the 42 out of SB was a typo...there's your 2 points back for lingering.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    30 AP in the tree and then not to take full BAB from the ML18 core? I can't say I agree with you here. Full BAB is one of my main motivators to take 18 bard levels in the first place.
    Tenser's grants full BAB...I dont' know many melee builds who don't use it like crazy. You can also drop Blow by Blow to 2 and use that point. You'll still get a +2 to crit range, which is better than none.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    Solved by the magical training feat.
    Waste of feat...seriously...it's very sub optimal.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    On my swashbuckler life I never once cast a level 6 spell.
    You should still make recommendations to players as to which spells that are ideal for filling the slots. If you've never casted one...you're missing out on extra capabilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    Cool, I'll definitely check it out. To be honest, all I did was grind out a million xp in two days of cheap farms (Spiesx2 / VON3x2 / WizKingx2) to max it out and then TRed. I didn't really use anything in it in any meaningful way.

    Which would be better, do you think: Legendary Dreadnought or Divine Crusader?
    I like DC for the more defensive capabilities (Zeal is still sexy though) and it's another source of healing via Consecration. However if you just want to beat something down, LD is the way to go and with the rework of Master's Blitz it's really worth it. But LD is tricky...you'll have to really watch the build to maximize out the synergies from feats versus the ED.



    Also as an FYI: I am finishing up the Shadow Bard a Shadar Kai 15 Bard / 2 Rogue / 3 Fighter (INT based) and should have it posted in the next day or so.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadCookieQueen View Post
    As a reminder new players tend to have a hard time with getting plat (repairs, buying items, healing potions and things of that sort will drain their little accounts dry), so I would not set them up for an automatic "you have to buy this" kind of thing. It is better to round out the stats a little more to avoid that. After playing for a while (like the next life) and they have more money in the bank and an awareness of how buffing potions work and what not, then they can make that decision.
    I'll agree to disagree.

    It's a points game as any caster can tell you X points = no-fail X-1 points = don't even bother. Also please consider things like UMD, CDG, Frozen Fury, Spell Points and etc. CHA is part of all of that, it's a viable part to being a Bard. Rangers can get away with a low wisdom because their casting is pretty light and wisdom overall doesn't feed into the same amounts of various abilities that CHA does for a Bard.
    A swashbuckler can get away with rarely ever bothering to sing a song. I recall using fascinate in a handful of quests on that heroic life, tops. Everything just died to quick to bother.

    You can go without Spot, my trappers in a multi-class situation dump Spot but keep disable and search maxed...after those four points, take whatever else you need to survive. You take Quicken, you can dump Concentration. Skill points cut back, lower INT needed and raise that important CHA.
    Now, see, I think this is truly terrible advice for a new player. I personally can go without spot, for sure; my paladin is a spotless trapper. But for a new player that would be frustration city.

    We have to set every build up like that. It should be optimized to hold it's own, no matter first, second, third life. Because it's fairly safe to assume that new people will read a build and work on it as stated, believing ti's going to take them through all that cool hard stuff.
    I don't think new player build need or even should be optimized for running EEs, because then you end up making concessions like sacrificing spot, and using quicken instead of concentration. Now a new player finds himself dying in traps he couldn't see and quickly running out of mana when trying to heal himself, and gets quite frustrated.

    I think you're running into a tiny fraction of new player builds in EE. I think most new players just up and quit not due to any fault, just not the game for them, a lot quit because all the builds they see require past lives / tomes / exotic gear they can't see ever getting, or when they finally find a reasonably accessible EE build it ends up being "built for epic" and plays much harder in the early levels so they leave.

    I fully expect my new player builds to get people up to epics, maybe all the way to 28, and then TR into a "real" build now that they have a feel for the game. By then they're hooked and my job is done.

    If deflect arrows actually worked reasonably well, i'd agree with you but with all my playing, I've never seen it actually be useful.
    I've heard it referred to as the "don't get hamstringed" defense. Does it not work?

    elegant Footwork is virtually a must in any SB build. 20% chance for no save knockdown = prone = bonus damage = WIN!
    Sold. I'll work it in.


    You should still make recommendations to players as to which spells that are ideal for filling the slots. If you've never casted one...you're missing out on extra capabilities.
    I disagree. I think it's relevant to show when spell slots aren't mission critical.

    Also as an FYI: I am finishing up the Shadow Bard a Shadar Kai 15 Bard / 2 Rogue / 3 Fighter (INT based) and should have it posted in the next day or so.
    Awesome!

  17. #37
    Bacon Queen MadCookieQueen's Avatar
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    I'll start off by saying that where as we have different philosophies on builds, I think it's wonderful how you go out of your way to tailor to new players. Overall your builds are very friendly and fairly solid in it's thinking. I may not agree with everything, but you give players a fine starting point and your willingness to engage in debates like this, if players fully read the forums, they will get good insights on other options.



    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    A swashbuckler can get away with rarely ever bothering to sing a song. I recall using fascinate in a handful of quests on that heroic life, tops. Everything just died to quick to bother.
    They can, but you will still want it as high as possible for those moments when you absolutely need to. Such as rescuing the party, getting over your head or situations like VON 1 (especially if you try to solo it). It's all about preparing for those "oh no!" moments and making sure you have the right tools in place to mitigate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    Now, see, I think this is truly terrible advice for a new player. I personally can go without spot, for sure; my paladin is a spotless trapper. But for a new player that would be frustration city.
    Maps in the Wiki. When a new player is asking about trapping or how to run a quest, I always refer them to the wiki. Also we talk about it so much on the forums that it's a common thing to think that players will have map of quest open and running quest at same time. So they can stop short and hit search.

    I guess I just figure even new players would use a handy resource in learning about the game. So really this is a philosophy idea, I play wiht the wiki and encourage others to do so and I base my thinking on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    I don't think new player build need or even should be optimized for running EEs, because then you end up making concessions like sacrificing spot, and using quicken instead of concentration. Now a new player finds himself dying in traps he couldn't see and quickly running out of mana when trying to heal himself, and gets quite frustrated.
    They don't need to run EE...but they will try. After all they hear from other players that all the good loot drops on EE. Again we are discussing our own experiences and philosophies.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    I think you're running into a tiny fraction of new player builds in EE. I think most new players just up and quit not due to any fault, just not the game for them, a lot quit because all the builds they see require past lives / tomes / exotic gear they can't see ever getting, or when they finally find a reasonably accessible EE build it ends up being "built for epic" and plays much harder in the early levels so they leave.
    Unless we can get an exit survey done, for people who leave the game we can, at best, only speculate. Also our experiences do differ a bit. I see this issue more often, whereas you may not. So I build for the EE experience and usually I remember to make notes in my builds that if you are new, here's your priorities.


    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    I fully expect my new player builds to get people up to epics, maybe all the way to 28, and then TR into a "real" build now that they have a feel for the game. By then they're hooked and my job is done.
    Even a beginner build can still be a "real" build.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    I've heard it referred to as the "don't get hamstringed" defense. Does it not work?
    What is happening here is a high reflex/dodge/displacement build and so hamstrings can and do happen, but with my experiences it's so rare that I dont' consider it a priority to put in there. If you have the AP then it's not a bad option, but if you don't (as with so many goodies you have to put a priority on what is workable and what isn't) I wouldn't bother.

    So do you want to spend AP on something that you won't encounter very often or do you put AP in issues that are very common?

    Trade offs and optimization.

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisDee37 View Post
    I disagree. I think it's relevant to show when spell slots aren't mission critical.
    I'll disagree, though they aren't mission critical, it's still good to make the base suggestion as to what is a good option. for instance If you leave it open to anything, you might get players taking like Summon Monster and then upset when the spell looks cool on paper but does not much of anything. With Bard spells and how they are done, you want to make those recommendations to help them not have to once a day go to the trainer and swap a spell.

    It's all about giving ideas and options, people will still do what they want.

  18. #38

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    Just for clarification, I view this discussion as good-natured, as if having a beer at the local pub. Your feedback is always welcome.

    We disagree, but I totally understand where you're coming from and the reasoning behind it.

  19. #39
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    On a first-lifer, I would suggest Lasting Inspiration at lvl 26 and PSWF at lvl 28; max out Fatesinger first, then move onto Martial to max out SD or LD second.
    An addendum to my own suggestion:
    • When you hit lvl 20, unlock Fatesinger first. Level it to 3 in order to unlock your adjacent Arcane EDs and open your first Twist slot.
    • Switch to Magister and level just enough to max out Unearthly Reactions (+3% Dodge, +6 Reflex); drop it in your Twist slot then switch back to Fatesinger. [Should only take 108K XP, which isn't much in epic quests.]
    • Max out Fatesinger so you can take Lasting Inspiration at lvl 26; then switch to Shadowdancer. [At this point you should be lvl 24, though you may wish to level-save if you still have lvl 20 quests to run.]
    • Now you need to decide if you'd rather max out SD or Legendary Dreadnought first; in the latter case, lvl SD to 3, switch EDs, then max out LD (enjoy being a DPS demi-god for a while!).
    Major build threads: Axesinger / Dwarven Defender / Drow Ninja / Drow Paladin / Elven Ranger / Monkcher / Sacred Vanguard / Cleric Domains / Kundarak Brigade / Iconic Builds
    My Build Index: a Motley Menagerie of Original Rapscallions, Pugilists, and Gimps!

  20. #40

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    If taking the full shield mastery line, twisting in Legendary Shield Mastery becomes a no-brainer, yes?

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