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  1. #1
    Community Member Chilldude's Avatar
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    Default FVS Caster Levels

    Favored Soul casters levels are a hot mess.

    One thing I want to point out right up front, there is a particular thing that is definitely not functioning as intended and if they start cleaning up casters levels they might stumble upon this and fix it. It's nothing Earth shattering and it's absolutely not an exploit because it works the way it works and there's nothing anyone has do to make it do this nor is there anyway that anyone can do anything to avoid it. If you are intimately knowledgeable with FVS, especially at end game in high difficulties, and know what I'm talking about and think this is more important than any caster level mess then I might be inclined to agree. With melee cleaving away at a roomful of baddies for tens of thousands in damage in high reaper levels, this particular thing isn't even a blip on the radar, so when I say it's nothing Earth shattering it really isn't, but it certainly might be more beneficial than everything below combined.

    Alright, so I have a first life pure FVS at cap. He's the original toon I ran the original level 20 cap epics on as a healer. He was parked at level 25 and I haven't done anything with him since. Pretty much right around the time I figured out that positive spell power wasn't being fully applied to Heal/Heal Mass, a stealth nerf that really didn't make any sense but was later confirmed by devs as working as intended after I drew attention to the discrepancy. They updated the tool tip to reflect this nerf with some pathetic excuse about wanting to make cure spells more important. Only 50% spell power is applied to Heal/Heal Mass. Well I just capped this character and have been running around Barovia having fun checking out the new (to me) content. As I was leveling him up I chose an epic feat called Master of Light, which increases the max caster level of Sun Bolt, Searing Light, and Divine Punishment by 10! I couldn't wait to get into a dungeon to unleash this new found power, except, Sun Bolt damage was the same. I started looking at caster levels and figured it must be something to do with the fact that Angel of Vengeance awards +1 Caster Level and +2 Max Caster level for each core ability, so that's a total of 6 caster levels and 12 max caster levels... granting 6 more MCL than CL. I didn't think much about it at the time, and moved on with leveling and playing.

    Now, at cap with a destiny with max XP, I've decided to ETR to fix the build, getting rid of Master of Light among other things. Except I wanted to ensure I was doing the right thing so I started digging in to casters levels to make sure I wasn't making a mistake, what I found was FVS caster levels are a complete mess and almost nothing is what it should be.

    Caster Level


    My character is a level 20 pure Favored Soul, so that's caster level 20.
    My character has all 6 Angel of Vengeance core abilities for +6 to caster level with sun Bolt, Nimbus of Light, Searing Light, Cometfall, Flame Strike, Fire Storm, and Divine Punishment.
    My character has the AoV enhancement Intense Faith for +3 caster level with all fire, force, light, and physical damage spells (which would apply to all of the above named spells).

    Therefore my character at level 20 should be casting all of the spells listed above at level 29 except where limited by Max Caster Level. My character has +15 MCL though from AoV enhancements. 12 from core abilities, and 3 from Zealous Faith.

    Max Caster Level


    Sun Bolt - A powerful bolt of light deals 5 to 8 light damage per caster level (up to a max of 75 to 120 damage at caster level 15) to targets in its path. A successful Reflex save reduces the damage by half. D&D Dice: Deals 1d4+4 light damage per caster level (max 15d4+60). So Sun Bolt is MCL 15... except with my AoV boost it should be MCL 30.

    Searing Light - Focuses divine power like a ray of the sun, causing a blast of light to deal 1d4+4 light damage per 2 caster levels (Maximum damage 5d4+20.), or deals 1d3+3 light damage per caster level to Undead. (Maximum damage 10d3+30.) This one is strange, as it's MCL is 10 against undead, but it only benefits from every 2 levels for living creatures yet maxes out on an odd number, 5. It's difficult to be certain of it's intended MCL, as it doesn't state a MCL but instead states a max damage. I understand why this one is messed up because it's very ambiguous, but it appears they just take the MCL for undead and halve it. So with +15 from AoV it should be MCL 25 against undead and half that for living... so 12?

    Nimbus of Light - A glittering corona of light coalesces around your outstretched arm, dealing 1d4+4 points of light damage plus 1 additional damage for every caster level. This ray has double spell range. This spell has no max caster level.

    Divine Punishment - Focuses the power of the gods upon the target, inflicting 1d6 +1 light damage every 2 seconds (no initial tic) for a duration of 16 seconds (at CL1). This damage scales by +1 per caster level light damage up to a maximum 1d6+20 at caster level 20. MCL 20 + 15 from AoV = 35.

    Comet Fall - You conjure a bright, glowing comet, which appears in midair above your target, then strikes the ground with tremendous force. This area of effect spell does 2d3+6 points of bludgeon damage for every 2 caster levels (Maximum 20d3+60 at caster level 20). A successful Reflex save reduces the damage by half. MCL is clearly stated as 20, so +15 from AoV should increase its caster level to 35, but it only does increased damage for every 2 levels so at CL 35 it would do 17 x 2d3+6.

    Flame Strike - Here the wiki does not agree with the in game tool tip, therefore I'm going with the in game tool tip as it specifically states 1d3 per caster level max 30d3. So Flame strike has a MCL of 30, with +15 from AoV it should be MCL 45.

    Fire Storm - I don't have it, therefore can't test it.

    Theory


    OK, now we know that my character has a caster level of 29 so let's look at each spell to see what level my character should cast it at...

    Sun Bolt - 29
    Searing Light - 25 (against undead for sure)
    Nimbus of Light - 29
    Divine Punishment - 29
    Cometfall - 29
    Flame Strike - 29

    In Exalted Angel for every core ability past the first one you get +1 divine caster level, for a total of +5. So in EA my character should cast at...

    Sun Bolt - 34 (would be capped at 30 except for Master of Light epic feat that raises Sun Bolt, Searing Light, and Divine Punishment by +10)
    Searing Light - 30
    Nimbus of Light - 34
    Divine Punishment - 34
    Cometfall - 34
    Flame Strike - 34

    Master of Light Epic Feat


    This shows that in theory the ONLY THING MoL does is allow ONE SPELL, Sun Bolt, in Exalted Angel to increase its caster level from its MCL of 30 to 40 which then allows it to go from CL 30-34 while in the EA ED. I just don't understand why this "EPIC" feat even exists? Even if you aren't in the Angel of Vengeance enhancement tree for the +12 to MCL, you also aren't getting the +9 to CL from that tree and therefore likely won't need any MCL boost anyway!

    In reality, I'm not sure what is going on as you'll see below.

    Reality


    This part gets tricky as it's pretty messed up.

    At cap, while already in the Exalted Angel Destiny before logging in, here's the actual caster level of the spells:

    Sun Bolt - 32 (34) -2
    Searing Light - 35 (30) +5
    Nimbus of Light - 35 (34) +1
    Divine Punishment - 35 (34) +1
    Cometfall - 35 (34) +1
    Flame Strike - 32 (34) -2

    Overall, most get a tiny increase in caster level over what was expected. However, Sun Bolt, the most powerful spell, is 2 less than expected, and as mentioned above it's the ONLY spell that theoretically benefits from the +10 MCL of Master of Light!???

    The story gets even stranger though. After changing from Legendary Dreadnought, a completely empty ED for this character, without logging out, I got caster level 32 for all the spells except Flame Strike which was 29. CRAZY!!! I'd understand if the caster levels were all 5 less, because then it would just be an issue of it not adding the +5 from EA, but Sun Bolt is the same and the others are only 3 less. Just weird, but it gets weirder.

    If you change from EA to LD you get 32 for Sunbolt 27 for Flame Strike and 30 for everything else. So that's 5 less for all but Sun Bolt?, which remains unaffected, just as you would expect. Except if you log out and back in, they all drop by 1, except Sun Bolt, which again remains unaffected.

    Conclusion


    I don't know what is going on here. Nothing is way off, so it's not the end of the world, but Sun Bolt doesn't seem to be affected by EA at all, which is quite odd. The strangest thing of everything is Master of Light, an epic feat which doesn't do anything at all!!! It should very slightly benefit a single spell, Sun Bolt, but NOTHING affects Sun Bolt! Master of Light should be changed to +10 CL and +10 MCL, then it would actually do something! Before you start screaming how OP that would be, go watch some videos of a barbarian running R7 solo and cleaving away for tens of thousands in damage all while being automatically healed by a constant stream of +300.

    So as it stands, the take away I get from all this is just don't waste a feat on Master of Light. All the caster levels are a little wonky, but nothing is incredibly out of line, and there's one small benefit from something that isn't working as intended that might get fixed if they fix everything else.

    I'm about to ETR, and this time around I'm not going to take Master of Light. I'm going to test all of the above as soon as I log back in at level 20, before taking any enhancements, well Sun Bolt is granted by enhancements, but I'll test that at the minimum level of enhancement and then as I take each core ability and each point of Intense Faith. Then I'll try to format all the numbers in a more easily discerned manner and report back.
    The Final Victory Tour!!!

  2. #2
    Community Member Chilldude's Avatar
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    After the ETR the combat log no longer shows what caster level I am casting at, or even that I'm casting at all. If I were a conspiracy theorists I might think they were trying to cover it up, but being quite familiar with the DDO engine's quirks I know it is what it is. Without caster levels showing up in the combat log I really can't test this anymore. I could make a bunch of casts with each spell and then try to figure the caster level based on that damage range but that'd be a lot more work. I don't know what I'm going to do I'll get back to you when I decide.
    The Final Victory Tour!!!

  3. #3
    Community Member Chilldude's Avatar
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    OK, very interesting results to report.

    I decided since I couldn't see the CL in the combat log I would just test the thing I really cared about instead, the damage of Sun Bolt increasing with caster levels. So I took 1 core ability in Angel of Vengeance to unlock Sun Bolt and recorded 10 casts. Then I took another core of AoV and 10 casts, until I had all 6 core abilities. Each time the damage did indeed increase as the caster level went up by 1. Along the way I noticed it was showing me caster levels in the combat log again as well. Perhaps it only shows the caster level if there is an increase over what the normal caster level would be, therefore when I had no enhancements what so ever it... well... it wasn't saying I was casting anything either. Who knows, anyway, Sun Bolt's caster level and damage definitely went up with each caster level granted by AoV, as did all other spells listed above. In fact, with all 6 core abilities the combat log listed everything being cast at CL 26 which is the 20+6 you would expect.

    Now it starts to get interesting.

    I then took a point of Intense Faith, the caster level of Sun Bolt went from 26 to 28? All the other spells cast at level 27 as you would expect. However, even though the caster level of Sun Bolt went up by 2 in the combat log, the damage didn't go up at all! How bizarre? So I took another point, Sun Bolt's caster level jumped by 2 in the combat log again, but again its damage didn't increase. All other spells went up by 1 to 28 as you would expect. Another point, another 2 caster levels in the combat log for Sun Bolt, bringing it to 32 but again no increase in damage. The other spells were casting at CL 29.

    Then I took a point of Zealous Faith for +1 max caster level. The caster level of Sun Bolt did not go up in the combat log, it remained level 32, but its damage did go up! I took another point, again CL 32, and again the damage went up. After the 3rd point it still remained level 32 but again the damage went up. All other spells were still casting at level 29.

    Sun Bolt was acting like it hit MCL at level 26 with the +6 from AoV, and the additional +3 from Intense Faith didn't kick in until Zealous Faith raised the MCL by 3. The normal MCL of Sun Bolt is 15, +12 from AOV should have raised it to 27, so the first point of IF should have increased the damage.

    Exalted Angel Epic Destiny

    Sun Bolt remains unchanged in EA, it casts at level 32 just as it does in a blank destiny and the damage is not increased at all. All the other spells were increased from CL 29 to CL 35, which is actually more than expected. There's a lot of loggining out and logging in to make sure things are working as they are supposed to, but on a fresh log in while in EA destiny the combat log reports the spells as being cast at level 35. I didn't thoroughly test the damage, but most did show an increase in damage from the granted caster levels of EA.

    Conclusion

    For the most part the only thing really out of whack is Sun Bolt. Every caster level from AoV made its damage increase, but the caster levels from IF didn't until ZF raised the MCL by 3. Perhaps the granted caster levels from EA that didn't affect Sun Bolt will increase its damage with Master of Light's +10 MCL. I'm doubtful because there is no reported increase in CL in the combat log from EA. I'll know for sure when I hit level 24 and get the MoL feat to test, but I really don't think it'll affect Sun Bolt's damage. I'll get to 24 and report back.
    The Final Victory Tour!!!

  4. #4
    Community Member Pilgrim1's Avatar
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    Exalted angel is suposed to give 5 caster levels to fvs. Yet when you cast any old buff spell, like resist energy, it only has a duration of 23min. EA only gives +3 caster levels.

  5. #5
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    Caster levels in the combat log are not, and as far as I know never have been, accurate. If you want to know your caster level in a spell, you have to cast the spell and measure the effect. Check the duration and/or damage it deals. And with a spell with that many dice, not sure 10 casts is enough to be sure of average damage (it's been a while since my last stats class).

    I think my highest level fvs is 16, so I can try some tests to help out, but I'd be missing EDs and the last 2 cores. Basically, go into PvP with an alt account, hit it with a spell, record the dmg, heal, rinse, repeat several times, calculate the average, change enhancements, and rinse repeat again.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilldude View Post
    Along the way I noticed it was showing me caster levels in the combat log again as well. Perhaps it only shows the caster level if there is an increase over what the normal caster level would be
    This is entirely correct.
    3 piece heroic might of the abishai set is a quick source of +1 evo caster level if you ever need it displayed in the combat log.

    Also have you read this thread? https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...ster-level-WAI
    Last edited by cru121; 12-16-2018 at 03:52 PM.

  7. #7
    Community Member Chilldude's Avatar
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    UPDATE



    I get super bored of grinding so it took me a minute to get to 24, especially with the holidays, but I just made it. I took Master of Light and just as I figured, no change in damage for Sun Bolt at all. I also tested Divine Punishment, as it's one of the 3 spell influenced by MoL, and it too was completely unchanged.

    Basically, more so than anything else, this just means Master of Light is a complete waste of a feat and should be avoided entirely. I doubt they ever change it, and it's not the end of the world, but it's good to know not to waste a feat on it. Sun Bolt is a little messed up with caster levels, but I don't think it's enough to worry about trying to get them to do something about. Overall, after the extensive testing, I think FVS is better off now than if they fixed everything that isn't working right so I'll just leave it at that.
    The Final Victory Tour!!!

  8. #8
    Community Member skorpeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilldude View Post
    UPDATE



    I get super bored of grinding so it took me a minute to get to 24, especially with the holidays, but I just made it. I took Master of Light and just as I figured, no change in damage for Sun Bolt at all. I also tested Divine Punishment, as it's one of the 3 spell influenced by MoL, and it too was completely unchanged.

    Basically, more so than anything else, this just means Master of Light is a complete waste of a feat and should be avoided entirely. I doubt they ever change it, and it's not the end of the world, but it's good to know not to waste a feat on it. Sun Bolt is a little messed up with caster levels, but I don't think it's enough to worry about trying to get them to do something about. Overall, after the extensive testing, I think FVS is better off now than if they fixed everything that isn't working right so I'll just leave it at that.
    Thanks for doing the research, I know I have taken the feat before, so I will hopefully not use it again. It does make me worry that things don't do as they say. I just don't have the attention to detail (or the time to bother looking for errors) to check things like this. I think that means I should probably go roll a barbarian!
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  9. #9
    Grand Panjandrum Alisonique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skorpeon View Post
    Thanks for doing the research, I know I have taken the feat before, so I will hopefully not use it again. It does make me worry that things don't do as they say. I just don't have the attention to detail (or the time to bother looking for errors) to check things like this. I think that means I should probably go roll a barbarian!
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  10. #10
    Community Member Ewynn's Avatar
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    Default Light this!

    Ok, so riddle me this. What is the effect of multi-class FvS taking some of the CL and MCL increases as well as the Master of Light feat? My hunch is that MoL is not meant for pure FvS but only for multi-class to amp their damage up. Also, what about the Master of Alignment feat. FvS is my favorite class but I've given up on MoL. I'm not sold yet on the MoA. It occurs to me that pure FvS AoV's may be better off running in Unyielding, or D.Crusader than Exalted Angel, than again SoundBurst-> Divine Wrath ->Cometfall->Cometfall-> Holy Smite is tough to beat (It's a real crowd pleaser!) :-D
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ewynn View Post
    Ok, so riddle me this. What is the effect of multi-class FvS taking some of the CL and MCL increases as well as the Master of Light feat? My hunch is that MoL is not meant for pure FvS but only for multi-class to amp their damage up. Also, what about the Master of Alignment feat. FvS is my favorite class but I've given up on MoL. I'm not sold yet on the MoA. It occurs to me that pure FvS AoV's may be better off running in Unyielding, or D.Crusader than Exalted Angel, than again SoundBurst-> Divine Wrath ->Cometfall->Cometfall-> Holy Smite is tough to beat (It's a real crowd pleaser!) :-D
    It's even worse for a multiclass, MoL adds MCLs, not CLs. The MCLs are caps regardless of your actual caster level, so with a spell that caps at 15 regardless of FvS20 or FvS15 you'll be capped at 15. After adding MoL (+10 MCL?) you'll have a FvS20 casting 20/25 while a FvS15 casts 15/25.

    This was somewhat relevant for lower level spells that had low MCL caps, but little to no effect to the higher level pewpews. Even then the lower spells had considerablly smaller damage than the higher spells, so it's not really useful. Worsened now after the AoV pass that added so much extra CL/MCLs that you will essentially never use ANY of the extra cap in MoL for the stronger spells. Results might differ for a pure Cleric.
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  12. #12
    Community Member Ewynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by askrj1 View Post
    It's even worse for a multiclass, MoL adds MCLs, not CLs. The MCLs are caps regardless of your actual caster level, so with a spell that caps at 15 regardless of FvS20 or FvS15 you'll be capped at 15. After adding MoL (+10 MCL?) you'll have a FvS20 casting 20/25 while a FvS15 casts 15/25.

    This was somewhat relevant for lower level spells that had low MCL caps, but little to no effect to the higher level pewpews. Even then the lower spells had considerablly smaller damage than the higher spells, so it's not really useful. Worsened now after the AoV pass that added so much extra CL/MCLs that you will essentially never use ANY of the extra cap in MoL for the stronger spells. Results might differ for a pure Cleric.

    Good point. Your analysis required too much thinking :-) It would be great if they fixed the MoL and gave us something better, or included caster levels as well.
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