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  1. #1
    Community Member Bjond's Avatar
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    Dec 2018

    Default "Wartlock" VKF Warlock/Artificier Trapper TR Framework

    Someone noticed the odd class combinations I was using and asked about the build. It's a framework for all forms of TR -- epic, heroic, iconic, racial -- all of them keep the same general play style, though whichever class gets bolted on top will definitely color the experience.

    I tend to think of my characters by both name and class; ie. that's my warlock or that's my bard. So, while I like playing different classes and making alts, it feels very wrong to pervert my "warlock" into say a cleric or wizard for the PL bonuses. So, I made this framework to let my warlock be a warlock.

    BTW, build shown for TR+1 and S.Tome+7 on Morninglord Iconic. It will need adaptation if you have other needs, such as no TR+1 and no tomes. For no TR, swap L1 Cleric & Art with slightly reduced trapping. No Tome means choosing between skills and stats; ie. you might need to go all-in on INT during level-ups if you really want trapping.

    L20 VKF WArtlock
    9/9/2 Cleric/Warlock/Artificer
    Level Order
    1. Artificer       6. Warlock        11. Warlock        16. Cleric
    2. Cleric          7. Warlock        12. Cleric         17. Cleric
    3. Warlock         8. Warlock        13. Cleric         18. Cleric
    4. Warlock         9. Warlock        14. Cleric         19. Cleric
    5. Warlock        10. Warlock        15. Artificer      20. Cleric
    Stats          34pt     36pt     Tome     Level Up
                   ----     ----     ----     --------
    Strength        12       12       +7       4: CON
    Dexterity       10       10       +7       8: CON
    Constitution    14       14       +7      12: CON
    Intelligence    18       18       +7      16: CON
    Wisdom          10       12       +7      20: CON
    Charisma        14       14       +7      24: CON
                                              28: CON
    Birth     C  C  W  W  W  W  W  W  W  W  W  C  C  C  A  C  C  C  C  C
    TR+1      A  C  W  W  W  W  W  W  W  W  W  C  C  C  A  C  C  C  C  C
              1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
    Spellcr   4  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  23
    Disable   4  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  23
    Search    4  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  23
    UMD       4     1  1  1  1  2  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  1  23
    Open Lo   4  ½                 ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  7  1  1  1  1  1  20
    Balance   2  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½                              7
    Perform   2                                                            2
    Spot      2                                                            2
    Tumble    1                                                            1
             32  7  7  7  7  7  8  8  8  8  8  8  8  8 11  9  9  9  9  9
     1        : Maximize Spell
     2 Deity  : Follower of: Amaunator
     3        : Empower Spell
     3 Warlock: Pact: Fey
     6        : Quicken Spell
     9        : Single Weapon Fighting
    12        : Improved Single Weapon Fighting
    12 Cleric : Strength Domain
    15        : Improved Critical: Piercing
    17 Deity  : Amaunator's Flames
    18        : Greater Single Weapon Fighting
    21 Epic   : Extend Spell
    24 Epic   : Intensify Spell
    26 Destiny: Perfect Two Weapon Fighting
    27 Epic   : Blinding Speed
    28 Destiny: Elusive Target
    29 Destiny: Deific Warding
    30 Epic   : Watchful Eye
    30 Legend : Scion of: Shadowfell
       1. Cure Light Wounds (2), Summon Monster I (2), Protection from Evil (2), any (12), any (14), any (18)
       2. Cure Moderate Wounds (13), Lesser Restoration (13), Find Traps (13), any (14), any (17), any (20)
       3. Cure Serious Wounds (16), Remove Curse (16), Remove Disease (16), any (17), any (19)
       4. Cure Critical Wounds (18), Death Ward (18), Restoration (18), Panacea (19)
       5. Mass Cure Light Wounds (20), Break Enchantment (20), Raise Dead (20)
       1. Jump (3), Touch of Idiocy (4), Obscuring Mist (4)
       2. Invisibility (6), Sleet Storm (10), Blindness (7)
       3. Dimension Door (9), Slow (11)
       1. Admixture: Cure Light Wounds (1), Enchant Armor (1), Enchant Weapons (15)
    Enhancements (80+1 AP)
    Enlightened Spirit (38 AP)
        • Eldritch Aura, Aura of Courage, Shape Vestments
             1. Spiritual Defense III, Resilience of Soul I
             2. Resist Energies I, Spiritual Bastion III, Power of Enlightenment III, Shield
             3. Eldritch Burst III, Spiritual Ward III, Power of Enlightenment III
             4. Medium Armor Proficiency, Spiritual Retribution III, Brilliance
             5. Spirit Blast III, Shining Through, Displacement
    Vistani Knife Fighter (26 AP)
        • Knife Expertise, Knife Juggler, Knife Specialist, One With Blades
             1. Vistani Knife Training, Undead Hunter, Mist Stalker, Rapid Attack
             2. Vistani Knife Training, Mist Stalker, Weapon Versatility
             3. Vistani Knife Training, Mist Stalker, Deadly Blades
             4. Celerity, Mist Stalker, Single Dagger
    Soul Eater (9 AP)
        • Inhuman Understanding, Inhuman Nature
             1. Consume, Hungry for Destruction II
             2. Stricken III
    Tainted Scholar (7 AP)
        • Tainted Spellcasting
             1. Planar Power II, Strong Pact
             2. Utterdark Blast
    Race (1 AP)
        • Whatever, it's free if you have the 1 AP racial on account
    eye: acolyte's lenses (11+INT dps+trapping, insightful wizardry sp, spellsight dps)
    head: pansophic circlet (102 total potency dps)
    neck: jorgundal's collar (12% melee alacrity & 30% striding)
    trink: symbol of slave lords (true-seeing, con+2, dusk 10% conceal)
    back: mantle of the worldshaper (5% XP bonus, swap out once I get a master's gift)
    belt: rune-sigiled belt (fort+6 spell-save+5, protection from evil)
    ring: perfect pinacle (deadly+5 & adherent of mists)
    ring: keylock ring (12 disable/open/search/spot & adherent of mists)
    glove: crumbling glove (6 iPRR 2 iDEX 1 qINT & adherent of mists)
    glove: blur-fingered gloves (quick-draw feat + 25% conceal ... mandatory until VKF gives you quickdraw ~L17)
    feet: flightfoot greaves (6 nAC 5 Reflex 15 Speed Freedom Of Movement)
    wrist: black opal bracers (13 MRR 4 Will Ethereal Heroism)
    body: coat of the traveler (medium armor: 24 AC 77 Fortification 2 Parry 14 PRR 1 pAbilities)
    mh: barovian/macabre ML10 dagger to start, then guardian of liturgy ML12, now sacrificial dagger ML20
    oh: suppressive fire (+2d6 fire, adherent of mists) or tira's splendor (+2d6 light) & MH gains silver

    As you can see, I adore permanent buffs and immunities: FoM, heroism, blindness, deathblock, drain, haste, ethereal, true-seeing, protection from evil. IMHO, D&D isn't playable without them. Artificer over Rogue for more DPS and item-scaled DPS (considering medium can't benefit from evasion). I tend not to fire the rune-arm, despite it being a free-action. I either forget to turn it on or turn it off to remove the annoying whine. Plus, it only charges while standing still, which doesn't happen a lot in normal play.

    MH will become cursed shard as soon as I can farm one up -- slotted with a good-align augment it would work nicely for breaking most of the DR I'd want to deal with and can be used for leveling. Might be hard to give up the lesser vampiric on sacrificial, though. It turns most fights into brainless auto-melee while ignoring HP.

    All gear solo farmed at level from an iconic sun-elf bootstrap. Also, solo'd abbot flagging, but I haven't done abbot-raid yet -- hope to (obviously for quiver). Non-iconic will need more work to build itself up to a point where it can farm. My current life is sun-elf for the eventual iconic Light+30 stance for warlock and evard's DC+3 via cleric heroic.

    It's extremely survivable. I mostly don't use cleric for heals mid-fight unless I screw up. It's great for post-fight patching. DPS feels great until I swap to playing a real DPS, then feels only OK. It's FAR better than non-melee ES warlock. When I eventually TR into non-cleric, I'll miss remove-curse, panacea, & restoration. I likely won't miss the heals. Solo EN/EH I rarely even use shining-through. The 4s temporary pulse for about 64 HP is enough. Solo EE is too hard for me, but I suspect that might change with more PLs. EE would just be for farming epic gear, which I'll likely save till L30 unless my gear proves unable to carry that far.

    Trapping has gotten old. At present, I really only disarm spell wards or sometimes a path through a pressure-plate field if I think I might forget and charge over it on the way back. I love being able to use shortcuts afforded by secret and locked doors and knowing where traps are, so I can skip around them quickly. Actual disarm is far FAR too slow and tedious for my taste. I unlock bonus chests when I trip over them, but they're not worth building to open. I'm considering dropping disable in favor of spot next TR -- might save me from PMD death.

    Epic Destiny and Epic Feats are kind of up in the air at present. This is a new character and I haven't played through them and only have rough ideas of what I want. The shadowfell is there purely in case I decide to hang out at 30 to farm for the next life. It's pointless if I TR immediately, which I'll likely do eventually once gear is firmly set. Vampiric is just amazing when combined with SWF. Faux-vampirism (like on macabre) is just "ok". It does help reduce need to heal on very long fights (like solo'ing a raid boss), but it's easy to give up.


    Hope this helps someone or gives people ideas for their own builds. Comments, questions, critiques are definitely welcome.
    Last edited by Bjond; 01-26-2019 at 08:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Community Member Bjond's Avatar
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    Dec 2018


    EDIT (26 Jan 2019): updated OP to reflect what I'm actually using in game. The original showed all-in on STR during levelup, which I was pondering for a TR to increase DPS (on hand already in the build tool). However, while nice right now (likely DPS+15%), once I get gear more to taste, the differential gain won't be as big. So, I decided not to TR for more STR, but rather to wait untill eventual ITR to decide on that.

    The tipping point was that while STR makes things a little faster, it doesn't shift anything that's currently not possible into the possible realm. So, not worth the TR. If I decided to cycle through ETRs before ITR, my attitude might change again on the merits of STR v CON considering all the passive defense you get from stacking ETRs.

    A note on the class split. To avoid TR/Tome dependency in the build, my original (first) RTR into this build used 8 Warlock 4 Art 8 Other. I ran into an unexpected issue: the jump buff needs L9 for +30 and there were several optionals where Jump+20 didn't cut it. Jumping in melee was a LOT harder; Jump+30 is enough to let you jump over the heads of most things and out of a pack that's locked you in -- jump+20 often isn't enough. It was bad enough that I paid to TR+3 into 9W2A9X almost entirely for the extra Jump and a little bit to try Strength-Domain's KD-immunity from L9 Cleric (I'd used Sun-Domain for blast bonus previously).

    KD-immunity is only slightly helpful. The description states "immune to most", which I mentally translated as "doesn't work on bosses". It's actually worse than that. Lots of things will still KD you that (imho) should not, such as Drider's trip. It's still kinda nice, but I'm glad I didn't TR purely to get it. It's almost not worth picking up. I'll probably miss it a little bit when leveling a different class, but not enough to build or gear for it because a truer description would be "occasionally prevents KD that wouldn't matter anyway".

    On rogue v artificer. It comes down to evasion v dps and oddly enough, art is on the DPS side because rune-arm damage applies to every single hit and scales with item-level rather than class level. So, it will outshine sneak not only because it's harder to arrange for sneak to hit while solo, but because it's not limited by the tiny splash level. A few rune-arms add DR breaking to the main-hand, too, such as Tira's Splendor adding silver. And, I wanted to use medium armor. Evasion doesn't work in medium.

    However, evasion is very attractive. I think rogue over art would work just fine, especially on a character that had more PLs and was less reliant on medium for M/PRR.


    How does it play precisely? Unless it's a really tough fight, typical tactic is to find the toughest critter in the pack (eg. boss/champ) and start auto-melee on that. Work in blasts if there are adds. Add displacement and/or divine power either if it's hard or if SP looks like it can sustain that until shrine or quest end. I tend to be overly conservative on SP use due to all the testing I did using Disciples of Shar (only one shrine v.deep).

    If the fight is incredibly tough or if for some reason one of the adds is ripping through my HP -- it's not common, but happens now and then (haven't figured out why) -- I'll back off while targeting that champ and use Dark Delirium (no-save CC, 20s duration) on it. If the boss is ranged and won't follow, I swap to killing the mean one. In general, I'll try to pull the melee pack to the ranged in order to maximize AE on the trash while keeping single dps on the toughest.

    Toughest fight so far was Cholthulzz. It's a beholder boss that instead of negative levels, does a continuous CON-1~4 ray. Yep, it will zero your CON very quickly, which puts you in the helpless state. Once helpless, you can't do anything but move. No spells, no clickies, nothing. Essentially, this means you just stand there while he continues to drain CON, leaving you with the choice of Alt-F4 or waiting for adds to slowly peck your HP down.

    What I did was add quickened-restoration to my bar from cleric and made sure I cast it before CON hit zero. He shows up again in another quest. I'd assumed "beholder boss" meant a real beholder and not the same CON-drain guy gain. So, I let CON hit zero due to unpreparedness. Fortunately, there's water and ice in that room. Jump in water, swim under ice (LOS his CON ray), wait for CON to heal, leap up and smack restoration before ray hits, and remember to use restoration during dps.

    There are a number of other strategies that can work versus this target, but it's definitely a fight that is guaranteed to make you shout "Hey! No Fair! That's cheating!" Top dirty-trick by a boss that is still (technically) within 3.5e rules. Wiki's monster page doesn't mention it, but the quest pages do. Many more strats are available by reading non-wiki stories about him.

    BTW, I've also learned that raid bosses can break your weapons mid-fight. Folks suggested it might be due to weapon hardness v boss CR (raid bosses have much higher CR) and/or that non-DR-breaking weapons have accelerated durability loss, perhaps to the point of breaking if you're solo and take longer to kill a boss. I'll be heading back to test all these fairly soon: will try with/without DR break and with/without adamantine-ritual weapon to compare durability loss rates. Breaking 3 weapons on a single boss was a serious "Uh, this is NOT cool devs" moment, but unlike Cholthulzz, this one is more bug than rule-weaseling DM.

    I'll tack on future edits here as I learn more and adapt the build and gear to suit. Hopefully, others will find this helpful either in a positive way (I'd like to try that!) or negative (No way I'm doing that!). This game has such a maze of roadblocks that require advance planning to overcome that the more posts out there that talk about the how they managed it, the better.

  3. #3
    Community Member Bjond's Avatar
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    Dec 2018


    And one last post to cover plans & thoughts for future of this build. Hmm, I want to put strike-through over old musing that lead me astray rather than delete, but looks like DDO forums don't support the usual BB code for [s]strikethrough[/s]. Ah, well, will cross that bridge if/when I reach it and perhaps figure another way.

    Build initially inspired by Voodu-Lock posts. But, using a shield means a serious hit to DPS and this character wants DPS far more than tanking in order to farm TRs. And, I don't want to completely bail out on the general flavor of an ES tanky warlock during PL farming.

    So, I took Voodu and perverted it into a VKF Trapper Warlock for leveling. Turns out, I really REALLY love the extra single-target DPS. So much so that I'm wondering if I really need a shield to tank. I never turtled-up when I had one and afaik, it just adds AC & M/PRR. Very nice when new, but the differential gain after PLs and gear really seems pretty small to me. One of the things I'll find out using this build is if it can eventually solo EEs and low Reaper as a tanky melee once it has some PLs and is more fully geared. If it can, then it would only need to add agro (intimidate) to tank.

    The only thing I'm sure I'll miss is Healer's Bounty, but will it be a significant enough loss to give up SWF dps?

    At present, I value drain immunity so highly that even if I go S&B, I'll still include VKF for that. Death Ward doesn't cut it for me even with a cleric MC that can cast it at will. Works great on fluffy yard trash, but hard targets dispel it over and over and I typically don't notice it's gone until I'm down 10 levels. I will never ever play a character without drain immunity.

  4. #4
    Community Member SonilasFx's Avatar
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    Dec 2009


    Nice! i did a WLK 20 TWF Vistani but i dont know a good set for it!
    I want play end game with it!

    I need help for know my gear list.
    it is based on STR, radiance(light) and resonance(sonic)
    note: I can change sonic for fire or acid.

    already have two daggers raid of ravenloft.
    I think that i would need to add radiance and sonic(fire or acid) on items
    Orien - Sonilasfx/Soniilax/Sonnifly/Soniitank

  5. #5
    Community Member Bjond's Avatar
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    Dec 2018


    Quote Originally Posted by SonilasFx View Post
    I need help for know my gear list.
    I can post my current working "plan" for gear, but it's INT-based rather than STR for melee, since I like trapping too much to give up. I shifted to ES/VKF/KTA a bit ago for some very nice DPS gains. Also, I've done about 4 or 5 of these "gear plans" and haven't actually obtained any of the nicer items -- mostly just using ravenloft & cannith now.

    Lately, I'm trying to find a way to move the healing amplification off the weapon to permit more choice there. However, like many build/gear changes to a set, if you knock over one domino, the rest soon follow and you need to rebuild the entire thing. For instance, Order&Chaos bracer provides 80 Hamp and 16 resist, but breaks adherent set and means swapping out 10% insightful doublestrike and 9 insightful CON.

    This is a cut & paste of my notes. It won't work for your STR desires and some of the format might be a bit cryptic, but maybe it will give you some ideas:
     L30 RL INT/Trap set -- tanking + trapping + easy to go pure tank for slight intim gains
      hat   spowers         * ML28 L.Pansophic G(FF)                                                // larcener
      eye   i/Intim Ling    x ML29 L.Feargaze 10 Linguist 22 Intim 11 iIntim 13 qIncit G(acid)      // raven's bane
      neck  INT Fpass qCON  x ML28 LSL Chain 17 INT 28 Fpass 22 Open 4 qCON LSMight G(sonic)        // LSL
    ! trink adh CON XP TS   x ML28 Ravenkind Holy-Burst TS 20 CON I.Decept Y(Gift) G(BI)            // BABA RAID
      cloak ghost DR        x ML28 Cloak of Night Invis/Nmare Guard Ghost DB 18 Dodge 15/Good x(x)  // Mabar event ingredient
            ghost DR        x ML25 Ghost-Waking ? CHA Ghostly 15/Evil x(x)                          // LE crucible LH=10/evil
            sas ghost dcpt  x ML29 L.Shadowhail Ghost 22 Hide/Move 16 Dcpt G(Acid)                  // amber
    *       adh CON DS      * ML29 L.Fury 19 CON 22 DS 19 Dodge                                     // temp until BP
      belt  Trapping        x ML26 LGS 22 cINT-Skills 11 iDEX-Skills 6 qDEX-Skills x(x)             // or pure-cha + orator eyes
    ?       Tanking         x ML26 LGS 22 cINT-Skills 11 iDEX-Skills 6 qCHA-Skills x(x)             // or pure-cha + orator eyes
            CON Incite      x ML29 L.Plateshard 19 CON 16 Fort 59 Incite 27 iIncite                 // for cloak punt
            DS iAC iSaves   x ML34 Cannith 17 DS 7 Parry 7 iSTR Y(? disease)                        // for cloak punt
      ring1 acc deadly      * ML29 L.Prowess 14 deadly 28 acc 8 mrp G(UA)                           // ??
      glove adh CHA Evo     * ML29 L.Arcanum 19 CHA 4 qCHA 8 Evo 412 Wiz Y(elec)                    // sunrise
      boot  adh FoM Haste   * ML29 L.Flightfoot 15 Alac 30 Move 19 nAC 16 Reflex FoM Y(fire)        // death house
      ring2 adh iDead iINT  x ML29 L.Nightfall 9 iDead/iINT 16 Reflex 50 PRR G(? 8 resist)          // baked
            adh trap        * ML29 L.Keylock 22 Disable/Open/Search/Spot B(8 resist)                // punt post LGS
      wrist adh iDS iCON    x ML29 L.Lore-Fueled 9 iCON 10 iDS 50 PRR stoneshape G(poison|disease)  // dinner
      body  DS DB Fort MPRR x ML27 Scalemail of Celestial Avenger 33 AC 8 MDB 14 eAC 196 Fort       // LHOX & TSpine RAID
                                   Haste 21 DS 49 MPRR Blurry 9 Parry DB 27% eNeg Y(cold) G(luck)
            DB Ghost Fort   * ML26 Shadow 30 AC 8 MDB 11 eAC 130 Fort Ghostly DB B(luck)
      mh                    x ML28 suffering 15e 9d6 pierce proc-10mprr/-5con metalline O(Meteor) R(Evil)   // BABA RAID
                            x ML29 Macabre pre-suffering, ravenkind before suffering
      oh    Hamp            x ML26 LGS Dagger 12d6 Fire 50 eqHamp 70 cmHamp x(x)
      qv    lowbie Stride   x ML01 Quiver of Alacrity
                            x ML29 L.Purify for ranged bludgeon option (v.little use -- just in case)
    Sentient MP "set"
      5 MP                  sucker melee rare
      9 MP  2 STR           sucker/one str rare (5 set 4 rare)
     10 MP                  one melee rare (5 set)
      5 MP                  long melee rare
      5 MP  1 INT           long int (5 set)
      1 atk/dmg 5~14d6 acid long atk/dmg
      5 MP                  treachery melee rare
      5 MP  1 INT           treachery int (5 set)
      44 MP 1 atk/dmg 2 INT 5~14d6 acid

  6. #6
    ([ ]'.')>-{===> <( ;..; <)
    Madja's Avatar
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    Apr 2010


    So what you do is simply replace the cleric levels with whatever class you're looking to get a PL from? Would you say cleric is the strongest option for Racial/Epic?

  7. #7
    Community Member Bjond's Avatar
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    Dec 2018


    Quote Originally Posted by Madja View Post
    So what you do is simply replace the cleric levels with whatever class you're looking to get a PL from? Would you say cleric is the strongest option for Racial/Epic?
    With some slight finessing on the build: yep, just replace cleric with whatever. If you want strong, go pure warlock or 18 lock then 2 in whatever if you like trapping -- 2 art for SWF+Runearm or 1 rogue and 1 other depending on taste there. Rogue 1 Barb 1 for runspeed, Rogue 1 FVS 1 for a bit more power, etc.. The blasts on this char suffer a fair bit due to only 9 warlock. I only use them when I have tons surrounding me (8+).

    BTW, I didn't pick cleric myself; I let the game pick cleric because I wanted the stance for 30 light power from sun elf. There are good and bad things about having cleric on top. The good thing is that it let me get myself out a jam a couple times due to being an unprepared newbie: eg. didn't have restoration scrolls, but did have the spell.

    The bad thing is that I rarely actually use anything from the cleric half. The heals got a bit of use in heroics, but see almost zero use in epic. The KD immunity from strength-domain is nice when it works, but like most "immunities" in DDO, it has enough annoying exceptions that it should be renamed KD-protection (you're not really immune).

    The very worst thing about it is that you show as a cleric in who and group lists. This means people will invite you to groups and expect you to be a healer or (once in a group) run over to you and expect a heal or Mass DW buff. I barely have the heals on my bar -- certainly not hotkeyed -- and don't even memorize DW. Those who expect a heal from me usually end up dead and I do warn that I'm not a healer when joining groups/etc, too.

    In my next life I'll punt artificer for TWF and more melee dps. I'll also have 18 warlock levels (or maybe 9 paladin on top). The 30 light from sun elf stance is essentially meaningless except for really low level play. Hamp and MPRR matter a LOT more. So, no more mistaking me for a healer. BTW, the build has very high survivability with mediocre dps; I can solo the RL Saga on LE with it. I'll likely finish my L29+ gearset before the next PL, though.

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