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  1. #1
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    Default Requesting melee arti build advice (SWF or THF)

    I want to TR my crafter (human dragonmarked 20 arti w/ repeater) into another 20 arti DM human because my crafter (that goes back to 2010) could use a third life and he's been stuck like this forever. Plot twist: I want to make it a melee.

    Renegade Mastermaker in combination with the Construct Essence feats now offers nice tankiness, even offhealing, but without a ton of AP in the BE tree, the damage just isn't there. I found, for example, that with the "new" RM healing and various "Augment Summon" feats and enhancements, in reaper, my doggie would very handily tank the red champions and bosses which would insta-cream the floor with even "tanky" melees we had in the group, so this was genuinely (if situationally) useful. But it came at the cost of very much investing all the "movable" feats and twists on being able to do this. And after switching back to a more dps focused feat setup, but staying in T5 RM (because RM is great) it's just not satisfying. Now I can't really tank (Still repeater/evoker feats) and I can't really do dps either (because I'm in RM). And the dog is too annoying and finicky for me to spec back into it. I like experimenting with weird things, but if they're not effective, they've got to go.

    So my first thought was "Bastard Sword", just add THF feats and in between the splash damage and the rune arm damage, maybe I can do decent damage while staying in tanky-healy RM. Maybe grind out an Epic Chimera's Fang beforehand so I have a nice sentient weapon when I hit 20 again. But on second thought, the first life was actually some kind of lightning fast, finesseing dex-fighting bard (there was no swashbuckler tree back then) and I liked that concept for the fluff and feel, even though it was ultimately weak as dough (because there was no swashbuckler tree back then)

    I'm probably going to get some defensive feats like heavy armor proficiency and insightful reflexes, just to have some serious tankiness going. But how do I crush the enemy, exactly? I mean, do DPS. Especially when T5 RM looks so much more appealing than T5 Battle Engineer? Yet how do I get crazy high crit multipliers if I can't take a couple levels of Bard or Barbarian? And evocation barely seems worth it in harder content if not totally focussing on it with a heavy investment in Arcanotechnician.

    Human, Dragonmark and pure 20 Arti are non-negotiable due to it being my crafter. How do I build it to get the most out of it - easiest levelling both 1-20 and 20-30, most useful in groups, reaper and EE, soloability. I'm generally not interested in raids at all, too many hoops to jump through, and also I can craft my own epic gear. But as the toon is going to be "stuck" being a 20-30arti and may frequently be my only 20+ toon, it needs to be able to help out a guildie or friend in a quest regardless.

    Should I go THF with a Bastard Sword or SWF with ... some Sword I guess? Well, that's the question now isn't it. I really like cleave on my melees, but is it good on an arti? In either case it would almost certainly be a harper int-user, because trapping, casting, and I like skills. And this fundamental question - SWF or THF - is important. I can switch a few feats around now and then, experimenting and optimizing. But switching from SWF to THF and back, that's potentially three exceptional shards I'd rather save. So I'd rather do it correctly from the start.

    On the other hand, the requirement of 20 Arti may actually favor a purely magical approach to dps, but I have enough "sorc" type toons already that quickly run out of SP, and the spell damage from the Arti never impressed me beyond Tactical Detonation being a great CC, so I am evaluating my options here. But since I want to be able to at least somewhat tank without having to hope the dog isn't currently spazzing out, a melee-weapons focus is my first thought.

    tl;dr: What destroys quests faster, SWF or THF? Please educate me on the intricacies of building a decent pure melee arti, now that all the changes have obsoleted so many of the old build guides. In other words: How do I build the ultimate tanking dpsing healing trapper arti crafter for EE/low reaper while only using crafted or easily acquired (non-raid) items? (This is not a troll post I swear)
    Last edited by Corrupt; 02-14-2019 at 06:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    SWF Warhammer using Knights training feat. Renegade Champion set at level 14. Drow Warhammer at 21. Legendary Renegade at 29 or Whelm. 41 points in Battle Engineer, 12 Harper to get Intel to hit and damage + Know the Angle. Boost your defense in RM with whats left. Its the way to go if you want good dps and decent defense. You are intel based so traps arent a problem for you.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiveFast View Post
    SWF Warhammer using Knights training feat. Renegade Champion set at level 14. Drow Warhammer at 21. Legendary Renegade at 29 or Whelm. 41 points in Battle Engineer, 12 Harper to get Intel to hit and damage + Know the Angle. Boost your defense in RM with whats left. Its the way to go if you want good dps and decent defense. You are intel based so traps arent a problem for you.
    Wow, that was a fast and very useful response. You live up to your moniker.

    Here's a vague plan for the layout then (Copy pasted from the toons bio which is where I keep such plans, very handy)

    STR 10 Dex 10 Con 18 Int 18 Wis 8 Cha 8
    1-SWF
    H-DM Cannith
    3-Precision
    4-Construct Essence
    6-Knight's Training
    8-Quicken
    9-iSWF
    12-Improved Construct Essence
    12-Insightful Reflexes
    15-gSWF
    16-IC:Blunt
    18-Heavy Armor Proficiency
    20-Empower Heal
    21-OC:Blunt
    24-Construct Exemplar
    26-pSWF
    27-Watchful Eye
    28-Repair SP
    29-Dire Charge
    30-Epic DR
    30L-Scion of Mechanus

    My plan is still to focus more on RM than BE, but enhancements are easy and cheap to switch around, so I can experiment there. One caveat I didn't mention is that some 12 points in the human enhancement tree are also non-negotiable. So the build will be very AP strapped.

    Edit: Just noticed that RM has its own cleave, dropped PA and Cleave for Precision and Insightful Reflexes
    Last edited by Corrupt; 02-14-2019 at 08:01 AM.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like you want to go renegade more than anything else and the best combo for that is actually casting dps. 41 renegade / 31 arcano / 6 battle engineer for the tier 2 stable charge and more universal spellpower. 2 left over. You don't miss much from arcano tier 5 really as motes SLA is way overpriced AP wise. Doing this split you get more spellpower which makes your reconstructs hit extremely hard. I get 3.7k non crit recons, 250 per tic on construct essence. MUCH better dps casting than melee as all of your SLA's are aoe. Runearm dps is also fantastic. Your DC will be higher than melee build too so tac det, prismatic spray and burst of glacial wrath will work better.

    I've tried a melee artificer and found it . . . underwhelming, nothing stands out at all. I think this is in part to there is no ED that really fits what a melee artificer all wants to do. Dread is fine, but other classes do it better. It's just clunky, the damage isn't quite there or the survival.

    AP wise you'd have to go 41 battle for crit mod and at least 8 harper for kta and int to hit. Use insightful for int to damage save the AP to put elsewhere. Rest of the points in renegade.

    I would not take Scion of Mechanus, it caps at level 10 instead of 15 and shares cooldown with renegade SLA if you get it. Its on theme, but has some wonkiness to it.
    Last edited by Rush007; 02-14-2019 at 08:21 AM.

  5. #5
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    I'm not really that dead set on Renegade, but it is a really, really powerful tree. My point is not so much "Renegade" as it is "Tanking" - and Renegade would allow that. As I'm strapped for AP, your build wouldn't work for me, I could only fit maybe 20 points into arcano. Also, offensive casting is very much all-or-nothing in harder content, if the damage isn't enough you just run out of SP while whittling down the giant hp bars. As for the AOE, that's why I asked, THF vs SWF. THF has a ton of AOE but weaker single target damage. While AOE is a good thing on a tank, being able to focus down the champions may be more valuable, but that depends on the intricacies of arti meleeing that I'm not familiar enough with. On a barbarian, I could tell you: You trip/stun the champ and AOE the trash down together with it. Does an SWF RM have a problem generating aggro on groups?

  6. #6
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    This is a classic blueprint for a melee Arti. Been updated for the Renegade Mastermaker pass (but not since Knight's Training came out).

    o https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...=1#post5882447

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-Dog View Post
    This is a classic blueprint for a melee Arti. Been updated for the Renegade Mastermaker pass (but not since Knight's Training came out).

    o https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...=1#post5882447
    He uses EWP: Bastard Sword and then the Single Weapon Fighting line of feats. At first I was like: Whyyy would you do that. But now I'm intrigued: If the rune arm bonus damage fully adds to the otherwise pitiful THF glancing blows, and he uses SWF to simply increase his attack speed, maximizing the amount of rune arm damage that is dealt to the group, that's actually a pretty good combo. IF that's how it works.

    However nobody in the thread asked the question of why he would use a Bastard Sword and not a Kopesh for example, and I suppose the answer might be that Kopeshes don't look like that sword in that mega man game but would mechanically be much better. So this isn't answering my question, this raises new ones!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corrupt View Post
    He uses EWP: Bastard Sword and then the Single Weapon Fighting line of feats. At first I was like: Whyyy would you do that. But now I'm intrigued: If the rune arm bonus damage fully adds to the otherwise pitiful THF glancing blows, and he uses SWF to simply increase his attack speed, maximizing the amount of rune arm damage that is dealt to the group, that's actually a pretty good combo. IF that's how it works.

    However nobody in the thread asked the question of why he would use a Bastard Sword and not a Kopesh for example, and I suppose the answer might be that Kopeshes don't look like that sword in that mega man game but would mechanically be much better. So this isn't answering my question, this raises new ones!
    Always SWF ignore THF and glancing blows with b-swords.

    Khopesh isn't supported in the BE enhancement line to boost threat and crit multiplier where as b-sword is.

    Another good choice if you aren't married to humans is gnome with color spray, warhammer, knights training.

    In the RM tree don't forget you have mighty slam in conjunction with KTA will give you a very high stun (color spray can lock down groups of mobs that can be smooshed with rune arms as well if gnome.)

    I would imagine with the changes to warhammers with knights training that melee arti's dps will be going up some (not top tier but solid.)

    I also forgot about thunder shock at the top of the BE trip for a very high dc trip for more CC on champs.
    Last edited by Soleran100; 02-14-2019 at 10:22 AM.

  9. #9
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    Now I'm thinking: Ok, maybe Rush007 is still correct and caster is actually the way to go here anyways. Looking at the "Electroficer" build, what I'd call an electric sorc built on top of a mechanic, he feats out 3 feats up to IPS to get the most out of Shiradis Pin. A "tank version" would probably drop that and get the Construct Essence line (2 feats), and without PL feats, that leaves 3 feats, for Empower Heal, Heavy Armor Proficiency, and...

    I can't think of anything better than Augment Summons here. I have used the doggie successfully as a tank in the past, but lately he just seems bugging out. But using an autorepairing dog as a backup tank would synergize crazy well with an RM/Arcano tank-caster hybrid. And in the end, it's just one feat that can be swapped out cheaply, the big problem of the build is the AP strappedness. But without the need to do anything with a weapon, and carrying a scepter with magnetism instead, lets me drop harper altogether. With 12 mandatory points in Human and 41 in RM for the concept, that's still 27 points that can be distributed between BE and Arcano. Probably 4 points in BE for faster runearm charging and 21 points in Arcano to get the Lightning Bolt SLA.

    Except that for levelling it would probably run in full arcano most of the time. And there's always the option to cheaply switch enhancements around between full arcano and full RM if I get sick of the one and want to try the other.

    STR 10 Dex 10 Con 18 Int 18 Wis 8 Cha 8
    1-Maximize
    H-DM Cannith
    3-Quicken
    4-Construct Essence
    6-SF:Evo
    8-Heighten
    9-gSF:Evo
    12-Improved Construct Essence
    12-Heavy Armor Proficiency
    15-Insightful Reflexes
    16-Empower Heal
    18-Augment Summon
    20-Empower
    21-eSF: Evocation
    24-Master of Artifice
    26-ESP: Repair
    27-Watchful Eye
    28-ESP: Lightning
    29-Deific Warding maybe?
    30-Construct Exemplar
    30L-Scion of Air

    The big weakness is, of course, that this build completely forfeits the ability of the arti to do dps with weapons.
    Last edited by Corrupt; 02-15-2019 at 09:56 AM. Reason: feat ordering changed for easier levelling

  10. #10
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    Ok, I did it. Epic Reincarnation followed by Heroic Reincarnation into another Arti.

    I didn't get any spells to select at level 0! What bug is this?

  11. #11
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    Lvl 29 feat deific warding is ok for sure if going heavy armor but arcane pulse is also a solid option to get around lightning immune mobs. For something other than augment summon, the mental toughness feat could be chosen. It isn't all that impressive, but 1% crit is 1% crit and more mana is nice.

    Your going to want blast rod SLA which I think is min 24 points in arcano? Going blast rod SLA into blast rod spell is very powerful AOE clear.

    Master of Air should be a consideration as well. Its only for lightning bolt but its your best damage spell now since update. Would only cost 1 DC dropping epic spell focus evocation and move construct exemplar to 21 and take master of air at 30.
    Last edited by Rush007; 02-15-2019 at 01:51 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rush007 View Post
    Lvl 29 feat deific warding is ok for sure if going heavy armor but arcane pulse is also a solid option to get around lightning immune mobs. For something other than augment summon, the mental toughness feat could be chosen. It isn't all that impressive, but 1% crit is 1% crit and more mana is nice.
    Actually that toon has a sorcerer past life so I'm probably gonna pick that instead. It's just one feat and nothing in the build depends on it, so it's easy and cheap to swap around if I don't like it.

    Your going to want blast rod SLA which I think is min 24 points in arcano? Going blast rod SLA into blast rod spell is very powerful AOE clear.
    Whenever I'm doing a build I'm not deeply familiar with, I run a quick level 7 veteran 2 toon to see how it works out. In this case, blast rod is amazing and the caster version just seemed plain better than the warhammer version. Because the SLAs are all rather short range, and AOE-y, it works nice with the tank approach.

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