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  1. #1
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    Default Pale Master Feels Like Auto-take Now

    Not a complaint (not entirely, grumbly that there doesn't seem to be another equally viable option), but I observe that as I dump lots and lots of platinum into finding a workable Wizard build in Epics that Pale Master seems to be absolutely required.

    Not taking Pale Master means giving up +2-3 Necro and Enchant DC, plus 4 INT in the T5 slot, plus self healing, and other really useful buffs.

    There's literally no reason I can discern to spend a single point into Archmage anymore.

    And then EK feels required - medium armor is the only real way for me to get to 100+ PRR/MRR, which feels necessary when I'm soloing even on Epic, let alone the newly retuned lower reaper levels (I basically can't solo on those levels).

    Is anyone making the Skeleton pet really work? What are your experiences with using the SLAs? I wasn't able to make the Skellie do much, and the SLAs feel pretty good on trash and even on some bosses (low cost damage rotation), but due to immunities they often don't do me any good (constructs in Sharn, for example).

    But if not Pale Master, I don't see a good committment right now. If you're EK you also really need INT to damage out of Harper, which makes it terribly hard to get a workable build that can also DC cast. I'm getting some help from Magister, with Arcane Tempest and a twist of Energy Burst being my big spell hits. It doesn't feel... I don't know... cohesive, for lack of a better word.

    (also, is it WAI for Rend the Soul and Thunderbolt to be on the same cooldown?).

    Anyway, this is a lot scatterbrained, but it boils down to this - are we all now sort of required to spec into Pale Master, given how much strength is loaded into that set?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montegue View Post
    Not a complaint (not entirely, grumbly that there doesn't seem to be another equally viable option), but I observe that as I dump lots and lots of platinum into finding a workable Wizard build in Epics that Pale Master seems to be absolutely required.

    Not taking Pale Master means giving up +2-3 Necro and Enchant DC, plus 4 INT in the T5 slot, plus self healing, and other really useful buffs.

    There's literally no reason I can discern to spend a single point into Archmage anymore.

    And then EK feels required - medium armor is the only real way for me to get to 100+ PRR/MRR, which feels necessary when I'm soloing even on Epic, let alone the newly retuned lower reaper levels (I basically can't solo on those levels).

    Is anyone making the Skeleton pet really work? What are your experiences with using the SLAs? I wasn't able to make the Skellie do much, and the SLAs feel pretty good on trash and even on some bosses (low cost damage rotation), but due to immunities they often don't do me any good (constructs in Sharn, for example).

    But if not Pale Master, I don't see a good committment right now. If you're EK you also really need INT to damage out of Harper, which makes it terribly hard to get a workable build that can also DC cast. I'm getting some help from Magister, with Arcane Tempest and a twist of Energy Burst being my big spell hits. It doesn't feel... I don't know... cohesive, for lack of a better word.

    (also, is it WAI for Rend the Soul and Thunderbolt to be on the same cooldown?).

    Anyway, this is a lot scatterbrained, but it boils down to this - are we all now sort of required to spec into Pale Master, given how much strength is loaded into that set?
    Alrighty, here's my hot take.
    I tried doing as pure and close to the Dev-intended solution to PM, putting most of my points in the tree, killing using magic.

    Constructs are my bane, but that's when the skeleton gets the most mileage. He hits at those piles of resilient HP (I don't remember DR being an issue for him) while I disintegrate them from afar. With the new Cloak of Night, he's always tanking, as I'm invisible for the whole fight! Just stand by him, healing him with auras while he whacks at stuff and, more importantly, gets noticed.

    The SLAs are strong. Very much so. The fact there's a ton of enemies that are outright immune to them is kinda meh, but as a pure caster, I really, REALLY feel like I'm playing the new Sorc tree: Negative Energy Savant.
    Like most Sorcs focused on their preferred element, I'm having issues until I can bypass it against enemies that resist or are immune to it.
    It feels enough like a Sorc that, while I would have the DCs to kill/charm/immobilize things, it's just more efficient to shoot the black doom stuff at them until they stop bothering me, at least on R3-5.

    I'm going to build an EK next, this build was a testing grounds to see how the new Palemaster would work standalone, so most of my extra points went to Archmage. Those added some extra DCs, and a few spells I didn't prepare yet are still useful when fighting undead.

  3. #3
    Community Member NemesisAlien's Avatar
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    I always wondered what the 2nd shroud is for (At tier 3 or tier 4 cant remember), seems a waste of ap to use it.

  4. #4
    Community Member Scortius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montegue View Post
    that there doesn't seem to be another equally viable option
    Yup. Ever since the end of the Age of Enchanters (update 11), PM's have been better at least by the skeleton knight, and a significant margin on DCs. The self-healing trade-off used to be a consequential choice (popular, but with real drawbacks).

    Perhaps the developers see it as a popular archetype, but that's been a rigged game for a long time. The AM capstone has always been noticeably weaker than PM's. The gap has now widened by a considerable margin.

    On this forum, the last build post that wanted to use the AM tree in a big way was posted over a year ago and is 4 pages in. (although a few people have pointed out ways to integrate AM with a PM build) ... the straight up power is surely helping drive the popularity but maybe it's also a more intriguing problem to solve for the build-posters, or a simpler one as the gear-tetris becomes clearly defined once you select in the PM-designed items.

    But the point from above that you should be playing a PM is pretty clear.
    Don't be a figjam.

  5. #5
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    What I'm doing right now is 42/25/13 Pale/EK/Harper. I have no extra enhancement points to spend.


    Pale Master is -
    (5 cores, Vamp form, Ench2, Necro2, Neg Damage on melee hit)
    Conduit, Spell Crit, & Vigor maxed
    Cloak Crit, and Quicken (3)
    Adept 3, Crit, Int
    Avatar, Crit, Int
    Necro Focus, Ardent Shroud

    EK is -

    (4 cores)

    Mage Armor 3, Arcan Syphon 2, Toughness 3
    Imp Shield 3
    Arcane Barrier, Accuracy, Int
    Knight's Transformation, Medium Armor

    Harper is -
    (2 cores, so +1 int)
    Harper Toughness 3, Harper Enchantment
    Know the Angles 3
    Strategic Combat II

    Currently Twisting in -

    Piercing Spellcraft
    Energy Burst (Lightning)
    Endless Faith
    Energy Sheath fire (because raid)

    Magister is my ED - I took 4 int bonuses, the whole bonus line for all enchantment bonuses, a couple odds and ends, and Arcane Tempest (which is amazing in all situations).

    My gear is basically the Arcsteel set (for medium armor and bonuses), the artifact neck, the black velvet caplet, silverthread belt, sapphire ring with Con, onyx ring, flightfoot greaves, Mistfallen (orb), Moonwillow short sword (with all my filigrees), Aetherband and Dusk Lenses, and a half-built slavers trinket (currently 185 Neg energy and 22 spellcraft).

    My feats are, more or less - Greater single weapon, improved single weapon

    Maximize, enlarge, quicken, heighten, intensify

    Arcane Pulse, Scion of the Feywild, Spell Pen, Epic Spellpower - Neg and Lightning, Embolden, Wellspring of Power.


    It's working out OK. I can DC cast (Enchantment is at 109, Necro stuff at 102ish), and I can fight fairly well to conserve mana.

  6. #6
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    I use this Archmage + PM setup to Arcane Supremacy the extended 3x death auras:



    Supremacy kicks the necro crit rate from 36 to 61%, then doubles the crit damage of that 61% so ends up increasing the healing from 1.36x due to crit to 2.22x, or an increase of 63%.

    This extra healing lets one twist commanding presence and aggro face tank/self heal/dps/instakill/CC EE Sharn starting at level 20, which is nice.

    Edit: This build is for normal leveling and collecting favor as a DC caster in a group. Drop commanding presence if you aren't tanky enough to survive the aggro. Meteor is your intimidate, and also lowers mob saves due to epic resilience, and follow it up with DC casting.
    Last edited by Tilomere; 10-10-2019 at 12:14 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilomere View Post
    I use this Archmage + PM setup to Arcane Supremacy the extended 3x death auras:

    Supremacy kicks the necro crit rate from 36 to 61%, then doubles the crit damage of that 61% so ends up increasing the healing from 1.36x due to crit to 2.22x, or an increase of 63%.

    This extra healing lets one twist commanding presence and aggro face tank/self heal/dps/instakill/CC EE Sharn starting at level 20, which is nice.
    What kind of damage/tanking is your skeleton doing with this build?

    Would it work without the racial APs? I only have 80 to play with.

    I've been considering taking something like Greater Dispel to strip Death Ward off targets. Worth it?

    Finally, what do you do with constructs?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montegue View Post
    What kind of damage/tanking is your skeleton doing with this build?

    Would it work without the racial APs? I only have 80 to play with.

    I've been considering taking something like Greater Dispel to strip Death Ward off targets. Worth it?

    Finally, what do you do with constructs?
    Don't ever do a Tilomere build.

    That being said, the foundation of T5 AM and capstone PM is perfectly good. You're not going to have 88 INT at level 20, so ignore his comments regarding being able to insta-kill things in EE Sharn. Set your expectations properly and that enhancement plan will be fine. Just learn how to control things properly and you won't need EK to bolster your defenses nearly as much.

    For constructs, try prismatic ray / prismatic spray. It's a bit random, but you have a 1 in 7 chance to stone them (yes, you can even petrify stone golems) and I think you have a 2 in 7 chance to insta-kill them. So a 3 in 7 chance to do something that locks them down or removes them from combat. Throw it into a pack of scarecrows a few times and the amount of things you need to deal with will be cut down quite a bit. Similar thing for blights in Ravenloft. They don't hold, they don't insta-kill. Prismatic spray will effect them, though.

    For targets with death wards, use flesh to stone. Typically, priest type mobs have very high will saves, so hold doesn't work well on them, but they have lower fortitude saves. Normally your go-to for low fort mobs is an insta-kill, but that death ward they throw on themselves right away makes that impossible. In that case, flesh to stone is a fort save control that works on death warded mobs. If that doesn't work (they have both a high will and high fort save), then try something like greater shout which hits a reflex save. It's pretty rare that mobs have super high will, fort, and reflex saves.

    Holds and mass charms for low will mobs (brutes, enforcers, etc)
    Insta-kills for low fort mobs (casters, beholders, etc)
    Flesh to stone for death warded low fort mobs (priests)
    Prismatic ray/spray for constructs
    Insta-kills for warforged
    Undeath to Death for undead (or mass frog if you can get wisdom high enough)
    Dance balls (Ottos sphere of dancing) for ambushes or set piece fights
    Ottos Irresistable and/or Power Word Kill for point defense (something got through and you need to stop it NOW, who cares about the cooldown)
    and damage spells for anything else. Sometimes you just need to nuke something (think wisps).

    Edited to remove Greater Shout. It's a daze, not a trip, so it won't work on constructs.
    Last edited by Zretch; 09-04-2019 at 02:30 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montegue View Post
    I've been considering taking something like Greater Dispel to strip Death Ward off targets.
    Skeleton roams around and distracts stuff, and sometimes pulls aggro, but I don't really try to manage it or expect anything from it. It is pretty tough, and the supremacy death auras really patch it up well. It doesn't deal much damage.

    Mobs have caster levels = CR, so 70 or so in epics. You are never going to beat that with 20 levels of wizard in a dispel magic opposed caster level check. Globe of Invulnerability will work, since it has no save or caster level check, but will make allies irritated since it also dispels friendly buffs. The better way is to target and instant kill the cleric that casts DW before they aggro and DW themselves or allies with an enlarged spell.

    Color spray and nuke constructs. Web between meteors to keep them somewhat locked in until it is safe to face tank.
    Last edited by Tilomere; 09-03-2019 at 04:23 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NemesisAlien View Post
    I always wondered what the 2nd shroud is for (At tier 3 or tier 4 cant remember), seems a waste of ap to use it.
    I was taking Wraith in addition to Vampire, my reasoning being that the increased Incorp was a nice way to mitigate some melee damage when it was just me and a group of mobs. Over time though, I've dropped it from my usual selections. It doesn't bring anything noticeable to the table.

  11. #11
    Community Member NemesisAlien's Avatar
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    Tier 2 cloak, tooltip says only works when blocking?

    Tier 1, 2 ap for 10hp?

    Seems a waste of ap's here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NemesisAlien View Post
    Tier 2 cloak, tooltip says only works when blocking?

    Tier 1, 2 ap for 10hp?

    Seems a waste of ap's here.
    Agree about the waste of AP, but the Cloak, however, is AWESOME.

    It's Improved Invisibility on demand, reducing your aggro to ridiculously low levels, making archers start hitting the air with melee attacks because they don't know where your last attack came from, make them aim for your skeleton, all the while not preventing you from casting. I agree, it's situational, but the amount of situations it's useful in is pretty huge. Add to that the fact that Tumble is a level 1 Wizard spell, and you can move around about as fast as people running, invisible and displaced, as long as you're good at timing tumbles.

  13. #13
    Community Member NemesisAlien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xgya View Post
    Agree about the waste of AP, but the Cloak, however, is AWESOME.

    It's Improved Invisibility on demand, reducing your aggro to ridiculously low levels, making archers start hitting the air with melee attacks because they don't know where your last attack came from, make them aim for your skeleton, all the while not preventing you from casting. I agree, it's situational, but the amount of situations it's useful in is pretty huge. Add to that the fact that Tumble is a level 1 Wizard spell, and you can move around about as fast as people running, invisible and displaced, as long as you're good at timing tumbles.
    I havent tried that, but the tooltip says only when blocking? So IF you not blocking you dont get the goodies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NemesisAlien View Post
    I havent tried that, but the tooltip says only when blocking? So IF you not blocking you dont get the goodies?
    When you're soloing, and you want to gather mobs for an Energy Burst or an Arcane Tempest (or hell, a meteor swarm or any other heavy hitting AoE), the Cloak basically brings them all right over to you. Let them see you, hit shift, then come out to remind them you exist, then pop back in. They'll come running over, and you can hit them with whatever massive burst you want to.

    I'm currently stacking Saga turnins for an Epic PL run from 20 back to 30 as a casting-oriented PM, and I've been using Draconic lately for cheap, nasty AOE and bonus spell crit. It's been OK, but it's a lot of fun to gather a bunch of mobs together and then blast/breath them down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NemesisAlien View Post
    I havent tried that, but the tooltip says only when blocking? So IF you not blocking you dont get the goodies?
    You retain the benefits while tumbling, so you can still move around at about the same pace.

    While blocking/tumbling, you're invisible. Blocking doesn't stop you from casting spells either. You can start opening a door/clicking a lever, and hold block - it won't interrupt it, but WILL make you invisible/displaced while the door opens.

    It might not be AS good for an Eldritch Knight, that might want to hit people with their weapon, and not just the orb in their off-hand if they have one, but for a pure caster, this is nothing but gravy.

    One thing to be careful about, and I got hit by a few too many times because I learned to love moving around unnoticed a bit too much - blocking won't interrupt spells, but tumbling definitely will, so longer casting time spells might be interrupted if you're in a hurry to start moving forward again.

  16. #16
    Community Member NemesisAlien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xgya View Post
    You retain the benefits while tumbling, so you can still move around at about the same pace.

    While blocking/tumbling, you're invisible. Blocking doesn't stop you from casting spells either. You can start opening a door/clicking a lever, and hold block - it won't interrupt it, but WILL make you invisible/displaced while the door opens.

    It might not be AS good for an Eldritch Knight, that might want to hit people with their weapon, and not just the orb in their off-hand if they have one, but for a pure caster, this is nothing but gravy.

    One thing to be careful about, and I got hit by a few too many times because I learned to love moving around unnoticed a bit too much - blocking won't interrupt spells, but tumbling definitely will, so longer casting time spells might be interrupted if you're in a hurry to start moving forward again.
    I'll try, shift is block, whats the key for tumble again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NemesisAlien View Post
    I'll try, shift is block, whats the key for tumble again?
    Just move while blocking.

    If you have at least 1 rank in Tumble, you'll start rolling around.

    With greater commitment to the skill, you can start moving around faster than an Hasted character runs - though that requires some level of timing.

  18. #18
    Community Member NemesisAlien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xgya View Post
    Just move while blocking.

    If you have at least 1 rank in Tumble, you'll start rolling around.

    With greater commitment to the skill, you can start moving around faster than an Hasted character runs - though that requires some level of timing.
    Ok, thanks, will check it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zretch View Post
    You're not going to have 88 INT at level 20, so ignore his comments regarding being able to insta-kill things in EE Sharn.
    Here is an alternative evocation version that requires no racial tree AP. Swapped to more spell crit, lower DCs. Basically no-save damage build. Still messing around with build a bit and energy burst vs. red dragon. Meteor has no save on half of its bludgeoning damage, and also works on everything so I like to pump that damage type up.



    50% base necro crit + 10% empyrian + 25% arcane supremacy gives you 85% crit rate death auras for triple healing at level 20, more at level 24 with master of knowledge. This will keep a well built level 20 character alive in EE legendary content to meteor spam no-save no-resist damage.

    I'm building for EE Legendary at 20 because I want to level a sentient weapon at the same time, and Sharn/RL/WPM let you do that, while Lords of Dust Chain, House P, and House K do not. You get 0-19 SXp items out of House P, D, K, and LoD, but 290-1000 SXp items out of WPM, Sharn, and RL using no-save no-resist damage. Oh, and the Sharn sagas give 290 SXp Artifacts sometimes on EE as well, so overall you end up doubling your SXp running EE Sharn over EH Sharn.

    No-save no-resist damage (such as arcane tempest or meteor or wizzy inquisitor) will also give earlier entry into legendary reaper. Legendary reaper xp is based on doubled dungeon level instead of equal to dungeon level for Lords of Dust Chain, so you also get triple RXP by running legendary reaper 30s instead of epic reaper 20s. But I'm not really interested in more RXp.

    So think about targeting the no-save no-resist, instead of the weak save, because for most level 20 wizards, there are no weak saves in EE Sharn!
    Last edited by Tilomere; 09-22-2019 at 10:26 AM.

  20. #20
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    Then use that no-save no-resist damage and self-healing to collect SXp as you level:



    White Plume Mountain (WPM) seems to have a total full dungeon clear all chests combined 33% drop rate, but takes 20 minutes to do all chests. The 1000 SXp gems seem to drop on non-crest chests, so skip crests and end chest if you want SXp and just clear paths and optionals. It is better to do a sharn EE quest in 7 minutes for the same 33% total drop rate for a named item, plus a chance for an artifact, plus a chance for artifact in saga reward.

    Ended up replacing Red Dragon Heritage with Energy Burst Cold, and Delayed Blast Fireball and Mass Hold with Acid Well for more no-evasion automatic damage, even though mobs usually fort save for half on Acid Well. All you need is half of Acid Well and the bludgeoning half of meteor for EE.

    The game grinds to a halt though and crashes if too many PMs death auras interact with each other or mobs, especially with lots of active mobs. So you do have to be aware of how many wizards are in your group and to stay away from them and limit the amount of simultaneous Death auras and active mobs AIs are running. 3 PMs close to each other each with 3 death auras is GG. Same if 4 or so undead get near a pair of your party's PMs. So you do have to kite undead and other PMs in your party to prevent the game from locking up, and preferably scorched earth the dungeon.

    Lag is also why you don't take the debuff tier 4 enhancement to hit undead with negative energy spells on this evoker build. It attempts to continuously apply and fail to apply this debuff to allies and living enemies, and does apply this continuously to undead enemies, causing lag. Just hit undead with regular dps spells instead.

    Warlock aura has the same problem. 3 or so overlapping ES warlocks cause performance lag, and 3 or more overlapping ES warlocks with mobs is GG. Probably just all auras in general, but cleric and bard don't seem as bad. Fire druid is bad like warlock or wizard, presumably for the same reason (debuffs applied with aura). Try to limit 2 aura players to a party.

    Feats: Evocation and mental toughness feats. PL:Wiz and Completionist. Maximize, empower, quicken, extend, master of knowledge, Burst of Glacial Wrath are basics. Hopefully your evocation DCs will begin to work in EE Sharn as you level, and your DC feats will pay off, but if they never do, that's not that big a deal for EE Sharn. The big deal is opening a Sharn chest and seeing 580 SXp at level 24, instead of a House P chest and seeing a 4 SXp Spy Dagger.

    It takes ~1100 legendary EE Sharn/RL dungeons to cap a sentient weapon, or ~110 levels worth (counting saga xp). There are 12 arcane past lives, at 10 levels each, or 120 epic arcane levels to do. So if you do ~90% of your leveling with 290 SXp drops, you will cap 1 sentient weapon per sphere.

    Do the remaining 10% dungeons as token of the 12 dungeons for hearts for heroic/racial trs, 825k XP in EE token of the twelve dungeons, then cap with leveling in legendary 290 SXp EE dungeons.
    Last edited by Tilomere; 10-10-2019 at 01:45 PM.

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