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  1. #1
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    Default Metamagic Feats. Can you reduce the cost to 0?

    Metamagic Feats improve nothing passively, but they give characters the option to make trade-offs in higher cost for certain bonus. But which ones are better than the others? They all seem to run on the idea of "long-term gains" as the cost increases are prohibitive early on, but later you can afford to spend the extra spell points for usually double the effectiveness.

    Spell-Like abilities are reported(I havent tested) to also benefit from Metamagics, but without the drawbacks.

    On spellcaster's Enhancement trees the "Efficient X" lines are high value, cutting the additional spell point costs of using metamagic by up to 40%

    =====================================
    Extend Spell costs 10 points and doubles the length of time a buffing spell lasts. Early on its not much use because most Level 1 spells cost 10 points so its cheaper to just cast the buff again, when you need it. It becomes substantially more useful with higher tier spells that cost 20-50 points and in some cases only lasts a few minutes.

    Heighten Spell raises the cost of a spell by 5 points for every level up to Spell Level 9. It can be very costly to always have your spells cost 45+ points, but having up to a +8 on DC checks is quite useful so your spells actually affect enemies.

    Quicken spell costs 10 points and cuts down on the casting time. This allows many impractical long cast spells useful in combat.

    Maximize, Empower, and the Epic Embolden spell raise the Spell Power for damage spells. In Theory thats about a 150%/75%/75% improvement respectively, but the costs would be incredible. I think the cost increase would be greater than the damage bonus?

    Enlarge spell costs 10 points and increases the range, but not area of spells. In theory this would allow you to snipe enemies with attack spells outside their aggro range. I REALLY dont know if this one is worth it?

    ==========================
    A Wizard has 5 free Bonus feats that are usually Metamagic Feats. This gives them a lot of options.

    Other spellcasters have fewer choices which makes the choices for feats tight. Rangers and Paladins have the worst options so taking Metamagic feats seems a waste. They would be better off taking Mental Toughness to help with their low Spell Points.

    My present character is a Cleric with the Quicken, Maximize, and Extend spell metamagics as well as Spell Penetration and Mental Toughness. Heighten Spell might be useful?
    Last edited by Chaosticket1; 01-10-2020 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Community Member RAFAR's Avatar
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    Quicken - not only to cast faster, but to prevent getting interrupted in combat. Concentration skill works much better nowadays (and therefore important for scrolls such as Heal or Raise/Res), but will never completely replace this feat. I don't consider Quicken "worth it", but mandatory, for all builds that use spells in combat.

    Extend - the long lasting buffs (1 min per CL) don't need to be extended further, they already last longer than your sp pool between shrines. Short duration buffs however, like displacement, haste etc can benefit well from extend. Not many builds have feat slots for it, however.

    Enlarge - a great option to CC and instakill stuff before they can even see/attack/debuff you (beholders especially). Mass hold / circle of death / greater command on a group before it breaks up and rush towards you? Yes please! For a sorcerer, it's a no brainer imo, he has the sp pool to handle it, no problem. For wizard, it's an easy pick with all those bonus feats. For other classes, decide if you want to go DC casting style (pick it) or just blaster-nuker style (not required).

    Maximize/Empower/Intensify/(Empower Heal) - these pump the damaging (healing) SLAs well, especially at lower levels when your base spell power is low. Not worth using on normal spells as the extra cost is much higher than simply casting it 2 or 3 times. So, if you are going to use damaging/healing sla-s, pick these up. If only normal spells, you'll probably won't need these.

    Heighten and Embolden - these basically give you +1 DC for +5 spell points. The lower level spell you use, the higher the extra cost, but, some lower level spells can still outperform higher level ones thanks to this metamagic. Pick it if you want to use dc based spells for instakill/cc, pick embolden too if your spells start getting saved at. For a blaster-nuker, these are a bit less important (but a save still means -50% or even-100% damage!)


    For a cleric, I would definitely take Heighten, but use it sparingly, only for the most important spells: slay living, destruction, command, greater command, dismissal, banishment, cometfall, implosion, and the domain sla-s ofc.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    Spell-Like abilities are reported(I havent tested) to also benefit from Metamagics, but without the drawbacks.
    Yep, they do - no extra SP cost at all for using metamagics with SLAs (which metamagics can be applied to an SLA will vary, but is basically the same as the ones that'd work if casting from the spellbook) & that's the entire point, to give you some cheap & powerful options so you don't have to worry as much about SP conservation... if you have a metamagic that can apply to it, there's no real reason you shouldn't be using it.

    The general purpose behind maximise & empower, is time - the SP cost of using 1 is higher & will be even more if you use both, but sometimes you just need to burn an enemy down as fast as you can to minimise the chance that they can do damage to you & your party.

    Extend spell isn't generally needed for a lot of the more standard buffs like resist energy, shield, blur etc. but for the short-lived ones it can make a big difference since it'll ensure they don't run out at an inopportune time & if the base cost is more than 15sp, then it'll be cheaper to extend it than recast too.

    Quicken is IMO essential - making sure your casting can't be interrupted is a big boost, particularly for healing I generally keep 2 copies of a couple of healing spells in my hotbars, 1 will be the quickened version within easy reach for mid-combat & the other will be non-quickened for out of combat use.

    Enlarge spell is very handy, particularly for instakills & crowd control, so you can neutralise troublesome enemies from a safer distance - and hey, if the group of mobs are conveniently immobilised just as your party members arrive that's just a handy thing

    Heighten spell is an interesting one, as it's main use is to make lower level spells more viable in higher level content - in practice as an arcane you'll likely only really be using it on otto's disco ball & web, and as a divine greater command & cometfall will probably be your best bet.
    I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was, now what's it is weird and scary to me.

  4. #4
    Community Member C-Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    Spell-Like abilities are reported(I havent tested) to also benefit from Metamagics, but without the drawbacks.
    Confirmed.

    o https://ddowiki.com/page/Spell-like_ability (2nd paragraph, etc.)

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    Metamagics are much more useful for the Wizard as previously stated. The Wizard has 3 enhancement trees and all 3 have Spell-like Abilities to benefit from various metamagics, the Archmage tree having up to 7 SLAs at a time, and can unlock more from the Pale Master and/or Eldritch Knight trees.

    A Cleric is less benefited because it only has 1 enhancement tree, Divine Disciple, with up to 4 SLAs. Cleric doesnt have as many Feats to use and also has to split those Feats for Melee abilities.

    Druid only has 1 enhancement tree with SLAs, and doesnt benefit much from Extend spell much because its less reliant on Buffing spells. It also has the Melee/Spell feat splitting problem.

    Sorcerer only has 3 SLAs in each of the different elemental trees.
    ================================================== ======
    Enlarge spell is the #1 Metamagic I want to know about. It may be Awesome or Useless.
    If it actually increased spell Area it would be quite good for AOE spells, but it just works on maximum shooting range for "ray" attack spells? I am rarely in a position to shoot from long distance as enemies aggro and charge en mass.

    Enhancements:
    Of all the Efficient Metamagic enhancements Efficient Heighten seem the best. Quicken seems like one of the most used Metamagics at high levels, reducing the cost of a spell by 1-4 points doesnt come out well especially when you use Quicken on spells would costs about 50, so you would save about 5-10% total. Efficient Heighten on the other hand would help considerably on the lowest level spells. -2 Spells points isnt much, but multiply that times 8 and those low level spells would be very useful, that is IF any low level spells were worth the DC increase.

    Are the Efficient Metamagic enhancement bad choices? They take 2 Action/Enhancement points per rank, only work on individual Metamagics, and in return you save about 1-5% off the total cost of a spell with Metamagic's attached.
    Last edited by Chaosticket1; 01-07-2020 at 12:58 PM.

  6. #6
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    one important note is that by right clicking on any spell/sla on your hotbar you can set each Metamagic always on, always off, or standard (based on which Metamagics you have activated). one useful application of this would be to set Panacea to never Heighten and Soundburst to always Heighten.

    one smaller note is that Enlarge doesn't generally work on ray spells, they already have double range (although per the wiki Searing Light is an exception to this rule). the biggest use i find for a soloing caster is dealing with Beholders, since their anti magic does not extend to double range and clerics don't have a great ray palette to work with.

    a cleric doesn't have to spend feats on melee stuff, they can go pure caster. if you have a dedicated melee option, though, the Beholder case is less relevant.

  7. #7
    Community Member RAFAR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    Metamagics are much more useful for the Wizard as previously stated. The Wizard has 3 enhancement trees and all 3 have Spell-like Abilities to benefit from various metamagics, the Archmage tree having up to 7 SLAs at a time, and can unlock more from the Pale Master and/or Eldritch Knight trees.

    A Cleric is less benefited because it only has 1 enhancement tree, Divine Disciple, with up to 4 SLAs. Cleric doesnt have as many Feats to use and also has to split those Feats for Melee abilities.

    Druid only has 1 enhancement tree with SLAs, and doesnt benefit much from Extend spell much because its less reliant on Buffing spells. It also has the Melee/Spell feat splitting problem.

    Sorcerer only has 3 SLAs in each of the different elemental trees.
    ================================================== ======
    Enlarge spell is the #1 Metamagic I want to know about. It may be Awesome or Useless.
    If it actually increased spell Area it would be quite good for AOE spells, but it just works on maximum shooting range for "ray" attack spells? I am rarely in a position to shoot from long distance as enemies aggro and charge en mass.

    Enhancements:
    Of all the Efficient Metamagic enhancements Efficient Heighten seem the best. Quicken seems like one of the most used Metamagics at high levels, reducing the cost of a spell by 1-4 points doesnt come out well especially when you use Quicken on spells would costs about 50, so you would save about 5-10% total. Efficient Heighten on the other hand would help considerably on the lowest level spells. -2 Spells points isnt much, but multiply that times 8 and those low level spells would be very useful, that is IF any low level spells were worth the DC increase.

    Are the Efficient Metamagic enhancement bad choices? They take 2 Action/Enhancement points and in return you save about 1-5% off the total cost of a spell with Metamagic's attached.
    Ray spells already have double range for free, the Enlarge metamagic can increase the range of other spells to ray-like distance. In case of area of effect spells, you can land their center 2x further, either on a targeted mob or by targeting yourself and aiming with reticule in mouselook mode. The spell's area size stays the same.

    Efficient metamagics: pick those that you use the most. (quicken, heighten, enlarge)

    Clerics and slas: don't forget about caster type domains and epic destiny abilities...
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  8. #8
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    Good thread, useful info.
    Have fun, and don't forget to gather for buffs!
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  9. #9
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    If your using SLA that are attacks, Maximize is your number 1 choice, followed by (Enhance? not sure of the name, give 75 spell power) as number 2 (they stack)
    together you get 175 spell power added to your SLA attack for FREE. It can turn a lvl 1 attack spell into a trash mob sweeper.

    If your a sorc, these 2 are a must.

    Some may say heighten is better because they are less likely to save. If your doing 275% Damage, saving might be non-relevant.

    Just my take on it.
    Last edited by fatherpirate; 01-07-2020 at 01:41 PM.
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  10. #10
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    I love Quicken for Heal/Reconstruct/any Spell Like Ability/Epic Destiny abilities like Rejuvenation Cocoon.

    If you are going to go Draconic, then Empower and Maximize are fantastic.

    If you are going to throw instant kills, then having Enlarge is a bigger quality of life improvement than you can imagine. Finger that beholder before you're in range of its anti-magic cone.

    Eschew Materials is an AMAZING feat for when you're having a bad day and you just really need to laugh about something. Obviously don't take this on a character, but it's great to remember when you need a chuckle.

    My very favorite Metamagic feat is Empower Healing. That's not an option for Wizards/Sorcerers, but it's great for any class that can take it to give an extra kick to Epic healing.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatherpirate View Post
    If your using SLA that are attacks, Maximize is your number 1 choice, followed by (Enhance? not sure of the name, give 75 spell power) as number 2 (they stack)
    together you get 175 spell power added to your SLA attack for FREE. It can turn a lvl 1 attack spell into a trash mob sweeper.
    .
    maximise is 150, empower spell is 75, that's 225 in total - and yes, it's a significant boost, even something like the humble sonic blast SLA in the bard's spellsinger tree becomes a surprisingly effective aoe damage dealer through mid heroics in non-reaper content & things like the sun bolt & cometfall SLAs for angel of vengeance favoured souls are pretty murderous once they've been boosted.
    Last edited by FuzzyDuck81; 01-07-2020 at 02:21 PM.
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    Thank you for attempting to produce a guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    Spell-Like abilities are reported(I havent tested) to also benefit from Metamagics, but without the drawbacks.
    This is the thing that helps sorcs shine...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    On spellcaster's Enhancement trees the "Efficient X" lines are high value, cutting the additional spell point costs of using metamagic by up to 40%
    For my sorc lives they are of NO value.... because the build lives mostly from the SLAs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    It can be very costly to always have your spells cost 45+ points, but having up to a +8 on DC checks is quite useful so your spells actually affect enemies.
    This also depends what other gear you have and what content you are running... a first life toon running through some high level quests... +8 is not going to mean much besides all the other things you can get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    Quicken spell costs 10 points and cuts down on the casting time. This allows many impractical long cast spells useful in combat.
    Is there a list of the long casting time spells that this helps be useful in combat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    Maximize, Empower, and the Epic Embolden spell raise the Spell Power for damage spells. In Theory thats about a 150%/75%/75% improvement respectively, but the costs would be incredible. I think the cost increase would be greater than the damage bonus?
    Yes. But stick it on your SLAs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    Enlarge spell costs 10 points and increases the range, but not area of spells. In theory this would allow you to snipe enemies with attack spells outside their aggro range. I REALLY dont know if this one is worth it?
    Very very much. Casting "destruction" at the range of a ray spell....
    Casting your SLAs (Acid Ball....) at the range of a ray spell for no extra cost...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    A Wizard has 5 free Bonus feats that are usually Metamagic Feats.
    Oh ok. Good to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    Rangers and Paladins have the worst options so taking Metamagic feats seems a waste. They would be better off taking Mental Toughness to help with their low Spell Points.
    My pally and ranger lives never really had problems running out of spell points. If TRing… past life Sorc works better (for me) than Mental Toughness. Never really saw the point of Mental Toughness on a Pally or Ranger.
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    Community Member AlmGhandi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatherpirate View Post
    Some may say heighten is better because they are less likely to save. If your doing 275% Damage, saving might be non-relevant.

    Just my take on it.
    Guess it depends on the flavor of Sorc…

    Those SLAs with "Save to take no damage" (Ice Im looking at you) really make life harder in low level reaper.
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    While the discussion so far has been excellent, one thing that I think should be pointed out are the two "free" metamagics that you can get from Tier 5 and Tier 6 of Fatesinger. The free Embolden is an amazing boon that a lot of people seem to be overlooking. If you're looking to try and play some type of Gish, Fatesinger gives you a lot of the tools to make that happen.

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    Choosing the right spells for the job also goes a long way in getting max damage or effect on the target. Knowing the enemies weakness can allow you to use spells like heightened soundburst more effectively if they have low fortitude saves for example.

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    Be careful how you look at things, Chaos - you're close to doing it again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    Metamagics are much more useful for the Wizard as previously stated. The Wizard has 3 enhancement trees and all 3 have Spell-like Abilities to benefit from various metamagics...
    These two statements are not directly related.

    Comparing SLA's, like any enhancements, is not a simple "X# > Y# therefore X is better than Y" analysis. The final balance must include questions like "How important are those SLA's to this particular build?", "How useful/powerful...?", and "How often will those SLA's be used, vs. actual (better) Spells?".

    For each class, and for each build, those questions can differ, and the answers will differ.

    For example, the EK SLA's are buffs, so MM's like Maximize/Empower are not relevant, leaving only Extend (and, with some, Enlarge for the rare occasion, if you have it and since it's free anyway).

    For Archmagi, even if they choose Evocation, they often have much better spells to use, so even "Metamagicked for free" does not make them preferable to standard Spellcasting (again, depending on the situation).

    And so on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    Sorcerer only has 3 SLAs in each of the different elemental trees.
    Heh, "only" he says.

    Sorcerer is typically a blaster, and all 3 of those SLA's are core blasting spells. Many Sorcerers have a spell rotation that is ONLY SLA's, 3 of each chosen element, those 6 SLA's round and round, with "better" spells only saved for special occasions (or not at all, if they don't anything "better" yet). Or 3 of their primary school, with others sprinkled in only occasionally. So, for a Sorcerer, SLA's are their bread and butter, or can (/should?) be.

    At the other range of the spectrum, some non-casters have Racial SLA's that are so important that those builds squeeze in a Meta or three to apply there. It all depends on the final balance, the final goal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    Enlarge spell is the #1 Metamagic I want to know about. It may be Awesome or Useless.
    Yes, if it did more it would be better, and it's not the same as 3.5 - no news there.

    But the ability to take a shorter-range spell (anything less than a standard ray) and reach out and touch someone at long range, easily before monsters are aware of you, is huge. Starting the battle off with that favorite Crowd-Control AoE, and ~then~ see what's left to run toward you? Yuge.

    And it takes "Touch" range effects, like Shocking Grasp, and makes them short-range - and few casters ever want to have to move up to "Touch" range just to use a good spell.

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    They are related. Wizard can purchase the most Metamagic feats at 12 (of 10) feats level 1-20, and the 2 Epic Metamagic feats at levels 21-30. In Total that means the Wizard has 4 "surplus" feats.

    The Wizard enhancement trees have the most spell like abilities at one time, and because of its high number of total feats & easy optimization have the most spell points with or without SLAs. That makes it the best class to use Metamagic.

    It should be possible for a Wizard to entirely rely on Spell Like Abilities with all the Metamagic's toggled on.

    No other class can do that anywhere nearly as effective. Artificier is second though.
    ================================
    I look at my Cleric and it has obvious flaws. Say I pick a Darkness Divine Disciple. Those SLAs inflict Negative Enemy Damage, which heals Undead and those are fairly common. If not for that I would take this because I really need to find ways to do more damage as a Cleric.

    The Light Divine Disciple SLAs are the same as spells the Cleric already has, but because they are SLAs they take longer to Cooldown, with Flame Strike SLA topping out at 3 times the cooldown as the actual spell. That and they have a dependency to target against Evil and Undead targets, opposite of the Darkness SLAs.
    Last edited by Chaosticket1; 01-07-2020 at 10:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    They are related.
    Of course they are - but they are not directly related (which is what I said).

    It's not a simple case of "more = superior", and that seems to be your only yardstick, and - again - despite what those who have more experience are telling you.

    So, once again - and before I say anything untoward - I'm out.

    GL w/ your build. Try to see that "simply more is not always better", that's it can be more complex than that. Or not, and learn by experience - that works too.
    o/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket1 View Post
    They are related. Wizard can purchase the most Metamagic feats at 12 (of 10) feats level 1-20, and the 2 Epic Metamagic feats at levels 21-30. In Total that means the Wizard has 4 "surplus" feats.

    The Wizard enhancement trees have the most spell like abilities at one time, and because of its high number of total feats & easy optimization have the most spell points with or without SLAs. That makes it the best class to use Metamagic.

    It should be possible for a Wizard to entirely rely on Spell Like Abilities with all the Metamagic's toggled on.

    No other class can do that anywhere nearly as effective. Artificier is second though.
    ================================
    I look at my Cleric and it has obvious flaws. Say I pick a Darkness Divine Disciple. Those SLAs inflict Negative Enemy Damage, which heals Undead and those are fairly common. If not for that I would take this because I really need to find ways to do more damage as a Cleric.

    The Light Divine Disciple SLAs are the same as spells the Cleric already has, but because they are SLAs they take longer to Cooldown, with Flame Strike SLA topping out at 3 times the cooldown as the actual spell. That and they have a dependency to target against Evil and Undead targets, opposite of the Darkness SLAs.
    I leveled my Druid to 20 on rotating SLAs - Produce Flame, Creeping Cold, Call Lightning and (MVP) Word of Balance, along with Storm of Vengeance near the end. They were Maximised, Empowered and Enlarged (and Enlarge was great for dropping Words of Balance on far-off beholders).

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    I would suggest for most classes, to focus on proper gear and sorc past llifes first.
    What that allows is simple, if you have a gsteel spellpoints item, archmagi item (fanion as example or ioun trinket) and craft yourself a insightful wizardry item, and if the player focuses to maximize spellpower, it will mean that on an class in heroic at least, you can run with all metas on.
    What that produces is a wave of efficient leveling where not every single spell needs to be modified, but metas can just be turned out without caring about spellpower cost.

    Also item from abbot reduce spellpoints cost for burst boss fights, i would suggest to get those as well, they are useful not just for heroic but at endgame as well.

    I have noticed that as a sorc player, while building this way, that i can sacrifice defenses //ihave minnimal, just a shelter item at all levels, sometimes false life, i do have con items but that is about it, and when i focus on spellpoints and spellpower alone with discount items, that i can effectively run r4 -r6 solo in heroics (keep in mind, we are talking about maxed gear here), i have completed multiple r10 solos as a heroic sorc as well and dont even do them for achivements but because its efficient rxp.


    What i want to introduce to the player base is a change in mentality, do not custom spells but instead focus on getting gear that allows every single spell you cast to be cast on maximum potency.


    Just by focusing on spellpower and spellpoints even fresh characters (life 2 3 maybe 1 if you farm relevant gear on alt) can run r1-r3 without a care about spellpoints on every class that is meant to spellcast in heroics.

    Try it out and report if you had the same experience as i had.

    Items that are relevant:
    Gsteel with skills to int bonus with spellpoints, spellcraft and ins spellcraft item, best at levels spellpower items, possibly caster level increase items if available, sp discount items, rloft stacking spellpowe item, ghero pots, spellpower pots, event pot etc etc, alot to add but those are enough for start (can skip limited event items).

    I have run over 60 lifes like this in my ddo career and i have personally never had any problems.


    It is different at cap, but depends yet again on items and discount items available
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