So, since my last post, I’ve been fairly busy. But I did get to play a little bit of DDO! I rolled up the character I will use for this blog (sorry, no picture this time… Haven’t gotten a chance to log on lately). I’m sure you’re all curious… What will I be playing? Instead of telling you, I’ll tell a story!
Since the Enhancement Pass, I decided that all characters should only use one or two stats, maaaaaybe three (if one of them is secondary). Thanks to the various enhancements that let you get X to Y, that’s not too hard. So I rolled up an Elven Wizard on my PD guild. As his build filled out, though, I ran into a problem. At level 20, characters have 80 Action Points. My Elf was meant to be a Rogue 2/Wizard 18 with the Elven Grace enhancement and Weapon Finesse, which would allow him to use duel rapiers in battle while dumping Strength. But as it turns out, the Elven Grace line costs a total of 18 points (15 for the 4th tier, 2 for the direct prereq, and 1 more for Grace). With 18 points in said tree, 31 point to unlock Tenser’s Transformation from the Eldritch Knight tree, and 31 more points to unlock Lich Form there is absolutely no room for error. That’s a problem, since there are lots of other things I want to spend AP on: 6 AP in the Conjuration Archmage tree for free metamagic’d Web, 11 AP in the Elven Arcanum tree for 100 SP, etc. I solved that problem by deciding that my PD Wizard will eventually swap out Weapon Finesse and farm out some Dex-to-hit-and-damage weapons (Envenomed Blades for endgame, Flints for midgame, and either of the two daggers from Three Barrel Cove at level 4). If he reaches Epics, I’ll either stick with Envenomed Blades, try to get Epic versions of them (egad!) or find an Epic-level replacement. In the worst-case scenario, he can always respec his Elf tree once stuff like free Web SLAs aren’t efficient anymore.
The complications with my PD Elf build led me to decide to try something different. I loved the idea of a Wizard with good casting and the ability to wade into melee, but it seemed like TWF Elves were not the way to go. Instead, I decided to go with a Dwarf and a greataxe. I put 16 points in Strength, a similar number in Constitution, and 18 in Intelligence. My plan for this build is to stick all levelups, APs, and ED points I need to burn to unlock tiers into Int, to ensure that I can have decent DCs. There are two reasons for this Int focus: First, Strength is much, much easier to buff. Even with 16 starting Strength and no levelups, I can hit respectable numbers easily enough (+6 item, +5 tome, +4 alchemical from Tenser’s, +1 exceptional, +2 morale; that’s 34 from just stuff I can get from equipment and self-buffs). Yes, I won’t have 60 Strength like true melee-focused builds, but I should still be hitting more than reliably… 34 Strength means +12; +20 BaB; +4 Greater Heroism; +1 Haste; +5 weapon; that’s a +42 bonus to hit. Not amazing, but I’m not aiming for Epics. -5 when I Power Attack, but I can turn PA off if I miss too much. I can also get a few extra pluses from the Dwarf tree.
But why do I want my Intelligence so high? Easy: I want to be able to land spells. Nothing like a Mass Hold Monster followed by swinging an axe. Having good Int also means I’ll have the SP and DCs to take out monsters whose AC is just too dang high to hit with an axe.
As far as classes go, I’m sticking with the same split: 2 Rogue/18 Wizard. With maxxed Int, I can fill out the trap skills, which is nice. So far as Enhancements go, I’ll be putting 31 points into Eldritch Knight, with highlights including Improved Shield, Light Armor Proficiency and Martial Training, and of course Tenser’s Transformation. Eldritch Tempest is also a possibility; it would cost me 6 AP beyond what I want to spend in this tree, but as a THF Dwarf I have the AP to spare.
I will be taking the Pale Master tree, investing 31 points into it. I will be focusing on two things: Improving my self-healing and the skeletal pet. While my Sneak Attack won’t be very big, being able to take some aggro off my back certainly won’t hurt; I need to spend 31 points somewhere, and aside from Negative Energy Conduit (3 AP), Deathless Vigor (6 AP), the base enhancements (5 AP) and Negative Energy Criticals (8 AP) there’s not much here. That’s a total of 23 AP, leaving me with 8 AP to put into the pet. There are 15 AP that can be put into the pet, overall.
With 31 minimum AP in EK and PM, I have 18 AP left over. Investing 6 in Archmage for free webs is a no-brainer, leaving me with 12 AP; I will probably end up spending 8 of those AP on the Necromancer pet and 4 on Eldritch Tempest. That should give me good melee skill, excellent survivability, and a good distraction and flanking partner. The nice thing about the Skeletal Knight is that he’s so cheap; as long as he survives for 5 minutes I can replace him for 10 SP, much cheaper than any real summon. I can also heal him very, very easily, a distinction he shares with the Mummy Lord (who will probably see tons and tons of use in the mid-to-high heroic levels).
Well, I’ve blabbed on and on (and on) long enough. Hopefully I’ll be able to post about my actual adventures soon enough!