Feb 272015

Dear DDOGamer: How about some new builds?

As you know, DDOGamer is always ready and willing to answer your game-related or relationship questions. And this one is a doozy, so potent and full of question-answery potential that it entirely filled my feedback box all by itself, pulsing in happy waves of unanswered possibilities. To wit:

Geoff & Co.;
I am sending this out to the DDO community requesting some inputs.

True First Life, Solo, Free-to-Play character concept. The idea being to create a few soloable Free-to-play builds. This build could be used for any new player to DDO who wants to try out Free-To-Play before going Premium or VIP while being largely self-sufficient. At a more meta level, a group of these solo builds would be able to handle all the content in the game, minus raids.

Free-To-Play. DDO store purchases for adventure packs primary, with classes and races secondary, and shared/additional storage thirdly.

Pure classes could be limited in either DPS, self-healing, or trapsmithing. Multi-classes could be strong in two of the three. My general ideas all mix in rogue due to my fear of traps (nothing can grind a quest to a halt or kill players like a trap).

My friends and I are longtime D&D players, and want to get into DDO. However, we are all in different time zones (Hawaii, US west coast, US east coast, Europe, Middle East). Additionally, we are all on different schedules (days off and hours worked). Thus, our time for group play is limited to maybe an hour once a week or a few times a month.

I look forward to any responses, advice, critiques you may have.

Tloboc (Tee-low, for short)

At first I was confused. Was Tlo asking for builds? Or offering to create them? Or rather instead, looking for relationship advice about bringing together the far-flung fellowship that is his D&D group?

For the latter, some quick math will show the ideal time and place for your group to gather: Europe is UTC (more or less), most of the Middle East is +3 UTC, the US east coast is -4 while the west coast is -7 and Hawaii is UTC -10. Averaging all of that yields -3.6, or geographically speaking, Indianapolis Indiana USA! Not only is Indy roughly UTC -3.6, it is also the home to the original gaming convention GenCon! So there you go, plan to gather at GenCon with your laptops and DDO your normally distant duffs to a nub.

But I am still unsure how to address the game-related part of Tlo’s missive. Is he asking for builds? Or asking for build requests – a subtle but important difference! So I asked:

Thank you for your response. It was mostly a submission for requests for builds.

… (glossing over some text that includes a lovely link to Voodu Spyce’s Favored Soul Evoker build) …

I’m an idea type of person, and would like to propose some builds. If you have some advice on where to start, and what people are looking for, information-wise, in build proposals, I would be greatly appreciative.



Ah hah, he is asking for build requests! Of the sort that would apply to a Free-To-Play first-time player! I can do that!

Hmmm … this hypothetical player will have nothing unlocked, so very limited races, no Druid, no Artificer, nothing that requires the Harper Agent tree. And with only 28 point builds, a lot of multiclass synergies are hard to pull off; there are not enough stat points to go around.

Okay. I am going to ask for soloable versions of each of the “big four” builds: arcane caster, melee, divine, rogue. Each of which can solo but when playing together they fit synergetically. And no, “synergetically” is not a real word, but it certainly should be.

  • For the divine role, a pure Cleric: probably the easiest, both to build and to play, this one should balance healing capabilities with melee. As many spell points as one can manage while still retaining strong arms and armor. I imagine it won’t have effective offensive casting ability and I am fine with that.
  • For the arcane role, a bard/sorceror mix that focuses on crowd control as a primary ability and nuking as backup. Not too much bard, I want 9th level spells, but enough to get limited self-healing and to be able to wear light armor without chance of arcane spell failure. Having a high UMD would allow this one to wand-heal (and later, scroll heal) to keep him/herself up and to aid the party. This will probably be the hardest one to solo; give it to the best player!
  • For the melee role, a combat tactics Halfling pure fighter! I am specifying halfling because I want the Dragonmark of Healing. I am specifying combat tactics to help with crowd control, especially when soloing.
  • For the rogue role, a rogue/wizard that is mainly rogue: someone needs to be able to do the locks and traps. But you can improve the soloing capabilities if you mix in enough wizard to cast certain spells, especially Invisibility, Blur, and Displacement. Haste never hurts at lower levels either. This one will be chugging a lot of Cure potions – and will also be well-served with enough UMD to handle wands and scrolls. Or maybe another Halfling with the healing dragonmark? I don’t know.

Okay Tlo, you are all queued up! I look forward to seeing what you come up with, and will post your builds here (if you like) or help you get them on the forum (if you would like the help), however and whatever you wish.

Happy character building!

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  16 Responses to “Dear DDOGamer: An Offer to Create New Free-To-Play Player Character Builds”

Comments (16)
  1. The notion that Indianapolis is the center of gravity for tabletop gaming on the planet intrigues me. πŸ™‚

  2. A big question I’d have is whether or not they want the characters to be able to solo elite. You can get away with a lot more multiclassing and thin build points on hard. With F2P accounts, they’d have to unlock elite or have an opener, anyway…. rambling!

  3. 18 wiz/2 rogue. a classic cause it works

  4. Geoff,
    Thank you for the opportunity and support to try out this challenge. I was originally inspired by Voodu Spyce’s true first life, with the twist of free to play. Then my engineering side kicked in and numbers and ideas started rolling.

    GenCon is the bright center of the gaming universe? This idea intrigues me and I wish to know more. I shall prevail upon my gaming brethren that a pilgrimage to the GenCon Mecca is in order.

    To the matter at hand, your intel-commando build is fascinating to me. Can I call it The Batman? How does Mawry Haversack fare in solo heroic content?

    • Hi Tlo, thank you for the nice letter! Regarding the Intel Commando, so far I am finding her to be quite dominant in the heroic levels. But lots of builds are, the heroics are the easy part πŸ™‚

      One thing though, definitely not a F2P build, because it needs the Harper Tree.

      Also, it can’t be the Batman build, even though it does everything, because that name is already taken.

  5. I’m a huge fan of unusual builds. For instance, my main is a pure fighter, but his str sucks. Instead, he’s jacked his con to insane levels. He also focuses on defense instead of offense. As a result, he’s got over 1700 hp at level 22, and an 80% chance at defense for same level monsters. His PRR reduces about 60% of any incoming physical attack, while his MRR reduces about 45% of any incoming magic attack.

    That all being said, my idea is for a cha based paladin. This paladin would be able to self heal any time, anywhere with lay on hands. It would also take him from almost dead to full health. Take a few points in the SaD tree, and it’ll increase the amount of times he can use it per rest. He’ll also be able to get healing spells eventually, which while not the BEST spells at that character level, would help in a pinch. Since he’s got a high cha, say 16 or so to start with, and preferably a wis of 14 to get the highest level paladin spells, turning is his friend. I’d recommend going on any and all quests where undead would be encountered on a regular basis. Increasing the amount and effectiveness of turning would help as well. Offense wouldn’t be a HUGE focus, since turning would at least stun undead, if not completely destroy them outright. Picking them off with a weapon would be easy enough after they’re no longer moving. Bonus: the first level paladin spell Seek Eternal Rest increases turning as well. Make str a tertiary forcus, say. As for those non undead monsters, turning won’t help any, but smite is a very useful tool. Since it recharges without resting, using it especially in boss fights can be VERY effective. And since it depends on cha for a damage bonus, there’s going to be a lot of damage. Make the paladin human, and you can get healing amplification in both the human tree, and KotC tree for even more healing when necessary. In addition, you can chose to increase both cha and str. The bonus feat helps as well, since you’re going to choose combat oriented feats like cleave, as does the bonus skill point/level. I’d imagine stats looking like this:

    Str 14
    Dex 8
    Con 14
    Int 8
    Wis 14
    Cha 16

    Being human you’d get two skill points/level with that, which would mean points for both heal and intimidate, though if you’re a true soloer, you may not need intimidate. In that case, I’d go with concentration for those times you need to buff in the middle of a fight.

    If you want to deal with traps as well, add in a couple levels of rogue. I wouldn’t recommend taking the first level at level 1, but any time after that would work. If traps are your primary concern, losing some skill points shouldn’t be that big a deal. Take search, spot, and disable device, and whatever else strikes your fancy. You may need to carry around some int potions to help you find things, but since humans get so many action boosts, you could take a skill action boost and use that. In addition, you could increase int when using an action boost as a human.

    I’m sure I’m forgetting something, and there’s bound to be some drawbacks, but as far as I can tell, this is the best build I can come up with for soloing.

  6. I’m not going to do fully-detailed builds, but I have some thoughts.
    Also, I have a tendency to put too much detail into things. You don’t want to see what I consider a fully-detailed build.

    Oh, and I left two important questions at the bottom of this post.

    ~~ ARCANE ~~
    The bard/sorcerer might not be a great idea.
    To get level 9 spells, you’d need sorcerer 18, and 2 levels of bard hardly gets anything. The healing in particular is negligible. If you start as a bard, you benefit slightly more from the healing, but then you’ve delayed your higher-level spells by a a level or two.

    Wizard might be better, if only because it allows one character to experience the full range of spellcasting. If this was a project to make a series of builds, I’d say make a sorcerer for really new players, and a wizard for players who are used to the magic resource management aspect of many video games. This lets new players get the feel of magic, and lets players new just to this game to feel the full range of the game’s magic.

    Also, bards still have a spell failure chance for non-bard spells.

    ~~ MELEE ~~
    Why pure fighter? I suppose it is a bit simpler than a Paladin, but isn’t paladin (one of) the best solo class(es) in the game? And a melee class?
    It’s got everything: DPS, self-heals, tanginess… Well, no skills, but neither does the fighter.
    Maybe Fighter/Paladin would be good, getting a bit of the fighter’s combat ability and the paladin’s resilience.

    ~~ ROGUE ~~
    Here’s my thoughts on the rogue (take my advice with a grain of salt; I don’t usually play rogues or wizards).

    The sneaky/skillfull build looks like it wants to come out as a Rogue 15/Wizard 5 in the end.
    Improved Evasion for the rogue special ability.
    The wizard levels should probably come somewhere in the middle. If trying to keep it as simple as possible (i.e. not separating the wizard levels), I might put them as levels 11-15 or 8-13. It’s a bit late, but it lets you get feats in much more easily. If you take wizard levels before 8, feats will have to be delayed compared to what I show below.

    As for spell choice… (of course, learning them all is a good idea; these are useful ones)
    1st level: Jump, Tumble, Protection from Evil, Expeditious Retreat, Shield
    2nd level: Blur, Invisibility, Gust of Wind, See Invisibility/Glitterdust
    3rd level: Haste, Displacement, Heroism
    Note: some of these I’m just guessing on usefulness.

    Enhancements: Assassin for damage, 8 points into EK to reduce spell failure

    Skills: Search/Spot/Disable, Hide/Move, Concentration, Tumble*, Jump**, UMD
    *Getting +26 tumble before the spell allows forward dives.
    **Maximize jump to get full jump height while sneaking.

    Feats: (these might not all be able to fit on the build
    Two Weapon Fighting (level 1)
    Improved TWF (level 9)
    Greater TWF (level 18)
    Weapon Finesse (level 3) (makes finding good weapons easier)
    Improved Critical (piercing) (level 12)
    Precision or Toughness (level 15)

    Wizard bonus feats should be some of these:
    Mental Toughness, Improved Mental Toughness, Extend Spell, Quicken Spell

    Race human or halfling, of course.
    Ability Scores…
    ([Ability] [value] [point cost])

    Str 8 (0)
    Dex 16 (10)
    Con 14 (6)
    Int 14 (6)
    Wis 8 (0)
    Cha 14 (2)
    I originally had Wis/Cha as 10/8, with 4 points left over. Then I remembered high Cha is essential to UMD. Maybe take Force of Personality as the human bonus feat to mitigate the low wisdom. Otherwise precision seems like a good choice. Or switch Cha and Wis and take Skill Focus (UMD).

    Str 8 (2)
    Dex 18 (10) or 16 (6)
    Con 14 (6)
    Int 14 (6)
    Wis 10 (2)
    Cha 10 (2) or 14 (6)
    This is actually two setups.
    It’s just like the human, but with points in strength to prevent it from falling to far, and a bit of wisdom because Force of Personality won’t fit so well in this build.
    Also, note that the human array above can be used on a halfling, but with 2 points left over.

    ~~ QUESTIONS ~~

    Is there a way to put formatting in these comments? This post looks pretty ugly right now…

    And I had one unrelated question I wanted to throw your way. What do you think of the idea of server-wide advice and trade channels? I wanted to set something like this up (using userchannels A and T, respectively), but I find I can’t really get people to join. It seems like one of those things that could really help on the less-populous servers. (I also tried to make a Universal chat channel (channel U), but I got even less interest in that…


    • Nice, and a perfect example of the amazing flexibility we get in building DDO characters! By the way, the bard/sorceror in light armor spell failure thing seems to mean that bards will need to make armor checks when using non-Bard arcane scrolls. It definitely does not apply when casting spells, I just tested to double-check. Non-bard arcane spells, in light armor, no failure percent.

  7. One of the easier f2p builds right now is the dwarf tempest ranger focused on con for damage. Max out con (or take it to 19) – take 14 wis to be able to get the ranger spells, and throw the rest in Str (to hit) and Dex for armor and bow usage.

    Rams might helps with the str and your hit, and your high con allows for a nice HP pool. Cure spells allow for healing up between fights (with a limited spell pool) but wand usage is nice as well. Evasion assists with trap avoidance, and Dwarven Axes are some of the best damage dealers in the game that don’t require a special feat to use (with dwarves). Multishot allows you to whip out the bow and clear those one or two trash mobs that are roaming around when your hp and sp are low and you don’t want to get hit.

    I know it isn’t quite what he was asking for, but for a nice damage dealer that can solo and add something to the party, its a good way to experience ddo and get used to casting and mele simultaneously.

  8. It occurs to me that another good solo character would be a ranger18/rogue2. The skill pool is pretty much identical, and the skill totals are almost the same as well. Concentrate all the skill points you can in disable device and open lock, since you don’t have those on the ranger list, but other than that, it should be easy to split the levels and keep the skills high. For the ranger, I’d go with Arcane Archer, since bows use dex to hit, and a lot of the skills for both classes require dex. As for race, I can see going halfling to get the bonus to dex and self heals, human to get healing amplification and some nice boosts to attack, damage, and skills, as well as a point of dex and a point of something else, probably con or int. For my money, though, the race to chose would be elf. You get the dex bonus at a penalty to con, but eventually you’ll be able to do damage based on dex instead of str for both bows and rapiers, and if you take the weapon finesse feat, you’ll be using a rapier as your backup weapon anyway. You COULD chose to take two weapon fighting as well, but since you’re going to be focused on using a bow, it’d be better to take archery focused feats most of the time. Your goal with this build is to use your skills to be as sneaky as possible and do as much damage as possible.

  9. I actually started up a Premium account awhile back which only has access to 28 point builds. The four characters are a fighter, a paladin, a cleric, and a ranger. They all have been doing very good in heroic quests but they are lacking in gear. But in either case, I have been having fun with all of them!!

  10. The Cleric should be a human melee cleric.15 Cleric 4 pali 1 fighter.

    14 str. 14 con. 15 cha. 12 dex 8 int 14 wis The level up pionts in Charisma. you will be ok with 14 wisdom but will need to keep looking for the best wisdom items you can find and items that boost spell points and devion spell power.

    He/she will focus his feats on fighting with power attack cleave great cleave then empower heal and mental toughness. then Improved crit and another mental toughness. then shield mastery and improved shield mastery. skills in heal and concentration.

    level first 3 cleric next 2 pali next 2 cleric next 1 fighter (start using tower sheilds and scimitars or rapiers) next 4 cleric next 2 pali last 6 cleric.

    For enhancements stay out of the warpriest tree except 4 points for divine might.. 32 points spend in radiant servant. your main heals will be positive energy burst and healing aura. definitely take the extra tuning feats for more of those. and get turn regeneration at least the first level of it.You are mostly in the tree for those.

    Put 3 points in human tree for defense boost and healing amplification. Around lvl 10- 12 or when ever you start hitting for 40 or more damage switch defense boost to damage boost!

    The next 40 action points you will spend in the paladins knight of the chalice and sacred defender maybey a bit of vanguardtrees.balanced as you like for more offence or defense. but you definitely want a defense stance with p.r.r. and saves boost.

  11. I messed up a bit in Enhancement advice. you may want to spend 4 points in kensai fighter tree for haste boost. if you dont want that spend the points in vanguard for mele power or if you want super tanky boosts the stalwart defender defense boost. The human racial boosts and the class tree enhancement boosts have different cooldown timers and can both be used together giving you moar damages!.

What do you think?

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