Jul 092013
 

Ejecta, before
Our starting point

Picking up where we left off in early May, I’ve been looking at the new enhancements on Lamannia and trying to understand them by picking one character at a time, doing them up using the new enhancements, and sharing both the process and the results. Maybe we can figure them out together.

Today, let’s look at my crowd control Archmage Ejecta.

Ejecta was built from the ground up to be a control caster in the end game. It’s tough getting anything to dance/web/hold/whatever on Epic Elite, probably more difficult than any wizard can reliably do on her first life; she needs the extra DCs on her spells that can only be obtained through multiple True Reincarnations.

While awaiting her turn in the TR queue, Ejecta has had to learn how to supplement her crowd control with other capabilities. I tried her out with a bunch of force-based Spell-Like Abilities, these were very good at keeping her busy without using up all her mana, but they have the unpleasant side-effect of not really being very effective.

Sometimes I would be firing off arcane bolts and blasts and seeing the target monster barely notice and wonder, is this really any more effective than just picking up a bow and plinking away?

It looks prettier, the force animations are all very nicely rendered, but when the bad guys just shrug me off and go about their business, something needs to change.

No, bad guys, you do not get to shrug at Ejecta! You must fear her tiny halfling anger! Shock AND awe!

This article is part of a series where I am trying to get my brain up to speed on the new enhancement system. I’m doing it in the context of my characters, examining them one at a time, attempting to rebuild them on Lamannia as they are on the live servers, then stepping back and comparing the before and after versions.

So I dropped all the SLA’s and re-focused Ejecta. She remained slavishly dedicated to crowd control, laser-beam focus, in her build, her items, and enhancements. But her secondary capabilities are now Lightning and Cold-based, which nicely complement the wizard Damage over Time spells.

She’d still rather make the bad guys dance/web/hold/whatever, but now she could fry or freeze targets effectively too. Shrug at that, monster taking several hundred points of damage per tick!

Let’s see how these capabilities will be playing out in New Enhancement Land:

Old Enhancements New Enhancements
Spell Points 4 (110 SP)
Wizard Archmage 5 (400 SP)
Spell Penetration 3
Spell Mastery Enchantment 2
Spell Mastery Evocation 1
Spell Critical Chance Cold 1
Spell Critical Chance Lighting 6
Spell Critical Damage Cold 1
Spell Critical Damage Lightning 6
Spellpower Cold 5 (80 spellpower)
Spellpower Lightning 7 (100 spellpower)
Improved Concentration 4
Racial Toughness (20 HP)
Wizard capstone (+2 INT)
Wizard Intelligence (+3 INT)
Hypnotism
Otto’s Resistable Dance
Hold Person
Charm Monster
Hold Monster
Improved Empowering 3
Improved Maximizing 3
Improved Quickening 3
Improved Heightening 2
Subtle Spellcasting 3
Spell Penetration 3
Spellpoints 90
Spell Focus Enchantment 2
Spell Focus Evocation 1
Spell Critical Chance Cold 2%
Spell Critical Chance Electric 6%
Acrobatic +3
balance, jump, tumble
Bold – shake off fear effects in 3 seconds
Dark reaping – universal spellpower
Dearthless vigor – 15 HP
Halfling Luck 2
Halfling DEX +2
Wizard INT +2
Master of Magic (INT +2)

After
After

Lots of differences. This is the most changed character I’ve worked up to-date.

Like it or not, you have to take the spell-like abilities if you want to get to the Master of Magic capstone. So now I have Enchantment SLAs even though I think most of them will never be cast.

The biggest difference is that I used to have a lot of enhancement points sunk into critical chance, critical damage, and spell power. You just can’t build that way any more, the choices don’t exist. So instead, now I have much cheaper metamagics. And better saving throws. And more Dexterity.

I was able to take every single thing I wanted from the Archmage tree, including a bunch of new stuff like the SLAs, and still have 20 points leftover.

I was able to overcome my natural dislike of Pale Master enough to dip into that tree for 15 hitpoints. Can’t argue with hit points, even icky Pale Master ones.

Ejecta and AdventureCatOverall:

  • Ejecta’s INT is down one
  • Hit points are up by 20
  • Spell DCs are down but only by one (due to loss of INT most likely)
  • Spell points are way down, I lost about 180. This may be a wash, with the newly cheapened metamagics I may not have lost any actual spell castings
  • Lightning and Cold spell power is about the same
  • Other types of elemental spell power are way up, doubled actually, I am not sure why nor will Ejecta be able to take much advantage of this
  • Spell critical chance is way down and spell critical damage boost is gone entirely

Her crowd control is mostly unchanged. Her nuking is lessened. Her overall survivability is up significantly.

I can live with that.

:) :D :)

  7 Responses to “Ejecta Patera Crowd Controls the New Enhancements”

Comments (7)
  1. You mention picking up a bow & plinking away… but depending on where your spellpower/focus etc. items are located, a crafted thrower (leaving offhand free for an orb or casting stick) with cursespewing of improved shattermantle can make life somewhat easier, that’s -6 SR on them plus a chance for lowered saves too.

  2. I agree they need to redo the force spells. A level 2 and 7 scroll version of Force Bolt and Force Blast are needed that are affected by Metas.
    It would be easy for them to impliment this such as adding a radiant defensive spell like the Toven/Cannith cookies on a scroll for the arcane wizards.
    The sorceror’s SLA are modified by metas, some wizards’ SLAs are too but not the arcane bolt & arcane blast. Thats always bugged me and new scroll spells would fix that.
    There hasn’t been new wizard spells in DDO since U11 I think. Since there are level 2 scrolls of each type of element and sonic but no lvl 2 force (or typless damage) spell above magic missile until the chain missile at level 3.
    There’s a case to be made for this simple fix, but we dont need any new 6th lvl scrolls pls, there are already lots of great 6th level spells. But a new 7th and 9th level spells. Heck ya. Maybe a 9th level version of Stoneskin?

  3. Are the arcane wizard’s core enhancements based on your spell focus or are they the same enchantment school SLA’s no mattter what? Why not let the arcane wizards choose between an illusion or enchantment core enhancement path and add a 3rd similar prestige for wizards that have choices in the abjuration/transmuters paths.

    • It seemed that selecting the first SLA determined your primary school. It didn’t seem like you could mix & match, but I didn’t specifically try that so maybe I missed it.

  4. Your overall spellpower is probably up due to the new Spellcraft skill–even if you don’t put points in it, it is Int based so a wizard will pick up a LOT of bonus spellpower.

    • Also every point spent in a tree adds spellpower (1 universal per point in archmage, 0.75 each of universal & negative energy in pale master).. so you’ll always have a certain amount of spellpower for all types regardless of how you build your character, whereas without items you could easily have nothing in a type you never bothered investing in.

      Of course the trade-off could well be that you aren’t able to specialise so much but i guess that’s part of the more clearly defined flavours of each class & tree. As a handy plus though, the extra universal spellpower means more in positive energy, so twist in cocoon at epic levels & you can self heal even more effectively.

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