Sep 112014

Eschewing Eschew Material

I so love the sound of this feat:

Your spells cost 2 more spellpoints and removes need for normal material components. Especially expensive material components, such as for Stoneskin and Trap the Soul, are still required.

Two spell points is nothing, and the hassle of staying stocked-up in nine or ten different casting components is significant. Isn’t this wonderful? Shouldn’t we all have it?


Because it is not wonderful. It is not even useful. Because someone thought we should still have to buy certain components. And someone else built a spell that requires one arrow. And someone else built all-new kinds of spells that use potions as components. Etc.

The idea of the feat is awesome! The execution of the feat is … not so much.

If you look at the article on DDO Wiki, you see a list of 139 spells that are properly affected by Eschew Material. That sounds great until you realize that there are 408 spells in DDO.

True, many of those 408 spells require no material components at all, Eschew or no Eschew. But still. That leaves a sizable number of spells that do require components, and do not work with Eschew Material.

Making it useless. You are investing an entire feat slot in this thing (also two points per spell but it is the feat slot that really costs) and it doesn’t even always work.

  • You wouldn’t buy a pen or pencil that only writes nine words out of ten
  • You wouldn’t buy a car that is expected to fail to start one day every two weeks
  • You wouldn’t go to a movie where every 10 or 20th minute is empty screen

And you wouldn’t invest in a very expensive feat that isn’t even supposed to always work.

And that, sadly, is that.

Too bad, really, as all of my Halfling Commando caster characters would probably have Eschew Material if it worked properly. Pack light, be ready for anything: sounds very Commando, doesn’t it?

Except no. It isn’t. It sputters and flares and no one wants any part of it.

Oh well. On the bright side, everything is apparently being reworked, one area at a time, and maybe someday feats will be too. Maybe even this one. Wouldn’t that be lovely? The line waiting to use Fred to respec into the feat would be so long that we’d spawn extra instances of House J.

A man has to have hope, right?

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  9 Responses to “Eschewing Eschew Material”

Comments (9)
  1. The only character I ever saw any use for this feat was my first Bladeforged paladin/sorcerer. Because I had him prepared but sitting at lvl 4 (getting some favor etc.) when Guildies asked me to join them in the stormhorns.
    I saved some time not having to purchase all ingredients (and bag space, not much room without any backpack tabs unlocked). Luckily I did remember to bring the bags of stuff for stoneskin, so It worked for the quest, and as I am too lazy to stock up on the materials (and this guy is more or less a bank mule), i have been using it like that on and off.

  2. It’s a nice side-effect of harmonic resonance in the fatesinger tree since you just spend 1 song to activate it like a stance then it stays active through your whole session.. but i wouldn’t spend an entire feat on it – hence why they introduced the omnispell dust/stones.

    Personally, i don’t really even use the omnispell dust.. my technique is to drag & drop all my spell components into a hotbar (usually in order) then before logging for the night i’ll just scroll to that bar & check my numbers, topping up if necessary.

    The omnispell stones are pretty handy though, especially if you like to use the trap the soul spell, since otherwise it costs a fortune in khyber shards to use. Shame about the HD caps on that, that’s one spell i’d really like to see reworked so it can be used in epics.

  3. I notice the Harper prestige will be able to opt AP spend for the feat with no increased SP cost, but with how high a tier it is (4 I believe) and balancing saving 2 sp and a questionable number of inventory slots and weight in exchange….

    I’d be more tempted if it was lowered to tier 2 or 3.

    Notice I completely ignored discussing it as a feat worth selecting in your normal character build…

    Great article Geoff, as usual πŸ™‚

  4. I have to believe that someone on the development team tried to bring up some of your better points at the first round-table. Then, when he/she brought it up at the second table was told; “the matter is closed. We are currently committed to bringing all useless feats into the game-at-play. We can play catch-up after we release the end-game $90.00 level cap relaunch expansion. As my first post here insinuated last year I’m holding my breath for something involving the Vulcans and Romu….. .er, sry something involving the Githyanki and Githzerai. “Um, boss? Have you checked out Geofff’s post this morning………” πŸ˜‰

  5. Eschew is nice if you have a free feat, but who does… πŸ™‚ That said, being able to ditch dealing with most materials (other than maybe stuff for Stoneskin and the like, although I too love Omnispell Stones), with no additional spell point cost, I think will be attractive to at least some folks. It’s in the new Harper enhancement tree as an option.

    • Ayup, wrote about that very thing just last week. Actually what this does is super-make my point about how broken the feat is..

      Although I doubt many people will use up a Tier 4 slot for something that only works some of the time either. Maybe. If they are climbing up the Harper tree already for other reasons.

    • …except there are SOME spells (*cough* lucky cape *cough*) that have a non-“especially expensive material” component which CANNOT use any meta-feats, let alone eschew materials (which should TOTALLY work on it – and yes, I did “BUG IT!”). But even with that, I still have and use “eschew material” on all my spell-chuckers (I only have 3 so far – arty, bard, and druid). ‘Cuz I like having 6-to-9 extra backpack space.

      Quite frankly, I think they should re-work eschew (and the ‘eschew-like’ ENs, EDs) so that it eliminates the need for ANY material component, regardless of whether it’s an “exceptionally expensive material” or not. The ONE exception I can see to this is “trap the soul”. Mainly because you don’t actually need the ‘specialized material’ for the spell, but rather because you need a (specialized) vessel to hold the soul.

  6. I’ve only ever taken Eschew on one toon, and that’s my intentionally gimped bank/hagglebot. She’s intentionally gimped because I don’t want to start playing her and get attached to her and lose her bank amd inv space for stuff my other toons need, so I deliberately took, erm, “non-optimal” feats and enhancements on her. And that’s why she has Eschew.

    Most of my toons have storage issues as I’m somewhat of a DDO hoarder, but ALL of them would benefit far more from more feats than more storage space. So I just can’t see giving up a feat for Eschew even if it worked for all spells, just to save backpack slots.

    Saw something about this in a forum post once, something like, “Go down to Feather’s Fall Apothecary, buy 1,000 of each spell component your class uses, and enjoy your new ‘feat.'” πŸ˜€

  7. I wish it was more useful but I have never even considered to select it, even though I’m a pack rat and have inventory space issues, especially with my casters (whether they are arcane or divine).

What do you think?

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