Jul 302013

Kitalea the Season's Herald: Before and After
Kitalea the Season’s Herald: before and after the new enhancements (click to enlarge)

I have special permission to continue talking about the new enhancements even though they are now covered by the Shadowfell Conspiracy NDA.

Truly, unique special permission. I have been granted a DDOGamer Exclusive by the Turbine powers that be for the purposes of the new enhancements.

Normally this would be a big whooping deal for a small time two-bit writer like myself. Except no, somehow, I have trashed my Lamannia client in a particularly mysterious fashion that is as difficult to diagnose as it is time-consuming to reproduce. Multiple re-installs later I remain thoroughly locked out.

But I am absolutely not going to waste a DDOGamer Exclusive! I’d intended to work up my Wizard/Monk next, using the new enhancements and then comparing the result to the current character version but … hmmm … time to get creative.

My Gamer Girl’s Lamannia client works fine. Plus she has a Druid and I don’t. Check it out; life hands me a bad DDO client and I make a fine Druid writeup, something I would not have thought to do before my client problems. It’s like life handing you lemons and making lemonade. Except slightly less metaphorical.

But I digress. Let’s meet Kitalea, the Season’s Herald:

Melee Druids are quite popular, both in monk-splashed Wolf form and later, as massively DPS-spewing Trees.

But Kitalea is a caster-focused Druid. And by caster-focused, I mean she doesn’t hit things ever. She takes advantage of shape changing but only into forms that enhance her ability to cast.

She dishes out the damage Over time spells (DOTs) without slowing down. After all, “it’s already dead”, my Gamer Girl explained to me as she zerged ahead, “it just hasn’t figured that out yet”.

And that is the play style that this build supports. Druids have more DOTs on their spell list than anyone, particularly cold-based DOTs which are widely applicable. Give each bad guy one DOT, while staying on the run, and the monster will most likely die before it can catch back up to you.

It is a very fast play style. And very effective.

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.

And can be a little frustrating for a melee companion that is struggling to keep up. Right as you finally close with the monster, the DOT finishes it off for you.

Cold resistance foes are not a problem; a quick swap to Summer mode and the Druid spell list contains a number of Fire spells. However, there are a few monsters that shrug off all types of elemental damage. They are problematic for this build.

But generally speaking, Kitalea is wildly fast and also, wildly effective.

So how does she look on Lamannia?

Old Enhancements New Enhancements
Emminence of the Storm 2
Emminence of the Sun 4
Emminence of Hoarfrost 4
Waxing Storm 1
Waxing Sun 1
Waxing Hoarfrost 1
Zenith of the Storm 1
Zenith of the Sun 3
Zenith of Storm 3

Energy of the Locus 4
Season’s Herald 2

Spring’s Resurgence
Blood Moon Frenzy
Crown of Summer

Druid Toughness 2
Racial Toughness 2
Druid WIS 3

Action Boost: Spellpower 3Call Lightning 3
Creeping Cold
Produce Flame 3
Spring Resurgence 3
Storm of Vengeance
Word of Balance

Crown of Summer
Seasons Greetings: Winter 3

Efficient Metamagic: Empower 3

Autumnal Susurrus 3 (spells have chance to induce Shaken)
Natures Warden 3 (Spells do bonus damage vs undead & aberrations)
Winters Heart (chance to emit cold burst when casting)
Beguile 3 (attack spells gain a stacking debuff)

Negotiator 3 (spellpower and CHA skills)Seasoned (timed Spellpower bonus)
Tide 2 (boosts casterlevel & max caster level)
Time 2 (boosts casterlevel & max caster level)
Wax and Wane 4 (spell crit chance)

Wand Heighten 2
Wand and Scroll Mastery 2
Druid WIS +2

My Gamer Girl tells me that she had trouble spending all of her points in the new tree; the racial abilities and the other class ability tree were full of things that just made no sense to this build whatsoever; she dumped her remaining points into wand and scroll enhancers.

So how does the finished product compare?

Like most of the characters worked up to-date, there is a slight loss of hit points. And a slight loss in the character’s primary stat.

The general trend towards providing more active buttons continues too, in this case including a spellpower boost and all-new Druid spell-like abilities (SLAs).

Kitalea and WolfDruid casters come out of this better than the other caster classes we’ve seen: all of the casters have much higher universal spellpower but Druids are able to come out better in their specific elemental spellpower as well.

Plus – and this is a big plus – Druids actually improve their ability to gain spell criticals when in the right “season mode”. All of the other caster classes have lost spell critical ability completely, but not Druids, theirs is actually improved. It is not difficult to emphasize staying in the correct season mode, there is even a new enhancement that will toggle you there on demand.

Does this make them the best elemental nukers in the game? I think so.

Overall, my Gamer Girls says the new enhancements were a lot to figure out (in fact she remains overwhelmed by her Rogue’s changes). But once she dug in she was fine, and now that she is done she is quite pleased with how Kitalea worked out.

And I like it when my Gamer Girl is pleased.

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  4 Responses to “Kitalea the Druid DOTS up the New Enhancements”

Comments (4)
  1. Dude! You get to talk about Beta Fight Club! πŸ™‚ Guess I’ll have to do a Monkly comparison of two toons I tested recently…but dang! There is NO Beta Fight Club! πŸ™‚

  2. As always, a finely written and informative DDO post. Although I’m on a hiatus currently, I do anticipate visiting Eberron again (sure wish they would dump FR and stick to Eberron btw). Which reminds me: you’re a Sarlonian I think, right? It would be fun to game together sometime. Maybe in a couple of weeks at Gen Con…? πŸ˜‰

    • Sarlona, yes. And I will publish my GenCon schedule later this week; I’m pretty booked, but I’m sure something still has open tickets πŸ™‚

  3. do you ever do epic? everything in epic have 1k+ health.. where those dot would be near useless… caster dominate the game not because their dps, it is because instant kill and cc.. druid suck with both..

What do you think?

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