Jun 252013

OMG Artificer!
Hugely Badass

So as it turns out, Artificers are pretty good! Yes, I realize I am two years behind the curve with this announcement, but I just learned it and I wanted to share.

Yep. Two-year old newsflash: Artificers are pretty good!

You may wonder why I didn’t play an Artificer thoroughly back when they first came out. Let’s just say I am a slow learner. I TR’d my wizard Sparksy into an Artificer and then basically shelved her. There is more to it but it is complicated and frankly, boring. I won’t be bothering you with the details.

Last week, my main completionist-in-progress Mawry gobbled up a Stone of Experience and accidentally put herself out of level range of anything my Gamer Girl has. Casting about for something at an appropriate level, there was Sparksy the neglected Artificer.

It’s been all Sparksy, all the time, for about a week now. She’s rapidly achieved level 11, meaning it is fair to make some preliminary judgements about the character.

One word: WOW!

She has a caster-first build that was not popular when I first posted the details, but has been working out exactly as I had hoped: spells that have stun effects are able to land the stun every time. Damage spells typically one-shot opponents. Her casting is devastatingly effective.

That is, when she even needs to use it. The heavy repeater is usually enough all by itself. DDO Blogger Keavaa posted a note about the usefulness of Deception on ranged weapons; so inspired, I tried it out too and oh my, it is so effective that I start to feel kind of bad for the monsters.

The artificer has so many ways to clear a room; Lightning Sphere or Static Shock for ranged spell damage, a heavy dose of heavy repeater, and if something manages to get close enough, Lightning Motes or (especially) Elemental Prod for the coup de grace.

I didn’t even mention the Flame Turret or the rune arms, even though they are incredibly effective too, and I use them all the time. So many ways to clear a room!

Apparently the omnipowered death-by-many-flavors can be annoying to others in the party. At one point, my Gamer Girl just stopped, looked at me, “wouldn’t you rather just solo Sparksy? You shoot everything in the room without caring if it attacks you, you drop those Flame Turrets on everything, I can’t even CC anything because it’s all dead before I can get the spell off!” Or something like that, I have the accurate tone even if I am inaccurate about the exact wording.

So I found a weakness in the build after all. Sort of. It is so strong that it’s strength can become a weakness in a group setting. Social considerations count too.

Sparksy is so badass that it makes the other half of our party feel a bit superfluous. I’ve been there, PUGging with Clerics that want to solo everything by running it around their Blade Barrier, or casters that would drop a Cloudkill and make everyone wait till it killed everything (back in the day when Cloudkill really did kill everything). Not fun.

This is why they had to create Kryptonite for Superman. It’s boring to have your hero be invulnerable and unstoppable. At least, it is boring to everyone else; I am quite enjoying this new Nuclear Option. I am not just beating quests, I am destroying them. They whimper and beg for mercy but no, Sparksy and I pummel them into speed-run uselessness.

She is a one-halfling Weapon of Mass Destruction.

Awesome. Why did it take me two years to figure this out?

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  11 Responses to “OMG Artificer!”

Comments (11)
  1. Artificers are pretty fun. Though mines built to mainly do traps and shoot stuff with a repeater. Outside that, the only spells I use are buffs and flame turret.

  2. Sounds like you play your arty well. Their awesome pwnage tapers off after the Vale, but they are still very good even then, IMO. Too bad they have to grind to get to Shiradi in the ED tree. Fortunately they are so versatile that they can benefit more than most from all of the destinies.

  3. Welcome to the club, even if I’ve been somewhat lax in its membership recently. At epic they become less awesome & more simply “very good”, but for levelling, they’re amazing… repeater does good damage, rune arm supplements it nicely (i programmed Q as the charge/fire button to make it easier), a WF one especially can self heal excellently & just wait till you get IPS – combined with fusilde it can be ridiculous, i keep meaning to make an ooze2 repeater for him just so i can unleash hordes of pudding πŸ™‚

    Also, don’t underestimate the dog – ok they bug out sometimes, but it has generally decent stats for lever/rune use, is able to have decent intimidate & threat boosts to hold aggro. Also, don’t forget to give it a decent docent & collar combo – i found the gorgon docent is good at mid levels, then upgrade to the beholder plate later for a useful debuff & guard & at epic level the epic bladeforged docent is great for the boost to trip DC.. collar-wise sticking a destruction or shattermantle effect is nice too… IMO don’t rely on it for damage but just holding attention while you shoot it, and some debuffs boost things for everyone except the poor disadvantaged monster πŸ™‚

  4. IMO, they’re a bit overpowered at low and mid levels, but dimish a bit when hitting lvl 15-16 content and above. Still fun all the way to lvl 25 though. A Lit II repeater helps a lot in heroic levels.
    I remember when they were first released and you sometimes found yourself in PUGs consisting only of Artys plinging away with repeaters… mobs never got the chanse to even react before being obliterated. πŸ™‚

    • I remember that.. all with rune arms charged so moving slowly, but obliterating everything in their path in 3secs flat – multiple arties in a lowbie party make it very, very boring for virtually any other class

  5. Haven’t put my first Arty in active service, but yeah, they are (literally) a blast of fun. She’s my main crafting toon and I have yet to move her to L20, but when I do bring her out to play, all sorts of things fall down and go boom.

    Read Keavaa’s note on Deception, too. Happens that my Ryncletica, the ninja, wears some Night’s Grasp of Deception handwraps. No wonder she’s so good at taking things down. Going to take Keavaa’s note to heart on stacking that effect.

  6. Sounds good, im yet to try arty but have it planned for next life, hopefully i enjoy like you seem to be doing πŸ™‚

  7. Artificer made my enjoyment level of DDO skyrocket. In fact i’d never amounted to much with any other class until artificer came out. In the high levels maybe they aren’t the top-notch badasses they are earlier in their career, but I never had a problem keeping up and contributing something to a group, even if it was just support, which they are pretty awesome at.

  8. Be careful what you ask for πŸ˜€ I had a paladin yell at me a week or so ago for stealing his kills. This can happen sometimes. What the paladin didn’t realize is that I was killing the baddies out right before he got to them. He actually thought his swings were landing, but they weren’t. The baddies were fallin’ down dead when he got into swinging range. Of course, you can steal peoples kills with a repeater, or any ranged item or spell, but he failed to realize my range DPS was faster at striking down the baddies than he could run over to them and start swinging. Just a heads up that another player may feel you’re stealing kills from then, when you aren’t.

    Also, with the right combo of items and such, a blast of Endless Fusselodge will grab aggro sometimes, even after you waited for the tank to est. it. Sometimes your range DPS will be higher than the tanks, and tank or 2 may get bent because of this.

    “To understand arty, you must first play an arty” Livmo

  9. Oh, one problem you may run into playing an arty, which hit me rather hard, is their sheer versatility with scrolls, clickies & wands.. at cap, scrolls are +5 caster level & wands/clickies are level 20, meaning the most basic ml1 Shield wand (hey, stops those magic/force missiles!) is just as good as the level 10 version with only a fraction of the UMD requirement & upwards of a whole inventory page can be filled with a proper batman utility belt selection of situational tools like greater heroism, displacement, raise dead, summon monster, Heal, fireshield & restoration scrolls (maybe PWK too for things with no spell resistance!) plus a haste clicky, a shield wand/clicky, a couple of DW visors, a helm of comedy (skill bonuses don’t stack with GH, but the +2 damage is nice so in the bag with that!), and assorted other goodies.

  10. That image up there calls to mind the old Keith Parkinson painting of the Splugorth Slaver from the original Rifts softcover.

What do you think?

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