Once again the bits and bytes of a new DDO update are making their way through the various tubes of the interwebs, filling DDO servers and clients alike with all new content and systems. Or in this case, ranger enhancement trees.
Which should be totally awesome, as my favorite character is mostly a ranger. Except … well … right now she is not a ranger at all. It’s complicated.
Note the total lack of ranger
Mawry, my favorite character, and also Completionist, has been wandering through the heroic levels as a mostly-warlock in order to regain her Completionism. And it is has been pretty fun. So fun that I keep writing about it. Late last night she made it to level 20. Meaning, epic gear (what little she has banked) and more importantly, epic destinies.
Divine Crusader is a strong destiny and includes the AoE effects Consecration, Sacred Ground and Crusader. I added a twist from Grandmaster of Flowers for additional Doublestrike and another from Fatesinger for an additional sonic burst melee attack.
This is what I had in mind when I designed the FeyBuckler build. This. AoE bursts coming off her in waves. Death by aura.
This morning I took her out for a test drive. The closest location containing bad guys was the Kings Forest, and I soon found myself tripping through deer and Drow and Dire Bears.
Mawry pulses damage, about 100 points plus the occasional crit, some Sonic, some Light and some I-forget-what. Pulses occur about 1/second. Mawry can throw an Eldritch Blast every five seconds that adds another pulse of 100-150 points in the form of Sonic and Light. When she toggles on Consecration and the enemies are Evil, that adds another 100 points per second or so, in the form of Fire and and something-else-I-forget, probably Good alignment damage since it only affects Evil.
And all of this is free, no mana cost whatever. Hundreds of points of damage washing over everything near me and I haven’t even hit anything yet. When I do hit something, I am hitting for 50-250 points per hit, at a crazy high Swashbuckler rate of attack. I have four special melee attacks that add to my “[W]”, one adds yet another Sonic AoE burst, another adds 500 fire damage.
I can hit even faster with Haste. And I have this awesome two-key combination of Dark Delirium/Coup De Grace which is sufficient to remove any non-red-named opponent as fast as I can hit the keys.
The build is performing even better than I had hoped. How is it performing for others?
— Samius Gurobo (@SamiusGurobo) September 20, 2015
Someone else who just got to level 20.
@geoffhanna i took less chr stuff to boost PRR and and dps. not in love of the fire burst, might have to sense weakness. But it is solid.
— Samius Gurobo (@SamiusGurobo) September 20, 2015
Hey, I’ll take “solid”.
Meanwhile, back to Mawry, rampaging through the Kings Forest: it is insufficient challenge. Even the Dire Bears are wiped away before I can get a good look at them. I need something more.
I only have a few minutes before DDO goes down for the new update, but I know VON3 pretty well, maybe that will work.
Dat … hurt …
The pre-quest, Jungles of Khyber, is just affirmation of the power of this build, death and mayhem everywhere. However, level 11 opponents don’t count, no matter how many they are. Yet confidence is high, and when I open VON3 and have the choice I pick Epic Elite.
The first encounter is a named caster, and a companion caster who happens to be a champion. And a giant armored scorpion.
I am reminded, immediately, that the FeyBuckler is an amazing melee build but has vulnerability to spellcasters. De-leveling occurs before I can utilize a Deathblock clickie. I dispatch the champion caster with the Dark Delerium/Coup De Grace combo (and laugh as I do! What a fun combo!) but the real problem is the scorpion. Not by itself, it is just a melee monster and I eat those up. But the red named caster keeps throwing Holds on me and when he does, the scorpion is a problem. One that I end up handling, but a problem nonetheless.
After the fight I scroll-cast a handful of Restorations to regain my lost levels and move on. The next fight is a Scorrow caster and several scorpions, and I am in trouble immediately. The Scorrow spams me with Web and Hold Monster. I am barely able to do anything, and I am forced to use those brief moments when my character has agency for healing. I try turtling up and Eldritch Blasting but again, too Held or too Webbed, all I can do is Consecrate and hope the healing overcomes whatever damage will happen while I am incapacitated.
Death by overconfidence
Level 24 monsters may just be too much for my level 20 Mawry, but I think it is more that I need to learn how to solo with her more effectively. Had I gone into that fight with Displacement on, or remembered that I have Kundarak Warding Boots, it might have gone differently.
Thinking about it, I am certain it would have gone differently. I did not really die from Webs and Holds and scorpions. I really died from overconfidence.
So now a conundrum. I’d like to keep with this build for awhile and develop it through the epic levels. How good can it really be? But today is Ranger Enhancement day, and Mawry is primarily a ranger character.
So … do I continue playing this super-powerful build that I love? Or go back to rangering with Mawry which will now be more powerful too and which I also love?
A first-world problem for sure. Either choice will be a win.
Win/win. Gotta love that.
🙂 😀 🙂