Sparksy has grown out of the awkward adolescent phase you may recall from this image.
Sparksy Haversack, former control wizard now casting-focused Artificer, took her sweet time but eventually made it back into the Epic levels. While only at the lower end of the epic range, still, it seems appropriate to talk about this build’s performance to-date.
Here is Sparksy’s original build; it was not universally well-received, although it has played out exactly as anticipated.
Here is a discussion of Sparksy in her mid-levels, where she was unexpectedly dominating.
Here she is again at level 16, still dominating.
Which brings us to the current day, as Sparksy begins hitting the serious stuff in levels 20+.
Her crossbow is still getting more use than I’d expected. It has no noticeable effect on the Big Hit Point monsters but most opponents even in the early epics are not like that; many can still be taken down one plink-plink-plink at a time. But having said that, encounters where the crossbow is just a way to draw unwelcome agro are becoming more common.
Her hit points have not yet been boosted to Epic levels. Got to work on that. She avoids damage as much as possible, and is pretty effective at it, but no one can avoid it all the time and epic damage is too much for her at the moment.
Artificers can self-heal using the Arcanotechnician Critical Admixture SLA but it is kind of weird, you have to actually throw it to cast it and if you throw it too far, it won’t heal you. It takes practice to learn to throw it at something close by every time, a skill which is especially difficult when running and jumping or otherwise trying to avoid damage.
On the plus side, her spell use is very effective. Very. Specializing in Evocation has worked exactly as expected: everything takes full damage, everything is stunned, everything is knocked down. Even in epics.
She has a selection of low-spell-point SLAs, but doesn’t get as much use from them as my other casters do. Most of the Artificer SLAs are short range. Sparksy doesn’t want to be at short range from the bad guys.
Which means she relies heavily on the higher-level stuff, especially Tactical Detonation, a very expensive spell. Artificers are weak on spell points. This is the biggest issue I am trying to address right now, spell points. She is already wearing Archmage and greensteel SP items. I need to look into other ways to increase her mana pool.
Also, there doesn’t really seem to be a good epic destiny for her. Magister I guess? Draconic Incarnation? Shiradi? Her initial choices were Fatesinger or Shadowdancer, neither of which is particularly appealing. She is working through Shadowdancer just to get it out of the way and advance on the map towards Shiradi.
So there you have it. Not quite as OMG as she was in heroics, I haven’t really found her sweet spot yet in Epics. It is weird that a character can be awesome and overpowered at level 19 but suddenly awkward and needing attention at level 20. I am trusting that there is an Epic sweet spot for Sparksy, somewhere, somehow. Buttressed hit points and more mana. A sweet spot that will bring back the OMG.
Because who doesn’t like the OMG?