Aug 202013

So with the changes to the Enhancement system pretty much everyone’s characters have been broken to some degree or another. I use the term broken here very loosely, but in some cases it is not nearly a strong enough term. For example Monks now get Elemental Stances as Class Feats. The Lesser and Greater Dragon Mark Feats have been removed and replaced with Enhancements on the Racial Tree. And Clerics and Paladin’s now get a free class feat at level 1 and 6 for the Religion (these used to be enhancements).

The only problem here is that existing characters ABSOLUTELY MUST BE Reincarnated in some fashion to make use of these changes. At face value, this doesn’t seem like too big a deal, BUT when you realize that reincarnation resets everything about your character, including your and especially your hot bars, this becomes a very big freaking deal.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a not saying that these changes are bad or did not need to be done or should not have been made. I’m pissed as are a number of people I have talked to, about the fix. To me it all comes down to either lazy programming, or overly tight schedules or some combination of the two.

Let’s start with the easiest of the 3 issues above, the “curious case” of the Missing Dragon Mark Feats. I have a Halfling Bard, who had taken all 3 Dragon Marks of Healing prior to U19. Logging. According to the release notes, 2 of his 7 feats have been removed and not replaced by the update. The easy fix here would have been to give any character with any Lesser Dragon Mark Feat a free Feat Respec at Fred the Mindflayer, and 2 free feat respecs with Fred for any character with a Greater Dragon Mark feat. I’ll hazard a guess that they opted for the LR option though, because they have imposed an artifical 1 week waiting period after feat respecs before you can respec another. This 1 week timer, seems like a good idea for a counter measure to prevent players from respecing their feats all willy nilly with the change of the wind and the new flavor of the month/week/day or optimal build for the quest. But looking at this a bit closer in the case of my halfing bard, say I wanted I wanted to respec my 2 obsolete Dragon mark feats for the 2-weapon fighting line. I can’t do this so easily, because when you select one of your existing feats, you can only swap in a feat that would have been available to you at the level you took the feat. This gets even more complicated when you have feats that have pre-req feats that you have also taken, ie Greater Dragon Marks and Greater Two Weapon fighting.

Theoretically, I could have taken Least Dragon Mark at level 1, Lesser Dragon Mark at level 3 and Greater Dragon Mark at level 6. In that case, a full respec would be in order, if I wanted to pick up Improved Two Weapon Fighting and Greater Two Weapon Fighting, because Improved 2WF requires a BAB of +6, (Bard lvl 8) and Greater 2WF requires a BAB of 11 (Bard Levl 15). If I wanted to go the feat respect route, I would be swapping feats left and right, so that I could get the feats that I need to swap out for the 2WF line at the right levels. But, not everyone does that, nor does it make sense to take the 3 Dragon Mark feats with your first 3 available feats.

So this change to the Dragon Mark Feats and Enhancements really highlights a seriously flawed Feat Respec system. But for arguments sake (any my real world example) I had taken Lesser Dragon Mark of Healing at level 9 or 12 and Greater Dragon Mark of Healing at level 15. In these case, I could switch out one for one these feats for Improved and Greater 2WF easily, except for the fact that I cannot swap out Lesser Dragon Mark of Healing first for Improved 2WF, as I would still have Greater Dragon Mark of Healing without its PreReq, but it would give me the pre-req for G2WF. Instead I’d have to swap out GDM of Healing for some placeholder Feat, wait a week, then swap out LDM of Healing for I2WF, wait a week and then swap out the useless placeholder feat for G2WF, for a total of 3 feat respecs and 3 weeks.

So maybe, the Lesser Reincarnation route is the simple way to do this, because I could rebuild the character from the ground floor at level 1, and not have to wait multiple weeks to make the changes. But, Lesser Reincarnation is a real stupid alternative to as well.

Flaws with Reincarnation –

1) doing it quickly can lead to stupid mistakes. – Basically, it becomes really easy to accidently spend a skill point on the wrong skill, or something else like that if you are doing it quickly, so that you can get back to playing the game you love.

2) THIS IS THE BIGGIE in my Opinion. – It resets everything about your character’s UI. Your hot bars are all cleared out, and moved, not even saving the hot bar layout with the save UI command helps, as they are still empty. It takes players a while to get their hot bars set up just right, so that they can easily find things. Remembering where everything went and what options were turned on for your spells (ie metamagics) is near impossible, even if you took a screen shot before hand. At the very least, having to resort to detailed collection of screen shots so that you know which metamagics are turned on for which spells in specific hot bars locations are on or off, when you have multiple versions of the spell with different metamagics is way too time consuming and monotonous to be a valid solution.

Ok so maybe that wasn’t the easiest after all. I’m still not liking that I was forced to LR because you changed something pretty trivial. In fact, I am not so sure that Dragon Marks should be enhancements, but I guess they needed something to fill up the Racial Enhancement Tree so….

But as for the Monk Stances, and Cleric and Paladin class Religious feats, how hard would it have been to add some dialogue to the class trainers to say: “Hey, I see you don’t have a Religion Class feat (or Elemental Stances as appropriate), which one would you like at level 1?” {opens up the Feat Selection UI panel and lists the available Class Feats for level 1, and once you finish selecting your level 1 Class feat it auto grants you your level 6 class Religion feat (or Elemental Stances as appropriate).}

But even if I was ok, with having to Lesser Reincarnate my character to either pick up new feats to replaces my now removed feats, or the free class feats I should now have, Bladeforged Iconic Heroes cannot Reincarnate at the moment. This means that anyone who rolled up a Bladeforged after pre-purchasing the appropriate version of Shadowfell Conspiracy if completely screwed, because there is no F’ing way to pick up their Paladin Level 1 Religious Class feat or their level 6 Religious Class feat, if they kept 6 levels of Paladin.

Oh and while I’m in the business of complaining about stupid choices here, why the hell can’t you buy Ability tomes in the initial starting area for Iconic Heroes, where either Elminster or the Lord of Blades offers to teach you (and level you up)? The DDOStore returns a “there are no available options for your character on the selected page” message.

  7 Responses to “U19 and the Need to Reincarnate/Respec Everything and Everyone”

Comments (7)
  1. <3 this blog is so f'ing refreshing with everyone loving the changes and respecs. I LR'd my cleric and it took me 3h to set everything up, including somewhat fixing my quickbars, and I did use save UI and screenshot. And I'll have to do similar with my monk.

    • I accept that the changes were good, but I HATE the way Turbine made us fix our characters after their “fixes”

  2. You get 2 feat respec tokens in the dragonmarks place & can do them straight away – i’ve got 2 fully dragonmarked elves & was able to respec them both in about 30secs 🙂 They also seem to be handled a little weirdly & not properly remember the levels & certain prereqs which is handy to get feats you might not have technically been able to get at that point.

    The monk elemental stances are granted automatically as well, but they’re tree-type ones with the elemental attacks inside plus 4 “modifier” feats for the basic elemental stances instead of getting seperate ones for each tier.

    The religion feats & needing to respec skills to take into account the spellpower granted by heal/repair/spellcraft/perform… yeah those are annoying but swings & roundabouts, most of my characters are 1st-lifer 32pointers so now they benefit from the bonus skillpoints from the int tomes they’ve eaten since then.

    • if you do get feat respecs for free for dragon marks and they work the way you laim, then I stand corrected, will have to check this out when I get home tonight.

      as it is with my Bard, I think I have some if not athe whole 2WF line alredy, so I’m not sure what I would need to or want to pick up instead of the Dragon Marks. But in any event, this is not mentioned in the release notes, so that is another fail….

      • You get the Dragonmark respecs, but Turbine didn’t feel we needed to know that little bit of trivia for some reason. Maybe they don’t want us hanging onto these stones too long?

  3. When I went to the preview server before the release and saw the tree construction, I fell back in my chair, this is gonna be a changer. I played around with the structure a little thinking this could be “cool”.
    But wait, how am I going to be able to change an existing char.? Muli-classing will be Hell, were as, the point system before came from one pool to pass across all classes. Now each class has its own set of points and rules – you have to spend 5 points to get the second base line in that class… Argggg.

    Monks, I like monks, I have 9 I think, all but 2 are multi class (some with 3 classes total) these will never again work as built. BUMMER 3 years 13 toons and never TR’ed
    Looks like I have a lot of TR’ing to do now…
    Time will tell
    ( I will have admit my level 19 pure monk Moves faster hits harder and seems to be all but impossible to hit LOL)

What do you think?

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