Aug 052013

Yazdia's Lamannia Tree

This article is about the new enhancements for rogues, part of the Lamannia preview release of the Shadowfell Conspiracy, and containing information covered by the Lamannia non-disclosure agreement.

DDOGamer has been given a free pass to talk about enhancements anyway: a DDOGamer exclusive! And so thus having been sprung from the legalese of the NDA, talking about enhancements is exactly what we are going to do.

Yazdia, to put it simply, is one of the best characters I have ever seen. I love my characters, really, all of them, but I don’t think a one of them is as functionally devastating as Yazdia.

She is fearless. She kills everything. She walks into a group of bad guys and decimates them all, emerging without a scratch. Epic Elite does not phase her. She has very little self-healing, but kills things so quickly and harmlessly that she rarely needs it.

She is a rogue. She is my Gamer Girl’s highest level character. And she is amazing.

There have been many rogues in the Halfling Commandos. Very many: it’s a side-effect of being a halfling-only guild. Some of these rogues have been really well built. But none are better than Yazdia.

Let’s see how she will fare under the new enhancement system.

Yazdia is an Assassin. She has one level of fighter, taken purely for the feat, which is normally something I would avoid but on this character seems to work out well.

She has a lot of STRENGTH, but then all the good melee rogues are. DEX-only rogues simply do not fare as well in the end game.

Her assassinate DC is not awesome; she took Assassin for the sneak attacks and damage buffs. She will throw an Assassination attempt out now and then but her modus operandi tends more towards pummeling the enemy rather than insta-killing them.

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.

Yazdia dual-wields, preferring rapiers but recently focusing on short swords; there are many must-have short swords for the sneak attack set and she has or is seeking them all.

This is beside the point but she also looks pretty badass.

Let’s get to the comparisons:

Old Enhancements New Enhancements
Damage Boost 2
Critical Accuracy
Halfling Guile 4
Halfling Cunning 4
Sneak Attack Accuracy 4
Sneak Attack Training 4
Subtle Backstabbing 2
Improved Hide 2
Improved Move Silently 2
Assassin 3
Fighter Toughness
Racial Toughness

Halfling DEX 2
Rogue DEX 3

Assassins Trick (debuff opponent)
Execute (+3[W] for one attack or +500 damage vs wounded for one attack)
Ice Chill Poison (chance to paralyze for one attack)
Shiv 3 (+3[W] for one attack)
Sly Flourish (-100 threat on hit)

Venom Blades 3 (stance adds 1d8 poison to attacks)

Dagger in the Back (use DEX for damage with light blades)
Knife in the Darkness (use DEX to hit with light blades)
Acrobat (use DEX to hit with staves)
Kensai Focus: Light Blades
Kensai Weapon Specialization: Light Blades

Haste Boost 3
Extra Action Boost 3
Critical Accuracy 3
Critical Damage 3
Cunning 2
Faster Sneaking 3
Guile 3
Killer 3 (stacking Doublestrike bonus)
Lethality (sneak attacks may vorpal)
Measure the Foe 3 (stacking attack and assassinate bonus when sneaking)
Nimbleness (stacking Dodge bonus when sneaking)
Sneak Attack Training 4
Subtlety 3

Halfling Luck 3
Rogue DEX +2
Halfling DEX +2

This is essentially the same character on Lamannia as on Sarlona. Differences exist but are minor, although when they occur they are generally favorable.

This is the first character that is able to take advantage of the Halfling racial enhancement tree. One or two of the others dabbled in the tree but most of the characters we’ve worked up have had to avoid the tree completely. Not Yazdia though, she selected from the racial tree with gusto.

She lost a point of DEX but gained 5 hit points. Her Reflex save improved by two while her other saves improved by 3.

Other comparisons:

  • Armor class before: 43, 6% Dodge, 15% defense chance at level*
  • Armor class after: 43, 9% Dodge, 15% defense chance at level*
  • Sneak Attacks before: 22D6 + 21
  • Sneak Attacks after: 26D6 + 1

* Does anyone know what “defense chance at level” means?

It is weird that her sneak attacks used to include a +21 and now include only a +1. Is that a display bug? Or a sneaky attack on sneak attacks by Turbine?

As with all of the other workups we’ve done, many of the new enhancements are unbundled versions of abilities that used to come as part of the Prestige Enhancement. For instance, Lethality used to be something you just got for free when you took the third tier Assassin enhancement.

But some of the new enhancements are all new. I am particularly excited about Dagger In the Back and Knife in the Darkness, as these enhancements allow for the return of truly viable DEX builds.

In fact, once we had this all plotted out, my Gamer Girl felt that her STR-enhanced Rogue/Fighter was a little behind the times. She immediately got busy planning how to LR the character as a pure-class rogue with minimized STR and maximized DEX and INT.

And that is what makes the new enhancements cool. It is not just about replicating your existing character. It is about a new set of building tools, some of which may take you in directions you didn’t anticipate at all.

Good times.

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  6 Responses to “Yazdia Assassinates the New Enhancements”

Comments (6)
  1. The change to sneak attack is iirc because in the old (current) style the halfling sneak attack enhancements add a set number of points damage, whereas in the new style it adds dice – maximum damage will probably be higher but there’ll be more variance.

    The defense chance thing is just a ballpark “with this ac playing quests at level this is roughly how much chance you have for AC to prevent you getting hit” – unlike dodge, concealment & incorporeal which are set, specific numbers.

  2. It may be that the new trees worked well for this particular character build – but overall they suck wind greatly, are a HUGE hassle, and full of junk. Players should boycot this half-baked cr*p, and definitely revolt over the proposed TR and secret door nerfs.

    • I think that any day where the worst things that happens to you is someone changes the way secret doors work in your favorite game IS A GOOD DAY.


      Thanks for the feedback Spook!

  3. I have been excited about the idea of rebuilding my Dex rogue. I rerolled my old (original, and first character in DDO ever) one into a Str rogue with great regret, and only out of necessity.

    I hereby request you do an article later on the Dex build, if you were not already planning to do so.

  4. I, too, had a knee-jerk reaction to the proposed changes in secret doors. However, after looking at the actual spells from PnP (3.5 ed, of course) for “Detect Secret Doors” and “True Seeing”, I concluded that the change is in-line with the SPIRIT of the spells – and that is the most import thing. Granted, I’m still not keen on the proposed changes, but it’s livable (not that we have a choice, mind you – hehehe).

    I do think, however, that since DSD is only supposed to find doors hidden by “mundane” means (not magic) and that TS reveals doors hidden by magic (not “mundane” means) that there is the potential for having some doors hidden by magic and thus detectable with TS (not DSD) and other hidden by “mundane” means and thus detectable by DSD (not TS) would be a cool change.

    But what do I know?

  5. As far as the new enhancement system: I do think that overall it will be a change for the better. Yes, there are some things that they have decided to do that I…dislike (putting it mildly). For instance, the Human racial tree is, IMO, pretty useless (and I run humans almost exclusively). Unfortunately, with the NDA in place, I cannot make any specific comments, even though we should be free to talk about enhancements, since they were started and “alpha-ed” (and not really part of the new x-pack) before the new x-pack stuff was even advertised.

    but again, what do I know?

What do you think?

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