Hazy Shade of Winter

So I am still trying to get the hang of Word Press so will be trying a different way how to present images if people want to have click to enlarge then Even has told me how to. However that doesn’t excuse me from saying that I would be doing two different thing in this blog. So thinking about it logically I will talk about my secondary magic with the Water Savant abilities added to my Air Savant. Hopefully you can see in the image below that I have taken 4 points in Charisma and two additional lots of spell penetration to add to the nine points in my past life. In another image it will show I also took Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration and according to my awful maths I have 13 points in additional spell penetration. Now when you consider people can get up to 61 points in spell pen my piddly 13 doesn’t seem that much but to get more I would have to take items that are designed for it which would lose me other abilities. If 13 isn’t enough then the monster is going to be one I don’t want to fight.

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Air and Water


Anyway the fact is by taking Water Savant I get access to water Breathing which to me is a bonus as I don’t need to have a clickie or alternative solution. Of the spells that the Water Savant ability boosts I have chosen slot 1 Polar Ray, slot 2 Frost Lance, slot 3 Otiluke’s Freezing Sphere and slot 4 Cone of Cold. Yes there are other spells the water savant ability would boost but this is my secondary option so rather than overloading options I am more comfortable choosing the 4 spells I think are most effective. I still have the prismatic ray and prismatic spray as additional options and even force missiles. But in 95% of cases either the electric or water spells do the job and I have no need of the ones that I have taken hoping not to require.

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Feats not feets

So Polar Ray is my first choice and it is easy to see why, at caster level 25 it does between 100 and 150 damage, this is without anything boosting it like points spent in the savant tree and items. It certainly is effective against creatures resistant to electric and that is all I can ask. Second slot is frost lance and while the damage is relatively light when you fire just one bolt at 7th level you get a second bolt and at 11th you get a third, damage base is between 25 and 40 but with three bolts you get between 75 and 120. Once again you can boost this damage in various ways but it is useful so happy to have it in my arsenal. Otiluke’s Freezing Sphere is an Area of Effect (AoE) spell and as such is useful in controlling groups of monsters, dealing between 80 and 120 points of damage to all creatures in the sphere’s range. I have never been sure who will be inside the range and who won’t but fire it often enough and it doesn’t really matter. Finally I resort to Cone of Cold which is another AoE spell which fires in an expanding cone dealing between 60 and 90 points of damage.

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Spell list not a spelling bee

If I am honest if I learn a quest is difficult for a savant then it gets dropped. With all the options I have available there are very few quests that are frowned upon by myself and those that are are normally for reasons such as I can’t jump, it takes to long for too small a reward or I get annoyed with it such as most of the escort duty quests. When you have as many characters to choose from and access to every option (VIP and all expansion packs) you will try out each quest and grind those you enjoy most. Or in my case run around killing stuff in wilderness areas,  it is just a shame no favour is earned for clearing masses of monsters out, it would be the one way I would add favour to the game.

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Hit 1,2,3,4 it usually works

I still have to discuss the way to boost damage to spells through items, weapons and even armour, however that will be in two blogs time. Next one will be a selection of cloaks and if I get the time as many as possible from end rewards in quest chains although I will cheat and run them for favour and not xp. I have been told one I don’t normally run is easier so will be running that with a rogue just for Favour.



Grease Lightning

So GrouseMerlin Air Savant is pretty focused in delivering maximum possible damage without taking any metafeats like maximise, in fact the only metafeat I take is eschew materials. Which may seems strange but the number of times I have run out of ingredients for spells at inopportune times. However everyone will find their own choices in terms of meatfeats. This blog piece is focusing on level 20 damage in Reaver’s Refuge, I have almost finished the 7500 slays so staying there till I do.

What I want to focus is the 5 main spells that I use in combat, which are lightning bolt, ball lightning, chain lightning, electric loop and Greater Shout. Remembering Merlin’s past lives very few mobs can resist the electric spells and if they can then Great Shout is surprisingly effective. Of course my secondary magic is water based which gives me some options in a worse case scenario. I have taken feats and enhancements to boost the amount of damage I am doing, which is taking me a long way past where damage should be.

At level 20 all the spells I choose for an Air Savant

At the lower levels I prefer Sonic Blast until I can take electric loop. As Sonic Blast is Area of Effect (AoE) you can hit multiple targets and break crates. Now that is a down side when you are running the spider solo quest in the harbour so wands or alternatives are a sensible option. However the important spell is electric loop, level 2 spell that can hit multiple targets and stands a good chance of stunning any mobs that survive the electric damage. Now the damage at base is between 20 and 30 once you reach level 10. However add is the bonuses from savant and a good club/dagger/staff I am seeing around 130 plus as normal damage.

Once you access level 3 spells you can take (and should) Lightning Bolt. Now it shoots in a straight line but if targets are behind the monster you target you can take down two or three with a little bit of luck.Maximum damage is the 40 to 60 range at base, with the right equipment 350 to 700 is possible without a critical hit. Now this is going at level 20, I am sure it will be more when I hit max level. And remembering no metafeats to boost damage!

Chain Lighting in slot 1, easiest choice for damage.

Ball Lightning is the most annoying as I seem to get really erratic damage and hits and misses of targets. Max damage range is between 70 and 90 and it is an AoE spell so all enemies in range should take damage, which is strange given the erratic nature of targets saving. May of course just be me but around 800 seems a regular number in terms of damage taken by mobs, still I would be happier if the damage was consistent in nature.

The last lightning spell is the most important one Chain Lightning. The damage range is 80 to 120, but that comes out at over 1000 damage.It works like electric loop in that in jumps between targets which means clearing a room can be done in a way that raises a big smile on this boy’s face (okay old man). Obviously the harder the quest the faster you will need to cycle through the spells to maximise damage without using metafeats.

Everything fall down, having a mess of fun.

Finally in my first choice offensive spells is greater shout. Apart from the 36 to 60 damage monsters are stunned for 6 seconds. It is the stunning effect that is a real bonus while trying to decide what other spells to use.

All of the spells mentioned can hurt more than one monster just some seem to be better at it than others. Next entry I am going to give my thoughts on defensive spells, however given the title can I just say that Grease has to be the most infuriating spell in the Arcane segment as it really doesn’t care who else falls over.

So next piece I will cover the secondary offensive spells from the water aspect. However I would like to point out that with equipment, enhancements and feats my caster level at level 20 is level 31. So I am casting like I am 11 levels higher. I will be interested to see how much more I can add as I take the epic levels.

Happy Night Revels


It’s Two Kinds of Magic

So let me introduce you to one of my three mains. Grousemerlin Level 20 air savant with 12 past class lives and two racial which I will explain in a moment. He has taken water as his secondary element which means I get both feather fall from his air savant and water breathing from the points spent in the secondary element tree. If helps no end as I don’t need to switch items in and out or tie up a wearable item to gain the ability. It makes such a difference especially when I forget that I haven’t switched in the feather fall item a second before I go splat.

Not bad, plenty of electric.

Now Merlin has taken a +5 tome of supreme ability which means added to a 36 point build he has become potent and could easily switch to other classes which helped no end with the past lives. I was certain how I wanted the build to play and this got me to do the heroic past lives without taking the epic before now. Having just broke level 20 I will be adding the epic past lives to where I am now. Before we go over the past lives and the implications lets talk about how I use the keyboard and UI. I am a right hand on the arrow keys for movement and left hand working 1 to 0 across the top of the QWERTY keyboard. I only have one one hotbar which has different abilities and spells. I tend to avoid masses of clickies as I would get lost of what is where, instead I have the hotbar set up with spells I I use to buff and I use the -/+ to get to the spell set up I want. Because I focus on electric/sonic as my main element it is easy to have different layouts for each dungeon.

Only Human (so far)

Now lets look at the past lives and the implications, I have taken Favoured Soul, Wizard, Warlock and Sorcerer 3 times each which gives me +9 to spell penetration, +60 spell points (mana), +9 magical resistance and +3 to evocation spells. I have also taken delver of the forbidden from Warlock past life which adds +3 to my spell craft and more important 10 lots of confuse per rest. This makes for an incredibly potent character and as I am now working on racial past lives he will only get more powerful.

Having not taken epic past lives before there are still some weaknesses in his play which I hope to get past but with the boosts from his heroic past lives even monsters resistant to electric take some serious damage. The obvious last sets of lives will be dragonbon so he can take the racial benefits and marry them to the power he already has. I know it is difficult to get your head around all the past lives but I have a water savant and an earth savant both first life that I will go through at some point to show how planning from the creation of the character to their last life would work. Especially true as we see other races and classes introduced into the game.

Surprisingly Electric and Water mixes well here

The one thing I am sure people have noticed from the enhancement tree image is that I don’t take any spell like abilities like lightning bolt. With the number of past lives I find if I fire off a lightning bolt as a spell it works just find and I can cycle through 1 through 4 on the hotkeys. 1 is chain lightning, 2 is ball lightning, 3 is lightning bolt and 4 is electric loop. If a monster isn’t immune to electricity they go down pretty fast, if they are immune I have either sonic or frost spells to take the target down.

There is so much more I want to add but I will pick up next week when I look at the combat spells taken by Grousemerlin.

Happy Thunderbirds Day


The Boy Are Back in Town

I was going to pile straight back in but assuming there maybe people who are clueless about who and what this blog is about think I better start from the beginning.

I use to write a blog called Hose of Grouse which came from the Clan Grouse in Dungeon and Dragons Online. A while back my previous computer died and where I had been lazy with keeping log in details I found I could not get back in. So after a relaxing hiatus I am back and will be continuing to write about the exploits, builds and characters that I play.

So for various reasons I am able to play every day for at least 30 minutes and most days a lot more. After playing 8 years (more if you count the codemaster days) I have developed lots of characters and have played every class and every race. This does not make me an expert, doesn’t even mean I am good. Does mean I enjoy playing and I have probably too many characters. 29 is not the most I have heard of but it does mean a lot of characters get played very irregularly whilst others are played for weeks before I decide to switch. As some one who is medically retired (easiest way of describing it) I have time to explore all sorts of DDO mischief. And yes I have played for a long time and yet I am still here and still enjoying.ScreenShot00004

I have a completionist (not a triple though yet) who is working on his racial lives as a Tempest Ranger, A sorcerer who has 14 past lives and is now racking up racial reincarnation and a Barbarian that is 10 lives in. These I consider my mains as I always return to them. However slot 29 is currently a testing slot till I decide which version of Knife Priest I want. For those who are new to the game or haven’t yet got the Vistani enhancement this is a Cleric following the God Vol who gives benefits on daggers. I have gone twin daggers but at the moment deciding if he should be Aaismar or human and if his cleric domain should be magic or sun (tips here would be nice). I am adding pictures of him here with bits and pieces of his build so any glaring errors please let me know.ScreenShot00005

So there is plenty of things I can write about just with that, however I love wildernesses so I work out routes to ensure I get all the explorers and hit all the rares. Of course Barovia in the Mists of Ravenloft is a totally different experience and has grown to be my favoured wilderness at the moment. However once the current character running the heroic completes the saga and claims some extra guild renown I will switch back to running my sorcerer GrouseMerlin. So guess this is where I explain all my characters have Grouse in their name (Grousgetafix fails for obvious reasons). And this is where the Clan Grouse name came for the guild, there is another reason but that is something I am not going to talk about lol.

The guild may not be the biggest, there are just two accounts linked to it, but it is fun and we have our airship. We should hit 71 soon which when the guild started seemed impossible. Playing one game for so long and still enjoying every minute of it is strange when you compare the lifespan of most games.ScreenShot00006

One thing I am still deciding on is linking each blog title to a “relevant” song and having it as the title to the blog entry, I also linked the youtube video to it as well. Not sure how people feel about this? If people find it strange or distracting then I will stop, if you like it I will try to get more inventive. However that would mean taking a premium plan and not sure yet if that is something I want to do.

So very basics covered, I intend to publish one a week if my health is okay, gaps will appear when my body betrays me.

Welcome to the new blog

Clan Grouse.