Just Cos’ You Got The Power

Okay so we are now taking about those thing that can increase the spell power of a Savant and therefore cause more damage. We are talking about the top tier level 20 enhancement, weapons that are not for fighting and even clothing. It all has an impact but some things do not add together however lets look at the three key totals for electric, sonic and cold which covers my Spell powers for my Air Savant and his secondary ability.

So at level 22 GrouseMerlin has 355 electric spell power, 257 for sonic and cold 303. Which seems a little odd but comes down to equipment working with the natural abilities and points spent in the enhancement tree. You can see from my acid power the investment in Air means acid spells are not going to have any effect. So what do we need to look for especially as we enter the epic quests?

So the first thing is the enhancement tree provides boost but you step up a lot when you hit level 20 and you can (and must) take top core Enhancement Elemental Apotheosis Air.  For any savant splashes weaken you a lot in the epic abilities and personally I would avoid adding any classes to Sorcerer. Now taking my favourite quest Devil’s Assault  Elemental Apotheosis Air will bring many advantages but my favourite is casting a spell of that tree’s element on a creature that is immune to that element, that creature becomes vulnerable to that element for a short time. Also while in the elemental form you get +20 increase in spell power for electric and sonic plus also +2 increase to spell critical chance. While you get a +1 to caster level to take a -3 to the other 3 elements.

There are also passive benefit that when combined with the abilities in elemental form has a massive impact. Anyway the next step is to use weapons and/or other items to increase the power of your spells. However if you are going to use cold spells for any reason I would suggest coming out of elemental form. It is my secondary ability but I am wearing a robe that boosts my glaciation. As I am trying for the highest number in glaciation I have no fortification on the outfit so this makes me more reliant on element form as I gain +100% fortification. I will be continuing to look for cool robe or when the winter ice games start maybe boosting a more ordinary robe?

In my right hand I am holding shocking forum post (lvl 20 club) which as seen in the picture has a spelling mistake which is nothing to do with my usual typos. However it is a powerful tool and I have them from level 5 to 30 so I will always have the ability to boost my electric power and increase the chance of a critical hit. I will need to gain another set for my earth savant next so he is ready when I finish Merlin. And of course we should note the increase to spell points which is always a thing to make me smile. Overall the club feels like the most vital part of my attacking armoury which sounds silly for a spell cast but the boost it provides covers me till level 25 when I switch for the next one.

Finally in my left hand is a resonating sceptre to boost my sonic spells, unfortunately the critical hit is for negate energy spells which I don’t really use. Certainly is is one item that is more likely to be switched out as I don’t really use sonic that much except for monsters who ignore electric damage and in my elemental form that sin’t many.

So the four keys to my ability to clear rooms quickly is my elemental form, the clubs and my robe. I am sure those who raid will be better kitted out but as I am a non raider this feels as good as I can currently make it.

Happy Mimic Hunting

Grousemerlin

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Under Pressure

So when you look at my defensive and miscellaneous spells you realise there isn’t much in the way of defence when i am playing a savant. Merlin uses Shield, Blur, Detect Secret Doors, Knock, Greater Heroism, Summon Monster IX and has both teleport spells. No resistance spells and no short duration defensive spells. If I really need resistance I will buy a potion but in general I don’t need them. If I need a rogue hireling to deal with the traps then I will buy one but if it is monsters casting then I prefer to just kill them faster than the can cast. Literally I am an arcane cannon which looking at the kills in Devil’s Assault you can tell I am all about offence.

If we look at the 3 spells that are defensive in nature you ask the question do we over do the amount of defensive spells we fill our spell book or memory? I tend to run Devil Assault pretty much every day, even with the Tiefling resistance to electricity I can still finish it in 25 minutes. My level 30 monk can’t clear it that fast so am I doing something wrong? Brec is my preferred lower epic favoured soul mainly for heroes feast. Anyway the reality is there seems to be two ways of playing a savant. You either overload the defensive options and lessen the need for hirelings or you do what I do and use the free level 20 cats (if you have them of course) and two or three favoured souls.

Shield is one of my favourite spells, useful from the start of the game until end game. It grants a +4 shield bonus to armour class, which considering I don’t have any shields with my savants is an obvious positive. It negates magic missile completely and if chain missile is aimed at you it negates that. It doesn’t negate chain missile if you are not the primary target. Final bit of good news is that any damage caused by a grazing hit from a two handed weapon is reduced by 10%. I know there are plenty of items you can use get the effect but that just fills back packs with yet more junk. Still guess some people would rather have a click solution to tying up the spell slot. Personal choice.

So second defensive spell is Blur which causes opponents to miss 20% of the time. As it doesn’t stack with displacement which gives 30% chance to miss but a shorter duration I prefer cast once and not spend minutes watching for a spell to run out So you can cast it again. My Savant takes it after taking electric loop, unlike shield there are not a load of click solutions so people are much more like to consider this a viable option in the spell book.

Greater Heroism is more of a utility spell but having a +4 morale bonus to skill checks isn’t too bad. However for me one of the best bits is the extra hit points and still better the immunity to fear. It doesn’t have a group version which is a shame however it is something that I feel is useful enough to cast it whenever I don’t have it active in an adventure or wilderness. I consider it a necessity in my spell book. Summon Monster is always useful as it creates another target for the opposition and lessens the number focused on me.

Rather than defensive knock and detect secret doors are cover spells. Sometimes you don’t have a rogue in your party and there is a chest that is locked or a doorway/iron gate, having the spell knock with it’s ability to open locks based on the charisma of the caster (intelligence for a wizard) means it is rare a locked door or chest stands in my way. The investment into the feat search is a pain, so having detect secret doors especially when you are in a quest you know well. The option to walk up and click without looking for the door is a fantastic solution to the issues of investing in the search feat. I am sure like most people there are better options to invest in.

The two teleport spells are just helping me be lazy, I could probably do without greater teleport and just rely on the one. The whole purpose of a Savant is to clear areas as fast as possible. I am pretty certain that the right choice of spells only works when you invest in improving the damage. So next post will continue with my Air Savant focusing on the use of items to improve damage. As always  this will be what suits me and is only one person’s view.

Anyway everyone with select what suits them, this is just how I roll.

Fashion

So been running quests, killing a character off so I could get Iconic characters all in the name of getting images of the various cloaks, just to put on a little fashion show. Not quite the one in the Harbour quest but it will do. I would apologise for the poor lighting in some of the images, I need to be more attentive to the light for images. Lets start with the different cloaks for the Iconics.

So some of the quest chains have named cloaks as end rewards. Nowhere near all of them, in fact barely any but it is a start.

And finally just some randoms.

And this is just a handful of the cloaks in game, so some developer has probably gone cross eyed putting this lot together. I have 6 mirrors of glamouring so will be taking a couple to make my mains look good.

Hope everyone is enjoying the night revels, good luck to those running Shroudpalooza we hope you reach the extended target and House of Grouse firmly encourages anyone who reads this go have a look.

GrouseMerlin

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.

Grousemerlin.

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.

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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!

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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.

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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

GrouseMerlin.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Grousemerlin

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.