Friday, 17 July 2015

In The Beginning

Well the title is drawn from the Kitaro but if people prefer it could come from Genesis, Moody Blues or Motley Crue. But in this case I want to talk about beginning to play DDO and what people should consider when building a character for the very first time. To be frank the clever builds and tricks we all use in game will mean nothing to a new player coming to the game, the terminology is bad enough without the complexity of some of the classes when you first play them. From Healbot cleric to master assassin rogue these are things that new players have no need of. Besides blowing up people's brains is not the best idea.

So for your first ever character I would suggest fighter, if doesn't require the watchfulness of a cleric to keep an eye on the health of other players nor does it need the running away approach of very squishy wizards and sorcerers. At the low levels you will die, regularly, while you get use to when to run away as a magic user. Even clerics are squishy so as a healer you stay at the back and let the rest of the party do stuff. Which is not something players want out of their first character. So the first time you create a character you would probably be better off with a character that opens a door with his head. I will say though that if you play a cleric you will never lack for parties to join as the one thing that people miss is healers but there is an expectation that you will keep everyone alive which is quite stressful when you are first starting.
Yes I know 2 weapons but I have a clue how to build (I think)
So for your first character you can choose fighter, which is relatively simple in that you chop the opponents into mincemeat. Now if you are starting out and just reading bits and pieces you will be tempted to go down the two weapon route, everyone raves about it quite rightly but if you are just starting out you will struggle using two weapons unless you have someone who knows the game helping you build. Now there are pre-loaded builds in the character generation system but I am not a fan. It doesn't get you thinking about your character and there is no emotional investment, at least not in the same way that building your character manually brings. So you have two choices having disregarded two weapon fighting, that is sword and shield (also known as sword and board) and two handed fighting where you wield a big weapon in both hands. Now they play differently so lets think about the options.
Kensai build is my preferred enhancement
Sword and Shield is probably how most people see the game and so a lot of people will naturally be drawn to the style of play. Along with the heavy armour a fighter is allowed to wear the shield adds to the defence and depending on the choice of shield can make a big difference to the combat and the chance of survival. Fighters tend to not rely on dexterity rather they would just crash through without worries, their job is to either make mincemeat of opponents or hold them till magic can be employed to drag down the opponent. Now the key for effectiveness will apply to both sword and shield and also for two handed weapons. Whilst some weapons work better than others against certain types of monsters every fighter will tend to narrow down the choice of weapon to slashing, piercing or bludgeon. As an easy choice to start slashing weapons are easy to come by and make a good choice for a player starting out. In the long term balancing between base damage and the additional damage enhancements can cause a brain to get tired so when starting out a long sword is probably the easiest choice to make. Later as you get more involved you can work choices such as scimitars or even taking the choice of an exotic weapon such as a bastard sword. I would point out that using a bastard sword or tower shield will require investment in feats to make them work so first time round no offence but Long Sword and a normal(ish) shield make most sense.
Ooooo plenty of Axes!
So the alternative to sword and board approach is to take one large weapon and do as much damage as you can as fast as you can. This is tremendously simple as really the concept of sitting and blocking gets nowhere fast with this. So again you will need to decide on slashing or bludgeoning, as far as I know there is no two handed piercing weapon as a standard. So really the obvious early weapon choice is great sword (or great axe) versus Great Club or Maul. In my mind the slashing weapons have the edge (good pun?) as they seem to have a better overall amount of damage, as you move further into the game you can think about the balance of damage of a Falchion versus great sword the base damage versus critical hit damage. I will discuss critical hits in another piece but simplistically it is how much bonus damage the game mechanics give you. In a lot of ways two handed weapons require less investment in additional skills so it cries out to new player come swing a sword and hope a cleric is there to heal you. Or in my case hope your hireling is paying attention as I solo a lot and a hireling is a necessity.

Now we could drill down much further into making a fighter and working the different prestige enhancements to make your character as strong as possible but this would term from a long(ish) piece into War and Peace. So if people want me to go more in depth into each type of fighter lease let me know in the comments.


Friday, 3 July 2015

The first of the three spirits The Pure Enlightened

Taking the title from a track by Riul Doamnei who is not someone I normal listen to but as I am talking about my Warlock life for my completionist it is appropriate, it comes from the heavy metal opera version of a christmas carol. Now I favour the Great Old Ones so far but this life rather than Soul Eater I chose Enlightened Spirit. And it has turned out a lot better than I expected. As the level rose so did the enjoyment.
I am walking on Sunshine (acid)
I am not going to tell how many hours I have put in but Grouseman has hit level 18 and is 19 but not 19. I won't be leveling him as I prefer to power level all my characters. I went to 18 as soon as I could though as I wanted to try Celestial Spirit and boy has it made the playing more fun. Sort of feel like Marty Mcfly on his hover board. It is strange how something as simple as the feel when moving on screen can change the experience whilst playing. I am not sure how this will stack when I get my Soul Eater to 18. Will the feel be any different? Better or Worse? But I am looking forward to it.
The path of hero, saint and fool
I have just moved into the Orchard and what has become a real bonus is being able to trigger Eldritch Burst and Spirit Blast which is very effective combo with the undead gathering round me. I have found Tahareh the Beholder an easy target for the blasts and as anti magic doesn't stop them you can continue attacking. I am thinking that once I am ready to reincarnate it will be difficult to go away from another life as a Warlock. But I have worked to equip for a rogue assassin.
Think once in a lifetime maybe a little inaccurate
But once I can TR I will probably hold off and go back to Merlin who is still 4 1/2 lives away from finishing his final build. Tough calls but lots of fun. Complete his current favoured soul followed by another Fvs life before 3 lives as a Warlock. Now that is scary, I know how fast I can level is I am enjoyed the character which should make the 3 Warlock lives easier but a life and a half as Fvs is grafting and grinding. I would normal say to hell with the bonus but if I want the ultimate Sorcerer than there is a cost to getting there.

Happy Pew Pewing