By Kyle "FordyTwo" Horner
This guide covers the basics of cleric ability scores, skills and feats. It also offers a basic template for a healing/support-focused cleric and tips for new cleric players.
Every New Cleric Should Know …
• Wisdom (WIS) is your most important stat, followed closely by Constitution (CON) and Strength (STR). How you want to play your cleric will determine how important STR ultimately is, but remember that no matter how you build your DDO character, CON determines your hit points (HP) and thus, your survivability.
• When playing the role of healer in parties, stay alive first and heal others second. It becomes terribly impossible to heal others while dead.
• You can target yourself by pressing the F1 key and the rest of your current party by pressing F2-F6. It's also possible to click on party members' names, found on the left-side listing of your display.
• Avoiding damage is even better than healing – spells like Command, Greater Command, and Comet Fall can temporarily disable opponents, and often make the most efficient use of your spell points.
We've organized the ability scores in order of importance to the cleric class. Because Cleric 101 is focused on a pure cleric character (i.e. 20 levels of cleric), the below list is prioritized towards this class only.
• WIS – For the cleric, Wisdom (WIS) is the most important stat. WIS determines how many bonus Spell Points (SP) a cleric has, the raw might of a cleric's spells, and how hard those spells are to resist.
• CON – Directly affecting your Hit Points (HP) means that a healthy Constitution (CON) score is wise to have; we recommend clerics have at least a 14 CON score.
• STR – For a cleric who wants to fight in melee combat, or be able to fight with weapons, Strength (STR) is important because it affects to-hit and damage with melee weapons.
• INT – Intelligence (INT) determines how many skills points your cleric gets with each new level. Certain feats require a minimum amount of INT, like Combat Expertise, which requires INT 13 (or higher), and is primarily taken by players looking to have a high Armor Class.
• CHA – The skills Use Magic Device and Intimidate are tied into Charisma (CHA), as are the number of Turn Undead attempts a cleric gets. Turn Undead attempts can be used to activate several popular cleric-specific Enhancements, including Divine Vitality, which gives other players spell points back. However, players who do not plan to take Turn Undead-related enhancements do not generally need a high CHA score.
• DEX – The Dexterity (DEX) Ability Score is used for many things: Armor Class (AC), Reflex Save, and even meeting certain feat requirements. Clerics don't need to be too concerned with DEX, unless they want to take the Two Weapon Fighting feat, which requires a 15 DEX, or want to have a high Armor Class.
Every class in DDO has a natural proficiency with certain skills. Training a "cross-class" skill takes twice as many skill points as training a regular class skill, because that "natural knowledge" is missing. However, training a "cross-class" skill can still be useful, depending on personal play style.
Here's a list of the popular cleric skills among players in DDO: • Concentration, Class Skill – A useful skill for clerics! In DDO, clerics rely on Concentration when casting spells, and when taking damage from enemy attacks. When a cleric is damaged while casting a Concentration check occurs – failure results in Spell Points (SP) being wasted while the spell fizzles out. A higher Concentration skill improves chances to succeed, so it's recommended to keep Concentration maxed out at each level. Clerics can take the Quicken feat to cast spells without worrying about Concentration checks, although spells will consume more SP.
• Balance, Cross-class Skill – Whenever you get knocked down by an enemy attack – and it can happen more often than you might assume – the Balance skill allows your character to recover in a timelier fashion. More time on your feet means more cleric healing for all!
• Tumble, Cross-class skill – Even though we covered this earlier in the guide, it bears repeating: Put enough points into the Tumble skill during character creation for 1 rank -- not just “0.5” ranks, but “1.0”! In DDO, a player cannot use Tumble without training, and tumbling away from ranged attacks is a very useful skill to have.
Here are some optional skills that, depending on personal play style, can be useful:
• Diplomacy, Class Skill – Great for when you need to convince angry enemies that they would be better off attacking other members of your party. Because the cleric is often primary healer in a DDO party, the Diplomacy skill comes in handy on a regular basis.
• Heal, Class Skill – You'd think that, for a cleric, being able to use a healing kit to revive unconscious and bleeding companions to 1 Hit Point (HP) would be important. However, don't forget clerics have healing spells! The Heal skill also grants additional hit points for yourself and your companions when resting in a dungeon (but doesn't affect warforged characters). Remember that they only get the benefits of this if you’re at the shrine with them when they’re resting. If you wander off from the shrine, they won’t get the benefit of your training - what a waste!
• Jump, Cross-class skill: Sometimes a trap threatens a DDO adventurer and other times, a chasm must be leapt over. Working towards 10 ranks of the Jump skill is a good idea.
Template: Classic Casting Cleric
This template provides a path to creating a classic cleric that focuses on casting spells that offer support, healing and some damage. Know that while a classic-casting-cleric can be played solo, this build performs best with hirelings or with fellow DDO players.
Ability Point Buy
Human is the racial choice with this template, both for their extra feat at level 1 and increased skill point gain. This template uses the 28 point build in DDO, if you've unlocked the 32 point build, consider using the extra 4 points for 10 DEX and 12 CHA.
• STR … 12
• DEX … 8
• CON … 14
• INT … 8
• WIS … 18
• CHA … 10
• Ability Point Buys: Every four levels put your ability point buy into Wisdom (WIS).
This is just your stat sheet at character creation – leveling, new equipment and Ability Tomes will eventually raises these even higher. The 12 STR allows a cleric to perform adequately in melee combat (occasionally the need arises) and also helps avoid encumbrance when carrying heaps of loot. WIS and CON are the two highest scores because both are – in the case of a casting-focused cleric – the two most important to how this build plays in combat.
At character creation, max out Concentration to ensure your spellcasting suffers minimal interruption during combat, and then put two points into Tumble (netting you a 1.0 rank) – without that 1.0 in Tumble, it won't be usable in combat. Finally, use the remaining points on Balance. At each level-up keep Concentration and Balance maxed.
It's recommend that new players – and really, most players – take the Toughness feat at level one. Beyond this piece of advice, our feat selection for this template focuses on opening up later enhancements and beefing-up healing power.
• 1) Toughness – Increases Hit Points (HP) at first level and provides additional HP for each new level, allowing a player to take the Racial Toughness enhancement. Taking Toughness results in such a significant HP boost that it's practically mandatory.
• 1) Empower Healing Spell – While this metamagic feat is active healing spells are 50% more effective, but consume 10 additional Spell Points (SP).
• 3) Extend Spell – While this metamagic feat is active, spells with durations last twice as long, but they consume 10 additional Spell Points (SP).
• 6) Maximize Spell – While this metamagic feat is active, damage (and healing!) spells deal double damage (and healing!), but they consume 25 additional Spell Points (SP).
• 9) Empower Spell – While this metamagic feat is active, spells do 50% more damage, but consume 15 additional spell points.
• 12) Quicken Spell – While this metamagic feat is active, spells cast twice as fast and cannot be interrupted by enemy attacks but consume 10 additional spell points.
• 15) Spell Penetration – Adds +2 to your caster level check for defeating spell resistance.
• 18) Heighten Spell – While this metamagic feat is active, your spells are raised to the highest spell level your character can cast, making them more difficult to resist, but increasing their Spell Point (SP) cost.
Because enhancements in DDO can be reset for an in-game fee, this section of the classic healer template will offer suggestions -- but not strict guidelines. There really isn't a secret when it comes to choosing the "right" enhancements. It's a matter of being economical and choosing enhancements that feed into your chosen style of play, and offer the most for their value.
Tip! You can check "Show Unavailable" in the enhancements window to see prerequisites any enhancements you may desire at higher levels.
To dramatically boost a cleric's healing spells take enhancements like Cleric Life Magic; this enhancement adds a 10% boost to healing. Additionally, Cleric Prayer of Life and Cleric Prayer of Incredible Life both grant a chance for your healing spells to critical, restoring an ally's hit points (HP) by a considerably larger amount for the same spell point (SP) cost.
• Cleric Life Magic I to IV
• Cleric Prayer of Life I to II
• Cleric Prayer of Incredible Life I to II
Radiant Servant is a powerful prestige enhancement. When taken, it allows you to expend a Turn Undead spell for a potent Healing Burst, or a useful Aura of Healing. As an added benefit, Turn Undead uses will recharge at a slow rate with Radiant Servant. (Both the Improved Turning and Improved Healing enhancements are required to unlock this powerful enhancement.)
• Improved Turning I
• Improved Heal I to II
• Cleric Radiant Servant I to II
While clerics can use their Turn Undead ability to defeat weaker undead creatures, this ability can also serve other purposes with the aid of special enhancements. For instance, Divine Vitality restores a small amount of spell points (SP) to a fellow caster – but at the cost of consuming a use of Turn Undead. Unless you've taken Radiant Servant, Turn Undead can only be used a finite amount of times between rests, so use the two below enhancements wisely.
• Cleric Divine Vitality I to II
• Cleric Divine Healing I to II
Cleric spells are fueled by divine power, receiving divine gifts from enhancements like Follower of the Sovereign Host, which gives clerics proficiency with longswords and a powerful Unyielding Sovereignty enhancement. Unyielding Sovereignty is a powerful "last resort" heal that restores a character to full health and removes many negative effects.
• Follower of the Sovereign Host
• Unyielding Sovereignty
Each of these below enhancements will boost the cleric's ability scores, hit points (HP), and spell points (SP) by a reasonable amount. Feel free to take more ranks, if you'd like.
• Cleric Wisdom I to II
• Cleric Charisma I
• Human Adaptability: Wisdom
• Racial Toughness I to II
• Cleric Energy of the Zealot I to II
Active, Passive & Toggle
Feats, spells, and enhancements come in three distinct flavors: active, passive, and toggle. None of these flavors are mutually exclusive. All feats, spells and enhancements can come in any of the three flavors.
Here's the breakdown:
• Active – When used, an "active" feat, enhancement or spell will cause an immediate effect. This effect can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Inflict Light Wounds is a spell that immediately damages its target, while Nightshield is an active spell that can immediately defend against Magic Missile attacks – but lasts for five minutes.
• Passive – There are no spells that are purely passive, but plenty of feats fall into this category. Toughness is a great example – it's passive, always giving you those bonus hit points (HP).
• Toggle – Many spells and feats come in this flavor. Think of toggles like a light switch: you can flip it on or off! A toggle always works this way, and in the case of metamagic feats (toggles!) using one will only increase the spell point (SP) cost of other spells – but in no way costs spell points itself to activate.
Newly acquired spells will not automatically show up on your hotbar. To add new spells, simply press the "C" key, and then click on the "Spells" tab on your Character Sheet panel. From the "Spells" tab you can drag and drop each spell icon to your hotbar – and the same can be done for active and toggle feats and enhancements from their respective tabs on the Character Sheet panel ("C" button).
Tip! The Bullstrength spell gives a +4 STR boost, and makes it much easier to defeat enemies at lower-levels with your melee weapon.
When playing a character with 20 levels of cleric – like the above template – there's always room for optional improvement.
• Finding New Equipment, AKA loot: There's plenty of new equipment to discover in DDO, and much of it will give your offensive and defensive stats a nice boost. There's even equipment that adds to your ability scores!
• Ability Tomes: If you want to maximize your cleric's spellcasting ability, one way is by raising your WIS score, and an Ability Tome does just that. You can occasionally find these in dungeons and other instances, or purchase one in the DDO Store. (Note: Ability Tomes do not stack, so be careful when applying a like-tome!)
• Potions: While it's true that clerics can self-heal, it never hurts to have a stack of spell point potions sitting in your hot bar just in case things get a little hairy in an encounter.