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  1. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    I really don't remember much Light damage in challenges, but I may simply be forgetting about it happening; are there challenges it happens in regularly?
    In Lava Caves, yes. The drow clerics love casting light spells at you, including (but not limited to) divine punishment.

  2. #122
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    I'm still trying to sort through the details, but I have stumbled across an interesting find while playing around with my PDK swashbuckler. The build seemed strong, so on a whim I went into heroic elite devils assault at level 15... and finished. Went back and recorded it:

    Heroic Elite Devils Assault at 15 No self-healing at all other than the weapon. No potions, no scrolls, no cure/heal spells, nada. The action starts about 1:30 into the video.

    Didn't break a sweat. The only threat were the casters in wave 5 with level drains and holds.

    The build has good defenses, but after toying with taking different elements out... I was surprised by what seemed to be the key enabler.

    *The interaction between swashbuckler and bodyfeeder*

    Bodyfeeder is 15 temp hit points on a crit, and swashbuckler crits.. a lot. In the video above, I was using a crafted vampiric bodyfeeder short sword, but I think a simple lesser vampirism would have done just fine. With 1 point of health from the vampirism and 15 temp hp every 2.5 swings (or sooner), the build heals for more per hit than the phoenix build did at that level... without a huge investment in healing amp. The high amount of crits means the build does good damage even with a poor dps weapon, and precision (possibly with improved destruction too) means crits happen even on boss mobs.

    I'm still tweaking the build but the basic concept is a PDK stalwart swashbuckler
    Stats
    13 str
    13 dex
    18 cha (level-ups go here)
    rest into con

    Levels 1-6 fighter (to get bab up quickly)
    Levels 7+ all bard with 2 rogue splashed somewhere along the way
    Without the 6 fighter splash, you have to chose between having evasion (rogue splash) or having enough BAB to get gswf at 16... and GSWF is a big boost in dps. On the other hand, having at least 10 bard levels would provide dimension door...

    Feats: Power attack, cleave, precision, single weapon fighting, shield mastery, great cleave, force of personality, improved single weapon fighting, improved critical pierce, improved shield mastery, greater single weapon fighting.

    Enhancements: 2 points in PDK to get cha for atk/dmg. Enough in stalwart to get hp bonus in stance (maybe movement speed too). Rest all into swashbuckler.


    I'm still working on tweaking this. The next logical steps to try would be to switch to rapier instead of shortsword which might mean switching to shadar-ki instead of PDK. The other interesting place to tweak might be to switch to a crafted lesser vamp/bodyfeeder with a red augment slot. I'm not sure if the best option would be to put a damage aug in, or a sonic spell power aug.

    The self-healing won't scale into epic elites, but it seems to be a great fit for a level 16 challenge runner. The fact it can farm shroud ingredients too is just a bonus.
    Last edited by Ancient; 07-01-2014 at 05:01 PM.

  3. #123
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    Personally I consider DDoor an absolute requirement for a Challenge soloer. I don't DDoor in Grove, Arena, or Kobold Island (usually), but those are ones that almost any self-healing build can do "easily". I consider DDoor crucial for the torch challenges and quite useful in Mansion, and those are the Challenges that I feel actually warrant a min-max build. I'm not a fan of having to level 15->16 either, although if one were dedicating a slot to a farmer then this ought to work fine. It certainly seems like it would level pretty easily, or you can stick to the less mobile challenges until you get to 16.

    Why are you planning to switch to a rapier? With Swashbuckling Stance active, shortswords and rapiers have exactly the same base damage and critical profile ([1d6] 15% x3). Unless you already have some really good rapiers you want to reuse, you might as well stick with short swords. This has been one of the arguments/complaints about SB. There are a number of short swords and other finesse weapons with expanded crit profiles that were designed specifically to be on par with rapiers prior to the introduction of Swashbuckler. All of those are really amazing with SB on top. But since rapier-parity appears to have been the goal on those, we don't really see any rapiers with expanded crit profiles, so what you would think is the iconic SB weapon is in fact the worst choice for them in many level ranges.

    However I can promise that I will try to abuse your idea for leveling my own Bards. ;-) It's too bad that Keen and Bodyfeeder are both prefixes so you can't get a really good crit range on it at low levels but it is probably still somewhat reliable with Blow By Blow maxed out.
    Sarlona resident (PureMouse, PlushMouse, [& other little mice], Cryosite)
    Former lurker/resident of Argonessen (Shyelle, Cheyelle, Moonsparkle)

    "The first thing you need to do when considering a halfling thrower build, is learn how to bend halflings correctly so that they return." - amnota/Trelaf of Thelanis

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    Personally I consider DDoor an absolute requirement for a Challenge soloer. I don't DDoor in Grove, Arena, or Kobold Island (usually), but those are ones that almost any self-healing build can do "easily". I consider DDoor crucial for the torch challenges and quite useful in Mansion, and those are the Challenges that I feel actually warrant a min-max build. I'm not a fan of having to level 15->16 either, although if one were dedicating a slot to a farmer then this ought to work fine. It certainly seems like it would level pretty easily, or you can stick to the less mobile challenges until you get to 16.
    I think my next experiment will be to drop the rogue levels and see how bad I miss evasion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    Why are you planning to switch to a rapier? With Swashbuckling Stance active, shortswords and rapiers have exactly the same base damage and critical profile ([1d6] 15% x3).
    I did the math last night after I had posted this and came to the same conclusion... I kept hearing people lament PDKs having to use short swords, but the numbers come out exactly the same for everything other than the light picks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    However I can promise that I will try to abuse your idea for leveling my own Bards. ;-) It's too bad that Keen and Bodyfeeder are both prefixes so you can't get a really good crit range on it at low levels but it is probably still somewhat reliable with Blow By Blow maxed out.
    At the lowest levels, cure potions are enough that the weapon healing isn't really needed. About the time the cure potions start losing their effectiveness, the swashbuckler crit enhancements are ready to kick in.

  5. #125
    Community Member Panzermeyer's Avatar
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    Default Swashbuckler Iconic Farmer

    Anyone else been playing around with an Iconic Swashbuckler Farmer?

    I just started playing a first life Bard and was considerably impressed with the Swashbuckler. It is clear to me that a Swashbuckler has lot's of utility as a Challenge farmer.

    All I see with Bard in it however is Ancient's PDK Stalwart Swashbuckler and Arcanegrin's Shadar-Kai Swashbuckler Rogue. Are there any out there that I am missing?

    Challenge farmer has to have DD for me. So the PDK Stalwart Swashbuckler would be out for me. Though his ideas about Bodyfeeder and Vampirism crafted weapon sound pretty awesome and I think I will have to try that out. Though I would also want something that does some damage as well, not just self healing. But a Cold Iron Rapier of Holy Burst and Lesser Vampirism as a DR breaker for the Marilith seems like a good place to start.

    Looking at options it would seem that either Shadar-Kai or PDK would be the best for a Swashbuckler. At least 10 Bard for DD is a must.

    Other than that the three possible options would seem to be Barbarian for the speed boost, rogue for evasion and open locks, and fighter for the extra feats. Barbarian has less utility with the boost for bard speed but more is always better where challenges are concerned correct?

    The trick would seem to be either go just to 10 for Bard, or up to 13 for 5th level spells (GH and Shadowwalk) and the +3% to movement. 10 Bard allows for a deeper splash.

    Let's see for Feats without fighter extras would likely be

    1 swf
    3 precision
    6 extend
    9 iswf
    12 imp crit pierce
    15 gswf

    Would add Force of Personality if PDK.

    Not sure if there is anything actually needed from a 2 fighter splash. I would likely pick up Shield Mastery line with the bonus feats.

    Though I guess it begs the question for Barbarian Speed boost and Bard enhancement speed boost stack? Neither seemed to be classified as a enhancement boost, just a straight up speed boost, so that would lead me to believe they would stack with each other as well as Shadowwalk.

    That would put one at +23% based movement.

    Though it would seem that you would get more utility out of the starting gear of a Shadar-kai than you would out of the PDK. =/

    Shadowwalk seems very very tempting but I guess it could just be scrolled.

    Regardless for stats I would go
    str 8
    dex 15
    con 15
    int 8
    wis 8
    cha 18
    All level points in charisma.

    What is everyone thoughts?
    Panzermeyer - Huge Terry Brooks Shannara Fan

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    Jelara Shannara - Dragonborn Caster/Intim/Tank Druid (TR XXI - Barb x3, Drd x3, FvS x3, Pal x3, Rgr x1, Rog x2, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XXXI - Epic Completionist - ItR III - PDK x3)
    Alts
    DamsonRhee Shannara - PDK Swashbuckler
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    Eritria Shannara - Human Swashbuckler
    (TR VII - Ftr x3, Sorc x1, Wiz x3 EtR - Prim x1)
    Kirisin Shannara - Sun Elf Enlightend Spirit Warlock Tank (TR XIV - Barb x1, Bard x1, Clc x3, Fvs x3, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XII - Epic Completionist- ItR - MLE x3)
    RueMeridian - Warforged Artificer (TR II - Arti x1, Wiz x1 - EtR II - Primal x1, Div x1)


  6. #126
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzermeyer View Post
    Though I guess it begs the question for Barbarian Speed boost and Bard enhancement speed boost stack?
    Yes.

    One post-U23 possibility I'm mulling: PDK bard 10 / ftr 4 / barb 1. Bard 10 gets you DDoor and Swashbuckling bonuses (inc. +10% run speed); ftr 4 gets you 3 extra feats & defensive stance (after it's moved to lvl 3 core); barb 1 gets you another +10% run speed and +3 Power Atk enhs (Rage too, but those don't work while defensive stance is active). 10 feats total (6 base + 1 PDK + 3 ftr); apart from SWF x3 and Imp Crit, I haven't decided on the rest.
    Retired Build Engineer. Everything was better back in our day. Get off my lawn.

  7. #127
    Community Member Panzermeyer's Avatar
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    Default Swashbuckler Iconic Challenge Farmer

    So I rolled this one up last nite, and oh my goodness this is definitely the best Iconic Challenge farmer that I have created, and can easily be thrown away if one wished.

    I went with a PDK 13 Bard/1Ftr/1Barb

    Str 8
    Dex 15
    Con 15
    Int 8
    Wis 8
    Cha 18

    Skills:
    Balance, UMD, Perform, Concentration and Haggle (bit of a haggle bot for utility)

    Feats:
    I went with the following
    1 swf
    1H Force of Personality
    1F precision
    3 quicken
    6 extend
    9 iswf
    12 imp crit pierce
    15 gswf

    Honestly on the feats though I think I would drop quicken and pick up Quick Draw. Going 10 bard and 4 fighter is an option for 2 more feats, but nothing in particular that I would strongly pick up other than maybe MT and IMT for more SP. Maybe dodge and mobility for more dodge, but I think the increased SP would be better.

    Action Points
    :
    Not exactly sure what I went with at this time. 3-4 in PDK tree for 1 Cha, damage boost, and healing amp.
    Most in Swashbuckler to get almost all tier 5 swashbuckler
    about 15 points in Spells singer. Though I will likely reset and spend more in Warchanter. I think getting Frozen Fury would be worth it. Though i will still spend in Spellsinger to get all three into Magical Studies to get Echoes of Magic.

    For Gear:
    All the stock PDK gear for the time being with the following additions.
    Turbulent Epee for DR breaking
    A Buckler from the AH
    Crafted Holy Burst light pick of Lesser Vampirism
    (These 4 only to tier 2 so bound to account)
    Frozen Tunic
    Blasting Rod
    Elemental Rapier of Air
    Ring of the Stalker

    Would need to pick up a devotion item and a SP item to round this toon out. But as a throw away just give the toon some bound to account items and roll. Not bad.

    The speed on this toon is amazing for challenges definitely think it is faster than my monk, but attack speed is definitely way faster. Haste for the kobolds, DD, Displace, Self Healing.

    In a few of the boss fights I was a little worried about self healing but I am not honestly hit enough that I became too concerned about it. For a more permanent challenge farmer a devotion item would be ideal.

    Weaknesses:
    Only weaknesses I found so far are lack of opening locks (since knock wands do not work in the mansion), so used bells of opening. The Air elementals which I learned just to fascinate and then leave. And the Scorpions in the lava caves since they seem to ignore the displace. I will be crafting a +5 Acid Burst of Greater Vermin Bane rapier or light pick here in the future I think.

    I think Sp are a tad low for Dragon's Hoard. I only ran out of SP once in the mansion but I was done fighting and on the way to the shrine anyway. Though with basic setup I have NO SP item, so the SP could be easily remedied.

    Returns:
    Well so far in my initial runs I had multiple 400ish runs in Labor Shortage and buying time (never buying more than 1 increment of time). First run of moving targets I was one portal away from 5 staring the challenge (level 19 so no 6 stars) 950ish manuscripts. First run of picture portals and I was 1 crest away from being able to get all the doors and doctor rushmore (and 5 stars) however I still landed 824 goblets. What I thought was a subpar colossal crystals due to my only being able to slowly take out the scorpions (colossal crystal was not in till their was 6 min left) turned into a 625 scorp run. So far I have yet to try any of the kobold islands but with this toons speed and DD I doubt they will prove very difficult to at least get one star.

    The returns are excellent AND the bard is **** fun to run as well. So the challenges are more entertaining then they have been in some time.
    Last edited by Panzermeyer; 09-03-2014 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Added AP and about SP
    Panzermeyer - Huge Terry Brooks Shannara Fan

    Main
    Jelara Shannara - Dragonborn Caster/Intim/Tank Druid (TR XXI - Barb x3, Drd x3, FvS x3, Pal x3, Rgr x1, Rog x2, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XXXI - Epic Completionist - ItR III - PDK x3)
    Alts
    DamsonRhee Shannara - PDK Swashbuckler
    Challenge Farmer
    Eritria Shannara - Human Swashbuckler
    (TR VII - Ftr x3, Sorc x1, Wiz x3 EtR - Prim x1)
    Kirisin Shannara - Sun Elf Enlightend Spirit Warlock Tank (TR XIV - Barb x1, Bard x1, Clc x3, Fvs x3, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XII - Epic Completionist- ItR - MLE x3)
    RueMeridian - Warforged Artificer (TR II - Arti x1, Wiz x1 - EtR II - Primal x1, Div x1)


  8. #128
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    I still have an older Arcanegrin PDK Bard12/FvS2/Fighter1 THF model I am using to run Challenges and I found Empower Healing works well for me on it, so I'd be tempted to add a Fighter level to squeeze that in too. I am probably simply worse at playing than you are though, if you don't need to heal yourself or the occasional crystal carrier all that often. I also could see dropping a feat and switching to Fighter 4 to pick up PA, Cleave, and Great Cleave. However you give up 2 level 4 and 2 level 5 spell slots. Being able to pick up all of DDoor, CCW, FoM, and Otto's Sphere instead of just 2 seems rather nice. Shadow Walk could be nice for blitzing through Mansion or across Kobold Island, although I am wondering if the visual impairment would make it impractical for scouting crystal deposits or blitzing to the Azure Motes. Have you tried that at all?

    One thought I'd had for a dedicated Swashbuckler Challenge Farmer slot would be to farm up a Tier 3 Cannith Elemental Rapier of Air and add a Bodyfeeder Shard as the "Craftable (+3)" option. The Tier 3s are BtC rather than BtA so the character becomes less of a throwaway character but it might be worth it in this case. That would have 2 on crit elemental burst effects and 1 on crit "healing" effect, all of which should be proccing like mad. However that shard adds 6 to the minimum level, so it looks like I would have to start with a ML12 version, add Bodyfeeder, and then add Masterful Craftsmanship to bring it back down to ML16. The loss compared to the ML16 (+1 Enhancement bonus, Sirocco = low DC Blind proc on crits, some Lightning Resist) ought to be minor compared to the Bodyfeeder procs. If I like how it works I'd also consider doing the same with a ML12 T3 Mournlode Light Mace for Disruptor and Calomel Rapier for Auraxyllon.

    I've also been giving some thought to trying out a Warchanter version for the Tier 5 Expeditious Chant. The Chant procs in an AoE every 10 seconds and grants a 1-minute stacking +20% Action Boost bonus to runspeed on anyone it affects, so +10% Barbarian +10% Bard/SB "Fast Movement" +20% Bard/WC "Expeditious Chant" +32% Haste = +72% faster movement speed ought to make you a veritable blur. Assuming that it affects the kobolds, you can hit a cluster with it and then run ahead to the next batch and it will last for another 50 seconds after you are gone. Add that to Haste and the Kobolds should be zooming along at +52% runspeed. Once the armor changes go through and armors provide some protection against elemental damage that scales by their "weightiness" a Medium armor PDK Warchanter build should have much better survivability versus casters. It's too bad that ASF is an issue with Heavy Shields or it might be interesting to take advantage of the doubled MRR vs elemental damage those are supposed to get. I started looking into a Morninglord version until I realized that their racial Arcane Fluidity enhancement does not work with Shield ASF. Darn.
    Sarlona resident (PureMouse, PlushMouse, [& other little mice], Cryosite)
    Former lurker/resident of Argonessen (Shyelle, Cheyelle, Moonsparkle)

    "The first thing you need to do when considering a halfling thrower build, is learn how to bend halflings correctly so that they return." - amnota/Trelaf of Thelanis

  9. #129
    Community Member Panzermeyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    I still have an older Arcanegrin PDK Bard12/FvS2/Fighter1 THF model I am using to run Challenges and I found Empower Healing works well for me on it, so I'd be tempted to add a Fighter level to squeeze that in too. I am probably simply worse at playing than you are though, if you don't need to heal yourself or the occasional crystal carrier all that often. I also could see dropping a feat and switching to Fighter 4 to pick up PA, Cleave, and Great Cleave. However you give up 2 level 4 and 2 level 5 spell slots. Being able to pick up all of DDoor, CCW, FoM, and Otto's Sphere instead of just 2 seems rather nice. Shadow Walk could be nice for blitzing through Mansion or across Kobold Island, although I am wondering if the visual impairment would make it impractical for scouting crystal deposits or blitzing to the Azure Motes. Have you tried that at all?
    With a Str of 8 you just cannot get in PA and the cleave line, I thought about that. Having run a THF bard in epics for a past life, I can say the SWF is far superior for challenges. So need to keep the dex up and all. The extra fighter for Empower Healing is not a bad idea. I have found with the displace and dodge and speed at which things die that I definitely was not needing much healing. Except when fighting the scorpions. However last nite I crafted myself an acid burst light pick of greater vermin bane and they are dropping ALOT quicker now.

    I don't intend for this to be a throw away toon, when not running it will be a mule toon for some stuff as well. However I did mention that as that is how this thread started and I was pointing how just how successful and disposable you could make this toon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    One thought I'd had for a dedicated Swashbuckler Challenge Farmer slot would be to farm up a Tier 3 Cannith Elemental Rapier of Air and add a Bodyfeeder Shard as the "Craftable (+3)" option. The Tier 3s are BtC rather than BtA so the character becomes less of a throwaway character but it might be worth it in this case. That would have 2 on crit elemental burst effects and 1 on crit "healing" effect, all of which should be proccing like mad. However that shard adds 6 to the minimum level, so it looks like I would have to start with a ML12 version, add Bodyfeeder, and then add Masterful Craftsmanship to bring it back down to ML16. The loss compared to the ML16 (+1 Enhancement bonus, Sirocco = low DC Blind proc on crits, some Lightning Resist) ought to be minor compared to the Bodyfeeder procs. If I like how it works I'd also consider doing the same with a ML12 T3 Mournlode Light Mace for Disruptor and Calomel Rapier for Auraxyllon.
    I do intend on farming the rapier for this challenge farmer. The mace is a great idea for the disruptor as well. Thanks for that. idea
    Panzermeyer - Huge Terry Brooks Shannara Fan

    Main
    Jelara Shannara - Dragonborn Caster/Intim/Tank Druid (TR XXI - Barb x3, Drd x3, FvS x3, Pal x3, Rgr x1, Rog x2, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XXXI - Epic Completionist - ItR III - PDK x3)
    Alts
    DamsonRhee Shannara - PDK Swashbuckler
    Challenge Farmer
    Eritria Shannara - Human Swashbuckler
    (TR VII - Ftr x3, Sorc x1, Wiz x3 EtR - Prim x1)
    Kirisin Shannara - Sun Elf Enlightend Spirit Warlock Tank (TR XIV - Barb x1, Bard x1, Clc x3, Fvs x3, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XII - Epic Completionist- ItR - MLE x3)
    RueMeridian - Warforged Artificer (TR II - Arti x1, Wiz x1 - EtR II - Primal x1, Div x1)


  10. #130
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzermeyer View Post
    With a Str of 8 you just cannot get in PA and the cleave line, I thought about that. Having run a THF bard in epics for a past life, I can say the SWF is far superior for challenges. So need to keep the dex up and all. The extra fighter for Empower Healing is not a bad idea. I have found with the displace and dodge and speed at which things die that I definitely was not needing much healing. Except when fighting the scorpions. However last nite I crafted myself an acid burst light pick of greater vermin bane and they are dropping ALOT quicker now.

    I don't intend for this to be a throw away toon, when not running it will be a mule toon for some stuff as well. However I did mention that as that is how this thread started and I was pointing how just how successful and disposable you could make this toon.
    The STR 8 prevents taking PA but my thought would be to increase it to 13 and drop the other stats. Dropping CHA to 16 frees up the 6 build points to bump STR to 13 or 14 if I went that route. Something like STR13 DEX15 CON14 INT8 WIS8 CHA17 might be better though. If I am reading the wiki right then the PDK gear gives +6 STR, +4 DEX, +6 CON, and +7 CHA, plus a hypothetical 4 levelup points on a level 16, so at least CHA and CON come out even that way before enhancements. Of course dropping CHA means that the DCs suffer a bit but we aren't targeting Elite mobs here so I am thinking it should be okay. Do you think the loss of 1 DC will make that big a difference?

    OTOH the more I think about it the more I like having the full set of level 4 spells.

    Also you mention "keep the dex up and all". Did you put your levelups into DEX and take DEX to damage rather than CHA? I would have assumed the latter was your key stat.

    I figure that on a permanent version it is definitely worth leveling to 16. I had thought about using the Cove Duelist's Leathers but I can see why the Frozen Tunic would work well with the insane GSWF attack speed and possibly being able to cap out Dodge. I have a Cove buckler I can use as well, which gives +6% Doublestrike on the ML16 version, in which case I can drop the PDK bracers (+3% Doublestrike, and +1exc STR) for something else - maybe a ML15 t2 Bracers of Wind for Blurry, Dodge 6%, and Air Guard.
    Sarlona resident (PureMouse, PlushMouse, [& other little mice], Cryosite)
    Former lurker/resident of Argonessen (Shyelle, Cheyelle, Moonsparkle)

    "The first thing you need to do when considering a halfling thrower build, is learn how to bend halflings correctly so that they return." - amnota/Trelaf of Thelanis

  11. #131
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    This is a completely random thought, but has anyone tried scrolling Sleet Storm on Colossal Crystals to help protect the colossal crystal carrier? I normally Blur & Invis & Haste the carrier but I am thinking that it might be interesting to add FoM and drop a couple of storms on the path back. The enemy AI almost always tries to flee the storm due to the no save Blind & Slow effects, and even the scrolled version ought to last a generous 50 seconds, so it might be a good discouragement for the lioness and hill giant spawns. Almost everything at the level we're running will save against the knockdown but just forcing them off the path buys time and may keep them from proximity scaring the carrier kobold into immobility.

    My concern is that even with FoM providing complete immunity to the storm's effects the kobold AI may also freak out, which is counterproductive.
    Sarlona resident (PureMouse, PlushMouse, [& other little mice], Cryosite)
    Former lurker/resident of Argonessen (Shyelle, Cheyelle, Moonsparkle)

    "The first thing you need to do when considering a halfling thrower build, is learn how to bend halflings correctly so that they return." - amnota/Trelaf of Thelanis

  12. #132

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    Interesting idea.

    You can test the effect on kobold AI in any kobold challenge, pretty much immediately. If it doesn't mess up regular kobolds, I don't see why it would mess up the colossal carrier.

  13. #133
    Community Member Panzermeyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    This is a completely random thought, but has anyone tried scrolling Sleet Storm on Colossal Crystals to help protect the colossal crystal carrier? I normally Blur & Invis & Haste the carrier but I am thinking that it might be interesting to add FoM and drop a couple of storms on the path back. The enemy AI almost always tries to flee the storm due to the no save Blind & Slow effects, and even the scrolled version ought to last a generous 50 seconds, so it might be a good discouragement for the lioness and hill giant spawns. Almost everything at the level we're running will save against the knockdown but just forcing them off the path buys time and may keep them from proximity scaring the carrier kobold into immobility.

    My concern is that even with FoM providing complete immunity to the storm's effects the kobold AI may also freak out, which is counterproductive.
    That is an interesting idea.

    However I have found that with a bard Challenge running, you just zip ahead of the kobold and start fascinating. Quicker and more reliable. The kobold does freak out a little when first encountering the fascinated mob, but after it realizes that it is not getting attacked it does continue to move ahead.

    I would find that more reliable as there is not need to swap weapon and scroll multiple times, cause certainly you would need to scroll it 2-3 times do to the spawn areas of the mobs.
    Panzermeyer - Huge Terry Brooks Shannara Fan

    Main
    Jelara Shannara - Dragonborn Caster/Intim/Tank Druid (TR XXI - Barb x3, Drd x3, FvS x3, Pal x3, Rgr x1, Rog x2, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XXXI - Epic Completionist - ItR III - PDK x3)
    Alts
    DamsonRhee Shannara - PDK Swashbuckler
    Challenge Farmer
    Eritria Shannara - Human Swashbuckler
    (TR VII - Ftr x3, Sorc x1, Wiz x3 EtR - Prim x1)
    Kirisin Shannara - Sun Elf Enlightend Spirit Warlock Tank (TR XIV - Barb x1, Bard x1, Clc x3, Fvs x3, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XII - Epic Completionist- ItR - MLE x3)
    RueMeridian - Warforged Artificer (TR II - Arti x1, Wiz x1 - EtR II - Primal x1, Div x1)


  14. #134
    Community Member Panzermeyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    The STR 8 prevents taking PA but my thought would be to increase it to 13 and drop the other stats. Dropping CHA to 16 frees up the 6 build points to bump STR to 13 or 14 if I went that route. Something like STR13 DEX15 CON14 INT8 WIS8 CHA17 might be better though. If I am reading the wiki right then the PDK gear gives +6 STR, +4 DEX, +6 CON, and +7 CHA, plus a hypothetical 4 levelup points on a level 16, so at least CHA and CON come out even that way before enhancements. Of course dropping CHA means that the DCs suffer a bit but we aren't targeting Elite mobs here so I am thinking it should be okay. Do you think the loss of 1 DC will make that big a difference?

    OTOH the more I think about it the more I like having the full set of level 4 spells.
    The DC's I am not worried about so much, as I dropped most the offensive casting spells anyway and mainly just focused on buff spells. The combat on this build is really fairly complete so I didn't bother trying to boost those. I was mainly worried about the disc ball not landing both through SR and things saving on it, so I didn't bother. I do see how it would be useful in Colossal Crystals in just pulling aggro to you and not the carrier. My only concern about lowering CHA would be decreasing the effectiveness of Fascinate, which I have found is not 100% not running with a Perform item on. Also with the swashbuckler line you are getting CHA to damage, and Coupe de Grace is based on your perform skill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    Also you mention "keep the dex up and all". Did you put your levelups into DEX and take DEX to damage rather than CHA? I would have assumed the latter was your key stat.
    No I just ment starting with 15 for the the SWF feats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    I figure that on a permanent version it is definitely worth leveling to 16. I had thought about using the Cove Duelist's Leathers but I can see why the Frozen Tunic would work well with the insane GSWF attack speed and possibly being able to cap out Dodge. I have a Cove buckler I can use as well, which gives +6% Doublestrike on the ML16 version, in which case I can drop the PDK bracers (+3% Doublestrike, and +1exc STR) for something else - maybe a ML15 t2 Bracers of Wind for Blurry, Dodge 6%, and Air Guard.
    I can see a few Cove items being good for this build, but I never had a need for them and never farmed them out. I will next time around, and likely do it with this farmer as well.
    Panzermeyer - Huge Terry Brooks Shannara Fan

    Main
    Jelara Shannara - Dragonborn Caster/Intim/Tank Druid (TR XXI - Barb x3, Drd x3, FvS x3, Pal x3, Rgr x1, Rog x2, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XXXI - Epic Completionist - ItR III - PDK x3)
    Alts
    DamsonRhee Shannara - PDK Swashbuckler
    Challenge Farmer
    Eritria Shannara - Human Swashbuckler
    (TR VII - Ftr x3, Sorc x1, Wiz x3 EtR - Prim x1)
    Kirisin Shannara - Sun Elf Enlightend Spirit Warlock Tank (TR XIV - Barb x1, Bard x1, Clc x3, Fvs x3, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XII - Epic Completionist- ItR - MLE x3)
    RueMeridian - Warforged Artificer (TR II - Arti x1, Wiz x1 - EtR II - Primal x1, Div x1)


  15. #135
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panzermeyer View Post
    My only concern about lowering CHA would be decreasing the effectiveness of Fascinate, which I have found is not 100% not running with a Perform item on. Also with the swashbuckler line you are getting CHA to damage, and Coupe de Grace is based on your perform skill.
    Good points. I had been thinking about trying to squeeze in a Perform item somehow and that tips the scale for me.

    One option would be to swap out the gloves. Those could be changed to a ML15 STR+5 of Perform+10 with a Mastercraft (or just STR+4 for me because my crafter can't do the +5 yet). The goggles could be changed to Blindness Immunity of Perform, although I like the default Spot because of all the stealthed mephits and such. I'll also circle back to the bracers if one has a Cove shield to cover the Doublestrike bonus, since bracers can also take spell school DC shards. An Enchantment Focus 2 Bracers of Perform +10 would work for all the Bardic DCs. OTOH I guess not too many challenge enemies are actually vulnerable to CC spells, are they? Drow and demons have SR, and constructs, scorpions, undead, and phantasms are immune.

    BtA versions of gloves, goggles, and bracers are pretty easy to obtain if you have the Sharn quests (see the Craftable BtA reward list), so any of the above doesn't have to lock you into a permanent farmer. For a BtC permanent investment I'd also consider a non-BtA version of any of the above with a yellow augment slot to fit in a ML16 Topaz of Power +100. Those aren't too annoying to buy out of Gianthold via relic turn-ins.
    Sarlona resident (PureMouse, PlushMouse, [& other little mice], Cryosite)
    Former lurker/resident of Argonessen (Shyelle, Cheyelle, Moonsparkle)

    "The first thing you need to do when considering a halfling thrower build, is learn how to bend halflings correctly so that they return." - amnota/Trelaf of Thelanis

  16. #136
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    I tried Panzer's new 13/1/1 build in a few Extraplanar Palace runs (@19) and it feels really smooth. I was using a Turbulent Epee, ML12 Swashbuckler from Cove, Crimson Chain, a low end Devotion ring, and a Wizardry cloak, so hardly amazing gear. I thought that I would miss the cleaves but I almost forgot to use my special attacks as-is, since most enemies just melted even without them. The Armors lasted a little longer than most enemies so I would be tempted to add a Construct beater of some kind to the desired equipment list. The Blasting Chime would help too. I used an Owlbear pet to deal with trash mobs at the center and DDoor'd back for the named enemies.

    I put some points into Intimidate because I find it's useful for peeling enemies off kobolds. Since it is a class skill for Fighter and Barbarian it's easy to add 4 ranks to it at each of those classes' levels (as long as one takes Barb at level 5 or later), and the PDK gear comes with +13 Intimidate too.

    The only place that felt weak compared to a BF Sorc was dealing with Red names. I did good damage but they did so much damage back that I had to pull back and heal myself repeatedly. The dragon was also a bit of a pain because even with a high Balance score to get back up quickly, I was getting knocked down so much and I had to spend so much time healing myself that I never managed to kill it in the time I had left. I definitely miss Empower Healing and want to refactor to add that in. Does anyone have any advice on ways to mitigate the incoming damage?

    But even with those caveats I was pulling 320-350ish materials per run and not feeling like I was really working hard at it. On other builds I've run I've gotten lower rewards and felt like I was putting much more effort in. So: thumbs up!

    FWIW my experience with Shadow Walk was mixed. It is great for exploring the map and getting to the dragon quickly. It should work well for scouting out crystal deposits too since crystal visibility remain decent. However Azure Motes seemed to have a much smaller view distance than usual so it did not work as well for finding those; it may be a net gain since you still move faster but it is not a big gain overall.

    I haven't tested Sleet Storm scrolls yet. I'll take a run through Colossal soon and may give them a go.
    Sarlona resident (PureMouse, PlushMouse, [& other little mice], Cryosite)
    Former lurker/resident of Argonessen (Shyelle, Cheyelle, Moonsparkle)

    "The first thing you need to do when considering a halfling thrower build, is learn how to bend halflings correctly so that they return." - amnota/Trelaf of Thelanis

  17. #137
    Community Member Panzermeyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caprice View Post
    I tried Panzer's new 13/1/1 build in a few Extraplanar Palace runs (@19) and it feels really smooth. I was using a Turbulent Epee, ML12 Swashbuckler from Cove, Crimson Chain, a low end Devotion ring, and a Wizardry cloak, so hardly amazing gear. I thought that I would miss the cleaves but I almost forgot to use my special attacks as-is, since most enemies just melted even without them. The Armors lasted a little longer than most enemies so I would be tempted to add a Construct beater of some kind to the desired equipment list. The Blasting Chime would help too. I used an Owlbear pet to deal with trash mobs at the center and DDoor'd back for the named enemies.

    I put some points into Intimidate because I find it's useful for peeling enemies off kobolds. Since it is a class skill for Fighter and Barbarian it's easy to add 4 ranks to it at each of those classes' levels (as long as one takes Barb at level 5 or later), and the PDK gear comes with +13 Intimidate too.

    The only place that felt weak compared to a BF Sorc was dealing with Red names. I did good damage but they did so much damage back that I had to pull back and heal myself repeatedly. The dragon was also a bit of a pain because even with a high Balance score to get back up quickly, I was getting knocked down so much and I had to spend so much time healing myself that I never managed to kill it in the time I had left. I definitely miss Empower Healing and want to refactor to add that in. Does anyone have any advice on ways to mitigate the incoming damage?

    But even with those caveats I was pulling 320-350ish materials per run and not feeling like I was really working hard at it. On other builds I've run I've gotten lower rewards and felt like I was putting much more effort in. So: thumbs up!

    FWIW my experience with Shadow Walk was mixed. It is great for exploring the map and getting to the dragon quickly. It should work well for scouting out crystal deposits too since crystal visibility remain decent. However Azure Motes seemed to have a much smaller view distance than usual so it did not work as well for finding those; it may be a net gain since you still move faster but it is not a big gain overall.

    I haven't tested Sleet Storm scrolls yet. I'll take a run through Colossal soon and may give them a go.
    I have pretty much the same result. The armors take the longest to go down in my experience as well.

    I would agree with the extra 5th level spells they really are a mixed bag and not a must have. I have no desire to lower the bard levels however as it would lower my speed which I have become addicted to. Nor would I want to lower any stats just to get the Str needed for PA and the cleave lines by adding a couple more levels of fighter. If I did a couple of TR's for this toon and added a tome, I would likely reconsider but that defeats the purpose of a quick disposable build.

    But overall that is my experience as well, I do not have to work hard to get great runs in the challenges.

    I also have a FvS healer up in everything expect the mansion. I use them to heal me why I taking out the red names. I personally have not noticed much of a difference with most expect the dragon. Some of the undead red names in the disruptor are a huge challenge and I find I need the healer and the owlbear to get it down quickly and keep me up. That is really the only one that I have trouple with.

    I was having trouble with vermin in the challenges but a crafted acid burst of Greater vermin bane did the trick, or an envenomed blade for the paralyzing.

    Overall far happier with the runs on this farmer than any of the BF Sorc options. The speed alone is well worth it.
    Panzermeyer - Huge Terry Brooks Shannara Fan

    Main
    Jelara Shannara - Dragonborn Caster/Intim/Tank Druid (TR XXI - Barb x3, Drd x3, FvS x3, Pal x3, Rgr x1, Rog x2, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XXXI - Epic Completionist - ItR III - PDK x3)
    Alts
    DamsonRhee Shannara - PDK Swashbuckler
    Challenge Farmer
    Eritria Shannara - Human Swashbuckler
    (TR VII - Ftr x3, Sorc x1, Wiz x3 EtR - Prim x1)
    Kirisin Shannara - Sun Elf Enlightend Spirit Warlock Tank (TR XIV - Barb x1, Bard x1, Clc x3, Fvs x3, Sorc x3, Wiz x3 - EtR XII - Epic Completionist- ItR - MLE x3)
    RueMeridian - Warforged Artificer (TR II - Arti x1, Wiz x1 - EtR II - Primal x1, Div x1)


  18. #138
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    A Hasted Bard 13/1/1 is going something like 32% Haste + 13% Bard + 10% Barbarian = 55% faster than base runspeed. IMO giving up a percentage point or two of that away isn't a deal breaker if the time in combat goes down sufficiently from extra feats. Obviously we spent a lot more time out of combat and moving than in combat, so that has to be taken into account.

    I'd really like to try a Fighter 3 splashed version for U23 that takes Defensive Stance for its solid damage mitigation. Under U23 going Fighter 3 and putting 6 AP in Stalwart gives you 25 PRR & MRR, as well as +50% threat generation and +1 to Saves, but you cannot Rage (although that's not a big deal since Rage isn't that useful on this build anyway). Dropping below Bard 13 means losing level 5 spells, but that's not too bad since you can get Greater Heroism from enhancements and nothing else seems that important for Challenges. The AP do get a bit thin but I think it should still work. I've been thinking of not taking the cleave line and instead going for the two Shield Mastery feats. Combined they yield +8% Doublestrike and +8 PRR for a Buckler user which ... well, it isn't amazing but it's not terrible either. AFAICT under the U23 rules, with Light Armor & Defensive Stance & those feats I should have 51 PRR and 35 MRR, which is 33.8% mitigation versus physical and 25.9% versus most magical, as compared to 15.2%/9.1% without. Losing 2% runspeed for a combination of 8% doublestrike and an extra 16-18% mitigation versus most damage seems like a net win for my purposes.

    Since we need Bard 10+ for DDoor and Fighter 3+ for Defensive stance, I am considering 11/4/1 or 12/3/1 splits. The 11/4/1 mix gets 2 extra feats but loses the Swashbuckler 4 Core (and thus loses +2 damage, +1% doublestrike, and +1 Reflex saves). Along with dropping Quicken it would be able to fit in the PA/Cleave/Great Cleave combination, or Empower Healing and the two Shield Mastery feats. 12/3/1 only has 1 extra feat but keeps the extra Core. As I play more with Panzer's build I've decided that Empower Healing isn't necessary. It is a luxury I greatly enjoy having, but I should be able to live without it. Switching from the Owlbear to Larafay costs plat, but it increases the rewards due to the level difference, and her healing helps with SP endurance and as you pointed out you can take her with you to fight bosses and not worry so much about self-healing. So at the moment I am thinking hard about the 12/3/1 build and taking the two Shield Mastery feats, for a potential build looking something like:

    PDK Bard 12 / Fighter 3 / Barbarian 1
    Take Fighter levels at 1, 10, and 13, and Barbarian at 5, with Bard everywhere else. Fighter 2 has to be at character level 10+ to satisfy BAB requirements on the later feats. Ends with Bard to maximize the important skills, although that means no Swashbuckler Core 4 until leveled to 16.

    Skills:
    On Fighter and Barbarian levels, put all points into Intimidate, yielding 12 ranks. On Bard levels put all points into Perform, Concentration, UMD, and Balance. At 16 you should have full ranks (i.e. 19) in Perform, Concentration, and UMD, and 17 in Balance.

    Feats:
    1: SWF, [H] Force of Personality, [F] Precision
    3: Extend
    6: Shield Mastery
    9: ISWF
    10: [F] IC: Pierce
    12: Improved Shield Mastery
    15: GSWF

    Enhancements:
    • PDK (3 AP): Damage Boost, Improved Recovery
      (= +20% damage clickie, +10% incoming healing)
    • Stalwart Defender (6 AP): Cores 1 & 2, Durable Defensive 3, Resilient Defense 1
      (= +6 HP, +6% Fortification, +25 PRR & MRR, +1 Saves, +50% Threat, cannot Rage)
    • Warchanter (12 AP): Cores 1-3 (Skaldic CON), Enchant Weapon, Poetic Edda 2 (or Rough & Ready), Action Boost: Sprint 3, Iced Edges 1, The Frozen Fury 1
      (= +1 CON, full martial proficiencies, Song of [G]Heroism, +2 damage on Inspire Courage, +1 weapon enhancement, +2 Songs [or +4 PRR], +50% runspeed clickie, +1d3 Cold dmg, extra CC attack)
    • Swashbuckler (35): Cores 1-4, Blow by Blow (melee) 3, On Your Toes 1, Fast Movement, Sword Dance 1, Action Boost: Doublestrike 1, Elegant Footwork, Style: Skirmisher, Resonant Arms 3, Different Tack: Smooth Flourishes, Style: Skirmisher II, Battering Barrage 2, Thread the Needle, Exploit Weakness, Coup de Grace (melee)
      (= +5% Dodge, +5 Reflex, +4 Armor MDB, +3% Doublestrike & Doubleshot, +2 damage, +2 weapon enhancement, Uncanny Dodge, crit-heavy special attack, +12% runspeed, +1d10 sonic-scaled damage on enemy miss, +10% doublestrike clickie, 20% KD on enemy miss, can use Buckler while SWFing and gains +10% Dodge, +6d6 sonic-scaled damage on crit, CHA as damage stat, KD buckler bash special attack, Improved Destruction, +5 damage w/Precision, stacking +Insight crit chance, instakill special attack)


    That's 56 AP spent thus far, which leaves 8 more available at the level 16 cap for additional abilities. The new Vanguard tree ought to yield +2 to attack and damage while using a shield for 2-3 AP which is a steal. My inclination for the rest would be to fill out Action Boost: Doublestrike and take some Second Skin (up to +6 Reflex & +6 Armor MDB) but +CHA, more ranks in The Frozen Fury, PDK Action Surge: CHA, or possibly Magical Studies 3 (Echoes of Power) & Lingering Songs out of Spell Singer would all have value.

    It should still be decent at 15, even pre-U23, but it will definitely grow stronger at 16. I will probably roll one up shortly to see how it works out now, since its defenses should get better in U23 and the U23 SWF nerf will affect both equally.

    Any suggestions for improvements?
    Sarlona resident (PureMouse, PlushMouse, [& other little mice], Cryosite)
    Former lurker/resident of Argonessen (Shyelle, Cheyelle, Moonsparkle)

    "The first thing you need to do when considering a halfling thrower build, is learn how to bend halflings correctly so that they return." - amnota/Trelaf of Thelanis

  19. #139
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    How about Bard 10 / Rogue 5, taking Acrobat as the Tier 5 enhanced tree? This would give a heavy melee weapon with enhanced attack speed, evasion, and vault to the bard's faster movement with enough levels to cast haste, displacement, and dimension door.

  20. #140
    Community Member Caprice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clatterfist View Post
    How about Bard 10 / Rogue 5, taking Acrobat as the Tier 5 enhanced tree? This would give a heavy melee weapon with enhanced attack speed, evasion, and vault to the bard's faster movement with enough levels to cast haste, displacement, and dimension door.
    Feel free to spec it out for us!

    My quibbles:
    • Swashbuckler + SWF is so very OP right now. Not much can achieve its DPS with so little effort applied. However THF will become better in U23.
    • I have trouble seeing Vault as being better for general mobility than Barbarian's +10% runspeed, although it would be handy for jumping a couple of gaps in the Mansion and Lava Caves.
    • You'll want to acquire some rare-ish staves to make it work well (E.g. Theurgic Stave and the rare metallic staves you can get as Threnal end rewards).
    • You have to be Shadar-kai and they are penalized -2 CHA. Definitely not insurmountable, but it's there.


    For what it is worth, as best as I can recall the SDK chain attack when maxed out is really amazingly good at clearing out packs of scorpions in the Lava Caves, but is harder to put to good use in other situations.

    Although come to think of it the Theurgic Stave with a couple of Meteoric Star Ruby augments could be hilarious combined with the high attack speed, glances, and cleaves (both feats and enhancements), and it would be BtA for reuse on other characters.
    Sarlona resident (PureMouse, PlushMouse, [& other little mice], Cryosite)
    Former lurker/resident of Argonessen (Shyelle, Cheyelle, Moonsparkle)

    "The first thing you need to do when considering a halfling thrower build, is learn how to bend halflings correctly so that they return." - amnota/Trelaf of Thelanis

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