Advice for TWF Ranger Newbie

Needles

Member
Started out as a rogue and got to level 4 but am now considering rerolling as a melee focused, scimitar wielding Ranger :) I'm very much a newbie to DDO but would appreciate any feedback on this build. I'm not sure about Hide and Move Silently - might be better getting disable device and something else?

I'm currently F2P but I might subscribe in the future if its warranted - I've already bought a couple of adventure packs.

Ranger -Dex DW Scimitars NEW
Ranger 20
True Neutral Wood Elf


Stats
. . . . . . . .28pt . . 32pt. . .34pt . . 36pt. . .Tome. . .Level Up
. . . . . . . .---- . . ----. . .---- . . ----. . .---- . . --------
Strength. . . . .8. . . . 8 . . . .8. . . . 8 . . . +6 . . . 4: DEX
Dexterity . . . 20. . . .20 . . . 20. . . .20 . . . +6 . . . 8: DEX
Constitution. . 16. . . .17 . . . 18. . . .18 . . . +6 . . .12: DEX
Intelligence. . .8. . . . 8 . . . .8. . . . 8 . . . +6 . . .16: DEX
Wisdom. . . . . .8. . . . 9 . . . .8. . . .10 . . . +6 . . .20: DEX
Charisma. . . . .8. . . . 8 . . . .8. . . . 8 . . . +6 . . .24: DEX
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28: DEX


Skills
. . . . . 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
. . . . .------------------------------------------------------------
Heal. . . 4. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 23
Search. . 4. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 23
Spot. . . 4. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 23
Hide. . . . . . . . . . . . 1. . .1 . . 1. . .1 . . 3. . .3 . . 2. 2. 14
Move Si . . . . . . . . . . . .1 . . 1. . .1 . . 2. . .3 . . 3. 1. 1. 13
Balance . 2. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. 11½
UMD . . . 2. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. ½. 11½
Jump. . . . .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 . . . .1 .1 .1 .1 .1 . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Tumble. . . . . . . . . . . ½. ½. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
. . . . .------------------------------------------------------------
. . . . .20. 6. 6. 6. 6. 6. 7. 7. 7. 7. 7. 7. 7. 7. 8. 8. 8. 8. 8. 8



Feats

.1. . . . : Precision
.3. . . . : Dodge
.6. . . . : Toughness
.9. . . . : Improved Critical: Slashing
12. . . . : Two Weapon Defense
15. . . . : Weapon Focus: Slashing
18. . . . : Power Critical
21 Epic . : Overwhelming Critical
24 Epic . : Epic Toughness
26 Destiny: Perfect Two Weapon Fighting
27 Epic . : Blinding Speed
28 Destiny: Elusive Target
29 Destiny: Dire Charge
30 Epic . : Epic Reflexes
30 Legend : Scion of: Ethereal Plane

.1 Ranger : Favored Enemy: Undead
.5 Ranger : Favored Enemy: Human
10 Ranger : Favored Enemy: Construct
15 Ranger : Favored Enemy: Giant
20 Ranger : Favored Enemy: Evil Outsider


Spells

  1. Summon Nature's Ally I (4), Longstrider (6), Magic Fang (14), Camouflage (18)
  2. Summon Nature's Ally II (8), Cure Light Wounds (10), Cat's Grace (16), Barkskin (19)
  3. Summon Nature's Ally III (11), Cure Moderate Wounds (12), Wild Instincts (19), Remove Disease (19)
  4. Summon Nature's Ally IV (14), Cure Serious Wounds (15), Mass Longstrider (19), Animal Growth (20)

Enhancements (Spent: 80 +0r +0u / Max: 80 +0r +0u AP)

Tempest (49 AP)
  • Shield of Whirling Steel, Tempest, Graceful Death, Deflect Arrows, Whirlwind, Dervish
    1. Improved Defense III, Whirling Blades
    2. Improved Parry III, Whirling Blades, Haste Boost III
    3. Critical Mastery III, Whirling Blades, Dexterity
    4. Elaborate Parry III, The Growing Storm III, Whirling Blades, Dexterity
    5. Dual Perfection, Evasive Dance III, Cuts: Many Cuts III, Whirling Blades, Dance of Death III
Deepwood Stalker (28 AP)
  • Far Shot, Sneak Attack, Exposing Strike, Advanced Sneak Attack
    1. Stealthy III, Increased Empathy III
    2. Survivalist, Melee/Range Power Boost III
    3. Survivalist, Thrill of the Hunt III, Favored Hunter III
    4. Survivalist, Killer III
Wood Elf (3 AP)
  • Elven Accuracy I
    1. Elven Weapon Training I
 

C-Dog

Well-known member
Welcome to the game!

Character building in DDO is not intuitive - most of your D&D Character Design experience is meaningless here. Think of it as a new Edition, one you've never seen before - the rules are just diff. I always recommend a new player use a Forum-approved build - lots out there to choose from. Too easy to "fake" your own build into a complete fail by Level 8-12 or so - and that's never fun. :/

... I'm not sure about Hide and Move Silently - might be better getting disable device and something else?
You want to either be a Trapper (from the start) and go 100%, or don't bother at all. (The Dark Hunter Ranger has access to trapping, so no Rogue/Artificer dip is necessary.) Trapping can add up to 30% XP in some quests, which can make you popular. If you're running with a bunch of veteran killers and your 1st-life DPS isn't cutting it, you can go Trap and get a heartfelt "Great Job!" from the group.

If you do want to be a Trapper, you want all of Spot*, Search, and Disable Device maxed. Open Lock involves a +d20 roll, so you can slide on that a bit IF you're willing to reroll until you roll high.

(* It's possible to Trap without Spot, but you, the Player, have to have all the trap box locations memorized in the quests. And then there are some that are semi-random - you have to have all those memorized too, and accept that sometimes a box won't be there. Ymmv.)​

Hide & MS are nice, but 1) require good gear (both Ability (Dex) and both Skills, and 2) are insufficient for a lot of semi-boss and Champion type mobs. If you're new, I'd recommend you don't go that route at first, not until you learn the game a bit more.

As for "something else", you want:
  • Jump total of 40. Doesn't have to be fast (and the Jump spell will add +30 at Level 9), and you can add a swap item, but you want all of 40. (and 60 if you do want to Jump while Sneaking.)
  • UMD - max this. good for Heal and Raise Dead/Resurrect scrolls, among others.
  • Balance - maybe - some opinions differ, but if you're going melee you want to stand back up asap if you fail a Trip saving throw. Balance tries to help that.
Lastly, if(?) you are Trapping, then you want enough Int to get all the skills you want. Int also helps Search and Disable, the 2 most crucial.

(There's also Concentration, which helps with in-combat spellcasting (healing) if you don't have Quicken - see below.)

Stats
. . . . . . . .28pt . . 32pt. . .34pt . . 36pt. . .Tome. . .Level Up
. . . . . . . .---- . . ----. . .---- . . ----. . .---- . . --------
Strength. . . . .8. . . . 8 . . . .8. . . . 8 . . . +6 . . . 4: DEX
Dexterity . . . 20. . . .20 . . . 20. . . .20 . . . +6 . . . 8: DEX
Constitution. . 16. . . .17 . . . 18. . . .18 . . . +6 . . .12: DEX
Intelligence. . .8. . . . 8 . . . .8. . . . 8 . . . +6 . . .16: DEX
Wisdom. . . . . .8. . . . 9 . . . .8. . . .10 . . . +6 . . .20: DEX
Don't chase Con so hard on a 1st life build; put 6 pts into Con, call it good. It's nice, no doubt, but it's only a few HP, and you have other needs. Namely...

1) Str is Carrying Capacity - you don't want to be encumbered after every chest looting. Consider a Str ~12 or so.

2) Talked about Int and Skills

3) Wisdom will let you cast spells, and eventually you will want a Wis 14. You can include buffs, potions and gear, so you don't have to have it "naturally", but it's a real Quality of Life boost to be able to cast your spells without worrying about that. Start with 10 (and your Guild buff will make that 12 - enough for Level 2 spells. By the time you get higher than that your gear should(?) have some Wis included by accident.) If you have pts left over, start with 12, and you won't need to worry about Wis again.


Feats

.1. . . . : Precision
.3. . . . : Dodge
.6. . . . : Toughness
.9. . . . : Improved Critical: Slashing
12. . . . : Two Weapon Defense
15. . . . : Weapon Focus: Slashing
18. . . . : Power Critical

You can do better than Toughness*, Weapon Focus and Power Critical. (Nothing "wrong" with them, just not as good as others.)

If you want DPS, chase Spring Attack asap: Dodge, Mobility, SA at 6 - solid addition, esp for a Dex build.


(Note: Precision reduces enemy Fort by a % of their Fort (not a flat -% amount) - that can easily be delayed until enemy Fort starts getting sizable, L9+.)

If you want to help your spells, Quicken Spell lets you guarantee that your Cure spells land, no fail (altho' full ranks in Concentration comes close, but is admittedly slower). Extend makes your buffs (which are most of your useful spells) last longer - nice QoL bump. Empower Healing makes them more powerful - also nice.

Lots of choices.

(* Note that Epic Toughness requires a natural Con of 21 - without Tomes, you're going to have a hard time hitting that. Maybe a later life.)

.1 Ranger : Favored Enemy: Undead
.5 Ranger : Favored Enemy: Human
10 Ranger : Favored Enemy: Construct
15 Ranger : Favored Enemy: Giant
20 Ranger : Favored Enemy: Evil Outsider
Opinions differ on the "best" mix. Giants include Ogres, and those are L13-14. So L15 works for Gianthold, but it will be helpful long before then - just sayin'.

If you're going to chase Reapers, Evil Outsiders can't hurt early.

Humans - lots of them, but nothing special about killing them either. Otoh, Constructs and Elementals often have DR or other defenses that want all the help you can find - ymmv.

Spells ..
Jump. And the best Cure spell you can get. The rest will swap around - Resist Energy type are good.
 
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Br4d

Well-known member
Strength is probably better than Dexterity as the damage stat even on a Tempest Ranger. You'll get the three Two Weapon Fighting feats naturally as you level and will not need to meet the Dex prereqs for them to work. Perfect Two Weapon Fighting has just level 22 and Two Weapon Fighting as prereqs.

For specific changes I would dump Precision, Dodge and Two Weapon Defense for Power Attack, Cleave and Greater Cleave. This after building with Str 18, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 8 (counting the +2 racial Dex and -2 racial Int.)

You'll find that you do more damage and are able to AoE down packs with the cleaves. Also you will have a much more effective chance to Trip tough opponents making them unable to do melee damage or cast spells while they are down.

There is a lot to be said for playing the build which feels best to you. There is also the argument that playing the strongest build is better.
 

unbongwah

Well-known member
Welcome to DDO, OP.

So the first question for a melee build like this is whether to play regular ranger or the new archetype Dark Hunter:
  • ranger pros: full access to all Favored Enemy options (Dark Hunter only gets a subset of not-so-great choices), Evasion at level 9 (can be upgraded to Improved Evasion at level 26 via Shadowdancer)
  • Dark Hunter pros: extra sneak attacks (5d6 at level 20), Disable and Open Lock are class skills, medium armor proficiency replaces Evasion, Cure Critical Admixture instead of Cure Serious Wounds, and access to wolf pet (though pets are weaksauce in DDO unfortunately)
Pure Dark Hunter basically takes the place of the Tempest Trapmonkey: no need to splash rogue to get trap skills means you get to keep your Tempest capstone (Dervish). Or it opens up different MC combos, e.g., Dark Hunter 18 / barbarian 2.

Second question is what primary stat to use:
  • STR: pros - works with every weapon, easiest stat to boost, zero P2P requirements; cons - need to invest in a secondary stat for a Battle Trance (or skip it)
  • DEX: pros - higher AC & Reflex saves, DEX Battle Trance from Horizon Walker; cons - restricts you to Finesseable weapons or scimitars, No Step Missed costs 11-13 APs
  • INT: pros - more skill points (great for Dark Hunter trapper), INT becomes Reflex-saves stat with Insightful Reflexes, INT Battle Trance; cons - requires Harper Agent and need to spend 12 APs for INT to damage
For a melee DPS build, I prefer Dark Hunter: I solo a lot so having trap skills is helpful; and sneak attacks apply to (almost) everything if you've got a good way of proccing vulnerability (e.g., Exposing Strike) while Favored Enemy damage is situational. But I've also got all the P2P Enhancement trees so I can partially offset DH's lousy FE choices with them (e.g., FE Undead from Vistani Knife Fighter, FE Evil Outsider from Horizon Walker, etc.). It's not like you can go wrong either way; it's just about building around their fortes.

For an archer, it's a more complicated question, since Dark Hunter trades Arcane Archer for the DH tree, so you would need either Horizon Walker or play an elf race with access to their racial Arcane Archer tree.

 

C-Dog

Well-known member
Yeah, Strength-build is "easier" for several reasons, and has better DPS out of the gate (vs. waiting until Ranger 6 for Dex-to-Damage). Dex is generally better long-term re Ref ST (and doubly so for a standard Ranger that gets Evasion at Ranger 9; DH does not get this).

o Here's a sample Dex-Ranger (Dark Hunter) build: https://forums.ddo.com/index.php?threads/strimtoms-hardcore-build-guides-season-8.458/#post-2915 (race can easily be swapped)

o Here's a sample Str-Ranger build: https://forums-old.ddo.com/forums/s...ranger-build?p=6142047&viewfull=1#post6142047 (non-standard, uses maces, but shows variety possible)

(Edit - note that if you go Dark Hunter, you don't want "Quicken", you want "Accelerate" (if you're going in that direction) - diff healing mechanic.)
 
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I’m currently running a pure DH twf tempest Tabaxi Trailblazer (requires +1 Heart of wood). Any dex based race wood be ok though. I recommend dex based and dropping points in horizon walker for no missed step battle trance. I go with shadow dancer and either GMoF for drifting lotus or divine crusader for consecration. These are your cc options. Make sure you take haste boost and get extra action boosts. I recommend at least 9 haste boosts. I use Flow Piercer of Heart and a Dino crafted debuffing scimitar. Flow will give you guardbreaking which can provide some supplemental cc. Make sure you max your dodge bonus and use meld to darkness +elaborate parry for situational tanking. For game play jump into the mob, hit you cc, activate haste boost and use your tempest abilities to slice and dice. If you get in trouble activate your dodge buffs. I run high skull reaper end game with this build. Let me know if you have any questions.
 
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Teh_Troll

Well-known member
For a tempest ranger Scimitar and Dex versus Kopesh/<Knight's training weapon> and STR are about a wash when it comes to damage.

Thing is . . . if you stick around and decide you like this game and start TRing through different classes and races YMMV reusing those weapons. Long Sword is simply more versitile.

But there's no need to worry about this now, enjoy the game.
 

Br4d

Well-known member
I started a human Tempest Ranger last night just to see if my memories of STR-based Tempest were still valid. It was very good at chewing up Normal and landscape content. I went human for the extra feat so I could get Oversized Two Weapon fighting early on.

I think either choice - Dexterity or Strength is probably valid. I think for a newer player Strength offers better damage early on and also the opportunity to change weapons as the build levels to get to more efficient damage dealers.

Scimitars are the obvious choice as a Dex build and they are also likely the lowest damage viable weapons for the build.

Longswords are the initial choice for a newer player on a Str build because they are much easier to find than Khopesh and Bastard Swords and they do not require an extra early feat. They marginally out damage Scimitars and they are much easier to find also, particularly on the AH or affordably on the Astral Shard AH. There are several Longswords available early on that have better damage or crit profiles than normal and you can often find them fairly cheap on the ASAH, maybe in the 10-15 AS range.

Khopesh cost a feat and are probably not viable until level 9 on a human or level 12 on a non-human. This assuming a straight Ranger build. You want Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave and Oversized Two Weapon fighting as the first 4 feats. OTWF is important when you are running Power Attack and already -5 to hit. Khopesh significantly out-damage Longswords.

Bastard Swords cost a feat, see above for the timing when they become viable. Bastard Swords significantly out-damage most other 1-handers and have better damage and crit profiles options available early on.

Dwarven Axes have a similar overall damage profile to Bastard Swords however there are no special damage or crit profiles on early Dwarven Axes making them inferior to Bastard Swords overall.
 

Stratiotis

Well-known member
Dex for Tempest will probably keep a new player alive longer while you gather player xp, PLs, reaper points, etc.
Been Sexy Dexy Tempest for better half of a decade.
OP, If you're on Orien, hit me up if you need some guidance. There are plenty of others in game that can offer some detailed guidance; but for now, make sure you're enjoying the game. Tempest are not the easiest to run as a new player, but arguably the most survival-able higher end DPS in game. (NOT a gauntlet throw down to other melees, just words of encouragement)
 

Kalibano

Build Designer. Having fun since 2006!
Hi @Needles

Just thought I could link you up with my Dark Hunter build, in case it gives you some useful ideas/inspiration.

It uses rapiers, but v easy to go with Scimitars, instead. Some of the key adjustments I would make if you go scimitars:
> improved critical slashing, rather than piercing
> you can drop the weapon finesse feat and pick an extra feat of your liking in its place
> Deepwood Stalker's T2 Improved Weapon Finesse won't be needed either, as you can get DEX to hit and damage via Tempest. So you might want to spend those action points on something else

Hope this is useful for you: Dark Hunters are a great archetype to play!
 
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unbongwah

Well-known member
waiting until Ranger 6 for Dex-to-Damage
If you take Weapon Finesse at level 1, you can have DEX to damage from Improved Weapon Finesse at level 2. Later you can swap out Weapon Finesse + IWF once you have the Tempest level 1-6 cores; or keep it if you want to use rapiers.

Which is one of those little tricks that a DDO newbie isn't going to know, so it's a good thing OP came here first. ;)
 

C-Dog

Well-known member
Thanks folks....a lot to mull over here :)
There is, and apologies for that. I remember being new and getting the same "6 of one, half a dozen of the other" responses - interesting, informative, but not the definitive response I was hoping for.

And that's largely because there is none, except re each individual play style. And you won't really know your playstyle in the game until you try each in the game - only your own experience will reveal what you like best.

So, if none of the options screams out at you, just toss a coin, go with whatever - none of the suggestions above will suck, and your choice might be the right guess - and you'll only know by playing it.

Let us know what you choose, and how it works.

And haff fun stomin' da cassul!
o/
 
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Br4d

Well-known member
Wasted feat. If you have a solid to-Hit stat, the diff is imperceptible 99% of the time (maybe more).

No tomes, 1st life, power attack running. This was about being able to hit well at level 6 not level 26. :)
 
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