Monthly Archives: October 2011

Mabar, Animus and you.

Funny story (not really).

My guild leader wants me to jump on my horc fighter because
it’s better to have him than my squishy Artificer. I don’t mind; we’re going to
run EDA and the rune arm out of there is BTA anyways.

So we’re generally talking about 30+ minutes of grinding HP
with 2 devil bosses that’ll clobber you good. We got there; my guildleader is a
many times TRd wizard and his CC and insta kill is top notch.

And after much pain, no deaths and lots of shavarath
critters killed we have 3 chests; 2 trash and 1 Epic.

The healer in the group asked – who wanted Animus? I said I
did – and she gave it to me. As I picked it up my wonderful dying APC decided
to shut off again. And 4-5 minutes later when I finally came back I was
standing outside the quest and the group was half gone and the other chattering
about what was going to happen next (EOOB). And while I got the rune arm, I
never got the end Epic chest.

Much pain.

The rune arm is everything I figured it would be – the banishing
effect doesn’t seem to work – don’t know why (I reported it as a Bug) but the
exploding fire shot is exactly what I thought it would be.

It’s going to be very nice and useful in the Mabar event and
I re-specced my enhancements to be a full line of acid (for my other rune arm)
and fire. I also crafted another trinket with greater fire lore – so I can take
advantage of max fire damage in every shot.

In the end I might settle for Force and Lightning since if I
pull the Mindsunder one and Toven’s Hammer those will most likely be the
primary ones. So it would make sense to enhance those two lines the most.

My hope is that I finally get the seal to the elemental ring
out of a small problems. The Epic ring has superior elemental damage (60% on
fire, acid, cold and lightning) with archmagic.

That would help me boost the acid and fire line somewhat
whenever I switch over to it. I also hope to have the blue scale armor so I
have greater arcane lore and don’t have to bother or worry about crafting
specific elemental type lore. And since lightning works nicely on devils that
would be the primary devil bashing rune arm and with lightning motes spell the
target will be temporarily vulnerable to lighting damage which is perfect for
Toven’s hammer.

But force damage works nicely too and on most critters in
the game, so between those weapons I will be well covered.

It would’ve been nice if Mabar stuck around until Sunday,
but it’s coming back very soon anyways. It will be fun to see how tactical
detonation will work together in tandem with Animus. I know it can be pretty
devastating since I did a quest with undead in it and one mummy was hit for
700+ in fire damage. And I’ve seen everything from the low 100’s to 500’s. And
that’s not bad when used together with tactical detonation. Put plainly; it’s
going to be murder.  

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Artificer and Mabar (Cont.)

I did forget another infusion spell that Artificers have to add that little extra – Insightful Damage.

Insightful damage allows a Artificer to use their Int modificer as additional damage on the main weapon, making the repeater DPS much better.

So to repeat – first I have the holy damage from the triple holy GS repeater, then 1d6 light damage from the event potion, 1d6 fire damage from Elemental damage infusion, then Insightful Damage added the main damage, then the acid damage from the rune arm and finally greater disruption damage which is the primary bonus for a triple holy GS repeater.

That’s a lot of damage.

But that’s not the only way to add additional damage. If you don’t have a triple GS repeater (which adds disruption damage) you can look for the rune arm hand of tombs. It’s very rare and drops out of the Wizardking quest in the sands (option 3 chests).  It adds light damage to the repeater (only tier 3 I think) and disruption to the main weapon.

And you have Animus; exploding fire shot charged attack and fire damage to the main weapon.

Then you have Toven’s Hammer that adds a lightning strike proc to the main weapon and lighning damage to the main weapon.

It’s safe to say that a Artificers ability to dish out dps is not limited to a smaller SP pool and the repeater alone but properly concerted adds 3 ways to destroy undead. And like so many things it’s not limited to one or two main ways of dispatching undead, but several different tactics dependent on the combination of gear.

This is unlike the pirate event where I felt the Artificer was good but certainly not better than a arcane or pure physical DPS. While I could dominate certain areas with tactial detonation and repeater it was very hard to effectivly dispatch large groups any better than any other classes.

And while Artificer are not perfect undead killers they do bring a lot of ways to get rid of them in many inventive ways.

That’s not to say divine or arcane caster don’t have theirs. I have to wait a couple of seconds when a mob first spawns before I can throw a tactical detonation. To early and it’s wasted and to late and others will have nuked them by then. Arcanes can use their acid rain – I saw that in use very effectivly since it last for a while and you can pre-cook the mob before firing off something else.

And I also saw several divines that would use firestorm since between the time you cast it and the effect takes place the mob will already be active. Which seems to be ideal since as a divine you don’t have to time things right.

Tactalicious and craftalicious; Mabar, Artificer and you

I’ve found that of all my toons using my artificer in the Mabar event have been the smoothest and greatest so far. Even better than my divine and I dearsay better than arcanes that I play with.

And that’s not to say that arcanes (be it wizard or sorc) doesn’t have a wider selection of nukes, but I say ‘better’ in the sense that Artificer bridges the gap between physical DPS (such as beating on something with a melee or ranged weapons) and arcane/divine dps.

When I play my ranger or fightier it basically boils down to 1 or two weapons, chase whatever I’m killing and beat it to a pulp. In groups it’s kind of pointless since by the time I finish off a undead a arcane caster have already AOE’d my victim and the group it arrived in.

With my divine it’s similar to a arcane caster; use a mass heal or any other AOE (like firestorm, cometfall or any of the other cure masses) and ‘nuke’ a group of undead. And anyone that survive requires another nuke.

Artificer have 3 things at their disposal. A ‘nuke’ spell called tactical detonation, the trusted repeater and the rune arm.

First off the repeater – mine is a triple holy GS one. That adds greater disruption as primary bonus and lots of holy damage. Add to that the rune arm out of the madness chain in tower of twelve. I do have the light damage one from subt rare, but the rune arm charged attack is very innacurate. The acid one is 5 bolts, 1 in center and 2 to the side. It’s also ‘heat’ seeking with a pretty good chance of hitting. Ideally I’d love the Animus one – that’s a exploding fire bolt. But the one I use is as good as any and the primary form of attack is still the spell tactical detonation.

What makes that one so good is that it has 3 different types of damage. Fire, sonic and force. And all of them hurt. I also use a trinket with lower empower cost (II) and greater acid lore. And to my rune arm I crafter greater fire lore. And as enhancements I added 40% acid and force damage with 8% chance to crit on both with a 75% crit boost.

The cool thing with Artificers is that rune arms charged attacks are enhanced by items and enhancement lines. That makes their attack a lot more potent. As such my acid bolts generally crit for everything from the high 100’s to 500. And the tactical detonation with it’s fire damage part crits for 400 in average. So whatever is left after that spell can be taken care of by the repeater and the rune arm charged attack. I’ve managed to really hurt the lich like that.

Another thing is that the rune arm always add additional damage to the primary weapons. So the acid one adds a good 15-20 average acid damage to every shoot, followed by tons of holy, the greater disruption damage and if I want to spend the motes – 1d6 of light damage by drinking that potion.

And on top of that I always add Elemental damage infusion fire – which adds 1d6 fire to every single shot.

That’s tons of damage. I rarely have to move much – my runearm acid bolts and my repeater will move down mobile undead and my tactical detonation will severly fry large mobs. And that’s why it’s a perfect bridge between arcane and regular DPS with a lot less use of resources.

Finally – the pet.

I outfitted my pet with a disruption module and it’s fully capable of insta killing undead, but it also adds that extra disruption damage to every single hit. It can either be used to agro undead or simply clean up. Since I also gave it the agro line of enhancement it have a tendency to agro nearby undead so they surround my pet (I give it blur via scroll and stone skin for extra survival) and one tactical detonation later there’s not much to clean up.

One nice additional benefit of the tactical detonation spell is that it comes with a chance to knock down the opponent, which will help in crowd control and especially against combating survivals.

Figuring out stuff I want for Christmas

I have finally figured out what I need to gear out my Artificer.

First of 3 GS items – ConOp SP necklace, HP Min II Bracers and all immunity helmet. Add the belt from Shavarath with Con +6 and greater false life and you have 85 additional (adding the toughness feat augment to a epic item) HP and 150 SP.

Epic wise I’m looking at the Epic ring of Buccaneer (already have it), Elemental ring from Carnival and the Mirror cloak. That’ll add blur, a lot of added damage to spells and archmagi.

For weapons I will be happy with my current triple positive GS repeater and my soon to be finished Vacuum.

For runearms I’m looking at the subt one (have it) the madness one out of 12 (have it), Animus (devils assault), Lucid Dreams (Mindsunder) and Toven’s Hammer (Cannith raid). That’s a diverse sets of arms with all kind of unique abilities.

I want to add fire or electric absorb to any of the rune arms for that additional benefit.

I already have the tinkerer’s unlocked set (goggle and gloves) and I’m still open for the trinket slot. Maybe a Epic one like the CC looking glass (have it), maybe a crafted one with ranged alacrity or a different Epic one.

And finally the House of Cannith boots (already have them).

Finally armor – I’m leaning towards a blue scale dragon armor or dragontouched. Personally I’d love the greater arcane lore on the dragon scale armor, but it would be nice if I had a dragontouched with a third tier smiting rune as well.

The worst items to create are the GS conop and Min II. We’re talking about 10 LDS and 11 large stones for those alone (amongst all other resources). And since you can’t put on 3 GS items without cleansing 2 first we’re talking about 40 Shroud runs before I could even think about using them all.

 I have 4 toons that can run Shroud so I’m not worried about having enough mats in the end of those 40 runs, but we’re talking about over a month of running shroud in every opportunity that I can.

 

Here’s a breakdown of all the mats needed. I have some already but the stones and scales will be gone as soon as I pull the supreme shard for my Vacuum repeater.

Arrowhead

Bones

Chains

Scales

Shrapnels

Stones

Supreme

2

1

2

2

2

3

1

             

4

2

3

5

5

5

2

4

1

5

5

3

6

2

             

 

 

Flagging and puttin’ on the big boy decider pants.

I’ve decided to make a Vacuum repeater – 15% absorption, shock burst and blast. I have all the mats except a supreme shard and hopefully I’ll pull one soon. It’s not like I need one NOW. But it would be nice to have fun for some of the big fights ahead.

I ended up flagging for the new raids; did blown to bits and powerplay. Powerplay took a while but never presented itself a big challenge – blown to bits however with the big iron golem did. I’ve kicked it’s rear before with my FvS – when you have tons of SP and plenty of blade barriers it’s a matter of going around the track. And if you help out by stacking DOTs then it just goes faster.

10 or more BB’s later and my Arti ran out of juice so I ended up firing off about 1000 sturdy bolts and 30 minutes later running in circles the golem fell.

And the chest had nothing but garbage in it.

In fact all chests had garbage; not even the good stuff.

But then I didn’t do it for the ‘stuff’.

Now all I have to do is to wait for any good PUG and hopefully I can get it done and start collecting all that stuff and perhaps even one more lesser power cell so I can unlock the tinkerers set.

Earlier – trying to pull 2 chipmunk funk for the repeater – my FvS ran Dust out of Vale 4 times.

And all 4 times took forever. Simply because unlike the times when you jump up on the second floor and find the book right away, twice it was elsewhere and once it was there but then trying to find the stupid keyholder took forever.

For all it’s worth Dust can take as long as Coal Chamber; at least Coal Chamber is not a matter of random placement where you can’t kill stuff – it’s just up up up, down up up up. I don’t like coal. You can’t escape a minimum of 45 minutes just running and killing just to go all the way to the top for a less than a 3 minute fight.

I did coal chamber when leveling my Arti and it was during the 20% additional XP – so even on normal did I pull a good 20k+ XP. Vale is good for that.

DPS or more SP, that is the question.

I’m asking myself a serious question – would a con op SP item have a greater impact on my overall game play than say a repeater with disintegration or Vacuum II.

Naturally a SP item would add a slow version of SP regeneration through taking a truck ton of hits – and the result is that I can cast more spells. But unlike my FvS the arty doesn’t really have the SP bar nor the spells to be a true pure arcane type DPS character. Sure – BB and tactical detonations are fun – but the idea of having my artis head as target practice to slowly regain SP seems vastly more different than my FvS with all that DR and some nice insta kill abilities.

On the other hand – adding a disintegration or Vacuum II repeater adds additional ways of killing arti style. Add Toven’s Hammer and you have a lightning strike added to it. Not only that; every single rune arm that enhanced the repeaters overall DPS by something like banishing (animus) or disintegration (hand of tombs) would also have some additional procs in the way of Vacuum or disintegration. Disintegration being untyped and therefore a premium ability against all critters. And vacuum being good since so many upper crafting recipes require soul stones – and there’s no easier and cheaper way to make soul stones than using a vacuum weapon.

Gear should enhance important features of a build and not corn hole things we like. I want nothing more than SP regeneration but it wouldn’t alter my play style a whole lot. For most part my arti will still use runearm and repeater for DPS and only in raid situations do I blow all my SP on arcane DPS to add that little extra something. For most part I’ll throw a tactical detonation just to clear assaulting mobs, but it’s the repeater followed by my rune arm that cleans up the mess.

And for every single GS item I can think of that I got for my other characters I can now get through end game stuff and Epic gear.

And a fully unlocked Toven’s hammer provides a torc like ability anyways and I can always add a con op over time and when other PrEs are released.

Point is; having alternative DPS that fits the class is sometimes as tempting as the supporting items. While a SP con op item seems like a good thing, the extra 150 SP won’t mean much and 1 con op item is generally not enough to keep up with the needs of a arcane caster.

Maybe I’ve already made up my mind?

Progress

So I got myself a triple GS xbow. Tier 1 and 2 holy (and burst) and tier 3 30% heal amp. I also managed to pull the light based rune arm out of subt rare chest. That’s more light damage, deathblock and all weapons are considered silver. That’s pretty nice since it cuts down on needing to load silver bolts.

For the immediate future I’m thinking con op bracers of SP, the Epic mirror cloak and the Epic elemental ring out of Carnival. I only need the seals so here’s hoping for some Epic groups. When that’s all said and done I will probably start working on the new alchemy stuff. Personally my arti doesn’t really need something out of there – but I could see myself getting something for all the rest of my high level toons. I definitely want the fabricators gloves for my melee. I wouldn’t need to slot alacrity trinkets or even Jorgundals collar if that was the case. I could either go either go with the ToD tempest necklace on my ranger for more DPS or the torc for SP when soloing.

My horc would be able to equip the CC trinket with shocking blow instead of a melee alacrity trinket; adding a little bit more DPS in the process. I am curious about U12 tho. Because I’m interested in finding out whatever other items they have planned or more importantly, to see what direction they’re taking. Especially on the PRe front. I want to pretend that they’re serious about finishing the PRes but I have a feeling that we’ll see more content, more crafting and less finishing off old promises.

One can always hope; maybe a better balancing of the Epic stuff so there’s a reason to run them again.