Build Reviews: Fighter & Ranger

This is so overdue but I really need to get it done so that my OCD won’t drive me nuts.

Prior to completing my long awaited TR project, here are my thoughts on the previous 6+ lives! Due to the fact that I spent the most time grinding ITRs/ERs here, there will be just general posts on the overall lives.

So the first Fighter life was a Shadar Kai split of 18/2 – I recall that I was trying to test this version out just because I remembered how much faster the life goes if you’re part trapper. Standard Shadar Kai appearance with the blond pony-hawk, and it was a great life! Evasion was killer, and being INT secondary spec really helped my tactical DC’s, thus giving me a form of CC by Stunning Blow. It would later become nearly comparable to that of a pure Fighter. Completely trap capable too, and I enjoyed the INT benefits to reflex saves via Insightful Reflexes. What this build really reminded me of was a Ranger almost with trap capabilities as I was also TWF, but with a side of tankiness.

I then decided to try pure, beginning with a sword and board Vanguard build. As usual, Vanguard is pretty strong (I really don’t understand why people don’t play more of these!) and having over 120 in Stunning Shield was… stunning. 🙂 I once again remembered the awesome sauce of Stone Wall, so that was like double the CC abilities. And really, having so much shield bash % along with a strong shield (e.g. Madstone Aegis, Ultimatum) was as if I was striking with two weapons. Thank goodness Sera kept all those shields!

Being so tanky, I was able to really withstand a whole lot better than Paladin honestly, PRR wise. Sure, there is not a real reliable form of self heal, but being more DPS spec, I was able to take the hits and deal damage as well. Again, in this life, I picked up Harper enhancements and boosted my INT, so I was able to reach crazy tactical numbers. And being pure, I got to get all of the feats I needed and would like, with an extra splurge feat spent on the Artificer Past Life; now that’s surplus!

Of course, I loathed these PDK lives, but it is what it is if I want to play pure, at least iconically. The next PDK life I played was a Kensei THF, also focused in the Legendary Dreadnought ED. This one was slightly more DPS spec than the Vanguard life, but in turn it lost some defenses albeit not by much at all. I saw some reeeally nice crits using an Epic Sword of Shadows that I finally decided to craft on Sera instead of Syl, which was a tough but practical decision. I remember this one I had a short metallic magenta bob as a PDK and I kind of looked pretty spunky with it, which is what I was going for. 🙂

Another life was a TWF PDK this time, and it was practically the same as THF except TWF catered. Playing all different fighting styles as a Fighter really taught me the pros and cons of each – and TWF happens to be so that it is the fastest melee combat wise to build Blitz. Weapon wise across all of these lives were mildly limited to good but not optimal weapon choices (ESOS, Celestia, Balizarde, Ultimatum, etc).

On the final TR life in the Fighter bracket, I did an HTR this time with Viestra and I have to admit it really sucked because that first life was an AA build. It was great for single target boss DPS, mediocre at best across all else. Compared to Vie, it didn’t feel very useful or complimentary, which was probably because she in turn was an SOS wielding Barbarian in heroics which naturally kills everything (I would know because of Shyvanae and she’s a first life). In epics it was a whole lot better mostly due to the EDs, which I know is a bit of a handicap to me and portrays my true abilities/skills. I also have to note that Viestra’s game play in her first time as a Barbarian (I think?) was quite impressive – I often learn a lot just by watching people play or comment on their build, and she was one of them!

AA Fighter was all in all fun – the primary build split was an 18/1/1 Fighter/Artificer/Favored Soul. I absolutely love the Half Elf emotes, and almost even debated going Helf for the final life. Of course, I didn’t want to give up any important feat though. 😦 But it was my first time trying out the race on Sera particularly, and I was overall happy about it. I did feel a lot of frustrations about bow damage, but it was more of the inherent nature about bow builds rather than a lack of DPS specifically by the character. I like them, but I don’t think they suit Sera herself, as I am accustomed to her AoE most of the time. I guess I had the wrong expectations!

Because of such frustrations, I decided to go THF again. It was by far the easiest of all three types and simple; there was no weapon upgrading after ESOS. This build was a lot simpler, although I cannot say better or worse than any other variants above – Helf is certainly not needed for this race as well, so there definitely could be improvements in terms of optimum. Being 1 Favored Soul though gave me enough reason to invest into CHA, which allowed me to gain up to +5 more points to all saves via racial enhancements, and +will saves via Force of Personality. So that worked out well! And of course, 1 Artificer for traps + utility! 🙂

But jeez, I don’t get why everyone thinks Helves are ugly (well, OK kind of) but I really love their looks and emotes!

Alas, I was too sentimental to TR into the next set (Ranger) and was considering RTR except it wasn’t dual like ITR. So I simply moved on!

Every life that I began as a Ranger was a Human 18/1/1 Ranger/Fighter/Artificer split. Very similar to the earlier Helf template. While the 1 feat from Fighter seemed miniscule, I needed it to fit in everything; I was so used to Fighter’s bonus feats gosh dang it!

I can’t quite remember how these went in terms of progression, but I remember I boxed the last two lives. While it wasn’t a long experience, I spent most of the Ranger life in the first one where I stayed in epics knock out the final ERs. Ranger definitely would be superier in terms of TWF speed and DPS, except an 18th level Ranger is almost equivalent to a 20th level Fighter, in my opinion (at least based on my experience between these two). Since I couldn’t really go pure as a Ranger after loathing the pure Fighter lives so much I vowed to splash at least 1 Artificer or 2 Rogue, I decided to splash so on every subsequent life. Hence the lack of a pure Ranger evaluation, as much as I would like to give one. I’m sure that it would be much greater in DPS standards compared to a pure Fighter TWF. They’d both be strong, but Ranger would just be more raw DPS. A Fighter TWF seems to have a mix; high defenses, tactical abilities to incapacitate, while Ranger has other capabilities such as self heals, Evasion, and ranged abilities. If I had to prefer one, I’d honestly prefer a Fighter TWF.

All in all, I’d like to wrap up the last of these build reviews. I don’t think I will doing these for a long time, until the next build I TR out of or into becomes of topic. These are great to reflect upon, and I write them so that I never forget, knowing me haha. But playing the game takes a lot of time, and alas I am out of that.

To me in the future who reads back on these posts like a dork: thank you for trying out all of the current classes and spending a year to learn and play, expanding your perspectives on more than just the Favored Soul. Of course, there is more to learn, so get back out there! Perhaps in the future you will do more reincarnations to come – and if not, don’t sweat it, and absolutely the most important thing: have fun! That was something hugely lacking in most of these lives after all; not playing the class you know you want to play sucks. This TR project is proof of that!


Seraphemia’s Lineage

So I was thinking about this during class and just couldn’t pin down one exact lineage for Sera, as weird as that sounds. This will be my brainstorm/finalization platform!

Originally, I didn’t go too far into detail about her lineage, other than that she was 1/4th Aasimar (mother being an Aasimar herself while the father was pure Human). But now, as I come up with her appearance (since bloodline is so important to the final look in determining what traits she will have), I thought maybe I should settle this once and for all! 😀

She definitely needs to carry some kind of primary celestial archon + human blood in her veins, but I was thinking of having a small percentage of inheritance from certain races like ghaele or solar celestial, high elf (eladrin) or fey, and avoral celestial. So why these in particular?

  • Brilliant topaz/gold/amber/caramel eyes (solar)
  • Petite, fairy like figure/height (high elf, fey)
  • Feathers in her hair or as eyelashes, covering shoulder tops (avoral celestial*)

*This trait could be inherent in some Aasimars, but the feathers in the hair particularly was something I was thinking of.

These are just simple, singular qualities that I could just tack on the whole Aasimar spiel, but I felt like it would be kind of cool to map out a more intricate bloodline. While she would be regarded mostly as an Aasimar/Human, this would play more into the whole idea of loss of identity and thus the search for it. I also like the idea of a blended bloodline than just a one singular, pure race, making her ethnically ambiguous which plays into the idea of “universal beauty” or something like that.

I realized I tend to make all the females in her lineage as the celestial blooded as opposed to the father, which might be more of a bias on my part. Not sure if I want to keep it that way as it doesn’t really matter which side gets the celestial blood, but maybe would be cool, even mystical, for trivia bit – similar to how all females in my family are born in January (winter babies, yeah!!).

I even wrote up a spreadsheet detailing the lineage. Here is the chart detailing the basic lineage tree. I may go back and make further changes (this is why I can never be a writer – I change my mind way too much and its hard to fit it into the story once its already written LOL). While I wanted to do the math and calculate the exact percentages of celestial/other blood types, well, math is math. 😛