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.

Fighter
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!

Ranger
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!

😛

TR Project Status: Complete

So, this is kind of weird. I finished the TR project like, nearly 11 days ago. Oops.

But I finally have the time to detail how I’ve been feeling. Yay!

I started the TR project more than a year ago. When I first left my happy but determined Favored Soul life, I was strongly motivated to have it done in months. Which soon stretched to even more months. Past a year. And finally now.

Over the course of this project, I really wanted to make a special post and celebrate the day of, no, the second I became a triple Heroic/Epic/Iconic completionist. But I lulled in doing so, I continued to march towards cap, and here I am now. To be honest I don’t know exactly how I’ve been feeling, considering my doubts and fears about reaching the final life. In truth, its actually kind of… scary. When change becomes the new norm, not changing at all becomes something I would have never imagined. However, I’ve learned and experienced so much more in gain.

I was able to learn each class and appreciate their needs, play styles, and builds. I learned that I really loved playing an Assassin Rogue, and that I could build FVSesque casters out of a non-traditional caster like Bard. I’m really conscious about the toon appearance, so I always played Sun Elves. I adored Deep Gnomes for their size and bounces (jumping), and loathed PDK for their “bounces” (size). I met so many new people throughout the TR trains, and new guildies over time. I buddied with friends as TR partners or groups, then would disband and freely do my thing for a few lives, band together with another friend, and roam free yet again. I compromised min-max’ing XP/min to the rate of enjoyment. I was reminded of the scars that were reopened when I tried Heroic TR’ing; and with that, came the ultimate doubt. The fear of being in this lukewarm trap, where I would never be home in Epics nor Heroics ever again. That after a whole year, whether or not I would love Favored Soul the way I once did.

Well there are two things right now that I have come to realize for sure. One, that I do still love Favored Soul and remember how to play one again. And Two, that I have this crumbling feeling about the build.

Because the build hasn’t been updated in more than a year, I can understand that it is just bound to not be the same as it once was. But after running R1 Slave Lords today in part 1, I just felt crushed. It didn’t help that running in MJ’s R4 Temple of Vol also shattered a part of my FVS pride. One thing I know is that the last thing I want Sera to be is to be a mediocre caster that was forced into mediocre healing.

So I have so many running doubts in the back of my mind lately, and another includes Sera’s SP pool. Perhaps swapping Arcane Prodigy for Completionist really threw me off the bubble, and it shouldn’t surprise me, but it’s certainly not the same anymore. She can barely break 6K, which I don’t remember her “barely” having, although she is running a wisdom build. I strongly doubt she will be able to break 8K, but another part of me is also determined. Whatever it takes, I will have to find a way to fulfill the goals and plans that are still yet to be fulfilled. Even after her TR project, there is still so much more work to do. And deep down, I come to the dreaded resolution, the fact that even though I say to let me finish this project, or this thing, that goal, etc. – that I will never actually tend to the real things that do matter.

Aside from that, this project has given me both so many good and bad things, both of which I embrace and have come to accept deep down. It doesn’t really feel like such an accomplishment, just a title, as many players have done this before, without “cheating” (i.e. Otto boxes, etc.), but as I’ve mentioned before in the past prior to beginning it – as long as I’m having fun and gaining or learning something out of it, it is all right. 🙂

After that celebratory day (well, I celebrated alone in my mind :P), I began to think of so many stories or background for Sera. I changed her surname (finally!), so that her full name reads: Seraphemia Sweetsilk Celestiara. Why the unnecessary long name? Beats me.

But really, as much as the last name Sweetfrost is special to her, I wanted to change it because… to be honest, I didn’t really like it anymore. It became something that was just almost, I guess, pathetic with no real meaning. But I knew that from the start of the project I wanted to change her last name as a part of her story – that she would come to the pinnacle point of her life where she becomes realized of her true identity as an Aasimar celestial princess. And perhaps a goddess, I don’t know, I still haven’t made up her story haha! 😛 Again, I’m the worst writer, I just can’t make up my dang mind! At this point all the stories’ events are dreams. Psyche!

To break it apart, Celestiara was finally decided on as her proper surname because I wanted to associate Sera with Celestia, the astral plane of perfection and pure goodness. Essentially, heaven, her celestial home/world. At first I had just wanted to do Celestia, but then I didn’t want to just rip off a name from a weapon or a MLP character. By the way, I did look into that and finally browsed around the MLP fandom wiki. Interesting stuff and show, and I finally read up more about where the Celestia, Brightest Star of Day weapon reference comes from, but perhaps I’ll watch the show someday. I’m only really interested in Celestia appearances just because of this, haha!

Sweetsilk was just something that I came up with because A) I needed a four letter word that was cute after “Sweet,” and B) coincidentally, it could be a code name for velvet. Because you know, there’s nothing more that sums up me than velvet. 😛

But I had the hardest time deciding this. I wanted to do Sweetstar Celestiara, but then it would sound too repetitive. However this would have so much more meaning to me because in the Warrior Cat series, the nomenclature there would fit perfectly here (upgrading the second part of the combined name to “star” signifies the leadership position of a clan). I’m still deciding to be honest even now and may change it to that someday or sometime, but I don’t know.


In the end, the 2016 Triple-Triple Completionist Project finally came to a close. A few people noticed the name change, others congratulated, one rejoiced in my return as a FVS, and it was an interesting experience. I kind of almost feel that a lot of people expect a lot out of me now, but honestly I think I just need to learn how to balance. No more binge hosting raid nights to the point of exhaustion, but no exclusive seclusion. It almost feels like I don’t really belong anywhere now for some reason. But in my determination, I am motivated to change that, where I can work hard, this time to polish my character in the end game scene. I have a lot to brush up on in terms of playing skills, and many items to grind for. All in all… to those who seek advice in whether or not they should embark on such a project… don’t.

😛

Just kidding, in all seriousness, do whatever your heart sets out to do, and make sure the task gets completed. I promise, there is no greater feeling, especially for the mind of the OCD, than that.

Reincarnation Track Update

…Ugh-gain.

Man, I get tired of rewriting the reincarnation track, but it happens because of updates and all. Meh.

If I don’t write out these things I literally will think about the TR plans all day, for days or weeks, so here I am, writing it out.

So here is the new plan, with added lives. Kill me nao.

Current Life: 18/1/1 Fighter/Artificer/Favored Soul, Half Elf
Fury of the Wild, Kensai

  • ER: Doubleshot – AA spec, Fury
  • ER: Doubleshot – Kensai spec, Fury
  • ER: Doubleshot – Direct TR

1st Ranger: 18/1/1 Ranger/Artificer/Wizard, Deep Gnome
Fury of the Wild, Deepwood Sniper (regain Primal karma)

  • ER: Power over Life and Death – Tempest spec, Divine Crusader

2nd Ranger: 18/1/1 Ranger/Artificer/Cleric, Sun Elf
Fury of the Wild, Arcane Archer

  • ER: Power over Life and Death – Tempest spec, Divine Crusader

3rd Ranger: 18/1/1 Ranger/Artificer/Cleric, Sun Elf
Divine Crusader, Tempest

  • ER: Power over Life and Death – Tempest spec, Divine Crusader

Racial Reincarnations

  • Human 18/2 Warlock/Rogue (Fiend)
  • Human 18/2 Warlock/Rogue (Fiend)
  • Half Elf 18/2 Warlock/Rogue (Fey)
  • Half Elf 18/2 Warlock/Rogue (Fey)
  • Dragonborn 18/2 Warlock/Rogue (GOO)
  • Dragonborn 18/2 Warlock/Rogue (GOO)

So… 16-18 (haven’t decided if I want to flesh out the rest of Dragonborn and Half Elf lives – Human is left alone so that the future TR project allows Sera to TR once more without wasting a PL) more lives from now I’ll finally be “done.” I decided against doing some of the other lives that I would have because I am just that desperate to get back to Favored Soul.

I have, I believe, 2 Heroic and 1 Epic boxes. I’ve been debating on finally using them, and maybe even buying more when they go on sale. I’m thinking to save 1 of the boxes for the final Favored Soul life, and use 1 of each heroic and epic for the final of each reincarnation types (so the final Ranger ER life and the final Dragonborn life). Wish I had more boxes, but I also don’t really want to cough up the cash. 😦

Welp, at least I can look back and track the slow but certain progress. Maybe I’ll make it right on time for an exact one year anniversary of Favored Soul “free.” *cries*

😦

Feeling Productive!

Woo!

Two nights ago, I got Sera to about a third into level 27 from halfway of 24. That was about 3 levels in a day! Now she is ready for to start her last two Block Energy EPLs.

More and more I realize that I follow a pattern of remission in my productivity. A week of boosted (often in fury/frustration) productivity, and maybe 1-2 weeks of decline. This is beyond frustrating overall but I have to see that I also have been at this for almost a whole year now. It is only natural.

Still, that is partly what this entire documentation of this TR project is for. It keeps me on my toes, organizes my thoughts in how much work is left, and for the future, for me to fondly read over again.

So far, I have these past lives left in this revised plan (after the ER that I will do later today):

  • {Current – 2nd} Fighter Life (PDK 20 Fighter)
    • Block Energy x1
  • >> {3rd} Fighter Life (Elf 18/1/1 Fighter/Artificer/Bard)
    • Fortification x3
    • Doubleshot x3
  • >> {1st} Ranger Life
    • Power Over Life and Death
  • >> {2nd} Ranger Life
    • Power Over Life and Death
  • >> {3rd} Ranger Life
    • Power Over Life and Death

Total Left: 10 Epic Reincarnations, 4 Heroic/Iconic Reincarnations

I’m kind of on the cuff of going Half Elf versus Elf on the third Fighter life, but currently, I’ve posted Elf since I can take the Dragonmark for an Extended Displacement if needed (even though that may not be necessary with my x6 Displacement clickies).

I still have a total of 14 lives to go in general, but compared to how many I’ve done over the course of the past year (and years before that), it feels like nothing!

I’ve also come to find that just running dailies every day in whatever spare time I have is about the same as grinding sagas. It still takes about roughly a week to complete, except that I have to have at least one wilderness prepped with a Sovereign I potion burning. I also have to get a little lucky with raids, particularly a smooth LH Shroud. I’ve also expanded my horizon of “dailies” list to include various excellent xp/min quests, such as Impossible Demands. I now have a rotating cycle of dailies to run in each day, marked notably by region (Eberron, Forgotten Realms) as well as a raids section. These are, in order (and all in EN considering no first time bonus):

Eberron:

  • Spies in the House
  • Lords of Dust
  • Grim and Barrett
  • (Optional) Memoirs of an Illusory Larcener
  • Subversion
  • Chamber of Raiyum
  • Offering of Blood
  • Jungle of Khyber
  • Haywire Foundry
  • Legend of Two Toed Tobias
  • (Optional) Devil’s Assault
  • (Optional) Bargain of Blood

Forgotten Realms:

  • Through a Mirror Darkly
  • What Goes Up
  • Mask of Deception
  • Thorn and Paw
    • Only if there is at least one other person prepping half the dungeon with you for speed
  • Trial by Fury
  • House of Death Undone
  • House of Rusted Blades
  • Impossible Demands

Raids Edition:

  • Against the Demon Queen/Zawabi’s Revenge
  • Legendary Shroud
  • Legendary Tempest Spine
  • Legendary Hound of Xoriat
  • Vault/Plane of Night

And of course there are so many more other quests that if I haven’t ran on first time bonus, are great to run (such as Haunted Halls, Sable, Brothers, etc).

I hope I can keep up this productive streak so I can finally finish this gruesome project. As much fun as it is, it is also past my grinding limits. I just hope I can finish in time for the Favored Soul update.