Friday, September 23, 2011

My First Day with the Artificer

I'm writing this on the first day of Update 11...though you won't be reading it for some time yet...and I decided a long time beforehand (like as soon as I heard about them) that once it came out I'd be making an artificer. I haven't talked about the 3.5 artificer on Dungeon Brew before, but in my experience the class is one of the most OP in the game. Couple it with Warforged characters or creatures made from the Craft Construct feat and it will only get worse from there.

So, naturally, when I heard the artificer was coming to DDO I was wondering how they would balance it, and whether it would be as awesome as the artificer I knew and loved from the tabletop game.

I was not disappointed. Update 11 did more than simply port in a new arcane spellcaster with a bonus to the Cannith Crafting system, it introduced some entirely new game mechanics which make this class truly unique to play. Of course I'm referring to the Rune Arms and Pets.

Pets in particular are really interesting to me. I had always begrudged the lack of an animal companion for the Ranger and now, with this out I wonder if we won't be seeing a retrofit of the Pet mechanic to that class...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Today I made an artificer, and because I'm a true min maxer I made a warforged artificer. A lot of skill points from the class and my intelligence bonus (which had to be high as it is the driving force behind the artificer's spell points and spell difficult classes) meant that I had a lot of options available for my character. I decided to play a kind of rogue like character, dropping points in open lock, disable device, search, and a couple cross classed into move silently and hide. I also picked up Use Magic Device because that skill is truly amazing for shoring up your spellcasting capabilities.

As far as feats go I took Augment Summoning because it increases the abilities of your summons, hirelings...and also your pets.

And here I am, still talking about pets without explaining what kind of pet the artificer, an arcane caster based around constructs and magic items, could possibly have. Why, your very own construct...a little adorable iron defender. But this steel shelled puppy is nothing to be taken lightly, not with his stats and its own pool of ability points and enhancements to choose from.

I named my little Iron Defender Rusty and gave him adamantine plating and reinforced armor. With a high hit point total and a 25 to his armor class the runt of a construct is a capable tank for my caster. Not that I am weak in a fight.

Why would I be? The artificer starts with the ability to use repeating crossbows, an exotic weapon with one hell of a wallop. It fires about 3 to 5 bolts with every attack and adds my items attack bonus and property to each. Since the artificer also has rapid reload I can lay down a veritable fusillade of crossbow bolts on opponents and most of the time slay them before they even get to me. I quickly found out that this means I go through a lot of bolts however.

I never thought ammo could get so expensive, but when you're going through 200 bolts a quest then the tally adds up quickly. Not to worry though because the artificer had an answer for that in the form of one of his first level spells. Conjure Bolts allows the artificer to create 100 +1 bolts out of thin air that stay with him until you log out of your character. At the cost of 5 spell points I never have to worry about running out of ammo again.

I didn't get very far with my artificer...just under level 3. But I did level up my pet, get a feel for the character, and get my very first Rune Arm (though I've yet to give it a field test). However, the character is really fun to play, so you can expect some nice opinions and advice to get onto this blog about them soon enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment