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How Not to Hork Up Your DDO Character

September 11, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

How Not to Hork Up Your DDO Character – Multiclassing

This is not a post on how to min/max a character build in DDO.  If you want that go visit the forums, they are up to date. Mainly I wanted to do a quick post on things to look out for when you make your character in DDO.

Multiclassing

DDO is built upon the 3.5 edition of D&D’s pen and paper role playing game system. At its core, in the underlining math used in the system, the classes are all fairly balanced with each other – in terms of PvE that is, not so much in PvP. In that there is not much give, you can not make an uber sword wielding, magic using, healing, trap springer.  You can make someone who can do all those things, but you’re going to find him less than “uber” at all of them.

It should be noted that every class excels in at least one thing and then has a few other abilities to give them some variety. Normally if you are looking to multiclass it’s to because you want to swap the classes “lesser” abilities with something you like better.

A few things to get started:

Class level – the level you are with a specific class. A Fighter3/Rogue5 is considered a level 3 Fighter and a level 5 Rogue for determining class specific abilities.

Overall Level – Your total combined level. A Fighter3/Rogue5 is considered an 8th level character.

——

class_wizardWizard – Generally a bad idea to take another class beyond one level before coming back to a Wizard.

Difficulty – They gain access to new spells at odd levels, while expanding the number of spells they can have memorized at every level. Also damage done by most spells increases with every Wizard level you have. Deviate too long from the class and you’ll find yourself well behind the power curve. In addition, almost all armor/shields have a Spell Failure rate which will give you a % chance to fail (up to 100%) every time you cast while wearing armor.

Benefit –Taking a single level in the Wizard class will grant you the ability to use any arcane wand in game (with no worry of Spell Failure rate from armor), so long as you are the right Overall Level. Provided you have at least an 11 in the INT stat you will also gain 2 spells to cast; while damage spells should be avoided, there are quite a few utility spells like Jump and Expeditious retreat at level 1 which are handy.

class_sorcererSorcerer – Kind of like the Wizard but even more penalties for Multiclassing.

Difficulty – Exactly the same problems as the Wizard, except the Sorcerer doesn’t get their first second level spell until level 4 (Wizards get’s theirs at level 3), at which point it goes to the whole every other level thing.

Benefit – Same as the Wizard, except that Sorcerers get more spell points at level 1 than Wizards do.

class_fighterFighter – Easiest to multiclass to and from. Mixing in a few levels into any melee build is a good idea.

Difficulty- Not much. However, sticking with Fighter through your whole build will give you access to 11 bonus feats over the course of 20 levels (on top of the normal 6 everyone gets) that, when combined with their Action Point options, makes a pure Fighter a force to be reckoned with in combat.

Benefit – Taking a single level in Fighter gives your character access to every Martial weapon, armor and shield available in game, as well as a good amount of hit points and a bonus feat. Not bad if you plan to use a weapon for most of your damage (as opposed to using magic).  A second level grants you another bonus feat, and then it goes to a bonus feat every even Fighter level.

class_rogueRogue – Difficult to properly multiclass but a lot of “uber” builds can be created using the Rogue’s abilities.

Difficulty – If you create a character with even one level of Rogue, people will invite you into groups assuming you will be able to Disable Traps and Open Locks. And may kick you if you can’t. It sucks, but there it is.

Benefit – A single level of Rogue gets you a access to virtually every skill and a huge chunk of skill points to spend at each level (8 + INT mod). When multiclassed with another character that uses INT as its main stat (Wizard) or someone with a lot of skill points each level (Bard/Ranger) you can keep your Rogue trap finding and lock picking abilities on par with a pure Rogue.  The Rogue’s bonus sneak attack damage to any bad guy not facing you is a nice add to any melee build.

class_rangerRanger – Most of the Ranger’s best abilities can be gained with taking only a few levels in this class.

Difficulty – Playing a pure ranger requires good Dex and Str score while also having a decent Wis and Con score. Which means that the class you are multiclassing to better be using those as their primary ability scores too or you will end up stretching yourself to thin in order to meet both class requirements.   Also Rangers have some really good abilities (like Favored Enemy) and Buff spells (like Barkskin) that require you to stick with the class for a while before you see any use from them.

Benefit – Taking one level in Ranger gives you access to all Martial Weapons, a good amount of skill points (6 + INT mod), two good saving throws (Reflex and Fortitude), as well as the Feat: Bow Strength, which is a must if you plan on using a Bow.  Also by level 11 you’ve gotten access to 3 of the 4 levels of spells as well as most of the good innate abilities; meaning you can add up to 9 levels of another class without sacrificing much.

class_paladinPaladin – Lots of good abilities but they make you work for them.

Difficulty – A Paladin is essentially a multiclass fighter/cleric with a few extra abilities to begin with, so mutliclassing again really isn’t necessary. As it is a fighting healer class, playing a Paladin you’ll need a good Str, Con and Cha score as well as a decent Dex and Wis scores, which is not easy to balance. Also while you gain access to all of their special abilities by level 6, the Action Point bonuses you get as you level will turn those abilities from good to great.  Finally, their 4th level spells are really good, but you won’t see them until level 14.

Benefit – Taking one level of Paladin gets you access to all Martial weapons, all armor a good deal of hitpoints as well as Aura of Good at level 1; which gives you a constant bonus to your Armor Class and saves against most creatures. A Second level lets you add your Cha modifier to your Saving Throws. And a 3rd level will give you immunity to Fear and Disease. All great for any “tank” build.

class_barbarianBarbarian – Not complicated.

Difficulty – The Barbarian gains some Damage Reduction at level 2 but it increases with your Barbarian levels so you need to stick with the class in order to see any real use from it. Also if you stick with the class until 20, the Action Points you will have access to will have you dealing devastating amounts of damage in combat.

Benefit – One level of Barbarian will give you access to all martial weapons, the most hit points of any of the classes as well as the Rage ability; – 2 to your Armor Class but a +4 bonus to Str and Con to insure that your enemies will fall before you do.

class_bardBard – Not ideal for Multiclassing. Shouldn’t take more than one level in another class if it’s your main.

Difficulty – Bards are mainly a support class, and while they do get their best abilities early on, you need the Action Points and class abilities you gain as you level in the Bard class to really see any use or them.

Benefit – One level of Bard will give you a good amount of skill points, access to universally useful Use Magic Device Skill, 2 good saving throws (reflex and will) and while the bonus is low at 1st level, a +1 to hit and damage from the Inspire Courage buff aint bad.

class_clericCleric – Not ideal for dipping into and out of.

Difficulty – Like Wizards, Clerics gain access to more powerful spells every other level, as well as increasing the number of spells they can have memorized every level. And like all casters most damage and healing spells increase their effectiveness the higher your Cleric level is. Deviate too long from the class and you’ll find yourself behind the power curve.

Benefit – Taking a single level in the Cleric class will grant you the ability to use any Divine wand in game, so long as you are the right Overall Level. Provided you have at least an 11 in the Wis stat you will also gain 3 spells to cast. Unlike with the Wizard there is no worry of Spell Failure rate from armor with Divine Spells.

class_favoredsoulFavored Soul – As the Sorcerer is to the Wizard; the Favored Soul is to the Cleric.

Difficulty – Exactly the same problems as the Cleric, except the Favored Soul doesn’t get their first second level spell until level 4 (Clerics get’s theirs at level 3), at which point it goes to the whole every other level thing.

Benefit – Same as the Cleric, except that Favored Souls get more spell points at level 1 than Clerics do.

class_monkMonk – Not to be Multiclassed. Ever.

Difficulty – Monks literally gain new abilities every level, up to and including 20th. They eventually get ridiculously good at combat, healing, and defense. They can solo and they can group. Anything you do other than take levels in Monk, will weaken the Monk. There’s no reason to multiclass a Monk.

Benefit – Just don’t. Seriously.

——

Like I said earlier this isn’t meant to be a definitive guide to all things related to building characters in DDO. I just wanted to get some general info out there, with so many new people coming into the game. I may delve into it some more later; get more specific with the Classes, Feats and Ability scores. What’s obvious and not so obvious about the system. I’ve played DDO on and off since it launched and DMed various DnD campaigns since 3.0 (and later 3.5) launched. Which got me pretty familiar with all the rules and the math underneath it all.

If you are looking to build out a Character and want to drop me a line, I’d be more than willing to assist. Also I’ve found a good Character Builder here, if you want to test out an idea before you spend hours leveling your character.

As it is 1 am I think I shall go to bed.  I hope this reads well when I’m awake tomorrow…

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  1. Tesh
    September 11, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I’ve long been a fan of a Ranger/Rogue/Fighter build. At least, ever since experimenting with one in Neverwinter Nights. It was a strong soloing class. I think it wound up Ranger15/Rogue3/Fighter2 or something like that. I could have min-maxed it better, I’m sure, but it was a nice dual wielding machine of soloishness with a good mix of extra abilities. Jack of all trades (nonmagical), really.

    I’m angling to do the same thing in DDO. I’m not too worried about groups wanting me to pick locks; that’s why I pick Rogue levels to start with. Well, that and Use Magical Device. As long as I can solo a lot with the build, I’m happy.

  2. September 11, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Very cool, I played the crap out of NWN and the sequal. I loved that game. I get a kick out of trying different class/race combinations. There really are a lot of possibilies.

    I hate the mentality of “you picked X class so you must do X” but in DDO there’s a lot of it. I tend to solo a or just start purposly antagonizing people that give me crap if I don’t play the type of character they think I should be playing, so it doesn’t really bother me. But I like to warn people so they know what to expect.

  3. Tesh
    September 11, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    *chuckle*
    I agree wholeheartedly. Indeed, there are a lot of possibilities, especially if you embrace just *playing* rather than trying to conquer the game or min/max the fun out of it. That’s why I tend to solo these games; I just goof around and see what I can do. I’d usually be happy if pretty much any MMO were an offline game that I could just play. I just don’t swim in the mainstream, so most of the time, all I *can* do is solo. And I like it. 🙂

    Thanks for the writeup, by the way. Good stuff! Your ntow about what others expect is fair warning, and well worth considering if you’re angling to group up. I don’t worry about it, but that doesn’t mean that I think the warning isn’t good. (I should have made that clearer. ;))

    • Tesh
      September 11, 2009 at 3:18 pm

      Hmm… “ntow” should be “note”. Not sure how I booched that one.

  4. Kenn Smith
    August 22, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Me and my son and daughter have just started playing ddo and we are looking for help with starting a group that will work well together

    I want to play a Monk my son wants to play a Barb or a Ranger my daughter wants to play a healer

    Any help you have on builds for these that will be easy enough to play for us while we learn the ropes would be great appreciated

  5. August 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Kenn,

    The game has a few pre-built options (Called “Paths”) to choose from when you first create your character. They are not the most optimized builds but they work well in the beginning and into the mid game. They are also balanced enough to give you a taste of a little bit of everything the class does in order to see what you like. As you get higher level (over level 10) you’ll definitely want to stop using them and focus on a specific build.

    Thankfully Turbine has made it so you can respec fully if you want to go back and change some things about your characters

    Heres a good breakdown of how the respec stuff works:
    http://ddowiki.com/page/Respec

    Basically what it breaks down to is that repicking enhancements is really easy. Feats can be repicked sort of easy (you need an item that drops in game or is bought through the DDO store), Repicking your skills, stats and classes is hard but doable (bought through the store).

    When you get the feel for your character I would look through here for some ideas on builds:

    http://ddowiki.com/page/Templates_for_New_Players

    Look through them, find some builds that look interesting and give them a try. A few changes here or there to make them more enjoyable – like race choices – are not going to hurt. They are all solid builds that don’t rely on ridiculous items or unlocks for them to be useful.

    Giving you an exact build is hard because people like playing a little different. A healer that wants to fight is a little different than a healer that just heals. I would still go with a Path to get a feel for the type of gameplay you like and then find a build that works for you.

    If you get an idea of what type of gameplay you want to do (do you plan on grouping with others or will it just be the three of you most of the time, anyone want to be a trap springer, anyone want to use a bow, any particular race you like to use, etc) I can definitely help pinpoint some more specific character builds for you.

    I hope you and your family enjoy the game! 🙂

  6. patrick
    September 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I agree that a monk main should not be multiclassed. But, there is something to be said for splashing 2 levels in monk, depending on the class. Specifically, I am looking at a dextrous cleric salivating over the wisdom bonus to ac, evasion at level 2, 2 extra feats, and the stance wisdom bonus. Of course, there’s something to be said for the rogue route to evasion as well.

    • September 12, 2010 at 8:55 pm

      You bring up a good point, taking a couple levels of monk to augment your primary class is not a bad idea. Its more the the idea of dabbling in other classes to pump up your monk is hard to justify. There are so many great Monk abilities at higher levels you can miss out on if you stray from the class, if its your primary. Back to what you were mentioning though, on top of the bonuses you listed, it should be noted that a monk has the best saves in the game. One level of monk increases all your saves by 2. A second level increases them all by another 1. Which can help out any build.

  7. blake
    September 12, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    just to let you guys know multiclassing monks is very possible and can lead grand and crap like rogues but i havent bother to get that far personally i went paladin/monk briefly still have the character to be able to get the ability to dual wield longswords while centerd also my main is fighter so i went look threw some of the bonuses fighters prestige class kensai also works with monks because of focus on the dam wouldnt recomend i havent botherd ethier cause i have no adventure packs so lvl would be a b!tch like i said monk/paladin was dinking around some1 mentioned this in chat cause some story or something from forgotten realmed mention paladins later on getting a choice to go monk or some bs but i figured whats the harm monks worst class to ever build in ur life time light/dark at lvl 9 light monks can rez dark monks get basicly 800 or 900 bonus dm to hit equal out so

  8. surfa
    December 7, 2010 at 2:22 am

    A lot of this information is flat out wrong. You are doing a disservice to other players by feeding them misinformation.

    Wizard: 18/2 wiz/rog is one of the most common MC in the game. The synergy is obvious.

    Bards: They should ALWAYS multiclass at LEAST 4 levels. There is VERY little reason to take a bard pure all the way to cap.

    Monks: There are a lot of solid and popular MC monk builds out there. Monk/Pal, Monk/Ftr, Monk/Rog etc. (In fact, a pure monk will be behind in DPS compared to Monk/Ftr.)

  9. September 12, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Going to second level as a rogue then switching is vital to making a character that can solo. A lot of traps in elite dungions will kill a character instantly, even when he’s at full HP. Disarm traps can be boosted with magic items that just don’t work if you don’t have the ability to boost, and evading saves you from a lot of situations. pluss if you can’t open locks when you solo, you miss out on a lot.
    BTW I havn’t been playing long online, but I’m an old timer in pen and paper and my favorite class is Paladin. I’ve been playing a rogue/paladin online and it’s really cool. But I definately need a cleric hireling to back me up.

  10. usure
    January 8, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Usure about the monk? If u multiclass it with fighter kensai 12fighter/8monk it will become the ultimate dps machine… Or cleric monk its crazy solo ability like 12 clr/8monk

  11. ray
    February 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    i’m currently using a sorcerer/rougue/archer who is a killer character! she can smack with the spells and than finish off with solid weapons play. being able to atack from a far is very helpful and the trap monkey action isn’t bad either 🙂

  12. June 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm

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  13. June 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm

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  14. ThatGuy
    July 17, 2013 at 6:02 am

    This must be old. There’s a fantastic Monk/Pal and Monk/Sorc build. There’re even some 3 class builds for monk.

  15. Dussk
    November 16, 2016 at 3:38 am

    Im not sure if this was written before the updates to fighter and monk, but an 8 fighter/ 12 monk can do significantly better dps than a pure monk, thanks to being able to use the kensei focus as a centered weapon.
    Kensei focus heavy blades, dual weilding kopeshes with dexterity to damage in wind stance, with a nice benefit of the sting of the ninja stance and abundant step…
    You will find yourself doing more damage than a pure kensei fighter or a pure monk.

  1. September 14, 2016 at 6:47 am

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