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Spellstorm Renegade Guide: Death is the Best Crowd Control

ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
edited June 2015 in The Library
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That's right, folks. Don't panic. The Storm Spell nerf obviously hits a big damage ability in this build, but it in no way makes the build obsolete. Storm Spell was just one part of an otherwise extremely powerful build, and one that is still very viable. You'll be doing less damage (obviously), but you'll still be doing a lot of damage, with no impact to your ability to control mobs and buff your group.

The only recommendation are likely to change from Vorpal being a clear favorite as an enchantment to focus on a more group friendly enchantment like Plaugefire or Terror. There's also some strong evidence to support greater parity in builds with the Master of Flame paragon, and I'll add those updates to the guide once I collect more data this week.

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Don't be fooled by the name "Control Wizard". There are many definitions of the word control, but don't ever forget that the single most important status you can inflict on an enemy in Dungeons and Dragons is death. That's right. Death is the best form of Crowd Control.

So if this is the type of control you're looking for, you've come to the right place.

This guide is aimed at the novice to intermediate Control Wizard. It's kept simple, and light on the math. At the end, I'll list some "required reading" for those that want to get more crunchy. But the beauty of this guide is the build works from the start of your career to the end. You can start leveling with it, and get to 60 with no need to respec. The build is also viable for fresh 60's and can grow as you increase in power and gear. The group buffs scale to each player's ability, giving big damage boosts to new players and well as those in top gear. It's also incredibly competitive for the top 1%, who are trying to burn content as fast as possible. In fact, I would argue that a Spellstorm Renegade is an integral part of any group that wants to maximize their damage and efficiency.

Contents:

Some sections are still a work in progress as I learn more and fully update for Mod 6. If you have a question on something that isn't quite up to date, just ask.

1: Why choose the Spellstorm Renegade path?
2: Creating your first CW
3: Level 70 - Death is STILL the Best Crowd Control
4: Stats
5: Boons
6: Powers
7: Leveling to 60
8: Gearing up for the Level from 61 to 70
9: Companions

Special Bonus Section: Xbox One

1: WHY CHOOSE THE SPELLSTORM RENEGADE PATH?

The Spellstorm Renegade brings a lot to the table, both in solo and group play. Specific to the path, Renegades bring two very powerful buffs to groups. Here's some of the key features of a Spellstorm Renegade:

Nightmare Wizardry is a feat that gives you a chance to grant combat advantage against a target when you critically hit, granting players a substantial damage boost against that target. The combined AOE and high crit rate of the Renegade path gives this buff virtually 100% uptime.

Chaos Magic is a buff that is randomly applied to all players within 50' when the Renegade CW damages a target. Each buff lasts 10 seconds, and can only apply once per CW. Chaotic Nexus gives a flat bonus of 30% Armor Penetration and 30% Critical Hit rate. Chaotic Fury gives a flat 30% damage boost and 10% Lifesteal boost. Chaotic Growth gives a large Heal over Time to all group members equal to 250% of your weapon damage every 0.5 seconds. Chaos Magic is incredibly powerful in that it affects all players within 50'...so just imagine how powerful giving 24 other players a 30% damage boost is in fights like Tiamat.

Storm Spell is a class feature that gives you a 30% chance when you crit to strike the target for additional damage. Unfortunately, this ability just took a bit of a nerf. It has a 0.5 second internal cooldown and can no longer critically hit. It may very well still be a great source of damage for CW's, but the devs are aiming to see this be more like 18% of your damage instead of 30-40%. Special note that the offhand power for Storm Spell gives you a 5% chance to proc it on ANY hit, so these bonus hits may or may not be critical hits.

Chilling Advantage is a feat that gives you an additional 2/4/6/8/10% chance to crit when Chilling Presence is slotted. Chilling Presence itself was buffed in Module 5, and now with Rank 4 available in Mod 6, we get an extra 8% damage per stack of Chill on a target, which is doubled to 16% if the target is frozen(48/96% total bonus at 6 stacks). This buff gives Renegades a compelling reason to NOT use Eye of the Storm, which has been mandatory since the class was introduced.

In addition to some very powerful buffs and damage features, Spellstorm Renegades also utilize the usual control + damage spells typical of any CW: Steal Time, Conduit of Ice, Icy Terrain, Oppressive Force, etc, bring to the table just as much CC as any other build.

So you have it all in one neat package with amazing group synergy: Buffs, Damage and CC. Everything a dungeon group needs to blow through content with ease.

2: Creating your first CW

There's really no secret to creating your first CW.

As far as race, pick what you like. Obviously bonuses to CHA and INT are cool, but at the end of the day, it'll only make a 2-3% difference on your toon, so pick something you like the looks of. If you have to min/max, Tieflings, Dragonborn and Humans make statistically great CWs.

Why CHA and INT? Intelligence is obvious. It increases your damage. More damage is more good. People might argue back and forth about CHA vs WIS. For the sake of this build, CHA is the obvious choice for more critical chance and combat advantage damage. But I would recommend it for any CW build. The problem with WIS is that the value of the stat is very low. Plus 1% to control strength and resist isn't very good. There's a boon for +10% control strength, two pets that offer +15% and +25%, and a new Artifact set (Valindra's) that will give +15%. So you're looking at options to get up to a 65% bonus. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about damage, critical strike or combat advantage bonuses. Hence any CW is going to get substantially more millage out of CHA/INT combo than anything using WIS.

The only thing you'll want to do is roll until you get two 16's in your main stats, adjusted to 18's with your racial bonuses. If you only have a +2 to INT or CHA, max that. For example, I'm a Renegade Drow, so I started with 16 INT and 18 CHA.

Once you get into the game, it's going to take a few levels for your CW to blossom into a death machine, so be patient. It gets better every level, but it won't be until the early 20's that you start getting a nice load out of spells. You'll have to trudge through to mid 30's before you become a walking conflagration of lighting, eldritch and frozen death, so please be patient. Every level a CW gains makes him stronger.

At level 10, you unlock your Spell Mastery slot, which allows you to slot an additional encounter spell, and improve that effect. Pay special attention to these. Some spells, such as Chill Strike and Conduit of Ice are substantially more powerful in master, while other spells aren't really worth it (like Ray of Enfeeblement). For now, just drop Chill Strike into your mastery slot.

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You'll see that it turns Chill Strike in a <font color="orange">HAMSTER</font> AOE. It stays <font color="orange">HAMSTER</font> most of the way to 60. At some point, you may wish to stick Conduit of Ice in Mastery, once you get access to more AOE spells, but honestly you can keep Chill Strike in there all the way up to 60 if it tickles your fancy.


As you look over the stats, powers and abilities, you'll notice a couple consistencies. In order to maximize damage, Renegades are looking for a few key things: Critical Strike, Power, Critical Severity and Combat Advantage Damage. The entire build revolves around maximizing those strengths, and filling in the rest around it.

3: Level 70 - Death is STILL the Best Crowd Control

Raising the level cap to 70 has brought some new and exciting feats for the Control Wizards to play with, so the build is changing a bit from the level 60 version to take advantage of this. If you're starting a new Control Wizard, you can still level from 1 - 70 with the feat choices below. If you're currently using this build, you'll unfortunately need to use your free respec to adjust to the new powers.

Feats

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The core of the build is very familiar for those already playing it. The big changes come by working in two new and very powerful feats.

There's always going to be a lot of debate about this versus that. Is 1% here better than 1% there? Sometimes it comes down to personal preference. Place points where you like in the Heroic Tier, but there are a few feats I consider mandatory: 3/3 Weapon Master, 3/3 Toughness, 3/3 Wizard's Wrath, 3/3 Focused Wizardry and 2/5 Learned Spellcaster.

As for the Paragon Tier, I recommend you go as written. These feats are going to maximize your damage output, as well as synergize best with a high crit/high severity/combat advantage build, which is what Renegades are all about.

I opted to go with Uncertain Allegiance over Abyss of Chaos for two reason. One, critical strike is extremely important to the build, and an extra 5% is huge. Second, we're a team player and being able to share that 5% critical strike with our group is double huge. Unfortunately as the module was tested, Abyss of Chaos got nerfed from unbelievable to pretty good to lackluster.

Second, I went with the Thaumaturge feats instead of Oppressor. After testing a few runs at level 70, the minor control boosts just did not help much. Unfortunately, level 73 mobs have so much control resistance, increasing the duration of control effects didn't have much practical effect. I decided that the substantial cooldown reduction from Spell Twisting was substantially more powerful that Icy Veins. And the very cool thing about Spell Twisting is the faster your powers come off cooldown, the faster you can use them...which builds stacks of Spell Twisting even faster. This allows us to do two things we can't do with Icy Veins. One, more encounter powers equals more damage. Two, more encounter powers equals more control thanks to higher up times on CoI, ST, and IT.

My other big qualm with Icy Veins is the range. Fifteen feet is very, very close...too close if you ask me. The feat works fantastic outside of T1/T2 dungeons where the mobs are slightly less lethal, but I found that getting close enough to make Icy Veins effective in dungeons put me way to close to the danger zone.

My power selections keep CoI on tab, Icy Terrain and Chilling Cloud (plus the Artifact power to stack chills) so chills still stack up very fast without Icy Veins.

If you absolutely feel like you need to sacrifice a DPS for more control, you can opt to put those 15 points into the Oppressor Tree. I would pick Bitter Cold, Severe Reaction and then Icy Veins.
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  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    4: Stats

    Stats is always a tricky discussion. When talking about what to do, it's more of a matter of what do you NEED? Module 6 has also changed the stat curves at 70. The stat curves also allow you to push much deeper into the stats before hitting diminishing returns, so "stat stacking" is the new thing. How this plays out as we get more and more gear is yet to be determined. But here's some guidelines so far:

    Armor Penetration: 100 equals 1%
    Recovery: 200 equals 1%
    Everything else: 400 equals 1%

    Character Creation: Maximize Intelligence and Charisma. Every stat increase should go here.

    Armor Penetration: Your single best return point for point for damage. Your first priority should be getting his as high as you can. Right now, the general consensus is to get about 40%. Word is Tiamat is the highest with 60% armor, so that should be a long term goal. As we get more information about the Armor Penetration needs, I'll update accordingly.

    Critical Strike: More is better. Critical Strike use to severely diminish after about 2500. With the new stat curves, my first instinct is to see how high I can stack critical strike, since it's so important for this build. Ultimately this change should make us even stronger. I'll be waiting for the next double RP weekend to start building more Azures instead of Radiant enchantments for my offensive slots, and report the results.

    Power: Power increases the base damage of all your powers, so you'll never be at a disadvantage for stacking more and more power. Power use to be the "stack stat" but I think that's going to change to critical strike for wizards in Module 6. I would still grab power where you can, I just wouldn't gem for it (at this point).

    Critical Severity: The more crit you have, the more valuable critical severity is, and vice versa. There are only a few ways to get critical severity, and this build will take advantage of them.

    Lifesteal: Llifesteal was nerfed in Module 6. AOE's have a 30% chance to proc it, it also became more important to stack higher amounts of this .This is still your best defense. The more damage you do, the more health you steal and the harder you are to kill. Unlike previous Modules, you need to get into the 20%'s before you start seeing a lot of reliable lifesteal procs. I've started swapping Radiants in the defensive slots for more Darks for the lifesteal bonus. With the right boons and active companions, getting at or over 25% isn't out of reach for CW's. More on this later.

    Combat Advantage Rating and AP Gain: I'll mention these both since they scale the same. Both are hard to get, but you don't need a lot. These hit huge diminishing returns right at about 700 points. You can get both from Boons, Artifacts or you power on the Artifact Offhand (and jewelry reinforcement kits for AP gain). Combat Advantage damage is more important that AP, so get that to about 700 first, then go for AP gain.

    As far as everything else, just take what comes on your gear.

    5: Boons

    I also took the opportunity to redo my boons. At the end of the day, boons are more of a personal reflection on your playstyle. You can utilize some of these pretty unique effects to fill in weakness or augment strengths as you see fit. If you prefer to use a boon that's not listed here, that's fine. I don't think they ultimately turn the tables on anything. But here's my slate of boons for Module 6:

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    Key notes:

    I went with the two T4 boons in Dread Ring and Sharandar that offer the heals on hit, versus the extra damage. Getting 20k HP as a reaction is fantastic, and could potentially save your life. An extra 20k damage on hit every now and then? With all the numbers flying around in this build, you won't even notice.

    I switch to Elven Ferocity in Sharandar because 30 stacks of 135 power is about a 10% damage boost, which is lovely. You should be killing fast enough to keep good uptime on those stacks.

    In ToD, I dropped the 10% control strength in favor of 10% incoming healing. Staying alive in this module is very important, so every bit of extra healing counts.

    In terms of getting your boons, I personally feel like the Dread Ring and Tyranny of Dragon boons are substantially more powerful than Sharandar and IWD, particularly in the 4th and 5th tiers, which are the hardest to get. If you're feeling a little burned out on campaigns, I would get the first 3 in IWD and Sharandar, and then focus on getting the 5th tier of ToD and DR first. Then when you've had a chance to relax, get the other boons as you can.

    6: Powers

    No surprises here. The load outs are pretty typical of most CWs. If you need to tweak something because of personal preference, that's cool. Thanks to the changes in playstyle for Module 6, combine with a couple new powers, the discussion around the "perfect" load out is a little different.

    Here's some discussion on what I consider the "key" powers. To keep things easy, I put the standard power abbreviations in parentheses...I don't want to assume everyone's an expert who knows all the lingo.

    At Wills

    Chilling Cloud - (CC) This is your "go to" at will. It does a lot more than just damage, so it's important to understand what's under the hood here. First, the cast speed is the same as magical missile. The animation isn't as "bouncy" so it might feel slower, but it isn't. Second, the third hit is stronger and hits in an AOE, but even in single target situations it should be your primary attack. Third, it actually debuffs enemies' damage by 2.5% per rank, which is great. Fourth, the first two hits refresh chill, and the third hit adds one. Combined with the Artifact Weapon power that gives all hits a chance to add a chill stack in an AOE around the target (which is bigger than the 3rd hit radius) makes it very potent at quickly stack and maintaining chill stacks.

    Ray of Frost - (RoF) This is you alternate at will. It's one of only 2 attacks that actually freeze targets. The other is Icy Terrain. Use this when you need to get something frozen ASAP or when something has six stacks and you want to freeze it. Otherwise, for general DPS and mob clearing, always use CC.

    AOE Powers

    Conduit of Ice - Conduit of Ice (CoI) has a small radius and a 5 target cap. On Tab the radius is increased, it adds chill stacks and does more damage for each stack of chill on the target. It does NOT freeze targets. I generally prefer to keep CoI on tab because it substantially increases the power of CoI, but because it's a multi-hit AOE, it should be on your bar somewhere. If the initial hit of Coi crits, all the hits will crit, making it a potent weapon for unleashing Storm Spell Procs.

    Sudden Storm - Sudden Storm (SS) is powerful when it hits. It has a short range (30') and a narrow cone, but hits unlimited targets. Sudden Storm also refreshes chill stacks on bad guys, and arcane stacks on you. The key to effectively using Sudden Storm is to unleash it on lots of tightly packed mobs. Most of the T1 and T2 content in Module 6 is smaller packs, which cuts down on the effectiveness of Sudden Storm, but it's still a great AOE power. Tab adds an arcing DoT to the power, which ups it's damage by about 20%.

    Icy Terrain - Icy Terrain (IT) works like CoI in a way, but you drop it at your feet. It stacks chill (1/sec) on anything caught in the ice, and will freeze bad guys. The initial hit of IT will also root enemies caught in the ice. The damage is lackluster, but if the first hit crits, they all crit, so it's another amazing power for proc'ing Storm Spell. Tab allows you to target IT instead of dropping it at your feet, so if you're doing a lot of dungeon pulls that don't allow you to survive right in the thick of things, you can consider moving IT to tab to take advantage of the range. But generally this power is great in a regular slot.

    Steal Time - Steal Time (ST) is another staple AOE power that hits hard. Also, all the "slow" ticks have a chance to proc damage effects, like Storm Spell, so that ups the damage potential substantially. While it does have a slow cast time, the slow and then stun are powerful CC effects, just make sure to time your cast as the monsters are running to you, before you get surrounded. On Tab ST gives you and your group a run speed boost and combat advantage, but you should always be granting combat advantage with Nightmare Wizardry and the speed boost is too short to be really useful. So avoid tab here.

    Shard of the Endless Avalanche - Poor Shard of the Endless Avalanche (SotEA). This use to be THE power. It's not amazing like it once was, but it's still very, very good. Your first cast summons a giant magic bowling ball, and the second cast pushes it towards your targets. It first knocks stuff down, then it can blow up for a second hit and another knock down. The push effect also has about a 30' range, so you can stand back from the fight a little bit for extra security. The only weakness of this power is that the bowling ball won't explode until it hits something twice, or more than two things, making it unwieldy in pulls where only one target is left, or things are really spread out. Tab turns this one into a ground target spell, which makes it a lot easier and accurate, but otherwise doesn't add much.

    Oppressive Force - Oppressive Force (OF) is one of the best CC powers we have, as well as bringing a lot of damage to the table as well. It has an unlimited target cap, dazes targets as soon as it's cast and continues to daze for a few seconds after it explodes. The beauty of the daze effect is that dazed targets can't take actions, so they just kind of muddle around for a bit. And while OF has an "explosion" at the end that pushed monsters a little bit, since all they can do is run after the explosion, they tend to group right back up, so it's not something you should worry about. OF should be your "go to" daily in nearly all AOE situations, as it does a lot of damage, CC's all the mobs and covers a very large area.

    Singularity - Singularity (Sing) has been nerfed to the point of being nearly useless. The target cap was dropped to 8, and it now does a very bad job of pulling in any monsters that have decent control resist. So in most situations, even ones where you think it's going to be useful...it's not. I have it on my bar for "old time's sake" but it really doesn't get cast much, at all. Tis a shame.

    Single Target - Discussion coming soon on single target

    Icy Rays - Icy Rays (IR) is a great single target power. On tab, the damage is increased, which makes it a consideration for that spot in single target situations. It also briefly immobilizes targets, and it's extremely difficult to dodge, making it nice for PvP.

    Chill Strike - Chill Strike (CS) in my experience does the same DPS as IR, but trades damage for a faster cooldown. The stun effect is nice, but the cast time is slightly longer than IR. While leveling, the tab function is amazing since it makes it a very powerful AOE, which works great for young CWs since we don't get a lot of AOE early. Once you've grown up, it's rare to put CS back in tab. If you're in a situation where you're doing ST add duty (like ToS), CS might be better than IR because of the more frequent stun, but if you're just doing straight damage I typically prefer IR.

    Disintegrate - Disintergrate has no standard abbreviation yet, but it doesn't need one. It's a hard hitting single-target power with a very short cooldown. The extra benefit of it "instantly" killing an enemy under X% weapon damage health is near useless in PvE because it will ALWAYS hit for more than that threshold. I guess in PvP their could be situations where that's not the case, so the instant melt might be nice. It's powerful enough that I now keep it on my bar pretty much full time. Plus, the first time you disintegrate something big, like a dragon, it's hard to NOT want to keep using this.

    Ray of Enfeeblement - Ray of Enfeeblement (RoF) is a staple on single target fights because of the debuff. The damage ain't bad on it either, and it's a ticking DoT, so that helps with Storm Spell procs. It's tab power isn't great since it only gives you two charges with the same recharge timer, and the damage from each cast overwrites itself. Typically I just keep this on my bar for single target boss fights.

    Ice Knife - Ice Knife is your go-to single target daily. It hits for massive amounts of damage, prones targets and adds chill stacks. But here it's all about the damage. There's no other daily choice for single target fights.

    Class Features

    The only three to even consider are:

    Storm Spell - Always on. Once you get this power, it never gets unslotted. It does very large amounts of damage, but only has a 30% chance to activate on a critical hit. Which we do a lot of. The benefit to hit activating on a critical hit is it will also be a critical hit. The off-hand class feature adds a 5% chance for Storm Spell to proc on ANY damage, and if it hits on a non-critical hit, it may or may not crit, so you won't see 100% critical hit if you log your damage.

    Chilling Presence - Another big boost to damage. Gives you a damage bonus of 8% per stack of chill, doubled on frozen targets. And with Chiling Advantage, another 10% critical strike. I've found that depending on your critical strike, Eye of the Storm adds about 10% more critical strikes over the course of a dungeon, so this is an easy replacement of it when doing PvE content.

    Eye of the Storm - Use to be THE reason to go Spellstorm. Now with the buffs to the Renegade Tree and Chilling Presence, I only slot Eye of the Storm (EotS) for PvP to give me an initial burst that will (hopefully) tear someone apart in the first few seconds of a fight.


    My Favorite Power Load Outs


    AOE/Trash

    Tab - CoI
    Encounters - Icy Terrain, Disintegrate (or Sudden Storm), Steal Time
    At-Wills - Chilling Cloud, Ray of Frost


    Pretty default load out here. I'm not using HV anymore, but that doesn't chance much of the rotation at all. Use Conduit of Ice on tab and Icy Terrain to keep things frosty, as well as Chilling Cloud. Keep those chill stacks up to maximize your damage. Unless you really need to pull things together, use Oppressive Force as your go-to at-will. The daze affect is great for reducing the damage your group takes, and it hits an unlimited amount of targets pretty hard. Especially if you're doing big pulls...when Singularity got nerfed to 8 targets, it really cut down on it's usefulness. With Steal Time, the key is to cast it as enemies are running into range, so they get hit with the slow and stun before they start to clobber you.

    I keep Disintegrate in for AOE clearing because it hits so hard, has a short cooldown (which helps proc more Spell Twisting stacks), and generally most T1/T2 pulls consider of a couple very tough mobs, so Disintegrate helps cut does down very fast once the smaller mobs are dead. Plus seeing a target actually disintegrate when they are killed with this power is really sweet...especially when it's something big like a dragon.

    If you're doing pure, big AOE pulls, sub in Sudden Storm for Disintegrate.

    Single Target

    Chilling Cloud
    Ray of Frost


    Conduit of Ice in Mastery
    Chill Strike
    Disintegrate
    Ray of Enfeeblement


    Storm Spell
    Chilling Presence


    Ice Knife
    Oppressive Force


    I still keep Conduit of Ice on tab for Single Target, for the damage, storm spell procs and chill stacking. Chill Strike equals Icy Rays in DPS when not in tab. Since we're no longer relying on the HV set, I swapped in the new Disintegrate spell for Steal Time. I'll also swap out for these powers during the head phase of Tiamat. Keep plugging away with Chilling Cloud when your encounters are on CD to make sure 6 stacks of Chill stay up at all times.
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  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    7: Leveling to 60

    Here's some progressive shots of what to do with your feats and powers, to help guide you to 60. You'll have plenty of power points, so I recommend putting at least one power point into each power as you level.

    The screens caps below are a good guide as to power point allocation as you level up. Anything with a GOLD border is great and highly used in this build. Anything with a SILVER border is situational and worth having points in. Anything else is rarely used in my builds (but they still might be used by others). I would allocate at least one point to a GOLD ability first, then upgrade to max. Then move on to SILVER abilities.

    Powers up to 20 points (and spell selections at the bottom)

    Typical rotation at low levels is: Chill Strike (tab) on the biggest thing in the pack -> Conduit of Ice on the big guy. By now the minions are dead. You can Ray of Frost the big guy to death, or use Entangling Force to tie him up, and then RoF him. Repeat as necessary.

    Class Features are Arcane Presence and Chilling Presence. If you're building Arcane Stacks with Magic Missile, Arcane Presence will also increase your frost damage. Chilling Presence is a big debuff to anything with chill stacks, so keep it slotted. All the other class features are a bit useless.

    Bp9yj3v.jpg

    Powers up to 40 points (Yey for more AOE!)

    At this point, you can put Conduit of Ice on tab, slot Icy Terrain and Sudden Storm for more AOE death.
    This level is where you start to become an AOE powerhouse. Basically pull and blow up as many mobs as possible. Chilling Cloud becomes your "go to" at will thanks to the last hit being an AOE, and don't forget to make use of Oppressive Force on big pulls to daze everything and do lots of damage.

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    Powers up to 60 points (this should get you about everything you need)

    Here's where it all comes together. Storm Spell should be added instead of Arcane Presence as soon as you get it. Congratulations, you damage is now going to be through the roof. Add Steal Time to the bar as soon as you can, and continue to have fun being EVEN MORE powerful!

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    Powers at level 70

    In my humble opinion, there's only one power worth the points in PvE after level 60: Disintegrate.

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  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited August 2015
    update in progress

    8: Gearing up for the Level from 61 to 70

    Welcome to the new normal! First, just let it go. If it helps to calm you down, watch this first.

    It's an MMO, and gear gets cycled in and out. So don't lament throwing away your "hard earned" level 60 gear. I hope you at least had fun getting it all together.

    Level 61 and Beyond

    First, get ready to drop your gear. If you've been collecting extra Tyranny of Dragons currency, you can get the Eternal Set from the ToD Vendor. The key here is Hit Points. Hit Points. Hit Points. And this set levels up with you as you get to 70, so it also makes a great level 70 starter set.

    If you don't have enough currency to buy the set, you can try to do the dailies in ToD to get more Dragon Fangs, but the dailies are tough solo if you're sub 70. Otherwise, start equipping new stuff as it drops, and if you can get some level 61+ blues.

    You can hold on to your old level 60 purples if you want, but if you find yourself dying over and over, it's because of your smaller hit point pool. My advice, don't get hung up on your old gear.

    Level 70 Gear

    First thing you should do is make sure you're in all level 70 blue gear to start. Go to the AH and fill in whatever slots need upgrading. If you're still wearing your level 60 purples..."You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought!" You need the HP from the new gear, or you're going to get one-shotted all over the place in T1 dungeons. And dead wizards do zero DPS.

    First gear target is the iLevel 130 Alliance gear. This gear drops in T1s or you can buy with Elemental Seals, which drop from bosses in T1, and the daily cache for completing a T1 dungeon. You have the choice of 2 sets, Raid or Assault. Mix and match to get the stats you need. I recommend Raid Robes, Raid Shoes, Assault Cap and Assault Armlets.

    Don't bother using Black Ice Shaping to upgrade the 130 gear. It's costly and not worth it at this point, because you're going to start replacing it.

    Next step is the T2 gear. The upgraded versions of the Alliance gear, Elemental Alliance (132 iLevel) can randomly drop off bosses in T2. Pieces also drop in the chest at the end. The next level of gear, the iLevel 135 gear is purchased with Protector's Seals, which you get in T2s. They can only be purchased via the vendor in PE.

    My choices were Elven Assault Robes and boots, and Raid Cap and Armlets.

    The last step before Strongholds is the iLevel 137 gear, Elemental Elven.. It's a small bump from Elven gear, so the choice is up to you. If you can make your own Unified Elements from Alchemy, they're not too expensive to upgrade. But it's probably not going to be very noticeable of a stat change, so if you're on the PC and reading this now, I would just save up for the Stronghold armors instead.

    Shirt and Pants are easy, but expensive. Just upgrade to the level 70 gemmed Elemental Pants and Elemental Shirt.

    Rings can be upgraded via jewelcrafting in the same way with the level 70 versions of the Personalized rings. Again, I'd stick with the Personalized Adamant Ring of Piercing.

    The rest is covered by Artifact Gear.

    Artifact Gear

    update coming soon

    First, on Artifact gear. You'll have new belts, cloaks, off-hands and main-hands added. But remember the disclaimer from Mod 4/5. Nothing has changed there.

    Artifact gear, even at green or blue, is still BEST IN SLOT


    Don't sweat the mountain you have to climb to get to Legendary status. Legendary status is mostly just epeen stroking. Sure, you'll be a few percentage points more powerful, but the cost to achieve that is astronomical. Here's the math:
    RARE: Level 15, 42,000 RP
    EPIC: Level 35 571,200 RP
    LEGENDARY: Level 60 4,645,200 RP

    So getting an piece of Artifact Equipment to Epic takes about 12% of the RP needed to go all the way to Legendary, for a small increase in stats and weapon damage. Yeah. Don't worry about it until you get to the point where you have way too many AD, and not enough things to spend it on.

    The only exception is the Ensorceled Mulhorand Weapons, which if I remember correctly, actually end up being very close in power to Epic Legendary weapons/off-hands. So if you don't want to deal with it, grab one of those (but they aren't cheap).

    Enchantments

    Vorpal is still a very good weapon enchantment. You're focusing on critical hits and crit severity, and Vorpal is the king daddy of crit severity boosts. The more you crit, the more you get out of a Vorpal enchant. And ...they be critting plenty. They did remove Storm Spells chance to crit, which lessens the value of Vorpal a bit, but not so much that I'd toss it out.

    Plague Fire is another excellent, and much cheaper choice for CWs. Your damaging affects strike so persistently that it's easy to keep three stacks of the debuff up on everything. It's extra damage for you AND everyone attacking the party. Having someone forgoing the Paingiver title in exchange for a big bump in group DPS is always important in a group, and CWs make a great choice to be that guy.

    Feytouch is a great enchantment for personal damage, probably a bit better than Vorpal now, but I personal wouldn't use it because if an enemy is already debuffed by the enchantment, you won't get the buff for damaging them, meaning that if more than one person is using it in a group, someone's not getting the damage buff, rendering it all but useless. And that's a lot of dough to invest in something that might end up not working.

    Soul Forged is the go to armor enchantment. It'll resurrect you once every 90 seconds when you die, and with the low defenses of a CW, one-shots happen. But at least you'll be able to pop back up. The heal from Soul Forge isn't enormous at higher levels, so most people are absolutely fine with saving a lot of AD and just using a lesser.

    Dragon Hoard enchantments should fill your utility slots. With the massive amounts of death you're bringing, you'll rack up the kills and the chance for a free refinement stone, which are extremely valuable. These are easy to get from the Tyranny of Dragons campaign, or on the AH. It's generally a lot cheaper to make them yourself. And I know they're been "nerfed" but I still find I get decent drops from these, as should most any other casual player.

    ...and Artifacts.

    Module 6 hasn't really changed the Artifact situation for us. Now Artifacts level up to 140, and the only one I would really consider going that high is the Sigil of the Devoted for a 60 second CD.

    Artifacts can be an expensive piece. My first advice is to just use whatever you can get your hands on. When you can make a choice, use the stats on the artifacts to balance out the rest of your stats.

    For those looking for a very value conscious artifact slate, here's where I'd go:

    Leveling up, pick the Lantern of Revelation at level 20. The stats are great: Armor Penetration, Critical Strike and Combat Advantage Damage. Plus, the active power is very good for increasing the damage of a group for a few seconds. And it's free! You can stick with this one your entire career if you like.

    Other two "free" artifacts that are amazing are the Sigil of the Devoted and the Sigil of the Great Weapon. The Devoted has an amazing power (quickly fills up AP), and the stats are very good. Power, Defense and Incoming Healing (which also boosts lifesteal) are a welcome defensive addition to any CW. The Great Weapon comes with HP, Power and Armor Penetration, another fantastic stat combo.

    The only catch is you have to level up a Cleric and GWF to 60 to get these from the class artifact quest. But again, they're "free" and fantastic. If you have multiple toons, you'll like get a lot of use from these, so consider it if you're thinking of an alt.

    Personally, I use the Devoted, Great Weapon and Kessell's Spheres of Annihilation (Power, Armor Pen, Combat Advantage). Kessel's is a great one, but it's expensive on the AH (3 million+)

    Otherwise, if you've been lucky with other artifact drops, or have the money to spend, look for Power, Combat Advantage and/or AP gain from your artifacts. Combat Advantage and AP gain are harder to come by, so you'll want at least one artifact with one of these.
    Post edited by ironzerg79 on
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  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    Section 9: Companions

    Active Companions

    Companions that focus on Crit Severity, Combat Advantage Damage or raw damage increases are ideal.

    Keep in mind that active bonuses max out at Epic, so there's no need to take all your companions to Legendary status. All you need in your active slots is one Legendary companion, and when you summon a companion, you will receive the 15% bonus stats from that companion. I don't know if that's how it was intended to work, but the tooltips are ambiguous and as of right now that's how it DOES work.

    From what I've read, the 15% Legendary bonus is not being conferred to summoned augments that aren't Legendary.

    I know people have their own personal preference, as well as different levels of access, so I'm going to share a range of companions that I think suit this build or are useful to CW's in general.

    Bonuses are listed are for the Epic versions, but these pets are all still very good at any level.

    The Erinyes is from the Scourge Warlock Pet. Starts at blue for a 5% incease in Crit Severity. 10% at Epic.

    The Cambion Magus was a special charge reward bonus pet that also gives you a 10% increase in Crit Severity. Only place to get him now is off the AH, probably for a ridiculous amount of AD.

    The Blink Dog and Intellect Devourer are available for cheap on the AH (due to the Winter Event). The Intellect Devourer was dropped only from a Call to Arms, so definitely pick him up before he gets expensive again. The Blink Dog is a rare drop in Celadrine's Tower in Sharandar. Both increase Combat Advantage damage by 5%.

    The Wild Hunt Rider is available via the Zen store (800), or on the AH. 5% chance to increase damage by 10%, which procs a lot for CWs.

    The Air Archon provides a 5% bonus to damage against targets NOT at full health. He drops from lockboxes or Troves (which can come from lockboxes :)), so check the AH.

    The Fire Archon provides a 7% bonus to targets below 50% health, which is another nice DPS boost. Again, check the AH for this guy

    The Cantankerous Mage gives you a 25% increase to control strength at epic, which is a substantial boost to the duration of your controls spells. Any time you need a little better CC, slot him in. Available n the Zen Store.

    The Will O'Wisp is another great control pet, giving you a 15% increase to control strength and 25% bonus to control resist, which reduces the duration of CC effects on you. Available in the Zen Store.

    Summoned Augments

    Most people still prefer using an Augment as their summoned companion, which is fine. The great news here is that pretty much all the Augments are useful, since the Sword Coast Adventures (the dice game on the Gateway) is now dropping a wider range of BiS companion gear.

    Look for Loyal Avenger gear. The rings are painfully expensive, but the other Loyal Avenger gear is more reasonable. If your companion has a belt slot, look for "of the Striker".

    If your pet has all Offensive slots, that's great. Use whatever runestones you need to increase your stats. Keep in mind that Bonding Runestones (while the bonus ability doesn't activate) provides a lot of power for their cost. If your Augment has Defensive slots, use Eldritch runestones for the +%stats bonus.


    Summoned Companions (non-augment)

    For those that want to push into new territory, there's ways to make a summoned non-augment an extremely powerful (but expensive) tool in your companion arsenal.

    The trick here is to maximize the benefit from Bonding Runestones. These runestones proc when your companion uses an ability. This buff is called Companion's Gift. Each bonus will transfer 20/35/50/65% (lesser/normal/greater/perfect) of your active companion's stats to you. You can slot three Bonding Runestones, which can stack three times. With Perfects, that's a 195% stat bonus from your companion to you.

    The Runestones have a 20 second uptime, and a 10 second down time (30 second cooldown from when they first proc).

    That's extremely powerful. If you have a companion that attacks rapidly, it's very possible to start each fight with three stacks, giving you a substantial boost over an augment at the beginning of the fight. This works beautifully for trash, and the way the cooldowns tend to work, the buffs will overlap during longer boss fights, so you should expect to average 2 stacks at any time.

    But we all know if your companion is dead, they're not casting and you'll stop getting the bonus (note: if a companion dies while you have the Companion's Gift buff, you keep the buff until it wears off). So the trick is to keeping them alive. There's some very "easy" ways to do this...easy is in quotes because it's expensive.

    First, get a Lliara's Bell of the AH. As of this post, they're dirt cheap. The bell will not only resurrect your companion, but it will return them to full health AND make them immune to damage for a short time.

    Second, make them Legendary. It's expensive, but a Legendary companion has inherent bonuses which allow them to deal more damage and take more damage. In addition, if they do die, they'll self-rez every 5-10 seconds and get themselves back in the fight.

    Third, pick the right pet :)

    My personal favorite is the Zhentarim Warlock. From a gear perspective, she uses two talismans, which are crazy cheap as far as the Loyal Avenger gear goes. She has a 40 ft range on her two spells, and she attacks very, very fast. Of all the companions, she might be the only one that doesn't have a cooldown on her main attack. She'll cast Eldritch Blasts just like a normal warlock, meaning she stacks Companion's Gift very fast.

    If you want to use a healing companion, nothing can beat the Acolyte of Kelemvor as a healer. Unlike traditional healers, she doesn't really heal you directly (although her Rank 30 ability bonus will). She provides two buffs to you. One reduces the damage you take by 10%. The other gives you a massive (Over 4000 points) to your lifesteal stat. I have about 10% lifesteal on my CW. With her slotted (and utilizing bonding runestones and dark enchantments in the defensive slots), it jumps to over 26%. And that basically "feels" like old school lifesteal. I used her leveling to 70 and anytime I'm trying to solo major HEs, and sometimes it feels like cheating :)

    Those are my two recommendations. Running dungeons these days, my Warlock Anne Loade is my primary companion. If you have a favorite companion that you love, bust him or her (or it) out and be proud. Beyond the awesome Bonding Runestone buff, companions also contribute to DPS, Healing and Tanking. They'll eat up damage meant for the PCs, which is always a swell thing for a henchman to do, and I've see Frost Mimics and Young Yeti's tank bosses effectively (at least in T1's) so don't be afraid to try it.

    There's no wrong way to play, and don't let someone bully you into stowing that companion because "augments are obviously always better". They're not. :)
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  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    11: Extra Reading

    Here's a few dense and crunchy guides to read through for a deeper dive into some CW Theory.

    ChemBoy's everything you wanted to know and more... - http://nw-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?780981-Community-Chem-s-CW-Compendium-Everything-you-need-to-know

    Kaelac's Guide to Damage and Debuffs - http://laggygamerz.com/forum/index.php?/topic/382-kaelac%E2%80%99s-guide-to-damage-tenacity-reisistance-and-debuffs-in-neverwinter/

    Kaelac's Crit, Power and DPS guid - http://laggygamerz.com/forum/index.php?/topic/342-crit-power-and-dps-the-numbers-guide/
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  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited September 2015
    Deleted since Xbox and PC are now essentially on the same track
    Post edited by ironzerg79 on
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  • smulchsmulch Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 625 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    "Storm Spell is a class feature that gives you a 30% chance when you crit to strike the target for additional damage. Because this power only activates on critical hits, it always crits as well, giving you a substantial boost to damage. Expect Storm Spell to be about 40-50% of your total damage."

    Not true. I did multiple tiamat parses and I never achieve 100% crit rate on storm spell. It's high, but not 100%.

    Also, I wouldn't recommend focused wizardry one bit on a renegade. There's very few spells that we use that benefit from it and the amount of situation in which we actually DO do single target damage is too rare for it to be worth it. Unless you are gonna do pvp, I'd skip it entirely.

    For the belt, I'd recommend using the belt of black ice which give +2 to cha and int. It also gives armor pen and crit which is a lot better than the stats that the charisma belt offer.
  • vnrenshivnrenshi Member Posts: 64
    edited January 2015
    smulch wrote: »
    "Storm Spell is a class feature that gives you a 30% chance when you crit to strike the target for additional damage. Because this power only activates on critical hits, it always crits as well, giving you a substantial boost to damage. Expect Storm Spell to be about 40-50% of your total damage."

    Not true. I did multiple tiamat parses and I never achieve 100% crit rate on storm spell. It's high, but not 100%.

    Also, I wouldn't recommend focused wizardry one bit on a renegade. There's very few spells that we use that benefit from it and the amount of situation in which we actually DO do single target damage is too rare for it to be worth it. Unless you are gonna do pvp, I'd skip it entirely.


    i haven't done enough testing to reliably state an average crit rate for storm spell, but i can confirm that it does not always crit. whether or not that is working as intended remains to be seen

    in terms of whether or not to use Focused Wizardry in your build, i think it really depends on what you're building for. if your goal is to run Castle Never endlessly, or farm mod 3 and earlier dungeons, its probably a good idea to pass on FW and put your points into Learned Spellcaster or Predistigation.

    however, if you're looking to the future, i think FW is a must have. recent dungeon design is favoring small groups of semi powerful mobs to masses upon masses of squishy AoE fests, and boss fights are moving away from the "one big boss 5000 tiny adds" archetype so common in the early modules of the game.

    from my experience running builds with and without FW, the loss of 10% of my AoE damage output isn't even really noticeable to myself or my group (maybe it would be if i cared about the horribly inaccurate paingiver calculator in game, but i don't). Adds still die in the blink of an eye, sometimes before i can even get a whole spell rotation off, because damage output in higher end parties is so absurd at this point that the content will probably never catch up.

    now, 30% more damage from single target abilities on bosses, on the other hand, is extremely noticeable. Utilizing Icy rays on tab, Chill Strike, and Ray of Enfeeblement on Lostmauth, for example, with Ice Knife as a daily, means a substantial increase in my damage on the only part of the dungeon that really means anything (boss fights are the only ones that take more than 10 seconds)

    that, in my mind, makes FW superior to an additional 3% bonus from Learned Spellcaster, by allowing me to shorten the duration of boss fights through face-ripping single target dps, while still more than holding my own during trash clears.

    One question I do have for Ironzerg is, have you done any extensive testing on the dps difference between Phantasmal Destruction and Masterful Arcane Theft? I'm currently running Theft, mostly for trash clearing purposes (5 stacking arcane mastery via OF, dropping IT to add a stack of chill, and seeing absurd ST crits as a result to finish off packs), but my testing on the ptr of Phantasmal Destruction was rather limited because it was broken at the time. I can certainly see it being better suited to single target encounters, but in your opinion, is a <2% overall damage increase from 15% severity really worth the loss of AoE damage on trash?
  • darthpotaterdarthpotater Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,182 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    Nice guide. I agree with you in all you said here (I even have the same companions and boons) except some personal preferences and the focused wizardry feat pick, it doenst work with storm spell-steal time-icy terrain-sudden storm-oppressive force and I see learned spellcaster superior.

    I preffer a defensive cloack but thats a choice for my playstile.

    Artifact wise, DC is BIS active, and I like one with CA bonus and other with AP gain (tiamat is cheap now and has a good active in case they nerf DC)
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  • smulchsmulch Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 625 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    vnrenshi wrote: »

    now, 30% more damage from single target abilities on bosses, on the other hand, is extremely noticeable. Utilizing Icy rays on tab, Chill Strike, and Ray of Enfeeblement on Lostmauth, for example, with Ice Knife as a daily, means a substantial increase in my damage on the only part of the dungeon that really means anything (boss fights at the only ones that take more than 10 seconds)

    that, in my mind, makes FW superior to an additional 3% bonus from Learned Spellcaster, by allowing me to shorten the duration of boss fights through face-ripping single target dps, while still more than holding my own during trash clears.

    The thing is that with this set up, you ain't getting your chill stacks on the boss, which is an even bigger dps loss than not taking focused wizardry. If you are using icy terrain, then it means you don't use sudden storm. Using icy ray on tab means you ain't getting the HV debuff on a boss to 3 stacks.

    What I,m saying is that if you don't use icy terrain, steal time and conduit of ice, you'll have a lot of difficulties keeping your debuffs at their maximum strength. And generally speak, sudden storm is the fourth spell you want to use because it refresh the duration of chill and of arcane mastery stacks. The only exception to this is if you have another CW that can help with the debuffing.
  • darthpotaterdarthpotater Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,182 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    Sudden storm is not arcane and it doesnt refresh arcane stacks. But I agree in the Icy terrain CoI tab for bosses to keep chill stacks and MM to maintain arcane stacks. Thats why I dont use Focused wizardry.
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  • smulchsmulch Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 625 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    Sudden storm is not arcane and it doesnt refresh arcane stacks. But I agree in the Icy terrain CoI tab for bosses to keep chill stacks and MM to maintain arcane stacks. Thats why I dont use Focused wizardry.

    Check out the spell description :P
  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    First, on the Storm Spell thing, there's outside cases where crits aren't registering, but I haven't done enough testing to try to isolate exactly why. For all practical purposes, you're going to see Storm Spell crit when it procs. The point to this is that you're going to get a lot of benefit from maximizing crit severity because of this. Maybe if I have some free time, I'll try to do more testing a try to find the edge cases that are causing Storm Spell to not crit. But for the purposes of this guide, it's not something to get overly focused on.
    smulch wrote:
    Also, I wouldn't recommend focused wizardry one bit on a renegade. There's very few spells that we use that benefit from it and the amount of situation in which we actually DO do single target damage is too rare for it to be worth it. Unless you are gonna do pvp, I'd skip it entirely.

    And speaking of Focused Wizardry, it's absolutely necessary because the hard part (and the biggest weakness of a CW) is Single Target, especially on bosses. Trash is easy. No one's coming in here saying their groups keep wiping because of trash mobs. Tiamat runs aren't failing because people can DPS the trash on the clerics. Tiamat runs are failing because there's not enough single target damage on the heads. But if you don't think single target damage is important on Tiamat, then that's your call. Or on any of the dragons in ToD. Or Lair of Lostmauth. Or Shores of Tuern. Or in Valindra's Tower. Or Malabog's Castle. Or any number of other dungeons where powerful single target damage can help burn the bosses before adds even become a problem. :D


    And on Phantasmal Destruction versus Masterful Arcane Theft, again, that's your call. I really don't like feats that limit me to one or two spells. But it's definitely something interesting to consider, especially since I do use ST and RoF in my single target rotation, which is generally going to keep six stacks of chill on the boss, and 5 stacks of arcane mastery on myself. It's something definitely worth parsing out.

    But if you're having good success with it, don't drop it on my account.

    Again, the goal of the guide was to give aspiring CW's something that was a little more straight-forward and easier to understand. A lot of feedback I've gotten from guildies, especially those new to CW's is that all the guides out there are too crunchy on the math, and don't get a straight answer on a lot of stuff. I know when you dig a lot deeper, there's more nuances to the CW that I stated in my guide. But the guide easily gets people to 95%. Once they play and understand more about the CW, there's obviously room to customize things a bit more to your specific liking.
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  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    Sudden storm is not arcane and it doesnt refresh arcane stacks. But I agree in the Icy terrain CoI tab for bosses to keep chill stacks and MM to maintain arcane stacks. Thats why I dont use Focused wizardry.

    Sudden Storm refreshes Chill Stacks and Arcane Mastery :)
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  • vnrenshivnrenshi Member Posts: 64
    edited January 2015
    smulch wrote: »
    The thing is that with this set up, you ain't getting your chill stacks on the boss, which is an even bigger dps loss than not taking focused wizardry. If you are using icy terrain, then it means you don't use sudden storm. Using icy ray on tab means you ain't getting the HV debuff on a boss to 3 stacks.

    What I,m saying is that if you don't use icy terrain, steal time and conduit of ice, you'll have a lot of difficulties keeping your debuffs at their maximum strength. And generally speak, sudden storm is the fourth spell you want to use because it refresh the duration of chill and of arcane mastery stacks. The only exception to this is if you have another CW that can help with the debuffing.

    not necessarily true. i use chilling cloud as a primary at will on boss fights, mostly out of habit from being thaum for so long, and with the chilling eye of the golden dragon, maintaining max chill stacks is very easy, while using magic missile to maintain arcane stacks where possible as a nice bonus for RoE, but not something i constantly strive for since it only affects arcane spell damage (unless you use arcane presence, which i do not)

    if i'm concerned with keeping HV at 3 stacks as opposed to 2, i can slot repel as my third encounter, or slot steal time if i can afford to be standing right next to the boss all the time.

    as for using sudden storm on bosses, if the boss has no adds, i find it to be pretty annoying to use, especially on encounters where a lot of movement is involved, and it inevitably results in a dps loss over the loadout i mentioned above using CoI or Repel on an encounter slot

    CoI on tab is also an excellent choice on boss encounters that require a lot of movement or prevent you from keeping chill stacks up otherwise, so i tend to use that interchangeably with IR when the need arises, but i rarely use IT on boss fights that require a lot of dodges
  • darthpotaterdarthpotater Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,182 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    smulch wrote: »
    Check out the spell description :P
    Oh yes sorry for my bad english. I mean is not arcane and doesnt add arcane stacks, it doesnt help to get 5 stacks, just helps to maintain them, and upgrading arcane stacks only with Steal time is very slow, so I use MM vs solo bosses and add chill stacks with CoI and Icy terrain
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  • c1k4ml3kc3c1k4ml3kc3 Member Posts: 1,257 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    Pretty much how I wanted to make. I've run with a person who had half the things presented here and it was a killing machine.


    Just bear in mind that I didn't use the oppressor feat, instead I chose the full Renegade.


    Thank you for the time and effort of compiling this.

    The build works the best only with appropriate gear, so for those who can't afford the rings at-once should go with either Shadow Weaver or the fully stacked Draconic Templar Set.

    The build is not |/|00b-friendly, but then again CW's have a very long learning curve.
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  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    So looking at parse from a Tiamat run.

    According to ACT, Storm Spell had 456 hits. There were 67 hits for "no damage" and 20 non-critical hits for very low amounts of damage. So it doesn't look like it's a normal behavior to have it not crit. I'm trying to dig through the logs to find out what's triggering ACT to record "no damage" hits from Storm Spell.
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  • vnrenshivnrenshi Member Posts: 64
    edited January 2015
    "The build works the best only with appropriate gear, so for those who can't afford the rings at-once should go with either Shadow Weaver or the fully stacked Draconic Templar Set."


    no CW should ever go with the draconic templar set, for any reason. namely because, its terrible and there is no reason.

    please don't spread ridiculous information like that in a thread designed to help newer players understand the fundamentals of the renegade tree.

    edit: i'm doing some testing on it as we speak zerg, and actually have been going back to manually read my combat log, and i can tell you for 100% sure than storm spell does not always result in a critical hit.

    as far as the no damage hits are concerned, i'm not seeing any of those in the actual text of the combat log

    it seems like storm spell has a very high innate crit chance, like some other abilities seem to, but not 100%
  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    c1k4ml3kc3 wrote: »
    The build is not |/|00b-friendly, but then again CW's have a very long learning curve.

    It should work fine for new 60's. You're obviously not going to be blowing out the damage charts, but against relatively geared people, you'll shine. The buffs are also a bonus, because even if you're being carried through gear runs by over-geared toons, the Combat Advantage buff and Chaos Magic buffs are going to do wonderful things for everyone's DPS.

    Plus, you can start early. As I said in the guide, I think the regular Draconic set makes a good stepping stone set while you gear up enough to go back to HV. The stats are distributed nicely, and the 4 piece set works and provides a nice buff for the team. And it shouldn't be too hard to find groups farming SoT or LoL to get the cowl and the chest piece. I ran with Draconic before getting my JC stuff to easily get the needed Armor Pen, and the set worked fine. I personally think the Draconic Templar stuff is a bit trashy, especially for the effort to get it...not something that a new 60 is going to be able to do anyway.

    But if you start working on JC early on, and doing the Tyranny of Dragon campaign as you level, you should have access to some nice stuff when you get to 60.

    Also, with the pets, the Erinyes and the Wild Hunt Rider are the only two expensive pets. Intellect Devourer and Blink Dog are cheap on the AH right now, and you can start with them at green and rank them up as you get AD. Yes, getting a full slate of Purple pets is a long-term goal, and expensive, but it gives you room to group.

    But the overall build itself is just as newbie friendly as any other CW build out there.
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  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    vnrenshi wrote: »
    it seems like storm spell has a very high innate crit chance, like some other abilities seem to, but not 100%

    If I discount the non-damage numbers, that puts Storm Spell at a 95% crit rate. And when I look through my logs, Storm Spell is the only ability that SHOULD do damage that's returning a "no damage" result.

    Anyway, I think something funny might be going on with how's ACT is parsing some stuff...I'd spend more time going over the raw data, but at the end of the day, I think the normal behavior for Storm Spell is to "always" crit, and the outside cases don't really change anything in the guide.

    EDIT: Of course, if someone wants to figure out exactly what's causing the "no damage" and non-crit reports in ACT, I'd be excited to hear why.
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  • aulduronaulduron Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,351 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    That's pretty much the same as my build, except I don't have FW and I didn't go outside the Renegade tree. I lead with CoI or IT, because I have MAT. I get huge numbers from ST.
  • vnrenshivnrenshi Member Posts: 64
    edited January 2015
    i'm not sure its as high as 95%, but its pretty up there, and no, i wouldn't go so far as to change anything in the guide. Its fundamentally sound, and the crit rate on storm spell doesn't really change anything about the essence or effectiveness of the build
  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    I think Bitter Cold is important because it's a 5% damage increase for everyone, not just you. If it was personal, I'd probably had stuck all my points in the Renegade tree.

    But at the end of the day, I think there's enough good things going for CW that if people feel strongly about one feat over another, that's fine. Bitter Cold, Chilling Control, Phantasmal Destruction and Masterful Arcane Theft are all great feats. You're not making a mistake by having points in any of them :)

    EDIT: vnrenshi, I just did the math from my Tiamat ACT parse, and removing the "no damage" return a 95% crit rate. But yes, it's one of those quirky things that doesn't quite make sense, but it doesn't change anything about the build. Of course, the theorycrafter in me still wants to know WHY :)
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  • vnrenshivnrenshi Member Posts: 64
    edited January 2015
    the non crit reports in ACT are coming from actual non crits listed in the combat log, still working on the "no damage" reports, trying to find out if its actually ability related, or if it could possibly be from a storm spell proc on a mob that was killed by the ability that procs storm spell to begin with perhaps
  • smulchsmulch Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 625 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    vnrenshi wrote: »
    the non crit reports in ACT are coming from actual non crits listed in the combat log, still working on the "no damage" reports, trying to find out if its actually ability related, or if it could possibly be from a storm spell proc on a mob that was killed by the ability that procs storm spell to begin with perhaps

    It's also possible that it's from tiamat. When a head dies, it doesn't die instantly, it keeps taking hits (but those hits register for 0 damage).
  • vnrenshivnrenshi Member Posts: 64
    edited January 2015
    also a good thought smulch, going to try running around sharandar melting things for a bit and see if i return any no damage reports

    edit: because i fail at spelling
  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    I thought about that,too. But here's the procs from a fight with Glycamerax, showing a few "no damage" procs mixed in with normal procs.

    DfZfGuF.jpg

    EDIT: Anyway, it's a mystery we can keep looking in to. But if anyone else has questions about the build, suggestions or comments, please let me know.

    I'm already thinking about updating the feat discussion to include a piece on Chilling Control, Phantasmal Destruction, Masterful Arcane Theft and Bitter Cold. I get the feel people generally think these feats can be interchanged depending on personal preference?
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  • niadanniadan Member Posts: 1,635 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    Ironzerg what is your sheet crit chance and parsed crit chance? Nice build and thanks for the work in sharing.
  • niadanniadan Member Posts: 1,635 Arc User
    edited January 2015
    I am trying to decide if i move from owlbear to the blackice or the charisma belt. How much difference is there between the blackice and the charisma belt in crit chance...2% ?
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