Your First DDO Character (Cleric Edition)
The New Player Human Necro Cleric
[Author’s Note: This post will be a basic revamp of the Your First Character on DDO post, but with a Cleric Class reorientation.]
For my second introductory build, I thought I’d take some time to talk about another of my favorite builds, the Necro Cleric. This is build is an offensive caster, with heal and buff abilities, as well as the option to melee when needed.
I’d like to thank Forum user EllisDee37 for posting this build. I used it as a basis for my own build. I didn’t change much, but you can find the original build here. The actual build I use can be found here.
- New Player Ready: Accessible to new players in class, race, and does not require tomes.
- Multiple Roles: Support, healer, and Offense.
- Versatility: Different play styles and tactics when you group or solo keep this build fun to play.
- SLAs: Spell Like Abilities conserve spell points, which allows you to be useful throughout the quest.
- Continued Performance: High level power from spells such as Blade Barrier, Slay Living, Destruction, Implosion, and Undeath to Death (for encountered undead).
- Radiant Servant enhancements: The most important of which will be Positive Energy Aura and Positive Energy Burst. These will allow you to heal yourself and allies around you without using SP!
- Open Alignment: Though this is really more of a flavor option, the ability to choose a Neutral alignment (as opposed to the Paladin’s Lawful Good) means you are less susceptible to alignment damage. There are other alignment options available, but survivability is always a main concern for (Sir Dies-A-Lot).
- Fewer Enhancement Trees: Split between two non-racial Enhancement trees, which means more points where they are preferable.
- Different tactics in groups as opposed to when solo so play style doesn’t get old.
- Self Sufficient: Like most current builds, this one is self sufficient. Heal yourself and others at will, so long as you have SP or Radiant Servant SLA charges.
Now let’s look at what makes the human paladin not such a good choice for new players:
- The Respec: High cost to new players when they make the Enhancement respec just before level 11 can make this build unaffordable.
- Melee inept: This build is better off as a caster, though with the right equipment it can be adequate.
- Spell Point Monitoring: As with all caster builds, one of the biggest concerns is the overuse of SP.
- Low Saving Throws: Especially in regards to reflex, can become a plague.
- Spell Resistant Foes: This creates a problem for this build, but DoT spells can save your skin!
- You’re a target: When you become high enough level you can take advantage of that, but until then you may as well get used to reactionary tactics.
- Fleshy: Effects that do not affect races like Warforged are going to affect any flesh bound race, such as Human or Elf. These can be mitigated through spells, potions, and well-timed trap avoidance.
Now let’s look at Character Creation.
First thing you will need to do is make the initial choices of your character, such as style of play (melee, caster, specialist), class, and path. In this instance, it would be “Caster”, “Cleric”, and “Custom” for your choices.
Then you get to assign your abilities, but be careful! You only have 28 points as a Free to Play first time player. As you earn favor or partake in a true reincarnation you will be given more, but at this point, 28 is your limit. You should allot your points as such for the type of character we’re building:
Skill Points: Next you should use your skill points to boost the skills you’ll use most. Clerics do not get many points, so use them wisely. Concentration (4), Heal (4), and Spellcraft (4) are an absolute necessity. They should use up 12 of your available 20 points. For the remainder, I recommend Jump (2) and Tumble (1) to start. Most of your points from levels will go into the first three skills mentioned, then you can use your last points to alternate between Jump and Search.
Feats: Every character gets a very powerful trait called a feat. Humans get an additional Feat at first level, and Clerics get a Class Feat, which is limited to a select few options. Clerics only get one every third level (1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, etc). Some classes get these feats assigned to them, you get to choose (from a limited list)! (Lvl 1 Feat: Maximize Spell/ Human Feat: Empower Spell -or- Spell Penetration/ Class Feat: Follower of the Sovereign Host).
Now all you have to do is decide on your character’s appearance. Make your own choices, or just hit randomize.
Once you enter a name and choose an alignment, you’re ready to begin your first ever experience on DDO! I should note that because DDO is an MMO, the name you want may be taken. Try different spellings until you are successful, or pick a different name.
The first thing you will have to do is a little “mini adventure” where you wake from a shipwreck and have literally nothing but the clothes on your back. Thankfully, the NPC’s you meet are willing to arm and protect you until you complete the quest (where they arm you further with an upgraded weapon). The end chest to the quest has some armor, and other useful tools for you to begin your life as an adventurer as well.
You’ll have plenty of things to do right off the bat. Meet some NPC’s, aid them in their task, break stuff(!), fight monsters (fish people), and get rewards!
The initial quest also acts as a tutorial on the basics of how to play the game. Once completed, you come the the starter area: Korthos Island, where more adventure awaits, along with more loot, more levels, more power, and even greater challenges!
Please note it is snowing on Korthos when you get there. THERE IS A REASON FOR THIS, which you will later discover. 🙂
Group: You’re going to be mostly support (buff, heal, Crowd Control) at first. Using Nimbus of Light, Searing Light, and Holy Smite Spell Like Abilities (SLA) will be your main source of damage. Maximizing, Empowering, and Quickening SLAs does not affect the spell point cost, so you’ll use very little and get a lot in return.
Use Command on physically powerful creatures because their minds tend to be rather weak. In raids and quests where your spells are ineffectual, you’ll want to switch to the role of Healer. You may find that many players have their own healing, and do not require your services. In this case, buff them and continue to use your element-based SLAs to contribute.
Solo: The fact that you can heal yourself means you can solo many quests without much risk, though you might want to get a melee hireling to help with the battles.
Group: When you switch your overall play style at 11th level, you’ll become far more useful in Heroic quests with spells like Greater Command, Positive Energy Aura, and Positive Energy Burst. Not to mention buffs, healing, and Crowd control.
Solo: Blade Barrier is your solo enabler. You should gather as many of the mob around you as you’re able, hit Positive Energy Aura, then Blade Barrier. If you followed the build as suggested, you’ll have points in Jump. Use those points to jump up and over the collected mob, then lead them back and forth through the rotating blades.
At All Times
Equipment: Regardless of whether you group up or solo, you’ll want the best heavy armor and shield available. You’ll want a weapon that gives your spells some form of enhancement, such as Nullification. You may find yourself carrying a weapon/ shield combination for many varieties of foe, depending on their vulnerability. It is always a good tactic to be ready for any/ all contingencies.
Spell Use: Try to use the spells that will get the job done without a recast,which can tear up your point pool. Death spells like Slay Living, Destruction, and Implosion go a long way toward saving your SP, and when those do not work for you, use Divine Punishment and other DoTs to do the job with little waste. As you grow as a player, you’ll find what works best for each mob and will be able to make better use of your options.
SLAs: Your use of Spell Like Abilities will begin almost at once, though which will change as you progress. Spell feat enhancements (aka: Meta) such as Maximize, Quicken, Heighten, and the like will make those SLAs cheap to cast, but more effective. As you level, those SLAs will become less and less powerful, so use them as offensive options early. Switch to Crowd Control when you notice a sharp decline. It will probably be at or near tenth level, thus the need to respec and change to more powerful spells. You can then use the new SLAs to help make your death spells more effective. Case in point, Enervation steals levels from any target, thus they become more susceptible.
The best thing a new player can do is to join a group that does not mind aiding in your assimilation into the game and community. If I may be of assistance at all, by all means contact me on Twitter: @Citiplaysddo.
The beauty of playing a game like DDO is that you can play the game exactly as you wish. You can make pure builds, or spread your levels among three different classes, and once you finish with one life, you can reincarnate your character into something completely different, and try your hand at an entirely different playstyle!
Those of you reading this with more experience, or even differing opinion, please do so on the build page listed above.
Thanks for stopping by and taking some of your valuable time to read my various ramblings! I look forward to having you here again next week!