Broken Spokes in the Wheel of Life


Samara is ever-present in the world of Dungeons & Dragons Online. We truly reincarnate to improve ourselves. But when should we try to break the cycle?

I have 18 characters. Four are banks. One is a semi-retired Drow Artificer that hasn’t played since before the new enhancements.

One is a halfing L18 Thief-Acrobat Rogue still on its first life and dreadfully confused about herself as she learns the new abilities. A half-Elf Paladin recently met its demise to allow Flynncletica to appear.

The three Ninja Spies, Ryncletica, Szyncletica and Kiricletica, each bring a unique fighting style. Ryn is an unarmed Shadowdancer-enabled L25 Monk in her second life. Szyncletica is a L27 Shiradi Shuricannon also in her second life. Kiricletica is the accomplished hard-solo shortsword master at L26 in her first life.

Pynthetica was a Arcane Archer Ranger in life 1 and is now a pure Zen Archer Monk at level 17.

That leaves two Shintao Monks, Lynncletica the Earth tanker at level 25, and Syncletica herself, refusing to fight much since she seemed too vulnerable for harder Epic play in her second life at level 23. Quintessica rounds out the dojo in her second life as a Henshin Mystic at level 23.

I bore you with this character list because, as you can see, there are far too many of them sitting at Epic levels. It’s time for some of them to start again, to take another cycle in the wheel of life.

But should any of them simply submit to the circle of samara and become a Monk once again? Or should they consider a bit more?

I’m leaning to the more.

Yes, the person that doesn’t teach multiclassing per se in the Monk guide is considering other classes–sort of.

It’s not a tough concept. I have more than enough characters to experiment and learn what others have done before me and have enjoyed. I’m not paving any new ground except for my own fun. As well, I have more than enough characters to explore any tenets of a pure Monk to afford a cross-class training session.

But enlightenment is a bitch, or makes you one.

On Syncletica

As you may know, Syncletica is my first character and my first Monk.

For her third life, I envision that she should explore more of the divine powers and train in Cleric levels. She would still have a minimum of 2 Monk levels but would be a better aid to others.

Else, especially with the new enhancement pass, I should take one more turn as a Wind Stancer, improving her durability to match her speed. I know a lot more about miss-chance, PRR and AC now than when she last left the dojo.

On Ryncletica

Ryn was once a halfling. I see her returning to her original small stature from her life as a human, but with Rogue levels.

Now, I’ve tried and failed to balance a character to have superior Rogue skills while also keeping a monastic fighting style. I’ll need to seriously plan her build with RJ’s Character Builder and read up on other builds before attempting this again.

Else, Ryn could explore a new class. I’ve wanted to explore the Druid, so this is an option.

On Kiricletica

There’s still more to explore with Kiri as a pure Ninja Spy in life 2, so I will not change her design once she reincarnates. She was a blast to play in hard-solo mode.

With her patented Ninja Poison attacks not working with the latest update, she’s in stasis until it’s working again. I’ve been trying to get more bug reports submitted to get this resolved.

On Lynncletica

I’ve told myself time and again that Lynncletica will stay Epic as she was my most durable character and can farm many places for other characters.

That’s changed with Szyncletica; who has done what Lynn has not by surviving Epic Elite adventures alone.

I still want to improve Lynn’s overall capacity to keep and hold attention as a light tanker. She is certainly the strongest self-healer I have, although her DPS is a bit lacking. She was still at L25 when the Update 19 enhancement changes came about, so she’s not as optimized for tanking as she could be with a tweak of enhancements.

I’ll have Lynn and Szyn farm Tokens of the Twelve for themselves and others.

On Szyncletica

I love the Shuricannon build too much to change one bit of Szyn’s abilities. The more past lives for her, the better.

If I do add a new path for her, shortsword work or Ranger prowess isn’t a bad one. She is my strongest Monk and has proven able to complete Epic Elite, solo if necessary, and has even completed a portion of the Shroud alone.

As I said, if Lynn reincarnates, then Szyn stays Epic until Lynn returns to power.

On Quintessica

The Mystic is a really potent staff-wielder with incredible DPS. Only Szyncletica  can claim better numbers. The thread on training an Epic Destiny to boost spell power and damage is quite appealing.

For now I’ll keep Quin in Epic while I add in some points. It will take time since it requires a lot of ED training for sphere hopping to the Arcane side.

Once she does complete this training, a bit of Druidic training might be nice.

Or, is this the time for my first Wizard or Sorcerer? I don’t know.

On Pynthetica

Her experimentation in Zen Archery is coming along well. She’s my first and only character to come from a non-monastic class into the Monk class, so it’s not outside probability to see her try her hand at being an Artificer, or to see if Deepwood Sniper can meld well with her ranged past life and her monastic life.

On Allysen

Allysen is my halfling Acrobat Rogue at level 18 and the oldest character I have to have never reincarnated.

I think I should either use the Lesser Heart of Wood to respec her and get her into Epic Shadowdancer training before I reincarnate her into something else. Would she be the better candidate for a Rogue Monk than Ryncletica? The gear she’s gathered suggests yes.

On the Others

  • I retired my paladin and created Flynncletica. This swashbuckler is a blast to play to the point where I’m neglecting my monastic training.
  • Arcammedes dutifully sits in the crafting hall at L19 in her first life as Artificer. She’s not been on the battlefield for over a year.

I should train her enhancements and at least see her to Level 20 or so. A reincarnation won’t remove her crafting prowess but would completely free her inventory slots for holding stuff. She’s not going anywhere with her crafting levels–and that’s the problem.

  • There’s still a Kensei to train.

Four bank characters now hold a lot of gear. Much of it I gathered long ago in trying to keep a storehouse of gear for any guildmates to use in building a Monk. Now, I think, that time’s past, especially with crafting as an option for any low-level gear I can generate for someone as unbound.

I’m selling off most of this to free up at least one more character slot.

Have I Hit the Wall in the Circle?

As long-time readers of the guide and the blog know, I like to chew through the many permutations of the Monk as a single class.

Generally I’ve studied a class tree’s strengths and weaponized them, such as Kiricletica.

Lately I haven’t been very creative here, generating or adapting new builds. Perhaps it’s my disappointment with a few bugs such as Ninja Poison failing, which has all but stopped Kiricletica’s progress. Maybe my mind is becoming too combat-oriented thanks to the sword-wielding non-Monk, Flynncletica.

Perhaps I haven’t studied the Monk and non-Monk class trees enough to see a new wheel on which to roll a character along in a new path of study.

And perhaps I’m impatient for progress. There is one clear path I haven’t explored with Theacletica as she trains as a Kensei, as I noted.

That’s the problem of samara. Your own limitations prevent you from breaking the cycle of life and death. It’s difficult to move forward sometimes; you feel stuck in a circle, attracted by easy victory or novelty.

I think I require more study. The path of enlightenment is not supposed to be easy.

In any case, I’m open to some suggestions to explore. But be warned that I don’t take change well for change’s sake. I like the diversity of DDO, but the best damage is secondary to the best gameplay, and I’ve not the patience or time for what I see is the tedium of multiclassed tweaking.

It’s Monday, and Sir Geoff of Hanna has posted a nice meditative animation. Yes…calming and peaceful. Enlightenment doesn’t happen in a chaotic mind.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. longshotist
    Jul 21, 2014 @ 20:24:26

    Quite a dilemma you have here! To this observer, i’ve enjoyed and been impressed reading about your deep explorations of the monk class. It’s a class that i’ve dabbled in but never really clicked for me. When the artificer debuted, i felt like you must about monks – this was the class for me and i was going to explore every possibility it had to offer. Also, like you i generally like to remain pure.
    Anyway, i don’t have any alts so when i capped, i just started TR’ing to make my character more powerful. That was a couple of years ago, and i have yet to return to the artificer but am collecting a plethora of useful PL’s.
    Since you do have alts that can farm epics and whatnot, i guess i would suggest taking your favorite character and TR’ing. Start with a class that you think will add to your ultimate vision for them and go from there. For me, it was 3x sorc/ranger/druid. All of those lives were a lot of fun. Most recently i threw wizzy in the mix. I don’t know when i’ll return to artificer, but when that day comes i feel like she’ll be very strong, well geared and controlled by a hand experienced with lots of different styles.

    • teachersyn
      Jul 22, 2014 @ 09:23:22

      You’ll have a bit more to explore, for sure. For instance, the Swashbucker tree allows you to use a rune arm if you multiclass with a bit of Bard.

      I guess I admit to a lack of forward vision. Never been interested in Completionist or cranking in past lives. I figure I’ve always been interested in what I could do now, not later. There’s also a role-play element going on. How often do we read up on D&D characters with multiple classes? DDO encourages it because of it combat nature, but, it hasn’t fully divorced its class backgrounds and why they exist from the designs.

  2. FuzzyDuck81
    Jul 22, 2014 @ 10:50:05

    I think the rogue/monk is probably the easiest of your goals, as you can just go with a henshin/acrobat combination – rogue 1st naturally for the skillpoints, then front-load most of your monk levels, inserting a rogue level somewhere to help with keeping your trap skills up then the remainder of the rogue levels last, by which time any extra INT you have from tomes will allow you to maximise your number of skillpoints & allocation of them as class skills. Then it’s just a matter of deciding what levels you want & whether to focus more on henshin or acrobat.

    For the divine monk, a couple i’ve gone with are:
    Halfling 18monk/2cleric – dragonmarked, shintao, wraps-user, lots of Heal skill to boost my spellpower, divine healing & my lil healing wrigglers 🙂 Is surprisingly capable as a group healer & is “The Gimpiest Cleric on Thelanis” (TM)
    Another i’ve had even more success with pretty recently (before being distracted by swashbuckler) is a 12monk/6paladin/2cleric sun elf staff user – has some very tasty damage output thanks to the PA/cleave/great cleave/OC combo & with the sun elf racial amaunator things (the mega heal & the combo mass aid/DW/spell resistance) plus cure disease (upgraded through paladin line to give greater restoration) & divine might (from cleric not paladin, so it just uses SP instead of turns & costs less AP) it has a few handy buffs & curative capabilities.. add in a few destiny abilities for more healing (cocoon naturally plus whatever from current destiny) & the handy feywild tap for the extra SP battery & it’s actually a very effective party support. I like to run it in divine crusader, but many of the destinies can be very effective depending on exact balance of abilities that you want.

    • teachersyn
      Jul 22, 2014 @ 10:55:31

      That’s some good advice. I like these ideas as (being lazy) it doesn’t require me to push the game mechanics but to use what’s all out there if you look at the obvious.

      Yeah, I’m quite distracted by my Swashbuckler’s power. She’s just carving through EVERYTHING. Had to play Syncletica a bit last night just to remember what a Monk was.

  3. mernom
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 05:52:45

    try a single weapon fighting monk.where should be several abilities that trigger on vorpal right?try using the double vorpal at epic to maximize them.

  4. Trackback: The Real Heroes in DDO | The Order of Syncletica
  5. DDOCentral
    Sep 24, 2014 @ 12:15:39

    Reblogged this on DDOCentral.

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