Epic Purple Haze: Venomous Weapons

Update 29's new prefix/suffix format offers some improvements for a poison master--if she can find the weapons.

Update 29’s new prefix/suffix format offers some improvements for a poison master–if she can find the weapons.

I’m still tooling about with Ryncletica, a Drow that leverages all kinds of Poison damage with Ninja Poison to DoT the hell out of many enemies.

With Update 29, a curious addition has arrived to weapon prefixes that has almost caused me to forget that I still need a Shard to build an Epic Envenomed Blade for Ryn.

That’s the Venomous prefix. These are adding 1d6, 2d6, 3d6, 4d6, 5d6, even 6d6 Poison damage to weapons. That’s a lot of Poison for the 100% Poison debuff caused by Ninja Poison to amplify, far more than the Poison damage that any other weapon adds. In contrast, my two preferred weapons are the Tiefling Assassin’s Blade and the Envenomed Blade, which give only 1 to 6 Poison, with occasional bursts of additional Poison in the latter. I just found a level 28 blade of Critical Piercing for extra damage.

So these new weapons give more consistent Poison damage that should stack and amplify. I said should as I had yet to test it until recently.

While the Venomous prefix was rather common, it took me some time to find a couple of shortswords (shown above) with Venomous, never mind an idea set with of Wounding or Doublestrike. I even found a Venomous returning shuriken before these two shortswords. That’s the first Poison throwing star I’ve ever seen, and I hope to watch Sting of the Ninja boost its DoT effects.

So, at level 24, Ryn’s test needed to find a boss that (1) Wasn’t a devil, elemental or undead, (2) Was respectfully high rank, at least CR 28 so I can watch the DoT build-up, and (3) had a simple end-fight with no respawns to complicate my observations.

Frelga, the night hag awaiting at the end of “The Riddle” on Heroic Elite, qualified for the job.

The result: As expected, these weapons get sizable boosts of Poison damage that get magnified with Ninja Poison. This build also adds the Venomed Blades Drow enhancement to go with all that. Don’t have a Quiver of Poison yet, which would complete this build’s power.

ScreenShot01826

ScreenShot01828It would be nice to also find an Red augment slot. Sadly, there are no Poison rubies we can add to weapons. That would be nice to see.

The weapons themselves also have a strong base damage, which is welcome.

You may notice other purple damage amidst all the purple poison haze. That’s the Touch of Despair finisher debuff that magnifies negative energy damage. I do have the 500-point zapping Touch of Death on hand, but wasn’t using it here so I could observe the new Poison.

The Poison Master is a somewhat limited build to be sure, especially with Update 28 and 29’s additional raids and quests that build up to a new invasion by the devils of Shavarath and other outsiders that are completely immune to Poison. Good against Drow and humans and many others.

But when that one HP-heavy boss shows up that isn’t a devil but is resistant to many other attacks, Ryncletica will be up to the job.

Zen Eternal

ScreenShot01776I’ve played little else than Pynthetica lately. She’s my second oldest character, a human Ranger AA gone all Elven Monk, now aiding me in perfecting my Zen Archer build beyond what Mericletica began on the Cannith server.

I’ve purposefully halted any level ups at 25 for a time to get Pyn more abilities she never received in your first two lives. As a human Ranger she sat at level 20 for months before Update 17 and the Menace of the Underdark expansion. I tinkered with her a little bit but then left her alone again for months. When the enhancement pass came around, I finally had an idea for her and TR’ed her into the first concept of the Zen Archer. It didn’t go very well as her ranged damage bit and I TR’d her again by level 22.

In neither first or second life did I give Pyn enough playtime to build up any Epic Destiny. So, now, I don’t want her to slack again in her third life. I want to give her all the things.

That starts with level 26, the first Epic Destiny feat. Often on all characters I just take Toughness, which requires no completed sphere. Nay, nay! to that, this time, not for the neglected Pynthetica. I’m simply building all the destinies, not just for choosing something other than Toughness, but to gain more Fate points to improve her lot as she moves forward. I finally wised up and did this with Mericletica and then began destiny build-ups to many others. It’s clear I had a fear with that.

But I wanted to take things a step or ten farther, especially with level 30 now available.

  • Train one Divine sphere destiny before taking level 26. That was building up Unyielding Sentinel after completing Shiradi Champion, Grandmaster of Flowers, and Primal Avatar. That unlocked the level 26 Epic Destiny feats Guardian Angel and Holy Strike. Guardian Angel gives PRR equal to your WIS for 30 seconds if your HP<=50%. Holy Strike adds Ghost Touch and 10d6 untyped damage to Evil. I picked Holy Strike.
  • Take Blinding Speed at level 27 for permanent Haste. It requires no prerequisites. Now my Ranged attack speed is 22%. It could still be improved with Gilvaenor’s Ring and Gilvaenor’s Necklace, which, combined, add a stacking 10% Competence bonus to ranged alacrity for a grand total of 32% ranged alacrity. I’ll have to convince a lot of people to run “Tower of Despair” in order to get that ring, and several runs through “Genesis Point” to find that necklace.
  • Complete 2 Primal destinies before level 28. That’s for the 10% additional Doubleshot feat, of course. That’s completed.
  • Complete Shadowdancer, Legendary Dreadnought and all remaining Divine destinies before level 29. These three capped Martial destinies and three Divine destinies (with several more Fate points as a side benefit) open the level 29 Epic Destiny feat Embodiment of Law for 10 Bane damage to all enemies and 20 Law damage against Chaotic enemies. It’s a lot of grinding, but where am I going?
  • Choose a level 30 Legendary Feat.
  • Complete Fury of the Wild to have maximum karma in the Primal Sphere.
    • That’s right–as a reward for being neglected for so long, Pynthetica gets to be my first Epic True Reincarnation. I want the Primal Sphere’s Epic Past Life feat 3% bonus to Doubleshot, and will return as a Zen Archer again and again.

Since the initial announcement, some things have changed about Legendary Feats. So Scion of the Ethereal Plane is less attractive as a result, so now I’m looking to others.

Not sure of the simple buffs of Scion of Arborea are as good: +20 Ranged Power, +2 to Enhancement Bonus of the bow. I leaned then to Scion of Limbo. There are eight buffs that pop on for 1 minute and cycle randomly, but most of them very useful. 40 Ranged Power, or 16% Doubleshot, 30 PRR, 20% Dodge and 40 to Healing Amplification, 1d20 Chaos damage, and so on.

But it’s Scion of the Astral Plane that won my internal debate. It adds 4% Doubleshot plus another 4% while Centered (woot!) as well as 4% Dodge and 4 to the Dodge cap. That brings the dodge cap benefits from being a Ninja Spy (the Zen Archer’s secondary enhancements) up from a 30% cap to a 34% Dodge.

So my miss-chance numbers go up: 34% Dodge, 25% Incorporeality, 20% Concealment. I’d love to invite the crazies in our meta-guild into an Epic Elite “Prison of the Planes” to get a shot at a level 25 Ring of Shadows with Lesser Displacement at 25% Concealment. And I’ve still got 3 Displacement dragonmarks, each lasting about 5 minutes thanks to a Harper Agent enhancement. A Pendant of Quiet Movements or certainly the Token of the Proven might require less deaths to obtain. I’d prefer the trinket as I have little else to add there now, rather than sacrifice my Epic Golden Guile. These stacking Improved Deception effects really slow down charging enemies.

With 20% Doubleshot (3% Elf, 2% Guild Buff, 5% from the Dynamistic Quiver, and 10% Doubleshot Epic Destiny Feat), this final feat would give me 28% Doubleshot. I just scored the 8% Epic Dynamistic Quiver to give me 23% Doubleshot at level 28. With that last destiny this goes to the highest I can make without Epic Past Life feats or special temporary buffs: 31% standing Doubleshot. That’s not bad at all for a pure elven Monk with mixed enhancements. Szyncletica the Shroud-soloing Shuricannon hasn’t any appreciable Doubleshot.

Also, level 29 and 30 give additional Fate points and a fourth slot, making it easy to add things like Otto’s Whistler or Grim Precision to a build that needs every advantage to survive Legendary Tempest’s Spine and Shroud. Our guild is stoked on trying these very soon.

Shadowdancer or Grandmaster of Flowers will be my raid destiny for maximum defense or offense, respectively. Both give decent damage. It’s Grandmaster’s font of high passive ki regeneration, offensive ki attacks, Everything is Nothing, and boosts to weapon base damage that will allow me to use Ten Thousand Stars almost continually every 30 seconds and ward off the largest mobs. It’s Shadowdancer’s higher Ranged Power, extra fortification bypass with Grim Precision, boosts to fill in my Dodge cap to maximum and continuous 25% incorporeality in Shadow Form that helps in raids where there are proportionally fewer but tougher enemies (such as the devils and portals in the Shroud).

Extra Credit: Upgrade my Thunder-Forged Longbow, and build a Legendary Bow worthy of a Zen Archer.

I have no idea what kind of bow to build for Legendary Shroud.

Wait for It…!

My gaming heart made a happy dance after an exhausting work day and had to make a quick post.

It just wasn’t about the good news from developer Vargouille about Update 29’s incoming changes, specifically:

  • Legendary Shroud. I learned about that accidentally when using /quests completions and saw the placeholder for the new raid.
  • Legendary Green Steel. We’ve heard notes about this also coming with the Epic Shroud.

My monastic tranquility became pleasantly disturbed with the words

Legendary Tempest’s Spine

It was my first raid, and is often my favorite in many ways.

And now I get to watch everyone kill themselves in more Epic ways than ever before.

Looks like a Legendary Hound of Xoriat is on the way, too. Oh, my word. That’s still a nasty one even with an Epic character, although my Ghallanda guild recently pulled off a 45-minute long run to get Xyzzy down, surviving anything coming at us. And I did it on one of my Zen Archers to boot.

Sadly, the devs are still looking to rewrite the nature of handwraps, since they planned to add Legendary Green Steel Handwraps but the development of the fundamental non-legendary design won’t let that happen.

Update 29: The New Hotness

Level 30: Our powers are over 10,000!!!1!

Level 30: Our powers are over 10,000!!!1!

So the devs dropped by the forums to note their plans to bring level 30 to our worlds.

If you haven’t caught it, start with this thread from Vargouille.

They “flattened” the XP curve to not make it horrifically hard to get there. But at levels 29 and 30, you get bonuses such as extra Fate points (that stack with everything you’ve earned, including Epic Completionist and Fate tomes) and that 4th Fate slot you can only get with Epic Completionist (not sure if that means E-Cers get 5 slots total)

Then there are new feats. At level 29 you get a new Epic Destiny Feat slot, which require 3 capped destinies but also give you a series of new feat types. These can be found here.

Of these, a few caught my eye:

  • Dreamscape (2 Primal+ 1 Arcane)
    Activate to pop off to the land of dreams. You are invulnerable and invisible for five seconds, then return with a random 30-second buff. 1 minute cooldown.
  • Harbinger of Chaos (1 Primal+2 Martial)
    With weapon and unarmed attacks, deal 1d20 Bane damage against all targets and an additional 2d20 Chaos damage against Lawful targets. This scales with Melee or Ranged power depending on your weapons.

These aren’t bad at all for Monks and adaptable to my Zen bow builds, too.

By level 30, you get a Heroic feat slot–a welcome bonus as often builds have to sacrifice that one feat at level 18 you can attain now. And there’s a new set of feats called Legendary Feats, listed here.

Legendary Feats require you to have 3 Epic Destinies of the same or a combination of two destinies plus one from another. These are far more exciting. Of interest to me are:

  • Scion of the Ethereal Plane
    Permanent Blur, and while sneaking, permanent Displacement.
    +1 point of Sneak Attack damage for every 2 points of Hide you have
    +2 to all Skills
    Permanent Invisibility Guard, as per the item effect
  • Scion of the Astral Plane
    +4 to Tactical Feat DCs
    +4% Doublestrike & Doubleshot. An additional +4 if you are centered.
    +4% Dodge.
    +4 to Reflex Saves.
  • Scion of Limbo
    +2 Determination Bonus to all Saves
    eight buffs, each one minute long. Cycles randomly.
    +40 Melee and Ranged power, +80 Spell Power
    +16% Doublestrike & Doubleshot, +20% Spell Crit Damage
    +30 PRR and MRR
    +20% Dodge and +40 Healing Amp
    +20 DR /Law
    Your weapon/unarmed strikes and spells deal 1d20 Chaos Damage
    Each time you would be damaged, you have a +5% chance to completely ignore the damage. Does not affect any incoming Positive, Negative, or Repair effects.
    Confetti explodes around your shoulders. Festive!

I’m so interested in the Scion of the Ethereal Plane feat. The devs like stealth! They really, really do!

There are updated feats for lower level Epic characters, too. I’m still unsure what, if any, of these are directly applicable to any kind of Monk at the moment.

And cheers to the PRR and MRR bonuses for Epic hirelings. Combined with Harper Agent and Primal Avatar builds, you could make a strong tanker out of some hirelings–provided they don’t wander off or lose focus on the fight.

Knowing how swiftly we got the Doubleshot changes from Update 28, I suspect these ideas will be our Christmas present under the update tree, all before the end of the year.

What’cha think about them? I’m interested mostly on monastic applications, as is the focus of this blog, so fire away.