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Ghost Ranged High Elf


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#1 Nihilith

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 03:30 AM

Hi there buddies.

As always, I don't really care about cookie-cutter builds, though I tested some of them to have a better understanding of the game's mechanics. After testing some level 30 characters such as the Pyromancer HE, Pipe Dryad, Astute Supremacy Inquisitor and a Celestial Techno Babe, I decided to dig deep into my altered brain to find an original build, gathering ideas from here and there, such as Schot's shadow step grinding, Shield Maiden build, the Ghost dryad, and by seeing, cobalt strike in use against the white griffin in Schot's set farming video. As a result, I offer you a build that needs some serious tweaking for sure, but as far as I can tell is really fun to play. Oh, I forgot to say that all my chars are self-sufficient, the shared stash is not used so far for any of my chars... So no starting runes, no starting gear, no starting gold.

Instead of giving you the complete build directly, and as I used to do with my different guides back in the time of S1, I will complete this topic as my char grows up.

So far, here's how I describe her, and how I play her.

Let's decipher the topic's title:
Ghost : must see the furthest foes, must attack from a distance, and mustn't be hit. For sure, HE can't achieve complete invisibility as shadow warrior, but we'll get some, however.
Ranged : Must attack from a distance. Bows, Shurikens, Spells.
High Elf : does it need to be explained... must be sexy :bounce:

So we want to be as invisible as possible, untouchable (as far as we can) and attack from a distance. Here are some guidelines for a part of the skills.
Far sight = Camera settings + visibility range item mod
Invisibility = Shadow Step (correctly modded)
Untouchable = Shadow Step + Chance to evade item mod
Ranged Attack = Cobalt Strike + Bow/Throwing Stars.
We will really be gear dependant so, Bargaining is a nice option for this build.

PART 1 : The beginnings

Current status : level 15

Skills
  • level 2 : Arcane Lore (5 pts to unlock the Focus first) : Increase damage of Cobalt Strike and of the explosion of Shadow Step + faster cast speed for the spells, a must have
  • level 3 : Bargaining (remaining points) : She's a lady, never forget that ! and my chars must be self sufficient.
  • level 5 : Arcane Focus (Max) : Grand invigoration penalty and of course regen times for the aspect.
  • level 8 : Armor Lore (first goal is level 5 to unlock the next skill...)
  • level 12 : Shield Lore
Attributes
All in Vitality, We should get some stamina or dexterity at level 50, don't know right now which one I will need for this char.

Combat Arts
Magic Coup : Bread and butter
  • bronze mod : raw damage
  • silver mod : life leech
Shadow step : Our invisibility source and so far a nice Area of Effect support (lvl4, 8 with a bonus from gear)
  • bronze mod : less cooldown
  • silver mod : invisibility
  • gold mod : explosion

Buff
Grand invigoration (level 10)

Game Play
We focus on ranged attacks, switching from throwing stars to bows, relying on the drops.
Pull a mob from a distance (kobold groups are fine for that matter) with a throwing star. Shower them with shurikens, and once they're close, shadow step to a medium distance, dealing them some damage with the explosion mod. As soon as Shadow step is being casted, click on a foe and hold the left mouse button, press the auto pickup key also, so you get the loots from the dead monsters and once you come back from the parallel dimension (invisible for a short period), you automatically start to throw stars at the foe which is stupidly watching at the sky... "where in the hell is she gone... and damn, I feel like a giant wasp is in my back, that hurts..."

What I must achieve, is a minimum cooldown on shadow step, and a nice damage on Cobalt Strike to get rid of champs and bosses. So far (level 15, no conclusion done for the next levels), I travelled a bit with her in bronze difficulty, from Sloeford (Kobold Camp) to Artamark (via the starting island teleporter, from the drop spot to the city before Gar'Colossus) and then the Orc region (from the drop spot to Octologamus cave), then in desert, chaining spiders down to Khorum and this technique is really fun to play. Pull, shoot, Teleport, shoot, teleport. See the enemies stupidly stuck cos' you're invisible, laugh, rinse repeat, gather drops... I may test Cascading Shroud from the Mystic Stormite Aspect, but so far, it's not needed, and this may make this build more complex, regarding skill choice... to be continued. Artamark in silver is fine right now.

Not at home right now, will post some pics if I can't make a vid to show the gameplay.

Hope you'll enjoy the build, but this is more a global idea than a build. I don't know if this build will survive gold difficulty, but for sure, it's like a real alternative to the boring grind sessions with all mighty chars lol.

gameplay preview updated :

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Edited by Nihilith, 02 November 2009 - 03:37 AM.

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#2 chattius

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 04:35 AM

Its always nice to see something away from mainstream.

an elf withoiut concentration
When my oldest daughter asked for a better graphic card I told her that she would get one if playing a high elf with all 3 magical foci and lores, but without concentration, into Niob: an elf without concentration
I was very puzzled when I saw her taking teleport as first modified combat art. When asking her why she did it she said:
teleport gives 100% Area of Effect damage early on, which cobalt strike and magic coup don't do
teleport has a cooldown, and the cooldown gets lower the more level it has. So it would be no mistake to bring it up quickly to its malus for maximum damage. You can use the cooldown to collect a new group of enemies.
A ranged weapon is nice, because you can attack from the place of teleport at survivors ,no running needed.

But: she is using mana leech from magic coup to recharge combinations since she has no concentration and uses a skin and not GI as her only buff now in gold difficulty. And in my weird requirements for her build is not much room for a weapon skill.

I wonder why you say that you get too many misses from magic coup. It has always a better hit chance than left clicks. Taking ranged lore isn't a mistake since it unlocks some nice stuff. But tactical lore to unlock it is something I wouldn't have done, mainly because I would aim to take magic coup as my standard weapon attack. And Magic coup gets nothing from tactics. So taking staff lore and ranged and getting 2 different ranged attacks could have been interesting, if you play the AddOn and get advatnage of unlocked staff shooting from staff lore.

PS: I wonder if I ever learn that a cookie cutter is a cloned mainstream character and not what I am thinking a maximum Area of Effect character. These are daisy cutter bombs. Probably having a 100% evasion skill for english at my school time proves to be a mistake now.

Edit: Forget staff lore, I just remembered that staff shooting in the AddOn is only for left clicks, which would need tactic lore.

Edited by chattius, 27 October 2009 - 04:43 AM.

Dieses Lied ist für einen guten Kumpel der seinen letzten Kampf gegen seine Krankheit verloren hat:
Über den Wolken

This song is for a good friend from my aero-club who lost his final battle against cancer.

#3 Nihilith

Nihilith

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 05:03 AM

Its always nice to see something away from mainstream.

When my oldest daughter asked for a better graphic card I told her that she would get one if playing a high elf with all 3 magical foci and lores, but without concentration, into Niob. I was very puzzled when I saw her taking teleport as first modified combat art. When asking her why she did it she said:
teleport gives 100% Area of Effect damage early on, which cobalt strike and magic coup don't do
teleport has a cooldown, and the cooldown gets lower the more level it has. So it would be no mistake to bring it up quickly to its malus for maximum damage. You can use the cooldown to collect a new group of enemies.
A ranged weapon is nice, because you can attack from the place of teleport at survivors ,no running needed.

But: she is using mana leech from magic coup to recharge combinations since she has no concentration and uses a skin and not GI as her only buff now in gold difficulty. And in my weird requirements for her build is not much room for a weapon skill.

I wonder why you say that you get too many misses from magic coup. It has always a better hit chance than left clicks. Taking ranged lore isn't a mistake since it unlocks some nice stuff. But tactical lore to unlock it is something I wouldn't have done, mainly because I would aim to take magic coup as my standard weapon attack. And Magic coup gets nothing from tactics. So taking staff lore and ranged and getting 2 different ranged attacks could have been interesting, if you play the AddOn and get advatnage of unlocked staff shooting from staff lore.

PS: I wonder if I ever learn that a cookie cutter is a cloned mainstream character and not what I am thinking a maximum Area of Effect character. These are daisy cutter bombs. Probably having a 100% evasion skill for english at my school time proves to be a mistake now.

Edit: Forget staff lore, I just remembered that staff shooting in the AddOn is only for left clicks, which would need tactic lore.


Thanks for replying Chattius.

For sure magic coup is a great Combat Art, but at clvl 11, left clicks are almost as viable as magic coup lol. Magic Coup gets no benefit from tactics lore, I'm aware of that, and if my build doesn't "work", I'll start again with a different setup :bounce: Your daughter is right regarding teleport, it's a great ally early on. I don't play the addon, so I'll stay at 1 weapon lore, ranged weapon in this case. As far as I can tell, my final skill setup should look like :
  • Arcania Lore
  • Bargaining
  • Arcania Focus
  • Tactics Lore
  • Ranged Weapon
  • Armor Lore
  • Constitution
  • Spell resistance
  • Stormite Focus
  • Ancient Magic
taking advantage of only 1 general skill to save a slot. Tactics Lore is the unlocker for Ranged Weapons in this build and I didn't want to have a second lore, to keep the main idea alive (Ghost Ranged HE). More a RP choice than a Power choice :viking: I don't think I miss any important skill in this setup, even Ancient Magic and Mystic Stormite Focus find a place. Grand Invigoration should be switched with Crystal skin if needed, but I don't take concentration in this setup. If needed it should replace Ancient Magic. This will depend on the damage output I get from the Arcania Tree or the need of regeneration speed.

The challenge right now is gathering the runes to get Shadow step going well. Remember, no shared stash, even if it's full of runes...
For survivability purpose, I would take the life leech mod from magic coup, but I don't really know, right now, if my build will use this Combat Art. I'd rather rely on Cobalt Strike to get boss down. But on the other side, regarding item mods, cobalt strike sill need certain mods that are not needed for ranged attacks, and vice versa. So Magic coup should be a nice pick up, to keep the equipment homogeneous. What stops me right now, is that I don't really know the effectiveness of Magic Coup later on.

Cookie-cutter builds are cloned mainstream builds (Played by masses, with the same exact skill/Combat Art/Attribute setup), not Area of Effect Builds. They're are so called, cause all chars following these builds are identical, like cookies cut with a cookie cutter. Same aspect, Same shape, same size, only the chocolate nuggets places are uniques (read, the color of the equipment, if not relying on sets/uniques only !). I had an english teacher with a Student cannot evade English lessons +100% mod on its suitcase !

EDIT : Ok I've joust found this topic (here) which uses almost the same template as I do, but relying mostly on magic coup, with shadow step as an escape Combat Art. Anyway, even if my idea is far from new, it's different from the build exposed on the topic linked above. All apologies for believing I had a brand new build to suggest.

Edited by Nihilith, 27 October 2009 - 11:46 AM.

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#4 chattius

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 05:37 AM

Well you use ranged weapons and build your damage mainly on shadow step. So you share a lot with magic coup builds already. But they do their main damage with the weapon and are designed for nearly pure weapon damage.

What I would change however is spell resistance. The explosoin works best while you are inside a group, so you are in melee range. Using a bow takes away shield lore and with this one of the elves best melee defenses. Crystal skin is of cause a nice protection, but only as long as the enemies are doing physical damage. Doing a crystal skin at
casters with spell reflect on it and a fire skin at melee enemies with non physical damage and melee reflect on it would be best.

I would change spell resistance for Pyromancer focus. I know this double skin theory is from the shield maiden, but I think it is a useful approach for your ghost elf too.
Dieses Lied ist für einen guten Kumpel der seinen letzten Kampf gegen seine Krankheit verloren hat:
Über den Wolken

This song is for a good friend from my aero-club who lost his final battle against cancer.

#5 Nihilith

Nihilith

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 02:39 PM

Well you use ranged weapons and build your damage mainly on shadow step. So you share a lot with magic coup builds already. But they do their main damage with the weapon and are designed for nearly pure weapon damage.

What I would change however is spell resistance. The explosoin works best while you are inside a group, so you are in melee range. Using a bow takes away shield lore and with this one of the elves best melee defenses. Crystal skin is of cause a nice protection, but only as long as the enemies are doing physical damage. Doing a crystal skin at
casters with spell reflect on it and a fire skin at melee enemies with non physical damage and melee reflect on it would be best.

I would change spell resistance for Pyromancer focus. I know this double skin theory is from the shield maiden, but I think it is a useful approach for your ghost elf too.


I was also thinking about this issue... melee damage, and I'm going to try a shuriken/shield combo with shield lore :viking: Shield Lore will take the place of spell resistance, and as my main reflexion was about ranged weapons, ancient magic could give its place for Pyromancer Focus as well. Teleport must remain a support Area of Effect spell and not a grinding spell, to damage and evade to shoot even more arrows/shurikens. Hopefully, this build is young enough to be corrected.

A lil gameplay vid on xfire :

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Edited by Nihilith, 28 October 2009 - 02:47 PM.

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#6 Nihilith

Nihilith

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 02:34 PM

Ok, after tweaking the build a little, I decided to start it again in HC. This is the only way to really test it. I update the first post to match HC skill choice.
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