SS Feedback

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CosmicOrderV
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SS Feedback

Post by CosmicOrderV » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:29 pm

I finally made a spellsword. Didn't at the beginning, because I figured there would be issues with it, and obviously there were. Now seemed like a good time. I dig the concept, after all. So I had to eventually (I told myself). The character has only gotten to level 10, but here's what I'm noticing so far, in one word:

Mediocre.

So I made a drow. Ability scores are 14's mostly down the board, dump CHA, and 16 INT/STR. Taking all the normal cookie cutter feats, heal as a skill. Ect.

While thematically it seems neat, I can't help but feel like the low-level game is bad. Your hit-point AC combo, being a front-line fighter, gets so many near-death experiences in team-play. Actual death when solo'ing. Buff choices are pretty standard too. Zoo spells, mage armor, haste, stoneskin, improved invis. Basically short of being fully buffed, a normal fighter or rogue have better AC. Better damage too, because imbues don't stack with essences. When fully buffed, this class performs well. But honestly, what class doesn't when fully buffed?

Spellsword feels like a fighter who can buff themselves without needing potions or wands, at the cost of no Discipline, less AC, and less hit-points. There's the imbue effects, but the DC is too low to be reliable. The damaging imbues at least let the SS compete with rogues/fighters when it comes to damage, but that's briefly, and at the cost of AC and hit-points. It definitely feels lacking.

That said, I know old threads talked about armor imbues potentially returning, in a less broken way? If that's still being considered, it might be what SS needs, but personally. I feel like just giving it +1 AB, +1 AC, and +1 Imbue DC, somewhere early on, would really help take the edge off. I'm going to see if parry will procs imbues and maybe make him a duelist type, but short of that, I'm putting this character on the chopping block. The concept is hella cool, but the implementation left something to be desired.
Aodh Lazuli wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:22 pm
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-XXX-
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Re: SS Feedback

Post by -XXX- » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:30 am

You do realize that despite being what you describe as a "mediocre" melee presence, a Spellsword is still a full fledged wizard, right?

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by magistrasa » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:52 am

It may be a wizard, but I'd still say it's not a very good one. And if you wanted to play a wizard like a wizard, why are you playing a spellsword?

Wear armor like the spellsword feats expect you to, and you have to deal with arcane spell failure. You can't go full-dive into INT to get the best spell DCs or spell slots unless you want to never hit or damage anything with your sword (which is literally half the name of the path). You can't summon anything, even if they're class feature summons like a shadowdancer's shadow or a blackguard's fiend. If you can't solo anything and you can't use even a trashy summon to back you up - as if you were a mage with no conj/necro focii - you're looking at a miserable PvE experience. Spellsword path expects and requires you to sacrifice traditional spell casting for the sake of a unique play style. But, again, that unique play style isn't exactly... good.

So you'll only ever be a mediocre wizard, and that's probably a best-case scenario. And when you're both a mediocre mage and a mediocre warrior, it's hard to see where the appeal is beyond the general aesthetic of the spellsword. Which is a cool aesthetic! I just wish the mechanics were whole enough to support it, and agree with OP's general sentiment. A telling fact about the state of spellswords is, I dunno about you, but I haven't even seen any epic level spellswords in a few months now - but I've heard plenty of people yearning to play one once the mechanics for the path get updated.

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by CosmicOrderV » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:03 am

Kind of hard to call it a full fledged wizard when it's meant to be the arcane version of cleric. But even clerics get more hit-points than that. Most of the wizard stuff is DC dependent, too. No summons on top of it all, and yeah. Since you're not focusing INT the spell-slots will only allow a handful of spells outsides the necessary buffs. So whatever the extra spells you are using, are, they can't be your normal strategy. And why would you want them to? Low INT means bad DC. It's all about those imbues. Then there's the non-DC spells but those effect you too, and being a melee'er you got to be in the area of effect that you just put down on them. It's a bit counter-productive. So you end up just waiting on the side-lines, when it would have been more efficient to just haste in and bash 'em.

For what it's meant to do, it just seems like other classes do it far better. The only thing SS has going for it are the imbues, but with a 3/4 attack progression, and how the DC's are calculated, it seems too circumstantial.
Aodh Lazuli wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:22 pm
I, too, struggle to know what is written in books without first reading them.

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by Seekeepeek » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:22 am

I recently played a spell sword to late epics. i think i died once (cause of crippling lag) and only ever had to buy 40-50 kits in total (in the character's lifetime).
the negative imbue is so powerful i didn't use any other imbues before lvl 21. (were you can use two)

at late epic my ac was so high that i barely ever got hit.. and the fire imbue lower the enemies ac, so i was in improved expertise all the time without having any issues hitting.

-twohand was active at all time and i cross classed discipline thought. so i was never kded even once in PvE

i found the path to easy for me.. so i ended up rolling it. was sitting at 1 million in inventory value and 1 million in the bank at the end without having owned a shop. pixie + lore + search is awesome.

was a pure spellsword, no multiclassing.

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by CosmicOrderV » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:29 am

Was it surface or UD? Curious if the areas are making the difference. Also if I may, how long did it take to reach max level?
Aodh Lazuli wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:22 pm
I, too, struggle to know what is written in books without first reading them.

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Seekeepeek
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Re: SS Feedback

Post by Seekeepeek » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:44 am

played in the underdark. mostly soloed since i was playing it on-off and people i went along with got left behind or moved ahead. i teamed up with the random people i crossed path with, while going out on adventures. no clue how long it toke, it wasn't in my focus. and it has no meaning to ponder... since players pour in deferent hours into this game per day.

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by CptJonas » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:57 am

Just to note...SS is actualy super easy and strong early and mid levels...
Only time when you actualy start feeling problems what class have (and there are many of them) is in late levels (around 18+ or so..)

So...is SS on average or maybe below average class...yes...
Will you be probably better of playing battle cleric...yes...
Does it need some look from DM/Contributors...maybe, yes...

If you ask me...fix bugs and isues, give it atleast same stuff as paladins have (+3 CL vs dispels), and do something about imbues...let it proc atleast 4 times per round...give us some love :D

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by Sartain » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:25 am

Having listened to a friend of mine taking a Spellsword from level 1 to 25 during the last month, I do believe there are classes who needs some love a lot more.
The Spellsword seemed insane on levels 1-10, a powerhouse solo class that was support/DPS/tank with rogue skills on the side, through the familiar. I don't after that since he quickly outlevelled me but he definitely wasn't complaining :)
For me, I just wonder why they get the familiar, as it doesn't really seem to suit the class and taking the away their access to free trap and lock disable might make the class just slightly more dependent on other characters

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by Sea Shanties » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:52 am

You are only level 10 and I think it's a class that kicks in later. I know spellswords have been nerfed some since I last played one, but they seemed quite strong a while back and got great AC after taking EMA. Maybe keep going and then report back. When you have a full spellbook to use I think you'll see where there's more utility than you think and it's not all about casting DC spells against enemies. Throwing around IGMS and having Premo/Greater Stoneskin and various shields and sheaths up makes a huge difference and is something to factor in against lower HP. Tactics are different than a normal wizard when you're attacking melee instead of hiding behind summons, things like spell mantles are something that seemed to matter a lot more at least the way I played.

If I was going to judge bard by how they played at level 10 (which is as far as I've ever gotten on one since I don't really like playing bards at all) I'd say they were weak and not at all fun too. But I know that's not the case and they get very strong later on. Maybe at least aim to get level 9 spells, then you'll also be 17 and get something for deleting if you give up. Unless you just don't enjoy the experience at all, in which case, by all means bail.

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by Richørd » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:57 am

>jugding an entire class at lvl 10

lmao.


So, I'll try to sound less like a snarky poopy butthole.
Spellswords are amazing, they had such a rise in popularity at one point that 50% of the active players in a settlement consisted of them, they can solo relatively many epic-level dungeons later on and they can hurt like crazy.

I used the word "can" two times there. This basically implies that they can be awesome if handled correctly. Like every other class.

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by CptJonas » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:42 pm

PS: Please dont judge classes by how they are able to do PVE...that isnt challenging content...

PPS: If you ask me to choose one thing to point out...that would be same stuff as many other classes (Warlock, True flame, even druid) sufer from...you have basicly no reason to raise your main caster stat above whats your minimum for all spell circles...and thats shame, and weird...its like SS for example is more like 30% Spell, and 70% Sword

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by solo » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:52 pm

I can have pretty bad internet, which is why I have a tendency to do dungeons on my own so I can avoid annoying situations where my party has to wait for me because I'm lagging behind, crashes at inopportune moments, and the like. And yeah, in my experience, early level spellswords can be a bit of a pain, and I used to rely heavily on Stoneskin/Imp. Invisivility scrolls at the beginning. Without those two buffs on me, I was pretty much crippled.

Then I got Shadow Shield, and my world changed upside down. Until you get your hands on that spell, you're going to struggle a bit. But once you do, there are times you'll feel invincible. Though to be fair I can't speak for the epic level dungeons. Regardless of level range, dispels mean death, though.

And armour is a pain too. Until you get Greensteel, you'll constantly end up in situations where you'll have to decide whether to try and risk casting despite the arcane spell failure, or to try and run away, find a safe spot, switch out your armour and cast your spells. Sometimes it can lead to hilarious situations like the time when I had to run through a dungeon naked to try and cast my last invisibility spell while being chased by half of said dungeon, only to get knocked down by the local boss, which then committed suicide on my acid sheath. Writ completed.

That said, it is manageable. I still don't have Greensteel because for RP reasons I want my toon to craft it entirely by himself since it's supposed to be a magical armour attuned to his magics, which means I'm making it by increments of 1% per 60 crafting points spent. I'm only halfway done after about a month.

Also, though the spellsword will have access to all the wizard spells, I don't think you can call it a full-fledged wizard either. Unless you've boosted your Int every chance you get to have a high casting DC, but in which case your Strength will be so low that you probably won't be able to hit the broad side of a barn. Much less damage it.

I don't think the class allows you to be very creative in building either. I saw another spellsword player who went the Dex spellsword route and decided to differ from the guides in the builds and mechanics section, and I've seen how much they've been struggling to level past a certain point. Unfortunately, I think it's a class which only has a handful of functional builds, and it's best to just follow the guides done by the more experienced players who have already put themselves through the migraines of trying to work out the quirks of the class.

My advice, is to brainlessly follow one of the guides, and persevere until you get Shadow Shield. Honestly, I'm really having a blast, and the RP around the class if pretty fun too - I'm basically playing my dude as being an incompetent wizard who needs to rely on his swordsmanship to win a fight, except he also happens to be an incompetent swordsman who needs magic to survive. Which admittedly, is closer to the truth of the class then the whole "I'm such a badass I can do magic and fight at the same time!"

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by liver and bones » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:21 pm

As a person that's played ten spellswords at least to at least upper 10's/early 20's, I can tell you right now that they're in a relatively fine spot. Their biggest downfall is last game; a class whose main focus is on hitting things can't actually hit things, as even with +5 GMW they only reach 43 AB for most races. So, as I've suggested elsewhere, they simply need a late-game buff (e.g. 25 wizard levels). A similar concept to pale masters or druid where they receive a buff, if they a certain number in a stat; possibly 25 STR yields you an extra +1 or +2 AB, or 25 INT yields you +1 or +2 dispel CL.

They're ridiculous early game if played right. Slap on GMW via scrolls, negative imbue, sit in expertise. If needed at 1 APR, let your character hit then heal with a kit before the next round. Make use of ghostly visage once you get it; you'll take almost no damage ever. Spend all your money on: improved invisibility wands, making more GMW scrolls, and greensteel if you don't have it yet.

The only other thing that's mildly concerning is the absolute need for greensteel. After you do get it, you don't have to worry about it anymore, though.

Is the class linear? Yes.
Are most special classes on Arelith linear? Yes, if not all.
Is playing a class in a sub-optimal way only up to level 10 a good way to judge a class? No.

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CosmicOrderV
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Re: SS Feedback

Post by CosmicOrderV » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:59 pm

Thanks for all the feedback! Definitely seems like a SS has to slug it until later levels, I guess. Not sure i would call that a good class.

And the reason I asked about the time it took to level up was was to determine competency. If you schmooze it in easy areas with low exp, then it would take longer, thus also being a poor reflection of the class.

Also, it's easy to get a feel for how a class handles once you near lvl 12. Ive been playing this game long enough.

Sitting in expertise with 3/4 bab is an exercise in patience. Its not efficient. I could play a full bab class for far better results.

From what someone suggested to me though, they're getting an update soon to address the low ab, so here's hoping!
Aodh Lazuli wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:22 pm
I, too, struggle to know what is written in books without first reading them.

Sea Shanties
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Re: SS Feedback

Post by Sea Shanties » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:56 pm

I don't think you do always get a sense though. Lots of classes have game-changing abilities that you won't get until later on especially when spells are involved. A level 12 druid is absolutely nothing like a level 30 with monolith shapes as one example. Spellswords also get a few "this changes everything" moments including double imbues and EMA.

Frankly Spellswords are a class that can keep darkness up in every fight if they just gear for bonus spells which is kinda cheeseball but makes PVE easy mode before epics. If the class is not to your taste I understand (like I said, I would echo the exact same things about bards, which I hated trying to level) and I am sure it could use some tweaks but I wouldn't consider it at the bottom when it comes to difficulty leveling or power gained later on.

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by The1Kobra » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:14 pm

I've been pretty happy with my spellsword overall. It's not the best build out there I think, but it's certainly worthwhile.

One thing that's nice about spellswords is they're easy to gear. Between AC buffs, stat buffs, and weapon imbues, you can get very far with just basic equipment and a bronze weapon.

Admittedly, mine took a different route than most. Most spellswords I see go the STR route. I went the DEX route with dual wielding and monk splashing. It's very easy to get a very high AC on spellswords, only PM tanks can beat them in that consistently, due to how powerful epic mage armor is.

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Re: SS Feedback

Post by Jagel » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:15 am

The best classes have a nice mix of gradual progression and power spikes IMO

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