Well, in LLs you can bigby9 a bunch of them. You can detonate the Locatah Matriarch. Stat-drain Dustbone and Illithids (mostly to assist for a druid maggot kill, but -12 to stats alone is good). Same thing works in Abyss vs Azz1 mini and Graz'zt/Obox-Ob.
1. You list Protection from Elements in your Limbo build. Don't only rangers get the improved version? I could understand Resist Elements (lvl 2), with PSF Abj you'd end up with 24/- with no absorb limit and cut some slack in the gearing, but lvl 2 is already quite crowded. Wouldn't Displacement be a better choice, for tanks who can't conceal themselves?
2. Hold Monster? IIRC that spell respects both mind and paralysis immunity, has a DC check (as opposed to Bigby grapple check which is more likely to land) and rather short range (could be a liability in Limbo spawn patterns). Its only advantage over Bigby 9 seems that it doesn't use lvl 9 slots. Am I missing something here? Wouldn't Energy Buffer be a better pick (and adress the thing from the previous question)?
Yeah, looks like u can cs anythin non crit imm. - Big Crit
Been a while so perhaps missing some stuff, but...
1. Displacement is generally left for the Bard, who will provide both greater concealment *and* be able to Extend it (pretty rare for Limbo parties to not have a Bard). As you mentioned Level 2 is already crowded, but also note that Protection from Elements has some extra damage resistance (30/- instead of 24/-), at the cost of having an absorb limit. Ultimately not a run-breaking spell, but it's easy to re-cast and handy for general padding.
2. High-level slots are *very* precious, with BB9 being primarily reserved for Kaorti Alienists. Similar to the above, Hold Monster is not a run-breaking spell but lets you contribute a bit more without burning high-level slots; the weak mobs it affects have so much HP/Immunities that spamming damage (eg: Maximised Combust) is relatively ineffective.
Hold Monsters works very reliably on Red Slaads, Githzerai Stalkers, Windrazors, Zeugalaks; not many (if any) other ways to disable those, and lasts pretty much forever. Unlike bigby9 it doesn't deal (pathetic) damage every round so you are free to GV on demand. It's cheap and effective, I just like it.
You answered yourself, I pick ProEle because EB is out of question; not having Illusion foci, Displacement would be 50-51% only so best left for the Bard, or make tanks use GM3 shield or Rona boots on themselves.
Fwiw there's not much elemental damage in limbo and ProEle is good enough to buff friendly tanks who don't cover elemental dr (quite common on some slot-starved 2handers), as a backup/safety net should they forget to rebuff with EB augmentors as well.
The corner for all the questions you were too shy to make (rightfully so, because they're stupid ones):
Is this a damage sorc or an instakill sorc?
Assuming you are referring to the main build, it's both. Not the sort of jack-of-all-trades build that is a polite way to describe builds who suck at everything equally (hello battle bards and rogue splash wizards), but the best arcane caster you can level up alone or offer to a party.
I quickly checked some builds who claimed to be "damage mages" and it's not that they're outdated, they sucked even back then. I saw some of those in action, busy try killing a narzugon with half a dozen of acid orbs or spamming aoe damage for a good minute on spawns that could have been cleared with a single Weird. Woah, nice damage logs. But the run took twice as long.
If you want to boost your e-peen by posting your end-run damage logs like a certain Werecheater (be sure to copy-paste logs 1-2 times per map to religiously follow his steps tho, also works best by editing some variables on your character to deal double damage, only way to drag Bad parties), by all means focus on Evards, Meteors and kill with empowered orbs every single enemy.
The truth is that, playing smart in a party with people of about your same skill level, you're not going for example to score more kills than a druid in Azzagrat or a cleric in Malbolge. It's tempting (for a loser) to give up on the instakill log-whoreing they know they can't win, in order to focus on damage, but it's not that effective; as I said, a near death enemy kills you just as good than a full health one, and all the damage you land on secundary targets (think some Evards or damage clouds on stuff that is going to be imploded in the next two rounds) is 100% useless, not going to make the run smoother nor quicker. It often is even detrimental, by causing unnecessary kickback or making the battlefield more laggy/chaotic.
There're some situations where a Orb spell is going to deal great damage: nuking down a Death Knight or some 0% conceal nasty foe surrounded by healers like Obox-ob, you sure are going to appreciate big numbers. Giving up a school and many different spell choices in order to shine in few fights (hint: for all Hells/Ely playing, where almost everything is high concealed, orbs suck; or you can cast some aoe hitting more than one vulnerable foe) on the other hand makes you sub-par in many common situations where you are better soften up a big spawn first. If you still want to be the king of single target non-instakillable dps, play a two hander.
Focus only on instakill? Sure, go play a palemaster. Then come back to mommy crying you feel useless in 75% of spawns. That's not the truth because a pm has some good tricks up his steeves, but sure it can feel very low impact in many situations, especially if your party sucks and you have to turn the tides of a battle by nuking down some insta-immune big foe or speed up a boss killing.
I offer you the best of both worlds, by covering all relevant instakill spells and have next to perfect damage output in all situations. It is also worth note that by not giving up on a role, be it insta-killer or damager, parties that include you are a lot more flexibile, and it's not necessary to wait for all cores/spots to be filled before approaching a hard run.
I read about these nice quasi classes I want to try them all! Pariahs, Dragonstorm and Bloodfire Mages, Heralds !!! They look so much funnier than plain ole boring sorcerer, so why not them?
Sure play them. It must be incredibly fun to always use the same 5-10 spells on a bfm instead of having to learn how to properly manage a whole spellbook. Or not being able to provide the crucial epic spell that makes a run happen. Also crap in your pants whenever you lack the spell to deal with a particular mob, hoping for the party to have a real caster too.
This is the thing with quasiclasses, often they cannot be the only arcane in the party, there always has to be one of those boring cookie cutter mages. Or play with a 10 men party in Dis. Once core spots are covered, I'd always take some weird hybrid build over tank number #6, and when players are good the cores are more flexible: I ran every hell and abyss layer without a mage in party, sure having a dsm tag along wouldn't have been bad at all. A plain sorcerer on the other hand, could have easily saved 10-30 minutes from each run.
I'm of the opinion that new players should make a generalist mage before deciding if a specialist build/quasi is worth it, and in the end they're going to realize that they get to play the generalist a lot more often, due to party constraints. Save your bfm for when you want to laugh at Viper Trees (hint: chain lightning is great there anyway) or Mammon Tears (they take cold almost as good tho), but also keep note of all the times you are idle because there's nothing in your arsenal useful against that other guy right there...
As a wizard I can have the same spells and more. There're a lot of wizards around, most of them can also cover rogue duty, unlike sorcerers! Sorcerers lack spellbook flexibility isn't it?
Yeah there're a lot of wizards around. And they are all terrible. No joke, I've been here forever and I know who played what in most runs: the end game wizards are very few (Dash, Doom, Dex... wth all D ones) and they're playing sorcerers/something else way more often anyway. I've been playing a wizard through ~3(?) demi iterations, 3 Abyss cycles and ~30 solo Ely/Aboleths as well just so I could be knowledgeable enough when I trash talk them (well, I also had to farm xp on an old sorc-pm-reinc). I could even claim to be best wizard player everrrrr if I gave a damn and stick with it lil more: I prefer to ignore that period of my nerd career. Most of the wizards you see in game never set a foot in Abyss (and if they did, they weren't the only arcane anyway, damn leechers) and reach level 70+ only by farming LL runs.
If you're a proud wizard player and feel offended by this, do yourself a favor and check your spellbook, assume you're going to any Hell layer and let us know what did you memorize and in what quantity. Then we'll compare that with what a standard sorcerer can cast. I'm sure we aren't going to see much variety in spell selection, and about quantity... In Ely and Abo the spell selection would be even more limited, while in the Abyss you're going to yell at your spellbook limitations every few spawns, or just memorize random damage spells and run out of useful stuff to do halfway through a map, when lucky. The randomness in Abyss spawns is so punishing for wizards who rely on memorization (and would rule in less-randomized runs like LL and Hells, but as I said there they lack in quantity and use the same spells of a sorc so...) that I even started to appreciate sorc/pm over wiz/pm, despite the incredibly limited spell variety. Both pm options are terrible compared to real casters tho, let ignore them.
So why so many of them around? Well, INT subraces/gear/artifacts are damn cheaper than CHA ones. There's also this widespread opinion that by splashing rogue on a wizard you suddendly become incredibly useful, while a sorcerer's pixie can spot all LL search checks (not that people making wizard even know what a LL search check is useful for, or know where to look) and you can safely skip all Hells secrets up to Nessus, where you better bring a real rogue if you don't want to waste 15+ minutes of run time with re-gearing, re-selecting spells, rolling a 20 on the check and probably missing all search triggers over teleports in the Malsheem Maze. Heck the only place you really want to have some picker and asmo-ing a rogue is not possible would be those Abyss pt3 runs that you never see happening if there's just a weak splashed wizard as main arcane.
It doesn't matter if people sell you cheap spelljammer, negatai or genie, they are worth next to nothing in the end game economy because what they help you make are just trap builds, so make a lower subrace tier sorc and come back thank me when you'll be the one carrying runs.
Where is Epic Ruin? It destroys everything! It's a great spell! Why don't you recommend it?
Epic Ruin is crap and you should feel bad. Let read the description together (because you obviously didn't when you decided to pick this spell):
Greater Ruin - Does 70d6 damage to the target. - Receives an extra use per day at 50 base Spellcraft. - When cast using the feat, the target must make a Fortitude save against a DC of (CL + 5) or be reduced to quivering jelly. - To be immune to this effect, the target must be immune to mind spells, death magic, the Implosion spell, and be immune to critical hits or have a Parry skill of 100 or higher.
1) 70d6 positive: that's not relevant past East Road bandits. 2) ONE extra use at 50 spellcraft. So you're using one of your precious feats for something you can do once/rest, or twice if you also waste 50 points so 2 more INT or less craft armor or parry. 3) 64-65 DC. The Yuan-Ti version has a DC of 10 (base) + 27 (chamod) + 8 (foci) +6 (spell level) = 51, 54 channeling on a disintegrate at level 60. If you look at that, sure DC is great. Way to go, use your Epic Ruins to steal kills from the imploder. Now let look at a double demi paragon radiance with artifact and ego, DCs are the following: 64 on Disintegrate/Circle of Death, 67 on Energy Drain, 74 on Weird. On normal spells. Remember, you have many spells.
4) and now, where people Epic (Ruin) Fails happen. The list of things immune to it is simply huge. It pretty much covers everything that matters. I see you nub mages spying this thread, so please stop trying to Ruin Bueroza or Orthon Fists. Heck you can't even kill a paragon Rakhugon, Cornugon or Gelugon with it. Usually if you or your party can't kill with any of you other spells, it's not like ruin opens up that many new strategies. By all pratical purposes, this is not Eradicate, it's just a glorified weird/disint/cod/heartbane all in one, and you already cover 75% of the list with your other slots, of which you have multiple uses. If you or the cleric can't kill it with your normal spells, then greater ruin won't work. ONE exception, Aboleths (Abyssal ones as well, but those are dead in ~5 freezing spheres anyway). Normal ones obviously, because Savants are immune. Now at the cost of one feat you can attempt instakill 2 of them per rest, when a shifter can kill one (usually 2-3 with ok positioning) with two Gas Burps, about 80 times per rest. I hope you can realize by now how much of a waste this feat is.
If not, know that Epic Ruin is very similar to the command "/s I AM A NOOB AND DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO CAST AT THIS MONSTER". Try quickslot the latter, usually people help you and works better in the long run.
On a serious note, the Epic Ruin had some merits before Paragon Levels and Heartbane spell introduction, with lower DCs for casters, a bunch of stuff clerics couldn't easily kills, and especially when you weren't sacrificing a feat that could have been worth a Paragon Spell Focus or Spell Knowledge (casters were usually stopping at Epic with Evocation).
This is absolutely hilarious Raj, and very well put together for newer sorc players. In fact, your whole thread is great. I salute you.
My only question, in terms of what you suggest, is about perhaps two of the spell selections on the suggested Abos list - and reallt just a matter of preference. (The should it be just abos, or abos/ely, question.) The limbo book is really interesting, and I am looking at how that might best fit with my rejigging of three sorc fc toons in the coming weeks.
What spells are you talking about? Abo sorc list is very similar to what I used to 'solo' the run with just 1 shifter as bot. ~2h30 for pt1+2. I added some party-friendly stuff like Mass Haste and Wrack because I don't see anybody going there with just two toons anymore, so might as well add some support.
I had an hybrid version (same foci, some different spells) that I used to complete Ely with as well, just botting 1 warchanter, but boss fight was too luck based for my tastes: you really want Karsus (and good evo dc from those foci) should you solo/lowman it because spamming thunderclaps is what you do for most of last 3 maps. Having a strong Banish is nice for Ely but not worth giving up any of the standard schools, so I'd play the cookie cutter sorc there even in a solo/lowman setup.
That's also why I included u2d as spell in the standard level 60 spellbook, assuming you follow a character progression like: 1 Hell trip, 1-2 Ely runs while finishing 2nd Hell trip, couple more Ely runs, then Abyss first trip and changing spellbook for chain lightning. That doesn't preclude future Ely runs at all, but smoothens the ones where your gear is still meh.
I hope you read the disclaimer about the Limbo sorc
When I create a new Rak sorc with the above specs, it starts with a Discipline of -2 and Parry of 2. So taking 43 points of each at the Paladin level-up results in a Discipline of 41 and a Parry of 45. I could also take 45 points of Discipline and 41 points of Parry to end up with 43 in both scores. Does the difference matter in any material sense, and if it does, which is preferred?
Some small updates to the recommended Limbo Sorc spell list (new entries: Ice Storm, Mass Charme), and after last patch suppressed the hint about bb8 vs rocs because... eeeh, use fireballs.
I'm tempted to suggest a paladin splash for that version, especially if you can't fit Weird immunity but generally speaking there're a lot of save-or-it-hurts checks; reincarnating just to check if it's worth would mean losing the shield pandect upon an afterthought and that's a thing scrooge Raj cannot risk, but worth try it if you're reincarnating some paladin-splash bfm/rdd/old sorc for the Limbo duty.
Fixed the above mentioned issue (really I thought it was missing 1 whole skill, not a lone skillpoint -.- so ignored it till now, rip 1 point of craft armor, build broken) and random edits all around. Also keeping you forum lurkers updated about my sorcs evolution with some more showoff screenshots, xmas reincs.