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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:04 pm 
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Pk Bait

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Hello NS4 community. It has been a few years.

I've always liked experimenting with underused builds, feats, and skills and the Undead Shape has always called out to me. With the exception of Undead Shape, every epic shape wields a weapon that the druid is proficient in, allowing feat selection of appropriate weapon focus and crit. The undead shapes wield H-flail, GS, and kukri, which are martial or exotic. Now, the Undead Shape feat excludes classes other than druid and shifter, thus highly discouraging the use of this interesting epic shape. I would like to request that these restrictions on Undead Shape be lifted, which can be accomplished in any number of ways:

1) Fully or partially lift class restrictions on Undead Shape (e.g. allow any classes, or a specific fighter-type class).
2) Or allow shifter to take simple, martial, and exotic proficiencies during feat selection
3) Or change the weapons of undead shapes to druid ones (but this is boring because Outsider and Construct are already doing this).

I know the devs have plenty of balancing issues and future changes prioritized, but if you could find it in your time to hear the humble request of this NS4 fan, it would be much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:59 am 
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I've always felt like they don't have a great niche. Lokey strongly disagrees :P, but he's the limiting factor here.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:39 pm 
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Pk Bait

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Heh. maybe Lokey can relax his stance and incentivize the use of more content? As I see it, the only thing undead shape is good for is as a meat shield that is barred from taking any weapon feats, with limited self-heals and RD. Everyone builds saves 40+ now, so none of the offensive specials are all that useful. It can be argued that being crit and sneak immune may detract from the uniqueness of the PM, but hey, shifter is a copy cat from a role-play standpoint and elemental builds in other factions get it too. Even the greater wildshape IV, V and humanoid shapes have higher ending ability scores than undead shape, all while allowing triple classing in order to get the weapon feats. The point is, there is no point in building for undead shape if the regular druid/shifter shapes can do much better. Lokey, please reconsider...I beg!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:23 pm 
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Didn't want there to be an end-game build on them because:
- No stat recs and you get them at 21.
- Always need to be careful of crit immunity, especially with high ac. See Pale Master.
- They have some turn resistance, but having that huge vulnerability can be a huge problem. Rock, scissors, paper is ok to some extent, but don't want someone having that much buyer's remorse.
- History. Risen Lord was absolutely insane for years, it's still too soon :) (It had crazy ac plus tons of extra damage.)

Thought they have some good party tricks, but that can be improved. Something fun, but not end-game viable, that was the point of the rd and vamp touch abilities.

ETA: I guess something that would fit in with my criteria would be making greater forms that unlock at shifter level 10 or 15 and would need the druid/shifter classes only (somewhat easy from dev side, design is always the headache there). Maybe lower turn resist or other things on the base form to allow some cheese headroom. Hope that a kukri dev crit dex form with ii doesn't break the bank...

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:35 pm 
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Lokey wrote:
Thought they have some good party tricks, but that can be improved. Something fun, but not end-game viable, that was the point of the rd and vamp touch abilities.

why would you purposefully make an epic feat not be end-game viable? this isn't exactly a module where you can drop levels and get them back in the same second

levelling feats would make more sense if there was an NPC to help with re-levelling that goes beyond just taking away xp from you into also giving that same xp back to you
I'm not asking for there to be such an NPC, though


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:38 pm 
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I remember experimenting with undead form. i was crushed to learn that they aren't even immune to negative damage. What sort of undead is not immune to negative damage??

(Greedily anticipates negative/shadow plane farming)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:12 pm 
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I've been playing with an Undead Shifter for a couple of months, so I'd figure I'd let you know my findings.

All Forms:

- Mass Heal is your bane in both PvP and PvM (including friendly heals)
- Not being immune to negative damage (0% immunity) is a big shocker and surprise.
- Fire and Bludgeon damage is very common in PvP and PvM; you'll find that the fire/bludge vulnerability hugely outweighs the pierce/slash resistances by a fair margin
- Undead forms lack damage in all forms, and their base stats are borderline terrible at 40.
- Vampiric regen is bugged; only applies on first flurry.
- Self-harm is nice; but because the base con on all shapes are fairly mediocre, you'll probably not have time to use it in combat before you're dead - its mostly an after-combat thing

Vampire Form:

- When you first get it, its starts off adequate (good enough for skara), but then it starts losing its power very quickly. Your hypnotic gaze works maybe 15-25% of the time; often its faster just to smack down with the heavy flail.
- Vampiric gaze is really bad; its dc on the wiki is wrong (40, not 42 is max). If we compare it to Mindflayer form, which has higher dc, as well as a guaranteed effect, it's just not very good. Not to mention Mindflayer has a very powerful Inertial Barrier, which is like mini epic warding.
- Your melee is not much better either, getting mid 50s at best in ab.

Risen Form:

- Your only "gimmick", the infinite raise deads, is not appreciated in PvP or PvM. No one likes getting drained on raise. You can't even purposely raise enemies; they will resist your attempts to raise them.
- Otherwise has borderline terrible stats for a "frontline-archtype" form.

Spectre Form:

- The only reedeeming shape that this form offers.
- Infinite invisibilities is useful for travelling or raiding
- The main use of Shadow Attack is not for pvp - its for stuffing as much temp hp before you start a fight. In PvP, anyone worth their salt will carry a NEP scroll or a UEF scroll, and render you impotent.
- Getting infinite temp hp is potentially gamebreaking - however I am not going to spend 30 minutes sucking every animal dry before a raid.
- In the event that someone doesn't have NEP or UEF, they can just run. Shadow attack on average does about 30 damage in pvp per round, and has no burst potential for killing someone in pvp. You could even potentially outregen Shadow Attack with the right items.

In conclusion, I can tell you that Undead Shape is not a frontliner, neither a support/buffer, has no ranged attacks to speak, and has more holes in its defenses than Swiss Cheese. The only redeeming aspect is the ability to get infinite hp, which I suspect should be nerfed cause its neither fun for the shifter or the person fighting the shifter.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:53 pm 
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Midtermy wrote:
I've been playing with an Undead Shifter for a couple of months, so I'd figure I'd let you know my findings.
-snip-
I will also add that you cannot get specialization feats into any weapons that are used by undead shape, since heavy flail, greatsword, and kukri all fall under neither druid nor elf weapon proficiency
also, it is very easy to get 39 will save in PvP, especially vs. mind-affecting spells

in addition, MF had an idea where undead shape would be buffed by necro focuses
in that case, you'd want to make the buff from epic necro be significantly bigger than that of greater necro, since it takes at least 17 druid levels to get epic necro focus
if it'd take more investment to have an undead shape that isn't hot garbage aside from using it to stack THP and having some out-of-combat self-heals, then it'd be less likely that people would take undead shape in addition to other epic shapes
if you don't want to go through the trouble of making new shapes, then you could perhaps give them a passive medium-radius aura that reduces the AB/AC of living opponents if you have necro focus, being stronger with more necro focus feats, and perhaps checking disease immunity as well, which can easily be gotten with 5 monk levels, 1 paladin level, or a scroll of undeath's eternal foe


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:56 pm 
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My preferred option remains just committing to making it a non-epic shape. Does it become ok when you can go 25/5/10 style builds?

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Overall, I think most would agree that a pure rogue is probably the worst build on the server.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:54 am 
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mining wrote:
My preferred option remains just committing to making it a non-epic shape. Does it become ok when you can go 25/5/10 style builds?
allright lemme see here:
a barb shifter would have haste from barb rage, and 5/- barb DR, and could afford to get EDR+devcrit, bringing the DR to 14/-, and with both mighty rage and a prayer potion, you could hit 65 ab in risen lord or vampire form, probably with devcrit; not sure if you could also get thundering or terrifying rage, but you would be able to slay dragons

a bard shifter, yeah, I don't think anyones doing that

a cleric shifter, you could hit 66 ab, and also get divine shield and EDR, allowing your ac to reach 10+2+4+15+3+6+6+5+5+20=76(+3-5 if spectre), not including combat modes and including the githzerai racial, but then you'd be dispel bait, but also be able to slay dragons

a fighter shifter, you'd basically be a barb shifter with no DR, 1 extra AC from BS, and of course, more feats to spare; you could perhaps specialize into multiple undead shape forms at once, though, which wouldn't exactly be game-breaking

a monk shifter, you'd go fast, but your AB would suck, and you'd get up to all of 70 ac as a githzerai(without expertise)(+1 if spectre, -1 if risen lord) and mind-affecting spell immunity, and you'd probably be weak to bludg; it'd make an allright monk runner in some cases I guess, but I'd rather be a 40 monk with imp SR IX

a ranger shifter, well, outdoor HiPS doesn't work while polymorphed, so you'd basically be a barb that hits harder, versus your favored enemies, that is, and have no DR... and you'd get evasion

a rogue shifter, you'd get edodge and improved evasion, but your AB would be awful, and your AC would be 5 lower than that of a monk

also, you could be an earth genasi if you aren't a barb, giving you 10/+8 DR and the extra 2 natural AC, and if you could hit +20 dodge ac as a cleric shifter anyway, then you could get that AC up to 78(81 if spectre), but then you'd still be dispel bait and weak to bludg and fire damage, and as an added bonus, however, you wouldn't care about planar turners(while shifted) since you'd get +25 turn resistance while shifted

and I'd imagine that taunt could be squeezed into most if not all of those builds, though the enemy can just run around after the taunt, avoiding being hit by you, and taunting requires being flat-footed for like 4 seconds unless you use the instant taunt sort-of-exploit

all of these ABs assume that you use a double damage type weapon, so all of these weapons would have 2 or 3 damage types

also, all undead shapes lose to mages, since unshifting to recast FoM after the mord+bigby's slow probably means dying
and druids can set you on fire and spam bombardment

I do not see cross-classing as an undead shape shifter being game breaking IF you'd replace the vampire's heavy flail with a greataxe or trident, but if you think it'd be OP, then you could nerf undead shape a little bit, THEN also allow it to cross-class
and risen lord would still suck compared to vampire because the special ability and extra con doesn't justify the loss of dexterity, or the weapon being 1 dmg type
also, maybe you should take the vampire's heavy flail and replace it with a trident or greataxe; if the weapons are all slashing(and also piercing cause whip or katana or gith flail), then it'd be easier to defend against undead shape if you knew what shield and armor to use ahead of time, and its not like someone would actually use gith greatsword in PvP as a shifter
you should also add divine vulnerability like PMs have, imo
100% divine vulnerability sounds good; twice the fire and divine vulnerability of a PM, and it'd also mean that clerics would beat you(maxed searing light would hit for 256 div dmg), and sunburst and sunbeam would hurt too, and getting hit by control undead would suck, as well as getting healed to death

and don't forget that shadow attack and confusion gaze would be awful with 10 shifter lvls, and that you would have multiple weaknesses as every kind of undead shifter, and dispel is worse to a cleric shifter
and ring of brom would be particularly useful against you

EDIT: or you could just go the necro focus route and forget allowing a third class

tl;dr: if you wanna enable taking a third class with undead shape, then add 100% divine vulnerability, make the vampire's heavy flail get replaced with a greataxe or trident(preferably a greataxe), make risen lord's special ability be not complete garbage, and make spectre's shadow attack's THP not be able to stack until it breaks the server, and give undead shape a tiny overall nerf in addition
and any druid, cleric, or mage would be able to beat you


Last edited by Garn on Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:58 am 
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Inferno hasn't eve been nerfed yet and you guys are already trying to pick up a new angle.

Well played. :evil:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:05 pm 
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Pk Bait

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I'd just like to point out that the 25% bludge vuln. is rather a joke overall if we are talking endgame builds. For instance if you simply wear ia full bludge armor and shield you have 25% overall immunity to all 3 physical damage types. This is pretty much better than what all but a specific few other toons can get at one time. (Funny enough the main exceptions to this that you typically see are other shifter forms.) And nobody other than another shifter or druid will be doing all 3 damage types on every hit.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:56 pm 
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MrAsimov wrote:
I'd just like to point out that the 25% bludge vuln. is rather a joke overall if we are talking endgame builds. For instance if you simply wear ia full bludge armor and shield you have 25% overall immunity to all 3 physical damage types. This is pretty much better than what all but a specific few other toons can get at one time. (Funny enough the main exceptions to this that you typically see are other shifter forms.) And nobody other than another shifter or druid will be doing all 3 damage types on every hit.
imo, the 25% piercing/slashing immunity isn't as meaningful without any resistance to back it up
though, you could get 2 of 20/- pierce, slash or bludg resistance, but not all 3
DR would help make up for the lack of resists, though, if you had any


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:25 pm 
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Garn wrote:
MrAsimov wrote:
I'd just like to point out that the 25% bludge vuln. is rather a joke overall if we are talking endgame builds. For instance if you simply wear ia full bludge armor and shield you have 25% overall immunity to all 3 physical damage types. This is pretty much better than what all but a specific few other toons can get at one time. (Funny enough the main exceptions to this that you typically see are other shifter forms.) And nobody other than another shifter or druid will be doing all 3 damage types on every hit.
imo, the 25% piercing/slashing immunity isn't as meaningful without any resistance to back it up
though, you could get 2 of 20/- pierce, slash or bludg resistance, but not all 3
DR would help make up for the lack of resists, though



Just for everyone's information, the only combination of armor/shield available for Druid/Shifter that gives 50% bludgeon resist, 25% pierce resist, and 20/- bludgeon and 20/- pierce is Shield of Menzoberra + (Choice of bludgeon armor... probably Komodo Tribal Plate). Not trying to make a point - just adding extra factoids.

This is important because Heavy Flail and MS are the most common "bludgeon" weapons that are seen in PvP.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:12 pm 
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@Garn To your point that immunity doesn't make a difference without DR, I agree to some degree. If hits are doing say 50 damage, 25% will mean you take 38 , whereas with the 20 DR also you would take only 18. But my point is that you will always be able to only take 38 damage regardless of the weapon used. So if you have either 2 people with wpns containing all 3 damage types, or 1 person with all 3 damage types you will ALWAYS receive at most 38 damage from the physical on their weapons. Anyone else in a similar position will ALWAYS take FULL damage from at least one of the people.

So saying you can't get full DR from one damage type totally neglects the impact of being able to have all 3 immunities.
Also I didn't mention you don't get crits with undead type, because if you did the immunities would even matter more nowadays with so many dev crit toons running about. And PS that crit immune is also a huge plus and a reason not to have all 3 immunities available to the form.

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