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Alpha Journal #4: Playing the Cleric

Posted by Jon Wood on Oct 21, 2005  | Comments

Alpha Journal #4: Playing the Cleric -

Dungeons and Dragons Online has released the fourth in their series of Alpha Journals, testimonials from players who are currently experiencing the game's Alpha Test. This week's journal gives players an overview of the Cleric class:

Future residents of Stormreach, let me share with you a bit of my experiences as a cleric. Like in traditional D&D, the cleric is both a formidable caster and warrior. They are nothing like the robe-wearing, sissy healers with whom MMORPG veterans are likely familiar. No, these holy warriors can dish out a beating, take punishment and heal themselves and their allies for another serving of beat down.

When I began my human cleric, I started him out with 14 STR, 12 DEX, 12 CON, 10 INT, 14 WIS, and 14 CHA using the point buy. I went with that because it gives me a nice bonus to hit and damage, solid turning ability, a good amount of spell points, decent hit points with the 20 HP buff all heroes get and full AC when I eventually wear full plate.

I placed my initial 12 skill points into Diplomacy (4), Heal (4) and Concentration (4). Diplomacy is already useful for progressing in some quests through NPC interaction, plus you can use it in combat to convince the monsters to attack someone else. Heal is useful for stabilizing allies when spell points are low and also helps the party get more hit points back while resting. Concentration is very useful for getting spells off while monsters are attacking you.

For my two first level feats, one for being first level and one for being human, I selected Mental Toughness and Shield Mastery. Mental Toughness grants a very nice initial bonus to spell points and also grants a smaller bonus each level as you advance. Shield Mastery improves the blocking effectiveness of shields which is already quite nice at lowering the punishment you take from attacks by making you get hit less and not as hard.

After creation, I started out on my first quests. Clerics are pretty strong solo if you want to be a lone wolf because of their ability to heal, deal damage and take it. They're also great in groups, of course. I went through my first few quests solo. Loading up Cure Light Wounds and Divine Favor (a nice self-only to hit and damage buff with a one minute duration). My first few quests went well, especially the ones involving undead thanks to my turn undead abilities which makes them cower in fear while I beat them senseless and my Cure Light Wounds spell which doubles as a nuke against the undead...

To read the rest of this journal, click here.

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