UPDATE 6/24/08 Version 2 of the leveling build guide can be found here. The primary changes are switching the feat order to get the Storm Field feats as soon as possible.
UPDATE 6/23/08 The change I had been dreading finally happened. Funcom has significantly nerfed Storm Field. Unfeated, it has a limit of 3 targets. With Titanic Storm, it has a limit of 5 targets. There were other changes as well. In terms of the leveling build, Titanic Storm should now be acquired as soon as possible (level 50). I will update this guide once the changes are fully tested and we know the full impact of the nerf.
Since I already have a Priest of Mitra and a Bear Shaman, I thought it would be a good experience for me to try out the Tempest of Set and learn how the other healer works. Funcom did a great job making the 3 classes play quite differently, even though their core healing skills are similar.
The ToS has been ‘fixed’ and ‘nerfed’ multiple times already. They had several skills that were ridiculously broken that allowed the ToS to kill far too many monsters at a time. I still don’t understand how Funcom didn’t fix these skills before the game went live. A lot of players had plenty of time to take advantage and level up far faster than they should. In any case, these skills are fixed now and the ToS is still a great area (AoE) nuker.
The first level 80 was a ToS
Atomik, on Tyranny server, claims that he was the first level 80. He also claims he did it without taking advantage of the broken skills. I can’t verify that he was the first, but it’s definitely possible. Someone who knew exactly what he was doing would be able to level a ToS to 80 in record time. Here is the build Atomik used to reach level 80.
He picked up Ether Flow first, climbed the Lightning tree for the Storm Field feats and picked up the Storm Crown feats at level 50. He admits that this isn’t the best order to follow, but it worked for him. He also played on a PvP server, so it affected his feat choices.
If you are willing to respec during the leveling process, you can take better advantage of the feat trees. The best leveling build has some weaknesses in PvP, so keep that in mind if you are playing on a PvP server. I tried to point out when you have the option to pick more PvP oriented feats.
- 5/5 Ether Flow – Lightning Strike (LS) is extremely mana expensive. You will find yourself running out constantly. That’s not good for efficient leveling. Pick up this skill as soon as possible. Note that Lighting Strike seems to get resisted quite a bit at low levels, which makes mana management even harder.
- 5/5 Arcing Charged Blast – Until Storm Crown is fully feated, it’s better to improve your standard 2 nukes first. This feat is a prereq and provides a small amount of splash damage.
- 5/5 Improved LS – There is some debate over the actual bonus from this skill. Supposedly it provides a 7.5% damage increase. The damage range for LS is so enormous that it’s difficult to test properly. Since this improves your core nuke, I’m going to assume that this skill is working properly and hope for the best. Your other option is Grounding Charge, which gives your Charged Blast a 50% to root the primary target for 4 seconds. This is a PvP skill. For PvE, you don’t want to root one mob when all the others are running towards you. You want them to stick together for your AoE nukes.
- 5/5 Static Charge – Increases the damage of all your nukes. Scales with level.
- 3/3 Pillar Lightning – Increases the area of effect for LS. More AoE goodness.
At this point, you are level 30 and finally have access to Storm Field. This is a class transforming skill. LS can not be used while Storm Field is active. Respec to pick up the Storm Crown feats.
- 5/5 Growing Storm – Not very useful, but a prereq, so you are forced to take it.
- 3/3 Storm Crown + 3/3 Storm Throne + 3/3 Storm Regalia – A core ToS skill that basically supports everything the ToS does.
- 5/5 Arcing Charged Blast
- 4/5 Improved LS or 4/5 Grounding Charge – Improved LS is the better choice for PvE. Until you get the Storm Field feats, the cooldown lasts longer than the duration. You’ll find that you still use LS for pulls and when Storm Field is down. If you are on a PvP server, Grounding Charge is a very useful utility bonus.
Now that you have Storm Field, you can take on groups of mobs by throwing up your 2 HoT’s and Storm Crown, then casting Storm Field. You can augment your damage with Charged Blast and swinging your weapon. You can also active block or use double taps to get evade bonuses.
Your next goal is to get the feats that improve Storm Field.
- 5/5 Improved LS or 5/5 Grounding Charge
- 5/5 Static Charge
- 5/5 Ether Absorption or 5/5 Brutal LS – At this point, you are basically filling in feat requirements to get the meatier skills further down the tree. Since you are relying on Storm Field and Storm Crown, you really don’t have mana problems. Ether Absorption is the better PvE choice. Brutal LS is a good choice for PvP servers, since it’s also a prereq for 1/1 Inner Charge (instant cast, guaranteed critical strike on next LS, 1 minute cooldown).
- 1/1 Elemental Fury – Instant cast AoE nuke with 45 second cooldown. Instant casts are great for PvE and PvP. Another nuke to use with Storm Field.
- 3/3 Coalesce Ether + 1/1 Blood Mana or 1/1 Inner Charge + 3/5 Ether Absorption – More mana management skills or PvP upgrade for LS.
- 2/2 Set’s Storm – Reduces casting time and reduces the cooldown so you can always have Storm Field up. Essential for leveling.
- 1/1 Column Lightning – Column area nuke that does huge damage. 3 second cast, 60 second cooldown. Can also be used with Storm Field. Great for PvE and PvP. If you play on a PvP server, consider getting this skill before Set’s Storm. Set’s Storm is hugely helpful for PvE, but Column Lightning is only 1 point and can potentially do incredible damage.
- 3/3 Set’s Brutality – Increases critical strike chance for Storm Field.
- 2/2 Titanic Storm – Increases area affect of Storm Field
At this point, you have a choice. Either go directly to the general tree or invest in Idol of Set. The general tree build provides Saintly Warrior sooner, which helps with keeping stamina up when active blocking. I’ve been experimenting a lot with Idol of Set recently and I’ve changed my mind about the usefulness of that skill. The Idol of Set build order can be found further down the page.
- 5/5 Ether Flow – Provides very good mana regen both in and out of combat.
- 5/5 Spirit Armor – Provides a passive defensive boost, helpful for AoE nuking.
- 3/3 Saintly Warrior – Provides mana and stamina when struck in melee combat. Helps PvE because you have endless stamina to active block or evade.
- 2/5 Spirit Aegis – Provides a small passive magic defensive boost. Nice filler.
- 5/5 Exemplar – Passive increase to melee and nuke damage.
- 1/1 Vengeance of the Gods – Great for PvE and especially for PvP. 1s cast, 30s duration, 3m cooldown. 20% damage buff.
At this point, you have a lot of options. I recommend the following skills. Consider getting any of these skills sooner if it suits your playstyle.
- Empowered Cobra Stare – Stun doesn’t break on damage. Essential for PvP servers. Very useful for ToS’s who group a lot. If you get aggro, this stun is a great way to stop the incoming damage and give your tank a chance to regain aggro.
- Power of the Serpent Ring + Wrath – 10s duration, 60s cooldown, 30% damage buff – Similar to Vengeance of the Gods, provides a nice damage boost. Helps with burst damage for PvP.
- Empowered Life of Set – Only 1 point. Adds a decent +damage to your next LS, CB or SF.
- Idol of Set + Idol of Set’s Power – 60s cooldown reduces the usefulness of this skill, but it is still a very good way to boost damage.
- Far Reaching Spirit + Presence of Mind – Makes your emergency direct heal into an instant cast. Makes it far more useful. Can be cast while running.
- Fury of the Storm + Pillar Lightning + Imp. LS – Always good to improve your primary nuke.
- Ether Absorption + Coalesce Ether + Blood Mana – If you didn’t get these skills before, it’s helpful if you do any LS spamming.
- Set’s Life Spark – Only 1 point. Gives you the ability to resurrect yourself once every 30 minutes. Can be very useful. Unfortunately, you resurrect at the location you died, which is typically surrounded by whatever killed you in the first place. Without your buffs, you die a much faster second death. For parties, it can be invaluable, especially if you are the only rezzer.
- Visions of Hatred + Brain Spasms + Puppets of Set – An essential part of the PvP build right now. Visions of Hatred provides a channeled 6.5s stun (5 minute cooldown). Puppets of Set is a 2.5s cast with a 10s ‘confuse’ (2 minute cooldown). For PvP, I don’t think I need to explain why these skills are useful. In PvE, having more crowd control skills can be very useful as well.
Idol of Set build order
Note: Before you read further, you should know that you do not need Idol of Set. The ToS grinds and kills fine without it. The Idol can speed up some grinding and create a different gameplay which can be fun.
This build order starts at level 52. If you’ve been following this guide, your build should look similar to the following:
Investing 5 points in Idol of Set and Idol of Set’s Power provides a dramatic DPS boost to your Storm Field grinding. I haven’t parsed the numbers, but you can take down a group significantly faster. This makes it possible to pull a bigger group of mobs and get more bonus experience from longer chain kills. Instead of relying on active blocking, you can run around pulling mobs and basically circle your Idol, while Storm Field pulses from you and the Idol kill the mobs following you.
Since Idol of Set has a long cooldown and the duration is shorter than the cooldown, you have to manage it properly. Unlike a non-Idol build, you are less mobile, so you have to plan ahead. But properly done, you can reliably get ridiculously long chain kills depending on the grinding location. With a 10 chain kill, normal mobs give as much experience as boss mobs.
- 1/3 Piercing Storm Crown or 1/3 Empowered Cobra Stare – A filler point to get you to the Idol of Set feats, but both are useful choices. Empowered Cobra Stare is the PvP choice. It’s not a bad decision to go 3/3 on either feat before moving on to Idol of Set.
- 3/3 Idol of Set
- 2/2 Idol of Set’s Power – This skill provides additional Storm Field pulses from the Idol itself. I don’t recommend getting the Idol until you have the Storm Field feats first. That gives you more damage and a longer range.
- 1/1 Empowered Life of Set – Every time you cast Life of Set (which is very often), your next LS, SF or Charged Bolt gets a damage bonus. The damage bonus is significant, so it’s often worth casting Life of Set prior to any LS or SF cast.
- 5/5 Ether Flow
- 5/5 Spirit Armor
- 3/3 Saintly Warrior
Note that this build is better for grinding, rather than questing. It’s often not worth the time or effort to place an Idol if you are only killing a few mobs. Be careful of using Idols in instances with elite mobs. All that DPS will make the mobs very angry at you.
At this point, you can either continue down the general tree to get Vengeance of the Gods or any of the other useful feats I recommended above.