First Look: U41 Eldritch Knight
Hello! We're here today to talk about the Eldritch Knight pass coming in Update 41. This updates both the Wizard and Sorcerer versions of the Eldritch Knight tree, adding new enhancements and rebalancing old ones. Conceptually, the Eldritch Knight is an Arcane Spellcaster that also excels with Melee weapons, and truly shines when using a combination of both spells and weapons.

The version you see below is what will be on Lamannia when that comes up (timing still TBD), but in the meantime we'd love your feedback on this tree!

(And if you'd like more information, the Weekly Wednesday Livestream from this week showcases a discussion between myself and Cordovan about this tree!).

Core 1: Eldritch Strike: Melee Cleave Attack. +1[w]. If this attack hits, your weapon also releases a blast of magical energy, dealing an additional 1 to 2 Force Damage per character level to all nearby foes.(Activation Cost: 0 SP Cooldown: 12 seconds)
You gain proficiency with Simple Weapons
Every Core Ability in the Eldritch Knight tree grants you +10 Max HP

Core 2: Spellsword (you get all four of the following toggles, 5SP to activate). Passive: +1% doublestrike, +10 Universal Spell Power. You gain proficiency in Light Armor and Martial Weapons.
Corrosive: Charge your equipped weapon with magical Acid, causing them to deal an addtional 1d6 (element) damage on hit. You gain an additional 1d6 every 3 (wizard/sorcerer) levels (at 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18). This damage scales with Acid Spell Power. While active, your Eldritch Strike deals 1-2 additional Acid damage per Character Level which scales with Acid Spell Power. While this is enabled, your weapon and shield attacks have Ghost Touch.
Flaming: As above, with fire
Frost: As above, with cold
Shock: As above, with electric

Core 3: Melee weapons are considered Spellcasting Implements in your hands. You gain the Quick Draw feat.
-15% Arcane Spell Failure from equipped Armor and Shields
+1% doublestrike
+10 Universal spellpower

Core 4: Subtle Force: You gain the benefits of the Deflect Arrows feat, knocking aside one incoming projectile that would have struck you every 6 seconds.
-20% Arcane Spell Failure from equipped Armor and Shields
+6 Resistance to Acid, Cold, Electric, Fire, and Sonic
+10 Universal spellpower

Core 5: Subtle Force II: +5% Stacking Incorporeality. Your Deflect Arrows now triggers every 2 seconds.
+1% doublestrike
+10 Universal spellpower

Core 6: Eldritch Blade:

Your Eldritch Strike now grants you a Power Charge. When you have 5 Power Charges, they are removed, and you gain Eldritch Power. Eldritch Power: +10% melee damage, +4d6 Spellsword Dice, +3d4 Force Damage on Hit (this scales with Force spell power), +25 Universal spellpower, +15 PRR, +40 MRR. Duration 30 seconds.
+1 Spellsword Die
+2 (Intelligence/Charisma), +2 Constitution
+10 Universal spellpower

Tier 1:

Improved Mage Armor: (unchanged) Spell Like Ability: Mage Armor. (Activation Cost: 8/6/4 Spell Points). In addition, while you are under the effect of the Mage Armor spell, you gain a +3%/+6%/+10% Exceptional Bonus to Armor Class.
Arcane Siphon: Melee Attack:+1/2/3[w]. On hit: Gain +10/20/30 Universal Spell Power for 20 seconds. 12 second cooldown.
Item Defense (unchanged) You have a 25%/50%/75% chance to negate potential item wear.
Toughness (unchanged) +5/10/15 Max HP
Battlemage (unchanged) +1/+2/+3 Concentration, Intimidate, and Spellcraft.

Tier 2:

Improved Shield: Spell Like Ability: Shield (Activation Cost: 8/6/4 Spell points). In addition, while you are under the effect of the Shield spell, you gain +3/+6/+10 Exceptional Bonus to Physical Resistance Rating.
Mystic Wards: +3/6/10 MRR.
Action Boost: Spell Power: Activate to gain a +10/+20/+30 Action Boost bonus to Spell Power for 20 seconds. Cooldown: 30 seconds.
Shield Training: (unchanged) Passive: You gain proficiency with all shields except Tower Shields, and your Arcane Spell Failure chance from equipped shields is reduced by 5%.
Wand & Scroll Mastery (unchanged) +25%/+50%/+75% effectiveness from your wands, scrolls, and other items that cast spells, and +1/+2/+3 to the save DC of your offensive wands. Taking Wand and Scroll Mastery in one enhancement tree will block its availability in other enhancement trees.

Tier 3:

Arcane Barrier: (Now 1 Rank): Passive: When your HP drop below 50% of maximum, you are immediately protected by an Arcane Barrier that reduces all incoming damage by 25% for the next 20 seconds. This effect may only trigger once every 90 seconds.
Eldritch Accuracy: You get (INT/CHA) to hit with weapons and shield bashes.

Synergetic Magic: While you have Action Boost: Spell Power active, you also get the benefits of Action Boost: Power (+10/20/30 Action Boost bonus to Melee Power and Ranged Power for 20 seconds.)
Critical Mastery: +1/2/3 to confirm critical hits and critical hit damage (before weapon multipliers)
Ability Score Multiselctor (unchanged) +1 STR/DEX/(INT or CHA)

Tier 4:

Knight's Transformation: Toggle: While this is turned on, all your spells and SLAs that are affected by Metamagics have their range reduced to touch range. You cannot enable the Enlarge Metamagic while this is active. You gain +30 Universal Spell Power and +3% Spell Critical Damage. Your Base Attack Bonus equals your Character Level.

Improved Offhand: Multiselector:
Shield Striking: (unchanged) On Hit: +5%/+10%/+15% chance to proc an immediate Shield Bash attack with an equipped shield. Every six seconds while you have a shield equipped, you gain Temp HP equal to the enhancement bonus of your equipped shield.
Orb Saves: +1/2/3 to saving throws and +3/6/10 Universal Spell Power while holding an Orb

Force's Point: When you cast a spell, you gain a stack of Force's Point: Martial (+1 to Hit and Damage). This stacks up to 5 times. When you hit with a melee weapon, you gain a stack of Force's Point: Magical (+2 Universal Spell Power). This stacks up to 10 times. Stacks last for 12 seconds each. You may only gain each effect once per second.
Armored Arcana: You gain proficiency in Medium Armor, and suffer no Arcane Spell Failure from Light or Medium Armor
Ability Score Multiselctor (unchanged) +1 STR/DEX/(INT or CHA)

Tier 5:

Improved Knight's Transformation: If you have Knight's Transformation active, you also gain +1 Competence Bonus to Critical Multiplier with Melee Weapons.
Knight's Magic: Multiselector:
Knight Striker: If you have Knight's Transformation active, you also gain +2 to Evocation DCs, +2 to Conjuration DCs.
Knight Controller: If you have Knight's Transformation active, you also gain +2 to Enchantment DCs, +4 Spell Penetration.

Force's Edge: When you cast a spell, you gain +1 Competence Bonus to Critical Threat Range for 12 seconds. When you make a Melee Attack, you gain +5% Spell Critical Chance for 12 seconds.
Radiant Forcefield: Spell Like Ability: Radiant Forcefield (Activation Cost: 30 Spell Points. Cooldown: 3 minutes.)

Eldritch Tempest: Activate: Perform a spinning melee attack, dealing weapon damage +5[w] to all nearby enemies and knocking them prone for 1 second. (Activation Cost: 50/40/30 Spell points. Cooldown: 60/45/30 seconds) If any foes are struck by Eldritch Tempest, your weapon also releases an explosion of magical force, dealing an additional 1d6 Force damage per character level to all nearby enemies. This additional force damage is affected by your spell power. (now 1AP per rank)
Last edited by Steelstar; 11-14-2018 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Added stream link
We don't only build for the builds that exist.
We don't only build for the builds that are good right now.

The fact that some changes are necessary is not diminished by the fact that other necessary changes have not happened yet.
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What's the deal with Knight's Transformation?
You'll probably notice that the cast range restrictions while Knight's Transformation is active are very similar to Epic Defensive Fighting. With the tree's focus on wading into melee range for combat, this is a tree where offensive spellcasting range can afford to be close-quarters; for that tradeoff, the Eldritch Knight gets a big boost to spellcasting AND weapon combat. If you have both this and Epic Defensive Fighting toggled on in the Epic levels, you do not suffer a further penalty to casting range, so they synergize well.

Why did you drop Permanent Tenser's out of this tree?
As we evaluated the existing tree's strengths and weaknesses, it occurred to us that if we wanted the role of Eldritch Knights to be "Character that excels at both Spells and Weapons", then Tenser's was counterproductive to that, as it increased your spell cooldowns dramatically. We put together Knight's Transformation to replace it.

What does 5% Stacking Incorporeality mean (from the 5th Core)?
This is incorporeality, causing a chance to ignore damage similar to the Ghostly item effect. There's an identical bonus in the Tempest Cores.

What does 10% Melee Damage mean (from the 6th Core)?
This is an overall 10% scale-up to damage from Melee Attacks. We removed a lot of this from the game when Melee and Ranged Power were added, but given that you can't get this without 20 Wizard or Sorcerer levels, we felt the powerful scaling was worth it.

Does anything in here work with Ranged Weapons?
If it doesn't say specifically "Melee", assume it also works on Ranged weapons.

How many Spellsword Dice can I get?
A pure 20 Wizard or Sorcerer that took all the Cores has 7d6 stable Spellsword dice, and turns it up to 11d6 when Eldritch Power is active (which you can keep up 50% of the time if you use Eldritch Blade any time it's off cooldown). Those dice scale at the normal rate with Spell Power.

How does the knockdown in Eldritch Tempest work?
It knocks down anything that isn't immune to Trip for one second. There is no saving throw. (It does not affect Bosses, who are normally immune to Trip).
Last edited by Steelstar; 11-14-2018 at 01:06 PM.