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Dungeons & Dragons Online: An Overview of the Favored Soul and Monk

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Dungeons and Dragons Online went to a free to play model earlier this month, re-titling itself as Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, and if the crowds of players I've run into every time I log in are any indication, it was a good move. One of the more interesting aspects of this new DDO version are the two classes available for purchase, the Favored Soul and the Monk. For those that choose to fork over a small amount of cash for each class, you're in for an interesting ride.
 


The Favored Soul


Not to make you feel like you're studying for your SAT's again, but the Favored Soul is to Clerics what the Sorcerer is to Wizards. That is to say that like their Sorcerer counterparts, the Favored Soul has a more limited selection of spells than the Cleric, but can cast those spells far more often. In other words, it's a perfect class for those players that enjoy the feel of a Cleric, but want their spell pool to last a while longer in the depths of a dungeon.

The Favored Soul class has access to powerful healing magics just like their fellow Clerics, but rather than spending inordinate amounts of time praying to their gods, they are directly connected to the divine, thus able to call upon its power at will. This is why they are able to cast more often from a more limited spell set. Another important difference to note is that Favored Souls can only change their spells once every few days, rather than every time they are in a tavern or at a rest shrine.

Like Clerics, both charisma and wisdom are important to the Favored Soul class. High charisma grants a Favored Soul access to higher level spells and gives him or her more spell points. Wisdom determines how difficult a favored soul's spells are for enemies to resist.

For those that are comfortable with the way the Dungeons & Dragons character creation mechanics work, feel free to create your character with the custom option to keep complete and total control over the way your avatar is built up. The majority of players will be happy to find the developers have included three pre-built paths: Angel of Vengeance, Beacon of Hope, and Divine Avenger.
 

Angel of Vengeance

Suggested Race: Human
Solo Ability: Good

As an Angel of Vengeance, your concentration will be centered around raining destruction down upon the poor souls dumb enough to offer challenge or block your path. While you still have some minor healing capabilities, you have many more offensive spells than your fellow Favored Souls.
 

Beacon of Hope

Suggested Race: Halfling
Solo Ability: Challenging

If you choose the to take the Beacon of Hope path, you're going to be in for a heavy challenge if you try to solo, but if you take the role of party healer, you will be unmatched by any class, including a Cleric. Replenishing hit points, removing harmful effects, and boosting the abilities of your fellow adventurers... no one is better at this role.
 

Divine Avenger

Suggested Race: Elf
Solo Ability: Excellent

The Divine Avenger is closer to a Paladin than the other Favored Soul paths. Blending equal parts melee and spell chucking, the Divine Avenger lives up to their namesake in the throes of battle. One second they're bashing in the skull of a raging ogre and the next, they're saving the hide of an overly frisky wizard with a well-timed heal.



The Monk


Monks are the quintessential warriors, in both body and spirit. Casting off the need for armor and weapons, they are living instruments of destruction that will be welcome in any party. Through intense physical training and mental discipline, monks have also learned to harness the power of ki to empower their attacks and grant themselves mystical abilities.

Between managing their ki for various abilities and switching between stances depending on the situation, the Monk class may take players more time to master than others. The ability to switch between roles on the fly is crucial for this class. Those that spend the time necessary to do so will find themselves welcome in any party and able to solo more effectively than many other classes.

Those choosing to play the Monk class will find that strength and wisdom are their two most important stats. Strength affects melee attack chance and damage, and high wisdom boosts a Monk's defenses and amplifies many special attacks.

For those that are comfortable with the way the Dungeons & Dragons character creation mechanics work, feel free to create your character with the custom option to keep complete and total control over the way your avatar is built up. The majority of players will be happy to find the developers have included three pre-built paths: The Path of Shadow, Two-Headed Heron, and The Path of Light.
 

The Path of Shadow

Suggested Race: Human
Solo Ability: Good

Those that choose to follow the Path of Shadow will become a source of pure devastation on the field of battle. Unlike other monks, you will not have any healing abilities, but that's not why you chose this path anyway. These Monks focus their ki into attacks designed to crush the enemy’s body and spirit. Able to cast paralysis, blindness, and more, a Path of Shadow Monk is a dangerous adversary indeed.
 

Two-Headed Heron

Suggested Race: Human
Solo Ability: Very Good

The Monks that follow the Two-Headed Heron path are similar to their Path of Light brethren, but devote a majority of their time to the mastery of the kama weapon. Placing one in each hand, you will become a blur of steel and death over time, wreaking havoc upon your enemies. Your party will welcome both your weapon and healing skills in a fight.
 

The Path of Light

Suggested Race: Human
Solo Ability: Very Good

The Path of Light Monk is what most of us picture after watching too many badly voiced over kung fu movies in our youth. They are highly focused on purity of the mind and spirit, able to perform amazing feats. These Monks are no pushovers and are able to hold their own in a fight, but they will do less damage than their Path of Shadow brothers and sisters. What they lack in pure damage though, they make up for in restoring the health and spirits of their party.


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