I only have a few casters in my character arsenal for DDO, as I tend to favor melee and ranged characters. At least most of the time. Casters just have so many different spells and abilities that it just makes it hard for me, personally, to keep up with. You then layer this on top of the various metamagic feats that you can obtain as you level up and things can get really complicated; trying to remember which metamagics to turn on and which ones to turn off and that type of thing. And then realizing that you left a metamagic feat on and you just cast a spell where it didn’t need to be and noticing how much of your spell point pool you just wasted.
I remember when DDO made it possible to “hot link” a metamagic feat to a particular spell. What this allows you to do is to right click on a spell and specify if you want to always have a metamagic feat on or off for that spell (at least for all those metamagic feats the spell can actually use). When this came out, I remember thinking that would be a waste of spell points because if you always leave on empower and maximize then you would wind up burning through spell points after the first couple of fights. I always felt that micro managing your spell points and your metamagic feats was a better alternative, with only turning those feats on as needed. However, I found myself forgetting to turn off some metamagics (such as quicken and extend) when I didn’t need them and not having time to turn on others when I did need them. So instead of micro managing those spell points I found myself wasting more spell points or losing effectiveness in my spell casting.
A few weeks back, the DDOCast episode 461 looked at tips for formatting and handling the user interface for DDO. One of the topics they discussed was hot linking your metamagic feats to your various spells. As I mentioned before, although I knew it was possible, I kind of dismissed it but after listening to the DDOCast episode I figured I would give it out a try. I discovered that hot linking the metamagics actually seems to work better for my play style. For spells such as Haste, Displacement, and Rage I find myself not forgetting to extend them and realizing that I didn’t extend the length for spells such as Freedom of Movement or Blur which I don’t typically want to extend (as they tend to last long enough for my needs from a normal cast). For my damage dealing spells, hot linking empower and maximize just allows me to not worry about it layer. So now I don’t have to worry about turning those metamagic feats on when I get to boss fight or a particular tough encounter.
Rimuldar setting up his metamagics.
The one thing I’m still learning though is too effectively judge what spells to cast as my opponent’s hits points are dwindling down. I do find myself sometimes wasting some spell points because the damage dealing spell I just let fly resulted in much more damage than what was needed to finish the enemy off. However, I tend to melee and range attack much more often with my casters than normal players, as well as using wands, so I believe I will be able to through a better mixture of when to cast my spells and augment them with other forms of attack. This is a learning curve I’m still practicing.
In any case, I just wanted to point out that hot linking is a useful too and it is something worth exploring if you play a caster (whether it is an arcane or divine caster). Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!