Help choosing a Merc

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Help choosing a Merc

Postby ssoutrs » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:36 pm

Hello guys. This is my first post on these forums so nice to meet y'all :).

I have a question that I was hoping some of you guys might be able to answer. My main is an 85 Magician with a pocket cleric mercenary. I also box an 82 shaman who currently has a cleric mercenary as well. The magician's mercenary is T4 and the shaman's mercenary is T3 (although my shaman is eligible for a T4). I have been considering switching my shaman's mercenary over to a Tank mercenary. I was wondering if you guys think I would get more mileage out of a tank mercenary or if I should continue sticking with a cleric mercenary for the time being. It is nice having a 2nd cleric mercenary that I can pop to help with the really tough named or just as a back up res machine. I have not used a Tank mercenary before so I don't know their actual effectiveness especially since I would be using it as an extra tank on some encounters or to tank some named instead of having my pet tank them. Or would even one of the dps mercenaries provide a nice complement?

If you guys have any suggestions that would be great! Thank you!
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Brohg » Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:25 pm

The magicians pet will outtank the tank mercenary. If you really feel the urge to make a switch, use a caster dps merc.
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby ssoutrs » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:55 pm

Thanks for the advice Brohg. Yeah I figured that the pet would probably out tank the Tank merc but I haven't used one before so I wasn't sure.
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Tharkis » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:33 am

Pick the sexiest merc you can find =)
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby elryche » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:21 pm

nothing parties like a rental dark elf!
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Tordail » Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:52 pm

elryche wrote:nothing parties like a rental dark elf!

Oh lord, lol.
I agree with Brohg's advice.
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby ssoutrs » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:07 pm

Hehe I always go with gnome female mercs...I find them sexy.
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Lubal » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:51 pm

I'm currently 65, and will be for some time, as my group is doing sort of staged progression-ish leveling. Especially under those circumstances, how does the rogue merc compare to the wizard? We don't really have much in the way of caster support buffs, but I can of course buff the rogue quite a bit, including making him a kittyproc mounting platform. Is that enough to make the rogue a viable choice, or should I just go visit the nice ogre for my lizard wizard?
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby dohrian » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:00 am

Lubal wrote:I'm currently 65, and will be for some time, as my group is doing sort of staged progression-ish leveling. Especially under those circumstances, how does the rogue merc compare to the wizard? We don't really have much in the way of caster support buffs, but I can of course buff the rogue quite a bit, including making him a kittyproc mounting platform. Is that enough to make the rogue a viable choice, or should I just go visit the nice ogre for my lizard wizard?

For a shaman, a melee dps is better than a caster (panther, haste, buffs). I also heard that the caster dps is doing a lot of aggro, I do not know your group but I would go with rogue.
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby shamy60 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:13 pm

hi,i play shaman as main and mage as alt ,both lv 85.mage with minion 8 as pet focus.
that combo ROCK HARD :lol:
get your merc tier 5,it's worth it.......
your shaman got counterbias slow? lv 83 it rock. (nm. u are lv 82,get lv 83 and get counterbias slow asap :wink: ).
only the shaman HOT combined with counterbias proc HOT = 5200 per tic overtime heal :twisted: and that s before the merc healer start to heal. (got rk 3,not sure on the number for rk 2 ).
DPS merc? he will die fast if pet tank,my mage pet is maxed on pet def and offensive aa,and the dps merc still get agro over pet and die very fast usually .
i got 2x tier 5 mercs healers ,and i don't even check heals with my shaman and concentrate on dps,,5 dots plus the fast dd when it's up plus lynx.
on tier 7 or 8 trash i use only one merc and not even check heal with shm. if i have to kill UF nameds i pop my 2nd merc.
on most converteum nameds i help on heals here and there tho ...........
good to have listleness buff on pet (help to keep agro and proc a HOT also ). and don't forget growth buff (5600hp for rk 3 ).

BTW, pet tank much better than a tank merc (at higher level ),specially with a good pet focus.
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Valdemar » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:29 pm

I'm glad to see this question posted because I've been pondering the same question. I'm only 66 and I've been leveling/AAing a Mage so I haven't needed a Merc of any kind so far, but I've been wondering about what Merc to obtain for my SHM. The MAG gets a CLR Merc for sure, but I haven't been able to make up my mind for my SHM....

Couple o' questions....

1) MAG pets tank better than WAR Merc. Right, got it. But, can you put the WAR Merc on passive and use him as sort of a tougher version of a Rogue?

2) Doesn't the ROG Merc use the class aggro reduction skills? It would suck if they are gaining aggro - especially because the Merc is not using skills to reduce aggro.

3) I've heard several players commenting that the WIZ Mercs are gaining aggro from over-nukage. True? Or are these folks not employing them properly?

Regards,
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Retron » Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:36 am

Valdemar wrote:1) MAG pets tank better than WAR Merc. Right, got it. But, can you put the WAR Merc on passive and use him as sort of a tougher version of a Rogue?

For a raid-geared mage, that's probably the case. Less so for a group mage in HoT. The reason is that mage pets were too strong in UF and they've been retuned to be less of a beast (in the group game) during the HoT beta.

Meanwhile tank mercs have had a massive, massive boost and are now perfectly capable of tanking mobs up to tier 2 at least (I'm not T3 flagged so don't know how they cope there).

In conjunction with a boxed druid and his T4 cleric merc, I've had no issues at all with any Tier 1 content, indeed I've been farming the progression missions for spell gems and drops. (Note that the druid doesn't do anything, he's only there for the merc). I moloed my way through the latter two Grounds progression tasks and had no issues whatsoever keeping the merc up.

Yesterday I was in a guild group in Grounds. We had a L87 paladin as the tank, who only has 4400 unbuffed AC. It was a struggle, frankly and before I came along they'd wiped to a named. The tank had to leave and after he'd gone I popped my L90 T5 tank merc. The difference was night and day; the merc proved more than capable of handling the various nameds that popped and trash clearance was a breeze. We had a level 87 cleric with a 0-60, L85 focus.

Note that in SoD a T5 L85 tank merc couldn't outtank a similarly-geared paladin at L82 in Tosk. I cannot understate just how vastly improved they are now.
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Valdemar » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:53 am

Retron;

Thanks very much for this information. I apologize that I haven't kept abreast of the changes with HoT as I am sure everyone was aware of the paradigm shift except me, my defense is that my life is full and demanding on my time, so being au fait - EQ wise- is a low priority.

I'm glad for the changes and it looks like WAR Mercs are the way to go even for MAG users. Interesting.

What are your thoughts and experiences with the ROG and WIZ Mercs?

Thanks again for the information,
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Brohg » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:43 pm

Valdemar wrote: WIZ Mercs?


Very fragile, beaten very easily in dps. Bottom line, only better than afk or very bad players, or empty group slots. Those exist, so the merc isn't useless, but not super. They have highest utility for multi-boxers who already have tank & healer covered.
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Valdemar » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:22 pm

Brohg wrote:
Valdemar wrote: WIZ Mercs?


Very fragile, beaten very easily in dps. Bottom line, only better than afk or very bad players, or empty group slots. Those exist, so the merc isn't useless, but not super. They have highest utility for multi-boxers who already have tank & healer covered.


Thanks for the additional insight. Very helpful. Personally, I never had much interest in a WIZ Merc but I was curious. It seems a player would want one for burst DPS/burn downs, but from what I've heard on this and other forums, that doesn't happen. Its a pity that SOE includes a caster "DPS" Merc that isn't good at DPS. Rather than player housing, they should have smartened up the Mercs.

Regards,
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Sowslow » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:58 pm

I box a mage, so your usage may vary. In SoD I would run a tank merc on shm and cleric merc on mage mostly, as I didn't need the extra healing and they didn't have another option for dps which the tank merc did better than nothing. The mage pet could tank better as he was semi raid geared at the time, but I could pull many more mobs and not worry as much as about aggro issues with the tank merc. It was an easier box setup for us lazy boxers.
In the start UF the tank merc was useless so I switched to two cleric mercs, which was a pretty good combo but a lot of extra healing that I didn't need so I would only run one at a time usually.
I then switched to a wiz merc on the mage for some extra dps as I rarely used the two cleric merc setup even on named. It is pretty sad dps, but on balanced it can go on forever without any downtime. If you really wanted to max the dps, I guess you could switch between burn and balanced to keep aggro right, but seems like to much effort for little gain.
Recently I added a war box the mix and tried out the rogue merc just too see what it could do and it was pretty sad too. It wasn't jt5 merc but still wasn't much to work with.
Honestly, in lower levels the tank merc is pretty awesome, but in higher levels the cleric merc is just more useful than the rest. It can stand a beating better than the rog or wiz and heals/rezzes are better for most than a small increase in dps.

All that said, most of the time, besides named or really hard pull spots, I don't waste the extra spot on a merc. I just duo the old way. It saves me pp and gains more exp per kill.
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby wheel » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:52 pm

I've been fairly pleased with making the switch back to a Journeyman T5 Tank Merc. From at HP/AC point, it seems very viable in content up to T3 trash (I'm not T4 yet). I was able to Molo a couple yellow squid guys in Fear Itself with some work. I would imagine it would do just fine on named in a full group, but doubt that I would be able to Molo one.

There are a couple downsides I have to mention.

1) The agro control on the 86-90 mercs isn't all that great. The merc is always set as Aggressive. Generally, those I group with have to drastically dial down their dps to accommodate the merc.
2) The second problem is relative to multiple mobs in camp that aren't mez'd. Even with MA/MT set properly in group, the merc will switch targets to a VP'd mob and when it goes back to the main mob, it stays next to the CC'd mob. If room is available, you can either passive it to pull it back or just start healing to keep the idiot up.

A couple positive points...

1) Proximity agro. Yes mage pets tank better, but with other players or rogue mercs, the pet will loose agro everytime. Player characters on the mobs agro list will always take agro over a pet when in melee proximity, and all mercs are considered a PC. Adding a tank merc opens up options for adding other players. If you never group with other characters that like to swing a weapon then the wizard merc is the better choice because it can do its damage from distance. Otherwise, go tank...
2) Defensive discs. The Merc has a nice defensive disc that can be a savior on ugly pulls and you don't have to activate it, the merc does it on its own...

All in all, I miss my wizard merc at times, but I use my Warrior merc far more then I used the wizard. Good job Sony!
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Retron » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:29 am

wheel wrote:1) The agro control on the 86-90 mercs isn't all that great. The merc is always set as Aggressive. Generally, those I group with have to drastically dial down their dps to accommodate the merc.

For whatever reason, mercs rely heavily on haste for their aggro, when moloing I've let it run out a couple of times and have felt the pain! Aggro wise, they're actually pretty darned good I've found. The T5 merc L85 was, for want of a better word, crap. Against UF mobs, if you cast 5 DoTs you got aggro after three or four ticks and there was no way of shedding it. I've run 7 DoTs in HoT and not ganked aggro from it: it seems to have an innate aggro proc that sometimes goes off.

If you're having aggro problems, consider using Lingering Sloth rather than the Lassitude line - you lose the overslow and the HoT (moot with Counterbias, of course) but the merc gains a couple of hundred points of aggro every time it goes off.

Groupwise, I was in a guild group in Grounds with a Beastlord (4500 AAs), a rogue (using a HoT tier 1 dagger and a SoF raid dagger), a cleric and a nuking / Dotting enchanter and the merc had no trouble keeping aggro. Admittedly, this is group-level stuff; if you have raiders involved it may be a different picture.

the merc will switch targets to a VP'd mob and when it goes back to the main mob, it stays next to the CC'd mob.

This is indeed very annoying. In the Feerrott mission, I find if I pull two and VP one away from the camp spot the merc will stick like glue to the other mob I drag back to camp. I think it's a proximity thing, if there's an extra mob within a certain radius the merc will try and hit it.

2) Defensive discs. The Merc has a nice defensive disc that can be a savior on ugly pulls and you don't have to activate it, the merc does it on its own...

I've found this to be very hit and miss. There are two discs that the merc uses, Fortitude (frontal melee immunity for 2 ticks) and Final Stand (Defensive, basically, damage reduction for 3 mins). The annoying thing is there's no surefire way to get them to fire - I've seen Fortitude used at 70% once and many a time the merc has gone below 20% without doing anything. If only there was a "/mercdisc defensive" command!

That said, for my playstyle the tank merc is more than adequate - certainly far more use than the flimsy wizard merc or the almost as flimsy rogue merc.
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Brohg » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:49 am

Retron wrote:If you're having aggro problems, consider using Lingering Sloth rather than the Lassitude line - you lose the overslow and the HoT (moot with Counterbias, of course) but the merc gains a couple of hundred points of aggro every time it goes off.


whatwhat? This is the first time I've heard of the idea that sloth's upgrades are less agro than the original. Any source on that, you've checked it out somehow?
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Valdemar » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:57 am

Great thread! Thanks to everyone for this info dump. It is all very helpful to people like me trying to get into the deeper aspects of newer content. For casual non-raiders, its very difficult to find a guild worth the name to gain this type of insight and experience - and the more active, powerful guilds who could provide the experience and mentoring won't take you unless you are high-end and play EQ as your full-time occupation (at least it seems that way on Bert-Saryrn). So, I appreciate the insights from your experiences and advice concerning Mercs.

I've found this to be very hit and miss. There are two discs that the merc uses, Fortitude (frontal melee immunity for 2 ticks) and Final Stand (Defensive, basically, damage reduction for 3 mins). The annoying thing is there's no surefire way to get them to fire - I've seen Fortitude used at 70% once and many a time the merc has gone below 20% without doing anything. If only there was a "/mercdisc defensive" command!


You shouldn't have to use a command. The Merc should be smart enough to know that at X hitpoint level, I should use Y disc and that Z mob is mezzed or rooted, so I should ignore it. I'm no programmer, but it doesn't seem like these sorts of conditional tests would be that difficult to program. But no, we had to get player housing instead.

Regards,
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Valdemar » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:34 pm

EeyonRN posted the following comments in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=7459

Once you have healing counterbias, its pretty inefficient to be exping via root rot. Its a stong enough spell that you can self-tank and use rogue merc in places like gyrospire beza, even with pretty crumby gear, and J5 rogue pretty much smokes shm damage, unlike warrior merc, which is super terrible dps. Just keep it on burn and use a root click. If you put it on balanced, it will just stand there half the fight, and if you burn but don't root, it will out agro anything you can do other than chain dd. Takes a while to get used to, but you can always practice in easier places like loping, etc.


my stuff is pretty junky too. i didn't play much at all for years. i got a few silver token items and a random assortment of low end group stuff. healing counterbias is a really big hot though, and it stacks with your normal hots. the bottom line really is that J5 rogue blows away the dmg that you or warrior merc does, so if you're going for pure xp, incorporating it somehow is pretty important. even if you use it as a tank, its only marginally less durable than the war merc, but still does a ton more dmg, even from in front. doing that is probably even better than rooting also imo.


Any additional thoughts about the ROG Merc? EeyonRN's experiences seem to be more positive with the ROG.

Regards,
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Retron » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:04 am

Brohg wrote:
Retron wrote:whatwhat? This is the first time I've heard of the idea that sloth's upgrades are less agro than the original. Any source on that, you've checked it out somehow?

Yup, tessted it with a tank and small nukes.

Sloth procs a regular slow (which doesn't stack) and generates ~200 aggro for doing so.

Every other spell in the line procs a new type of melee slow (which stacks with regular slow) and this gives next to no aggro.

Then again, I first read about the difference years ago on here. All I can suggest is next time you're in a marginal aggro situation, try it and see. :)
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Lubal » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:32 am

Valdemar wrote:Any additional thoughts about the ROG Merc? EeyonRN's experiences seem to be more positive with the ROG.


The rogue does visibly better damage than the warrior and has a substantially better AI than the wizard. It really shouldn't ever be tanking anything, though, and it generates quite a bit of threat (especially on burn, but balanced isn't enough less aggro to be worth using). If you have a tank present who can hold aggro off the rogue, it's a pretty good source of damage. That may even include you against things you can stand in front of without dying, if you do unusually high-aggro things* or use root tricks as described.

*I hold aggro off mine pretty trivially with Lingering Sloth, maybe a dot, and occasional Crippling Spasms; however, I'm not a raider and am currently playing exclusively with a set group of people I know IRL. Because I perform an agreed-upon off-tank function for my group, I currently have zero ranks in SCS. Other people probably have to expend more effort to create threat. :D

Oh, and responding to an earlier, unanswered question about the rogues:

Valdemar wrote:2) Doesn't the ROG Merc use the class aggro reduction skills? It would suck if they are gaining aggro - especially because the Merc is not using skills to reduce aggro.


Only in Balanced. In Burn, it ... well, burns.

I should also point out that the rogue sometimes has some AI issues if you VP a lot unless you have another character to serve as MA (although still way, way better than the wizard). I have an unloved archery-bot ranger that serves as my tracking slave and MA. If you molo, your mileage may vary.
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Valdemar » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:10 pm

Thanks Lubal.

The setup for me is wife plays either her Bard or her Mage and I play my Shaman (of course) or we bot one another. These three characters are 65 (give or take a level on one or two) so I never molo. We're haven't needed a Merc until now, but since we want to do spell arcs and the like, it seems like the only way to progress through the content without help (We're also doing the "progression-ish leveling" scheme.)

While your comments make the ROG look a lot more attractive and remove much of the mystery about their performance, I'm afraid I'll have to choose a WAR. Because whether its BRD/SHM or MAG/SHM, we'll need a tank who can hold aggro. With the Bard, I toss SoLeopard and aggro is locked down and I can do as I please, but there's no way the Bard with SoLeopard alone is going to hold aggro against a ROG Merc on burn. Perhaps it might be possible with Sloth + Leopard, but even if that was sufficient to keep the aggro on the Bard, it would do nothing to keep the aggro off the ROG when I'm teamed with the MAG as the aggro will default to the "PC" ROG Merc instead of the pet.

So, I've got to take a tank it seems. I just hope the DPS from a WAR Merc isn't so low. But, I appreciate the information and maybe we can add a third account in the future and put a ROG Merc on that. Also thanks for confirming the Sloth aggro trick. I'll be using that in a couple of levels to lock it down.

Regards,
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Lubal » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:27 am

I think that sounds like the best approach for your grouping situation. I agree that there is no power on earth that is letting a bard hold aggro off a rogue merc, with kittyprocs, in burn stance. As for the warrior's dps, while they're not a rogue, they aren't bad at stabbing the mob by any means. And of course they benefit from shaman buffs, including kittyprocs.
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Jandora » Sun May 08, 2011 11:35 pm

Came back to EQ in February. Main is a Mage and love the pet with a T5 merc healer.

Alt is a level 70 Ogre Shaman that I play solo and groups on the same account. I would like to get a Merc for the shaman to molo with but not certain which one would yield the most benefit. I have mostly root rotted in WoS on murkgliders in the caves and did not feel I needed a Merc yet. I would like to go to Loping Plains for some non-visible armor upgrades and will propbably need a merc there for moloing. The merc will of course only be a JT1 until I find time to do SoD progression to get it leveled up in tiers.

Which Merc is the most benificial for a Solo Shaman and are any merc races better than any others?
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby warador » Tue May 10, 2011 6:17 pm

you only have to do the tosk/ warrens line of prog for a jt5 i would go that route as t1is really a waste of money in the meantime i always root rotted the gators in lp around that lvl ggod xp drops nice vendor trash and spells also
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Re: Help choosing a Merc

Postby Dobbs » Mon May 16, 2011 8:58 pm

Partially depends on the style of shaman you play. If your not max healing but have your survival/stat aa's a cleric may be an option and tank them yourself. If your more cleric than dps/tank grab a tank merc let em hold the line for you and add your adps and dots to shorten the fight. If you have the gear and AA's grab a DPS merc (melee) and got town tanking/healing but mob drops fairly fast. I'm the cleric type so I've had my hot DE warrior for some time. now that I'm rounding the corner aa wise I may change it up. With the countless play styles shaman have...find the merc that suits your current play style.
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