'Soloing' "in teh face"

Help and information specific to the above aspects of play at all levels.

Moderators: Druid Mods, Paladin Mods, Shaman Mods

'Soloing' "in teh face"

Postby Jaraman » Fri May 15, 2009 1:50 am

So I've been back for a couple months now, and am getting back into the groove again, carrying on the long-standing tradition of the solo shaman tanking "in teh face" with his trusty pet. I'm somewhat raid-geared up to POR, but am not ready to get back into raiding full-time just yet. I've been AA grinding in a holding pattern at 76 (nearly maxxed for my level), and was looking to take care of some old items on the agenda -- Epic2, GoD Assistant Researcher's Necklace (finished), FD ring, while levelling up my 71 mage and waiting for my friend's (very) casual 70 wiz + war combo to level up as well.

I'm mainly looking for any advice -- from any class or multiboxer -- to improve my "in teh face" solo tanking game as a Shammyknight, which has definitely been more attainable and enjoyable with a cleric merc. I was easily camping the cave bears in Icefall, root-rotting 1-2 bears at a time solo, or else pulling/tanking/melee'ing with cleric merc when full group was available. I can pull/CC/handle up to 3 challenging, non-summoning mobs (2 if they summon unless I'm really alert and on a roll). Lately I've been camping the yellow giants at the north camp in Valdeholm ("palace?"). I struggled with a few deaths using a cheap merc cleric, but am flowing much better now with the better merc cleric, able to keep the front yard clear with occasional pulls from inside or from the gate to fill up time between respawns.

I'm about evenly matched killing these giants with just me and pup and cleric merc. I can't seem to go non-stop between kills, having to recoup for about a minute or two to get a bit more mana or let cleric merc med, even though I can generally keep the yard clear or park an add if need be. I'd like to increase my DPS a bit while at the same time reduce the downtime getting more mana between mobs. By chance shopping in the bazaar, I discovered a 2hr poison proc potion I never knew about (the Spider and Scorpion Bite series). This is a great DPS and tactical boost, as it does ~1000 on a normal proc, and crits for 3450 quite often, at around 2-4 procs per kill. I have around 70 combat effects, which seems to help significantly with various procs I need to pull this delusion off passably.

I'd like to outline my basic strategy here, and see if there may be some yet undiscovered tip like the poison proc or like the "fight on mount" trick to reduce spell interrupts I read in the current Pally "persistent casting" thread. Hopefully one or two useful tips will go a long way towards improving shaman tanking this late in the game. To break things up, I'll post the parts separately. Any advice/criticism appreciated. I'm willing to concede I may be dense or delusional, missing something that may be very obvious, so please bring it on. I'm always willing to learn.
Jaraman
The best solution is not either/or, but best-of.
Jaraman
 
Veteran -
 
Posts: 1293
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:56 pm
Server: The Rathe

Re: 'Soloing' "in teh face"

Postby Jaraman » Fri May 15, 2009 3:09 am

I'll try to be brief and break down everything into categories: gear, preparation, spellsets, hotkeys, pulling/battle, crisis.

Gear: I don't have the greatest gear. In fact, my weakest piece was my DON chest, which I quickly upgraded with Defiant Chain + an aug. I do have a decent shield with 125 AC + AC clicky (Skull of Vishimtar). AC around 2200, HP @ 15k. I definitely use clicky root pants, as I find it indispensable (but am willing to hear any arguments/alternatives against them). I also realize that shammy melee'ing doesn't amount to much, and that you have to rely on procs, not damage or delay ratios, to see any kind of meaningful shammy melee. I've bagged my 2 timelapse proc (750/1800) weaps for an Ornate Bonecrusher, since it has a built-in proc rate mod of 500 with both DD and heal components. It seems to give more DPS with smaller but more plentiful DD procs, with constant heals to boot (almost an HOT of ~500 a tic). It's un-augged atm, and am debating between the rune-proc from the Jade of Ether, a 225 DD proc, or the DON lifetap aug @125.

Preparation: I usually have a fully buffed pup suspended in addition to my main pup. I block the cleric merc's Rallied Aegis, as it poofs upon hit and leaves an open buff slot making me guess what buff is where. I like to have all buffs in order so I can glance and see in an instant how much time left panther has, or if 2nd life is gone, or if one of my DS's are gone. I use Shield of Lava and Skinspikes for DS's, and the Scorpion Bite for procs. Direwolf Totem for 40% dodge. Form of Defense3 for AC. Champion up all the time, as well as Lingering Sloth. Bind point is in zone near camp, for ghetto self-evacs. Cleric merc on Balanced.

Spellsets: I have single spellsets (to call up and replace a single spellslot) for Champion, Lingering Sloth, Second Life, Panther, Idol, and Putrid Decay as needed. Otherwise I start a battle with /mem m2, which is a debuff spellset used on the summoning mobs to make them as weak as possible before I do damage and they summon me. I use Panther instead of Cougar because it lasts twice as long at half the cost and cast time, and is therefore more efficient than having to repeat cast a wasteful group Cougar spell when it's only me and pup. When I call up the puppy pack, I individually panther them. Main spellset has NoP, panther, Halcyon, Juju, BoY, Ankhaul's, Sting, canni, Vengeance, disease DOT.

Hotkeys: Bank2 has all the weapon hotkeys. I bandolier in TA for slow, Epic1 for HOT, snare-hammer for runners, and the Ornate Bonecrusher for the main battle, which also has a "pet attack" command built into it. I AA punt puppy right away so he gets max damage attacking mob from behind. I use hotkeys for clicky root, clicky slow, VP, pet greater hold, Languid Bite, Spirit Call, GRB/SC, AA Malo, attack/pet attack, mount/dismount, werewolf illusion, Spirit Walk, etc. The tilde (~) is used to target nearest mob, while TAB cycles thru mobs. Shift + # is used second nature, as I have almost all 10 banks of hotkeys populated, burned in memory, and on-call instantly. Bank 9 still has openings.

Pulling/battle: When ready, I /mem m2 for the debuffs, then clicky root mob. Then Malis, TA slow, Feralize, and Crippling Spasm. Then a /mem m3 replaces the debuffs with DOTs. I open with disease, then Vengeance, then panther me and pup, and maybe a Sting before I get summoned. Then I melee with Bonecrusher, pup from rear, while I keep all DOTs running and Stings popping. Canni very much less than when root-rotting. If I'm gonna bring in 2, I PD/VP one, root the other, then proceed to fully debuff both before memming DPS spellset. Kill rooted mob first, refresh VP early on parked mob as need be.

Crisis: I'm not ready to handle 3 summoning mobs at once, mainly because cleric merc runs OOM after 2. I suppose I could use GRB/SC, or HOT myself more to try to handle 3, but I don't think I'd live often. My crisis hotkeys include Ancestral Guard, a self-targetted Union, AncAid, potionbelt quick heal or HOT, GRB/SC. Very important hotkey needs are placed on double-tap combos for ease of remembering and execution: VP punt is shift 7, 7; self-Union is shift 6, 6; Ancestral Guard is shift 0, 0; AA malo is shift 1, 1; clicky root is shift 2, 2. I bind far enough away from camp so that a hotkeyed AA gate gives me time to regroup, but close enough so as not to lose mob aggro or experience on a late kill, or so not to undo a multi-split on a panicked pull. Since I don't have FD ring yet, if things get really hairy, I Ancestral Guard + OT hammer, then gate back when ready.

So there you have it. Most of my strategies laid bare. It's late and I'm half-asleep, but I think I've covered the major parts. Top priorities to get are Epic2, Nectar of Agony, Lassitude for the HOT, FD ring. Maybe some more AC augs, or even focus effects like Detrimental Haste or Duration, and Tribute (sorely lacking there). Anyone think of anything I left out that could help boost my efficiency?
Jaraman
 
Veteran -
 
Posts: 1293
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:56 pm
Server: The Rathe

Re: 'Soloing' "in teh face"

Postby Veril » Fri May 15, 2009 4:41 am

You are missing out a major source of efficiency in whet you have said. Potions. There is a potion that extends detrimental spells and one that extends beneficial spells, these are surprisingly powerful effects as they stack with worn focii and always add at least +1 tick to the duration of the relevant spells (as long as the potion % is not zero). The potions last for 3+ hours that duration is stonking.

The detrimental one:
On a dot that lasts 7 ticks +1 ticks is +14% damage. Obviously the longer the duration of the dot the less of a boost it is but for our poison and magic dots it really adds up, especially when you have 6 or so dots on a mob.

The beneficial one is similarly subtly powerful because of the short durations of several key spells.
HoT, Panther Line, Champion, Lassitude lines, the slight increase in the time between rebuffing and the improvement in efficiency really does add up,

Damage Shields: Do you have Jaundiced Bone Breastplate? that gives an ac and damage shield that stacks with everything else that a shaman can do. OK, small gains, but none the less a gain. Do you have the coldain insignia ring, again the damage shield from that stacks with everything. LoN Illusions with damage shields also stack with pretty much all the damage shields (except for the GoE line) - I use the pyrilean one as it is pretty.

Spells: Getting Nectar and Lassitude RK1's are a LOT easier to get from Pirates than they are from Katta faction. Doing the Hand Augment task will pretty much get you the faction needed, and the hand augment is an excellent item - you will also gain a reasonable amount of XP and loot doing those tasks.

Weapon Augment: Do you feel you die a lot? if so then get a lifetap augment. If not, get a damage augment.

Epic2: if your server hosts open CoA raids find out when they are on and attend them.

Tribute: Use tribute to fill in focus effects you are missing as well as AC and HP which should be maxed for your level. detrimental duration and haste (if normally wearing ornate chain). Tribute can be expensive, but you can often triple your money at least by buying bazaar items.
Veril
 
Veteran -
 
Posts: 1213
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 6:05 am
Server: Antonius Bayle


Shaman Main
Magician - Alt/Box
Monk - Alt/Box

Re: 'Soloing' "in teh face"

Postby Bigcat Daddy-o » Fri May 15, 2009 9:36 am

I thought you were gtg Jarjar till I read Verils reply. Excellent advice there Veril! hehe.

The only thing I would add is, for tanking I would go with the JoTE over lifetap aug. As well as the rune protection, you're going to get a bit of hate which will help keep any adds off your merc cleric. You hadn't indicated that as being a problem but I would watch if she (they tend to be she's) is getting hit by the adds a bit and having to self heal, thus splitting her healing and wearing her mana down?

Maybe it isn't an issue on the 2 pulls, but once you go to 3 it might be.

That spear out of CT that procs snare looks pretty nice as a weapon too. I think they are selling for around 30-40k, so might consider that if you have plats to burn.

Otherwise, to my limited eye as I never tank with my Shaman, looks like you have a good plan. As to being dense or delusional, you are having fun playing EQ so how you play when you aren't hurting anyone else is your business. Enjoy!


And as to being
Ride free brother.
Bigcat Daddy-o
 
....
 
Posts: 876
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:22 pm
Server: Xegony


Shaman Main
Shadowknight - Alt/Box
Magician - Alt/Box

Re: 'Soloing' "in teh face"

Postby Cromagnon » Fri May 15, 2009 1:53 pm

"I block the cleric merc's Rallied Aegis, as it poofs upon hit and leaves an open buff slot making me guess what buff is where."

- If you are tanking, leave this buff on, especially as a non plate class this will help to even out the damage you are taking, another option if you want to keep it blocked from merc, is to get a guard IV aug to put in your weapon which will in effect produce similar results (for less dmg) but will be constantly over written by new procs. These Vie line spells of clerics and guard line procs, will absorb a set amount per hit, until a certain total dmg cap is reached and then it poofs. Trust me well worth it tanking, and great thing about the cleric mercs is they will keep it refreshed the next break after it drops.

" It's un-augged atm, and am debating between the rune-proc from the Jade of Ether, a 225 DD proc, or the DON lifetap aug @125."

- As I said above another option would be a Guard IV proc aug. I'd say Jade of the Ether isn't going to be worth the time invested for you, its a really really sucky camp, and though the rune proc will absorb some damage for you, you seem to not like buffs that don't stay up long and play havoc with your buff organization and rune proc will fall into that category. If it was me, i'd look at what was more important, helping me tank better (guard IV if not going to use cleric mercs vie line) or helping me kill faster (225dd proc) or helps me stay alive better and has the most utility (lifetap = low resist rate, low agro, and will crit on the front and back end for a shammy). Just my recommendations.

Will see if i can come up with any more suggestions later, all i got time for atm ;)

Hope that helps,
Crom
By Account:
Notfit 82 Gnome Enchanter
Cromagnon 82 Ogre Warrior
Mahlon 71 Dark Elf Wizard
----------------------------------
Dartil 90 Capri Wearing Druid
Cromkins 71 Ogre Beastlord
Locusta 66 Drakkin Rogue
Cromagnon
Prancer
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:10 pm


Druid Main
Enchanter - Alt/Box
Warrior - Alt/Box

Re: 'Soloing' "in teh face"

Postby Jaraman » Fri May 15, 2009 4:56 pm

Great advice, thanks for the tips. Seems there were quite a few things I overlooked. Quite the motherload there Veril.

How could I forget extension potions? Will definitely keep those on me from now on. And good point on the other DS's. Bramblecoat's AC boost is nice, which also gets me thinking about Voice of the Berserker's AC boost versus Champion's +10% to damage mod. It may be better to use Champ on pup but Voice on Jara. I could use Might's 5% to offset the difference while having the best of both worlds (wha'ts 5% difference in melee skills on a shammy -- nada mucho, it's all in the procs for melee dmg, right... thoughts?

I did use tribute AC and HP and detri spell haste. I do get interrupted pretty often trying to cast DOTs. But I keep running out of tribute points. I need to find some place to really farm great tribute items. It burns having to go thru all the bags in the bank, and just 'destroy' those hard-earned pieces of nostalgia, instead of being able to tribute them. :(

As for the weapon aug, the more I think about it, the more a lifetap aug sounds good. It will proc both DD and heal components, and with crits, they'll heal and damage even more, giving more bang-for-the-buck than a Guard or nuke aug alone. The Ornate Bonecrusher already does the same, so a lifetap aug would increase that ability.

I don't know what I was thinking blocking Rallied Aegis. I went back and looked at Lucy, and a 10%/2600 guard like that will go a long way to smooth out those spikes, boosting shielding in a way. I thought it poofed upon a hit or two, but now I see that it absorbs quite a few hits. And if the cleric merc keeps it up, so much the better. Great point, Cro.

Bigcat, the main times I have problems with mobs beating on the cleric merc is when I pull 3 or more. It often ends up with a dead cleric and Jara either dead, running, or sitting with his tail between his legs on the boat deck in Overthere. I've got to experiment, but there must be a way to have the cleric not take aggro in those critical first few moments while I try to CC an overpull. Need tactical advice from Pullers who use cleric mercs... Maybe something to do with making hotkeys for switching the merc out of Balanced/Passive? I'm thinking in passive it will just follow like a pet on hold, no healing, therefore no aggro...? Then I could just hotkey the cleric back into Balanced to begin healing then? In fact, that may be a good way to manage the cleric's mana more, making it heal me less. And throwing some of the healing burden back my way.

So, duration potions, clicky DS's, lifetap aug, merc hotkeys, and open raids to help complete Epic2 quest. Thanks again, gives me a list of things to improve on.
Jaraman
 
Veteran -
 
Posts: 1293
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:56 pm
Server: The Rathe

Re: 'Soloing' "in teh face"

Postby Cromagnon » Fri May 15, 2009 7:02 pm

"I've got to experiment, but there must be a way to have the cleric not take aggro in those critical first few moments while I try to CC an overpull. Need tactical advice from Pullers who use cleric mercs... Maybe something to do with making hotkeys for switching the merc out of Balanced/Passive? I'm thinking in passive it will just follow like a pet on hold, no healing, therefore no aggro...? Then I could just hotkey the cleric back into Balanced to begin healing then? In fact, that may be a good way to manage the cleric's mana more, making it heal me less. And throwing some of the healing burden back my way."

Best thing about discussions/conversations is that often the question you came to ask, you are able to answer yourself at the end of it ;)

As far as AoE Agro, for a pure melee class, Rune agro is the shiznit, for a shammy, this isn't a problem as you have many other ways of managing your agro.

In situation presented, you have two ways to attack the problem of keeping mobs off your merc. One is you can manage the merc itself, by setting yourself as puller (which will leave the merc where it is standing when you set yourself puller, hopefully away from where you are doing the pulling, and you will not be healed until you come back within 100-150 range of the merc) which will give you the time to deal with the adds before bringing them into camp and getting healed by the cleric. As you mentioned as well above, you can also toggle your merc mode, from passive to efficient/balanced/reactive as needed which works as well but is a bit time/button pushing intensive. You are already dealing with 2-3+ mobs, and changing your attention to changing merc stances even with set hotkeys isn't going to be very realistic, at least the way I play.

The second way in which you can manage your aoe agro is by adjusting what your shammy uses/casts. Slow, cripple, Malo all are very agro heavy spells and can be used as such in managing agro to keep the squishies from being well... umm yeah squished. I've never played a shammy, but know a few good ones and just with the little i know there are some ideas on making sure to keep large pulls off your merc just with your spell choices. One thing that came to mind was the 55/70 malo traps that shammies get, set yourself as "puller" leaving the merc in the "safe" camp, and set you trap just outside of that camp or where the mobs would path to get to your merc, anything in range gets maloed and pulled to you. Another would be I believe shammies get a viral type slow, healing yourself also will help cement agro, and one thing I know on my warrior, is that the sloth line (defensive slow proc buff for 8mins) is heaven for keeping agro on multi pulls. There's alot more out there, but this should get you moving in the right direction ;)

-Crom
Cromagnon
Prancer
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:10 pm


Druid Main
Enchanter - Alt/Box
Warrior - Alt/Box


Return to Soloing / Duoing / Multiboxing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron