The Mage Experience from Classic to Velious

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Adonhiram
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The Mage Experience from Classic to Velious

Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:21 am

I have reworked a paper I wrote for a starting mage on Ragefire during Velious era who had questions about the mageplay, I have added edits which reflect the changes DBG introduced recently, especially the transformation of old Kunark pets into secondary pets.

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Adonhiram
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Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:42 am

Re: The Mage Experience from Classic to Velious

Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:56 am

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A TLP mage experience from classic to Velious.

To start with, I'll be honest, it's the worst era for a mage because he/she won't have /pet hold and won't have potent heals (the Kunark pet heals are meant for young mages, the higher level mage uses pet heals not for healing but for curing, more on this further in this post). If you have the possibility to box, a mage/druid combo will make your life really easier, as pet mitigation, therefore tanking abilities has been severely nerfed by DBG last fall (2015). That said, you can "pet chain" (chain summoning pets) on harder mobs when soloing, more on this further. Also, in Velious, the raidscene will be very frustrating, every mob and its mother will resist half your nukes, and you’ll be summoning a LOT of modrods for your local clerics.

Many people think a mage's life is summarized by F8 + /pet attack + nuke. Many people think a good or skilled mage's life is summarized by <cycle through nearest NPCs> or /assist tank + /pet attack + Malo-line debuff + DS tank + nuke. Whereas you will certainly do these cycles when grouping, you can also do much more and use your pet in more creative ways. And you shouldn't nuke too much anyways when grouping, you are NOT a wizard. Save your mana for emergency situations where that mob needs to die NOW. Nuke at the end of the fight to help prevent mobs from running if you lack a snarer class in your group or when soloing. When soloing, you'll nuke more, of course, but accord your nukes to your pet's life. The quicker your pet's life goes down, the more you'll have to nuke, as healing your pet is an option which won't help you past level 25 or so. You can use rains in conjunction with single nukes as a rain spell, though usually less mana efficient on a single mob (and more likely to get resisted), will still hit it in three waves, making it kind of a three hits dot which ups your dps if you need the mob to die quickly.

I won't go much further into nukes, there is plenty of litterature about magematics, damage/ratio, resists and so on. Use the p99 wiki ressources to have your exact numbers for classic to Velious, Allakhazam/Lucy is often wrong about the scaling of nukes/effects. Just be aware of the following points :

• Mages get only fire and magic based nukes. The magic based nukes are usually less mana efficient than the fire based ones and are supposed to be used on fire resistant mobs. There are, however, levels in your progression path where the magic nuke is the better choice because you haven't yet your next fire based one, you'll figure that out very quickly by yourself ;

• Mages don't get low resists nukes. When soloing, you should use our Malo-line debuff which will help a lot. All malo spells debuff all resistances except disease resistance, making them useful for everyone, and helping your pet to stick stuns, roots or nukes ; don't forget your pet will soon be light blue to you (when you hit the 40s or so) and will have to fight mobs higher level than it is, even if the mob cons blue or light blue to yourself. The level 60 Mala one is unresistable, but weaker than Malosini, less mana efficient and with a long casting time. We share that spell line with shammies, but in raids or in groups, it's often the mage's job to malo the mob so the shammy can stick his slow and his debuffs ;

• Mages get bolts which have a longer range but require a line of sight. The standard range for nukes is 200', but for bolts it's 300'. With an extended range item (aka as Supple Scale Armband from Drolvarg Warlord in KC), that's 345'. Use this to your advantage. You can for example pull from far with a low level bolt. Or you can bolt-kite a mob while your pet hits it (/pet taunt off !) from behind, though it will be a bit tricky without a snarer. But it can be a method to share aggro between you and your pet on a hard hitting mob : if you get initial aggro by using your best bolt for pulling and from far behind, your pet will take less hits as it will regain aggro only after a while, and the long distance of bolts allow you to run away and escape the mob with relative ease. The paradox of bolts is they don't require a line of sight for casting but for landing : you can launch your nuke even if you don't see the mob (no "you cannot see your target" message), but any obstacle the fireball meets on its path to the mob will block it. So it's all a question of distance and position.

• Sometimes you don't nuke at all if you have to "pet chain". When you are solo and you know you won't be able to nuke that big fat named down before your pet dies, you can chain summoning pets, earth pet being the better choice here for hps and root. You send in your first fully buffed pet which will die, you know that. When pet's life is low enough but not that low that you won't have time to summon a new earth pet (you'll develop a feeling for this, most of your life anyhow will be spent staring at pet and HoTT windows ), you start summoning your new pet. When the bar of the spell casting window has half a bubble left, you press the "Leave" button in your pet window, voilà, fresh pet you can send on the mob. Don't bother hasting your pet, just DS it. Do NOT touch the mob, even with malo. It feels a bit scary when you are not used to pet chaining, but you'll get comfortable with that quick enough. And the pet window buttons help, in the old times, you had to manually type "/pet get lost" in your chat bar and press ENTER when the casting time was almost over. That was adrenaline back in the days.

• You need to do at least 1 point of damage to get full xps when soloing. At least this was the rule as I quitted EQ during HoT era, I suppose it has not changed. If pet does all damage, you get only 25% xps iirc. But the important thing to know is it doesn't need to be nuke damage. You can also melee a bit, it never hurts to up one's weapon skills. Adon has 225 in 1HB...

• You should specialize in Evocation. Point. [EDIT october 2017] Luclin, PoP and OoW will offer later in your life conjuration based fire ‘everyday’ nuke but they will be less dps and worse dpm than your bolt, and frankly, since I came back to EQ, I almost never had a bolt blocked by an obstacle, it just requires you to watch a bit your position and your environment. As for pet chaining, you won’t do it often enough to justifiy a spec switch.

I won't cover the mage utilities summoning spells, you'll figure by yourself. Just a few words : at low level, summoning weapons for your pet allows it to hit magical creatures like willowisps. The coldstone is nice for Erudites and Humans as they are night blind. Most summons till Luclin or PoP are only situational (waterstones) or marginally useful (sword of runes with a small anti-summoned DD which will increase a bit your pet's dps when fighting, let's say, in Lavastorm). However, mages can summon a 5 charges See invisible and a 1 charge Cancel Magic targettable insta-click from inventory staff which can be useful when you need to quickly apply a junk buff or dispel a detrimental effect like Malo which you'll have forced into the first buff slot (see this thread). The only one you'll constantly use once in your high 30s will be the Ring of Flight (2 charges of insta click targettable Levitation, no bat wings needed !) and, of course, the pet haste mask (Muzzle of Mardu) at level 56.

So, now we have covered all the secondary aspects of a mage's life, and yes, nukes are kinda secondary (we are not wizards, I /bow to their Booms...) except in the raid scene and in emergency situations, let's speak about the primary aspect of the class : the pet. The Pet is Your Life. Nothing more, nothing less. Your Pet matters more than Your Mum, ok ? Hammer this into your head, but don't tell your mum . Solo, if your pet dies, it's gate or die yourself until the Gargoyle Revolution (DoD era) [EDIT October 2017] A few months ago, DBG changed old Kunark pets like Rage of Zomm and Dyzil’s Deafening Decoy into secondary pets which are actually decent offtanks, I’ll write a new post about these] unless you are pet chaining.
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