Sunday, 5 September 2010

EQ2E: 2 mages are more fun than a sackful of kittens

A friend phoned today to see how I was and got persuaded to try EQ2E. We rolled mages.

Now the idea of a glass cannon is that you trade risk for reward in terms of dying more than most classes but killing faster. However in pairs mages mitigate their disadvantage in a number of ways
- the mobs die faster so you can fight things you couldn't solo.
- the mobs take more damage on their way to you so you deal a higher proportion of your damage while not being hit
- less spell stuttering
- if you are stuttered your friend will rip aggro so you can complete your cast in peace. This is automatic, simply a consequence of game mechanics.

Mages are very good at beating up large numbers of weak creatures and handle tougher or higher level creatures disproportionately badly. Most classes are in no danger from a mob a couple of levels higher but a mage is always vulnerable. Your tank is damage, if you mess up your line of sight or overpull or get unlucky with resists you quickly move out of the comfort zone.

Now what was so significant about today was that it's one of EQ2's rare double exp weekends. This pushed our mages far ahead of the curve. Normally if you start a mage you'd be fighting white and yellow con mobs (equal or slightly higher). Because of the double exp, enhanced by the free claimable exp potions given out we were mainly fighting blue and green con mobs. 2 mages nuking a weaker non-elite mob usually kill it before it reaches us, or certainly before we were in any danger.

We started out as all mages do with just a couple of nukes. Then when we got our root spells I would use root to control the fight. That lasted until about level 10. By level 10 we were hitting so hard there was no point shackling. In fact on some mobs if my friend got 2 nukes in while I got one Shackle the mob was dead before I could cast a damage spell.

At level 14 we got our Grandmaster spell. Now we had been overpowered with Apprentice level spells. Grandmaster took us to god-mode. Grandmaster is almost double the damage of Apprentice. We both took the area of effect nuke as our Grandmaster selection. So now we had super-hard hitting close range AOE with a built-in heavy penalty to resistibility.

This is where things became a blast.

We flew though areas pulling large packs of mobs. We got sent to a very tiny dungeon. Although tiny it was quite crowded. We vaped it in less than 3 seconds the first time then in about a second the next time (except the boss who survived the AOE long enough to require another couple of nukes). We pulled the entire orc invasion at Cragged Spine (except one lucky soul I managed to miss) to a big crowd and blew their socks off. Must have been about a dozen, all dead in 2 hits. Some poor sod was there soloing them. Well we did leave him one, so I guess things could have been worse for him.

As we finished the discussion turned to instances. It was only when I explained that Bronze accounts don't see chat that I realised I hadn't seen chat - we'd been so busy it hadn't occurred to me to even think about the other people who are playing the same MMO. I just hadn't noticed the silence.


  1. That AoE fire attack is pretty sick. On my mage I found an adept book for it, so I used my free grandmaster for the single target ranged attack. However, I can see where the AoE would be ridiculously OP with multiple mages.

    That used to be a popular power leveling strategy in DAoC. Been so long that I can't remember the parlance, but the idea was the same. Get several clothies with maxed out PBAoE attacks and go to town on weak/ mid level mobs.

  2. You know, probably a plus that you couldn't see chat. Not always the most constructive of places.