EQ2: monky love

I’ve been following Victor Stillwater’s EQ2-trial experiences with interest these last two weeks, and I’m glad to see he seems to have caught the bug.  Check out some of his posts for an EQ2-newbie player experience!

His latest post prompted me to comment in my usual excessive detail, and it occurred to me that most of what I wrote sort of fits under EQ2-newbie helpful things to know. So I’m going to be cheap and copy and paste a bit of it here, especially since my EQ2: 10 handy things to know post seems to have attracted a few readers. Hello, new readers!

I don’t actually have a single screenshot of my poor little monk (subject of most of this post), so have a pretty screenie of Kelethin with the bloom effect turned on instead. Bloom doesn’t work well everywhere in EQ2 — in some zones, especially at night, it just makes your monitor look foggy — but when it works well it works really well. Ain’t it cute? Uh, yeah, moving on.

Some classes need help to shine

In terms of playing fun, some classes are wheee! right out of the box and some are more meh – though granted a part of that will also depend on playstyle. Certainly in my case I’ve found that EQ2 fighter classes take some getting used to and some learning in order to play to their strengths and potential. This might be because I generally lean towards scout classes where you try to do lots of damage very fast, which in EQ2 usually means mashing combat arts in whatever sequence is most appropriate for the mob, then repeating if said mob isn’t dead yet.

Fighter classes play a little more slowly, even the less tank-up-front! ones like the brawlers (monk, bruiser) and the berserker. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all capable of tanking, but monks and bruisers especially take a slightly different slant since they only wear light armour and are more evasion- than soak-based.

Anyway, /begin cut and paste job.

As for the monk — your experience is very similar to mine a few years back. As a result, my monk was stuck at 17 from 2005 to 2009. However, when I picked her up again last year I started having more fun with her, and I’m not sure what changed. A couple of guesses though:

1. I learned to use auto-attack damage. For the fighter classes (and scouts) it’s VERY important. Hence the auto-attack bar mod that I use, so that I can space my combat arts out.

2. You can’t spam combat arts like you can on some other classes (like bards), because of the way the various timers are set up. However, you also don’t need to. I’ve learned to use them more slowly and to chain them more intelligently (debuffs and DOTs, then DD) and to make constant use of heroic opportunities. People think those are only for groups but they’re actually a great help in providing extra damage when solo too — and they’re easy, or can be. The standard fighter HO is {damage attack} + {taunt} for {extra damage} — and since that’s pretty much stuff you’re doing already in fights, it’s easy to integrate. Try it with the SK, too.

3. I learned to keep her fighting skills at max. That actually applies for all skills in EQ2 — if you’re not at max for your level, you’re going to be penalised. VERY important thing to know. (For example, just look how many more bad tick results you get when crafting when you level, until your skill points hit that max again.) If you’re a fighter you don’t want to be missing, even moreso if you’re one of the lighter-armoured brawlers.

4. Keep your combat arts upgraded as much as possible. You don’t have to get everything at master, but apprentice-level combat arts are as weak as they come. Doing more damage and having bigger buffs always helps. This is actually valid for all classes. Finding Journeyman versions of CAs/Spells on the broker is easy and usually very cheap. Adepts are a little more expensive, and Experts are rares-crafted and thus not cheap. However, journeyman and adept will be fine until you reach much higher levels.

5. Make use of your AAs. I’m coming to the conclusion that by 30 I should have at least 30 AA (and I’m sure others will say it should be more), and probably 75-100 by 50. Needless to say, that’s not the case for any of my chars. It doesn’t *hurt* you per se to not have them, but it sure helps if you do.

/end cut and paste job

Note that I’m not very knowledgeable about classes in EQ2, certainly not for dungeons and higher level stuff, but I do fine for most solo content and almost all my characters can take on at least green-con ^^^ heroic mobs. So even if I’m not doing everything right I’m doing some things right. And I keep learning as I go — which for me is one of the biggest elements in making an MMO fun. Once you’ve learned it all, been everywhere, and done everything, what’s left?

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5 thoughts on “EQ2: monky love

  1. “Once you’ve learned it all, been everywhere, and done everything, what’s left?”

    Telling everyone else how smart you are, how you did that 3 months ago, and how they should be playing/building their characters in level chat, duh.

  2. Only on my last night of playing did I remember that the Heroic Opportunity button existed, thanks to this post. I’ve been gimping myself for 14 days!

    I’ll have to master that with whatever character I choose when I come back. :)

  3. The HO system does take on a bigger role for fighters and especially low level priests (hello druids, with something like two attacks for the first 10 levels, one of which is a DOT). That’s one area where I think the current tutorials are perhaps a bit lacking, as I thought the button was only used in groups as with LOTRO’s Fellowship Manuvers and whatever the combos were called in FFXI.

    And yes, it does feel like melee in EQ2 sometimes involves a greater amount of sitting waiting for the autoattack swing than other games. Not all bad once you’ve gotten to reasonable levels and gotten more CA’s, but it can feel like a slow start to combat if you’re coming in from a faster paced game like WoW.

  4. At higher levels…auto attack isn’t even a consideration for most fighter/tank types. At level 80 I can solo level 83^ mobs but I have to stick to a system of rapid fire CAs mixed with well-timed HOs. If I rely on auto-attack at all, I’m dead.

    Luckily in group situations and in solo situations, your goal is the same…do as much DPS up front as possible…but in groups it is to hold aggro. So your AA build is very important for this.

    But all of your advice is great.

  5. “Once you’ve learned it all, been everywhere, and done everything, what’s left?”

    I’ll take ALTs for a thousand Alex.

    Cheers!

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