The Basic Raiding Wizards Guide

This guide was created by IllusiveThoughts of the EQ2 Wizard Forums. All credit for this guide goes to him. To see the original post click here.

It’s time I shared some of the knowledge I’ve gained (hopefully I can remember the past 2 years) of wizardry and how this can be used to benefit those wizards who are already raiding, or wish to start raiding. Some of these tips will also be useful in group and solo situations but I’ll try to cover those in another topic.

Let me preface this with, no class is easy, there is no I win button in eq2. If you want to accel at any class you will need to work hard for it, also understand that it will take time to learn the basics before you can start to push the envelope, and you will die many times before you get it just right.

Agro control

Agro is simply a term used in everquest. This means if your fighting a mob and you do more damage than the tank ‘s taunts/dps can handle, the mob stops hating the tank and starts hating you, thus you “got” agro.

This is by far one of the biggest issues to tackle for a wizard, and also even more so for our warlock bretheren. It is my firm belief that the sony developers do not ever want sorcerors to have the same level of ditching agro as scout classes currently have. Once we accept and understand that we can try to work around it with the tools we do have in game.

One of the basic points to understand is that 1 point of damage = 1 point of hate. And 1 point of “de-agro” = 1 point less hate. Think of de-agro spells as reverse nukes, in that they decrease your hate gain instead of add to it.

Hate reduction / transfer buffs:

These are either group only or cross raid castable buffs. By cross raid that means it can be cast by a member on the raid regardless if they are in your group or not.

Cross raid castable buffs

Coercer- Harmonious link – reduces up to 28% passive hate gain

Illusionist- Synergism – up to 48% chance to proc 400-500 dmg (when you cast a spell) and de-agro 600-700 threat.

Brigand – Appeal for mercy, intercepts 3 hits and reduces threat by 1 position each time the recipient of the buff is struck, and also has a large de-agro component. My brigand is not lvl 70 yet so I don’t know what the final ability is called or how much de-agro it gives.

Group only buffs

Paly - Amends – transfers up to 41% hate to the paly

Paly – sigil of heroism – transfers 32% of the group’s hate to the paly for a short duration.

Guardian - Moderate – reduces up to 38% passive hate gain

Troubador - Alins calming serenade – reduces up to 40% passive hate gain –group wide

Coercer/Illusionist – empethatic aura (could be wrong on the achievement name) – reduces up to 7.2% passive hate – group wide.(rank

Ranger – Attack hawk. Siphons hate gain from group members when the hawk successfully hits the mob. % of transfer to hawk is not listed.

Wizards have the following spells at their disposal to reduce agro

Wizard - Anomalism – 10% chance to proc up to 91 power (to the player the buff is on and also to the wizard) when player who has anomalism cast on them is struck by mele weapon. In addition transfers up to 4% of the wizards hate.

Wizard – Ceace – reduces threat by 1300-1500 points

Wizard – concussive – reduces threat by 1500 – 1900 to target encounter

Wizard – gargoyle pet – reduces passive hate gain by 2.5% (1 handed staff req. to summon gargoyle pet, this is your first achievement ability)

Let’s discuss the wizard de-agro spells:

Anomalism-

4% hate transfer at master 1 and currently does not scale up to higher %’s at higher level spells, the first one at lvl 32 is 2% for apprentice 4 and 3% for adept1- 3 and 4% for master 1 and the same for the higher level upgrades.

In reality if you get to put this spell on the main tank, you get to do 8% more hate before you will pull agro, because your loosing 4% hate and the MT is gaining 4% hate. That’s a 8% hate gap. This spell needs further tweaking, but that’s best left for another thread.

In addition, post EOF the buff will proc both the wizard and the person struck by mele weapon up to 91 power. Consider yourself lucky if you get to put this on the main tank in a raid it does not stack with the warlock equivilant, and will get overwritten by it. (so sneak it in just before a fight so the warlock doesn't notice )

Cease-

Cease is a fast casting interrupt / stifle / de-agro spell. (0.5sec cast) It has a relatively short recast timer of 25 seconds, and typically can be cast two times per fight. Make sure you use this when ever it refreshes.

Also the Interrupt will affect epic targets, the stifle portion however will not.

Also post EOF this ability became even more useful, its de-agro amounts were more than doubled. On high agro risk fights I use this extensively.

Concussive-

Concussive is a long casting (2.0 sec) de-agro spell and is on a medium recast timer of 30 seconds.

Concussive was changed to be a powerful encounter based de-agro and interrupt. The requirement of casting another spell was removed and it is now just a 2second cast time de-agro.

This spell is now very helpful in avoiding uncessesary aoe agro from respectivly weak aoe agro generating tanks. In those situations I end up casting concussive quite often especially after one aoe to ensure I dont pull agro from an off tank mob.

Gargoyle pet

This is a wizards first achievement ability, and you need to equip a 1 handed staff and summon the pet or zone to get the gargoyle pet. The pet reduces your passive hate gain by 2.5%

Lets go into a little bit more detail about how some of the spells stack.

2 hate transfer spells will not stack.

Example you have amends on you and you try to cast Ammolism on the paly or even on another fighter, the most recent buff will over-ride the previous one. IE paly casts amends on you, first then you cast anomalisim on another tank, you will only be transferring 3% hate to the other tank, and 0% hate to the paly from amends. In general just do not use this spell if you have amends cast on you.

2 or more Passive hate reduction spells stack.

Example your grouped with a troubadour and they have alins calming serenade up 40% passive hate reduction, and the coercer gives you harmonious link 23% passive hate reduction and the guardian in the group gives you moderate.

That equals out to 101% passive hate reduction.

I realize 101% may seem confusing as how can you do 1% less hate than 100%. The short answer is you cant. There is obviously a cap on hate reduction, but since we can not see our hate gain in game we do not know where the cap is. I can tell you however that I believe it to be close to 100%.

Hate reduction Items.

Skywatcher robe

This comes from an easy ring event in tenerborus tangle at the top back end of the island, the named is on a 2.5 hour spawn. It has a random chance to span the “skywatcher” or “a skywatcher”, the named is The skywatcher and always drops a legendary chest, with either monk shoulders or the mage robe.

It has a 20% chance to proc a 600 point de-agro when you cast a hostile spell, the robe procs do show up in the log but trying to count them is pretty tough to do. In reality, this robe gives the wizard and average 120 threat reduction per spell cast, assuming it procs the given % in a fight. It is a nice item to have for extra de-agro when you do not have any of the hate reduction buffs from other classes available.

There is also a relatively easy to obtain glove hate reduction proc item from Nizara.

fingerless gloves of the quiet, the description is currently not working correctly but it reduces 300 threat and has a 10% chance to proc. Which works out to 30 threat per spell cast average.

I’ve seen other items in game but those only drop from raid mobs, and are rare drops. No raid dropped item I have seen has as high a proc and % as the skywatcher robe, covet that like golum’s precious.

Okay so you should have a basic understanding of agro, the buffs available to you, and how to reduce your own agro without outside help. Agro is tied to dps, so we’ll have to talk about situations related to dps and the kinds of buffs on you. A lot of this is trial and error, and I’ll try to give specific examples, but you must remember that not every class on a raid is 100% attentive, 100% of the time. Which means anything can happen and not everyone at the raid will perform their max potential all the time.

Main tank

Get to know your main tank on the raid, spend some time grouping with them, purposely over nuke on various types of encounters, not to piss them off, but to find the “threashhold” every time you pull agro, take note of the spells you used, when you started casting, and what type of encounter it was and what hate reduction buffs were on you, and any hate gain buffs on the tank.

Advanced Combat Tracker – and how it relates to agro control

ACT has a feature called mini window. You can see your dps compared to the group/raid in real time, you can set it to update every second. This is a great tool for wizards. Someone coined the term “Hate – O – Meter” on the eq2 forums and I think its fitting to use.

Example 1:

single target named started nuking on pull, opened with rending icicles, protoferno, surging tempest, freehand sorcery, then ice nova, pulled agro, I had no hate reduction on me, I was not wearing my skywatcher robe, and I did not have my hate reduction gargoyle pet out, and I did not use concussive or ceace.

In the first example it is a classic case of over agro. You started nuking before the tank had any time to build up any hate, so you were riding the edge of agro. Rending icicles, is low dmg and debuff, so you were okay with using that early, protoferno is a dumbfire pet, and his agro will not count towards you until the pet dies or expires, surging tempest is a low dmg long duration dot / stun, and generally doesnot generate much agro. Your problem was using freehand sorcery and ice nova 6 seconds into the fight without using any de-agros, or letting the MT build up any hate. This is what caused you to pull agro.

Example2:

single target named, started nuking 4 seconds into fight, opened with rending icicles, protoferno, surging tempest, concussive, ceace, freehand sorcery, ice nova, surge of flames, ball of lava, irradiate, firey convultions, firestorm, sunstrike, ball of lava, pulled agro, no hate reduction buffs on me, no hate gain on the MT

In the second example your early use of Ice nova is what eventually caused your agro. Ball of lava should be considered a big nuke, because casting this spell will actually raise your dps on a raid and not maintain or lower it.

From these two examples you learned that with no hate reduction on you, and no hate gain on the MT, you can not cast your big nukes until the mob is nearly dead, or risk pulling agro as soon as it hits, or a few spell casts later.

These are the kinds of things you’ll need to learn while grouped with your main tank. Once you figure out where the agro limits are in a group setting with no buffs, you will be able to start at that level of damage on the raid and go up from there until you find a safe spot to dps at.

From my experience typical raid equipped tanks can hold 1100-1300 dps from me with no hate gain buffs on them, and no hate reduction on me. Of course your milage may vary due to the player playing the tank, and their gear / skill, the Con of the mob (higher mobs resist taunts and spells/ca’s lowering the MT’s hate) and of course your own skill in controlling your agro, knowing what to use and when.

Typically if you find your drawing agro too much while testing the limits of your MT, try doing these things differently or a combination of all 3 and see what works best

Give a longer time after the pull

before your first spell cast, this can range from 1-8 seconds, some tanks have hate over time, others have high instant hate gaining abilities, this will usually vary depending on the tank. This concept is critical for wizards to understand. Do not worry too much because you can still do great damage even if you have to wait the longest before you can do it.
Try to time your big nukes right after using your two de-agros.

In the haze of battle, this can get tricky, but generally don’t start out with using your de-agros, because if you don’t have any agro on the mob to take away using a de-agro will just put you on the mobs hate list and give you agro instead.

Typically I wait until I cast 4-5 spells before using ceace and concussive. Some sorcerors pre-cast concussive before the tank pulls, and then open up with rending icicles, and start their chain. This combo can work if you have at least one hate reduction buff on you, and the main tank has one hate gain buff on him, again though starting early you ride the fine line of agro, and one good roll (or bad depending on your point of view) of the dice could get you a critical hit and poof your face down enjoying the halflings view of the raid.

- Put on all your hate reduction buffs/gear

- Summon your gargoyle pet

- Put anomalism on a tank (should do this every raid unless you have amends anyways)

- Equip the skywatcher robe and any other de-agro proccing items you have.

DPS

- Quite simply the term means Damage Per Second. You’ll see this term used quite often in the world of everquest2, and I’m going to refer to it often.

- Your dps is heavily dependant on several factors:

- The raid set up and your group set up

- The classes on the raid

- Your knowledge of your spells

- Your spell resistances

- Your spell quality.

- Your gear.

- The raid set up and your group set up.

Most importantly every raid needs to have a solid MT(main tank) capable of holding decent agro. Hate gain buffs do not make a horrible tank a good one, the raid will still suffer without this key player.

Secondary is having proper hate gain buffs on the MT such as putting a Dirge AND a Coercer in the main tank group for maximum passive hate gain. If your finding this is still not enough, putting a hate transfer class like an assassin in the MT group will provide additional hate gain for the raid. This allows the main tank to hold more agro than normal and gives the raid the freedom to max dps most encounters.

- Your group set up is important and the classes on the raid.

- You want to always be paired up with a troubadour. They do 3 things for you, increase your dps and reduce your hate, and increase your power regen.

- If you don’t have a troubadour you want to have amends put on you

- If you don’t have amends you want to have moderate from a guardian put on you

- If you have an illusionist beg plead, grovel for synergism from them it will give you up to 8% more dps on a single encounter.

Knowledge of spells

Your spell casting order is also important in a raid, it does 2 things very well, you can modify it based on agro, and when you do not have agro worries you can do super stupid stuff like the following chain on an aoe encounter and not pull agro:

Frigid gift, glacial winds, freehand sorcery, fusion, surge of flames, forge of ro, firestorm,

This combo can spike a wizard to over 5500 dps and if you get a high # critical hit on fusion up to 7k dps. The trick is the raid has to be set up perfect (2 hate gain classes on mt, and 3 de-agro classes on you)

Here’s my typical spell chain when I have at least 2 hate reduction class buffs on me and 2 hate buffing classes on MT.

Single target:

- Pre-cast frost shield on mt

- Cast magic debuff hex doll

- Frigid gift

- Rending icicles

- Surging tempest

- Freehand sorcery

- Ice nova

- Forge of ro

- Surge of flames

- Protoferno

- Ball of lava

- Incapaciate

- Irradiate

- Firey convultions

- firestorm

- Fusion (if its up)

Then its just a matter of spaming ball of lava, irradiate, rending icicles, firestorm, icesheild, and firey convultions until the mob is dead.

Dps will vary from 1000-2400 depending on crits / spell quality / and the good ole random # generator

AOE encounter:

- Frigid gift

- Glacial winds

- Electrifiying flash (if more than 4 mobs)

- Free hand sorc

- Fusion

- Forge of ro

- Surge of flames

- Firestorm

- Glacial winds

- Ice nova

- Ball of lava

- Incapacitate

- Firestorm

- irradiate

- glacialwinds

usually by the 2nd glacial winds the first mob is dead, and if it’s a 2 mob encounter switch up to the single target dps chain, if there are still 2 mobs in the encounter your going to want to continue to use glacial winds and firestorm when ever they have refreshed along with prioritizing ball of lava until your down to 1 mob then swap to single target mode again.

One of the biggest tricks to getting good dps, is to not leave any holes in your spell chains, at not time should you be waiting to cast something, you should always be casting a damage spell or de-agro spell, or health to power converstion spell. Never stop chaining yourspells.

Always prioritize ball of lava for single targets rotate your spells around so that you can use it right as it refreshes Ice nova and fusion are just bonuses, that should also be used as soon as possible.

Always prioritize glacial winds, forge of ro, and firestorm for aoe targets. Ice nova and fusion are just bonuses, that should also be used as soon as possible.

Spell resistances

Believe it or not your own spell resistances will afftect your dps. Mobs like the Uncaged alzid, Essence of fear, ect have abilities that stop you from casting spells these particular ones use Fear to make that happen, but most of these aoe spells are resistable, and if you buff up the correct spell resistance, you will not be Feared and can continue to do more dps than the guy next to you running away like a chicken with his head cut off. So puff out your chest, and hold your chin high, make sure you don’t get feared.

Some raid mobs also have aoe stuns, and stifles. Most of these can be avoided by proximity, some can be resisted with the correct resists, same reasoning as trying to avoid the fear. If you resist the stun that allows you to continue pumping out dps.

Spell quality

This has an impact on your spells getting outright resisted or not. Raiding in ap4 spells will get you sent to hell in a handbasket, do everything you can to get all your damage spells at the minimum of adept 3. harvest non stop or farm solo mobs for a few days to get the rares you need.

If an spell gets resisted, you just wasted that spells cast time duration, instead of doing potential dps. To illustrate this point, Firedrakes in the Labororatory of Lord vyemm are highly resistant to magical attacks. My dps plummets from an average 1500 or so per mob to 900-1100 dps. Largely due to spells getting resisted. Having ap4 spells vs adep 3 spells would have the same effect from outright resists alone. Not to mention the extra damage you get from upgrading the spell as well. This isn’t about being “uber” its about doing what you do best which is damage, and if adept 3 is the best you can get then don’t feel bad about it.

Your gear.

I placed gear at the bottom of the list because in my opinion it has the least amount of impact on your damage(assuming your at the int cap). If your not attentive and chaining spells, using the most optimum spell chains, and using ap4 spells, your damage no matter how good your gear is will be horrible.

I’m not going to give out names but I have raided with fully fabled wizards in much better gear than I and I can still out parse them. Yes gear is flashy, Yes gear is a way to display your uberness, and YES gear can help your dps.

This subject will probably be in high debate after Echoes of fadwer comes out because the stat caps are going to be changing, and we’ll have to experiment around to see whats more beneficial, proc gear or gear with more int.

I've done some extensive post EOF testing in this area. I've found that the following proc items will improve your dps even if other items are available that have up to 10points more intelligence, provided you are already past 580 int. You must realize that 580 int is sort of the old break even point on the new curves. Its where you get really close to the damage range on your spells from pre EOF to post EOF. So getting to 580 int should be your first concearn. Also the damage bonus slows down quite considerably past 700 int. the jump from 600-700 is quite large, but the bonus from 700-800 is about half as much.

There are tons of damage procc’ing items that you will come across, I’m going to list the basic ones you should have for raiding, and quite possibly the easiest to get.

Grizzlefazzles walking stick

This is obtainable on the drednever crash site in the bonemire, and sends you to the den of the devourer. You kill the final boss mob, and viola, you have a 500-700 pt dmg proc on 10% hostile spells with 27 int and 80 power.

2 possible augments the fabled encounter de-agro proc that reduces threat by almost 1300, and the other proc that increases your power by 80. Personally I'd rather have the +power proc to round out this item.

Earring of the invoker

This is a collection quest reward, buy all 4 if you have too, its worth it. also consider augmenting this with a +14 int lvl 60 augment for extra dmg/power. base is 20 int and 65 power with augment its 34 int.

Bone clasped girdle

This is a heritage reward from Fear tainted island in tenerborus tangle, talk to sinephobus in the back of the island to start the quest. This is doable in one day with a dedicated guild group and a crafter level of at least 36. This belt also debuffs heat/cold in addition to doing damage.

This item can not be adorned at this time.

These three items are easy to get and can raise your dps on a zone parse combined by about 3-4% and single fight parses by as much as 8%. Depending on # of procs.

Another thing to focus on is flowing thought gear. There’s tons of it out there in KOS. I’ll list the ones that I currently have and use.

- Bloodwind bracelet FT4

- Wristplate of the rancid FT6

- Xhavix’s gown of glory procs 90-120 power 1.8 times per minute average. (18-24 flowing througt equivilant)

- Relic silk Hat FT8

- Mantle of leadership FT5

- Shadow Slippers FT2

- Mark of awakend intellect FT 5

- Leggsicon The FT4 treasured book from the nest

- Ancient gemmed band FT2 ring

- Silken hands of Creation The FT3 glvoes from SOS

- Adornment of Phophecy The FT3 earring from SOS

All those add up to 42 FT + xhavix’s gown which averages 18-24 FT(that doesn’t count towards the cap)

The Mark, Relic hat, Mantle of leadership, Shadow slippers, are raid drops, the others are easily obtainable, and DO make a difference.

As I said earlier this will also be debated upon by myself at least once EOF comes out and the stat caps change, because right now with ALL the above gear on I’m about 6 points shy of 510 with taking a grandmaster Int potion. So I’m sacrificing quite a bit for power regen.

At this point in time POST EOF, I have not equipped any of my old flowing thought gear. I have found the sacrifice in dps too great to ignore. The difference in 506 int vs 680 int(where im at now) is just too great. At this point in time I'm going to advise all you wizards out there to focus on obtaining as much int as possible. If you have the ability to adorn some of the NON int items listed on this list with int adornments, I'd highly suggest you do so if you continue to use them. This works in 2 fold.

1. the more int you do the better dps you will do.

2. the more int you have the bigger your power pool will be.

I typically now have 8000 power self buffed with about 680 int with my normal gear on(taking a 51 int potion) and approximately 38-44 flowing thought (Xhavixs, relic hat, mantle of leadership, shadow slippers, MOA) I find this combo works very well for me and doesn't really sacrifice int (except for relic hat which only has 20 int but I haven't been lucky with the draco hat dropping so thats all i've got)

Gear choice can get tricky as you can see, and trying to find the right balance will be up to you to decide. If you find your going oop try piling on the regen gear, if you find your dieing too much pile on the resist gear.

There is tons of gear choices out there, and most of it is some kind of compromise for one particular thing or another. Some of the really nice raid gear for wizards comes off contested mobs or some of the tougher raid mobs and end zone bosses, I’m not going to get into those with this guide because most basic raiding wizards wont see that kind of gear until after EOF and the new slots + aa’s go in. (myself included)

I know theres probably more I can cover here, but my goal was to give someone a starting point, a place of reference if your interested to get into raiding and have no clue what your doing and don’t want to feel like a “total” noob.

Just remember that you will die, you will die often, you will die for no reason, you will die for a reason, you will die because soe wants you to die, did I mention you will die? So start getting used to it.

As always I’m open to assistance in game or through the forums. If you have any questions, comments, concearns, shoot me a tell in game to Illu on mistmoore,and I’ll try to help you out. Just remember I’m not a veteran raider, and I haven’t done any raids of the harder content like chel, matron, ect, so I wont be of much use if you want to discuss encounters, but I can be of assistance how to help you as a wizard perform