Improving on My Small Group’s Dynamic

Discussion in 'Time Locked Progression Servers' started by Korzu111, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. Korzu111 Elder

    Good Afternoon,

    I’m looking for feedback on how my brother and I can improve our small group. I 2-box a Mage and Druid, and he 2-boxes a Shaman and a Bard. We’re decently geared and are fairly efficient, partly owing to the Mage’s epic pet. We were able to break and hold the Fungus King camp in Old Seb during Kunark, and we were able to kill some lesser dragons in WW last night.

    I am concerned about how we’ll do come Luclin and beyond. The epic pet won’t shine nearly as much, and it currently has some limitations now anyways (WW dragons, as raid targets, ignore it). Additionally, the mage’s style contrasts to the overall style of the group - Druid/Shaman dots, pet doesn’t really benefit all that much from a bard/shaman, etc. I am thinking of rolling a replacement character on the mage’s account.

    What character would be ideal? I was thinking I could go Beastlord come Luclin, but even then I’m unsure if Beastlords can be effective tanks of the type of stuff we want to do (crawls and tough rare spawns). Should I go Warrior? They can tank very well and have good DPS, too. Anyways, was just looking for feedback for Beastlord vs Warrior for our 4-man going forward.

    Thanks!
  2. Hinastorm86 Augur

    Kinda depends on what your goals are, but it sounds like you'll be doing a little bit of everything. If that is the case, SK is easily the most "obvious" choice here. Paladin could also work just fine, and give you access to rez which is nice. Warrior would work also, but tends to be less useful than a knight in group situations.
    I assume this is on mangler. You are going to want a real tank going forward, if you plan on doing relevant higher end stuff.

    I'll add that beastlord, while not useless by any stretch in your setup, is not a super great addition to your current comp. If you needed slow, or had melee, maybe.
  3. Machen Augur

    You have a really weird group. Lots of healing and adps, not much dps. If you are relying primarily on dots to kill mobs, the mobs are dying very slowly in today's Everquest.

    If I were you I'd swap both toons out, for a pair of melees. War/Monk, or maybe SK/Monk. Or ditch the tank and do something like Monk/Rogue. With shm/bard you will have LOTS of melee adps going forward and if you aren't taking advantage of it, you will be much less effective. Neither the shaman or bard are doing anything for your druid, and that won't change for a long while to come if you are primarily dotting.
  4. taliefer Augur

    if you are just looking to add one, paladin adds alot. provides the last set of HP buffs you are missing, as well as res. also provides enough healing one or both of your other priest classes could focus on damage.
  5. Korzu111 Elder

    Weird group, yes. I went Mage / Druid as my brother decided he was not going to play. He finally gave in and 1-boxed a Shaman (enchanter was natural choice but he played one in live and wanted to try something else out). He then bought a laptop when we were all almost level 50 and decided to go Bard to help pulls/CC/mana regen song. If we were to coordinate a 4-box from the start I’m sure we would have done it much differently.

    I’ve thought about SK but it seems like they’re a ton of work to box and the bard is a good puller and becomes an amazing puller for the next few expansions. I really like the Druid’s kit, good mix of everything plus ports and tracking. My brother, bless him, isn’t the best 2-boxer, so his shaman’s healing is kind of sketch sometimes. The Druid is primarily the healer. Yeah, our DPS sucks. If we didn’t have the epic pet it would be even worse.

    Thought about a Paladin too but, if the character is replacing the Magician, we’ll have literally no DPS. I feel like the warrior would blend the need for a dedicated tank, decent DPS, and would synergies really well with the Shaman Bard.
  6. uk6999 Augur

    I would only roll a warrior if you have plans to raid. Otherwise Paladin or SK is going to do better with less gear in a group environment. You could even roll a ranger! Although later on they are not able to do as well as plate tanks.
  7. Korzu111 Elder

    Why is this? My rationale is that the Warrior tanks better than either and also does more DPS than either, plus is more fun to play (in my perspective).
  8. Lemerian New Member

    Warrior snap aggro is not as good and they lack utility. A good sk can out dps them
  9. Accipiter Augur


    The answer is always Shadowknight. ;)

    Not at all. They cast, yes, but it's not like you are constantly casting on an SK. I've done warrior and SK and I much prefer the SK. Yes, the "fire and forget" aspect of the warrior makes that class easier, but you give away a lot of utility, too.
    Yinla likes this.
  10. Machen Augur


    Group geared, a sk or pally will generally do better than a warrior overall thanks to their taps/heals, and are far superior at holding aggro, especially SK on multiple mobs. The warrior has a big advantage with defensive, but that's only three minutes out of every ten, so in group content it isn't all that important. The warrior improves at ae aggro down the road but never matches the SK.

    I find the SK actually much easier than war to play when boxing. War, you need to constantly be switching mobs to hold aggro on big pulls.
  11. HoodenShuklak Augur

    What are your group goals?

    How big of a raider are you?

    If you're a big raider then any class with taunt can tank any group content . If you're going to try to small man past raid content then you won't find a better choice than warrior.

    If you don't get raid geared much then I would lean on a knight for the mix of utility and tanking. You'll handle groups fine and be ok even with the sketchy heal issues.

    Pulling in eq is severely different nowadays. If its slowed you don't even need mezzes. Root is probably fine too. Player power creep just really eliminated that nuance of eq, unfortunately.

    But really the most important thing is to find out your group's goals.
  12. Nolrog Augur


    Paladin is nice, but is not great DPS unless you're fighting undead. Does address some of the things you suggest (missing buffs, rez, tank) but having some pure DPS, IMO, would be better for that group (SK or even monk).
  13. Vumad Elder

    Longer post here but It has a lot of information in it that can make your experience more efficient.

    If you are willing to change your direction then I have a good solution for you... Have your brother box your mage and replace the bard.

    I main a chanter. I started boxing a cleric long ago because my best friend was a paladin and with the cleric we could immediately start a group.

    Knights are much easier to heal than warriors in group content. SKs will out DPS and can pull well. Paladin can rez and heal the group. Which of the two is up to you really. Both knights can hold AE aggro better and help heal themselves.

    Now for ditching the bard. The bard doesn't offer your group that much, and might be taking away from your group if your brother is not very good at boxing. Rogues and etc are great DPS but are harder to box than casters (positioning) However, a mage can DPS well with just one key. Park the mage in a spot and multibind. If you don't know about Multibind, it is when you assign multiple commands to a single key. So for example, you can assign spell gem 1, 2 and 3 all to Num Pad 1. Then, the mage will cast whatever spell gem is highest and refreshed. So if spell gem 1 is in a recast delay then the mage will just cast spell gem 2, etc. You can also bind a hotkey to the same keyboard command making the mage /assist and /petattack. Then your brother can put more attention into the shaman.

    Meanwhile you box the druid and the knight. If you go paladin, you can paci to pull and rez. If you go SK you can FD pull and DPS slightly more. Your druid can MH, the Shaman can continue to buff/debuff. The mage can DPS and hopefully the lesser demands of the mage can make it easier for your brother to patch heal and DPS with the SHM.

    And just so no one is offended. Yes, there is more to a mage than multibind. I'm talking strictly about making the character easier to box.

    Lastly, the druid. I main an enchanter and box a cleric as said. To me, boxes are utilities that distract from me enjoying my enchanter. Thusly I setup my cleric to require minimal attention. I play her almost completely without ever looking at her screen. You can do the same with the druid. I target off her Xtar window so you will probably have to do it a little different but what I do is I setup my clerics Xtar window to match my enchanters group window. So for my cleric healing my ENC is always #1. Then I go down the list on my ENC and slot each person in the group on the clerics Xtar. So the top player in the ENC group window is the clerics Xtar 2 slot, 3, 4 and so on. The cleric hotkey 2 is then /xtar 2 /cast heal /cast heal and so forth. I use her own num pad to cast but I do so while looking at my ENCs window. Hope that makes sense.

    For you always boxing with your brother you might do /tar knight /cast gem1 /cast gem2 and so on for each character (except the mage pet if it doesn't have a fixed name). Now you can play your druid without ever looking away from your knight. You can also setup /assist DoT or nuke keys.

    If you are willing to sub 1 more toon, keep the bard in camp /melody as a 5th. Then you get the ADPS and it's still at the level of your group if you want to pull with it. This might not be possible for you if you don't have a 5th computer and are on a truebox server. That's more work than I would want to do and more subs than I would want to have, but just an option if your brother is in love with the bard.
  14. Dahaman Augur


    The warrior tanks better than a knight IF AND ONLY IF the warrior has enough support (=> raid, full group). You don't have a cleric in your quad, so you are really short on the complete heals needed to make the warrior tanking ability shine its brightest.

    The SK, especially with druid and bard mana regen boosts, can tap heal to nearly replace the need for your druid to heal and do more damage instead (making up the warrior DPS > SK DPS difference). If the shaman is slow to heal, that won't be as big of a problem. You really want the shaman to instinctively slow first anyways.

    I trio a Shaman, Mage, and SK on Coirnav (all group geared only). The healing my SK requires is typically limited to the HOT spell on occasion from my shaman. Druids don't get HOTs as early, but do give that mega bonus to mana regen. The SK simply taps for healing more often with a druid.

    All that said, you should play what is fun to you above anything else. EQ is set up, especially on TLPs, to constantly allow you to improve your character to the point of beating any encounter. Warrior, Paladin, or SK, they will all work in the end run. Even your druid mage will work out fine. It's all good!
  15. Moranis Augur

    As others have said, it really depends on your Goals and Likes.

    Personally, I love my Druid for porting / evac'ing / the occasional charm pet - so my 3-box setup can't do without him.
    I also like taking out namers, so I have a Warrior and Shaman as well.

    In any case, moving forward, I'd say your best bet is as you and others have said, swap out the Mage for a Tank. I wouldn't go with a beastlord though - I would stick with a plate tank. If you had a cleric, then you could get by with a BL, but they're just too squishy and unreliable with aggro.

    There is definitely an argument about which tank to use - War / SK / Pal - but it kinda comes down to what you are willing to sacrifice.

    Warrior gives you the best DPS and the best Defense on general fights AND gives you the ability to use Defensive discs for the really tough fights.

    SK will give you similar DPS to the warrior but be less defensive - however, you get the utility of awesome snap aggro, snaring, pet pulling, life tapping, etc.

    Paladin will give you the lowest DPS and be about as defensive as the SK - but you get also awesome snap aggro, rezzes, and downtime heals.

    ...

    Personally, I prefer the warrior because, without having an enchanter, I found that my SK was always out of mana if I casted anything other than small taps and darkness. Probably poor mana management on my part, but the Warrior is noticeably better at tanking and actually pretty good at aggro - I can tank 2-3 mobs pretty easily with few enough spot heals that my druid doesn't grab aggro.
  16. Dahaman Augur


    A few "group game" mana regen tricks for the SK:

    - level 1 - can buy +3 mana regen potions (GCCs) off other players
    - level 25 - a shaman can make mana regen potions, GCCs and Clarity (enchanter) line
    - level 54 - use the mana tap proc spell instead of the lifetap proc spell
    - level 55 - up to +4 mana regen via AA
    - level 59 - Soul Abrasion for the win
    - level 63 - use a +15 mana regen lich spell line (replaces "need" for the enchanter spell line)
    - level 65 - major mana tap proc spell upgrade!
    - Velious: +1 mana regen shawl
    - Luclin: +1 mana regen ear ring, +3 mana regen shawl upgrade
    - POP: +3 mana regen boots
    - LDON: up to +9 mana regen potential from augs

    Yes, it does take quite a bit of effort to get all of the above. The LDON augs are especially time consuming as there are a lot of other things to get from LDON first. But, that's all character growth potential.

    Now, add in druid/bard mana regen, and the SK will be swimming in mana.
    Vumad likes this.
  17. Accipiter Augur


    This might be good advice for early expansions, but later on you might really wish you had the bard. I have SK, bard, mage/wizard, chanter/shaman, and monk/cleric. The two classes that are constant regardless of the rest of my group makeup are the SK and the bard. The bard has, buffs, AC/damage shield, nuke focus, selo's, lev, boastful bellow, mez, charm, lull, and DoTs. Boastful Bellow in Veil of Alaris does 308K when it crits, or thereabouts. I even notice a DPS drop if I fat-finger auto attack on the bard and he isn't attacking. Plus they can kick now! ;)
    code-zero and Vumad like this.
  18. Machen Augur


    This. Bard is one class you never want to drop from your group.
    code-zero likes this.
  19. Bewts Augur

    It’s not an optimal 4-man group; but replace the Druid with a SK:
    SK MAG SHM is a legit trio. BRD just helps ya get around, and does bardly things. And having the bard can amplify any DPS you use to fill slots 5 and 6 in the group.

    I hate this recommendation because DRU/SHM is so OP later on; but you’re gonna need a tank at some point that isn’t the Mage pet or the uncommon stages where a Druid charmed pet works (like in PoP).
  20. Korzu111 Elder

    Thank you all for the feedback. I wish I could have replied sooner but was on mini-vacation with the wife and just got back late last night.

    A consideration of mine is that there are times where it might just be myself 2-boxing, or my brother 2-boxing. Otherwise, I have thought that going SK / Ranger instead of Mage / Druid might be best, but 2-boxing that and trying to do some stuff seems significantly unlikely without me having a healer-type.

    When I consider going SK or Warrior instead of Magician, and Ranger instead of Druid, for example, that thought does flash before my eyes in addition to the thought of likely not being able to 2-box SK / Ranger effectively enough to farm and camp without my brother's 2-box present, too.

    A related consideration of mine is cost -- melees are expensive to gear, and tanks and melee need good gear a lot more than, say, a magician and druid need gear. I do try to farm some items -- just farmed up a Shrunken Goblin Skull Earring and have a couple other things I've found like 2x Lamentations, Heirophant's Cloak, etc. -- but I can't farm up the elite types of weapons that would really power a Warrior or Ranger to their fullest extent in the composition, and I've found that Warrior and Ranger gear is typically the most expensive of all through the next couple expansions.

    I am now leaning heavily toward Paladin, even though I did somehow just find Blood Ember Greaves for 24kpp. I think having Rezzes would be nice, plus having the ability to throw a group heal out if needed. The extra HP buff and utility like stuns on casters is a big plus. My brother might switch from Bard to Monk -- in either case, they both are excellent pullers and he is good at pulling. I also did make a Paladin in Classic and got him to level 26? or so, trained up different weapon skills too, so I wouldn't have to start from scratch. Additionally, Pally gear is traditionally significantly cheaper since Paladins are a rare species.

    On the flipside, SK is interesting. Gah! Tough decision between SK and Pally!

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