The one-group TLP approach

Discussion in 'Time Locked Progression Servers' started by Berg, May 5, 2022.

  1. Berg New Member

    I've done the big guild thing on the past few TLP servers, Classic through LDoN, and I've learned a lot about the game that I didn't learn the first time around (1999-2003). At the end, though, it felt a bit too easy to defeat content with 72 very well-geared and mostly well-played characters. And, keeping up with the big guild DKP grind, on schedules set by other people, started to get tiresome.

    This time, I'm going to try something different. I'd like to try to see what I can accomplish with a single group of six toons. I imagine I'll mostly be boxing all six, but will be willing to group with other non-twinked players for a change of pace. I know that, in many of the expansions, much content is raid-focused and I won't be able to do it on level. The challenge will be figuring out what I will be able to do by myself.

    Here are the rules I'm planning on following:

    * I can attempt content with no more than one group of six characters.
    * I can have a roster of more than six characters that I can switch between in order to best attempt content, but can only use six at a time.
    * I have to loot, craft, or quest for all gear that I equip.
    * No high level buffs from out of group players.
    * To follow the same theme, I would also have to research or loot any spells I couldn't buy from a vendor. (I'm not sure yet if this will make things too hard and might relax this requirement for certain key spells.)
    * To save time, I will allow myself to buy tradeskill components from other players, if they are components that I could otherwise farm myself.
    * No buying plat, krono, or levels.

    With this in mind, here are some things I've been mulling over:

    (1) What is the best class makeup for this? I'm thinking that WAR (for defensive), CLR (heals/rez), and SHM (for slow) will be key if I ever want to be able to tackle some prior-expansion raid content. And maybe a BRD as well for resists (and lockpicking). That foursome, however, might be a lot of work to use as part of a six-box on a truebox server, even with two other classes that are mostly plug and play. I'm thinking of putting an ENC on the same account as the SHM, to swap in and out for buffs and crowd control when enchanter slows might be good enough. I haven't quite figured this out.

    (2) What content would be reasonable to try and tackle with one non-raid geared group, and when?

    (3) Are there any epic 1.0s that it would be possible to one group and would it be worth the effort to do so? Anything that would require bypassing a death-touch mob would be a non-starter, so the Mage epic is likely out. If I were to go with a Monk, I think that might be doable, and beneficial.

    I've decided that I will give this a run on the Yelinak server until I get frustrated with it. I'd be interested in hearing any constructive suggestions you might have (but understand that might be too much to expect on these forums).
  2. Gremin Augur

    Warrior, Clr, Shm, Bard, Monk, Ranger is the 6 box I prefer and can handle most anything. The ranger can be swapped out for say enchanter, rogue, etc etc
  3. SoandsoForumUser Augur

    I've kind of been running a group comp similar to this for goals on Mangler. The core of my group is warrior/clr/shm/bard. I then have a monk and berserker, although slotting in a mage over monk past a certain time could make sense. Enchanter swap will be kind of critical, it can carry you through some really brutal spots of content like Tipt flagging with an undergeared warrior and provides int caster utility for places that need it.

    You'll be able to do just about any content, the question is just how far past the content you'll need to be leveled. I 1.0+2.0'd all my guys so epics are totally doable, but I did a lot of the box epics around the pop/god breakpoint. In classic you'll probably just be able to drop phinny. I don't remember if they made him unmezzable to stop people farming him on mischief, if they did it will be a fair bit harder with no raid gear beyond the terrible hate/fear drops you can farm. Kunark will probably provide enough of a power boost that dragons start becoming manageable. I think from there on out you'll probably be stuck about two expansions back up until around GoD/OoW start providing group level content worth really doing. The goats and group instance missions are good fodder in expansion, then once you've leveled up Uqua and some stuff like Cynosure become groupable. There's a raid that has a groupable boss early on that you can farm every like 2 hours, but you'd need to get flagged and that's not easy in era in GoD.

    OoW adds the group trials which are awesome for loot (although spell runes are mostly a lie here) and tons of groupable nameds. I was able to do every trial in era boxing except ingenuity as I didn't have an int caster for one type of chest. You should be able to do the keying for anguish if I'm not forgetting something which will give you access to very nice augs and then in a few expansions good boss loot. Things will get better as EQ generally keeps improving at offering something properly group tiered instead of just the scraps versus raids. I've pretty regularly been killing 1-2 expansion old raid content, but I have raid gear on my main warrior which certainly helps out.
    Gremin likes this.
  4. TheElusiveFox Journeyman

    So... if you plan on doing a TLP here's a few things...

    Knights are less gear dependant than warriors, and easier to box for things like agro...
    Casters are better dps for non raiders simply because they don't rely on raid weapons. The best group gear weapons are a LOT worse than raid weapons from 2-3 expansions prior.

    You are going to start off being able to get pretty much top tier gear (Hate), you will probably be able to get most non dragon kunark gear... and if your dedicated enough with the correct group you can do E/WToV for HoT armor and Giant Armor in Velious...

    However by GoD/Omens a lot of the game is balanced around players having at least SOME raid gear and group gear just doesn't even come close to keeping up. You won't have access to the Elemental planes to farm and craft the Elemental catch up gear without at least joining a flagging raid, and in Ornate your tank probably wont last more than two rounds against the bosses in tipt, so you won't have access to a lot of the good group content (KT's AC/mana/hp augs, Ikkinz jewelry, Yxxta group gear).

    From this point forward you will find yourself as a non raider playing more and more often at least a full expansion behind current content at 70 once you have farmed your spells and what not you will want to go back and get that stuff because without it MPG and RSS will be very challenging for you, and you will want to do MPG/RSS for the 70 spell runes, and for the ac augs for your tank...
  5. Berg New Member

    I'm comfortable playing an expansion or two behind, and am looking forward tp a challenge. At the same time, though, I want to try and come up with the best means of handling the challenges, which is why I'm reaching out for advice.

    I've been thinking that Warrior would be a necessity for defensive in order to be able to best survive boss fights, but I do understand that holding agro will be quite hard without access to the usual cadre of raid gear that help warriors hold agro. Maybe I'll put an SK and a Warrior on the same account and level both of them up, and swap back and forth until I can see what works better -- something that may switch from expansion to expansion as I try to gear them up.

    I know that Planes of Power zones are going to be a problem. At the outset, I think I should be able to one-group my way into Jusstice, Valor, Storms, and BoT. I know that the flagging requirements for certain other zones will lighten up once LDoN drops, but not enough of them to get me into the elemental planes and a shot at the elemental armor pieces. So, I will definitely fall behind then. I hadn't really thought too far ahead to OOW and afterwards, which is something that I will definitely need to do.

    I will almost certainly have a mage as one of my usual six (and maybe mages as second boxes on some of the other accounts to help during the leveling up process). They are easy to box, mostly non-gear dependent, and having one character that can CoTH will be essential for helping to move my boxes around. Was thinking that a WIZ might also be useful for access to OW Hate / Sky, but I might just do without one and then rely only on DZs.

    Here is a question: For melee DPS, will it be worth trying to get ST keyed so that I can try and farm some primal weapons (even an expansion or two late)? To the extent I run a shaman, I will be able to Avatar one toon per fight, but the more the better.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  6. Chyron Journeyman

    I would stick with warrior. Using evasive/defensive could really be a difference maker when you're fighting without current expansion raid gear. Stun augs, provoke and taunt should be enough for a while if you don't try to go too hard on your caster dps.

    Since you're on Yelinak, I'd suggest: Warrior, Cleric, Shaman, Bard, Enchanter(if you plan to charm, Monk if you don't), Wizard (swap with a mage, rogue or berserker later).

    Wizard gets you up to hate and that group can farm hate at 50 for gear that'll get you to 60. At 60 in hate and Kunark gear, you should be able to take on most of Kunark, outside of Gore, Trak and VP.

    In Velious, I'd probably switch to a mage for HOT/WTOV/Kael/SS farming. In Luclin with AAs, it would be interesting to see if you could single group ST key droppers, and get yourself some avatar weapons.

    Some other thoughts... PoP is hard, but you should be able to get Ornate fighting BoT tower bosses if you have the chanter charming. Some Luclin and Velious should open up with a group of 65s also, for filling in with some old raid gear. When LDON hits, you could get pet focus for the mage, a suit of armor + augs for the warrior and any needed spells. It's a serious grind, but that gear isnt terrible once augmented.
  7. Mattling Lorekeeper

    You're going to want 2 clerics if you plan on doing raid content. Vox and Nagafen (non-dual weird) can be killed with 6 as early as Kunark if you're up for the 45 minute slog.

    Zlandicar can be done in era with 5, if you have 2 clerics with pant heals.
  8. Plaster78 New Member

    My opinions on content up to Velious...

    I disagree with knights being better than warrior for single grouping hard content. You will need the extra AC and especially defensive discipline, no way around it. These are long fights of attrition and you simply don't have the mitigation (speaking from experience trying this in the early xpacs, only). Furious disc is also extremely powerful. Knights have some cool perks but the raw mitigation is more important for trying to do super long fights.

    Also, melee dps > caster dps because the fights are going to take a long time, were talking like 30mins...thats a lot of medding. Maybe you could make it work with caster dps but I found it terrible. Monks or Rogues are you best bet for dps boxes.

    I'd reccommend this:

    Warrior for reason above, enc (obv crack and charm but tash is also VERY important, you will DIE if you can't land a slow quickly), shaman 100% needed for slow (and malo), bard 100% needed for resists, AC song, haste....monk dps.

    What possible in classic? Phini, very easily. Just mez and mana drain his , then tank and spank, ez. Hate minis will probably be your first real target, though. Good luck is all I can say :)
  9. Foaming I Drank Bleach IRL Once

    War, Brd, Shm, Clr x3. You'll be able to kill just about anything that doesn't require constant defensive. It'll be slow but stuff will die.
    Machen likes this.
  10. TheElusiveFox Journeyman

    So warrior agro, especially in classic without raid weapons is going to be a HUGE issue (Raid guilds in classic use knight if they can as a for instance). While defensive and furious are nice, the truth is that most things you can do with a single group just don't really need it... and a group geared cleric is going to run out of mana in 30 minutes of CH's regardless...

    Beyond that you are giving up a lot of utility for defensive... SK Feign death, snare, corpse summon, or Pally chain stuns, group heals/cures, Also a lot less of a knight's dps /threat is based on gear, so long term you will have an easier time especially if you aren't going after raid targets.

    The reason why I always suggest casters over melee for people who don't raid is because casters can get 100% of their spells without raids even if they have to wait a few expacs to buy off vendors... Where as melee, even 3-4 expacs later, weapons are often significantly worse than even the lowest tier raid content.

    On that note, Classic monks are OP they will be the most powerful thing in your build, but will quickly fall off, by luclin/PoP they will still be using fists... as they are still better than any group gear they can acquire...
  11. Plaster78 New Member

    Knights are great (the best in classic) for raid tanks, and also great group tanks but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about doing raid stuff for previous or current xpacs with a single group, which is very very long fights. All that stuff that knights have doesn't matter because they die, period. Your healers will barely be able to keep them up before the slow lands.

    Aggro is also not a problem for warriors in this circumstance between stun augs, furious and clever usage of clickies. Again, speaking about single grouping raid targets. "Group" content is easy withj just about any comp, the challenge is doing content designed for many groups with a single one.

    Monk fists in Luclin/PoP? Huh?
  12. TheElusiveFox Journeyman

    So, I've played a warrior during classic, warrior agro is absolutely an issue even chain clicking skelly/shield. Stun augs made a huge difference but they aren't the end all be all... Warrior agro in classic is absolute ...

    As far as Monk fists in Luclin/PoP... what weapons outside of raid content are available for monks to use that are better before PoP? You aren't going to be one grouping many options... Shak Drathor's 2hb? Ulak off of Greig? Outside of that truth is fists are better than most of your other options... There are a bunch of options in PoP, but frankly without a raid force you aren't getting the flags to get to the content where you can one group the named you might want to kill, so you are limited to PoN, PoD, PoI, and arguably BoT, PoS, PoV, since those flags can be done with one group...

    Also if you really want to marathon old raids - you probably want CLR/CLR/Shm so you can at least get some type of rotation going - truth is even a moderately geared cleric isn't lasting through those marathons without at least a small heal chain to med up. That being said small manning old raids often comes down to knowing the content really really well so you know exactly how to cheese it, and out gearing it completely... The second part is a LOT harder to do without access to current tier raid gear... Frankly having done this type of content with both though I'd still say its a matter of preference, Defensive gives you a chance to stabalize at the start of the fight, but so long as a CH is going to land consistantly your tank is fine... What drains your mana is when the tank is losing agro non stop (why i prefer knights), or when you aren't doing mechanics quite right and get hit by ae's that you shouldn't,,,

    You say tools don't matter, but on a fight with adds I'd much prefer an SK for ae threat over a warrior because I know the cleric won't be hit at all, even at range... The big issue is healing which if that 10% is going to make the difference, wear a shield :).
  13. Berg New Member

    This is an interesting debate in the last few posts and is precisely the sort of information I was hoping to get when I made the initial post. Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful comments.

    The benefit of having no AAs before Luclin is that once I hit the level cap, I will be able to work on second toons on each of the accounts so that I will have an ability to mix and match classes during Classic/Kunark/Velious. I think one account will be a Warrior/SK swap, so that I can play with both and see what fits my style (and the mobs I will be trying to target) better, Maybe, I can try both out and decide which I like better before I have to sink a bunch of AAs and No Drop gear into one or the other.

    If that is my plan (and I think it might be), then SK might be the best choice at the very beginning of Classic, when the warrior might have the hardest time holding agro -- even if warrior ultimately ends up being the one I decide to go with later.
  14. Berg New Member

    I hadn’t thought about going with two clerics so that I could do a rotation in a long fight. But two different people suggested this as a possibility. Nor did I consider the length of some of these fights -- which increases the possibility that I might make a boxing error and wipe, even if I ideally have the right mix of six toons to use.

    The first hurdle for me will be getting accustomed to trueboxing whatever six toons I do ultimately pick. I’ve reasonably handled four at a time before, but I’ve never done six. If I cant get the macros and keypads set up properly and get used to managing them, it wont really matter what six classes I pick.

  15. Machen New Member

    People who haven't done this will think this is crazy or some kind of joke post.

    People who have actually tried this or something similar, however, know that this kind of setup will kill things that you could never kill with just 1 cleric.

    That said, have fun earning your aa's with this group.
    Foaming likes this.