A dirge guide for raiding in SF

Discussion in 'Dirge' started by ARCHIVED-Narbuvold, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. ARCHIVED-Narbuvold Guest

    Here is my guide i wrote for guildies on how to raid as a dirge! It is very detailed and explains how and when to use every buff and attack we have. The guide includes buffs, utility, spells, CAs, AA. Gear choices and casting orders/rotations will be added if the interest is high enough.


    English is not my primary language, but hopefully you will be able to understand most of it atleast!

    Buffs


    Here is a short description of our buffs and when and how to use them in raids.

    Selo's Accelerando [IMG]
    Groupwide run speed buff, doesnt cost concentration and should always be up. With 8 points in bard tree it gives 12% in combat runspeed which can be very usefull at times.


    Riana's Relentless Tune [IMG]

    Groupwide dps mod buff (40.3 in t9 masterd without aa points in it). Mythical buff gives it 10% CA potency. T2 and T3 boots give it 3-5% ability reuse speed. Through t8 tso set or red adorn you can remove then concentration cost. This should be up at all times.

    Percussion of Stone [IMG]
    Groupwide stoneskin proc. Does not stack with Conjurer stoneskin buff. I barely ever remove it as it is very usefull.


    Jael's Mysterious Mettle [IMG]
    Groupwide parry buff. With aa in shadows tree it also gives 900 physical mitigation (t9). With mitigation buff it should be up at all times (unless you are clearing some very easy trash)

    Bria's Inspiring Ballad [IMG]
    Groupwide power regen buff. Not very usefull. I only have it up if there is no chanter in group AND if people have power problem. If you see someone's power dropping be sure to switch it on quickly though.


    Dead Calm [IMG]
    Groupwide damage proc from Melee/ranged autoattack and CAs. Does alot of damage, especially with red focus adorn. As the proc is a class ability it can crit, thus getting bonus from CB gear. Should be up at all times. This is a popular m2 choice as well. If i have to put up Bria's Inspiring Ballad I most often drop this.


    Songster's Luck [IMG]
    Groupwide crushing/piercing/slashing buff. With tso setbonus or red adorn this also gives 10% accuracy. Without the focus effect it only has to be up on raid mobs (or high con heroics). With the accuracy it should be up pritty much all the time.

    Harl's Rousing Tune [IMG]
    Groupwide STR/AGI buff. Gives a decent amount, especially with BD spec. In a scout heavy group it might be worth trying to get this up but prioritize Dead Calm if you have to chose. Only use this if i can drop any of the defensive buffs or if i dont have Hate buff on anyone.

    Hyran's Angry Sonata [IMG]
    37% hate gain on one person. Put it on the tank unless told otherwise. If you know the tank won't tank anything, leave it down. Should be your t7 m2 choice.




    Noxious Symphony [IMG]
    Raidwide Noxious mitigation buff. With aa it also gives a really good noxious ward. Keep it up for hard raid mobs that have noxious aoes, especially if they are dots. It is a regening ward and will always mitigate 350 damage. The amount warded on the tier of the spell, not the quality. Note that this recently got changed as a t8 master version warded more then a t9 expert (dont know when they changed it but i noticed it today!). If you are stil using the t8 master version it is time to replace it. This does not stack with other dirges so for the few fights where it is used make sure that only one dirge have it up and that this dirge has the maximum ward amount.


    Battle Cry [IMG]
    15% DA and 5% flurry for one person in group. Can give 8% flurry from red adorns but it is not a poppular choice. Does not take concentration. Should be kept on scouts but not on rangers as the flurry gets wasted. This buff does not stack with IA from illusionists and is seen by most as a better version. If there is more then one scout in your group give it to the one with higher crit bonus and/or better weapons. If it is a draw, give it to the one who is able to adjust gear so DA doesnt get wasted.
    If the only scout has IA, ask the illusionist to put ia on you so you can give the person BC. If there is no melee scout dps in your group, give it to yourself.

    Gravitas [IMG]
    30sec buff to heal and ward amount, also gives 25% reuse speed for beneficial spells through aa. The spell has a 30sec recast and gives the target gravitas immunity for 2 minutes. If you constantly cast this you can keep 4 healers covered. This means 2 dirges can cover a whole raid. One way to handle gravitas is to have dirges only cast it on healers in their group and healers in groups without dirge. That way you can keep track on the immunity somewhat. This is most effective if you have ACT trigger a 2minute timer when you cast it on someone (how to set it up).
    In HG we are a bit lazy when it comes to gravitas and use a macro with gravitas macro'd to every healer in the raid, with the highest priority healers first. By clicking this every time Gravitas is up the person highest in the priority list that doesnt have immunity gets it. If you notice that a group struggles with heals you can always try giving it to the healers to see if they have immunity or not.
    As a bonus, the 25% reuse speed is not only uesfull for healers! It effects our call, evac and most important of all, our VC which is bloody usefull. CoB however is caped on reuse and wont get any love. I have also heard of dirges having coercers in their gravitas macros.


    Cacophony of Blades [IMG]

    Raidwide (with mythical buff) haste buff and damage proc on any autoattack or CA for 17 seconds. With tso set bonus or head armor red adorn it has a reuse of 30 seconds (note that this is caped, there is no way to get it lower). This does not stack with other dirges and will replace any CoB-buff that is currently running.

    If you are the only dirge you should cast this as soon as it is up at all times, cast the first one a few seconds into the fight so you get the most out of it. If there is 2 dirges you have to work hard to always keep it up. One dirge should always cast it prepull as well. Simple math, if both dirges cast their COB every 30 seconds with 15 seconds appart it will be up constantly but you only have 2 seconds of overlapping. CoB is the main resource of haste for many in the raid and if CoB drops even for a split second every autoattack that hits in the gap will have their next hit delayed by up to a second. It is close to impossible to keep CoB up 100% but you can get damn close.

    There are many ways to do this:

    GC:
    In my guild we all have /cob tied to our cob macros to make GC call it. When you hear GC call cob from another player, check what the recast is on your cob. If it is 15 seconds it is perfect, cast CoB as soon as it is up and hope the other dirge keeps the timing up. If the recast is 5 seconds the other dirge's CoB was to late and there has been a gap. To adjust wait 10 seconds after CoB is up and then cast it. If the recast is 25 seconds the other dirge is way off. Sadly there isn't anything you can do about it and a major gap is incomming. Cast your cob as soon as it is up and hope the other dirge delays his. If he don't give him a good spank after the fight.

    Haste and spell effect window:
    When another dirge cast cob it will end up at the top of your spell effect window. If you are not sure about the timing you can check here what the remaining time on the current cob is. This takes alot of focus however. Another way to use the spell effect window is to spot the cob window and check it's position. The further down the effect list it is, the older it is. Another way to keep track on if a CoB currently is up is keeping an eye on your haste (best done with profits bottom-bar). Memorize what your haste is with and without cob, that way you can easily spot whenever CoB drops. Do not relly on this however. If your haste drops, that means you are already to late! Best thing is to get a feeling for it, know how many CA's you can usually do in 15 seconds, and once you feel that it is time, cast your cob. You can check once yours expires if the other dirge is able to cast his before it does. If your haste drops, you were probably to early, or the other dirge was slacking.
    Do not spam!:
    Just because your cob is up doesnt mean you should cast it straight away. It might sound simple with one dirge casting it every 15 seconds and both using it as soon as it up. However, there are many other things that a dirge has to do; cast sonic barrier, rezzing, getting buffs up, debuffing and so on, or you might get stuned/feared/molested when yours is due. There are times when your cob will be delayed for whatever reason and as soon as that happens, both dirges have to readjust their timing acordingly. You HAVE to be aware of when the other dirge is casting his CoB at all times.
    Don't waste your CoB!:
    Sometimes it will happen that both dirges cast CoB at the same time. As a universal rule, the player who's macro came last should always cancel his. CoB almost takes 2 seconds to cast, if you see two cob-macros or GC calls twice in your ear, check who was first.
    3 Dirges:
    Sometimes you will be lucky enough to have 3 dirges in a raid, this means you can slack a little on CoB, but just a little. If all 3 dirges casts their CoBs with 10-15 second delay, you have 7 seconds overlapping giving you some space. It doesnt have to be timed perfectly. If one dirge decides not to cast it the other two will have to go through all the effort posted above. And also if two dirges cast cob at the same time without giving a damn about canceling, the last person only has 2 seconds spare to time his right.
    When someone cast cob, wait 10-15 seconds, if noone else casts it you cast yours. If someone else cast it wait 10-15 seconds again, keep repeating this.
    Note: If the raid is split up (toxullia and penda united for example) and you only have one dirge within buff range (or if a dirge get merma charmed on hard maalus) you will have to time it with him like written above. If no other dirge is close, cast yours whenever it is up.



    Rythmic Overture

    Definatly one of our best buffs. You gain 2 abilitys: rythmic overture and victorious overture. During RO you record the damage you do on one mob (you place a debuff on the mob and damage done to the mob from you is recorded) and VC then does 3%* of the damage you did during RO on every spell/ca and primary weapon hits done by your group for 10 seconds. During RO you have to do maximum dps possible. Damage procs and Double Attack/Flurry does not get counted*. Procs that buff you (Vicious Focus, Critical Vigor, haste/dpsmod procs etc.) will effect both RO and VC however.

    Damage from effects cast on the mob BEFORE RO is cast will not be added to the load. Even if we have some spells that does most of their damage quite some time after they are cast this doesnt help at all. Also an effect cast during RO will not have the damage done afer RO expires added to the load. SoD, Banshee and Lanet's should NOT be used during RO. Casting them before RO gives you some dps but doesnt effect VC.

    If the mob you cast RO on dies while doading it will be ended early and VC stil does 3% of damage amount making it do small numbers. Avoid this at all means. Also mobs that dispells all debuffs on them will remove RO causing it to end early. Not common in SF but be aware of this when you do explorer or visit miraguls.

    Cast your first RO 10 seconds into the fight or more. That way you are sure that all debuffs has landed and your procs are up and running (myth buff proc is divine).

    Avoid using any abilitys that doesnt do damage.

    If there are any controll effect aoes make sure you use turnstrike right after using RO. This will make you aoe-immune throughout the load. Some mobs can be close to impossible to use RO on (waansu is a prime example. Librarian in labs is also quite tricky). If it is possible, try to use RO on a trash mob before a named and hope the named gets pulled fast enough. For example you can use RO on the 2 droags before the librarian. They survive long enough, dont have aoes and you can use sinister strike (can sometimes do a stifle ae right after they are pulled, use turnstrike to be safe). That way you have VC ready to use before the first port happens. Reactive stuns and knockbacks are really annoying during RO.

    Make sure you ask group members for temporary buffs before using RO. Have a macro ready to send them tells. What i ask for is: RoA from shamans, Time Warp from illusionists (when warp is up cast Luda's, having it double attack will possibly add a few k to the VC)*, and Divine Recovery from clerics. DR can be better to have when using VC though so lately i've just asked them for it before casting VC.

    Once RO has been done you will get a buff called "Intermission" on you that lasts for 2 minutes 30 seconds. When you have this buff and only then can you cast VC. If the time expires you will have to load it again. If you die you will loose the buff and must therefor reload it. If you have another bard in your group your intermissions will cancel eachother out! If you use RO, make sure you use VC before the other bard starts his RO!

    An overall thumbrule in eq2 is that procs dont proc procs so we can assume that procs not getting recorded is true (would be possible to use RO during a VC from another bard for example). Double attack, flurry, spell double attack seems to be concidered as procs (they cant proc procs so it would be logical) and will therefor not be recorded.

    *) The exact mechanics behind RO and VC are tricky to figure out and as the spell discription is vague and no devs have commented on how it works all the info is from people who have tried different things. Sentences with an asterix can be taken with a grain of salt.





    Victorious Concerto

    This is where the fun starts! The recast on VC can and SHOULD be reduced as much as possible. RoA does wonders, and dont hesitate to ask for a jcap (the amount of damage from it outshines any nuke in the game!). You should also ALWAYS cast gravitas on yourself before using it. So, now you have recast coverd, time to get the group some casting speed, ask for DR before casting it. Reuse: check, casting speed: check. Time to melt some faces!

    Make sure you know the fight you are doing so that you don't cast VC when you have to joust or the mob goes immune. Make sure that there isnt any stun aoes or KB that can mess it up for you or your teammates! If there is, get BD up, ask for sanctuary or wait until it has just landed before you unleach hell.

    VC doesnt proc of autoattack so this is the only time that you are allowed to delay your autoattack to get some extra CA's in although it should be avoided. Also don't cast any of the abilitys we have that doesnt do damage as they wont proc VC. Start with your CA's and when you run out cast the quicker spells. If you have VC loaded when a big encounter is incomming (underfoot depths for example) cast banshee and Jarol's as soon as all the mobs are in range. If there is 3 mobs or less it is better to stick to the quicker CA's and wail.

    Crit bonus and potency effects the damage from VC and also the damage done during RO. Because of this potency and CB gets applied twice and because of this you can make VC do insane numbers

    To calculate the VC damage you can use this equation:

    RO = damage done to the mob with RO on them from CA's, spells and base autoattack during the 10 second duration.

    VC = Potency * (RO * 0.03) * Crit Bonus

    (Potency from agility does not effect VC)
  2. ARCHIVED-Narbuvold Guest

    Other buffs

    All other buffs from aa should be up at all times. The only thing to add is that if you have a troubador in your group, let their DKTM replace yours.








    Debuffs


    Dirges have 4 encounter debuffs. 2 debuff physical and magical mitigation. These should always be up, even in scout heavy groups as they do alot of magic damage (poisons for example). We also have 2 defensive debuffs, one that reduces the encounters agi and str and one that reduces attack speed. These should be up on all nameds and hard hitting trash/adds. None of these debuffs stack with themselves nor with the 4 encounter debuffs that troubs have.

    All of these debuffs have long duration and only 2 second recast so one person can easily keep them up at all time. They ocasionally resist but only takes half a second to get it up again.

    With 4 bards in a raid it is a waste to have them all casting them all on the same mob. A thumb rule to use here is that the MT dirge keep all the debuffs up on the main mob and reapplies them as soon as they drop. The OT dirge keep the mitigation debuffs up on any adds (defensive ones as well if the add would hapen to hit hard and live long). The last 2 bards dont have to use theirs, saving them some time. Of course they can put them up on the named to backup if the MT dirge would for some reason die. This is only needed for hard mobs where we can't risk loosing those buffs at any time. On trash it is enough if MT dirge and maybe OT dirge (incase they resist, we want them up asap) cast mitigation debuffs. the other 2 can pew pew pew.

    All 4 debuffs proc POTM but nothing else. If there is a big encounter and you have trouble autoattacking because mobs are dying to fast you can keep spamming these if POTM is up and constantly tabbing to get a new target. If you cancel them as soon as they land you wont run out of spells. The dps from this isn't great but if you can do this in combination with our 2 other encounter spells and keeping autoattack up you will be able to do some nice ae dps.

    [IMG]Clara's Chaotic Cacophony: Physical mtigation
    [IMG] Zander's Choral Rebuff: Magic mitigation
    [IMG] Disheartening Discant: Agi and Str reduction
    [IMG] Daro's Sorrowful Dirge: Attackspeed reduction and snare









    Utility



    I have heard people claim that this is a utility class so i guess i should add what usefull things we can add to a group/raid.




    Rezzes

    [IMG]Elegy at Death's Door: Single target rez.
    [IMG]Elegy of awakening: Group rez.
    Dirges have two rezzes, one single target and one groupwide, both of them gives rez sickness. In the dirge tree you can put points in rezzes to make them faster and to increase the hp/power amount gained when rezzed. With 5 points you will rez people with 100%hp/power which is very nice at times. If a healer is having power problem and dies, rezzing him with 10% power doesnt make it better.

    Add a /say %T macro to them so people can see who you are rezzing. Make sure you never single target rez a person someone is casting a grouprez on. In raids it is mainly the healers job to do rezzes unless it is a hard named where healers are buissy. On trash a dirge can do more dps then most healers so healers should rez to minimize the raidwide dps loss.




    Confront Fear

    An ability gained from the Dirge tree that removes rez sickness from any person and cures fear. When rezing someone you should cast this on them as soon as they get up. If you notice someone casting a grouprez you can cast this on atleast a few in that group as you know they will have rez sickness (spirit dance is the only group rez that doesnt give sickness). With 5 points in Controlling Confrontation in dirge tree this ability also cures charm, stifle, stun, daze mez and gets a 20 sec recast. The effect cure isnt very usefull as it cant cure uncurable effects or curses and the only time you can cure yourself is during a fear where you can drop target and use it. Havn't experimented much with it but seems to have limited use.


    Oration of Sacrifice [IMG]

    This spell channels your HP to one of your group members and stifles you. You can remove the stifle by spending 5 points in shadows tree or using red adorn (never seen anyone with this adorn though). For me this heals the target for an initial 3k hp and then 600 hp every 0.3 seconds for 8 seconds but depends on gear. This is one of the quickest ticking heals in the game and is good if the tank is spiking or a group is without a healer. If you heal someone that doesnt constantly take damage you can cancel the effect as soon as the person has full health to get rid of the stifle.

    Sonic Barrier
    A really great end-ability from the dirge tree. Give 3 stoneskin procs to any raidmember (excluding yourself) that is below 50% hp. I have seen people using a /gsay or /tt macro with this which is a very bad idea. I do however have /cancel_spellcast macrod to it so i can get it up as soon as a tank is spiking no matter what i am doing. If a tank is spiking you can target him and spam this buff and sa soon as he drops below 50% he will get the stoneskin which gives the healers a chance to heal up and the tank will be at 100% in no time. This is impossible to do with any kind of macro telling people you are using it as the spam will be horrible. If you know the tank will take extra damage or usually dies at a certain point you can start spamming this. I used it alot while learning Toxxulia (during moves), Theer (during moves) and explorer (when everyone is jousting the curse aoe). If the tank calls for a death save you can start spamming as well.
    You can also use it on dps that goes low on health as well but they arnt always important enough to take your time (!!!) and with it's high recast it might be better to save it for the tank.
    This buff has alot of potential and should be experimented with. It is situational but once you get a chance to use it it will make a huge difference.






    Attacks - Spells

    Dirges have both Ca's and spells and knowing which is which is important to adjust to procs. Here is a detailed list of what they do and how to use them. The Shadow tree end ability reduces casting time of all disease based spells with 25% and the casting times included here will be with this ability. Remember that these 25% are counted towards the casting speed cap.
    All these spells proc PoTM but not all of them procs PoM, VC and toxicity. If they only proc PoTM they wont trigger most item procs.





    Wail of the Banshee [IMG]
    Our quickest encounter spell at 1.5. Does little initial damage and then ticks disease damage for 15 seconds and ends with a big hit. On a single target mob the nuke on termination does close to the same amount of dps as the initial damage + dot together. This is one of our highest damaging attacks on a single target mob and should be cast early and reapplied as soon as it is up again (20 seconds recast) until the mob is close to dying. If the mob wont be alive for 15 seconds you should cast something else. You can cast this while running and can use it when running to melee range at the start of the fight. This is the highest priority attack to use while jousting.
    Also note that this ability is crappy to use during RO as it is impossible to get the nuke damage from it as it wont be counted for if you cast it before RO and if you cast it during RO it wont have time to expire before RO is finished.
    On an epic training dummy this spell did a total of 850 dps making it my 2nd highest attack. The nuke on termination does 11-15k for me.
    Big encounters usually dont survive for 15 seconds and so the damage is somewhat crippled. It is stil usefull to get PoM, POTM, toxicity and VC procs however. If you think the encounter will stay up for 15 seconds then cast it early and hope they do.
    Note that this spell can hit an unlimited number of mobs within an encounter, but will only hit mobs within 15m of the one you cast it on.
    Timing with autoattack
    If you have low ability casting speed and high haste this spell will take the full duration between two autoattacks. Dont ever cast it unless your autoattack has just hit. With high casting speed or low haste you will be able to squeeze in a 0.5sec CA before the next autoattack hits. I was able to do this with 30% casting speed and 120 haste but not with 150 haste






    Jarol's Sorrowful Requiem [IMG]

    Encounter spell with a decent amount of disease damage but with a longer casting time (2sec) then banshee but shorter recast (12 seconds). This is our attack with the highest casting time and should not be used on a single target mob. Tried using it every time it was up on a training dummy and it hit for 7-11k damage and did 600dps but with the long casting time it made me unable to use alot of other abilitys that would do more damage. On a single target mob use this only while jousting and Banshee and Luda's are down, remember that you can cast it while running! Use it also if you completely run out of attacks

    On a bigger encounter this spell will do about half the damage that banshee does unless the encounter dies fast. On encounters this spell does quite decent amount of dps and should be used before any CA. On a grouped set of dummys this did 3.5k dps while banshee did 6.3.

    Also note that this spell can hit an unlimited number of mobs within an encounter, but will only hit mobs within 10m of the one you cast it on.

    The only thing that makes this spell really good is that it can proc PoM, POTM, Toxicity and VC on a huge number of mobs and can do it more often then Banshee. On the huge trash mobs in underfoot, load VC on the mob before, ask for a RoA prepull. then use VC>Jarol>Banshee>Luda's>quick CAs>Jarol and you should be able to do some 100k dps!

    Timing with Autoattack
    You will almost never be able to cast anything but Jarol's between two autoattacks. Dont EVER cast Jarol's unless your autoattack has just hit as it can delay your autoattack with huge amounts.







    Luda's Nefarious Wail [IMG]

    Single target disease nuke with a decent casting speed of one second and a recast of 20 seconds. With 4 points in the dirge tree this will be brought down to the cap of 0.5sec casting speed, 0.8sec without it. This is among our highest hitting attacks hitting for 20-27k with decent amount of potency/CB/ability modifier and is one of our best source of dps. There is no dot or debuff component on it and is best used after your dots and debuffs. It is better to use it a bit later into the fight when all debuffs are up on the mob. I usually use this between HO-chains. If the mob is about to die this is the attack to use to get some extra damage on the mob before it goes down. This is the 2nd highest priority attack while jousting.

    Luda's is our quickest spell to proc POTM with and is also good to proc VC with when you run out of CAs

    This spell should always be used during RO and if you get a timewarp it will add quite a few K to the VC.
    Timing with autoattack
    This spell is very easily squeezed in between autoattacks and if you find yourself having some spare time before the next autoattack hits this is a good one to squeeze in. Remember however that the casting speed will always be 0.5 seconds so dont try to cast it to late because you have RoA or DR. If you start with Luda's after an autoattack you will have time to use a 2nd short cast attack, ideally Daro's Dull Blade, Howl of Death, Rythm Blade or Evasive maneuvers.



    Howl of Death [IMG]

    Minor single target disease damage with a small heal tied to it. It only has a 10m range and can therefor not be used while jousting but has a decent casting speed of 0.9sec (I have 0.78sec casting speed without casting speed gear on but can't figure out why, can someone confirm what it is?). Through the shadow line you can bring it down 25% more bringing it to 0.75, but as the spell isnt very usefull it is an unpopular choice.

    This spell is used as a last resort if you run out of attacks and shouldnt be used if you have better stuff up. You can also use it if you dont have any other low casting speed ability up and have some time before the next autoattack. The spell does 6-10k damage. With the low base damage ability modefier will easily be caped for this ability as well.

    This attack procs POTM but is slower then our green debuffs that proc POTM encounterwide but without damage. With PoTM up this spell is ok compared to the CAs but stil shouldnt be prioritized.

    If you are using RO with timewarp and have used Luda's it might be worth using this as well. The double hit should add a few hundred to the VC atleast.

    Timing with autoattack
    If you are halfway to the next autoattack this spell should be quick enough to finish before it hits. This spell is quite fast and should never be used alone between two autoattacks. If you are lacking casting speed gear you should use this in combination with a CA (Daro's Dull Blade, Evasive maneuvers and rythm blade is best). With enough casting speed you can use it together with Luda's (at 30% casting speed i can do this at 150 haste but it is a close call).






    Tarven's Crippling Crescendo [IMG]

    Extremely short cast (0.39sec) single target spell that reduces the mobs defence and deals an extremely small amout of disease damage. The disease damage is pitifull (1.5-3.5k on dummy) and ability mod gets caped right away but the fact that it has damage causes procs to trigger. This is THE fastest attack to trigger VC, POTM, PoM with making it very usefull. You use this together with CA's but this one wont trigger CoB. Has a 10 second recast and is therefor part of the 2nd HO Chain. The debuff component has a duration of 36 seconds so you dont "have" to cast this every time it is up to keep the mob debuffed.

    This ability and the HO chain it is part of doesnt do much damage but due to the low recast it should be used often so you always have attacks to use.

    Note: This ability does not proc stampede so if you are using RO while stampede is up you should only cast it if you have no CAs up.

    Timing with autoattack
    This ability should always be used together with HO starter and Thuri's Doleful Thrust (aka 2nd HO chain, more info about it later). As all these abilitys are very quick you are sometimes able to squeeze in a 3rd CA (Daro's, evasive maneuvers or rythm blade) before the autoattack hits. Always start this chain after an autoattack has hit. You can split the chain up to do HO starter and Tarvens before autoattack and Thuri's as soon as the autoattack has hit. This requires some timing but allows you to be more flexible.



    Verlien's Keen of Dispair [IMG]

    Single target noxious mitigation debuff and snare. Very quick casting speed (0.39sec) and part of the 1st HO chain. This spell only procs POTM and nothing else. If VC is up you should not use this even if you use the 2nd part of the HO chain (darksong blade), instead cast it before you use VC (but dont cast Darksong). The same goes for RO. It has a long range and can be used while jousting if all other spells are down.

    The duration (24sec) is only slightly longer then the recast (20sec) so it has to be reapplied quite often. This spell only debuffed disease mittigation but as of SF release it mitigate all noxious damage.

    The amount debuffed is really nice. This spell alone caused my pestilent rain to proc for 4.4k damage on a dummy while torrent that does the exact same amount of damage but in arcane did 3.6. Almost all our attacks do disease damage so this one helps alot.

    Timing with autoattack
    This attack should most often be used as part of the 1st HO chain. HO starter>Verlien's>Darksong Blade. This chain is fairly quick and you can sometimes squeeze in a 3rd CA before the autoattack hits.


  3. ARCHIVED-Narbuvold Guest

    Lanet's Excruciating Scream [IMG]

    This is one of our worst abilitys and should probably be removed from our hotbards. Does no initial damage, stifles for 7 seconds (does not effect epic targets) and does a small amount of disease damage on termination. As it doesnt do any initial damage it wont proc anything except PoTM and a few item procs (barelly any damage ones, should be able to proc Storm's Fury though). The damage on termination doesnt proc anything at all. Low base damage equals low ability modifier cap!
    On a training dummy the damage on termination (called "Scream" in logs) did a maximum of 5k.

    I keep this on my hotbars because I have high casting speed and at a few times run out of attacks. During a 8 minute training dummy fight i used this 5 times and it did a whopping 50dps. Atleast it is better then nothing i guess! It has a 30m range so can be used while jousting if everything else is down.

    Timing with autoattacks
    Casting speed is the same as for Howl of Death and can as well be timed with a quick CA (Daro's, Evasive Maneuvers or rythm blade prefered). Do NOT risk delaying autoattack at all with this. The spell is so crappy that it is better not to use it then to delay your autoattack even the slightest.





    Hymn of Horror [IMG]

    Another horrible spell. This is our only blue aoe however. It interupts up to 8 targets within 7.5m and has a small chance of KB them (does not effect epics). The only thing that can keep this spell on the hotbars is the fact that it has no casting speed (it does however have a recovery speed) and that it procs POTM. On large encounters and multiple encounters you can use this if and only if POTM is up to get some quick procs. Not great damage but always nice with some extra that comes almost for free.
    The spell has some utility uses in a few fights like Varsoon (instant cast interrupt!) and Field General (spammable blue aoe that you can cast on the run to tag invis adds!).
    Timing with autoattacks
    This can be used pritty much whenever. Just be aware of the 0.5sec lag (0.38 with swift voices) that can delay your autoattack.





    Attacks - Combat Arts

    All of the following attacks causes damage and will trigger CoB and other procs. None of them will trigger POTM however. All of them have a casting time of 0.5 seconds.



    Scream of Death and Shroud [IMG][IMG]


    Scream of Death (or SoD as we call it) is probably our best attack. It is a combat art that has to be used while stealthed and requires you to be directly behind the mob (no flanking). It starts with an initial piercing damage and then starts ticking disease damage every 3 seconds. For every 15 seconds this effect is up the damage ticked will be increased (maximum duration 45 seconds). It has a 1 minute recast which can be reduced to 50sec through red adorn but it is not a poppular choice.

    This attack together with Dead Calm are the best m2 choices. Personally i chose SoD as having it in m2 reduces the chance of resists as well as damage while dead calm only slightly increases the damage.

    To get invis it is best to use Shroud. This has 10 second recast and with 4-5 points in dirge tree has a casting speed of 1 second. It doesnt have a recovery speed which is great but doesnt proc anything.

    This is one of our highest dps attack and one of the main reasons a dirge can't dps properly on short fights. Should be cast as soon as you are in melee range (unless mob is dies quickly) and be reapplied until the mob is close to death. If the mob wont live for more then 15 seconds you should not cast it (it doesnt do much dps and it wont be up for the next mob).

    Damage on an epic training dummy:
    Initial damage: 14k
    0-15 seconds: 1.6k
    15-30 seconds: 3k
    30-45 seconds: 4.8k
    Overall dps during 1m 50sec fight (used SoD twice): 1050dps

    This attack procs anything that can proc on melee but as you have to do shroud first it should not be used to get procs. Never use this attack while RO or VC is up.

    Timing with autoattack
    Shroud takes 1 second without any recovery and SoD takes 0.5 sec with 0.5 sec recovery. Together they take up the full time between two autoattacks. Dont EVER start this combo if autoattack hasnt just hit.




    Bump

    Through the Bard tree you can get this usefull ability that deals a small amount of melee damge and puts you into stealth. This ability requires you to be behind or flanking the mob. It has a 0.5 sec casting time and can proc anything that a CA can proc. This alows you to use the Bump>Kiss combo during VC.

    If you put 6 points in Stealthy Ambush in the bard tree you increase the damage and reduces the recast to 20 seconds which is what misfortune's kiss have. This lets you always do Bump and Misfortune's Kiss in combo and gives Bump quite decent damage (8-11k on dummy). Without this recast reduction you will have to use Shroud>Misfortune's Kiss sometimes and Bump>SOD sometimes and you will at times end up without any ability that puts you in stealth even though Kiss or SoD is up.
    Timing with autoattack
    With stealthy ambush you should always use this in combination with Misfortune's Kiss. Start the combo directly after your autoattack hits.






    Misfortune's Kiss [IMG]


    An attack that requires you to be stealthed (but can be in front of the mob) that deals a huge amount of melee damage and reduces the targets wisdom. This attack is our third biggest nuke (after Luda's wail and Sinister strike) and is great to use both during RO and VC. It has a recast of 20 seconds and should be used every time it is up. The debuff is also nice as it reduces the mob's mitigation.

    Timing with autoattack
    Always use Bump>Kiss between two autoattacks.





    Daro's Dull Blade [IMG]


    A really good CA used from flanking or behind that deals a good amount of damage and has a very short recast (10sec). It also reduces the target's attack speed by 50 but only for 10 seconds so has to be constantly reapplied. This should be used often, not only for the high amount of damage but also to make sure you always have attacks up. If you are the only bard debuffing a mob that hits hard (Sages energized for example) you have to make sure you cast this every 10 seconds.

    Timing with autoattack
    This is one of our few attacks that isnt tied to any kind of combo and can therefor be squeezed in after an HO chain if you have time or it can be used together with the other attacks that arnt in combos (Rythm blade, evasive maneuvers, Luda's nefarious wail, howl of death).



    Sinister Strike [IMG]


    Our biggest "nuke" that requires you to be flanking or behind the mob. Also reduces the targets physical mitigation by a small amount. Has a very long recast and can only hit certain mobs. This attack is really good for RO and if you can't use it on a named try to use RO on a trash just before it that you can use it on. I have the server's 3rd highest melee hit for a dirge with a sinister strike on 38k.
    Timing with autoattack
    Use this together with the other attacks that arn't tied to a chain (Daro's Dull Blade, Rythm Blade, Evasive Maneuvers, Luda's Nefarious Wail and Howl of Death).








    Darksong Blade [IMG]


    This CA has two initial disease hits that both has to succesfully hit the mob for the damage to land. If it lands it will have a small disease dot as well for 14 seconds. This attack is part of the 1st HO chain together with Verlien's Keen of Despair and should be used whenever it is up. It has a 20 second recast. During RO and VC you want to use this ability but not Verlien's. This mean you will break up the chain at times. Use Darksong early during RO to get as much of the dot as possible to tick while RO is up.

    Darksong deals very nice damage and should not be delayed because Verlien's or the HO starter isn't up. Wait with using Verlien's a bit every time until they are back in synch, then start doing the HO chain again.
    Timing with autoattack
    Use with the 1st HO chain, HO starter>Verlien's Keen of Despair>Darksong Blade. If they are not synched use it togehter with the other abilitys that arnt tied to a combo (Daro's Dull Blade, Rythm Blade, Evasive Maneuvers, Luda's Nefarious Wail, Howl of Death)




    Thuri's Doleful Thrust [IMG]


    Probably our weakest CA. Deals a small amount of disease damage and heals you for a small amount. Use this with Tarven's Crippling Crescendo. Avoid breaking up this HO chain as the HO is part of what makes this spell usefull. Only has a 10sec recast and should be used often so you don't run out of attacks. As this whole chain procs damage it should be used during VC. Use it during RO as we don't have enough big hits for the whole duration.

    Timing with autoattack
    Should almost always be used as part of the 2nd HO chain, HO starter>Tarven's Crippling Crescendo>Thuri's Doleful Thrust. Always start the chain right after an autoattack. Can be split up so the autoattack hits before Thuri's to make it more flexible but requires good timing.






    Rythm Blade [IMG]


    A weak attack that buffs your casting and melee skills. As a raiding dirge you should have Precise Blades that also gives you 6% accuracy and 8% less chance of spells resisting while the effect is up. The buff is cast on you when you hit the mob so it doesnt matter if the one you used it on dies, you will stil have the buff. It is stil an attack so it will proc anything that a CA should proc.

    The duration of the buff is the same as the recast of the attack (30sec). This means that you have to recast it as soon as it is up to keep the buff on you. The buff is very good so you should use this attack early in the fight. Make sure you have this up and running before casting RO

    Timing with autoattack
    Use this together with the other attacks that arn't tied to a chain (Daro's Dull Blade, Rythm Blade, Evasive Maneuvers, Luda's Nefarious Wail and Howl of Death).






    Evasive Maneuvers


    A high damage CA that has a 25m range and a 1min recast. It also reduces your threat position by 1. Try to have this up when loading RO.

    This can be used while jousting due to the range but is stil counted as a melee CA. It will proc anything that a melee CA can proc and will start your melee autoattack. If used while jousting remember to reactivate your ranged autoattack while casting this or straight after. You can cast this while running.

    Timing with autoattack
    Use this together with the other attacks that arn't tied to a chain (Daro's Dull Blade, Rythm Blade, Evasive Maneuvers, Luda's Nefarious Wail and Howl of Death).



    Turnstrike [IMG]

    A CA with weak damage that gives you aoe immunity for 10 seconds. It has a 1 minute recast. This is from the bard tree and make sure you spend atleast 1 point in it. Spending more points only increase the damage slightly. The damage is pittifull and should only be used as a last resort.

    This ability is great for fights with heavy aoes. If an aoe hits once every minute you will be able to turnstrike it every time and thus never joust. An example is the 2nd mob in Palace that sends a red message 10 seconds before her aoe hits. Use turnstrike a few seconds after the message and you wont take any damage (don't relly on GC for this one) and turnstrike will be up again before her next aoe comes.

    This ability can also be used together with RO/VC. Use it right after you have cast it and you will be aoe immune throught the duration of the buff. That way you can't get stuned/KBd/killed.



    Jael's Dreadful Deprivation [IMG]

    A bow attack that deals a small amount of disease damage and roots non-epic targets. This attack requires you to have a ranged weapon equiped, doesnt have to be a bow though. You can NOT cast this while moving and it deals less damage then Banshee, Luda's and evasive maneuvers (which can all be used on the run as well). Only use this while jousting and debuffs are up and and the three spells mentioned above have been used.

    Timing with autoattack

    If you need me to tell you how to time something with ranged autoattack you truly are pittifull. With a good bow an autoattack hit will do more damage then this CA so make sure you dont delay it.



    Messenger's Letter [IMG]

    An even crappier ranged attack that cant be cast on the run and requires a bow to be equiped. Adds a small amount of threat to your target's only target.

    Only use this while jousting and as a last resort.

    Timing with autoattack

    Do not for the love of god delay your ranged autoattack with this crap!
  4. ARCHIVED-Narbuvold Guest

    Alternative Advancement

    I wont go into much detail no this one as there isn't much to discuss. There is only a few ways to set up aa for a dirge and i will explain some of the reasons why.

    I will only give a detailed explanation on the abilities that are less usefull as I have asumed you have the better ones and so they are explained under buff, utility or attacks.




    Dirge tree

    Two options here. You either go for Blade Dance or you don't. If i don't mention what an ability does it is probably not worth mentioning!
    [IMG]









    Strength Tree

    Every dirge (especially raiding ones) should spend 1 point in turnstrike. Spending more points in this ability only slighly increases the crappy damage and doesnt improve the chance of this attack to land. Only spend one point in it or 4 if you are going for Bladedance. It is a very low price for a really usefull ability. More about this ability under "Attacks - Combat Arts".

    Speccing further in this tree gives you a small buff to our groupwide STR/AGI buff, but as this buff rarelly is used this isn't that good (see Harl's Rousing Tune under "Buffs") and Bladedance. Bladedance is a situational ability that sometimes can be used to give the whole raid aoe immunity (requires all bards to have it), or it can be used to give you some extra time meleeing a mob when you would otherwise be jousting.

    Bladedance has a base recast of 10 minutes at which it is close to useless but with 8 points in Improved Reflexes the recast can be brought close to the cap of 5 minutes making it more usefull. It can be used in combination with VC to make sure your group don't get stuned or KBd while VC is up and if you are quick enough you can use both RO and VC during it's duration. Bladedance doesn't improve yours or anyone else's dps unless used wisely to counter aoes that you otherwise would have no chance of surviving. If you are clever with jousting and joust depending on gear/healer setup you can probably do better with another spec. This requires you to know your healers and your mobs however.





    Agility Tree

    Every dirge should have atleast 1 point in bump as you wont have enough invis to cover your stealth attacks without it. If you don't spec for Bladedance you should have enough points to max this ability giving it a decent damage as well (around the same amount as Daro's Dull Blade).

    The third ability is called Poison Concoction and gives us a 36% chance of procing a poison damage dot with all our CA's and autoattacks. This buff gives a very decent amount of damage as it can crit. For me this effect (called "poison" in logs) gives a solid 600-800 dps on all fights. Unless you are BG specced you should max this ability.

    Unless BG specced and lacking points everyone should have 6 points in Stealthy Ambush which is the SF ability for this tree. This reduces the recast of bump to the same timer as Misfortune's Kiss so they can succesfully be comboed at all times and improves it's damage with 18%. 2 more points increases the damage for another 6% but this should only be picked if you have aa to spare and have 10 points in Bump.





    Stamina Tree

    This one is a no-brainer and I havn't met a single dirge that doesn't have 4-4-10 in this tree. Thus it has always been and thus it shall always be. Gives a groupwide 10% DA that can later be buffed in shadows-tree.

    SF end ability is Song of Shielding that might look interesting but is not used by anyone. Anyone that would have use of this buff will have a cleric in their group and this doesn't stack with Shield ally. As we dont use a shield we dont have any uncontested block to give anyway.





    Wisdom Tree

    Another no-brainer. First two abilitys are mediocre. Put 4 in one and 8 in one or 6 in both or you wont be able to get the end ability. First ability is Messengers Letter (more info under "Attacks - Combat Arts") that is a really crappy ranged attack and the 2nd ability slightly boosts our Run Speed buff and gives it a small amount of in-combat runspeed. I personally have 8 points in run speed buff which gives 12% in-combat run speed.

    Third ability is Allegro which gives 8% ability casting speed is a must-have for all bards. Spend 10 points in this. This buff does not stack with a troub and their allegro is more powerfull so let theirs be up.

    End ability is DKTM and gives 7.5% crit. Everyone should have this. It does not stack if grouped with a troub and their version is more powerful so let it cancel yours.

    SF end ability is Swift Voices which gives makes allegro give a groupwide 32% recovery speed when maxed. This ability is very discussed and it's usefullness in raids is doubted by many. When maxed this ability reduces your recovery speed with 0.1 second which may seem nice and should give you 1 more second every 10th ability. This extra time gets consumed by the lag we most often have in raid zones or you loose it when you have to wait for the next autoattack. A scout generally does 2 CA's between two autoattacks and this buff gives you 0.2seconds more, during which you wont have time to do anything as autoattack is incomming soon. If you are trying to get 3 CA's in between autoattacks by pushing your casting speed this could be a bit more helpfull i guess. If you are not BG specced and lack aa place 2 points in this ability to be able to get RO/VC (as you only spend 6 in bump). If you have aa to spare you can max this and hope a mage or healer some day actually find it usefull.





    Intelligence Tree

    By far our crappiest line in the Dirge tree. The first ability "rhythm blade" is a combat art that boosts your casting and weapon skills and is a must have, and everyone should spend one point in it (I spent two to have 70 points spent to reach the SF abilitys). See "Attacks - Combat Arts" for more info. Spending more then 1 point in this ability slightly reduces the crappy damage and gives you a minor boost to casting and melee abilitys (1.5 skill for 1 aa spent) and doesnt improve your chance of getting this attack to land.

    2nd ability buffs Songster's Luck slightly and the Third gives a boost to our groupwide dps buff. These two buffs are somewhat usefull but makes minor difference in a raid situation. Accuracy is more important then weapon skills and maxing this ability only gives you about as much as any fabled item with weapon skill on. The dps boost is nice but you will be over the soft cap at almost all times on this. Dps mod is quite hard to come by if you lack certain classes so if you have trouble with it choosing this might be an option.

    The end ability is not worth mentioning but the SF end ability is a beast. It gives the buff you get from using rhythm blade 6% accuracy and 8% lower chance of your spells resisting. Everyone should have this and should use it at all times.





    Specs

    Here is some example specs with the minimum amount spent to get VC (total of 90 points)
    Bladedance Spec (can switch to Stealthy Assult instead of reduced BD recast if you only have it because RL forces you too!
    Further Progression: If you have improved reflexes you should first get 6 points in bump and the last 4 points in swift voices. If you dont have Improved reflexes you can either put 4-4-4 in agi-line or start maxing out swift voices and then bump (this will cost 98 points total). Can also put them in improved reflexes.

    Poison spec
    Further Progression: Start maxing out Swift Voices and then bump (this will cost 98 points total). Also possible to spend 4-4-4 in int tree

    DPS mod spec
    Further progression: First max swift voices and then spend the last two points in bump (this will cost 98 points total). Another option is to spend 4-4-4 in agility.

    Lend shielding, Vanishing Act, Heroic Storytelling and Song of Shielding should never be used.

    I am personally using the poison spec at the moment with Swift Voices and Bump maxed out.





    Dirge Tree

    Only one way to go on this tree sadly. There are a few points that can be moved back and forth but that is about it. You have to spend 70 points here to reach the SF abilitys at the end which is
    [IMG]


    Degredations

    Buffs our debuffs. The end ability gives reduced casting speed on green debuffs and also increases their duration. Everyone should have atleast 20 points in this tree + the end ability. To get the 70 points spent to reach the SF abilitys most people chose to spend extra points here.





    Control

    This tree is only usable in PvP. The only thing that you should ever consider putting points in here is the first ability: "Enhance: Jael's Dreadful Deprivation". This slightly reduces the recast on our weak ranged attack but if you find yourself jousting alot i guess a point or two here could be helpfull. Only put points in this one if you need to spend points to reach the SF abilities.





    Life and Death

    This tree improves our rezzes and buffs the crappy heals on our crappiest attacks. Can also enhance Oration Of Sacrefice (more info under "Utility") to reduce the recast and improve the heal amount by 20%.
    The end ability "confront fear" is a beast however so wether you want to or not, you will have to spend 20 points here. Confront Fear removes rez sickness from target and should be used right after you have rezzed someone. It also cures fear, if anyone would care. Put 10 points in the rezzes, that isnt that painfull. Now you have 10 points left to spend on either the crappy heals from CAs or to buff our hp channel. Atleast 5 points in channel wont be a complete waste. 5 points left and no other option, you have to go for the crappy heals. Put 3 points in Howl of Death, the crappier of the two crappy ones, otherwise you wont reach the rezzes.. Do it! Good boy. Where you spend the last two points makes no difference at all. But as Thuri's Doleful Thrust atleast is used you might as well put it there.





    Luck

    The best line in the tree! The end ability gives 20% increased proc chance to group and is a must have. So you have to drop atleast 20 points here. Ok lets start!

    Shroud [IMG]

    put 3-5 points in this depending on how many you need to bring it down to the cap of one second. This allows you to use shroud + SoD without delaying any autoattacks. 5 points will take you all the way to the cap without any casting speed so you should probably only have to spend 4. Don't waste any points! There are other crappy things you can spend them on!

    Bria's Inspiring Balad [IMG]

    Spend 3 points here to reach the actually usefull abilities.

    Dead Calm [IMG]

    Increase proc chance! Yes! 5 points!

    CoB [IMG]

    Increase duration! Yes! 5 points!

    Noxious Symphony [IMG]

    Gives our raidwide nox mitigation buff a noxious ward. Really nice for raids. You need to spend 3-4 more points in this tree anyway so might as well put them here.





    SF abilities

    We actually got some quite juicy stuff in this expansion and due to these abilities this will be the first, and probably the only tree you spend all possible points in.

    Gravitated Healing [IMG]

    Gives Gravitas a 25% recast on beneficial spells. Good to give the healers an extra boost. More info under "Buffs"

    Critical Thrust [IMG]

    The worst of the 7 but not utter crap. Adds 3% damage to our most used CA for every point spent. You wont be able to max all of these out so this might be the one to spend 3 in.

    Wicked Wailing [IMG]

    Gives luda 2% damage every point and reduces it's recast with 0.1 seconds. Use this to get Luda to the casting speed cap as soon as you can acces this line. Note that you already get 25% casting speed from the shadow end line so you will only need 3-4 points in this to get it to the cap. Once you have enough on this and have the SF abilities you want you can max this out. It is our biggest nuke and we want it to look sexy for when we timewarp it during RO!

    Cacophonic Symphony [IMG]

    Increases the physical mitigation amount debuffed on Clara's Chaotic Cacophony (green debuff) by 5%/aa. Note that an ability in Degredations does exactly the same thing but with 4%/aa. If Clara's is one of the buffs you left out in Degredations you should try to make up for it here. Maxing them both gives a total of 2.2k physical mitigation (in expert) and isn't bad at all. Not of highest priority but definatly worth spending points in.

    Controlling Confrontations

    Reduces the recast of Confront Fear to 20 seconds and makes it able to cure stun, stifle, charm, daze and mez effects. The additional cures arn't very usefull but the reduced recast is.

    Elegy of Reawakening [IMG]

    Improves the heal that comes with rezzing a person. 5 points in this will make you rez people at 100% hp and power. Together with Controlling Confrontations this can make you the most powerful rezzer currently in the game.

    Sonic Barrier

    This is a must have. As soon as you have 10 points spent, get this. For more information about it, see "Utility".


    Specs

    There are very few ways to go on this tree but there are ways you can adjust it depending on if you raid alot or not. I will give you an example with minimal amount of aa spent, and you can work from there.
    Basic

    Solo and heroic content: This spec contains all the debuffs to make you and your groupmemers look good while clearing cella. It also has some additonal heals and maxed power song in case you cant find a pu chanter! Start with Wicked Wailing and Cacophonic Symphony and get Gravitated healing and Elegy of reawakening once you get more aa.

    Defensive raiding: This spec contains everything you need to cripple a mob's possibility to damage your tank. Max out the green debuffs and Daro's. This is extra good for fights where the raid is split up and your debuffs are extra important or for hard heroic instances. Start with 5 points in Gravitas healing, 3 points in Controllnig Confrontations and 2 points in elegy of reawakening. Max out Controlling Confrontations and Elegy of reawakening when you have the aa so you can support the healers (!) and then start working on Cacophonic symphony.

    Offensive raiding: This spec is focused on debuffing the mob's defenses. Only the strongest version of each green debuff will be active on the mob so you dont need to have them all maxed as other bards might focus on another one! Get Cacophony and verileen's maxed. Place 3 points in noxious ward so if you would be asked to use it you woudln't have to shamefully say that you dont have it, and a few points is better then none right? There is no reason for 3 dirges in one raid to have this one maxed anyway. Start with Wicked Wailing and Critical thrust and go for Gravitated healing soon so you can cast it on yourself when using VC!

    As you can see these specs have barely any difference but in the goal to optimize everyone will have to find what suits them best. I personally go for something in between the defensive and the offensive spec.

    The only big choice you have to take really is if you spend points in reduced recast on confront fear and extra hp/power on rez. These points can be placed in shadow tree for a minor dps boost.

    Without the 10 points in confront fear and the extra HP/power you can stil rezz well enough if needed when healers go down or extra rezzes needs to be poped out.

    Ask yourself, do I often rez more often then every 40 sec (recast on confront fear without aa) and do I have to rez that often?

    Do people that get sickness from others using sickness rezzes call for a cure or are you able to spot them and cure more often then every 40sec?

    Do I do many fights where power is a big issue and a healer rezed with 10% power will have a problem?

    Will people rezzed with 70% hp get killed by the next ae because they cant be arsed to wait until after the ae hits? and would another 30% hp save them?

    If no to these questions you wont have to spend points in those two abilities. If yes on a few, spend some! And yes on all then max them out!
  5. ARCHIVED-Narbuvold Guest

    Shadow Tree

    This one is a one-way-street. No complications, just pick the ones you find best along the road! The goal is to get BC, and to get there you will have to chose two abilities on each of the 4 lines (+ end abilities). I will give an example spec with the minimal amount of aa used to get BC and tips on how to progress further.

    [IMG]




    General Line

    Nothing fun to see here. Move on! Oh, you HAVE to spend 10 points here. Put them in max HP and godpet and you get something from them atleast. If you dont have a godpet or it doesnt give agi then get max health (or mount speed or crafting, just as pointless).




    Scout Line

    There is one must-have on this tree and thats Strengthened Links. With this your parry buff gives an additional 900 physical mitigation which is great for surviving aoes. The last 5 points can either be put in Quick Strike or Sinister Strike. I chose Quick Strike as its my most used CA and Sinister Strike can only be used in two raid zones and usually not on nameds. The only other ability worth mentioning is Offensive Prowess that buffs Songster's Luck just as the int line in the dirge tree does, only this one increases with 5%/aa instead of 8%/aa. Probably not worth it. Evasive Maneuvers is the endline and should definatly be picked. Very usefull and only costs 1 aa.





    Bard Line

    Intoxicating Notes on this line is a great ability that works like the poison in dirge tree only that it isnt a dot but does an equal amount of dps. And as this one costs 5 aa while poison costs 14 (4 points wasted in the 2nd ability in that line), it is an obvious choice. It is a class ability so it can and will proc, and for me it usually does a solid 700-1000 dps.

    The last 5 points on this line should be placed on either Flanking Chorus (buffs Daro's) or Shrieking Cry (buffs Luda's). They both add 3% damage/aa and increases your chance to crit with them. As your crit should be capped only the damage increase matters. Daro's is quicker and used more often but Luda's hit harder. If you have reduced the casting on Luda's to the cap I would say that it is the better choice, but it is up to you. As soon as you have enough aa you should get the other one anyway.

    It is possible to spend 5 points on our runspeed buff which adds a total of 25% to it. It is nice for questing and fun to have, but there actually is usefull stuff to put it on so I'd say avoid it.

    Chorus of Reflection (buffs our solo damage shield) and Defensive Ballad (buffs parry buff) should not be used.

    Dexterious Sonata, the end ability, is super. Gives 10% crit bonus to group. This does not stack with that from a troub and can be brought to 13CB with red adorn.





    Dirge Line

    This line has some goodies in it that i will have to list them. Deflecting Chorus is horrible though so wont say anything about it.


    Defensive Curse [IMG]

    Increases the defense reduction on Tarven's and increases the damage. The buff to defense reduction is very small and should only add about 5-10 in expert. The damage increase however is quite big, adding 10%/aa with a total of 50%. Tarven is an attack we use alot and by getting the base damage up we also raise the ability mod cap at the same time. The damage will probably stil be small and I'm not sure if it is worth the points or not. If you are thinking about getting this you should have around 250aas. If you have a few spare points and you can't find anywhere to put them, this might be an idea. I might get this in the future if i spec away from rez and confront fear buffs in the dirge tree. Who knows, maybe good old Tarven can impress me!


    Sacreficial Oration [IMG]

    Improves the heal amount of Oration of Sacrefice by 5%/aa (compared to 4%/aa that it gets in dirge tree) and once it is maxed you remove the stifle penalty. Getting rid of the stiffle makes this spell alot more usefull as you dont have to be as careful with it. It is a quick cast and you can thow it at someone through the raid quick window and continue to dps. It is not among the first 2 you should pick on this line, but if you have aa's over it might be an option. There is a risk of you being laughed at by other dirges if you pick this though. The heal amount on this spell is already quite insane, and it will fully heal anyone except a tank very quickly. Spending less then 5 points in this ability is a waste.


    Deathly Howl [IMG]

    Increase casting speed of howl of death with 5%/aa and improves damage and heal amount with 3%/aa. I can not tell you how much i hate this spell and yet I am forced to cast it every now and then. The damage isn't great nd it's casting speed is not the same as any other attack and is therefor hard to time. The additional damage might help slightly. I havn't tried this spec yet but i hope the additional casting speed will make it a slightly less PITA atleast. The casting speed reduction is very small however, reducing the casting speed with 0.025sec/aa but with some casting speed gear it should hopefully get close to the cap. You should avoid casting this spell and only use it when you run out of better things to do. Do not approach this unless you have alot of aa and running out of place to put it.


    Viral Infection [IMG]

    Yes! The moment we've been waiting for! An aa that reduces the duration of Darksong Blade so the dot actually has finished ticking before you cast it again. It also increases the damage with 3%/aa which is great as this attack is one of our big dps-sources as it is part of the main HO-chain. This should be one of the two abilities you pick when going for BC.


    Skald's Striking

    Increases the amount of DA given by fortissimo by 5. Max this right away!


    End abilites

    Get BC asap, you can read about it under "Buffs". Disease Mastery is also a great buff to all our damaging spells!



    Specs:

    There can be only one! There is nothing to discuss really, this is how your shadows tree should look. While working towards BC you can ignore either Luda's or Daro's on the bard tree. If you dont manage to spend the rest of your aas in the dirge or bard trees you can put the remaining points in Howl of Death or Tarven's.
    Bard and dirge tree are placed randomly to make it possible to fill out shadow tree. Did this so noone think there is only one way to set up those trees as that would make my crotch all tinglie!



    Complete AA setups


    My setup
    Popular setup with improved rezzes
    BD setup
    ZOMG Awesome utility setup (not recomended!)
    These can all be adjusted acording to need ofc.
  6. ARCHIVED-fuaburisu Guest

    Wow, that is very nice and thorough! Very helpful since Whysprr's guide is outdated.
    Sticky?
    What does "BG specced" mean ? (It is first mentioned in AA > Agility tree)
  7. ARCHIVED-Narbuvold Guest

    Bump isnt that usefull in BGs as you wont be able to do missfortunes kiss every 20seconds anyway (fights usually last that long or you will have trouble getting behind people) and also you dont need to save Stealth for SoD as it is kinda useless and Stealth>Kiss is a better combo in BGs as you dont have to be behind anyone. My personall opinion however, i'm not that experienced in BGs so if anyone objects go ahead and shout.

    This guide has been stickied on flames and got alot of feedback there so will update this one as well with the changes i've made.
  8. ARCHIVED-Exordus Guest

    Nice guild. Very helpful. I've recently dusted off my dirge and am working on getting his AA's up and running. Seeing as how I really haven't used him much since...ummm, let's see, last raid was Emerald Halls....well, let's just say his AA's are low. It's nice to refresh and catch up on what i've been missing.

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