Being a Raid Enchanter 401
Being a Raid Enchanter 401 - Earning your PhD
Written by Veneficus Grieg
This guide is targeted for the high level Raid level enchanter (level 60-65). Its goal is to provide some insight on what to expect and prepare as an enchanter for the high level zones of Planes of Power.
Survivability is the key for a successful enchanter in a raid environment. After all, if you're dead you can't buff, mez, or contribute to a raid (except by yelling curses at that mezz breaker that just got you killed). This doesn't mean to not take risks and just sit back playing it safe. To be a good enchanter you have to risk that early tash/mez on incoming. Maybe that tash will allow some Shaman to land a slow that will prevent 3+ others from dying or the mez will stop the cleric from getting swarmed by every mob once his Cheal lands.
On the flip side, use common sense. The amount of risk to take is situationally dependent and you need to adjust your play style accordingly. If you're the only enchanter on the raid, it might be better to hold off for 15 seconds or so and let those 2-3 non-essential people die so you don't have to worry about early aggro and are able to keep the 4+ inc mez'd preventing a raid wipe. Regardless of the arguments of "too many enchanters don't stack well on raids" its nice to have backup.
AA Selection and Priority
In order to maximize survivability getting the right AAs is critical. The two main goals to enhance survivability on raids are managing your aggro, and avoiding damage. Luckily with Planes of Power int casters have been given some extra defensive AAs. This section will cover the five critical AA abilities in depth, discuss Spell Casting Mastery, then briefly mention some others which are also useful, if not as critical.
Spell Casting Subtlety
This ability reduces the chances that your targets notice your magical activities by 5, 10, 20% less. What this equates to for each mez, tash, slow, de buff you cast the aggro generated is being lowered. Think of Aggro in EQ as being like a scale, it understands both positive and negative numbers.
--- 100 Hates you like a bad in law
--- 0 Hates you as much as the next guy
--- -100 Hates you like an annoying fly (Buzzzzz)
As an example, lets say a Tash generates 100 aggro and a Warrior taunt generates 25 aggro. You tash a mob and have no training in Spell Casting Subtlety (+100). The mob sees you for the bad in law you are, and starts to whoop you good. The Warrior taunts (+25) but it still isn't enough for him to pull aggro off you. That warrior will have to taunt 3 more times to reach the same level of aggro and be able to save you from your beating. If the Enchanter had trained in Spell Casting Subtlety 3 (20% reduction) that would've reduced the number of taunts the Warrior needed to pull the mob off you. This results in less time you need to Tank, and thus reduces the overall damage you take.
In addition the Boggle spell line is useful in reducing your aggro (-25) and letting the warrior taunt it off you that much faster as well. But Boggle can be resisted, where Spell Casting Subtely ALWAYS nets you that aggro reduction.
Eldritch Rune (PoP Class)
Casts a near instant Rune on you to absorb 500 (level 1), 1000 (level 2), 1500 (level 3) damage. This is a great ability for giving you that much buffer when a mob is beating on you. Combined with other AAs like the Combat Agility line, this can buy you an extra 5 or more seconds.
Reduces the chances of an interrupt by 5, 10, 15%. This ability is a must. When you get a resist on a mez, and have a mob hitting you the risk of getting interrupted are high. This AA will allow you to get that mez off even while taking the beat down.
Combat Agility (Advanced) / Lightning Reflexes (PoP Class)
Increase the likely hood that you will totally avoid taking damage from an attack.
The best way to reduce damage is to avoid it completely. Mobs in almost all Planes of Power zones hit for high amounts. Combat agility, and its counterpart Lightning reflexes, are two of the best AAs in an Enchanters arsenal when you're stuck having to take blows that could well be 25% of your hp total. Here's a rough estimate of damages from common mobs in various planes:
180-260's - Tier 1 (Planes of Justice, Disease, Nightmare, Innovation)
280-400's - Tier 2 (Crypt of Decay, Planes of Torment, Tactics, Storm)
380-600's - Tier 3 (Bastion of Thunder, Temple of Solusek Ro)
480-600+ - Tier 4 (Elemental Planes)
A Combat Agility trained in level 3 provides a considerable improvement. Training all 5 Levels of Lightning Reflexes can leave your jaw on the ground and wondering "How the heck did I just survive that!?" as you scroll back through 6-7 mob misses in your text window.
The AC cap for int casters is just not high enough to reduce the damage from mobs with such high attack and damage reliably. Which brings us to the next AA ability, which is not quite as useful but still somewhat decent for reducing the amount of dmg when you DO get hit.
Combat Stability (Advanced) / Innate Defense (PoP Class)
Gives a chance that some of the damage you receive will be mitigated (i.e. reduced by some amount).
If you are going to get hit, it is nice to know you have some chance to reduce that dmg. This is based off of AC, and with Int casters AC cap being rather low (It was just recently raise to around 950 or so I heard) this skill isn't as important as Combat Agility / Lightning Reflexes. Still something nice to have, but not be reliant on.
Mana Saving Abilities
Spell Casting Mastery
Increase the chances that you'll make a specialization check by 5, 15, and 30%. This basically equates to mana savings. When you make a specialization check when casting a spell it reduces the mana cost of that spell.
Spell Casting Reinforcement / Reinforcement Mastery
Any beneficial spells last 10, 20, 30 percent longer. Reduces the time you need to rebuff a raid, thus saving you mana.
Increase total number of hit points by 5, 10, 15 percent. When max ed this gives you an extra 200 or more hp depending on your equipment. This bonus is based off your naked hit points (including stamina bonus) and NOT your equipment (i.e. +100 hp neck wouldn't give you +115 hp).
Allows you to cast beneficial buffs 50% faster. This is absolutely great for recasting Arcane Rune (1500 dmg absorber) when a mob is slowed. Great for when the healer is having problems keeping the Main Tank alive, you can chain Arcane Rune in between the swings the mob takes at you and with only a 2.5 second casting time.
Allows you to raise your mana and hp both once your gear is up to the point to take advantage of the increase in stats.
Increases your available mana pool once you have the equipment to benefit from the increase in Int/Wis cap.
Investment Path for AAs:
Its hard sometimes to just go all out "Raid Enchanter" so the following are just suggestions for a hardcore raid enchanter to follow when deciding on which AAs to invest in. Keep in mind that its good to get something "fun" along the way and this is by no means the perfect path for everyone to follow, and this is all just based on my opinion and experience. Here they are in order of rank of importance for a Raiding enchanter:
1. Spell Casting Subtlety
2. Combat Agility / Lightning Reflexes
3. Channeling Focus
4. Eldritch Rune
5. Spell Casting Mastery
6. Quick Buff
7. Combat Stability / Innate Defense
8. Natural Durability
9. Spell Casting Reinforcement
10. Innate Enlightenment / Planar Power