Dethdlr’s Dungeon – Group Setup

Written by Dethdlr on . Posted in Dethdlr's Dungeon, Grouping, Guide

Dethdlr's Dungeon

Intro

With the release of Destiny of Velious, the starting instances seem to be a bit tougher and the encounters require a bit of strategy to take them down.  This can make it a bit rough on the casual players/guilds.  I previously wrote an article on how to figure out an encounter that includes lots of tips on figuring out a strategy for a given MOB.  However, the best strategy in the world isn’t going to work if your group setup is awful.  There are 24 classes in EQ2 but only 6 slots in a group.  How do you go about putting together a group from the 24 available classes in order to take down an encounter?

This article will attempt to answer that question…

Before we get started, I’d like to talk a moment about who this is for.  This is meant for the casual players or casual guilds that are looking to put together the best group they can for a given zone/encounter.  There are some really good players out there that are really good at their classes, but may not know the best way to put a group together.  For those that already know the ins and outs of this information, please let me know in the comments if you feel that I got anything wrong or missed something.

Roles

The first thing we need to do to understand how to put a good group together is to define the different roles that are played in a group.  The classes listed below are simply the primary classes that fit that role.  That doesn’t mean that a bard or a tank can’t DPS, it just means, all things being equal, the classes listed will be better at that role than the others would.  We’ll look at how to determine which roles you need a bit later.

Tank
Primary Job: Make MOBs angry enough so that they keep hitting the tank instead of killing the group.
Classes: Guardian, Berserker, Paladin, Shadowknight, Monk, Bruiser

Healer
Primary Job: Prevent damage, restore health, and cure
Classes: Mystic, Defiler, Templar, Inquisitor, Warden, Fury

Melee DPS
Primary Job: DPS – Get in autoattack range and stab the MOBs to death
Classes: Assassin, Brigand, Swashbuckler

Ranged DPS
Primary Job: DPS – Stand away from the MOBs and nuke the MOBs to death
Classes: Wizard, Warlock, Necromancer, Conjuror, Ranger.   Can also include high parsing Coercers and Illusionists.

Power Regen/Mezzer
Primary Job: Make sure the group doesn’t run out of power/Mez certain mobs and take them out of the fight
Classes: Coercer, Illusionist.  Bards used to be able to fill the power regen role but their power regen isn’t what it used to be.  Mystics have a clicky on their mythical weapon that can come in quite handy for power regen in a long fight.  Troubadors have a single target mez that can work if you only need a couple things mezzed.

Bard
Primary Job: Buff the group and debuff the MOBs
Classes: Dirge, Troubador

Hate Transfer
Primary Job: This isn’t really the primary job of any class but can still be a role you may need under certain circumstances.  If your tank isn’t holding agro and the mobs keep killing the DPS, you may need to bring along a good hate transfer class.
Classes: Assassin, Swashbuckler, Coercer.  Some of the other classes also have transfers but they’re pretty small.  Bards can run their hate song to help a little as well.  Also, Paladins and Guardians have some built in hate transfers of their own.

Basics

For any group, at a minimum, you’re going to want at least 1 Tank, 1 Healer and DPS.  I tend to view this as a three way balancing act.  A strong tank can make up for a weak healer.  A strong healer can make up for a weaker tank (to a certain extent).  Strong DPS can make up for weaker tanks and/or healers simply by killing stuff before it has a chance to kill the tank (although this can often cause aggro issues).  This balancing act only works for so long though.  Once you start getting into the more difficult content, you need each part of the group to be strong.

A well rounded group will include all the rolls: 1 Tank, 1 Healer, 1 Melee DPS, 1 Ranged DPS, 1 Bard, 1 Power Regen.  So, for example: Guardian, Mystic, Assassin, Wizard, Dirge, Coercer.  Even with a well rounded group though, you may run into problems and need to adjust.

Problems

Certain encounters need certain things.  Depending on your group, the amount of AAs, the gear they are wearing, etc. you may have to compensate for not having quite what you need.  You can adjust your group setup to overcome a good bit of problems, however, as you get to the more difficult content, some things are simply going to require better gear, more AAs, more Masters, etc.  In order to adjust your group, you first need to identify what the problem is.  Sometimes the problems can be overcome by making sure everybody is running the best buffs on the right characters like a bard swapping some DPS buffs for tank buffs instead.  When those solutions have been exhausted, you may need to swap the group setup.  These are some of the problems you may run into during an encounter and things you may be able to do to compensate from a group setup perspective:

Tank keeps dying – bring more healers and make sure you have a bard.  Keep in mind that, for the most part, healers don’t stack with another healer of the same class or of the class they could betray to.  The pairs are Mystic/Defiler, Templar/Inquisitor, Warden/Fury.  Bards have songs that can buff up the tank to make them better able to take a hit and can also weaken the MOBs so they don’t hit as hard.  Also, make sure the tank is getting cures when needed.  If the tank is dying to uncured detrimentals, filling the group with healers isn’t the best solution unless the healer is too busy curing to heal.  It’s also possible that the tank simply doesn’t have the right gear/AAs/etc. for the zone.  If a brand spanking new level 90 tank heads into the new Drunder zones and keeps dying, most likely the only group setup change you can make to solve the problem is to replace the tank with one that is geared and ready for the zone.

Aggro keeps bouncing – Make sure you have hate transfer and tell your DPS to use their de-aggros.  If you have a bard, have them run their hate song.  Keep in mind that even with the best hate management possible, there are still MOBs that memwipe.

You run out of power before the mob dies – Make sure you have power regen and/or have everybody grab power potions, signets, manastones, etc.  We once fought Diggs in Ward of Elements for so long that we ran him out of power.  It was something like a 25 minute fight.  Because of our power regen/management, the rodent eventually gave up and died.  We didn’t have what we needed that day to do it the right way but we managed to adjust and take him down anyway.

You get overwhelmed by too many adds – This may simply be a matter of letting too many adds stack up.  You may need to adjust your approach and split your group so that some are working on the named and some are working on adds.  Don’t be afraid to bring in two tanks if you need to and have two mini-groups of Tank, Healer, DPS.  Also, don’t be afraid to let one of your DPS classes take the role of off tank to tank the adds or even the named depending on how hard they hit.  In Outer Vaults, the next to last mob spawns two adds.  The adds have to be pulled away from the named or bad things happen.  We normally have a wizard tank the named while our actual tank pulls the two adds away.  A wizard is about as far away from being a tank as you can get but it works for us.

After a certain amount of time, everybody dies – This could be a DPS check fight.  If that’s the case, bring in more DPS to try and burn it down quicker.

Conclusion

If you have really good gear, lots of AAs, lots of masters, etc, a lot of times you can ignore the scripts and just blaze through the content.  If you’re a casual player in a casual guild, this may not be an option.  In those cases you sometimes run into roadblocks that you just can’t overcome with the group you have.  When that happens, you either don’t do the content until you get better gear/AAs/etc. or you start thinking outside the box on how to adjust your strategy/group setup to take down the encounter.  Hopefully this has been at least a little bit helpful to someone out there in those cases.  Most of our readers at EQ2Wire already know all this stuff and probably know it way better than I do but there may be a few out there that this may help.  Let me know in the comments if this was of any use to you and also if you see anything I missed or may have gotten wrong.

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Comments (7)

  • Jartal

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    If you had to read this you probably should cancel your sub now and try Hello Kitty Online.

    Reply

  • Rick

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    Yes Jartal, because when you first started as a new player coming into EQ2 I’m sure all this came naturally to you and you didn’t need to learn or figure anything out for yourself. Yes? If so, why waste your time in video games – since things come so naturally to you, go indulge in things that actually matter you superfreak you.

    Lol, this disclaimer at the bottom made me think twice before hitting submit…”Please post your comments without flaming or insulting other players.”
    But you know what, too many people think only of their own playstyle and don’t even consider the various types of gamers out there before throwing out insults so gonna hit submit anyway.

    Reply

  • Lathain

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    As a healer told me, “i m dps, i never heal. If player grouped with me die that want say they are not enough good”…
    Lot of raider should learn role of class :p even developper LOL

    Reply

  • Evaihi

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    For the most part great post i would change just a few things. First under hate transfer I would add two things, Paladin would count as a hate transfer class because of amends and i would also put a note in there that if you have more then one hate transfer on a tank that it reduces the total amount the tank gets from one person. I can’t really explain this good as i read it in an article some where and took up like 5 or 6 paragraphs.

    Another thing that I would like to see added to is in the problems section under tank keeps dieing, you never said it expressly or that it all depends on gear, aa, masters and all that, but it does get hinted at that when a tank dies far to often do i see the healer get blamed. I would simply like to point out usually most the time it is not just one class or person that makes the group fail, where buff are placed and how they are place effect the group a lot.

    As someone that plays a 90 warden. paladin, wizard, troubadour and 88 templar that i see far to often people stray from their intended rolls which is under most circumstances just fine, but when the only healer in the group refuses to heal, or simply focus on dps to much they are missing the point of their class.

    Need to stop rambling on so my last comment for people is learn your class, best way to do that is play it from level 1 to 90, not power leveling, learn how it was intended to play then focus on it that way, once you get a good grip on that, do what you want, because then you know what you should be doing and if you can handle other things at once while still being able to do your priamry goal go for it.

    Reply

  • Gutsherren@Nagafen

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    I think it’s a well-written introduction for new players, and while it may be very basic indeed, you often encounter players who struggle with this stuff. The one thing you might want to add, though, is a short paragraph on cures. Most people tend to get how healing works, but far too often i run with people who simply don’t understand the importance of cures. There’s quite a few encounters in the game where missing cures can turn an easy encounter into a nearly impossible one, and in my humble experience people will often not realize why the incoming damage is spiking all of a sudden.

    Reply

  • shazz

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    Good guide well written, as stated above a lot people have no idea about the basics.
    I agree with Gutsherran, all to often are group members are left way to long without cures including the tank. I have actually had healers say what are cures
    and where do I find them, along with mages who do not have arcane cure on their hotbar.
    Buffs are another thing that people really need to learn, as in where to apply your class buffs. I have ran groups where people decide it is way more important to buff themselves for their dps rather than buffing the tank and other group members, if they stopped and really thought about the mechanics of the game, properly placed buffs improve the group as a whole making everyone much more efficent thus higher chances of a smooth sucessful run.

    Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    Thanks to all for the feedback.

    Absolutely right that I missed the Paladin spell Amends when talking about hate transfer. Also missed the Guardian spell Moderate.

    When I have a chance I’ll look at adding a bit more in the problems section as well. You guys are right that there are causes for the problems other than group setup such as cures, buffs etc. The focus of this article was how you can overcome some of those problems with group setup once you’ve exhausted everything else. But for completeness, I should add that information as well. Just think of the difference it can make when you’re having issues with a given mob if the tank goes defensive (it’s rare, but I can sometimes find the defensive stance button on my zerker), the bard drops some DPS buffs for defensive buffs, and everybody in the group throws debuffs, stuns, stifles, interrupts, etc. Everybody working together and playing their role the best it can be played instead of just worrying about the parse can definitely make the difference between looting the chest and a wipe.

    Also, thanks to Feldon for touching up the formatting of this article. He’s so much better at that than I am.

    Reply

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