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.
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.
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
Primary Job: Prevent damage, restore health, and cure
Classes: Mystic, Defiler, Templar, Inquisitor, Warden, Fury
Primary Job: DPS – Get in autoattack range and stab the MOBs to death
Classes: Assassin, Brigand, Swashbuckler
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.
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.
Primary Job: Buff the group and debuff the MOBs
Classes: Dirge, Troubador
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tags: group setup
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