I’m going to start a new feature here at The Lost Souls. I’m calling it “The Norrathian Newbie”, and it will encompass facts and strategies that are must know information for all players, but that might not be easily accessible to newbies. With the recent influx of new EQ2 players who have left other MMOs, or have just picked up their first, there’s a lot of information out there, and sometimes it isn’t that easy to find the answers to your questions. Searching the forums or other websites might give you the info you’re looking for, but I found when I was a new player, that the forums in particular were lacking. I learned most of what I know about the game from other players, or trial and error. I’m hoping to alleviate some of that error here, by focusing on small chunks of information at a time, and laying them out in layman’s terms. So, here is TNN #1.
For my first “issue”, we’re going to cover “Control Effects”. All new players (unless they’ve never played an MMO before) should be familiar with control skills/spells (sometimes referred to as “utility”). But, every MMO is different, so we’re going to specifically cover ones included in EQ2. In Everquest 2, there are 8 different types of control effects. These are Root, Daze, Stifle, Stun, Snare, Mesmerize, Fear, and Interrupt. Some of these may be familiar to players from other MMOs, some may be completely different. Or, the names are different but the effect is the same. Nonetheless, here are the definitions and strategies for use of these effects.
Root: A root is just that. Roots don’t move, they are stuck in the ground. In EQ2, this is a spell or skill used to hold a mob (or player on pvp) locked in place, where they cannot move. All roots hold the mob until the spell expires, or if the target is damaged. The spell description will show what the % chance is for the root to break upon the target taking damage. Roots are typically used by casters to hold their target at bay, while they pelt it with other damage spells. Please note that roots do not prevent hostile action, so if your target is a caster mob, be prepared for retaliation from ranged spells. Also note that the most effective use of a root is the “root and nuke” strategy. Using this idea, you will do more damage (as nukes do more damage than DOTs), and you take less risk breaking the root, as the mob only takes damage once per spell, rather than multiple times as with a DOT.
Daze: Being dazed or dazing your opponent causes auto-attack to pause. Combat arts or spells can still be used, but your weapon (or theirs) will not swing during the duration of this effect, thusly reducing the overall DPS output. Like most control effects, there is usually a chance for the effect to break upon damaging the target. This effect is the least useful against caster mobs, and more useful against melee oriented ones.
Stifle: Like daze, only the complete opposite. Auto-attack still continues, but CAs or spells cannot be used. Obviously, stifling an opponent is much more effective at reducing DPS, since CAs/spells typically do more damage than auto-attack swings. Another point that should be obvious, is that stifle is best used against caster mobs, since they won’t be able to debuff, damage, or control you. Still useful against melee oriented mobs, though their auto-attack damage is higher.
Stun: Why only use the effects mentioned above, when you can do all three at once? Stuns are one of the most effective control effects in the game. Not only will the mob not be able to move, but all of their damage output will be completely stopped. Excellent for locking down a mob to take them out, especially if you have multiple at your disposal, and a knack for timing. Makes mobs that would normally be unbeatable (solo, duo, or in your current group makeup), quite easy.
Snare: Snaring a mob slows their movement speed, allowing you to run away from them, either to escape, or to “kite”. Kiting isn’t what it was in EQ1, but it is still possible in wide open territories. Any class that can use ranged weapons will benefit from snare, as they can slow the mob, and then run while firing arrows or throwing weapons at them. Bards also have the advantage of having spells that can be cast on the run, doing even more damage than ranged weapons. Casters may also use snare to slow the mob after a root breaks, allowing them to root the mob again, and repeat. This effect also has a chance to break upon damaging the mob. (special note: some roots cause a snare upon breaking as an added bonus)
Mesmerize: Another powerful tool, typically utilized by Enchanters, though used in other variants by other classes such as Wizards, Bruisers, and Troubadours. “Mezzing”, as it’s often called, causes a mob to be effectively removed from combat completely. As long as the mob is not acted towards in a hostile fashion (taunt, damage, etc.), the spell will most likely last its duration. There is still a chance for the spell to break early, but it is very effective in a coordinated group. This is especially useful for pulling encounters, allowing you to hold down a group of mobs, and pick them off one at a time (of course this takes a skilled chanter to do so). The most important thing for a class with the ability to do is make a macro, letting your group know you will be mezzing x mob so they don’t accidentally “wake” them.
Fear: Fear is only utilized by a few classes, primarily by the Necromancer (Defiler is another class that has the ability). Fearing a mob will cause them to flee in terror at the mere sight of you, making it very easy to rain hell upon them, as they run. Fear is best used in wide open areas though, because the feared mob may aggro other mobs onto you if it is a social area (especially if your pet is following along, whacking on them). Like other control effects, fear has a chance to break upon damaging the mob).
Interrupts: Every class has a way to interrupt their opponent. This isn’t really a way to control a mob, but it does deserve mention, because if the timing is just right, it can be the difference between killing the mob and being killed yourself. Some classes have buffs that can proc an interrupt, others have CAs or Spells that do so, and some weapons have procs as well. Interrupting your target just means that they will not finish casting their spell or CA, and will have to cast said ability again. You will be intimately familiar with the term if you play a caster or a healer, early on in the game.
These are terms and strategies you need to know, as soon as possible. Grouping happens often in this game, and a group member that is ignorant, or inconsistent will likely earn a bad reputation and find it hard to get groups again. Learn your class primarily to become a better player, but learn the other classes as well to be the best. Stay tuned for further issues of TNN, there will be more to come.