Xornn loosed divinative magics and felt his body shift and change... and shrink. He stood the height of a gnome, and still the tiny room felt cramped. There was a murky, mystical ceiling of water above him, and the tiny chamber smelled of mold. The wizard next to him was quiet and reserved, and had remained calm despite their difficulties getting this far into the forever damned frogloks in this pit.
"Where will we find this 'Reanimated Hand'?" asked the rogue. He seemed interested in finding this thing; what rumors had he heard of it from his guild?
The wizard pointed up at the murky, suspended water and smiled, and we heard a mantra of casting beyond the liquid barrier.
Welcome to the Tenth Circle! I've spent a lot of time on tradeskills lately, and waiting for my real life best friend to catch up with me in the levels department. But I'm back on the leveling track again, and the Eleventh Circle is only days away. Let's get started now and take a look at the new spells!
Aany's Animation - Upgrade to our animation, now used a longsword and shield. Costs 200 mana, takes 10 seconds to cast, and has a 20 second recast. Only uses one Tiny Dagger again (thank goodness), and seems to have a high damage of 36, still in-line with the 4 point raise per rank. I've seen it hitting as low as 28 now as well. Combined with Celerity, this little monster swings fast. Honestly it's not hitting as solid as I would like to see, but it's nothing to scoff at still. Working on getting levels worked out, but I'm getting green /cons at 39th, so it's not on the same scale as the old ones. Soon as I get the level nailed down for one I'll know. [Note: The 36-hitting pet is level 31 *grumble* so the level range is 27th to 31st.]
Cajoling Whispers - Upgrade to Beguile, level 45 cap. Has a 5.1 second casting time, so getting this puppy off in conjunction with stuns is going to involve running back a ways. Beguile will hit up to a level 39 mob still, so you won't really need it yet. PB Stuns will not cover this spells casting time, so you'll have to use a root or mez to hold it for the recharm.
Calming Visage - The Luclin converse of Haunting Visage, this spell causes the recipient to generate less aggro than normal for their actions. Actually useful to cast on CHealing clerics and nuking wizards, but usually only needed in raiding environments. This spell is a reducer of aggro in situations where excess aggro is unavoidable. This is not going to stop a nuke happy wizard in your xp group from drawing aggro. It might however, allow your raid wizard to get one more nuke in before getting summoned and pummeled. The spell is just like Haunting Visage, at 100 mana, 2 second cast, and 24 second recast delay, and 3 tic duration.
Celerity - Mwuahahahahaaa. 185 mana for 50% haste by level 44. Lasts for 16 minutes, and boy is this one worth the mana. Drop it on your pet and watch him turn into a slicing, dicing machine. Double the cost of Augmentation, and requiring two casts per one Augmentation, it's still worth it in most cases, as this speed increase is just staggering. Your pet has a delay of 30, meaning every 3.0 seconds it has an "attack round" of up to three swings when dual wielding. With Celerity, that delay drops to 2.0 seconds, a full second faster. Basically every 6 seconds, your pet is taking an extra attack round!
Distill Mana - Creates a Vial of Distilled mana. I "dryfired" it and saw it needs a Sapphire spell component, maybe 2. No clue what it does, and no one seems interested in finding out. It's on page 37, with my other "bottled mana" spells.
Gravity Flux - AE Nuke. You get a partner to AE snare with you and prepare for some helacious fun. If the mob isn't killed by the spell, it will literally hurl up into the air and come smashing back down. Damage will hit for 209, followed by 100 as the mob lands at 39th. Maxes at 330. If it's like most AE spells, 5 targets is the limit, but just kiting two mobs, you could be landing 660 damage for 337 mana a shot. That's awesome. Make it three mobs... 930. Alteration based nuke also, meaning your specialize has a chance to kick in, and it doesn't resist as badly as our nukes. When you first get this spell (has to be researched from Salis Writ 174 left and right), target yourself, make sure your on level ground with nothing around you, pan the view around so you can see yourself and everything above you. Then cast. When you finish laughing your head off, get a healer to fix you up. Research Salis Writ Page 174 left & right.
Illusion: Drybone - Morph into Drybone, adds 25 Fire Resistance. Sets base faction to undead, but this won't necessarily do much good, except possibly in Befallen. I honestly use the spell because it looks pimp, and the giggling is a great way to annoy people.
Illusion: Spirit Wolf - When I got Breeze, I didn't go /anonymous. When I hit Clarity, I went /roleplay for a few levels, but by 35 I went back to showing my level so my friends didn't have to ask where I was. But the first time I cast this, I understand why druids go anon. I got asked for 5 sows in 3 minutes, just running through a zone. Changes faction to Beta Neutral, give 15 attack raise, 10 cold resist. Does not increase your movement rate.
Immobilize - Upgrade to Enstill. 80 mana, less likely to break than Enstill or Root, and casts in 1.8 seconds, faster than Root! Has a maximum duration of 60 seconds, with 6 second periodic checks. I actually still prefer Root, because I never need to root a mob for very long, and Root usually saves mana. 80 mana is very costly, and sometimes I think I'd rather Root it twice. Research Salis Writ Page 282 left & right or buy from Overthere or Firiona Vie shaman vendor (they get it at 51st).
Insight - First in the INT/WIS buff-line. 10 WIS raise at 39th, capping at 14 by 52. Also raises INT 5 at 39th, and caps at 6 INT soon after. Duration of 40 minutes, which makes the 125 mana cost more bearable. Casting this on WIS based caster's that don't have 200 raises their maximum mana pool quite a bit.
Invoke Fear - Fast casting upgrade to Chase the Moon. 100 mana for up to 42 seconds of fearing, with a 2.5 second casting time, a full second faster than Chase is. Unfortunately, it also carries a 7 second recast delay, which makes bounces a little more painful due to the delay for trying again. Since you save a second on the cast however, this works out to about the same time.
Mind Wipe - AE Memory Blur for 100 mana. Quite useful if you've got tanks being repeatedly healed and you're worried about aggro on the healers. Dropping this can reset their records, and let damage shields start building aggro again. Also excellent in conjunction with AE Mezzing when used excessively. Still, you're not going to use this spell much until later levels. Research Salis Writ 288 left & right.
Pacify - Remember what a piece of trash every spell in the Lull series has been? They still are. Go read Lull for a description of this spells effect, only it costs 100 mana to get killed now.
Rampage - Upgrade to Berzerker Strength, +29 STR imparted at level 39, caps at +40 STR by 60th, 79 point hp buffer shield at 39th, cap of 90 at 50th level. Also lowers AGI 20 points. Kind of a cheap Rune really, and at 90 mana, not too bad of a quick buff. But the STR goes with the hp shield, so tanks get little use form this. However, it is very handy for a hp buffer in the middle of combat, or especially to throw on a shaman, who can then cannibalize the hp buffer for mana. Your shield will net a shaman about 75 mana, so you can give him 75 mana for 90. Almost like a baby necromancer. Because this spell also has a short duration (about the same as Feedback and other damage shields), it's only useful for pre- or mid-combat casting.
Resist Magic - Upgrade to Endure Magic. 85 mana for +40 MR. Great targetted buff for your upcoming days against casting mobs, 36 minute duration. Salis Writ page 153 left & right or buy from cleric vendors.
Shade - Upgrade to Obscure, caps at 17 AC by 44th.
Wandering Mind - New Scars of Velious addition! Takes 5 mana to cast, and drops a mana drain "DOT" onto the target. Drains 6 mana from them and gives it to you over the course of 20 tics (two minutes). Just like necromancer's lifetap DOTs, you continue regaining this mana even when the target it dead, as long as you landed the spell before it became a corpse. Has a 150 second recast delay, and is dropped off mobs in Velious.
Buffs-Solo - Keep Clarity, Augmentation, Shade, and Greater Shielding on yourself, and the pet needs Strengthen, Shade, Celerity, and Feeback! You'll notice I left off Radiant Visage and Insight. That's because they're just wasted buffs. (If you're going to charm-solo, yes--keep Radiant Visage up). Now on the pet the damage shield is just more free hits on the mob for you! Honestly I forgot I had it during the last two Circles, but this is plainly a good spell to keep loaded all the time for dropping on your pet. I also use Illusion: Fire Elemental in places where faction isn't an issue. You're going to get hit during solo, so you may as well hit back when you do.
Buffs-Group - Keep your normal solo buffs up, and everyone in the group needs Clarity if they use mana even remotely often, and Celerity if they are tanks. If you're the one debuffing for the attack slow, then you will probably downgrade to Augmentation for mana reasons, but you just need to see how the blue stuff is doing before making that call. I keep two tanks under Celerity and hardly notice the mana load, even when tossing a lot of attack slows. Insight is a tricky issue. There is an increase to their maximum mana with this spell for sure, there's two things to consider. First, the INT raise isn't very large, only 6; that's not much mana added for an INT caster. Second, that mana is only added when they are at full mana, technically. I gave a 35 shaman a full bubble of extra mana by casting Insight on him; but if he hovers at 40% mana all day, then he's not really benefitting from the spell, is he? Kind of a tough issue to address. You're raising the max mana they can have, but they will rarely utilize it. It boils down to this--if you have the mana to spare, drop it on them. If you don't, they aren't losing much, really, unless they reach over 80% mana, which would have been their maximum. But if I hover at say... 400 mana, and throw 120 mana at each pull, then med back 120 mana before the next pull, having a maximum pool of 1000 or 1200 mana means very little. I say buff it when you got mana, 45 minutes duration they're bound to hit full mana sometime.
Kamikaze-Solo - Okay, there is one monumental change to animation soloing now. It's not Celerity, though that's nice. Not Immobilize, but that helps. Nope, it's not even Shade--I hope you didn't really think it was Shade. It's regeneration; I'll explain. At 34th, the biggest problem I had, and the primary necessity for dropping Rune III on the pet was because I didn't like the downtime. I could kill most mobs with 2 or 3 bubs of mana, then sit down and med back up. When I hit my mana mark where it was safe to pull (I like 4 bubs or even full mana), I toggle over to the pet to drop Feeback on him... and find him at 60% health. I spent a good 2-3 minutes medding to find my pet not ready to go yet! That downtime is the key issue, because the pet heals slower than I get mana back. At 39th, pets begin healing at the same rate as NPCs do. That is the factor which makes Kamikaze-Solo so strong now. I pulled a mob this morning (mid-blue) with Tashani, took my shot, dropped Tepid Deeds, tossed on Anarchy and got rushed, threw on Immobilize (or Root... mood depending), and Anarchy chained with Chaos Flux left the mob lying dead before me. The pet saundered up to me all huffy and protective, and I looted and went to sit down. I toggled over to my pet's health while medding (what I usually do) and began yacking in the /ooc channel. I'm used to the pet taking a long time to recover, and he was down to 40% (Immobilize never broke so I had to nuke it to death) which meant I had a wait. I only used 40% mana, so I figured I had a long wait. I looked down and noticed my pet had full health, and I had only gotten back 20% of my mana! This extreme healing rate translates into one key ideal--if your pet doesn't die, he'll be ready for the next fight. Spell Lineup: Anarchy, Chaos Flux/Suffocate/Color Shift, Color Flux, Entrance, Tepid Deeds, Tashani, Swap Slot.
Reverse-Kite-Partner - Snare/Darkness/Bonds (wizard snare) & Invoke Fear; that's all there is to it. Especially in Kunark zones which are so roomy. You just blast away at it while your pet gorilla (as my favorite enchanter buddy calls the pet--because it's like a brain-dead bouncer--not real bright, but very dedicated in purpose) wails away on it. If you get an AE snare set up, Gravity Flux is awesome. Spell Lineup: Anarchy, Suffocate/Gravity Flux, Color Flux, Root, Entrance, Invoke Fear, Tashani, Swap Slot.
Charm-Solo - If you want to go after mobs higher than 39, you have to start using Cajoling, but you don't have a stun with duration long enough to cover the cast time yet. I recommend staying with 39 and down mobs using Beguile and a larger mana pool till you hit 44. Spell Lineup: Anarchy/Beguile, Color Shift/Cajoling Whispers, Color Flux, Immobilize, Entrance/Mesmerize, Tepid Deeds, Tashani, Swap Slot (Rune III). Because of the decision between Cajoling Whispers or Beguile, you will need Mesmerize somewhere in the lineup (though not required for Beguile, I usually load up Mesmerize over Entrance then).
Group-Tactics - Really, nothing has changed in your jobs now... just your buffs your throwing. Keep crowds controlled, and beware mobs that can kill you much faster than before. Keep the tanks fast and the mana flowing, and ensure only one mob is swinging as often as possible. Slow the mobs if no one else is there to do it, and don't be stingy with droping Rune or Rampage on people getting low in the HP bars. The healer never complains about you helping stop damage when you have the mana. Every single class adds new abilities to the group, and you need to start playing around with them to see just what they can do. One new thing you're going to start encountering more damage shields. You've got to get Nullify Magic or Strip Enchantment out, and kill those things off. Your tanks will melt to damage shields, summarily freaking out your healers. While just about all casters get some form of damage shield remover, enchanters are the best at it.
Outdoor Lineup: Anarchy/Nullify Magic, Color Shift, Color Flux, Root, Entrance, Tepid Deeds, Tashani, Swap Slot. Possibly load for charm-solo and just use your pet in group.
Dungeon Lineup: Mesmerization, Color Shift, Color Flux, Root, Entrance, Tepid Deeds, Tashani, Swap Slot (Cajoling Whispers). When Cajoling Whispers breaks at this level, you should just Entrance it then, rather than trying to recharm, in most cases.
I'm screaming toward 40 now, and getting a level a day. I'm going to be taking a day off next week from leveling, but within the next week I'll be adding the Eleventh Circle, and I assure you I'll be cheering about how much more powerful our soloing has gotten--Shiftless Deeds is going to be the most staggering spell we get at the next Circe!