Jakonis tried to concentrate, to hold his meditations calmly as the fight with the orcs flared around him in the lair of the Crushbone orcs. The calm his master instructed was broken and distracted by screams and sounds of melee in the distance, some three paces away. There was an alarming break in his control, and the high elf quickly rose to see a dwarven warrior, come to join the fight breaking apart the hypnotic trance Jakonis had just draped over an orc.
"That's mezzed, damn you!"
As is true of most Circles, the enchanter gains a multitude of new spells again. Many of them will see large use for quite some time to come. At a glance we have:
Alliance - Increases your faction with the target's faction category. This will only shift you one faction level to the better at best, and if you are Dubious or worse, it's unlikely that you'll even manage that. Still this is a good way to sometimes take a merchant from Dubious to Apprehensive and be able to use them. Combined with Minor Illusion, you can actually get most mobs to Amiable. (My guess is that Minor Illusion is treated has having no class, religion, race, or anything, thus base faction modified by your deeds.) Now if only you could move like that.
Bind Sight - Utility spell that we get called weird for using. Allows you to see through your target's eyes. May be recast from new target, but the next destination must be in range of you (spell does not require LoS). Honestly I only use it to have fun. Drains stamina bar slowly and expires when stamina runs out.
Cancel Magic - As mentioned before, this is your first upgrade to Taper Enchantment. In PvP this may see more use... but I think I've cast it once, ever. Most spells I would cast it on (like Blind) don't last long enough to even make it worth it, or occur often enough to warrant memorizing the spell. Removes one spell effect on success.
Chaotic Feedback - Our first DD (direct damage)/stun spell. The damage is 43 to 48 (increases gradually) for 45 mana. At 8th level this is actually a decent ratio, but the recast delay is horrid at 8 seconds, and you had better get used to it. Our nukes will always be slow and poky to recover, and all the other casters will get more and more efficient with their mana. This spell is magic based, and a resist really blows because of the recast delay alone. Be sure to drop Tashan first. Honestly you will rarely nuke in group situations, except to stop runners, but you have another spell better for that. I kept it memmed all the time, but normally as a "if I toss this nuke <so and so> doesn't die" spell. Our nukes are very aggrovating to mobs, and will later be known as "Mega-taunts". This is because I have seen a wizard do over 610 damage to a mob with 4 nukes, while I plinked the mob with 150 damage and a split-second stun (from Chaos Flux), and when Root broke the mob charged me! The stun on this nuke is instantaneous, but it will interrupt casting every time. Kamikaze-Soloing blossoms with the addition of this spell to our arsenal.
Enchant: Clay - A new spell added in the tradeskill patches some time ago, this spell turns a brick of clay into an enchanted clay brick, used to make some specialized pottery items.
Enchant: Silver - Turns one silver bar into an enchanted silver bar. Pretty simple, really. Used to make Enchanted Silver Jewelry.
Eye of Confusion - Blinds your target for up to 18 seconds. If you blind a mob before fearing it, this will cause it to run erratically sometimes, but not slow it down any. This spell sees plenty of use in PvP I'm sure, but I have used it very little.
Illusion: Gnome - Shortest race in the game--usually goofy looking--gives infravision.
Illusion: Wood Elf - Shortest elf in the game--looks naked because they can't be enchanters--infravision.
Lesser Shielding - Self-only buff. +30HP +9AC +10MR by level 18 (when you will have a replacement spell, go figure). In many cases you will notice the AC raise you receive from spells is increased; I feel this is due to increasing Defense skill applifying the effectiveness of AC raises.
Mircyl's Animation - Next pet. Requires three daggers. This and all further pets are bought in Highpass Keep from Tarn Vislyn, an Erudite in the library. This animation hits for 10 to 14 damage now, and I'm not sure what levels they summon as--anyone want to offer that--and Bashes. Getting to be very good at shelling out fast damage.
Root - Amazing spell, still using it in the 51+ levels. Keeps the mob from moving--overwrites movement hindering spells like Snare or Clinging Darkness, and takes priority over Fear. (So a Rooted & Feared mob will behave as if rooted till it breaks, then run away.) Root costs 30 mana, last up to 48 seconds, and takes 2 seconds to cast (0.5 seconds faster than Mez). Combined with your pet and nukes, you really advance in your soloing ability with this spell. The target makes a save to break the effect every 6 seconds, or every time a direct damage spell effect lands on it. (Like our nuke or our DD/DOT/Debuff first landing.)
See Invisible - Allows you to see invisible mobs. Useful when keeping your party invisible, and also on PvP servers. Casting See Invisible on your pet will not keep him alive if you go invisble, and this spell does not make Shadowed Men visible.
Sentinel - For the longest time I have seen this spell as just amazingly annoying. It centers on the area you cast it (even if you move) and continues to notify you of any an all movement in that area. It surrounds anyone triggering it with mana flashes, and you have a constant mana flash around yourself as well while the spell is going. If you're near the area of effect, you also hear a constant spell noise. This spell cannot be turned off, and lasts around 5 or 10 minutes. I cast it off the end of a dock when waiting for the boat by myself so I can run errands in town, and I also discovered that you get faction hits from mobs that dies in the area of effect. (Was discovered accidentally at an orc camp.)
Soothe - The upgrade to calm. If there were two mobs at an orc camp and I wanted only one at this level, I just mez one. The other one charges, the group fights it. I've got 24 seconds till I re-mez or they pull it. I have never cast this spell--not even once.
Okay, the first, and most boring thing you need to do is raise your Evocation. Chaotic Feedback is the first spell you have of this type, and getting it to at least 20 is my recommendation if you don't want to sit around having a fizzle-fest. Your cap for 8th level is 45 in Evocation, and I reached that cap before proceeding. It takes a lot of nuking your pet to get there, but it's worth it when you never fizzle this mana hog.
Root and Chaotic Feedback, plus a pet upgrade really transform your ability to Kamikaze-Solo, by crossing it with a technique known as Root-Kiting.
Root-Kiting is what wizards and shamans do. You immobilize the mob so it can't move, then either nuke or DOT it until it's dead. If the Root breaks you renew it, and you keep this up till the mob is history. Enchanters do basically the same thing, except we have a pet to help out too. Mobs at 8 to 11th are getting to be too strong for you to melee anymore, so your pet is stuck doing all the work now. Unfortunately, the enchanter pet will always have terrible hit points, so you have to help him out a lot. When Kamikaze-Soloing now, here is the technique I advise:
You should have Strengthen/Haze/Lesser Shielding up, while pet has Strengthen/Haze
Open with Tashan, killing magic resistance and pulling the mob. Take a hit to put your pet in (I was calling him "the shiny guy" at this point in my career), then back out. Drop your DOT (Suffocating Sphere) on the mob if you like, though later on you're going to get out of this habit, then watch the fight a sec. Now toss on that nuke. Many times, the first nuke won't be enough to make the mob charge, so just wait for that ungodly recast, and toss another one. This time it will charge. I've never seen a mob take two without charging unless I let my pet really tear it up before nuking (meaning pet probably won't survive the fight). Now at this point, you have a very pissed off mob rushing you, and you must remain calm, because two things are happening right now:
1. Youre pet is wailing on the mob from behind. As a rogue, he actually does more damage to the creatures back consistently.
2. Your pet isn't getting hit. Sacrificing a little of your life for the team is what having a pet is all about.
But you don't want to take a pounding... when you are ready to let the pet take over the fight again, drop Color Flux (because you should be really good at timing the spell between attacks now), then take a step back while the spells ungrey, and drop Root as soon as you can. The mob will spin to face your pet again, and depending on how the fight is going, you can open up with the nukes again. What's important to do is try to outdamage your pet, because you get full xp for the mob if you do. Otherwise the pet gets half the xp--but it's better than no xp at all because you can't kill the mob. (In groups pets take no experience by the way.)
Using the Kamikaze technique with a wizard partner is also very sound. The wizard is quite familiar with Root breaking, and the two of you become quite adept at letting whoever isn't being charged renew the hold. Plus wizard nukes can get just absurd!
Finding a necromancer that wants a reverse-kiting partner is much more likely at this level, and finding a druid to reverse kite with is easy too. (They get Snare at 1st level.)
Now to complete 8 through 11th, you can solo like this, but I recommend finding an orc camp and sticking with it. You will learn a lot of valuable things about interacting with the other classes here, and discovering the strengths and weaknesses of the other races and classes. While grouped, keep Strengthen on all the members that will be meleeing, and Haze on the ones who are taking the main damage. The reason you don't Haze them all is mana-management... it's too much of a load to keep them all buffed. Shaman and Enchanter buffs rarely stack, and some Cleric buffs clash with ours as well--so learn what spells you need to add in those cases. Every single pull, land Tashan on the mob, followed by Suffocating Sphere. If you like, you can drop Enfeeble, and there is an effect on the damage, but it's not drastic, and rarely worth the mana. Dropping a nuke on the mob that will finish it will save about the same amount of health lost, really, and frees up a spell slot, which you're probably beginning to see is getting very crowded when you have to choose only eight spells from our thickening spellbook.
Your real time to shine is on multiple pops. Mez one and the second will charge. (Called a mez-pull.) Your party has 24 seconds to kill the mob. Or, you just re-mez to start the clock over again. If there are three mobs it gets tougher but still isn't hard if your group cooperates. Mez one and two charge. The tanks intercept, and you mez one of the two they are on. As soon as the mez lands they back up (causing the non-mezzed one to follow) and begin fighting. Now you keep the other two mezzed. You can do some amazing things with mez, and this is the time to expirement, when a mistake won't necessarily get the party killed. For the most part, you'll be medding a lot, dropping Tashan and DOT on every mob, and nuking the bigger mobs to help finish them. As long as you've always got mana, everyone will love you when there's an extra pop that charges right into a mez.
You should keep a pet summoned, but I wouldn't let him go into combat unless you're on a single pull. If mez resists, your pet can buy you valuable time to let the party switch to the mob your pet is on while you mez the one they were fighting. (Since "the shiny guy" won't back out of the fight, and breaks mez.) Your pet is your bodyguard--not your personal tank. However--during a single pull where you would like your pet to be doing extra damage, or you're on the last mob of a series and need the extra damage the shiny guy puts out, Root the mob. By standing on the mob, it will swing at you (rooted mobs swing at the closest target, almost always). The attack will bring your pet into the fight, and only took 30 mana, as opposed to the large amount of nuking that might have been required otherwise. At the higher Circles, the chance to aggro a 27th level mob that the paladin is fighting involves using 100 to 200 mana in nukes, and the mob will not leave you alone after that without more casting. Or you can Root for 30 mana, take an attack that often misses anyway, and your pet is in.
Let me take a moment to explain why DOTs are going to see little use in the future. When you drop Suffocating Sphere on a mob, it will do 18 damage over the course of 12 seconds, so it's worth dropping onto a mob. But at the Fourth Circle you obtain Choke, which takes much longer to do it's full damage. If a DOT is only working on the mob for half it's normal duration, it's only doing half-damage. Therefore, it becomes more feasible just to use nukes if you want to contribute to damage. But at the Fourth Circle, you obtain your primary debuff line that you'll be using from now on... but more on that later. The other thing to bear in mind, especially when trying to outrace your pet, is that a DOT only counts as your damage for the first hit. All the rest of the damage is "un-named" and counts as from nobody. So the damage your DOT does is not outracing your pet. [Note: This has apparently changed! DOT damage is now considered assigned damage to you! This is a good thing, and makes DOTs feasible for outracing your pet finally!]
Spell Lineup: 1-Chaotic Feedback, 2-Suffocating Sphere, 3-Color Flux, 4-Root, 5-Mesmerize, 6- , 7-Tashan, 8-Swap Slot (6 is still left empty, so put whatever suits you there. The swap slot is now going to see use, just putting whatever buffs you need to cast into the 8th slot. One more level and you'll have a fairly standard spell lineup, and I'll explain the placement then.)
The Third Circle is an extremely important level for you, as it's when you truly begin learning to group. The orc camps and Kamikaze can take you all the way into 12th, and you find this is actually a very easy Circle to finish, as your spells are in their prime for the mobs you are fighting. As always, I suggest soloing steady blue mobs to avoid not only downtime now, but death. See you in the next Circle!