Xornn stood and concentrated. His brow furrowed as he tried to call upon the gentle touch of mana all around him. The effort was difficult--it felt unnatural, and his emotions kept getting in the way. Master Takk had always said he was too emotional. Even more upset now as his ego began to fight to the surface to argue that point--emotionally charged, Xornn gave out a short curse.
"Try again, Xornn," exclaimed Rhedd, a look of concern on her face that she was trying to hide with a flippant smile. Xornn could read the beautiful fier'dal with ease, and she had never seen the young high elf find difficulty casting a spell. Xornn turned his back to her, partially from embarrassment, mostly out of anger--with failing. As her hand snaked out and gripped him by the elbow--more firmly than he though Rhedd was capable--and Xornn shot an icy glare over his shoulder at her, the mongrel dog warning the demure feline to watch where it played.
Then she smacked him--hard. There was an audible clap as her flat hand snapped him across the cheek, spinning him completely around to face her. His shrowded, dark blue eyes, trained veils of his character, failed. His body was in a near convulsion of war between shock and rage, and something more deep-seated... regret. "You want to give me that glare again!?" she demanded. "I'll sit here and slap you around if that's what it takes for you to look at me and not through me!"
Xornn was dumbfounded. Rhedd had never said a harsh word to him, ever in the years they had traveled together. Now the fierce druid stood here, a foot shorter than the high elf, but towering over him in stature. "I didn't... m-mean..." he stammered, but Rhedd interrupted him as she lunged into his chest, curled her arms under his back, and on her toe-tips pressed her soft lips to his own.
Whatever semblance of composure the high elf had, it was gone as their lips parted. Rhedd's eyes were bright and excited, but her cheeks were flush and crimson. After a moment of silence, she spoke softly, though a stone block may as well have fallen from the sky and landed on the hut beside them, as well as she cut the silence. "Now... cast."
Xornn needed a moment to remember what spell he was trying to cast. Her kiss was so unexpected, and already the high elf missed it. Just then, as he began clearing his thoughts, a cool breeze struck him--from within. And the floodgates of mana opened upon him--Rhedd smiled quietly at him, "About time you figured that out. Now come on, we're late for meeting the others." The wood elf turned on her heel and began running along the beach to the north, leaving Xornn standing dumbfounded to contemplate the meanings of lips pressed recently.
Take a moment to pat yourself on the back now. You have reached the transitional Circle now. It just keeps getting better from here on out. You now have access to all the tools of our craft, and I'm going to show you how to use them to maximum effectiveness. The Fifth Circle not only completes your line of spells, but leaves you holding many key upgrades which you will come to live and die by:
Breeze - That's right, patient ones, the first in the Clarity line, added when Ruins of Kunark was released. Increases mana regeneration by 2 mana/tic. Mana regeneration to the best of my research is like this: When standing, each "tic" you receive 1 mana. If you are sitting this number increases, I'm guessing to 3 per tic, like HP do (since HP are 1/tic standing also). When Meditating, you receive (Meditate / 10) per tic, or you Meditate level per minute. So at 16th, with a Meditate cap of 85, you receive 85 mana per minute of meditation. However, Breeze gives you 2 mana each of those ticks, whether your sitting, standing, running, or casting a spell. Breeze gives you 20 mana per minute, for 27 minutes, all at the bargain price of 35 mana. If you don't run with /roleplay on, expect a lot of requests for it. I never had this spell not buffed on me once I got it. (Bought from enchanter merchants in Firiona Vie or The Overthere strongholds.) When Breeze is buffed, you receive 3 mana/tic standing, 5 mana/tic sitting, and 10.5 mana/tic meditating. The effects of the clarity line are most visible when not meditating obviously, as Meditate truly dwarfs the mana regen of Breeze. However you see the difference over time still. A level 16 enchanter with 150 Intelligence has around 480 mana. It would take 57 tics for them to regen to full mana, or 45 tics with Breeze buffed. That means you saved 72 seconds, or 12 seconds per bubble of mana! When in a group, shaving 12 seconds of your regen time for a bubble of mana is a huge impact, especially when you need mana to re-mez!
Chase the Moon - Super-fear. Lasts up to 36 seconds, and I swear I cast this spell more than Breeze at this level. Has no recast time, unlike Fear, and resists less, holds longer, and any necromancer to see it in action suddenly likes reverse-kiting with enchanters! You will use this spell for a long time to come, especially when partnered with a druid/necro/ranger.
Disempower - This impressive debuff affects the target with -20STA -15STR -9AC cap by 34th. This spell sits near the back of my spellbook. I've explained the usefulness of debuffs already, and believe me I've tried both ways... Ebbing Strength + Disempower + Choke is about the equivalent of just casting Languid Pace, if that, and one of the debuff spread always resists. It's just not worth the time, the mana, or the spell slots taken up to memorize them all. Still, if there is someone else in the group to slow the mob's attack speed, lowering the mob's AC will help the tanks hit it. But attack slow should have priority. Researched from Tasarin's Grimoire Left & Right page 24. Also purchased in Shaman Guilds.
Enchant: Electrum - Turns an electrum bar into and enchanted one for use with Jewelcrafting.
Enthrall - Upgrade to Mesmerize. For 50 mana, it holds the mob for 48 seconds. This becomes awesome in later levels as fights begin lasting for up to two minutes. I don't use Enthrall all the time, only when I know I need the mob to sit still for awhile. Will also be useful at higher levels, as it has no recast delay, unlike Entrance or Dazzle at 39th and 49th.
Identify - It's supposed to tell you stuff about Lore items. On the last page of my spellbook, and it's never worked on any Lore item I cast it on. To be fair though I only tried about four items..
Illusion: Barbarian - You're tall, blind, and have face-paint of some sort.
Illusion: Dwarf - You're short, have infravision, and have face-hair, regardless of gender. (Correction: Apparently only one female dwarf face has a beard.
Illusion: Tree - Just like Minor Illusion, you get fairly neutral faction with this illusion. Often times, Tree is better when there is nothing to turn into nearby, or you want to look inconspicuous while hiding. I stayed a tree for an hour in Mistmoore Castle one night while watching one train after another just trot by me, killing the poor bastard next to me who's invisibility broke.
Invisibility vs Undead - Very powerful spell, though I only use it to traverse across Kithicor Forest. Does exactly what it says, must target group member. For some reason, your pet classifies as undead too, because he commits suicide when you cast this. (After more checking, I've found this spell less useful. In dungeons of undead is very useful, but for the occasional wanderer you can't keep both invis and invis to undead up at the same time.) Maximum duration (random) of 27 minutes.
Levitate - Another very handy utility spell, requires a Bat Wing for spell regent. Mobs cross elevation slower than levitating people, so actually useful to flee in hilly areas. Allows you to stay above most water, and you drop slowly rather than plummet from cliffs. I use this spell in chasm areas, deserts, and crossing large bodies of water. Encumberance won't affect a levitating person as badly, either--but it's not a massive aid. Researched with Tasarin's Grimoire Left & Right page 23. You can also buy this in any Shaman guild.
Mesmerization - This is the big-dog. Area Effect Mez. The area is pretty large, and you need to just experiment to figure it out. The reason you need to discover the range well is because it's possible to catch yourself in the AE. No one in your party need worry, but catching yourself is very embarrasing. During dungeon-crawls, if the puller brings in 4 mobs, after they arrive and swarm around the tank, I target the tank, then fire off Mesmerization, and watch four "<mob> has been mesmerized." messages scroll up, followed by one yellow indication of mez breaking. (That's the mob the tank is fighting.) The rest of the mobs politely sit still for 24 seconds, at which point I re-mez them before it breaks and calmly return to meditating. This spell is what defines the enchanter as you advance through the Circles. Mesmerize, Enthrall, and Mesmerization do not stack, and you must let one expire before putting on another. For example, if you have been AE Mezzing three mobs, and you want to switch to Enthrall on them, you'd best root them or something while they're under the AE mez, and when the effect breaks quickly Enthrall them. I recommend just layering the AE mez on until there's only one mob. You want to have a massive CHA for doing crowd control in groups, as mezzing four mobs at once leaves you very likely to get a resist on one, which means you have a pissed off mob trying to show you how much he appreciates you trying to stun him. This can be bad, and learning to calmly Color Flux/Enthrall that mob becomes critical to you not dying, quickly. Researched from Tasarin's Grimoire Left & Right page 26. You must research this one folks. See below for notes on researching.
Quickness - We got Languid Pace to start off the attack speed debuff line, and now you have Quicken to start of the the attack speed buff line. Starting out at 28% haste at 16th, and capping at a 30% increase to attack speed by 20th, you will quickly find your pet shines with this buff on. (The actual formula EQ uses for this is somewhat of a mystery, but with a pet swinging 40 times per minute normally, Quickness will give 12 extra attacks in that time period! 30% attack speed increase is literally a 23% decrease in attack delay, changing from 3.0 seconds to 2.3 seconds.) Only has a duration of 11 minutes, but it's well worth the cast on your pet or tanks, and will become vital to every group. With a group that has three tanks, keeping Quickness on all of them, swinging 2.5 times every 2.5 seconds (180 attacks per minute, 60 per tank) will result in 54 extra attacks! With a mana cost of 80, for 240 mana every ? minutes (it's a duration that increases as you level, just time it) you've just added a 4th tank to the group that never needs healing! That's indirect damage at its best.
Rune I - This is a targetted damage absorber. It will cause the first 27 damage the receiver takes to be absorbed at 16th capping at 55 damage by 21st level--though it will not prevent stuns and interrupts--before the shield fades. You need a Cat's Eye Agate to fuel this spell, and quite frankly mobs do 55 damage in two swings at this level. It's really not worth it to use in most cases. But some enchanters keep it memmed in their "swap slot" (usually the eighth slot, where you mem your different buffs for casting, and frequently change the spell--enchanters are the only class that truly needs a swap-slot) to drop an emergency rune when the Cleric is trying to heal. However, I don't mean to write this spell off. During soloing, that Rune will often last two or three fights, and your loot off one mob will usually cover the cost of the gem. I wouldn't drop it on the pet, but it's worth considering putting on yourself, as that's hit points you don't normally have.
Sanity Warp - We finally get our upgrade to Chaotic Feedback! This spell starts off at 88 damage for 75 mana, and finishes at 95 damage by 23rd level. More efficient that Chaotic Feedback, it has a our magic-induced stun attached, and also has a casting time of 2.75 seconds, with a recast delay of 8.0 seconds. Still, it's an improvement that was sorely awaited, and only wizards and mages are nuking out of our league at this point. This spell is a heavy-duty taunt, especially compared to most classes' primary nuke. It's a side-effect of the stun.
Shalee's Animation - Axe and shield still, needs 2 Tiny Daggers to cast it. I've seen this pet hit for 12 to 20 damage now--I've been informed that the 16th level pet hits for 20, leaving a level range of 12th-16th level--and double-attacks much more commonly now! It's strikes (and all pets from 12th on) are magical, and combined with Quickness you will just shrivel at the damage it can put out. The hit points are nothing to celebrate though, so get used to making fights either very fast to keep your pet alive, or find a way to keep it from getting hit. I highly recommend resummoning pets till you get a good one now (18 to 20 point hits), as Tiny Daggers aren't expensive--however as long as you get 16 or better (fairly common) you should be alright.
Shielding - The next in the line of self only buffs all pure casters get, +46HP +12AC +12MR at 16th, capping at +50HP by 20th, and +14AC by 21st level. Really getting impressive now, and you should always have it buffed, 50 mana to cast and a 36 minute duration.
Before preparing to level, you should do the following:
If solo, you should have Breeze, Mist, and Shielding up, and your pet should have Strengthen, Mist, and Quicken. You'll need to keep Quicken in a spell slot most likely, as you'll be renewing it a lot. Optionally, keep Rune I up on yourself all the time if you might get hit. That little buffer can really come in handy.
When grouped, plan on keeping Breeze on all casters at all times, and Quicken on the tanks, this mana load may seem prohibitive, but it's the most efficient way for you to affect the combat--mana regen and haste effects are the enchanter's realm of mastery, and you should start getting used to throwing out short duration, high casting cost haste spells repeatedly. I suggest getting some sort of timer to keep at your computer for timing when you have 1 minute left in the haste duration. Strenghten and Mist will need to go around as usual, though there's usually someone else to handle those buffs if your group has any size at all. It's hard to discipline yourself to keep Mist and Shielding on yourself at all times, but when that resisting mob rushes you after a mez gone bad, you won't regret having taken the time. If mana is tight, Mist can fade, but Shielding is a must.
One thing you need to learn now; if you're not casting or targeting, you need to be meditating. Always. Mana management is what you're going to have to get very good at as you progress in levels, especially when you're out of mana, you just enthralled the stray mob that can kill you in ten seconds, and the group is taking another two minutes to kill the current mob. You have to find the mana to re-enthrall that puppy at least two more times, and the only way to do this is meditate and watch those mana-tics, 6 seconds a tic. When you hit 6 tics, stand up and re-mez, then drop down and start watching. If you time it right, you can even sit again before the next tic. Every 36 seconds allows you time to recast on a resist, or to let the party know you're about to need some serious assitance. Okay, enough of this, on to the strategies, the most familar ones first:
Kamikaze-Solo - The animation just keeps doing more and more damage. (I was calling him Mr. Quiet Guy at this point.) Tashan pull, Languid Pace, and your Quickened pet proceeds to just wail on the thing while you lob in Sanity Warps. Color Flux/Root is a wonderful tool to get the mob attacking your pet again, and outside of Quicken making your pet do more than its already impressive damage output, Kamikaze-Solo doesn't see much change. Spell Lineup: Sanity Warp, Choke, Color Flux, Root, Enthrall, Languid Pace, Tashan, Swap Slot
Reverse-Kite-Partner - Replace Fear with Chase the Moon, and upgrade to Sanity Warp for the nuke. Pretty much the same drill otherwise. Reverse-Kiting blues is a joke with a partner, as you and your pet could handle that easily; however, if you can find a steady supply of blues, you will see about the same xp because of low down-time as opposed to white/yellow mob, which are also viable options. Spell Lineup: Sanity Warp, Choke, Color Flux, Root, Enthrall, Chase the Moon, Tashan, Swap Slot
Group Tactics - I've covered all of your roles in group--AE Mez is the huge change to the battle plan. Note that having AE Mez doesn't mean the party should depend on it; it means that you can take 3 to 5 mob pulls. Remember that when mobs resist you are the first to get attacked for it. Demand that the healer keep you at full health all the time, and anyone able to Root/Snare/Stun is responsible for helping you gain control of stray mobs. Landing mez on a pissed off mob is possible, especially with Color Flux--but what if it resists that? Not to fear because the wizard just rooted it for you so you can drop Enthrall on it and get back to medding. In situations where you don't have several mobs to mez, you drop that Languid Pace and meditate, because you need to always be raising your mana back up. Try to stagger your buffing, say dropping Quicken on the tanks, next Breezing everyone, then after the next pull dropping Mist around if needed. That way you can manageably keep the buffs on people without having to hold up the pulling of the group while they wait for you to get mana. I usually buff myself before buffing the party (unless something like Quickness) so that when it starts flashing on my screen I know it's time to refresh. The tanks love it (as well as the casters) when Quicken stops flashing before they can inform you it's fading. With a spell like Quicken that has a a short duration, just get used to how many pulls it lasts, and have them send you a /tell when time to renew if you haven't caught it, or keep an egg timer or something nearby set to 1 minute minute before in will fade, and start rebuffing in that last minute--this saves spam on the party, and makes you look really good too, since they never see anyone asking for buff renewals. If you can do all this buffing, keep crowd control mezzing in order, and find the time to drop Languid Pace once and awhile, the groups will beg you to stay when you decide to go. When I was 19th level, I had groups volunteering to pay for teleports if I would come group with them. Many times I didn't even know more than one person in the group. A bad enchanter leaves a horrible taste upon the group that they long remember.
But a great enchanter leaves something rich that they will never forget. Enchanters make the group fight faster, safer, better, and against odds that would normally flatten the party. Spell Lineup: Sanity Warp, Choke, Color Flux, Root, Enthrall, Languid Pace, Swap Slot. If you want to put damage on the mob, Choke is usually the best idea to avoid aggro, but sometimes a good Sanity Warp is what ends the fight. Just be sure you have the mana free to do this. Charm and/or Mesmerization are great spells to put in place of Choke. You don't want DOTs around with Mesmerization anyway, and with Charm it might be a good idea to have a heavy hitting nuke prepped for launch.
Bear in mind it is not only acceptable to have no offensive spells ready (save possibly Charm) while grouped, but advantageous. Your job in a large group is almost always crowd control, buffing secondary. The more options you have available, the better you will do. Leave nukes and DOTs to those more suited (wizards, mages, necromancers)--your going to be keeping the party alive, not the mobs dead.
Charm-Solo - Let me explain in the simplest terms what the goal of charm soloing is, just to level a bit of reality on you:
That's all there is to it, really. Charm sometimes holds for 5 minutes. Other times it holds for 5 seconds. Just for those of you who aren't math wizards, if charm breaks during the fight, that's two very aggro mobs rushing you. Now I'll tell you how to get through a charm-solo, planning on the charm to fail.
You first find two mobs to make fight each other. Charming a mob and then looking for something to attack with it is just increasing the chance for the charm to break right in the middle of the fight, which gets you killed. Very often, this is unavoidable, but that's your own risk you must take upon yourself if you so choose.
To summarize again, Charm-Soloing involves one of three stages:
And really, this is it. You must get control of your pet and start the fight. The fight itself is a joke--because you don't care if your pet wins or not really. If it should actually die for some reason, it will have severely crippled the other mob for you to finish it off. The mop-up of the fighting isn't the hard part--it's dealing with Charm breaking. If you can stay calm in the face of certain death and regain control of your foes, you're ready to charm-solo. For more detailed disussions, read Tactics--Charm.
Spell Lineup (volatile): Sanity Warp, Charm, Color Flux, Root, Enthrall (or Mesmerize), Mesmerization, Swap Slot (Rune). The reason I moved Charm and put Mesmerize lies under two motivations. Firstly, DOTs on a mob you might have to mez are bad. You close down our safest escape route that way.
Regardless of which method appeals to you the most, you have learned enough at this point to make your own choices as to which methods will carry you on... into the Sixth Circle...