Friday, November 28, 2008

Warhammer Online: Sorceress in PvE

After the short class overview a few days ago I'm going to write a bit about the performance of the sorceress in PvE. She belongs to one of the classes which have less issues in PvE leveling, mainly due to her high damage output.

Playing a sorceress in PvE is much different from playing her in PvP/RvR. While having Dark Magic up all the time in PvP and RvR for the max. possible damage, you have to be careful if you're leveling/questing alone. Failing to take care of this, may resulting in many frustrating deaths in later game

Notice: This post mainly handles the sorceress in solo PvE play.

Leveling 1-10

The first 10 levels are pretty straightforward and basically you'll press the same keys over and over again. That's not such a big matter, as the NPCs in this level range are fairly easy. Your main skills will be Doombolt and Gloomburst. Don't even try to cast Chillwind or Word of Pain, it's not worth it. The NPCs die so quickly, that the damage over time spells won't barely do any damage. If you get additional adds you may consider or are low on HP you may consider to use Dhar Wind to load off your dark magic and use it to finish of the mob and prevent backlashes killing you. If you're attacked by two mobs, you can also throw Dread Aspect of the mob you're not attacking to reduce it's damage by 50% for 15 seconds.

Mastery Spec: Not possible yet

Tactics: Not possible yet

Leveling 11-20

Not much changes since level 1-10. Additionally to your standard nuke spells, you now also have the Grip of Fear as AoE root and starting with level 11 you finally get your first Mastery Points every second level. Doombolt, Gloomburst, Doombolt until the NPC is dead.

Mastery Spec: In this level range, it's best to invest all your points into the Agony Mastery to increase the damage done by your Doombolt and Gloomburst. Each point spent in Agony will increase the damage of your Agony spells by 5% for a total of 25% on level 20.

13-20: Devour Energy
Devour Energy is a very good tactics and it procs quite decently and you won't go out of AP so quickly. Later it's very useful as sometimes you can run out of AP when the enemy is at low HP. With this tactic you basically almost never run out of AP.

Leveling 21-25

Only a slight change. Starting at level 20 you can also use Frostbite, which disarms the enemy and deals some additional damage. This changes our rotation slightly. Now we start with Doombolt, Gloomburst and Frostbite to disarm the NPC, Doombolt, Gloomburst and Repeat until the NPC dies. Notice: Frostbite only works with melee NPCs and ones using bows/crossbows, it won't work on casters.

Mastery Spec: Same as above, pump in all your points into Agony to increase your direct damage skills by 45-50%. Once you hit 25, you may consider to respec. More below.

21-25: Devour Energy + Endless Knowledge
Endless Knowledge is one of the more powerful tactics. At the lower level it Intelligence Bonus is fairly low, but with every level you gain it gets more powerful and the tactics results in a fairly significant increase in damage.

Leveling 25-30

At level 25, we hit the first point where it's worth to change your mastery. For solo play, a calamity spec is the best way to go. The main reason is Hand of Ruin. Good thing on Hand of Ruin is, that it's a channeling spell on a 11 sec cooldown (effectively it's 5 seconds, as the channeling itself has a duration of 6 seconds). It deals damage every 2 seconds for approximate the damage of a Doombolt and has no cast time pushbacks. At this point the usual spell-rotation looks like this: You start with a Doombolt, Gloomburst and finally Hand of Ruin. This is usually enough for most of the NPCs, if the NPC is still alive you can cast an additional Gloomburst or Surging Pain (the AoE Spell, its good for finishing because it's instant)

Mastery Spec: Hitting level 25, it's time to change your spec. At level 25, you invest 9 points into Calamity and buy Hand of Ruin with your 10th point. Any other point should be spent to increase the mastery level to mastery level 13 (which you can reach at level 29). The last point, you get with level 30, needs to be spent on absorb vitality, which is quite useful as it heals you for the amount of damage it deals.

25-30: Devour Energy + Endless Knowledge

Leveling 31-40

You have almost done it. At level 30 you Reckless Gathering, very helpful skill to recharge your AP quickly (Notice: Can only be used when you're not being attacked by an NPC other you will suffer a 3 second knockdown). Additionally with the Close Quarter tactics, you will deal significantly more damage and the NPCs will go down pretty quickly. If you have the choice, try to stay very close to the enemy when pulling (be close than 45 ft) so you do additional damage as from the beginning.

If it's not possible (because there are to many mobs between your and your target), then pull it with Gloomburst (instead of Doombolt) and cast Doombolt as second spell. In the meantime the mob will get close enough before the casting is done, dealing 25% additional damage and then cast Hand of Ruin.

Mastery Spec: Up to level 33 you'll spend your points to get your Calamity Mastery to level 15 and get the Rank 4 morale ability. The next 7 Mastery Points should be spent in Agony. 5 points in Agony mastery level and the remaining 2 points for Recover Energy and Echo of Power

31-39: Endless Knowledge + Close Quarters + Devour Energy/Bathing of Blood
Endless Knowledge and Close Quarters are the best combination for PvE. Close Quarters increase damage done by 25% if the enemy is within 45 ft.
40: Endless Knowledge + Close Quarters + Devour Energy + Bathing of Blood/Sleight of Hand
Sleight of Hand is of course only useful when you're leveling in a group (i.e. doing instances, public quests or city raid which is mainly PvE)

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