How to Lead

Questions and info for and by newbies.

How to Lead

Postby 12345 » Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:36 pm

Some of the lower levels on Valk aren't too difficult to solo, depending on your classo and knowledge, but as you get up in levels, odds are that you'll want to group. Among the many reasons for this, it's simply easier to specialize and take advantage of everyone's various strengths than to try to do everything yourself. Also, with a well formed group, you actually eliminate the need to regen and get more xp per mob than you could get on your own, and in a shorter time.

Lately, I haven't seen a shortage of leaders, but I have seen a lot of newbies who aren't familiar with what's needed in a group. This will try to go over the basics.

2-man groups:

Stab/blast - These are some of the most fun, and deadly. Focus is on doing lots and lots of damage as quickly as possible. Typically one will lead with stab or grip and the other will blast immediately. Requirements are a stabber and a blaster. The stabber will typically have high thief or monk levels, and some combination of double stab, poison, focus, kensai, etc. The blaster will have a high damage blasting spell such as firewind, or frostbolt. Area knowledge is key or you'll look like a penny on a railroad track.

Blast/blast - Variation of stab/blast with 2 mana types. Can also be fun.

Tank/tank - Very old school method... This falls into the bigger is better category. Basically, two tanks smash on the same thing. When one is getting close to death, he drops protect and the other rescues and protects him. Both must have decent armor class for this to work. It's also helpful, but not always required for the one in back to be able to either deal a lot of damage, use debuffing spells like curse and blind, heal, or all of the above.

Tank/debuffer - My personal favorite, but very hard to 2-man. Tank is usually a warrior-type, but can actually be any classo as long as they have low AC and protect, a whiner and rescue script are also very helpful. Debuffer usually has blind at a minimum, but ideally has curse/damn, blind/acid blast, sanc/aegis, web, weaken, cure/heal/restore, infuse and pretty much any other spell that can be useful in battle. Disengage is also handy for reblinds and resancs. The debuffer actually does the brunt of the work and a good one can make for a very successful group. Also, it helps if the debuffer is a manabag since masterfuls are determined by the total number of casting levels. BTW, these are also some of the most underappreciated chars in the game... and some of the most talented.

Larger groups

Most larger groups are just extensions of the above. A stab/blast or blast/blast can add as many blasters as necessary... killing power goes up. Tank/tank group get bigger with more tanks, but this almost never happens since it's not a very practical group and will normally switch over to a tank/debuffer with more followers. So the rest of this will just explain how to run a large group.

If you're running an xp or equipment group, this is most likely the kind of group you'll have. I'll try to outline the elements needed and how they should fit.

Leader - Hopefully you. There's no real requirement for who leads, though hopefully it's someone who knows what your group is capable of and the area you're running. If the leader sucks, chances are the group will as well, since it's VERY difficult to overcome a poor leader. This person is generally reposible for deciding who does what, navigating, setting targets, watching the healo's mana, and fixing anything that goes wrong.

Tank - Easiest job going. Needs a low AC. Figure -5 to -7 by level 20, -8 by level 40, -9 by 2x40 and -10 by 3x40. It helps to have a tank that's on their toes, but it's really not required if they have a whiner and a rescue script. Why? Because if anything goes wrong, it's their job to stand there and die first.... so it helps to be suicidal.

Healo - This can make or break a lot of groups. I've had to call quite a few groups because I just couldn't get the mana I needed to run. Main job is to keep the tank alive and lit.... and maybe raise if something goes wrong. Good friends to have.

Goto - This is a term I kind of made up, but I think it's important to outline it here. A lot of things happen in a group. Among them, different blind times, sanc times, and different debuffing requirements for mobs. The goto is the person I usually assign to keep things working. They're responsible for relighting the tank, reblinding mobs, silence if it's needed, etc. ie. If it needs to be fixed, I goto them to do it. Blind and sanctuary are pretty much requirements. Disengage is very handy, silence, dispel magic, curse/damn, and anything else useful is very nice. I generally keep them at the bottom of the group so they don't get sucked into battle as much, they're last on the healo, and they're pretty much the most important member of the group. This person may be the healo, and sometimes the leader, but almost never the tank.

Optional:

Necros - Weaken is a great spell. Wall of flesh can be very handy. Infusions can come in very handy when things suddenly go wrong. Jujus and other summons can come in very handy if you're missing some of the other elements of the group... like hitters and debuffers. Not strictly required for a group... but very very handy.

Hitters - Depending on the size of the mobs you're taking, hitters become important. Since the tank is probably parrying and mana types hit poorly and have few attacks, you need someone to damage the mobs. Monks and warriors are generally the best since they have lots of attacks, lots of damage and low AC. They will also normally double as 2.tanks and 3.tanks depending on the size of the mob and their AC.

Blasters - If you're fighting an ether mob or have a mob fully debuffed and he's still pounding the tank, you need to do as much damage as fast as you can. Nothing beats a mage. Also helpful for taking out summoned helpers during battle. And when they're not blasting, they're useful for dispeling casting mobs, debuffing, silencing, healing.... etc.

Bards - If you've got a lot of hitters in the group, nothing beats a bard for speeding a group up. Brother in Arms/Valor can make stabs/grips land more often, Gods of War can turn mobs into mincemeat, Dreams of the Castle can cut regen times, Psalm of Disciple can help keep the tank alive and Cry of the Avatars can make a lot of problems go away.

Stabber/Gripper - Depending on the mob, these can be handy. Nothing beats a thief for outright damage. Combined with deathblow and bards, you can cut a lot of mobs to shreds very quickly. Thieves are also handy for searching for caches and disarming those pesky traps. Grippers don't do quite as much damage but they do hold the mob in place for a while and, more importantly, lower the mobs hitroll. There's a lot of mobs whose hitroll is high enough that they must be completely debuffed before they stop pounding the tank. If this is the case, I will almost always lead with grip so I have some protection while the mob is being blinded. Properly used, it's a lifesaving tactic.

Typically, your group will be setup like this:

Leader is leading 'Group (Open)' on Sloth:
(Xx x.xx) Leader
(Wa x.xx) Tank
(Wa x.xx) 2.Tank/Hitter (optional)
(Th x.xx) 3.Tank/Hitter/Stabber/Gripper (optional)
(Xx x.xx) Necro/Bard/Hitter (optional)
...more Necro/Bard/Hitters...
(Cl x.xx) Healo
...more Healos...
(Ma x.xx) Blasters (optional, may double as Healos)
...more Blasters...
(Xx x.xx) Goto
(Xx x.xx) Non-Protectors (if any)

The main requirements for determining this list will be armor class, though you may move folks around based on their jobs and abilities. When battle starts, you don't want to have people tripping over each other, so it's normally best to have certain jobs assigned. ie.

Before battle starts:
Protects - Make sure everyone is protected
Tank - Let people know who to heal
Healo - Heals are expensive, avoid overhealing, keep tank alive
Stabber/Gripper - You only get one opening move, make it count
Curse/Damner - Expensive spells, only cast once, Damn better than Curse
Webber - Will normally be tank, also expensive
Sanc/Wall/Aegiser - Try to keep out of healo... very expensive spells
Blinders - This will normally be everyone in the group
Dispeller - For casting mobs. So that you don't dispel debuffs
Silencer - For casting mobs. Keeps them from healing blinds/blasting
Staffer - Things go wrong. Make sure you have someone to handle it.

After battle starts, you may need these:
Reblinder - Blind only lasts 2 or 3 ticks, battle can be much more
Resancer/Waller - Sanctuary only lasts 3 ticks, battle can be much more
Goto - Things happen, have someone designated to hand it

Once you have the elements you need, things usually run pretty smoothly as long as you pick the right targets and use the right tactics. The most important thing after the group gets started is to watch the healo's mana. When it's gone, you're done. This is why the healo is critical to the group, it's exactly like gas. When you run out, your group is going nowhere fast.

Other considerations:
I hate to close groups... but it's not hard to get a group that's bigger than the area you're running. If you don't know an area to move to, or haven't got something you need to run that area (ie. you have a -9 instead of -10 tank), then allowing the group to grow really defeats the purpose. Close the group or see if they're willing to help you explore a new area.

Keeping an eye on the who list is always a good idea until you've got enough folks to run smoothly. It's always handy to recruit better tanks, more healos, more hitters or any other element you feel you're weak on.

I think that covers most the basics....

Most of all, have fun :)
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Postby Bazilus » Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:16 pm

nice info :)
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Re: How to Lead

Postby Vixn » Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:24 pm

[quote="12345":3ov701qz]Tank - Easiest job going. ..it's their job to stand there and die first.... so it helps to be suicidal..[/quote:3ov701qz]

Nod, that's why they have first pick and call :)

p.s. Sure, I'm just kidding. It's very nice tractate and I think it should be moved into the 'Library' part of this site.
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Re: How to Lead

Postby kjartan » Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:58 pm

[quote="Vixn":2ljkejo1]It's very nice tractate[/quote:2ljkejo1]
Muahahahaha! My diabolical plan of releasing into the world a bunch of Russians who use words like "tractate" is succeeding. I'll just point out that "tractate", along with many of the other names of manuals, while legitimate English words are not words that most native English speakers would know. If you told a typical American "enchiridion" he'd probably assume you were mispronouncing "enchilada".
[quote:2ljkejo1]and I think it should be moved into the 'Library' part of this site.[/quote:2ljkejo1]
I agree.
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Postby Medios » Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:16 pm

Very nice post. One thing that I disagree with is your ordering of class

I usually order this way

(Xx x.xx) Leader
(Wa x.xx) Tank
(Wa x.xx) 2.Tank/Hitter (optional)
(Mo x.xx) Gripper (optional)
(Th x.xx) Thief/Bard/Stabber/Hitter (optional)
(Ma x.xx) Blasters (optional, may double as Healos)
...more Blasters...
(Cl x.xx) Healo
...more Healos
(Ne x.xx) Necros for weaken and scourge debuffs
(Xx x.xx) Goto
(Xx x.xx) Non-Protectors (if any)

Here is my reasoning. Monks after warriors due to high dmg reduction / hp / ac / dmg. Monks can take hits alot better than thieves can etc. Mages love to blast on stab, if they are below the healos then clerics get drug into the fight and sometimes hurt. Healo dying first is very bad. I put the most valuable debuffers at the bottom of the group. This is usually necros because they have the variety of debuffing spells and need to assist last. Alot of clerics dont have weaken so they usually jump in the fight after blinds. Druids are very good in last viable position due to high mana regen which makes them great goto chars.

In most of my groups the order is wa mo th ba ma cl ne dr.

Obviously situations vary and you may need to place chars according to other skills.

PS Grats to all the new leaders I have seen lately, keep up the good work.
Fight the Good Fight!

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Postby 12345 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:59 am

Aye, this was mostly intended to cover the basics, but those are good points. I also forgot some things, such as how to handle weakening and silencing, and general order of debuffing.

For protect orders, I tend to consider AC first. So, for instance, Brady has sometimes 2.tanked for me in a pinch because he can manage a -10 mode. I usually have him run in mana mode which puts him at +AC and working in the goto. Necros tend to have decent AC for a mana class, which usually places them higher... but freedom to weaken is a very good consideration. Another perk of monks, besides damage reduction is counterattack. While not quite as effective as parry, it does give them a slight defense advantage, even over non-parrying warriors.

On the topic of goto. Any quad caster makes a fantastic goto simply for the masterfuls and freedom of movement at the bottom of the protect order. Druid primes have excellent outdoor regen, which makes characters like Daedalus and Cipha powerhouses in the goto position. However, even 2nd druids with protect such as Rynquald can handle themselves very effectively.

Mages are a tough case. They love to blast. In stab/blast groups, that works great, but against larger mobs it's simply draining. I normally have them refrain from blasting and concentrate on debuffing and healing unless their cleric levels are low enough to make them ineffective healers. Since damners normally have disengage, the tank webs, and everyone (including the healo) is blinding, I typically don't have problems with the healo being dragged into battle, and rarely with weakeners. Though typically necros are skilled enough it's not really a problem. It's also very rare that it takes me more than 2-3 rounds to have a mob completely debuffed.

Lastly, these are only my opinions. I don't run the same as many leaders, including Mike, and I know first hand that Mike knows exactly what he's doing. If the folks following you are happy with the xp or equipment they're getting, chances are, you're doing things right. Even better, if you have people asking you to lead, you've got things mostly figured out.

On the other hand, if folks are dying/shocking on a regular basis from things other than specs... this guide may be for you. Remember, just because a mob is in an area doesn't mean you have to run it. There are a lot of mobs in a lot of areas that simply not worth the trouble of killing. Paraclesus in the castle comes to mind... Use your best judgment.
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Postby Autolycos » Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:52 pm

[quote="Medios":2rxyzdqw]Monks after warriors due to high dmg reduction / hp / ac / dmg. Monks can take hits alot better than thieves can etc. [/quote:2rxyzdqw]


:twisted: there are a few of us beefy thieves that aint skurred to get the krap kicked out of us.. but I will agree that monks are better at laying the smackdown...

personally.. i would much rather have Nab get the krap beat out of him then me.. but.. then again.. we stay tied on deaths anyway so it really doesnt matter too much..

:twisted: funniest thing i ever saw was a -11 bard, -10 thief, & -10 mage beatin stuff to a messy pulp.. now THATS entertainment :!:
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Re: How to Lead

Postby Teron » Tue May 02, 2017 9:26 am

Necro-upping the thread. A good start from ... who was 12345 ingame?
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Re: How to Lead

Postby Dagger » Tue May 02, 2017 1:50 pm

Nice write-up.

As a thief, I don't care where I am in the group because I can die anywhere.
And if you're a thief and are afraid to die, then you should probably have
made a cleric or necro.
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Re: How to Lead

Postby Gorka » Wed May 03, 2017 10:02 am

Gimme a G! Gimme a ORKA!
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