Shaman Box with SK, Mage, Ranger, or Nec

Help and information specific to the above aspects of play at all levels.

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Shaman Box with SK, Mage, Ranger, or Nec

Postby Underlord » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:09 pm

I am just curious what all of you would box with. My main is a 96 Shaman, and my second account has gone through many box partners. It has a 91 Mage, 89 Shadowkight, 88 Necro, and a low level Ranger. I started with a Mage, then moved to the Necro, and landed on the SK. I have been thinking a Ranger would be fun, and don't need as much attention as a Shadowknight. Just looking for some insight before I dedicate a lot of time to a Ranger, as I did with these other boxes. I know there is a lot of information pertaining to these other boxes with a Shaman, but not much on a Ranger.

Thanks for any answers in advance.
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Re: Shaman Box with SK, Mage, Ranger, or Nec

Postby Valdemar » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:56 pm

Well, lets break it down by pros and cons.

Pros:
- Great buffs. In addition to AC/HP buffs which stack with your Shaman buffs, you'll also enjoy lots of offensively oriented buffing for the Ranger, your Shaman pet, and any melee type mercs you might employ. +attack, + combat skills, + damage shields, + critical hits, etc... Nice offensive orientation to aid group DPS.
- Druid Root and Druid Snare. Other classes have Root and Snare, but we all know how superior the Druid versions of these offensive/defensive spells are. Your SK and Necro have reliable snares also, but not as long lasting. Ranger snare will allow you to concentrate on other things after you've snared a mob rather than timing a re-snare. The reliable and long lasting root will mean less dependence on VP and your standard Shaman root and allow more flexible CC.
- DOT camping. Speaking of rooting stuff, for a hybrid class Ranger's have some really nice DOTs which present no stacking issues to your Shaman DOTs and so root/rotting stuff which would be risky or impossible to tank is enabled. This won't be as good as what you enjoyed with your Necro, but definitely better than your SK experience. Rangers score well on the DOT-o-meter.
- Ranged DPS. Fire and forget bow damage after the appropriate AAs are trained and the aforementioned DOTs mean good damage out of melee. Archery-based DDs do some respectable damage - and throw in a damage procing bow for fun and profit. Obviously someone's got to be tanking while your Ranger shoots and DOTs (not a high hurdle to overcome).
- Good outdoor single pulling ability.
- High melee DPS. We're talking in the same league as Rogues and Berzerkers.
- Capable back-up healer. At lower levels, a Ranger's healing ability is limited and marginal. Very useful, but not gonna keep anyone on their feet in a pinch. At level 99, Ranger's get a 10,000 point heal. Compare that with the 14,000 point heal available to Shaman at 100. Not bad, heh? Train some healing AAs and you've got a respectable back-up.
- Utility. You will respect my utiliTY.

Cons:
- Well, lets start with the most obvious and age-old issue - tanking. All other things equal, you'll be limited to tanking less content than when you boxed your SK. Obvious, but it is a major consideration.
- Hyper gear-dependent. In my opinion, a bit more dependent than other melee DPS types, especially if you envision employing your Ranger to tank for your box duo.
- AA dependent. Again, its true that all classes need AAs to maximize their potential and minimize short-comings, but I see the Ranger class as having to invest heavily and early in AAs to carry their weight for a two character box.
- More restrictive on mercenary types. With some of the other classes you boxed, the questions about whether or not your duo had enough tanking power or enough DPS were pretty easy to answer, and thus, it was an easy decision to add more DPS or more healing power through mercs. For example, with your Mage, you already had the tanking and DPS solution pretty well solved, so you could employ a cleric merc to add the defense you needed and at the same time, free up your Shaman to take a more offensive role. With an SK, you had the defense, you needed more offense, so adding a warrior, rogue, or wizard merc was kind of a no-brainer. With Ranger, you'll have to be more careful and it is advisable to have more than one merc type per character so that you can tailor your mercs to the situation. Having mulitple mercs per character seems like par for the course these days, but it something you probably didn't HAVE to do in the past with your other characters.
- No indoor pulling ability.
- Competes with your Shaman for gear, as both are chain classes.

Not an exhaustive analysis, but I hope it helps.

Regards,
Valdemar
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Re: Shaman Box with SK, Mage, Ranger, or Nec

Postby Ughbash » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:45 am

One thing left off on Pros.

Headshot

Go farm Destroyer bow from OLD NTOV (best headshot bow in game).

Get your headshot AA.

Practice.

Experience will roll in.
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Re: Shaman Box with SK, Mage, Ranger, or Nec

Postby ariowen » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:56 pm

Yes, it sure can roll in. For this expansion I did hs the first 10% or so of real xp for each level I attained for the level buffer just because I didn't want to lose the level to the first death. The remainder of the levels were in the new expansion where I have had so much more fun. While I have done HS burns in the past, pre RoF, I find it to be boring as all hell and can only take so much of it before I go nuts and have to do something else.

But, with the stagnation of ranger/zerker/rogue AAs (headshot/behead or whatever it is/assassinate) once the next expansion rolls out that has a level increase, that rolling in of xp will peter out as the highest level mobs this type of damage applies to turn green then grey.

But, it is a nice means to gain xp and if you can stand doing the same thing over and over again for hours on end you will do well with it. But for me it is best in short bursts, an hour or so of HS at a time.

Now on to the question, I want to refute one of the cons pointed from above - no indoor pulling ability - as we do have abilies that allow us to pull indoors granted it is a bit dicier than other classes that pull regularly. HA still can be used in the right circumstances plus we do have an indoor lull (granted not as good as other classes) and if the mob isn't run speed immune, ae root with bluser/flusterbolt to cc/drop agro.

I play a ranger main with shaman/cleric boxes and I started boxing the cleric 8 or 9 years ago as I wanted a cleric to heal the ranger and buff with their buffs. I could duo alot of things at that time. I added a shaman when one of my guildies retired from the game and I took over his account about 6 years ago. But, I found that this combination, granted the healing of a shaman and cleric did overlap some, dovetailed quite well. While the ranger wasn't as good of a tank as the SK would be, I could still tank effectively enough to do the job with the cleric/shaman backup.

With the advent of mercs and especially the advent of multiple mercs available per toon, I can have a really balanced group when I box them all, cleric/ranger/shaman/tank/dps/dps or for harder group named cleric/ranger/shaman/tank/dps/merc cleric. Even though I fell into this combo I have found that I enjoy playing this combo. And while it might not be the most effienct or highest dps combo around it is something that I enjoy. Thus, my advice would be to pick a class, play it and see if you enjoy it and it meets your needs. If it doesn't, then pick another and so on till you find that combo you enjoy or that meets your needs as you see them.
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Re: Shaman Box with SK, Mage, Ranger, or Nec

Postby Valdemar » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:43 pm

Hey;

Thought I'd make a couple of late edits.

As Ariowen pointed out, Rangers DO have single indoor pulling, but failed to mention that you don't see those abilities til level 85. I don't want to seem argumentative because Ariowen makes a great point and one I simply forgot about, but people seem to think that everyone is level 100 and so what happens until you get to 100 doesn't matter. Anyway, its still a con, since the ability to use Harmonious Arrow (HA) and Fluster aren't available til 85. At that level, HA is usable only on mobs level 85 and lower, but it does have a second tier to the AA which enables HA to work on mobs up to 95. So, no indoor pulling skills until 85, even then, it is mob-dependent (level and root-able).

The other con that should be removed is the last one. If you level a Ranger, he/she will not compete with your shaman since your sham is already 96. I was thinking about the scenario where they level up together, but after level 80 or so, give or take, most players will be equipping class-specific armor anyway, so there's no competition.

Personally, I think you should stick with the Necro as your partner. The Shaman/Necro duo has got to be one of the most powerful duos playable. You can kill just about anything with root/rot that your J5s can't tank. If you want to orient towards a healer/tank duo and you are tired of your SK, I'd recommend a Bard over a Ranger. The one hardship with that duo is the severe lack of DPS, which means 2 DPS mercs when doing anything but named and the Bard will be hyper weapon-dependent and AA-dependent at an early point (like from level 51) in order to compensate for the normally low DPS. But a properly equipped Bard can be a close rival to your SK in terms of DPS. It wouldn't be unlike the DPS you have now from you Shaman/SK duo.

I play:
Bard - Shaman - Mage, 85% of the time.
Bard - Shaman - Ranger, 10% (which is why I forgot about Ranger indoor pulling, because the Bard pulls)
Bard - Shaman - Enchanter, 5%

Let us know what you decide and how it works for you.
Regards,
Valdemar
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Re: Shaman Box with SK, Mage, Ranger, or Nec

Postby ariowen » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:53 pm

Yes, I fell into that trap. I know not everyone is 100 or even 95. Just the fact that I have been using ha/lull/root/fluster for so long to pull indoors, I kinda forgot it was level dependent upon being 85. But, even before that, starting at level 72, I think, we do get an ae root and can root park mobs we pull and play cc that way indoors, I have done that many times and before that, use snare/single root to pull indoors. While not as efficent as a bard/sk/monk/necro fade/fd pulling, it still did the job. But, I have main played a ranger from release, thus I am a bit biaed in what I think about rangers. :)

I also have a level 96 bard that can pull circles around my ranger, but they are on the same account. I enjoy the bard, and I would have to agree a bard is gear and aa dependent upon personal dps. Before my job and schedule change, I did raid hot end game on the bard so I do have good gear and weapons, which are still better than 2 expansion later t1 group level gear and weapons and have well over 2K aa (so I have most of the personal dps aa increasers up through voa) and does ok personal dps now and will be even better when I go back to the bard to level and aa when the ranger is maxed out again. Look at what we have said, what we enjoy, what combos we use, try some out, see if you like them. But, regardless of what we enjoy, what we do, the choice is yours to make.
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Re: Shaman Box with SK, Mage, Ranger, or Nec

Postby Benedorf » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:13 pm

Your T2 HoT gear is not as good as RoF T1 group gear, But yes I agree skipping the VOA equipment makes complete sense.

Current upgrade paths

Glooming Deep

Defiant (Level breakdowns 20, 40, 60, 70, and Archiac to the next upgrade)

HoT (T1 rots all the time as does T2) once able to start grouping in HoT zones just collect and equip as you can to replace the defiant stuff

RoF T1 at level 92

If your raiding then you'll get upgrade gear right away

There are some slots that upgrade at level 95 (Ears, Rings) but most dropped gear from group content will be level 98.

At level 100 http://www.EQEXPLORER.COM provides all the crafted gear and this is equal to RoF R2-R3 for the most part. You can actally purchase a full set of the crafted stuff for around 20-30k plat if you shop bazaar at odd times.
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