The n00b's Guide to the Troll Shaman on Rallos Zek

by Blart Ba'Klomp



This is a draft. Any corrections would be greatly appreciated! There are several items/tricks not included in this guide, that is on purpose. Enjoy!


I get asked a lot of questions about shaman. From people wondering where to get their level 5 spells, to shaman entering the Best of the Best tournaments asking for PvP tips (Not sure why... I've never even watched a PvP tournament). Today someone asked if I could write a guide to help the fledgling shaman in the guild, and I thought this would be a great way to cut down on /tells, so I figured I'd give it a go:

Disclaimer:
I played my shaman from level 1 - 50 during the first year of Everquest, so there are a lot of new zones and items I've never experienced first hand. I'm not going to give advice on the level 55-60 scene, because I don't plan on being a part of it. I'm content with level 51.

Server Rules
Rallos Zek is the only PvP server with item looting. If you can't deal with losing good items, just shoot me a tell, and I'll comfort you while you cry. Honest.

The other server rules, such as the 4 lvl limit, /con system, and looting rules are discussed in detail here:

http://www.users.qwest.net/~fcarmen/faq.htm


Shaman Races
Trolls are the best race for the PvP Shaman, no doubt about it. I know a few of you are going to question my authority, so to help you on your quest to stfu, here are the raw facts:

Troll:
Natural Regen, Slam, Infravision, max starting wisdom 95, PR 15, MR 25, DR 15, HR 5, CR 25

Ogre:
Frontal Stun Immunity, Slam, Ultravision, max starting wisdom 102, PR 15, MR 25, DR 15, HR 25, CR 25

Barbarian:
Slam, Human Vision, max starting wisdom 105, PR 15, MR 25, DR 15, HR 25, CR 35

Iksar:
Natural Regen, Natural AC boost, Natural Swim Skill, Infravision, max starting wisdom 115, PR 15, MR 25, DR 15, HR 30, CR 15

Explanation of abilities

Natural Regen:
hitpoints regained per "tick" (roughly 6 - 7 seconds)
Level 1 - 19 ~ 2 standing, 4 sitting
Level 20 - 49 ~ 2 standing, 6 sitting
Level 50 ~ 4 standing, 8 sitting
Level 51 - 59 ~ 6 standing, 12 sitting
Level 60 ~ 12 standing, 18 sitting (not sure on this one, can anyone confirm?)
Natural Regeneration stacks with all regen spells, songs and items. It is important to shaman because of the cannibalize series of spells (starting at 24) more hitpoints means more mana. All races without natural regen regenerate as fast.

Slam:
A version of the bash skill. Shaman don't increase skill in bash, so a lot of people disregard it. They shouldn't - since Shaman get no type of stun or knockback spell, this is the only way besides weapon melee that we are able to interrupt spells. If you land a slam, it interrupts your target's spell 100% of the time in both PvE and PvP. Without slam, most of those pesky halfee druids would have gated away on me.

Frontal Stun Immunity
When facing the enemy, you can't be stunned by normal melee. However, you can still be stunned by spells with stun effects.

--==Extra Info on Stun Immunity By Ugli Itchibottom==--
Ogres can not be stunned in PvP melee. Period. Not from the front, not from behind, not even from behind with slam/bash. Most NPCs bashing can only stun them from behind. Exceptions are giant class MOBs, which includes giants of course, and cyclops, as well as sarnaks and Drolvargs in Kunark, and wurms/wyverns/dragons. Giant class mobs even get a chance to interrupt with normal hits, not just bashes. Other mobs can *ONLY* stun Ogres from behind with bash. PCs can not stun them except with spells.
----===----

Natural AC boost:
The player gets extra AC for each skill in defense raised for a total of 2.5 ac per skill. (thanks for the exact number, Vova)

Human vision:
Can't see shit at night, but in my opinion the lighting effects in the game look much better. All shaman get spells to improve vision to infra/ultra for a period of time.

Infravision: See mo' betta at night, red tinge.

Ultravision: See much much mo' betta at night, blue tinge.

Races & Items:
There are too many items to list that one shaman race can use but another can't, and new items are being added every few months. The only major item that not all shaman can use is the Jaundiced Bone Bracer (effect: winter's roar, works from lvl 45 on, while amazingly efficient for PvE, its rarely used in PvP due to the 12 second cast time) which all shaman races besides Iksar can use. To a lesser extent the Troll Shaman deity necklaces - For Cazic worshipping Trolls, they get unlimited charges of Fear undead/animal (hard to gain faction for quest, unable to use in PvP), and for Innoruuk worshipping Trolls, Clinging Darkness (snare effect + small DOT, often used in OOM PvP situations). Two troll shaman can fear kite this way :P If you think of any other major items to list, let me know.

--=Extra equip info by Ugli Itchibottom=--
Iksar and Barbs both get much better gear than the fatties, especially if you are looking for NODROP stuff. (Jarsath > Rune Etched on some pieces, obtainable at level 5 or so walking into Karnor's and picking up the pieces rotting at the zoneline, Iksar hate gear has 11 more to EVERY resist than other races, along with double the WIS, lots more AC, etc. and don't forget imbued granite spaulders, or the half dozen or so Velious handheld WIS items for medium races only).

Race conclusion:
Troll by far. The two most important racial abilities for the PvP shaman are (in order): Slam, Natural Regen. You might point and say, "but but but, BLART! Trolls have shitty wisdom! And and their resists, well um, they suck cack!!" But you'd be wrong. Read the stats again, and whisper to yourself, "trolls are the best, they really are the best, better than rest". If that doesn't work, go write your own damn guide to misinform the world about the superiority of your effeminate barbarian.


Where do I buy Spells?

For levels 1 - 49, you get most of the spells from your guild. If you can't find your guild, take a deep breath, and delete your character.

Vision related spells (Levels 1 - 39): Oasis of Marr, Gypsy camp. Yes, this includes blind. At one time Troll shaman were KoS to all but one female gypsy, but now they've changed faction so its boring, just stroll up and buy em.

Poison / Disease related spells (levels 5 - 49): Stone Hand, Innothule Swamp. The location is 1170, 540.

Charm / Pet spells (Levels 29 - 49): Barbarian Camp, West Karana.


What weapon skill should I use?

With the current weapon selection, definetly Piercing or 2H Blunt, forget about 1H blunt. For low levels, throw away your newbie club and start begging for a spear or harpoon. Piercing weapons are usually fast, which make for a nice low level item. As you get higher level and damage caps ease up a bit, you might want to try 2H blunt. PvP Shaman generally select one of two weapon routes - one is to go for stats / resists with a nice spear & shield. The other route is to go psuedo-melee with a beefy 2 HB and a haste item. Ennart is a good example of a melee PvP shaman: http://www.darkenbane.com/members/kills/viewkill.php3?killid=8233

Either way, when you're fighting other players, your melee attack should always be on. Even a wimpy 1dmg hit can interrupt a spell. I went the 2H route, and am currently using a totem of widdershins. I suggest piercing for more casual players, since its cheaper and easier to get a good piercing weapon than a good 2HB. There are also several piercing weapons with the effect: Stun that I have yet to play around with.


What spells should I use in PvP?


Your spell load out depends on your opponent, but you should always have at least one escape spell memmed. Spirit of Cheetah (SoW if you're below 24) and Gate are reccomended. I have both memmed when I'm traveling or paranoid.

If there are people out looking for you, it should be assumed they are prepared with generic magic/fire/cold resistances. When attacking prepared opponents, go with disease debuffs, disease spells and direct damage. If they are resisting the disease spell, keep slamming away at the disease debuff - it's fast casting and will eventually stick on even the most resistant players. Below level 40, few players have good poison resist, so you may want to give poison a shot as well. At level 50, I like to stack two disease dots on them (scourge + plague).

When hunting unprepared players, start off with a poison dot quickly followed by a blind. This is a good money maker for the PvP shaman - victims can't bag what they can't see. Root is also nice to have memmed, just incase the blind guy starts running towords a cliff.


Buffs:
I'm not sure how practical this is for lower level shaman due to buffs fading faster, but at high levels, you should have a full set of 15 buffs on at all times. Then when someone lands a DoT/Debuff on you, it will overwrite your 1st buff, making it easy for you to dispell.

You generally want your meaningless buffs (stats) first, and your important buffs (resists, SoW) last. Here's what I suggest for normal swamp defending: CHA, DEX, STR, AGI, STA, Regen, Ultravision, AC buff, spirit sight, HP buff, disease resist, poison, cold, fire, magic, SoW.

For the pet: SoW, magic resist, haste. Stats have a minimal effect on NPCs (pets included), so I don't reccomend them.


Spell Levels:
Shaman change a lot every spell level, which makes it an addicting class to level. Sometimes we're like a poor man's druid, other times we're more powerful than a necromancer.

Level 14: The first level where shaman get a taste of power, highlights are spirit strike & root. You can out-nuke a druid. This is a spell level some shaman choose to stay at, and I don't blame them.

Level 19: A dull level for shaman, the highlight is the disease DoT affliction and the resist debuff Malise. If you wish to PvP during this time, it's suggested you do it in a group. Necromancers and druids will make short work of you solo. Many players quit their shaman between levels 19 - 23.

Level 24: Awesome level range - Envenomed Breath doing almost 200 dmg PvP, new direct damage, cannibalize + regen as an alternative to medding, and spirit of cheetah with its 0.5 cast time (only 20 mana) will save you from many deaths. The only class you need to worry about at this level is Necromancer.

Level 29: With no new damage spells, another ho-hum PvP level. Not as bad as 19, but not much better. However, with the addition of greater healing, charm animal, and tagar's insects, it's a decent mob killing level.

Level 34: The level range where shaman are more powerful than any other class. You finally get DogDog, a 500 dmg disease DOT, a 250 dmg cold DD, and a 230 dmg poison DD. I suggest you stop leveling here. There may never be another mass-market RPG that is so PvP imbalanced ever again, so enjoy it now. You might consider going to 35 so you can med without a spell book, but that puts you in range of level 39 players that have better spells.


Level 49: E-bolt, poison 1130 dmg DOT, the shaman's ice comet. Plague 1210 disease dmg DOT, the shaman's slower ice comet. Stack em both, and you can drop a full health warrior. Before kunark, level 49-50 shaman were the most powerful PvP class in the game. But now with level 53-54 players able to attack you, you're going to have to run from several fights.


wots good equip?

Magic resistance (MR) is the most important stat. Look around for cheap MR items, and after you have about 100 MR (buffed), start getting cold + fire resist items (need 100+ in each to notice a difference), and finally disease & poison (need 50-60 in each to notice a difference). If a resist item has any +WIS, AC, or mana, consider it a bonus. Here are some of the more popular items for mid level shaman (many of these I still use at 50):



Ebon War Spear (range)

One of the best PvP range-slot items for shaman. Usually goes for about 400p, drops off of an aviak on Aviak Isle in OOT. Easy to solo for a level 44 shaman.

Ogre Butcher Gloves

It would be difficult to find a better pair of PvP gloves in the game, and these can be easily attained by a level 1 Ogre through this quest:
http://eqdb.allakhazam.com/quest.html?quest=291
Cazic Worshipping trolls can not do this quest since they're KoS to Chef Dooga. I assume Innoruuk worshipping trolls have the same problem. I've only seen these for sale once, and they went for ~1000p. Maybe it's because the quest is relatively unknown (or too tedious)...

Bloodstained Mantle (shoulder slot)

Common drop off of the Undead Knight in Unrest. Goes for ~60p

Golden Wolf's Eye Bracelet
+7 magic resist. If you can find a jeweler, bring them a gold bar and a wolf's eye agate, and bug them to make it for you. Components ~14p from vendors. Jewelers usually sell them for 40p each.

Regent Symbol of Innoruuk (troll inny worshippers only)

Nice effect for PvP. Quest spoiler here: http://eqdb.allakhazam.com/quest.html?quest=169

Earring of Fire Reflection

Sold by gypsy vendors in Lavastorm for ~35p each. They do not sell to Cazic worshipping Trolls.

Blackened Alloy Coif (head slot)

Can be obtained from the Lord Picklaw in Runnyeye by a group of mid to low level 20's. Since it's a fairly new item, it's still selling for ~1k. The old version, Black Iron Crown is 5 to all resists and sells for ~300.

Sabretooth Amulet (neck slot)

This awesome item goes for just 1 - 2k on Rallos Zek, due to the fact it's shaman only. As soon as you can afford it, buy it. Drops from a rare spawn in TT, can solo it at 50+.

Hollowed Bone Bracer (arm slot)

Dropped by Rathyl's Incarnate in Najena. Can be soloed at 34 I think, not sure. Sells for up to 800p.

Crystalized Pumice (general inventory)
5 Charges of Nullify Magic (dispells 2 magic spells off of the target), 4.5 casting time, same as the spell. Anyone serious about PvP has a bag full of these. It can dispell bad effects off of you, or good effects off of your enemy. They go for ~15p from potion vendors.

Crimson Potion (general inventory)

1 Charge of Reckless Health. It gives you an instant 50 HP, but then gives you a DoT effect that drains 60 HP over 180 seconds. Why use it? If you have a DoT on you, you can't be mezzed by enchanters. Sold by potion merchants for ~13p.

Lizard Blood Potion (general inventory)

Instant teleport to Cazic Thule. If you have nice items, you should always have at least one of these for emergencies. Sold by players for ~500p, or can be obtained by a group of 30's from the Lizard Cenobite in Cazic Thule.

Golem Metal Wand (general inventory)

5 charges of Pillage Enchantment, Instantly removes 5 buffs from target. A better version of Pumice. Drops off of the Steel Golem in Cazic Thule - can be done by a group of low 30's.

Etheria's Poison Antidote (general inventory)

This is useful for when an enchanter casts Tashan on you. Tashan is considered a poison, so you can quickly cure yourself. Made through alchemy.

Shovel of Ponz (general inventory)

Yes, I know it's a magician only item, but Shaman can use the effect of reclaim energy from a general inventory slot. Reclaim Energy kills your pet, but gives you mana (depending on the amount of HP your pet has). Awesome for emergencies when you need an extra 200 mana, or for when you need to zone and your pet would die anyway.

General PvP Tips

Dispells: As I said in the items section, carry a bag full of crytalized pumice. Don't hesitate before dispelling those evil necro/druid dots off of yourself. For some weird reason, this is considered a helping spell when cast on players. If you try and dispell your enemy, your pet will assume it's a beneficial spell and that you've betrayed him,so he'll kill himself. Remember to back your pet off before dispelling enemies.

Water: If you're underwater, you can only be casted on by other players underwater, and vice versa. Many people use water as a way to escape spells. So when someone casts on you, you get the "soandso tries to cast a spell on you, but you're protected" message. If you have levitate on, you can run above/below water freely. Great to have for ocean battles!

Running and Range: As my enemies have pointed out, running is only for pussy ass bitches that suck so bad at PvP and have no skillz so they gotta run and are afraid to fight you face to face cuz they're faggot ass pussies that keep killing me when I'm not ready and low on mana ITS SO UNFAIR!!@$!

Running is a good idea in every fight. If a melee character is after you, DoT him and run while he follows. If a caster is after you, run out of range when he starts casting. When he's out of range, stop running and start slamming your spell button until he runs in range, then you'll be able to cast before him, and if you're fast enough you can get out of range again before he finishes his casting.

If a character is following you too close (like a twinked out monk with SoW), remember that EQ tries to predict where your character will move to make up for lag. If you confuse EQ, you confuse your enemy. Make sharp turns, double back, run in your favorite geometric pattern, run around trees, and if you see a hill, head for it. EQ is weird about hills.. especially those near zone walls. Ever try following someone running on a sloped zone wall?

Escaping
Spirit of Cheetah and gate, the obvious two. There are some other ones though, if you have a +HP item, and your current HP is less than the item, removing it will kill you - but you will lose no XP and nobody can loot you. This is generally used for low levels, since high level players have too many HPs. Another tactic is to commit suicide by jumping off a cliff (no xp loss from falling death), drowned (again, no xp loss), or jump in lava (no xp loss), or get killed by a monster/merchant/guard. If you get to a zone, and for some weird reason your computer powers down while zoning, your character will not show up on the other side.

Getting the Kill
Sometimes if your dot kills the player, you can't loot. But sometimes you can. I've found that if I have autoattack on while casting the DoT, and leave it on throughout the entire fight, I get the kill message and am able to loot when the DoT does the final blow. If the player zones with a DoT on him and the dot does the killing blow, you will not get the kill.


Gaining levels as a hated PK
Flowers of Happiness was not made for gaining levels, but that hasn't stopped some of our players from leveling up. If there are no FoH members that are willing to level with you, you have two choices:

Grouping: Some of our members, like Unckagobs, Boogahed, Benillikin and Vova have no problems getting in XP groups. I don't know exactly how they do it, but I do know they're all smooth talkers.

Soloing: Most shaman guides will reccomend high AC for soloing, claiming that tanking the mob is the best way to solo it. While this is a fun tactic, it doesn't carry over well for PvP servers. AC items aren't known for good resists, and vice versa. Also being in melee range of a MOB makes you pretty vulnerable to players.

The trick to soloing is to always keep your health over 60%, just in case. Mana isn't a big deal, since spirit of cheetah only takes 20 mana to cast. Save the HP, spend the mana. I reccomend root + DoT and med, with pet as the tank. Slow the mob so you don't have to heal your pet.



Adding more when I feel like it. If you wish to copy this text, I really wish you wouldn't, but if you have to, give Blart credit damnit, and link http://12.6.88.190/flowers/swampd.htm

Thanks.

edit: Added shovel of ponz, corrected some spelling errors.
edit #2: Removed out of date information, added info submitted by Vova & Ugli.

RETURN TO THE FoH HOMEPAGE