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Weeeeezard AA Guide! N' stuff.

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 6:34 am
by Velnarin
Liek totally. When stuff needs to die in a big ole hurry, who ya' gonna call!? Charles Manson is in jail and he's not very friendly anyways, but a wizard'll do ya' some good. So, for all you do-it-yourselfers, here's what you need to know.

Skip to the very bottom if you hate me for writing something so wordy. Nu flamin' wizards! We flame back.


"Don't get caught." Charlie was pretty good with this. Slippery bugger he was. One would suppose the moral of the story is you can only do a lot of damage this way! Troooo 'nuff. Tis' a common misconception that weezards need to play it so safe that in some situations they have to sacrifice DPS instead of their lives. That isn't usually nessesary with the right AAs and an epic equipt. Spellcasting Sublety should be an absolute priority --- Get level 3 before you even consider moving onto other things. A wizard can breathe on something and die for it without Sublety, moreso than any other class I've played. So do eet. Non-raiding wizards can get by with rank 7/9 pretty decently if they don't go too crazy in groups, but if you do raid, get 9 before anything else.

"Be efficient." Sir Manson's idea of efficiency was to have other people kill his victims for him. As a wizard, efficiency is nessesary but you don't want anyone stealin' your thunder now do ya'? Absolutely not. Wizards have the best thunder spells, so show em' what ya' got! The best way to do this is to keep up with everyone and considering wizard spells are quite expeeeeensive to cast you'll get a great benefit out of Spellcasting Mastery. Spellcasting Mastery 3 reduces the base mana cost of spells by 10% and unlike mana preservation foci, the amount saved is set. If you choose to cast a spell like Ether Flame which costs 1k mana to cast you'll save 100 mana without consideration of any other foci. I'll take that deal. Most people get this after Sublety. After you get your level 72 Harvest, you can turn spending mana into a science. Keep in mind it refreshes in 8 minutes, so just time it so that you run oom or close in exactly 8 minutes, then when you recast it, you're good to go.

"Be brutal." Killers would get away with so much more if they made sure their victims were dead. Don't leave those moss snakes twitchin' or they might turn around n' bite ya in der bum. Ever had a buttcheek amputated? Well, you don't want that, so get your crits! Crits are more important than Destructive Fury because DF only increases damage done by crits and not base damage. Get all crits before DF, always. I suggest getting the fire drake maxed as soon as you get Spellcasting Fury 3. Aside from random +35% to fire damage being nothing to sneeze at, the highest ranks can also offer you ~+60 to fire resist, +400 to mana pool, and see invis for the blind chaps out there. It's expensive but worth every AA. The other drakes, in my experience, aren't worth it. I have most ranks of all of them and I generally never, ever use them. WTB refund. I use the ice drake in Ashengate but there are a lot more important things to worry about first.

Other Priorities

The best thing I can say is to go over the AA list with one thing specific in mind: Do you want to usually be a solo-act, or do you want accomplices most of the time? Someone who solos a lot will probably want the Nexus Gate AA, but if you don't like soloing, you may not want to get it so quickly. Someone who groups a lot will want Teleport Bind in short order once other priorities are done or close. I'll name all class AAs and their usefulness or in some cases uselessness, and let you come to your own decisions. The best thing about a wizard aside from the obvious is that they can get all of their best DPS AAs and only have to spend less than 300 AAs to get them before they can start having a lot of fun and beyond what I already described, there isn't much else that you OMG-absolutely-have-to-have to be fully functional.

There is one exception, of course. Gift of Mana! Very priority-like. Yes. If you don't have GoM you're just pretending to be a wizard.

AA List: In no particular order....
To which I am quite sorry since there's so dang many.

Spellcasting Sublety: Get at least 7/9 ASAP. Max it if you're a raider, cuz as soon as you get an event where stuff memory wipes itself, you're so dead.
Spellcasting Mastery: 10% set mana reduction cost before the 15% specialization check reduction + foci reduction. Wizard spells are expensive. Get it.
Spellcasting Fury: One of those extreme priorities. After rank 3, either get more ranks, GoM, or a Familiar next. Each rank past the third is generally a +2% crit chance.
Gift of Mana+: Another extreme priority. A wizard is not a wizard without this, plain and simple. You don't need it until you quest Ether Flame (70 DoD spell arc) if you're an alt though, or if you're 75 and have Ethereal Conflagration. It's meant to be used with those spells.
Destructive Fury: It adds DPS so it is, of course, useful, but the difference it makes is subtle. This is the home stretch for DPS AAs after Fury and Familiars. The process offers no joy in the meanwhile but it must be done~
Ro's Flaming Familiar (and others): Contrary to popular belief of blooming wizards, this does not add the full 35% damage everytime. It works just as any foci does - the percentage is random and is added seperately after other damage mod checks have been made. It's still nice, and more importantly, it adds over 400 mana to your mana pool at its highest ranks, so don't think twice about getting this quick. Other drakes are next to useless, including the Improved Familiar. A wizard should never sacrifice damage, Hooooowever it's a feasable (lord knows cheaper) alternative to the other elemental drakes if you'd prefer to simply not buy them. The Improved Familiar reduces fizzle rate in two ways, gives you see invisibility, +35 to all resists, and a lot more mana than the elemental drakes. But between ooc regen and the level 72 uber harvest, it's just not worth it in my humble opinion.
Pyromancy: This is a wizard's self-only mana recursion. It has a chance to proc a lengthy DoT which does up to 1k damage per tick and reduces fire resist by up to 60 while it's active. The buff has no timer and is instant recast. It's a must for resisty raid mobs (Fabled Tunare and Daosheen really needed this as an example). In typical short fights you'll want to ask for recursion.
Arcomancy: This AA really kind of annoys me. It has no DoT component but it reduces magic resist by up to 60 and increases the amount of damage direct damage spells do on the target. I imagine it would be awesome for raids but you can't tell when it procs because it has no damage component, and most raid mobs resist magic anyway. A wizard's magic spells are interruption-based anyways, so it would be sacrificing wizard DPS to up everyone else's. Could be worth it but I never use it.
Cryomancy: This is cool. Does a direct damage proc as you cast ice on stuff and snares it. An interesting factoid is it used to be able to snare things that are immune to snare. They fixed it sadly, but it's still nice for mobs which are stupidly resistant to magic and too fast to risk standing still to recast snare (brownies in DSH is a big one). Load an instant ice nuke, cast, it procs, and you're set. pwn.
Exodus: Rarely used on raids, yes, but very good for group or solo. Some people have whined to me that they don't want to get this because they prefer to solo with their wizard and they insist it's geared around a group, but I use it a LOT more solo than in groups. It's instant as most people know, and saves you a run back to wherever you are even if you're fine with death.
Nexus Gate: Nexus Gate is one of the more underappreciated wizard AAs. It's a self-only instant port to Nexus and doesn't get used heavily in really Neeeedy situations but I'll be the first to step up and say it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to have it on my hotkey bar. I'd die a lot more without it, and it makes you adore being a wizard on Vishimtar when you can't find a spirit in time. The best thing about it being to Nexus is that it's a combat-free zone which means deathtouch timers and such are not permitted to kill you when they fade. Just about anywhere else you flee to, this isn't the case. Several times I've used it at the last second and giggled myself into a stupor singin' "Naaaananana, can't deathTouch this!".
Silent Casting: This seems more useless than it is. I save it for nameds and adds and regard it as the only wizard "discipline" that's worth it. Rank 5 will make it impossible for you to get aggro no matter what you do if you're not the only one on the aggro list, if you have a melee class beating on the mob(s). As a result I chain-cast my most damaging spells immediately after using it, while the mob is still incoming if there's a tank, and I'm not out anything but mana for it. It can be used once per half hour even without AA timer reductions.
Arcane Whisper: Silent Casting is really good enough, considering its potency, lack of needing a target, and reuse timer. Even for raid events you can generally go all out and not get summoned. I don't even use Silent Casting for raid bosses and it's not once been a problem.
Call of Xuzl: I have all ranks of it. On my birthday I generally get something aesthetic AA-wise for myself. Well, maxing this was my birthday present to myself. If my grandma had given me this I would have asked her to take it back to the store. Unfortunately, the AA store doesn't offer refunds. It does less than 4k damage total on even gimp mobs and then they poof. Forget it.
Ward of Destruction: Common sense. You get aggro on inc with it and it breaks mezzes, it's junk.
Frenzied Devastation: It's most useful used while chaining Wildmagic Burst and Strike but in most instances where a person would need this, I just chain cast flashfires and ethereal conflagration/incineration. The end result would be similar damage at best and probably cost the same - this doubles mana cost of spells. Don't be fooled by the wording you'll read. It doesn't increase chance to crit by 60%, it increases your chance to crit to 60%. Which isn't all that great considering the cost. Opinion on how nice it is differs. If you expect your mana pool is going to stink for awhile (alt/box wizard etc) it's a nice alternative to just spamming atomic bombs I suppose.
Arcane Overkill: It's nice to have. You'll want rank 3 if you group a lot. You get 500 mana back if you get the killshot, 10% chance per rank. No biggie but cool.
Teleport Bind and Secondary Recall: Invaluable for groupers and raiders. Set your secondary bind point to the Lobby with Secondary Recall and set your primary to anywhere you want. Then you can send your group to your bind point. I use it to take people straight to Valdeholm but I've also earned a few giggles and pinches on the bum sending people to Solusek C with it as well! Mwaaahahaha.
Perfected Invisibility: Invisibility that never fades, nuff' said. Love it.
Manablaze: With as much hp as stuff has these days this ability's totally elective. For 10k mana you can do 40k damage and it scales down if you have less when you cast it. Different ranks do different damage for the same ratio and the damage is unresistable. It's nice for instances where you're sure you're about to die if the mob doesn't die right this very second and it's already low health, but I very infrequently use it. Mainly I use it to solo Dragonscale nameds that'll chew me up without it. Can solo them in 2 nukes with rank one of volatile manablaze but it's really expensive for being so situational.
Harvest of Druzzil: Slow casting and rank 1 sucks but rank 2 is very nice and restores around 2k mana every 8 minutes. It's so cheap you'll want to get it asap.
Strong Root and Hastened Root: I like being able to have a root up without keeping the spell up. Wizards can be pretty decent crowd control with all of their root AAs. Hastened Root doesn't just make Strong Root recast faster. It also makes regular roots more durable. A wizard with an itchy root finger can save the day just as well as Exodus can if there's no other CC around.
Mind Crash: Instant aggro reduction. I wish it had a quicker recast, even with the AA focus toward it. I usually just use Concussions. I use Mind Crash when I know I'm really screwed if I don't get off of HoTT in a big hurry. Either when I make a big mistake (wrong nuke on inc and Concussion won't cast fast enough to save me) or when I use Concussion and I'm still on target.
Translocational Anchor: Sounds impressive, doesn't it? Junk.
Dimensional Instability: Sounds even more impressive, doesn't it? Even junkier.

Epilogue: Spells and Elemental Notes for new wizards:

Recast Timers: Fire and Ice spells are on one recast timer, and Magic are on seperate recast timers. This isn't so for all spells obviously. But, ever notice how if you load an instant fire and ice nuke, casting one blanks out the other? Try it with Cloudburst Strike/Bolts. Cloudburst never blacks out. The same goes for all wizard spell varieties with a recast. AEs are the other thing this applies to. No modern-day Magic-Based Rain has been created since the days of yore because they don't want wizards chaining rains. This used to be possible but it was nerfed.

Magic Spells: Magic is kinda pointless to use but that's just my take on it. It's good for casters and stopping runners - I often use Telajasz (8 second stun) instead of snare. The Leap line (Leap of Shocking Bolts, Leap of Arclight, Spark of Thunder, etc) is great for interruptions but the stun is brief. Still, if you have chealer/gater issues this is awesome - the Leap line and Spark is instant-recast. Very nice for killing clerics. Sorry clerics! O.o

Harvest: I know I mentioned this already, but it's important to note. Regulate your efficiency depending on how much time you have left until your level 72+ harvest pops. What I generally do in a group as an example is when I first arrive, I burn everything to a crisp until I hit 40% mana or so and then hit Harvest which brings me back up to 90% or so and then I procede to be efficient. By the time I hit 40% or less again, Harvest will be back up, and I can repeat, and not sacrifice any damage I could have done.

Spells I Use: I personally chain-cast Wildmagic Strike and Wildmagic Burst a lot. Their cast time is 0.8 seconds each and while they can't be chain-cast by themselves, they can be together and they set off Gift of Mana like firecrackers. The maximum amount they cost is 300 mana so even people with bad mana pools can do this to great effect. Unfortunately damage mods don't affect spells cast using those two so I consider Wildmagic a 'filler' and toss in Flashfires and Ethereal Conflagration/Incineration in whenever I want a nice burst. With a 16k mana pool you can toss around more inefficient spells without much problem. Occasionally I'll use Tangleweave Energy when I want to show off with 45k crits (TE procs a +damage mod like flashfires/flames does, except it's stronger) but I don't consider it a primary spell.


Go for sublety, then mastery, then crits. Gift of Mana and the fire drake are the only apexes of high priority AAs until archetype crap is done, although Pyromancy is a major bonus and I would get it before Destructive Fury were I you. Teleport Bind and the other port AAs will probably prove most useful after that. Beyond that, your own discression is fine. Wizards have very few AAs that aren't in any way useful; they're all just situational and some situations are a lot more common than others. *Bob Marley CD starts blastin'* Don't worry, be happy!

Whatever works.

Re: Weeeeezard AA Guide! N' stuff.

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 11:46 am
by Ceruis
Geek :beer:

Re: Weeeeezard AA Guide! N' stuff.

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 12:26 pm
by Wamadoorn
Wow, good read!

Very nice work Vel :thumbup

Re: Weeeeezard AA Guide! N' stuff.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:06 am
by Ceruis
Does this look like a good line or should I switch some things out before moving past lvl 65?

Spell Casting Sublety 1-3
Spell Casting Mastery 1-3
Spell Casting Fury 1-3
Spell Casting Fury Mastery 1- till I can't do it no more at 65
Quick Damage 1-3
Ro's Flaming Familiar 1
Strong Root
Perfect Invisibility
Nexus Gate

Re: Weeeeezard AA Guide! N' stuff.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:38 pm
by Velnarin
When in doubt, look at the content that you're doing and the content that you're going to move onto next and figure out what you feel is most important to you. There is no exact order that's important, just priorities. If you're going to get all the stuff before moving on anyways, you don't nessesarily have to even go in order by priority, either. To demonstrate...

You've been going to Fire and BoT a lot. Do your groups die a lot? Do you have to evac a lot? If so, you may consider moving exodus up the list. Stuff like that.

I didn't start layin' heavy on the AAs until I was 70 - When I did, I soloed icefall crawlers by spamming spark of fire and Ether Flame when GoM procced. At no point did I bother using anything but fire at them, so I made the fire drake and pyromancy a priority - because it was helpful in the situation I usually found myself in.

In conclusion... if you're gonna get them all before moving past 65 anyways it doesn't really matter how you do it.

But if you're asking if some things can be ignored and bought later, I would personally (keep in mind, personally) save at least Perfected Invis, Root, and Quick Damage for level 70 when you get Ether Flame unless you don't mind being 65 for a long time. My thoughts? Quick Damage is more useful in lower levels than it is in higher ones however, because in higher levels, you'll probably be using spells which cast extremely quickly. While it will probably be useful to you in lower levels because of that, AAs come a lot faster at 70 because you'll be able to do Icefall Crawlers which are 5 kills per AA. And Ether Flame's cast time is rather ridiculous. Perfected Invis isn't a nessesity and so it's benefitial to get it when AAs come very quickly (70+). Root is nice especially for the spiders but right now you're grouping a lot and I dunno how much use you'd get out of it, depends if you love pretending to be crowd control or not.

Anything else?