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The Raiding Wizard's Handbook - Version 1.0

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:55 pm
by Velnarin
The purpose of this guide is no different than the purpose of a good raid leader: To bring out all of your potential. Wizards rely on a series of concepts to make potential reality. Unfortunately, many such concepts are lost in a clutter of numbers and percentages. This guide aims to make sense of them for you.

To begin, freshen your mind to some of the concepts. A wizard is to, beyond all else, do as much damage as quickly as possible while attempting to never be completely out of mana until the fight is complete. It is prerequisite that a wizard be aggressive toward this goal --- That they be downright competitive. When a battle is ready to ensue, do you feel excited? Remember why you began to play this class, or at least why you continue to: You want to do damage. You must experiment and push yourself. Set goals for yourself in all things --- Especially in parses, with regard set aside to making it without doing anything to jeopordize the raid's success. Even if you don't meet the goal, you still come out on top, because it means you tried as hard as you could. The harder you try, the better the raid does. The better the raid does, the better you do.

Finally, you must realize that there are infinite ways to do a lot of burst damage, yes, but there are very limited ways to do a lot of damage over a long period of time for this class. There ARE wrong ways of doing things. We (perhaps unfortunately) can't just hit autoattack, press a disc every once in awhile and expect to do exemplary damage. Hitting random spell gems every few seconds, running out of mana and then saying "I've done all I can do" won't work well either. Wizardry is an art. Some spells and methods are better than others.

Fortunately, there is a tried and true right way to get the job done, and soon you'll be clued in.

Author's Note/Disclaimer:

Some wizards may know all of this. Some wizards may know none. Some may know a portion of what is contained in this document but know little of the rest. All bases have been covered (of my method at least) to minimize questions and clarify things as well as possible. Anyone is free to ask me, Velnarin, in-game or in this thread to further clarify anything they don't understand and I would be thrilled to help you. No question is dumb. Whether you agree or not, it's better to ask for advise, thoughts and opinions than to stay silent and possibly not do as well as you could.

I know that reading this entire document is a daunting task, but I implore all wizard raiders or to-be raiders to at least skim this document even if you believe you know it all.

As far as spell lineup goes, I've tried many combinations of spellcasting to end up with my current method, and this is the only setup that has consistently landed me on the top of the parse. I'm not going to say this is the only way to do well, but it's a surefire way to not do badly.

The Method to the Madness ---- Spell Lineup and Usage

Wildmagic is KEY. A LOT of wizards do not have Wildmagic Burst because they do not know how to get it.

The easiest way to obtain this spell is by killing Vampires in the Vampire Caves in Loping Plains. It is the cave directly southeast of the Hills of Shade zoneline. In SoF, specific rank 1 spells can only drop in certain places, but almost all of them have a single spot where they will drop phenomenally more often than anywhere else. The Vampires of LP are your only chance to get this spell unless you farm the faction for rank 2. It will not be too extraordinarily hard to get there. Get a group with a puller and a few heavy damage-dealers and clear the area in front of it, then pull them out. It is extremely dangerous to try this any other way. Sometimes you'll be more lucky than others, but if you keep at this camp, you WILL find it. If you value your DPS, don't give up.

You must keep your TWO highest-level Wildmagic spells up at the same time, as well as your TWO highest-level Ethereal spells. (The only exception is the event that you don't have Wildmagic Burst, but you have Strike and Blast - then you'd use Ethereal Combustion + Conflagration. You just need to pick Ethereal spells of the correlating level to which Wildmagics you're using.) If you do not do this, you'll be lucky to top the parse very often. It is critical.

Wildmagic is a wizard's greatest spell line: It can crit nearly 15k for ~200-300 mana. Better yet, its cast time is 0.8 seconds, and multiple spells of the same line are not recast-linked, so you can chain cast them indefinetly (and you'll never run out of mana). This alone puts out a significant amount of damage, but more importantly, it will set off your Gifts of Mana like firecrackers. This means you are able to cast Ethereal spells, your biggest damage ability, very often in comparison to using other spells. Beyond that, you'll also get a ton of Mana Reiteration procs from it if an enchanter is in your group, which can add a rather astounding amount of damage over time.

You must always be careful to note which type of Gift of Mana just went off. You must remember that you are going to be using two different level ranges of spells. It can get confusing if you're not used to it. This is the optimal spellset lineup for the first seven spell gems (if you're not 85 yet or don't have Wildmagic Burst this will at least give you an idea):

1) Wildmagic Burst
2) Ethereal Incineration
3) Wildmagic Blast
4) Ethereal Combustion
5) Flashblaze
6) Serene Harvest
7) Twincast

So, you're pairing up your level ranges on the top. 80, 80, 85, 85. If Wildmagic sets off Gift of Mana you just have to click right below it to use it with the correct Ethereal nuke. Easy. Painless. Well, not for the mob.

If Gift of Amazing Exquisite Radiant Mana (What in the world is it going to be called at 90? They're really running low on adjectives.) goes off when you cast Ethereal Combustion as an example, don't wait for the gem to pop again to recast it. Go straight for the lower level Ethereal nuke. Say it then procs Gift of Exquisite Radiant Mana. You obviously can't use it, the lower level GoM, on your level 85 nukes, so take advantage of that. Immediately hit Wildmagic Blast again, and you'll still have your GoERM, so then hit the now-refreshed Ethereal Incineration again. Repeat as needed.

Why is all this confusing stuff necessary? Because of the ABSOLUTE most important part about being a great sustained damage dealer: You must never stop casting even for a second. Even milliseconds add up. If you're REALLY trying to squeeze in all you can get, there can be no waiting involved. Keep clicking.

Using instant nukes on anything except trash mobs is not that great, usually. Recourse and all. I used to do this on a regular basis. It actually wasn't too bad but it ran me low on mana a lot quicker than I would have wanted. Even if I'm not worried about efficiency at the time, I still don't often use it on main mobs because in the event that I'm that heavily focused on just burning at any cost, I go straight to chaining Ethereal nukes.

It has the same efficiency as the Ethereal line which obviously isn't good so it's decent to use in a burn fight but if you choose to still use it you still need to keep in mind you don't want to wait for it to repop. Again I stress, keep casting, always.

In the event BURN is called, use your judgement on what to do. You can chain-cast Ethereals as long as you're prepared for the fact it's going to cost a lot. A Flashblaze/Ethereal chain will only work if you use Flash then two Eths then back to Flash by the way. Recast timers are evil but they must be dealt with!

Twincast has a five minute refresh time. You don't want to use it above 90% of a raid boss's health but once you're fairly confident that the tank has awesome aggro, smack it. It's still dangerous at times, especially if your tank dies early on, but it can be rewarding because for some longer fights you can use it multiple times per battle instead of just once (burn time). Use your discretion. And be careful.

Twincast is best used with very high-damage nukes. You'll raise your DPS by the bucketsfull if you chain Ethereals with it. But again, this is ungodly dangerous for the wizard if done near the beginning of a fight. If you're very concerned about aggro, or very low on mana when casting it, you can chain Wildmagics to a decent effect as well. When the Twincast buff timer gets down below 5 seconds, usage of a Flashblaze cast is recommended, just to get the most use out of the buff. You'll want to have your epic clicked when you use the ability.

For bosses with not a lot of hp or during a hard-burn on adds, use Silent Casting while Twincast is active if you'd like to use it at a high health percentage. As an example, during Solteris event 1, where you kill all the mini-bosses that don't have too much hp each, the things will likely be dead already when Twincast ends if you wait for the tank to get sufficient aggro before using it. Silent Casting on incoming of a mini-boss would be a good idea. Twincast on burning of trash mobs can be especially bad aggro-wise but Silent Casting before activating it will keep you from dying. Unless you have Hastened Silent Casting and/or feel you won't be needing SC again until its reuse duration, it's best to just use a Wildmagic chain with Twincast on trash. That method should allow you to not get eaten too often.

Serene Harvest should be used as often as possible when not able to nuke. If you know there's about to be a 20 second pause where you don't need to cast anything and you're not full mana, hit a harvest or two. Don't bother using it while you could be nuking unless you absolutely have to. The end result, tried and true, is that if you use the harvested mana to burn, you will parse almost identically to what you would if you had just kept nuking with efficiency-based spells (Wildmagic) for that 20 seconds. It's not a bad idea to use it directly after every boss fight, if it's up, either.

Boss Combat Tip

Aside from the tips already mentioned, another rule of thumb useful for events which require the death of a main target is to keep your mana pool near the boss's health pool. Doing this isn't crucial, but it can be helpful for standard fights. Obviously many exceptions apply, such as burn time, if you'll be able to harvest mid-fight, etc, but loosely following the guideline helps assure that you don't run out of mana too early, or too late to burn it all.

Regulating mana based on health assures that you'll be out of mana right on time (on the win), which is a primary objective of any fight that you're performing a DPS role in. Wildmagic's inexpensiveness is awesome for mana regulation before or after a burn.

When DPS burn is called on a boss, if the boss is fairly low in health you can do your burn routine until 20% mana depending on how things are going and then finish out the fight chaining Wildmagics. You'll have enough mana left to use Ethereal nukes anytime GoM procs, and can dump any leftovers below 10% of its life.

Which AAs You HAVE To Have And When To Use Them

Max Spell Casting Fury
Max Gift of Mana
Max Ro's Flaming Familiar
Max Destructive Fury
Max Spellcasting Sublety (Rank 7 is sufficient prior to 85, but not after.)
Max Quick Damage

Until those are done, don't worry about anything else.
Afterward, the most important AAs you'll be using, vaguely in order from most useful at the top:

Fury of Ro
All Spires
Group Perfected Invisibility
Silent Casting (Only a priority at level 85.)
Spell Casting Reinforcement/Mastery (Only a priority at 85.)
Pyromancy (Only important if you don't often group with an enchanter on raids, as Mana Reiteration overwrites it.)
Quickened Harvest of Druzzil
Force of Will

- Ro's Flaming Familiar should be used anyplace where the mobs are not immune to fire. The Improved Familiar is trash; it was created in the days of yore when medding was impossible. These days, a wizard is to focus on damage, damage and more damage, and the best way to do this is by getting elemental damage focus drakes.

- Fury of Ro's difference seems subtle at times, but its impact is tremendous. The small damage per cast it adds is a sizable DPS boost by the time the buff fades. It lasts 5 minutes and casts instantly. Reuse: 30 minutes.

- Spires are especially great when combined with Twincast. Each spire gives you a 1 minute duration buff. Using one disables them all, but recast is only 10 minutes and they will stack with any other effects you have going such as Fury of Ro. As an example, stacking the First Spire (+ crit chance) with Fury of Ro (+ fire damage) and then activating Twincast (every DD double-casts) will give you a positively massive burn rate if chaining high-damage spells. It can send your burst DPS well over 10k for Twincast's duration. Remember to click your epic to reduce resist rates on twincasted spells!

- Silent Casting should be used when doing events which last longer than 5 minutes, but it's only necessary if you have the Twincast spell. When you want to attempt to use Twincast twice per fight, use this when the boss is incoming and then hit Twincast. When assist is called, you can burn away with wild abandon and not worry about death. Well. Unless the tank dies and then the rest of the raid follows.

- Pyromancy is to be used when there is no enchanter in your group. It debuffs fire for the raid and does a little extra damage --- Always a good thing. Keep in mind however that it is a DoT proc, so you'll need to click it off on events where, say, the mobs need to be mezzed at low health. Forgetting to click it off in times like those is VERY bad, so be careful.

- Force of Will is nice to do a little extra damage on the side. It crits for 3.3k at max rank and is recastible every 20 seconds. It casts very quickly, though not instantly. Using AA abilities means you don't have to wait for the spell gems to refresh and it won't blank them out, so if you have good reflex, you can toss in a cast every time this pops in between spell gem refreshes. It's good to either link it to a hotkey where you can just press the button and it will cast, or put it on a verticle hotkey bar next to a Wildmagic gem or something for easy access. It's very expensive for what it is, but if you want to buy yourself an AA toy/gift, this is a good choice. Especially compared to Call of Xuzl. (In regular exp groups it's great for getting killshots too, if you like to set off Arcane Overkill a lot. You'll get the full 500 mana!)


That's all folks. If I forgot to cover a topic or anything else, let me know.

Re: The Raiding Wizard's Handbook - Version 1.0

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:08 pm
by Aithzar
Spot on Vel. I can't say I disagree with any part of this strat for a wizard on raids. This definitely follows the same mantra I follow with my cleric that its all about balancing mana efficiency and effect.

Only part I would add is making sure that epic 2.0 click is ready and used during twincast burns alongside spire + FoR for added effect.

Re: The Raiding Wizard's Handbook - Version 1.0

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:29 pm
by Velnarin
Yep! Forgot to mention it. Thanks!

Re: The Raiding Wizard's Handbook - Version 1.0

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:38 pm
by Ulrith
As Always Vel, your awesome! :vote10

Thanks for the info, and your time doing it, and your willingness to help us out.

Re: The Raiding Wizard's Handbook - Version 1.0

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:20 pm
by Hipityhipity
Always remember to Over Nuke That way I can laugh when you go splat !!!! After All; all that cloth you carry around makes it easy for me to scoop your dead carcasses up and Run !!!!!


Good Post P :)

Re: The Raiding Wizard's Handbook - Version 1.0

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:30 pm
by Velnarin
Fortunately twits like you can't hide my corpse from me after rezzes anymore! :jester You sure you're not a necromancer?