Spells and Combat Arts are where you get most of your effectiveness from. They consume power when cast. Melee classes receive Combat Arts, while spellcasting classes receive Spells. (A few "hybrid" classes receive both.)
Spells vs. Combat Arts
What's the difference between a Spell and a Combat Art? Not much:
- Spells must be cast while standing still. Your spellcasting may be interrupted when your enemy attacks you; your Focus skill affects your chance of being interrupted when under duress.
- Combat arts have shorter cast times than spells, and can be cast while on the move. They can only be interrupted by a stun.
- Most bard spells are considered to be "Songs", and can be cast while on the move just like Combat Arts.
Otherwise, we can talk about Spells and Combat Arts interchangeably. For the rest of this section, we'll just call them "Spells".
The Knowledge Book
Your spells, combat arts, and crafting skills are found in your Knowledge book. Open it by pressing K. You can browse your spells in here, and sort them in various ways to make finding them easier. When you point at an icon, a tooltip will pop-up with a brief description of the spell. For more details about the spell, right-click on the icon and choose "Examine".
Types of Spells
There are several types of spells and combat arts that you may have in your Knowledge Book. The background color of the spell's icon tells you its type.
|Beneficial Spells||Attack Spells|
Each time you gain a level, you learn one or more new spells. Your new spells will enter your Knowledge book automatically each time you level up; there's no need to visit a trainer to learn them. If you have empty slots on a hotkey bar on your screen, then the new spell icons will automatically be added to your hotkey bar as well. Each class learns roughly 20-30 unique spells or abilities in all. Most of them are granted early in your career, but some are introduced at later levels, or are earned by spending Achievement Points.
By level 15, you'll notice that some of your new spells are actually higher-level versions of spells that you already had. See the section below on Replacing Spells for more details about this.
You can cast your spells and arts directly from the Knowledge book, just by clicking on the icons in the book. But it's a much better idea to drag your most useful spells to your Hotbar. That way, you can cast them while your Knowledge book is closed.
|Tip: If you run out of space for your spell icons, you can open more Hotkey Bars by right-clicking on your existing Hotbar and choosing "Open New Hotkey Bar".|
You can move your Hotbars anywhere on the screen, and even change their shape, by pressing F10. You can also enlarge or shrink your Hotbars by right-clicking and choosing "Hotbar Settings".
When you click on a spell or combat art icon, it doesn't take effect instantly. Almost all spells have a casting time. Combat arts usually have short cast times, while spells have longer cast times and require you to stand still. While the spell is casting, you'll see a yellow progress bar in the middle of your screen. If a monster interrupts your casting, the progress bar flashes red and the spell begins recasting automatically (up to 3 attempts).
When you cast a spell, you'll notice that there's a cooldown timer on each. The icon goes dark, and slowly fills back up as the timer counts down. If you click an icon before it has refreshed, then the spell will be queued as your next action, and will be cast automatically when the timer expires.
You can stop casting a Spell that is in the process of casting. Either press Escape to cancel the casting, or move a few steps to interrupt your casting. (You can't stop casting a Combat Art in this manner - only Spells can be stopped in mid-cast.)
EQ2 allows you to improve most of your spells. You do this by finding spell scrolls and scribing them in your Knowledge book. Just as you might find better equipment on your adventures, sometimes you'll find scrolls that teach you a better version of your spells.
- You receive basic versions of your spells automatically when you gain levels.
- Each spell has five better versions, which you can find in the world of Norrath.
The most practical way to improve your character's performance in combat is to upgrade your spells.
You can find better versions of spells as loot in monsters' treasure chests, or you can buy spell upgrades from other players through the broker system. An Adept spell is a common upgrade, while a Master spell is a rare and precious upgrade.
The following table shows you where to find improved spell scrolls. The names of the tiers were renamed with LU52; the older names are listed below for historical purposes, and some players may still refer to the older names.
||How To Obtain
|Apprentice||Apprentice I||Granted automatically when you gain a level|
|Journeyman||Apprentice IV||Created by players using tradeskills|
|Adept||Adept I||Dropped by monsters in wooden treasure chests|
|Expert||Adept III||Created by players using tradeskills with rare components|
|Master||Master I||Dropped by monsters in exquisite treasure chests, or upgraded from expert level by using "research assistants."|
|Ancient||Master III ?||some spells can be upgraded to Ancient, to upgrade an spell to ancient version you'll need have the grandmaster version allready and a drop from raid bosses.|
Prior to LU52, Apprentice II spells were purchased from merchant NPCs in the cities, Apprentice III spells were crafted by players (this had long been changed to Apprentice IV by LU52, but some still existed), and Adept II spells were sometimes given as quest rewards. These tiers were removed with LU52.
|Tip: Free and Silver memberships are limited to using the weaker spell tiers. Free can use up to Adept, while Silver can use up to Expert. Gold members have no limitations to spell tiers.|
To illustrate the benefits of upgrading a spell, here is a chart for a healing spell that Templars receive at level 12, called Vital Intercession. The amount of health that's healed by this spell depends on which version you have scribed:
Gray cells correspond to unavailable ranks of the spell. Effect values for this spell are modified by the player's Wisdom.
All Templars get the Apprentice version of this spell automatically at level 12, but they can use the better versions at level 12 too - they just have to find an improved spell scroll and scribe it in their Knowledge book. The effort is in finding the right spell scroll.
Finding Spell Upgrades
- Tip: Your best place to find spell upgrades tends to be the Broker, as other players will have found spells for your class, and want to sell them to you. You'll get meaningful upgrades at a reasonable price by buying Journeyman and Adept spells.
- Tip: Other players with the right tradeskills can make spells for you. Any Artisan can make low level spell-teaching items; tier 2 (level 10-19) items can be made by Scholars; and at tier 3 and beyond, Sages craft spells (scrolls) for mages and priests, Alchemists create spells (essences) for fighters, and Jewelers make spells (runes) for scouts.
Once every 10 levels, you are given an opportunity to choose mastery in a single spell. You're given a choice of four spells that you obtained in recent levels. The spell that you choose will be upgraded to Grandmaster tier, making it one of your most powerful spells. Because it becomes so powerful, you should choose mastery in a spell that you'll use frequently and that matches your playstyle.
Grandmaster is a higher rank then master, which is only granted to a few spells for free. The four choices presented to you are different each time you choose a mastery spell (once per 10 levels). Referring to our previous example, the Vital Intercession spell is offered as a mastery choice to Templars at level 14, so the Grandmaster tier of this spell is shown as being available in the spell's table.
Research is used to upgrade a spell or combat art from:
- journeyman to adept
- expert to master
- master to grandmaster.
You can find this in your knowledge tab. You can select one spell or combat art at a time to be researched, at low levels this can take a couple of hours, and at higher levels it can take up to a month to get a spell or combat art to master using research.
If you change what you are researching you'll be refunded one third of the days you've been working on the spell. So if you have been working 10 days on a spell you'll get 3 days back (it's rounded down) to apply to the next thing you want to research whether you are part way through the research or all finished.
Most spells are replaced every 10-15 levels by new spells that have a similar name. (For example, Kick will be replaced by Kick II.) When you receive a replacement spell, you'll almost always want to stop using the old one even if you upgraded it, because the replacement spell is almost always better.
In your Knowledge Book, you can sort your spells by Type; this will group related spells so you can see which ones replace others.
Continuing the example of the Templar spell shown earlier, a replacement for this spell is granted at level 19 (called Vital Intercession II), which makes the Vital Intercession spell obsolete. If you're a Templar, you'll want to switch to the Apprentice version of Vital Intercession II at level 19, regardless of whether you earned better versions of Vital Intercession before level 19.
Buffs are beneficial spells that are persistent: they stay active when you cross zones and even when you log out. Almost all buffs in EQ2 last forever, and don't need to be recast until you die. Almost all buffs require you to group with a friend in order to share them. Buffs are shown in two windows on your game screen:
- Maintained Spells Window: These are buffs that are produced by you.
- Spell Effects Window: These are all effects that currently reside on your character, in a sorted list. Every buff in the Maintained Spells Window is also listed here.
Melee classes receive special buffs called Stances. You should always have a Stance active if you're one of these classes - so make sure you select one. You'll get to choose between an Offensive Stance or a Defensive Stance, but only one of them can be active at a time. Once activated, your Stance stays active until you change it (or die).
There's a limit to how many buffs you can maintain. You have 5 Concentration slots; these are the five bars shown below your character's name on the game screen. Melee classes generally don't run out of Concentration slots, but priests and magicians can run out. Concentration Slots force you to choose which buffs are most important to you and your group. Generally, the choice is between buffing yourself or buffing your friends; you probably won't run out when you're alone and only buffing yourself.
- Main Article: Heroic Opportunities
Heroic Opportunities are combinations of spells that produce a bonus effect during combat. The bonus effect can be a buff on yourself, or a harmful effect on your enemies.
- You gain the ability to perform Heroic Opportunities at level 5, when you receive your Starter Ability: Lucky Break for Scout classes, Fighting Chance for Fighter classes, Arcane Augur for Mage classes and Divine Providence for Priest classes. You can use this Starter Ability anytime after combat has begun.
- When a Heroic Opportunity is in progress, your spell icons will flash to indicate which spells can advance the Heroic Opportunity. Use the flashing spells, and you'll eventually complete the Heroic Opportunity and see a bonus effect.
Heroic Opportunities can make a big difference to your combat performance, even though the bonus effect is random. In general, the less capable your class is at fighting alone, the more significant Heroic Opportunities will be to your combat success. Fighter classes rely least on Heroic Opportunities, while Priest classes rely most on Heroic Opportunities.
For more details on performing Heroic Opportunities, see the Combat Mechanics User Guide.
- Main Article: Pets
Certain classes get pets that can help you in combat. Your pet must be summoned by casting the appropriate spell. Once it's been summoned, your pet follows you on your adventures, and helps you in combat. The Pet Window appears on your screen, giving you a good view of your pet's Health and Power, and some hotkeys that help you to control your pet. For details on how to control your pet, see the Combat Mechanics guide.
Types of Pets
Among the pet classes, there is some variety as to the types of pets. Let's take a quick survey of them. (This isn't meant to be an exhaustive list, it's just an overview.)
- Summoner pets: Conjurers and Necromancers summon powerful pets and can control how they behave. As you gain levels, you'll gain more types of pets. Your first pet is the type you'll usually want to solo with - a Warrior pet. The later types of pets (Scout and Mage pets) are preferred when you join other players in a group, as they cannot survive the attention of an enemy for long.
- Illusionist pets: these pets are controlled by the caster in the same manner as Summoner pets, but the illusionist only gets one type - the pet is an illusionist too, and casts similar spells as the player. The illusionist's pet must be treated with care, as it isn't a Warrior pet, and cannot tank on the illusionist's behalf for long.
- Coercer pets: the Coercer either charms a monster of his choice, or makes a "virtual copy" of a monster. Either way, the pet is fully controllable, just like a Summoner pet. The type of pet is dictated by the monster that it came from: some monsters are Warriors, others are Mages, etc.
- A few other classes can learn to charm certain creatures (Furies can learn to Charm Animals, Necromancers can learn to Charm Undead, etc.) and their charmed pets are equivalent to the Coercer pets.
- A charmed monster continuously tries to resist its servitude. When the charm spell breaks, you get a two-second warning, as your vision briefly flashes yellow. Then you have an angry monster to deal with!
- Shaman pets: Mystics and Defilers can earn a spirit dog pet through the Achievement system. This pet is unable to take any serious damage, but if the Shaman can keep it alive, the pet will significantly enhance the Shaman's (and his group's) performance. The Shaman pet is fully controllable like a Summoner pet. The pet dog can be dramatically enhanced by purchasing further achievement abilities.
- Beastlord pet: Beastlords the pet they can summon are called warders. They start with 1 warder based on there race but they are able to obtain more different ones by tame. The beastlord uses advantages when the warder attacks to unleash attacks or heals based on the stance the beastlord is.
- Channeler pet: Channelers get a Construct. The construct aborbs either the damage done to group or to a single target. Only the Channeler can repair (heal) the construct. Mobs can't directly target the construct.
Upgrading Your Pet
Since your pet is an integral part of your class, getting a better pet is hugely important for your combat performance. Each time you gain a level and receive a new pet spell, your first priority should be to upgrade the pet spell - ahead of any other equipment or spell upgrades.
As a rule of thumb:
- The Apprentice pet that you receive by default is a poor match for any enemy that you take on, and will force you to select enemies below your level.
- The Journeyman or Adept version of the same pet is a significant upgrade, and will be a good match for most enemies at your level.
- The Expert or Master version of the same pet is a powerful upgrade, and will seriously outpower any enemy that you take on.
For those who charm creatures, upgrading your charm spell will significantly reduce the rate at which the monsters break your charm spell and increase the damage the creature does. This may make it feasible for you to charm higher-level creatures, who will perform better on your behalf.
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