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Question - Improving DPS and Survivability with Caster Group (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jan 25, 2020
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Hey wonderful RG community!

I'm struggling with my caster group and I'd love some guidance. My melee group seems to drop mobs in ToV in about 15-20 seconds. My caster group on the other hand still takes a while to drop mobs. The caster group's DPS seems pretty low compared to my melee group. I'm using INIs from the resources (happy to share my INIs if that helps). I'm trying to figure out

1) How can I dramatically improve my DPS so things drop faster?
2) How can I improve my survivability so if we get adds the group members don't drop like flies?

My caster group consists all FTP toons. SK (120), CLR (113), ENC (111), MAG (112), MAG (111), NEC (110)

All my toons have Snowbound or better. All toons have AAs auto-granted or better.

Thanks for your insights.
 

njsx

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The obvious answer is gear/augs/aa's/levels. I recall when I started up my current group, I spent a lot of time grinding AA's in earlier expansions in order to make the jump into ToV (and somewhat even TBL). I believe you can get into ToL T1 gear, but that may be 115, and if not you can definitely do ToV t1 gear.

The less obvious answer is to put time in learning each of those classes and rewriting ini's after you're more familiar with how everything works, so you're more certain of optimal rotations.

Finally, the only real group DPS you have in that group is 2x mages. Necros are outstanding, but more towards the endgame, and with mobs that have a lot more hp such as nameds, missions, raids, etc. Not that they're bad by any means, but depending on your melee groups makeup, they will naturally have more bursty dps.
 
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Hey wonderful RG community!

I'm struggling with my caster group and I'd love some guidance. My melee group seems to drop mobs in ToV in about 15-20 seconds. My caster group on the other hand still takes a while to drop mobs. The caster group's DPS seems pretty low compared to my melee group. I'm using INIs from the resources (happy to share my INIs if that helps). I'm trying to figure out

1) How can I dramatically improve my DPS so things drop faster?
2) How can I improve my survivability so if we get adds the group members don't drop like flies?

My caster group consists all FTP toons. SK (120), CLR (113), ENC (111), MAG (112), MAG (111), NEC (110)

All my toons have Snowbound or better. All toons have AAs auto-granted or better.

Thanks for your insights.
Swap Necro for a bard, should see a huge difference in adps and mitigate all crowd control issues if you double up on it (enc/brd)
 
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The obvious answer is gear/augs/aa's/levels. I recall when I started up my current group, I spent a lot of time grinding AA's in earlier expansions in order to make the jump into ToV (and somewhat even TBL). I believe you can get into ToL T1 gear, but that may be 115, and if not you can definitely do ToV t1 gear.

The less obvious answer is to put time in learning each of those classes and rewriting ini's after you're more familiar with how everything works, so you're more certain of optimal rotations.

Finally, the only real group DPS you have in that group is 2x mages. Necros are outstanding, but more towards the endgame, and with mobs that have a lot more hp such as nameds, missions, raids, etc. Not that they're bad by any means, but depending on your melee groups makeup, they will naturally have more bursty dps.
Yes I think you're right. My melee group is SK, SHM, BRD, BST, BER, ROG so yeah a little more DPS :). I understand what you mean now. Lack of more DPS classes will obviously reduce my overall DPS. So with that, are there possibly changes I should make to this group to make it stronger? I agree, with you about adjusting and improving the INIs, that is something I plan on doing soon. Thanks for the insight @njsx
 
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For survivability, I'd start with the SK. Avoid tight camps because most automation won't trigger AE Aggro spells if other mobs are too close. Then make sure your SK automation is using Explosions and Contempt for AE aggro. Your squishy's will live longer if the SK can get mobs off them.

Then it's the Enchanter's turn to AE and then single target mez any adds while also getting AE tash done so the DPS spells have a better chance of landing! And use the Enchanter's IOG, Chromatic Haze, and Calculated Insanity all the time, don't wait for bosses or named. On both Enchanter and DPS casters ensure they are using their AE protection. Enchanter's "Ward of the ...." will proc mez on extra mobs hitting it, while Mage "something... Bodyguard" will proc aggro pets when the mage gets hit.

As for DPS, once again, start with the SK, use a 2HS or 2HP or 2HB for max DPS if the mobs are weak. For the Enchanter, once Mez and debuff duty is finished throw the big "Mind something" dot, then follow up with most recent big nuke. That big nuke can proc a Chromatic Haze which will add hugely to other member's nuke damage. Then go for the Enchanter Strangle for another large nuke and dot component. Meanwhile, Mages should be starting with their big chase pet, then the proc nuke, then their spears and finally their "of Many" spell. Make sure you are using swarm pets as often as possible on all characters! The more pets the better!

I know nothing about Necro except their synergy with the Enchanter ADPS will come from nukes rather than dots, so try and necro nuke whenever the chromatic haze proc is available.
 
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For survivability, I'd start with the SK. Avoid tight camps because most automation won't trigger AE Aggro spells if other mobs are too close. Then make sure your SK automation is using Explosions and Contempt for AE aggro. Your squishy's will live longer if the SK can get mobs off them.

Then it's the Enchanter's turn to AE and then single target mez any adds while also getting AE tash done so the DPS spells have a better chance of landing! And use the Enchanter's IOG, Chromatic Haze, and Calculated Insanity all the time, don't wait for bosses or named. On both Enchanter and DPS casters ensure they are using their AE protection. Enchanter's "Ward of the ...." will proc mez on extra mobs hitting it, while Mage "something... Bodyguard" will proc aggro pets when the mage gets hit.

As for DPS, once again, start with the SK, use a 2HS or 2HP or 2HB for max DPS if the mobs are weak. For the Enchanter, once Mez and debuff duty is finished throw the big "Mind something" dot, then follow up with most recent big nuke. That big nuke can proc a Chromatic Haze which will add hugely to other member's nuke damage. Then go for the Enchanter Strangle for another large nuke and dot component. Meanwhile, Mages should be starting with their big chase pet, then the proc nuke, then their spears and finally their "of Many" spell. Make sure you are using swarm pets as often as possible on all characters! The more pets the better!

I know nothing about Necro except their synergy with the Enchanter ADPS will come from nukes rather than dots, so try and necro nuke whenever the chromatic haze proc is available.
Thanks for the great feedback. I actually main the SK so I'll keep those things in mind.
 
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Casters at 111 with auto grant aa and base TOV gear with minimal augs will do about the same DPS as a melee class with base TOV gear and minimal augs - 40-100k dps is about all you can expect out of them except in bursts. However certain classes do more too boost than others. My experience says the bard will boost the casters quicker than the Enc for the same level of AA but that the Enc has a higher cap. What that means in real terms though is you need to have them gold for a bit to get the aa stacked to do all that additional DPS.
The other way to work out DPS increases is to work on the order spells are cast to increase the specific synergies of the spells cast with what else is being cast. That would likely involve writing some conditionals (and would be true for melee groups as well as caster groups) Some of the raid setup synergies (druids and casters for example) are not likely to work as well in a group that also has to contain the tank and his healing. However with a mostly caster group you could maybe even get away with no tank and adding additional casters and letting the pets tank. Just a thought.
 
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I agree with a lot of what people have stated. The only caveat I would add is that for mages in your group, bards are significant adps. I don't think people always realize how much adps a bard does for a mage. That overhaste aura hits all their swarm pets which causes an increase in attack speed, triple attack, and flurry. I also disagree to an extent with necros not being able to do as much dmg as mages in group content. That totally depends on how they're played, and while they certainly have a much higher ceiling on mobs with higher HP pools, they can still do solid dps in group situations. With Max AAs if they spawn swarm pets and keep their synergy up, they can add a solid amount of adps to your mages as well. All that being said, you really could just wait it out because the group is going to get much better as they get more AAs and levels, or as others have suggested, switch the necro out for a bard, or switch one of the mages out for a bard. Either way, adding a bard will really help in the short term. Also, in terms of survivability, adding a bard to even just cast AE mez by setting their MezOn=3 will help with survivability. Then you have Enc and Bard both hitting AE mezz so if one gets resisted, there's a 2nd chance. I used that a lot with my teams early until my tank was beefy enough to handle a few rounds from multiple mobs.
 
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I agree with a lot of what people have stated. The only caveat I would add is that for mages in your group, bards are significant adps. I don't think people always realize how much adps a bard does for a mage. That overhaste aura hits all their swarm pets which causes an increase in attack speed, triple attack, and flurry. I also disagree to an extent with necros not being able to do as much dmg as mages in group content. That totally depends on how they're played, and while they certainly have a much higher ceiling on mobs with higher HP pools, they can still do solid dps in group situations. With Max AAs if they spawn swarm pets and keep their synergy up, they can add a solid amount of adps to your mages as well. All that being said, you really could just wait it out because the group is going to get much better as they get more AAs and levels, or as others have suggested, switch the necro out for a bard, or switch one of the mages out for a bard. Either way, adding a bard will really help in the short term. Also, in terms of survivability, adding a bard to even just cast AE mez by setting their MezOn=3 will help with survivability. Then you have Enc and Bard both hitting AE mezz so if one gets resisted, there's a 2nd chance. I used that a lot with my teams early until my tank was beefy enough to handle a few rounds from multiple mobs.
So would you suggest possibly swapping the ENC for the BRD? In my melee group the BRD is my CC role so it seems overkill to have two CCs in the group.
 
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So would you suggest possibly swapping the ENC for the BRD? In my melee group the BRD is my CC role so it seems overkill to have two CCs in the group.

I always run with both bard & enc in same group. At 120 with max AA both classes do respectable DPS while offering maximal ADPS and CC. Plus when the mobs are too hard to just plow through the bard gives a good splitting capability.
 
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Hey wonderful RG community!

I'm struggling with my caster group and I'd love some guidance. My melee group seems to drop mobs in ToV in about 15-20 seconds. My caster group on the other hand still takes a while to drop mobs. The caster group's DPS seems pretty low compared to my melee group. I'm using INIs from the resources (happy to share my INIs if that helps). I'm trying to figure out

1) How can I dramatically improve my DPS so things drop faster?
2) How can I improve my survivability so if we get adds the group members don't drop like flies?

My caster group consists all FTP toons. SK (120), CLR (113), ENC (111), MAG (112), MAG (111), NEC (110)

All my toons have Snowbound or better. All toons have AAs auto-granted or better.

Thanks for your insights.
In my personal experience, I see pretty low dps from ench and/or bard in groups. They do help others' dps fairly well. I'm having pretty good luck with a bard without adding enchanter in one group I have, allowing me to stick with 3 solid dps. Something you might want to consider, which would allow you to run 3 mages instead of 2.
 
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I always run with both bard & enc in same group. At 120 with max AA both classes do respectable DPS while offering maximal ADPS and CC. Plus when the mobs are too hard to just plow through the bard gives a good splitting capability.
Thanks. So it sounds like I should remove one of the MAGs and replace with the BRD. I'll try that to see how things go. I just love having two MAGs in the group with all the pets, also helps improve Volley of Many.
 
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So would you suggest possibly swapping the ENC for the BRD? In my melee group the BRD is my CC role so it seems overkill to have two CCs in the group.
End game I would swap out the Enc for bard yea, but then you would likely want to replace cleric with sham or one of the mages with a bst so you have slows. Enc and Bard can work well in group together. Are there better combos?? Absolutely, but they can work. If you did swap enc for bard you'd also have to use the bard to slow, which is doable but not as easy or as effective as enc/shm/bst. Bards also have swarm pets they spawn and with AAs they are up all but 10s, so they also add to of the many line. Necro's do with swarm pet spell and wake the dead. Bottom line, you're at a tough spot right now because of the levels and AAs. It will get better even if you change nothing.

I also run caster-heavy crews, so if you want I'd be happy to share any of my INI's with ya and help you reverse them down from 120 to the level you're at. Ultimately, the play style of the class is what will benefit the most. You can have a "perfect" group composition and put out crap numbers if the classes aren't playing to full potential. Similarly, I've used some odd combos that worked fine because I could tweak their play styles to work together effectively.
 
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End game I would swap out the Enc for bard yea, but then you would likely want to replace cleric with sham or one of the mages with a bst so you have slows. Enc and Bard can work well in group together. Are there better combos?? Absolutely, but they can work. If you did swap enc for bard you'd also have to use the bard to slow, which is doable but not as easy or as effective as enc/shm/bst. Bards also have swarm pets they spawn and with AAs they are up all but 10s, so they also add to of the many line. Necro's do with swarm pet spell and wake the dead. Bottom line, you're at a tough spot right now because of the levels and AAs. It will get better even if you change nothing.

I also run caster-heavy crews, so if you want I'd be happy to share any of my INI's with ya and help you reverse them down from 120 to the level you're at. Ultimately, the play style of the class is what will benefit the most. You can have a "perfect" group composition and put out crap numbers if the classes aren't playing to full potential. Similarly, I've used some odd combos that worked fine because I could tweak their play styles to work together effectively.
That would be great Leo. I appreciate your openness to helping me with this. I'm thinking I should swap the CLR for SHM, that would give me a lot more utility and would mean I can still keep the ENC. If it's okay would you mind if I sent you a message to discuss further?
 
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Thanks. So it sounds like I should remove one of the MAGs and replace with the BRD. I'll try that to see how things go. I just love having two MAGs in the group with all the pets, also helps improve Volley of Many.
I would remove the necro personally although I love my necro. Necros take a bit to get their engines revving on normal mobs and they're usually dead before the necro can shine. If you're hunting named mobs, throw your necro back in and see how he/she does.
 
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That would be great Leo. I appreciate your openness to helping me with this. I'm thinking I should swap the CLR for SHM, that would give me a lot more utility and would mean I can still keep the ENC. If it's okay would you mind if I sent you a message to discuss further?
yea you can message me whenever man.
 
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During TOV/COV when the max level was 115, my mage went to max AA and was the one that consistently pulled off the highest DPS, even over melee classes and avg about 250-300k dps. Keeping two mages that can max out AA would be beneficial. Necro did decent in that time frame but necros really do better with high HP mobs. Necro can help mages with the "of many" spells with the amount of pets a necro can add to for rotation. (Currently in NOS my 120 necro maxed will come close and on occasion (crits) pass my mage in DPS...but that's besides the point of where you are at now.) If you go into the new expansions of TOL and NOS then it might be worth keeping a necro around as those mobs get more and more HP and longer fights. (even with TOL tier 3 gear still takes 30-45 seconds in NOS to kill a mob in melee groups)

The option I would throw out there is swapping the necro out for a beast if you want to keep pet class. This will start moving you from casters though but brings about other benefits. The paragon AA's are great for mana regen and reduce downtime, mana/hp regen spells, melee proc ferrocity (lands on pets) tied in with the mage "of many" line will keep the mages doing high dps and never running out of mana. Other casters I wouldn't use - Wizzies in my experience less consistent dps, same with druids (unless you pull out the big guns then more downtime recovering mana without bst and bard).

Others have thrown out replacing enchanter with bard could be an option to increase adps (just as long as you don't have a lot of mobs to mezz on pulls) would work quite well. If you go that route I would almost replace cleric with shaman then. Shaman has a better slow than enchanter, should upkeep on heals nicely. Bard and enchanter would both do about the same dps but bard would add more adps and enchanter has better utility in "oh shit" moments.

*Something to consider*
I will note that the Shockwave of Many Rk. II spell is a level 112 with a ~6 second recast depending on gear and AA. If you were to switch cleric for shaman, keep enchanter, sk, magex2, necro/bst) you will automatically be at 6 pets minimum. Plus mage procs on weapons do add up on all those pets quite often if you have a sham and/or bst melee proc, enchanter haste has extra dex buff)
1: Decrease Hitpoints by 5745 (1-2 pets)
2: Decrease Hitpoints by 12380 (3-5 pets)
3: Decrease Hitpoints by 20872 (6-9 pets)
4: Decrease Hitpoints by 34166 (10-14 pets)
5: Decrease Hitpoints by 53881 (15+ pets)

If you keep cleric and stick to TOV/COV (and some TOL mobs), honestly put their summoned hammer in their hands and have them melee while healing too. The mobs are undead and the hammer has a mean proc on it against undead. I've had my cleric jump my enchanter in dps for the fight to 5th place and sometimes 4th place in dps. (The group was SK, cleric, sham, enc, mage, bst...in EW at 115 mobs died in about 15 seconds in snowbound, IE gear and maxed AA)
 
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Thanks. So it sounds like I should remove one of the MAGs and replace with the BRD. I'll try that to see how things go. I just love having two MAGs in the group with all the pets, also helps improve Volley of Many.
I would not recommend losing a mage for a bard in this case. I could see an either or bard/enc or a rework of the group as a whole. It really depends on what you want to do. I could see the following group types though. Tank, Druid, Bard, Mag Mag Nec, Or Mag Mag Nec Nec Healer Bard or Mag Mag Nec Healer Enc Bard. I can also see the make up you were using working quite well.
 
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So would you suggest possibly swapping the ENC for the BRD? In my melee group the BRD is my CC role so it seems overkill to have two CCs in the group.
If you're open to swapsies, I'd personally swap cleric and ench for a bard and shaman. The bard adps is obvious, but Shaman aura is 75% standard haste which also affects all swarm pets which is a huge boost for Mages
 
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Enc is great dps as well at TOV lvl. I would not swap the enc for a bard. One of the problems might be the automation. If you get multiple mobs your enc might be stopping everything to do CC.
If you look at what they bring to the grp apart from mezzing you will see they can compete with a mage dps. Not to mention the burns become amazing with chromatic Haze.

If I was to drop anyone in this group it would be the Necro.

Necro is just not massive at short fights.

If you are doing raids etc as well - then keep the necro.

How are you doing in group missions? Griklor etc?
 

njsx

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Ultimately I really don't think it's a problem of group makeup. It's not bad at all, and you almost certainly just need more gear and/or aa's.

How long is a long time to kill things? If it's taking a couple minutes per mob then that's a lot, if not then maybe that's normal.
 
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Lots of good input here. But you should probably step back and question your assumptions a bit. Are you using MQ2DpsAdv to check your actual DPS during similar fights? Because 'seems to drop mobs in 15-20 seconds' is not exactly precise (and actually seems a bit too fast FTP toons in ~111 range). Are you comparing apples to applies? What level are the toons in your melee group? Are they at similar AA's? Because an average of 2 levels difference may not sound like much, but it makes a big difference 110+. You also say your caster group is all FTP but don't say the same for the melee group.

I run two groups: SK, BST, CLR, BDR, BER, BER and SK, BST, CLR, ENC, MAG, MAG. Both are FTP except the tanks. And they get roughly the same DPS (BER group usually gets the nod in group content, but MAG group meets or exceeds on named). All are the same level with the same (max) AA.

I think equally AA'd and geared groups with reasonable makeup are not going to be too far apart DPS-wise. Certainly not 2X or so. So if you are seeing that, it is either your INI or a difference in levels/AA, and probably not some fundamental issue with group makeup.
 
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So would you suggest possibly swapping the ENC for the BRD? In my melee group the BRD is my CC role so it seems overkill to have two CCs in the group.
I would swap priest and cc. Ever thougt Sk, Shm, Brd, Mag, Mag, Nec? You may will be surprised.
The auras from brd and shm will not only boost the main-pets but huge also the swarm-pets.
The shm ae-heals will keep swarmpets alive to run their full duration.
With that setup any of the real pets will deliver more dps than a lackluster played meele can do.
My feeling is that nowadays AA‘s are much more important than gear or augs,
For the petclasses the tradeable Tol T1 Pet-earring can be worn, once they reach 115.
 
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