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Old 01-08-2008, 04:07 PM   #1
Obviousman

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This isn't a guide for tanks about how to deal with the warlock's aggro issues. No, this is a guide about how warlocks can take on enemies toe to toe without needing an instant Rescue to survive. Now, why would any Warlock want to do this? Usually only a few more hits will end up finishing the warlock, and you will be sacrificing a bit of DPS to become a bit more durable. So let's ask, who wants to be a Warlocktank?

- The soloing/doing Warlock: Basically, anyone who doesn't mind having a non-optimal DPS in raid situations. If you spend most of your time alone or with another person, the warlocktank method may be the way to go.

- The mega-squishy: Having loads of power and spell damage means nothing when you're dead. If you hate how enemies paste you every time aggro slips into your hands, then maybe you may want to consider this.

- The PvP Warlock: Player vs Player takes survival to an entirely new element. Most players have abilities that can wipe the floor with Warlocks, and most of them will be surprised to see you still standing, until you deliver the finishing blow first.

- The deeply concerned player: Yeah, death is essentially meaningless now, not that I want anything changed with it. However, many people still care about their characters, and they don't want to die. This method will surely help anyone out with a few tricks to keep themselves alive.

If you are one of these people, or maybe you just want to find out how to be an effective soloer/tank/survivor, etc. Behold the guide of the Warlocktank.

TANKING: AN OVERVIEW The purpose of taking the Warlocktank route is to raise your mitigation and defenses high enough so that you can continue to pour your DPS into your opponent while preventing the monster from taking out giant pieces of your health. As in the case of battling any monster, you want to know how much damage they are capable of so you can compare yourself and find out if you are capable of taking them out. I will provide you with a list of ranges of unmitigated damage (shown from absorbed stoneskin attacks) that different mobs hit for [Taken from level 72-74 range on a level 75 warlock]:

Solo pre-ROK mobs: Weaksauce (Seriously, once you hit ROK and get some quest gear, these mobs are a cakewalk)Solo ROK mobs: 900's-1200'sHeroic pre-ROK mobs: 1700's-2200'sHeroic ROK mobs: 3500's-4000's

What this means, unfortunately, is that warlocks will not be able to tank ROK dungeons any time soon. Seriously, don't try it. Real tanks have enough problems with these mobs as it is, a good warlocktank might last 3-4 hits before keeling over. Take your warlock any other place, however, and with the right group, you can handle leading any group material. You're going to need a lot of practice before trying anything like this, though, so I am going to give you some hints about the physical progression that is tanking:

THE ART OF PULLING: Pulling is the act of grabbing a monster's attention so that you can beat on it with any method you please. On an open field, it can simply be a matter of casting a few spells and weakening it significantly before it comes to you. Unfortunately, monsters like to help the comrade that's getting beat upon, so in most cases, you need to be extremely careful in the way you provoke a monster so that you don't bring along unexpected company. Here are some methods in which you can pull monsters safely and reliably:

Body Pulling:This isn't just limited to those pearly guys in plate armor. Now that you have the right defenses to call yourself a warlocktank, you can engage in peeling monsters off with nothing but your presence. The key to body pulling is to get close enough to the mob that one of them will get ready to attack you (the way to note this is either its head turning towards you or its body shaping into attack mode), and then back away to make sure that only that mob is ready to fight. Once you get back far enough, fire away with your damage spells until you finish off the mob, then move up and start the process all over again. There are two main things you want to keep an eye out for when body pulling:          1) WATCH YOUR SPACING! If it means walking one inch at a time, then by all means, do it. Especially when you're fighting heroic mobs in a dungeon, keeping sure that you're fighting one encounter at a time could often make the difference between life and death. Spacing is critical to your survival as a tank.          2) Make sure you back away carefully. Not only does this ensure that you indeed are fighting only one encounter, but this means that you can freely cast your spells without the danger of monsters aggroing from the surrounding area. Again, your body can only handle so many hits, make sure they're only coming from one source!While on the topic of body pulling, now is the time to bring up another feature of body pulling that you can use.

Invisi-Body Pulling:Most often, it is mobs of the scout archetype that can see through your invisibility; the other mobs will simply stand there, watching you threateningly. This can bring some problems, such as a random mob in a pasture will see through your invis and attack you while you are standing near other mobs who could not see you before. In dungeons or associated mob camps, usually the sentries or other roamers will be the main mobs that can see you and attack you on sight. Invisi-Body Pulling requires a new set of guidelines to fit with those outstanding from the regular body pulling segment:          1) If two mobs are cluttered together, and one can see through your invisibility and the other cannot; make yourself invisible, get the attention of the mob that can see you, and run like heck away from the other mob. As long as you aren't right next to the assaulting mob, you should keep your invisibility until you get away from the other mob enough that you won't get attacked by that one as well.          2) LET ROAMERS COME TO YOU! Especially when there are other monsters in the vicinity. Survival is all about proper placement- place yourself in a spot where you know other mobs won't get to you, and just stand there and let the unintelligent mob pathing system bring the roamer to you. You want to fight on your terms as much as possible, and after you defeat the roamer, just cast your invisibility on the spot and continue on your path unharmed.

There is a third type of pulling that can bring monster's attention toward you and can be used with some degree of safety:Concussive Pulling:This is using the spell Concussive to pull a monster into you. What is it about this spell that makes it able to cast and pull? This spell is a complete deaggro, it does nothing else to the mob. As long as the mob is not damaged in any way, it will not call for help and send surrounding monsters into you. This spell is indispensible in dungeons, where you want to peel a specific mob out of a group of monsters and body pulling is too dangerous. There is one MAJOR warning about using this ability: This spell, like any other hostile spell, has a chance to proc damage from an effect that you are wearing. If you have any of these pieces of armor (and ROK has a shedful of them) and it procs on Concussive, then it is treated like a regular spell and you may get social agro. I'll repeat: Have this spell proc when you pull with it and you may be screwed!

There are endless amounts of situations where you have to decide how to bring a monster toward you while keeping yourself safe from adds. All it takes is a combination of quick thinking, awareness to surroundings, and proper use of warlock abilities and you can walk away from almost any situation without any unplanned surprises. I may have been talking about confronting the mob face-to-face, but remember, there is nothing wrong with rooting and nuking. In fact, with the extra protection to help you when the root breaks, rooting and nuking is made safer by traveling the warlocktank journey. Just follow the basic rules of rooting and nuking (No damage over time spells, watch the surrounding area, apply both roots if necessary) and you can take on monsters other classes can only wish they can solo. To give one last bit of advice on this matter, keep your maintained spells window up with Alt+M, this is crucial as it tells you how long every spell will remain on your mob, especially roots and the fear effect it causes when it breaks. When you see the root change into fear, cancel your spell, stun the mob or just press the root button as fast as possible!

Now that we all know how to fight like a warlocktank, let's venture into what you have to do to make yourself a warlocktank.

CONTINUED ON NEXT POST!!!
__________________
Battlemage Gilph, of the Legion of Light-Permafrost



"Ah, now that I have myself properly gear and AA-specced, I'm fully prepared to the best warlocktank I can be!"

"But how are you going to manage aggro?"

`-`
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:08 PM   #2
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ACHIEVEMENTSThe Sorcerer Build does hold a few nice methods that can help you survive in dire situations. The Warlock Tree, however, is really where Warlocks shine over Wizards in survival. Both these trees, including the end abilities, provide excellent ways to keep yourself alive. Let's take a look at my personal preferences for the Achievement system:

SORCEROR BUILD:STA Line: This has warlocktank all over it. Stamina increases your overall health, which is essential in keeping alive against hard-hitting monsters. Your third ability- Battlemage armor, provides an excellent 700-800 additional mitigation to all physical attacks- that may be an additional 1/3 mitigation! Under no circumstances should any warlocktank not have this ability maxxed out. The next line, although not as essential, also provides excellent help. This ability- Battlemage's Fervor, increases Focus, Subjugation, Disruption and Ordination of the caster. Focus prevents the Warlock from being interrupted while getting beat upon; Subjugation improves your root as well as lowers the resistability of your stuns; and Disruption improves the amount of damage your own spells give. This is another line you should consider raising to at least 5/6 points.

Oh yes, the final ability- Manashield. Being mages loaded with Intelligence, all warlocks will have more power than health, and unless you're soloing Heroic monsters, you usually have enough power to constantly pull several monsters in a row without having power issues. In case you have an unfortunate add coming to you or if you just pulled a heroic monster toward you, this is the tank ability. Once activated, instead of losing health, it drains 2 points of power for every 3 points of health you would have lost. Near the endgame, where Warlocks have around 7-9k power, this could go up over 12k points of damage you can mitigate! Of course, this is no reason to be foolish, as enemies hit you hard and they can deplete your power before you can finish them off, and once that happens, you can only pray the tank has Rescue up and running. Use it wisely, however, and you can finish off any unwanted monster with your health still allright and enough power so you can get away and rest for a bit. If you want an effective warlocktank, Manashield and the STA line is the way to go.

STR Line: Not only do you have to keep yourself ready to get hit, you have to make sure you can deal out the damage as well. Using the final ability is a bit dicey, as you don't really want to give up almost a fifth of your health while mobs are beating on you. However, you will feel more than safe taking the other abilities on the line:

Deflecting Staff- the third ability: Allows you to parry up to 8% of monster's attacks. Mages are remarkably average in avoiding monster's attacks- around 30-35% with base only. With this ability, you can reach over 40% avoidance- almost equal to scout's avoidance. What better way to keep yourself alive than to not get hit at all. The next ability- Spell Expertise, increases the chance for the warlock to achieve critical damage with his/her spells- up almost 12%. Critical hits turns your spells into damage machines, and with gear adding to critical hit chances, you can run your chances quite high. There is no reason not to have both these abilities maxxed out if possible.

Catalyst is the end ability of this line, and it basically allows the warlock to critically damage the opponent with his/her next spell. This is most useful for decimating groups with Apocalypse, or taking out a large hit with the Distortion Line. There are too many possibilities you can have with a critical hit in your fingertips. Again, though, be careful if you are taking this line, as there's a health cost!

INT Line: The De-aggro line. While the Anti-Rescue ability at the end seems indulging, you want to be able to handle the hits, and finishing the STR Line and getting criticals is more important. However, the second ability provides a very nice deaggro that can help send the monster's attention elsewhere, even with only 4 points. What you do want to do is to max out the next ability: Kinetic Evasion. This ability increases your total Defense, which helps hugely in avoiding other attacks. Avoidance and mitigation are the keys to tanking well, so have this ability maxxed out.

Now, this is not, by all means, the only option. The Wisdom Line increases your spells' damage and reduces their power cost, and the Agility Line shortens your casting and recasting times. I recommend the above lines because the other lines have abilities that will improve your avoidance and defense as well as having sick endline abilities. If you want to solo using other lines, go ahead. Share with us how these abilities go, other opinions go a long way to building the perfect warlock.

WARLOCK BUILD:

Thanks to a visit with the nerfbat, Propagations is no longer a viable spell line for a soloing warlock. I truly feel upset with this change.

Hastenings Line: All of your soloing, single-target spells, just waiting to be improved. You have the points, max out every, and I mean every spell in this line. The Freeze ability shortens the time of your single-target stun down to 22.5 seconds. Your two DoT's will have their durations decreased, allowing them to run their full course after you complete a Heroic Opportunity. The Distortion ability shortens the cast time and reuse of your major single-target spell.

But now, let's talk about Focused Casting. Once you reach this, this is the other "Let's get serious!" ability. With it, not only can you cast and recast your spells twice as fast, you will also never get interrupted throughout the duration! This is the way to produce sick DPS when you need to get a mob down fast, because if the mob is not down, most likely you will be. Get this ability at all costs.

Protection Line: Yes, any raiding warlock will tell you that this is a waste of an endline ability because it won't bring you uber amounts of DPS. However, if you're soloing, this really isn't a concern, and when 10 out of the required 15 points are going to be spent here anyway, you might as well finish off the line.

Since the endline ability is nothing too fancy, I'll talk about it first. Vacuous increases the hate gain or hate loss of your and your group's abilities by 20%. Soloing, this means nothing, but in a group, this is a great way to make sure that hate transfers will keep the aggro on the tank. A little protection goes a long way in preventing aggro going elsewhere and wiping the group.

This line also contains the Concussive and Vulian Interference abilities. Vulian Interference will increase the duration of the daze (up to a whopping 3.2 seconds of you not getting hit by auto-attack) while reducing its recast time; Concussive will increase the effectiveness of its de-aggroing abilities. You should be using these after your big attacks and criticals anyway, so why not make them better off for you?

Enhance: Magi's Shielding- Every warlock will use it, only the most dedicated warlocktanks will max it out. 10 points is a lot to ask, but with it maxxed, you can have a replenishing ward for over 500 damage (at level 70). This is huge. This is very huge. Over the course of a battle, it will replenish itself, and you will get warded more than once. This also is the foundation of being a successful warlocktank.Removals Line: Curse of Null helps to reduce enemy damage (lower STR and INT), and casting it twice as fast and adding 40% more debuff has a noticable effect.  The same is true of the Max health/power debuff.  It's difficult to tell because it doesn't change the percentage of health/power, only the total health/power pool of the mob.  But after casting this, the mob will die with less total damage.  Cutting its casting time from 2 s to 1 s and adding 40% more debuff is very useful. Oh, and having loads of Nil Crystals isn't bad either, although they kind of have no useful purpose in this game at all. Volatility- This is the final ability of the removals line, and this adds 20% range and removes 20% range from the mob.  Having increased range is excellent for adding an additional spell on the pull, but this ability brings another purpose entirely- defeating spellcasters (Especially named ones).  Using the standard range of 35 meters, this means that opponent spellcasters can only attack from 28 meters, while you can cast from 42 meters away. Finding a comfortable amount of space to pull this off may be difficult, but essentially, you'll be able to root a spellcaster and fire away with no worries about them firing back.

Phew, that was exhausting. You have 140 AP's and you can use every single one of them to become a better warlock and a better survivor. Unfortunately, this is only half the battle.

Now let's get to placing the right things on the warlock.

GEAR:For this section, I will place a few recommendations for the right pieces of gear to use. For a tanking warlock, the best gear to obtain is those that have a lot of +STA and +health to go along with +INT. Also be wary of mitigation and resists, as they go a long way in determining how hard you're going to get hit. The equipment I have listed you can either get very easily quested or you can buy it for a very affordable price (unless listed otherwise). Feel free to contribute other pieces of gear if I had missed any.

Mastercrafted Equipment (Tiers 1-7), switches to tranquil mastercrafted at tier 8: Thanks to a certain amount of ridiculous low-level armor and a certain economic policy called mudflation, mastercrafted armor has been given a boost to the point where it's virtually broken. Harvest those roots and get the rare component, or just bite the bullet and buy the set one piece at a time. Most of the time, you will be able to get all of the pieces without too much of a hassle. The benefits of getting this kind of mastercrafted gear over the other pieces is that it grants STA as well as INT, and with the best stats of any armor in its tier (with the possible exception of tiers 7 and 8), mastercrafted is simply the way to go.

Raiment of the SkyWatcher (Level 60): This is the piece to have before you can get better robes, as it gives a chance to deaggro for 600 for any spell you cast. This can add up pretty nicely.

Shield of the Koala'Dal (Level 62): A very obtainable symbol you can get solo. Not only does it add 25 STA to your person, it also gives a very nice ward that stacks well with your Magi's Shielding AP Ability.

Espelled Vultak Eye (Level 64): Another symbol with a nice ward effect. This is available for a nice price or you can even make it yourself as long as you can craft and you can take down the named NPC's in the Nest of the Great Egg without too much problem.

X'haviz' Gown of Glory (Level 64): Don't let the Fabled Tag fool you, this is very easily obtainable from the end boss inside the Nest of the Great Egg, an instance people can solo now. This is the third piece that can give a ward effect, add it with your two symbols and you can easily ward upwards of 1000 damage!

Bone-Claspsed Girdle (Level 64): Until you reach level 72, this may be the best belt at your disposal. While you only have two spells that this would have any effect on (dev love for the wizzerds evident here), the proc is a nice touch.

Grizzfazzle's Walking Stick (Level 65): Ahh, Grizzfazzle, you walk in, kill a few bugs, complete an instance and walk out with one of the best non-raiding wands you can have. More procs = awesome. Simple as that.

Signet of Light From Darkness (Level 68): Okay, this is a tough one to get, as it is a rare drop inside the Obelisk of Blight. Once you get it, though, you'll wonder how you lived without it (I'm still wondering why I haven't had it yet). Every time you get hit (and you are solo-tanking, after all), it has a chance to essentially life-tap the enemy- up to 1000 damage to the enemy and a heal to you for 500. You want this.

Sash of Nensthar (Level 72): You can put the Bone-Clasped Girdle away. You can buy this for around 2 plat, or about a few quests and sold items in RoK. What's all this effort for? Stoneskin. That's right, you now have your own personal stoneskin. Of course, this will come at different times as it is a proc, but you can block 500 damage, 1,000, I've been lucky enough to block 2,000 points of damage! Apparently, someone prayed to the devs to give mages a chance to be better defensively, because I honestly don't see a better way to do it than this item here. [The Runic Bracers of Diffusion have this effect too, but this is off an instance mob and is very expensive. There is a third stoneskin item that comes from gaining enough faction in Kunzar Jungle, but again, this is very time-consuming.]

Any other advice? From here on in, it's just the usual: Upgrade your spells, watch your surroundings, use every ability you have to the fullest. I will be periodically updating this guide from suggestions you send out, for no guide is perfect, at least without the support of Everquest's fighting warlocks. You can find me on the Permafrost server, so if you have any questions, stop by, say hello, and enjoy your hunting.

__________________
Battlemage Gilph, of the Legion of Light-Permafrost



"Ah, now that I have myself properly gear and AA-specced, I'm fully prepared to the best warlocktank I can be!"

"But how are you going to manage aggro?"

`-`
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:44 PM   #3
Pilgrim Divine

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very good alternative guide that caters for the warlock types you mentioned, nice one.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:38 PM   #4
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one thing to addeven if you are in a raid guild, think of the respec mirrorraidspec/solospec is pretty much the way to be, just don't forget to set back to raid spec for raids or be ridiculed!
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:54 PM   #5
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I would totally disagree with your advice on AAs.Why go with the INT line if you're trying to tank? You can't turn the deaggro you get from that line off. And you can't tank very well with that deaggro on, because you have to sacrifice dps for tankability. The less dps you have, the less aggro control you have. And you need lots of dps, because you don't have taunts like fighters and scouts. INT is very useful if you do lots of PUGs with crappy tanks or raid without a pally/troub, but thats pretty much it.Instead I'd recommend AGI/STR/WIS. Making sure you get 8 points in the STR uncontested parry instead of getting the STR and WIS final abilities.And then on the warlock tree I would argue against getting aftershocks. Warlocks already have the best AE aggro in the game, you don't need to enhance it as much as you need single target dps and tankability. For those reasons you want hastenings and vacuous, and then props line to cap out your AA. Enhancing your buffs will give you much more utility, and you simply cannot beat props when you're wearing stoneskin and heal proc items. Any warlock not running with props should reconsider playing their class =PThat said, hastenings/props/aftershocks is the best dps setup out there. But for both tanking and crappy PUGs, 10 points in magi shielding is just too useful.
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:09 PM   #6
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^^^^ 

Your reply was well done, very thought out, and exactly the type needed to improve this alternative guide. As much as I know about playing a defensive Warlock, you caught a bit of inexperience from me. My warlock is only level 73, with exactly 100 AA's, so I don't have the luxury of having two complete KoS lines or all of the EoF lines finished. Until I acquire all of the 140 AA's, I will not be able to give full advice on how to use AA's wisely. Also, I have absolutely no knowledge or experience with the Propogations line, and I will require some hard data on how to use that line and how it affects the warlock in order to promote using it. In any regard, I will give in my input about what you said.

First of all, we need to be realistic about the warlock's "tanking" abilities. Even with the full mitigation from the STA line, Warlocks are only at about leather level, and without any proper heals, heroic mobs will paste a warlock in seconds- Manashield buys some time but only a couple of hits will wipe the shield out. In heroic groups, a warlock tanking is really only good for taking aggro from the healer and buying enough time so the real tank can peel it back. So in grouping, deaggros are a very nice tool to have because you cannot tank a dangerous mob for long.

Now for your recommendation of AGI/STR/WIS. Why are we taking down the STA line? Even if we are gaining some DPS from using this line, why would we disregard the mitigation increase and the skill boost for it? Honestly, I really don't see anything in the AGI or the WIS line before the fourth abilities that would make these lines worth using. It's all about making every AA point matter. The STR line has the 8% uncontested parry and the increase in critical hits, and since you'll be using at least 16 points on reaching the parry alone, having the guaranteed critical is worth an endline ability. And as you have read, I only recommended the INT line up to the increase in Defense, which does improve the chances to avoid an attack (40% is really not bad at all)

After looking at Propogations, however, I have absolutely no argument against that. I just have the lack of information needed to realize how good the line really is. I originally thought that Propogations was a raid-only option, considering how many procs a raid has. Now seeing all the sides to it, I will place this over Aftershocks in my guide; I just need the data about how much propogations increases the chances of everything proccing and what this translates into concerning on a -per fight- basis.

School is going to take up a lot of my time now, so I will have little chance to pull off a lot of research myself, so recommendations are really wanted here. I will try to get to everyone's replies as soon as I can to give my feedback and take in any requests. Any gear from 73-80 as well as more healing proc gear will really be appreciated (I know we have LootDB, but the searching is much more exhaustive than having people speak from experience). 

__________________
Battlemage Gilph, of the Legion of Light-Permafrost



"Ah, now that I have myself properly gear and AA-specced, I'm fully prepared to the best warlocktank I can be!"

"But how are you going to manage aggro?"

`-`
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:26 PM   #7
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well now that they have silently took the nerf bat to props there is no reason to go into this line as i can see. sucks [Removed for Content] i know. but now the line only effects spells and well...if your solo tanking...no need for this abality at all. otherlines would suit a tanking warlock much better
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Old 03-11-2008, 05:29 PM   #8
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just wanted to reply to the OP's guide. and i want to say thank you! on my lock this helped quite a bit! i went from 'envoker' to 'battlemage' line and the other one. and i must say it helped quite a bit seeing as i solo at least 85% of the time. and im currently only lvl 62 with 67 aa <.>.i may take a few more hits, but things die much faster.so again, thank you for this post!
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:19 PM   #9
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This is a very excellent guide, and pretty much mimics what I did with my warlock from 10-70+ (She's 80 now).  I have a few comments to add to the guide. First of all, with the AAs, consider getting the removals line on the warlock page.  The STR/INT debuff helps to reduce their damage (lower INT), and casting it twice as fast and adding 40% more debuff has a noticable effect.  The same is true of the Max health/power debuff.  It's difficult to tell because it doesn't change the percentage of health/power, only the total health/power pool of the mob.  But after casting this the mob will die with less total damage.  Cutting it's casting time from 2 s to 1 s and adding 40% more debuff is very useful (not to mention if you cast these 2 debuffs every time you will be literally overflowing with void crystals and find yourself deleting stacks of them instead of complaining about them all the time). In addition, the great thing about debuffs is they they will not break root.  So you can start off with 2 spells that are guaranteed to not break it on the initial attack.  I really noticed the effect of this when I first started RoK and all the mobs were very difficult (before I started getting all the quest reward equipment).  The STR/INT debuff meant that if they did break root and hit me, it wasn't for as much damage. That brings us to the final for removals - add 20% range and remove 20% range from the mob.  Most folks would consider this a raid ability, but the most difficult mobs I found to solo were named that have range magic attacks (you avoid auto-attack with root, but they still do a lot of damage).  By using the final ability, you can step back out of range and still land your spells - although you need to have some space available to make this work (most spells have a 35m range so it lowers the mobs range to 28 m and increases yours to 42 m. --------- Now then, what about equipment?  You covered specific items, let's talk general equipment.  Most sorcerers go for INT over all else - this is bad mojo as a solo or tanking warlock.  Make sure you always get the STA/INT versions of crafted or mastercrafted armor (some of the earliest tiers this isn't always available).  The tranquil MC armor, for example, only has +INT and only +power - that's crazy!  You need STA and especially +health to survive.  Also, try to avoid the INT/WIS/STA versions - while WIS adds a bit to your resists, it's not worth the loss in INT and STA compared to the STA/INT only versions.  Although look at all the pieces if you can, in a few tiers I mixed an matched a bit because some of the crafted pieces have higher resists than others.  Also, note that some of the pieces may have limited possibilities (I think the hats are always only STA/INT/WIS version). With the STA line and STR lines and all mastercrafted STA/INT equipment, you can get mitigations AND avoidances in the 40-45% range, which will actually make you a BETTER tank than poorly equipped plate classes (those in only treasured, etc.).  There were several groups I was in on my way up where I was better stats than secondary tanks and certainly scouts.  I'd be on par or better than decently equipped tanks who were in offensive too. --------- Now then, let's broach the subject of a warlock actually tanking for a group.  It is certainly doable if you have MC or better equipment and are spec'd right (once you can get to 40-45% mit and avoid self-buffed - you can be 45-50% with healer buffs).  Duo'ing or trio'ing with a healer and another dps works famously well on up to even con mobs.  Basically go for mobs about 2 levels or one color less than you would with a *good* plate tank. I had several healers on my journey from 10-70 that after duoing or trio'ing with me told me to give them a shout any time to do it again  SMILEY Most people, for some odd reason, are against a warlock tanking for the group.  So it can be hard to get a group of 5 or 6 together that will actually let you tank.  But when you do, you will change some minds - if you are good.  My only real full group I tanked for was a Deathfist Citadel group.  We had a druid healer, 4 other dps, and myself.  We were all about levels 40-42 so most of the mobs were blue (I was 42 I think.  The important part here is to make sure you have adept 3s and masters on the spells - if you do, and you have worked hard questing to have plenty of AAs, you will outdamage everyone and keep aggro without any taunts.  I was able to use manashield a few times to save a wipe when a plate tank couldn't have (too many adds, etc.), and we only wiped a few times - mostly from the group getting separated.  The only wipe we had on an intentional pull was on Fyst when his knockback blew me off the top of the building.  SMILEY  But again, most of the mobs were only blue.  And with 5 DPS in the group we really tore through things. ---------- Finally, what order should you get your AAs in, if you are working your way up? I started with the STA line, and then went for focused casting.  I think these 2 are the keys for solo'ing for all the reasons mentioned in the original article.  Manashield can be cast while running, so don't forget to use this if you are fleeing a battle and low on health.  The key here is to *not* sprint, which will deplete your power pool and reduce the damage you can take with manashield.  If you turn off autoattack and 'yell' for help, you should be able to jump back up to mount speed for running away (if you have been able to get one!).  Add manashield and there were very few times I died running away, unless I was already low on power from the fight (or in the middle of a dungeon). After those two, I would go with the STR line to get the +parry.  As far as the final STR ability, it is not very useful in solo, because it only works for crit on one spell and costs too much health to make it worth it.  It is nice for raiding since you will normally be healed during the battle anyway, but I still chose a different final over it once I had 70 AAs available for that page.  (also, at 80 with good equipment, you will have a 30-50% crit ability anyway raid buffed - so getting 100% for one spell isn't that big an improvement - average increase in damage for a crit is about 40%). After this it's really just what you want to do.  Your style of play will dictate. If you group a lot, the Protection line is nice (+25% to your tanks taunts and your deaggros).  Put that with INT if you do a lot of pickup groups (with bad tanks with poor equipment that don't hold aggro well), and when you do pull aggro you will lose it very quickly...  If you are set up as a battlemage you will probably survive as well as the tank did anyway. I loved being in a group with my battlemage setup when we would get adds... I would preemptively start chaostorm or equivalent (the quick blue aoe) and pull an add or two just to make sure they didn't go for the healer.  I could take hits ok, had manashield for an emergency, and often the tank couldn't have taken all the adds at once anyway.  It worked beautifully and the funny thing is, most groups had no clue that you were the one really saving the group.  You could always tell them if you wanted, but no guarantee anyone would believe it.  SMILEY  I always did use a macro to tell the group when I hit manashield - mainly so the healer would know they needed to heal me even though my health wasn't dropping.  If I remember right, when manashield is up heals will actually increase your power, heh.  Maybe your health has to be max before it will do that, but I remember it happening.  SMILEY I do need to get one of those AA mirrors.  This post has reminded me how fun tanking as a warlock can be.  It's been a few months - I did respec when RoK came out and got my tanking self back out for a while.  It would be nice to be able to do that any time I want to go out soloing  SMILEY
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Old 03-15-2008, 05:43 PM   #10
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[email protected] Bayle wrote:
just wanted to reply to the OP's guide. and i want to say thank you! on my lock this helped quite a bit! i went from 'envoker' to 'battlemage' line and the other one. and i must say it helped quite a bit seeing as i solo at least 85% of the time. and im currently only lvl 62 with 67 aa <.>.i may take a few more hits, but things die much faster.so again, thank you for this post!

Heh heh, I know how you feel. I had my warlock for so long that I did not start gaining Achievement points until level 50. You can see the frustration in getting all of those points. I'm so glad that I can see people being helped by my guide, the joy of being shown the effects first-hand goes straight into the heart.

LightCC, you are a savior. Your comments on equipment and achievement lines will most certainly be added into my next version, and your story about tanking Deathfyst, man do I wish I was there to see it myself. I had not realized that your power would be healed when using Manashield, I would need to check this out myself. And in terms of those group situations where you take the blunt of the hits to save the tank, I do that myself, and it feels so much better than sitting there doing DPS and getting one-shotted. That, in my opinion, is no fun.

I am not sure whether I will add a section on working on AAs from the ground up. Certainly Manashield, Magi's Shielding and Focused Casting are what you need to put in first, and then after that, it's anyone's call. I personally took the Protections Line after that to improve the daze and the deaggros, and then went the INT line up to the max defense and then the STR line. I still have quite a few AP's to get and I will be thinking for a long time about where to place them.

With the Removals line, the final ability is fine, especially with the rotation I use for soloing, but I just don't see where the curse of emptiness (the health/power one) and the enhance: Dispel Magic are going to fit in. I have never put the health/power curse in my hotbar, and now I would have to max it out to get the final ability; having to go through either Dispel Magic or the Explosive line to get there doesn't make things easier. I will play around it once I have my other AA's spent, but I feel that line is going to be a deep road.

I will add the STA/INT mastercrafted armor in with the equipment, as well as an overview about having lots of STA/health. I personally run against going all mastercrafted, as I like having some quested armor into the fray (when they're good, that is. I don't know what to say beyond tiers 7-8...), and I am trying to deck myself out with Dispersion gear (thank goodness they have STA/INT). I still need to actually get to level 80 to check out the full of what armor we can use, so there will probably be a few nice items that I just haven't come across yet.

When version 2 is coming out, I cannot say with any sense of certainty. I definately do not see myself reaching level 80 before the summer, but I would like to have at least one update before then. Maybe if I work hard on it during Easter break, I can have it out within the next two weeks. Don't hold that to me though, I don't know what's going to happen. SMILEY

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"But how are you going to manage aggro?"

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Old 03-16-2008, 05:29 PM   #11
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again i want to thank you heh. to the greats posts. i went ahead with the tranq dragons breath mc gear wich is such an improvement as well!  the sta/int  plus the extra stats were great. i even wanted to test out my gear and dueled a lvl65 sk. when i was 62(almost 63 nows..) anyway. her gear was good, but i beat her. -grins- i was so surprised. i even resisted her harm touch...-bigger grin- and before i had issues trying to beat and sk my own lvl, or even a couple levels below me. i do have a few questions tho. wich is the best places at 63-say around 65 to solo at? or duo for quests and such. i have been to loping planes and still working there some when i can and working my way thru the TT quests that lead into SoS. is there a list recomended quests for us somewere?oh! also wanted to ask, any soloable instances for around these lvls that i could take on by myself or duoing? that would still be at least grean to me? or not to hard closer to my lvl?
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:57 PM   #12
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Specific questions about soloing timelines can be answered with Everquest II Wiki. I highly recommend it, as it is an excellent site to get information on everything quest-related. Here's the site- http://eq2.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Solo_Timelines

I believe I had spent those levels doing all of the Barren Sky quests. All the quests there are easy enough to do, just watch out for quests that require adventurers in the late 60's as those can get a bit testy doing them underleveled. If you haven't started the Claymore series, I highly recommend starting that as soon as you can (I started a bit too late and now I'm too hyped up with RoK to make any progress on it :/). I also recommend taking a whole bunch of writs from a city faction that you like (Arcane Science Mage, baby) and doing those. There is one that involves beating eyegazers, and it's such a snap to do, and you can get a handful of coin selling body (eye?) drops and adept spells. Oh, forgot to mention, do the Hoo'loh's Hat series. It's a blast and can be done without too much annoyance. Once you have all the Barren Sky stuff finished, you can go straight into the Bonemire for more quests. It's just a very well done transition.

I would extremely recommend that you get all the solo quests in KoS and EoF done before you try out RoK. The stuff you do there is so incredible that you will never want to solo in Loping Plains/Barren Sky/Bonemire again. Also, you'll want to maximize as much AA's from KoS and EoF as possible, so ask to join in whatever group fancies you. SoS is first, so get the quests done there, then go into the Nest of the Great Egg (along with the hat quest, of course) and get yourself primed there (don't forget to try and get the legendary piece for the Enspelled Vultak Eye, I don't know what it is at the moment), and after you gain a few levels:

Palace of the Awakened, Vaults in Barren Sky, Den of the Devourer, Mistmoore Catacombs

Then once you start to approach 70:

Crypt of Valdoon, Obeslisk of Blight, Halls of Fate, Kaladim

Then after those, there are even more group spots that should be saved for only those outings where you just want to take on the world. There's just so much group material in KoS and EoF that you should strive to get ever achievement point out there. I know you asked for places to solo, but I'm serious: don't start RoK until you've experienced everything else, because once you go RoK, you won't go back.

As for soloing group instances, I've never done it (except trying to get SoS updates), so I have no idea what to say. The only material that would be green for your level would be stuff like Hidden Cache, Clefts of Rujark and Poet's Palace. I don't think it's worth the effort, but it might be that I just have a great disdain for the Desert of Flames expansion.

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"But how are you going to manage aggro?"

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Old 03-26-2008, 03:01 AM   #13
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I can sure double post in here, I wrote this guide.

Anyway, Version 2.0 is now released! It now comes with TWO new sections! I'll place in this post the changes and additions I placed on the guide:

Warlock Achievements: Took out that bit about suggesting Aftershocks (...yeah) and my thoughts of placing propagations in (thanks for the Nerf Bat, SOE SMILEY) and put in the only other line I don't have in this guide- the Removals Line. More thoughts on that line will come once I actually use come and use it.

Gear: First placed some general info about the type of gear you want on a warlocktank, and added the entire mastercrafted line into the list of gear, because mastercrafted is really the craze right now. I'd add more individual pieces of gear on the list, but I fear that I'll run out of space to put everything in...

NEW! AN OVERVIEW OF TANKING: Placed in here just some general bits about tanking in Norrath, including how much mobs really hit you for.

NEW! THE ART OF PULLING: Teaching you the fine skills of taking down mobs one pull at a time.

I hope you like the additions I've placed into here, and keep asking questions and giving suggestions, we can't get it done without your support!

THANKS!!!! I thank everyone who posted on this thread for their feedback on this thread, but I will list out some individual thanks here since I didn't think I would have space in the first two posts to fit it:Nitz: For teaching me the entirely new skill of pulling monsters with ConcussiveLightCC: For his extremely constructive post and suggestions about the Removals Line and Mastercrafted Armor

For those who haven't tanked a group yet, DO IT! It's so much fun and so satisfying when you take down the difficult boss mob. Just make sure you let your groupmates in about what you're doing, especially if there's a 'plate tank' in the area.Keep on Tanking!

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"But how are you going to manage aggro?"

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Old 07-17-2008, 04:03 AM   #14
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Some comments from in game experience since my last post.  Some has already been said before elsewhere.  If so, it's doubly important, or I wouldn't have repeated it!  (ha!) AAs For warlock tank INT line is virtually useless in my humble opinion. Sure the 3rd level give you defense, but if you went with STR and max'd parry then your avoidance is past 40% already... and that means you're into diminishing returns pretty good already.  So each addition to defense gives less and less additional avoidance.  INT is still useful if you do a lot of pick up groups with tanks of shady ability...  Since I grew up to 80 though, I've discovered the AGI line.  I mainly started with it for dps for raids, but it's much more important overall than I thought in the past.  Faster cast times and especially reuse will serve you well.  Cast times are great for dps in raids, but also for finishing that spell faster before you get interrupted or hit for more damage!  Casting a root faster may be the difference between the mob getting to you and hitting you or stopping just short.  I'll take 12% cast time over 12% crit in STR any day!  Then there is reuse.  That makes your spells come back faster, so things like root are castable again 12% sooner (for example, if the mob breaks root right away).  Your encase is up quicker so you have a stun available to freeze the mob to recast root (that's why you better max that encase AA as well  SMILEY ).  It means your big DD spells like distortion come up faster so you can stick to them more and cast less dots (which break root more).  Warlocks tend to cast pretty quickly but have fairly long long reuse times... we can run low on spells available to cast in raids and such... reuse is a big benefit.  I can't think of any reason not to have the AGI line complete - once you have STA done, that is  SMILEY  In addition, the faster movement does help a little bit when rooting-nuking the harder mobs while solo'ing...  I would still get STR for the parry and then whatever points you have leftover into crit, but I would not get the STR final. So I suggest you get finals in STA and AGI and get STR without final, once you are 70+ and have 70 AA in sorcerer tree.  But WIS gives freehand sorcery, the magical damage refreshing ward, and up to 4% base damage increase (comparable to 12% crit).  The refreshing ward is nice, even though it's only magic damage, because some mobs, even rooted, can cast spell damage on you, this will help mitigate it.  SMILEY  The power reduction is nice, but I skip the WIS line because I find that power isn't normally a problem for me.  For a warlock tank the STR seems more important to get the parry if you are going to skip INT. Some more considerations on the Warlock page: On the warlock page, right now, the war pyre dot AA is semi-worthless.  While it reduces the reuse, this has no impact on damage or dps.  The dps vs. cast time on war pyre is one of the lowest dps spells we have for single target (only better than the bad dissolve line).  This is in comparison to acid that is a superb dps, damage, and low power spell - what a dot should be. And while dissolve is so bad, at least the AA for it gives increase on the damage for when you do cast it anyway (I like to use it on root because it is moderately high direct damage, so less chance of breaking root compared to a dot that has recurring smaller damage - each one has a chance to break root)).  The reuse on encase gives you your stun back faster and distortion is a mainstay of your dps, so I suggest getting the other four AAs max'd and the final and just avoiding War Pyre AAs.  In groups make sure you're casting encase every time it's up as well - that stun means less damage to the tank (no stun on epics so that's not the case in raids). The key though, for any warlock tank, is the refreshing ward on Magi's Shielding AA.  Currently I suggest any startup warlock put the first 10 points into max'ing this out.  This is a total of about 620 points of ward at level 80.  You get half of that every 10 s.  What does this mean?  It's almost like free extra health every 10 s.  If you can root a mob and do no damage, just hold it there for 20 s, You are guaranteed to have this power-free ward back up to max.  Say a mob has beat you down to 10% health and you root it and step away... in 20 s you have an extra effective 10% health in that ward.  Say it breaks and hits you for 620 but you stun, re-root and move away... 20 s later you have that 630 point ward back...  This is one of the keys to warlock soloability and tanking.  The WIS ward works similar, but it's only a little over 200 points of ward, and it only works on magic damage (but I believe it stacks with the Magi's Shield ward).  In groups this heelps your healer out...  On raids you can withstand an extra 10% larger aoe...  Rooting and Nuking On the really hard mobs - including just about all green and up ^^^ heroic names - you'll really want the root and nuke method to take them down.  This includes most single ^ RoK mobs (RoK mobs hit hard!).  I often root even solo mobs, but then I'm not too worried about whether they break or not... I can afford to take some hits from them, but no use taking damage for no reason. Root the mob off the bat to start combat.  If an encounter, use encounter root, but layer the single target root on at least one of the mobs - then when it refreshes, on another.  If you are still fighting when the original encounter root breaks, you can stun a mob that is loose and recast the encounter root...  Usually I can pretty effectively hold 3 mobs rooted between my encounter and single-target roots, a fourth is very rough to keep up.  But I'm a warlock, and hopefully I have the 4th one dead pretty fast, right?  SMILEY While fighting encounters in this method, do not normally cast encounter damage spells, just stick to single target - the reason?  No damage on the extra mobs means no chances for root to break.  And keeping them rooted is the key here...  It depends how hard the mobs are.  In an easy encounter I may root just to keep them off me for a little bit longer, then aoe away.  You must judge (and generally learn the limits the hard way SMILEY ) On single target mobs, just root, cast your debuffs, and then stick to your big damage spells - armageddon (it's a dot, but a dot with very high damage ticks, so it's like several individual big DD spells), distortion, flames of velious, aura (again, a dot, but each tick is around 1k at level 80, high enough for me to allow the chance to break root), encase, and even dissolve.  However, encase is special, it stuns the mob.  I usually save this for when the mob breaks root.  I cast encase to stun it and then re-root. Now, if things start to go wrong, there are times you will just root and do nothing for a while.  If you root and move away, give time for your encase to refresh so you have a stun ready.  Give 20 s or until you see 2 ticks of the magi's ward refreshing to max before you attack again and chance breaking root.  If you get low on health, cast slowly.  Make sure each spell hits and does not break root before you cast another spell - don't chain cast.  Because when root ends, the mob is feared and slowly walks in a random direction for a short time.  This gives you time to recast root.  But if the mob is hit by damage while feared, there is a chance the fear is broken.  Also, after you root, wait for root to become castable again *before* you begin to damage the mob if low on health. Finally, you can stack roots.  If you duo with another class that has root you can both root and if one breaks the other normally holds... just keep casting root if you see yours has dropped.  Similarly, when solo, you can stack your single target and group roots.  The big disadvantages of the group root, however, are that it breaks easier and there is no fear component at the end - the mob comes straight for you.  But if the single target breaks without the group breaking, the group will hold the mob until you can recast the single target. All these little things will help you be successful solo'ing the harder mobs when there is no healer with you.  You will need to root and nuke the tougher mobs.  Being a warlocktank however, you will find you have *much* higher chances of success, and much better survivability, especially when things go wrong.  SMILEY   I know when I was spec'd away from warlocktank, I had to make sure hard mobs stayed completely rooted all the time.  As a warlocktank, I usually end up just tanking it for at least a portion of the fight - just because I can...   SMILEY
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:29 PM   #15
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Great write-up. I've been collecting every piece of defensive gear I've been able to find since sometime in early EoF days, so it's good to see other warlocks with the tanking bug too. Raiding warlocks will find some incredible warlock-tank items available to them. In particular, finally getting my hands on The Wicked Wand of Malice charm-slot item has taken my tanking ability to a whole new level. The wicked wand normally procs +1200 threat on every hostile spell, however the Vacuous AA ability will increase this to 1500. That's a 1500 point taunt attached to *every* hostile spell you cast. Needless to say, this opens new doors when it comes to being able to hold aggro. I've found dps is usually about half of normal when in full defensive gear & AA's, but with the wand proc I can now pull entire rooms in CoA and hold solid aggro on all of the mobs for the entire fight using just Upheaval & Cataclysm to trigger the threat proc. Other items I would recommend any raiding warlock with a tanking addiction to keep an eye out for are the two stoneskin items from VP - Dark Robe of Power & Soulshattering Band (the fabled version of the stoneskin proc absorbs 2 hits each time it triggers rather than 1), and also the Supple Dogwood Staff which is a mage-equippable 2-h staff that gives an extra 15% chance to dodge incoming attacks.

With the right gear & AA's, I really believe it's possible for a warlock to tank any zone in the game just as well if not better than many "real" tank classes. I still don't have the dogwood staff & robe of dark power myself yet, but with just my current gear managed to successfully tank RE2 all the way up till the last named the other night. I think I may wait till I get my hands on that staff before trying the final named, but we'll see.

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Old 09-30-2008, 04:49 PM   #16
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Holding aggro?  Just take off your epic and/or claymore.  You really shouldn't need much more then that.
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:23 AM   #17
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[email protected] wrote:
Holding aggro?  Just take off your epic and/or claymore.  You really shouldn't need much more then that.
In DPS-spec, sure. But in full defensive gear & AA spec, as I said, my dps sucks. The first time I tanked CoA (before getting the wicked wand) I kept losing aggro to the troub.  And before you say it, yes I turned off the troub deaggro spell, and yes I made sure to unequip mythical.  Since then I've found a little better AA setup to balance higher dps while still getting most of the defensive bonuses, but I still lose a huge amount of dps changing out gear for all of the heal/ward/stun/fear/stoneskin proc items I typically use when tanking. 
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:37 PM   #18
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I'm crazy about this warlock-tank idea, what a powerful concept. I've just finished with the Sorcerer Stamina line, but my problem is I'm so far behind in AAs. I'm level 45 now with only 30 AAs and to be honest I've found grinding quests for AAs very slow and boring.

At this rate am I going to get to level 80 with only 60 AAs? Am I going to have to bite the bullet, lock the exp bar, and go grind quests to avoid this fate? And I guess my most important question- if I do end up at level 80 with a measely amount of AAs, how can I catch up with a finite amount of Named's and Quests available at that point?

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Old 11-17-2008, 07:59 PM   #19
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Well not really... I think that your on a good pace. You will see AA will step up as you level... Levels get to require more Experience in the long run than each AA... at lvl 80 all experience you get will go to the AA pool, so you can grind instances till you finish off your AAs. btw i just dinged 80 with my warlock and have 134 AAs and a bunch of quests still to complete.  

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Old 12-29-2008, 12:36 PM   #20
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How's the Achievement Experience from instances once you're 80, though?

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Old 01-09-2009, 05:57 PM   #21
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*Since my account is currently being used by other people, I had to create a new one for these forums. This is the topic creator*

The original post needs to be updated in order to be up-to-date with TSO. I'm not certain when I'll get around to it, but it might take a while for me to recompile all the data. It will contain my new AA specs, including what I plan to do with the Shadow Line, and all the new and sexy gear and how that plays into it. When the update comes,  it will be a massive overhaul, so stay tight!

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Old 04-09-2009, 11:14 PM   #22
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Any suggestions for speccing the warlock training points under character development?

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Old 04-10-2009, 04:54 PM   #23
Gilden
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Gaibban wrote:

Any suggestions for speccing the warlock training points under character development?

Master II choices should be the same as what you would choose strictly for dps at whatever level you happen to be. The only part of character development that gives any tanking benefit is all of the +max health character trait choices, and to a much lesser extent the +stamina choices.  Also, at lvl 46 you can choose an extra 240 mit vs. crushing damage.

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Old 04-11-2009, 04:15 PM   #24
Gaibban

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Found an AA Calculator and input the spec, was hoping someone might look it over and see that its right? I like a graphical reference as I level for some reason hehe.

Sorceror Tree:

www.thebrasse.com/eq2/aaxp.php?sc=S...004040400000001

Warlock Tree

www.thebrasse.com/eq2/aaxp.php?c=Wa...000000500005A05

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Old 05-01-2009, 12:49 AM   #25
Gilden
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That's a good starting point.  I played around with the int line in my defensive spec for a while, but ended up deciding that the extra +defense wasn't worth the large amount of points necessary to go down that line, and wasn't worth giving up a significant amount of dps from the extra casting & reuse speed of the agility line.  If you're trying to go for absolute max avoidance though, then the int line with the +defense is worth trying out.

Here's my current tanking AA spec, for what I believe to be a good compromise between dps & defensive ability.

Sorceror Tree

Warlock Tree

Keep in mind, of course, some of the AA choices I have made may or may not be relevant to you in your situation leveling up. For example, for me, getting Vacuous was critical since it adds an extra 300 hate to the wicked wand's threat proc.

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Old 09-07-2010, 12:32 PM   #26
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This is my tank spec that i have stored in my mirror... with the right gear i have had no trouble tanking "Hole" and some of the easier T9 instances as long as im with a bard and semi-decent healer.

http://www.beetny.com/eq2aa/[email protected]@[email protected]

The Int line is the only bit im not sure on... i might replace it with the Agi line in a future version..

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Old 09-27-2010, 11:26 AM   #27
Taipans

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Its been awhile since someone has commented on this thread. It sounds like a great solo idea, I don't think I will be tanking for a group any time soon. However the root / nuke / root gets boring, and if ANYTHING breaks on me I die almost instantly even from even con mobs as I have my self setup for group DPS. I do have a mirror, so I was hoping to set myself up as max DPS / this tank idea for solo play. But I was wondering how its been working out since the OP was a few years ago? Any AA changes / nerfs to avoid, and has anyone perfected this idea yet?

Thanks for any updates!

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Old 09-27-2010, 02:37 PM   #28
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Dont know about perfecting this, but at T4 running a similar set up I can regulary tank for a small 4 man group.  Level locked at 39 with max AAs I am pretty unstoppable, unless we get a hold of too many ^^^s.  As long as I am smart about pulling though I can get through just about anything.  I really wish we had an actual taunt or a rescue type ability though.  Its not often I lose aggro but when I do I would love to be able to snap it back.

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