The CW in NW
Since my last post, I was convinced that I’d be taking my cleric to 60 and only then begin working on my Control Wizard again. However, Thursday night another friend wanted to start playing, so we started up a trio of new character. J2 decided on a Guardian Fighter, J1 went with a Trickster Rogue, and I went with my 1st love — the Control Wizard. We all did the 1st 4 levels solo since, well, you have to. At level 4 we each made it to the Protector’s Enclave and found a cleric companion waiting for us in our mailboxes. Twinking from a higher level toon? What?!?!?!?! We ran the 1st solo dungeon as a trio with companions and well… even as a duo stuff melts, so add in a 3rd and companions too? Laughably easy. But then… it’s early days. Regardless, after we finished that up, I had to go to bed. Darn that 3:00 AM wakeup time!
The next day, my friends said they’d gone into Blacklake just far enough to get the 2nd bag and were level 7. I didn’t get a chance to play that night, but Saturday morning I logged in to “catch up.” I did the Blacklake quests up through “the burning house” and that dinged me to 8. But they said 7? Not sure on that. But since I’d already passed them, I just kinda kept on going. And before I knew it I was level 10 and had to do a Daily
Foundry, and then I was level 11 and in the Tower District and whoa! How’d I make it to level 13 already? In case you can’t tell — I find the Control Wizard to be *insanely* fun. But now I was way past my friends in level and I didn’t like how the character looked anyway, so…. deleted. And made a new CW. Blasted through up until “the burning house” and got my 2nd bag. Still made it to level 8, so I don’t know how they’re only level 7. Perhaps the CW gets an extra quest in there somewhere?
So anyway, now that I was “caught up” on my lowbie toon, I decided to stick with the CW play and logged in my level 40 CW. I hadn’t done Neverdeath Graveyard on that toon in order to be able to get the 3rd bag, plus I decided that I wanted a cleric companion to help cut down on my potion usage. So… 2 gold later and I was off to Neverdeath. Since I was 10-12 levels over the mobs, they didn’t give any xp, nor did they aggro on me unless the quest called for it. I blasted through the zone and still got enough XP off just the quest turn-ins for 2 levels for me and the companion got to Rank 10. I sent it off to train and logged out for a while, since my daughter was waking up and it was time for breakfast for her, plus spending the morning with her to boot.
When nap time rolled around, though…. back in the saddle. I took the zones in order and just worked through everything as it came. Didn’t worry about dungeons or skirmishes, though I did get into a Primal Wolf Den group. We had just wiped on a 1st attempt on the final boss when my wife came in needing to talk, so I had to drop group. I’m sure they all thought it was a ragequit, but.. whachagonndo? TBH, I thought we did rather well for a 1st attempt. We at least got the boss below 50% and were doing fine with the adds, but the healer bit it, and everyone else started dropping as we made mistakes and missed dodges and such, so…. it happens.
Anyway…. I really enjoyed the various zones while leveling. The solo dungeons in the higher zones ramp up a bit in difficulty for a while, and then they throw the Rothe Valley at you for a nice easy interlude to lull you into a false sense of security before kicking your ass with Mount Hotenow. And that’s where I’m at now — about half done with Hotenow and level 57. I doubt I’ll be able to play much until this weekend, but when I do, I’m sure I’ll hit 60 on Saturday morning. I’ve already bought a full set of purple gear for level 60. I have no idea if it’s “elite” or “tier 1” or “tier 2” just that’s it’s purple and most of it was 5000 AD or less. Looking forward to the gear upgrades in a few levels. . . .
And in case one wonders, here’s how I am usually set up for my solo play right now:
- Arcane Mastery – Chill Strike
- Encounter 1 – Ray of Enfeeblement
- Encounter 2 – Entangling Force
- Encounter 3 – Shield
- Daily 1 – Arcane Singularity
- Daily 2 – Ice Knife
- At Will 1 – Magic Missile
- At Will 2 – Ray of Frost
Vs trash swarms I open with Chill Strike. Up until about level 40 this tends to 1-shot the entire swarm, or just leave them all with a couple of HP left that are easily taken down with Magic Missile. Later on it doesn’t keep up with the mob HP, so it needs a crit to do a 1-shot, but it still generally takes down the swarm fairly easily. Occasionally if a couple of mobs get close I’ll finish them off by popping my Shield at them. So yeah… swarms = easy nuisance at worst. At least until you get 6 Ashen Miners in Mt. Hotenow. Those get CS’d, whittled down with MM as they close, a shield pop, and *then* finished off with MM. . . . .
Vs swarms with a higher HP mob it’s more or less the same thing. Target the high hp mob with the Chill Strike so that it’s stunned for a few seconds while I take out the small mobs, then hit it with Ray of Enfeeblement, Entangling Force, then finish it off with Magic Missile while it’s dangling in midair. This goes especially quickly with Nightmare Magic adding combat advantage damage, Storm Strike proc’ing left and right, and Eye of the Storm making everything that I throw into a critical hit. Did mention that I also have my crit severity buffed up too? It’s quite lovely. . . .
If the mob still has HP, Chill Strike is back up, so re-stun it, then hit Ray of Frost. It will freeze the mob just as it comes out of the CS stun. Magic Missile on it until Ray of Enfeeblement is available, which is right as the freeze breaks, then Entangling Force is back, so hang it in the air again. In all of that, the thing got *maybe* 2 attacks off against you and you can cycle that rotation as long as you need. Assuming the mob’s controllable, anyway. Uncontrollable mobs are quite interesting. Lots of dodging there. . . .
I haven’t done too much in dungeons yet, but in the Primal Wolf Den, I ran the same skills as above, but with Encounters 2 & 3 swapped to Icy Terrain and Slow Time. This helped to kill the dungeon-level trash a lot quicker, plus slowed the mobs down which helped the cleric stay out of trouble as well. Seemed to do well. For the big boss fights I put Ray of Enfeeblement into the Arcane Mastery slot so I can double its effects. it makes the boss go down just that much faster, after all.
So there’s my little mini-guide. I’ve gleaned most of it from the forums, but I can see why it’s there — it’s very effective!