I’ve mentioned that I’ve been working on a caster-style sorcerer as well as my melee Khajit, but haven’t gone into a lot of detail on it since I was also working on my Nightblade Tank and my Nightblade Healer, with my thinking being that I would now focus on the new class and especially on the tank character. But then the caster-style hooked me and, well….. the healer’s still 24 and the tank is still 21, but the new sorcerer is VR1 and happily working through Auridon toward VR2. Something interesting to me is that the sorc doesn’t have the sheer AE dps output that my DK does, but it has stronger survivability, so while I can’t simply burst down a 3-pack of mobs with AE in the VR levels (I could in the 1-49 game, but VR they have too many HP anymore) I can still take them on and finish a fight with full health. It’s just a bit longer than the 5-7 seconds that an AE burst would be able to do — more like 13-15 seconds for a 3-pack when hitting them in the 1-at-a-time fashion.
For a while in the upper 40’s I was running a single-target bar with a restoration staff, and an AE bar with a lightning staff (for the possible disintegrate procs). For 1-2 mobs it’d simply be “open with Crystal Fragments, do a heavy attack channel to a) hurt the mob a little more and b) recover the magicka just spent, then hit Endless Fury to execute the mob.” If there was a 2nd mob, then target it and repeat. Often the Endless Fury would proc the Crystal Fragments instant cast, so the 2nd mob wouldn’t even reach me and thus I’d take no damage at all. If it did get to me it’d usually only get 1 hit during my CF’s cast time, and then maybe a 2nd hit if it managed to stand up before I got the Endless Fury cast on it. Still minimal damage taken, though, so while I kept Rapid Regeneration on the bar for emergencies, I’d usually not need it.
For 3-packs (and even 6-packs in the public dungeon in Coldharbor) I’d pre-buff with Critical Surge, wait a couple of ticks for my magicka to go back to full, then run up and hit Shattering Prison. This served the purpose of holding mobs in place for me to toss down a Liquid Lightning around them and also gave me the Exploitation passive which bumped my critical chance against them by 7.5% (still not 50 in the skill yet to be able to bump that to 15% yet, but soon. . . .sooooooon, Precioussssssss) which would take the crit chance to 51.5%. Anyway. . . root them, then toss down a Liquid Lightning on them, then hit Pulsar before LL begins ticking. This reduced the mob’s max HP and thus made the LL do a higher percentage of damage to them. Hit a 2nd Pulsar while it’s ticking, and waited for the Shattering Prison to explode. This took them all really low on health and then a 3rd Pulsar would finish them off and restore a bunch of magicka to me due to the Destruction passive that returns magicka when a kill is made using a Destruction ability. I’d also be holding block this whole time to reduce my incoming damage, though Crit Surge would be healing me throughout all of this. Fights would finish with me at full health and about half magicka (after being restored from the passive — I’d actually be just about out before that final kill pulse) and half stamina (used by blocking). Both of those regen quickly out of combat, so I could move on to the next fight quickly.
That only worked for mobs up to about 1600 HP. Now that I’m in VR levels the mobs have 2008 HP, and when I’ve tried that I’d run out of magicka while they all still have 400-ish hp left, so I’d have to swap back to the single-target bar and pop heavy attack channels and Endless Fury to restore magicka and finish them off. Got a little dicey. Using my single-target setup, requires a slightly different rotation now to get a kill, but enables me to have Rapid Regeneration ticking on my all the time, and so long as I move around a bit and dodge hits, I still can finish a fight vs a 3-pack (just killing them 1 at a time) with full health. I’m actively leveling my Destruction staff the last few points so I’m now using it for 1-2 mobs. For a single mob I’ll open with Crystal Fragments, then do a heavy attack, then pop a Velocious Curse, another heavy attack, and then Endless Fury. EF hits at the same time that the Curse explodes so it does a giant boom. VC hits for 450-ish and generally drops the mob below 25%, then the EF hits for about 200 and drops it below 20% and that triggers its explosion for 600 which massively overkills the mobs, since it only had about 300 HP left by that point. Vs 2 mobs I’ll pre-cast Rapid Regeneration then swap bars and kill them in succession, though I’ve still got Pulsar on that bar, so sometimes if the 2nd mob’s too close I’ll hit that in order to debuff the HP pool and alleviate the need for the 1st heavy attack channel. 2nd mob then takes Pulsar, Crystal Fragments, Velocious Curse, heavy attack, Endless Fury. Works quite nicely.
For 3-packs I’ll just stay on my restoration bar. Pre-cast Rapid Regen, then cast CF as I close with the group. Toss a Liquid Lightning at my feet while the mobs are close around me, then CF a 2nd time on the same mob, then Endless Fury will take it out. Target 2nd mob, 1 CF and an EF plus maybe a light attack is usually enough here due to the damage it took from LL, then final mob I’ll often swap back to the Destruction staff and do CF, heavy, and EF to finish. There’s movement and dodging involved in there, but overall the kill time is about 5-6 seconds per mob, so it doesn’t feel onerous or anything, plus the fights tend to finish with me at full health, so that’s not just a win but a big win, IMO. I will admit to missing the ability that I have on my DK to run up with a Fire Blockade, then pop a Burning Talons, then spam 3-4 Fire Rings spells and they’re all dead, in 5-7 seconds, but hey… different class, different playstyle, right? And the DK is usually nearly out of magicka and pretty low health doing that, so… resource management is different to boot. Plus the DK’s Talons has been nerfed a bit since I’ve last really played it, so that might not even be possible anymore either. I may have to test that out this week. . . .
So anyway, I’ve done Auridon on a Templar and on my NB Tank, so I’m working through content I’ve seen before still, but once I get in to Grahtwood, well…. I’ve not done much there at all, so I’ll see something new. And then all the AD zones beyond that will be new as well. Should be fun!