Shoot through your 40’s
Thank you Entharion for this wonderful guide!
Shoot through your 40’s – with great loot to boot
Written by Entharion Sweettalker
The 40’s can be some of the more annoying levels in the game. They go slower than your previous levels, and you are usually dying to get into the planes to help friends at this point. Luckily, as of Luclin, enchanters have been given a free warp gate from 39 to 52 (or even further, although it dramatically slows down after 52).
Now, before I go further, I have to explain that this tactic requires you to be quick to react, and accept a few deaths (they shouldn’t hurt you too much if you are smart, more on that later). If you want brainless experience while cleaning house, go to Dreadlands and suffer through that.
The zone we will be using is Dawnshroud Peaks. Getting there is real simple, simply go from Nexus to Netherbian Lair, run straight through that, and you’ll have arrived. Once you are there, follow the left zone wall. Beware the two mushrooms just before the first hill, they root and can make quick work of an unprepared enchanter. Keep going until you reach a small mercenary camp. They should be non-KoS to you unless you are aggrod by a wolf. In that case, they will tear you a new one in less than a second, so check before you get there. If you look beyond the camp, you should see an opening in the hillside, and a few raptor-looking creatures standing around outside. Welcome to the Rockhopper Caves, your free ticket to level 52. The rockhoppers are good exp on their own, drop good loot, and are classified as animals, so you may find them camped. There is rarely a problem with two people sharing the camp though, unless the other one is also a charming enchanter – in that case he will probably be clearing so much of the outer cave that going in at 39 isn’t worth the risk.
Anyway, see the NPC’s sitting around the campfire? These guys used to be killed for experience, since they were rather easy to lull pull, and had no faction. SOE didn’t approve of that, so they did the brilliant move of boosting their HP and offensive capabilities without increasing their level, to discourage people from murdering them. You should see where this is headed. How on earth could anyone exploit dual-wielding non-KoS level 45 NPCs that have more HP than a freight train and hit twice as hard as one? What a mystery. If you can’t solve that riddle, go play a warrior.
Of course, the key to success is charming the poor sobs, and using them to plow through immense amounts of rockhoppers in a disgustingly short timeframe. At level 39 we get Cajoling Whispers, a charm spell able to charm mobs up to level 46, which will suit our purpose perfectly. If you are unsure of the basics of charming, read Veneficus Grieg’s charm guide here It is primarily for 61+ PoP charming, but it gives a few good general tips for charming. Now that we have determined how and where, let’s take a timeout to look at what you need to bring.
Blue Ceramic Band
This is a rather inconspicuous little item crafted by potters. At first it looks useless, being a ring with no stats, and only a clicky effect of our level 1 nuke Shallow Breath? Why would you want to use that? Well, to prevent exploitation of charm pets, SOE added a neat little code that requires us to deal at least 1 damage to a mob, or we will get basically no experience. Wasting a spell slot to be able to do that tiny bit of damage is a waste, so instead we keep this ring in an open inventory slot, hotkey it, and simply cast it once on each and every one of our targets. Suddenly we have dealt our 5 damage, and we will get our experience. This ring can usually be found for less than 50pp in bazaar, or be made quite a bit cheaper if you are a potter yourself, or know someone who is. You can use a Green Ceramic Band as well, but the cast time on that is longer, so I don’t recommend it.
Ah, the eternal discussion – is charisma important? Well, SOE says it does have an effect, and since your pet is going to live “forever” here, every few seconds count – both for efficiency and mana pool. Try to keep your charisma to a decent level (150+). The easiest way to do this is to buy one or two Opal Encrusted Steins in the bazaar, they run at less than 100pp and each increases your CHA by 25. If you have some truly amazing handheld items you might not want to use these, but in most cases they are the best choice for a charming 40’ish enchanter. I still use one when charming at 58. If you have one of your trade skills near 250, you can also get a trade skill trophy, giving you 50 CHA in your Range slot. These will often run you several thousand pp though, not counting skill ups, so it’s not an option for the usual level 40 enchanter.
You will get hit rarely when doing this, but when you do, you will get hit HARD. Keep your HP total high.
Run speed modifier
Be it SoW potions, jboots, a sow casting bot, or Illusion: Scaled Wolf, you NEED to have a run speed modifier to even consider hunting here.
You will nearly double the DPS of your pet if you can get him to dual wield. To do that, give him two different one handed weapons. If you give him two of the same, he will only use one. You have many choices here, but the easiest is often to go shopping in Shadowhaven for the sullied weapons sold by Paludal hunters. They are cheap, not too heavy, and plentiful. You should bring at least 2 pairs.
You will get a lot of crap loot here, and a huge amount of hides, so bring lots of backpacks to carry it all, so you have to do fewer merchant breaks.
Now, let’s go over the spells you need to have memorized. Not much effort is required in the way of casting here, so you have a lot of options. Your main task will be crowd control, so I suggest keeping up:
Long duration mez
Mesmerize (the level 4 mez)
Root (the level 4 version)
Memory Blur (have your pick)
After those, it’s pretty much your choice. Color Stuns aren’t of much use, because you never want to stay within anyone’s melee range. A nuke, your charm, and a variable buff slot are good choices, but feel free to experiment.
Then we get to the buffs. ALWAYS keep these ones up
Run speed (SoW, Scaled Wolf, Jboots effect)
Clarity (or KEI if you are 45+. You don’t need it most of the time, but it never hurts)
Illusion: Troll (Unless you are using Scaled Wolf. This boosts your regen, and will make it a lot easier to do this without heals. You will need to drop it before dealing with merchants though)
If you can get one, the cleric HP/AC buff and/or symbol is handy too, but don’t go out of your way to get it. I never used it.
This is what you have been waiting for, the actual tactics that will get you through your 40’s in no time. I guess it’s time for a small disclaimer too. I never started hunting here until 47, as that was when I found out about it. Any tactics from 39 to then are strictly theoretic, so they may need some adjustments. They should be pretty accurate though, as the spell set is roughly the same.
Step 1 – acquiring your pet
Now you have three options. The first is to pacify all the NPCs in the middle of the camp, and pull one of them with Tash. This should be doable as early as 39, but it might not work, especially if you are pulling one of the sitting NPCs. The one by flag should work. The second method is to tash one of them, get everyone running after you, and train them to the Neth lair zone. Try to keep them relatively close to you before you zone, then immediately zone back in. They should start walking back to camp at different times, so one of them will usually end up walking alone. Tash that guy for a single pull. If none of them end up walking alone, try pulling just a few of them and repeat the zone business until you can get a single. When you are down to 2, you might want to mez and mem blur one of them to speed it up. The third option is only viable once you get your AE mem blur spell. At that point you can pull them all, run out of spell range, target the closest one of them running towards you, and spam the AE mem blur until it casts. This will usually leave 3 or more of them standing still while 1 or 2 run after you.
Once you have got only one of them running after you, tash him if you haven’t done so already, mez him with the level 4 mesmerize spell, charm him, haste him, hand him the two pet weapons, and bring him to the cave. Congratulations, you have your very own killing machine.
Step 2 – the slaying
For any experience to come out of all this, you need to kill something. Park your pet a bit away from the cave entrance with “/pet guard here”. Simply pull a rockhopper with your Blue Ceramic Band (BCB) and sic your pet on it. If you get adds, mez them. Make sure the BCB doesn’t get resisted, or you will get no experience. Watch your pet tear through red mobs (if you are level 39) in seconds. Break any other mezzes with BCB, root if necessary, and let your pet deal with that one as well. Once you have cleared the outside of the cave, start moving in. Almost everything in here is a single pull, although you will have to mez a few times. Time the outside spawns so you know when they will repop, and pull to your hearts content. Watch the exp flowing in. There is NO need to slow here, your pet has so much hp that he will live for an hour before dying. Memory blur tactics to get full experience from mobs are not worth it here either. You are killing at such a high pace that you are much better off non-stop pulling.
Step 3 – the charm break
Yep, it will happen. A lot. Especially at levels 39-45. When this happens, get the heck out of the cave asap if you are inside, jumping past your pet when you meet him in the tunnels. Run until you have time to cast a spell, and root/mez the mob closest to you. Repeat until you have the situation under control. If it gets out of hand, simply run to zone. Once everything is mezzed/rooted, charm your pet again (retash if needed) and continue down the same path. Remember; do NOT run close to the NPC camp when your charm breaks. If you are anywhere near them when pet is aggro on you, they will tear you up. At the lowest levels, you might get too many charm breaks to justify staying here. If you do, try somewhere else until you are a couple of levels higher. I think you need to have a WHOLE lot of them for this to be an issue though, the exp is that good.
While hunting here you will get a lot of random loot (severet feet, skulls), that is nothing but vendor food (pretty decent vendor food though). To unload this, make sure you are either very sure your pet won’t break (later levels) or break charm and mem blur it first. Step into the tents by the campfire and find one of the merchants there, and unload all your random loot and ruined rockhopper hides. Do NOT sell the other hides.
You see, the hides are the real gems here. Superb and Flawless hides sell for lots of cash in the bazaar, and you will get stacks of them. You will make many thousand pp’s here while leveling. Exactly how much varies a lot from server to server. But simply park in the bazaar overnight with these in your inventory and they’ll soon be gone. HQ and MQ hides sell as well, although not as easily as the above two.
Things that make hunting here extra fun:
- People coming up asking if they can “join you guys” after they see you and your human pet tear up mobs at extreme speeds. Explaining to these people (often 50+) that you are soloing often brings out some funny responses.
- Luicid Shards, a part of the VT key quest, will drop here rather frequently. A lot of high level people need these, and they will sometimes donate to be allowed to loot them. Even if not, they may remember you – and high level friends never hurt.
- Having a pet that is more powerful than the epic magician pet – at level 39
- Watching experience flow as if you were level 10
Thank you SOE for giving us such an easy passage through our 40’s. If you don’t take advantage of this opportunity, I dare say you are missing out on some great fun, experience and loot. You will have plenty of time to group, both outdoors and indoors, later on, so enjoy your moment of extreme power here. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a “;tell venril.entharion” any time. And remember to visit serverwide.enchanter and therunes.net.