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1
General Discussion / Brek Fist's AEQ Class Tier List: Level 51 and Beyond
« Last post by Dolmir on February 16, 2019, 08:44:25 pm »
Introduction
This tier list is:

  • Intended to describe the relative power level of classes at level 51 with about 100 AA points and top-quality gear.
  • My opinion alone: I did not consult with others for my research. I have only studied information available to me and the behavior of others.
  • Subject to changes as new information becomes available to me and as items, spells, and skills change.
It is not intended to be:

  • A criticism of anyone's class selection. Please don't take it personally if I say your favorite class is not performing well compared to others.
  • A tirade against the developers of AEQ. I believe most of the issues are inherent to stock EQEmu and I don't hold anyone accountable for issues of class balance that have taken me months to fully appreciate.


S Tier
These classes are so good that they overshadow the intended strengths of multiple other classes.

Mage
Mage pet DPS is comparable to most Melee DPS characters and the Mage itself can provide some utility with resist debuffs and some extra damage with nukes. This combination of magic and physical damage output makes it very resilient to circumstances that ordinarily limit DPS output of a character (high resists or melee mitigation). Mage is low on utility but the damage output and resilience to defense is so far ahead of everything else that it is my pick as the premier DPS class.

Shaman
Slow has always been hideously overpowered in all flavors of Everquest that I have experienced and AEQ is no exception. Slow single-handedly transforms large swathes of content from manageable-but-taxing to basically trivial. While Shaman is not the only class with access to slows, it is by far the best at it, slowing at an incredible rate of 75% and doing so at instant speed and no mana cost. On top of this, Shaman is a fine healer, can do some damage when the group calls for it, and can take hits nearly as well as tank classes.

A Tier
These classes are better than most but not by so much that they warp the game. You don't need to have one of these in your group but they tend to make things smoother.

Cleric
True to normal EQ, this class has the best healing potential and good buffs. Not much else to say really. Pacify is also a very good mechanic.

Necromancer
Necromancer pet DPS is comparable to Mage pet but I haven't seen it do enough damage to warrant an S-Rating by itself. Necromancer damage is also nothing to scoff at except that the damage inherently suffers from high damage output of other characters. Damage over time is not in a good place right now due to the time it takes to kill an exp mob. Necromancer can also supply some serious utility for a group in the form of significantly buffed twitch spells but this is generally not that much of a draw thanks to the amount of mana regeneration available to other classes.

Wizard
I have seen Wizards produce really good damage numbers and the factors that might hold them back from full potential aren't much of an issue in AEQ: mana regeneration is plentiful and pulling aggro with a large nuke doesn't punish the Wizard very much because of how damage mitigation seems to be working at the moment. Sadly, their damage is really dependent on the spell resistance of the target: against enemies that frequently resist their nukes they suffer a lot. If the Wizard could fight well against resistant enemies or they provided just a bit of utility to the group then they could earn a spot in S Tier along with Mages.

B Tier
These classes are fine but not spectacular. You usually aren't sad to see one in your group but usually you can make a case for improving the group by changing one out for an A- or S- tier class.

Berserker
Berserker does decent damage but more importantly, generates threat at a very high rate and has good physical damage mitigation. Also, a substantial fraction of their damage is not physical, so they don't suffer as much as one might think when slowed or attacking enemies with high damage mitigation (not that we have seen this very much).

Paladin
Paladin threat generation is almost as high as Berserker and their damage is a bit better than Shadowknights. A slight edge in physical damage mitigation over Shaman, Berserker, and Cleric is enough to earn a spot in B-Tier. In addition, the Paladin HP buff is always welcome. Also does pretty good damage against undead.

Rogue
I have been impressed recently by Rogue DPS but similar to the Wizard, their damage is fragile in that it only comes from Melee. Lack of diversity of damage options keeps them down and they provide only minimal utility to the group.

Warrior
I believe that Warrior has the best physical damage mitigation but that rarely matters. The real reason Warriors rise above C Tier is that they actually do a pretty good amount of damage while tanking. Unfortunately, they also are dependent on endurance and are totally unable to relieve this constraint at the moment due to a near-complete lack of endurance regeneration spells or items. If you are grouped with a Warrior, expect most of your "meditation" breaks to be necessitated by the Warrior's available Endurance.

C Tier
These classes are ok, but they rarely compete with the higher-tier classes.

Beastlord
Basically a bad Mage. If you don't have a Shaman for some reason the ability to slow might come in handy but just group with a Shaman and upgrade your Beastlords to Mages.

Enchanter
This is one I can be really wrong about because I have never actually observed someone put full effort behind making this class work but my impression of this class is that it really lacks enough charm targets to be close to good at DPS. Mesmerize is totally unnecessary when a Shaman is in the group and I doubt it works most of the time you would want it to. There are many Enchanter buff bots but no one actually playing it on the server, and I think that neglect is deserved. Even the improved haste spell available to Enchanters compared to Shamans barely matters due to the haste cap and easily available item haste.

Monk
Monk does ok damage but not as much as the Rogue and suffers from many of the same problems. In rare instances it is useful to split pull with Feign Death and because of this Monk escapes F Tier but these situations are not frequent enough to pull Monk out of C Tier. I for one am glad that Feign Death is usually not needed to pull because the mechanic is available to so few classes that it would create a very different but perhaps worse class diversity problem than the ones we already experience.

Ranger
Ranger does enough damage to keep up with, but rarely surpass other melee DPS but at range. This presents an interesting option but the raw numbers are not high enough for me to really elevate the Ranger to the same level as a Wizard or even a Rogue. Ranger tanking could be as good as Berserker tanking but I don't see how the Ranger could maintain the damage output when the bow is not an option.

Shadowknight
Shadowknight seems to fall short of the Paladin in both threat generation and overall damage while being equal in damage mitigation. While Shadowknight is perhaps more useful than the other classes in C Tier, being a worse version of another class makes it easy for me to put it in a lower tier.

F Tier
These classes are in a truly sad state. There is almost never a situation that calls for their specific combination of abilities over those of another class.

Bard
Considering the value of crowd control and the availability of haste spells and items in general, the Bard doesn't have much to offer other than its direct damage output (which has always been awful) and the mana regeneration song. The combination of these things is not enough to make the Bard more effective than just putting another real DPS character in the group. Bard is also in a tough spot mechanically due to the current server policy of 2-box limit and no automation. It is really hard for me to imagine a player really getting the most out of a Bard while 2-boxing.

Druid
Druid is mostly a bad Shaman. A couple of good buff spells and teleportation doesn't help their cause much: like the Enchanter they mostly just appear for a short time before the action begins and then go back to gfay to assist the next round of adventurers.
2
General Discussion / Re: What were your favorite zone(s) from live, and why?
« Last post by Dev-Mirage on February 16, 2019, 02:22:14 pm »
(bump)

Although, it's probably not horribly insightful, I'd say that my favorite zone has always been Greater Faydark (specifically near Kelethin) because of Jay Barbeau's masterpiece. The song in this area is awesome. Me and a friend of mine once spent a few days transcribing the song for the guitar, because we loved it so much. I remember logging into a new character on dial up internet and a Windows 98 HP desktop (which took a long time to do, by the way (I'd hear the EQ theme song in the loading screen loop at least 3 times)). Often, the first thing that I'd hear would be the Kelethin theme song because I'd make a point of camping a character near the lifts, when I could. The song has a great "airy" yet upbeat "fantasy" element to it that is hard to put into words. What I can say was that it always put me in the right "mood" to do whatever it was and "immersed" me into the game much more than I would have been, otherwise. The Aviakian city in South Karana has my second favorite theme, and I'd exp there while leveling, just to hear that song, as well.

With that said, probably my favorite zone for exping/exploring was Veksar. I loved the way that the map was setup. It gets progressively harder (and has more named with increasingly useful loot) as one delves more deeply into its depths. Upon reaching the final section, there's a shortcut to get back to the entrance, which is great for melee classes. Before the origin AA was added to the game, and there were readily available clickable options to get to a safe spot, melees often had it rough in dungeons. Where casters always had an easy way out, all it took was an LD party member to make a fun dungeon crawl into a frightening experience for a melee. With that said, Veksar (with it's numerous shortcuts between the "sections" like the board that goes into the top floor of a building or the various ramps to backtrack) make that experience casual enough to take the stress out of the situation, while still having fair difficulty (I remember it being fairly balanced, when I went through it) as one traversed through it.

As for raiding, I never raided on classic live. I didn't start doing that until I began playing on EqEmulator servers such as Scorpius2k, SoD, PEQ, p2002,  ...etc. It's hard for me to pinpoint what raid zone is best without specifying a given server and explaining how the custom mechanics of the server and custom class/item abilities played a role in them. I can talk about the layout of zones that I like, and mechanics that I like for boss fights, but I'd have to give such excruciating detail for it to make sense, given the custom nature of some of the best raiding experiences that I've had, that it might merit another thread (which I might make). It'd be great to know what kinds of mechanics people like to see in fights and what sorts of keying/flagging systems have worked in the past or failed miserably. I'll just say that every great raid experience that I've had has been in a raid situation where everything from the trash clearing to the boss fights themselves took effort from every member of the raid. The worst experiences have been ones where most of the raid is sitting waiting for a puller throughout the entire clear to the boss(es), only to be met with a fight where one guy in a VoIP server calls out generic orders for the raid to re-position itself when the scripts for the fights demand it (rather than having people watch for the mechanics themselves). Essentially, I've always loved fights that have individual responsibility and "actually" require a great deal of teamwork. I love when every player matters, regardless of the strength of their character. Everyone should have a chance to shine or to lose the fight for everyone, and I can think of so many great encounters across the servers that I've played that exemplify that. Finally, since I want to give an actual answer, I'll say that I love Solusek Ro's Tower, for aesthetic reasons. It'd be hard to make that zone boring, when customizing it.

TL;DR: Greater Faydark is my favorite zone because of music; South Karana is my second favorite for the same reason;
the best group experience is Veksar, and best raid zone is arbitrary in my mind because the trash/boss fights matter more to me and my favorite raid situations have all be custom.

Honorable mentions:
Plane of Water (I love water zones; I'm sorry.)
Kedge (The most three-dimensionally complex zone in the game, in my opinion.)
While the game is in 3D, usually moving straight up or down isn't an option.
One usually moves forwards, backwards, left, or right to traverse through a zone.
Any deltas in height are typically due to a circular movement up a ramp or ladder of some sort and back to the original location with a floor (previously the ceiling) below you. Kedge opens up immense geographical complexity and makes for a maze-like experience for one who has never been there. It confused me and caused me to get lost for the first few trips, and I loved every second of it.

Barindu ->Vxed, the Crumbling Caverns I absolutely loved that this was a 6 man zone that had mini named that could be repeatedly spawned to farm, even after flagging for raiding here, in Tipt, and in Ferubi. The zone had great replay-ability, since it "felt" different depending on the class composition of one's group. Bringing an enchanter vs. a monk would give an entirely different pace to the group, and learning the pathing of the mobs in various routes through the zone was a must.
3
General Discussion / Re: AEQ 1-51: A Review
« Last post by Dev-Mirage on February 16, 2019, 01:18:51 am »
Hey, I'm a bit late to the party, but I wanted to say thank you, as well.
Seeing people enjoying the work that each of us put into the server is really what makes what we do worthwhile!
It's really great and insightful to see how spread your analysis of the custom content was in particular.
The things that you've mentioned covered work that all of us have done pretty equally, and that says a great deal to me about how closely we've been able to adhere to Eldarian's vision for the server, to keep things cohesive, while having the freedom to bring our own creativity to it. I take the positive bits of your post as a complement to the teamwork that we've done thus far, and hope that we can continue to move in the right direction in the future.

I completely agree with what you've said about the vendors. Aside from spell vendors being spread out a bit too much, there's also the issue of the spells being alphabetized, rather than being ordered by their respective level requirements. We've talked about moving the spells across multiple vendors so as only to have one level set of spells each, as we have time. I don't know that I can give any estimation on how soon that will be completed, since there will be quite a great deal of ground to cover, but it will definitely happen. With that said, I really do appreciate your feedback regarding rare drops and spell acquisition. Any time that we see something being done wrong, it gives us a chance to improve the server for everyone that comes next.

With regard to what you've said about the rare spawns with rare drops, that's exactly what I had in mind when I started my work on Delvea (which still isn't entirely finished, by the way). I liked the idea that time spent could directly translate into a reward (and a reward of one's choosing, rather than a random drop that may not be useful). Of course, I think it's good to have a balance between luck and guarantee, but hopefully in such a way so as to make the randomness more about fun "surprises" than unfair grinding for some and undeserved windfalls for others.

At the risk of bloviating too much, I'll say that your post came at a great time for me. I've only recently been able to start developing for the server again, after about a month-long sabbatical owing to some hardware failure and subsequent rebuilding(and RMAing some defective parts for this new computer that I'm now using).
I've been working on some applications that will help with the developmental process outside of the game itself in the last couple of weeks, but there are things in game to which I'll be returning and new things that I'll be starting as I have time. Anyway, I guess I just mean to say that this was a nice thing to read shortly after my ability to return. It's motivating to see the success of what has been accomplished so far, along with some new things upon which to improve for everyone's enjoyment. I'm optimistic for the future of the server.

Thank you, again!
4
Bugs: Quests, Recipes, or GamePlay / Re: Cazic Thule: Gnome escort quest does not work
« Last post by Dolmir on February 15, 2019, 10:06:57 pm »
I still haven't gotten any action from this Gnome.
5
Bugs: Items / Re: Valentine's Day Augments Recommended Level is 55
« Last post by GM-Bubbles on February 15, 2019, 04:47:27 pm »
Hello Dolmir!

So sorry, I thought we already made this change! But it is done now :)

You will see Rec 51 after the next server restart.
6
Bugs: Items / Valentine's Day Augments Recommended Level is 55
« Last post by Dolmir on February 15, 2019, 04:02:04 pm »
This is only really an issue because applying a Recommended Level 55 Augment to an item without Recommended Level will apply the Recommended Level tag to the item and thus reduce the stats we receive as level 51 characters.
7
Feedback / Re: Kedge Keep
« Last post by Elizuth on February 15, 2019, 12:44:52 pm »
Honestly I had considered finally learning my way around Kedge after getting a shaman Totemic piece from here, but figured I didn't want to risk the chance that the items hadn't received love yet. If I knew there was something along the lines of Hero Bracers or HBC here, I'd double down and finally try to spend some time here.
8
Player Feedback / Re: Item Balance
« Last post by Elizuth on February 15, 2019, 12:20:48 pm »
I just wanted to say that I'm also in JJWF's camp when it comes to itemization. Classic EQ had lots of unbalanced items and that was part of the fun of it.
9
General Discussion / Re: AEQ 1-51: A Review
« Last post by Elizuth on February 15, 2019, 11:49:22 am »
Thanks for the kudos guys, I'm glad my feedback is helping. I went ahead and posted this (edited a bit) on the EQEmu forums as requested :)
10
Player Feedback / Re: Item Balance
« Last post by JJWF on February 15, 2019, 11:30:12 am »
I really like that there are some amazing items that you keep for a long time out of places you wouldn't necessarily expect them to be. It massively adds to the sense of adventure and discovery for me.

I am biased because I hate homogenised gear, though. Balance is for Counterstrike, not for EverQuest.
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+-Recent Topics

Brek Fist's AEQ Class Tier List: Level 51 and Beyond by Dolmir
February 16, 2019, 08:44:25 pm

What were your favorite zone(s) from live, and why? by Dev-Mirage
February 16, 2019, 02:22:14 pm

AEQ 1-51: A Review by Dev-Mirage
February 16, 2019, 01:18:51 am

Cazic Thule: Gnome escort quest does not work by Dolmir
February 15, 2019, 10:06:57 pm

Valentine's Day Augments Recommended Level is 55 by GM-Bubbles
February 15, 2019, 04:47:27 pm

Kedge Keep by Elizuth
February 15, 2019, 12:44:52 pm

Item Balance by Elizuth
February 15, 2019, 12:20:48 pm

ANNOUNCEMENT: Valentine's Day Holiday Event by GM-Bubbles
February 15, 2019, 09:13:18 am

"Weapons Delivery" Quest by Reaver
February 14, 2019, 10:13:18 pm

Paladin newbie weapon remarks by Reaver
February 14, 2019, 10:09:44 pm