How to Play A Mage (RoF - Current)
3/27/19 - I am currently working on my class guides, please give me a week or so and there should be material here. If there isn't then please leave a comment below yelling at me and I should finish it.
Let me start off by saying I am not the best Mage. I do not know the class as well as I know other classes and on my box team my Mage's primary purpose is for Group Call of the Heroes. Sometimes my Mage doesn't even participate in some fights because my Wizards carry my box team in terms of DPS.
This guide is going to talk about how to play a Mage from the Rain of Fear expansion until current (TBL) EQ. Since so much in EQ changes over the years this guide will not always be relevant; people reading it on a TLP server prior to say House of Thule will not be able to follow this guide since the class changes so much. Maybe one day in the distant future this guide will become out of date too and things will change again, that's the nature of EQ.
If you'd like to see how my interface is setup and the way I play, head on over to my Everquest Boxing Guides and you'll be able to view my setup there.
For an example of how much DPS I can do during a full burn I'd recommend you check out my Kissassist/Boxing DPS Guide or just view this parse here. Theycallmestacy is the Mage; his pet's DPS is not combined with his own since Gamparse was still in beta. (Remember: I am not that good at Mages!!)
As for the guide, playing a caster in EQ usually has you use two different rotations. You're going to want to use one rotation while burning (when cooldowns are active) as well as one rotation when you're low on mana/when Cooldowns are down. Everquest is a game completely designed around cooldowns. Every raid and difficult mission is centered around and made easier by when and how you use your cooldowns, if you're wiping it's probably because you aren't burning at the right time or you're improperly using your cooldowns.
If you're doing crappy DPS it is also most likely caused by you using cooldowns improperly. There are of course situations where cooldowns do not matter as much, such as while you're killing enemies in the field and just leveling up or doing mercenary tasks yadda yadda. However, end game EQ has been centered around cooldown usage for as long as I can remember. If you've ever raided in EQ you probably already understand this and that's how this guide is setup - around this concept.
The idea is to get as much DPS out of your cooldowns as possible so you use your highest mana cost hardest hitting spells/abilities while they are active then when they're not active you switch to a rotation that uses a lot less mana.
To get started let's take a look at the spells I have on my spell bar as well as the primary hotbar that I use to play.
1. Volley of Many (Combine with Mini Pet Macro below)
2. Spear of Molten Arconite
3. Spear of Molten Shieldstone
4. Reckless Servant
+ Weave Force
((These are NOT cast orders for spells; just listing the spells to use))
Non Burn Rotation:
1. Chaotic Inferno
2. Spear of Molten Arconite
3. Spear of Molten Shieldstone
4. Reckless Servant
+ Weave Force
I got this rotation (kinda) from one of the best Mages I have ever seen in Valhallah on Firiona Vie. He parses better than I have ever seen anyone of his class do before but his rotation would be too difficult to encorporate into a boxing rotation so I had to alter it. This is probably not the best rotation for Mages but it is a pretty good one and the one I use to play.
Now let's take a look at my primary hotbar and the abilities that are on it.
Top Bar: Spear of Molten Arconite, Spear of Molten Shieldstone, Reckless Servant
Bottom Bar: Chaotic Inferno, Volley of Many
As you can see, I don't take my own advice on the mage to use two different rotations - it's why my DPS is such shit for the class. It's not that I am too lazy, it's just the only way I know how to play a Mage is by using a very specific casting order which you just can't reliably do while boxing unless you're using MQ2 in which case maybe if Kissassist attacked faster it could out DPS a boxer in this regard.
Now as for the other macros on my bar, I have a 'Protection' macro bound to the same slot as group heal. The Protection macro uses a few mage abilities that heal me and protect me from incoming damage. This isn't required but it sure is recommended!
Mini Pets uses Servant of Ro, Host of Elements and a few other abilities which will do damage in and of itself but also increase the damage of Volley of Many. If you'd like to see each macro I use broken down check out the pictures below.
Force of Elements (/alt act 8800) - This is the one force ability for Mages that you will weave between spells.
I put pet attack in this macro too cause sometimes I am retarded and forget to hit NPad 3 too.
Mini Pets Macro:
This macro will give you a small boost in DPS (20 - 30k probably) but more importantly it'll guarantee that your Volley of Many ability has all the targets available that you need to do max damage with it. I also threw in one of the items I have from Plane of War, the Rune of Tallon clicky.
Servant of Ro (/alt act 174) - Summons 1 pet that attacks the target for a certain amount of time. Increases the amount of damage Volley of Many will do.
Host of the Elements (/alt act 207) - This creates an army of swarm pets to attack the target. This when paired with Volley of Many will allow you to get the most DPS out of that spell.
Rune of Tallon Clicky - Summons a Swarm Pet that does a decent amount of damage. More Info about Rune of Tallon clicky
Fundament: Second Spire of the Elements - For this macro I use the Second Spire of Elements because it's useful to use when you're not burning.
Chest Item - For mages the majority of their chest slots have a clicky which adds a proc to your pets Backstab or Bash abilities.
This macro goes on the same keybind as Group Heal so that it fires when you're healing the group. The mage may not always be the person who is taking damage but if he is, this macro would be a significant help!
Shield of the Elements (/alt act 603) - Heals you, increases health regen and reduces incoming damage
Shared Health (/alt act 265) - Heals your pet, tethers him to you and all incoming damage is split with your pet for 2min
Mend Companion (/alt act 58) - Large heal to your pet. I don't have this bound or being used in any other aspect so why not here? With both this and Shared Health your pet will be fully healed.
Heart of Ice (/alt act 786) - Absorbs incoming spell damage. Much like most of the abilities in this macro it will only be useful if the mage is the one taking damage and he's being hit with spell damage. Luckily (or unluckily) most of the AoE damage these days in EQ is spell damage and it hits your whole group - so this will probably be really useful!!
Improved Twincast (/alt act 515)
Heart of Flames (/alt act 784)
Thaumaturge's Focus (/alt act
Focus of Arcanum (/alt act 1211)
Frenzied Burnout (/alt act 60)
Silent Casting (not required) (/alt act 500)
Fundament: First Spire of Elements (/alt act 1370)
Improved Twincast (/alt act 515) - Probably the most important cooldown all casters get. For the next 20 or so casts all your spells will Twincast guaranteed.
Silent Casting (/alt act 500) - This is one of your bread and butter burns for a Mage. Big nukes make mob angry.
Heart of Flames (/alt act 784) - This is the most important Mage cooldown that boosts the damage of your fire nukes.
Focus of Arcanum (/alt act 1211) - This ability makes it extremely difficult for the enemy to resist your spells which will greatly increase your DPS.
Thaumaturge's Focus (/alt act 390) - I'ma be honest with you. I have no clue why every mage uses this in their burns. It says it only works for magic spells and every mage rotation I see is all fire spells. Maybe they're using it for Force of Elements? IDK. I really really don't.
Companion's Fury [Frenzied Burnout/Virulent Talon] (/alt act 60) - This is your main pet burn and holy cow is this an awesome ability. This will make your pet hand out a can o' whoop ass to any enemy he's fighting. Many Mages use the Suspend Pet AA and do two pets back to back with Frenzied Burnout.
Fundament First/Second Spire of the Elements (/alt act 1211) - Depending on whether or not you have an Enchanter in your group determines which spire you will want to use. With an Enchanter's ADPS your crit chance will be maxed out so first spire will be useless, in this case second spire will give you more DPS. Alternatively you can choose just not to use any spires during your burns and use First spire when Enchanter's ADPS fades - this will be better DPS than using second spire during burns.
/useitem 17 (Chest Slot) - This is a small pet buff which gives their backstabs or bashes a strong nuke to go with it. A small but nice boost in DPS.
/alt act 323 is the old Virulent Talon, I forgot to remove it from my Macro until now