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 Cleric Guide

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Broj poruka : 167
Datum upisa : 01.11.2009
Godina : 30
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PočaljiNaslov: Cleric Guide   Pon Nov 02, 2009 4:28 am

1. What is a Cleric?
If you have any experience with previous MMOs, the cleric is the well-known heal&support class. You have mainly healing and buffing skills, and as such your role in a group is standing back and healing your wounded party members while ensuring they are kept buffed and dispelled of negative effects and that dead members are quickly ressurected with less experience loss. However, you are also a potent damage dealer. You tend to have low resilience compared to other classes but make up for this with devastating long range attacks.
The neat perk of priests is that they have both magical (metal element based) attacks, and physical ones (which also rely on your magic power). This makes you incredibly flexible both in PvP and PvE situations (Is the enemy wearing heavy armor? Zap him with a thunderbolt. Is he a robe-wearing mage? Use a physical attack to exploit his vulnerability.).
Other noteworthy features are an interesting debuff tree which allows you to put your enemy to sleep, stop his movement or decrease his defenses. These can be used both offensively and defensively, adding an interesting edge over the common 'stay back and heal' role of a priest. Clerics can also use mana to shield themselves from damage for a while, and they have moderate area of effect capabilities.
As such, we are looking at a very fun and balanced class that can perform in both PvP and PvE situations, and both single and party based contexts. You are hands down the best (only) support class, and you can double as a damage dealer (inferior but comparable to a mage).

2. Why should I play a Cleric?
- Fun, balanced class.
- You can help out your friends and guildees.
- You will be sought after in dungeons and have no problem finding a group.
- The only class that can fly as soon as level 1 (others start at 30).

3. Why shouldn't I play a Cleric?
- Incredible money sink, probably the most expensive class to play.
- Gameplay can get repetitive (using the same skill over and over), up to the point where you don't even have to touch the keyboard (using a chanelled heal spell for hours on end; this might be a good thing if you're incredibly lazy).
- If left on your own, you will have trouble killing certain monsters (melee and especially archer types) which impedes your solo/questing potential. This can be overcome with creative use of your skills, and more often than not, a good group.

4. What gear should my Cleric use?
Your weapon will be exclusively a magic device (sword, wand, staff, or jewel quoit). Out of these, wands have constant, reliable damage, while quoits have the highest max damage, but also the lowest min damage, making them rather unpredictable. Swords and staves are somewhere inbetween. The choice doesn't really matter, but I personally favor swords (decently high damge, not too wild range, cool looks).

Your armor will be either robes or light armor. Robes are the classical caster attire, and will give you ungodly amounts of magical defense, while leaving you vulnerable to physical attacks. They also have little STR requirements which ensures your stat points aren't wasted. The second choice, light armor, evens out your physical and magical defenses. Defense has diminishing returns: if 3000 defense nets you 30% damage reduction, adding another 1000 won't give you another 10%; it will be a smaller number (maybe 8%). The next 1000 will net you an even smaller number (say 6%), up to where added defense will hardly be noticeable (as a note, these numbers are made up, just there to prove a point.). As such, light armor gives you the best of both worlds. However it requires STR and DEX, which leaves your character starved for stat points (generally your VIT will suffer). It's recommended that you start off as a robe build though; it's more straightforward and newcomer-friendly. You can restat to wear light armor if so you choose later on (provided you spend real life money). There are also experimental builds involving heavy armor or heavy armor mixed with robes; those are too exotic for the purpose of this article.

5. What stats should I invest in?
You get 5 stat points each level-up. You have 4 base stats: MAG, DEX, STR, VIT. MAG increases your mana pool and regeneration, magical damage, and allows you to use weapons and robes. DEX gives you a higher critical rate, evasion and allows you to wear light armor. VIT increases your hitpoints and hitpoint regeneration. STR allows you to wear items (physical damage is irrelevant to this class, as the physical damage spells rely on your magical damage instead).
To wear the best available magic weapon for your level you need to add 3 MAG points each level. Experimental builds might choose to downrank their weapon, freeing stats in the process, but that's not something a newcomer should attempt. This leaves us with 2 stat points each level. To wear your weapon/robes you need an average of 0.5 STR each level. We will hence spread out our distribution over 2 levels:

* Every 2 levels: 10 stat points

+ Barebones build. Minimum necessary stats for robes/weapon (not a build per se but you can do this to conserve your stats if you haven't made up your mind yet).
- 6 MAG
- 1 STR
- 3 free points

+ Highly offensive build. Very low survivability. High damage and healing power.
- 9 MAG
- 1 STR

+ Offensive build. Low survivability. High damage and healing power.
- 7-8 MAG
- 1 STR
- 1-2 VIT

+ Balanced build. Decent survivability. Mid-high damage and healing power.
- 6 MAG
- 1 STR
- 3 VIT

+ Light armor build. Geared towards using light armor. Balance of magic and physical defense. Superior critical rate. Minimal hitpoints but higher survivability when facing physical opponents. PvP versatility. Mid-high healing power, but higher overall damage due to an increased critical rate.
- 6 MAG
- 2 STR
- 2 DEX

As you probably realised, the only build that can wear light armor is the last one. All other builds use exclusively robes. Light armor build can also use a set of robes appropriate for their level if facing magic enemies (supporting two sets of armor will prove expensive). You might choose to downgrade a light build's armor to increase VIT. This is, however, experimental and beyond our purpose.
The best recommended build for a first time player is the balanced build (6 MAG/1 STR/3 VIT over 2 levels). It will ensure you have good damage/healing power and survive decently. The light armor build can also be attempted as starting monsters are mostly physical. Choose an offensive build if you have reliable friends and spend your time mainly in groups.

6. How do I heal?
You initially have 3 healing spells at your disposal:
Blessing of the Purehearted - high cast time, high amount of healing, decent mana efficiency.
Wellspring Surge - low cast time, low amount of healing, low mana efficiency.
Ironheart Blessing - very low cast time, high amount of healing over 15 seconds (regeneration), best mana efficiency

Sadly, as much as you might try to combine and experiment, the undisputably best way to heal is to cast Ironheart Blessing over and over again. What most newcomers don't realise is that the effect stacks, which means applying it over and over quickly overpowers using the one-shot healing spells. You should only level up Ironheart Blessing for PvE purposes.

In regular parties, drop an Ironheart every time someone's health reaches the 3/4 margin (to preserve their hierogram). Stack it a few times if someone is attacked by multiple monsters.

In dungeons, focus mainly on the tank. Regular monsters shouldn't be a problem unless you don't have a venomancer/someone accidentally pulled multiple mobs. If multiple party members are in danger, use Soon, the Light to get their health to a decent level and then cast Ironheart on them one at a time. Repeatedly casting Soon, the Light tends to get you targeted by monsters (this hardly happens with Ironheart), hence use it with discretion. At higher levels you may choose to deploy Regeneration Aura instead of using Soon, the Light. Also, before using a multi-target healing effect make sure each monster has been hit by someone; if not, you will get heal aggro, and unless you have prepared a solid countermeasure (speed potion, Plume Shell, healing potions), there is a good chance you will die and wipe your group.

When attacking a boss, stack Ironheart on the tank 4-5 times, before he engages in combat (he hasn't been targeted by the boss). Then let him charge and get a hit in on the boss. Afterwards continue applying Ironheart. This is crucial: if you heal once the boss has noticed the tank, but the tank has not landed a hit you will be targeted by the boss instead. This won't be noticeable with melee bosses, where the tank can get his attention as he runs to you, but with ranged bosses it's the #1 cause of death for inexperienced priests, as most ranged bosses can easily oneshot you. If the boss has an area of effect attack keep out of range as best as possible (high heal levels generally let you heal from outside range). If you are outdoors you can fly above the tank (healing is not halved by air-to-ground usage the way damage spells are), if the boss is melee. Use Purify if the tank gets debuffed. If the debuff is aoe, focus on the tank and only use Purify on other party members if your cooldown can handle it.

As a note on Ironheart usage: many beginner priests make the mistake of stacking it until the tank's health is stable, then stop. This is horribly wrong, because once the stacks start wearing off, the tank will take more and more damage. By the time you notice this, even if you start reapplying, you can at best keep the stack at the same number of heals, which, if the tank is still losing hitpoints, means death. Using a one-shot heal will only make things worse as more applications will wear off, getting the tank to die faster. So, if you want to conserve mana, begin by spamming Ironheart at your maximum cast rate. Once the tank is stable, slow down the rate at which you cast (once every 3 seconds). If he is still stable after 15 seconds, slow it down again (once every 4 seconds). So on until he starts to slowly lose health. At that point spam Ironheart at full speed again, then return to the previous delay after 15 seconds (if he started losing health at 5 second cast delay, keep casting every 4 seconds).

7. How do I kill?
Killing monsters is straightforward, in the beginning use a combination of Plume Shot and Great Cyclone. Start off with Cyclone to debuff a monster's movement, then cast Plume Shot to fill in Cyclone's cooldown. Keep alternating Cyclone and Plume Shot. If a monster is too strong for you, or you wish to preserve health, cast Cyclone and run backwards until the cooldown is up. Repeat the cast and run process until the monster is dead (ideally he doesn't get the chance to hit you). If a monster is too fast/ranged, begin with Plume Shot, then Cyclone. Then apply Ironheart Blessing to yourself once or twice. Continue alternating Plume Shot and Cyclone.

Razor Feathers/Wield Thunder are improved versions of Plume Shot/Great Cyclone (minus the speed debuff), but have a much higher cast time/cooldown. As such, they're best used as openers: use Wield Thunder to take out a good chunk of the monster's health, debuff him with Cyclone, then alternate spells of your choosing.

I believe it's redundant to say that if you're facing metal based or magic resistant monsters, you should fall back on using exclusively physical spells, while when facing physical resistant monsters you should rely on metal spells. In this fashion, the only monster you will have problems with is a metal based, physical resistant combination, making you one of the most versatile classes in this regard. If you are fighting wood monsters, your metal spells have a noticeable damage boost; alternating Great Cyclone and Wield Thunder is a very effective way of dealing with said monsters.

8. What skills should I invest in?
As previously stated, the Cleric has a wide array of skills, ranging from support to debuff:

a. Healing spells

- Blessing of the Purehearted
166.25 + 10.00% matk healing/second
2.37 + 0.14% matk healing/mana point

- Wellspring Surge
140.00 + 8.00% matk healing/second
2.16 + 0.12% matk healing/mana point

- Ironheart Blessing
357.00 + 15.00% matk healing/second
3.11 + 0.13% matk healing/mana point

- Stream of Rejuvenation
702.85 + 14.28% matk healing/second
2.89 + 0.05% matk healing/mana point

These four are the single target healing spells available to a Cleric. Blessing of the Purehearted and Wellspring Surge are instant heals, while Ironheart Blessing heals over 15 seconds. Stream of Rejuvenation's effect is half instant, half over 15 seconds. As you can see from my calculations (all values have been computed for level 10 skills), Ironheart Blessing overpowers Blessing of the Purehearted and Wellspring Surge by a wide margin; that makes it the only viable candidate for healing at low levels. Since it's a stackable over time effect, it takes 15 seconds of continual casting for it to reach its peak efficiency. This isn't a problem in boss fights, where you can pre-stack it before the tank engages combat. In PvP or emergency situations, you might want to have Wellspring Surge for its instant effect and short cast time (though its efficiency is the lowest). While also instant, Blessing of the Purehearted has too long a cast time to be viable. Stream of Rejuvenation is an endgame heal (maxed at 85 as opposed to around 50 for the other 3 heals), so it'll be a while before it enters the equation. It overtakes Ironheart Blessing in flat healing bonus by a wide margin, but is slightly worse as far as matk based healing comes. Its mana efficiency is considerably lower.
Ironheart Blessing is the only heal worth leveling/using; you might want Wellspring Surge if you encounter situations where emergency healing is needed. Blessing of the Purehearted is made obsolete by its counterparts, while Stream of Rejuvenation should be postponed for end-game, after other skills have been accounted for
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