I’ve actually been sticking with an alt, how unique is that. I’m sure that hell must have frozen over or something while I was not looking. The past three days I’ve been dedicated to my coercer, Ishbel. Her role play story is that she’s actually the alter ego of Stargrace, my wood elf illusionist. Ishbel is everything that Stargrace is not. I haven’t managed to get a whole lot of role play going on her, but I enjoy having a back story none the less. Above is the paper doll image I’ve created for her (the image of her is actually with her posing in Maj’Dul, not that you can see that, I’ve added the library background from West Freeport) the forums appear to be down today though, so I’m unable to post it on her eq2player profile. Soon as it’s back up I’ll upload the image there and that’ll be three of the 13 alts done.

I’ve been trying to farm the cowl of the trickster which apparently drops from brownies in Lesser Faydark, to no avail. I spent about three hours there last night and had lots of other drops (which covered my repair costs at least) but no cowl. I wasn’t sure which was worse, the fact that I spent three hours there farming solo mobs, or the fact that I got 40% experience (with no vitality) killing those solo brownies. Ah well. I did manage to snag lots of L&L pieces. Not that I got the L&L started at all.

I’ve learned a few things while playing my coercer this time around. If anyone’s known me long enough you know that Stargrace was actually a coercer to start. I betrayed her way back when she was level 10 or so, and then betrayed back to illusionist for my guild about a year ago. I dreaded leveling up the coercer. It was before EoF and the zones and quests were drab. I couldn’t get a group for the life of me, and it felt like I struggled through the 50’s forever. So what have I learned between then and now?

1. Upgrade those charm spells

If you plan on doing any sort of solo work what so ever, upgrade those spells. I was lucky, I found the level 47 charm for 1p. It doesn’t get upgraded until 61, so that’s a big chunk of key levels right there. It was a steal. I also bought the level 61 m1 charm for 25p which was also a great bargain in my opinion. There are very few spells that I’d ever pay that amount for, but a m1 charm vs an adept3 is a huge difference. In fact I didn’t realize the difference until I played with the two. It’s the difference of a 22k nuke vs. a 5k nuke. No, it doesn’t make your charmed pets physically stronger (which I think it should do) but it makes their dps differ by a huge amount. These spells are key to your class. However, since in most groups, and the majority of raids, you will never get to USE these charms – it’s debatable. It’s all in how you play your class.

2. Get used to dying

This was actually my most difficult concept to get used to, and it took me a lot of time. I get upset when I die over and over, I just can’t help it. I like to think I’m a fairly good player, and dying means I’m a bad player — not true. I’ve probably died on my coercer more then any other class I’ve ever leveled up, but honestly it’s the way the class works that makes it so. If you’re fighting an encounter that’s relatively hard, chances are your pet is going to break. Then you’re going to end up with 10 adds, and before you know it you’re going to be a pancake. It happens. Get over it. Dust yourself back off, go charm another pet, and try again. I know it’s not fun to pay those repair bills, but the faster a coercer learns that “if it can go wrong it will go wrong” sort of mentality, they’ll be 100 times better off. Expect your pet to break every time you start a fight. I can’t believe the number of times I’d just charmed a mob, went to the kitchen to get a drink of water, and have it break on me in the .5 seconds I was gone and smush me. Lesson learned. I have a jug of water on my desk.

3. Learn your limitations

Probably another one of those good key rules. Learn what you can handle. Don’t charm some random mob and then expect to start soloing heroic content. It doesn’t happen. Learn what you can handle and what you can obviously not handle. Go look up some of the pet guides out there (there are a few, and they’re wonderful) and learn what is good in what situation. Get to really know your class. Get a method down for working your way through your levels. Get comfortable with it. If you can learn your limitations and what your abilities are you’ll be much happier and should die less.

Most of all of course, have fun. I’m honestly having so much fun playing this class and learning my limitations (a huge portion of that is due to the fact that I just simply love my master charm spells) that I haven’t even felt the want or need to play another class lately. Anyone who knows me understands that’s something of a feat. I have three level 50+ characters just sitting in tier 6 because I hate the 50’s, and even though I’ve completed most of the solo chains in both Sinking Sands and Lesser Faydark, I’ve moved on to KoS zones and started basket quests which are still quite fun (even when yellow). So will this be my next class to level 70? Hopefully. I’d like to get 70 before RoK comes out. Yes, that’ll be my 6th level 70 character – but hey you can never have too much selection, hmms?