Classes: The Shaman

Shamen - primitive power. The only magic using class of the barbarians, ogres and trolls, shamen get a variety of spells that combine aspects of most of the other magic using classes. This combination, along with the racial strength, means the class can be played in a variety of different ways.

What is the best way to develop and play your shaman? What spells and skills are the most and least useful? Can a shaman be soloed, and if so how? How should you play your shaman in a group?

Post your strategies on how to best play and develop the Shaman and read, rate and comment on what others have to say.

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WIS vs. STA and HP:Mana conversionFollow

WIS vs. STA and HP:Mana conversion
#1 Jul 22 2010 at 9:38 PM Rating: Decent

I am planning on returning to EQ after taking a few years off. I am considering playing a Shaman. In my previous life I was a 40-something Cleric. Apologies for ignorance over any out-of-date concepts I may have.

I have seen a number of debates about the relative value of Wisdom vs. Stamina as it pertains to the net effect it has on a Shaman's ability to sustain spellcasting.

Most people insist, quite loudly, that STA is more important than WIS (due to Cannibalize, etc). A few insist that WIS still wins out.

I have done some math myself and would like to know (a) if my numbers seem correct, and/or (b) if there something I'm failing to take into account. If nothing else, maybe this will provide interesting food for thought for the one other person out there (whomever you may be) who is as nerdy as me.

I'm gonna try to break it down by fundamental assertions; let me know which of these are incorrect:

Assertion #1: For each +1 to STA (below 255), a Shaman gains 0.05 hit points per level (so +2 hp per +1 STA at Level 40).

Assertion #2: For each +1 to STA (above 255), a Shaman gains 0.025 hit points per level (so +1 hp per +1 STA at Level 40).

Assertion #3: For each +1 to WIS (below 200), a Shaman gains 0.2 mana points per level (so +8 mana per +1 WIS at Level 40).

Assertion #4: For each +1 to WIS (above 200), a Shaman gains ~0.0775 mana points per level (so +3.1 mana per +1 WIS at Level 40).

Assertion #5: Shamen can convert their own HP to Mana using various Cannibalize spells; the theoretical best hp:mana conversion ratio being 1.57:
- (LVL 23) Cannibalize I: consume 50 hp, gain 19-30 mana (conversion ratio is 1.66 to 2.63 hp:mana)
- (LVL 38) Cannibalize II: consume 67 hp, gain 30-42 mana (conversion ratio is 1.60 to 2.23 hp:mana)
- (LVL 54) Cannibalize III: consume 74 hp, gain 39-47 mana (conversion ratio is 1.57 to 1.90 hp:mana)
- (LVL 58) Cannibalize IV: consume 148 hp, gain 81-82 mana (conversion ratio is 1.80 to 1.83 hp:mana)

Assertion #6: Shamen can convert Mana to HP using various healing spells; the theoretical best high-bandwidth hp:mana conversion ratio being 6.0:
- (LVL 29) Greater Healing: consume 115 mana, gain up to 350 hp (conversion ratio is 3.04 hp:mana)
- (LVL 44) Stoicism: consume 180 mana, gain 640 hp (conversion ratio is 3.56 hp:mana)
- (LVL 51) Superior Healing: consume 185 mana, gain 600 hp (conversion ratio is 3.24 hp:mana)
- (LVL 55) Chloroblast: consume 331 mana, gain up to 994-1044 hp (conversion ratio is 3.0 to 3.15 hp:mana)
- (LVL 58) Kragg's Mending: consume 400 mana, gain up to 1950 hp (conversion ratio is less than 4.875 hp:mana)
- (LVL 60) Torpor: consume 200 mana, gain 1200 hp (conversion ratio is 6.0 hp:mana)

plus you can probably leverage some additional slow-rate high-efficiency conversion with stuff like:
- (LVL 52) Regrowth: consume 180 mana, slowly gain up to 4100 hp (limited-bandwidth conv. ratio of 22.78)

Assertion #7: Given that Shamen can readily convert their HP to mana and back, their HP & mana pools both contribute to their overall "mana pool depth"

Assertion #8: Given the HP:Mana conversion ratios in #5 and #6, we can generalize and say that 1 Mana Point > 1 Hit Point (in fact, 1 MP ~= 1.6 HP or worse).

Assertion #9: Given the HP-per-STA ratios in #1 and #2, each +1 STA buys the Shaman an effective 0.025 (STA>255) to 0.05 (STA<255) HP per level

Assertion #10: Given the Mana-per-WIS ratios in #3 and #4, each +1 WIS buys the Shaman an effective ~0.08 (WIS>200) to 0.2 (WIS<200) Mana per level

Assertion #11: Given our best-case sustainable HP-to-Mana conversion rate of 1.6:1 (per #5), each +1 STA buys the Shaman an effective 0.016 (STA>255) to 0.031 (STA<255) Mana per level.

Assertion #12: For WIS < 200 and STA < 255, each +1 WIS buys the Shaman over 6x as much Mana (0.2 vs. 0.031) as would a +1 STA

Assertion #13: For WIS > 200 and STA > 255, each +1 WIS buys the Shaman over 3x as much Mana (0.08 vs. 0.025) as would a +1 STA

Assertion #14: Even for WIS > 200 and STA < 255, each +1 WIS buys the Shaman over 1.6x as much Mana (0.08 vs. 0.05) as would a +1 STA

Assertion #15: For pure Mana consideration, a higher WIS *dramatically* beats out over a higher STA

That said, there are some meta-considerations as well to be taken into account:

Consideration #16: When you reach 0 mana, you are OOM. When you reach 0 HP, you are dead. Therefore, HP are obviously important.

Consideration #17: The higher your HP, the bigger your "Cannibalize buffer" is, i.e. how much overhead you have to play with before feeling vulnerable.

Consideration #18: Since many people claim that it's "easy" to reach your stat caps (I don't remember), any +WIS above cap is wasted and should instead be giving you +STA (and vice-versa).

Consideration #19: Draining your Mana pool is better than draining your HP, in that you regain Mana faster while medding than HP.

Consideration #20: Draining your HP pool is better than draining your Mana, in that others (esp. Druid, Cleric) can refill your HP for you much more easily than your Mana.

Consideration #21: None of this takes any special HP or mana regen items / AA / whatever into account. However, I suspect the conclusions would remain largely unchanged.


P.S. I have also seen debates about Druid vs. Shaman as 2nd place healer in EQ, but from what I can tell a Shaman with a sustainable Cannibalize cycle set up can heal far more effectively than a Druid (at level 23 and up), and in some cases can even keep pace with a Cleric (albeit with far more clicking).

P.P.S. In case Race comes into play here at all, let's assume Barbarian since that's probably what I'd play. Mostly because of looks.
WIS vs. STA and HP:Mana conversion
#2 Feb 05 2011 at 10:08 PM Rating: Good
150 posts
Really they are both important. if your wis is low you will have low mana pool then you you won't have to canni as much to get to max. Regen and HoT will keep your HPs up so you can canni down. Mass canni has a timer, can't remember how long it is but if you canni the HoT you will be good before it refreshes.
I haven't played with the OOC regen, but I would say with that high wis would be what you want.
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