by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
Scouts are a diverse group of classes with abilities ranging from utility like mitigation debuffs or increased attack damage, to pure DPS (damage per second). While you might not actually need a scout to to kill an encounter, only a fool would diminish their importance. What roles do the different classes play, and how should each one be utilized? What type of player do you need to be in order to play a scout?
First, while not as squishy as a mage they still have a rough time playing the role of tank. Yes, in a pinch they will work because of high avoidance and chain armor, but don't turn away that Beserker just yet.
Unlike the other classes, they all have attacks that are positional. This means you have to be standing at a certain point in relation to what you are attacking for it to work. Many other abilities also require them to be in stealth which sounds easy but requires a little practice in combat.
Most scout classes like their brethren mages require control and knowledge. Too many players are eaten alive or wipe their raid from lack on control, and it's something I can't stress enough.
There are 3 different types of Scouts:
Bards - A mighty minstrel, one who protects the party through song and sword. The bard is low on DPS, but high in utility providing increased runspeed, party buffs, mob debuffs, and general abilites that are desired from soloing to the most comlicated raid. This is a support role which will provide desirability in groups but won't provide as easy a time solo as other scouts. Bard classes are Troubador and Dirge.
Predator - Bringers of death and pain, these are the true killers among classes and are unique in their bow attacks. Dealing insane amounts of damage, they are a little squisher than other Scouts. This means the creature has to die fast or the Predator does. Predator classes are Ranger and Assassin.
Rogue - Silent, Stealthy, and eyeing your purse these classes rely on positional attacks, stuns, and AE's. Rogue classes are Swashbuckler and Brigand. Click to find out more.
While each class will vary, there are a number of things to remember as a scout which can mean the difference between success and failure.
What to know
Know all your abilities. I've met too many players in the end game who don't take advantage of abilities that set their class apart. Do your homework, learn what everything does, and use it every opportunity you get.
Control your DPS. Read that again. Measuring your e-peen on the parser doesn't make you a better player, it just means you need to work on your teamwork. When you swipe aggro it annoys the tank, but more importantly annoys the healer.
Feel out your tanks aggro threshold. How quickly can you pour on damage and not take it?
Ask your tank to "turn" the pull. That means have them turn the mobs back towards the group so you aren't forward of your current combat area. Why? It reduces the chance you'll accidentally pull something else.
Don't be lazy with your positional attacks. If all your rear attacks are used up and you have ones that require you to be in front? Move up there, use them, and move back.
Note: This advice is more for grouping and not necessarily always a good idea raiding.
Use all your debuffs even if they don't benefit you directly. There are very few that won't provide a noticeable advantage in most groups so it's ok to sacrifice a little DPS.
Feign Death and hate reducers are no excuse for stupidity.
Know when to evac. It's not an exact science and you're going to make some people unhappy if you do it when the fight can be won. The alternative is to wipe anyway though.
Stuns can save the tanks life. If you see the tank is low on health, time your stuns to keep the mob from hitting him for a few seconds. It may give your healer just enough of a chance to make a difference.
Thanks for reading the Ten Ton Hammer guide to EQ2 Scouts. Keep checking back as we add to this guide, and feel free to email me if I missed something.
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