Posted Fri, Dec 24, 2010 by gunky
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Soloing with a Rune-keeper is an exhilarating experience. This is an "all-out" class for solo play - the goal is to unleash as much damage in as short a time as possible, to keep enemies from closing into melee range where they might take advantage of the Rune-keeper's physical squishiness.
Facing multiple enemies - more than 2 at a time - can be tough for the Rune-keeper, and this is true throughout the character's career. While he does have some impressive crowd-control, getting smacked on by even one enemy mob can set back inductions, and getting hit by multiple mobs at once can make healing impossible when it is needed.
To offset this somewhat, start with a healing rotation before engaging enemies. Prelude to Hope, Mending Verse and Rune of Restoration can all be used without healing attunement and are available out of combat, so throw those up before hurling lightning and fire. Rune of Restoration is particularly valuable for the start of a fight: if there are numerous enemy mobs, the rune can "tank" for a few seconds, allowing the Rune-keeper to deal with the enemies one at a time. The class trait Rune of Endurance will help with this: in addition to providing +30% healing per pulse, the rock will be +30% sturdier, enabling it to "tank" for a bit longer.
In order to hit the big numbers, it is imperative to build battle-attunement quickly and to keep it high for as long as possible. Don't waste time between fights - get to the next one quickly before the attunement meter drops. If you are able to hit the high-attunement skills sooner rather than later, the fights will go faster and the Rune-keeper can minimize personal risk. The longer you can stay in combat, the longer you can keep your attunement high and hit the big damage skills more often. If you have to kite weakened mobs to the next group to keep your attunement high, by all means do so.
Keep in mind, though, that the Rune-keeper will want to hold some skills in reserve. Shocking Words, for example, is best saved for when the Rune-keeper has 9 battle attunement, when it has a 68% chance to stun the target. Some skills do additional damage per pip of battle-attunement, so holding those in reserve for higher attunements might make sense.
At higher levels, attunement can be quickly built by the use of enamels. Technically, these can be used starting at level 10, but at very low levels, the extreme cooldown on these consumables renders them largely useless. The cooldown on Red Enamel, usable at level 40, is only 3 minutes, which is much more reasonable. Apply a quick enamel after the first lightning bolt and you instantly have 4 battle-attunement pips. For endgame content, these enamels are critical.
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As a primary DPS machine, your goal is to deal consistent, large numbers to your enemies. No other skill in the game has as much potential for this as Epic Conclusion. With the right setup of traits and item legacies, the Rune-keeper can expect to hit 5-digit damage numbers with Epic Conclusion. Of course, this takes some planning:
This won't land 10k+ hits every time, of course, since you're still dealing with random numbers, which don't always work in the player's favor. But when you want to see the big hits, this is the process.
The attunement panel is specific to the Rune-keeper. In a nutshell, it represents momentum: the more momentum you build in a given direction, the more effective you are with that aspect and the harder it is to switch back. Imagine it as a ball rolling through one of those wooden mazes. To get the ball to change direction quickly requires drastic tilting of the board. It's the same with attunement.
large attunement panel, which can be moved around the screen with CTRL
small attunement panel, which stays on the toolbar.
The attunement panel has 3 basic states: Dagor (red; battle-attunement), Nestad (green; healing-attunement) and Thalas (yellow; neutral or steady attunement). Using attack skills will slide the meter to the red side (the left) by 1 pip, and using healing skills will slide the meter towards the green side (the right) 1 pip. Using neutral skills, such as buffs, will slide the meter towards the middle, away from either extreme.
More powerful skills require higher levels of attunement. For example, Epic Conclusion, the big-hit attack skill, requires 9 pips of red (battle-attunement) and is not available until those 9 pips are gained. Some skills require only that there are no pips of the opposite attunement. Other skills have additional or improved effects when the Rune-keeper has higher attunement in that area. So attunement is very important.
The highest attunement the Rune-keeper can reach in either direction is 9 pips. It takes a bit of time and effort to build attunement that high, and getting back from that extreme takes some work. Using neutral-attunement skills will gradually cycle the Rune-keeper back from either extreme and allow him to start building the other way. Unlike battle-attunement and healing-attunement, neutral-attunement does not stack up and make neutral skills stronger. If the Rune-keeper is already at all-the-way neutral and uses several neutral-attunement skills,he does not become more neutral, and using either a battle-attuned or a healing-attuned skill will slide the scale one pip in that direction, away from neutral.
The one thing that is important to remember about attunement is that it is difficult for Rune-keepers to switch roles on the fly. If he is in healing mode, it takes drastic measures to switch to DPS mode, and vice versa. Switching modes is not a simple matter of just toggling a different stance and using a different set of skills.