Silkroad Online Grouping Tips
MMORPG.com Silkroad Online Correspondent Nikole Hines writes this look at grouping in the game and gives some advice on how to make your group work.
In light of Silkroad Online's upcoming update, Id like to talk about effective European partying in Silkroad Online. It seems to be a major issue in all party based games; How do you party efficiently with a less than perfect party? This seems to be the number one stumbling block in Silkroad Online European partying. Questions I hear a lot are; Why aren't there any parties at low levels? We can't party, we don't have a >>insert class here<
Your basic party consists of 8 members. Probably the most intuitive party build is 2 wizards, 2 tanks, 2 bards, 1 cleric and 1 warlock. Why is this the most basic party? Think of your party like links in chain mail, interlocking and becoming greater than the sum of their parts. The wizards have low defense but high attack. Use your tanks to boost their defenses with buffs. 'Protect' transfers aggro from the target to the tank, 'Fences' reduce damage in general and 'Quota' gives the target's damage to the tank. These are the buffs that keep you alive. Tanks are another class that are effective at pulling mobs to the group using their built in aggro and shouts. The cleric keeps everyone buffed and healed, but heals cause a lot of aggro so they also need tank buffs and 'Protect'. Warlocks also cause a lot of aggro because of the nature of their attacks so buffs and 'Protect' go on him. Your two bards should have 'Noise' which nulls aggro. They don't usually need any buffs and together, the dance of magic can really increase the two wizard damage. See how they interlock? Even with that, a cleric and a tank are the absolute core of the party. If these two are solid, you can fill in any other imperfections with any number of classes.
So what if you don't have a wizard? There are several ways you can compensate. Try straight substituting a wizard with a warlock or a chinese nuker. Neither do as much damage but both benefit from the dance of magic because they are intelligence based builds. Another great compensation is to find a "battle bard". That means your bard has bard attacks and not just buffs. Bards have the fastest attack of any European class and are rather effective offensive builds, especially in group PvP. You can straight replace that missing wizard with a third bard (gains you an extra dance) or promote one of the ones you have and not lose the dance. If you had to, you could also replace with a rogue. They can do as much for the party as a whole but damage is damage if you need it. The greater the total damage, the more experience you gain per minute.
If a tank is missing, then you do what we affectionately call "buff splitting". Generally you have two tanks and four ints. Each tank can fully buff two ints himself with fence, quota and protect. If you have only one tank, its harder to keep track of who has what. Generally you keep the quota on the higher level int and fences for the the lower level because damage return (quota) for low level/less defense is higher. Instead of keeping track of two players, the tank now has four to watch. Help him by politely reminding him when your buffs run out. You can replace that missing tank with a rogue. He may not be able to tank a large group of mobs, but he can pull mobs short distances. A skilled warlock can also pull mobs short distances. You will lose some damage but consider taking on a Chinese Blader. The Petal Dance series can work just like the European tank skill "Shout" for pulling. They also can't buff your ints or keep aggro like a European tank but if you are closer in level to the mobs you are fighting, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.
The cleric is irreplaceable. You need some kind of healer. A Chinese healer would have a very hard time keeping up with a European based party but a skilled player can do it. A lot of people will have cleric as a secondary class. It may not be up to level but it can work short term. The bard is also irreplaceable. You may not absolutely need two but the wizards and cleric are going to keep one bard very busy with mana healing. You could replace the second bard with any class at all for damage, tanking, pulling, etc. but having that dance really increases damage.
Making parties work well takes a good party leader, one that can keep track of who is coming and going in the party, what classes are available or waiting in line for a party. These skills are learned over time so at low levels, it's harder to keep parties running long term. We suggest using your friends list to keep track of players that can potentially form a party in your time zone. Use that to check if they are online. Another good way is to use the party matching system. Put a level limit on your party and use the title area to advertise for the class you need and/or what mobs you are training on. Be proactive! If you cannot find a party, make one!
How do you know where to party? A general rule of thumb in a perfect European Silkroad Online party setup is on monsters that are 11 levels higher than your lowest level party member. Every member of your party must pay attention to their buffs at all times and be in the right place at the right time but the experience is very fast. If your party is less than perfect then consider going to easier mobs or an area that has a slower spawn rate. Generally there are also two kinds of mobs in any area, an aggro mob and a non aggro version. You can always try to find pockets of the non aggro variety. This is usually true on the Chinese side of the map (Hotan to Jang'an). The European maps (Samarkand to Constantinople) has a higher spawn rate, frequent status effects and less non aggro mobs. You can also party near a safe area. This is useful for pulling party giants into so that you can kill them without drawing tons of aggro and wiping your party.
Even with all that I have covered here, there is no one right way to do it. Everyone has their own unique method that works for them and their party. Explore different party styles and builds because versatility will only make leveling in Silkroad Online more fun and more community building.