Similar to a Cleric, but closer to a tribal witch doctor, the Shaman can be found amongst the more primitive races.
Her primary focus is healing, but she can employ many augmentation and offensive spells as well. - EverQuest manual
The Shaman is one of the most understated classes in Norrath. They are very well rounded offering powerful offense, defense, and buffs.
Shamans can wear two types of plate armours in the world of Norrath. This affords them a high amount of protection, which helps greatly when soloing.
Shamans have two forms of offense. Their most powerful damage lies through the damage over time spells (DOT's). Shamans get two powerful lines of these spells. One poison based, and the other disease based. They can stack these spells to achieve a very efficient damage output. Alternatively they can also use their cold damage based direct damage spells. These are good for adding in a little extra punch, or for fights of short durations.
In terms of defense and debuffs, Shamans have the most powerful Slowing Spells and Resistance debuffs in the game. This greatly reduces the damage output of the enemy and also assists the entire party in succeeding on magical attacks.
Shamans also have the best buffs in the game, able to increase all statistics except for Wisdom and Intelligence by over 50 points at higher levels. This not only makes them highly sought after in groups, but means that the shamans can be a lot more selective in what equipment they choose to wear. They also have spells to increase running speed and attack rate, as well as increasing hitpoints and AC.
Shamans can use almost any one or two handed blunt weapon in the game, and have a limited selection of piercing weapons at their disposal also. Shamans can melee reasonably well with their buffs up, and with a pet at their side are capable of doing some serious damage. Downtime is also minimised with Shamans with both a health regeneration spell, direct healing spells, and a hitpoint to mana conversion spell.
Shamans are the only class which can do Alchemy, a trade skill which can help in funding the purchase of spells or equipment as your character progresses.
The downside to Shaman's is that they can get very repetitive. With so many awesome buffs at their disposal they are always getting begged for spells. In dungeon raids their main purposes are buffing and debuffing, with very little mana left to actually get into the nitty gritty of the fights. Also most of the Shaman races are evil, and are forced to travel lengthy distances to bank and resupply.
Also in order to be mana efficient Shamans normally have to use Damage Over Time spells. This normally results in kiting or a drawn out process of rooting and DOT'ing. This can be particularly difficult on caster mobs which will still have offensive capability even though rooted.
Shaman's can only charm animals up to mid levels, and they only get a few pet upgrades.
The shaman class is a very enjoyable one to play, particularly for those who enjoy role-playing. It is a very self-sufficient class, which functions excellently both as a soloist or in a group.
|Level 1-50||Level 51-54||Level 55-59||Level 60|
Picking the Right Race
The first thing you have to pick then is your race. Which race you pick will determine the foundation of you character for the rest of your life in Norrath so it is kind of important you pick one you like. Fortunately there is no truly "bad" Shaman race, so you can't pick wrong.
Barbarians are the only shaman race which is not evil. All the other races are killed on sight in the old world (ie. in almost all non-Kunark/Velious cities, and by guards in nearby zones). Barbarians level the fastest of the races. Barbarians have no night vision, but can wear both medium and large sized armour.
Ogres level slightly slower than the Barbarians, but have the advantage of not being able to be stunned from blows delivered to their front. They can still be stunned if attacked from behind. Ogres also have some basic night vision and very high Strength and Stamina.
Trolls level considerably slower than the Ogre. They have the added bonus of an increased health regeneration rate. This amount increases as their level increases.
Iksar share the same regenerative abilities as trolls, can forage, have an innate AC bonus, but they cannot wear plate armor - including Planar and Kunark sets. Things even out in Velious, but think carefully before choosing an Iksar. Iksar are hated in almost every city, good or evil.
- Faction: Only Barbarians can travel freely to all good cities in the old world; every other race is killed on sight. Iksar have it even worse, as they are killed on sight everywhere except Cabilis and Velious.
- Jaundiced Bone Bracer: If you can afford this (roughly 10k) item at level 45 it will help you level significantly faster, as it lets you cast a mana-free direct damage spell. Every Shaman race except Iksar can use this item (Iksar actually can't wear any plate armor before Velious, but the JBB is by far the most relevant plate item).
- Frontal Stun Immunity: Only Ogres get this racial ability, which prevents them from being stunned by mobs in front of them. This ability is of limited use while leveling up, but can be more useful (though certainly not necessary) for soloing high-end content.
- Regeneration: Both Trolls and Iksar get faster regeneration than other races. This varies by level, being roughly twice as fast at level 1 and almost three times as fast by level 60. Racial regeneration is particularly useful as a Shaman levels up, but less so at higher levels. Once they acquires the spell Torpor at level 60 regeneration becomes almost completely irrelevant.
- Iksar Abilities: Iksar get several minor abilities that other races don't, including Forage, additional AC, and a starting Swimming skill of 100. Iksar also get a unique quest line Shaman Skull Quests, but because that line wasn't completed in the classic era it's reward isn't very good.
- Deity Symbol Quests: All Shaman can complete a quest at low levels to get an item with a right-click effect. The Barbarian Initiate Symbol of the Tribunal is the least useful (it summons a magic hammer which quickly becomes inferior to normal weapons). The Ogre Initiate Symbol of Rallos Zek is also less useful (it casts a level 1 Cleric short duration melee self-buff, Yaulp). Trolls get a choice between Cazic Thule (God) and Innoruuk (God), while Iksar must pick Cazic Thule (and may have a harder time doing the quest because of their faction). The Initiate Symbol of Cazic Thule and Disciple Symbol of Cazic Thule let Cazic Thule Shaman cast low-level fear spells on undead and animals, which can be useful when soloing. Finally there is the (Innoruuk-worshipping) Troll-only Regent Symbol of Innoruuk, which let's the Shaman cast the level 1 Necromancer snare spell Clinging Darkness. Since Shaman never get a snare spell, and since such spells can prevent mobs from running away and getting help from other mobs, this is probably the most useful item.
- Infravision: All Shaman races except Barbarians get Infravision. However, due to the Project 1999 Titanium client's ability to raise Alphas levels, this is much less of an issue than it was on live.
- Statistics: Combining the two main Shaman statistics (Stamina and Wisdom) you get: Ogre 204, Troll 184, Barbarian 180, Iksar 165. However, if you plan to reach level 60 and raid, eventually you can acquire gear that lets you reach maximum stat values, so statistics should not be a primary concern for a starting shaman who expects to play that far.
- Starting Area: Because Kunark (the Iksar home continent) was developed after Antonica (the home continent of the other three races), most players would agree that its zones were better designed and are more friendly to new characters. For instance, the Barbarian starting area has the high-level Vengeful NPCs who kill low level characters, while the Iksar starting zones like Field of Bone don't have such higher-level monsters wandering through low-level areas.
- Appearance: Arguably this is more important than any of the above factors. Your character's basic appearance will never change, and if you don't like looking at your character it won't matter what in-game benefits their race offers, so be sure to pick a race that you personally are attracted to (for more than just in-game benefits).
- Bear Form Appearance: When Shaman reach level 55 they get the spell Form of the Great Bear. Barbarians using this spell appear as polar bears, Ogres as grizzly bears, and Trolls and Iksar as black bears.
The primary two stats for Shaman are Stamina and Wisdom, and Shaman are highly encouraged to spend their bonus points on these two stats. Reasonable Shaman can disagree about the exact benefit of one vs. the other (and of HP vs. Mana in general).
The remaining stats have marginal benefit to Shaman. Greater Strength allows carrying more weight, greater Charisma saves money on merchant transactions, and Dexterity increases the rate of weapon "procs" (such as the Worker Sledgemallet).
Intelligence is completely worthless to Shaman, and Agility only offers very minor AC increases ... above 75. However, below 75 Agility adds much more significantly to AC, so Ogre Shaman should very likely put at least five bonus points into this stat.
The following table lists the starting stats of each Shaman race. The XP penalty column describes how much additional experience the race requires. For instance, a Barbarian Shaman would require 105% of the experience that a character with no penalty (eg. a Human Cleric) would require to be the same level.
All races get 30 additional stat points at character creation.
Regardless of their religion, every Shaman race except Barbarian (who must pick The Tribunal as their religion) will be hated by "good" NPCs. Since a shaman's religion won't make him more hated, which one you choose won't matter much. Unfortunately since all evil religion choices are hated, even if you work to improve your "good" factions (by killing enemies of good factions), you will still never be able to trade in many "good" zones because of your race and religion.
Troll Shaman that choose to worship Innoruuk have the benefit of being able to quest for Regent Symbol of Innoruuk which gives them a low level snare effect (slowing a monsters movement speed).