Written by Kashir.
General Guildwork Guidelines Edit
Guilds determine your level of efficacy with a Guild Skill by ranks. Ranks are attained by gaining a certain amount of training points that you are assigned to earn your next rank.
Guild Training PointsEdit
These points are given in seemingly random blocks from 4 up to 12 points at the completion of a task. Time taken to complete the task, number of reps for the task and the task itself seem to have no bearing upon the number of points alloted. The number of points required to gain a rank is always a number from 50 to 150 points and is a function of the number of ranks in Guild Skills you currently possess in relation to the maximum possible Guild Ranks you can attain. As your maximum ranks (the Wall) increases, your training points for your rank will decrease, but not on your current rank. If you wish to master a particular Guild Skill, it is generally best to get no more ranks in other skills than is absolutely necessary.
Progress in Illusions (and any guild skill, for that matter) requires a degree of diversification. If you plan on being able to get beyond the 5th rank of a Guild Skill, you must have a minimum of two ranks in other guild skills and first ranks don't count. Using the Sorcerers Guild as an example, if you wish to get your 6th rank in Illusions, you must have either 3 ranks of General Alchemy or 2 ranks of General Alchemy and 2 ranks of one of the other Alchemy skills. For every 5th rank beyond this, you must have one more rank in another guild skill. To master Illusions requires 13 total ranks of other skills, in any combination, excepting the 1st rank of each. Having 14 ranks of General Alchemy or 6 of General Alchemy and 5 each of Potions and Trinkets, or any other combination you can conceive, is acceptable. For this reason, if you seriously intend to work on Illusions, you will want to be, at the very least, sitting on several ranks of Alchemy skills. Be prepared for this, unless you only intend to gain a single rank or so, because it will become an issue for most of you at some point.
Basic Rules of Illusions Edit
Teaching Reps Edit
You must teach a fellow member an Illusion that they know. This does not have to be the Illusion you are currently working on yourself, so you can teach those below you whatever Illusion they happen to know and still get credit toward the task. (Quick note: The Vortex Illusion provides the least screen scroll of all Illusions, so if you need to teach and your partner does not specifically need to be taught, this is the best choice for completing your task, assuming you both know how to make a Vortex.)
You must be taught your current Illusion, whatever it may be. Someone who does not know the Illusion you are currently working on cannot teach you, as they cannot fulfil the minimum requirements for this task.
Upon successfully producing your current Illusion, a 1 minute timer is started and you are randomly tasked to complete 4 or 5 more within that one minute. These are generally the hardest tasks for those who are just starting out, as producing 4 or 5 of an Illusion within a single minute can be a daunting task, based upon certain factors. (covered shortly)
You must perform your current Illusion before 3 people. Other Sorcerer Guild members count for 2 people and any Illusions Master counts for all 3. Once you successfully perform your Illusion before the requisite number of people, you have a period of 30 seconds during which you cannot get credit again. If you wish to waste as little time and effort on these tasks as possible, I suggest using either a stopwatch or a script for the job. I cannot provide the stopwatches but I can provide the scripts.
The Task Administrator will tell you to see an Arcane Master about a, usually, new Illusion. You will sometimes get these tasks even if you don't have a new Illusion to learn, but this occurs more frequently at the higher ranks. Whether or not you have a new Illusion to learn, this task is only given as the first task in your new rank.
Advanced Rules of IllusionsEdit
While using scripts for Illusions work is good for maintaining your sanity, I actually suggest doing so for RP purposes as well. Illusions work requires a lot of command inputs, generally every few seconds, which leaves you with little to no ability to interact, outside of inputting those commands. Interacting during Illusions practice, without a script, requires you to completely stop what you are doing to sit and talk, perform verbs, etc. which slows not only your own progress, but likely the progress of those with whom you may be working. Considering the amount of time and effort required to simply progress in Illusions, this can be personally frustrating, at the very least, and, at the worst, somewhat rude to those who may rely upon your progress to continue in their own right.
I have a fairly comprehensive set of scripts designed for various tasks and purposes within Illusions and I am more than happy to share them with you. None of these scripts will do all of the work for you and you have to generally input various things to run them, so they don't lend themselves well to AFK scripting, something I consider a good thing. If you personally find the use of scripts for any purpose so distasteful that you refuse their utility, please set macros and be very attentive to your tasks. Someone lagging a few seconds when teaching or being taught is not so troublesome, but, for my own part, if I find that someone is consistently taking 5-15 seconds to respond to teaching or being taught, I will move on to someone else and come back to you when it isn't delaying others.
Stats and SkillsEdit
The single most important skill for Illusions success is your Discipline bonus. More than anything else, this one may make you very miserable. Elves of all varieties, Sylvankind and half-Elves less than the others, have a penalty to this bonus, making Illusions much more difficult for them. If you tanked Discipline to start and are not a very high level, you will have a very hard time. I am willing to attempt to help you anyway, but you have to be cognizant of the fact that there will likely be others who also need the assistance and I may have to move on to them to get them through a task quickly and come back to you as I can. I can even go so far as to give you ever more help with haste imbeds, casting haste, myself, or other tools, but if it all comes to naught, I will only expend so many limited resources in the endeavour.
All of that said, there are other factors in you success and you can use them to off-set a low Disc bonus, at least to a degree. The second most important contributing factor in Illusions successes is Level. Not only does having a higher level mean that you will increase your Discipline bonus, it also is a factor in its own right. Two Sorcerers with identical current stats, one 20 levels higher than the other, will find that the higher level Sorcerer is successful more often. If you've tried and tried and just can't complete tasks with even a modicum of consistency, try taking a break, earning a few levels, and coming back to it.
In no particular order, the other factors are Aura, Wisdom and Intuition bonuses, Illusions skill ranks and Perception skill ranks. All of these play relatively minor roles next to the two bigger factors above, but they can help tip the scales slightly more in your favor. Along with the bonus from Perception skill ranks comes the Presence spell. (402) Personally, I have found that stacking up 30 minutes to an hour of this skill before I start on reps is highly beneficial. It really can make all the difference between barely failing to complete a Speed Rep set and just managing to scrape by. It isn't likely to take you from having difficutly with your task to suddenly completing it in 12 seconds flat, but it does help.
The Haste spell (506) is huge when trying to complete your Illusions tasks, particularly at the lower levels. Having haste on turns any RT of 3 seconds, or less, to a 1 second RT and drops 4 and 5 second RTs by 2 seconds each. As for the longer RTs (those associated with teaching and learning) of 12-18 seconds, these are dropped by 1/3rd, rounded down, turning a 12 second RT into only 8 and an 18 second RT into only a 12! I do not have a lot of Haste imbedded items but I will be happy to assist in garnering some for yourself, as I can. I do keep a scroll with the spell on it but I no longer have a back-up scroll for it, so I guard it rather jealously. ;) If you wish to bring me your own scrolls with Haste on them, I can unlock them for you, in whatever way I feel will give you the most benefit from it, and you can find a wizard around to imbed it into magic items you may find as treasure. Please, if you intend on using Haste for extended work, do bring your own. I don't mind assisting with a shot or two now and again, but I cannot afford to provide for all of your needs.
As a small sidenote, Haste is useful for speed reps in almost all cases, but is only useful for teaching and learning reps in the event that both you and your partner have it. If one or the other does not, then one of you simply gets to wait for the other to get out of RT, which isn't much different than you both waiting to get out of RT. Haste is only ever useful for Audience Reps in two cases.
- You are performing audience reps and have a partner who needs taught. Using Haste here will allow you to get in two teachings before your cooldown is up.
- You need to perform an Audience Rep in a crowded place and run like hell before someone can complain. The benefits here are obvious.
Illusions and You! (and Them, too!) Edit
Yes, Illusions does provide you with XP for various things. It isn't very much, in most cases, but it's kind of like keeping a jar of change. You just keep adding to it a bit at a time until, one day, you turn around and realize you've got enough money for a night of booze and hookers. Or maybe that's just me.
Teaching or learning from someone with a task to do one of these thing gives you 15 XP per rep they gain, so long as you are not also receiving reps for the associated task.
Whenever you turn in a completed task to the Task Administrator, you will receive an amount of XP. This XP seems to vary by your current rank in Illusions and the amount of Guild Training Points you received from the task. I did not do a lot of testing with this, so I am not entirely sure this is correct, but I did notice that at the higher ranks, I tended to get more XP than I did at the lower ranks. There may or may not be a minimum amount for completion, I just don't know.
Being promoted to a new rank gives you 200 XP and 50 fame. Woohoo!
Working with (a) Partner(s)Edit
There are some Illusions tasks that work well with others and some that do not. Generally, the biggest problem is the combination of certain tasks.
You cannot get credit for teaching someone an Illusion for which they are required to do audience reps. If you are teaching them a lesser Illusion and they perform the Illusion for which they have audience reps, there is a 30 second cool down during which their performing the Illusion you have taught them will not give you credit.
Teaching someone an illusion for which they have Speed Reps is sometimes problematic. You can get credit for your Teaching Reps this way, but only in the event that they not only complete their current Speed Rep, but in the event they complete it within one minute of the time you first taught them. Being that there is a 12-18 second RT for teaching, this means that they have a maximum of 48 seconds to complete their Speed Rep set. If the Sorcerer you are teaching has difficulty producing the Illusion this may be infeasible. Some people will require the full minute to complete their Speed Reps with any degree of regularity, so teaching them is not likely to do anything but slow them down and leave you waiting longer to get your reps. Teaching someone who has speed reps does seem to have a minor benefit to their ability to successfully produce the Illusion, in most cases, so you will need to play it by ear. If your partner is particularly adept, you can teach them between their next-to-last and last reps in the set, but this will incur the associated RT, so if they are just about to finish a set and your teaching them causes them to fail, they may well get a bit irksome.
If you have to perform Audience Reps and your partner has to be taught, there is no problem with teaching your partner during your 30 second cooldown. As mentioned above, the use of Haste can be a great boon when doing this.
Teaching your partner between your Speed Reps saves, at most, 5 seconds for every rep that they require in being taught. If you have to stop and restart scripts and lose time for your own reps, there is no net gain and may be a net loss, so there really is very little point in doing this. If you're the partner who needs taught, suck it up! You can afford to wait a few minutes for your partner to complete their task before you get to yours.
Someone performing Audience Reps can very easily teach someone who has Learning Reps while they are on their 30 second cooldown.
For all other combinations of reps, there is either no particular problem or the tasks obviously go together well. (i.e. Teaching and Learning tasks)
Good Partner EtiquetteEdit
If your partner needs to teach and you complete whatever task you have before they finish their teaching task, do not immediately run off and get a new task. If you are "blessed" with Audience Reps, they may suddenly find that they now have to wait for you to complete a whole other task before they can complete their own, making you an enormous tool. (not in the good way, either) If you have completed a task that will, or may, give you a new rank and your partner is doing Audience Reps, or any reps for which they need you present, running off to turn in, promote and possibly have to do a set of Master Reps will, again, force them to wait on you to come back so they can complete their task, just because you want to get yours ASAP. This officially makes you a jerk in need of being imploded. Don't do it.
Working with a MasterEdit
Working with an Illusions Master has some specific and notable benefits and one important rule.
When there is a Master present, you do not require anyone else to provide an audience. The Master alone will suffice for the purpose. (in Plat)
Teaching and Learning RepsEdit
Teaching a Master, or being taught by one, will give you credit for two reps for every one rep completed. This can help to significantly reduce the amount of time required to complete a task, thus making your progress much faster.
A Master can Promote you as soon as you have the points required for Promotion, granting you the normal bonuses of Promotion, but also giving the Master 100 XP and 50 Fame. If you are working with a Master, it would be a fair slight to continue going to the NPC Guild Master for promotion, thus denying your friendly neighborhood Master 100 points of that sweet, sweet XP that we all crave. Reactions and repercussions to such a slight will tend to vary from one Master to the next, but one should expect some sort of recourse for doing this too many times or too often. If the Master is busy helping someone else with Teaching or Learning Reps, please whisper to them and wait until they offer you Promotion. Most of us will get to it just as quickly as we feel is prudent.
Note to other MastersEdit
If one Master is helping someone or hosting a session, please do not walk in, start teaching someone and Promote them on the spot. Different players and different characters wlll handle this differently, but doing so is extremely rude. If you wish to offer help, come in and quietly whisper, asking if you may be of assistance and in what way(s), as applicable. Walking in and taking over will most certainly ruffle some feathers and may cause rather more trouble than intended.
Working on Illusions in a group setting (3 or more) provides certain benefits, as well as certain challenges.
Tasks of this variety should never be much of a problem in a group setting. You might have to wait a few minutes for one person to complete a task with the Arcane Masters or some other short break, but 3 Sorcerers working together will always be able to provide an audience.
Teaching and LearningEdit
Teaching and Learning tasks can be easier or harder when working in a group, depending upon certain circumstances. If there is a Master present, everyone is going to want to teach them or be taught by them to expedite their tasks. This may not always be possible, however, as there may be several people wanting to teach or be taught, at one time, and only one Master. If you are working on one of the lower rank Illusions and can be taught by anyone, you may find that it is faster to have someone else teach you, or to teach them, so long as their current task does not preclude their doing so.
Sometimes you may find that you need to teach, but everyone else is working on Audience and Speed Reps. This can be particularly noisome when those who are completing Speed Reps are working on Illusions of higher rank than the ones you know. Announce your task when you enter the area and someone will help you as soon as they feel they can. If your request for help gets lost in the scroll, try whispering to the Master or highest rank guild member available. Masters, in particular, have gone through all of it and we may be able to catch someone's attention who we think can help you while not hindering their own progress, or we may be finishing up with someone else's task shortly. We will be happy to help or find someone who can as quickly as we can. I, personally, will seek to help people in the order in which they need help. Someone Who has been waiting patiently to teach or learn will be taught or may teach me before someone who just completed two tasks and has just gotten a task, unless there is no one else capable of helping them and there is someone capable of helping the other.
When working in a group Speed Reps can very quickly turn into a mess. The massive amount of screen scroll that these entails, with the possibility of multiple people doing them at once, can make any sort of interaction impossible. The general rule I like to stick with is that speed reps should be done in a seperate area, usually the node in any guild. The last two Illusions both require mana, and the need for it to continue and complete Speed Reps necessitates the use of a node. If there would not be enough people to provide an audience with this splitting of the group, then the person who needs an audience and the other person should go to the node to work on their reps until either the Speed Rep person is through and can move back to the main area, or until the Audience Reps are completed, allowing the two to return to the main area while the other continues their Speed Reps.
Leaving a Group SessionEdit
When involved in such a session, please remember that others may be relying upon your being there to accomplish their own goals. If you have a certain goal in mind, or a time by which you absolutely have to leave, let everyone know and plan to stay as long as you said that you will, circumstances willing. If something does come up and you have to leave on the quick, please inform the host that you have to go before you run out and leave everyone wondering where you've gone ten minutes later. If you simply decide that you aren't interested in working on Illusions at the moment, try to give people a little bit of warning. Saying, "I think I would like to do something else, so I wish to leave in 10 to 15 minutes," is a lot better than abruptly saying, "All right, I'm going, have a good night." No one wants to have their ability to pursue their goals curtailed by someone else, but such an abrupt departure will leave people with a bad taste in their mouths. If you have set a goal, by ranks, time or otherwise, after which you will be leaving, give everyone updates. "I wished to gain 2 ranks before I leave. I have completed one... I am half way through my second... I have 2 or 3 tasks remaining" or "I have another hour left in me... I will need to go in 30 minutes... in 10 or 15 minutes I will be ready to go," will keep people up to date, letting them know where they stand along the way.
Illusions work doesn't have to be just a soul-devouring endeavour that leaves you a withered out shell of your former self, it can be all of that and much, much worse. However, if you keep these rules and guidelines in mind, you can help to alleviate a lot of the strain to both yourself and others. Who knows? You might even manage to become a Master without devolving into a slavering, crazed fiend bent on the annihilation of all things good as vengeance for the hells you have endured. Anything is possible, I suppose.