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Denubis
11-09-2007, 06:32 PM
First post reserved for actual guide.

PC Mage Guide:



Attributes:
Max Intelligence. Maybe put 1 of your 5 points into vitality, but depend on an NPC Priest instead. It's cheaper.

Gear:
Focus on an acceptable level of health regen gear. Then focus on mana regen. +Int gear is also nice, but since it's 5 points of int to a 1 point of mana regen, make sure that your int uprgrades are worth it. Mages are all about sustained throughput, not max mana.

NPCs:
At this point, I'd recommend 4 stealth/spot vuln rogues and 1 Hardiness/mail priest. While plate fighters may appear to tank better, the dex of your rogues insures that they simply will not be getting hit very often.

PC Skills:


Name Rating Initial Boost Mana Time Reuse Comments
Firey Blast ++ 5-15 Fire +5/+15 Fire 8/+2 .8 - A good starting skill. Start with 1 point free. I wish we didn't. Bolts take time to travel. Only boost it to 10. Then boost flame mastery to max before boosting any more. NPCs tend to run faster than the bolts. Also DoTs.
Sweeping Flames - 5-15 Fire (cone) +1/+5 Fire 12/+2 1 - Short Range, untargeted, cone. Only boost to level 8 before putting points into fire mastery. Bloody abysmal since when you're mobbed you can't get all your attackers and you cannot kite. The damage boost is also silly though multiple "flames" might hit any given enemy, it's not worth the effort of targeting. DoTs.
Fireball + 15-25 Fire (bolt/rad) +4/+8 Fire 12/+2 1 - Stop putting points in at 8. While this sounds nice, the radius isn't enough to matter. DoTs.
Spont Combustion -- 8 DpS / 10 secs +3 DpS 20/+4 1 10 Stop at skill level 9. Utterly worthless. It might be worthwhile if it was spammable though.
Flame Mastery +++ +10% Fire damage for above skills - use as advised.

Artic Shard ++++ 5-15 Cold +10% A.T. +5/+15 Cold 10/+2 .8 In every respect better than Firey Blast, the movement debuffs are far more valuable than a paltry dot.
-33 Move +10% At +.2 sec Stop investing at rank 13. Slow bullet travel speed. Sustanable combo, however.

Denubis
11-09-2007, 06:36 PM
Observations on the elements:

Lightning is underappreciated for two reasons.

1) It has *no* travel time, which means no wasted mana attacking targets which aren't there. This means that when you're nuking off the screen, you save a *lot* of time.

2) The boost skill is only 2 points.

My current combo is Lightning boost 9, chain lightning 12, and concentration 2.
At this point, I'll be fiddling with fire, but the chain lightning combo is bloody awesome simply because of how well it projects damage.

My rogue NPC currently does around 600-800 points of damage to random wandering mobs which means that it's my job to soften everyone up. The chain lightning jumps also make it very attractive. (mmm, stealth and spot vuln. The only downside to this build is it's not very sustainable over long fights, but it's amazing for dealing with random baddies and even bosses notice the first few hits..)