PDA

View Full Version : Demo Guide to Mages & Mage Skills


AnalogKid
08-30-2007, 07:34 PM
This is written to stimulate discussion, not because I think I know everything about the game. I've only played the Demo so far, so things can change and also the experience at higher levels may be very different than I expect. I am generally a pretty good power gamer, though, and I'm very good at exploiting rules systems so I feel like this is a pretty decent "first impression". I'll edit this first post over time (with appropriate credit) based on other posts here. If nothing else, this will give the dev team one gamer's opinion of their Demo game balance.

Why Play a Mage?
===============
- Ranged attacks
- Only 2 attributes to worry about (INT, VIT)

Why Not Play a Mage?
==================
- Very poor defense
- Almost useless physical attack
- No healing

Direct Comparisons:
===============
- Warriors seem to be much more effective at overall damage per second
- Rogues have better crowd control (although blinding flash can be useful if built up)
- Spellcasting Priests pretty much dominate Mages in every way. Similar damage, plus healing, plus viable physical attacks, plus better gear. The only possible limitation of a spell Priest is that he can't quickly refill faith like a Mage can with mana potions.

Key Skills:
========
- Blinding Flash
- Cold spells (slow targets down so the Mage can run and hope to stay alive)

Other Comments:
=============
- Mages will want to focus on at least 2 different types of attack spells, since there are likely to be monsters with resistances or even possibly immunities.
- I recommend against more than 2 damage types, since you'll be wasting skill points. Rely on followers to add a 3rd damage type if needed.
- Cold magic seems the best because of the slow-down side effects. Damage is still mostly comparable to other types, in terms of both mana cost and skill point cost.
- Fire Mastery is the only really useful Mastery.
- NPC Mages regenerate over time (like all followers). This dramatically reduces one weakness.
- NPC Mages give good fire support for a melee player, but won't initiate attacks. Since spells take time to cast, and have to travel to hit their target, I find that my target is often dead before the mage joins in.
- NPC Mages run out of mana during raids very quickly. This renders them almost useless, and is at a minimum expensive to keep them filled with mana potions.

Skill-by-Skill Review:
===============
Fire & Water Skills:
1 Fiery Blast (5-15 dmg, +5-15 dmg per point)
Great. Good cheap dmg on a single target.

4 Fire Mastery (+10% Fire Spell dmg per point)
Awesome. Passive skill increases Fire damage across the board. Skill points here are never wasted if you're casting fire spells.

4 Sweeping Flames (5-15 dmg, +2-6 dmg per point, area effect)
Good. Fire Ball does more dmg for fewer skill pts with different shape, but slightly smaller area effect. Some players prefer this to fireball for those reasons. Only choose one to avoid wasting skill points.

6 Fire Ball (15-25 dmg, +4-8 dmg per point, area effect)
Great. Best fire spell dmg/skill point if 2+ targets in area effect.

6 Spontaneous Combustion (8 dmg/sec for 10sec, +?? per point)
Good. Low damage won't be very useful at high levels, but does DoT, so can stack effects with other spells.

1 Arctic Shard (5-15 dmg, +5-15 dmg per point)
Awesome. Good cheap dmg on a single target, plus slowdown effects.

4 Cold Mastery (+10% Cold Spell slowdown time per point)
Useless. You'll be spamming enough cold spells to keep them slowed anyway, don't need pathetically small increase in slowdown duration.

6 Ice Storm (30-60 dmg, +6-18 dmg per point, 5sec reuse)
Great. Best dmg/skill point of all spells. 5 sec reuse timer downgrades this from Awesome to Great. Choose only one of this or Frost Nova to avoid wasting skill points.

8 Frost Nova (10-20 dmg, +2-6 dmg per point, area effect)
Good. Noticeably less dmg than Fire Ball, but with slowdown. Theoretically can cast 5 of these in same overall time as 1 Ice Storm, so better dmg/skill point but with MUCH higher Mana cost. Practically, due to human imperfections this will probably be about the same dmg as Ice Storm.



Earth & Air Skills:
1 Weakness (-13% dmg per point for 30 sec)
Poor. Good against single big boss fighters, but very limited so most of the time just a waste of skill points.

2 Earth Mastery (-8% Earth Spell cost per point)
Useless. You should be pumping Int for Mana and spell crits and should not have any problem with Earth spells depleting your reserves.

4 Ironskin (+40 armor for 2 min, +?? per point, 5min reuse)
Poor. Armor for mages is so low that you have to run away anyway. Plus 5min reuse hurts. Can only target self. If you could target your meatshield, this would be Awesome.

4 Petrify (freeze & protect enemy for ?? sec per point)
Average. Duration depends on enemy level. Can isolate big boss while fighting minions. Benefit over Stasis is that area-effect damage won't immediately cancel Petrify.

8 Earthquake (10-30 dmg, +3-5 dmg per point, area effect)
Average. Fire Ball can be pumped with Fire Mastery & Ice Storm/Frost Nova have slowdown effects. Earthquake dmg is worse than the cold spells at higher levels, but without slowdown. Bigger area effect, though.

1 Lightning (5-15 dmg, +5-15 dmg per point)
Great. Good cheap dmg on a single target. Damage can't be increased via Mastery, though, so Arctic Shard is universally better.

2 Lightning Mastery (+5% Lighting Spell crit per point)
Useless. Would take !!230!! skill points to just get x2 chance of spell crit. Maybe invest a few skill points when at VERY high level (high int increases base crit chance), but mostly forget about it.

2 Chain Lightning (5-10 dmg, +2-8 dmg per point, 3 targets)
Good. With 2 targets, almost equal damage compared to Lightning. With 3, it's better but you won't always have 3 targets and it's a waste to get both skills, so choose one.

6 Ball Lightning (40-70 dmg, +7-20 dmg per point, multiple targets)
Great. Lots o' fun damage (even more than Ice Storm)! 15 sec reuse timer really hurts, though.

8 Counterspell (refelcts incoming projectiles, 12sec reuse, -1sec per point)
Good. Very useful in certain specific situations, beucause it will simulataneously defend and attack. But limited situation (only when lots of spellcasters are mobbing you) makes skill points in this skill wasted most of the time.



Magic Skills:
1 Blinding Flash (freeze enemies, +duration per point, area effect)
Awesome. Duration depends on enemy level. Any dmg breaks effect. Great crowd control, but don't follow with area effect spells or it'll reactivate all your blinded enemies.

1 Evasion (+15 def & +15 evasion per point)
Useless. Mages won't have enough defense anyway, this would just make them get hit 98% of the time instead of 99%.

2 Armor Melt (-30 enemy armor, -?? per point, 30sec duration)
Average. Use just like weakness, but good for any big boss (not just fighter-types). Only useful if you have a good meatshield doing physical attacks.

2 Magic Shield (absorb 40 dmg per point for 1min, 3min reuse)
Good. Great way to boost health (almost like healing). 3min reuse hurts, though.

4 Arcane Focus (+40% crit & +40% crushing blow per point, 10sec duration, 2min reuse)
Poor. Gives large bonuses to crit chance (only ~12 skill points to get x2 crit chance), but only 10sec duration w/2min reuse makes this not really worth it.

4 Teleport (short random teleport, 60sec reuse, -10sec reuse per point)
Average. Useful to get away from being surrounded by a mob. You shouldn't get in that position in the first place, but sometimes it happens. Teleport distance seemed very very short.

6 Stasis (freeze enemy for 30 sec, ?? per point)
Average. Any dmg breaks effect. Just like Petrify, but for much longer for fewer skill points. Drawback is that any dmg (probably from area effect spells) will un-freeze the target.

6 Concentration (+10% Mana regen rate per point)
Awesome. MUCH more useful than Earth Mastery because it'll help with all spells.

6 Hidden Magic (-5% hate for casting per point)
Poor. Too expensive to really keep monsters from attacking you, so you'll be running away your whole career anyway.

Vas
08-31-2007, 11:51 AM
yo Analogkid thats a good write up based on the demo , i gonna comment based on testing of the full version - some skills that are in the demo are already changed in the full version(some demo skills are broken too).
i hadd to cut out some of text to pass the 10000 characters limit

Why Play a Mage?
===============
- Only 2 attributes to worry about (INT, VIT)

You need dex to use higher level staffs

==================[/b]
- Very poor defense

You can have high defence (dex and evasion) and high absorb with iron skin if you wanted but in general you should be on the move and got enough skills to get out of situations




Direct Comparisons:
===============
-
Mages have highest possible dammage with spells, simple example would be a combo of fiery blast + fire mastery, no one can compete with ae ownage (especially sweeping flames ) of a mage too . mages have very effecient crowdcontrol and debuffs - stasis, blinding flash, petrify,cold debuff,wealness
.


Key Skills:
========
- Blinding Flash
- Cold spells (slow targets down so the Mage can run and hope to stay alive)

key skills are the ones you choose to be , many skills are viable in diffrent situations. one of my favorites are ice nova and sweeping flames.weakness is ultra powerfull later when dealing with high dps warriors etc etc.

Other Comments:
=============


i agree on mana probelms at early levels.
you can give em a drink for regen btw . cold mastery is very usefull depending what you want.. i use frost nova mostly because of the debuff so i want it to last as long as possible. so in that time i can even more debuff the poor warriors with weakness etc - very powerfull.



Skill-by-Skill Review:
===============
Fire & Water Skills:
1 Fiery Blast (5-15 dmg, +5-15 dmg per point)
Great. Good cheap dmg on a single target.

best damage on single target when combined with fire mastery



4 Fire Mastery (+10% Fire Spell dmg per point)
Awesome. Passive skill increases Fire damage across the board. Skill points here are never wasted if you're casting fire spells.


yep



4 Sweeping Flames (5-15 dmg, +2-6 dmg per point, area effect)
Useless. Fire Ball does more dmg for fewer skill pts with different shape, but similar area effect.


fireball have a way smaller ae range also ever tried to run from 20 monsters while shooting sweeping flames with your ass on the run (it really looks like it ^^ ) .. its fun and very effective. one of my favorite skills

6 Fire Ball (15-25 dmg, +4-8 dmg per point, area effect)
Great. Best fire spell dmg/skill point if 2+ targets in area effect.



6 Spontaneous Combustion (8 dmg/sec for 10sec, +?? per point)
Good. Low damage won't be very useful at high levels, but does DoT, so can stack effects with other spells.

is usefull at higher levels

1 Arctic Shard (5-15 dmg, +5-15 dmg per point)
Awesome. Good cheap dmg on a single target, plus slowdown effects.

4 Cold Mastery (+10% Cold Spell slowdown time per point)
Useless. You'll be spamming enough cold spells to keep them slowed anyway, don't need pathetically small increase in slowdown duration.

see above. i would recomend a slight boost though for duration time

6 Ice Storm (30-60 dmg, +6-18 dmg per point, 5sec reuse)
Great. Best dmg/skill point of all spells. 5 sec reuse timer downgrades this from Awesome to Great. Choose only one of this or Frost Nova to avoid wasting skill points.

8 Frost Nova (10-20 dmg, +2-6 dmg per point, area effect)
Good. Noticeably less dmg than Fire Ball, but with slowdown. Theoretically can cast 5 of these in same overall time as 1 Ice Storm, so better dmg/skill point but with MUCH higher Mana cost. Practically, due to human imperfections this will probably be about the same dmg as Ice Storm.



Earth & Air Skills:
1 Weakness (-13% dmg per point for 30 sec)
Poor. Good against single big boss fighters, but very limited so most of the time just a waste of skill points.

one of the most powerfull skills in game - not so much at start

2 Earth Mastery (-8% Earth Spell cost per point)
Useless. You should be pumping Int for Mana and spell crits and should not have any problem with Earth spells depleting your reserves.

agree

4 Ironskin (+40 armor for 2 min, +?? per point, 5min reuse)
Poor. Armor for mages is so low that you have to run away anyway. Plus 5min reuse hurts. Can only target self. If you could target your meatshield, this would be Awesome.

not so usefull at low levels but later -high levels of it very effective in raids (add your weakness debuff + frost debuff and you feel like a stone golem)

4 Petrify (freeze & protect enemy for ?? sec per point)
Average. Duration depends on enemy level. Can isolate big boss while fighting minions. Benefit over Stasis is that area-effect damage won't immediately cancel Petrify.

again very usefull in raids to lock a strong hero

8 Earthquake (10-30 dmg, +3-5 dmg per point, area effect)
Average. Fire Ball can be pumped with Fire Mastery & Ice Storm/Frost Nova have slowdown effects. Earthquake dmg is worse than the cold spells at higher levels, but without slowdown. Bigger area effect, though.

agree needs a boost , could be a debuff effect

1 Lightning (5-15 dmg, +5-15 dmg per point)
Great. Good cheap dmg on a single target. Damage can't be increased via Mastery, though, so Arctic Shard is universally better.

2 Lightning Mastery (+5% Lighting Spell crit per point)
Useless. Would take !!230!! skill points to just get x2 chance of spell crit. Maybe invest a few skill points when at VERY high level (high int increases base crit chance), but mostly forget about it.

both mastery and blast could use a boost to become more vaible

2 Chain Lightning (5-10 dmg, +2-8 dmg per point, 3 targets)
Good. With 2 targets, almost equal damage compared to Lightning. With 3, it's better but you won't always have 3 targets and it's a waste to get both skills, so choose one.



6 Ball Lightning (40-70 dmg, +7-20 dmg per point, multiple targets)
Great. Lots o' fun damage (even more than Ice Storm)! 15 sec reuse timer really hurts, though.

the way it currently works you need to keep high levels of it as you progress or it starts doing zero dmg per cast at some point - need fix

8 Counterspell (refelcts incoming projectiles, 12sec reuse, -1sec per point)
Good. Very useful in certain specific situations, beucause it will simulataneously defend and attack. But limited situation (only when lots of spellcasters are mobbing you) makes skill points in this skill wasted most of the time.

i would increase the damage reflected to caster even more (not implemented in demo yet)



Magic Skills:
1 Blinding Flash (freeze enemies, +duration per point, area effect)
Awesome. Duration depends on enemy level. Any dmg breaks effect. Great crowd control, but don't follow with area effect spells or it'll reactivate all your blinded enemies.

to bad the recruits are dumb and follow up with ae :)

1 Evasion (+15 def & +15 evasion per point)
Useless. Mages won't have enough defense anyway, this would just make them get hit 98% of the time instead of 99%.
not true if you work on your dex , though i agree this skill needs a boost

2 Armor Melt (-30 enemy armor, -?? per point, 30sec duration)
Average. Use just like weakness, but good for any big boss (not just fighter-types). Only useful if you have a good meatshield doing physical attacks.

currently broken / uneffective on monsters

2 Magic Shield (absorb 40 dmg per point for 1min, 3min reuse)
Good. Great way to boost health (almost like healing). 3min reuse hurts, though.

4 Arcane Focus (+40% crit & +40% crushing blow per point, 10sec duration, 2min reuse)
Poor. Gives large bonuses to crit chance (only ~12 skill points to get x2 crit chance), but only 10sec duration w/2min reuse makes this not really worth it.

i agree , either increase duration per level or add % bonus dmg in that 10 sec

4 Teleport (short random teleport, 60sec reuse, -10sec reuse per point)
Average. Useful to get away from being surrounded by a mob. You shouldn't get in that position in the first place, but sometimes it happens. Teleport distance seemed very very short.

usefull in raids.. and we all know that "surrounded by amorphs" situation ;)


6 Stasis (freeze enemy for 30 sec, ?? per point)
Average. Any dmg breaks effect. Just like Petrify, but for much longer for fewer skill points. Drawback is that any dmg (probably from area effect spells) will un-freeze the target.

good and cheap cc skill that works on any level not like other cc spells

6 Concentration (+10% Mana regen rate per point)
Awesome. MUCH more useful than Earth Mastery because it'll help with all spells.

currently broken in demo (does nothing) but i agree

6 Hidden Magic (-5% hate for casting per point)
Poor. Too expensive to really keep monsters from attacking you, so you'll be running away your whole career anyway.[/QUOTE]

agree - waste of a skill

AnalogKid
08-31-2007, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the info, Vas! Lots of good stuff in there, I'm out for the weekend, but I'll think about your comments and be back next week.

I'm actually kind of sad about needing Dex to equip better staffs. I guess I could just forfeit a good staff... does that happen with armor, as well?

Shadow
08-31-2007, 05:58 PM
Cloth and leather armor have a character level requirement but no attribute requirements.

AnalogKid
09-03-2007, 06:49 PM
Vas,

I have though about your comments and I think they're all great and don't raise any questions for me except for 2 things:

- I edited the original post about Sweeping Flames, as I see that it could be chosen as a viable alternative to Fire Ball.

- I don't understand why you think extending the slow-down on cold spells is useful. You state that you run around spamming Frost Nova and Sweeping Flames. Don't you cast Frost Nova at least once every 5 secs? Doesn't that refresh the slow-down effect, so it's basically a permanent effect anyway? What benefit do you find to having it last longer? I find that once I target a creature with cold magic, it's slowed down until dead and I don't need any longer duration.


(and Steven: thanks for the info about armor)