Author Topic: Diary of a Mage Lover  (Read 2462 times)

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Offline botebote77

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Diary of a Mage Lover
« on: 28 December 2017, 12:33:07 »
Hello fellow TQ lovers of the overworld, botebote77 here, a nobody and a self-proclaimed mage lover. Nobody knows me because i never registered in the old forums because of internet connection issues that time. But God knows how many times I've scourged that forum, and so, despite people not knowing me, some old TQ forum members are familiar to me. I have played this game from the old original TQ game, to TQIT, to UL/SV, and now to TQAE and TQ:R. Over 1000 hours in total.

Now to start, I am aware of the fact that mages are unpopular in this game probably because of the 80% CDR cap nerf. I am also aware that this will not change the fact that mages will remain unpopular even after i write this open letter. Still, there might be new or even long time players wanting to try a mage but just need a little help. I hope to be that help. Or one of those helps. Or if you're like me who likes to try things myself and likes to try things anyway despite of what other people say, let me be one of those few voices that say "just go for it".

Despite mages being unpopular, this has never stopped me from finding mage builds that work on all three difficulties. Also being a mage lover, the general consensus that mages are weaker than melees and ranged builds has never stopped me from trying to make mages as powerful or even stronger than most weapon users. I have played mages in TQIT and TQ:AE/R self-found or not. When i started playing TQAE, i have lost all my saves from TQIT so i had to play self-found again.

To be of help, i have to point out what i usually do and what i think about casters. I think the mind-sets for most gamers are: str is for warriors, int is for casters and shields are for warriors, staves for casters. I never saw it that way. For stats, i never saw it necessary to go all int. Sure you'll deal more damage but you'll also make your character as fragile as it can be. That makes you hit less because you'll spend some of your time running instead of attacking. Some like to mix it int and dex for defensive ability. But 1 DA per 1 dex? And DA doesn't even work on ranged and AoE attacks. A shield will give you better protection not just because of the block chance but also because most shields give lots of resists, and in some cases, give casters needed attributes, like in the case of pelaron or moon disc. Deimos is also a shield that can help casters not just because of the all skills but also because of %physical damage (more on that later). But i admit not all of my casters invest in strength. My favorite character is still my dex/int sorcerer but still, i made her wear a shield: santa's shield. I didn't want to hamper her using a staff and having one less item slot.

But going high strength limits our damaging capabilities, right? Not necessarily. The devs have gifted us in TQAE one key change that helps a caster immensely:

+ Physical damage from abilities and item bonuses now scales with Strength (10% per 65)

This is why i said %physical from Deimos helps. I take advantage of it with Distortion Wave from dream. That and:

+ Elemental Damage % bonuses now also boost fire, cold and lightning DoTs

Sweet. Physical damage from spells has been buffed. Elemental DoT has been buffed. Cooldown reduced to 4 secs. Sweet. Earth also deals mix physical and elemental. Having flat physical from items/skills and using throwing knives also work, as in the case of assassin for example, using battle standard to boost knives and traps. Traps are pets in AE and benefit from pet bonuses. The boost to Traps and Throwing knife are the main reasons why rogue is my favorite mastery in TQ:AE/R. Yes i think throwing knife has been buffed in TQAE despite the 10% chance (you'll see if you continue reading, you've gone far enough so why not continue :) ).

Some of the changes in TQAE I've explored are:

+Bleeding Damage now increases by 10% per 50 dexterity

+ Poison damages now increase by 10% per 50 dexterity

I'm sure the new vit int scaling also helps. I think also the pierce from items and abilities now scaling with dex.

I think you see now why i think throwing knife has been buffed in AE. Those changes and the fact that you won't be hostaged by recharge items anymore, allowing you to get necessary attributes like resists and life/mana steal from other items.

So i guess what I'm saying is, adapt and look for changes that help instead of changes that weaken us. Don't just limit yourselves to skills like ice shards because it's one of the few spells with zero cooldown. Look for new synergies like static charge now boosting both lightning and electrical burn. DoTs have been buffed in AE so a prophet focusing on lightning and EBD is still very much viable. Earth deals mix fire, burn and physical. And burn and physical from spells have been buffed in AE. Why not mix it with strength instead of going all int? You also have the option to wear a shield so you don't have to hide in stone all day making you attack more often, like in the case of hybrid melee int/str spamming eruption. Or a caster using core dweller to tank and spamming eruption and volcanic orb.

Now there's no way I'm talking mages and not talk about reduced resistances. Those always go hand in hand. Some people don't realize that, that's why they say mages fall short late game. It really doesn't if you get reduced resistances. One of the reasons why warfare is so good is because it has skills that reduce armor and physical resistances. It's just the same with mages. You need to reduce enemy resistances to be effective. So if you're playing mage and you have nature, hunting or storm, be sure to get susceptibility, flush out or squall. Spreading knives or ternion to reduce resistances is also very good. But actually, I'm still hesitant to call a ternion user a caster.

Ok, so now to close this, i still remember the few times I've played mage sorcerer in multiplayer. Several people asking me: "What build is that?" and me asking them when they portal to town: "Can you buy me mana pots?" lol   Adios

my favorite character


a str/int caster


My nephew's. If it was mine i would've made it wear a shield.. probably

but it's good as it is.. Toxeus is a puppy

a str/dex melee assassin that can also go caster


a caster dreamkiller? why not?

« Last Edit: 08 January 2018, 00:51:19 by botebote77 »
i eat mana for breakfast
Spoiler for Hiden:
finished ragnarok xmax x3 with sorcerer, illusionist, mage haruspex, skinchanger

Offline Giant2005

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Re: Diary of a Mage Lover
« Reply #1 on: 28 December 2017, 14:04:51 »
If mages are unpopular, it has to be due to them being more difficult rather than weaker. As strong as the likes of a dual-wielding Warfare character can get, they can never compare to a well equipped knife thrower. Even an ice sharder should out damage them with ease. This is pretty much common knowledge to anyone who has played this game in earnest.

Offline Typhon

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Re: Diary of a Mage Lover
« Reply #2 on: 28 December 2017, 16:06:23 »
I have minions for that :P
Your inventory is full *Plays intense game of tetris*
Spoiler for Hiden:

Offline Thanatos

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Re: Diary of a Mage Lover
« Reply #3 on: 30 December 2017, 21:08:10 »
Thanks for sharing those tips, botebote77. I am new to playing a caster.

I have a level 35 Lightning/Cold caster (Storm + Dream) in Act 4 Normal right now. I've been kind of stuck  on where to go with my build. I've been taking a lot more damage since I reached Act 4. Essentially I am using Lighting Storm + Chain Lightning, Thunderball plus Concussive Blast (mostly for the stun), Wisp, and Distortion Wave as main skills. I will look into using Squall + Obscured Visibility for reduced resistances. Thanks for suggesting that.

One thing I'd like to mention, I find Thunderball + its mod to be a pretty fun skill WHEN IT HITS THE TARGET.  ::) If you miss your target even by a pixel it is wasted entirely, and you have to wait for it to come off cooldown again. I wished to God the devs would change the skill to explode on contact with whatever it hits.

The problem I am running into is the fact that all of those skills have a cooldown, so I have to be careful to have at least one skill available as a backup. My staff (default) attack doesn't really cut it as far as reliable damage goes.

I like your idea of putting points into strength to pick up a shield. I tried that, and it has helped my survival. I was actually thinking about trying out a throwing weapon that has lightning damage, but those require STR and DEX. I wonder if people are making mages now since the inclusion of thrown weapons?

Offline botebote77

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Re: Diary of a Mage Lover
« Reply #4 on: 30 December 2017, 23:26:59 »
thank you thanatos.. definitely get squall +obscured visibility.. reduced damage, 100% chance to miss projectiles, reduced resistances.. i think it's a no brainer.. i encourage you to try every skill for every character..  just so you know how they work

now for some tips, choose between distortion wave and distort reality.. support that with lightning bolt and squall.. those would be enough you won't need thunderball.. static charge boosts both lighting bolt and the EBD from distort reality and distortion wave.. max eye of the storm.. put 1 pt each on spell breaker and it's upgrade.. beastmen cast study prey on you, spell breaker.. you have been ensnared, spell breaker.. boss casting too many big time spells, drain their mana with spell breaker

edit: look for helm/wreath of the magus.. iirc you can find some in shops.. also occult rings of whatever

re: throwing weapons: the moment i saw recharge and %damage on some of those throwing weapons, that is also what i thought
« Last Edit: 30 December 2017, 23:48:55 by botebote77 »
i eat mana for breakfast
Spoiler for Hiden:
finished ragnarok xmax x3 with sorcerer, illusionist, mage haruspex, skinchanger

Offline Thanatos

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Re: Diary of a Mage Lover
« Reply #5 on: 31 December 2017, 01:59:44 »
Wow. Looks like I found the right person to talk to about this.  :)) You were very right about dropping Thunderball and picking up Squall + its mod. I also took Distortion Wave's modifier 'Psionic Immolation' for the Electrical Burn and it's just what I needed! My toon plays completely different now. I will heed your other advice as well. Thanks again, I was mindlessly blowing all of my gold trying out things that just didn't work.

Oh and btw, I found this really nice head piece tonight! Huge upgrade for me. Also - recharge...exactly what I was looking for!  ;D






Offline botebote77

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Re: Diary of a Mage Lover
« Reply #6 on: 31 December 2017, 08:29:17 »
humbling.. thnx.. a mage wearing a shield.. a ranged that doesn't shy away from battle.. that has always been my ideal mage.

ToC for me is the best trance for casters.. also get nightmare and it's upgrades, lucid dream and it's upgrades, energy shield and it's upgrade, and storm surge.. but leave them at lvl 1 for now.. your killing spells, squall and eye of the storm take priority.. after that, trance, lucid dream or temporal flux.. in any order.

nice cap.. that's a new item.. ragnarok seems to have so many new good items

occult ring + demon's blood is another staple item for me.. but eh i might be outdated for items now lol

it's going to be super fun when you get more recharge items.. LB, 2.4secs at 80% CDR.. DW, 0.8secs.. squall, duh fill the whole screen with it :)

if you haven't read them yet, the first 2 characters at the bottom i included links to guides.. you can follow the second one (str/int caster). just adjust because you have storm instead of hunting.. you maybe past that now but it might give you some ideas
i eat mana for breakfast
Spoiler for Hiden:
finished ragnarok xmax x3 with sorcerer, illusionist, mage haruspex, skinchanger

Offline MedeaFleecestealer

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Re: Diary of a Mage Lover
« Reply #7 on: 31 December 2017, 09:44:20 »
As an alternative to Storm Surge you could look at Distort Reality/Temporal Rift.  Storm Surge is nice, it goes off on it's own so no extra button to push - but it also often goes off when no one's near so it's wasted.  With Distort you're in control so there's another button to push, but you decide when it goes off.  Put a point in each and see which you prefer.  And I second Squall over Thunderball.  It can kill all on it's on early game when it and it's synergy are maxed and it's still pretty good late game because of the impaired aim and reduced resistances.  :)

Offline tholuneve

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Re: Diary of a Mage Lover
« Reply #8 on: 08 January 2018, 10:16:40 »
Just some tips. I thought I posted similar reply several days ago but maybe I didn't.  ;)
Eitr or Primal Magna are not necessary to make knifethrower Magician to work. You can use two rings with Volcanic as prefix. I have completed Legendary A3-A5 with this build, the speed to clear minions are satisfying (much better than Flame Surge), and you have good survivability with proper control on CD. Boss fights require some strategy, but that is mainly because Earth + Rogue provide no direct skill to reduce damage taken when the character OT, not because the damage is not sufficient. Stone form is a thing but I can't do anything other than Eruption so the damage output would still be lowered anyway. However Magician also have traps, some bosses don't even need your own damage to get killed. For example, Fafnir. With traps+CD, you don't need any pets items to kill him safe and fast. Some resistance reduction items would help, like Fingerbone of Boreas.
Knifethrower Sorcerer is one of the two solid knifethrower builds in IT. Back in IT, the core items for Sorcerer other than 0CD and casting speed, are two rings with Arctic as prefix, and Ethereal Veil. Tracker's Hood provided base lightning damage in IT so it is also a good part of the build. Now with Eitr, Arctic ring and Ethereal Veil become optional, but still useful. I can imagine the monstrous damage output with Eitr and proper gearing, although I haven't tested it yet.
What's more, with all the changes in AE, all knifethrower builds can even choose X% attack damage to health and XX energy leech over Y sec without sacrificing damge too much, since we have more flexible item choices.

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