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quarague June 29, 2012 15:01

seeking advice for a mage
in the nice tradition of two other threads for different classes :-)
my main question is damage capacity. For example a level 10 elf mage has 17 spell points I think, if he uses all of them for damage spells and nothing for things like phase door and gets 100% success rate that is enough for about 100 damage points in magic missile or stinking cloud, much less if you go for more powerful missile spells. 100 damage points is enough for a single orc but not nearly enough for most uniques or anything stronger than an orc. And orcs show up in groups of at least 5 to 10 at that level.
A melee character can bash for as long as he wants too and a ranger with a full quiver with no enchantmants on the short bow has a several hundred damage points in there. The same problem applies on a different scale at different char levels (at least up to about char level 20 which is as far as I got with mages).
That means a mage has to constantly rest and always wait for full SP and still the moment he comes to a monster with more then average hitpoints for the depth he can't really kill it with magic. I try to carry a backup bow but playing a mage as a lousy ranger seems non optimal.

Derakon June 29, 2012 15:11

Mages are hard characters to play for precisely this reason. You cannot rely solely on your spells to deal all the damage you need; you need an alternate damage source. Bows are an option, as are wands and rods, or even melee if you have a good enough weapon. Otherwise, be on the lookout for items that boost your INT, because they will also give you more mana to work with.

saarn June 29, 2012 15:49

one thing to do with mages is to use lightning bolt or spear of light as much as possible. upset a big group of orcs/trolls/whatever, lure them all into a long corridor, and pound them with lightning bolt/spear of light. The individual damage to each monster will be low, but total damage dealt is very high since there's no limit to the length of the beam. Obviously this doesn't work for monsters that are light and electricity resistant, but if you hold on, you'll get better spells and more mana. Your existing spells will be better too.

Narvius July 2, 2012 09:09

Frankly, unless I get ambushed by a raven and both unique dogs (I was absolutely sure there were three, but I never encountered it... oO) on dlvl 3, I never have problems with mana running out / not being able to kill stuff. But that's mostly because I ignore everything I know I cannot kill. There are tons of only slightly dangerous things deeper down that have low amounts of HP but give tons of XP.

Mages, more than any other class, are about picking your battles, they have the most powerful toolset to do just that. Because of that, I usually dive as fast as I can and rely on me not being retarded to survive (I usually die.)

PowerWyrm July 2, 2012 13:25

My advice for playing mages: first, get a race that will boost INT/CON with decent HP rolls, mainly high elf or dunadan; then scum early levels for cash until you get 7-8k and scum BM for INT rings. You can pretty much kill anything at 250ft with your magic missiles, just avoid the uniques until you are strong enough to kill them.

Narvius July 2, 2012 14:00

That seems like an awfully boring thing to do, frankly. And either you know how and when to avoid monsters - in which case scumming for extra Int is rather pointless (if you have at least 18/50), or you don't - in which case one will die either way.

It might make sense for one of the multiplayer variants, though.

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