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Old July 6, 2010, 21:25   #1
TJS
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How does anyone win with a mage?

Just played my first serious mage. Got to clvl 30 and around dlvl 60 before not looking where I was going and getting done by a titan (in one round of melee). Only had 150 HP and most monsters could have killed me in one move and they were moving twice as fast.

How are you supposed to play mages? I can't understand what you're supposed to do to kill monsters. Do you have to keep sneaking about until you find certain spellbooks? Help!
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Old July 6, 2010, 21:47   #2
ewert
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You play carefully and not within striking distance.

Basic spellbooks hold you quite fine to statgain, except against some uniques. Before you get int boosters, unless you use archery, you pretty much should skip most uniques. Rings of int from black market, ego int armor etc.

Anything with a powerful ranged attack is a no-no until you have enough hp, and even then don't bother if it is not unique TBH. Detect, and later reveal monsters. Use "know monster info" to check monsters (call it "checking on spoilers" if the cheat name bothers you) to know what is too risky for you.

If it is faster than you, unless you know you can handle it, don't do it.

When Raal's comes you are getting some nice spells. You can clear pits with cloudkillpulling from far away into a corridor, then pummel with bolts (bolts beam sometimes, loooots of dmg whenever it beams). Rift makes killing most not-faster-than-you uniques breeze just as long as you have mana restores available.

In the end, obliterate everything from afar (just banish stuff you don't wanna kill). 4 staves of magi and 4 staves of healing and you are nigh unkillable, as long as you play carefully. Being in melee range is risky, even with Rune under you. I don't even use runes ever really. Just blast away, troublesome summon's can be banished eventually...

The power of the end game mage is just ... silly. Morgoth is a walk in the park with a maxed out mage TBH. I'm in the process of killing the rest of the uniques and finding some more speed with my current mage at dlvl 98. I'm thinking I might try farming dlvl 100 (just destruct M away when you find an interesting level) this time ...
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Old July 6, 2010, 22:17   #3
Tiburon Silverflame
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Me, I run mages a LOT slower than any other class. And read fizzix's thread about Fightless...he's CL 26 on DL 33; he's running really, really slow. Granted, no melee, no missile will be slower, but before stat gain, you're still emphasizing spells over anything else by a wide margin, most of the time. They're more reliable and usually still more effective.

One major issue is race. Which did you take? Not that many races work well for mage. From class, you're getting no hit dice and -2 Con. Hobbit, gnome, and kobold will have really low hit dice; elf and half-elf will have horrible Con. Dwarf has a big nasty Int penalty, half-troll's worse. So for standard V...you've got 2 decent cheap choices...human and half-orc (surprisingly)...and the 2 expensive choices of dunadan and high elf. Either one is worth the cost, *as long as you're willing to slow down a bit.*

Next: stat setup. Push Con over Dex; you're not gonna be in melee enough to worry about Dex at the start. Dunadan helps here considerably; you have a net +1 Con. One can set starting stats in a variety of ways, but here's mine, for a fresh dunadan mage in the making (all scores after all mods): Str 11, Int 18/40, Wis 12*, Dex 16, Con 18, Chr 13*.

* -- can't go lower, would if I could.

I don't want to go *too* much lower on Str, because I want some carrying capacity. Int/Con are bought to 17 base...going to 18 is extremely expensive, and IMO won't be worth it. And with the 18 Con, and quickly testing by drinking a !Exp...suddenly I'm 28th level with 186 HP...with nothing raising my Con. And by DL60, I figure to have a MUCH higher Con.

So, I'd say, go slower especially through stat gain.
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Old July 7, 2010, 08:08   #4
ewert
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Going to 18 int if you can get to 18/50 is IMMENSELY worth it. I went max str/int with my gnome. If you can't break into 17-18 con (high con races), it's of no nearly no use anyways before stat gain / +con items (and you want +int rings before +con before statgain).

Without str boosters I got into burden territory before stat gain many times. Spellbooks and opportunity equipment can be weighty (you wear a +2 int randart heavy crossbow even if you don't use it for shooting =(). I even wore a +4str ring for a long time (no int rings yet, didnt want to abuse RoE, others mostly useless).

The racial hit dice is big for mages, forgot about that. In retrospect, my first revised-mana-costs mage which was a half-troll was actually not THAT bad a choice. =P You just need even more +int equipment to get into the sweet point of 18/50 and over to start reaping some real extra mana/spells.
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Old July 7, 2010, 08:16   #5
Pete Mack
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The usual advice applies.
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Old July 7, 2010, 17:53   #6
Tiburon Silverflame
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I don't deny that the 18/50 Int is extremely useful, but it is very costly to pay for that 18...4 points is the difference between a 14 and a 17 base.

If you have even a 15 or 16 Con, the major advantage is that any +2 is putting you into the sweet spot. In addition, you should be able to reduce your time in stat-gain territory; you need 2 fewer Con potions to be comfortable deeper. Similarly, the 18/40 Int is close enough so any lucky +Int find will cover you.

So I'm suggesting: set up like this, and you're going to have a better chance for the RNG to make you very happy.

BTW, I've used the =Str a lot too. It's almost a de facto ring of speed early on.
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Old July 10, 2010, 22:52   #7
Max Stats
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiburon Silverflame View Post
I don't deny that the 18/50 Int is extremely useful, but it is very costly to pay for that 18...4 points is the difference between a 14 and a 17 base.
Yes, it is very costly. But what makes it worth it is bonus SP and an extra spell on odd levels. The EXP from casting these extra spells can give a low-level character a nice boost for leveling up in the beginning, not to mention how nice it is not to have to pick between two different useful spells.

Quote:
If you have even a 15 or 16 Con, the major advantage is that any +2 is putting you into the sweet spot. In addition, you should be able to reduce your time in stat-gain territory; you need 2 fewer Con potions to be comfortable deeper. Similarly, the 18/40 Int is close enough so any lucky +Int find will cover you.
Extra CON is nice too for early survival. If you can't build up in the beginning, hoard gold and look for rings of CON in Black Market.

Quote:
So I'm suggesting: set up like this, and you're going to have a better chance for the RNG to make you very happy.

BTW, I've used the =Str a lot too. It's almost a de facto ring of speed early on.
With a High-Elf, I set STR, INT, and CON all to 17 base, resulting in 13, 18/50, and 16 respectively after modifiers. Carrying capacity can be an issue; I get by with just one copy of each spell book for awhile, and hope for a STR ring to go with my CON ring that I hopefully find in the BM.
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