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Old December 7, 2010, 14:30   #1
stabbo
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Mage Strategy

Does anyone have any pointers on how to play a mage? I keep starting one up and then end up getting bored and going off to play something else, mostly because I'm not really sure how it's supposed to be played.

Which spells should I watch out for? Should I rely on magic missle and maxing intellect or should I turn him into a mini-ranger?

Another thing, it'd be neat if we could sticky the general advice thread as well as an advice thread for each of the classes where people could post class specific advice.
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Old December 7, 2010, 15:01   #2
fizzix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stabbo View Post
Does anyone have any pointers on how to play a mage? I keep starting one up and then end up getting bored and going off to play something else, mostly because I'm not really sure how it's supposed to be played.

Which spells should I watch out for? Should I rely on magic missle and maxing intellect or should I turn him into a mini-ranger?
Yes and yes. In other words, either works and you should just go with your personal preference. Mages are slow though, If you're looking for faster paced, go with a warrior-like class.
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Old December 7, 2010, 15:07   #3
LostTemplar
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This one http://angband.oook.cz/fun/mages.php
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Old December 7, 2010, 15:16   #4
stabbo
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Thanks. That's oddly helpful for the early levels.

What spells should I look to use at the higher levels? Priest's are easy to play post level 9 due to the knowledge that your main attack is going to be OoD. With a mage on the otherhand I'm not really sure the best way to use combat spells. Should I focus on using the ball spells against foes that don't resist the element? Should I still use the likes of magic missle at that point? Or is there some other spell that is good?

I've heard that Stinking Cloud is a good spell but have yet to try it out that much, and when I've wanded a group of orcs with it the effect was negligible.
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Old December 7, 2010, 15:42   #5
ewert
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Attack spells:

Magic missile will tide you for a loooooong time. If you feel cheap, you can wear two rings of escaping for +8 speed, which will mean magic missile will be awesome for even longer. =P Mostly due to the dmg/mana part and unresistability.

The different bolts are good, lightning bolt is situational (corridors), frost bolt for your max dmg/round until you get fire bolt to low fail%. Fire bolt is the 2nd spell after magic missile to have a "basic attack" value at some point, due to it having good dmg/mana and dmg/rnd. Once you get really high INT and good mana, then acid bolt gets better if you are like me and play superfast in real-time terms, and want your basic attack spell to work on most targets (acid is better than fire since acid is less often resisted). If you manually pick spell & targets (god that is slow hotkey for m3h' rules or whatever was acid bolt) then use fire or acid, frost if both are resisted. Lightning bolt remains your only lightning spell, so is situational even against tough single guys sometimes (cyclops for example I think).

Ball spells, stinking cloud is good. Massive dmg/mana against groups. Raal's will upgrade you to killing cloud, even cooler. Also you will get into area spell kingdom with Raal's, I never touch fireball / frostball. Shockwave is pretty "cheap" in that the stun part is just ... well "cheap". You can kill even uniques with it + your best dmg/mana/rnd combo spell and only a couple of phase doors, I think the stun is overpowered. Once you get high enough level, there is ice storm which has higher dmg/rnd with a stun component too. Also like shockwave there is explosion, both of which do high resist damage types and thus are situationally sometimes your best spell even against single targets.

Meteor storm is mostly meh, tbh. Next real big upgrades are rift and mana storm. Chaos strike is better than rift in some situations. Rift gives you "free killz" with a L-antisummon alcove. Mana storm is your biggest dmg/rnd in the end.

The rest ... well ... don't really use them much.
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Old December 7, 2010, 15:51   #6
stabbo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewert View Post
Attack spells:

Magic missile will tide you for a loooooong time. If you feel cheap, you can wear two rings of escaping for +8 speed, which will mean magic missile will be awesome for even longer. =P Mostly due to the dmg/mana part and unresistability.

The different bolts are good, lightning bolt is situational (corridors), frost bolt for your max dmg/round until you get fire bolt to low fail%. Fire bolt is the 2nd spell after magic missile to have a "basic attack" value at some point, due to it having good dmg/mana and dmg/rnd. Once you get really high INT and good mana, then acid bolt gets better if you are like me and play superfast in real-time terms, and want your basic attack spell to work on most targets (acid is better than fire since acid is less often resisted). If you manually pick spell & targets (god that is slow hotkey for m3h' rules or whatever was acid bolt) then use fire or acid, frost if both are resisted. Lightning bolt remains your only lightning spell, so is situational even against tough single guys sometimes (cyclops for example I think).

Ball spells, stinking cloud is good. Massive dmg/mana against groups. Raal's will upgrade you to killing cloud, even cooler. Also you will get into area spell kingdom with Raal's, I never touch fireball / frostball. Shockwave is pretty "cheap" in that the stun part is just ... well "cheap". You can kill even uniques with it + your best dmg/mana/rnd combo spell and only a couple of phase doors, I think the stun is overpowered. Once you get high enough level, there is ice storm which has higher dmg/rnd with a stun component too. Also like shockwave there is explosion, both of which do high resist damage types and thus are situationally sometimes your best spell even against single targets.

Meteor storm is mostly meh, tbh. Next real big upgrades are rift and mana storm. Chaos strike is better than rift in some situations. Rift gives you "free killz" with a L-antisummon alcove. Mana storm is your biggest dmg/rnd in the end.

The rest ... well ... don't really use them much.
Thanks for the excellent post, it's really informative. On Mana Storm, is that the Morgoth killing spell? Or would I have better luck using the single target blasting spells if he hasn't summoned?
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Old December 7, 2010, 15:52   #7
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I think the mana changes to attack spells have accomplished their purpose, since players are recommending a number of attack spells at different time and different situations. I think this is one of the better changes made recently, right up there with the removal of *ID*
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Old December 7, 2010, 17:02   #8
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Originally Posted by stabbo View Post
Thanks for the excellent post, it's really informative. On Mana Storm, is that the Morgoth killing spell? Or would I have better luck using the single target blasting spells if he hasn't summoned?
Morgy resists mosts, so yeah use mana storm. You are free to burn any !rMana and _Magi you have, so just aim for highest dmg/rnd.

What I forgot in area spells is that stinking cloud / cloudkill which are poison do not destroy any equipment, and are thus the "no pressure, group killing" spells. If there is danger then ice storm or shockwave is better, or explosion if resistances for the aforementioned (though shockwave is sound, thus not many others than sound hounds and gold dragons resist it ...)
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Old December 7, 2010, 18:04   #9
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Originally Posted by ewert View Post
Meteor storm is mostly meh, tbh.
Meteor swarm is very efficient at CL40. The annoying thing is that when you kill you need to use a direction rather than targeting the monster, so that any extra meteors go past and do not destroy any drops.
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Old December 7, 2010, 23:50   #10
Tiburon Silverflame
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Meteor Swarm's usually available a lot earlier, too; Raal's is DL 50, Kelek's is DL 80.

In the midgame, I use almost all the spells in Raal's...you've got various useful features to each one, BUT you do have to watch out for collateral damage with most of em.

I probably use more ball spells than anything else, because ball spells *don't* require direct line of effect. That means, in a situation like this:

@ k L

The k's just a pest; the L is NOT. Arrows and single-target spells, will hit the k; the lich won't be affected unless the spell beams, or has splatter (Meteor Swarm). A ball spell can be centered on that nasty lich.

Also, the ball spells tend to do the most damage, and often (with the mana cost adjustments) most efficiently, at least for a priest or mage. But remember: the damage drops *fast*. It's 1/2 damage, then 1/3 damage. On the shallow levels, most pack monsters (novice rogue, minor hounds, orcs) don't have that many hit points, so the splash damage is still fairly effective...hit something with splash 2, 3 times, it often drops or cowers. Later on, tho...doesn't work, barring Mana Storm. Monsters start having way too many hit points. Now, OK, I've sat and tossed a few dozen Ice Storms into a giant pit...because I could, but even more because of the side effect of stunning them. The collateral damage *eventually* adds up to kill the giants that were never directly targeted, but it's pretty slow.

My favorite spell against orcs is actually Spear of Light...which is expensive, so I am rather fond of rods/wands of light. Later orcs aren't light-sensitive, but the first several breeds are. And it lights along its beam, which is VERY handy.
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