A God am I - Egyptian Magic

Discussion in 'Conquest of the Wizardlands' started by Psiweapon, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Nikolai

    Nikolai Member

    This is in fact an excellent point, and I'm sort of disappointed that I didn't think of it myself. In fact, Leylines removes almost all mana gameplay. This seems to have been an accepted fact, but I don't believe it's appropriate in its current form.

    Mere number nerfs will either do little or cause the tree to become pointless. Leylines needs downsides. It needs a cost.

    You know, Thaumaturgic Tap's description mentions something about "Try not to anger too many outer beings by using this too often." This could manifest into negative effects that occur if the spell is used very often (which it generally is.)
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  2. mining

    mining Member

    Just to put it out there, but skills that cost mana have two points: The "can't use this, low on mana" and "spam, I have mana". If you have a way to stay in the second state more than the first state (blood magic and/or ley lines) you'll just demolish everything.
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  3. Nikolai

    Nikolai Member

    Pretty much. Mana gameplay is resource management. Much like how Cooldown skills involve time management. They both necessitate deliberation in how to use them and when to use them. But given spells generally don't have cooldowns, if you remove mana gameplay, you're free to blow spells on a mere lone monster (which you can do with the currently discussed combo.)

    It's like WTF Mode from Dota, except this is Actual Gameplay. Oops.
    lujo86 likes this.
  4. lujo86

    lujo86 Member

    Not to mention that the point of difficulty lowering the mana regan rate would be solvable by simply picking up either Magic Training (got it on my skill tree) for the other mana recharge, or blood magic (which I don't have). Yep. This most likely is the problem, since it works on other stuff too.

    Sandstorm itself being spammable is another thing that ties into it.

    EDIT: And this also migt account for a metagame change that hapened at some point, where now I'm not seein anyone talking about Promethean magic anymore, but lots of folks picking up the second level of Leylines and/or Blood Magic and simply rushing any skill tree with an AoE "zoo clearer". Might warrant a post somewhere in the general section, really.
  5. wRAR

    wRAR Member

    This post made me want to say this: I wanted and hoped that EM is a pure wizard tree, but it turned out to be a tree with a lot of things useful only for a gish. I want it to have strong and costly buffs that help pure wizards, not melee damage buffs.
  6. Nacho

    Nacho Member

    This. If we could swap around the glyphs for things that give more magic power, dodge, etc..., that would be nice.
  7. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    Well, Promethean Magic got nerfed, like, 5 times? Or was it 6 times? So it would make sense for it to stop being a "top-grade" skill tree and instead merely be useful.
  8. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    I recently maxed out egyptian magic, a week or two ago. I remember being rather underwhelmed by the mana costs, particularly considering the use of hungry buffs. I did not really see it as OP at all. Then again I didn't have any magic support skills.
  9. wRAR

    wRAR Member

    Do you mean that costs are too high or too low?
  10. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    They were too high for egyptian magic to count as broken, at least without some kind of mana support.
  11. Finnien

    Finnien Member

    The problem with Egyptian Magic as a primary caster tree is that it's amazing at killing tons of densely packed little stuff, but terrible at killing real threats. First, in order to successfully run it, you need the tree itself, plus at least two and possibly three additional trees of mana regen and spell power (I used Alchemy, Ley Walker, and Magic Training). That's JUST to run Sandstorm, essentially. Then you probably want one tree that has a skill that grants early kill power (Egyptian Magic is essentially useless as a casting tree until 3 skill points in, and isn't really great until maxed), and another that provides some sort of escape and survivability, and possibly another to deal with traps. That's potentially your entire build, just dedicated to a tree that only really does one thing well.

    Most likely, if you pursue Egyptian Magic, there will be gaping vulnerabilities in your character. Traps will be hard to spot, impossible to disarm, and kill you if stepped on. Minibosses will require at least one full mana bar worth of sandstorms and lots of running. Individual monsters will be overkilled with your one functional spell, and then you'll run around in a circle regenning mana to compensate. And the real threats, Dredmor and Vlad Diggula, will laugh at the one spell your entire build is centered around, shrug it off, and kill you.

    Egyptian Magic feels really powerful because it's unsurpassed at leveling an entire monster zoo in four turns flat. That feels broken. However, killing a monster zoo isn't the objective of the game - killing Dredmor is. And Egyptian Magic spreads its damage among several damage types, which allows bosses to leverage multiple resistances against its damage, and really prevents it from packing a major punch. Kicking a mob really felt like it did more damage than sandstorm sometimes, and kicking Dredmor to death isn't really an option - as much fun as it could be.

    My problem building a pure mage was that I couldn't find a good single-target spell in any tree that would hurt Dredmor. Magic power just seemed to scale very badly - even in the 150-200 range. He laughed at Mathemagic's curses, sneered at Sandstorms, and waltzed through My Chemical Explosions without missing a step. Early on, I used AE for everything, and endgame, I ended up using sawblades and crossbows and The Bombs and everything else I could get my hands on. My two melee characters who faced Dredmor, on the other hand, could at least do noticeable chunks of damage with each solid hit. It could be that endgame weapons are overpowered, but I really think single-target early and lategame magic both need attention. A good mage build should have a spammable single target trash killer, an AE room clearer, and a boss killer option (not necessarily all in the same tree, but containing some synergy at least). For a melee, the first is default, the third is itemized, and they only really need to grab an auxiliary skill or item for the second.

    Long story short, I wanted to make a pure mage, and tried probably a dozen builds and ended up killing Dredmor with one, but ALL of them felt like they were handicapped in multiple ways (lack of survivability against traps, lack of single target options, reliance on mana as a resource) that did not feel offset by a single powerful AE spell that turned out useless in the end. At this point I'd probably avoid mages in the future - they're more work, more squishy, with less depth, without an equivalent payoff. Just my experience, but while I loved cackling and destroying massive zoos in a couple of spells, the tradeoff in frustration and vulnerability doesn't match up.
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  12. mining

    mining Member

    That's why gishes are so strong (melee single target enemies, AoE to nuke down zoos and crowds) and why I swear by Astrology (big AoE nuke that scales really, really hard to savvy for cost reduction and does an almost entirely unresisted type).
    Kazeto likes this.
  13. lujo86

    lujo86 Member

    Except it falls into the same trap I see in most builds around the place, and that overthingking it. Honestly, on any difficulty, the whole "I need to worry about the first couple of floors" thing really clashes with my expirience of the first couple of floors. Or the ammount of support for skills - I'm rather sure EM doesn't need more than 2 support skill lines, and you don't really need to lvl them up too fast. Really, if you pick up the mana recharge skill from Leylines and sandstorm youre good untill lvl4-5 with just 4 skill points invested, and you can pretty much clear the first floor with just the asp (and Imhotep).

    As for the single target spells, there is one - Fulminaric bolt. Really deep into a gish tree with mana hungry buffs, but it has a root, some defense, and the capstone works on Dredmore. If you go for it right away (after EM/mana setup), youre more squishy than gishy, and all of it is not better than simply going necro for everything (another overstatedly "punishing" skill line - I've played it just fine without any support and done well on GRPD).

    The big problem for EM from the usability perspective is that it gives you literally overpowering gish tools, but the in-game armor system doesn't really let you wear heavy ones if paired with a really mana hungry build (and there doesn't seem to be a proper scaling of dodge/block/counter/damage-reduction items). So it forces you to play a wizard, and gives you overpowered melee tools.

    The big "pro" is that it let me kill all braxes while slogging through legions of dread collectors without archaeology (just a few hits here and there from the room mod) on floors 3 and 5 after I've cleared them for 3 games straight (floor 4 has kooky architecture, wouldn't try that there). On Elvish, but I had more mana regen than I needed anyway, and it wasn't too difficult and I was spamming Sandstorms and keeping a lesser syzigy up all the time. The tree i was going to level afterwards was Astrology, so I guess I even had Dredmor killing power... (Allthought THAT probably wouldn't've worked on GR :D )

    EDIT: You are very right about wizards being one-dimentional, they take all challenge out of zoo's these days. And not just the zoo's, with the second skill from leylines you can sandstorm sinlge targets without problems excet for accidentally hitting brax, as long as you know how to aim them.
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  14. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    Yup, you are right. If you learn how to play conservatively (using booze only if there is no other choice), you can keep EM running with just Leylines and no other mana recovery skill. Get enough points to mana recovery and you'll feel the ubiquitousness of booze because you won't be using it outside of really rare situations.

    And that's 2 skill slots instead of 4 it was supposed to take. As you said, one can spend the third point on Viking Wizard for the single-target spells and there will still be 4 slots for support skills or other random combat-oriented stuff.

    I guess it depends on how one uses his spells. If one uses Sandstorm as a fix-it-all solution, then it really fails to be cost-efficient; but if it is used as the tool for crowd murdering, and single targets are dealt with using a single-target spell, then it really is cheap for what it does now (and no amount of numeric nerfing will fix it because the line between "overpowered" and "underpowered" is infinitesimally thin).
    lujo86 likes this.
  15. lujo86

    lujo86 Member

    Well that way of looking at stuff is a big and in my mind probably righteous condemnation of Leylines (and you might need Magic Training on top of that for GR, but that also gives you a silence skill), but Finnien does have a point in that there is a distinct lack of efficent single targeted stuff for mages - Necro has the nightmare curse (which peole hate and I don't understand why) and WM has Fulminaric bolt witch is an overpowered capstone.

    On the other hand the armor bussiness is a lot more serious, because if you overload on mage support for gish builds, you can't really get proper gear. The end game armor is all clockwork themed and unless I'm much mistaken all either reflect oriented or reduces spellpower or mana regen. If you're going mana-hungry gish (and most gishes that come to mind work that way) your magic skills are taking up the place of dodge/block/counter/whathaveyou skills you are supposed to be getting your defenses from because of the silly armor system.

    That thing needs a good looking into, we may have overloaded the high end gear with stiff that for flavour reasons needs metal, and kept the "metal-big no for spellcasters". I'm not sure when the whole "this metal means this kind of gear" thing las got a shake-up but one is probably due. The way it is now, most of the dodge related powerhouses are floor specific joke items you get on lower floors and if you miss them you are screwed, and if oyu get them you ussually only get a big bunch of dodge, and so on and so forth...

    And while we're on the subject I can't remember the last time I saw a green armor and I never got that achievement, has anyone seen it recently?
    Kazeto likes this.
  16. Finnien

    Finnien Member

    Kazeto, the problem I had was finding a good single-target spell. Most of the ones I found would take 4-5 casts to do what Sandstorm would do in one, and ultimately end up costing more than Sandstorm to kill the mob anyways. Leylines is sufficient until you get Ra, but after that it becomes quite a bit hungrier, in my experience. I might just not be getting enough mana regen on my gear, but I'm pretty sure leylines alone won't keep every EM hungry buff running simultaneously. I could be wrong; magic training seemed like a pretty solid all-around choice (I thought spell power scaled better than it did when I started), and Alchemy is great just for encrusting, so I don't know how mandatory they both were. Alchemy certainly could have been cut, at least.

    Lujo, I agree I probably had more support than I needed (it was my first GRPD caster post-vanilla) but I'm pretty sure you can't clear the first floor on Going Rogue with just Asp kicking things to death. Hell, it's a tossup if you can kill the first mob that way. You need either a weapon skill (so you can start with a weapon), or you need a skill tree that starts with an attack spell. Also, I don't know how carefully most people play, but if I only have a sight radius of one square for traps, I'm frequently either lagging a bit on my laptop or in my brain, and step on things that hurt. One won't kill me, but without a viable healing source on the first floor, they add up and eventually do, or put me low enough so that something does. The VAST majority of deaths I have on a new build is the first floor on GRPD.

    I may try Fulminaric Bolt, but at that point, it seems better to skip Egyptian altogether since they both have AE and they're both full of hungry buffs. It might be better to go with Emomancy or Necronomiconomics or maybe Mathemagics early, then build up that direction, as opposed to having two trees that are full of hungry buffs. Also, I think I still prefer the sheer power of the 90%+ countering high-resistance high-armor clockwork dual-sword juggernaut I built that couldn't die if I wanted him to. Way less work.
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  17. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    Well, Fulminaric Bolt is really the thing you might want to try there. It is the one spell that Dredmor can wreck characters with (the thunder attack that takes half, or more, health away and has a chance to paralyse). But I do agree that the problem is finding a good single-target spell. Once you get one, however, you can see that EM can be quite powerful when you don't need to use AoE attacks for single monsters.

    And the point about Leylines applies to other recovery skill trees too - if you know how to use magic efficiently, one is enough. It is just that I played with Leylines more than with Magic Training or Blood Magic so it was easier for me to use it as an example.
  18. mining

    mining Member

    As a gish I don't need no stinking armor because I either have a healing tree, or can soften enemies up enough I never get hit. Early game I just use the heavy armor and play as a melee with buffing spells.
    Vitellozzo likes this.
  19. lujo86

    lujo86 Member

    You won't be kicking things to death as long as you can survive one or two rooms :D I guess I developed the "what is everyone talking about, what dangerous first floor?" attitude when I put myself through the "all crafting, burglary and archeology" bootcamp for a while. It's one of those things which are undoable because people get used to taking too many steps. If you're experimenting with Fulminaric bolt, try any build but stick VW in there and try giving the first level a shot with just the first skill.

    Also, the forums are rife with good advice (theres a "tactics that work for everyone" thread), and with a bit of practice you can practicaly turn the 1st lvl into your pocket dimension with mostly any build. I don't mean to patronize, it was a surprise to me too.

    That's a playstyle thing, I'm talking about options, and concerning tose there aren't many :)
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  20. Finnien

    Finnien Member

    Lujo, what difficulty and what specific build? All crafting, whip up a weapon for yourself with starting materials. Burglary and archaeology, lockpicking can get you a level by itself, and you can see all the traps from a distance. These are abilities that hugely matter on the first floor. The problem with a pure caster is you often get relatively useless tier one skills. For example, Ley Walking and Magic Training give you passive stats only, Mathemagics gives you a random teleport that can put you in more danger than you started in, and Emomancy teleports a mob away but doesn't do anything to it. The build I beat Dredmor with had those four plus Alchemy (not much help there), Egyptian Magic (the aforementioned Asp skill), and Wandcrafting, which is what I relied on to level, using precious wand charges on trash mobs until I could scrounge a weapon. Swap out the wands for, say, Perception (a build I tried a few times and discarded), and you're pretty much boned until you happen to find a significant weapon, since it's all magic that doesn't actually damage. Go ahead and run the first floor with Ley Walking, Magic Training, Mathemagics, Emomancy, Perception, Alchemy, and Egyptian Magic on GRPD and try to clear the first floor with just Asp. Not to sound patronizing, but Asp/Imhotep are not going to clear the first floor for you like you claimed.