Making a Mage

Discussion in 'Conquest of the Wizardlands' started by Finnien, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. Finnien

    Finnien Member

    Ok, so I've had great success at crafting-heavy and melee-heavy builds, but every time I try a mage it either starts out so weak it's a struggle to avoid being roadkill, or it loses momentum halfway through. I'd like advice on planning a good GRPD caster.

    I was thinking Wand Lore and Alchemy for encrusts/mana/etc, Perception to see traps and fuel the two tradeskills, then ... Egyptian + Blood Magic + Magic Training? Ley Line over Blood? Both? Magical Law? Something other than Egyptian as the engine? If I do go with Egyptian, how do I get through the first few levels? It doesn't seem to have a good staple ranged attack.

    Anyways, those're my questions. I really just want a good caster build to try now. Suggestions and advice welcome!
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  2. Ghira

    Ghira Member

    I've never killed Dredmor but I've made it to dungeon level 8/9 various times with:
    staves, blood mage, promethean, alchemy, burglary, archaeology, astrology.

    Is this too melee/crafting-heavy?
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  3. Finnien

    Finnien Member

    Too melee-heavy for me, I'm hoping for a pure caster build that's capable of reaching Dredmor on GRPD. Not that I'll necessarily get that far, I just want to know the build's capable of it. ;)
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  4. Finnien

    Finnien Member

    My biggest problem is finding something to use as a staple single-mob trash killer. Egyptian Magic and Promethean Magic and Emomancy and everything else seems to have good area-effect skills, but every single-target spell is either a late-tree boss killer, or something that gives you debuffs, or something that just gives a creature a dot, or something focused on silencing/debuffing. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of ... a magical crossbow bolt? I don't want to have to cycle through meleeing and using crossbows and using wands on every single diggle I meet. Am I going to have to download a mod skill set to get what I'm looking for, a generic magic missile skill or something?
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  5. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    It's called a pet. :)
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  6. Ghira

    Ghira Member

    I use Gog's Tactical Pyre for single targets. The staves skill is mostly there for the stat boosts from the better staves.
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  7. Vitellozzo

    Vitellozzo Member

    The best about this game is that it deconstruct the classic fantasy genre, providing a good amount of funny things along.
    In fact we have the golemancy skill that isn't exactly what one could think about, for example. The fact there aren't classic attacks (aside from physical combact, and also there we don't have punches) is a dev choise to mantain such a spartan aspect.
    And the fact the game is moddable helps everyone getting what they want, so everyone's happy.
    Also, single target simple damage missiles are boring. Warriors get those in a better way.
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  8. Knallis

    Knallis Member

    This probably won't make you happy, but during the one time I managed to kill dredmor, I was using promethian early on for the firerune mine. Its the most practical alternative you have, and it works well enough provided that you can bait monsters well and predict where they are going to move. Stay ontop of their movements and the fire rune will get you to level 5 provided you can feed it. Blood magic does that excellently for zoos, obviously, but thaumaturgic tap and spending your early money on booze and still being thrifty with bolts bombs etc did me really well while I built up mathemagic.

    Still, there's a lot to try and consider. A caster with decent hp and lots of necro resist can use deathly hex almost indefinitely, with its quickly-becoming low cost and health drain, you're like a tank, and I've beaten zoos just spamming that happily.

    Psionics has heal, shove, and pyrokinesis, which is a decent single target in my opinion.
    Mathemagic is the ultimate hit and run boss killer. If you can survive long enough to get the mana-fueling for frequent teleporting and recursive casting, you're unstoppable.
    Egyptian's call the sandstorm is ridiculous, but don't forget that the tree as a whole seems to favor warrior/wizard hybrids. If you really want it, I'd suggest using imhotep only and more or less keep Egyptian on the backburner if you want to go full wizard/casting, no melee. IN the meantime, rely on promethian or something similar.

    I didn't go into pets because they're kind of annoying so I don't use them, but if that isn't a taste issue with you I'm sure you can come up with your own cosiderations.

    Then finally there is your mana regen choices. Leylines for room-to-room regeneration, blood magic if your major worry is zoos, alchemy for its sheer utility, it takes time to get it rolling, but once it is, you have so many options and can not run out of mana using that as well. All three is like, you'll never run out, ever. So make the choice depending on what you are most worried about. Are you really good at handling zoos? Probably sacrifice blood for something else.

    Another thing to consider is whether you want to go psionics or mathemagic, in my opinion these two are must haves for what you are wanting to do. Once again, what are you most afraid of, and what can you handle early on? Both have good early "crowd control" options, shove can get items for you if you are patient, but mathemagic's Translation does that more or less while allowing you to do such things as hit and run or steal from shops etc, but it takes more time to obtain. Both also have good single-target spells, but both of the heavily offensive, killer ones are late game.

    Here, specifically, are the skills I would consider from your perspective, but with my tastes.

    Promethian -- get Rune fast, ignore the rest until much later, get pet slightly earlier if on Going Rogue purely to distract boss enemies.

    Mathemagic -- Use Discontinuity to get out of dangerous situations, eventually build up to Recursive lategame, mostly focus on using Rune. On Dwarven Moderation, two recursive curses could kill dredmor before the expansions came out.

    Blood Magic -- feed Rune, pretty much just need it at its initial stage.

    Leylines -- Get Siphon at level 3, eliminates need for booze early on.

    Alchemy -- The brewing skills are nice, but not the focus. Use to make orbs and other important equipment, trying to get to perfect mana regen by floor 7 at latest.

    Burglary -- A chance for early supplies, mostly trap assistance. Once you get rolling as a mage it becomes easy to stop looking out for traps and get killed by them, which is how I always die once I get passed floor 5, never from a monster.

    Final choice between Egyptian, Psionics, or Necro. Egypt and Necro for dealing with late game zoos, depending on how thrifty you are with your levels. I personally would just go for Psionics for healing and the additional safety and security of shove, lasting me until I get Translation when I more or less don't need it anymore. Once Recursive and Obvious Fireball is built up, there's not much that can stop you if you are careful, at least, not that I know of (ie the last few floors). If you want to be absolutely prepared but focus on spellcasting, then I'd go for Necro, and keep an eye out for necro-resist items.

    With those seven skills, I'd go rune first, then siphon, Lucky Pick, take a look at what alchemical ingredients I have so far, then make a judgment call against upgrading alchemy or taking Nightmare Curse for named enemies. If I've got no options for alchemy developing and am not having mana issues and can just Rune named enemies, I'll start upgrading leylines to get more mana regen. Usually though I'll go for alchemy

    This initial building face pretty much lasts me until floor four. By that time I've got the alchemy set up. After that, I'll start building Mathemagic and I should have plenty of booze saved up to exploit that tree. If I am feeling impatient with my explosive rune, or if named enemies are getting scary, will start upgrading promethian for Pet/distraction, fireball for dealing with zoo's/ small enemies, but I'd more likely tend to getting mathemagic + pet by around floor 6. Once Recursive is set up and I have leylines almost maxed and high alchemy, I have no mana worries for now and can freely teleport/recursive anything I please. Start building Necro for dealing with the large zoos and keep/make some purity potions to deal with the curses. Otherwise, smaller groups can be dealt with using Recursive, teleporting, and obvious fireball.
  9. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    The closest you're going to come to Magic Missile at level 1 is Necro's Deathly Hex, like the pony said. If you want to use that at level 1, however, you have to build very carefully. If your Magic Power is 9 or less, a single point of :resist_nercomatic: will keep you from experiencing Necropain. If it's 10, you need 2; 20, you need 3, and so on.

    Sources of :resist_nercomatic: at level 1 include:

    Astrology's Radiant Aura
    Vampirism's passive bonus

    ...and that's it! (Well, Paranormal Investigator's 1st-level-buff will, too, but it also mutes you, so...yeah.)

    So, without investing any levels, a wizard can manage Necropain up to 19 :magic_power:, more than you can possibly build for at first level. In fact, the best :magic_power: you can get at first level, if I'm doing my math right, is 8 -- 7 points for 14 Sagacity (from 7 Wizard levels) plus 1 point from Magic Training. Let's assume you do that.

    So you have Astrology, Vampirism, Magic Training, and Necronomiconomics. You can safely spam Hexes for quite some time, but you will eventually need more offense and more :resist_nercomatic:. Fortunately, Astrology itself has another 2 :resist_nercomatic: at level 5, and Vampirism has another :resist_nercomatic: at level 5, and Necronomics itself has 3 :resist_nercomatic: (1 each at levels 4, 5, and 6), so just from skills you already have, you'll be able to wield Deathly Hex (and the other Necro spells except Rift) to a whopping 79 :magic_power: (though if you do drive your Magic Power up that high, you'll die if cast Tenebrous Rift, as it'll do 22 damage to you per tick for 7 ticks.)

    Point being, there's your spammable Magic Missile and all of the mechanics necessary to drive it. If you don't like the Vampirism idea (which is entirely understandable), for a little more investment you can get :resist_nercomatic: from Warlockery's 2nd level, from Emomancy's 5th level (2 points!), Egyptian Magic's 4th level, and/or from Demonology's 2nd level (unpredictable proc, though) and 3rd level (9!! points, keeps you from moving). Demonology, of course, is not a Wizard skill and will lower your overall :magic_power: by a few points, but may be worth it regardless.

    Personally, I see a pretty strong build here with:

    Magic Training
    Ley Line Walker
    Blood Mage
    Egyptian Magic

    Start by spamming Deathly Hex, drive straight up Emomancy. You get a cure spell, an AoE nuke, some flotsam, and then Mark of the Black Eyeliner. That plus Radiant Aura should be enough :resist_nercomatic: for you to drive up to the top of Necronomiconomics and be able to use it without a lot of concern. Then go up Egyptian Magic to Call of the Nile, Ley Lines to the top, and start carefully watching your Magic Power as you drive up Magic Training. You want to make sure you can survive normal Necro spells without any damage and survive at least 2 castings of Rift without killing yourself.

    Fortunately, it's trivially easy to lower your Magic Power if it gets too high: wear heavy armor. :)
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  10. TheKirkUnited

    TheKirkUnited Member

    Probably the best magic tree for single target death dealing is Mathemagic. Though it doesn't START with a damaging spell which can be a bit of speed bump. My go to Wizard skill for killing any single enemy. Has three great single target spells and two teleports to given the distance you need to keep casting them. Mix well with an AoE, some flavor of mana supply, and an overactive sense of self-preservation and you'll do just fine.
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  11. Finnien

    Finnien Member

    My final build ended up having Mathemagics, and it was what let me kill Dredmor - the teleport, not the nukes. The end-of-tree recursive nuke seemed to be constantly resisted and only do damage on the initial cast, not over time, probably 60-70% of the time I cast it (especially against diggles, maybe they had high resistance to the particular mathemagical elements). As with almost everything else, kicking mobs or casting Sandstorm seemed to be more effective. I hit Dredmor with 30+ various Mathemagics nukes that seemed to not do more than tickle him. That being said, the teleport was the most useful tool I had, and allowed me to beat Dredmor... it just took a half hour.
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  12. Vitellozzo

    Vitellozzo Member

    Diggles cannot do their maths.
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  13. Wyrmcraft

    Wyrmcraft Member

    My problem when playing a mage is managing to keep them alive. Traps murder me, or I have no practical way of healing, or I get shredded by Dredmor because he resists pretty much everything and I'm too squishy to enter melee combat. However, despite my difficulties let be give a little advice.

    I personally like rolling either Perception, Egyptian Magic, Bulgary (less so till lucky pick is patched) or anything else that can give you some trap sight/disarm chance. Those will kill you more than monsters on the early levels if you are unlucky.

    I've honestly found myself really enjoying Magical Law, as the long range grab, silence, CD reset, and all the other fun little things it has are quite useful. Plus the skill right before the capstone is amazing against spellcasters, like Dredmor. Then you just pair what you will with it...and have a ball.

    Oh, and the top 3 important things to remember when selecting your magic trees...

    1: Level 1 combat ability
    2: Crowd Clearing ability
    3: Boss Killing Spell

    Make sure you have enough of each!
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  14. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I've found that it only takes a little luck to win the first floor with Fleshsmithing alone. If you can kill the first mob you come across, and you don't hit that 3-Enraged-Diggle room right out of the box before you build up a decent supply of Zombies, Fleshsmithing 1 gives you offense and defense in the form of a flood of enough pets to keep all of the enemies distracted (and then killed) -- easily buying you enough levels to get to Obvious Fireball, Pact of Fleeting Life, or Call of the Sandstorm.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  15. My personal first with on GR with a mage was quite similar to some above.

    Egyptian Magic
    Ley Lines
    Magical law

    This was on NTTG, and i dont believe i ever bought an item i needed in a shop.
    The only challenge is getting to level 2. Then get your stache golem. He will tank first floor for you. I got lucky pick next so i could open/close and doors i wanted, which i think is hugely hugely important. Then i put points to get the machine pet in golems. This tanked for me till i got to the point where i was one shotting it with my aoe.
    Get some laylines, and egyptian magic. I kept every single Egyptian buff up, including the Nile one. At that point my sandstorm carried me through the game. It was 1 shot most things, 2 shot all but the thoughtest normal mobs.
    I used magical law just to get the writ of counterspelling, since i couldn't guarantee two reflect shields. When you get high enough level you can do a few hell runs to level up super quick.
    Burglary is for the teleport spell and invis, should you need it.
    To defeat Dredmor and Vad with this i walled them in with golemancy, and just nuked them down with the single target spells from Psionics. (Vlads weak to nerve staple, dred to the fire one) The only stats i was really missing for a while was most vision, to cast sandstorm farther out.

    Build is mana heavy, i just focused on equipping mana regen and vision gear, didnt really need too much of anything else.
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  16. leshpar

    leshpar Member

    End game the ultimate mage should be holding 2 orbs in his hands, not using a staff, so the staff skill is not something I'd pick. I actually did beat dredmor on dwarvish moderation without permadeath as a mage before any dlc was released. The big reason I can't do it on permadeath is because it seems traps are effected by your magic power and haywire chance. So I'd one shot myself on a random trap I didn't see till I stepped on it.
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  17. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    End game the mage should be holding whatever's appropriate. I've had mages on the 13th floor dual wielding staffs with much success (War/Emo/Necro/Blood FTW). Granted I've never actually killed Dredmor with any of them, but that's because I'm cursed to never actually see Dredmor's face again.
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  18. TheKirkUnited

    TheKirkUnited Member

    I've said it countless times by now but one should always have a trapsight skill. Especially for mages, since they are so squishy.
    I've won without a trapsight skill before, but only on a warriors tough enough to walk over traps and not care. My mages tend to either die on the early floors due to bad planning (I.E forgot trapsight, mana generation, teleport) or kill Dredmor.

    A rogue skill tree does dilute the oh-so-precious magic power progression but the trade off in not dying by horrific trap induced death* is totally worth it, doubly so if you take something with other useful abilities such as Burglary when you lack a teleport or perception for sweet loot and long range casting.

    *Horrific deaths include but are not limited to: immolation, complete chemical dissolution, and being eaten alive by magic bees.
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  19. Nacho

    Nacho Member

    Archeology's probably the best source of trap-sight for mages. 1 at level 1, a 3x3 AoE attack that scales with Sagacity and confuses enemies at level 2 (I've seen it pacify too) and iBiaM at level 3. Or iBiaM at level 2 and the confusion at level 3 if you're not using Essence's mod. But then why aren't you using Essence's mod?

    Or else Tourism's level 2. Kills your stelth and the lv 1 isn't great on Going Rogue, but +2 trap sight, +2 trap affinity, +3 normal sight, and it's magic instead of rogue, so more sagacity.
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  20. Isasaur

    Isasaur Member

    Dredmor has no :resist_aethereal:, if I remember correctly, so if you get Astrology to it's max you can nuke him with a lot of :dmg_aethereal:.

    I beat the game with a random build that constituted of Clockwork Knight, Promethean Magic, Magic Law, Magic Training, Perception, Burglary and Tourist, although that was on easy, I imagine it would work great if instead of Magic Law and Burglary/Perception, you got Astrology + something else to kill Dredmor with more ease.

    Also, hello people from Gaslamp Games, I'm new to the community, it's nice how everyone seems to be so friendly.