ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:36 am
Posts: 9
... or the defense sustain from phantasm? How do you keep an archmage from dying?

How does invisibility work anyway? Does it roll against critters perception or something? How much is needed? If co, it feels as if invisibility would be either IWIN or USELESS depending on the critters skill.

How do you keep your saves up? It looks like it is *necessary* to buy escort sun paladin chant points for those 50+ save bonuses, which feels like cheating.

(I think escort quests should not give specific talents; maybe just points.)


Note: I only play "roguelike" while playing roguelikes. So, death is hard!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:47 pm
Posts: 617
Max aegis tree ASAP. Arcane recnstruction + arcane shield + shielding bonus + increased healing + spell crit can be EXTREMELY powerful and generate 1000+ hp healing and 2000-3000 HP shields in the late game.

Also, try to get Healing light from an anorithil, to use healing infusion (instead of regens), etc.
With arcane shield on, I just replace all shielding runes with healing, to get the double benefit.
Also anything that increases healing, spell crit, crit mult, etc, is good.
I generally try to have 2 healing infusions + arcane reconstruction + healing light, and generally I have no problem to keep archmages alive.
Also, if you have an anorithil escort, consider getting the "light" talent tree. You will have to invest one category point, but it is worth.

I NEVER use invisibility, I even do not invest any point in it. With the mana drain and damage reduction, I find this talent no so useful.

The phantasm defence bonus is OK, but not so useful, as an archmage should never be close to a dangerous opponent. Pahse door and teleport are very important when in difficulty.

Saves are important, but chant of fortitude does NOT give such a large bonus. It depends on magic, but if you have level 1, it is around +15, and may go up to level 30 if you invest 5 points in it. But it is almost impossible for an archmage to raise it at such a level. Also, it does not grant mental save, which is very useful. So you must find other means to get saves/resistances.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:35 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:36 am
Posts: 9
How about divination?
How do you handle stealthed enemies in the dark?

Also, what is a good save stat to aim at? How do you achieve it?

Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:21 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 9:17 pm
Posts: 1457
The archmagi I run tend to get by with ridiculous shielding (i.e., be a skeleton, max aegis, trololol all the way home with 3k+ total damage shields by level 20) and, ah... proactive defense. Which is to say killing or shutting down anything that can kill me or shut me down before it can. That's about it, though. I just use my massive broadside from range and m'excellent mobility and keep myself out of trouble.

I run an archmage mostly like I run a corruptor. Offense is the best defense. The most effective protection is to remove the threat entirely ?

ygramul wrote:
How about divination?
How do you handle stealthed enemies in the dark?

Also, what is a good save stat to aim at? How do you achieve it?
I don't bother much with the active divination stuff (arcane eye, vision), myself. Too much effort to really use it well... maybe a point into AE to stick inside vaults or whatever, or max it and drop it on myself for the increased LoS and invis breaking (though I think the latter doesn't work). It's very, very useful if you've got the patience to utilizing it well, though. Knowledge is power, etc., etc., etc.

As for stealthed enemies, you can target empty space. If you think something's hiding in the dark, empty out a spell barrage in that general direction and see if any numbers pop up, or if your XP percent ticks up a notch. With the former, you now know where to aim, the latter, you just killed it.

Save stats... on magi, I just don't bother paying attention to them. I do want confusion resistance (or mental save, if you're going saves route) and eventually silence (on swap, if nothing else) and stun res, but ranged characters can get by without stun resistance better than melee ones so it's a lesser concern and silence is more of a late-game thing. If I were actively hunting saves, I'd lean toward mental and physical on my kit, in that order of preference. My naturally high magic will help with spellsaves. Later on, probably lean toward physical as I'll have been pumping will and cunning after magic was maxed, again helping with mental save naturally.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:21 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Earth
I do what ghostbuster does.

Aegis tree is great. I consider it mandatory, at least with the way I play.

If you're fortunate enough to get the Celestial / Light tree from an escort quest, it is absolutely amazing since it scales with your magic stat and provides more shielding and healing. Best case scenario is you get more than one escort of this type. Unlock the tree first of course.

Being a skeleton makes it even better since you have an additional shield and heal from the skeleton race tree. Not being able to use wild infusions makes stuns pretty deadly, so be careful with that.

You'll be stretched for generic skill points though, so make sure to plan out your build in advance.

There's also an artifact belt that activates a damage shield, very useful for this type of character.

>How do you handle stealthed enemies in the dark?

I tend to always take the "Piercing Sight" reward from repented thief escorts. Also, I tend to keep alternate gear with +see invisible to swap out if needed. Additionally, you can aim spells at empty space and still hit things if you think you know where the enemy is.

As far as darkness / light radius, Illuminate from the Phantasm tree is *way* better than it seems if you level it up enough to get the blind and light damage effects. I ignored that skill for the longest time, but it's definitely worth it.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:18 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:36 am
Posts: 9
Excellent. Many thanks for the detailed replies.

I have one more question: how about Temporal?
Is Temporal Shield or the +50% speed sustain good investments?

For my current build I consider:
Arcane -> max
Aether -> max
Meta -> a few
+ utility for survival which I hope to learn from this thread

Any alternative builds I should consider, given that I am doing a roguelike run with the intention of beating the game?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 9:17 pm
Posts: 1457
Essence of speed is very, very good if you've got the mana to comfortably sustain it. Both congeal and time prison are excellent as well, if you can consistently get them to land.

I've never really used the shield enough to comment either way on it.

All in all I'm not entirely sure I'd call the temporal tree a must have, but it's certainly not a wasted cat point if you choose to unlock it.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:12 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:49 pm
Posts: 6
Archmages are renowned for their shielding abilities; They mostly accomplish this through the aegis talent tree, though they also possess possibly the most powerful shielding spell in the game in the form of Arcane's 4th talent, disruption shield.

Here's a short analysis of the usual means through which Tome characters keep themselves alive and the archmage's take on the concept:

Crowd-control: A blind, confused, frozen or stunned enemy will have a much harder time killing you. Knockbacks and offensive teleports are another great form of crowd-control. Archmages have access to a wide range of crowd-control spells, and many of them a worth using even if you only invest a single point in them. Flameshock, Freeze, Illuminate, Mudslide, Tidal Wave and Ice storm are the classics.

Shielding: Archmages excel at preventing damage, and their many shielding talents allow them to sit tight and blast their foes like a living turret.

Hit points: Archmages get low hit points per level, making them susceptible to ninja-instagibs (as in, insta-gibs that come out of nowhere). Shoring up this weakness by not skimping on constitution and keeping an eye out for +hp items will help keep you out of insta-gib range.

Damage resistance: You can get Combat Training at the weapon shop in last hope; this allows you to invest in Thick Skin, a great generic talent that will greatly help you survive. All other forms of damage resistance are welcome, especially when you know what to expect (when going for Urkris for instance). A nice thing to have on your gear, although I usually don't value it too high.

Healing: Archmages have a few good options for healing, but given their low base hp, they'd do better trying to prevent damage rather than healing it. Invest in healing when needed.

Defense: Archmages typically have a low defense sore, and blur sight usually won't be enough by itself to really make a difference. I'd suggest ignoring defense altogether, though you should always remember that low defense makes you more vulnerable to critical strikes, so you should avoid melee combat whenever possible.

Saves: Personally, I usually don't think much about my saves. As long as you are not playing a hybrid class, you should have one good save and two mediocre ones. The important thing is to be aware of what our saves make us vulnerable to. In our case, we will find that we usually have a very high spell save, a medium mental save and a mediocre physical save. This means that we will be extremely vulnerable to physical effects, such as the infamous stun, and less so to magical ones and mental ones. Personally, I find that even high saves tend to fail, so I opt to focus on other avenues.

Effect resistance: Effect resistance rocks. Having 100% stun immunity means you'll never get stunned, even if you have a physical save of 0. Stacking stun and confusion resistance on your equipment is one of the best things you can do to increase your survivability, as these are the usual suspects when a character death occurs.

Effect dispels: Having a good wild infusion or two will consistently save your butt from debilitating effects that would lead to your demise and/or prevent your escape. A physical/mental wild infusion, combined with effect resistance stacking, will give you some breathing room against crowd control effects.

Mobility: Controlling the flow of a battle is the key to victory, and the ability to get in and out of combat is invaluable. As an archmage, you have access to phase door, teleportation and probability travel. The later two are usually fine with just one point, but the first one is best when maxed. An item with some form of escape ability (a torc of psychoporation for instance) is recommended, as it will give redundancy for when your mana gets drained or your escapes are put on cooldown by a stun. Don't forget that you can use phase door offensively if it is at least rank 4! Teleporting enemies away from you can sometimes be even better than teleporting away from them.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:46 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:03 pm
Posts: 717
Disruption Shield is very good. I know a guy who based his entire build around it, even buying up Strength and Armor Training to keep his fatigue high, and then took that build to the top of High Peak. I'm a bit more conservative about it, but it is a pretty handy defense. Make sure you've got a backup plan for when you lose it, though. You can lose the shield at low mana (the attack that finally puts you over the top doesn't get absorbed; you can also lose the shield if you let your mana fall to zero or get hit by a dispelling effect like Taint of the Devourer), and that's not a good situation to be in.

As for divination, I like to drop Arcane Eyes around corners and onto doors early on. Once you get Vision, you can do some nice tricks: Map out the next room, then put your Eye where it can get the best view. Works best in combination with AoE attacks. In dark places, Illuminate is your friend. It really is a much more powerful spell than it seems at first glance: Invest in it a bit, and it can blind everyone you can see. The utility is just icing on the cake after that. You can also cast Arcane Eye on yourself, effectively giving yourself really good infravision.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:05 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:32 am
Posts: 1709
Location: Canada
Mewtarthio wrote:
you can also lose the shield if you let your mana fall to zero or get hit by a dispelling effect like Taint of the Devourer), and that's not a good situation to be in.

Heh, yeah. That's why I don't play Disruption-shield archmages without using a way to prevent you from losing all of your sustains through your own actions. (although that addon is very outdated, and overloads files as well.)

_________________
Some of my tools for helping make talents:
Melee Talent Creator
Annotated Talent Code (incomplete)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:54 am 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:36 am
Posts: 9
Bonus question:

How do you save an Arcane Blade? How much of this advice converts well?

You still got Aegis and Conveyance, as well as the Paladin/Light skill tree (which everyone needs: I say *ban* escort rewards & keep Paladins special!)

Can you keep Arcane Blade's afloat like this?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:40 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:10 pm
Posts: 1262
I think Arcane Blades really benefit from outside means of removing status effects, since they tend to have underleveled saves and no (to my recollection) class skills for removing status effects.

_________________
Sorry about all the parentheses (sometimes I like to clarify things).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:29 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:35 am
Posts: 400
Would you consider taking conditioning on an arcane blade? or do you think that's a waste of a category point?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:21 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 9:17 pm
Posts: 1457
AB is... mostly shield tank, again. With some conveyance. They'll have higher con and suchlike than archmagi mid to late game once inner power starts paying off, but their defensive options are mostly the same. The big thing is that they can take aegis even higher, because later on arcane blades are able to outmatch pretty much everyone (wardens are about the only thing that can keep up) when it comes to spellpower. So if you can get through the early to mid game, your shields are going to be vaguely mindboggling.

They don't really get the con for a good conditioning investment for a while (Once they've got the spellpower to get a chunk of stats out of inner power -- until then, I tend to want them running for mag/cun, once the strength is high enough to qualify for all the requisite talents), but they do have the cat points to spend for it nowadays if y'manage to save a warrior. It wouldn't be a waste, but you might have something better to invest in.

Status effects... eh. You pick up providence if you can, conditioning if you can't; either tree's good, though light is phenomenal on anyone with aegis, of course. Otherwise, you get an appropriate wild and just murder everything first. Some of the races get some other options (Dwarves, skeletons, primarily), but ABs are pretty slim on the defensive measures. Very offensively minded class.


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