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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:07 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:03 am
Posts: 73
Location: minmayland
I'd like to have a discussion about Archmage with the community. Whenever I bring up this topic I get flamed, labeled as a troll, slandered, have ad hominem attacks thrown at me left and right, and bullied. I shouldn't feel afraid to have a discussion about a popular class in a game I'm passionate about, but sadly, I am. I know people will use it as an excuse to assassinate my character or troll me. But I'm tired of being afraid to state my opinion, and I welcome anyone to counter the points I'm about to make.

This seems like a topic that many people would consider personal. From what I've seen, people turn it into an emotional argument, rather than a discussion based on facts and proof. It always ends up with "in theory", never with proof. In this thread I will post proof, taken from the vault, tometips, and from various veteran players. This is not a troll thread. There is NO comedy to be found in anything that I write. It isn't meant to be funny. As I said, I will only state facts.

To start it off, yes, I admit that AM is a decent class. What exactly is holding it back? What do other classes have on it? How does it compare to said classes? Why is it in theory a bad class? Does it need buffs? I'll go over everything, don't worry. I want more people to see the truth. I know I've made numerous people to start to consider it. With each passing day I see more and more players start to see the class for what it truly is. I feel scared, like this thread might actually cause trouble, and like I said, when I bring this topic up around people it usually starts a flame war. I don't want that! I just want to talk about the class. The goal of all of this is to get this weak class buffed.

Let's start by going over the pros and cons of the class

Pros: Disruption Shield, Phase Door, infinite Stone Wall, and possibly one of the best stuns in the game

Cons: has to empty mana to make auto exploring safe (how much time does this actually add to a run? maybe an hour? and thats just pressing buttons to empty mana), can get one shot by a damage shield pen item, awful damage thats on par with solipsist and alchemist, has to choose between a manasurge or a movement infusion, there are times where you HAVE to play safe, or you'll die.

Now with those out of the way, we can easily put the argument most people will fall back on to rest: Madness wins. There is no proof of a legit Archmage Madness win. None, zero, nada zilch! Not even a screen shot. I've been doing this research for months now. Searching the vault, interviewing chosen players, asking around for videos and screen shots, I even befriended Mex, and we ended up theory crafting AM for hours on end. And at the end of the year what do I have? The same as what I started out with, nothing. Still no proof, only word of mouth.

Here's a clip from my Archmage interview with Mex, he's speaking nothing but the undeniable truth

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/213237799

The fact that we even have to have this conversation shows how flawed Madness is. When you see people you talk to in the chat every day win a game of nightmare, what's the first thing that you think? Probably to congratulate them, right? Same goes with insane. People don't have to cheat to win these difficulties, some people even win with without drowning! What is it that makes it so easy to believe a winner when you see it pop up in chat? Probably the fact that you've done it yourself without cheating. You can't say the same thing about Madness, though. Why isn't there a screen shot of an Archmage winning the game? All we have is char sheets which can easily be faked. People can easily modify init files and modify the monster AI, monster generation, item generation, and randboss talent selection in your favor. People can easily cheat engine themselves 100% resists and take no damage the entire game. People can vault modded items. There's actually endless ways to fake a winning char sheet without a cheating flag.

Why hasn't there been a video of an Archmage winning the final fight on Madness? Wouldn't you be proud of your win? After all, a Madness win is an amazing feat of strength in this game. Why is it that the only visual media out there is of Possessors? A class that wasn't made to be balanced, it's just a fun donator class that's on par with adventurer. There's plenty of videos of even FULL easy-insane runs out there. You can look on youtube and see hundreds of ToME vids, and you can look on twitch and see lots of people streaming this game all the time, winning on every single difficulty! No Madness Archmages though, huh? Strange right? When in theory they're supposedly so powerful. These questions aren't being answered, they're simply ignored or countered with a meme/trollish insult. There's always an excuse. It takes too long, it's too tedious, it's not worth it, etc.. but in theory Archmage can win Madness! Sorry, but that's not good enough anymore. People aren't falling for that anymore. It's easily countered, too.

The proof we actually DO have is Mex WAS streaming Madness Archmage, for about 2 weeks straight. We've all heard the "in theory" argument before, right? But what happens when we see the almighty Archmage live in action? This was THE Madness Archmage. Hundreds of people witnessed this, this isn't just me making up numbers, there's actual proof on Twitch. I was there every day cheering him on and hoping to see my friend win. We didn't see all the great things we read about Archmage, we saw their weakness exposed. We saw that all it takes is a dispersion to end a run. We saw how damage shield pen weapons can invalidate a 30k aegis shield. We witnessed history. We witnessed the deathless will of a player who DIDN'T think Madness isn't worth it because it takes too long, because it's tedious, or because it isn't worth it. We witnessed the Death of Archmage.

So that isn't an excuse that will fly anymore! There ARE players who want to win Madness. Two players went on to win Madness in front of 100's of people on Twitch. We've entered a new era where documented proof isn't just welcomed, it's almost needed to validate a Madness win. The "Archmage Madness win theory" cannot be used anymore to rank this class higher than any other class until there is surefire proof of a Madness win. It isn't too tedious, too long, or too annoying to deal with. The easiest way to counter this excuse is the simple truth: they just can't do it, no matter how OP the class is. After years someone would have came up with proof for their win, it is in theory the most powerful class with ALL the tools to win Madness, right? Wrong.

"The majority of classes can complete Insane, however some will find it harder than others, as such the list is based mainly on this." I will base all my points on this. The fact that EVERY class can win insane, without exploits, without using addons to avoid patrols, without cheating, and without savescumming.

It's now time to compare ALL the classes pros and cons to Archmage's. At the end we will see just how badly each class beat Archmage in the three categories of speed, dps, and difficulty. I'll give a sort review of each class better than Archmage. The only classes I don't have experience on is Reaver, Alchemist, and Necro, so those will be excluded. Let us begin!

Berserker

What does archmage have on Berserker? Pulverizing Auger, Phase Door, AoE

Berserker has a legendary combo of fearless cleave into stunning blow. You can follow up with any attack and the monster will most likely be dead. If it runs it stands no chance surviving a few more fearless cleaves. An ogre berserker with ICCTW and a few STR items will most likely find a warrior heroism at some point of the game, which will on average give you +36 all stats and 1300 life. Say you have 1700 hp, which is kinda low, but still. Nothing is going to kill you when you have heroism up. Did something actually bring you to negative hp? If bloodcaller doesn't heal you to full in a few strikes, pop a salve that will heal you for 1600. Or use unstoppable, which makes you invincible for 7 turns.

Oh yeah, funny thing about Berserker, it has a move SPECIFICALLY made to take out Archmages. Is that pesky Skeleton Magus Archmage in Halfing ruins giving you trouble? Did he just pop a shield? Use Shattering Blow. At just tier 3, you have an 80% chance of shattering his shield. Mages don't stand a chance against a berserker. Pair this move with a weapon that has 75% damage shield pen and it's gg. Keep in mind, any berserker randboss can also have shattering blow and a 75% damage shield pen weapon. Better hope one doesn't ambush you and stun you or you might end up feeling like the archmage from Skryim who got one shotted by a random magic blast. Berserker is tanky enough to auto explore the whole game too. They also quadruple AM's damage because they're able to use melee weapons. Berserker doesn't need disruption shield, aegis, or infinite stone wall. All they need is heroism and a nice melee weapon and they can speed through the game and make quick work of the final bosses.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Archer

Archer is better than Archmage is every single way, it's not debatable. I don't think I need to waste time going into every specific detail. If you've played both classes, you'll know what I'm saying. One class can go through the entire game auto exploring without a single care and one shotting every single monster (or withing 5 turns for tough bosses), the other can't. Play both classes back to back if you want. Headshot into vital shot opener kills almost everything instantly. If it's a randboss, just use sentinel and it won't be able to attack you before its dead. Intuitive shots can block entire flurrys. Concealment is better than disruption shield on every fight except the last fight. You can make the argument that the last fight is the only one that matters, but you can still silence, disarm, blind, stun, and cripple Elandar and kill him within a few turns. No disruption shield needed.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Brawler

What does Archmage have on Brawler? Feather Wind, Pulverizing Auger

A TLDR; Brawler can take any single monster in the game and render it useless, slowing it by 72%, silencing it, and taking 30% reduced damage from it. Clinch alone is better than Disruption Shield, but that isn't all Brawler has.

You thought dispersion was good? Meet combo kick. It will take off 5 sustains and also deal damage to the monster. 15k aegis shields? Meet a crit 3k open palm block shield. Archmages 50% pen for all the elements? Meet Brawlers 50% phys pen. Essence of speed? Meet blinding speed. Burning shock? Meet uppercut.
Did an Archmage get the drop on you and got a burning shock off? Don't worry, unflinching resolve will take care of that, after that, you've got plenty of mobility options to close the gap. Once you get off the clinch it's over. Oh yeah, you can also axe kick so he can't phase door or tp away.
Brawler is one of the easiest classes to get your first win on, they have literally everything you need to pull off a fast and clean win. Archmage will still be in Reknor while you're killing the back up guardians.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Rogue

What does Archmage have on Rogue? Feather Wind, Pulverizing Auger, Phase Door, AoE
This is debatable, but Rogue is better than Archmage because it deals more damage and can win faster. The same heroism argument as Berserker. You can always have a die at - with heroism/rogue's brew. Rogue's only problem is closing a very long ranged gap, but charms can make up for it. You can make the argument that Archmage is better until Rogue reaches 100% stun immunity.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Shadowblade

What does Archmage have on Shadowblade? Built in pen

Shadowblade is better than Archmage. It can get very high speed and it's melee so it does more damage. Nothing more has to be said as it's also a "theoretical Madness winner" which makes it better in the difficulties people actually win on a daily basis.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Marauder

What does Archmage have on Marauder? Nothing.

Same as Rogue & Shadowblade, Marauder is a melee with very high attack speeds and damage. It also has unstoppable which makes it invincible. Some could argue that Marauder is actually one of the best classes in the game, while Archmage isn't even the best of the mages.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Wyrmic

What does Archmage have on Wyrmic? Built in pen (though it's debatable since Wyrmic can gain a tiny amount from talents)

Wyrmic is currently one of THE best melee classes in the game, there's no disputing this. There's even rumors of a so called "Wyrmic Madness win", but again, we're not basing anything on "theoretical wins" or "proof of concept wins". Why is this class so much better than Archmage you ask? Three things - Lightning Speed, Burrow, and Icewall. Actually four things. We're not going to leave out the fact that Wyrmic has 8+ strikes that deal over 200% weapon damage. They have the fearless cleave into stunning blow combo. Towards the end of the game simply using the Swallow talent will one shot most monsters. Fungus will always keep you topped off at full health, and if you find a sun paladin escort, you can possibly have the most health of any character in the game other than a Bulwark with Last Stand up. The class can autoexplore throughout the entire game and NEVER be in danger. They will always be able to escape whatever situation they face, even if it seems dire at first.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Oozemancer

What does Archmage have over Oozemancer? Nothing.

Oozemancer has it all. They've got the tankiness, they've got the damage, and they can eve achieve immortality to an extent while doing everything better than an Archmage. In fact, if you're on an Archmage, I'm guessing you're dreading running into an AM Oozemancer randboss while playing Archmage. Oozemancer is possibly the easiest class in the game, and a great choice for both new players and veterans. It can autoexplore. It has decent damage for a mindcaster. Once you get their rotation down, you can spam it as fast as you can which makes it feel like you're doubling their damage per turn output. Don't worry, this won't put you in any danger either. Leave's tide, Mitosis, Antimagic Shield, and Fungus are all better than Disruption Shield. You can even have all four of them up at the same time, you won't be taking any damage any time soon with that combo. Not much else needs to be said.
Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Stone Warden

What does Archmage have on Stone Warden? Phase Door

Stone Warden almost has it all. They've got the tankiness, they've got the insane damage output, they've even got the infinite stone wall trick. All they're lacking in is mobility. This call can speed through the game one shotting everything with it's radius 7 magical Windblade. If it ever gets in trouble it has stone wall. It can dig through walls in combat. It can stun, but it can also silence and disarm for 8 turns.

Sure, they've got mobility issues, which can easily be fixed with charms. But think to yourself, does the class REALLY need a gap closer? Would this break an already overpowered class? If anything survives the initial Windblade, they're in for a surprise when they get stunned, silenced, and disarmed. The monster will usually die to the stun with how hard it hits.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Sun Paladin

What does Archmage have on Sun Paladin? Phase Door, Feather Wind

EASILY one of the best melee classes in the game. Gates Drowning? Check. Fearless Cleave?check. Wave of power is possibly the best melee skill, pressing z + wave of power makes clearing the entire game a breeze. Second life is a decent life saver. We haven't even got to their best skills, though. Let's take a look at the Crusader tree, in my opinion one of the most powerful in the game.

Absorption Strike - 246% weapon damage and 19% damage reduction. This will one shot most monsters. Archmage has nothing like this skill. A spell from an Archmage will barely even deal 19% of the monsters total life.

Mark of Light - 56% lifesteal. Nothing else to be said. This talent is better than Disruption Shield/Aegis and works great with heroism.

Flash of the Blade - Decent damage with invincibility for 1 turn. Nothing else to be said, it's op.

Forgetting something? Oh yeah, Suncloak. This is basically invincibility, speed, and cdr. This also can be extended with timeless, getting even faster Flash of the Blades and Mark of Lights. In comparison to this class, Archmage is... pathetic. THIS is what a truly overpowered class looks like. We don't even have to bring the Light/the new chant tree into the picture. It'd be an overkill and just embarrass Archmage even more.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Anorithil

what does Archmage have on Anorithil? Absolutely nothing!

It's quite funny, take a look at how many trees in total Ano has. Then look at how many Archmage has. Anorithil only needs 4 total trees to become an amazing mage, Archmage has to spend every cat point on unlocks to become half decent. Ano only has 3 attack moves, and two of them aren't even that great. So what about the class makes them a better mage? Circles. They can silence every monster and keep monsters/projectiles from getting anywhere near them. They don't have to worry about an archer killing them in one hit with a damage shield pen weapon. If anything closes the gap? Confuse and blind them. Stun them. Use a jumpgate. The options are endless. Gates drowning? The light tree originally belonged to them, now when you think of Light what is the class the comes up first? Usually it's Archmage. But make no mistake, even though Archmage got Light nerfed, Ano is still the better mage even with nerfed Light tree! The new chants/hymns tree works great, too.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Doombringer

What does Archmage have on Doombringer? Nothing

Doombringer has it all, a stun, silence, multiple gap closers, built in stun immune, full heal, fearscape, global speed, damage reduction, stam and hp heal, and a full cleanse. With that said, I think it'd be overkill to write anything more. Doombringer is better than Archmage in every single way.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Demonologist

What does Archmage have on Demo? Phase Door.

Way easier than AM. Way faster. Deals WAY more damage. This class doesn't have much at first glance, just a few basic trees and some worthless locked trees. I don't feel like wasting too much time on this class, going over all the demon seeds would take a while. They're melee, which is automatically better than a mage, they've got Osmosis Shield, and they've got demon seeds. I'll keep it short and sweet just like the Doombringer. Btw, both of the Defilers are paid classes. Making them automatically better than a free and outdated class.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Doomed

What does Archmage have on doomed? Nothing.

Doomed is a very underrated class, it's only problem is it's damage, which at times can actually end up being decent. Shadow Transposition gives them great mobility. Ruined Earth & Merge combo? 100% damage reduction. Shadow Empathy & Ruined Earth combo? 100% damage reduction. Wayyy better than Disruption Shield. Deflection/Anti Magic Shield combo makes most magic damage you take negligible. Madness is a decent cc.

SHADOWS. Arguably the best summon in the game (other than hounds.) They do so much for you. Simply use Focus on a monster and hide behind a wall and press the rest button. White, Rare, Unique, and Randbosses will all die to this tactic no matter what. Killing said monster faster than you could in actual combat. It's a great time saver. Once you get your damage up you can help your shadows too, and maybe even start one shotting some monsters with your own spells.

Conclusion: Slightly better than Archmage

Paradox Mage

What does Archmage have on Paradox Mage? Nothing.

Stunlock that will ALWAYS hit, even on Madness. Infinite damage/healing with Attenuate. Triple bathe in light with clones. REDACTED scumming. Temporal Reprieve that can even be extended. Infinite Stone Wall. Nice damage with Echoes. Entropy. Webs of Fate. Barrier cycling. Reality smearing. Documented proof of PM getting further than AM on Madness. Easy first insane win. Easy bikini achievement. It isn't necessary to go into that much detail about the class. Just by going over their skills on tometips tells you all you need to know, and shows you the superiority of PM. Archmage never stood a chance. I'll keep this one short, sort of like a mercy killing. I do have another 6000+ word document saved explaining exactly how much better PM is compared to AM, but I'll save that for another time.

Conclusion: THE Archmage killer

Temporal Warden

What does Archmage have on Temporal Warden? No memory leak from Warden's call, Feather Wind, Pulverizing Auger

Temporal warden has hounds, which are arguably the best summon in the game. You can play them exactly like a doomed, but if you care to use your 100% phys dmg 70% phys pen bow you can also one shot every monster you come across. This is a physically ranged damage dealer, making it automatically a better and easier class than Archmage. Not much else needs to be said.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

Mindslayer

What does Archmage have on Mindslayer? Disruption Shield, Pulverizing Auger

I've died 3 times from autoexploring on a Mindslayer, I'm talking about died just from pressing z, not a bad situation it puts me in. The class deals INSANE damage but I think it's one of the squishiest classes in the game. Two psiblades + Sawrd. Instantly better.

Conclusion: Slightly better than Archmage

Possessor

What does Archmage have on Possessor? Nothing.

Possessor beat Madness twice, Archmage didn't.

I'll leave a quote from A VERY experienced veteran player.

"Is there a ToME character that could even possibly EVEN TOUCH Shalore Possessor? Let alone defeat him. And I’m not talking about Normal Adventure Shalore Possessor. I’m not talking about Madness Roguelike Shalore Possessor either. I’m talking about Doomed Shade of Slasul Madness Roguelike Shalore Possessor with the Arcane Combat and Aegis talent sets (with the digging abilities and being capable of both Aegis and Bathe In Light shields), equipped with his Murderblade, perfect merchant randart gauntlets, control of the Earthrunes and Wrap of Stone, with Dreadmaster DNA implanted in him so he has wall walking and can perform Unlimited Combat Resets while being an expert in Timeless chaining and Projection freecasting."

Conclusion: Death of Archmage

Psyshot

Psyshot has everything, with inner demons randomly thrown in there. Archmage can't touch this class. The only thing that's going to be able to take down a Psyshot is a lucky shoot down from an Archer npc, which is an exploit when used by NPCs. Solidify air means you'll always be able to escape, and you'll always be able to retreat to the next level, even if you've just killed a monster. Vaporous step is a great escape (which also halves the monsters stun resist). Improved gestalt is a free instant shield that comes up on a 5 turn cd, in theory giving you more EHP than an Archmage with a 20k aegis shield. Forced gestalt is one of the best moves in the game. You can run up to a pack of monsters and drain them of all power, while you will gain 200+ phys and mindpower. Even works on the final bosses. Automatic Cloak Tessellation is amazing, much MUCH better than Disruption shield. I've got it up to 70% deflect rate. It also gives you flat damage reduction. Embedded Restoration Systems is a nice instant/free 1k heal every 5 turns. Archmage has to cast their heal and waste a turn. Mechanical Arms deals great damage while giving monsters a 33% damage reduction debuff. They also get a free injector. Access to the tinker tree from birth.

Oh, did I fail to mention that this class is a RANGED PHYS DAMAGE DEALER AND can be played a melee as proven by various players? That means their shoot talent will hit for 6k+ in the endgame while being pretty much invincible. This class is perfectly designed to replace Archmage in every single way possible. Psyshot is godmode.

Conclusion: Rated A for Archmage killer.

So what was the point of this thread? All I ask for is that Archmage receives a small QoL buff: the ability to set your mana to not regen after a certain point, similar to how chronomancers can set their preferred paradox.

Also, please feel free to counter any of the points I made. If you think I misrepresented a certain class as being better than Archmage, feel free to prove me wrong. I've been waiting for months for anyone to prove to me that Archmage is a top tier class. As I've said before, I'm willing to play said class and race against you on an Archmage in insane/rl. No drowning and no start scumming whatsoever. ONLY official addons except vault. Fully streamed run and whoever kills the final bosses in High Peak wins. This method will provide proof of Archmage's superiority over said class.

I know I said there wouldn't be anything funny in this post, but here's a picture of an Archmage/Arcane Baby drawn by Danie

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:11 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:39 pm
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While I kind of think you're misrepresenting how strong Archmage is[Notably, you didn't mention Divination at all, despite it being one of Archmage's more or less unique advantages], I think that I still agree with several of your points. I do question your assertion that Oozemancers can autoexplore in perfect safety, since it conflicts with my experiences of getting one hit by a Temporal Warden/Summoner randboss as one.

The core of the argument presented here isn't so much about strength as it is about playability. Archmages feel terrible to play on high difficulties, regardless of how strong they are. You can use Arcane Eye to scout with a perfection any other class would envy and you can examine enemies for problematic weapon egos or talents before they even notice you. This is very powerful, but also incredibly tedious. You also mentioned emptying your mana bar outside of combat for Disruption Shield. Once again, very strong, but also incredibly tedious. Archmages can corner snipe excellently with Fireflash, which lets you whittle down or kill enemies before they have a chance to even notice you. Very strong, very tedious. Archmages can get shields very high with Aegis/Bathe in Light, as long as they have a few turns to prepare. Strong, but tedious. Archmages can dig tunnels to make the terrain they want with Pulverizing Augur[Unrelated: Why do Augurs pulverize things? Shouldn't it be "Anger"?]. Strong, but tedious.

I think that Archmage is overdue for a remake. Some of its overpowered abilities[Stone Wall, Quicken Spells,etc] should be nerfed or removed and, in return, Archmage should be made more accessible, less tedious and more fun. It shouldn't be able to beat Madness[No class should be, really], but it should be able to autoexplore on lower difficulties without fear of one-shots. It should be able to go through the early game without the fear of getting killed by a misclick and walking into your own Fireflash.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:45 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:03 am
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Location: minmayland
Arcvasti wrote:
While I kind of think you're misrepresenting how strong Archmage is[Notably, you didn't mention Divination at all, despite it being one of Archmage's more or less unique advantages], I think that I still agree with several of your points. I do question your assertion that Oozemancers can autoexplore in perfect safety, since it conflicts with my experiences of getting one hit by a Temporal Warden/Summoner randboss as one.

The core of the argument presented here isn't so much about strength as it is about playability. Archmages feel terrible to play on high difficulties, regardless of how strong they are. You can use Arcane Eye to scout with a perfection any other class would envy and you can examine enemies for problematic weapon egos or talents before they even notice you. This is very powerful, but also incredibly tedious. You also mentioned emptying your mana bar outside of combat for Disruption Shield. Once again, very strong, but also incredibly tedious. Archmages can corner snipe excellently with Fireflash, which lets you whittle down or kill enemies before they have a chance to even notice you. Very strong, very tedious. Archmages can get shields very high with Aegis/Bathe in Light, as long as they have a few turns to prepare. Strong, but tedious. Archmages can dig tunnels to make the terrain they want with Pulverizing Augur[Unrelated: Why do Augurs pulverize things? Shouldn't it be "Anger"?]. Strong, but tedious.

I think that Archmage is overdue for a remake. Some of its overpowered abilities[Stone Wall, Quicken Spells,etc] should be nerfed or removed and, in return, Archmage should be made more accessible, less tedious and more fun. It shouldn't be able to beat Madness[No class should be, really], but it should be able to autoexplore on lower difficulties without fear of one-shots. It should be able to go through the early game without the fear of getting killed by a misclick and walking into your own Fireflash.


Well said. This is something I forgot to clarify in the op, because I discussed it in another thread.

I agree with you completely. Stone Wall, Quicken Spells, Meta-Flow should just be removed from the class. It's what's keeping the class stuck the way it is. I have a theory that both Archmage and AB are kept in their current state because of the faked "Madness Wins." For some reason they think these classes are powerful enough and shouldn't ever be buffed, when in fact, both classes are almost at the bottom tier. I've talked to a few devs and both of them told me "Archmage and Arcane Blade are the most powerful classes in the game." Yet neither of the two devs had an insane roguelike, insane adventure, or even a nightmare roguelike win with either of said classes. So why can classes be kept weak and unfun just because they can theoretically win a difficulty no one has/is supposed to win?

I didn't mention divination because I don't think the tree is that great. Track is better than Arcane Eye, but Vision is nice if you didn't find Omniscience or Burning Star. All of those things they can do are good, yeah, but I wouldn't say they are intrinsic to Archmage. I track and dig always in Daikara, Halfling Complex, Dreadfell, and High Peak. I don't think it's too tedious.

And about the rework, YES! All I proposed was a small QoL buff for Disruption Shield, but a rework sounds much better. I don't know how much time the devs have to fix older classes though, which is why I didn't mention it in the OP. I would say Archmage is in dire need of one even more so than classes such as Alchemist and Solipsist.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:02 pm 
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Thalore

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:03 am
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Here's some proof of what I was talking about. People are actively trying to get this thread censored/removed even though it doesn't break the rules.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:03 am 
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Magical Girl

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:36 am
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A lot of that chat is joking around but unless the thread actually gets out of hand there will be no censoring or removing.
Anyways noone cares enough to reply since this thread isn't being taken seriously, and you're not helping that fact, you don't need to create drama to call attention to it.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:15 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:48 am
Posts: 149
Where is bulwark, arcane blade, skirmisher, summoner, cursed, corruptor, solipsist, sawbutcher, gunslinger, adventurer?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:46 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:03 am
Posts: 73
Location: minmayland
St_ranger_er wrote:
Where is bulwark, arcane blade, skirmisher, summoner, cursed, corruptor, solipsist, sawbutcher, gunslinger, adventurer?


I think Bulwark is better but there's lots of people who think it's a very bad class, so I didn't bother. I think AM is better than the rest (gunslinger is excluded becuz awesome toss), and Adventurer is better than everything

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:08 am 
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Wayist

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:27 pm
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Disclosure: That was a rather lengthy post, and I haven't read each of the 'class reviews'

On the topic of AM:

  • I agree that AM is not the cookie-cutter class it's made out to be for beginners in lower difficulties, as many of it's strengths require patience and good knowledge of the mechanics - that said, it is still an absolute powerhouse and top-tier class for those that possess those two
  • I fundamentally disagree with your 'class reviews' as it ignores (1) defence, and (2) utility - both of which are incredibly important. In my opinion this game is not a game about speed, but about "Can you win?" - I don't think anyone worth their salt is arguing that AM is a class of either speed or damage, actually the reason it's great is that it's close to invulnerable while having a lot of utility.
  • On defense: (a) Turn on Time Shield as auto-cast as you can readily get 100% uptime, and you are auto-explore proof, so you don't have to juggle mana and explore manually*! (you need 1 -10% CD item for this, hardly a stretch though as about 10% chance of getting it from the Derth shop alone); (b) You greatly exaggerate how common high shield penetration is. Yes, it does exist and it can be scary, but pretty much all classes have 'something' they fear greatly. For AM it is shield penetration; (c) You dismiss the huge Aegis shields very quickly, you do realise how insane 20k+ EHP is?
  • On utility: (a) Stone Wall 100% uptime, this is simply the most OP defensive tool in the game, and reason alone to consider AM a top-tier class; (b) Phase Door and Teleport with low cooldowns gives huge mobility (with -50% CD, Phase Door has a cooldown of 4...); (c) Cleaning flames and dispersion just wreck many enemy defences, (d) Arcane Eye is an amazing scouting tool for the tough areas, (e) Can dig with Pulverizing Auger, (f) Running out of tools? Just use Metaflow.

On the topic of Madness:
  • The fact that something can be cheated doesn't mean that it is - and so what I really think you mean is that they are not verified. Just like almost all normal / nightmare / insane runs are not verified
  • The character sheets are a form of proof, so saying there is "None, zero, nada zilch!" is an exaggeration - can they be modified? I trust you in that they can - so I understand that they don't count as verified, but it doesn't automatically make them not legit.
  • There is no way to prove completely a run is legit unless someone watches your computer over your shoulder in person, and in advance of this checks all your game files.
  • I'm a bit surprised by how much faith you put in streaming, as I can see several ways of cheating that too (and I'm a real rookie when it comes to streaming). Finally, on the topic of streaming, unless all of it is reviewed in details by several knowledgeable people, it means nothing - as far as I know this doesn't actually happen as it's typically 20h+ of footage. Even in the example of the famous Mex Possessor run, all but last hope, high peak, and the final fight has >1 view! (with several at 0) Explain to me how you can assert anything about this run without having watched it in full? (note: this is not a criticism on Mex at all, on the contrary I fully believe in his win, but then I also believe in many of the other madness wins as well, so it has nothing to do with the streaming).
  • Probably one of the reasons you're gotten many 'emotional responses' is because you've decided to label all madness players as cheaters unless they stream their runs, which is a rather insane request from my perspective (and again, unsure how much the streaming really proves) - there are many good reasons not to stream, most of which are absolutely harmless


* Note: for sure works wonders throughout the game on insane, on madness at least viable until Dreadfull as I've done that myself (and at that point you can get Cauterize)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:43 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:03 am
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Location: minmayland
Quote:
The fact that something can be cheated doesn't mean that it is - and so what I really think you mean is that they are not verified. Just like almost all normal / nightmare / insane runs are not verified


An average player can start up a new game in easy - insane and get to Dreadfell at the very least within a few hours, you & I both know this. That's why we don't have to verify those char sheets, we know it's possible and easy. Madness is a diff story

Quote:
The character sheets are a form of proof, so saying there is "None, zero, nada zilch!" is an exaggeration - can they be modified? I trust you in that they can - so I understand that they don't count as verified, but it doesn't automatically make them not legit.


Char sheets mean nothing, Minmay already exposed how easy it is to fake them in very great detail. I don't want to assume, but I'm guessing you feel like this because easy-insane character sheets without cheat addons are usually always legit. I too think that way. But with Madness char sheets I could link 50+ that I went through during my research that to an average player, or someone quickly looking over, look 100% legit, but are cheated.

Quote:
There is no way to prove completely a run is legit unless someone watches your computer over your shoulder in person, and in advance of this checks all your game files.


I wouldn't consider this a bad thing, and that brings up a great point that I'll discuss further down

Quote:
I'm a bit surprised by how much faith you put in streaming, as I can see several ways of cheating that too (and I'm a real rookie when it comes to streaming). Finally, on the topic of streaming, unless all of it is reviewed in details by several knowledgeable people, it means nothing - as far as I know this doesn't actually happen as it's typically 20h+ of footage. Even in the example of the famous Mex Possessor run, all but last hope, high peak, and the final fight has >1 view! (with several at 0) Explain to me how you can assert anything about this run without having watched it in full? (note: this is not a criticism on Mex at all, on the contrary I fully believe in his win, but then I also believe in many of the other madness wins as well, so it has nothing to do with the streaming).


It's not that I'm putting that much faith into it, but it would be easy to uncover if they're cheating on stream. This brings me to what I said I'd bring up earlier. I'm going to discuss this with Mex and a few others, and see what the opinions are on having him appoint a few people to sort of act as "referees". Because you're right, most people won't be as quick to spot out someone not playing legit unless they're knowledgeable on the game. So I assume if this goes through, the person wanting to get a class moved to S tier would have to hire these refs, and they could work in shifts so there would always be 1-2 people watching and making sure everything is following the rules & legit. Why do you call it the famous possessor run? It was mainly only me, Micbran, and ster watching in 1-2 minute bursts throughout the week. Even though we were watching in these short periods, we still caught him save scumming. Which goes to show that if people are brave enough to do this in front of an audience, what else are they willing to do offline? And if you fully believe him, I think that's moving the goalposts a bit don't you think? Does every Madness run give the player a few times to cheat yet still remain a legit win?

Quote:
Probably one of the reasons you're gotten many 'emotional responses' is because you've decided to label all madness players as cheaters unless they stream their runs, which is a rather insane request from my perspective (and again, unsure how much the streaming really proves) - there are many good reasons not to stream, most of which are absolutely harmless


Well at first, it was only me saying this. Now I'm not the only one

viewtopic.php?f=41&t=42608

Check the tier list for proof of that

It isn't too hard to stream a Madness run. It only takes pressing one button on OBS or whatever software before you start playing. Plus most people aren't playing Madness anyway, and prefer to enjoy the game on all the other different difficulties

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:33 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:48 am
Posts: 149
Quote:
To be Tier S you must stream (with chat on) the full Madness Roguelike run for the class. Using official/convenience (i.e drowning/start scumming) add-ons except the Item Vault is fine. Using exploits will not make your win valid.

Well, there is more then "pressing one button on OBS". To watch and response chat, I have to play on borderless/windowed, with semi transparent and unclickable chat window (need AHK script for that, or other software) on top of the game window. InB4 second monitor cheesing: yes I tried it and turns out it complitely out of LoS when I play. And even then, I still can miss some messages, due to concentrate on gaming, semi transparend chat window near the edge of the screen does't help either.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:57 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:19 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Yeehaw, pardner
St_ranger_er wrote:
Quote:
To be Tier S you must stream (with chat on) the full Madness Roguelike run for the class. Using official/convenience (i.e drowning/start scumming) add-ons except the Item Vault is fine. Using exploits will not make your win valid.

Well, there is more then "pressing one button on OBS". To watch and response chat, I have to play on borderless/windowed, with semi transparent and unclickable chat window (need AHK script for that, or other software) on top of the game window. InB4 second monitor cheesing: yes I tried it and turns out it complitely out of LoS when I play. And even then, I still can miss some messages, due to concentrate on gaming, semi transparend chat window near the edge of the screen does't help either.


With chat on means...
with tome chat on, not twitch chat. No need to make your stream all fancy.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:19 pm 
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Wayist

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:27 pm
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On character sheets - as I said you might be right they can be cheated, I genuinely have no idea.

However, what I was trying to bring up is that streaming can be cheated too, in two ways:
  • Cheating which has been done, can be discovered, but has not as not fully audited by a broad and trustworthy panel - none of current madness streamed runs have done this, and so indeed they prove very little -> This could be tested, but only if a group of people were extremely patient and knowledgeable
  • Cheating which has been done, but cannot be discovered, for example by using pre-recordings (minmay mentioned other methods too, but I don't understand the technical detail) -> This cannot be tested or counteracted in any way, to my knowledge

To me this 'streaming requirement' feels arbitrary and only a fake comfort that it is legit. It feels more trustworthy than the character sheets, but really isn't.

Anyhow, the post title was about the death of AM's, so curious on your thoughts on my arguments there.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:53 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:35 pm
Posts: 52
Looked through a post, but don't really want to read it, because important points are not highlighted and it's just a wall of text to me. So I might miss some points. But will still write a comment.

First of all, if we are talking about Madness difficulty, Archmage is probably not as good as he is considered to be. In theory, he has very good chances of winning Madness Adventure but not as good chances of winning Madness Roguelike, because as you've mentioned, some very specific randbosses can end his life dramatically and prematurely. Yet, if you expect those bosses to appear, it's not too bad of a problem, you just need much more scouting and checking, no autoexplore ever, etc. Those bosses CAN be dealt with, they just need more effort and will punish you heavily for any mistake.

I'm not very active playet and mostly play offline, so I'm not well informed about current trends and major events. As far as I know, very few classes were able to beat Madness, especially Madness Roguelike without using cheats/cheat-like addons. If you have a list of confirmed legit wins, I would be happy to look at it.

As for comparison of other classes vs Archmage, I don't think it can be considered legit. There are too many things missed there. And if you are comparing those classes in terms Madness difficulty, show us legit Madness Roguelike wins with those characters for them to be called Archmage killers. If you are talking about Insane and below, it's completely different story and there is no point talking about how bad Madness Archmage is.

I don't really understand what current character tier list is based upon. If it's all about ability to complete Madness, then only possible indicator is legit Madness winner. If it's about something else, then what are criterias to measure class ranking?

From my point of view as average Insane Adventure player, archmage is quite solid class, definitely not bad but also not the best (in terms of how comfortably it can win Insane Adventure without caring too much). When I play I never use stair-fighting, scouting (besides auto cast Track when no enemies are visible), tunnel digging and stuff like that. I always autoexplore and then deal with situations I encounter. Also I never skip any content like Dark or Shadow Crypt/vaults/etc. But at the sime time I like min-maxing so I'm using Select Your Escorts addon. Also Mex Start Rebalance in order to avoid countless character restarts.

With setup like that I honestly never won Insane as of yet (but I almost never played the same class twice and got to high peak with majority of my characters). Most of my deaths were due to carelessness/hastiness/boldness, but very rarely because the class I was playing simply wasn't strong enough to deal with the situation. In majority of situations I had more than enough means to win an encounter but ended up dead due to being inexperienced/not thinking ahead.

So, with playstyle like this, I've played majority of classes at least once, and I've spent a lot of time looking for optimal skill setup and thinking about Escorts distribution, artifacts, etc. So in the end I NEVER felt that class I was playing was too weak. I'm yet to play shunned by everyone Alchemist, but Solipsist felt like one of the strongest classes for me. I played VERY boldly with it and cleared absolutely EVERYTHING (Dark Crypt and Shadow Crypt were extremely easy) + 20 or so farportal runs + Atamathon but died in High Peak when entered Intimidating cave and got killed stupidly by level 140 Unique Dragon. Not even sure what was his skill setup but he just hit me for 2k+ acid damage when I had 10% or so acid resistance. And yes, I had quite a lot of ways to survive (not including stair dancing), my Heroism infusion and PSS were off cd, etc. I was just too tired and too careless. So from my point of view Solipsist is in no way weak class. As for damage, I dealt ~2-2.5k per turn (100% crit, 100% mind pen) with my Mind Sear 1 turn CD beams (which means I can spam several beams in a row, but due to my 175% global speed sometimes I need to use other skills). And Sunder Mind + Inner Demons simply destroyed bosses, since when certain Mind Save Treshold was breached for enemy to become brainlocked Mind Save reduction spinned out of control (I had Atamathon with negative Mind Save and 8 or so Inner Demons surrounding him by the end of the fight). And with Psionic Discharge I simply oneshotted unique enemies with Focused Wrath if there were enough minions around them (It dealt up to 5k damage per turn). That's why I really can't understand why people are calling Solipsist weak class. My playthrough was inspired by this character for those who are interested, but build slightly differed (I included tinkers): https://te4.org/characters/8749/tome/28 ... 289fbb94b6.

So, returnig to tier classification, I can with complete confidence say that Solipsist is S rank class for Insane in terms of how easy and fun it is to play there. But I don't know if it will still work in Madness with all preparations included. Some classes despite being very good probably can't win Madness at all, while some require heavy Vault usage to have a chance. In my opinion Madness is just a broken difficulty and Madness win only shows how good is class with cheesing rather than how good it is overall. For example this win: https://te4.org/characters/172647/tome/ ... 1f8c4acc25. Not sure if it's legit or not, but it uses AAD cheesing, which is abusing unintended mechanics thus can't really by considered 100% legit win. Possessor (just like Adventurer) is simply an unbalanced class, so again, can't be ranked alongside other classes.

That's why, please explain what's the idea of this post.

Are you saying that Archmage needs buffs simply because it can't reliably beat Madness? Most classes can't.

Are you saying that Archamge is worse than most other classes (In Insane)? It's simply not true. When I played Archmage I had much easier time than when I played Berserker simly because Archamge is ranged and can obliterate most stuff before it even reaches you. Indeed, his mid game is very hard compared to some other classes, but it's all about strengths and weaknesses of every class, past certain point Archmage again becomes one of the most powerful classes. Your list only shows advantages of other classes over Archmage and takes into account perfect build most of the times. While the main difficulty of the game is the part when you are still building your character. From my point of view Archmage (and his brother Arcane Blade) are both very hard classes to play and require much more careful gameplay than other classes, but at the same time they have greater potential and utility.

Another thing I disagree with is directly comparing melee characters to Archmage. Like Brawler/Berserker vs Archmage. Sure, in direct confrotation they ARE better. But Archamge has the advantage of being able to kite, control and run around his enemies while showering them with rain of spells. Berserker/Brawler can't. + AoE. But I certainly agree that Brawler is one of the best classes for Insane overall and beats Archamge in comfortability and easiness. But they have totally different playstyle so I see no reason to compare.

Rogue felt very powerful for me but at the same time very fragile even with Heroism/Rogue brew. He shines in 1v1 situations but can die in moments when there are several ranged enemies/mages. Haven't played Shadowblade yet, so can't speak about it. As for Marauder, I wonder why it's considered so good, on paper it looks worse than Rogue for me. Only good think about Marauder is Unstoppable, but before you get it, you have no defense mechanics at all. But again, I haven't played it myself yet, and couldn't find a good up to date build on the forums, so won't argue with this one. The same goes to Wyrmic, haven't played it myself yet, but heard quite a lot of controversial opinions regarding it, hard to judge. Oozemancer is definitely one of the strongest classes in the game, so I agree with this one. The same goes to Stone Warden, Sun Paladin, Doombringer, Demonoligst, Temporal Warden, Mindlsayer(why not A tier BTW?) and Psyshot. Those are all very powerful classes, maybe even slightly overpowered considering how easy it is to play them on Insane. Not sure about Anorithil and Doomed, again, no experiece with them. So yeah, with all those classes listed I myself would rate most of them as A or even S easily. I agree about Paradox Mage the most, it's simply the better Archmage, but that class is really overpowered even though not the easiest to understand and play.

But Archmage and Arcane Blade are still B to A tier depending on your preferred playstyle. If you want to get a definite win no matter how much effort it may take, those classes are not a bad choice. I tried to play both of them recently, but their skills simply didn't add up for me, I felt like I always missed something and there were no interesting synergies or mechanics whatsoever. That's why I won't rank them very high too. If your point was just to confirm that Archmage is NOT THE BEST class, I wholeheartedly agree. But if your point was to prove that Archmage is NOT GOOD ENOUGH class, I disagree. It will certainly be happy to have some QoL changes/buffs/rebalances, but that's true for most classes. I hope to see Berserker/Bulwark rework because of how boring/outdated their skillset currently is. There is almost no reason to play them when we have Doombringer/Demonologist. I've tried Ogre Bulwark, but its 2H mastery tree is simply terrible. Even Archer Bulwark worked better for me. And lots of other classes need some remedy (like Gunslinger, who is even more boring than Berserker). And yeah, Alchemist.

Finally, talking about classes you marked as bad (worse than Archmage), I can't agree with that. But I understand that's all about personal preferences and opinion. How I showed an example of Solipsist not being as terrible as people think he is, there are some very good and working builds for other classes. Skirmisher is very powerful with certain builds (maybe weaker than Archer overall but with its own strong points). Cursed might as well be a better Berserker. Corruptor is another underrated class, just like Solipsist. And Sawbutcher has always been very powerful, even after all the nerfs.

Basically only classes I'm feeling uncertain about are their strength are: Arcane Blade, Shadowblade/Rogue, Marauder, Alchemist, Archmage, Necromancer, Summoner, Reaver. Those classes feel a bit vague and unstable for me, but I haven't played most of them (except Rogue). From my point of view they require more attention than most other classes and their builds/playstyle are not as obvious. But I can't say that any of them is weak or underwhelming. They are not for everyone, that's it. So if tier list is based on classes who are good for players to get comfortable and fun Insane run, I might as well rank those below others. But at the same time I had a lot of fun playing Rogue/Archmage, it was just difficult to stay alive and I had to always pay attention to what I'm doing without any leeway to recklessly charge in.

TL;DR: For Insane RL Archamge is definitely not a top tier, but at the same time it's in no way "dead". For Insane Adventure every class is very much viable and good to go. Some are easier, some require more attention and planning. If you rank classes comparing how fast/easy it is to complete Insane with certain class, AM will be rank B or C alongside with Arcane Blade. But there is no real point in tier lists if any class can do it easily enough. I myself would be glad to see some AM/AB buffs/reworks but they are not classes who need urgent changes.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:03 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:56 am
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So, I'm going to chime in as someone who has absolutely no dog in this fight. I generally play on *Normal*, and I have essentially no interest in playing Archmage, probably ever. ("You mean the Ziguranth. That would be me.") Having said that...

- It sounds like Archmage, played at the top of its game, has a higher theoretical ability to clear arbitrarily difficult situations than most or all other classes.
- It sounds like Archmage, played in this fashion, is pure misery/drudgery, and as soon as you start shying away from the misery/drudgery, the overall power level/survivability drops a lot.

That seems... poor. First of all, it seems poor because that doesn't sound like a good thing just on the face of it. Why would we have a class that was basically "make yourself miserable for a marginal increase in power"? I thought TOME was supposed to be all about *reducing* the level of "unpleasant repetitive grind" in the game. Second, even if we did want a class like that, it shouldn't be Archmage. They're the wrong themes, for one thing. If you want someone for whom misery equals power, make them an Afflicted. I mean, we literally *have* a power source for "Your superpower is that you're utterly miserable all the time. Suck it up." Use *that*. For another thing, they're probably the first class to get unlocked. Summoner used to beat them to the punch pretty regularly when there were honey trees in the Trollmire, but I haven't seen any there lately. That's supposed to be the sort of thing that points to a fluffy, friendly class, rather than the exact opposite. Finally... well, Archmage has a lot of interesting stuff going on in it. It has more unlockable trees than any other class, last time I checked, and a lot of other flavor stuff. That's the sort of thing that draws people in, early on, and makes them want to fiddle with it. Taking that, and turning it into "this class kind of sucks, unless you're willing to make yourself miserable" just isn't the right way to go.

We've had a rebuild for the Sun Paladins, which was fantastic.
We've had a rebuild or two for the Temporal Wardens, which also worked out quite nicely.
We've had a few rebuilds for the Mindslayer, which were a bit of a sadness to me because I *liked* the old mindslayer, but I understand why it happened.
Perhaps it's time to rebuild the Archmage a bit? Take out some of their more misery-inducing shenanigans, and make some of the rest of what they have less miserable. Buff or nerf as appropriate at that point. I mean, the OP doesn't seem to be *entirely* rational here, but it's looking like there's enough behind the stuff he's saying that it's at least worth digging into and perhaps addressing, right?


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