ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:05 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
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This is an alternate perspective to jenx's guide. jenx is a great player and his advice really helped me out, but after beating Insane with Paradox Mage myself I realize I strongly disagree with many of his choices. Most notably, skipping Flux is bizarre since it's probably Paradox Mage's most important class category. I'm not going to do a level by level guide, since Paradox Mage is very flexible and also because I tried to spend as few points as possible. Instead I'll give some advice as to which core talents to take, some good ways to spend your extra points, and general combat strategies.

Race choice
Pick Ogre or Shalore. Cornac is worse than Ogre late but still acceptable if you want Stasis early. Doomelf is okay too thanks to Pitiless but I would not recommend it since it won't use your chronomancy spellpower when testing saves. Thalore is never awful but there's no synergy here. Higher is less bad than usual because Highborn's Bloom is basically Hidden Resources, but its cooldown is long enough that I would probably end up taking Hidden Resources anyway. I picked Ogre but Shalore would have probably been better in hindsight.

Stats
Mag > Wil > Cun > Dex/Con

Inscriptions
Take at least one Movement Infusion unless you get 100% stun resistance somehow. Even then consider taking one. Other good Inscriptions are Regeneration, Wild (physical, mental, or physical/mental), and Phase Door. Only take Phase Door if you find a really good one, like an out of phase buff of at least 40% with a good uptime. Shielding and Heroism are pointless since you are essentially immune to burst unless someone deactivates your sustains and Webs of Fate. I played Ogre so I got four Inscriptions and I went double Movement, Regeneration, and Phase Door. If I was a different race, I would have probably dropped the second Movement or Regeneration, but that may be because my Phase Door Rune was really good.

Early game
x/1/0/0 Matter (put spare points in Dust to Dust but make sure you can refund it back to 1/5, its damage falls off later)
1/1/1/5 Timetravel
Unlock Flux at level 10 and go 1/2/5/1 immediately
1/3/1/3 Fateweaving
3/1/0-1/0 Spacetime Weaving
1/1/1/0 Chronomancy only if you have a good Shielding Rune or if you got Healing Light from an Anorithil escort.
Buy Combat Training and get 1/5 Armour Training, and put points in Thick Skin as you get Con boosting items

Reality Smearing and Webs of Fate reduce incoming damage to 43%. Combine that with the armor from Matter Weaving and you should take very little damage when Webs of Fate is up. Attenuate with Seal Fate is your best source of damage. Dust to Dust and Echoes of the Past do two damage instances so they proc Seal Fate twice. Temporal Bolt's damage sucks but if you hit a bunch of enemies you can refresh your important cooldowns fast. Echoes of the Past is a great nuke, and the missing health damage is applied after the flat damage making it do more damage to full health enemies than you'd expect. Dust to Dust is okay damage but it's not that important compared to Attenuate. It's okay to skip turns instead of using weak spells like Dust to Dust and Temporal Bolt if your paradox is getting high, as long as you use Attenuate, Seal Fate, and Webs of Fate on cooldown. Use Induce Anomaly as soon as your fail rate gets noticeable, it's instant which makes it super good if you can get something like Invigorate, Temporal Clone, Stop, Haste, Slow, Gravity Well, Displacement Shield, Temporal Shield, etc. Twist Fate also lets you target anomalies, but it takes a turn. It's almost always worth it to take the turn to use Twist Fate rather than let the anomaly fire randomly, since you could otherwise get stunned or something.

Wear heavy armor to prevent melee enemies from killing you. Try to find an item with Track because Precognition sucks in comparison. Stat priority is pretty standard, should be something like: stun resist > confusion resist > armor > spellpower > life > temporal damage and pen > physical damage and pen> spell crit > crit mult

Midgame
Unlock Entropy at level 20 and go 1/1/1/2 immediately
You already have everything important, so put points in stuff you think will be useful. Good choices are anything in the Matter and Timetravel categories, Reality Smearing, and Induce Anomaly. Gravity is alright since Locus will give many talents double the Seal Fate procs and Gravity Well gives a global slow with a very high uptime. Warp Mines are solid at 3/5, though some enemies will just disarm them so don't depend on them too much. Spacial Tether and Banish may be worth one point each, since anything that keeps enemies away from you is helpful. Speed Control is overrated so I recommend avoiding it, the only truly great talent it has is Time Stop which is really expensive at this point in the game. You mostly just wait for Attenuate and Echoes of the Past so you don't really need the global speed. For generics, Wormhole, Energy Decomposition, and Energy Absorption are pretty great, or you can max Seal Fate and Webs of Fate.

At this point you basically do the same thing as before, which is try to stack Attenuate damage as much as possible. Consider carrying an alternate spellpower gear set if enemies are saving against it often, or just increase your paradox. Entropy eats sustains but you don't want too many points in it because it'll mess with your Attenuate stacking; you don't want to extend it after removing all your target's sustains. 2/5 in Entropy is enough to extend with Seal Fate if needed, or to let expire if not. Thanks to Energy Decomposition, you take much less damage than before.

Late game
Take Hidden Resources at level 30
Unlock Stasis at level 36 and go 1/1/5/0 immediately. You could alternatively take Timeline Threading if you don't feel you need the stun from Stop.
You already have everything important, so put points in stuff you think will be useful. If you haven't taken Contingency yet, now is a good time to do so and set it to Time Shield or Time Stop. You can actually make good use of Time Stop now that you have Hidden Resources so getting it to 4/5 or so can be very helpful. Static History is very good with Hidden Resources, otherwise the same stuff as before applies. Getting Time Shield to around 3/5 can be okay but it is not needed, it's pretty overrated on this class since you don't take much damage anyway. Time Stop becomes a decent investment now that you have Hidden Resources, as does Temporal Reprieve. See the Threads can probably be good with Time Stop and Hidden Resources.

No major changes, except Hidden Resources and Static History will allow you to safely stay at very high paradox. By very high I mean 500+, which means spell saves are no longer an issue. Note that you will still gain Paradox from Reality Smearing when under Hidden Resources, so don't forget to use Induce Anomaly and pass turns when needed. On the last turn of Hidden Resources, I like to use Temporal Reprieve to allow my stuff to cooldown. I almost always use a Phase Door Rune on the last turn of Temporal Reprieve so I can get a bunch of resists coming out of it. Also Stop enters your damage rotation, and should usually be used right after Attenuate against hard enemies. Its a huge AoE nuke that has very high uptime on its stun. Note that the stun will mess with your Attenuate extending with Seal Fate, but the safety is usually more important.

Endgame
At level 42, take either Cauterize, Eye of the Tiger, Spine of the World, or Pain Enhancement System. I don't think anything else is a good choice.
Spend your final category point on Timeline Threading, Spellbinding, or an Inscription. If Timeline Threading, go at least 1/2/3/3. I have not used Spellbinding so I can't give suggestions there, but I'd probably put Empower on Attenuate, Extension on Seal Fate, Matrix on Webs of Fate, and skip Quicken.
You already have everything important, so put points in stuff you think will be useful.

No major changes, just keep doing what you've been doing. If you took Timeline Threading, add Rethread to your damage rotation (mostly for Braid Lifelines, Rethread's damage is mediocre) and also use Cease to Exist a lot, it's really good. Temporal Fugue makes your near immortal thanks to Reality Smearing, Webs of Fate, and Energy Decomposition.

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Last edited by bpat on Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:37 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:16 pm
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Well, seeming I also took Flux when I finally won on insane, I too disagree with Jenx's guide ;-)

What I find fascinating about PMs is that they can be played in a variety of different ways, each is wonderfully powerful if done right.

Their entire mechanics I find very interesting and a great variation from my other favorite class, Solipsists.

I really want to try PM with Shalore and Timeless, that might be truly godlike :-D

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:25 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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Repulsion blast and Gravity Spike can also hit twice, so I think they'd also hit seals of fate twice potentially

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:34 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
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jenx wrote:
Repulsion blast and Gravity Spike can also hit twice, so I think they'd also hit seals of fate twice potentially


Oh that's pretty neat, I didn't know that. They could be much more useful than I thought then.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:18 pm 
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Cornac

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:06 pm
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When do you activate reality smearing? Doesn´t it just cripple your damage?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:09 am 
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Uruivellas

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Reality Smearing is a sustain so it's always on, do you mean Temporal Fugue? If so just do it whenever lol because your clones do damage to. jenx can answer this far better than I can though, I only used it once (final battle) and it's not clear if it really helped or not.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:30 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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Hempel123 wrote:
When do you activate reality smearing? Doesn´t it just cripple your damage?


leave it on the whole time. if anything, it boosts your dmg, as it increases paradox

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:44 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:21 pm
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Location: From Russia with atchoum!
I mostly went bpat way (didn't read guide, we talked in chat about "Attenuate is all you need" and I thought - hm, lets see), but my idea was "modified PM", where I got rid from skill trees I don't like, and got skills I like.
This end up in this Adventurer http://te4.org/characters/35987/tome/5c ... c65f466aab
I had no solid conception when I stated it, main choice in late-game was this tree http://te4.org/wiki/Light_(category)
vs http://te4.org/wiki/Demonic_strength_(category)
I choosed last.

Prodigies - PES and Spine of the World (amazing thing, I can recommend it).

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:23 am 
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Archmage

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Location: From Russia with atchoum!
Aslo about race pick - Shalore is good, but Ogre allow to wield Rod of Sarillon in main hand, with all its spell cooldown reductions http://te4.org/wiki/Rod_of_Sarrilon

Errr, description is really outdated. :mrgreen: It's much better now.

PS Also, it's a pity that everyone sidestep the issue of succesfull surviving in Dark Crypt, one of the most intersting part of the game (for me).

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:47 am 
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Uruivellas

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I didn't mention Dark Crypt because I'm not quite brave enough to do it on Insane. I do not recommend using Ogre's ability to wield a two-handed staff plus another staff because it is likely to hurt your overall spellpower because the only possible good item late game is Life Drinker which isn't enough to make up for the 20% spellpower penalty and four generic points. Spellpower is very important because it helps get Attenuate and Entropy to stick, though Hidden Resources + Static History solves this problem. Rod of Sarrilon is great but unfortunately I didn't encounter it on my run. Instead I had a greater + greater warding randart staff which I actually think may be better in some scenarios because the the Wards are amazing, though it would have been nice to have Rod of Sarrilon for increased damage output.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:02 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:21 pm
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Location: From Russia with atchoum!
Well, you can always find belt with +1 size, which pushed my SP for +3 Spellpower, don't remeber exact numbers, something like from 87 to 89 or 90.

Funny that before I got Rod of Sarillon, I already had Attenuate cooldown time: 2 turns, and with RoS it is still 2 turn cooldown, is it bug or some kind of overlook in code? Or is it by design?

Dark Crypt - you need to delay it as much as possible, so it include bit of luck of course.
Usually, I going Old Forest before lvl 24, then Lake Nur, Fortress, and after that I'm going Daikara, from there in Dreadfell, Marl of Spellblaze, Conclave Vault in the middle if I have it.
If you dive in DC after at least Daikara and Dreadfell, it would be much safer.
Also, no matter what you have as armour, main danger comes from Soul Rot and Drain spell which can crit for 900 blight dmg (from rare corrupter mage) or 600-700 dmg as usual green mages (most dangerous type), so better armour for you there is The Untouchable and HP pool. )
It's quite doable task, and very interesting belive me.
The only time I don't recommend to visit DC is if you don't have Track or Precognition - then you likely fail in DC.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:35 pm 
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Yeek

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Cease to exist is such a definitive PM skill. I bugged out the boss in Vor pride using it on other mage in conjunction with clones during time stop somehow, ended up with a copy of the boss that was standing near him and after the timeline reverted it still remained there but didn't do anything. But when I killed the copy with another cease to exist it would still remain there in main timeline. Regardless now I have 2 of the same orbs of command.

I wonder If killing necromancer in Shadow crypt during cease to exist conveniently circumvents having to fight your shade.

I played with clone talent usage for a while and it looks like as long as they have instacast skills to use they will always move or try to melee enemies after using them even if "attack" is set to 0. And they also very much like to use instacast spells even if other spells have higher priority, so I ended up only leaving main attacking spells enabled on them. Though it was pretty funny with banish, as they would always double cast it with redux resulting in 4 banishes right after summoning them or even 6 with timeless from Shalore, might be a decent combo with dimensional anchor, but I haven't tried it in serious combat yet.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:27 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:16 pm
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Sayan wrote:
Cease to exist is such a definitive PM skill. I bugged out the boss in Vor pride using it on other mage in conjunction with clones during time stop somehow, ended up with a copy of the boss that was standing near him and after the timeline reverted it still remained there but didn't do anything. But when I killed the copy with another cease to exist it would still remain there in main timeline. Regardless now I have 2 of the same orbs of command.

I wonder If killing necromancer in Shadow crypt during cease to exist conveniently circumvents having to fight your shade.

I played with clone talent usage for a while and it looks like as long as they have instacast skills to use they will always move or try to melee enemies after using them even if "attack" is set to 0. And they also very much like to use instacast spells even if other spells have higher priority, so I ended up only leaving main attacking spells enabled on them. Though it was pretty funny with banish, as they would always double cast it with redux resulting in 4 banishes right after summoning them or even 6 with timeless from Shalore, might be a decent combo with dimensional anchor, but I haven't tried it in serious combat yet.


Hmmm. Very interesting ideas....

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:35 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:07 pm
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It keeps happening.
Attachment:
chrono2.jpg
chrono2.jpg [ 252.23 KiB | Viewed 7644 times ]


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:10 pm 
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Is PES a viable prodigy to take in nightmare? Is it really worth the stat investment?

I mean, you can wear heavy body armour and have insane stats as well.


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