ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:48 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:48 pm
Posts: 114
I am wondering what the current builds that work decently for an archmage are. Do all of them rely on the time shield and distruption shield as much as it seems? Is the phantasm tree ever used?

Wildfire build seems most workable.

Tri-beam tempest seems to work decently well.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:50 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:39 pm
Posts: 265
Phantasm gives two fairly cheap sustains so that disperse magic doesn't wreck you quite as hard and illuminate might be useful out of combat once in a blue moon. Aether is probably the best not Wildfire one, because Aether Beam is super weird and buggy. Plus using Aether Avatar to activate Disruption Shield eliminates a fair chunk of tedium.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:14 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:27 pm
Posts: 309
The way I see this one it's like this:

-Earth/Stone: Arcane Blade and Stone Warden have both trees, and generally do them better for various good reasons. The Earth tree itself is great utility though.
-Air/Storm: On an Archmage this is actually pretty good. Daze isn't bad at all on a class that doesn't want to be up close, and you want a lot of it for your Hurricanes to do things. Another thing of note is that this can be very draining to your resources, which actually isn't a bad thing for Disruption Shield. I don't really know if Spellcraft's secondary effect carries with Hurricanes, but if so 20% damage reduction isn't a bad thing to spread around at all. Save beating may or may not be an issue however, keep this in mind for harder difficulties (though yes, Shock makes this a tiny bit less of an issue). In lower difficulties, boosting MAG/WIL/CUN may even be enough to carry around The Jolt to spread around Brainlock too. The only issue here is that some of your most damaging talents do highly variable damage.
-Arcane/Aether: Great focus. You have a lot of gear that buffs Arcane damage/resist, and Aether Avatar helps with your shield. Under the right amount of luck and 5/5 Arcane Power, you might even find Aether Permeation to be worth it.
-Water/Ice: The status this revolves around is great and Uttercold is an amazing buff to your damage strategy (100% iceblock pierce), but you don't really do a ton of damage at once outside of Freeze and it's a commonly resisted element besides. I'd suggest not putting all your damage into Cold when doing this build for that reason. The ice piercing is for all damage at least.
-Fire/Wildfire: You know it, you love it, some meme it. I don't think I really need to bring it up.

Phantasm might be better on Archamage than Shadowblade, but that tree still needs a redo IMO.


Last edited by Chronosplit on Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:44 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:34 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:39 pm
Posts: 265
Aether Permeation is basically never worth it, sadly. Even with 80% arcane resistance, that still caps you at 52% resistance to all elements, which you may note as being 18% less then without taking the prodigy. 80% arcane resistance is also nearly impossible without either welding a couple fixedarts to yourself or having Disruption Shield break, neither of which is a good thing.

There's also the fact that none of the elements besides Fire/Wildfire can actually kill enemies with vitality or similar. Add in the fact that Wildfire constantly cleanses slows/bleeds/poisons you get slapped with and nothing is competitive with Wildfire at all for killing things. Which is something that archmage has trouble with in the first place without AAD cheese.

All this is for insane+, of course. If you're on a difficulty where maxhp isn't high enough for vitality to be a nigh-insurmountable obstacle or if you have some other good way ot reducing healing, you could probably make any of the high elemental categories work. Ice gets memed about being bad a lot, but freeze is a pretty good status and you have ways to reduce stun resistance so it works on everything. Whereas Stone has nothing besides Earthquake really going for it.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:24 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:39 pm
Posts: 333
On normal difficulty I had a lot of fun with a hybrid wildfire / storm build. Air / storm doesn't use up that many points, so you can combine them with a second element quite well. It will make crowds of monsters melt like butter.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:57 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am
Posts: 820
I'm a strong advocate on Normal and Nightmare for the Arcane/Aether Mage, with water/ice as a backup. On Insane, you need to get a little lucky to survive the early game. I've never won with this build on Insane but I've made it through the prides and I'm actually a pretty sloppy player so...

It's pretty simple; I usually take the first two skills in the water category at one point apiece and then unlock the Aether category at level 10, depending on whether or not you've acquired a decent shield rune. If not, I might unlock Temporal instead (definitely if playing Nightmare).

I prefer the Higher class though a Skeleton works nicely as well. I sometimes focus more on cold with the skeleton as it can survive a bit better if things get up close.

Arcane Vortex followed by Manathrust is your bread and butter in the early game (and for a long time afterwards), then it's freeze followed by Aether Beam and Aether Breach, and then Aether Avatar lets you just layer them. Then pick up Meta: Spellcraft (significantly improves your ability to not kill yourself) and then, finally, max Pure Aether. At that point with Avatar, you can layer so much damage (just Beam and Breach over and over again as often as possible... don't waste a turn with Avatar active) that very few things will live long enough to cause you any problems.

Depending on whether or not you picked up Temporal or found gloves of dispersion, you may or may not have enough points for Metaflow or Shivgoroth Form or Utter Cold and so on. There's some flexibility.

Regarding prodigies, never pick up Aether Permeation. It's terrible. The math on it is weird and so it's even worse than it seems. Sadly, I've tried everything and I just can't get it to be useful. Go with Cauterize and Arcane Amplification Drone if you have access to it. Otherwise I like Spine of the World IF I've picked up a couple of escorts with Unflinching Resolve or the Celestial: Light category. Unbreakable Will is nice though I prefer nixing a large number of physical effects and just maintaining a rune or infusion that'll deal with one mental effect.

If you throw a few more points into cold and get Utter Cold then you can freeze an enemy and then just layer on Aether attacks... whatever it is, it'll die quick.

The most likely way to die with this build is self-inflicted. Confusion can have you wander into an Aether Breach or Beam. A worst-case scenario is that you'll get pulled into your own Aether Beam, get silenced by it, leaving you no way out. As a result, I strongly advise having a Psychoportation torque and silence resistance IF you can max it, though the latter is pretty hard to find.

Bottom line is that it's riskier than a Wildfire build, which generally lets you stay out of danger, but it gets going faster and it kills things in a freakin' hurry.

EDIT: Since 1.6 this is no longer an especially good build. It'd still probably be fine for normal but anything above that and it'll be underwhelming. The new Disruption Shield makes mages slightly more fragile, though much easier to play, but when the new shield is combined with a slightly nerfed Aether Beam and the the effect of Aegis is changed and the lack of mana regen from said shield, then you end up with a diminished build. I don't think it's particularly viable. Perhaps some new changes and some tweaks will revive it but at this point, aether/arcane is probably only better than cold at this point, and only barely.

The basic problem for an aether mage is mobility and mana... the key to the build is layering spells over and over again and that's expensive but also the spells don't have great range so you actually have to get close. Because the new Disruption Shield shuts off at 50% mana and you'll be burning through mana in a hurry, you can end up in real trouble easily. More so, there are very few items that regenerate mana in any significant way and you'll end up spending a turn on mana runes but they aren't really good enough so... it's a dead build in my opinion.


Last edited by Delmuir on Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:34 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:39 pm
Posts: 46
Lightning is surprisingly fun in 1.6. Btw i can really recommend steampowered armor in EoR.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:32 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am
Posts: 820
Phantomfrettchen wrote:
Lightning is surprisingly fun in 1.6. Btw i can really recommend steampowered armor in EoR.


I couldn't agree more on lightning.

Lightning Storm no longer costs mana per hit so it's basically just a cheap sustain that does constant damage and potentially with a chance to daze. As such, it's incredibly effective at disabling enemies.

If you get decent cool-down reduction through gear (you can get 50% from gear and maybe 60% in theory, though 20-30% is most common) then you might even be able to skip Quicken Spells. If you get gloves of dispersion or that rune for killing Urkis then you can skip the Meta entirely. This will free up enough points to not only max out all of the lightning skills but even add most of another element. I suggest getting Shivgoroth form (with decent cool down reduction, it can be keep active 100% of the time) and then add the Ice category. You can run Ice Storm and have ice block penetration and so you'll be constantly freezing or dazing enemies and obliterating them with Chain Lightning and Frozen Ground. Earth even works reasonably well and the added defense can really help as Lightning Storm is medium range. The damage per mana cost on Ice Storm and Lightning Storm together is outstanding.

Lightning is a clear #2 to Wildfire now and I think far more fun to play.

On Normal or Nightmare, I think Lightning with cold as backup is a rock solid build. Haven't tried it on Insane but experience says that Wildfire is still the only option.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:59 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
Posts: 228
Delmuir wrote:
gloves of dispersion
Weren't those removed from the game in 1.6.0?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:57 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am
Posts: 820
visage wrote:
Delmuir wrote:
gloves of dispersion
Weren't those removed from the game in 1.6.0?


That would certainly explain why I haven't found any...


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:26 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:21 pm
Posts: 687
Location: From Russia with atchoum!
Pure Cold build is fun, and I think more fun than Fire.
I died constantly in EoR as fire themed build, and second character that uses Ice and Water talent trees easily went to Slumbering Caves, died only because was lazy and forgot that rataliators actually have Static Shot.
Fire si pure damage sure, but control is important.
Also, ice mage cleaning mobs much more quickly then fire one - usually it's just 2 buttons, Frozen Ground and Shatter.
Also, if you have found simple Silk Current, it's your early-mid-late game robe, and only most powerful t5 artefacts are better for you, liek Galen's Flowing Robe (and probably only if you went Technomancer) or some crazy randart.

Edit: Oh, and the changes to Freeze too, now you can chain-freeze anyone - I think duration in just 1 turn shorter than cd, with Silk Current it's same, and with SC and Adept cd is one turn shorter than duration.

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Last edited by GlassGo on Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:10 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am
Posts: 820
As a general rule, I don't actually enjoy the wildfire build at all.

I love the cold and lightning builds but my favorite is the arcane/aether build but it's been crippled due to the changes to Disruption Shield. Lightning is a little slow to start and cold suffers in the middle a bit but by the time you make it out east then both should be pretty strong even on Nightmare. The appeal of Wildfire is mostly its superiority on Insane difficulty.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:52 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:21 pm
Posts: 687
Location: From Russia with atchoum!
Wildfire is not superior now, it's Ice.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:11 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am
Posts: 820
That can't possibly be true. I love the ice mage and play it quite a bit and while it has gotten much better, it still doesn't have a way of dealing with high level vitality or similar non-magical effects and/or sustains.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:09 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:21 pm
Posts: 687
Location: From Russia with atchoum!
How about just outdamage them, while controlling them with Freeze and Frozen Ground?
Also, Terrene tree...

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