Insane Archmage x5, abandoned

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Delmuir
Uruivellas
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am

Insane Archmage x5, abandoned

#1 Post by Delmuir »

This isn't a particularly notable run save for one thing...

Everywhere I went, I was met by freaking hordes of rares, bosses, and uniques... one time, I entered a level and two unique enemies were standing there to greet me. This happens but holy hell, there was no getting away from it in this very, very brief run. Even worse, it was always something horrible like an ultra-fast ant (or whatever they are) with psionic abilities. Seriously, I saw something akin to a hyper-fast, hyper-durable boss-level enemy like five times and I wasn't even at level 12 yet. I saw a minimum of four unique enemies and I managed to complete very few areas. Just bad luck...

Time to start again.

Edit: Wowzer... take two. I have officially hit a wall in every single T1 and Old Forest, about level 14, in which to enter is death. I have found a place where there is at least one unique or boss level enemy and usually an army of rares that I simply cannot get past. Well heck...

Edit #2: At level 21 in the Old Forest, level 3, and I am surviving by the skin of my teeth. It is just littered with boss and uniques with endless rares as back-up. Mostly, I can't seem to do damage. It seems like every powerful enemy I come across has absurd damage mitigation ability. Tough going.

Edit#3: Died at level 24, just after finishing the Sandworm Lair... yeesh. I called it quits on that build because for whatever reason the RNG was torturing me. I've started a skeleton ice mage so we'll see.

Edit#4: Skeleton archmage died at level 28 without having used his prodigy. Why? Because I was trying to get fearscaped in order to pick up Aether Permutation and yet... damn Grand Corruptor RAN OUT OF VIM before fearscaping me. Yeesh. Killed him and accidentally stumble onto a rogue mob... kill three of four and heal to full only to get killed by a critical double shot from a gunslinger when I was trying to escape.

Honestly, I'm probably just going to stop playing the Archmage. The recent changes (capping resistance penetration for example, not to mention the change to Disruption Shield) have made the class kind of boring and frustrating and Thaumatology is... a silly prodigy. I don't know who was intent on screwing up this class but...

That's harsh. No one intended to screw it up but the tweaks have resulted in a balance problem with game drops, enemies, and so on. In short, the Archmage is now a bit awkward and feels like a class in progress rather than a polished, finished class. Consequently, I'm going to drop it for now and consider the Archmage to be in Beta.

Edit #5: I made one more effort at it with an Aether/Arcane mage... she's still alive around level 16 but hilariously, I cleared the Old Forest but can't clear three of the T1, particularly Norgo's lair because of two snake Oozemancer bosses on the SAME LEVEL, who are both effectively indestructible while hitting me with something around 8 status effects as an opener. My point is that the Archmage has just become slightly awkward. The biggest issue, really? Mana per turn and +mana are extremely rare in the west. The result is an absurd power curve where getting +8 mana with an active manasurge rune is hard in the West but getting one so comically powerful that you can end the game with +200 isn't unheard of. Sigh.

Final edit: Died to... you guessed it, Greater Weapon Focus. The most OP skill on enemies in the entire game. I literally can't think of the last time I died to anything other than that.

Basically, this was an aether build but my primary attack involved floating points in chain lightning as the best opener in the game because it lets you attack around corners and at great distance. Aether skills are really rough until around level 25, once you get Meta up and running and your first prodigy, which is ideally Cauterize or Aether Permeation.

In this run, I skipped time shield, which is rough until about level 16 or so but if you get enough mana recovery and, ideally, plus mana (which I didn't have), then you can use a manasurge rune almost like a regen infusion. At level 20, I managed to get my Disruption Shield up to about 750 (and about 375 life) and a mediocre shielding rune and a decent mana pool, which left me with an effective 1700 life. Apparently, that wasn't enough.

Delmuir
Uruivellas
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am

Re: Insane Archmage x5, abandoned

#2 Post by Delmuir »

I ran another... made it to level 33, absolutely beastly arcane/aether mage. I just one-shot by a unique snake through 2000 worth of shields and 600 life in Dreadfell. Wow. It was all Embers of Rage stuff and throwing knives. Heartseeker was the big one but he hit like six times or something.

I usually let a character die after one death but I might keep this one alive because that was so, so, so anomalous. High Peak, maybe... brutal.

Edit: I just killed him and I had my shields entirely maxed out at 3200 plus life and I killed him in three turns but he closed on me for the last one and in one attack, he left me with -41 life. Total damage was 3700 and left me riddled with multiple poisons and a manastorm. I got down to 8 life left but I survived. Holy heck... that was stunning. Those knife throwers are rough. The only thing more likely to kill me is greater weapon focus...

Update: Stuck on floor 9 of Dreadfell by Kra'tor the Gluttonous with psionic and anti-magic. He met me right off the stairs so the level isn't clear yet and the Master is somewhere on it. I can't get anywhere near him. One turn and he cuts through all of my defense no matter how pumped up. He can't quite one-shot me but he's a beast. Not sure what to do here...

Update: Killed Kra'tor by the skin of my teeth and took the Master down without a problem but then came the ambush... it's always hard with an Arcane/Aether build because you don't have the range to easily take out the archers. I cleared everything save the boss and he very nearly killed me. In fact, he broke my mana shield and left me one hit from dead and I teleported away and he rushed me and my shield's eruption killed him upon arrival. Skin of my teeth again.

So the real trick with this build is that at level 36, it's complete. I have all of the arcane skills and the first two in Meta plus the first two in the Phantasm. On Nightmare and below, that's all you need but on Insane, I need more. Where? I'm thinking of picking up the water category for the freezes. Other than that, it's going to be all about the gear.

Fingers crossed. I've won on Insane but never with an Archmage. Based on Dreadfell, I'm thinking the Prides are going to be the death of me.

Delmuir
Uruivellas
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am

Re: Insane Archmage x8, abandoned

#3 Post by Delmuir »

Higher cold mage...

The cold mage is a little trickier than fire or lightning or aether. It's a close-quarter combat mage who needs a lot of evasion, speed, and defense in order to survive (and ideally any other form of damage mitigation). Cruising... only weakness was a lack of silence resistance (just couldn't find any) but overall, the character was never in trouble until... two deaths in Dreadfell so I terminated the character as I usually do. One-shot both times through maxed out shields. This is a problem.

If I'm not prepared, I understand but when I'm taking burst damage over two-thousand in Dreadfell, that's rough. When that damage comes with every status effect in the game AND a character ready to dish that out again on the next turn, we have a problem. The addition of physical forms of causing silence is an absolute killer for the archmage because it has no reasonable way of dealing with it. The archmage really suffers from a power problem because it doesn't really have many skills you can push beyond their natural limits.

I don't really know how to solve the problem that the Archmage is not particularly good on Insane (great on Nightmare) any longer. Then again, maybe it's not a problem and just the way things are now.

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