Suggestions for a mage build

#1Wonko_the_Sane9Posted 12/5/2012 7:43:00 PM
Whats a good way to divvy up stats for a mage? I know Focus and vitality are important obviously, but one guide i was looking up(http://segmentnext.com/2012/09/24/torchlight-2-embermage-builds-guide-inferno-frost-and-storm/2/) put about 150 points into dexterity. Is this wrong or is there a reason behind this?

Also what are sum good spells to take? Id like to take the 1 or 2 of the heavy hitters from each tree and put the rest in passives.
#2kujikiri85Posted 12/5/2012 9:20:50 PM
I haven't done a lot of magework, but I think a lot of people suggest to put 53 points into Dexterity, due to the 10% crit chance. More is nice, but since your damage is going to come out of Focus, you want to stack that. Alternatively, you can find some Dexterity skulls (skull of Karandir - level 42 required - gives you 37 Dex) or enchant with Borris the stat enchanter.

For skills, it's up to you. I was a frost mage, and loved it, putting points into Frost Phase (for warping around and avoiding enemies), Ice Prison (containing stronger enemies and putting down roadblocks), and Icy Blast and Frost Wave. Icy Blast kind of fell by the wayside, since I was killing things just fine with Frost Wave at the point I stopped, but the passive Staff Mastery would come in handy with boss fights. Elemental Boon is great, but the duration was way too short for me, so I ended up getting a mod to lengthen it a bit.

With other passives, whatever your elemental tree is (frost, fire, thunder), get the brand passive at minimum. It's boosted by your focus, and can seriously help out with damage.

Again, I never went much past level 50 with my embermage, but http://forums.runicgames.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=36953 should help you, and if you decide to go frost, http://forums.runicgames.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=36953 could prove useful.
#3vlado_ePosted 12/5/2012 10:00:30 PM
Don't use those guides. Like, at all. I would have said "only for reference" normally, but that's bad - they are quite outdated. Not that things changed with patches that much, but the knowledge about how the game operates has - those are mosly theory builds that don't hold up well against reality. 160 Dex, is incredibly sub-par, for example but I see how one could make the mistake - heck, I didn't know the game well enough at one point.

I suggest the Runic Forums:
http://forums.runicgames.com/viewforum.php?f=43

It's full of people who know way more about the game and the maths behind it than me. I especially suggest listening to armis (who made this incredible thread: http://forums.runicgames.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=47241), mammothhunter and xylonez, but there are others who know their stuff, too. Erm, and some that only sound like they do, so maybe take other advice with a grain of salt.

Anyway, stat-wise, you should put no more than 53 Dex - that would grant you 10% crit and dodge chance, which is enough. if you go higher, get no more than 109 - after that diminishing returns kick in (actually, they do after 53, but after 109 it's worse), so points there would be more of a waste. As for other skills, Vitality is only ever useful if you want to use a shield, as it gives you a higher block chance. So, if you're not using a shield, don't put any points in it, if you are, then...maybe (on Elite and/or Hardcor- yes, otherwise, not essential at all). Focus is your main stat, but Strength might be viable, depending on what skills you're going to use - Str gives you increased crit damage, but because of the way some skills work, that's not always that relevant.

Skill-wise - don't go overboard with attack skills - 1-2 per tree is not that useful. You'll need a spammable skill, an AOE, and maybe a couple of other attack ones - no real point in dividing yourself between too many skills, when you're not going to use them all at the same time anyway.

Good spammable skils: Magma Spear, Icy Blast, Prismatic Bolt (this one is special, I'll explain afterwards), Frost Wave, Shockbolts, Shocking Orb. Generally, choose one of them, exception being, if you pick a higher level skill (Shockbolts, Shocking Orb, Frost Wave) - you might want to put a point or 5 at most into a low level one, so you have something to use. PB is special, as I said, in that it's probably the most powerful skill the Emages have - check the Runic boards, there are dozens of PB builds, which basically boil down to "few points in PB, max the three Brands, then pick what you like" no need to repeat more than that here.

Good AOEs - Hailstorm (works well with ice/lightning skills) and Infernal Collapse. You can make Frost Wave work, too. Blazing Pillars is OK, but a bit too much cooldown to use as a main AOE. Thunder Locus is fun, but you should really combine it with another one to be useful.

Passive skills - you'd probably want to constrain yourself to a tree or maybe two - three is a waste. It can work, mind you, but it takes more plotting, I wouldn't recommend it for a starting character, it would just be tedious. Anyway, you'll likely have a main tree - get the appropriate Brand ASAP. If you branch out to another one, at least put a point in that brand, maybe more, depending on what skills you have (if you, say, if you only have Thunder Locus from the lighning side, you can skip maxing Lighning Brand). Other than that, at least one point in Frozen Fate is almost a must. Prismatic Rift is not quite worth it , skp it entirely, unless you just want a "bizarre effect" build. Elemental Attunement gets 3-5 points max, unless you have special build of some sort. Charge Mastery you can not bother with. Wand Chaos is sub-par, Staff Mastery is so-so - either only use with Icy Blast/Magma Spear/Shockbolts
[cont]
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#4vlado_ePosted 12/5/2012 10:00:49 PM
[cont]

And finally utility skills - Frost Phase is almost a must but only ever put one point in it. Elemental Boon is worse than it initially appears, you can safely skip it. Ice Pillars is heavily recommended at at least 1 point, but only put either 1 or 15 points in it - the rest aren't really worth it. Immolation Aura should only be 0/5/10/15 - nothing else. Essentially, you either don't take it, or take it up to a given Tier for the damage reduction Death's Bounty is quite useful - recommended but not essential - anything above 5 is fine there. Yo can safely stop around 10 or max it out - whatever. Astral Ally is nothing to write home about - you can take it, but only do so for the fun factor, not for it's usefulness.

Skills to avoid: Firebombs, Shocking Burst, Arc Beam. The latter two are usable but only for vert specific builds, the former is just meh all around.
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We do what we must / because we can. / For the good of all of us. / Except the ones who are dead.
#5Wonko_the_Sane9(Topic Creator)Posted 12/6/2012 8:57:28 PM
Interesting info there...

And whats the signifiance of 53 and 109 specifically as opposed to say 50 and 110, or any other number rly?
#6AmiadonPosted 12/6/2012 10:00:12 PM
Wonko_the_Sane9 posted...
Interesting info there...

And whats the signifiance of 53 and 109 specifically as opposed to say 50 and 110, or any other number rly?




vlado_e posted...
53 Dex - that would grant you 10% crit and dodge chance, which is enough. if you go higher, get no more than 109 - after that diminishing returns kick in (actually, they do after 53, but after 109 it's worse), so points there would be more of a waste.



Diminishing returns means that each point in a stat gives less damage/chance of an effect/whatever per point after a certain amount. I don't know the numbers at all (I only started playing TL2 two days ago), but for (completely fabricated and incorrect) example:

Between 0 and 53, Dex gives 0.5% dodge chance per point. Any points added after this provide a 0.3% chance of dodge. At 109, that goes down to 0.1%. So your points would be better spent elsewhere, where they will have a bigger impact on your character.
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#7Hamstah_FwendPosted 12/7/2012 4:07:16 AM
Try the old Prismatic Bolt build. You basically jack up that one skill along with the three elemental brands for some homing multi-elemental death.

I honestly gets boring at times because it can get to the point of "hold right-click to kill the screen" but from my experience so far it really does do its job.
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#8ToboeAkaPosted 12/7/2012 6:14:33 AM
I followed along with this build, and I found and continue to find it a great deal of fun to play. http://forums.runicgames.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=36991&sid=82abce61b172e893b2d6cdd8171a3236
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#9vlado_ePosted 12/7/2012 1:14:34 PM
Hamstah_Fwend posted...
Try the old Prismatic Bolt build. You basically jack up that one skill along with the three elemental brands for some homing multi-elemental death.

I honestly gets boring at times because it can get to the point of "hold right-click to kill the screen" but from my experience so far it really does do its job.


You again? Gosh... :P

Anyway, PB build is really effective but also really boring. As I said before, it's really easy the actual build is:
1 point in PB
15 in each of the three elemental brands.

I'd say you can extend that to 5 in PB but 10 might be pushing it, 15 certainly is. Also get Frost Phase, the rest of the points can go in an AOE then just utility and passive skills but it doesn't really matter as much.
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We do what we must / because we can. / For the good of all of us. / Except the ones who are dead.
#10Wonko_the_Sane9(Topic Creator)Posted 12/8/2012 12:32:34 PM
Is there a cap on vitality like there is on dex or is it a good dump stat to throw points into (even if I dont use a shield)?