Sorceress Guide by Feynt

Version: 0.25 | Updated: 10/15/03 | Printable Version

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|      Dark[]Stone     |

 A Sorceress'(eseses) Guide

As you can probably tell, I'm a bit of a joker.  Just reading can get dull
after a while, so why not spice things up a bit?  Anyways, on with the show.

You've come because:
a) You dig chicks with spells
b) You read/heard somewhere that sorceresses can change into a werewolf (cool!)
c) Puny wizard nerds are no match for your lithe sorceress form and intellect
d) All (or none) of the above

Well, it's all true.  The sorceress is a rather odd class, so far as I've
played it.  I've heard the only thing I'm missing is the Detection skill, which
is replaced by the Lycanthropy skill.  At this stage (Master difficulty) I'm
happy with that "sacrifice".  Now, here's why the sorceress is a weird class.
Some people see sorceress and immediately think, "Stand back, lob spells,
cringe in fear of melee."  The first skill you want when you can buy one (after
Learning that is) is Lycanthorpy.  Why's that I hear you cry?  Because cringing 
in fear is a stereotype for girls.

Her werewolf form can attack faster than a thief with a dagger and, at the
beginning, with more force than a warrior.  Upon the change your stats get 
jumbled around a bit, but that's alright.  Here's the breakdown of the changes:
-HP and MP get switched (20 HP and 60 MP become 60 HP and 20 MP)
-Strength and Magic get switched (5 Strength and 30 Magic.. you get the idea)

And it only gets better from there.  Now true, at first you only stay in that
form for about 10-15 seconds, but you get 5 seconds per skill level.
Eventually you'll beg for it to stop (and no one likes a begging werewolf).
Why would you want such an awesome transformation to end?  Well, here's where
things get weirder.  See, magic in this game is different than most, missile
combat too.  Spells and weapons don't pass through friends.  So there's only
one spell you'll ever want early on, Magic Bomb.  It appears where you click,
and usually that means over the crowd and on top of some poor sod who can't
take the (initially) 37-70 damage.  It may be a mine, but it's also a grenade.
Great, so...  Why not use both?  Remember the HP/MP switch that Lycanthropy 
does?  Yeah, not quite so great.  So you get a major ass kicker who's faster 
than any other class and CAN have tons of HP while she IS a werewolf (gotta
stay that way or you get owned when you revert) or you do the stereotype and 
hide behind your (hopefully) beefy counterpart for protection, taking up the 
role of artillery.

Now, EVENTUALLY, this form will lose it's luster compared to the joy of
high damage spells like Thunder (which would be the best spell for the sound 
alone, ignoring the 100 damage base it starts with) and the simple 
pleasures of turning monsters into chickens.  Not to mention that unless 
you're also raising your dexterity, your AC in your normal form will eventually 
out class your werewolf's by way of wearable armour (I've got a simple robe on
with 70 some odd AC, versus my werewolf's which is about mid 50s total).

If it gets worse later on, why use it at all?  In the beginning, it's all
about the experience (unless you plan on collecting all the crystals over and
over and over again for it's quest experience while your friend kills 
everything).  But later on when (not IF, when) you do die, it's always nice
to know that when you Berserker yourself and transform, you're still an ass
kicker (with at least the staying power to get your stuff back).

As I said before, Magic Bomb is your only offensive spell in a multiplayer
game in the beginning.  Your friend will invariably be in the way of your 
Magic Missiles, Sparks, and Fireballs too.  Now, as for other stuff:

-Detection may seem useless at first, but around dungeon level 13 traps 
 begin to show up with increasing consistancy and potency.  A quick scan 
 (lvl 1 lasts only 5-10 seconds) will show blue if they're bad, or none if 
 you can safely open said chest, pot, or barrel.  Not to mention it makes
 finding all your loot when you die much easier, because even rings
 constrast against the near black floor common to most dungeons.
-Berserker is the ultimate spell if you melee at all.  Level 2 lasts for
 40 seconds or there abouts, increases your AC 100%, your to hit goes up
 a good 30% or so, and you regenerate.  And though it doesn't say it in
 the spell description, I believe it also increases your attack speed.
 Even level 1 can make you a better warrior than the warrior (not that he
 won't be without this spell himself).  Level 8 will make you a battle
 god, no matter what class you picked.  At the least it's useful for
 regenerating on the go (like when you're GOing from a pack of monsters).
-Healing is...  Up to you.  Healing potions are fast, plentiful, and only
 150 gold in town if you can't find them all over the ground (I do).
 At first Healing only heals half your bar.  Scrolls are instant cast 
 though, and they're cheaper to buy than potions.  I myself am swapping 
 out potions for healing scrolls, simply because my friend grabs all the 
 potions for himself and likes to sell blank scrolls.
-Light will at first suck big time.  If you're a guy, you wish your girl
 sucked like Light does.  >)  As you gain levels (experience, not spell)
 it's radius gets bigger and the center is brighter.  Level 22 isn't all
 THAT big, or bright, but it's much better than a torch so it's worth the
 cast.  At level 50 it's as bright as four quest items close together
 on the ground, and seems to be slightly directed (i.e. pointing forward)
-Night Vision.  For a brief period of time you get to see all enemies on the 
 map around you as red dots. It does make enemies outside your light radius 
 show up as a nice bright red, like Infravision from Diablo 1, but that 
 doesn't help you see loot on the floor.  Once you find duration boosting
 equipment however, this spell can last a full minute or more, and if
 you're like my friend who likes to turn up the gamma a lot, you'll
 notice the walls have a rather dark but promanent red hue to them.
-Food.  With this, the only thing you'll need to pick up food off the
 floor for is for quests (see some other FAQ near this for quest solutions)
 and grossing out the people watching you ("You're going to eat that?
 A monster dissolved on that!").  You don't need higher levels, but more
 is cheaper (like 10 mana matters later on).
-Haste makes you go stupidly fast.  It's at least triple your speed.
 Match it up with werewolf and you go super duper stupidly fast, and that
 can mean big problems while fighting.  First level lasts barely long
 enough to cross a dungeon level from one mana pool to the stairs, level 8 
 is 90 seconds long.  (90 seconds of uncontrollable speed?)
 I find this useful only when I'm rejoining a game where there are no
 Magic Doors to take.  From town to your friendly crystal shard joining
 druid in about 60 seconds.
-Reflections:  It's costly, it's short lived, and missile attacks don't
 do all that much damage anyhow.  You'll probably hear this from everyone
 who's played with magic.  They can bite me (Lycanthropy or no).  This
 spell will save your hide, because though AT FIRST they don't do much
 damage, they're still plentiful.  Even the smallest drop of water
 can crack a stone in time, a torrent will only make things worse.
 First level lasts 8 seconds or so, so use sparinly at first.  Later on
 you'll sing high praise that you have this spell, especially once you see
 the Santas AND the ice golems in the final dungeon.  With duration boosting
 equipment, this spell becomes one of those barely hotkeyed spells (because
 you don't want to hunt for this spell when you meet ranged units).
-Thunder:  I'm trying to think of who you could put to shame with this
 spell, but there are too many names to recount.  Big damage, multiple
 targets (auto picked), kick ass sound (crank the base and you'll hear why).
 It's only real flaw is targets have to be a little too close, or you end
 up recasting too often for this somewhat expensive spell.
-Flamethrower:  One use, three streams of fire that fork off in front of
 you.  It's very low in damage (compared to Magic Bomb), but it pierces
 targets to hit guys behind, and it only stops at walls and closed doors.
 Also sets targets on fire which does paltry amounts of damage, but at least
 they act as moving torches.  >D
 Why use something so weak and lame?  Because at level 1 it's half the damage
 of an equal level Magic Bomb, but can and usually will hit multiple monsters.
 THAT alone is worth the usage.
-Firewall:  This will become your new melee attack.  Run up to a monster and
 cast this sucker.  It does insane damage and it multihits rather quickly.
 Rather like Diablo 2 in the olden days.  Of course this IS a very short spell
 (length wise), so don't expect it to divide a room while you escape.  Also,
 this will affect only one monster per wall, because only one will be stupid 
 enough to walk through it.  For the rest, make them dumb by Storming them into
 a waiting wall of burning death (or just casts another, they're cheap).

The last spells you should look at are Magic Door (town portal's always
a good thing to have) and Ressurection (for when Kaliba needs a
workout and you and your dead friends feel like helping).  Higher levels
mean cheaper casting costs.  Absorption IS a useful spell but not if you're 
getting clustered or you aren't attacking (so if you're not a werewolf, don't
bother casting it).

Having said this about the above spells, let me give you a few tips on the
others.  Their use is not hotkey worthy and usually they should be used
sparringly because of high mana costs (dispite how much fun it is to turn
powerful enemies into clucking fiends).  A painful note, an enemy that you cast
Mutation on retains his damage, though perhaps not his spell casting abilities
or his health.  When the spell ends (level 1 doesn't last very long) they 
revert with the barest minimum of their health, so I'm guessing that being a 
chicken gives them a very low maximum so they die easily.  This doesn't mean
that spells like Berserker or Night Vision are useless, it's just when you
get them to higher levels and/or obtain duration boosting equipment, you
will find having your attack spells at your finger tips is a better plan.

Note, I have not acheived maximum level in all the spells, so their usefulness
at higher levels, as well as at later difficulties, is still beyond my
knowledge.  As I gain levels, I'll update the "Spell List of Usefulness"

At first you want Learning and Werewolf, then Communion, and the rest is up to
you really.  Eventually it'll get to the point where you'll have more money
than you know what to do with, especially if you party up with a thief, and
you'll be able to max out all your skills.  Have fun, go nuts, but always buy
Learning first, as your skill caps are raised when you reach certain levels
(which my friend tells me is every 8 levels)

You may be questioning WHY there are levels for identification.  The more
powerful the piece of equipment, the higher the skill level required to ID
it's enchantments.  I learned this one day when I had identification 4 and
couldn't ID some nifty looking 140+ AC armour.

In my opinion, Meditation is a rather useless skill.  For a rather short
time your mana stores increase (swapped to HP when you transform).  True
your mana regen will fill that gap up while you're running around, but then
it'd do that anyways while you're in the heat of battle, or running to the
next fight on that floor.  There's never a lack of mana potions or mana pools
so the temporary boost it provides seems like a waste of money to learn.

Berserker, Werewolf, set your autocast bar to it's lowest setting and make the 
Heal spell your selected spell.  Go nuts.  Seriously, it's that easy.  Team up 
with some friends and clear out each dungeon in mere minutes.  When you're a 
high enough level, move up to expert difficulty.

Now comes your decision point.  Spells and cringe at melee or werewolf and
spread out your stat points.  Magic will still be your most important stat,
at least they gave you that much, but you'll always be lagging behind as a
melee fighter.  Where you'll think 30-56 damage two to three times a second 
is grand, my thief friend can do 120-150ish at that speed with throwing axes.
Of course I haven't been raising my dexterity much either, and this IS bare
handed damage (he can't come close to beating that damage bare handed), so I 
haven't been working on a melee sorceress.  But still, I can't imagine it
getting much better if I had.  As a spell user you'll far surpass the rest,
and when you die you've got your alternate form to go rescue your precious
equipment.  Remember, my friend can do 120 damage base to one guy, twice per
second.  When I cast Thunder, I do 150 base (except against immune monsters,
who take 1 damage and munch my skull while I run away) to a room 
full of monsters, possibly twice a second.

+= Always have Berserker active.  There is no good reason not to =+

Chose the way of magic?  I thought you would.  Don't worry about werewolf
though, you'll use it every so often.  Best tactic is to do things one of two
ways.  Cautious or bold.  I prefer bold, but some may like to live more than
they'd like to see town.  So far there aren't any penalties for death (except
for having to look for your rings and amulets, a trial indeed unless you cast
detection.  Yeah, you knew it was good for something).
Cautious means mining a door way with Magic Bomb several times (yes, several)
and then opening the door with telekinesis, obliterating what monsters make
it through the doorway as they come.  Monsters generally aren't stupid and WILL
walk around Firewalls, but encase yourself in four walls and you have a chance
to breathe (unless they're missile units, like those magic missile casting
wasps).  Remember this fact when you open a door and cast firewall across it's
threshold.  If you can't see all of the room, there MIGHT be another way out
into the area you're in.  If there is, by the time the Firewall goes down and
those that were dumb enough to stay put come through, the smarter friends will
be creeping up on your ass from the sides or behind.
Bold means using several spells in a synergy of destruction.  If the synergy
holds, you live.  Run in and cast lots of Thunder, toggle to Storm and push
back enemies that get too close.  Now that you're left with the type that's
immune to Thunder, you've got two choices.  Firewall them all and laugh as
they burn (for more fun, Storm them back through Firewalls if they survived
their trip), or spam Flamethrower and run around.  Generally, if it's immune
to Thunder it isn't immune to Flamethrower.  This may seem like a boring mode
of spell casting, but trust me it isn't once you try it.

There is no choice anymore.  You've either discovered you need insane dexterity
in the last difficulty to survive as a werewolf, or you've gone full magic and
died a few times.  Now it's even worse.  You can't play both fields now, and
if you've gone for the magic your werewolf form will eventually see less and
less use.  At the very least it's triple to quadruple your health when you
use it, so for that it's a godsend (if you've been raising it's levels).  This
would probably be the final difficulty you could play as a werewolf without
going all out on equipment that boosts combat stats alone (as +All stats gear
is typically inferior to +Single stat gear, as far as bonuses go).  You'll have
noted by now that some enemies take only 1 damage from Thunder.  Usually it's
flying creatures that do this, but occasionally there's spiders or bow women
who get it too.  No matter their "immunity", Magic Bomb seems to do a damage
type of it's own, so you'll always have that.
You should also note that as of this difficulty, nothing you buy is better
than what you can find from dead monsters or steal from them while they try
to gnaw your arms off (you knew that thief friend would be good for something
more than running around invisible, pelting guys with throwing axes).  Don't
underestimate the usefulness of items with spells enchanted on them.  My
friend scoffs at them, but he wastes his mana on invisibility.  When your
mana is dwindling from all the Thunders/Flamethrowers/Magic Bombs and you
NEED health, you'll be glad you stuck "Healing" with 600 or so mana on your
shield.  Regardless of where your mana bar is, it should cast if that spell
is your currently selected spell and you're about to die.  At the least,
Healing casts instantly (no matter what class you are, so this is a good
thing to remind warriors of), so if you know you'll need some health because
of the closing throng of monsters and want to save your mana, let the shield
pay for your medical bill and blow them away.

You want something with extra spell duration, something with faster mana
regeneration, and then you can go to town with the rest.  It seems as though
all the magical attributes can appear on any of the equipment pieces, so that's
a good thing to remember if you've got a crappy helmet and want mana regen.

Also remember, these two bonuses (mana regen and duration) don't stack.  I've
tried, but I DON'T get triple duration (instead of double) or +8 mana per tick 
(instead of +4 with one mana regen, or just +1 without).

Stats can go way out there in terms of sanity when you start getting into
Expert difficulty.  +30 all stats isn't unusual to see, and +50% resist all is
also pretty common.

SOME weapon bonuses work with werewolf form, most do not.  Extra attack speed
does, as does Vampirism.  Extra damage or extra percent damage doesn't appear
to work with the werewolf form, nor does Magic Missile (which is a REAL shame)
or any of the elemental damages that can appear on a weapon.  To my knowledge
Stone doesn't work either (a crying shame indeed).

Remember that when you change into a werewolf your HP and MP switch.  Same goes
for HP and MP bonuses, as well as Magic (and probably Strength) bonuses.  If
you want to survive later on, pile up on +mana.  If you want to cast spells
as a werewolf (useful when surrounded) grab a few +HP pieces.  At the very
least those +HP armours will keep you alive that extra second while you change
into a werewolf again in the middle of those monsters.

In either case, what you're holding onto weapon and shield wise doesn't matter,
as a plain sorceress you don't have the HP to survive (or shouldn't), and as a
werewolf neither piece affects you, except for enchantments like extra stats,
Vampirism, extra attack speed, etc.  Of course, as always, better AC on your
shield (and armour for that matter) is better.  Use which ever's class you
find the best bonuses on.  Just remember, one extra mana regen, one extra spell
duration, and the rest is up to you.

Enchanting, in general you'll find superior mana stores on found equipment,
but you may not find the spell you want.  More over, you may have a free
"slot" on one of your pieces of equipment which you could use to fill with
a spell.  Enchanting requires runes, a rarity in expert mode.  Otherwise it's
just like scribing scrolls, right click a spell over the rune.  From there
click on whatever you're enchanting and presto your equipment is enchanted
(more so than it was to begin with).  It gets mana equal to your maximum mana 
stores when you enchant it, and spells always cast from any enchanted equipment 
you have first.  I advise putting the really expensive spells on your 
equipment, stuff you WON'T be spamming, like Invocation and possibly Mutation.
For werewolf users, you can enchant your stuff with your battle spells so you
won't have to worry about reverting to "rebuff", as the saying goes.  Put
Berserker, Absorption, and Healing on your equipment and you're set.

Spells enchanted to items also carry with it the bonus of being a level
higher than you can normally cast it.  Great for giving useful spells to
a warrior, like Shock, Food (if he doesn't have it), Invocation, or Thunder.

Final Notes
I'm still climbing those levels, I'm about a quarter of the way to the top
(which is 200 in case you're wondering, or so I'm told by other faqs).  As
I progress, I'll no doubt find different tactics will work where older ones
did not.

Invisibility is useless.  You attack, everyone knows where you are.  Some
monsters can see you while you're invisible anyways, especially at later
difficulty levels.  By "you attack" I of course mean area spells.  It's
what you get paid for, so use them.

Invocation is a double edged sword.  It summons a fire golem for a while, but
he's still an enemy and he can still be targeted by your spells.  Warn your 
friends too, I've had one go off after one because of an errant axe.  He
seems to get pissed off by Flamethrower, but not by Thunder strikes, go figure.

Becoming a werewolf recharges your mana faster.  Switching either way changes
your current HP and MP as a percentage, not a fixed value.  So if you're
completely drained of MP as a sorc, switch to werewolf and if you've got
mana regen stuff you'll be maxed out by the time you revert.  For me that means
300+ mana back in about 40 seconds.  It's also reason to have low HP, since
your HP max becomes your MP max in werewolf form.  So this is a good reason
to stick with low levels of werewolf.  No waiting, just 10 seconds and you
revert with 40% more mana.

Absorption begins to lose it's effectiveness as soon as you're recovering
small fractions of what the enemy takes off of you.  You'll begin to see this
in expert mode.  Basically, without increasing your weapon damage (weapons are
the only thing that triggers Absorption's effect) you'll fall behind.  Thieves
can make use of it (as my friend has proved) but without either attacking
five times a second or more (impossible to my knowledge) or increasing your
hand to hand damage this spell becomes useless as of Master mode.

Death Dome doesn't last long, doesn't prevent monsters from closing in on you,
and doesn't do much damage at all.  Worse, it obscures your view of surrounding
monsters, a real pain when you're fighting hard to see monsters like rats and
bats (which at higher difficulties are nothing to scoff at).  In short, it
sucks (see description of Light in the list above).  It may be usable for
warriors, given that they actually get close enough to use it and can survive
while there, but I don't know how fast they cast it, and still it's low damage.

You don't have to stick with your class' weapons and armour.  Bow weilding
magi in full plate is a fun sight to see, and I'm overjoyed that such a
possibility exists.  In general though, you're more likely to find stuff in
your own class that's better, and unless you're willing to raise stats you
don't have to (like Strength, it really is useless for a magic class), stick
with magic, and increase the others as the need arises (extra Dexterity and
you hit more and get hit less, extra Vitality means more mana as a werewolf).

Slowness is costly at first, but it's worth the cast with sparse but powerful
monsters.  Use it when they're chasing you and you'll lose them in no time.
It's also good for controlling a crowd so you can reposition yourself to blast
more than half of them at a time.  Just remember Draak is immune to all status

Remember, everything's solid.  Monsters block each other as they scramble for
you, so a stoned or slowed monster or two can cause the traffic jam you need
to run away (yes, there's that "run away" bit again).

As with all faqs, a cursed item warning.  If it looks good, but has no stat
requirements, it's cursed.  This is the best way to find out if it is or not.
If there's no stat requirements on something that looks like plate mail,
obviously a fighter class piece of armour which always requires Strength,
just sell it.