Figuring out optimal spells for enemy types

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  3. Figuring out optimal spells for enemy types

User Info: Ramza1

Ramza1
4 months ago#1
For anyone who still plays this game, I'm trying to determine the most efficient custom spells in terms of damage per magicka. I've put a lot of effort into the idea, but I don't want to reinvent the wheel here.

Here's the basics: It's well known that combining damage effects is more efficient than just using one (for example, 50 fire + 50 frost is cheaper to cast than 100 of either). But once you take into account the different base costs and enemy weakness/resistances, it gets complicated. So far I've just been treating fire, frost, and shock as if they have the same base cost, hoping that that's "close enough".

Here's what I have so far.
For neutral enemies: 30% fire/frost/shock and 10% damage health.
For vampires/trolls I use 65% Fire, 15% shock/frost, and 5% damage health.
For daedra I've settled on 30% frost, 60% shock and 10% damage health.

Comments, questions, and general thoughts are welcome. Is there a standard known formula I could have used? Am I on the right track, or way off?

Like I said, no need to reinvent the wheel if this is known information, but I've never seen it anywhere and l'm curious about completely optimizing magic users without resorting to overly "cheap" tactics.
I'm not sure how, I'm not sure why, but I'm almost certain that you owe me money!

User Info: Bowhunter2525

Bowhunter2525
4 months ago#2
When I did my spells and enchantments I looked at the situation like this. Storm atronachs have 350 hit points and are 100% immune to shock. If it kills a stormy at 350 points, it will kill all other non leveled creatures except for land dreaugh, which have a little bit of magic resist. No leveled creature resists fire, but many (i.e. lichs) have a weakness to fire, and 100% resist frost. Therefore, I would make a spell with 100 Drain Health, Fire, 100 Weakness to Fire, and 100 Weakness to Magic with enough Fire points that two of them cast back to back would stack and hit 351 points to kill a Stormy (or a bit more to kill a Land Dreaugh). That gave thre shots with with 100 Intelligence, 100 Willpower, and 95% effectiveness wearing armor, and it worked for much of the game, but at end game, you need to cast and stack about six of that spell back to back to kill the big goblins, so a fortify magic suit, or a majic birthsign helps.

User Info: lonewolf1264

lonewolf1264
4 months ago#3
many things have a resistance of some type or other. Most undead have some or total resistance to frost attacks, as bowhunter noted with liches. Many woodland creatures also have a 20% resistance to frost.
Endgame spells are probably going to be different than your low level ones. By that I mean a few different combos. You might try a drain health combined with elemental damage. Yes drain is kinda less useful than damage but a high enough drain with something else added to it, will often kill most npcs with one shot.
Another factor is difficulty. Bowhunter I believe plays most or all the time at max difficulty. I'm usually at about 3/4 of max. Playing at the default 50% setting, well you could probably get by with some weaker spells.
Hope we were of some help to you. You might check usep.net, they have lots of different setups listed.
No matter where you go there you are

User Info: Blackest_Knight

Blackest_Knight
4 months ago#4
Generally speaking, use Shock against daedra, Frost on Fire Atronachs, Fire on Frost Atronachs, Fire OR Frost on Storm Atronachs, don't use fire on Dark Elves, don't use Frost on Nords, don't use Poison on Argonians and Redguards. Beyond those rules, burning everything with fire should be fine, especially since all corporeal undead are weak to fire.
It's rare and unexpected, but strangely beautiful, like a unicorn using his horn to gore a priest.
-tibyon

User Info: Ramza1

Ramza1
4 months ago#5
As much as I appreciate the responses, I'm trying to do something far more specific. And I know about UESP, as it's data is crucial to my estimations.

You know how a mix of damage effects is more efficient than just one? Try making a spell that does 100 fire damage, then compare it to a spell that does 50 fire AND 50 frost. The 50/50 spell is cheaper, even though the damage is the same against an enemy with no weaknesses or resistances. You can go further with a spell that does 33 fire, 34 frost, and 33 shock. It's the same damage against an enemy with no elemental affinity, but it noticeably cheaper than the first two.

I've been playing with the numbers and trying to push this principle to its logical extreme and against an enemy with no elemental affinity, the cheapest way to get 100 damage seems to come from a spell that does 30 fire, 30 frost, 30 shock, and 10 damage health (hence the percentages in my first post).

Now look at a Troll. It has a fairly straightforward 50% weakness to fire, with all other elements being neutral. But does that truly mean you should attack with pure fire? According to my math, the efficiency of combining multiple lower magnitude spells actually outweighs the fire weakness and the absolute best damage per magicka spent seems to be a spell that is 65% fire, 15% frost, 15% shock, and 5% damage health.

Even Fire and Frost Atronachs only have a 50% weakness to their opposite elements. So the best damage per magicka on (for example) a Frost Atronach would be some mixture with mostly fire and a little bit each of shock and damage health. Likewise, vs a Storm Atronach, you don't want a spell that's fire OR frost, as combining effects makes for cheaper spells. You'd want a spell that mixes fire AND frost, with a bit of Damage Health.

And with Daedra, their shock weakness is only a measly 20%. A smart mixture of effects will absolutely outweigh that, so you'd want a spell that is mostly shock, some frost, a bit of damage health and maybe a little bit of fire, though my own math suggests that in this case, the fire isn't worth adding (see percentages in my above post).

Against common animals with their tiny 20% frost resistance, I'm pretty sure a spell that uses a small amount of frost is still preferable.

I hope I've clarified a bit what I'm looking for. And YES, I do know I'm being ridiculous. But I find this interesting as a mental exercise and to optimize a mage build who doesn't want to exploit weakness to magicka stacking and the like. So it is purely out of curiosity and love for the game that I come here to post my findings and to ask if this has already all been figured out and posted somewhere just to make sure I'm not reinventing the wheel or whatever.

Phew, thanks for reading that whole mess if you did.
I'm not sure how, I'm not sure why, but I'm almost certain that you owe me money!

User Info: Bowhunter2525

Bowhunter2525
4 months ago#6
Are you doing this because you are using the atronach birthsign?

User Info: Ramza1

Ramza1
4 months ago#7
Bowhunter2525 posted...
Are you doing this because you are using the atronach birthsign?

Nope, I'm just trying to explore this idea to it's logical extreme. For fun...
It's a weird sort of fun, but I enjoy it. I can figure all sorts of build restrictions in which it could come in handy.

So let me be clear that I do not need to do this to be successful at the game. It's just an idea to explore for it's potential.
I'm not sure how, I'm not sure why, but I'm almost certain that you owe me money!

User Info: lonewolf1264

lonewolf1264
3 months ago#8
Ramza1 posted...
Bowhunter2525 posted...
Are you doing this because you are using the atronach birthsign?

Nope, I'm just trying to explore this idea to it's logical extreme. For fun...
It's a weird sort of fun, but I enjoy it. I can figure all sorts of build restrictions in which it could come in handy.

So let me be clear that I do not need to do this to be successful at the game. It's just an idea to explore for it's potential.


Now that I do understand. I've been doing similar experiments, more with weapons than with spells but I'm experimenting with spells too. Your logic of using more effects with a lower magnitude is sound, I use this myself.
Hence my comment about drain vs. damage. Drain health is much cheaper than damage or absorb. For 1 shot kills I've found it more effective to put a 23-33 drain health combined with 3-5 points of each elemental damage for 1 sec and throw in a 2-3 second soul trap depending on how many secs of elemental damage I set up the weapon or spell to do.
To be honest most of the really effective or unique spells are only available on the pc version. Which you are posting in that thread area but you never mentioned what you are playing on.
Anyway you have probably taken the idea as far as it will go, without some modding, which I have not done yet
No matter where you go there you are

User Info: Ramza1

Ramza1
3 months ago#9
lonewolf1264 posted...
Anyway you have probably taken the idea as far as it will go, without some modding, which I have not done yet

Thanks, that's the sort of confirmation that I was looking for, just to see if I was vaguely on the right track.

I've yet to account for Drain Health in my hypothetical "most efficient" spells, but that's a good next step. So far I've only used it as a separate spell to cheaply finish off stragglers.

And fyi, I am actually playing on the 360. I am seriously considering getting a pc version, now that I have a half decent pc to use, but that's not relevant at the moment.
I'm not sure how, I'm not sure why, but I'm almost certain that you owe me money!

User Info: lonewolf1264

lonewolf1264
3 months ago#10
ok well in most respects all the platforms are similar. You can look at the spell lists on usep under spells but it comes up spel for whatever reason. On pc you can change many things do several things to go way beyond the average character.
My advice is find an old copy of the game, if you like with all the dlc. I bought the anthology boxed set. Skyrim won't work without a steam account and all the dlc for oblivion is apparently only available from steam as well. Except for knights of the nine n the shivering isles. I was not happy when I found that out.
No matter where you go there you are
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