Why Not Bring a Mage?

Talk about anything Legend of Grimrock 1 related here.
Lowlightt
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:11 am

Re: Why Not Bring a Mage?

Post by Lowlightt » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:19 am

What's always confused me about people playing mages is why they don't invest heavily into spellcraft. Hell I tend to get about high enough in a element tree (lighting seems the best overall for the grimrock dungeon) to get its upgraded attack spell. Then the rest of the points go into spellcraft. Hell my mage can cast again so fast that i have to constantly enter in her spell combinations in a fight. With the giant mana pool from spellcraft its almost a no brainer. Lets look at it from another view. Lets say you push your element spell up as much as you can then you get 1 dmg spell with lots of dmg every once and a while and requires down time between multiple casting sessions. Vs casting a moderately lower dmg spell almost instantaneously over and over again with not only a mana pool that can handle the multiple casts but can handle it for numerous fights in a row. I think its pretty clear for me



Spellcraft = most of your skill points.

Durgha
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:57 am

Re: Why Not Bring a Mage?

Post by Durgha » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:30 am

Lowlightt wrote:Spellcraft = most of your skill points.
It's not that simple. I wish we knew definitively whether or not elemental skills raised spell damage. If that's the case, spellcraft is an exceptionally bad idea with regards to efficiency. You may be able to burn through an energy bar very quickly, but it's doing sub-optimal damage, which only further exacerbates the Mage vs Rogue issue.

On the other hand if elemental skills don't scale, it raises serious design questions about the class. We don't really know what governs Mage damage output, and that's probably the larger issue. Is it strength? Probably not, but we don't know. Willpower is more likely, but again we don't know for sure. Maybe their abilties don't scale at all.

From a min/max perspective, it's hard to justify a party slot for a class that's essentially unquantified. :?

Sabatasso
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:11 pm

Re: Why Not Bring a Mage?

Post by Sabatasso » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:21 am

@oobydoo
LoG aren't a game that favours "utility" much, nothing a Mage brings to a group is essential. Damage in some manner and somewhat tanking ability is all the utility needed to be honest. Light spell, nice but not essential, Resistance buffs and perma buffs are also nice, but in most cases you can simply evade the spells and it becomes redundant.

I do like Mages, and I've only ever made one Mage-less group. My point is that the Mage was not missed at all in terms of group functionality, as the groups average damage output was better. I don't see Invisibility as a utility spell at all because it does not really make Backstab any easier, and avoiding combat really makes it hard to complete the game. I have never had any problems with retreating to a door and closing it without Invisibility to be honest.

I've found that investing around half my points into Spellcraft and focusing on a single element makes my Mage fairly "long lasting". The burst damage is great, and spells are very nice against 4xMobs as it damages all of them. But it does not change the fact that I do equally good without them. Another interesting point is that unless you specialize in fire, your Mage looks like a beggar upon escape from the Grimrock, while the other three, regardless of combination, will be geared with very nice equipment from head to toe. Fighter has a very decent "end game" weapon regardless of spec, Rogues got their stuff and enough to gear up three of them, if you pick two Mages one of them will essentially be A) wearing Light Armor and specced with staff defense (gimped) B) essentially naked.

I'd like the following changes to fix that;
Group share XP (to make the Mage more able to only release his power when it's called for, not just to leech XP and risk being out of energy when you actually need him)
Decent gear for more than one Mage (does not need to me OMFG-Powerful, but enough to gear up at least two Mages would't be too much to ask)

PS. Since Mages are "evened" out with special and powerful gear for the "weaker" speclines (Fire*), which is probably the worst kind of balance I've ever seen. Especially because it makes your Mage under par until you find item X, and also that every mod have to take such pointless balance issues into consideration when fleshing out a dungeon with items. Fire, for example, gives a lot of Strength bonus which in the big picture is a waste. Willpower would boost their energy pool, and make them last longer in combat and make them a viable pick over Rogue number two, for example.

*I do not mean that Fire does not do enough damage, but it's a combination of heavy energy drain, and low energy pool (Lack of Willpower) that makes this spec a kind of "one shot cannon". That may be the intention, but I don't have to agree or like it.

Lowlightt
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:11 am

Re: Why Not Bring a Mage?

Post by Lowlightt » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:08 pm

Durgha wrote:
Lowlightt wrote:Spellcraft = most of your skill points.
It's not that simple. I wish we knew definitively whether or not elemental skills raised spell damage. If that's the case, spellcraft is an exceptionally bad idea with regards to efficiency. You may be able to burn through an energy bar very quickly, but it's doing sub-optimal damage, which only further exacerbates the Mage vs Rogue issue.

On the other hand if elemental skills don't scale, it raises serious design questions about the class. We don't really know what governs Mage damage output, and that's probably the larger issue. Is it strength? Probably not, but we don't know. Willpower is more likely, but again we don't know for sure. Maybe their abilties don't scale at all.

From a min/max perspective, it's hard to justify a party slot for a class that's essentially unquantified. :?

Even if raising elemental skill raises dmg unless its exponential then it doesn't really matter. Most elemental trees need at least 24-25 to get the elemental ball upgrade (fireball, iceball) so at that point you would have 25 skill points which is half of 50 and if its a set value per skill point you are looking at exactly half total spell dmg of that element thus if you can at least attack twice as fast then you are looking at the exact same dps. For optimal dps you would look at 18 spellcraft (50% casting speed bonus) With a skilled human mage that would give you 38 points into spell dmg school at lvl 13 character. Now that is the optimal dps build for a mage, that being said to look at if that is better than focusing more points into spellcraft we need to look at exact numbers. Specifically spell costs vs mana reserves.


In progress

Fire

Touch 15
Enchant 20
Ball 33
Shield 50

Ice

Spikes 24
Enchant 20
Ball 29
Shield 45

Poison

Mist 17
Ball 22
Enchant 20
Shield 35

Air

Touch 21
Enchant 20
Ball 40
Shield 55
Invis 35


Spellcasting

Light 25
Dark 25

with 55 skill points on a skilled human mage (54 on a bug or liz and 52 on a min) if we put say 25 into ice that nets us 30 points into spellcrafting or 12 points ontop of the 50% attack speed boost, this nets +20 energy and +1 willpower vs 12 points into ice nets you 10 resist and 25 party resist and 1 willpower.


The only thing we our missing is how much dmg each skill point in ice magic nets you.

Durgha
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:57 am

Re: Why Not Bring a Mage?

Post by Durgha » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:02 pm

Lowlightt wrote:Even if raising elemental skill raises dmg unless its exponential then it doesn't really matter. Most elemental trees need at least 24-25 to get the elemental ball upgrade (fireball, iceball) so at that point you would have 25 skill points which is half of 50 and if its a set value per skill point you are looking at exactly half total spell dmg of that element thus if you can at least attack twice as fast then you are looking at the exact same dps. For optimal dps you would look at 18 spellcraft (50% casting speed bonus) With a skilled human mage that would give you 38 points into spell dmg school at lvl 13 character. Now that is the optimal dps build for a mage, that being said to look at if that is better than focusing more points into spellcraft we need to look at exact numbers. Specifically spell costs vs mana reserves.
I understand what you're saying, and it's accurate right up to the point the mage runs out of energy and becomes useless. Problem is then mage DPS drops to zero, and that's where the sub-optimal part of the problem begins.

Casting spells faster isn't necessarily a good thing unless you like resting a lot. Resting periodically to heal is fine, but ultimately it disrupts game play and isn't fun. Mages already have miserable defense and mediocre offense. By definition they're a liability. If they have to sleep all day in addition to that, then there's no point in bringing them. Try playing without a mage. The threat of ambushes vanishes because you can pick and choose where and when to rest.

Fargol
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Why Not Bring a Mage?

Post by Fargol » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:56 pm

Durgha wrote:
Lowlightt wrote:Even if raising elemental skill raises dmg unless its exponential then it doesn't really matter. Most elemental trees need at least 24-25 to get the elemental ball upgrade (fireball, iceball) so at that point you would have 25 skill points which is half of 50 and if its a set value per skill point you are looking at exactly half total spell dmg of that element thus if you can at least attack twice as fast then you are looking at the exact same dps. For optimal dps you would look at 18 spellcraft (50% casting speed bonus) With a skilled human mage that would give you 38 points into spell dmg school at lvl 13 character. Now that is the optimal dps build for a mage, that being said to look at if that is better than focusing more points into spellcraft we need to look at exact numbers. Specifically spell costs vs mana reserves.
I understand what you're saying, and it's accurate right up to the point the mage runs out of energy and becomes useless. Problem is then mage DPS drops to zero, and that's where the sub-optimal part of the problem begins.
Well, not exactly. I haven't really gotten too far in the game (still fiddling with party compositions until I'm utterly happy), but when I run a mage he seems to be able to hit just fine with reach weapons (spear) and 100% of the time with rocks.

Again, I haven't gotten very far, so maybe that doesn't work out very well at higher levels, unless he can get better 'reach' weapons and/or bigger rocks :)

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Spathi
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:33 am
Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: Why Not Bring a Mage?

Post by Spathi » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:56 am

After a while you only run out of mana in some places if you don't have a potion or you got a bit enthusiastic. After a while more you have to let all your characters "hit" before you cast a second spell, or you will kill them too quick. The "ball" damage is massive (well its weird, it seemed low but after a few more levels it was nuts) and some higher level creatures can die after two hits or the spikes will kill critters in the back before anyone gets a chance to hit them. Other characters run out of energy as well, like using a mace wears him out (If you got a bit enthusiastic). The swords seem to be less effective if you are going for heavy armor, but the first fighter character is good at mopping up with the rouge and I am sure those two will power up damage and come in handy later, when I can be bothered to play the second half.

Kayote
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:14 am

Re: Why Not Bring a Mage?

Post by Kayote » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:23 am

I went through the game the first time and leveled my mage out all around figuring out what all the spells did and such. My second time I picked Fire all the way down to the group spell resist buff then went heavy into spellcraft. While my mage can't hurt one type of monster in the game she also made it so those monsters can't hurt my entire group. Fire shield+group spell resist means that maybe one guy takes one damage from a fireball. And I can just load my mage with grenades to counter her lack of spells in other areas. Plus she can also carry stuff.

I like mages because unlike the other classes their burst can drop grouped enemies fast and let you get into a better position in places where you just get mobbed.

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King Semos
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:05 pm

Re: Why Not Bring a Mage?

Post by King Semos » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:26 am

Kayote wrote:While my mage can't hurt one type of monster in the game she also made it so those monsters can't hurt my entire group. Fire shield+group spell resist means that maybe one guy takes one damage from a fireball.
Booya. Defensive spells are damn good.

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