“grr i am an storm(s) rumblyrumbly”
-Drak 1 EA
Armament: Staff, Fire & Lightning spells
Role: Glass Cannon
The mages, in the beginning of the match, are incredibly weak characters, armed with only a staff and a low-damage force spell. It is sometimes necessary to capture a point or two with them to get them up to speed. Eventually, however, they become a great destructive force, wielding fire and lightning magic that can damage players in a large area of effect. The mage can focus on either the former or the latter style of magic, or they can try a bit of both. They are basically the guys running around with this game’s equivalent of the rocket launchers and BFGs once they get going.
However, although they have a spell defense ability, they have no protection at all physically and are terrible in melee combat. As a result, a developed wizard often plays a support role, standing behind the lines as a sort of artillery; while they can potentially deliver as much of a punch in close quarters, their survivability is cut considerably in those situations, unless they are specialized in skills like as fire orb.
+Heavy damage area effect abilities
+Spell defense available
-Slow start in development
Cost: 2 / 1 / 0 / 1 / 2
Prereq: Pyromancer requires Fire Affinity, Stormcaller requires Lightning affinity.
Effect: Augments your spellcasting abilities, improving fire or lightning at the cost of the other.
Commentary: It makes you much, much more effective as a mage to specialize, although you can sometimes sacrifice points in here to get the next spell down in a tree.
Upgrade Commentary: Put as many points in here as you can, although new spells can be a higher priority in many cases.
Effect: Very light damage force attack, short range.
Commentary: This is one weak attack, but it’s all you have to start out with, except your staff. You can probably get the occasional kill with this, but don’t count on it too often.
Cost: 0 / 2
Effect: Creates a magic shield in either a radius around the caster, or a target location. Cannot use spells inside it or on shielded targets.
Commentary: The basic spell is decent against beginning mages if you want to go up and hit them with your stick, but the upgraded incarnation of shield covers a considerable area of effect. Handy for fighting other mages if you want to put it down on a location as cover, but it has very situational use. You can get more out of the area of effect by aiming at an object like a flagpole that extends upward, giving you a real sphere instead of a dome.
Cost: 2 / 3
Effect: Increases the Mage’s maximum Mana pool.
Commentary: It’s alright. Nice supplement to the mana-intensive Lightning tree, but the default amount of mana is usually fine.
Cost: 2 / 3
Effect: Allows faster regeneration of mana.
Commentary: This one’s nice for a Fire Orb mage, but this is a low priority in most cases.
Effect: A light-damage firebolt that can be directed to target by holding the left mouse button. Can fire several at once.
Commentary: Fair damage, a good skill to use at level 2. With upgrades this can be a surprisingly powerful skill. Not a bad fallback skill if low on mana or an opponent’s within fireball range (if you don’t have fire orb)
Prereq: Flame Arrow
Effect: Sends out a fireball which flies out and explodes on contact, damaging the target and the surrounding area. Can be guided similarly to flame arrow. A recharge time takes place after casts.
Commentary: Powerful at any range, although you need to be careful about damaging yourself and teammates.
Cost: 3 / 4 / 5
Effect: Creates magical grenades, which can in turn be thrown. Direct hits kill, after a delay.
Upgrade Commentary: Before upgrades you can only throw one between conjurations, the extra two points makes this an extremely potent ability.
Prereq: Fire Orbs
Effect: Launches a slow fireball that explodes on contact, releasing flame in a large radius that deals large damage over time on hit.
Commentary: It’s a bit mana intensive, slow, and the area effect itself takes a few seconds after impact to splash completely. It can be powerful in the right hands, but it’s nowhere near as cheesy as Lightning Orb.
Cost: 1 / 2 / 3
Effect: Launches bolts of electricity that travel in a straight line for light damage.
Commentary: These aren’t bad up close. Fire arrow is more commonly used as a first tier ability, but shock is decent in its own right, and works well as a backup if you’re caught between lightning orbs or are low on mana.
Upgrade Commentary: More points allows you to hold this down to release bigger bolts (which bounce at 3 points). Moderately effective, but it’s usually a better idea to go on to Lightning Bolt instead of concentrating points here.
Prereq: Lightning Shock
Effect: Charges a lightning bolt, which, when released, does instantaneous damage to a target. Arcs down at range, effect lessened with specialization. Charge can only be held down for about ten seconds, after which the lightning strikes you.
Commentary: After specialization, allows for fairly nice mid-long range shooting ability. Damage is nice and there’s less TK potential than fireball. Takes a little long to charge and the discharge time limit is annoying, but it’s a useful skill when used properly.
Prereq: Lightning Bolt
Effect: A lightning bolt that jumps to nearby targets on contact, friend or foe.
Commentary: It’s good, but only if you’re careful. Handy when you’re firing into a group of enemies, but otherwise it’s less reliable than lightning bolt up close and can mean unwanted TKs if you’re not careful.
Prereq: Chain Lightning
Effect: A large, slow-moving ball of lightning that shocks anything it comes remotely close to. Takes a few seconds to prepare after being switched to, and there is a delay between shots involved too.
Commentary: With specialization, this kills instantly, but not recommended without at least Lightning Affinity. Extremely powerful, and hard to avoid (impossible in close quarters). Can kill large groups of opponents and teammates alike. Be careful where you shoot this, since if it hits an object it will disappear.
When starting a game as a mage, you’ll need to either try to stay with a group, capture a point or two, or just get lucky: a staff beatdown can work against another caster and 10 hits with eldrich missile can kill. Whatever you do, just get to level 2 ASAP.
Either fire or lightning can work out well. Lightning tends to be easier to hit a target with due to the speed of the projectile, but fireball has a more useful area effect, not to mention you can do stuff like launch a projectile straight into the air and guide it back down to the ground to sometimes catch a player off-guard.
Once you get a few levels under your belt, things are quite a bit easier. Stay back from the crowd but keep on the move to avoid becoming an easy target. If you’re cornered as a fire mage, it’s not always a bad idea to try a last-second Fireball and hope they go down with you. With lightning bolt, just try and land a hit like you normally would. If you can fire two shots at them they’re most likely dead. Be very careful about TKs, especially when firing near teammates.
If you’re a fire orb spammer, you can wreak havoc once you get the aiming and the timing down. You’ll shine in close quarters so long as you have some orbs ready, since once someone is hit, they often don’t have enough time to take you down with them.
At level 7, if you decide to focus on Lightning Orb, head to areas where you can adequately cause chaos with it. Concentrated groups can often suffer big losses to that orb, just make sure to take cover between castings or perhaps switch over to lightning bolt while waiting for the spell to become available again.