The Well Balanced Mage

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The Well Balanced Mage
March 5th, 2013, 10:29 am

Mages excel in a variety of roles. I'm going to discuss each of those roles and explain what I have found to be effective for each.
Disclaimer: Everyone plays their class differently. I look forward to hearing others' experiences, and maybe we can all learn something new from this discussion =^.^=

Skills to Learn
Staff
-Magic Boost (raise magic, lower res)
-Magic Barrier (raise res, lower magic)
-Nature Meld (decreases agro)
-Mana Parasite (leeches mp from a foe)
-+Liberating Prayer (cures poison and silence for the user)
-Stealth Magic (increases agility)
-+Spirit's Blessing (grants mp to all allies within range)
-+Phoenix Prayer (raises allies within range at the cost of your life)
-+Zero Reset (removes all status ailments, even the good ones)
-Staff Master 1-5
-Elemental Prowess 1-4 (reduces elemental magic mp cost)
-Divine Prowess 1-4 (decreases diving magic mp cost)
-All Passive Skills (and the staff attacks required to learn them)

Elemenal Magic
-All elemental magic attacks
-Eclipse Gate
-+Final Apocalypse
-Spirit Lore (decreases elemental magic mp cost)
-All Passive Skills

Divine Magic
-Divine Lore, and all skills required to obtain it

Skills You Can Avoid
Staff
-All of the physical elemental attacks like Earth Staff, Ice Staff
-+Astral Pain
-Angelic Voice (doubles the potency of the next healing spell)
-Fire, Water, Wind, and Earth Seeker (while these work well for the Offensive Mage, they are not required for the Well Balanced Mage)

Elemental Magic
-Fire, Water, Wind, Earth Shields (Optional, but are needed in very few cases and their effects do not last long)
-Poison, Sleep, Shackle, Soul Drain

Divine Magic
-All skills in this tree are useful, however if you keep +Refresh on your command bar, then +Awaken, +Cure, +Unbind are not needed.

Popular Equipment, GR26+
Soleil II Set
Grimoire II Set
Sensui Set (minus the pants)
Wraith II Top and Boots
Toad or White Tiger for AGI + MP
Nereid II Set (minus the pants)
Mermaid II Set (minus the pants)
Loki's Rod
Lux Staff
True King's Staff (guild only)

Equipment GR25 and Below
Weapons
lv 65: lightwing, fully enhance asap (buy from guild)
lv 80: nyx maul 2, enhance to +5 (buy from guild)
gr22: dragon's rod, fully enhance (geoforge?)
gr24: starmaker, fully enhance
gr26: loki's, easy to fully enhance but only +10 needed (buy from guild)
if you fully enhance loki's, don't worry much about lux as it's not better until +17
gr30: true king

Armor
Level 70: demon's set (requires completing 9 bounty missions)
gr22: corona set (geoforge, no rare stones needed)
*Corona set is also found in Vell 3 chests. If you should reach GR23 before obtaining the set, you can farm it there.
gr24: white dragon set
gr25: Sensui can be made from the GR25 quest Fog of War II, and Sensui Jacket is about equal to Soleil Cloak II at +20
gr26: recommend a "basic" set first before blue item gear, those blue item pieces are a pain (I skipped this step myself).
Gondul, Hervor, Yggdra, Astrologer, Merlin, Ourboros (buy from guild), and many others are available at GR26.
end game: a mix of 10 armor pieces

Target Stats
You will want to mix and match your armor pieces in order to fit the needs of each quest. I generally follow these guidelines on stats:
DEF: Over 700
INT: Over 180
RES: Over 350
SPR: 150-160 gives the best returns on healing potency. More than 170 gives little to no increase in heal potency. You may take your SPR higher in order to increase RES in certain quests.
AGI: It is not required to raise this stat, but I like to keep it around 120. It seems to make a difference when combined with stealth magic.

Command Sets
I like to keep my offensive spells on one side, and my support spells on the other. Organize your command bars in whatever way makes it easy for you. As a well balanced mage, you will need two fu command sets, so get used to changing sets often! My command bar looks like this:

Main Command
Dragonfire - Icebreaker - Lightning Bolt - Rock Skewer - Eclipse Gate - Stealth Mag - Mag Boost
Conflagration - Inundation - Electrocution - Disintegration - +Final Apocalypse - Mana Parasite - +Spirit Blessing
Fate's Favor - Angel's Favor - +Refresh - Raise - Nature Meld - Heal IV - +Heal III

Sub Command
+Haste - +Fortify - +Mana Barrier - Fatigue - Mollify - Slow - Stealth Magic
+Zero Reset - +Phoenix Prayer - +Goddess Blessing - +Spirit Blessing - +Final Apoc - +Liberating Prayer - +Heal III
Fate's Favor - Angel's Favor - +Refresh - Raise - Nature Meld - Double Bash - Holy Light

Stay tuned, more edits coming up.
Last edited by Rhapsody on March 8th, 2013, 7:33 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: The Well Balanced Mage
March 5th, 2013, 11:28 am

I was thinking of tackling this today too... I'll chime in after you get the base guide finished.
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Re: The Well Balanced Mage
March 5th, 2013, 1:22 pm

Bertha wrote:I was thinking of tackling this today too... I'll chime in after you get the base guide finished.


We can both make one. You said you play more offensively, so I can remove that part from mine. I just didn't want to forget the topics as they were popping into my head.
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Re: The Well Balanced Mage
March 5th, 2013, 4:05 pm

There should only be 1 guide. The core is the same regardless of play style, what varies are the command bars and late-game gear. The next time I log my mage I'll take note of my command bars and gear, and post the info here.

One thing I always say is it's easy to be a good mage, but difficult to be a great mage. It doesn't take much practice to become good with playing offense or support. People who stop here call mage an easy class, and that can start a fight with some. Those who want to "be all they can be" need to always be aware of what is happening to the party and switch roles in an instant. This takes a lot of practice, along with knowing 2 command bars and the position of everything in your inv.

I'll leave a couple notes for gear for you to consider building in. I actually had my mage spelled out in a google spreadsheet before I created it, with an exact plan for gear from beyond lv 65 to the end. Here's the cliff notes version

staff

lv 65: lightwing, fully enhance asap (buy from guild)
lv 80: nyx maul 2, enhance to +5 (buy from guild)
gr22: dragon's rod, fully enhance (geoforge?)
gr24: starmaker, fully enhance
gr26: loki's, easy to fully enhance but only +10 needed (buy from guild)
if you fully enhance loki's, don't worry much about lux as it's not better until +17
gr30: true king

armor

level 70: demon's set (requires completing 9 bounty missions)
gr22: corona set (geoforge, no rare stones needed)
gr24: white dragon set
gr26: recommend a "basic" set first before blue item gear, those blue item pieces are a pain (I skipped this step myself).
end game: a mix of 10 armor pieces


edit

Just logged and checked things. My primary command bar:
magic boost - dragonfire - icebreaker - lightning - rock skewer - spirits blessing - heal IV
stealth magic - conflagaration - inundation - electrocution - disintigration - eclipse gate - final apoc
+heal IV - +fortify - +mana barrier - +haste - raise - fates - angels

My sub, I will only list what is in place of the 8 elemental spells, the other 13 abilities are the same:
phoenix prayer - zero reset - holy light - double bash
mana parasite - slow - fatigue - mollify

My final armor pieces, I always keep these with me and swap around based on the situation. all are +20 and I will list the rare item(s) involved for enhancing each.

soliel cloak 2 - 158 def, 73 res, mp+48 int+23 (36 squirming husk, 21 fire dragon crystal)
mermaid bracelet 2 - 148 def, 74 res, mp+39 int+21 (21 toxic greaver fluid+)
soliel braccae 2 - 158 def, 73 res, mp+48 int+23 (36 squirming husk, 21 wind dragon crystal)
demon king shoes - 152 def, 69 res, mp+44 int+22 (21 knave cores)
grimoire suit 2 - 148 def, 77 res, int+24 spr+24 agi-9 (22 flemron 308)
grimoire robe 2 - 147 def, 77 res, int+24 spr+24 agi-9 (22 windolt 666)
sensui gloves - 158 def, 63 res, spr+23 agi+23 (21 steel fire dragon fang)
nereid pants 2 - 151 def, 69 res, hp+70 spr+22 (21 twin demon god heart? these got made on a whim)
nereid shoes 2 - 150 def, 68 res, spr+22 agi+22 (21 steel ancient dragon wing)

work in progress:
demon king gloves - 152 def, 69 res, mp+44 int+22 (21 knave cores) (to replace mermaid bracelet)
trolls armor 2 - 188 def, 22 res, hp+76 vit+24 spr-9 (30 blue item kibbles 2, 22 steel toxic greaver horn+) (for tanking)
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Re: The Well Balanced Mage
March 7th, 2013, 2:18 pm

*Updated the guide with some of Bertha's info. I left out the stats on armor because I don't want the guide to become overwhelming to read. What's left now is adding notes on play styles like offensive magic, tanking, and supporting.
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Re: The Well Balanced Mage
March 7th, 2013, 4:05 pm

I'll throw in my notes on the styles, feel free to use as little or as much as you want.

OFFENSE

To maximize your offense, you will need all the prowess abilities from staff, and spirit lore from elemental. This gives you the fastest casting speed for the lowest MP cost. You will also carry the single-target tier3 and tier4 elemental spells, along with eclipse gate and final apocalypse. When an AoE spell is needed, just use final apocalypse. When enemies have no elemental weakness, nor can be given an elemental weakness, use eclipse gate. Otherwise the tier3 elemental spells are used the most, followed by the tier 4 elemental spells. You only use the tier4 spells to apply an elemental weakness to an enemy. Note the game will sometimes glitch and the weakness will not be applied. Simply cast the spell again until the weakness gets applied.

This would get long if individual weaknesses are spelled out... so just a special case:

Note some enemies have no elemental weakness, but can be given a weakness. Below is a listing of the enemies to give an elemental weakness, and what weakness to give. This approach will be more efficient in the long run than spamming eclipse gate.

Luthia - fire
Dinivas - earth
Larvayne - lightning
Adolmaea - ice
non-elemental arks - any (most use lightning)
knaves - any (most use fire)
war machine - any (most use fire)
bipedal gigas - any (most use lightning)
zore crystals - watch after you expose the core, they randomly become weak to 1 element and resistant to the opposite element

When you focus on offense, you would aim for 4 light armor pieces with MP/INT. This will maximize your MP, power, and speed to dish out maximum damage.


SUPPORT

In this role, you want to keep yourself alive while helping the rest of the party focus on offense. Note you will still do some offense but you would not gear up to do pure damage. A gear plan here is to have some SPR for added RES and stronger healing, some AGI for dodging, and maybe even wear 1 or 2 medium pieces for some added DEF. Have heal IV, +heal IV, +fortify, +mana barrier, +haste, slow, fatigue, mollify at the ready. If no melee classes are available with the debuffs, maintain them yourself. Apply the buffs as they wear off, and heal as needed. Attack some to maintain AC, and use spirits blessing at any time it will give the full effect to most or all of the party. Don't wait until people are out of mana if you can help it.


TANKING

The place where a mage excels at tanking is the boss fight of WF2. Since all but the chancellors are magical attacks, you can go into battle with 4 RES pieces easily giving you 500+ RES, and laugh as everything only hits you for about 50 dmg. In this fight you can easily tank 2 of the lords while the party takes out the 3rd, then let one go when they finish off the first and focus on the last.

Mages can physically tank too. Fast casting is very beneficial as you can heal yourself between enemy turns, or apply fates favor. Also, it seems that magic draws more aggro than say a bow's attacks so it seems to be easy to maintain enemy attention. In this case, you should have AGI gear, and at least 1 piece that provides high physical defense (for example, a trolls 2 piece). Like a bow, you would attack 1 enemy to get its attention and draw it away from the party. Maintain your stealth magic, and fates favor if needed. Keep yourself hasted and the enemy slowed if you are having a difficult time, and just use an elemental tier3 spell to keep their attention.


WHAT IS THE WELL BALANCED MAGE?


To me, the well balanced mage is ready to do all of the above roles at a second's notice. They are aware of the party's strengths and weaknesses, and will fill in for the weak spots. In general, things go smoothly if a mage does heavy offense with some support as needed. Tanking is not the best idea as it removes the mage's strengths from battle, but it can help the rest of the party maintain control of a difficult battle. Besides the 4 armor pieces equipped, mages should carry 4 or 5 more pieces, and mix what you wear based on the current situation. Between your primary and sub command bars, you can carry every skill needed for each role, and just switch between them as needed.
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