I somewhat feel like I’m down on wiz simply because it’s not a 1k nuking sorc; not at all. Wiz is just fine – a completely different experience and playstyle compared to sorc. The issue I’m having with my wiz is that what is suppose to be its strongpoints is also what I’m not entirely 100 percent with. And that translates into wasting tons of SP.
To put it like this; my Archmage is suppose to be CC expert and insta kill. Insta kill from using phantasmal force (PF), Finger of Death (FoD) and wail of the Banshee (Wail). These are working (somewhat). The issue as I see it is spell pen. I don’t expect perfect results doing Elite and I was surprised how well it worked running Rainbow Elite with a terrific group yesterday. But it’s a bummer when the same doesn’t work soloing the Harbor level 16 quests on Normal – I realize that Drow have a pretty good spell resists, but all those blue shield saves kind of get boring when it’s on normal and it’s what my wiz should be good at.
Second of all you have CC. I’m currently not that good at conjuration so it’s not surprising that my webs are weak. Same with Enchantment. At this time I’ve concentrated on Illusion to unlock Archmage PF. But that translates into taking resources away from CC stuff. The balance I’m trying to find here is good CC and good insta killing along with okay DPS from spells. It’s a balance that means putting enough resources on elemental damage as well as making sure everything else is as sharp as possible.
And it’s that balance I’m currently struggling with playing an Archmage. Like with everything it’s about making sure you’re really good at the strong points and not as weak at the weakpoints or you get a so-so experience and the results is throwing resources on being so-so.
I had the same struggle with my Sorc until I figured out that I had to narrow down my spell list into 2 types that I was really good at and okay with the rest.
That was Acid as primary, Cold as secondary and a few other pivotal spells that made sense. Like web (believe it or not) as primary hold and disco ball as secondary. I don’t use mass hold that much since while it’s alright I seldom need to worry about it considering just how much damage a sorc can dish out.
And given the right gear – 4-20 it was Frozen Tunic from Cannith Challenge for cold and then 1 handed items with both glacial and ice lore between 21-25 and the Cannith Rock booths 4-25 for Acid, with a 1 handed item for spell power between 21-25, I covered all the DPS with relatively few items.
Then I had several items that provided me with boosts to DC for Necromancy (FoD and Wail), Conjuration (Web and Acid Burst), Evocation and Enchantment (Disco Ball and Otto’s).
It worked. My end goal is to replace all those separate Greater items with the Eveningstar ML 24 Challenge cloak. It comes with +2 to DC for everything. Or you could potentially also pull a Wizard Ward Orb – it does the same.
Yesterday I mentioned that my wiz is more support then big stick. And it’s true; I don’t have the heavy concentration of elemental damage that makes spells like Acid Rain or Acid Burst (or anything else) truly rock. They’re okay and combined with mass hold pretty good. That’s only natural considering that it’s either a choice between being a so-so wiz nuker or a great insta killer and CC. But soloing long quests truly strain this ability since it’s hard to insta kill everything without running short on resources and it’s impossible to nuke everything since you run out on resources even quicker.
Those quests are naturally not an indication on whether or not my wiz is good. But it’s a bummer trying to do Coal when you know that you will have to suck pots more then say when I ran my sorc. And that’s just the design of it.
That’s different from Dust however where insta killing is the only valid and useful way to win. There killing a few Ogres doesn’t strain your resources quite as much as killing hordes of trogs, bats and scorps in Coal.
And that’s where the support vs stick comes in. You kind of have to rely on hirelings to do the hitting while you do the supporting. Or if you don’t mind drinking pots like a drunkard – then of course you can always do the CCing and nuking.
But as wiz in a good group I notice a clear distinct benefit of being Archmage. My PFs and FoDs land more often then not taking out critter casters so that hitters can take down critter hitters. And my webs while functional do their job, it’s clear that I still need to add some additional points to conjuration. I feel the same about enchantment and between more on conjuration, enchantment and getting quicken – my next feat choices are more or less going to define the role going forward.