Darkfall Mage Beginner Tips by tejon
I?m going to start with the assumption that you want to jump right in to actually playing, rather than grind for untold hours before you actually do anything. This is for people who want to be useful mages from day 1.
First, let me say that my Lesser Magic is at 47.8 as of bedtime last night. (If I hadn?t gone for Herb Gathering Mastery? but that?s another story.) I do not have Greater Magic and I do not have Mana to Stamina. In the grand scheme of things, I am a total magic noob. However, I can solo swamp hags with spells alone.
So. Step one: at game start, you will not be able to kill a goblin scout without engaging in melee. Accept this. You have to wear light armor if you want your spells to do much of anything (try to keep your encumbrance in the single digits), so I highly recommend going 1H/shield: even if you never block, a shield will nearly double your armor. Hotkey your weapon, shield and staff; if you?re in melee, don?t even try to cast. When mobs run, don?t sprint after them: run at normal speed (a full stamina bar is your only survival tool), and toss mana missles at their feet (splash damage is your friend). Just like archery, if you hold LMB the spell won?t release until you let go: use this to your advantage, take clean shots instead of just spamming MM. When players run, let them run: you don?t have the armor to risk an ambush. Magecraft is for the patient.
Step two: buy Heal Other and Magic Shield, and stock up on real staffs. The random noise inherent in your spell results makes the difference between 0.0 and 0.1 hard to see directly, but trust me, it?s there. Heal Other makes you very useful in a group, and you should embrace the support role whenever you can. Rather than haphazardly tossing MM into melee, jump in and heal your armor-clad allies. Magic Shield is amazing against caster mobs: use it whenever you?re fighting trolls, goblin shamans, skeleton warriors, etc.
Step three: At 25 Lesser Magic, you gain Eldritch Sphere and Health to Mana, as well as Magic Barrier. This is the turning point at which you can, if careful, start to use magic exclusively. Eldritch Sphere has a smaller AOE than Mana Missile and travels much faster, making it easier to use for assisting allies in melee; it also deals a bit more damage (especially with a good staff, see below). Health to Mana gives you longevity as a caster: as long as you can keep range (or have allies), trading 20 health for 20 mana is a no-brainer. Both of these spells require Sulphur, so stock up early. Magic Barrier is Magic Shield Other, and should be used in the same situations.
At this point you should find yourself a consistent source of the best staff you?ll see for quite some time: the rank 20 Darkheart. Alchemists can make these at 25 skill (they require hearts, skinned from certain mobs). This staff will increase your casting times by about two thirds, in exchange for a 0.45 damage modifier. Testing against the other rank 20 Alchemy staff, Traitor?s Glory (0.2 damage), I saw an increase of about 25%. While the speed-for-damage trade-off might seem unfavorable, several things make it absolutely worthwhile. First, your mana will last longer, and you?ll get more mileage out of it. Second, because cooldowns are not affected, a higher percentage of your offensive casts will be Eldritch Sphere, which both does more damage (mine currently hits for 20 from the front) and grants more Lesser Magic advancement. Finally, any time you hold a spell rather than releasing it immediately, a faster cast is wasted. Mana to Stamina is not improved by this staff, but Heal Self and Heal Other are.
I?m very happy with magic at this point. It?s not EZmode, but it is by no means gimp. The group support utility is quite effective. And there?s nothing so satisfying as last-hitting a would-be PK with a well timed Eldritch Sphere!