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 Mage Types and Development!

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Join date : 2013-03-28

PostSubject: Mage Types and Development!   Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:37 pm

Hello all!

As you know, I was, for a long time, Balenor's Strongest Warrior, and am still the strongest mage on this server. I thought I should start out with a basic overview of how to develop a mage, and the sort of routes you can go. The mage is probably the most versatile class you can develop, seeing as mages have several unique specialties. Broadly speaking, I would like to say (borrowing terms from Final Fantasy), that they are black mages specializing in attacking and damage, white mages specializing in healing and support, and red mages, which do both, with some compromise with respect to true power and true support.

But first off, I'll start generally. Regardless of which of those three routes you really choose, there are some things that all mages should develop in terms of skills. Most importantly, every mage, regardless of type, should invest in the passive skills Heart Elemental, Mana Master, and Healing empowerment. You want to max those out. You want Castinator as well, but, depending on your path, you may want to wait to develop it.

Also, in general, mages want high matk and also high hp/pdef. Pdef is a weak point for all mages, and mages don't normally develop tons of hp. Mages normally have high mdef, which can make mage battles last a long time. But matk helps both in curing and in attacking.

White Mages
As a white mage, your main duty is to cure and support your team. You, of course, will still have attack spells and such, but you'll also be a valuable commodity in teams, especially if there is a black mage to complement your abilities. Key skills to know are Restoration, Suntoria, Purification, and Blessed Light. You can cure and debuff your allies, and substantial benefits are gained for making Restoration and Suntoria lvl 2. Purification is very nice when the enemy will inflict damaging buffs on your allies, and having a higher lvl Purification can be very nice when the enemy does multiple ones.

Of course, white mages can do damage too. But the emphasis for a white mage is to cure and purify, making you the protector while the others you're with can deal out damage. You're a great addition in MP Dungeons, PvP Arena, and can sustain yourself strongly during long individual battles. AOE attacks, like Rain of Fire, are acquired early and without investment. I'd also like to say that I think that Damnation is a good support spell, because it puts a painful buff on the enemies, allowing your allies to do more damage.

Advantages: Very helpful a character for team battles, and, if you have good troops, you're pretty formidable for your healing powers when you have a team to support.

Weaknesses: WB battles will be more difficult, because you'll deal less damage. BG will be more difficult if you have weaker troops (although it may help you if you have solid troops that can survive with support). You're weaker on your own, but you also have the power to drag out battles. Both in BG and GB, this might be nice, as, when people engage in a battle with you, you can suck up their time as they try to take you out.

Black Mage
You are an attacker, not a healer. Among mages, this type might be something of an outlier in groups, because mages can provide the most powerful support to their allies for the most part. However, you're here to deal damage. So, what should you learn (besides the passives listed above)? Well, for one thing, the AOE of a mage is unrivaled by any class. Reaching lvl 4 on Rain of Fire makes a BIG difference from lvl 3 and under (just check it out in the skill calculator), and Meteoric Destroyer has a similar gain at lvl 3. For a black mage wishing to decimate enemy opponents, a lvl 4 RoF and lvl 3 MD is brutal. Brutality is a good skill to learn for a black mage, as you'll deal more damage with your consequent attacks. Thunderer probably should be leveled up, as you can deal huge damage to individuals (rarely, except in maybe GB, do you want Delphic Thunder, since that attacks just the front row). You ought to learn a couple healing spells just to support you and/or allies in times of need, but just to give you more time to attack with powerful aoe's. You will have a larger advantage in events like BG and GB, and also WB if you get Thunderer's level up.

Red Mage
This, ultimately, is what I opted for. It's a balance between attack and support, and is the most versatile mage. At the same time, earlier on, a red mage is hard to play. You develop both attack and support spells, at the expense of being truly proficient in neither. At the same time, a red mage is truly formidable at the higher levels, once you have options on how to distribute your points. I can adapt and change my skill set to meet the occasion needed. For example, if I am the only mage, I can provide strong support to my allies (although a white mage could do it better). But I can attack as well (better than a white mage, but less than a black mage). A red mage will usually forego some skills in order to make the others better. I do not know damnation, and have no intention of learning it before I have my AOE attacks with their super-growth levels met (recall, lvl 4 for Rain of Fire and lvl 3 with Meteoric Destroyer). But Suntoria lvl 2 is very good, purification lvl 1 serves fine in most cases, and Recovery lvl 3 is good as well. I have Thunderer lvl 2 for WB, and lvl 2 Restoration. I can cast purification level 1 and Blessed Light lvl 1.

A well-developed Red Mage is well-rounded, and a formidable opponent in any arena. I enjoy the adaptability of a Red Mage, and, although sometimes it sacrifices developing some skills for overall development, you will never be "not needed" if a mage is needed. You can play the white mage or the black mage or alternate (albeit somewhat less effectively than those dedicated to those types).

All Mages
One should not forget, in the development of a white, red, or black mage some of the key advantages of a mage. First, a mage is the only class that deals matk damage, and so every other class is technically weak against that. Also, while I say black mages focus on attack, and white on support, every mage should be able to both AOE and heal. The mage "color" depends on how much you want to focus at the expense of the other.

There are some things that I don't think any mages need to worry about. In particular, the Delphics are not particularly great for the mages. The "final" skill cost 100 rage. By no means is that worth it, in my opinion, because I rarely have 100 rage, and, moreover, have little reason to expend it all on one very strong attack at the expense of all my future options.

Likewise, I only see one important use for the first Delphic Thunder, which is in GB. In GB, the setup for any battle places 3 people in the front row and 1 in the back. So you can attack 3 people with it, as opposed to just 1. But only the black mage should develop D. Thunder past level 1. The white mage may forgo learning D. Thunder and Thunder in order to boost the other support skills.

Which Mage Is Best?
I'm a red mage, and I like being one. But each type has its advantages and disadvantages. This is not a guide on how to be the "best mage" but mostly just to give you suggestions on how to think about developing your mage. As such, I'd be happy to answer more detailed questions, etc.

You also might call into question my categorizations. One could mostly be a black mage while taking on a few choice white mage abilities, and vice versa. But this is only a starting point to think about, and if you have thoughts to add, or questions to ask, please do!

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