Optimal stat distribution

GastonPGastonP Posts: 60
edited March 2013 in Embermage Discussions
Hi, I'm new to the game and i want to play an embermage in Veteran. I've been reading several build's guides and some people put all points in focus while others distribute them between focus, vitality and dex. Also there are a few of them who puts some points in strengh.
I'm confused about this. How does a full focus build works? I mean, if i put all my points in focus i'll have a very low critical damage and critical chance.
Should I put some points in dextery, strengh and vitality too? If it's so, how should I distribute them?
I'm not planing to make a melee embermage. I'm going to use staffs or wands, maybe a shield.


  • gaston, the crux of the issue is this: str increases critical damage...that is, the multiplier you get when you score a critical hit

    in order to achieve the highest damage, you need to crit often, and crit hard.

    this presents some problems though, as many embermage skills only increase base damage via focus. what to do?! the answer is not simple. if you tell us some skills, then we can make some suggestions, but it really will vary a lot.

    on the defensive side of the ball, the is vit. vit controls block chance, the second best defense in the game, ond one of the easiest to max.

    however, you do need a shield, so tough cookies all you would be staff users!

    dex is,the red headed child. everyone agrees you need "some" but opinions vary as to how much.
  • FinrazielFinraziel Posts: 505
    And if you end up not using a shield, just skip vit all together as it only gives a very small amount of HP then which can be better gained from gems. I'd suggest using a shield though, it helps a lot if you're not a total wizard at avoiding any and all attacks...
  • GastonPGastonP Posts: 60
    Thanks for your answers guys. The build i'm planning to use is something like this:

    [LINK DELETED] (thanks Finraziel for suggesting this build in another thread :D )

    I know (or i think it's like this) that the skills that do elemental damage increase damage via focus. But if I put all my points in focus, at the end will I be doing more damage than putting some points in strengh and dextery too?
    Will my damage output be higher with all focus even if i'm doing less critical hits and critical damage?
  • There is no single optimal way to distribute stat points and it depends on the build.
    GastonP wrote:
    But if I put all my points in focus, at the end will I be doing more damage than putting some points in strengh and dextery too?
    In most cases it is the opposite - going with focus only you will do less damage than with str/dex/focus, but it depends on the skills you chose and how well do they scale with criticals. Some skills have crit chance modifiers that will lower your actual crit chance when using them, others don't. They also have different mechanics. Info on how different skills work with crits is gathered in the embermage handbook thread, here.

    Skills that work best with crits hit multiple times and have no crit chance modifier or a negligible one, these are blazing pillars, frost wave (no modifier) and shocking orb (0,96 modifier at rank 15, almost 1). Then there are skills that also have no modifiers but only hit once in a while, infernal collapse, hailstorm, thunder locus, and also magma mace when maxed with 0,96 modifier.

    If you have two or more such skills in your build (like hailstorm + frost wave, IC + blazing pillars, shocking orb + hailstorm) - this is a reason enough to go for crits.

    There are also skills that have %DPS modifiers around 50% at max rank, magma spear, icy blast, shockbolts. They still may benefit from crits but your crit chance will be roughly half of your actual when using them at highest rank. Then there are also skills with lower DPS numbers, shocking burst and arc beam, that benefit even less. Then there is prismatic bolt with a modifier and weird mechanics (described in the emage handbook thread). And finally - DOT skills, firestorm and firebombs, that can't crit at all.

    For skills like frost wave and shocking orb the optimal way is to max your crit damage (bring it up to 500%) and have the highest crit chance possible. 450% crit damage is at 1000 strength, but it is not essential to take that much str. Elemental skills direct damage grow with focus and you need focus anyway for mana and mana regen, so it is best to skip some strength and get some crit damage from gear instead, one common solution is to socket Rambren skulls in weapon, you may get crit damage number close to cap with something like 500 points in strength if you get the rest from gear. Crit chance cap from dex is 50% at around 500 dex, then you will need 500 or slightly less points in dexterity. The rest is to be put in focus.

    Optimal is not essential, if you do not want to polish your build that much or maybe too lazy you may leave crit damage at around 300-400% and that will do.

    Also this may be approached differently. Some skills need crits at some point to become really effective (shocking orb), others don't (frost wave), so if you do not need them badly (and from your build it seems you don't) - you may put most of your points in focus and some in dex until late game, when you will be able to enchant your gear with as much str and dex as you wish.
  • GastonPGastonP Posts: 60
    Thanks mammothhunter
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