Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Discuss the Embermage, an academy-trained spellcaster.

Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby Chthon » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:13 pm

WHAT IS THIS?
This is a min-maxed vanilla embermage build. It's named "Tri-Sorc," as a tribute to the D2 build of the same name, because it features a flashy-looking damage skill from each of the three elements. However, Frost Wave is the main damage skill, and it is fundamentally a Frost Wave build.

BACKGROUND
This build can be viewed as a replacement for the old frostmage build.

Recently there's been an uptick in posts in the old frostmage thread by new players (or at least new posters) who (i) are confused by many posts now that the armory build links are dead, and (ii) obviously aren't reading the entire thread. If they were reading the entire thread, they'd have noticed things like this post:

Chthon wrote:The OP was written back before we had the benefit of understanding how a lot of the mechanics worked. Perhaps it's getting close to time to retire this thread and replace it with a revised version?


So I decided to dedicate the time to write down a modern alternative that was created with the benefit of knowing how most of the mechanics work. I should have done this back when I wrote that post, but I guess it took this new (frost) wave of utterly confused people to spur me to get off my butt and do it.

READING LIST
For TL2's game mechanics in general, read this post and this post.

For embermages generally, read this thread. Also read everything ever posted by armis and mammothhunter.

For frostmage discussion, I'd recommend reading the discussion starting with Finraziel's post on page 8 of the old frostmage thread, and continuing through mammothhunter's last post on page 12.

Note for newbies: Seriously, read them. I'm not kidding.

SKILLS

15-Point Skills:
  • Frost Wave: This is your bread-and-butter damage skill. When in doubt, cast Frost Wave.
  • Hailstorm: Primarily useful for its damage boost status effect and stun/freeze. Use it to soften up and slow targets that won't die instantly to Frost Wave. Also, you can cast this over walls to hit monsters that you otherwise couldn't reach.
  • Ice Prison: This skill has numerous uses:
    This is the most versatile skill in the embermage skillset. If you don't love it, that means you don't know how to use it.
    Like the name implies, Ice Prison can be used to imprison a foe, either to keep it away from you, or to hold it still so you can wail on it.
    But it's more than just that.
    It's also a fortress. Cast Ice Prison on yourself and pretty much nothing can hit you.
    It's also a "hex." Remember Iron Maiden from D2? Well this is that. Especially as monsters grow stronger in elite/high NG cycles, the %_thorns effect does tons of damage. In elite Tarroch's Tomb, you can drop one over a spawn point and spawns will often will kill themselves on it before breaking free.
    It's also a glorious AI abuse mechanism. TL2 monsters are dumb. You can use Ice Prison to screw with their pathing and targeting priorities.
    It's also a nuke. When you cast a new Ice Prison, the old one shatters and deals the shatter damage from the tier bonus. That's a LOT of damage, especially to a monster stuck in the middle getting hit by every pillar at once. At rank 15, the recharge goes down to 2 seconds, so you can trap a monster and keep blowing up the prison around it over and over. (This is remarkably effective on bosses.)
  • Ice Brand: A simple passive. Just free damage that synergizes with your main damage skill.
  • Immolation Aura: Used purely for the %DR tier bonuses.
  • Blazing Pillar: Used primarily as a fire-and-forget damage skill. (Fire-and-forget is a crucial feature for every damage skill other than Frost Wave, because any cast time spent on other skills is cast time that's not spent on spamming more Frost Wave.) Also useful for doing damage while fleeing (i.e., when you can't afford to hold still and spam Frost Wave). The homing also makes it useful for responding to surprise attacks from behind (because it's faster than bringing the mouse cursor around behind your character to cast Frost Wave). The increased charge gain is also nice.
  • Thunder Locus: Primarily used as another fire-and-forget damage source. Again, also useful for doing damage while fleeing. Also, you can cast this over walls to hit monsters that you otherwise couldn't reach.
  • Death's Bounty: Explained below:
    There's several components to this skill, and they're all good:
    First, there's the heal. More than just saving you on potions, it can save you. This can heal much more life than a potion, and faster. The more life part matters later when you've got enough Richileaus that a potion isn't a full heal. The faster part matters because getting hit again before your hp gets out of the red zone gets you killed.
    Closely related to that is the fact that it tops you off, so you're more resistant to one-shot kills. Most people don't drink a potion at 90% or 95% health. It's bothersome and expensive. And then a troll hits you and you die. And, every now and then, that extra 5% or 10% health would have made the difference between living and dying.
    Second, there's the mana. This frees you from the constraint of keeping your build within your mana budget. You know how some people recommend not maxing PBolt in a PBolt build because "it's too expensive"? Well, Death's Bounty is the solution to that problem and others like it. This is especially important early on when you don't have Borris helping with your mana pool. (Actually, regen speed is what matters, not the size of your mana pool. But in TL2 the former is affected by the latter.)
    Third, there's the slow effect. Stacked with freeze from Hailstorm, monsters are thoroughly snared. You've got lots of time for casting before they get close enough to force you to move -- which means they die before they get that close.
    Fourth, there's the stun. Again, stacked with Hailstorm, you've got a chain stun.

Other Skills:
  • Frost Phase, 1 point: Teleport.
  • Elemental Attunement, 1-5 points: Bonus to elemental status durations. Chance to freeze and/or poison monsters that are approaching you. (Also might burn and/or shock, but neither of those is going to reduce its ability to hurt you, and the damage is trivial.)
  • Charge Mastery, 0-5 points: Spend more time in free-cast state, with minor damage boost.
  • Frozen Fate, 0-1 points: Freeze survivors that somehow avoided getting frozen by Frost Wave.
  • Prismatic Rift, 0-1 points: Off chance of saving your hide by randomly teleporting a foe away. Nearly useless because of the number of one-hit/few-hit kills on higher difficulties/tiers. ("If Prismatic Rift gets a chance to trigger, you're probably already dead.")
  • Fire Brand, 0-1 points: Free damage, synergizes with Burning Pillar (and Elemental Attunement to a lesser degree). But Burning Pillar isn't your main damage skill.
  • Lightning Brand, 0-1 points: Free damage, synergizes with Thunder Locus (and Elemental Attunement to a lesser degree). But Thunder Locus isn't your main damage skill.

ATTRIBUTES
First of all, get to know Borris. This guide is assuming a huge stat pool that can only be achieved through lots of help by Borris.

Second, crits matter. Due to the way that the damage mechanics work, investing some stats in Strength and Dexterity for critical hits yields better damage on average than throwing everything into Focus. In fact, for those brave enough to go without a shield, mammothhunter suggests using a combination of stats and items to build an "always-crits" Frost Wave mage.

With that in mind:
  • Vitality:
    • If using a shield, just enough Vitality to reach max block (75%) after accounting for the shield's block mods, block enchantments on the shield, and the Block VI spell scroll. (Probably around 300ish.)
    • If not using a shield, ZERO Vitality.
  • Dexterity:
    • If using a shield, somewhere between 375 and 425. This will yield 47-49% crit chance (and dodge chance too). Beyond that, the diminishing returns formula gets too extreme. You need to get the remainder of your crit chance from items.
    • If not using a shield, enough to reach 100% crit chance. This probably takes less Dexterity than with a shield because the second weapon gives more sockets for Whorlbarb Skulls. You might still consider adding Dexterity up to 375-425 for dodge.
  • Strength: Enough to reach the critical bonus cap, taking items into account. The critical bonus cap is 500% from all sources; and critical bonus from Strength is capped at 450% at 999 Strength. Realistically, you won't be able to afford more than 400-450 Strength, and will need to make up the rest through items. Reaching the cap is not realistic if you use a shield; so you will have to settle for getting close.
  • Focus: Put everything else into Focus. You should end up with 1000-2500 points in Focus.

ITEMS:

Endgame Items:
  • Right hand: Netherrealm Wand; socket with Cast Speed Chaos Ember and/or Whorlbarb Skull (crit chance) and/or Rambren Skull (crit bonus); enchant for cast speed, crit chance, and crit bonus.
  • Left hand: Either...
    • Centerwing (shield); enchant for block and dodge. (Socket as armor.) OR...
    • Netherrealm Axe; socket with Cast Speed Chaos Ember and/or Whorlbarb Skull (crit chance) and/or Rambren Skull (crit bonus); enchant for crit chance and crit bonus.
  • Head: Spellweaver Helm
    • Alternatives: NG3+ General Grell's Hornhelm, NG3+ General Grell's Headpiece, Inquisitor helm with 14% cast speed
  • Amulet: Transcendent Icon
  • Shoulders: Transcendent Mantle
  • Chest: Ascendant Armor
    • Alternative: Inquisitor
  • Gloves: Gauntlets of Workings
    • Alternative: Inquisitor with 6% cast speed
  • Rings:2x Antikythering, or 2x Emberweave Ring, or one of each
    • Alternative: Inquisitor
  • Belt: Transcendent Sash
  • Pants: Ascendant Pants
  • Boots: Transcendent Shoes
    • Alternative: Inquisitor
  • Spell Scrolls: Block VI (if using a shield), Dervish VI, Dervish V, Dervish IV. (If you don't like Dervish, consider Treasure Hunter, Barter, Adventurer, or summons of your choice.)

All armor should be enchanted 3x by Borris for stats (repeated until you get three good critical enchants), then finished with a final enchantment from the Grandmaster.

The following socketables should be spread across the armor sockets:
  • Enough Limoanies to reach 75% DR, taking into account other items and Immolation Aura.
  • 4x Zardon's Mighty Skulls (missile reflect)
  • Riechliu (health) in all free spaces.

Notes about sets:
  • You need 6 pieces of Transcendent/Ascendant (gives 15% cast speed).
  • If you're willing to trade away some nice mods to do so, you can also get 4 pieces of Inquisitor (gives 6% cast speed, plus cast speed on the pieces themselves). I'm not a big fan of this tradeoff, but it's there if you want to make it.

Weapon-swap slots:
If you want to, you can get a second copy of your main wand, and swap between a Centerwing for block and a Netherrealm Axe for more damage. Alternatively, if you've set your stats for the Axe as main (i.e., no Vitality), then you might want to use a Parma's Coal-Burner on swap since it gives a ton of block even with no Vitality.

Pet travel items:
You can use this trick to get a zero-second pet return time. Get an Iron Sword from Notch's Mine (any NG tier) plus any item with at least 20% faster pet return time (Hexenjaeger Helm works for embermages) and keep them in the last two spots in your inventory. When it's time to send the pet to town, equip these items first, and your pet will return instantly.

Interim Items:
Interim items are items you use while developing your character, before you obtain your endgame items. Since you're going to throw away these items, don't concern yourself too much with them. They don't have to be perfect, neither do their socketables or enchantments. In general, look for gear with the following mods:
  • % Damage reduction
  • cast speed
  • Large attribute bonuses, especially Focus
  • Ice damage bonus
  • Critical chance
  • Critical bonus
  • Block
  • Missile reflect
  • Dodge
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby Phanjam » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:16 am

Thanks very much for doing this Chthon! Great body-of-work :D
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby ErasmusBDragon » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:01 pm

Chthon wrote:
[*]Strength: Enough to reach the critical bonus cap, taking items into account. The critical bonus cap is 500% from all sources; and critical bonus from Strength is capped at 450% at 999 Strength. Realistically, you won't be able to afford more than 400-450 Strength, and will need to make up the rest through items. Reaching the cap is not realistic if you use a shield; so you will have to settle for getting close.


But until the probability of a crit hit is pretty high, wouldn't you put keep points invested in strength low compared to dex and focus? Let's say I am level 24 and my dex is 48, my probability of crit is only 10%. Don't I get more from putting my points into focus and dex for now?
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby universum » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:59 pm

Roughly speaking yes, as 1pt into str gives you merely 0.4%crit dmg bonus (it is even advisable to socket %crti dmg early on, for example: manticore's eye).

Concerning this Build, it should be made clear, that this one is as cookie cutterest as it can get and is therefore an effortless first build for the freshly torchlit to grind for items / explore the game.
And i have a remark on using the Inquisitor set, it is only the best choice to get %mana steal (on a high level item) because it takes just 2 item slots. If you intend to go for %mana steal and a little bit of cast speed (6%) then Aristocrat is the better choice, as it takes only 3 item slots (instead of 4 with Inquisitor, as stated in this guide), plus it looks way sexier (or just classy on male chars) ;).
Also the neatherrealm wand isn't such a great item choice, it would be as left handed weapon if one intended to go for a wand chaos build (even then i would rather pick the prophecy). When choosing 2 chaos embers for their cast speed bouns, i would rather suggest a rare wand with 14-16% cast speed, or if you already have accumulated enough cast speed with your ember mage through items (which is the easiest, compared to the other classes), pick some weapon that has an already great bonus to %crit chance/dmg and socket even more towards this direction (neatherrealm axe is ok, but there are also many other stylish weapons up for choice).

Oh and for Spell tome options: Willpower!
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby ErasmusBDragon » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:34 am

universum wrote:
And i have a remark on using the Inquisitor set, it is only the best choice to get %mana steal (on a high level item) because it takes just 2 item slots. If you intend to go for %mana steal and a little bit of cast speed (6%) then Aristocrat is the better choice, as it takes only 3 item slots (instead of 4 with Inquisitor, as stated in this guide), plus it looks way sexier (or just classy on male chars) ;).



Thanks for the reply. Forgive my ignorance, but this is my first mage. I thought that mana steal on items worked only for physical attacks. For example, Madmorrow's Staff has mana steal, but I was thinking that worked only if you physically whacked a monster with the staff, not by hailstorm etc.

I thought I had tested with items having mana steal or life steal with Icy Blast and it did damage but I didn't see any life/mana steal. Was I wrong about that?
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby Chthon » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:13 am

universum wrote:this one is as cookie cutterest as it can get


That's the point. If people are going to come to the boards and copy a build lock, stock, and barrel, then I'd rather it was a good build.

And i have a remark on using the Inquisitor set, it is only the best choice to get %mana steal (on a high level item) because it takes just 2 item slots. If you intend to go for %mana steal and a little bit of cast speed (6%) then Aristocrat is the better choice, as it takes only 3 item slots (instead of 4 with Inquisitor, as stated in this guide), plus it looks way sexier (or just classy on male chars) ;).


Aha! You are right and I was careless. TBH, I don't really care for the Inquistor option, so I didn't fully research it. And thus I made an error. Like you say, Aristocrat gives equivalent bonuses with fewer items. Now that you've forced me to look at the sets again, I also see that Valkyrie may be a better choice than either: It gives cast speed at 3 items; it's higher level, so Borris can do better on it; and it gives missile reflect instead of mana steal (which you don't need because you have Death's Bounty). I'll adjust the original post when I have time.

Also the neatherrealm wand isn't such a great item choice, it would be as left handed weapon if one intended to go for a wand chaos build


This isn't a wand chaos build...

Oh and for Spell tome options: Willpower!


Slow/immobilize effects are uncommon enough in TL2 that I've never found Willpower worthwhile, even for a melee character.

ErasmusBDragon wrote:But until the probability of a crit hit is pretty high, wouldn't you put keep points invested in strength low compared to dex and focus? Let's say I am level 24 and my dex is 48, my probability of crit is only 10%. Don't I get more from putting my points into focus and dex for now?


First of all, like interim items, your interim stat allocations don't matter much so long as you have the right allocation in the end.

Second, the huge numbers on Borris make it almost impossible to do anything that even matters with your early stat points. (You will have almost twice as many stat points from Borris on ONE end-game armor piece as you get from levels at level 24.)

Third, no one ever said that you need to distribute stat points in the same proportions throughout the entire game. It's perfectly legitimate to go heavy in Focus early on, then heavy in Strength later. So go ahead and do it.
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby Neophytoi » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:48 am

Chthon wrote:I also see that Valkyrie may be a better choice than either... Borris can do better on it...


Very much agreed - particularly when it's been carefully "Borrised" and socketed.
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby universum » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:27 am

ErasmusBDragon wrote:Thanks for the reply. Forgive my ignorance, but this is my first mage. I thought that mana steal on items worked only for physical attacks. For example, Madmorrow's Staff has mana steal, but I was thinking that worked only if you physically whacked a monster with the staff, not by hailstorm etc.

I thought I had tested with items having mana steal or life steal with Icy Blast and it did damage but I didn't see any life/mana steal. Was I wrong about that?

Mana steal works only with auto attacks and magma mace as embermage ;)
(i was rather generally comparing inquisitor and aristocrat, as has been stated, valkyrie would be ideal to complement the transcendent set, as this build does not use or need mana steal)

Chthon wrote:This isn't a wand chaos build...

Exactly!
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby ErasmusBDragon » Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:39 pm

universum wrote:Mana steal works only with auto attacks and magma mace as embermage ;)
(i was rather generally comparing inquisitor and aristocrat, as has been stated, valkyrie would be ideal to complement the transcendent set, as this build does not use or need mana steal)


I don't know what "auto attack" means but you are correct, Death's Bounty should do all the "stealing" I need. Items with mana/life steal should be irrelevant, or perhaps the waste of an enchantment.
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby universum » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:33 pm

i meant by auto attack, the normal weapon attack. And, normally, when borrissing completely up, you shoudln't have to cast death's bounty, because your mana pool would be big enough and your skills would generate enough charge to enter the zero cost state, but this may or may not be the case at this moment (i assume you are under lvl 50 and have not fed a certain panda tons of gold).
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby ErasmusBDragon » Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:54 pm

universum wrote:i meant by auto attack, the normal weapon attack. And, normally, when borrissing completely up, you shoudln't have to cast death's bounty, because your mana pool would be big enough and your skills would generate enough charge to enter the zero cost state, but this may or may not be the case at this moment (i assume you are under lvl 50 and have not fed a certain panda tons of gold).


Thanks. Yes my mage is under lvl 50. Death's Bounty also adds health points, so I assume you mean Borris's enchantments take care of heath regen, making DB unnecessary. Question: Do you recommend NOT using 15 skill points for DB?

I have read that you get better enchants from Borris when your level is pretty high, so it should take me a while to get there. Some claim Borris is likely to appear at Crow's Pass, who knows, but I have plenty of time to figure that out.

I don't remember a panda. All the enchanters I remember are raccoons or robots.
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby universum » Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:56 pm

ErasmusBDragon wrote:Thanks. Yes my mage is under lvl 50. Death's Bounty also adds health points, so I assume you mean Borris's enchantments take care of heath regen, making DB unnecessary. Question: Do you recommend NOT using 15 skill points for DB?

I have read that you get better enchants from Borris when your level is pretty high, so it should take me a while to get there. Some claim Borris is likely to appear at Crow's Pass, who knows, but I have plenty of time to figure that out.

I don't remember a panda. All the enchanters I remember are raccoons or robots.

I don't comment on DB because i haven't been using it with any of my Embermages (i don't like the way it works).
Getting fully enchanted by Borris can make you at any level op, but it is preferred to do it late in the game, since it takes a lot of gold and you are less likely to switch out your gear.
When enchanting with lots of Str/Dex/Foc your damage will very likely be enough to 1-shot everything but champions and bosses before it/they can even sniff your ass in your overpriced pants. (so for my embermage, even without enchants, it was always enough to play safe and drink occasionally an HP pot or get later the fully heal self on kill affix/enchant)
Borris does not grant (directly or indirectly) health regen as enchantment.
And yes, a certain design of the Crow's pass will always have an enchanter.
The usual enchanters look like raccoons but are red pandas.
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby ErasmusBDragon » Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:01 pm

Thanks again. I got to lvl 28 and tried DB. It does take some practice to use it, and I can understnd how it might be a little frustrating.

But drinking health potions all the time is not much fun either. Can Borris (if I can find him) enchant my equipment to remedy this? Maybe not easily, since at lvl 28 I have equipment upgrades pretty often.
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby GameheadBrock » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:31 pm

You say to enchant the weapons with crit and crit bonus, which enchanter do you do this with? I've tried Filip the Lucky hundreds of times and he only gives me gold, exp, or magic find.
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby universum » Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:50 am

Normal town enchanters, Master enchanter, Grand Master Enchanter.
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby driftine46 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:37 pm

So not sure where to spend the skill points still...

From what i'm getting.

Fire:
15 Blazing Pillar
15 Immolation Aura
0-5 Charge Mastery
1-5 Elemental Attunement
0-1 Fire Brand

Frost:
15 Hailstorm
15 Frost Wave
15 Ice Prison
15 Ice Brand
1 Frost Phase
0-1 Frozen Fate

Lightning
15 Thunder Locus
15 Death's Bounty
0-1 Prismatic Rift
0-1 Lightning Brand

Where does all the other skill points go to?
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby Chthon » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:10 pm

driftine46 wrote:So not sure where to spend the skill points still...

From what i'm getting.

Fire:
15 Blazing Pillar
15 Immolation Aura
0-5 Charge Mastery
1-5 Elemental Attunement
0-1 Fire Brand

Frost:
15 Hailstorm
15 Frost Wave
15 Ice Prison
15 Ice Brand
1 Frost Phase
0-1 Frozen Fate

Lightning
15 Thunder Locus
15 Death's Bounty
0-1 Prismatic Rift
0-1 Lightning Brand

Where does all the other skill points go to?


If you take your character to level 100 and max fame, you will end up with 132 skillpoints. Taking all the optionals listed in this build would take 135 skillpoints. There's no spares.
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby frostmagery » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:24 am

Chthon,

New to torchlight 2 been reading the posts you have recommend in your guide. Lots of great info. Thanks!

The original frostmage guide which you have updated had staff mastery in it. Its seems like this is a really powerfully ability that scales very well.

When I get a better handle on the game I will probably start a hardcore character. In hardcore i'm guessing survivability will be huge so it makes sense to ditch the staff mastery and use a wand and a shield for block.

Can you explain why you giving up staff mastery for 2 wands? Is its because you want more socketable spots?
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby Chthon » Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:21 am

frostmagery wrote:Can you explain why you giving up staff mastery for 2 wands? Is its because you want more socketable spots?


Why give up staff mastery?
First, because it eats cast time. You need to hit with a WDMG- or WDPS-based skill to proc Staff Mastery. That means that you have to cast less Frost Wave to free up cast time for your WDMG/WDPS skill. (If you really wanted a frost build that used Staff Mastery, you'd have to center the build around Icy Blast. Not sure if you could actually make a viable build out of that. Just saying that Icy Blast is the only other frost skill that synergizes with Staff Mastery.)
Second, because monster armor is not actually that important in the grand scheme. In the land of elite difficulty near-optimal end-game builds, player damage is mostly driven by picking the right primary damage skill, and multiplying it by a very big stat bonus thanks to Borris. That leaves damage numbers so big that monster armor -- as a flat subtraction from damage -- just doesn't have much impact on the result. It's not completely negligible -- I'd rather strip armor than not strip armor, ceteris paribus -- but I wouldn't trade away better raw damage for armor stripping.
Third, armor strip only matters if the monster survives the first hit. The balance point for elite difficulty near-optimal end-game builds tends to be one-shotting most monsters. Again, thanks Borris.

(Aside, I do view these reasons for not using armor stripping as balance problems. My still-forthcoming, not-even-close-to-finished balance mod will make armor stripping more attractive.)

Why two wands?
Actually, I prefer "wand + shield" or "wand+ shield with wand + wand on swap." The reason should be obvious: to block things! Block is a really overpowered mechanic in TL2.

The appeal of two wands is exactly what you thought: you can load it up with socketables and enchants. (Also, those socketables and enchants are weapon-oriented. You get defensive stuff on a shield.)
There's also a very strong argument to be made for using a Netherrealm Axe for the lefthand weapon since it has an inherent 8% crit chance mod and axes can get some more useful enchantments than wands. (The downside to doing this is that it's absolutely fugly as sin to look at.)
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Re: Tri-Sorc (Replaces Frostmage)

Postby frostmagery » Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:56 pm

So I got the respect mod and tried it out, i've only played for a little bit with with out that icey blast the only way I can deal damage is with hail and that lighting skip that creates a turret. Seems like damage will be really hard to come by for a quite a while. What do you recommend doing in the early levels?

Will these two skills be enough to do damage?
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