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Mage balancing - if you have such thing planned.

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    Mage balancing - if you have such thing planned.

    Edited: As it was pointed out below I had some misunderstanding how the bracer buff works. I had the impression that it was adding the +% to the skill WD % increase but actually it increases the total output by the +%. Also I did some testing on the skills to understand how the attack mehanic worked. I corrected the numbers and to my surprise the final numbers arent that much different.

    I did a fast browse and didnt see any threads like this, so decided to make one. It is for the reason that there is actually a lot of balance related discussions in mage discord and probably your guys do not read all of it. Im going to put my ideas here and anyone who feels the need to add stuff please do so.

    First of all I want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to brush dust off ELR and finally mage feels magey again, but as it was stated by you, many times, the purpose of this update was to give more than one viable build to play with. Well, its not what happened, we have only one build and it is very far ahead or anything else. "The frostbeam"

    Lets go then one by one the possible builds or directions:

    1. The Frostbeam
    Required gear: ELR set with GMC weapon set, Frostfire sash and frostbeam bracers of mastery.
    Main damage sources: frostbeam and thermal shock

    There isnt much to add to it. Everything synergizes well, I like the build and it seems that its pretty much on par with other classes and has more potential as its is learned to play proper. Just fix the Garm aura bug.

    2. DFA or Fire build
    Required gear: ELR set with GMC weapon set and Igniters sash. For bracers it seems that DFA is the best option but they are not far ahead from other choices.
    Main damage sources: Thermal shock and DFA

    Currently this build is quite far behind the frostbeam and there are some pretty obvious reasons.
    • The damage dealing skills dont synergize. DFA is fire damage and Thermal Shock is cold. So the player has to make a choice and in any case the other part will suffer.
    • Bracers

      Edited: The buff given to DFA through bracers and the belt is more than 2 times worse compared to beam. Lets start from the fact that DFA gets max 26 missles off per cast and an average end game beam build gets around 50-60 beam attacks off per cast Lets say its gets 55 casts average. So DFA potential per cast is already more than 2 times worse.

      The beam skill does damage per attack as follows:

      650 - 975% wd
      1300 - 1950% when the target is frozen

      Bracers buff the damage 500%

      3250 - 4875% wd (4062,5 average)
      6500 - 9750% when the target is frozen (8125 average)

      Per cast with average end game build beam gets off: 223437 - 446875% weapon damage with bracers equipped (335156% average)

      Death From Above damage per attack in numbers:
    • 800% wd

      Bracers buff 200%

      1600% with bracers

      Per cast 41600% weapon damage

      To summarize the bracer issue - To bring the damage of those attacks closer to eachother DFA base damage has to be buffed around 1600% (335156 / 26 / 800 = 16,1)
    • Belts
    • Forstfire gives a DOT of 1000% weapon damage per stack, Igniters give as DOT of 500% weapon damage per stack.
      When you cast frosbeam with basic endgame stats, you get around 50-60 stacks per cast. When you cast DFA, the maximum you can get is 26 stacks.
      Frostfire stacks scale with attack speed Igniter stacks don't.

      To put this into perspective, currently Igniters is 4 times weaker belt than frostfire and I'm not even counting scaleability. It gives 2 times less stacks per cast and the stacks do 2 times less damage. It almost if someone switched the bonuses. If frostfire would be 500% and igniters 1000%, then they would be almost even.
    The solution:
    Since noone likes nerfs and the cat is out of the bag I'm not suggesting to lower the damage of beam build just buff fire:
    Bracers: Buff DFA bracers to give 1600% to DFA skill
    Belts: Buff iginiter belt to give 2000% weapon damage per stack.

    One could argue that DFA has shorter cooldown, but in reality, to get 26 stacks of combust dot, you have to cast other abilities or just autoattack pretty much the same ammount of time it takes for beam to come off cd.

    One could also argue that DFA has better defence, yes it does, but the maximum potential damage output is still higher on beam build since I didnt suggest to address the damage synergy issue and forstfire damage is scaleable. So on paper beam will win, but needs better skill or more investment into surivability.

    3. Arcanist

    Unfortuantely with the alacrity change and LOH proc change this build is broken. I personally didnt like how that was played and saw it as an abomination from the start, but there are people who like it and I wouldn't scrap it already for that reason.
    Since the build does not work there hasn't been any intensive testing in other regions than AR stacking. It became clear that there isnt possible to gather enough AR to keep SOFT on all the time and without it there is no damage nor survivability. There is a viable belt option and some trinkets what can boost this build, so I do not have any idea of its damage potential now but there is no knowing until SOFT is fixed.

    The solution: It is pretty easy actually, just double the SOFT duration or even better, remove "finishes all cooldowns" effect and triple the duration. All this will make the build less spammy and more mobile friendly. You should be able to use blink when you need to, not just spam it mindlessly.
    hen that is done, proper testing can be commenced and we would know other issues of this build.

    In general I would keep the damage potential of arcanist a bit lower compared to the squishy builds. It is easy to play but pays the price for it.

    4. Stormcaller set

    I have played the set, its very enjoyable but currently not viable at all.

    The problems I see:
    • There is no belt to synergize with it.
    • There is no weapon set to give benefit to the build. Both offhands from the staff sets are suitable due to their defensive properties, but main hands are not.
    • It is too squishy compared to ELR or Arc. For the level of squishiness it should dominate all aother builds in terms of damage, but the reality is quite the opposite.
    We have all had wet dreams of a shield mage in Eternium, since there is a vacum of weapons and belt for stormcaller, maybe its about time to go over that mechanic and figure out something.
    I tried the set with a shield and deflect and I could see it working, but the damage is not there.

    I would redo the deflect rating completely. Make deflect on top of block and have the deflect rating increase the deflected damage %
    Each time you block, you deflect the ammount of damage what is determined by your deflect rating.
    As I understand SW warriors have also left a bit behind and such a chane would give a bump to them as well.

    But this is just one approach what i came up with to cure the defensive issues.

    Before there is a belt and synergizing weapons its hard to tell what to do damage wise, they should be the solution.
    Last edited by Heikki Gross; 07-15-2020, 03:58 AM.

    100% this. Great write up.


      Thank you for posting this! I’ve been thinking about ways to improve the current mage builds. My fear is that we’re going to see the same frost ELR build on everyone just like it’s been with Arcanist. Hopefully the devs implement your ideas and we finally get some diversity on the leaderboard.


        I am one of these individuals who thinks running in panic from ones enemies is unbecoming of a Mage Of True Power, and hence I liked playing Arcanist.

        I agree that the only way to fix Arcanist without a complete overhaul is to re-enable a 100% SOFT uptime somehow. That is not only needed for its survivability (which will still be less than before due to Singularity no longer proccing LoH) but also mandatory for its DPS, since its largest DPS contributor - the Cosmic Ripple proc - requires the mage to be quite close to its targets. For the same reason I think getting rid of the ability auto refresh upon triggering SOFT is not a good idea, again that will be too big of a DPS hit for the build. My preferred solution therefore would be to lower the amount of casts required to trigger SOFT from 10 to 7 (exact number up for adjustment, but 7 has that 'magic number' ring to it ), but keep everything else as is.

        I do think intentionally keeping the DPS of Arcanist lower than that of ELR because of its supposed(?) superior survivability and ease of play is a bad idea. That just means in the end noone who is even semi serious about ANB or season pushing will play it. Ideally it has the same the damage output as the Forstbeam build (likely a slower mob phase and a faster boss phase).
        Last edited by Kobal; 07-14-2020, 06:54 PM.


          First of all - great suggestions : ) We've been discussing this a lot in discord and the consensus is that with the current state of things there will be only one build on the leaderboards this season.

          I do agree that the ELR fire build, Arcanist and Stormcaller need to be improved so they can catch up.

          Regarding Arcanist I am divided whether permasoft is the solution. I experimented a bit with it in its current form and it's interesting to play. For me SoFT expired with 7-9 shards, then had to blink out, move around and blink in again. In any case, permasoft or not, it lacks the damage now to compete with the Frostbeam build (by a 15-20 level margin).

          About the fire build: it definitely lags behind and needs improvement, both in bracers' damage buff and Igniter's sash DoT. Seems to me that the numbers are a bit off, but the idea is to keep it on par with frostbeam.

          What I mean by 'off' is that 1 DfA missile does 800% wd, with the +200% damage buff from the bracers it's 800*3 = 2400%, not 800+200=1000%. In that sense bracers should add say 400-500%, and not 1500%.

          Edit: to give some context, I did a few runs with the fire build on t135 and am getting around 10-12B total DPS for mob phase, shared between Thermal shock and DfA. With the frostbeam build I get 36-44B DPS for a good mob phase (on higher trials, because 135 mob phase is too short to test it properly), split between beam and thermal shock. I'm not adept with the fire spec, which means that more dps should be expected from it. I'd say that it currently does around 3 times less damage than the beam spec. A plus is that it provides way better survivability during the boss phase, which means that it needs less defensive stats and some can be put into offense. It also needs less haste, so some of that can be moved into pow/cr. A negative, as Heikki Gross mentioned, is that elemental damage doesn't synergize well. Considering this all, it seems to me that the rough damage difference between the builds is 2.5-3.5 times.

          One more thing: I'm all in favour of keeping Frostbeam and frostfire sash as they are now. This build opens higher trials (likely around t160), which require a lot of defensive skills, which makes it more challenging to distribute the stats right. When you need 1.5M+ toughness, you have to balance vit, armor, other defensive stats, auras, companions. With the damage reduction of the old arcanist and lower trials, vit was the only necessary defensive stat, which was rather boring.
          Last edited by bojck; 07-14-2020, 11:41 PM.
          Mage: Anba
          Bounty Hunter: Gemma


          • Heikki Gross
            Heikki Gross commented
            Editing a comment
            My intention for having longer soft and removing the cd completion was to address another big issue with the build. Its almost not playable on mobile or if you do try, then the gameplay on PC will be miles ahead. So to make soft require less casts doesnt address that at all. Also I said that lets fix the soft issue first and then we will see the proper damage potential of the build and address whats lacking with finetuning some belt or bracer or the set bonus.

          • bojck
            bojck commented
            Editing a comment
            Kobal you still do the triple ripple damage when you blink in on the 9th shard. The soft refresh is entirely within your control.

            My point against permasoft is that it makes Arc too tanky. E.g. with permasoft against The Broken Dragon there was no need to make a single step/controlled blink during the entire fight, which is terribly lame imo. Compare it with the current playstyle with ELR beam - you have to consider and counter each individual boss move, for every boss. So having soft drop for a few shards would require some skill and I definitely see it as a good thing. Of course if Arc damage increases, you'd hit higher trials where foes hit harder, but you could still bump your vit and rely on that permanent 90% damage reduction. Take Garm for another example - with arc the only thing necessary to kill him up to a very high trial level, would be to blink into the blue circle. That's it - no dodging, no need to evade nova even, just stay in the circle and shoot for minutes...

          • bojck
            bojck commented
            Editing a comment
            Heikki Gross, as you said in Discord, every build needs a ton of skill to take it to the very top. But with arcanist you could reach within 10 levels of your max with really bad gameplay. To take it further, you have to optimize your stats, do large pulls, time your abilities, target elites, etc... But being so tanky going 10 levels lower you could just keep soft up and hop from one group to the next, then tank all the boss moves except for 1-2 obviously deadly ones, and that's it.

            For me a better solution would be to avoid permasoft, but lower the damage reduction to 80%, and also keep some reduction for a few sec after soft expires, e.g. 40%, so you wouldn't die from an arrow or a bad look
            Last edited by bojck; 07-15-2020, 11:05 AM.

          Originally posted by bojck View Post
          One more thing: I'm all in favour of keeping Frostbeam and frostfire sash as they are now. This build opens higher trials (likely around t160), which require a lot of defensive skills, which makes it more challenging to distribute the stats right.
          It doesn't seem like the devs want people to be reaching TL 160. People were doing so during Season 1, and the devs ended up buffing trial difficulty which brought that number down to about 125. I recall the reason being that they felt 120-130 was a better range for competitive play. I, on the other hand, am inclined to agree with you rather than with the devs on this matter.
          Last edited by Shade Glow; 07-14-2020, 10:48 PM.
          BH: Shade
          Mage: Muse
          Warrior: Shade

          For a list of guides I've created, click here.


          • bojck
            bojck commented
            Editing a comment
            I think it's ok to increase the trial difficulty, even though it will mean that some of us will have the higher trials unlocked (as has happened before). Because of that, letting us hit 150-160 seems like the better option for me.

            I just hope they don't nerf the damage too much so we top around the current 130-140, because that will mean that 500-700k toughness is enough, and vit will still be the only good defensive stat (except for some armor gemstones mb).

          • Shade Glow
            Shade Glow commented
            Editing a comment
            I also hope they don't nerf the damage much.

            After the armor buff, is vit still the only good defensive stat? I no longer have a push set, so I can't test it out on my own.

          • bojck
            bojck commented
            Editing a comment
            Until a certain point it still is. At around 500K+ toughness I started getting more from adding diamonds than emeralds, plus the gain in recovery. I don't remember when exactly, and it depends on gear, auras, companions, etc. Some LoH is a must, unless you rely on potions and apples only... Mb some dodge will also make sense, but still haven't tried it

          Guys, thanks for putting in all that effort!
          Hope the devs find a way for more diversity in mage builds. Personally i hope for stormcaller although that might need more twists than a second elr option.
          Mobile only
          ZOBO NEVI CIXI 0314
          Warriors, BHs Argon
          Mages Tuca


            I just got back into the game with the update. . .

            So far:

            - Passed level 118, not quick enough for 119
            - No singularity build; focus on arcane damage.
            The boards have several singularity builds with top equipment but, all other variables constant, this worked better for me.
            - I don't have the corresponding bracers yet.
            - The belt (Ilusionist) does not represent a significant boost.
            - It looks like it could still go up a few levels but definitely underpowered.
            - Has anyone tried a fire lily build to max AR?

            ELR - mono freeze
            - Frostfire, frostbeam bracers, lucked on a lvl 76 GMC weapon.
            - Focus on frost dmg
            - Soared up to 128, stuck vs Gram; the glitched auras don't help. Probably need to overhaul defense.
            - The incinerate enchantment is cute for a little extra thermal shock - may or may not be worth it.

            - Immolate build (immolate, blizzard, singularity worked well together before the Arcanist build got updated)
            - Mage armor & belt of whispers instead of Glass cannon.
            - Only arc lightning, bracer, focus on nature dmg
            - Same GMC weapons as above (it's what I have)
            - Passed 128; stuck vs Gram (same problem).
            - Tried swapping immolate for time warp; noticed pros and cons but, all other variables constant, it did not advance the TLs.
            - Osmosis is a big game changer vs bosses.
            - Same question about a fire lily build.

            - Stormcaller could use other avenues to trigger "SBL", especially with that 30% only chance from Blizzard. Immolate and DFA should be added for a more open-ended set (and singularity works well with DFA). It makes more sense that rising hot air would cause lightning anyway. . .
            Feels like a very limited set as it is now.
            - Reflect should be overhauled indeed. I'm not sure it's making any difference here. Maybe twice the effect for the same points or a 100% rating.
            - Maybe the gaunlets alone could add a different bonus.

            Would be nice to see an Apprentice set update. . .
            Last edited by CarnivorousDeathParrot.2; 07-27-2020, 05:51 AM.
            Theoretical Modding
            (because tweaking numbers won't be enough)