Death magic feedback

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by Ysold, Jul 16, 2021.

  1. Ysold

    Ysold Avatar

    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    425
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Soryn Fields Market, Lightbringer Isle
    One of my characters has been working on death magic for about a month now, so I thought it was time for some feedback.

    The pros:
    - it's a very fun school of magic.
    - It gives good defense and is a good complement to my (leather) armour.
    - Death shield has a good duration

    The cons (I'm afraid this list is getting a bit longer...):
    - It's extremely hard to train death magic.
    - All skills have a very long casting time when used statically and very high fizzle chance when in leather armour. For instance, my death shield is in the 90's now and I still only have 58% chance of success. Using cloth armour is not an option, because the life steal skills have a short(ish) range, well within melee range.
    - I would like to specialize in death magic, but I still haven't been able to reach the requirement (80 in undead mastery). It seems to me this is a weird requirement anyway, since it assumes you use summoned pets and thus gives no freedom in how you use death magic. A requirement of 80 in death mastery would be more fitting, I think.
    - I don't use summons. Summon skeleton has the same problem as the other skills: it takes too long to cast them and the fizzle chance is too high. Also they don't last very long. I haven't been able to get the summon lich skill yet. I have the requirements, but haven't asked around for volunteers to help me yet (can't do it alone).
    - The life drain skills are fun, but suffer from a identity crisis: they're neither attack nor heal skills. The main problem as an attack skill is, that they can't hit for more damage than the amount your health bar is down. So at full health, they don't do any damage at all. But because of the long casting time and high fizzle chance, I have to put them in my dynamic attacks slot. That means I can't choose when to cast them but in stead I use up a lot of focus on ineffective life drains. Putting in fewer life drains in my dynamic slot isn't really an option: they aren't that good. Against a ferocious timber wolf, they only do an average 30 damage/30 heal (60 critical) at GM-level, so after a critical attack from the wolf it takes a few life drains to get my health back up again.
    - Corpse explosion is not very useful, because it robs you of the opportunity to loot/skin the corpse.

    I'm still persevering, because, like I said, death magic is rather fun, But I would like to give a few suggestions to sweeten it a bit:
    - chance the requirement for death specialization to 80 in death mastery
    - either remove the fizzle penalty for leather armour, or reduce the casting time for the skills a lot.
    - make it so that the life drain skills can do damage when at (near) full health. That would mean changing the points healed = damage done property of the life drain skills.
    - Change Corpse explosion to something else, perhaps Animate Corpse? This should be a short duration effect, and the corpse should be lootable/skinnable after is used up.

    Thanks,
    Ysold.
     
    Beaumaris, FrostII and Anpu like this.
  2. Innascual Inch

    Innascual Inch Avatar

    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    694
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Unless it was changed in the past two years or so, death magic specialization reduces fizzle chance, which makes it viable to wear leather or even a heavy armor chest piece … but i havent been death specced in long time now so this may have been changed.

    Corpse explosion is .. or was… the most powerful pve spell in death magic. But its bery situational.

    As with other magic schools, it won’t really start to shine until you have Attunement gear, specialization over 100 and have eight active skills over 120 or 130.

    Death pairs very well with chaos, may want to look there also.
     
    FrostII and Lazlo like this.
  3. Lazlo

    Lazlo Avatar

    Messages:
    1,411
    Likes Received:
    3,050
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Life drains still do damage when at full life, they just do more damage the lower that your life gets.

    Iirc the -fizzle bonus that comes with death specialization is -0.5% fizzle per spec level for all death skills, so a pretty huge -fizzle buff once you do get specialized.

    Death is still really powerful against most non-undead stuff, but it's hard to consistently do good damage without being somewhat all in on it. Like you said, the tree is also really expensive compared to most, which doesn't really seem warranted at this point.
     
    Innascual Inch and FrostII like this.
  4. Anpu

    Anpu Bug Hunter

    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    7,119
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    The quest to learn the Summon Lich skill will send you to the Etceter Craig Mines, but you have to do that alone (can’t have a party in mines).
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
    FrostII likes this.
  5. Alley Oop

    Alley Oop Bug Hunter Bug Moderator

    Messages:
    12,528
    Likes Received:
    17,485
    Trophy Points:
    153
    yes you can
     
    FrostII and Anpu like this.
  6. Vesper

    Vesper Avatar

    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    442
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Corpse explosion does not rob you of the ability to skin, you can explode 3 times and then loot

    Cloth armor is an option, the idea with death is you want to be low on health and your drains will maintain your life. Also put the near death proc on your chest.

    Chaotic feedback pairs with death well. Decreases all cast and draw times, damages you to keep your health low so you hit / heal higher.

    Dynamic attack slots are definitely the way to go, at least two.

    Use tap soul to lower your health when in feedback and replenish your focus.

    Also, the death innates are super easy to train, spam tap soul
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
    FrostII and Anpu like this.
  7. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

    Messages:
    14,060
    Likes Received:
    22,033
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    What does this do?
     
    FrostII likes this.
  8. Vesper

    Vesper Avatar

    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    442
    Trophy Points:
    18
    increases dmg when your health is low
     
    FrostII and Barugon like this.
  9. Toular

    Toular Avatar

    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    579
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Corpse explosion - my main problem with it is that by the time I have a pile of enough corpses (three is usually my threshold) to actually do significant damage they are already on the verge of decaying.

    And, regarding the looting thing ... leave at least one item on a corpse and it won't disappear. That rusty spoon for example.
     
    FrostII and Vesper like this.
  10. Tirrag

    Tirrag Avatar

    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    914
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Iowa, US
    i recently started playing around with death magic as well. i like finding ways to incorporate different schools into my decks based on need. i have been working on an air mage deck that has been so far really fun and successful (even at a mere .8 air shield transfer rate). so much so it has taken me solo all the way to the ulfheim dragon. only when the dragon appeared did it finally fail and that was because the dragon now enters the cathedral :) not complaining i love the challenge it was just... unexpected :) to this new build i wanted to add another fast-casting AOE spell that would fit easily into the dynamic attack stack i am using for it. i had been previously using earthquake. damage is great but the cast time combined with the movement restriction is very sluggish. i settled on death field which, as noted here, isnt a big hitter when your health is full. for an air mage using air shield that isnt a very good prospect. i then added in tap soul, which helps to keep the air shield happy but also has the side effect of keeping the death damage a bit higher and the heals coming. just love all the different ways to combine skill usage within SotA :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
    FrostII, Anpu and Violet Ronso like this.
  11. Ysold

    Ysold Avatar

    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    425
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Soryn Fields Market, Lightbringer Isle
    Some time has passed, so I thought it would be a good idea to add a bit to this post.
    Encouraged by you folks I persevered and though it was a hard and sometimes tedious road, I have now a character that I really enjoy playing and that feels pretty powerful!
    The hardest part was reaching 80 in Undead Mastery. After that I went into Death specialization and since then my skills have started to shine.
    At GM-level, Death shield and the life steal skills no longer fizzle, which is a great improvement. From that moment on, the life steal skills are gradually doing more damage and healing, which is great and makes my character pretty hard to kill. I've locked Death specialization at 50 for the moment and am first trying to get the skills I use most, and Death Mastery to 120; one at a time, because the amount of XP they need is real high.

    Death magic is definitely not for players who want quick results. And since the character is rather weak until they hit Death Specialization and GM-levels, getting enough XP to get there is a major job, because all skills are really costly. I couldn't have done it without meticulous mining bonusses, which seems pretty odd!
     
    Anpu and Violet Ronso like this.
  12. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

    Messages:
    14,060
    Likes Received:
    22,033
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Gender:
    Male
    It's important to get specialization to 80. At that point, you get another glyph for each skill, allowing you to charge them to 6.
     
    Ysold likes this.
  13. Violet Ronso

    Violet Ronso Avatar

    Messages:
    2,353
    Likes Received:
    4,418
    Trophy Points:
    153
    One thing you absolutely want to push when you focus on a specific school of magic is Attunement. Attunement is probably one of the biggest spikes in spell power, much much more than intelligence.

    You can currently get 75 Attunement from Imbued gems in you weapons/shield/chest armor (25 per piece, 50 in a two handed weapon). You can also get 12 Attunement per jewelry from Imbued jewels, so an extra 36 there. Then, the average of your top 10 skills in the tree (active/innate/Specialization) will be Attunement on top of that.

    Already with these, your death spells will actually start packing a heck of a punch, so do not underestimate Attunement, cause it's great!
     
    Ysold and Anpu like this.
  14. Magnus Zarwaddim

    Magnus Zarwaddim Avatar

    Messages:
    984
    Likes Received:
    1,912
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I started in R31 (right before persistence) with the goal of Death/Air/Chaos/Moon. I worked toward that, adding a few "support" skills along the way. I did the vaunted 20/40/60/80 leveling of skills, mostly individually, all until I reached 60-80 on most of what I wanted in the Death/Air trees. I probably did at least one or two skills that way in the Chaos/Moon tree as well. Obviously I worked on Focus skills. I also worked on Light Armor skills for a while. I used wands at this time, so I took up Shield as well. This is all to explain that for a long time, spending time leveling up different skills I really didn't progress all that far overall. Also, my progression was "hampered" by just mere socializing and my attempts at RP/deco.

    Many releases later, Corpse Explosion got nerfed. I blame the Shock Monkeys. I didn't get much further into Death, Air, Chaos or Moon, hovering around 80. During this time my guild was very active and there were always groups to be had. At this time, grouping was actually a thing you sought (and it was before ALT-F). To me, this was the "golden" age of SotA (if ever there was one). I also focused more on the Light Armor tree, getting many of the skills to 60-80. Still using a shield and a wand and I realized maybe Bludgeon would help (have you ever been hit by a stick?).

    Many releases after that, Death (and Air before it) was nerfed against Undead. At this point, I had not GM'd 10 of the skills in the Death tree (for Attunement purposes), although the active damage skills were at 100 or near it. Same with Air. Chaos and Moon were left untouched. I had a miserable time handling things like the Sieges (Liches). Forget going to higher end zones with any undead. Groups / guild activity were dwindling, but we had ALT-F to get gains. Still, around this time I petered out in terms of playing consistently. The reason was definitely feeling like what I wanted to play was gimped (and I refused to start using other builds like Fire, although I spent a lot of time considering that and other skills like Earth/Ice to help fight undead). I continued with Bludgeon and switched to a staff, which to this day I still use as it helps a bit (the Bludgeon skill).

    Many more releases later, I was at 100 on a bunch of Death/Air skills, no movement on Chaos/Moon (although I still wanted to, just didn't have the XP to do it or the time). I had gotten many Bludgeon skills to 100. Same with Light Armor and Focus. I could handle higher level stuff, but generally only humanoids. I had eventually GM'd my Lich summon skill, which was fun simply because I personally don't like pet skills, but he's a Lich and I named him Prince because he has a purple glow (true story: this was around the time Prince died). I might be wrong, but Specializations may have come around this time or before or a bit after, and I definitely pumped XP into Death/Air Specializations.

    Still more releases later, and I still felt gimped. I would dip into the game periodically for weeks/months at a time, but then would stop. I had just about all the Death/Air skills GM'd, as well as Focus, Light Armor, Bludgeon, the specializations I picked, etc. Grouping was really hard. Personally, I just didn't like CP's, they felt artificial. I think prior to them giving you an hour cool down they were sort of OK, certainly all those fun times with Mac and whomever did the waves of undead in Upper Tears (not a CP, but it was the go-to spot for a long while). That was fun for sure, and great XP. But when they removed the limit I just got turned off. Call me weird.

    I really stopped playing consistently in mid-to-late 2019. I would play for a day or two around release, realize I was still gimped and my deflated self couldn't muster the energy to keep playing consistently.

    Fast forward to the past year: I had seen some decent changes in 2020 (still dipped in for a few days around release time), but the real changes came these past few months when they made Death/Air relevant against undead again. Wow. Well, now I'm playing a bit more often. I got into crafting. And, oh, now I've got a bunch of Death/Air skills headed toward 120. I FEEL a difference. I also GM'd 9 of the Moon skills and worked on GM'ing the easier of the Chaos skills. So I see myself filling out my original spec from R31/R32. And that makes me happy.

    Just a note, that all the artifact/crafting changes also helped as it made the game seem more worthwhile to "grind".

    The point of all of this, as others have mentioned, is seeing better results when you get GM and past GM on your primary skills as well as those support skills, along with getting higher attunement and GM'ing your two Specializations. Those support skills, for me, include Light Armor, Focus and Bludgeon (some of those stuns/knockbacks help, along with the debuff to weapons/armor). And, for the first time, I am thinking of getting higher into Sun and Life for the help toward undead. I have the main undead attack skills GM'd in Sun/Life, but I know attunement will help so I am willing to consider spending the millions just to get 100 attunement. I mention this because now with almost 100 attunement in Moon I have noticed my Meteor Shower is a bit more impactful. Every bit counts to knock off mob health. :)

    This was brought to you by that guy who was distraught but then recently (this year) became excited again because it seems like my initial goal for a build seems more and more viable. And I'm just happy about that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
    Ysold likes this.