Pure mage

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Pure Mages are the stereotypical wizard build and combine runestaff defense with bolt attacks to hunt. They are also effective users of other wizard skills such as Enchant Item (925) and Charge Item (517).

Stat Placement and Race Selection

The most important statistics for a Pure Mage, like most other Wizards are Aura and Logic, as they provide double the training points as the other stats. In addition, Aura determines the bonus for some elemental spells and the amount of mana a character starts with. Dexterity is a very important statistic for a Pure Mage as it adds an AS bonus to bolt spells. The other statistics are less important, but should not be "tanked" as that can result in serious penalties. Strength in particular can be important if you want to be able to carry treasure back from a hunt without being encumbered, an issue that Constitution also factors into somewhat. Higher Strength and Constitution statistics will also let a wizard hold heavier armors unencumbered while enchanting.

Statistical placement should be optimized for either growth, training points, or a balance of the two. As most players will not reach level one-hundred, a balance of the two is best. Wizards primarily rely on mental training points, and thus high statistical placement of mental statistics is desirable. Most wizards convert a large amount of physical training points to mental training points during the course of their training, but the GemStone training system is currently set up to optimize conversion of points.

Race selection is a fairly non-mechanical decision. Though some races receive more appropriate bonuses (i.e. dark elves and halflings) there is no single race that is superior over the others. Choose whichever one best fits the character.

General Training Suggestions

Pure Mages should train primarily in magical skills and, of course, spells. The magical skills which apply to Wizardry are Arcane Symbols, Magic Item Use, Spell Aiming, Harness Power, Elemental Mana Control, and the four Elemental Lores. Magical skills and spells are key for wizards who use a runestaff, which requires at least eight total magical skill ranks per level to be an effective form of defense. Some Pure Mages train in weapon and shield use, though for defensive purposes. This is more of a historical preference (as runestaves were only available recently) and this will not be discussed further in this context.

Arcane Symbols
A Pure Mage should at least single in this for life, possibly doubling in it if one is interested in being an Enchanter. It helps with reading and casting spells from scrolls. Though scrolls aren't particularly useful in the middle of combat, they're very useful for casting utility and defensive spells outside of battle. This skill also serves as a cheap way to improve Runestaff defense.
Magic Item Use
This skill is particularly useful for using wands in a Wizard's early life. Magical items sometimes also require certain skill to activate. At least singling in MIU for life is usually recommended, though a Wizard serious about Enchanting might consider doubling in it. MIU is another cheap skill to increase Runestaff defense.
Spell Aiming
This is a Wizard's primary attack skill. It determines accuracy with aimed bolt spells, and therefore should always be doubled in for life.
Harness Power
Training in this provides three mana for each training up to level. Training beyond that only provides a single extra mana point per rank. Because of this, most Wizards train up to their level, and beyond that when they feel the need for more mana (especially at the lower levels). Some Wizards enjoy the extra mana, however, and find it well worth the cost to double in it.
Elemental Mana Control
This skill determines how effective one will be in sharing elemental mana with other casters, as well as the rate of mana recovery and effectiveness of Mana Leech (516), Familiar Gate (930) and Temporal Reversion (540). Twenty-four ranks will give maximum efficiency in sharing mana, but most Wizards will 1x for life for the other benefits.
Elemental Lores
This skill can define a Wizard by determining which element they will specialize in. Lores result in a small (.001) increase in the respective bolt's Damage Factor, as well as resulting in varying effects on different elemental spells. It has been made clear that staff expectations are for Wizards to 1x in Elemental Lores, and future implementations are likely to be based on this expectation.
Armor Use
Most Wizards will recommend training four ranks to wear Full Leathers with no maneuver hindrance. Other wizards recommend enough ranks to wear Double Leathers, though there is always a casting hindrance for armors in an AsG above full leather. Opinions vary over whether the extra protection is worth the spell hindrance and extra training cost.
Physical Training
Train in this sparingly until reaching maximum health (which is based on Race and Constitution bonus). Afterwards, most Wizards will stop training in it entirely, though it does still provide some benefit regarding the length of stuns and severity of criticals.

Secondary Skills

Spiritual Mana Control
Handy for any Wizard who wants to share mana with spiritual casters such as Empaths or Clerics. Doesn't directly affect any Wizard abilities. Twenty-four ranks will provide the most efficiency for mana sharing.
Climbing and Swimming
These skills become more important with time, particularly Climbing. Generally, thirty ranks of each will get you everywhere you want to go, but having that many ranks is unnecessary until much later in life. Five ranks in each by level 20 should suffice for some time.
Survival and First Aid
If one chooses to train in these, their primary application is usually the ability to remove pelts from creatures during hunts. First Aid also reduces roundtime from eating herbs, while Survival can diminish the effects of certain adverse environmental conditions (particularly in the frigid north).
Perception
Most players get at least 24 ranks or so to allow them to find certain hidden paths that are scattered throughout the land and will allow you access to certain hunting grounds. Otherwise, this is a fairly unimportant skill, unless you want it for a different reason (i.e. Lockpicking).
Other Skills
Just because a skill isn't mentioned here doesn't mean it's entirely useless. The only skills that serve no purpose are the non-Elemental lores. All the other skills can be trained in and garner some ability. Wizards can pick boxes rather well, or train in Combat Maneuvers to disarm their opponents, or better defend against Disarming.

Spell Training

Most wizards recommend anything between 2x and 3x training in Spell Research. Wizards have three Spell Circles available to them: Major Elemental Spells, Minor Elemental Spells, and Wizard Spells. All three have important spells and how one decides to progress through the lists is a personal choice.

Pure Mages typically train consistently in the Wizard Spell circle, while keeping training in the other circles roughly balanced. Key ranks of spell research are Elemental Focus (513), Elemental Targetting (425), Mana Leech (516), Floating Disk (511) and Melgorehn's Aura (913).

Defensive Spells

Getting Elemental Defense spells 401, 406, and 414 at their respective levels will help keep defenses high, though since the gap between 406 and 414 is rather large, you may want to drop off training after 406 in order to focus on the other two circles. Mass Elemental Defense (419) is not necessary at level 19, though quite useful. Elemental Barrier (430) is helpful, though the extra defense is not strictly necessary until later. One can wait until well after level 30 to acquire this spell.
Strength (509) is considered a defensive spell for the pure mage because it reduces encumbrance which, while not affecting roundtime or AS, will decrease one's DS, and most Pure Mage's low STR and CON bonuses are liable to be more encumbered than their hardier peers.

Offensive Spells

These two spells are very highly recommended to get as soon as possible, as they significantly increase attack strength.

Attack Spells

The order or rate of acquiring these spells is not terribly significant, as their efficacy is really determined by training in Spell Aiming and Harness Power. Consistent use of an attack spell at the level one learns it is rare due to their mana cost. The usefulness of Hand of Tonis (505) is dramatically increased by 20 ranks of Elemental Lore, Air and casting from offensive stance, and is not really an effective attack spell otherwise.

Continued Training

Further training in Spell Research past learning all of the available spells provide the following combat benefits:

Minor Elemental Circle: +.5AS/rank (until 74 ranks), +.25CS/rank (until 72 ranks), .5 MRB DS/rank (indefinitely), .5 Elemental TD/rank (indefinitely)
Major Elemental Circle: +.5 Bolt AS/rank, +.25DS/rank (indefinitely), .5 MRB DS/rank (indefinitely), increased maximum Stone Skin (520) thickness.
Wizard Circle: .25 MRB DS/rank, 1 DS/rank, .33 Elemental TD/rank
MRB DS: Melee, Ranged, and Bolt defense strength

Pure Mages should continue to train in the Wizard Circle for DS bonuses, and increased duration for such spells as Call Familiar (920) and Enchant Item (925). Attack strength bonus is achieved by training in either Minor Elemental or Major Elemental, though Major Elemental training also increases the effectiveness of key spells Mana Leech (516), Charge Item (517) and Enchant Item (925). Pure Mages should continue training in both of the elemental spell circles, though favoring the Major Elemental circle.

Advantages

  • They're awesome.
  • Many wizard spells are very devastating direct attacks, and many creatures have particular weaknesses that a well informed Pure Mage can exploit due to the wide variety of elemental and other damage types available through their spells.

Disadvantages

  • Some would say they're too awesome.
  • Since the hunting style relies entirely upon magic, the Pure Mage is forced to stop when their mana is expended unless they have a supply of offensive magical items (such as wands), regardless of the sate of their group, bounty, or mind.


Wizard Profession - edit
Spell Circles: Wizard Base Spells | Major Elemental Spells | Minor Elemental Spells
Professional Highlights: Bolt spells | Call Familiar | Enchanting | Charge Item
Popular Archetypes: Pure Mage | War Mage | Enchanter