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Reckoning With Destiny
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is all about destiny, your destiny. It's also about freedom and wild combat. Mix them together, and you have a fluid system that rewards your playstyle with Destiny Cards, symbols of your greatness and your essence. Of the seven destinies that await the player, only one focuses solely on the arcane arts: the Archmage.
Where warriors lumber thoughtlessly about the field and rogues skitter about, hoping for an opening, the Archmage ushers wave after wave of destruction and casually walks among the ruins. As the Archmage, the player embraces the role of Nuker, dealing heavy damage from a distance, often to multiple targets. If combat versatility and spellcasting are your game, then the Archmage was made for you.
From Acolyte to Archmage
Of course, to become an Archmage, the pinnacle of spellcasting, the player must allocate 109 points to Sorcery, which means reaching level 36. This journey can be made much shorter by following a few simple guidelines.
- Select the Acolyte destiny to increase elemental damage and reduce mana costs.
- Spells are your primary weapons. Cast early and often.
- Use Chakrams, Sceptres, or Staffs to conserve mana.
- Elemental damage is your game; know your enemy's elemental influence. Beware trolls.
- Dodge, don't block. With the weakest armor in the game, health is easily stolen.
Those basic thoughts apply for any caster, regardless of elemental persuasion. Of course, when choosing actual abilities, players begin to differ. Here's a full rundown of all the abilities available to the budding Archmage.
Tier 1: The Acolyte
- Acolyte Destiny: Requiring only one point in Sorcery, all players begin with access to this destiny. It increases the Acolyte's elemental damage and reduces mana costs.
- Arcane Weaponry I: Charged attacks, especially with Chakrams, are powerful but risky. The attacks sacrifices mobility for damage, which isn't always smart for a frail Acolyte. Buy the first rank for access to the attack, then look elsewhere.
- Scepter Mastery: Although the Scepter gives the Acolyte a ranged option, the Chakrams are a better ranged option with greater damage and a larger attack area. Don't invest here unless you're in love with Sceptres.
- Staff Mastery: The Staff is a solid compliment to the Chakrams, offering a focused attack when the wide, whirling Chakrams are too dramatic.
- Storm Bolt: This is a reliable, powerful spell and will serve as your lifeline throughout much of the game. Maximize this talent early, and you'll have a much easier time.
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Tier 2: The Initiate
- Initiate Destiny: This destiny requires 11 points invested in Sorcery and increases the benefits from the Acolyte destiny.
- Arcane Weaponry II: A Block-Attack is a nice option, but the Initiate has the worst block in the game. Stick with dodging, and save your points for something better.
- Chakram Mastery: Chakrams attack with eccentric arcs that hit multiple targets, making it great for crowd control and critical for conserving mana. Use the points scavenged from Scepter Mastery to acquire rank 3; from there, one point per level.
- Sphere of Protection: Honestly, 5% damage reduction isn't much, especially as a sustained effect, but it's a necessary utility for the squishy caster. The first rank gives you the spell to use whenever you fight a tough boss; the rest are useful only later.
- Mark of Flame: This is a great attack when fighting multiple, evasive targets or anyone vulnerable to fire. Each rank makes the spell deal more damage and affect more targets, but most mobs are smaller, so that's less useful. The first rank is a must; after that, try as you like.
- Conservative Casting: The first rank provides 10% mana cost reduction, which is great. Don't get excited, though. After that, the percentages inch along. Get the first rank early, and leave the rest for when you're bored.
Tier 3: The Seer
- Seer Destiny: With 28 points allotted to Sorcery, the Seer Destiny is available. Improving upon the benefits of the Initiate destiny, the Seer Destiny also increases mana regeneration by one per second and turns the standard dodge into a short-distance teleport, making escape a little easier.
- Summon Faer Gorta: This ally acts as a tank, taking and dealing damage to enemies while the Seer recovers mana. Everyone benefits from the first rank, and if you find yourself using Gorta for more than just boss battles, consider the next two ranks as well. Otherwise, just allot a point every few levels.
- Healing Surge: Healing is always nice, and the health-to-mana ratio is good, even great when maximized. Healing, however, is secondary to nuking, especially with plentiful potions. Focus on spell and weapon ranks, dodge when necessary, and healing shouldn't be an issue.
- Chain Lightning: With Storm Bolt maximized, Chain Lightning takes priority and amplifies Storm Bolt, increasing damage and allowing for multiple hits. For best results, maximize this early, and you won't have a problem nuking entire mobs with Storm Bolt.
- Ice Barrage: Great for certain situations, this talent can damage and slow an aggressive mob, buying the Seer time to dodge and recover mana. The damage isn't great, though. Like Mark of Flame, buy the first rank for the ability, but don't invest heavily here.
Tier 4: The Sage
- Sage Destiny: This destiny upgrades Blink with Ice Blink, adding an ice effect to dodge, damaging would-be attackers. Also, Sage provides a 15% increase to the duration of all duration-based spells as well as improving upon the benefits of the Seer. It is available with 49 points invested in Sorcery.
- Arcane Weaponry III: Of all the attack options, a Delay-Attack is probably the worst option for a Sage, who needs to remain mobile when not casting. Once Arcane Weaponry IV is available, the first rank of this talent is optional but only the first rank.
- Transference: Health is always a good idea, especially at the cost of enemies. Since the percentages aren't great, though, only buy the first rank. After maximizing Summon Faer Gorta, then consider the other ranks.
- Sphere of Reprisal: With this talent, close-calls work in your favor, damaging enemies who encroach your Sphere of Protection. Heavy investment is unnecessary with such minor rank improvements, but consider a point every level, and don't bother with Sphere of Protection until this talent is maximized.
- Smolder: This talent isn't as powerful as it appears. The improvement to Mark of Flames is only as useful as Mark of Flames itself, and burning damage, although part of nearly every weapon that deals fire damage, is usually weak anyway. Unless you're fond of Pyromancy, only buy the first rank.
- Frostshackle: Like Smolder, this talent is a tease. The improvement to Ice Barrage is only as useful as Ice Barrage itself, and freezing damage is minor, even if most ice attacks cause it. Unless you're fond of Cryomancy, only buy the first rank.
Tier 5: The Sorcerer
- Sorcerer Destiny: With 76 points invested in Sorcery (technically, granting access to Tier 6), this destiny becomes available. Like all destinies, this one improves upon the benefits of its predecessors Even Ice Blink is upgraded.
- Arcane Weaponry IV: A dodge attack, especially with the Chakrams, is a nice option for the Sorcerer; even the second and third ranks are options. Make sure Chakram Mastery and spells are improved first (maximized, even), but then look for at least a point in this.
- Masterful Construction: This improvement to Summon Faer Gorta amplifies its damage-dealing capabilities. Of course, dealing damage is less relevant if it dies early or if the Sorcerer dies, so maximize Summon Faer Gorta and Transference first; then, invest here.
- Elemental Rage: The true beauty of this talent is the pull, not the actual damage, which is still good. By pulling enemies together, the Sorcerer creates a tighter killzone for the next AoE spell, meaning more kills for less casting. Get that first rank for the pull; then, invest as you like.
- Tempest: The final evolution of Storm Bolt, this talent is a mob-killer. The first rank is a must buy, as soon as it's available. After that, maximize Chain Lightning (because Storm Bolt is already maximized, right?) before upgrading Tempest, but do it soon for best results.
Tier 6: The Archmage
- Archmage Destiny: The epitome of spellcasting, the Archmage increases elemental damage by 50%, reduces mana costs by 25%, improves mana regeneration by 3 per second, extends all duration-based spells by 25%, and upgrades the damage of Ice Blink. The Archmage also grants Echoes of Fate, a passive ability with the chance to spawn a fate echo ally with each kill. By this point, most mobs are destroyed in a single cast or two, so the ally might not see much action. This destiny requires 109 points of Sorcery.
- Sphere of Retribution: This talent turns the defensive Sphere of Protection into an offensive backlash, and since the damage and range is even greater than Sphere of Reprisal, this talent takes priority in the chain, warranting at least the first rank, if not the next two, also.
- Meteor: At last, the Archmage has access to the fire AoE, and it's a letdown. The damage-to-mana ratio is slightly better than Tempest, which most players already have, and slightly worse than Winter's Embrace. Plus, it's a separate spell from Mark of Flame, requiring a separate slot. It's not a bad talent, just one meant only for Pyromancers.
- Winter's Embrace: A charged variant of Ice Barrage, this talent creats an AoE dealing Ice and Piercing DoT. The damage-to-mana ratio is the best of the three AoE spells, and piercing damage is critical against heavily armored bosses. The only drawback is the DoT, which isn't much of a drawback. With this unlocked, invest here before Ice Barrage or Frostshackles.
The Summary at the End
There it is, all the information you'll need to fulfill your arcane dreams. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to post 'em below. And if the Archmage doesn't seem your style, I'll be making a guide for each of the end-game destinies, so check back later! Next time, the Warlord!
Will English on April 02, 2013:
Good guide, man.