Evil Tendencies Dec 6, 2012 @ 1:16am
Hardcore Embermage Build?
Hello everyone, before I begin Id like to point out that I already have a level Fifty three Embermage. I managed to beat the alchemist on elite single player with him yesterday. The problem however is I feel like Ive gotten rather lucky as Ive had quite a few close calls from the get go. But now that ill be going into Ng + Id like some information.

My Current build excluding equipment bonuses is as follows please bear in mind this is my third character so if it's a crock of ♥♥♥♥ don't be afraid to say so.

Edit: Correction this is essentially my third character as I did lose a hardcore on my first attempt. Thankfully it was fairly early.

Strength 19
Dexterity 50
Focus 173
Vitality 48

Skills
Fire
Charge mastery 3
Fire brand 5

Ice
Hail storm 11
Frost phase teleport 1
Elemental boon 3
Ice prison 9
Staff mastery 2
Ice brand 5

Lightning
Prismatic bolt 11
Lightning locus 10
Lightning brand 5

Misc skills
Elemental overload IV

I used absolutely no guide whatsoever so forgive any bad skill or stat placement if you would.
In any case I managed to survive by doing alot of reasearch about enemies capable of "Insta-kill". Not to mention I played my softcore slightly ahead of my hardcore back to back on elite. So I could know what to expect an if need be areas to avoid.

By far the closet call I had was during the Genie's quest an that idiotic circle you are forced to stay in. I have done all the side quest as well an I believe the Skeleton arena wasnt nearly as bad contray to popular opinion. In anycase now that I have gotten this far an enjoyed the game for what it is Id like a few recommendations & criticisms on my build. I know it doesnt completely suck or I would of never made it this far in the first place. But that doesnt mean it's perfect.
Last edited by Evil Tendencies; Dec 6, 2012 @ 1:47am
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igortroy Dec 6, 2012 @ 3:18am 
well personally, I think Embernage is the worst character you can select for a Hardcore run.
he doesn't have the evasion of the Outlander and Berserker, and can't take damage like an Engineer.
mages are basically ranged glass-cannons - hitting hard with elemental attacks - but in HC the last thing you need is a glass-cannon.

but if you are still going for it, first thing you need is a shield.
it's a mystery how a mage can (by a certain combination of stats) have the same theoretical chance to block/evade as a Berserker - and still get owned. but a shield is a good start, if you want to be one-shot mostly by champions and not regular mobs :)
next, take some points out of Dex and put them in Vit. actually, take some additional points out of Focus and put them in Vit also. in HC, you need to keep your char alive, so a little less damage dealing isn't important - but 2%-3% more chance to block AND better armor sure is.
I've seen people take it to the extreme, making an Embermage with Vit as a primary stat, and Focus as secondary. it may ruin the whole Embermage concept - but it's good for Hardcore if you can kite right. and you'll need to kite a lot anyways.

as far as skills are concerned, I see you went for Prismatic-Spammer build, with Ice Prison and Frost Phase for quick getaway. a very good choice. and very impressive considering you said you didn't read any build guides.
I would drop Staff Mastery though, and take Wand Chaos instead, since you'll be using a shield.

good luck!
peetski Dec 6, 2012 @ 4:44am 
Just curious, why do you have firebrand when you have no fire skills? I think it might help early if you use wands but later you will be using spells a lot more. Why HailStorm at 11? Why not Hailstorm 5, Frost Wave 10, forget Firebrand. Reason, is frost wave bounces and can one-shot some deadly but lower hp enemies. I can do 6k crits now at level 45 veteran. It can take out a wave of those poison bubbles or annoying goblin dudes. I know the bolts will be your spamming key but frostwave can also be spammed nicely. Now if your level 53 guy never died than you know more than I do because my vet is at about 20 deaths. Act 2 was just not fun for him. Also is Ice Prison really much better at level 9 than at level 5? I think stick with 5 or go to 10 for next tier bonus. I know it can do damage but never knew if it made much difference. I have it but hardly use it as I'm out of hotkeys.
Ziel Dec 6, 2012 @ 5:27am 
Hailstorm probably is at 11 because that's how high you can get it at level 53. Firebrand is there because Prismatic Bolt inflicts Burning. I'd put the 2 points from Staff Mastery into Charge Mastery instead. I'm not totally sold on Thunder Locus but I haven't really tried that one a lot. If you only want to get through Hardcore once it's probably not the worst idea, if you want to go beyond that I'd consider Immolation Aura instead.

Originally posted by igortroy:
very impressive considering you said you didn't read any build guides.

I agree!
Evil Tendencies Dec 6, 2012 @ 5:42am 
Thanks for the comments guys Ill be sure to put the advice to good use. An peetski I put the points into fire brand due to the considerable damage bonus it gives for Prismatic bolt. As for hailstorm the AOE damage is quite reasonable. Not to mention the stunning, Lowering resistances & freeze capabilites it possesses. This not only allows me to escape in hectic mob situations. But I can also clear rooms before entering if the scenario allows for the opportunity. I am maxing ice prison so I can get the two second cool down bonus, which will be immensely useful for escapeing.

Edit: I have found the thunder Locus useful on fast enemies in combination with ice prison. Or enemies I want to keep distance from. Where it really comes into play however is in sticky situations where I cannot afford to shoot Pris as often as id like. Such as the aforementioned genie quest or skeleton arena.
peetski Dec 6, 2012 @ 9:10am 
Ok that explains it as I've never used the bolts. Hailstorm I guess I just use for debuff as it only kills the very weak things at least at level 5 tier. Then I get em with frost wave. I like Thunder locus even for one point right now it helps wear down those jerk trolls. But my elemental damage got a nice buff from Wildwoods set. Question though: your other embermage got through Arena of Light no deaths? That was tough for my guy, I'd really be scared for Hardcore. But good luck on it.
Evil Tendencies Dec 6, 2012 @ 9:20am 
No during my first original playthrough of the light arena with my softcore. I died four times, Mainly due to the archers more then anything. The trick to beating it atleast in my opinion is to actually retreat out of the circle every so often. An of course stock up on the largest health potions avaliable. The damage inflicted for being outside of the circle can be kept in check if your careful. An this allows you to fairly easily pick off the dangerous enemies an then return to the circle. Although It's prudent to note that I had enough resistance that the lightning towers werent that big of a deal. An with frost phase the traps were nothing more then an inconvenience.
igortroy Dec 6, 2012 @ 9:42am 
@Evil although you are quite frankly a noob in this game (judging by amount of hours played) - you sound like a real pro :)
some of the things you mentioned here (like going out of the circle in the act 2 Arena), took me far more time to figure out. and your Embermage build is - skill-wise - a very good build, I've seen numerous times in build guides for Hardcore.

if you did figure all this out yourself, then you must be very good at Torchlight 2.
I'd like to play some Multiplayer with you. but you'll need to get to around the level of my only NG tier character. lvl 68 if I remember correctly.
Evil Tendencies Dec 6, 2012 @ 10:46am 
@igortroy Perhaps, although I am fairly busy more often then not. As for build guides theres nothing inherently wrong with following a guide. But I consider it similiar to utilizeing a walkthrough in a game such as silent hill 2 for example. Ultimately however I find that useing a walkthrough or guide during your first play through ruins the experience of the game. You only get to try something for the first time once. Truth be told I simply sat down an studied each spell an it's eventual bonuses. After consideration an comparison to previous Hack & slash titles such as Titan Quest. As well Diablo II & it's Predecessor (not three absolute garbage IMO) the spells I choose seemed appropiate. One could argue why id even consider hardcore on a first playthrough. This is something I do quite often I usually pretend the easier difficulties in any video games I happen to own is non-existent. Jumping straight into the fire right from the beginning. Inless of course the game is not designed that way.

As for being a noob, well thats debatable I say that not from an egotistical view-point but a literal one. The definition of noob is quite unstable, but I know you didn't intend to be rude or otherwise so I wont bother going into detail. Ill let you know if I find the opportunity to play with you
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Date Posted: Dec 6, 2012 @ 1:16am
Posts: 8