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An Inquiry On Magicka

    • 100 posts
    January 26, 2015 8:01 PM EST

    I just recently embraced the magic system of Skyrim wholeheartedly, and I'm finding that my reservations against it were totally biased unfairly! The ability to improvise answers to seemingly insurmountable odds, and the rewarding feeling that comes with it- only possible through magic! 

    I am currently running the squishiest character I've ever tried, and his purpose is technically that of a witch-hunter and crusader combined! Hes a pacifist to boot! (unless your undead or an evil mage.)

    So I was fairly low level, and challenged Malyn Veran inside Azura's star. The only real handy perk I had is Quiet Casting (useless here). I'm trying to find out a way to survive the Dremora, while chasing down Malyn. Even when I dodge past the dremora I cannot best, Malyn is too strong for anything I have as well. Its complete chaos, and I'm out of my element. My only physical weapon, a silver sword enchanted with fear (uniformly useless in this situation as well).

    I die twice, and I'm moments before a third death before it hits me. Why exert myself? Hit Malyn with frenzy and let his Dremora take care of him for me. I sit back and watch, then just trigger my Breton racial ability Dragonskin and hold down heal while Nelecar pulls me out of the Star and the Dremora close in.

    I felt smart. I was exhilarated. I wanted to go outside and shout out into the night that I was no milk-drinker anymore. I took a break and contemplated the awesomeness of magery instead.

    I have a few questions in relation to this anecdote: Is there still improvisation to be found among you veteran mage players? Would my solution have come to mind instantly for you? This far into the game and into magic mechanics, do you guys just know what spell to use against who? 


  • Tom
    • 624 posts
    January 26, 2015 8:41 PM EST

    I done that before. I've also tried to fight fire with fire (very unsuccessfully). One of my favorite shouts as a mage is Slow Time, I usually end up with two words (Two are quest locked, one isn't.) It makes aiming and getting off multiple spells a lot easier, and you react faster than your opponents.

    I don't know why laying down calm spells wouldn't work either, then picking them off one by one to collect those lovely hearts. Or paralyze.

    I'd really need to know skill levels, magicka, perks, and spells known to formulate a good strategy.

    • 100 posts
    January 26, 2015 11:08 PM EST

    I've come to love that quest for the sheer occult atmosphere of it all, but the only character I've run that could stomp the place and collect hearts at leisure was the Clever Man lol. When you say you tried fighting fire with fire unsuccessfully, do you mean you had your own summons fight his while you engaged him directly?

    Anyway, I plan on posting this guy as a build before long. Its been abit of a learning process- but I don't want to post specs or spoil too much more (I wasn't after strategies for this particular character or fight).

    Do you still have fun making new strategies with pure mage, or mage-hybrid gameplay? Its still pretty new to me (extensive high level magic usage atleast). It seems like it has endless potential now that I'm really experimenting with it.

  • Tom
    • 624 posts
    January 26, 2015 11:30 PM EST

    No. We lobbed fireballs and lightning bolts at each other.

    I actually get bored eventually. Using only a few schools gets really tedious, so I end up going deep in all of them. Eventually, you'll have enough options that you'll sit back and wonder what sounds like more fun; blowing them up, watching as Daedra/Thralls clear the way, illusions, avoiding combat altogether and just slipping by, etc.

    But after 50+ hours, I start romanticizing about branching out to some melee or archery. Just to try something new. Mage + Assassin is pretty fun. Sneaks, backstabs, and spells when your ass gets caught. Could deck yourself in some badass heavy armor and start punching them in the face with fireballs. Some sexy looking armor and a conjured bow is pretty cool (not worth it without archery perks).

    • 1595 posts
    January 26, 2015 11:36 PM EST

    I don't have much to contribute beyond my support for this thread and a note on your use of Dragonskin. Too often racial abilities in builds get forgotten and racial preference is determined through lore/theme. It's always good to remember those starting abilities your character has.

    • 100 posts
    January 27, 2015 12:22 AM EST

    The Transient Sorcerer really proved Dragonskin's usefulness to me. For this particular instance, those Kynvals were shucking ice spikes at me, and I have nearly base health lol. 

    @ Tom, I think most characters slow down for me after a certain length of time regardless, and my save game files would agree its not too much longer than 50-60 hours lol. There are a few exceptions where I've played for nearly 200 hours on singular characters, and they are definitely hybrids (cough*The Prowler and The Clever Man*cough). 

    Actually, the Clever Man was my first exposure the Necromancy, and Conjuration in general. Using Command Daedra one day while storming a Forsworn camp (just to test out its novelty) completely blew me away. I've been more and more drawn to magicka since then. I remember now why I started working on this anti-mage concept so many months ago now lol.

    I know this is just kind of a meandering forum post (written hastily in post-battle excitement), but I appreciate the feedback. Nerding out about Skyrim has got to be allowed here no!? 

    • 1595 posts
    January 27, 2015 12:24 AM EST

    Head to the Lore Group, where True Nerds go to die!

    • 100 posts
    January 27, 2015 12:31 AM EST
    I consider myself a Seeker in that Realm already overlord Phil! I haven't been too active there lately, but life is driving me scatter brained as is, and delving back into Apocrypha will have to wait just a bit lol.
    • 1595 posts
    January 27, 2015 12:44 AM EST

     I am merely a Seeker like you

    I look forward to seeing the build you mention.

    • 249 posts
    January 27, 2015 12:56 AM EST
    Magnus smiles upon you, young mage. When I play a mage I have it in my head that there is nothing I can't overcome. And it's pretty much been true too and from time to time I have an experience like yours and it just solidifies my favorite archetype in my mind.

    From your particular anecdote I can say that Sparks is also great in that battle. You can wear down the dremora's Magicka and when you get one low enough he'll run at you with a dagger. You can kind of pick em off one by one that way but you have to be well aware of your environmental protection and the elemental storm from the other dremora. Of course, your method was way more efficient.

    I love gameplay anecdotes and pure mages most of all. Thanks for sharing Casey! I'm glad you're warming up to magic :D
    • 189 posts
    January 27, 2015 1:08 AM EST

    Definitely. Racial powers are hard for me to incorporate into builds because that 24 hour restriction on use makes them hard to rely on consistently. However, that cooldown is just enough that you should be able to save it for pretty much every boss fight. And most powers can totally change the tide in most boss fights.

    I do wish they were a bit more balanced for engame play though; Ancestor's Wrath for instance is pretty much useless beyond level 10 or so, and Adrenaline Rush will eventually be matched or trumped by other endgame perks, apparel, and powers.

    As for magical improvisation ... after a while, a lot of those sort of tricks become second nature. For me, my first mage was HARD. I was used to Oblivion's magic system, especially endgame custom spells. Adapting to Skyrim's preset spells was tough, and my first mage felt super squishy. I couldn't hang with the College Questline and ended up scrapping the character. That was my second ever build, probably around December 2011, before I knew about the blog or had any semblance of comprehensive knowledge of the game.

    Now, I'm so familiar with the magic systems that I just pre-design my builds to be able to deal with basically any situation. So the new challenge becomes finding ways to inject some excitement into the gameplay!

    • 490 posts
    January 27, 2015 1:18 AM EST
    I love magic for the whole purpose of posting this discussion: the many workarounds each school provides. I have had some seriously fun gameplay using illusion and I understand why it is so popular and not just because it is probably the most powerful school of magic.

    I look at a lot lf the magic spells as a variable playbook, giving you what you need at a specific time. It is funny now I cannot STAND illusion but I love everything else. Each school brings something unique and mixing and matching can make for some very interesting characters.

    I probably would not have thought lf using illusion like you did right away and I am sure I would have died many times before I did. I still enjoy trying to figure out what works best with different enemies. Sometimes dishing out a daedra to do my bidding is what is needed but sometimes you want to fight up alongside of them slinging some elemental spells and swinging a sword while wreathed in fire. Magic provides more options.
    • 249 posts
    January 27, 2015 1:43 AM EST
    Right! Now I have to limit my character so the gameplay stays challenging lol. My first playthrough was a pure mage and he kicked too much ass. I found out ver quickly that Impact should never be perked.

    I'm pretty good about using racial abilities nowadays. If you fast travel a lot they refresh in no time. Better to use them whenever and have fun with em rather than hoard them for no damn reason.
    • 249 posts
    January 27, 2015 2:01 AM EST
    I also try to limit my use of enchantment reduction and Magicka regen and I rarely use potions to recover Magicka. I try to only keep 3 restore potions for each attribute, if I'm even relying on all three.

    I try not to run a pure Destruction Mage for the same reason, you always have too many enemies and not enough spells. I enjoy a jack-of-all-trades mage, like my T Sorc. It gives you tons of options and you're never overpowered. But with quick thinking and wild tactics, you'll pretty much have something for every situation. I also make the most of Greater Powers, racial abilities, and a few shouts.
    • 100 posts
    January 27, 2015 2:25 AM EST
    Youse guys are awesome. This is all inadvertently turning out to help me shape this build! Daily power usage prioritized during boss fights- check.
    I'm pretty confident I've packed challenge and functionality into this guy.