Anyone feel free to add to whatever I type here. Going to go through the Druid guide set-up kind of, since the caster professions are quite similar.
Quick Links (same links also provided under the appropriate sections):
- Fire Mage PvP Guide by Swan: http://celtic-heroes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=55418
Fire Bolt damage formula by Swan: http://celtic-heroes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=55462
Comparing Fire and Ice Mage DPS by Swan: http://celtic-heroes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=57223
Skill damage formulas by Swan: http://celtic-heroes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=56130
Statistics are very important to get correct, in order to perform at your highest potential. Luckily for caster classes, you need to only worry about two of the four stats: Focus and Vitality. The other two, Dexterity and Strength are unnecessary (one exception that will be discussed later) and although may potentially make you stronger, it will be more beneficial if your stat points were invested into Focus and Vitality. Here's why:
Strength: Strength increases the amount of damage your auto-attacks deal. This is useless for a caster class like the mage because of how the class depends on damage from spells, not your auto-attack. Place 0 points into this stat at all times.
Dexterity: Dexterity gives two bonuses, attack and defense. Attack increases the chance of your auto-attacks hitting, and not being dodged/blocked/ect. NOTE: Dexterity does NOT increase chance of spells hitting. The other benefit, defense, increases the chance of you dodging an attack. Although this may seem useful, you are better off placing your points in focus and vitality which will be discussed next.
Vitality: Vitality provides health, which is obviously very important. If you have low amount of vitality, you will die easily. On the other side of the spectrum, if you have too much placed in vitality, you won't have enough to put into focus, which is the bread and butter of the mage class.
Focus: Focus gives two benefits to caster classes. One, it provides more total energy, meaning you will run out of energy slower. Two, your spells will hit harder. So pretty much, the more focus you have, the more DPS you will hand out and for longer periods of time.
Every time you level up, you are given 5 stat points to spend. You will want to spend them roughly 3 points in focus and 2 points in vitality each time you level up. If you find you don't have enough health, either you don't have much armour (discussed later), or you don't have enough vitality. If you lack vitality, use a rebirth book, or whenever you level place your points into vitality until you find you have enough again.
Your five abilities that depend on the chance of you getting hit by skills (willpower, reflex, warding, fortitude and vigour) can be read about here: http://celtic-traders.com/celtic-heroes-wiki/quests/ability-quests/
The abilities you should mainly concentrate on are your ice, fire and hand-to-hand (if you're using a h2h build) abilities. The beauty of your fire and ice abilities are that they decrease the chance of your spells being evaded. So if your fire ability is maxed, your fire based spells such as incinerate, fire bolt, fire storm, ect, will evade much less than if your fire magic ability wasn't that high. Same goes for ice. Your hand-to-hand just decreases the chance of your auto-attack missing if you are using your fists.
These abilities also increase the effectiveness/power of related spells. For example, a higher fire magic will mean your fire bolts will deal more damage.
One of the most frequent questions asked are what type of build you will be looking at, and at what situations. There are any number of skills set-ups, but having an idea on a basic build is important in creating an effective mage.
Fire bolt - Fast recharging, good damage fire damage spell.
Fire storm - Medium recharging, high damage, multiple target (area of effect) spell.
Fire attunement - Buff that increases your damage with fire bolt and fire storm.
Lure of fire - A spell placed on an enemy target to reduce their resistance to fire spells. (increases your damage of fire spells)
Incinerate - A spell that deals fire damage over time (once per tick) to an enemy target.
Cloak of fire - A buff placed on you that deals damage to enemies every time they auto-attack you.
Ice shards - Medium recharging, very high damage ice damage spell.
Ice blast - Slow recharging, very high damage, multiple target (area of effect) spell.
Lure of ice - A spell placed on an enemy target to reduce their resistance to ice spells. (increases your damage of ice spells)
Frostbite - A spell that deals ice damage over time (once per tick) to an enemy target, and gives initial damage.
Freeze - A spell that freezes a target. Freeze will break if the frozen target is damaged. At level 1, freeze can be applied to enemies up to level 10. Each skill point added, increases this by 5. (At level 2, can freeze until 15, at level 3 can freeze until 20)
Lure of assassins - A spell placed on an enemy target to reduce their resistance to piercing damage.
Lure of soldiers - A spell placed on an enemy target to reduce their resistance to slashing damage.
Lure of giants - A spell placed on an enemy target to reduce their resistance to crush damage.
Lure of magic - A spell placed on an enemy target to reduce their resistance to magic damage.
Energy shield - A buff placed on you that blocks incoming damage, depending on how high level the energy shield is. Note that you cannot be interrupted while shield is up (unless you are frozen, or are hit by shield bash)
Energy boost - A buff placed on you that increases energy regeneration per tick. Works in-combat.
Meditate - A buff placed on you that increases energy regeneration per tick. Works only out of combat.
Bandage wounds - Heals you depending on how high level the skill is.
Recuperate - A buff placed on you that increases health regeneration per tick. Works only out of combat.
Sacrifice - A spell that takes a bit of your health, and replaces it with energy on you or your selected ally. As level increases, so does health taken away and energy restored. If you do not have enough health to cast the skill, you won't be able to use it.
NOTE: Ice attunement and fire attunement cannot be used at the same time. Only one can be activated at any point in time.
Obtaining these skills:
Many of them are obtained by the Spell Book Merchant in the Castle. When you teleport to the castle leystone, turn around 180 degrees and you'll be facing the merchant.
The spells: Lure of assassins, lure of soldiers, lure of giants, lure of magic, sacrifice and fire storm are obtained by killing the Otherworld fairyland quest bosses (excluding the eyes to my knowledge). They have a low chance of dropping the specific tome you'll be looking for, so you're better off just buying them.
The spells: Fire and ice attunement are obtained by killing mobs in carrowmore tunnels. Ice blast may be from Fingal's cave, but I am not 100% sure.
The spells: Freeze and incinerate are obtained by completing the red and blue book quests. The quest that gives freeze is begun in castle, and requires you to collect red book cover, red book binding and mellisant pages 1-5. Incinerate is started in the Tavern and requires you to collect blue book cover, blue book binding and mathulus pages 1-5.
The builds discussed will be the basic fire mage, ice mage, support mage, the hand-to-hand mage and the PvP mage build.
For a very precise formula on calculating fire bolt damage, please refer to Swan's thread:http://celtic-heroes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=55462
The basic spells for the standard fire mage are: Fire bolt, fire storm, fire attunement, fire lure. You will want to max fire bolt, fire storm and fire attunement for good DPS. For the fire lure, you will want it to be at around half of the max points you can put in the skill.
For example: From levels 180+, your skill max is 40, so lure should be around 19-21. From levels 150-180, your max is 35, lure = 17 or 18. From levels 120-150, your max is 30, lure = 14-16. Levels 90-120, max is 25, lure = 12 or 13. Levels 60-90, max is 20, lure = 9-11, ect. NOTE: This goes for lure of ice as well, if you are going for an ice mage build.
With left over points, you can either place them into energy boost (more energy regeneration for longer fights), energy shield (more survivability), other lures (to support your group) or into other damage spells to maximise your DPS, such as ice shards or incinerate. NOTE: Damage over time spells such as frostbite/incinerate are more appropriate for longer fights (boss fights)
I don't recommend cloak of fire for a fire mage build, because enemies that cast skills will not be effected, and you need to place it on whoever is being attacked, which can be confusing at times. The damage cloak of fire provides is also seen not to be worth it.
As an example, a level 90 fire mage will be looking at this sort of build. Assuming they have a little bit of support in mind:
Fire bolt: 25/25
Fire storm: 25/25
Fire attunement: 20/25
Fire lure: 12/25
Lure of assassins: 7/25
Energy boost: 6/25
The layout of an ice mage is similar to one of a fire mage. Your main skills will be: Ice lure, ice shards, ice blast and ice attunement. Once again, max all of these besides the lure which will be around half maxed. For extra DPS, consider placing points into fire bolt, or you can place your points into a spell like freeze. The good thing about freeze, is that it complements the long cool down of ice spells. So when you're waiting for ice shards and ice blast to be ready to cast again, freeze is a good way to stop your enemy from attacking you and you can conserve your health.
As an example, this is the layout of a level 138 ice mage, who is focusing on survivability:
Ice shards: 30/30
Ice blast: 30/30
Ice attunement: 30/30
Ice lure: 14/30
Freeze: 28/30 (can freeze up to level 145 mobs)
Energy shield: 12/30
The support mage is usually an alt account, since it is super boring to play! Soloing is near impossible, as you have hardly any damage output. The skills you will be focusing on are fire lure, cloak of fire, lure of assassins, energy boost and then any other skills of your choice. Your arsenal of skills are focused around lures, so you can look at lure of soldiers/giants/magic/ice as well. The reason you should use fire lure, is so that your cloak of fire deals good damage. I highly recommend assassins and then magic lure, then soldiers. Giants lure is useless, since hardly anyone uses crush damage. Ice lure is also almost not worth the points, since other mages who are ice will already have lures so you're not really helping them, you're only helping the DPS in your group with ice damage rings/weapons, so not really worth it.
The good thing about lure of assassins, is that it makes your allies deal more piercing damage. Every rogue and ranger uses piercing damage (daggers/spears/tridents/bows), and so do warriors if they happen to be carrying spears and tridents. This is a must-have for any support mage, and you will be praised by your group for sure. Lure of magic is nice because it makes druids deal more damage (unless they use stinging swarm which deals poison damage), so another good DPS increase for your group. Soldiers is for warriors dealing slashing damage (axes, swords) and can be a good DPS increase, but since some warriors happen to be tanks and don't deal much damage, you're better off spending points elsewhere.
The skills energy boost and sacrifice can also be beneficial to your group. During boss fights, if people lack good energy regen, they will run out and their DPS will decrease significantly. Casting energy boost or sacrifice on your allies will help maximise their skill casting efficiency. Also remember to keep cloak of fire cast on the tank if you have one.
It is important to have a lot more focus than your normal build. You won't be dealing damage so you will rarely get aggro from mobs/boss. Have your focus:vitality ratio as around 4:1. So if you have for example 500 stat points available, put 400 into focus and 100 into vitality.
A typical support mage build for example a level 120 mage would be:
Fire lure: 25/30
Cloak of fire: 30/30
Lure of assassins: 28/30
Energy boost: 15/30
Lure of magic: 18/30
Lure of soldiers: 9/30
More detailed information by Maggie can be found here: http://celtic-heroes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=51490
This build is typically for those with rogue/warrior mains with damage off-hands who want to spread their lux across to other characters. The hand-to-hand mage will be focusing on auto-attacks mainly with a couple spells in-between. The skills you are looking at are: fire lure, cloak of fire, fire bolt and then you can spread to other paths from there. You want a cloak of fire in your build because you can cast it before battle and deal damage without having to leave your auto-attack to cast. Fire lure is there to improve your cloak of fire, and fire bolt just because it is good DPS and you already have fire lure so might as well.
This is where the stat exception lies. Dexterity and strength WILL help you deal more DPS (potentially), so it really is up to you if you want to sacrifice some points from vitality/focus into strength or dexterity. (Would recommend putting into dexterity over strength).
So you have those 3 skills maxed (lure almost maxed), now you can choose how to complete your h2h mage. You can either:
Maximise DPS - Add on fire storm for a nice fire build except focused more on auto-attacks.
Half-support - Add on a couple of lures to help your group out.
Go hybrid - You don't exactly have enough points to add on attunement to your build, so you can add a couple of points into ice lure and the rest into ice shards for some extra DPS.
It is important to have NO MAIN HAND equipped. You will be using your fists as they have a very fast attack speed, and you can increase your hand to hand ability to reduce misses. Wands are too slow and give hardly any damage increase. You also want items that give fire damage (golden blade of fire or fiery axe off-hands) and items to increase your attack speed (such as heroic gloves, or haste ring). The downside of a h2h mage is that you will be fighting up close and personal on bosses/while leveling. You will be in range of AoE damage so it is important to sometimes have more vitality as usual or having a strong energy shield, as you will find yourself dying frequently.
Although PvP (player verses player) isn't a huge part of Celtic Heroes currently, it is fun to blast some people and increase your PvP ranking and name. Although fire mage is viable for PvP, I highly recommend trying ice mage first. You will be maxing ice shards, half maxing ice blast, almost maxing ice attunement, putting enough points in freeze to be able to cast on people within 10-20 levels above you, and rest into lure. The reason you don't want to max ice blast is because fights are way too short and you'll find yourself only casting it once. Rarely will you cast it again before you or your opponent drop dead. The trick to a PvP mage is hoarding royal, grand, greater and lesser rings of ice attunement and putting them all on before your fight. Once you cast attunement, switch out your rings and you will still have your very high attunement until it runs out, or if you die. Since players have more resistance than mobs, you will need a very high ice lure to maximise your damage.
For gear you will be looking at a shield with high armour. For wands, if you are below level 110, try to purchase the master wand of secrets (talked about below), if you are 110+ try to get a grimoire (also talked about below). For stats, I had the same amount of focus as vitality. Some prefer lots of focus since you won't be taking many hits (freeze), and some prefer high vitality, in case your target is a tank and the fight goes on for a while.
Your spell rotation will be: Ice shards --> Freeze --> Ice lure --> (wait until freeze almost over) --> Ice blast --> Ice shards. This will kill most targets, assuming you don't evade. The reason you don't lure at the beginning is to stop your opponent from getting too many hits off at the beginning.
For a much more detailed explanation and walk through of a PvP mage, check out Swan's guide: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=55418
This is a VERY important part of having a capable mage.
Armour: You'll be looking at following the armour quest line all the way through. That's what I did, and it was relatively cheap. So, you'll be getting warden from the people in lirs reach (stone circle), then move to meteoric armour (also from stone circle), then start frozen at level 110 from Otherworld (group of people around the campfire, then can finally start obtaining dragonlord armour at level 150 in Carrowmore. If you have cash to spend, you can buy topaz, opal, ect. I don't think it's worth it, but some people like the stat bonuses they give. But unlike warden, meteoric, frozen and dragonlord, these purchasable armours don't give a set bonus which is quite useful for extra health and energy.
An alternative once you hit level 140 is to start obtaining beastbone armour. These add bonuses to your skills (gloves give extra fire bolt damage, boots give extra fire storm damage, helm gives extra sacrifice energy gain, pants give extra ice blast damage, breastplate gives extra ice shards damage). These are not that expensive to obtain (have to collect bone shards dropped by the boggans in Carrowmore) and give good DPS increases. At level 160, you can start getting ancient beastbone armour, which is an upgrade of the beastbone armour.
Beastbone armour pieces require 5 bone shards, whereas ancient beastbone armour pieces require 10 bone shards on top.
Luxury armour such as the helms that provide focus (golden crown of wizardry, ect) are good additions if you have the money to spend. If not, just stick with the above armour to take you all the way to dragonlord armour.
Main and off-hand: For main hands, wands are 95% of the time a waste of time. The only wands worth obtaining until level 110 are the Master wand of Secrets (Level Requirement: 30, Focus 20, Ice Shards Skill Level +2)and Master wand of the Grove (Level Requirement: 60, Focus 35, Lure of Fire Skill Level +3)[Apprentice wand of the grove gives less focus and only +2 lure].
The Secrets wand is dropped by a certain Connacht mage (unsure of location), and the Grove wand is dropped by a certain stonevale druid (in the area near the Otherworld portal).
At level 110, you have access to the:
- Apprentive Drakeflame Wand (Focus 50, Lure of Fire Skill Level +3)
- Dark Grimoire of Health (100 health, 125 focus)
- Dark Grimoire of Flame/Frost (125 focus and +100 fire/+100 ice magic respectively)
At level 130, you have access to the:
- Master Drakeflame Wand (Focus 75, Lure of Fire Skill Level +4)
- Shadow Grimoire of Health (200 health, 150 focus)
- Shadow Grimoire of Flame/Frost (150 focus and +200 fire/+200 ice magic respectively)
At level 150, you have access to the:
- Void Grimoire of Health (300 health, 175 focus)
- Void Grimoire of Flame/Frost (175 focus and +300 fire/+300 ice magic respectively)
The grimoires are drops from the Otherworld boss Aggrogoth, and the drakeflame wands are drops from rare spawns in the Aggy cave.
Eventually you will have access to the dragonlord wand, hrungnir drops, mordris drops, necromancer drops, but if you're considering those weapons, you probably have no need for this guide.
For off-hands, you will be focusing on luxury that provide focus. Energy regeneration is nice, but focus is your main... focus (hehe). For a low budget, the master grimoire (Level Requirement: 50, Health: 100, Focus 100) is available in the Otherworld luxury shop. At level 100, you have access to the focus of the seer and at level 150, you have access to the focus of the mystic. Both of these are available in the Carrowmore luxury shops once you reach the level requirement.
Amulet and miscellaneous slot: For amulets, you will be focusing on items that provide energy regen mainly. The very expensive luxury items that add focus are obviously more preferred, but not everyone has a million gold to spend on those. Heroic amulet of rejuvenation is a good place to start as it gives 35 armour as well as 20 health/energy regen (mages lack armour a lot). At level 100, the talisman of the earth is available in the luxury store in Carrowmore. It gives 30 health/energy regeneration as well as 150 extra health and energy. At level 150, you can purchase the talisman of the stars which gives 40 health/energy regeneration as well as 200 extra health and energy.
For your miscellaneous slot, you can either throw in charms that add damage to your spells (2013 Summer event I believe) like fire bolt and ice shards. If you don't have these, you can try going for the new charms that the latest Yule event dragon drops (gives focus as well as magic/fire or ice resistance). The very rare charms that give +10 points to lure of assassins/soldiers/magic and giants(?) are also very useful but may be very expensive (level requirement is also 130). Other charms include the golden camouflage charm which is very expensive but reduces range at which you gain aggro. Since you are a caster class with low armour, it is vital you are targetted as little as possible (unless soloing), making the golden camo very helpful. The charm that gives 100 ability points in a random evasion (from the Test of Regulus quest in Otherworld) is a cheap alternative if you need to have the spot filled in as well.
Besides Aggy bracelets, mages don't have much choice in terms of what to use. Aggy bracelets give either 75 focus or vitality, either +250 ice or fire magic, and either +5 points to fire bolt, ice shards, energy shield or cloak of fire (all have level 120 level requirement). Getting your hands on these bracelets may be costly, but are definitely worth it. Other than these, you can go for bracelets dropped by the trolls in Carrowmore. These are called riftskull bracelets and give points to two stats, depending on what type of bracelet it is. Their level requirements start at 145, and go up by 5. The best bracelet for mages (riftskull bracelet of constitution) gives stats to focus and vitality. The 145 requirement bracelet adds 10 to both stats, the 150 adds 20, 155 adds 30, ect up until the godly riftskull bracelet which has a level requirement of 190 and gives 100 to both focus and vitality.
If you want to fill up your bracelet slots without these items, you'll have to look at luxury bracelets. Any bracelets that give energy regen are the best for mages, but are quite costly.
Very important part of a mage's setup, is what rings they use. I recommend obtaining royal and grand rings of the skills you use. Especially for fire and ice attunement, getting royal or grand rings are very easy and cheap, so should be no problem shouting in castle or Carrowmore for them. Using rings that don't give skill points is a big waste of points, unless you just don't have any rings to fill up. Asking your clan members is a good way to filling up your rings spots. If you are a support mage, I recommend getting good rings for all lures. You can then switch up your rings based on who you are fighting with.
Like druids, mages can have trouble keeping up their energy levels, particular when leveling without breaks between kills, or during boss fights. Fortunately, mages can combat this problem by adding energy boost to their build. Since it can be cast on other people as well, you can help people out with energy issues, not only yourself. If you don't want to put points into energy boost, then you're going to be looking at spending virtual and/or real money. The best investment by far would be energy sigils which only work out of combat, or for short-term relief and to use while you are leveling/boss fighting, you can pop an energy regeneration elixir. Both work, and are good substitutes for energy boost.
Alternatives such as meditate or having luxury items that provide energy regeneration are just not enough to satisfy a caster class's energy needs.
More to be added. Once again, feel free to add to this.