Theorizing about MA's "Magic" boon

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Theorizing about MA's "Magic" boon

Postby TigerKnee on Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:51 pm

MA has been kind of untouched for a while, which I don't know if I should read into too deeply.

As far as I can tell, currently at high-level play, MA is basically a "piety-farm" god. Aside from mana leak strategies (which is VERY map-dependent), after you gathered piety you switch her to a god that actually has good boons to buy.

I'm not particularly someone who goes for mana leak strategies often so I'll leave that to someone else and I'm only going to talk about one particular boon: Magic.

Magic raises your maximum MP by one, and raises both enemies resistances. According to the description, MA doesn't like fighting and wants to instead encourage the use of "utility" glyphs.

Thinking about it, this doesn't quite work. What do you usually use higher MP max for? To "burst" damage enemies like bandits and wraiths without going into melee so that they won't be able to mana burn you (to a lesser extent you can also burst damage glass cannon bosses like Aequitas). The resistance increases on enemies basically goes against this purpose. Of course, this isn't completely accurate, because sometimes the 1 mana can push you from casting 3 fireballs to casting 4 fireballs and killing an enemy even with the increased resistances, for example, but in general over the long run it's counterproductive.

Now, let's talk about what the "intended" use of the Magic boon (under my interpretation anyway) is if you read the lore: Casting Non-combat utility glyphs.

Here's the thing though: Non-combat glyphs absolutely does not care about maximum MP! Unless you don't have the mana to even cast the glyph once (probably because you are doing some weird Trog switching hijinks or you're a transmuter), max MP does nothing for say, helping you break walls faster when worshipping Binlor, because you'll always regenerate the same 1MP per square no matter what your max MP is.

All it cares about is MP regeneration really, which is basically why BludToPowa just about the only support for those glyphs.

In theory, raising your maximum MP means better gains for potion use and something like GG's protection boon, but no one would blow those resources for non-combat purposes like breaking walls unless they're really desperate (e.g they just got stuck behind some barbed vines).

Ironically this makes Dracul the REAL caster god, because he gives you 2 MP per boon, no questions asked.

So yeah, anyone who's more experienced at MA, maybe you can point out something I'm missing, otherwise, there's something I wanted to type for a while.
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Re: Theorizing about MA's "Magic" boon

Postby fall_ark on Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:13 pm

As of now pure caster + Piercing Wand is the best MA choice. Even then you'd probably wish for Dracul for more Mana boosts. The piety hike really restricts the player a lot, especially since MA's magic boon already has its side effects.

That being said, MA is a pretty "safe" god to worship. Piety is easy to gain so she almost never really punish you. Using her simply for the occasional Mana refill is nice. 1 or 2 Magic boon for the threshold effect (e.g. enough Mana for extra glyph use, or reaching 15 Mana so a potion restores 6 Mana) shouldn't hurt your combat ability that much. All in all MA is a god that isn't really detrimental to your game plan, so I'm quite happy with her.

Again, piercing wand is game-changing when it comes to MA.
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Re: Theorizing about MA's "Magic" boon

Postby Darvin on Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:40 pm

Piercing resistances is basically the only way to use the magic boon. It's pretty crappy and rarely worth touching otherwise. Pure casters can try alternating with lowering the enemy resistances, but the piety cost of doing this increases rapidly and you're better off using Dracul for these purposes. Mana leak is a fairly straightforward tactic, but it's also a fairly narrow one-shot event and it doesn't feel so much like I'm worshipping a god as charging up a special attack.

I personally think both Mystera and Taurog have become gods whose boons are only useful to their most dedicated followers, and they're piety farms to everyone else. Taurog's boons are generally worth -2 mana or the inventory slot, not both. Similar to Mystera, there are boundary cases where the steep cost can be worthwhile (+15% resist letting you survive two blows instead of just one) but for a general-purpose case the tradeoff is horrible. Since the Skullpicker nerf, I don't think Taurog has any worthwhile general-purpose boons.
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Re: Theorizing about MA's "Magic" boon

Postby PeaceChaser on Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:09 pm

What do you think, would +2% resistances instead of +3% per boon make much difference?
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Re: Theorizing about MA's "Magic" boon

Postby Darvin on Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:09 pm

I think a fundamental change has to happen. Dracul is offering mana with no strings attached, and adding resistances to all the monsters is just plain nasty.

I think a lot more work needs to go into making the gods easier to work with. Right now, only Tikki Tooki and Dracul feel about right (mind you, something needs to be done about Blood Tithe; for many characters in the end-game hit points are totally irrelevant so this can be 100+ points of piety virtually for free. I think part of the problem is that HP become worthless if there's nothing but super-high damage enemies on the field, which is very common in late-game vicious dungeons). Glowing Guardian's hatred of killing low-level monsters and using potions means you either have to convert into him or convert out of him in the late-game, steady worship is impossible. Binlor feels overly specialized and narrow. Taurog is a piety farm for most classes and his boons aren't even worth touching.
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Re: Theorizing about MA's "Magic" boon

Postby Buttons on Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:50 pm

I sort of disagree about Taurog. I rarely worship him now, but for new players who haven't unlocked any fancy equipment and don't have shinier items fighting for inventory space, his boons are pretty useful. Unstoppable Fury is just silly though, and should be replaced with a boon for those players who already have good stuff in their inventory rather than doubling down on the trend provided by the other boons. Change that one and maybe one of the item boons (the shield perhaps?) and you could end up with a pretty balanced god.

It's interesting how a few minor changes to Glowing Guardian have really hurt him. He was one of my favorite gods in the Alpha, but with SUCH a harsh punishment and the removal of the heal-on-worship it's just a completely different story.
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Re: Theorizing about MA's "Magic" boon

Postby Deadman on Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:00 pm

I think one of the main problems is a lot of things have been getting over-nerfed to the point where you have to find an exploit to get by, which will of course get nerfed next patch.
Things get nerfed to stop specific plays, which force people to go into even more specific plays.
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Re: Theorizing about MA's "Magic" boon

Postby Zaratustra on Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:13 pm

Deadman wrote:I think one of the main problems is a lot of things have been getting over-nerfed to the point where you have to find an exploit to get by, which will of course get nerfed next patch.
Things get nerfed to stop specific plays, which force people to go into even more specific plays.


Yes please this.
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Re: Theorizing about MA's "Magic" boon

Postby 232 on Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:13 pm

Deadman wrote:I think one of the main problems is a lot of things have been getting over-nerfed to the point where you have to find an exploit to get by, which will of course get nerfed next patch.
Things get nerfed to stop specific plays, which force people to go into even more specific plays.


Agreed as well. Unless some sweeping change comes about where the vicious dungeons are all seriously downgraded to hard and so on, this constant removal of exploits is going to make things practically impossible. At the start it was fine since some exploits were plain ridiculous and could be applied to every dungeon making the entire game a cakewalk, but now...
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Re: Theorizing about MA's "Magic" boon

Postby MrGuy on Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:53 pm

I personally still find Glowing Guardian very useful as a Warlord or Monk, since a lot of their strategy is waging battles of attrition against higher-level monsters, and Humility makes that even easier. He's also particularly good in levels with a lot of undead, since the lower-level piety penalty no longer applies to them. If you have an Agnostic's Collar and an "expendable" altar, and you can grab enough piety for Enlightenment and a switch to Dracul (or Tikki Tooki, if a rogue or assassin)-- which is difficult, but possible-- he becomes even more useful.
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