The goal of this guide is to make Nightmare difficulty cheap and easy for you. This isn’t about going full-on hardcore mode with friendly fire enabled. We’re going to be using cheesy tactics in order to roflstomp our way through Nightmare.
Get to level 8. Here are build suggestions to help you get there.
Warrior: Grappling Chain + Upgrade, Mighty Blow + Upgrade. Pull your target away from the main group, knock them down, hit ’em while they’re on the ground for bonus damage. If you let your party members focus fire on your target, it should be dead before it can even get up.
Rogue: Explosive Shot + Upgrade, Long Shot, Full Draw. Leaping Shot is situational and is not that useful during the early levels. If you’re using it to create distance then Stealth is a better and cheaper option.
Mage: Immolate + Upgrade, Fire Mine + Upgrade. Work on getting both skills first before upgrading them. Let Solas take care of barriers and crowd control.
You can also unlock Val Royeaux and buy the tier 2 weapon schematic for your class from the schematics vendor. This will allow you to craft a more powerful weapon.
The damage of your ranged attacks is based on magick, so you’ll want your magick stat to be as high as possible. At +5 per level, the Sorcerer vocation offers the highest Magick growth from levels 10-100, as you can see in the table below.
Charged staff attacks (AKA Focused Bolt and Magick Agent) buffed with Holy Boon or Holy Affinity are effective against almost all of the enemies in vanilla DD. Take advantage of this exploit to plow through your foes. The only monsters that you’ll have to look out for are Grigori, who is weak to Dark, and Magick-immune golems.
Note that the Holy exploit does not work very well in Bitterblack Isle.
My main character in Guild Wars 1 was an elementalist named Jayna Arkham. I was still into magic then. And while that game featured three classes that focused on offensive spellcasting, the elementalist was about pure damage. Naturally, I was looking for something similar in Guild Wars 2. What I got was a little different. Right now, it feels like it’s sort of an acquired taste.
The mage-class gameplay that I’m used to goes like this: hit the target from afar then kill it before it kills you. It’s typical glass cannon style. While Guild Wars 2 allows players to do that, it does so with one major drawback: speed. Specifically, the lack of it.
Elementalists in GW2 can only equip three main hand weapons: daggers, scepters and staves. Of the three, staves offer the best distance. Unfortunately, the rate of attack is so slow it makes being a mage feel pointless. What’s the use of a DPS class that can’t kill quickly?
I explored the other caster classes: the necromancer and the mesmer. While I enjoyed the former I didn’t feel like maintaining another pet-reliant character. I already have a ranger for that. I decided to give playing a mesmer a try.
The following is both a guide and a narrative on the learning points that I went through as a mage in Skyrim. Most of it is informative, but I have to admit that some of my realizations are so obvious I wanted to slap myself silly for not seeing them earlier.
Playing a mage in Skyrim is a different experience compared to previous TES titles because of two things:
·Custom spell creation is currently not supported.
·There is no spellcasting equivalent for stacking Fortify Smithing.
Both Oblivion and Morrowind supported custom spell creation, allowing players to make their own spells. This led to the discovery of spell combinations that were beyond what the game could handle. It was possible, for example, to craft a single spell that caused Fire damage and Weakness to Fire at the same time. The two effects complemented each other, boosting the damage output so much that most foes died from a single hit. This, along with the discovery of other combinations, made most fights trivial.
Here’s a clip I made that shows how to level destruction in Skyrim.
Note that I have the Mage Stone buff in this video.
What you need: • Fire Rune • Firebolt • A follower (Lydia, in this case) • Access to High Hrothgar and one of the Greybeards
How it works: • Cast Fire Rune on the floor. Hit it with Firebolt. Make sure that both your follower and the Greybeard are in the blast radius. • Profit! • Be careful. Blast them too often and the Greybeard will go hostile and/or the follower will quit/die.