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Self-crafted wands can also have +INT... and as the numbers seem to be equal (between single wand and staff) it's clear which category wins in the fight: double vs single...

Last edited by Seelenernter; 01/11/15 09:31 PM.

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The only reason to use staves is for roleplaying purposes or if you want a challenge and totally skip wands. I tested a dual wilding wand build on both my characters and with 100% hit chance I wrecked through any fight, making it next painfully easy and thus boring to play. I rerolled a "traditional" setup, a fighter tank and a wizard with a stave and I'm enjoying the game more.

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The problem you are going to run into with wands is there are no crafting recipes to "Boost" them. Not that staff has a lot of boost recipes either, but at least there are 1-2.

That being said, I think Staff of Magus needs to adjusted to have the same range as any "Spell" you cast and to have a 0 turn cool down. That way you are trading off the "utility" of having 2 damage types with a dual wand setup for the "utility" of having more range. IE. the "Staff" should be the "Sniper Rifle" of the magic world, and the wand the "Pistol". Wands need to have their range nerfed a little as well.

Maybe someone will do a re-balance mod once the new mod tools come out.

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So far, I've found that a single staff shot (through the staff of magnus ability) does considerably more (~+30-50%) than two of the best equivalent wands, for 1 less AP and no skill investments.

Of course, in both cases the damage is abysmal, and the staff only gets one shot while the wands can fire as long as you have AP. Wands also offer more stat points since a crafted wand can have +2 int or con at mid level (currently level 15). Then again, the 150-ish damage is about comparable to what the average direct-damage spell can do, so it's not USELESS, but it's still really bad.

Last edited by Sotanaht; 03/11/15 03:09 AM.
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@Sotanaht can you compare in term of AP?

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Originally Posted by Chrest
@Sotanaht can you compare in term of AP?


First, a little about crafting. When crafting a wand, the base material determines both the potential damage output and which spell it gets. Old Wood has the highest damage output (at least out of the ones available at my current level, up to draconic) but sacrifices by only having a basic spell. As far as I know a wand cannot be upgraded once crafted.

Staves may be upgraded with moonstone for damage AND an elemental essence at the same time, allowing a staff to have 2 damage types or an increased single damage type. Not sure how tenebrium enhancing works in the EE yet, if it can be done on top of the elemental enhancement or not, so I won't be testing anything to do with Tenebrium

Now, I have my character otherwise stripped naked with only the base stats required to wield the wands/staves in question, crafted at level 15 with 5 CR. All numbers do however benefit from Leadership rank 1 (+5% damage) as I am unable to remove the trait.

Dual wield old wood wands with no points in wand or dual wield talents hit for 102-168 total combined damage. That's 6 AP to start with. Upgrading the dual wield or wand skill will allow you to increase that, up to 180-300 for 3 AP with 5/5 in both skills. I haven't accounted for possible wand crits. Assuming wand crits even work, as I have yet to notice one in the game, you can simply increase these numbers by whatever % your critical chance is, as the bonus crit damage will always be double.

Obviously investing that heavily in wands is going to come at the cost of not being able to do very much actual spellcasting. Even if you want to rely on wand spells, you need ranks in the associated spell school in order to reduce the AP cost penalties. 5/5 just isn't feasible at this stage of the game.

As far as staves go, crafting with a DIFFERENT element will give you a very slightly higher (single digits) damage than adding the SAME elemental essence, at the cost of having to worry about two separate resistances and immunities. I do not believe Staff of Magus can crit, so investing into 2-handed weapons is pointless unless you plan to melee with the staff.

With 0 skill investments, my Staff of Magus does 124-247 damage at 3 AP with the dual-element staff and 121-245 with the single-element staff. Comparatively, that's nearly 4 times as effective as the non-skilled dual-wand and only about 25% less than the fully-specced 5/5 dual-wand.

So in conclusion, Staves are a better single-shot damage option, whereas dual wands provide double the potential base attribute bonuses and better sustained damage across multiple attacks. I have yet to find any crafting component in the EE that increases mage stats (I've only found tormented souls which are str+dex), so I cannot regain the lost attributes through enhancing the staff. Or in other words, dual wands are nothing but stat-sticks and you probably shouldn't waste points in dual-wielding for a mage.

Last edited by Sotanaht; 03/11/15 10:48 PM.
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I just checked and putting points into two-handed weapons doesn't even increase melee damage. I also confirmed that it doesn't affect Staff of Magus.

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Originally Posted by Stabbey
I just checked and putting points into two-handed weapons doesn't even increase melee damage. I also confirmed that it doesn't affect Staff of Magus.


laugh

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Originally Posted by Sotanaht
Lots of stuff


Good post, thanks for checking the actual numbers. It seems however you have a mistake somewhere when you compare full spec wands with staff, since that's not 8% less, it's quite a bit more. Maybe you compared 5DW/0wand damage or something, which sounds it'd something like that. It's about 25% less with the numbers you provided.

I also kinda disagree with your conclusion, dual wands are worth it if your main intent is doing damage with your mage. Truth is, lategame, most spells do garbage damage. You can still do ok using poison/fire combos but only against mobs that are not resistant to fire or immune to either, and with the nerf to the cooldown reduction from high int, you can't spam nearly as well as you used to either, and that's not counting all the master spells that can now only be cast once per fight.

Wands can crit(and can come with 5%crit each, which iirc stacks globally rather than being per wand), always hit and have incredible damage efficiency. A single shot of wands with the numbers you provided is several times better than most spells unless you're hitting large amount of targets, when comparing equal AP costs(most high end spells cost 7 or more AP, meaning you get 2 swings). It's also pretty much superior to every single option but Death Punch for single target damage, which is relevant when trying to take down specific targets quickly(like bosses, or aura monsters in tactician and such).

Now when comparing wands to staves, the main argument imo is staves limitation to 1 shot per turn, which is a huge downside. At 3AP, it's not a good way to burn your excess AP for damage. Quite often near the end of a fight, I'm out of offensive spells and I still get 8AP a turn. There's no need to debuff the last 1-2 half health mobs, and being able to spam wands makes the fights go faster. That's when not using wands as a main source of damage(I have 0/0). That's the main reason I don't equip staves, too often I end up burning the last few mobs with wands and staves would force me to go into melee, which could turn wrong for no reason so I'd just pass instead, wasting time.

Also of note, it only takes 2pts in dual wield to reduce the AP cost to 4. Those points I think are way more cost efficient than the ones after and it'd probably be worth comparing 2pt DW/1pt wand, which is only 4 ability points, versus staves. I'd reckon with the additional int, it'd be quite a decent investment for ability points.

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Yes, spells are kinda weak damage wise compared to dual wand (or magus staff spell).

Dual wand progression is like that (compared to just one single wand at 0 point)
You put a wand in your offhand and you get
-30% damage per AP
+1 dualwield: -8%
+2: +20%
+3: +35%
+4: +50%
+5: +100%

So, indeed, +2 is when dualwield becomes on par with wand skill. But I don't know if you should stop there. I never saw duelwield bonuses elsewhere than belt and gloves, so I assume you could stop at 3 if you are happy to count on luck for those two slots.

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Yeah you are right I goofed when I calculated the damage difference. I wasn't using anything like a 5/0, I just entered the numbers wrong. it's closer to 25%.

Still, why even have a mage if you are going to be spending half your skill points just to do pathetic weapon damage instead of spells, when you could instead roll an archer for like 4 times the damage if not more?

As far as that point at the end of the fight where you no longer care about CCing enemies, if things are THAT easy you may as well just skip your mages turn and let someone else finish the enemy in a single hit.

Even with the damage conclusions though, I think that Dual Wands are actually the no-brainer choice. Not for damage, but for attributes. It's an easy +4 int or Con (or whatever random stats a drop rolls), compared to the +2 I could get from a crafted staff. It's also 2 "free" master level spells that I don't have learned (but do have 4-5 ranks in the spell school), if I choose the right wands.

Since you are almost definitely going to be using wands anyway, because of the above, putting a trivial number of points into the wand skill to get it to rank 2, just so that it costs a reasonable number of AP, isn't a bad idea. You aren't making a wand mage, your just making use of the resources you have to hand.

Edit: there might actually be a reason to use wands w/ high wand skill I hadn't thought about. Wands can come with up to 3 different debuffs each in the 20-30% chance range. 2 wands fireing for 3 ap with 6 30% chances to debuff the enemy seems like a pretty interesting strategy. However, it does mean giving up the +4 int you get from crafted wands unless you are ridiculously lucky in finding rare wands.

Last edited by Sotanaht; 03/11/15 11:19 PM.
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what is needed to craft a wand, can't seem to find the receipt.

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One inert wand and one elemental essence. AFAIK tenebrium aka witchcraft wands can't be crafted, but it could be some combination I don't know.

Last edited by Sotanaht; 05/11/15 10:17 AM.
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Originally Posted by Sotanaht
One inert wand and one elemental essence. AFAIK tenebrium aka witchcraft wands can't be crafted, but it could be some combination I don't know.


If you check the Divinity Wikia for DOS EE Crafting, dumped ALL crafting recipes straight from the game files. If its possible to craft, its there, if its not.. its not there.

Sadly, I haven't gotten far enough into the game to see the other 3 wand core types.. if you know them, feel free to change the cores list.

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Inert Wooden Wand
Inert Clawed Wand
Inert Elven Wand
Inert Draconic Wand

In that order. I'd like to note that the Wooden wand actually does the most damage. Higher tier wand bases usually, but not always have better spells.

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So the consensus seems to be that wands are better than staves in almost every way, even when not investing in the wand/DW skills. Sounds to me like a slight range nerf on wands (10-12m max) and removing the cooldown on staff of magus would at least give staves some kind of niche as long-range finishers. I also like the idea of staves giving charges of defensive spells, wands giving offensive ones. Potentially, I think high level staves could even grant you low level skills for permanent usage.

Another thing that staves could really use is on-hit effects applying to staff of magus and not just physical hits of the staff. Otherwise, they ought to just take those modifiers off of staves because there's almost no reason to hit something with a staff. Or maybe make the chance for these effects fairly high so if you do hit something, it's a good chance it'll be crippled or what have you.

A couple staff-only combat maneuvers could be a cool way to give staves their place, though I'm not sure what skill trees they'd fit under. Maybe even man-at-arms could take it, for a sort of hybrid that uses staves to deal physical damage along with spells, though that would be a pretty niche focus.

Staves could give a minor chance to block, too, maybe 15% on the best staves.

Dunno if any of these changes will make it in the EE, but Larian might consider them in D:OS2.

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Wand's definitely don't need nerfs. Both Wands and staves could use buffs, their damage in both cases are terrible. In current form both wands and staves are stat-sticks only. The fact that staves already do better damage doesn't even matter, because no one in their right mind uses either wands OR staves for damage.

They could give Staff of Magus a splash effect, making it an ability that actually had some combat effectiveness rather than being a last resort. Even then, they should up the damage (as well as upping the damage of most damage-oriented spells). Wands should have their own damage increased dramatically, turning them into a straight attack option while staves remain a single-shot nuke. Substantially in this case meaning at least +150%

I just see no reason why Wands and Staves should be so far behind bows and crossbows, to say nothing of axes both 1 and 2 hand. It's not like rangers don't have their own spell-like abilities and special tools. I think wands would be in a good place if their damage-per-AP was at least 70% of a fully upgraded bow at the same skill level. Currently they sit closer to 20%. Staves meanwhile should have a completely different function. With their once-per-turn limitation they can afford to be pretty powerful.

Of course, wands and staves shouldn't overshadow spells, but spell damage with the exception of the level 15 "rain" type spells is far too low anyway. Sure a blitz bolt can stun, but so can a stunning arrow and it does 5 times the damage for 2 less AP and no cooldown. The mage version does have a slightly higher chance if you pump the crap out of int, but it doesn't really make a whole lot of difference.

Last edited by Sotanaht; 06/11/15 08:48 AM.
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IMO Wands and Staves are there for "Early Game" when a caster doesn't have enough spells to fully expend all their AP on, and then late game, like others have stated.. they are just stat sticks.

If you want to "Direct Damage".. get a Bow/Crossbow. Casters should be doing AoE's and Crowd Control.

Also, thanks Sotanaht for the wand core names.. I''ll be updating the wikia shortly.

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