1) Your point on diversifying kind of backs up the OPs point on needing to in order to get the most out of your build. Also, this can't be considered the same as a physical build, because they always diversify. The point is that a full on physical build has better skills than a magic one..
So rogues and warriors can diversify, but a mage cannot? That argument doesn't make sense at all. So a warrior can put skills into necromancy, geomancy, air (aeromancy? I can never remember), polymorph, and pyromancy and get a few select fantastic skills, but a mage can not put points into warfare, scoundrel, huntsman, or polymorph? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here. ANY character that focuses on one single skill set is going to be weaker than a character diversifies and that has access to more skills. Even an OP elf rogue becomes more powerful when the put points into other skill sets.
2) Magic armor makes alot of the utility pointless unless you want to build into the air tree.....which really sucks for feeling forced into and sucks out ability to diversify elsewhere.
And physical armor prevents warriors and rogues from inflicting damage on vitality, it goes both ways. Also you do not need to spec into air just like you don't need to spec heavily into warfare to remove physical armor. To say that magic armor makes utility useless isn't accurate.
In geomancy you can spike a large area cause massive damage, create an oil surface, cripple and slow all enemies inside of that area AND IT BYPASSES ARMOR. If there is any kind of a fire surface nearby you then cause a chain reaction explosion. You can then hit someone with poison dart causing huge poison damage, and another AOE explosion.
In air you have teleport (self explanatory), favorable winds, and netherswap.
In pyromancy you have burn my eyes (probably the best buff in the game), haste (0AP gives you more AP and speed), and if you started your geomancy combo with spikes you can follow it up with combustion and basically nuke everyone.
Necromancy there is blood rain, shackles of pain, and decaying touch (godly), blood sucker
Hydrophist you can heal, rain, freeze everything, large aoe ice damage, Ice Armor (soooo good)
Summoning has.... summoning has.... Im still messing around with summoning I'm feeling pretty underwhelmed by it truthfully. But the totems utility appears underwhelming until you figure out how to position them and creating surfaces. The dimensional bolt is a bit like using Russian roulette magic, it is great for creating a surface to call out your totems and particular pets. The pets have some good utility and if they survive the fights duration are actually one of the best damage/AP abilities in the game. Since most fights are 1 to 2 rounds in classic mode it does feel underpowered.
3) No, the damage of a mage does NOT come out to be equal to min-maxed physical build. On average, if you're not thinking too hard about it...yeah, both can kill the enemy and you might notice too much difference, but for a power gamer? The gap gets way wide.
I disagree. A mage has a different focus than a "min-maxed physical build" typically a warrior/rogue is going to do single target dmg and do very well at it. While a mage is going to do aoe damage and battlefield control. For burst damage I don't think anyone disagrees a rogue has the best single target opener in the game, but that also puts the rogue at risk to be focused by the enemy.
You might argue that mages get to attack multiple targets at once vs single target focus of warriors and stuff, but if anything the first game has taught us that it's way more efficient to completely kill one target rather just hurt multiple ones.
Again, I disagree. The first game taught us especially at higher difficulties it is much more efficient to to control the battlefield and use the enemies against each other, charm, etc. The more enemies you can control or disable the less of a threat the remaining enemies are. I do agree with you about focusing one target than trying to chip away several at a time. But right now in Act 1 you can aoe most groups down to nothing in one turn.
4) Resistances are actually pretty common
Very true, and so is blunt, slashing, and piercing resistance. There is almost always a weakness however.
Not nonviable....not weak per se....just not very appealing when you can make a warrior that's easier to spec for higher difficulties with half the effort.
Ideally, different archetypes shouldn't feel that different in funness and power. Thus, i guess, the call for buffs.
It is much easier to build a warrior, or a rogue, requires less thinking and is easier to know where to place your points. And I will concede that on single targets a rogue, or a ranger is probably better. I feel like warriors and mages are similar in single target damage, with a warrior having a slight advantage. But I am also ok with that. There is more risk to a rogue, and a warrior when they are damaging their enemies, and there should be a reward for that risk. Otherwise you wouldn't ever bring a rogue or a warrior.
Also, 25% is a pretty good snapshot of the game. If the gap between two builds is there at the end of 25% I don't see it closing going forward. Only widening.
If you remember the first game each class was strong and weak at different times in the game, so I feel fairly confident in my original statement of saying it is unfair to say mages are weak endgame. We just don't know. Also what is your definition of strong? Each type of character you make will be strong or weak depending on your playstyle and your preference.
The only that wouldn't happen is if there was a few mage centrist skills or items that were unreasonably OP ... which presents the problem of making players than build around them instead of just having fun.
I think I understand what you are saying here. Again depends on your playstyle. Your fun is not necessarily the same as my fun. If Larian wants to buff mages, I'm ok with that too. I do feel like rogues will be nerfed on release, and I think Skin Graft is probably going to be a source ability. It is just too good right now.