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    Dark Souls III

    Game » consists of 10 releases. Released Mar 24, 2016

    This game melds elements from all previous Souls games and concludes the Dark Souls trilogy.

    Magic - any good in this game?

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    sweep

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    #1 sweep  Moderator

    While anxiously awaiting to begin my own DS3 adventure I've been trawling for info, and one of the recurring themes I've noticed amongst people playing the game is that offensive magic has reportedly been made much less reliable, especially in PVP. Can anyone confirm if this is the case? I'd rather know before I sink 40 hours into a pyromancer!

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    Teddie

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    I would also like to know how magic is, but specifically the sorcery. I've had a pyromancy build in DS1, a miracle build in DS2, and I was planning on rounding things out with a sorcery build in DS3.

    (Also @sweep, I think you can still respec in this game so you shouldn't worry too much about wasting time on a build)

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    militantfreudian

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    I think I read on reddit that scaling for spells have increased with the latest patch. I can't attest to that though.

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    Milijango

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    Offensive miracles and sorceries are very weak early-mid game. I can't attest to them later on, nor have I used pyromancies.

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    Ares42

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    #5  Edited By Ares42

    I did a playthrough as pyromancer. The focus/estus change really screws over casters in the early game (having to sacrifice healing just to be able to sustain damage output). The early spells doesn't really do that much more damage either (especially considering there are certain weapons you can get early on that are way too strong). For the first third/half of the game I used weapons more than spells. There was a point though where my spells became really strong, although it highly depends on finding the right areas/items. However as I started getting into the later parts of the game finding time to get spells off started becoming more and more of an issue, and it still sucked having to sacrifice a third of my healing.

    As for PVP I don't have any experience, but I would assume the same issues will apply. There are some really strong spells, but you're gonna have problems both casting and hitting them and you'll always have less healing than your opponent.

    I've played around a bit with a sorcerer and things seem a bit better, but still not great. If anything I would go that route though, mostly because finding the good pyro spells in a timely manner on your first playthrough is highly unlikely.

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    Quid_Pro_Bono

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    I started with the goal of making a sorcery character that finished enemies off with dex weapons. I started as an assassin, and bought Farron Dart which does a pitiful amount of damage. I bought Soul Arrow which still did less damage than one swing of my Estoc. On a whim, I equipped a long bow and tried it out, and was SUPER impressed with how much better bow mechanics are now and how much damage it did. So, I've switched over to straight dex with some utility spells (Spook, Magic Weapon) but I don't use offensive magic since my bow is a better ranged option. Maybe if I had pumped int more I'd have had better damage output, but it just didn't seem worth it.

    You unlock the spell vendor in the 3rd area of the game, so there's a few areas where you're stuck with pretty underpowered spells. Still haven't seen a pyromancy vendor yet, in the 5th area. Miracles and hexes, on the other hand, are available in plentiful quantity in the second major area. Your mileage may vary.

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    LawGamer

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    @quid_pro_bono: Re: the pyromancy vendor:

    He's in the Undead Settlement. On the stone bridge by all the firebomb guys on the upper level, there's a ledge you can drop off on the right hand side. It leads to a path with a bonfire. Follow it around and you end up on the upper level where the firebomb guys were. The pyromancer vendor is in a cage around back of that building.

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    maginnovision

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    #8  Edited By maginnovision

    I'm playing a pyro right now. I've basically gone lightest armor I have and two handing a dex sword. It's working out pretty well. I switch to pyro stuff when I need range or just want a little safety. I'm only using one mana pot though so it's typically just slicing stuff up. The pyro stuff can also help to stagger enemies too. All in all I'd say pyro is better than 2, worse than 1, which feels about right.

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    Quid_Pro_Bono

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    @lawgamer: No way! I thought I combed through that place! Thanks for the tip, I'll go grab him tonight!

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    MezZa

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    #10  Edited By MezZa

    Going to go into detail on spellcasters experiences that I've read around the internet, so may be some mechanic spoilers here if you care about that kind of thing.

    It's not so much that spellcasters are worse, but that hybrid melee/spellcasters are. The real strong scaling for spells doesn't start until you have 50+ in your stat from what I've been reading on reddit. And scaling for spells doesn't even start until you're above 20 in your stat.

    What does this mean exactly? Well, pyros have it slightly easier because they combine faith and int. You start with 14/14 meaning you have 28 total and are already scaling up. Whereas sorcerers and clerics start at 16. Also to get the really significant damage boosts you have to have major amounts of the stat. Going even between dex or strength along with your spellcasting stat is not something you can easily do at the moment. And you pretty much have to wear the rings that boost damage and spell casting speed. Meaning you dont have much room to be a great sword welding spellcaster rolling around in havels armor this time around. If you want to be a powerful spellcaster, you pretty much have to go glass cannon and this makes the early game much tougher.

    Luckily, infusions that remove stat scaling for pure damage seem really strong. So you can run around with an upgraded infused weapon with minimum stat requirements to wield it and do pretty well on weapon damage until you get a faith or int scaled weapon.

    Fair warning: this is just knowledge I've gathered from reading about other people's attempts. Not my own experience. And the reliability of it and your own experience may vary. This seems to be the consensus for the current patch though.

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    PlasmaDuck

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    #11  Edited By PlasmaDuck

    I've been playing a sorceress as my second character, I beat every boss with a normal sword n' board fighter first time around with no real difficulty spikes. My sorceress is now soul level 35ish and the game is MUCH harder. Spells are godawful early on and many bosses have been exercises in frustration so far. Soul Arrow is still the best allround spell, many others are just plain useless. I've heard it gets better at higher levels but it is such a grind thus far (Deacons were fucking hopeless). The main problem is still the games awful targeting for spells. The lock-on range is almost melee range and many enemies can close that distance in one lunge. Spells have also a terrible habit of missing enemies close up because they simply duck under them (stop putting the staff up in the air when firing damnit). Good thing Dex increases casting speed, allowing me to use a katana as a backup.

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    Sterling

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    My first character I started on the night the game came out was a sorcerer. And I found myself using my sword way more than the soul arrow. It was just too damn slow. I had a hard time getting casts off before getting hit or having to break the animation by rolling out of the way. So I just started over with another class. I'd like to go back to playing a magic build at some point, because I always do. But it felt real rough in the early part of the game. The lock on, as mentioned above, needs to be much further away for spells if the casting is going to be that slow.

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    Pazy

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    #13  Edited By Pazy

    As someone who has primarily played a mage through all the Souls games, outside of Bloodborne, I feel like they ruined the mage in this game. They made all the enemies in the game faster but they didnt change the speed of spellcasting so it makes it exceptionally hard to get any basic spell off and then, at least early on, the damage of the carefully positioned and timed Soul Arrow equals what my mage can do with a stab of his un-upgraded shortsword. The lock-on range also seems a low shorter so Im almost always within the range for a speedy enemy to jump up as a I cast and half the enemies naturally dodge by bobbing their head or just being short.

    So far I have seen no reason to actually play a mage in Dark Souls 3, its all the downloads of casting in melee and none of the advantages. I am really, really unhappy with this after really enjoying 3 other games as a Mage.

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    PlasmaDuck

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    Hopefully this upcomming patch adresses some of the glaring weaknesses. Increase damage and lock on range and magic would be completely fine. The Farron spells are really cool ideas but they barely tickle the enemies.

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    nonused

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    #15  Edited By nonused

    I've been loving playing a sorcerer, so far. Heavy Soul Arrow is real good, as is good ol' Soul Arrow. But I even out my build with a focus on Dex, as well (which is super complimentary to magic builds). I'm actually surprised to see all the negativity surrounding sorcery in this game, as it's helped me out a LOT. But, I don't think I'd make a pure magic build; having a sword and shield (as well as a longbow) has helped just as much.

    Edit: Also interesting seeing people talk about how weak magic is early game. If it weren't for Soul Arrow, I don't think I could've beaten Iudex (given how frail my character was in the first place).

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    Milijango

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    @pazy: The HP/FP Estus compromise was the perfect solution to the caster balance issues of the previous games, and a lot a more elegant than cranking up elemental defences like they did in DLC. You put yourself at less risk, so you have to be more careful about taking damage. There was absolutely no need to make casting as clunky and weak as it is now.

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    Eder

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    #17  Edited By Eder

    I jumped from Sorcerer (DS1) to Warrior (DS3) because I wanted a bigass weapon and not have to depend on spells like in the first game. I hate having to find a spell vendor because you are pretty much screwed if you dont. Sure the range was great but I remember the spells were like useable items that once you used them all you were screwed. I guess the kinda fixed that with the new magic system but screw that. Hitting stuff just feels so much better since you gotta get close and personal!

    @pazy: The HP/FP Estus compromise was the perfect solution to the caster balance issues of the previous games, and a lot a more elegant than cranking up elemental defences like they did in DLC. You put yourself at less risk, so you have to be more careful about taking damage. There was absolutely no need to make casting as clunky and weak as it is now.

    Also this right here

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    Grelik

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    I played 5-6 hours as my normal quality build (longsword and shield medium/light armour) Then decided I'd give pyromancy a go just to see if I enjoyed it. Restarted with a pyromancer, and man. It just wasn't fun. The casting is so slow, that coupled with the fact that I find a lot more enemies and bosses are more aggressive and fast in this game vs. previous DS games made it a really tedious experience. That with the fact that a lot of casts whiffed because an enemy strafed a bit to the right or left was also annoying. I'm sure it gets better once you can increase your casting speed and get a few more spells, but until then, magic is pretty boring and tedious in my opinion.

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    ArbitraryWater

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    I've been using magic mostly for support and ranged harassment, but the idea of going pure caster seems like it would be a nightmare in this game. Heavy Soul Arrow takes a good 3 seconds or so to cast, and while it does a respectable amount of damage, there are plenty of enemies who can close the pitifully small gap that is the lock-on range in that time.

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    PlasmaDuck

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    #20  Edited By PlasmaDuck

    @nonused: Sword, shield and a well-timed dodge will get you through every single boss in this game. Sorcery on the other hand is finnicky as fuck and requires insane patience.

    Edit: I'm now on Pontiff Sulyvahn which I declare impossible as a sorcerer. Fuck magic in this game, it's straight up terrible.

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    pkmango7

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    #21  Edited By pkmango7

    The offensive spells in the beginning are pretty underwhelming. Some of them are just bad, but the main reason is because the INT/FTH scaling in this game is different. You actually get better returns starting at 30, and from there it stays constant all the way up to 60. Here's an example:

    https://sites.google.com/site/darksouls3stats/scaling-graphs/int-scaling-tests

    I think the only way to curb this early on is to lean heavily into high damage weapons without scaling (Raw Astora Straight Sword, Deep Battle Axe, Fire Gem starting gift) while you get your offensive stat up and also get your hands on the appropriate gems.

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    Thorntik

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    I can't speak for a true INT build but I started as an Assassin and having access to Spook (make no sound and no fall damage) and Soul Arrow for pulling enemies and dealing decent damage at the same time has been really useful.

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    Zevvion

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    It is extremely underpowered in the early game. There is no such thing as a spellcaster playthrough, unfortunately. You'll have to wait until mid-game(ish). I am using a agile DEX + Faith build as I always do on my first playthrough. My Twin Sellswords do 180 damage on regular enemies with a regular dual wielding swing. My Lightning Spear does 90 damage. I have 20 DEX and 20 Faith.

    A good solution is to probably infuse your melee weapon of choice with Raw. I noticed Raw is useful for much longer than it was in any game prior. Even my character that now is 10 or more points over the DEX requirement in B scaling, still does slightly more damage with a Raw weapon. I think you generally only start doing more damage than Raw when you are at roughly 25 of the stat your weapon scales best in. Depends on the weapon of course.

    Anyway, infuse with Raw, ignore DEX and Strength and start dumping everything into Faith or INT. You should be a capable spellcaster around the midgame, but I doubt it will be as easy as melee or hybrid still.

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    PlasmaDuck

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    So I managed to beat Sulyvahn, I ignored him, made a beeline for the Soul Spear scroll and earned a few more INT points in the process. With that I could deal with his clone, which used to annihilate me before.

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