Sacred 2:The Self-Sufficient High Elf
REASONING: You will want a character who can do everything on his own - kill quickly, level up quickly, have nice equipment and be fun to play. I think the HE is just that character. Although I'm expecting the pyro-based elves to be nerfed anytime soon, I can't help it but say, that for me, alongside the BFG Seraphim, this is one of the most fun chars to play.
BUILD: Level 2 - Arrant Pyromancer lore - No surprise here. We want to start strong and we want to keep on pumping points here every level.
Level 3 - Concentration - to get a second buff, which will be Grand invigoration. I still debate whether to level up this skill or leave it at 1 point. So far I am going with the latter - I don't need the demon for now.
Level 5 - Arrant Pyromancer focus - No surprise here again. Keep on pumping points here. We want it to be as high as it can get.
Level 8 - Bargaining - Yeah, we could have taken Armor lore here, but with the points you're pumping in pyro, you will have nice homing fireballs now that will kill just about anything. In addition to that, you may start seeing that you're starting to pile up some cash. All those money won't do any good by themselves and picking up this skill early on is a good way to capitalize on that. Get yourself relics that improve bargaining and start searching the shops for something useful. As far the level up of this skill goes, put a point here anytime you can, but make sure that you get yourself a set that keeps it as high as presently possible. This skill will let you select your own equipment, it will be the pinnacle of your build (since you can't expect to have everything you need to drop just like that). Ideally, you want this skill to be equal to: your level *2 at start/ your level*3 later on.
Level 12 - Enhanced perception - after we have ensured that we have Bargaining at 5 points, it's time to add this. Leave it at 1 point for the time being and start pumping it up when you get 4 points per level and you have ensured that you pyro skills are at their max - equal to your level. Make sure to get 3 relics that improve this skill. At this point you may also want to shop some +XP per level stuff based on EP. A quick level up rarely hurts and the bonus from this skill is quite sweet.
Level 18 - Armor lore - finally! Why now? The majority of the HE armors have low regen penalty rate by default. If you plan well, you will find that you don't really need it before level 18. Pump points every now and then when you see that your CA regen penalty from armor goes over 100%. I can say that it will rarely happen - I'm at about 92% now, which I consider it to be quite low.
Level 25 - Delphic Arcania Focus - I hate picking skills that I'm not going to level a lot, but this one seems to be a must. It will allow you to gold-mod grand invigoration which will lower your CA regen times significantly. After you do so, you can forget it.
NOTE: Since at lvl 25 you get 4 skill points, you can start planning. 2 go to pyro, 2 for Delphic focus for 4 levels - just to mod Grand Invigoration as quickly as possible. We will think about modding shadow step later on, when we start to encounter hard battles and bosses.
Level 35 - Constitution - it's about time to start thinking about survival at this point. We want this skill to 75 by lvl 75 in order to get the regen-HP-in-combat mastery skill. Since we still have 4 skill points per level, start adding points here when you start to discover that enhanced perception and bargaining satisfy your needs.
NOTE: Since you can shop rings and amulets with +2 all skills now, it's a good idea to start doing so. Use them in sockets, in normal equipment slots, everywhere you can. They will make you powerful.
Level 50 - Ancient magic - this skill will directly improve the spell damage you inflict. You can leave it at 1 point for awhile, since the points you pump in pyro will compensate. NOTE: At lvl 50 you'll get 5 skill points. It will be a good idea to plan carefully now. You will still be pumping skill point in pyro, so you have 3 spare. Make them count between bargaining, enhanced perception, constitution and ancient magic. Remember to keep an eye on your armor regen penalty. If it starts to go over 100%, add in armor lore as well.
Level 65 - OPTION 2 - Shield lore - why shield lore? Ideally, you will want a high armor class to keep you alive. In addition to that, the Stalwort Safeguard is the best shield around with a lot of defense of all sorts and a gold socket, meaning you can easily slap an Artamark's star unique amulet in it and have its defense values to skyrocket. Since shield lore improves the shield defense with good returns, it may be prudent to go for quite a bit more defense (from the shield only) than firepower from the CD skill.
In my opinion, this is the best basis of a self-sufficient High Elf Pyromancer. With this build you can easily select the equipment that will suit your needs AT ALL TIMES and put your money to good use rather than having it pile up with no apparent reason. Bargaining for the WIN!
This build will allow you to be extremely versatile. You can use it to level up like crazy, kill like crazy or find items like crazy. Bargaining + Enhanced perception is an extremely powerful combination provided you have the patience to make it work. You should make yourself 3 sets ASAP:
1. A level up set with a lot of socketed +XP per kill rings and amulets as well as such equipment.
2. A magic find set (sorry to use the term from sacred 1, but I'm used to it) with socketed +MF rings and amulets as well as similar equipment
3. A killing set with a lot of +all skills items as well as socketed rings and amulets.
NOTE: If an item has a bronze socket, slap a +armor or +regen time rune - whichever you need most.
2. Fireball - our secondary option. Use it when there aren't many opponents around. Mods: Greek Fire -> Fussilade -> Hot pursuit. Why Greek fire? The main reason for this pick is because we won't be using fireball as main CA. For that reason, we will want the fire damage over time to do the kill if the initial fireball fails.
3. Incendiary shower - in my opinion, this CA is the ultimate boss-killer. You may risk a hit or two, but it will pay off big time. Based on the fact that I use it mainly on bosses and champion mobs, I usually mod it this way: Magma rain -> Smoldering Boulder -> Copious shower. The first 2 increase damage (we need it to kill bosses/champs faster) and the last forces the meteors to rain down faster and with shortened intervals - we do need to hit the mob even if it's moving, right? In addition to that, the last mod will help you run away from a boss without taking much damage.
4. Incandescent skin - OUR FIRST BUFF. This buff directly improves the regen times of the aspect which you'll be using all game - arrant pyromancer. Although I have though at first that the "+% regen time of all combat arts" affects Pyro, I was wrong. It doesn't. IT SEEMS that the reduction of the regen times in the Pyro aspect works independently AS LONG AS IT IS MODDED (there were complaints that skin increases the pyro CA's time, so I surmise this happened because it was unmodded - I noticed that happening in my game as well, but this problem was solved as soon as I managed to mod it up to silver and gold). So slap runes here every time you can and try to keep it at max level as soon as you mod it up to gold. HOWEVER, it does increase the regen times of all other combat arts (anything you may use in Delphic Arcania and Mystic Stormite), so keep track of those as well. You don't want Shadow Step or Cascading Shroud to reach crazy regen times that will make them unusable.
Mods: Inferno -> Energy focus -> Arrant Pyromancer Expertise. Since we'll be counting on the DoT, the buff will help us additionally to set targets on fire and the reduction in regen times is just the thing we need to spam tempests like crazy.
5. Grand invigoration - our second buff. It doesn't hinder the combat arts, so you can slap runes here to your heart's desire. Modifications: Arrant pyromancer expertise -> Replenish -> Your call. The first two will decrease the regen time of our Combat arts which is exactly what we need. As for the last mod, I'm having a serious debate with myself. I really like fleetness, since I rarely use a mount (and without the riding skill, a unique mount will hinder your CA's rather than improve regen time) and any run speed is welcome to get me out of a difficult situation.
NOTE: Since we did put some points in arcana focus, we will make some use of the spells in that area as well.
6. Shadow step - make sure you keep this spell on your tab all the time. It is a life-saver especially when you need a quick escape. It is also a good reason to put more points in arcana focus rather than just mod Grand Invigoration. Why? Check out which mods we can use: Escape -> Sanctuary -> Explosion. Escape will free you from root effects (I like it because if you're rooted while rounding up enemies, it's a big problem since tempest has only 180 degree spread), Sanctuary will render you invulnerable for a few seconds (enough to drink several HP pots and save yourself) and Explosion will do area damage (we will count on sanctuary to save our poor outnumbered or outgunned HE, so explosion is the better choice).
7. Cascading Shroud - we will use it as it is, without mods. It has come cool physical damage mitigation and also gives you the chance to evade attacks. Extremely useful in tight situations and in boss battles.
8. Cobalt Strike - you can use this as a backup spell when an opponent is fire resistant. Mods: Heavy damage -> Electrify -> Critical. We need it to hit only 1 target and still do damage. If we were to use it against more than one opponent, this build would have no meaning. We have tempest for multiple opponents.
2. MAKING MONEY COUNT - every 5-10 levels (based on the level you are - more often on higher levels) you should take the time to sit back and search the shops for suitable rare items. Suitable rare items are: rings and amulets with +all skills/xp per kill/MF; equipment with the same modifiers and/or with good quality sockets - silver or better; weapon or other items with cast speed; shield with good sockets and a lot of defense. The best option in my opinion is an item with cast speed and good-quality sockets (the other modifiers are just a bonus, but the more, the better).
3. MAKING EQUIPMENT COUNT - use the +XP, +MF and killing sets well. It may be sort of hard for some people to grind for items or xp - not for me. Since I'm used to playing Lineage 2, grinding in one area for levels or items, waiting for the respawn is nothing to me. Perhaps this is why I tend to finish up the various difficulties at rather high levels. When you discover that mobs in an area are easy to kill - slap the +XP equipment and go on a leveling spree. Afterwards, slap the MF equipment and go on a magic item find spree. HOWEVER: when you pass through a tough area, or have a boss fight on your hands - make sure you have your killing set with a lot of def and + all skills on.
4. USE THE SKILL BONUSES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE - you may have noticed that on lower levels, the skills provide better bonuses. So it is prudent that when you see a skill providing smaller bonuses to CA regen time, for example, compared to another one, pick the skill that will give you a better bonus (pyro lore and focus are considered exceptions since we want them maximized at all times).