Sacred:Tharkane's Incredible Codex of Daemons (Guide) Part 2

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Originally posted at DarkMatters for review and discussion.

Tips and Advice

Pure Melee, Hybrid, or Spell Caster?

For those considering the development details of your Daemon and what to do with her build-wise, you might find yourself stumped on the subject of her Hell Magic and combat ability. Are they truly independent of one another? Can a non-magical Daemon be viable in the game?

Important factors to consider regardless of your goals: the Daemon's magic essentially covers two realms: attack enhancement, and damage-dealing. Each one of her spells fall into either one of those categories; in the case of Infernal Power, both. Her spells cover a broad spectrum of damage types: physical, fire, magic, and poison. In this regard, she is a more adept spell caster than the Seraphim, though nowhere near the equal of the Battle Mage. Magic ability is an important part of the Daemon, as vital as her combat prowess.

Her awesome potential in combat is in fact partly due to her magical ability. Call of Death and Infernal Power, both buffing-type spells, amplify every one of her blows. The power these spells add to her damage output actually negate the need for the Daemon to rely on combat moves such as the other Sacred characters possess. Case in point:

My Daemon Yiloth - Experiments in Combat and Magic

Enter Yiloth, a 112th level Daemon just barely into Platinum difficulty. With Aarnum's Fiery Blade equipped, endowed with the full set bonuses and enhanced by Infernal Power, she achieves "normal" hits in the range of 20K - 50K, even against fire-resistant targets. Quite impressive when you also consider the amount of damage she achieves using the Descent Attack, the special attack of the Soaring Daemon form. Her highest hit in my memory was in the neighborhood of 420,000 damage. Part of the reason why her "normal mouse-click" attacks are so powerful: critical hit bonuses. The other reason: I have her Infernal Power spell nicely developed. It adds considerable damage to every attack by itself. When I add Call of Death on top of everything else, nothing on the screen lasts very long. She zips around in Soaring form whacking everything into clouds of bloody mist. The resistances of her targets are overcome by the sheer damage of her hits.

I have tested the forms alone with no spell enhancements, and find her lacking. The only exception: using a crossbow while in Soaring Form. The rate of fire is not unlike an Uzi with unlimited ammunition.

Of her combat moves, it seems that the Descent Attack of the Soaring Daemon Form and the Wall of Fire of the Fire Daemon Form are by far the most effective and useful. The energy orbs of the Magic Daemon come in a close second here, being ranged in nature. Unfortunately for the Daemon, she has no magic that enhances her magical damage.

Fire is a different matter. As we all know, Infernal Power adds to fire damage. For this reason alone, the Wall of Flames attack becomes much more useful and powerful. The DOT it inflicts increases as the level of the form itself, and the Infernal Power spell, increases.

Then there is the Physical/Fire synergy, as discussed earlier in the Codex. While in Battle Daemon form with the Infernal Power spell active, her Blazing Discs inflict almost 300% more damage than they do on their own!

Had I the chance to do Yiloth over again, I would have changed her skill selections. She rarely uses any magic beyond what I like to think of as Melee magic - Infernal Power and Call of Death. With this is in mind, I submit the following for Daemon players to consider:

There is no such thing as a "pure" melee Daemon. She is a spellcaster by default...all that differs is the amount of investment you channel into her magical abilities. Any debate over the merits of Hellpower vs. Meditation becomes somewhat moot when it is really just a matter of what method you choose in her rise to the top.

Hell Magic Caster:

She will use all of her Hell Magic, both attack enhancements and damaging spells. Since Meditation offers the biggest reduction in spell regeneration time, the selection of this skill is important. Hell Power would be an excellent choice too, since the casting time reduction and further regeneration reduction only serves to make her deadlier in combat with Hell Magic. As a Hell Magic caster, you want multiple Burning Discs, Hell Spheres, and the Abysmal Choir all doing their thing at the same time.

* Option 1: Take the Meditation and Hell Power skills. Biggest benefit: you will be able to enjoy the large bonuses to Hellpower that many of her set items give (one of her platinum set pieces gives a +22 bonus to Hellpower by itself). Also, bonuses to the Meditation skill are given on many of her items, and the "generic" Daemon items. If you find Regeneration Spells: +x% items, all the better!

* Option 2: Take the Meditation skill. Rely on Regeneration Spells: +X% items to augment.

Melee Magic Caster:

Like my Daemon Yiloth, you use Infernal Power and Call of Death either constantly, or quite frequently. You want the satisfaction of doing the killing yourself.

* Option 1: Take the Meditation skill. Since the spells that will be used are duration buffs, casting them multiple times in succession only applies if you want to buff allies and hirelings. Simply keeping the regen time below the duration is all that is needed. In my opinion, this option has worked very well with my latest Melee Magic Daemon.

* Option 2: Take the Hell Power skill, and rely on Regeneration Spells bonus items to augment regeneration times.

Note that the Melee Magic caster can add a few Burning Discs as friends if you stack up on spell regeneration power somewhat. Your discs will do alot of damage since you're constantly buffed with Infernal Power, and even more so if you like Battle Daemon form. That's a sort of compromise between melee prowess and a little magical specialty.

I created a Hell Magic caster, and have to say that her carnage is spectacular. So if it's a question of who does more injury to enemies, both types of Daemon do equally. Yiloth kills anything (including some dragons) with one dive, and Daedra my Hell Caster makes the entire screen suffer with her spells. Depends on my mood.

Final Opinion: The "Best" Hell Magic Daemon

The most effective Hell Magic caster would use Battle Daemon as her preferred form, and keep the buffing spells constantly active on herself. She then adds damage to every damaging spell in her arsenal. Here's how:

* Battle Daemon form (adds physical) + Infernal Power (adds fire) + Call of Death (multiplies damage done) =

* Blazing Disc (Physical + Fire, enhanced by Call of Death)

* Hell Sphere (Fire + Magic, enhanced by Call of Death)

* Abysmal Choir (Physical + Magic, enhanced by Call of Death)

* Tentacles (Magic + Poison, enhanced by Call of Death)