A guide to the Rogue/Mage

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A guide to the Rogue/Mage

Post by Comet » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:12 am

EDIT: Shorter version below. Look for abridged version
What? Rogue/Mages exist?
This is a long (sorry about that) and unofficial guide based on playing a 100% rogue/100% mage for around four years now. Probably still a work in progress.

Dual Classing Rogue and Mage is a rare breed in the EUO world. Back then there were a couple mages who decided to gm rogue skills for extra utility, but they largely remained pure mages at heart, mainly taking rogue for stealth and looting. As far as I know, I am still the only rogue in the game who decided to invest points into int and become 100% mage. It's actually really nice to be the only rogue/mage on the server, but I decided to finally post a guide to the build. There has been lots of talk recently about dualclassing mage or new classes that mix magic and melee, so I thought this info might be useful for future updates.

The general consensus on rogue/mage is that it's bad, but I would disagree:

Pros: Rogue/Mage has incredible utility. With Locks, Traps, Stealth, full movement speed, Invis, Lighter Load, and Blink, you are the undisputed master of treasure hunting (Except in Stygian Abyss- rogue/priests and trap detect). IMJ and VIMJ make enchanting much easier, and KOP/KPY let you easily teleport to your house or bank. Combat may seem a little weak, but if you look further into the guide you'll see that it actually isn't too bad if you play right.

Cons: Lower Hp, dmg, and maybe even MR (YMMV). Low MR may seem weird, but since I cast mana heavy spells like VOG and XC, I have two slots dedicated to vigour, meaning less MR gear. Most rogues won't need to have as much int as I do and cast mana eating spells, but then their int investment hardly makes a difference MR wise, and unless you're going to rely on blue potions, you will still need a slot reserved for vigour.

Stat distribution:

I've tried two stat distributions so far, first as a rogue/mage who invested ~25% of his stats in int, and then as a mage/rogue who invested ~25% of his stats in str/dex, and I can conclude that it's more fun to be a rogue/mage than a mage/rogue. The mediocre rogue damage you get as a mage/rogue is far outshined by your spells, to the point where you might as well just go pure mage. But other than that, there are still plenty of stat distributions to try.

25% int!? What!? Yes, I know. That is a lot of int for a melee class. 100 int is already plenty for most of a rogue/mage's abilities, and for a while the most int I had was 300 for EU, which is still on the high side. However, recent changes have made it viable, in my opinion, to invest more points into int (more on that below). I might even go as far and say even 50% int isn't too crazy, though I've never tried it and don't think it would be ideal. This guide is based on my experiences, so there still a lot about it that's speculative, especially the ideal stat arrangement.

So what do you lose from that? I made some very rough calculations and found at level 270ish I did ~15-20% less damage than a pure rogue per hit, and about 12% less damage than a multiclassed rogue per hit. I also have ~160 less hp, ~60 less thanks to the versatility shrine and ~100 less thanks to my int investment.

Playstyle: As someone who's less into grinding and more into exploring and looting, I really enjoy the puzzle aspects of this build. You don't have the raw power of a mage when it comes to spells, but if you're clever you'll find that spells can be really powerful. Rogue/Mage plays a lot like a normal rogue, so expect lots of stealth and hit and run, but thanks to spellcasting I feel like it's much more fast paced and versatile. When it comes to hunting, Rogues and Mages are both high dps builds, so don't assume that rogue/mages are unoptimized from combat. In fact, far from it.

Spells: Mages can go for a pure int build and rely on VOG + XC to chew through mobs. With the rogue mage it's not so easy. Often, creatures will be able to resist your magic attacks, so you're going to have to become clever about it. Part of the fun part about rogue mage is experimenting with spell combos, so I'll only provide a couple examples of good spells. The rest you'll have to discover yourself...

Ex Uus (Speed): Gives int/3 dex bonus, capped at 100. Useful to mitigate the points you spent into int, if you remember to cast it all the time. It doesn't stack with fountains, but I hardly use fountains anyways.

Sanct Lor (invis): Use sanct lor instead of vas sanct lor. Higher level spells have longer cooldown times, and if you don't have a staff equipped (like after backstabbing), you'll be toast if a creature happens to reveal you. 20 seconds of invis is plenty for combat, and instead I use VSL for non combat uses like exploring.

In Zu Hur (Sleep Wind): Awesome. Even with low int you can put monsters to sleep significantly often. Sleep Wind + backstab is a nice combo (sleeping monsters take 2x damage), but IZH has plenty of uses beyond that. Pure mages are often too focused on damaging spells to worry about sleep wind, so this is an iconic spell for you.

An Ex Por (Paralyze): Another spell that works even with low int. Without a staff equipped, the cooldown time is similar to gouge, but unlike gouge, AEP can fail, so remember that before you start paralyzing things. Still a good spell.

Fighting Styles: A note on spellcasting: put simply, casting without a staff doesn't work in EUO. Your damage output drops significantly and the spell cooldown time is incredibly long. Don't expect to be casting damaging spells without a staff, and of course rogue/mages aren't meant to deal damage purely with spells.

(Secondary fighting styles)

Dual Shortswords: As a rogue mage, you will be switching weapons a lot, meaning that having an offhand weapon is not ideal. This is also sadly true for things like orbs and shields. However, it's good to use every once in a while for the extra damage.

Foils: I find foils useful for speedy melee monster, but I try to switch away from them as soon as possible. For instance: blood warrior cramping your style? Switch to a foil, hit it a couple times, then blind it. As it's blinded, back off, switch to a oak staff, then sleep wind it, before arming a machete and backstabbing (See? You will switch weapons a lot as a rogue mage).

(Main Fighting Styles)

Nightblade (backstabbing): Rogue/Mages are made to be great backstabbers. They do slightly less damage with backstab, but thanks to spells like invis they can get away safely. Sleepwind + backstab is awesome, especially on 2x2s which are highly susceptible to wind attacks. The goal is to backstab a creature and get away, and you have a huge arsenal of spells to help you achieve this task. There is some confusion on how stealth and invis interact, so maybe I'll explain how that works in this guide.

Is it broken?: Usually when some new strategies come out, there are people who argue whether or not something is broken. So allow me to provide a case for why this isn't. Despite being able to go invis, you are still a squishy rogue, and will still end up dying a lot if you're not careful. Rogues with a codex have the added benefit of not being revealed, and can actually backstab at a higher frequency than rogue mages. While invis is a nice spell, there are actually plenty of other mage spells that synergize well with backstab, so it's not a cheap trick, but an actual playstyle that requires you to be clever.

ARCANE ARCHERY: I've saved the best for last. For most of the rogue mage's existence, the rogue mage had difficulty do to the lack of synergy with melee and spell attacks. You could cast mediocre spells and deal ok damage, but if you equipped a melee weapon and tried to cast, you'd find your spells doing single digit damage. To make matters worse, spells and weapon special abilities hog the same cooldown bar. But then, a flurry of changes were added affecting ranged weapons, and as a result Rogue/Mage's have an incredibly effective combat style that's completely unique from any other class. Rogue mages make the best rangers or musketeers in the game thanks to a combination of powerful spells and ranged attacks.

So how does this tactic work? Here's a quick overview:

- Have a good bow/musket bound to a number
- Have a good staff also bound somewhere

Now, equip the staff. As you are casting spells, press F to fire arrows at the same time you're casting. Normally, casting with a bow would be terrible. However, since F makes you quickly switch to a bow, shoot, and switch back, this lets you cast with a staff and shoot with a bow at the same time. When you're rage is up, press the number that your bow is bound to and use your special, then switch back to your staff and start casting + shooting again. This style perfectly solves the problem of mixing physical combat and magical spells.

Is it broken?: Dps wise, this fighting style seems to be on par with a pure rogue or pure mage. It's a little unorthodox, but I think it's fair, especially since you lose a good deal of health and physical damage from going this route.

If you want to make an Arcane Archer, I actually recommend investing a significant amount of points into int. With all the other tactics, you could get away as a rogue mage with 100 int, but here you're going to need the extra mana and damage. This way you can tear through mobs with spells like VOG and XC. As I mentioned earlier, this build is meant for rogue/mages who are primarily rogue. I've tried it with a mage, but then the bow damage is mediocre and you're better off going pure mage.

You will have to move around a lot when hunting like this. A mage is content to stand next to a bunch of mobs and VOG them to death. You, on the other hand, always have to be on the move, unless you want your ranged attacks to miss. It's also a little more complicated than other styles. You can't just hold down ctrl+dir or VOG like other classes, but you have to press a button to cast a spell, the release and press F for fire, and time them correctly. Fortunately, the attack speed for ranged weapons is low, which gives you downtime to think about what spell you want to cast. I personally found spell queing to be incredibly useful, so I did't have to time my spells with my ranged shots. Just press the spell you want to cast and it will be queued for you.

Gear: I'm not going to provide an in depth guide to what gear you need, but here are some things you should get.

-As much attack gear as possible: True for all classes, but especially true for a rogue mage, if you want to deal damage with spells or one shot balrons with backstab.
-MR gear: Also true for all classes
-Vigour gear: I hear a lot of mages use blue potions, but I honestly prefer vigour. I have two +16 vigour items for 32 total, which is good for when I'm casting VOG or XC with archery. The obvious downside to this is I have less MR, which I think is worth it.
-NV?: Personal preference. No one wears nightvision these days, but I still equip something with NV +5, just so seeing is a little easier. If you want to be sneaky, you can't wear anything gold or have spells like Vas Lor cast. Back when lighting rules were different, this meant rogues had to have at least one slot dedicated to NV, so be grateful that NV isn't mandatory anymore.
-Vampyric Staff: Standard weapon for fighting things, unless you're a vampire (rogue mages would probably make great vampires).
-Oak Staff: Speed staff. I use an oak shillelagh when I just have to cast really quickly, or for blinking around the overworld. Also deals good damage.
-Barbed Staff: For bleeding things.
-A vamp machete: Personal preference. Backstabbing with a vamp machete does less damage, but you heal a lot. If I'm in the need for a quick heal I often try to find something to backstab. This saves a lot of time bandaging or using potions.
-A blackrock/copper/addy machete: For pure damage.
-A good foil: I always have a vamp rapier bound just in case. This build isn't very invested in foils, but foils are still really useful against melee mobs.
-A good bow/gun: I prefer crossbows since they build up rage quickly, and the slow firing rate gives me time to cast spells. I actually have two ranged weapons: a runed crossbow bound as 3, and a blackrock musket as 5. This way, I shoot with my runed crossbow to build rage, then when I'm ready, I switch to my blackrock musket and spray and pray everything to oblivion. Bonus points if you got a sleep wind off before that (Muhahahaha).

Solo Hunting: I like solo hunting, and it's something rogue/mages are good at. However, if you prefer to socialize or level up super quickly, then...

Party Hunting: Party hunting is a little different than playing solo. If you come out with all your guns and spells blazing, you'll probably die, and might even take out the rest of the party with you. So unless you're confident that you won't die or lure too many monsters, play more carefully. Try to neutralize enemy spellcasters as quickly as possible with backstab- the tank will appreciate it. Sometimes, the tank just needs a fighting parter, so equip a foil or shortsword and start gouging and paralyzing mobs, especially dangerous ones. Or just use backstab to speed things up. Try not to backstab a creature that someone else is fighting. In my opinion, it's bad form, although maybe some people disagree. Lastly, if the party looks like it's about to be overrun, switch to an oak staff and spam sleep wind. More often than not you'll save the party.

That's the end of my guide for now. Comments on the build are appreciated.
Last edited by Comet on Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A guide to the Rogue/Mage

Post by 1[WoWz] » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:13 am

I've considered having a mage/rogue just because rogues are the only ones who can open chests without blue dragon meat. I don't think rogue/mage is strong, but I think it can be fun. There may be potential somewhere here. Here are my thoughts:

-Reveal: Semi-useful spell in PVP and PVE.
-Speed: As you said, can give you the dex if invest into int.
-Blink: Useful for getting around maps and around monsters blocking the path. Also a good escape tool to give you the space needed to stealth.
-Invisibility: Good for disappearing and getting away while in front of monsters.
-Charm and Confuse: I'd actually like to experiment with these, maybe you should as well.
-Clone: An underused spell that I think requires some testing. It may be great in a build like this since int doesn't matter.
-Summon Daemon: Think this could be used as a distraction/get away tool due to Daemon's AEP.
-Poison Wind: Poison is strong now but I'd rather have it from a venomous off hand shortsword or another source, I think the success is only 50% but I could be wrong.
-Sleep Wind: I love sleep combos, but I believe this only has a 50% success rate. Not reliable enough to cast yourself, but putting it on a pet might be the answer.

I'm glad you mentioned using fire to make a ranged attack to a bound ranged weapon. Casting spells gives you something to do between attacks. Coming up with a good attack rotation is something that might be fun with a build like this.

(Venomous Staff and Ebony Crossbow VF) melee attack to proc poison + shot from crossbow + clone monster + melee attack + shot from crossbow + summon daemon + etc

Depending on if you're going full int or str/dex, consider a diamond staff or a diamond ranged weapon. Diamond ignores armor so a mage can use a diamond crossbow quite well.

Also, get your hands on a bone tint foil and bone tint shortsword. Have a necro cast the spell to turn them back into rogue weapons. They still might give you bonus magic damage.
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Re: A guide to the Rogue/Mage

Post by Comet » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:20 am

Yeah, there's definitely lots of neat tricks you can find by experimenting with spells. Confuse now works at 100% chance, which is nice. Clone is like a multi-tool when it comes to spells, and was the reason I decided to shoot for at least 90% mage instead of stopping earlier and going priest or something.

I'm actually against using staves in a magic/archery attack rotation, largely because it adds unneeded complexity (you have to back up to shoot without missing and then have to close the distance to hit with the staff). The added complexity + reduced dps from a staff isn't worth the poison imo. I've looked into casting KBX (summon spider) as a way to create a meat shield and poison, but to be honest I tend to just prefer extra damage over poison with this char, since combat is usually short. With my priest alt, who tends to do lower damage to groups of mobs at a time, and doesn't have to worry about vamp weapons, poison is probably my favorite tint.

Sleepwind is useful, but mainly for fighting 2x2s or groups, and only it's followed by a powerful attack (backstab or spray and pray). Otherwise I stick to VOG/XC/IJO to deal extra damage.

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Re: A guide to the Rogue/Mage

Post by 1[WoWz] » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:55 am

Comet wrote:(you have to back up to shoot without missing
Is that true? I haven't played with ranged too often but I never heard of this until now. Strange there would be a point blank headshot special but you couldn't attack adjacent without missing.
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Re: A guide to the Rogue/Mage

Post by EmoMage » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:22 am

that's how i feel. whether or not it's coded that way is a different story. every time i'm directly next to something that i'm shooting, it feels like i miss 30% if not more. (again, i doubt that's true, just what it seems like.) But if I step back and literally "range" the creature, i seem to hit every time. cool in theory, but pisses you off when you're in a position where you want to range but everything is standing next to you so it seems like a waste. and running 2 blocks to hit maybe once, just to run again kinda blows.
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Re: A guide to the Rogue/Mage

Post by Keighn » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:52 pm

Yep about the withdrawl technique esp with musket. I paricularly like my half-orc musketeer but wish id find a runed musket.

Confuse is pretty awesome and clone can net a temporary army if done right. I believe i had a high end dragon with clone so id clone it and theyd clone other mobs. At the time they didnt seem to have a limit so i was running with a pack of up to 20+ dragons at one time in anna.

Then, the dragon stopped clonning. Its like its cloning battery ran out. The clones eventually disappear and you have a dragon not doing much. Then after a bit it decides to clone again.

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Re: A guide to the Rogue/Mage

Post by 1[WoWz] » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:19 am

Just thought of a decent combo for Rogue/Mage. It would best with Gnome (but then you'd be playing NG or PD). Gnome has fastest stealth speed.

I haven't tested out how smoothly this works, but it goes like this.

Stealth > backstab enemy > Blink (IP) backwards > hide > stealth > backstab

Binding IP to one of the function keys should make this a very quick combo. Of course you could do with without the blink spell with black potions or even charge.
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Re: A guide to the Rogue/Mage

Post by Comet » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:23 pm


My previous post was way too long, so I thought I'd shorten it and also add tips for lower levels.
-Very powerful at both single and multitarget dps, with Backstab, VOG, and Spray and Pray.
-Lots of nice utility spells, fast, great for looting, or resurrecting your allies after a TPK and no one remembered to leave a tp
-Low HP
-Needs really good AS gear and weapons to work best
-Struggles at early levels
-Hard to find overall stat distribution to build around, especially at later levels

As much AS as you can get, but also MR so you don't die. I like to have around 30 vigour for casting, but others choose to have less or forego it completely and rely on potions, freeing up slots for more MR/AS. This build switches between weapons alot, including 2h ranged weapons, so you can't have anything in the offhand.

Arcane Archery setup:
main: vamp staff
main ranged (for use with F to fire): runed crossbow
secondary ranged: blackrock musket
-Feel free to use one ranged weapon if you don't like juggling between three, or experiment with other weapon combos.

This is my current setup for dealing damage. While casting powerful mage spells with your staff, you also can use F to fire to switch and shoot with your bow. Lets you cast and shoot at the same time, though you need to switch to a bow to use the bow's rage specials. Vamp staff is for damage/healing/crowd control with Chain Lightning/Kill/Sleepwind. Runed crossbow for decent dps and quick rage gain. At 100 rage, I switch to musket and spray and pray. Try to time spellcasting so you can get a a sleep wind in right before spray and pray.

Nightblade setup:
main: addy machete
off hand: nothing

Basically a normal rogue backstab build, but you trade out some damage for invis and sleep wind. I like to keep nothing in my off hand, so right after backstab I can use F to fire to shoot them as I'm running away. By casting invis right after backstabbing, you can clear rooms of mobs quickly without taking too much damage.

spell queuing: I highly suggest you turn on spell queuing through options in the f12 menu. This lets you queue a spell to be cast after your spell cooldown finishes. Without spell queuing you have to be very good at micromanaging shooting and spell cooldowns.

invis and stealth: To stealth, you need to be far enough away from mobs, even when invis. You can't stealth when invis next to a mob.

F to fire: F to fire works by binding a ranged weap to a number key (eg. 1234, not function keys). Then, by pressing F, you automatically switch to the bow, shoot, then immediately switch back. If you have multiple bows bound, it uses the bow bound to the smallest number.

There's a lot of cool things you can do with spells. Rogue/Mage playstyle really rewards being clever with spells, so definitely experiment. Until recent updates which added Sigils, Spell Queuing, Muskets and F-to Fire, Rogue Mage was not by any means a very strong class. It was more a Adventurer/Treasure Hunter build, using spells for exploration and utility. I've really enjoyed playing it that way, so before you get carried away about the gish dps potential of this build, I hope that you also try to play the class with the original roots in mind. Explore, find places to Loot, and enjoy the EUOverse outside of the few select maps people play these days for grinding. It's much more rewarding.

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Re: A guide to the Rogue/Mage

Post by Comet » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:23 pm

LEVELING GUIDE: 1-250 (Reg server) Pretty long right now, so I might shorten it later. Open to feedback.
finding the right balance of stats is tricky with a rogue mage. Often how much int you need depends on what mob you are fighting, and you can't just go all int like a mage.

Early levels:
Start as a rogue. I suggest that you level as a rogue normally from levels 1-103, but also get your class cap up to 61 and your int to 97. This requires 18 levels in versatility and 12 levels in honesty, for 30 out of 103 levels. Yes, that sounds like a lot, but I think it pays off.

Level 103 (aka puberty): This is the level when everything changes for a Rogue/Mage. By now you are deep in the 'awkward stage' of the Rogue Mage, when you are weak due to tons of versatility levels and need to transition to caster. We need to get out of the awkward stage as quickly as possible.

Our goal is to hit level 103 with 60% magery and 1000 backstab damage minimum. Remember that slashing weapons like machete do 5% extra damage to hellspawn. This is when thinks pick up. A lot. With 1k backstab and invisibility, you can use backstab + invis tactics to clear anathema or dead forest ballys at an insane rate. At level 103, you needs around 216k xp to level. By clearing bally tower you can easily level in under ten minutes, not including 2x xp weekend. This xp train doesn't really slow down until you hit the early 200s. But by then you should have fully left the 'awkward stage'.

So how do you get 1k backstab? Well, level 103 is when you can equip atk + 8.
By now you should have:
-at least a blackrock machete + 5 (easily craftable with enchanting)
-some AS jewelry (Nightcrawler ring from quest, and hopefully atk+6 ring and necklace),
-3 WoTs (1 from quest), to craft atk +8 sigils to wear.
-orb of power (craftable)
-dex gear
-purple potions. Seriously, don't be afraid to use purple potions. You can stack 3 for a +15 AS bonus, which is a huge damage boost.
Note: let some greater scrolls of health so don't die. With Greater scrolls of health you should have 375 hp, which is plenty

If you don't hit 1000 min, it isn't the end of the world; you can kill other things to level, or try backstab + F to fire or XC, which is slower. You will take longer, but once you hit that 1k damge it's off to the races.

Try to wean yourself off of purple potions by getting better gear and leveling str/dex. Ballys give awful drops but do drop mr+5. Don't neglect versatility and int. Once you hit 1k bs, you can pretty much do whatever you want leveling wise, you'll level super quickly regardless. Go for more int, like 300, if you want to do arcane archery and go for dragons later. Otherwise you can keep low int and be a hit and run build.

Once you do hit around level 250 the build is basically complete. It can be pretty hard knowing what stats to level after that; I stayed at level 250 for a while and had lots of stored levels. With rogue mage there's always that question of whether you want more str/dex or if you want more int. I suggest you plan out your levels in advance, and test different stat distributions on alpha. That way you don't find yourself wasting a respec.

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Re: A guide to the Rogue/Mage

Post by LaughingCoyote » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:30 pm

Comet wrote: By clearing bally tower you can easily level in under ten minutes
I dunno, my level 130 rogue can only get about 10k/min doing bally farming at the tower. Even at that speed a level 100 would take 20 minutes to level. I doubt its actually that fast considering how many failed backstabs there would be, and I have an almost optimal felmythic addy machete +8...
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Re: A guide to the Rogue/Mage

Post by Comet » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:39 am

Yeah now that I think about it under 10 minutes seems a little fast. I think I mistook that for a time when 2x weekend was on. I'll change that so it's more accurate.

EDIT: I did a run of bally tower, using backstab only, and got 170k xp in 10 minutes. Did this on my level 300+ rogue mage, so have to take some things into consideration. I controlled damage by using a weaker machete, but my survivability is much higher. However, there also was a lot of downtime waiting for ballys to respawn, so that mitigates that somewhat. The time spent waiting for respawn could have been used healing.

That being said, Anathema ballys are more friendly for a level 103 mage rogue, since they are more spaced out and so you won't need to heal as much. I ran Anathema and got 140k xp in 10 minutes, pretending I had 350 hp. I should also test bally tower with 350 hp to confirm.

At least anecdotally, I remember originally doing ana ballys over bally tower, since I got more xp that way. Later on, I went to bally tower to hunt, since my survivability was better and I didn't spend so much time healing. However, I never used healing potions (and still don't), instead using bandage+meditate, so potions could potentially cut down the downtime a lot.

For now I'll say 140k xp in 10 minutes is a good ballpark at the beginning, which is more like a level every 15 minutes, potentially later reaching 170k with bally tower. I probably confused "under ten minutes" with when 2x xp weekend was on. If 14k/min still seems pretty high compared to your 10k/min, remember that invis saves a lot of time: You can run around faster invis'd, Invis lets you avoid getting hit after backstab, and you don't have to run back as much to hide.

TL;DR It's more like a level every 15 minutes. I was thinking about 2x xp weekend.

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