Guide to Using Fire Mage
Guide to Fire Mage
by NateProject Originally published: 
- So, you wanna be a fire mage? Got a love for all things toasty? Your idea of a hot night out is immolating your date? Love the smell of fresh napalm in the morning? If so, than this is the class for you! Here are some tips and guidelines to ensure your survival, so lets get down to... SEAR-ious business!
You're Not Doing Yourself Any Favors: Unfortunately, as it stands currently, water mages are simply better. They can achieve similar damage to us while having uber-utility in heals. In group situations they're unique skill is an asset, while yours is an annoyance. That said, I find fire to be INFINITELY more fun to play, which trumps any min/maxing.
Ding! Oven's Pre-Heated (Fire Spark): Fire Mages unique passive, Fire Spark, allows them to instantly cast their M2 ability for free. This is proc'd by hitting enemies with your M1 abilities and is indicated by a loud "DING" and a fire aura surrounding your character. This allows for a lot of potential burst/stuns when used in chains or off dodges. Try to use this ability as soon as you can, since any additional procs are wasted while it's up. It's also useful as a quick stun that can be fired between dodges (I.E. dodge -> fire -> dodge).
(Don't) Let Me Stand Next To Your FIRRRRE (Explosion): Hendrix FTW. Along with Fire Spark, us pyros get the "Explosion" skill. This skill is a short-casted point blank area of effect that causes mediocre damage, but will usually knockback and/or stun anyone caught in the blast radius. This means we trade off healing from water for a more crowd-control role. It also has a very quick cooldown, making it usable to chain stun enemies. This can be cast while running/jumping and should be used anytime you need to get someone away from you. It can also be used offensively by pushing a group into a wall, bunching them up for easy AE melting.
Don't Stand In The Fire!! (Mobility): Standing still is for those fat, lazy water mages. We need to stay light on our toes. Since you can't heal, you gotta be dodging, teleporting, and mana shielding whenever you can to avoid taking damage. Combine this with explosion, or insta-cast M2s, and you'll be dropping groups without breaking a sweat. For best results, combine this technique with...
Too Hot To Handle (Using Line of Sight): Ranger/Mages got you down? Go hide behind a wall. If they can't see you, they're gonna run to a spot where they can. Use this to your advantage. Pull groups around a corner and you'll have ranged stacked up with melee. If you're retreating, you can use Explosion here to scatter your enemies or start firing away as soon as they round the bend for some awesome AE goodness.
Pet and Gear
Bringing The Heat! (Gear/Pet Choices):
For gear, a nice mix of tempo and crit will do you good. I favor crit, but you definitely want some tempo, especially if you wanna use staff. As for weapons, check out the breakdowns below. I personally recommend carrying bracelets or wands for soloing and staff for grouping.
- Bracelets: Single-shot M1 &amp; M2. This is my personal preference for soloing. The pros lie in their mobility. Each attack fires super quick and is easy to weave in between dodges. The DPS is probably the lowest, but since it's easier to hit and aim with, it is still very deadly. Also, these are just fun, for me at least. One major drawback for bracelets though is the fact that they are dual wielded, meaning you need two of them to drop to be useful. Makes upgrading to better damage a pain in the ass.
- Wands: Single-shot M1, Three-shot burst M2. Wands are middle of the road, not as mobile as bracelets, not as powerful as staves. All-in-all a decent choice, especially if you tend to lag, since M2 can be moved while being fired, so much so that you can hit/stun targets that are far apart by swinging the mouse after first shot is fired. Another note, each shot can crit independently and even hit a target that dodges (they try to dodge first shot and end up getting hit by the last shot). That said I found two drawbacks; you have to lead targets with M2 if they are moving perpendicular to you and I have yet to find a wand that doesn't look down-right stupid...
- Staves: Ground-targeted Tornado M1 &amp; M2. Staves are a skill-check weapon, requiring a lot more attention to detail to get the full benefit. They are very strong, with each attack consisting of several hits in quick succession if enemies are in tornado radius. Each of these hits can crit and and proc Fire Spark. This damage gets insane when you have groups that are bunched up, or you drop a proc'd M2 on top of a M1. To add to this damage, staves are very good at quickly building combo streaks, which makes it a great choice for fights that would take longer (bosses, high HP targets, etc.).
It's not all love, though. Spells are slow to cast and dodging will cancel M2 even after it's been fully cast. Add to this the fact that since tornados are ground targeted, enemies can move out of the effect before every hit is delivered. It is also difficult to pull at range, since you gotta aim for where your enemy will be, not where they currently are. Compare this to bracelet or wand shots which can be fired down a line and will be almost guaranteed to hit (AI pathing is very simple in this game). All that being said, if you are good with the staff and can master the timing necessary to still be mobile, go for it! The damage is great and worth carrying for group situations where you won't (hopefully) be tanking.
As for pets, no competition here: turtle. Hands down best pet in game. Naturally tanky, has spin attack, and can stun. If you want a ranged, Spitter is best, Snout Beetle is okay. Pet won't make a huge difference, so you are free to roll with whatever, but min/maxers want dat turtle.
Sparkin' It Up (Early Levels): When leveling, I found this skill order to be very effective and efficient.
- L1-3: Points go into Explosion to unlock Mana Shield. Mana Shield is an amazing survival skill and is definitely your first priority. Points in Explosion also benefit survivability through better CC options.
- L4-6: Points go into either Pet HP for Riding skill or Climbing for Hang Gliding. This is down to personal preference, with pets being better for solo players and gliding better for co-op players.
- L7-9: Points go into Mana Shield to unlock Teleport. Teleport is another survival skill, with some niche travel uses. It's nice to have, but hardly mandatory and will be fine with a one point investment.
- L10+: I'd say pump up Mana Shield, best use of points. Mine sat at 10 for awhile, did me good. Its also a good time to level up travel skill, since by now, you're probably hiking a ways to get to next dungeons. The higher level you get, the less useful points are, so at this point you can't go wrong, do what ya want. If you want a boat, go nuts!
Playing With Fire (Last Tip): This is, by far, the most important tip. Have fun. Seriously, its a new game, stuff will change, enjoy it while you can!