(Note - this article is very specific to Alter Aeon, and was originally
posted by Caesar on March 10, 2001 at
reproduced here with updates for current Alter Aeon game mechanics.
It was last updated Shadowfax
on May 23, 2014.
Spellcasting for Newbies - The Universal Spells
Unless you use spells, your ability to gather experience will dwindle
exponentially as you continue to level. If you are purposefully sacrificing the
universal spells - and have methods to succeed without them - then all is well.
For the rest of us who would like supplemental help to increase experience
efficiency there is an answer: pay attention to the universal spells, no matter
which class you are specializing in.
The universal spells are those that benefit everyone, usually because they tend
to make experience gathering more efficient. The universal spells are: 'armor,
'sanctuary', 'faith shield', construct spells,
healing spells, 'detect invisibility',
and 'infravision'. Some of these help you gain experience faster directly with a
defensive approach while others help you to walk safely to places where you need to
'Armor', 'shield' and
'displacement' are artificial armor spells. They protect the user
by directly raising armor class (ac). 'Armor' affects ac by 20,
'shield' affects ac
by 30 and 'displacement' affects ac by 40. Armor costs 8 mana, shield costs 18 mana
and displacement costs 24 mana. 'Armor'
is a low-level cleric spell, while 'shield' and
'displacement' are both mid-level mage spells. These spells all
have a long duration. Also remember that while 'armor' and
'displacement' can be cast
on others, 'shield' cannot be. These spells are the most important
universal spells because
they are so useful at every level. They are just as useful to lower-level characters
as they are for high-level characters.
Players should allow their characters to practice 'armor',
'shield' and 'displacement' as
soon as they can. Obviously a warrior or thief will find practicing displacement
difficult because it is a mid-level mage spell, but the general rule of thumb is to
get them as soon as possible. The better your armor class the less time you have to
spend regenerating hitpoints.
Other Protection Spells
'Sanctuary' and 'crystal coat'
are protection spells that decrease damage inflicted to the
character affected by the spell. 'Sanctuary' reduces all
damage done while 'crystal coat'
provides saving throws against normal and elemental damage. Both of these spells can be
cast on others. 'Crystal coat' is not quite such a universal
spell because it requires the caster
to be a high level mage to cast it. 'Sanctuary' is more universal
because of its usefulness
and because it requires its caster to only have a low level of cleric. Cutting
a percentage of all damage done to you is an incredible advantage. Its limitations are its
cost to cast (75 mana) and its short duration (18 minutes).
Contrast this 'faith shield', a low level cleric spell which reduces
all incoming damage by a small amount depending on your cleric level. This spell carries a
small mana cost and has a much longer duration. It is effective against all damage types, be they
physical or magical damage, but
'faith shield' cannot be cast on others like 'sanctuary'.
Necromancers gain access to a variety of mob minions at low level. One category of these are the animated
constructs, which serve as personal tanks. These minions can take incoming
damage that you would other have to endure, and they can allow you to disengage and exit a losing fight. The
lowest one, 'clay man', can be
cast by nearly anyone nearly everyone. One can use higher level constructs: 'wood woad',
'bone guardian', 'flesh beast', or
'metal construct' if one has the necessary
materials and available control points.
Since sanctuary' has these limitations other things must be considered before spending
practices on it. Low-level characters using sanctuary can be overkill. If a
character is not getting hit too hard in battle and is gaining a good amount of
experience then sanctuary might not be necessary. Those who use offensive spells to do
damage for experience may find that the loss of 75 mana before battle is not worth the
benefits. It is tough to make generalizations about this spell, but here are some
guidelines anyway: Lower-level warriors and thieves tend to benefit more from
'sanctuary' than spellcasters who need their mana for doing spell damage. But
'sanctuary' is one of the most powerful spells in the game. Why? Because its
usefulness increases as your levels do. In many cases lower-level characters will
benefit more from cure spells or simply 'faith shield'.
Take this example: You are killing some mobs without 'sanctuary'. You began with
300hp 250m 150mv. You come out of the battle with 200hp 100m 100mv (you used some
damage spells). Had you used 'sanctuary' you would have ended up with 250hp 25m 100mv.
But instead you are a wiser newbie and you cast heal at the end of battle (this is
just an example to show an example with numbers, most likely some other cure spell
would be used because heal is a higher level cleric spell). You have 300hp 50m 100mv.
You increased 50hp and saved 25 mana.
And now a high level example: You do not practice 'sanctuary' ever because you read my
example above and did not want to read anymore. You start your killing with
600hp 500m 230mv. When you are done you have 200hp 200m 190mv. You cast heal 4 times
sending you to 600hp 0m 190mv. Had you cast 'sanctuary' at the beginning it would have
gone like this: 600hp 500m 230mv -> 400hp 125m 190mv (mana for sanctuary and mana used
to kill the mobs) -> (2 heals) 600hp 25m 190mv. Again this is not a real example but
only to show simple numbers. Real scenarios of this type actually tend to be more
dramatic than saving only 25 mana.
Cure spells are spells that restore hitpoints. They may be cast on yourself or others.
They are clerical spells that must be learned in progression. So although these spells
are generally useful for every character to have, there are exceptions. These exceptions
tend to be characters that made cleric one of their lower classes.
The cure group goes as follows: 'cure light wounds', 'cure serious wounds',
'cure critical wounds', 'heal', 'healing touch',
'breath of life', 'area heal', and
'rejuvenate'. It is best to practice the highest level healing
spell (or skill, in the case of 'healing touch'
you have available at your cleric level. The downside is that because these spells must be
practiced in progression, so this means that 'cure light wounds'
and 'cure serious wounds' must be practiced
before learning 'cure critical wounds', for example.
Thus, you can expect to spend at least six practices on 'cure critical wounds',
but most likely you will find that it is worth it.
Why decrease mana to increase hitpoints? Well there is one obvious answer to this and
another not-so-obvious answer. The obvious answer is so that you do not die when you
are fighting, or so you can restore enough hitpoints to continue without dying. The
less obvious answer is that as your levels increase in most cases you start to
regenerate more mana than hitpoints, especially if you are a spellcaster. In effect
you can increase your hitpoint regeneration rate by casting a healing spell. Of course
having healing spells is not an excuse to ignore protection spells. See my example for
if you do not believe me!
Other Universal Spells
' is a necessity if you need to travel through rooms where you could fall,
or rooms that you need fly through. What makes 'fly
' universal is its broad range of usefulness
and its relatively acessible as a mid-level mage spell and can be cast on others. As already noted this
spell is useful for walking through air rooms, but there are other uses this spell has
hidden too. The user can also levitate over water, eliminating the need for a boat.
Another added advantage to this spell is that movement costs are decreased when the
spell is in use. This makes walking great distances easy. Flying also protects you from
attacks that specifically target your legs or feet, such as 'trip
' cannot be learned without knowing
'. It is an
important spell mid- to high-level spell. There are just some areas that you cannot
survive in without it. They are the areas that have lots of mobs that attack you on
sight. It saves much time and frustration if you can make your form invisible. What
they can't see can't hurt you. Invisibility is somewhat expensive, costing 45 mana, but often worth it.
' is absolutely essential if you want to use
thief stealth skills. Many of them will not work as well or at all if you must carry a
light source around with you at all times.
The ability to summon a demon familiar
may not be a spell in and of itself, but summoned familiars silently
cast defensive spells on everyone they are grouped with. They nature of these bonuses depends on what type
of familiar has been summoned and are described in the
demon familiar help page