Please help me with my Sorcerer

I just started playing again after a long break. I don’t remember the original build guide I was using and am open to respec.

My main problem is I seem to have to melee everything. I am using that axe because it is the highest damage weapon I have found. Basically, it goes Blackwater Cocktail, Flashbang, and than melee stuff down with all my buffs up. Is there a way for my character to actually cast offensive spells that blow stuff up. It seems a sorcerer should be able to.

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You could go for grenado or canister bomb if you want bombs to blow stuff up. Taking the transmuter out of callidor’s tempest would let you spam it and blow stuff up with a more magical approach, and you don’t need to have transmuted blackwater cocktail either. You probably don’t need so many points in passives at this point, and you might want to reconsider maxing skills like arcane will and mirror, that would free up points to spend in your masteries and to pick up some extra damage skills.

Veteran players will give better specific advice, but here’s what I would do: first of all, drop drop IEE unless you’re having serious energy issues, drop points in mirror to 1, drop arcane will to 1 and pump the arcanist mastery to 20 so you can put a single point in nullification. Max callidor’s tempest and take the transmuter out. Then you have a spammable skill to use while waiting out the cool down on blackwater cocktail. Then put all your points in your masteries for a long time. Putting points in the base mastery gives you really important boosts and is a big priority, generally more important early than maxing passives or support skills. Once you have more points in the demolitionist mastery, use respec to experiment with grenado, cannister bomb, mortars, etc, and find the combination of skills you find the most fun and effective.

A point for future play throughs — leveling usually looks like this: pick one high damage skill and max it asap, then put all your points in your masteries until you feel you need some support skills to survive. Very strong sustain powers, like feral hunger on a savagery character, and resist reduction skills, like thermite mines on a sorcerer, can also be higher priority than the base mastery, but usually you want to get one or at most two main ways to kill dudes, then jack up your mastery so you don’t get killed by dudes.

Thanks for the suggestions. I respeced and put points into Albrecht’s Aether Ray. I have a few more questions:

1 - Should I be putting points into Spirit? I seem to run out of energy really quickly and all my buffs drop.
2 - Blackwater cocktail seems really weak after taking out the transmuter.
3 - Does Flametouched affect my spells like Albrecht’s Aether Ray?

All in all, after the respec I feel much weaker. I don’t seem to be able to take a hit anymore.

Keep the transmuter in blackwater cocktail. You only want one spam spell, so if you’re using aether ray, you really don’t want to use untransmuted blackwater cocktail, since you can’t use both at the same time. On the contrary, you can build around several skills with cooldowns, but in the case of your previous character, you only had two cooldown skills, both with a long timer, so you ended up using melee as a fallback. That’s why I recommended transmuted BWC paired with untransmuted callidor’s tempest. Then you have one timered nuke and one spammable attack, which play well together.

I’ve never really played an aether ray build, just experimented with it a little bit, but it’s extremely energy hungry. You need to devote gear, skill and devotion choices to sustaining it. If you want to build around this skill, hopefully someone else can give you specific, beginner appropriate advice about how to do so.

Flat damage like +n fire damage gets applied to your weapon. If a skill, like aether ray, doesn’t say %weapon damage in its description, those skills won’t apply to it. +% fire damage will apply, but is generally less valuable because it’s easier to stack that type of bonus and linear returns make each added bit proportionally less valuable.

Post your build after the respec, and also let us know where you are in the game. I just realized I didn’t look at your devotions at all, so there might be some things you can improve there, too.

-I looked at my first post and realized I was unclear and indeed it could be read as suggesting to drop both transmuters. Sorry about that! Again, you only want one spammable or channeled attack, and other active skills should either be pure support, or nukes on a cooldown. If you are focusing mostly on skills with cooldowns, you want to make sure you have enough stuff to do so you’re not relying on ineffectual melee attacks to kill things.

Here is my updated build:

I really like the aether ray, but I can’t sustain it.

1 - Feedback on gear would be appreciated.
2 - Should I be putting points into Spirit?
3 - When should I be using Nullification?

I tweaked the build and tried the callidor’s tempest. The energy is more manageable, but I still run out pretty quickly.

I am in the Steelcap district near the end of the Malmouth expansion.

I’m not going to be able to give you really detailed advice on what to look for while leveling with AAR. I can give a little feedback.

-You need energy regen. The easiest way to get that is by slotting ectoplasm in your jewelry slots. Points in iskandra’s elemental exchange will help too, and rushing to mental alacrity and maxing that will likely also make a huge difference. Components that reduce the energy cost of skills will help as well. I’m not sure which is better with AAR.

-It’s usually not recommended to invest a lot into spirit. I’m not sure if AAR builds find it useful or not, but more health and DA from physique is typically better. My instinct is that if, after building with gear and devotions for more energy regen, you still can’t sustain aether ray, then consider some investment in spirit, but not too much.

-It’s hard to know when to use nullification. First, if you get hit with a big DoT, so your health is draining rapidly, use it on yourself. Second, if you are fighting a dangerous enemy with an aura or buff on itself, use it on the enemy. A lot of enemies buff themselves, and the buffs are very powerful, but there’s no way for you to know what any of the buffs do without looking up monster data on grim tools. At any rate, use the skill frequently. It’s easy to forget about it. It will be much more helpful if you use it a lot, but sometimes use it at the wrong time, than if you never use it at all.

-What is your goal with your devotions? This is a prime place to pick up more energy regen. Bard’s harp is frequently mentioned as the best devotion power for energy, though, again, I don’t know if AAR builds usually take it. Also, usually each build has a few “must have” devotions, with a major priority being enemy resistance reduction. Here is a very long, but excellent guide on how to pick devotions:

-Your character on grim tools doesn’t have maxed resistances, so I can’t help much with gear, since your main goal should be to max those. Gearing priorities are probably 1) Maxed resistances, 2) Decent armor and armor absorption (basically as important as 1) 3)Energy regen 4) casting speed 5) Offensive and Defensive ability 6)Damage boosts to your main damage type (the importance of this depends on how much of these you already have, if you don’t have any at all, getting 100% fire damage will be huge. If you already have 800% fire damage, getting another 100% is great, but not nearly so important). By the time you’re getting to the end of elite, you’ll need to have all of those things to be successful. I usually don’t prioritize OA and DA in veteran, because it can really be a struggle at low to mid levels to keep resistances up, but I could be wrong about that.

I found a level 100 build in the build compendium and decided to try it. I used GD Defiler to edit my character to level 100, and the results have been good so far. I don’t have optimal gear but I am able to sustain the aether ray with this build and it does good damage. I think you need to be really high level to make an aether ray build work.