When Kayla and I both play with our Amazons, my (level 150+) Amazon is kitted up to all get-out, which kinda' makes it less fun. We played a bit with me on my Elf, but I felt like I wanted something that was more about problem-solving and assisting Kayla through her endless dungeon adventures - so I started running dungeons on my Sorceress again.
Beat Hard mode with her. The last quests you get, in Hard mode, are to defeat the B-rout (see: harder) bosses without any AI or co-op assistance - you have to solo the hardest parts and bosses in the game, culminating with the likes of the Gazer. If the Gazer looks at you, you're unable to cast any type of magic - a healthy challenge for a purely magical class. You have to kill the Killer Rabbit yourself. You have to kill the Chimera and the Red Dragon alone.
It's these last quests in Hard mode, I feel, that the game considers its final exam for each character class. In order to solo these hardest of dungeons and these hardest of bosses, you have to know your class inside and out - and if you don't, the experience teaches you to push each class to the absolute limit of their survivability and aggression.
From then, it's on to challenge for challenge sake in (level 65+) Infernal mode and finally (level 99+) Ultimate. I'm cruising through Infernal with her now, and a twenty-odd dungeon chain gleaned me 11 levels, and got me to 87.
I'm kind of kicking all kinds of ass on my Sorceress, lately - getting to the point that when my AI party dies out, I'm still soloing the B-rout bosses on Infernal.
Oh no! Five undead skeletal warriors, led by a blue meanie! What's a girl to do?
Wham! Boulder, motherfuckers! Oh, I'm sorry, did I just hit you for twenty grand apiece?
I think I did.
My Sorceress is built entirely around crowd control and max damage, with only the Protection spell (reduce damage taken by all party members by 50% for 40 seconds) for buffs and defense. Elsewhere, it's...
Rock Press - hit dudes for twenty grand apiece. Can cast it nine times (per equipment slot) at max level.
Blizzard - arguably her single best spell, which provides steady DPS to every enemy on the entire screen for ten seconds - again, in the thousands. I can drop this during the Archdemon fight every time he summons all his little imp bastards and just stop worrying about them. It's fabulous - five casts.
Curse - summons a series of expanding green orbs with a frog spirit within, which turns anything it touches into harmless little toads.
Levitate is what permits the Sorceress to fly.
Press X, and the Sorceress will jump. Press it again, she'll double-jump. Press it a third time when you have the Levitate skill and she air-dashes across the entire screen faster than any other character can dodge or run. If you need to get out of a sticky situation, just triple-tap X - but more than that, at the highest skill level, Levitate grants the Sorceress a +50% damage bonus, while airborne.
And the single most-powerful attack at the Sorceress's disposal - if we're not talking about limited-use spells like Rock Press or Blizzard - is the airborne heavy fire ball.
The Sorceress's attacks are... supple, for such a simple control scheme. There are three elemental staff types - fire, ice and lightning - tap circle, and she'll fire off a tiny orb of fire (or ice or lightning). Hold the button for any longer than a third of a second, and all her other abilities open up. Lightning controls differently from fire and ice, so let's keep things simple. Let's say ice.
With no directional input, holding circle unleashes a crackling line of ice chunks before her that will drive through a line of enemies, possibly freezing them. Pressing up and circle will summon a whirlwind of ice crystals for a few seconds, providing guaranteed damage-over time, possibly freezing them. Down and circle creates a ring of ice chunks that zip around her, damaging (and possibly freezing) all nearby enemies.
|Down and circle.|
While airborne, she has similar options to the Elf. Tapping circle again creates tiny bursts of her chosen element, but holding square now creates a burst of pure magic shots that will seek out enemies onscreen. Press up and hold circle while airborne, and she'll fire a huge, potent shot horizontally across the screen. Don't hold a directional button and hold circle, and she unleashes her most-powerful attack.
With a lightning staff equipped, a tempest of lightning strikes crash down all around her, frying (and likely stunning) anything they touch. With Ice, she fires off a huge horizontally-descending shard of ice that splits into nine shards when it strikes an enemy.
With fire, she unleashes one huge, explosive ball that does major damage to its target and major splash damage to surrounding enemies, in the thousands or tens of thousands.
This is where the Sorceress's "expert" description comes into play. She's like the Elf, if the Elf could fly - staying aloft for ages as she rains down hell on a single, special enemy or group of foes.
Jump, circle (boom!), double-jump, circle (boom!), evade, circle (boom!). Triple-jump - she whooshes across the screen and, the moment the Levitation glide ends, you jam the analog stick back the way you came and press circle (boom!). Evade again. Press circle. Boom.
|Oh, sorry. Did I just flambé you for seventeen grand?|
I think I did.
Once you really know what you're doing, you don't even need Rock Press. Rock Press just becomes a showy maneuver for when you're like "fuck these guys" - wham!
She dances along on the air, lightning the ground up below like a living B-2 bomber with cooler pyrotechnics, only touching the ground to charge up her mana before taking to the skies again.
All the Sorceress builds I see explain that her ability to conjure food is a must-have for any self-respecting witch, but I'll be honest - my current build has zero healing options once I specced into Curse, and I don't miss it. Can't conjure food, can't use healing potions - and you'd think the Sorceress, with her lowest-in-the-game defence, would seriously need some healing options - but so far, twenty levels into Infernal difficulty, she doesn't. She just needs to be played, as the character-select screen suggests, expertly.
So yeah. Loving the Sorceress. Still loving the game.
Oh Dragon's Crown. When will you release me from your kung-fu grip?