Last Updated: 9/23/09
((This guide was created by Kayoto of the Aionsource Sorcerer Forums. All credit for this guide goes to him. To see the most up to date version and original posting of this guide please click here. ))
DISCLAIMER: This guide is still undergoing revision. It contains a lot of conjecture and some personal opinions strewn without, though I try to remain as factual as possible. I'm still not done formatting it to make it look nicer. Criticism is welcome, but it must be constructive. Thank you, and I hope you enjoy reading it!
Format modeled closely off F8L Fool's Assassin FAQ, linked at the end of this post
Table of Contents: Use CTRL+F to find section #'s
* 1.0 - Basic Overview
* 2.0 - Stats
o A Brief Explanation of how Casting Time Boost Stacks (2.1)
* 3.0 - Stigmas
* 4.0 - Socketing (Manastones)
o God Stones (4.1)
* 5.0 - Crowd Control (CC)
* 6.0 - Snares/Roots/Stuns & Aerial Shackle
* 7.0 - Professions
* 8.0 - Weapons
* 9.0 - Titles
* 10.0 - Consumables
o Potions (10.1)
o Food (10.3)
* 11.0 - Frequently Asked Questions
* 12.0 - Sorcerer Links & Resources
Basic Overview [1.0]
The sorcerer is the principle mage/wizard/damage-dealing caster archetype of Aion. The class is balanced around having high damage output (both burst and sustained), excellent crowd control, high mana (and relatively good mana sustainability, especially later) and low physical defense and HP.
The sorcerer relies on keeping their distance from their foes and utilizing their crowd control abilities to keep themselves alive, while using any available opportunity to nuke their opponents to kingdom come.
The sorcerer is one of two specialized classes that you can choose after reaching level 10 in the Mage starter-class. The other is Spiritmaster.
What are the main stats a Sorcerer uses, and looks for in items and armor?
The most valuable stats, depending on what you're doing (and in no particular order), are Magic Boost, Magic Accuracy, Casting Time Boost, Attack Speed, and HP.
Magic Boost & Elemental Defense
Magic Boost increases the damage that you deal with your spells.
Below information was gleaned from this thread: Magic Boost Testing Thread
10 Magic Boost = Approximately +0.8% spell damage
100 Magic Boost = Approximately +8% spell damage
500 Magic Boost = Approximately +40% spell damage
Clearly, Magic Boost is a very important stat for Sorcerer - it directly increases the damage deal by our spells, and scales well through the entire game since it offers percentage based bonuses.
Elemental Defense operates as such: 10 <Element> Defense = -1% damage taken from that element. Note: These values may be changing next patch.
So, the Level 19 skillbook we get to increase all Elemental Defenses by 100 makes you take -10% damage from all element-based moves.
Magic Accuracy works in tandem to counter Magic Resist in this way:
(Target's Magic Resist - Your Magic Accuracy) / 10 = % chance to get resisted.
For example, if your target has 500 Magic Resistance and your Magic Accuracy is 400, you have a 10% chance to get resisted. ( [500 - 400] / 10 = 10% )
For every level that your target is higher than you, past 2 levels, they get an additional 10% chance to resist.
3 levels higher than you : +10% chance to resist
4 levels higher than you: +20% chance to resist
5 levels higher than you: +30% chance to resist
So on, and so forth.
So, if your Magic Accuracy is higher than your target's Magic Resist, and they're not 3+ levels above you, you will never get resisted (with your damage spells at least, see note below).
Important note though: Preliminary testing done by those who provided this information has shown some indication that CCs/snares/roots have a higher innate chance to be resisted, possibly by as much as 10% -- so keep this in mind.
The basic notion to grasp here is that Magic Accuracy is very, very important. Resisted spells are huge losses in DPS, and can cost you victories in PVP. Resisted CC spells will often end up in trouble for you and your group in any PVE or PVP scenario. In PVE, even if you have enough magic accuracy such that you only miss 5% of the time on a boss, it will still be a more important stat to cap out (if it's possible with the current mechanics) than stacking Magic Boost (to a certain extent, of course).
Magic Accuracy is important enough that a book is typically a better choice than an equivalent orb (books have higher innate M. Acc but lower +MP and lower +Magic Boost). More on this in the Weapons section.
Casting Time Boost
**THIS SECTION IS PENDING ACTUAL TESTING AND IS BASED ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT NCSOFT IMPLEMENTED MULTIPLICATIVE STACKING**
This stat reduces the cast speed of all of your spells except for your CC spells (Curse of Roots, Sleep, and Sleep Storm).
If you see Casting Time Boost+20 on an item, that is a 20% reduction in the cast speed of your spells. Casting Boost+50 would be a 50% reduction. So on, and so forth. This reduction stacks multiplicatively with other bonuses (i.e. from Stigmas or Chanter buffs).
Cast Time bonuses come from the following sources:
Gear: Currently (as of patch 220.127.116.11), only books and orbs (usually higher level ones) have casting time boost as a stat. The highest is +20 (top-end) and the lowest (from low level blues) is +11.
Stigmas: There are currently two Stigmas that offer cast time reduction. Vaizel's Wisdom gives -25% cast time for 15 seconds, with a cooldown of 30 seconds. Boon of Quickness (Asmodian only) gives -50% cast time for 15 seconds, with a cooldown of 5 minutes. These two abilities cannot be used simultaneously. =(
Buffs: Currently only one buff gives cast time reduction. Word of Quickness (from Chanters) gives -50% cast time for 30 seconds, with a cooldown of 10 minutes.
Thus, the maximum cast speed reduction one can achieve currently is -80% as an Asmodian (Boon of Quickness, Word of Quickness, and +20 Casting Time Boost from your weapon), and -70% as an Elyos (Vaizel's Wisdom, Word of Quickness, +20 Casting Time Boost from your weapon).
How Casting Time Boost Stacks (2.1)
Casting Time Boost bonuses stack in a multiplicative manner, not additively. What this means is that if you had 50% cast time reduction from one source, and 50% from another source, it would not result in -100% cast speed (i.e. making your spells instant cast).
It would instead operate in this manner (let's take a 2 second cast spell as a an example):
2 * 0.5 * 0.5 = 0.5 second cast
The 2 second cast would be reduced to a 0.5 second cast, which is an overall cast speed reduction of 75%.
Another example: Let's say you have a buff giving -25% cast time, a book that gives you Casting Time Boost+20, and the Chanter buff that gives -50% cast time.
So you have three separate cast time reductions: 25%, 20%, and 50%.
Let's say you're trying to cast Inferno (normally a 4 second cast):
4 * 0.75 * 0.80 * 0.5 = 1.2 second cast.
Thus your total cast time reduction is -70% off the original cast time.
Attack Speed does not affect your spell casting speed at all -- it improves physical attack speed. However, it also reduces the time it takes for your cast animation to finish.
In Aion, there is no 'global cooldown' that you'll find in games like WoW. Instead, there are casting animations when you finish a spell (even an instant cast spell). These cast animations prevent you from doing any other action until they're finished (there are some exceptions for some instant cast spells).
Thus, Attack Speed is actually a very useful stat. It allows you to fit in more instant casts in a given span of time (useful for attacking people in an Aerial Shackle -- more on this later) and also allows you to take other actions faster after finishing spells with a cast time.
Attack Speed is currently only found from two sources:
1) Weapons. Certain books/orbs have Attack Speed bonuses on them.
2) Gloves. Certain gloves have Attack Speed Bonuses on them.
HP.. well, it increases your HP (Hit Points).
Very important in PVP. Possibly important in PVE depending on how much damage you may take from the encounter in a given span of time.
Early reports indicate that you don't really need to specifically choose HP as a stat while leveling or while doing PVE content, but due to the PvPvE nature of Aion, combined with the (so-far-reported) relative ease of the PVE content in the game, HP will still have its importance.
Stigmas are customizable abilities that can only be used when you have the appropriate "Stigma Stone" equipped. These Stigma Stones cost Stigma Shards in order to equip them (but not remove them) -- Stigma shards can be found by killing monsters in the Abyss. Players have 5 slots for normal Stigmas, and 3 slots for Advanced Stigmas (you can put normal Stigmas in advanced slots, but not vice versa).
For any Stigma build planning, it's highly recommend to use this site:
I will post some of the more common builds below.
Sleep Storm: My Suggested PVP build (My preferred build, currently)
Aion Armory - Sorcerer Stigma Calculator - By Terhix
Reasoning: Currently, Sorcerers have no issues whatsoever with putting out offensive pressure and good burst damage. However, Sorcerer survivability is rather low.
Sleep Storm is the fastest CC spell we have (not to mention being AoE) at a 1 second cast. Illusion Storm is a great guaranteed AoE stun that lasts 4 seconds and deals a decent amount of damage, and Illusion is also a life-saving cooldown.
Barrier of Severance is the only Stigma here that I'd recommend dropping if you want a bit of variation -- it's useful, but it does have a decent cast time and a relatively long cooldown.
Having both Boon of Quickness and Vaizel's Wisdom available in this build is great, and Curse of Weakness is incredibly effective in taking out enemy casters (barring Clerics, who can remove the debuff).
Flame Spray - My preferred PVE build
Aion Armory - Sorcerer Stigma Calculator - By Terhix
Reasoning: There really isn't much debate here. For pure PVE DPS, Supplication of Focus, Zikel's Wisdom, Vaizel's Wisdom, Wind Cut Down, and Flame Spray are all immensely useful. Summon Rock is a decent instant cast nuke, and Ice Sheet is a "meh" spell overall but it does provide additional AoE utility.
Illusion Storm & Illusion + Supplication of Focus: Alternate PVP build
Aion Armory - Sorcerer Stigma Calculator - By Terhix
Reasoning: A suggested alternate build that replaces Sleep Storm with Supplication of Focus in order to deal with opponents who stack Magic Resist. May or may not prove to be more effective than the Sleep Storm build.
What should I socket?
To answer this question, you must consider your circumstances.
For PVP, the clear winner to socket entirely HP. Top Korean Sorcerers do this, and the reasoning behind it is pretty clear: You WILL be focused early on in any battle. Sorcerers are known to be squishy and easy to kill. You need more HP so you can survive through more burst, so your healers can keep you up. Magic Boost/Magic Accuracy still help, of course, but they're not going to do you much good when you're dead.
For PVP, it should be noted that Magic Resist manastones are an alternative -- not only does Magic Resist counter direct damage spells, but most abilities that inflict a status effect (such as Ambush from Assassins) can have the status effect portion resisted (not the damage component of the ability, though). Magic Resist helps in this regard. I'll give more of an opinion on Magic Resist socketing vs. HP socketing when I have more experience to go off of.
For PVE, the idea is to obtain the "right" amount of Magical Accuracy (this number varies depending on what you're fighting, you want your Magic Accuracy to be greater than the mobs' Magic Resist) through gear and manastones, and then after that, socket entirely Magic Boost stones.
Now, given the nature of the PvPvE environment that Aion encompasses, it may not always be viable to have a PVP gear set and a PVE gear set entirely separate from each other. Leveling is a good example of this; you may be doing PVE content and PVPing all throughout the journey to hit the level cap.
In scenarios like this, you want a good balance between HP, M.Res, M.Acc, and Magic Boost. While leveling, you may consider MP stones as a cheaper alternative also, especially in gear that you think will be replaced in the near future, but I don't recommend socketing them otherwise.
Godstones are special manastones that have special effects, and they can only be placed in weapons. A weapon can only hold one Godstone.
Godstones all have different chances to proc (activate) and different Godstones do different things -- generally, they either inflict some sort of status effect, or do some additional damage when they proc.
The favored Godstone choice for Sorcerers is currently any of the ones that have a 1% or 2% proc rate for high damage [the 1% proc rate is preferred as these do more damage when they proc].
Examples are below:
Godstone: Lumiel's Magical Power
Now, Zikel's Pride is better in PVP because you want the highest burst damage possible from the proc when it does activate. However, you won't always have a 1%-proc Godstone available. In this case, a 2%-proc Godstone would be your best option.
An alternative Godstone (pending testing) to consider for PVP is the following:
Godstone: Khrudgelmir's Silence
Silence shuts down even melees from using many of their abilities, so this Godstone may turn out to be a viable option.
Now, for strictly PVE purposes, the following 'type' of Godstone is actually the best -- however, you won't see many Sorcerers using these because they're not nearly as useful in PVP.
Although this godstone averages out to the same damage over an extended period of time as Zikel's Pride, it provides much more steady and consistent DPS (at the expense of the amazing burst damage that Zikel's Pride provides).
One of the main highlights of playing a Sorcerer is that the class has some of the best CC capabilities in the game.
We have one base spell, and two available Stigmas (one of which is an Advanced Stigma) to provide us with CC:
2 second cast, lasts 20 seconds (8 seconds in PVP), cooldown of 15 seconds. Our base ability, it also increases the Elemental Defense [decreases magic damage taken] of the target by 600 until the spell ends (or until the spell is broken by damage). This is to prevent Sorcerers from CCing an opponent and then blowing them up without them having any chance to react at all. However, there are ways around this...
Curse of Roots (aka Tree!)
Our 'best' CC overall in my opinion -- 1.5 second cast time, lasts 20 seconds (8 seconds in PVP), 30 second cooldown. Raises the target's elemental defense by 500 until the spell ends/is broken. Turns your target into a tree, even if they're mid-air! Sadly, it does not cause them to plummet to their demise (how does a tree hover in the air, anyways? Bah!).
For all intents and purposes, this spell is a clone of Sleep with a shorter cast time, longer cooldown, and less of an Elemental Defense boost given to the target (better for the Sorcerer if they plan on opening up on the Tree'd target).
The same as Sleep, except an AoE spell (all enemies within 12m of your target up to a maximum of 6 enemies [so 7 enemies total including your target]) with a 1 second cast and 3 minute cooldown. Pretty damn awesome.
Crowd Control is a vital part of a Sorcerer's arsenal, in both PVE and PVP. You need to be on your toes, always looking to keep that add (or those adds) Slept or Tree'd. Elite mobs will eat you for breakfast if you don't keep on top of CC.
In PVP, CCing opponents is vital; whether it's CCing that Assassin or Ranger that are wrecking your face in, or CCing a healer so your group can get a kill on someone, your #1 priority in PVP is to control people first -- and THEN blow people up.
Snares are spells/abilities that impair the target's movement speed.
Roots are spells/abilities that bind the target in place, not allowing them to move (though they are allowed to take other actions such as casting, attacking, etc. -- they just can't move).
Our primary snare. Chains into Frozen Shock (a damage move that also does a knockback+stun, or "Stagger"). Very important to land this on any melee target that plans on heading in your direction ASAP. From my experience, the damage and the actual debuff can be resisted individually (i.e. your spell's damage may get resisted, but the debuff will still land, or vice versa). [pending further investigation]
The snare from Ice Chain lasts for 12 seconds -- as long as you don't get interrupted, you can keep something almost permanently snared since the cooldown is only 10 seconds (and the cast time is 2 seconds).
This is the Asmodian name for the spell, but it's the exact same spell as the Elyos get (their version is called Frost). A great emergency snare -- 1 min cooldown, instant cast, lasts 12 seconds, decent damage.
Robe of Cold
Not a castable, on demand snare, but a buff that snares anyone who physically attacks you for 4 seconds (in addition to deal some minor reflective damage back to them).
Supposedly useful against Assassins. [pending further investigation]
Ice Sheet (Stigma)
Ice Sheet is a targetable (i.e. you can place it anywhere on the ground within its casting range) AoE spell that does damage over time in that area, as well as snaring any opponents caught in its radius.
Ice Sheet has been reported to be rather lackluster so far, due to the ease of escaping its radius and the time it takes until the damage begins to apply. However, it is not a channeled spell, and it is still a decent AoE, so you can 'fire-and-forget' it in a large group of enemies (preferably in a small space if possible) and see some decent results. 3 min cooldown.
Our first root (the spell has a fitting name, eh?). Instant cast, 1 min cooldown, lasts 20 seconds. Not much to say -- use it wisely!
Our next root spell, and this one is AoE! Does minor frost damage (so it'll break sleep/tree, make sure you utilize this properly) and only a 1 minute cooldown. Not bad at all. Radius is quite extensive, at 15m from your position.
Mentioned earlier, you need to land a successful Ice Chain to open up the combo for Frozen Shock. Instant cast, decent damage, knockback+stun, 30 second cooldown.
Aether's Hold is our aerial shackle; it is a 2.8 second cast, 2 minute cooldown spell that basically operates as a normal stun, except it opens up the possibility for anyone to use their moves that can only be used on aerial-shackled targets.
For example, we (as Sorcerers) have:
You generally want to spam this as fast as possible on an air-shackled target. It's an excellent source of burst damage, and with some Attack Speed %+ gear you can fit in quite a few of them before Aether's Hold ends. You should be able to fit in at least 4 without any special gear though.
We also have:
Yes, go ahead and get all the jokes related to the name out of your system early. "DUDE I TOTALLY JUST FISTED THAT GUY SO HARD LOL" -- yeah, we got it, thanks. Anyways, this is the spell that you want to use JUST before the air shackle's duration ends. Aether's Hold > Aether Flame x 4+ > Magic Fist is a combo that most enemies will be unable to live through, in PVP.
An AoE targetable damage+stun with a 1.5 second cast and 5 minute cooldown. A 5m radius is somewhat tiny, but not too terrible. Could be used as an excellent interrupt in PVP if utilized properly.
Illusion Storm (Advanced Stigma)
Medium-low damage, instant cast AoE within 10m radius of you, 6 targets max, 4 second stun with a 5 min. cooldown. Potentially very useful, especially in PVP situations. Only available if you also have Curse of Roots and Curse of Weakness stigmas equipped.
There are currently no benefits, besides titles, that taking up a profession gives solely to the crafter. In other words, all gear that you can make for yourself with Tailoring, someone else could make for you as well.
With that being said, I'll go over some rough details of the professions that are directly relevant to us:
Alchemy makes orbs and books (our weapons) in addition to potions and scrolls, which can net you some decent money. A large number of Sorcerers choose Alchemy, although there are debates as to whether it's worth it to master the profession (take it past 399).
Tailoring/Sewing makes leather and cloth armor. Another popular Sorcerer profession, you won't see much profit from this one unless you HQ/crit a synth, typically. Can make some very nice gear for end-game once the profession is mastered.
Cooking makes delicious nom-nom-nom foodstuffs. I know, surprising. Food is a necessity for the most part in this game, and so Cooking has been deemed a fairly profitable profession. Of special note, they can later make a jelly that instantly gives you 4000 DP -- quite useful, if you can imagine.
We can use two weapons: Books (Tomes), and Orbs.
Books offer higher magic accuracy, while orbs usually offer more M.Boost and MP. This is assuming that the two items are equal in level, of course.
A lot of people debate over which is better, so I'll just give my personal opinion based on my experience and common sense:
Use a book unless you plan on only fighting equal leveled mobs the entire game (unlikely). A single resist can not only screw you over, but the lost damage from a resist far outweighs the minor increase in damage you'll see on all the spells you DO land, by using an orb.
On top of that, using your book's ranged attack (an orb cannot attack from range, it's melee-only) can be really useful in a lot of situations to conserve mana or finish off something with really low HP. Don't underestimate it.
If you get an orb that's much higher level, superior stats, etc. than the book you're using, then go ahead and use it. But otherwise, I'd highly recommend sticking to books.
You generally want to choose titles that offer some combination of Magic Boost, Magic Accuracy, HP, Flight Speed (Abyss PVP), Speed (running faster is always a good thing), Attack Speed, and Casting Speed.
Titles are situational for the most part though, always keep that in mind.
If I had to pick one title to trump them all (for Asmodians), it would be:
+80 Maximum HP, +3% Speed, +2% Atk Speed, +2% Casting Time Boost
From the Proving the Loyalty and Affableness quest.
Most of this section is directly attributed to F8L Fool with his awesome Assassin guide/FAQ. You're a straight up baller, bro.
Bottom-line: You need to use consumables if you want to be competitive. No excuses.
What you should always have on you:
Lesser Healing Potion
30s cooldown. Cures poisons (you can't fly or glide while poisoned), roots, slows, DoT's, and various other stat ailments. Does not remove Sleep, Tree, stuns of any kind, or air-shackle. Not sure if it can cure Silence, I still need to verify.
Lesser Wind Serum
30s cooldown. Extends your remaining flight time. Incredibly useful for flight-based PVP.
Minor Life Serum
Instant Heal. 30s cooldown. Your standard health potion -- I shouldn't need to stress the importance of these. On a separate cooldown from the HoT potions.
Minor Life Potion
Heal over Time. 30s cooldown. IMPORTANT NOTE: DOES NOT STACK WITH HoT SPELLS FROM HEALING CLASSES. [Still pending further investigation, based off current experience] Quoted from F8L Fool's guide: "It's very good to use these preemptively the second you start taking damage. Since it's on a different cooldown than the instant potions they can be amazingly effective. **On separate cooldown from its Instant Heal counterpart**"
Lesser Secret Remedy of Mana
Instant mana recovery. 30s cooldown. Useful for those situations where you're OoM and need the mana right now in order to control the situation properly. If you don't need a large chunk of mana immediately, you're better off with an equivalent Mana-over-Time potion (below).
Minor Mana Potion
Restores a small amount of MP every 2 seconds over a 20 second span. 30s cooldown. Very useful while grinding (less downtime than Mana Treatment) but more expensive. Ideal for fast-paced instances or group play, where you'll want to minimize downtime. If you're chain pulling / constantly casting, not even the combination of Absorb Energy + Soul Absorption + Mana Treatment will keep your mana up forever -- that's where these potions come in.
Lesser Recovery Serum
Instant HP & MP. 30s cooldown. Obviously useful if you need both at the same time.
Lesser Anti-Shock Scroll is not a bad idea either, once your Stoneskin goes down.
There are quite a few other scrolls, including Attack Speed %+, Magic Resistance, etc. that I think will be useful -- once I have some more experience with these I'll update this section.
Use common sense when it comes to choosing your food. If you've read through the guide to this point, you know what stats are useful for Sorcerer, so go from there. Some recommendations are below.
Frequently Asked Questions [11.0]
Q: Hey Kayoto, how do you type with boxing gloves!?
A: This section coming soon, once I get more feedback!
Sorcerer Links & Resources [12.0]
Many thanks to F8L Fool for his FAQ/Guide format, and some snippets of information gleaned from it. I appreciate it!
Much appreciation to the folks who discussed the mechanics of this class in the various threads linked from here. Super mad props to the Magic Boost Testing Thread.
That's all for now, folks. Please keep the criticism constructive, and take some of the information with a grain of salt -- as stated earlier, some of it is conjecture as of right now, and until I have more experience and the community knows more, it'll remain that way.
Thanks for reading!