All mages learn some magic that harnesses the power of the sky, but only a few have the dedication to become Stormlords. Masters of the weather, Stormlords wield a unique arsenal of sustained damage-over-time spells. They are tougher than mages, but give up some of their surging power as they favor more reliable, consistant damage. Like all Prestige Classes, they retain the original class's Prime Requisite, in this case, Intelligence. Stormlords find the magic of Sorcerors to be a perversion of nature, and thus never gain access to that Remort Class.
Stormlords in General
After hero 101 stormlords focus on sustained spells. These spells require the caster to stand still and not enter any commands except look, score, gtalk, time and similar - even group, buddytalk or scan will break the maintained spells, for example. In return, these spells give little to no lag, are relatively cheap to cast and deal considerable damage (as well as other effects, depending on the spell). After hero level 675 when stormlords gain access to Stratum, which is a special spell (cast it before casting another maintained spell) that enhances the effectiveness of other maintained spells.
This type of spellcasting makes stormlords suitable for grouping, as they find it difficult to run out of mana, and their spells work best when being tanked. The primary downside of stormlords - their surging ability being capped at 3 - does not apply to the sustained spells (which are unsurgeable), but will limit their solo activities to some degree.
Stormlords lack some relatively important abilities like Charge Shield, Ward, Mystical Barrier, Sneak, Move Hidden and Amplify. However, their Spring Rain is again unique in the party-friendliness as it helps with hp and mana regeneration, which is especially noticeable on the smaller lvl characters. This is why some players like to leave their stormlords raining in Sanctum Infirmary to help all the other players with regeneration.
To become a Stormlord you need to have three requirements:
- Level 50 Mage.
- A race without the no-sun racial. Gargoyles are exempt from the no-sun rule, however. (Incidentally, stormlords are the only prestige class gargoyles are applicable for, and actually make decent stm.)
- The weather must be stormy (lightning). To accomplish this, cast Control Weather with the argument "worse" once per game hour (about 10 minutes) until it starts to storm. This can take a while, as the weather can be stubborn.
Stormlords at Hero Tier
As noted above, until hero 101 the stormlords behave identical to mages without sneak and move hidden and with a cap on surging. Post hero 101 their grouping capabilities expand and they become great hitters and solid tanks (tanking is similar to other casters).
Akin to most casters, train wisdom first (to get more practice points), then intelligence (for more mana points) and finally constitution (for more hp points). Leave strength and dexterity for when you can afford the practices, as dexterity only modifies your AC and strength gives a minor boost to melee damage and the carry capacity.
Practice the regular skills and spells: sanctuary, frenzy, cure blind/poison/disease, foci-subspells (if you haven't already), all transportation spells (you should already have these), the weapon subset (parry, dodge, shield block, second and third attack, enhanced damage, dual) and finally the cures up to heal for emergencies.
Once hero 101+ these major spells are available:
- Cloudburst - the primary single-target attack spell. It costs about a quarter of a disintegrate and does more damage.
- Hail Storm - the primary area attack spell, it does significantly more damage than Acid Rain for about a third of the cost.
- Sleet - useful on EHA runs or wherever bashing enemies helps the group more than the stormlord's other damage spells.
- Gale - rarely used until Lord tier, it prevents the enemy archers from longshoting into the group's room.
- Spring Rain - incredibly useful in and off the battlefield, the spring rain slowly fills up mana and hp of everyone in the room.
- Stratum - Only available to superheroes and lords, stratum increases the effectiveness of all the sustained spells, but is costly and prone to interruptions.
It is important to have in mind that stormlords are more party-friendly than regular mages or wizards. They have more HP, less mana, cheaper spells, and do their best while being grouped. Thus, the combat oriented gods (Quixoltan and Bhyss) make more sense than they would for a typical mage.
This is because:
- While grouped stormlords do regular melee damage whenever not sustaining spells. Both Qxl and Bhy help melee damage.
- Stm spell activation causes little to no lag, and it is possible to break the sustaining whenever one wishes. Thus the Qxl lag penalty is not relevant.
- Stm get more hp than mages, so Bhy HP penalty might not be noticeable.
- Stm get less mana than mages, but maintaining their weather spells cost half of mage's usual spells by default, and they deal more damage - so Bhy's lack of mana gain bonus may not be relevant either.
Soloing: Until Hero 101, stormlords solo identical to mages. Once they practice their weather spells, use those instead.
It is critical to realize that sustained spells only work if the stormlord is not interrupted! This means if the mobs attack before the stm does, they will interrupt and the spell will immediately fall. Thus, at all times, the stm needs to be on top of the mobs using linkrefresh command after the area repops (or simply relog).
Tanking: Stormlords can tank as well as mages can, and to be able to use their stormlord spells they need to be ontop of the target they are fighting. Same as above, use the linkrefresh group command as soon as the area repops as this will help both the weather spells and the groupies' overall hitting.
Hitting: Make pretty decent hitters once they get some mana, especially if somewhat more brutish race and/or worshiping a melee-increasing deities like Quixoltan or Bhyss. Cloudburst does better damage than disintegrate, and it's activation works with chaos channel; so even a stm with relatively low mana can run for a pretty long time. Hail storm if the tank is fighting multiple mobs. If in EHA, of if the group has dedicated bashers, consider sleet where appropriate.
Healing: Same as most other arcane casters, stormlords can brandish healing staves, and also have access to Heal in emergencies.
Stormlords at Lord Tier
At lord tier, stormlords receive comparable mana to a mage, but use it at a faster rate since they lack chaos channel and need to recast their sustained spells every time they get hit by an area spell. This can be mitigated somewhat by using strata (see below), and even more if you are fortunate enough to find a priest willing to cast Solitude on you. Since maelstrom does comparatively little damage and they don't get access to meteor swarm, they use Thunderhead and Blizzard for single-target and area attacks, respectively.
Another utility spell is Stratum, which is not used much at hero tier due to high costs and being easily interrupted. Using a gale stratum will allow you to avoid most area effect spells which would have damaged you as well as stopped your sustained spell. Sleet stratum lowers your chances of getting aggied (in addition to making bashes easier), although it'll break the first time you do get aggied and you can't stratum again for a few ticks after. Thunderhead or blizzard stratum raise the damage done by their respective spells, allowing you to hit harder.
At lord level 25, you become able to learn Strata Control, which essentially lets you have 2 strata at the same time (they can't be 2 of the same, though). All strata will break if you are aggied or if you rest/sleep, and forced breaking such as that render it exhausted for about 4 ticks. If you need quick surge damage Maelstrom is a costly and somewhat effective option, but avoid doing this unless frequent and numerous area attacks are being used and you can't use a gale stratum.
All in all, stormlords typically serve the same role in groups as most casters do: damage dealers. The damage is higher and more consistent than mage casting, but requires lots of mana and some micromanagement of sustained spells and strata for optimal output. Stormlords who finish regenning before the rest of the group can also provide spring rain to speed up regen of their groupies.
Stormlord Remort Options
Stormlords cannot remort class, so only racial remort is available. Stm is one of the most forgiving casting classes for races without nofail due to the lack of lag on sustained spells. At lord tier, any race with a larger mana pool (such as Elf, Tua, Cen) will be very effective. Note that sprites can struggle with this class somewhat compared to many other casting classes due to their lack of reliable damage avoidance spells (e.g. mystical barrier, illusory shield), so expect to suffer a bit more from area spells and wandering aggros.