The PSIONICIST class is a 'spellcasting' class similar to Mages and Clerics, but with several important differences. Where a Mage's power comes from harnessing external energies present in all matter, and a Cleric's comes from his or her deity, the Psionicist derives all of his or her power from within. Psions are masters of BIOCENTRIC SPELLS that alter the body on a cellular level, Telepathic spells that can cripple the weak-minded, and TELEKINETIC SPELLS that range from simple levitation to complex attack spells. Although slightly less powerful than MAGEs in terms of spell damage, they make up for it with their versatility and bevy of unique abilities. The Prime Stat of a Psion is INTelligence.
Like any spellcasting class, races with good mana are recommended. In addition, psionicists run in DR gear and are similar to melee types in their damage, so a race with a positive damage modifier is good. There aren't many races with both good spellcasting ability and good damage modifier, so people give one or the other more importance.
Good creatable races are drow/elf/cen (good mana, but no damage mod). Liz has average mana (and a small psi spellcost bonus) and good hp with an option of remorting tua/drg. Fdk is a race with good damage mod and good mana (at high evolution), but it has large tnl. Drg and drc are also good options if you can handle the tnl/abomination.
Psionicists in General
Note on Dancing Weapon use: Be sure to read about Kinetic Weapon Control. It's worth experimenting with different weapon combinations because some of the specifics of kinetic weapon damage are not fully understood yet. Using a weaker weapon such as a two-handed hafted weapon with less DR than a separate main hand wield and offhand wield (which combine their DR) might give the same damage with Dancing Weapon. Furthermore, low-weight hafted weapons and ethereal weapons are supposed to be easier to catch, so they might be a better choice. Hafted weapons can also be used to bash if necessary. There is still a lot more testing required on this topic. Additionally it's worth remembering that dual wielding will give an extra regular attack, and normal melee hits between telekinetic attacks should do more dmg with the greater HR/DR.
Psionicists at Lowmort Tier
Like any other spell-casting class, the order for training goes; Wisdom (to maximize practices as soon as possible), Intelligence (to get the best chances of mana gains as early as possible), Constitution (to gain improved hps quickly, but probably secondary in importance to mana) and then followed by Dexterity and Strength in no particular combination or hurry.
With the addition of spellbots as common use, Constitution, Dexterity and Strength can all be boosted with spells (commonly by +4 each), so it not neccessary to top out on training those three stats straight away. Further more, with the use of an 'Acumen' fountain (+2 Wisdom) in Centaur Hollow, one can ameliorate the use of Wisdom gear down to a single piece, allowing the three pieces of easily obtainable Intelligence gear (Mantles of Bonk or Ugly Amulets for the neck, and an Orb of Knowledge for the held slot) to be worn at level 3 directly (after your 'Boost' spell has worn off from creation).
Due to the recent events which have befallen Midgaard, the Psion Mistress has moved her guild to Solace. She is quite tight-lipped about the specific chain of events that caused her to leave Midgaard, but she is grateful to be able to continue helping psionicists practice. At the moment she can be found in the Inn of the Last Home.
Virtually all psionicists worship Shizaga, the Goddess of Chaos and Magic, as she provides enormous benefits and virtually no downsides to the class. Shizaga increases the damage of psionic spells such as dart, blast bolt and dancing weapon; she reduces spell cost by %5; increases mana regen; reduces spell lag; and provides a bonus to mana gains when levelling.
When soloing, tank gear seems to be the best bet for the low level psi. Until you get Dart, psychic drain will be your most damaging spell. Between your melee and spells, nothing should really be able to stop you levels 1-10, so long as you remember to stick to areas your own level. Level 10 and up will be a bit more difficult, but possible. Be sure to wear gear that maxes your Int so you can Dart the heaviest item available to you (depends on your Int).
As Dart costs a bare fraction of your mana, it will be easiest to use quicken as enemies get stronger, rather than using a stronger spell. When you learn Blast Bolt and Detonate, for instance, keep using Dart (or at higher levels when you need the damage, use a non-telekinetic attack spell). Blast Bolt wastes fodder for a poor damage increase, and Detonate isn't really a damage spell at all. Like all kinetic spells, Torch outdamages chaos channelling mages of the same level, for less mana cost too, so use it as soon as you are able, and it should be your primary damage spell until Dancing Weapon. (Weapon Rush is useless unless you happen to have 20k DR at your disposal.) Avoid non-telekinetic attacks unless you need to surge.
Psionicist Prestige Options
Psionicists at Hero Tier
Soloing: Psis can solo in two ways
- Use dancing weapon and some mix of tank and hit gear depending on how much hp you have and how hard the mobs you are fighting hit. Note that, like Monk, the damage difference between full ac and full dr gear sets is not as big as might be expected with other classes. Dancing weapon can do nice damage even in full ac gear (hint: get ac gear that also has dr). You will want an alias that picks up the dropped weapon and wields it. Dancing weapon is great for several reasons: low mana cost, damage counts as spell damage (not weapon type such as blunt or sharp) so can hit so-called "no melee damage" mobs, and it hits three times from the start, even if you haven't learned third (or second) attack yet.
- Wear tank gear and use Death Field. Death field is the most powerful area spell at hero (use to be, now blood nova is) and it has lower lag compared to acid rain, but it has high cost and big downsides (see Deaths Door).
Tanking: Psis have a tanking advantage over other casters because they have access to in-class fear, scramble, deception, and overconfidence that work with a high degree of success. On the other hand, Psis do not have a low cost in-class area spell like mages and clerics do, so they will have to resort to quickening Burning Hands to aggress an entire room. Like other casters, Psis are limited by their middling HP pool, so having high quality tank gear, and perhaps a charged shield, is important. Since Dancing Weapon is underwhelming in tank gear and non-kinetic damage spells are underwhelming always, debuff spells (scramble, deception, etc.) are probably the best use of mana until you need to surge a big mob.
Hitting: Psis hit great in a group, usually switching to full hit gear after mana drops below base level. Psis usually need three eq sets: tank, mana and hit, which is more than most classes commonly have and makes for more complicated gear changing macros. A big problem for a psi hitting in a group with dancing weapon is losing dropped weapons. While you can make a trigger to pick up dropped weapons often the group will move too fast for your trigger to work, and it may be too spammy onscreen to notice right away that you've dropped a weapon. Ideally groupmates will help pick up dropped weapons, but as psi is less common than it used to be many groupmates are not used to this.
Kinetic Chain prevents dropping your weapons, and it consumes a flat amount of mana each time you would normally drop them. This cost doesn't increase with quicken. On a hero dragon psi worshiping Shizaga it costs 19 mana to cast it and 36 mana per recovery (no idea if racial or worship spellcost modifiers change it), which is more than dancing weapon costs normally (23). At hero you'll typically only use it during EHA runs when you move quickly and you can't always count on groupmates to recover your weapons, or if you know you're in the presence of stompers and scavengers. In smaller groups or while soloing, you can usually ignore this spell entirely.
Healing: Pretty much the same as other casters in that they can brandish. They do learn augment at hero 87 and so can also cast limited heal spells.
Higher level psionicists receive kinetic enhancers which can be cast on their weapons. The most important of these are
- stunning weapon (hero 500) - can stun mobs
- felling weapon (lord 400) - can knock down mobs
- conscious weapon (lord 500) - increases damage
- intelligent weapon (lord 800) - increase damage even more
Psionicists at Lord Tier
Psi can be quite powerful in lord groups but need to have favourable circumstances. Bashing makes a lot more difference at lord for psi damage. Fandango is the main psi spell which when the mob is bashed does very good damage. With full lord hit gear it does damage somewhere between mid and high ERAD. For comparison, it's somewhere between surge 2 and surge 3 brimstone. Also, it's very consistent. Since fandango costs relatively little mana, psis can run a long time without regen.
Taking into account the above psis are most useful in xp runs with a monk type in group. Since almost all lord play is in a group, psi lords have the same issue with lost weapons as psis hitting in a group at hero. Kinetic chain is more useful because of relatively less mana cost compared to hero. Also you can use mindwipe when kinetic chain is exhausted and still do a pretty good amount of overall damage.
One of the disadvantages to psis is that they usually run in hit gear, making them more splatty. Also they have neither a good area spell, nor a good surgeable single target spell at lord, which means they are of less use in gear rooms. Lost weapons are a perennial risk, especially in areas with stompers or when the whole group goes down.
Psionicist Remort Options
Psionicist can choose to remort into a Human Sorcerer at lvl 150 Lord or at lvl 300 Lord if he wants to keep his old race.
Mindbenders can become Sorcerors earlier than Psions can.