Hey you guys, I previously did a video reviewing the advanced skills, but the great thing about sharing how I think of certain game content is that I get a lot of feedback. It's impossible to always be spot on about everything, so I'm glad I've picked up some pointers and good observations from fans and friends. Here I'm going to give my somewhat revised perspective on the six advanced skills for mages, though some there isn't a big difference from the video :)
The Original Review
The New Review
Active DPS (Damage Per Second)/Damage SkillsThe active advanced skills on the damage branch for mages are largely underwhelming. I wouldn't recommend prioritizing either of them if you have just become class advanced and have a limited number of points to work with.
The new delphic, Flame Tornado, was the one I was really excited about when I saw previews of the advanced skills, but turns out it's not that interesting. The moment you have more than one enemy, this does less damage to your opponents than Delphic Hell Thunder, which is already fantastically useless. So sorry, mages! Still no worthwhile delphic for us. We'll just have to fake it 'til we make it with Thunderer.
Icebolt is the semi-decent of the two options, and I would max it out before putting points into Flame Tornado. I don't really see any PvP (Player vs. Player) use for it, but it's a VERY fast skill (on par with an archer's Armor Pierce), so it's not bad for things like World Boss, Necropolis, etc.
Active Healing Skills
The active healing skills are a bit of a snore as well, but I think many mages have at least found a purpose for Mana Shield in single PvP play. When you have a limited number of points, I would at most put points into mana shield on your healing set, but neither is critical to staying competitive.
Anthem had the potential to be a really interesting heal, but since it's capped out at restoring a maximum of 90k health, I haven't found a very good purpose for it. I mentioned this in the video as well, but I think it would be more interesting as a basic skill, but by the time people hit advanced class, a 90k heal is really not much. Using restore or blessed light will do more than that, especially if they crit.
I have yet to find a PvE or group PvP purpose for Mana Shield, since 12-16% reduction doesn't do much against world boss, and a knight's apollo/mars or an archer's incendiary are so much better. However, in Class Wars I've had at least some mixed opinions about it, both positive and negative.
With high dark resistances and the vast majority of mages using dark sylphs in Class Wars, many of the fights come down to whose dealt the most damage at the end of the fight. This makes damage reduction skills pretty attractive, especially if you can have them on when your opponent is using their sylph attacks.
PassivesThe passives are probably the most important point-investment, but that's mostly just because the active skills are less than interesting. The first thing I'd do once you get advanced points is to put them into the HP passive. After that I'd fill out the regular skills you've been wanting to have in each spec, and lastly think about Rage Master and some of the active skills. For all the classes, the HP passive is probably the most important; the only class that should really push for an active skill are knights (Mars Will)
The best advanced skill, but everyone else gets it too :\
In my video I wrote this off as a nonsense skill, and I sort of still think it is. However, seeing as there's at least one active skill in each branch which isn't even really worth getting, this passive has started to look more appealing to me. I've worked it up to full points in my heal set, and have 1 point into it on my damage set.
Well I hope this shines a light on some of the mage advanced skills and the post and comments can be used as a reference when you and your friends start thinking about allocating your extra points. Big thanks again to everyone who gives me input, it really keeps me honest, so keep it coming!