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Dragon Mage bargainer, a good option?

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In short, the title says it all. Is the Dragon Mage a good choice for a bargainer?

To give a bit more of detail on my project then. I'm playing a single player Shadow Warrior as a hybrid character that will have Blacksmith mastery by the end game, making it my Niobium smith. After that he'll be my money feeder to lower level bargainers, because at levels 100+ he'll be able to provide a lot of income to low level toons via shared items. Now the idea is to play a character with Bargaining as the first skill and then run the rest of the build normally, as opposed to what I'm doing on the SW where I'm playing it normally and only mastering Blacksmith at the later stage of the game. There are only three classes with Bargaining as a primary skill, those being the Inquisitor which I don't enjoy very much, the High Elf which I think will suffer a lot from having one less skill to choose from at each level, and... the Dragon Mage. So the basic question here is actually this, does the Dragon Mage fit well in this scenario where I'm basically dumping points in a non-combat skill at every level up while still being able to perform in the campaign?

This toon is meant to become a kind of a tree of Bargainers, like the one I did with the Character Editor, except this one is supposed to be played instead of created from scratch. My idea is to create the toon and level it up to 2, park it, copy the save game and rename it sequentially and keep playing it until the next step in the ladder. The idea is also to have each step of the ladder at the turn of each difficulty level; starting from Silver@lv.2, Gold@lv.35-40, Platinum@lv.70, Niobium@lv.100-1**. Is this feasible at all, and more specifically with a Dragon Mage? And since I've never played with a Dragon Mage before what's the best bet for the skill choices? Single aspect? Dragon Magic? Other variations?

Any help is appreciated. :)

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I cannot help on the bargainer tree aspect - except to say it sounds like a good idea to me; but I dont have the experience to know

I am playing a Dragon Mage and I play single aspect Mentalism with polearms with life leech or leech life

Mentalism has Mind Blaze which is a placeable Area of Effect attack and it's my main killer; it also has a buff and a debuff, which I tend not to use much

I make sure my defense and armor rating are good (dexterity and blacksmith arts etc) and I am pretty hardy - no deaths so far

Of course I am only at level 35 in silver so my experience thus far may not apply to higher levels and difficulties

I dont have a dedicated shopper or any shared equipment - everything is self found; I have Enhanced Perception and Bargaining to help me get better equipment

There is a guide in the Dragon Mage section that goes into single aspect Mentalism.

The finding there was that Mentalism is powerful and viable. The author took Alchemy for defense but found it was unnecessary

Hope that is some use

good luck

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The same way I created lv.75 blank characters with Niobium access I was able to twist Sacred 2 Character Editor in order to have Niobium shoppers with the maximum value possible on the Bargaining skill but with different levels. Then I went with them to LAN and made my shopping sprees. But it always felt a bit like "cheating". The idea would be to play a toon to the specific levels and use it as a bargainer, but instead of going lv.1-2, lv.1-35/40, lv.1-70/75 and so on it'd be more like dropping it behind at a given level and continuing the trail to higher levels. That would mean beating the campaign at different difficulties though, which is why I made this topic in the first place. ;)

I'll take a look at the guide you mention, though I believe that the playing style of the Mentalism aspect isn't exactly my favourite. It's a bit too strong on debuffing if you catch my drift.

Thanks for the reply! :)

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Using the Character Editor and stacking "All Skills +" I raised my High Elf Shopper to a remarkably high level. Yes, it is possible to use the character editor to have a Niob shopper with Bargaining mastery at the lowest levels. The integer for All Skills + is lower at reduced levels which would affect the level of Bargaining significantly as well, of course.


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I did the Sohei guide short after the german release of the AddOn.As far as I know it was the very first guide for the AddOn and mainly to show what is new, for example reg per hit. For a 'test character' it played surprisingly really easy.

But with time it came knowledge. So my newer characters had no longer a weapon skill: see the hardcore mentalist. Even it started like the Sohei with weaponhits recharging the spells... At niob and having the cm-patch it was possible to have a nearly doubled combat art range while spamming the spells without the need to recharge the, Look at the Video.

The mentalist is like a butterfly: early you are a caterpillar with weapon attacks to recharge the spells. But late game you can turn into a butterfly, ignoring the weapons and go full mage style.

And you didn't neat a cheat tool to reskill, because it is just carefully choosing the right equipment to do the metamorphosis.


I think there is room in skill points to fit bargaining in. I took alchemy mainly for hardcore reasons. Spell resistance is another candidate.

Perhaps someone with spare time and less than 5 kids could do a nice guide using the above.







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My gut instinct combined with what I know of the many builds I have made (none of which was the Dragon Mage) is that selecting Bargaining as the primary skill is workable but there would be some serious drawbacks to the efficacy of either defense or attack/combat arts, at least at the start. Take a recent High Elf build that I made as an example below). She has only one aspect for combat and the build is still sound because she has all of the defense skills and Concentration and Ancient Magic to boost her power, as a quick defeat of enemies is crucial. It would have been workable if I had started with Bargaining and pumped points into that but it would have been difficult for her in the beginning to provide for her protection. Delaying the points being invested in her Aspects and accompanying Combat Art Modifications would keep her opponents attacking for too long before they could be eliminated during any engagement, this would be especially true with mobs. That, combined with the delay of proper and customary defense implementation would make her "squishy" self quite difficult to protect. Points would need to be employed to boost her Vitality and Willpower and Armor Lore is recommended as the fourth skill to allow for more protective pieces and a faster regeneration time. This sort of build is feasible, yet it would be a nightmare in hardcore.


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Yeah, I mainly avoided using the HE class in this project because it's a class where the lack of that first skill gets more noticeable. I'm not really a fan of the Inquisitor too so that leaves the Dragon Mage, which actually seems like it has the tools necessary for survival. I hadn't noticed how powerful Runes of Protection is, and yesterday I took one of my blank lv.75 toons for a spin and tried some of the Mentalism spells on Platinum. They don't seem too shabby so I guess that eventually I can lean on that.

Character Editor makes it possible to have a level 2 Bronze toon transformed into a level 2 Niobium toon with 255 hard points in Bargaining. So yeah, it's a bit (or a lot) like cheating, and as such my desire to try and make a single player shoppers ladder with the same character arose. I don't feel like parking it at specific levels, duplicating and renaming the save game and keep on playing it is cheating because when I look at it it only got there and has those hard earned points because I played it. But neither side should take this topic as criticism, people just need to have fun with this game. ;)

Glad to see you around Chattius, you're the sole reason why I started playing melee elves years ago. You and your awesome guide, cheers for that!

I read a bit into the Sohei guide yesterday but my eyes were crossing lines so it wasn't a proper reading, but I can see the points you made. I just need to adjust them to my playing style and see if I can make it enjoyable for me and still functional at the same time. Though after last night's testing run it seems that a dual buff system with Runes of Protection/Familiar and a few spells like Eternal Fire/Mind Strike/Energy Blaze does seem interesting, and feasible. I'll see about reading those guides you linked properly, thanks for that!

On a clear side note, has anyone ever tried to raise the tooltip values on the Bargaining skill up to 100%? Is it even possible, and if so what are the practical results?

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7 minutes ago, Androdion said:

On a clear side note, has anyone ever tried to raise the tooltip values on the Bargaining skill up to 100%? Is it even possible, and if so what are the practical results?

Indeed, the result is 99.9 - 100% yellow items but it doesn't significantly change for the better number and quality of slots. I believe that is actually related to the actual level of Bargaining as improved by all skills + stacking and the character editor.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys. Merry X-mas and all. :christmastree:

I've been sort of planning this build and came to a few conclusions, and as so I'd love for some feedback prior to starting it. I know some things will be different than your style because I've tried to fit the skill, CA and modifications choice to my liking, so please bear with it.

Skills (Lv.75):

 2 Bargaining 75
 3 Armor Lore 5
 5 Mentalism Lore 75
 8 Concentration 1
12 Mentalism Focus 75
18 Pole Arms 1
25 Dragon Magic Focus 31
35 Constitution 1
50 Ancient Magic 1
65 Toughness 1

More points are left to distribute at level 75 so this is but a basic sketch. The idea is to modify Familiar and Eternal Fire for active gameplay, hence the 31 points in Dragon Magic Focus. Pole Arms is there to have a proper weapon skill that allows me to terminate threats that aren't dealt with with the CAs, and take advantage of a weapon type that has %LL bonuses. I though really hard about using Magic Staffs in its place because of the Familiar's boost to intelligence, but the %LL and the playing style with high range CAs doesn't seem to fit with it. Pole arms with a brutal close range damage should work better I guess. Bargaining is to be kept at character level and after mastering the first three the order should be Armor Lore, Constitution, and whatever else. I always master AL because of the regen penalty and Constitution for the in-combat HP regen, it's sort of a micromanagement of my own if you will. After that there are several choices which I guess will vary with the mobs and how damage is being dealt, and my toon's endurance as I progress into Niobium. But I reckon that Ancient Magic should prove a good choice for added damage and breaking resistances, that over Toughness when I already have a lot of defense. Plus with a bargainer I should have Toughness boosted by +All Skills either way so it should compensate. Same for Concentration and Pole Arms which I don't intend on raising beyond one point unless it's actually necessary (but I don't think it will be).


Energy Blaze - confusion, impact, afterglow
Mind Strike - weakness, expansion, slow down
Eternal Fire - licking flames, panic, fury
Maelstrom - grind, extension, demoralize
Combat Trance - awareness, experienced, hardened


Runes of Protection - awe, stone skin, runes
Familiar - firebug, quick mind, life force

The idea behind these modifications goes hand in hand with the playing style I intend to put into play. Buffs will keep my toon alive and not an easy prey in melee, and if enemies get to that distance a pole arm will finish the job. In the meantime there's a lot of direct damage and DOT to be caused, with side-effects being that enemies have their abilities reduced, movement slowed down or they'll just get away from me. And if they do get close, rinse and repeat. In theory I think these CAs and their modifications will suffice against regular and champion mobs, but how about bosses? Will I have to engage in melee more often than usual and then make %LL shine? And will that suffice? I'd appreciate some specific feedback in this particular question since if you can't deal with bosses you won't progress in the game.

Take a look, give some input. Take your time since it's Christmas, I'll wait. ;)

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Small update.

I've played this build through Silver and managed to enter Gold at an early level 35. I have to say that Mentalism with +All Skills is a real killer! Anyway, I had never played a DM before so I basically adapted the build as I went on and as I discovered that some things worked and others didn't. I dropped Dragon Magic in favour of a single aspect Mentalist, just with the added second buff in Familiar (unmodified). I also noticed how weak the DM is when in melee so I switched the order of Toughness and Ancient Magic, since I can already cause a lot of damage and with Bargaining there are sweet rings to cover the gaps. I dropped Dragon Magic Focus in favour of Speed Lore, as to improve the melee efficiency by reaping the bonuses of the skill.

Right now it's like this, at level 36 (Toughness will be at level 50 and Ancient Magic at level 65):

 2 Bargaining 36
 3 Armor Lore 5
 5 Mentalism Lore 34
 8 Concentration 1
12 Mentalism Focus 34
18 Pole Arms 5
25 Speed Lore 1
35 Constitution 1

I have the early level 2 toon parked in Silver with 16 points in Bargaining and the level 35 parked in Gold with 84 points in Bargaining (added bonuses via gear), and they both do good shopping. The idea now is to keep moving on and reach Platinum to repeat the procedure, as to be able to purchase better equipment with each iteration of this build. Right now it's looking good, as my level 65 Platinum Blacksmith enjoyed the added bonuses of having a shared chest of +All Skills jewelry. :)

Now I need to take a break from the DM and keep levelling the SW smith as Bargaining is a goddamn gold sink! :lol:

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I enjoy seeing that you, like so many others, are having such a good time making the game their own and making it work for them. It appears that you have a good strategy and sound builds there, Androdion.


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Thanks mate. :)

I got somehow "fatigued" of using bargainers with the Character Editor, it felt "wrong". After my Magic Coup HE got too overpowered because of loot from the download section and jewelry from those bargainers I wanted to try a similar approach but with actual play time involved. :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry, I am a bit of late, but the question is why

On 12/11/2017 at 1:59 PM, Androdion said:

the High Elf which I think will suffer a lot from having one less skill to choose from at each level

She needs only Lore and Focus in Fire or Ice to keep up to level and...and... that's that, isn't it? plenty of room for the EP, bargain, riding, ...whatever - devotion, maybe:lol:

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Except I usually play with a Delphic HE, which requires a bit more of investment in skills to be able to kill and survive. ;) I'd reckon that an Ice/Fire HE would be able to stand its ground with a general skill being kept at character level, but from my experience a Magic Coup HE requires a lot of investment.

And it's a curious timing that you have as I just finished the latest step in my ladder last night. Got to Platinum and my new shopper has level 70 and nearly 200 points in Bargaining, between +All Skills/+Bargaining/+General Skills bonus from sets and jewelry. And somehow I feel like the 70 million in gold aren't nearly enough! :lol: Truth be told I've spent around 8 million just to equip that bargainer and the new toon that will go into Niobium, so that's that. I'll need to keep the Platinum shopper well fed on rare items to be sold. Maybe do some more Platinum Guardian runs with my SW Smith, ha ha.

Anyway in terms of character development the DM can definitely hold its ground with Bargaining as the first skill, though it's pretty much a slow burner. Mentalism, like Chattius said, becomes progressively more effective and more powerful, and the life leeching Pole Arms give it a helping hand for bosses and CA regen (per hit). It's just that it isn't as immediate as other builds I've played, it's very noticeable that the ascending curve in terms of the ratio level/power is being travelled. It's different but fun as well.

Right now the plan is to raise to level 100 and finish Platinum, stash enough gold (hopefully) and park the last shopper at level 100 in Niobium. After level 100 and with Bargaining, Mentalism Lore, Mentalism Focus at character level I can then focus properly on mastering other skills to attack Niobium. We'll see how it goes but so far it's still going well. :)

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I just think Fire/Ice HE much easier and safer bargainer if thats the goal of creating a character, but, bah, anyways I hate bargaining and better wont  play at niob than creating "networks", farm gold or something, I have even decide that I wont use my plat blacksmith to help new characters - let 'em swim or die:lol:

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  • 2 months later...

Small update just to say that I've finally levelled every instance of my Dragon Mage. So now I have a lv.2 silver, a lv.35 gold, a lv.70 platinum and a lv.100 niobium bargainers ready to go on shopping sprees if needed be. Along the way I've stashed my shared chest with more than enough +all skills jewellery to be able to use them at will, nothing too specific or fancy but enough to be helpful.

I will say, using bargainers to get jewellery with modifiers like opponent's chance to evade, chance that opponents cannot evade attacks, opponent's level for deathblow, and of course +all skills, really makes any toon much more proficient. I guess that you can't really reach that kind of proficiency without a bargainer so having this "ladder" really adds a lot to the pleasure of playing the game.

Now to level up my niobium smith to a level high enough as to beat the niobium NPC's blacksmith arts. :viking:

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