A magic user proficient in the use of darts is never, ever "useless". A steady rain of three of these things into low-level monsters is always handy. Or lobbing flaming oil. Or standing by with a potion of healing, bandages for characters dropped to 0 or worse, and on and on.
All of which, technically, a 0-level commoner is equally adept at doing.
None of which screams "master of the arcane arts" to me...