Lazybones said:I guess it depends on the build and the situation. In my Shackled City story, my arcane casters were kind of gimped, in that Zenna died before the mystic theurge class really hit its sweet spot, and Cal had 4 bard levels that didn't really help him once he got into the teens. Plus Cal was more of a "utility caster" than a blaster-mage. Even so, especially at the higher levels there are places where an arcanist can accomplish some pretty awesome effects, including one-shotting tough bad guys, and neutralizing powers that would otherwise kill sword-swingers.
True that to some extend - at least if you can add spells and feats outside core rules. It's also an equipment question, I suppose. I still think arcane casters are a rather dangerous choice because they are high threat, low durability peeps. I have noticed that during lower levels a lot of your resources are drained simply by spells that allow you to evade a quick demise knowing that intelligent enemies tend to target your squishy, unarmored self first. For example I try not to enter into battle without at least mage armor and mirror image running (my first round is actually usually spent on casting mi if I feel I can't obliterate my foes).
I suppose that on higher levels it's a bit different: you are akin to god, but I believe clerics are even more so. Plus a lot high level characters are closer to each other due magic items. Finally, there's always the spell resistance, various energy resistances/immunities, various spell immunities (i.e. undead) as opposed to melees who can provide high, sustained damage relatively safely.
Anyhow. This is naturally just my opinion and I certainly wouldn't play a mage if I didn't enjoy it. I have developed a few nasty tricks involving spells that don't allow SR (conjurations usually) and sudden metamagics from CA. Quickened True Strike followed with sudden maximized Disintegrate dishes out pretty high damage. I tend to specialize to conjurations and/or transmutations with my wizzies/sorcerers.
But I am still unsure about the warlock. I guess that's one reason I put one in this story, to see how it works out in "play".
I'm interested in seeing that as well. I noticed you picked him weapon focus (ray) as one of the feats. Any particular reason why that over point blank shot because I see two benefits from point blank shot: +1 to attack and damage within 30 ft PLUS it leads to precise shot which allows you to stay back and shoot into melee without suffering the penalty?