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Agent
Image
Vital statistics
Title Agent
Gender Female {Typically}
Race Human
Faction Shapers
Health Varies
Level Varies
Status N/A
Location Virtually all locations and games

An Agent is one of the three main classes of Shapers, and is a possible character creation option in nearly all of the games. In Geneforge 4, the Infiltrator class is available instead, as a Rebel equivalent to the Agent. This class of Shapers excels in conventional magic, have average proficiency in physical combat, but do not specialize well in the Shaping arts. Of the three classes, Agents have the most Spell Energy.

Background

The Agent class appeared before the events of Geneforge 1, as part of the sect's established hierarchy. Agents are most often selected for tasks that deal with stealth, speed, and flexibility; they are diplomats, saboteurs, infiltrators, and thieves. Possibly because of their deep familiarity with the more questionable side of Shaper rule, Agents are mixed in their views on Shaping, and over the course of the series they are found siding with both rebels and Shapers.

Strategy

As an agent, straight-up warfare is not the best choice, especially in Torment in the beginning stages. New players must learn quickly not to simply charge into a fight, especially since Agents tend not to have creations as backup. Saving is especially crucial while using this class.

Skill Allocation

For Agents, players are recommended to concentrate their skill points on the Magic skills: Battle Magic, Blessing Magic, Mental Magic, and Spellcraft. Depending on playstyle, they may wish to specialize in two of the first three, since for most games (Geneforge 2 and up), the most powerful spells are unlocked at Level 9 for each.

Spellcraft is different, as it affects all spells, including Healing Craft, but costs a hefty price to level. The investment is worth it, since Spellcraft enhances all spells across the board.

A more moderate player may wish to invest a few points into their Combat skills. Players should be aware that these skills require a slightly higher amount of points to level up, though not quite so many as they would playing a Shaper. Quick Action should be primary on a player's list, followed by Parry (unless the player is playing Geneforge 1, in which this is Anatomy.) It is the player's choice as to whether points should be invested into Melee Weapons or Missile Weapons. Melee Weapons is usually the better choice, as high-quality swords confer bonuses that ranged weapons do not, and Agents have no shortage of ranged combat options with their spells.

For Attributes, players should concentrate on improving Intelligence and Dexterity. Intelligence will help increase the agent's ability to cast more spells, while Dexterity will improve the agent's accuracy and ability to dodge incoming attacks. Strength is not vital unless the agent is overtaken with encumbrance rapidly, and avoiding damage with Dexterity is a much better alternative than powering through it with Endurance.

As Agents do not specialize in Shaping skills, investing points in this class can ruin the build of the character (one level up of a skill can be three times one of a magic skill.) The only skill worth leveling significantly is Healing Craft. The last three skills, Mechanics, Leadership, and Luck, are almost more vital than magical skills to the relatively fragile, outnumbered Agent, allowing them in many cases to avoid combat altogether.

Spells

Spells are essential for Agents. In Geneforge 1, as there is a very limited spell selection, tactics are limited to repeatedly using Battle Magic spells (Firebolt, Searer, and Essence Orbs.) Disabling certain enemies can be useful, but it is best to take them one-on-one outside the 3-AP range.

In Geneforge 2 and up, the tactics for Agents are greatly enhanced, with three times more spells to choose from and greater crowd control options.

Battle Magic

The regular progression of spells up to Essence Orbs is best, skipping Burning Spray as it does not deal immediate damage. There are two high hitting spells, Kill from Geneforge 2 and on and Essence Lances from Geneforge 4 and on. By the endgame, a high-intelligence Agent could cast these as default spells (although they do not appear as the default left-click attack.) There are also two area-of-effect spells: Acid Shower and Aura of Flames. These two are primarily endgame. For players that like using Daze and Strong Daze, using Acid Shower or Aura of Flames will cancel out the daze effect, so be forewarned.

Equipment

Agents are best suited to equip light armor that provides some protection, but does not seriously hamper accuracy. An Agent is perfectly capable of functioning with heavy armor, but in most cases they don't have the hit point pool to take damage. Some of the best options include dexterity-boosting objects. Action point boosting armor is also great, as long as it does not remove Spellcraft points. For a weapon, choose a powerful sword and (in Geneforge 3 and up) enchant it with either a Runed Amethyst or Ethereal Bindings. This allows the weapon to excel as a general all-around combat weapon in the event that the Agent is cornered.

Combat Movement

While playing the Agent class, it is vital to use the terrain for an advantage. A open field provides no cover and excellent ground for melee units to get up close. Luring enemies into corridors and picking them off one by one is a great tactic to use. As the Agent primarily uses ranged magic attacks, action points are not as much of a problem as for Guardians. Agents are able to attack outside the 3-AP range of all melee-based creatures, so the average hit of an Agent is only required to be more than half of the total HP of the enemy in order to kill it without taking any damage whatsoever.

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