Zorbus – Play Gnome Wizard (How to Not Die in The Starting Room)

Short and Sweet guide for people dying continuously in the first room/dungeon floor.

Is This Guide for You?

Note: Credit goes to Faeren

Have you never seen floor two? Has your skull been cracked, your liver lacerated, and your blood imbibed by the humble goblins, adventurers, and thieves of floor one? Then this guide is for you!

You may have opted for playing a warrior or archer, thinking their strength and mastery of weapons would get you through. But in a few short minutes you will have your preconceptions shattered as you learn that the tiny gnome, not the human, half-troll or centaur is the mightiest of races.

The Mighty Gnome

Here are some of the benefits of joining team Gnome:

  • During character creation, spam clicking the roll button for base abilities until you get a god roll in the custom character creation menu provides a massive bonus to base stats that makes a huge difference for other classes. As a Gnome, the number of points available to you without suffering through this are quite enough to make a powerful character.
  • Where other classes and builds need to approach nearly every situation with caution and keep a healthy supply of blink potions and other self-rescue methods on hand. With your summons you can generally charge through levels with impunity as your legion of geared up skeletons or large carnivorous beasts tear apart your adversaries.
  • Your huge brain allows you to gain a feat every level and receive lots of skill points, something other classes cannot viably do until later in the game unless they manage to get an amazing random roll in base abilities.
  • As a mage your skill diversity is unparalleled compared to other classes.
  • The dungeon denizens who once tormented you will be shamed and embarassed as they are slaughtered in their dozens by a tiny gnome.
  • You can use the greatest sprite in the entire game (see guide image).

Gnome Creation

So at this point you have been convinced and want to create a Gnome wizard, hit that create character button, set a name you like, hit the right arrow twice (or once as female) beside Gnome to make sure you’re dressed to impress. Then create that lil’ sucker, set your mind stat to 18 (including the +2 from your huge tiny gnome brain) and other stats to 10 (8 total for Body due to gnomes being puny). Now set your Magic stat to 3, and Search (very important) and Dodge to 1. Now comes the first decision you must make on your own, do you want to go with Animate Dead, or Summon Animals?

Animate Dead:

  • Must be used beside dead bodies (Skeletons or Corpses), in order to reanimate them.
  • Skeletons result in Skeleton minions, these are weaker than Zombies but can be equipped with weapons and armour.
  • Corpses result in Zombie minions, Zombies are stronger than Skeletons but cannot be equipped (you generally want to opt for skeletons unless you just need summons fighting for you immediately and don’t have time to find/equip skeletons).
  • Animate Dead is less flexible as you need to use it on bodies which (while plentiful) are too heavy to carry around. Well equipped skeletons are good damage dealers and when armoured are very tanky and just get better and better as your lootpile of enchanted weapons and armour increases as you progress.
  • Animated Dead have no time limit and are only lost when they die.
  • Skeletons involve quite a bit of admin in equipping them with gear and killing them to reanimate them on new floors (their base strength scales based on the floor you summon them on).
  • If your skeleton horde is overcome by enemies and you retreat the enemies will loot all of the enchanted weapons and armour from them and use them against you, this is very bad.
  • Using them alongside normal followers dilutes your pool of gear among more characters, resulting in weaker skeletons or weaker followers.

Summon Animals:

  • No conditions for casting, however Animals only last a limited time (though usually quite long enough for a battle).
  • While they have worse defence than geared skeletons the animals summoned have high damage output off the bat and enough HP to take a decent beating.
  • Summons improve as your magic skill increases.
  • Summons have useful attack skills such as Lions pouncing to chase down fleeing enemies/close gaps before they take ranged damage.
  • As they don’t need geared you can simply save your best gear for your other companions, with your animal summons supporting them.
  • Compared to skeletons using animal summons uses up stamina and turns you could use on other spells if you were using Skeletons, you will burn through a lot of stamina re-summoning animals as they get chewed through during larger fights. This is the primary downside of Summon Animals.

To start with I would recommend Summon Animals as it requires less micro-management and starts off stronger than Animate Dead. While it has its downsides it’s a better choice for new or struggling players.

After you’ve made your decision the second spell you want is Energy Bolt, Energy Bolt will be your friend all the way through your run, while it is single target and deals fairly low damage it scales and is very affordable at just 3 Stamina per cast.

That’s your Gnome made! Hit that save to premade button lest anything happen to the little guy and push on into the Zorbus.

Surviving Floor #1

You’re off to a good start, but are still quite capable of dying if you don’t pay attention, so start by paying attention to these tips:

Animate Dead:

  • If you’ve chosen animate dead you have to play a little more slowly on Floor 1, the starting room should contain plenty of bodies you can reanimate, initially it’s worth favouring corpses over skeletons to summon zombies while you have no gear.
  • Collect armour, weapons, shields, helmets and any other gear that might be useful for your skeletons though avoid carrying so much you end up encumbered. Initially you’ll only need 2-3 sets of gear as that’s how many Skeletons you can support with your spirit ability (dictates number of allies/summons).
  • Once you have at least some good weapons for each undead ally replace your zombies with skeletons, reach weapons are a good choice initially as they allow skeletons to attack approaching and fleeing enemies and more easily strike enemies in a cluttered melee. However long term shields are usually the best choice for better durability.
  • Give your skeletons time to regenerate between fights by hitting the wait buttons (hit H to see your keybinds).
  • Poison Cloud has notable synergy with your skeletons as they are immune to poison, cast it with impunity to wear down enemies (though be careful of your recruited allies).

Summon Animals:

  • Never wander around with less than the 6 Mana needed to cast Summon Animals, use the wait to recover Stamina button (hit H to see keybinds) to recover your stamina first.
  • Still save gear you find and be on the look out for recruitable allies to fight alongside you and your summons.

General Tips and Tricks:

  • There is no hunger clock in Zorbus, make liberal use of the recover Stamina and Health buttons to recover between fights. If you are being chased while vulnerable turn off your lantern (look in your inventory) and hide in the shadows/use blink potions to lose your enemies.
  • Pay attention to your position and health/stamina, even if your Summons are winning a fight decisively some enemies will either run straight at you or fire ranged weapons at you to take you out. You can die to enemies your summons could easily have beaten if you let this happen. Try to hide behind your summons so they block LoS and physically get in the way of approaching enemies.
  • Favour your Magic, Search, Disable and Dodge/Stealth skills in that order, you don’t need Melee or Ranged skills. Spirit is also very important to you as it increases your Stamina and Number of available allies/followers.
  • When selecting spells keep in mind that your summons and other allies will often be in the way, point cast skills that won’t be blocked by your allies are generally the best choice (fireball, poison cloud, etc).
  • Really check out the keybinding screen (default bound to H) Zorbus has some extremely useful automation features, hitting the loot button then sorting all items by category gives you a list of EVERY ITEM ON THE MAP SORTED BY CATEGORY and lets you navigate to them with one click. This allows you to make sure you left nothing useful behind and ensure you nab any useful gear for yourself or your skeletons/allies. Similarly you can locate any unopened doors/chest/etc.

That’s It

If you have two braincells to rub together the prior tips should be enough for you start steamrolling once you get a few level ups. Wizards are basically the most braindead build in Zorbus as they can charge through while screened by their summons and fight almost anything they want. Other classes generally have to be much more careful and avoid/pick their fights while gaining power. Regardless it is still really fun charging through the dungeon with your pack of minions and it’s a great way to learn the ins and outs of the game without constantly dying and being discouraged.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3200 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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