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Does the equipment on a mage benefit them when they are shapeshifted?

I have a mage who is an Arcane Warrior and a ShapeShifter, and I'm wondering if loading up with armour and Bearing everything in my path will be an effective strategy. Although I'm curious about other equipment/weapons affecting the shapeshifted form too.

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Quite a few stats from the equipment carry over to the shapeshifted form, but not everything. The exact mechanics are pretty complicated.

Many defensive bonuses carry over, but offensive ones generally do not. The armour rating carries over if it is above the default value for the shapeshifted form.

But a very significant disadvantage is that you lose your sustained spells and cannot cast new spells if shapeshifted. A mage is much more useful if he can cast spells, so staying shapeshifted is not very effective. Shapeshifting when running low on mana would be useful if it didn't take so damn long. Mana potions are easily made, so taking some potions and casting more spells is the better strategy.

Shapeshifting is generally considered the worst specialization for mages, while the Arcane Warrior is considered the most powerful.

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:/ I had a feeling that this was the case. I was finding it frustrating to lose my undead friend (so handy!) with every shift, and swarm doesn't a candle to the AoE of Grease Fire (excuse the pun) as long as you don't mind losing some friends. –  Stuart Pegg Jan 18 '11 at 23:47
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The short answer is no they do not carry over.

Most offensive bonuses (+x damage, +x elemental damage, +x damage to undead) from items like weapons, armor and shields are not carried over when shifting.

You can read the specifics on the wiki here.

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I shall Bear this in mind (badum-tish). –  Stuart Pegg Jan 18 '11 at 23:41
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