Having read various threads and discussions (both here and on other sites) I'm wondering how to effectively play as an offensive mage (note that I do not mean a mage who goes around offending people).
It would seem that while base damage increases with every skill level for physical attacks, the only way to increase base damage for offensive spells is to...buy stronger spells?
Since I don't have access to them until I a) level up quite a bit, b) I actually find someone who sells the specific spells I want and c) can afford to buy them, how do I keep my destruction spells from becoming useless when my physical attacks are constantly getting stronger?
Even the upgraded spells don't seem to make up the damage difference by the time I get them (e.g. Firebolt is 25 dmg vs base Fire which is 8/sec).
Am I missing something about how to effectively use destruction magic in the game? Is it currently not worth focusing on being a mage? (that last question is a bit subjective so feel free to ignore it)