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In the original DS, sorcery damage was a function of your catalyst's MagAdjust, your current INT, and in dark sorcery, also your STR. In DSII, there does not seem to be a MagAdjust stat that I can find. The description of the catalyst indicates that INT will increase sorceries damage. Is this the only thing other than wearables that will increase a sorceries damage? What items increase this output?

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The MagAdjust of this game is just the damage listed that corresponds to the type of spell being cast, i.e. magic for sorceries, dark for hexes, and so forth. You'll notice on staves that some of them have equal magic and dark damage and some of them are weighted more heavily toward one than the other. The same is true for chimes. That helps you know if the item is better for sorceries, hexes, miracles, or a combination of 2 or 3 of them.

As far as what actually goes into the damage itself, it is a combination of the base damage as mentioned above, your INT and/or FAI depending on which school you are casting, and of course any reinforcements (+1 to +10) you've done to your staff/chime. Additionally, if you infuse Faintstone/Darkstone/etc to your staff/chime, you can add even more damage to the type of spell that applies to the type of spell you are trying to cast. That means you can make a staff weighted toward sorceries even more toward sorceries or you can more evenly weight it toward sorceries and hexes.

As far as wearables go, there are pieces of armor/rings that:

  • Increase casting speed
  • Give extra attunement slots
  • Raise your INT and/or FAI by 1-5 points
  • Give you more castings at the cost of HP

I don't know of any items that straight up give you raw spell damage like the Oolacile crown did in Dark Souls 1, but the +INT items definitely make a difference.

Ultimately, they've made your catalyst operate a lot more like a "normal" weapon in Dark Souls II. Just look at the damage number for the type of spell you are trying to cast. Also, pay attention to how well they scale for a given stat just like you would for any weapon. If there is an S under the INT picture on the screen for scaling, it will eventually do more damage than a similar staff with an A for scaling even if it started with less base damage.

  • This mirrors my own experience almost exactly. It is to note that there is a sorcery attained from navlaan called unleash magic that does increase magic output at the cost of hp for a time. – Mondrianaire Mar 25 '14 at 5:41
  • Also, for Pyromancies, the King's Ring is said to give ~2.5% more damage. – Aceofgods May 2 '14 at 5:47
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The best for sorceries is a Staff of Wisdow +5 infused with a FaintStone and 99 Int. Boost with Unleash Magic Buff. Try better versions of magic EX. switch soul spear for crystal soul spear. Best magic for damage is Soul Geyser. Someone says anything about a Domino Mask dopped by double avelyn bell sol defender boost magic but i need test. Others boosts For pyromacy have sinners bracers. For miracle ring of sun covenant. For Hex ring of dark covenant.

Hope helped u :)

  • Do you have any info about hex staffs vs hex bell? – Mondrianaire Apr 1 '14 at 17:49
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Indeed the Black Witch Domino Mask drop per for me at belfry sol from the double avelyn wearing Phantom.

Just tested a bit around. Best setup I did find was the mask, resonant flesh and unleash magic. It adds a really significant damage boost. And by the way, try out the magic staff of armana at mixed out upgrade. It is nearly as powerful as a maxed out staff of wisdom, but can cast hexes...

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