Herd of cats marching across Denerim in front of me. The pic spawned a question of what my mage was wearing. I starting writing a reply, but talking about what I'm doing isn't really an appropriate use of Talk:Denerim Market District page. So, I'll reply here and just put a little link over there. Here's the pic that started it:
And, as to "what is your mage character wearing?!" ...
My mage is wearing a set of TWF customized dalish leather. I've got the "Use awakening in origins" mod on this run through and wanted to be all set for the transfer over to awakenings; the armor rune slots are eventually worth FAR more than than what's available in any cloth/robe chest; eg. CON+42 or Damage+15%. You have to burn a few points in STR, but by the time you're 20+, you have so much in magic that a few STR points doesn't matter much.
On vanilla awakening, my mage would be wearing Wade's Superior Dragonskin Armor Set for the fatigue, stamina, and stamina regen. At low levels (before armor runes start dropping), I stuff my mages into a robe.
Full list of mods I've got atm: combat tweaks, improved atmosphere, flash's creature rescale, the winter forge, combat delay reduction, smarter enemies, GT corefix, Qwinn's Fixpack, no-helmet + various other cosmetics.
IA is fun, but it's got unavoidable item changes that destroy a lot of the top items in the game. TWF fixes that, but it's VERY easy to ruin your game by making overpowering items. CT changes all kinds of skills: I love the mana clash nerf, but overall it's changes do make thing easier, which is very bad and thus difficulty tweaking becomes mandatory. FCR is awesome. Fantastic for scaling up the difficulty. I've actually had party members die in fights now due to FCR's scaling. I never had any char die in Vanilla nightmare.
Stats I put on the mage leather: +2 armor, +4 managen, +16 mental, +24 physical, -8% fatigue. The MR/PR helps a lot at lower levels, but has little effect in the upper levels -- stuff just blows past any resist starting around 16~18. The fatigue and managen don't actually make things easier, just more convenient; I don't have to quaff manapots so much. I really don't get it why designer's add multiple limits to skills; eg. both mana/stamina AND cool-downs. It's kind of an admission that you screwed up on the mana costs and skill balance to put cool-downs in there, too (or vice-versa).
This run my team is all bows and one mage, heavy on mage AE, no taunting or threaten allowed. Combined with CT's threat system where everything (including healing) draws threat things get fun and chaotic. Blizzard & CoC + bows with a tactic for "if frozen, use critical shot" has amazing synergy for taking down even packs of the ultra-tough FCR'd werewolves. My mage is just wolf-chow if stuff stays on her too long, which is good -- that's what should happen. So, gotta use glyphs and cc and kiting and well, all the tricks you've got to stay alive. I swear I can hear my chars screaming "OMG, get it off, get it off, arrgggg my face!" whenever a werewolf uses overwhelm.
I'm worried it's going to get too easy much past 20, though. Bows are starting to become too strong with Accuracy. Fortunately, CT nerfed Aim so it doesn't double the crit-rate, but even so, my chars are hitting nearly 200 now on a bow crit. I could see it reaching 400 in awakening. That's significant even versus 15x normal health mobs.