Okay, okay, if asked, everyone and their cousin will say going HP flame is dumb. If you are flame mage, you go for max damage. If you want to be support, go ice or light, blah blah blah. But let me pitch another side of the story.
First, there is a lvl 83 mage I know (I consider him a pro gamer), and he always had some points in HP. He is top 15 NP holder, NP symbol the whole bit. His logic was, it doesn't matter how hard you hit if you're dead. Our server also is mostly melee. VERY rare for mage pk parties. So 99% of the time, you are mage in melee pk party.
At first, I thought this was ridiculous (still do to some extent). But fact is, when he pks with clan, they own. And, they go up against some good parties, he not only lives, tps, but makes his fair share of kills.
Okay, on to my mage. I'm lvl 82, flame, max mp, 160 INT, rest HP. Complete +8, scortch8, gb, in, wse2, CE2, fr2's. 80% of my time is pking with 2-3 friends, during times server is empty, and it really helps if I can add damage. 10% of the time I aoe some noob crap for drops or xp. 10% of the time I might be in a big melee pk party, with lots of ubers on. It's this last one where I run into trouble. Once duffed, I go down pretty fast.
When I was full HP ice, I was nearly unkillable. It was borderline boring. Couldn't be killed, couldn't kill anyone. Couldn't solo xp. I loved HP ice in big melee pk parties, but I hated it in small pk parties with low #'s in cz (most often my play time, enemy just town) and couldn't solo anything.
So onto the crazy talk of HP flame mage. What if I went full HP flame, with min INT and MP to wear armor and staff? I make up that my damage might be cut by 40%-50% (go from staffing people 900 to 500, meteor 1100 to 600), but I'd have a ton of hp and def. I'd also hit harder than HP ice mage, esp with fr2.
Sooooo, if I went HP flame, 80% I could still pk with small party, and still ice, and still make damage (although cut back a lot, but not back as much as if I were ice), I could 10% aoe noob mobs for crap drops and some xp (don't ask why I do this, I just enjoy it) I could even wear my MP armor set so I hit harder. AND I'd be useful in 10% bigger uber pk parties where I'm going up against good parties with full db's, and maybe even do it more (cause right now, I don't join a lot cause I feel like I'm a lil useless, cause when I die, can't tp party members etc.). Given what I do, it doesn't seem like going full HP flame takes that much away, most I'll lose is when pking with small party cause we will prolly get towned on me.
Okay, thoughts. I used to think putting any points into HP as flame mage was crazy. But now I'm not so sure, since I'm not thinking my damage reduction will be as big as the gains I make in hp and def as an HP mage.