Since I am here, I might as well comment on roots too =P It seems to me that if I cast cure light at 100 mind it heals about 13 HP when I cast it at 60 mind it heals me about 8, so why dont you make roots mind based, fighter/create mage hybrids have the same root ability of the full 100 mind create mage? Isnt that just a little overboard?
Another option is to replace that little V--- word in the spell with the R--- spell that comes from hell.
Just my two cents,
Making heavy weapons like the gae-bolg useless for backstab may help, but I think maybe a small downgrade in the damaging effect of the attack may be a good idea too.
As for create roots, making their effects mind-based is probably a good idea; ever since heavy cause healing (cure crit) got smoked, healing is pretty irrelevant to me anyway.
The only way they have a chance at winning without paras is if they can drag the fight out over many ticks, maximizing the number of backstabs, but in that case, it gives the victim plenty of time to call off the duel and simply run away. (think it's pretty dumb for a non sniper to chase a sniper over many ticks; if the sniper is capable of doing that, then you probably don't want to fight him to the end, or should learn better to prevent him from getting away too much)
As far as roots go, having them mind-based might make them more powerful, or less, depending on which side of the spectrum we choose to reside in. Right now, roots can do as little as 8 pts of healing at 70mind, and it would help me greatly if they were more regular, as one of those botches cost me a lot of hunger points atm.
But as they are quite random, it is true that as of now, there's no real benefit of having more mind in terms of healing; the quantity mages can consume are the same, and the random factor evens it out.
Maybe if we made the roots' fill value inversely proportional to mind whil keeping the current random factor, or have them last longer with more mind it will be at least make a more balanced system...
The cure crit change, imho, only devastates con mages, as all the rest hav to learn is to run a bit further before stopping to cast crit, and run again before casting it a second time, instead of simply spamming it one room away from combat.