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Update #74: Wizard & Druid Reflections


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#41
rjshae

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If Druids are modeled on Priests, what are the Priests modeled on?

 

Presumably non-Celtic priests, although the D&D ones always seemed somewhat Christianity-oriented to me.



#42
Ineth

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If Druids are modeled on Priests, what are the Priests modeled on?

 

Paladins.



#43
Hassat Hunter

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So, if Priests are based on Paladins... what are Paladins based on?

EDIT... my bad...

So, if Priests are modeled on Paladins... what are the Paladins modeled on?


Edited by Hassat Hunter, 21 March 2014 - 01:26 PM.


#44
Tamerlane

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Warlords?



#45
Hassat Hunter

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So, if Paladins are modeled on Warlords... what are the... oh wait, nvm.

 

Eh, so confusing naming then.


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#46
J.E. Sawyer

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EDIT: Im also slightly concerned that since spells don't scale with level that if you miss finding whatever the next spell upgrade is that the mage will fall behind but hopefully the new spells aren't too hidden.

 

Our current design for wizards allows them to learn a new spell every time they gain a level, so if there's one that you REALLY want, the system allows you to take it when you advance.

 

E: This doesn't apply to unique spells, but there will probably be very few of them.



#47
J.E. Sawyer

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I don't like the idea of the druid getting some cleric spells. I love classes to be unique in their playstile, and when they overlap, it feels cheap or it outdates the other class.

 

Druids don't get priest spells.  They do get some healing and support spells, but they are not the same ones that priests get.



#48
J.E. Sawyer

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If Druids are modeled on Priests, what are the Priests modeled on?

 

Currently, wizards, druids, and priests are all heavily casting-oriented classes.  None of them are particularly great at weapon-based combat on their own and they aren't too durable, either.  The major differences between them in terms of spellcasting come down to what their spells emphasize.  Druids and wizards both have good AoE attacks, with druids having more affliction-based effects and wizards emphasizing damage more.  Wizards have quite a few personal buffs and oddball spells (like Minor Grimoire Imprint, Arcane Reflection, etc.), druids have "HoTs" (heal over time) and some support.  Priests heavily emphasize support and fast healing with a small number of personal buffs and select AoEs.


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#49
rjshae

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I wonder: can druids gain combat talents for fighting in demi-human form? I.e. can they specialize in shapeshifted combat rather than focusing on particular weapons and martial styles?



#50
J.E. Sawyer

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They probably put some similar spells in there to assuage fears that Wizards would be oh-so-shockingly-different from IE casters. Which then bothered some people anyway.

Obsidian can't win with some of you folks, I swear. :lol:

 

Wizards are easily among the most popular character classes for IE fans.  When we went through our spell lists, we identified spell concepts/mechanics that seemed too integral to the feeling of a traditional class for us to ignore.  We have invented a bunch of off-the-wall stuff for them to use, but I think it would be a mistake for us to conspicuously not have a fireball-ish spell at 3rd level or not have a magic missile-ish spell at 1st level.  If we omitted those from our lists, the classes would still have big lists of fun spells, but I think they would lose a good chunk of the *~ classic feels ~*.  From a balance perspective, I do want to avoid the "quadratic wizard" (and druid), but I think we can do that and still keep the spirit of the classes alive.


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#51
J.E. Sawyer

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I wonder: can druids gain combat talents for fighting in demi-human form? I.e. can they specialize in shapeshifted combat rather than focusing on particular weapons and martial styles?

 

That is likely.  Talents are still somewhat nebulous now, though they will be getting less nebulous in the very near future!


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#52
Lephys

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Also, scaling spells produce a double-scaling effect (spells scale and you get better spells) that is in part responsible for the typically exponential growth of spellcasters relative to non-spellcasters in most RPGs. The refusal to scale spells should help curb that tendency.


In a sense, it's kind of redundant.

Nothing dictates that either of two different spells are "better" than one another.

If you have a Firebolt that just launches a fire-based projectile at one target and deals damage, then for a different spell you have Fireball, which launches a fire-based projectile that explodes, deals damage to an area (and maybe knocks people down from the explosive force?), then one is not inherently "better" than the other without specific values coming into play. If the Firebolt does 700 damage to one target, and the Fireball does 15 damage to a 20-foot radius and knocks people down, which one is better?

So, it's rather arbitrary to say "The specific function of magic that throws a single fire projectile at a single target is inherently lower-level/weaker/worse than all other fire spells," because it's just an effect you can produce with fire magic.

If, every so many levels, you gain "Firebolt II" and "Firebolt III," then that's serving the same function as scaling would. If you don't gain those upgrades, then it's a bit silly to become some legendary Wizard who's lived for 50 years now, and still have a Firebolt spell that you can only do 5 damage with, just because you now have Greater Firestorm that's a "better" fire spell.

Why does the world assume that, if you're a powerful/accomplished Wizard, you NEVER ever again wish to just launch a single fire projectile at a single target?

"Look, a lone bandit in the woods! GREATER FIRESTORM!

Well... the forest is gone now, BUT, at least I got that bandit! Firebolt only would've done like 10% of his health, but luckily I had learned this other, completely differently functioning spell!"

A child with a hammer is going to strike more weakly with it. But, after 5 years of growth and training and strength-building, he doesn't need a whole new hammer to hit harder with.
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#53
Jarrakul

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Understand, I'm not saying that there's no reason at all to scale spells. I am saying that combining spell scaling with spell levels tends to produce quadratic results. Note that many systems (from Diablo 3 to pen-and-paper Shadowrun) have no concept of spell level or anything like it, and instead only focus on spell scaling. This is cool because it allows a given spell to become more powerful (eliminating exactly the situation you describe) without inherently leading to exponential growth. Which is neat. But it also means that you can't (easily) have spellcasters gain access to entirely new spells as they increase in level. Any spell that you can cast, you could cast (if you chose to learn it) at first level. Not as well, but you could. Now, there are ways around that. Certain spells could have certain minimum requirements but, once you meet those requirements, they might be no better than your old spells. This is slightly boring, but it generally works. Similarly, a non-scaling system with things like Fireball I, Fireball II, Fireball III, etc. works but is also slightly boring. As usual, I'm left concluding that there is no perfect solution, and that the ones the devs chose is at least as good as any.

 

Now, I do want to point out that all of this only matters if you need to avoid quadratic power growth. If you just design all classes such that they grow quadratically in the same way as spellcasters do (which is hard to do without just turning everyone into casters-in-all-but-name), you can avoid the problem at its root.



#54
PrimeJunta

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D&D had spell variants too. They even had an entire mechanic for it, namely metamagic feats. And then there were straight-out variants like magic missile -> minor missile storm -> major missile storm, lesser dispel magic -> dispel magic -> greater dispel magic, and so on. I quite like metamagic actually; the thing I don't like about Vancian magic is that it's extremely rigid, and metamagic introduces some flexibility to shaping it. A metamagic-focused sorcerer is my favorite caster class in D&D. (Also ridiculously overpowered at higher levels, but hey.)



#55
Silent Winter

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 A metamagic-focused sorcerer is my favorite caster class in D&D. (Also ridiculously overpowered at higher levels, but hey.)

slightly off topic but: I've been playing a sorceror in NWN2 - it's kind of amusing to be silenced and then say 'Ok, I'll just kill you with slightly lower level silent-spells' at the click of a button (Wizards need to waste slots preparing them just in case - Sorcerors get the option as needed if they take the feat).

Or "I wish my x-spell were more powerful for this foe ... oh yeah, I took the 'empower spell' option ... click..click... lol

 

back on topic - I find 'fireball 1, fireball 2, fireball 3' etc boring - but a name change and a little tweaking go a long way to helping with that:

Stupid name example:

Fireball->Boom->Nuke (Boom adds concussive damage, Nuke adds EMP (Eye Melting Penalty))

I liked that Magic Missile increased in value in BG, not sure it's needed for all spells though.  There's only so invisible you can get - then again, if the duration was less OTT (24 hours?) it could scale with duration - so your invisible rogue could do longer scouting trips as you went on.

 

If there's to be no spell scaling at all, at least have equivalently useful spells at higher levels - as Lephys says, a single-target fire spell is not the same as an AOE fire spell, especially if you have friendly fire on and your melee fighters are in the thick of it.



#56
aluminiumtrioxid

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Right now I see no reason to use a wizard instead of a druid. Wizards are weak, unlike druids, and those druid spells covers almost every situation a wizard or priest can do,but being able to resist more and to use armors.

 

Mmm... nope. Both classes can use any armor, and wizards automatically get Arcane Veil and likely more defensive abilities down the line, so I wouldn't exactly call them weak (as in 'defenseless'). Furthermore, druids can't use equipment while spiritshifted, so that armor advantage you spoke of (which, I repeat, was nonexistent to begin with) presumably disappears, too. You also have to consider the broader repertoire of spells a wizard has access to, and the fact that their preferred skills are (well, seem to me) more useful.

All in all, I'm fairly sure my first character will be a wizard.



#57
LankeyGit

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I wonder: can druids gain combat talents for fighting in demi-human form? I.e. can they specialize in shapeshifted combat rather than focusing on particular weapons and martial styles?

 

That is likely.  Talents are still somewhat nebulous now, though they will be getting less nebulous in the very near future!

 

 

 

Furthering the question, are Druids limited to melee while shifted or are spells still available?

 

 While I'm all for a bit of intelligent decision making on when to shift, I'd love to know I can use a major class abilities without locking myself out of the other half of them. And then you run into problems with builds, you create a heavily caster focused character that then turns into a half-arsed melee that doesn't get enough benefits to keep it on the front line.



#58
Tamerlane

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They've confirmed that druids can cast while shifted.



#59
Mr. Magniloquent

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I see Mr. Sawyer has been on a posting rampage of sorts. Thank you for the information both in this thread and others.

 

 

 

EDIT: Im also slightly concerned that since spells don't scale with level that if you miss finding whatever the next spell upgrade is that the mage will fall behind but hopefully the new spells aren't too hidden.

 

Our current design for wizards allows them to learn a new spell every time they gain a level, so if there's one that you REALLY want, the system allows you to take it when you advance.

 

E: This doesn't apply to unique spells, but there will probably be very few of them.

 

 

How are you handled "Difficulty Class" of spells in PoE? With not having spell scale, I'm hopeful that you're planning to have a universal spell DC for each caster based on abilities/feats, while having spell levels differentiated by what effects they can produce. That's the kind of information I was looking forward to seeing in this most recent update. Is it still to "risky" to share any of those details?



#60
LankeyGit

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They've confirmed that druids can cast while shifted.

Can you remember when/where that was said? Trying to dig up as much Druid info as I can.... you may be able to tell which class I'm most fond of.






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