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Wizards with swords: Should wizards have melee capability?


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I've always been a fan of the Melee-Mage play style in RPGs. The squishy wizard that wears a robe and looks upon swords with utter confusion trope has never made sense to me. Why would a seasoned adventurer not have any  basic self defence skills? It's just bizarre for a wizard with almost god like power to able to hacked apart  by three bandits with rusty swords.

 

So, that's why I'd like some melee capabilities for the Wizard class in Project Eternity. I'd like to see something like D&d 4E's Swordmage. I think that's a really nice balance between melee and magic.

 

However, based on how things are currently looking I don't think that would really fit: it's more of it's own class than something that's part of another one. So what I'd like to see is give the Wizard optional feats that would allow it to wield melee weapons and a maybe a modal ability . I think that these should all be a fairly major investment, to keep it balanced. I also don't think the Wizard should ever get powerful enough in melee that it becomes preferable to casting, I'm thinking more along the lines of self defence at early levels and at higher levels an alternate play style focusing on melee and close range spells.

 

 

What do you guys think? This is something I'd really like to see in the game. If it's not include initially it won't exactly be a deal breaker, there' always expansions and mods to add it, but I would really like to see this included right off the bat.

Edited by Wagrid
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Imma be honest: Skimmed, I'll read it more thoroughly later.

A Wizard with a Sword is a Fighter with Magic?

Can 2 classes combine into 1 class?

2 paths leading to 1?

Pure Wizard = Wizard
Pure Fighter = Fighter
Wizard with Fighter perks = Swordmage
Fighter with Wizard perks = Swordmage

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@Osvir: I'm talking wizard with fighter perks here. The base class is the wizard and the class is still based primarily on casting spells. I don't think the wizard should ever gain the full melee capabilities of a fighter either as it's not their main focus. But if you invest in the perks you should be competent by the end of the game.

 

Although, the idea of a fighter slowly learning some magic over the course of the game is interesting, it's not really what I was getting at.

 


@Alexjh: If it has and you can find me a link I will name my first born son after you.

Edited by Wagrid
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@Osvir: I'm talking wizard with fighter perks here. The base class is the wizard and the class is still based primarily on casting spells. I don't think the wizard should ever gain the full melee capabilities of a fighter either as it's not their main focus. But if you invest in the perks you should be competent by the end of the game.

 

I'd be satisfied if a competent Wizard swordsman can be made good enough to engage the less skilled fighters in the enemy ranks. That would leave the Fighter NPC free to take on the enemy's master swordsman.

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@Alexjh: If it has and you can find me a link I will name my first born son after you.

 

It was in Update #15.

 

If you want to create a wizard who wears plate armor and hacks away with a broadsword from behind a heavily-enhanced arcane veil, we want to let you do that.

 

You don't have to name your first born after me, here to help. 

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Would like to see this. 

 

Here's what think of when I think of a melee capable mage:

 

farseer_dow(1)_1311091524.jpg

 

Eldar Farseer. Screenshot courtesy of Warhammer 40000 - Dawn of War II: Retribution.

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BakshiGandalf.JPG

 

As long as there is a distinction between a pure mage, mage with sword, a warrior with magic and a pure warrior, I'm fine. It didn't really make much sense in D&D that a mage couldn't use swords because he spent half his life training magic, but a smart warrior could dual-class into a mage without too much effort.

 

It also depends on the nature of magic/mages. Is it an applied science that indeed needs a lot of learning and practice (and causes metal allergy) or is it an innate ability and it depends on the characters training whether he becomes a professional spellcaster or a magic-supported warrior (Jedi, Witcher)

Edited by JOG
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I have no problem with wizards using swords or maces, but I do have a problem if this is in service of an attempt to make a munchkin approved superclass.  They should have to buy the martial training out of their skill or feat allotment and thus compromise their ultimate arcane ability.

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It was in Update #15.

 

 

If you want to create a wizard who wears plate armor and hacks away with a broadsword from behind a heavily-enhanced arcane veil, we want to let you do that.

 

 

Yarp. The idea, though, is that you wouldn't be a meteor-summoning, reduce-everything-to-ashes-with-a-snap-of-your-fingers Wizard at that point. You'd basically give up some purely magical potency/versatility for your physical/martial prowess.

 

Also, if you put a max level Fighter on the table, your max-level Wizard is never going to be AS good (or have all the abilities/maneuvers of) that Fighter.

 

Basically, they want us to be able to make "unconventional" class builds (like a plate-wearing, bastard-sword flailing Wizard), but what they don't want is for you to pick "Wizard" at the beginning of the game, and then basically make a Fighter. If you could do that, there'd be no point in class distinction, really, and thus no uniqueness between classes (which is the whole point of class distinction).

 

So, yeah, they can only let us take a Wizard SO far into Fighter territory. But, to use simple math estimates, where previous games might let you go 85% Wizard, 15% Fighter (not counting multi-classing), we'll probably be able to go something like 50%/50%, mayhaps. I don't think we'll be going 30% Wizard and 70% Fighter, without making a Fighter, of course. :)

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Personally I don't think that melee wizard should get "fighter perks", I think a wizard should simply be using a different set of spells. 

 

I assume that a wizard will have access to a large variety of spells. Defensive, short range, long range, aoe, instant cast, long cast etc.

 

A regular wizard would probably use a few defensive spells and concentrate on long range attack spells. A melee wizard on the other hand would have a bunch of defensive spells and a concentrate on short range instant cast spells. 

 

I don't think anyone would mistake a warrior with a melee wizard if he's setting people on fire in between melee attacks. Assuming warriors won't be able to set people on fire that is.

Edited by moridin84
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I have no problem with wizards using swords or maces, but I do have a problem if this is in service of an attempt to make a munchkin approved superclass.  They should have to buy the martial training out of their skill or feat allotment and thus compromise their ultimate arcane ability.

I completely agree with this.

 

I love to give my mage a mace to bash in the head of anyone who gets too close, but he should have to pay for that ability.  But that also shouldn't cripple him.  While some mages might prefer abjuration magic to deal with melee attackers, my mage could eschew abjuration and learn the mace instead.

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Personally I don't think that melee wizard should get "fighter perks", I think a wizard should simply be using a different set of spells. 

 

I assume that a wizard will have access to a large variety of spells. Defensive, short range, long range, aoe, instant cast, long cast etc.

 

A regular wizard would probably use a few defensive spells and concentrate on long range attack spells. A melee wizard on the other hand would have a bunch of defensive spells and a concentrate on short range instant cast spells. 

 

I don't think anyone would mistake a warrior with a melee wizard if he's setting people on fire in between melee attacks. Assuming warriors won't be able to set people on fire that is.

I fully support this notion, Moridin. I've always hated that the Wizard apparently can't do anything but make some fireballs and chain lightning, and maybe go invisible. They can't wield their magic in the form of a lightning whip, or a fire staff, etc. It's always been "shoot some spells at things, OR you can wield regular, physical weapons really ineffectively, because you're weak and not martially-trained."

 

So, I would love it if the melee "Fighter"y specialization for Wizards was largely still magical, like you say. However, I think it shouldn't be out of the question to have the option of a hybrid that uses swords and plate armor. Again, I don't want him being just like a Fighter. The only thing they should share is that they're both capable with weapons and armor. I don't think you should be able to pick Wizard at character creation, then give up all your magic abilities for fighting abilities. That doesn't make any sense in a system that ALSO allows the Fighter some flexibility in reaching into magic a bit at the cost of his fighty abilities.

 

So, anywho, I think both should be viable in a reasonable form, but I REALLY like the idea of having a Battlemage type simply use magic in a different way (with, perhaps, simple wands and staves being magically enchanted into arcane weapons, such as lightning whips and fire scythes, etc.), rather than HAVING to basically give up magicness to gain the same weapon skills everyone else has.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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@Alexjh: If it has and you can find me a link I will name my first born son after you.

 

It was in Update #15.

 

>If you want to create a wizard who wears plate armor and hacks away with a broadsword from behind a heavily-enhanced arcane veil, we want to let you do that.

 

You don't have to name your first born after me, here to help. 

 

 

I can't believe I never saw that! Thanks so much for providing the link! Now I feel silly for making a whole topic like this over already confirmed information.

 

Still, I'm glad to see this has created discussion.

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I can't believe I never saw that! Thanks so much for providing the link! Now I feel silly for making a whole topic like this over already confirmed information.

 

Still, I'm glad to see this has created discussion.

Oh yeah, WAY to go... Look what you did! You spilled discussion ALL over this perfectly good forum. Welp, we'll have to throw it out now, and get a new one, I guess. u_u

 

8). If you hadn't made the post, I wouldn't have had such cool, mental images from Moridin's response, and then described them in a manner that was much less cool and interesting than the images in my head.

 

But still (and I don't care if Guild Wars 2 already did it)... LIGHTNING WHIP! I would love to see literally magic weapons ("purchased" with the same currency as "regular" spells.)

 

Really, they already have Blasts for wands announced. That's pretty much just a ranged augmentation to a weapon. Why not melee versions? (Again... LIGHTNING WHIP!!!)

 

So, thank you, Wagrid, for not knowing about Update #15 (which totally sounds like a government, top-secret code name for something...). "Initiate... Update fif-teen... o_o."

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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The fighter/wizard mix creates a dynamic where the player creates a mental scaler of combat capability. If i have so much of fighter and so much wizard i'm somewhere on this moving scale of power.   But more or less your still playing the same cut and dry classes without the excitement of seeing either one at their maximum potential.  

 

To spice it up that's where D&D-esc prestige classes or subclasses would come into play later so things don't get laughably boring. So instead of A+B = AB (same content) you have a scenerio of A+B = C (new content, hooray im interested again) . Examples would be:

Swordmage = Fighter/wizard

Rage mage = Barbarian/wizard

Shadowblade = rogue/wizard

psychic warrior = fighter/psion

 

Radical customization of combat style in a individual class really makes a difference between games that are a one time play and ones that you play again and again. 

Disclaimer: This is just my opinion and observations. 

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I fully support this notion, Moridin. I've always hated that the Wizard apparently can't do anything but make some fireballs and chain lightning, and maybe go invisible. They can't wield their magic in the form of a lightning whip, or a fire staff, etc. It's always been "shoot some spells at things, OR you can wield regular, physical weapons really ineffectively, because you're weak and not martially-trained."

 

Black Blade of Disaster disagrees with you.

 

Damn, how I loved that spell.

 

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Some classes should suck at melee, artillery/utility one just makes most sense (losing in brute force, one gains a fair advantage of having magical or utilitarian skills).

 

Think of it as pikemen/cavalry, just on smaller scale. This is the fun of class-based systems on tactical level - units with great strengths and great weaknesses.

 

Stop thinking about that on personal level ("duuh, I don't want to play wizard who sucks in melee") and try to imagine the strategic layer behind playing whole party.

Edited by Shadenuat
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I can't believe I never saw that! Thanks so much for providing the link! Now I feel silly for making a whole topic like this over already confirmed information.

 

Still, I'm glad to see this has created discussion.

Oh yeah, WAY to go... Look what you did! You spilled discussion ALL over this perfectly good forum. Welp, we'll have to throw it out now, and get a new one, I guess. u_u

 

8). If you hadn't made the post, I wouldn't have had such cool, mental images from Moridin's response, and then described them in a manner that was much less cool and interesting than the images in my head.

 

But still (and I don't care if Guild Wars 2 already did it)... LIGHTNING WHIP! I would love to see literally magic weapons ("purchased" with the same currency as "regular" spells.)

 

Really, they already have Blasts for wands announced. That's pretty much just a ranged augmentation to a weapon. Why not melee versions? (Again... LIGHTNING WHIP!!!)

 

So, thank you, Wagrid, for not knowing about Update #15 (which totally sounds like a government, top-secret code name for something...). "Initiate... Update fif-teen... o_o."

 

Haha, this made me laugh. On the subject of lightning whip, Swordmage's in 4E have a power called 'Lightning Lure' that let's them pull enemies close to them and do damage. I'd love to see something like that.

 

 

@Shadenaught: The thing is, there's no reason not to support multiple ways of playing a class. Being able to build your character the way you want is also part of the strength of a good class system and it should allow for as many play styles as possible. 

 

Adding more ways to play means more variation in building the party, in my opinion. And that's a good thing. The more characters have different roles the more opportunities for unique party combinations.

 

I'm not thinking about this on a personal level, I started this thread because I think this a great play style that will enhance the game. Besides, nobody is advocating that Wizards should be allowed to supplant dedicated melee fighters. Also, you have to think about this from a roleplaying perspective - this adds a different way to roleplay Wizard characters, and that's important.

Edited by Wagrid
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There were some spells in the IE games where a mage summoned a magical weapon. However, such spells never seemed viable or as effective as the traditional fireball or chain lightning spells, mainly due to dismal THACO and armor class on mages. While more viable for a multi/dual class fighter/mage, then the spell would be dwarfed by awesome enchanted weapons.

 

I'd like to see some kind of skills which would make such spells more fun/viable to use when compared to the traditional fireball/lightning-mass-damage spells.

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The thing is, there's no reason not to support multiple ways of playing a

class. Being able to build your character the way you want is also part

of the strength of a good class system and it should allow for as many

play styles as possible.

The whole idea of class system is to exchange flexibility for strategic and tactical clarity (pawn - moves forward, captures diagonally; mage - wears only robes, throws fireballs) and also teach dumb players to play coherent characters (not Elder Scroll like wielders of destruction magics in heavy plate who can sneak-kill a fly by prowling behind it and hitting with two-handed hammer).

 

Yeah, I don't like mages with swords.

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It's not unprecedented. It was something you could do in Dragon Age: Origins, although it wasn't very effective. I've always liked the idea of allowing physical-oriented combatants to obtain and use basic sustained/buff spells which add magic/elemental damage bonuses to their equipped weapon if not already enchanted, or which provide additional defense or magic resistance. The idea of a mage-knight type of character has always appealed to me. Strict class restrictions have always seemed odd to me.

 

Combining the rudimentary abilities of two classes (not more than that,) doesn't seem like it would be harmful to me, especially if the end result balanced out to an adaptive character who can't achieve the maximum capabilities of either of the pure classes they're drawing from, but able to deal with a broader range of combat situations than if they were devoted solely to one pursuit. Not a jack-of-all-trades, strictly speaking, but a character who's prepared for a greater variety of situations than some others.

Edited by AGX-17
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I would much rather prefer developers spend their resources on fleshing out the unique class abilities which are there to make a choice of taking that class in a party or not. Instead of creating some sort of clever workaround for a wizard to go into melee, adding two more dialogue lines for him about found books on Ancient poetry, some more when you find magically sealed passages or another interesting spell like levitation to cross pits or swamps would be preferable.

 

Class adaptivity is much more based on off-combat content, than on multiple ways to bash crap out of monsters.

 

(Heard they want to make lockpicking a universal skill too? Meh).

Edited by Shadenuat
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The thing is, there's no reason not to support multiple ways of playing a

class. Being able to build your character the way you want is also part

of the strength of a good class system and it should allow for as many

play styles as possible.

The whole idea of class system is to exchange flexibility for strategic and tactical clarity (pawn - moves forward, captures diagonally; mage - wears only robes, throws fireballs) and also teach dumb players to play coherent characters (not Elder Scroll like wielders of destruction magics in heavy plate who can sneak-kill a fly by prowling behind it and hitting with two-handed hammer).

 

Yeah, I don't like mages with swords.

 

 

 

There's nothing wrong with flexibility within the classes. That's the whole point of building a character as you play through the game after - to tailor your party's strengths

and weaknesses to your own preference.

Well then don't play one. Play through the game a thousand times without equipping a single wizard with anything but a quarterstaff. More power to you. But that's no reason for it not to be included.

 

 

To quote update 15 "If you want to create a wizard who wears plate armor and hacks away with a broadsword from behind a heavily-enhanced arcane veil, we want to let you do that. If your idea of the perfect fighter is one who wears light armor and uses a variety of dazzling rapier attacks in rapid succession, we want to help you make that character. So it's good to think of Project Eternity's classes as being purpose-ready but not purpose-limited." That's the kind of philosophy on classes that I agree with and like to see in games.

 

Since this is clearly a case of us having different expectations and preferences of class systems, shall we just agree to disagree? I understand and respect your point of view and hopefully you feel the same way about mine..

 

It's not unprecedented. It was something you could do in Dragon Age: Origins, although it wasn't very effective. 

 

Well, it depends whether you mean just giving your mage a sword or actually speccing them as Arcane Warriors and giving them the necessary spells to fight in melee.  But anyway, you're right that it's not unprecedented. They were in Neverwinter Nights 2 and both KOTOR games were built entirely around the concept. Then of course there's multi classing in D&D and classes like Swordmage that I mentioned in the initial post.

Edited by Wagrid
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There's nothing wrong with flexibility within the classes.

Wizard with a sword is replaceability, not flexibility. And if one will place fighters position in jeopardy (like how famous kensai/mages did in BG2), the whole class system goes down the toilet. Every class replacing other class because of tailored "build" is an MMO route.

Edited by Shadenuat
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