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Hello there.

I was wondering something lately, having read the differents spells of the Wizard class.

I found strange that the spellcaster has so few spell variety. There mainly are offensive spells of elemental damage with some added effects like freezing or stuns, several shield-like abilities and one summoning spell. Is it by design, or was it too difficult to implement?

It is even more strange considering the wonderful work that has been done on other parts (graphics, lore, story, rethinking of the monk, all great).

I am comparing mainly with the spells from DnD where you can transform things/yourself/others into other things, creating a dancing flying sword, alter reality, do stuff impossible to simple mortals.

I am curious, because a lot of recents games are treating mages more or less like regulars fighers with just specials moves.

 

No complaining here, just curious :disguise:

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Pretty sure they wanted to make sure the Wizard didn't intrude on the design space reserved for other spell casters. Chanters and Ciphers being to two notable examples.

"Wizards do not need to be The Dudes Who Can AoE Nuke You and Gish and Take as Many Hits as a Fighter and Make all Skills Irrelevant Because Magic."

-Josh Sawyer

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D&D Wizards were the swiss army knife of spell casters. Per illathid, PoE tones that down and narrows the focus so that Wizards now seem to have more of a purely artillery role. That certainly would seem to make them less interesting to play.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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D&D Wizards were the swiss army knife of spell casters. Per illathid, PoE tones that down and narrows the focus so that Wizards now seem to have more of a purely artillery role. That certainly would seem to make them less interesting to play.

 

Yeah pretty much anything to do with casting is less interesting to play.

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One of the things I liked the most about D&D is the complex magic system. You actually had to think, and therefore role-play, when preparing your spellbook because you had a huge selection of different types of spells for every situation. Magic was decently simulated.

 

In PoE wizards are uninteresting, they seem to exist just because the IE games had them and the class was built just to fit a combat role.

 

The developers are focusing way too much on "balance" and too little on "role-playing".

Edited by Marcvs Caesar
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I'd like to see the pool of Wizard spells include various force effects. In some respects, these can play the role of summoned creatures as they tie up opponents and prevent them from impacting party members. The effects could even manifest themselves visually as a vaguely creature-like form. But they would be unique to this class because they would be limited in their engagement abilities and wouldn't have the same types of attacks and defenses as summoned creatures.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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One of the things I liked the most about D&D is the complex magic system. You actually had to think, and therefore role-play, when preparing your spellbook because you had a huge selection of different types of spells for every situation. Magic was decently simulated.

 

In PoE wizards are uninteresting, they seem to exist just because the IE games had them and the class was built just to fit a combat role.

 

The developers are focusing way too much on "balance" and too little on "role-playing".

 

Yeah, I was afraid that was the case.

It was indeed very nice to guess before crawling in a dungeon what types of monsters could be there and what to choose accordingly. T'was really a different approach of playing a character :geek:

 

Maybe I'll have to wait for a mod, then.

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Eh... I like the wizard now. They aren't the end all and be all of casters anymore. Specialized spellcaster classes actually have a point now, instead of being outclassed by Batman Wizards.

"Wizards do not need to be The Dudes Who Can AoE Nuke You and Gish and Take as Many Hits as a Fighter and Make all Skills Irrelevant Because Magic."

-Josh Sawyer

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  • 2 weeks later...

I will miss a Mordenkain's Sword spell. No doubt it was lumped in the "summons" category (read: too powerful) by Obs so its very unlikely to see the light of day even in the expansion.

 

We'll have to wait and see, remember at the moment we only have up to level 6ish spells assuming the same sort of power level progression as BG2 and that spell is level 7. If we look at BG2 the top spell level is 9 while here the Grimore does up to 10 already. If we compare BG1 top spell level was 5 (with xpack) well here it is 6 and as I understand it the power level they're aiming for is more BG1 than BG2 in PoE.

 

Alot of the spells I've seen people complain are missing are BG2 lvl7-9 which is pretty much out of scope for this game. It is a bit of a pity that utility spells and some of the wilder options are missing so far but as they're said before wizards already have the most scripting for spells in the game and they only had a limited amount of resource to put into this first game. The ex-pack will likely offer them a chance to expand on the spell lists so until that comes along we can't be entirely sure they've no intention of expanding the role of wizards once they have additional resources.

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So basically wizards have pretty much 0 utility spells in PoE? That bums me out. A plethora of utility magic is a sign of a deep RPG.

 

Well, that depends on what you mean by deep.

 

Divinity: OS (which I enjoyed a lot, for the record) has hella utility spells, and it's mechanically deep, but I'll be damned if I was emotionally involved in it.

 

Most IE games come down to maybe 6-7, 4 of which are just different versions of Invisibility (disclaimer: these numbers are not carefully considered). More, if you count some of the spells that gave the game tactical depth, but I'm not sure I'd count those as "utility." But I actually cared about some of the stuff in that game, you know?

 

Would an IE successor be a weaker game for the ability to teleport, or squeeze coal into diamonds, or dig trenches with a telekinetic shovel? Probably not. But it's certainly not what made people call the IE games deep.

 

You actually had to think, and therefore role-play, when preparing your spellbook

 

Wait, what? Break that down for me. How are those two things (thinking and roleplaying) the same? Certainly, thought goes into roleplaying, but the two are by no means always aligned. You could just as easily make the case that the D&D approach to spell prep encourages metagaming (not implicitly bad, but not the same thing as roleplaying).

 

because you had a huge selection of different types of spells for every situation.

 

Avoiding this has been an explicit design goal from the start, because reasons.

 

Magic was decently simulated.

 

What does this even mean? Are you saying it did a good job of accurately representing something that doesn't exist and therefore can't be accurately represented?

 

In PoE wizards are uninteresting, they seem to exist just because the IE games had them and the class was built just to fit a combat role.

 

They are there to fill a niche, both tactically and in the setting - and it's pretty much the same niche people have expected them to fill forever, minus the absurd versatility that veteran players have long known how to exploit.

 

 

The developers are focusing way too much on "balance" and too little on "role-playing".

 

And why are the two at odds, exactly? Is there something about the notion of a wizard who can't do absolutely everything that makes same harder to roleplay?

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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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I think multiple instances of a similar effect in spells is a good idea as it enables you to have more options, even within the same play style, without needing more complicated/unique mechanics.

 

When picking spells you have to look at not only the base effect, but also think on its use in different situations. I think a fun spell is one that's useful some times and great other times.

 

Having multi-component spells also allows you to have some effect you really like at multiple spell levels. While it constricts the role of a caster it also allows for a wider range of builds and play styles, without artificialy punishing the player. If someone likes to throw around fireballs and only throw around fireballs why limit them to using 3rd level spells 90% of the tme and waste most of the other spell slots? I'm not saying it's a good idea to only chuck fireballs, but maybe that player made it work by compensating with the rest of the party. It also makes building your caster more enjoyable when you're deciding what kind of effects you want at which levels. I mean you can take lv8 summoning spell and lv9 damage spell or vice versa, with both having some pros and some cons. It's like fine-tuning your playstyle or something.

 

Another aspect of using similar effects is the competition for the slot at various spell levels. When you have 3 spells you want at a certain spell level, but can only cast 2 per encounter anyway. You can delegate, either learning similar spells at other levels or have other party members learn them.

 

Even outside the same class, you can have similar effects, but have people use them differently. Take a wizard's 3rd level fireball, slap some buff on it and you have a lv5 priest spell. Now I like that each class has something "special" only they can do, but I also think it's good if they have abilities that are essentialy cloned, but changed in a way that provides flavor for the skill and options for the class, balancing the level, the effect and the conditions to use, to keep overall class feel separate.

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Oh, there have been a bunch of answers, I did not see it.

 

 

Divinity: OS (which I enjoyed a lot, for the record) has hella utility spells, and it's mechanically deep, but I'll be damned if I was emotionally involved in it.

 

Well, I confess that I did not like magic in Divinity. Most of the spells were elemental-based spells, where fire melts ice, which becomes water who can be electrified etc ..

 

That's quite nice, but why magic is now always limited to fire/earth/ice/storm spells?

That's only used to make simple combos based sometimes on what type of ennemy there is but often just spamming the same combos of spells everytime.

 

Also, in this game magic is similar to the physical disciplines (there is three if I remember, melee/archery/scoundrel). So whether you play a mage or a warrior, the gameplay is pretty much the same. I would talk about "abilities" rather than "spells".

 

 

Me and some friends began a party of IWD:EE recently (I play a wild mage). There was one enjoyable fight I remember :

We arrive in a room full of ennemies, I instantly banish a powerful-looking priest in another dimension so that he won't be a bother for some time, then I cast a silence spell on one of their mages to bother him. I am hit by an bunch of arrows so I create several illusions of myself to protect me. Then I invoke some ogres to distract the archers.

After some time, the fight is nearly done, we will be victorious. I want to cast a haste spell to help my injured allies finish the remaining opponents. Wild magic says otherwise, it is a fireball instead. WoOoops.

 

If there was a trap our thief could not disarm, or a magic item to identify, I could do it. With good planning and rest, you are powerful. But if all your spells are used or useless and a big troll is running in your direction ... you better run fast!

I remember, it was even more interesting in NWN2. You could alter your spells by changing their duration, effect, strenght, or make it able to launch it without voicing.

 

Now if I compare with the most recent games ... I don't play a mage anymore, even it's my favorite class.

I think the old concept of the fragile, mumbling and ressourceful mage is slowly disappearing, sadly :blink:

 

But like I said, I will play a monk instead I guess in PoE, and maybe spells will be changed in the future.

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