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Wizards seem sub par compared to Druids. What am I missing?


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I'm only level 5, so fairly early days but so far the Wizard seems very sub par compared to the Druid and other casters.

 

Wizard Pros

  1. They have a slightly greater number of spells which they can learn
  2. The spells cover a wider variety of effects.

 

Wizard Minus

  1. They are restricted to only 4 usable spells per level. True, I can switch spell books in battle but that takes ages (maybe that talent will help) and every second counts playing this on hard.
  2. Their damage spells so far have hardly any Foe AoE, only normal AoE. But even with this extra difficulty of landing these normal AoE spell (which I don't mind, that's how I played BG1/2 NWN 1/2), they also seem to do less damage compared to the Druid spells. One example is my level 3 fireball was doing awful damage to Trolls (was around 20's) compared to a number of Druid spells (some of which are Foe AoE) which were doing a lot more (even the level 1 lightning spell Foe AoE was doing more!)
  3. Maybe I'm unlucky (plus maybe I need to choose better spells to land for each foe defense) but my Wizard spells seem to be missing a lot more.

So are Wizards just sub par (at least in damage wise) or do they get a lot better later on?

My main, a Wood Elf Wizard, has 18 Might, 18 Int, 14 Dex etc so I don't think stats are the problem.

 

Does anyone know if they're planning on doing a balance patch for Wizards?

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My main is a level 8 Wizard and even rank 4 spells are pretty lackluster to be honest. My best spell is the clone I can summon (rank 4), it's dealing good damage and doesn't require melee range to cast, but Firewall for instance is a joke...

 

Actually Wizards are not only too weak (compared to Druids, Priest or Ciphers), but they lack flavor and are not very fun t play. Their debuffs are not strong enough, it feels too MMO'ish with very short durations, the AoE damage is a joke, I can throw in 4 perfectly aimed Fireballs and the enemies are maybe loosing 2 bubbles. For high range single target you have only one spell for your disposal (a rank 1 spell: Minolettas Magic Missiles), which sometimes deals less dmg than auto attack with a pistol. And then there are the almost useless defensive spells, maybe Baldurs Gate spoiled me there, but I hate the fact, that mages loses their defensive spells after a few hits of the enemy. I totally loved the dispell mechanics of the infinity games, without breach or similar spells you just couldn't kill a mage, it was not only a tactical thing, but also very immersive and it made fighting mages a thrill. And then there is nothing what makes WIzards somehow unique, no "flavor" stuff like Identify, Invisibilty, real summons, knock spell and so on.

 

Maybe rank 5 spells will be better, but I am slowly losing faith, sometimes I am about to reroll, because the "progression" of the Wizard doesn't feel rewarding and I hate it, when my main character feels boring and kinda weak.

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Another wizard pro is they can learn spells from other wizards griomours. 

 

They also have very powerful debuffs later like mass charm on tier 4. Druids have nice damage spells but crowd control and debuffs are more important in tough battles. I say Wizards are more of a glass canons you can use to get through really hard fights while Priests and Druids are better at sustaining party combat ability through series of easier battles.

 

I do notice that wizard spells like Rolling Fireball misfire sometimes but I'm not sure if this is a bug or some game mechanic I'm not aware of.

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My main is a level 8 Wizard and even rank 4 spells are pretty lackluster to be honest. My best spell is the clone I can summon (rank 4), it's dealing good damage and doesn't require melee range to cast, but Firewall for instance is a joke...

 

Actually Wizards are not only too weak (compared to Druids, Priest or Ciphers), but they lack flavor and are not very fun t play. Their debuffs are not strong enough, it feels too MMO'ish with very short durations, the AoE damage is a joke, I can throw in 4 perfectly aimed Fireballs and the enemies are maybe loosing 2 bubbles. For high range single target you have only one spell for your disposal (a rank 1 spell: Minolettas Magic Missiles), which sometimes deals less dmg than auto attack with a pistol. And then there are the almost useless defensive spells, maybe Baldurs Gate spoiled me there, but I hate the fact, that mages loses their defensive spells after a few hits of the enemy. I totally loved the dispell mechanics of the infinity games, without breach or similar spells you just couldn't kill a mage, it was not only a tactical thing, but also very immersive and it made fighting mages a thrill. And then there is nothing what makes WIzards somehow unique, no "flavor" stuff like Identify, Invisibilty, real summons, knock spell and so on.

 

Maybe rank 5 spells will be better, but I am slowly losing faith, sometimes I am about to reroll, because the "progression" of the Wizard doesn't feel rewarding and I hate it, when my main character feels boring and kinda weak.

 

Yeah, I completely agree with you. In the infinity games, Wizards to me seemed much better and more fun, better defensive spells and their offensive spells certainly had more umph. Plus I'm missing the summoning spells. And I too miss those epic battles against mages where you had to take down their multiple layers of defenses.

I just had a battle with some trolls and tried to use that 3rd level magic missile type spell (the one which bounces from target to target) and it did something like 4, 2, 4 damage (probably trolls were the wrong target for that spell but I only have 4 choices!)

 

I'm tempted to re-roll as a Druid as my main but maybe I'll struggle on. Oh, a bit depressed now!

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My main is a level 8 Wizard and even rank 4 spells are pretty lackluster to be honest. My best spell is the clone I can summon (rank 4), it's dealing good damage and doesn't require melee range to cast, but Firewall for instance is a joke...

 

Actually Wizards are not only too weak (compared to Druids, Priest or Ciphers), but they lack flavor and are not very fun t play. Their debuffs are not strong enough, it feels too MMO'ish with very short durations, the AoE damage is a joke, I can throw in 4 perfectly aimed Fireballs and the enemies are maybe loosing 2 bubbles. For high range single target you have only one spell for your disposal (a rank 1 spell: Minolettas Magic Missiles), which sometimes deals less dmg than auto attack with a pistol. And then there are the almost useless defensive spells, maybe Baldurs Gate spoiled me there, but I hate the fact, that mages loses their defensive spells after a few hits of the enemy. I totally loved the dispell mechanics of the infinity games, without breach or similar spells you just couldn't kill a mage, it was not only a tactical thing, but also very immersive and it made fighting mages a thrill. And then there is nothing what makes WIzards somehow unique, no "flavor" stuff like Identify, Invisibilty, real summons, knock spell and so on.

 

Maybe rank 5 spells will be better, but I am slowly losing faith, sometimes I am about to reroll, because the "progression" of the Wizard doesn't feel rewarding and I hate it, when my main character feels boring and kinda weak.

 

Well said. I'm feeling rather ambivalent about my current Wizard as well; between constantly hoarding spells and being unable to use most of them well due to AOE probelms, I just feel... somewhat useless. You also can't really pre-buff because buffs have such a short duration, and I am loathe to waste one of my very few spells per rest on a buffing spell I may not even need (and which won't save me from an angry charging paladin in my face anyway).

 

It's especially saddening hearing about all the fun Cipher and Druid players are having with all their tools, while I'm just sitting here plinking away with my wand and spamming the crummy Arcane Barrage in every fight.

 

I miss the feeling of playing a competent, powerful Sorcerer in BG2 and NWN2, really.

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I definitely don't like friendly fire. I know know, it's more realistic/challenging to some with friendly fire. But for me it just means I don't tend to use mages/spellcasters for anything but buffs or direct dmg. single spells etc. Which means I don't tend to use them at all, in a party. Maybe if I was trying it solo or with just one other party member.

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I really dig the way FF works here. I used to be against the "green fringes" AoE but I really like it now. I get a special kick out of opening maneuvers like having Aloth and Hiravias up front to open with a couple of those cone-shaped spells, then duck back and have Edér and Pallegina close the gap. Would be much less fun if they could do that safely from behind the line to start with.

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I really dig the way FF works here. I used to be against the "green fringes" AoE but I really like it now. I get a special kick out of opening maneuvers like having Aloth and Hiravias up front to open with a couple of those cone-shaped spells, then duck back and have Edér and Pallegina close the gap. Would be much less fun if they could do that safely from behind the line to start with.

Yeah, I can/do understand why some may like it and find it engaging. It just doesn't fit my playstyle very well is all. I guess it starts to become a little too much pause/chr. commanding micromanagement for my tastes.

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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I really dig the way FF works here. I used to be against the "green fringes" AoE but I really like it now. I get a special kick out of opening maneuvers like having Aloth and Hiravias up front to open with a couple of those cone-shaped spells, then duck back and have Edér and Pallegina close the gap. Would be much less fun if they could do that safely from behind the line to start with.

Yeah, I can/do understand why some may like it and find it engaging. It just doesn't fit my playstyle very well is all. I guess it starts to become a little too much pause/chr. commanding micromanagement for my tastes.

 

 

This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I agree. This combined with the spell hoarding the game encourages means I basically 'sit out' most fights, which doesn't seem right, IMO.

 

I always liked the fact that you could turn off friendly fire altogether on Normal mode in NWN2, which is what I'm playing ATM anyway in Pillars. It also doesn't seem fair that a lot of the Druid AOE spells seem to be Foe-Only, so that just makes them that much better than Wizards.

I too dislike excessive micro-management. IMO, one of the best things Neverwinter Nights brought to this genre of RPG were functional AI scripts (or scripting mods, as it happens) so that you didn't have to micro-manage every one of your party members in every fight. With mutliple spellcasters it can just become aggravating; I'd like my party to be able to take care of themselves for a while so I can try to actually use my mediocre Wizard for once.

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Damn, I haven't even tried Slicken. Forgot all about it...

Slicken + Fireball to the face. Add more fireball until they stop twitching. 

 

That said, I agree with the OP. It's not so much that I don't think they can do damage, they can do lots of it later on, but they're just not very fun to play. Almost all their spells have friendly fire, many of them involve shooting stuff in a straight line right through your defensive guys, tons of spells that require you to basically walk within touching distance of the enemy to use them( these are enemies that can one shot you and will do so) There's no place for no range spells in there except hard disengage. Battles need to be micromanaged every second or they're just one big mosh pit cluster**** where mages die immediately. The AI beelining for the wizard every time and the poor pathfinding are just issues that add to the problem. 

In BG one wizard with a lot of defensive spells could keep you busy for several minutes, here you run up and knock them over and then kick them in the shins until they're dead. 

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- How can I live my life if I can't even tell good from evil?

- Eh, they're both fine choices. Whatever floats your boat. 

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I have no problems with FF. Throwing circles is easy. Yeah there are spells that are downright uncomfortable to use like Twin Stones, various Ray spells and so on, but just clipping everyone who's at the front fighting your tanks is not hard (esp. for casters with int >15). Clipping with "yellow" is very cheesy that way you can often harm everyone.

Second, you may shoot through your own guys. Yeah they will take some damage but if you buff a bit or they're wearing good armor it won't do that much damage. I mean, you shouldn't even care. Even if they will get down it's just stamina, they'll jump back into fight right after you finish with enemies burning leftovers.

You can also abuse the fact that ranger's companion is an infinite source of baiting and use Sagani's fox to gather foes around it and then unload your artillery.

And yeah don't forget Slicken spell. Spam it and nobody gets to you, period.

Edited by Shadenuat
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The biggest oversight for me from the developers regarding the Wizard class is their lack of thought towards how camping supplies determine the power of the class itself.

 

By playing on Hard difficulty, you are massively dampening your Wizard potential by having only 2 rest supplies. A Wizard capability in combat shouldn't be stopped by resting supplies. I think that is extremely silly. Having to wait for lvl9 to unlock per encounter spells is quite over kill for a class that is supposed to be the Master of the Arcane.

 

Your Wizard is quite the lackluster class as it is, increasing the difficulty makes the Wizard class even more useless due to the limited camping supplies while other spell casting classes with overall better spells, remain unaffected due to their ability to cast spells per encounter.

 

Even with 20 Int , the bonus to duration of spells is lacking and with 20 might the damage is extremely low compared to other classes even while taking AoE damage into account.

Edited by SlackerBacker
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So how will this play out after some progression? I am lvl 4 with my Wizard and seriously considering to restart with a new character. So far, being a wizard has been kind of boring and not the experience I had hoped for. Basically with my current choses spells it is spamming the Grimoire bash, some magic missiles and the occasional necrotic lance.

 

Will there be more variation? Will I be able to actually use AoE spells without the fear of FF (since right now, I just don't feel comfy by the friendly fire thing) ?

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Well at least it's not just me being disappointed with the Wizard. What a downer, I always played a Wizard/Mage in BG1/2, NWN1/2 and most other games. I'm tempted to start again as a Druid or maybe even a ranged Cipher.

Is there a beta patch note around somewhere for the patch coming this week? I wonder if there are any Wizard changes.

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Wizards are way better than in BG1. Low-level AD&D wizards are terribad, and for most of the game your wizard will be low-level. They only start to hit their stride around level 8 which is near the end of BG1. In P:E OTOH wizards are pretty powerful from level 1. They're only slightly lackluster compared to druids (which rock).

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So how will this play out after some progression? I am lvl 4 with my Wizard and seriously considering to restart with a new character. So far, being a wizard has been kind of boring and not the experience I had hoped for. Basically with my current choses spells it is spamming the Grimoire bash, some magic missiles and the occasional necrotic lance.

 

Will there be more variation? Will I be able to actually use AoE spells without the fear of FF (since right now, I just don't feel comfy by the friendly fire thing) ?

 

 

If you enjoy a spell casting class, I recommend a Cipher with ranged weapon, blunderbuss preferably. Squishy but deals a lot of damage and it is far more engaging than a Wizard requiring the player to be more focused into playing the class than a Wizard where all you can do is watch auto-attack until a challenging encounter comes up so you can use your spells.

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I actually like the Wizards in this game. Usually Wizards in CRPGs tend to be overpowered but in PoE I think they've hit a nice balance. Also with correct positioning and patience, you can dish out great damage, with just a nice Ray of Fire for example :)

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Wizards are way better than in BG1. Low-level AD&D wizards are terribad, and for most of the game your wizard will be low-level. They only start to hit their stride around level 8 which is near the end of BG1. In P:E OTOH wizards are pretty powerful from level 1. They're only slightly lackluster compared to druids (which rock).

 

I know what you're saying but didn't BG1 Wizards have a ton more utility and variety? Didn't they have spells like invisibility, summons, a lower version of stoneskin (complete absorb X amount of damage). I played BG2 far more than BG1, so I admit my memory is a bit vague on that.

Edited by Telmorial
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So how will this play out after some progression?

Progression is something I haven't felt about Wizard at all even after getting highest level spells. Many spells are just copies from previous levels. I found another spell kicking enemies from their feet at (spell) level 5 amusing in particular. You never feel like you're getting somewhere or becoming a magical machine like in BG2. Hell, with a rough start casters have in BG1, I think even in that game you end up feeling more powerful than in PoE.

 

The buffs only work on yourself. Protective spells work in a weird way as they collapse after you get damaged. Summons just downright suck, there's only one. Many spells are hard to land right because they are ray-based or have small range. Some are even melee. I often found Aloth to be the one running in front to land a fireball, although it's not as bad as Clerics have it.

And then there's a ton of underwhelming debuffs that add fear, and more fear, and weakness, and then combine two, or three, against will check... eh.

 

Sure some spells can change combat, they're just not very fun to use.

Edited by Shadenuat
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