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Wizard's spells odd damage design.

wizard game mechanics combat balance

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#41
BugsVendor

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You guys posted a lot of good points here but the discussion went a bit further than I originally intended. 

 

My main concern was:

 

I consider only the wizard class. I look at his spells available. Damage doesn't make any sense. I thought I missed some good reason for it, but it seems there isn't any.


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#42
Caerdon

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You guys posted a lot of good points here but the discussion went a bit further than I originally intended. 

 

My main concern was:

 

I consider only the wizard class. I look at his spells available. Damage doesn't make any sense. I thought I missed some good reason for it, but it seems there isn't any.

 

Honestly, I still don't understand your point.

 

You can't just look at damage in isolation. Spells have multiple properties, damage is just one of them. One spell does more damage than others? Cool. Other spells do other stuff.

 

Besides, wizard's spell vs. spell balance is one of the least important categories of balance in this game. Why? Because A) different spells are still better for different purpose, and B) spells of different levels use different resources. In other words: even if level 1 spell X is "better" than level 2 spell Y, that's not a huge problem, it's just a matter of managing your resources. What other spells do you want to be using? How many level 1 spells can you cast? Do you want to cast this now so you can cast that later? And so on.



#43
Mungri

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You guys posted a lot of good points here but the discussion went a bit further than I originally intended. 
 
My main concern was:
 
I consider only the wizard class. I look at his spells available. Damage doesn't make any sense. I thought I missed some good reason for it, but it seems there isn't any.


You're just doing something wrong:

http://forums.obsidi...e-underpowered/

#44
Infares

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Depends on how you define "damage". 

A wizard's presence in a group is arguably better than just another source of raw damage. Even at that, even if their early level damage spells are somewhat lacking, there are 6 levels of spells.

For instance, every time a wizard CCs an enemy, or reduces its damage capability, or increases its vulnerability, those are all equivalent to damage or healing by themselves depending on which other classes you have in the party to monopolize.


Edited by Infares, 06 April 2015 - 02:44 AM.


#45
Mungri

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Like blindness. You cast that, and everything dies so much faster.

#46
BugsVendor

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You guys posted a lot of good points here but the discussion went a bit further than I originally intended. 

 

My main concern was:

 

I consider only the wizard class. I look at his spells available. Damage doesn't make any sense. I thought I missed some good reason for it, but it seems there isn't any.

 

Honestly, I still don't understand your point.

 

You can't just look at damage in isolation. Spells have multiple properties, damage is just one of them. One spell does more damage than others? Cool. Other spells do other stuff.

 

Besides, wizard's spell vs. spell balance is one of the least important categories of balance in this game. Why? Because A) different spells are still better for different purpose, and B) spells of different levels use different resources. In other words: even if level 1 spell X is "better" than level 2 spell Y, that's not a huge problem, it's just a matter of managing your resources. What other spells do you want to be using? How many level 1 spells can you cast? Do you want to cast this now so you can cast that later? And so on.

 

Depends on how you define "damage". 

A wizard's presence in a group is arguably better than just another source of raw damage. Even at that, even if their early level damage spells are somewhat lacking, there are 6 levels of spells.

For instance, every time a wizard CCs an enemy, or reduces its damage capability, or increases its vulnerability, those are all equivalent to damage or healing by themselves depending on which other classes you have in the party to monopolize.

Like blindness. You cast that, and everything dies so much faster.

 

Guys :D, I like cc. I like other wizard uses than raw damage. But non of this has anything to do with this topic.

 

I don't know how to express it in any other way.

 

Only damage spells. Only wizard. There is a few, but the aoe one is best in 99% of the situations. Seems weird to me that aoe spell has higher damage than single target ones. And it has range advantage over the spells that require a touch.

 

That's all I wanted to look at. O_o


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#47
kickthezombie

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Guys, he said damage in the title.

Well, consider the following:

 

Prone enemies have -10 deflection

Blind enemies have -24 deflection

 

How much more often is your party going to be hitting/critting against enemies that are blind and prone? All thanks to your mage.

 

Well this is why it is nice having my ranger's companion having the knock down ability. They can knock down most enemies and then be targeted by a wizard/cipher/cleric  to finish them off in short time.



#48
Althernai

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Only damage spells. Only wizard. There is a few, but the aoe one is best in 99% of the situations. Seems weird to me that aoe spell has higher damage than single target ones. And it has range advantage over the spells that require a touch.

First, it's not 99% of situations. If enemies have mingled with your group or your tank is holding them at a choke point, FoF is usually not the way to go and this happens quite often. Second, yes, the single target, pure damage Wizard spells are pretty bad. I'm not sure what the reasoning behind this was; I guess they just don't want you to play a Wizard that way.



#49
Wolken3156

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Only damage spells. Only wizard. There is a few, but the aoe one is best in 99% of the situations. Seems weird to me that aoe spell has higher damage than single target ones. And it has range advantage over the spells that require a touch.

Jolting Touch actually is pretty good... as a scroll or weapon effect. For some reason the grimoire version does less damage than the scroll or spellbinded weapon versions. Sunless Grasp though, does have very limited applications... even if you're running a melee wizard.

 

As for the missile spells, they're pretty garbage. They do have short casting times, but this is the class with Deleterious Alacrity of Motion. That spell alone makes Wizards cast times virtually instant anyway.

 



First, it's not 99% of situations. If enemies have mingled with your group or your tank is holding them at a choke point, FoF is usually not the way to go and this happens quite often. Second, yes, the single target, pure damage Wizard spells are pretty bad. I'm not sure what the reasoning behind this was; I guess they just don't want you to play a Wizard that way.

dBTaEOom.jpg

Look at the size of that safe zone. Its a pretty damn safe spell to cast. Granted I stacked a lot of Intelligence stuff (You can see my resting bonus), but yeah, with a lot of intelligence AoE spells become very safe to cast.


Edited by Wolken3156, 06 April 2015 - 06:01 AM.


#50
Caerdon

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Guys :D, I like cc. I like other wizard uses than raw damage. But non of this has anything to do with this topic.
 
I don't know how to express it in any other way.
 
Only damage spells. Only wizard. There is a few, but the aoe one is best in 99% of the situations. Seems weird to me that aoe spell has higher damage than single target ones. And it has range advantage over the spells that require a touch.
 
That's all I wanted to look at. O_o

 
But you can't look at damage only. They have other properties. Speed, range, accuracy, target defense etc.

 

I agree with you whem it comes to Fan of Flames, it's usually the best level 1-2 wizard spell if you just want to deal some damage quickly to a bunch of targets. Maybe it should even be toned down a bit. But still, the other damage spells serve their purpose, and often they don't deal as much damage as the Fan because they offer other benefits, and this is the point you don't seem to get.
 

Look at the size of that safe zone. Its a pretty damn safe spell to cast. Granted I stacked a lot of Intelligence stuff (You can see my resting bonus), but yeah, with a lot of intelligence AoE spells become very safe to cast.

 

I agree. Personally I think INT should increase AOE area they way it says, not the way it does.



#51
Althernai

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But still, the other damage spells serve their purpose, and often they don't deal as much damage as the Fan because they offer other benefits, and this is the point you don't seem to get.

I think this thread would have made a lot more sense if instead of focusing on Fan of Flames (which is actually a reasonable spell given that it's cone like and does nothing but damage), the question was framed as "Why are the single target, pure damage spells so weak?" They don't really have much of a benefit beyond being single target and occasionally having a decent range. For example, consider the Magic Missile wannabe at level 1: it has 3 missiles each doing 14-26 Crush damage (base), but it attacks Deflection (good luck with that) and DR is applied separately to each of the three instances. You can try to use it to interrupt a spellcaster (realistically, that's the only enemy type that will take any serious damage from it anyway), but honestly, it's way too specific a usage to be worth the grimoire slot.


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#52
knownastherat

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Always been like this in IE games. In BG2 it was Chromatic Orb and maybe Magic Missiles when loaded into sequencer. - http://www.sorcerers...erence/Main.htm

 

Not sure what competitive multiplayer game has to do with single player remake .. oh wait .. balance. Well, yes not all spells were created equal. No problem for me.

 



#53
Caerdon

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But still, the other damage spells serve their purpose, and often they don't deal as much damage as the Fan because they offer other benefits, and this is the point you don't seem to get.

I think this thread would have made a lot more sense if instead of focusing on Fan of Flames (which is actually a reasonable spell given that it's cone like and does nothing but damage), the question was framed as "Why are the single target, pure damage spells so weak?" They don't really have much of a benefit beyond being single target and occasionally having a decent range. For example, consider the Magic Missile wannabe at level 1: it has 3 missiles each doing 14-26 Crush damage (base), but it attacks Deflection (good luck with that) and DR is applied separately to each of the three instances. You can try to use it to interrupt a spellcaster (realistically, that's the only enemy type that will take any serious damage from it anyway), but honestly, it's way too specific a usage to be worth the grimoire slot.

 

 

True, Minoletta's isn't so great. I'd say it's still good against spellcasters (good for a level 1 spell, that is), because it has long range, it attacks their poor deflection, wizards have little DR, and it potentially hits three times, which helps with Ironskin, Wizard's Double and stuff like that. It's crap at interrupting though: 0.05 s. Interestingly the more you like to spam Fan - or any other spell - the more likely you are to have room in your grimoire.

 

Also, Penetrating Shot apparently works with Minoletta's, and it doesn't even slow down spellcasting.



#54
Kandidus

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Also, Penetrating Shot apparently works with Minoletta's, and it doesn't even slow down spellcasting.

 

 

Wow, is that only with Minoletta's or other projectile spell (like Kalakoth's Minor Blight)?



#55
tenfrith'ssavourypie

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Always been like this in IE games. In BG2 it was Chromatic Orb and maybe Magic Missiles when loaded into sequencer. - http://www.sorcerers...erence/Main.htm

 

Not sure what competitive multiplayer game has to do with single player remake .. oh wait .. balance. Well, yes not all spells were created equal. No problem for me.

 

That's such a specious argument. Firstly the old IE games were constrained by the D&D ruleset, which has several meaningful implications: the devs didn't have the flexibility to rebalance spells anyways, and that ruleset is designed for higher level abilities to obsolete lower level abilities. PoE has a different design goal where higher level abilities are usually meant to complement lower level ones, not upgrade them. There are some exceptions (missiles come to mind, so do the priest direct heals), but many PoE spells do fall into this design. Fan of flames is not upgraded by fireball, frost blast, or anything else. (I like that, personally.) Instead those spells have trade offs: fireball does not upgrade the damage of fan of flames (in fact it's significantly lower), but it's supposed to have a positioning advantage. That way both spells are useful and remain viable into end game, instead of fireball completely replacing fan of flames like fireball completely (more or less) replacing burning hands in D&D.

 

Secondly when we talk about balance, most of us just mean we want combat gameplay with interesting choices: unbalanced spell design removes or prevents interesting choices. For most of the game (particularly after the early levels where chill fog is comparatively powerful) there is never a valid tactical reason to use any level 1 wizard spell besides Fan of Flames or Eldritch Aim (now that slicken is nerfed - which is not a bad thing because before that happened there was rarely a valid tacitcal reason for using any level 1 wizard spells besides slicken). Most of the people here seem to be arguing that fan of flames has drawbacks due to its positioning that make it inappropriate or less efficient in certain situations, which would be tactically interesting and would would help the case if it were true, but it's not - you can safely and reliably flame just about every combat encounter in the game without complex positioning of any kind. The only time this is notably not true is against teleporting spirits at low levels, and so it seems like a lot of people get an initial impression early on from the gilded vale temple that simply doesn't apply to the rest of the game.



#56
Caerdon

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Also, Penetrating Shot apparently works with Minoletta's, and it doesn't even slow down spellcasting.

 

 

Wow, is that only with Minoletta's or other projectile spell (like Kalakoth's Minor Blight)?

 

IIRC it works with all single-target direct damage wizard spells, not sure about other casters. No fireballs, unfortunately.

 

Unfortunately I can't remember where it was mentioned... it was some long thread, and there was some rudimentary proof that it seemed to be really working like that. But you might want to test that yourself.



#57
knownastherat

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Always been like this in IE games. In BG2 it was Chromatic Orb and maybe Magic Missiles when loaded into sequencer. - http://www.sorcerers...erence/Main.htm

 

Not sure what competitive multiplayer game has to do with single player remake .. oh wait .. balance. Well, yes not all spells were created equal. No problem for me.

 

That's such a specious argument. Firstly the old IE games were constrained by the D&D ruleset, which has several meaningful implications: the devs didn't have the flexibility to rebalance spells anyways, and that ruleset is designed for higher level abilities to obsolete lower level abilities. PoE has a different design goal where higher level abilities are usually meant to complement lower level ones, not upgrade them. There are some exceptions (missiles come to mind, so do the priest direct heals), but many PoE spells do fall into this design. Fan of flames is not upgraded by fireball, frost blast, or anything else. (I like that, personally.) Instead those spells have trade offs: fireball does not upgrade the damage of fan of flames (in fact it's significantly lower), but it's supposed to have a positioning advantage. That way both spells are useful and remain viable into end game, instead of fireball completely replacing fan of flames like fireball completely (more or less) replacing burning hands in D&D.

 

Secondly when we talk about balance, most of us just mean we want combat gameplay with interesting choices: unbalanced spell design removes or prevents interesting choices. For most of the game (particularly after the early levels where chill fog is comparatively powerful) there is never a valid tactical reason to use any level 1 wizard spell besides Fan of Flames or Eldritch Aim (now that slicken is nerfed - which is not a bad thing because before that happened there was rarely a valid tacitcal reason for using any level 1 wizard spells besides slicken). Most of the people here seem to be arguing that fan of flames has drawbacks due to its positioning that make it inappropriate or less efficient in certain situations, which would be tactically interesting and would would help the case if it were true, but it's not - you can safely and reliably flame just about every combat encounter in the game without complex positioning of any kind. The only time this is notably not true is against teleporting spirits at low levels, and so it seems like a lot of people get an initial impression early on from the gilded vale temple that simply doesn't apply to the rest of the game.

 

 

Its not an argument, its opinion. If you or anyone else want balance, for whatever reason, that is fine. I use Fleet Feet, Eldritch Aim and Spirit Shield probably as much as Fan of Flames. Do not even have Chill Fog so its no problem for me.

 

The only thing resembling argument was ill comparison.



#58
Dongom

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Only damage spells. Only wizard. There is a few, but the aoe one is best in 99% of the situations. Seems weird to me that aoe spell has higher damage than single target ones. And it has range advantage over the spells that require a touch.

Jolting Touch actually is pretty good... as a scroll or weapon effect. For some reason the grimoire version does less damage than the scroll or spellbinded weapon versions. Sunless Grasp though, does have very limited applications... even if you're running a melee wizard.

 

As for the missile spells, they're pretty garbage. They do have short casting times, but this is the class with Deleterious Alacrity of Motion. That spell alone makes Wizards cast times virtually instant anyway.

 



First, it's not 99% of situations. If enemies have mingled with your group or your tank is holding them at a choke point, FoF is usually not the way to go and this happens quite often. Second, yes, the single target, pure damage Wizard spells are pretty bad. I'm not sure what the reasoning behind this was; I guess they just don't want you to play a Wizard that way.

dBTaEOom.jpg

Look at the size of that safe zone. Its a pretty damn safe spell to cast. Granted I stacked a lot of Intelligence stuff (You can see my resting bonus), but yeah, with a lot of intelligence AoE spells become very safe to cast.

 

 

 

I have overseeing ring/chest and its not even half that big..wtf! 



#59
merkmerk73

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You're mistaken. -10 ACC debuff is not "minor," it's a very big deal indeed. Fan of Flames is indeed great, but so is Chill Fog (can be cast from behind your front line), that Ice Blades thing which also Hobbles, Slicken even after the nerf, Thrust of Tattered Veils if you're facing a caster, and Eldritch Aim if you're targeting a (hard-to-hit) boss.

 

(It's the level 2 spells I'm having trouble with. Curse of Blackened Sight is awesome, Fetid Caress sometimes useful, but I haven't had much luck with Rolling Flame, Binding Web is obviously worse than Slicken or that Ice Blades thing that also hobbles, and the gishy self-buffs/self-defense spells are a waste of a cast and a spell slot.)

 

Agreed on the defensive self buffs ... I tried using wizard's double but man that spell blows chunks even for a first level spell.

 

I like having some defensive self buffs on wizards, even if I never use them, just for 'crap I'm engaged' situations, but the ones we have in this patch are not great

 

However, I think OP is correct - some of the AoEs are a little too good. Grasp is better than the god awful touch spells in BG, but it could stand to be even better.



#60
knownastherat

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You're mistaken. -10 ACC debuff is not "minor," it's a very big deal indeed. Fan of Flames is indeed great, but so is Chill Fog (can be cast from behind your front line), that Ice Blades thing which also Hobbles, Slicken even after the nerf, Thrust of Tattered Veils if you're facing a caster, and Eldritch Aim if you're targeting a (hard-to-hit) boss.

 

(It's the level 2 spells I'm having trouble with. Curse of Blackened Sight is awesome, Fetid Caress sometimes useful, but I haven't had much luck with Rolling Flame, Binding Web is obviously worse than Slicken or that Ice Blades thing that also hobbles, and the gishy self-buffs/self-defense spells are a waste of a cast and a spell slot.)

 

Agreed on the defensive self buffs ... I tried using wizard's double but man that spell blows chunks even for a first level spell.

 

I like having some defensive self buffs on wizards, even if I never use them, just for 'crap I'm engaged' situations, but the ones we have in this patch are not great

 

However, I think OP is correct - some of the AoEs are a little too good. Grasp is better than the god awful touch spells in BG, but it could stand to be even better.

 

 

Seems to be version of Reflected Image from BG with about the same functionality. Its situational at best. To make it more useful other utility could be added. For example,  when destroyed causes small blast or clears poison on cast etc.

 

There is no question some spells are too good, the question is how big of a problem it is. Well, from where I sit.  However, greater diversity cant be really bad. btw "never use defensive spells on wizard .." well depending on Wizard. I like my Wizard close to battle mage unless I could get BG Sorcerer and cast Project Image and Wish whole day long. Not even bothering with Time Stop.  







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