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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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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.

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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)?

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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.net/Games/BG2/SpellsReference/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.

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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.

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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.net/Games/BG2/SpellsReference/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.

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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! 

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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.

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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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Your argument that fan of flames being the only useful level 1 spell is just ridiculous. Blind effect anyone ? The most op level 1 effect that you can use whole game for huge benefit? Or eldricth aim that lets you paralyze the STRONGEST enemy in the game easily? Maybe you should play the game a bit more and learn all the mechanics. Debuffs/disables>elemental damage especially on harder modes. There's a little thing called DR in this game and it doesn't help against disables :)))

 

That being said fan of flames has a bit high damage for its level but i suspect they made it that way so we can actually kill the phantoms/shades at start lol. Let's face it those fights would've been pain in the ass without it.

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The problem is that after all this talk all we are gonna get is a nerf to FoF.

 

Nah Obsidian can't be that blind, others do better AOE and they know it.

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Your argument that fan of flames being the only useful level 1 spell is just ridiculous. 

 

Seriously.

 

Please re read the topic name and my original post. I never said anything like that.

 

My point is that considering damage focused spells FoF is a clear winner.

 

I was wondering why is that the aoe spell deals more dmg per target than a targeted spell and is easier to hit because rolls vs reflex rather than deflection.

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Okay I put my over-seer items on and off it seems i was bugged.  The range on FoF is pretty huge, but even then I can't hit everything and by the time I get in proper range my gunners can annihilate most things.

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Your argument that fan of flames being the only useful level 1 spell is just ridiculous. 

 

Seriously.

 

Please re read the topic name and my original post. I never said anything like that.

 

My point is that considering damage focused spells FoF is a clear winner.

 

I was wondering why is that the aoe spell deals more dmg per target than a targeted spell and is easier to hit because rolls vs reflex rather than deflection.

 

 

Maybe it should be used on a low deflection target ? Such as a really dangerous caster(oh wait they have low deflection most of the time!) that you need to use a single target spell on ? The fact that different spells target different defenses is a great thing because it keeps your wizard on maximum effectiveness when you cast the right spells. Btw i don't think you're playing on PotD, there's no way you can cast fan of flames twice and win the fights :p Guess you're exaggerating to prove your own point.

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Your argument that fan of flames being the only useful level 1 spell is just ridiculous. 

 

Seriously.

 

Please re read the topic name and my original post. I never said anything like that.

 

My point is that considering damage focused spells FoF is a clear winner.

 

I was wondering why is that the aoe spell deals more dmg per target than a targeted spell and is easier to hit because rolls vs reflex rather than deflection.

 

 

Yeah, thats been answered already, but to be perfectly clear:  There is NO reason beyond poor system design, play testing, and balancing.

 

Thats it in a nut shell.  Now.. if you are wondering WHY there was poor play testing and balancing.. I can speculate:

 

There was like NO "Design Paper" made for spell performance metrics, meaning all the spells were made by simply "Winging It" and then adjusted based on how the developers "Felt" they were being used and/or performing; rather then using solid MATH based metrics to determine spell damage.

 

For instance, lets take the minor missile spell, and use it as a "Math" metric for making other spells.

 

Minor Missile (unmodified by stats, grazes, crits, etc, just the base) does 1D10+9 Damage per missile.  Each Missile is effected by DR.  Each Missile gets a separate attack Roll.  Hits a single target.

Max Damage to a Single Target = 19x3 = 57 Damage 

 

Now, lets use that as a baseline for making an AoE.  Assuming we want the AoE to be equal we have a few options:

Set Amount of damage done to Area, split evenly among targets in the area no matter how many targets there are.  IE, the AoE will do 3D10+27 Damage, split among all targets affected, meaning the more targets the less damage each target takes, but this also means that if there is only 1 target IT takes the full max potential of 57 Damage.. Just like the minor missile spell.

 

This give you the same damage, but now you have the "utility" of splitting that damage among multiple targets.  But wait, what about the attack rolls?  Say there were 3 targets in that area, each had a separate attack roll to take their portion of the damage.  IE, the damage is split BEFORE rolls are made, and only dealt in appropriate portions.

 

Now, both of those abilities are "Equal" they have the same effect, do the same damage, so why would you use one over the other?  Well, thats where the AoE Range and Target Range of the spells come into play.  Its also about how many targets are going to be effected.

 

If both spells are going to hit 1 target, then the missile spell is better.  Why?  because 3 chances to hit is better then 1, or worse, depending on your accuracy.  If you have low accuracy, its safer to use the missile for 3 chances to do at least SOME damage, but if you have high accuracy its better to use the AoE for a single attack roll for more damage.  but what about DR?  Again, if the target has low or NO DR, and accuracy is equal, then missiles is better since you are more likely going to score more damage overall.. but if the target has HIGH DR 20+, then the AoE is better because it does larger "Single" damage.

 

So there you go.. two spells, same damage, balanced, USING MATH.  Both has situations where one is preferable to the other.

 

But.. since PoE didn't do that, and went with "traditional" "winging it" spell designs, a LOT of the spells do not balance out mathematically,  with some spells being clearly superior in almost all situations.

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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! 

 

Well... it was an INT + 4 resting bonus =/

 

If both spells are going to hit 1 target, then the missile spell is better.  Why?  because 3 chances to hit is better then 1, or worse, depending on your accuracy.  If you have low accuracy, its safer to use the missile for 3 chances to do at least SOME damage, but if you have high accuracy its better to use the AoE for a single attack roll for more damage.  but what about DR?  Again, if the target has low or NO DR, and accuracy is equal, then missiles is better since you are more likely going to score more damage overall.. but if the target has HIGH DR 20+, then the AoE is better because it does larger "Single" damage.

While the theory is sound, the only problem is that the missiles spells target Deflection, which is usually the target's highest defense stat. On the other hand Fan of Flames targets Reflex which is usually lower than Deflection. As another aside, Chill Fog targets Fortitude which also usually lower than Deflection on most targets. So if you have low accuracy, generally those two spells are better anyway. Also each individual missile has their own separate DR reduction. Against any enemy with DR (Which is nearly everything), those missiles are doing pitiful damage.

 

What they really should've done was make them deal raw damage. Then it would somewhat make more sense that you're casting a spell that is attacking a common defense type.

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Wasn't meant to be a side by side comparison of actual spells in game, just a demonstration on how balance could have been done using a set of rules as the foundation.

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I agree with the OP... Being on level 6 (end of first chapter) I have difficulties using other spells. Fan of flames is usually the way to go - more or less sure way of distributing significant amounts of damage to a large number of targets that are reasonably far from the caster. The other spells are much more situational and often very risky and with questionable usability.

 

1) Their range is usually god-awful compared to FoF. Ok, I may be exagerating a little bit but the range is usually shorter and we are talking about ranges so short that it activates the positioning algorithms of the enemies, which, considering the fact the most of the time the group is largely outnumbered, produces cataclysmic results (e.g.: my wizard closes in to put a debuff on a few enemies; one of the enemies disengages from my tank... the tank is engaging this enemy uses an attack of opportunity and then... decides to follow the repositioning target, disengaging from a group of several other enemies and being put down promptly as a result... now my wizard needs to deal on a very short notice with a close single enemy while being in the middle of a casting of a debuff on a group that is no longer on the place he is aiming at...)

 

2) their effects are insignificant - I am fully aware that reducing deflection by those 24 points by blinding an enemy is an accomplishment, in reality the usefulness is questionable, even if I hit multiple targets (which I wont because the AoE is incomensurable to FoF), whats is the point? my only consistent damage dealers are the tank (Edér) who can attack only so many times due to having a heavy armour and Chanter (Kana) who is fighting the stragglers and trying not to go down, so before an affected target is killed off, the debuff just expires.

 

While there may be uses for most of the spells, for me it is just not worth the associated risks and uncertainties... it is just safer substract 3-4 significant chunks of health from a large group of enemies by casting 2 FoFs by 2 mages (as was pointed out - actually killing enemies is also a very efficient crowd control).

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