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Low-level spells becoming per-encounter at high levels


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You know what I'm talking about.

 

Now, it could be argued that even the very idea is flawed from the start, but this isn't what this thread is about. What this thread is about is this:

 

Why in the name of Wael does the entire spell level become per-encounter all at once?

 

This is an insanely large jump. Why not give us one per-encounter level 1 spell at, say, level 6, then one every level after that?

 

Obsidian pls.

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I sure do see this posted a lot. Lots of people struggle with the early Wizard gameplay and find it dull.

 

Personally I'm not in that camp but it might be worth looking into.

 

At the moment there are talents to grant an extra spell per rest of lower level Wizard spells. It might remain within balance if these talents' extra cast was per encounter?

 

IE:

 

At level 4 Castette Fizgabbins can cast 4 level 1 and 3 level 2 spells per rest.

 

If she takes the extra spell cast talent, she can then cast:

 

4+1 level one and 3 level 2 spells.

 

Works just the same, but the +1 spell cast counter for the talent is per-encounter. So from rest if Gabby only casts 1 lvl 1 spell she's back to 5 at the end of the fight. If she casts 2, then she dips into her per-rest reserves and after the encounter has 4 level 1 spells to cast. 

 

Extra spell, minimum number of spells at the encounter start. Rings of Wizardry would probably have to still just give a per-rest extra spell though?

Edited by Hogfather
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You know what I'm talking about.

 

Now, it could be argued that even the very idea is flawed from the start, but this isn't what this thread is about. What this thread is about is this:

 

Why in the name of Wael does the entire spell level become per-encounter all at once?

 

This is an insanely large jump. Why not give us one per-encounter level 1 spell at, say, level 6, then one every level after that?

 

Obsidian pls.

I agree, it should start sooner and you should only be able to choose one spell and have it as once per encounter.
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I agree with you that it is a substantial jump and it fairly dramatically changes the nature of the game for Druids, Priests and Wizards. From levels 1 to 8, the default behavior for all of these classes is to not to use spells unless you are reasonably confident that the alternative is either defeat or a significant loss of Health. You start off with the per-encounter abilities (if any) and maybe put in a spell if the situation for it is perfect or if things aren't going as well as you expected. At level 9, the strategy for all of these classes suddenly switches to starting with your level 1 spells every encounter. I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or not -- on the one hand, it's certainly a huge difference, but on the other, it does keep the gameplay from becoming stale.

 

Choosing one individual spell would be very annoying -- the spells are not abilities, only a few are non-situational and this would make them even more powerful. Regenerating one spell from that level at the end of combat would be a much better idea assuming the regeneration started earlier (e.g. you get 1 level 1 spell back at level 6, 2 at level 7, 3 at level 8 and all of them at level 9).

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It seems there's a little misunderstanding.

 

I'm not suggesting that any specific spell (that you'd get or not get to choose) would become per-encounter. I'm suggesting that you'd have, for example, two per-encounter and two per-rest level one spell slots. This way you could always use two arbitrary level one spells for free in every encounter, but the third and fourth would consume a per-rest slot each.

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I've mentioned this myself a few times now, once I realized that it was in the game (it never was a thing in the Backer Beta, because it was capped at lvl cool.png.

I haven't harped on it much, because I'm actually fairly confident that the developers at some point has to realize that it has to change. It will simply destroy anything even remotely pretending to resemble balance at higher levels, past level 12.

Not only is it disproportionate because it represents an unparalleled jump in relative power compared to non-casters, who get nowhere near as many or diverse Abilities, and certainly not as blanket Per Encounter Abilities, but the spellcasters themselves will be at odds with eachother, balance wise - primarily Priests & Druids vs. Wizards.

First, some facts for those that do not know what the issue is about:

  • At level 9, all spellcasters (Priest, Druid, Wizard) can use their rank 1 spells 4 times Per Encounter, instead of Per Rest.
  • At level 11, all spellcasters (Priest, Druid, Wizard) can now also use their rank 2 spells 4 times Per Encounter, instead of Per Rest.
  • If you have Talents that previously added +1 Per Rest for a spell rank, that rank now gains +1 Per Encounter instead.

This is a crazy jump in power, and if the formula continues like this, it means that, even if we assume that each expansion (two are planned) only increases the level cap by 1 or 2 levels, spellcasters will have 4 Per Rest spells of rank 3 at level 13, and 4 Per Rest spells of rank 4 at level 15.

They also continue to progress in terms of Per Rest Spells for those ranks that aren't already converted from Per Rest to Per Encounter, and they continue to get new Ranks. Spellcasters have a theoretical 10 different spell ranks at a theoretical class level of 20 in the system.

Nothing is comparable to that. Nothing. There's a good argument that although spellcasters get boring levelups every other level, because they mostly get a new rank of spells and make no real choices except maybe where to place skill points, but there's an equally good argument that spellcasters already have unequalled jumps in power, gaining a flexibility any other class can only dream off in terms of abilities. Most classes gain a new Per-Encounter ability that they can use 1-2 times Per Encounter, or maybe 1-2 times Per Rest.

At levle 9, spellcasters get their entire range of spells 4 times per encounter. Put that in perspective.

Also, this interferes with some of the primary arguments for ditching the "Combat Only" flags on Abilities and Spells, because that in turn ties into the whole issue on self-buffs, but the reason I'm mentioning this is primarily because that is completely beside the point. I'm lampshading this before it becomes an issue. If we completely ignore the whole argument on "Combat Only" mechanics and pre-buff issues (or lack thereof) this system is still incredibly troublesome.

Getting back to Priests & Druids vs. Wizards, Priests and Druids are free to use their entire spellbook at any time, and can pick and choose what they want to use at a moment's notice. This is also part of the problem.

When the Wizard gets to level 9, he gets his rank 1 spells as Per Encounter, 4 times Per Encounter.

But the Wizard can only hold 4 spells at a time (as a side note, I always thought it was weird that this never ever progressed either, but w/e) per spell rank in his grimoire. He has to choose.

Priests? Druids? Choose freely for the entire rank. 4 times Per Encounter.

Ultimately, I'd prefer to see different ways to differentiate between these classes; I don't think that this same, blanket system should apply to all 3 of them. Give Priests Per-Encounter Abilities based on their God(ess). Give Druids additional Spiritshifts and Wildshapes. Give Wizards the ability to turn 1 of their rank 1 spells into 1-Per-Encounter at level 7, and then 1 of their rank 2 (or lower) spells into 1-Per-Encounter at level 9 (and up the uses of the rank 1 Per-Encounter to 2-Per-Encounter).

Or something.

But this thing, this here, like it works right now? God no. Nononononono. Please no.

Edit:

It seems there's a little misunderstanding.

I'm not suggesting that any specific spell (that you'd get or not get to choose) would become per-encounter. I'm suggesting that you'd have, for example, two per-encounter and two per-rest level one spell slots. This way you could always use two arbitrary level one spells for free in every encounter, but the third and fourth would consume a per-rest slot each.


This is an excellent solution. Priests and Druids do not have spellbooks/spell slots like that, but I would love this for the Wizard. Suddenly one of the slots in the grimoire gets a golden glow, or a new kind of slot opens up, and oh, look, anything in it can now be used Per-Encounter.

Edited by Luckmann
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@Luckmann - agreed. This isn't something that is hugely balance-upsetting in PoE 1 (though still quite a bit tbh), but it has extremely troubling implications for the expansions and sequels (much like the quadratic XP curve, but worse). Hopefully they have a plan...? I'd agree that toning it down to 1 or 2 casts of each level per encounter would be extremely warranted though.

 

Part of the problem is that (as in D&D), the non-spellcasting classes don't scale as well. They get more powerful, but tend to lack the huge variety and power of the spellcasters. This is probably solvable by just giving them more and better abilities but then you've got a bit of a power creep issue..

 

I dunno. I sure hope they know what they're doing... I want to see many, many sequels. :p

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I think that balance for trash mob encounters is a chimera; for a variety of reasons, boss encounters should be the gatekeepers for difficulty.  There are many reasons:

 

1) They can be balanced assuming that the players will throw everything that they have into the encounter; so per rest vs. per encounter is not relevant.

2) Terrain can be controlled, avoiding a huge player advantage.

 

Given that you can rest basically at will (if willing to run back to the inn), the per encounter vs. per rest is simply a matter of convenience.  And it really does speed up the generic mob encounters at high level; given that you're supposed to be powerful at that point, I don't see this as a fatal issue.

 

On the flipside, I want the boss encounters to be truly challenging and require you to use all of the tools at your disposal.  Reluctantly, I'd even like to see them level scaled at PoTD.

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Thanks for the extensive write-up, Luckmann, you pretty much nailed it. Not much to add there.

 

Things will definitely get interesting with expansions and sequels. It's clear the old wisdom still holds true for PoE: combat classes progress linearly, wizards progress quadratically.

 

I hope Obsidian isn't afraid to make big changes when they finally realize it's the right thing to do. And just to be clear: even my suggestion was nothing more than a quick band-aid solution, not something that would truly fix the underlying problem.

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Probably because it would trivialize the game to have wizard/druid/priest spells become per encounter early.

 

The reason they are so powerful is because they are per rest. Having slicken and fog available for every fight makes early encounters very easy.

If you want an easy experience, then play on easy mode where you have a lot of camping supplies. Implementing this fix would trivialize hard mode and make having limited camping supplies not make much different.

 

TLDR: If you want this, play on a mode where you can rest often. It's the same thing.

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I would love having a separate progression table for spell/encounter.

 

It's boring spamming level 1 spells @ level 9+, and it's boring hanging back with a ranged weapon plinking up until then on most fights. Would much rather have a mix throughout the game, but lower total spells/encounter.

 

I made a suggestion awhile back to having spell levels per encounter allowing more flexibility in how you use them -

 

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/75055-spell-levels-per-encounter/

 

Although it has some flaws and I don't like on second thought, haha. Problem being that level 1 spells are not half as powerful as level 2 and so cost : benefit ratios don't fit at all with spell level cost with this system.

 

So uh... nvm. I still want more to do on non-boss fights for my casters though. Shifting, Arcane Assault, Radiance/Interdiction don't cut it for me. Especially since going into melee is often borderline suicide for druids on PotD.

Edited by Odd Hermit
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You know what I'm talking about.

 

Now, it could be argued that even the very idea is flawed from the start, but this isn't what this thread is about. What this thread is about is this:

 

Why in the name of Wael does the entire spell level become per-encounter all at once?

 

This is an insanely large jump. Why not give us one per-encounter level 1 spell at, say, level 6, then one every level after that?

 

Obsidian pls.

In a sense this is bringing some of the level advancement feel of dnd in. Wizards tend to be useless at low levels much weaker than fighters etc., but at high levels they are to be one step away from becoming demi gods. At least I think this is the reasoning behind it.

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Probably because it would trivialize the game to have wizard/druid/priest spells become per encounter early.

 

The reason they are so powerful is because they are per rest. Having slicken and fog available for every fight makes early encounters very easy.

 

If you want an easy experience, then play on easy mode where you have a lot of camping supplies. Implementing this fix would trivialize hard mode and make having limited camping supplies not make much different.

 

TLDR: If you want this, play on a mode where you can rest often. It's the same thing.

 

Uh... what? You're totally missing the point.

 

The point is simply this: give us the per-encounter spells gradually, not all at once.

 

You're probably confused by the number 6 in my post. I'm not sure what I was thinking there, should've been 8 or something - but I think it was pretty clear it was just an example.

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Probably because it would trivialize the game to have wizard/druid/priest spells become per encounter early.

 

The reason they are so powerful is because they are per rest. Having slicken and fog available for every fight makes early encounters very easy.

 

If you want an easy experience, then play on easy mode where you have a lot of camping supplies. Implementing this fix would trivialize hard mode and make having limited camping supplies not make much different.

 

TLDR: If you want this, play on a mode where you can rest often. It's the same thing.

 

I don't understand this.  Right now you can choose, at any time, to walk back to an inn and get nice stat bonuses, resting at will,  You can delay this a bit with cheap camping supplies.    In fact, you should do this - ideally you're resting when you've used your resources.   Slightly faster clearing of trash encounters is really the only difference.

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You know what I'm talking about.

 

Now, it could be argued that even the very idea is flawed from the start, but this isn't what this thread is about. What this thread is about is this:

 

Why in the name of Wael does the entire spell level become per-encounter all at once?

 

This is an insanely large jump. Why not give us one per-encounter level 1 spell at, say, level 6, then one every level after that?

 

Obsidian pls.

In a sense this is bringing some of the level advancement feel of dnd in. Wizards tend to be useless at low levels much weaker than fighters etc., but at high levels they are to be one step away from becoming demi gods. At least I think this is the reasoning behind it.

 

 

Not even spellcasters in 3.5 Ed. have this kind of jump, though. Also, I thought we were trying to get away from that, anyway?

 

I don't think it necessarily means anything for the expansions. They don't have to make level 3 spells per encounter at level 13, they can make it higher so that it's balanced.

Well then it's a problem because it's arbitrary and nonsensical. A game should play by it's own rules, not assign things seemingly at random.

 

So yeah, they could do that, but that's really just acknowledging that there's a systemic issue and then instead of fixing it, let's put a band-aid on it and break the mold because lolrandum I dunno lol.

Edited by Luckmann

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Really hoping the devs are taking these things into consideration. The underlying encounter system is great and has so much potential, but if it remains like this, with all these issues, then it will be a disaster going forward. 

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I would love "encounter" to end up being a set time period(60s perhaps) instead of in/out of combat. This would prevent a lot of cheese, like stacking spells like chill fog, tanglefoot, etc. in front of a fight pre-encounter and instantly gaining those back.

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Oh, please. Even well before lvl 9 the three casters classes already have huge array of spells available. There is no need to memorize spells beforehand, and only Wizard has a slight compensation for that in having max 4 spells available at the time, but what people overlook is how EXTREMELY powerful certain spell combinations are. So, you really don't need more than one or two higher level casts to completely dominate a single encounter. That way you can easily survive even on two supplies for a very long time, and yes, have caster actively involved in every encounter.

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That would do nothing as people would just wait 60s. It would just make it more tedious.

 

Those spells don't have 60+ second durations.

 

Plus there's fast mode for when encounters are close together.

 

Could also be 30s(about the duration of most field spells), whatever.

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Why does this mechanic even exist? Spellcasters really come into their own at later levels anyway, with natural increases in spells per rest which allow them to spellspam more and more.

 

The entire "spell per encounter" mechanic should be tied to a stake, burned alive, stabbed with a spear, buried, exhumed, put on trial, found guilty of heresy and decapitated. In that order.

 

Or at least removed from the game. :3

 

None of this "gradual" stuff. None of this "talent" stuff. Just gone.

Edited by scrotiemcb
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