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What's up with the Wizard?


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Ok, having played the game for quite a while now, something very odd reared it's head... and that only because I started playing around with something else than a wizard.

 

The Wizards is the ONE class that has the worst starting stats and is one of three classes (Druid, Priest, Wizard) that has to manage a limited number of casts per rest. And while I like the spell learning and the grimoire, I find that the wizard is severely hampered by it. Compared to any other caster class he is limited to a maximum of four spells per level, while the priest and druid have access to their whole arsenal.

 

And let's face it: Swapping grimoires in combat is not gonna happen, even with Quick Switch the downtime is fatal... at least in my book.

The icing on the cake is that the wizard has usually to get really close for a lot of his spells to use.

Another thing that I found lacking is Arcane Veil. Even upgraded it is not that helpful... unless the Wizard is build with high Perception and Resolve.

You go either full defense or you neglect it entirely.

 

The Druid on the other hand has usually a greater range with his low level spells. And he has access to all of his at any given time, among them also heals and decent spells to hamper his opponents. At level 2 he even gets a summonable blight, which cuts the druids risk to be scratched quite low. And on top of THAT he gets a spiritshift form that can be a bear with an innate DR 10. Butt naked and better protected than most on the battlefield. :blink:

 

Overall, I'd had expected the Wizard to have a bit more oomph in exchange for all his shortcomings.

Instead the Wizard got the short end of the stick. Yes, I know the wizard is still a decent class, but I still think that it is a class that is in odd spot.

Don't get me wrong I love the wizard, but he needs a overhaul in my book.

 

So why do I have the feeling right now that the Wizard is a watered down Druid in this game?

Any oppinions on the matter at hand? Feel free to share.

 

P.S.: I compared the Wizard to the Druid, because that is the closest class in terms of function to it.

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The Wizard rocks.  I've got to level 8 and they vastly increase in power as they level up.  They get to collect spells and swap them in and out to try them out, letting them learn which spells are most effective and tailoring to the opponents you expect to fight (without having to rest like you did in the IE games when you wanted to change your spells).  Swapping Grimoires in combat is doable, you just have to weigh up the options and choose the appropriate time.  His spells are a lot better at controlling and damaging than the others I find, and being per rest becomes less of an issue as you level up due to the fact that you get so many spells (I have four levels of four spells for a total of sixteen spells, while the other characters get like one or two uses of each of their abilities per encounter).  This is before you take into account that the first level spells become PER ENCOUNTER at level 9 followed by the second level spells doing the same at level 11! 

 

The Wizard also does not have to get close for most of his spells, on the contrary most of his spells have decent range on them.  The Grimoire mechanic is the thing that sets the Wizard apart from the others, and it makes them very interesting to play I find, more interesting than just selecting the best spell from a list at least (which usually winds up with you using the same spell a lot anyway).  Arcane Veil could use more work to be fair, I looked at it and was like "naw", but ones like Arcane Blast and Penetrating Blast are awesome and passives that just make the wizard a decent backline fighter whereas the Druid needs to get into the fight in order to make most use of their shapeshifting. 

 

I do think people really need to play Wizards up to a decent level before they write them off.  People claim that they don't have the same power growth they had in the IE games and D&D (start off incredibly weak at low levels but become stupidly powerful at high levels) but my personal experience is that, while the curve has been smoothed out somewhat (you no longer risk dying from a single hit at first level anymore but don't become as overpowered either) it's still there, you do become quite powerful.  Then again, maybe I know nothing...

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You can increase the number of spell per level with items and talents. Also, high level wizards see their low level spells becomes per encounter rather than per rest. And yes, the wizard will become a dreadful machine of doom if let alone on the battlefield. His offensive spells are devastating and can't be compared to the druid. I see the druid role as support, even with his mad spells he can help keep your party alive where the wizard can't.

If it doesn't kill you, it just missed its target.

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They become more powerful at higher levels. Confusion at level 4, Sleep at level 5 and Petrify at level 6 are some of the most powerful spells in the game and can turn a battle around basically on their own. Level 3 also has a decent Haste spell (though like every buff in the game, it suffers from the fact that you have to waste precious time in combat to cast it).

 

The Grimoire mechanic is odd. The Priest and Druid basically work like BG2 Sorcerers, but they choose from any spell on the level and get all of their spells upon leveling up whereas the Wizard is also a BG2 Sorcerer, but restricted to the 4 spells in the Grimoire and forced to pay money to learn spells (and you have to find them in the first place, though it's not that hard). It's also completely unnecessary since the spells are not at all balanced and once you learn to play, it's pretty obvious what are the top 3 on each level (the 4th is basically flavor). Spell selection is more or less a trap for 1st time players. As with many things in the game, I can kind of see what they might going for with this design, but they didn't quite get there.

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Grimoire limits you to 4 spells per level. Why would you need more than 4 different spells of the same level in a single encounter ??? Unless you are strict about no reloading and playing in ironman mode, no point. You only start to feel the limit if you take a class talent for extra spell, or wear a ring that does the same.

 

Unlike Priests and Wizads, Druids don't get any free per-encounter abilities worth mentioning. Spiritshift doesn't scale, deals bad damage against anything with Damage Reduction, and even if you burn two talents to improve it - has short duration. It also disables your armor and shields.

 

Arcane Assault is a very fine per-encounter ability. It inflicts -10 Accuracy penalty, it dazes (-15% attack speed) and does so in an area. Raw damage it deals bypasses any Damage Reduction. Interdiction from priest requires a talent to unlock, and is only really better once you spend another talent point to boost it with Weakening effect.

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The wizard's mechanic is strangely restricting in comparison to Druids and Priests.

For the purpose of crowd control, the wizard is a very good class with some good spells, also his spell selection is quite large - although it's unlikely that one will use more than 3-4 from each level and you need to acquire them first, which is a challenge in itself.

Druids and priests in comparison get them all for free once eligible.

 

I guess that the idea originally was that the large selection (thus flexibility) and the effectiveness of wizard spells are countered by the limited space available in grimoires.

Unfortunately that only works to some extend currently.

Some spells are clearly the superior choice, while others fall somewhat flat, reducing the actually interesting spell selection already.

The number of spells effectively available to the player's wizard also will be lower, since you will need to acquire the spells in some way (enemy caster's grimoires, level up).

Makes me wonder why they aren't available for sale at some place.

 

While the Wizard works as a class, the restriction feels a bit arbitrary in comparison to other classes. I think it would make sense to a) make spells available more easily to the player (e.g. add a shop in Defiance Bay) and b) increase the number of different spells available to the player over the course of the game, either through level-ups or finding/buying improved grimoires with a larger capacity.

Edited by El Zoido
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Hardened Veil and a quick swap to a shield can get a Wizard up to a Fighter's deflection.  More buff spells can put him beyond that.

 

A lot of these supposed problems only exist because of savescumming.  If you were forced to make decisions based on circumstances and not just reload whenever something bad happens (e.g. your Wizard becomes engaged) then you'd see their merit.

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And let's face it: Swapping grimoires in combat is not gonna happen, even with Quick Switch the downtime is fatal... at least in my book.

The icing on the cake is that the wizard has usually to get really close for a lot of his spells to use.

The Grimoire thing was a good idea but badly implemented. I even took Quick Switch and I don't swap them during combat.

Why:

1. Even with talent it takes too long. It should be instant or with a super small cooldown.

2. You cannot queue up new spells on cooldown to start casting as soon as they are ready which means you need to play "pause at right time minigame" which is not optimal or fun

3. Grimoire UI is terrible for switching them. You have to open new ones from inventory screen to check what is in them, there is no way to do that from grimoire screen, when selecting spells into grimoire there is no easy way to know which spells are in other grimoires you have in inventory or quickslots. And you cannot rename Grimoires so you can give them easy to remember names like "Defensive spells" or "Fire Spells".

4. Grimoires themselves give no bonuses to the character. How about they have their own enchantments like +1 second to duration of spell, -2 second to cooldown when switching to this Grimoire, +2 damage with fire spells, -1s to recovery time after casting a spell and so on.

 

I would love if the whole Grimoire system is expanded and fixed so I can take Quick Switch and +2 quick item slots and put 3-4 extra Grimoires in there and have an easy way to manage and switch them and not gimp my wizard at same time.

Edited by archangel979
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To me, it feels like the Wizard in PoE is visiting from a different game.

 

The same class could be exceptional in a D&D game but the Wizard just feels weird in PoE when compared with other casters. The grimoire mechanic is quite poor in several ways:

  • I'm rarely able to choose more than one or two spells per level that are actually useful (or not covered by my Cipher), so 4 slots is wasted
  • I never switch grimoires because there is no need
  • The Wizard abilities are a bit odd - if I need to use them, then it usually means I've already lost the fight and their effect is too weak to matter
  • My Cipher seems to outclass the Wizard when their spells overlap functionally
  • The Wizard has a lot of touch spells - why? This seems like a hangover from D&D that has no place in PoE
  • Friendly fire on spells is arbitrary. Why do the beams and bouncing fireballs damage allies but the bouncing missile does not? Why does concussive missiles damage allies but the bounding missiles pass straight through them with no effect?
  • The best buff spells target only the Wizard

Just my thoughts so far.

 

DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying that Wizards are bad or underpowered, but they feel a bit alien to me within the context of PoE and its other classes.

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The grimore should hold 5-6 spells per level IMO.

 

Otherwise, OP is wrong, Wizard gets dank spells. Self-buff spells for a gish could be better, but the Wizard's debuff ability is exceptional.

 

Cipher is still better though.

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DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying that Wizards are bad or underpowered, but they feel a bit alien to me within the context of PoE and its other classes.

That's good. I want the classes to play differently.

 

 

The grimore should hold 5-6 spells per level IMO.

 

 

I disagree. The wizard is good enough.

Edited by Namutree

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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And let's face it: Swapping grimoires in combat is not gonna happen, even with Quick Switch the downtime is fatal... at least in my book.

The icing on the cake is that the wizard has usually to get really close for a lot of his spells to use.

The Grimoire thing was a good idea but badly implemented. I even took Quick Switch and I don't swap them during combat.

Why:

1. Even with talent it takes too long. It should be instant or with a super small cooldown.

2. You cannot queue up new spells on cooldown to start casting as soon as they are ready which means you need to play "pause at right time minigame" which is not optimal or fun

3. Grimoire UI is terrible for switching them. You have to open new ones from inventory screen to check what is in them, there is no way to do that from grimoire screen, when selecting spells into grimoire there is no easy way to know which spells are in other grimoires you have in inventory or quickslots. And you cannot rename Grimoires so you can give them easy to remember names like "Defensive spells" or "Fire Spells".

4. Grimoires themselves give no bonuses to the character. How about they have their own enchantments like +1 second to duration of spell, -2 second to cooldown when switching to this Grimoire, +2 damage with fire spells, -1s to recovery time after casting a spell and so on.

 

I would love if the whole Grimoire system is expanded and fixed so I can take Quick Switch and +2 quick item slots and put 3-4 extra Grimoires in there and have an easy way to manage and switch them and not gimp my wizard at same time.

 

So we need the ability to rename our grimoires, and we need an auto-pause on grimoire switch completion.  Sounds good to me.

Edited by Wiggum Esquilax
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