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TL;DR at the end of the post

 

Question 1

A reasonable question I asked while playing my Wizard main was "Why do I have access to just 4 spells per level, when Priests and Druids get 9-7?".

No doubt many players ask this, and probably answer by saying "Wizards get more spells to choose from, so it balances that greater variety by having fewer available at one time".

 

It's true, I did a count and found that Wizards have 67 spells available to them while Priests and Druids have 45 each.

 

Supposedly, if you want as many spells as a Priest or Druid during a fight, you'll manage more than one grimoire and swap them in combat. Grimoires will also contain no more than four spells per level. By level 12 you'll have access to 24 spells per book, compared to the 45 constantly available spells for the other two casters (you would need 4 grimoires to make all spells at all levels accessible, as levels 1 and 2 have 14 spells each).

 

I never felt the need for more than one grimoire in the entirety of the game. I chose the four best spells per level and did pretty well with my selection. Maybe I didn't feel the need for another grimoire when I had Aloth in my party, but Aloth's grimoire always mirrored my own 75% or more. Certainly there were times I coulda used a spell or two from another book, but weighing up the benefits of acting now vs delay while swapping and then swapping back to my best spells meant I just didn't bother with another book.

 

The sad thing is that combat with magic-users became much more entertaining from level 10 onwards. Getting an entire level of spells per-encounter rather than per-rest made me stop holding on to spell uses "just in case" I want them in the next 2-3 combats before I rested. Spells became much more available and dispensable, much like the Cipher's focus abilities that continuously renew.

 

Question 2

This lead me to my next question about grimoires: "Why do I have limited uses per rest?". In the old DnD paradigm, cast spells were immediately forgotten until resting unless more of that spell was prepared. At rest, the Wizard would re-memorise the spells from their spellbook. Clearly level 10+ Wizards don't have any problem remembering the first two tiers of spells.

 

So if Wizards are carrying their grimoires into battle and casting them from the book, what is the uses-per-rest limitation for them?

 

Thinking about these mechanics made me want to see the Wizard spell system get an overhaul to help differentiate them from their Druid and Priest kin. I wanted to see them as these accumulators of vast arcane knowledge, with extraordinarily powerful or useful spells available to them, and seemingly unlimited energy at their finger tips - so long as it was in fact at their fingertips!

 

Revamp?

So I came up with the idea of getting rid of the "four spells per level" number and seeing grimoires as magical devices that are crafted using arcane methods and ingredients to be able to store multiple pages of magical scrolls together.

 

For whatever reason, in the POE world magical scrolls normally get destroyed or consumed when they are cast. However, a grimoire uses its special casing to be able to keep different scrolls bound close together without magically reacting to each other, and also prevent them from being consumed when being cast.

 

A Wizard therefore is a learned individual, capable of reading and understanding spells, and keep them together in his or her book for very easy access in times of need.

 

The combat difference between these grimoires and the current paradigm is that a grimoire is built to only hold so many magical pages together. Spells are kept in the grimoire for combat reference, but the more complex or powerful the spell is (i.e., the more change in the world that the spell creates), the more pages that spell will take up in the grimoire.

 

What you'd have is a numeric-volume system much like the enchanting system whereby a grimoire of certain quality can fit combinations of different spells up to the page limit for that book.

 

Example

Let's say a starting Wizard has a starting grimoire that fits 6 pages, and these are the page counts for the following spells (all these numbers are all just figurative placeholders):

1 - Arkemyr's Dazzling Lights

4 - Chill Fog

1 - Conelhaut's Parasitic Staff

1 - Eldritch Aim

4 - Fan of Flames

3 - Ghost Blades

2 - Jolting Touch

1 - Kalakoth's Sunless Grasp

3 - Minoletta's Minor Missiles

 

This book can take any number of these spells up to 6 pages. To get more spells will require a better made book, or keeping another grimoire or two at hand with a different configuration. Each higher spell Tier requires 1-2 more pages per spell than the last tier.

 

Also, as the Wizard levels up, they no longer need so many notes for lower level spells, and lose a page per spell per tier in a tiered structure from about level 8 or 10. So at level 8 all Level 1 spells need 1 less page. At level 9 all Level 1 and Level 2 spells lose a page. At level 10 all Level 1, 2, and 3 lose a page, etc etc. This means by Level 10 a few Level 1 spells are fully known and don't take up space in this Wizard's spellbook (i.e., they know it well enough they no longer need to refer to notes), and by Level 12, all Level 1 spells and some Level 2 spells are fully known etc, etc. .

 

What's the Benefit?

What helps balance this page count mechanic is that Wizards no longer need to rest to restore spell uses. In fact, Wizards can cast these spells as many times as they want in combat. There is no per-rest or per-encounter counter for the spell levels.

HOWEVER

As soon as a Wizard repeats a casting (the second, third, fourth time they cast any spell), they get the attention of foes and need to prepare to defend themselves. After all, the Wizard throwing all fireballs is guaranteed to get the ire of all enemies!

 

This means that a Wizard should diversify in their spell rotation or have defensive spells to deal with the consequences of drawing attention to themselves.

(Ideally, repeat castings cause the Wizard to glow brighter and brighter. Enemy AI would be designed that they aren't likely to keep casting the same spell unless necessary, but they will still start glowing like a beacon to everyone).

 

Endless casts, but "repeat casting" aggro

So a Wizard could cast

missile, chill fog, fleet feet,

[missile], chill fogfleet feet,

[missile], chill fog, jolting touch, jolting touch, jolting touch,

[jolting touch], missile,

and the aggro would only be gained on the second and third cast of missile, and the fourth cast of jolting touch, and the fifth cast of whatever, presuming the Wizard has lived that long (an aggro on the second cast of a spell, then when any spell has been cast 3 times, then when any spell has been cast 4 times, etc).

 

Ultimately, as the Wizard accumulates more arcane knowledge and spells, they are more likely going to carry multiple grimoires and swap them in combat to reach the spells they need.

They can also find grimoires of better quality to take extra pages. After all, that one extra page capacity might be all the difference between needing to swap books or having everything desirable fit in the one book. Boss Wizards are also going to carry their powerful big spells (that you'll learn from them) in one book, and will also do grimoire swapping to get to their lower level spells. This makes for a great lamplighting in combat to say that a big spell may be coming up.

 

TL;DR

  • Wizards get less spells available to them in combat than Priests and Druids, and getting more means swapping books in and out. Despite having more spells in the game, Wizards are hadicapped in combat compared to other spell casters.
  • In DnD Wizards forgot spells after casting and would rest to re-memorise them. This isn't DnD, and PoE Wizards cast from books, not memory. Spells-per-level-per-rest doesn't make sense for PoE.
  • Spell-casting gets most fun at level 10/12 when spells become less of a commodity (per-encounter spells for tier 1/2 rather than per-rest)
  • Suggestion to make Wizards match game lore, have more their own style rather than same spells-per-rest as Priest/Druid.
  • Copy the Weapon Enchanting system and give every grimoire a number of pages it can hold, and every spell the number of pages it will take up in the grimoire.
  • Stronger spells and higher tier spells require more pages. Higher level Wizards need less and less pages for low tier spells the higher they level.
  • Wizards can cast spells as much as they want. There are no per-encounter or per-rest uses for spells.
  • The first time a spell is cast for the second time in combat, the Wizard gains aggro from all the enemies. The first time a spell is cast for the third time in combat, the same thing happens, and so on. It's not per spell, just once at the second repeat, once at the third repeat, etc.
  • This system means that Wizards:
  1. look for better grimoires that hold more pages (spells, or spell combinations).
  2. need to think about their strategy of how to fit the best spells in each book
  3. are more likely to carry and use secondary or tertiary grimoires
  4. can cast as much as they want and no longer need to withhold spell uses for potential future battles that may never need them
  5. need to rotate their spells and use a diverse mix OR have defensive spells to deal with aggro when it happens.
  6. bosses will swap grimoires in battle and keep the most powerful spells in the best grimoires.
Edited by FacesOfMu
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This seems overly complicated and generally unfeasible with the current game mechanics, not to mention not needed.

 

With your system you'd just spam your most powerful spell every fight, every time. Who cares if the monsters get angry if they are all dead?

 

At least now you need to make some choices as to what spells to carry in your book, perhaps even use scouting to see what lies ahead and adjust which grimoire you use. If you self regulate and limit your rests it adds a strategic component to spell use.

 

If you want to cast spells all the time get a cipher.

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This seems overly complicated and generally unfeasible with the current game mechanics, not to mention not needed.

 

With your system you'd just spam your most powerful spell every fight, every time. Who cares if the monsters get angry if they are all dead?

 

At least now you need to make some choices as to what spells to carry in your book, perhaps even use scouting to see what lies ahead and adjust which grimoire you use. If you self regulate and limit your rests it adds a strategic component to spell use.

 

If you want to cast spells all the time get a cipher.

 

I hear you saying that it should not be possible to spam one spell that is so powerful that you don't need any others. I completely agree with that, and I think there's some serious balancing issues in the current tier system for all 3 of the major casters. As it is, I am already overusing the Priest's Iconic Projection to get through almost every mob at the moment (level 2, straight line, wide ally-aoe heal and foe-aoe dmg). And remember, the designers have already implemented spells-per-encounter for Tiers 1 and 2! This already means being able to cast the same spell 6 times in a row (Iconic Projection, Slicken, Dancing Bolts, etc) to great effect. Whether it's 6 casts per encounter, 3 spell casts per rest, or unlimited casts, if there are any "clear the board" type spells that can be used 3-6 times to win most fights, then the skills need to be re-balanced.

 

Frankly one of the things I love about PoE's combat system is the dual-ring, friendly-fire targeting system. Having to pick the right spell based on area size, friendly fire size, cast time and cast range is a wonderful method of getting players to really think about all the possibilities, making predictions, and optimising the results. Targeting and spell effect sizes really gets my mind working on joyful, intriguing strategy! :w00t:

 

So if the skills were set right so that there was no one "golden bullet spell" to keep casting, then my suggestion boils down to challenging why the game is the way it is currently, and seeing how it can be better. If the skills get their due balance, then we still have two issues: Why do Wizards restore spells at rest when they are reading from books? And why do they get 4 per level, and not more and not less? The first question is not just about how much they can cast in combat, but it's about the lore of the game, too. The second question is about questioning arbitrary numbers that are in very stark contrast to what's available for the other two major casters.

 

You're right that currently you need to choose your spells and do your best to predict what will be wanted between now and the next rest. In a system where you may be able to fit fewer "powerful" spells in one book, or fit lots of low level spells around one big one, or spread them out across several books, you'd still need to make these discerning choices. Page capacity on grimoires would free the Wizard from the irrelevant limitation of casts-per-day, while still not having a golden bullet for every occassion, and not having one grimoire that fits all the best spells.

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Switching spells isn't complicated enough to require multiple grimoires, just choose according to the region and potential battles you will be facing. How often do you find yourself using all the Druid/Priest spells for a specific area?

I take it you haven't had much need to switch grimoires, either?

 

For the Druid and Priest spells I am pretty glad I don't have to prepare them in advance. And that's good considering most of the valuable protective Priest spells are very specific to enemies, and I often don't realise how valuable some of their spells are until I am looking to counter something an enemy has done.

 

If I had to prepare Druid spells, I think I'd do the same as my Wizard and just get some great favourites and never bother changing for the rest. I'm still mighty glad I don't have to prepare them and really enjoy checking the AOE ranges to find the one that I want. :dancing:

Edited by FacesOfMu
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Switching spells isn't complicated enough to require multiple grimoires, just choose according to the region and potential battles you will be facing. How often do you find yourself using all the Druid/Priest spells for a specific area?

I take it you haven't had much need to switch grimoires, either?

 

For the Druid and Priest spells I am pretty glad I don't have to prepare them in advance. And that's good considering most of the valuable protective Priest spells are very specific to enemies, and I often don't realise how valuable some of their spells are until I am looking to counter something an enemy has done.

 

If I had to prepare Druid spells, I think I'd do the same as my Wizard and just get some great favourites and never bother changing for the rest.

 

 

Nope, never found a need to switch grimoires mid-fight. It's unnecessary when stealth is so lenient that it allows players to scout out an entire encounter before initiating. I just switch spells out at that time before engaging if necessary.

Edited by View619
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I think there are some good ideas here, but the specific mechanic being proposed has lots of issues.

  1. Trying to cram your powerful spells into a single Grimoire sounds like trying to solve a knapsack problem, i.e. not an enjoyable activity at all. I don't think game mechanics should reward the players for doing unenjoyable things.
  2. Pissing off monsters and/or glowing by casting the same spell many times sounds kind of silly and contrived, and would be perceived as a way of punishing the player for trying to play the game the best he can.
  3. While many low-level spells remain useful at high levels, spamming high-level spells is generally a lot more powerful, and the ability to do so makes low-level spells useless. For example, there is little reason to cast Slicken when for the same price you can cast Gaze of the Adragan.

However, I do think the following aspects are interesting:

  1. Spellbooks are crafted, like weapons and armor, and can have special qualities.
  2. You have a shared pool of spells each spellbook can hold, rather than a fixed 4 spells per level. 
  3. Special qualities increase the number of spells a book can hold.

What about the following system:

  1. Each spellbook has a certain number of spell slots. Each spell slot can be used to prepare any spell of any level. The number of spell slots starts out at say 6, and increases by 3/2 (rounded down) each time you gain a level. I'm not sure what explanation can be used for this automatic expansion. 
  2. Spell books can have a variety of unique special qualities, such as: Overseeing (+10% AoE), Eternal (+20% spell duration), Volcanic (+35% fire damage), of Speed (+20% casting speed), etc. These are found in the uniquely named spell books you sometimes find in the world. You can also buy such spell books.
  3. Spell books have more standard special qualities that can be added through crafting, and increase the number of spell slots: Extended (+25% spell slots), Expanded (+50% spell slots), etc.
  4. Switching spell books takes twice as long as switching weapon sets, rather than 5 times as long.
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But... WHY?

I do not think that this ideas focus on things that matter.

I do not think that Wizard spellcasting is weaker than Druid/Priest.

Ciphers have even smaller spell selection as wizards, yet are as much useful.

Generally full spellcasters are extremly powerfull from level 10+.

I am not interested in fit the spells in the book minigame, it is boring and stupid. Filling 4 slots, or combining chants is as much as i can bear.

 

Drawback "gets attencion from enemies" is worst drawback. They can't run if they have no legs (or are slicken, paralyzed, webed). Or if they come that is even better (fan of flames is so hot).

 

You want special Grimoire? Just add more talents:

- Your spells have 10% larger aoe.

- Your healing spells are more effective

- Your spells (Necrotic theme) are better (longer duration, larger aoe,more dmg)

...

 

Do not fix what is not broken.

There is enought important things to do to keep busy till next summer.

 

You want refreshing spells?

Blood Magic (talent) - sacrifize your health/endurance to restore last casted spell slot. Amount of endurance depends on spell level.

Which is totally overpowered from the same reasons OP idea is.

Edited by evilcat
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No, that's a bad idea which would function poorly.

 

More importantly, nothing like it will ever be implemented by Obsidian in a million years - so unless you're looking to do a huge amount of modding, it's not really worth going into details.

 

In DnD Wizards forgot spells after casting and would rest to re-memorise them. This isn't DnD, and PoE Wizards cast from books, not memory. Spells-per-level-per-rest doesn't make sense for PoE.

 

PoE wizards use their personal spiritual power to cast spells. After doing that a certain amount, they get tired and are unable to do it more.

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Generally for role playing and flavor, I like the Planescape Torment dialogue system concerning the grimoire or magic spellbook. If they could make something like that into a game mechanic, it would be even better.

 

There's always IE mod for people who want to go back to a more familiar magic system.

 

An example of a rp/mechanics power system would be to give Aloth an extra spell slot that he can cast in emergencies, but as a result of over taxing his inner soul power, the other X comes out.  Which might cause something interesting to happen in combat.

 

Other comments here 

Edited by Ymarsakar
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I think there are some good ideas here, but the specific mechanic being proposed has lots of issues.

  1. Trying to cram your powerful spells into a single Grimoire sounds like trying to solve a knapsack problem, i.e. not an enjoyable activity at all. I don't think game mechanics should reward the players for doing unenjoyable things.
  2. Pissing off monsters and/or glowing by casting the same spell many times sounds kind of silly and contrived, and would be perceived as a way of punishing the player for trying to play the game the best he can.
  3. While many low-level spells remain useful at high levels, spamming high-level spells is generally a lot more powerful, and the ability to do so makes low-level spells useless. For example, there is little reason to cast Slicken when for the same price you can cast Gaze of the Adragan.

However, I do think the following aspects are interesting:

  1. Spellbooks are crafted, like weapons and armor, and can have special qualities.
  2. You have a shared pool of spells each spellbook can hold, rather than a fixed 4 spells per level. 
  3. Special qualities increase the number of spells a book can hold.

What about the following system:

  1. Each spellbook has a certain number of spell slots. Each spell slot can be used to prepare any spell of any level. The number of spell slots starts out at say 6, and increases by 3/2 (rounded down) each time you gain a level. I'm not sure what explanation can be used for this automatic expansion. 
  2. Spell books can have a variety of unique special qualities, such as: Overseeing (+10% AoE), Eternal (+20% spell duration), Volcanic (+35% fire damage), of Speed (+20% casting speed), etc. These are found in the uniquely named spell books you sometimes find in the world. You can also buy such spell books.
  3. Spell books have more standard special qualities that can be added through crafting, and increase the number of spell slots: Extended (+25% spell slots), Expanded (+50% spell slots), etc.
  4. Switching spell books takes twice as long as switching weapon sets, rather than 5 times as long.

 

Yup, you and evilcat are probably right about knapsack management. It's bit of extra pain for less benefit.

 

Your pooled slots idea sounds workable, though. Certain slots would act like the metamagic talents from DnD (one slot makes that slotted spell twice as fast, one slot makes that spell have x1.5 range, most are unaffected, etc etc), then it would be awesome fun to find spellbooks and examine them for their combinations of metamagic slots to see if they are strategically better than what we've got. The metamagic slots could also have rarity, so that grimoires with more powerful metamagic slots were harder to find.

 

Perhaps the lore reasoning is that some spell pages are made out of rarer, runed materials that empower the magic cast from them.

Edited by FacesOfMu
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"if there are any "clear the board" type spells that can be used 3-6 times to win most fights, then the skills need to be re-balanced."

 

I disagree. I'd say if there is any spell that you never need more than once a fight, it needs to be re-balanced. Rather than make each spell less effective, less desirable, and less wanted you should make *EVERY* spell the kind of spell you want to use 3-6 times in a fight....but only be able to pick a few of them.

Edited by Katarack21
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I don't entirely agree with the OP's methodology, but I do agree that Grimoires should be more useful/important than they currently are. As it stands, they are one of the most forgettable items in the game. Among other things, they should have actual mods and properties to them and should be enchantable - though, to be fair, the enchanting as a whole in Pillars is a huge letdown.

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I don't entirely agree with the OP's methodology, but I do agree that Grimoires should be more useful/important than they currently are. As it stands, they are one of the most forgettable items in the game. Among other things, they should have actual mods and properties to them and should be enchantable - though, to be fair, the enchanting as a whole in Pillars is a huge letdown.

 

In White March there are two special grimoires with a few unique - otherwise unlearnable - super-spells in them. They don't provide any bonuses beyond that, but I find it a step in the right direction.

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An alternative to making all spells unlimited casts per battle, they could be made 1 cast per encounter. You might try sticking to one constant rotation, but based on foe resistances, spread, and all the usual combat variables, the Wizard will need to plan out the best order of spells.

And yes, many spells may need to be rebalanced or diversified in damage type, target, range, etc. That's necessary anyway.

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