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Bonus Spell Talents Suck: Make Them A Spell Mastery?


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So, the bonus spell talents are really underwhelming. I can't see myself ever taking them. If they were spell mastery instead, I could see myself getting use out of them. If that seems too powerful, have them reduce the number of memorized spells by one, so you'd have the same number of spells available if you wanted to dump them all in a single encounter. That way they'd just help you in the encounters where you weren't planning on dumping the entire payload, but wouldn't help at all during the really hard fights. I'd still probably take them if they were like that, but I really don't like Vancian spellcasting mechanics.

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I disagree. Some of those tiers (Wizard level 3, for the bouncing magic missile and fireball for example) is great for an extra spell slot. I enjoy spell slots so long as specific spells are not tied to each slot (e.g. D&D 3e), but instead may be used by any slot (e.g. D&D 5e). Slots are just another resource economy and if you remove them, you're really just hiding them with a new name (e.g. D&D 4e).

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While I don't think there's MUCH point in the bonus spell talents for levels 1-3... there's also no reason not to have them as options? I mean, on my druid, I've considered picking up the extra level 2 spell talent (over the level 3 spell talent) because there are more situationally useful spells there.

On the other hand... a bonus level 4 or 5 spell is a LOT of damage/control (especially for druid/priest) and considering that those talents don't have pre-requisites they're pretty useful given the scope of the game. I expect the bonus 4 and 5 spells will fall off in Pillars of Eternity 2 but are quite strong as the game is currently.

Honestly though... it wouldn't be unusual for certain level spell talents to stay relevant - similar to how Mirror Image was ALWAYS useful in BG2 or the sheer difficulty in getting extra level 4 spell slots for mages in BG2.

Having said ALL that... I'm also not entirely opposed to some sort of Spell Mastery talent option. I just think it'd be clunky to work in with the passive Spell Mastery progression that characters already get.

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So, the bonus spell talents are really underwhelming. I can't see myself ever taking them. If they were spell mastery instead, I could see myself getting use out of them.

I find Bonus Tier 4 spell talent useful for priests, Tier 3 for wizards, even as it is now.

But other talents indeed, do feel underwhelming.

 

On the other side, if these talents would both add a spell-use and make it mastered, it would be an auto-pick.

The middle ground could be if current [bonus Spell] talents would be left as they are, while a series of [Extra Mastery Usage] talents be added in addition to them.

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Personally, I'd leave them as is. Maybe not all of them are top-tier picks, but to say they suck is nonsense (and besides, not every talent can be at the top of the list anyway). They're perfectly useful to increase spell availability (especially if you don't like a narcoleptic resting scheme in your gameplay), and I expect there are plenty of people who do use them. 

 

Aside from that, turning them into additional spell mastery (or adding a spell mastery talent) would devalue the spell mastery you get as an automatic class talent, which would be undesirable as well I feel. In terms of adding more spell-related talents, it might perhaps be more interesting to have some that improve the effects of spells in some way; either individually or at a group level (akin to Weapon Focus etc.), giving them longer durations or whatever.  

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