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Wizard subclasses


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#1
1varangian

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The Wizard subclass system from the latest video has me worried.

 

E.g. Conjurer gets:

- buff to Conjuration spell power

- Conjure Familiar special ability

- loses access Evocation and Illusion spells

- 20% recovery penalty for non-Conjuration spells

 

Firstly, the subclasses are really cool as a concept. They give flavor to the Wizard beyond the base class. I can already imagine the rivalries and stories between the five schools. I couldn't imagine a reason for not picking a cool subclass with unique powers for my Wizard...until I read the downsides. Arbitrarily losing almost half of your potential spell selection quickly takes the fun out of a Wizard and makes the bland generalist a more attractive option.

 

The "opposing school" mechanic feels like the legacy of AD&D and it's miraculous it is being recreated here. It fails as a concept because you're not really choosing what you want but what you are willing to give up. The long list of spells you lose weighs the most in that decision. You should at least have some control over what you lose i.e. what your Wizard isn't interested in. But choosing those schools doesn't redeem the system either, especially when there are only 5 schools.

 

It doesn't help that the "opposing schools" don't make any sense thematically, like e.g. Creation vs. Destruction would, or some other actual opposites. In PoE2, Conjurers and Transmuters can't cast Fireballs but Illusionists and Enchanters can. What??

 

Suggestion to fix the system:

 

1. No randomly banned schools for subclassed wizards, please. Use a blanket penalty for all spells outside the chosen school instead. Make subclassing a choice of what we want instead of what we don't want to lose.

 

2. Turn the "generalist" concept into a subclass of its own with its own perks. Call it the Arcanist and let the five schools of magic frown at the Arcanists' folly of trying to master everything equally.


Edited by 1varangian, 23 October 2017 - 09:40 AM.

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#2
rjshae

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Presumably the buff to spell power will provide an assist to low Might Wizards. It wouldn't take much: +15% damage is equivalent to +5 Might.

 

There should still be plenty of spells available for Wizard subclasses. However, I think where a big problem will come up is in acquiring grimoires from subclass wizard specialists; many of the spells (~40%) will be unusable.


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#3
Lephys

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At the very least, the 20% penalty and the exclusionary schools seem redundant as penalties go. Also, there is something to say about psychology, and the only negative to a choice being the lack of another choice's benefit. Even though they're functionally the exact same thing, imagine if a Human's racial modifier were -2 Constitution, and a Dwarf's were +/- 0 Constitution, versus a Human's being 0 and a Dwarf's being +2.

 

Anywho, another thing to play with is you could just have specialty spell slots. As any given subclass, maybe you get 3 LvL1 spells per encounter instead of 2, but 2 of them are Conjuration (using your example above)-only. There. Your penalty is that, while you have access to any spells you wish, you can only equip 1 non-(insert school specialization here) spell in each tier.

 

The goal is to make choosing a subclass interestingly distinct, and to have you FOCUS on a particular school of spells. Not to run a political campaign against the other schools once you've chosen one. "Illusion thinks education is dumb. CAST CONJURATION!" ... Heh. "Uhhh, bruh, I already CHOSE Conjuration! I'm gonna cast a lot of Conjuration. You don't need to discourage me from using the spells I DON'T GET A BONUS FROM!"


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#4
1varangian

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I like the idea of specialist Wizards getting access to more powerful spells faster. As in lowering the level of spells from the chosen school by one. Tradeoff could be getting a small power penalty to spells from all other schools.

 

Or having all spells from the chosen school be automatically and always memorized, but getting less slots for other spells. I.e. more spells but less flexible.

 

Both of the above would feel more "specialized" than just getting a % bonus to damage / duration / aoe.


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#5
Lephys

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And/or, using the Empower system, just grant additional Empower uses, but restrict all Empowers to only being usable on your focus School of magic.


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#6
1varangian

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What's the empower system?



#7
PugPug

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It's worth noting that the vanilla classes are meant to be competitive with the subclasses. It's not Baldur's Gate 2.
 
I think the special ability is going to be the a big selling point for the wizard subclasses. We also don't know how big the bonus to the focus school will be, AFAIK.
 
I like the idea of wizard subclasses being so different from one another, but I'll concede they seem to differ more from one another than the subclasses of other classes do.

 

 

  
My concern is that we'll need certain spells for certain encounters and not have access to them. In POE1, you need to paralyze the Sky Dragon, for example. For the fight with Thaos, you need the wizard's Arcane Dampener spell specifically.
 
When I say "need," I mean I am sure someone has done it without them, but yeah basically need. The point is it would suck to have a fight be made much more difficult because you are missing a particular spell. Then again, maybe with wizards, priests and druids no longer getting access to their complete spell lists, they know this and are already making sure it doesn't happen.


Edited by PugPug, 23 October 2017 - 12:11 PM.


#8
Abel

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If i remember correctly, it's a per rest ability allowing you reinforce the power of an ability when you use it, or to reuse some already used ones.

 

I would be pretty much ok with this system. But i feel the disavatanges are too much. I liked the idea of BG, where specialized casters had 1 more spell/level in their book. Though seems the new magic system does not allow this, which is a shame. One more slot per level in the grimoire in PoE1 would have been valuable.

 

But anyway, 2 opposite schools when there are five total, isn't that too much? Unless the designers think of this as a "really" very specialized subclass, in which case the conjurer would have really powerfull conjurer spells and useful familiar, but would hardly find any interest in casting spells from any other school anyway. I don't dislike this kind of gameplay. But i guess it needs to be tested to determine how interesting/fun it actually is.



#9
1varangian

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If i remember correctly, it's a per rest ability allowing you reinforce the power of an ability when you use it, or to reuse some already used ones.

 

I would be pretty much ok with this system. But i feel the disavatanges are too much. I liked the idea of BG, where specialized casters had 1 more spell/level in their book. Though seems the new magic system does not allow this, which is a shame. One more slot per level in the grimoire in PoE1 would have been valuable.

 

But anyway, 2 opposite schools when there are five total, isn't that too much? Unless the designers think of this as a "really" very specialized subclass, in which case the conjurer would have really powerfull conjurer spells and useful familiar, but would hardly find any interest in casting spells from any other school anyway. I don't dislike this kind of gameplay. But i guess it needs to be tested to determine how interesting/fun it actually is.

2 schools out of 5 is way too much but I mostly hate how arbitrary the schools you lose are. None of the schools thematically oppose one another and losing all access to an entire school or two just because you study something else more doesn't make any sense. It's supposed to be a choice of what you focus on rather than what you can't do at all.

 

The schools will probably be unbalanced in a combat focused CRPG as well. Half of all the spells will be Evocation and 5% will be Transmutation. :-X


Edited by 1varangian, 23 October 2017 - 01:07 PM.

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#10
Lamppost in Winter

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Spitballing here, perhaps instead we could choose which school/s to lose access to? Or we could go really specialised and choose to sacrifice even more schools for larger bonuses.


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#11
Messier-31

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What's the empower system?

 

Empowering Abilities: While class abilities are not subject to per-rest limitations as stated above, there is a per-rest resource that all classes have – the Empower mechanic. Empower is also subject to a usage limit of once per encounter and can be used to increase the effective power level of abilities/spells by +3 or to regain uses of a spell/ability.



#12
Skaddix

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Yeah its based on DnD where Wizards have 6 Schools and you have 2 Restricted Schools. I am fine with restricted schools but the added 20% penalty when you give up in theory 40% of your spell list seems excessive. Priest only have to give up one school and they get a whole bonus school on top seems unfair. The bonuses and boost are going to need to be super OP to make the difference for that type of loss. So I say restrict only 1 school or give up the added 20% penalty. 

 

Beyond that I have to agree yeah what schools you are losing seem arbitrary or based off internal balance for instance.

​Conjuration should have Illusions and Evocations if you ask me since the School is about bringing things into existence that arent acturally there initially while Enchantment and Transmutation are about modifying things that already exist. 

 

Transmutation seems like it fit better with Evocations and Enchantment since that would presumably be modifying matter and energy that is already present into new more useful forms. 

 

So to summarize more logically I think it should be restrict two schools and no additional penalty on allowed schools outside of primary.

 

Main School: Allowed Schools 

Conjuration: Illusions and Evocation

Evocation: Conjuration and Transmutation

Transmutation: Evocations and Enchantment 

Enchantment: Transmutation and Illusions 

Illusions: Enchantment and Conjuration 



#13
snphillips0@gmail.com

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Worth noting -- Wizards will only get two or three spells per spell level, can't learn spells from grimoires anymore, and have very limited casts-per-encounter. Given all that, I'd be surprised if the limitations end up feeling especially restrictive in practice.

Also, do we have any confirmation that you won't be able to *cast* spells from grimoires? Since afiak they basically work like abilities attached to other equipment, I feel like the more likely case is that we will be able to.

#14
Enoch

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Also, do we have any confirmation that you won't be able to *cast* spells from grimoires? Since afiak they basically work like abilities attached to other equipment, I feel like the more likely case is that we will be able to.

Sawyer has indicated that Grimoires cannot be used to bypass spell-school limitations. 


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#15
JerekKruger

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I'll wait and see how it feels in the Backer Beta, but two restricted schools does seem a lot. Of course subclasses bonuses/penalties aren't set in stone, so hopefully they'll be tweaked during and after the beta.



#16
1varangian

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If they really are going forward with randomly axing 40% of the potential spell list, I feel like the subclasses need to be much deeper with more unique powers/spells and bigger focus on the chosen school.

 

I still probably wouldn't play any subclass that loses Evocation in a game like Pillars. The lost schools define the subclass more than the chosen school does, which is completely backwards.

 

And there's no way they can ever explain why precisely Conjuration and Evocation are mutually exclusive. Base Wizard can cast everything, so they are not mutually exclusive.


Edited by 1varangian, 24 October 2017 - 10:02 AM.

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#17
JerekKruger

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As someone said in another thread, at the moment the Wizard subclasses seem most appealing to multiclassing characters. The restrictions aren't such a big deal when you're already picking powers from two skill trees, and the 20% bonus to your favoured school goes someway towards making up for the multiclass penalty.



#18
Skaddix

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Is it a 20% boost? The special abilities need to be special I guess.

Anyway yes it should be a potent combo with melee classes. Course the problem is Transmutation and Conjuration presumably two of the best to mix with lose Evocation which means no AoE clearing and Illusions for defensive stuff granted the other class should compensate for that. Whereas Illusion keeps it and is more defensive in nature.

 

So yeah for a pure wizard the cost benefit analysis seems the cost is too high. For multiclassing, we shall see when we get more numbers and spell lists but the bar is lower.



#19
Lephys

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Is it a 20% boost? The special abilities need to be special I guess.

 

I believe so far the boost to your chosen school is indefinite, while the penalty to all non-chosen-school spells is -20%, AND you lose two entire schools of spells.



#20
PugPug

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The opposed schools aren't completely random. I suspected this was the case and drew up a chart to confirm:
 

tTTENnt.png

 

If anyone wants to have a robust discussion on what should be moved where, now we can do so more easily.


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