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Casters are still slow...

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That would merely introduce gratuitous unfun nerfing instead of addressing the actual problem. Melee combat is fine and it is fun. It is not its fault that spells are unappealing; it should not be changed on that account. Spells are the problem; spells should change.

 

6s and 3s are too much. We could try something shorter (e.g 4s and 2s respectively) without being necessarily fast cast (except summoned weapons, of course; those need to be fast cast.)

 

 

Well, that depends a bit on how you define the problem -- if the problem was "fights are over too fast and spells dominate with no room for tactical decisionmaking or spell countering," then the problem is the overall speed of combat, and lengthening cast times is part of the solution.

 

I could go with 1s instant /2s fast /4s average/ 6sec slow /10sec "ritual' as the speed categories if the results of spells were scaled appropriately. Summoned weapons need to be instant; most low level powers should be fast or better; crowd control needs to be fast or better because you can't lengthen the durations without making them too powerful; anything that takes longer than six seconds to cast better be fight-determinative if it isn't countered or blocked or interrupted.

 

 

Yeah I've been playing around with some wizard builds recently and the problem with most big spells is still the same : by the time casting is done, the fight is pretty much over. When it takes 6 to 9 seconds (or more) to throw out a big buff/debuff or AoE damage spell, your contribution should equal what other members of the group can achieve in that time, which it currently does not.

 

Some offensive spells can be cast pretty fast but then you run into the opposite issue by running out of spells pretty much immediately only to have to rely on your weapon for the rest of the fight. In that case, you might as well substitute the wizard for a weapon-focused damage dealer which will perform much better in the end.

 

There is no simple solution to the current "caster problem" but I really think that the very limited spell selection we get to pick by levelling is a huge part of the balancing issue. The lack of variety, both in situations met and spell selection, kills pure casters at the moment.

 

 

Yeah, I agree here too. There's two progression issues; power selection progression, and casts per level. 

 

Everybody but wizards is Waaaaay more limited in their power selection than they were in the old game, which means you can't really adapt to different situations; you have to have one consistently effective strat instead. Giving a few more power selections on level up would really open up build variability,.

 

Casts per level for the ex-vancians should maybe be split off into a different issue. Probably needs some kind of tree progression so that instead of just 2 casts/spell rank you get more casts of lower level stuff and fewer casts of your top level stuff.

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That would merely introduce gratuitous unfun nerfing instead of addressing the actual problem. Melee combat is fine and it is fun. It is not its fault that spells are unappealing; it should not be changed on that account. Spells are the problem; spells should change.

 

6s and 3s are too much. We could try something shorter (e.g 4s and 2s respectively) without being necessarily fast cast (except summoned weapons, of course; those need to be fast cast.)

If the battle ends too fast, like some of us complain that the titan fight ends in 10 second while the wizard waste 6 second casting.

 

So if you cut weapon damage by half, combat might end in 20 second, then spells feels much better, or u can make spell cast time half.

 

So 20 second in battle, 6 second cast time versus 10 second time 3 second cast time. The former has a slower battle pace for sure, later is how it works now(if we decide to fix cast time).

Edited by dunehunter
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That would merely introduce gratuitous unfun nerfing instead of addressing the actual problem. Melee combat is fine and it is fun. It is not its fault that spells are unappealing; it should not be changed on that account. Spells are the problem; spells should change.

 

 

I love this post! Can't we at least agree upon this as the baseline for our arguments?

I want spell casting to be just as fun as melee combat, and the tools are there - it's just too scrimpy, and spell casting seems to take place in syrup.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I really think that the very limited spell selection we get to pick by levelling is a huge part of the balancing issue. The lack of variety, both in situations met and spell selection, kills pure casters at the moment.

 

Agreed 100% - I think you've nailed a major part of the trouble.  I get the sense that the restrictions were an intentional design choice because some players were confused by the variety of spells.  If things are more locked down, maybe there's less confusion for more novice players.  Thing is, that flexibility and adaptability has been a key defining aspect of caster classes since forever.  It was traditionally balanced by use limitations: per-rest with limited resting.  Once the balancing factor is removed, the whole class concept falls apart, and one is left with very action-style play dynamics: spellspam + repeat.  A few powered up casts isn't a good replacement.

My preference would be to restore how casters worked in POE1, which was more or less fine, and balance as required for the DF world.  Failing that, maybe there are other ways to patch them up, like bringing back grimoire editing and/or more level-up choices, and reducing the casting times.

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Titan fight is over too quickly because the Titan is underwhelming, not because melee combat is at fault :)

 

My main point is that while I can build melee characters to be highly effective and mop the floor easily, I currently cannot do the same with casters. A full party of melee combatants is not only viable; it is by far optimal. A full party of casters is going to be weak 99% of the time. Again, the problem is with casters, not with melee combatants.


"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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Titan fight is over too quickly because the Titan is underwhelming, not because melee combat is at fault :)

 

My main point is that while I can build melee characters to be highly effective and mop the floor easily, I currently cannot do the same with casters. A full party of melee combatants is not only viable; it is by far optimal. A full party of casters is going to be weak 99% of the time. Again, the problem is with casters, not with melee combatants.

 

Is "mopping the floor easily" and quickly really your idea of fun strategic combat? And a lot of the melee builds are pretty obvious.

 

If you're using stealth most casters can get off at least one location-based AoE outside of combat and initiate combat with an attack spell. Though even with grazes spell accuracy still seems grossly unbalanced relative to weapon accuracy unless you attack one of your enemies' weaknesses or use weapon debuff modals first.

 

Casting times should remain long enough that multiclassing for speed boosting abilities (cat druid, barbarian, monk, to lesser extent mage) and/or maximal fast casts (druid evoker) should be worthwhile....

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I think this is actually the single biggest issue I have with the beta at the moment. I didn't make my main character a wizard, but one of my party member's is, and it just feels terribly ineffective. Even if the long cast spells had effects worth the duration (they don't right now), it wouldn't really be fun to play a wizard if you can only get 2 spells off in an encounter.

 

The speed of wizards felt reasonable in PoE 1. Yeah there were some silly combinations you could pull off, but I don't think that means most wizard spells should have such a ponderous casting time for such marginal effect.

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For buff spells and summoned weapons---you can have a Rogue attack from stealth to initiate combat, then use Shadowing Beyond (or for multiclass Smoke Veil) while the spells are being cast. It's functionally equivalent to casting "before combat starts", but with the added bonus of probably taking out at least one enemy (from Assassinate and/or DoT's) at the expense of 2 or 3 guile. (Alternately, of course, you could send in a tank capable of surviving for 6 seconds. Base duration of Smoke Veil just happens to be 5 seconds---just enough time to cast 6 second spells if your Rogue has enough int (only need 14 to get 6 second smoke veil, not evening counting the bonus from power level) and/or your casters have enough dex.) 

Edited by SaruNi

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To address the situation with Ciphers:

  • Make Cipher powers all instant cast but have some recovery
    • You need to build up focus already so doubly penalizing with long casts is not warranted
    • The ex-vancians can blast off all their spells with out pause so the Ciphers need instant cast to be more than better auto attackers due to soul whip.

 

To address the combat speed problem

 

  • Fix the slow speed at start of combat or whatever as it currently seems like it is perpetually stuck in fast mode
  • Fix the auto pause on cast so that it works, currently it turns into a slide show as it pauses every frame
  • Changing melee attack speed might not be too bad of a solution.
    • Instead of 0.5 sec attack and 2 sec recovery for fast, try changing it to 1 second attack and 4 second recovery, Slow would go to 1.4 sec attack and 6 second recovery. Add some animation showing some feints and parries to fill the time and see how it plays.

 

Regardless of what changes are made to casters, the current system is so dominated by melee that using anything else is just self-limiting. My last party on PotD were all Shattered Pillar hybrids (had a Bleak walker, a Wizard, a Trickster, a Soul Blade and a Devoted) who all had Force of Anguish with the Ai set to use every chance it could. The enemy becomes a mass of ping pong balls being knocked all over the place and quickly destroyed. What can you do to casting that will out perform that sort of pwnage?

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Ciphers really should have most of their casting times decreased. At least three reasons:

 
- Obviously, they need time to build focus
 
- They don't have any location-based AoE spells with duration that can be cast before combat
 
-  They don't have any fast casts except tier 4 Pain Block (which can't be cast on self, really doesn't seem that great for the focus cost) and tier 5 Tactical Meld (which would be okay if it gave a large accuracy bonus but when last I checked it's bugged and doesn't give any at all)
Edited by SaruNi
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For buff spells and summoned weapons---you can have a Rogue attack from stealth to initiate combat, then use Shadowing Beyond (or for multiclass Smoke Veil) while the spells are being cast. It's functionally equivalent to casting "before combat starts", but with the added bonus of probably taking out at least one enemy (from Assassinate and/or DoT's) at the expense of 2 or 3 guile. (Alternately, of course, you could send in a tank capable of surviving for 6 seconds. Base duration of Smoke Veil just happens to be 5 seconds---just enough time to cast 6 second spells if your Rogue has enough int (only need 14 to get 6 second smoke veil, not evening counting the bonus from power level) and/or your casters have enough dex.) 

What if you don't like stealth mechanics and don't want to go through such a tedious process before every fight to make even thinking about using a caster worth it? This is essentially prebuffing when the entire point of having buffs be restricted to being cast in-combat was to avoid the tedium of having to go through bull**** every time you want to god damn kill things.

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For buff spells and summoned weapons---you can have a Rogue attack from stealth to initiate combat, then use Shadowing Beyond (or for multiclass Smoke Veil) while the spells are being cast. It's functionally equivalent to casting "before combat starts", but with the added bonus of probably taking out at least one enemy (from Assassinate and/or DoT's) at the expense of 2 or 3 guile. (Alternately, of course, you could send in a tank capable of surviving for 6 seconds. Base duration of Smoke Veil just happens to be 5 seconds---just enough time to cast 6 second spells if your Rogue has enough int (only need 14 to get 6 second smoke veil, not evening counting the bonus from power level) and/or your casters have enough dex.) 

What if you don't like stealth mechanics and don't want to go through such a tedious process before every fight to make even thinking about using a caster worth it? This is essentially prebuffing when the entire point of having buffs be restricted to being cast in-combat was to avoid the tedium of having to go through bull**** every time you want to god damn kill things.

 

All I want to do is play a fighter who uses summoned weapons and self-buffs to do melee combat. It shouldn't be that difficult!

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Is "mopping the floor easily" and quickly really your idea of fun strategic combat? And a lot of the melee builds are pretty obvious.

I’m not sure how “pretty obvious” factors in this discussion; melee builds may be obvious but they are good and fun to play.

 

In answer to your query: Yes :) The purpose of combat is “to compel our opponent to fulfill our will” (cit.), which in this case is for our opponent to die. Doing so with brutal efficiency is the entire point of DPS-oriented builds and it rewards your effective character building choices by making you feel powerful—which you are :)

 

I appreciate that not everyone powergames or number-crunches. In fact, I expect the majority to roleplay and incur this issue to a lesser extent than most of us do here.

 

However, I still contend that it should be possible for a full party of casters to be as powerful as a full party of melee combatants. Right now it is probably not even a viable choice for PotD, or it would require luck and crazy amounts of careful planning and micromanagement. You don’t have to build your party for maximum efficiency; you have to be able to if you want it. Currently that’s only possible in melee and not if you want to focus on summoned weapons.

Edited by AndreaColombo
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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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Is "mopping the floor easily" and quickly really your idea of fun strategic combat? And a lot of the melee builds are pretty obvious.

I’m not sure how “pretty obvious” factors in this discussion; melee builds may be obvious but they are good and fun to play.

 

In answer to your query: Yes :) The purpose of combat is “to compel our opponent to fulfill our will” (cit.), which in this case is for our opponent to die. Doing so with brutal efficiency is the entire point of DPS-oriented builds and it rewards your effective character building choices by making you feel powerful—which you are :)

 

I appreciate that not everyone powergames or number-crunches. In fact, I expect the majority to roleplay and incur this issue to a lesser extent than most of us do here.

 

However, I still contend that it should be possible for a full party of casters to be as powerful as a full party of melee combatants. Right now it is probably not even a viable choice for PotD, or it would require luck and crazy amounts of careful planning and micromanagement. You don’t have to build your party for maximum efficiency; you have to be able to if you want it. Currently that’s only possible in melee and not if you want to focus on summoned weapons.

 

 

But if you can mopping the PoTD super easily, then there are something wrong here, either the difficulty is not enough or some build is too powerful now. Also u know that in beta u didn't have any good gears, you only using fine/excellent weapon and armor. If you're already wiping the map, then it will be even easier if u have full gear equipped. 

 

Imo PoTD should be the difficulty that requires you to plan carefully and do a lot micromanagements. But melee classes are too powerful u can easily solo mostly of areas with right builds, thus is the problem.

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You make a fair point.

 

There have been a few nerfs to melee classes in this build that I have not been able to test yet, so I’ll reserve judgment until I do when I’m back from my holiday. I want to try a 7th-level party with my melee builds using Fine equipment on PotD with level scaling upward. If I can mop the floor easily on every encounter, then yes—melee has a problem. We’ll see.

 

That still would not address the problem with casters, however. Many users seem to agree that waiting 6s for a spell to go off is too long. I have a limited number of spell picks per level, a limited number of spell castings per level, and I’m making myself vulnerable to interruption—for what? Watching my guy loop through a casting animation for six seconds and accomplish a lot less than a melee guy could in the same time without the liability of losing the spell to interruption?

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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Is "mopping the floor easily" and quickly really your idea of fun strategic combat? And a lot of the melee builds are pretty obvious.

I’m not sure how “pretty obvious” factors in this discussion; melee builds may be obvious but they are good and fun to play.

 

In answer to your query: Yes :) The purpose of combat is “to compel our opponent to fulfill our will” (cit.), which in this case is for our opponent to die. Doing so with brutal efficiency is the entire point of DPS-oriented builds and it rewards your effective character building choices by making you feel powerful—which you are :)

 

I appreciate that not everyone powergames or number-crunches. In fact, I expect the majority to roleplay and incur this issue to a lesser extent than most of us do here.

 

However, I still contend that it should be possible for a full party of casters to be as powerful as a full party of melee combatants. Right now it is probably not even a viable choice for PotD, or it would require luck and crazy amounts of careful planning and micromanagement. You don’t have to build your party for maximum efficiency; you have to be able to if you want it. Currently that’s only possible in melee and not if you want to focus on summoned weapons.

 

 

But if you can mopping the PoTD super easily, then there are something wrong here, either the difficulty is not enough or some build is too powerful now. Also u know that in beta u didn't have any good gears, you only using fine/excellent weapon and armor. If you're already wiping the map, then it will be even easier if u have full gear equipped. 

 

Imo PoTD should be the difficulty that requires you to plan carefully and do a lot micromanagements. But melee classes are too powerful u can easily solo mostly of areas with right builds, thus is the problem.

 

 

Its not like PotD was difficult in PoE so why should it be different here?

 

Once you got a good understanding of the game mechanics and a little meta-knowledge PotD was easily beatable. That's with the story companions, not dumping stats below 10, and not using consumables hardly. It surely did not require some awesome ability to micro. Now solo runs are a whole nother beast.

 

Right now my teams are mopping the floor with PotD and the only common denominator is a lot of melee. It can be Paladins or Monks or Barbarians or Ciphers or Wizards or Rogues or Fighters or Priests or Chanters or Druids and as long as most are melee combatants, preferably dual wielding, then PotD is pretty easy.

 

My all Monk hybrid team hit trouble with the Forest Lurkers as they all had 90+ Fortitude and my AI was set to use Force of Anguish all the time so hitting was tricky at level seven, I also discovered that not having any healing at all is a big negative for taking on the Broodmother. Still the Monk Ping Pong squad is progressing on.

 

As always i find the ability to survive long enough to triumph is better than trying to kill quicker, hence my great appreciation for anything mixed with a Paladin and/or someone who has access to illusion buffs like mirrored image.

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As a dev/designer, you can ask yourself the following question: if a caster's spells take 6 (9 with recov.) seconds overall and fights last about 15 seconds (normal difficulty) - why would I need more than 3 casts per encounter?

 

Something doesn't fit here...

 

I understand the desire for more tactical depth. But the current approach is just too much. As others said: giving really powerful effects long casting times is ok, but everything else ist just Overkill and makes casters very tedious to play.

Edited by Boeroer
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I think the slow cast times for most casters are a nice contrast to the faster melee combat. But I agree that the effects of many slow cast spells are too underwhelming. Are fireball that takes 6 seconds to cast is awesome if it then really crushes four foes. Simply reducing the cast time makes it very generic

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Am I crazy for suggesting that even powerful spells should have very fast casting times, but with longer recovery and of course still the risk of "No Pen"-blooms?

Sure, I can live with a few ritual-like spells taking forever, but as a caster, I'd love to make a fiery entrance, sometimes, or just bomb away when the wrath's tugging me.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Judging by what I’m reading long casting times should be used on something approaching party wipe levels of power.

 

X is casting Berath’s gate…

Run for your lives rush to kill him.

 

Which will likely work fine for enemies, but I’m not sure it should be used for player side.


Pillars of Bugothas

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At the very, very least weapon summons *need* to be fast-cast. It's basically necessary to make a summoned-weapons fighter work at all.

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One issue come through my mind is that casters lack a way to boost spell’s penetration. Warriors can swap weapons or use modals, but casters can only boost their power level to get more pen, but currently they also lack way to boost power level, except empower which is only for one spell.

 

One idea is give caster a modal to trade cast time for more power level, so ppls can choose to cast spell fast or harder and slower. It’s pretty similar to POE penetration shot modal, but with another name, maybe called Spell enlarge, and boost power level instead.

 

Or vice versus, add a caster modal called Quick chant, ppl can activate it to trade power level for faster cast time.

 

Wanna have a more devastating fireball? Activate the Spell enlarge modal to prepare it longer for more power. Wanna just buff your team for small battle? Turn on Quick chant to cast it faster, but expect it to last shorter.

 

I think this gives more tactic depth to the casters, and also more flexibility.

Edited by dunehunter
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One issue come through my mind is that casters lack a way to boost spell’s penetration. Warriors can swap weapons or use modals, but casters can only boost their power level to get more pen, but currently they also lack way to boost power level, except empower which is only for one spell.

 

One idea is give caster a modal to trade cast time for more power level, so ppls can choose to cast spell fast or harder and slower. It’s pretty similar to POE penetration shot modal, but with another name, maybe called Spell enlarge, and boost power level instead.

 

Or vice versus, add a caster modal called Quick chant, ppl can activate it to trade power level for faster cast time.

 

Wanna have a more devastating fireball? Activate the Spell enlarge modal to prepare it longer for more power. Wanna just buff your team for small battle? Turn on Quick chant to cast it faster, but expect it to last shorter.

 

I think this gives more tactic depth to the casters, and also more flexibility.

Post of the month! Tactical depth indeed.

 

I really hope Josh reads this, as this idea would just deepen the uniqueness of the Deadfire CRPG.

 

For real, I think you are on to something that really solves this issue entirely, and the modal "technology" with UI and all is already a part of the game.

This would make spell casters so much more fun to play!!!

 

Modals that make casting time much faster, like Quick Chant, and perhaps "Arcane Burst" or "Holy Urgency", etc, would help with the sluggish spell casting, and then a few cool modals for more power, like that Enlarge, and so on.

Perhaps they should ditch the Empower feature (or rather, it gets integrated into this system and gets much needed new life) and instead diversify it per your suggestion for different spells or spell groups and caster classes.

 

The possibilities are endless here!

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Just a Side Note here,

You have to keep in mind there are almost no Items in the Beta, and Josh said in a Q&A Stream :

 

There will be Loots dedicated on Reducing/Accelerating Casting Time, not only Trinkets/Necklace/Etc, but maybe Wizard-like Robes & divers stuff with unique passives addressing that... Maybe the Enchantment System ! We don't know yet. Nonetheless, I remember him saying : "If you wanna make your Character a Fast-Spell-Caster, you can definitely do that".

 

I find them ok, they take time for sure, but that plays ok to me personally.

I'm more concerns about difficulty, maybe it's just me but, PoTD is... definitely not Easy but, "Not that Hard" I should say...  :unsure:

Maybe because I'm dealing with the same Encounters over & over again, I don't know.

Edited by DexGames

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Part of the issue is that most casters don't have any fast-cast CC spells. The exceptions being Skalds/Chanters (and also Barbarians or single-class Rogues and Rangers). If you don't want to use stealth or take drugs or potions or use scrolls or cat speed or multiclass, and you do want to open by casting ranged AoE CC, you'll probably need one or more of those....

Edited by SaruNi

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