Forums » The Wizard

A Wizard Reinvented: My Hopes for Wizards in Pantheon

    • 5 posts
    June 26, 2018 2:15 PM PDT

    Okay – I know this isn’t EverQuest, but from all the streams and forum posts I have read, it does seem to be a similar game in some ways. Particularly regarding combat pacing being slower with fights requiring more involved to take down even lower to mid-level targets. Don’t get me wrong, I have had tons of fun playing games where I mash buttons and see my DPS numbers fly around 6-7 at a time, but to me, there is a ‘je ne sais quoi’ about fights that require tactics beyond churn and burn. That said, I will admit I LOVED the DPS race fights in EQ where you burned it down or everyone wiped regardless of how many/coordinated your healers were 

    To be more specific around this 'pacing' concept, I think slower combat forces the use of utility spells – slows, cripples and debuffs – to be more than just a novel tool, but a necessity in both combat and exploration. This pacing allows for a very rare and unique level of creativity for an MMO, similar to how the tabletop version of D&D plays with it. This allowance has impacts across all classes, but I think the biggest potential lies with traditional DPS classes. 

    So why am I talking about game pacing and utility in the wizard forums? 

    I love the wizard archetype in all games. EverQuest had the Wizard, DAoC had the Eldritch (and non-Hib variants) and Prius Online had the Arcanist and Siren. Even games like League of Legends have heavy magic/ability-based champions for mid lanes. Each of these had their own feel and earned a lot of love from me over time, but at times could feel one dimensional. 

    I will be using EQ as my reference point because, as mentioned above, it seems quite close to Pantheon in terms of combat pacing and emphasis on groups. Ironically, in such a group focused game like EQ, wizards just were not desirable as desirable in them as other classes. I played a wandering Erudite wizard of Quellious – so playing solo kind of made sense from my characters perspective. However, I would have suggested (had I been any older/smarter/cared more than an early teen) that the wizard class should have some additional aspects that made them desirable in group settings.  

    Porting is an incredible example of this; the downside with porting was that when you needed ports were almost unanimously before and after your group session, with evacs being a rare (and much needed) tertiary function 

    Examples of other classes unique contributions would be: without Enchanters you had no clarity or tash, without Mages no mod rods, without Necros no twitch, without Druids or Shamans no SoWs or Slows and no Clerics no CH. Without Wizards you miss out on massive bombs for fights like Trakanon, but in every other end game fight or early/mid game leveling group and dungeon crawl, wizard DPS/utility could be replicated and outshone by every other respective class 

    And I’m sure all of you think I’m going to talk about solutions to this perceived problem 

    And if you were, you are right, in a sense. These solutions all stem from the unique opportunity that slower combat pacing provides paired with the arcane possibility that surrounds the mysterious and quasi-insane Wizard.  

    I hope I don’t upset my new friends on the Pantheon forums with my next thought, but I do NOT believe that giving Wizards direct stat buffsmana regen buffs or group buffs in general is the answer. I repeat: my belief is that adding that type of utility is not the answer, and rather perpetuates the problems of former MMOs instead 

    Uniqueness (I keep repeating variations of that word) to why a group would want a certain class is the key here. But what does that look like? I think we should start by looking at the ways unique depth could be added to the wizard that are in line with the key designed role and some historical wizard tropes. 

    Arcane DPS 

    Okay, we are all here to play a class that will bring some serious magical pain, but DPS doesn't have to be as one dimensional as we have seen it in other games. What if wizards, being so magically adept, brought added effects to spells being cast by their group mates? Now that Sharon is a part of your adventuring party, the cosmic energy surrounding the wizard slightly strengthens or alters the spells of other group members. Enchanter nukes are giving back more mana to the party and druid nukes have added lingering effects after landing. This creates an incredibly valuable aspect to a party that only having a wizard would bring.  

    With a concept like this, wizards would bring permanent and unique group advantage that would ideally make them desirable beyond just DPS. This system could allow a wizard to still maintain the big, critically wounding ice comets, med in between fights, and still maintain long term value as a group member. I would imagine my attempts at finding a group as a wizard in Karnor's Castle wouldn't have been passed up for a sustained DPS class, like rogues, as often with a function such as this. 

    Additionally, while it would primarily only impact casting classes, the Shaman buffs and Cleric heals might be that much stronger or more efficient. Now all the rogues and rangers are hitting slightly harder while the wizard is with the party. Ultimately, this is a concept that requires great investment and balance but is so fun and on theme for me to think about. This also excludes the thoughts of if an arcane caster could impact a divine caster. Wizard on Wizard buffs are non-compounding based on SEC regulation. 

    Spell Weaving 

    This is a much simpler concept than the manipulation of magic above, but also ties into the preferred flavor of high burst damage. The idea that wizards understand things about magic that other people just don't, I would love some sort of passive buff that plays into that. Specifically, I think spell weaving is a great game function that, as you cast more of the same spell on an opponent (or series of spells on opponents) those spells become stronger and stronger over the course of the fight.  

    I am not so much a fan of spell combos, but that’s no game changer for me and has added flair in other games (I.E. - you cast fire strike followed up by enticement of flame and you unlock the ability to cast Nova). However, I think that the more times you cast J'ylls Wrath, J'yll becomes angrier and angrier and the magic becomes stronger and stronger (same target, time sensitive). This would be like the magic morph above, but self only and tied only to damaging spells. 

    This system wouldn't bring other utility to the group but does enhance potential damage output in group settings when you need to quell a surge in local threats. 

    The Politicking Wizard 

    This is less combat oriented, but in some of the fantasy novels I have read (WoT specifically) there were sects of magic users who focused on advancing political causes. I think it would be very incredible to allow wizards to raise faction with specific royalty and unlock group or guild quest lines with rare rewards or just very rich story line. This was a favorite aspect of mine in the Velious expansion – although it was open to everyone and it was a tremendous feat to accomplish.  

    Other and maybe less OP versions of this could be a specific wizard only buff that allowed the discovery of or access to unique or hidden places/items. I have always been drawn to the wizards that are full of intrigue and in pursuit of something greater, whether good or evil, and this is an iconic trope of wizard. Such potential! 

    Spell Artisan 

    Back to magic manipulation, but another favorite of mine in EverQuest was spell research and crafting. I really enjoyed discovering a new spell through time investment and trial and error. Then feeling like only a few other wizards might have discovered the recipe to create such a tremendous spell – wow! This could be a similar system, but instead of each arcane class crafting their spells from runes and ancient pages, maybe wizards can craft spells for all spell casting classes? This creates less incentive for permanent group desirability with wizards, but still adds value and spiciness. 

    That’s all my little pea-brain can manage to put out currently, but I will probably be a frequent visitor to these forums so share your thoughts and critiques. I look forward to living our best wizard lives in Terminus together! 

    • 938 posts
    June 27, 2018 4:22 AM PDT

    There are a lot of thoughts here.  At the risk of over simplifying, we will all know a lot more in a few weeks when the caster class reveal is released.

    One of your suggestions, namely that enchanters might gain more mana back from their nukes by having a wizard, is already an enchanter ability (and effects all classes I believe).  It sounds like you want more of a support role than what wizards likely will be.  An enchanter or a summoner may fit into some of your ideas better.  "Soon" we will know more.


    This post was edited by philo at June 27, 2018 4:25 AM PDT
    • 246 posts
    June 27, 2018 9:27 AM PDT

    Yeah, deadlycupcakez, stop making suggestions!  Shiesh.  Joppa's up on the mountain and he'll be bringing those stone wizard-tablets down any minute now.

    Ok, sarcasm off.  Joppa reads the forums and appreciates good ideas.

    You've got some cool ideas in there.  I particularly like your bit about The Politicking Wizard; the EQ alter plane spells are even precident for that kind of thing.  Your Spell Artisan ideas are also neat.  I think it's likely that we'll see something along those lines.  Not sure if it'll be class-specfic.

    I don't like the Spell Weaving bit.  I think it would either smell too much like combo chains or reinforce repetative casting both of which are bummers.

    Regarding your Arcane DPS ideas:

    Generally speaking, I really hate combining utility/support with damage because it devalues the utility and support by implying that it needs a sexy dps flare and further perpetuates the damage-centric mindset.  That whole "enchanter generates mana by nuking" thing really, really rubs me the wrong way for example.

    Passive buffs like auras are cool.  Direct buffs like stat modifiers or imbued procs are cool.

     

    It's going to be strange around here when all the classes are revealed.

    • 5 posts
    June 27, 2018 9:41 AM PDT

    There was defintiely a ton of information in my TLDR post, so thanks for reading and sharing your feedback! Some of my points were probably even muddled by just the sheer amount of content I tried to capture in one post.

    I do want  to reinforce that my hope is NOT to make wizards a support class; I always play wizards and I want to drop huge nukes. I wanted to reinforce that slow combat pacing > the need for more battlefield utility > group focused gaming > wizards being left in the cold (or turned into sustained dps which I would prefer they not be).

    A lot of the elementary thoughts I had were about ways to leverage the Lore of wizards as arcane masters to add to wizards fitting into a group in this group focused game. I guess that could also be accomplished by tweaking mechanics like mana management, but that passes up an amazing opportunity to make this wizard class the iconic wizard class among other MMOs.

    This is, after all, an entire world and game that is developed exclusively off of Lore! I really appreciate that about VR and their devs/story tellers. 

    • 2 posts
    June 29, 2018 5:09 AM PDT

    I know this might be sorta/kinda out of context and sorta/kinda not really that well written  BUT one thing I have thought about alot since I watched a stream where they said that you could not stack skills,

    like if you had a buff that made you run faster you could not at the same time drink a potion that would double the stat. What if there was a punishment system in place for that stuff.

    I'm thinking for wizards if you try to cast fireball and instead of a fizzle (if the spell fails) then sometimes it blows right back up in your face or if you where to have the buff for faster running and you drank a potion of faster running your body would not be able to take it and you would get a debuff (aka get sick?) but it would be really cool espeacilly in the lower levels for the wizard to be able to (fail) at his abilities in ways that could go horrible wrong maybe casting a teleport to somewhere and you end up in the middle of nowhere, casting a frostspell but instead of doing damage to the monster you end up freezing your self or other party members, It is after all pretty dangerous and powerfull stuff that magic. It might not be "easier" for a wizard to get into parties but I still think it would be great for the immersion of the game.

     

    sorry for bad grammer and spelling I am not a native english speaker ;)

     

    • 20 posts
    July 8, 2018 4:37 AM PDT

    I played high elf wizzie on the FV serve, after cleric and Druid somewhere else. (Only one character allowed per account on FV) we had to have a separate account if you wanted a permanent vendor)

    Starting out was pretty tough, lots of fizzles, and a long time spent near the guards, killing for expos, and trying to gather coin for spell, weapon, and armor purchase. This game did not quest reward a complete class weapon and armor set by 5th level, like so many today.

    More slow solo leveling, with temporary grouping at some camps. And for some harder quest kills. Learning how to quad kite did speed things up, as did a few golds for porting services.

    I was finally taken in by a guild of very nice folks, who put up with my work, and family, schedule. But then, the wizzie was only a nice DPS addon character to have, but not required.

    i was totally unimpressed with the giant/dragon specific ‘bombs’ that were difficult to obtain, used an expensive reagent every cast, took a lot of mana (more sitting time) and, IMO, was hardly noticeable when cast. It was not resisted, I understand.

    Knowlege is what made the most difference. If you knew which starting zone fit your place style, and provided the quest rewards that you wanted, for that character, AND, knew how to traverse the world to get there, then you had an easier time.

    • 28 posts
    July 13, 2018 1:09 PM PDT

    I am just hoping that the Wizard class isn't stuck in the position it was in original EQ. A group of RL friends and I are playing on Coirnav (the newest EQ Progression server, currently at Kunark!) until Pantheon comes out.

     

    The Wizard class was pretty poorly mishandled in a lot of ways, in my opinion. Even now, after the wizard buffs, there are entire sets of levels where Wizards get outnuked by either druids and/or mages, but bring no utility! And our spells are more efficient, sure, but get resisted just as often. 

     

    Currently, leveling up as a wizard (I just hit 25, woohoo!), I only have a single spell that has any resist bonuses - a rain from level 12. Firestorm has a -10 resist check. Doesn't really do much...

     

    Anyway - my suggestion:  All wizard spells should be harder to resist. Reasoning: That's all wizards do! We don't have a pet, we don't have CC, and we can't heal. We certainly can't tank.

     

    This might help prevent groups from passing over wizards in favor of other classes. I've literally had groups tell me "reroll a mage". And I almost did! If you look at overall DPS from a mage in a group, the pet itself can do a huge amount of damage, not even including the magician's nukes! I also believe that there shouldn't ever be a level range where a summoner or other caster can outnuke a wizard in straight up nukes. Otherwise, what's the point of being a wizard?

     

    Sure, this got better at higher levels, but going through this all again leveling has really made me question some stuff :p

    • 938 posts
    July 15, 2018 6:29 PM PDT

    The above is interesting to me.  They must have changed the wizard a lot since EQs prime.  It used to be the opposite when comparing wizard to mages.  Especially once manaburn was added, wizards were one of the most sought after classes for raids.  Mages and druids weren't even worth the raid slot compared to wizards and clerics/shaman.  It sounds like they fixed a lot of the issues...but maybe over compensated in some of the fixes?  Or maybe its just that you are still to low lvl to compare the classes?  I wonder if you would feel differently if you were max lvl?  Unsure.

  • August 10, 2018 5:37 PM PDT

    I'm obviously oversimplifying this here, but here are my expectations of a Wizard based on lore and the recently released Wizard specs:

    1. In any given situation, at any level, while in possession of mana, the Wizard should unquestionably produce the highest DPS of any class, period.  It should not even be close.
    2. That is all.
    • 367 posts
    August 19, 2018 4:40 PM PDT

    philo said:

    The above is interesting to me.  They must have changed the wizard a lot since EQs prime.  It used to be the opposite when comparing wizard to mages.  Especially once manaburn was added, wizards were one of the most sought after classes for raids.  Mages and druids weren't even worth the raid slot compared to wizards and clerics/shaman.  It sounds like they fixed a lot of the issues...but maybe over compensated in some of the fixes?  Or maybe its just that you are still to low lvl to compare the classes?  I wonder if you would feel differently if you were max lvl?  Unsure.



    They (Daybreak which runs EQ now) has basically buffed all pets and pet classes. The games way out of balance to how it originally was. Wizards have been left to rot unfortunately and have been for awhile.

    ^ That aside... and getting back to the original topic..  wizards were about efficency, space awareness and timing for me. Can't really say I'm pleased with the class reveal at first glance as spellweaving seems like it's going be less efficency based and more spam based rather than timing and space awareness. I also noticed Joppa's comments in a recent podcast interview about wizards going OOM and waiting. A good wizard never went OOM; he kept a reserve in groups for evac/survival (emergency) dps bursts/snares (runaways/offset kiting)/boss fights. Unless it's a boss fight a bad wizard spams nukes until oom (then typically afks it). I'm well aware Pantheon is a different game and so for now I'lll wait until I actually play it, I'm just abit concerned Pantheon might end up a button mashing game. I'd hate for people to tell me how to rotate my spells 24/7 in every group.. really it should come down to how and which spells I cast and when. Rather than just a rotational choice of buffs/debuffs. I really hope it's much better than I think it currently is.


    This post was edited by Nimryl at August 19, 2018 4:47 PM PDT
    • 938 posts
    August 19, 2018 5:48 PM PDT

    I assume we will be able to make hot keys that will cast the lower lvl, instant cast spells that are needed for spell weaving automatically in conjunction with the higher lvl spell.  I don't think the button mashing will be a concern.