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SouCarioca
10-20-2009, 05:09 PM
I'm on my second character, a Drow Sorceror, and having fun with it. However, having reached lvl11, it is already clear there are serious balance issues with this class. I have read the special Drow and Sorceror forums amply, and it is clear the developers have been trying a number of changes to fix this with odd results.

Changes such as adding aggro to charm attempts, making spell changes a beastly process, etc.

However, at lower levels, let's face it, there are several real balance killers that make some spells unquestionable musts, and others optional at best. Come level 8, the number one killer spell that just MURDERS balance is the Wall of Fire. And from what I've read, this will remain true for the entire way barring a handful of creatures and bosses. To make it worst, after level 8, one quickly gets access to items with Potency or Combustion that add 40% damage, making it that much more deadly, not including the enhancements that by then already add 30% damage to fire and cold spells. This alone makes him a one-man slaughterhouse. I am well-aware he is vulnerable to melee and arrows, but the sheer damage brings a lot of imbalance.

For example, at level 10, I ran with a group through a couple of the lvl 13 Gianthold quests, and though I give all credit to my group for doing their part, spamming firewalls was the absolute key. The one time we suffered losses was when I ran out of mana. Cold? Acid? Lightning? Mostly afterthoughts except for the occasional heightened Niarcs (level ONE spell!!) for creatures vulnerable to cold. I just got Cone of Cold tis true, but let's not kid ourselves on what I use 80%+ of the time barring buffs.

I realize DDO follows D&D 3.5, but the action game aspect changes a number of dynamics which should be taken into account. Furthermore, D&D revisions clearly show that its creators don't think it is perfect, and balancing issues occur on their end as well.

It is very nice to feel as powerful and necessary as this, but frankly, it also makes the experience a bit limiting. Perhaps the very late quests change this somewhat, I have no idea, but right now the low-mid levels are dictated by this. Making it next to impossible to make changes to the sorceror really isn't the solution IMHO. Instead, Id like to see those restrictions loosened up a bit, and see other spell types regain their rightful place as viable alternatives, and not be reduced to mere experiments by the ultra vets who are bored with the classic Sorceror builds.

SouCarioca
10-20-2009, 06:51 PM
I was thinking about a number of solutions, such as increasing the mana cost, reducing the range, removing AoE from spells that benefit from potency, and while all are possibilities, there is one simple one that would change it significantly: fix the AI so that monsters with a minimum of intelligence do not just sit there in a firewall dying.

The creatures already are smart enough to not simply stand with their backs turned to you for no reason while you flank them, and they are smart enough to position themselves to attack you if they cannot (such as archers), so why on earth would they stand around turning into ashes?

Perhaps a combination of the above, who can say? Either way, right now, I think the situation is far from ideal.

Nezichiend
10-20-2009, 07:00 PM
Once you get into vale, amrath etc. devils are immune to wall of fire so it is completely useless there. Once you get up to lvl 13 or so and move into the vale of twilight spamming fw will do next to nothing ;)

Lorien_the_First_One
10-20-2009, 07:10 PM
Yes, play a char to cap before you think you understand how it works fully.

Borror0
10-20-2009, 07:11 PM
Once you get into vale, amrath etc. devils are immune to wall of fire so it is completely useless there. Once you get up to lvl 13 or so and move into the vale of twilight spamming fw will do next to nothing ;)
Well, yeah, but that only means that it's "useless" for as long as monsters are immune to it.

The moment we get out of a fire immunity end game we will face a similar problem as the one we had about in M4-5.

mediocresurgeon
10-20-2009, 07:19 PM
Just a minor point:

People don't use Wall of Fire because it is incredible DPS. People use it because it is efficient DPS. Removing Wall of Fire from the game hurts Wizards much more than sorcerers, since most Wizards cannot afford to spam "flash" AoE spells like Ball Lighting (whereas Sorcerers can).

Also, making enemies immune to fire doesn't really solve the root of the AoE DoT "problem." Enemies immune to Wall of Fire (such as Blackbone skeletons, Devils, and the Black Abbot) usually just have Acid Fog cast upon them instead. It does a little less DPS but it accomplishes the same thing.

I think you will find that most people agree that arcane casters are one of the most powerful classes for clearing "trash" mobs. However, they tend to have a hard time against raid bosses (which is what 95% of endgame content is), so saying that they are vastly more powerful than their melee counterparts is misleading. Both types of characters have their role in DDO.


The moment we get out of a fire immunity end game we will face a similar problem as the one we had about in M4-5.

If I recall correctly, casters were extremely powerful in Mods 4-5 because of many outside factors, including:
-Spell criticals were first added (Skiver and Blue Dragon Armor are still considered "top gear" today)
-Large +SP items were added (Archmagi is still considered "top gear" today)
-Spell point costs for Metamagic was reduced (still in effect)
-Potency items and enhancements still worked on scrolls (this has been nerfed)

Six levels and mods later, casters mostly use the same gear, because the caster gear was a bit ahead of its time. Since then, melee have had much love, especially in the areas of PrE and greensteel weapons.

IMO there is no longer a game imbalance between Wall of Fire and melee DPS. Even in missions where Wall of Fire is still extremely useful (such as Stealer of Souls endfight) a modern DPS character can do more DPS than a critical wall of fire on Sorjek.

Suitcase
10-20-2009, 07:27 PM
From the perspective of a level 11 wizard I love WoF for what it can do...but quite honestly I find it boring to spam one button.

Still, I'm finding WoF already being limited in use at 11. I'm using a lot more CC. Holds and symbols rock. WoF as an AoE DoT will kill things overall faster but the damage spike from having 6 mobs attacking vs. 4 mobs attacking is more strain on healers (especially rogue wand healers lol).

One of the reasons I'm still using WoF a lot though is that PK just...fails. I'm +7 dc from int, spell pen enhancements and a spell pen weapon. Still I fail 60% of the time, so even resistant mobs often find themselves kissing the flames.

boldarblood
10-20-2009, 07:28 PM
Cap your character first and play awhile before asking for nerfs. Your opinion may change.

SouCarioca
10-20-2009, 07:31 PM
Yes, play a char to cap before you think you understand how it works fully.

How would that change "right now the low-mid levels are dictated by this"?

Angelus_dead
10-20-2009, 07:32 PM
If I recall correctly, casters were extremely powerful in Mods 4-5 because of many outside factors, including:
Not in mod 4... the most powerful caster thing in mod4 was FOD.


-Spell criticals were first added (Skiver and Blue Dragon Armor are still considered "top gear" today)
Spell crits were mod2.


-Potency items and enhancements still worked on scrolls (this has been nerfed)
Gone since mod3. (And it was more of a benefit to noncasters with UMD, making scrolls more powerful compared to the characters with the actual spells)

Borror0
10-20-2009, 07:36 PM
Removing Wall of Fire from the game hurts Wizards much more than sorcerers
No, that's not true. A sorcerer can maintain more Wall of Fire at the same time than a sorcerer and thus gains more out of Wall of Fire.

I think you will find that most people agree that arcane casters are one of the most powerful classes for clearing "trash" mobs. However, they tend to have a hard time against raid bosses (which is what 95% of endgame content is), so saying that they are vastly more powerful than their melee counterparts is misleading. Both types of characters have their role in DDO.
I think it's undeniable that there is a grave problem with DDO spells.

There are spells so powerful that developers have to continually give monsters a ridiculous amount of immunities to keep them in check and then give mobs atrocious spell resistance or saves to keep the others in check. When it comes to damage spells, spellcasters' DPS are like a drop in the ocean when it comes to certain mobs but can quickly annihilate others.

While it's okay for there to be differences between melee and spellcasting or for the two to fulfill different needs, there's a limit to how much difference there should be. Right now, it's like night and day. The two don't combine well with each other. Additionally, spellcasters are getting very boring due to the small number of spells we can use to answer threats.

If I recall correctly, casters were extremely powerful in Mods 4-5 because of many outside factors, including:
-Spell criticals were first added (Skiver and Blue Dragon Armor are still considered "top gear" today)
-Large +SP items were added (Archmagi is still considered "top gear" today)
-Spell point costs for Metamagic was reduced (still in effect)
-Potency items and enhancements still worked on scrolls (this has been nerfed)
Most of those were there before then. The two new factors were a base spell point upgrade (4.2) and the meta boost (5.0). All other factors were there before then. However, prior to Module 4.2, nuking was a waste of spell points with the exception of named bosses against which you could save the party a lot of trouble by nuking.

Most of those are still here and there is no reason that the problem would not resurface would the end game have less fire immune mobs.

Well, unless the mobs HP are too high but we know that's also a bad thing for other reasons.

Lorien_the_First_One
10-20-2009, 07:40 PM
How would that change "right now the low-mid levels are dictated by this"?

Because your solutions would impact the entire game. Play the game so you can decide if a suggestion is needed or not and what would be effective. You will also come to understand that every class has high and low points during levelling.

Borror0
10-20-2009, 07:43 PM
Because your solutions would impact the entire game.
Yes but why do you believe it would be a bad one for high levels?

You will also come to understand that every class has high and low points during levelling.
...and that should be avoided.

Lorien_the_First_One
10-20-2009, 07:50 PM
Yes but why do you believe it would be a bad one for high levels?

I see all his suggestions except smarter AI as bad, yes.



...and that should be avoided.

Why? D&D has never been balanced between classes at every level. Nothing wrong with different classes having different times, and different types of battles to shine in. Just think of any classic story... the swordsman often kept the young mage in training protected until he realized his powers and changed the face of combat on a grand scale. The rogue starts as a petty pick pocket, and becomes the one who saves the day with his street knowlege and skills. It's classic stuff.

The only thing about DDO that needs to be different is you need to make sure everyone shines "at end game" since we play there and in D&D you pack up and start again.

transtemporal
10-20-2009, 08:02 PM
Lol, I thought this thread was going to be exactly the opposite of what you posted SouCarioca.

Don't worry, past about level 15, you'll forget you ever had a spell called firewall. The only times I really cast it are for crystal camping in the shroud, ocassionally killing the earth ele in shroud and kamandi in bastion. Otherwise, a lot of stuff is immune to fire or has so many hp/fire resist that firewall isn't an efficient way of killing it. Basically, enjoy your brief reign at the top while you can because it doesn't last.

Monkey_Archer
10-20-2009, 08:10 PM
I think it's undeniable that there is a grave problem with DDO spells.

There are spells so powerful that developers have to continually give monsters a ridiculous amount of immunities to keep them in check and then give mobs atrocious spell resistance or saves to keep the others in check. When it comes to damage spells, spellcasters' DPS are like a drop in the ocean when it comes to certain mobs but can quickly annihilate others.
IMO spells should be balanced against other spells, not against the partucular monsters in the game. Firewall vs Acid rain is the perfect example of this. The spells are not even remotely close in damage, and the only possible reason to use acid rain over firewall (even for acid spec casters) is if the target is immune to fire. (and even then, other spells still work better :rolleyes:)
Regardless of level, firewall is the most powerful spell in the game. The only thing keeping it in check in the current endgame is monster immunities.



While it's okay for there to be differences between melee and spellcasting or for the two to fulfill different needs, there's a limit to how much difference there should be. Right now, it's like night and day. The two don't combine well with each other. Additionally, spellcasters are getting very boring due to the small number of spells we can use to answer threats.
I think its time to look into "at will" spells for high level casters. Its not so much that spell casters have a small number of spells to use at endgame, but that the spells that do work become a "drop in the bucket" compared to the unlimited damage any melee can do, and casters that try to "contribute" to dps end up running out of sp fast.

Being able to spam low level spells (like magic missles, acid arrow, etc..) without sp cost would go a long way to improving the usefulness of casters at endgame.

Borror0
10-20-2009, 08:12 PM
I see all his suggestions except smarter AI as bad, yes.
I was talking about the underlying motive (ie making Wall of Fire less powerful) rather than any specific suggestion.

Why? D&D has never been balanced between classes at every level. Nothing wrong with different classes having different times, and different types of battles to shine in. Just think of any classic story... the swordsman often kept the young mage in training protected until he realized his powers and changed the face of combat on a grand scale. The rogue starts as a petty pick pocket, and becomes the one who saves the day with his street knowlege and skills. It's classic stuff.
Yes, that is how it was in D&D but that was never fun. Usually, the wizard coped with the power he had because he knew he was going to kick ass later while the fighter was begging the DM to let him have a bit of fun at higher levels. Neither were particularly fun or clever.

It's a flaw from D&D that, IMO, should never have been ported to DDO.

Now that scaling has been implemented, that is even more of a concern. Prior to that, we could pass the spellcaster's or the melee character's weakness on the fact that he fills an important niche role during those levels. Since players are expected to have fun solo, you can't have them being at light years apart from each other. It's just not conductive of fun gameplay!

The only thing about DDO that needs to be different is you need to make sure everyone shines "at end game" since we play there and in D&D you pack up and start again.
That's actually another point against allowing great imbalances while under cap (smaller ones are fine since the environment is not static so you don't have to deal with that imbalance for that long). The whole "weak magician at first but powerful in the end and powerful soldier at first but weak in the end" ethos is already destroyed by the need for balance at end game and thus becomes a weak argument.

Right now, it looks like this: melee > magic --> melee < magic --> melee > magic.

It's already in conflict with that preconception and it's also an illogical progression: "Why did the melee suddenly catch up?"

IMO spells should be balanced against other spells, not against the partucular monsters in the game.
I don't think we can really dissociate the two. How powerful a spell is depends on the mobs in the game.

Whether it's the mobs that have to change or the spell for balance is the question.

SouCarioca
10-20-2009, 08:15 PM
I see all his suggestions except smarter AI as bad, yes.

First of all, you never suggested any of the ideas were good, and I ultra clearly said that I was commenting on the mid-levels I was currently playing.

Second, it is worth mentioning that buffing the AI so that enemies did not ignore that Wall of Fire, or other AoE spells, were wiping them out, would be a huge change alone, on every level.

Finally, your comment that change would be bad suggests the game is perfect as is, and needs no change. The fact that I have not played it end to end with a half dozen different characters doesn't make my opinion on the levels I am playing any less valid.

farbtonwolf
10-20-2009, 08:16 PM
each level has its appropriate good spells. wall of fire does seem to take its share of over use though

Monkey_Archer
10-20-2009, 08:35 PM
I don't think we can really dissociate the two. How powerful a spell is depends on the mobs in the game.

Whether it's the mobs that have to change or the spell for balance is the question.

No, you cant completely disassociate them... but Level 4 spell A should be approximately equal to Level 4 Spell B.

If monsters have any role in balancing spells, it should be a damage type issuse. Ie does 1 fire damage = 1 acid damage? If acid rain is currently balanced correctly against firewall that would mean ~3 fire damage = ~1 acid damage. Which is not even close, and would also mean that acid blast is 3 times as powerful as fireball...

My point though, is that both acid rain and firewall "should" be equal. The question then is: Should acid rain be buffed, or firewall nerfed?

Borror0
10-20-2009, 08:44 PM
No, you cant completely disassociate them... but Level 4 spell A should be approximately equal to Level 4 Spell B.
Nitpicking:
1. A level 4 spell can be more or less powerful depending on class. (Example: Divine Power vs Tenser's)
2. I think you mean equally attractive (which is not the same as equally powerful).

Though, I'm not sure I agree with that second point. I think it's fine for some spells to be much weaker than others. Allowing bad choices to exist is a prerequisite for bad choices to exist. I care about whether or not there are choices to make. You could have a no brainer or two followed by tough choices for your last three spells of that level and I would have no problem with that. If there are a few spells that are practically useless, I won't lose sleep over it.

Graypaws
10-20-2009, 08:45 PM
Firewall isnt overpowered, its just easier to use effectively then other spells of a similar nature. Fireball needs to be angled correctly or is useless, lightning bolt is narrow, rays can be dodged, the acid rain spell compares in damage, but is even more over time then the fire wall. If you drop the damage of the fire wall or change AI to make higher then 1 int critters completely avoid it, you will make the spell useless.

As to how much I use firewall on my wiz, no more then I used and still use, charms (charm person/monster, command undead and well, ok, Ive never charmed an ooze).

Monkey_Archer
10-20-2009, 09:00 PM
Nitpicking:
1. A level 4 spell can be more or less powerful depending on class. (Example: Divine Power vs Tenser's)

I was refering to equal level spells of the same class... obviously differnt class spells should be balanced acording to the use gained from that class, not just the level of the spell.


2. I think you mean equally attractive (which is not the same as equally powerful).

Approximatly equal in power directly relates to being equally attractive.



Though, I'm not sure I agree with that second point. I think it's fine for some spells to be much weaker than others. Allowing bad choices to exist is a prerequisite for bad choices to exist. I care about whether or not there are choices to make. You could have a no brainer or two followed by tough choices for your last three spells of that level and i would have no problem with that. If there are a few spells that are practically useless, I would lose sleep over it.
I care about choices as well... and at the moment there is no choice.
Acid blast vs fireball is a choice. both are equally powerful, and equally attractive.
Fire works better on vulnerable targets, but some mobs have immunities.
Acid works on a larger range of targets, but nothing is vulnerable.
They are equally attractive because the both have situations where they have use and are approximatly equal in power to begin with.

The "bad" choice here is based on which targets you are going to fight, not just because one of the spells was intentionally made worse.

Acid rain vs firewall is not a choice. Acid rain is just completely useless.

Borror0
10-20-2009, 09:10 PM
Approximatly equal in power directly relates to being equally attractive.

Let's say you have to fill your level 8 spell slots on your level 20 wizard and you have the choice between 6 overpowered damage spells, 5 good buffs and 3 decently powerful crowd control spells; which five spells do you choose? Obviously, you're going to grab a few damage spells but I doubt you're actually going to fill your level 8 spell slots with nothing but damage spells.

While the buffs and CC spells might not be as powerful, they will add to your character's versatility.

In that sense, it might be preferable to pick something inferior because it covers your weaknesses better. That is, in the context, the spell is stronger but, out of the said context, it pales in comparison to other spells because having there are diminishing returns. It's more desirable even if less powerful.

Don't get me wrong, there is an overlap between the two but it's not 100%.

I care about choices as well... and at the moment there is no choice.
QFT!

transtemporal
10-20-2009, 09:39 PM
Additionally, spellcasters are getting very boring due to the small number of spells we can use to answer threats.

The phrase I was gonna use is 'very frustrating'. Which leads one to consider moves like speccing out of spell pen and into nuking. :( But thats another thread.

SouCarioca
10-21-2009, 12:26 AM
Firewall isnt overpowered, its just easier to use effectively then other spells of a similar nature. Fireball needs to be angled correctly or is useless, lightning bolt is narrow, rays can be dodged, the acid rain spell compares in damage, but is even more over time then the fire wall. If you drop the damage of the fire wall or change AI to make higher then 1 int critters completely avoid it, you will make the spell useless.

As to how much I use firewall on my wiz, no more then I used and still use, charms (charm person/monster, command undead and well, ok, Ive never charmed an ooze).

Meh. Have you ever played PnP D&D? It has been a long time for me, yet I am certain the following scene never occurred in any of my games:

DM - As you turn the stone in the altar, the covers of several of the coffins come off, and several skeletons rise out of them armed with bows.

Me - I fire a couple of firewalls at them and hide behind a pillar.

DM - They stay put in the firewall with their bows out, and burn to death.

(...)

SouCarioca
10-21-2009, 12:34 AM
Though, I'm not sure I agree with that second point. I think it's fine for some spells to be much weaker than others. Allowing bad choices to exist is a prerequisite for bad choices to exist.

While I agree that there are spells that are bad as they are inappropriate for a given situation, I don't believe for a second that Gary Gygax thought half the spells he was creating for the characters were useless and designed to trick the player into adopting them out of ignorance. The case is even greater with DDO, where a lot of effort was invested to port them to the game.

Again, I don't think the programmers, with an evil grin on their faces, got together and decided a whole bunch of spells would be mostly decorative in the list. Time will inevitably favor some more than others, but it shouldn't narrow the list down so much. As to PnP, back in the day, the list of uber spells was Magic Missile, then Fireball, then Meteor Swarm. Wall of Fire was a tactical/strategical spell, not a major weapon.

Borror0
10-21-2009, 08:25 AM
While I agree that there are spells that are bad as they are inappropriate for a given situation, I don't believe for a second that Gary Gygax thought half the spells he was creating for the characters were useless and designed to trick the player into adopting them out of ignorance.
What lead you to think that I supported that "half [should be] useless and designed to trick the player into adopting them out of ignorance"?

Arctigis
10-21-2009, 08:46 AM
As other posters have pointed out, WoF rocks right through to GH. IMO, it's also great in the Vale on non-immune
targets. However, lets be realistic. On a non-crit, it outputs about 120 per tick on a target with no immunities.
That's max+emp+superior pot+elemental IV. Do we really think most melees could not exceed that number at
lvl 15+???. The best thing about WoF, again IMO, is it's efficiency. It's persistent AOE with a very long duration when
extended. DBF is much higher burst damage (but much lower overall damage) - are we going to complain that is
overpowered to?

SouCarioca
10-21-2009, 01:55 PM
What lead you to think that I supported that "half [should be] useless and designed to trick the player into adopting them out of ignorance"?

This:


If there are a few spells that are practically useless, I won't lose sleep over it.

Borror0
10-21-2009, 02:25 PM
This:
Since when is "a few" synonymous with "half"?

Junts
10-21-2009, 02:33 PM
DDO just needs an eqquivalent lightning/acid spell; casters would really suck on DDO without access to firewall's sp/damage ratio for trash mobs.

JOTMON
10-21-2009, 03:14 PM
fix the AI so that monsters with a minimum of intelligence do not just sit there in a firewall dying.
The creatures already are smart enough to not simply stand with their backs turned to you for no reason while you flank them, and they are smart enough to position themselves to attack you if they cannot (such as archers), so why on earth would they stand around turning into ashes?


Seems reasonable, DDO made changes to the AI in regards to Blade Barrier for clerics, mosters will stop at the edge of the BB where before Mod9 they would blindly chase you through them over and over. Now they hesitate or stand at the edge and switch to ranged attacks, or even go around the the perimiter so as to not go through the barrier.

Borror0
10-21-2009, 03:43 PM
Seems reasonable, DDO made changes to the AI in regards to Blade Barrier for clerics, mosters will stop at the edge of the BB where before Mod9 they would blindly chase you through them over and over. Now they hesitate or stand at the edge and switch to ranged attacks, or even go around the the perimiter so as to not go through the barrier.
That was actually added in Module 6.

sirgog
10-21-2009, 05:36 PM
FW actually has already taken a significant nerf from the days of old.

Multiple firewalls on top of each other used to stack. That was ridiculous. A sorc could put out 1000-2000 damage per second after the firewalls built up - and that's with no crits, and when most bosses had <10000 hp.

Graypaws
10-22-2009, 10:00 AM
Meh. Have you ever played PnP D&D? It has been a long time for me, yet I am certain the following scene never occurred in any of my games:

DM - As you turn the stone in the altar, the covers of several of the coffins come off, and several skeletons rise out of them armed with bows.

Me - I fire a couple of firewalls at them and hide behind a pillar.

DM - They stay put in the firewall with their bows out, and burn to death.

(...)

Well, its been said to me several times that this isnt the pnp game. I think in over 25 yrs Ive used firewall once and it wasnt as an offensive spell. MANY of the spells in DDO dont play out like they did/do in pnp D&D. Gutting FW or making monsters avoid it like the plague would make other spells need a serious overhaul. Hell, up until FW, I felt like a specialist wizard (enchanter). Charm person and it's different counterparts has gotten more use then any other spell.

SouCarioca
10-22-2009, 10:09 AM
FW actually has already taken a significant nerf from the days of old.

Multiple firewalls on top of each other used to stack. That was ridiculous. A sorc could put out 1000-2000 damage per second after the firewalls built up - and that's with no crits, and when most bosses had <10000 hp.

Though I am still lvl 11, I did a few lvl 13-14 quests and it does start to balance out, meaning it seems about right. It is worth mentioning I mean it is about right using a potency weapon I have active, but no empower or maximize.

That said, reading on how weak many vets view casters in the endgame makes me wonder again about balancing, even though I have yet to experience this issue. Since the Sorceror is geared towards attack due to the inherently larger pool of SP and quicker casting, I'd have expected it to be at least competitive in the DPS department if using the correct spells. Here's to hoping whatever ails it is fixed by the time I reach those stages.

I like Aspenor's thread on the full nuke Sorceror, making use of spell types other than fire and ice, which make up the bulk of attack spells at the moment. I still get a blast out of the various charms though: a great approach to hitting an unsuspecting mob is to charm one or two and have the entire mob go crazy attacking their own, making it very easy to close in and and fall on them. Even AoE spells do not shake them from their frenzy....

Renvar
10-22-2009, 10:58 AM
Firewall isnt overpowered, its just easier to use effectively then other spells of a similar nature. Fireball needs to be angled correctly or is useless, lightning bolt is narrow, rays can be dodged, the acid rain spell compares in damage, but is even more over time then the fire wall. If you drop the damage of the fire wall or change AI to make higher then 1 int critters completely avoid it, you will make the spell useless.

As to how much I use firewall on my wiz, no more then I used and still use, charms (charm person/monster, command undead and well, ok, Ive never charmed an ooze).

Changing the AI to avoid the FW would not make the spell useless, per se. I would just change the usage. RIght now, FW is dps. It would switch to being DPS and CC. Think of the great uses for FW or a string oFW's to hold monsters at bay or make them swtich to much less damaging ranged weapons vs. melee. Or a FW across a doorway with a group of ranged experts on the other side.

Of course, some monsters with immunity would charge though. Or, a tough enough monster would "take the hit" to get to the other side.

Maybe aggro/hate could be included in the AI calcluation. If you get really ****ed off, you do something stupid...

Maybe when you get below 25% hp you would get desperate and decide to charge through and take out that caster.

Lots of options for the AI to create a less predictable mob response to the FW.

I think increasing AI is generally a good thing. Smart mobs make for more challenging gameplay. If a smart mob will "nerf" a spell and make you use your brain instead, that's a good thing.

Graypaws
10-22-2009, 05:32 PM
Changing the AI to avoid the FW would not make the spell useless, per se. I would just change the usage. RIght now, FW is dps. It would switch to being DPS and CC. Think of the great uses for FW or a string oFW's to hold monsters at bay or make them swtich to much less damaging ranged weapons vs. melee. Or a FW across a doorway with a group of ranged experts on the other side.

Of course, some monsters with immunity would charge though. Or, a tough enough monster would "take the hit" to get to the other side.

Maybe aggro/hate could be included in the AI calcluation. If you get really ****ed off, you do something stupid...

Maybe when you get below 25% hp you would get desperate and decide to charge through and take out that caster.

Lots of options for the AI to create a less predictable mob response to the FW.

I think increasing AI is generally a good thing. Smart mobs make for more challenging gameplay. If a smart mob will "nerf" a spell and make you use your brain instead, that's a good thing.

I agree, but dont you think we have enough freaking CC already?

redoubt
10-22-2009, 07:15 PM
I'm on my second character, a Drow Sorceror, and having fun with it. However, having reached lvl11, it is already clear there are serious balance issues with this class. I have read the special Drow and Sorceror forums amply, and it is clear the developers have been trying a number of changes to fix this with odd results.

Changes such as adding aggro to charm attempts, making spell changes a beastly process, etc.

However, at lower levels, let's face it, there are several real balance killers that make some spells unquestionable musts, and others optional at best. Come level 8, the number one killer spell that just MURDERS balance is the Wall of Fire. And from what I've read, this will remain true for the entire way barring a handful of creatures and bosses. To make it worst, after level 8, one quickly gets access to items with Potency or Combustion that add 40% damage, making it that much more deadly, not including the enhancements that by then already add 30% damage to fire and cold spells. This alone makes him a one-man slaughterhouse. I am well-aware he is vulnerable to melee and arrows, but the sheer damage brings a lot of imbalance.

For example, at level 10, I ran with a group through a couple of the lvl 13 Gianthold quests, and though I give all credit to my group for doing their part, spamming firewalls was the absolute key. The one time we suffered losses was when I ran out of mana. Cold? Acid? Lightning? Mostly afterthoughts except for the occasional heightened Niarcs (level ONE spell!!) for creatures vulnerable to cold. I just got Cone of Cold tis true, but let's not kid ourselves on what I use 80%+ of the time barring buffs.

I realize DDO follows D&D 3.5, but the action game aspect changes a number of dynamics which should be taken into account. Furthermore, D&D revisions clearly show that its creators don't think it is perfect, and balancing issues occur on their end as well.

It is very nice to feel as powerful and necessary as this, but frankly, it also makes the experience a bit limiting. Perhaps the very late quests change this somewhat, I have no idea, but right now the low-mid levels are dictated by this. Making it next to impossible to make changes to the sorceror really isn't the solution IMHO. Instead, Id like to see those restrictions loosened up a bit, and see other spell types regain their rightful place as viable alternatives, and not be reduced to mere experiments by the ultra vets who are bored with the classic Sorceror builds.

I've been playing a drow sorcerer since the day drow were released, so while I appreciate new players coming with suggestions, I do not appreciate requests for nerfs (or whatever it is you think you want now) when you have not yet seen all the content.

And really, why did you run out of mana? Sure firewall is a great spell, but its not the only spell. You should be able to solo that quest. Try hieghtened crowd control and puncturing weapons and haste... You will have mana left even...

Play the higher level stuff. Get 2500+ favor on that character. Then come back and see us. Its not that you are not entitled to an opinion now, I just believe your opinion will change...

Oh yeah... welcome to one of the coolest classes and the shark tank (forums.)