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View Full Version : Making casters'dps both more viable and more interesting.



Zereth501
01-25-2010, 10:35 AM
Hello.

There are a few complaints that can be read again and again on the forums :
1. In the end game, arcane casters' damage become irrelevant, because their damage output do not follow the monsters' HP inflation. They can end up spending their entire mana bar on a monster without killing it.
2. Firewall is the only damage spell wizards and sorcerers are going to cast once they get it, as other spells are mana inefficient compared to it. Result : developpers had to work on many spells that are seldom used.
3. In the end game, casters' damage pales in front of that of melee classes.
4. In mid game, firewall is overpowered.
A few fixes have been suggested, but most make one or more of those issues worse while fixing another.

Here is my suggestion.
Give wizards and sorcerers an ability (I like the name "efficient destruction") that would make direct damage spells cost gradually less mana as they level. Something like 5% less mana per level after the fifth, so a 20th level caster would spend only 25% of the current cost on an attack spell.

Only direct damage spells would be affected. That would include metamagic feats used on them, but exclude damage over time spells such as firewall.

The result would be to make casters'dps actually an option, as they could sustain it long enough to actually use it, but not so much that squeezing the trigger whenever something move would be a good idea.

Since firewall would not be affected, it would not make it any more overpowered. Actually, I think it could use a little nerf, though as the only reliable source of dps for arcane casters now, it should not be nerfed before the proposed change has been tested as viable.

I think it fixes all of the aforementioned issues :
1. They can now cast many more nukes before running out of mana.
2. Other spells become more and more mana efficient, so they can compete with firewall. Arcane casters can now enjoy a little more diversity.
3. Casters can now afford casting nukes in quick succession, increasing their dps.
4. Arcane casters not depending on a single spell anymore, it can safely be nerfed.

Additionnally, it has no effect on crowd control and buffing. There are also many things that can change the cost of a spell, so existing code could be reused.

However, my numbers may be way off, I'm not sure how many more spells an arcane would need to cast to be viable at end game. Can the veterans help with those?

Phidius
01-25-2010, 10:40 AM
I'd rather that Turbine would

1) Move away from the current model of "Surround it and beat it to a pulp while our support characters keep us going!"

2) Stop making everything under the sun immune to non-damage spells (keeping Mod 3 in mind, here)

Zereth501
01-25-2010, 10:48 AM
1) Move away from the current model of "Surround it and beat it to a pulp while our support characters keep us going!"
Indeed. Now wouldn't giving arcane caster reliable damage output be a step toward that, if only a little one?


2) Stop making everything under the sun immune to non-damage spells (keeping Mod 3 in mind, here)
I agree. However, this is a separate issue, that deserves its own thread.

Phidius
01-25-2010, 10:53 AM
Indeed. Now wouldn't giving arcane caster reliable damage output be a step toward that, if only a little one?
...

I don't think so - I think it would just give arcane casters something else to do when their spell points dry up. This would be contributing to the current model, not moving away from it.

To be fair to Turbine, though, the Shadow Fiends in ToD gives a caster something to do :D

Bogenbroom
01-25-2010, 12:56 PM
I am not so sure that casters' dps need to be improved, per se, but the casters do need some lovin' in a lot of areas. Crowd control at upper levels is mediocre. Debuffing could use a boost. DoTs could use *major* upgrades. Other than WoF, caster's have very poor persistent damage effects.

And the immunities... oh god the immunities! Hell, if our dis-enchanting spells worked properly this would be a whole new area of caster friendliness. Can you imagine of Disjunction worked on Sor'jek's Command (like it should.)

It all ends up being enervate->flesh to stone-> next target, enervate->flesh to stone... Both very sp unfriendly and tedious.

Kielbasa
01-25-2010, 01:22 PM
Still not very experienced in ddo yet but to comment on giving casters more staying power to their mana. Why not just run with spellsinger bards and monks more often? I believe those classes get mana cost reduction skills.

Angelus_dead
01-25-2010, 01:50 PM
Here is my suggestion.
Give wizards and sorcerers an ability (I like the name "efficient destruction") that would make direct damage spells cost gradually less mana as they level.
That is a reasonable approach. I have elsewhere suggested that those spells could instead be individually given reduce spellpoint costs compared to others of their level, which is a different explanation to accomplish a similar thing.

Note that the developers have mentioned that the specialties for wizards and sorcerers will include spell attacks that cost 0 sp, which has a gameplay result that is somewhat similar (although it feels pretty different to the human operator).

Zereth501
01-28-2010, 09:14 AM
While the crowd control could use some help because of the ridiculous immunities and saves, it's not the subject of this thread. I'm looking for a way to make caster's damage viable at endgame while making it more fun at the same time.

Travelling with spellsinger bards and monks is a good idea, but I don't think it would work. First, a class should not depend on another one for its primary function. Second, those classes are rare, and not all of them take the sp reduction skills. Third, the reduction they give apply equally to all spells.

Angelus_dead's idea comes close to mine, I think it would work too.

I'm curious about the 0sp attack. Something akin to the warlock in NWN2, an at will ray of hurt? It could work, depending on how much damage it does, but I don't see it coming before months.

mikelovskij
01-29-2010, 05:52 AM
While the crowd control could use some help because of the ridiculous immunities and saves, it's not the subject of this thread. I'm looking for a way to make caster's damage viable at endgame while making it more fun at the same time.

Travelling with spellsinger bards and monks is a good idea, but I don't think it would work. First, a class should not depend on another one for its primary function. Second, those classes are rare, and not all of them take the sp reduction skills. Third, the reduction they give apply equally to all spells.

Angelus_dead's idea comes close to mine, I think it would work too.

I'm curious about the 0sp attack. Something akin to the warlock in NWN2, an at will ray of hurt? It could work, depending on how much damage it does, but I don't see it coming before months.

I only played casters up to lvl 10 but i don't feel the need of more sp or less sp cost spell with my wizard but the possibility to have more useful spells and not only the damaging ones.

cozenage
01-29-2010, 09:46 AM
I love my sorcerer. However I feel like in Amarath I am practically useless. I have worked hard on him, getting his charisma to 38 with a lot of end game gear and still my 9th lvl hold monster spell is resisted more times than not. If I don't use energy drain there is almost no way to control individuals in the crowd. So I took ottos irresis tible dance, only to find that, when it comes to devils, its not very irresistible.

I read in this thread where someone says that the fact that our crowd control end-game needs another seperate thread but I think its all the same problem. I mean since on end-game instances our dps is even more pathetic than our crowd control. With Maximize and Empower combined polar ray does what, maybe 230 points per hit while draining mana at an excelerated rate? So when in Amarath I find that I am a web caster with multiple casts of Hold monster mass, hoping it works sometimes.