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SealedInSong
04-18-2013, 07:50 AM
First, thank you very much for transcribing this so early in the morning Aggrim.


Archmage Transcription

Core Enhancements:

Archmage Specialization 1 (Requires Wizard 1, 0 AP)
For each action point spent in this tree, you gain 1 Universal Spell Power and +2 to your Spell Point maximum.
Also, choose 1 of the current T1 Archmage SLAs (Shield, Grease, Hypnotism, Magic Missile, Invisibility, Chill Touch, Jump).
1) SP granted in this tree seems less than what's given on live on account of no visible reduction in SP for purchasing SLAs and no requirement of Mental Toughness. I'll have to calculate the disparity later when I have time; if someone else can, thank you.

2) Lack of requirement for Spell Foci feats to qualify for SLAs is actually wonderfully flexible--sure, I will probably want to purchase a few foci here and there, but if I don't want to, I don't have to. This is a good change.

3) No secondary SLAs? In live, you can take two lines. You might even be able to take three but I've never tested (as long as you have the appropriate focus).

This is a huge hit to dual-specced archmagi that must be addressed. I personally have an evoconjurer and an illusionenchantress. I absolutely would not accept giving up the entire secondary specialty of SLAs.

Archmage Specialization 2 (Requires Wizard 3, 5 AP Spent in Tree, 2 AP)
Choose a T2 Archmage SLA of the same school as you chose for your Tier 1 SLA.
i.e. Invis => Blur

Archmage Specialization 3 (Requires Wizard 6, 10 AP Spent in tree, 2 AP)
Choose a T3 Archmage SLA of the same school as you chose for your Tier 2 SLA.
i.e. Blur => Displacement

Archmage Specialization 4 (Requires WIzard 12, 20 AP Spent in tree, 2 AP)
Choose a T4 Archmage SLA of the same school as you chose for your tier 3 SLA.
i.e. Displacement => Phantasmal Killer

Archmage Specialization 5 (Requires Wizard 18, 30 AP Spent in tree, 2 AP)
Choose a T5 Archmage SLA of the same school as you chose for your tier 4 SLA.
i.e. Phantasmal Killer => Shadow Walk

Master of Magic (Requires Archmage Specialization V, Wiz 20, 40 AP Spent in tree)
Through extensive training and countless hours of study, you have mastered the application of metamagic feats to your spells. You gain +2 Intelligence, +5 Spellcraft, and all metamagic feats cost 1 fewer spell point to use. (Height Spell costs 1 fewer spell point per level of heightening.)

Pale Master and Wild Mage inability to get their previous core capstone may be a point of contention for many wizards. I personally think that the Master of Death capstone for PMs is a bit weaker than the AM capstone, but not by much. I'll leave others to decide how angry to get, as I'm mostly indifferent.

Tier 1:
Subtle Spellcasting (3/3, 1 AP per rank)
Your damage spells generate % less hate than they normally would, making enemies less likely to attack you.
Rank 1: 10%
Rank 2: 20%
Rank 3: 30%

Energy of the Scholar (0/3, 2 AP per rank)
Your studies have increased your maximum Spell Points by an additional amount.
Rank 1: 30
Rank 2: 60
Rank 3: 90
Seems like a more reasonable progression than before. Live: 110 SP/10 AP=11 per point. Alpha: 90 SP/6 AP=15 per point. We gain.

Spell Penetration (0/1, 2 AP)
You add +1 to your Caster Level check to overcome an enemy's Spell Resistance.
(Identical Enhancement with the previous tier's version as a pre-req is in tiers 1-3.)

Spell Critical (0/1, 2 AP)
Your (Acid / Cold / Electric and Sonic / Fire / Force and Untyped damage) spells have an additional 2% chance to critically hit.
(You have to choose 1 of the options. e.g. just Fire, or just Force and Untyped.
Identical Enhancement exists from tier's 1 - 4 with the previous tier's version as a pre-req. You can choose the same damage type each tier, or different damage types.)
Clearly everyone's going to investing in the AM tree or they miss out on quite a bit of spell crit. This seems appropriate but given the tree limits this could make multiclassing PMs and Wild Magi quite vexing.

Wand Heightening (0/3, 1 AP per rank)
Adds +1 to the save DC's of your offensive wands.
Oh look. The first pile of garbage in the tree. That's heartening.

Tier 2:

Multiple Enhancement Selector:
Choose a Metamagic Feat. Reduce the Spell Point cost of using that Metamagic.
Maximize OR Empower OR Enlarge OR Quicken
Maximize 3/6/9, Empower 2/4/6/, Enlarge 2/4/4, Quicken 2/4/4 <-- I suspect Enlarge and Quicken should both be 2/4/6 as well.
(This enhancement appears on tiers 2-4, each time requiring you to choose a different metamagic.)
Also found in pale master tree.

Wand and Scroll Mastery (Pre-req: Wand and Scroll Mastery, 0/3, 2 AP per rank)
+ effectiveness of your wands, scrolls, and other items that cast spells.
Rank 1: 25%
Rank 2: 50%
Rank 3: 75%
I suspect Aggrim meant to transcribe this as "Pre-req: Wand and Scroll Heightening," in which case I must say, "This is why people think the alpha pass is **** sometimes." Warforged wizards have the most to gain from scroll mastery for Reconstruct scrolls, and I can guarantee you none of my Warforged Wizards will spent an AP in this tree branch for that if the pre-reqs remain the same.

Tier 3:

Arcane Bolt (0/1, 2 AP)
Activation Cost: 2 Spell Points
Cooldown: 3 seconds
You fire a bolt of raw energy from your finger that deals 1 to 6 hit points of force damage per caster level to a single target. A successful Reflex save reduces the damage by half. This ability counts as a level 2 Wizard spell.
If this doesn't allow for metamagics, a lot of people will be unhappy. Make all SLAs accept relevant metas--that's the point of SLAs. Thanks.

Intelligence (0/1, 2 AP)
+1 Intelligence

Tier 4:

School Mastery (0/1, 2 AP)
You have attained mastery in the school of magic that you specialize in. The DC of spells you cast from that school are increased by 1.
No longer tied to a decrease in SP as on live. This is good.

Intelligence (Pre-req: Intelligence Tier 3, 0/1, 2 AP)
+1 Intelligence

Tier 5:

Arcane Blast (Pre-req: Arcane Bolt, 0/1, 2 AP)
Activation Cost: 6 Spell points
Cooldown: 8 seconds
You fire a ball of raw energy from your hand that explodes on contact with its target, dealing 1 to 6 hit points of force damage per caster level to all within its radius for. A successful Reflex save reduces the damage by half. This ability counts as a level 4 Wizard spel.
Same comments as for Arcane Bolt--if we can't apply metamagics to this, it's really clunky and poorly designed. It takes forever to cast, so at the very least, quicken would be essential. If no Maximize/Empower, fine, but I never train this enhancement on live because it's just so terrible to target and cast that it will more likely get you dead while its piddly damage misses the trash mobs wailing on you.

Improved Heightening (Pre-req: Efficient Metamagic line, 0/2, 2 AP per rank)
Using the Heighten Spell feat costs you 1 less spell point per level of heightening.

School Mastery II (Pre-req: School Mastery, 0/1, 2 AP)
You have attained new levels of mastery in the school of magic that you specialize in. The DC of spells you cast from that school are increased by an additional 1.

Secondary School Mastery (Pre-req: School Mastery II, 0/1, 2 AP)
Select one of the spell schools you are not specialized in. The DC of spells you cast from that school are increased by an additional 1.

Archmage looks relatively solid. It's not suffering the crippling lunacy of whomever designed the cleric trees. It has most of what it has before, and some minor tweaks that seem straight-forward and acceptable.

The big, glaring omission here is the lack of being able to train a secondary line of SLAs. I may have misinterpreted the wording but it doesn't look like you can take two lines of SLAs which is a major hit to 99% of every archmage I've ever met. Necro/evocation, evocation/conjuration, enchantment/+, you name it--I never see any singular specialty archmagi.

This is bad and needs to be addressed.

The lack of requirements for spell foci is going to make an Archmage even more flexible than before, which I think is truly one of the greatest developments of this tree.

TL;DR:
*gain less SP
*lose no SP for SLAs/spell masteries
*no feats required?
*has the original wizard capstone
*everyone tell the devs to uncouple Wand Heightening from Wand & Scroll Mastery. Now.

fink2008
04-18-2013, 08:28 AM
Pretty hard to read what you typed in that blue font bro.

SealedInSong
04-18-2013, 08:56 AM
I'll change it to a lighter blue.

Mosch
04-18-2013, 12:07 PM
Nice write-up.

Neither Arcane Bolt nor Blast allow for Metamagic to be applied. I feel they are quite useless.

I really don't like how you have to take the full Enhanced Metamagics line to access Enhanced Heightening, but I realize that this is the strongest metamagic feat there is so it might be justified.

psteen1
04-18-2013, 12:12 PM
The loss of a second school is strange for sure, but I like that you no longer get SP for picking the prestige, and then have to spend the SP to get the SLA's and spell masteries. That system was overly complicated, and overall it seems like archmage's overall SP will increase for the pass. Perhaps that is why we no longer get a second school.

But I'll miss my cheap heightened web.

edit: I agree that Arcane Bolt or Blast are largely worthless on Live, and this enhancement pass does nothing to change them. They are somewhat useful while leveling but that's it. Metamagics would be very appreciated, otherwise it is a waste.

Urjak
04-18-2013, 01:00 PM
Kinda disappointed by Archmage tbh. Seems they are now even less attractive compared to pale masters :(

.) only a single primary school specialization (with SLAs, the +1 DC for a 2nd school is still available)
.) the force damage SLAs are still useless
.) the immo best combo for archmages: warforge archmage (to get good selfhealing on an archmage) is now a lot less attractive because of increased cost of wand damage increasing enhancements
.) no boons compared to live

so basically, when looking at live, there are already more pale masters than archmages ... with these changes ... the number of archmages will further decrease I fear ...

I mean just compare the two:

DCs:
pale master: +3 to all (lich: +1, improved shroud: +1, capstone +1) and another +2 to necromancy (lich: +1, necromantic focus: +1)
archmage: +1 to all (capstone), an additional +2 to one school of choice (innate), +1 to a secondary school (sec. school specialization)
Conclusion: pale master with +5 necro-DC, rest +3 clearly ahead of AM (+3/+2, rest +1)

Self-healing:
PM: their negative energy healing got even better
AM: while reconstruct SPELLS still work, scrolls will be a lot more expensive action point wise
Conclusion: PM now clearly ahead

Damage SLAs:
PM: still meh damage, but at least costs no SP
AM: same damage as PM, but allows a saving throw and costs SP, only advantage is vs. undead ...
Conclusion: both still s***, but PM ones are still better

Spellpower:
PM: will end up with approx. ~50 * 0.75 = ~38 = ~40 SPP
AM: will end up with approx. ~50 * 1 = ~50 SPP
Conclusion: AM is slightly ahead here ... difference should not be very noticeable though (around 10% to 15% of the BASE damage)

Spellpoints:
PM: looses 100 SP (lich form)
AM: gets around ~50 * 2 = ~100 SP (core), SLAs won't save as much SP as they used to (only one school => less variation ... probably only 1 or max. 2 useful SLAs)
Conclusion: AM clearly wins here, even though he takes a slight hit

Additional Defenses:
All in the PM tree

TL;DR / Conclusion:
--) AM has around 2 DC less than PM, even in specialized school only same DC as PM has in every school
--) AM has less survivability than PM
-) AM has slightly worse damage SLAs
+) AM has slightly more SPP
~~) AM has more SP, BUT lower DCs require more casts to land the spell => additional SP at best make up for the low DCs ...

=> give AM back a 2nd school spec and remove wand heightening altogether / replace it with something more useful

LeoLionxxx
04-18-2013, 02:42 PM
The lack of second specialization is indeed a huge blow. It is essencial for many builds. It should definatly be reapplied. Perhaps have the second chain one a line you haveto manually take and spend points on, as well as have the feat, just like it is on live - Wouldn't say no to it costing SP from you max liike it does in live. IN any case, the second line NEEDS to be there with all 5 spells accessable.

oweieie
04-18-2013, 02:47 PM
Kinda disappointed by Archmage tbh. Seems they are now even less attractive compared to pale masters

The funny thing is I spent more points in the archmage tree for my pale master than I did in the pale master tree. I don't see any reason at all to take the summons or necromantic SLA when I can just take magic missle and the superior archmage capstone.

CeltEireson
04-18-2013, 04:08 PM
The funny thing is I spent more points in the archmage tree for my pale master than I did in the pale master tree. I don't see any reason at all to take the summons or necromantic SLA when I can just take magic missle and the superior archmage capstone.

Unfortunately reverse isn't true - really nothing at all useful in the necro line for an AM ;)

SealedInSong
04-18-2013, 04:31 PM
DCs:
pale master: +3 to all (lich: +1, improved shroud: +1, capstone +1) and another +2 to necromancy (lich: +1, necromantic focus: +1)
archmage: +1 to all (capstone), an additional +2 to one school of choice (innate), +1 to a secondary school (sec. school specialization)
Conclusion: pale master with +5 necro-DC, rest +3 clearly ahead of AM (+3/+2, rest +1)

I was delirious from lack of sleep when drafting the OP so I didn't compare this. Horrendous. Not only did I lose my secondary SLA line, but I am now TWO whole general DCs behind pale masters in an already ridiculous DC environment?

This is a double nerf bat from live. I mean, c'mon. As if PMs don't already have better instakill, SP conservation (HP SLA), passive healing, damage reduction (boon of undeath, Shroud PRR, Shroud procs, wraith incorporeality), and HP.


Self-healing:
PM: their negative energy healing got even better
AM: while reconstruct SPELLS still work, scrolls will be a lot more expensive action point wise
Conclusion: PM now clearly ahead

I'm not sure if this can be mathematically evaluated, but at least from a qualitative standpoint, I prefer the burst heals, amount of recon spells to be slotted vs singular negative energy burst, and being able to easy scroll myself. Add in upcoming WF reconstruction amplification, and I don't think this is necessarily as clear cut as you think.

I prefer AM healing on live and I probably will still prefer it in the enhancement pass.


Damage SLAs:
PM: still meh damage, but at least costs no SP
AM: same damage as PM, but allows a saving throw and costs SP, only advantage is vs. undead ...
Conclusion: both still s***, but PM ones are still better
Agreed. All these SLAs need quicken *at the very least* and if the devs think max/empower is too OP for the SLAs, whatever. Just allow us to speed up their underwater animation rate.


TL;DR / Conclusion:
--) AM has around 2 DC less than PM, even in specialized school only same DC as PM has in every school
--) AM has less survivability than PM
-) AM has slightly worse damage SLAs
+) AM has slightly more SPP
~~) AM has more SP, BUT lower DCs require more casts to land the spell => additional SP at best make up for the low DCs ...
=> give AM back a 2nd school spec and remove wand heightening altogether / replace it with something more useful

I have two pureclass archmagi and honestly this alpha is like losing four characters: one for each spell school that they focused in.

Pretty unacceptable.