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  1. #1
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    Default Spell buffs vs gear bonuses

    Spell buffs and gear bonuses used to cap out at the same bonus - +5.

    Resistance (Nightshield), Natural Armor (Barkskin), Deflection (Shield of Faith)

    Now with crazy stat inflation on current loot, you can get a +5 bonus to the above stats as early as level 7 with a Master Craftsmanship item. This is far earlier than it takes for the corresponding spells to cap and provide their full bonus and the gear bonus goes all the way up to +10 now.

    What's the point of these buffs?

    Would be nice if there were an appropriate increase in the cap and progression of these spells that mirrors the bonuses provided by gear. +1/2 caster levels, perhaps. This would keep pace with available gear nicely in the early game and provide a slight boost for the spell user in the mid-range levels.

    After all, if magical items are created by an appropriate level caster imbuing these spells into an item, how do the bonuses from the items rise above what the spell is capable of producing?

    While Mage Armor doesn't fit the same mold as the other spells, I think a case could be made for putting it on a similar progression. The static +4 bonus provided by Mage armor is very nearly useless even at level 1 where it's easy to find a +3 armor gear. (And +4 at level 3, making Mage Armor completely useless thereafter)

    Personally, I would have preferred to keep the original spell progression and enchantment caps from the DnD source material, but that cat seems to have already escaped the bag.

    It seems sensible to me that bonuses provided by spells, given the temporary nature of spells and their reliance on SP to be cast, should never be inferior to what's available on an enchanted piece of gear.
    Last edited by gurgar78; 12-26-2013 at 02:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Community Member kilagan800's Avatar
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    If you use Shield instead of Mage Armor, the +4 stacks. For instance, my level 20 wizard has an AC of 9 without items or buffs. I cast Shield which gives her 13, then I add her cloak that has an armor bonus of +7 and my AC reaches 20. Then I add a natural armor item of +6, raising the AC to 26. Then add a +5 protection item, raising it yet again to 31. Then adding a +5 Dex item raises it to 33. And being at level 20, I can easily raise the AC much higher, including added buffs like barksin or stoneskin etc.

    Also note that a high reflex save can go a long way.

  3. #3
    The Hatchery GeneralDiomedes's Avatar
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    About the only thing the spells are good for now is to provide a mediocre buff where your gear setup doesn't cover it.

    Agree that the stat inflation on loot is a little bit crazy. Not only buffs but some older items were left in the dust as well. As is usual with Turbine, hard to tell if by design or simply an oversight or not enough dev resources to properly address.

  4. #4

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    The point to these buffs is to provide mediocre protection for spellcasters that do not have space for those effects in their gear setup. Except for shield spell, that one is still one of the best protection spells not available in any other form. Turbine lately gave spellcasters good protection abilites via new enhancement trees.

    I do not see why something that simply takes a couple spellpoints and a spell slot should outweight something that requires a place in your gear setup...
    NESALOMLJIVI, Thelanis

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalConcreteSledge View Post
    I do not see why something that simply takes a couple spellpoints and a spell slot should outweight something that requires a place in your gear setup...
    Well, again.. until the last major update, items and spell buffs both capped at the same +5 limit. Now they've increased the upper boundary for items, but left the spell buffs the same.

    Why does that make sense versus raising the upper bounds on both so that spell buffs are still viable?

    Maybe we could say that since enchanted items require spells to be embedded in the material object in order to provide their bonuses, therefore items should never receive as high a bonus as a spell is capable of producing due to the inability to perfectly enchant an object?

    Or maybe we can avoid arguing assumptions about make-believe physics in either direction and just assume that, for balance, gear bonuses and protection spells should be equal as they were before?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilagan800 View Post
    If you use Shield instead of Mage Armor, the +4 stacks. For instance, my level 20 wizard has an AC of 9 without items or buffs. I cast Shield which gives her 13, then I add her cloak that has an armor bonus of +7 and my AC reaches 20. Then I add a natural armor item of +6, raising the AC to 26. Then add a +5 protection item, raising it yet again to 31. Then adding a +5 Dex item raises it to 33. And being at level 20, I can easily raise the AC much higher, including added buffs like barksin or stoneskin etc.

    Also note that a high reflex save can go a long way.
    That's because the Shield spell is a Shield Bonus, not an armor bonus, so yeah, a shield spell will stack with your armor, but it won't stack with your shield, if you wear one.

    Which is fine... different bonuses for different gear and spells.

    There's really not much call to change the Mage Armor spell because it's pretty much always been worthless.

    I just thought it might be nice to change it in a way that it becomes beneficial for a Mage or Sorcerer, requiring one less gear piece rather than being essentially worthless from the get-go. Even at max caster level, it still only provides a +10 bonus, so it only serves as a replacement for robes and enchanted clothing/jewelry, which caps at +10 also. It still isn't going to replace good ol' plate and a shield for a warrior. Mages aren't going to suddenly start tanking better than fighters.

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