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  1. #1
    Community Member Wakkander's Avatar
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    Default The State of Wizardry

    Magic in DDO leans towards hyper specialization, The Wizard instead of being the incredibly versatile caster they are in traditional D&D, they are pigeonholed into a select few elements of damage, and it simply isn't worth casting anything outside of those damage types.

    SLA's further encourage them to limit themselves to a small subset of spells, because the amount of HP enemies have and the cost of spells and the limited spell pool makes it more efficient and effective to do so. So instead of being very versatile casters, now they are primarily using a subset of a subset. This can be further extended to other spellcasting classes, to lesser degrees depending on the class. (The sorcerer for instance because of the Elemental Savant lines is always going to favor certain elements, and as a class has traditionally been more focused on specific spells due to their limited spells known.)

    • I would suggest therefore an expansion of the Spellpower system that is currently in place.

      In addition to the elemental lines of spell power which are important for sorcerors as they are currently implemented, also create school based spellpower lines. These would not stack, but rather the higher of the two would be used where there is overlap.

      • Abjuration
      • Conjuration
      • Divination
      • Enchantment
      • Evocation
      • Illusion
      • Necromancy
      • Transmutation

    • Introduce School Specializations
      Something long missing from PnP D&D, I imagine you could reuse a lot of the work used to create domains here. Wizards would choose a school specialization or choose to remain a generalist wizard. Specialists get a spell point cost reduction for spells of their chosen school. (Since you can't give the extra spell slot for spells of that school like in PnP.) Using the 5e Arcane Traditions as a base, you could then add additional effects. (Example: 5e on Roll20 Compendium )

      • Divination & Illusion
        Divination and illusion pose issues here as they have very few spells in game, and especially in the case of divination very few spells that could be easily added. Both could be boosted with additional spells regardless.
      • Divination
        This is a very problematic school for a game because it largely needs a DM. That said you could simply assume the diviner has cast a lot of the spells before entering a dungeon and surface additional information to them, or add in the spells to do it. One might reveal the exact number of secret doors in a dungeon, the number of breakables, monsters slain, etc to get the bonuses. A minor boost, but more intel on the dungeon/quest is the goal. Another spell might reveal the location of rare bosses, and if they spawned this time. You could also use the spells to enhance chests like the dragonmark does, with chance of success based on the spellpower for the school. Another spell might allow them to bypass puzzles, instantly solving them. Self only spells that give them a automatic save vs traps, a self-rez based on the premise they saw it coming and prepared. You would need to get inventive but this could work as a full school.
      • Illusion
        Illusion could get the various shadow spells, allowing them to replicate the effects of other schools. Shadow Evocation, could let them cast a wide number of evocation spells using the Illusion spellpower, albeit with a added chance the creatures realize its an illusion and take reduced damage. You also have Shadow Conjuration It would be a very flexible school, but with extra risk of creatures saving.
        • Lesser Shadow Conjuration/Evocation (3rd, replicates spells of listed school 2nd and lower)
        • Shadow Conjuration/Evocation (5th, replicates spells of listed school 4th and lower)
        • Greater Shadow Conjuration/Evocation (8th, replicates spells of listed school 7th and lower)
        • Shades (9th, replicates conjuration of 8th and lower)

    • Consolidate Effects
      Merge the spell power and spell DC effects into the same system. Every 30 points of spell power increases relevant DC's by +1. Adjust the Spell Focus feat lines to add spell power, and add in elemental/damage type variants.
    • Expand Effects
      With this new expansion no one would really have a reason to ever specialize in say, Abjuration, as is. Apply spell power to static buffs, thus a Resist Energy spell might instead of offering 10/20/30, would be 10/20/30 * abjuration spell power. Someone skilled in Transmutation instead of being able to grant +4 wisdom, could grant +4 * transmutation spell power, or make it grant +4 enhancement to wisdom, plus the extra from the transmutation spell power count as competence or other stacking type. Charm Person/Monster might apply a buff to the charmed creature scaling on the enchantment spell power. Likewise conjuration buffs creatures summoned based on conjuration spell power.

      Suddenly we've now got some potent new playstyles, largely group focused, that could be valuable additions to a party outside of slinging web and firewall, as well as open some additional solo pathlines aside from spamming SLA's.
    • New Spells
      There is no reason given the insane number of spells created over various editions of the game that we cannot have at least one spell per school per spell level. Flesh out the lists to bring them all more or less in line with each other.
      • Abjuration: 11 more spells, including an 8th level spell. (Recommendations: Greater Spell Immunity for 8th.)
      • Divination: 26 more spells, including 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th. (Recommendations: Foresight for 9th, Moment of Prescience for 8th, Vision(As a way to get dungeon details) for 7th, Prying Eyes for 5th (Ditto on dungeon intel), Treasure Scent for 4th (Increase loot in a chest like dragonmark), Unluck for 3rd.)
      • Illusion: 23 new spells, including 1st, 5th, 8th, and 9th. (Recommendations: Weird for 9th, Greater Shadow Evocation for 8th, Shadow Evocation for 5th, Fengut for 1st.)
    Last edited by Wakkander; 11-11-2017 at 06:54 PM.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakkander View Post
    Magic in DDO leans towards hyper specialization, [...]]
    I like your ideas, I really do. I think someone from the dev. side told us spells were hard to code, and require system changes if it were a completely new effects and graphics.

    For Divination, why not just give a spell like Clairaudience/Clairvoyance and see where we go from there? I know this is possible since Cordovan showed up a detached camera view of Castle Ravenloft and some of its interiors, and also Van Richten(sp?) Tower.

    For Illusion, just add Wierd, a mass PK where the barbarian Ravagers already got.

    The shadow spell series, Lesser Shadow Conjuration, Shadow Conjuration and Greater Shadow Conjuration & Shades are nice, but it has too many options, and prone to bugs... replacing spells basically let you save slots... I know the PC desktop product Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2 has them, but its just too many clicks... or should it be like resist energy and let you quick slot what spell you want them to replicate? again.... takes up too many bars and icons on players desktop.

    I am already out of space... very soon we will need everyone with ultra sensory eyes and 16K monitors at 100" with 100 bars for casters. Yuk! :\

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  3. #3

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    On a live stream within the past few months, someone asked Cordovan about adding new spells and/or revisiting existing spells. It wasn't on the dev radar.

    I'd like to see some very specific spell updates, like making Dismissal and Banishment viable (thus giving a reason for the new uber Abjuration DC item in Ravenloft to exist). Those two spells don't scale today because of the way their DCs are uniquely calculated. Because Banishment could be very disruptive to quests, I could see increasing it's cooldown to 60 seconds akin to Wail of the Banshee.
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  4. #4
    Community Member Wakkander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrande View Post
    I like your ideas, I really do. I think someone from the dev. side told us spells were hard to code, and require system changes if it were a completely new effects and graphics.


    The shadow spell series, Lesser Shadow Conjuration, Shadow Conjuration and Greater Shadow Conjuration & Shades are nice, but it has too many options, and prone to bugs... replacing spells basically let you save slots... I know the PC desktop product Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2 has them, but its just too many clicks... or should it be like resist energy and let you quick slot what spell you want them to replicate? again.... takes up too many bars and icons on players desktop.

    I am already out of space... very soon we will need everyone with ultra sensory eyes and 16K monitors at 100" with 100 bars for casters. Yuk! :\
    Yeah, I would expect any implementation to be trimmed down from the full list of evocation/conjuration. They know which spells are the most popular, and prone to be asked for. Or on the reverse they could use the less popular ones as the presets, making it so those see some additional use. For conjuration I'd imagine a summon creature and then a couple of attack spells, like melfs, or whatever depending on the level.

    Another way I could see it implemented would simply be like a metamegic option, perhaps granted by taking the illusion specialization, non-illusionists wouldn't have a need for them anyway. that way you would have the full range of options, but without taking up a lot of excess space, just right click on fireball and select shadow for it.

  5. #5
    Community Member Wakkander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carpone View Post
    On a live stream within the past few months, someone asked Cordovan about adding new spells and/or revisiting existing spells. It wasn't on the dev radar.

    I'd like to see some very specific spell updates, like making Dismissal and Banishment viable (thus giving a reason for the new uber Abjuration DC item in Ravenloft to exist). Those two spells don't scale today because of the way their DCs are uniquely calculated. Because Banishment could be very disruptive to quests, I could see increasing it's cooldown to 60 seconds akin to Wail of the Banshee.
    I'm sure as it stands there isn't much call to add new spells for the most part, but such a system as outlined would give them reason to do so, if for no other reason that to ensure all the schools have at least a spell/level. I think that the spell variety is one thing that makes DDO stand out from other games on the market, but unfortunately the trend towards a handful of SLA's makes that distinction moot.

  6. #6
    Community Member caberonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakkander View Post
    I'm sure as it stands there isn't much call to add new spells for the most part, but such a system as outlined would give them reason to do so, if for no other reason that to ensure all the schools have at least a spell/level. .
    Some of us have been asking for this for years. We've just given up. Not only new spells in general but fixing how some spells are calculated like was mentioned previously (banish etc etc).. and also fixing spells so they scale into epics rather than hitting their max dice at lvls 15 or 20. One of the reasons insta kill is so dominate is for SP per monster kill you won't find better efficiency. Even Most SLAs scale so horribly compared to monster HP in epics that its more efficient to use an insta kill spell instead.

    Then there is the fact that all if not most of the buff spells provide LESS BONUS than equipment that gives the same effects (powercreep has made this WORSE over the years)..and generally DONT stack with equipment (or just don't scale well like stoneskin) so those are redundant.. no buffer casters. So remove that build option.

    Summons are a joke on anything greater than Casual (Normal if you spend feats etc) not to mention summons AI... so no summoning type caster. Remove that build option.

    Last but not least any Monsters that are worth using the debuff spells on generally have immunity so no debuffer type caster. Remove that Build option.

    This isn't a comprehensive list of wizard builds in PnP that just aren't viable in DDO (I'm sure i've left some out). Bottom line is design decisions have pigeonholed Wizards into using specific spells... that versatility of being able to change spells at shrines is virtually worthless. Sure there's like 200+ spells in the game.. but when you parse out the weak and useless ones what were left with is CC and/or instakill if your a DC caster.. shiradi being the only viable option for DPS as a wizard for anything else.

    Rather than having the huge variety of wizard builds that is possible in PnP and also archtypes that most MMOs have that wizards SHOULD be able to fill in DDO we have 2 or 3 build types with predetermined spell selection for lack of better options.

    Wizards aren't the only class these issues effect.. but its more readily apparent with them being that one of their major class features is the ability to switch spells at shrines.

    All that being said... these issues have been repeated Ad nauseam by myself and others for years without any change so i don't expect this thread to show any more results than the previous ones.
    Last edited by caberonia; 11-11-2017 at 09:01 PM.
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  7. #7
    Community Member PermaBanned's Avatar
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    First, I agree with just about everything expressed so far regarding the state of magic in DDO. That said, there is a caveat...
    Quote Originally Posted by Wakkander View Post
    Magic in DDO leans towards hyper specialization, The Wizard instead of being the incredibly versatile caster they are in traditional D&D, they are pigeonholed into a select few elements of damage, and it simply isn't worth casting anything outside of those damage types.
    This is -imo- due to design flaws on both sides; that is decisions made by Devs and players. Focusing build viability concerns to the highest available difficulty options (due in no small part to disproportional rewards/incentives), playing by META, and building for optimality are all inherently restrictive choices. Playing/building for speed of content completion & repetition narrows the focus of available options. As others noted above, mob/boss immunities + massive HP#s narrow the focus of available options. Unresolved bugs, things that are poorly WAI, and "unintended synergies" all contribute to restriction rather than expansion of options.

    That's not to pull someone else's card and blame "the community" for the current state of affairs; just to say that we have had a hand in it. The Devs make it, we decide what to do with it. When the end result is undesirable, it just makes sense to me that it's both the ones making the menu and the ones selecting from it who share culpability.
    I would still like to see... Something that tests character versatility and player adaptability rather than character focus strength and quest knowledge.
    I play the quests for the content of the quests not just as an XP/min merry-go-round.
    Actual play experience is worth infinitely more than theorycrafting...

  8. #8
    Community Member Wakkander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PermaBanned View Post
    First, I agree with just about everything expressed so far regarding the state of magic in DDO. That said, there is a caveat...
    This is -imo- due to design flaws on both sides; that is decisions made by Devs and players. Focusing build viability concerns to the highest available difficulty options (due in no small part to disproportional rewards/incentives), playing by META, and building for optimality are all inherently restrictive choices. Playing/building for speed of content completion & repetition narrows the focus of available options. As others noted above, mob/boss immunities + massive HP#s narrow the focus of available options. Unresolved bugs, things that are poorly WAI, and "unintended synergies" all contribute to restriction rather than expansion of options.

    That's not to pull someone else's card and blame "the community" for the current state of affairs; just to say that we have had a hand in it. The Devs make it, we decide what to do with it. When the end result is undesirable, it just makes sense to me that it's both the ones making the menu and the ones selecting from it who share culpability.
    You're not wrong, at least in part.

    The nature of players is to seek out the most optimal route, a well designed system shouldn't feature a dominant strategy like we see in play. DC focused wizards in higher tier play is strictly dominant strategy. A wizard specialized in anything else will never yield as powerful a result as the one offered by a DC instant kill focused wizard. While the community picked up and ran with this, it ultimately falls to the developers for not realizing this would be the case, and for not seeking to resolve it.

    It is difficult to blame a person for choosing a perfectly cooked steak instead of raw fatty set of trimmings from the aforementioned steak when picking their dinner, one is prized, and the other not palatable. If the chef is responsible for the options he shouldn't be surprised when the customer picks the obviously superior option.

  9. #9
    Community Member PermaBanned's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakkander View Post
    You're not wrong, at least in part.

    The nature of players is to seek out the most optimal route, a well designed system shouldn't feature a dominant strategy like we see in play. DC focused wizards in higher tier play is strictly dominant strategy. A wizard specialized in anything else will never yield as powerful a result as the one offered by a DC instant kill focused wizard. While the community picked up and ran with this, it ultimately falls to the developers for not realizing this would be the case, and for not seeking to resolve it.

    It is difficult to blame a person for choosing a perfectly cooked steak instead of raw fatty set of trimmings from the aforementioned steak when picking their dinner, one is prized, and the other not palatable. If the chef is responsible for the options he shouldn't be surprised when the customer picks the obviously superior option.
    Yup, being one of those players making those choices I'll go for the steak every time too

    Devs opting for the easiest design path, and players (including myself) opting to adopt that path have made the game what it is.
    I would still like to see... Something that tests character versatility and player adaptability rather than character focus strength and quest knowledge.
    I play the quests for the content of the quests not just as an XP/min merry-go-round.
    Actual play experience is worth infinitely more than theorycrafting...

  10. #10
    Community Member Annex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caberonia View Post
    Some of us have been asking for this for years. We've just given up. Not only new spells in general but fixing how some spells are calculated like was mentioned previously (banish etc etc).. and also fixing spells so they scale into epics rather than hitting their max dice at lvls 15 or 20. One of the reasons insta kill is so dominate is for SP per monster kill you won't find better efficiency. Even Most SLAs scale so horribly compared to monster HP in epics that its more efficient to use an insta kill spell instead.

    Then there is the fact that all if not most of the buff spells provide LESS BONUS than equipment that gives the same effects (powercreep has made this WORSE over the years)..and generally DONT stack with equipment (or just don't scale well like stoneskin) so those are redundant.. no buffer casters. So remove that build option.

    Summons are a joke on anything greater than Casual (Normal if you spend feats etc) not to mention summons AI... so no summoning type caster. Remove that build option.

    Last but not least any Monsters that are worth using the debuff spells on generally have immunity so no debuffer type caster. Remove that Build option.

    This isn't a comprehensive list of wizard builds in PnP that just aren't viable in DDO (I'm sure i've left some out). Bottom line is design decisions have pigeonholed Wizards into using specific spells... that versatility of being able to change spells at shrines is virtually worthless. Sure there's like 200+ spells in the game.. but when you parse out the weak and useless ones what were left with is CC and/or instakill if your a DC caster.. shiradi being the only viable option for DPS as a wizard for anything else.

    Rather than having the huge variety of wizard builds that is possible in PnP and also archtypes that most MMOs have that wizards SHOULD be able to fill in DDO we have 2 or 3 build types with predetermined spell selection for lack of better options.

    Wizards aren't the only class these issues effect.. but its more readily apparent with them being that one of their major class features is the ability to switch spells at shrines.

    All that being said... these issues have been repeated Ad nauseam by myself and others for years without any change so i don't expect this thread to show any more results than the previous ones.
    I just wanted to drop in and say, "Thank you", for putting into focus my own frustrations with wizards in DDO. They not very fun to play because they are not really wizards at all.

  11. #11
    Community Member Wizza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caberonia View Post
    Some of us have been asking for this for years. We've just given up.
    Pretty much.

    And this can be applied to many things in this game, for me at least. See endgame, economy, trading etc. We just can't be bothered anymore. Devs don't care, so they will lose some players. /shrugs
    Quote Originally Posted by JOTMON View Post
    I don't think you get a choice.. you are Rys's minion..

  12. #12
    Community Member caberonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annex View Post
    I just wanted to drop in and say, "Thank you", for putting into focus my own frustrations with wizards in DDO. They not very fun to play because they are not really wizards at all.
    exactly. Design decisions have turned them into Necromancers(instakill + self healing via undead forms).. with optional build as CC magic users.. the rest of their spell and build options aren't viable for gameplay over normal (archmage with proper scroll healing could do elite.. but he's likely going to be enchancment based CC and/or shiradi to be effective)... higher the difficulty less build options you have. Which would be fine if the Cut off for them was in reaper. One expects to have to use min/maxing meta for upper level difficulties but most other options aren't viable past casual or normal... and some like a debuff or buffer type aren't even useful then.
    Last edited by caberonia; 11-12-2017 at 10:51 PM.
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