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A look at the Wizard Class

Nephamael

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This is highly speculative, but I wanted to share my perspective on the Wizard:

- Most people will agree the Classic spec lines look a bit weird. Earth has nothing going for it. Cold seems a bit all over the place. Heat is pure DPS and arguably in the best place.
- Volcanic Pillar is quite powerful and unique in the Old RA setting. I believe any and all changes to the class should keep this in mind. Overtuning it could result in new balance issues. Well played Wizards are a force to be reckoned with.

With that said, I don't think adding Nearsight to the Earth line would really do the class justice. Yes, it would help, but I feel it is not a real solution as it does not address the actual usefulness of the Earth line itself.

In my opinion the Wizard is a class that should excel in the simplicity of certain mechanics. A real no-nonsense mage that can choose three different areas in which he can specialize.
  • Path of Earth:
    Currently this line has:
    - GTAOE
    - AOE Root
    - AOE Snare DD
    - Single Target DoT
    - Bolt
    - DMG Shield

    The problem with this line that the Wizard has no access to a reliable single target nuke. In order to compensate this, I would make the following changes:
    - Add Single Target Snare DD (2.8s casting speed, ~179 delve)
    - Replace the AOE Root with AOE Snare (2.5s casttime, 45% movement speed reduction, duration 15 (grey) to 45 (purple) seconds). This snare should break as usual upon damage, but not grant root immunity once broken. Basically a casted peel-snare which functions very similarly to the snare component of a Snare DD, but with 45% slow instead of the usual 35%. At the highest level it would also last 15s longer than the DD snare, although it is affected by Resists and Determination. The specifics can be tweaked for balance purposes, but you get the idea.

    This would make the Earth line a viable, unique and fun specline in its own way, without being overpowered. This implementation feels way more in line with the original class design than simply slapping on Nearsight in my opinion.

  • Path of Ice:
    I would add the AOE Root that was replace in the Earth line and remove the Single Target Snare DD since this has also been added to the Earth line.
    To make the AOE Root a bit more gradually available, I would add an AOE Root at level 22 that lasts around 35 seconds. This seems reasonable QoL for a spell line which seems to have an illogical gap in levels (19 levels without a spell upgrade).

    Additionally I would lower the cast time on the single DD+Debuff nuke to 2.8s instead of 3s and increase its value to 179.

    This would result in giving the Ice line a bit more much needed utility (AoE Root) which remains in tune with its character. It would also make the DD+Debuff nuke a seriously viable option to start off your single line DPS with.

  • Path of Fire:
    Increase the Damage on the baseline DD to 179 delve for polishing purposes. Otherwise keep this line intact. It excels at raw ranged damage and is for that niche purpose in a good spot I feel.

To recap, this would result in the following speclines:
Earth:
- Dmg Shield
- GTAOE
- Bolt
- Single Target DoT
- Single Target Snare DD (2.8s)
- AOE Snare (45% 45s no immunity snare at highest level)
- AOE Snare DD

Ice:
- AOE Root
- Single Target DD+Debuff (2.8s)
- AOE DD+Debuff
- PBAOE

Fire:
- Bolt
- AoE DD
- Single Target DD (2.8s)


I know this is all quite custom, but I was playing around with these ideas and felt they might inspire others to think creatively about the class. I do feel that with a few light tweaks Wizards can be a in a great spot despite being the oddball out in Alb caster comps.

In any case, it's just a thought, do with it what you will.

I like your effort, but i feel like your proposed changes would sadly leave wizard exactly where it is now:

-Very viable for PvE (ice)
-Very viable for Zerg RvR (earth)

-Not viable for 8v8 (lack of utility, debuff, pet, cc) and solo (lack of secondary cc)


Leaving wizard as it is would be "ok" given the purist 1.65 mindset of the server.
However it would mean less variety for 8v8/solo and inevitably disappointed players, when they find out they can only play 1 endgame content with their character.


I personally think the best possible and most necessary change to make would be to add a cold a heat (and a matter) debuff to the earth line.

That way wizard can debuff for his own basenuke and bolts and is exactly what you envision him and what i also believe the classic feel of playing the class was = pure dps and massive burst. (I played wizard on Camlann back in the days ^^.)

(giving him no matter debuff, but cold and heat would be very smart, to not overpower the dot for zerg fights, where earthwizard is already among the strongest characters with dot, aoe snare dd and gtaoe [@ joshisanonymous joshisanonymous already mentions this point above correctly])

That change would not lift wizard into viability for 8v8 yet, so adding a nearsight too would not hurt, while not making wizard remotely as strong as cabalist. But a niche/troll elemental train group with wizards and or wizard(s)+theurgs would be lifted into the somewhat viable area and could somewhat compete with the other realms lineups, even if not with the body train yet.

To lift wizard into solo viability and as a no nearsight available option he could get a single mezz and a demezz or a single stun and a demezz in the fire line, but this would be pretty custom - the heat/cold debuff + nearsight was already tested on Phoenix and proved to be viable enough to find a niche, while far too weak to replace the common S/A tier picks.
 
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To lift wizard into solo viability and as a no nearsight available option he could get a single mezz and a demezz or a single stun and a demezz in the fire line, but this would be pretty custom - the heat/cold debuff + nearsight was already tested on Phoenix and proved to be viable enough to find a niche, while far too weak to replace the common S/A tier picks.
I agree that adding a secondary CC in lieu of NS would make wizards more viable for solo play, but yeah, that would be a pretty big change. Thematically, I don't think mez would work, either, but I could see stun working in either earth or ice (stunned by getting hit by a piece of rock or ice, but not by a fireball). However, this would be very powerful in earth if earth also got cold and heat debuffs since there'd be good ranged damage, good utility, and now stun. It would also probably be too powerful in fire considering the huge frontloading that fire wizards have. In practical terms, assuming debuffs added to earth, ice would make the most sense: it would be the lowest ranged damage spec and probably even the least attractive for RvR playstyles that wizards are already good for like zerging. The only big damage ice puts out is the PBAoE, but that rarely synergizes well with a single target stun.

I don't see more CC being added to wizards here, though (nor NS for that matter). Hell, I think adding cold and heat debuffs are the least risky moves for creating some more variety and fun for wizards and I doubt even those would be added considering that the devs here seem pretty thoroughly against other things along the same lines like additional baseline nukes.
 

ACrispyTaco

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Wiz spells auto-apply heat/cold/matter debuff
Nearsight
Bolts penetrate up to 50% of Bubble/Blocks and don't get blocked while target is in combat
Theurg Speed for group
 

Alvis

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The road to freeshard hell is paved with good balance intentions. One person's tweaks and balance are another realm's overpowered "devs all play Alb!" cries. Stick with the baseline, add QOL that is true to the intent of lowerint the entry effort, and fix the truly broken things. If a class ends up under-represented, so be it. There are plenty of other classes and realms to play.
 
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The road to freeshard hell is paved with good balance intentions. One person's tweaks and balance are another realm's overpowered "devs all play Alb!" cries. Stick with the baseline, add QOL that is true to the intent of lowerint the entry effort, and fix the truly broken things. If a class ends up under-represented, so be it. There are plenty of other classes and realms to play.
This way of thinking just sounds like letting fear of making a bad decision lead you into making no decisions at all. Tweaks and customizations are not inherently bad. Yes, there's a risk involved, but we saw with Phoenix that many of customizations are happily welcomed by players. On the other hand, we can see from Uthgard how stale and unappealing things can be when just left as-is because that happened to be how it was in 2003.

I think the key for any customizing is to simply take it slow. Changes to classes should be pretty incremental, and they need to be left alone for a while afterward to really see how those changes pan out. Phoenix staff didn't really take their time like that, so while a lot of their customizations were very good ideas, the ones that weren't were also just sorta pushed into the game and then not monitored much because they were already moving on to other ideas.
 

DJ2000

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This way of thinking just sounds like letting fear of making a bad decision lead you into making no decisions at all. Tweaks and customizations are not inherently bad. Yes, there's a risk involved, but we saw with Phoenix that many of customizations are happily welcomed by players. On the other hand, we can see from Uthgard how stale and unappealing things can be when just left as-is because that happened to be how it was in 2003.

I think the key for any customizing is to simply take it slow. Changes to classes should be pretty incremental, and they need to be left alone for a while afterward to really see how those changes pan out. Phoenix staff didn't really take their time like that, so while a lot of their customizations were very good ideas, the ones that weren't were also just sorta pushed into the game and then not monitored much because they were already moving on to other ideas.
Not really fair to say.

Changes to the Wizard were done as you suggested. And reverted partly back after a good period of time.
Also, changes to the Wizard class were heavily Custom, as the intent was not just to make them more appealing, but to make them actually Meta relevant.
To accomplish those goals, without changing a lot, is impossible.
And every change entailed further adjustments along the line. More time, more effort.


Even if you want to settle to a lower goal for Atlas (less time/effort and smaller scale), you'd still have to reevaluate them after a period of time:
"Was it too much, or was it not enough".
And regardless of the result, there would still be further adjustments that would keep require further evaluations and more "corrections" by the Team.
There is just no end to it, unless you simply declare a full STOP and deal with the backlash of an unfinished change.

There sure have been good suggestions so far (here and other places, past and present).
The problem was/is not really the quality/quantity of the suggestions (I am sure some of those suggestions would be fine.)
But this project (Atlas) simply seems to not be the right environment for them.

I am sure that the few class changes (that have been announced and/or are still TBA), will take a lot of the dev team's time and resources in a couple of months after the launch, even if the entire team had/has been 100% behind those changes.

You can't just throw something out there and ignore it afterwards ("we are done with that"), as small as it/they may be.
 
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Dave / Toad

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This is likely an idea that a lot of people wouldn't like, but I've thought for the past couple of years that it would be nice if Wizzies got access to PBT in the Earth line as they are the same base class as Theurgs. This would allow you to swap the Theurg slot for a wiz, a pretty hefty tradeoff, but if you wanted to run a non-meta comp it would be more doable. Ideal tradeoff would be rupts for pure damage. It could probably be manipulated where the meta spec would only yield them blue PBT in a fire primary spec.

I could personally live with Wizzies also getting access to either the elemental debuffs and/or some version of NS (maybe better spread across spec lines than on Phoenix where there are big tradeoffs for each spec line). I don't think it resulted in anything beyond gimmick groups on Phoenix, impact on zerg warfare would need to be paid close attention to as they're already problematic there with VP, bolts, broken GTAOE and PBAoE.
 

Process

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I personally agree with giving Wizards NS in Earth Line.
If you want to do something minor, give them baseline haste buffs like Theurg has. DS is pretty useless. At least haste provides some more group utility.
 
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Not all classes and speclines performing same efficient and Atlas vision is 1.65 with MINOR qol. So its all ok with wizards and they should stay 1.65 for the first. Maybe later make a review and optimize.
And plz stop influencing in custom direction.
When u want to play superior alb caster class, play sorc or cabba or theurg. Wizards was 1.65 a nichecaster, so leave them for the nicheplayers.
 

Zyfrig

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Not all classes and speclines performing same efficient and Atlas vision is 1.65 with MINOR qol. So its all ok with wizards and they should stay 1.65 for the first. Maybe later make a review and optimize.
And plz stop influencing in custom direction.
When u want to play superior alb caster class, play sorc or cabba or theurg. Wizards was 1.65 a nichecaster, so leave them for the nicheplayers.

It was just and idea I was playing with. If you read my post properly you would have realized that.
 
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Yeah and your idea woke up spirits which should buried with Phoenix forever. Noone need any custom "solutions" which break the asymetrical unbalance.

In any case, it's just a thought, do with it what you will.
i did and u cry. i love this funny nonsense

please-tell-me-da8w6o.jpg
 
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Your proposed changes, not saying if they good or bad, can't be just "feel good/better" changes for the sake of it.
Saying afterwards that "none of these changes would be overpowered, so they are fine" is also the wrong way to approach this. Trust me, there are a gazillionbillionandwhatnot "ideas" others will bring up, for their fav. class. There will be no end.
This! And thats why it is needed to stop the customflood asap in this forum. We need to dispel the spirits of custom to protect the "near vanilla" which Atlas target.
So please just stop to argue for any classenhance.
All caster line should have nukes even if they are weak. A weak person without any offense is just stupid. (...) I will not play a stupid weak class with no balance.
Bard? Weak class whitout any rl offense... And yeah its stupid, but thats the challenge. Good golfer even play with handicap.

Then dont play wizard... easy decision right? Nicheclass for Nicheplayers.
 

Zyfrig

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This! And thats why it is needed to stop the customflood asap in this forum. We need to dispel the spirits of custom to protect the "near vanilla" which Atlas target.
So please just stop to argue for any classenhance.

Bard? Weak class whitout any rl offense... And yeah its stupid, but thats the challenge. Good golfer even play with handicap.

Then dont play wizard... easy decision right? Nicheclass for Nicheplayers.

You're making quite the drama over a few thoughts. Seems you don't trust the Staff to judge whether an idea is reasonable or not... I hope you will come to realize the Atlas team is not the same as the Phoenix one and that some people are capable of having reasonable discussions without having to be afraid of black magic "custom" spirits. :rgbwiggle:


By the way,

Hybrids already get Det 3.
Supports already get Cure Nearsight.
Spiritmasters already get Cure Mezz at 19 instead of 28, etc ...

So you're suggesting we should remove all these changes?
 

Hend

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Wizard is viable in rvr. Having a wizards crew with a sorcerer heat debuff is actually insane for zerg action (best setup ?) and its still a viable setup to 8v8 if you kite decently. I m not even talking about keep defense. Of course wizards cannot compete with sorcerers and cab if you aim for the perfect 8v8setup but... no other classes can so... What can be the solution ? Make the wizard a godly class or nerf hard sorcerers and cabs. I don't see this happening.
Btw, we don't have a clear idea about wizards atm because we lack alot of informations :
- we don't know what will be the definitive RA system
- they will probably anounce more features for classes in the incoming months.
We are far from release.
To give you an exemple. In term of small groups, i would say that on Phoenix wizards and all casters suffered alot of det on all hybrids like skalds + purge 5 and SOS on everybody. I saw good players on iconic duos (bard/eld) struggling alot to kill any random skald or bd.
Till we don't know the definitive system its hard to ask for a class rebuild.
 
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u see Zyfrig? ask Hend if you need advice to play wizard properly :D

yes, support shouldn´t have Cure Nearsight, but thats just my humble opinion.
 

Hend

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u see Zyfrig? ask Hend if you need advice to play wizard properly :D

yes, support shouldn´t have Cure Nearsight, but thats just my humble opinion.
That was not my point. What i tried to prove is : balancing every class in dark age is impossible for the simple reason that making a class on point with your realm doesn't make in on point regarding other realms. I tend to accept some classes are good in certain situations and we have to deal with it.
Maybe i played wow classic too much. People roll toons to fit in every situation. I followed this idea on Uthgard : had my main character cabby and i also had a wizard for realm action, fun crews and pve.

Whats wrong with cure NS ? There was no cure on Uthgard and honestly it was terrible.
 
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Ähm, ofc u can cure ns but not with every supporter. Or is my brain wrong in this point? Just believing that 1 class in every realm which can cure ns is enough.

But yeah... uth and staff was terrible and insane... serious
 

Zyfrig

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Ähm, ofc u can cure ns but not with every supporter. Or is my brain wrong in this point? Just believing that 1 class in every realm which can cure ns is enough.

But yeah... uth and staff was terrible and insane... serious

I actually agree about cure NS .
 
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