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:
- AOE Root
- AOE Snare DD
- Single Target DoT
- 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:
- Dmg Shield
- Single Target DoT
- Single Target Snare DD (2.8s)
- AOE Snare (45% 45s no immunity snare at highest level)
- AOE Snare DD
- AOE Root
- Single Target DD+Debuff (2.8s)
- AOE DD+Debuff
- 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 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.