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Author Topic: Bringing all mages on par!  (Read 278351 times)

DeckBuilder

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2014, 07:09:54 PM »
Wow, I disappear for my RPG session and this thread has grown immensely!
I think I'm going to give up my plan of collecting/listing ideas here and go with the lively flow


Ok, firstly I like the Triple for Nature suggestion as an amendment because it feels right
Especially as we have no mage with Triple Nature weakness - but how much will it really hurt the Wizard?
1 Regrowth, 1 Rhino Hide, is he really that hurt by it? I don't think so.

Now let me explain the Novice idea better

Novice Dispel is called Dispel, exactly the same (Arcane 1) except range 1 and Novice
Novice Teleport is called Teleport, exactly the same (Arcane 2) except range 1, Friendly Creature and Novice
Novice Dissolve is called Dissolve, exactly the same (Water 1) except range 0 and Novice
And so on

You are only allowed to have 6 copies of a level 1 spell of the same name (like Dispel)
You are only allowed to have 4 copies of a level 2 spell of the same name (like Teleport)

Obviously Water Wizards will not have Novice spells of any of the above 3, they are experts at them
But the rest of us can choose how many of their 6 or 4 maximum are

Novice is just a variant of the same spell name, just weaker and available to all mages at x1 cost
This is not a new concept
Game of Thrones has many same name variants, you can only have 3 of them, no matter which variants
Magic Legendary rule applies to every version of variant Planeswalkers of the same name

We are creating a cheap Utility school (everyone trained) by using the Novice mechanic
But mainly we hit Arcane hard with slightly weaker versions of the staples (Dispel, Teleport, Nullify, Jinx)
So that we actually remove what makes Wizards special - their access to Arcane

They are still masters of Arcane: they will have no Novice Arcane spells, only full fat versions for same SPs.
There is no blurring of colours, just an acceptance that other mages get slightly weaker versions at x1 cost

Let's look at it another way.
Currently a minor reason why War is so weak is many of its Commands are Novice, available to all
But what if there were non-Novice versions?
Piercing Strike, War 1, same cost, gain +4 Piercing
Power Strike, War 1, same cost, gain +3 Melee
Suddenly War Mages get a slightly improved ability for the same mana and SPs because of their training.
(Just like the Wizard will always use current improved versions of Dispel and Teleport for the same costs)

This approach with Wizard is to
(a) remove what makes him special by giving lesser versions to everyone at the same cost
(b) create CHOICE when you build books - go with 4 Dispels or 2 Dispels + 4 Novice Dispels? (Both 8SPs)
We win on 2 levels here because choice is good in customisable games
And the best thing is we have no "blurring of colours" - those Novice spells are still Arcane.

Similarly, we ensure absolutely no more "Wizard Only" cards - whilst other mages gain exclusive toys
Exclusive toys are simply extensions of the Mage card (Galvitar is a classic example)


I am not against suggesting nerfing the Wizard card - but it does feel quite drastic.
What I am suggesting instead is a far more subtle route to eroding his power base.
Also frees spellpoints in our books, much needed because the budget stays 120 yet we have a bigger pool.


Finally, I would like to remind everyone of an undeniable fact.
When it was just a pool of Core Set cards, the Wizard was not overpowered.

It was Wizard's Tower that pushed him over the edge.
Ever since Wizard's Tower came out, it has been "Wizard wins again."
If we are to suggest anything drastic (option D - errata), I suggest we concentrate on:

(a) Wizard's Tower - just nerf it like Temple of Light
(b) Teleport - I have suggested a rules tweak like the Stun Exception to avoid altering cards here

Those are the real culprits of Wizard's dominance.
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webcatcher

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #46 on: February 26, 2014, 08:37:10 PM »
Quote
This approach with Wizard is to
(a) remove what makes him special by giving lesser versions to everyone at the same cost
(b) create CHOICE when you build books - go with 4 Dispels or 2 Dispels + 4 Novice Dispels? (Both 8SPs)

One of the things that makes the wizard special is his school flexibility combined with two trained schools and no restricted schools. I think that's one of the most important things to fix, and it'll take an errata. Otherwise you maintain the problem of the wizard benefiting as much from another mage's new cards as the other mage does.

Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #47 on: February 26, 2014, 08:38:04 PM »
Yes, the wizard wasn't overpowered when it was just the core set. However, every expansion so far has released cards that greatly benefit the wizard.

Forcemaster vs Warlord released earth spells, including Iron Golem

Conquest of Kumanjaro released arcane spells, including Wizard's Tower

Druid vs Necromancer released Devouring Jelly and more water spells, including acid ball.

Any good cards that are added to the arcane school or an elemental school are going to be usable by the wizard unless they are mageclass only. While the wizard didn't become overpowered until Wizard's Tower was released, let's not forget that Wizard's tower on its own is not that overpowered. If another future arcane mage used the wizard's tower, I doubt it would make them as broken as the wizard currently is.

As I've stressed many times before, the power level of cards does not exist in a vacuum. They exist in the context of their interactions with other cards. I suspect that when a new card(s) gets released it causes a web of chain reactions in the metagame, and if we want to fix an overpowered card, we only need find the card(s) that started the chain reactions that led to the overpoweredness of the card we're trying to fix.

Would nerfing wizard's tower sufficiently lower the wizard's power level until he was on par with the other mages? What nerfs do you propose to wizard's tower that could do this?

Several people have made very well-reasoned cases for the wizard himself being the start of the chain reaction that led to his own overpoweredness. I think the main problem here is the wizard's serious spellbook point advantages, which allow him to have so many more options than any other mage.

Perhaps the wizard's tower might not be so overpowered if the wizard was more limited in how many different attack spells he had room for in his spellbook. As far as I've seen, if a wizard is using a wizard's tower, their spellbook probably includes multiple copies of every useful utility attack spell, not to mention replacement towers. Chances are they'll never run out of towers, and if they do, they're not the ones losing. And the Wizard's tower is usually a must-destroy card. I might be wrong though since I haven't played the wizard that much to know about such a trend in his spellbook composition.

What I do know is that whenever I try to build any non-wizard spellbook, I consistently have to make an effort to squeeze my spellbook into 120 points. I really like that because it challenges me to really think and strategize about my card choices.

When I've tried to build a wizard spellbook, I actually find it quite difficult to even REACH 120 spellbook points. In fact I've felt like I actually have twice as much spellbook points to use when building a wizard book than a non-wizard book.

I think it's pretty clear that the wizard's overpoweredness is a result of his own abilities and the lack of non-wizard trained staple spells, and NOT just the Wizard's tower. All of the spells that are universally needed for a build to be viable or competitive are spells wizards are trained in.

Right now I think the most sensible, least risky and possibly only long-term effective solution is to make the wizard pay triple in nature and an opposing elemental school, and release more non-wizard trained equivalents of staple cards.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 08:46:15 PM by Imaginator »
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Alexander West

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #48 on: February 26, 2014, 09:12:28 PM »
Going back to Laddinface's original request, I think we should be focusing on trying to invent cards that would bring all of the other classes up, rather than errataing/nerfing the Wizard.  Certainly Arcane Wonders can errata the stat card if they chose, but it's a pretty extreme response.

Beyond that, I don't even think that adding an "enemy" school to the Wizard would be significant.  Most Wizard books I have seen have around 3-5 SP of spells from either the War or Nature School.  Sure, 5 SP aren't trivial, but is it worth card errata to only achieve that?

No, I think as everyone has pointed out here, the Wizard became excellent due to the printing of Wizard's Tower and strong Arcane and Elemental creatures.  He used to bumble along with the rest of the base set mages.  I think the trick is to make the other mages excellent through similar means.  (And I would argue that the Druid is already on par with the Wizard.)  Let the presses print more excellent War, Light, Unholy, Fire, Water, and Air spells.  (I leave out Nature, since it's already really buff.)  Sure, elemental spells also benefit the Wizard, but he already has a bunch of plum choices.  It's diminishing returns for him to get access to more things that are already of equivalent power.

I think that's where we the players come in.  What do the other mages need to do to wow us?
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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #49 on: February 26, 2014, 11:44:52 PM »
Beyond that, I don't even think that adding an "enemy" school to the Wizard would be significant.  Most Wizard books I have seen have around 3-5 SP of spells from either the War or Nature School.  Sure, 5 SP aren't trivial, but is it worth card errata to only achieve that?
So a Fire Wizard gets 6 Dissolves for 12 SP's vs. 18 SP's (a natural opposing school). A Bear Strength, Rhino Hide, Hawkeye, Regrowth, and a Cheetah Speed for 12SP's vs. 18 SP's. So just the typical Charmyna toolbox set. That's a total of 24 SP's vs. 36 SP's. I haven't even added in the (still Fire Wizard) Surging Wave, Geyser, or Acid Ball.

Not that big of a difference? This is the crux of the problem. The Wizard can build a very responsive toolbox vs. any other mage as a result.
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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #50 on: February 27, 2014, 12:38:04 AM »
There is also another possibility. Unstead of making nature triple and one opposite elemental school, you could make nature and all elemental schools cost triple. Thematical it would still fit. The only question is, if this is too harsh. The options for attack spells for the wizard tower will probably decrease significantly, making it a less versatile attack tool.

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #51 on: February 27, 2014, 12:43:59 AM »
Alexander, bringing other mages' levels up means releasing a ton of '<school/mage> only' cards, limiting deckbuilding options for every mage. If you don't do it this way, the Wizard, with his excess spellbook points, can simply buy any new awesome card that gets printed.

Deckbuilder, the problem with those novice spells is that a Wizard can stack dissolves AND novice dissolves. A dissolve wand is something you don't want to see across the board, but with this hypothetical cards this wand is no longer needed: a Water Wizard could pack 12 'dissolve' for just 12 spellbook points, rendering every piece of equipment almost useless.

However, if these new cards are named EXACTLY the same as their counterparts (dissolve, dispel), the 6-card limit would still kick in and this 12 dissolve nonsense would be avoided (I don't have my rulebook here, but I guess the limit is for card's name). This could be a solution, but I cannot imagine how would newcomers feel about it, as I guess more than one would wrongly include more than 6 cards between old dissolve and new novice dissolve without noticing they share the name and, thus, their limit.
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DeckBuilder

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2014, 01:05:45 AM »
That is what I said, Tarkin. The Novice spells have the same name.
So you can't have 6 Dispel and 6 Novice Dispel. You can have 6 Dispel of any combination.

Game of Thrones has 5 different versions of Jamie Lannister. You can only play 3 copies in total.
Mage Wars won't go that far, just the option of having weaker Novice variants.

It gives greater deckbuilding choice and erodes his power base without. blurring the colours.
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MageHorst

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #53 on: February 27, 2014, 03:03:35 AM »
First of all: great thread! I really like this discussion.

As for bringing everyone on par, I think I have to agree with those who would go for a nerf of the Wizard stat card (thanks to baronzaltor, he summed it up perfectly). The root of the problem in my opinion is the Wizard himself, not a specific spell or combination of a handful of spells. (Side note: looking at a promo card such as "Mordok's Tome" as another powerful arcane only card is making me cringe) "Forged in Fire" is coming, and certainly the Warlord will profit. Certainly the Warlock will profit. And who will also profit greatly from all those fire spells? Same thing, as others have mentioned, with the Siren and so on.

Triple cost for Nature, as many have pointed, seems logical and goes well with the overall theme. I doubt that it will be enough, though. I feel like leaning towards an additional triple cost for opposing elements.

However, I find the idea of an "Average Joe Dispel" quite appealing. Maybe in addition to some kind of Wizard stat card nerf?
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Charmyna

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2014, 03:14:27 AM »
That is what I said, Tarkin. The Novice spells have the same name.
So you can't have 6 Dispel and 6 Novice Dispel. You can have 6 Dispel of any combination.

Game of Thrones has 5 different versions of Jamie Lannister. You can only play 3 copies in total.
Mage Wars won't go that far, just the option of having weaker Novice variants.

It gives greater deckbuilding choice and erodes his power base without. blurring the colours.

I have to say I like the idea of Novice versions with the same name. Still the availability of Dissolve/Dispel would increase a bit (mostly every spellbook will have 4-6 of each) and the value of equips/enchants would decrease somehow. I cant tell which I prefer now (Wizard Errata or DeckBuilders suggestion). Tough call ;).

Btw instead of lower range the novice spells could have limitations on the level of the removed spell ( e.g. only work on level 1 spells in the same way as Dispel Wand). That might help against devalueing enchants/equips.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 03:30:27 AM by Charmyna »

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #55 on: February 27, 2014, 03:20:23 AM »
Novice Dispel is called Dispel, exactly the same (Arcane 1) except range 1 and Novice
Novice Teleport is called Teleport, exactly the same (Arcane 2) except range 1, Friendly Creature and Novice
Novice Dissolve is called Dissolve, exactly the same (Water 1) except range 0 and Novice
And so on

You are only allowed to have 6 copies of a level 1 spell of the same name (like Dispel)
You are only allowed to have 4 copies of a level 2 spell of the same name (like Teleport)

Okay, now that I understand this proposal a little better, I have revised my opinion - I think weaker, same level novice versions of existing cards as proposed are both a good idea and highly thematic.

Good idea: They fix the problem with level 1 utility spells.
Highly thematic: Mages have more powerful versions of their own schools' spells, which makes sense.

The fact that the novice spells count as the advanced counterparts is what convinces me; I think that making two different spells to do the same thing is lazy design, but it doesn't seem so bad if they are just different versions of the same spell.

Novice Teleport doesn't work, because Teleport is a Level 2 spell and the novice trait means you always pay 1 spellpoint (another example of poor rule construction to add to my list; there are many traits that could be worded much more efficiently to allow for greater scope...)

Nerfing range alone might not be enough (the parameters could be tweaked, of course).

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #56 on: February 27, 2014, 03:41:26 AM »
I have to say I like the idea of Novice versions with the same name. Still the availability of Dissolve/Dispel would increase a bit (mostly every spellbook will have 4-6 of each) and the value of equips/enchants would decrease somehow. I cant tell which I prefer now (Wizard Errata or DeckBuilders suggestion). Tough call ;).

I'm fine with reducing the value of equipment. In the present meta, equipment is just too good. In a Battle forge build I'm packing 12-18 cards so only a mage with dissolve wand can deal with everything. Enchantments are somewhat different IMO as there are no enchantment spawnpoint you can abuse of. But I wouldn't mind bringing a novice dispel into the game if that means that there will also be a novice dissolve. Those voltron builds are very strong to deal with (without a purge equipment spell): I've seen your BB in action with all the armor/vet's belt you pile on yourself, and I can tell you that my tank druid plays very similar to your BB trading Voltaric shield for Treebond (after some more playtesting I'll post the list I've been using for a month).

Sorry, Deckbuilder, I just read your idea too quickly to notice you were actually suggesting what I thought of. I didn't remember that we also share GoT :P In that case, I guess the novice dissolve/dispel could be a nice idea to boost other mages (but there's always the curse/blanking way). Nonetheless, the Wizard still needs a burden for the game to be balanced. I would choose errata to give him two opposing schools (nature for major, another one for minor) just to make every mage's spellbook size even. But I understand that errata is the last of options.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 05:53:55 AM by tarkin84 »
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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2014, 04:11:22 AM »
I have to say I like the idea of Novice versions with the same name. Still the availability of Dissolve/Dispel would increase a bit (mostly every spellbook will have 4-6 of each) and the value of equips/enchants would decrease somehow. I cant tell which I prefer now (Wizard Errata or DeckBuilders suggestion). Tough call ;).

Why choose between those two suggestions? For me a combination of nerfing the Wizard by giving him one opposing school and adding 3-4 novice arcane spells as DeckBuilder suggested would be perfect. I think this would balance the game really well.

So who ever has an influence on the decisions AW makes please persuade them to do both! ;)

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #58 on: February 27, 2014, 09:10:56 AM »
I like the idea of extra costs for the elements the Wizard didn't train in. That limits the flexibility of Wizard's Tower without any direct errata to that card.

I think I like triple Nature as well but I wonder if we are crippling the Wizard beyond repair here. He is supposed to be a flexible mage. Ideally we also still want him to be a competitive choice. We want the Wizard brought down but not gutted and we can't say for sure what effect these proposed changes will have without extensive playtesting. For that reason I am hesitant to put my support behind this errata.

Perhaps some new FiF cards will be targeted at some of the tactics the Wizard abuses. I recall kich said in a post in the BB thread that there are at least 2 new cards that will give that build trouble...
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 09:13:10 AM by lettucemode »

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #59 on: February 27, 2014, 09:59:18 AM »
I seriously doubt two restricted schools would cripple the Wizard.  Heck,  I'm not convinced it would go far enough. A wizard can make a perfectly terrifying book using just arcane if he wants to.