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Author Topic: The Wizard discussion  (Read 30857 times)

SharkBait

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The Wizard discussion
« on: August 07, 2015, 01:34:01 PM »
So I was going to reply in the "Weighted Training Clothes" thread, but then I realized it's probably a derailment and would be better placed here. So, without further adieu:

Hanma said:
Quote
Assume you don't take tournament evidence into account, just look at the cards. I think it's obvious. He has 10 channeling, great defense on stat card, an answer to incorporeal built in, at cost spell book points to all meta spells and at cost access to another school of his choice(making him the most versatile), has the best spawnpoint, 2nd best familiar, and most important a card that NO OTHER mage has...Wizard's Tower.

I see both sides to this argument, but I want to ask something before I delve more into it. Out of curiosity, what do you consider to be the best familiar?

I do agree that the wizard has some pretty nice advantages, but I would be wary of any large change to the mage. Part of what I like about Mage Wars is that not every mage has to have things that do the same as every other mage. In reference to Wizard's Tower, I think it's fine that no other mage has access to something quite like it. It brings character to the wizard, and not every mage should have the same answer (for example, I don't believe that Warlocks need a "Volcano" that could have fire attack spells attached in the same manner as the wizard's tower. They have other ways of attacking, operating, etc.) Keep in mind, I hate wizards so this isn't a favoritism thing. They are my least favorite mage in the game, but I don't believe they're too ridiculously out of line. They have somewhat of an upper-hand, but I feel like they aren't far above the rest.

I have some ideas I'd like to play test sometime (that I haven't gotten around to doing yet) to see if they work. (For those interested in helping, the ideas are: The wizard has 31 life instead of 32 (maybe even as far as 30) and make voltaric shield cost 4 instead of 2. I can explain the thought process behind those in a PM or in this thread if anyone's interested in continuing this discussion line)
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Halewijn

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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2015, 02:13:40 PM »
I think it's clear he has some problems. I would not call him broken, but certainly stronger then the other ones.

possible (combinations of) solutions

Make the tower either: non-spellbind, or epic.

x3 for other element spells: The fact that he can pick 1 element cheaply and the others fairly cheap makes him VERY versatile in combination with the tower. (Druid, fire), (armor, acid ball)... If the tower weren't spellbind this problem would have been smaller. But they can use 1, 4 spellpoint boulder over and over again.

x3 for nature would help: a nerd that loves science and doesn't like strolling in the woods --> storytime

The shield is strong, but that alone wouldn't solve it. I think the 2 mana is fair. I would rather say 2 mana for the bolt. Because with the addition of a hawkeye you have an attack spell that's always ready to use of 4 attack dice and ethereal. that's sooo good...  :o

another thing that would help: make nullify/dispel novice. All the other mages would benefit. It's really a novice spell if you just think about it for a second. EVERY mage is using it in EVERY book. And if I would train my student warlock. The first thing I would teach him is dispell in case he messes up and curses himself/a friend.
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DaveW

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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2015, 11:13:24 PM »
Part of what I like about Mage Wars is that not every mage has to have things that do the same as every other mage. In reference to Wizard's Tower, I think it's fine that no other mage has access to something quite like it.

Agreed completely... I do like the flavor. While it is somewhat similar to the Temple of Light, the Wizard's Tower is much better in many ways. The free swapping of attack spells during Planning is an incredible advantage. In my mind, it should either or both 1) require mana to change the spell just like a wand (or not be able to change the spell at all, like a Thoughtspore), and/or 2) be Epic (since it is so dominating). There is no better spell for seven mana (or maybe eight or nine). In terms of tournament play especially, with the idea of wanting to do as much damage as possible as quickly as possible, this is a must have... probably twice.

I have some ideas I'd like to play test sometime (that I haven't gotten around to doing yet) to see if they work. (For those interested in helping, the ideas are: The wizard has 31 life instead of 32 (maybe even as far as 30) and make voltaric shield cost 4 instead of 2. I can explain the thought process behind those in a PM or in this thread if anyone's interested in continuing this discussion line)

I'm not thrilled with the idea of giving him less life... there are plenty of ways to take him out fairly quickly if he is not careful as it is. I also think that the shield is properly costed at two mana since it isn't of any value on turns when it is paid for but the mage isn't attacked. True, the mage isn't being attacked then, but the opponent is doing something else that is beneficial to them on those turns regardless. The Wizard has to commit first... sometimes taking away other options that he would like to have on the current turn.

I find the Arcane Zap much more impressive than the shield. It is incredibly undercosted in terms of just one mana spent for a ranged three dice, Ethereal attack. Even without Hawkeye, the option to use a ranged attack spell anytime desired is fantastic. You bypass guards that don't have Intercept, don't have to face counterattacks, can use it as a low cost "wasted" spell if you are working through a forcefield, etc. It's just another thing that makes the Wizard so much more versatile. Ethereal makes it even more so. Even so, I don't think any change is needed here.

The only thing that I personally would like to see (even as a Wizard player) is a revision to Wizard's Tower.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 11:33:15 PM by DaveW »
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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 11:27:04 PM »
x3 for other element spells: The fact that he can pick 1 element cheaply and the others fairly cheap makes him VERY versatile in combination with the tower. (Druid, fire), (armor, acid ball)... If the tower weren't spellbind this problem would have been smaller. But they can use 1, 4 spellpoint boulder over and over again.

x3 for nature would help: a nerd that loves science and doesn't like strolling in the woods --> storytime

I agree that Nature does seem to be reasonable as an opposed school, even more than War. I also promoted making one "opposing" element as costing triple (air/earth, water/fire). Either or both of these triple-cost options would work well, I believe, both conceptually and for balance. I know I generally put in a handful of attack spells from a variety of schools in my Wizard books. Having to pay triple for a couple of those might make me think twice about how much variety I really need in attack spells, or if I can get away with one or two fewer Arcane basic spells (Dispel, Teleport, etc.)

another thing that would help: make nullify/dispel novice. All the other mages would benefit. It's really a novice spell if you just think about it for a second. EVERY mage is using it in EVERY book.

I like the idea of making Nullify and Dispel novice. There are so many other novice spells from other schools that it makes sense to me to have one or two Arcane spells be novice as well... and Dispel, in particular seems a good choice.
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silverclawgrizzly

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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2015, 11:28:43 PM »
I really, really like the idea of making other elements cost the Wizard X3. Pretty much every Wizard book I saw at Gen Con had a swiss army knife of attack spells.
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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 12:25:04 AM »
I still think the biggest thing that needs to be changed, and it's been mentioned, is the free change of spells on the wizard tower. It's an extremely beneficial advantage that no other mage has the benefit of. Even changing the wands to match wouldn't help, as the Wizard already will be carrying those. I also think it could benefit from not being able to be used every round, similar to...the name escapes me, but the Warlord catapult conjuration that needs two tokens on it to fire. If the Wizard's Tower had to build up 2 mana on it's own before firing, I think that would help as well. As it is now, with all of the other benefits, cheap attack spells in one school and nothing expensive in any school, the Wizard clearly has an advantage; not an unbeatable one, but a substantial one.

SharkBait

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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2015, 07:17:15 AM »
Quote
another thing that would help: make nullify/dispel novice. All the other mages would benefit. It's really a novice spell if you just think about it for a second. EVERY mage is using it in EVERY book.

My biggest issue with this is that the game will then stagnate when everyone takes 6 of each. I'm very against making these spells novice. It goes back to the differences between mages for me. Where a wizard may take the course of dispelling, a warlock may take the brute force method and keep cursing regardless because no matter how many dispels a wizard has, a warlock has more curses. That's part of what I love about this game. Making everything a "dispel for the first 6 turns THEN start playing" kind of game is not how I want to play this game.
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Sailor Vulcan

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The Wizard discussion
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 07:35:32 AM »
Wasn't there a time a while back when the wizard wasn't so powerful? I somewhat remember hearing that he didn't have any problems until he got the tower. The wizard is in the core set and he's been out for a while. They shouldn't change the wizard unless it's really the only way to fix him. If he does get an errata, I think it should be x3 for untrained elemental schools, and nothing else. 3x nature school doesn't make sense thematically. Beastmaster doesn't pay triple for arcane spells and neither does the Druid. Nature is sometimes opposed to technology, but not science. Science asks questions, technology is application of the answers, and sometimes these applications pollute the natural environment. That's probably part of why the Druid pays triple for war spells but not arcane.

The wizard always includes an attack spell toolbox in his spellbooks because it's too good not to. That might be the case even without the tower, but I'm not certain of that. I'd like to see more variety of wizards. There are wizard spellbooks that I haven't or barely seen in a really long time, since people realized how good attack spell toolbox is. In particular I'm thinking of mana denial and teleport pit. Also, the water wizard needs fleshing out. The water wizard's main thing is being able to afford extra acid balls, surging waves and dissolves. Other than that he doesn't really set himself apart much from other wizards, though he has potential. Tbh I think the water wizard's niche should be tanking, but without the battle forge. Dissolve is range 0-1, and he has enchanter's wardstones, and rust.

For instance, summon a gargoyle sentry and a staff of the arcanum, put out a wardstone or two, start enchanting. Obelisk cloak and orb for swarms. Essence drains for bigger creatures. Drain power and powerful water attack spell for finisher (if and when they exist). The problem with this is that battle forge only costs 1 more point for water wizard than fire wizard, fire wizard  can do forge tank better than water, and there is currently no incentive for the wizard to go the enchantment tank route over the forge.


Also on another note:
Basic melee attack is a "free" 3 dice attack, and Hawkeye + arcane zap is 4 dice for 4 mana. Having a spell that you can use again and again isn't always OP. Look at force pull.

Also I agree with sharkbait. Dispel should not be novice. That would mess things up even more. Nullify is not used in every book.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 07:37:52 AM by Sailor Vulcan »
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Schwenkgott

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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 09:41:47 AM »
In my old World of Warcraft times, there was a saying:

It's the player, not the class.

Same in Mage Wars. With a good deck building skill you can always prevail against wizard whatsoever.
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 12:08:17 PM »

In my old World of Warcraft times, there was a saying:

It's the player, not the class.

Same in Mage Wars. With a good deck building skill you can always prevail against wizard whatsoever.

Yes. But the problem with the wizard isn't that he's unbeatable, it's that he somewhat overcentralizes the metagame. Or at least it seems that he does. It could also be a case of insufficient card support in other schools.

That being said, Mage wars is SIGNIFICANTLY more balanced than most other customizable strategy games, so I suppose we should be grateful. Then again, maybe we shouldn't be comparing Mage wars to ccg's, since those often don't even try to be balanced.
Since Mage wars is sold as sets rather than individual cards like ccg's are, it actually might cost them more to ban individual cards than to errata them, since banning a single card makes the whole set it comes in look deficient, but for an errata they can just say the old card text is from an outdated edition.
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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 10:31:45 PM »
A lot of the discussion in this thread centers around changes to existing cards that would balance the Wizard.  What about solutions that don't involve erratas or rule changes?  What about printing cards that are not usable by the Wizard and address (directly or indirectly) the Wizard's advantages?  For example:


Name: Interrogation
Type: Incantation
Cost: 4
Text: War mage only.  Choose a level 1 incantation or enchantment spell in the opponent's discard pile.  That opponent must discard 2 additional copies of that spell from their spellbook or prepared cards (or all copies if there are fewer than 2 remaining).


Name: Distraction
Type: Incantation
Cost: 4
Text: Arcane mages excluded.*  Choose a spell bound to an equipment, conjuration, or creature card and discard it.  At the end of the round, the controller may bind a new spell for a cost of 3 mana.


What other sorts of cards could be printed that would do the following:
1) Clearly target the Wizard (without being an overreaction and nuking the Wizard);
2) Be at least somewhat useful not just against the Wizard; and
3) Thematically restrict use away from the Wizard.



* All of the current cards which are only playable by certain mages either say a particular mage or a particular school that is allowed to play them.  Why not instead say a particular mage/school who is not allowed to play the card?

sIKE

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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2015, 11:11:01 PM »
* All of the current cards which are only playable by certain mages either say a particular mage or a particular school that is allowed to play them.  Why not instead say a particular mage/school who is not allowed to play the card?
Though the logic here is very solid, it would subtract greatly from one of the great strengths and appeal of the game itself. That other than a very specific and reasonable few cards, all cards are available to all mages, some at a greater cost than others, but none the less available. Would the exclude be Arcane Mages only or Wizards only? Not a fan of the idea even though logic says, this might be a good idea.
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Halewijn

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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2015, 02:21:27 AM »
3x nature school doesn't make sense thematically. Beastmaster doesn't pay triple for arcane spells and neither does the Druid. Nature is sometimes opposed to technology, but not science. Science asks questions, technology is application of the answers, and sometimes these applications pollute the natural environment. That's probably part of why the Druid pays triple for war spells but not arcane.

I never said arcane is the opposite of nature. But you can, if you want, state that the wizard is bad in nature because, to be a good nature mage, you need to be connected with nature. Since the wizard is always in his tower hitting the books, nature is somewhat allienated from him.

The thing about fantasy is that you can state whatever you want. As long as you make the story believable and fun.  :)

I also wanted to note that the things that are listed were just some thoughts. Using them all is too much. I think the 3 best ideas are errata for the tower, x3 for non-chosen elements, and x3 for nature.

Also on another note:
Basic melee attack is a "free" 3 dice attack, and Hawkeye + arcane zap is 4 dice for 4 mana. Having a spell that you can use again and again isn't always OP. Look at force pull.

That is a really bad argument. For the normal attack you need your full cast, you need to be in the same zone, you can ignore guards, it is not ethereal and hawkeye is an upgrade, not a 1 time use attack spell. Also Force pull is not nearly as good as arcane zap.
While arcane zap might be very strong (or a bit too strong) I do agree that it is kind of too late to change that and it would make the wizard more boring. It is after all a very thematic spell.

My biggest issue with this is that the game will then stagnate when everyone takes 6 of each. I'm very against making these spells novice. It goes back to the differences between mages for me. Where a wizard may take the course of dispelling, a warlock may take the brute force method and keep cursing regardless because no matter how many dispels a wizard has, a warlock has more curses. That's part of what I love about this game. Making everything a "dispel for the first 6 turns THEN start playing" kind of game is not how I want to play this game.

Good job, you convinced me! I changed my opinion!  ;)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 02:24:22 AM by Halewijn »
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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 06:39:03 AM »
In my old World of Warcraft times, there was a saying:

It's the player, not the class.

Same in Mage Wars. With a good deck building skill you can always prevail against wizard whatsoever.

I fall in this school of thought regarding the Wizard.

No changes to the game required. Just changes to player strategies and spellbooks, but tools are currently available. For example, Rolling Fog and walls that block LOS will counter Wizard Tower until you can focus it down with your own attack. The Warlord also has Conquer.
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Re: The Wizard discussion
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2015, 08:24:48 AM »
In my old World of Warcraft times, there was a saying:

It's the player, not the class.

Same in Mage Wars. With a good deck building skill you can always prevail against wizard whatsoever.

I fall in this school of thought regarding the Wizard.

No changes to the game required. Just changes to player strategies and spellbooks, but tools are currently available. For example, Rolling Fog and walls that block LOS will counter Wizard Tower until you can focus it down with your own attack. The Warlord also has Conquer.

It sounds like you guys agree with each other!
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