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Author Topic: A Wizard vs Forcemaster comparison.  (Read 4275 times)

Borg

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A Wizard vs Forcemaster comparison.
« on: October 31, 2015, 08:22:42 AM »
A numerous amount of posts has been made already about the Wizard being OP and what to do about it, but in the end there still are players who think he's ok as he is and nothing should be done about him.

So, I was wondering : who's right and who's not ?

Maybe we should simply compare the Wizard to a similar mage and see if we can glean any evidence from that comparison.

Let's compare the Wizard ... to the Forcemaster.

Here we go:

Exhibit 1 : Basic Stats :  120  32  0  10  vs 120  32  0  10

As you can see, at the core, these are identical mages which is exactly why it makes sense to compare them.

Exhibit 2 : Basic Melee Attack :  3  vs  3

Again, identical, perfect balance.

Exhibit 3 : Voltaric Shield  vs  Deflect


Both mages have an ability to reduce incoming damage.
The Voltaric Shield can steadily reduce 1-3 damage from the next damaging attack whereas the Deflect ability can potentially block more damage but only has a 50% chance of succeeding and can also be circumvented by unavoidable attacks.
So, it's 2 mana for a "lesser impact" but "more reliable" ability vs 1 mana for a "higher impact" but "less reliable" ability.
I can think of situations where both would be my ability of choice.
Overall : both abilities balance out vs each other.

Exhibit 4 : Arcane zap  vs  Force Pull

Again, two abilities which are very useful to have, not overpowered but very effective at what they do.
Again, I can think of situations where both would be my ability of choice.
Overall : both abilities balance out vs each other.

Up to this point, I think the Wizard and Forcemaster are as "even" as even can be.
Let's see if we can hold this up.

Exhibit 5 : Arcane  vs  Mind

Dispel, Seeking Dispel, Teleport, Nullify, Jinx, Mage Wand, Elemental Wand  vs  Force Push, Force Hammer

When it comes to "staples" or "often used cards" the advantage clearly goes to the arcane school.

Exhibit 6 : Air/Earth/Fire/Water  vs  nothing

This one doesn't need a lot of explaining. The Wizard now has his second significant advantage.

Exhibit 7 : no triple cost for anything  vs  triple cost for non-mind creatures

Considering how few mind creatures are available this is a huge sbp advantage for the Wizard.
Advantage nr 3.

Exhibit 8 : Gate to Voltari vs  nothing

Another huge advantage for the Wizard, considering the Gate is one of the best spawnpoints in the game.
If the Forcemaster wants to have a creature out, she has to summon them all herself.
Advantage nr 4

Exhibit 9 : Wizard's Tower  vs  nothing

The FM simply doesn't have an in-school Conjuration of that calibre.
The Wizard's tower is so overpowered it deserves its own comparison.
The Archer's Watchtower is a simple "Outpost" but comes with the Zone Exclusive trait while the Wizard's Tower is a "Tower" and is not Zone Exclusive. I mean, you can even play a Wizard's Tower in the same zone as another player's Battle Forge or Lair or Barracks ... Incomprehensible.
Advantage nr 5

Exhibit 10 : Huginn, Raven Familiar  vs  Thoughtspore

This is the only situation where I like the Forcemaster's option better.
Being able to cast Attack spells on top of Incantations and having Spellbind is way better although Huginn is more versatile.
Unfortunately, the FM will have to spend a full action for every Spore he wants to bring into play.
Advantage score : 5 - 1

The comparison obviously doesn't have to stop there but I think the 10 exhibits mentioned above already provide enough "undisputable evidence" that the Wizard is not "in line" with the FM.

Conclusion :

I understand AW recognizes this situation and is trying to correct it by adding new cards to the mix that will deal with this situation.
Personally, I think the obvious, best and simplest solution however is to bring the Wizard and Wizard's Tower "in line" with the other mages, that way AW doesn't have to go out of their way creating cards which may have even more unforeseen effects on the game.
Why make it difficult when it can be simple ?

My suggestion, like many other people's suggestion :

- Make Wizard's Tower Epic
- x3 cost for non-trained elemental schools
- flesh out the non-arcane schools
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 08:51:34 AM by Borg »
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: A Wizard vs Forcemaster comparison.
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2015, 11:03:13 AM »
It seems to sound right in theory at first, until you remember that the wizard wasn't OP in the core set meta, before wizard's tower. Also, some of your comparisons aren't valid because of the differences in their playstyles. Simply put, the wizard and forcemaster are good and bad at different things. And you completely neglected forcefield, and galvitar and mind control and charm, force hold and essence drain. Forcemaster has a lot more awesome stuff than just force hammer and force push. I know a lot of people are like "but it doesn't work against psychic-immune creatures!" except that they forget that most force spells don't work against unmovable creatures, and yet people don't complain about force push not being powerful enough. It's actually a very useful spell, and a lot of people include it despite the fact that it doesn't work against unmovable creatures. And there is currently no way in the game to remove unmovable, just as there is no way to remove psychic-immunity, and yet people seem to have a lot of problems with the latter and not the former.


Exhibit 1 Basic stats are the same

Exhibit 2 basic melee attack is the same

Exhibit 3 voltaric shield vs deflect. I would also add that voltaric shield is designed to negate damage, and you have to decide whether to use it at the start of the round in the upkeep phase, and because of that it goes pretty well with armor. You can't change your mind about whether to use it halfway through the round if you decided not to use it at the start. ON the other hand, deflect can be used whenever the forcemaster feels like using it, during the action stage. It is meant to make an attack be 50% less likely to land on her, and that's if it even gets past her forcefield, charms, mind controls and force holds first, not to mention that she will also still have some armor. The drawback of deflect of course is that if defense roll fails, the entire attack still goes through. The drawback of voltaric shield is that it only negates 3 points of damage, rather than an entire attack.

Exhibit 4 totally even, i agree there. the force pull is just as useful to the forcemaster as the arcane zap is to the wizard

Exhibit 5 As cheesy as it sounds, you need to take a more holistic approach to this. How do those cards interact with each other and with the mage who's using them? While the wizard arguably has more cards that are useful to other mages, you're not comparing him to all the other mages here, you're only comparing him to the forcemaster. Therefore the number of mages that will find a certain spell useful is not relevant. What is relevant is HOW useful certain spells will be for the specific mages that are using it which you are evaluating. You need to ask how much these arcane spells help the wizard and how much these mind spells help the forcemaster, NOT how much these spells help ALL the mages.

Exhibit 6 having a minor school in addition to a primary school does not automatically make a mage more powerful than a mage that does not have a minor school, let alone being overpowered. Just look at the Druid, the warlords and the warlocks. All of them are trained in both a main and a minor school, and most of them are fairly close to the forcemaster in terms of power level.

Exhibit 7 The forcemaster doesn't need that many creatures. She usually only runs 1-2 of them, if she even uses any at all.

Exhibit 8 Um what? Gate to voltari costs the wizard 4 spellbook points. Battle forge costs the forcemaster 4 spellbook points. And the problem is?

Exhibit 9 I'm pretty sure this is where the wizard's problem comes from. Wizard tower is undercosted for the amount of advantage it gives, and it is the reason that the wizard's playstyle completely changed from being the trickster and master manipulator he was meant to be and originally was to being about blunt, brute-force.

Exhibit 10 Huginn vs spore.

Huginn can't use attack spells, but is less frail than a spore, costs more mana, has the peek ability, no spellbind and is legendary.  The reason hugginn isn't that great right now is that the wizard doesn't need him at all. The wiz tower already gives just enough spellbook, mana and action advantage quickly enough to win the game on its own, and with the tower the wizard doesn't need to look at enchatnments or have an extra action to cast incantations because he doesn't care anymore about playing any tricks like he used to.

I think that if the wizard tower doesn't get sufficiently nerfed without errata within the next two expansions, it might be better to errata it. The problem isn't just the the wizard has been overpowered for a really long time. It's that his playstyle has radically diverged from what it was intended to be and originally was. The longer it goes on like this, the more new and inexperienced players who become confused or misinformed about these matters (and even some of the more experienced players who were not around before Conquest of Kumanjaro).

Fortunately, some of the cards in domination and academy are going to really help weaken the tower, and potentially restore the wizard to his clever ways. Reinforce can be used to protect walls, and arcane ward can be used to protect reinforce. Hidden Tunnels is invisible, and can make it much easier to get soldiers into the same zone as a tower so a warlord can conquer it.

Also, blur is going to be very useful for stopping the tower against strategies that like staying at a distance.

And these are just things that have been previewed or released so far.
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Mystery

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Re: A Wizard vs Forcemaster comparison.
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2015, 11:11:54 AM »
Both mages have an ability to reduce incoming damage.
The Voltaric Shield can steadily reduce 1-3 damage from the next damaging attack whereas the Deflect ability can potentially block more damage but only has a 50% chance of succeeding and can also be circumvented by unavoidable attacks.
So, it's 2 mana for a "lesser impact" but "more reliable" ability vs 1 mana for a "higher impact" but "less reliable" ability.
I can think of situations where both would be my ability of choice.
Overall : both abilities balance out vs each other.
Deflect does not ineract with armor, and you can't get a second def for a single attack, while the shield does. You can easily get the same defense for other mages, but voltaric shield is itself.

Exhibit 4 : Arcane zap  vs  Force Pull

Again, two abilities which are very useful to have, not overpowered but very effective at what they do.
Again, I can think of situations where both would be my ability of choice.
Overall : both abilities balance out vs each other.

Up to this point, I think the Wizard and Forcemaster are as "even" as even can be.
Let's see if we can hold this up.
Arcane zap you can is a bit weaker invisible fist, for less mana. While forcepull is a weaker force push. In general, arcane zap is much better, it outworks already invisible stalker and other incorporeals, and can be increased with a hawkeye

Exhibit 5 : Arcane  vs  Mind

Dispel, Seeking Dispel, Teleport, Nullify, Jinx, Mage Wand, Elemental Wand  vs  Force Push, Force Hammer

When it comes to "staples" or "often used cards" the advantage clearly goes to the arcane school.

Exhibit 6 : Air/Earth/Fire/Water  vs  nothing

This one doesn't need a lot of explaining. The Wizard now has his second significant advantage.

Exhibit 7 : no triple cost for anything  vs  triple cost for non-mind creatures

Considering how few mind creatures are available this is a huge sbp advantage for the Wizard.
Advantage nr 3.

Exhibit 8 : Gate to Voltari vs  nothing

Another huge advantage for the Wizard, considering the Gate is one of the best spawnpoints in the game.
If the Forcemaster wants to have a creature out, she has to summon them all herself.
Advantage nr 4

Exhibit 9 : Wizard's Tower  vs  nothing

The FM simply doesn't have an in-school Conjuration of that calibre.
The Wizard's tower is so overpowered it deserves its own comparison.
The Archer's Watchtower is a simple "Outpost" but comes with the Zone Exclusive trait while the Wizard's Tower is a "Tower" and is not Zone Exclusive. I mean, you can even play a Wizard's Tower in the same zone as another player's Battle Forge or Lair or Barracks ... Incomprehensible.
Advantage nr 5

Exhibit 10 : Huginn, Raven Familiar  vs  Thoughtspore

This is the only situation where I like the Forcemaster's option better.
Being able to cast Attack spells on top of Incantations and having Spellbind is way better although Huginn is more versatile.
Unfortunately, the FM will have to spend a full action for every Spore he wants to bring into play.
Advantage score : 5 - 1

The comparison obviously doesn't have to stop there but I think the 10 exhibits mentioned above already provide enough "undisputable evidence" that the Wizard is not "in line" with the FM.

Conclusion :

I understand AW recognizes this situation and is trying to correct it by adding new cards to the mix that will deal with this situation.
Personally, I think the obvious, best and simplest solution however is to bring the Wizard and Wizard's Tower "in line" with the other mages, that way AW doesn't have to go out of their way creating cards which may have even more unforeseen effects on the game.
Why make it difficult when it can be simple ?

My suggestion, like many other people's suggestion :

- Make Wizard's Tower Epic
- x3 cost for non-trained elemental schools
- flesh out the non-arcane schools


First forcemaster has forciefield, galvitar, what you didn't mention.
And yes i hope we get something going, that makes the arcane school less important, getting new possibilities of enchantment defunctionening, and others. just leave it some time. Of course I am also for wizards tower epic, but errata is last possibility. And charmyna "won" the thunderdome tourney with only 2 non traned elemental spells (lvl1) and one wizards tower, so those two only net 2spellpoints less. I suggest a going a route of creating more cards for other mages. By having the new arcane ward as a novice spell, helps protection for enchantsments and others. Lets get a feeling with academy cards now, and take care slowly. I agree that wizard is currently top

sIKE

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Re: A Wizard vs Forcemaster comparison.
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2015, 11:38:29 AM »
The difference is with unmovable creatures most of them are Slow, so it is a good thing that Force spells don't work against them! For the FM playing Psychic Immune Creatures are a hard counter to her. Secondly most of her Psychic bag of tricks are simple to work around, I don't know how many times I have predicted a Mind Control or Sleep Enchantment with a prepared Dispel, sure my creature is stunned (MC) for one round but the strategic impact and cost to the FM, many times, is when the game turns into my favor. 
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Re: A Wizard vs Forcemaster comparison.
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2015, 12:04:55 PM »
Part of your comparison assumes that we want these two mages to play similarly. The Forcemaster is meant to have a very light amount of creatures. You should not be playing her if your goal is to summon several creatures. Now, as sIKE pointed out right now a fair part of her "bag of tricks" comes from psychic spells like Charm, Mind Control, and Sleep. When you look at what is considered her truly powerful cards, it is generally Galvitar, Force Blade and Forcefield. When we made the Forcemaster we were trying to broaden the Mind school a bit, and in so doing she has cards representing a wide slice of "mind school". When we approach the alternate forcemaster, I'm hoping we can focus more on the "force" side of things. I have a few ideas that could be truly interesting, but I don't want to get ahead of myself too much, ya know?

I guess in the end some of the areas that the Forcemaster deviates from the Wizard the sharpest are the areas where she is specifically meant to be different. Just my 2 mana.

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Re: A Wizard vs Forcemaster comparison.
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2015, 12:09:38 PM »
I'm really the first person to agree that the tower needs a huge nerf but even so, I don't think this is a very good comparison. You didn't mention force hold, force crush, charm, mind control, forcefield, galvitar, dancing scimitar, fumble, sleep... The forcemaster deserves more credit. :P

Also, mage wars deserves a bit more credit since the game is much more complex/deep than this. Comparing the gate to voltari vs nothing seems a bit harsh. The forcemaster isn't made for a swarm so even IF there was a spawnpoint for her I don't think it would be used often (or never).

Even the most basic comparison: both 10 channeling is a bit wrong. The fm feels like a 9 channeling mage with all the upkeep cards. (Just as the druid feels like a 10 channeling mage with the treebond)
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 12:12:15 PM by Halewijn »
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Re: A Wizard vs Forcemaster comparison.
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2015, 05:23:44 AM »
Also, mage wars deserves a bit more credit since the game is much more complex/deep than this. Comparing the gate to voltari vs nothing seems a bit harsh. The forcemaster isn't made for a swarm so even IF there was a spawnpoint for her I don't think it would be used often (or never).
But Forcemaster is made for swarms. It's just that she doesn't have enough good in-school creatures. She has ability that helps swarms (especially ranged ones) and a counter to Mordok's Obelisk - Psi-Orb.
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Re: A Wizard vs Forcemaster comparison.
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2015, 11:20:23 PM »
I would use a forcemaster spawn point.  I don't want to use my full action on Thoughtspores but I really want to have some around....and bringing out that stalker without using a full action might mean that he sees more play.
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Re: A Wizard vs Forcemaster comparison.
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2015, 06:06:11 AM »
I would use a forcemaster spawn point.  I don't want to use my full action on Thoughtspores but I really want to have some around....and bringing out that stalker without using a full action might mean that he sees more play.

How about a Spawnpoint that can only cast one Thoughtspore each deployment phase and provides Cantrip to the Thoughtspore spell? For additional mana the Thoughtspore could be summoned to another zone in the Arena.  This allows the FM to extend the mages mind to other parts of the arena but within a limit.
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Re: A Wizard vs Forcemaster comparison.
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2015, 10:47:48 AM »
Cantrip would be interesting.  I think I would prefer to give them armor or regen 1 or something, since you don't want to lose thoughtspores.  The most overpowered spawn point would give the spores obscured.
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Re: A Wizard vs Forcemaster comparison.
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2015, 11:31:49 AM »
Cantrip would be interesting.  I think I would prefer to give them armor or regen 1 or something, since you don't want to lose thoughtspores.  The most overpowered spawn point would give the spores obscured.

I would love for them to be invisible as well :D
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