Mage: Please change

AakrinAakrin Member Posts: 84 ✭✭
I'd like to discuss mage, and fixing the issues bound to the class. I'm going to discuss the issues as I see them. I think its safe to say I'm the most active mage fighter, and while I've had people tell me to shush up its fine, I've yet to have a single person actively pick mage over another more useful combat class and prove to me that it can actually work in today's game. I'm going to break the issues down into sections, I'll start with mechanics.


The Crystal
The Mage's crystal is a fantastic, awesome, super fun, nifty CONCEPT. In practice, its a horrible gating system of grief. For those of you unsure how it works, I'll give some basic info.
-The crystal works on an eight second tick system.
-The crystal has five charges.
-The crystal charges once every tick.
-The crystal does not stay with you. If you move rooms, it will move to you during the tick.
-When moving, the tick is wasted for building charges.
-The crystal has a command that can instantly make it appear in your room, this eats a charge.
-The crystal has a command to build charges at the cost of health and mana. AB CRYSTALBINDING CHARGE. Long story short, every charge costs you 10% max mana. (this might be 8%, the file could be outdated).

That's how it works in a nutshell. Its an interesting gating concept. It is also core of mage combat. And here is why it is broken:
-Being without your crystal sets you back a lot. This means, if someone does something as simple as leaving the room, they instantly not only gain all the normal benefits of leaving, but also punish the mage.
----You have the following choices when chasing. A) Instantly call the crystal to you. Using 1 charge(8% mana). B) Let it lag behind, being up to eight seconds late to the renewed combat AND costing a recharge tick. This option can compound the more you chase, with an infinite time frame of ticks being used for movement instead of recharging.
-Owning artifacts that improve your max mana -punishes- you.
----One crystal charge costs me 53 mana. In comparison, using the mirroring ability only nets me 42 mana. But this is more lopsided than it looks because mirror also COSTS a charge. So in effect our ability to regain mana in combat actually costs me 11 mana. I gain nothing.
-Numerous abilities are tied to the core mechanic because of...flavour I guess? Things that make no sense, see mirroring.

The Mage core mechanic punishes the mage in a way that no other class I'm aware of is punished. And the power it returns is honestly nothing of note. It does things many other classes are able to just plain do. In the recent tweak of mage (that made attunement non-curable), mage was changed to require much faster usage of charges in combat. This is more true for water than fire, but fire is utterly broken right now. Water REQUIRES these charges every single attack to be combat capable. The only other option is to get going, and then a long long time stalling for charges, all the while having zero progression on your offense and really bad defenses to handle stalling. If mage is not supposed to be so reliant on using charges every single round, then it needs fixing in that regard. Otherwise, it needs fixing in charge costs and access.

Fix Suggestions:
-First, foremost, and the largest request of any mage you'll speak to who's played the class for more than a week. Please, please, please, please scale crystal chasing. Its flavour that punishes the mage, there is no other class so heavily abused for flavour. Have how long it takes for the crystal to follow the mage scale based on crystalbinding knowledge. Let the early students enjoy the romantic fun of having a crystal chase them around. At transcendent, the core of the class needs to move with the class at no cost. The "flavour" gets old fast. Most mages I know (combat or not) end up gagging the line. Several people who hunt with us, gag it as well. There is absolutely zero actual reason for the core of the class to work like it does right now in regards to movement.
-Change the crystal tick from 8 to 5. This wouldn't effect fire much if at all, should it ever work again, but will seriously help water not kill itself.
-Change the charge cost from 8% max mana to 4%. Maybe this ends up being too little, and can be moved up at a later date. I don't know. But I hate that owning artifacts punishes me in renewing my core requirements.
--Change charge cost to be a flat 35 mana.
-Change skills such as mirroring to not require charges to cast. Also consider the wreathe spells.


Which brings us to our SECOND gating mechanic:
Attunement
For those of you not sure exactly how it works
-Attunement is tied to the mage. You can have as much as you want on as many targets as you want, but other mages cannot use or see it. They have their own counters.
-Fire cancels water, water cancels fire. Air cancels earth, earth cancels air.
-You can have up to 5 attunement per element on a target, limited by the above rule.

This is your basic build and receive gate mechanic. In theory, you build it up on someone at the expense of a slower offense, and then cash in when your target is prepped. The problem is how liberally its applied throughout the class to the most random of skills. If a mage uses its secondary attacks to build attunement on you, it's giving up half to a third of its offense, to gain one stack. Base mage spell speed is 3.2 seconds. Wise makes this faster, so lets say every 2.75 seconds a mage gets to attack. It's giving up half to a third of that offensive round to build a SINGLE element attunement. Which, in and of itself is fine, if there's a payout.

The problem is that most skills that require attunement, don't pay out. They do very basic things, things offered to other classes for zero cost, or mana cost. It seems thrown onto skills willy-nilly, making some of them actually not worth the time. See SCOURGE in pyroglacia. A nearly transcendent skill that in actual combat can't be used due to the cost and setback it applies to your attunement. And I'll explain how. You build five fire. This costs at BEST 3 attack rounds. If you do it this way, it costs 2 charges, and during this time you're doing absolutely nothing else. So, not a realistic option unless you're going for speed. More realistically, it takes five rounds. So lets say 14 seconds. For 14 seconds of lack-luster offense, zero defense, you now get to...negate the frost elixir. But it gets worse. This removed all fire attunement in the process. As the only reason to do this is to cast lavablast, you need that attunement back. And now you need damage. You have 25 seconds to do it. But you're already down 5 charges, and your enemy has 14 seconds of their offense in progression. You must in 25 seconds apply enough attunement, apply firecircle, force attunement to 5, and then lavablast. If you're extremely lucky you can do this, but your opponent will almost always have killed you at this point. There are many other skills that have attunement attached for no reason, or in bad ways. And very often, offer limited reward.


Fix Suggestions:
-Change attunement to a balance and eq free application system that doesn't eat up a spell slot. Many other classes have such mechanics going on, and it would greatly improve viability of many mage skills.
---Change the primary application of attunement(heat, spray, wind, tremors) to not set the mage back when used. Example: Give ramping effects to the spells that increase as attunement does.
------Heat: 1a, nothing. 2a, ignite target. 3a, ignite target, dizzy. ecta, ecta
-Go through each skill with a group of people who actually have extended experience on mage and fix the attunement/skill interaction. Example: Scourge requires five stacks, but does not remove them when cast.
-Remove it from all skills that don't need it. Keep it for focused skills such as lavablast, decompose, ecta. Keep it purely as a time bomb mechanic


Range
Mage suffers again from 'flavour' punishment when it comes to range. Mage is line of sight, has terrible spell choices for actual use, and most frustratingly enough, requires a reflection to be active. Extremely frustrating story short, a line of sight trade with a mage is utterly boring for both sides. Nothing happens. The mage is stuck casting reflection, and the foe is stuck being annoyed. But it gets worse in team fights. Mage can literally do absolutely nothing. Other ranged classes at least have a choice. They can defend, or attack while taking damage from focus. Mage -cannot- if being attacked at range under any circumstances. They aren't allowed that option.


Fix Suggestions:
-First, revamp spell selection for mage. They're currently terrible, several of them require attunement to be used. Which, you can actually apply air attunement they need. But what you're actually doing is wasting 2-3 attacks applying nothing but attunement. Just to attack once, at subpar damage with stupid afflictions, just to go back to doing attunement (another example of attunement being required for no reason). One gives a single affliction that doesn't even do anything when applied. They're just..really bad options. If you're going to stick something behind such a huge reflection gateway, they need to be BETTER than non-gated attacks. Not worse.
-Remove the reflection requirement. Its cool sounding in theory, but in practice is just bad. For both the mage and their opponent. Nobody wins, everyone hates it, its bad.
-Change mage range from line of sight, to local area. Or a spread of local rooms. 5 wide or something. Magick as a circle has horrible ranged options. The only one is druid, which is ignored by being in a tree(lol) or flying. Its a very real option to turn mage into the circle's premier ranged option. Druid is -fantastic- at local area combat. Why not shift ranged to another class, and expand Magick's combat viable classes to something outside of RG or Druid in the process?



Defenses
Mage is perhaps the absolutely weakest class in the game when it comes to defenses. It could be argued that hunter is in a similar boat, but mage is really bad. Mage is a glass cannon that does less damage than most of the tanks in today's game. Please note that most successful classes currently in combat today have 4-6 of these attributes.
Mage has Zero:
-Stat boosts
-Passive healing
-Active healing
-Passive curing
-Passive defensive affliction
-Ability to take a hit

For a class that is so much slower, and more involved, than most of the strong classes these days, mage simply can't handle the damage while building to its goals. Its also terrible at containment, which is sad considering how many tools it has. For them all to be so bad, or so easily countered, is a problem.


Fix Suggestions:
-Change the robes skill to require ringmail, have it give boosted ringmail defensive stats
-Mage Regenerate is the absolutely ONLY class regenerate that turns off the only time it's actually needed. Either A) Remove the charge requirement for this skill to function or B) change there requirement to 1 charge instead of 5
-New Skill: ManaShield - By giving up a portion of your mental might, you are able to create a shield around yourself reduce incoming damage. While active, you will lose 20% of your maximum mana, but gain 15% damage reduction from all sources. (This will also lessen the current punishment handed to mage for buying mana increasing artifacts.)
-The Crystalbinding Capstone, is terrible. At least the previous version gave us a way to counter our intense mana problems, and activate some health regen to counter crystal charging costs. The extremely short duration, and low DR of the new version makes it frustrating at best.
--Either version needs to be activatable while off balance/eq/hindered.
-Some sort of passive curing OR hindering afflictions.



Combat Goals
Currently, fire is basically impossible to pull off in combat. Its not actually impossible, but it does require good ping, and luck. It also due to the nature of the no damage charge build spam rounds you're trying to fit in, actually does crappy damage.

Water is a hodgepodge of interesting and frustrating. The possible worst part is how you basically help kill yourself because of charge costs. I'm aware of any other affliction class with such costs. Furthermore, the afflictions you have access to in correlation to the end goal is just....messy. It works, technically, but its hard to make work because of the added tax of needing to fit attunement in there somewhere. You have to hit fast fast fast because well, mage can't take the hit. But my absolute biggest issue with water is the finisher. The finisher does -drummroll- damage! Its basically a less reliable, higher requirement hunter kill path. Slower too.

Fix Suggestions:
-The firecircle change needs to be reverted so that fire actually has a chance of working. It was already hit or miss before the change, its not viable now.
--Could alternately change lavablast to only require 4 charges to cast.
-Firecircle could possibly make the afflicted foe do less damage to you, as a reward for the nearly zero affliction attack path fire takes, giving them some breathing room for reaching the half way point. Just an option from the normal 'give the class a way to hinder healing' option that seems tossed around too much.
-Water should be a instant kill pathway. It is extremely NOT newbie friendly, requires a pretty good affliction tracker, and should give a different return than fire. Let fire be the damage time bomb, let water be the affliction time bomb. Or something else, but it doesn't need to be damage.



Capstones
Capstones, or transcendent skills, are the hallmark skills of a class. They should give impressive defensive, offensive, or utility power to a class as well as highlight what it is that class is known for. Mage doesn't have a single capstone of note. Not one. It should be noted that all three skills just under capstone are ALSO so bad that they're never used. Expansion, Scourge, Earthspirit.
-Pyroglacia's Capstone is Submersion: A crappy cleave
-Terratheria's Capstone is Windbrace: A really, really, really bad skill
-Crystalbinding's Capstone is Overtune: A skill that falls short of the mark, but at least it's aiming for something.


Fix Suggestions:
-Submersion shouldn't be a trans skill, pure and simple. It should be lower in the tree. Pyro's capstone should be elemental forms. It should be similar to animate, giving a choice of passives that give minor boosts to either stats or casting one element spell school. IE: Earth +2 con, Fire all fire spells ignite, anytime one of your targets with at least 1 fire attunement takes damage from being 'set on fire' they gain 1 fire attunement. Ecta, ecta whatever. Small useful buffs to fix problems the class has.
-Overtune could be reverted back to its previous form, and be allowed to be activated while off balance/eq/while afflicted and it'd be a fine utility capstone.
-Windbrace ....is so bad. Its sad. Lets go through windbrace step by step.
---Its a channeled cast, thus it can be interrupted.
---In addition to the channel, it then has a 4.2 second eq time cost. This actually extends past the time it takes to channel the skill
---It has a 20 second limit. But because of the 4.2 second eq cost, this is actually closer to 18 seconds.
---It has a minute cooldown.
---You are effected by things like "cannot move that fast" and -drum roll- trenches!
Windbrace doesn't need the eq cost to be longer than the channel time. Nor does it need such a extremely short duration. Nor does it need the "cooldown". This skill has no attack or interaction abilities, and yet costs far more than blackwind (Which it appears modeled after), which I've been told people can maintain for upwards of a dozen or more minutes, and instantly return to if they're forced out of it. You can make it simply channeled, give it a minute duration, and call it a day. It'd still be a crappy version of blackwind/phase.



Mage has a lot of promise, but as it is right now doesn't quite 'click' exactly. It has less damage than many of the more recently redone classes, while being one of the absolutely softest in the game. Its fire path was destroyed, its water path is clunky and extremely dependent on coding (Mage needs fire fixed to be a touch more newbie friendly). Its core mechanic NEEDS to be changed to always be with the mage at trans skill level. Or all levels, but it needs to stay with the mage for combat. Mage needs to either not be triple gated (charges, attunement, mana) or the gating needs to unlock much better returns.

I play mage, because I -want the right- to be play a mage. But the first thing I ask people who join the circle, or join the game, is if they have any aspirations of combat. If they say yes, I tell to change class, mage isn't viable. And it isn't. It's close, just a few changes from above could put it there, but its not right now. And anyone who claims otherwise, is sitting in another class never actually using mage for any real length of time, because anything it can do, other classes do FAR better. It doesn't need an overhaul like Wardancer got, but it could use some QoL updates, and some focus in combat goals.
Menoch

Comments

  • WysriasWysrias Member Posts: 410 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    I can tell you put a lot of effort into this, so I don't want to just outright dismiss or ignore it. So I'll offer some critiques, especially regarding solutions:

    Potential criticisms:

    - First and foremost, these are things that could be tackled in classlead rounds.

    - Crystal has never seemed so far behind the curve so as to require a doubling of its charge time, following the user, mana cost reduction, etc. all in tandem. It's likely that not all of these are problematic, nor would they all be solutions if the intention is for crystal to actually be a gating/burst mechanism, which to my knowledge it is. Following the user is probably the smartest choice, but keep in mind a lot of secondary offenses don't travel with the user (runes, rites, traps, etc.).

    - Scourge is definitely bad, it is bad for both professions who have it. The problem is that improving it runs the risk of negating any actual mitigation ability for little cost - having it require five charges and not consume them is pretty much the definition of a timebomb mechanic. Conversely, the mechanic should probably be changed entirely, since it's possible to negate nearly the entire penalty with a 150cr purchase.

    - Not every profession is proficient at range - surprisingly few are. This seems intentional, given how meager upgrades have historically been in this department. At the forefront, AM has monk, demonic has summoner, magick has druid. A few other professions can provide some support (bows, technically), but generally they either fare better in melee or provide alternative means of support. I would not diminish the impact of reflection here as a defensive skill, as it can still be amazing in smaller skirmishes.

    - Isn't Stoneskin 30% physical resistance? It's extremely misleading to not mention that here. The manashield suggestion is especially ridiculous because it's not really a penalty exchange, and especially not in the fashion you're describing by saying it reduces the artifact burden. Are you not considering bracelets, mana regen, mana sip, robes here? These would all impact the severity of your proposed 'nerf' by a large margin.

    - The firecircle change was absolutely needed. It was a self-perpetuating mechanic that punished someone for taking damage by having them take more damage, at which a certain point it became unstoppable. Combat goals require something other than being able to cast one ability and then sustain it - this is exactly why summoner incinerate was similarly nerfed. A change might be needed, but not a reversion.

    - Not every capstone is good - in fact, very few are. Most of the capstones are in place because of their position in terms of legacy. The argument for making a capstone better by virtue of being a capstone is not a very good one - you could move a very useful skill to the capstone position to remedy this issue, though I doubt that would be the solution wanted. You are also asking for a lot of buffs here that, if I'm not mistaken, are very similar to the ones rejected last classlead round.

    Things I somewhat agree with:

    - Water could stand to be friendlier, however, it's important to note that a lot of professions have large coding burdens with no alternative route, which fire provides. I can't comment on the specifics because I have literally never seen anyone use water against me, and the only person making significant suggestions the last round (Ellen I believe?) has never demonstrated any real grievances in combat, only theoretical ones. It's very hard to judge what changes need to be made if nobody is using the profession, which is definitely a problem on both fronts.

    - Windbrace is indeed pretty awful sounding. Keep in mind however that mage also has evade in the form of blink, which lets you infiltrate an area pretty seamlessly. This is analogous to the function of phase/evade, except you also deal a whole lot of damage, which assassin/renegade does not.
    Post edited by Wysrias on


  • SeptusSeptus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 696 ✭✭✭✭

    Some thoughts:

    Crystal:

    As Wysrias said, a lot of classes lose a significant part of their offense on moving. However, I think it'd be fair to give mage the option to summon the crystal for no charges, but have it take eq instead. That'd bring it more in line with similar classes.

    Tanking:

    Stoneskin is pretty amazing. Its also very important to note that you get to play in intelligent, which doesn't have a sip penalty etc. The only thing I could really say might be ok for mage tank would be a weathering style skill (+1 con), but I don't even know if that's that necessary. 15% more would be insane.

    Active cures:

    Purify definitely shouldn't be affected by paralysis, imo. No way to break locks is terrible and frustrating.

    Offense:

    All I'll say here is timebomb mechanics are really bad. If the kill condition is time, the class becomes stupidly overpowered in one v one (see: monk) and depressingly tedious in teams (see: defiler).

  • AakrinAakrin Member Posts: 84 ✭✭
    If I gave the mistaken impression that I was listing fixes that should all be done together, that's my mistake. I was just giving a list of possible fixes where one or more could be used, not all at once.


    I hate time bomb mechanics a lot, but that's all mage is. Changing that would involve a lot of change. Something the circle has actually done, and submitted, but I've been told mage won't see a lot of effort anytime son.

    Stoneskin is kind of amazing, but less so than either of you are making it out to be. Most mages die in 2-3 combos from a single person. This is a problem with physical damage ramp mostly, but stoneskin doesn't cut it anymore.


    I have nearly every single useful artifact for mage. I don't have the robes. All of these are considered when discussing mana costs, and crystal costs. But honestly, none of them should be. The class should work effectively before artifacts, and better after. Losing that much mana would actually be straining for the class, I don't think you understand just how much mana it devours. That being said, mana shield could easily cost something else. There are several classes who get a 10% reduction for the cost of some ink. Giving a slightly better version, with an actual drawback, to a class that can't currently stand in combat doesn't, to me, seem like a bad option.

    I don't understand the nerfs purify took from when it was called bloodboil. It got moved to one cure instead of two, and its eq time remained the same. And yes, having paralysis and broken limbs stop it makes the skill extremely lack luster and frustrating.


    Blink - I don't actually have evade, but I'm not sure blink is an exact copy. Maybe it is, but it feels extremely frustrating to have things like gravehands and engage negate it entirely. Engage is something you see every single fight, which makes blink basically useless.

    Contrary to popular belief, mage does not do a 'whole lot of damage'. In max damage artifacts, I pull about equal to an athletic reave combo with nothing buffing it but a lvl 1 axe. That knight is also infinitely tankier. Summoner does better damage, can do it from range, and has good escapes plus room containment. Heck, Int Monk does better damage than mage. Which is beyond frustrating.

    I actually don't like the damage ramp the game has seen recently, and don't want more damage on mage. I want the ability to apply it. Firecircle may have needed some slight changes, but it was destroyed instead.
  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I tested this on the beta and Mage ends up with roughly 50% physical resistance while using a surcoat and trans Evasion, which puts it on par with most of the game; this is where Outrider and Berserker are lurking. Amusingly, this is also where Hunter(the other classic OMG I TAKE ALL THE DAMAGES class) is, as well.

    "On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."

    Menoch
  • AakrinAakrin Member Posts: 84 ✭✭
    Khizan said:

    I tested this on the beta and Mage ends up with roughly 50% physical resistance while using a surcoat and trans Evasion, which puts it on par with most of the game; this is where Outrider and Berserker are lurking. Amusingly, this is also where Hunter(the other classic OMG I TAKE ALL THE DAMAGES class) is, as well.

    The difference is in the statpacks. Physical statpacks are much better currently than mental statpacks when it comes to offering damage/speed plus tanky. In today's massive damage burst world, more con in Int just doesn't cut it compared to say, athletic
  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I tested Mage in Intelligent and the others in Athletic. 

    The physical resist in Athletic is largely made up for by the fact that Intelligent is carying 13 dex. This means that Athletic has two 10% resists and Intelligent has one 16% resist, and the fact that resists are multiplicative means that the difference in resists is something like ~3%, which is negligible. (100 * 0.9 * 0.9 = 81 versus 100 * 0.84 = 84).

    Athletic DOES have one more con, but it also has a sizable sipping penalty on top of that. Personally, I would grade Intelligent as a tankier statpack than Athletic largely because that sipping bonus matters more than 1 con worth of health; I would trade one point of con to dump the sipping penalty any day of the week.

    "On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."

    Septus
  • AakrinAakrin Member Posts: 84 ✭✭
    edited August 2015
    Athletic and Intelligent do not perform the same roles. You're omitting the fact that Athletic also has a speed bonus. Something that directly factors into its strength, and with affliction application or response, tanking power.

    Athletic is better compared to Wise. Intelligent would be compared to Strong, or perhaps Powerful.


    Edit: Regardless of any of the above, the fact is Mage dies almost instantly, where as other more used classes do not. I don't really care if the problem is statpack, skill, armor, or otherwise. I just want the issue fixed
    Menoch
  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Athletic has a 13 in its offensive stat and a 10% speed bonus. Intelligent has a 16 in its offensive stat and no speed bonus. With the way stats work, Intelligent's setup would get better DPS in most situations.

    That aside, Intelligent is Athletic. Wise is Fast.

    "On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."

    Menoch
  • DiceneDicene Member Posts: 913 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    Yes, Wysrias, I'd say that this can potentially be fixed in classleads, and if I heard right from Garryn, there will be no big class changes before the next Classlead round, but I guess it never hurts to get ideas regarding this sort of thing out there.

    Re: Tanking

    I'm fairly certain that when I tested both classes in Beta, Mage and Summoner had almost identical resists, but Summoner also has access to passive healing, active healing, +con, +sips, a drain that is on a CD and just requires unleash balance to use(no pre-resource prepping), a passive aff cure, a large mana cure, some low level armor, and aurashift(which is a huge deal against sustained damage offenses like L0 Druid and L0 Water Mage(since decompose is IMO best used by pressuring health(which is something that L3 Water Mage does well and L0 Water Mage does a lot less well) treating Decompose as a variable-threshold hp instakill)).

    As far as attunement goes, I think the best course of action would be to just normalize the manner in which you gain charges. Find the average charge speed of someone that is using the no-bal crystal charge as soon as the doubled damage CD is gone again, reatand increase the crystal's nature ticking charges to match this speed. Then, disable the ability to no-bal charge the crystal. The current huge difference in ability to use charges wouldn't be quite so huge if you weren't so hard-pressed on charges against a damage class like Summoner and you weren't able to charge every single combo like you almost could against someone with very, very limited damage options like Renegade or Hunter(since a kill brainmelt is a kill but a brainmelt 1 aff lower than that is usually a fair distance away, the type of distance that you can't pull off in Hunter).

    I'm also fairly certain that Sludge could have its sort of silly effect reduced in exchange for having its similarly silly cost and duration lowered. I understand that Magick has pretty solid team holding via the combined talents of RG and Druid, but I feel like there is room for Mage to remain single-target like it currently is with Sludge, but be something that you can bring up quicker and that doesn't allow potentially infinite keep-up time. Maybe turning it into a lock-up style Single spell(uncomboable) would do the trick. I think lockup is piety's rate, but on single target? Feels about appropriate as a replacement for a skill that presently ranges in use from useless and difficult to use effectively(fast-paced modern team combat), to a permanent rooted effect(in single combat situations).
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    Iniar
  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Summoner is a ridiculously tank class and there is a reason why I did not compare Summoner with Mage. :p

    "On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."

  • DiceneDicene Member Posts: 913 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    Heh, I may have a message from an admin about having a desire to lessen that Summoner tank. =P But yeah, Summoner is an obvious analogue to use. It's a potent damage class with an aff-track free damage path and an aff-related path that requires tracking and complicated coding. Still, I think Mage could use a bonus to its surviving capabilities. Classes that are significantly lower in tank than other classes tend to have constant control affs(see Wytch(which actually got a solid defensive buff last classlead round), Diabolist, and pre confusion+lethargy removal Hunter(yes, it still has Peace, I know)). Mage's control is possible by making some sort of significant sacrifice in combat(for instance for charging air for use in Maelstrom), while other classes drop control affs WHILE pushing their offense at basically full speed and in some cases are significantly tankier than Mage.
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  • GarrynGarryn Member, Administrator Posts: 527 admin
    Okay, let me see here.

    Crystal - the idea here is that the Crystalbinding modifiers/effects are not available all the time, but rather that you need to plan for when to use them and when to not - you can either use the crystal to gain a burst, or space out the effects, using it every 2-3 rounds. If the base spells are too weak, I'm not opposed to changes (such as, making the modifier costs not all the same), but I'd rather not change the core concept.

    Having the crystal follow faster is something we can try, sure.

    Attunes - we can probably try something there, bit worried about making the class too potent or difficult to use though

    Range - area-wide attacks on Mage are not going to happen, sorry. Outside of the assassin-themed classes, I'm not adding range and infiltration on the same class (that's why Summoner lost astralform), plus I'm intentionally keeping range limited to one class per circle. For magick, it's Druid. Line-if-sight is a different thing, can improve things some if a good proposal is offered, but nothing big.

    Defenses - not opposed to adding something here, but not more resists. I'll note also that Terratheria's Drain serves as an active health regain, even though not as effective as it originally was.

    Fire being damage-based and Water being affliction-based is indeed how things are meant to be, with the latter being a "afflictions transitioning into damage" concept. This worked fairly well in all the betas, not opposed to smaller boosts if it'd help, but affliction routes are always tricky ones.

    I'm fine with making Windbrace more effective, within reason.

    Blink is functionally the same as Leap, not Evade.

    Ultimately, these are all things that can be feasibly done as classlead reports, and I would encourage you or anyone else to submit these when we start the next round (soon!). Just try to keep the suggestions reasonable, please, some of what is proposed here is a tad much.

    Taht said, I do have some things coming to Mage before that, which should help with some of the issues raised - nothing major, it will basically be classlead 42 with different effects.

    Overall I definitely agree that the fact that very few people play the class is an issue, the trouble is, I do not know why. Are the concepts not interesting enough? Is the class too weak? Is the class perceived as being weak? (these can be two very different things) Or do people find the Magick circle not interesting enough? It probably is a combination of all of these, either way the lack of usage makes it tricky to enact changes. We could try doing the same that we did with Wytch last round, but that is riskier on a damage class. We'll see.

    Menoch
  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    Magick players are definitely keen on playing Mage.

    I'm keen on playing Mage. (I roll spellcasters first for every medieval/fantasy game I play).

    Speaking only for myself; why is Mage the class I'm going to pick up in my #5 slot (out of 6 available classes), given the Mage is the definition of spellcaster?

    Reason #1:
     mana
     
     basic use of the class (without supercharging) puts me within 1-hit striking range of absolve by round 4/5. I cannot use a class that increases that kind of instant-kill risk without commensurate reward; the class does not have the requisite commensurate reward for this level of risk.

    Reason #2:
     restriction

     as a Mage, I have to manage 6-7 resource pools. Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Crystal Charges, Mana, Health. There is too much going on for too little pay-out. More importantly, trying to stack up Fire may require me to -reverse- out of a stack of Water charges:- I do not like this, this is time-wasting and puts me even further back than my opponent. I can't imagine being a newbie and having to manage all 7 resource pools.

    Reason #3:
     relatively weak tanking (as a target caller)

     I often have to lead groups (successfully or not); I am happy to do that as a summoner - I definitely will not as a Mage. Lack of an active heal, no armour, some resists. Sure, it's comparable to Outrider/Berserker, but huge teams necessitate a much higher level of mitigation.


    Are these valid reasons? I don't know, but they're definitely what stops me from picking up Mage, as much as I'd like to.

    also please add more badass to the class, thanks @Garryn
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you want to see more Mages just make them powerhouse bashers and give them a harvesting bonus from earth/water magic. Mage numbers will spike and there's no combat changes required.

    On the other hand, combat changes won't notably impact the amount of Mages you see because most of Magick doesn't care enough about combat to choose a class that's a mediocre basher that doesn't have harvesting utility.

    "On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."

    Aakrin
  • DiceneDicene Member Posts: 913 ✭✭✭✭
    IIRC, Blink causes you to lose followers, which makes it more of Vault than Leap, since Leap keeps followers(but can't be done mounted, unlike Vault). TBH, that was the first big turnoff I saw when I tried leading shardfalls in Mage back when it was first revamped, since being able to get your team past walls very quickly(without wasting red shards) was pretty useful when I actually had Mage.

    As far as the reasoning behind nobody really playing Mage, it's a lot of things. Mage does have a bad reputation lately, but it's not entirely unwarranted, and the reasons behind its reputation also contribute to nobody wanting to play it.

    Mages are generally extremely easy to kill. Yes, Stoneskin and Windveil are hot and Intelligent is a solid statpack. No, they are not enough to keep the class alive for any real period of time in a teamfight. If you go in as Mage, you're probably an early target, and you will go down very quickly. In my experience, this tends to be the thing that drives most people from a class harder than anything else. RG, Druid, and Mage all do solid damage, but RG is a monstrous tank and Druid is also rather durable.

    Mages only contribute a limited amount during a teamfight. They do put out nice damage and have a good selection of damaging affs, but their holding is not very useful in team fights, requiring a prep of at least two combos to even use, and being negated entirely by flood. This brings me to a problem that is part of why I started trying to talk Aakrin into going not-Mage in the first place. Flood(which is a pre-req for their beckon skill) prevents RG from doing a lot of things. Flood prevents you from standing a totem. It also prevents you from sketching floor runes(pretty sure you can't even sketch Ansuz in flood, which hurts). Since Mage can't hold very well, it would at least be useful if they could chase and be useful while doing so, but they lose access to their bursting resource the moment they leave the room.

    As far as resources go, Mage has a lot to track, yeah. More than the work of tracking these things though, it has to make decisions based on these resources so you end up with a lot of complicated conditionals. Even just choosing to increase attunement instead of focusing on damage or affs requires some amount of resource juggling, since it is going to slow your pressure on one of those, or cost you a crystal charge. Mix that complexity with the feeling you get while playing Mage that everything you do eats these resources and it feels very confined. You want to use confusion? That costs two attunement(which costs 1 secondary or 1 charge each). Want to use your only holding skill? Requires 3 attunement to even cast, then costs 1 every 4s to keep up(in an attunement type that prevents you from using air attunement(which means no Confusion and no Drain)). It's probably not too hard to see why having everything in your skillset gated on one resource or another is a little frustrating.

    This last reason is honestly what caused me to forget the Mage class in the first place. Our statpack changing options are abysmal. I have a scroll which means it takes me all of what, 30s plus the time it takes to re-deff to go from any class I have now to any other class I have. When you're in Int or Wise, you lose access to 4 of the circle's 6 professions. The solutions to this are either to use Moradeim Reincarnate for very brief periods of being stuck in Ath or Fast professions and being unable to Mage, or to pay 1000c for a Gem that lets you switch between the two sets of classes (physical and int-based) on a 24 hour CD. I know that Eldreth is hoping to address this at some point in a classlead, but to be frank, when I've paid 900c for each class and roughly 400c for a scroll, it seems absolutely unnecessary to gate my access to those classes with a 1000c artifact in the first place. I'm still pretty firmly of the opinion that there should be a way to change statpack on class change so that Magick and Demonic aren't locked out of their own classes.


    As a thought on the resource management issues in Mage, I think there are probably a few too many things dependent on charges and attunement. I think removing/lessening some of the attunement costs would be a solid idea. In addition, we could normalize crystal charge rate by removing the no-bal hp/mana-cost charge and upping the charge speed, or moving attunement away from the crystal entirely. Something to consider would be moving attunement back onto primaries, but removing the wreathe crystal effects entirely, so you're still limited to 2 attunement per combo, but your attunement mechanic now charges passively like similar mechanics do(Imbue/Feather, Taint, Rage, etc).
    image
    Iniar
  • OzreasOzreas Member Posts: 175 ✭✭✭
    Some of Mage's primary offensive issues stem from the rather clunky switching of effects between Firecircle and Icicles alongside attunements change from four power bars to two sliders.

    Skills like Flamewhip and Dehydrate, both on the fire path, directly deliver affliction pressure. Water's Immerse would be great if the initial affliction given were an herb cure rather than slow elixirs, an affliction best suited to pursuing damage-based offenses. The skill gives a great effort with the asthma secondary that will almost never happen, though! Thanks for trying, little buddy. Scorch/flamepillar is an interesting combination of deadly affliction and a skill that makes that affliction more deadly... in the class' damage route. 

    Pyroglacia - Whirlwind. The clunkiest of the clunky. Requires water in BOTH rooms in order to use, adjacent only. Reflections cannot cast flood. Seriously, what? Either let the reflection cast flood, or change Sludge to a room-wide air spell called Gale that replicates the piety effect and have Whirlwind consume the Gale upon use.


    DiceneAakrinIniar
  • KryssKryss Member Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭
    Since I use fast for every physical profession, I have zero sympathy for anyone saying Mage is squishy as wise or whatever. As has already been said, this is a profession with roughly equal tankiness to Outrider and Berserker, that already has access to several hindering afflictions such as confusion. I haven't seen anyone seriously trying to afflict (because Mage can afflict and use those afflictions well), it's just fire fire damage damage which is like taking a Hunter and trying to claw all day.

    Dicene
  • AakrinAakrin Member Posts: 84 ✭✭
    Ozreas said:

    Pyroglacia - Whirlwind. The clunkiest of the clunky. Requires water in BOTH rooms in order to use, adjacent only. Reflections cannot cast flood. Seriously, what? Either let the reflection cast flood, or change Sludge to a room-wide air spell called Gale that replicates the piety effect and have Whirlwind consume the Gale upon use.


    This skill drives me insane, the requirements are massive. Having to first be IN your foe's room and then escape, before you can even try it, is really bad. Especially on a class that is so easy to kill. The problem is two fold. First, not being able to deliver flood at range. Second, and more importantly, is flood is just in a bad spot. It hurts Magick more than it hurts other circles. On top of that, both other circles can easily part flood, but there is zero way to counter this.
    Garryn said:

    Defenses - not opposed to adding something here, but not more resists. I'll note also that Terratheria's Drain serves as an active health regain, even though not as effective as it originally was.


    Overall I definitely agree that the fact that very few people play the class is an issue, the trouble is, I do not know why. Are the concepts not interesting enough? Is the class too weak? Is the class perceived as being weak? (these can be two very different things) Or do people find the Magick circle not interesting enough? It probably is a combination of all of these, either way the lack of usage makes it tricky to enact changes. We could try doing the same that we did with Wytch last round, but that is riskier on a damage class. We'll see.

    Drain got lowered in return by too much for its requirements. Pure and simple, it isn't worth it. Part of the not worth it reason, is that we need earth for several important things, but can't have air at the same time.

    I -want- to play mage. Everyone knows that. But too much is required, for not enough return. Attunement isn't one resource, its four. We can push one a round for half our offense loss (if we go with your only using charges rarely for spot pressure). Half our offense is shut down, by pushing the other half. Fire or water, air or earth.  If attunement had its own separate system for application, it might actually push the crystal and its charges to exactly what you want, a spot pressure tool instead of the core mechanic. That might also alleviate the massive mana draina, minor health drain.


    Iniar actually clarified my frustrations a lot better then I was able to. Mage has a huge, huge number of resource pools that require working, and they work against each other, not with each other. And the return for all the effort isn't anything of note.


    Khizan said:

    If you want to see more Mages just make them powerhouse bashers and give them a harvesting bonus from earth/water magic. Mage numbers will spike and there's no combat changes required.

    On the other hand, combat changes won't notably impact the amount of Mages you see because most of Magick doesn't care enough about combat to choose a class that's a mediocre basher that doesn't have harvesting utility.

    Many of our fighters want mage to work, and to play it. Very few of them enjoy hunting. The amusing thing is, Mage is actually one of our better bashers. The problem is why do that, when knight is top tier combat, and good bashing as well.
  • DiceneDicene Member Posts: 913 ✭✭✭✭
    How about numbers?

    Looking at Total Resistance against a Quarterstaff Stab from Eldreth with different configurations of armour/shields/etc. This is on someone with trans Evasion and a surcoat, but stats at their natural levels and wielding the approriate shield/armour for their class and natural stats:

    Ath Hunter: 42% Total Resistance
    Int Mage: 47% Total Resistance
    Ath Berserker: 50% Total Resistance
    Ath Outrider: 55% Total Resistance
    Ath Druid: 55% Total Resistance

    Hunter, Outrider, and Druid all have Pioneering/Trailblazing, which gives +1 con, bounty(sip bonus), vitality, and fitness. (Hunter and Druid have might)

    Berserker has a comboable hp heal, an active aff cure(that works through paralysis IIRC), a passive aff cure, rage, flexibility, the escape skills of a 1500C artifact, and can persist up to 2 of a list of potent effects, including a 10% physical resist, a 10% elemental resist, a sip buff, and health regen. All of the warchant buffs can be cast separately and last for 60s.

    Mage has an active aff cure(from what I hear it can't be used when paralyzed or with broken arms), a health regen skill that deactivates during combat, and a drain that requires resource prep and has a CD, and Infuse which heals extremely low amounts at the cost of a charge.

    As far as control affs:

    All of the mentioned classes have access to Clumsiness, Weariness, and Ignorance. 2 of those are on one of Berserker's blind affers and present in Weaken. The other is on Berserker's other blind affer. Mage actually has a resource cost to Weariness and Ignorance.

    Druid, Outrider and Berserker all have access to Lethargy. Druid has it and Weariness on an attack. Outrider hits with both it and Clumsiness, and hits with a stun if both are already there. Berserker has it on an RNG blind affer that also includes Clumsiness and Weariness.

    Mage also has Confusion, but it's gated by a 2 air cost(which means you can't even use it with Mage's only holding skill >_>).

    I think all 4 of the above mentioned classes have some form of bal-knock.

    Saying that Mage is close to Outrider/Berserker in tankiness is inaccurate. It doesn't have the easy access to confusion and lethargy that Wytch has(a class that got a pretty significant tank buff last classlead round). It doesn't have the Pioneering buffs that Hunter has to help mitigate its untankiness. 
    image
    IniarAakrin
  • AakrinAakrin Member Posts: 84 ✭✭
    Garryn said:

    Crystal - the idea here is that the Crystalbinding modifiers/effects are not available all the time, but rather that you need to plan for when to use them and when to not - you can either use the crystal to gain a burst, or space out the effects, using it every 2-3 rounds. If the base spells are too weak, I'm not opposed to changes (such as, making the modifier costs not all the same), but I'd rather not change the core concept.


    The more I think about it and talk to people, the more I agree the problem is attunement as a resource being tacked to everything, including the crystal. Attunement requires, for the most part, 3-5 rounds of application before it can be cashed in. Either you're using half your offense every round (using your secondary for attunement), or you're using your crystal so you can stay on the same level as other classes for pressure. The 'return' for almost all attunement pay offs does not warrant using your secondary for that alone most of the time. Which again, places pressure on the crystal.

    I started thinking about it, and the crystal would actually work exactly as you want it to, as spot pressure, if a very simple thing took place. Remove charge cost from 'wreathe' spells. This change would fix a whole ton of resource pressure issues for the class, while still requiring smart choices being made.

    -You'd still have to pick which attunement to push
    -You'd still have to decide between applying crystal afflictions, or attunement. Thus, you're choosing between pressure types
    -You don't have to give up half your spells on a regular basis for a suboptimal return.
    -Crystal charges would instantly become a 'spot pressure' resource as design intends, rather then the core resource of the class.


    You could alternately switch attunement to be tied to a fourth option picked every round for the mage, and move it away from the crystal entirely. This option however may or may not give too much power to the mage, as the crystal would be open every round to apply its pressure, rather then needing some rounds to be put towards attunement.


    TL;DR - Can we try removing the charge cost from 'wreathe' spells for a few days and see how it works out?
  • AakrinAakrin Member Posts: 84 ✭✭
    edited September 2015
    Recent Changes:

    -Purify change: Thank you so very, very much.

    -Bashing changes: Thank you so much for bringing mage up in line with other classes for damage. Only request is that sidesmash be brought up a similar amount. Its a pretty unique bashing thing that was fun to use in mage. I'd hate to ignore it from here on out.

    -Mage wreathe spells are still applying last, despite their line coming first in the attack. The fix does not appear to have worked, or gone live as intended.

    -Elementals: Does this really need 1 mp5? Its beyond spammy. How about you just lower max mana by 10 and call it mental strain for being tied to the elementals, and call it a day. My biggest issue is that I have to turn off tracking mana loss while using something I assume is designed to be on most of the time. My second biggest thing is the fire boon. Almost nothing ignites you. I don't know what to replace it with. Fire resist? Immunity to flame pillar? Something that makes sense

    EDIT: Turning off mana tracking doesn't actually stop the spam. You're still prompt and regenerate (when not in combat) spammed by this skill.


    But most importantly, thank you so much for taking the time to make any changes at all.
    Post edited by Aakrin on
  • SadeySadey Member Posts: 23 ✭✭
    I have a question. Mage is required to buy a diadem for it to work, which is the equivalent of another class if you are still covered under the extra lessons from converting credits. Why isn't mage more powerful if that item is required to even make the class feasible for combat. Not to mention the costs of a surcoat and an artifact shield to help lessen the damage we recieve, total credit cost of all those things is 1850 credits, most casual players who play for fun and might do a little pvp would never see that many credits. Looking at the costs its somewhere between 450 and 550 USD for all that. And yes you could grind for hours and hours to slowly buy the credits off the horribly broken credit market but that would take months of doing nothing but bashing, questing and spending gold on only the bare minimum to save up. Mage is horribly broken if it requires all of these things to survive for anytime at all in combat. It needs to be fixed, even I can see that. Why can't anyone else?
    Never give up, never surrender, and if you have to die, take some of them with you.
  • WysriasWysrias Member Posts: 410 ✭✭✭✭
    Every problem you described there is no different than it is for any other profession. Mage is not 'horribly broken', and your interpretation that it is may help highlight the dangers of an echo chamber.


    DreacorSeptus
  • OhmOhm Member Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
    So, I was looking at the trans crystalbinding skills OVERTUNE. 15% increase to all resists for 10 seconds with a 60 second cooldown.

    This seems a bit weak to be the highest skill in crystalbinding. To the point where noone actually uses it.

    Ideas - make this permanent 15% increased resist (or at least 60 seconds followed by 60 seconds cooldown)
               make it a 15% damage increase for 10 seconds to push out damage
       reduce the target's resistance to a particular element for an attunement cost 
    image
    JuranIniar
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