Why does Wizards of the Coast hate Wizards?

Todd Roybark

Villager
Todd, I have to ask you this question: why do you hate WOTC?
Hate is a strong term, but 5 years into 5e, and I can say that from my perspective there has been very little new or original content.

It seems to be a mantra on this board “That Wizards do not need it”

but why?

Because of the Find Familiar, Counterspell, and Contingency spells?

Please....in the rules as written a Divine Caster can prepare any spell on their list subject to a limit of level and Ability Modifier.

That Pally/Hexlock already was rather versatile.
Given that a Druid of the Land is almost Identical to the Wizard in terms of spell recovery, shouldn’t that subclass not need the versatility boost?
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
The problem with that argument is that the rogue class doesn't actually give proficiency in arcana in the first place. A rogue has to go out of his or her way to add it somehow, and it's not that arcana is not broken down into categories -- arcane magic is broken down. Arcana is just one aspect information that's not even a part of the core class. I can make a wizard who is not proficient in arcana at all, uses just his INT bonus (for a reasonable bonus still) and cast 9th level spells.

To be clear, my in my analogy one is spell casting and one is arcana. They are different things in 5e like those two example are different things in real life. ;)

That rogue who has expertise in arcana is just an Indiana Jones trope (expert knowledge) and it doesn't give him access to bard, warlock, sorcerer, or wizard spell casting. Those two mechanics are independent of each other. The connection you are making is concept fluff, and done by taking proficiency in arcana by the wizard.

In the extremes for the rogue example it's +13 for the rogue and +11 for the wizard in the end, and +5 for either in the beginning. The gap isn't significant enough for the extra investment to consider wizards having some kind of disadvantage here.
I covered the knowledge skill condensation earlier. dozen(s) of skills were condensed into a couple knowledge skills. It wasn't that the wizard used to be better & now it doesn't really do more than still be pretty decent. It used to be that not even a wizard could fully keep up with all of the knowledge skills & it was too much for anyone else to even bother with instead of their own skills other than the occasional 1-2 knowledge skills relevant to their class (which the wizard still probably knew better because they were probably important ones like knowledge religion in an undead heavy campaign.

In the old system a wizard got 2+int mod skill points/level , a rogue got 6+int mod(?), a fighter & I think pretty much everyone else got 2+int mod skill points. The rogue was too busy putting those skill points in skills like, hide, move quietly, spot, listen, disable device, acrobatics(used to be wayyy more useful), detect traps, etc & didn't have room to waste on heavy knowledge skill investment... nor did it bother beyond feat/PrC prereq requirements because the wizard would handle that. Int no longer gives bonus skill points or proficiencies so skill monkey/knowledge guy was basically removed from wizard
In 3.5...

There weren't "dozens" of knowledge skills condensed into a couple of knowledge skills. There were 10 knowledge skills. Rogues got 8 skill points, bards and rangers 6 skill points, druids and monks 4 skill points, and most classes got 2 skill points. Everyone got INT bonus and the INT gap between rogues and wizards didn't typically exceed the 6 point gap between rogues and wizards.

The difference then wasn't just the points, it was the cross-class cost when bards and wizards were the only 2 classes that had all knowledge skills as class skills and there were a lot of skills in which to invest. The difference now is the removal of niche protection. A wizard can take proficiency in "rogue" skills now just as much as a rogue can take proficiency in "wizard" skills now.

Wizards are still at or near the top end of arcana use. INT checks cover that, and wizards are better off in general given the number of INT proficiencies that exist. INT is a significant part of knowledge checks in general while proficiency and expertise are specific.

I don't see an issue with the Indiana Jones trope of where a rogue has a none to little advantage over a wizard in knowledge.
Like I said earlier, it's not just any one thing, it's that basically all of what used to be the wizard's domain has been pretty much given to other classes in nearly equivalent forms & like the sorc/warlock spell versatility vrs the wizard cantrip versatility even when wizards are thrown a bone trying to put in some kind of supporting leg on the table where a wizard can at least say "I'm great with this" it's overly limited & the version of what they had given to other classes is just as good as the wizard if not better.

You could say that the wizard spell prep allows you to replace the entire list during a long rest but warlock/sorerer only one spell as an example of being "better" but that ignores the fact that it's unusual to replace more than 1-2 spells & not needing to invest the national GDP levels of gold sunk into building a spellbook far outweigh the minor limitation of maybe needing to take two long rests.
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
it's not just any one thing, it's that basically all of what used to be the wizard's domain has been pretty much given to other classes in nearly equivalent forms
It's not "nearly equivalent form". Like you said, changing a spell on long rest isn't the same as changing multiple spells on a rest. It's also the actual spells available on that spell list.

Getting rid of niche protection means other classes can do things we once thought were "our thing". Skill were one of the areas of the game that were opened up, in in the case of arcana (or any other "knowledge skill") it still favors wizards because of the 5e focus on ability scores. Quite frankly, that looks to me like wizards took a bit of "bardic knowledge" away when those checks were in addition to knowledge. That's just one of the side effects. WotC couldn't very well redesign their skill expectations without actually redesigning their skill expectations.

Changing the spell preparation mechanic by separating preparation and slots was a massive change for wizards in the direction of 3.x bards and sorcerer benefits. We shouldn't really complain about what was lost and ignore such a significant gain.

I volunteer to give up arcana expertise on my rogue if you give up neo-Vancian casting on your wizard if we ever play together. ;)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
That'd drop more sub-classes from Tier 3, if we can't consider, say, 1/3rd-casting to provide more meaningful versatility.
Nope. EK is Tier 3 (or 2, with the state of their spell selection right now, assuming an open game), because their one of the best fighter subclasses. But a big part of that is their level 7 feature.

Champion might be at the bottom of Tier 3, but it keeps up with solidly T3 options too well to drop it below that.

5e just isn’t as wide a power range as 3.5 or earlier editions.
 
Champion might be at the bottom of Tier 3, but it keeps up with solidly T3 options too well to drop it below that.
Sorry, but all DPR all the time rates Tier 4 at best, if you're awesome at it, Tier 5 if awesome only comes with a happy power build using optional rules.

I get that 5e is balanced around rough overall single-target DPR (and healing treated as an equivalent thereof), over the semi-mythical 6-8 encounter day, but that's not all their is to class balance, let alone class Tier.

5e just isn’t as wide a power range as 3.5 or earlier editions.
Sorry, can't agree. Class Tier isn't raw power or just what can the best build do, there's versatility over a range of challenges. Neo-Vancian casters have that in spades, almost can't scrape it off if they try. Full casters to spare. Everyone else aspires to contribute meaningfully across a range of challenges (Tier 3), definitely not everyone makes it.
 

Hussar

Legend
@Tony Vargas, I get where you're coming from, but, as someone who has extensive experience in both 4e and 5e, I've got to say that I'm not seeing it in play. The spread between classes is nowhere near as pronounced as you seem to think it is. I'm just not seeing the power imbalance that you are.
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
It's not "nearly equivalent form". Like you said, changing a spell on long rest isn't the same as changing multiple spells on a rest. It's also the actual spells available on that spell list.

Getting rid of niche protection means other classes can do things we once thought were "our thing". Skill were one of the areas of the game that were opened up, in in the case of arcana (or any other "knowledge skill") it still favors wizards because of the 5e focus on ability scores. Quite frankly, that looks to me like wizards took a bit of "bardic knowledge" away when those checks were in addition to knowledge. That's just one of the side effects. WotC couldn't very well redesign their skill expectations without actually redesigning their skill expectations.

Changing the spell preparation mechanic by separating preparation and slots was a massive change for wizards in the direction of 3.x bards and sorcerer benefits. We shouldn't really complain about what was lost and ignore such a significant gain.

I volunteer to give up arcana expertise on my rogue if you give up neo-Vancian casting on your wizard if we ever play together. ;)
you might try reading the whole post, I can see why you trimmed the quote too, keep reading & you see this paragraph
You could say that the wizard spell prep allows you to replace the entire list during a long rest but warlock/sorerer only one spell as an example of being "better" but that ignores the fact that it's unusual to replace more than 1-2 spells & not needing to invest the national GDP levels of gold sunk into building a spellbook far outweigh the minor limitation of maybe needing to take two long rests.
In short, the limitation of 1/long rest is effectively meaningless making the original version practically the same value. It's like the difference from having a winning lottery ticket for seventy five million dollars but you need to visit the north pole to claim it & having someone else being given a winning lottery ticket for balance reasons but that ticket is only seventy four point 8 million dollarsbut they can only spend a quarter million per day
 
I get where you're coming from, but, as someone who has extensive experience in both 4e and 5e, I've got to say that I'm not seeing it in play. The spread between classes is nowhere near as pronounced as you seem to think it is. I'm just not seeing the power imbalance that you are.
I've come to rather the opposite conclusion over time: 4e isn't quite as huddled all in Tier 3 as we long thought. Yeah, it's neatly balanced in resources (pre-E) & class roles &c, but, between having run with eClasses well into Epic, and seeing certain classes struggle for out of combat relevance even in the structure of skill challenges, I have to admit there's some bleed out of that ideal.
5e, OTOH, though it does necessarily, and intentionally evoking past editions as it set out to, restore LFQW and Tier 1 (and then some) casting and the like, because they've just been part of D&D so long, does avoid Tier 6 (in itself, a meaningful design accomplishment, because it's not just 'weak' or 'ineffective' it's just plain flubbed), and Tier 5 is rather lonely, but that's as much as I can grant it in good conscience.
But it's not that the spread between Tier 1 classes and Tier 5 sub-classes is any narrower than in 3e, it's that the distribution is different, there are more Tier 2 & classes, and classes that used to languish in a lower Tier instead have sub-classes splayed among Tiers.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sorry, but all DPR all the time rates Tier 4 at best, if you're awesome at it, Tier 5 if awesome only comes with a happy power build using optional rules.

I get that 5e is balanced around rough overall single-target DPR (and healing treated as an equivalent thereof), over the semi-mythical 6-8 encounter day, but that's not all their is to class balance, let alone class Tier.

Sorry, can't agree. Class Tier isn't raw power or just what can the best build do, there's versatility over a range of challenges. Neo-Vancian casters have that in spades, almost can't scrape it off if they try. Full casters to spare. Everyone else aspires to contribute meaningfully across a range of challenges (Tier 3), definitely not everyone makes it.
Absolute rubbish. I’m sorry, man, but it is.

Every class is able to contribute meaningfully in all pillars, at a fairly close range of efficacy. If we upgraded the half dozen or so weakest subclasses and the couple weakest classes, we might even have a game with only 2 Tiers.

The idea that being able to completely rip through an encounter via damage on a reliable basis only merits Tier 4 is preposterous, but even if we accepted it, no class in 5e is just that. 🤷‍♂️
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
you might try reading the whole post, I can see why you trimmed the quote too, keep reading & you see this paragraph

In short, the limitation of 1/long rest is effectively meaningless making the original version practically the same value. It's like the difference from having a winning lottery ticket for seventy five million dollars but you need to visit the north pole to claim it & having someone else being given a winning lottery ticket for balance reasons but that ticket is only seventy four point 8 million dollarsbut they can only spend a quarter million per day
I didn't quote that part because I didn't disagree that it's normal to only replace a spell or two depending on situation. for a lot of people. Where it's more relevant is a separate list travelling through the wilderness and then changing it the morning of the dungeon delve and some people do that after they have enough preparation slots.

I joined this discussion regarding arcana when the comments were being made that wizards aren't the best at arcana but the reality is that they almost always are outside of some specialized builds.

I'm going to circle back to a point I made to which you didn't respond. Wizards got things too. 5e separating spell slots and preparation was a huge benefit for them so it's a bit facetious to mention properties of wizards given to other classes when properties of classes were also given to wizards. I made the same point regarding bardic knowledge because the prominence of ability scores in 5e gives wizards a strong general knowledge in all areas of knowledge they didn't have before.

Wizards got things in this UA. Two cleric rituals. That's a solid benefit because of the wizard's ritual caster mechanic. Any time ritual spells are added to the wizard list it's a solid benefit.
 
Every class is able to contribute meaningfully in all pillars, at a fairly close range of efficacy.
IDK, are you thinking it's all BA, it's all checks out of combat, nothing overwhelms the d20, so everyone's 'contributing,' even if it's an unmodified d20 or a help action?

The idea that being able to completely rip through an encounter via damage on a reliable basis only merits Tier 4 is preposterous, but even if we accepted it, no class in 5e is just that.
It's one kind of challenge, in one Pillar. The GWM Champion who can blenderize his way through a couple of melee beasts can be quite at a loss vs a horde or combat that ends up mostly at range, and out of combat, he's got nothing much going for him beyond warm-body contributions. The Berserker's in prettymuch the same boat, plus he might find himself out of Rage at times.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
IDK, are you thinking it's all BA, it's all checks out of combat, nothing overwhelms the d20, so everyone's 'contributing,' even if it's an unmodified d20 or a help action?

It's one kind of challenge, in one Pillar. The GWM Champion who can blenderize his way through a couple of melee beasts can be quite at a loss vs a horde or combat that ends up mostly at range, and out of combat, he's got nothing much going for him beyond warm-body contributions. The Berserker's in prettymuch the same boat, plus he might find himself out of Rage at times.
Which puts them at the bottom of Tier 3, at worst.

And a Champion is quite capable of killing everything in sight with a longbow, regardless of Fighting Style and feats.

Berserker is probably the most limited subclass in the edition, and yet, Rage has strong out of combat relevance. 🤷‍♂️

As for combat being one pillar, it’s at the very least an entire third of the game. When a character is able to rip through whole encounters in 1 pillar (the one the game tends to focus on most) without expending resources, that is a heavy weight on the scales of competitive efficacy overall.
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
I didn't quote that part because I didn't disagree that it's normal to only replace a spell or two depending on situation. for a lot of people. Where it's more relevant is a separate list travelling through the wilderness and then changing it the morning of the dungeon delve and some people do that after they have enough preparation slots.

I joined this discussion regarding arcana when the comments were being made that wizards aren't the best at arcana but the reality is that they almost always are outside of some specialized builds.

I'm going to circle back to a point I made to which you didn't respond. Wizards got things too. 5e separating spell slots and preparation was a huge benefit for them so it's a bit facetious to mention properties of wizards given to other classes when properties of classes were also given to wizards. I made the same point regarding bardic knowledge because the prominence of ability scores in 5e gives wizards a strong general knowledge in all areas of knowledge they didn't have before.

Wizards got things in this UA. Two cleric rituals. That's a solid benefit because of the wizard's ritual caster mechanic. Any time ritual spells are added to the wizard list it's a solid benefit.
Like I said back in post 41, it's not any one thing. It's the fact that all of the tools that the wizard lass used to be able to put on a pedestal have effectively been given to the classes they used to compete with in those areas or those other classes were given a version that is almost as good. You can't argue any one of those pillars in a vacuum. It doesn't matter that it's a good thing other classes are competent with knowledge skills now; what matters is that wizards aren't really any better in that area where they used to excel in addition to so many other areas with the same treatment.

I didn't respond to your but wizards got spontaneous casting point because you were trying to argue things in a vacuum. Giving everyone spontaneous casting was both good and bad but there are a lot of pieces that you need to add up to a whole rather than just looking at that.
  • Sorcerers now are the only ones with metamagic, it used to be options for wizard bonus feats. That's huge.
  • Almost all the other wizard bonus feats (many of them right down to the name) are warlock invocations
  • Sorcerer and warlock are both front loaded charisma based classes with abilities that stack in a multiplicative way that no sane 3.5 gm would do anything but laugh if a player brought it to them as some homebrew
  • The fact that spells are upcast rather than scaling with caster level benefits the shorter spell list that sorcerers have
  • The fact that damage types are generally irrelevant minimizes the value of having a larger spell list because now you can cast a particular spell using any slot you have where before in 3.5 you needed a 5th level spell like cone of cold or cloudkill to use a 5th level spell.... now you don't need to worry that cloudkill was probably poor against an adult white dragon or that cone of cold was a cone with cold damage because you can cast chromatic orb, ray of sickness, burning hands, cloud of daggers, reduce, scorching ray, suggestion, or even fireball out of that 5th level slot. In the end that expanded spell list is of dubious value.
  • Yes wizard probably has a lot of utility /buff/debuff spells not available to sorcerer, but concentration requirements dramatically hamstring the value. If that were the only change it wouldn't be a big deal, but when combined with so many of the wizard's other core pillars of pride being washed away or duplicated the loss is tangible.
  • When you figure that the wizard needs to find the spell in some form then spend gold to scribe it before they can use their "better" spell swap to the fact that the sorcerer & warlock both have full access to their class's entire spell list with their spell versatility it's hard to argue that the shorter list is A shorter, B even a meaninful handicap to scorlock, or C that the larger wizard list is especially meaningful in practice
 
Last edited:
Berserker is probably the most limited subclass in the edition, and yet, Rage has strong out of combat relevance.
Advantage on Strength checks?
As for combat being one pillar, it’s at the very least an entire third of the game. When a character is able to rip through whole encounters in 1 pillar
Is that what you meant? The DPR potentials in 5e are not that far out of whack, and even heavily optimized (also not relevant for tier ranking) single-target DPR carries you only in certain sorts of battles.
(the one the game tends to focus on most) without expending resources, that is a heavy weight on the scales of competitive efficacy overall.
Hit points are resources, Action Surge is a Resource, Rage is a resource.
 
Last edited:

Ashrym

Adventurer
IDK, are you thinking it's all BA, it's all checks out of combat, nothing overwhelms the d20, so everyone's 'contributing,' even if it's an unmodified d20 or a help action?
This very much makes a difference for me. Bounded accuracy also maintains the relevance of equipment a lot better than past editions. This doesn't necessarily come directly from the class (well, class proficiency for those items does and bonus feats) but when I'm playing where my options came from doesn't stop me from making use of them and are still part of the total character.

It's one kind of challenge, in one Pillar. The GWM Champion who can blenderize his way through a couple of melee beasts can be quite at a loss vs a horde or combat that ends up mostly at range, and out of combat, he's got nothing much going for him beyond warm-body contributions. The Berserker's in prettymuch the same boat, plus he might find himself out of Rage at times.
Athletics and gear makes a lot of exploration challenges minor. I find the lower DC's, lack of needing to roll, and equipment options marginalizes the benefits for spells for quite some time.

We've had this discussion before so I've been leaving you to your opinion, but mine hasn't changed. Magic isn't all that, especially at lower levels. Fighters aren't as good as other classes in these areas but that doesn't mean the character cannot contribute well enough to be relevant.

As for the case of the GWM champion at range, he can still take a bow out and shoot it if necessary. He might even have spent that second fighting style towards it. Improved critical doesn't care if it's a ranged or melee weapon. The wizard is still limited by concentration and action economy in defensive options, plus low hit points.
 
I didn't respond to your but wizards got spontaneous casting point because you were trying to argue things in a vacuum. Giving everyone spontaneous casting was both good and bad but there are a lot of pieces that you need to add up to a whole rather than just looking at that.
It's pretty effing significant, and when certain classes already had spontaneous casting that's not "giving it to everyone" that giving to the Tier 1 prepped casters who didn't already have it.

Sorcerers now are the only ones with metamagic, it used to be options for wizard bonus feats.
Up-casting is tantamount to 3e metamagic, and "everyeone" essentially get heighten for free. Metamagic is not really what it was in 3e.

Spontaneous casting, OTOH, is, and it's nuts combined with prepped casting.
 
This very much makes a difference for me. Bounded accuracy also maintains the relevance of equipment a lot better than past editions. This doesn't necessarily come directly from the class (well, class proficiency for those items does and bonus feats) but when I'm playing where my options came from doesn't stop me from making use of them and are still part of the total character.
Nod, I get the logic, I just don't see a contribution that literally anyone could make as meaningful anymore.
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
It's pretty effing significant, and when certain classes already had spontaneous casting that's not "giving it to everyone" that giving to the Tier 1 prepped casters who didn't already have it.

Up-casting is tantamount to 3e metamagic, and "everyeone" essentially get heighten for free. Metamagic is not really what it was in 3e.

Spontaneous casting, OTOH, is, and it's nuts combined with prepped casting.
and we are talking in a thread about how all of the wizard's meaningful strengths are either outright removed as a possibility (force multiplier of god wizard types & concentration limitations) or given to other classes in ways that are either basically the same or very close but stuck with a meaningless disadvantage... no, it's not significant at all.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Advantage on Strength checks? Is that what you meant? The DPR potentials in 5e are not that far out of whack, and even heavily optimized (also not relevant for tier ranking) single-target DPR carries you only in certain sorts of battles.
Hit points are resources, Action Surge is a Resource, Rage is a resource.
Right, and Fighters can destroy combat encounters without expending any, or at worst expending only some short rest resources. Barbarians have more exploration benefit that fighters, but have a limit on their main combat boost.

Oh, and Barbarians have advantage on Dex saves and move faster. Those are exploration benefits just as much as combat.

At absolute worst, I could see arguing that Champion, Berserker, and 4Elements Monk, are Tier 4. (But they get a boost with the recent UA features) Id disagree, but I can see the argument, somewhat.

But a whole 5e class? Nope. Not a single one.
 

Advertisement

Top