Wizards, need your input.

Zil

Explorer
Kitirat said:
My experience is force anyone to play something and it always turns out bad.

I'll find it interesting if we get no responses from people who have actually PLAYED a wizard.

I'd particually love a story about a good or bad experience you've had playing one or a DM who has seen something happen. I have only seen bad things from wizards in the DDxp experince and the game day.
I've heard lots of bad experiences with 4E wizards as well so I decided to roll one up (okay, no rolling of any dice...) just to give it a try this evening. This will be our first 4E game. I can't say any of us have really enjoyed the character creation process so far. While I was pleased at first that my wizard still felt a tiny bit like a wizard of old, once I dug deeper to figure things out more it just got more and more annoying. I really don't like the exception based rules philosophy. Just about everything is an exception. Sure, spells always were exceptions in the past, but when trying to figure out how my wizard interacts with other people it was a bloody mess of powers/exploits/prayers to figure out. Bah. I certainly hope that game play is more fun than character generation is (or reading the PHB is), but I'm worried we're in for a rough ride. Off to the Keep on the Shadowfell!
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Goobermunch said:
This I don't get.

I've been playing since late last year, and really love my star pact warlock. I chose to go star pact and really emphasize my charisma and constitution, to maximize the benefit I get out of my powers.

... I'm honestly wishing I'd done a different stat allocation: 14 13 13 13 13 13.
--G

It's good to hear an opinion from someone with a bit of campaign experience! I have the impression that a lot of people who are making definitive statements about 4e character design have little more than a couple of sessions of play.
 

Goobermunch

Explorer
Scholar & Brutalman said:
It's good to hear an opinion from someone with a bit of campaign experience! I have the impression that a lot of people who are making definitive statements about 4e character design have little more than a couple of sessions of play.

In all fairness, I should point out that the balanced array would reduce my combat efficiency somewhat. I won't hit as often, and my damage will be reduced. Still, given the emphasis my DM has put on skill challenges and non-combat encounters (I hear that they've started calling it "role play"), I'd like to be a bit more well rounded when it comes to swimming, running, and jumping.

Who knows. Maybe I'm wrong and the only right way to play is to stick with the recommended builds. But then again, I remember the outcry when the Mystic Theurge was released, so I expect things will settle around here once the overall experience level increases.

YMMV. All offers subject to change without notice. Do not bend, fold, spindle, or mutilate.

--G
 

Staffan

Legend
ravenight said:
Curse of the Dark Delirium (for warlocks) lets you sustain it until you fail an attack roll. Honestly, a long-lasting charm spell is a pretty problematic power to be able to use without having to make multiple attack rolls. They may add some more "domination" effects to the psionics-based characters, but I actually hope they don't give a power that lets you make one attack roll to completely take over a target's actions (even restricted by not being able to make the target do something it wouldn't normally do).
It just occured to me that the best way of doing Charm Person in 4e would be something along the lines of a Utility spell that allowed you to make an instant Diplomacy check with a significant bonus.

Then I looked at the Diplomacy rules and saw that there are no longer any fixed DCs for making friends, so that kind of fell through.
 

Zil

Explorer
Zil said:
I've heard lots of bad experiences with 4E wizards as well so I decided to roll one up (okay, no rolling of any dice...) just to give it a try this evening. This will be our first 4E game. I can't say any of us have really enjoyed the character creation process so far. While I was pleased at first that my wizard still felt a tiny bit like a wizard of old, once I dug deeper to figure things out more it just got more and more annoying. I really don't like the exception based rules philosophy. Just about everything is an exception. Sure, spells always were exceptions in the past, but when trying to figure out how my wizard interacts with other people it was a bloody mess of powers/exploits/prayers to figure out. Bah. I certainly hope that game play is more fun than character generation is (or reading the PHB is), but I'm worried we're in for a rough ride. Off to the Keep on the Shadowfell!
Okay, just a quick follow-up now that we've played the game. We enjoyed ourselves. There are some things we didn't like (marking was way too video gamey and we felt that our characters were a bit on the uber-powerful side - our first level characters would be the equivalent to a 3rd level 3E character) but we had fun.

As for my wizard, I quite enjoyed myself. I made great use of my spells, but I got the best use from my daily (sleep) and one of my at-wills (the thundering one). I felt I was more like a sorcerer (in 3E think) than a wizard, but it wasn't so bad.

I don't think combat was faster than in 3E, but one thing I noticed that I'm sure was much easier on the DM was the fact that ongoing spell effects are much easier to track. They just last until someone saves - no more remembering how many rounds the spell lasts.

On the downside, the lack of spells with durations limited the ability of a wizard to control the battlefield since you didn't have very much that could do that... sort of ironic given that wizards are the "controllers". I really wanted a spell like grease... icy terrain didn't really cut it. It seemed that the marking Paladin and Warlord were doing more controlling with all their marking and locking people down. (Note: we were only 1st level so perhaps higher level wizards are better at filling the role the title suggests).

I don't think we're likely to switch our primary games to 4E because there are enough things in the new game that we're not so fond of, but we'd certainly play 4E again. It's not that bad a game and it certainly plays a lot better than it reads - at least in our Keep on the Shadowfell experience.
 
Last edited:

Anax

First Post
Zil said:
...we felt that our characters were a bit on the uber-powerful side - our first level characters would be the equivalent to a 3rd level 3E character) but we had fun.

Honestly, that makes me pretty happy to hear. Third level is the point in 3E where I felt like character concepts could really be differentiated, and at which characters weren't subjects to SIDS (Scissors Instant Deathblow Syndrome).

Zil said:
On the downside, the lack of spells with durations limited the ability of a wizard to control the battlefield since you didn't have very much that could do that... sort of ironic given that wizards are the "controllers". I really wanted a spell like grease... icy terrain didn't really cut it. It seemed that the marking Paladin and Warlord were doing more controlling with all their marking and locking people down. (Note: we were only 1st level so perhaps higher level wizards are better at filling the role the title suggests).

I honestly don't have a good feel for what "Controller" is supposed to mean, yet. But--if we can steal a bit from video games, I'd suggest that it's from the "crowd control" type of character in MMOs, probably combined with "debuffing" (i.e. reducing the effectiveness of the enemy.) Defenders are able to get the attention of a bunch of things at once for a little while, but I suspect that they have a hard time holding that attention. They also have the problem that having things focus on them just means they're going to be beat down under a sea of kobolds.

My suspicion, then, is that controller abilities are aimed at things that will really take enemies out of the picture. The basic area-effect damage spells are for "controlling" (i.e. frying) minions, which prevents them from killing the fighter and paladin with papercuts. That makes sense, since minions are what's going to appear when you have really ridiculous numbers of opponents.

I just looked at the first level wizard powers, and I think that my analysis works. Ignoring the at-wills, wizards have access to:

1) Burning Hands (xxx AoE damage, crowd-slayer)
2) Chill Strike (single target short duration daze)
3) Force Orb (3x3 AoE damage, crowd-slayer)
4) Icy Terrain (3x3 short duration difficult terrain, movement-inhibitor)
5) Ray of Enfeeblement (single target damage debuff (weaken))

And for dailies:

1) Acid Arrow (3x3 AoE damage, crowd-slayer)
2) Flaming Sphere (3x3 persistent mobile AoE damage, crowd-slayer and movement-inhibitor)
3) Freezing Cloud (5x5 short duration AoE damage, crowd-slayer and movement-inhibitor)
4) Sleep (5x5 save-ends AoE speed reduction and knockout (first slowed, then possible unconscious))

That's a pretty wide range of options at first level. Certainly, there are a lot of damage spells overall, but I think I've also illustrated how those damage spells translate into territory denial (as well as allowing you to save your doughty dwarven fighter from the ignominy of dying to a horde of kobols.)

Of the spells described above, I know I'd absolutely pick up flaming sphere. Having that little mobile patch of fire damage would be absolutely amazing in any circumstances where you want to limit movement options or bring the pain to lots of little enemies.




Anyway, digression over: The point here is that the marking abilities of the defenders allow the DM to have the NPCs "play smart". Absolutely, those enemies would love to stab/shoot/zap the weaker people in the party. Focus fire isn't just for PCs, it's for NPCs, too. The marks from defenders, however, allow them to force the issue in a somewhat natural way. "You can attack the wizard, BUT IF YOU DO, you're going to pay for the privilege." Depending on who and what the enemy is, they might choose to make that choice, or try to take out the defender really quickly and then move on.

The presence of the controller, on the other hand, is one of the things that saves the defender's bacon--they allow the DM to have the enemy "play smart" and try to take out that pesky fighter (and still have the party have a chance to live through it.) At early levels, a fighter is a very imposing 3x3 area of movement control--but if enemies get around him, there's not much he can do. And if he's mobbed by enemies, he can't take them out very quickly, either. (Yes, he can use Cleave, but if it's minions, he's probably in a position to take out two of them a round, leaving the other six surrounding him to stabby stab and inflict a lot of hurt.)

The wizard's movement-related abilities can be used to reduce the number of enemies that can get to the fighter quickly. His enemy debuffs can allow the fighter to stay alive after "they brought a CAVE TROLL!" type situations--either long enough to take care of the remaining minions or long enough to survive the fight with the big guy. His AoE damage spells can clear out those minions quickly, etc.

So, it's a team effort. Alone, either a wizard or a defender isn't going to do nearly as well as a wizard and a defender working together. The wizard breaks up the enemy when they're too dense. The fighter groups up the enemy when they're too spread out. The wizard knocks them down and keeps them from taking the fighter out.


Final note: This is all theory, based on the abilities and discussion I've read. I haven't played 4E yet (sigh), and I also haven't read through the higher level wizard abilities yet.
 

Lord Xtheth

First Post
I've ran 2 sessions so far. One session was KoTS and one was my homebrew.
The guy playing the wizard seems to realy enjoy it. He gets to take out all the minions in his little blasts, he gets to do many magic missiles and he generaly has alot of fun with his character.

He IS pissed off though... He's NEVER hit with the new Magic Missile yet.
 

scramasax

First Post
I don't care that the wizard has more or less hitpoint are that his dps is too high or tool low this was a class that was good to avoid combat. Wizard had a good toolbox of spells for non combat encounter.

At 1st level a wizard was able to charm person, comprehend language, erase writings, feather fall, reduce person, do ventriloquism, disguise self, summon a mount and detect a lot of things.

Now when I read their spells they are mostly turn into combat spell. I played 8 hour today or roleplaying game with 1 hour of combat. So seeing that my perso now has most of its power for only a small part of my playing time is not what I would consider a good use of laboratory time from my wizard.

A wizard level 27 that dominate a king can only use it to attack the queen just beside instead of making the king pass a new law.

You can enter into a prison to deliver someone by killing all the guard or by making a cuning plan. I prefer a lot the game where you have to make the cuning plan and the wizard is a lot less efficient than it was before.

This is not the same classe anymore
 

Goobermunch

Explorer
Zil said:
Okay, just a quick follow-up now that we've played the game. We enjoyed ourselves. There are some things we didn't like (marking was way too video gamey and we felt that our characters were a bit on the uber-powerful side - our first level characters would be the equivalent to a 3rd level 3E character) but we had fun.

As for my wizard, I quite enjoyed myself. I made great use of my spells, but I got the best use from my daily (sleep) and one of my at-wills (the thundering one). I felt I was more like a sorcerer (in 3E think) than a wizard, but it wasn't so bad.

I don't think combat was faster than in 3E, but one thing I noticed that I'm sure was much easier on the DM was the fact that ongoing spell effects are much easier to track. They just last until someone saves - no more remembering how many rounds the spell lasts.

On the downside, the lack of spells with durations limited the ability of a wizard to control the battlefield since you didn't have very much that could do that... sort of ironic given that wizards are the "controllers". I really wanted a spell like grease... icy terrain didn't really cut it. It seemed that the marking Paladin and Warlord were doing more controlling with all their marking and locking people down. (Note: we were only 1st level so perhaps higher level wizards are better at filling the role the title suggests).

I don't think we're likely to switch our primary games to 4E because there are enough things in the new game that we're not so fond of, but we'd certainly play 4E again. It's not that bad a game and it certainly plays a lot better than it reads - at least in our Keep on the Shadowfell experience.

Zil, thank you for sharing your experiences and approaching 4e with an open mind. It is far too easy to allow our expectations to color our experiences. I'm glad you had fun playing 4e.

--G
 

Destil

Explorer
My only problem with wizards is that a handfull of spells that do classic D&D wizard things would have been great. They really need more powers than other classes to make spellbook valuable and keep wizards diverse.

Like daily self-polymorph that lets you melee for one encounter (5 min as a troll or umberhulk once per day could be balanced, cool and a useful option). Or some classic transmutation powers, rock to mud is begging for action in 4E to make difficult terrain. Letting disintegrate destroy force conjurations. That sort of thing.

While the wizard being primarily an evoker/nonsummoning conjurer in 4E is fine, a little more variety in their spells would be awesome.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top