Bringing Wizards to parity with Sorcerers Aug 13, 2018 21:19:00 GMT Enius the White, Ulatempa Poetess, and 1 more like this
Post by boho on Aug 13, 2018 21:19:00 GMT
I'm not sure there's anyone who would argue that the Sorcerer is far and away the dominant arcane in HG, with Wizard being sufficient to fill the role, but inferior in almost all ways, from usability (spellbook management is a drag) to their metagame power (only 4-5 spells per level are must-haves in each endgame area) to their sheer numerical power (Sorcs have heaps of perks, Wizards... don't).
As I see it, the advantages/disadvantages, both in terms of design and the meta-game, of each are:
Wizard Advantages by Design
* True Generalists, extremely flexible and capable of rapidly adapting to any situation, on paper.
* Only class with Scribe Scroll.
* Tons of skillpoints due to high INT.
* HG: Can declare a Specialist school for a free Spell Focus feat in that school (+2 DC, and any bonus effects from the focus), at the cost of ALL access to two different spell schools.
Wizard Advantages in the Metagame
* Wizard gear in general is cheap. Wizard CCs are the only builds whose primary stat is INT, and they're underplayed.
* Can splash Rogue for bonus treasure, if no other Rogue is around.
Sorcerer Advantages by Design
* Sorcs only get a handful of spells per level, but can cast them many more times per rest.
* Don't have to find scrolls to learn their spells, but can use scrolls just like a Wizard.
* HG: Get 1.5x extra spell slots from gear.
* HG: Can use !mm channel to burn up to 3 additional spell slots on a spell, thereby adding up to 3 temporary caster levels to a spell.
* HG: A pure Sorc always has !mm channel 1 enabled at no additional spell slot cost.
* HG: Sorcs get more spell choices per level than vanilla.
Sorcerer Advantages in the Metagame
* Most spell levels have 4-6 spells which are head and shoulders better than everything else at that level.
* Only 4-6 spells per level are ideal in the most important, most popular zones.
* Many spells are literally or functionally irrelevant, either due to HG's focus on combat, the need to keep pure rogues relevant, or simply because they're garbage in every NWN module.
* Spellbooks become increasingly annoying to manage as your number of spell slots grows and grows. Sorc avoids this.
* Randomized spawns in the most popular zones make predicting exactly how many copies of those 4-6 spells to load impossible. Sorc simply does not have this problem.
* Can splash Paladin for heaps of free saves.
Setting aside from the glaring imbalances caused by past tweaks to bring Sorcs up to Wizards (1.5x spell slots, !mm channel, more spell choices), the massive flaw in this balance is that Wizard's primary advantage - its flexibility - is rendered irrelevant due to the focus on spell DC checks, and thus the need for spell focus feats. And no, the Specialist Wizard option is an absolute joke and does not even come close to addressing the gap.
Propositions on Bridging the Gap
No, don't nerf Sorcs. Instead, leave Sorcs alone and declare them the masters of CL (channeling is a cool idea that lets you flex those bonus slots, and a Sorc built specifically for one area SHOULD out-perform a Wizard that is better suited for any area), while Wizards are the masters of calculated flexibility and DC (their magic comes from deliberate practice, so stuff is more likely to work, but they also aren't able to throw raw power at the problem).
- Give a bonus to pure Wizards (+1 DC to everything, perhaps?)
- Characters with at least 30 (or more?) Wizard levels and who aren't members of a Quasiclass can read two spell focus books instead of one, granting them mastery over one more school than Sorcs.
- All Wizards gain the basic Spell Focus feats for free.
- Specialist Wizards gain +2 to their chosen school, and free GSF feats in all remaining schools they can cast. Two schools are marked restricted, as is currently live.
- All Wizards may choose a Specialist school, gaining +2 (+3?) DC to that school. No schools are marked restricted, this is simply a freebie perk of being a Wizard.
- All Wizards get +1 DC to all schools. It is no longer possible to be a specialist Wizard -- that's the Sorc's wheelhouse.