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Old October 15, 2019, 01:09   #1
bron
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Suggested new character class

The current "gnome mage" competition has pointed out that the existing "Recharge" and "Tap Magical Energy" mage spells are probably too powerful, but also greatly alter the playstyle of a mage, since a shot from a Frost Bolt wand is actually more powerful than casting the Frost Bolt spell (due to the "device skill" bump-up). I find this undesirable since it converts the mage into a device user, rather than have the mage rely on its own innate magic. However, using devices is an interesting playstyle. So I propose the creation of a new class, say "Artificer", or "Gadgeteer", or "Tinkerer", or something, which specializes in using devices, both magical and mundane. The exact parameters of what such a class can and cannot do is of course open for debate/discussion - I won't bore people with my personal feelings in that regard. But I think the general idea of such a class would be interesting and fun, and worth considering.

Part of this would be to nerf the existing Mage interactions with devices. "Tap" should have a high chance (100% ?) of destroying the device. "Recharge" should perhaps be taken away from Mages entirely (scrolls only), or have a high chance of destroying the device, or perhaps go the "fragile" route used by Remove Curse - the first one is free, but after that, it's risky.

Anyway, wanted to toss this out and see what others think.
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Old October 15, 2019, 01:36   #2
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i'm intrigued? i used to play as an investigator-class gnome in D&D
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Old October 15, 2019, 02:19   #3
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I've always liked that mages can't just rely on spells for the entirety of the game. It encourages them to think of alternate solutions to their problems. Devices shouldn't always overshadow spells, but I'm absolutely fine with them being the preferred solution for some subset of problems, including "for this portion of the game, my damage spells are not sufficient to kill the things I need to kill."

So I guess, count me down for some kind of nerf to the tap/recharge mechanic, but please don't let mages solve all their problems by just flinging mana at them.
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Old October 15, 2019, 09:27   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
don't let mages solve all their problems by just flinging mana at them.
That is indeed part of the point. The way it is currently, pretty much any stack of wands can be used like a discount Staff of the Magi, granting effectively unlimited mana. Nerfing Tap/Recharge should both reduce the pool of mana available to a Mage, and make it less attractive to use wands/staffs as the *primary* means of play. Factoring out the uber device abilities into another whole different class, without all the other additional mage advantages, seems like an interesting and different style of play.
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Old October 15, 2019, 12:18   #5
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I actually really like the fact that wands now rarely blow up, though I agree there's an issue with the Recharge/Tap pair. Rather than blowing up wands, how about making Recharge only give 1-2 extra charges up to a fairly small bound, something like 2 x (number of wands) [for offensive wands; higher numbers for things like Stone-to-Mud]? Then: (1) recharge+tap would eat up too many turns to be useful during a fight, and (2) having 10 wands of annihilation would be significantly better than having 2.

Regarding a new character class, I think the effect can be reasonably easily achieved by changing the magic device skill numbers on different races. For example, distinguish gnomes from hobbits by giving gnomes high int (+4?) and hobbits high device skill (+40?) - this will make gnome mages prefer spells and hobbit mages prefer wands.
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Old October 15, 2019, 16:15   #6
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As Derakon said, part of the attractive of the mage class is not always relying on spells. According to lore also, magic is very scarce/limited so mages have to come up with creative ways when dealing with enemies, such as gandalf did on the trilogy.
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Old October 15, 2019, 18:48   #7
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The last time I won with a mage (4.2.0) I pretty much did just rely purely on spells, with several stacks of batteries -- um, I mean, wands. Tap/recharge along with dimension door, once you get to 0% fail, seems very powerful. Also, repeated banishment makes looting even large vaults pretty safe most of the time.
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Old October 15, 2019, 21:57   #8
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So what I'm hearing is that I can remove the whole horrible hack of boosting the damage of magic devices
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Old October 16, 2019, 01:00   #9
Diego Gonzalez
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I always mention oangband because I liked the way the 4 magic realms were designed. The true spell user was the necromancer, and the mage focused on magic devices. Wands of storms and striking were great. There were some artifacts wands and staves too.
I dont know if this approach is useful for Vanilla, but I like the possibilty of a crafty magic device user.
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Old October 16, 2019, 02:23   #10
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I feel like I'm being misunderstood somehow. Probably not, actually, but some of the comments don't make a lot of sense to me. People are saying they like the fact that mages sometimes get into situations where they can't rely only on their spells; even Gandalf swung his sword on occasion. Well, I don't have any problem with that; I'm not proposing restricting mages to only use spells. I'm saying that in the existing game, mages using devices has gotten out of hand, and you get into the situation where either (a) the devices become the *primary* means by which mages deal damage, or (b) the devices are used as infinite batteries, and once you have MB4 the mage just Mana Bolts everything, all the time (until you get MB5, when it gets even worse).

Several people (including me) propose that the Tap/Recharge cycle used by mages be sharply curtailed. *NOT* that device use be banned, or anything like that, just that the currently over-powered abilities of mages with regards to magic devices be reduced back down to more manageable levels. I think (?) most people believe that some sort of nerf in this regard is desirable.

What I'm saying in this suggestion is that I find the notion of a character with device mastery to be an interesting idea, and would make for a fun character with a different playstyle and a different "feel" to it. Something like the D&D "Artificer". So, I'm suggesting that when the nerf is applied to tone down things down a bit for the mages, that those abilities (or ones like them) get split off into a new character class, rather than simply dropped. Mastery with devices *without* all the other extra mage abilities could probably be balanced into an interesting class to play.

Nick: yes, I have no problem with eliminating the device-ability damage boost. Or maybe giving it only to the Artificer class.
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