I Wish I Could Focus Magic Where I Want and Not Have to Rely on Other Schools

Discussion in 'Wishlist Requests' started by Magnus Zarwaddim, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. Magnus Zarwaddim

    Magnus Zarwaddim Avatar

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    This is going to be part rant, but hopefully I can get my wishlist point across. First, let me say that although I am focusing on my experience, I have to imagine there are other like-minded individuals out there. Second, I'm focusing on magic, although I imagine some of the principles I espouse could apply equally to melee / archer builds.

    Since I first joined SotA I've had only one build in mind. Part of it was what I wanted to RP (although I don't RP a lot). The other part is I always play a caster. And when I first came across the Magic school trees I was amazed (still am - I love the way decks play); and when I thought about the usefulness of the Combat and Strategy schools, and how I needed SOME of them to have a nice build, my mind was blown.

    I wanted what I termed a Bottom-Left Quadrant build. That's Death and Air for the combat, Moon for the utility/PvP (as I saw it), and Chaos for the support (and Daemon). This required Light Armor as well as Focus with some Subterfuge (Dex) and Tactics (Str/etc.). And I really wanted a 2H staff to fill that out and "complete" me (Bludgeon wasn't really a thing when I started at around R35).

    You may not agree with the build, or you may deem it useless...and you wouldn't be wrong on that last point.

    Why? Because they are useless alone. I cannot honestly run this build well. So I was required to branch out a bit. Not necessarily a bad thing, as there are no limits. And I honestly didn't mind. Oh, and to date, I have not really leveled anything of note in the Chaos and Moon Tree (well, except Meteor Storm, which I have GM'd).

    Why? Because I had to focus on other trees that were outside of what I wanted to build.

    I didn't mind at first when I thought for defense I should take up a shield. It forced me to use a wand, but so be it. But I didn't like it. It felt counter to my build. I invested in a majority of the skills here, but only up to 80.

    I didn't mind having to take up the Tactics skills for Defensive Stance and Fortify Defenses. They made sense, so I GM'd them both. As an aside, I GM'd Healthy, Train Strength and Heavy Lifter - you need to (as an Air Mage I also GM'd Train Dexterity in the Subterfuge tree).

    But then things started to go off script, so to speak. As I approached Adventure Level 90, I found myself fighting a lot of Undead. Death and Air are almost useless here.

    So I had to start taking up skills in the Sun and Life trees, primarily for the skills that did good damage against Undead. With the release of Upper Tears, I was able to level these up quickly. But I wasn't where I wanted to be in terms of handling Undead, either in UT or alone.

    So I had to start taking up other skills, notably Fire. Yes, it's logical, fire does best against Undead. I don't blame you, Fire tree!

    But it wouldn't end there, because it would help to build up Earth (Obsidian Arrow) or Water (Ice Field, etc.). But I don't want to do that, and this is why I am here.

    I also, on a gamble, focused on Bludgeon over a year ago. This totally works with my build, as Mac helped me make a great 2H staff. This helps a lot when mobs are all over you and you can occasionally stun them, push them back or make them fall to the ground.

    Here I am years later with a build I really don't want but need in order to make my way in this world. Which is all a long-winded way of giving you some background on my experience and why I wish I could just focus on the Mage school trees that I want and still be viable.

    Now, lets hold off on discussing how I can max attune Air, etc. to get a bit more damage out. That is a good point, but right now I cannot do that. It's on the list of "To Do's". Certainly I want to max attune my self-described Bottom-Left Quadrant of trees. And I want to max out my defenses (Tactics/Light Armor).

    My wish, therefore, would be to have additional skills in Death/Air, with the hope that it could also mean other skills for other trees to make them more "unique" and focused. If you have ideas for a build you want to focus on, have at it in the discussion. :) For example, I could see an Earth/Water mage build working nice (I guess it already does); there are certainly other combinations.

    An example of skills that I would find useful:

    Death > "Meander". I am a Death mage. I can summon Undead. However, I can't do any damage to them. Can't I have any sway over them? Enter "Meander", an AOE or Single-Target skill that causes Undead to wander aimlessly. It works as a de-aggro skill, and a crowd-control skill. Again, can't I have some control over Undead? Making it stop working if the Undead take damage would make it a challenging skill to use.

    Death > "Manipulate". Going along with a Death Mage who summons Undead, but not being able to control Undead, how about a Single-Target skill that makes the Undead (the one I cannot currently control) attack another target? I am picturing manipulating a Skeleton in Hilt Fortress to attack the Lich that to date I have not been able to hurt.

    Death > "Siphon". The dead have no life. Makes sense. I cannot sap them for health with my Death skills. Makes sense. But how about if I could still drain them? Enter "Siphon". Now, this could be two skills that mimic Death Ray and Death Field - but I can't think of a name for the AoE version. "Siphon" would drain an Undead and rather than transfer health could transfer power or focus. It could either weaken (debuff) Undead or do damage. I prefer damage but am willing to compromise. This has the benefit of being a useless skill against humanoids (but can be useful against Golems, another bane of my existence (thank you Bludgeon skill tree!)).

    Air > "Tornado". This skill could be a more powerful version of Gust, but instead of pushing enemies back consider that it whips up winds around the target(s) and, like a tornado, hurls small projectiles at the target(s) that do physical damage. This would be a nice AoE skill, for multiple-target damage. Splitting it into AoE and single-target (more damage) would also be useful - but I can't think of a name for the single-target skill.

    Air > "Needles". This could be a high-level skill that does physical damage by using tremendous focused force to "shoot" air at you, causing physical damage. This would be a single-target skill for higher damage.

    Sorry for the LONG post. I'm sure there are a lot of other ideas out there. The point of it all is to make more focused builds viable throughout the game. Having to branch out into Magic school trees that I have no real interest in sort of dampens my immersion in the game and leaves me feeling like I am on my way to being a jack-of-all trades. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just not what I want to do. Nor do I want to be a master of all skills. I leave that to the gods. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
  2. Vladamir Begemot

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    Death mages should be able to possess undead enemies temporarily, causing them to fight the other mobs.
     
  3. Magnus Zarwaddim

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    Thank you! Even if it makes me utility in certain instances.
     
  4. Magnus Zarwaddim

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    ...and for some unknown reason, my build (primarily Death) is being nerfed: https://twitter.com/catnipgames/status/1188873949691691009

    Not sure for the reasoning of this - but if my Death Shield let me live "x" amount longer when dealing with tough mobs now it appears I'll live shorter amount of time. No need to build a "wall" around your house - just like in RL it'd be a waste of time and resources.
     
  5. Sara Dreygon

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    Death shield isn't a build - it is 1 skill that can mitigate 80% or more damage. Bit OP, especially compared to all other magic shields that have limitations. Air shield previously allowed some to literally take 0 damage from a mob... as in go AFK against an aether dragon and not be put into combat. Yes, this allowed those players to live a long time but was OP until it got nerfed but players didn't like that they started taking damage again. Was wondering when Chris would nerf death shield or if he'd wait until someone hit 100% damage reduction and was invincible. Thankfully he nerfed it before then so people didn't get used to invincibility - just near invincibility.

    Think of the game without OP death shield as a challenge. I couldn't imagine how bored I'd be fighting a mob while taking 80% less damage than I do now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
  6. Xee

    Xee Bug Hunter

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    I hope it was not nerfed to the point where we can't fight bosses for those of us on the top end. Being that we already can't do 30% of the content as its full spec undead... I am still trying to patch the QA to see if I can test it out.
     
  7. Brass Knuckles

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    Shield of air was kinda op but had real counters and downsides, death shied makes the old air shield look like a starter skill with no down side or counters it needed some adjustment.
     
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  8. Violet Ronso

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    From the notes, it is quite possibly removing the damage mitigation, only leaving the Health Recovery, which was actually how I thought Death shield was supposed to work when I read it. It would be losing 50% power.

    This change actually makes sense IMO, but I can understand those who played with it extensively.

    As for @OP, Chris is talking about 2 new skills per tree for Episode 2 (which seems to be near as he is looking for suggestions now), So I would suggest you hit him up in a Private message/discord with your new skill Ideas. I for one hope for a true Water AoE (Not Ice Field's 8-10 damage every 2 minutes). Having to rely on other schools seems like an obligation in this game, and now that I've made it work I understand it pretty well. I don't know why a Death mage could not just pick up a few Air & Fire spells, even Sun, which actually works quite nice against undead, or if you want your mage to be more on the dark side, go for Moon's Meteor shower!
     
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  9. Barugon

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    This is how I thought it was supposed to work too, until I found out later that it was doing way more.
     
  10. Lazlo

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    Agree that death should get something of use vs. undead. That could be something similar to banish, or some kind of undead charm, or an animate dead skill that requires a corpse. Other than that, I think the death tree is pretty good as it is, even post DS nerf.

    I think that air and some other trees should get their own persistent AE skill that doesn't stack with other persistent AEs. That way people could do decent sustained damage with lots of different schools of magic without being able to use them all at once.

    Fwiw, I think air/death/chaos build can already be very strong, at least situationally. Chain lighting is great in death/feedback spam decks against stuff like elves, kobalds, humans, etc. It's really fun too.
     
  11. Magnus Zarwaddim

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    I wouldn't disagree, but I am not in the high-end to say otherwise. While I can agree that any skills that are too powerful need to be adjusted, it seems that the adjustment was heavy. I would have thought that a smaller percentage and a cap percentage would have been the way to go.
     
  12. Magnus Zarwaddim

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    My build is Death/Air/Moon/Chaos. My point in the original OP was to not have to spread out too thin across other skills.
     
  13. Xee

    Xee Bug Hunter

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    After talking to Chris yesterday I don't think Death spec mages will have many issues. Just the mitigation was removed leaving heal and attunement.

    What this means for death mages is that we will take more damage which should mean that our DPS actaully goes up as we dont have to wait as long to build up near death.
    The downside I see is all those non death mages which used the shield will find it a lot less effective for them. It still will heal like a small HoT.

    As to Death vs undead. The issue is not dmg or the likes its the fact that a Spec Death mage can only be healed by life drains, My Life is between -100 and -600+ attunement making it impossible to be healed by any other tree. This is where the issues with death and undead fail as there is no viable options to recover health. Sun and water heals only tick 4-10 points if that... a life mage with two anks with a 6 stack of the biggest heal can only heal me with a crit for 100hp.

    I am not sure what a good solution vs undead would be to counter this. More dmg vs undead is not a solution.
     
  14. Magnus Zarwaddim

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    I respect that I cannot damage Undead, but my OP wishlist was for more utility against Undead. Such as being able to manipulate them, much as I do with a Skeleton or Lich I summon.
     
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  15. Aetrion

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    There is definitely a problem in SOTA with shoehorning people into using specific abilities. Like there is basically no getting around training up your Sun tree as a mage unless you want to just not have a whole bunch of extra intelligence.
     
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  16. Cora Cuz'avich

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    The mechanics are sort of in the game already; once upon a time undead mages could resurrect nearby undead corpses. (Fun fact: if you wondered why loot cursors are sometimes blue, it means that the corpse is eligible to be raised.) Charm is already a thing. A spell that essentially raises the dead and charms it so it fights for you seems doable with existing tech. For balance, maybe make it turn hostile again if your focus gets too low, like you're losing control of it.

    And an AOE raise dead might actually make me come back to the game. Upper Tears would be ridiculous, but man, it would be fun as hell for a while.
     
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  17. Cora Cuz'avich

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    Yeah, that is an irritatingly bad design choice. Applies to lots of non magic builds too. It's why air rangers are a thing, and earth tanks. I went for a long time without air skills because it seemed dumb, but eventually, you realize how crippled you are without the magic trees.
     
  18. Aetrion

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    I wrote a post about moving those skills to their respective tactics trees. (https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...ld-be-in-focus-subterfuge-and-tactics.159437/) Bunch of true believers got angry about it.
     
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  19. Cora Cuz'avich

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    It seems like that's because you kept incorrectly saying "Tactics" instead of "Strategy."

    Though, it would be odd to have two skills in a tree that do the same thing, even if one is active and one is passive.
     
  20. OxNull

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    Agreed. Too many death types in novia I hope won't be in episode 2 so that death can be used more.
    I stopped playing more once my death mage build was not viable in most higher end pve. Too many liches/undead high end.
    I'm sure there are ways to mitigate this but SotA forces you to have multiple builds under your hat to do the content in SotA. Using a build that is your second or third choice to do content is not ideal or particularly fun if you gravitate to a specific playstyle.
    But in general the restiances in game to hard counter magic types seems like a weak game design that is hurting playstles.