Mage abilities and equipment needs a change


    Let's first talk about mage abilities.

    One thing to note about melee abilities is that their skills are affected by the weapon the character is using. Abilities are usually normal damage ( that is affected by weapon ) + Damage modifier multiplied by strength.

    However, for mage abilities, the spell damages are usually just Damage modifier multiplied by int. This causes mages abilities to have less damage, and also have their abilities completely ignored by weapon upgrades. It's definitely weird when you have a fire staff doing same skill damage as primitive staff, which should not be the case.

    The second thing we need to talk about is mage equipment. For light armor, it is insanely easy to create, there is zero processing time compared to medium armor that needs to have 16 hours for processing hides, and metal which needs 4 hours to process ingots. Light armor processing is instant. This also needs to be changed.

    i) Mage abilities need to take into account the weapon damage
    ii) Mage equipment needs to have a longer processing time

  • Moderator

    The cloths (and bows, and hides) being so easy to make is surely an issue. I have proposed many times different solutions to this.

    There is also clearly an issue with mage vs warrior scaling, but I think that the issue is on the warrior side, not the mage one.
    Warrior skills should not be affected by the weapon base damage, with the only exception of those skills which replace your next attack. All the other ones should just have the attribute based portion of the damage.
    The base damage of a weapon is heavily influnced by its attack speed. You can't have skills which are not affected by attack speed, be based on the weapon base damage. You will never be able to balance this.


    @spoletta Actually I disagree with you - skills should be based on weapon damage, and they can be balanced because abilities have weapon types that they are allowed to use. For example, alot of the heavy hitting skills like heavy blow etc require heavy weapons which are all slow, so the "weapon damage" portion of the skill can be set with that in mind.

    For other skills that for example can be done with light weapons and heavy weapons - we can always split the skill into two, one with the heavy variation, and one with the light variation.

    It feels really weird on the character/equipment progression part of the game when your weapons dont influence your skill damage.

  • Moderator

    In the previous test, mage staffs provided a cooldown reduction. That is the correct way to go IMO. Have staffs provide mana cost reduction and cooldown reduction.

    On the matter of warrior skills, I don't care how the issue is solved, as long as it is solved. Currently we can all agree that skills like Cleave Armor that are instant, base damage and STR*30 on top of it are a mistake. Either the skills do not take the base damage in consideration or they all become Ready On Attack type.


    In almost every single MMO, a weapon upgrade equals to higher damage counters, it's only the mage abilities on Fractured that this is not the case...which is really weird.

    For warriors, I would just nerf the damage capabilities of things like slayer armor and adjust some of their skill values. When mages have their abilities also include their base damage, they'd be doing just as much or more damage with the slayer armor nerf and tweaks to their ability numbers.

  • Content Creator

    Generally, unless the Mage Weapon relates to the spell, or has an enchantment associated with it, shouldn't affect the spell damage. A fire staff should add to a fire spell's damage, a Staff with +10% Energy damage should add to Energy attacks, and a Shock Staff should increase Shock damage. Enchantments like Cool Down Reduction and Lower Mana Cost should work too, but other than that, Staves and Wands and other spell channeling weapons shouldn't affect the spells cast...A rapier as a channel weapon doesn't make Magic Missile more powerful.


    Fractured -had- enchanting tiers for weapons/armor which directly increased the stats for them... but it was taken out for unknown reasons... Same with gem imbuing to an extent.

    Bare handed skills and talents should not exist... they create the 'naked mage' problem all over again where ability/effect is not tied to equipment.
    Switch that to fist wraps that require cloth and some reagent and problem solved. (cloth + cinder pearl = fire elemental fist weapon based on int... or cloth + ingots = brass knuckles for str/dex damage)

    Ranged combat is quite a misnomer in this game with such a small field of view and so many movement / cc abilities.
    As such why is the mage 'advantage' of range so heavily weighted even tho they can barely get 1 ability off before the ranged combat becomes melee?
    Giving mages melee elemental weapon options (which their abilities could also work with) would allow them options and allow the devs to see more of the balance factors as people move from forced ranged mages to melee mages. (we are already a fair way into this what with the battlemage sets popularity)

    We already have stances and toggle abilities like crippling strike, fire arrows, striking wounds... why not keep that methodology for other mage based abilities? Instead of fire bolt call it fire infusion ability, which is a toggle and modifies mage melee/range abilities with the fire bolt effect which modify or scale off of weapon damage just like crippling strike or fire arrows work with other classes? so take the base mage staff of 9int damage and the ability converts that to fire damage while adding 4int fire damage and stacks. Have this work more or less the same for all weapons (that channel) and then you can have flaming falchions / bows / staves / fists. If you -really- need to make people specialize their weapon for each ability then fine, that is an easy addition, but the base idea should work fine in each situation.

    This is shown in the enchanting ability class and in this picture here: 8c01abba-1bc5-4143-b667-7433476ced4a-image.png

    As such why force mages into some special restrictive situation where they need to have abilities not based on weapons like everyone else?

    A good example is the acid breath ability, it has a 3m range cone but roots you for 3 seconds. Meanwhile many melee attacks already have a cone attack just base in them - great sword has a 2m ranged cone attack for example. The acid breath ability could be more flexibly and usefully linked to weapon type and the AOE that they already affect in the same way that other weapon based abilities work with an activation cost and/or a cost per strike or per second. This would allow for far more interesting builds where one may weigh the options of having a lighter weapon for more attack speed and more stacks, or a larger weapon for greater aoe (quartersaff) or base damage (mace/wand?).
    As is the acid breath ability is hugely restrictive, more cumbersome, and either under whelming when fighting mobile single targets or overwhelming when fighting static groups (corralled skeletons, stunned)

    If it were an enchant ability enhancing base weapon then it would be more useful, flexible, and enjoyable.
    Keeping the methodology that works and just giving mages more weapon choices with int damage would make all the difference.
    Fist wraps for high speed single target melee (dagger), wands for small range aoe (sword), orbs for longer range but small aoe (spear), staves for big damage (hammer), quarterstaffs for big aoe.

    From what I have seen, heard, and experienced all of the really big aoe mage spells and toggles (thunderstorm, cloak of elements, etc) are just so impractical, ineffective, costly, and restrictive that they are not used. As such the question of why they even exist comes up.

    The processing time for mage equipment is also all over the place, imbalanced, and problematic.
    Linen can be gotten anywhere and everywhere easily and rather quickly, while cotton can only be obtained through 2 days of farming multiple plots that could be used for food to upkeep or rank up cities, and other mob dropped materials are quite erratic in availability and time to harvest as well.
    The value and cost of the materials are totally irregular and some how hardly representative in their corresponding qualities given in the equipment produced.
    This is the one area where the t2 equipment tree got it right; use of other materials for crafting of the equipment to somewhat standardize the cost in time.

    I agree with Spoletta and others that the tanning method should include reagents for the process.
    I also agree/argue that the 4hr timer with fuel for one ingot is quite frustrating and taxing on work/life/game balance.
    I would argue that cloth could also use some form of processing, call it magical imbuing if you like, which takes a reagent/fuel and time to be completed.
    I argue that the 16 hour timer for tanning is best, and requiring some sort of fuel would also be good. Something comparable to coal/charcoal may be gatherable herbs and their enchantment potency. so you need to go out and harvest 60 total potency of herbs which could mean 4 stacks of 5 herbs each with 3 rank 1 enchantment qualities. Or you could use fewer materials of higher potency. This way there would be a use for all the low potency herbs out there while also balancing out the time factor.

    In exchange give cloth armor -some- area of value.
    One argument for why cloth armor is so cheep and easy to make is that it is tissue paper and practically worthless, while in contrast metal armor provides huge resistances as well as variety of bonuses to choose from.
    I think that everyone would be happy with expensive cloth armor if it also had comparable stats, if in just different areas.
    For example: plate armor has the best physical defenses, but no elemental defenses, leather has a good balance, and cloth has the best elemental defenses but no physical. or plate is best vs piercing, leather vs slashing, and cloth vs crushing.

    As a final plug I would like to advocate for the return of imbued gems for adding qualities to weapons/armor/jewelry instead of the current system of imbuing each piece separately.

  • Content Creator

    I'm okay with melee mage as a viable build option, but don't take away your Ranged Mage or Naked Mage options.

    One of the great things about mages is that you don't 'need' a weapon to activate your spells. Sure, you can use the 'Harry Potter' version where without a wand/staff of some sort you can't really access much magic, but I'm more of the Wand/Staff/Orb/Rapier acts as a focus to increase accuracy, turn you into a melee mage, or enhance specific magic (Fire Staff adds to Fire Spells, etc...)

    Also, bare handed magic adds possibilities for Elemental Monks/Martial Artists builds, and I'm not really a fan of hand-wraps being required to go 'bare handed' and be effective.

    I still want all kinds of mages, I want to make a Bard, where my Musical Instrument is my 'Weapon' or a Rapier, I can wear Medium Armor (Warlock/Battlemage) and my spells are more about Healing/Buffing my allies, De-Buffing my enemies, and some utility, here I'd love the idea of imbuing my rapier with a sheath of fire, or electrical charge via spell as a melee mage ability, that would work for this build.

    As to processing mage armor, I'm all for adding more to t2 and t3 mage stuff. There are some reagent requirements, but I'm also okay with having to come up with something to treat the plant fibers to keep them from falling apart when making cloth...doesn't need 16 hrs necessarily for primative, mayhaps 8 hrs, and untreated cloth could be 'improvised' but would only have like 50 durability or some such...I could go with that.


    I dont think naked mage should be a thing at all.

    It's going to be a pain to balance the fact that you can have a class which barely needs any equipment to do a good amount of damage.

    I'm with Spoletta on this one - where I believe unarmed as well should have a "weapon" which can be cloth wraps or gloves or something similar.

    It makes little sense where we have some classes need to farm so much more materials and reagents while another doesn't need to at all - and when we balance it in it's viability, then late game these classes which don't need as much materials would be useless if we balance them to be less viable then the classes which need equipment and farmed materials.

  • Content Creator

    @Rife The thing is, naked mages can do some of the higher damage stuff unarmed, but they still tend to need some kind of armor, and they are very Mana dependent, and once they run out of mana, they become sitting ducks. I'm not saying there isn't balancing needed. I can agree with making their armor options need a few time sinks like other armor, for instance, but a mage should be able to cast without a weapon, period...Weapons or "spell channeling foci" should maybe help with accuracy, give them a 'mana-free' attack option (like they do now) and allow them to augment their spells via enchants, material properties, etc... You could even make spells cast 'bare handed' take more mana to cast, so just having a channeling item lowers your mana cost a bit...but bare handed mages should be a thing...mayhaps not naked totally, as most mobs can't totally be solo'd from a distance, but an unarmored mage should be able to support a melee tank in situations without too much armor, and just have to worry about Mana Management.

    That's my 2 copper pieces. This is coming from a mainly mage character player who likes the lore and flavor that mages can have...not just the dps at range. Go ahead and make my armor a little more trouble to build/wear, but don't take away my barehanded spells.


    @Rife said in Mage abilities and equipment needs a change:

    I'm with Spoletta on this one - where I believe unarmed as well should have a "weapon" which can be cloth wraps or gloves or something similar.

    I am not Spoletta XD

  • Moderator

    @OlivePit shut up, you are me now!

    But I also agree with it by the way.


    I played as a mage in this test and it was unenjoyable experience because of many reasons. It would make sense that higher tier weapons works better in general and affects to the abilities (and their damages) as well. That can be considered as a standard. On top of that there can be extra benefits like fire staff boosting fire spells. The power ups does not need to be huge but something which would have minor to mediocre impact and feels good to use.

    On top of that mages suffers from mana issues even bumping all talent points to mana regeneration. In groups it is easier to handle mana because you can save it easily, however, even then it does not feel good to spam basic projectile attacks which more like tickles opponents than harm. Solo play is much more mana hungry activity and kiting feels extremely clunky because constant swap between targeting and moving.

    Mages in current state are not fun to play.

  • Moderator

    Indeed I think that the following changes would make mage play more entertaining:

    • (Optional) The staged spell channeling changes I detailed in another thread.

    • Special property of all mage staffs (and wands in the future) - Spell Weaving: Works in the same way as the current Battle Mage bonus set, in that it provides stacks based on mana used, but those stacks provide mana regen instead of bonus damage. This helps mages with their mana issues. Technically you could do the same with a simple mana regeneration bonus on the staffs, but then everyone would just keep a mage staff as a secondary weapon and switch to it to recover mana. It is better that the mana recovery triggers only when you actually use the staff to cast the spell.

    • 10% spell damage bonus on all staffs (including primitive). In addition, elemental staffs add another 10% to their element, and apply 10 stacks on hit.

    In short, there should be a difference in casting with a scimitar or with a mage weapon.

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