Why can't Wizards have nice things?

So allegedly 3.5e had Wizards be the most powerful class ever. I never played 3.5e but I've heard that charge levelled at clerics and druids instead of Wizards. I guess casters were a step above the Rogue and Fighter.

I do play Pathfinder however. It keeps the Vancian system and yet somehow the Wizard doesn't dominate the fights.

A lot of people complaining about the Wizard class point to 4th ed as an example of a system where Wizards were much more inline with the other classes. The only problem is, they weren't. They were "controllers". They didn't deal any damage, they didn't heal players. They simply "controlled" the battlefield. With how long battle takes in 4th ed it quickly becomes obvious that the Wizard isn't contributing to the enjoyment of the game. It might be keeping a group of monsters at bay until the players can get round to them, but the Cleric does so much healing it's often unnecessary. All the Wizard is doing is prolonging an already painfully long fight. Everyone would rather the Wizard simply help everyone else actually kill the monsters so we can get on to the next fight sooner and hopefully finish the adventure within the next 6 months.

In LFR we quickly saw the optimal party become Striker, Striker, Striker, Striker, Cleric. Not a leader, but cleric. Because Clerics were the best healers because WotC decided that should be how the game works. Everyone hoarded their daily powers until the final fight when they let loose, ensuring that the final fight was a cakewalk.

In home games the fight quickly becomes "Use Daily Power 1. Use all encounter powers. Use at wills." Rinse and Repeat until the day's finally over. Again Wizards are a joke and no-one actually wants to play them. Unfortunately we were still stuck with the idea that "every role needs to be filled" so the poor Wizard player is stuck being the Wizard.

In 4th ed everyone outdamages the Wizard:


  • Fighter is a striker thanks to the Slayer build.

  • Ranger is a striker

  • Rogue is a striker

  • Warlock is a striker


Everyone gets to be a striker except the Cleric who deals only a respectable amount of damage. While the poor Wizard gets stuck wishing he'd played a different class.


Now comes 5th edition and in the pregen builds, we see a Vancian caster. Immediately all the 4th ed fans get their arms up in the air because they see a Wizard that can actually contribute meaningfully to the party.


Level 1 Damage Output

  • Fighter: Does 14 damage on average. On a miss it does 7 damage.

  • Cleric of Moradin: Does 7.5 damage on average. If he doesn't use all his slots on healing he'll get to do an extra 1d6 for an entire hour, bringing up his damage output to 11 damage on average per round.

  • Cleric of Pelor: 8.5 damage on average. Once a day the Cleric can spend half his spell slots dealing 18 damage against a single enemy.

  • Rogue: 6.5 damage on average. The poor, poor rogue. I sure feel sorry for any 4th ed players who pick the Rogue because everyone knows Rogues do so much damage.


The uber powerful Wizard? Why:



  • He can do a whole 3.5 damage guaranteed on his turn (half of what the fighter deals on a miss).

  • He can do 7.5 damage every turn. If he hits. This is a whole 0.5 damage extra then the Fighter gets to deal at a minimum. Or it's 53% of the damage a fighter does assuming both targets hit and deal average damage.

  • Or he can once a day (3 times a day if he does nothing else) deal 8 damage to enemies within a particular cluster. When you're facing a hoarde of low level monsters that will clear them out, assuming they don't make the dexterity save of course. The same monsters that the fighter was guaranteed to kill whenever he got around to it.

  • He can put a whole cluster of enemies to sleep assuming they fail the wisdom save. But again, only if they're low level mooks that the fighter can autokill on his turn. And he can only do this 3 times a day, assuming he does nothing else that day except spam at wills.


I haven't seen any change from 4th ed at all. The Wizard is still geared towards killing minions (something the Warlock could do much more effectively and in a single round) while pretty much every single other class can outdamage the Wizard in any given round.

I know, everyone knows that Wizards take a while to scale up. Let's check the Wizard out at 3rd level, the highest level we have for the playtest.

Level 3

The Wizards at-wills are as follows:



  • Shocking Grasp is still at 7.5 damage. That hasn't changed at all. Bugger.

  • Magic Missile. The underperforming at will. Why it scales with level. Now it can finally do 7 damage, why... that's actually the same amount of damage as the level 1 fighter deals on a miss. Fine.


I know, the Wizard has level 2 spells now. Surely those will be overpowered to warrant a 37 page thread bemoaning the return of the overpowered Wizard. Let's see:


  • Arc Lightning. His one damaging spell for level 2 that he'll get to do a whole 2 times a day. Why I.. have to make an attack roll. Alright, that's not so bad. I get to deal can deal 17 damage on a hit. (8.5 on a miss) That's 2 extra points then a level 1 fighter (or 1.5 extra points on a miss). But unlike the lowly fighter, I get a second attack dealing an extra 10 points of damage if I hit. That's a whooping 27 damage in 1 turn. And I get to do that twice a day. Surely I'll dominate the combats and no-one else will get a chance to contribute meaningfully.


Let's see what the rest of the mooks that I call my adventuring party get. They can't be as powerful as me:



  • Rogue. Good old Rogue who was barely able to do any damage at all. Why he gets to now deal 18 damage every second round. Or 9 damage every round. Why... That's actually more than my at-wills. How the heck is the Rogue outdamaging a Wizard? Well at least I get to deal 27 damage twice a day. The Rogue can't do that!

  • Cleric of Pelor. He's still dealing, well, the same amount of damage. He still beats my at-wills, but at least I get to deal 27 damage twice a day. The Cleric of Pelor can't do that!

  • Cleric of Moradin. Why... now he can do 13 damage 3 times a day? And he gets to do the extra 5.5 damage retroactively guaranteed that he never misses it? Well that's only 39 damage a day, I'm getting to do 54, so clearly I'm better. Even if I do have to make 2 attack rolls to deal that much damage.

  • Fighter. The lowly fighter. The character that will be overshadowed by my greatness. At level 1 you might have outdamaged me, but I'm powerful now. I'm level 3. I get to deal 27 damage twice a day. What do you have to say for yourself?

    You can deal 15 damage at will? 8 on a miss? I don't care if that beats my at-wills. I get to deal 27 damage twice a day. Do you know how much that is? That's 54 damage a day. And I'll just demand we have a rest after my 2 spells are wiped and who cares about the plot? I'll outshine you any day of the week.

    What's that? You get to make 2 attacks in 1 round and you can do that twice a day? Your total damage output for those two rounds is 30 per round or 60 in total? And you also get to make an additional attack for free if you actually manage to kill someone on your turn? And you can do that unlimited times a day.

    How is this possible? I'm the Wizard. I can outdamage everyone in the party. Everyone knows that. There's a 37 page thread going on at great length about this. I'll just rest every 2 fights. Wait, that means your daily abilities get reset as well? The daily abilities that outdamage me by 6 points?

    Damn you fighter! Damn you to the Nine Pits of Hell. I was told you would stand in my shadow. How dare you be as competent as me when I'm novaing for the day. It's my only chance to be impressive!


In Conclusion

I feel that the fighter and Wizard are evenly matched. The poor Rogue is outdamaged by everyone in the party. I'd be willing to play the Rogue, as at least I get to do cool stuff and be supersneaky and have twice as many skills as everyone else. But I don't place a lot of emphasis on combat and much more enjoy roleplaying outside of combat.


Request

Can those bemoaning how overpowered the Wizard is in 5th edition please point out to me where the Wizard will overshadow everyone else. Because the only place I'm seeing it is when the party faces mooks that the fighter autokills on his turn. If that's the worst the Wizard can do, I fail to see how this is so much better then anyone else.


Instead I see a return to where the Wizard's usefulness is having utility spells. He has comprehend languages, allowing him to communicate with non-humans that don't speak Common. He has grease which can slow down the enemy and give the other PCs the time they need to finish the current bunch of monsters.


These spells aren't overpowered. It just means that the 5th edition Wizard will have SOME purpose, unlike the 4th edition wizard.

Check out my 5th Edition Blog.

I like this. Thank you for doing the math and pointing out that one of the stated goals (making sure the fighter was best in the fight) is acutally being accomplished. 
When your opponent says "whatever" you have won
Nice I like this as well, I agreed with everything said! 
Wizards spells that deal damage have always been weak compared to the spells that don't. Apparently, 4e took this to the next level.

Wizards have never been powerful blasters. Sorcerers were powerful blasters, and less powerful than wizards by a longshot. Think of sorcerers as the "simple fighter" of the spellcasting classes.

I apologize to people who know me as sounding like a mad power gamer in this post.  I was playing around with the math the other day on the Cleric of Pelor.  The concept quickly became don't ever cast Cure Light Wounds.  Instead convince your companions to fork over 25gp and build them healing pots.  You've got a 14 Charisma- put it to use.

Then you will see how much damage you can unleash:

-Spiritual Hammer (+6 to hit/1d8 dmg) and Radiant Lance (+6 to hit/1d8+4 dmg)- for 10 rounds

At level one- twice per day, level two- three times per day, level three- four times per day

-Channel Radiance (+6 to hit/1d8+4 dmg)- 20ft sphere centered on the caster, 14 DC Con save for half

Starting at level two- four times per day

-Sunburst- 10ft Radius Sphere within 50ft, 14 DC Con save for half, but failed save causes Blindness and 2d8+4 dmg

Creatures that start their turn in the area of effect take 2d8+4 damage.  On a minimum that's 9pts, on a successful save average is 19.5, and on a failed save average damage is 26.  This is a 3rd level character.

So I don't really see the wizard as even leading the playtest characters in damage.  The Cleric of Pelor is the one you want in a room containing 40 kobolds.  He auto-kills a 10ft radius sphere centered on him with a use of Channel Radiance.  Other fights where he can just hang back with Hammer/Lance- he is getting two attacks per round.  And then when he dumps the Sunburst on folks, they are toasted.

I didn't mention his other obvious uses as an out of combat healer- for every 25gp you spend after 3rd level, you make a super potion capable of healing 8hp per draught.  You also maximize hit dice spend during a short rest, so when the fighter takes a breather he comes back with a full 12hp.  Just refuse to cast Cure Light Wounds, and you shine as a damage dealer.      

Don't really have much input on the general content of your post, but I would like to point out that the fighter only does 3 damage on a miss (ability modifer damage). Extra damage (such as from weapon focus) isn't included in this.
Also good to note is the wizards magic missile scales. Potentially to numbers greater than the fighters basic swing. The wizard can then take a theme like slayer (+2 damage a level 1, and +1 more per odd level) which can make magic missile do more damage than the fighter by level 6. Also, two wizards can solo an ogre while two fighters could not because of ray of frost. Yes the fighter is great and does some nice damage but in most play test runs if you replaced the fighter with a wizard your group will have an easier time (extra burning hands to kill the kobold swarms and extra ranged attack/ control from the cantrips). Hell have the dwarves use a table as a portable wall and use magic missile never miss artillery from behind.
Also good to note is the wizards magic missile scales. Potentially to numbers greater than the fighters basic swing. The wizard can then take a theme like slayer (+2 damage a level 1, and +1 more per odd level) which can make magic missile do more damage than the fighter by level 6.



Er. The slayer does not do this. The bonus you are describing is a fighter class feature. The slayer's abilities do not appear to be capable of enhancing a magic missile's damage. You don't roll to hit with the magic missile so the damage on miss notion is out. And Cleave, if it's a Slayer feature, is strictly a melee enhancer.

Edit: Further, even if you play a fighter with the magic user theme and select magic missile as one of your two cantrips, that +2 bonus that apparently scales only applies to weapon attacks which the magic missile clearly is not.
What many experienced in previous editions was the fighter/rogue types becoming nothing more than henchmen who handled "challenges" the "real heroes" couldn't be bothered to mess with and we don't want to see tha become a feature in DnD 5.0.

Furthermore not speaking for anyone else but myself - it is not always about straight up "power" - the slayer fighter in the playtest seems to be very powerful but it is BORING.  Give me something more than "I hit it" as an option.  And no the "improvise" action is not a valid substitute as it now stands.  For improvise to be a valid substitute for interesting options for non-spellcasters they need to provide decent guidelines/examples so dm's can understand the basic parameters these actions should be working within and non-spellcasters need serious benefits to different types of improvised actions compared to spellcasters.  Otherwise imrpovise + toys> improvise every single time. 
What many experienced in previous editions was the fighter/rogue types becoming nothing more than henchmen who handled "challenges" the "real heroes" couldn't be bothered to mess with and we don't want to see tha become a feature in DnD 5.0.

Furthermore not speaking for anyone else but myself - it is not always about straight up "power" - the slayer fighter in the playtest seems to be very powerful but it is BORING.  Give me something more than "I hit it" as an option.  And no the "improvise" action is not a valid substitute as it now stands.  For improvise to be a valid substitute for interesting options for non-spellcasters they need to provide decent guidelines/examples so dm's can understand the basic parameters these actions should be working within and non-spellcasters need serious benefits to different types of improvised actions compared to spellcasters.  Otherwise imrpovise + toys> improvise every single time. 



Well. It IS a valid substitute for a subset of players who really like the freedom and have DMs that are comfortable adjudicating on the fly like that. But it IS NOT to everyone's taste, and I fully recognize that. I personally fall somewhere in the middle on this debate. I really would like to see a slightly more complex fighter and I believe that's coming soon when we get the early version of the character creation rules.

And you're right, it isn't just about power. It's about fun. Everyone wants to have fun. I can have fun with a world of unspoken options waiting to be discovered. Another will have more fun with a well-defined list of abilities to choose from. No one is more right in their play style (which is what confuses me about some of the more vitriol-soaked debates on this).

And I agree on the guidelines comment whole cloth. Many DMs (and the players, to some degree) would like a toolbox of options to mix and match as we desire. Teach a man to fish and all that. Sure, I can have a ton of fun without this, but if it's included, it only makes the game stronger and my job as DM easier.

Dear Wizards: Please give us some character creation rules soon. Thanks! Just sayin'. >.>

long rant from someone who doesn't have a clue



Maybe you should learn, what "control" actually is, before trying to compare raw damage output. Furthermore, you should try to make sure the damage numbers you post are right, before you rant, since otherwise it is really easy to look like a complete fool:

Damage on a miss from Reaper feature is only ability mod, so 3 instead of 7.
If you want to compare damage output, you also should figure to hit ratio. Dealing a potential 200 dmg on a hit is meaningless, if it requires you to roll a 20.
The rogue numbers are also off, since it should be easier to get advantage at range, than in melee. So take the sling. Hiding for Advantage not only means Sneak Attack, but also increases critical hit chance to almost 10%. But I doubt that you'd understand this ...

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/magic/images/whatcolor_iswhite.jpg)

Do you honestly think that damage output is why people thought that the 3.X Wizard was too powerful?
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
I built a dedicated blaster at various levels during the closed playtest, and its damage output was quite competitive.  Quite.  I don't want to put too much stock into such early numbers, as they've said several times that basic monster math isn't even remotely close to finished yet, but just comparing the output of the wizard and the fighter they were actually pretty even.  When the wizard was using his best spells, at least.  Anything other than the highest level or two available was actually significantly less DPR than a fighter, though many of them were AOE so that's to be expected.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Of course if the game is balanced and your group is ok with unbalance ask for your godwizard to start at level 10 while the party starts at level 1. Or give your godwizard advantage on all attacks and enemies disadvantage against the godwizard. It is far easier to unbalance a balanced game than to balance an unbalanced one.
The reason that wizards are so powerful in 3.5 isn't because they do the most damage (and casting damage spells is far from the best way for them to do the most damage) but because they make damage essentially irrelevant by just winning fights straight up. They also have an almost unparalleled ability to circumvent or trivialize noncombat encounters. The reasons that clerics and druids are considered more powerful is because they could also do that to nearly the same extent, plus they were the two best physical combat classes in the game on top of it. Casters weren't "a step above" the rogue and fighter in 3.5. They were flying around in supersonic jet bombers while the rogue and fighter were standing on the bottom few steps of some staircase somewhere. (There are some niche fighter builds that can contribute against a subset of enemies by foregoing damage as a primary priority and embracing action denial, which is jifinity times better, although they're still doing some damage.)

As far as 4e goes, "Striker, Striker, Striker, Striker, Cleric" is an extraordinarily low-powered party, although in a low-cohesion environment like LFR, I can kind of see it. At home games, I'd have to knock tons of the challenge off of what I throw at even vaguely optimized parties (more leaders!) to handle such a weakling group, even if the characters are individuall well-put-together.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
And you're right, it isn't just about power. It's about fun. Everyone wants to have fun. I can have fun with a world of unspoken options waiting to be discovered. Another will have more fun with a well-defined list of abilities to choose from. No one is more right in their play style (which is what confuses me about some of the more vitriol-soaked debates on this).



The reason the debates get so vitriolic is that mutually exclusive priorities and playstyles exist, and that in practice many things that could be accomplished by houseruling or improvisation will never happen without rules because they either are or look overpowered or people are simply lazy. If you balance the game, then the guy who wants to play an invincible god wizard will very nearly never get his way. If you force him to rely on improvisation, then the guy who wants to occasionally blind the board as a Rogue will very nearly never get his way. If you don't make the Druid's ability to turn into whatever he wants a part of the rules, then he'll almost never be able to convince the DM to let him turn into a Paragon Mindflayer. etc. etc.



Well. As I've alluded, I can see the argument for both playstyles and agree, to some degree or other, with both.

Sidebar: Druid to paragon mindflayer? That feels somewhat out of scope for the druid to me. Made me snicker a little. But maybe my reaction solidifies your point?


Well. It IS a valid substitute for a subset of players who really like the freedom and have DMs that are comfortable adjudicating on the fly like that. But it IS NOT to everyone's taste, and I fully recognize that. I personally fall somewhere in the middle on this debate. I really would like to see a slightly more complex fighter and I believe that's coming soon when we get the early version of the character creation rules.

And you're right, it isn't just about power. It's about fun. Everyone wants to have fun. I can have fun with a world of unspoken options waiting to be discovered. Another will have more fun with a well-defined list of abilities to choose from. No one is more right in their play style (which is what confuses me about some of the more vitriol-soaked debates on this).

And I agree on the guidelines comment whole cloth. Many DMs (and the players, to some degree) would like a toolbox of options to mix and match as we desire. Teach a man to fish and all that. Sure, I can have a ton of fun without this, but if it's included, it only makes the game stronger and my job as DM easier.

Dear Wizards: Please give us some character creation rules soon. Thanks! Just sayin'. >.>




Actually I'm not unreasonable on the issue imo BUT my statement that a lot of people seem to neglect is

Otherwise imrpovise + toys> improvise every single time. 

Give the fighter and the wizard equal levels of ability to improvise straight out of the box then add all the wizard toys on top of that and the wizard flat trumps the fighter.

I'm not saying nerf the wizard until he is as unfun for you as a basic attack fighter is for me i'm saying give me the OPTION to play a fun and effective fighter also.

1st and second edition were fairly balanced based on the levels we played (sub10)and the GM restrictions in place in games I was in (also based on some limitatinos on casters that no longer exist like spell interuption) but 3rd edition just got out of hand in a hurry.  I don't think they are willing to bring back the limitations from 1st/2nd edition or the balance mechanisms local gm's enforced and I really don't want to go back to just basic attacks or 3/2 attack ration's for fighters (or paladins and lord help the rogues who were always subpar in first and second editions)


We can only hope the Devs are far more versed in CharOp 101 than this joke of an attempt.
CharOp exists primarily due to them not noticing things, so I wouldn't be too hopeful there.
The true power of the Wizard is not in dealing damage.

That said, I do agree that some balance exists because both classes can contribute in fun and interesting ways.

...just my 2cp

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The true power of the Wizard is not in dealing damage. That said, I do agree that some balance exists because both classes can contribute in fun and interesting ways. ...just my 2cp



Agree, for example in PF RPG an 8th level Wizard that hits you with a fireball will average 14 damage if you make your reflex save 28 damage if you fail, 0 damage if you save with evasion, and the save DC is usually arouind DC 16. And there are numerous ways to stop them from casting, another little known fact by people who played AD&D if you played by RAW it was very difficult to get spells off, there were casting times in segments and any amount of damage "fizzled" your spells.
So allegedly 3.5e had Wizards be the most powerful class ever. I never played 3.5e but I've heard that charge levelled at clerics and druids instead of Wizards. I guess casters were a step above the Rogue and Fighter.

I do play Pathfinder however. It keeps the Vancian system and yet somehow the Wizard doesn't dominate the fights.


You play with poor caster players then.

A lot of people complaining about the Wizard class point to 4th ed as an example of a system where Wizards were much more inline with the other classes. The only problem is, they weren't. They were "controllers". They didn't deal any damage, they didn't heal players. They simply "controlled" the battlefield. With how long battle takes in 4th ed it quickly becomes obvious that the Wizard isn't contributing to the enjoyment of the game. It might be keeping a group of monsters at bay until the players can get round to them, but the Cleric does so much healing it's often unnecessary. All the Wizard is doing is prolonging an already painfully long fight. Everyone would rather the Wizard simply help everyone else actually kill the monsters so we can get on to the next fight sooner and hopefully finish the adventure within the next 6 months.


See above.  A wizard doing his control roll was insanely important in large battles.


Level 1 Damage Output

  • Fighter: Does 14 damage on average. On a miss it does 7 damage.

  • Cleric of Moradin: Does 7.5 damage on average. If he doesn't use all his slots on healing he'll get to do an extra 1d6 for an entire hour, bringing up his damage output to 11 damage on average per round.

  • Cleric of Pelor: 8.5 damage on average. Once a day the Cleric can spend half his spell slots dealing 18 damage against a single enemy.

  • Rogue: 6.5 damage on average. The poor, poor rogue. I sure feel sorry for any 4th ed players who pick the Rogue because everyone knows Rogues do so much damage.




3 on a miss, not 7.  He deals ability modifier damage on a miss so 3 (or 1 with a bow)

 

The uber powerful Wizard? Why:



  • He can do a whole 3.5 damage guaranteed on his turn (half of what the fighter deals on a miss).

  • He can do 7.5 damage every turn. If he hits. This is a whole 0.5 damage extra then the Fighter gets to deal at a minimum. Or it's 53% of the damage a fighter does assuming both targets hit and deal average damage.

  • Or he can once a day (3 times a day if he does nothing else) deal 8 damage to enemies within a particular cluster. When you're facing a hoarde of low level monsters that will clear them out, assuming they don't make the dexterity save of course. The same monsters that the fighter was guaranteed to kill whenever he got around to it.

  • He can put a whole cluster of enemies to sleep assuming they fail the wisdom save. But again, only if they're low level mooks that the fighter can autokill on his turn. And he can only do this 3 times a day, assuming he does nothing else that day except spam at wills.


I haven't seen any change from 4th ed at all. The Wizard is still geared towards killing minions (something the Warlock could do much more effectively and in a single round) while pretty much every single other class can outdamage the Wizard in any given round.

I know, everyone knows that Wizards take a while to scale up. Let's check the Wizard out at 3rd level, the highest level we have for the playtest.


Or you know he can lock the single biggest mook in place to let the rest the party deal with the mooks.

And remember Save or Die is back, which means mid-high level wizards will mow through the opposition.  While still maintaing spells to have advantage in non-combat (Charm person for instance).

The Wizards at-wills are as follows:


  • Shocking Grasp is still at 7.5 damage. That hasn't changed at all. Bugger.

  • Magic Missile. The underperforming at will. Why it scales with level. Now it can finally do 7 damage, why... that's actually the same amount of damage as the level 1 fighter deals on a miss. Fine.



And a fighter without reaving is out distanced in damage by the wizard.  by magic missile and its auto-hit damage.  Recall again, this is without all the spells, but with a clear indication of what happens with the fighter.

I know, the Wizard has level 2 spells now. Surely those will be overpowered to warrant a 37 page thread bemoaning the return of the overpowered Wizard. Let's see:


  • Arc Lightning. His one damaging spell for level 2 that he'll get to do a whole 2 times a day. Why I.. have to make an attack roll. Alright, that's not so bad. I get to deal can deal 17 damage on a hit. (8.5 on a miss) That's 2 extra points then a level 1 fighter (or 1.5 extra points on a miss). But unlike the lowly fighter, I get a second attack dealing an extra 10 points of damage if I hit. That's a whooping 27 damage in 1 turn. And I get to do that twice a day. Surely I'll dominate the combats and no-one else will get a chance to contribute meaningfully.


Let's see what the rest of the mooks that I call my adventuring party get. They can't be as powerful as me:



  • Rogue. Good old Rogue who was barely able to do any damage at all. Why he gets to now deal 18 damage every second round. Or 9 damage every round. Why... That's actually more than my at-wills. How the heck is the Rogue outdamaging a Wizard? Well at least I get to deal 27 damage twice a day. The Rogue can't do that!

  • Cleric of Pelor. He's still dealing, well, the same amount of damage. He still beats my at-wills, but at least I get to deal 27 damage twice a day. The Cleric of Pelor can't do that!

  • Cleric of Moradin. Why... now he can do 13 damage 3 times a day? And he gets to do the extra 5.5 damage retroactively guaranteed that he never misses it? Well that's only 39 damage a day, I'm getting to do 54, so clearly I'm better. Even if I do have to make 2 attack rolls to deal that much damage.

  • Fighter. The lowly fighter. The character that will be overshadowed by my greatness. At level 1 you might have outdamaged me, but I'm powerful now. I'm level 3. I get to deal 27 damage twice a day. What do you have to say for yourself?

    You can deal 15 damage at will? 8 on a miss? I don't care if that beats my at-wills. I get to deal 27 damage twice a day. Do you know how much that is? That's 54 damage a day. And I'll just demand we have a rest after my 2 spells are wiped and who cares about the plot? I'll outshine you any day of the week.

    What's that? You get to make 2 attacks in 1 round and you can do that twice a day? Your total damage output for those two rounds is 30 per round or 60 in total? And you also get to make an additional attack for free if you actually manage to kill someone on your turn? And you can do that unlimited times a day.

    How is this possible? I'm the Wizard. I can outdamage everyone in the party. Everyone knows that. There's a 37 page thread going on at great length about this. I'll just rest every 2 fights. Wait, that means your daily abilities get reset as well? The daily abilities that outdamage me by 6 points?

    Damn you fighter! Damn you to the Nine Pits of Hell. I was told you would stand in my shadow. How dare you be as competent as me when I'm novaing for the day. It's my only chance to be impressive!


In Conclusion

I feel that the fighter and Wizard are evenly matched. The poor Rogue is outdamaged by everyone in the party. I'd be willing to play the Rogue, as at least I get to do cool stuff and be supersneaky and have twice as many skills as everyone else. But I don't place a lot of emphasis on combat and much more enjoy roleplaying outside of combat.


Request

Can those bemoaning how overpowered the Wizard is in 5th edition please point out to me where the Wizard will overshadow everyone else. Because the only place I'm seeing it is when the party faces mooks that the fighter autokills on his turn. If that's the worst the Wizard can do, I fail to see how this is so much better then anyone else.


Instead I see a return to where the Wizard's usefulness is having utility spells. He has comprehend languages, allowing him to communicate with non-humans that don't speak Common. He has grease which can slow down the enemy and give the other PCs the time they need to finish the current bunch of monsters.


These spells aren't overpowered. It just means that the 5th edition Wizard will have SOME purpose, unlike the 4th edition wizard.



1.  Remove complaints about 4th Edition.  Seriously, those of us opposed to the quadratic wizard are not actually wanting the 4th wizard back, and you clearly never got to play with a properly made one.

2. Comprehend Languages invadlidates the need for languages.  If a simple spells renders all but specifically prepared script understandable (or spoken word) why have languages but to let the wizard show off again how much more useful he is.

3. Charm Person - advantage on all social interaction for one hour per casting.  No need for social pillar at all anymore as it becomes a decently charistmatic wizard's playground to the exclusion of all else.

4. Light v Kobolds - Yes kobolds are not suppose to be a major threat, but a cunning wizard can remove any threat of a kobold attack by simply prepration with a minor spell.  Kobolds gain disadvantage in bright light, light gives 20ft radius of bright light.  Enough to cover the front line to ensure that kobolds don't get advantage for outnumbering.

There.  Thats with the limited spell list that wizards have at the moment.

What will change to the fighter with the full list of themes?  Nothing, they might get two.  Whoop-de-do.

What changes when the wizards get full list of spells?  Everything.  What we see now is what they want us to see, if you think Mage Armor won't make it into DDN you are mistaken, it has existed in nearly Every Single Iteration of DnD, it will in DDN.  And if not, then something else that grants AC bonuses will.

Each spell adds verstality to the wizard, but each theme only gives the fighter more options at start, options the wizard could pick as well. 
Why the Wizard (And, to a greater extent, Cleric and Druid) Was Overpowered:
Sleep is a 1st level spell that knocks out 4hd worth of creatures on failed will saves.  Though worthless after the first couple levels (since almost all opponents will have >4hd individually), when you're 1st or 2nd level, fighting 1-3hd humanoids, Sleep wipes an entire encounter.  A wizard can do this 2-4 times per day depending on level and Int bonus.  An Enchanter can do it an extra time per day.

Polymorph is a 4th level spell.  A 7th level wizard can take any living creature shape that's 7hd or less, a number that goes up as the Wizard's level does.  Though polymorph lasts mere minutes in 3.5, it lasted longer in 3.0, earning it a bad reputation.  With tricks to extend duration, the wizard's physical stats no longer matter, and he can gain a whole slew of immunities and resistances based on the form chosen (often causing a ton of lag as the wizard searches the monster manual for just the right form).  As a 9th level spell, you get a better version called Shapechange.  Druids get a version of this as a class feature, and thus don't need to waste spell slots on it.

Planar Binding is a 6th level spell which can call to your service an outsider of no greater than 12hd -- let's say the 12hd, CR 13 Glabrezu.  a 11th level wizard can do this 1-2 times a day; a conjurer can do it an extra time per day.  The summoned creature lasts either a day/caster level, or until a specified task is completed.  Assuming a specific task is used, the Wizard can continue summoning 1-3 Glabrezu every day, until a demon army of sufficent size has been accrued.  Otherwise, he'll have to stop at 10-30 (and more at higher levels) before the rotation of fiends causes their numbers to stabalize.  A single Glabrezu is significant threat for the wizard's entire level 11 party, a lot of them trivialize anything.  On the day the wizard chooses to strike with the Glabrezu Task Force, he will have spent no spells.  There's also a lesser version of Planar Binding at 5th level of spell: though it summons far weaker creatures, it is subject to the same abuses.  Clerics can do this, wear heavy armor, and heal.

On the other hand, an Evoker's expected damage lags behind the expected damage of a fighter's full attack pattern, unless multiple targets can be caught by the area spells.  Evocation spells have plenty of advantages (Elemental damage, area, etc.) but over all, damage is just about the tamest thing that a Wizard can do.  This is why the Warmage (A sorcerer with extra perks that can only take damage spells) is Tier 4 (Weak end of balanced) when the Sorcerer is Tier 2 (Broken in half, but only in one or two ways per character).  For reference, Fighter was Tier 5 (too weak to effectivley compete with anything better than tier 4) and the real "problem children" -- Clerics, Druids, and Wizards -- were Tier 1 (Broken in half in any situation).


Why the Wizard Alone Gets the Blame
It's a matter of psychology.  Those of us who really focused on 3.x know that, while the same overall tier, Clerics and Druids are much stronger, because they lack the few weaknesses that the Wizard still has: Low AC and HP in his natural form, a theoretically limited spellbook, and so on.

However, in actual play there's something of a Gentelmen's Agreement regarding the classes on the higher end of the tier scale: Everyone wants to have fun, so those who play the power classes will generally avoid breaking the game in half.  For druids, this means specializing to cover a missing role.  For clerics, this means acting as the dedicated box-of-bandaids.  For Wizards... well, crud.  What a gentelmanly wizard does may not be the extent of a wizard's power, but it appears stronger than either the designated healer or the role-fluxing druid. 

Even a wizard who takes nothing but damaging evocation spells (Weaker than the warmage, having far fewer spells per day) gave the appearance of being flashy and strong.  The actual numbers do not matter; Perception is all important in this.


Why the Wizard Can't Have Nice Things
In short, because we, the folks who dislike 4e's way of doing things, want casters to be different again.  Not overpowering, but unique and distinct, seperate from their non-caster bretheren.  We seem to have already gotten our wish there.  If Next is going to have a chance, though, it needs to not "Repeat the mistakes" of 3.5.  To that end, the Wizard must be a sacrifice.

The worse the Wizard (specifically the Wizard) is at launch, the better off we'll be.  If it has any overt power, the apparent potential to meet or excede the strength of the most basic fighter, We're in for a bitter war again. If the Wizard is next to unplayable at launch, the long-term prospects for both casters (other than the sacrificed wizard) and Next are looking up.

Ideally, a maximally optimized wizard will lose to a mildly optimized (at best) fighter.  Every time.  The current version of the wizard is a step in the right direction, but naturally it doesn't go far enough.  Specifically, the following amendments should be made.

1) Fewer hit points.  As a class feature, the Wizard should not get con to hp at 1st level like other characters (thus, starting with 2hp and goign up to 4 at 2nd and 6 at 3rd).  They recieve no Hit Dice to self heal with.
2) More brutal downsides.  Wizard spells should be move-or-cast rather than simply an action.  Spells lost to disruption should be totally lost.  Wizards should suffer a chance of spell failure even under perfect conditions (again, losing the prepared spell on a fail).  Possibly: All wizard spells must roll to hit, saves are then taken as normal.
3) Nerfing of Defensive Abilities.  Shield only has its "protection from magic missiles" effect.  Mirror Image should permit an Intelligence Save by the attacker to negate the randomization before determining who is attacked.
4) Disincentives to use Minors.  First, Magic Missile can't scale.  It also trades in auto-hit for advantage on the attack (or simply loses any accuracy benefits).  To keep from hosing fighters, Shocking Grasp loses its advantage versus armor.  Minors do not benefit from the +2 to hit with spells.  Minors are subject to Move-or-cast like all other spells (as per point 2)  Possibly: Using Minors when not out of prepared spells burns a prepared spell of the highest level still prepared.  Possibly: Using minors costs hp.
5) Removal of Negation and Battlefield Control.  Ray of Frost reduces the target's speed by 5'.  Sleep applies half speed below the hp threshold, does nothing to targets above it; it never causes unconciousness.  Hold imposes Half Speed/-5' Speed based on hp threshold, save negates, save every round to shake off.  Grease can only grease creatures.  Charm cannot be cast on hostile targets and since victims recall being charmed, imposes disadvantage on all subsequent social checks after it wears off.

If all of these points were adopted, you would still see people declaring the Wizard overpowered.  The perception is that strong.

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THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

So allegedly 3.5e had Wizards be the most powerful class ever. I never played 3.5e but I've heard that charge levelled at clerics and druids instead of Wizards. 

I do play Pathfinder however. It keeps the Vancian system and yet somehow the Wizard doesn't dominate the fights.


I've never played or even seen 3.5 or Pathfinder, so I couldn't tell you where those impressions come from.  But, even in the short time I've been reading these forums, I've heard the same charge leveled at the "3.5e" Cleric and Druid.  Apparently, they were some sort of unholy trinity of power?  

A lot of people complaining about the Wizard class point to 4th ed as an example of a system where Wizards were much more inline with the other classes. The only problem is, they weren't.

They are still quite powerful, with more and more varied powers than other classes, and some very potent powers, indeed.  Sleep, the old stand-by, is still awesome, and stays that way a lot longer, for instance.  No other class has a 1st-level power that renders multiple foes helpless.  Even wizard at-wills do things no other class can match.  No other at-will covers as large an area as Beguiling Strands, for another instance.  For an at-will, it's death to minions on a grand scale.  The wizard has powers that do every conceivable damage type, so if there's a vulnerability to be exploited, like the Phantom Brigade soldiers who lost Insubstantiality when they took force damage, the wizard is the one most likely able to do it.  We could go on for pages about how awesome 4e Wizards are.  They may not dominate outright, but they certainly contribute at least their fair share, with frequent opportunities to really shine.


Now, I can talk about D&D and AD&D.  The magic-user really did have problems.  You kids these days complaining about having only 20 hit points or only doing 5 damage with your Magic Missile every round, you don't know how good you got it!   Ha!  Try playing a magic-user when your one randomly-determined "offensive" spell is Affect Normal Fires.   "Ooh, I hope the next monster is sitting next to a campfire so I can possibly give it some painful first-degree burns!"  And, you only get to memorize one precious spell per day.  And, good luck getting to second level when you have 1-4 hit points, an AC of 10, and your most effective contribution to combat is throwing darts over the fighter's head.  


No, the 4e wizard has it great compared to the old days, and I couldn't picture having it much better without it just becoming boring.  As a matter of fact, pulling back a little on the wizard, say by bringing back interruption, or not allowing Staff Expertise, or otherwise closing a few loopholes here and there might not be a bad thing.  


I don't know what kind of "weird wizard show" you were enjoying in 3.5e, though. 

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Or you know he can lock the single biggest mook in place to let the rest the party deal with the mooks.

Assuming he hits every time. And even then, he's still relying on the rest of the party to work together. I don't see this is a gigantic failure if the Wizard can contribute meaningfully to help his party overcome dangerous encounters.

And remember Save or Die is back, which means mid-high level wizards will mow through the opposition.

Can you please show me the rules where mid to high level play is detailed? Because I'd love to see them.

While still maintaing spells to have advantage in non-combat (Charm person for instance).

Can you please explain how Charm Person is going to triviliaze all the other PCs in the party? Because I'm seeing a walking time bomb that you had better hope gets killed by the party and quickly, because they're going to be gunning for the Wizard once it wears off.

And a fighter without reaving is out distanced in damage by the wizard.

Can you please point to the fighter pregen that doesn't have reaving? I'm interested to see what it gets instead.

are not actually wanting the 4th wizard back

I'm glad to hear that. Because I hate the power system and would hate to have to use it just to play a Wizard.

2. Comprehend Languages invadlidates the need for languages.

It sure does. Why my Wizard can sneak up on the monsters and overhear their battleplan, as long as he's touching one of them. That sure is better then the Rogue who has goblin as a language he can understand.

advantage on all social interaction for one hour per casting.  No need for social pillar at all anymore as it becomes a decently charistmatic wizard's playground to the exclusion of all else.

If I diplomacise the monster, how long will it last before it wears off? Because for the Wizard it's an entire hour.

Kobolds gain disadvantage in bright light, light gives 20ft radius of bright light.  Enough to cover the front line to ensure that kobolds don't get advantage for outnumbering.

So, the Wizard can help buff his allies by debuffing the enemy and is therefore broken and no-one else will want to play any other class?

The kobolds are also incapable of simply retreating in this scenario as well.

What will change to the fighter with the full list of themes?  Nothing, they might get two.  Whoop-de-do.

Can you please tell me tomorrow's lotto numbers? I'd love to win a million dollars.

What changes when the wizards get full list of spells?  Everything.

How about we actually playtest the rules presented to us instead of playtesting your fears. Because you're right. You're imagined scenario is awful.
The Wizard is not useless or underpowered in 4E. I played one to level 21 so I should know. My Half-Elf Orbizard wasn't even fully optimized and yet he could still trivialize encounters with ease.
Tevish_Szat: You should put that up somewhere so it can be referenced at will.

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Designing the game around the wizard is an issue.

People seem to have dramatically different experience with the 'wizard issue' and I'd propose that a lot of that has to do with the DM's at the table.

Personally, I found that with 3 and 3.5, as a DM, I was desiging the encounters around the wizard pretty much all the time.

If I wanted to make a mystery challenge, or a trap, or a maze, or anything at all interesting, I better have a good understanding of the caster spell list. 

It was the caster spells that optimize the party in an unexpected way, blow through the stone door 'trapping' the party, charm the baron who holds the key secret, divines the solution to the puzzle and on and on and on. 

If, on the a very rare occasion, the rogue managed to skill his way through in an interesting way, it would almost always be 'within' the challenge. 

"wizard" (all caster) power creep doesn't just effect the balance between classes, it can undermine the entire game. 

Now, a really good and experienced DM will be prepared for this.  A newer DM, or a worse DM, won't. 

One overlooked feature of 4e was the fact that it made DMing vastly more accessible to the average player.  If you are creative and can tell a good story and be fair to players, you can DM in 4e and make a good game. 

With casters in 3.5 that just wasn't the case after lvl 8 or so.  The casters in the party would dominate the game in a way that only a really experienced DM could possibly hope to deal with. 
Tevish_Szat: You should put that up somewhere so it can be referenced at will.


Ask and ye shall recieve

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."

 

Follow me to No Goblins Allowed

A M:tG/D&D message board with a good community and usable software

 


THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

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