Where have all the Wizards? Become Sorceror and Warlocks almost every one...

I brought in Sorceror and Warlocks in the last game sessions. The reaction was amazing. Everyone loved them. There is now only one wizard in about 44 characters - there where about 7. A number of other players shifted to them as well. Sorcerors and Warlocks are Great to roleplaying. The magic is magical. They have mystery and a story and a purpose. Note: Wizards can have all of these things if you choose to have them, but Sorcerors and Warlocks they are a part of the character. It have not seen as much roleplaying in an of the playtests before.
It is clearly not about power. Only one player looked the Sorceror and said "Best of Fighter and Wizard!" "MooHooHaaaHaaa!!! Which this character I will Rule the World!" His dreams of World Domination where a bit overzealous. But, the character was great. All of the new character variants are less powerful than the ones in the packages. But, they don't care. They get to play what they want to play. It is clear that some guidelines for creating Patrons and Bloodlines is needed.
The rest came up with their own Patrons and Bloodlines. It was wonderful to see the imagination and creativity that players where inspired by these classes. I have not seen it's like in the Playtest before.

The concept of transformation with Sorcerors is very interesting and makes characters dynamic.The roleplaying shift is also very interesting and even new characters realy had fun hamming it up. Some character that appeared are Healer Jekyll - Mr. Hyde: Healing spells and Healer Speciality to Tough Brawler. Mom was a Jubulix Cultist: Slime mage to Slime Monster. Fay Bloodline: Charmer to enchanted force of nature. Failed Sort of Resurrection: Necromantic drain to tough zombie. Werewolf Kin: Shaman to Hairy Combat Monster. Illithid Spawn that didn't quite take: Psionic Power to Terrorifying Inhuman Intellect and some psionic power. Pinnochio: Tricky tricks to wooden construct.  Rakshasa Reincarnation Seeking Redemption: Charmer / Illusionist to ravaging tigerfiend. Eldritch Knight: An experiment with a non-transforming sorceror. Dragon Bloodline: Daughter of a noble blue dragon - elemental martial artist to dragon (but none of nasty armor and weapons - "I'm dragonblooded! Not Knight Blooded!" This is great!

Warlocks are just unique. The Pacts are great for roleplaying. And they have to roleplay to get their powers back. They have to please their Patron, or no new Favors.  They beg for more rituals and the ideas of Patron just have the ideas streaming. Some new Patrons include: Diabolic Pact - with focus on deception instead of fire - linked to Necromancer Speciality - that's where the Souls go. Ghost of Father's Sword: His father's spirt and powers that make him a better fighter. Psychic T-Rex: Halfling that found part of the fossil of an ancient dinosaur with psychic powers - it wants to be whole again. Blood Spirits: Nuff said. Far Realms: Cthulhu is your friend. Spirit of Peace: Eldritch blast is non-lethal and must try to encourage peaceful solutions. Alien: Wants to experience new experiences - to seek out new life and new civilizations. Fate: The Balance must be maintained. Gothmog: A powerful elemental Dragon that seeks to recruit an army of monsters to defeat an evil reborn.

It looks like one game will literally become all Warlocks and Sorcerors.  

These two new classes are a breath of fresh air and have people talking. More like this. Having 5e be parts of previous editions is OK and I'm glad to see "old friend", but it is the new innovations that are the real cool things - I want to make some "new friends".   
Interesting.  I don't have either yet, but I can see the attraction to each.

I am currently only running 2 playtesting campaigns, though, with 11 characters.  Of the 11, two are wizards.

From what I have heard and read, sounds like the two new classes aren't really balanced with the others yet.  Plus they're shiny... players always want to play with the new toy.

So... unbalanced classes that do more and are new will probably be popular. 
My insticts where at first that they where not balanced. But, in play, I think that they are more balanced then they first appear. Sorcerors look like best of Wizard and Fighter. But, only if you choose the uber-spells. Which most of the roleplaying focused sorcerors did not. As for being like Fighters, this shows just how nice the Fighter Expertice Dice are. Not having Parry, Mighty Blow and other Manuevers is telling for Sorcerors as the party "Fighter". Even with the Dragon Blood line as printed Sorceror where less dominating then I thought. With Warlocks it seemed like Eldritch Blast would be a killer at 3d6 at-will. But, that just puts them on par with Archer Fighters and they are shorter range. But, Warlocks often want to use other powers than Eldritch Blast. I was worryed that it would be like Wizards where before. Ray of Frost, Magic Missile, Sleep, repeat. As to the shiny aspect. That is probably true. We will have to see, when the luster fades.
I brought Sorcerer and Warlock to my last game at character creation.  My friends who's a die-hard Wizard player liked the sound of the classes.  Even the other players who made nonmagical classes liked the sounds of them.  But our Wizard player stuck with Wizard.

Maybe it's a preferance thing.  I like that Sorcerer's now change into whild few or dragon beasts when they strain themselves with magic, but nothing beats a good old fasioned book worm.  Some people go for the game mechanics they're used to, so go to greak those mechanics to make a broken character and know how to do it better with one class over another.  Some people just like the background of a good old fasioned Wizard. 
I was surprised at how total the reaction was. I expected some shifts but .... The person who stayed a wizard in our groups is like you said a fan of the Wizard class. He also is a good Wizard player. He analyzes the situation and usually memorizes the right spell or figures out a good use for ones that he has. He picked Grease as one of his spells, just so he HAD to be creative. And enemy has learned to hate that spell . He had a bit of issue with the old rules where Ray of Frost, Magic Missile and Sleep where three "If-Then" statements that played themselves for Wizards. So, he got rid of all of those spells in his spellbook. He also is a firm believer in the versatility of seven cantrips. But, he is a not a roleplayer as a player type - he is a strategtic player. Which is perfect for the Wizard. I have not played with his character since the Sorcerous Surge and the Warlock Wave. I will have to see how it plays.
Yeah, the "feel" of Wizard was what kept both my mage types with the original arcane caster.  Not that Sorcerer and Warlock didn't look intersting, but... they wanted the whole spellbook, variability, studious sort for their roleplays.

3d6 Eldritch Blast.. .hm... +4 (stat), +3 (class)... +7
1d8+4 Bow with 1d6 Deadly ... +4 (stat), +3 (class)... +7

Bow's actually probably slightly better and has a somewhat useful range advantage.

Warlock: Better AC, Better Weapons, Better HD, Better HPs.  (sounds great!)
Warlock: Few spells to choose from, slower level progression (not so great)
Warlock: Recharging Patron Favors means more spells per day.  (pretty good) 

Sorcerer: So much too them, need to see them in action on the full.  My worry here is that their additional complexity will slow down play where everything that came before just enhanced play and flowed naturally in the course of it.
I love the roleplaying potential for both Sorcerer and Warlock, but as the title of your thread says, I'm afraid that the glitz and power of these classes, and the fighter's combat superiority might lead to an arms race to make the wizard (and even rogue and cleric) more attractive to play.  It may be difficult for WotC to draw the line and set limits once they introduce all this shiney new stuff.


  

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

From my playtest. I think that it was more glitz than power that attracted players. The solution is probably not a manner of making wizards more powerful, but making them more interesting and less fragile. It could be as easy has having a cantrip of defense or two. Increasing hit points. And adding some builds for Wizards. Fighters have Styles. Thieves have Schemes. Clerics have Domains. Wizards have .... well, nothing. I know for a number of Pathfinder players the Schools and Variants of Wizards are what make them playable. I'm not we want to go that road, but there should be something for the Wizards.

Wizards had a peculair and particular history in D&D Next Playtesting with our groups. When we started with the first rules, everyone was excited about the Wizard. Player played Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who got to be the Wizard. One party had four Wizards and one Cleric - it didn't end well. It was the class with the most options and interesting powers. I had to take a break for a while for family business and when I came back, something had happened. Wizards had become dull. The two quotes that stick in my mind are "With great power, comes great boredom" and "High Int to be the class, no Int to play the class". The class was said to be three spells with three "If-Then" statements. If stop monster, Then Ray of Frost. If many monsters, Then Sleep. If none of the above, Then Magic Missile. Players where interested in the class out of combat and with roleplaying, but in combat they where the ones going to sleep or offering to get pizza or smoothies. This sort of surprised me, but there it was ...

Then the new rules came out and there was new energy. There where new spells, the obvious uber-spells where toned down, and there was a Necromancer Specialist. (Which spawned an experimental Abjurer Specialist pretty quick). But, to players horror the Wizard was a trap! You had so few hit points that you where one shotted by practically any attack and you where hit by almost any attack because your AC was so low. So, players ran away from the Wizards for their very lives! One player tryed three times to make a Wizard work and finally shifted to a Sorceror. So, I think that this influenced the shift to Sorceror and Warlock all the more.  

Sorcerors and Warlocks are interesting to play in combat and out of it. And they are not so fragile. But, nothing compares to the unique story of the classes.


     
From my playtest.

Funny, and insightful despite being written with tongue planted firmly in, uh, text.  Ironic, too, since I was on a bit of a humor inserting spree of my own on the same issue only with the polar opposite view at the very same time in another thread.

Wizards still hold plenty of potential, else I still wouldn't have two players roleplaying them... but maybe roleplay is the operative word.  They wanted the style and flexibility that comes with Wizard.

Boring?  Hmm... smoothie does sound good.  I should have started a late-late session.

Anyway, I would like to disagree, but Magic Missile streams aren't all that exciting.  Or dangerous.  Well, okay, they can be mostly dangerous to those 3 HP 1st level XP fodder... except kobolds, of course.  Kobolds are taking over the world, one TPK at a time.

They used to be Big Splashes in Small Serving Sizes.  Now, well, sounds like they are just Big Splatz or Small Serving Sizes.

Without a doubt, though, they need something more than they are getting to make them the spell-for-any-job masters of old.

Scratch that.  Don't really want that.

I'd settle for a class with intersting spells of a wide variety that can be used in a multitude of effective ways giving them an uniquely customizable class from day to day. 
I think that wizard still holds potential as well. I agree with our Last Wizard that it is hard to argue with the versatility of seven cantrips (if you are a Magic User AND a High Elf) or even four cantrips. And a large spell selection. Most people seem cursed to pick the wrong spells. Sleep with Undead. Charm Person with Centipedes. Cause Fear with Constructs. Sigh. This why many people hate Vancian Magic.
The second set of rules added many more spells, which removed the Boring If-Then statement issue. I was curious to see how the situation would have changed. But, now one noticed how it changed because we couldn't keep the Wizards alive long enough to see how the new spells changed things. If we can get more Wizards, I see how things are at 2nd and 3rd level. Or when I run another 1st level game having 8 hp wizards.

One idea that came to mind is have each Wizard be able to pick a Speciality like ... well, Specialities - including a Speciality in Generality. It has worked well for Pathfinder. This is should be different than the Speciality Necromancer, or be a way to have too Specialities. Something would have to cut to balance the new glitch - maybe a cantrip or something. I will see if I can get this played and that a look at it.  
I guess we'll have to wait for the Wizard Traditions that Mike Mearls and others are talking about.  Those might add more interest to the iconic Wizard and add just enough glitz/roleplaying/power to hook new players.   I loved playing wizards back in the day, by the way.

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

Yeah, I really enjoyed Schools of Specialty.  Not sure if Next/5E is going to want that much complexity added, but the information is already there.  Maybe they can come up with something more... Next/5E... interesting yet simple.

4E had Pyromancer, etc., too, that wasn't hard to do (+1 to spells with fire damage).. so maybe some options that add either to offense, selection, defense, whatever... nothing heavy but differentiating.
I would honestly attribute it to the "New Feeling", especially if the players had played in the first packet playtest. Every time something new comes out, everyone wants to try it out And in this particular case both of the classes were alternatives to Wizard, therefore wizards share went down significantly compared to anything else.

My Two Copper. 
My two copper.
Before my play session last night, I was worried the Wizard would feel left out since the fighters got the CS mechanic.  I was wrong.  The wizard player had a blast, and he was very effective using all 3 of his spell slots (sleep and burning hands x2), shocking grasp, magic missle and even the ritual version of comprehend languages.   The ritual casting rules are a great part of the character concept. 


A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

I think that wizard still holds potential as well. I agree with our Last Wizard that it is hard to argue with the versatility of seven cantrips (if you are a Magic User AND a High Elf) or even four cantrips. And a large spell selection. Most people seem cursed to pick the wrong spells. Sleep with Undead. Charm Person with Centipedes. Cause Fear with Constructs. Sigh. This why many people hate Vancian Magic.
The second set of rules added many more spells, which removed the Boring If-Then statement issue. I was curious to see how the situation would have changed. But, now one noticed how it changed because we couldn't keep the Wizards alive long enough to see how the new spells changed things. If we can get more Wizards, I see how things are at 2nd and 3rd level. Or when I run another 1st level game having 8 hp wizards.

One idea that came to mind is have each Wizard be able to pick a Speciality like ... well, Specialities - including a Speciality in Generality. It has worked well for Pathfinder. This is should be different than the Speciality Necromancer, or be a way to have too Specialities. Something would have to cut to balance the new glitch - maybe a cantrip or something. I will see if I can get this played and that a look at it.  



Pathfinder didn't originate the specialty wizards. Wizards focusing on a single school of magic is what made them so interesting in AD&D back in 1st and 2nd edition. Now it looks like they are relagating part of that specialization on to the actual "specialties" tree. My suggestion is to take the spell-caster specialties and give the wizard a free one from the list, the same way they did with backgrounds in the form of Schemes for rogues. Allow one for generalist wizards as well, so that path is still viable.  This means that any caster CAN specialize, but wizards are going to be known for it, as it should be.

Interestingly, it does mean that it would be possible for a wizard to dual-specialize (one with his scheme'ish specialty, and one for his 'actual' specialty), but I'm not completely against that. 
that is certainly a great idea! (just supporting in case somebody important is reading this!)

effectively, double specialisation would be the sameas having a rogue thief scheme + thug background, which I already have heard my players propose to do 
It will be interesting to see what Wizard Traditions look like. If they are like Schemes, Sytles and Domains that will good. The "Double Specialist" effect on Wizards will also really make the class more interesting - be with the in style Specialists like Magic User or unusual choices like Defender. (Oh, Defender needs to get off being limited to a shield - that limits to a few classes). I have only seen one Wizard Defender, but it was an interesting option.

I have seen or heard of  changes in the playtest rules changing player choices. Like everyone wanting to be a wizard at first and then shifting away from them. Or more Fighters when Styles came out. But, Sorcerors and Warlocks felt different. It was a Mass Exodus when half of the group makes a shift. And it was not - Oh, the new rules are cool. It was the possibility of what "I can make with the rules are cool!" With Fighter Styles players wanted to use what the new rules gave them. With Sorcerors and Warlocks, they got creative and made their own unique characters. The energy and excitement was different. It was a new Shiny sure, but I was some magical and exciting beyond what the previous New Shinys had been.
It also has energized the whole group. About half of the characters are Sorcerors and Warlocks. Thus, the storys have gotten richer and more character focused because Sorceror and Warlocks require character focus. When players of other classes saw this, they are jumping on the train too. Many players specificly mentioned this. So everyone's game is better. 
Now, I think that there is the another factor. With 1st level characters being potential walking corpses, no one really put investment in them for story elements. They where not going to be around long enough. They focused more on power and survivability and experimentation. Now, that they can survive an attack from a monster - players are thinking of their story more.

Rituals are good, especially for roleplaying. I have allowed players to ritualize spells to cast them again if out of spellslots or to get a different effect out of them.  I usually require a Magic or Religion Lore check and it does cost resources (gold and materiels) and time. So, it is not done often, but it does really seem to add to the game.
With the groups I run with, ever since 3.x, NO ONE has played a Wizard. (Save a playtest in 4e, and the first packet for Next.) 

Partially for flavor reasons, but the initial reason was Vancian spellcasting.  Worst part of D&D for more than 3 decades.

Our Next group is abandoning the Wizard as well.  
Stay Frosty! - Shado
Just my 2cp on this; Sorcerers are too much like the ones in Pathfinder.

Now, I don't know where Paizo got their Sorcerer from. It might've come from a WotC product or something in Dragon magazine. Thing is, that's "their" version of the Sorcerer. WotC should either find another way to handle the same themes or drop the class for a while.
Sorcerer just felt straight up better than wizards IMO. The choice seems to me to be:

- be a standard wizard (super squishy)
- be effectively a cleric that casts wizard spells and gain the benefit of d8 hit dice and full armor and shield with few if any drawbacks.