What are the "Harry Potter" generation of Arcane fans going to play?

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I understand the "legacy" or "tradition" reasons for the Vancian Wizard and the huge spell list.

But I think it's a joke to suggest that the Vancian Wizard is a "simple" class suitable for the Basic game which is supposed to be the introduction for new players.

I'd prefer to see an ACTUALLY Basic class built with class abilities rather than spells.


After all, it's supposed to be the easy introduction...

So where is the "Harry Potter" class, for all those kids who aren't ready for a (complex and resource management heavy) Vancian Wizard but are EXACTLY the market WotC need to capture to make Next a success? 

I'm not suggesting that we don't need a Vancian Wizard (we do, though I'm waiting for non-Vancian options for Wizard personally) and I'm not saying it can't be in Basic.

But where is the SIMPLE Arcane (or Divine for that matter, Clerics are also FAR from simple) class? 
Maybe wait until they've released more arcane classes to ask this? 

Separately from that, if the wizard had any resemblance to Harry Potter, the backlash from existing D&D fans would be pretty huge.  I have no problem with what you're describing as a different class, but the wizard is too iconic to change the feel of it too much from previous editions.
Maybe wait until they've released more arcane classes to ask this? 

Separately from that, if the wizard had any resemblance to Harry Potter, the backlash from existing D&D fans would be pretty huge.  I have no problem with what you're describing as a different class, but the wizard is too iconic to change the feel of it too much from previous editions.



That's why I'm not suggesting any changes to the Wizard.

But currently there is no plan to include a simple Arcane class in the Basic rules.

This is a terrible mistake.

There are a LOT of young potential D&D players who will WANT a simple "Harry Potter" style Arcane class.

And if that class is not in the Basic rules then they may never make it to the Standard game, bypassing D&D for something which caters to their tastes from the start. 
Theres no real difference between the Harry Potter Wizard and the D&D Wizard.

The Harry Potter Wizard has for typical spells, a verbal component (Quasilatin) and often an implement (wand) with a somatic component (wielding wand) - the components are simple but likewise the D&D casting time is only a standard “wield” action. Likewise both make extensive use of ritual magic, with more elaborate material components and longer casting times. Moreover both have many cantrips that can be recast easily atwill. Both include an extensive diversity of Wizard Specialists that have signature spells that they can recast atwill.Hermione would be the classic “Scholar Wizard”, while Harry Potter might be some kind of Charisma Luckster. In addition there are Illusionist, Evoker, Enchanter, Psychic, and so on. The Feywild is very much like the Wizard World of Harry Potter.
I don't think the HP-style wizard is simple, but it's not extremely difficult either.

The simple part is the casting mechanic: spells are cast with a skill check, with a results chart for failure (much like wild magic).

The hard part is what is the resource that gets managed?  Points?  Slots?  The skill check gets harder with each success (except on a small selection of at-wills)?
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I don't think the HP-style wizard is simple, but it's not extremely difficult either.

The simple part is the casting mechanic: spells are cast with a skill check, with a results chart for failure (much like wild magic).

The hard part is what is the resource that gets managed?  Points?  Slots?  The skill check gets harder with each success (except on a small selection of at-wills)?



It seems the spell point system is the best resource management system for Basic D&D. You know certain spells, and you use a certain amount of energy to cast them. What could be simpler?

At the same time, the vancian option can use spell points to “purchase” spell slots.
Aren't the D&D wizards are more powerful than the Harry Potter wizards?
Theres no real difference between the Harry Potter Wizard and the D&D Wizard.

The Harry Potter Wizard has for typical spells, a verbal component (Quasilatin) and often an implement (wand) with a somatic component (wielding wand) - the components are simple but likewise the D&D casting time is only a standard “wield” action. Likewise both make extensive use of ritual magic, with more elaborate material components and longer casting times. Moreover both have many cantrips that can be recast easily atwill. Both include an extensive diversity of Wizard Specialists that have signature spells that they can recast atwill.Hermione would be the classic “Scholar Wizard”, while Harry Potter might be some kind of Charisma Luckster. In addition there are Illusionist, Evoker, Enchanter, Psychic, and so on. The Feywild is very much like the Wizard World of Harry Potter.



Unlimited usage of all spells at all levels is the ULTIMATE "not Vancian casting" system.

You are absolutely right that most elements of the world translate well into D&D.

Just not the characters to the Wizard class. 
Aren't the D&D wizards are more powerful than the Harry Potter wizards?


Seemingly both yes and no.  Aside from the plot (and I must confess that I'm only going on the movies for my info), I've never seen an HP-style wizard fail to cast a spell because of a lack of a given resource.  What that boils down to is that all their spells, even the killing curse, seem to be at-wills.

By contrast, HP-style wizards can't bring back the dead, so D&D casters definitely have the edge on the sheer upper-limit of what magic can achieve.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I would also wait to see the basic form of the Wizard before we make any comments. It might have a much more slim spell list.
My two copper.
Aren't the D&D wizards are more powerful than the Harry Potter wizards?


Seemingly both yes and no.  Aside from the plot (and I must confess that I'm only going on the movies for my info), I've never seen an HP-style wizard fail to cast a spell because of a lack of a given resource.  What that boils down to is that all their spells, even the killing curse, seem to be at-wills.

By contrast, HP-style wizards can't bring back the dead, so D&D casters definitely have the edge on the sheer upper-limit of what magic can achieve.



Speaking of movie, I never a HP wizard cast an AoE spell like fireball or icestorm. 


Aren't the D&D wizards are more powerful than the Harry Potter wizards?


Seemingly both yes and no.  Aside from the plot (and I must confess that I'm only going on the movies for my info), I've never seen an HP-style wizard fail to cast a spell because of a lack of a given resource.  What that boils down to is that all their spells, even the killing curse, seem to be at-wills.

By contrast, HP-style wizards can't bring back the dead, so D&D casters definitely have the edge on the sheer upper-limit of what magic can achieve.



Speaking of movie, I never a HP wizard cast an AoE spell like fireball or icestorm. 


The dumbledore v voldemort fight might count as having AoE attacks.  Been a while since I've watched that one.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Aren't the D&D wizards are more powerful than the Harry Potter wizards?


Seemingly both yes and no.  Aside from the plot (and I must confess that I'm only going on the movies for my info), I've never seen an HP-style wizard fail to cast a spell because of a lack of a given resource.  What that boils down to is that all their spells, even the killing curse, seem to be at-wills.

By contrast, HP-style wizards can't bring back the dead, so D&D casters definitely have the edge on the sheer upper-limit of what magic can achieve.



Speaking of movie, I never a HP wizard cast an AoE spell like fireball or icestorm. 



Dumbledore cast some kind of Firestorm spell in one of the last movies.
Even with a cut down spell list I still see Wizard as too complex for the new generation of "Harry Potter" fans Next should be targeting.

There have been a LOT of calls for a simple Arcane caster and the advantages are obvious.

so, where is it? 
1st I would like to see a real AD&D style vancian caster. I already created a D20 style atwill mage
1st I would like to see a real AD&D style vancian caster.



Fine, so would I.

Not because I will ever play it, but because people like you want it.

But can't you see that Vancian casting is not a good system for a simple class to introduce new players?

After all...

The "simple" Fighter was the way it was PRECISELY because "some people can't (won't, don't want to) play a Wizard".




My point is that the success of things like Harry Potter means that many of those new players will want to play an Arcane character and likely won't care what the class name is.

So where is the SIMPLE Arcane class for them? 
Even with a cut down spell list I still see Wizard as too complex for the new generation of "Harry Potter" fans Next should be targeting.

There have been a LOT of calls for a simple Arcane caster and the advantages are obvious.

so, where is it? 



So basically you asking a barbarian version of the arcane spellcaster?

Power up(dragon ball z style) and shoot fireballs(ki blasts). 

We still got other arcane classes not made it, so your wish might be true. 

Theres no real difference between the Harry Potter Wizard and the D&D Wizard.

The Harry Potter Wizard has for typical spells, a verbal component (Quasilatin) and often an implement (wand) with a somatic component (wielding wand) - the components are simple but likewise the D&D casting time is only a standard “wield” action. Likewise both make extensive use of ritual magic, with more elaborate material components and longer casting times. Moreover both have many cantrips that can be recast easily atwill. Both include an extensive diversity of Wizard Specialists that have signature spells that they can recast atwill.Hermione would be the classic “Scholar Wizard”, while Harry Potter might be some kind of Charisma Luckster. In addition there are Illusionist, Evoker, Enchanter, Psychic, and so on. The Feywild is very much like the Wizard World of Harry Potter.



Unlimited usage of all spells at all levels is the ULTIMATE "not Vancian casting" system.

You are absolutely right that most elements of the world translate well into D&D.

Just not the characters to the Wizard class. 

Many Harry Potter spells are cast only once, tho I would reclassify many of these as rituals.

Importantly, the D&D Next Wizard can cast any spell any number of times, like the 3e Sorcerer, even using higher level slots for greater effect. So no real difference with Harry Potter Wizards here.

Similarly, for Harry Potter Wizards, casting powerful spells are exhausting and seem to burn up personal magical energy. Wizards dont cast these high level spells all the time. There are limits. So while there is extensive use of cantrips, and signature spells, it is comparable to D&D.

While somewhat true (though I think you underestimate the amount of reusage of many of those spells, especially in the books) that's not my key point.

The Vancian Wizard is complex.

So complex that it is a poor introduction to D&D.

This has been so universally admitted that it's one of the key arguments for keeping the Fighter so simple it has no moving parts at all, so it can be used as an introductory class.

But the new players D&D Next needs to attract often aren't going to want to play a Fighter, they're going to want to play a Harry Potter style "Wizard".

Now I'm NOT advocating changing the Wizard class in D&D (because that's flamebait if ever there was) and I don't think these young players will really care about the name on the class (as long as it's something magicey... maybe "Mage").

But they ARE going to want a simple Arcane class.

D&D Next NEEDS this new young blood.

So where is the class for them? 
I feel as though there are two separate ideas here. The first is the idea of a simple spellcaster that can be part of the base game. The second is the idea of a Harry Potter-style wizard. You could also just call it a Fantasy Fiction Magic-style wizard, since magic in Harry Potter is pretty close to the defaults of how magic works in fantasy fiction in general. I don't think that there's any reason to necessarily conflate those two ideas. I, for, example, would love a resonant spellcaster, but don't necessarily require that it be simple to play. Similarly, I think that it's okay to the introductory arcane class to sacrifice some resonance if need be. If you can put together a package that's both resonant and simple, all more the better (especially since it reduces the total number of packages required), but I don't think it's a huge loss if the Fantasy Magic Wizard and the Simple Arcanist are different packages.
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.
1st I would like to see a real AD&D style vancian caster.



Fine, so would I.

Not because I will ever play it, but because people like you want it.

But can't you see that Vancian casting is not a good system for a simple class to introduce new players?

After all...

The "simple" Fighter was the way it was PRECISELY because "some people can't (won't, don't want to) play a Wizard".




My point is that the success of things like Harry Potter means that many of those new players will want to play an Arcane character and likely won't care what the class name is.

So where is the SIMPLE Arcane class for them? 



I suggested one and created an example of a D20 atwill all day mage. Even gave it Maneuvers
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
if the type of consumer that they want to market 5th edition to cannot handle the spell system with spell book and daily spell memorization which i could understand and play when i was 5 then i want them to stop designing the game and shelve it forever. what kind of players are you going to flood the market with. they can play at your table and you can have all of them. the ideal situation for any game is for it to be challenging to master and above average to start. its nothing but reading a book to understand so if this new generation of gamers cant do that then they need to pick up a controller and go back to halo
I feel as though there are two separate ideas here. The first is the idea of a simple spellcaster that can be part of the base game. The second is the idea of a Harry Potter-style wizard. You could also just call it a Fantasy Fiction Magic-style wizard, since magic in Harry Potter is pretty close to the defaults of how magic works in fantasy fiction in general. I don't think that there's any reason to necessarily conflate those two ideas. I, for, example, would love a resonant spellcaster, but don't necessarily require that it be simple to play. Similarly, I think that it's okay to the introductory arcane class to sacrifice some resonance if need be. If you can put together a package that's both resonant and simple, all more the better (especially since it reduces the total number of packages required), but I don't think it's a huge loss if the Fantasy Magic Wizard and the Simple Arcanist are different packages.



True.

Maybe there ARE two different classes here.

But one of the (the simple Arcane class) is needed sooner rather than later.

Because there is a LARGE untapped market that D&D could well miss out on if it doesn't give them what they want. 
But currently there is no plan to include a simple Arcane class in the Basic rules.


You don't know this.

Just because it's not in a packet does not mean they're not planning on including it. 

Packets are not snapshots of an intended final design.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
But currently there is no plan to include a simple Arcane class in the Basic rules.


You don't know this.

Just because it's not in a packet does not mean they're not planning on including it. 

Packets are not snapshots of an intended final design.



Yes I do.

They have specifically talked about the classes in the Basic rules as "core four".

I appreciate your reflexive defence of the design team Mand, you keep a lot of crazy down, but this is an actual issue.

Even if they hadn't talked about what Basic was going to look like they certainly should be indicating their intention to cover something as important as this, which has come up in discussion repeatedly. 
I think that it would be difficult to make such a class to actually make it fun. The wizards in HP generally only cast their spells once and it fatigues them to use their powers. That just sounds less fun, honestly. I'm not against a simpler arcane caster though. I just think it would translate very poorly into a playable class. 
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I disagree.

Something along the lines of the 3.5 Warlock was VERY simple and VERY fun. 
I think that it would be difficult to make such a class to actually make it fun. The wizards in HP generally only cast their spells once and it fatigues them to use their powers. That just sounds less fun, honestly. I'm not against a simpler arcane caster though. I just think it would translate very poorly into a playable class. 


I've never read the books, but fatigue is largely fluff.  One could easily say that a wizard who empties all their slots can't cast anymore because they are fatigued.  Being fatigued could easily be just the result of having spent the resource you manage (slots, points, etc.)
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.


True.

Maybe there ARE two different classes here.

But one of the (the simple Arcane class) is needed sooner rather than later.

Because there is a LARGE untapped market that D&D could well miss out on if it doesn't give them what they want. 



Still the same class different trad. The other class is sorcerer. Dont need another caster class. Thats a tough sell to the devs.
I wouldn't mind a HP style "wizard".


But you have to keep in mind that a huge part of HP casting was spell failure.  Spells don't always work right (especially when being cast for the first few times or by low level casters (i.e. students).


It also allows for casting of any spell, if you know it, regardless of its power.   Higher level spells are just more likely to fail.


So spells would have 'levels' - but you can cast a spell of any level if you learn it (lots of pressure on the DM to balance things on their own, i.e. a "Good DM" landmine) and the power of the spell would be balanced against spell failure for wizards trying to cast spell higher level than they are. 

So it would be very different.  Possibly interesting.  But different.


And it would not be a simple, basic introduction to the game.  Rather it would almost require an experienced DM at the helm.  



Carl

True.

Maybe there ARE two different classes here.

But one of the (the simple Arcane class) is needed sooner rather than later.

Because there is a LARGE untapped market that D&D could well miss out on if it doesn't give them what they want. 



Still the same class different trad. The other class is sorcerer. Dont need another caster class. Thats a tough sell to the devs.



Personally I think that a build of Warlock could easily fit into this slot.

It IS the iconic "at will" caster in D&D. 
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true">So where is the "Harry Potter" class?

Hopefully, there will never be one. Such a class would be horrifically overpowered and would have no place in a D&D game that is supposed to be built around teamwork and where non-casters are supposed to be able to compete with casters. Notice how there are no non-caster characters in the Harry Potter stories of any real significance? That's because they're useless next to such a powerful form of spellcaster. The Harry Potter universe is what arcane wizardry looks like without the restrictions. It's great in a game where everyone else and everything else is also a Wizard, but it's terrible anywhere else.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true">So where is the "Harry Potter" class?

Hopefully, there will never be one. Such a class would be horrifically overpowered and would have no place in a D&D game that is supposed to be built around teamwork and where non-casters are supposed to be able to compete with casters. Notice how there are no non-caster characters in the Harry Potter stories of any real significance? That's because they're useless next to such a powerful form of spellcaster. The Harry Potter universe is what arcane wizardry looks like without the restrictions. It's great in a game where everyone else and everything else is also a Wizard, but it's terrible anywhere else.



And yet the v3.5 Warlock class has never been considered horrifically overpowered, even compared to it's non-magical counterparts, but is yet strong example of a continuious At-Will spell class for D&D.  In fact, if they are to make a basic Arcane class, I could easily see them follow the v3.5 Warlock formula for it's core mechanics. A singular spell that deals damage and options that can modify that attack (similiar to Eldritch Blast) in that you can increase it's range, it's versatility for different types, for applying different status effects, etc. Perhaps the selection starts out small and then, as you level, you add more versatility. You can also gain a bunch of Rituals that can be cast most likely outside of Combat. You also have a small selection of personal-based spells and some utility in there that's perhaps the only measurement of resource management they have/need.
In fact, if they are to make a basic Arcane class, I could easily see them follow the v3.5 Warlock formula for it's core mechanics. A singular spell that deals damage and options that can modify that attack (similiar to Eldritch Blast) in that you can increase it's range, it's versatility for different types, for applying different status effects, etc. Perhaps the selection starts out small and then, as you level, you add more versatility. You can also gain a bunch of Rituals that can be cast most likely outside of Combat. You also have a small selection of personal-based spells and some utility in there that's perhaps the only measurement of resource management they have/need.



This NEEDS to be a class, IMO, if it's called Warlock or something else. Some players like simple classes, and want to play a spellcaster.
And yet the v3.5 Warlock class has never been considered horrifically overpowered.

The 3.5 Warlock is nowhere near as powerful as a Harry Potter Wizard. At-Will spellcasting alone isn't what makes the Harry Potter Wizard overpowered for D&D. It's also that its spells known are effectively unlimited and that their spell selection is extremely powerful. All of these combined (powerful spells, unlimited known, all at-will) are what make it overpowered. Again, that's why there are no significant non-Wizard characters in those books. They just can't compete.

If they are to make a basic Arcane class, I could easily see them follow the v3.5 Warlock formula for it's core mechanics. A singular spell that deals damage and options that can modify that attack (similiar to Eldritch Blast) in that you can increase it's range, it's versatility for different types, for applying different status effects, etc. Perhaps the selection starts out small and then, as you level, you add more versatility. You can also gain a bunch of Rituals that can be cast most likely outside of Combat. You also have a small selection of personal-based spells and some utility in there that's perhaps the only measurement of resource management they have/need.

All of that sounds great, and I can't wait to see such a class, preferably sooner rather than later, but I'm just saying that it's nowhere near the level of the Harry Potter Wizard.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Yes I do.

They have specifically talked about the classes in the Basic rules as "core four".

I appreciate your reflexive defence of the design team Mand, you keep a lot of crazy down, but this is an actual issue.

Even if they hadn't talked about what Basic was going to look like they certainly should be indicating their intention to cover something as important as this, which has come up in discussion repeatedly. 



The Basic classes will be simpler than the normal versions of those classes.  They have explicitly stated that.  We do know that the wizard will be a Basic class, but don't actually know what the Basic wizard is going to look like yet.  It's entirely possible that Basic wizards will simply have which spells they know assigned to them based on some kind of template.  This is definitely a case of "complaining about things we haven't even seen yet".
But you have to keep in mind that a huge part of HP casting was spell failure.  Spells don't always work right (especially when being cast for the first few times or by low level casters (i.e. students).

I dismissed the Harry Potter spells gowing awry as only because they were level 0 (apprentices). The adults dont seem to make mistakes with their spells. The only other context where mistakes seem possible is when researching an unknown spell.

If D&D Next had a mechanic for spells going awry while learning a new spell, that could be cool. But once it is mastered, it shouldnt really be an issue anymore.

Perhaps it's not quite "Harry Potter" power level.

But it's going to produce a play style similar to that depicted in the books and films.

AND it'll be a really simple Arcane class.

Which I think is a great thing which we need. 
Did the 3.5 warlock have some sort of cool factor I missed? Never saw one being used and it seemed to be a good 5th man in a 3.5 group as an archer type. Even then I would prefer a bard or ranger in the same role. Not sure what made the class tick as such. BITD it seemed popular on the boards though and they added it to core in 4th. I'm the eternal DM and none of my players used it even thoughit was not a banned class.
They were pretty simple Zard.

Unlimited usage of a very limited range of spells, most slightly modified versions of Wizard spells from the regular lists.

I saw one played all the way 'through to epic and the player loved every minute. 
I own the Complete Arcane and I was fine with the class. Just never saw it get used. We usually had smalll 3-4 man groups so fitting one in was never really a great option and for a 5th man somehitng like a bard or ranger was usually used alsthough I have seen those classes replace he wizard as well. Right now we only have a 3 man group maybe 4 but one can't make it due to work.

 Then again after todays session when I told them in advance what to expect and they ignored it anyway and almost got TPKed on a couiple of occasions IDK.