Well, now! One day, and 39 views? And to think that was my first post. Well, then.
I've had some time now to look over details about Magic Missile's update and turn to a sounding board from some fellow players I associate with (Primarily at www.myth-weavers.com), and the thinking goes that they agree with the auto-hit function, but wish that the damage wasn't static. By that, of course, the thinking is, "Why did they take away a damage roll?"
Damage rolls do more than add some variability into the mix: There are items that some wizards favor for which require a damage roll for their additional effects. Examples?
1) Dragontooth Wand- A superior implement, the Dragontooth Wand adds +1 to all damage rolls wizards make with attack powers through it.
2) Forbidden Tome- Again, same thing. +1 to all damage rolls.
3) Guardian Staff- Now, this is a biggie for Magic Missile users. It gives +2 to all damage rolls with attack powers that have the Force Keyword. Guess which wizard At-Will is the only one that has the Force Keyword?
4) Petrified Orb- This Orb Superior Implement has the same +2 to Force Damage that the Guardian Staff has.
5) Staff of Missile Mastery- I mentioned this in the last post, but this will require some re-writing, as it still has a specific critical damage clause related to Magic Missile...which can no longer happen, since Magic Missile doesn't use attack rolls. The Item Bonus to damage still works though, because it doesn't rely on a damage roll. #1-4 on this list do.
6) Master's Wand of Magic Missile- This one actually suffers the least from the change, but it'll take some getting used to before we remember that Magic Missile can no longer Critical Hit.
So, the big problem with the update is the lack of a damage roll. Without it, the Superior Implements listed (#1-4 above) are made more or less useless when a wizard turns to his basic power. Now, there's three possible ways the men and women of the R&D Staff in Seattle could handle this:
1) Ignore it, and let Magic Missile suffer
2) Rewrite every single one of those items so that the bonus to damage rolls instead becomes a straight "+1/+2 to damage with attacks made through this implement."
3) Rewrite Magic Missile's damage quota, making it look something like I suggested last night:
Heroic Tier: 1d4+INT Damage.
Paragon Tier: 2d4+INT Damage.
Epic Tier: 4d4+INT Damage.
Now, my personal vote would be for #3, in terms of a second fix, because it would require the least amount of errata modification, and supply maximum effectiveness. Magic Missile will still hit automatically, and yes, the damage might not be quite as impressive as it was before...
But there is the CHANCE that it could. And every time we roll a polyhedral die, we're living for the possibility that it'll come up high and in our favor. It's one of the things that makes the game interesting, and with all the various Controller Types available, I'd hate to see the wizard, the first and foremost of the archetype, fall by the wayside for being seen as "Boring."
And that's the Iowa perspective.