Wizard 4.0 thoughts

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I am an old dnd player, first introduced to the game with the boxed sets (dnd for the unitiated). I have played every version since then: adnd, 2nd edition, 3rd edition, 3.5, just about every campaign setting (darksun, dragonlance, that other continent for dragonlance, grayhawk, forgotten realms, ravenloft, eberron, stuff I can't remember). Suffice it to say I have seen just about everything this game has offered. The 4.0 take on the wizard has me concerned.

I have yet to play a game of 4th edition and I am sure anyone who doesn't like what I have to say will take that as grounds to ignore me. Never the less, the wizard is very blah. I have been a big wizard player for a long time. It has been years since I did anything with fireball and lightning bolt but leave them in a spell book. Generally I specialize in something so I can get evocation as a barred school in 3rd edition. Illusion, enchantment, alteration, conjuration and necromancy are good enough for me. Never got into divination (I wonder why) and abjuration didn't get much of a look either. Clerics could always do that stuff as well or better anyway.

The 4.0 wizard is very uninteresting to look at. Here is what concerns me.

1) Very few spell choices are given to me. 4 spells to pick from every few levels can't compare to the dozens of spells available in the past.

2) They play the same as every one else except that you can have a few powers that you switch around if you feel like it (utility and daily spells).

3) They are clearly not good at direct damage. This would be fine except so many of the spell choices are direct damage spells. If these spells are not good it reduces the effective spells they have to choose from very poor to abysmal. I know that they have a lot of multi-target spells and this helps the damage look a little better ... sometimes.

4) The only clearly effective thing I can see to do is cast sleep or combo thunderwave with stinkingcloud and other zone spells. The later seems unbeivably effective but incredibly boring and cheesy.

What did they do to my interesting wizard with his plethora of spells and options?
Wizards are controlers. They exist to kill minions and debuff the big baddies.

4e looks bad on paper, but once you play you'll realize that each and every class feels different.

Play a few games. Wizards gor nerfed so that they are no longer the monsters they were in previous editions. This does not make them boring. This makes them equal.

Wiards also get ritual casting (alongside the cleric, but that's not a bad thing). Once you've played some games you'll realize why wizards are like they are. And if all else fails make a melee staff wizard.
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1) Comparatively, yes, there are, currently, much fewer spells to choose from per level than in previous editions. There are, however, fewer slots to fill, and in the interest of balancing classes, many spells were trimmed (for now, anyway) to keep things even. Already we have seen more spells released in a DDI article on Illusionists, and Arcane Power promises even more.

2) At the end of the day, this is a technical truth. Classes in 4e were redesigned to share a common, streamlined, and easy to learn resource management system. No longer will the fighter simply say, "I attack" while the wizard spends five minutes paging through his list of spells to decide what he feels like doing. Every class has features that make it a little different, though. Fighters, for instance, are constantly making attacks on the enemy's turn, which is different from most other classes, who only occassionally do so.

3) They're not really supposed to be, but I would point you to Magic Missile and Flaming Sphere, both of which do direct damage, and do it well, with the right equipment. Equipment in 4e is designed to help players fill gaps that their character, at it's core, are not designed to be awesome at.

4) This is your experience, and your opinion, so I will not discuss it, as mileage will vary.

Yes, I was tempted to dismiss your arguments out of hand when you said you hadn't played 4e yet, but your points are legitimate. My hope is that you will play a 4e wizard, and my belief is that your view will at least change a little.

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

Again, I wonder why so many people complain about the Wizard getting "less interesting", and then completly ignore how every Martial class was made much more interesting.

To respond to your actual post, instead of my rambling, they took out some of the Wizards crazy powerful abilites because they finally realized that it was not good game balance. Old E Wizard could do anything that any other class could do (other than heal), and usually better. Plus, they had instant kill moves, instant win moves that didn't neccesarily kill, abilities to make people their slaves, abilities to literally do almost anything they wanted (wish), abilties to become anything they wanted (the polymorph family of spells), etc, etc, etc.

What they decided was that instead they would put all the classes on equal footing. No, this does not mean "all classes are the same". It just means that no one class is inherintly "better" than any other, as it was in older editions. Now EVERY class has interesting things to do. The Wizard still has many cool powers, and remember, they can cast rituals right off the bat, increasing their magical abilites even further.

Now, refering to your numbered concerns:

1) Yes, there are less spell choices. Again, this was done so that Wizards could not do everything. They wanted there to be a need for other party members.

2) This was a move on WotC's part to try to move away from subsystems and instead put every class in the same framework. This way, new classes are easier to create, because no subsystems have to be put into account. As well, it makes classes very modular. Again, this helps when making new classes, as you just plug abilites into the framework. As well, it stops the players form essentially playing different games. Everyone now rolls to attack, whether they use magic or swords. I think this is a very elegant system.

3) Wizards are meant to fill the "controller" role, which means they are meant, in combat, to primarily herd enemies and destroy minions. Wizards are masters at defeating swatches of minions with ease. They also have many abilites that hinder enemies in various ways like slowing them, allowing allies to crucsh them. Direct damage is simply not what they really do. That is more the domain of a "striker" like a Rogue. The role system was meant to tell players more clearly what the classes are best at, to sort of focus them more than in older editions where you pretty much had to figure out for yourself what a class was good at.

4) This might be because you are still thinking in terms of "I am Wizard, watch me win the encounter!". 4E is very much a team game. It is not your job to end the encounter. It is your job to work with your party to win teh encounter through teamwork. This may be a bit of a shoke coming from older editions, where it was pretty much expected that the Wizard could destroy every challange that came by.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
Yes the huge spell list is gone, but having different choices of daily and utility powers really makes you more powerful when you have a good idea of what your encounters are going to be for the day.

Another thing to consider with point #4 is that you shouldn't need to do everything yourself to be effective; your party members have their own abilities which can have a lot of tactical options opened up through clever spell use - and vice verca.
@ Wisbang

From my honest experiance. The wizard is dead. You cant play one no matter who you are.

The new "Wizard" is a different class that jacked the name. It is themeaticaly the same. But mechanicaly you can not say untill very high levels "I win this encounter."

The wizard has no subset of powers. Every one is close to same character. There is no longer "I dont care about the D20 unless it reads 1 or 20." type characters.

Every one is equal. Its alot like communism. Even if your special, your no different then every one else.

1) see communism

2) Close, they get to attack at range in exchange for 20% of the high HP chars. See communism.

3) See Communism.

4) The designers left nothing open ended. things that were left open ended like cascade of blades and blood pulse are being hailed as totaly broken.
Ahhh... When there are no open-ended effets any open-ended effect is broken.
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@ Wisbang

From my honest experiance. The wizard is dead. You cant play one no matter who you are.

The new "Wizard" is a different class that jacked the name.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it was "Magic User" prior to AD&D 2nd edition, at which point it became the Mage. Specialty Wizards existed, but they were still, mechanically, Mages. It wasn't until 3.0 that it was called the "Wizard" as a class, and frankly, that Wizard was horrendous, and should be stricken from the record.

The Wizard is dead! Long live the Wizard!

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

There are "none" as in there are VERY VERY few and they are errataed out of existance fast
Again, I wonder why so many people complain about the Wizard getting "less interesting", and then completly ignore how every Martial class was made much more interesting.

I strongly disagree. I think my main objection to 4.0 is the in 3.0 you had a tremendous amount of options to create interesting characters from a mechanical standpoint. And that is all the rules offer anyway. From a roleplaying standpoint or a flavor standpoint That is all player effort and setting.

Fighters could be pretty interesting in 3.0 with access to a billion feats. All the power attack, expertise, disarm, knockdown, combat reflexes etc. made a fighter a lot more than just "attack" as someone suggested. Rouges certainly had a lot of options, paladins had spells, and barbarians and rangers ... well they could do stuff out of combat and some stuff well in combat.

The role system is a codification of something that was always in place in the game. In general I will refer to 3rd editions because I thought that was a great product that really streamlined and improved the game. Rouges were the original strikers and really shined in that role in 3.0. Clerics always have empowered their party members along with bards. If you don't think a fighter class could really pile the damage on as well as take a serious beating I have to question if you every played 3rd edition.

Wizards were certainly the most flexible class: in exchange for no combat ability or durability outside of spells. If you expect them to "win on their own" you would need to devote many spell slots to protecting yourself and covering your thief bases and so on. Even still your hypothetical solo mage wrecking ball runs into a fighter who makes his instant death/incapacitation save and proceeds to run up and smash through your defensive spells in short order. Now you are the one sweating it as you make your concentration check.

I think the thing that is bothering me is this feeling I get that the game has been dumbed down. From dnd to 2nd edition it was a process of adding more options and unfortunately more clutter. In 3.0 they achieved a master stroke of adding even more options while cleaning up and streamlining the game. 4.0 reminds me of that red boxed set a lot. Nostalgia aside, that is not a comfortable feeling.

I suppose I am hoping for someone to help me get back the excitment I had when I picked up the books the other day. I can see that this is a cute little game with some interesting interactions but to me dnd has been more than cute for over a decade.

I will certainly play and hope that as one respondant claimed "the game plays better than it looks on paper".
Is there someplace I could sign up and maybe pay a small membership fee to get your tears mailed to me? I use them as reagents in my dark rituals.

1. Pinch of gold dust blended with diamons dust.
2. The tears shed by a forumite who is frustrated by progress and could just keep playing 3.5, but feels drawn to venting bile into the wrong forum.
3. The voice of a young girl.

Originally I thought that the second ingredient for my World Dominating Ritual would be hard to get, but it turns out it wasn't hard at all! Thanks!
I am an old dnd player, first introduced to the game with the boxed sets (dnd for the unitiated). I have played every version since then: adnd, 2nd edition, 3rd edition, 3.5, just about every campaign setting (darksun, dragonlance, that other continent for dragonlance, grayhawk, forgotten realms, ravenloft, eberron, stuff I can't remember). Suffice it to say I have seen just about everything this game has offered. The 4.0 take on the wizard has me concerned.

I was in the exact same boat, and my first bit will be "Don't Panic". I've been a spell combo meta-magic pain in my DM's hind quarters for years and when I saw the 4e Wizard it kinda freaked me out too.

I have yet to play a game of 4th edition and I am sure anyone who doesn't like what I have to say will take that as grounds to ignore me. Never the less, the wizard is very blah. I have been a big wizard player for a long time. It has been years since I did anything with fireball and lightning bolt but leave them in a spell book. Generally I specialize in something so I can get evocation as a barred school in 3rd edition. Illusion, enchantment, alteration, conjuration and necromancy are good enough for me. Never got into divination (I wonder why) and abjuration didn't get much of a look either. Clerics could always do that stuff as well or better anyway.

Once you sit down and play through a few encounters you'll get what the Wizard does pretty much down pat. Which is basically "crowd control". I know what you're thinking and yes I miss "Flesh to Stone" and "Stone to Mud" just as much as the next transmuter, but Wizards are luckily still being expanded as far as the spell book is concerned. For now if you want a blaster Evoker just play a Warlock, it'll feel a little weird but it produces similar results.

The 4.0 wizard is very uninteresting to look at. Here is what concerns me.

1) Very few spell choices are given to me. 4 spells to pick from every few levels can't compare to the dozens of spells available in the past.

Just breathe, it's tough, but spells are on their way...I hope, otherwise it'll be right back to 3.5 for me until they do

2) They play the same as every one else except that you can have a few powers that you switch around if you feel like it (utility and daily spells).

The game has mechanically changed and is more of a dynamic place for characters such as the party meat wagon who walks around hitting everything with a large object that happens to be in the shape of an axe. Now said character is more than Smash, Move, Take Damage, then rinse and repeat. If you ever got into the 3.5 Supplement "Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords", it kinda already did something similar.

3) They are clearly not good at direct damage. This would be fine except so many of the spell choices are direct damage spells. If these spells are not good it reduces the effective spells they have to choose from very poor to abysmal. I know that they have a lot of multi-target spells and this helps the damage look a little better ... sometimes.

4) The only clearly effective thing I can see to do is cast sleep or combo thunderwave with stinkingcloud and other zone spells. The later seems unbeivably effective but incredibly boring and cheesy.

I have a feeling that the Wizard will get some more toys to play with as they continue to expand the 4e library. Until then if you want to blast it, hinder it, or just be plain mean to it, play a Warlock.

What did they do to my interesting wizard with his plethora of spells and options?

Don't panic, with any luck Mr. Wizard will be slowly put back into something the remotely feels like being a Wizard. Though functionally everyone at the table will have just as many options for things to do as you will, though they may lack the variety.
I was in the exact same boat, and my first bit will be "Don't Panic". I've been a spell combo meta-magic pain in my DM's hind quarters for years and when I saw the 4e Wizard it kinda freaked me out too.

Don't panic, with any luck Mr. Wizard will be slowly put back into something the remotely feels like being a Wizard. Though functionally everyone at the table will have just as many options for things to do as you will, though they may lack the variety.

That was pretty helpful. Dispite my fear of progress. and communism.
Is there someplace I could sign up and maybe pay a small membership fee to get your tears mailed to me? I use them as reagents in my dark rituals.

1. Pinch of gold dust blended with diamons dust.
2. The tears shed by a forumite who is frustrated by progress and could just keep playing 3.5, but feels drawn to venting bile into the wrong forum.
3. The voice of a young girl.

Originally I thought that the second ingredient for my World Dominating Ritual would be hard to get, but it turns out it wasn't hard at all! Thanks!

Flawless Victory.

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

That was pretty helpful. Dispite my fear of progress. and communism.

Well, I think this may be WoTC's attempt to improve their foreign policy and expand the fan base to include China, Russia, and North Korea
I absolutely agree with most peoples opinions of this 4.0 abomination.

When in history of any history did beings stand on equal fotting. I agree the wizards of 3.5 were an absolute overly powerful class. They were capable of anything and shaped the battle grounds like no other. That was a problem.

I firmly believe players should have options to CUSTOMIZE! This book tells me how to whipe after heading to the toilet. There is no rolling, no decisions, its a big mathematical equasion and the answer is always the same. Wizard Class = X and X is on equal footing as Fighter Class. etc.

This is even more cookie cutter than 3.5. I complained back then about meta gaming and now its even worse! I should not be capable of guessing someones AC # afeter a few strike attempts.

FREEDOM TO CUSTOMIZE IS THE KEY TO A GOOD SOLID GAME.

People - open your yes - the problem is not 4.0 but in my opinion the constant evolution of the Wizards of the Coast Brand. I have played a number of games outside of this brand where people have choice in thier characters and it is up to you to make whatever character you wish. Options where even a fighter can have spells and specializiations, supernatural or physical. A rogue can heal and a wizard can fight in heavy plate. Its all to where and how much you are willing to forgo to make your character something unieque.

I have personally begun work 6 months ago on a new system - a classless system. I dont see why a human fighter is restricted to only fighting, or a human wizard is restricted to only casting. A character cant be great at everything and that is a restriction on its own.

So I say be a combat oriented character, and if you want to be able to cast the spell fly than go ahead and learn it. Be a caster oriented character and specialize in healing and mind control while carrying a shield.

A time will come when people will abandon Wizards of the Coast and embrace a system that doesnt limit them to a cookie cutter versions that someone at a desk thousands of miles away decides for them.
Oh but I do enjoy your miniatures - very solid quality and with paint jobs! Keep them comming.
I enjoy using them in my alternative game systems.

They come at quite reasonable costs on Ebay may I add.
AND AGAIN... I ACTUALY HAVE CHOICE THERE! CAN YOU IMAGINE!
1) Very few spell choices are given to me. 4 spells to pick from every few levels can't compare to the dozens of spells available in the past.

I'm sure there will be more on the way, but don't expect anything radically different in nature to what you already see. The role of wizard has been redefined to be much tighter and probably gone are the days when you could play all sorts of different styles of magic user. Wizards in 4e are devoted to battlefield control - i.e. things that effect an encounter on a tactical level.

As is the same for everyone in 4e, there is little support for doing things outside of combat - the game is more of a tactical miniatures game now. However, Wizards do get more of a shot at doing things outside of combat than most other character types because they get rituals. So they have slightly more variety, but nobody has a lot.

2) They play the same as every one else except that you can have a few powers that you switch around if you feel like it (utility and daily spells).

This isn't the case and your impression wont last past your first few 4e battles. 4e places a great deal of importance on positioning and movement and what may seem minor on paper, such as Thunderwave knocking people back a couple of squares will leap out at you as tactically powerful when you use it, if you have any imagination in using it, anyway. Wizards play very differently to other character types in a battle and are very useful to a party in a unique fashion.

3) They are clearly not good at direct damage. This would be fine except so many of the spell choices are direct damage spells. If these spells are not good it reduces the effective spells they have to choose from very poor to abysmal. I know that they have a lot of multi-target spells and this helps the damage look a little better ... sometimes.

Again, I have to say try it in practice. Wizards are intended to do high damage (that's the Warlock). But they are intended to do widespread damage and they excel at this. A lot of the AoE spells also have side effects that you may not have realised how useful they are yet. The Ray of Frost spell is a direct damage spell, but it also slows your opponent. On a large battlefield, that means a wizard could walk around Ray of Frosting an opponent for a long time, whittling away her hit points while the opponent had no choice but to stumble around unable to either close with the wizard or run away. Looks like a minor effect - turns out to be a major one.

4) The only clearly effective thing I can see to do is cast sleep or combo thunderwave with stinkingcloud and other zone spells. The later seems unbeivably effective but incredibly boring and cheesy.

So long as your DM is giving you interesting battle locations with a bit of terrain and some features, you can do a lot with your control powers. And so long as your party members are using sensible tactics rather than just each running up to their own opponent and bashing away until its dead (which will probably get them killed by superior enemy tactics via flanking, shifting, etc), then they'll appreciate your help in keeping superior positioning.

What did they do to my interesting wizard with his plethora of spells and options?

They killed it. It's dead. It's gone. It is no more. The 4e wizard plays well and is fun in the sense of tactical gaming. All the open ended, imaginative things you can do with it have been taken from you (or else will be snatched away in errata as soon as they are noticed). This is true of everyone but is most noticeable with the wizard because the wizard had by far the most open ended options. In previous editions, Wizards were the class of choice for players who wanted to use imaginative and unexpected tactics and strategies. In 4e, there is no such class.
First off, though I never played 3.0 or 3.5 (well, I did, about 4 games as a Sorcerer and decided I didn't like it), I can match your experience previous to that.

1) Very few spell choices are given to me. 4 spells to pick from every few levels can't compare to the dozens of spells available in the past.

I shared the same exact concern, and from the first moment I decided that I wasn't going to even try 4th edition. I mean, "Fly" at best once a day for no more than 5 minutes?!? No flying if you decided to be Invisible that day?!?!? I started out despising the game. (needless to say, that has changed). The only reason I gave it a chance was because it was pointed out that I had an infinite number of Mage Hand castings per day, stacked with an infinite number of Magic Missiles. So... ok, gave it a chance.
2) They play the same as every one else except that you can have a few powers that you switch around if you feel like it (utility and daily spells).

This is where book-reading and experience become obvious. They can be like everyone else, no doubt about it. But they're not. In a team of players (something you can't know thinking or playing solo), he has a vital role for team survival. From insta walls, to minion bashing area effects, to the best Utility Powers in the game. They are as different as a WarLord is, and just as valuable to the entirety of the team.
3) They are clearly not good at direct damage. This would be fine except so many of the spell choices are direct damage spells. If these spells are not good it reduces the effective spells they have to choose from very poor to abysmal. I know that they have a lot of multi-target spells and this helps the damage look a little better ... sometimes.

Good. Direct Damage would make them too powerful, and nobody would want to play anything else. They're good at all the other things really. And due to their very high AC/Reflexes from the super-Int, they're not so hard to keep alive either.
4) The only clearly effective thing I can see to do is cast sleep or combo thunderwave with stinkingcloud and other zone spells. The later seems unbeivably effective but incredibly boring and cheesy.

That's kinda the point. And not nearly as effective as you might think, since you still have to overcome defenses in 4e, unlike previous editions where you cast a spell, and the effect happened regardless. Take out as many as you can via effects, make it easier for the combatants to handle the ones you were no effect against, and then they can work on the dazed/unconscious/etc ones. Your job is to make it easier for the warriors, not to do their jobs for them.
So I can be like everybody else!!! :D :D :D You are Red/Blue!
There is only one big complaint I have with the new 4e. Spell preparation. Having to guess which spell will be useful on the next day adds nothing to the game. It's very frustrating to be unable to feather fall only because you decided to be able to shield beforehand.
Adding the ability to cast a spell on the fly, within the limits of the allowed spells, would add a bit of variety and "magic" to the class.

Sadly at the moment, when the entire group looks for you to save the day with that wonderfully appropriate spell, 50% of the time you can only shake the head and say "sorry guys today I'm able to turn water into wine".

This simple change would, in my opinion, be enough to restore the entire class concept.
There is only one big complaint I have with the new 4e. Spell preparation. Having to guess which spell will be useful on the next day adds nothing to the game. It's very frustrating to be unable to feather fall only because you decided to be able to shield beforehand.
Adding the ability to cast a spell on the fly, within the limits of the allowed spells, would add a bit of variety and "magic" to the class.

Sadly at the moment, when the entire group looks for you to save the day with that wonderfully appropriate spell, 50% of the time you can only shake the head and say "sorry guys today I'm able to turn water into wine".

This simple change would, in my opinion, be enough to restore the entire class concept.

I'm quoting myself. What about adding a new feat: "versatile caster" to allow this? Do you really think this would unbalance the game?
Guess why most of the wizards do not like expended spellbook. With this proposal extended would be a lot more useful.
I have to agree with that. Access to versatility, while maintaining the same cap on number of powers is better. Right now, most of us tend to not care about the 2nd power. I repeat my same spells every time I take an extended rest. The 'better' of the 2 spells I learned. Which really sucks, since although I know Levitate and Fly, I never memorize them, thanks to Shield and Invisibility.
So I can be like everybody else!!! :D :D :D You are Red/Blue!
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizbang
That was pretty helpful. Dispite my fear of progress. and communism.

Well, I think this may be WoTC's attempt to improve their foreign policy and expand the fan base to include China, Russia, and North Korea

***

I just read the postings and had to give Obscure User a pat on the back. Super comment. lol.

I also agree with others. New Wiz is balanced...maybe now players will focus more on Roleplaying rather than just spell optimizing. Plus, at least a low level wizard can now take a hit without dying, and there is so much room for wizards to grow in this game. We'll see how in the future.

Cheers.
I am all for adding that feat at paragon. Prior to paragon I think it disrupts game balance. Wizards should not have access to3!!! Dailys of each level even if they only use 1.

As is spellbook is 100% garbage.

Rituals are only slightly better then spell book (due to about 6 specific rituals)

The problem is they over valued the options the thought they gave the wizard when in fact they mean zilch.

The only class feature a wizard has that directly makes them better is impliment mastury, so its no surprize to see all builds based around it. "But cantrips" Unless your dm allows dumb shanagains (Ie mage hand force choke, Mage hand to steal the guards keys and so on) none of these powers makes the wizard any more versatile.

I also agree with others. New Wiz is balanced...maybe now players will focus more on Roleplaying rather than just spell optimizing. Plus, at least a low level wizard can now take a hit without dying, and there is so much room for wizards to grow in this game. We'll see how in the future.

I couldnt agree less.

1) The new LOW LEVEL wizard is balanced.

2) The wizard cant take an Fing hit wtf are you talking about so much weaker then before (I could have a consistent 20AC at first level!) vs now where your ATTACKED twice and die. At 3rd level you had more HPs then the fighter with false life!

3) There shall be has been and always will be the same amount of RPing in any given game

Again, I have to say try it in practice. Wizards are intended to do high damage (that's the Warlock). But they are intended to do widespread damage and they excel at this.

I think in the wizards do suck thread that we determined they needed to deal 80% of the strikers damage to be better then just another striker and 75% to be equal.

Wizards have good dailys, but are poorly powered unless using a said daily.
I have to agree with that. Access to versatility, while maintaining the same cap on number of powers is better. Right now, most of us tend to not care about the 2nd power. I repeat my same spells every time I take an extended rest. The 'better' of the 2 spells I learned. Which really sucks, since although I know Levitate and Fly, I never memorize them, thanks to Shield and Invisibility.

Yes! That's exactly the point! When you can bet you'll have a fight (almost always in a dungeon in d&d), you'll go for combat spells. In a fight you can die. It is instead not so certain you'll need to avoid falling (and die in the fall) with feather fall. Who would not learn a shield to be able to feather fall once a day?

But instead if I am in front of a chasm I could consider to feather fall at the cost of being less effective in the next combat.
That's a choice. Having to play the oracle in the morning is not fun and not a real "choice". It's a guess.

Moreover expended spellbook would be more useful and I don't think this will make the wizard an uber-class.
I remember someone saying on the boards, "4e is boring on paper, but fun in play"

I'll add, "Controller looks weak/boring on paper, but fun in play for me."
To be perfectly honest I think it's a bit to soon to be inventing homebrew "fixes" to the Wizard. More stuff is on the way for 4e and there's plenty of eratta to go around.

If you really want a Wizard take away all their powers (daily, at-will, and encounter) and give em the same spells and spell progression they'd get in 3.5.

You'll be useless as usual in Low Level encounters, and carrying the party through every encounter there after. Functionally "yay wizard" but it's just 3.5 all over again. Maybe they gave casting versatility to the Bard? Lol, "Play a Bard! It's the new Wizard!"

All I'm saying is give the guys n gals at WoTC some time to flesh things out before drawing your conclusions.
3) They are clearly not good at direct damage. This would be fine except so many of the spell choices are direct damage spells. If these spells are not good it reduces the effective spells they have to choose from very poor to abysmal. I know that they have a lot of multi-target spells and this helps the damage look a little better ... sometimes.

Don't forget that in 4th edition, there are multiple critters. It's hard to get those area effect spells without a little help from your friends but if everyone works to clear the path before you act, you should be able to smack 2-3 foes at a time with your spells.

4) The only clearly effective thing I can see to do is cast sleep or combo thunderwave with stinkingcloud and other zone spells. The later seems unbeivably effective but incredibly boring and cheesy.

You'll find a lot more once you start working with your team mates. To spoil your fun don't forget that your opponents get a saving throw when forced into a hazardous square.

What did they do to my interesting wizard with his plethora of spells and options?

Don't forget you have rituals. A lot of the wizard's out of combat goodies are now into that category. There's a nice article with lots of new rituals on WoTC website.

I might be wrong but I doubt the plethora of spells will be missing for long. There's too much money to make publishing polymorphs, summonings and save or dies, and as we all know, WoTC is not a non-profit organisation. It's still sucks they did it that way though.

I'm more conerned on:
- whether they are going to bend the rules so that wizard's can pull the same trick more than once per day (ring of wizardry to get extra utilitarian)
- the level at witch new utility spells will be accessible.
The only class feature a wizard has that directly makes them better is impliment mastury, so its no surprize to see all builds based around it. "But cantrips" Unless your dm allows dumb shanagains (Ie mage hand force choke, Mage hand to steal the guards keys and so on) none of these powers makes the wizard any more versatile.

This from a guy who has admited he hasn't actually played a game, and only tries out level 30 solos.

Experience: Cantrips are the bomb. They're not the end-all offensive spell you may think a character is required to have to be "worth" it, but in a roleplaying game (vs your arena), they are the bomb.

The wizard cant take an Fing hit wtf are you talking about so much weaker then before (I could have a consistent 20AC at first level!) vs now where your ATTACKED twice and die. At 3rd level you had more HPs then the fighter with false life!

Roughly the same HP as any other Class. Roughly the same (or better) defense than the other class. Beats the hell outta the 4HP Wizards of old.
Wizards have good dailys, but are poorly powered unless using a said daily.

Poorly powered offensively. More than adequately compensated in other areas.
So I can be like everybody else!!! :D :D :D You are Red/Blue!
This from a guy who has admited he hasn't actually played a game, and only tries out level 30 solos.

I have tried single combats vs 30th solos.

I have played 4 different 1st level games 3 1shots and the last one we got TPKed because our dm rolled retartedly. (7 crits in 1 combat over 9 rounds) I also am in a paragon game level 14 right now. At paragon I feel like im doing more then any other party member, at heroic I feel as though Im doing next to nothing when not dailying. (you not only dont hit you have no versatility or choice in what power to use)

Roughly the same HP as any other Class. Roughly the same (or better) defense than the other class. Beats the hell outta the 4HP Wizards of old.

Wizards are between 6 and 20 HP behind other classes based on how much the tank cares about hp.

I would take the 4 HP wizards power over the 20 HP wizards any day. Then my dm would not hit on a roll of a 5 6 or 7. Instead needing a 16 or 17 +

Poorly powered offensively. More than adequately compensated in other areas.

This reminds me of arguments for bards "Well yah they are pretty bad in combat, but outside they are good!" They were poor attempts to prove a class good when they just werent. In this case I really feel its a level issue. The other characters were far better then the wizard at low levels, at higher levels the wizard 1) deals more damage then any one else due to the ablity to daily almost every encounter. 2) The wizard can shape the battle with his dailys unlike at low levels. 3) the strikers are not really much better at that point aside from shelling out a bit more damage, they dont out damage a wizard if he dailys.

Seriously at low levels wizards are the new bards. At high levels guess what, wizards are better then any other class.

I guess we still follow the liniar fighters quadratic wizards formula.
So my wizard hit 21 last session I played. I've now officially seen all of Paragon and Heroic. I've also played and DM'd a lot of 3.0, 3, and before that I played (but never DM'd) a lot of AD&D.

My experience thus far is that the Wizard is actually far more versatile in combat now. You have a whole slew of powers that has the sole purpose of giving you a variety of effects in combat. And with the exception of the cleric, most of them are extremely distinct feeling. Even the wizard At-wills feel distinct and interesting. This might net a double take and rolled eyes from some people in this thread, but given that the cantrips are now class feature at wills, those are basically in use almost constantly. Likewise, the wizard never stops using magic in combat, whereas in prior editions until late-game I'd be relying on mundane weapons (which the wizard was terrible with).

Out of combat, it's a little different. You have less duration (movement spells and stealth spells are much shorter in duration and accessibility now) and often force you to choose one or the other. But rituals open up new abilities and in my experience, usually the group has only one ritual caster. Making magic items and potions becomes something of paramount importance to the group, and they come to you often for it. Long Distance Teleportation effects are both more controllable and more available, and the quest for grand magic is still alive in ritual acquisition.

All-in-all, playing a Wizard seems a lot more fun. Before, the wizard was tactically an island. You stayed out of his way and he'd knock 2-3 enemies out of a fight. Now, he's very much a part of the fighting unit, and as more books come out I'm sure we'll see more spell choices. The ritual system is interesting and so far I've been having fun, but I would like to see a lot more rituals and rules for research and creation of them.

P.S. I like extended spellbook. People who think that you'll always be choosing one of your dailies and utilities over and over either play in homogenous and dull fantasy environments or are just metagame-extrapolating from level 30 playtests in a featureless grey mist.
I am all for adding that feat at paragon. Prior to paragon I think it disrupts game balance. Wizards should not have access to3!!! Dailys of each level even if they only use 1.

As is spellbook is 100% garbage.

Spellbook is fine. Expanded spellbook will be an amazing feat once Arcane Power hits and we have twice as many spells to choose from.

Rituals are only slightly better then spell book (due to about 6 specific rituals)

Again, we've already seen new rituals in Dragon articles, and the FRPG will have more, and Arcane Power will have even more. Adventurer's Vault is coming, which includes Alchemy in a similar fashion (it's a feat that allows you access to "alchemical formulae"), and if you get Ritual Caster as a class feature, you can start with Alchemy instead.

The only class feature a wizard has that directly makes them better is impliment mastury, so its no surprize to see all builds based around it. "But cantrips" Unless your dm allows dumb shanagains (Ie mage hand force choke, Mage hand to steal the guards keys and so on) none of these powers makes the wizard any more versatile.

Yes, and all Ranger's get is Fighting Style, so it's no surprise that all Rangers are built around that, too. Cantrips are great not only for flavor, but for ingenuity. Some shenanigans are great (like your mage hand steal the guard's keys. That's classic).

Wizards have good dailys, but are poorly powered unless using a said daily.

I disagree with that completely. Illusionary Ambush is quite handy for stacking attack penalties onto a foe. Lots of their encounter powers are great, and equipment will augment a Wizard's powers nicely, not overrunning them, of course, but fleshing them out. I still think Magic Missile should have gotten a bonus on the attack roll, for legacy (used to be an auto-hit, remember?), but it's all good, to me.

If you've never played the game, don't critique the Wizard. I didn't like Wizards at first, thought I'd enjoy Warlock more, and I hated it. I switched to a Wizard, and I loved it. So much, in fact, that I joined another game, and play a Wizard in that one, too.

Wizards are fine. They're not overpowered, they're not weak. I think WotC did a great job on them. Yes they're different from previous editions, every class is. Melee classes no longer get to say, "I attack." They have multiple attacks they can choose from every turn, and that's awesome. Every class, to me, is now much more playable than it was in previous editions.

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

What did they do to my interesting wizard with his plethora of spells and options?

Don't forget about the bigger picture of power sources, or if you haven't seen it yet read up on them until you get a glimpse. Classes tied to the Arcane power source but fulfilling different roles can represent different types of "wizards." Your melee-ing, gishy "wizard," for example, is the swordmage (Arcane Defender). You could even look at, say, infernal pact warlocks as diabolic "wizards" and star pact warlocks as fatespinner "wizards." Illusionists, Necromancers, and Enchanters are other types of "wizards" that will likely be rolled out as their own separate classes, tied to different power sources.

Another power source example...
Essentially, flavor and mechanics have been harnessed and focused to head in specific directions by the new design, but the concepts and archetypes are still translatable. Here's another example. Over in the Divine power source, heavily martial "priests" fall under the Paladin class, while heavily spell-casting "priests" will fall under the upcoming Divine Controller class (possibly called the Theurge). Your standard healer "priest" got dibs on the classic "Cleric" name, but the many types of "clerics" you could customize your way to in 3x are still possible in 4e.


Also, don't overlook your options outside of your combat role--and there ARE elements to 4e outside of combat. Cantrips are pretty cool IMHO (and finally freely accessible!) and skills can add nice flavor (Arcana is now effectively detect magic). The heaviest hitter, though, is your choice of rituals. You get the feat to learn them for free, get three rituals to start with for free, and you can learn as many of them as you can get your hands on. They don't add combat power, but I think it's more than arguable that they add the versatility you speak of to the wizard.

In 3x, nearly all of the wizard's versatility and customization came through spell choice. In 4e, things are more spread out throughout the game; your spell list (a.k.a., powers list) is not the end of your wizardly options.
I disagree with that completely. Illusionary Ambush is quite handy for stacking attack penalties onto a foe. Lots of their encounter powers are great, and equipment will augment a Wizard's powers nicely, not overrunning them, of course, but fleshing them out. I still think Magic Missile should have gotten a bonus on the attack roll, for legacy (used to be an auto-hit, remember?), but it's all good, to me.

Should have clerified. Low level (between 1-4 and maby 5-8I havent played 5 to 8) wizards suck.

My experience thus far is that the Wizard is actually far more versatile in combat now. You have a whole slew of powers that has the sole purpose of giving you a variety of effects in combat. And with the exception of the cleric, most of them are extremely distinct feeling. Even the wizard At-wills feel distinct and interesting. This might net a double take and rolled eyes from some people in this thread, but given that the cantrips are now class feature at wills, those are basically in use almost constantly. Likewise, the wizard never stops using magic in combat, whereas in prior editions until late-game I'd be relying on mundane weapons (which the wizard was terrible with).

Ill agree to this starting at 3rd level. when you get 2 encounter powers.

For future referace when I say low levels I mean between 1-4 (and possibly 5-8?) Because of the lack of daily powers.

The biggest problem with rituals is that non wizards/clerics Can do it. "Blah but it takes a feat and money blah" So claiming free rituals is kind of underpowered. TFD and the item creation/disenchanting ones are the only ones that I see being used with any frequency.
Wizards have good dailys, but are poorly powered unless using a said daily.

That's true, but it was also true in 3.5, the spells that won the battel could only be cast a few times, the ones you had lots of, didn't do much.

Wizard Class = X and X is on equal footing as Fighter Class. etc.

Also true, you can now play whichever class you want without being behind.

FREEDOM TO CUSTOMIZE IS THE KEY TO A GOOD SOLID GAME.

Untrue, chess is a good solid game, but there is really nothing to customize. Fact is, games are restrictive, else they wouldn't be games, they'd be simulators, and even those are restrictive.

Also, having more options doesn't mean having more viable options. There is an inherent problem with game design that more options-> less balance->less viable options.

In 3.5 there was a game in character design, finding a combo that made you powerfull was half of playing. Yes, that game is mostly gone, but they replaced with a multiplayer version. Where you find the tactical/team combo that makes your team powerfull. Where you played with spells and feats before, now you play with teamates and terrain.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Should have clerified. Low level (between 1-4 and maby 5-8I havent played 5 to 8) wizards suck.

I still disagree. I've only played my Wizards through level 3, and both were quite good, even before I got the second encounter. Yeah, Shock Sphere is great, but I don't use it nearly as often as Force Orb, and I still love Scorching Burst and Magic Missile.

The biggest problem with rituals is that non wizards/clerics Can do it. "Blah but it takes a feat and money blah" So claiming free rituals is kind of underpowered. TFD and the item creation/disenchanting ones are the only ones that I see being used with any frequency.

I'll concede that. In 4e, feats are a bit more frequent. Still, if you have a wizard in the group, and especially if you also have a Cleric, nobody else is going to waste the feat. Again, though, wait for Alchemy. That will diversify things a lot more, especially since most non-casters will prefer that to Ritual Caster, if only for flavor.

I will completely agree that TFD, along with dis/enchant are the most frequently used rituals in the game so far. Still, and again, more are coming. Brew Potion is now a level 1 ritual, and comprehend languages is also great for non-combat encounter use.

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

I missed that Brew became first level o.O when did that happen
I missed that Brew became first level o.O when did that happen

Last Errata. Currents bets are that Adventurer's Vault will have new potions, some of which will be lower level. Currently, the lowest is Healing Potion, which is level 5, which is what Brew Potion was.

So far, the only Crowing Moments of Awesome my Wizard has had has been Flaming Sphere: One was a full-sheet map (fortress/keep), full of minions. The other? Black Dragon. Used my Shadowfell Gloves (Daily) power, as well, just to get a little more oomph. The fighter tanked and I spanked, and afterward the DM declared that was way too easy.

Then there was the time I tanked three Hobgoblin Soldiers (level 3 soldiers, I was level 2), with Thunderwave, Staff of Defense, and shield.

Then there was the time we'd found a magical holy symbol of a deity we'd never seen before in our loot. Everyone else took short rests identifying/healing. I sat down and whipped out comprehend language (nat 20 FTW) and started speaking fluent Supernal (at level 1).

Wizard are versatile. I will go so far as to say if there's one role you can do without, it's probably the Controller. I will further say that going from no Wizard to one Wizard is a far more noticeable increase in party effectiveness than going from one striker to two, and at least as noticeable as going from one defender or leader to two.

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

My experience thus far is that the Wizard is actually far more versatile in combat now.

Ill agree to this starting at 3rd level. when you get 2 encounter powers.

So you're saying a 4e wizard options suck at first and level? I have to ask "Compared to What?" because surely you can not be comparing it to a 3e wizard.

A typical 3e wizard at first level has 2 cantrips and 2 first level spells PER DAY. A second level wizard has a whopping 3 cantrips and 3 first level spells PER DAY.

A first level wizard in 4e has four cantrips (five if you count detect magic in Arcana), plus two to three attack spells usable AT-WILL, plus an attack spell useable every five minutes, a daily attack spell, and three rituals they can use whenever they feel the expenditure of resources is worth it. At second level they pick up a ultility power that's usable either daily or every five minutes.

A low level wizard in 4e has far greater options and spells available to them than a 3e wizard does.
The differeance is the power of the spells. I could make myself hard to hit for 1-2 hours, then for 1 encounter I could be the tank easily.

Magic missile is a glorified crossbow, A crossbow bolt by any other name is STILL a crossbow bolt

instead of the janky encounter powers you had color spray and sleep or color spray and mage armor (And sheild if you were a grey elf)

In short 3e wizards are better then 4e wizards at every level and most of the time even if 3e was a few levels lower its better still.

A low level wizard in 4e has far greater options and spells available to them than a 3e wizard does.

I do not agree at all. Not even in the slightest. Especialy if you had a 20 int (easily atainable via grey elf.)
The differeance is the power of the spells. I could make myself hard to hit for 1-2 hours, then for 1 encounter I could be the tank easily.

Versus now where a good intelligence makes you harder to hit all the time without the need for a spell to do it. If you really want to focus on defense take the staff implement mastery and/or shield at second level and even if they do land a lucky blow you have decent chance of turning that hit into a miss. Finally, for the price of a feat you can wear leather armor.

A starting 3e wizard with a 16 Dex and mage armor would have a 17 AC for 1hour a day. A starting 4e wizard with an 18 Int, the staff, and leather armor has a 17 AC all day every day (and it bumps to 18 at 2nd level).

Magic missile is a glorified crossbow, A crossbow bolt by any other name is STILL a crossbow bolt

First, it's far better than a crossbow since it keys off your primary attribute and so will not see itself become worthless as your +1/2 BAB is eclipsed by monster AC, it works against Reflex which is usually a lower target number, and it takes no actions to reload and never runs out of ammo.

Second, as a wizard you have more options than just magic missile. You can, at-will drop balls of fire 15 feet across, blow opponents in melee range back from you with a wave of thunder, slow an enemy to a crawl with a blast of ice, or accost them with a cloud of force daggers. Every one of those at-will attacks is better than any 3e 1st level attack spell (and most 2nd level 3e attack spells).

instead of the janky encounter powers you had color spray and sleep or color spray and mage armor (And sheild if you were a grey elf)

Which, since you only have the ability to cast one per day (in addition to your mage armor) would be better likened to the 1st level daily spells, like flaming sphere and sleep. Then you get an encounter attack power that's better than your daily powers (which are themselves as good as 1st-2nd level 3e attack spells) once per encounter.

I do not agree at all. Not even in the slightest. Especialy if you had a 20 int (easily atainable via grey elf.)

Easily? Only if you're doing point buy... statistically speaking you're only going to get a natural 18 on the dice rolling method one out of every five characters or so.

To point buy that base eighteen in the standard rules is going to have a pretty high opportunity cost which is basically going to shut down your ability to get a high Dex (which you'd need to get your much touted awesome defense) or Con (which you'd need for actual hit points).

Only in a campaign where you're doing things like "re-roll all ones" or "48 point buy" are you seriously going to get the stats you need to credibly match a low-level 3e wizard against a default 4e one and have the 3e one not look sucktacular.
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