Down with invokers

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Marforp
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Down with invokers

Postby Marforp » Fri Apr 06, 2001 7:54 am

Hehe why I'm bothering to post this I don't know...but with the addition of some real damage spells and a wider amount of them to shamans and druids I really think it would be very intersting to see what would develop without invokers. I would give an additional spell or two to the new enchanters (who would then revert back to sorcs). Damage would be ditched out by shamans/druids magically and by rouges/rangers physically. Warriors would be the old time tank they used to be...ahh would be interesting.

FYI to those who thought warriors were always big hp damage machines...in the beginning you would have 3+ sorc in your group to do some pretty heavy damage while the warriors did a little damage and sucked up the hits. I remember when BS first came in my warrior, Mfal, teamed up with 3 or four other warriors, 3 sorcs who nuked/stoned, and some healers and we all got this really spiffy armor (okay so it was only AC and everyone hates it these days) off the guards...ahh the good old days.

I just think it would be interesting to see and easier to balance all the other races/classes that way.

Marforp / Sasdor
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Postby Corth » Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:10 pm

I wholly endorse Marforp's idea.

Everyone knows my view that sorcerors were a superbly balanced class and superior to any of the current mage classes.

Illusionists might very well end up being a unique and well balanced class. The danger of course is that they end up being defensively weaker than enchanters, offensively weaker than invokers, and thus ineffective in general.

Ideally, imho, invokers should be removed and offense made up by upgrading hitters and the already upgraded druids and shamans. Then you bring back the sorceror class as it was, and carve a niche for illusionists.

I'm by no means suggesting btw that illusionists just become substituted invokers (i.e. pure damage dealers). That would accomplish nothing. I think that illusion is vastly different than invocation and enchantment, and that an illusionist class could co-exist with sorcerors and have its own unique flavor.

Corth

[This message has been edited by Corth (edited 04-06-2001).]
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Postby Corth » Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:29 pm

I just wanted to add why I feel that hitters should be the primary damage dealers.

Mage damage is hardly effected at all by equipment. A naked level 50 invoker presumably does as much damage as a fully equipped one (except if lack of eq causes stats to be lower).

Now I've heard in the past about how ideally the mud should become more skill based as opposed to eq based. This goal has been put forth in the past to justify mages being the primary damage dealers. However, it takes *no skill* to mindlessly spam out c 'inferno'.

So whats the result? By emphasizing mage damage over hitter damage, you have effectively decreased the importance of equipment. Obviously equipment is still very important, but less so than in the past. In the past, the hitters needed equipment in order to do the damage which was their responsibility. Now, all you need is a naked enchanter and your unequipped group does as much damage as your fully equipped group.

Furthermore, in doing this, you have undermined the essential thing that makes sojourn gameplay fun (I use the word gameplay to exclude the social element of mudding). The structure of the game is go out and kill monsters so you can get rewarded with stuff that will make it easier for you to kill more monsters so that you can be rewarded with.. etc etc etc. When equipment is made even slightly less important you undermine this basic structure, and gameplay suffers. Hence, hitters feel as if they are underpowered... which they are.

Corth
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Postby Gindipple » Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:31 pm

I'm not sure I like this idea too much. But if, just for speculation, this route was considered. I could see the old Sorc and then make specialize really mean something.

A Sorc that specs in fire would get crap stoneskins, and one that specs in enchantment would get great stonekins.

In the current system though it does feel natural that the invokers should be the biggest damage dealers around.

As to the illusionists, it does seem to me they will fall into a niche class. Along these same lines though the conjurer seems to have fallen into this with the loss of his big mentals. I personally loved conjurers before, but when mentals went, I had to find a new home. Not saying I think mentals should be back were they were, just that I enjoyed playing them that way.

Also as a practiced enchanter I'm not sure I would want to be dividing my attention between damage and protection in a fast paced group. The seperation from Sorc to invoker/enchanter is one of the better changes I think I've seen on the mud.



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Postby Corth » Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:35 pm

So to conclude my two previous posts:

get rid of invokers! Image

Corth
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Postby Corth » Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:38 pm

Gindipple:

You said: "Also as a practiced enchanter I'm not sure I would want to be dividing my attention between damage and protection in a fast paced group"

Well I played the game when that was a fact of life for sorcerors. Dividing attention between damage and protection was exactly what made the class challenging, and thus fun. I don't know if you played a sorc. There aren't very many old school sorc's around. I think that many people who never played the class have become so used to the enchanter/invoker division that they can't possibly understand how fun it is to play a truly well rounded class

Corth
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Postby namatoki » Fri Apr 06, 2001 1:08 pm

Hmmm... After reading your posts, I see valid arguements, but I have one question. What were sorcerers divided in the first place? If we go back to the days of old with sorcerers, will that again unbalance the mud? Personally, I think find playing non-casting classes boring and invokers are quite fun. I've never gotten to inferno, so I can't say much about that. Invokers have their purpose to serve as hitters as well. I think with MR in, it will be very interesting to see how effective invokers will be.

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Postby Corth » Fri Apr 06, 2001 1:16 pm

Namatoki:

To answer your question, nobody has ever argued that the old sorc was in any way unbalanced. What happened was that the powers that be decided to switch the philosophy of the mud to an emphasis on casting damage as opposed to hitting damage. If they were to give sorc's more damage, then the class would become unbalanced. What they did was split the class into invokers and enchanters, divide the spells between them (enchanters defense, invokers offense), and then add additional offensive and defensive spells to the respective classes.

My problem with the division is:

1. The philosophy is all wrong. Hitters should be doing the damage. (see above)

2. The sorc class was *really fun* when it was well rounded. Dividing it into two one-dimensional classes created two inferior classes.
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Postby cherzra » Fri Apr 06, 2001 2:37 pm

I don't really have any problem with invokers casting 5000hp damage spells, nor do I have a problem with rogues (and probably rangers) doing such insane amounts of range damage with darts, that a single rogue takes the mob down a notch each round, while 4 hitters hitting it can't do anything.

What is really bitter is that 95% of all weapons were downgraded to 3d4 +2 +2 at most, and eq across the board lost hit and dam. With the classes mentioned above doing insane damage, does it really hurt to make some of the better weapons 3d5, 3d6 or even 4d5? Or to raise the hit/dam on them to e.g. +3 +4 for real nice weapons? Considering the impact this will have - about 7 more damage per hit - and comparing this to invokers/rogues/rangers, it seems almost laughable.

Then it becomes very bitter that the reasoning behind it is 'warriors/antis/paladins are not damage dealers', since the difference between a 3d4 and a 3d6 weapon is absolutely negligible in comparison, but it means a lot to players. I know it would give me a great deal of satisfaction to have a 5d4 +3 +3 from a big zone, as opposed to the generic 2d7 +2 +2 stuff that is commonplace now, even if I knew that the actual impact this would have on my damage is superficial.
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Postby Sarvis » Fri Apr 06, 2001 3:03 pm

Heh. You should see archery against lowbie mobs like gnolls.

But the weapons thing affects us too. Image I'd be happy with just a 3d4 +3 +3 at this point... specially since I heard rumours that archery will be downgraded. So... any chance weapons will be restored to their former glory?

Sarvis
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Postby Wobb » Fri Apr 06, 2001 5:11 pm

I agree totally with marforp.

The separation of classes never tripped my trigger. I thought the original sorcerer class, and the ability to specialize in a given area gave more individuality and playability to the class than the current separations do. I feel TERRIBLE for enchanters and wouldn't play one if someone paid me to.

I'm highly opinionated but, the more these classes specialize and separate, the more people you need to have around to do zones...if that's the admin's goal, great...it should work. If it's not, I would highly reconsider bringing back sorcerers.

Or if you really have a division, bring back the sorcerer in ADDITION to the other separations, and have some type of configurable set of spells for the sorcerers, that mix spells from each class. That way, if person wants to be the Uber damage, let them be an invoker, if person is happy playing the stoner/glober, fine they can be an enchanter, but if a person wants to be able to do some of each, give them a set of spells that won't take away from the others but still allows sorcs to be useful in high level zones.

Got all that!?

Wobb
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Postby Yadir » Fri Apr 06, 2001 5:30 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Wobb:
I feel TERRIBLE for enchanters and wouldn't play one if someone paid me to.

Um.. I'm not sure the enchanters from Soj2 would agree with you Wobb. See other threads to read enchanters' perspectives..(like Jegzed's enchanter rant) I read a lot of positive feedback on the class. I know my brother (Xaril) played an enchanter to 48 and loved it. He could solo SO much stuff it was silly. (Reduce, Dscales, Major Para, PWB, etc.) The exp was a little slow for him but he kept up w/ my Invoker almost level for level. You have to study the class to maximize their strengths, to be sure, but once they reach higher levels they are very powerful.

Or if you really have a division, bring back the sorcerer in ADDITION to the other separations, and have some type of configurable set of spells for the sorcerers, that mix spells from each class. That way, if person wants to be the Uber damage, let them be an invoker, if person is happy playing the stoner/glober, fine they can be an enchanter, but if a person wants to be able to do some of each, give them a set of spells that won't take away from the others but still allows sorcs to be useful in high level zones.

If I'm not mistaken, Illusionists are going to fit your description of a 'middle' sorc class that has a mix of both enchanter and invoker classes.. with unique spells that will be useful in high level zones. Image

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Postby thruar » Fri Apr 06, 2001 5:43 pm

I have to agree with what marforp and corth is hinting at. If invokers staying in, downgrade their damage output to more reasonable means.
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Postby moritheil » Fri Apr 06, 2001 6:03 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Corth:
<B>I just wanted to add why I feel that hitters should be the primary damage dealers.

Mage damage is hardly effected at all by equipment. A naked level 50 invoker presumably does as much damage as a fully equipped one (except if lack of eq causes stats to be lower).

Now I've heard in the past about how ideally the mud should become more skill based as opposed to eq based. This goal has been put forth in the past to justify mages being the primary damage dealers. However, it takes *no skill* to mindlessly spam out c 'inferno'.

So whats the result? By emphasizing mage damage over hitter damage, you have effectively decreased the importance of equipment. Obviously equipment is still very important, but less so than in the past. In the past, the hitters needed equipment in order to do the damage which was their responsibility. Now, all you need is a naked enchanter and your unequipped group does as much damage as your fully equipped group.

Furthermore, in doing this, you have undermined the essential thing that makes sojourn gameplay fun (I use the word gameplay to exclude the social element of mudding). The structure of the game is go out and kill monsters so you can get rewarded with stuff that will make it easier for you to kill more monsters so that you can be rewarded with.. etc etc etc. When equipment is made even slightly less important you undermine this basic structure, and gameplay suffers. Hence, hitters feel as if they are underpowered... which they are.

Corth</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

1) what skill does it take to hit "afire mob"; collect trigger when dead?
2) eq is very necessary to keep those tiny lil' gnome vokers alive.
3) no hitter has ever complained about being underpowered that I've seen (well, not seriously). I had a group of about 12 people the other day, and almost all damage was dealt in magic and arrows. The ranger leveled about 3 times to my once, if not more.
4) the structure of the game is you get more *levels* which makes it easier to kill stuff if you're clever.

In summary: warriors need eq to hit. Casters need eq to live. Warriors easier at lowlevels and get tougher, casters, reverse.
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Postby izarek » Fri Apr 06, 2001 6:10 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by moritheil:
<B> 1) what skill does it take to hit "afire mob"; collect trigger when dead?

The ranger leveled about 3 times to my once, if not more.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

point 1: doesnt require skill, but theres an inherent danger in aggr the wrong mobs with misfires. also hellishly expensive.

point 2: its true that rangers will level faster than invokers at these low levels. However at high levels, imho the vokers go faster. I think that fits the convention in AD&D.

Anyhow, my 2 cents on vokers and conjies being thrown out? Thats silly. You like playing a sorc? Play an illusiionist then. The current system (including illusionists) allow ppl to play 1) babysitters (ench) 2) nukers (vokers) 3) pet owners (necro and conjies) and 4) balanced (illus). If you dont like illusionists being called illusionists then use zmud and have it replace all mention of illusionist with sorcerer :P

Izzy
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Postby Galkar » Fri Apr 06, 2001 6:13 pm

One question, which would hurt more, stab wound in the leg, or getting pummeled (sp?) by fireballs and meteors? If you think about it, mages should be able to do massive damage, while the warriors and such protect them, that seems more affective in the long run to me.... granted, warriors and the like see less real action I guess... Just a thought.

Also, I think hitters are getting kinda carried away with the name "hitters"... Personally, if I were a warrior (which I don't play usually) I'd love to have an invoker in back, casting massive spells, even if I didn't get a ton of action.... i tank for him, he kills for me... anyway, i'll quit rambling.

Galkar

[This message has been edited by Galkar (edited 04-06-2001).]
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Postby Vysslk » Fri Apr 06, 2001 6:24 pm

Well I guess someone has to post FOR the Invokers heh. Iv'e played with Invokers..and AS an Invoker in the past and I think the Class is excellent. Its not so much the dmg they deal out..which is tremendous yes...its the aspect of the class. In every class there is a certain " excitement factor" as I would call it to playing the class. When I first played a Necromancer on Soj2 and finally got to lvl 11 to raise skeletons and zombies I was hysterical. " The corpse of a blah blah come to life with the awesome power of you art" <-- something like that..hehe. I thought that was the coolest thing and all it was was a message on the damn screen. But it gave me a sense of how neat the class was to play. Now I never played a sorc on Toril when there was sorcs but I feel if they were merged back together Enchanters/Invokers or whatever thet ppl that wanted a sorc to group in my mind would be using them for there defensive skills rather than there offensive. Of course I know there are conjies..I played one of those at the request of many Evils since there was a shortage at the time. But I wanted a character that could just punish the living hell out of mobs. Damage can always be tweaked but out-right wiping the class would be bad IMO. Besides...how many Invokers are there now compared to when they first came out? Not as many as I have seen. Invokers will always need groups, and groups will always need Invokers. playing an Invoker was one of the most fun classes I have played since I started the mud...and not because they do a ton of damage because of thier flavor and spells/skills etc. Pretty much everything that makes up each class in its own right.

- Vysslk
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Postby Sarvis » Fri Apr 06, 2001 7:00 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by moritheil:
<B> 1) what skill does it take to hit "afire mob"; collect trigger when dead?
2) eq is very necessary to keep those tiny lil' gnome vokers alive.
3) no hitter has ever complained about being underpowered that I've seen (well, not seriously). I had a group of about 12 people the other day, and almost all damage was dealt in magic and arrows. The ranger leveled about 3 times to my once, if not more.
4) the structure of the game is you get more *levels* which makes it easier to kill stuff if you're clever.

In summary: warriors need eq to hit. Casters need eq to live. Warriors easier at lowlevels and get tougher, casters, reverse.

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

1) Let's see... ranger duties: hit things, rescue wimpy casters, bash if needed, keep tanks barked, help people keep things like di up... take care of ourselves because everyone leaves us (me) behind with collect lag and don't realize it because of autosneak. Image Caster duties: ca 'inferno' * 10; allow himself to be rescued by said ranger.

2) eq is very necessary to keep "hitters" (and by hitters I mean rangers) alive, and more importantly, make them useful. 'Vokers are useful even when naked.

3a) You were around during Soj2 right? We complained constantly... the longest thread on the bbs was all of us bitching about the weapon downgrades.

3b) All damage done by magic and arrows? Err... this is true now... but magic still did a lot, and bows will probably soon be downgraded.

4) The point of the game is both levels and eq. How many people would still play if there were no quests for spanky eq?

In Summary: Don't think it's easy to play a ranger just because we get some nice lookin arrows. Our lives are probably more difficult than casters at even mid levels. Not to mention that enchanters and vokers are still considered more important to have in a zone group than rangers are, so they get more groups in the first place.

Note: I'm not against 'vokers. They are kind of fun to play... or at least more fun than the other casters. Image I just think that their damage should be balanced with hitter damage. Which reminds me...

Galkar: Neither would "hurt more." Both would kill ye. This is not real life. Image (Well not in leg, but we get hit in the stomach and head a lot too...)
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Postby Corth » Fri Apr 06, 2001 10:09 pm

ok..

Moritheil, You said: "what skill does it take to hit "afire mob"; collect trigger when dead?"

I didn't play Soj2 so I can't really comment on current archery/throw code. As far as hitting though, the damage that a hitter does is based in large part on their equipment. When a caster tosses off a nuke, the damage done has nothing to do with the equipment their using. I suppose the skill comes in because it takes more time, and is more difficult, to outfit a hitter to do damage.

Cherza:

What I think you are saying is that you don't care how much damage anyone does, so long as hitter damage is balanced relative to everyone else. Thats approximately what I'm saying. However, it seems to me that to do this, invokers would have to suffer such a stiff downgrade, that the invoker class would be severely unbalanced. Even if they continued to do more damage than hitters, after a significant downgrade, they would be overly weak. Why not just roll a warrior instead and do slightly less damage but have all the hps, rescue, bash etc.

The problem with the invoker class is that it *is* balanced. They are one-dimensional, like monks, and taking away anything substantial from that *one area* in which they are powerful will significantly unbalance the class. But it needs to be done - the emphasis should once again be on hitter damage (see above). I suggest getting rid of the two one-dimensional classes (enchanters and invokers) and bringing back the well rounded sorc, complimented by the new illusionists.

Corth
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Postby Ragorn » Fri Apr 06, 2001 10:24 pm

Archery damage is directly related to a Ranger's damage roll, and therefore his equipment. Invoker damage is unrelated to equipment, allowing invokers to function at full power even if naked.

A badly equipped invoker puts out more damage than the best dressed ranger or rogue. Exponentially more, as you start fighting multiple mobs at a time. I'm glad someone else sees something wrong with this equasion.

The solution I've proposed and continue to support is, remove all of the damage-dealing area spells. Replace them with area spells which do modest damage and inflict effects on mobs. For instance, I like thunderclap. It's moderate damage with a chance to stun. Instead of meteor swarm, code a medium damage area spell with a chance to blind. Or a chance to slow. Or ray of enfeeble. Or bash. Or stun. Or silence. Or any one of 30 some odd possible outcomes. Make casting areas more than just mindlessly mashing buttons, and make dealing damage more than just bringing 4 invokers with swarm.

Invokers have a worthy single-target spell for every circle through 8th. Force missiles can outdamage a stacked ranger shooting his bow, at least it did last wipe (tested!). There's nothing wrong with making invokers choose between area effects and straight damage.

We're hitters. We hit. We don't do much else, and we don't do it very well.

- Ragorn
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Postby Mplor » Sat Apr 07, 2001 2:55 am

Interesting philosophical approach to the subject. I always maintained I would swap Mplor the Invoker for Mplor the Monk on Soj2. I find it humorous to see non-invokers use the word 'mindless' when describing how to play an invoker. It actually took a while before we learned how to use invokers as fully as we did, in a zone situation. I wonder if playing a class well is a deathknell for that class. *shrug*

Aaaaanyway, I dont think the mud would be worse off without Invokers. Big nukers present almost impossible balance problems when introduced as a class, for reasons Corth has explained. An Invoker gains power by leveling. Honestly that was less fun for me than playing melee, where you were always hunting for that extra damroll bonus. I plan on playing melee again this time around.

Magic resistance only means that invokers will be less useful on uber/special mobs. Part of the reason I never did Tiamat on Soj2 was I didnt see the point leading a zone I wouldnt be able to land half my spells. Having your spells bounce off mobs is 10x less fun than, say, a monk who can't hit wraithforms with their normal prowess. *rubs his temples* I predict great dissatisfaction for high level Invokers if Magic Resistance is used as a tool to balance Invokers.

Bad effects for using more than one powerful area effect damage spell in the same room at the same time is a good step. It will actually prove to be a huge step towards making uber encounters uber, if tweaked effectively.

Finally, the philosophical question. Toril was oriented towards melee. Some powerful advocates of the caster classes felt casters were shafted by being mainly support. The FR basis of the game included magic users more powerful than any on Toril. But by making these powerful nukers available as a general class, I think Soj2 ran into a cul-de-sac of creativity. Powerful nukers in FR are painfully rare and can take lifetimes to mature. On Soj2, once you made a class that is so powerful broadly available to anyone who has the time and energy to level one up, you've not only lost your basis in FR, you've hit a damage ceiling. A level 50 invoker with his quest spells can never hope to improve his damage output by doing a zone, but likewise can never lose it either.

One partial solution to making Invokers more fun to play might be to create a new stat, similar to a damroll for spell casters. A nice item might have +15hp and +1 spell-bonus. All nukes for all classes would have a damage range lower than currently, but still considerable. Casters could increase their personal spell effectiveness modifier by a rate calculated using their spell-roll score. Grey elven nukers would have higher innate spell-roll, humans greater hitpoints.

Spell-roll could also make cleric's "full heals" actually heal more fully. Haste or vit with a high spellroll could last longer.

While yer at it, why not a spell-hitroll that can help overcome Magical Resistance.

Suddenly, nukers are alot more dependent on equipment. High damage might still be attainable, but like a high-damage warrior wielding a fearsome weapon, a mighty nuker would have rare and powerful equipment.

Some of you may hear this and remember when Sojourn spellcasting was mana based. Having more mana let you cast more spells in a given time, and wearing +mana equip let you cast more spells before you had to meditate. However, that isnt the problem with current nukage...with all nukers being big nukers, a fight is over before mana would be out. Mana isn't a solution. Besides, I really like spell memorization as a feature on Soj.

I dunno, I'm rambling. I think that stuff might make an Invoker more fun to play, and I might play one on Soj3. It still comes down to philosophy... some people like casters for just the reason that they dont have to subscribe to the equipment chase. I actually like that myself, not having the free time I once had.

Ehe, I'll re-read this tomorrow and edit/pare it so its more cogent and coherent.

Mplor


[This message has been edited by Mplor (edited 04-06-2001).]
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Postby Gindipple » Sat Apr 07, 2001 3:22 am

Mplor,
You hit on something interesting here, invokers would be a great class if they were painfully rare. Perhaps if they were much harder to level than other classes, but got all the powerful nukeage of now. This would weed out those players that picked them as a general class. I think Lich falls into this type of char as well. Very powerful, but who's gonna dedicate the time to making them, few people will. If Lich was a starter class they'd be getting the same problem of being called overpowered and unbalancing.

Solution: Make invokers super hard to level and add a disclaimer.

This is nothing against any invoker, just an thought in general.


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Postby Corth » Sat Apr 07, 2001 4:09 am

Mplor:

I like your thoughts on how nuke damage could be linked to eq. It wouldn't have to be limited to just invokers also. Hitters need AC, hit, dmg, and hitpoints. Casters only currently need hps, and arguably, ac. By making casters more dependent upon eq, you open up more options to area makers, and solve some sticky balancing issues.

Of course, I would still argue that invokers should be removed. As you said: "I dont think the mud would be worse off without Invokers" I agree. In fact, I think the mud would be much better off with more well rounded classes, as opposed to classes that are there for one purpose (e.g. offense, defense, taxi).

With caster damage upgraded in general (see recent changes to druids and shaman), the removal of invokers will not significantly upset mudwide balance. And any minor problems could be quickly rectified, im sure, with the new toggle system built in.

The way I see it, hitters and casters should share damage responsibility almost equally. Hitters get the ability to rescue, bash, use range weapons etc. Casters get the additional non-damage abilities inherent to their class (i.e. druids get moonwell, sorcerors get enchantments). Such a division of class roles will result in well rounded and balanced classes that are more fun to play

Corth
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Postby Tanras » Sat Apr 07, 2001 4:13 am

I love this idea of having spelldamage linked to equiptment. Would mean totally redoing spell damage equations, but I LOVE IT. The only reason i dont like playing caster classes it the equip just doesnt make that much of a difference. If you lower spell damage across the board but give damage equip to get to or even past previous levels with really nice stuff I would LOVE IT.

Tanras
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Postby Corth » Sat Apr 07, 2001 4:33 am

Yeah it really is a great idea. I hope the powers that be notice mplor's post

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Postby Marforp » Sat Apr 07, 2001 4:36 am

So I'm reading all the replys to my post and I'm nodding my head at Corth saying "You go!", "Yeah, tell em dat again", etc.... Then suddenly Mplor of all people (j/k) suddenly says something that makes me stop and say hrmm....I have heard of some rumors which are seriously going to limit the number of invokers, but since I wasn't around for Alpha or know what the gods talk about it's just rumors for now (and still I think the argument vs. invokers is strong). Anyway, tuning down invokers damage to allow them to tune it back up to the current level (or hell even a little higher) is very interesting...they would end up with sig. less hp/sv_spell if they want to do max damage....very interesting.

Along the whole illusionist line...I'm not sure what spells they are going to end up having, but they aren't going to have heal (obviously), they aren't going to be damage machines (read that as: they rolled an illuisionist not invoker), and they aren't going to have stone/dragonscales. Those are the only three things you need in a group so I have a feeling they going to end up like the old druids or conj (before the big mentals came about).

A final note...having played pretty much all the classes to a high level in all the versions Toril/Sojourn I can say that the old sorc was the most challenging to play by far (except possibly being the main tank with bashing responsibility). Currently invoker spamms cast a certain spell with basically no thought (is it an area spell time or single mob time). Enchanters stone/dragonscales when tank says to (or *gasp* actually glances and casts before they say so). Warriors last time was pretty mindless to (with big mentals you just assist or target and shieldpunch/bash the mob the leader told you to). I could go on with all the other classes and say shaman auto-cast heals when someone tels him to or an area spell goes off (ahh easy triggers), etc.... Sorc had to keep the tank stones (since mentals were crap it was HAD TO!!!) and in spare time toss out damage spells because we did as much or, usually, more then the warriors (this was actually before awesome monks came about). ahh the good old days

Marforp / Sasdor
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Postby Jurdex » Sat Apr 07, 2001 8:11 am

Just got home from playing 3rd edition.

I like the idea Mplor has, however I think it needs fine tuning.

You should have eq that gives "Arcane Points" for enchanters and invokers or whatever and "Divine Points" or whatever for priestly types.

It doesn't make sense for a spell-roll stat to effect clerics and invokers across the board. Invokers harness the magic, priests pray for their spells.

Two different types of magics, no?

Just my thoughts.

Allows for even more eq to give area makers even more freedom in making items, etc.

Jurdex/Dornax
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Postby Ruhr » Sat Apr 07, 2001 9:56 am

Allow me to play devil's advocate for a moment.

Casters want a piece of the action also, as evidenced by the new druid/shaman offensive spell capabilities. In light of this, entirely removing the invoker class would signify a retreat from what passes for conventional wisdom these days in the Sojourn pantheon.

Is there a middle ground? Of course.

Suggestion: You want real old-school Sojourn2 invokers to be rare, then make invokers a prestige class like liches; so rather than downgrading invoker offensive spell capabilities, or coding an elaborate new magic system tied to equipment, you can achieve a practical compromise--in conjunction with moderate hitter eq/thaco upgrades.
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Postby Wargar » Sat Apr 07, 2001 3:10 pm

Shrug, time/effort permitting here would be my vision:

Available classes:
A) Sorcerer

B) Illusionst

Sorcs: Nukes well (less than invokers currently, but more than old-shool sorcs) and gains a short term (non-spec ench) stoneskin at say 36th.

Illus: Gains stoneskin (stronger than sorcs) at say 21st, and can nuke moderately (less than sorc), also gains say Steelskin (not as strong as dscales but better than stone) at 36th.

However! Like necro's, once they are 50th lvl they can complete a quest (study or whatever RP issue you wanna put on it) that would change them: Sorc ---> invoker, Illusionist ---> Enchanter

Invoker would still have stoneskin at 36th but is primarily for offense, and gains some of the current Invoker spells at completion of quest.

Enchanter can still nuke (better than they currently can) but is primarily for defense.. gains dscales and another few spells.


As some of the above posts mentioned, this would bring down the dmg ability of nukers, bring down the defense of ench at same time, yet leave it open for the all-powerful nuker/protectors to materalize (Elminster = sorc turned Invoker for FR purposes etc)

Babble babble babble, yadda yadda. Bah, hope somebody even understands this! Image

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Postby Corth » Sat Apr 07, 2001 4:35 pm

Wargar:

Your post assumes that invokers are unbalanced and should thus be downgraded but with the ability to regain their current spells.

I fail to see how they are unbalanced. Invokers, unlike other classes, have one purpose, damage. It stands to reason then that they would be super-powerful in the one area that they are given skills. If you take much nuking from invokers, they won't be worth playing. Sure, eventually they would complete some silly quest that everyone knows and become whole again. But thats like making a warrior quest for bash at level 50...

As far as an enchanter downgrade, well that would be a mistake. If not removal, which i'm advocating, they need an upgrade.

This is not a flame or anything, but your suggestions for the illusionist and sorceror class make me cringe Image You place them between enchanters (Defense) and invokers (offense) with sorcerors being closer to invokers, and illusionists being closer to enchanters. This is exactly what has to be avoided. These hypothetical mage classes would not be able to compete against the defensive ability of an enchanter or the offensive power of an invoker.

Now if invokers and enchanters are taken out.. I am all for classes that have mixed offensive and defensive powers. There used to be such a class.. sorceror.

Corth
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Postby Wargar » Sat Apr 07, 2001 7:29 pm

Shrug, Invokers aren't unbalanced really, just.. they don't fit. Removing the areas (Give them a really powerful single target nuke instead of inferno/swarm, with a high taunt factor (force switch like para) would be one possible change. Some of the current !area changes sound interesting though (spell conflits etc) so maybe they'll work great :P.

Otherwise i'd say *agree* and vote for complete removal of Invokers and gimme my damn sorc back *nod me*.

My idea was based more around a lenghty mud-wide change in the spell system/dynamics, not just a quick fix to the Invoker situation.

Bored and Babbling - Wargar/Sarlend


PS: My only _real_ problem with invokers is this: They aren't nearly as challenging/fun as our sorcs were, and likewise they reduce the challenge/fun for tanks/hitters in the group. To me, that means they are the ones that be changed. (Basically we vision them the same, just different possible ways to fix it Image).



[This message has been edited by Wargar (edited 04-07-2001).]
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Postby cherzra » Sat Apr 07, 2001 10:31 pm

Invokers really are ok, they just need to level slower, do lower damage, or be a quest class.

Everyone who says 'invokers must go' has apparently never done manscorpions. Remove vokers without due compensation to other classes in terms of damage, and that zone will be a no-no.

Removing them is silly, splitting sorcs into enchanters and invokers wasn't a bad thing. I wouldn't mind sorcs being back though, with access to both spheres of magic, but with less damage/duration for their spells as penalty to having both. Same for mercs, but that is another topic.
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Postby Corth » Sat Apr 07, 2001 11:43 pm

Yeah, all the people who played a sorc prior to the enchanter/invoker division, and are posting here, want the class brought back. I guess its cause they played both classes and so they know that the new classes don't even compare. And of the people defending the division, I don't think any of them played a sorc. My take on it is that people are just used to the way things are. Thats ok though, cause I'm just gonna keep hammering this point Image

Cherza: Yeah, damage would have to be made up by remaining classes. Hopefully, hitters.

Corth
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Postby Galok Icewolf » Sat Apr 07, 2001 11:51 pm

It isn't gonna happen Corth, spells will be downgraded a bit prolly. The days of silence fights and/or hitters just going at something are over. Get over it, the mud has changed.
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Postby Jurdex » Sun Apr 08, 2001 12:03 am

Manscorpions?

It was my *least* favorite zone on the mud.

You bring six nukers and just slaughter everything, and warriors die here and there cuz the 15 mobs in the room didn't die in 2 rounds, just 3, heh (I am speaking figuratively).

Invokers are a poor substitute to monks for the reasons previously stated - most significant is that they are powerful naked.

Also, invokers don't require _that_ much skill to play.

No one is saying that there were no skilled players who played invokers or skilled invokers even. There were several.

However, the dropoff between a very very good invoker versus a lesser invoker in terms of skill as a player wasn't very noticeable.

Just like monks.

You could be an idiot, still do a sufficient job as one. There were very good monks, its just the margin that separates a bad one versus a great one is narrow.

Whereas you can be a bad cleric/warrior/enchanter/etc, mediocre one, good one, excellent one..

Jurdex/Dornax


[This message has been edited by Jurdex (edited 04-07-2001).]
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Postby Corth » Sun Apr 08, 2001 1:23 am

Galok:

You said in the general discussion forum:

"I am positive that the staff welcomes contructive critisism, but when people throw a tantrum, they promptly get ignored. If you would like to make a comment, you are more then welcome to do so, but ranting about how the class you played without insight, thoughtfullness, or lacking backing, isnt going to acomplish much."

You didn't explicitly say that you were referring to me, but I think its clear that you were. So I have a question:

After reading this thread, where have I thrown a tantrum or ranted? Where have I lacked insight and thoughtfulness?

I write messages that I invite people to agree or disagree with. I try to be reasonable and explain my conclusions. Some very respected people such as Mplor, Dornax, Marforp, and Sarlend have contributed to this thread. Would these people take the time to comment on the topic of discussion if it was merely a rant?

Now you say (full text of message):

"It isn't gonna happen Corth, spells will be downgraded a bit prolly. The days of silence fights and/or hitters just going at something are over. Get over it, the mud has changed."

You, who are in favor of constructive criticism, contribute a two line message to the conversation in which you essentially say "shut up already". Also I'm still trying to figure out how silence fights have anything to do at all with invokers, sorc's or the conversation in general. And you accuse me of ranting and lacking insight. At least I state reasons for my conclusions.

Galok, if your going be self righteous, then at least adhere to your own rules...

Corth

[This message has been edited by Corth (edited 04-07-2001).]
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Postby Bopple » Sun Apr 08, 2001 2:19 am

Sorcie was funny to play and had much potential. I liked it too.

But i don't really see anything too bad with sorcerer division. It gave some perspectives to mud. Though invokers should be checked in numbers i think.

I'm down with reviving old sorcerer. But if it came back, i think there's no need to make an illusionist. Cuz there could be no real 'new' things. It's just different namings.
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Postby Mplor » Sun Apr 08, 2001 6:21 am

Invokers will stay in the game (and no Corth that's not a personal attack on you, your family, religion, race, or gender-preference). Perhaps creative ideas on how to balance invokers would be a good direction for this thread.

Victory is distilled from compromise.

Mp
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Postby Corth » Sun Apr 08, 2001 6:52 am

Right.. so if you want to talk about balancing invokers you might want to start a new thread... I don't think the title "down with invokers" is conducive to a discussion on balancing the class..

Corth



[This message has been edited by Corth (edited 04-08-2001).]
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Postby Tanras » Sun Apr 08, 2001 7:07 am

it has; however, turned in that direction because invokers ARE going to be in the game. Go with the flow.

Tanras
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Postby Corth » Sun Apr 08, 2001 8:27 am

Tanras:

I am well aware that invokers are going to be in the game. People keep repeating it like I dont know this. I read Miax's message just as you did.

I never had a real expectation that they would be removed. Of course, I still think that they should be. The reason I went to such lengths to explain why I feel this way is that I feel my perspective is valuable in the debate over mage roles and perhaps might influence any decisions made by the gods in this area.

I have been on this mud for approximately 5 years and I have seen many changes, both good and bad. That being the case, I am glad that I expressed my opinion... even if i've been called 'thoughtless' as a result.

Corth
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Postby Galok Icewolf » Sun Apr 08, 2001 9:21 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Corth:
<B>Galok:

You said in the general discussion forum:

"I am positive that the staff welcomes contructive critisism, but when people throw a tantrum, they promptly get ignored. If you would like to make a comment, you are more then welcome to do so, but ranting about how the class you played without insight, thoughtfullness, or lacking backing, isnt going to acomplish much."

You didn't explicitly say that you were referring to me, but I think its clear that you were. So I have a question:

After reading this thread, where have I thrown a tantrum or ranted? Where have I lacked insight and thoughtfulness? </font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE> </B>

Actually, I was not refering to you, in my thoughts, that I had posted earlier. I had seen an alarming rise noticing that people were firing off half-cocked. Most of your posts have had supporting arguments attached to them. I guess you were just feeling defensive.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> <B>

I write messages that I invite people to agree or disagree with. I try to be reasonable and explain my conclusions. Some very respected people such as Mplor, Dornax, Marforp, and Sarlend have contributed to this thread. Would these people take the time to comment on the topic of discussion if it was merely a rant?

Now you say (full text of message):

"It isn't gonna happen Corth, spells will be downgraded a bit prolly. The days of silence fights and/or hitters just going at something are over. Get over it, the mud has changed."

You, who are in favor of constructive criticism, contribute a two line message to the conversation in which you essentially say "shut up already". Also I'm still trying to figure out how silence fights have anything to do at all with invokers, sorc's or the conversation in general. And you accuse me of ranting and lacking insight. At least I state reasons for my conclusions.

Galok, if your going be self righteous, then at least adhere to your own rules...

Corth
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you check, I was writing this in posting Ideas to Imms. I was blatantly telling YOU something. I was tired of the horse getting beaten over and over, and so was expressing that frustration. I am not self-righteous, I just know futility when I see it.
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Postby Ruhr » Sun Apr 08, 2001 11:51 am

Corth,

People will flame you if you come forward with a thread that is opposed to the status quo.

Do NOT feed the trolls; don't satisfy a troller by posting a response to his troll. If you do post a response, you have been trolled and this satisfies the troller's lust for conflict.

That being said, I'm not at all sure anything will happen here with invokers aside from spell damage downgrades--probably without a reciprocal upgrade in warrior eq stats and thac0.

*sigh*

Over the past couple years, certain assumptions have led to the current game philosophy. e.g.:<OL>[*]"Groups are too big." (result: group size restriction code)[*]"Monks are too strong." (result: monk class removed)[*]"Weapons and equipment are too powerful." (result: massive hitter/warrior equipment downgrades)[*]"Haste is baaaaadddd."[1] (result: perm-haste items removed)[*]"Big elementals/totems are bad." (result: mentals/totems downgraded to obsolescence)
[/list]

Now when you take these assumptions and try to create a balanced MUD--where hitters/casters do equal damage, there's a disconnect. So while on the surface you increase range weapon damage, it is really not a comprehensive equalizer, and the percentage of rogues/rangers will always be relatively small in groups.

While I understand that although I may not agree, these assumptions probably won't be reassessed. However, there can be a compromise:<ol>[*]decrease invoker spell damage[*]lower the damage done by darts and arrows[*]increase the thac0 and weapon stats for hitters and warriors[*]lower warrior vulnerability to bashing by mobs[*]increase warrior hit points or put in more +hp/+ac warrior/gear

[/list]

This, IMHO, is how you attain game balance.

[1] See Dana Carvey's George Bush Sr. impression.


[This message has been edited by Ruhr (edited 04-08-2001).]
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Postby Fezbozz » Sun Apr 08, 2001 2:10 pm

I like things the way they are. Invoker damage could be tweaked some but casters doing most of the damage isn't a terrible thing. Dunno maybe its my d&d back round but I have always felt thats the way it should be. Sorcerers where more versitile and probably more fun to play but invokers are more fun to play then a monk IMHO just typing assist tank never seemed very exciting to me. I look back at some of the old Tia logs and see monks beating on her and it makes me laugh. Punching a dragon hehe just never seemed right. Anyway I don't see how the eq could be a question all caster types don't need eq. Since the mud is so eq based should we just get rid of all casters since eq doesn't affect their powers. I agree that the weapons down grades where a bit harsh and I do agree that hitter damage should be upped some. I like to be able to play a class that I don't have to have good eq to get in groups. I remember when I first started playing here looking to get in WD eq groups as a warrior and the first question was always whats your hit and dam. I always hated that. Long live invokers but make hitters do more damage to hehe

[This message has been edited by Fezbozz (edited 04-08-2001).]
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Postby Guest » Sun Apr 08, 2001 3:46 pm

Very good thread. Allow me to post our response:

1) Invokers will not be removed, lets fix the class elegantly instead of cutting it out brutally. I agree with Corth that most of the bitching here about the division is coming form old schoolers, most of whome have never played a voker or enchanter to high level. I thus consider those opinions un-informed, you dont really Know what the classes are like. We can just as easily fix both enchanters and invokers, and both were played regularly and with great fondness by casters of S2.

2) I absolutely LOVE the idea of attaching a big dependency to invokers on some stat that affects their spellcasting damage. Mplor wins a brownie point for this one. I however have a problem with introducing more stats, we already have too many stats and players are complaining about their dependencies now that we have made Dextiery, Agility, and Charisma all meaning something. Its also very difficult to add new stats, as you have to follow it up with lots of new equipment, and I don't think that realistic at this stage of the game. I'm not sure Clerics need any changing at all in this regard, so how about the idea of using already existing stats, and applying one or more to spell damage. Power? Int? Come up with some ideas on how we could take existing stats and create the dependencies for spell casters on those stats, thus removing the deadly-naked mage from the mix, but at the same time not making it so bad that you have to spend every night finding the right equipment. I think casters should be half as dependent on EQ as warriors, and only for their spells.

3) Remember one thing.. Invokers are very powerful, but they drop like flies in the wind when attacked.

4) Realize another thing.. We have put in code that will cause spell casters great pains if they try to spam areas spells in concert. Those saying that vokers are easy, have another thing coming. Warriors can just hit all day. Vokers now have to make sure they arent casting the same thing as other vokers ... or else. Youll see. Image

4) Area spell damage is indeed too high, and will be downgraded - but not hugely. They are not terribly imbalanced, as someone pointed out, as spell casters do the major damage and warriors keep the fight going. I am totally opposed to the concept that warrior classes should be the tank and the damage dealer, cause that leads you right back to Sojourn 1 in which casters really didnt matter all that much. MR will not be applied as the fix to spell damage, some downgrads to high level voker spells will do just fine.

5) Another point.. Voker area spells dont even come into effect until higher levels, which most of you havn't even seen.. Your evidence of voker over-powered area spells is coming from where?

The idea of S3 is to make each class important somehow. For the Warrior and Paladin, they are the tanks, the sponges, and must rescue, bash, shieldpunch, and stay alive. I think thats more than enough role for them, and they will always be vital. The Ranger and Rogues will be the Monk replacements, not doing quite as much damage as monks did, but more than warriors and thus will make them important to groups to take down heavy mobs. Thus rangers and rogues will have a place. Clerics and Druids go without saying. Mages are damage dealers, thats their primary role. See the trend here? Sojourn has always been a group-based mud, and equalizing the classes creates great variety.

With all that said, we plan to spend the last few weeks of alpha balancing spell-casting. Do we have all the right ideas yet? No. But the Alpha test crews are helping us to get closer every day, and Im extremely confident that we will have a balanced, amicable solution when the mud goes live.

Miax
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Postby Todrael » Sun Apr 08, 2001 6:15 pm

I've read plenty of posts about damage, mage classes, mage powers, and groupability in the game. In virtually all of them, one of the classes I like the most, the Necromancer, is unrepresented. Is the purpose of the Necromancer now as Miax says, a damage dealer in a group? I intend to play Necromancer all the way to Lich when Beta opens, and I hope to be able to actually get there.

I've made it to level 21 in Alpha-1 so far as a drow necro. I'm having a lot of fun with spectres, but I'm wondering how we do damage? Every spell up to 5th circle does horrible damage, other than magic missile. Pain touch, spectral hand, nerve dance are all hardly worth casting. We do get ice storm at 5th circle, an area spell (it's been mentioned area spells are too powerful?), but it still appears we don't do the 'damage' of a 'mage' class.

I've never been a high level necromancer. I don't know how ghouls or wraiths work. I can't wait to boil people's blood or rain down upon them, or suck the moisture out of them. I just hope it does enough damage to make the necromancer worthwhile in a group.

Everyone says balance the enchanter and invoker (conjurer's and illusionists not being in completely to test/whine about). I'm wondering what the position is on the Necromancer? I've had a ton of people asking me questions about my experiences with it so far, and I'd like to be able to tell them more than "I use magic missile to kill the level 25 mobs I solo, and never cast the new spells."
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Postby Corth » Sun Apr 08, 2001 7:39 pm

Heh..

So you want to tie caster damage to a stat. And its not feasible to create a new stat of the type that mplor suggested.

Its going to sound strange, but an interesting idea would be using hitpoints (after modification by eq). Since mage classes almost exclusively wear hitpoint equipment, it would stand to reason that the mage with the most hispoints is the most accomplished. Such a system would definately attach nuking power to equipment. Another benefit is that it obviously gets rid of the naked nuker problem.

There are two problems with this approach that I can think of:

1. Natural hitpoint disparities between races. It would make no sense for a human invoker to do more damage then an identical (stats and eq) grey elf. However, what you could do is use intelligence as another stat on which you base damage. Since races with lower natural con usually have higher intelligence, it would be a wash.

On the other hand, a more straightforward way of handling the problem is to simply take race differences into account in the code.

2. The second problem is aesthetic. Nobody has ever attached casting ability to hitpoints that I know of. There is no intuitive link between the two.

Corth

[This message has been edited by Corth (edited 04-08-2001).]
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Postby Jurdex » Sun Apr 08, 2001 8:01 pm

Actually, Corth, the hit point argument has some basis in AD&D second edition (the edition out when Invokers became a part of the Sojourn world).

Invokers were a mage who specialized in invocation/evocation spells.

Only humans were allowed to be invokers/evokers.

Why?

Because a very high constitution was required to sustain the beating they took by using such powerful damage spells. I think you needed a 17 constitution to even be an invoker. Unusually high for a mage.

You could make power the stat. (int doesn't really make sense, neither does wisdom, constitution might be a factor.. heh make invokers a human only class, why not? its how it was meant to be)

Or you could make skills even more important.

Jurdex/Dornax
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Postby Elarin » Sun Apr 08, 2001 10:02 pm

why not use hit/dam stats for adding to spellcasters spell duration/damage hit would affect things like duration, the saving throw needed to resist the spell, damage would well, affect damage. The problem I can see with this is spells like Magic missile, if you applied damroll to each missile the spell would be even more over-powered than it is now.

just my random thought for today
Elarin
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Postby Xaril » Mon Apr 09, 2001 12:27 am

Since my name has been brought up I will add my 2 cents to this thread Image

Let me first say that I have played a rogue, paladin, monk, warrior, druid, ranger, and enchanter to level 46+ and have had great fun with all these classes. Each class has its own unique assets and disadvantages and it is unfair to say that a class categorically sucks. My understanding of what is desired for Sojourn is not to have an UBERclass that can do it all. All classes have limitations that encourage them to group to combine strengths and strengthen weaknesses. After that it is a question of balance. This question can be difficult in that everyone will always want a little more for the class that they hold dear; however, I believe that Miax and crew have done an excellent job of balancing most of the classes of the mud, especially the invoker/enchanter classes of which I have had the most experience on soj2.

As far as invoker damage is concerned, I think that the balance is about right. As Miax stated, they are frail and require backup in order to perform their duties as damage dealers. Invokers also have the limitation of having to mem where warriors, monks, rangers, etc can fight along their merry way as long as the stones/heals hold up. As for monks, my lvl 50 monk could kill a tough in Kang's Bar in 1 round, I don't know of any invoker spell that could do that, area or otherwise. These limitations make a nice balance for the group mentality of sojourn.

To change the subject for a sec and comment on Jurdex's comment: 'Invokers are a poor substitute to monks for the reasons previously stated - most significant is that they are powerful naked'. My lvl 50 monk used to go naked and assault the illithid hometown with stone/hastes potions when I was bored. They may be naked but they still have master dodge and 7d5 hands Image. Those brain golems took a major beating at his hands.

As a parting thought, anyone who says enchanters suck need to play one to a decent level. They are really quite powerful; not in the invoker blast your way through everything way, but in a more subtle, creative way. I very much enjoyed the enchanter class and plan to play one as primary in soj3. Go team Sojourn!

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