Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bait and Switch

I have played a Wizard in Everquest 2 since the day of release. The amount of damage this class could produce was awe inspiring. There are a great many trade offs for this; the biggest being lack of armor and health. One or two hits and its game over. "But look at those numbers flying up!" I thought... the trade off was worth it! And it has been worth it for a great some time...

But, something is different now. The Wizard class seems to have lost its way in the world of Norrath. We are no longer the T1 damage we once were. There seems to be two major problems so far as I can see:

1) Those big numbers are no longer a feature, they are a curse.

I am having huge aggro issues! Why does Sony give us these abilities to do so much damage if we can't use them? Fusion is an aggro magnet! Chain casting my AE abilities results in a quick and untimely death also (though Warlocks have it x2 times worse in this regard). WTH?!?

5000 does not equal 5 x 1000

Take two classes. One class deals 5000 damage at the end of a 5 second spell. The other class deals 1000 damage every second for 5 seconds. The class that dealt the 5000 damage will get aggro.

Basically I need to throttle my casting (or cast lesser spells) in order to keep aggro away from me. Why should a Wizard need to do this? No other class does this, they just go full bore!

There is a serious aggro ratio problem here. Sony is punishing the class that posts the big numbers, the defining characteristic of the Wizard.

2) The have and have-not's.

There seem to be two Wizard camps when you read the forums and what not. I call them the have's and the have-not's.

The have's

These are the people who keep saying Wizards are still currently top DPS. They don't see an issue with our class, everything seems fine. They point to their most recent raid parse where they are number 1 or number 2 and they tell you to fix your cast order or get better gear.

I am happy for these people. They are in top notch raiding guilds, they have great gear that proc's a lot, and they are supported by Troubadours and Illusionists. And honestly they have no reason to complain, they do crank out the DPS. And heaps more than the non-T1 DPS classes.

The have-not's

And then there is the rest of the Wizard community, the majority. They strive to crank out the DPS but fail. They have good gear and are knowledgeable about casting order, but are plagued by serious aggro issues and are consistently beat in the parse by non-T1 DPS classes.

If you take the Wizard who says there are no DPS issues, strip away their support classes and proc gear, they are not looking so great anymore. The throttling and aggro issues have stripped the have-not Wizard of their primary role, damage. Furthermore, they don't have anything in return for their role loss. They still wear cloth and get one or two shotted. They also lack in utility.

This is the group Sony needs to address. Wizards shouldn't have to rely on support classes and proc gear in order to function as T1 DPS. Currently this seems to be a requirement, even in non-raid circumstances.


Kahn said...

Please explain "T1 DPS classes" Is that classes that wear T1 gear? Such as?

I agree with what you say Largo in that you really do need some sort of de-agro abilities (I assume your class doesn't). However, as a Ranger, I don't use my biggest gun (snipe and rain of arrows) till the raid boss or mob is near death, don't you? Are you saying that you want to be able to nuke, nuke, nuke from start to finish with little agro? My Ranger can't do that, my Warden can't do that (same applies in healing), my Necro can't do that either, so why your class or the Warlocks - because they can?

Also, about the comment on one and two shotted. Without a healer, all classes will die fast if they get agro from a epic mob - clothies are not the exception.

I am ignorant of the wizzy and lock classes but there are some basic rules of thumb everyone has to abide to such as, if you spike damage at the start of the fight you will jump to the top of the hate list instantly. I see many wizzys dead in the beginning of the fight, is it because they unleashed thier big guns too early not being patient?

Please help us understand. You being dead does not raid any good so what do you need to stay alive more often? Do you need to have what the "Have's" got like trubies and better gear?

Thanks Kahn :)

Kahn said...

BTW, one other thing I didn't mention is in a raid I don't wear my best high damage gear either so in effect I have to nerf myself to stay alive. I also don't use my high damage poisons - in fact I have a deagro poison I use in place of one damage poison. In solo situations is where I wear my "Scorched Earth" best ;)

Largo said...

Heya Kahn!

By T1 DPS I mean the classes that are "supposed" to do the most damage relative to other classes. Wizard, Warlock, Assasin, and Ranger for example.

And I agree with you, perhaps better de-aggro tools are the solution. When I have deaggro buffs or transfers (i.e. the one from a Guardian or Paladin) there are no issues. I can use my abilities they way they are meant to be used! I don't need to throttle, etc...

Spike damage is part of my argument regarding the Wizard. We don't really have an option here... we are posting large numbers or we are not. Even when we DOT the DOTs stack... this is especially true for the AE DOTs.

Kahn said...

Ah I see then... ok then you need to stay in a group where your agro can be transfered and problem solved :)

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