Arctic Mud

ArcticMUD => General Discussion => Topic started by: blackmagus on December 14, 2014, 02:46:17 PM

Title: Caster Level
Post by: blackmagus on December 14, 2014, 02:46:17 PM
It's been a decent interval since this system making casters dependent upon their gear was implemented and since then the player base has only kept shrinking.

Is it still necessary to keep trash mages in check by nerfing the ability to mage-bomb without substantial risk? No, I do not think so. The system prevents new players and even returning players from fully engaging the class due to the need to not only find caster level gear, but to maintain it as well once it begins to decay.

I'd encourage removing the system altogether, or at the very least, increasing base caster level back to 20.
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: Lyam on December 14, 2014, 06:08:59 PM
really?

do you know how easy it is to get to 30cl? nearly all mage items have +cl on it anyway
I would recommend to make getting 30cl a lot harder

when casting level was 1st introduced, it was said to get to 30cl was comparable to a 15dam tank.. probably see about 5 15dam tanks on the mud.. yet you see about 50 30cl mages with more getting rolled to take the casting level equipment being dropped and all the mage books
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: Neyman on December 15, 2014, 01:38:14 AM
As a new players, I dont think the casting level system at all prevented me from engaging in the class! Sure, the first few months I played I had trouble getting CL equivalent to my level, but I also had trouble getting from Pal to Balifor smoothly and didnt know how to load any books! In fact I actually enjoyed the search for +cl items, making notes on which ones were easy to load so that I could reequip after I died, or getting excited at seeing some decent +cl item at the merchant. I have no idea what the original purpose of the casting level system was, or what playing a mage was like before it, but I think the game would be more boring without the CL system.
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: Lyam on December 15, 2014, 05:49:19 AM
casting level was introduced to stop everyone making a trash mage to teleport/relocate to enemies and dying without any negative effect seeing sheafs were removed

this hasn't really happened... the only thing I see slowing down trash mages is the amount of exp required to level now days.. even that isn't really slowing down trash mages...

as I said in my previous post the selling point to me with casting level when it was 1st introduced was that to get to 30cl would be like having a 15dam tank... this has not happened as nearly all mage equipment has at least 1cl on it.. some of the more elite items are 4cl....

with teleport being a guild spell and only needing lvl 24 to cast to players, I feel that harsher penalties need to be applied to mages.... not removing casting level or increasing the base casting level to 20...

but then I class nearly everyone that plays a mage to be a trash mage... myself included... there are only a couple of people that I wouldn't put in that category .. but that is another argument about trash mages
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: blackmagus on December 15, 2014, 07:55:46 AM
The 15-dam tank comparison to a 30-CL mage is like comparing apples and oranges, sure they're both fruit, but that is where the similarities end. A tank does not have memorization times, has double or triple the hit points and can consistently do the same damage, with special abilities included every round without fail so long as they're healed. A mage on the other hand, has a limited number of damage spells, is relatively a glass cannon and without the proper equipment, does damage comparable to any other class several levels lower.
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: btown on December 15, 2014, 08:40:39 AM
casting level was introduced to stop everyone making a trash mage to teleport/relocate to enemies and dying without any negative effect seeing sheafs were removed

this hasn't really happened... the only thing I see slowing down trash mages is the amount of exp required to level now days.. even that isn't really slowing down trash mages...

as I said in my previous post the selling point to me with casting level when it was 1st introduced was that to get to 30cl would be like having a 15dam tank... this has not happened as nearly all mage equipment has at least 1cl on it.. some of the more elite items are 4cl....

with teleport being a guild spell and only needing lvl 24 to cast to players, I feel that harsher penalties need to be applied to mages.... not removing casting level or increasing the base casting level to 20...

but then I class nearly everyone that plays a mage to be a trash mage... myself included... there are only a couple of people that I wouldn't put in that category .. but that is another argument about trash mages

Just say you hate mages.  You hate people who play mages.  And you hate the person who made mages.

You are obviouslly a mage hater and your word is no good!

Haha u compare 30cl mage to 15dam tank ahahaha to funny :-)

Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: Jorquin on December 15, 2014, 09:35:51 AM
it has been a very, very, very long time since any tank-type character was feared.

that said, i spent a lot of my time playing mages and i firmly believe there are many similarities between a parasite and a mage on arctic. they start as pathetic, insignificant things that attach themselves to a larger host in order to grow.

it's an interesting interaction, they can be some of the most powerful and fear inspiring characters possible, yet most of the time they're the weak link that group leaders secretly plan to replace with a level 26+ tank at the first opportunity


edit:   on a more comical note, this is standard practice when a mage book loads:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4BNbHBcnDI#t=43
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: blackmagus on December 15, 2014, 12:35:49 PM
You'd think that the Mage class should be removed altogether listening to these two. At least until they realize shaman and druids are just as powerful in their own way, if more versatile.
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: Hoss on December 15, 2014, 01:04:24 PM
Casting level...ugh

Casting level was a well intended system, however we really missed the mark by making it too easy to get and too easy to maintain. I can say that our goal is to remove casting level, however it won't be going away this wipe. Comparing a warrior to mage damage isn't really a fair comparison as their is no longer a solid baseline now that damage is completely out of control (more on this later).
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: Brafu on December 15, 2014, 04:43:43 PM
I agree with Hoss in that its VERY easy to get and maintain 30cl with even sub par game knowledge. I could very easily get 30cl right now with almost all "trash" eq, and I don't even play mages anymore.

The main reason I'm still a fan of CL is for the simple fact that if you kill a mage they cannot, typically, just mem 4 or 5 tics and then be at full power. They will need to have stored spare CL, or have friends quickly toss them some, if they want to start throwing around the kinda power that people won't just laugh at.

I see high tier mage spells as equivalent to a tank getting elite eq, and I like that a mage needs to get eq again before they can take full advantage of their elite spells. When a tank dies they typically cannot get back anything close to their high dam level they had before the death (lets assume the tank was seriously stacked), but they can get a couple weapons and, at the very least, still be useful. A mage is much the same in regards to CL, since they can still do damage naked, but it won't be anything like what they could do when fully "stacked".
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: blackmagus on December 15, 2014, 06:30:36 PM
Casting level...ugh

Casting level was a well intended system, however we really missed the mark by making it too easy to get and too easy to maintain. I can say that our goal is to remove casting level, however it won't be going away this wipe. Comparing a warrior to mage damage isn't really a fair comparison as their is no longer a solid baseline now that damage is completely out of control (more on this later).

Thank you.

Even out the damage across the board to make it equivalent to other classes , but don't make it harder for casual mages to play simply by making them handicapped by their equipment.
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: Brafu on December 16, 2014, 01:24:22 AM
@blackmagus

Just like someone who's playing a tank needs to figure out how to get their hands on better weapons and eq, so does a mage. It's absolutely no different than a tank player figuring out how to load a 19 dam prime so they are not stuck with that 13 dam one they snagged from some zone as they lvled. A mage needs to learn where to snag more CL so they can wield said 19 dam prime instead of the 13 dam one.

In no way are casual, and neutral, players handicapped by the CL system, not unless they choose to handicap themselves by refusing to explore new zones and actually expand their game knowledge. Maybe you find it difficult to load and maintain 30cl, I don't know, but I know from first hand experience that it's really not that hard (and I'm talking about loads that any mage can solo without much trouble).
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: Lyam on December 16, 2014, 05:45:43 AM
why shouldn't I compare a 30cl mage to a 15dam tank?
both should be equally hard to obtain

a 15dam tank dies and loses their eq.. they go back to vhards with shop eq and it takes a lot longer to get back up to oblits
a 30cl mage dies and loses their eq.. they go back to 15cl and keep all their spells.. their damage goes from (rough estimates here) 150hp single frags down to 80hp single frags.. but with mages there is that much casting level equipment that they do not stay at 15cl for very long

sure there is a lot more dam equipment in the game now, but it is still hard to get back there.. there are a lot more 30cl backup mages around that can strip to equip a main character than there is 15dam backup tanks that can do the same.. I know when I have a mage that I don't care if the equipment is lost, but I get upset when my tank loses its equipment
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: blackmagus on December 16, 2014, 11:21:48 AM
Why shouldn't you, I just told you, so perhaps you should read my response again or refute my argument so as to show you have a basic understanding of what's being discussed here.

A 15CL mage is a glass cannon, able to put out moderate damage but truly vulnerable to anything so much as a single bash. Like level content is made doable by pets and utility spells, but truly a mage is a piece of straw in gale force winds. Very little +CL is available via merchants and while +5 CL in various pieces is fairly easy to pop, it doesn't change the fact the Mage is still low on the survivability scale.

A naked tank still has the massive survivability of double or triple the hit points, utility skills and the ability to buy world merchant equipment to easily get back to moderate damage output. A tank is only as good as his weapon, but the weapon choices are limitless and +dam not all that rare.

Jorquin did make a very amusing point about spellbook loads, but what's more amusing is mages are most often omitted from high level content for additional healers or bathers and yet everyone has a mage alt.
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: Zozen on December 16, 2014, 01:41:24 PM
 Blackmagus who is your mage? I do not believe you are playing your mage correctly if that is your opinion of mages. As a first time mage player this wipe I have been to every 'high level content' fight that isn't nomagic/reflect (and even most of those with my golem helping) and I believe the damage output and survivability of a fully spelled mage surpasses most warriors.

As a leader I tend to prefer people playing warrior types in a group mainly because most people don't like the attention required to play a mage well. 

-Sean (Russell)
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: blackmagus on December 16, 2014, 02:53:58 PM
I say most often because not everyone has a fully spelled mage and the content of the thread if you bother to read it is aimed at the newer players and the marginal mages, not the fully spelled, full set, CL 30.

In the decade and a half I've played on this server, every clan I've been in has promoted non-mages for everything but PK
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: Zozen on December 16, 2014, 04:16:07 PM
Just as you compared apples to oranges earlier:

A warrior with bash has always been the nemesis of a mage without nobash/hardbash. But that still does not take away from a mages power. I don't think anyone I have ever played with has ever even remotely thought about having to maintain their CL. The only people worried about CL are the trash teleporters.

I say most often because not everyone has a fully spelled mage...

Then they aren't doing end game content and won't have to worry about not going to it.

Every clan promotes warriors because not everyone should be playing a mage. They just don't have the mentality for it. It requires, as I said, a lot of attention. If you aren't casting every round and optimizing your mem then you aren't nearly as effective as a similarly stacked warrior over a long period of time. However, if you do use your spells efficiently and have your conjure out then you will outdamage most people.  Newer players, I believe, are still 'urged' to play a class such as a warrior or barbarian or other tank type until they learn the game. Mages have always been difficult to play, difficult to balance, and difficult to spell. Which is why I never played one on the 'end game' side of things. But once the mage is there they are overpowered (especially pvp) and stupid. Put 5-6 fully spelled legend mages together and the game is broken.



Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: Chisul on December 16, 2014, 06:35:00 PM
My two cents,

I've legended every single tank class over the course of my play time, but never played a Mage seriously. So what I'm saying is my game knowledge is pretty decent as a whole, but fairly limited when it comes to class specific stuff for each of the robes.

I rolled a black robe two days ago and have had absolutely no problem keeping my cl even with my actual level and with the exception of the headworn I am currently using, I solo'd every piece...and am at cl 24 right now.

I can see how casting lvl would be a pain if you had no idea where to go to get it, but I think this speaks to the fact that mages are really not for the new or casual player. Of course wanting to compete at high end/end game content really isn't in the cards for the new or casual player either. Wanting to become a powerful and competent Mage is a good goal, but changing game mechanics to get there seems like a weak argument to me.

Could someone come up with a better solution than CL to balance the class? Probably. But this, like just about every other challenge, simply needs a creative and tenacious approach to overcome.

Matt
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: Neyman on December 16, 2014, 09:47:42 PM
I like CL because it's another thing to worry about trade-offs in your gear. Do I wear the +3CL about robe and the +1 Int Wrist, or the +2CL + 10HP about robe and +1CL +1Wis wrist? How do I best optimize my CL to get it just to 30, without "wasting" slots by getting CL above 30? I dunno, but I find that stuff fun. I liked it to deciding between apply and -AC and resist etc for a tank.

I remember last wipe I had a legend black robe and a legend dk. What was each of these missing? The dk was missing "elite gear" like some crazy +10dr, lim dam, no bash, etc. The mage was missing the "big 4" spells. Maybe he was missing elite gear too but I have actually never really seen or heard of "elite mage gear" other than +all slot ring type things. I guess a mage no bash would be nice. I dunno. So in my opinion the correct comparison between tanks and mages is not CL vs. Dam Roll, but number of spells vs. Dam Roll. And what makes this interesting is that as a tank, yes you can DT and lose all your shinies, while as a mage you never lose your spells once you get them. So maybe it seems unfair to tanks. But on the other hand, the mage book race is SUCH a pain, and CR is often quite doable for tanks, that I dont think this is unfair at all to tanks at all. If anything it feels pretty balanced ... there were situations where the DK was more useful, and situations where the mage was more useful.

Anyway, just my experiences from the past wipe. And as I said in my first post, casting level was definitely one of the things that got me hooked on the game initially as a challenge to overcome and reason to explore and lore gear.
Title: Re: Caster Level
Post by: jrrestad on January 14, 2015, 09:12:04 PM
Casting level...ugh

Casting level was a well intended system, however we really missed the mark by making it too easy to get and too easy to maintain. I can say that our goal is to remove casting level, however it won't be going away this wipe. Comparing a warrior to mage damage isn't really a fair comparison as their is no longer a solid baseline now that damage is completely out of control (more on this later).

Hoss stop taking away all my +damages!  I don't wanna play a mage!


that said, i spent a lot of my time playing mages and i firmly believe there are many similarities between a parasite and a mage on arctic. they start as pathetic, insignificant things that attach themselves to a larger host in order to grow.

it's an interesting interaction, they can be some of the most powerful and fear inspiring characters possible, yet most of the time they're the weak link that group leaders secretly plan to replace with a level 26+ tank at the first opportunity


Perfect!

I have legendaried every class except for a mage and a scout because they are useless in zones and solo, however I have played around with mages every wipe.  You play a mage for only a few reasons, 1) because you are in a clan capable of loading every book and want to cast cool spells, 2) because PK isn't PK without a trash mage, 3) as a 3rd or 4rth alternate because somebody needs to burn all those books you load, or 4) and probably the most common reason is to piss off your zone leader and act dramatic when you're not catered to.

Mages are not for soloer's or even small clans.  Roll a druid or shaman instead.