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TOPIC: Wizard MEC, Relic and Legendary

Wizard MEC, Relic and Legendary 5 months 4 weeks ago #157

Thanks for all the good feedback and patience with the process. I am going to lock this thread and post my final idea. Fingers crossed.
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Wizard MEC, Relic and Legendary 5 months 4 weeks ago #158

I'm really sorry, but have other things going on and every time I come back there are like 50-100 new posts. Really can't keep up with all of it. Trying to skim through and pick out key points.

My interpretations of Jeff's ask was to redesign MEC, relic and legendary with an open mind. He gave us a suggestion as a starting point. I think he's trying to deliver on a the wizard legendary this year and if it's not perfect he'll make adjustments in a redesign of the character cards, for which he doesn't have a pending deadline. I don't know if this is putting the cart before the horse or not.

I think the best we can do is throw out our best ideas and hope one of them sparks a revelation in Jeff and provides him with the right answer. I see people in 3 camps: one thinks MEC as is is broken, one really has no use for MEC and doesn't care, one thinks MEC is fine as is and is trying to make sure the redesign doesn't undo what they already like about MEC. Is there a happy compromise? Not sure.

So far, I like keeping MEC close to its current design, but going with a more static spell boost. It seems like a simpler and cleaner design, but I'm not sure if that's what Jeff wants.
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Wizard MEC, Relic and Legendary 5 months 4 weeks ago #159

Copying Jeff's template.

I'm not a Wizard; don't roast me.

I'm trying to keep the "Mad" theme alive with the idea is burning the wick at both ends without one of ends being the caster's health bar. So the idea is consuming an additional spell slot to boost the damage of a spell currently being casted. It's not as much damage as casting 2 full spells, but leaves the free action open for other effects.

Let's assume spell damage is roughly doubled moving forward.

My idea:
MEC = When casting a damage spell may sacrifice an additional spell at the same level to double the base (+Skill ✔) damage (1/room).

Relic = When casting a damage spell may sacrifice an additional spell at any level to double the base (+Skill ✔) damage (1/room) & Skill Check adds +12 pts (not +6) to spell

Legendary = As Relic & SC adds +18 pts (not +6) to spell & *Flavor Ability

Could adjust the legendary to double base damage without sacrificing a spell if tuning allows
*Flavor Ability = May do something so awesome (or crazy) that you will be the talk of the party. You may also be referred to in the past tense.

*Flavor Ability is not when the Barbarian or Dwarf Fighter attempt to lick something they shouldn't
Playing True Dungeon since 2012.
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Wizard MEC, Relic and Legendary 5 months 4 weeks ago #160

Breaking down the proposal, TL:DR;

To get to and stay at the top of damage dealers Wizards need access to their spell bonus twice a round (on average). Anything else, including enormous static bonuses, will eventually fade away as power creep goes.

The Relic gets us ~1/3 of the way to that goal. With minor tweaks, the Legendary gets us ~1/3 of the way to that goal. The UR needs some work to get us 1/3 of the way there.

1/3+1/3+1/3 = 100% of the way there :)

Background Info

Here is a chart showing cumulative, stackable, damage bonuses usable by all relevant classes over time through the 2019:

("Ranged" means physical ranged attacks in that chart)

If you want to see the tokens I'm talking about click here .

Since 2019 additional melee boosters of: +2 damage Ioun, +1 damage Ioun, +2 STR charm, +1 str charm, +1 from Eldrtich set, +3 (net additional +1) STR in shirt, +2 in Ring of the Drake - have been released, so this ongoing increase shows no signs of stopping.

Because of this, any static wizard bonus will eventually be swamped by growing Melee boosts that are:
- Usable 2 per round by melee Rangers and Monks
- Rogues can multiply these bonuses by 2 on a 17+ sneak attack crit 2/room
- Barbarians can multiply by 2 twice per game on a slit hit with Fury (probably hitting on a 2+ slide)

This includes things like doubling the base damage of spells on the card, or adding a 100 point damage special ability.

To keep Wizards at the top they need a similarly growing supply of Spell Damage boosters, and access to their spell bonus twice a round. (On average - the spell damage bonus doesn't have to be applied literally twice every round. As long as over R rounds of combat Wizards can access their spell damage bonus around 2*R times we're going to be able to achieve the goal of having Wizards join the top damage dealers and stay there).

Jeff Martin wrote:
My idea:

MEC = May cast 1st-2nd level spell as a free action but no another offensive action for combat

I understand this proposal as: If you use MeC to cast a free action level 1-2 spell, until the combat ends you may take no more offensive actions of any kind that combat (e.g. no melee, physical ranged, damage spells, things that require a monster to make a saving throw, things that require monster to make a magic/spell resistance effect).

Thoughts on this proposal for MeC:

A. If you cast it too soon, you've cost yourself doing an offensive action (which is probably not very fun) for no damage benefit, and perhaps for a damage loss, for instance:

Scenario 1: You use MeC in round 2, but combat lasts 3 rounds. This is damage neutral.

You could have just cast the 2nd spell you cast from MeC in round 3 with no difference of result (and without taking up this slot in your build).

You do get the ability to act the next round, but it is very limited - you would maybe drink a healing potion, read a utility scroll, or cast Cat's Grace from your card.

Scenario 2: You use MeC in round 2, but combat lasts 4+ rounds. This causes a loss of damage output, because you cast only 3 total offensive spells over 4+ rounds by using MeC too early.

B. If you use this MeC at the right time (e.g. the round where the monster dies) some of your spell damage may be "wasted" due to "overkill" of the monster.

C. It looks like this MeC's main benefit occurs when:
  • The monster dies the round you use it,
  • And The monster wouldn't have died that round it otherwise (e.g. the damage from your 2nd spell was just enough to kill it)

Suggestions for a tweaked MeC:

Complicated MeC Tweak:
After using MeC to cast a level 1 or 2 spell as a Free Action, the only offensive actions you can take until end of combat are to: cast Level 0 spells, read scrolls, or use wands.

This means:
- You can still contribute damage if combat continues
- It creates a mingame of level 0 spell economizing
- It is harder for it to lower your damage output by misjudging the last round and sitting out 2+ rounds

This gives the Wizard access to their spell damage bonus twice a round for around 1/3 of the combat rounds (assuming a typical combat is 3 rounds).

Simple MeC Tweak:
Change the effect to: Double the base and bonus damage of a spell as a free action (1/room)

This also gives Wizards access to their spell bonus twice a round around 1/3rd of the time.

Making this activation cost a Free Action ensures that only 1 MeC doubled spell happens per round.

Mad Tweak for MeC:

Change the effect to:
- Some effect that gives access to 2x spell bonus (e.g. a full spell with spell bonus cast as a FA, or doubling damage of an existing spell and all bonuses as a FA).
- Usable multiple times per combat, but with a drawback of potentially triggering "Backlash" on uses after the 1st one in each combat. (It's a press-your-luck token).

"Backlash" would need to be tuned, but would be something like:
- Deal 1/2 damage of the spell to yourself and full damage to the monster
- Deal 1/2 damage to each yourself and the monster
- Deal entire spell damage to yourself and none to the monster

Backlash could always trigger on MeC uses past the 1st each combat - or it could trigger as the result of failing a save or making a separate random roll result similar to Divine Intervention.

Overall thoughts

I'm not sure the current version of MeC aligns well with the design goal of having Wizards be top damage dealers.

If your timing the use of MeC is good and combat ends the round you use it, you get extra level 0 or 1 spells equal to the number of combats over the course of the dungeon (some of that damage might be wasted/overkill damage).

If your timing is poor and combat ends the next round MeC's use is damage neutral but gives you an limited extra action the next round for self healing or utility stuff.

If combat ends 2+ rounds after you use MeC use, you lose damage output.

Side note:

IF (big if) Lesser Maze is not an "offensive action," then this version of MeC sneakily has a powerful interaction with Lesser Maze due to Lesser Maze restarting Combats.

E.g. in the boss fight you can:
Cast 2 spells in round 1 with MeC
Lesser maze in round 2.
Cast 2 spells in round 3 with MeC
Crown of Expertise/Ring of Spell Storing for lesser maze in round 4.
Cast 2 spells in round 5 with MeC

I think Lesser Maze is an "offensive action" as I imagine it would necessitate a magic/spell resistance check and that is one of the triggers for "offensive action" as per the TDb entry for Cloak of Blending.

Thoughts on this proposal for Relic:

Relic = May cast spell as a free action (1/room) & Skill Check adds +12 pts (not +6) to spell

I understand the skill check part to mean Wizard spells on the card would be changed to offer +6 damage on skill check, and this would increase it by an additional 6 for a total of +12.

This Relic gives Wizards access to their spell damage bonus twice in a round around 1/3 of the time via the Free Action 1/room ability.

I believe damage parity/or higher relies on them accessing spell damage bonus twice a round pretty much every round.

(Or accessing the spell damage bonus a number of times that averages out to twice a round. For example over 3 rounds of combat Wizards need access to their spell damage bonus 6 times to reach/stay at top damage tiers. This could come from having the spell damage bonus apply 2 time in each of the three rounds, or 4 times the first round and 1 time in the second and third rounds).

If the MeC design above also gave access to the spell damage bonus twice in a round around 1/3 of the time in a way that stacked with this token, the Wizard would be 2/3rds of the way to being credibly the top damage dealer with the Relic (and supporting spell damage boosting tokens).

The Skill Check bonus is nice - but the real work is being done with the Free Action which scales with all past and future spell damage boosting tokens.

My first impression is that the Relic is on track. I'll do a bunch of math later and see if it matches my first impression.

Thoughts on this proposal for the Legendary:

Legendary = As Relic & SC adds +18 pts (not +6) to spell & Retributive Strike

Retributive Strike = may break any Rare Wand to cause a massive out-powering of magical energy. All monsters in the room take 100 pts of Force damage. The Wizard takes this same damage unless she rolls an 6-20 on a d20.

Some people won't like the use of a consumable but this strikes me as very powerful for the effect - with some issues.

I assume this is a standard action, and whatever you held in your hands before and after this action is unchanged (similar to how Medallion of Mystic Mouth works, so you don't have to set this up with free actions to set down a Staff, pick up a wand, break the wand, pick up the staff again, etc.)

I have two observations, and a suggestion:

Observation 1:

Having this ability out there would steer dungeon design away from rooms with low HP swarms. For example, the Black Scrael x3 in Dancing Among Stones had 75 HP on hardcore, as did the red scrael that were in the queen room. (Nighmare ones had 125). The Wizard clearing those out in round 1 would be anticlimactic I think.

Observation 2:

Retributive Strike does not scale with the rest of your build. It's just an enormous static boost.

Eventually this may be completely eclipsed. Already today with very strong Legendary builds:
- Monks can slide for an average damage of ~100 per round in VTD (10% miss, 70% hit, 20% crit)
- Rogues can sneak attack critical on 17+ twice per room for more than 100 (while overcoming sneak and crit immunities with Bracers of Guided Strike)
- Furious Barbarians can crit for ~140 on a slide result of 2+ slide twice a game
- I haven't done Ranger analysis recently, but they might even top monks with 2x Thors critting 30% of the time in VTD rules

If the past is any guide, each of these builds will continue to get stronger year after year - but this ability will stay at 100 per wand.


What does the Wizard need to get to top damage tier? Say it with me - "access to their spell bonus twice per round" :P

I think a very high legendary tier spell bonus is now around 30-35.

Make this effect scale by making part of the effect related to the spell bonus, e.g.:

3x your spell bonus
50 + 2x your spell bonus

Some will say: "BUT I HATE CONSUMABLES":

It's a fact. Some hate it. Maybe we can bridge the gap here, and let retributive strike have two modes:

A. It works as you've described it

B. Instead, you slide an empty puck vs a static AC-15. On a slid hit the effect happens, on a miss nothing happens. NO WAND TURN IN WITH THIS MODE, HIT OR MISS (in fact no wand needed at all - the puck is empty).

Logically, if someone would be happy with option B on the final token, offering the choice to also do A, only if they want, should be strictly better and not cause any concerns.

But Mad Evokers are seldom logical...

If you read all this, any of you - you are amazing and It's a privilege to share these forums with you.

Happy Wizarding!

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