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A Discussion about Non-Mages

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#1Ikazuchi 

A Discussion about Non-Mages Empty Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:07 pm

Ikazuchi
Non-Mage Advantages

  • Attacks based on Strength that don’t have a resource consumption
  • Off-Hand Slots
  • 2 of the 4 classes have Minor Resistance to Magic

Non-Mage Disadvantages

  • No additional defense or mobility options
  • High item usage costs
  • Durability is consumed faster than Mana
  • No way to combat several enhancements
    Non-Mages still need to use mana for several things to be potent, but have the full cost as a result of item regulations

_______________________________________________________________

Here I am going to bring up my personal observations about Non-Mages and potential solutions, and in particular their ability to combat others in general. I may misunderstand some things about mages, or even Non-Mages so I apologize if that’s the case. This is more of a general overview that doesn’t go into detail about each class, and it focuses more on bringing up the basic issues of non-mages in general.

  • Problems: So, according to my current understanding it could be said that Durability is treated as a Non-Mage’s main resource to consume while Mana is that for Mages. This makes sense as gear is very important to Non-Mages. The problem I see with durability is that it is consumed equally between Mages and Non-Mages who have relatively equal access to gear excluding the various discounts that Non-Mages have. What I mean by that is that on top of the mana pool a mage then has equipment durability, and then their own health after you work through mana.

    This would be fine if it wasn’t for the fact that Non-Mages are several times more likely to take hits, and also have a harder time inflicting damage to opponents. Non-Mages have very limited ways to combat magic naturally and can essentially only outrun it, which isn’t that likely. I believe that this is why magic resistance was added as a perk for a couple of the classes, though I don’t believe that it solves the issue overall.

    The problem that I see at this moment is the fact that there are several ways for people to ignore armor and guarantee hits that a Non-Mage can’t avoid, or at the very least would be difficult to avoid. This completely bypasses their main “resource” in the form of item durability. There are lunges as dodging actions, but these aren’t a unique action and can truthfully be outmatched by mages as they have access to various mobility based supplementary spells. I would say that a mage is several more times more mobile while having several more offensive and defensive options. If you were to ask me then I would say that Non-Mages have very little which actually makes them different from a mage with their base capabilities, but they lack all of the versatility that a mage has.

    “The durability of an item is reduced when physical or magical damage is applied to it. The damage can be from the user's own or another individual's physical attacks or spells, this excludes spells from the item itself. Furthermore, half of the damage that is dealt striking armor, helms and shields is returned to the weapon itself. Non-mage user's weapons do not take damage when striking armor, helms and shields.”

    Above is a recent answer to this issue proposed in discord, but I personally don’t think that this fully balances the two paths. The main reason for that is that it isn’t difficult for mages to use defensive spells, or even offensive spells. Offensive spells function as a defense for physical attacks as not only does it damage the weapon, that would also damage the weapon wielder as well based on a conversation that I had in the past. As for if that’s still the case, I think the issue needs further clarification. The general issue that I see is that it’s several times more likely for a non-mage to consume all of their resources than it is for a mage, and how you play or build won’t be able to balance that as it’s currently mechanically driven even if you consider the above solution.

    After reading what I see as a problem, you may think that I want “a lot” for Non-Mages as a result. I addressed the amount of movement options, durability consumption, and a lack of versatility which are all consequences of not having magic and magic enhancements as a result. I fully understand that Non-Mages shouldn’t have access to certain things as they chose to give them up as a result. For example, a Warrior shouldn’t have a natural way to gain a ranged option as that is something that they gave up. In particular, the various Non-Mage classes can be said to have given up on magic at character creation and chosen to focus on their stat points and weapon mastery. The problem is that their actual focus gives very little in the form of an advantage, and the system has extremely limited ways to pursue melee range combat for Non-Mages. I personally think that there are some very simple solutions that could be considered


  • Solutions/Suggestions: The first issue I will mention will be related to durability as it is one of the biggest issues for the Non-Mage path. If you include the previously mentioned solution there are a few ways to add simple expansions to that idea. The biggest one would be giving some slight advantages to Non-Mages in the custom item creation system, in particular regarding base durability and potentially exclusive perks. Their gear is their main resource, and it plays an extremely large role as it is their main resource to consume. I understand that you can increase durability with the current point system, but that can’t be called exactly balanced. The reason being that a Non-Mage shouldn’t be expected to spend more to protect their weakness while a Mage can build to their strengths more freely. Keep in mind that I don’t mean large differences, just a small advantage like +1 higher durability level for a Non-Mage.

    As for exclusive perks for Non-Mages, I think that this would be an important consideration for Non-Mages to face the unique effects of enhancements that aren’t easy to handle due to a lack of magic. Several of the Magic Enhancements are very potent when successful, but primarily require magic to defend against. Because Non-Mages lack a way to defend they can only suffer one-sidedly as a result.  And yes, I do mean passive perks and not simply item spells. Item spells use mana which is a resource mostly ignored by non-mages to do things worse than mages at a higher cost.

    I personally believe that for the non-mage classes there are options for class perks or weapon mastery perks related to magic resistance, lunges, and movement speed acceleration that could balance things more appropriately. Something like being able to apply their default (and only the default minor resistance) to their gear could help increase overall item durability, extra lunges per post could let classes that constantly need to close the gap to attack more reasonable, there is also potential for decreasing the running acceleration by 1 second helping with the same issue. Some of these issues aren’t as apparent on Ranger and Gunslinger as they are intended to fight at longer range, but there isn’t any denying that there is very little balancing the lack of magic for non-mages.



Overall I would say that most of the actual issues could be addressed through the Custom Guidelines and the future Weapon Mastery System changes as long as the actual "style" on Non-Mages is considered. This is my feedback on the issues that I see for Non-Mages in comparison to Mages.

#2Vice 

A Discussion about Non-Mages Empty Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:54 pm

Vice

Ah hi Ika, I think I tried to help you on chat before.

Non-mage Items

There have been multiple "attempted" non-caster changes, so I'm just trying to help you presently.

Nullification and Mastery

One of the only advantages of non-casters are Warriors having easy nullification, which is accessible to items outside the class. Non-casters also have easier weapon mastery training, but that's also accessible through items/Tarots/races.

I believe Jyu mentioned non-caster weapon mastery will be improved overall.

Meta Unchanging

Enhancements (even base Limited Magics) are stronger and faster, non-casters are gimmicks. There's no "DS event" for non-casters. Cain's Curse is a Mythic and it's never been taken for a reason.

The new Summoner, Gunslinger generally unused by old members don't have effects that are specializing to something different. The aesthetic of ranged spells are already accessible to normal mages. I'm Berserker and don't care about ranged spells for good reasons, but you'd probably suffer more than me. Debuffs auto-hit non-casters without immunity, knockbacks bypass your non-null equipment.

I agree with you in general. You can just spawn a Gravity Magic AoE for example with someone in the middle and most Warriors are perceived "helpless". Non-casters perhaps can get a point discount on that custom guide.

#3Ikazuchi 

A Discussion about Non-Mages Empty Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:52 am

Ikazuchi
Hey there Vice, you're right about that. You did talk to me and help me out before on the Discord. As for this thread, I'm bringing up the issues that I see currently mainly to open up discussion about it. There has been talk about potential balancing changes regarding Non-Mages and Weapon Mastery, but without seeing it or knowing the progress I didn't think it would hurt to see the general opinions that others have about it to see any potential feedback or even suggestions others have. Even having someone clarify why a particular suggest would be unfair would be helpful.

Non-Mage Items

  • Which rule change are you referring to about the Vaulting Boots? I have previously thought that they are a handy item, but I didn't know how useful this relic would be as I hadn't looked into the exact limitations of the spell itself.
  • The Magnetite Stone is probably one of the best relics that a Warrior can get for speed early on, but I believe it loses most of its value after reaching 251 through other means if it can't easily push you to the next tier. If it were possible to make custom items that specifically had large speed debuffs to capitalize on it then it could be useful even in the late game though.
  • Flight, the bane of my existence. That is a difficult one for a Non-Mage to deal with as most current items and races with the ability are designed for Mages. It directly negates part of the advantage gained by being a Non-Mage if you pick the most common options for it. I have personally been thinking about a custom item, probably a relic, that would have some form of flight and mobility assistance in general.


Although there are a few options like the items you listed that are very useful to Non-Mages currently, they don't do much for actual balance between the paths themselves. In particular, if Non-Mages were intended to achieve balance with Mages using items then I believe that it would be necessary for them to consistently have access to items that are better than what Mages have.

Item Spells and Mastery

So, there are Null Swords and such that can be obtained. They are very useful on paper, right? There exists several types of it too with some being single target and others being AoE. It is definitely good to have, but it's also very situational. With items operating based on the base cost and cooldown it means that the chances to use it are limited by either the spells you deal with or the low mana pool that a Non-Mage should be expected to have. It's actually a probably with forcing Non-Mages to use item spells for "balance" in general as it means that they are intended to do what mages do, but worse and through items. In general, I would argue that more passive effects actual suit a non-mage style more as I personally see the Non-Mage path focusing more on "basics". Mages may have a wide variety of spells and versatility with magic, but a Non-Mage is required to be both sturdy and agile while also having the ability to output damage that should exceed mages as they will likely have less chances to deal damage in a semi-serious combat thread.

As for Weapon Mastery, the main difficulty of it isn't even the WC for training. The hardest part would be the fights at each rank, especially considering how the system has been until now. A same rank Non-Mage would almost absolutely lose to a Decent Mage after a certain rank, and even before then it's a toss up. I would love to hear about the potential changes to the system to give feedback, or even know what to expect though. I have several ideas that could be incorporated into a weapon mastery system rework, and even a sub-system to tie into it that I would be happy to suggest. I would just need to talk to someone to understand opinions on the ideas as to whether it would be worth my time to work on a full suggestion.

The Meta (Pain)

The Meta is a painful topic for me as even the best Non-Mage build is far from being "Meta". In D-Rank a Non-Mage has the advantage generally speaking as a Mage's damage is limited by their spells, but as early as C-Rank a Non-Mage will start to face durability issues. This rank can still be considered a toss up though as it depends on the build and spells of the Mage and Non-Mage in question as to whether they will be competitive. At B-Rank I think it probably leans towards mages slightly in general as they will be gaining decent money by this point, and it is hard to beat several magic effects with the earlier and more affordable items. From A-Rank onward I would say that the chances of a Non-Mage winning a fight are slim to none as long as the Mage in question plays decently.

#4Vice 

A Discussion about Non-Mages Empty Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:46 am

Vice

General Thoughts

-Non-casters have been around long time, willfully chosen by poof'd people who thought they were balanced without realizing the flaws until recently.

Enhancements appear to be released after Adventurer was scrapped for non-casters? Idk. Non-casters could be updated multiple times stronger and still not reach the versatility of casters.

-"Movement spells do not follow the flat spell speed but the running speed of the user." for Vaulting Boots.

-The "peak" of non-caster on site on paper and in tested Warriorness was Kenzo, Magnetite was his custom perhaps. The custom helmet he made isn't debuff to buff, it's a delayed sticky extender with debuff immune.

I'd just suggest getting -tiers drawback custom like someone else is and combine it with the "debuff to buff" effect recently added for legendary+ items to staff's moved custom grade sheet.

-I think highest weapon mastery ever has been Master and there's simply a limited supply of people to fight. Some people subtly push "Nightmare Mode", yet they avoided participating in the 1st round I'd presume.

-I agree with you in general, except people can waste their resources in builds to where Warriors can fight casters believably. Non-casters mainly just don't provide something decisive you can't get elsewhere.

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