Once upon a time in a land we still all live in…all classes were balanced in ability, except for those poor few who selected the templates Turbine cruelly provided for us. There existed a large gap in understanding of how the game worked between the mages, who were familiar with all the available spells, the archers who for the most part looked for places to perch, and the meleers who grabbed a weapon and a shield and whacked away at things paying no attention to the magic system at all. Due to their greater understanding of the game mathematics, the mages quickly learned to master the game. Turbine mistakenly identified this as a game imbalance rather than a knowledge imbalance between the classes. Thus the year of nonstop mage nerfing began. We end the year with all modern meleers/archers having three schools of magic (sometimes life specialized). The only difference between the classes is their starting attributes, war magic, and the ability of melee to do 3-5 times the damage of a mage in the same amount of time. This has lead to a huge influx of meleers on the level 1-80 in a month program due to the speed with which meleers can dispatch tuskers. For anyone that feels my views are biased, I’ve built a level 57 archer, a level 74 mage, a level 80 archer, a level 66 melee, and a dozen other mage/melee/archer hybrids. The level 66 melee can earn experience faster than any of my previous characters, and this is all due to Turbine’s misguided efforts to buff melee while nerfing mages.

Aphonous’s Melee vs Magic Comparison
 

Mage Melee
Spells can be resisted 
Spells can fizzle
Projectile Spells can misfire
Projectile Spells can just plain miss
Attacks can be evaded
Requires 50 points of trained skills. Requires zero points to train.  34 Points with three schools and conversion. 
Repeated attacks do less damage as spell charge goes down.  Repeated attacks are 100% effective.
No way to increase magic skills beyond creature buffs.  As much as 28% free melee attack skill on top of creature buffs.
No way to increase defensive skills beyond creature.  As much as 30% free melee defense skill on top of creature buffs.
Highest level war does 60-120, never more.  Meleers get crits. As high as 265 with bow and 190 with UA personally.
Suffers from war/life ineptitudes on primary skills.  No mobs cast primary attack skill ineptitudes.
No offensive capabilities without mana.  Attacks at full skill but minimum power without stamina.
Casting speed set and impossible to improve.  Attack speed increases with quickness, far beyond the capability of war magic.
Cannot heal without mana.  Cannot heal without stamina.
Mana Potions restore 25 mana. Value 1000 pyreal.  Stamina Elixirs restore 65 stamina.  Value 150 pyreal.
Regains 1 point of mana every 1-2 seconds.  Regains 10 points of stamina every 1-2 seconds.
Suffers from traps that drain 100% of current mana.  No melee equivalent.
Stands around doing nothing when lagged.  Continues to fight current opponent when lagged.
Suffers from "no-cast" bug.  Suffers from "stuck to old target" bug.
Capable of killing monsters through walls and doors.  Capable of killing monsters through doors and thin walls.
Base AL limitted to armor only.  Base AL consists of armor bonus and shield.
Capable of buffing armor with level VI spells by level 30.  Capable of buffing armor AND shield with VIs by 55 (or sooner by template)
Incapable of harming certain monsters regardless of skill.  Capable of harming any monster in-game currently.
Requires almost 100 different spell components to function.  Capable of functioning with only healing kits and mana charges.
Incapable of opening peas/crafting with wand equipped.  Capable of crafting actions with both weapon and shield equipped.
Streaks added to help with tracking. Reduced Damage.  Sticky melee added to help with tracking. Damage increased for all melee weapons.
All magical quest items require high arcane lore.  Ravenous weapons added with no lore requirement.
Shendolain Shield added with no lore requirement.
Hollow monsters added: Mages cannot survive in robes.  Hollow monsters added: Melees can still use robes with a shield.
Mages get "Target is out of range" and still burn comps/mana. Melees get "sticky melee" with increased crits on running monsters.
Mages use mana when they fizzle a heal spell.  Melee uses no stamina when failing to heal.
Mage creature spells can only be found on crowns, and non-armor headgear or jewelry. Melee attribute buffs can be found on ALL pieces of high AL armor.
Magic school masteries can only be found on wands.  Melee masteries can be imbued on atlans, as well as found on gauntlets and sollerets and heritage masks.
Wand requirements based on rank/lore not skill in magic.  Requirements for armor/weapons/shields based on related melee skills.
PK mages get…NOTHING. Have to exploit bugs to kill melees.  Melee PKs get un-nerfable shields and weapons, hollows.
Mage damage caps at level 30.  Melee damage uncapped.
Without melee defense they get hit by everything.  With melee defense, they evade even the toughest monsters, including hollows.  (I personally evade almost everything 100% with only 330 melee defense because of defense % mods unavailable to mages.)

Previous patches required mages to melee through mage-killer dungeons to get spell components for dispells.

Last month’s patch brings drain-resistant monsters along with extremely magic resistant monsters requiring mages to melee them to get keys.

This month’s patch brings hollow monsters requiring mages to dress in armor, use shields, and melee scarecrows.
All recent quest content has been decidedly anti-mage. Even exchanging the shendolain key for the shendolain gem requires that you put away your wand but can be done with a lugian axe in one hand and a tower shield in the other.

Excuse this rather old rant, but the current month’s quest reduced burden and value on the already uber shendolain shield making PK melees even more invulnerable to nerfs in addition to even more melee weapon damage increases while the war mages are left to rot.

On the PVM changes that seem based on PK bias: The current monster version of a mage would be something like a plasma golem, except a plasma has about 100 more magic defense than any mage in Dereth, three times the health, and more life/war/creature than any mage in Dereth. The current monster version of a melee should have about 550ish attack, 550 melee defense, and around 2000 AL…IF it represented a level 80 melee player. These numbers take into account the attack/defense mods for melee. If it represents a real melee monster those stats should be much higher, as they are with the mage-template monsters. Unfortunately, there are no monsters like this in-game. If they were to introduce monsters that even remotely resembled a melee character’s stats when buffed and equipped, perhaps the huge imbalance would have been noticed and addressed sooner.

 

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