Wizard - Master of the Elements?

Wizard
Intro:
The wizard has always been my favorite and most played class in Diablo III, however I feel that we have been losing sight of a core concept of the wizard (maybe I'm alone here?). I made this thread because I feel that the wizard no longer embodies it's main concept - Master of the Elements.

What makes wizards different from other classes:
When someone ask you what type of Wizard do you want to make, the answer that usually pops in your mind is an element. Do I want to burn my enemies with hell fire? Shatter their souls with ice? Vaporize them with lightning? or banish them with arcane? Playing a wizard has always been about choosing an element; much different from other classes. When asked what type of Barbarian or Witch Doctor one wants to play you would suspect an answer such as Whirlwind or Pet doctor. Other classes choose a specific skill they want to build around while wizards center their build around an element they want to master.

Where the problem lies:
This problem is actually a major one and would require major design changes so I understand that I am grasping for straws here, but I believe it to be worth it. Because as it is the Wizard simply doesn't play like the Master of Elements like it should be. The problem is that the wizard was treated like all other classes when it's sets were created. As established earlier, when choosing the wizard the player usually goes through a different process in choosing what type of wizard to play. Your choice is based on the element you want to play, not so much a specific skill as with other classes. Right now I feel only 2 sets actually embody the wizard's concept of master of the elements: Firebird's Finery and Tal Rasha's. The remaining 2 sets are the main issue. These 2 sets were created similar to other class sets. These sets effect a few specific skills causing people to change how they play the wizard. Instead of playing with your favorite element, players choose the skills the sets augment then choose the most efficient element in those specific skills.

Solutions:
Here are those major design changes I mentioned. With only 4 sets available to each class and the Wizard controlling 4 elements, ( I think you see where this is going) I believe all but 1 set should be completely redesigned. Firebird's Finery works really well as a fire set. Yes I understand that people don't like DoT but I feel that burning suits the fire element really well. I understand that Tal Rasha's is arguably the best wizard set and actually fits well with the theme of the wizard, but the cost to keep it would be to not have a set for one of the elements. Also, I'm already asking for major redesigns of 2 sets and possibly some support legendary items; what's one more set added on to that?

Conclusion:
I feel that we have erred when designing sets for the wizard by treating it like all other classes. Sets should be element based. Supporting legendary items should be specific skill based. This would bring back the more natural way of choosing how you want to play your wizard.
I like where you are going with this, but there's a better solution:
- Make one of the sets (preferably the firebird set), a 'single element' set. Instead of sayng "when you hit the enemy with 3 different fire skills" it could just say "when you hit the enemy with 3 skills of the same element"
- Make the set change color or appearance depending on the element you are using. EX: blue cryophoenix for ice, black/yellow Thunderbird for lightning.

That way they can leave the other sets alone and not destroy gameplay options other people might like.
11/11/2016 03:05 PMPosted by Wyrmheart
I like where you are going with this, but there's a better solution:
- Make one of the sets (preferably the firebird set), a 'single element' set. Instead of sayng "when you hit the enemy with 3 different fire skills" it could just say "when you hit the enemy with 3 skills of the same element"
- Make the set change color or appearance depending on the element you are using. EX: blue cryophoenix for ice, black/yellow Thunderbird for lightning.

That way they can leave the other sets alone and not destroy gameplay options other people might like.


- On the surface it looks like a really good idea to just have 1 set that supports all elements, but that means each element would be having the same affix effecting it. Each element has it's own strengths and weaknesses. If you are given the exact damage multiplier for cold skills as you do fire, fire will simply win out and nothing really changes. Also, there is always 1 build that is the most efficient for a specific set. With the new Firebird's that support all elements, a single build with a single element will always reign as the best. However, if there is a set for each element, although there may be a little disparity among them, the best build for each one would be a build of that element. However, this isn't a completely lost cause but would require Firbird's Finery be a wall of text (as if it wasn't already). Each element requires it's own affixes. That means 12 set affixes for all 4 elements in this set. To counter the wall of text, they could make only the affixes that go with your highest % element visible. I'm not sure how people would like that as they would either have to swap items just to see affixes or bring up game guide. I just thought of the idea of having different affixes visible based on your highest element randomly but I'm really starting to like it tbh. You could have the set name and skin change along with it.

- Although I am bias against Archon as I can't stand the skill, I am not trying to destroy these builds. This is another reason why this would be a major design change. The wizard would need redesigns of supporting legendary items. Since our sets would be based on an element of our choosing our legendary items would be there for us to select our skills for our build. Archon wizards should still be viable. In fact, I feel 4 sets for each element opens up a lot more build diversity. As the class would be getting a huge buff for a single element by using the set, it leaves up a lot of room for more skills to be used that normally wouldn't see the light of day.
11/11/2016 09:50 PMPosted by Kasey
If you are given the exact damage multiplier for cold skills as you do fire, fire will simply win out and nothing really changes.

- The difference would be smaller than the current difference between sets. So, no, I cannot agree with your logic here. Delsera clears like 80-90, while Firebird clears 100. People still play Delsera (less often, of course, but the build exists)

- You do not need a set with 12 affixes. One affix that simply states "three skills of the same element" is good enough. The difference in builds could come with supporting legendaries like Winter's Flurry, or Velvet Camaral, and in Passives (assuming the elemental passives get buffed because they currently suck really bad).

- The difference in gameplay between the current "fire wizard" and "frost wizard" (and the Sorceror in D2) is mostly the color of the spell effects and some minor CC. The difference in gameplay between a Timebubble wizard, an Archon wizard, and a Tal'Rasha wizard is the... everything, they have nothing in common.

- You cannot redesign a whole class and all its sets, and all its supporting legendaries in one patch. That's like starting a class from scratch and could take a whole year; not even accounting all the people that would be upset when their current builds are invalidated. Read as: "never gonna happen."
- I will just have to resign at agreeing to disagree on this. I believe the disparity would be major and you the opposite. The only way to tell would be to implement it.

- If they care about the game at all they would not make such a lazy choice about the set design. Firebird's affixes make sense for fire. Fire burns. but now to have all elements stack with burning. Just seems lazy and doesn't really make sense. Just wondering if you have something against 12 affixes with only 3 of them visible based on your % elemental damage. This seems like a great compromise of me wanting to basically redesign all wizard items to redesigning a single set.

- For D2 sorceress I'd agree w/you. Other than different monsters being immune to you, only the color of the spell really changed. However, with D3 only certain spells just simply get a color make over. Runes is where you get your elemental changes and a lot of them do way more than simply change the color of the spell. I just feel that the more popular skills are the ones with minor differences - time bubble, archon, etc. However, the difference between a frozen orb and an obliteration orb is hugely different. Not to mention that some runes change mechanics totally.

- First, I would like to start off that as much as I would want to see 4 sets corresponding to a different element, I wasn't expecting that to actually happen. I am only addressing an issue and giving a solution. They could ignore it or implement it in some other way that is less drastic, but at least I tried. "Never gonna happen." isn't a real reason to not share an idea. Now to the main issue of it destroying builds. I seemed to misunderstand this the first time you mentioned it. I thought you were talking about certain builds becoming unplayable (archon, time bubble, etc.), but it seems you mean that people with their current items would find their builds destroyed in a single day because all the items changed and they would be required to find new items. Well this is a problem and would be an unavoidable one if implemented, but they have done it before. CM wiz - destroyed. Force Armor wiz - destroyed.
11/13/2016 01:22 AMPosted by Kasey
Fire burns. but now to have all elements stack with burning. Just seems lazy and doesn't really make sense.

If you change the wording to just "damage over time" instead of burning it makes perfect sense.
- If the air is cold from all your cold spells, things are not going to get warmer and the targets would get hypothermia. Not very different from burning, and it's also a very painful death.
- We already have Lighting dots, like the "Lighting Rod" dot from the Fulminator. Besides, electrocution can lead to shock, cardiac arrest, or paralysis in real life. I don't see how this is any less logical than burning from fire.
- Temporal Flux also works like an arcane dot, even if it does no dmg. Arcane doesn't even have to make sense because... it's arcane. They can make up whatever they want.

11/13/2016 01:22 AMPosted by Kasey
Just wondering if you have something against 12 affixes with only 3 of them visible based on your % elemental damage.

Because at that point you might as well just make 4 different sets and the Wizard would never get that amount of special treatment. You have to keep things reasonable so developers consider it.

It could be feasible to tailor the affix's key wording to match each element. EX: "causes the enemies to burn/go into hypothermia/electrocute until they die".
Without actually changing the numbers. So, the balancing would depend on the runes, and not on the set. Something that is actually possible.

But, making one set with 12 different affixes like in WOW is never going to happen.

11/13/2016 01:22 AMPosted by Kasey
I thought you were talking about certain builds becoming unplayable (archon, time bubble, etc.)

Yes, that is exactly what I'm talking about. But builds depend on items, you cannot talk about builds independently from gear. If you change the other sets to make them single element, then people would be mad because the builds get destroyed AND because their items are not what they wanted.

Also, the lore and the flavor text of the current sets supports their gameplay.
- Tal Rasha is supposed to be the 'traditional' all-element Horadrim; he was the only Horadrim strong enough to hold Baal's soulstone.
- Delsere invented Time Bubble; he made this set by melting other older 'perfectly crafted' items with the intention that one day Li-Ming would wear it.
- Vyr created an obelisk to gather the power of the Archon and then transferred it to his own armor.

Like... you can't just change those sets to a different gameplay. They have to include multi-element/timebubble/archon.

On the other hand, the Firebird set is very ambiguous:
  • No one knows where it came from, though it seems to be thousands of years old.
  • Many different sorcerers and wizards have studied it, each making a new discovery of it's potential.
  • The set captures, dissipates and channels 'arcanum'; nowhere it says it captures and channels fire specifically.
  • The gloves are the only piece that says something even remotely fire specific: "stays cool even on extreme heat." However, from the Firefly story-line we know that fire, lighting and frost spells follow (albeit a bit loosely) the laws of physics. Casting frost spells heats up the wizard to the point they can self-combust or trigger a cold snap around them if they are not careful. So, gloves that retain their temperature would be useful for any kind of wizard.
  • Since so little is known about the Firebird set in the lore of diablo, they could easily make it a new discovery by our current talented wizard: "It seems as though this armor held more power than I was previously lead to believe" - Li-Ming[/ul]
  • It seems that we have made a full loop as although you have very valid points, I feel the disparity in elements would be way too large if Firebirds became a set that just effects all elements. Arcane can compete with fire, but cold and lightning seem to be trailing far behind. Maybe designing 4 sets into 1 may be asking for a little much, but it's probable to make the cold and lightning do cc as well when they are effected by "hypothermia" or " electrocute". hypothermia would just slow movement and attack speed of monsters. and electrocute would slow and have monsters deal less damage. This is really the only way i could see cold and light being capable of competing with fire and arcane. Or maybe the disparity is my imagination.
    11/13/2016 11:58 AMPosted by Kasey
    but it's probable to make the cold and lightning do cc as well when they are effected by "hypothermia" or " electrocute".

    the runes already work just like that:
    - Almost every single cold rune slows or freezes (or both)
    - Almost every single arcane rune has some sort of random effect like extra arcane power, or shields, debuffing the enemy etc.
    - Fire and Lighting runes tend to be about pure dmg with very few exceptions like Flameward (Arcane torrent), or Pure Power (archon).

    Just think through what you are describing. If you don't think the cold and lighting runes are good enough to compete with the fire and arcane runes, then the problem is with the runes, not with a set that could potentially increase the dmg of any skill. If a problem of balance arouse, then developers could simply target the weaker/OP runes.
    11/13/2016 06:25 PMPosted by Wyrmheart
    Just think through what you are describing. If you don't think the cold and lighting runes are good enough to compete with the fire and arcane runes, then the problem is with the runes, not with a set that could potentially increase the dmg of any skill. If a problem of balance arouse, then developers could simply target the weaker/OP runes.


    That would be fine too, but they pretty much refuse to make skill changes. They believe in balance via legendary items. But if they did do that, that would be great.

    11/13/2016 06:25 PMPosted by Wyrmheart
    the runes already work just like that:
    - Almost every single cold rune slows or freezes (or both)
    - Almost every single arcane rune has some sort of random effect like extra arcane power, or shields, debuffing the enemy etc.
    - Fire and Lighting runes tend to be about pure dmg with very few exceptions like Flameward (Arcane torrent), or Pure Power (archon).


    The difference is the duration. they would remain cc'd permanently once you got all 3 stacks on them. Also, I was looking for higher numbers than most of the skills. 80% slow 40% less attack speed for hypothermia. 80% slow 20% less damage for lightning. But just brainstorming; you seem more knowledgeable about the game mechanics or at least good at finding holes in pretty much everything I'm saying. XD
    11/13/2016 11:10 PMPosted by Kasey
    at least good at finding holes in pretty much everything I'm saying.

    Haha! No, I just love theory-crafting... probably even more than I like actually playing games.

    I've also been lucky that many of my theory crafting wishes have come true, like the Etched Sigil (literally my favorite item in the game, though I'm sure I wasn't the only one who asked for something like it).

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