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For months now people complained about the power of mages.

Two groups of mages were the main focus - Death and Earth mages.
With the latest nerf of death magic and a nerf to all magic schools *attunement nerf* things got more out of balance than you might think.

Chris said some people complained that they have to level more than one school in PVE etc, and as someone who told him that his nerf was overdone, I think he might have in parts talked about my feedback on the issue.

Let me explain what the problem is here, and why magery (for high level chars) can be considered a utility school like the tactics tree now. This mainly applies to PVE Bossfights and of course PVP.

A lot of the effects the nerf had, you will only notice at very high levels. So even if you might think now that your mage is doing fine in T5 zones... wait until you get past that...

The Earth Magic Problem and Mages in PVP

Earth mages have been very popular from the beginning. It is one of the highest damage schools, and the only school you cannot built resistances against with passives or spells. With the nerf to attunement as of R41 earth mages also lost some damage, but it is less noticable since fully resistance buffed players will always be most vulnerable by earth magic.

As I said only earth has no skills or passives increasing the resistance against it. As of now it makes it the only "truly" viable magic school for PVP R41. Death was also pretty popular, but it was also countered very easy by Shield of Air. And without life leech the death mage is useless...

In this video, a friend and I test his damage with around 100 attunement vs. a fully buffed target. Notice that in the beginning and afterwards he is shooting me with a bow for comparison.

He has almost no skill in Archery, but is able to deal around the same damage numbers. Imagine what a real levelled archer or physical dmg char could do?

Only real defense for a pure caster in cloth is Death Shield, which reduces the dmg by around 25%.

So clearly the advantage is on the physical side in PVP.
If you get cced as a caster, it is common for a good melee char to whack you to death using 4 attacks/skills.

Is that balanced? Depends.

Usually I think it should be like that. If the caster gets rushed and cced, he should fall dead pretty fast. Mages have been class cannons all the time, but Chris removed our cannon.

At high level you HAVE to level physical dmg right now, because there is no other way to deal consistent dmg. But hey wait, what about EARTH MAGES?

True, you could still switch to heavy armor and roll earth mage. But for real pure caster types that invested in light armor etc. it is looking dim.

All other schools at around 100 Attunement as seen in the video are looking bad.

Now what Mages did before was fully invest in one school. I got my attunement around 200+ and that way the dmg, was still on par with the physical side in PVP. However I had far less dmg glyphs available, and for mages all attacks cost focus - since wands itself no longer deal any noticeable damage. The schools that were around 100 attunement, already were only used for their effects: slows or stuns etc.

With the latest attunement change, 200+ attunement is no longer effective enough IMHO - only for earth magic, since they got the least resistance values to face and deal enough damage because of that.

How can you fix this?

Maybe if wands give more bonus to casting. If everything stays like it is, magic schools will only be used as utility for physical dmg chars at  high level.

Again, please notice the effects I decribed above will only be noticable at very high level PVP and PVE.

Mages and PVE Boss fights

The fire mage will never be able to kill the fire dragon. He needs to level other schools as well. However we haven't seen any bosses that let's say are immune to blades and can only be damaged by bludgeon.

So not only mages need another school to level, all their skills cost focus and some of them also reagents. However they only got, depending on the vulnerability of the boss mob, sometimes only 10 dmg cards in their deck that the boss is vulnerable against. Some of them even in melee range. Compared to an archer just kiting bosses and dealing damage without focus cost, this seems like a big advantage for physical.

Since the attunement nerf, some skills will even deal less damage to a boss than the focus they cost if the boss is highly resistant.

Now some say you shouldn't be able to solo bosses, but if that is the case that should count for all "classes" not only pure mages. So will we see a big physical dmg nerf in PVE Bossfights? Maybe we need to discuss again what content should be soloable and what content is for groups? I found soloing sieges and bosses my #1 fun in SotA, besides PVPing. Now I am back to grinding the rise again, and next thing someone tells me I am not supposed to do that either ;)

With all those disadvantages a pure mage has to overcome, I find that it was pretty balanced before. Earth Magic and Death magic were a little over the top - but like I said death was easily countered in PVP. Nerfing Stone Arrow to match the other schools is long overdue.

But the nerf of ALL DAMAGE on ALL SCHOOLS was too much. Especially if you take into account how much levelling needs to be done to be effective as a mage.

This all might balance out again once we get wands that deal damage without focus costs as well.

I guess most people started playing as mage, because it was way easier back in the days when the game went persistent. The last few months physical dmg has become very strong in comparison to magic dmg.

The latest nerf of magic was not necessary, as more and more people already realized the potential of physical and most of the guys were hybrids before, and just became earth mages for PVP.

Earth magic will be nerfed, and then more people will realize how weak mages have become at the very high level of PVP and PVE.

So for all you pure mages out there struggling to level... don't be sad if you still won't be able to deal any damage to bosses or fully buffed high level PVPers, once you are fully GMed. Learn physical damage instead.

And Again, please notice the effects I decribed above will only be noticable at very high level PVP and PVE.

TL:DR Magic nerf to all schools was overdone. Don't nerf attunement mechanic - balance schools seperatedly, balance resistances and make wands and staves more usefull, if you need to reduce the damage of spells overall... otherwise they were fine ;)

Feedback: A reader also messaged me saying that the "magic as utility" is true in so far, that all spell effects are not increased or coupled with INT as for mages it "should" be. Meaning the stun rate, slow rate etc. of a non-mage is identical with a pure mage in most cases. INT only raises DMG. Good Point!


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