Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mage spells – the ones I’ve forgotten and the ones I'd like to see

I don’t know how it is for other classes, but being a mage, I’ve got a huge spell book. And that is just as it should be in my opinion. Mages are spell casters, wizards by definition, with a superior intellect - of course we should be able to memorize an abundance of magic tricks.

As a newbie mage I found it a bit frightening. How was I supposed to understand and recall the use of all of those buttons? When you’re fighting a mob there really isn’t any time to read the tooltip and analyze whether to cast this spell or another one.

After two years of wizardry I’m not quite as confused. I’m rather a bit lazy, sticking to just a few spells and buffs that I use every raid. I guess more of them would come handy if I was into PvP, but with my raiding focus, I must admit that most of my spells currently are collecting dust, which really is a pity.

Spell wishes
When I was interviewed by Twisted Nether last week, they sent me some questions in advance, in order to give me the chance to think a bit about them. One of the questions never turned up in the show – I think I talked too much so there wasn’t any room for it. They were wondering: if I could make up a mage spell of my own, what would it be like?

I did what I think most other players would have done; I immediately started to think about awesome stuff that other classes do that I would like to do as well. Healing, managing other pets than a water element, tankinglike abilities… whatever. Don’t we all nourish a secret wish to become overpowered (preferably without anyone else noticing)?

But then I came to my senses. The idea of WoW is that we’re playing different roles. (Or at least it was, before they started to hand out class specialties to others, thus making the classes less distinct, under the slogan “Bring the player, not the class”). Deep inside I don’t want to make a mage into something else. If we were to be given new spells, it should rather be spells that fit into the mage concept and the role we already play.

The never used spells
My second thought pondering upon the subject was: do I really want another spell? When would I come around to use it? I’ve got tons of spells I rarely use, if ever. Wouldn’t it be great fun if the encounters were made in a way that you actually were rewarded if you looked deeper into your spell book than to just Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles, occasionally broken up by Frost nova or Blizzard?

Gone are the days when I was required to sheep, spellsteal or counterspell. And I have yet to see an encounter in WotLK where Amplify or Dampen magic will come in handy. Actually from a RP perspective, Larísa should be required to go back to the mage trainer to learn those spells once again, she’s quite likely to have forgotten the formulas completely after not using them for so long.

Using my imagination
Finally I did what I suppose the intention of the question: I tried to use my imagination to think up something new, something not overpowered, something fitting a mage. I came to think of the new buff food that you can play around with, making you smaller or bigger. Wouldn’t it be fun if you could shrink or enlarge NPC:s as well as other players (PvP)? It doesn’t necessary have to affect their stats and abilities any way. The amusement and confusion it would make would be enough for me.

Then we have the ability to fly. It was first brought up by Gnomeaggedon when we were discussing our ideas of class specific mounts. He suggested that mages should be able to fly without using any mount at all, moving through the air by magic. I agree totally. It would suit us much better than this stupid carpet, which will crash any moment since it obviously isn’t intended for gnomish pilots – my sword is cutting a hole right through it.

Then there’s my love for pets and critters. You can make critters to your pets nowadays, but the cost of the critter food is horrendous considering the effect only lasts 2 minutes. I think mages should be able to do funny tricks with the little creatures. Perhaps we could get one at the time without using the buff food – or we could transform them into something else, just for the fun of it.

A last idea is that they could develop one of the latest additions to our spell books a bit further: Mirror. The idea is nice, they look awesome, but they lack any kind of intelligence and situational awareness. Even the slightest possibility to control the actions of our little helpers would be a great improvement.

Now fellow mages (and everyone else who shares our interest for the arcane teachings): how would you have answered the question? What spell would like to add to the repertoire of the mages?


Anonymous said...

I actually found one place to use amplify magic.....cast it on the people tanking patchwork. Other than that I am in the same boat as many spells I never even see....I can't even remember poly'n any mobs for a really really long time...i used to have to do it every other pull.

Gevlon said...

As a healer I always ask (Yell at in /rw) mages to put Amplify on tanks. Practically helps in all encounters except the flame tank on Sarth. So just put Amply on every single tank you see.

Anonymous is right, especially on Patchwerk.

Green Armadillo said...

I do still find things to spellsteal on a moderately regular basis. For example, we can spellsteal Bane off of the last boss of UP, and I'm pretty sure there were a few other nasties that I can lift right off the mob. Probably doesn't matter if your heroic group vastly overgears the instance though.

In a broader sense, part of the problem is that talents are making us very overspecialized. I'd love to fire off some Arcane Missiles or a Flame Strike every so often, but I'm not specced for those trees, and I'd actually do less damage.

As to actual new ideas, hm.... we can already teleport and become temporarily invisible, flight might be fun but might end up looking extremely stupid and Larisa already took that one. Also, there's the problem of explaining why we can fly but choose not to fly indoors.

Perhaps Frost mages could get to temporarily freeze a chunk of water into a platform of sorts so they can jump across rivers (or climb up out of a lake to get onto a flying mount). Fire mages might get a similar ability to temporarily burn out a chunk of lava so it would be safe to stand on the rock underneath it for a bit. I have no idea what a good Arcane equivalent might be - maybe you could make a platform out of solid energy in mid air, but you wouldn't be allowed to make more than one and it would cost you a lot of mana to maintain (even then, it would still be much better than the other two).

Anonymous said...

Damn you and that Gnomish Mind reading hat!

Looks like two posts I need to reconsider now.... naah, I think I will go ahead anyway... writing is done, just need some images to bloat the page...

Sorry I missed the blogcast the other night... Fim asked in Twitter just before he began if anyone had any questions.. being significantly behind in my podcast listening, I didn't realize it was you...

Can't wait to hear it....

Klepsacovic said...

Not referring directly to you, but I wonder how many desired spells are just about the grass being greener.

Many of the spells that I think I'd like to see are already in existence, we just don't use them much. Turn undead, the special demons for warlocks, purge (in PvE).

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of combining mirror and a pet skill. Obviously juggling 3 pets would be a bit too much but it would be cool if we could congure a single mirror image of ourselves and use it like a spell casting pet.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

For a mage ... instead of flight, how about "Magical Stairs" makes platforms of energy under the mages feet allowing them to run through the air for 10 minutes. Only works in outland and northend, and only if you know how to fly/cold weather flying. The last two bits are there because classic wow is still just a stage.

Carra said...

Been a while since my mage was my main character. But I remember that in raids, all you had to do was use frostbolt & blizzard. For pvp however... You had to use some spells you rarely use outside of pvp. Arcane shield (too much mana lost in pve), counterspell, dampen magic (no use in pvp, less healing = bad), sheeping,...

As for the new spell, you 'll get to transform players into cute bunnies. Does it get any better then that? Now,I wonder what will happen if I rabbit a player and I get out my own snowshoe rabbit out :)

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: So it's just mechanic damage there? Cool. Got to check that up.
But yeah, I miss the sheep a bit. I wouldn't want too many of them, but once in a while they made me feal useful.

@Gevlon: OK, not only Patchwerk, everyone else too...

@Green Armadillo: yeah, we're pretty overgeared so I guess that's why I havent looked deeply into what could be spellstealed.
Nice platform idea. Actually I thought about if you could make some kind of short temporary indoor flying ability. To sort of hoover in the air, jumping up with a short time-stop thing, to avoid red and green stuff for instance. Another survival thing for the squishes.

@Gnome: looking forward to read those posts!

@Klepsacovic: yeah it is a problem imo that spells aren't used. We've got enough spells, but not enough reason to use them.

@Poledra: yeah, I'm much for pets too. I like the idea of doing more of the mirror stuff. Maybe more and smaller. Not having three but thirty Larísas would be cool.

@Pangoria Fallstar: oh yes! Could come very handy for wallclimbing, couldn't it? I've always been crap at those jumping things.

@Carra: We should be able to do something with those rabbits. What if we made a movement like we were pulling them out of a hat when we do those polymorfs?

Ceolwulf said...

Someone somewhere mentioned that when specced frost you ought to be able to heal your elemental by casting frostbolts at it. Doesn't add a new spell, but is quite obvious and would be very useful.

Anonymous said...

Ok, here goes, how about a mirror/invisibility combine that would put you into an instant invisibility state but leave a replica of you that would distract like the shaman totem.
I also like the idea of thirty tiny versions of Poledra swarming a mob.
Ok, now im thinking that mirroring should have its own talent spec like frost, arcane and fire.
The possibilities.........

Anonymous said...

Just some random ideas:

1) Improved Teleport, using the built in Blizzard maps you can select any point and teleport there.

2) Living Wand. Your wand becomes your pet and can fight beside you for 15sec or so.

3) Focused Invisibility, the ability to turn someone else Invisible. With a long cool down of course.

Anonymous said...

@Ceowolf: that makes sense! Like patching a snowman...

@Poledra: that's great! Putting up fake Larísas and there's no way to tell if I'm real or fake... could have a lot of fun with that in PvP provided you could make not too OP.

@Anonymous: I loved all of those! Not the least the teleport since I'm known to be able to get lost anywyere. The livin wand is lovely. Maybe you could make it a living weapon, inspired by the ones flying around in Naxx... My current sword Life and death looks like a fish. Would look cool to see it swimming around in the air, biting the enemies...

Anonymous said...

How about a familiar of some sort. A type of permanent vanity pet that grants the caster a minor buff of some sort based on which familiar is chosen. i.e. a bird familiar could be a type of eye of kilrogg, or passive stealth det buff.

Would have to be sort of permanent, like the cloth specializations, or at least require a respec to get a different pet.