Earth Casters in 2.0

Should Earth Casters be primarily healing-focused?

  • Yes.

    Votes: 7 24.1%
  • No.

    Votes: 16 55.2%
  • Other - Posting description.

    Votes: 6 20.7%

  • Total voters
    29

Tantarus

Knight
Or you could give earth wands and spell swapping to healing, as well as giving spell swapping for damage spell. Win Win for both classes.

I don't think flexibility is worth giving up dozens of extra packets to use in a day that wand offers.
 

Muir

Fighter
I feel that Earth caster design is mistakenly stuck in the ruts of Dungeons and Dragons Cleric design circa 1985, with a slight dip into MMO healer mechanics, as presented. While there are people who enjoy that style of play, I do think the class needs more options available to it to be remotely comparable to Celestial.
 

Draven

Count
I'm really against the idea of spell swapping to healing, because of culture. While I agree that the versatility would be useful, at least in the current system I can throw Confines/Binds without people thinking I wasted Healing. >.>
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
I'm really against the idea of spell swapping to healing, because of culture. While I agree that the versatility would be useful, at least in the current system I can throw Confines/Binds without people thinking I wasted Healing. >.>
Again, I disagree with the premise that bad culture should have an impact on the rules. If you want people to not be jerks, you can't build rules around it, you need to either get them to stop being jerks or just not let them be there.
 

Alavatar

Baron
There is a reason that D&D 3.5 (I have no experience with 4th and 5th editions) buffed Clerics to have more fighting ability (armor proficiency and better to-hit progression), more spells (extra domain spells), and a couple intrinsic benefits (Turn/Rebuke Undead, can cast spells with armor, domain benefits, spontaneous casting to Cure/Cause spells) than Wizards/Sorcerers. They needed to make the Clerics more appealing than just a healer because the class was considered to be boring compared to the Arcane casters and players would gravitate away from the Cleric to be something more dynamic.

In honesty, I am surprised Alliance has yet to learn that classes with Healing magics need to be more attractive than "you can healz!" ... if anything, due to the reluctance of implementing Earth Wand equivalents, the legal status of Necromancy, and the (apparently regional) culture of shunning non-healing prepared casters, Alliance has done the opposite.
 

Saephis

Squire
Again, I disagree with the premise that bad culture should have an impact on the rules. If you want people to not be jerks, you can't build rules around it, you need to either get them to stop being jerks or just not let them be there.
And just because you don't see it, even in your own chapter(s), doesn't mean it doesn't exist, or that folks won't be tempted by it, when they see it. :) Its not longer term players that I feel are those at risk of these sorts of sentiments, with longer term folks normally gravitating towards team-play and just having more spells to have flexibility with.

Giving *more* opportunity for it seems to be what at least a few folks are apprehensive about. Its a slippery slope argument, sure, but considering so many of the proposed 2.0 rules are situated around "We have a tip of an iceberg, so lets take a sharp right to avoid that ever happening all together", which obviously creates other issues ... like boats turning over in the water.
 

Gilwing

Administrator
Alliance Logistics
Alliance Owner
I do think, however, that there should be some form of earth-based "something" that is comparable to the celestial wands, but other than a horribly broken healing wand, I'm lacking in ideas.
The answer is...do the same for Earth.
 

Avaran

Baron
-
 
Last edited:

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
And just because you don't see it, even in your own chapter(s), doesn't mean it doesn't exist, or that folks won't be tempted by it, when they see it. :) Its not longer term players that I feel are those at risk of these sorts of sentiments, with longer term folks normally gravitating towards team-play and just having more spells to have flexibility with.

Giving *more* opportunity for it seems to be what at least a few folks are apprehensive about. Its a slippery slope argument, sure, but considering so many of the proposed 2.0 rules are situated around "We have a tip of an iceberg, so lets take a sharp right to avoid that ever happening all together", which obviously creates other issues ... like boats turning over in the water.
Let me be clear here: I'm not saying that people getting bullied into picking and then casting certain spells isn't a problem. What I am saying is that it is something that should be policed by the players (starting with owners and marshals) and not something that we need or should build rules around.

I agree that your argument is a slippery slope and that bunch of the changes seem to wildly overreact to the current situation, and I think both of those things are terrible reactions.
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
I feel like there are many factors at play here that aren't being addressed by are very much related to what's being talked about in this thread.

Because Expanded Enchantment is going away, a whole lot of healing will be leaving the game. I think to compensate for this loss, Earth was given Healing at every level to help off-set the loss of magic items, not because they wanted to "buff" Earth, but to keep the game closer to where it now in terms of available healing. Obviously I could be incorrect in my conclusion, and I hope I am, because I detest the idea of compensating for the Magic Item losses anywhere. They need to go away, their extra effects and spells need to go away, their extra power needs to go away and a new game equilibrium needs to be found without Magic Items.

Second related point - and I think this might be the bigger issue - is the change of Buff spell duration (Spell Shield, Magic Armor, Reflect Magic, Poison Shield, etc.) to 5 day maximum.

I think this rules change has the potential to create a whole lot of really bad social situations. Think about this: At the start of every event, you're going to have Scholars of both types being hounded by literally every non-caster for protective spells. If a caster runs around with a group of 4 people (5 total), that caster will have to have at least a 5-Column in order to ensure their group is ready to go at the start of an event, and a 10-Column to rebuff everyone 1 additional time. Yes, this can be alleviated by using higher level spells to cast spells at lower tiers, but it feels punitive.

So it feels like the issues were:

Cause:
  • We are getting rid of Magic Items and their healing and renewable resource(s).
  • We are getting rid of Buffs lasting more than 5 days.

Effect\Reaction:
  • Give Earth more Healing! *and* Give Earth the ability to use higher level spells to cast lower level spells!
  • Give Earth more Healing *and* Give Scholars the ability to use higher levels spells to cast lower level spells!

So I don't know that it's a Net Gain for healing. Given other factors, I would hazard that "healing at every level" isn't the buff to healing that many might see it as.

And Buff duration is putting more strain on Scholars than I feel is strictly necessary. I don't see how adding potential social pressure on Scholars - of any level, but certainly at lower levels - is helpful to player retention, and if I were playing a Scholar, it would feel bad that I have to choose between:
  • Buffing my friends and being down 4+ spells per person buffed before things even start
  • Not buffing my friends and feeling like an ******* because I want to keep my spells for when a situation arises and I feel they can be more effective.
But in the back of my mind, I'm still thinking, "man, that's 20 spells for my 5 friends that are basically already spent". It's not so bad for higher level characters, but low-level and new Scholar characters are screwed over hard by that change.

Consumables:
I guess the upside is that there will be some incentive to buy potions and scrolls for buffing, and with Magic Item changes money has to go somewhere...but it's just replacing one problem for another:
Now: Money only saved for Scrolls/Magic Items.
2.0: Money is saved for consumables.

Net positive: Money - in theory - circulates more freely.
Potential Negative: Only 1 place to spend money still. Though this is a negative, I don't know that there is a realistic way of alleviating this, and I'd rather have money spent on consumables than horded just to buy magic items/scrolls/components. I think from the perspective of Staff/Plot, this will end up being a Net Positive, though it's hard to predict player action/reaction.
I might be wrong here, but I get the feeling that at least some of the changes that you mention above were examined in a vacuum and not looked at for overall game impact.

I think part of the problem is that when we (as a game) do rules changes, we try to revamp everything all at once so it doesn't have to get done for another half a decade or more.

Personally, I'd rather see a single (somewhat) substantial change made every (or every other) year. That way we have the ability to measure the impact and see what other things get impacted than what was initially suspected. Additionally, it gives us the capability to roll-back changes more easily if absolutely necessary as well as react more dynamically to further repurcussions.

For instance, if we implement the ritual magic changes (including spell/high magic changes?) and see how that goes and then revisit the need for changes to the non-magical side of the spectrum, I think it gives us a big improvement in our ability to make positive changes to the game.

I know one of the stated reasons for the preference towards large scale changes was the expense associated with printing new rulebooks and that typically ended prior discussions of this nature, I'm pretty sure that's a non-factor now.
 

Draven

Count
Let me be clear here: I'm not saying that people getting bullied into picking and then casting certain spells isn't a problem. What I am saying is that it is something that should be policed by the players (starting with owners and marshals) and not something that we need or should build rules around.

I agree that your argument is a slippery slope and that bunch of the changes seem to wildly overreact to the current situation, and I think both of those things are terrible reactions.
"Police Socially Negative Players" is an excellent headline, but there's literally no way to do it that doesn't end in a "Me Vs Them" situation that is beneficial to absolutely nobody. Even worse, it can progress to PVP, or at its most extreme, losing players entirely from one side or the other.

We can encourage good behavior and mindful metagaming all day long; it simply won't matter to a lot of folks with a "gaming" mentality. They recognize themselves as the Problem Solvers with their damage and offensive weapons, and Healing-capable characters as the people who make sure they can do their Problem Solving with minimal risk.

Thus, when such a character invests resources detrimental to that minimal risk (such as memorizing Death over Life), they feel it impacts their ability to have fun by making dangerous decisions. Is this fair to the other character? Of course not. But the Problem Solver isn't thinking in terms of Fair, he's thinking in terms of Tactical Outcomes, and isn't aware that his stance is selfish in nature. Heck, they may even equate it to "You picked this set of skills, which is best for keeping me alive to use my set of skills," and thus they can't ever view it as anything but "correct gameplay."

Thus, policing players isn't the right option, because it'll inevitably fail. That's just Gaming 101. The rules need to take culture into consideration.
 

Avaran

Baron
-
 
Last edited:

Draven

Count
Can you imagine trying to scale and run an event where this paradigm is thrown out the window?.
You mean like Seattle? ;-)

People play what they want. Heck, even Silver Wolves are extremely caster-heavy. Half of us are Earth Formalists!
 
I feel like this is a huge part of the game, and one that is often touted among players across many chapters:

Team work and having to work as a team.

Player 1 goes Fighter
and Player 2 goes Healer to support him
Player 3 goes Celestial for additional magic/range damage

And thus a team is born.

The game is quite literally built around this concept. Can you imagine trying to scale and run an event where this paradigm is thrown out the window? Without knowing players and their characters, a plot team is most likely going to run a horribly scaled event.
I've been playing for over 20 years. I have never seen a team formed that way. I can't recall a single team that fit that precise setup.

The team I originally started on was me (a celestial templar) and my buddy (an earth templar). We combined with a single fighter, a straight celestial caster, and a rogue. We had half an earth caster for a five man team. We went on dozens of modules with that team (back in the days when Ashbury ran modules) and we succeeded through cunning and creativity (and once due to the fact that I memorized more Endow spells... back when they were celestial... than any low level caster should ever memorize), not because a healer was supporting a fighter with "fire" support.

Beyond that, I have seen a team that was all fighters plus a single celestial caster. I have seen a team where everyone was part rogue. I have seen a team that had more production than most chapters have on all players combined and powered through weekends with vorpal'd arrows, scrolls, and potions. I have seen a team where everyone was a necromancer (long enough ago in history that such a revelation isn't metagaming).

In short, the dynamic you describe doesn't even vaguely reflect the average team dynamic I have seen while playing and certainly isn't the dynamic I specifically scaled for during events (and I successfully scaled events for the better part of a decade).

-MS
 

Avaran

Baron
-
 
Last edited:

Ruki

Scholar
I've been playing for over 20 years. I have never seen a team formed that way. I can't recall a single team that fit that precise setup.

The team I originally started on was me (a celestial templar) and my buddy (an earth templar). We combined with a single fighter, a straight celestial caster, and a rogue. We had half an earth caster for a five man team. We went on dozens of modules with that team (back in the days when Ashbury ran modules) and we succeeded through cunning and creativity (and once due to the fact that I memorized more Endow spells... back when they were celestial... than any low level caster should ever memorize), not because a healer was supporting a fighter with "fire" support.

Beyond that, I have seen a team that was all fighters plus a single celestial caster. I have seen a team where everyone was part rogue. I have seen a team that had more production than most chapters have on all players combined and powered through weekends with vorpal'd arrows, scrolls, and potions. I have seen a team where everyone was a necromancer (long enough ago in history that such a revelation isn't metagaming).

In short, the dynamic you describe doesn't even vaguely reflect the average team dynamic I have seen while playing and certainly isn't the dynamic I specifically scaled for during events (and I successfully scaled events for the better part of a decade).

-MS
Slightly off topic....but AShbury doesn't do mods any more? What do they do instead?
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
Slightly off topic....but AShbury doesn't do mods any more? What do they do instead?
Ashbury used to run module days on a site in Brooklyn (iirc), which is what Mike is referencing with his use of the word module.

They still run modules during weekend events, but these were standalone things.
 

Eldor

Artisan
First - Earth casters need to have an effect similar to the celestial wand, just for balance sake. A celestial caster can have two to three times as many packets to throw as an earth caster because of their wand. No matter how effective these packets may or may not be they equate to things to do and fun to be had at game.

Second - The concept of a "wand" that does harm or help undead would be a reasonable choice in my opinion, considering the implications of a healing/chaos effect would be hard to balance out, unless nationally we introduce Order as the opposite of Chaos, and have Order damage that goes straight to body. This would resolve the healing concerns with a wand and as it goes straight to body the damage value could be set low to compensate.

Third - While I absolutely love the idea of being able to convert any spell I have to healing, it would not make up for the lack of a "wand", see point one for the reasons. That being said, I feel that allowing earth to drop for healing would not hurt the game, and would in fact likely help it a lot, yet I feel Celestial's should be able to drop for Evocation of this change was made, as I also feel that would be good for the game. If Celestial's can drop for evocation, then burst pools could be removed bringing celestial more in balance with earth.
 

Zymm

Newbie
I like the idea of being able to substitute healing/evo, but I wouldn't mind there being a skill that allows the character to do that.
 
Top