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Thread: Mage class design purpose

  1. #1
    Soulwalker
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    Default Mage class design purpose

    What is the purpose of the mage class? This is not a rhetorical question or a passive aggressive complaint, I genuinely want to know what the designers' intent for the mage class is.

    Rogues main shtick is lots and lots of single target DPS, both ranged and melee.
    Warriors main shtick is tanking or doing lots and lots of melee DPS.
    Clerics main shtick is lots and lots of healing or tanking.
    And each of the above had a tree that dips into another classes speciality.

    In most games Mages are "glass cannons", with the shtick of lots of ranged muti-target or single target damage. Since one of their main AOE damage specs has been nerfed and the Mage healing spec has lost its "Damage to heal" gimmick, this is obviously not the intended case in Rift. So if any Trion employees read this, what is the intended general class focus for Mages in Rift? We know what they're not supposed to be good at, so how are we supposed to be playing them?

    (Please no players respond with "To suck" or "to make the other classes feel better" it's an obvious joke and I'd like there to be a chance of getting a reply.)

    I'm also curious about the restricted tree integration. Most of the <5 soul point slots are things like "Increase <single elemental type> damage", putting a clear limitation on what trees are supposed to go with what. Similarly the absence of 6-10 general boosters across so many of the trees (by which I mean the 6-10 tier soul points usually only boost in-soul abilities) is so widespread it could only have been by design. That the exception to these two statements that is the warlock soul jumps so readily to mind only helps to show how restrictive the other souls are by contrast.

    By contrast the Rogue early-tree slots tend to be 5 points in "boost an in-tree ability" and five points in "Get more dodge" "get more dex" "get more armour", stuff useful to half the souls there.

    It would be assumed that the intended design was "less obvious" synergy such as gaining access to spells that stack with in-tree effects, but the extremely soul-specific nature of each souls gimmick means this cannot be the intent. An example is the electrocute and hypothermia effects vital to stormcallers; casting a spell that doesn't proc or play off one of these effects reduces the usefulness of your class gimmick, and while it's pretty reasonable that a fireball would not be overly useful to such a build these effects are not even procced by other tree spells that are also electrical and cold effects. And tjat's not even getting into shared cooldowns.

    Again by contrast, a bunch of the cleric gimmicks are "Get X in-tree ability, and a bit less than X to out-of-tree abilities".

    Put together, this means that Mages have very few "Passive" out-of-tree benefits and also lack many "active" out of tree benefits. While in any calling some souls will always work better with some than others, and it's usually always at least worth considering running to 51 in your main soul(I do this on my rogue roles, I like it, sue me), it seems that mages were deliberately designed to restrict their mix-and-match potential and to be steered heavily into one-soul builds. Since this seems to go so strongly against the much more open spirit of the other callings, what were the design decisions that led to this split?

    In case I lost track of what I was asking in there (it happens) my questions are:

    1) How would you describe the main purpose (I think the term is game space? design space?) of the Mage calling? What is their primary function? Edit: To clarify this one: Since, like Clerics, Mages aren't supposed to be a DPS class in this game, what kind of class are they supposed to be?
    2) Why did you decide to restrict what souls can pair with what so much more than with other callings?
    3) Why did you decide to restrict the synergy potential of cross-soul abilities so much more than with the other callings?
    Alternative 2/3) Why did you decide to break mages away from the mix-and-match style design of the other callings?
    Last edited by Geomags; 06-24-2011 at 06:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Soulwalker
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    Euch, edit time limit restrictions, my greatest foe. Please replace the edit to question 1 with the following:

    1) How would you describe the main purpose (I think the term is game space? design space?) of the Mage calling? What is their primary function?
    Edit: To clarify this one: Since, like Clerics, Mages aren't intended to be a DPS class (or at least not a priarily DPS class) in Rift, what kind of class are they intended to be?

    Language is a bit clearer.
    Last edited by Geomags; 06-24-2011 at 06:09 PM.

  3. #3
    Champion
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    Hey I just got off the phone to Trion; apparently our role is "To suck."

  4. #4
    Telaran Sirfuzzzy's Avatar
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    OP, I have been wondering the same thing myself. Thank you for writing a constructive thread. Sadly I don't think you will get any kind of Dev response, as the Warrior 1.3 changes thread proved... they only respond to endless pages of "I QUIT!!" before they buff your class beyond reason and make you almost as overpowered as Sabs.

    I think our purpose as mages is to be able to function in groups as heal, DPS, or support.. and we actually can up untill T2's, at which point we can function as mediocre DPS and Support which nobody needs. Then in Raids we can function as Support and subpar raid healing which Wardens laugh at... and that's about it.

  5. #5
    Plane Walker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geomags View Post
    What is the purpose of the mage class? This is not a rhetorical question or a passive aggressive complaint, I genuinely want to know what the designers' intent for the mage class is.

    Rogues main shtick is lots and lots of single target DPS, both ranged and melee.
    Warriors main shtick is tanking or doing lots and lots of melee DPS.
    Clerics main shtick is lots and lots of healing or tanking.
    And each of the above had a tree that dips into another classes speciality.

    I
    My biggest gripe in "what is my class for"...is why am i needed?

    If 5 rogues can complete a T1 or 5 Clerics...why can't 5 mages?

    Warriors should have a similar gripe,,,if others can tank...why am I needed?

    I like diversity, but to allow others to be cross class traditional, but not all classes, is a bit perplexing.

  6. #6
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by quicklikesloth View Post
    My biggest gripe in "what is my class for"...is why am i needed?

    If 5 rogues can complete a T1 or 5 Clerics...why can't 5 mages?

    Warriors should have a similar gripe,,,if others can tank...why am I needed?

    I like diversity, but to allow others to be cross class traditional, but not all classes, is a bit perplexing.
    I could be wrong here, but I was under the impression that a Bard couldn't main heal a dungeon but was a damn good off-healer. So this all-rogue layout would need either a cleric or (up until the changes) a chloro mage, or two bards and a lot of luck. Similarly the all-cleric run is going to have crappy single-target DPS, so getting through will take ages and be a complete slogfest. You need a rogue or a warrior (or two) with you for the DPS.

    So while an all-rogue or an all-cleric run are possible, you need to splash into at least one other calling for an enjoyable run. Warriors don't have a heal class so they're in the same boat as rogues, just without the red herring of the bard (again, bards are awesome and fun, they're just not main healers, which is a good thing).

    So Warriors have a lot of melee DPS, a lot of Tanking and an okish ranged DPS. Rogues have every kind of single-target DPS you could want, good AoE, one tank and an OKish healer/awesome support. Clerics I'm not personally familiar with, but I understand it's a lot of healing, a lot of tanking, and one really good AoE DPS build. They all have gaps that are best filled by other classes, but so far none of these classes seem to be best filled by a mage. I would have assumed the roles for Mages would be Ranged AoE, Ranged single target and a cleric-level effective Healer to best fill the holes in the above selection set(as well as being in-line with the standard mental image of A Mage). This would allow a 4 Mages + other calling tank run, fitting with the "4 Xs + a thing" theme from above, but the 1.3 changes were all to specifically reduce the effectiveness of these roles. The only thing really left is Dominator-style controller builds, and they're not exactly in high demand for PvE what with the whole Boss immunity thing and their tendancy to drag out fights.

    So again my question is; What are Mages for? In WoW (where ironically enough I played a mage, the second most developer loved class in the game) the legendary "To hell with rogues" attitude of the developers had a reason; Rogues were supposed to be for PvP, which is why they would kill their PvE abilities and boost their PvP all the time. Frustrating for people who wanted to play PvE Rogues, but at least there was a reason behind it. In this parallel, since Mages are not supposed to be for DPS or Healing what are they for? I'd understand the changes and class design better if I only knew what mages are being steered towards instead of just how we're being steered away.
    Last edited by Geomags; 06-25-2011 at 05:07 AM.

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