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Questioning ideas

Hi guys and gals, yeah I know you're probably tired of seeing me make topic after topic. Look at it this was though, I'll probably vanish soon enough, summers almost over and the talons of college will be digging into me once again.

Anyways, I've started to rethink my stance on a statement that I've seen a lot of people seem to agree on. That ideal is that the Sorcerer class is actually harder to play then a wizard.

Now when new people come asking for advice, they are usually directed away from a Sorcerer because of its inability to change spells which it makes up for by being able to cast more spells then aage could, unless that mage specialized and then stacked a singular spell. So thw question I placed forward now is, does that really make the class harder?

Even a mage is hard to play, any class is if your ignorant to the working of the game. A fighter/mage will die if the don't know that the enemy they are about to attack is immune to physical attacks or have death gazes that you need to drink a specific potion before hand to negate. Hell beholders made be cry before I attempted to fight one with the shield of Balduran.

But once you have this knowledge, and you know what is what, couldn't you actually argue that a Sorcerer maybe actually a bit easier to play then a mage? I'm no powergame, I don't pretend to be, and my knowledge mostly revolves around playing a Sorcerer and a wild mage, and I found it alot harder to run the wild mage then I actually did the Sorcerer.

Now let's just ignore the wild surges from this equation, of you take into account before hand the information you already possess, a player is building a Sorcerer in any number of ways that will better fit what role he/she is being put into and do to the sacrifice and gain, will have a better chance of casting spells in a long drawn out fight, unlike any mage not named Edwin.

Mages have the joy of versatility, they can switch out spells to suit the needs, and this is not a abilty to be undervalued I. Any way shape or form.but one thing I've always seem to notice with my wild mage, and this could possible be my inability, but in extended battle a mage with moat likely run out of x or y spell unless it has been completely stacked in the spell slots. One of the fights I had the most problem with was very lovely Sendai, my level 31 wild mage ran out of useful spells before that very long ungodly annoying fight had ended.

Not things I have to take I to account about this fight, 1) it was my first time fighting here, so I did not know what to expect and 2) I was running a four maybe five man team, so I didn't have a secondary caster to take some of the heat off of charname.

My current Sorcerer is finishing up watchers keep right now, before him and the other five members of my group introduce Bodhi to her final death. Unlike my wildmage who was imported into bg2 from the black pits and the black pits 2, my Sorcerer has been played from beginning to end, and won't be anywhere near my wild mages level by the time I reach her but I'm fairly confident that she'll be easier this time around for two very specific reasons I already mentioned. I now know what I'm facing, and I have the spell Numbers to keep h casting alot longer.

Not to mention this time I have a secondary wild mage slinging spells, as well as aerie playing support..

So the question no stands, is the Sorcerer really that much harder then the mage, is lack of knowledge really enough to justify calling a class harder?

DJKajuru

Comments

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,158
    edited July 2015
    Well one thing regarding the sorcerer is that even if you pick a few terrible choices you'll still have up to 3 more choices (at some point) made available to you for any given level. So chances are you are likely to eventually pick at least one good choice per level at some point :)

    Sorcerer I think is better for new players primarily because its much more relatable to more modern games. Just pick your spells and go. No worrying about spell learning or anything like that. Heck you don't really even have to worry about putting towards intelligence.

    Additionally, there are quite a few mage NPC's. Chances are you'll have a mage in your party anyways.

    That said I would never recommend a sorcerer for someone starting the game. I usually recommend a paladin or a fighter/cleric (The idea being just to introduce the player to combat as well as spellcasting but in a way that is far more sturdy).

    Post edited by elminster on
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,439
    I consider sorcerers to have less potential irrespective of how much you know about the game. At any given point in time, they will have a few more spell slots than a mage. But mages will have twice as many known spells, and therefore many more options for any occasion, as a sorcerer. I consider flexibility, not raw power, to be the greatest strength of arcane spellcasters. Mages have no limits on which spells they can use.

    If you're new to the game, your spell picks as a sorcerer probably won't be ideal for your playstyle.

    If you're an old hand at the game, your sorcerer--with its limited spell picks--is never going to benefit from the full range of your knowledge.

  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,861

    I consider sorcerers to have less potential irrespective of how much you know about the game. At any given point in time, they will have a few more spell slots than a mage. But mages will have twice as many known spells, and therefore many more options for any occasion, as a sorcerer. I consider flexibility, not raw power, to be the greatest strength of arcane spellcasters. Mages have no limits on which spells they can use.

    But again, I must bring up the case that this only holds true if you have knowledge beforehand. For example a new player may walk into the area in bg1one where you run into basalisk without taking protection from petrification, because they don't know compared to say you or mewould woulve done it it beforehand. Now the mages "versatility is pretty much useless because the moment that ability to switch spells is needed the most, the very rules of D&D doesn't allow it. Of course you can just reloaded and then switch out, but you already know what is coming and piece together how to stop it.



    If you're new to the game, your spell picks as a sorcerer probably won't be ideal for your playstyle.

    If you're an old hand at the game, your sorcerer--with its limited spell picks--is never going to benefit from the full range of your knowledge.
    While both of these comments hold truth, there is a lot more guides and discussion about running solo no reload games with the Sorcerer then there is with the mage. I've also seen a lot more people calling the Sorcerer op then the mage because of its raw power alone. Especially late game where time stop and improved alacrity seem to be one of the more talked about game winning combos. A combo that's more powerful in the hands of a Sorcerer then a mage, much like project image in my personal perspective. Again, unless your name is Edwin. That mofo better be happy I cannot still that damn amulet!!!
    elminster said:

    Well one thing regarding the sorcerer is that even if you pick a few terrible choices you'll still have up to 3 more choices (at some point) made available to you for any given level. So chances are you are likely to eventually pick at least one good choice per level at some point :)

    Law of averages, right? Lmao.
    elminster said:


    Sorcerer I think is better for new players primarily because its much more relatable to more modern games. Just pick your spells and go. No worrying about spell learning or anything like that. Heck you don't really even have to worry about putting towards intelligence.

    The whole stat thing is another reason I believe the Sorcerer is a bit easier, due to it not being dependent on charisma you can literally toss stat points anywhere and just go.
    elminster said:

    That said I would never recommend a sorcerer for someone starting the game. I usually recommend a paladin or a fighter/cleric (The idea being just to introduce the player to combat as well as spellcasting but in a way that is far more sturdy).

    Personally, I'd toss them to the wolves. If you don't make mistakes then you're neither learning or growing. The first game in this series I played was BG 2, first class I chose was Sorcerer, and the first spell I picked was find familiar. Who eventually died in battle and I took a hit to my con. This was many years ago, but I wouldn't trade the experience.

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,308
    I think that advice is generally only given to very new players. The reason being that it's more easy to "screw up" a sorcerer than it is a Mage...

    As an example, a new player might recognise that they're having problems with enemy illusions and take Detect Illusions at Level 3, then Level 6 comes around and they either ignore True Sight, or duplicate an effect... Neither of which is catastrophic, but still can't be considered ideal. A more experienced player would likely leave the detection duty to a fellow party member until the best spell becomes available, and use that level 3 spot for something more useful in the meantime.

    The power of a sorcerer (and I personally think they're as strong as it comes) is always having another chance with a critical spell... the perfect example being something like Breach... a well prepped Mage will always have a couple of Breaches to hand, but it isn't uncommon for enemy casters to reset their combat protections after they're taken down... each of which will require a separate spell. If you then add a second caster, or another fight in the next room, you could very easily end up needing 3-4 between rests.

    Another factor is when an important spell gets interrupted, the Sorcerer will almost always have another in the tank.

    Then there's the whole Spell Sequencer full of Skull Traps thing... 6 of those bad boys landing inside two rounds will make a frightful mess!

    And at high levels, you have the way Sorcerers handle HLAs... which is, quite frankly, broken.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    My very first character in BGII was a sorcerer. It made spellcasting an accessible mechanic, since I didn't have to decide on spells every time I entered a new area. It also forced me to get creative with how I used my limited spells.

    I would certainly recommend a sorcerer over a Mage to a new player. The learning curve is a lot more manageable.

    elminster
  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,861
    abacus said:

    I think that advice is generally only given to very new players. The reason being that it's more easy to "screw up" a sorcerer than it is a Mage...

    As an example, a new player might recognise that they're having problems with enemy illusions and take Detect Illusions at Level 3, then Level 6 comes around and they either ignore True Sight, or duplicate an effect... Neither of which is catastrophic, but still can't be considered ideal. A more experienced player would likely leave the detection duty to a fellow party member until the best spell becomes available, and use that level 3 spot for something more useful in the meantime.

    The power of a sorcerer (and I personally think they're as strong as it comes) is always having another chance with a critical spell... the perfect example being something like Breach... a well prepped Mage will always have a couple of Breaches to hand, but it isn't uncommon for enemy casters to reset their combat protections after they're taken down... each of which will require a separate spell. If you then add a second caster, or another fight in the next room, you could very easily end up needing 3-4 between rests.

    Another factor is when an important spell gets interrupted, the Sorcerer will almost always have another in the tank.

    Then there's the whole Spell Sequencer full of Skull Traps thing... 6 of those bad boys landing inside two rounds will make a frightful mess!

    And at high levels, you have the way Sorcerers handle HLAs... which is, quite frankly, broken.

    The points you made feel like you're pointing out why we tell new players to pick a mage over a Sorcerer. But it doesn't answer my question at its core, is a lack of understanding really enough to label a class harder? I say no, because everything said here still boils down to, " you know and they don't." Even if you take into account the mechanical difference of switching out spells, when you already know what spells do what, and what enemies do what, and how to combat it. So I see little support to actually saying the Sorcerer is harder to play.

    And as I've touched on above, a completely, absolute new player is going to have a hard time with any class they choose. It can be the most powerful class setup, it can be the easiest class to play, but they still don't know what you know. The don't know the rules, they don't know how ThacO works or even what it is. They could go fighter/thief, fighter/mage, fighter/Cleric and won't be Able to use them to their full capabilities because they don't know.

    But once that knowledge is there, its a whole new ball game. Once the cup starts being filled, the concept of what's hard and what isn't changes. Unless the player chooses to put limiters on what their character can and cannot do or starts to rolrrolr play, in which again you're using already gained knowledge to avoid already known outcomes.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    @DragonKing Who is saying the sorcerer is harder? What does harder mean anyway?

    semiticgod
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,439
    edited July 2015

    But again, I must bring up the case that this only holds true if you have knowledge beforehand. For example a new player may walk into the area in bg1one where you run into basalisk without taking protection from petrification, because they don't know compared to say you or mewould woulve done it it beforehand. Now the mages "versatility is pretty much useless because the moment that ability to switch spells is needed the most, the very rules of D&D doesn't allow it. Of course you can just reloaded and then switch out, but you already know what is coming and piece together how to stop it.

    In this example, the sorcerer is only easier if (1) the sorcerer has learned Protection from Petrification (2) the mage has either not learned it or does not have it memorized (3) the player did not know basilisks were there or what the basilisks could do (4) the player is able to cast Pro-Petrification before getting petrified.

    If (1) does not hold, the sorcerer dies.

    If (2) does not hold, the mage lives.

    If (3) does not hold, both the sorcerer and mage live.

    If (4) does not hold, both the sorcerer and mage die.

    Any divergence from these premises means the mage is greater than or, more likely, equal to the sorcerer. Usually, if it's a new player, (1) is false, (2) is true, (3) is true, and (4) is false. Both mage and sorcerer therefore die. If it's an old player, (1) is true, (2) is false, (3) is false, and (4) is true. Both mage and sorcerer therefore live.

    If we delve into these situations deep enough, this discussion is going to get much too complicated. I think it would be more productive to list their general strengths, rather than their success or failure in a specific, narrow circumstance. Also, we need a definition of easier or harder, as @FinneousPJ has pointed out.

    Post edited by semiticgod on
  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,861

    But again, I must bring up the case that this only holds true if you have knowledge beforehand. For example a new player may walk into the area in bg1one where you run into basalisk without taking protection from petrification, because they don't know compared to say you or mewould woulve done it it beforehand. Now the mages "versatility is pretty much useless because the moment that ability to switch spells is needed the most, the very rules of D&D doesn't allow it. Of course you can just reloaded and then switch out, but you already know what is coming and piece together how to stop it.

    I'm not sure I understand your point. Of course you can switch out spells if necessary, whether as a mage or a sorcerer. In this example, a mage would do so via reloading. A sorcerer would do so by gaining a level or several. For what it's worth, reloading is the easier option.
    Once you reload and attempt the fight a second time, you have some knowledge of what you're facing. Thus, you're not going into unknowingly. My example wasn't of someone doing a no reload run, it was of someone who never played BG at all, with no knowledge of what they were facing for the first time. Once you die and reload, you now possess some knowledge of what you're doing compared to before. It's easier for veterans players to look at this game from the eyes of past knowledge.

    @DragonKing Who is saying the sorcerer is harder? What does harder mean anyway?

    I would literally have to go forum and web dipping to give you directions answer and names to this, but just googling Sorcerer or mage BG, and you literally come across whole discussion on the two. Some of the people will will direct new players away from Sorcerer because its harder to play when you don't know the spells. I'm not saying that a Sorcerer can't be built disastrous, but does someone having lack of knowledge of the game deserves to call one class harder then the other?

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,439
    @DragonKing: I just edited my post to be more accurate. I was editing it while you were posting your comment (there's a 2 minute difference), so I don't think you've seen it. I've changed my argument since then.

  • AionZAionZ Member Posts: 3,173
    Game knowledge is a part of mastering the game too. I still remember back when I would teach my sorcerer useless garbage like Larloch's or have both Fireball and Flame Arrow then feel completely useless because I didn't have the spells that I really needed and I was constantly stuck with spells I didn't need, and only using about 2 of my spells of each level.

    The mage is the better option for the starting player, because it allows the player to rotate between spells and see their effectiveness, removing the ones that are useless in favor of better ones. For the sorcerer, there is no going back once you make a bad choice (reloading isn't an option, since you wouldn't know if a spell is useless until after several fights) and new players are bound to make bad choices.

    Learning and mastering are two different parts of becoming skilled.

    semiticgodabacusBelgarathMTH
  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,861
    edited July 2015
    @semiticgod:
    As far as what is hard and easy, I'll be the first to tell you no one ever sets a standard for it. This is more than likely because the standard changes from person to person, situation to situation. So I also can't sit and state what is hard and easy because it might not be the same for you. Which is why I never set a standard in the first post and always tried to be as general with the word use in my other and choosing a scenario that led to instant death if you lacked knowledge before hand instead of one that can just be weaseled by. This is also part of the reason why I used a scenario with basalisk, the are easy to find just by exploring and can be found early compared to Aec'Lecet who a player would need to possess a minimal to decent understanding of the game just to reach.

    But your response helps prove what I'm saying, its lack of information that makes one class seem harder, then it really and what will lead a veteran player to tell a newer player to take the mage before the Sorcerer. I have seen people call the Sorcerer harder from time to time because of this.

    @Artemius_I:
    I just want to make sure its understood, I'm not trying to convince anyone that x or y is better for a new player.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,439
    I'm having a hard time understanding your point, @DragonKing. You say the sorcerer is only harder because of a lack of information, but you seem to object to the notion that it's harder for a new player, who has less information, to play a sorcerer.

    It's true that people say that lack of foreknowledge makes sorcerers harder to play... are you disagreeing with this? You seem to disagree with the general consensus about sorcerers, but I can't tell which claim you're opposing.

    The sorcerer is harder to play without knowledge. So yes, it's harder to play a sorcerer unless you have some experience with the game. Sorcerers are harder. What part of this are you agreeing or disagreeing with?

  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,861

    I'm having a hard time understanding your point, @DragonKing. You say the sorcerer is only harder because of a lack of information, but you seem to object to the notion that it's harder for a new player, who has less information, to play a sorcerer

    I think went to the left field with this, OK I'll say it this way.

    I don't believe the Sorcerer is hard at all.

    I've seen from time to time people say, or project the idea that the Sorcerer is harder then the mage because he lacks the a few things, versatility with his spells and the ability to to completely mess up his build. So they'll direct new players away from it.

    I:m saying the lack of information that a player possess is what causes the problem, not the sorcerers mechanics. A veteran player who possess knowledge of the game beforehand can find the Sorcerer quiet easy. The same way a veteran player would know where the basilisk were located, and when to use protection from petrification compared to the player who didn't know.

    semiticgod
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,439
    In that case, we are using different definitions here. That's the cause of most disagreements, in my experience. For me, a class is harder if:

    The class requires more X to do Y better.

    X could be potions or micromanagement or luck. Here, X is knowledge. Y is winning a fight. Sorcerers require more knowledge to succeed. So, they're harder to play, according to my definition. Your definition does not accept knowledge as a possible value for X.

    I don't find sorcerers difficult, either. I doubt many people do. But I do find them slightly harder than mages, and that's usually what people compare them to.

    We appear to agree on everything but terminology. This mostly boils down to semantics: do we see the player's knowledge as relevant when judging a class? I do, but you do not. That's about the extent of our disagreement.

    woowoovoodoo
  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,861
    @semiticgod:
    It's not that I don't see the player knowledge as relevant, its the fact that knowledge applies as a whole compared to a singular. A player who doesn't know, will die regardless of what class they are playing. A warrior who doesn't know the basilisk are there, will get petrified just like a mage will. Maybe not a rpfie if they choose to run around in shadows.

    What defines making a class harder for me is, is the actual mechanic of how that class played. Even with this knowledge, does the mechanic actually create a different way of playing that requires a lot more effort., and for a Sorcerer I don't believe so. I would say at some points in the game I felt the wild mage required more effort for me to play affectively.

    If the player doesn't understand something,that shouldn't determine its hard or not. It's after the player understands it, possess that information and then takes a look at it and how much effort needs to be put into it that should determine as much.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,439
    I consider gathering knowledge to be a form of effort, hence my distinction.

    FinneousPJ
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