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Request: Improve Wizard Specialization

I'd like to request that Beamdog revisits how Wizard specialization is handled in NWN.

The biggest flaw is that you don't get to choose your opposition school(s) like in 3.0. And the NWN opposition schools feel arbitrary and imbalanced. Evocation, Necromancy and Abjuration are not among the opposition schools at all, while Conjuration appears as an opposition school three times and Illusion twice. Thematically, Necromancy seems like something many spellcasters would abandon if they had to choose.

So please let us choose the opposition school(s) freely.

Another thing that feels off about specialization is that it's much more about the choice what you can't do rather than what you actually specialize in. It would be nice if specializing actually did buff spells or caster level of the chosen school, or would give the character some other relevant perks.

So maybe unhardcode the whole thing so that the community can make their own house rules around specialization? 5e has really cool ideas about specialization perks, I'd love to be able to have something like that.

Comments

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,091
    I agree about choosing the opposition school, but wouldn't buffing spells conflict with (improved) spell focus ,empower spell and maximize spell feat? Even if we considered that a specialist got these extra feats, wouldn't it make a generalist weaker?

  • 1varangian1varangian Member Posts: 320
    edited March 6
    You could do away with the entire "opposition school" system and give specialists a blanket penalty of CL -1 for all other schools.

    You could also remove the extra spell slot to balance any extra perks they get.

    There's a lot of ways to make specialization cool and flavorful if it's unhardcoded.

    Letting us choose the opposition school would alone go a long way though, giving the player the freedom to make the kind of Wizard they like. And it would be more faithful to 3.0.

  • tfoxtfox Member Posts: 86
    The variant specializations in D&D always felt more intuitive to what specialization should be for a wizard, you're giving up so much regardless of what school you pick to bar that it needs some real tangible benefit to it is required and what is granted just isn't beneficial as the sheer amount you give up (let alone if you go illusionist and you loose an abjuration spell of Protection from Spells and a transmutation of Mass Haste even though your barred school is enchantment).

    But yes, unhardcoded would be a dream and at the very least the ability to choose ones barred school.

  • ShadowMShadowM Member Posts: 431
    If BD just gave us
    Return the spell school of the target.
    int GetSpellSchool(object oTarget)

    We could call these in the spells and alter them to give specialization wizards more bang.

    DerpCityGM_ODA
  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 711
    Yeah basically there are a lot of little things like that. You need NWNX to get it I believe, but otherwise it's pretty bleh to do without it and you can't do much about it without reinventing the wheel.

    There are some other things too like unhardcoding opposition schools or at least giving script functions to set and unset them, and for filtering spell selection too. Then having some learn/unlearn functions would really help flesh things out.

    All stuff asked for near the start of NWN EE.

  • ShadooowShadooow Member Posts: 331
    ShadowM wrote: »
    If BD just gave us
    Return the spell school of the target.
    int GetSpellSchool(object oTarget)

    We could call these in the spells and alter them to give specialization wizards more bang.

    I invented a custom function that does this without NWNX. I described how it works on old bioware forums I believe. In short, you create a copy of the player character, grant him scroll of level 1 spell into inventory for each spellschool and call GetTalentBest, if the talent wont be valid, player cannot use that scroll which means his spellschool is one that makes that scrolls spellschool the opposite. It is bit more complex thań that obviously but it is doable.

    GM_ODA
  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 711
    Thanks shadooow, that's an interesting work around. A few years ago I was considering scrolls too but didn't think about using a copy like that.

  • CerabelusCerabelus Member Posts: 234
    My favourite Wizard Specialisation combo use to be Evocation and later levels Necromancy because I kept coming açross enemies with Fire, Ice and Electrical immunity and a good old Horrid Wilting did the trick (or a Finger of Death 😁) but I took a liking to Conjuration instead of Evocation but not for summoning for Flame Arrow as it and Ice Storm doesn't have a level cap and most of all Mestils Acid Breath as there aren't many enemies that resist Acid and fewer immune (yes Mephy I'm thinking of you), this Combo works much better in NWN 2 as there are more Conjuration offensive spells.

    I see what you mean I think there's room for more advantages and disadvantages for taking a specialisation, your giving up some versatility of spell selection for one extra spell slot per spell level, I'm happy to give up Divination (I do miss out on Premonition ☹️) but giving the choice to the player would be the same as a student forgoing training in one area of magic to more focus on others, I like the idea of double specialisation for Red Wizards of Thay which is also available in NWN 2 and a Red Wizard of Necromancy is very deadly.

  • 1varangian1varangian Member Posts: 320
    edited May 23
    My main gripe with the way they did specialization are the schools you lose. They are more character defining than the specialization school itself. And the opposition schools are really "unfairly" pre-selected.

    E.g. I would like to play an Illusionist who focuses on control and mind magic and thinks elemental damage is crude and raising undead is foul (opposing school either Evocation or Necromancy, or both). Well.. Illusionists lose Enchantment so that doesn't work. And Enchanter doesn't work because they lose Illusion. Lol. Thematically, Illusion and Enchantment should be very close to each other instead of being opposites.

    The themes of the 8 schools can't really be arranged to make sense as opposites to begin with. Therefore it would be much better to leave the choice to the player simply as "what the PC isn't interested in". The opposing school approach would work in something like DA:O where you have Spirit vs. Primal and Creation vs. Entropy which in fact do oppose each other thematically.

    The concept of a Wizard who is completely unable to cast spells of a certain school "just because" seems really weird too. That's why it would be great it they could unhardcode the whole thing and let the community redo it into something cool and meaningful.

  • GM_ODAGM_ODA Member Posts: 169
    Specialization is further gimp'd up by the general lack of spells (sheer number of spells) in NWN as opposed to D&D. Adding (many) more spells would help this a great deal IMHO.

  • 1varangian1varangian Member Posts: 320
    5e does specialization really well.

    The specialization perks are flavorful and meaningful and there are no arbitrary limitations to spell selection attached. As Arcane Tradition it also goes beyond just specializing in a chosen school with things like Artificer and Bladesinger. It's a fun choice that gives your Wizard unique abilities. I would really like to see something like this in NWN: EE.

  • CerabelusCerabelus Member Posts: 234
    1varangian wrote: »
    5e does specialization really well.

    The specialization perks are flavorful and meaningful and there are no arbitrary limitations to spell selection attached. As Arcane Tradition it also goes beyond just specializing in a chosen school with things like Artificer and Bladesinger. It's a fun choice that gives your Wizard unique abilities. I would really like to see something like this in NWN: EE.

    I don't know much about 5e but after taking a look at Wizards traditions starting at
    LVL 2, 6, 10, 14 you can pick between Schools, Artificer, Bladesinger, Lore Master,
    Technomancy, Theurgy & War Magic.

    A quick look showed me this system looks pretty good and I think elements of this could be brought over, I personally like the idea of a Theurgist who gets to pick some Cleric spells by taking this path, I like playing BG 1&2 as a Cleric/Mage.

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 711
    The system used for 5e is actually a port of prestige classes and alternative classes for 5e. It's not necessarily bad (or good, one way or the other) but if you want to play as a bladesinger in 3rd edition you take the bladesinger prestige class. Creating a similar adaption for NWN would likely imply replacing prestige classes for class paths.

  • CerabelusCerabelus Member Posts: 234
    The system used for 5e is actually a port of prestige classes and alternative classes for 5e. It's not necessarily bad (or good, one way or the other) but if you want to play as a bladesinger in 3rd edition you take the bladesinger prestige class. Creating a similar adaption for NWN would likely imply replacing prestige classes for class paths.

    They won't replace any prestige classes as they kept saying they don't want to ruin compatibility with old content but fixing current prestige classes and adding new ones would be nice, Bladesinger, Red Wizard, fix the Palemaster, Mystic Theurge and more.

  • CerabelusCerabelus Member Posts: 234
    1varangian wrote: »
    It would be nice if specializing actually did buff spells or caster level of the chosen school, or would give the character some other relevant perks.

    In NWN 2 there are extra feats for spell casters, Arcane Defence, Augmented Summoning, Practiced Spellcaster and Extra Slot, even these would be nice to have as options.

    The only things I can see that they may be willing to do is adding feats, fixing broken classes and adding new classes.

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 711
    To clear up any confusion I'm not at all considering that Beamdog replace prestige classes and don't think most people would think that was a serious suggestion. I believe they've stated they're under the D&D classics agreement, and need WotC approval for all new content, so wont be converting to a 5e ruleset. Large mechanics changes differing from the 3.0 rules were always off the table. The context in which prestige classes are replaced for class paths is only in the context of user created mods.

    In that specific context it wouldn't make much sense to have two different implementations of the same concept, such as bladesinger class path and blade singer prestige class. For further spell school specialization the 3rd edition rules has its own approach that I encourage people to look into, as well as prestige classes that enhance specializations I believe.

    As for feats, I agree, more could be added. Some such as Arcane Defense are already in NWN but note they require spell focus as a prerequisite rather than spell school specialization.

    Other common and easy to do mods are augmented feats for spell casting, and of course practiced spell caster. The later in my experience requires a modder to overhaul the spell scripts and replace the method for how caster levels are calculated, large packages like the PRC probably have this built in.

  • 1varangian1varangian Member Posts: 320
    The request was to change specialization so that you can freely choose your opposition school or schools. This isn't much of a leap from 3e which is pretty flexible with the choices. An exact 3e adaptation would also be better than what NWN has now.

    An extra request was to unhardcode specialization so that it would be possible for the community to create something like what Pathfinder or 5e have for specialization i.e. unique perks and ignore NWNs arbitrary prohibited schools.

  • CerabelusCerabelus Member Posts: 234
    edited June 5
    I guess this discussion has brought out some other things we'd like, is there already a request to have 3.5e feats added?
    Not just for Wizards but all classes, I know whenever I play NWN2 I always get the Able Learner feat to invest in a wide skill set and this is particularly useful to Wizards as there high intelligence allows for many skill points but they have limited class skills.
    I think there are already requests to fix classes but as far as I know there isn't requests for more feats from 3.5e, so if anyone is interested we should start a new Trello request.

    Post edited by Cerabelus on
  • Prince_RaymondPrince_Raymond Member Posts: 270
    edited June 6
    @Cerabelus I'm all for starting a new Trello request to add 3.5E content to NWN:EE. One thing I liked about the D&D 3.5 rules was that they made Intimidate a class skill for Fighters in addition to Barbarians, which to me was a no-brainer. A lot of the 3.0 playerbase and DM's alike allowed that in their gaming sessions. It just seemed to make sense. Thank you for reading, and happy gaming to all.

  • ShadooowShadooow Member Posts: 331
    @Prince_Raymond maybe I already mentioned it and maybe action is not your cup of tea but if you are interested in 3.5dnd content come visit Arkhalia PW. It is not perfectly close to 3.5 (mostly because players would dislike some nerfs like Pale Master, clerical spells or monk ubab) but you probably won't find other server closer to 3.5 ruleset.

    Prince_Raymond
  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 711
    There are requests for a lot of things that have not been dealt with yet. I think it's going on 6 or 7 months since the last patch?

    Even when NWN was getting regular patches there wasn't much in this regard either. For example expanding the effects and itemproperty functions to allow more options like max hp bonus/penalty, or fixing casting prestige classes. From small to big issues.

    Adding more feats just adds more stuff, but modders can give you more stuff, if they have the tools to do so.

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