PDA

View Full Version : [4e] Some Controller Data



Gralamin
2009-11-05, 06:37 PM
So, because I could, I went through the compendium (and primal power) and checked on different controllers number of powers that target allies as well as enemies.

Included in the following are: closes and bursts that don't specify they effect only X beings in the burst, Walls that damage allies as well as enemies, and effects such as Force orb that splash on a hit. Summons are never included, though conjurations are.

{TABLE="HEAD"]|Druid|Invoker|Wizard|Psion*|Seeker*
Friendly Fire|47|61|69|14|1
-At-Will|4|4|3|4|0
-Encounter**|25|26|25|9|1
-Daily|17|27|31|1|0
-P_Encounter|1|1|6|0|0
-P_Daily|0|3|4|0|0
[/table]
{TABLE="HEAD"]|Druid|Invoker|Wizard|Psion*|Seeker*
Non|22|40|27|9|5
-At-Will|0|0|2|2|0
-Encounter**|5|16|5|4|0
-Daily|9|9|11|2|4
-P_Encounter|3|6|3|0|1
-P_Daily|5|9|6|1|0
[/table]
{TABLE="HEAD"]|Druid|Invoker|Wizard|Psion*|Seeker*
Total|69|101|96|23|6
-At-Will|4|4|5|6|0
-Encounter**|30|42|30|13|1
-Daily|26|36|42|3|4
-P_Encounter|4|7|9|0|1
-P_Daily|5|12|10|1|0
[/table]
{TABLE="HEAD"]|Druid|Invoker|Wizard|Psion*|Seeker*
Percent|||||
-Friendly|68.12%|60.40%|71.88%|60.87%|16.67%
-Non|31.88%|39.60%|28.13%|39.13%|83.33%
[/TABLE]
*: Unfinished Class
**: For Psion, Augments are listed here

What do you think of these trends? I find it to be kinda distressing, since leaders almost never attack friends, while controllers frequently do.

Edit: Split up to make it easier to read

Break
2009-11-05, 06:48 PM
It's trends like these that make me happy for the common "Controllers Aren't Very Nice At All Punks" houserule.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-05, 06:50 PM
What do you think of these trends? I find it to be kinda distressing, since leaders almost never attack friends, while controllers frequently do.
A well-played controller doesn't hit his friends unless they want him to.

For instance, thunderwaving your allies can be very useful. So is casting scorching burst on a tiefling, or any ally with fire resistance. And then there's feats like war wizardry. I've also had the opportunity to cast color spray over an ally that was already dazed anyway.

Most controllers are probably more difficult to play than most strikers. But if you're seriously impeding your allies (or doing nothing much useful out of fear that you might hit your allies), then You're Doing It Wrong (tm) and you can't blame the class for that.

Gralamin
2009-11-05, 06:53 PM
A well-played controller doesn't hit his friends unless they want him to.

For instance, thunderwaving your allies can be very useful. So is casting scorching burst on a tiefling, or any ally with fire resistance. And then there's feats like war wizardry. I've also had the opportunity to cast color spray over an ally that was already dazed anyway.

Most controllers are probably more difficult to play than most strikers. But if you're seriously impeding your allies (or doing nothing much useful out of fear that you might hit your allies), then You're Doing It Wrong (tm) and you can't blame the class for that.

The problem is, a lot of the time you will choose a strictly worse option to make sure that you are not impeding your allies, while a Cleric, Artificer, or Similar class will not have such a problem and just take the better option. This is a problem. Controllers can't do their job effectively in situations where secondary controllers can do their job just fine. This is not a good thing.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-05, 06:57 PM
The problem is, a lot of the time you will choose a strictly worse option to make sure that you are not impeding your allies,
I've played a wizard for twelve levels, relying solely on the biggest area effects I could find, and this does not even remotely match my experience. Through delaying, readying, asking allies to move out of the way, and casting jump on them, I've rarely if ever been in a situation where I would have acted differently had I had an "enemies only" spell.

Gralamin
2009-11-05, 07:02 PM
I've played a wizard for twelve levels, relying solely on the biggest area effects I could find, and this does not even remotely match my experience. Through delaying, readying, asking allies to move out of the way, and casting jump on them, I've rarely if ever been in a situation where I would have acted differently had I had an "enemies only" spell.

It is difficult to compare game experiences, since we are obviously not at each other tables. However, I've seen these situations crop up enough times to tell you they do exist, even if you have never seen them. There is nothing more annoying then having to do something like target a single enemy while your allies have been pulled around a bunch of guy's and they won't have time to move until it has acted again. And, for whatever reason, damaging your allies is bad (as most normally think it is).

Meanwhile, the cleric who goes right after you will hit them, inflict a status condition, and buff your allies all at the same time.

Asbestos
2009-11-05, 07:14 PM
I'm going to second KG here, I've never found myself particularly constrained by the fact that a number of my Wizard's powers don't ignore allies. Honestly, AoEs hurt allies in the older editions, did people really have that hard of a time with it? And when I played DDM, AoEs similarly effected everyone in their radius... but I still got them off often enough.

Edea
2009-11-05, 08:13 PM
Honestly, AoEs hurt allies in the older editions, did people really have that hard of a time with it?

No, because older editions have SoDs, and you can actually be a pure buffer/debuffer; in fact, AoE is the absolute WORST thing to be doing as an older-edition spellcaster, and was virtually always avoided (especially in 3e). You can't do that in 4e.



I've played a wizard for twelve levels, relying solely on the biggest area effects I could find, and this does not even remotely match my experience. Through delaying, readying, asking allies to move out of the way, and casting jump on them, I've rarely if ever been in a situation where I would have acted differently had I had an "enemies only" spell.

"Asking allies to move out of the way," what? You must've really cowed the other players at the table, when I used to ask that (with a please, might I add) as a wizard, the general response was either 'Screw You' or 'I can't :/'. Then both types got SUPER pissed when I blasted them anyway. Quickly learned to favor non-AoE and, thus, strikers.

Delaying and readying do not work; the former amounts to stunning the character since no one else's going to listen to that player whining about not being able to get a clean shot (hence lost turn), and the latter requires you to declare your intent to the DM, resulting in metascrew. Jump is in the same slot as Shield (i.e. yeah, THAT'S going to be prepped), and only affects one character once per encounter. These problems are -constant-, every turn.

This pile of dog bowels is easily avoided with one simple character decision: play a Cleric or Sorcerer instead of a Wizard.

Asbestos
2009-11-05, 08:21 PM
No, because older editions have SoDs, and you can actually be a pure buffer/debuffer; in fact, AoE is the absolute WORST thing to be doing as an older-edition spellcaster, and was virtually always avoided (especially in 3e). You can't do that in 4e.



"Asking allies to move out of the way," what? You must've really cowed the other players at the table, when I used to ask that (with a please, might I add) as a wizard, the general response was either 'Screw You' or 'I can't :/'. Then both types got SUPER pissed when I blasted them anyway. Quickly learned to favor non-AoE and, thus, strikers.

Delaying and readying do not work; the former amounts to stunning the character since no one else's going to listen to that player whining about not being able to get a clean shot (hence lost turn), and the latter requires you to declare your intent to the DM, resulting in metascrew. Jump is in the same slot as Shield (i.e. yeah, THAT'S going to be prepped), and only affects one character once per encounter. These problems are -constant-, every turn.

This pile of dog bowels is easily avoided with one simple character decision: play a Cleric or Sorcerer instead of a Wizard.
Wow. So, how do you REALLY feel? :smallamused:

In older editions AoEs are in fact STILL USED! even if you're playing the optimal non-blaster Wizard of 3.x. Glitterdust, the 'Cloud' spells, and Evard's Black Tentacles are all AoEs off the top of my head.

As for Jump being the same level as Shield... I'd say that Jump is superior to Shield. Wizards can have pretty decent AC normally and if the party is semi-competent the Wizard shouldn't be taking too many hits, preparing Shield is paranoid and egotistical. Jump is at least useful.

Grynning
2009-11-05, 08:36 PM
I think that WotC is intentionally trying to tone down the tendency for Controllers to hit allies, as is evidenced by the lower numbers on the Psion and Seeker, but neither of those classes are finished yet so we don't have complete data. I don't see it as a "problem," as is evidenced by the differences of opinion here people will still play the other controllers because, well, they like them.

It's also worthy to note that any class with heavy AoE focus will have some friendly fire powers. The Sorcerer (a striker) in particular has this issue, and they have to worry about allies even more since they do more damage. However, after taking War Wizardry on my Sorc it really hasn't been too much of an issue; that's what the feat is for. Now if I could only get my DM to do bigger fights so I can 'splode more heads (he's been on a "one or two really nasty enemies" kick the last few sessions).

Gralamin
2009-11-05, 08:46 PM
I think that WotC is intentionally trying to tone down the tendency for Controllers to hit allies, as is evidenced by the lower numbers on the Psion and Seeker, but neither of those classes are finished yet so we don't have complete data. I don't see it as a "problem," as is evidenced by the differences of opinion here people will still play the other controllers because, well, they like them.

It's also worthy to note that any class with heavy AoE focus will have some friendly fire powers. The Sorcerer (a striker) in particular has this issue, and they have to worry about allies even more since they do more damage. However, after taking War Wizardry on my Sorc it really hasn't been too much of an issue; that's what the feat is for. Now if I could only get my DM to do bigger fights so I can 'splode more heads (he's been on a "one or two really nasty enemies" kick the last few sessions).

Damage is less important then Riders, a lot of the time. In addition, War Wizardry only comes in paragon, causing you to wade through an entire tier of possible problems. And if you have a Tactical Warlord, well their bonus may very well override the penalty, making APing a bad idea... Which is strange.

In addition, one of the main issues I have with Controllers as presented currently is that Leaders are better at controlling then them a lot of the time, because they never have to worry about friendly fire, and often buff allies in the process. I've seen this happen multiple times, and it frankly annoying. Leaders aren't expected to hit allies though, and yet for some reason, controllers are. It's perplexing :smallconfused:.

Moff Chumley
2009-11-05, 09:13 PM
From a verisimilitude standpoint, it makes sense. And to support what others have said, I've played a PHBI-only wizard all the way through Heroic Tier, using lots of AoEs (almost exclusively), and I barely hit any allies the entire time. We came to an unspoken agreement that melee-ers would always stay on the outside of an enemy relative to other enemies. Good tactics in every way.

Gralamin
2009-11-05, 09:20 PM
From a verisimilitude standpoint, it makes sense. And to support what others have said, I've played a PHBI-only wizard all the way through Heroic Tier, using lots of AoEs (almost exclusively), and I barely hit any allies the entire time. We came to an unspoken agreement that melee-ers would always stay on the outside of an enemy relative to other enemies. Good tactics in every way.

The problem might be that I'm partially judging from my own encounters, and I like enemies to be tactical. Alternate movement modes, group attacks, and such are fairly common under me :smallbiggrin:

Gametime
2009-11-05, 09:50 PM
"Asking allies to move out of the way," what? You must've really cowed the other players at the table, when I used to ask that (with a please, might I add) as a wizard, the general response was either 'Screw You' or 'I can't :/'. Then both types got SUPER pissed when I blasted them anyway. Quickly learned to favor non-AoE and, thus, strikers.

Delaying and readying do not work; the former amounts to stunning the character since no one else's going to listen to that player whining about not being able to get a clean shot (hence lost turn), and the latter requires you to declare your intent to the DM, resulting in metascrew. Jump is in the same slot as Shield (i.e. yeah, THAT'S going to be prepped), and only affects one character once per encounter. These problems are -constant-, every turn.

This pile of dog bowels is easily avoided with one simple character decision: play a Cleric or Sorcerer instead of a Wizard.

I don't mean to be rude, but if your players respond to a request for teamwork with "Screw you" and your DM responds to readied actions with "Bwahaha, now I can destroy his strategy"...maybe the problem isn't the class you're playing. :smallconfused:

cupkeyk
2009-11-05, 10:06 PM
I don't mean to be rude, but if your players respond to a request for teamwork with "Screw you" and your DM responds to readied actions with "Bwahaha, now I can destroy his strategy"...maybe the problem isn't the class you're playing. :smallconfused:

Ditto sentiment. 4e was built around teamwork and allies who cannot respond correctly to that are not allies. We would like to believe that our party as a strike force,w here in which we make each other more efficient (hence party roles), its not a dpr contest.

ZeroNumerous
2009-11-05, 10:27 PM
I have to agree with Edea. My experiences as a wizard were terribly unfun. The choice usually boiled down to: Magic Missile, hit an ally and three enemies or hit just one enemy and no allies. However, my experiences as a warlord were radically different and loads of fun precisely because I never had to worry about blasting allies along with enemies.

TheDarkOne
2009-11-05, 10:30 PM
One important fact is that if the monsters are assuming certain formations to prevent you from hitting a group of them with an AOE, then you've already had an effect on the battle with out even using an attack. It won't always work, but your group should be able to leverage the monster's unwillingness to assume certain positions to gain an advantage in the battle. (ie, they'll be less able to protect their artillery, or maybe they'll be easy to get flanking on etc.)

Also, there are some situations where hitting allies with an AoE is acceptable. It's not always clear, but hitting one alley to get an extra 2 or 3 monsters in your attack is definitely worth it.

Having played a wizard since release, I haven't seen any major problems with the AoEs. Of course there have been situations where I wanted a power to not hit allies, but it hasn't been a frequent concern. (although I have one or two powers that don't target allies, so this could be why)

Edea
2009-11-05, 10:52 PM
I have to agree with Edea. My experiences as a wizard were terribly unfun. The choice usually boiled down to: Magic Missile, hit an ally and three enemies or hit just one enemy and no allies. However, my experiences as a warlord were radically different and loads of fun precisely because I never had to worry about blasting allies along with enemies.

Exactly. Warlord's one of the best leader classes XD.

I WILL say, though, that the very latest Wizard Essentials article finally provided some real bennies for the class (in particular, an ALLY-FRIENDLY at-will burst, that targets Will defense to boot; the only one of its kind). However, this is extremely recent; up until now my experience with the class is exactly as what I stated in my original post. And also note the SHEER NUMBER of Wizard Class Act/Essential articles we've gotten: at least three. The other classes have either one or zero; most have zero :/. This tells me the class needed some work.

Gralamin
2009-11-05, 11:00 PM
I'm finding it odd that so many people are suggesting hitting allies. Do you not take powers with riders or something? I mean, last I checked, Shielding Swordmages are disliked a lot of the time since they can only prevent damage, and not the riders that go around with it. Last I checked A LOT of wizard powers have riders. So, its okay to put a rider on an ally if its an ally who does it, but not if its a monster? :smallconfused:

HMS Invincible
2009-11-05, 11:08 PM
Exactly. Warlord's one of the best leader classes XD.

I WILL say, though, that the very latest Wizard Essentials article finally provided some real bennies for the class (in particular, an ALLY-FRIENDLY at-will burst, that targets Will defense to boot; the only one of its kind). However, this is extremely recent; up until now my experience with the class is exactly as what I stated in my original post. And also note the SHEER NUMBER of Wizard Class Act/Essential articles we've gotten: at least three. The other classes have either one or zero; most have zero :/. This tells me the class needed some work.

Are you talking about chilling cloud? Because that targets fort, and does only set damage.

Gralamin
2009-11-05, 11:10 PM
Are you talking about chilling cloud? Because that targets fort, and does only set damage.

No, She is talking about Winged Horde.

Sir Homeslice
2009-11-06, 03:59 AM
I used to think Gralamin, Break, Edea, and the people in their camp were paint chip huffing sodomites with an overarching penchant for cradlerobbing.

And then I had an unfortunate encounter where my Tiefling Reslord/Bard/Daring Blade was made an utter mockery of by my allied wizard who, by dint of being an AoEmonkey and the DM's disturbing fascination for forced movement and immobilization effects, was blasted from roughly max HP to nearly nothing, bounced back up, and then was slapped back around like a red-headed stepchild.

Now whenever I see a target line that mentions creatures, and an area burst/close burst/blast range that belongs to a controller, I twitch because it makes war wizardry so much more of a hated feat in the sense that you needed it or else you'd invariably screw your teammates and not in the awesome way that needs a cigarette afterwards and breakfast in bed.

So yeah, to you blokes (Gralamin, Break, Edea, etc. etc.), I apologize.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-06, 04:33 AM
damaging your allies is bad (as most normally think it is).
Of course it is. However, damaging allies that resist e.g. fire, using fire magic, is good planning. Wizards also get a spell that makes their allies resist fire :smallsmile: Also, hitting one ally and two additional monsters may be worth it, depending on the situation.

Regarding riders, it depends on what the rider is. For instance, dazing an ally who's already dazed? No problem. Immobilizing an ally who can teleport? Acceptable. Pushing an ally? Useful, and it breaks enemy grabs.



"Asking allies to move out of the way," what? You must've really cowed the other players at the table, when I used to ask that (with a please, might I add) as a wizard, the general response was either 'Screw You' or 'I can't :/'.
It's called "teamwork". It's just like the rogue asking the fighter for a flank, really.


Delaying and readying do not work;
Sure they are. Example? Warlock charges forward and is swarmed by enemies. I ready an action to cast flaming sphere. Warlock teleports, flaming sphere appears in the square he just left, enemies hurt.


Jump is in the same slot as Shield (i.e. yeah, THAT'S going to be prepped),
Yes, it is. That's teamwork again. Jump is an oft-overlooked but extremely useful spell, and your allies will love you for taking it. And if the party tank is doing it's job (you know, because of teamwork) then you won't be needing Shield all that often.



In addition, one of the main issues I have with Controllers as presented currently is that Leaders are better at controlling then them a lot of the time,
Really? Can any leader duplicate a simple level-1 combo like Enlarged Grasping Shadows + Thunderwave?

Starsinger
2009-11-06, 09:14 AM
This pile of dog bowels is easily avoided with one simple character decision: play a Cleric or Sorcerer instead of a Wizard.

Sorcerers, who are the most "controlly" of all the strikers, ever, have a lot of AoE that also harms allies, your statement confuses me.


In addition, one of the main issues I have with Controllers as presented currently is that Leaders are better at controlling then them a lot of the time, because they never have to worry about friendly fire, and often buff allies in the process.

It depends on what you want from a controller. If you're just after AoE minion stomping, then yes. Artificers and Clerics do it better since they tend to buff allies in their attack zones. If you want a plethora of debuff riders your choice tends to be Shielding Clerics (That is the new build name right?) or Controller/Sorcerer.

Also as a note, Leaders (atleast Clerics, I'm not entirely sure on Warlords cuz I don't touch them) have a lot of useful utilities that rely on their standard action, so your Leader isn't always available to blast something.

Furthermore, I suspect that harming allies is part of the "balance" of controllers amongst each other. A lot of people claim that Invoker is an infinitely better controller than a Wizard, part of which is based on an asinine rumor that Invoker AoEs don't have friendly fire at all. But another part of it is that they're ignoring "must have" Wizard feats which really help. War Wizardry? Wow, -5 to hit allies and then they deal half damage if you somehow do hit? Seems nice to me. Enlarge Spell? Very nice. Spell Focus? For all the complaining people do about the save system, a simple "Doesn't actually break it but helps" feat seems to slip their notice. So yes, Invokers have more "I don't stab my friends" AoE powers. But Wizards can have larger, "I don't hit my allies as hard or as often", and harder to save against AoE powers.

Master_Rahl22
2009-11-06, 11:23 AM
I'm going to agree with KG here. 4E is all about tactics and teamwork, so why should Controllers be any different? You need good tactics and teamwork to manage stuff he mentioned like dazing a bunch of enemies and one ally who happened to be already dazed or whatever. I also agree that I think it's part of the balance of being able to entirely shut your enemies down that occasionally you hurt one of your allies.

Mark Hall
2009-11-06, 12:00 PM
I will say that our Wizards INABILITY to use any powers that hit single targets made us twist his arm until he turned one of his At Wills into a single target attack (he went from Scorching Burst to Magic Missile and we were happy), there's also a number of times where our defenders (or tough leaders) will say "Hit me." My warforged cleric (multi'd fighter, with plate armor and now shield proficiencies) will regularly soak hits, especially fire or necrotic ('cause he resists those, thanks to his armor). Why? He's got a big bag of HP, several powers that heal him, and a couple powers that let him ignore or remove conditions. Hitting him, especially if he's dancing with a number of partners, is great strategy.

Artanis
2009-11-06, 12:51 PM
The way I see it, Controllers have two jobs:
1) Screwing enemies (namely via debuffs)
2) Restricting enemy tactical options, namely via forced movement, area denial (e.g. walls), and the threat of AoE.

At that point, the balance comes in cost:benefit and versatility. The Wizard and Druid have an awful lot of ways to hurt their buddies, but that's an awful lot of ways to hurt the enemy as well. There's got to be something in their combined 165 AoEs that's worth it. Meanwhile, the Seeker won't be hurting allies much, but it also doesn't have many AoE options to start with*.




*This holds even if the final class has ten times the number of AoEs and triple the friendly fire rate.

Fax Celestis
2009-11-06, 12:54 PM
2) Restricting enemy tactical options, namely via forced movement, area denial (e.g. walls), and the threat of AoE.

The problem with this is that playing what amounts to an embodiment of the Cold War isn't fun.

Artanis
2009-11-06, 01:03 PM
The only "cold war" stuff I mean is enemies seeing a Wizard and spreading out to avoid having a Fireball dropped on their heads - which removes the option of bunching up. Other than that, being able to Thunderwave somebody into lava is going to keep them from going near the lava, letting you use something even nastier on them while they stay well away from the edge. Or how the entire point of walls is to keep people from going to a certain spot via blocking/slowing movement altogether and/or setting them on fire if they try it.

Fax Celestis
2009-11-06, 01:05 PM
Yes, but when a specific function of your class is avoidable by your DM either playing intelligently (if your opponents know you're a wizard) or metagaming (when they don't), and while it does mean your foes are going to have to make some tough decisions, it also means that the majority of your time is going to be spent using options that aren't your best ones merely by virtue of the fact that you can't use them in a fashion towards their intended purpose.

Awesomologist
2009-11-06, 01:09 PM
I haven't been a fan of the 4e Controller role since the game came out. For a lot of reasons, but this here, damaging allies and placing status effects on them is one of the bigger ones. No clearly defined role or mechanic (Ritual Casting is barely a class benefit if you can pick it up wit a feat) and over reliance on daily powers are amongst the other reasons.

Yes, I know teamwork is supposed to factor in here but I think around our table we may play a little differently. We focus on the Defender and Leader. If they say "Move here for this" or "Hold off your attack until I do X" then we listen to them. Why? Because they're the front line and what keeps us going forward. They prevent damage, heal, buff, and control enemies. Your defender's mark is the best form of control in the game.

Around our table we've found the Wizard to be a joke of a class. Poor at-wills, only one implement type worth playing, lack-luster encounter powers that require feats to make effective, and an over reliance on daily powers. The Invoker and Druid are met with far less resistance though since PHB2 came out. In the end we've come to find the Warlock to be the best controller in the game. If no one takes one of those, there are plenty of other classes that can fill the controller role in a minor way and it makes up for not having a pure controller. (The Seeker and Psion, while available to us, have not been tried out yet. They just don't fill a need in our party.)

The sad part is, we've really made an attempt to like the wizard and play one. But no one likes taking commands from the controller. Statements such as "Why should I move? I already have CA vs this enemy and I can take him down faster than your low damage." are more likely to come up. And when we do move and the wizard misses a majority of the targets, not only have multiple players lost their chance to do something but it usually gives the DM a chance to act with impunity. Any counter argument of action denial, or forcing the monsters to behave a certain way is usually met with "Who cares? It's already bloodied/under another effect/marked/etc." Fact of the matter is, most of the other classes can do what the wizard does already, and thats hand out status effects. Doing them in bursts that affect allies is counter productive. Save the bursts and blasts that harm allies for dumb monsters that clump up or minions. And for that you can pick from any number of other classes that have bursts and blasts.

Artanis
2009-11-06, 01:20 PM
Yes, but when a specific function of your class is avoidable by your DM either playing intelligently (if your opponents know you're a wizard) or metagaming (when they don't), and while it does mean your foes are going to have to make some tough decisions, it also means that the majority of your time is going to be spent using options that aren't your best ones merely by virtue of the fact that you can't use them in a fashion towards their intended purpose.

Not for everything though. Hitting an enemy with a huge debuff like daze, stun, or even dominate is sure as hell using a great option. And like I said, blocking off terrain is what walls are for: if you're using them, then you're restricting enemy options pretty heavily, even if your primary intention is just to put a big line of fire snaking through their ranks.

And the more choices you remove, the nastier it gets. Drop a wall on the battlefield? Well, first off you've probably killed - or at least messed up - several of them, which is pretty active. But beyond that - the sort of thing I'm talking about - is also that now, the Fighter has a much better chokepoint to park himself in and the Sorcerer has targets that have to bunch up more for him to carpet-nuke.

That sort of stuff.


Edit: added quote due to ninja

Fax Celestis
2009-11-06, 01:25 PM
So let me get this straight: it's okay for me to not be able to use fireball effectively because the threat of its use makes my other powers more viable?

Artanis
2009-11-06, 01:30 PM
So let me get this straight: it's okay for me to not be able to use fireball effectively because the threat of its use makes my other powers more viable?

No, that's not what I'm saying.

Being able to use AoE falls under restricting enemy options. Using it effectively falls under the other part of the Controller's job: Screwing enemies over.

Fax Celestis
2009-11-06, 01:34 PM
Being able to use AoE falls under restricting enemy options.No, not using your AoE restricts enemies' options.

Artanis
2009-11-06, 01:35 PM
And then you screw them over by dropping it on them, thereby fulfilling the other part of the Controller's role with it.

Fax Celestis
2009-11-06, 01:42 PM
...you're missing my argument. If your AoE forces your opponents to spread out without its use, then your AoE is essentially a gun loaded with blanks. Your power, while it has changed the battlefield, has done no damage and inflicted no statii. Once they're spread out, your AoE is essentially useless, as it is no longer a viable attack: you're operating so far under your potential output it's hardly even worthwhile.

Having your gimmick be "DO THIS AND YOU DIE" turns you into a Yu-Gi-Oh! trap card, not a dynamic combatant.

Trog
2009-11-06, 01:45 PM
Well I played a Wizard for a few months in my friend's campaign. Originally our group had no individual who could deal out damage to a group of foes which was why I switched my character from a Warlock to a Wizard. Once our group had each role filled the encounters went smoother but I have to say playing a wizard was very challenging.

The benefit of having large area effect spells was often hindered by your allies being in the wrong place. And even when we worked together to try and coordinate the powers were hindered by the enemies powers moving people around and also sometimes by terrain or (*grumble*) a heavy resistance to fire. The latter caused me to have to switch around my powers to even be effective in a combat at all. Many times I was reduced to at wills before the combat was up otherwise.

So I have to say it's not the most satisfying class to play. If it wasn't for the friendly fire issue it would be fun I think. Perhaps that is why they are moving more towards that with newer controller classes coming out. I imagine this is more of a learn as you go sort of mistake on WotC part than a deliberate decision to make wizards suck. Or perhaps my DM just hated wizards and kept throwing terrain and enemies at me that deliberately worked against the attacks that wizards are capable of doing if conditions are right. >.>

Cybren
2009-11-06, 02:50 PM
...you're missing my argument. If your AoE forces your opponents to spread out without its use, then your AoE is essentially a gun loaded with blanks. Your power, while it has changed the battlefield, has done no damage and inflicted no statii. Once they're spread out, your AoE is essentially useless, as it is no longer a viable attack: you're operating so far under your potential output it's hardly even worthwhile.

Having your gimmick be "DO THIS AND YOU DIE" turns you into a Yu-Gi-Oh! trap card, not a dynamic combatant.

That is not how tactics work.


1) the wizard always has a large number of powers to use
2) If the threat of an AoE changes enemy tactics it will be to their detriment. The striker can now route them and hit targets of opportunity. The defender can move through to give backup, marking people and whatnot
3) now you can use a wall! They just spread out! Or if the formation isn't right you can use a different spell. Or a utility spell. Or a spell that moves them together or farther apart until you can pick them off one at a time
4) Oh you got initiative! Wall + Forced Movement action point = lots of damage and they're on the wrong side of the wall
5) Maybe you don't have powers to do that how about daze + forced movement, or maybe... or... or... oh wait you have plenty of options people are just mad that the wizard isn't the 'main character' like he was in 3e

Fax Celestis
2009-11-06, 02:54 PM
That is not how tactics work.

I know how tactics work. What I'm saying is, AoEs that hit allies as well as enemies are essentially worthless as anything but a deterrent.

Arbitrarity
2009-11-06, 03:28 PM
I think my wizard is now going to have all his power cards face down, ready actions, and whenever any enemies move too near each other, I'll flip an appropriate card up, and yell "Now you've activated my TRAP CARD", and hopefully get a "NOOOOOO" as a response.

FlawedParadigm
2009-11-06, 04:14 PM
I think the problem is more of a meta-problem. As the controller, you have the onus of being "the guy who screws up the DM's well-laid plans". Any time the DM wants to set up something dramatic, or use interesting terrain to make a fight tough, or wants to challenge you with a mid-combat ambush or something, the controller is going to be the guy who screws that up.

One game I play in involves a Githzerai (D378) Druid who has the Githzerai racial that grants Probability Travel at level 11. Consequently, we no longer have any fights staged near cliffs, open fires, lava, or any such terrain feature. The most dangerous things we fight around are flights of stairs. And I agree with this call; you'd have to try very hard to make an encounter challenging without going overboard when the players have access to an ENCOUNTER mass-teleport power. Any terrain feature you include can and will be used against you in a field of battle.

That's just a racial PP power, too; probably a bit good for its level, but it's a good represenative of the kind of effect a lot of controller powers have. There are probably even some DMs who simply by habit spread enemies out so as not to get them all nuked by one AoE. Unless your group has a lot of burst 1/2 powers that benefit allies, you probably use the same tactics against the monsters.

I'd say the problem isn't necessarily the classes themselves (although this doesn't help) as much as it is that you're set up to screw over the DM's plans for making any fight a challenge, so if he wants to keep it exciting, he'd got to screw your plans right back.

Asbestos
2009-11-06, 05:41 PM
Around our table we've found the Wizard to be a joke of a class. Poor at-wills, only one implement type worth playing, lack-luster encounter powers that require feats to make effective, and an over reliance on daily powers. The Invoker and Druid are met with far less resistance though since PHB2 came out. In the end we've come to find the Warlock to be the best controller in the game. If no one takes one of those, there are plenty of other classes that can fill the controller role in a minor way and it makes up for not having a pure controller. (The Seeker and Psion, while available to us, have not been tried out yet. They just don't fill a need in our party.)

This might be a YMMV thing, but I never felt that way at all (and neither did my Melee heavy party) about my Wizard. Now, while I don't think that the Wizard AoEs are a problem, there is a problem if the Wizard doesn't pick varied powers. The guy that takes absolutely nothing but AoEs that target everyone is going to find himself up the creek more than the guy that picks a well rounded selection of powers. When the baddies are grouped up, you can blast them, when they aren't you can still blast them.

Also, High-Five to KG for also picking Jump over Shield. Shield wasn't even in my Wizard's spellbook, went with Feather Fall (used Feather Fall when in complexes where it saved more than one life and used Jump outside where I could throw the party tank at my enemies)

Doug Lampert
2009-11-06, 06:00 PM
Also, there are some situations where hitting allies with an AoE is acceptable. It's not always clear, but hitting one alley to get an extra 2 or 3 monsters in your attack is definitely worth it.

As a DM, ditto above, our wizard regularly picks his target point, asks the front line character he'll hit, "do you mind if I target there", and gets a "no problem" unless the striker or defender in question is bloodied.

Given a party's healing abilities they actually have more HP available than the enemy. Doing X damage to an ally and 5X or more to the enemy is a no-brainer.

The wizard AoE spells do LOTS of damage to LOTS of enemies. Hitting one unbloodied ally is a small price to pay, and this is true IN THE OPINION of the allies getting hit.

They'll deliberately manuever so as to get the enemy to "gang up" so they'll be more vulnerable to the AoE.


there's also a number of times where our defenders (or tough leaders) will say "Hit me." My warforged cleric (multi'd fighter, with plate armor and now shield proficiencies) will regularly soak hits, especially fire or necrotic ('cause he resists those, thanks to his armor). Why? He's got a big bag of HP, several powers that heal him, and a couple powers that let him ignore or remove conditions. Hitting him, especially if he's dancing with a number of partners, is great strategy.

Ditto again. Hitting 3+ enemies and one ally is perfectly acceptable, and the number is often higher than 3:1. (I've got seven players, so the monster numbers can get rather high, especially if there are any minions present or NPC allies available.)


...you're missing my argument. If your AoE forces your opponents to spread out without its use, then your AoE is essentially a gun loaded with blanks. Your power, while it has changed the battlefield, has done no damage and inflicted no statii.

It's inflicted an utterly DEVASTATING status on the enemy. Spread out too badly to mutually support and forced to stay that way for duration of battle.

Your enemy is ALWAYS flanked and can NEVER gain flank if he stays spread out. This is bad how? He can't take advantage of statii allies inflict, go ahead, knock me prone, that's an ADVANTAGE against the ranged attacks your allies now have to use.

The only possible worse status you can inflict on your enemy is "already dead". If they refuse to bunch up for fear of the AoE you've hurt them as badly as everyone else combined prior to using a single power, and you still have plenty of powers left that are usable.


I know how tactics work. What I'm saying is, AoEs that hit allies as well as enemies are essentially worthless as anything but a deterrent.

The military will be SHOCKED to learn that artillery and aircraft bombs and missiles are all useless as attacks.

Because that's what you're claiming above. And artillery has been the big battlefield killer ever since it passed disease.

Fax Celestis
2009-11-06, 06:07 PM
The military will be SHOCKED to learn that artillery and aircraft bombs and missiles are all useless as attacks.

Because that's what you're claiming above. And artillery has been the big battlefield killer ever since it passed disease.

Do you napalm a field with your own soldiers on it? No.


The only possible worse status you can inflict on your enemy is "already dead". If they refuse to bunch up for fear of the AoE you've hurt them as badly as everyone else combined prior to using a single power, and you still have plenty of powers left that are usable.

I'm not denying it's a boon--I'm saying that if your contribution to the party amounts to a "don't bunch up" threat, you're going to be standing there pinging off weak single-target at-wills and being bored when the rest of your party is popping dailies and killing lizardfolk.

Artanis
2009-11-06, 06:14 PM
I'm not denying it's a boon--I'm saying that if your contribution to the party amounts to a "don't bunch up" threat, you're going to be standing there pinging off weak single-target at-wills and being bored when the rest of your party is popping dailies and killing lizardfolk.

But it ISN'T your contribution to the party. It's only part of your contribution to the party. You aren't forcing the enemy to spread out, you're forcing them to spread out and blinding, dazing, stunning and force-moving them with your other powers. Just because they're too spread out for Fireball doesn't mean you can't drop another daily on them.

Aron Times
2009-11-06, 07:24 PM
Do you napalm a field with your own soldiers on it? No.



I'm not denying it's a boon--I'm saying that if your contribution to the party amounts to a "don't bunch up" threat, you're going to be standing there pinging off weak single-target at-wills and being bored when the rest of your party is popping dailies and killing lizardfolk.
It's much easier to hit enemies only with area attacks in 4E because it uses squares as opposed to circles. If your melee characters are in a straight line beside each other, it is trivial to aim your area attack in a way that hits only enemies.

And as been pointed out previously, enemies that scatter get flanked and focus-fired.

Another thing... 4E assumes that the party fully cooperates with each other. If your melee party members are too stupid not to get out of the way when you fire an area attack, it's not the system's fault.

We have two area attacks in the party, my character, a warlord/wizard, and a fellow party member, a wizard. We have never had any problems with area attacks, even if the DM makes the enemy scatter.

Asbestos
2009-11-06, 07:44 PM
Do you napalm a field with your own soldiers on it? No.

In a modern fight if your soldiers and the enemy's are so intermingled that you can't call in a close air or artillery strike without it landing on your own guys... then you've potentially put your soldiers in a horrible situation already. Even so, you might sometimes need to bring the rain. Check out 'We Were Soldiers' when the 'Broken Arrow' command/order is issued.

Mando Knight
2009-11-06, 07:46 PM
Just because they're too spread out for Fireball doesn't mean you can't drop another daily on them.

And if you only picked AoE powers, you're only bringing your problem on yourself. Magic Missile and Ray of Frost aren't as good of powers as Thunderwave, but the Ray forces a second target to stay close to the Fighter instead of charging you, and Magic Missile does decent damage while combining with powers that allow for Ranged Basic attacks (like the "stab him for me" type Warlord powers).

Kurald Galain
2009-11-07, 02:10 PM
...you're missing my argument. If your AoE forces your opponents to spread out without its use, then your AoE is essentially a gun loaded with blanks.

But that's not how it works. The wizard has huge areas plus enlarge spell, so will frequently still be able to catch multiple enemies in an area effect. Wizards are quite good at creating a catch-22: if an enemy (other than artillery) stays back in order to remain outside the area effect, then the enemy is being ineffective. If the enemy comes forward, he eats the effect.

Also, allies can do all sorts of things to line up enemies with forced movement powers. Heck, wizards can set up a zone and then start knocking enemies in there with Thunderwave or Twist of Space. Being a deterrent to grouping is only a small part of being a wizard. It is the only "control" part of spells like Fireball, but that's the exact reason why Fireball isn't such a great spell in the first place.

cupkeyk
2009-11-07, 06:52 PM
Do you napalm a field with your own soldiers on it? No.



I'm not denying it's a boon--I'm saying that if your contribution to the party amounts to a "don't bunch up" threat, you're going to be standing there pinging off weak single-target at-wills and being bored when the rest of your party is popping dailies and killing lizardfolk.

Quite funny that you chose napalm as your image. Yes they do. Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5. awesome novel.

Decimating your opponent (depleting 10% of enemy resources using minimal personal resource asking for negotiations) is the first round. Then you use shock and awe tactics the following rounds and then ask for negotiations. then you nuke your own army and in the process killing off most of theirs, claiming that you have a bigger army behind that one, then ask for negotiations would be the last stages of war but is rarely a viable option since you want to use their manpower and resources for your own through assimilation. but napalming your own guys, yes!