Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Random Ability Wizard - Ability Damage

I haven't been playing much Diablo because Rogue Legacy is a much better game, but I do have more to say about the wizard.  The wizard has four Secondary abilities, but Ray of Frost is pretty different as a single target ability, so we won't talk about that right now.  Let's instead look at the history of the damage of Arcane Orb, Arcane Torrent and Disintegrate.


Arcane Orb and Torrent did the same damage while Disintegrate did a little less.  But apparently Arcane Torrent needs to do more damage because it is worse than Arcane Orb.  Also, Disintegrate should do about the same as Arcane Orb.  No wait, it shouldn't, Arcane Orb should be about the same as Arcane Torrent.  No wait, Arcane Torrent should do way more damage - even more than the single target Ray of Frost - and Disintegrate should actually do slightly more than Arcane Orb.  I'm looking for Arcane Orb to do 260%  in patch 1.0.9.

Let's reflect on the fact that during this time period none of the top wizard builds use any of these abilities at all.  These changes are not being made to make these abilities competitive for Monster Power 5 and greater.  So we have to assume that they are being made to make the abilities more reasonable for levelling and for a more casual playstyle.

Unfortunately, these changes suggest to me that the people making them don't actually play with the abilities extensively.  Going up levels as a wizard in patch 1.0.7, I can tell you that Arcane Orb levels were fine, Arcane Torrent levels were good and Disintegrate levels were a little tedious.  Why is this?  It's because Arcane Torrent did the most damage, Arcane Orb did less damage - and cost more arcane power - and Disintegrate did the least damage.  That is all.

These abilities should all do exactly the same damage.  All of them have usable areas of effect with different advantages and disadvantages.  Arcane Torrent has the smallest area but can be targeted at any location you like, including bypassing melee enemies to kill summoners and ranged units.  Arcane Orb has a large area but must target the nearest enemies.  Disintegrate is a bit of a hybrid of the two, hitting a large area and going through enemies but having trouble with enemies that are clustered in certain shapes.

I'm sure one of these is better than the others in an abstract sense, but when you actually play the game and you are forced to use all three in situations not of your choosing you realize that they all play just fine.  The only thing that makes one better than the others is the damage and the cost.  Even the cost wouldn't be much of an issue on a lower monster power setting.  I guarantee you that right now if you played the random ability challenge you would find Arcane Torrent to be by far the best, then Disintegrate, and you would feel frustrated with Arcane Orb levels by comparison.

Someone is thinking way too hard about these tweaks, and they smack of designer advocacy for favourite abilities.  Let's equalize the secondary abilities and let wizards play with whichever they prefer.

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