If mages didn't have pulsar and placed explosions, how good would they be?

  • Still meta
  • Ok choice (balanced)
  • Slightly trash
  • Mostly trash
  • Gutted

0 voters

i think they would be mostly trash or gutted

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where the slightly above average option

that would be considered in the ok choice

so funny to me that people don’t realize pulsar and placed explosions are only part of the problem. if both of these were gone mage would still be meta

where’s the rest of the problem? blasts and beams are kinda hard to hit, are they (take note this info was from a magma/metal mage)?

Blasts are the most consistent form of damage in the game, dealing the damage of a 20% Shot with far larger size and a much lower cooldown. They are why Mage can space and airstall so well. I wouldn’t say Blasts are overpowered, but they are quite literally the bread and butter move of the game. In a way, combat was fundamentally designed around Blasts.

Self Explosions are brainless, and more effective than placed Explosions as it stands. Even after the changing of the size scaling formula, it’s still free, undeserved damage on a low cooldown. Their damage isn’t getting decreased at all, mind you.

Mode, even with the potency nerfs it’ll be receiving, is still absurdly strong, especially when you build into it properly. Being able to gain a free +800 HP as a glass cannon or +20% damage as a tank is just not really fair, especially when the downtime is so short.

Mage is the simplest class to learn, wins damage trades against classes it shouldn’t (Mage deals more DPS than Strength builds at point blank and can punish opponents’ grabs with Pillar-type Explosions), and has an insanely high ease of use due to its size, speed, and hard CC interactions (which are getting buffed).

If Pulsar and placed Explosions were removed from the class entirely and it received all the nerfs that are planned for it next patch, Mage would still be meta. Mage will always be meta. The game is designed around the class. It will always be the most popular, and it will always be one of the strongest, if not the strongest build.

ive never seen a single mage primarily use blasts but hmmm

and beams are what you use if you don’t want to deal with low attack speed but aren’t entirely close enough to get the self explosion
beams (specifically double beams) need something that puts them more in line with a single beam in order not to just be Blast 2

The main issue with explosions in general is that Placed Explosions are literally free damage as long as you know where your opponent is, but removing them outright would probably cause somebody to go “ohhh, there’s no attack variety!” due to blasts and beams being the only medium-long range options you’d have.
Self Explosions pretty much betray the mage’s intended playstyle and are somehow the best thing to put an ultimate art on right now, and will probably stay that way (blasts, on the other hand, somehow feel underwhelming when you make them an ultimate art). Removing them would cause the same reaction from people as removing Placed Explosions would, and the only offensive moves you’d have left are Blasts, Beams, and the lost spells (Snares don’t count because they’re meant to create distance). Even when those are already enough for a decent mage to win most fights, it’d probably make people feel like Mage is a boring class.

at least until they experiment with shapes which make blast go from one move to, like, ten

@pristine genuine question:
If you were in charge of balancing, what would you do to mage? Would you try to get rid of anything that goes against the zoner aspect of the class and/or feel like unearned damage (explosions and pulsar), or would you keep it mostly the way it is and adjust everything else to better fight against it with the “mage will always be meta” mindset?

Or is it more of a deeper problem with AO’s combat in general that’d be extremely hard to fix without creating another issue? I know that Vetex said that he genuinely doesn’t care that much for PVP aside from granting people the ability to do it, so I’d say it’s likely for that to be the case.

note I’m a little biased and speak based entirely on my own opinion and experience throughout my years playing the franchise

my problem with Mage as a whole is that the risk/reward really isn’t there. it’s a zoning class that plays the best at a range, yet it also wins damage trades against Strength and Weapons builds at point blank. doesn’t make sense. magic in general is quite simply just too easy for everything you get in return. it has an incredibly low skill floor to abuse, and there’s so little separating a good mage from a build-carried mage in this current meta.

if I was in charge of balancing, first on the chopping block would definitely be self-explosions. I’ve mentioned this before but they should be retaliatory, they shouldn’t be part of the class’ zoning identity. I’m not sure how “if you try to get close to me you’re going to tank 300-500 damage from me pressing a single button” is considered fair zoning. you are simply not allowed to get close to a Mage, as the sheer existence of their self-explosion is enough to dissuade any close-ranged play completely. the size decrease isn’t enough. self-explosions should have a longer cooldown and a 20-30% damage nerf.

this may surprise you, but I actually think that in a world where the size and tick rate options are removed from pulsar, and its damage is nerfed on top of the v1.12 changes it is receiving, the spell is fine. pulsar really does not need the utter inconsistency it has, as it is impossible to reliably dodge or block, much less parry, as you are unaware of your opponent’s pulse rate settings, and the visuals with increasing size are inaccurate. as long as it has a longer cooldown, some punishable endlag, and its damage is reduced (not just impact damage, pulse damage also needs a hit) it should do its job just fine. pulsar’s role is area denial, and it would honestly be a pretty fair tool if it weren’t so comically overloaded as it stands. it’s meant to block off certain avenues of approach, but have high downtime and a decent punish window to balance it out. still think it needs a bit more of a nerf than 1.12 is giving it, but it’ll be a little more fair than it is currently.

I’d ask for more AoE reduction but that’s never going to happen. in the same patch where Warrior and Warlord are having their AoE reduced by 33%, the only thing changing about Mage’s AoE is the formula being changed from multiplicative to additive. testers seem dead set on keeping mage nearly as brainless as it is right now, it’d seem.

Magic will always have the most AoE , the most raw damage , the most attention and care given to it overall , and it will always be the easiest class to learn and use. magic has always been and will always be the focal point of the franchise, so it’s no surprise that it gets the most love. as long as other classes are raised to a point that they can contend with mage, and as long as mage’s ease of use gets lowered , I doubt I’ll have many complaints about it in the future.


WOMbat meta

note that i’m carried by my builds and may or may not have worse takes because of that

the problem with explosions as a retaliatory tool is that they’d just become better/a clone of snare, which was already meant to get people away from you. (which failed, because now they’re a combo tool that allow you to turn the 500 damage ult. art explosion into a 700-800 damage snare + explosion combo)
i don’t know what they could do to make explosion unique. adding knockback to it would make it into another snare, and trying to make explosions and snares have a similar relationship as blasts and beams probably wouldn’t work either (as i don’t know how they’d do that)

my personal solution is to remove explosion from the game entirely, but i’ve already sort of realized that that would result in:

as well as

i don’t know how i’d even handle pulsar, but i agree with you and don’t have any real comment on it

i made an entire mini-rant in the v1.12 discussion topic about how attack size, but i’ll try to summarize it:
it has the potential to kill the game and turn every encounter into a DPS race.
the magic size you get from leveling up and progressing through the game is more than enough to wreak havoc upon the combat system once the game eventually reaches its intended end of the storyline, and the attack size stat just makes it worse and it should probably be removed.
(attack speed might become a similar problem down the line, too, as enough of it would be able to make magma move as fast as light normally does, and then… well, we’re back to a DPS race, just a bit less so than size)

too bad it’s already been in the game since WoM in the form of the sunken set and would take a long-ass time to think of and code a replacement stat for.

one side of me feels as if mage SHOULD be one of the easiest classes to use, while the other side of me thinks that it should be made into one of the hardest classes to use while also being the most rewarding.
on the easy-to-use side, it’s literally been the basis of everything since AA. why shouldn’t it be easy to use? morden says that your ability to use magic should be able to make your life easier (which is kind of funny to think about if you become a warrior or berserker and forget how to use it, lol)
on the hard-but-rewarding side… i just think that it’d be cool, to be honest

From what you said, here’s how I’d nerf mage:

I’d remove a small part of its zoner playstyle. For the self explosion problem, the damage should be nerfed. If you’re spreading your magic energy across a large place, you should deal less damage. I’d say ~30-40% damage nerf and ~20% size nerf for explosions in general). Alternatively, self explosion can work like a big snare. You knock every enemy back if they get hit by your self explosion.

Because mage doesn’t have any moves that dash/teleport and deal damage (idk about strength, I’m looking at you tiger rush/mirrored rivers), they maybe should have one. I don’t care too much about the zoner aspect anymore from this point onwards.

A funny idea I had to this was that mages can plant magic bombs or something at their location and have them detonated at will.

fair enough, but it’s always nice to have options. explosion would require much less of a commitment than snare, with less strict use cases (don’t have to be in grab range, just within explosion range) and is still easier to use.

true. we’re already on a slippery slope that I hope gets turned down quickly. we should never have had as much size as we do right now, when we still have 875 levels to go. I was expecting shit to just be slightly larger than WoM when the game dropped. how wrong I was.

you’re right about attack speed as well, and you didn’t bring up agility, but it should be considered as well. these stats are going to fall off in effectiveness more and more as you invest into them (exponential downscaling), but they’ll still be insane late-game when we can likely have 1000+ of each stat if they aren’t toned down or adjusted later down the line.

I’m fine with mage being easy, my wording might have been a bit deceptive. I just believe that there should be a noticeable difference between a good and bad mage. right now with the state of AoE and pulsar, you can get kills reliably against other players no matter how bad you are at PvP as long as your setup is powerful enough.

mage should be easy to learn, but hard to master.

god bless magic c4


it’d probably end up killing build variety down the line, but…
perhaps a softcap is in order for… EVERY stat? like, 1000 attack speed would be practically no different from, say, 250? (this sounds absurd but stay with me here) same with agility. not size, though. i’m still confident that the size stat needs to die as soon as possible.

as for power and defense, they’re starting to create an issue on their own, too. the more we progress, the more extreme the gap between a no-gear and a glass cannon/full-on tank build get, too. eventually, tanks will be seen as dealing NO damage to each other (10 minute fights), while glass cannons will literally be one-shotting each other due to the miniscule amount of health they have (10 second fights). sure, there’s balanced builds, but i get the feeling they’ll eventually crumble as the game progresses

i’m aware that putting in a stat softcap could probably end all build variety and turn every endgame build into a balanced one, which is kind of boring, but… i dunno, this just sounds like the best idea right now.
maybe there could be an effort to make a glass cannon and tank build still possible, but just not as extreme as they are now. like, a glass cannon should have, say, 50% more damage than a balanced build would (would kind of kill the “glass” part of the glass cannon, but oh well), and a (non-vitality) tank would have about 50% more health than a balanced build would.
wait a minute
vitality builds

ok i see what you mean now, i 100% agree

God bless magic C4. (i genuinely like this idea)

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you know, maybe it’d be a good idea for us to put all of this valuable balance talk into a summary and throw it into the v1.12 discussion topic and try to get a tester’s attention on it instead of just leaving it here to rot

would it make me look bad if i were to just mention one of them here while replying to the first post about this? i don’t know who i’d mention, but it’d certainly be one of 'em.

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I’d save the discussion for the next balance update. 1.12 thread has been flooded to high hell, not to mention the update is probably dropping within the week

ok, i need to clear something up for myself, are the balance changes supposed to be put into place at the same time as the first content update with fort castrum and diving spots and etc, or are they sooner than that? because i heard that none of the proposed changes have even been put into the test universe yet

not all of the changes will make it into the game with update one, but many of them will.

PvP balance changes are vetex’s lowest priority in regards to update one. they are also relatively fast to add, as many of them consist of simply tweaking values, calculations, and ratios slightly.