Arcane Casters and Healing
toportime last edited by
There should be at least one arcane caster constantly healing your fighters with wands if incoming damage is a problem.
This strikes me as strange.. since when did Arcane casters become wand wielding healbots? I'm sorry, but when hearing "Arcane caster" them being a primary healer has never came to mind. And as someone who plays mages who usually carry a healing wand, that is a pile of bull. I have spent thousands on healing wands only to burn them trying to save others mostly, dying at times to do so, and yet not ever have I heard "Well, the mage pulled our ass out of that, let us make sure he can restock his wands!" with one exception, and that character gave up their cut of the loot to help replace the wand I burned healing them so they could kill the quest boss while the other two characters in party were chilling in the fugue. Even then, that "extra" 200gp didn't even cover half the cost of the wand as I cannot seem to find many who make arcane wands of healing.
*the quote came from another thread, but rather than derail that suggestion thread I created this one.
My casters are always huge healbots as well. And it's true, most of the time profit was never made on quests. But you can always ICly choose not to heal people. Rarely do people acknowledge mages who heal, but that's IC as well. Just comes down to what you're willing or not willing to do to save people.
If my current character is capable of using wands, I always have healing at hand.
It doesn't make you a healbot if you know what talents you've got and which of them are the most beneficial to your party at the moment.
In any case, I don't really see a reason for ooc drama, man.
If your fighters are taking damage, then they're doing something wrong and so are you as an arcanist. Arcanists have buffs which prevent damage from ever occuring in the first place, if fighters are taking damage its either because the arcanist didn't use them, or the enemy is too much for your team to handle. And in the event of the latter, its mostly everyone's responsibility to heal themselves first before expecting someone else to do it for them.
There are many ways to play a mage, and to be quite honest, healbot is one of the least efficient of these ways. mages don't get healing spells so you're guaranteed that being the healbot is going to cost a bunch of gold, and mages aren't useless when not healing, if they feel that way they're probably doing something wrong right there.
While I do agree that having as many tricks in your bag is ideal and you could/should be ready and able to be the healbot if the situation calls for it, no mage should ever plan on filling that role when a cleric or bard (or fighter even) can heal with fewer expenses.
If you're in some group of 2-4 players that play well together ICly - from experience and lots of working together in my experience the cheapest way to heal is by using invisible mages. They don't have much to do when they're not using their spells and they have very little risk of getting hit. Any turn spent not healing is a turn spent doing damage for a fighter. The more damage you do the less damage you will take.
In the end, in my experience, having ancillary party members heal you - preferably wizards/sorcerers - is the cheapest, most efficient way to go, assuming they already buffed you to the teeth and you are playing smart. Gold is not a problem because in a team you are going to make sure gold is distributed fairly - and if it so happens that your arcanist of choice burned a lot of healing then you are going to give him a bigger share and move on.
The cheapest healing methods, I feel, are discipline gems > bags of herbs > arcane healing wands. Arcane healing wands because it saves your fighters from spending turns healing themselves which in turn leads to them nullifying threats faster, which leads to less accrued damage to their own HP. Of course a bard or cleric can do the job just as well; but they tend to be more useful, mathematically, if they are contributing DPS.
Then again the point rises that who enjoys playing a buffbot? Or healbot for that matter. You would expect someone throwing the occasional heal or buff from their wands, while they have another role as a spellcaster, be it crowd control, or direct damage. The thing is mages in NWN have too few slots to be effective at that for a wholle quest, and it is true that their most effective use, at least PvE wise is buffing, and that stands for other casters too, even clerics at times.
The only way to enjoy a caster like that is buffing and healing without making this your main role. We gave fighters the healing gems for a reason, people where complaining about no fighters on the server due to the lack of ability to heal cheaply. If it still falls to mages and clerics to do that then just remove the thing? People do not just want to work for the frontliners, they need to feel they contribute to a fight, and while healing is huge contribution, it just feels boring and gets expensive rather quick if you do not play with a group of friends that actually appreciate what you do (so they economically help as well).
Once more, I know mages are the most effective as buffbots and healbots if perhaps you sit down and do the math, but I cannot imagine anyone creating a character to do that. Bard song even was created to heal among other uses, and it is very effective. There are many alternatives to healing (bard song, discipline gem, a dedicated cleric who RP wise might actually select it as his role), but expecting more than a few wand charges from them as a fighter? Why? They can be so diverse in their roles, they get a huge selection of spells, and they should buff the frontline to the teeth because its mechanically the most effective?
There have been threads upon threads where people take it out on mage characters for not playing in a creative original way, but when the rest of us seek those two very specific things from them, why are we surprised mages nowadays or previously are very scripted in spell use? (Not pointing fingers, I haven't seen a pure wizard lately on the server and I consider the above being a small reason why).
BTW I think the above people have it right, as far as effectiveness goes. Creative as one can be as a spellcaster, buffing to the teeth is even better than healing, as it prevents damage taken that has to be healed. I just do not like how a wizard is considered useless if he doesn't follow the "recomended" path. And they are boring to play paths, very one dimensional, especially for a sorcerer, since wizards can at least change spell selection easily. You end up repeating the process of buff everyone, invis, then spam your healing wand. Quest ends and if you re lucky you make up for the costs. Noone uses confusion spells, all the cloud spells, even fireballs I havent seen in ages unless NPC enemies throw them. Only summons might brake the monotony, maybe the occasional Hold.
Shouldn't we try to think of ways to make wizards more sustainable in the length of a quest? Not more powerful, but to give them a way to really contribute without having to take those roles. They are very powerful in PvP for short bursts, but 90% of the time our battles are quests. Maybe an item that has a small damage ranged touch attack like a magic sphere instead of the flimsy crossbow? A way for them to handle this attack by intelligence score and not strength. Make them elemental only, and have each caster peak two elements at character creation to work with. Maybe there can be combo effects too. Not spells, actuall attacks, be it from a granted item at a certain level or scripted some other way. The Fallow rods where a great example of that, but needed ot be more accessible perhaps. Just a few suggestions to boost wizard creativity and break their scripted line of optimised play.
I recommend cantrip wands; they are quite effective at making you useful all quest long and are very cheap to make. I would recommend them to be cheaply available as a sort of alternative to the crossbow.
I'm sorry but this is terrible advice… invisible mages make healing cheap for everyone except the invisible mages... Its not efficient at all nor cheap, people just think its efficient because they're not the ones footing the bill half the time.
A bard can keep an entire party at full health before, during and after a fight for free, while still contributing to the fight, and healing kits can keep you at full health between each fight for an extremely low price, same with discipline stones, if you're so hard up for health that you need to use it during the fight then by all means heal yourself even if it cuts into your damage for that one round, its better than dying and it still costs less than an invisible healing mage. And dimming your damage isn't an issue unless you end up having to heal more because of it, which even in this case, discipline stones cost -still- less than arcane healing wands.
Long story short the only thing less cost effective than invisible mages are healing potions, and people who refuse to buff and/or are garagosians and like to charge into the fight naked.
Invisible healer mages isn't an effective playstyle, its an -easy- low risk low reward playstyle for people that don't want to think about what else they can contribute to a fight.
By all means it isn't a playstyle to be avoided, but it shouldn't be plan a) in any situation, and in no way should it be considered "the best way to play a mage"
Let's not get into your "we heal everyone for free at no cost at all" type of bard you have available; they are ridiculously too good.
I ment battle efficient the way Jasede put it, not cost efficient. Meaning quickest way to kill (I wasnt clear on that…). Stopping to heal for a round is loss of damage which is not effective since someone who does no damage at all with a crossbow that rarely hits can do it for you (assuming mage ran out of spells or just spent everything on buffs).
Cost effective? Nothing beats a bard as it is, and I feel for the mages costs when they have to do that. I believe Jasede didn't mention cost effectiveness either? In his example of 2-4 players that know each other, costs are equally divided anyway. Its with people you don't know very well where mage healing contribution is neglected and sometimes passed unnoticed. The point is, wizards need variety in playstyle.
Cantrip wands are actually a good idea I hadnt thought of. Something a tad more potent would be great though in order to be worse, but still comparable to the healbot or buffbot. But since scripting time is needed for this, ideas like cantrips wands that do not need DM time are gold.
People don't like dying, plain and simple. They'll expect people who can help them to help them, whether this be an assigned 'heal-bot' or a support character (Rogue, ranged character, mage with healing), or themselves.
I agree with the gist of what the original post was - that expecting a mage to be purely a heal-bot if his/her spells have run dry is a bad habit to get into, as not only is it, to be blunt, dull, but also expensive and dangerous for the caster (assuming he/she isn't invisible). If there is no assigned healer, then it is not only the mage that is responsible (Let's be serious though, it is silly to walk into battle without having the capability to heal yourself/others), but everyone in the party. Mages aren't well suited for long quests, and while they are incredibly useful and usually necessary, they will often be stuck playing the role of loot bunny, shooting crossbows hoping for a crit, and/or slinging acid splash at the enemy. It isn't hard to IC and/or OOC thank a mage for healing them, or vice versa, and if you die, don't go throwing around blame, unless you give them a friendly hint about something that led the individual/group to their demise. Non-constructive criticism just leads to a bunch of pissed off people, not just one. If you die because you expect the squishy person slinging spells from the other side of the screen to instantly appear over you with a full heal then that's your own problem.
Also, just because you don't agree with a play-style, or would do things a bit differently doesn't give you the right to tell people how to play. If playing 'mechanically' is important to you, that's great! There's no better feeling than tackling that next hurdle solo, whether it be a lone bandit rogue to a group of gypsy warriors and mages! But if someone wants to play their actual character concept, that's their privilege.
Just my two cents, I love you all.
CitizenBane last edited by
If shit hits the fan, i think of #1 first. Unless my character is very heroic or knows someone well, i will not take risks to save that person, especially if their own stupidity is what got them into trouble. I love having someone who heals me, be it mage, cleric or bard, but i never -expect- them to, which is why i always take care of myself first, second and third, then see if someone else needs some healin' luvin' ;)
Point being, anyone, regardless of class, that goes to that extra effort to help the group out will find themselves invited again to my parties unless our characters clash hard personality-wise.
I personally love playing buffbots when playing casters, but it is understandable that not everyone likes such a role.
There is a world of difference between being useless or useful.
A caster who buffs then leeches xp from a quest is in the middle. Usefuless, I dub this word as.
A caster who buffs, and actively contributes through the entire quest, earns his pay check.
Darlene Te'len last edited by
A arcane healer can be quite useful under the right circumstances, and if that arcane healer is a well designed and equipped Bard, everyone has a greater chance of survival with a bard healer along
healer support bard, who is designed to heal and take a hit or two is one of the best arcane healers around (unlike mine, healer who relied on stealth…not good when things spot you)