Etherdrifter

The State of PvE Magic in Wurm (2021)

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It has been a long while since I last explored this topic; so where is magic on wurm?  Last time I wrote one of these was about 2 years ago (https://forum.wurmonline.com/index.php?/topic/170073-the-state-of-pve-magic-fo/&tab=comments#comment-1734322)  This mostly focused on balance, especially between the main 4 and player gods.

 

 

So where to begin?  As it currently stands, priests on wurm are largely extinct as mains in PvE; a survey conducted a short while back indicates that, if you're reading this, then the odds of you maining a priest are roughly the same as the odds you have 4+ priest alts.  Each individual god has a few very useful spells that are in high demand, though generally the market for magic on the old cluster is largely extinct.  Priests, on wurm, are alts; if this is the intent then the design is excellent and naught should be changed, but if it isn't the intent then something, somewhere, has gone horribly wrong.

 

All of wurm's magic is tied to 2 skills; channeling and faith - faith unlocks the spells and channeling tweaks the RNG in the caster's favour.  Faith is ground AFK, very much just pray once per X mins and sermon group till you hit 100.  Channel grind is a little different; a loophole was closed a while back for using links to boost spell difficulty beyond a certain level, so high level channel grind is significantly slower now.  However, even 50+ channeling is good for most lightweight spells, and at 80+ you'll be landing extremely powerful enchants fairly reliably.

 

Overall, the magical design of wurm is almost entirely geared towards alting (2 skills to level, and you have the perfect enchant-bot), and significant reworking would be required to change this.  Tying spells to additional skills other than channeling/faith would likely help here, however this is unlikely to ever happen due to the complexity and whale backlash.

 

 

In terms of balance between the priests (in PvE), the ordering is (roughly) Mag<Fo<Lib<Vyn with Lib and Vyn pretty close with their pair of enchants. 

 

Fo is, situationally, the most useful (rifts with LoF), though outside of that area they're only really good for LT, Courier, Genesis, Humid Drizzle, Lurker in the Woods, and (rarely) Toxic+Venom casts.  Genesis, in particular, is popular for breeders who don't have a pet Fo.

 

Mag's Animal/Monster/Legendary Demise, (rarely) Blaze+Flaming aura, Disintegrate, Strongwall, Lurker in the Dark and Stone Strike form a reasonable casting core of both enchants and local spells.  They really shine for Disintegrate and Stonewall, two spells everyone in the game eventually *needs*.

 

Vyn has CoC and WoA (the best pair of enchants for skillers), Animal/Monster/Legendary Demise, AoSP, (rarely) frostbrand+glacial, Lurker in the Deep, Mend and Mind Stealer are why Vyn is the enchanting powerhouse.  Though, mend offers some local utiltiy by being able to repair un-repairable items.

 

Lib hit hard with BoTD, DM, Animal/Monster/Legendary Demise, Lurker in the Dark, Bloodthirst, Essence Drain, (limited to rifts) SoL, and AoSP give Lib a close second place to Vyn for enchanting powerhouse.  They have some of Fo's utility (with DM), a strong weapon enchant (essence drain), the best armour enchant (AoSP), and a powerful tool enchant (BoTD).

 

Overall, each priest has their use, but some are markedly less useful without a lot of travel (Mag and Fo).  Fo, I would say, needs to travel the most, whereas Vyn priests can spend their lives chained to altars without losing any potency.  With the removal of player gods, some form of balance has returned, though it's a generally tilted towards Vyn and Lib.

 

 

With regards to priest content; since Sindusk's overhaul a few years ago, the only notable changes to priests have been nerfs, and one buff (humid drizzle being able to remove disease from players which helped out in events).  However, there havn't been any real new spells for some time, which has made magic a little stale.  It seems unlikely we'll see any new spells in the long run, or, indeed, any mid-late game magics added (a lot of functionality has been given to bless over the years).

 

There has been a big push for crafter content, and priests have not been completely gated from this because they can now manage most tasks (though if you are seeking high QL results you are out of luck!).  Still, this is better than the past where new content was entirely gated to priests.

 

 

In conclusion, magic in wurm is currently geared towards alting, it is "reasonably balanced" with regards to PvE, but it hasn't seen any new content in a long time.  The state of magic in wurm is, essentially, one of stale alts and an almost extinct priest-main player base.  If this is the developers' vision for priests on wurm (as seems indicated by mechanical design), I congratulate them on a job well done.

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sorry but the way you wrote his sounds super dishonest. you keep talking about how nobody has main account priest "anymore" like there was a time when people did. when was that?

Edited by Tpikol
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I main a priest. 

 

I disagree with the balance. I see the 4 priest lines each having viability and differences to :  Non-market utility, economic viability, and combat.

In addition the overflow "Reserve" is largely a boon.

 

Channeling is easy to come by if you use the "neck wound" trick detailed in "grinding everything.  I don't like that it exists, and did not use it myself, but it is basically guaranteed ticks (at 98 channeling now).

 

 

 

 

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I mean, I'm one of the people with three priest alts, but Fo is the first I went for and my most used + best skilled by far; I have her logged in most days that I play on my main and not to afk spam prayers. You seem to be only accounting for 'marketable' or combat uses here, but I imagine many people don't have their priests first and foremost to make money (at least, not any more) because the market (on SFI at least) is flooded with enchants. Different play-styles have different needs but this analysis only seems to really account for one or two playstyles.

 

Of spells my Fo priest uses about 90% of them are charm animal for champ/agg pet management and breeding, with a healthy 8-9%ish of healing spells (both LoF and all three of the cure spells) and the very occasional genesis or humid drizzle. Most of the people I know with Fo priests use them for the same thing - animal management first, healing second - but I also accept that my experience, too, is probably skewed because I'm likely to encounter and befriend people who have playstyles that are similar to mine. (My Mag priest is 100% just there for strongwall on my many mines and mining expansions, but likewise I know several people with Mag priests first and foremost for access to Dominate).

Edited by crimsonearth
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On 11/1/2021 at 10:50 PM, Etherdrifter said:

 the best armour enchant (AoSP),

No. We are discussing PVE, aosp is trash. But Lib priests do have Web Armour, so your point still kinda stands.

 

You also seem to have forgotten the main use of Fo priests, which is farming rift points for metallic liquids.

Edited by perji
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2 minutes ago, perji said:

No. We are discussing PVE, aosp is trash. But Lib priests do have Web Armour, so your point still kinda stands.

 

Can someone explain why web armor is better than asop. The argument that I have heard relates to the fact that having asop causes the mob to die in less hits resulting in less weapon skill gain. However, if that is it...then imo, this does not degrade the value of asop for me in any way, but rather it makes it better since I will be able to get through more mobs in the same time and over all get the same number of swings in a given hunting session. Some rumors suggest that web armor will slow the attack speed of the mob, however, this seems speculative to me. If someone can confirm that web armor does, in fact, reduce attack speed of the mob, then I will concede that it does seem better than asop. Otherwise, the reduced movement speed of the mob is rather useless in PvE. If it turns out that web armor does not slow the attack speed, then I am sticking with the opinion that ASoP is better.

 

To the OP's point, I personally feel that the priest restrictions are in place to encourage alts. This is by design to increase revenue for the game. I agree, to some extent, that this feels bad, especially to those who want to only play 1 toon and play as a priest. By removing restrictions fully, then Wurm would experience a reduction in premium toons as players will consolidate their characters. One suggestion I saw that I think could be considered is allowing each type of priest 1 or 2 different skills that they can improve with. For example, Mags could improve plate and chain armor, Fo can improve Gardening (trellises) and cloth tailoring and Vyn can improve paving (cats eyes) and stone cutting. This would increase the usefulness of each priest slightly while still not providing enough incentive to convert one's main to a priest.

 

 

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1 minute ago, McGarnicle said:

Can someone explain why web armor is better than asop

aosp reflects damage based on how much damage you take, if you get hit for 5 and you have 100 aosp, the mob takes 1 damage, or 0.2% damage reflected per power for 20% at 100, which is like nothing. You're probably overkilling mobs, so say you're hitting for 30% per hit, even if it's hit you a bunch it's not doing 50% of your life to take 10% health to drop it under the threshold for -1 hit, so you're still taking 4 hits to kill it regardless of aosp'ing. Even if it did break this threshold for you, you're most likely killing mobs for skill anyway, and it's taken away a hit of skill from you *if* it's actually done something, but it's practically never going to do anything unless you wear cloth armour. It's also hard coded not to work on uniques if you're fighting them, so at best you might reflect some damage onto a champion troll or something

 

Web armor, on the other hand, when hit, it reduces the speed of their next swing with that weapon by 0.05 x power seconds, so if a troll hits you with its club, its next club swing will take 11 seconds instead of 6 seconds, but its bites and punches will be the same swing speed unless it hits you with one of those as well. the reduced movement speed doesn't work on mobs, thats only for players and mounts. Due to how parrying/blocking works in wurm (the longer you've gone without parrying/blocking the more of a chance you have to parry/block) it's a massive increase in effective health, and lets you afk kill multiple mobs, as well as actually working on uniques. It's infinitely more powerful than aosp for basically anything other than barded horses in pvp

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I just don't use my Fo much now, she's premmed out of sentiment really, and logs on when I'm off deed, to do manual work like loading crates.  At these times I get her to sac the myriad archaeology mini-tokens which have stacked up in the altar, plus the occasional valrei item for the deed rarity bonus.  I also keep her premmed in case I need a summon soul for some reason. I think I might have cast LT once this year.  I can't remember the last time I cast anything except dispel on arch shafts and branches so that they would fit in the BSB.  Other than that this year I've cast humid drizzle a few times, and maybe one or two genesis casts free of charge for folks who turned up leading their sick horses.  I haven't really needed genesis myself, the new AH and traits system doesn't seem to provide a lot of negative traits on the whole, in my opinion a good thing.  I have casted a one or two mailboxes this year on my own deed, but most people want an instant 101+ cast box, and so someone else with benediction can do a much quicker and better job.

 

I've premmed a Vyn twice (15 day) during the year, to cast some CoC on some low ql items, make some affinity pizzas and do a bit of farming.  I saw no reason to really play these characters this year so far.

 

I've had no need to prem up a Mag, even though I have been asked once if I had one.

 

I would like to see more awesome events like this past (Halloween) week, but geared towards priests, something that will make it worth premming them up again.  Perhaps a week where a special set of new fancy spells were available for each priest, or a one day event where we get a boost to cast power on certain items e.g. +5% cast power on longswords and ropetools for example.  Maybe an event where we can temporarily adopt some of the spells from the other priests - An LT weekend, WoA Wednesday or Strongwall Saturday where all priests can cast Strongwall for a few hours (perhaps during an eclipse or when the correct moons are in alignment lol).  Just ideas.

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2 hours ago, Oblivionnreaver said:

Web armor, on the other hand, when hit, it reduces the speed of their next swing with that weapon by 0.05 x power seconds, so if a troll hits you with its club, its next club swing will take 11 seconds instead of 6 seconds, but its bites and punches will be the same swing speed unless it hits you with one of those as well. the reduced movement speed doesn't work on mobs


I see! This definitely is convincing me. Thanks OR for the explanation!

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So read this twice, and I'm unclear what you're trying to say.

 

I have three priests, and one is always logged in doing something. Usually I have my Vyn logged on making cordage. Last week I had my Mag logged on a ton doing surface mining. Now that my cordage is *finally* well stocked my Fo will spend a lot of time on making string and cloth. 

 

I think what you're failing to see is yes, these are alts. They're working AS ALTS. If they weren't, I'd go crazy doing such boring tasks for hours on end. This would NOT be good for the game. People already complain that so many tasks are boring/reptative. So handing those tasks over to an alt is not a bad thing.

 

People who complain that their priests have nothing to do aren't using them correctly IMO. Train them to do something besides channeling. My Vyn is 94 ropemaking. My Mag is 80 mining.. you get the drift. Those boring tasks you don't want to spend hours on are perfect for priests, plus you get the added bonus of having the priest to cast as needed..

 

Just my two cents.

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On 11/1/2021 at 4:50 PM, Etherdrifter said:

In conclusion, magic in wurm is currently geared towards alting, it is "reasonably balanced" with regards to PvE, but it hasn't seen any new content in a long time.

 

Priests will always be "alts" unless priest restrictions are removed entirely. Problem there is that everyone would be priests (see WU), which is also undesirable. It's up to the player to decide whether they want to interact with everything (and thus use alts), or if they are satisfied with a single playstyle - priest or not. As it stands, the magic portion of the game is "functional" and I doubt that it's even being considered for improvement in the near future, despite how simple it is to create new spells.

 

In regards to not receiving new content in a long time, you can say the same thing about almost any aspect of the game. There haven't been new weapons in an extremely long time. Warhammers are still unavailable to PvE players in spite of taking up a slot on the skill list.

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Getting rid of "Improve items, walls or structures. However they are permitted to create, continue and plan items and structures." Might be nearly enough to get em fixed.

Imping items takes up like half our our game-time in Wurm, well for me at least it does.

Keep in the other limitations, or provide a way for the priests to do those things in a different way, with spells. But keep it slower and more difficult than just doing the action on a crafter character.

 

An example:

- Fo priests can lead a rideable animal onto a tile and cast a spell on the animal so it would trample the tile which would pack the dirt.  And cast a spell on a tree so it ?explodes? and increases grow rate of nearby trees by making the land more fertile. (That would make em able to pave and cut trees in a lore friendly way, without it being easy). 

 

In my opinion you shouldn't limit the priests gameplay, just make it very different from crafter characters.

Edited by Timoca

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7 hours ago, Sindusk said:

 

Priests will always be "alts" unless priest restrictions are removed entirely. 

 

...I doubt that it's even being considered for improvement in the near future, despite how simple it is to create new spells.

 

 

Alas, I think you're quite right there, and that's rather the "deathknell" for me as far as a premium wurm experience is considered.

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I sympathise with a lot you've said Etherdrifter. I'm a relatively new player (started 6 or so months ago). I have decided to main priest/mage character in Wurm - this decision was backed up by a proper research, so I knew what I was going to lose. Now after a couple of months what has happened is this - I still main my priest but on a side I've got alt for mining, imping, etc. Is it ideal, probably not. Would removing restrictions from a priest help, I don't think so. What it would help is to implement such a mechanism, that would give more ACTIVE things to do as a priest - so that would require more focused gameplay. That way people that alt'ing priests could still reap today's benefits, but because players that maining them could focus more time on them, this would bring more varied gameplay and potential benefits (not just logging in and cast a couple of enchants, etc.). No idea what kind of mechanics could that be though, but these are my initial thoughts.

Edited by Ceridian

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I run with 3 toons, main, Mag and Vyn and consider them a team and have all three premium at all times.  I was somewhat unusual though in that I invested a ton of skilling into my priests before I priested up. This makes them very useful for many things.  Indeed, it is actually quite rare for them to be working as priests. For example, this morning I was out picking cherries.  My Vyn drove the wagon and tried to do the fighting to clear the endless trolls and crocs.  Could have picked the cherries as well if I had wanted, but used my main for that.  Yesterday, it was making kindling.  Other days it is bricks or mortar.  No end of basic tasks that can be done just fine.  Can't recall the last time did a coc or woa cast to tell the truth-even though have benediction and 93 channeling. My Mag is often out making deliveries or helping out with various mines that need fixing up. Failing that, there is always mining to be done. 

 

There is so much that they can do to support almost everything that I feel that I could easily run either of them as a main as part of a village and I may even do that someday for something different.

 

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17 hours ago, GoldFever said:

I run with 3 toons, main, Mag and Vyn and consider them a team and have all three premium at all times.  I was somewhat unusual though in that I invested a ton of skilling into my priests before I priested up. This makes them very useful for many things.  Indeed, it is actually quite rare for them to be working as priests. For example, this morning I was out picking cherries.  My Vyn drove the wagon and tried to do the fighting to clear the endless trolls and crocs.  Could have picked the cherries as well if I had wanted, but used my main for that.  Yesterday, it was making kindling.  Other days it is bricks or mortar.  No end of basic tasks that can be done just fine.  Can't recall the last time did a coc or woa cast to tell the truth-even though have benediction and 93 channeling. My Mag is often out making deliveries or helping out with various mines that need fixing up. Failing that, there is always mining to be done. 

 

There is so much that they can do to support almost everything that I feel that I could easily run either of them as a main as part of a village and I may even do that someday for something different.

 

Yes!!

 

Before I priested any of my priests they could ride a horse, load cargo, defend themselves, make a million bricks and mortar. My Mag is currently building a colossus, after making all the bricks for it. When that is done my Vyn will build one.  I didn't do any of hte nature skills on them, although they are great skills for priests. 

 

Pretty much priests can't imp. They can't imp, but they can cast. Seems like a fair trade off to me. Oh, and the one penalty each one has (digging, mining, cutting trees). Yea, this is where choices come in. A priest that could do it all would be way overpowered.

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