I rarely get involved in these types of debates on the forums anymore but, given the subject matter, I felt compelled. My character is a FO mage.
To preface my post, I don't believe there's any sort of shortage with FO Mage armours. If anything, they're probably the most well-equipped build out there. With that said, I wish to address some of the points being raised.
Outside of the Bloodmage Armors and the Vampire subrace armors, there are exceptionally few armors in existence that are meant exclusively for mages. What I mean is, armors that have skills which primarily use MP as their resource, rather than SP.
I think your "Mage exclusive" term is very misleading. For example, Warriors, Rangers and other builds can get Bloodmage's boost by using spell-type skills e.g. Iron Maiden. With Vampire, 6/10 skills can be used without any sort of MP cost, including a skill that regenerates a small amount of MP. Neither of these armours have abilities that only benefit mages. Instead of "exclusive", it's that these armours have included MP skills. That is a totally separate (and MUCH less controversial) argument than the title implies. As an addendum, spellcaster lean was always defunct
Currently, there are other builds that suffer much more from a lack of equipment on aesthetic basis, let alone actual functionality relevant to their play-style:
• Out of all armors that exist, I did a deep scrub months ago and could only find maybe 9 armors (many of which overlapping the same element(s)) relevant to the aesthetic of the rogue/ninja/assassin play-style with only maybe 3-4 having any skills or effects relevant to the play-style itself.
You have brought this up in the past, and it's pretty much entirely irrelevant to this discussion, which focuses on filling gaps in builds mechanically, not aesthetically.
• Currently rangers only really have the luna neko armors. However they are extremely effective as well as at the very least, covers all 8 elements which is more than can be said for most
Firstly, rangers aren't just FD. Secondly, they have more variety for the same point raised above.
The fundamental thing about playing a mage compared to the other play-styles and more than anything is the spells. For Warriors/Rogues/Rangers to be fully effective, you need at least one weapon for each of the 8 elements (Beastmasters would be split between pets and guests) which the player by default has the precise inventory space for. However, mages primarily would need the equivalent in spells versus a weapon which would be more of a "finishing off tool" versus primary mean.
Whilst I agree that a feature which distinguishes Mage from other builds is spells, this analysis is based upon an imbalance in the current player turn model rather than being inherent to the design of mages. Typical assumptions would actually assume the opposite - in order to win 2 battles in 20 turns, Mages would need to spend 4 turns spellcasting and 16 turns with a weapon to deal the same damage as a warrior. This would result in the same overall damage, but forcing mages to use 8 additional slots [Note that there are complicating factors such as SP]. Of course, as you rightly point out, this can also give mages additional options to play around with e.g. Tomes (for which there isn't an equivalent for other builds, though I think there should be). However, the fundamental assumptions are very different from what you portray. With regards to:
This might have been the case years ago, but it's definitely not now. With the spells available from the Warriors' Tower, melee-focused builds now have full access to a range of offensive for every element. Each passing year we also tend to get additional SP spells that further expand what warriors can do with their spell slots, including both offensive and status spells, and I fully expect that trend will continue in the future.
... this would make the implicit assumptions that Skills and Spells have an identical function. They deal the same damage, but are different parts of the player turn formula. SP and MP are different resources that function differently. Whilst I would love to get into that, it would move well away from the topic of the thread. For this same reason, I'm not going to attempt to involve myself with the debate around SP regeneration being very slow - they're different resources. However, I will say:
And because most mages will likely be having a misc equipped during that entire time, that rate of SP regeneration is probably going to be even slower. SP is — as intended — not supposed to be reliable enough for mages to consistently use. That's supposed to be the primary advantage of Warrior builds, they require far less setup and are able to use what resources they do have far more efficiently than mages do, being able to spam elecomp-discounted weapon skills that do more damage than weapon skills for mages because Melee and Ranged weapons are inherently stronger than their Magic equivalents.
This is wrong. SP is universal. There is some positive discrimination towards giving non-mages more options for SP regeneration given mage's dominant place in the current game. However, it is intentionally Universal (though, as I'm sure a certain someone will post in response, that wasn't the original intentional, only the current one).
With armors being referenced utilizing more MP than SP, this would actually be a nerf. As SP auto regens one could swap between a casting an MP spell and their armor's SP spell to conserve and preserve MP so that one does not have to initiate turns to regen MP and can get to the full heal.
Uh... ok? There are a multitude of assumptions and caveats with this point that are completely skipped. I'll mention a couple:
i). Right now, Spells tend to top the power rankings for nukes
ii). MP regeneration options are better than SP
A better argument would have been the limited versatility of spells as compared to weapon based skills
Regarding what an armour does: Zennistrad said it well - Elecomp is very important to FO mages.
All in all, the primary means of a mage isn't in the armor in the first place; the armor wouldn't need to do anything more than just protect the wearer from damage
This is pointless, as it also applies to every builds. Functionally, that's all an armour is. The skill/spell integrated within it is treated as a compressed item, or a second piece of equipment in the same slot. We could just remove all skills/spells from every armour and this would also ring true. You can use the spell slots for skills (albeit with limited variety, but even that is a caveat, see my points above).
I think you're both wrong:
Zennistrad: You're arguing for the wrong thing. Your point of contention isn't the highly charged "More mage armours". Neither should it be - mage is probably the best equipped build out there. Instead, you should be arguing for more MP skills/spells on armours. That can be addressed far more easily than you may think. For example, most skills today have a component that decides ranged/magic damage based on stats. Why not just have the cost vary in the same way? MP if magic, SP if warrior/ranger etc. It doesn't even have to be on all armours, to allow mages some resource variety.
Mr Rogueish: Whilst I am broadly agreeing with you that there's no shortage, I would advise you to take the same advice that you gave Zennistrad: "I don't think what you're referencing isn't analyzed or extrapolated enough". It's painfully obvious you're using the thread as an excuse to reiterate your long-term aim of talking about more rogue aesthetic gear. As a result, I managed to find (and point out above) a number of points you overlooked when discussing game mechanics. A better way forward for all of this would have been to discuss ways of including MP skill/spell options that didn't involve restricting it only to mages. A way for both sides to benefit.
< Message edited by CH4OT1C! -- 6/12/2021 10:33:53 >