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I think the amount of time between when some spells are targetted and actually take effect is often too long, in some cases too short. The 5 second countdown on a vortex is perfect, but other spells not as much. Some things i'd like the team to consider:
-Consider giving the same kind of "cannot collide" effect that missile weapons currently have immediately after firing to magic missiles for the first 75% of its flight path. This would make intentional dodges still very possible but would take bad pathing especially on bumpy or hilly maps out of the equation. -If the vortex reticle is on the ground the 5 seconds could be counted when the mage makes it to within 150% of the casting distance. This way you cant zoom into the fight on an eagle to snipe cast but you also dont have to walk up slowly and then wait even longer to miss and waste your winds if your cancel command didnt work for whatever reason (probably because you were panicking about the amount of time the cast was taking.) -The values on bombardments, particularly comet of cassandora on the high end but searing doom on the low end, need to be tweaked in my opinion. They're rather clunky and hard to justify outside of legendary casters because of the cast time plus animation time before impact. Lowering the winds cost of comet is one idea, increasing the damage of searing is another. Really just halving the wind-up animation would be more than enough for almost all of them (still looking at you, searing doom). Rarely do I get a comet to hit (in MP) that feels like it was worth it. Its just very dodgeable in its current iteration. Rarely do I get searing doom beyond Gelt's 1 Wind cost variety to feel like it was worth using at all. -Try to balance the spells out-by bringing the weaker ones up, not taking the good ones down. Foot of Gork at least feels like has an incredibly short windup for its damage value. I'm not saying thats a bad thing- as expensive as it is, it feels good currently to use. Wind blast, while it has been nerfed, was practically un-dodgeable because of how fast it cast. The stationary vortexes are currently extremely preferrable to the moving ones. Making sure that the spells stand out by their effects and not because they're overtuned, weak, unreliable or too hard to use is the ideal iteration of game design in my opinion. -Magic is something that makes the game truly, well, magical. Nerfing them all to be boring would be a huge mistake. Making them all around the 85th percentile of the current spell balancing now? That would be the best direction in my opinion. -giving random movement spells "Smart odds" would probably help them feel more equitable. So at each direction change it has a 66% chance to go towards the nearest concentration of enemy forces, 24% chance to move away and 10% chance to stand still. These are of course rough numbers but it gives you the idea that you want the spell to routinely be going the casters way but maintaining that air of unpredictability at the same time. Trying to dodge an erratic moving spell that keeps coming at you is actually much more interesting than a completely random one.
Overall magic is really good and I dont want to say that i'm not happy with it. Its just that the game is currently in such a good state we can start looking into perfecting the core elements rather than saying "good enough."
If you disagree, please let me know why and what your suggestions are. If you disagree that magic needs any changes, that's fine too. Just try to give your full feedback so we have a good idea of how everyone feels.