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Feedback on the Storm School: 1v1 PvP Perspective

AuthorMessage
Geographer
Dec 16, 2009
999
Not too long ago many Storm wizards noticed something unusual-the Wands offered by Rasputin gave the fire school more damage than the storm school. After further investigation it was discovered that most every piece of new gear past the Ultra Dungeons gave more damage to Fire than Storm. Upon inquiry Storm wizards were greeted with this disturbing piece of news:

Quote Originally Posted by Dworgyn
"Heya! I took the question to our designers, and they double checked for us:
The stats on the gear are intentional. We balance a lot of factors when creating gear (health, armor piercing, pips, accuracy, etc), and these are in balance. Our goal always and going forward has been that Fire has the best SUSTAINED damage in the long haul, and storm has the best damage per pip and critical, which results in the best ONE SHOT damage. This gear should help us bring the classes more in line with each other and the ideals of each school."

I of course responded in a thread here: Planned Changes where I highlighted the many flaws with the developer's reasoning. Despite that it seems that they have forged ahead with their planned changes- stating that Storm would be the school defined by critical and high damage per pip. Thus, storm wizards waited to see how these changes would turn out. However, after several spell releases and a number of incoming changes I believe it is prudent to bring up several factors that I have noticed.

The Reliance on Critical

When the developers made the statement that storm would be reliant on critical they failed to take into account 2 drastic changes:
-The change to the critical system bought with Polaris
-The new change of 25% boost in PvP

The first change was the reduction of critical rating-critical percent. Prior to DM a Storm in balanced gear was carrying about 70% critical allowing them to critical a majority of their casts. With block being a dependent variable a Storm could critical on an opponent as long as their critical percentage was higher than the opponents block percentage. The Polaris change drastically changed this dynamic. Now in balanced gear Storm is carrying a mere 35% critical drastically reducing it's chances to critical on any hit. In addition to this(with block being an independent statistic)at 100% block no amount of critical will ever get through, negating this supposedly defining characteristic of storm.

The second change is the one which reduces critical from a 100% boost to a 25% boost. While this is a laudable change(one that I fully support) it undoubtedly reduces the power of critical as a tool in storm's arsenal. Now even when Storm does critical(which now has a hard cap) it has nowhere near the impact it once did. Combined together, these 2 changes significantly undercut the developer's claims that critical is a suitable defining characteristic for the Storm school as compared to fire.

Continued Below...

Geographer
Dec 16, 2009
999
The High Damage per Pip Argument

The second statement by the developers is that Storm would be defined by the highest damage per pip spells as it typically is. However the developers seemed to have forgotten that premise with the most recent series of spells.

-Rusalka's Wrath
-Catch of the Day
-Queen Calypso

Rusalka's Wrath deals 1445 damage with a variable effect that could either be a positive or negative. That is 241dpp. On the other hand Fire from above has 3 positive buffs that combos well with an average of 240 dpp. In other words a fire spell of lesser pip cost has practically the same dpp as a storm spell while having much better utility. Note that Rusalka's Wrath would be even less dpp with a worse effect if not for drastic feedback such as highlighted here: The Salt was Very Real.

Catch of the Day is a Storm Spell that deals the lowest dpp of any Storm spell in live realm. Compare the dpp of Catch of the Day(115) with Stormzilla(138) and the discrepancy becomes very clear. Many have stated that the effect justifies the dpp without factoring in that the vast majority of dropped spells with effects are above dpp while this Storm spell is significantly below dpp.

Queen Calypso similarly deals very low dpp for a storm spell. At 119 dpp it is far below Krakens dpp of 138. On the other hand it does have an effect....that is near useless at 1v1. The nature of the effect does serve to make the spell deal slightly more damage than Kraken....but at the cost of the very utility it was designed to bring. As can be seen despite KI's claim of highest dpp, our newest spells barely surpass fire's dpp in one case and are below our spell's typical dpp in other cases.

Continued Below....

Geographer
Dec 16, 2009
999
Storm's Utility(or lack of)

Storm currently has 3 main utilities for use in PvP:
-Stun(1)
-Accuracy Debuff(2, 1 for 1v1)
-Charm Removal(6)

Stun- Storm's one and only stun spell is Storm Lord. This spell is Storm's only reliable option for a combination. In 1v1 PvP it suffers from the fact that it is an AoE and thus has less dpp. The counters to stun in the arena are widespread and while this affects myth more than most it also affects Storm.

Accuracy Debuffs- Storm's one realistic accuracy debuff in 1v1 is catalan(sirens is too costly and dpp too low compared to owl). Yet this debuff is the lowest accuracy debuff in the game. Combine this with the fact that the change in block will likely lead to usage of pip providing athames and rings (which means a switch to accuracy jewels) and Catalan's utility is rendered useless.

Charm Removals- Charm removals are a very unique storm property that have been watered down in effectiveness. Any school can acquire a pet with mc enfeeble(which casts more often than most heals) cheapening the value of removal. At the same time the meta is aggressive with every school having access to a spell that can take out 1/2 of Storm's health in a single go. This means that against the Storm school charms are not needed, rendering charm removal practically useless. With this coming update KI adds Aegis/Indemnitywhichprotect charms from removal-further diminishing a utility that is available on 6 of Storm's spells.

Storm's 1v1 PvP Status

As is well known to any long-time PvPer, Storm has always been a low tier 1v1 school. From the first age to this one Storm has struggled to get above bottom tier when ranked against it's peers. Even the leaderboards support this assertion with the Storm school having the least representation by a large margin(even today). It's lack of health, lack of utility and lack of shield-breakers have always delegated Storm to the bottom of the tier list and this meta is no exception. In fact it is so bad that an entire subset of ranked pvp is typically known as "the storm belt", an area between the ranks of sub-private to knight that is populated mostly by Storm's who do not have the tools to succeed.

Continued Below.....

Geographer
Dec 16, 2009
999
So where does Storm Stand and more importantly Where is it Going?

Recent trends have painted a disturbing picture for Storm's 1v1 PvP standing. Storm has ceded it's position as the highest damage boost school to Fire. As we can see: the dual nerf to critical has made this route for Storm practically untenable. Finally the promise of Storm having the highest dpp one shot spells seems to have been forgotten. Yet Storm still retains it's defining disadvantages. it has the lowest health amongst the schools, the lowest base accuracy, the lowest block and the lowest resist. It is similarly "blessed" with the least variety of useful utilities. Now I have been Dueling since before Ranked PvP has existed. I have taken my storm to warlord in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd ages doing only 1v1. I have invented many unique strategies incorporating my school. I created an entire sub-meta and my supercell strategy was the go-to storm strategy on the UK server for quite some time. I am well aware of the how to utilize my school effectively and with great success. I am also well aware of the disadvantages and unique challenges facing my school. That being said I am extremely worried about the future of my school.

Judging from the evidence I am seeing Storm is turning into:
-School with the lowest base accuracy
-School with the lowest health
-School with the lowest resist
-School with the lowest block
-School with the least amount of usable utilities
-School with the most RNG based elements
-School that relies on a twice nerfed mechanic that is 1/4 as effective as it used to be
-School that lost it's position as the school with the highest damage boost
-School that is in the process of losing it's position as the school with the highest dpp spells

This is not a formula for success and I am curious as to where the developers intend to take the Storm school moving forward.

Defender
Dec 05, 2013
156
As my science teacher would say... Interesting. Although we tend to sometimes disagree, I agree with you on this. Storm and Fire are the highest damage schools in game, yet fire has always been favored by KI. Critical is broken and damage as become a bigger need. Having just recently started my storm wiz, who's still in zafaria, I haven't quite kept up with the storm news. In fact, this was all news to me. Fire should depend on their DoT's not damage. Fire should depend on their unique utility spells, and multiple AoE's. This isn't fair for anyone, except fire. If KI continues on like this Fire will become op by the end of the 4th arc, fire will be able to demolish any enemy in their way. KI needs to address this.

Alexander Dragondreamer 110
Alexander Stormdreamer 65

Geographer
Mar 12, 2013
929
As my first max wizard and first ranked pvp experiences have been on Storm, I fully agree here.

Not only are Storm's new spells less dpp than comparable 4- and 5-pip spells trained directly from Hal, they are often less dpp than the Fire spells introduced in the same update.

The max storm at 3-5 pips is definitely NOT the same degree of implied threat as any other school at 3-5 pips. Bar none. They have nothing. No inevitability if left unchecked. No utility from second that will allow them to reach 6-7 pips and the chance at a combo.

You can't relegate one school to the bottom rank of sustainability (accuracy, resist, health, self-healing capacity) and then pare away any compensatory survival tools and give them to other schools (dpp, reliability outside of the critical system, ancillary utility, cost effectiveness).

Not only does it practically screen an entire school out of 1v1 ranked, but it also sets up barriers to team play, whether in the arena or in PVE. As a result Storm is becoming the least rewarding school to play, level, and invest in for competitive matches. And with a growing gap in ancillary utility between storm's newest spells and those of its fellows, the storm will fall further and further behind whenever they cannot muster a team of specialized supporters for farming or questing.

Please take a moment to step back, crunch some new numbers, look at the overall efficacy of Storm as a 1v1 or soloist school, and decide if you want to keep supporting that school, or just dissolve it and assign our Diviners randomly to one of the remaining six.

Geographer
Dec 16, 2009
999
crunkatog on Sep 12, 2016 wrote:
As my first max wizard and first ranked pvp experiences have been on Storm, I fully agree here.

Not only are Storm's new spells less dpp than comparable 4- and 5-pip spells trained directly from Hal, they are often less dpp than the Fire spells introduced in the same update.

The max storm at 3-5 pips is definitely NOT the same degree of implied threat as any other school at 3-5 pips. Bar none. They have nothing. No inevitability if left unchecked. No utility from second that will allow them to reach 6-7 pips and the chance at a combo.

You can't relegate one school to the bottom rank of sustainability (accuracy, resist, health, self-healing capacity) and then pare away any compensatory survival tools and give them to other schools (dpp, reliability outside of the critical system, ancillary utility, cost effectiveness).

Not only does it practically screen an entire school out of 1v1 ranked, but it also sets up barriers to team play, whether in the arena or in PVE. As a result Storm is becoming the least rewarding school to play, level, and invest in for competitive matches. And with a growing gap in ancillary utility between storm's newest spells and those of its fellows, the storm will fall further and further behind whenever they cannot muster a team of specialized supporters for farming or questing.

Please take a moment to step back, crunch some new numbers, look at the overall efficacy of Storm as a 1v1 or soloist school, and decide if you want to keep supporting that school, or just dissolve it and assign our Diviners randomly to one of the remaining six.
I'm really hoping the developers come up with a solid plan by Mirage.