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The Sorcerer Information Thread.

Discussion in 'Chaos Space Marines' started by Djemo-SRB, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. DjemoSRB Djemo-SRB Preacher

    The Aspiring Sorcerer is confirmed for basic Chaos class:

    Greetings Chaos fans and Sorcerer enthusiasts alike, im making this thread cause there has been allot of talk about the sorcs on these forums and people cling to very old concepts about them from the first mentions of the class. There were a few threads like these but i bear first hand views into how devs are currently looking into the Sorc class.

    As a Sorc fan ive been talking with Brent for awhile now but refrained from sharing any of our private thoughts cause the conversations were well, private. But i have been given a green light to share some of our conversations so lets get started shall we:

    First we have been talking about Sorcerer powers and their variety when it comes to gods:
    "At the moment we definitely want the gods to have a role in psychic powers. I think that adds a lot to the flavor and it would be kind of dull to just go with the "generic" powers.

    From a game design side, it also gives us a good excuse to do some simple balancing by splitting up the powers into different godly disciplines. :)"

    So the wonderful variety will be there and things like Nurgle and Slaanesh sorcs are gonna be a thing it seems.

    Next up is the possible arsenal and variety in roles, we wont be just blasting things:
    "Psykers will have access to things like pistols and melee weapons that they can use without inherently drawing on warp energy. Some psykers will be more dependent on witchfire, some more on buffing themselves or others, etc., and it'll just depend on the class' focus how much time they spend blasting away with warp powers. For example, Sorcerers will most likely have a force weapon and pistol by default. They can use their weapon like a normal sword, charge it up with psychic energy, shoot their pistol, fire away with one of their equipped powers, etc."

    Then we come to a very important thing to me, and that is our discussion when it comes to psykers actually being a class not tied to heroes exclusively. Michael already chatted with me on his profile and said that:

    "Any classes can also potentially have Hero versions post-launch. So Hero Warlocks and Sorcerers are a possibility; with unique looks, more specific combinations of equipment and even unique powers."

    So they are thinking of having both versions (at least for Eldar and Chaos). I was thinking about how this will affect SM and Orks but i had to whole heartedly agree with how Brent explained it:

    "Well, at the moment what we're thinking is that being a psyker is a flavor & playstyle that suits certain factions (Chaos & Eldar) better than others (Space Marines & Orks), where in the latter cases it's better as exceptional gameplay.

    This is still under development of course, but with the Imperium we're thinking they should have a more military flavor in general that suggests they should have classes that fit a squad-based game. In this case, we're thinking a medic class. Doing so also gives us an opportunity to really make Chaos feel different, where players can more regularly run around using the power of the Warp and doing all sorts of things that make a loyal Space Marine fill up with righteous fury. Then when the Space Marines DO field a psyker, it's a big deal and a nuclear option."

    The Imperium of man isnt too keen on psykers and even the ones that are trusted still need to be checked for some signs of corruption each time they overexert and Orks well, they dont really give a damn about it all (and Weirdboys arent too accepted around the Orks as far as i recall cause of their weird nature, doesent stop them liking all the blasting of gits thought).

    Still this is all their current thoughts, things might change for the better for the other two races:

    "Even if we do end up going with this plan of course, things are likely to evolve over time. For right now we're just thinking that it'd be good to emphasize the different flavors of the factions right out of the gate"

    But the light at the end of the tunnel:
    "Unless there's a big change in our plans, I think you'll be happy with the Chaos class roster. ;) "

    Hope this clears up some things for people interested in the topic.

    EDIT: The OP will be updated from time to time as info comes into the thread:

    Sorcerers force weapon arsenal will consist of the Force axe and sword. The Force staff is a post launch thing.

    -Warp Echoes ep. 10


    "I think that certainly for the Chaos Space Marines and Eldar, we can try to make the psykers more of a regular class, especially since they are more common in the lore; with appropriate weaknesses to exploit like you mentioned (just like any other class).

    For a faction like Space Marine, where Librarians should not be common, we will try to design them such that bringing more than one or a few is not really much more beneficial than than the first. We do this by giving them utility that don't stack or require others to take advantage of (buffs/debuffs for example). This also applies for any heroes from any faction as well. If it's something that doesn't make sense in the lore to have hordes of, design them in such a way that spawning more is an inefficient use of resources; that the resources would be better spent on other things ( for example tanks or Terminators, that we don't mind seeing multiples of)."


    The current plan is to have mostly god-specific powers and a few undivided. Your "mark" determines which pool of powers to draw from, something that actually makes these things a lot easier to balance and therefore the powers can be stronger since we don't have to worry about so many broken combos.

    For launch, an Aspiring Sorcerer's weapons will be mostly pistols and force weapons, since we're going to put most of the emphasis on psychic powers. You'll have a bunch of other accessories to modify your loadout as well, of course, like any class.

    God Marks:

    In general, many accessories are intended to be shared across classes even if they're on a certain path on the progression tree, so at the moment we don't intend for it to be available "earlier" for the Sorcerer. That said, since it's so important for the progression of that class, we intend to make them relatively easy to "focus on" getting. The exact placement hasn't been determined yet, but that's Michael's job!

    The Force weapons aren't nailed down yet, but we'll put our first effort into witchfire powers (which will need to be god-themed), so the weapons may end up being primarily melee/short-ranged focused therefore might not be god-specific at launch. Again, this is super far away, but I think once we get to them the weapons themselves will probably be god-attuned, and you'll need the appropriate mark/devotion to use them.


    Can you explain if sorcerer and warlock might have more offensive abilities rather then simple buff/debuff, warp abilities comparable to ranged weapons for example? (in a bit more detail, how the offensive loadout of the Sorcerer/Warlock will work)?

    BRENT ELLISON: Yes, although the purpose of the Aspiring Sorcerer and Warlock are to be force multipliers on other classes so they’ll never be AS powerful with their individual offensive capabilities. Whether through healing, buffing, or debuffing they make melee, ranged and heavy classes more powerful. So there will definitely be some psychic shooting, but you won’t want to have a group of 10 Aspiring Sorcerers instead of 8-9 Tacticals + 1-2 Aspiring Sorcerers.
    Keep in mind that buffs and debuff psychic powers are not generally intended as fire & forget spells. You want to train on your targets and keep it going while other players fire so it requires a lot of coordination. The Sorcerer/Sorcerer Lord & Farseer are different of course, and have greater individual offensive power.


    Can you explain what the last twitch meant by the comment "lesser armoured units" in regards to sorcerer and warlock classes when both classes wear either power armour or rune armour (a power armour equivilant)?

    BRENT ELLISON: The class of armour you wear puts you in a broad category of damage soak, but our focus on individual characters allows us to have a greater granularity of stats than you find on the tabletop. As a result, you can supplement your mitigation, health, fields, etc., with accessories. Tacticals, Assaults and Apothecaries (for example) have access to more survivability-related accessories than Aspiring Sorcerers and Warlocks.


    At this early stage of balancing how is having the CSM's "medic" option (term used loosely) providing support from much greater range than the Apothecary intended to distinguish the way CSM squads fight from their LSM cousins ? What effective range are we talking about for their abilities, like removing the Danger State ? Are there planned builds for both the Warlock and AS to effectively integrate into specialist squads that prefer both ranged and melee combat (which adding a Boltgun to the Apothecary armory allows) ?

    BRENT ELLISON: It’s difficult to talk about balancing for features that aren’t in yet, but we’re going to start by putting regen powers at 30m max range and see how that works. Psychic shooting attacks are similar effective ranges to boltguns without scopes, so the first ones we implement will work best at 60m or less (max range will be farther ofc). If you want to integrate to a ranged group, you should take those psychic powers and whatever you think will benefit ranged friends and harm ranged enemies. If you want to integrate to a melee group you should take better Force Weapons and nova powers, as well as blessings that you think will benefit melee friends.


    My question is what resources are they going to draw upon for the psychic powers of all the psykers in EC? Will it be more focused on the tabletop, lore or is it more along the lines of a combination between the two?

    BRENT ELLISON: We’re planning on using Warp Charges, but they’ll work as a limited resource, not something that constantly recharges. You’ll be able to get them back anywhere you could spawn, and we’re looking into being able to recharge them in the field through special cases as appropriate to the character (executions, for example).


    Considering the TTK (time to kill) is going to be kinda low in EC how do you think using abilities that do damage over time (like the posion Brent Ellison mentioned in livestream #1 for the Aspirant) or those that stun/immobilize/root/slow enemies will be a worthwhile thing to equip (specific weapons, ammunition, specific psychic powers)? Can you give an example how debuffs will actually fit in a metagame with the current TTK we have?

    BRENT ELLISON: It’s actually similar to any shooter – you don’t have rows of icons to wade through, instead any given debuff, buff or DoT is meaningful and dangerous – something to worry about immediately. To that end, we’re splitting up different types of “buffs” to create the behaviour we want and ensure that we can really put a strong stat budget into each.
    Poisons, burning and the like are similar to Dark Souls – they have an accumulation value that affects their mechanics so they can tie more deeply into the roleplaying systems. You can potentially have any number of these (although only 3-4 will be in at launch), but really if you’ve got more than one at a time you’re probably going to be dead almost immediately anyway.

    Buffs can come from proximity morale sources (like a banner or hero), or active sources (like a psyker concentrating on you right now). You can only have one of each at a time, because we intend this to be an interesting and meaningful choice. If your Sorcerer is buffing your accuracy at the moment, you’d better start shooting because he’s spending warp charges.
    Debuffs are similar to the active buffs – you can only have one at a time because we don’t want to create situations where multiple sorcerers are just piling debuffs on targets. They need to pick the right one for the situation and send in the other troops immediately while they keep it active. A priority system (that differs for each archetype) determines what happens when more than one debuff is on a target.
    Healing is treated as its own category where you just see how much your health is increasing right now.
    Other effects like environmental damage, suppression, stuns, etc., aren’t really treated like debuffs in the system – the UI and animations should make it very clear what’s happening and the effect is relatively short just like any shooter or action game.


    Recent information about the Aspiring Sorcerer’s mix of low survivability and ineffective offense has been the cause of some concern on my part, as it sounds a bit like the AS will be the least combat viable of all the classes on an individual level in essentially all circumstances. Are there going to be progression options that allow for more direct damage-focused sorcerers to be a combat contender like all their other brethren?

    BRENT ELLISON: When designing balance, you always have to start from the perspective of characters that have perfect knowledge of their situation, perfect knowledge of the game systems, and assuming there are no additional outside factors. That’s why, for example, we can say that an Assault character will beat a Devastator if they’re only a few meters apart – we’re assuming perfect play in a naked situation. There will be plenty of times in the game where a Devastator beats an Assault in melee, either because the Devastator knew how to play better, or used the geometry better, or other characters got involved, etc.

    Under the perfect conditions of game design, even the most direct damage-focused Aspiring Sorcerer will lose to a damage-focused Tactical marine if they’re in an empty field with no one else around and they play both play perfectly. This is because the Traitor’s role would be compromised if you could make an AS build that performed equally in the same situations.

    So as long as a character is in the Support archetype, he will never be as good at dealing damage as a Tactical, Heavy, or Assault archetype. That doesn’t mean that he won’t be able to kill other players frequently of course – look at the Engineer in Battlefield 4. His focus is destroying and repairing vehicles, but the carbines they have rack up an impressive number of kills. In our game as a Sorcerer if you can apply a nasty ailment on a target and get away they’ll die without support. Or if you spot the enemy first and start zapping. Or if your target is focused on something else. Like any shooter or action game, skill and situation are hugely important variables.

    One more note is that although the Aspiring Sorcerer is in the Support archetype, not every psychic character will be. The hero sorcerer will certainly be capable of terrifying direct damage.


    The psychic powers will have an overcharge mechanic.

    -Livestream episode 26 (48 minutes in).


    7. How exactly will the system for the Perils of the Warp work (the reactionary targets you mentioned before), how many " power tiers" will the mechanic have (1st being the regular, second overcharged, third?) and will the Perils be affecting the Force Weapons in any way? Also will the system work differently on Hero classes that are psychic?

    ALEXIS: The system will work according to the power type you use. Whether it is a power that you release at once after charging it (like a fire ball for example) or if it is a power that you use over time (like the heal). If it is a power that you charge and release, the idea is that the more you charge it (to release something powerful), the more you take risk. A power over time will over heat and stop if you just hold it, but you will be able to maintain it longer and more powerful if you overcharge it but then you take a risk. There will be three levels of perils according to the amount of risk you take. Also every time you fail the next peril level will be +1 (it goes down after a while). Heroes are not designed yet but of course, one way or another they will be “special”.

    10. Will there be Dots? Aoe Dots? "Noxious Cloud" style maybe?

    BRENT: Yes, these will be handled through the Ailments system, where you build up negative status effects on targets. The more poison they have, the longer it lasts and the worse it is.

    15. (team question) The Ailment AoE system, how will you cast these AoE spells? Will you be locked in place as you cast the AoE, or will you be able to move around and cast it? Will you be able to move it (the AoE) around or will you only be able to channel it in one place you cast it and need to stop casting to cast it somewhere else? Finally how does overcharging things like poison and other DoTs work, does it apply more poison faster or makes the poison stronger?

    BRENT: This hasn’t been implemented yet (though it’s coming soon), but the current plan is that for ranged AoEs you channel against a point in the world and the effect radiates out of that, while self-centered AoEs just channel continuously around the caster. In both cases you will be able to move while channelling. With ailments, applying more poison causes the poison to be stronger (like in Dark Souls), so the overcharge will do something like that.

    13. For we offensively oriented Sorcerers, what is the status of witchfires and pyromancy? Will we soon be seeing Aspiring Sorcerers lobbing flaming balls of death and other such things themed from the Pyromancy school of warpcraft?

    BRENT ELLISON: You should see one or more by the end of the year. The first that we are planning is a poison-applying power.
  2. DjemoSRB Djemo-SRB Preacher

    1. (team) Will Undivided powers (the purple healing beam especially) have different variations based on the God Mark of the Sorcerer (Undivided spell adapting to the equipped Mark for example)? Or will we just have 1 power pool for each Chaos God and 1 for Undivided?

    BRENT: Instead of having the power change based on the god we will have powers assigned to gods or undivided, then your god alignment or lack thereof will determine which spells you have available. We haven’t yet determined exactly how the breakdown will work, however. It might be that being Undivided lets you have one undivided and one god power, while god alignment forces you to have two god powers. Alternatively, Undivided might be the only way to get two Undivided powers while you’re forced to take one god power if you have a mark. As we create and test more powers this will become clear.


    "Well, of course you have the preset loadouts so people always have access to a healing sorcerer/warlock regardless of the loadouts they make.

    But that's also something that we're concerned about of course. The thing is that there will be multiple healing spells though, so what we're thinking is that there will be something like "alpha" and "beta" slots that have different subsets of spells, wherein "alpha" spells are always heals or something that serves the same purpose.

    Another thing we're considering is having it so Undivided, Nurgle & Slaanesh all have healing, but Tzeentch doesn't for example. In that case you'd see a Tzeentch sorcerer and know that he doesn't heal, even though he has some other sort of support ability.

    Regarding the number of spells you need to think about the Sorcerer relative to everyone else. By having two spells plus everything else he's already got more in his toolbox than most of the other classes. And on the build-making side he'll have plenty since there will be loadout options that modify the effectiveness of your spells and potentially proc effects. I'm not saying that we're definitely only going to have 2 spells, but it is enough to be on par with everyone else."


    Oh forgot one more thing:

    "I think you can probably expect the god-specific powers to work similarly to how you describe. Tzeentch blasts would be more direct, Nurgle doing damage over time, and Slaanesh probably including some other nasty effect along with the damage."

    So a nice variety in our mechanics too.
    Necroledo, Alchy, Sathorael and 12 others like this.
  3. Lord Malferon Malferon Subordinate

    Very interesting. What is the most intriguing for me is the possibility of utility-focused powers. I mean, it is nice to have a large variety of offensive powers, but more subtle powers should be also included. For example, in a lot of fluff, Slaanesh-aligned sorcerers are capable of casting glamours. It would spice up the game quite a lot if sorcerers are able to disguise themselves and possibly some of their squadmates as enemy troops for a certain amount of time.
  4. DjemoSRB Djemo-SRB Preacher

    Indeed, the plethora of options is at their disposal. Im sure they will go about working us into a very diversified class. That being said we will probably at the end of the day be the most offensive type of psyker from all 4 races even if we go with supporting options. More like offensive support.
    Sathorael likes this.
  5. Lord Malferon Malferon Subordinate

    Obviously, Chaos is all about destruction, isn't it? I think the Eldar psykers should be the more support-y class. Offensive support is a perfect niche for sorcerers. Debuffs and damage in one messy package.
  6. DjemoSRB Djemo-SRB Preacher

    Chaos isnt all about destruction, far from it. But that is a topic for another thread.
  7. Lord Malferon Malferon Subordinate

    You are right, I was slightly simplifying. I was just reading the Pawns of Chaos novel, where a sorcerer of Tzeentch described the servants of Chaos as a tool for hastening the end of mankind and the destruction of the galaxy. That is, ofc, simply one pawn's interpretation of Chaos' purpose.
    Sathorael likes this.
  8. R-Rumeni R-Rumeni Well-Known Member

    I wonder what kind of specific power/trait will Tzeentch have to offer.
    Sathorael and Wincent like this.
  9. more the visual killed d of spells I think
    like making copies of them self's or let an enemy see strange things like allies and enemies are replaced with random models from all factions for some.secs
    or simply turn the screen of someone upside down :D
  10. R-Rumeni R-Rumeni Well-Known Member

    that would be really troll xD, but i like this idea

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