The Control Wizard is a pretty interesting class in terms of balance in Module 13. Although it did not receive any significant nerfs or buffs to its powers, it nonetheless took a massive hit in many areas. It actually might be on of the worst states of the class ever.
Where’s my DPS?
Some of you might have raised some eyebrows when I mentioned “no significant nerf or buffs”. Storm Spell indeed got two impactful changes (lower damage, but can crit), but those should cancel each other out in most cases. Also what did hurt the Control Wizard most this module wasn’t a change to its own powers, but the enchantment rework.
The best DPS build for CWs was a so-called Proc-Wizard that tried to generate as many Lightning and Aura of Courage procs as possible. That way it could compete with other DPS classes in some situations. Now that Lightning only procs once per power use, a large chunk of DPS was chopped off the class. Alternatives don’t offer as much damage, and CWs are rarely requested for the DPS slot in groups.
The reason that the Lightning functionality was what made DPS wizards viable illustrates the struggles of the class. It simply doesn’t have many self-buffs and hence had to rely on “outside sources” to generate damage for it. That’s obviously not ideal.
Where’s my Support?
One advantage that CWs still own is flexibility. Unlike many other classes, they can switch between support and DPS instantly, and take the spot in the group that’s needed. That’s fine and all, but doesn’t really help if you’re like the fourth or fifth best choice. Renegade/Oppressor Master of Flames might have the same approval rates in Neverwinter as Kim Jong-un in the Western hemisphere. The Temptation Scourge Warlock is the latest class to outperform “Moffers”. The only ones that are worse are the classes that don’t have support builds at all: Great Weapon Fighters and Trickster Rogues.
You frequently see MoFs being requested because players are slow to adjust or simply don’t care. Because just like with DPS, the actual difference in run speed is slim to non-existent. It also helps that the current capstone content (Cradle of the Death God) makes a greater variety of builds a little bit more attractive. But trying to get into a TONG with a Control Wizard right now can get quite frustrating.
What to do?
Based on the latest trend it’s not looking good for Control Wizards. The class loses more traction every module and should receive a little tweak going forward. Thankfully the devs don’t have to do too much to make the CW more viable again. Its flexibility should remain intact, it just needs a little bit more potency in the different areas (DPS, support).
What I’d also still like to see is much more actual need for CC in dungeons. It’s the CWs biggest strength, yet completely insignificant in content. The devs however stated they are hesitant to give control a more prominent role, because given the current set of powers it would give groups a too easy way to not get attacked at all. This is probably right, but I fail to see why certain mechanics can’t be build in a way that they can only be solved with clever CC usage. Anyway, until the devs start to figure that one out, the best current CW loadout is to roll a DC.
What’s your take on Control Wizards in Module 13? Am I exaggerating? Or are you slowly retiring your Wizard as well? Share your thoughts on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit the corresponding thread on our message board.
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