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View Full Version : update to magic missile (4e) good or bad?



yukonhorror
07-06-2010, 03:27 PM
So I like to keep up with the updates and such from WOTC, in case they change something pretty major.

This round, they have changed magic missile from

Attack: Int. Vs. Ref
hit: 2d4+int mod force dam

to an effect (automatic hit) of 2+int mod force dam

I am not sure how I feel about this change. It would be nice for plowing down minions after you encounter powers are gone and it is nice for the half-elf dilettente power (if have a decent int score), but it's usefulness in general seems lacking.

What do you think?

Dimthar
07-06-2010, 07:03 PM
Ok.. you have the Feat "Inescapable Force" and I could swear I saw a feat that will push a target if hit by a Force power, but I don't find it. Maybe I've been playing Roborally for to long.

I just read those "White Lotus" feats and they look good too.

Carlos

Seanamal
07-06-2010, 07:40 PM
I think it could interact badly with some feats, but otherwise makes it feel a lot ore like original MM

Blydden
07-07-2010, 01:13 AM
I want the old magic missile back. It is a 4e classic, a wizard must-have. I never ever did like auto-hit attacks (they are all really weak, auto-hit not withstanding)...but now they have gone too far!

*sob*

I know 3.5e veterans requested it, but in all honestly, this can't be better than the old magic missile. It can't be. If it was, I'd be liking it.

If you must put auto-hit attacks into even the wizard's at-wills, make a different power!

LEAVE MAGIC MISSILE ALONE! (hehe reference)

Umiushi
07-07-2010, 03:35 AM
The only reason given was "an effort to restore the power to its classical form." That is not an acceptable rationale for me. What's next? Making Sleep an automatic effect that knocks out 4d4 levels of enemies? I'd love to see how that goes over. What's worse, it's a halfhearted attempt. The other half of the "classical" Magic Missile is that you could simultaneously shoot more missiles at higher levels. Of course, the DM might as well give up on using minions at that point.

This is the first updated rule I'm inclined to discard out of hand. I might leave it as an alternative to the original 4th edition Magic Missile, but if combats turn into a game of identifying the minions and then leaving them to the wizard, I'm sure I'd yank it.

As a matter of personal opinion, I never much cared for the older versions of Magic Missile back when I was playing the older versions of D&D. When I finally got to the 4th edition, I said to myself, "Aha! This is how I always thought Magic Missile should work!" I'm not going to back to the land of automatic hits just to satisfy some misplaced sense of nostalgia.

ragnarokilo
07-07-2010, 04:51 AM
Ehhh, I don't like it. Yes, the autohit mechanic is nostalgic, but, while MM was always seen as kind of a weak spell in previous iterations, it was never This chumpy. 2+int? thats really gorram puny damage in this system. It has the potential to actually do less damage than the 1d4 per 2 caster levels it was stuck with back in the day, when hit points were still at low totals. Sure, it would be great for cleaning up minions, but what wizard wants to be kept around just to take out trash mobs when they could be raining fireballs down on the real target?

Q-man
07-07-2010, 06:56 AM
I guess if you went with a force mage build, where your force powers were boosted by all possible feats, the auto-hit would be fantastic. Aside from that build, and you've basically taken the iconic spell that all wizards have, and made it unwanted. Sure at low levels guaranteed hits for the 5 or 6 damage isn't so bad. Once you start approaching Paragon tier that damage will be a mild tickle, and you'll be retraining it pretty quickly.

It will always be useful against minions I suppose; but if you're facing minions there's going to be a dozen on them. Killing them off 1 per round will take forever. You'd still do better to drop a fireball and clear out a big chunk of them rather than use single target magic missile.

Its probably a worthwhile option, as some players will make use of the auto-hit, but I think I'd prefer the original 4E version of it.

yukonhorror
07-07-2010, 09:31 AM
I agree with umi. The multiple magic missile part of it is what I miss. I thought of each 1d4 as a separate magic missile.

I understand the mentality to retain its flavor/utility of older editions, but those editions didn't have @will powers either.

I think a nice compromise would be 1/enc it is an auto hit, but otherwise it is as the old (4e) power was. That way you get that one time auto dam to kill that festering minion, but only the once.

---------- Post added at 08:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:45 AM ----------

wow, I am surprised at the dam number crunching.

On average, the new MM does about 2 more dam than the old one (even with implement expertise).

Take this how you will in terms of your opinion on the change.

I think in terms of minion plowing, yeah it is a auto kill, but you can only do it once per round. With a well placed blast, you should have decent odds to take out at least one minion in a group.

Finally, there is my concept of a "henchmen (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1002-Return-to-the-Temple-of-Elemental-Evil-4e-conversion)" template to add to minions.

Q-man
07-07-2010, 09:39 AM
On average, the new MM does about 2 more dam than the old one (even with implement expertise).

Thats not what I expected the results to be, I'm curious what were the numbers you used. What was the percentage of hits you used for that? Does that still scale with critical hits giving more damage with bigger and better implements?

yukonhorror
07-07-2010, 10:01 AM
I scaled with increasing int mod, magic bonuses, & imp exp. I included critical hits into the averaging.

Basically, did need 8-12 to hit (that's where it hovers anyway) so (60%*{5+int mod + magic bonus} {avg of 2d4+bonuses} +5%*{8+int mod + magic bonus+3.5*magic bonus "crit extra dam for 1d6"}) for 8 to hit. averaged for 8-12 at different levels. Adjusted this for higher level feat bonuses but still not better.

Really rough back of the envelope calculations.

Really, the unlikelyhood of getting a crit (5%) doesn't give the dam much of a boost. Even with high crit weapons. But it is fun :).

I guess that's a drawback to auto hit. If there is another effect for a crit hit (like knock prone) then you miss out on that.

Q-man
07-07-2010, 10:44 AM
It would seem you're right, the numbers do appear to work out that way. Seems like as the bonuses increase the damage difference increases in favor of the new version. Its not a massive amount though, 4 or 5 points as you approach the Epic Tier. As you add in more feats to improve Force damage this would probably push things even further toward the new version.

Thats a pretty straight forward approach though, I would think there's a lot of situational things missing. Stuff that improves the chance to hit, like combat advantage, could make the old Magic Missile have better numbers. I doubt that would really change the results by a whole lot though, since its not something you can count on every attack. I guess it comes down to how you want to play. Doing more damage, or rolling dice during your attack.

kirksmithicus
07-08-2010, 04:04 PM
So they added homing ability to the Magic Missile spell. I don't care for the automatic hit. As a ranged attack it seems like the attack should allow for the possibility of missing. Now if they had made it a feat where the wizard marks the target with the first shot and then gains a bonus to hit, or an automatic ability to hit on all subsequent shots, then that would be cool. Even if it allowed the wizard to hit without line of sight to the target.

Seanamal
07-08-2010, 07:21 PM
One thing to keep in mind is a lot of items and feats specify bonuses to rolls. Now I don't know if WoTC will errata this to cap bonuses or make exclusions to keep this from being abused to hell and back, but I do think this change is ripe for abuse and as a DM I am not overly thrilled about it.

ragnarokilo
07-08-2010, 11:15 PM
Now if they had made it a feat where the wizard marks the target with the first shot and then gains a bonus to hit, or an automatic ability to hit on all subsequent shots, then that would be cool. Even if it allowed the wizard to hit without line of sight to the target.

That would actually be pretty badass.

Matt James
07-15-2010, 08:16 AM
I like that idea so much that I might use it for a sourcebook I am writing for Open Design. If you want to PM me your name, kirksmithicus (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php/member.php/3855-kirksmithicus), I will gladly credit you if you want :)

SirSlither
07-16-2010, 06:28 PM
Seanamal makes a good point. Do items that add to a roll add to the damage? Judging by the character builder it does not. This might be a way of nerfing it since it became a basic ranged attack. A way of keeping anything that added to ranged basic attacks from adding to it perhaps?

If any player of mine realy wants the old one I would let them have it, just under a different name. That is unless some errata explain that it was indeed a nerf.

Sascha
07-16-2010, 08:23 PM
Never really thought the pre-update Magic Missile was all that great, really; the other spells seemed more useful for more situations. This change makes it interesting, though I'm not quite sure by what amount :P


Seanamal makes a good point. Do items that add to a roll add to the damage? Judging by the character builder it does not.
There's no "to hit" nor "to damage", so anything that modifies or triggers off of "to hit" or "to damage" rolls doesn't affect the new spell. Items/feats/what have you now specify in their description when they modify Magic Missile.


This might be a way of nerfing it since it became a basic ranged attack. A way of keeping anything that added to ranged basic attacks from adding to it perhaps?
It's always been able to be used as a ranged basic attack.

SirSlither
07-16-2010, 09:57 PM
Never really thought the pre-update Magic Missile was all that great, really; the other spells seemed more useful for more situations. This change makes it interesting, though I'm not quite sure by what amount :P


There's no "to hit" nor "to damage", so anything that modifies or triggers off of "to hit" or "to damage" rolls doesn't affect the new spell. Items/feats/what have you now specify in their description when they modify Magic Missile.


It's always been able to be used as a ranged basic attack.
Well look at that your right. Never really noticed until I started using the character builder.

I have done some ugly things with duel implement caster feat and bracers of the perfect shot, I would activate Wizards fury daily power, on a 3rd level wizard it seemed pretty impressive. I was doing 2d4 +9 twice per round for the entire battle.

On the wizards forums I have seen some much more complicated builds centered on Wizards fury and using the fact that Magic missle is a basic ranged attack to pump up the damage. And using Improved Tome of Readiness to sacrifice other dailys to keep casting Wizards fury at higher levels. Some of those builds created a lot of synergy and this pretty much shuts that down.

kirksmithicus
07-18-2010, 10:56 PM
I like that idea so much that I might use it for a sourcebook I am writing for Open Design. If you want to PM me your name, kirksmithicus (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php/member.php/3855-kirksmithicus), I will gladly credit you if you want :)

Go ahead and use it, no need for a PM. My username is rather unoriginal, as my name is Kirk Smith.

wizarddog
08-02-2010, 08:48 PM
I have to say, after having a session with my group with the wizards new magic missile, it proved to be a very effective weapon. With two warlords with Direct the Strike, we were looking at the wizard hitting automatically and delivering eight points of damage on each hit, effectively 24 damage in a round if we chose to. That's not to shabby.

kirksmithicus
08-09-2010, 11:37 AM
Both of the wizards in my group were not impressed by the new Magic Missile and asked if they could drop it and take something else.