Exclusive Alganon Class Interview #3 - The Magus
Raining fire from the heavens. Freezing your enemies in place. Lancing
enough static electricity through an enemy to make all their fur stand
on end. These are the attacks of Alganon’s
Magus, and Ten Ton Hammer is pleased to present details on this class
in our third exclusive interview with Quest Online’s System
Designer, Hue Henry. We’ve already touched upon the Soldier
and the Ranger, so this magically
proficient, AoE destroyer seemed to
be the perfect fit for this interview. Want to learn how you to melt
the faces off your enemies in Alganon?
Keep on reading!
Ten Ton Hammer: In the overview of the Magus on the official website, you state that the class is a master of destruction. Does this mean that the Magus is designed to have the highest DPS in the game? Or close to the highest DPS?
Hue Henry: With our dual role system, we look to have all classes that fit the same role to be able to perform that role in a balanced way. Although there may be some small tradeoffs with classes that may play a slightly more hybrid role, for the most part all DPS classes will be balanced in DPS.
Interestingly, the Magus is the only class where their core role is area-of-effect damage. All Magi, no matter what their specialization, will be excited to see a room full of enemies they can mow down like a chainsaw through warm butter. A Magus is truly a master of destruction.
However, like all our classes, their primary role is not the only role they can undertake. A Magus can do more than just AoE; they can also specialize in a secondary role. A Magus who specializes in Fire spells can also focus their damage on a single target. A Magus who specializes in Storm (electrical) spells will find that their spells also have an effect on the enemy AI and movement, allowing them to keep an enemy at range, to manage the threat generated by themselves and others, and to prevent their allies from becoming debuffed. Lastly, a Magus who specializes in Ice can use their control over the elements to enhance their Ice Elemental to the point where it can act as a multiple-target tank, swooping up groups of enemies and keeping them from flooding the party's healers and DPSers.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can you describe the affinities traits for us a little bit? Is this the same sort of thing as the specializations? Or is this something different? How can a character gain Affinity?
HH: The Magus has three available affinities aside from the beginning neutral essence Affinity. These affinities are accessed by summoning different elementals. For example, when a Magus summons a Fire Elemental it is considered to have the Fire Affinity. Certain spells are unavailable depending on the active Affinity, while others gain secondary effects. For example, when a Magus has Flame Affinity active, their spells will effect fewer targets, but do more damage to those targets. When a Magus has Frost Affinity active, their spells do less damage, but act to heal and empower their Ice Elemental.
Ten Ton Hammer: Will any Magus be able to summon any of the elementals? Or will they be something that's unlocked through the specialization system?
HH: Although they gain them at different levels, any Magus will be able to summon any of the elementals. However, for the majority of these elementals, the lore is that the Magus will merge with the elemental to become a new, more powerful creature. Part Magus, part elemental, this being will be able to perform actions more powerful than any Magus could achieve on their own.
The exception to this is the Ice Elemental. For the most part, a Magus will not want to merge with this elemental. Instead, they will send the Ice Elemental into combat to act as a tank. The Magus is then able to use their control over Ice to empower the Ice Elemental and transform it in to a multiple-target tank, equal in ability to a Protection Soldier or Guardianship Ranger.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can you give us some examples of Magus offensive spells? Are we talking single target destruction or are the Magus able to throw down AoEs as well?
HH: A Magus will have both single target spells, like the Flame Bolt spell that hits a single target, and area-of-effect spells, like Ether Boil that creates a rolling field of destructive energy and boils the very soul of any enemy foolish enough to stand inside it. They also have spells that fall somewhere in between, like Chain Lightning, and Flame Ball.
Flame Ball is a great example of a spell which is effective as both an area-of-effect spell, and a single target spell. The weakest rank of Flame Ball will do approximately 220 points of damage - more damage than a Flame Bolt spell available at the same level. However, Flame Ball will share this damage amongst all targets in a 10 unit range. This means that if there is only one target in this area, it is a powerful single-target spell. If there are multiple targets in the area, it acts as an area-of-effect spell, damaging all the enemies at the same time.
Ten Ton Hammer: What about defensive spells? How do those work compared to a Healers buffs or healing spells? Are they like character blocking walls?
HH: For the most part, a Magus's defensive spells will be buffs and heals that effect only the Ice Elemental. A Magus that specializes in Ice will find these abilities greatly enhanced.
A Magus that specializes in Storm will also find them able to control the threat of themselves and their party. If your tank has difficulty keeping aggro because of your crazy-mad DPS, consider bringing a Storm Magus along to make things easier.
Ten Ton Hammer: Concerning equipment, what will a standard Magus be wearing when he/she goes into combat? Robes and a staff? Or are we going to see some heavily armored Magus?
HH: A Magus is a "glass cannon." They are limited to the light armor set. For the most part, this will be robes and either a staff, or a dagger and an offhand item. However, since Alganon uses the categories of light, medium, and heavy armor, it is possible that we can see mages in lightweight magical metal that looks very different than the robes we are used to, but performs the same in combat.
Ten Ton Hammer: Will any of the races excel at being a Magus? Or are the races equal in skill?
HH: At launch the two races available are the Human and the Talrok. These two races are the most balanced races of Alganon, and are basically mirrors of one another. Neither one is better at being a Magus than the other.
Future races, however, may have differentiation, but these other races will come after launch, and much can be updated before they are implemented. One thing we do not want is for players to feel like they have sacrificed the ability to be a good player because they wanted to look like a given race. We'll be able to say more about this when we get closer to adding new races.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there anything else you can tell us about the Magus?
HH: Like all our classes, the Magus is designed to be dynamic and interesting for those that like this archetype. We hope that the secondary ability of a Magus to also be a tank or support class will make them more exciting to play than just DPS, and will make it easier for them to participate in a group. We are always looking for player input on how we can make them even more fun, so if you have any suggestions, be sure to stop by our forums and let us know!