Ice/Lightning Request

Hi there guys, I just had an idea that I've been sitting on for a while now and I was wondering what you guys might think about it.

Comparing ice and lightning, there seems to be a really big power gap. They do about the same gross damage (when you think about how many more enemies ice can hit even with a lv 1 cone), while ice's utility is way higher (ice pushes back enemies and blocks arrows, while lightning only slows).

For this reason, I was thinking a little of the power should be moved from ice to lightning. Instead of pushing enemies back, I think ice should only slow enemies like lightning does now. This would stop a low level ice mage from becoming untouchable from any melee AND archer units. On the other hand, I think lightning's stun should be changed so that the scaling is higher (approaches 100% 'slow' earlier, so it is more like an actual stun) and instead continues to stun for a second or two after casting stops. I think this would be harder to abuse since the aoe buffs to lightning are much weaker than the aoe buffs to ice (cone of cold 1-2 means the enemies you can hit at once increases from 2-4, while chaining 1-2 means the enemies you can hit at once increases from 1-2...). Also, ice's defense is just so strong at the moment that it decreases the strategic feasability of other classes, especially lightning in my eyes. Unless you specifically wanted flame lash, or decided to sacrifice strength for a thematic reason, there is little reason to pick lightning over ice. Also, stopping to rest and watching enemies held in place by electricity would be cool :3 Maybe even make it so it reaches 100% movement 'slow' earlier, and from then on consequent levels increase the continued duration of the stun after casting stops or moves on to another enemy. I know this would make coding more annoying, but just a thought :)

I've also always seen ice's weakness as high health enemies. Since it can defend from ranged attacks well (and I think blowing away arrows identifies the skill more than pushing back enemies like they're paper instead of badass zombies), I think decreasing the strength of chillwind to only slow movement of enemies would decrease the safety of the class, and make them more vulnerable to the big hulking melee characters the class has trouble taking out. It makes a confrontation with zombies more interesting as well. On one hand, you're holding the cast button for an hour as the zombie stands just out of arms reach slowly dying, and on the other, you've got a zombie slowly pushing his way through your blizzard like a terminator. When every enemy is like a tumbleweed to a level three chillwind, I think that's a bit too strong. Not to mention chillwind is literally the same slow as lightning where the slow instead increases past 100% to push enemies backwards and, because of cone shape, can hit way more enemies...

This change would emphasise the strengths and weaknesses of lightning, and move it away from the role that ice usually plays so unfairly well. While in this case ice defends against range and cuts down many enemies at once, lightning would be better at holding the front line in place. Big buff enemies would have a harder time getting to the lightning mage, which is just fine since the arcing usually controlls the closest few. On the other hand, it shows lightning's weakness of ranged enemies. With the bulking frontline tanking the electrical arcs, it can be hard to take out the backline of mages.

I think clarifying the weaknesses of ice and lightning as clearly different while distributing some of the utility from ice to lightning would give players more meaningful choices as to the element they pick up. Instead of "I want to be untouchable so I'll always pick up ice" players will think "melee always gives me a hard time, so I'll take lightning" or "i hate poison archers, so I think I'll take ice". I think encouraging variety would be good too, and add to the replayability of the game :)

Tell me what you guys think about this possible change, since at the moment I think it would increase the health of the game :)


  • I agree completely that Frost Jet is OP compared to the other basic spells, except maybe Magic Missile w/ Ether Blast. That being said, Lightning does have more range than Frost Jet and actually does do more damage than Frost Jet (I just checked the files). It's a rather small difference early on, but by level 20 Lightning does about 50% more damage than Frost Jet, and >100% more by level 25. With Hurricane, Lightning COMPLETELY out-DPSes Frost Jet, like not even a competition.

    So with that, I don't think Lightning needs a buff, but I do think that Frost Jet needs a nerf. Like you say, few levels of Cone of Ice and Chill Wind makes you pretty much invulnerable as long as you can cast and there aren't any mages.
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