Merlin, another great wizard!
I've tried to stay away from the wizard posts. But some things have been said that really bother me as an RTS player. So, I do apologize ahead of time, this is my wizard rant post.
The DEVs have a plan for wizards. Soon there will be a guide to teach you how to effectively use a wizard and counter a wizard, created by the DEVs. This in itself is a huge failure in an RTS game. If you feel your player base cannot effectively learn how to utilize a unit in the game you there by have created a flawed unit for whatever role you tried to make for it. In a real time strategy game the average player or veteran should have an idea of how to use a unit and through experimental gameplay, figure out how to best utilize the unit for his personal strategic style. Guides should be for advance techniques and strategies. The only time a guide should be needed for the basics of a unit is for new players to the genre. This guide will need to offer a bunch of strategies that your community supposedly couldn't figure out (red flag). Otherwise, if it is one or two strategies this is no longer a strategy game but a cookie cutter game. (And for the record there are a lot of players who know how to both use a wizard and/or counter one. It is the exploits and unintentional gameplay along with having to use wizards to effectively fight that is wrong with them)
The DEVs have heard the out cry's to both nerf and to leave them alone. My intentions here are not to balance wizards but put in the mechanics to remove exploits and unintended gameplay. Since the DEVs sound set in stone I will keep it as short as possible to try not to waste your time or mine. But I have to speak my mind. At least be able to say I voiced my opinion instead of sitting back quietly.
1. Add spell mechanics to wizards that will fix exploits and unintended gameplay:
Make spells non stackable;
a)Two AOE spells casted in a single spot will not add 2x AOE damage. Players will have to play strategically so if they have two wizards that they want to cast the same AOE they will have to do it in two different spots, effectively just making a wider range of AOE.
b) Have AOE spells be ground targeted so they do not follow units like they were poisoned, effectively allowing units to run out of the AOE.
C) Multiple buffs of the same spell will not stack and give each wizard stacking bonuses. The last buff casted of the same spell will overwrite the last buff of the same spell casted, effectively refreshing it. This will let a strategic player be able to keep the buff on but will not let you exploit it by stacking the bonuses to say, make you invincible.
2. Change the population cap from 6 to 10 (Great power in moderation):
This will make it where if you want one of each wizard it will take half of your armies population space. These are the top wizards of their sect. There shouldn't be a bunch of them running around like swordsman. If you want a bunch of average wizards make a wizard apprentice. Not a level 100 elite unit.
3. Change the battle strength (Put them in there tier of battle)
Raise their battle strength to 500. Keep them out of fights that they have no business in as elite wizards or level 100 units in general. This will make it if you use half of your army population space with three wizards that you will be sitting at 1500 strength. Truth be told, that's about how strong three wizards are. You have created an expansion without expanding the game. This expansion should bring new strategies to the battlefield in a new tier (strength) while leaving the old tier (strength) of battle unmolested. Strength range 500-1000 should not see more than one of the current wizards or a level 100 elite unit of any sorts in general.
These balances should bring new unique strategies to the field and add diversity between the wizards. Can you use two of the same wizard? Yes but you will have to use them differently to be effective. Will there be a bonus in using two different types of wizard now? Yes, as you cannot just stack the same wizards with the same spell to apply maximum damage to a single target area you will now have to use two different wizards for that. Will new players encounter these wizards? Nope. Will average strength armies see wizards? Some might see one, but it will ease you into fighting them and will take a toll on the opponents army size with population space. Will we see new high end battles? For people who want to maximize their armies with wizards it will bring them into a new strength tier that puts them in their own league effectively expanding the game in this expansion. Can I continue on with what this would do? Sure. But I wont because whoever is reading this who has made it this far will have already a pretty good mindset whether I am way off or not. I just tried to lay a foundation for wizards as I don't think you can effectively balance them if they are not even a unit that is working as intended. So with that said, thanks for reading.
If I always appear prepared, it is because before entering on an undertaking, I have meditated for long and foreseen what may occur.
--Napoleon Bonaparte, 1831