Anyone here ever play D&D?
In Dungeons and Dragons it is argued that Evocation Wizards (the ones that actually deal damage with flashy spells) are the weakest of Wizards for a player to use.
I argue that the best way to balance Wizards would be to remove their most damaging spells.
Replace the wizards with...
The Conjurer, the Transmuter, and the Sorceress.
Each Wizard would begin play with one base ranged attack, one base melee attack, one powerful range attack spell, one powerful defense spell and three spells that use points rather than stamina.
All three use a basic magic missile style attack as their default non stamina attack. For their stamina based attacks the Conjuror throws a fireball, the Transmuter fires a disintegration ray (long distance, useful against walls), and the Sorceress fires an arcing chain lightning.
The defense spell of each is a toggle. The Conjuror creates a protective orb that grants him powerful armor, the Transmuter turns into a puff of gas that can fly and is otherwise invincible (but cannot attack), and the Sorceress turns invisible.
The actual "spells" consume points. Each Wizard gets X per battle. They're consumed similar to level up points... except they only refresh when you re-enter the battlefield. Meaning if you started with 5 points, and used 5 spells... well, you're SOL, you won't get anymore until you re-enter a battlefield.
The Spells they can cast using these points:
1. Golem - Similar to an Ogre but harder to kill.
2. Orb of Healing - Similar to a Well in a human town, but can be destroyed, very slow moving.
3. Windstorm - Zone wide area effect that significantly diminishes the range and accuracy of enemy ranged units (soldiers and siegeworks) for a set amount of time.
1. Transmute Rock - Instantly destroys/repairs a single wall.
2. Energize - Restores all stamina and dramatically increases stamina regeneration
3. Polymorph Self - Turn into Red Dragon
1. Polymorph - Turns enemy units into chickens.
2. Flight - Allows the Sorceress to Fly
3. Dominate - Enemy soldier units turn against their own.
Well, ill start with what i like about this idea. I love the style of mage you are suggesting, the defensive aspect especially, however I don't think it will balance mages, I think it will remove anyone ever using them in the game.
Lets go over the spells.
Golem - In my opinion, useless, you'd have to make the Golem have similar stats to a dragon to even make it worth using, and if that was done, people would scream that its Overpowered.
Orb of Healing - Not a bad one, but again, I see people complaining about this one, it would also make the Shaman useless. But aside from that, i suppose the limit on how many spells one can cast in a fight would balance that a lot.
Windstorm - I like this spell, but I am not sure how useful it would be in PvP. Im yet to see anyone use archers. Perhaps a defensive siege spell?
Transmute Rock - I'm on the fence about this one, it seems like a waste of a spell to me unless you are defending, but I suppose in certain situations it could be helpful, like if you had no other way to break the enemy wall due to your siege engines dying.
Energize - Not a bad one, but if it only works for the wizard, his offensive spells and other stamina using abilities better be worth the spell point.
Polymorph self - Not a bad spell, but the effect would have to be on a 1-2 min timer. with a pretty long CD.
Polymorph - All I can say, is no, just no. Back in the day I thought spells like this were cool, but it has absolutely no place in a RTS game. No one should be able to turn someones strongest unit / units into a flock of chickens.
Flight - Don't really see a use unless wizards are going to be awesome in melee.
Dominate - Not bad, but it would need a pretty long cooldown to make it balanced.
I'm not in any way trying to knock your idea, or tell you that it wont happen, only the Devs can say what they will add / not add. But I think this style of mage would simply make them useless. The slots they take up would not make them worth using in my opinion.
In all honesty there is a more simple way of making Mages balanced. Limit players to 1 of each type of wizard. And only allow said wizards to "pick" two spells to use. And make the only way to respec spells is to bring them to the magic guild and pay 5 crowns.
But, like I said this is just my opinion, I am sure there are some who would prefer this system.