Module 13 State of Balance: Control Wizard

The Control Wizard is a pretty interesting class in terms of balance in Module 13. Although it did not receive any significant nerfs or buffs to its powers, it nonetheless took a massive hit in many areas. It actually might be on of the worst states of the class ever.

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Where’s my DPS?

Some of you might have raised some eyebrows when I mentioned “no significant nerf or buffs”. Storm Spell indeed got two impactful changes (lower damage, but can crit), but those should cancel each other out in most cases. Also what did hurt the Control Wizard most this module wasn’t a change to its own powers, but the enchantment rework.

The best DPS build for CWs was a so-called Proc-Wizard that tried to generate as many Lightning and Aura of Courage procs as possible. That way it could compete with other DPS classes in some situations. Now that Lightning only procs once per power use, a large chunk of DPS was chopped off the class. Alternatives don’t offer as much damage, and CWs are rarely requested for the DPS slot in groups.

The reason that the Lightning functionality was what made DPS wizards viable illustrates the struggles of the class. It simply doesn’t have many self-buffs and hence had to rely on “outside sources” to generate damage for it. That’s obviously not ideal.

Where’s my Support?

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One advantage that CWs still own is flexibility. Unlike many other classes, they can switch between support and DPS instantly, and take the spot in the group that’s needed. That’s fine and all, but doesn’t really help if you’re like the fourth or fifth best choice. Renegade/Oppressor Master of Flames might have the same approval rates in Neverwinter as Kim Jong-un in the Western hemisphere. The Temptation Scourge Warlock is the latest class to outperform “Moffers”. The only ones that are worse are the classes that don’t have support builds at all: Great Weapon Fighters and Trickster Rogues.

You frequently see MoFs being requested because players are slow to adjust or simply don’t care. Because just like with DPS, the actual difference in run speed is slim to non-existent. It also helps that the current capstone content (Cradle of the Death God) makes a greater variety of builds a little bit more attractive. But trying to get into a TONG with a Control Wizard right now can get quite frustrating.

What to do?

Based on the latest trend it’s not looking good for Control Wizards. The class loses more traction every module and should receive a little tweak going forward. Thankfully the devs don’t have to do too much to make the CW more viable again. Its flexibility should remain intact, it just needs a little bit more potency in the different areas (DPS, support).

What I’d also still like to see is much more actual need for CC in dungeons. It’s the CWs biggest strength, yet completely insignificant in content. The devs however stated they are hesitant to give control a more prominent role, because given the current set of powers it would give groups a too easy way to not get attacked at all. This is probably right, but I fail to see why certain mechanics can’t be build in a way that they can only be solved with clever CC usage. Anyway, until the devs start to figure that one out, the best current CW loadout is to roll a DC.

What’s your take on Control Wizards in Module 13? Am I exaggerating? Or are you slowly retiring your Wizard as well? Share your thoughts on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit the corresponding thread on our message board.

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j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

15 thoughts on “Module 13 State of Balance: Control Wizard

  • March 28, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Instead of Adding a class in mod 13 they removed the CW Class

  • March 28, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Remember when the CW was the most OP class in the game? People said that was because the Devs played a CW. many of those devs have moved on.

    I wonder what class most of the Devs play these days?

  • March 28, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    ” The devs however stated they are hesitant to give control a more prominent role, because given the current set of powers it would give groups a too easy way to not get attacked at all. ”

    That’s not a bug, it’s a feature!

  • March 28, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    On point!

  • March 29, 2018 at 3:29 am

    Given how disconnected the (remaining) developers are from the game, I think they are busy playing Path of Exile when they’re not working on their new Magic: the Gathering game…

  • March 29, 2018 at 4:16 am

    probably DPS GF

  • April 6, 2018 at 9:47 am

    yeah..CW is the only class i really enjoy playing more than once every so often…and i get crapped all over every module. doesn’t matter, im sticking with it. i play on the xbox and pc. i have 3 wizards. (one of them an orc, strangely enough he seems to be my strongest/best). i will ride this out till the end i suppose.

    i really hope they do something about this however, if this trend continues im going to end up not even being able to help my friends with trash mobs.

  • April 10, 2018 at 8:40 am

    After the changes for the CW in mod13, i retired my beloved wizard. I feel lacky, no rooms in most of groups and instead of that decided to main a OP and HR, which in my opinion are one of the most well built classes in game.

  • April 17, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    CW got buffed where it matters. AoE went down with nerf of entity skills, but boss damage went up with buffs to SS, smolder and Shatter Strike (opp capstone build now being stronger DPS option than Thaum).

  • April 17, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Also, if we didn’t lose any build. Lightning was used for AoE damage, in single target fights, which are the important thing, CWs used Fey, which will be heavy favorite going forward.

    Who’s writing this? Why are you not mentioning these points? Why do you mention “MoF” as it was a one build? Do you know how much variety there is?

  • April 18, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Wrong in so many levels… you can dps like crazy,the problem is 90% of the builds and rotations are bad… thats why you see so many GWF -> Orcus set -> Hold R2

    • April 18, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Don’t forget this is related to M13. Your comment indicates you’re on consoles and currently still playing M12.

  • April 26, 2018 at 1:25 am

    My DPS went up in mod 13, not sure how you built yours, but I have always topped the dps charts and still do so into mod 13. Having 100%crit chance and 85% Resistance ignored may have something to do with it, plus the rotation is and always was highly important for getting the most dps you can. I match up with very good HR’s and GWF’s. Maybe fix your build. I have my dps storm spell and mof b/d loadout, they both still work very well.

    • April 26, 2018 at 1:57 am

      CWs are still viable in endgame content, sure. But that’s more because in the current buff meta, the DPS in your group hardly matters. It’s in less than optimal groups where CWs have a harder time to keep up. But then again, differences are slim. Meta talk is always hyperbole and elitist.

  • May 3, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    i hate what they have done to the cw, I have spent the past year building my cw. ranking #1 or #2 on the damage chart , now it’s sad, I have rank 14 Bondings on my companions, I have some rank 13 and 14 on my toon, they won’t fix known bugs, they worry about screwing up things that are not broke, people are leaving the game everyday, well they are sick of building a toon only to have to turn around at a whim and build a totally different toon to get in end game dungeons, I do not want a dc slash cw, dc and pallies,should be the buffers and healers

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