Did wizards get nerfed?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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If we integrate over the sum total of the play experience, a Wizard (or any class) should not be overall higher than a Fighter (or any class). But there should be spikes for efficacy in different arenas, e.g. rogues and "things where skill ranks/feats are of primary importance". Where the fighter should be ahead of pretty much every class in the game is "smashing face against 1-3 targets."


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totoro wrote:
Well, I guess I understand why the game is in the state it is. "I'd probably cast it if I could cast it at will" is the response to what if you could cast the one of the things a cleric can do once per day? Pfft. I just ran a game to level 4 and your opinion just doesn't comport with what I actually saw. And keep pretending what I said is "duh, the only thing that matters is DPS." You, sir, are disingenuous.

How is this, not the same as the below?:

totoro wrote:
All classes should be "best" in their style of combat. Saying fighters should be best at combat might be good in Conan the Barbarian, but it is not good at a gaming table. The combat contribution should just be different, not inferior.


totoro wrote:
Hopefully due to my serious disappointment in some areas of the game you can take this for what it is worth: This is the best version of the game I've ever played. The combat is smooth and fun. The modularity makes for easy adjustment. (We already have house rules in place to fix the parts I consider broken and we've only played four times.) If I were you, I'd give it a chance and just fix the broken parts. The chassis is stable.

Well, while it does seem to have some interesting areas, this isnt my only grievance.

Even if it were, rewriting every single spell or almost all of them, be duration, effects... is a bit too much for the houserule end, so really, it is just easier to avoid the entire thing.

With the above said, lurking on the forums did give me a better grasp on many parts of it.


graystone wrote:
totoro wrote:
I meant reasonable from her perspective.
I think what you're trying to say is that she picked what she saw as thematic for her character: That's 100% fine but as the DM you should prepare her by letting her know that because of her build, thematic in this case equals useless.

Sorry if I sound confrontational, but...How is this supposed to be a good thing?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think it's a balancing act. Obviously we want to support people playing the characters they want to play, but we also want to support a meaningful reward for players playing the game well. One of my favorite parts of this edition is that the three action economy includes a space for players of martial characters to play the game well at the table. Things like movement, properly managing your reactions, knowing when to use combat maneuvers, handling resistance, and weapon choice all matter.


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Yun E. Bears wrote:
graystone wrote:
totoro wrote:
I meant reasonable from her perspective.
I think what you're trying to say is that she picked what she saw as thematic for her character: That's 100% fine but as the DM you should prepare her by letting her know that because of her build, thematic in this case equals useless.
Sorry if I sound confrontational, but...How is this supposed to be a good thing?

I mean telling someone their build is useless isn't really a good thing. However, neither is trying to have 5 creatures worth of actions. That's terrible for everyone else at the table, so they limited the ability to do that. All of that should be explained to the player as soon as it's apparent that they want to have all the animals.


Nox Aeterna wrote:
totoro wrote:
Hopefully due to my serious disappointment in some areas of the game you can take this for what it is worth: This is the best version of the game I've ever played. The combat is smooth and fun. The modularity makes for easy adjustment. (We already have house rules in place to fix the parts I consider broken and we've only played four times.) If I were you, I'd give it a chance and just fix the broken parts. The chassis is stable.

Well, while it does seem to have some interesting areas, this isnt my only grievance.

Even if it were, rewriting every single spell or almost all of them, be duration, effects... is a bit too much for the houserule end, so really, it is just easier to avoid the entire thing.

With the above said, lurking on the forums did give me a better grasp on many parts of it.

I don't think the place to start is with rewriting spells because that would be tedious and you'd have to start over again with each splatbook. It's easier to rewrite the classes.


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I just houseruled that spells automatically heighten to the maximum level without having to use higher level slots (effectively giving casters automatic scaling back).

It's been working out pretty well, and no complaints from either my players playing casters OR melees.

Of course I'm sure a lot of the people in this thread will tell me that this is "unbalanced", which is a barrel of laughs considering all the nerfbats wizards took to the skull in the transition to 2nd edition.


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Andarr wrote:

I just houseruled that spells automatically heighten to the maximum level without having to use higher level slots (effectively giving casters automatic scaling back).

It's been working out pretty well, and no complaints from either my players playing casters OR melees.

Of course I'm sure a lot of the people in this thread will tell me that this is "unbalanced", which is a barrel of laughs considering all the nerfbats wizards took to the skull in the transition to 2nd edition.

Yeah, quick easy tweaks like this are probably better than rewriting the spells completely. If it's not working for your group just tweak things till it does.

Minor changes like having the rope in rope trick being able to be raised into the extradimensional space so as not to effectively shout "hey! there's someone up here" thus defeating the entire purpose of the spell might be a good idea, too.

"This spell will give us a safe place to sleep! Except that it has a rope sticking out from nowhere so any moron will know that something is wrong and come to investigate!"

It just bugs me because I feel like if they were gonna do that they may as well have just removed the spell completely and saved the word count.

... I just noticed a glaring lack of spells that summon big giant glowy hands(as in, bigby's crushing hand) on the arcane list and it made me sad...


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Andarr wrote:

I just houseruled that spells automatically heighten to the maximum level without having to use higher level slots (effectively giving casters automatic scaling back).

It's been working out pretty well, and no complaints from either my players playing casters OR melees.

Of course I'm sure a lot of the people in this thread will tell me that this is "unbalanced", which is a barrel of laughs considering all the nerfbats wizards took to the skull in the transition to 2nd edition.

Sounds good. Although I'd probably go for auto-heightening to one level lower than the highest you can cast, just to be on the safe side.

Silver Crusade

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totoro wrote:
Rysky wrote:
totoro wrote:
If the fighter were given the option to cast any cleric spell at will (other than Heal and Magic Weapon), the fighter would likely never cast it.
This is just blatantly bad assumption.
You are undoubtedly correct. Player of Fighter: "I'll cast fear." Response: "Um, you sure?"

... so your argument is literally "They will never cast it because I won't let them" and you're thinking the issue here is the spells?


Their cantrips are now scalable by levels... or half their levels to correspond to their heighest spell levels.

They now have some sort of unlimited ammo.


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Rysky wrote:
totoro wrote:
Rysky wrote:
totoro wrote:
If the fighter were given the option to cast any cleric spell at will (other than Heal and Magic Weapon), the fighter would likely never cast it.
This is just blatantly bad assumption.
You are undoubtedly correct. Player of Fighter: "I'll cast fear." Response: "Um, you sure?"
... so your argument is literally "They will never cast it because I won't let them" and you're thinking the issue here is the spells?

Actually, I have to ask, how is asking if the player is certain about an action equivalent to not letting them take a course of action?

Not letting them would be more like this:

Fighter: I cast fear.

Response: No you aren't, that's a stupid and terrible idea, now roll your big honking greatsword attack.

Silver Crusade

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Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Rysky wrote:
totoro wrote:
Rysky wrote:
totoro wrote:
If the fighter were given the option to cast any cleric spell at will (other than Heal and Magic Weapon), the fighter would likely never cast it.
This is just blatantly bad assumption.
You are undoubtedly correct. Player of Fighter: "I'll cast fear." Response: "Um, you sure?"
... so your argument is literally "They will never cast it because I won't let them" and you're thinking the issue here is the spells?

Actually, I have to ask, how is asking if the player is certain about an action equivalent to not letting them take a course of action?

Not letting them would be more like this:

Fighter: I cast fear.

Response: No you aren't, that's a stupid and terrible idea, now roll your big honking greatsword attack.

That's the assumption they led with since they didn't go into the hypothetical scenario with any more detail than ending it with "um, you sure?" in response to the Fighter wanting to cast the spell, when they had just previously stated the Fighter would never cast it.


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Rysky wrote:
Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Rysky wrote:
totoro wrote:
Rysky wrote:
totoro wrote:
If the fighter were given the option to cast any cleric spell at will (other than Heal and Magic Weapon), the fighter would likely never cast it.
This is just blatantly bad assumption.
You are undoubtedly correct. Player of Fighter: "I'll cast fear." Response: "Um, you sure?"
... so your argument is literally "They will never cast it because I won't let them" and you're thinking the issue here is the spells?

Actually, I have to ask, how is asking if the player is certain about an action equivalent to not letting them take a course of action?

Not letting them would be more like this:

Fighter: I cast fear.

Response: No you aren't, that's a stupid and terrible idea, now roll your big honking greatsword attack.

That's the assumption they led with since they didn't go into the hypothetical scenario with any more detail than ending it with "um, you sure?" in response to the Fighter wanting to cast the spell, when they had just previously stated the Fighter would never cast it.

You're reading more into it than I did, then. Not that you're wrong, but the quotes flow a little strangely if you read it that way.

Silver Crusade

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Not really, the GM asking "Um, you sure?" translates to "do something else".


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JiCi wrote:

Their cantrips are now scalable by levels... or half their levels to correspond to their heighest spell levels.

They now have some sort of unlimited ammo.

They have unlimited ammo... which costs 2 actions to activate and deals less damage than an arrow shot by an archer.

Archer : 3 strikes per round, wizard: one cantrip + one strike per round (good luck hitting that one, since your primary characteristic is not dexterity).

Yeah, thank god for unlimited ammo.

Silver Crusade

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Cantrips go off the casting stat, not Dexterity.

And unlimited is nothing to sneeze at, the Archer doesn't have unlimited arrows.

But yes, the Archer specialized in Archery, will do more damage with Archery than the unlimited side spell the caster has. that's not a bad thing.


Rysky wrote:
And unlimited is nothing to sneeze at, the Archer doesn't have unlimited arrows.

You are so right. In fact, even if we limit the caster to the same number of castings as archer has arrows, archer will run out of them at least twice as fast - three times in fact due to 3 action limit meaning you can only cast a cantrip once per round. Wow, cantrips are so OP!

NOTE: I think cantrips overall are in fine area, gives a bit of power consistently without being too powerful. I only made this comment because I dislike bad arguments and want to point out the problems with them.

Silver Crusade

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They're not, they're viable.


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Andarr wrote:
JiCi wrote:

Their cantrips are now scalable by levels... or half their levels to correspond to their heighest spell levels.

They now have some sort of unlimited ammo.

They have unlimited ammo... which costs 2 actions to activate and deals less damage than an arrow shot by an archer.

Archer : 3 strikes per round, wizard: one cantrip + one strike per round (good luck hitting that one, since your primary characteristic is not dexterity).

Yeah, thank god for unlimited ammo.

1d4+4 is not less than 1d8 or even 1d8+2.


NemoNoName wrote:
Rysky wrote:
And unlimited is nothing to sneeze at, the Archer doesn't have unlimited arrows.
You are so right. In fact, even if we limit the caster to the same number of castings as archer has arrows, archer will run out of them at least twice as fast - three times in fact due to 3 action limit meaning you can only cast a cantrip once per round.
Or, to go a different route:
Quote:
the archer doesn't have unlimited arrows

You are so right! a single gold piece for 100 arrows is such a significant expense, gosh how is the archer ever going to avoid running out of arrows? It's going to happen never in a million years!

And same, while I think cantrips could be better, they're not too horrible either.

Silver Crusade

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While price isn't much on an issue and neither is bulk (maybe) there's other issues that could crop up, revolving around have the arrows taken away in some fashion or event. Also underwater.


Alyran wrote:
Yun E. Bears wrote:
graystone wrote:
totoro wrote:
I meant reasonable from her perspective.
I think what you're trying to say is that she picked what she saw as thematic for her character: That's 100% fine but as the DM you should prepare her by letting her know that because of her build, thematic in this case equals useless.
Sorry if I sound confrontational, but...How is this supposed to be a good thing?
I mean telling someone their build is useless isn't really a good thing. However, neither is trying to have 5 creatures worth of actions. That's terrible for everyone else at the table, so they limited the ability to do that. All of that should be explained to the player as soon as it's apparent that they want to have all the animals.

I don't think it's a bad thing to let someone know that their idea doesn't work mechanically in the game or is mechanically sub par. If the player doesn't actually look at the way things work and just pick things that look nice/right then they have no way to know how they actually fit together and that's when a DM should step in and offer advice.

As to the specific "How is this supposed to be a good thing?", well it's a good thing in that the player might then actually take the time to actually figure out what things work instead of picking things that sound " thematic" in the future and will then understand how the game works better. You can't pick random things in a game that 'sound' right and expect them to work because of that: it's not the games fault if you expect that to work.


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Rysky wrote:
bulk

LOL This is why my alchemist wants cantrips: I'm encumbered if I pick up a crossbow, let alone the ammo for it. :(

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
Rysky wrote:
bulk
LOL This is why my alchemist wants cantrips: I'm encumbered if I pick up a crossbow, let alone the ammo for it. :(

Get a tripod for the crossbow. Also use your empty potion vials for ammo.


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Rysky wrote:
Get a tripod for the crossbow.

Is that some kind of alchemy familiar? I'll buy 2! ;)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Funny enough a reward for going through one of the modules out right now is to get an alchemist crossbow.


Eltacolibre wrote:

Funny enough a reward for going through one of the modules out right now is to get an alchemist crossbow.

Clearly for another class that multiclasses into alchemist. :P


Andarr wrote:
JiCi wrote:

Their cantrips are now scalable by levels... or half their levels to correspond to their heighest spell levels.

They now have some sort of unlimited ammo.

They have unlimited ammo... which costs 2 actions to activate and deals less damage than an arrow shot by an archer.

Archer : 3 strikes per round, wizard: one cantrip + one strike per round (good luck hitting that one, since your primary characteristic is not dexterity).

Yeah, thank god for unlimited ammo.

Don't you think it was a bit dumb that cantrips didn't scale according to your level?

Spellcasters will use their spells to defend themselves, so why not make them accessible and scalable?

Also... I keep reading and re-reading the rules, and... I can cast Ray of Frost 3 times for 3 attacks, each dealing 5d4 points of cold damage... or Produce Flame 3 tmes for 3 attacks, each dealing 5d4 points of fire damage..., both at 10th level.

If you guys ever wanted an Eldritch or Kinetic Blast, there you go.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JiCi wrote:
Also... I keep reading and re-reading the rules, and... I can cast Ray of Frost 3 times for 3 attacks, each dealing 5d4 points of cold damage... or Produce Flame 3 tmes for 3 attacks, each dealing 5d4 points of fire damage..., both at 10th level.

All the offensive cantrips take two actions to cast, you're not going to be casting them more than once in a round.


Rysky wrote:
Cantrips go off the casting stat, not Dexterity.

he was talking about the "strike" as it was cantrip + strike


rooneg wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Also... I keep reading and re-reading the rules, and... I can cast Ray of Frost 3 times for 3 attacks, each dealing 5d4 points of cold damage... or Produce Flame 3 tmes for 3 attacks, each dealing 5d4 points of fire damage..., both at 10th level.
All the offensive cantrips take two actions to cast, you're not going to be casting them more than once in a round.

You're still going to be better off with a cantrip than an arrow, at least if you're a spellcaster.

Still, my point is that spellcasters downright suck with it comes to combat, or they are not suited for it. They can cast spells, but these are often dangerous and precarious to use. If you want them to rely on their spells to defend themselves, 1) give them unlimited use (which cantrips are) and 2) give them an extra punch.


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A mean, a big thing about Cantrips is that they are literally free. You get them as spells known without additional expense, and they continue to upgrade them without spending money, unlike the archer who is going to spent at least 40,000 GP on their bow (likely much more) over the course of their career.

It would suck to play an archer if the cantrip blaster can be just as good as you at this with minimal investment.


That, and cantrips are for backup attacks, triggering weaknesses, or rider effects, not DPR.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

A mean, a big thing about Cantrips is that they are literally free. You get them as spells known without additional expense, and they continue to upgrade them without spending money, unlike the archer who is going to spent at least 40,000 GP on their bow (likely much more) over the course of their career.

It would suck to play an archer if the cantrip blaster can be just as good as you at this with minimal investment.

How does the damage from blasting spells stack up to archers?


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Doompatrol wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

A mean, a big thing about Cantrips is that they are literally free. You get them as spells known without additional expense, and they continue to upgrade them without spending money, unlike the archer who is going to spent at least 40,000 GP on their bow (likely much more) over the course of their career.

It would suck to play an archer if the cantrip blaster can be just as good as you at this with minimal investment.

How does the damage from blasting spells stack up to archers?

It depends. A True Strike boosted Disintegrate does quite a lot of expected damage.


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I feel like the difference between an archer and a blaster should be that the archer wins on consistency, but the blaster wins on flexibility and nova damage. Archers are attacking 1-3 targets per round before level 18 and can't as easily change damage type. An archer could conceivably spend every feat until level 14 on "shooting arrows well", a blaster would be hard pressed on similar specialization.


Xenocrat wrote:
Doompatrol wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

A mean, a big thing about Cantrips is that they are literally free. You get them as spells known without additional expense, and they continue to upgrade them without spending money, unlike the archer who is going to spent at least 40,000 GP on their bow (likely much more) over the course of their career.

It would suck to play an archer if the cantrip blaster can be just as good as you at this with minimal investment.

How does the damage from blasting spells stack up to archers?
It depends. A True Strike boosted Disintegrate does quite a lot of expected damage.

I suspect caster damage gets pretty nutty once you get to the point your 1st level slots can just be True Strike.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Doompatrol wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

A mean, a big thing about Cantrips is that they are literally free. You get them as spells known without additional expense, and they continue to upgrade them without spending money, unlike the archer who is going to spent at least 40,000 GP on their bow (likely much more) over the course of their career.

It would suck to play an archer if the cantrip blaster can be just as good as you at this with minimal investment.

How does the damage from blasting spells stack up to archers?
It depends. A True Strike boosted Disintegrate does quite a lot of expected damage.
I suspect caster damage gets pretty nutty once you get to the point your 1st level slots can just be True Strike.

At 6th level you buy a Staff of Divination and get three free True Strikes per day, goes up to four when you hit 7th level.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Doompatrol wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

A mean, a big thing about Cantrips is that they are literally free. You get them as spells known without additional expense, and they continue to upgrade them without spending money, unlike the archer who is going to spent at least 40,000 GP on their bow (likely much more) over the course of their career.

It would suck to play an archer if the cantrip blaster can be just as good as you at this with minimal investment.

How does the damage from blasting spells stack up to archers?
It depends. A True Strike boosted Disintegrate does quite a lot of expected damage.
I suspect caster damage gets pretty nutty once you get to the point your 1st level slots can just be True Strike.

Dunno, I've been pretty underwhelmed by the numbers on spells such as Flame Strike and Finger of Death, is it because they are Divine? An archer can probably do more damage in any one round than those spells at the level you get them.

Most blasts don't get to use True Strike, either.

Dark Archive

ChibiNyan wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Doompatrol wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

A mean, a big thing about Cantrips is that they are literally free. You get them as spells known without additional expense, and they continue to upgrade them without spending money, unlike the archer who is going to spent at least 40,000 GP on their bow (likely much more) over the course of their career.

It would suck to play an archer if the cantrip blaster can be just as good as you at this with minimal investment.

How does the damage from blasting spells stack up to archers?
It depends. A True Strike boosted Disintegrate does quite a lot of expected damage.
I suspect caster damage gets pretty nutty once you get to the point your 1st level slots can just be True Strike.

Dunno, I've been pretty underwhelmed by the numbers on spells such as Flame Strike and Finger of Death, is it because they are Divine? An archer can probably do more damage in any one round than those spells at the level you get them.

Most blasts don't get to use True Strike, either.

I doubt an archer could do more damage than Finger of Death in a single turn without crits; 70 damage is a lot for 13th level. That's about 1/3 to 1/4 of an equal level monster's hp and it still does half on a "miss" and has the potential to crit as well. As for flame strike (and the same would go for spells like fireball or cone of cold) it is not and should not do the same damage against a single target due to its aoe. As soon as you put a second monster in the area the damage it can deal doubles. The issue may be that there isn't single target and aoe blasts at every level, but that issue will hopefully be resolved in time, at least for the blasty spell lists which divine is perhaps the least directly offensive list.


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There's a thread right now showing average Martial damage at every level if you want to see for yourself. It is indeed not 70 at level 13, but Finger of Death is not doing 70 average damage, it's closer to 52~ against a lv13 enemy. They are surprisingly close!


graystone wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Get a tripod for the crossbow.
Is that some kind of alchemy familiar? I'll buy 2! ;)

That's actually a cool idea. I'm not seeing any mention of carrying capacity for familiars. But having a familiar serve like a golf-caddie carrying stuff for you could be kind of neat, and help with the bulk issues alchemists have (I don't know why it wasn't fixed from the playtest). And I do like the idea of a walking tripod with your crossbow mounted to it. I did have an idea some time ago for a ratfolk character with a massive crossbow mounted on the back of a riding rat (I ended up going a different direction with the character), and this has a similar vibe to me, but smaller. The Tiny size might pose a problem with this. But it does seem like it might be a viable option to explore in the future. It could then maybe reload your crossbow for you as well. It comes out equal, action wise, for a standard crossbow. But for a heavy, you can use one of your actions to command it to reload with both of it's actions, giving you third action (after shooting) that you wouldn't have on your own.


totoro wrote:
I'm sure you're right about spellcasters being better. My players just didn't make the right choices and I am not smart enough to see what choices would have done the trick, at least for Fall of Plaguestone. No doubt, those spells are awesome when we finally figure out how to play this game. Unfortunately, we are going to move onto Hellknight Hill with new characters now that we have gotten some experience and we are just going to houserule spellcasters to give them A LOT more power. Open spell slots (choose spell on the fly) feels about right. I'll be around to say how that goes.

Now, being true to form you should, of course, not implement any house rules and just have everyone create a fighter. Then come back and let us know how your 4 fighters roll through the entire AP without a problem due to them being so superior to casters at hitting things.


GentleGiant wrote:
totoro wrote:
I'm sure you're right about spellcasters being better. My players just didn't make the right choices and I am not smart enough to see what choices would have done the trick, at least for Fall of Plaguestone. No doubt, those spells are awesome when we finally figure out how to play this game. Unfortunately, we are going to move onto Hellknight Hill with new characters now that we have gotten some experience and we are just going to houserule spellcasters to give them A LOT more power. Open spell slots (choose spell on the fly) feels about right. I'll be around to say how that goes.
Now, being true to form you should, of course, not implement any house rules and just have everyone create a fighter. Then come back and let us know how your 4 fighters roll through the entire AP without a problem due to them being so superior to casters at hitting things.

I get what you mean, but I'm pretty sure you can make a reasonable team composition out of 4 Fighters in PF2, especially if you include some multi-classing. I think you could do this with most of the classes, though.


GentleGiant wrote:
totoro wrote:
I'm sure you're right about spellcasters being better. My players just didn't make the right choices and I am not smart enough to see what choices would have done the trick, at least for Fall of Plaguestone. No doubt, those spells are awesome when we finally figure out how to play this game. Unfortunately, we are going to move onto Hellknight Hill with new characters now that we have gotten some experience and we are just going to houserule spellcasters to give them A LOT more power. Open spell slots (choose spell on the fly) feels about right. I'll be around to say how that goes.
Now, being true to form you should, of course, not implement any house rules and just have everyone create a fighter. Then come back and let us know how your 4 fighters roll through the entire AP without a problem due to them being so superior to casters at hitting things.

Good call! I don't know if you did a comparison through theorycrafting or this is just a case of a broken clock is right twice a day, but 2 fighters, a barbarian, and a druid rolled through Plaguestone with trivial ease. I made a couple mistakes, like not advancing the party a level when I was supposed to, but because they were martials, it wasn't a big deal. I believe the game designers expected a balanced party, which would have been much harder. In any case, you are correct! Well done!


Xenocrat wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Doompatrol wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

A mean, a big thing about Cantrips is that they are literally free. You get them as spells known without additional expense, and they continue to upgrade them without spending money, unlike the archer who is going to spent at least 40,000 GP on their bow (likely much more) over the course of their career.

It would suck to play an archer if the cantrip blaster can be just as good as you at this with minimal investment.

How does the damage from blasting spells stack up to archers?
It depends. A True Strike boosted Disintegrate does quite a lot of expected damage.
I suspect caster damage gets pretty nutty once you get to the point your 1st level slots can just be True Strike.
At 6th level you buy a Staff of Divination and get three free True Strikes per day, goes up to four when you hit 7th level.

If you have an 11th level caster, which is what is required for disintegration, it is more cost-effective to research a new spell called "attack like an 11th level fighter with a +2 striking greatsword for one round." Rolling twice due to true strike improves the attack roll by an average of 3.325 and true strike + disintegrate takes all 3 actions. The fighter only has +2 above the wizard, but gets to attack three times instead of once.

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