Well, we have similar ideas.
As I've said, the casting time IS a real drawback, because the general damage output is by far too high. But the damage per use of both the firebolt and the fireball is also over-average to say the least. So there have to be certain restrictions:
Although the current solution doesn't remove the 'no-move' limitation completely, it's still an exploitable concept. If you ever achieve an 80% cast speed, the drawback is almost gone (0.2sec castimg time for a firebolt is only a blink of the eye), but the advantage of twice as much damage as other skills still remains. That's why Wizards are quire powerful in PvE.
So to address this, you could:
Halve the damage of firebolt
Bring the damage of Firebolt down to the level of a Lightning Bolt and you wouldn't need a casting time. We already discussed this.
Add a 'charge point' requirement for fireball
Many skills work like this: Aura Strike, Deadly Blow, Double Strafing, Heavy Tackle, Curse Burst and Cruel Bite all require some sort of stacks or charge.
And it would work for the Fireball as well. The damage and/or the DoT duration could vary on the number of stacks consumed, just like Aura Strike, Aura Heal or Tension Relax. More stacks consumed = more damage & longer DoT. Fireball Mastery could then be similar to Combo Mastery (Rogue). The next Fireball is casted as if you would have 50 pyro stacks and wouldn't consume any existing stacks. And because Pyromaniac is limited to Wizards only, you would have nerfed the skill for Sorcerers. Lovely.
Add a significantly higher cooldown
Well, not every class knows the charge point restriction. But if a skill has a higher damage output, it also has a much higher cooldown. Examples are: Bowling Bash, Shield Bash, Varetyr Spear, Highness Heal, Wild Crush, Crushing Blow, Shadow Strike, Dual Stab, Illusion Blade and Soul Extortion.
The idea of a cooldown is similar to auto-refilled charge points: Just assume you have invisible stacks that fill up every few seconds and are consumed on every skill use. The cooldown is then only a hint, when you will have enough of these invisible stacks again. I mention this here, because the visible version could be used, but isn't. The holy water stacks of a Priest are the closest and this concept and it could help balance this class. If Aqua Benedicta would generate a single Holy Water every 20sec, it wouldn't be affected by vigor and would prevent an instant refill to 3 Holy Waters. And this concept could be used as 'focus' stacks for the ranger.
Add a 1~2sec animation (delay)
This means you would trade casting time with a longer animation time, that keeps you mobile at least. The skill simply takes effect with a certain delay. This is currently the case with Magnus Exorcism (and surely some other skills).
Other options - short term boost:
A more risky'option is to apply a temporary boost effect, f.e. a 'zero casting time' bonus. That's basically similar to a cooldown concept, but the actual cooldown is 'outsourced' onto another skill. That leaves the original skill usuable in an unboosted manner. It's risky, because the use of the boost is seldom restricted, so the Wizard could have the highest DPS ratio right at the start of a fight. A well-known example is Hide. It doubles the damage of another skill, without increasing the cooldown of that skill. Other examples are the two Awake forms that limits the use of Death Grip and Immunity, Guardian, and many more.
An example with Firebolt:
Take a 305% Lightning Bolt with zero casting time and a 683% Firebolt with 1sec starting casting time.
Any effect that eliminates the casting time of a Firebolt would be as efficient as a different effect that increases the damage of a Lightning Bolt by 124%. In the end, both would deal the same amount of damage and would have zero casting time. Well, in case of the Lightning Bolt, it's the 'freeze' state that could do that.
But an effect that removes the casting time of a 784% Fireball that also has a DoT that deals 1.5 times the original damage distributed over the next 10sec, would be alsmost insane. It would require at least an 157% initial damage increase and would have to grant a 100% success chance for 23 simultaneous stacks of a Shock effect!!!
Despite all this, I still wouldn't exclude this options (even recommended some ideas like this), but mainly for flavor reasons.
But - and this is a HUGE BUT - I would recommend to overhaul the Fireball.
Edited by Greven79, 22 January 2015 - 09:33 AM.