The issue becomes he has she has and EW set the bar so high that anything else fails to measure up. I look at Warlocks now and it's costing people platinum coins left and right while an EW spell component is extremely common and littered all over the moors right next to their guild hall for the same spell.
If that is the case, and a good case needs to be brought to my attention, then this is something that I will take action to address. For magic guilds, there are a number of key principles that need to be met. I don't know if I have publicly raised it before, but i'll articulate it here so you understand my position:
*** PRINCIPLE 1: The additional combat aid benefit that magic guilds have
*** over other guilds needs to be balanced with appropriate
*** PRINCIPLE 2: At a minimum, magic guilds drawbacks need to
*** take into consideration mana usage, component requirements
*** for their spells, and melee combat vulnerability. These drawbacks
*** are more pronounced for occupational guilds.
*** PRINCIPLE 3: Powerful magic is reserved for occupational magic guilds.
*** Layman guilds are dabbler classes, and are to provide
*** support to an occupation.
*** PRINCIPLE 4: When developing a magic guild the distinction of class
*** needs to be clear. In general, Mage classes are strong
*** offensive with no healing abilities, while clerical
*** classes have access to healing magicks
These are the principles I consider when I build and review magic guilds. The concern you have raised hits on principles 1 and 2. Now, this can be subjective and perception of drawbacks may not be obvious to non-members... members are definitely not going to make them public knowledge! It is part of the mystery of magic. BUT there has to be drawbacks.
If you genuinely think a guild does not align with these principles, put a case forward to me and I will (caveat) investigate. Make it a strong case, for my caveat is if you waste my time I 'red card' you and consider future cases as scuttlebutt. Boy who cried wolf kind of thing.
So while I agree with your line of thinking that drawbacks should be in place it's really hard to justify as long as one of the most controversial magical laymans for over the past decade has literally had none. And that's not crying it's just a simple factual comparison.
I love factual comparisons. Especially when I hold all the guild data. Having said that, mortals have an ingenious habit of getting around intended restrictions. So again, bring anything you think breaks the principles i've outlined above to my attention.
The other issue is much the same when you use lore as an argument in a game that is not roleplay enforced, has things like Morgul Mages? Dragon Armies that are restricted to one weapon type, Angmar Armies that are tanks which can only move behind other tanks, Gladiators that only know how to use axes, Hobbits tanking Dragons and slaying them with weapons such as Wyrmslayer that is about twice as long as them while wearing a deathplate that somehow now fits them from a giant Death Knight... I mean you can go on and on with the discrepancies. I've no idea what the Heralds get now but I agree with Amberlee, usability and mechanics should always come first and the lore wrapped around it to give it flavor.
Sorry, lore and thematics are king. We are a game of narrative, not min/maxxing. There are boundaries which I police... but while we have a Keeper who pushes those boundaries with everything he creates (which I love) that is always going to trump equalisation. Agreed, usability and mechanics are very important... but you have to be understanding that there are 30 year old foundational elements to the game that would be incredibly time consuming (if at all possible) to change. Lengths of weapons vs character race height type? Yeah we get that. There are just some elements of the game that we just have to accept as idiosyncrasies of one of the oldest online games in the world. You can't get bogged down in some of these discrepancies *Arman whispers 'let it go'*.
Now we don't want to dictate roleplay... Genesis is a sandbox. The idea is to facilitate it, with code to support specific roleplay immersion. The Heralds have been changed to a guild that better reflects Tolkien's view on magic in the fourth millennium in the Third Age. The Valar do not influence events directly. Instead of being booted from the guild for killing an eagle or healing someone evil, there is now a corruption element which allows players choice in actions - however potentially negative consequences which impact on spell effectiveness. In fact, the new Heralds recode is heavily influenced by the MERP roleplay material. It is very thematic and true to that. I make no apologies for the new pros and cons... for in my biased opinion it is a vast improvement on what was there previously. Having said that i'll look in to the mounted issue... I can't promise anything as any possible solution is code-messy though.
I am not sure what you mean on your point about the Morgul Mages, although they fit within the principles of magic guilds outlined above as well as combat aid limits. Having said that, as someone who remembers what the original Morgul Mages were, I don't really like the recode. Morgul Mages are on my radar for a recode... and I am talking blank slate recode in collaboration with the guild leadership. Discussions have commenced, but don't expect anything soon... rangers have priority before MMs.
Agree with you re: Dragonarmies and the singular weapon option use. I hope to address that issue when I release the recode of the Krynn warfare system. As i've flagged in my yearly update as liege of Krynn, the warfare system is something I think is very important to reinvigorate, and was my focus post opening of the WoHS.