Wands as Ranged Weapons
Wands and Staves should never have been artifacts. Part of what killed this game for a lot of my friends, and diminishes it for me, is that no matter what build you have, your 'class' is basically warrior. Either a melee warrior or a ranged one. Either way, you are just a mundane 'muggle' who happened to find some magic, even if it is a really cool wand and spellcaster's garb - you are still just a warrior.
What would change that is converting wands (and staves if they are added) to the primary slots as Ranged (wands) or Melee (staves), with accompanying effects based on their type. Wands would cause effects to occur at distance (like dropping a boulder on someone's head, or firing a poison ball or something). Staves would cause effects in the immediate area (causing the ground to ice up all around you slowing or freezing enemies in the immediate area, or a fear effect, perhaps)
Having them as artifacts only makes them items you never see in the hands of the wielder, for one, and are always 'that toy' you just happen to have around and use here and there, but for the most part, your 'wizard' is swinging a sword or firing a bow. There needs to be "caster's" weapons, and wands/staves fit perfectly for that, and would also give the developers a great deal more room to create new stuff, as they would be new lines of weapons, not just artifacts.
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