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Thread: Playing through the Tutorial

  1. #11
    Okay, I gotcha. I don't think I saw that thread. I had the old MoM sliders in mind when I made those comments. In MoM, it was All-or-Nothing, IIRC. I wasn't connecting the Mana to it; just considering it a distribution of the application of Spellcraft.

    Now I've got it, though, and it seems fine.

  2. #12
    Archmage of the Outer Ring jamoecw's Avatar
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    so it is overland casting, not all casting? if you have a battle coming up and are trying to conserve mana for it, wouldn't you adjust the bubbles to get more mana? if it is just overland casting, then saving some casting points would allow you to have some for battle (assuming such takes from your casting points at the beginning of your turn and not the end). does it allow casting while a long term spell is in the works?

    if all it does is dump the unallocated into the reserves bubble, then it doesn't really have an advantage other than something else to keep track of while adjusting things (which isn't an advantage). if it does do something different, i'd add the third bar that the points are going into and link them so it doesn't look like a bug (and it will help people from being confused on what it is for).

    it would be nice to input a number instead of moving the sliders, to allow easy finetunement.

  3. #13
    The Casting/Crafting bar only effects overland casting, not the battle board.

    Just like in MoM you can spend up to your Casting Skill in mana in each and every battle.

    Jamo, you have to keep in mind that the spheres manage income and the bars manage expenditures. And, yes, you can use either (or both) to save mana. It all depends on how you want to go about it.

    Take my previous example for instance: You currently have a Casting Skill of 110. That means you can spend 110 mana per turn on casting overland spells and/or crafting each turn. (It also means you can spend 110 mana per battle, but that doesn't really come into this.) Now, we'll just say you have a Power base of 180. First you've got you're income divided up thus:

    Casting Skill: 60
    Mana: 60
    Research: 60

    That basically means you're getting 60 mana crystals from Power per turn. (There are other sources of mana, but again, that doesn't really come into it here.)

    Now, you've decided to cast a unit enchantment and create a simple keen longsword +1. You're currently bringing in 60 mana per turn and can spend up to 110. Well, there are several things you can do.

    One: Spend 110 mana per turn, loosing mana all the while, until you're done casting or crafting.

    Two: Spend 110 mana per turn, after moving your Power Spheres so that you're getting at least 110 mana per turn. (Casting Skill 35, Mana 110, Research 35, for instance.)

    Three: Lower you're Casting and Crafting to spend 60 mana (or less) per turn. (By setting the Casting/Crafting bars to 30/30 for instance.)

    In my mind you don't always want to save mana by making more, sometimes you want to spend less.

    Now, the argument could be made that you could just save up the mana in advance and then cast and/or craft. And that is a valid argument. In fact, that's very much how it worked in MoM (but you couldn't cast and craft at the same time).

    However, I don't like to do it that way. Personally, I like to get all my irons in the fire (mainly so I don't forget to put them in there) and work on everything at once, making a little progress on everything turn by turn. For those that just want to save up and cast or craft they can. Me, I can cast, craft, and save up mana without hurting my casting skill growth or research progress.

    This feature is all about adding options, not taking any away. The only negative thing it adds is confusion. When people pull one bar down they expect the other to move up. If we can find a good way to break through that confusion I think it's a good solid system.

    Thoughts?
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  4. #14
    Archmage of the Inner Ring ampoliros's Avatar
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    I hate to say it, but I think the only way to break through the initial confusion will be a physical separation.
    I get it now... after your careful explanation - but I was just as confused as everyone else.

    The tutorial will have to spend a lot more time on the spell window if the layout doesn't change. And will basically have to give your careful explanation.

    One nice addition would be a "Match speed to target" button to force the expenditure sliders to match your current income.
    (do you catch my reference?)

  5. #15
    Thanks Aaron for that explanation, it's much more clear now.

    It's already a mechanic that's in so it's probably going to stay, but as a counterpoint I think that's going to cause issues (micromanagement) in later turns . For instance,

    Power: 180
    Spellcraft:110

    Crafting:80 (I'm making an item)
    Casting: 30 (I'm doing low-level unit enchants)

    So, in turn 7, I'm done buffing my army and am doing my World Domination thing (attacking w/ armies). My item is still being made behind the scenes, but unless I specifically remember to go change the slider, only 80 mana is going into the crafting and the 30 casting mana is just being dumped into my mana pool?

    Also, if an item is finished crafting and I'm in the middle of casting a big spell (say, Planar Seal), I'd have to remember to go in and up the cast bar so that the 80 mana doesn't get pooled. Between founding cities, exploring, and army building, I'm pretty sure that spellcraft slider will be frequently forgotten. (Until I'm going to cast the next spell and open the interface. *facepalm*)

    Personally, I'd expect that if I wasn't casting an overland spell that turn, the extra 30 mana would automatically be re-routed to crafting.

    Another idea is maybe do a toggle between the two sliders that lets us change between modes. Default is locked (as most people expect) but you can unlock them if you want to conserve mana and craft/cast less for some reason.
    Last edited by WyldeRhide; 04-12-2014 at 02:40 PM. Reason: Added a Finished Crafting scenario

  6. #16
    Archmage of the Outer Ring jamoecw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Jamo, you have to keep in mind that the spheres manage income and the bars manage expenditures. And, yes, you can use either (or both) to save mana. It all depends on how you want to go about it.
    ...
    Thoughts?
    Quote Originally Posted by jamoecw View Post
    i'd add the third bar that the points are going into and link them so it doesn't look like a bug (and it will help people from being confused on what it is for).

    it would be nice to input a number instead of moving the sliders, to allow easy finetunement.
    so the third bar is reserve.

    when i had looked at it, it had the same value as the points allocated in spellcraft, i had thought it just a sub allocation of those points. i'd use different labels, as they are different things:
    MoM magic page.jpg

    it doesn't take much, just skill, and spell skill. i'd probably go with spellcraft and casting skill.

    edit: @wylderhide - what if you expected it to go to reserve instead? maybe you chose not to cast to conserve mana (like all other games without this option). perhaps a lock bar toggle (like MoM) and an auto adjust toggle (so it would dump the extra unused into the other bars/values/categories that weren't locked), and have it so it didn't change the set values (so they aren't all crazy when you want to turn off the auto adjust for whatever reason).

    edit 2:
    example:
    CraftingTurnNew.jpg

    crafting is locked (the star thing is supposed to represent the MoM glowing when a bar is locked, clicking it again would unlock it, clicking something else would lock the other thing), nothing will be added to it, and nothing taken away (green bar is what the auto adjust levels). little was casted this turn so the left over goes to reserve (the only other one left). lowering reserve raises casting, due to crafting being locked, otherwise it would raise both. the main reason reserve is there is to avoid confusion, and to allow one to increase and decrease the other two easily while keeping the same ratio. i'd probably make it so that if you click the numbers you can input specific amounts (and the others would adjust accordingly as if you set the bar to that level) to allow pinpoint adjustments.
    Last edited by jamoecw; 04-12-2014 at 11:39 PM.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by jamoecw View Post

    edit: @wylderhide - what if you expected it to go to reserve instead? maybe you chose not to cast to conserve mana (like all other games without this option). perhaps a lock bar toggle (like MoM) and an auto adjust toggle (so it would dump the extra unused into the other bars/values/categories that weren't locked), and have it so it didn't change the set values (so they aren't all crazy when you want to turn off the auto adjust for whatever reason).
    (None of this post is snark, just worded to stress the direction I'm thinking.)

    Well, like I said, I would expect it to go the thing I'm spending mana on already. My thought is: "I'm making an item and casting a spell. Once the spell is cast, I'm still making an item." I'm not thinking about adding to my mana reserve (probably because MoM didn't let you conserve mana), but I am thinking about getting that item crafted. So, to me, any remaining mana would get diverted to the thing I'm actively doing.

    Honestly, I don't care which it is, but if it's going to go to Mana Storage, there ought to be an indicator of some sort to make it obvious.

  8. #18
    Archmage of the Outer Ring jamoecw's Avatar
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    no snark taken. just trying to come at it from different angles to foresee issues people might have and how to eliminate needless micro. most of the time i'd probably use it just like you (set the amount i want to spend and simply control my casting to balance between the two). in MoM i'd control how much i spent on skill to keep a situation like aaron was talking about from happening, but more control is good (as long as it isn't cumbersome and confusing, but that is almost always an interface thing).

    so basically my advice is: control and indicators, yo. (a little cheesy ET humor)

  9. #19
    Sorcerer of the Lesser Tower
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    Could we possibly just keep the "120" spellcraft as "Spellcraft" and change the "110" spellcraft to "Skill"? It is confusing to have two numbers labeled "Spellcraft" on the same page.

  10. #20
    ampoliros, in some circles I'm considered a “Quote Master”, but I admit I missed your reference. Sadly I'm also not sure I follow your meaning. Could you tell me what the "Match speed to target" button would do?

    I'm also not sure how we could make the GUI more clear off the top of my head. At the end of the day it needs to be clear, however.

    WyldeRhide, it doesn't actually work like that either. No, I'm afraid it's even more confusing than that.

    OK, so, the bar only comes into play if you're casting and crafting at the same time. It's also a representation of percentage of skill dedicated, not points of skill dedicated. (← How's that for easy to understand?)

    So, if you have 100 Casting Skill and set the bars up for Casting 40/ Crafting 40 you are actually setting them up for Casting 40%/Crafting 40%. If your skill is 200 you'll actually be spending 80 mana on each per turn.

    Now, as the bars only apply if you're Casting and Crafting it would work like this: You have 100 Casting Skill and your bars are set to 40/40. If you are just casting then 80 mana is spent per turn on casting. If you are just crafting then 80 mana is spent per turn on crafting. If you're casting and crafting then 40 mana will be spent on each.

    I really like this mechanic because it gives you a great deal of control over what you're spending per turn on casting and crafting. It does this with just two little GUI bars. The problem is: How do we make it clear that these two little bars have all this power?

    Myk, what page are you talking about? We want to do as much “Confusion Reduction” as we can, lol.
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