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Thread: More on Magic

  1. #1

    More on Magic

    Alright guys, we've gotten a lot of questions about the spell system. What circles certain spells may fall into, how circles might interact and how spell effects might combine. I finally realized that I needed to do another post explaining the philosophy behind the spell circles so we could use the direction we're moving in to draw inspiration from. Now, if you haven't already read it you may want to take a look at the first post I did about the magical system. You can find it here:

    The Spell System

    Now, there are three different facets we're trying to capture with the magical system.

    First, the circles address spell sorting by putting together spell lists from two philosophic approaches. One set of circles sorts spells by their “Element”, the other set sorts spells by their “Effect”. Why did we go with this method? It gives the player a great amount of flexibility with regard to selecting the spells that may end up in their research pool without giving them total control. So, although you can't just pick the spells you want to end up in your pool you'll be able to have a lot of control over what you can get. Obviously, you can get fire spells by choosing the Fire circle and destruction spells by choosing the Destruction circle. However, here we run into the first bit of confusion. Where does “Fireball” fit into the circles. Well, in both the Fire and Destruction circles. So, how can you get it in your research pool? Take either fire or destruction or both. The element and effect circles “stack”. So if you want to be a fire mage, but want access to all the low level destruction spells you could take one tier of destruction and eight in fire. The result would be that you could research all (not considering the random element) the tire 1 destruction spells, all the tier 1 through tier 8 fire spells and whatever the tier 9 fire based destruction spell is. Now, this may seem very confusing, but you will get the hang of it very quickly. In the spell descriptions it will tell you what circles the spell belongs to along with it's tier. While you're making your sorcerer you'll be able to check your potential spell list at any time. You'll be able to play around with it until you get just what you want before you save that sorcerer.

    Second, we have the concept of cross-circle spells. The idea is that certain spells REQUIRE more than one circle to access. So, it's not a matter of either/or, but of AND. For instance lightning based spells will all require Air and Water. (Keep in mind guys this is all tentative. The previous statement represent the current plan, not something set in stone.) Other “Nature” spells might require all four of the classic elemental circles. Why are we doing this? Well, it stands up conceptually. Lighting really could be considered Air and Water. (You know, Air and Fire might be a better match. We need to think about it.) Also, it will give players that spread their points out between multiple circles the ability to cast a much wider range of spells. So, the choice becomes putting everything you've got into Air and getting the tier 9 air spells or dividing your points between Air and Water and getting access to lightning based spells. This can really matter because of things like damage resistance. What we're trying to do is offer players something for choosing diversity. If you don't get something extra for choosing more than one type of magic why do it? Most of us remember the Max Books strategy in MoM. If WoM ends up with something like that then the tiers are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. We don't want choosing multiple circles to be a hollow choice. You need to be able to spend your points all on one circle or four or five and still bring the same level of magical power to the game.

    The third facet could almost be considered a form of crafting, lol. (No nerd rage! Hear me out!!) The idea is that certain spells can “combine” to make new spells. I've used the example of “Flaming Grease” more than once, but it's a good example. Say that you have setup a sorcerer to use Earth and Fire. You get the opportunity to research “Produce Flame” and “Grease”. After you research BOTH you will be given the opportunity to research “Flaming Grease” which is a unique spell which combines the effects of both those spells. It will cost a bit more than either, but not as much as casting both. Also, of course, you'll get the effect with one cast, not two. Now, say you cast Grease on a target and then Produce Flame. Would you get the “Flaming Grease” effect. Yes, probably. However, researching the spell will give you the ability to do it in one turn and at a lower mana cost.

    Now, I admit this may be a bit to take in at first. However, I really feel that people will pick it up fairly quickly once they start playing with it. What are your thoughts? Do you guys like the idea in general? Do you have any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Moderator Aldaron's Avatar
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    I love it. It's not without it's problems (many spells are not easy to include in just one element and on effect). But it's benefits are great. Can't wait to play with it!

  3. #3
    I really like the sound of this system! It seems like it will be fairly intuitive once we actually get to play around in it. One quick question: We've talked about cross-circle spells from the element perspective. Are you planning any cross-circle spells from the effect perspective? For that matter, wouldn't focusing on an effect circle allow me all kinds of quick access to combination spells?

    Also, the broad concept of element combinations make sense to me like so:

    Air+Fire= Lightning. Light
    Air+Water= Snow
    Air+Earth= Sandstorms? Tornadoes?

    Fire+Earth= Iron. Meteors (Maybe Meteors would be a better Air+Earth)
    Fire+Water= Lava/Magma

    Water+Earth= Mud? Landslides? Clay?

  4. #4
    Good cross examples Iron Kaiser.

    Focusing on an effects circle may very well open up a lot of combo spells. We'll have to kind of wait and see how it naturally unfolds though.

    I would like to have cross-circle spells that were two or more effects circles or an elemental circle and an effect circle. We just have to put a bit more think time into it and see how much we can stir up our imaginations!

  5. #5
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
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    So, one quick question. If I spent all my points on both the life and the necromancy schools, would that actually get me anything, or would that not combo at all?

    Because them not combing at all seems sad, but I'm having a hard time seeing how they would combo.

  6. #6
    Abecedarian Mage Trudd's Avatar
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    Indeed, some magical cross-circle might be ujneffective (life-death, protection-destruction,...)
    Maybe some cross-circle choice should be forbidden, like was life and death in MoM.

  7. #7
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    Keep in mind necromancy is not death magic in WoM. So while Life and Death may be mutually exclusive Life and Necromancy will not. This is a point of confusion that I think will keep coming up and Suggestions have been made to change the Necromancy name to biomancy or physiomancy or something else.

  8. #8
    Mage of the Lesser Tower Rybon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asmodai View Post
    Keep in mind necromancy is not death magic in WoM. So while Life and Death may be mutually exclusive Life and Necromancy will not. This is a point of confusion that I think will keep coming up and Suggestions have been made to change the Necromancy name to biomancy or physiomancy or something else.
    Why? Did I miss something that Necromancy is not Death Magic? I mean I think this goes back to what this term conjures for the average person. To me Necromancy and Death Magic go hand in Hand. Naming it different is just confusing for people.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rybon View Post
    Why? Did I miss something that Necromancy is not Death Magic? I mean I think this goes back to what this term conjures for the average person. To me Necromancy and Death Magic go hand in Hand. Naming it different is just confusing for people.
    You should read the Necromancy thread: http://forum.wastelands-interactive....840-Necromancy
    Real programmers don't comment their code - it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.

  10. #10
    It needs a name change! I accept that now!! Ahhhh!!!

    Sorry... must be the all the work I'm having to do, lol.

    Seriously though: Biomancy

    I don't remember who made the suggestion, but it's a good one

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