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Thread: The Spell System

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  1. #1

    The Spell System

    We are working on developing a rather new and in-depth magic system for Worlds of Magic. I've decided to explain spells in this post so we can get feedback from the fans about the system. (There will have to be another post about magical items and artifacts.)

    At character creation you'll be allowed to spend “points” on learning schools of magic. (Those of you who remember MoM will, no doubt, remember the spell books. This is much the same idea.)

    All spells are sorted into different “circles” and the circles themselves are divided into two groups. One group sorts spells according to element (or color, or whatever) the other group sorts spells according to effect.

    Elemantal Circles:
    Life
    Death
    Earth
    Fire
    Water
    Wind

    Effect Circles:
    Summoning
    Protection
    Destruction
    Mentalism
    Augmentation
    Necromancy

    Each of the circles is divided into nine tiers. The more points you spend in a circle the more powerful the spells you can cast from that circle.

    So far I hope you're all with me, because here it may get a little confusing.

    The circles “stack”. That is to say that if you have skill in fire and destruction the skill levels are added together for casting fire based destruction spells.

    Fireball is a tier three fire and destruction spell. If you have one rank in fire and two in destruction you can research it. If you one one in destruction and two in fire you can research it. If you have three in fire or destruction you can research it.



    This will allow a player to carefully select circles to open up just the spells they want.

    Also, some spells are natively cross-circle. For instance all lightning based spells are fire and wind. So you have to have one fire and one wind to unlock one lightning.

    Certain spells also unlock combo-spells that combine the separate spells effects. For instance, if you unlock the earth spell Grease and the fire spell Produce Flame you can unlock Flaming Grease which combines the slippery effect of Grease with a Fire DOT.

    Now, I understand this may be a little confusing at first, but when you see it in play it's going to be awesome. What we want from you guys is ideas. What else can we combine? What combo-spells would you like to see happen? Feel free to share your opinion about our magic system and help us make it better.
    Last edited by Aaron; 02-08-2013 at 11:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Fireball is a tier three fire and destruction spell. If you have one rank in fire and two in destruction you can research it. If you one one in destruction and two in fire you can research it. If you have three in fire or destruction you can research it.
    I'm not sure if I like this bit... so to rely on offensive spells I just need one point in every circle and then I can boost my destruction levels every time and still be able to get all the destruction spells from all the circles... this can make leveling up a bit boring...

  3. #3
    I obviously didn't explain every point of the system as well as I should have There are a few points I'll have to clear up to really answer your concern.

    First, the idea behind having two sets of circles is to allow the player to focus either on the element of the spells or the spells' actual effect. So, if you want all the destruction spells you would simply spend all your points (or almost all of them) raising Destruction all the way to tier 9. Then you would be able to research all the destruction spells (not including those that have a cross-over requirement like lightning spells). However, you wouldn't be able to research any protective spells so there is a definite trade off there. From a magical point of view you would become a glass cannon if you see what I mean.

    Second, your sorcerer doesn't “level up” like characters in an RPG. You're not going to get X experience and gain a level. Now, your units and heroes do work like that, but they don't effect the spells you can research. Gaining new circles or reaching higher tiers in circles you already have is going to depend on luck (a little) and hard work (a great deal). You will be able to find items in game that will either open a new circle (if you don't already have it) or raise your tier in a circle (if you do already know it). You will also be able to spend TONS of research to open new circles or gain higher tiers.

    If you were to do what you suggested in your post and open every circle you would only have enough points to open them at tier 1. That would have a rather interesting result. You would be able to do the following:
    Research every tier 1 spell.
    Research every tier 1 cross-circle spell.
    Research every tier 1 combo-spell.
    Research every tier 2 earth destruction spell. (tier 1 in earth + tier 1 in destruction = tier 2 E&D).
    Research every tier 2 fire destruction spell.
    Research all tier 2 elemental (including life and death) destruction spells, but no tier 2 destruction only.
    Research all the tier 2 elemental summoning spells (but no tier 2 summoning only.)
    Etc.

    You see the strength (and weakness) of this strategy? You would have an extremely wide range of spells you could research, but only at very low tiers. Now, this will be a playable strategy because the mana cost will be so low and you will be able to cast the right spell for every situation. However, you have to keep in mind that you can only cast one spell a round. So, although you will be able to hit your opponent's units with just the right spell, you're not going to be able to blast the battle board with Meteor Storm like you could if you had tier 9 in destruction. It's going to be a trade off.

    I think the system works because it supports both extreme (tier 1 in all circles or tier 9 in a single circle) and “middle of the road” play. Say you took 5 tiers of summoning and 4 tiers of fire. You would have a wide range of low level summoning and fire spells and all the way up to tier 9 fire summoning spells. (4 fire + 5 summoning = 9 FS).

    I hope that explains the system a little better. Let me know if you have more questions.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    I obviously didn't explain every point of the system as well as I should have There are a few points I'll have to clear up to really answer your concern.

    First, the idea behind having two sets of circles is to allow the player to focus either on the element of the spells or the spells' actual effect. So, if you want all the destruction spells you would simply spend all your points (or almost all of them) raising Destruction all the way to tier 9. Then you would be able to research all the destruction spells (not including those that have a cross-over requirement like lightning spells). However, you wouldn't be able to research any protective spells so there is a definite trade off there. From a magical point of view you would become a glass cannon if you see what I mean.

    Second, your sorcerer doesn't “level up” like characters in an RPG. You're not going to get X experience and gain a level. Now, your units and heroes do work like that, but they don't effect the spells you can research. Gaining new circles or reaching higher tiers in circles you already have is going to depend on luck (a little) and hard work (a great deal). You will be able to find items in game that will either open a new circle (if you don't already have it) or raise your tier in a circle (if you do already know it). You will also be able to spend TONS of research to open new circles or gain higher tiers.

    If you were to do what you suggested in your post and open every circle you would only have enough points to open them at tier 1. That would have a rather interesting result. You would be able to do the following:
    Research every tier 1 spell.
    Research every tier 1 cross-circle spell.
    Research every tier 1 combo-spell.
    Research every tier 2 earth destruction spell. (tier 1 in earth + tier 1 in destruction = tier 2 E&D).
    Research every tier 2 fire destruction spell.
    Research all tier 2 elemental (including life and death) destruction spells, but no tier 2 destruction only.
    Research all the tier 2 elemental summoning spells (but no tier 2 summoning only.)
    Etc.

    You see the strength (and weakness) of this strategy? You would have an extremely wide range of spells you could research, but only at very low tiers. Now, this will be a playable strategy because the mana cost will be so low and you will be able to cast the right spell for every situation. However, you have to keep in mind that you can only cast one spell a round. So, although you will be able to hit your opponent's units with just the right spell, you're not going to be able to blast the battle board with Meteor Storm like you could if you had tier 9 in destruction. It's going to be a trade off.

    I think the system works because it supports both extreme (tier 1 in all circles or tier 9 in a single circle) and “middle of the road” play. Say you took 5 tiers of summoning and 4 tiers of fire. You would have a wide range of low level summoning and fire spells and all the way up to tier 9 fire summoning spells. (4 fire + 5 summoning = 9 FS).

    I hope that explains the system a little better. Let me know if you have more questions.
    Thanks, now it is all much clearer. Another question - will the spellcasting be limited only by mana? In other words what about spell spamming? Are there any limits to how often you can cast a spell?

  5. #5
    You will only be able to cast one spell per turn on the battle map. (If you have a spell casting unit they will also be able to cast one spell per turn). On the overland map it depends on how powerful you are. Some spells will take multiple turns to cast, others you will be able to cast several per turn. (Much like MoM.)

  6. #6
    Mage’s Assistant
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    The spell system seems excellent in concept. The one problem I see is that it may be too easy for an inexperienced player to totally botch their spell selection, by taking a handful of 2s only. Seems to me that you should always aim for having some Circle 9 spells. (Essentially making a choice of Element 5 or 4 and Effect 4 or 5 the most meaningful)

    How do the cross-circle things work? I mean, if you have Wind 2 and Fire 1, would you get Lightning spells of circle 1 only?(since Fire 1 is the limiting factor)

    Do you plan to have cross-circle spells for the Elemental spells only, or for the Effects as well? Like, combine Necromancy with Mentalism and you get ???

  7. #7
    To lesson the learning curve we intend to provide default characters just like MoM did. They will allow you to get in and get the idea before going with a custom character. We also intend to let you look at your potential spell book before you start. That way you'll know just what you'll be able to research when you start.

    Yes, with cross-circle spells that is just what would happen. The lower tier is the limiting factor. (At least that's the plan at the moment.) We may even have spells that need three or even four circles to unlock. One thing we can do to offset the limitation is allow the player to invest more mana when they cast and so cast very powerful tier one lightning spells. This is new ground and is going to take some play testing to perfect.

    I would love to see cross-effect spells, but I admit we haven't come up with any yet. Of course that gap is kinda filled by the combo-spells. Grease causes one effect, Produce Flame another, Flaming Grease causes both effects. Either way, we're open to suggestions.

  8. #8
    Developer Hoverdog's Avatar
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    An interesting concept for sure.

    However, based on MoM experiences, you have to either keep the power curve of individual levels toned down, or make the higher circles harder and more expensive to get. Starting with 11 books was MoM's ultimate power breaker.

  9. #9
    I agree. That's basically what I am thinking at the moment. There's going to have to be some cost curve when making your selections. I'll still want players to be able to get tier 9 in at least one circle, but being able to raise 3 circles to tier 5 or one to tier 9 would be an interesting choice.

  10. #10
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    Will the spell system be restrictive? As in, life tiers restrict death tiers or similar.

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