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[idea] New Spellcasting Interface

Discussion in 'Rise from Erebus Modmod' started by Rainbow Sand, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. Rainbow Sand

    Rainbow Sand Chieftain

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    To scrap all these spell promotions and leave but one: "Spellcaster" with a single button in unit interface: "Cast a Spell" which shall launch a pop-up like that of "Choose new tech to research" listing all available (based on level/mana) spells with pretty icons and brief descriptions. Goodbye, cluttering in promobar and commands panel, and senseless "learn a single spell per level instead of normal skill".
     
  2. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    No. One thousand times, no.

    Please consider the full consequences of that setup. While you would be removing clutter, you would then also be generating multiple extra clicks, scrolls through a screen, browsing for spells, etc. And this must be done for every single arcane unit you possess.

    Trust me when I say: We thought of this several weeks ago, and near-universally decided no.

    And spells shall always require promotions. They are never free. Aside from one future exception that I won't go into, that requires other promotions anyway.
     
  3. Rainbow Sand

    Rainbow Sand Chieftain

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    Won't argue with that... for now :evil:
    There exists a game, called "Neverwinter Nights", made by wizards of the coast, the second greatest after the blizzards imo and founders of DnD, where "known spells" issue for wizards resolved as "level requirement": after reaching spellcasting level 3 a wizard can learn all 3-level spells from scrolls and gains some of them on level-up.

    Within RifE it can be quite easily done by acquiring on lvl-up a special promotion called "effective caster level" or whatever, that will enable caster to learn this level spells from others, libraries, lairs and stuff, but only be able to cast these when required quantities of certain colour manas are available, or even more than one caster simultaneously(coven-castable spells) more than one caster simultaneously.

    For example, "Worldbreak", requires 3 fire, 3 death, 3 dimensional, 3 chaos mana and 13 lvl 3 spellcasters (archmages) to wreak the world to hells and kill em all.

    That would remove EXTREMELY annoying me possibility to spam ultra-powerful global spells like stasis or arcane lacuna on power basis of tiny village amidst untamed wilds at gamestart. (Yes, leader is powerful spellcaster of himself, yes, he generates some mana, but to launch something truly powerful like stasis, he will need support spellcasters and lot of worshippers/coloured mana nodes)

    And based on percentage of known spells, their caster shall autoreceive bonus promos, like "Adept of life magic" or "Omniscient Master of Arcane", which i see is already partly implemented.

    Resume: New spells should be not gained one at lvlup, but learned from special sources; at certain levels there should be gained an ability to learn certain spells, and possibility to cast known spells should be mana/number of casters with required level based.
     
  4. Zai

    Zai Chieftain

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    Neverwinter Nights was made by Bioware, for Atari. Wizards made the base D&D world and rules the game was based on.

    Also, a complete overhaul of the magic system is already planned out.
     
  5. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    No. Again, this has been considered, and rejected.

    Keep in mind: Ultimately, Civ4, and RifE as a result, is a game focused on the Empire. Not the unit. This kind of system either:

    • Forces far too much micro for units you will have dozens of
    • Makes magic too weak, as you must then have the spells all be automatic and free to avoid micro. This makes them necessarily weak (too easy to get multiple spells), bland (cut many spells so you don't get dozens for free), and just no.


    That system will never, ever, ever be in RifE.
     
  6. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    It is, yes. But not a system of that sort. Spells stay promotions, that is part of the cost.

    This is how spells will be gained:

    • Balance focus is on the school, not the sphere. (Elementalism vs Fire)
    • Each school will have approximately the same number of spells, but the tiers they are on (essentially just mana cost, won't get into that now) may vary, as do the effects.
    • No more "FireI, FireII, FireIII" promotions. Instead, "Blaze, Fireball, Summon Fire Elemental". This looks insignificant; It is not. It means the "each sphere has three spells" system has been thrown out. Some will have less, and be useful in other ways; Some will have more. Varies based on sphere.
    • No spell promo will require another. There is no requirement to take Blaze in order to take Fireball.

    I'll be making a blog post on the full system sometime this week.
     
  7. Merddyn

    Merddyn Scholar of the Arcane

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    Hrm. Well, now that I understand the reasoning on not having that menu it makes sense. Anyway, my main question is, if there's no more Fire 1/2/3 et cetera... How are having multiple sources of the same mana type going to be handled? Does that mean there's no more free spell promotion from having 2 fire mana, for example?
     
  8. Aoleleb

    Aoleleb Warlord

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    I'm liking the sounds of this new system. :D
     
  9. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Mana resources generate Mana for you each turn, and having a specific type of mana (say, Fire) may allow for discounts on it's spells. Not fully decided yet.

    There won't be any free spells of that sort any more, though there will be other free spells...
     
  10. Jhoniten

    Jhoniten Warlord

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    Small detail, WotC did not found DnD, they just screwed it up.
     
  11. Castar

    Castar Warlord

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    This is a bit in opposition with what you said earlier (and with which I agree) in that it creates additional micromanaging where there really should be none. I often stay away from magic-flavored civilizations as it is, because of the additional babysitting magic-using units require vs. their "ordinary" counterparts. A Mana system would only increase that.

    A simpler solution (imho), which does not add micromanagement (afaik), would be to add some sort of affinity-esque mechanic to spells. Stupid example: a fireball deals 2 damage per fire mana you have.

    It's straightforward, it's a mechanic with which players are already familiar, it rewards empire expansion, and there's still a lot of possibility for specialisation vs. diversification.

    I think I see where the mana thing comes from though. If you get rid of level-based spells, you would want something else to balance the more powerful spells against the weaker ones. The obvious way would be to make the more powerful ones "more expensive" to cast. However, there are a lot of ways to do this without adding yet another new (micro-increasing) system to an already complex game, such as cooldown (Awesome Spel of Coolness can only be cast once every 5 turns), or even just clever scaling (Fireblast does 3 damage + 1 per fire mana, Fireball does 2 damage per fire mana, making fireblast the spell of choice for "dabblers" and fireball better for those who focus harder on fire mana).

    And btw, this does not have to be limited to damage scaling effects. A spell like Scorch (I think, the one which turns tiles into plains or deserts) could have a casting time in turns, which decreases the more mana nodes you have, for example.

    I would be very careful with adding even more new mechanics. It's your mod, however, and perhaps you have a way to add this mana-system without further increasing complexity or micromanagement.
     
  12. hbar

    hbar Constant

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    The danger with affinity is it is impossible to balance against map size. Affinities have always been used extremely sparingly; there is a reason that there are only two units with 2x affinity in base FfH (Chalaid and Aureales). Using affinity for mob spells would be a balance nightmare.
     
  13. lordrune

    lordrune Prince

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    Its why spectres are my favourite, most over-powered, weapon in FFH :lol:
     
  14. Castar

    Castar Warlord

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    That is true and it is a problem I know quite well (I toyed with another affinity idea a while back). However, granting mana based on the amount of mana nodes a player has that problem as well, so it does not really factor into the equation.
     
  15. hbar

    hbar Constant

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    Not necessarily. You can cast more spells with more mana, but they aren't more powerful. Likewise, your opponent can build more champions to soak up your attacks.

    With affinity, on a large map you can build more mages, and have their spells be more powerful. It is a quadratic (rather than linear) effect.
     
  16. lordrune

    lordrune Prince

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    If that mana could somehow be shared among all your units, i.e. if you had a global pool, it wouldn't be so much of an issue.
     
  17. Castar

    Castar Warlord

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    Wouldn't this give magic-based civs a handicap on smaller maps?
     
  18. lordrune

    lordrune Prince

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    I don't see why it necessarily would. These are tricky things to balance, though.
    Affinity, guilds - anything which allows a cumulative bonus to be applied globally - is potentially a gamebreaker.
     
  19. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Eh, not really. Mana will be gained automatically, there's very little micro. It's a pool similar to the amount of gold you have.

    And yes, it's primarily to limit how many spells you cast. It won't be very micro-intensive at all. And any effects from multiple mana resources will be gained automatically.

    Exactly what hbar said. More mana = More units can cast more spells. That is exactly what you need on a larger map. It will not influence the amount of mana any individual caster is able to use each turn.

    It is. :p

    I'll try and write the blog post tonight.
     
  20. Castar

    Castar Warlord

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    OK, I'll just wait and see :)

    I kind of figured it would be a global pool, and obviously the mana gain would be automatic, a per turn gain or per turn reset to a maximum or something like that. My point about micro wasn't on the gain of mana, but the use of it.

    So consider the following situation: I play a magic-based civ and I go to attack the enemy with an army that contains (let's keep it simple) 5 mages.

    My fear is that I will now have to start calculating how I would best divide my mana among those mages so that all 5 can be useful. Because I presume that this will be a problem, if not, what is the point of introducing a global mana pool if it does not limit what and how much you can cast.

    This is more micro. This is annoying micro (yay maths!). This is a lot of micro in large armies. I guess it could work if you intend it to make magic limited but more powerful, and hence reduce the amount of mages required in a good magic-based army. I don't know, as I said, I'll wait and see. But consider me skeptical ;)
     

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