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DuranStrife

Dual Magic Expenditure

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I''d like opinions on a magic system I''m designing for my action-RPG-in-progress, Pentaverse. Spellcasting requires a lot of personal confidence. While having the ability to fling around unlimited massive barrages of fireballs is all well and good for some RPGs, I''d like to create a built-in limit to how many supernatural effects can be created per day, aside from the normal spell point limit. The system would work as follows: Magic Points (MP): The more powerful the spell, the more MP are expended. The weakest spells cost only 1 MP, while spells of mass destruction and powerful teleportation magic can cost as much as 50 MP. MP are replenished by 1/8 (round up) for each hour''s rest the character managed to get last night. There is also a spell which costs only 1 MP and takes a full minute to cast that fully restores all MP. Magic Points represent "concrete" magical energy as opposed to faith power, but can be replenished easily by deep concentration. Magical energy is easily drawn from the fabric of the universe itself without limit, but the actual amount of energy a spellcaster can hold at one time is limited by that character''s level and intellect. Spell Points (SP): All spells, no matter their power level, cost 1 SP in addition to the MP cost. SP are restored by 1/8 for each hour of sleep the character gets, but cannot be restored in ANY other way. SP represents the character''s faith in her/his own power, as opposed to the actual magical energy needed for spellcasting, which is abundant and thus easily obtainable. SP represent the fact that your character''s imagination (a vital component of spellcasting) simply can''t take more than a certain amount of strain in any given 24-hour period. Most spellcasters (there are one or two exceptions) are, quite simply, out of power once they run out of SP. This system prevents the high level character who has accumulated 1469 MP (or some other, equally frightening number; whatever is high enough to be obscene in your game''s system) from casting 1469 (or more, under some systems) spells per day, while at the same time keeping that character from being limited to 28 high level spells per day (1469/50 rounded down). Opinions, fellow game designers?

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Yes: just don''t give them such high values for spell points in the first place. Or let them have high values, but make the ''cheap'' spells cost 10 instead of 1. The problem here is with your ratios - you''re happy to have some spells cost 50 times less than some others - and it appears that you are adding in an extra point scale instead of just fixing the ratios.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost | Asking Questions | Organising code files | My stuff ]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Kylotan
but make the ''cheap'' spells cost 10 instead of 1.



Don''t you mean make the ''powerful'' spells cost 10 sp rather than 1.

quote:
Original post by Kylotan
The problem here is with your ratios - you''re happy to have some spells cost 50 times less than some others - and it appears that you are adding in an extra point scale instead of just fixing the ratios.


Um, what''s your problem? It makes more sense to me to add that extra point scale than to fix the ratios. I assume that the spell points can go up though.

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Well, it sounds like a balancing nightmare and a usability problem to me.

Assuming users are able to grasp the concept, you''ll either have people afraid to use their cheap spells in fear of not having the spell points available that they need later on in the quest, or you''ll have Final Fantasy-style questing: go out for 30 seconds, blast the bejesus out of everything, go back and rest.

More likely, users will have a difficult time grasping the concept of two linked stats for a single skill, especially since those two stats are ONLY used for that one skill. CRPG''s became popular because they abstracted away stats management. In this case, dialogs won''t help. It doesn''t matter which stat is expended, your user will go to his stats screen and say, "No way, I should be able to cast that! Look, I have x MP (or SP) left! This is bogus!" And if they can''t get that information, they''ll think that you''re just arbitrarily deciding that they can''t cast Fireball in their hour of darkest need.

I know this sounds silly, but always pretend that the end user is a complete nimrod. If that doesn''t seem very kind, pretend that your end user is a 6 year old with Attention Deficit Disorder. Complexity makes balance a pain, and makes testing more difficult than it should be.

RomSteady - Test Locally, Test Globally, Test Early, Test Often

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this reminds me of a bank card that has a $100 daily limit on it. you''re going about happily spending your money then BAM! its all like "no you can''t spend any more money... you''ve got a limit buddy!" and then you''re just like "well bummer! i got this money an i can''t spend it. i thought this was my money."
i find that frustrating... i bet people would find something this simple and redundant a big hastle.

"The human mind is limited only by the bounds which we impose upon ourselves." -iNfuSeD

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quote:
Original post by DuranStrife
Magic Points (MP): The more powerful the spell, the more MP are expended. The weakest spells cost only 1 MP, while spells of mass destruction and powerful teleportation magic can cost as much as 50 MP. MP are replenished by 1/8 (round up) for each hour''s rest the character managed to get last night. There is also a spell which costs only 1 MP and takes a full minute to cast that fully restores all MP. Magic Points represent "concrete" magical energy as opposed to faith power, but can be replenished easily by deep concentration. Magical energy is easily drawn from the fabric of the universe itself without limit, but the actual amount of energy a spellcaster can hold at one time is limited by that character''s level and intellect.

Spell Points (SP): All spells, no matter their power level, cost 1 SP in addition to the MP cost. SP are restored by 1/8 for each hour of sleep the character gets, but cannot be restored in ANY other way. SP represents the character''s faith in her/his own power, as opposed to the actual magical energy needed for spellcasting, which is abundant and thus easily obtainable. SP represent the fact that your character''s imagination (a vital component of spellcasting) simply can''t take more than a certain amount of strain in any given 24-hour period. Most spellcasters (there are one or two exceptions) are, quite simply, out of power once they run out of SP.



First of all, the bit I have put in bold is a bad idea. Adding something like this completely defeats the purpose of the magic points in the first place. Sure, you can''t cast it in combat, but assuming your character can find a quiet spot at some point during the game - which he probably can - then he can replenish all his points for the next fight.

As for the spell points, that just seems like another way of saying that your caster is limited to casting a certain number of spells per day. That''s fair enough, but I''d still pay heed to what Kylotan said - maybe you need to look at cost of spells more closely, before you start introducing more variables. Are the highest level spells really 50 times more powerful than the weakest ones? Is it even possible to get such a ridiculous number of magic points in the first place?

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You´ve posted this before, right? I still don´t really see the need for a second set of points. Apart from the questions that have already been raised i just don´t see the need for another set of stats.

How about finding a completely new system for magic? Different than the SP-model and the spellbook-model.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Don''t you mean make the ''powerful'' spells cost 10 sp rather than 1.

No, because they''re not 1 currently. However the weak spells are, apparently.

quote:
Um, what''s your problem? It makes more sense to me to add that extra point scale than to fix the ratios. I assume that the spell points can go up though.

The problem, as it appears, is that the player is able to cast too many weak spells when they have enough spell points to cast the powerful spells a reasonable number of times. This means that the weak spells are too cheap relative to the powerful spells. This means the ratio is probably not representative of the true worth of the spell, or there''d be no reason to want to restrict the number of weak spells cast. Which means the weak spells are probably too cheap, given the amount of spell points given as an example. So the weak spells should become more expensive. Is this difficult to follow?

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost | Asking Questions | Organising code files | My stuff ]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Kylotan
[quote]Original post by Anonymous Poster
Don''t you mean make the ''powerful'' spells cost 10 sp rather than 1.

No, because they''re not 1 currently. However the weak spells are, apparently.

quote:
Um, what''s your problem? It makes more sense to me to add that extra point scale than to fix the ratios. I assume that the spell points can go up though.

The problem, as it appears, is that the player is able to cast too many weak spells when they have enough spell points to cast the powerful spells a reasonable number of times. This means that the weak spells are too cheap relative to the powerful spells. This means the ratio is probably not representative of the true worth of the spell, or there''d be no reason to want to restrict the number of weak spells cast. Which means the weak spells are probably too cheap, given the amount of spell points given as an example. So the weak spells should become more expensive. Is this difficult to follow?

Yes.

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So you want the player to be able to cast magic, just not be able to do it in chains. Try the system in reverse. Have the player at "0" exhaustion. Use magic, lose X stamina and have them unable to use anything again until it hits 0 again. The player is then afraid to use big skills, cuz of the immense wait time.

-> Will Bubel
-> Machine wash cold, tumble dry.

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