Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

Improving Magic: The Gathering

This topic is 4605 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I'm moving to 3D with my CRPG, and as I update the whole system I'm going to base the combat system on Magic: The Gathering. I'm just polling to see what other Magic / RPG players would enjoy / hate the most. Would you prefer the abstract "sides" of M:TG, or the chessboard approach of tactical CRPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics? How should I deal with getting into fights? Magic matches can go on for a while, and I don't want a 30min war to result from a random battle. I also don't want to trivialize battle by making random enemies too easy, because then it's just a chore. What are the pros for M:TG? I like how direct damage spells are fairly uncommon; it encourages more creative uses for magic. What are the cons for M:TG? I'm going to suggest mana-flooding and mana-drought. Color Divisions? I don't like the current color wheel they use. I'm going after the classical elements: Earth, Fire, Air, Water, Void/Ether. I just don't know what the difference between Air and Water should be since Blue covered them both in M:TG. What elements would White and Black land in? What could you use for mana source as an alternative to lands? If lands are your source of power, how do you cast spells when you venture into some unknown territory? Plus, I don't like when magic comes from outside the caster, as in FF7's materia. What are other neat things to do with a system like that? I really like the idea of using magic outside of combat. For instance, cast control magic on whoever and walk around in their body. Any suggestions from developers out there? Even if you don't play M:TG, I'd still love to hear from a fellow RPGer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Edit: Actually I see your talking about an RPG, so I don't know what you're talking about. The below is about the CCG. The same goes for an RPG, though - why not radically change the system?

My original post follows:
Why not come up with a completely different system?

For example, a major problem in CCGs is that if you draw the wrong cards, it can take a long time to get started and get some action going.
How can you eliminate that problem? Eliminate the draw.

Instead of having a hand of X cards and a deck you draw from, how about dividing the cards into hands the way you want them, and each turn you can put down the hand you're golding and pick one of the other ones you prepared (but only once each turn).

If you don't want to eliminate the chance of drawing, make it so the hands you've created start shuffled so you don't know which one you'll get when you change (until you've mapped them all out). If you design your hands properly, even with the shuffling you can get started pretty quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's something I'm considering, but my original post was getting too long already.

The idea is that you can prepare any spell that's on hand (the library), but there's a cost in time, and that cost is directly proportional to the size of your library. So, you can't carry around every spell in the world if you want to use them quickly.

As for radically changing them system, I'd like to make some big changes to it, but I wanted to get the community's view on what should be improved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by templewulfAs for radically changing them system, I'd like to make some big changes to it, but I wanted to get the community's view on what should be improved.


I haven't thought of any great ideas to help you yet, I'm afraid, but I have to point out that you are probably going to have to make big changes to the rules, as Magic the Gathering is still under patent, which is annoying if you wish to develop a card based wizard game. To me that's the biggest con of M:TG.

To be safe, I'd scrap the concept of "lands" completely, but I'm not sure on the best thing to replace them. Sorry I'm not of more help; I'll see what I can think of.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for your suggestion TZ. Just to be clear, though, there will be NO cards in this game. They will be referred to as spells, because I think that kind of metaphor shear hurts immersion.

The legality of it was just one reason I wanted to change away from lands. I'm thinking that you could accumulate mana over turns and save up a couple of turns for big spells. That way, mana generation could be a function of how much XP you put into each element. It's like Quest64, but less awful! [grin]

As long as we're on the topic of legality, how do most companies treat indie developers? Considering it's going to be a freeware and probably GPL tribute to M:TG, would they be upset over it?

I was considering doing a Street Fighter Omega (as opposed to Alpha) for my next project. Blatantly tearing into an existing universe. I don't really see how they could object...it's not a direct competitor; it's more like interactive fanfiction. [smile]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Patent infringement you MIGHT be able to get away with, but whatever you do DO NOT INFRINGE TRADEMARKS. The reason for this rule is that trademark law requires the owner to defend the trademark or they lose the rights to it. Thus, naming a game "Street Fighter" anything is probably a very very bad move.
I'm not a lawyer.

As far as mana, if you use my idea of multiple hands (maybe call it spellbooks and you can move spells between books before the game but during you can only change books at the start of each turn?), you could have 'energy spells' that add to your mana after you pick which book to use. This way, you could have an 'energy book' that you use to build up tons of mana, then next turn you switch to the 'big attack book' and cast a huge spell or something like that. Maybe each turn you get 1 energy of each type (or maybe you specialize in types and get a lot in those types but little in others) and 'energy spells' are a way to quickly boost your pool in a specific type at the cost of a spell slot?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you looked at Phantasy Star Online 3 "Card Revolution"? It strongly reminded me of M:TG, although it uses a grid/playing field (the wizards are on there, as well as the summoned monsters).
So far I like it, although games can still take quite some time.

It uses dice for the mana. You roll two, to determine the amount of mana on your attack and defense turns. The dice will be sorted in favour of your attack turn.

During your attack you can summon monsters and/or 'cast' attacks/spells (on yourself or your minions).
You can react to your opponent's attacks if you have 'defense mana' and defensive cards.

It's still a pure card came, though... I see that you want to use a totally different system. Maybe you can make use of some of the simplifications mentioned...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There are a billion ways to do this. Just make sure you know which elements you want to retain from MTG.

Going to the Paracelcian elements (earth, air...) is sketchy, because it isn't a cut-and-dried system. Everyone from Aristotle to Wiccans to Galen to Squaresoft has a system, and anyone who claims to know the "real" way is full of crap. Why "void" for the fifth? Reading a little Musashi, are you? Don't try to redivide the white/black/blue/red/green system into the four poles, because it'll never work right. You can't parse holy and unholy into the four element system. They're a different continuum.

Generally, you can go crazy with the four element system. I looked into it for a thought experiment of my own, and found it to be very interesting to try to combine the Aristotelian octagon (elements arranged in a square with "dry", "wet", "hot", and "cold" shared between them) with some of the Wiccan psychobabble regarding their totemic properties (air is aloof and intellectual, blah blah blah). I used that as the foundation of my world and built my creation myth (which sucked) my map (high cliffs for air, volcanic wasteland for fire, desert between them for "dry", etc.), my character geneology (I traced four races from the paracelsian totems of gnomes, sylphs, ondines and salamanders) and even my astrological progression and seasonal shift, so that each element's authority would wax and wane in sequence. For good and evil, I introduced a seperate plane, perpendicular to the octagon, with good at the top and evil at the bottom. PM me if you want more info about how I did this, but I don't think you should take too much from my half-baked idea. Figure out how you want to work the metaphysics of your world, and run with it.

One problem with MTG's system for structuring fights is how to represent damage to the player. I never really understood what exactly I had that allowed me to take 19 damage, enough to kill three shivan dragons, and still fight. Would you have a little guy on the board, running between the legs of his summoned critters while they fight godzilla-style for him? If you use that silly dynamic, have your guy inhabit a little circle of protection or something during the fight, so he can't be expected to participate and he can take the ridiculous abuse the player takes.

For a mana source, I'd say go with some kind of regenerating storage system, but have your "black mana battery" recharge faster in swamps than on plains, and your blue would go up faster on islands than in mountains. That way you are seldom awash in mana, but you don't need seven thousand acres of forest to summon a craw wurm.

Also take a look at how terrain affected characters in Tactics Ogre. Individual tiles on the board would offer bonuses to certain elements, and each character had an elemental affiliation. A sheet of ice, for instance, might offer +3 to a water guy while it takes -5 from an earth guy, so two otherwise equal guys fighting on a frozen lake would not be equal at all depending on their affiliation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@Extrarius:
I had no idea it was that severe. If that's the case, what's the deal with all the fanfiction? Is it deemed just too rampant to deal with?

@Jan-Lieuwe:
I've didn't have any idea that there WAS a third Phantasy Star Online! [lol] It sounds like something I'd like. Was it any fun?

@Iron Chef Carnage:
I'm not using Void in the Buddhist emptiness sense like Musashi does, I'm just using it for my colorless spells! It sounds like you know quite a bit about M:TG. This whole thread is really just supposed to be a quick survey about what you like or dislike in M:TG.

Here's what I've got so far:
* Each player-wizard generates a quantity of elemental mana equal to their skill in that element each time their turn comes up.
* You can accumulate mana each turn by not using it, but you can't hold any more than your skill in that element multiplied by some constant to be determined later.
* When a battle starts, the player pulls up some generic force-field, so that they can be expected to take ridiculous damage.
* When standing on a type of land that's bursting with an element, all spells that have the element in the cost are reduced by some amount.
* Players / Monsters take turns based on speed, rather than whole sides taking a turn at once.

What I still want to know from you guys:
* What kinds of spells should wind and water have? Wind is supposed to be intelligent and psychic and all that, but what's water? It's supposed to represent spirituality and an emotional state. What the hell kind of spells can I make from that?
* What other improvements would you make to those mechanics?

[Edited by - templewulf on October 6, 2005 8:30:02 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!