Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
xevoxe

Warriors,Mages and everything else

This topic is 4322 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 am opening up this discussion in an attempt to determine the underlying driving force between Mages and Warriors. This is not so much a discussion of how they are used in video games, but rather the psychological and emotional differences between the two. It is often noted that Mages are considered much more intelligent then the Warrior. But why is this? They both have to display some sort of intelligence to achieve the respected goals of each. Therefore, how can intelligence be the underlying differences between a Warrior and Mage? I personally feel this is why current magic systems are "broken". Games are more interested in balancing and content that they often over look the motivation behind playing a mage or warrior. I enjoy playing a mage because of the chance to hold power over the mysterious. The ability to conjure up or summon a creature is something that would be amazing to do. In truth though would this be as interesting to me, if I could do this already? I personally do not think so. Which is where I feel warriors become flawed in their design. Where Mages have an inherent appeal in the powers they hold, warriors try to make up for it through content. What do you think is the natural appeal of a warrior? Other then the fact that they are the quickest way to the top in most cases. The truth is Warriors become cannon fodder when it comes down to it in a battle with mages. Granted not all warriors will fit in this category, but why is this so? The warrior has some un worldly sense that will protect him in battle? Or is he just lucky? Granted his skills may be more polished then the next, but he still uses the same armor and weapons as everyone else. Therefore the same fire ball would disintegrate him just like the next. As you might conclude from reading this; is that I am somewhat confused on the issue. It is something that I feel that I must clarify for myself in order to move forward in my current design. By knowing the motivations of the individual I will be better able to create a system that will inherently be fun to play. Rather then me having to create a false sense of entertainment through content that will only get old after awhile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Quote:
Original post by xevoxe
I am opening up this discussion in an attempt to determine the underlying driving force between Mages and Warriors. This is not so much a discussion of how they are used in video games, but rather the psychological and emotional differences between the two.

It is often noted that Mages are considered much more intelligent then the Warrior. But why is this? They both have to display some sort of intelligence to achieve the respected goals of each. Therefore, how can intelligence be the underlying differences between a Warrior and Mage?


It sounds like you're depicting the assumption that, if Character A is intelligent, he is automatically a mage. Instead, I would consider that, Character A, growing up, showed signs of high intelligence, and was driven to learn about things which challenged him mentally. Hefting a sword or doing archery contests just didn't cut it for him, so he entered Wizard School.

Quote:
I personally feel this is why current magic systems are "broken". Games are more interested in balancing and content that they often over look the motivation behind playing a mage or warrior.


Games lately seem to balance too well. Classically (e.g. D&D-influenced), a mage started out weak, then progressed exponentially to become nearly all-powerful... whereas a warrior started out much stronger, and progressed linearly. In some recent popular RPGs (Fable comes to mind, NWN is a culprit for it), every class ends up as powerful as the next, so your choice of class is really just a choice of eye candy, rather than a choice of ability.

Quote:
I enjoy playing a mage because of the chance to hold power over the mysterious. The ability to conjure up or summon a creature is something that would be amazing to do. In truth though would this be as interesting to me, if I could do this already? I personally do not think so. Which is where I feel warriors become flawed in their design. Where Mages have an inherent appeal in the powers they hold, warriors try to make up for it through content. What do you think is the natural appeal of a warrior? Other then the fact that they are the quickest way to the top in most cases.


- Mages usually have a magic system which needs to be learned
- Magic combat is more strategic than pointing at a monster and clicking (e.g. choosing which spells to use in certain circumstances)
- Warrior combat is simpler
- Warrior advancement is straight-forward, and simple for the novice who may become overwhelmed by choices (what spell to learn? what spell to memorize? what reagents to buy? what spells go better with ones I have already?)

If you read Richard Bartle's Players Who Suit MUDs, you might find some answers here. Some players prefer the game for its intricacies (spades) rather than its immediate rewards (diamonds). (This has always been true for myself.)

There's also the romantic attraction. Playing a brawny, physically powerful individual is psychologically more attractive than being a weak nerd. :)

Quote:
The truth is Warriors become cannon fodder when it comes down to it in a battle with mages. Granted not all warriors will fit in this category, but why is this so? The warrior has some un worldly sense that will protect him in battle? Or is he just lucky? Granted his skills may be more polished then the next, but he still uses the same armor and weapons as everyone else. Therefore the same fire ball would disintegrate him just like the next.


True, but a warrior's "talent" is in physical combat, whereas a mage's "talent" lies in strategic placement and deployment of spells which alter physical matter.

Quote:
As you might conclude from reading this; is that I am somewhat confused on the issue. It is something that I feel that I must clarify for myself in order to move forward in my current design. By knowing the motivations of the individual I will be better able to create a system that will inherently be fun to play. Rather then me having to create a false sense of entertainment through content that will only get old after awhile.


I've always been interested in mages, no matter what the game system. Usually it's a hard road, but I enjoy the special effects, learning about the intricacies of the magic system that's been designed, and basically avoiding "boring hand-to-hand combat". :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just as a point of semantics both "classes" are technically warriors.

When you say motivations of the individual do you mean the person playing the game or the characters in the game? If you are talking about the individual I feel that it comes down to a few things that have to do with the flaws inherent in most RPG's:

1. - Either of the two is better for getting loot or XP in a specific circumstance
2. - One is more effective with minimal effort
3. - One is easier early or late game

where the choice should really be between preference in play style. Personally I dont think there should be any restrictions through a "class" system because the more classes the player can choose from the less he can do with each.

The problem with balancing has to do with end game activities (which nearly always center around obtaining the best loot.) If one class is better than the next at some particular end game activity they will play specifically to maximize productivity or minimize frustration of that activity. Instead of balancing skills for the end game the play style should be balanced.

blah blah blah...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by xevoxe
I enjoy playing a mage because of the chance to hold power over the mysterious. The ability to conjure up or summon a creature is something that would be amazing to do. In truth though would this be as interesting to me, if I could do this already? I personally do not think so. Which is where I feel warriors become flawed in their design. Where Mages have an inherent appeal in the powers they hold, warriors try to make up for it through content. What do you think is the natural appeal of a warrior? Other then the fact that they are the quickest way to the top in most cases.

I enjoy playing as a warrior because I like to experience life as the grunt. I prefer to be percieved as the guy who isn't likely to succeed. It makes it much more interesting if and when I do succeed. Saving the world doesn't feel as significant when I play as mighty Gandalf. I prefer to single-handedly slash down the mighty undead army with my bloody axe and bare hands.

Casting a fireball just doesn't do it for me. If I'm not facing impossible odds, what fun is it to win in the first place?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why is a mage seen as inteligent and a warrior not?

well i belive that comes down from table topping, warriors pick str, dex and const because they want to hit had fast and have lots of HP's if they took int it was for non combat related things which made them less effective when it came to the crunch.
why did this matter?
because warriors are front line, a 2nd line dosnt have to stand next to the biggy and wack and get wacked.
as for the mage their skills and spells were based off int because magic was about learning and so they took lots of it int, subiquently lots of skills they took were based around knowlege and so they were seen as inteligent.

as for destruckive powers of mages etc vs warriors.
warrirors in d&d and stuff were much more able to go sod u lot im going it alone take a couple of healing potions charge most mondain things down and have a scrap, however a mage has a problem coz if they did that they would get things charging them stopping casting and then they would die.
thats why warriors defende the mages coz they were potentialy more effective but alot weaker, less armour etc so it was a team effort.
in rpgs though u play on your own so these things got ballanced to an extent, mages had to either not get bothered about melee combat to kill before it got to that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think this is a matter of creativity. I often play AD&D, and I can't tell it enough times: the INT score does not measure the character's intelligence.

This is what confuses most players. Nearly everyone thinks that a high Charisma score makes your character "beautiful". Well, I think it does not.

INT determines the number of spells you can cast, and the number of skills you can learn. CHA makes your character better at controlling other people. Does that means that high INT makes a clever character? No. It only says that he has a good affinity/resistance to magic, and spent a lot of time learning stuff - IMHO this is not equivalent to intelligence. A character with a high CHA score can have a really ugly or disgusting face, and quite a few scars, but he could lie very well.

The sad thing is, that most people don't realize that. And game creators don't realize that either - characters are only represented by their stats, nothing else. No real background (even in RPGs or adventure games!), no real personality. It's easier to say INT=18. And this makes you immediately think that this character is clever. IMHO he is only resistant to magic.

Of course, there are less obvious stats, like STR. But is a low STR - high CON character weak? Nope. But you can do nothing about this - you must either change the world, or state that high INT is cleverness. So, instead of creating new stats, use the good ol' STR-DEX-CON-INT-WIS-CHA stuff, and create interesting and deep background stories. From then on, stats are nothing but stats, used in gameplay mechanics only, and they don't interfere with the character's personality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Surely intelligence should be one of the most vital stats for a melee based class. In a real fight brute strength won't do you any good unless you can think ahead and counter your opponent. Was Lennox Lewis such a successful boxer because of sheer strength? No, it was his ability to adapt his style; he didn't overpower his opponents, he out-smarted them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by BBHudson
Surely intelligence should be one of the most vital stats for a melee based class. In a real fight brute strength won't do you any good unless you can think ahead and counter your opponent. Was Lennox Lewis such a successful boxer because of sheer strength? No, it was his ability to adapt his style; he didn't overpower his opponents, he out-smarted them.


He wasn't intelligent enough to warp reality and produce fireballs though was he? :)
I think we are talking about relative intelligence.

After all, there would be situations where it would be beneficial to use magic, so any warrior intelligent enough would learn magic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It gets a bit muddy once you start thinking about different kinds of smarts, like the ability to outsmart an opponent in a boxing ring.

As far as real life intellegence is concerned, it is normally talking about IQ. The ability to reason, learn, interpret, calculate, and apply logic.

If you draw real life parallels, a melee fighter would be like a boxer, or rugby player. They could certainly be clever, and being more intellegent than their opponent would give them an edge (although a genius featherweight isn't going to beat a single minded heavyweight). But the wizard's real life counterparts, say, doctors or scientists, would have more actual intellegence than they do.


I normally play as a mage because it tends to make the game more tactical. I could just breeze through Neverwinter Nights as a Fighter. Click attack, Click heal when I'm low on health, rinse and repeat.
But being a mage gave me far more options. Hold them, blind them, buff my team or curse their team, summon allies, lay traps, manipulate their positions to best deploy area of effect spells while keeping my fragile main character out of trouble. Good times.

You ask why warriors don't become cannon fodder. It is because they have magical muscles and magical skin.
As a mage goes from level 1 to level x, they get more and more powerful magic. A fireball could do 100 times the damage of a magic missile. I have no real reference point for that to seem unrealistic, so I accept it.
But as a warrior approaches level x, their punch could do 100 times the damage of what it did at level 1. That's impossible, it defies suspension of disbelief. Thus they must have magic muscles. Or cybermuscles, or nanotech muscles, or bioamplified demon quantum muscles or whatever fiction is used to justify it.
Same goes for skin. At the end of a game the fighter could have 1000 hp. They either have magic skin, or it is supposed to be an abstraction showing that they have gotten better at using cover and dodging blows (which kind of falls apart when you see the hit land and a little number float from your characters head).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by xevoxe
It is often noted that Mages are considered much more intelligent then the Warrior. But why is this? They both have to display some sort of intelligence to achieve the respected goals of each. Therefore, how can intelligence be the underlying differences between a Warrior and Mage?


This is, in my humble opinion, a stereotype which appears quite often in CRPGs, and more rarely in tabletop RPGs.

Tabletop RPGs require intelligence for learning-related classes, such as Wizards. Other types of spellcasters have other related casting sources: Wisdom or Charisma, for example. And that's only for D&D games. For other games, spells are tied to the power of blood (Vampire), the amount of proximity with a given aspect of the world (Changeling, Mage), which is orthogonal with physical strength or social or intellectual prowess.

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.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!