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Alpha_ProgDes

I propose that Mages by nature should be unbalanced and therefore hax.

20 posts in this topic

I believe that any Merlin [or place what you think is the most powerful wizard, mage, or magician of all time here] level mage should be able to wipe out an army of 10,000 (job classes doesn't matter, yes it can even be other mages) easily while only consuming 10HP and 5MP. Yep, they're badass. However, mages should not be like this from the very beginning or even after 20 to 30 hours of gameplay (aka grinding). There should be grinding, but also trials, runes, and artifacts they need to acquire to reach such a level. Repeated use should come into play (more on that in a bit) but also combination of spells (ex: earth and water make mud spells ....(?)).

Also, a mage's power should not be just the level of attack but the speed at which he can execute the attack as well. For instance. Let's say our mage learns a water spell. This water spell consumes 2MP and cause 10HP of damage. Well as most mages do, they must say an incantation and sometimes even the name of the spell. For this example, let's assume the mage has to do both. Eventually the mage will use the water spell enough times to only have to say the name of the spell and not the incantation. Because of this, the mage can now perform the spell in 3 seconds instead of 10. However, if after gaining the ability to skip the incantation, the mage decides to say the incantation anyway, then the water spell consumes only 1MP and causes 15HP of damage. Again after more continued use, the mage will be able to perform the spell without saying the incantation or the name. The spell stills cost 2MP and causes 10HP of damage. Casting the water spell will akin to firing a sem-automatc weapon. However, if the mage even after gaining the ability to perform the spell without the incantation or name choose to say the name anyway, then the spell will consume 1MP and cause 15HP of damage. If the mage decides to say the incantation and name, then the water spell will consume 0MP and cause 25HP of damage. It should be noted that if the mage casts the water spell 5 times (with full incantation), then 2MP will be consumed.

For ease, let's say this:
Water Spell Level 1 = full name and incantation needed to cast spell
Water Spell Level 2 = full name needed to cast spell
Water Spell Level 3 = no name or no incantation needed to cast spell

When a mage reaches Water Spell Level 3, saying the name will give the water spell an extra effect. Such as damaging close surrounding enemies (one meter away from the targeted enemy and targeted enemy is slowed by mud or ice depending on terrain). Saying the name and incantation will cause all enemies to be attacked with the non-targeted enemies receiving 35% damage of the targeted enemy.

As I said before, to reach a Level 3 Mastery of any spell is not going to be a simple task of grinding for 20 to 30 hours, spamming spells. Trials will have to performed (ex: defeating a dragon, killing mages more powerful than yourself), finding runes that teach you new magic or magic combos, and artifacts that enhance your powers. If a mage does not do these things, then they can still be a powerful mage but definitely not invincible and certainly killable. The amount of time it takes to reach this level will certainly be high. Very high. But it would make the mage class not just a support class but frankly a powerhouse. A class to be feared because of its potential. But dreaded because of the amount of time and effort it takes to reach such a level. Therefore, a mage can be hax but there won't be a swarm or over-population of Merlin-level mages running around because of the extreme difficultly of reaching such a level.

In any case, this is my proposal. Now, please, flame-on [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
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I think something like this would only work if mages had permadeath. If not, then no matter how slow and difficult you made the levelling process, you will still end up with a majority of mages in your game.

But yeah, I agree. I've always found it ridiculous that an almost god-like being can be defeated by a highly trained warrior.
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What's to flame - Mages are Hax - at least in a literary sense. Their only downfalls seem to be the culmination of some grand prophecy, a plot by the gods, a lucky blow by some inept barbarian, an unintended byproduct from an experiment of their own devising, taken out by their peers or extreme old age. Oh and lets not forget the old adage of defeated by love.


A lucky blow by some inept barbarian is to justify that bullies do have a future beyond the schoolyard though [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img]


I do like your proposal though that lends itself to the survival of the fittest. The only long-term issue is the amount of qq from those who lack the basic skill sets to successfully navigate their way to the top i.e. [i]make it easier I want to be hax too![/i]
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[quote name='AdrianC' timestamp='1330842126' post='4919104']
I think something like this would only work if mages had permadeath. If not, then no matter how slow and difficult you made the levelling process, you will still end up with a majority of mages in your game.

But yeah, I agree. I've always found it ridiculous that an almost god-like being can be defeated by a highly trained warrior.
[/quote]
A majority of mages is fine. A majority of Merliln-mages (as I described) would be un-fine. Trying to be a Merlin-mage would be hell on earth for the player. Discouraging god-hood if you will. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
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Look at this from the player's point of view: what is the point of being someone else than a mage (except for roleplaying players that just want to run a tawern and chat with others)?

Possible solution:
Make 100 magic towers for the whole game, each tower can hold 1 wizard and 2 apprentices (so 100 big wizards and 200 smaller wizards total). Only mages that own a tower have access to the powerful magic you described, others are just a standard RPG mages. Mages can duel with other mages to take control over a tower.
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[quote name='AdrianC' timestamp='1330842126' post='4919104']
But yeah, I agree. I've always found it ridiculous that an almost god-like being can be defeated by a highly trained warrior.
[/quote]
See [i]Death and Return of Superman[/i], on SNES and Genesis. A beat-em-up with Superman in it sounds like a great idea, except that for some odd reason, Superman can not only be killed by Doomsday, but any old schmuck roaming the streets that night. But hand it to Blizzard, because they just took that and did it anyway because it's a game.

Unfortunately, the game is also very repetitive and the story of Superman's death by Doomsday never did make sense to me, but that's beside the point.
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I think that the problem of mages being hax starts earlier and can't be avoided by letting them get this power later.

There're two kinds of mages. The first one is the one who is able to do things normal people can't do (think of harry potter). The second one is a god in human form (think of wheel of time, dragonlance, etc.).

When taking a look at the god-mode mages most stories already have trouble of handling these kind of characters. The problem is, you need to continue to increase the power, but once you reach a hi-power level you need to get rid of them, else you loose your conflict (almost no-one is able to beat him) and therefor you loose your story. Often these characters are taken out of the active story or are crippled(aka nerfed) once they get too powerful.

An interesting alternative is to shift super powers, making the "common" hero equally powerful (Marvel & DC Universe). But these are not really powerful characters any longer, because the common human are just "cannon fooder" for the bad guys, they can't really beat any super hero without an other super power (item or character).

Therefor god-like mages in games are only feasable when you cut off the power once it gets too powerful. This happens when a single player game ends, but in a open game context (i.e. MMORPG) this is a real problem.

So, to be honest, the most interesting and feasable mage is the one who is able to do minor things other can't do, but not god-like things. I.e. by igniting some candles, tricking some opponents with a little illusion (only once), being invisilbe for 10 heartbeats etc. From a game perspective these mages are really interesting, because they let you experience a game from an other perspective without delivering some kind of hack by shifting game mechanism into a new direction.
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In my MMO there is unlimited progression in all skills, but mages have the highest power curve easily. Powerful mages can do crazy things. The game has built in limits on the spread of magic and magic can only be found, no selecting a mage class. However one thing is that for mages to be really powerful they need help from various crafters and other mages and even fighters, and everyone can try to get low level magic from mages. However the game is an eternally scaling PvE only game, which is how I deal with godlike power. It would be terrible for PvP.
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A very long time ago I read a book for which I cannot remember title nor author. He attributed magic as a literal resource that covered the world. In the early days Magicians basically dominated everything and lived as gods. What happened though is that the resource of magic was not a replenishing supply. Effectively the would-be gods fell to the earth as the level of magic diminished. If you were to implement something such as this - then yes your mages could be would-be gods but their ability to go willy nilly all guns ablazin' would bring them up short very quickly. Perhaps a slow replenishment to ensure longterm viability but also careful husbandry of the most powerful magics by the mages. hmm you could probably even develop a market ingame for it - aka a carbon tax/credit scheme.


Found the book

[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magic_Goes_Away"]http://en.wikipedia....Magic_Goes_Away[/url]

Ironically if you used this system and a mage who is all-powerful literally uses up the immediate resource....then getting thumped by a barbarian does become a valid reality
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To be honest your argument is silly. Because if something can kill something else EVERYONE wants it and researches it and similar.

If magic existed it would as part of any warriors arsenal as a machine gun or a grenade. That said there is still a massive difference between a ballistic missile fired from a submarine, and the same level of skill and difference you're trying to get at.

Essentially this means that no matter how powerful your mages are: you're fighting people just as powerful as yourself, people who don't fear you as a god(sufficiently powerful kind), and you're just as at risk as the enemy.

_______

the reason "story" magic is soo different is because it takes place in our world.
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Most authors seem to disagree, the more powerful a wizard becomes, the less power he uses.

This is true for Merlin: He gives Uther a different appearance, he raises a mist, but that's pretty much it. He later helps some boy getting a sword and lets the boy/young man throw down the evil king. He could have crushed Tintagel by his will alone. He could have turned Uther into a toad when he became a mad ruler. He didn't.

It is true for Gandalf: He is easily able to slay half a dozen goblins by his will alone (he does that in the cave in "the Hobbit") and it was stated later that he could "kill many as he comes down on them like a thunderbolt". Yet, he struggles to fight them hand-to-hand every time he encounters them.
Together with the other 4 wizards, he drove Sauron away from Dol Guldur. Yet, apart from giving guidance, he did next to nothing during the war of the Ring.

It is true for Dumbledore (the one in the books that Rowling wrote herself, i.e. books 1-3). He is the greatest wizard of all times, the only one whom Riddle ever feared. He can do things that are difficult to experienced wizards at will. Yet, he leaves it to a 11 year old boy to rescue the world. He does give him guidance, every time, but it remains the boy's task to save the world. Every other wizard is seen doing more magic in the household than the greatest wizard in the world does to combat the arch enemy.

In the Discworld novels, Pratchett explicitly states how important it is not to use magic, the more powerful a wizard you are. It's a running gag in the Witch series that witches do dirty labour (do what has to be done) and use "headology" and "boffo" to make people comply, although they could as well use magic.
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[quote name='lithos' timestamp='1330998295' post='4919647']
To be honest your argument is silly. Because if something can kill something else EVERYONE wants it and researches it and similar.

If magic existed it would as part of any warriors arsenal as a machine gun or a grenade. That said there is still a massive difference between a ballistic missile fired from a submarine, and the same level of skill and difference you're trying to get at.

Essentially this means that no matter how powerful your mages are: you're fighting people just as powerful as yourself, people who don't fear you as a god(sufficiently powerful kind), and you're just as at risk as the enemy.

_______

the reason "story" magic is soo different is because it takes place in our world.
[/quote]

The reason not everyone can be a wizard is either one of birth, ie they arent born with the power or they aren't smart enough to handle it. It doesnt make sense for everyone to be a mage like it is in games.
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i agree mages should be op and deal extreme dmg and be like gods. Skyrim sucked because spells were weak and ignorable, they should have dealt 400% more dmg.

1) limitation: to cast powerfull spells they need ingredients. Ingredients act like "spells memorised per rest in dnd" and this is what adds difficulty to the mage class. Do you use omega artifact level spells to survive this battle or not ? you may need it later.

You can cast the spell disintegrate or finger of death to instantly destroy anything even if it is 99999999999 levels above you however the ingredients are too rare like 1-2 per game.
Ingredients:[list]
[*][b]casual ingredients:[/b] blink, cc, and med dmg spells (30-40% hp damage).
[*][b]rare ingredients:[/b] strong spells with 7 sec stun (works on bosses), or spells that kill simple enemies, deal 60% dmg against elites, 40% dmg against bosses. These are really expensive, cost ~= all gold generated per dungeon.
[*][b]artifact ingredients:[/b] op spells that can instantly destroy the entire universe in 1 button press.
[/list]
2) storywise: unaffected. Just add "bluff / alazony dialog options" to mage class.

3) It makes sense everyone to be able to become a mage, magic should be something common.
If you want to play crappy real world, go play big brother, not a fantasy game.

Warrior vs mage pvp:
1) Anti-mage spec warrior : aura of silence. Nuff said instant win.
2) Buffed before battle Mage: mage goes in melee and kills the warrior with his sword in 3 hits and takes almost no dmg.
3) potionspammer warrrior: unlimited hp = unkillable.
A warrior could use weapons enchanted by magic to have a chance to cast a mage spell, e.g 1% cast to instantly kill the target.
or 40% chance to cast fireball.

Actually now that i realise it the pvp in this system will suck as it will be a 0/1 binary choice, its instant win or instant lose. No choice. No skillshots. Player action cant change the outcome and realies too much on "stats".
Well the solution is simple, disable rare/artifact spells, potions in pvp.
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[quote name='AltarofScience' timestamp='1331058322' post='4919848']
[quote name='lithos' timestamp='1330998295' post='4919647']
To be honest your argument is silly. Because if something can kill something else EVERYONE wants it and researches it and similar.

If magic existed it would as part of any warriors arsenal as a machine gun or a grenade. That said there is still a massive difference between a ballistic missile fired from a submarine, and the same level of skill and difference you're trying to get at.

Essentially this means that no matter how powerful your mages are: you're fighting people just as powerful as yourself, people who don't fear you as a god(sufficiently powerful kind), and you're just as at risk as the enemy.

_______

the reason "story" magic is soo different is because it takes place in our world.
[/quote]

The reason not everyone can be a wizard is either one of birth, ie they arent born with the power or they aren't smart enough to handle it. It doesnt make sense for everyone to be a mage like it is in games.
[/quote]

I don't really like this line of arguement because we're dealing with fiction you can whip up any type of story element that you want.

evolution demands that if a form of energy exisists life takes advantage of it, so I don't really like that story element.
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Since this is in Game Design, I'll reply to this from a game design perspective. It seems like everyone else is replying to this as though either 1) balancing the game is not in the question or 2) you're writing a story.

First, if I were to play a game like this, I would probably quit within a week if it was an MMORPG/RPG that used a magic system like this and only had Mage as an available class. However, you've really given no architecture for the game itself. I'm not aware if there are other classes, if it's supposed to be an MMORPG or an RPG or an RTS, and the list goes on. Because of that, I'm not entirely sure if I'd want to play it very long or not, though it's pretty safe to say I'd probably not be very interested.

Second, a problem I see is that you are disregarding balance: you're only mentioning mages in your game, and you're specifically catering to the kinds of players who enjoy playing mages. If mages will slowly become better and better as you play and get new artifacts and slay dragons, why would you even want to play a warrior at all? Might as well cash in on those extra benefits if you're going to play the game.

Third, PvP options would pretty much be thrown to the wind if you attempted a system like this in a game that included PvP. You'd have to find some way of judging how powerful one mage is before pitting it against another mage, otherwise it'd be completely unfair.

Fourth, you describe becoming a powerful mage as being hell on earth, a terrible experience, and a horrible time. Why include a system that encourages these kinds of experiences in your game? If players aren't having fun, they're going to quit. If they feel they can't get better unless they jump into a pit of flames (in real life, mind you), then they'll quit. It looks like you're trying to make a game where you introduce a string of unbalanced systems that are only accessible to those who have 200 hours to spare getting there.
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Warriors vs mages in all rpg games.

Warriors:
1) have unlimited "blue juice".
2) win in pve raid dps but suck in pvp against mages.
3) are meatshields having huge hp.
4) can ignore positioning in battle.
5) can zerg enemies.

Mages:
1) can permakite warriors.
2) deals more damage than warriors.
3) when mage runs out of mana he is dead.
4) squishy.
5) can die in 1 warrior combo.
6) can attack from range.
7) can aoe in large group battles and win.

@GHMP
you must refer to the ingredients.

the rare/artifact ingredients are like consumable items so playing for 200 hours just to get 1 charge, will mean nothing since they will lose them after 1 battle.

Conserving Rare / artifact level spells are more suited in a roguelike game. Do you die now ? or use your rare spells to survive this encounter. Players who are prepared for the battle may get away with casual spells.
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The problem I see here is that Merlin, or whichever god-like wizard you choose, is old, wise, and knowledgeable of this immense power called magic, whereas the average gamer is an obnoxious tool. Acharis probably gives the best solution, limiting these uber wizards while creating a second tier of pseudo-uber wizards (the assistants who will most likely be the next to overthrow the currently residing god-wizard) and also creating a pvp game mechanic where wizards struggle for control of these towers. Further, the wizard's enhanced power could be limited to a certain range of his tower, creating zones where different god-wizards reign suppreme. But your challenge here, also stated by Acharis, is still how to attract players to the lesser non-wizard roles. Why do I want to be a swordsman or an archer when I will never be as important a figure as a wizard?

As AdrianC said regarding permadeath, think of the old game Gemstone III. Warriors were the easier class to start out, jumping right into battle and quickly gaining levels with their high constitution and strength, but at higher levels warriors became more of a phenomena since the entire persona of the Warrior is to place itself in danger. The most common high level classes were Empaths, a largely non-combat class, because they could gain experience slowly but incredibly safely by healing in towns. Wizards and Sorcerers were slower to start than Warriors in Gemstone III, since they could not jump into combat like the Warrior, but would attain powerful spells later on which would compensate, if not overcompensate, for their weakness. With your realist approach to the wizard's level of power you have to consider how the wizard attains this power. Since that power is attained through studies, or mental exertions instead of physical, the wizard will never gain any HP or toughness or capability of sustaining physical damage. With permadeath, this makes the wizard a high-risk high-reward class as even at higher levels one small mistake will put your wizard in life-threatening danger (thus derailing all of that hard work). Wizards having such high potential, yet having such an obvious vulnerability, could make them fun targets for non-wizard classes. Archers become the bane of Wizards, and thus a mundane class now holds power over the seemingly invulnerable. Wizards would be more inclined to make friends and allies with mundane classes early on, promoting community between Wizards and mundane classes (and possibly even campaigns against wizards by former mundane allies spurned upon the wizard's rise to power).

Anyway, just a thought. Good luck, I think this is possible.
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Oh and what's stopping a level 1 mage from just macroing the incantiation and word?
Just hotkey it and you can spam it like a lvl 3 mage
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All that I can say is made moot if this sort of game were made and found a market. My main line of thinking is, "Why have all the grinding, or if it is so hard to become a Merlin-level wizard why is the game rewarding a player with more advantages when they clearly are already very skilled?"

This entire thread boils down to that old RPG trope ([url="http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BraggingRightsReward"]http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BraggingRightsReward[/url]) of defeating the most impossibly hard enemy in a game to get the very best damage-dealer (spell, weapon, etc.) only to realize that the only situation in which this item would have felt really rewarding to use would be the very challenge required to attain it.
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I was thinking that Mages would simply be overpowered. Sure, everyone loves aa flashy move, except for those warriors, but you have now neglected any balance whatsoever. Possibly by giving more importance to warriors could you hope to balance it or maybe a thief can run around the blast but as said before, balance is the exact idea of a meta game.
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The old balance rule applies, as in every good rpg. If there is a very powerful mage, than that mage must be easily killed as well, in special situations, at last. a special weakness
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