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DarkMage139

Book of DM139 Chapter 3: I have +3 INT therefore I am

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DarkMage139    294
Well, it's been long enough since my last chapter (too long perhaps). I think you've all recovered nicely from my last attempt at GD ranting and raving. Well, this time, I'll be discussing two of my favorite subjects: Experience (the basis of End Goblin Genocide ) and magic. And so begins Chapter 3 of my book of warped ideas... --------------- Part I: I've got mad skillz A lot of people here are quite familiar with the concept of 'skills'. If you aren't, I'll explain. If you've ever played Daggerfall (and if you haven't, you're missing out on a lot. Get the demo at least!), you might notice that when you go around hitting things with a broadsword, your 'Long Sword' skill gets a little bit better. Of if you go jumping around like Neo from The Matrix , your 'Jumping' skill improves. And of course, if you like making people spontaneously explode, your 'Destruction' skill goes up. And if you like teleporting into your girlfriend's bedroom, your 'Mysticism' (or is it 'Thaumaturgy'?) skill goes up (among other things... *wink*). Now, this is all nice and good, but why am I bringing this up? Well, the answer is simple. [waves hand like a Jedi] You will get rid of the levelling system... [/waves hand like a Jedi] Sound weird? Yes it is. Sound insane? Absolutely. Sound stupid? Only to the infidels untrained minds. You see, you can successfully replace levelling with a fullscale skill system. When you perform certain actions (such as teleporting into your girlfriend's bedroom *winks*), certain skills boost upwards. And of course, over time, certain attributes (strength, dexterity, intelligence, speed, etc.) boost over time (though a bit more slowly than your skills). For instance, as you keep on casting spells, your intelligence level boosts. If you keep whacking monsters, your strength goes up. If you keep getting impaled every 5 seconds (and live through it), your toughness (and perhaps your maximum health) goes up as well. And if you keep running around like you have an army of Orcs on your tail (if you're like me, you probably do have a horde or two out to get you), your Speed increases ('Speed' allows you to do things faster, such as slashing at people, loading arrows, and chasing babe-, I mean, uh... goblins). Still not convinced? Well, you can use the traditional levelling system. But ask yourself for a moment... is levelling really more interesting? (NOTE : I can feel my 'Writing' skill boosting already! Woohoo! ) --------------- Part II: Magic If you read fantasy novels (and if you don't... good heavens, what the !@$% is wrong with you?! ), you might have noticed how wizards describe the consequences of continually casting spells. It goes something like this: The strain of spell began to weaken me physically. My head swam and I felt a great weariness come upon me... All right, so that's a nice passage. But what's the point? Well, I've yet to see any fantasy novel describe the experience to be something like this: As I cast the spell, I felt my mana meter going low... Are getting my point now? THERE ARE NO MANA METERS IN FANTASY NOVELS! Constant spellcasting results in a 'great weariness', not a low mana meter. Mana meters exist only in our games! And it's one of the reasons that magic no longer seems so magical! Some of you might remember a post that was made saying that we should keep magic 'magical'. Even in Daggerfall, it seems to be more of a science than anything. Now, some of you may think that's cool, but I happen to be a fan of keeping magic a non-scientific practice. If you've read enough fantasy novels, you might notice that magic is something that springs forth from the ethereal realms (which is beyond mortal comprehension). OK, so what's the point of this ranting and raving? Well, I happen to be in favor of getting rid of the mana meter (or at least the part of the interface that keeps track of how much mana you have left). Now I know you think that this is a pretty weird idea. But I have a good alternative to 'mana'. In Daggerfall (which is an awesome game, though its got a few bugs), there's something called 'Fatigue'. In the interface, there's a 'fatigue meter', which keeps track of how much strength you have left. As you keep running around and beating stuff up, you start getting tired, and if your Fatigue Meter reaches zero, you faint from weakness (and while you're unconscious, some wandering monster can come by and eat you). My suggestion is that instead of using mana, we use the Fatigue Meter. As you keep on casting, you get tired. Eventually, it's possible to cast so much that you just drop from the energy drain. Another interesting aspect is that as you grow tired, your brain works less well. So after a good deal of spellcasting, you can't really focus very much, and things start to get messy. That fireball spell of yours just fizzles out before it even leaves your hand, for one. Makes for a much more interesting situation, don't you think? --------- P.S. Due to the fact that I can't get online very often these days, I may not be able to respond to replies anytime soon. I apologize in advance for this. - DarkMage139 (Neokatana Software) ============================== Memorable Tibera\GDT quotes "I'm hungry. Can you shove some food into the monitor for me?" - MattD "That has to be Max. He's the only one who can get girls." - Facehat "I won't fight you. I believe that nothing can be resolved by violence. However, if you really want me to kick the crap out of you..." - SonicTsunami "They kicked us out, remember?" - snes16bit (upon being told to 'go to hell') Edited by - DarkMage139 on October 15, 2001 10:55:09 AM

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Ingenu    1629
Nothing new in here, there are RPGs (real) that use that kind of system, which is also covered in ''Spells and Magic'' book for Ad&d 2nd.

...

-* So many things to do, so little time to spend. *-

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Ronin_54    122
Though magical fatigue is nothing like physical fatigue. This really bothered me in Arcanum. The average mage had more constitution then the average fighter. Why? ''cause they needed the fatique. Effect? They also had more hitpoints then a fighter :D

Though, in fantasy novels, a mage isn''t really that much of a powerhouse against a sword... I guess we should keep track of 2 kinds of fatigue: mental and physical. When determining the effects on the character: use the worst value. When magical fatigue is relativly lower then physical, use that one to calculate speed and such.

Effect? Mage don''t become powerhouses, and aren''t better at swimming and such, just because they need fatigue to cast spells Though the effects of spellcasting fatique would be the same as normal fatigue...

When a mage climbs a slope, he might become too tired to walk even a single step.
When a fighter casts a MagicMissile(tm), he could also not take a single step ''cause of mental fatigue :D

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Silvermyst    113
SKILLS:

I much favor a skill-based system over a level-based system.

The only worry I have with skill-based is that it tends to become a macro game.

''I want to be the best sword fighter in the world. Let me just whack my sword at [insert hapless creature] and I will soon be the best sword fighter in the world indeed.''

If used like that, your basically replacing the good ol'' leveling system with a more diverse skill-system. But the principle will still be the same.

Leveling system: If I get enough ep I will advance to the next level where I will become more powerful overall and be able to distribute some points to various skills.

Skill system: If I get enough ep in one particular skill I will be able to advance to the next skill level where I will become more powerful.

Both systems lead to Rome, except that the skill-system is a little more interesting. There''s just more to see and do.

I think to create a truly new system, you need to come up with a way to remove macroing from the game. Sure, when you use your sword a lot, you''ll become better at it. But only so much each day. And only certain actions will help. And you can only advance so far. And... and...

MAGIC:

True. Magic in current computer ''rpgs'' has lost a lot of flavor. It seems to me that it''s just a matter of picking the most powerful spells, and gaining enough items to boost your mana. After that, you can just blast your enemies away, using the same arsenal of spells over and over and over again.

I think the idea of making magic drain your energy is a sound one. I especially like the idea of making magic spells become less effective the less energy the caster has left. This will force casters to delay casting their spells until it''s absolutely necessary.

Sure, you COULD cast that fireball spell right at the get-go and do 100% damage, but the energy loss that you suffer as a result from casting it might make your next fireball spell only 50% effective. Do you cast your spell fast, causing massive amounts of damage at the onset of the fight or do you wait and only cast your spell when you really need it later on in the fight?

Finally, I think that to add a lot of flavor to spellcasting, it''s completely okay with me to make spellcasting difficult and time-consuming. Too many games now seem to cater to spellcasters. That''s okay, but they cater too much. Melee has become obsolete and boring. Some games have but one option for melee: press auto-attack button and wait till either you or enemy dies. Spellcasters get more options. They get to choose from a wide range of spells (which of course have to ALL be perfectly balanced.. yuck! I hate balancing! I wish we could do away with it completely). They get to do many different things each battle, and even outside battles they can do many different things (teleport spells etc).

So, we''re already catering to players who want to play spellcasters. I say let''s put some deterrants up. Make memorizing spells time-consuming. Make spellcasters extremely weak in their early career (take a current game like Everquest. I say make spellcasters sweat it out until at least level 10. Make sure players know that if they play a spellcaster, they''ll have to be on their toes until level 10 and that after that they''ll start to gain momentum on melee classes... and eventually will outpower them at higher levels). Make casting spells a little more complicated then just pressing a hotkey button.

I''m sure many casters will complain, but I just don''t like the idea of easy magic. It takes away from the glamor.

(of course, it has to remain fun)

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
I just want to put in my two cents, this is a good subject.

Skills vs levels:
About the skill system and leveling system. I feel that they both have their advantages and disadvantages. I personally believe that a good mix of both would be great.

My idea is for the computer to keep track of what you are doing the most and then when you get enough xp to level, a character will be given points to distribute and whatever you have been doing the most will get a bonus to its increase. Say every point put into the skill would raise it by 2 instead of 1. This will keep characters from macroing characters to high skill levels by killing weak foes for they will still need the xp. Also the skill that gets the bonus will be the skill that is used the most. Meaning you wont have to raise a skill x amount of times for it to get the bonus, as long as you use it more then others.


Magic:
Now for the magic element. Ive seen so many ideas bounce back and forth about this. I have played many RPGs and I tend to dislike the spellcasters. Why you ask? Because they are always the same. Too weak at start, too powerful at end, too much trouble to control. Spells tend to all be the same. You get a lightning bolt at level 3 that does 50 dmg, then you get a fireball at level 4 that does 60 dmg, then you get a meteor spell at level 5 that does 70 dmg, get my point? I know that much of any game is like this but more effort needs to be put into changing the type of spells other then just changing the effects and adding x amount of dmg. The game that Im designing is veering off the traditional type of spellcasting. Sorry but I cant disclose too much, just let it be known that this type of thing is something that game designers should really frown upon.

I think that many of us have grown up with fantasy novels describing the "almighty sorcerer" that may strike a knight down in a single incantation. From this we have been stuck on the notion that the sorcerer should begin weaker then the warrior and grow to be much more powerful. This would work in a single player game, but consider mmorpgs which is what I like to design. Sure when the players first begin, they see no problem. The warriors are content because they are more powerful and the sorcerers are content because of the expectation of being more powerful. The problem arises in the late game when warriors become relatively underpowered and begin to feel useless. The simple solution is to detach ourselves from the all-powerful wizard and think of great wizards and great warriors as being equal.


About the exaustion or mana factors. I really dont think either should apply. If you are to use the exaustion factor, you should also apply it to warriors becoming exausted after swinging their weapon. Since it would apply to both warriors and casters, it simply becomes a hindrance and should be eliminated alltogether. Off course you dont have to, you could actually apply strategy to it since stamina is a finite supply in a battle and finite supplies tend to lead to the need for strategy =). Dont know how exactly that would work but its something to think about. If its just a matter of adding fatigue to spellcasting and/or melee fighting, then I see it as a burden and should not even be considered.

Finally, Sorry Silvermyst but I respectfully disagree with you that deterrants should be added to the casters. Instead, the warriors should be looked at and improved. That is in addition to my point about spells that I stated above. Doing things such as making memorizing spells time consuming would do away with much of the fun of being a wizard. I dont believe that being a wizard should be difficult. I do believe that being a great wizard should be thought provoking. Keeping this in mind, we dont need to add burden to the class. We instead should add more strategy to it. Make it that not every battle becomes a burden, but the epic battles require strategy. Im planning on posting on this soon so look for a post of mine in the near future =). Im currently developing the classes and skills for my mmorpg and this is what im dealing with at this moment.

Alohaz


The poetry of silence is what
my parents read to me,
perhaps the greatest verse,
for it does not bias the mind---Me =)














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Ronin_54    122
Fatigue should be different from warriors and spellcasters.

Swinging a sword, well... a master warrior could probably do that all day without feeling even a bit tired... Swining a sledgehammer while lugging around full plate armour and a backpack... Hmmm... Perhaps get a packhorse :D

A master wizard could probably walk around all day creating light everywhere he walks. But casting a devestating spell, that strikes down a warrior? That would also nearly strike down the wizard... Perhaps a grand wizard would last a bit longer...

Make sure not everyone can be a grand wizard... There can only be like... 8 of them in your world. When a new player wants to become a grand wizard, he would have to defeat one in battle. Seeing as how you are weaker, you could either gather a team of wizards to do it (and get a battle amongst each othet :p ), or hire an army of fighters whom are alligned with you... But, such a grand wizard would most likely have his own group of warriors, since he can''t cast unlimited spells. And wasting those spells to kill warriors would not be smart, since there is a wizard hunting his ass. In the end, both wizards would most likely end up beefing up and protecting their army, and perhaps distracting the other wizard, while the fighters can enjoy hacking ans slashing their way through the hostile army....

Combine classes instead of deviding them :D

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Silvermyst    113
HAPABOY:

quote:
I think that many of us have grown up with fantasy novels describing the "almighty sorcerer" that may strike a knight down in a single incantation. From this we have been stuck on the notion that the sorcerer should begin weaker then the warrior and grow to be much more powerful. This would work in a single player game, but consider mmorpgs which is what I like to design. Sure when the players first begin, they see no problem. The warriors are content because they are more powerful and the sorcerers are content because of the expectation of being more powerful. The problem arises in the late game when warriors become relatively underpowered and begin to feel useless. The simple solution is to detach ourselves from the all-powerful wizard and think of great wizards and great warriors as being equal.


I guess it all depends on how you see magic. If magic is widely available in your setting (are there a lot of magic items? lot of magical enemies? if so, being a spellcaster should be easier than it would be in a world where magic is scarce) spellcasters would logically be able to achieve a lot of power fast.
Still, I think a world, even a virtual one, where magic is easily attained, should be a world where magic dominates. If I can learn how to create a powerful blast of fire in a short period of time, why should I bother learning how to use a sword? (of course, ideally, I''d be able to do both)

I really would like to make the road of spellcasting one where players actually have to go through somewhat of a learning process.

In the same way, I''d like to make melee combat more complex as well. I''ve played a few arcade style ''rpg'' games (Blade of Darkness) and it was easy to see how much more fun swordfighting is when you actually get to somewhat handle the blade (as opposed to pressing auto-attack). I think players who choose for melee should have just as many fun options as spellcasters currently have. They should be able to use many different moves, create their own special moves etc.

But even for melee, there should be a learning curve. A beginning player might choose for auto-attack. Then, while he plays, he learns how to control the sword and little by little he starts to take control of certain melee elements. First, he learns how to move in combat. At that time, he''ll still let the computer take care of the actual sword. But, later on, when he feels confident, he even takes control of that sword.

I feel that as far as the magic vs melee debate, melee should be easier to learn in the beginning. After all, pick up a dagger, learn one or two moves, and you can fight someone who''s unarmed. But you can''t just pick up a book of magic, read glance through it and hope to be able to cast some spells.
On the other hand, you can''t become a master swordfighter by just a little bit of practice. You need to study and practice a lot, just like you need to study magic.

1 simplest melee
2 simple melee/simplest magic
3 normal melee/simple magic
4 advanced melee/normal magic
5 complicated melee/advanced magic
6 complicated magic

I think that lists my personal idea of how magic vs melee should progress. And I think that if you create a logical virtual world where magic exists, you almost HAVE to let powerful wizards be MORE powerful than powerful fighters. If you don''t, you''ll have a hard time toning down the power of the magic spells. You''ll have to make initial spells almost useless to use.

To me, what it all comes down to is that player skill has to become more prominent (as opposed to just character skill). Ah well, but that''s just me.

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Ronin_54    122
Hmmm... Since this is somewhat the indie-scene, we might as well try something revolutionary.

Ever tried to use two mouses at the same time?

Two mouses would be wonderfull to use in combat: one for moving around, and one for controlling a sword.

It could also be wonderfull for magic: let''s say you need to do the same move with the other mouse, though mirrored... The more accurate you are, the more powerfull your spell.

These things would both require skill to use. But now, you could really encounter those whom are born with the innate abilaty to cast/fight. They are the ones whom, at low level, can control their character without problems. Higher level characters will off course also improve on their skills...

Attaining feats could be directly linked to these moves. Perhaps with a master swordsman, the computer would ''assist'' in aiming the sword. A master wizard would be allowed to be lazy with his moves, keeping them out of sync, and still cast the spell successfull. Or, when done right, at 150% power.

Also, perhaps magic means letting two hands do different things, like with fighting?

What do you guys think? Want to use two mouses?

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_martin_    122
quote:
Original post by DarkMage139
THERE ARE NO MANA METERS IN FANTASY NOVELS! Constant spellcasting results in a ''great weariness'', not a low mana meter. [...] My suggestion is that instead of using mana, we use the Fatigue Meter. As you keep on casting, you get tired. Eventually, it''s possible to cast so much that you just drop from the energy drain.



Having to track a Fatigue Meter rather than a Mana Meter doesn''t seem much more wonderful and magic to me. If we want to have magic be, well "magical", I think it shouldn''t be tracked by a meter, regardless of the meter''s name.

Having said this, I now realize I just can''t end my post here without any suggestions for improvement . OK, here are a few alternatives off the top of my head:

- Have magic work better or worse depending on transient conditions. For example, magic works best at night when there is a full-moon not obscured by clouds.

- Have magic work by channeling magic fields, which vary by location.

- Have magic only work with special hard-to-find or expensive ingredients. This way the ingredients limit spellcasting, rather than a Mana/Fatigue meter. Also, finding the ingredients could be an adventure in itself. For example, ingredients might be "the sound of silence", or "a tear from a dragon".


Good thread by the way. Magic certainly should be more "magical" in games.

/Martin





... we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender...
Winston Churchill, June 4 1940

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DarkMage139    294
Thanks for all the ideas! I''m reworking my stuff and design already.

_martin_: Thanks for the comment about the meters. I''ll think of an alternative...

Ronin_54: Hmm... I don''t even want to know how to program that

Silvermyst: In Daggerfall, you use the mouse to control swordfighting.

hapaboy: Yeah... I think that the notion that great warriors and great wizards should be equal is applicable in singleplayer as well as MMORPGs.

- DarkMage139 (Neokatana Software)
==============================
Memorable Tibera\GDT quotes
"I''m hungry. Can you shove some food into the monitor for me?" - MattD
"That has to be Max. He''s the only one who can get girls." - Facehat
"I won''t fight you. I believe that nothing can be resolved by violence. However, if you really want me to kick the crap out of you..." - SonicTsunami
"They kicked us out, remember?" - snes16bit (upon being told to ''go to hell'')

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