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# The true mage vs. Computer mage

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(Borrowed shamelessly from an article I read somewhere mostly pertaining to MMORPGs but nonetheless still pertaining...) If you take a look at any famous literary mage you wills see that they rarely use magic. Gandlaf used magic maybe 3 times, Saurman only twice maybe and that would be some sort of charm spell, Merlin, almost never, you can think of some more. anyways, a Computer mages is basically an archer with different kinds of arrows, more powerful arrows, but with worse melee than an archer. They are fireball machines. The literary mages(although there are some that spew fireballs) are subtle. You know they can level a continent if they want to, but they dont. They are generally plot devices, nothing else. They hold tons of wisdom and spend more time in dusty books than adventuring. Problem with playing one is, it''s boring. But I think that the current accepted mage system(Bring up spell window, see if you have the mana to cast spell, click on spell, point at enemy, see fireball, lightneing, etc) sucks. It brings a large focus on powerleveling, which I also hate. But how do you make a good magic system that is more akin to a true mage than a lightning rod? And for that matter, how do you balance out a magic system and make it more interesting if you do decide to implement the chain lightening mage? And a final question, how do you make mage research interesting. Not with a percentage complete bar and at the end a new spell. But how do you make it seems cool and random. I have some thoughts but I want to hears others'' thoughts first. If noone has any thoughts on it, then Ill post my thoughts to see if anyone has thoughts on my thoughts on it. DJM

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Had a design related to this a while ago, but I got lots of flak, because apparently people want magic to work for them, they don''t want to have to work for magic. Anyway, this is how it works.
Modular Spell-design, Dynamic Spellcasting

A spell is the ordered set of unions of elements and influences. A spellcaster who has a desired effect in mind must construct a spell out of known element-influence unions.

Elements - are collected from the world, a mage may meditate in any given place, and depending on his/her surroundings, a suitable element will be retrieved. The base effectiveness of any element is quite low, so it must be used before it can be really effective.

Influences - Come from linear combinations of the primary forces: Order, Expansion, Contraction, Motion, Negation, Entropy

So a spell may work as follows.

Fireball

> Fire + [Motion-Contraction-Order]
! Fire + [Expansion-Entropy]

The right angle bracket is the initiation, the exclamation mark is an interupt. For a spellcaster to create this spell, he/she must get the fire element (meditate in front of a hearth), and adapt it to control with each of the Influences that are desired (research, hit the books!).

The combination of an Element and an Influence is called a Unit, and a spell is thusly made up of one or more Units.

When the time comes to cast a spell, the spell caster enters a trance. He/she then generates a Unit and infuses his/her aura with it. Once all of the desired Units have been generated and linked to their necessary triggers (initiation/interupt) the mage will discharge his/her aura in a desired direction. If someone touches the aura while it is infused with Units from an incomplete spell, they all discharge at random.
It is still a grossly under-developed system, but I never really took the time to make it interesting because people hated it so much.

George D. Filiotis
Are you in support of the ban of Dihydrogen Monoxide? You should be!

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Here''s one I''ve been kicking around for a little while...

Basic Concept:
Reduce the taint of cookie cutter mages in a fantasy setting. Mages do not have direct power to cause any magical effects.

How they work instead is by being able to summon other creatures. To be able to do anything "magical" they have to first summon an appropriate creature, then convince it to do what they want.

Step 1: Attempt to summon a creature. Not always succesful, and botching it could result in calling something that wasn''t intended.
Step 2: Deal with the creature.
- Simple tasks will be relatively easy (for example, calling a fire elemental to set fire to a door that''s right in front of the mage). The creature will most likely do it because it''s quicker than arguing and once they do it, they can go home. Calling a particular creature or kind of creature repeatedly for menial tasks will cause either the creature (or a superior creature) to get irritated, causing trouble for the mage...
- More complex tasks or a mildly irritated creature might require some sort of sacrifice from the mage, varying based on the type of creature (gold, items, stats, some sort of favor, etc). (asking an air elemental to fill a ships sails for a faster journey).
- Really complex or dangerous tasks might require a really signifigant sacrifice or quest performed by the mage. Calling the same creature during a quest for that creature would be really frowned upon, and will likely call off the deal. Pretty good chance that the creature will just laugh at the mage in the first place. (Asking a fire elemental to take out an entire city)
Step 3: Mage makes any payment agreed upon.
Step 4: Mage hopes that the creature holds up their end of the bargain...

Instills a certain amount of mystery and danger into creating magical effects, and makes a mage really stop to think before they use their magic. They''re still powerful, but they''re not blasting every goblin in sight.

Priests could work in pretty much the same way, asking their diety to send an angel to fight on their side, etc. Big tasks like bringing someone back from the dead would probably require a quest or pilgrimage or something along the same lines. They''d be focused to one particular source of power, but would probably benefit from their patron being less likely to get irritated, as long as they''re acting in accordance with the dietys principles.

They''re coming for you!

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Good thread, and I agree completely. But as it has been said before, playing a Saruman-like wizard is not compatible with the average RPG.

Well, maybe RPGs are no good for the job. I believe a RTS is much more fit to create a complex Wizard than a RPG. (Actually Saruman did play a RTS in LotR - cut wood build army, etc.) If you remember Master of Magic - it''s wizards were perfect.

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Symphonic, you are proposing a pretty complicated and time consuming spell system. Now it may be interesting, but the real challenge with using this system is that the entire rest of the game must change. You cannot play a wizard like that in the average RPG. Find a Orc behind the corner, he''ll eat your character alive before it finishes the trance.

pwd, that can work. Notice that you add strategy elements to the game - controlling units etc. I wonder if the two genres could be combined - Wizards playing a RTS from the height and immunity of their tower, the lesser classes playing a MMORPG in the same game world?

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I had a system in mind somewhat like symphonics. In my system the only thing you used was elemental effects and and with an increase in level of your spell caster you unlock different effects. For example if your spell caster has air and fire ability then he/she can use them individually (at a low level it would go air = smite, fire = spark) or combine them into a flame strike type spell. At a higher level air could be used for levitation and flight then cool stuff like twisters and tornados later on. The main thing I would like to see is magic that can alter the landscape ie burndown buildings or forest or put ruptures in the earth or flatten building or moutains. Eventually even allowing highest level mages to construct new areas of the map, in effect creating their own magical domains and planes.

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cut wood build army !!!!
LOL.
Obvoisly Jackson played warcraft 2 too much !!!!
There was a similar thread a month or two ago, and I started work on a concept for a spell language.

---------------------------------------------
Espello

Essentially, the Espello lanuge is made up of three types;
#variable# = varies
#connector# = sigals change-of-operand
#operator# = does something with a #variable#

Being a spell language, you have to get everything correct, because if you dont, you get a backlash from the elements that you have called.
You are given the capability for more power with each spell you do; the bigger sizes; the more capability.
Of course, the more powerful you are, a incorectly done spell will backlash stronger(more force goes into it)

Syntax:

#element1#( e #element2#) la #size#(e la #size#) (del #object#(le #objectpart#)) eso #action# muso #intensity> (y #element#( e #element#))...

4 elements.

fuego = fire
terre = earth
hydra = water
aeres = air

These form 4 points of a diamond. Opposing points do not work with each other.

Air
|
Fire - - Water
|
Earth

e is a connector for element to element.
It operates element1 on element2.

la is a connector, indicating the power value.
first element power and next element power.

8 powers
uno = 1
dos = 2
thrais = 3
quatro = 4
quinto = 5
secto = 6
seiape = 7
octo = 8

del is a connector. It is the object on which the spell happens.
If omitted you will need a element2 and it will happen on the element2.

le is a connector. It says what object of the object gets operated on.

Objects can be anything, but certain things are defined...

eso is a connector, showing that the action will be next.
Actions:
negoto = negate this much.
aco = do this much.
cour = call, but do not work it. Given a number, later, you can do aco

y is a next-spell connector.

Sample spells.

aeres la dos del physo le pedico eso aco muso uno

Air, size 2, your-body, your-feet, act, low-intensity.

You can now float a bit. It only size two and pretty weak, so you wont be able to do alot,
but it will last awhile.

---------------------------
Its pretty rough, but you can see the elemtnts there.
What you would do is start out with, say...level 1 power, and a few words. As you go around doing stuff, you can go say to...the
White City, persuade the Archiver to let you into the library and wander around the shelves. You see a book and read it. You may find a new word, and be able to apply it. Also, you may learn new grammar structures. Like 'e' You can add elemts with e.

Thats something you could learn.

Now, because having the character auto-remember is really really
lame, what you do is the play writes down the hard-opy word.

Naturally, if you had a MMORPG, people would be reluctant to
share words of power, because that would militate against
winning.

The more spells you do, the more levels you get. However, you must do certain things to be able to gain power- like a quest. As you continue on the quest, your power increases with each spell.
Its kind of rough, but I think that it could be a viable spell/magic system.

Bugle4d

Edited by - Vlion on February 21, 2002 11:11:55 PM

Edited by - Vlion on February 21, 2002 11:14:36 PM
-the parsing system is really crappy, btw

Edited by - Vlion on February 21, 2002 11:16:03 PM

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Isn''t part of the problem the nature of the challenges the mage faces?

If he''s pitted against hordes, his spell casting becomes necessarily repetitive as the machine-gun archer. I''d think part of the answer would lie in smarter, more powerful enemies who are more infrequent.

Another problem would be the number of people who wanted to play a mage. In the great myths/stories people admire, there''s only one Gandalf, or Merlin. Merlin clones dilutes Merlin''s uniqueness.

A thought on balance: If mages are powerful enough to raze cities or entire lands, other mages could very simply serve to balance against them. Sort of a "Mutually Assured Magical Destruction."

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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Magical force as a Black & White creature

Another weird thought on this... What if the mage''s force was an invisible extension to the player''s avatar that had to be trained?

One problem I have with cRPG magic is that the interface and process for initiating magic is too mechanical. It would be interesting if the player''s force (represented maybe by a blur where it covers the screen) learned to work for the player in a context sensitive fashion. For instance, sending their power against a mountain pass might cause the force to "look for" an avalanche that it could cause (as in LOTR) if there were enemies, but create an ice bridge if there were allies there.

Part of the fun of being a mage, then, would be in literally taming one''s magick.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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I''d love a spell based system like that but I think it''s too
unfair against non-italians(?) No but really it should be
something not so real world... I always liked the syntax of
spells like they had in Ultima, like Corp Por, or In an flam
(That was about the only thing I DID like but...thats another
story)
Being able to create your own spells from words should be allowed
but its just too complicated to be done well yet IMHO.

-=Lohrno

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quote:
Original post by Wavinator
A thought on balance: If mages are powerful enough to raze cities or entire lands, other mages could very simply serve to balance against them. Sort of a "Mutually Assured Magical Destruction."

I think thats what would happen. People on MMORPGs are childlike
even children in most cases. I know this very well being a
former Evercrack addict. If anyone has the power to destroy,
rest assured they WILL destroy. Well, in the case of offline,
why give someone the power to do this if doing this will cause
bad things to happen? I mean it would be kinda more realistic,
but I think it wouldnt be as fun...

-=Lohrno

Edited by - Lohrno on February 21, 2002 12:13:55 AM

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Lohrno-
I am genuine american.
The language is loosly based on the few spanish and latin words I know. I thought about Welsh or German, but I thought that a romance type lang would be cooler.
But it should e diffivult to be a mage.
Otherwise every dork can be a mage.
In most fantasy books, becoming a mage is a long ardurous process, and most people are not mages.
So, it would be logical to suppose that to be a mage in a game, it would be hard.
I havnt played any mmorpg(im not paying for a game i bought once)
But I think that if it took- say a month in RL to achieve any real power, it would neatly balance things out.
Or maybe 2 months....
Mages get alot of power, but it takes forever to get it.
Warriors dont get much power(maybe a word or two, perhaps a amulet), but they can cut heads off earlier.

Controlling destructive impulses..hmmm...the more you destroy, the more your power becomes uncontrollable ?
Kinda like in the star wars books, where luke becomes really powerful, but eventually finds out that it leads to the dark side...

If you blow the top off a mountain, because you needed so much
power to do it, maybe your power would constantly leak.
Like when you were walking along, all of a sudden bushes would ignite, or a tree would suddenly grow in front of you.
So if you were really powerful and constantly used it, spells would constantly emanate from you.
But if you were not using all that power, you would be more controlled.

That aura idea looks nice...
ill check back laterz...
gotta run !

Bugle4d

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Wavinator pretty much summed up what I wanted to say on some points.

Everyone must fight ridiculously large amounts of monsters and the mage, not having melee abilities, has to fight as if he did, except with magic.

How do you avoid ridiculous mage combat?
1. Try to avoid combat altogether. The mage may cast fewer spells to be secretive and mysterious and take special roads (or no roads at all).
2. Limit a mage as he should be limited. Don''t allow endless blasting. Tire a mage out, especially if he''s casting large spells. And perhaps don''t allow mana regeneration. You can play with that too (like maybe only certain plants in the world allow mana rejuvination but they wither after 3 days if picked ).

How should a mage learn spells?
The mage is supposed to be the most intelligent class, right? How do you get intelligence? From experience. How do you get experience? From being in contact with as much as possible as often as possible.

In other words, the mage learns by exploring. He, in essence, finds magic. Different parts of the world can expose him to different spells and magical items (which only he, as a magic user, could recognize). Once he finds magic he can attempt to learn or acquire it, failing in things which are above his intelligence and magic skills.

How do you avoid hundreds of mages in a game?
Simple. Give a good mage only to someone who is dedicated enough. In most stories mages are powerful because they''re old. Start a mage off weak and have him be weak for a while. He won''t be able to fight. He won''t be good at magic. He''d have to avoid most encounters. Most people would think the mage is a weak character and so not play him. But those that are patient, those that explore and those who are clever (intelligence via puzzle solving) will be rewarded over time.

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quote:
Original post by Vlion
Lohrno-
I am genuine american.

I never said you weren''t but Italian and Spanish people are also
Americans. Since you took the words from spanish, I felt that
I could grasp the language way too easily for some reason.
Maybe it was all the spanish I took in high school hehe. Just I
don''t know, I understood the origins of the words, and my
immersion level fell instantly heh. I think it should be a
totally original language...not borrowing so heavily from RL
languages. Or if it does, make it something like Macedonian,
or Mayan or "The language from the people who inhabit the rain
forest in brazil in the valley of the monkey gods." Just don''t
make it so easy to learn.

As far as balancing power...it might work for offline games.
People just dont care I think. If power leaks, people will be
like ''Cool! everywhere I go stuff burns, and trees grow, and
the sky turns itself upside down.''

I like GameCreator''s ideas. HOWEVER...people who play mages in
MMORPGs now are more likely to like the chain fireball type
mages. Just because me and you and most people HERE like the
idea of being able to figure out problems, and become the quiet,
yet superpowerful mage instead of the chain fireball guy, doesnt
mean that thats the average mentality I think. People have
somewhat short attention spans. I think whoever implements this
kind of system for an MMORPG first is going to receive a lit
oil barrel of flames. "Why arent there any mages like in
AoC/EQ/AC/UO?" Then someone in charge of PR will have be busy
all day taking care of that. I personally like the idea but I
don''t think thats representative of the community. I reccommend
an experiment if you dont think thats the case...Post that idea
on the official boards of some already existing MMORPG. (Maybe
a little bit annoymously if you know what I mean though hehe)

-=Lohrno

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yeah, i know what ya mean.

As for inventing a language, thats no big deal.
I just used spanish/latin as a base cause thats what I know best.
Maybe I`ll use Hopi. its reelly different !

It might be nice to implement in a demo.
Grab a free/easy 3d engine, a network engine, spend a month-2 months coding the interface/spell lang, and release it.
Fine tune the idea in-demo, and go from there.

~V''lion

Bugle4d

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I''m not sure everyone .. or anyone will agree with me.. but there is no answer to the question of magic in games.. there never CAN be an answer.. too many people.. too many styles.. and no technology that can read brainwaves.

Now... despite the fact that I believe there is no true answer .. for a game I am working on that is currently in development I believe I had found a patch.. or bandaid for this gaping wound in gaming.

We have designed a player developments system that would allow for both types of player to exist.. those who chose the chain cast.. kill everything etc. method can.. they can chose their abilities.. work up their associated elements and learn spells of destruction.. however they wont have time to research the truly great spells.. the ones that can.. as previously mentioned.. sink a continent. Those who pick a sagely role will have a smaller selection of spells.. longer casting times.. but we will help them remain mysterious by giving them abilities and larger spells, however this person will have to actually spend time doing research etc... so they grow into the part. This way players know well beforehand what their limitations will be depending on the role they take.. or perhaps they''ll walk the middle road.. ALMOST stupidly powerful.. but with enough quick magic to defend themselves.

I didn''t have long to type this so this only represent 1% of the plan.. but I hope the basic idea is there.. and I would love to hear comments.

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That sounds cool.
Can you elaborate ?

Bugle4d

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Overuse of ellipses is much worse than underuse. Full stops/periods are still fashionable, you know, as are commas, semicolons, colons and hyphens.

I''m not just bitching. It is much easier to understand and discuss what you write (and more pleasurable too) if you express yourself succinctly. As game designers communication is a critical skill. Without it you might as well daydream.

[ GDNet Start Here | GDNet Search Tool | GDNet FAQ | MS RTFM [MSDN] | SGI STL Docs | Google! ]
Thanks to Kylotan for the idea!

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I''m surprised nobody''s mentioned that the original poster was paraphrasing from Mu''s Unbelievably Long and Disjointed Ramblings About RPG Design, a pretty good read for aspiring game designers. His historical references are not unusually accurate, nor will most people agree with everything he says 100%, but it''s an interesting perspective on most aspects of game design and evolution.

Mu seems to strongly dislike directly linking to subpages on his site, so here''s the root link.

--
Eric

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Sorry about the punctuation in the previous post. It was 5:00 am and I simply wanted to get my idea out before I slipped into a coma. Now that, that is taken care of I'll try to elaborate some.

The game system that we are designing seems to fall midway between may other game's approaches, and yet somehow becomes origional in it's own way. The system does not handle just our mages but everything a player will be able to do. In the case of EverQuest you are forced to pick a role and you may never change that role without starting over. On top of that once in that role, you are esentially forced to play like everyone else in that role, be it mage, wizard, fighter or bard. I think everyone will agree with me when I say that every player enjoys being an individual. Now, with my ranting aside (for now at least) I'll try to explain what we are working towards.

There are simply no levels in the game. Don't get me wrong, you can become more experienced at something but I feel levels are restrictive and force a player to reamin in a role even if they come to hate it. Now, seeing as this subject relates to magic I'll stick to that section of the system, and I'll be using extreem cases to make points (I may also refer to a character with levels even thou there are none, just to give the proper reference). We have our newbie character, fresh of the creation list. Now, this charater starts off without any affiliation to any role at all. We will assume this character is me and has a fasciantion with magic in all regards, so naturally I try to work towards becomming a mage. Here is where the problem begins. The player wants to be useful and, as we all know, powerful. But how do we prevent the "magic machine gun with optional grenade launcher" effect which turns mages into weapons with the lable "magic" attached to them? Well, simply put, we don't. However, logically this mage will not have the time to research and tamper with the rawest forces of the universe so, despite thier battle prowess they may lack more useful spells, like flying or transportation. This lifestyle is also much more flashy and physically draining, so there may be a few reprocussions on mana stores as well. I am not punishing the player for choosing this style, in groups they will be terribly efective, fast casting, and terrible forces to come up against. As for the opposite side of mages, the recluseive sage, this type of character will be posible as well. Once again, logically this form of mage has time to work on skills, dabble in a wider area of spells, enchance their power and amass knowledge. Like our favorites such as Gandalf, these character may not sped much time in battles but they may become people that other players seek out for enchanments, portals to other planes or places, or perhaps knowledge of a specific area. They will have stronger spells, more variety of spells and perhaps even gain some inherent abilities, but they will have less battle experience and will not be able to react to a sudden situation as well as our other mage.

Hopefully I haven't lost anyone yet. These types of options are made available by offering ALL the skills that make them up to ALL characters. In this simple case we will call the skills research, power, interumption and battle experience (although our product is many many times more complex). The whole process comes down do how these skills/atributes are linked. Let us assume that research and battle experience are opposites and that by advancing in one you decrease the other ( this is not quite like UO where a skill would diminish because it wasn't used. I found that to be terribly frustrating and seemed like a forced upkeep of the most mundane things) and we also assume that power and reseach are linked, so that the more research you have the more power you gain and that battle experience and interumption are linked, it being harder to interumpt your casting when you have experience casting in hostile situations. By setting two on opposite ends that increase and decrease in a linked fashion we make sure that someone cannot become as powerful as Gandalf, while being able to use those spells in a changun like fashion. We also open up avenues for balancing the two, so in theory depending on the persons atitudes and wants.. their character can sit anywhere in the magic world as a unique person, and still remain balanced. Mind you this is a very dumbed down version and much of it's success depends on the actual skills given by the developer and the balancing of these skills. To allow the middle ground you must make sure that the skills can mix and that those players dont feel weak and usless. Once again.. this middle ground is crucial, but can only be achieved with a solid game that allows for their players to solve problems creativly.

Anyways.. this was another late night installment so I hope it makes sense.. and remeber this is just the basics of how it should work. Ask questions if you have any, poke holes in it until your hearts content, or agree with me and give suggestions of your own. Just don't give me garbage ranting like the post about grammer (although I agree with the overall message it had) that doesn't better any of us and diverts our creativity into childlike arguments.

Thank for reading this guys. lol.

Edited by - astrum on February 24, 2002 11:22:15 PM

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I think there is a basic flaw in the idea of moving these literary mages into games as a playable character. In virtually every book, these mages are not view-point characters. They tend more to be guides to the view-point characters.

They have great power, but for their own enigmatic reasons, choose not to use it. That enigma is part of what makes them cool. Would you think Gandalf was as cool if you knew the reason he didn''t cast spells more often was because regular spell use made him break out in a nasty genital rash? I don''t think so.

Part of the allure of RPGs for many people is in defining their role (to various extents). To limit a player to act like these literary mages is forcing a role on them. And if they don''t understand the role, the will not enjoy playing it.

These characters wouldn''t work as protaganists, and thus don''t work as a PC in an RPG.

You can''t give a player a powerful character and tell them not to use their power. They need a good reason, and if you provide that reason the mystery of the character is destroyed.

Stay Casual,

Ken
Drunken Hyena

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The question is, if your mage only casts like 1 spell a day, what are they doing the rest of the time?

If you can''t properly answer that question, what you''ve got is a pretty boring class to play as.

Maybe there *are* answers though. Maybe mages could be smart guys who can also invent stuff to use, speak languages, find traps, etc. But if their only job is to cast spells, and they only do that once a day, you have a real problem.

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I agree that maing the sage like role work would be nothing short of tedious, but I didn't say they wouldn't cast spells as often. Just not the big flashy kill them all oriented spells. These types of mages would have access to a whole host of spells (in theory) that would make questing both intriguing and different from the usual persuit of a quest. They would also be more along the types of mages that perhaps summon armies of the undead etc. (mind you this would be for a player that A. Has some evil intent. and B. Has placed their character at the topof the experience chain.) Or build themselves cities of magic etc. Believe it or not there are many players who find this role fun. Heck in UO 99.95% of the players went to mining for months at a time. This has to show that not everyone likes or needs the intense battle when there are other persuits. It all comes down to wether or not the game and story are one step ahead of the players. If so this huge spectrum of roles could work. I'm not saying that these mages will be exactly like the great sages we know and love.. but this is a step closer than most system usually get.

P.S. How do WE know Gandalf didn't break out in hives when he used magic.... that would deter me somewhat.

Edited by - astrum on February 25, 2002 1:36:49 PM

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In response to the post about why they dont use their power, consider this:

If you consider Merlin. He never was really allied with any of the armies, however he did help Arther because he liked him. Merlin had no great goal (apart from his grand quest to bring the gods back to britain) in the fighting. He was respected by all sides, and never considered an enemy by either. No one dared harm him because of the repercusions that would have on them (with him being the greatest mage). And he never really cared about the changes in "power" (military rule etc), he only had thoughts for the gods. Therefore, he felt no real need to interfere with their wars. That would explain his reason for not using magic fireballs of doom.

I think Merlin is a perfect example for this type of passive mage. He had a spiritual goal, not a worldly one, so he felt no real need to kill. He spent his entire "life" (i have to stop and remind myself here that he is fictual) looking for the 13 treasures which could return the gods to britain, and learning the lore of how to use them when they were collected.

Therefore, in a game world, at the start of the game the player could start with an explaination of his quest, or maybe just a summary of the game world into which he he will soon be plunged freely to explore...at first. After exploring the world, he will find out information about certain events. take for example, some evil mage (another point no one has tounched on yet) is rampaging the world, taking slaves and burning down villages, and you come across some sub-quests such as rescuing a child or something. New spells won't just be given to you, or bought in a shop, but you can learn them somehow (reference back to previous posts on spell systems), by travelling the world.

So, your goal in the game is not to go around, wasting time with these ignorant warriors, but to complete your greater task.

Done! An explaination of why great mages wont become fireball machine-guns.

Edited by - Grat on February 25, 2002 2:27:57 PM

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ahhhh !
A quest !
Must...fulfill...quest....

Okay- thats great for SP.

I think that would work.

How do you implement that in MP ?(BTW...hey anybody- is there a freeware mmorpg out there by any chance so I can play it and learn about behaviour in them)

Seems to me that players would go- hang the quest....im gonna roast me some orc meat !

Or whatever.

My personal tendancies go for more of a lurker style mage like Gandalf. Kinda stays in the shadows most of the time, learning spells, etc. Thats my #define FUN statement. I would like to have great power and great influence over other players, but rarely come out and blast lots of stuff.

So anyway; heres some quick logic to clarify things.

Givens:
Some people want blasting mages.
Other people want gandalf mages.

These 2 sets are changeable.
Each memeber may only desire one type at a given time.

A blasting mage and a gandalf mage are exclusive of each other.

Incentives may be negative.
Where high incentives exist for one type over the other, the incentived type will gain the most users.

Therefore:
To make each type of mage be equally used, their incentives must be equal.

Sample incentives:
Blasting mage
Able to kill others fast.

Gandarlf mage
Great infuence over others.

Now, let us add good/evil to the equation set and rewrite it.
Let the gandalf mage and the blasting mage be two ends of a continous spectrum.
Let good mage and bad mage be two ends of a continous spectrum.

Let any given action have a morality value, and thusly they affect the good/evil bar

Let good mage = gandalf mage
Let evil mage = blasting mage

We are presented with a neat solution...
Extravagant/evil uses of power result in the mage becoming evil,
and little power expenditure/good result in the mage becoming good.
Note that this opens up the possibility for some people to becoming research mages who are relatively neutral.

How is this ?

Bugle4d