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Spellcasting Concept

Mon, 19 Jul 2004 21:37:40

The 4th Class

Earlier today I hatched this awesome idea (IMO) about a spellcasting concept for TSP, or maybe even SE - I think it may work better in TSP. With this concept, not only can you cast spells, but learn some, and even create your own. The strong advantage is that there would be literally infinite number of spells you could cast. The strong disadvantage is that it is VERY complex, and probably too complicated. Here's how it works: in the player's spellbook, there would be an option where you can create a spell, for the price of some money and/or energy. The more powerful the spell, the more you have to spend. Then, there would be a grid of maybe 8x8. This grid is read from the top left to the bottom right like a book. Then there will be a series of runes you can choose from. There will be six different "elemental" runes: Fire, Flame, Ice, Poison, Energy, Miscellaneous. Then, there will be three different "degree" runes: Alpha, Beta, Gamma. These degree runes represent the type of elemental rune to use. For example: FIREBOLT ELEMENT: Alpha = Afrit missile, Beta = Reiver missile, Gamma = Green Chaos Serpent missile FLAME ELEMENT: Alpha = harmless flame, Beta = Firestrorm-like, Gamma = Bloodscourge (?) ICE ELEMENT: Alpha = regular ice shard, Beta = Wendigo missile, Gamma = something new POISON ELEMENT: Alpha = poison dart, Beta = Stalker missile, Gamma = Brown Chaos Serpent missile ENERGY ELEMENT: Alpha = Slaughtaur missile, Beta = Arc Of Death-like, Gamma = something new MISCELLANEOUS ELEMENT: Alpha = small dart, Beta = spiked ball, Gamma = something new All in all, that's eighteen different kinds of projectiles! But that's not all, there would also be a healing rune, an armour rune, and a lighting rune. So when you choose the element and the degree, that takes up two grid spaces - the first space is the degree, the second one is the element. (eg: Alpha Poison, Gamma Firebolt) Then, there would be some different commands to use. They would include: And, Or, Parantheses, By, From, With, Then, In, For, Below, Above, Before, After, and the integers 0 to 10. For numbers above 10, use the And command to add, the By command to multiply, and From to subtract (eg: 6 from 8 = 2). A certain symbol would represent each of these. Now here are some examples of this concept in action:
Beta Steel Or (Alpha Steel Before Beta Flame In Seven And Seven)
This launches either a spiked ball, or a smaller dart followed by a firestorm spell fourteen ticks later.
(Gamma Fire Below Gamma Fire By Eight) With (Gamma Fire Below Gamma Fire By Eight) By Eight
This launches four gamma fires in a 2x2 formation, the left side being in the centre of the screen, and the right side being to the right of it by eight units, leaving the left side of the player unharmed by the projectiles.
(Beta Poison And Alpha Energy) Then In Six By Three (Alpha Ice After Alpha Ice In Three) For Ten By (Ten And One)
First it launches a stalker missile and a slaughtaur missile at the same time in the same place, then 18 ticks later it launches an ice shard, then 3 ticks later another, and repeats this for 110 ticks. This interface could become very powerful and the more powerful the spell, the more mana it uses. So what do you all think? Comments? Suggestions? <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->
Tue, 20 Jul 2004 08:27:58


Whoa this is really interesting, I like the basic concept (maybe some of the details should be changed). This would well fit with what concept I had for the spellbook in SE, i.e. that you've got spells oganized by categories in the spellbook and you can either cast one from the book by choosing and fine-tuning it, or you can either memorize a spell or charge your staff with it (technically, it'll allow you to assign the keys 2-0 to that configured version of that spell, i.e. a power 3 fireball). Important is IMO that while the spell learning and developing part can be very complex (one thing that could be completely automatized for the simple game mode, like in Antara), the spellcasting part should be extremely simple as straightforward, as simple as firing a weapon. Arx Fatalis is a good anti-example, there you have to trace runes into the air with your mouse to cast a spell, and while it's simple and elegant, I e.g. never mastered to draw the runes right and do it fast, especially not in a combat situation. Meaning I could memorize (pre-cast) 3 spells and I used only those in combat, else I had to rely on my sword. In SE, you can memorize/pre-cast 9 different spells, and also you can use those in the staff several times... I think it should be something like you cast so and so many charges of a spell into the staff, up to its limit, with maybe a max of 3 spells, and you can change from one spell of the staff to another by pressing the 1 key repeatedly, and then using the CTRL button to fire. Or maybe the staff should have up to 9 slots for different spells, each being assigned to a numeric key, and there should be a limited number of memorized spells assigned to some alphabetic characters (though that might be a prob for asdw players, dunno).
Tue, 20 Jul 2004 15:06:32


I like the idea of different elemental and power runes, but it starts getting real complicated at the end. How about this instead: You have runes which can be picked up like items. Fire Ice Venom Lightning Curse Steel Magic Resistance Any runes that are picked up can be used to increase the power of any element. The greater the power, the more powerful the type of spell that is used. Now, suppose you picked up five runes. You could bring up the menu and it will show a translucent 5x8 grid of all the runes and the categories. Select which one you want, then select how many runes you want to use there. Let's say you want to use two runes for Fire, one for Resistance, and save the other two for later. You would then see two of the five Fire Runes and one Resistance rune lit up. If you choose the first one (let's say they light up from left to right), you would bind a spell key to that particular spell. There could be three spell keys, each can have any available spell. Press the first spell key and you would use a level 1 fire spell, and you would have another level 1 fire spell left over. Press it again and you would have used up all of the runes in that element. Now suppose you wanted to bind that spell key to a level 2 fire spell instead. Then you would use up both runes at once. Now for the spells: Fire Level 1 - Basic fireball Level 2 - Fire Wave Level 3 - Small spread of Death Wyvern fireballs Level 4 - Maelstrom (Fury) Level 5 - Fire Dragon (long flying stream of fire that acts something like the Wraithverge ghosts) Ice Level 1 - Single Wendigo iceball Level 2 - Ice Cloud (Fury) Level 3 - Spread of five or so Ice Daggers (large spikes doing more damage than the Wendigo shots) Level 4 - Frost Nova (Diablo 2, except the center will be located at the target) Level 5 - Hailstorm (like the powered up Hellstaff, but more powerful and uses chunks of ice instead) Venom (all spells do poison damage) Level 1 - Stalker acid shot Level 2 - Brown Chaos Serpent shot (explodes into a poison cloud) Level 3 - Plague Breath (Fury, lasts around 10-15 seconds) Level 4 - Poison Nova (same as Frost Nova, but slightly weaker because of the extra poison damage) Level 5 - Insect Plague Lightning Level 1 - Ball Lightning (something like Doom's plasma shots) Level 2 - D'Sparil's attack Level 3 - Lightning strike Level 4 - Thunderstorm (Fury) Level 5 - Sigil's full power attack (Strife) Curse Level 1 - Blindness (Temporary, monsters move randomly, if at all, and won't attack unless something bumps into them. Players have their view substantially darkened) Level 2 - Slow (Temporary, cuts target's speed by one half) Level 3 - Feeble (Temporary, cuts target's attack power by one half) Level 4 - Weak (one time effect, cuts target's health by three quarters) Level 5 - Dispel (one time effect, removes all of the target's magic conditions and resistances, including invincibility and Remedy) Steel Level 1 - Ripper ball Level 2 - Blade Shield (lasts around 30-45 seconds) Level 3 - Spread of five Undead Axe shots (Fury) Level 4 - Extend-o-fist (for lack of a better name, can knock whatever it hits back quite a bit and cause massive damage) Level 5 - Large Firemace sphere (can bounce off of walls and liquids) Magic Level 1 - Slaughtaur energy blast Level 2 - One or two Wraithverge ghosts Level 3 - Heresiarch's purple spread spell (slightly more powerful, and perhaps bouncing) Level 4 - Dark Fire (Fury, but less powerful) Level 5 - Hellstorm (around five to seven powered up Hellstaff shots spread out and seek out a specific target Resistance (all spells last about a minute) Level 1 - Fire (all fire damage cut in half) Level 2 - Ice (all ice damage cut in half) Level 3 - Lightning (all lightning damage cut in half) Level 4 - Protection (all elemental damage except steel cut by one quarter) Level 5 - Remedy (all detrimental effects (curses, poison, etc.) last half as long, Weak spell cut to one third damage instead of three quarters)
Tue, 20 Jul 2004 23:14:36

The 4th Class

Well your concept is easier to understand, but IMPO I think my concept may allow for more variety in advanced spells (ie: infinite). The user would have total control over what the spells did. Nevertheless, I do like the way you organized the basic spells, it's definitely a lot more variety in basic powers (My 6x3 over your 8x5). Also, I think mine may require a mouse. <!-- s:? --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_confused.gif" alt=":?" title="Confused" /><!-- s:? -->
Wed, 21 Jul 2004 10:02:11


I believe a mouse driven GUI would be needed for TSP (maybe SE) anyway so thats not really a problem. I like both your concepts from a players point of view, but from my programmers POV you can both expect the bills for the painkillers <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> or I let Camper do it.
Wed, 21 Jul 2004 13:33:53


I also think that Ichor's idea is more simple to undestand (and maybe even to implement, heh!), and it sounds very nice to have it inside the game, I mean, you would have a lot of options for making and using the spells, it sounds really cool! <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->

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