A quick comment on life and death magic

By on July 25, 2009 4:16:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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In Elemental, there are two types of mana that are not held within shards: Life and Death magic.

Life magic makes use of the energies created by living things.

Death magic takes something that is living and harvests the energies created from the transition from life to death.

The reason why the lands of the Empires look so mangled is because the natural ecosystems in their territories have been totally perverted.

Men can choose to take the path of death magic just as Fallen can choose the path of life magic.  But the pre-made factions are based on the game's lore (canon) and only the men of Krax have taken the path of death magic and part of that is because it was an adapt or die situation during the final days of the war of the Titans (that led to the cataclysm).

 

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StoweMobile
July 25, 2009 4:23:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome!!! Thanks for the update/mini Journal!  

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July 25, 2009 4:39:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This is exactly what we all thought!

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July 25, 2009 4:42:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Excellent! I wonder what a "perverted" ecology involves..... is this screenshot still a valid interperetation of the Mordor-y look?We've got what looks like a sea of blood, as well as spiny mountains and what appear to be (ghostly?) white trees..... for whatever reason I was invisioning trees covered in that spanish moss stuff, except that it moves and can strangle people who get too close.

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July 25, 2009 5:27:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for the information - great clarification.

And, does that mean all human factions but one use life magic while all fallen factions use death magic (just talking about the canon factions in the campaign)? If so, I applaud the asymmetry! A lot of game developers seem to be stuck in the mindset that they need to make factions/groups as similar or symmetric as possible while still making them seem different. The result is after you play the game for a week, you realize that everything is just variations on a theme. Please, make with the asymmetry!

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July 25, 2009 6:26:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

More good news.

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July 25, 2009 6:42:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nice to have a definitive answer on this. Thanks! It's nice to know we'll have the choice in sandbox mode Also interested in these Krax!

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July 25, 2009 6:45:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I forgot about something... So now we know for sure that we'll be able to mix and match life/death magic with whatever faction we want - will we be able to mix/match revived terrain type with life/death magic, too?

Because really, I'm one of those people that prefers lush environments over burned and decayed ones - even if just for aesthetic reasons. If playing with death magic means being forced to stare at a barren magma wasteland the whole game, I'm not going to play death magic. This is obviously a personal preference, but I think there are enough people like me that this would be worth addressing...

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July 25, 2009 6:51:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks Frogboy!  Keep up the awesome work!

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July 25, 2009 8:26:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Interesting details provided here. I do wonder however was there any particular reason why life and death magic doesn't opperate like the other types of magic? Having life and death shards could have been very interesting for game-play and magic.

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July 25, 2009 8:38:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like no shard for life/death. If mana points depend completely of possesing shards, that means that no matter what you will always be able to use at least one type of magic.

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July 25, 2009 8:48:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Darkodinplus,
Interesting details provided here. I do wonder however was there any particular reason why life and death magic doesn't opperate like the other types of magic? Having life and death shards could have been very interesting for game-play and magic.

I have similar concerns, mostly because I had expected (hoped for) an alignment system that overlaid some sort of 'integrated metaphysics.' Prior to Brad's recent posts that make life and death magic seem mutually exclusive for any given sovereign, I'd imagined that Life was one of five elements, and whether you pursued magic like raising zombie slaves or healing wounded soldiers was a matter of ethical alignment. This OP leaves me seriously wondering why there are only five 'element' runes in the forum graphics background. If Life and Death are mutually exclusive, why aren't they represented by distinct runes?

Quoting Wintersong,
I like no shard for life/death. If mana points depend completely of possesing shards, that means that no matter what you will always be able to use at least one type of magic.

Despite my fretting about life 'versus' death details, I really like the idea of individual channelers (sovereigns and appropriately imbued champions) being the mana sources for 'the Life element.' That sort of structure could support an Elemental analog to the Sorcery books in MoM, enabling all sovereigns to have access to some core common spells for communication, protection, and perhaps even countermagic.

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July 25, 2009 10:31:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This OP leaves me seriously wondering why there are only five 'element' runes in the forum graphics background. If Life and Death are mutually exclusive, why aren't they represented by distinct runes?

Four. The one on top is part of the title, and used in the runic language as shorthand for "magic" in general. Just a cosmetic nitpick, but hey, I am a nitpicker.....

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July 25, 2009 11:33:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Scoutdog,

Quoting GW Swicord,
This OP leaves me seriously wondering why there are only five 'element' runes in the forum graphics background. If Life and Death are mutually exclusive, why aren't they represented by distinct runes?

Four. The one on top is part of the title, and used in the runic language as shorthand for "magic" in general. Just a cosmetic nitpick, but hey, I am a nitpicker.....

Six technically. I would assume that the life rune is the symbol in question colored gold while the death rune is the symbol in question colored black. There isn't a standing definitive answer one way or the other but that is my current stance considering the information available.

Anyway an interesting possibility for life / death magic would be to have every living thing act as a "shard" for life / death. In this regard a Channeler could select his starting magic (fire, earth, air, water, death, or life) and then depending on the choice a Channeler would naturally generate that kind of mana. If I picked earth for example to get life mana I would require a certain amount of living creatures / land. Conversely for the same Channeler to get death mana a certain amount of living creatures / land would have to die.

This would only require a slight modification from the current system. In stead of the Channeler acting as the shard for life / death his entire kingdom would become the shard with decisions affecting what type of mana it produces.

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July 26, 2009 3:11:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Scoutdog,
We've got what looks like a sea of blood, ...

Hopefully what we see is a river of lava...  or if it's blood that's okay as well because than it means we'll most likely have lava as well. 

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July 26, 2009 10:09:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hopefully what we see is a river of lava... or if it's blood that's okay as well because than it means we'll most likely have lava as well.

I actually would rather not see lava as default terrein for Death factions: volcanic wastes are not suitable for much habitation (although the soil further away is good for farming), and the sort of creatures that live there are not what I would think of as belonging to a "perverted" ecology.

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July 26, 2009 10:18:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Scoutdog,
I actually would rather not see lava as default terrein for Death factions: volcanic wastes are not suitable for much habitation (although the soil further away is good for farming), and the sort of creatures that live there are not what I would think of as belonging to a "perverted" ecology.
When I think of "dying" water terrain, I think sluggish, swamplike water that is more likely than not filled with enormous leeches. So I completely agree. Corrupted terrain shouldn't somehow turn water into lava.

Not blood either. But a blood-like substance would be perfectly alright. But I'd prefer if that was a nasty world spell, instead.

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July 26, 2009 10:50:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Darkodinplus,
... Six technically. I would assume that the life rune is the symbol in question colored gold while the death rune is the symbol in question colored black. There isn't a standing definitive answer one way or the other but that is my current stance considering the information available. ...

Have you seen the Black Rune done in gold somewhere? There's already a gold rune in 'the five' as seen on the draft box art and the forum graphical frame.

I'm definitely with you on the matter still not being quite clear. And the more I think about it, the less I like the idea that in a canon sandbox game you will never be able to wield both 'life' and 'death' magic. I can accept that you'll have an identification with one force or the other that defines how lands you imbue with essence will appear, but even there I'd probably be willing to pay for an expansion pack whose primary content was 'neutral ground' stuff that let players work with a life-death balance approach instead of a life-death conflict.

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July 26, 2009 11:09:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Have you seen the Black Rune done in gold somewhere? There's already a gold rune in 'the five' as seen on the draft box art and the forum graphical frame.

There is a gold Black Rune in the tactical combat screenshot. I think it's the camera control on account of the arrows, but apparently some see it otherwise....

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July 26, 2009 11:50:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You said that rune was translated as Magic, if that is true then it may be the magic menu? Magic, Life/Death, Camera control... man, that rune surely means lots of things these days.

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July 26, 2009 12:35:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

so is there a fallen race that has discovered their evil ways are somehow better suited with life magic? (or something like that?)

When I first saw the red waters, I hoped that was the alternate world (MoM style)

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July 26, 2009 3:19:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Wintersong,
You said that rune was translated as Magic, if that is true then it may be the magic menu? Magic, Life/Death, Camera control... man, that rune surely means lots of things these days.

Quoting GW Swicord,
Have you seen the Black Rune done in gold somewhere? There's already a gold rune in 'the five' as seen on the draft box art and the forum graphical frame.

Here is the picture in question.

All the elements...maybe

Note that the symbol from this old screen shot is not an exact replica of the black symbol. What I had assumed was similar to Wintersong. I thought this button would access the death / life magic spells. After all having a particular school of magic identified by its respective magic symbol isn't farfetched.  This data is the basis for my previous statement and I admit I could very well be wrong.

 

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July 26, 2009 3:36:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Actually, now that I see them together, the "life rune" does not look at all like the others: they have white outlines, while it has a black outline, and the background circle is a different color. It may just be an optical trick, but the brown outer border appears different as well.

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July 26, 2009 4:03:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Here is some more evidence I've gathered from old screenshots on the media page. Given what we know about mana now I think one could make the assumption that the bars i've cut out from the old pictures are mana bars.

"real" life / death runes?

The mana bars seem to have their respective runes on the left hand side of the bar. If this is the case and with the knowledge that a Channeler will always have life or death mana even at the start of the game you could conclude that the runes shown here are indeed the "actual" life and death runes. This however doesn't take into account changes in artwork that may have occurred since these old screenshots were created.

I would also like to point out I created the "gold life rune" in my previous post for effect.

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July 26, 2009 4:27:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have seen those symbols before: they appear on the cover of the game, and on the concept art:A fellow named CondarF and I translated the runes independantly, and we discovered that the text around them reads: "<The Kingdom of [Life Symbol, which at the time we thought meant "Men"]> <ELEMENTAL> <The Empire of [Death symbol, which we thought meant Fallen>. I think it's pretty clear that those ARE the ones we are looking for, and that the other one simply means "magic". That would explain its preasance on the TB screen (I realise that SD has NEVER put a camera control button on any of their games I've played: everything is keyboard only), and on the main window.

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July 26, 2009 4:54:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

hmm,   in Darkodinplus's post there is another symbol with which I am not familar.  It is on what appears to be a  BLACK mana bar.   If it were not for the discovery of the gold version of the life symbol I would have assumed that black mana's symbol to be the death symbol.  That entire menu looks a bit more 'death magic' than the others.

Are Krax playable?  I don't remember them being listed in the list of the faction names a while back.


(I just now realized that Frogboy has a new avatar)

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