Death & Life magic system (For, Against, Abstain)

By on July 27, 2009 9:02:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Darkodinplus

Join Date 03/2006
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All elements are created equally but some are more equal than others. I felt this topic deserved its own thread and the OP of the thread it was being discussed asked for the conversation to be moved.

 

As it currently stands all Channelers get the choice of life or death magic at the start of the game. A Channeler would not require control of a shard to generate mana for one of these two elements. In other words life & death magics are core abilities .

 

Several in the community feel this system is fine or preferable to death and life acting similar to the other four elements. I personally would like the choice to pick whatever starting core magic I want with its particular type of mana being generated naturally.

 

Death and life mana generation could either be moved to a shard system similar to the other elements or be represented by everything that lives / dies. I’m partial to the latter myself but I would find shards acceptable. I’m not a fan of the current system where the Channeler always acts as the life or death shard but I don’t outright hate it either.

 

This about sums up the discussion from the other thread, the debate can continue here if anyone has something to say.

 

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July 27, 2009 9:18:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I for one would like to get rid of the shards entirely, have the four "classical" manas generated by the terreins you control (i.e. rocky terrein generates earth mana, water generates, well, water, and so on), with life and death being generated as oer DD's most-preferred system with things actually living and dying, regardless of terrein. Might be hard to balance, but I'm sure we could figure out a way eventually.

Second to that is a system with life and death still controlled by stuff living and dying, with shards for the other elements, followed by what we have now, with the channeler acting as a shard.

What I absolutely do not want is a system where life, death, and the Big Four all share the same mechanic. This is far too derivative of MoM, decreases easy moddability (if they all share the same mechanic, modders will have to make new mechaincs from scratch using a load of Python etc.), disagrees with several thousand years of mythology and metaphysics, and  has been (if you will pardon the expression) "done to death".

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July 27, 2009 9:20:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
[...]

Death and life mana generation could either be moved to a shard system similar to the other elements or be represented by everything that lives / dies. I’m partial to the latter myself but I would find shards acceptable. I’m not a fan of the current system where the Channeler always acts as the life or death shard but I don’t outright hate it either.

[...]

Did I miss something or just interpret something really, really wrong? Because as far as I gathered, that's exactly how it is.

Froggie:
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.

[...]

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July 27, 2009 9:20:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

what about the post about it by Frogboy?

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July 27, 2009 9:20:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Stupig Glitch..... please ignore this post....

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July 27, 2009 9:21:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I definitely think this subject is worth its own thread, not least because I don't have a strong preference about whether Life/Death mana comes from a shard or from channelers and imbued champions.

The point that I hope is still open to change is whether Life and Death magic are categorically distinct (how it seems to me as of the July FAQ) or whether 'the Black Rune' connotes a middle-way, pseudo-biological, D&D druid-style view of a cosmic force that encompasses both birth and death.

Basically, I want questions about how and when to use Life/Death magic to be political/ethical, not 'hard-coded' as part of a binary choice during game setup. And I'm saying that as a hardcore GC2 fan who finds the colonization 'ethics' events to be horribly weak in practice and highly admirable as a design goal.

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July 27, 2009 9:22:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Edit: Forum wickedness.

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July 27, 2009 9:22:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Looks like "it" happened to everybody.....

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July 27, 2009 9:24:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Forum go boom, ick!

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July 27, 2009 9:25:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

THAT was wierd..... all the replies got "quadded".....

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July 27, 2009 9:26:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

hmmm

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July 27, 2009 9:32:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ugh, double post

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July 27, 2009 9:35:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hahaha, seems I wasn't the only one getting "Forums go BOOM!" and kept going back and reposting. Everyone jumping the thread like ravenous wolves.

On a more serious note, though, I don't mind the way this sounds at all. I just really, really hope that they take the opportunity to take a step away from Good-Evil dichotomy. I've always hated Necromancy in most settings because it tends to be universally evil while regeneration and the like is perfectly acceptable. I think Arcanum did it best when it divided it into two distinct sides of Necromancy - Light and Dark. In a way, this is how I somewhat hope that Elemental will handle it properly lorewise to avoid umm.. for lack of a better word.. the "science of magic discrepancies".

Quoting Scoutdog,
Looks like "it" happened to everybody.
Looks like it's still happening to Landisaurus. Someone should tell him to stop going back and reposting his post. On the other hand, we can just stand here and laugh at him when he notices.

*points and laughs at landi*

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July 27, 2009 9:37:08 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Scoutdog,
...have the four "classical" manas generated by the terreins you control (i.e. rocky terrein generates earth mana, water generates, well, water, and so on), with life and death being generated as oer DD's most-preferred system with things actually living and dying, regardless of terrein. Might be hard to balance, but I'm sure we could figure out a way eventually.

That would actually be a very interesting gameplay mechanic (possibly even a selling point). A total generation level could easily be divided up based upon the percentage of land types in your possession from the overall map (50% of your territory is water, thus 50% of your overall mana is water based).

Balance obviously falls down to map design/creation however becoming too focused on one would invariably affect the other so it might work regardless (unless the skills reliant on such mana would be unbalanced to begin with).

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July 27, 2009 9:41:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I was waiting for the code-pidgeons to get their feathered bums in gear, and I guess it posted itself again.   Sorry about that.

 

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July 27, 2009 9:51:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Luckmann,

Did I miss something or just interpret something really, really wrong? Because as far as I gathered, that's exactly how it is.

[quote who="Frogboy, July FAQ"] Channelers also generate on their own either life magic or death magic depending on the path they’ve chosen.[/quote]

On the forum: Man this thread is off to a rough start. Are the powers that be at work in this thread?

On topic: I believe what you quoted Luckmann was the lore behind life & death. According to my understanding of the July FAQ Death and Life mana is only created by the Channeler and you can only pick one of these two elements to start the game.

@Scoutdog: I love the idea of terrain generating corresponding types of mana that would be a very intuitive and interesting gameplay mechanic. The only problem I see with that is at the start of the game the only mana you would have is either Death, Earth, or Fire because the land is suppose to be post-apocalyptic.

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July 27, 2009 10:07:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not again......

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July 27, 2009 10:09:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The only problem I see with that is at the start of the game the only mana you would have is either Death, Earth, or Fire because the land is suppose to be post-apocalyptic.

Good point, but that can be dealt with like this:

  1. Dead≠Dying: I am assuming that there is some sort of "expiration date" on the death you can use for death magic: gaining enourmous power just because a group of cavemen killed a lot of saber-toothed cats in a spot 9,000 years ago sounds a bit silly to me. Also, as I mentioned in some other thread, just dead earth shouldn't generate death magic. You have to have a truly messed-up, everything-is-predatory ecology in order to do that.
  2. The mana comes from the land you have revived. The dead, barren deasers may well be generating earth, air (I imagined air coming from deaserts), fire, and water(b/c there would still be rivers) mana, but you can't collect it b/c you have no connection to that land.
  3. Also, I just realized: with thedead terrein types listed above, that does cover all of the Big Four. With the death caveat, that does, in fact, mean all elements are equal, provided that life and death are kept somewhat seperate.
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July 27, 2009 10:21:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Darkodinplus,
... @Scoutdog: I love the idea of terrain generating corresponding types of mana that would be a very intuitive and interesting gameplay mechanic. The only problem I see with that is at the start of the game the only mana you would have is either Death, Earth, or Fire because the land is suppose to be post-apocalyptic.

I don't gamble, but I'd pretty much bet that the devs are not going to ditch shards at this point no matter how good an idea Scoutdog has offered (to be clear, I *really* like the idea of replacing crucial XY points with crucial XY areas on a 2D grid). That said, I can imagine quite a few narrative ways around the Death-Earth-Fire limitation you describe. Cataclysms can include floods and tremendous wind damage, and a restored territory should/could be able to include enough terrain variation to provide a minimum mana flow for all elements.

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July 27, 2009 10:45:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GW Swicord,

Quoting Darkodinplus,
@Scoutdog: I love the idea of terrain generating corresponding types of mana that would be a very intuitive and interesting gameplay mechanic. The only problem I see with that is at the start of the game the only mana you would have is either Death, Earth, or Fire because the land is suppose to be post-apocalyptic.

I don't gamble, but I'd pretty much bet that the devs are not going to ditch shards at this point no matter how good an idea Scoutdog has offered (to be clear, I *really* like the idea of replacing crucial XY points with crucial XY areas on a 2D grid). That said, I can imagine quite a few narrative ways around the Death-Earth-Fire limitation you describe. Cataclysms can include floods and tremendous wind damage, and a restored territory should/could be able to include enough terrain variation to provide a minimum mana flow for all elements.

You do have a point about the terrain types. I'm bias towards a magical equivalent to a nuclear apocalypse and when someone mentions the "Cataclysm" I think big magical explosion that killed and burnt everything.

As for the improbability of this system's inclusion in the game I think that largely depends on how complex altering the code would be. I think it wouldn't be adversely difficult to carry over the current shard properties to a respective area of land but then again I'm not doing the code.

Edit: Hey the forum seems to be working again.........

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July 28, 2009 9:44:12 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You do have a point about the terrain types. I'm bias towards a magical equivalent to a nuclear apocalypse and when someone mentions the "Cataclysm" I think big magical explosion that killed and burnt everything.

As for the improbability of this system's inclusion in the game I think that largely depends on how complex altering the code would be. I think it wouldn't be adversely difficult to carry over the current shard properties to a respective area of land but then again I'm not doing the code.

Yes, putting it into practise would be rather difficult... but hey, they are planning expansions.....

Well, after a really wierd dream in which my right hand sweled to maybe 10 times its normal size, I was able to refine the terrein types a little:

  • Water comes from (obviously) bodies of water. Since you can't build in the center of an ocean, swamps and rivers will also generate it.
  • Air comes from mountains. Again, since this terrein type appears less often(tile-wise) than others, and can't be built on, each mountain would be more powerful than, say, a plain.
  • Deaserts produce fire.
  • Forests produce Earth.
  • Life and death are not produced by terrein types per se. When you do something to cause life or death (killing stuff or saving stuff) you get these manas. In other words, you actually have to work for them, but they are independant of terrein. They would also probably cancel each other out, so that you would have to make a choice between them.
  • There would be a "range limit" on the land you could get mana from. It just doesn't make sense for the deasert on the far side of the world to be giving you fire magic when you are surrounded by mountains. Land you have invested with essence springs immediately to mind, but that sort of defeats the purpose of going Gandalf...... it would probably take a round or two of beta testing to settle on a mecahnic that worked.
  • I am also considering adding some sort of "diminishing returns" system, so that just building a freakin' huge empire wouldn't give you loads of mana.

I am deliberately painting this in very broad strokes here: that actual system would have all sorts of caveats and exceptions to keep it balanced and fun, but without seeing an actual game, it's sort of hard to think of what they would need to be.

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July 28, 2009 10:23:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What I absolutely do not want is a system where life, death, and the Big Four all share the same mechanic.

I do.

I've always hated Necromancy

I love Necromancy I am a necromancer in Guild Wars, Diablo 2 and Everquest. Long live evil and necromancy.

 

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July 28, 2009 10:51:55 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting psychoravin,
I love Necromancy I am a necromancer in Guild Wars, Diablo 2 and Everquest. Long live evil and necromancy.
I love necromancers. I enjoy raising the dead, sucking life out of.. well.. anything living. For lack of a better word, I hate the metaphysical oversimplification of necromancy as magic.

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July 28, 2009 11:03:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I do.

Ok, why? And why would it make the game more fun?

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July 28, 2009 5:16:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I thought I'd take a novel approach and wait to see how its working in the Beta, of the game made by seasoned strategy game developers, before getting worked up by random internet speculation or how I *imagine* it might be.

 

Ill post back and let everyone know how this daring strategy works out.

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July 28, 2009 5:37:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Scoutdog,

I do.


Ok, why? And why would it make the game more fun?

Because I don't like separation of the elements. There's good in all things and there is evil in all things. Look at Skywalker he started out good and ended up evil only to turn back to good in the end. I want those elements possible in a game. I want the choice to jump sides back and forth a double agent so to speak. I like games to be open ended so players can go any direction they choose. Evil races/factions should be able to cast good spells as well as good races/factions be able to cast evil spells. I'd also like to see the game not be so diplomatic related. I'd like to see each realm as an independent from all spectrums and then each game randomly they come together through diplomatic efforts to defeat the other but not necessarily good vs evil but just one side vs the other. Talk about something done to death good vs evil is getting old.

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