[.804][Feedback]Brutally Honest Feedback: Magic and beta 2b

By on June 26, 2010 12:36:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

VermillionC...

Join Date 02/2008
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Love the game so far, Brad.  However, there are some VERY serious issues with the magic system that need at the very least looked at again, if not changed/removed.  So anyone who has some brutal if honest opinions/observations feel free to add them.

Major Issues:

  • Current Essence = max mana.  This is terrible.  Needs fixed post haste. The reasoning why this is so terrible is simple to follow
  1.  
    1. Essence is only gained 1 point at a time, and to the exclusion of all other stats.
    2. Essence is lost/expended for major spells.
    3. When your sovereign casts essence spells you effectively lose LEVELS and the ability to cast high end spells.
    4. When your sovereign is defeated you effectively lose LEVELS and the ability to cast high end spells.
    5. If a Caster sovereign is defeated even 1 time, they may as well pull the plug on that game because of the lost opportunity cost.
    6. The economic/warfare sovereign is both protected from this, and encouraged to 'gank' a casting sovereign at ALL COST.  I.E. even if the odds are hopeless it becomes favorable to attempt to throw units away to kill the enemy sovereign.  If you are able to kill him/her even 2 times you have effectively locked him/her almost completely out of high end magic.
    • Recommendations:  Divide Essence into Current and MAX. Let MAX determine Mana. Profit.

 

  • Stacking Enchantments.  Ugh... really?
  1. By repeatedly casting the same Brilliant over and over on my capital city I was able to generate ludicrous amounts of research.
  2. Noticed 'Enchantment Slots' mentioned. Hopefully this fixes it.
  3. Maybe that is just a bug? Please say yes.
  4. I had a level 2 city with 200 research, just for shits and giggles... yikes.
  • Recommendations: 'Slots' and/or making the enchantment based off of pop + buildings + number of city enchant slots allocated to enchantment would help even this out.

 

  • Summoning upkeep.  Costs .2 gildars a turn...
  1. Um... Some types of dragon may eat gold.  But your average Troll/goblin/familiar will not.
  • Recommendations: Have Intel or wisdom determine your summon cap.  Wisdom hardly does jack otherwise anyway. (Monastic buildup negates any real need for Wis unless you are going 0 civtech)

 

  • Sovereign specific spells.  A good balance will be needed. 
  1. As a sovereign you shouldn't have to personally oversee EVERY enchantment.
  2. Obviously the most powerful spells will need to be restricted to the most dangerous/most valuable unit
  3. Can't just have Joejack the Conjurer brewing up volcanoes.
  4. But Joejack should have the ability to summon 2-3 imps and cast a minor planar banishment.

Middling Issues:

  • Spell organization.  Yikes
  1. As you have noted, currently 'pluck your eyes out horrible'.
  2. As you get more spells this becomes more important.
  3. A matrix would be superb.
  • Recommendations:  Having the spells arranged in a Book:Function matrix would be both quick and expandable. So across the top you would have something like Favorite, Fire, Air, Water, Earth, Summoning, Ruin.  Upon selecting any of those top tabs, the side tabs would appear and have categorical fields based on the primary selector.  I.E. Selecting Air, would bring up sidetabs like Direct, Area, Combat persistent,  Combat buff, Enchantment, World and such.  Favorite Tab would allow you to make a custom quick list for rapid spanking action.
  • Spell quantity.  Need more. 
  1. Not a huge issue, but I would like to see no less than 200 spells at launch
  • Spell cost. Too many spells need shards.
  1. Fireball should not require a shard.
  2. Godly storm of Fireballs of death should take 2 or 3.
  • Spell Learning sequence.  There sort of needs to be one.
  1. This would also help cleanup the research enormously.
  2. Research Fireburst > Fireball > Explosion > Flaming Pink pony poo
  3. Would also be a good secondary check on early game Ragnarok'ing.

 

And that as they say is that.  Despite the cruelty I have high hopes for this game.

Join me next time for Brutally Honest Tactical Combat Analysis and Champion Performance :}.

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June 26, 2010 1:09:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with EVERYTHING above.

Sovereigns should have an ability to start with some basic attack magic or defense magic.  At the very least, there should be a profession that the sovereign can start with that lends to magic use and magic warfare.

I created two cities and now I can't learn the upper level spells.  My essence has dropped to 5 (started with 15), and I was able to build it up to 8 through leveling, then I died some, and now I can't even teleport home to cry about it.

A couple of tweaks recommended:

MAGIC:

  • Mana = Wisdom x 2 (or x3), Essence = Wisdom; keep the stats separate.  Essence can get reduced each cast so you essentially run out still, but still allow mana to be used to cast other spells. 
  • Also, there must be a way to get essence back without leveling.  THAT is a game breaker, without which the game will not be fun.  Possibilities:
    • 5 - 15 turn creep that builds it up, adding a perminent +1 to essence every  X turn, and the ability to research a quick essence turn gap (bringing it down from 15 to 13, or so).  Then, create a ceiling on the max amount.  This would create an incentive to use up the essence pool rather than hording it for some sort of essence spam.  (In one turn, create a volcano, and summon an elemental of each type, etc. etc. etc.)
    • Attach the essence stat to the amount of spell points generated per turn; so if you get two loremasters that generate 2 spell points each, two research academies that generate 1 spell point each, you have effectively increased your essence by 6.
  • VermillionChaos is dead on with the favorites tab.  A nice way to get to favorite spells would be keen.

SHARDS:

  • I would greatly prefer to get one free shard in one of my cities, a type of my choice.  Several reasons:
    • I can't use any spell worth mentioning (except wildflowers, pretty!) without a shard
    • When I choose or create a soveriegn, I lock into one type of magic, which is pretty useless since I won't be able to cast any of those spells without a shard of that type.  While I can research up to get other magics, there is no value in starting with a special school if I cannot cast those spells without a shard
    • Shard spamming: I could easily see one player take every shard just to lock it up from the opponent, not entirely feasible, but possible in a large game where multiple PCs are trying this strategy.
  • So, if shards are not easily accessible, I would rather they have a different function:
    • Shards only used to grant access to higher level spells
    • Shardds add a cumulative bonus to that type of magic

ADVENTURING:

  • Right now some of the technologies are redundant.  I can already recruit, and yet I am researching the ability to recruit
  • I'm not quite sure what a lot of the guild halls do.  I haven't seen new champions running around afterwards, nor have I been able to build specialized assassins
    • Small note: assassins should probably be later on in the tree; right now they are the first thing I can get.  Even though I don't know anything about what they do, it does not sound like the first thing a guild would set up, right?
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June 26, 2010 1:29:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree too.

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June 26, 2010 1:30:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Permanently trading your Essence for something beneficial is a core concept of the game and should not be changed. Losing 1pt of Essence from dying is appropriate. Death should always have severe consequences instead of being a minor inconvenience. I would even take perma death and game over much rather than making death inconsequential and the game world less immersive as a result.

But maximum Mana should be separated from Essence completely. I would rather have a Mana Vault / Mana Crystal city upgrade if there really needs to be a maximum Mana.

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June 26, 2010 1:37:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree 100%.

Also your recommendations are recommendable.

 

 

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June 26, 2010 1:45:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I didn't have much time last night to play around with it, but I agree with the spell issues.  Some quick thoughts:

The spell info 'page' does not display Essence cost - spell card (from character spell tab) shows both Mana & Essence costs.  I want to know how much Essence the spell costs to cast, before I learn it.

 

Spell breakdown:

I think there should be 3 'types' of spells.  Generic (anyone can learn), School specific (must have the school, can be chosen at creation or maybe found as a book/reward), and Shard based.

Hmm...  If I create a Sovereign with no schools of magic chosen, I would be able to learn Generic spells, through research.  If I want to learn Shard spells, I need a city tapping a Shard resource.  But I would not be able to learn School based spells at all.

Let us learn schools, possibly from a quest reward, or random cache reward - but those should be 'phat lewt', rare & with tough guardians.

On the other hand, if I create a Sovereign knowing the Fire School, I should be able to learn 'minor' Fire magics - Firebolt & such.  If I want to get the Wall of Fire spell, I need to build a city at a Fire Shard, and research it.

'Epic' spells should require both knowledge of a school and access to a Shard of the same kind.  Maybe anyone learning the Fire school could throw a Fireball, and anyone controlling a Fire Shard can raise a Wall of Fire - but you need both the School & Shard to raise a Volcano.

 

Research:

I would rather have a similar mechanic that Master of Magic used, instead of how it is currently.  (Not sure if you can change it at this point)  Instead of being able to learn anything that I had spell points for, with points growing to a limit, I would rather set a 'Spell Research target', and have the points feed into it until completed.

Either that, or you need an extra icon on the left icon bar, that lights up when you are at max spell points again.

Perhaps the Loremasters would let you set multiple spells to learn, instead of simply giving spell points.

 

 

Love this type of spellbook organizational idea!

Recommendations:  Having the spells arranged in a Book:Function matrix would be both quick and expandable. So across the top you would have something like Favorite, Fire, Air, Water, Earth, Summoning, Ruin.  Upon selecting any of those top tabs, the side tabs would appear and have categorical fields based on the primary selector.  I.E. Selecting Air, would bring up sidetabs like Direct, Area, Combat persistent,  Combat buff, Enchantment, World and such.  Favorite Tab would allow you to make a custom quick list for rapid spanking action.

Also love the idea of a slow Essence regen.  I read that you are changing city creation to requiring the Pioneer Pack, and the Sovereign starts with only one.  So, all the Sovereign can do is found one city then run around and create a lot of fertile lands - but you still have to train the Pioneers to start new cities.  With the changing of the city founding mechanic, you should rethink the permanent loss of essence.

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June 26, 2010 1:46:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Hound,
Permanently trading your Essence for something beneficial is a core concept of the game and should not be changed. Losing 1pt of Essence from dying is appropriate. Death should always have severe consequences instead of being a minor inconvenience. I would even take perma death and game over much rather than making death inconsequential and the game world less immersive as a result.

But maximum Mana should be separated from Essence completely. I would rather have a Mana Vault / Mana Crystal city upgrade if there really needs to be a maximum Mana.

What you say about a core concept is entirely true, as it what you say about the concept of death.  Aside from the loss of essence, there is no real inconvienence with death.  In fact, you can even continue your movement if you have any left.  But the consequence of death is both TOO harsh and NOT HARSH at all.

It would make more sense to have a Sovereign paralyzed for something like 2 turns, possibly temporary loss of stats for X rounds, or maybe a quest to restore lost stats.

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June 26, 2010 1:55:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yea if there's one mechanic I hate with a passion in this game right now, it's giving up levels for stupid little summons. 

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June 26, 2010 1:56:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well Brad said in his preview for Beta 3 that Sovereigns won't be founding cities anymore (hopefully founding the kingdom doesn't take essence?) so that should take care of part of the essence problem. I think the essence problem is so painfully obvious that it will be fixed post-haste.

 

Upon my 2nd playthrough I played it safe with my essence... didn't die at all, got to lvl 7 and 15 essence by only founding cities on the happy little green patches (which still netted me 1 earth shard and 1 fire shard), and spells still kinda suck. Losing 1 essence to summon a fire elemental? No thanks. Spells also lack fx sexiness at this point, which successfully keeps even fireballs from being fun (congrats).

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June 26, 2010 1:59:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have to say that I agree with pretty much all of these suggestions, but since the people here seem to have some of the same basic ideas that I have had, I'll re-iterate my specific issues with Magic so-far:

Spell Points:

I really dislike the current spell-point system, because not only is it unintuitive, but you can lose the opportunity to learn things by not paying attention to it. (You have a max of 15, if you don't choose to learn something, it stays at 15...you could have learned a ton of spells in say 10 turns at +2 SP each, but instead you were busy doing other things and forgot about it, while the CPU most certainly will not.) Learning spells should be more like research and you shouldn't be able to unintentionally gimp yourself by not using them up.

Mana: Mana at the moment is based on Essence, and I really agree that this should be changed. The best suggestion is that it should be say based on Max Essence, and that 'temporary' essence should perhaps have some other effect.

Essence: I like the idea of Permanent and Temporary essence. I am thinking it represents the sovereign's level of power and weakness. I don't think you should ever permanently lose essence, but the higher your essence is (and closer to max) the more bonuses you should receive, and the lower it is the more penalties the sovereign should have.

This way the essence expended by spells and founding cities would temporarily weaken the sovereign, enough that even a powerful sovereign might need to rest in a city for a few turns after expending a lot of essence, but it wouldn't be a permanent barrier that would make you suck forever.

Obviously, if a sovereign dies they can be dropped to zero essence and receive a ton of penalties which slowly go away and are replaced by bonuses as they regain their essence over several turns. There can even be buildings or specific items that allow a sovereign to gain essence back more quickly.

Changing Essence in this way would also benefit sovereigns who focus less on magic, as the bonuses from having full essence could apply to combat, too.

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June 26, 2010 2:04:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'll also add that I agree that I think that some very basic spells shouldn't require Shards, but that Shards should instead provide a cumulative bonus to a certain type (school) of magic.

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June 26, 2010 2:46:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i agree as well with whats being said.  i love the concept of essence being a powerful resource, but it should be separate from max mana.  then again if instead of a 1 to 1 ratio it was more like 5 or 10 to one, i find that acceptable.

i think shards should only be required fro very powerful magic.  if you have 1 shard you can do amazing things, get 2 and it should scare the hell out of your opponents, get 3...well its Armageddon time.

maybe no spell should REQUIRE a shard, but every shard you control increases the power of the spells exponentially.

so you can still volcano without any shard, but it is a small volcano only taking up 1 little square in the city(basically destroys improvement, tile is useless until dispelled).

have 3 fire shards and its a massive volcano(you should be able to choose the size if you wish, small to huge) that destroys an entire city.

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June 26, 2010 3:19:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quick thought - you could 'spend' and 'regain' Essence like Hit Points.  Spend it on casting, but you have to go back to one of your cities (or a special tile) to regain it over a few turns.

 

Quoting Stmorpheus,


i think shards should only be required fro very powerful magic.  if you have 1 shard you can do amazing things, get 2 and it should scare the hell out of your opponents, get 3...well its Armageddon time.

maybe no spell should REQUIRE a shard, but every shard you control increases the power of the spells exponentially.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking about Shard-based magic.  You can only learn & use a spell if you control the proper type of Shard.  But those types of things should be pretty rare & powerful.

And along those lines... if Shards are so rare & powerful, why don't they have guardians?

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June 26, 2010 3:22:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree also, and have some suggestions about handling Essence:

I agree with Hound that paying Essence for beneficial things is a core concept, but it seems to me that for all the things it is used/required for, and for the cost of those things, that the existing mechanism to get more Essence is insufficient.   You pay it to create cities, you pay it if you die, you pay if for some beneficial spells, it sets you mana limit.  Heck, there's even that Strange Noises quest where you pay 5 Essence and get a few wolf units!  Personally, if my sovereign dies, I will reload rather than pay the Essence cost.

Reviving the land around the cities and turning it green again is a really cool part of the game - I'd prefer every city to be surrounded by green, rather then the mechanism mentioned somewhere of converting a single square to build a city on without revving the land.  As it stands now, a magic focused character will be completely gimped if they crate more than one city.  That seems really unfair. 

Picking a single point of Essence at level-up in lieu of all the other stats is too high a cost, for too little a gain.   Some ideas:

1) Sovereigns gain Essence automatically as they level up.  The rate could be based on Widom stat: over 18 gets 1 perlevel, 15-17 gets 1 per 2 levels, 12-14 get 1 per 3 levels, etc.  Alternately, it could be based on choice of profession, which would provide another way to differentiate them.

2)  Essence regenerates back to its original max slowly over time (ie: something like a point every 10 turns).  Perhaps being in a city increases that rate (or allows it to regenerate at all).  Perhaps a special city improvement is required to be researched and built first.  Being in a city to regenerate Essence has the opportunity cost that your sovereign isn't out exploring, finding treasure, leveling up, etc, so the regeneration still has cost.  It even has the benefit of making a weak "stay-at-home" all-magic sovereign a bit more viable.

3)  Selecting Essence at level up increases max Essence by 1, and restores some number of Essence points.  The number restored could be based on Wisdom, profession, a random roll, etc.

4) Some combination of, or all of, the above.  This would make Essence a fair bit more plentiful, but ideas 1 & 3 are tied to leveling up, while 2 works against leveling up.   This could also be balanced my making Essence needed for more things and putting in a spearate city cap of some sort.  And since current Essence would still be the mana cap, spending too much essense would still inhibit your spellcasting until you could regain all those points.

If you really don't want regenerating Essence:

5)  At level up,if Essence is chosen, gain 1 or more points based on Wisdom score, ie: 18+ gets 3 Essence, 15-17 gets 2 Essence.

6) Make Essence less critical: Remove the connection between max mana points and Essence, remove quests and lesser spells that require Essence.  So only major big-time benefits will use any Essence.

 

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June 26, 2010 3:30:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for the replies and all  the good ideas everyone.  The more ideas and feedback, the more work we can make Brad do! Mwahahaha!

 

One thing that someone brought up is the research system for spells.  Waste spell points is a very real issue.

As I see it there are 2 good ways to clean this up, and add some nice granularity to the feel of the research system itself.

The first is to put all the spells in dependency chains. 

  • I.E.  Heal > Mass Heal > Regenerate
  • Then having other chains branch/merge into it. Ala Gust > Haste > Gale, and then having Gale + Regenerate = Shining Wind(AE Heal + Heal over Time). 
  • The big advantage would be 'target goals', i.e. you would click 'Shining Wind' select research, and the system could then plot MinFirst queue for you.
  • The big disadvantage to this is that it would almost require another mod tool to graft them all in to the research views.

The second way would be to have 'Book Levels'.

  • Each book would have Levels that would cost X amount of invested SP to achieve.
  • Using the above.  If you had 3 in life and 3 in wind, then 'Shining Wind' would be available to you.
  • The advantage here is that it is super easy to add spells at different tiers. Name the spell, set the effect, set the spell  book level reqs, set the costs, and hit add.
  • The disadvantage is that it is a little more boring by being less goal-oriented

 

Also on this subject. Maybe having 'City Enchants' cost spell points, so larger CEs would require higher max SP.  Then add a slider that would allow you to DIVERT SP income over to research.  This would create an interesting balance between learning spells and having enough Enchantments to go around.

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June 26, 2010 4:07:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I can't really see anything to add here as these are some great ideas except another post supporting and lending weight to these ideas.

 

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June 26, 2010 4:29:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting VermillionChaos,

Also on this subject. Maybe having 'City Enchants' cost spell points, so larger CEs would require higher max SP.  Then add a slider that would allow you to DIVERT SP income over to research.  This would create an interesting balance between learning spells and having enough Enchantments to go around.

 

I like this kind of idea.  You could have your crew at the Tower of Sorcery researching for new spells, or spending some of their energy maintaining a city enchantment. You could even limit the number & strengths of CE's by the magical buildings you have in each city, and it would force some city variety.  Since we have limited city tiles to build on, you could fill the city with merchant based structures and rake in the gildar, but you wouldn't be able to layer many enchantments on it.  Or you could fill it with magical structures, and be able to smother it with enchantments.

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June 26, 2010 4:43:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

as far as enchantments go.  yeah its overpowered as is.  i like the enchantment slots as long as each city has its own enchantment slots.

each city should have an enchantment slot area.

there should be one for global enchantments as well.

there should be improvements that can be built that hold enchantments in city.  you build one and it gives you 1 or more enchantment slots.

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June 26, 2010 4:55:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The magic system seems like a bunch of ideas thrown together that just don't add up to a good working system.

There needs to be a fine balance between magic and non-magic (units, technology, play style, etc.). I'm concerned that once magic get's going, nothing else will matter (armor, weapons, units, non-magic tech) will all be next to useless.

If I find the magic nodes and development them before you do, you will lose. Will Elemental become nothing more than who find the magic nodes first?

 

 

 

 

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June 26, 2010 5:18:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Actually pad152, at current it is the other way around.  Civic > all other.  In 2A I could have you swimming in 2 att 3 def 10 hp units by like turn 70.  Just research civics up to houses and t2 research buildings, then go over and research up to 10man squads and hardened leather armor.  Then build 10man caravans between every city.  Then start city spam up, till you have cities pretty much every 4 tiles .  The caravans pay for it all, and add so much work you can swamp everyone with wave after wave of crap units, and you have a mountain of research from all the towns.

So dirty.  But I am sure they have disabled that caravan plurality via companies by Beta 3 .

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June 26, 2010 5:21:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I disagree with two points.

 

Max and current essence.  If using it has no penalty, there isn't a point in having it used to begin with.  Balance is a concern, but I don't see a flaw in the mechanic itself.  Using a point of essence shouldn't be a crippling endeavor that sets you back irretrievably, it implies one of two things.  Essence is inadequately weighted in the leveling process, or the leveling process is itself inadequately weighted.

 

Only cataclysmic spells should be blowing through max mana as well.  Utilization should entail conservation of resources.  If you're blowing the entire deal on singular spells all the time it makes for a barren game.  If you're going straight back up to max mana in a turn or two, it removes any need to be careful with your power.  The regen rate needs to be sufficient for a sustained level of output proper for your power level.  Max mana should be more what you can unleash at great need, like for a major battle.  A spell that vaporizes an invading army big enough to crush your entire empire in one shot is horrific and balance breaking.  Being powerful enough to, if you can hold out long enough, slowly kill that army over the length of a battle is not.  I say only cataclysmic spells should, but I'd rather they don't exist at all, as a game ending achievement perhaps.

 

Second, the upkeep statements.  First, wisdom does crap because it's poorly set up for what it affects.  The relative effect of buildings and the channeler's base capabilities are a balance problem.  If wisdom modified the gains from those buildings, it would never be negated.  At the least, having it be a modifier in combination with essence would allow your channeler to build on it's own research capability.  As far as upkeep goes though, summoned units burning through your mana would be much more sensible.  I dislike static caps where they can be avoided.

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June 26, 2010 5:30:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting redwhalen,



Quoting Hound,
reply 3
Permanently trading your Essence for something beneficial is a core concept of the game and should not be changed. Losing 1pt of Essence from dying is appropriate. Death should always have severe consequences instead of being a minor inconvenience. I would even take perma death and game over much rather than making death inconsequential and the game world less immersive as a result.

But maximum Mana should be separated from Essence completely. I would rather have a Mana Vault / Mana Crystal city upgrade if there really needs to be a maximum Mana.



What you say about a core concept is entirely true, as it what you say about the concept of death.  Aside from the loss of essence, there is no real inconvienence with death.  In fact, you can even continue your movement if you have any left.  But the consequence of death is both TOO harsh and NOT HARSH at all.

It would make more sense to have a Sovereign paralyzed for something like 2 turns, possibly temporary loss of stats for X rounds, or maybe a quest to restore lost stats.

 

My idea for death consequence is pretty simple, there should be a loss of str, dex, end, wis, cha, or int and 1 health to reflect the cost of getting safely away with only injuries, and maybe there could be a building in a level five city that eliminates the penalty if you get sent to that city after escaping death, like a channeler's tower.

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June 26, 2010 5:40:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@Psychoak: The Problem with a capital P, IS the complete lack of anything resembling balance between the casting stat.

  • Int = spell damage kinda, but has no real effect on any summoning spells
  • Wis = spellpoints and some mana regen, so it only has a realistic effect on early game research and longevity
  • Essence = max mana, and super spells, and death, and quests

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just does not belong!

 

Splitting Essence into Current/max would be ideal because it still leaves Essence as very very important, while not leaving casters so terribly gank-prone.  If there is no way to raise Current, then it is a permanent choice to spend it. I.E. if you hit 0 Current Essence you die.  If you have 1 Current essence out of 15 max, then you have 15 mana, but  you will still Game over if you die again.

As far as that goes summoning unit with a mana upkeep from their caster is the same as a 'slot system' in that if 1 wisdom = 1 mana regen, and each summon takes either .5 or 1 mana a turn, then there is a logic but fluid cap, which was all i was really suggesting to start with.

And I do share your opinion on 'Game Enders', they need to stay just that.

 

 

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June 26, 2010 6:15:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Going to agree on the regenerating essence bit, make it towns only (that should prevent the insane and inneficent traits from being freebees). It should also be slow.. like 1 every 10 turns, with the possibility of a building or research lowering it. Maybe death should take more than one essence if it is returnable? How about having it start at 2 and increasing by 1 for each death. Eventually your soveriegn will simply die, which I presume is supposed to eventually happen anyway, for your kids to take over.

Actually right now there is an issue with the sovereign's children - they don't gain essence, which If I recall correctly was supposed to be one of their major benefits..

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June 26, 2010 6:42:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Since Brad has said he is considering talent trees for Sovereigns I think one possible solution is to have talents (or feats or whatever) that allows you to nullify the need for a shard to cast a spell. 

Essentially, your Sovereign is so good with fire spells (or so in tune with the element of fire) that he can ignore the requirement for one fire shard on any spell.  If you continue to level this talent you can ignore further spells.  This gives you the option of playing a fire heavy caster Sovereign without locking you into finding fire shards. Or you can generalize and ignore one shard each of multiple types.  Yet it still costs time, effort, and planning to get there, because you have to level your Sovereign in that direction.

They could even tie other things into these talents such as having that talent induce slight changes into the look of your Sovereign to show that he is becoming more in tune with his element of choice.

Obviously, there would be equivalent talents for each school of magic.

I agree that expending essence is to do things is a core mechanic and holds the potential to force difficult strategic choices, but I also that max mana for casting more mundane spells needs ot be altered in some way, even if it is left tied to Essence.  I think a simple 5x Essence or something would work.  This lets you spend a few Essence on something major without completely gimping your normal casting.  Especially since I imagine that tossing big magic around the tactical battle map won't be cheap either.

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June 26, 2010 7:01:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with the entire OP apart from the 200 spells. I think 100 is a nicer number, there's enough that you don't instantly learn them all but not so many that it'll take too long to learn them.

Bonus DLC and expansions can add more so we learn them as they arrive. I'd even prefer it that way.

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