The 1.1 Spellbook Overhaul Cometh!

Spells That Pack a Punch

By on November 17, 2010 4:37:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ScottTykoski

Join Date 03/2001
+110

Since launch, one of the major complaints about Elemental: War of Magic was that the last bit of our title (the "Magic" part) was found to be...lacking (to put it gently). Global mana addresses areas of cheese, but without a significant overhaul to the Spellbooks and Spells you’re casting, that side of the game would still feel weak.  We’ve taken the following steps to rectify this in 1.1....


1. Spellbook Re-evaluation: There were several problems with the way spells have been organized in Elemental thus far, the most damning being the selection of Elemental based spells when designing your Sovereign. We’ve now moved these out of customization and into the tech tree, so you can make the choice to grab those books as shards are discovered. In their place, players can select books specific to a given strategy. The “Mobility” book has movement and teleportation spells, “Enchantment” gives the players city buffs, “Combat” does damage and protects friendly units relative to the caster’s INT, and “Terraforming” gives players the ability to sculpt the landscape in interesting ways.

2. No two spells should feel the same: Spellbooks in v1.0 through v1.09  were filled with tons of spells that all felt the same: Lightning, Fireball, Hurl Boulder, etc.  They were various tweaks on the formula, but the end result was a magic system that lacked interesting (and cool) choices.  Our motto going into 1.1 was that each and every spell (and each spellbook, for that matter) should feel unique and tempting over the use of another.

3. Bigger, badder, more ballsy high level spells: When I get a level 5 spell, it better not be a ‘slightly stronger version’ of a level 1-4 spell, ‘cause that would be lame.  Instead, I demand serious L5 muscle to my magical might - uniquely awesome options as I conquer the world.  For example...

L5 Mobility - Call of the Titans
A unstoppable spell that gathers ALL friendly unstationed troops and lets you target them directly into enemy territory.

L5 Air - Tornado
Cast upon the army of your foe, this spell will scatter all units in the stack, making them easy targets to pick off.

L5 Life - Death Ward
Taking 250 mp and 1mp/turn maint., Death Ward will allow any champion unit to escape death at the end of a losing battle (even if the battle is fought on enemy soil).

At the end of every spellbook the player will be greeted by a spell that was worth the effort to learn it.


Most of the old spells have been stripped out, and the v1.1 beta will have 68 new and improved spells. While the final 1.1 build will have around 75 spells to help your rise to power, we’ll continue taking suggestions on how to best make the ‘Magic’ half of our subtitle really shine!

Enjoy!

 


 

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November 17, 2010 4:38:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

cant w8 for the 1.1 beta too test it out

 

75 new spells sound promising

 

when 1.1 is live how much spells will be avaible 75+ ?

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November 17, 2010 4:45:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That sounds absolutely awesome.

I'd imagine this part of the 1.1 beta will need plenty of bug hunting, so I hope everyone's really going to dig into that.

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November 17, 2010 4:45:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This makes me happy

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November 17, 2010 4:50:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Excellent.  WIth each update 1.1 appears to be the game we initially bought.  Bravo. 

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November 17, 2010 4:51:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd imagine this part of the 1.1 beta will need plenty of bug hunting
It will, though we did push it back a week to weed out the most glaring issues (though new effects, paintings, and icons are all forthcoming).

What I'd love to see is the modders kick around the new GameModifiers and various tags added to extend spell functionality. If we've added a feature where, with relative ease, we can make it considerably more useful to modders, I'll be happy to get it in!

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November 17, 2010 4:51:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ok that covers the spells but what about new special abilitys? Also please teach the Ai to use the Movement book in a proper way. If we have teleport spells the Ai needs to use them in a functional way. Apart from that? Apart from that i say my investment into this game just, once again, got justified. Keep the good work!

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November 17, 2010 4:59:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Any global spells?

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November 17, 2010 5:00:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, new spell!

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November 17, 2010 5:02:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

very exciting! i've stopped playing Elemental until 1.1 - 1.1 is sounding like where the game SHOULD have launched. And I'm very excited about it.

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November 17, 2010 5:03:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Those example spells you listed are great imo. If the rest of the spell overhaul follows the same suit then 1.1 is just a recipe of success

I also like your answer to replacing the elemental spell books in character creation with the moblility, enchant, combat and terraforming books. I was sad that the original spell books were going out of char creation, but these new ones seem much more important to defining player strategy then the old books ever were. Great job guys. I look forward to exploring the new magic system fully!

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November 17, 2010 5:04:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

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November 17, 2010 5:11:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds great Stardock! I can't wait!

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November 17, 2010 5:19:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds awesome. I just hope you do give us the beta before the weekend

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November 17, 2010 5:20:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I hope the strategic spells are improved especially its variety, as right now it's mostly about tactical spells. Late game strategic spell like curgen volcano, earthquake or tsunami are insanely powerful, but it is only available in very late game, not to mention that it need shard. Elemental lack low level useful strategic spells.

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November 17, 2010 5:28:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BoogieBac,


What I'd love to see is the modders kick around the new GameModifiers and various tags added to extend spell functionality. If we've added a feature where, with relative ease, we can make it considerably more useful to modders, I'll be happy to get it in!

I've never been big on custom magic myself. The only request I've made about magic, if I remember correctly, is making sure SpellResourceCost worked better in tactical combat. In tactical combat, it didn't pay any attention to if you actually had the resource or not, unlike in strategic mode. Did that make it into the patch?

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November 17, 2010 5:42:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
Since launch, one of the major complaints about Elemental: War of Magic was that the last bit of our title (the "Magic" part) was found to be...lacking (to put it gently). Global mana addresses areas of cheese, but without a significant overhaul to the Spellbooks and Spells you’re casting, that side of the game would still feel weak.  We’ve taken the following steps to rectify this in 1.1....



1. Spellbook Re-evaluation: There were several problems with the way spells have been organized in Elemental thus far, the most damning being the selection of Elemental based spells when designing your Sovereign. We’ve now moved these out of customization and into the tech tree, so you can make the choice to grab those books as shards are discovered. In their place, players can select books specific to a given strategy. The “Mobility” book has movement and teleportation spells, “Enchantment” gives the players city buffs, “Combat” does damage and protects friendly units relative to the caster’s INT, and “Terraforming” gives players the ability to sculpt the landscape in interesting ways.

2. No two spells should feel the same: Spellbooks in v1.0 through v1.09  were filled with tons of spells that all felt the same: Lightning, Fireball, Hurl Boulder, etc.  They were various tweaks on the formula, but the end result was a magic system that lacked interesting (and cool) choices.  Our motto going into 1.1 was that each and every spell (and each spellbook, for that matter) should feel unique and tempting over the use of another.

 

#1 - I like this direction! Good on YOU!

#2 - ah really now?  REALLY?

why would a player ever want to use Erosion spell over the Lower/Raise Land spell if they want a beach for transports?  Does erosion have some benefit that Lower/Raise Land spell does not have?  The way it reads to me, Erosion spell is a subset spell of Lower/Raise Land.

I mean really?

Actions speak louder than words...

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November 17, 2010 5:45:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great.....glad to see the magic get reworked............

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November 17, 2010 5:47:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like what I see a lot -- great! Thank you! -- with the exception of this

Quoting ,

1. Spellbook Re-evaluation: There were several problems with the way spells have been organized in Elemental thus far, the most damning being the selection of Elemental based spells when designing your Sovereign. We’ve now moved these out of customization and into the tech tree, so you can make the choice to grab those books as shards are discovered. In their place, players can select books specific to a given strategy. The “Mobility” book has movement and teleportation spells, “Enchantment” gives the players city buffs, “Combat” does damage and protects friendly units relative to the caster’s INT, and “Terraforming” gives players the ability to sculpt the landscape in interesting ways.


 

I strongly dislike the way that Stardock games tend to have large units of knowledge based around functionality; a prime example of this is "Lasers" or "Engines" in GalCiv2, or your suggestion above. It always feels refreshing and exciting to have a large base of knowledge and being able to pick and use areas of it according to circumstance. Dominions is a good example of this: You research something like "Evocation", but that gives you the possibility of casting such various things as fireballs to divination spells -- depending on in-game circumstances. I'd much prefer Elemental to have books like "Life" and "Earth" or whatever, and have various functionalities within these split up; "Combat" feels like lasers, feels one-dimensional, and, much like lasers in GC2 was, could run the risk of being functional yet boring. I do mean this constructively, and will of course wait to see the results...

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November 17, 2010 5:47:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Gene1966 what about Lower Land makes you think it will work on cliffs?

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November 17, 2010 6:07:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

sweetness... this thread is better than 50 tiny kittens

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November 17, 2010 6:21:42 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

If it has not already been considered, it would be nice if spells could be tied to more than one spell book. For example, the volcano spell could require the earth spell book and the fire spell book (and possibly terraforming).

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November 17, 2010 6:32:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,
Gene1966 what about Lower Land makes you think it will work on cliffs?

Maybe it was Raise Land, and Lower land defintion confused me but to the same effect.  And to address your question, #1 Cliffs are in fact land not water, and #2 if I want to create a beach today in 1.09e where there is only cliff, then I simply apply Raise land and the cliff is now a nice sandy beach that allow for transports to be contructed and embark/disembark.  Am I really that confident they would have changed that game mechanic?  in a word no.  Given the things that do not work or have not worked and then to rehash them and imply they will work w/o fixing them or at least documenting that they are fixed...  I hope you get my drift.  

Do you belief these things ever worked or that they got fixed?  Do you really believe based on the changelog and today's 1.09e that Erosion in practice is not a subset of Raise/Lower land?

I answered your question, dare ya to answer mine.

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November 17, 2010 6:37:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting xStarfirex,
sweetness... this thread is better than 50 tiny kittens

 

Here's hoping the actual game experience won't be more like 50 grown up cats! 

 

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November 17, 2010 6:41:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Gene1966,

Quoting Heavenfall, reply 19Gene1966 what about Lower Land makes you think it will work on cliffs?

Maybe it was Raise Land, and Lower land defintion confused me but to the same effect.  And to address your question, #1 Cliffs are in fact land not water, and #2 if I want to create a beach today in 1.09e where there is only cliff, then I simply apply Raise land and the cliff is now a nice sandy beach that allow for transports to be contructed and embark/disembark.  Am I really that confident they would have changed that game mechanic?  in a word no.  Given the things that do not work or have not worked and then to rehash them and imply they will work w/o fixing them or at least documenting that they are fixed...  I hope you get my drift.  

Do you belief these things ever worked or that they got fixed?  Do you really believe based on the changelog and today's 1.09e that Erosion in practice is not a subset of Raise/Lower land?

I answered your question, dare ya to answer mine.

Heh, calm down there cowboy. If there's a problem with the spells overlapping in functionality, perhaps you should just make them aware of that instead of questioning their rationale. Clearly, I don't know how the spells will work in beta. All we have to go on is the text in the changelog, and I think we can both agree that neither of us know if the problem has been fixed, but that Erosion should NOT be a subset of raise land or lower land.

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November 17, 2010 6:53:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

AMEN! Hallelujah! Our prayers have been answered! *bows in obeisance*

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