So the next big beta is scheduled for this Thursday, where evenone on the beta group will get their first taste of several new features. One such feature (possible the biggest, from a gameplay standpoint) is in the implementation of the spellbook. You can now learn spells and, provided you have the mana and/or essence, cast them with a flick (click) of your wand (left mouse button).
One of the suprising things we found this Friday, during our end-of-the-week powwow, is that the cloth map makes certain spells..well...dull. Spells that should be super-awesome just come across as lame. Raise land, for instance. You're a sovereign, summoning your powers to rip the world asunder, pulling a rocky cliff-face form it's ageless slumber. The world shakes as dirt and ash fill the sky in a magical haze. The rumbling stops...your mana drained, will depleated...you look upon your creation...
*ploop* A brown little mountain icon.
Now, over time it's cool to slowly shape the world to your needs, but without the 3d map the effect is anti-climatic, to say the least.
On the other hand, this has given spells such as 'Charm Monster' a chance to prove their worth. Using magic to build an arachnid and troll army has proven quite enjoyable...an instant gratification spell that could also turn the tide of future battles.
The problem I forsee is one of balance...and I know we've talked about making these spells fun and crazy in the beta sandbox, but I'd like to pilot this one a bit tighter, since it does have the power to be very unbalancing.
A balanced feature has solid logic as it's cornerstone, and that's what I'd like to discuss today. There are several different stats and countless viable equations that can be used to deterime the a sucessful charm, and this forum is a good a place as any to pick some brains for a solid solution.
- Current Implementation -
Any 'CharmTarget' modifier (the XML data that get's attached to a spell) has 3 key values...the PARENT Unit (who cast the spell), the TARGET unit (who's being charmed), and the STRENGTH of the charm (0-100).
What the game currently does is this...
- calc the difference between the two units levels (TARGET LVL - PARENT LVL: a negative value meaning the target is weaker)
- subtract the above difference from the STRENGTH (a weaker target will result in a stronger strength)
- use the new STRENGTH value as a % chance the charm will work.
So, in the current game's implementation, the charm spell has a strength of 100 (just for fun). However, if your level 1 sovereign casts it on a level 8 troll, there's only a 93% chance that the charm will hit it's mark. Seems high, but it IS the strongest charm spell you could get.
Perhaps it's a good-enough implementation, a more gameplay will determine if it's fun-factor dosen't overpower game-balance, but I'd like to open the floor: what do you guys think would be a fun and balanced way to deal with the suprisingly enjoyable art of 'Charming'.