After reading thru this entire thread and doing some additional thinking, I've tried to organize my thoughts. There are so many GREAT ideas in this thread it took me all day to digest them. I'm not adding too many new ideas here, but did want to support the ideas I truly thought would add fun factor to the game.
In keeping with the original definitions for stats (ESSENCE, MANA, WISDOM, INTELLIGENCE) as closely as possible, here's what my preferences are, apologies for the verbosity:
ESSENCE LOSS & REGEN
I feel requiring a permanent ESSENCE cost is fine for a very select amount of spells where it makes sense, but I think more should only result in a temporary reduction. Some constructs discussed of MAX ESSENCE with temporary and permanent loss solve this I believe.
Something like this works for me:
- Permanent loss: imbue champion, revive/enrich land, resurrection, high level enchantments, etc.
- Temporary reduction: healing, some enchantments/buffs, high level summons, volcano, etc.
I agree about a very slow ESSENCE regeneration for temporary losses. I also like the ideas about harvested shards and/or settlements (especially with certain improvements) being responsible or contributing to ESSENCE regeneration.
I also like the idea where can choose how much ESSENCE to sacrifice for certain spells increasing the probability of a better/stronger result. Put 2 or 3 ESSENCE into a revive spell and the area is greatly increased, or more fertile tiles are produced. Put more into a SUMMON spell and the elemental/demon has increased HP, stats, or magic ability.
ESSENCE and MANA
Max mana ought to be dependent on a character's WIS and ESSENCE stats in some form me thinks. A casters LEVEL would also make sense. I'm not sure if current or max ESSENCE would be more apropos, but straight multiplying of these seems to give too much variation.
Balance testing would surely need to be done regardless of the equation used, but perhaps something like: MAX MANA = (LEVEL + WISDOM) * (ESSENCE / 10)
I also think ESSENCE should determine mana regeneration (e.g. ESSENCE / 10). It makes intuitive sense to me.
I also think the ideas about buffs and enchantments having slots & taking spell points to maintain have merit.
SPELL POINTS & WISDOM
I don’t really like the hard (read: contrived) cap on spell points. I think this can be removed.
First, see enchantments. Second, lose (or greatly reduce) building contributions (ala Monastery). I'd like to see all casters have a WIS stat and generate spell points. In conjunction, more spell points might be required to learn most spells. Also, requiring a NPC/Caster to be stationed in the city/improvement to get the spell points each turn would solve this. This would also force strategic use of casters in armies vs. researchers/teachers.
I like that WIS determines spell point generation each turn.
I like the ideas about separating known from un-researched spells and the tab/matrix system that were described. A good queue system will reduce wasted spell points and make it feel more like researching spells (and less like buying them).
I would be extremely pleased if each caster was able to keep his/her own unique spell book(s). Having the ability to trade/teach them (provided the other caster has appropriate stat levels) similar to equipment trading. This construct could serve to specialize casters further and make them a more strategic asset. There are certainly larger implications with this construct however, such as spell point research, but one can hope
My view is that the INT stat ought to have varied effects on a spells results. It may already be doing all of these things, but I can't tell from the beta testing thus far.
INT should affect:
- spell range
- amount of damage
- number of or hit points of summoned units
- length and effectiveness of buff/enchantment, etc...
- Maybe even control the number of spells a caster can learn per level.
SHARDS, SPELLS, & SCHOOLS (OH MY!)
- I like having ability to choose schools/books of magic at sovereign creation.
- Choosing a starting shard in your first/capital city, and/or not requiring a shard for low level school spells would be good solutions IMO.
- Some core low level spells (low spell point cost) per school are needed.
- I like the idea where each spell can be researched to a greater level of proficiency (1-5, 8, 10 or whatever) where the next level has more range, affects more targets, lasts longer, cost less mana, etc.) This allows the caster to become highly specialize (and powerful) or more balanced...either way more unique
- Scrolls & rare spells…like it! Would like a ‘transcribe’ ability or technology allowing a caster to add this to the spell book otherwise lose the ability to cast it once the scroll is used.
- I like that some spells cross schools/disciples and require more than one type of shard (e.g. volcano)