Apologies if this is discussed elsewhere.
I'm currently enjoying the current build, but I am still finding the magic system unintuitive. Conversly the tech research system has been working well for sometime, so I suggest copying many of the elements of this into the spell system. This is less of a game play change, and more of a suggestion as to how to use the existing game assests to streamline Elemental for slicker, easier to learn gameplay.
In short I propose two changes.
Make Arcane Research and unlocking new spells as similar as possible to Tech Research.
- Create a second research screen in the UI, similar to the tech research one, for arcane research.
- Add several new tech trees, named after the elements or spell research trees needed. (I.e. Earth, Air, Death etc.) in addition to Civ, Warfare, etc.
- Have these branch and have prequisites like the existing tech trees (I.e. you need lightning bolt to learn chain lightning, thunder storm etc. in the air tree. Later spells may not be available to research. )
- Remove the magic research tree, and cut it up so its various improvements end up either in the new spell research trees, or in the civilisation tech tree (Ie earth shard harvesting is under Earth magic, monestarys is under civ research)
- Add some general benefits to certain trees, beyond just unlocking spells. (ie. Earth spell tree has a global improvement to farms) to add flavour and reward specialising in magic beyond the combat benefits.
- Unlocking spells does not grant you the ability to cast them, it simply unlocks them for your civilistion. Once your civilisation has unlocked a spell, each casters can then individually learn them at a city.
Make the spell book system work like the item inventory system.
- Casters start off with an empty spell book and cannot cast spells.
- To providea caster with a new spell, the player must first unlock spell for their civilisation with spell research.
- Secondly they must buy the spell in the city, in the same way as the item shop (ie, you research long swords, now you can buy the item for your champion - you research chain lightning, now you can buy the spell for your champion.)
- Giving a champion a spell costs resources (gold, crystal, mana, gems, shards?)
- Each caster needs to learn each spell themselves individually, and spells cannot be shared for free.
- A caster is limited to the number/level of spells in their book by their intelligence.
- A casters mana and spell power is limited by their essence. ( so a stupid caster can be magically powerful, but will be inflexible. A smart caster can be magically weak, but will can access wide range of spells.)
- A player would need to manage carefully which casters gain which spells, rather than them each having access to vast numbers of spells.
In terms of the UI, the magic system should recycle what it can from the tech research and item inventory system, so that once you know how to use one, the other is obvious. Overall i think this would remove unessecary over complication in the game.