Thank you for trying the mod, and offering feedback.
Magician: +25 Spell Mastery and Resistance. This is a big Mastery boost right off the bat, and the Resistance is the equivalent of two trait picks. An interesting alternative to Brilliance. Does it have any other in-game impact, such as traits that are only available to Magicians? I am trying to figure out why I would take Magician instead of something else. Warlock would be more effective for a nuker. Maybe a death magic debuff specialist? It seems interesting but not enough for me to pick it, especially since an early-game boost is somewhat pointless for a spellcaster due to the extremely high casting cost of tactical spells.
No other impact other than what's stated. The resist is definitely the bigger early impact here (especially considering units like the Darkling Shaman.) +25 Mastery is just gravy. Maybe I ought to add a Shard Synergy Bonus as well.
Shard Bond: What is +20 shard synergy? I had no idea, so I tried to look it up in your FAQ. Not much info there so I still don't know what it does. [Edit] In game I see Synergy values for each magic type, so it looks like Shard Bond is a flat +20% bonus to effectiveness on everything? Does it impact summoning spells at all, or only stuff with raw numeric damage values? What about spell durations, like with Root or Curse, do they last longer?
In essence, you can think of shard synergy as a multiplier to your shard power. So if we look at Fireball, cast by a tenth level mage with 3 fire shards. We'll say the mage has a fire shard synergy of 175 and shard synergy bonus of 40. It currently works like this:
RotM version of fireball does 1 fire damage per caster level + 1.5 per fire shard in a radius of 1.
175 + 40 = 215 >> fire shard synergy + shard synergy bonus
215 / 100 = 2.15 >> This is your shard power multiplier. [FYI I use 100* numbers so you can see what's happening in the UI. Smaller decimal numbers would simply show up as integers unless you moused over them.]
3 fire shards * 2.15 = 6.45 >> This the mage's adjusted shard power.
1.5 * 6.45 = 9.68 = 10 >> Fire damage from fire shards
10 + 10 = 20 total fire damage >> 1 damage per caster level plus shard bonus
(FYI in vanilla, the same mage casting fireball with 3 fire shards would do 30 fire damage (18 base + 12 (4 per shard)) and more for Path of the Mage and probably Warlock and all this for less mana than the RotM mage. The vanilla mage is kinda unbalanced, imo.)
The shard synergy described in Shard Bond ability should actually read Shard Synergy Bonus. Thanks for pointing that out (fixed for next version.)
Since this affects shard-based effects, summoning spells are effected (and very nicely, I might add.)
The xml doesn't allow variables on spell attributes like duration, range, radius, etc.
Spell Cost Stat: Looks like a multiplier, making things expensive? Seems to go down with Path of the Mage? This makes combat spellcasting EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE in the early game. Let me say that again, it is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE to cast spells in the early game.
Yup. Now non-Mages (including lower level units) have to make tough decisions when casting spells. This makes the mage, and all things mage-ly like mana production, that much more valuable. I REALLY like this part of the mod. It seems out of whack at first, because you're used to the vanilla way of doing things. But play with it for a while. See if it doesn't make that mage you invested in just that much more special and unique. It really takes until about level 10 or so for the new mage skills to start to come together nicely.
Burn Effect: Seems to be a small DoT, 1-3 dmg? Does this ramp up over time?
Yeah. With shards. It should also be noted that there is a Frostbite effect for cold damage spells and a Shock effect for lightning damage spells. Soon there will be an Envenom effect for poison spells (and a cantrip), which causes weakness in the effected unit (attack and weight capacity debuff.)