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Do Different Arcane Reflection Spells Stack?


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There are 3 Arcane Reflection spells: Minor Arcane Reflection (reflects 15 spell levels), Arcane Reflection (reflects 30 spell levels) and Llengrath's Reflection (reflects 50 spell levels). 

If a wizard casts all of them, while they are all active and before any spells are reflected, are they able to reflect 50 spell levels (in which case they don't stack) or 50+30+15=95 spell levels (in which case they all stack)?

Edited by DaylenAmell
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Good question. I don't know and I also never read about that here. I guess Arcane Relfections don't get used much because they only work against targeted spells (which excludes all AoE spells that you can cast "on the ground").

Given how other stuff doesn't stack (e.g. multiple sources of revival such as Second Chance + Unbreakable) I suspect that they won't stack but every time a spell hits it gets substracted from all three reflection spells (would need testing to confirm). Or the highest one directly supresses the lower ones right from the start (that would be visible on the character sheet). But maybe... maybe they stack. I can try it out when I've time and report...

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Okay, I gave Aloth all three spells and attacked him with Magran's Might (convenient because it's single target, gets reflected and every pulse counts as one spell so I don't have to cast so many spells).

The VFX of all three combined look cool by the way. :)

What I found: the reflection spells don't get supressed by superior versions.

However, as I suspected, a reflected spell (here Magran's Might) substracts its levels from all three reflections simultaneously by the time it gets reflected.
So it's not a "layered" reflection - they don't really stack.

Thus it is useless to have them all active at the same time. Better to cast a follow-up once a former reflection spell expired (that way you also get a way longer duration of reflection overall).

 

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22 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Okay, I gave Aloth all three spells and attacked him with Magran's Might (convenient because it's single target, gets reflected and every pulse counts as one spell so I don't have to cast so many spells).

The VFX of all three combined look cool by the way. :)

What I found: the reflection spells don't get supressed by superior versions.

However, as I suspected, a reflected spell (here Magran's Might) substracts its levels from all three reflections simultaneously by the time it gets reflected.
So it's not a "layered" reflection - they don't really stack.

Thus it is useless to have them all active at the same time. Better to cast a follow-up once a former reflection spell expired (that way you also get a way longer duration of reflection overall).

 

Thanks for the quick experiment and the response! Really appreciate it. 😃

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  • 2 months later...

Granted that all these spells are situational anyway, how do you feel they are balanced ? It is hard to evaluate before different spells use different pools of ressources, but it seems to me that the higher level ones don't grant much extra benefits.

This is especially meh for Llengrath Reflection : I don't think there is much point to waste your highest tier spell for such a spell. DnD Equivalent also enables to reflect higher spell levels, but here it doesn't seem to be the case.

(Yes, I'm wondering about tweaking them)

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I seldomly use them because reflection only works with targeted "real" spells. You can never know if he enemies use an AoE or a targeted spell - so it may be that you cast Arcane Reflection for nothing. I'm not willing to do that too often unless it's clear that I will get attacked with targeted spells (like that superannoying Form of the Helpless Beast and such).

 

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Not always. Passive effects stack with everything and effects that originate from items usually also stack with everything.

Only active abilites normally get supressed by the highest effect. But even there you can find some active buffs and debuffs you can stack as well because they address slightly different stats/group of stats.

Example: you can stack deflection-only buffs like Mirrored Image or Arcane Veil with +x-to-all-defense buffs like Vigorous Defense, Borrowed Instincts or Llengrath's Safeguard (up to +70 deflection). You can stack Miasma of Dull-Mindedness with Bewildering Blows and Ben Fidel's Neck (-75 Will) etc. 

Edited by Boeroer

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On 10/23/2021 at 7:45 AM, Elric Galad said:

Granted that all these spells are situational anyway, how do you feel they are balanced ? It is hard to evaluate before different spells use different pools of ressources, but it seems to me that the higher level ones don't grant much extra benefits.

This is especially meh for Llengrath Reflection : I don't think there is much point to waste your highest tier spell for such a spell. DnD Equivalent also enables to reflect higher spell levels, but here it doesn't seem to be the case.

(Yes, I'm wondering about tweaking them)

if there also gave you some protection from AoE, that'd make them much more worth it. I don't know what is accessible to modding though. (As prior art, antimagic buffs in other games exclude your square from spell AoEs, so it helps you against even not-directly-targeted effects. I don't know why they don't also do partial reflections.) edit: maybe they can be paired with a short duration version of that cipher effect that offers joint defenses, but getting hit knocks you out of it; if it only worked for non-deflection defenses it'd be "spelly" protection.

 

My first encounter with reflection spells back in the BG2 classic days made me convinced these spells were just immensely OP. Then I stopped being an idiot and casting spells directly at the mage. And even with dumb AI back in the day, wizards might just more likely cast their direct-targeted spells at Minsc charging at them than Edwin sitting back bombarding the battlefield behind a spell reflection. I don't understand why so many RPG systems have not innovated past direct-targeted reflection.

They are mostly anti-fun in Deadfire, because you have to kill all the enemies (they never surrender, and they don't try to reload their game when things go south :)), so all it really means is that you can't use some of your favorite goodies for a while, unless you can cleanse them or suppress the effect. Ideally there'd be a more systematic fix that adds in more of the "wizard battleship" where spell reflection was part of a rock-paper-scissors environment of anti-magic effects (edit: even though it might have annoyed people and had a steep learning curve, I really enjoyed in BG2 keeping various spells in reserve to deal with various spell or magic protections, and vice versa). I've gotten a few fun interactions by having a melee-ing caster that autocasts spell reflection at the start of almost every fight, but "a few fun interactions", heavily biased towards FS, over the course of an entire game, makes for a pretty weak-sauce spell category that I'm not sure is really fixable.

Edited by thelee
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12 hours ago, thelee said:

if there also gave you some protection from AoE, that'd make them much more worth it. I don't know what is accessible to modding though. (As prior art, antimagic buffs in other games exclude your square from spell AoEs, so it helps you against even not-directly-targeted effects. I don't know why they don't also do partial reflections.) edit: maybe they can be paired with a short duration version of that cipher effect that offers joint defenses, but getting hit knocks you out of it; if it only worked for non-deflection defenses it'd be "spelly" protection.

 

My first encounter with reflection spells back in the BG2 classic days made me convinced these spells were just immensely OP. Then I stopped being an idiot and casting spells directly at the mage. And even with dumb AI back in the day, wizards might just more likely cast their direct-targeted spells at Minsc charging at them than Edwin sitting back bombarding the battlefield behind a spell reflection. I don't understand why so many RPG systems have not innovated past direct-targeted reflection.

They are mostly anti-fun in Deadfire, because you have to kill all the enemies (they never surrender, and they don't try to reload their game when things go south :)), so all it really means is that you can't use some of your favorite goodies for a while, unless you can cleanse them or suppress the effect. Ideally there'd be a more systematic fix that adds in more of the "wizard battleship" where spell reflection was part of a rock-paper-scissors environment of anti-magic effects (edit: even though it might have annoyed people and had a steep learning curve, I really enjoyed in BG2 keeping various spells in reserve to deal with various spell or magic protections, and vice versa). I've gotten a few fun interactions by having a melee-ing caster that autocasts spell reflection at the start of almost every fight, but "a few fun interactions", heavily biased towards FS, over the course of an entire game, makes for a pretty weak-sauce spell category that I'm not sure is really fixable.

In a nutshell, what can be done through modding is anything but applying reflection to AoE effects :

- tweaking the number of spell levels reflected (including removing the limit entirely)

- tweaking the durations (including Infinite duration which could make sense with an effect limited to a nimber of triggers)

- Applying reflection to targeted weapon attacks (and targeted non-weapon / non-spell abilities) though I won't risk the "total number of ability reflected" part with it.

- Lowering the % reflected (yep this is a nerf, but could be coupled with a number of spell limit removal or another buff - the aim is to provide more variety)

- Add other effects (such as actual Spell Resistance or +all defense vs AoE spells)

 

What are my personal thoughts about any changes :

- Spell Reflection is situational. There is nothing intresically wrong with situational abilities for Wizard given the possibility to swap Grimoire.

- Wizard is a hugely powerful class. Buffing it should be done with caution.

- There is one single fight in the game where spell reflection is VERY useful. And since it is one of the top fights, buffing Spell Reflection would be a Game Changer for this particular fight. You know the one I'm speaking about, since you describe it in your Gamefaq guide (wrong subforum to state it explicitly).

- My main concern is the  spells are quite redundant IN ADDITION to be situational. You'll never need the 3. You'll never even gain a marginal gain by using a more appropriate one than the 2 others. Casting one of them is purely ressource management. Which wouldn't be that bad if there weren't also the constraint of their situationnality.

- They contribute to high level Enchanting spells being meh.

- I have a specific concern for Llengrath's Spell Reflection because Tier 9 casts are so precious (and other ones are so so good). BPM also reduces the efficiency of Brilliant with higher Tier cast restoration, so there will be few circonstances where you want to use it for ressource management.

 

There are tons of tweak possibility. As a simple example, there could be following difference between the 3 spells :

- One with 50% chance reflection, without number of Reflection limitation and a moderate duration

- One with current design

- One with 100% reflection, 100% resistance to spells but low duration (though Wall of Draining coul dmake it abusable, even with BPM nerf)

Edited by Elric Galad
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Instead of reflecting AoE effects (which isn't moddable if I understood that correctly) those spells could grant an additional resistance to all spells. Like the passive "Spell Resistance" but higher maybe? I don't think that it can be done in this substractive fashion like the original effect (like having 100% spell reistance and then the spell gets removed after a couple of hits) - and even if possible it's maybe too complicated, especially when it works in tanden with the original effect.

But perhaps a 50% spell resistance as long as the reflection lasts could be good? An alternative to waht you suggested with "100% reflection to spells but low duration".
You wouldn't have to touch the original effect then.

Higher tiers of these spells could give higher resistance. Like Llengrath's giving 75% or so. and Minor only 25% or whatever percentage works well.  

You won't be completely immune to AoEs - but you'd have at least the chance to shrug off a percantage of those - and maybe more if you stack some more spell resistance (like with the passive ability and maybe Xoti's Lantern etc.)? So those don't become obsolete, too.

At the same time it doesn't interfere with targeted spells because those get reflected 100% anyway. As I said: you wouldn't have to change the original effect at all.

That would make those spells even useful when you don't get attacked with targeted spells. Maybe even more useful especially if you don't get attacked with targeted spells because the spell wouldn't get removed but would alst for a long time, giving you resistance against those AoE spells. Maybe abusable? Or are the situations rare where you get attacked with AoE spells but no targeted spells? 🤷‍♂️

What say?

Edited by Boeroer
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6 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Instead of reflecting AoE effects (which isn't moddable if I understood that correctly) those spells could grant an additional resistance to all spells. Like the passive "Spell Resistance" but higher maybe? I don't think that it can be done in this substractive fashion like the original effect (like having 100% spell reistance and then the spell gets removed after a couple of hits) - and even if possible it's maybe too complicated, especially when it works in tanden with the original effect.

But perhaps a 50% spell resistance as long as the reflection lasts could be good? An alternative to waht you suggested with "100% reflection to spells but low duration".
You wouldn't have to touch the original effect then.

Higher tiers of these spells could give higher resistance. Like Llengrath's giving 75% or so. and Minor only 25% or whatever percentage works well.  

You won't be completely immune to AoEs - but you'd have at least the chance to shrug off a percantage of those - and maybe more if you stack some more spell resistance (like with the passive ability and maybe Xoti's Lantern etc.)? So those don't become obsolete, too.

At the same time it doesn't interfere with targeted spells because those get reflected 100% anyway. As I said: you wouldn't have to change the original effect at all.

That would make those spells even useful when you don't get attacked with targeted spells. Maybe even more useful especially if you don't get attacked with targeted spells because the spell wouldn't get removed but would alst for a long time, giving you resistance against those AoE spells. Maybe abusable? Or are the situations rare where you get attacked with AoE spells but no targeted spells? 🤷‍♂️

What say?

I was suggesting Spell Resistance (or +all defenses if Spell Resistance prevent somehow reflection)

The issue I see is interaction with the the spell level count. Spell level count reaching 0 will either dispell both effects (in which case targetted spell) or only dispell itself. In both case it feels weird IMHO.

That's why I would put Spell Resistance only on version of Spell Reflection without Spell level count.

 

Adding some spell resistance to Tier 4 and 6 would buff Wizards significantly. That's why I'm not not to keen on adding it.

Tier 9 a bit less cause it would still require casting a defensive spell instead of one of these ultimate damage spells, universal dispell, etc...

 

That's why I suggest to differentiate a bit more the spells than they are currently. 

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49 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

That's why I would put Spell Resistance only on version of Spell Reflection without Spell level count.

spell reflection is so much more powerful (or at least anti-fun) than partial resistance though, that i think it's worth capping it, for all but Llengrath's. (Isn't that how it works right now?) For the lower versions, in encounters it also provides an active reason for players to actually toss spells directly at the caster and eat the reflection, because otherwise the spell resistance is going to mess up AoE. I think it might make some mid-game encounters a bit harder.

Uncapped llengrath's with spell resistance seems closer to appropriate for T9. It's only available to SC wizards, so it's not as easily abusable as if it were uncapped potions of perfect arcane reflection.

Edited by thelee
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7 minutes ago, thelee said:

spell reflection is so much more powerful (or at least anti-fun) than partial resistance though, that i think it's worth capping it, for all but Llengrath's.

Yup, or lower reflection chance and reduce duration. 30s of capless 50% reflection could work with Tier 4 reflection. In some cases it can be better than 60s 100% but with cap. I like the idea of making all 3 spells different enough so there's always a situation where these situational spells could beat the others.

7 minutes ago, thelee said:

(Isn't that how it works right now?)

Yes, but also for Llengrath's.

7 minutes ago, thelee said:

For the lower versions, in encounters it also provides an active reason for players to actually toss spells directly at the caster and eat the reflection, because otherwise the spell resistance is going to mess up AoE. I think it might make some mid-game encounters a bit harder.

Uncapped llengrath's with spell resistance seems closer to appropriate for T9. It's only available to SC wizards, so it's not as easily abusable as if it were uncapped potions of perfect arcane reflection.

With such design (which feels right), my concern is basically only about Wall of Draining.

BPM tweaked it to -2s for foes / +0.25s for self but I plan to rise a bit to +0.33s for self so it is a bit closer to its modless glory.

I might not go with 100% spell resistance, even if I think it would thematically go well with 100% reflection.
Could also be 75% (or lower) of both with a good duration, so it won't be as abusable with WoD.

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31 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

In some cases it can be better than 60s 100% but with cap. I like the idea of making all 3 spells different enough so there's always a situation where these situational spells could beat the others.

Oh yes, I very much like that. Strictly improving spells are not a terribly interesting design space.

 

31 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

With such design (which feels right), my concern is basically only about Wall of Draining.

I dunno, it's always a delicate balance how to work around these combos. But I feel like Wall of Draining (and Salvation of Time) + resource regen is such an inherently broken mechanic that I'm not sure it's worth in this case trying to worry too much about it. Without resource regen, getting some duration extension is powerful, but I think is acceptably powerful for a two/three high-level spell combo, one of which may not actually do anything on its own.

Edited by thelee
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Currently what I'm planning :

- Minor Arcane Reflection : 50% reflection chances* for 45s, not spell level limit

- Arcane Reflection (unchanged) : 100% reflection chances* for 60s, 30 spell level limit (so better than the previous one in most cases, but the first may have an edge against intense fire)

- Llengrath Arcane Reflection : 100% reflection chances* against single target spells and 75% spell resistance for 20s (basically a short duration almost absolute protection against most spells. Note that setting both to 75% would have caused the 25% non reflected single target spells to be resisted 75% time, which I find confusing.) It can be abused through WoD**, but not really more that what some MC can get (Unbending Trunk, Blade Turning)

 

* Note that reflection chances vs single target spells also works with bouncing spells.

**(though next version of BPM will set it to +0.33s/-2s per Hit only, so one need 3 targets for infinite duration)

 

Tell me if this design would feel right for you.

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i would actually suggest also giving some spell resistance to the other spells somehow, even with some confusion of layering. as it stands, there's still not really an incentive to use minor or normal arcane reflection, since direct-targeted spells are really uncommon cases. i think currently it just serves to make enemy uses a little bit more tolerable (the minor arcane change) or much more annoying (the llengrath one).

 

not sure i have good ideas since i'm not sure quite what you'd be going for. possible change:

minor arcane reflection: 50% spell reflection, 50% spell resistance, with half vanilla cap*? makes it a bit less easily worked around by using indirect spells, and still directly "interactable" by burning through the spell reflection.

arcane reflection: 100% spell reflection, 25% spell resistance, with half vanilla cap? better for direct targeting, but not a complete waste of a spell slot in most cases.

llengrath would pretty much be fine in your approach, but possibly even shorter duration or else this makes certain enemy fights way much more annoying. The higher, more certain protection trade-off with duration is a nice one i think, reminds me of arcane veil vs weaker, longer-lasting illusion spells.

 

* partial spells are still reflected, right? (e.g. only 1 spell reflection left, but you cast sunlance) upon further consideration, i personally think the idea of a cap in general is a good one, since it gives you a way to actually interact with the reflection, but i think they're just too high to want to interact with right now. arcane reflection at 30 seems way too high (who wants to hit themselves with 30+ spell levels!), and minor arcane reflection feels a bit too high as it stands, but i think it's still important that the player is "trading up" in terms of spell levels.

of course, this is complicated by the fact that some spells trigger repeatedly and offer "cheap" ways to eat up spell levels (avenging storm, concelhaut's crushing doom [at least one or two reflections isn't that bad], etc.)

Edited by thelee
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The problem I have is that the cap is hard coded with spell reflection. It is hard to mix with a general spell resistance. There are 2 solutions Having the spell reflection cap causing the spell resistance to wear off or ending while spell resistance stays active. Both feels equally weird to me.

That's why I only mixed spell resistance with 100% reflection without cap.

Also I don't really want to buff the 2 lower spells cause it would buff wizard (which they don't really need) and because wizard can deal with the situationnality of their ability. Situational does not mean bad if they still have their niche (cough cough Auranic).

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5 hours ago, Elric Galad said:

The problem I have is that the cap is hard coded with spell reflection.

dang

 

5 hours ago, Elric Galad said:

Also I don't really want to buff the 2 lower spells cause it would buff wizard (which they don't really need) and because wizard can deal with the situationnality of their ability. Situational does not mean bad if they still have their niche (cough cough Auranic).

they are so niche as to be bad, though. i was hoping for a lateral change - doesn't make enemy mobs that much more annoying, but actually gives players some payoff for using them. again, i had a wizard tank multiclass that literally had an AI script that opened every fight with a spell reflection, just to be prepared, and in anticipation that as a tank in the front lines they'd get targeted more. i got so little mileage out of it, and most of it was from FS where there's just tons more spells being tossed around. it's powerful and situational on enemies because you have to kill them, but it's terribly niche for the human because there's no like "spell taunt" or "spell aggro" so that you can get enemies to fizzle their direct spells on you.

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On 11/1/2021 at 10:39 PM, thelee said:

i would actually suggest also giving some spell resistance to the other spells somehow, even with some confusion of layering. as it stands, there's still not really an incentive to use minor or normal arcane reflection, since direct-targeted spells are really uncommon cases. i think currently it just serves to make enemy uses a little bit more tolerable (the minor arcane change) or much more annoying (the llengrath one).

llengrath would pretty much be fine in your approach, but possibly even shorter duration or else this makes certain enemy fights way much more annoying. The higher, more certain protection trade-off with duration is a nice one i think, reminds me of arcane veil vs weaker, longer-lasting illusion spells.

Well, about this specific point, there are still dispells. It was so fun to remove Dracolich Safeguard just with 1 blunderbuss shot of Tranquilizing Shot 😉

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