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463 members have voted

  1. 1. Magic System

    • Vancian (Memorization)
      190
    • Mana Pool
      143
    • Other
      130
  2. 2. Spell Progression

    • Individual Spells (MM->Acid Arrow->Fire Ball ->Skull Trap)
      292
    • Spells get upgraded (MM LVL 1-> MM LVL 2)
      94
    • Other
      77
  3. 3. Should there be separate Arcane & Divine sides to magic?

    • Yes (D&D)
      268
    • No (DA:O)
      102
    • Other
      93


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So this happened.

 

fredgiblet

 

Are you going to be using Vancian magic?

 

Obsidian Entertainment @fredgiblet Wow, I've been playing D&D since the books were colored blue and beige and I've never heard that term before. But the internet conveys knowledge. I don't want to speak for Josh, but I'm not sure if a memorization system will be a focus. Don't quote me completely on that just yet though.

 

 

Without a Vancian magic system you end up with a bunch of underpowered sorcerers running around spamming underpowered spells. It takes all strategic planning out of a magic system and turns it into a purely tactical one. Some people like it but I always thought it was lazy design. It also tends to lead to a spell progression where you upgrade your spells as opposed to getting new spells. Also lazy. The sheer number of spells in BGT is astounding and choosing which ones to memorize and when to use them was a ton of fun.

 

And hello mana pool!

 

I suppose this was expected when they talked about the soul thing. Of course I’m just speculating as nothing official has been announced.

 

Anyway I'm just bitter because I really like IE magical combat and I think a game made in their image should have the same basic magic system. But what do I know.

Edited by oldmanpaco
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I would prefer a Vancian magic system too, but maybe they can make something nice, that wouldnt be as ****ty as other rpgs today

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I find it difficult to believe that rpg magic systems can be classified into "vancian" and "lazy, boring, underpowered waste of time"

 

While I guess we all want an interesting and tactical experience, my view is that there are superior alternatives to memorization type magic systems for PC games.

Edited by fan
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I prefer Vancian system as well, it brings a strategic element into the game. Otherwise it's just spam most powerful ability each encounter.

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I never really cared for the Vancian magic system, personally. I can understand if you liked choosing which spells to memorize every day, but to me it felt tedious and silly. Besides, since good games like BG and PS:T are quite unpredictable the first time you play them, I usually just settles for the combat spells anyway. You always have a use for combat spells.

 

That said, I would prefer if we couldn't spam underpowered spells, as you described. I like it when magic is both a hard and costly thing, but very powerful at the same time. So, a spellcaster may only have the necessary "power" to cast a handful of spells each battle, but they could tip the scale entirely, so he would have to make them count.

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I find it strange that you seem so upset about this, when in the very same quote that you posted, the dude says:

 

Don't quote me completely on that just yet though.

 

Secondly, why are you assuming it'll be a mana pool have they confirmed this anywhere?

Edited by General_Disarray

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I find it difficult to believe that rpg magic systems can be classified into "vancian" and "lazy, boring, underpowered waste of time"

 

While I guess we all want an interesting and tactical experience, my view is that there are superior alternatives to memorization type magic systems for PC games.

 

Such as?


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I'd much rather have some other than the memorization system.

 

For one, it's amazingly silly. "Today I can remember fireball 3 times and then I'll forget it".

 

Even in D&D I pretty much favored sorcerers over wizards, just because it gives more tactical possibilities. With a base wizard, you're stuck with whatever spells you happened to memorize and didn't cast yet. And if the memorized spells don't work, save and reload, memorize, sleep and try again with a new combo.

 

Nothing wrong with mana pool or whatever is used. That even makes a bit of sense, with 4th level spells being more draining than 1st level ones.

If it leads to lazy design, that's unfortunate. But I don't see why it needs to lead to something bad instead of something cool

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Shamelessly promoting my own topic because it directly correlates with my own opinion on this.

 

http://forums.obsidi...nse-of-urgency/

 

It's essentially a power system similar to 4th edition D&D.

Edited by Lord of Lost Socks

My thoughts on how character powers and urgency could be implemented:

http://forums.obsidi...nse-of-urgency/

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While I have no real preference with regards to Vancian-style casting, I would like to see spell preparation being a thing, rather than just having all spells you know available at all times - for instance, a mana-based system, but one in which only your selection of X different spells (per spell level?) can be cast, changeable when resting. It allows for forward-planning and strategy in choosing which abilities your wizard will have access to in a particular day, and allows for greater flexibility and variety in the spell lists.

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I'd like a combination of magic systems, different systems for different schools/types of magic.

 

I put some of my thoughts here, what do you think?

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I'm not a fan of Vancian in videogames (or in tabletop for that matter, but for markedly different reasons) because I always felt like it leads to either metagaming or discourages experimenting with different tactics with your casters. As much as I thought Baldur's Gate II battles were a lot of fun, they could often devolve into using more or less the same spells into the same sequence.

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It should be ritual based.

 

Want to fire a fireball at a troll? Dance around for 3 minutes chanting while making mystic signs.

 

Want to stop time? Hire three other dances, dance in tandem for 7 hours and 15 minutes and slaughter a goat.

 

:)

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I don't know, people have been decrying the vancian style magic system for years but no one has been able to do better. The only other system in use is mana or, in ttrpgs spell points, which when you come down to it is still a form of vancian magic only without the slots being filled from the outset.

 

Unlimited access to all of the spells available doesn't make a whole lot of sense from a balance perspective so we can rule that out.

 

Maybe if the souls thing I heard mention of is related to spells it would slowly allow greater power to be expended to fuel these spells but it would just be another form of mana.

 

I prefer spell slots and memorization. It would be less work for me in the long run.

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i like vancian system but i has its own flaws such as too weak low level mages and godly high level mages

a modified vancian would be good

 

i dont like it when magic is very common hence i dont want a mana system either


Here lies Firedorn, a hero in bed.
He once was alive, but now he's dead.
The last woman he bedded turned out to be a man
And crying in shame, off a cliff he ran.

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I find it difficult to believe that rpg magic systems can be classified into "vancian" and "lazy, boring, underpowered waste of time"

 

While I guess we all want an interesting and tactical experience, my view is that there are superior alternatives to memorization type magic systems for PC games.

 

Such as?

 

In crpgs, I only remember ever seeing vancian or mana/cooldown based magic, and I didn't like either system very much.

 

What I refuse to believe is an either/or mentality like: "We can't have tactical use of a large assortment of spells if it isn't done with memorization"

 

My personal best shot, which took about 30 minutes to think of, is what I tried to describe as an exhaustion based system.

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60261-how-should-magic-work/

 

I like to believe that Obsidian could do great things with this system, and it lends itself splendidly to a diversified character progression.

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It's not necessary to have Vancian casting in order to have strong strategic gameplay (rather than just tactical gameplay). A mana pool that doesn't regenerate on its own would work like that.

 

Actually, in the early discussions around Dragon Age, BioWare was planning a system very much like that, where health and mana didn't regenerate on their own and repeated use of potions reduced their efficacy, and the mana potions (Lyrium) were actually going to be addictive.

 

I wish they'd done that.

 

But that's an example of how to include strategic gameplay without using Vancian casting.

 

As it happens, I like Vancian casting, but I know many people object to it on the grounds that it isn't credible within a game's setting, so I offer this as evidence that we can have the outcome you seek (strategy) without necessarily using this specific mechanic.

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God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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I'd much rather have some other than the memorization system.

 

For one, it's amazingly silly. "Today I can remember fireball 3 times and then I'll forget it".

 

Even in D&D I pretty much favored sorcerers over wizards, just because it gives more tactical possibilities. With a base wizard, you're stuck with whatever spells you happened to memorize and didn't cast yet. And if the memorized spells don't work, save and reload, memorize, sleep and try again with a new combo.

 

Nothing wrong with mana pool or whatever is used. That even makes a bit of sense, with 4th level spells being more draining than 1st level ones.

If it leads to lazy design, that's unfortunate. But I don't see why it needs to lead to something bad instead of something cool

 

Memorization was never a good term for it, the "lore" behind that system was that the mage had to 'load' the magic into his head and the more powerful he was the more he could load. He didn't 'forget' the spell.

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Added poll.

 

It's not necessary to have Vancian casting in order to have strong strategic gameplay (rather than just tactical gameplay). A mana pool that doesn't regenerate on its own would work like that.

 

Unless of course there were mana potions like 99% of games with a mana pool.


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The spell preparation and reagent system from Ultima IV achieves many of people's desired objectives, as well. Mages must plan ahead, they cannot mindlessly spam powerful abilities, but there's no incredulity stemming from memorisation (personally, I don't think memorisation actually has this problem, but, again, many do - I think documenting it better would help).


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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Forgetting spells after using them is just plain stupid. (It can enhance a feeling of magic being weird and not working according to any natural law, but I doubt it will be a central the theme of this game's magic system.)

 

I could find a system where you can prepare spells in advance, but not lose them immediately after using acceptable. E.g. you have to obtain the formula and memorize it, but the actual casting is only limited by your mana pool. Or unmemorized, but known formulae can be cast with an increased cost (and/or chance of failure).

 

But if they decide that you have to obtain individual spells, I want research and experimenting to be a viable option to do so. (Or the only option, in case of very unique and/or powerful spells. If three villages have to be completely drained of life in order for me to obtain an ultimate necromantic spell, let me be presented with the dilemma [possibly with the option of obtaining said spell by other means - draining yourself and sacrificing ability points, making bargains with demons, etc.]).

 

As for upgrading spells, I'd also like to accomplish it by researching and experimenting. Also, multiple ways to upgrade a spell (which, in turn, differentiates into many spells) would be nice.

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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Added poll.

 

It's not necessary to have Vancian casting in order to have strong strategic gameplay (rather than just tactical gameplay). A mana pool that doesn't regenerate on its own would work like that.

 

Unless of course there were mana potions like 99% of games with a mana pool.

Read further down. There are ways around that, as well.


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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I like Vancian too.I think the main problem with it has been that the resting sistem often lead to exploitation but that can be fixed:

-rest only in specific points you have to discover like Dark Souls,which also brings in something that rewards exploration even more than finding good loot(of course you have to put limits otherwise players will just get back to rest after every encounter:either have enemies respawn/new enemies appear every time the player tries it or limit the number of times the resting spot can be used);

-or treat spells like ammo:you have to search for stuff to recharge your spells(again you reward exploration and taking risks to look outside the main path)

 

Mana,instead,is the uni ammo edition of magic(mana potions=uni ammo).

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I'm not a fan of Vancian in videogames (or in tabletop for that matter, but for markedly different reasons) because I always felt like it leads to either metagaming or discourages experimenting with different tactics with your casters. As much as I thought Baldur's Gate II battles were a lot of fun, they could often devolve into using more or less the same spells into the same sequence.

 

Yes but no matter what system used to power or restrict access to spells this is going to happen anyway. You will find the combination of spells or powers or what have you that works best for the way you deal with situations and use them to the exclusion of the rest

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