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[Merged] Cooldown Thread

cooldowns vancian mana exhaustion resting magic improvements discussion spells cooldown

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#41
aVENGER

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Sigh... I'm really disappointed that they seem to be considering cooldowns as a means of balancing the spell system. Cooldowns are a boring, artificial, non-interactive mechanic and feel like a lazy cop-out.

If the developers are already set against using a spell memorization system, why not try a mana system with restricted potion use as an alternative? For example, The Witcher limited potion chugging with toxicity levels - Geralt's blood accumulated toxic substances with each potion use. High toxicity lowered his abilities and could even lead to death. Arcanum made the character drop unconscious if he overused his mana. I'm sure that the creative minds in Obsidian could come up with something similarly reasonable and backed up by in-game lore instead of taking the easy way out and slamming us with MMO style cooldowns.
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#42
Badmojo

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Dragon age had a system of slow health/mana recharge and cooldowns in battle, the spells used a common regen mana pool, you could use the high level stuff but would burn your mana out fast, you could spam the small time stuff that slowed regen mana (it was still filling, just slower) and had to wait before the high level could be used again (or not spam and it would fill up faster) however, once outside of battle and away from enemies it sped up fast and you did not have to wait long. I am sure many will say that is a horrible system for various reasons, but is it really? Is it better to have to wait forever for cooldowns outside of battle? Or to force resting to recharge/heal/memorize a spell? Not to mention just reloading every few minutes until you make the "right" choice in spell slots.

Think it through, whatever system is used, the characters will be using a LOT. I never understood why anybody enjoyed resting, it was nothing more than a time sink.

As for resting in general, IF they have resting, do something interesting at least, have the character have random dreams we can read with beutifull art, have the character sit in his/her bed think about the days events and be thinking to themselves thoughts in a mini game fashion to follow some mental logic trail, if we solve the mental problem, we get a eureka moment where we gain some new insight/wisdom/spell...etc.

#43
Ieo

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I also think this could be more easily managed for the difficulty levels. At the most difficult levels, increase cooldowns to 24 game hours or something.

#44
Osvir

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Turn-Based Cooldown's. I am not talking about a quick "2 turn-Cast" spam and nuke.

I'd love to see 10 turn Cooldowns. Maybe the battle is done in 2 turns anyways, but your mage only managed to throw 1 or 2 spells anyways.

What I am thinking here is that every spell has it's -own- cooldown:
1st Turn: Magic Missiles (Turn CD: 5)
2nd Turn: Fireball (Turn CD: 10) - MM: 4 turns
3rd Turn: Warrior kills the beast - MM: 3 turns left, Fireball: 9 turns left

This way I don't need to rest but I'll get what I want from my mage each and every battle. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

In fact, in Baldur's Gate, 9 out of 10 battle's my Mage was always sitting it out in some corner while my 5 other Heroes slaughtered the mobs of foes. Because either I could do some quick burst damage that wouldn't last even ONE fight, or I could save it for a boss fight. I am quite against the Resting -> Nuking procedure.

EDIT: However! Something I forgot to include "Magic Points"/MP, or something similar, Fatigue. Your Mage needs to rest sometime, just like everyone else needs to at some points. It would be beneficial if it would be somewhere around the time when the entire party needs to rest~

For the Mage his spells are his Sword and Shield. Either that or projectile Wands/Staff's (DA:O and many, many other games).
Why shouldn't he be able to fight with it every battle, like the Fighter?

Edited by Osvir, 01 October 2012 - 10:22 PM.


#45
DCParry

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In Torchlight 2 some cooldowns become better if used when 'charge' meters are full. The charge meters fill up as most attacks are used. So, a player could use the cooldowns at the start of a fight with no charge, but be drasticly less effective (unless the player just came from a fight and their bar is full). They could try to use skills that maximize charge generation so that the cooldowns are more effective. Finally, they could use skills that don't build much charge and just use the cooldowns whenever.

That could be an effective way to manage cooldowns so they are not binary, mindless skills. They add extra layers of tactics for the player to utilize in different ways. There are probably many other methods of integrating cooldowns with other activities to add synergies.


While I don't share your burning white hatred for DA:O's magic system, you might be on to something interesting here, but I am thinking of something that is sort of the opposite of the charge bar.

Let's say you have a Soul Bar (cue James Brown) which has something like 10 units.

You cast a super bad fireball, which costs 2 units, leaving you with 8. Now there is a fatigue counter on the super bad fireball of 3, which means you have to wait 3 time units of whatever (say 5 seconds each or something).

However, you can supercede this cooldown by spending more soul power to overcome the fatigue penalty. So if you wanted to pop another super bad fireball off right away, it would cost you 2 soul, plus 3 more (for the fatigue penalty). BAM, double fire ball, leaving you with 3 soul left. Now you have to wait at least 2 time units to cast another fireball, because you used your soul power getting one off quicker. Of course, this allows for deadly combos that make the mage useless afterwards, or minor spells that cost low or even no soul and have a fatigue cost (so a low level soul bolt, which does minor damage, might cost no soul, but have a fatigue rating or 1 or 2, making take longer to cast, but can be empowered to cast more often by spending soul power).

Of course, this only applies to combat situations and such, and the regeneration of soul power as well (on rest? slow outside of combat? medium outside of combat and slow inside? on death of enemy? sucking soul from allies?). Out of combat, I don't utility spells should really be too concerned with these things unless you are magically unlocking dozens of chests at a time.

#46
AlexAB

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I just want to reiterate that I feel that cooldowns are a mechanic I would like to see nowhere near this game. Even if we are talking about long term cooldowns here. That is, say, an 8 hour cooldown for each memorized spell (which would make the system analogue to the one in Baldur's Gate), I still don't like the idea. As I see it, the only rason to do so was to remove the resting mechanic from that game, which arguably was really broken. the problem with resting in BG is that there is almost no consequence to it. The worst that can happen is a random encounter. However, the proposed solution is all about removing something of little consequence, instead of adding the consequence it should have.

People have mentioned this before, but if this game used game time as a resource,not only would rest become a whole lot more important and challenging, but the game overall would benefit from it. Have quests time out. Or change as time passes. If you take too long to rescue the hostage from the brigand encampment, not only will she be pregnant, but she won't want to leave. If you clean up the goblin tribe in the dungeon and then leave before going further, when you come back you may find the orcs from below (who were relying on the goblins before to gather info) have set up an advanced post in the upper floor and are now planning to attack a nearby city. You can even make the character decisions important to time. Like, say, if the character needed to find a water cleaning magic item for his home town, that has a limited supply of it. He might, along the way, find some merchants willing to sell water to his home town, buying the player more time! But in doing so, they might draw the attention of the evil super ogres, who would invade the player's town earlier than if he had let it remain hidden.

Also, I really want this game to have a huge variety of spells. I would like to find many different magics, each with a bit of backstory and personality of its own. I want to go about trying to collect them, understand them and interact with them.I also want them to have lots of strange a different uses. Much more than a combat tool, I want magic to feel as part of the world! This doesn't really have to do with cooldowns, but has to do with vancian magic. I want spells that, rather than feeling a niche (area attack spell with debuff, single person strong attack spell, strength debuff, speed debuff, etc), are more about their own thing.Delayed fireball wasn't a direct extension of the other attack spells in the game. It was thing int itself, that allowed for new approaches to be made to combat. It was, in certain ways, a game changer. I also would like for different dweomers to interact in interesting ways. For example, the protection from evil spell in D&D protected people from being mind controlled or influenced, but it didn't dispel these effects.
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#47
TrashMan

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Cooldowns are the work of the devil.

Say no to them!



Also, why should mage usly only spells, constantly and without end? What is so wrong with mages using staffs, swords, crossbows?
Look at Gandalf - he rocks!

Magic being a potent resource to use sparingly IS what made it so awesome in D&D.

Edited by TrashMan, 01 October 2012 - 11:58 PM.

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#48
bussinrounds

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When people spam rest in those old IE games, that is basically no different than a cooldown if you think about it.

That was a problem with the rest function being too easy to abuse though. It shoulds be more limited to certain areas ( would make the inns more useful and relevant) and have more sever consequences than being awoke by a few gibberlings that are so easily defeated anyway. They should also get some attacks off on you before you even have a chance to do anything if you're awoken from resting outdoors.

For the record, I'm for vancian over cooldowns, as I haven't seen/played a cooldown system that was good yet. Not a fan of staring at the little timers/bars instead of focusing on the action at hand. The games usually just devolve into 'press a button whenever it lights up' instead having to plan things out. That being said, maybe they can come up with something better than what's been done before in relation to cooldowns, but idk.

Edited by bussinrounds, 02 October 2012 - 12:24 AM.

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#49
Lapsed Pacifist

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I'm not a fan of Vancian system (like many things in D&D it just doesn't make any sense to me). But neither am I a fan of cooldowns. So why not just use mana / fatigue system instead? It works fine for other pnp systems that don't use Vancian, so why can't it work here? Spells / abilities can then be balanced by how much mana they consume. And no mana potion chugging either - either they do not exist, are very rare, or have some serious side effect.

#50
TrashMan

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That was a problem with the rest function being too easy to abuse though. It shoulds be more limited to certain areas ( would make the inns more useful and relevant) and have more sever consequences than being awoke by a few gibberlings that are so easily defeated anyway. They should also get some attacks off on you before you even have a chance to do anything if you're awoken from resting outdoors.


Indeed. Fix the problem with rest abuse and you're golden.
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#51
grotbag

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J. Sawyer's talk about 'going in blind' being a negative, being forced to reload, etc, as a strike against memorising spells, seems slightly wrongheaded. I think someone mentioned earlier the idea of giving the player signals about what lay ahead, but it doesn't even have to be that explicit. The D & D player party wanders into an ancient temple filled with many-eyed statues. 'Aha,' thinks the player who's both engaged in the world and actively planning ahead, 'I should prepare for beholders. Let's head back to that old gypsy caravan and pick up some scrolls/open up my mage's spellbook and figure out how to counter them/maybe try and recruit that mad old wizard back at the inn so I have some scope'. Perhaps a local villager has the head of one of the local monsters on their wall; perhaps the local library contains scribblings about viable tactics against such beasts. If your party's about to face a central villain, presumably they've heard a little or seen a little about the spells and defences they're likely to use. There's absolutely no reason, in short, why memorised spells should lead to save-scumming or blind guesswork, so long as the encounter and dungeon design is good, and as long as the world is communicating with the player. That's not an inherent problem with the system.

A great joy of the RPG genre always has been the play on heading into the place of relative safety in order to prepare for the place of danger. The party returns to town/rests in the wilds/heads for the local temple, and prepares themselves as much as humanly possible for whatever challenge they believe they're coming up against next - they build up their resources, then carefully expend and conserve them as they enter the dangerous places (You fool! You just wasted your one Cataclysm spell on that Feeble Earthworm! etc). Memorising spells works splendidly with that dichotomy, though as we've seen here you can then get into concerns about the ease of resting, etc, and can even subvert it for genuine desperate thrills (aargh, we've just been ambushed with no healing spells left, how will the Heroes of Bummington get out of this scrape?) whereas cooldowns, depending on how they're implemented, can kill it stone dead.

With cooldowns, the town/camp/tavern/temple/safe-place loses the entire core of its identity. You lose the sense of relief as you limp back into the cobbled streets of Thingy - why would you be relieved? Your spells are all ready and waiting once again; your party's main requirement is now to survive battle-to-battle, not to survive long enough to reach that place of safety or to be able to rest. The only real remaining purpose of the non-dungeon-area is to serve as a shop/loot-storage-area; it's merely functional, it's no longer a blessing. And actually, it's interesting that the cooldown-based Dragon Age games were forced to try and invent dubious reasons to try and keep the safety/danger dichotomy relevant (you have to rest in-camp, because dying in combat can sometimes give you a small HP reduction that can only be removed in camp! You have to go home because you're not allowed to talk to your party members outside of home, for some reason!) before giving up entirely and making the town itself a dungeon; every time you step outside, thirty muggers attack you. Once you're done killing them, the merchants standing around will become selectable again. Something very special is lost in the process here.

Edited by grotbag, 02 October 2012 - 01:24 AM.

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#52
aluminiumtrioxid

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A natural effect for this idea is that 'persistent' spells couldn't last more than the duration of the CD.


Or have them start to recharge only after their effect has faded. (Or got dispelled.) It could be argued lore-wise that the mage has to concentrate on maintaining the spell, and that's why persistent (or rather: sustained) ones won't recharge while their effect persists.
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#53
metiman

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Asking how cooldowns can be used responsibly is like asking how nuclear weapons can be used responsibly. But since they seem to be in the game their impact could be mitigated by:
1. Making cooldowns 100% optional. Include an option in the setup menu or an .ini file to simply disable all of them. Even if it makes mages overpowered it might at least make the game playable for those of us who won't get anywhere near cooldowns or other MMOG mechanics.
2. Making the cooldown timers adjustable down to 0 seconds. Just allow access to these timer variables.
3. Including at least some classes that are not cooldown based. If at least fighters, for instance, don't use cooldown mechanics I could just solo a fighter.
4. Code them in such a way that makes it very easy for modders to remove them or replace them with other mechanics. Ideally this could be done even if a mod kit is not released. In other words even if you aren't willing to do all of the work necessary you could at least do the groundwork for someone else to come in and finish.
5. Include a difficulty setting that completely removes combat or just include an easy to set God mode. That way those of us who don't like cooldowns can at least experience the story. Although some if it may not make a lot of sense without the combat.
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#54
SGray

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Was strongly against the cooldowns at first, now realized that could be made good. If only we have more info...
If it's like vacan system with day-wide cooldowns based on in-game tame with no specific spell cooldown before you depleted your prepared - that could be great and time-proven. You can still rest to replenish your spells but you can replenish some spells used in previous fight during current. (Still thinking mage running rounds waiting for last seconds of epic spell cd is hilarious, but why not?)

If they planning to do this another way, that'd be hard to avoid common bads of cooldown systems. Hate having Firebal, Fireball, and Feirball to do just the same spamming.
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#55
qstoffe

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I'm seriously disappointed with this game going for a cooldown system. I was afraid of streamlining from the start... but not as bad as this :o
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#56
Elerond

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You can design cooldowns to fit for sorcerer type of mage easilly, so that sytem is much fun to play and fits in with lore. As you know sorcerer has number of spells per level which s/he can cast per day. But you can as easily change this to system where sorcerer gets spell point back every 5/10 minutes. And so you have system where you still can run out of magic, but don't force you sleep so often. And this approach don't even broke (D&D's) lore as sorcerers power comes from inside of them instead of through preparation, so slowly returning magical power would be as good as need to rest for 8 hours or so.

And you can encourage players to push forward in dungeon instead waiting for all the magic points to return pawning lurking monsters on your party every 10/20 minutes what you have been idle.

And there is ways to make cooldown system to work for traditional d&d wizards too so that is sounds logical and believable. Like you have still spell slot where you can pick spell what you want your wizard to use and every spell has it own cooldown time which tells how long wizard needs time to prepare that spell. And wizard can prioritize spells in cooldown queue. And there could be limitation that cooldowns don't work in combat or when wizard casts spells. And this can make game as strategic than normal rest for all spells system or it can even add game's strategic depth as you can't abuse rest system but you are tied on cooldown queue and so you must really think how you prioritize your cooldowns so that you can have right spell ready to cast. This system also gives you flexibility to change spell on your slots as changed spell just go on your preparation queue..
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#57
qstoffe

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I'm positive to ANY system NOT allowing you to regenerate your spells DURING combat.

Edited by qstoffe, 02 October 2012 - 02:11 AM.

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#58
TrashMan

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J. Sawyer's talk about 'going in blind' being a negative, being forced to reload, etc, as a strike against memorising spells, seems slightly wrongheaded. I think someone mentioned earlier the idea of giving the player signals about what lay ahead, but it doesn't even have to be that explicit. The D & D player party wanders into an ancient temple filled with many-eyed statues. 'Aha,' thinks the player who's both engaged in the world and actively planning ahead, 'I should prepare for beholders. Let's head back to that old gypsy caravan and pick up some scrolls/open up my mage's spellbook and figure out how to counter them/maybe try and recruit that mad old wizard back at the inn so I have some scope'. Perhaps a local villager has the head of one of the local monsters on their wall; perhaps the local library contains scribblings about viable tactics against such beasts. If your party's about to face a central villain, presumably they've heard a little or seen a little about the spells and defences they're likely to use. There's absolutely no reason, in short, why memorised spells should lead to save-scumming or blind guesswork, so long as the encounter and dungeon design is good, and as long as the world is communicating with the player. That's not an inherent problem with the system.

A great joy of the RPG genre always has been the play on heading into the place of relative safety in order to prepare for the place of danger. The party returns to town/rests in the wilds/heads for the local temple, and prepares themselves as much as humanly possible for whatever challenge they believe they're coming up against next - they build up their resources, then carefully expend and conserve them as they enter the dangerous places (You fool! You just wasted your one Cataclysm spell on that Feeble Earthworm! etc). Memorising spells works splendidly with that dichotomy, though as we've seen here you can then get into concerns about the ease of resting, etc, and can even subvert it for genuine desperate thrills (aargh, we've just been ambushed with no healing spells left, how will the Heroes of Bummington get out of this scrape?) whereas cooldowns, depending on how they're implemented, can kill it stone dead.

With cooldowns, the town/camp/tavern/temple/safe-place loses the entire core of its identity. You lose the sense of relief as you limp back into the cobbled streets of Thingy - why would you be relieved? Your spells are all ready and waiting once again; your party's main requirement is now to survive battle-to-battle, not to survive long enough to reach that place of safety or to be able to rest. The only real remaining purpose of the non-dungeon-area is to serve as a shop/loot-storage-area; it's merely functional, it's no longer a blessing. And actually, it's interesting that the cooldown-based Dragon Age games were forced to try and invent dubious reasons to try and keep the safety/danger dichotomy relevant (you have to rest in-camp, because dying in combat can sometimes give you a small HP reduction that can only be removed in camp! You have to go home because you're not allowed to talk to your party members outside of home, for some reason!) before giving up entirely and making the town itself a dungeon; every time you step outside, thirty muggers attack you. Once you're done killing them, the merchants standing around will become selectable again. Something very special is lost in the process here.



You put that so nicely that I definately and utterly agree with you.

Hm..you know what might be interesting?
If you could only save in town!!!! (or in specific locations)
Let me see you save-rest-scumming NOW.



Asking how cooldowns can be used responsibly is like asking how nuclear weapons can be used responsibly.


LOL.
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#59
Haerski

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There is NO tactical or unexpected encounters at all with cooldowns. THAT is what the IE games embodied.


Can you specify few games and explain why cooldowns were the exact reason they weren't tactical or unexpected enough? Then I might take your opinion seriously.

#60
C2B

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This thread has a LOT of pointless assumptions.

We have no real reason so far to assume that the system is going to be entirly based on cooldowns nor that they are used WOW style. That's also not what I'm getting out of Josh's quotes.

Edited by C2B, 02 October 2012 - 03:26 AM.

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