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Osvir

Magic: Limited Casting?

  

97 members have voted

  1. 1. Limited Magic?

    • Yes, but only as an Option.
      31
    • Yes, but only on Expert Difficulty
      9
    • No
      20
    • Other (please specify)
      14
    • Undecided
      23


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Hailing from, and inspired by, this thread:

http://forums.obsidi...s-limited-ammo/

 

Although with another take. In the latest update, lower level tiers of Magic could be unlimited, scaling as you level up and become stronger (Obsidian say they haven't decided yet so don't jump to quick conclusions), but if they would choose this approach.

http://forums.obsidi...-dungeon-grows/

 

What would limiting Magic cause to the gameplay? For those who want the more Old School approach, where practically nothing is unlimited.

 

Personally I am kind of curious and excited to this system Tim Cain is presenting, and I'm eager to see it in action (it sounds great), but at the same time I feel like I want to be "Safe", something I can fall back on that I'm familiar with (I just like to be pre-catious).

 

Thoughts? :D

Edited by Osvir

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Right. Watch the Update #16 video. They are talking about low tier spells being unlimited, and higher tier spells being limited. So the mechanic how spells being limited is considered. If this is the case, the mechanic to make "Unlimited" lower tier spells should be fairly simple to change to "Limited" (1's and 0's?).

 

How are those resources returned for those Higher level spells, as explained by Obsidian themselves? I don't know, we can only speculate (See "2nd" in this post).

 

1st, More Information:

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61129-reddit-qa-part-2-with-tim-cain/

 

2nd: Speculation:

I find this idea as most tempting (and I believe it is likely that it is considered as well), I don't know about you but with what Obsidian has told us thus far, this seems to fit in best with the Soul:

 

My suggestion would be to not base it on fatigue or sleep. Instead, tie the magic limitations to backlash. You could have subtle affects that merely bend the laws of reality; these would be less powerful but more readily available, the kind of stuff your mage can do on a small scale to help out in battle while still keeping the 'big guns' for the more dangerous foes. Then you would have overt effects which outright break the laws of reality, doing impossible things - turning someone to stone, a lightning bolt out of a clear blue sky, etc; This stuff would cause a build up of negative forces in the mage which have to be safely vented or else it causes some deleterous effect. Venting would be done through meditation, with each hour eliminating one unit of buildup. Of course, this process couldn't be interrupted without consequence, so while you could do it anywhere, if some hostile force happened upon the caster his companions would have to protect him or risk the process backfiring spectacularly, even worse than the mage pushing themselves with lots of buildup.

Here’s another idea for the spell casting system. I use the term "mana" for clarity, but it could be called anything.

 

Absorbing fallen souls. Think picking up ammunition from dead enemies.

 

1. You are able to replenish mana points by absorbing souls from your dead enemies. You may also replenish all mana points by resting at an inn.

2. Spell level is replaced with mana cost (magic missile costs 1 mana, haste costs 3)

3. Your mana pool equals the total spell slots of a traditional mage (In 2nd edition a 5th lvl mage could cast 4 1st level spells, 2 2nd and 1 3rd, this would equate to (4x1) + (2x2) + (1x3) = 11 total mana points)

 

You shouldn’t be able to collect souls from every single enemy, (One goblin should not equal one magic missile) but you might be able to recover more souls/mana from fallen mages, or stronger souls.

 

Still interested? Read on..

 

After a few battles you will gain a sense for how much mana you’ll be able to replenish from the next encounter by looking at the enemy composition. You can then make an informed decision on how much mana is worth spending, if at all. The vancian system promotes strategy/planning by forcing you to make spell choices in advance... however, it is impossible to scout an entire dungeon or city ahead of time. It is thus unreasonable to expect the player to make intelligent choices so far in advance. In the old system players often end up speccing for very generic encounters, or flat out guessing. The model I’m proposing abstracts the spell choice but retains the strategy involved in managing your mana supply.

 

From a devs perspective it’s easier to design levels because you have a fairly good idea of what the spell caster is capable of within a dungeon(simply count the potential souls that can “drop”). Retainable mana points have a hard cap based on caster level, so a player will not be able to grind until he absorbs 99 mana and start blasting fireballs everywhere.

 

Some obvious questions that came up while writing this..

What if you are stuck in a dungeon, and aren’t able to progress without additional mana?

Potions are one option, but mana potion drops should be very rare and high prices in stores. If you are out of potions you deserve to make the trek back to town. An alternative might be a very slow mana regeneration. (I’m talking 10min per 1 point slow)

 

How will souls/mana get distributed if multiple casters are present in the group?

This needs to be thought through carefully. The best way I feel is to make the player decide which caster’s mana pool to replenish. This may sound like it discourages taking multiple casters because the total magical output would be the same as having one mage. While this is true, having multiple casters would grant you more spell options, and the ability to cast multiple spells at once. This would also introduce another level of strategy, do I give mana to the cleric for healing? Or re-arm the mage for more firepower?

 

You won’t be seeing a ton of spell casting with this model, at least in the early levels. But I feel that makes every spell count more and allows adventuring parties to decent into deep dungeons without the need for a rest mechanic.

Thanks for reading!

 

Meaning: There could be bad consequences casting Magic, for your Mage.

 

Speculation, further: If over-extending, casting too much Magic, could the Mage even loose health? Gain "Soul Sickness" or something I don't know.

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Oh, crap. I love the backlash idea (on the most powerful spells, at least)! The idea that casting too much powerful magic could seriously harm or maybe even kill your mage is bloody fantastic.

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No. The problem they are trying to address is a legitimate one: in the Infinity Engine, the melee types can deal damage indefinitely while the spellcasters become borderline useless after their spells are cast. This is particularly acute at low levels which is presumably where we will start PE. It's good that they understand the problem and I like their proposal much better than anything else put forth here. I think Obsidian should just go ahead with what they said in the update.

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The idea that casting too much powerful magic could seriously harm or maybe even kill your mage is bloody fantastic.

 

Right? :D

 

No. The problem they are trying to address is a legitimate one: in the Infinity Engine, the melee types can deal damage indefinitely while the spellcasters become borderline useless after their spells are cast. This is particularly acute at low levels which is presumably where we will start PE. It's good that they understand the problem and I like their proposal much better than anything else put forth here. I think Obsidian should just go ahead with what they said in the update.

 

Respectful, I agree. I trust Obsidian, and I have faith in them :yes: I realized when I posted this that "Will this be asking for too much influence or will it be seen for what it is a speculation/solution thread? Hm... oh well idc, people will be people and access their own belief's" *post*

 

The thing I reacted to was just the "Unlimited" that Tim Cain spoke of, and realized instantly that:

A, This community is bipolar.

B, By suggesting/posting this I am looking for a solution/idea wherein those who want more "Limited" are included. I am one of them.

C, I also fancy this idea with "Unlimited" low tier spells A LOT, and it also appeals to me.

D, I love innovations.

E, I guess I'm bipolar too?

Edited by Osvir

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Spellcasters should definitely be limited in terms of what they can do with top-level spells. But the solution is not to make lower-level spells infinite, because at the start of the game the low-level spells are high level spells!

 

When I run a D&D campaign, I run into a similar issue - spellcasters can feel underpowered (I tend to play 2nd Ed., by the way), or even run out of things to do in their turn. This is compensated a bit by the massively powerful spells that become available at higher levels, but it's a long time to wait for a pay-off.

 

I usually add a spell or two that work like 'raw magic', and are always available to casters. One is like a magic missile, doing level-scaled damage (though the spellbook magic missile is always preferable); another might be a force-spell or distant manipulation spell, which allows mages to do cool things even after they've gone through their spell books (moving/throwing objects at a distance, hitting a switch from afar, throwing an enemy back a certain distance, that sort of thing).

 

This system works pretty well.

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But the solution is not to make lower-level spells infinite, because at the start of the game the low-level spells are high level spells!

 

This is great :D I didn't even think about it!

 

The thing is, Tim Cain said in the latest update that the system they are considering would involve your lower level spells getting unlimited. Scaling with your level too, so at a start everything should be limited (as you are suggesting), but more and more of the lower level spells get unlimited as you level up. Level 1 spells, Level 2 spells and so on. Higher tier spells, I'm guessing from 5+, would always be limited.

 

What I meant with the Original Post and this Poll is a completely limited Spell Gameplay, where your lower tier spells do not become unlimited but they stay limited throughout the entirety of the game.

 

edited: clarification

Edited by Osvir
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But the solution is not to make lower-level spells infinite, because at the start of the game the low-level spells are high level spells!

 

The thing is, Tim Cain said in the latest update that the system they are considering would involve your lower level spells getting unlimited. Scaling with your level too, so at a start everything should be limited (as you are suggesting), but more and more of the lower level spells get unlimited as you level up. Level 1 spells, Level 2 spells and so on. Higher tier spells, I'm guessing from 5+, would always be limited.

 

What I mean is a completely finite gameplay, where your lower tier spells do not become unlimited but they stay limited throughout the game.

 

Ah, perhaps I didn't quite fully understand what was being proposed. In any case I agree with you; 'memorised' or spellbook spells should be completely limited, just maybe supplemented by magic abilities of other sorts to make sure a mage can always act like a mage.

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Limit everything.

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I was actually really pleased to learn that the PC will lack party support at the start of the game since that implies that every class will be able to function solo--at least to a limited degree. I think that everyone's use of their more powerful abilities needs to be limited, but that everyone also needs an unlimited, class-appropriate equivalent of auto-attack. NWN handled this by giving mages a wand with unlimited charges of a weak frost damage spell early in the tutorial level.

 

I'd also find the poll more interesting if it were structured:

 

My PC is typically a magic user and ...

My PC is typically not a magic user and ...

Edited by Lady Evenstar

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It makes sense, really, especially if it's a matter of progression. "My low tier spells start off challenging, but eventually they get to the point I realize they're trivial. However, my better spells, in higher ranges, are just so taxing that they are always going to be limited through some means."

 

In that sense I agree lower tier spells should start out limited and, progressively, over time, become less limited. I don't believe they should be that way at a base though, unless there's a progression within the spells that makes those lower tier spells, at lower levels, limited in a way beyond the extent of their use.

 

I was actually really pleased to learn that the PC will lack party support at the start of the game since that implies that every class will be able to function solo--at least to a limited degree. I think that everyone's use of their more powerful abilities needs to be limited, but that everyone also needs an unlimited, class-appropriate equivalent of auto-attack. NWN handled this by giving mages a wand with unlimited charges of a weak frost damage spell early in the tutorial level.

 

It is important that a class you decide on feel viable on its own, to an extent. Though I'd also note I prefer such viability come from tactical approach, and not just at a base as, "I walk into a room and flatten everything" doesn't do much for me, or, I assume, most people that want a challenging game.

Edited by Umberlin
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Umberlin, I didn't mean that folks should be able to flatten rooms. I meant that if a bandit accosts you en route to the inn, you should always have something you can do to defend yourself. Also, it would limit content development if they couldn't assume that a PC of any class could handle challenges that they might want the PC to face on their own--which is why, the more I think about it I favor limiting use of all special attacks. That way, if the PC is whisked off on their own the warrior with access to all his best attacks isn't bored by content that needs to be doable by a caster who doesn't.

Edited by Lady Evenstar

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I agree (and I'm not suggesting you meant that), as long as they have to think about what they're doing, tactically, or suffer horribly. :)

 

Mind you I have the same view of combat when you have a full party so it's just a matter of wanting the challenges presented by the game to, in general, force you into using your brain instead of, "Walk in and win" which far, far too modern 'supposed' RPGs do. Which is why I brought that up, not because I thought you meant that, but because modern RPGs seem to think anything actually interesting or challenging, that requires use of the brain, might . . . you know . . . scare away the frothing masses of people that want to press a button, resulting in a cutscene of them doing cool stuff, and win.

 

I'm exaggerating the frothing masses thing. Slightly.

 

Also frothing is just such a fun word to say . . . I just really wanted to use it. Frothing. Heh.

Edited by Umberlin

"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

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I'd also find the poll more interesting if it were structured:

 

My PC is typically a magic user and ...

My PC is typically not a magic user and ...

 

Thanks for the tip :) What I wanted to address was the specific use of Magic that Tim Cain speaks about in Update #16.

EDIT: The semi-confusion going on in this thread seems to be about no one clicking the links or being up to date so I'll just try to explain briefly:

Obsidian are considering (important word, remember it) to use a Magic resource based system where a Mage's lower tier spells will be Unlimited in proportion with his level.

 

The consideration (that important word again) Obsidian has in mind sounds something like this:

All of this is an example: A Mage with a 2nd Spell Level would be able to throw Level 1 Spells freely right and left whilst the Level 2 Spells would be costly. As you gain Spell Level 3, Level 2 Spells would be unlimited as well. Again this is only what they are considering (I hope you know the definition of the word).

 

Now, the question I am asking is: Would you like to see another mode of this? If Obsidian chooses to go with this, would you like to see an option where you can turn the "Unlimited" off and get the ability to have it "Limited" on one of your playthroughs?

 

It makes sense, really, especially if it's a matter of progression. "My low tier spells start off challenging, but eventually they get to the point I realize they're trivial. However, my better spells, in higher ranges, are just so taxing that they are always going to be limited through some means."

 

Simply fantastic explanation, I'm on the same page :D but I also want the hardcore way wherein the low level magic tiers never get trivial... just less difficult than they were at a start.

Edited by Osvir

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Simply fantastic explanation, I'm on the same page :D but I also want the hardcore way wherein the low level magic tiers never get trivial... just less difficult than they were at a start.

 

Which is what difficulty modes are for. :biggrin:

 

Obsidian did say somewhere that they want us to be able to pick and choose some things among the modes as well.

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This poll is somewhat flawed. The first option should be just YES or NO. After that a second question, if YES then pick one the X options.

 

Anywho, I like what Tim is putting forward. It is basically a variant of the 4E rules for handling magic and abilities - At-will, Encounter and Daily powers.

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This poll is somewhat flawed. The first option should be just YES or NO. After that a second question, if YES then pick one the X options.

 

Anywho, I like what Tim is putting forward. It is basically a variant of the 4E rules for handling magic and abilities - At-will, Encounter and Daily powers.

 

I would rather say lazy poll xD a lesson to be learned :)

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No. The problem they are trying to address is a legitimate one: in the Infinity Engine, the melee types can deal damage indefinitely while the spellcasters become borderline useless after their spells are cast.

 

So what?

I cannot see why this is a problem. PE is a single player game not an MMO. They don't have to balance classes so that a spellcaster is equally powerful to a fighter in each battle.

 

Looking at BG2 which is my favourite RPG, I liked the fact that spellcasters were powerful when they had all their spells available and "useless" when they were out of spells. It added depth to the game and made me play them with care.

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Oh, crap. I love the backlash idea (on the most powerful spells, at least)! The idea that casting too much powerful magic could seriously harm or maybe even kill your mage is bloody fantastic.

 

I prefer the concept of being able to "push" a spell. That is, you can choose to invoke a spell at a more powerful caster level, but at a not inconsiderable risk to yourself. The consequences of a failed push could range from singed eyebrows to summoning the archdaemon Yaegholith from the 56th plane of endless suffering to come and smite you most profoundly.

:fdevil:

Edited by rjshae
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No. The problem they are trying to address is a legitimate one: in the Infinity Engine, the melee types can deal damage indefinitely while the spellcasters become borderline useless after their spells are cast.

 

So what?

I cannot see why this is a problem. PE is a single player game not an MMO. They don't have to balance classes so that a spellcaster is equally powerful to a fighter in each battle.

 

Looking at BG2 which is my favourite RPG, I liked the fact that spellcasters were powerful when they had all their spells available and "useless" when they were out of spells. It added depth to the game and made me play them with care.

 

If the PC starts out solo they need sufficient abilities to deal with encounters. This can be handled either by giving mages abilities or by making the encounters so trivial that they can be completed by a mage poking things with a dagger. Personally, I much prefer the former approach.

 

Also, while it's true that classes needn't be equally useful in every encounter, they do need to feel comparably powerful overall. Few like to feel that the kind of character they prefer to play is less than useful. If you heap restrictions on mages compensation will be due.

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