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Like I said, if you want to cast magic missle all day, go right ahead. I'll cast time stop, horrid wilting, and meteor swarm, and we'll see who wins that fight. Magic that implemented casting time was not degenerate in BG2. Go play the game again with a harder difficulty and a better AI (SCSII mod is a good one), then tell me the enemy mages sucked.

 

Well, the time stop argument doesn't really work, as it was (together with Improved Alacrity) an end-game "I win" button basically, There is nothing anyone can do against that, so strategy/tactics do not apply, and it is irrelevant to the argument at hand. But low level spells like Magic Missile would indeed out-perform stuff like horrid wilting and meteor swarm, because once we removed each other's spell shields, i could interrupt your casting of wilting/swarm with a faster MM.

 

I haven't played SCSII or other mods like it, but if they address the problem I brought up about low level spell abuse, no one has mentioned how so far, in terms of actual mechanics. The problem seems to be that many people "feel" like casting time adds a layer of strategy to combat, but ignore the fact that it also leads to very cheesy exploit-type gameplay.

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Taking more time to cast more powerful spells doesn't have any flaws to it, to me. They could add ways of reducing casting time (i.e. more use of a spell gradually reduces the casting time to a point, maybe a total 10% reduction at most,) but overall it's both logical and balanced. If a spellcaster is about to truly devastate the enemy mob or boss with some wildly powerful spell, there should be some major drawback/vulnerability, and that's already been established with both casting time and cooldown.

 

Well if the AI was written better, it could win. While you are casting breach, what is preventing the mage from casting magic missle on you? Ultimately, you also have so many magic missles (5 or 6) so you're going to run out sooner or later. There were always wands too that a mage could possibly use.

 

Yes, I agree, a challenging mage battle requires a stronger AI. There were many improved AIs for the mages with later mods that came out for BG2. Check out SCSII as a mod; you'll see what I mean. But casting time was intended as a balancing mechanism against higher level spells. You cast all the magic missles you want, if you let me cast a Abu Dhaltzim's Horrid Wilting in the same time that you can cast 4-5 magic missles without my spell being interrupted, let's see who'd win that fight.

 

High level enemies and bosses should prioritize spellcasters and ignore all other classes, because their level of experience suggests they ought to know that spellcaster chanting and drawing magic circles off to the side there is by far the biggest threat to their lives. That would also force Tanking to be a highly active role (acting more like a literal human shield than a more or less stationary beacon of threat generation.)

Edited by AGX-17

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Like I said, if you want to cast magic missle all day, go right ahead. I'll cast time stop, horrid wilting, and meteor swarm, and we'll see who wins that fight. Magic that implemented casting time was not degenerate in BG2. Go play the game again with a harder difficulty and a better AI (SCSII mod is a good one), then tell me the enemy mages sucked.

 

Well, the time stop argument doesn't really work, as it was (together with Improved Alacrity) an end-game "I win" button basically, There is nothing anyone can do against that, so strategy/tactics do not apply, and it is irrelevant to the argument at hand. But low level spells like Magic Missile would indeed out-perform stuff like horrid wilting and meteor swarm, because once we removed each other's spell shields, i could interrupt your casting of wilting/swarm with a faster MM.

 

I haven't played SCSII or other mods like it, but if they address the problem I brought up about low level spell abuse, no one has mentioned how so far, in terms of actual mechanics. The problem seems to be that many people "feel" like casting time adds a layer of strategy to combat, but ignore the fact that it also leads to very cheesy exploit-type gameplay.

 

Man but there will not be unlimited number of low level spells and no one force you to cast 8th level spells first, i dont see your point and you cant just set it as 1v1 mage fight, most battles are here agains numerous enemies. Jeez this is not PVP balanced e spor

Edited by Chilloutman

I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiene"

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Like I said, if you want to cast magic missle all day, go right ahead. I'll cast time stop, horrid wilting, and meteor swarm, and we'll see who wins that fight. Magic that implemented casting time was not degenerate in BG2. Go play the game again with a harder difficulty and a better AI (SCSII mod is a good one), then tell me the enemy mages sucked.

 

Well, the time stop argument doesn't really work, as it was (together with Improved Alacrity) an end-game "I win" button basically, There is nothing anyone can do against that, so strategy/tactics do not apply, and it is irrelevant to the argument at hand. But low level spells like Magic Missile would indeed out-perform stuff like horrid wilting and meteor swarm, because once we removed each other's spell shields, i could interrupt your casting of wilting/swarm with a faster MM.

 

I haven't played SCSII or other mods like it, but if they address the problem I brought up about low level spell abuse, no one has mentioned how so far, in terms of actual mechanics. The problem seems to be that many people "feel" like casting time adds a layer of strategy to combat, but ignore the fact that it also leads to very cheesy exploit-type gameplay.

 

In throne of Bhaal there were enemies, bosses I grant you that, that Time stop didn't affect. It sucked when the rest of your party was sitting ducks and it was 1v1 against Demogorgon for example. Ouch.


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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The problem seems to be that many people "feel" like casting time adds a layer of strategy to combat, but ignore the fact that it also leads to very cheesy exploit-type gameplay.

 

It sounds like your problem is more with being interrupted and not really to do with casting time.

Remove casting time from your argument and put this in terms of table top turn based gameplay. You will still suffer the same fate if you lost the initiative roll, took damage, and failed the concentration check to cast your own spell. The difference here is that there are ways to make your caster harder to interrupt with Combat Casting feats and the like, or just having a good Constitution.

 

This is also assuming the scenario is two mages that are just standing in the middle of a room playing magical roshambo, which shouldn't happen. Players could be encouraged to use the environment for cover, that was a big part of table top as well was using the environment to your advantage. Creating cover or obstacles with inventive spells, conjuring an obsuring fog or having a defensive wall erupt from the ground, blocking line of sight from your target.

 

The alternative is to do away with interruption altogether, moving towards more 4e type magical system where magic is not interrupted but everything requires an attack roll against a defense. Magic Missiles can be dodged or blocked (maybe even parried if you want to get inventive with your descriptions).

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What also seems to be missing here is that people are assuming that we haven't come a long way in game balance since BG2. Remember, in ToB you could Equip the Robe of Vecna and an Amulet of power, cast project image, than time stop, and finally improved alacrity, and then you could spam Horrid wilting until the cows came home, after debuffing everyone and throwing around some fingers of death for good measure. Or force-talk bosses to death. Or stack skull-trap. These are all problems that came from converting a PnP game into a cRPG, but PE doesn't have that constraint, and their abilities will be designed around the mechanics they implement. So they may have cast times, or just use cool-downs, and may or may not allow easy interruption, but I have faith they will balance everything out in the end.

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Man but there will not be unlimited number of low level spells and no one force you to cast 8th level spells first, i dont see your point and you cant just set it as 1v1 mage fight, most battles are here agains numerous enemies. Jeez this is not PVP balanced e spor

 

As I already pointed out earlier, the way AD&D and most systems are structured, there are a lot more lower level spells available than higher levels ones, so there will certainly be enough to shut down the other guy(s) in any important battle, unless the NPCs are cheating. I only used the 1v1 scenario as an example, to keep it simple, but the principles that were illustrated work the same exact way in battles involving many participants on each side. For each caster with quick spells on my side, I can shut down one caster on the other side.

 

 

It sounds like your problem is more with being interrupted and not really to do with casting time.

Remove casting time from your argument and put this in terms of table top turn based gameplay. You will still suffer the same fate if you lost the initiative roll, took damage, and failed the concentration check to cast your own spell. The difference here is that there are ways to make your caster harder to interrupt with Combat Casting feats and the like, or just having a good Constitution.

 

Well, being interrupted and casting time are intimately linked in this case (in IE type gameplay). My assumption is that casting time was introduced into IE mostly in order to allow spells to be interrupted (it's not exactly a quick-draw type game, where whoever casts first wins, although you might disagree). If you remove the interruption effect, there doesn't seem to be much reason for casting time to remain, and that is why I brought up the casting time thing as a whole.

 

The big difference with turn based gameplay is that everyone gets a turn of their own to do their action. During that turn, as you mentioned, they might be affected by certain game mechanics, but that's how it's meant to be. If you lose a roll or a check during your turn, you are submitting yourself to the game systems, and I have no problem with that. It's all part of the system as intended, and the player can take strategic steps to improve their chances (e.g. get an appropriate feat or cast some spell that buffs their concentration, etc). But with real time gameplay of IE, aside from game system stuff (like saving throws, resistances, etc), you can also be affected by player exploitation of game mechanics in ways that the designers did not intend. I don't think the designers of IE and AD&D ever intended Magic Missile and other low level spells to serve as a hard counter to higher level spells, but that's how the player can use them because of the side-effects of casting time/spell interruption.

 

 

The alternative is to do away with interruption altogether, moving towards more 4e type magical system where magic is not interrupted but everything requires an attack roll against a defense. Magic Missiles can be dodged or blocked (maybe even parried if you want to get inventive with your descriptions).

 

My original purpose with this thread was to simply bring this issue to the attention of other fans and hopefully developers. I did not have any specific solution in mind, but I like some of the stuff you brought up, like using rolls and checks. It might be a good idea to replace casting time/spell interruption with a system that is closer to the turn based approach in this regard. For example, if a mage is about to cast a spell, he/she might have to make a successful roll to succeed, and this roll could be affected by various factors, one of which could be whether or not the mage is being targetted by opponents, and another of which could be the power of the spell. This would make higher level spells harder to cast, especially under fire, but it would be within the game system, and thus allow the player to increase their chance of successful cast with proper feats/talents/level up choices, as well as possibly strategy/tactics (maybe casting other easier to cast spells that improve concentration first). The benefit of this system, as opposed to IE, is that it is impossible for one side to simply time their low level spell casts to shut down the opposition. Of course, this is just an example, and it would have to be fleshed out, and maybe it has problems with it, but you get my basic drift.

 

 

What also seems to be missing here is that people are assuming that we haven't come a long way in game balance since BG2. Remember, in ToB you could Equip the Robe of Vecna and an Amulet of power, cast project image, than time stop, and finally improved alacrity, and then you could spam Horrid wilting until the cows came home, after debuffing everyone and throwing around some fingers of death for good measure. Or force-talk bosses to death. Or stack skull-trap. These are all problems that came from converting a PnP game into a cRPG, but PE doesn't have that constraint, and their abilities will be designed around the mechanics they implement. So they may have cast times, or just use cool-downs, and may or may not allow easy interruption, but I have faith they will balance everything out in the end.

 

Yeah, I obviously have no idea at this point of what kind of magic system PE will implement. I just created this thread to voice my concern about the biggest problem I saw in IE games, as far as magic went.

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Man but there will not be unlimited number of low level spells and no one force you to cast 8th level spells first, i dont see your point and you cant just set it as 1v1 mage fight, most battles are here agains numerous enemies. Jeez this is not PVP balanced e spor

 

As I already pointed out earlier, the way AD&D and most systems are structured, there are a lot more lower level spells available than higher levels ones, so there will certainly be enough to shut down the other guy(s) in any important battle, unless the NPCs are cheating. I only used the 1v1 scenario as an example, to keep it simple, but the principles that were illustrated work the same exact way in battles involving many participants on each side. For each caster with quick spells on my side, I can shut down one caster on the other side.

 

Again you cant still dip into 1v1 fights. There is no ulimited number of low level spells and at time you can cast high level spells you should be able to have character prepared for such fight. You can change magic missile for archer shooting at you and you end up same failing checks and get interupted. You want to remove archers because of that? no you just have to play smart to minimalise interuptions by spess, equipment and or traits/feats whatever. I still think that casting times are ok in real time. What would be other aproach? spamming finger of death to kill whole screen in 5 seconds? still dont understand your problem with it


I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiene"

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Well, being interrupted and casting time are intimately linked in this case (in IE type gameplay). My assumption is that casting time was introduced into IE mostly in order to allow spells to be interrupted (it's not exactly a quick-draw type game, where whoever casts first wins, although you might disagree). If you remove the interruption effect, there doesn't seem to be much reason for casting time to remain, and that is why I brought up the casting time thing as a whole.

 

 

There are other reasons to have casting time other than interruption, namely action time. It shouldn't take the same amount of time to cast 10 level 8 spells as it takes to cast 10 level 1 spells. For example, if it takes the same amount of time to cast magic missile and meteor storm, for example, then lower level spells are no longer worthwhile (until you use up all your upper-level spells). Timing should be a consideration for battles, especially since this is a real-time with pause based game.

 

Edit: As for interruption, I don't have any qualms about implementing a concentration check or method to limit spell disruption.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Again you cant still dip into 1v1 fights. There is no ulimited number of low level spells and at time you can cast high level spells you should be able to have character prepared for such fight. You can change magic missile for archer shooting at you and you end up same failing checks and get interupted. You want to remove archers because of that? no you just have to play smart to minimalise interuptions by spess, equipment and or traits/feats whatever. I still think that casting times are ok in real time. What would be other aproach? spamming finger of death to kill whole screen in 5 seconds? still dont understand your problem with it

 

I am not dipping into 1v1 fights, I stated in the post you are quoting that this applies to any fight, so I am not sure what you mean. I already explained how you cant prepare for this exploit (neither the AI nor you). If you disagree, look at my example ealier in the thread, and tell me how the AI can possibly prepare for your abuse of Magic Missile and such.

 

As far as archers/melee interrupting spell casting with their physical attacks, it's a similar issue, and I would like it dealt with as well for similar reasons. The reason I did not bring it up as much is because at least mages have tactical defenses against archers/fighters, such as stone skin/immunity to weapons/etc, so they can deal with those somewhat, whereas a mage/caster can remove their protections with his own spells and then they are at the mercy of his quick hitting spells. Again, I am not talking about removing archers or spells or anything like that, I just want to remove the timed spell casting/active spell interruption mechanics, because they lead to exploits and abuse. and replace them with more strategic/tactical mechanics such as the rolls/checks thing described in my previous post.

 

 

There are other reasons to have casting time other than interruption, namely action time. It shouldn't take the same amount of time to cast 10 level 8 spells as it takes to cast 10 level 1 spells. For example, if it takes the same amount of time to cast magic missile and meteor storm, for example, then lower level spells are no longer worthwhile (until you use up all your upper-level spells). Timing should be a consideration for battles, especially since this is a real-time with pause based game.

 

Edit: As for interruption, I don't have any qualms about implementing a concentration check or method to limit spell disruption.

 

That's already taken care of in IE by one cast per round mechanic. Casting time simply refers to how long it takes to cast a spell, not how often you can cast it. In IE, even if it only takes 1/10th of a round to cast Magic Missile, that doesn't mean you can cast another right after, you have to wait until that round ends before you can cast the next spell. That's why I think the only real reason for casting time is the interruption thing in IE. And personally, I think higher level spells being the obvious choice to cast when available makes perfect sense. If lower level spells are overall as good as higher level ones (less powerful but quicker, etc), then you are not really getting more powerful as you level up, which is counter-intuitive.

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