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"Painting"/Shaping AoE & Wild Magic

area of effect painting gui

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#1
Osvir

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This was a thought a long time ago that I posted somewhere that I don't remember and there was a short discussion about it.

Now, finally, I am making a thread about it.

This is most likely a difficult thing to create, but still want to discuss it more in depth. Basically, being able to "shape" an AoE into different forms. I am also going to put in another thought into this thread but that's for later.

Let's take a Grease spell for instance, and being able to draw it in a "circle" around the party or around the enemy team or whatnot, then lighting it on fire to create a "Fire Wall". Or making the Grease in a line to some TnT barrels to create a "fuse" and then lighting it on fire to create a "BOOM!".

These are two are different suggestions, what kind of AoE GUI do you "expect" and or would like to see?:
- Dynamic "Paint-AoE"
- Shaped AoE (Geometry: Triangles, Circles, Squares, Crosses etc. etc.)

Second thought:

"Wild Magic" AoE consequences/effects. Wild Magic is a very interesting concept and I liked it a lot in the IE games, and a thought I got from a fairly recent topic (again I don't remember which one) is a chaotic element of Wild Magic.

Concept: You direct your magic and place the AoE circle somewhere, but with a risk of the magic (because it is "Wild") to extend further than the AoE or only affect a "cake slice" of the circle or perhaps even misdirecting completely and shooting way off target.

Thoughts?



#2
Lephys

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I think the painting works best when it's already got other constraints. Like... Flamewall. Why does it have to be perfectly straight? Seems like you can produce 20 feet of fire, in a line, so you can produce 20 feet of fire in ANY-shaped line. So, it'd be kinda like laying out rope, only the rope is magical floor-flames.

But, with a radial spell, I wouldn't want to paint the circle. A circle is already nice and efficient. But, ehhh, ooh! Cone spells! What if you could widen them at the cost of range? 90-degree cone that goes out to 25 feet, or a 180-degree cone that goes out to only 10 feet, for example?

Or, back to flamewall, if you can cover 9 floor tiles worth of floor in fire, why do they have to be perfectly aligned? Why can't you make a "vertical" line, a "horizontal" line, a diagonal line, OR a 9-square shape of fire? The same with typical floor-coating stuff, like Grease. Why is it ALWAYS the same shape? If you're in a hallway, 1-person wide, you still just cast a big 30ft circle of grease, so about 80% of it is lost on a lack of targetable floor. What if you could stretch it out to cover that whole narrow hallway, or widen it back out when you're in the open? Or, potentially, "paint" it out until you've used up all the square-footage of Grease you can produce? The last option is the least likely, there.

Like I said, painting works better with things that are already constrained to lines and the like. Because it's basically pathing.

#3
rjshae

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I'd be in favor of a tunable AoE system that is fairly easy to implement, such as an AoE that's click to place and click-drag to resize (for a circle) or turn (for a line). A more sophisticated system would take additional development resources, so it's a question of cost versus payoff: it might not be worth the extra effort for something that may not see much use.


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#4
Silent Winter

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Not sure a free-paint system would be worth implementing (considering how much I'd use something other than a rough approximation of a geometric shape anyway).

But I do like the idea of choosing shapes for certain spells (lines, circles, rings, squares) and/or resizing/shaping the cone for width v. length.

Being able to surround the party or the enemy with a flame-wall sounds cool.  Then again, an intelligent UI would then have the enemy shift to ranged-weapons and suddenly I'm trapped in a circle of fire getting arrowed to death ;)


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#5
Osvir

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Not sure a free-paint system would be worth implementing (considering how much I'd use something other than a rough approximation of a geometric shape anyway).

But I do like the idea of choosing shapes for certain spells (lines, circles, rings, squares) and/or resizing/shaping the cone for width v. length.

Being able to surround the party or the enemy with a flame-wall sounds cool.  Then again, an intelligent UI would then have the enemy shift to ranged-weapons and suddenly I'm trapped in a circle of fire getting arrowed to death ;)

Surely you mean AI? :p

Again, I forgot to think about the AI when I presented this idea.

How would the AI know which shape is what? How much work would that require? How would the AI use the best shape and in what circumstance?

Re-sizing AoE might be valid though, such as the [Cone]. If I move up with 2 or 3 melee based characters, the AI could sense that somehow and unleash a Cone in close proximity that hits all of them.

Or a concentrated circle, shooting a fireball that deals less damage and only hits a single target but casts much faster.



#6
Silent Winter

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Surely you mean AI? :p

 

Doh! .. that's what I get for not proofreading my posts

Yep, meant AI.

I didn't think about party AI though - if you've got your wizard on AI then yes, it would need to apply that.  Maybe it could 'test' the limited number of shapes for maximum damage v. maximum enemies hit depending on settings.  The cone could be set to test for 'avoids party members' and 'hits more enemies' depending on offensive v. defensive or something.


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#7
Lephys

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Well, the spells would have to be designed with the possibilities in mind. You couldn't just take spells from some existing game, exactly as they are, and toss in the ability to shift and shape them as you please. That would almost certainly result in some unintended results.
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