I'm not fond of the idea of the ability to somehow generate a fiery explosion or frost nova that dodges all your friends. Why even make it an explosion/nova at that point, if you just want to hit things with fire/ice/what-have-you and only hit selective things?
Now, game difficulty abstractly removing something like friendly fire from AOEs, I'm fine with, because it's not "your character can somehow control his spell to a meticulous degree," but rather "this is easier this way, and this is Easy difficulty." But, it's a bit contradictory to say "You can cast this spell designed to hit everything in a big circle/area, but also selectively make it not-hit very specific locations within that." That kind of contradicts the very design of area-targeting, as opposed to individual target targeting (even if it's multiple targets, targeting entities specifically at their locations).
For the INT effect on AoE area size, the main thing is being able to control the size, if that's possible to do easily. INT giving a bonus to AoE size shouldn't really be an against-your-will bonus to the size. I mean, if you can make a 10-foot-radius fiery explosion, you can probably make a smaller one, right? If I can throw a rock 10 yards, then I can obviously just throw a little softer and toss it 5 yards, if I really want to.
So, yeah, I'm not at all worried about the extra range somehow not hitting friendlies. The spell should either hit friendlies or not. The whole spell. But, I do think it makes sense and would be very useful to be able to, say, click and drag -- from a minimum size to a maximum size (difference between the base size and the INT bonus size) -- the actual area of the AoE spell in question.
That would be really nice, and if there's some way to prevent an AoE spell from affecting your peers, then so be it. But, I don't think the two are related, except in that "I can control this to aim it more precisely" manner. It's one thing to hit 5 enemies in a cluster, but controllably contain the magical blast so that it stops before striking your 3 allies standing just outside the edge of the blast, and another to just somehow bend a big, radial blast around specific targets, then merge it back together behind them so that it strikes even foes further out. Again, if you only wanted to hit specific targets, why would you use a spell that uses magical energies to functionally replicate a grenade blast anyway? You wouldn't throw a grenade at your friends, expecting it to just miss them. You'd probably fire arrows just at the foes, etc.
Caerdon, Fade Lee, AndreaColombo and 6 others like this