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Sensuki

PE Spell FX Suggestion

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As Sensuki already knows, I hate the shown effects as well.

 

I see no problem with a circle for AoE... it's good.

But it should be used as targeting, not the spell effect!

 

There's no reason to light up the entire circle and have large flashy effects. I much prefer having a circle targeting system (so you know when you got your team) but on affect only those affected get animations. AoE effects should be RESERVED for AoE damage/Area of Denial attacks. Not for buffing.

 

My 2 cents...

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^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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I must say that I prefer subtler spell effects as well. I particuarly loathed those in NWN2 - weapons and hands glowing etc.

 

When it comes to spell effects, I think minimalism works best. Keep it simple, keep it distinct and easily recognizable.

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To be honest that fireball really isn't practical. It looks way too much like a Nuke effect from C&C Generals or something. I would have preferred a simple circle of flame like the IE games, with a burn animation on all of the effected characters.

 

I'm not as adverse to having visual AoEs on the actual spell effects because the AoE will be shown while you're targeting the spell. To have a visual AoE after the spell is cast for something like a buff is superfluous IMO. And even still, I will probably be turning spell AoEs off/playing on Expert mode anyway (in which they are auto off).

 

I'm ALL for simple but practical and effective spell effects in an RTS style.

 

Each effect needs to be different and distinctive, the animations do not need to be flashy at all.

Each effect needs to have a short lingering effect on affected units, to visually represent who was affected for a short time afterwards (which would be overridden by spells cast after it if multiple buffs were landed in quick succession)

 

I agree; more subtle AoEs for non evocation/conjuration-like spells would, beside being literally easier on the eye, also feel more appropriate. And being distinguishable is certainly the first step to being memorable.

One graphics design problem with volumetric 3D effects on characters though (one that I wouldn't envy being a solver of), is that it's hard to make them look like at least something, since so may view points are possible. In isometric view this at least maps down to periodical 2D problem, but I still wouldn't envy someone who would need to come up with distinguishable and characteristic effects that also look good.

 

I tend to avert the eye when it comes to fireball, though, because it's arguably THE iconic spell, so if artists go over the top somewhere, it may as well be there. Yet, if I weren't so lenient, I'd immediately have issues with it - it does not look like a ball of fire, but rather as an explosion, as you've pointed out. As such it would have dealt majority of its damage as bludgeoning and/or sonic damage and the fire after effect would be there only to keep the corpses warm. For something that deals fire damage an artist should think more in line of napalm bombs.

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But it should be used as targeting, not the spell effect!

 

I've never liked that. I liked it better in IE games, where targeting an AoE was something of a judgement call - it made casting such spells more interesting and tense.

If targeting circles are in, I hope they can be turned off. If they can't be turned off, then I hope that having precise targeting is also calculated into the power balance of spells. Of the two, though, I'd much prefer the first option, since the second would mean watering down spells.

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I think the best thing would be to just have distinct visual effects for each different spell effect on a character. However, this becomes tricky when you have more than like... 20 spells, which the game has.

 

So... what if:

 

A) The sort of glow-effect/visual for a given spell was a subtle-yet-distinct icon-shape on the character, themselves? And

B) Multiple effects on a character resulted in their visuals being cycled through, in order, rather than trying to display them all at the same time?

 

With the rule being that buffs can only be cast in combat and will only last 'til the end of combat, I can't imagine we'll be seeing many instances of a character having like 17 effects on them. Thus, anything up to about 5 or 6 at once wouldn't be too bad. There's always pause, if you really need to stop for a second and see what all's on a given character. Maybe every half second, a different spell effect "pulses" atop that character's body. *shrug*


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I don't think these two very very similar spell effects are really a representative sample of what's in the works. Judging by the initial gameplay teaser (below) the effects will vary and I do find them more memorable and much easier to recognize than NWN2's.

I agree.

 

As Sensuki already knows, I hate the shown effects as well.

 

I see no problem with a circle for AoE... it's good.

But it should be used as targeting, not the spell effect!

But it was a buff, which is always centered on the character..

 

You can almost see some sort of patterns circling in the Dire charm effect. I'd like those to be less glowy and sharper (almost a 2d effect basically).

I also noticed this pattern. i'd love if invocation effect (chanter rare powerful spells) will involve a clear band with written pattern on them. Edited by Mor
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I prefer the IE games with their spell effects. The only thing I was never sure was if my party members were close enough or out of range if they were spread out. I do like the circle idea of knowing if your party members are in the circle and (it seems to me) the spell effects in the PoE videos are a little excessive. The IE games had effects like your characters glowing after the spell was cast. Some effects lasted longer than others. In the videos, your characters don't glow afterwards. I wonder if they're going to show your characters glowing with different effects in the game.

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Here's another idea

["Make pattern bolder, perhaps reflective of the spell icon graphic"]

I think this is a good idea - each one would be distinct and easy to recognise at a glance.

Having some lighting effect is ok - too much 'flash and glow' on the other hand gets out of hand.

So a momentary lingering is ok but not perma-glow.  And some 'flash' is ok, but not too bright.  - I guess we'd have to see these in the midst of a big battle to tell whether or not these get crazy.


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The visual graphic over the character's heads is a pretty bad idea, imo.

I agree.

 

And lets please note that BG2 only did it in, like, 2 instances: Hold, and Confusion. Both of them happen to be mind-effecting spells, so at least it made sense that something would visually appear over the victim's head.

 

But it's not needed. And Bg1 didn't do it. If someone is frozen in place, perhaps with a slightly shimmering outline surrounding his body, it won't take a genius to figure out that they are magically held/stunned. A spell like confusion or chaos will be more tricky to graphically project, but we won't have to worry about spells like that, since they're luck/random based, which means Josh doesn't like them, which means they won't be in PoE.

Edited by Stun
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Since we really don't know much on how such states represented in PE, I think it would be more productive to try to come with original idea of how they can be represented (then jumping to conclusion and speculation about other games like nwn2).

 

Here is a rough list with a mix of conditions and afflictions that we know of:

http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Status_Effects

 

 

 

Here's another idea

["Make pattern bolder, perhaps reflective of the spell icon graphic"]

I think this is a good idea - each one would be distinct and easy to recognise at a glance.

Having some lighting effect is ok - too much 'flash and glow' on the other hand gets out of hand.

 

Indeed this and color coding is pretty common way to help distinguish effect heavy environments, atm we have know of some 100 abilities\spells\buffs\auras\chant\commands\etc... not sure how much there are more or if they finalized the lists. Edited by Mor

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I think you guys are confusing an icon above the characters head that persists for the duration of the spell with a graphic representative of the spell icon that lasts for about 1-1.5 seconds as part of the animation, which was the suggestion.

 

That is a way to make a spell distinguishable, not the only way or the best way.

Edited by Sensuki
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I think you guys are confusing an icon above the characters head that persists for the duration of the spell with a graphic representative of the spell icon that lasts for about 1-1.5 seconds as part of the animation, which was the suggestion.

 

That is a way to make a spell distinguishable, not the only way or the best way.

That's what I was referring to - the pattern on the ground as part of the spell effect.

I'm still on the fence about icons above the head, but I didn't mind it in BG2 for the limited times it was used then.  So long as it's not 'overdone', I think I'm cool with whatever.


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*Casts Nature's Terror* :aiee: , *Casts Firebug* :fdevil: , *Casts Rot-Skulls* :skull: , *Casts Garden of Life* :luck: *Spirit-shifts to cat form* :cat:

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It's probably not necessary for either of the shown spells. They just need to be more distinctive, less bright and have a more obvious visual effect on the characters.

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NWN_showdown.jpg

 

Sh1t all over the screen is just far too distracting in isometric.

 

Just to be clear, this is a screen shot that I took from the magically-intense final boss battle from NWN. It's not even to close to typical, and is not representative of NWN2.

 

This would be more typical for higher level NWN2:

71-lpnwn2_ch079_060.jpg


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The green one is a good spell effect. 

Btw that post was just a demonstration to show the difference between BGs more RTS style spell animations to the huge AoE glowy stuff that people do nowadays.

Edited by Sensuki

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Okay. But note that some of the battles in the BG series could also get pretty overwhelming visually.

 

baldurs_gate_ii_ee_02.jpg


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Good discussion! I agree that the spell effects could use improvement. DOTA 2 is the way to go, IMO. The art for that game is just marvelously competent in every respect, and although PoE is going for a more subdued, realistic art style overall, it's still a good reference point for spell effects as well as for character/creature coloring.

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I wouldn't even say intensity of glow, etc., is an issue, so long as it doesn't linger. If 5 different people cast a spell at "the same time" (just... overlapping, not necessarily at the same exact instant/frame), but each one has a "casting... casting... casting... EFFECT!" burst of glowy effects that only lasts for a quick flash, then leaves behind distinctive spell effect patterns that aren't stepping all over all the other visuals, I think that would be fine.

 

Granted, not every spell needs a glow effect.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Yeah, after thinking about it some more, its the perma-glow effects that I personally can't stand.  Short ones (like 1-2 seconds) are fine.  On that note, I also hate when weapon effects are permanent.  I ended up modding out the weapon glows in DA:O because they annoyed me so much. 

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Okay. But note that some of the battles in the BG series could also get pretty overwhelming visually.

 

Those are persisting effects (Stinking Cloud and Cloudkill) and you can perfectly see any characters through those effects. If you had like 7 Entangle spells then it might get a bit ridiculous though :p

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Okay. But note that some of the battles in the BG series could also get pretty overwhelming visually.

 

Those are persisting effects (Stinking Cloud and Cloudkill) and you can perfectly see any characters through those effects. If you had like 7 Entangle spells then it might get a bit ridiculous though :p

 

Mmm, well I had some difficulty... *shrug*


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To be honest that fireball really isn't practical. It looks way too much like a Nuke effect from C&C Generals or something. I would have preferred a simple circle of flame like the IE games, with a burn animation on all of the effected characters.

While the IE fireball effect is a simple circle in comparison, it is not exactly plain. Its doesn't use a solid wave of fire, but has a pattern to it, which looks like spread out bars of flame shooting in every direction. I think that it is good design choice, because its lessen its "intensity" of the effect, making it less of a distraction.

 

028baldr004.png

 

With that said, I don't necessarily agree with you on the PE effect. I don't care about its "practicality"(in fact I think its more its more practical) and I think its an interesting direction that we don't know how it turned out (assuming that effects go through the same final touches passes). If it is sort of fireball then its much more localized version of it.

 

Also as much as I love Dota2 aesthetics, keep in mind that having some "flashy" effects is unavoidable. Because this is not a strategy game, and gaining some per rest high level "flashy" spells\abilities as you progress, would be satisfying.

 

Okay. But note that some of the battles in the BG series could also get pretty overwhelming visually.

 

 

baldurs_gate_ii_ee_02.jpg

 

yep and you can do far worse ;)

 

Lcb3Lg1.png

 

or far far far worse:

http://youtu.be/75alAzkFlWI?t=2m10s

Edited by Mor
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i can understand the worrying about the flashines considering NWN2, but the spell effects shown in the 2 videos last for 2s, and the actual flashiness is about .5s. so in perspective it's not that intrussive in the visuals. the problem with overly flashy spells, would be in case they are persistent like cloudkill, web, entangle and such. what i hope is that spells that are not meant to persist, dont leave a lingering visual effect like the smoke screen left behind by fireballs in NWN2


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I was referring to the BG1 Fireball spell, but yeah BG2's was good too.

 

I do find flashiness annoying in games with pause. 

 

The problem IMO with Dire Blessing as it doesn't really seem to have any particular design, it's just "hey I've made an effect with some lighting, dissolving effects and added some sparkly lines, and dropped a light probe on the caster - check it out!"

 

I would rather that have more of a distinctive style (same goes for all spells), rather than just being a vessel for showing off what the FX artist can do. Circle of Protection is easy because it is literally a circle of protection.

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