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Hi everybody. I'm not a backer, but yesterday I had the chance to play the game for a while at my friend's home (who has access to the beta). Apart from a very favorable general impression which I had, one thing struck my attention: shouldn't spells be more complex? I mean, I've played BG2 for a decade, and thinking about spells I'm used to something like this: 

 

http://www.caltrops.com/images/BG2-Breach-big.jpg,

 

instead I end up with something like this:

 

http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Minor_Grimoire_Imprint

 

(I took one random spell from each game, but it's the same for any other spell)

 

Considering my play time with BG, I'm positive that a complex spell system really adds to the game depth and benefits replayability. Greatly. When you use most of the spells in BG you have to think through a set of different exceptions, or situations where a non-intuitive behavior is desired for the party in order to overcome certain specific challanges. A lot of this is dictated by the inherent complexity of the spell system.

 

For example, in a though battle with my kensai mage, I may decide to combine haste with tenser transformation in order to gain substantial melee damage for a period of time, but in the meanwhile I know I won't be able to fire any spell thus exposing myself to an array of possible problems. Of course you may say that the same is true for Pillars of Eternity. Well, yes. But to a different extent.

 

That said, since I still don't have a firm grasp on the game mechanics, maybe this kind of approach doesn't really fit if you consider the whole mechanics of the game? If so, why?

 

Or, considering that coding such a complex spell system which should still be fun, intriguing and balanced is no easy task, maybe they plan to introduce more spell complexity in the future when they'll have more established game mechanics to rely on?

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Grimoire Imprint is one of the more interesting spells in PE imo, or it would be if the spell wasn't selected randomly.. somehow unusual for Sayersim..

If there's gonna be a PE 2, naturally there'll be a greater variety of spells, because you'll most likely be of an higher level. But the magic will never be as powerful than the magic in BG2 because of class balance. I think it's definately possible to make a complex and interesting magic system that is still balanced though.

Edited by Iucounu
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Guest Madolite

I love how the spells in BG2 became all rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock. :wowey:

 

- I cast a spell on you!
- No you can't, cause I got spell protection.

- Well, then I'll break your protection first and then cast the spell.

- No you can't, cause I'll counter your spell with a spell of my own.

- Well, then I'll counter your counterspell.

- You can't, cause I just silenced you.

- Well, then I'll silence you back!

- I don't care, cause all my spells are used up.
- ...

- ...
- Swords, then?
- I guess...

:aiee:

Edited by Madolite
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I grew up with p&p 2e and reading dragonlance. What I loved most about BG2 over IWD and BG1 was the comprehensive magic implementation, allowing me to indulge my Raistlin complex. Imprisoning, feebleminding, petrifying insolent NPCs never gets old. I just love the completeness of the spell system with contingencies, sequencers, time stop, simulacrum etc. Given the choice I prefer to solo; just me, my bag of holding, and the occasional summoning for company.

 

Will PoE cater for the compleat mage, or is it just fireballs, magic missiles, short duration buffs etc?

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Thus far, from the Wizard's implementation, I feel that the spell selection is adequate for beta. Many of the spells are low level D&D facsimiles at the moment. If you visit the Wizard wikipedia page you can read a list of spells which appear sufficient.

 

The short-comings will be with defensive spells, as Mr. Sawyer does not wish for Wizard to be "complete". Summoning also appears to be totally absent, and I doubt it will be implemented in any significant way due to Mr. Sawyer's preferences as well. I have a strong suspicion that the more exotic spells (like the Illusion & Wish spells), will not make it to Pillars of Eternity wizards either.

 

As it stands, both in current beta implementation and design objectives, Wizards shall have AoE crowd control and damage spells, with a small complement of limited-time self-protection spells. The current protection spells focus on raising defensive statistics like Defense, rather than absolute damage evasion like Stoneskin or Displacement. I anticipate that trend to continue for the stated design goals. That being said, Arcane Veil is useful, functions well, and serve its purpose as designed.

 

This is not to say that Wizards are currently dissatisfying within Beta. Despite some issues, playing a control wizard (my preferred style) can be very satisfying when employed expertly, particularly with maximized Intellect and Dexterity. The Wizard class in PoE is deliberately not being designed as they were in Baldur's Gate 2. While this is a shame, modding in spells is relatively very easy. I have great expectations for when they are.

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How is Breach more complex? It's a quite simple spell with a very long tooltip, mostly because it lists every spell it affects. Since in BG2 magic users were basically invincible without dispelling their protection, you just Breached every caster you came across, no thought required.

 

MGI on the other hand requires you to consider whether your target has anything possible copying, whether doing so is actually useful to you and what the risks are of getting what is basically a magical dud. "MGI successfull. You cast Magic Light" :verymad:

 

So it is not only more complex, but also has more depth.

 

Also keep in mind that adding more complexity first and foremost adds more tedium, but not necessarily more depth. Adding complexity for complexities sake is not a good idea.

E.g. take two Radios with equal capabilities, one controlled by repeatedly pressing the same button in certain patterns, the other having a seperate button for every function. The former is far more complex to operate, but all that increases is how annoying it is to use.

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I love how the spells in BG2 became all rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock. :wowey:

 

- I cast a spell on you!

- No you can't, cause I got spell protection.

- Well, then I'll break your protection first and then cast the spell.

- No you can't, cause I'll counter your spell with a spell of my own.

- Well, then I'll counter your counterspell.

- You can't, cause I just silenced you.

- Well, then I'll silence you back!

- I don't care, cause all my spells are used up.

- ...

- ...

- Swords, then?

- I guess...

:aiee:

Ha-ha, post of the month right here :yes: . So true.

There will be arguments for and against, some will prefer the BG spells, many I suspect will be more than fine with what PoE has to offer. No way of pleasing everyone.

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Spells from D&D, awww ... i remember to this day hov much resting my sickly 18 years old mage had in one dugeon. Two steps --> fight ---> rest --> two steps ---> fight ---> rest ... After an hour of grinding in the dungeon my Half-orc Barberian companion sad "I have enough of this resting bullsh...."  he killed me during my 12 rest during this day i joind orcs and becoume tair leader withaout any resting xD

 

I agre that some spells like "hellish burning apocalipse" shoud take some time to recover ... but magic missle or flame arrow ? XD

 

And what about complexity of spells ?

 

In my opinion he can make if fun, simple and logical. For example if one mage cast mid fire spell and another cast mid ice spell, both shoud have counter them selves, Fight between 2 mages shoud more look like Chess rether them paper-rock-sizors.

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While I liked the diversity of BG2 spells I also found the rest-to-regain-spells mechanic tedious particularly when soloing. I most often used a sorc instead of a wizard simply to avoid taking up spell slots with infrequently used utility spells (sequencers, contingencies, identify, knock etc). Often I would simply use shadowkeeper to add +10 spells per level, on the basis that less resting = more fun.

 

I think my ideal system would combine dragon age's cooldown approach with bg2's diversity of spells, allowing me to continue playing without micromanaging. I also loved dragon age's configurable AI system, so I could just configure a party member as a healer and let them get on with it without having to micromanage them.

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(I took one random spell from each game, but it's the same for any other spell)

Baldur's Gate Invisibility - Turns the target invisible.

Pillars of Eternity Dimensional Shift - Trade places with an ally, creating a shockwave and stunning anybody caught between you.

 

Baldur's Gate Magic Missile - Fires magical missiles at the target.

Pillars of Eternity Gaze of Adragan - Petrifies enemies within the area of effect.

 

Baldur's Gate Command - Puts the target to sleep.

Pillars of Eternity Searing Seal - If an enemy comes into contact with the seal it explodes, dealing burn damage and blinding the enemy.

 

 

You're right. This works with everything... I can't believe how boring all those Baldur's Gate spells were.

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"Spells from D&D, awww ... i remember to this day hov much resting my sickly 18 years old mage had in one dugeon. Two steps --> fight ---> rest --> two steps ---> fight ---> rest ... After an hour of grinding in the dungeon my Half-orc Barberian companion sad "I have enough of this resting bullsh...."  he killed me during my 12 rest during this day i joind orcs and becoume tair leader withaout any resting xD"

 

You guys don't know how to play. You would have hated me as your DM. No way would you be allowed to rest so much.

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DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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(I took one random spell from each game, but it's the same for any other spell)

Baldur's Gate Invisibility - Turns the target invisible.

Pillars of Eternity Dimensional Shift - Trade places with an ally, creating a shockwave and stunning anybody caught between you.

 

Baldur's Gate Magic Missile - Fires magical missiles at the target.

Pillars of Eternity Gaze of Adragan - Petrifies enemies within the area of effect.

 

Baldur's Gate Command - Puts the target to sleep.

Pillars of Eternity Searing Seal - If an enemy comes into contact with the seal it explodes, dealing burn damage and blinding the enemy.

 

 

You're right. This works with everything... I can't believe how boring all those Baldur's Gate spells were.

Except Invisibility is way more interesting than that spell and that petrify I bet will last a super short time.
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"Spells from D&D, awww ... i remember to this day hov much resting my sickly 18 years old mage had in one dugeon. Two steps --> fight ---> rest --> two steps ---> fight ---> rest ... After an hour of grinding in the dungeon my Half-orc Barberian companion sad "I have enough of this resting bullsh...."  he killed me during my 12 rest during this day i joind orcs and becoume tair leader withaout any resting xD"

 

You guys don't know how to play. You would have hated me as your DM. No way would you be allowed to rest so much.

Why not? More time for the Kobolds to build traps around them while they just sit around. Or just wall up the doors. Is there a Still Mason feat?

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Except Invisibility is way more interesting than that spell and that petrify I bet will last a super short time.

Invisibility itself can be more interesting. The spell, however, is not. The interesting part of Invisibility isn't tied to your means of aquiring it.

 

Whether the petrify lasts just a few seconds or minutes, it still allows far more tactical options than shooting your enemy. Including shooting your enemy while he can't fight back.

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  • 1 month later...

from a very favorable general impression which I had,

 

OK, let's pretend for a moment that you are not a developer with a new account, I have a simple inquiry.

When you saw the Wizard attack with his wand, did the "bolt" seem in any way visually related to the paltry motion of the wand, or was the "bolt", such as it is, summoned in the near vicinity; awkwardly mimicking what was suppose to be a simple, effective visual?

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I grew up with p&p 2e and reading dragonlance. What I loved most about BG2 over IWD and BG1 was the comprehensive magic implementation, allowing me to indulge my Raistlin complex. Imprisoning, feebleminding, petrifying insolent NPCs never gets old. I just love the completeness of the spell system with contingencies, sequencers, time stop, simulacrum etc. Given the choice I prefer to solo; just me, my bag of holding, and the occasional summoning for company.
 
Will PoE cater for the compleat mage, or is it just fireballs, magic missiles, short duration buffs etc?

 

 

At present, the wizard has a limited number of weird tricks, but I'm actually very encouraged by some of the Priest's weirder spells - I love Iconic Projection, for instance. I know that's not even close to the BG2 level of rock-paper-scissors, rabbit-summoning-diversion, thousand-layered-defense nonsense, but it's clever.

 

I agree in general that it would be great to see wacky spell combos and such, but I'd really like to see them on more than just the spellcasters, since the other classes are mages to a degree as well - especially if it could be integrated into the same system of back-and-forth as spellcasters get. Things like the Monk HLA section here would be a good start, if perhaps of a slightly lower magical intensity.

 

 

from a very favorable general impression which I had,

 

OK, let's pretend for a moment that you are not a developer with a new account, I have a simple inquiry.

When you saw the Wizard attack with his wand, did the "bolt" seem in any way visually related to the paltry motion of the wand, or was the "bolt", such as it is, summoned in the near vicinity; awkwardly mimicking what was suppose to be a simple, effective visual?

 

 

You know, I feel like legitimate complaints like this one would be better-taken if you didn't post them in threads they have nothing to do with, couched in crazy paranoia and hostility.

Edited by gkathellar
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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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OK, let's pretend for a moment that you are not a developer with a new account, I have a simple inquiry.

When you saw the Wizard attack with his wand, did the "bolt" seem in any way visually related to the paltry motion of the wand, or was the "bolt", such as it is, summoned in the near vicinity; awkwardly mimicking what was suppose to be a simple, effective visual?

OK, let's pretend for a moment that you're serious.

 

The last time you were making a cake, and you saw a bowl of mixed cake batter, did it look exactly like what you expect a finished cake to look like?

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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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As long as it doesn't have the indefinitely stacking immunity spells + the corresponding counterspells of BG2 I'm happy. Whoever designed that system...

 

Eh, I think PoE could use a bit of counter magic. At least a Dispel Spell or something would be nice.

The Wizard can use any Non-AoE-Damage Spell he can get IMO.

 

Can someone confirm/deconfirm my gut feeling while we're at it? Is the damage output of most wizard spells a bit mediocre, or ist that just me?

Throwing Fireballs just feels kinda lackluster to me.

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I did the 'rithmetic and the fireballs are quite close to what a L5 mage would cast in DnD.

 

However, and this is a big however, they scale with level in DnD and don't in P:E, which means that by L8 they will feel noticeably wimpier than the DnD equivalents.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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