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Why do fighters do it all night, while wizards can't?


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Hello, this is my first time posting on a forum, ever, but I would like to put my two cents in, as it were, even though the game probably is to late in the development process. So even if my post would be read and considered applicable, it will probably not have any effect whatsoever. Well, one lives in hope I guess.

 

Ok, now to the actual proposition: How come wizards are limited by spells per day?

 

I've always found this higly confounding, and that it messed with the balance of the game. It seemed uneeven, since I could clear a dungeon with a fighter (with careful playing and attention to details), but with a wizard I had to rest every five minutes because he needed to cast a particular spell and/or had run out of them. Even when in BG 2, where you could make superior wizard/fighter multi-dual classes, somehow the wizards abilities seemed to lose to the convenience of just hacking and slashing. Although, it was fun to fling fireballs, and such, the more superior option was all to often to just enhance your melee ability, or you would have to rest every five minutes anyway to cast that particular spell. The game designers tried to remedy this with the use of wands, and other limited use items, but it never really seemed like a viable option, unless you cheated a bit and exploited someother flaw in the game mechanics, such as bying and selling wands to recharge them (which would not have been monetary possible without thieving).

 

If spells per day is supposed to represent mental fatigue, then shouldn't fighters get tired as well and have a limited use of slashes? Surely it must get tiring wielding that blade around all the time? If you then have limited resting, as I understand PoE will have, then spells/day is even more odd and artificial, and will make wizard even more difficult to use.

 

My proposed solution would be to have spells per day tied to stamina, a derived statistic from constitution and resolve, and not to level only. In fact why not have a general effectiveness rating tied to fatigue? A sleep deprived character can't fling as many spells as accuratly as a well rested one, nor can a fighter swing his sword as well when suffering from muscle strain etc.

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Your thread title is hilarious in all the wrong ways.  I like it.

 

That said it is because there is a big difference between "hit guy with sword" and "cast fireball".  Hitting a guy with a sword hit's one guy, one time, probably for pretty reasonable damage even if your fighter is a total bad ass.  Casting fireball hits lots of guys, probably for more damage than your sword hit.  Your sword hit will never have the power to maybe instant kill a guy.  Yet the mage will get spells that will.  Your fighter can't make himself invulnerable to all damage from non magic sources, yet your mage can.

 

Long story short, if the mage could do all that without limit and no restrictions then there would be no reason to ever do anything other than bring a mage.  Which is what many people did in BG2 anyway.  Also being forced to rest to recover spells isn't really a huge penalty to be honest.

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Oh, I agree with having restrictions. What I oppose really is the way the amount of spells cast over a course of an adventure is nerfed, not the balance between AoEs and single targets, or sudden high damage versus low damage over time. Why can't there be another way of regaining spellcasting other than sleep. Fighters can rest a while and catch their breath, why can't mages?

 

BG2 resting became more necessary in ToB because the fighters needed to sleep as well to regain their abilities, and not only the mages, or the priests.

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Oh, I agree with having restrictions. What I oppose really is the way the amount of spells cast over a course of an adventure is nerfed, not the balance between AoEs and single targets, or sudden high damage versus low damage over time. Why can't there be another way of regaining spellcasting other than sleep. Fighters can rest a while and catch their breath, why can't mages?

 

BG2 resting became more necessary in ToB because the fighters needed to sleep as well to regain their abilities, and not only the mages, or the priests.

On a more serious note this time, you would probably be pleased to know (sorry if you know that already) that PoE is taking a more liberal approach regarding spells as opposed to the per-rest approach in BG2. Only some of your spells (the more powerful/high level ones) are per-rest. Other spells and abilities are per-encounter, which means that you only run out of them for the current battle and get them again for the next one without having to rest. This is supposed to reduce the need to rest-spam and increase the overall viability of wizards. Furthermore, when you grow more experienced, you not only gain more higher level per-rest spells, but also some spells that were previously cast on a per-rest basis, become per-encounter. While Obsidian is not going for a mana/stamina system as in Dragon Age (remember, spiritual successor to IE games), this is supposed to soften the edges of the oldschool spell system a bit and bridge the gap between Baldur's Gate and Dragon Age players.

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One of the problems I can see is the question of just how close to a AD&D, or IE, game you want to keep it, since I actually find mana/stamina cost use a good system and AD&D doesn't have that, possibly because of the difficulty of keeping track of such numbers in a PnP game. But a computer doesn't have that restriction and could allow for such a system, so why not implement it?

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The feelz would be quite different. I think per-rest spells are fairly central to the DnD experience, so going with a mana system would probably have taken it too far from its roots. I don't have anything against it either, in principle.

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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I should just like to say that I didn't know that Gorbag, and I really appreciate the answer, especially since it confirms the effort Obsidian is actually making to resolve some of the issues of the IE games :)

 

I could only glean so much information of the game's wiki page, and without having the beta some questions, and conserns, remained. I guess all have to do is wait and see just which spells, and at which level they become per encounter :)

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If I recall correctly, there was a survey in one of the earlier stages of development (memorization aka Vancian system vs. resource system - mana, stamina, you name it) and both options had their supporters and their arguments. In the end Obsidian felt the need to stay close to the feel of the Vancian system, while still allowing players to play around with some spells and abilities without forcing the rest mechanic on them. Another reason mana/stamina system was not utilized that it requires the implementation of artificial cooldowns in order to prevent you from spamming spells and abilities, which is generally not well received by fans of IE games and, quite frankly, I'd say that their implementation would make PoE closer to DA:O than to BG, which is not the intended goal.

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Meh.

 

The best system would actually take the difference in the terminology into account.

 

Magic is inherently flashy and extraordinary in the way humans understand the word. It ought to be over powering to justify that feeling. I would be very happy if wizards could do that. I particularly despise a design that views magic as only special fx damage dealing in combat. magic should be about molding the world in uncanny ways, like shaping the earth or creating storms/rain/summoning creatures etc. Only then really can it be appreciated as something really distinct from fighter combat. Take for example the rain spell in D:OS. Now *that* is magic well done.

 

Now from the perpsective of the game, it should also have limitations that allow fighters to justify their importance in war.

 

There are two ways as I see it, to make that work:

 

1) Fighters need no resource to use their skill. So they are always up to the task. Wizards on the other hand require special resources, like gems or ritual sacrifices for casting spells etc, which limit how often they can cast the spell.

 

2) Figthers are fast. At the briefest requirement they can act. Spell casters require a lot of preparation, but if they are ready they are practically invulnerable.

 

A combination of this would completely eliminate the shallow "per day" system which has no reason to exist beyond game logic that everything needs to be balanced.

 

There is a danger here however that the fighter no longer seems "interesting".

 

That can be easily avoided by giving them more tactical options, awesome abilities (which need to be from 80's movies) that remind you of olympic heroes; both sports and mythos.

"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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Slightly exaggerated sigh! I guess per-encounter is in keepin with the IE spirit more, in fact it absolutely is. But, I still think that PoE has a good thing going with the whole separate stamina and health system, and thought perhaps ability and spell use could be tied to stamina in some way, as it makes some conceptual sense, and would make the resolve attribute more interesting, for mages at least.

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Obsidian did five different magic systems

 

Wizards full Vancian (some spells become per encounter instead of day in later level)

Priests and Druids user per day spell, but no spell book management (some spells become per encounter instead of day in later level)

Chanters minor passive buff spells that increase magic resource over time which can used to cast heavier spells

Ciphers have mana resource that they gain by doing damage to things with soul.

Paladins passive auras.

 

And then you of course can argue that some of fighters' barbarians' rogues' rangers' monks' abilities are magic based.

Edited by Elerond
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Putting aside all of the rationalizations, and they are many, the actual reason is that Gary Gygax was a big fan of Jack Vance, so he copied a lot of idea from his fiction for D&D's magic system. Since virtually all RPGs trace their roots back to D&D at one point or another, it's simply a matter of tradition. Mana, the FF3-style pseudo-Vancian casting used by Wizards in PoE, known spells divided by level ... doesn't matter. They're all variations on Vancian in the end (better variations, mind you.

 

Your sword hit will never have the power to maybe instant kill a guy.  Yet the mage will get spells that will.  Your fighter can't make himself invulnerable to all damage from non magic sources, yet your mage can.

 

See, to my mind, that's an intrinsic problem, and I'd honestly hoped PoE would do more to give melee nice things. It's certainly better than BG1 and IWD were, though, so I'll take what I can get.

 

One of the problems I can see is the question of just how close to a AD&D, or IE, game you want to keep it, since I actually find mana/stamina cost use a good system and AD&D doesn't have that, possibly because of the difficulty of keeping track of such numbers in a PnP game. But a computer doesn't have that restriction and could allow for such a system, so why not implement it?

 

As 3E psionics demonstrates, those numbers aren't really that difficult to keep track of in PnP. It's simply that Vancian casting was tradition by the point mana systems were devised. And I will say, there is something to Vancian magic in that it inspires ... strategic thinking. You have to plan ahead, and take tremendous pains to get the greatest possible amount of bang for your buck. But for all that, it still has problems.

 

If mana systems have anything really striking in the same way, though, it's in games that allow you to invest mana in buffs, rather than making them duration-based expenditures. This was something I really liked in Magic of Incarnum, and that I liked even more when Dragon Age copied the idea. It's just so much more ... elegant? Elegant. It's so much more elegant than having durations that force you to count the seconds in your head.

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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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Meh.

 

The best system would actually take the difference in the terminology into account.

 

Magic is inherently flashy and extraordinary in the way humans understand the word. It ought to be over powering to justify that feeling. I would be very happy if wizards could do that. I particularly despise a design that views magic as only special fx damage dealing in combat. magic should be about molding the world in uncanny ways, like shaping the earth or creating storms/rain/summoning creatures etc. Only then really can it be appreciated as something really distinct from fighter combat. Take for example the rain spell in D:OS. Now *that* is magic well done.

 

Now from the perpsective of the game, it should also have limitations that allow fighters to justify their importance in war.

 

There are two ways as I see it, to make that work:

 

1) Fighters need no resource to use their skill. So they are always up to the task. Wizards on the other hand require special resources, like gems or ritual sacrifices for casting spells etc, which limit how often they can cast the spell.

 

2) Figthers are fast. At the briefest requirement they can act. Spell casters require a lot of preparation, but if they are ready they are practically invulnerable.

 

A combination of this would completely eliminate the shallow "per day" system which has no reason to exist beyond game logic that everything needs to be balanced.

 

There is a danger here however that the fighter no longer seems "interesting".

 

That can be easily avoided by giving them more tactical options, awesome abilities (which need to be from 80's movies) that remind you of olympic heroes; both sports and mythos.

 

True, although, in combat at least, magic is fx damage, is it not?

 

From a roleplaying perspective, though, magic takes on a whole other aspect, and bring a different set of solutions to problems. Why jump over the gorge when a levitaion spell can do the trick? :)

 

And in some sense magic only gives another way of dealing with the problem that that annoying ogre who keeps popping up, bothering you all the time, presents.

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Obsidian did five different magic systems

 

Wizards full Vancian (some spells become per encounter instead of day in later level)

Priests and Druids user per day spell, but no spell book management (some spells become per encounter instead of day in later level)

Chanters minor passive buff spells that increase magic resource over time which can used to cast heavier spells

Ciphers have mana resource that they gain by doing damage to things with soul.

Paladins passive auras.

 

And then you of course can argue that some of fighters' barbarians' rogues' rangers' monks' abilities are magic based.

 

I had no idea, although I'm not surprised, they are clever people :)

 

Are they still experimenting with diffent systems, or is that time passed in the development?

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I think that really highlights how badly "magic" has been used in games.

 

And no, magic is not fx damage in combat, or at least that is the lazy way of doing it. Magic in fact may not even cause damage, but rather bring about change in the tactical conditions. Enemies have good ranged units? it starts raining hindering their visibility or even a mist rolls up that makes ranged combat practically impossible.  Enemy is a strong warrior? he goes berserk attacking his own units. Or his sword becomes rusted by sudden decay. That is the right use of magic which will satsify all the requirements of being distinct magic is from combat.

 

As to magic just being "another way of jumping over gorges". That is a pretty good way to eliminate all classes. Why have even two abilities? Just one that describes everything you can do and call it "ability". I mean why break down doors? Right? That is pretty much an alternative to lockpicking!

 

PrPfi4H.jpg

"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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Obsidian did five different magic systems

 

Wizards full Vancian (some spells become per encounter instead of day in later level)

Priests and Druids user per day spell, but no spell book management (some spells become per encounter instead of day in later level)

Chanters minor passive buff spells that increase magic resource over time which can used to cast heavier spells

Ciphers have mana resource that they gain by doing damage to things with soul.

Paladins passive auras.

 

And then you of course can argue that some of fighters' barbarians' rogues' rangers' monks' abilities are magic based.

 

I had no idea, although I'm not surprised, they are clever people :)

 

Are they still experimenting with diffent systems, or is that time passed in the development?

 

 

I would say it's pretty much locked down by now, they didn't really experiment with different systems, they designed the classes form the get-go to work like that.

Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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I think that really highlights how badly "magic" has been used in games.

 

And no, magic is not fx damage in combat, or at least that is the lazy way of doing it. Magic in fact may not even cause damage, but rather bring about change in the tactical conditions. Enemies have good ranged units? it starts raining hindering their visibility or even a mist rolls up that makes ranged combat practically impossible.  Enemy is a strong warrior? he goes berserk attacking his own units. Or his sword becomes rusted by sudden decay. That is the right use of magic which will satsify all the requirements of being distinct magic is from combat.

 

I take your point, without reservation, I can only blame it on a moment of madness, which struck suddenly and hopefully has passed.

 

But to say that magic is not an alternative way of solving problems, that I have some objections with.

 

First: I would like to point out that I did not say just a way, but a way. A crucial distinction.

 

Secondly: Yes, if you only have to get to the other side of the door, if you choose to lockpick it, or break it, or meld with it and unmeld on the other side, then yes the result is basically the same

 

Thirdly: Different "classes" does present different solutions, but the notion that only a rogue could open a door is ludicrous, and an equally big problem of how gaming logic corrupts modes of thinking.

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Of course, the result is the same. That is not even something I disagree. The disagreement seems to me, is that you are saying that the means are just cosmetic and should be eliminated in favor of simplicity.Now that is where I would claim this is really not true. That is a design flaw. Different *means* ought to give you a different story.

 

You used sneaking to get to the Tower where the treasure is? Then you get the clue about a secret entrance into the palace.

 

You used Magic to stone meld into the Kitchen room? Then you get a clue about who will be poisoned at the ball party.

 

You used brute force to charge the castle? Well, then you get to destroy the villains bodyguard corps which makes him vulnerable.

 

This is all about content. It is about how the Designer implements it. If the choices are really cosmetic (read biowarian) then yeah, the result is the same and nothing makes sense. Why even fight? Just give us a "story/RPG" mode. 

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"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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No!

 

I did not, nor have I ever made the claim that the means a cosmetic and should be elimated. I recognize the frustration of finding this to be the truth in many games but do not make me implicit in any way of wanting such games.

 

I have claimed, or agreed with, the proposition that encounter per day seemed like a solution that adhered more to IE games than DA games, not that I prefered such a system or that it should be dumbed down even further. But not much more than that.

 

The other claim I possibly can have made in this thread, is that there should be some other system of regaining spells for use rather than sleeping, which I fail to see could in anyway be a claim that I want to get rid of spellcasting. Oh, yes i did say that in BG 2, I got more use of the fighters than the mages, possibly without discounting the fact of debuffing, but thats all. And not that I thought fighters were better or the only preferred alternative, in fact I was lamenting on that rather than gloryfying it. I hope.

 

And yes I did question whether magic in fact was indeed nothing but fx damage, but I already accepted your points there, as I said that I did not contemplate the question properly before asking it, as I should have.

Edited by Crayfish
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I don't really feel like the spell casting mechanics are very consistent with the quasi-vancian mechanic. Consider the wizard.

 

His or her spells are designed to do work. These spells are transcribed within a Grimiore, which acts as a sorts of catalog and capacitor for soul energy. The Wizard channels ambient soul energy into the grimiore, fueling the spells, after which the spells perform work. The spells reside only within the grimiore and are never consumed. Given enough soul energy, it is entirely unclear why a Wizard can only cast X tier 1 spells, and Y tier 2 spells. If the only limiting reagent is the energy being input, then Spell Points/Mana would make far more sense for the Wizard than the current quasi-vancian setup.

 

Mind you, I like vancian magic systems. It permits magic to be potent and awe-inspiring; however, with the design intentions of PoE (wizards), a mana/spell point system makes much more sense for this game. The above also applies toward Priests and Druids, albeit in a very slightly different manner. There are many other significant conceptualizations that I take issue with, but I won't get into them now. I have been off-handedly been working on a proposal to "solve" them, but it's far from complete.

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From a strictly lore standpoint? Maybe. It's not really clear whether or not it requires any sort of taxing effort on the Wizard's part to use the grimoire. But, I would have to assume that it does, since a Fighter or Druid can't use a Wizard's grimoire. It may not be his own soul energy fueling the spells, but it's got to at least be his own that's running the "operating system," so to speak. If not, you'd think it would function like a simple device: flip this switch, and watch it go. *shrug*

 

@Crayfish,

 

Another thing that I didn't see mentioned in here that's different from the old Vancian restrictions on the Wizard is that, if you can cast 5 spells per day, for example, you don't have to assign an individual spell to each slot of spell "ammo." In other words, you don't run into the "Awwww, I had 3 Magic Missiles prepped, but only 1 Ghost Sounds! I could really use some Ghost sounds right now, but I only have Magic Missiles left!"

 

I like this. Personally, I don't much mind the very structure of the Vancian system. It simply represents fatigue/limitation, as should be present with anything. However, I do feel like it was overly restrictive. And they mainly justified that, I think, with the whole "yeah, but later on, you get to like, sneeze, and a mountain explodes, while a Fighter still has to hack things a lot to kill something, etc." And I'd much rather have consistency and be able to actually perform more than a single candle-lighting before retiring for the evening, than just put up with extreme limitations because I'll be an uber-god later.

 

Anywho... :)

Edited by Lephys
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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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Fighters are able to do an average amount of damage all day long. Mages are able to do MASSIVE AOE damage for few minutes before resting. The same is with tanking - there are some spells like mirror image, stone\iron skin, energy immunity, etc... that could make your mage almost immortal for some short period of time, fighters on the other hand could survive some lesser beating but all day long...

Balance.

 

P.S.

But yeah, most of the IE games allow you to rest almost anywhere (just quick save before) so mages quickly become more powerful then any melee character.

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I don't know, I always got some kind of perverse pleasure out of preparing the perfect spells for an encounter I hadn't expected in the BG series. 
Albeit by that merit I must also have experienced some kind of frustration at prepping my mage with "web" only to run into hordes of spiders.

I personally enjoyed that system but I'm not adverse to change as long as we don't go down the Arcanum mana route where PC casters were invulnerable spell spammers, great game but the magic road was boringly overpowered. 

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