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Game that best captures the feeling of being a mage


Heijoushin

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Hello chaps,

 

Games nowadays have kind of turned magic into a gun. Aim at goblin, cast fireball.

And since martial classes now also often have loads of abilities, and mana bars, the line blurs further.

 

Which game best captures the feeling of being a mage?

 

For me, it would be Ultima 8, which is really old, and generally considered a flop. However, it really captured my imagination when I was little. To learn magic, you have to join various schools, all of which have their own unique trials, rituals, spell-crafting etc. Preparing a spell took time, since you had to find the correct reagents, incantation, foci etc. It was a lot of work for a few spells, but I loved it.

It's like... a mage is kind of scholar. Although the "adventure mage" is a staple of RPGs, I more imagine a mage as someone who spends most of their time in a tower, reading books and preparing spells. Alternatively, they're someone who should learn their trade from a master or a school, not levelling up by killing goblins.

 

What games come to mind?

 

 

 

 

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There is a mod for NWN1 called 'Almraiven' which I think was great. It had you playing a mage that was almost more like a private investigator. That really got me into the spirit of things. It felt more "low-magic" in some ways which is kinda ironic I suppose.

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Listen to my home-made recordings (some original songs, some not): http://www.youtube.c...low=grid&view=0

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The Gothic series was quite good for Magery but I thought you had a major disadvantage if you played as a Mage in Gothic 2....I battled to defeat the dragons  :blink:

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I would personally go back one in the Ultima series and cite the Black Gate and Serpent Isle as extremely satisfying for a player utilising spellcasting, the usual reagent gathering was still there, along with buying spells from the acknowledged masters of the craft in Britannia, but it was the sheer volume and usefulness of the spells that stood out.

 

With the modern focus on combat being the only core feature of an RPG the class has well and truly been emasculated, and rendered utterly mediocre with a varying handful of boring spells that do fairly much the same things in combat. Whereas the sheer utility of the Avatar's spellbook was amazing, for instance one had the lowly linear spells which required no components and hardly any Mana: With these one could douse and ignite fires, create displays of fireworks, awaken sleepers, summon light, control the weather and even teleport oneself before the throne of Lord British.

 

The higher level spells were equally useful, and impressive: Creating food for the party, curing ailments, enchanting weapons, unlocking ensorcelled portals, marking locations so that one might teleport between them, rendering and revealing invisibility, speaking with the dead, creating currency, summoning banes of great power, and destroying all life on Britannia. The games showed imagination, a willingness to give players tools and not a care for any balance or game breaking exploits. It was a joy to play as a Mage of power and usefulness, not merely a battlefield asset.

 

Arcanum for me ventured here, giving one those sixteen schools of Wizardry with which to dabble and not caring a jot for their misuse. When approached by an Ore Golem I could with a gesture destroy it with a disintegrate spell, then teleport to any location on the map I wished, or maybe seek clues from the spirits of the dead, spellbind the native fauna of the world, charm shopkeepers to give me better prices on their goods, or open locks with a muttered word. There was a similar joyous utility to this game as is displayed in the Ultimas and of course the AD&D rulebooks whose spelllists we all drooled over when younger.

 

It makes one wonder where that joyful wonder and imagination has gone, when one sees spells that are so mediocre, dull and pedestrian.

 

Edit: The reactivity of Arcanum also desreves mentioning, a great Mage will be greeted as such, technologists will spurn him and train conductors will ask him to leave lest his aura interfere with the workings of the steam engine. Ones power and choices are affirmed constantly, and one has to praise Mr Cain and Troika for such a glorious piece of choice and consequence, especially in a genre where almost nothing of character generation and progression is reflected in game.

 

Oh what could have been...

Edited by Nonek
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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Tim and crew need to do a Spiritual Successor TM of Arcanum. Or work with Activision to do a sequel through the revived Sierra

The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

Devastatorsig.jpg

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Infocom's Sorcerer.  Nothing captures the feeling of being a mage then waking up in the Guild Hall and starving to death because you can't figure out what to do to escape the place.  The place where you live and, presumably, never had problems getting out of before.

 

I think mages face that all the time. 

Edited by Amentep
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Quest for Glory II was pretty awesome as a mage.

Really all the QFG games were good as a mage. Each class had really good side stuff.

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The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

Devastatorsig.jpg

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Magicka.  Duh.

 

 

Given that, you know, magic isn't real and all of our conceptions of what a mage "is" are based on folklore and fiction, I'll pick the fiction that involves a lot of fourth-wall-breaking humor and **** blowing up. 

 

(Alternate choice:  LEGO Harry Potter.)

Edited by Enoch
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Though I must admit I've never played the game. From what I understood, it was just you fighting waaaaaaaaaaaaves of enemies with countless spells.

 

But I can easily imagine that game captures the 'mage feeling' the best.

Nope, I wish I could say that it was Call of Duty:Fireball Edition but the god awful spell crafting and leveling system just brings it down that it can't even be called that.

 

Edit: Here's my input; I liked playing a mage in DA:O

Edited by Orogun01
I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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