DoF Magic system.
Magic system in Dawn of Fantasy. We kept this under wrap for all these years. Now it`s finaly time to shed some light on this. And to be honest - we can use really your feedback.
Before we get into specifics, I am curious to see what you guys can figure out about our system from description of three spells from the Fire school. Here they are. And one question to start it up from my side - do you guys think this is waaay too complex?
Lvl 1. Flare
This spell creates a large bright light which slowly lifts 10 tiles up during 20 seconds, and then explodes in a firework fashion.
Primary Effect: Lights up a huge area at night. Useless day-time. (Ranged units +50% accuracy at night). Reveals area of 40 tiles.
Secondary Effect: Will produce 30+X fire damage in 1 tile where it`s created damaging single units in that tile cast with-in 10 tile radius of Flare`s location.
Counter: Any area-of-effect wind spells.
Side Effect: Both light and dark effects all units. Night time Illumination and map reveal works for everyone as well.
Light: Gives 20%+X morale boost to all (including enemy) units in the area. (Firework-like final explosion)
Dark: Blinds all (including enemy) units in 10+X tile radius for 5+X seconds at night.(Big splash when created)
Strategy: The main purpose is to illuminate a huge area to help archers and better see whats happening, really beneficial for archers. This spell has large variety of side effects though. This basic spell could be useful for blinding enemy army(dark), giving morale boost to your army just before attacking enemy(light) or could be used for doing great damage to a single target. However this is a tricky spell which can come back and bite you.
Lvl 3. Fire Wall
This spell creates a round wall of flame with 5+X tile radius, which is possible to go through but doing so will result in huge 240+X fire damage. Spell remains until canceled or until spellcaster runs out of mana. Spellcaster can`t move or fight while casting this spell.
Primary Effect: This spell can be used defensively as a barrier around your army or city.
Secondary Effect: Can be used offensively to imprison enemy force inside.
Side Effects: Damages friendly units as well. Barrier blocks 30% of incoming missiles (both ways) but these missiles which do go through become flaming missile objects.
Counter: countering area-of-effect spells from water school.
Light: Warmth inside slowly regenerates-heals units at 3+X HP/sec
Dark: Heat insides slowly burns-damages units at 3+X HP/sec
Strategy: Setting up this barrier around a town under siege or to protect your small force from the enemy army, or a perfect way to cut-off enemy army and finish them off with a spell of missiles. Must be careful as flaming arrow side-effect will make this spell extremely positive for ranged units, as normal flaming arrows take 3X reload time to fire.
Notes: No other spell can be cast by Mor during Fire Wall.
Lvl 3. Hell Spikes
Counter Spell. Fire comes out from the earth in small fountains, like spikes. Two spikes at a time. Each spike lasts 2 seconds and burns for 170+X damage in 1 tile. 10+X of these fire-spikes comes out in random places within 5+X tiles radius circle.
Primary Effect: Great mass offensive spell. Only effects units (not buildings)
Secondary Effect: Dispels Water and Earth area-of-effect spells (does not effect unit bound spells)
Side Effects: Damages friendly units as well
Counter: None. This is a counter spell itself.
Strategy: Works best if the enemy cant escape – within stronghold walls or after Fire, spell (will dispel Air or Water wall) Also sometimes it make sense to turn this spell against yourself. To dispel Air and Earth area spells, this will deal significant damage to player`s units, but sometimes it`s the worst of two evils.
Notes: Hell Spikes is used to brake area-spells for Air and Earth element.
Alright, finally some info on the spell system. Sounds like fun. I do see why the "Is it too complex" question was asked as i've never seen spell counters and all these different effects from them. What i'd be worried about is not being to remember what all my spells do and i'd randomly be clicking about until i find the one i want because there are so many effects. Based on this however i'd guess that you achieve higher levels, and consequently spells, through some sort of reasearch. Whether that research will cost resources, or there will be a building in which you assign spellcaster units to research and will take time, or another system, is not determinable at this point however...unless, of course, the devs. care to put an answer to that. However it could also be individual units leveling up to different levels, and each spellcaster is assigend to a certain school of magic when you create them. I do, however, see that the counter spells will play hugely into gameplay. In most games you can't do anything about it, you lose your army, you cast a spell, the enemy loses theirs and everyone rebuilds. Hopefully this will turn spells into as much of an offensive tool as a defensive one.
I'm also interested to know how far the fire wall can stretch. Also how mana is generated. Plenty of options as to the later so i'm not even going to bother listing off all the possiblities. Though, it would be cool if it was like in Black and White where you've got villagers dancing around an altar and that generates it. I don't understand why hell spikes counter water spells though :S
Hmmm... I like this. And no, it isn't too difficult, in my opinion.
My views about things:
- You'll work with mana, which will either generate, or has to be gathered.
- You have schools... This can either mean you have to buy different types of wizards fo different types of spells, or send them to school.
- Each spell goes two ways. You can use it as a spell in your advantage (as a defense, for example), or as a spell in the other's disadvantage (as an attack, for example).
Now, I do have one remark.
A note towards my question about complexity of our magic system.
Each of 4 schools - fire, earth, air, water has 6 spells, so we have a total of 24 spells in-game. Yes, all of them are complex, but it`s not that many overall, and they are shared between races, and learning curve is at most 6-8 hours (our estimate) to master this sytem.
And note about spellcasters, they are hero like units (for all races), and develop in a simple - RPG fashion.
So we are looking at each player having anywhere from 1 to 3 spellcasters (sure, player can have more, but realistically 3 would be the most we`d typically see). Each spellcaster can learn up to 8 spells, so they`ll either have to concentrate in one of magic schools - and this way they can get to the toughest spells there. Or learn from several magic school at once - making them ultimate magic counter weapons.
We are debating if player`s will be allowed to resurrect their spellcasters (like other heroes)
So the Spellcasters learn new spells, that you can choose, from leveling up then?
My first note is actually with the accuracy system based on how it's described in the flare spell. I believe it may be better just to keep accuracy benefits with a spell like flare as a footnote, and rather just have lighting levels be the modifier for accuracy. Since flare modifies lighting levels, it would therefor indirectly benefit accuracy. I think that this simplifies the spell in a sense without changing it, by moving the complexity to a more global concept that's still intuitive. Secondly, I do think that it should be the lighting of the targets, not the shooters, that is relevant for accuracy.
[strike]My second note is with the "dark" and "light" side effects. The extra effects cause these spells to benefit light, and hurt dark units. The problem I see with that is balancing it for all situations. Obviously the spell is double-edged in dark vs dark, and can benefit your opponent in light vs light. However, in dark vs light both side-effects are benefitting one player. This inherently makes it much stronger in that situation (from the light perspective...), and it must be balanced for that best case scenario. As a result, it may end up being way too weak to be competative in the other situations. This sample principle obviously still applies in reverse to "good for dark, bad for light". It doesn't mean this has to go, there just must be counter-balances to ensure that the spell is still viable in all situations.[/strike]
No strike-out option on this forum? :rolleyes:
My final word is on counters: keep them simple. Make them intuitive and standardized. The last thing you want to hear is "I didn't know that spell could stop this...", because there are so many different combinations. I think you should produce a table of elements and how they interact. You haven't exactly stated what a "counter" does (I presume it cancels the spell's effect entirely), but I think that what might be neat is if different types of spells had different effects.
Another point I'd like to make on counters is that often they are "one shot" things. I think it would be interesting if some spells were too strong to be fully countered by a weaker counter-spell. The rules of their interaction would still be the same, but the counter-spell would fizzle out of energy before it finished its job.
You still haven't said how spellcasters learn new spells, or how they improve otherwise with time (presumeably an experience system similar to heroes will exist for them).
I do think it might interesting if spellcasters, in addition to learning spells, could purchase "ranks" in each element, deciding which ones they will be stronger in. A character who specializes in a single element will (obviously) have the strongest spells and the least versitility. To counter-balance the fact that this may favour three heroes each specializing in a different element (don't want to make it that simple) you might also make it so that a spellcaster's rank also makes their spells less vulnerable to counter by that element. For instance, a water/fire elemental caster's fire spells wouldn't be as powerful as a fire specialist's, but they'd be less vulnerable to counter-spell by water. Maybe combine with a few other unique bonuses (earth = tougher spellcasters, for instance) and this could make a fun way to develop spellcasters, in addition to picking their spells.
Oh, and lastly; no, not too complicated. I think when you get around to using these spells, you'll quickly get a sense for what they do. This would be too complicated if the game had 50 or 60 spells, but 24, this feels about right.
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