Sunday, June 19, 2011

Combat system direction part 2 "Magic"

 This part of the combat system will be about magic in Selethra which I spell as magi(I know what this word means it was meant to be pronounced mag-E sooo I'm still working on how to spell it out). Magi is split into server schools each specializing in a style of spell some examples are the decay school focuses on damage over time spells and enfeeblement spells. The annihilation school focuses on raw damage spells and pretty much works with the name it destroys things. The illusion school focuses more on spells that confuse the foe or take your attention away from the caster kind of a trickster style of magi. There are more schools than that, but I will bring them up in later posts to save time. I chose schools for silencing spells to be used more strategically so instead of an over all you can't cast spells debuff you will lock the player out of a school of magi. So with out delay lets dig into magi or magic(darn me for being lazy and not figuring out how to word its name!)

1: Elemental combat
   There are 9 elements of magi in Selethra; Fire, Water, Air, Cold, Earth, Poison, Thunder, Dark, and Holy. Each have a strong point and a weakness and damage characteristics. Also there are 4 advanced elements if magi; Magma, Steam, Storm, Mud. These spells have a much bigger use and can be focused on hitting foes that have multiple weaknesses in elements, but only a few classes can use these elements of spells one in particular that was the first I came up with(cliffhanger!). All the elements exist to add strategy to the game where some cold spells have the ability to freeze foes or chill them lowering attack speed and a mud spells can create a pool of mud on the ground to catch foes and hold them in place(class spell hint shhh!).

 So what do the elements serve other than having battle characteristics? Most MMORPG's use a foes weak element to decrees a foes chance to resist a magical attack. Like offline RPGs hitting a foe with it's weak element will increase the damage of the spell, since I plan on melee users getting the ability to hit a foe multiple times as they level up I feel magi casters should have a way of increasing their damage as well other than the spell just getting more powerful.(fun with math sentence) Mathematically to keep class balance in check after a foe gets hit with it's weak element over and over it will grow a resistance to keep casters from getting cornered into using one spell and out damaging melee fighters with ease, I have tinkered with a few algorithms and the rate roughly hits 10% resistance gain per spell per caster, so one caster can't build up the foes resistance quickly lowering the damage of other casters(the resistance boost will also wear off over time). The advanced elements can utilize this damage bonus even more since the elemental properties are double sided, but to keep balance if you use a magma spell(fire/earth) and the foe is strong to earth you will lose a good amount of damage on the spell. There are a lot of elements to consider that will make for some trial and error when finding a foes weak point, and the flexibility of elements makes it so casters who can't hit a weakness or not specialized in the element can still do good damage. So if something is strong to fire, air, and water but you only have say earth spells or abilities you won't lose damage and will be able to fight effectively.

2: Trigger effect weapons for spells!
   Weapons such as staffs and wands will have trigger effects on them for casters, see my previous post on trigger effects if your not sure what they are. Trigger effects will be presented in the manner of a energy burst that can be used as a delayed "bomb" style of effect. So after a spell is cast you have 1-2 seconds after the spell hits to trigger the weapon to deal more damage of the element the trigger effect describes. For healers trigger effects will be presented as a magi energy(the mana or MP of the game) restore effect or may cause the spell to give you a stat boost or healing over time effect. Damage over time spells will work more closely to healing spells, but only be trigger able once per application if the spell and you can chose what tick of damage it will go off of, the same will go for healing over time spells as well.

3: Multi-Fold spells?
 This was a fun idea I came up with while working on the second caster of the game, the ability to cast spells that hit multiple times(if your not familiar with Final fantasy 11 lingo fold stands for multiple meaning a 2 fold ability or spell hits 2 times.) These spells will have multiple chances to do damage after they are casted but also means one or two of the hits can be resisted adding up to the spells total damage. This in my eyes will be a cool way to utilize elements the foe may resist more than others while the spell keeps decent damage and serve as some cool eye candy animation wise.

4: Non-elemental magi
  When you think of non-elemental magic(magic that doesn't have a particular element attached to it) I'm sure bahamut's big old Lazar beam attack comes to mind. Even though because it would be a horrible idea steal to use bahamut there will be no dragons with Lazar beams, but there will be big spells and abilities that are non-elemental. Pretty much spells of this type damage will be based on a total of all magi resistances and pack a punch, sadly will have bigger cool downs. This was needed because a few classes have abilities that strike at a foes magi resistances rather than physical defense. So on top of some spells being non-elemental there has to be a mechanic that can convert your resistances mathematically to a total defence rate for these abilities and spells to work.

5: Healing spells
  Finally we get into healing spells the role some love and a lot hate. A RPG would not be complete with out spells that replenish hit points and give stat bonuses. In general healing spells are strait forward coming in two types direct healing and healing over time spells. I want to make healing a funner task than just standing still and casting spells and this is a part of the game that is work in progress for now as it stands there is just the basic healing style. What makes this hard is while playing MMORPGs melee, tanks, and damage dealing casters will speak out in groups about whats not fun about their role, on the other hand healers are usually quiet(I must play on servers with quiet healers). So if you are a healer and have some ideas on what would make healing funner make sure to comment or PM me.

Closing thoughts on magic
 Magic is a huge part of almost all video games and defiantly needs to be fun to work with and use. The big chain of elements that appear in Selethra will allow for many spell and ability combinations while keeping it fresh. I'm not trying to bash WoW but I hate playing as a caster and only utilizing one element of magic when so much more can be used to add variety to the classes. So variety is what i want in my game and with variety comes more rotations to utilize then the same old spell over and over again. As I mentioned in the last paragraph while I play video games and MMORPGs I am listening closely to what players like and dislike(while dieing to a boss mechanic for not paying attention to the battle XD) and I want to bring tons of fun to my game and for being one guy it's a tough task. The next post will be about elements of combat and finally a overview of my entire vision for the combat system. Thanks for reading!

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