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[Role Playing Game] Mage class mechanic

Discussion in 'Idea Factory' started by Trill, Jul 13, 2018 at 1:58 PM.

  1. Trill

    Trill

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    I'm struggling with finding an interesting mechanic for a mage class in an ORPG I'm making.

    So far the classes and their mechanics are:
    Knight - gaining (though proc or combos) a Lightbringer mode, which allows the use of paladinish abilities. Some are simply unlocked while the mode lasts, others consume it for powerful effect.
    Ranger - charge-up skills, like Diablo 2 Assassin. Skills like Flaming Arrow put charges on the Ranger, special skills consume them for extra effects.
    Warlock - first of all, heavy focus on summons; second, huge mana costs and low mana regeneration, so they have to sacrifice health to gain mana, and then get that health back, either through draining, or from sacrificing summons.
    Druid - all spells are divided into 3 categories; each 3rd spells summons a Spirit based on the categories that spell belonged to; the Spirit persists for just a couple of seconds, but has various abilities.
    (there will obviously be more, they are just not even really started at the moment)


    For a mage I was thinking about something based on cantrips - weaker situational effects I don't want to make into full-fledged spells, like slow, or counterspell, or spellsteal. One idea was that you pick a cantrip out a spellbook and every 3rd spell (or every crit or something) casts the cantrip, but that's too simple and passive.
    It must be something suitable both for a damage dealer and a support/control build.

    Note that I'm really not a fan of "elementalist" fantasy. The mage has fire/frost/lightning spells, sure, but they are not divided into those schools and I don't plan any kind of focus on that aspect (neither focusing on a single element nor mixing the elements for the sake of mixing the elements)
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018 at 3:53 PM
  2. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    What spells does he have?

    Maybe something based on the order of the spells, like AoE-Stun-AoE gives a slow effect to the next attack, Stun-Stun-AoE heals the caster, etc.
     
  3. Trill

    Trill

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    Idea is that you can choose, so in the end he'll have quite a choice, but baseline he has Elemental Blast (which is a direct nuke), Blizzard (which is drop and forget, lasts like 10 seconds) and Fireball (which is based off cluster rockets, so its kind of a small aoe)
    They all have cooldowns, but combined with other spells with similar short cooldowns I want him to unleash a constant stream of various spells.

    I think that might work, but I'll have to divide spells into different categories rather than "AoE", "stun", etc - those feel too metagamey.
     
  4. disruptive_

    disruptive_

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    An Invoker style skill. Basically you have 2-3 orb (could be another thing, like ie. book of fire, book of darkness, etc) skills that do nothing but charging for another skill that actually uses them. The result is a is, as in Dota, an ability for further use. But i would recommend an immediate effect after a succesfull combination.
    Given the fact that players might lose some fingers, maybe make the mechanic more accessible, like;
    1. Invoke type skill is casted first. It's like a preparatory skill.
    2. The caster has some arbitrary seconds to perform a combination with the orb/books/resource type skills.
    3. I suggest making 2 resource skills (with 3 or more you will be forced to make lots of abilities), ie. orb of fire and orb of ice, and make the produced effect be based on the amount of orbs used, ie. the caster used 4 orbs of fire (each costing mana), the effect is a fiery explosion around the caster; ie2. the caster used 3 orbs of fire, the effect is an immediate fireball missile that propels forward doing damage (no need a target at all).
    4. After the preparatory time ends, things happen; if the caster didn't use any skill then nothing happens of course.
    The gameplay would be somebody that uses the Invoke type skill, and then getting creative by madly pressing some hotkeys and hoping for some damage. Worth it.

    Elemental Blast (good name by the way) can be an intelligent elemental blast.
    If you for example use it on a stone golem, the effect is an air attack (you know, most RPG mandate that air beats earth, but that's freaking ridiculous; but you know what i'm trying to say).
    You can even go big here, revolving the mage around the notion of elements, elementals, but making actual content for that, ie. elemental enemies just like the stone golem i presented that are actually affected by elemental skills, that only the mage has.
    Maybe make a buff ability that also has additional benefits on elemental units. Finish all this with an ability that allows the mage to summon an elemental unit (that conveniently is good against other elemental units, based on a somewhat edible rationale, ie. fire elemental beats wood units).
     
  5. The_Spellweaver

    The_Spellweaver

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    I'm getting a vibe you're looking for something like Dnd/Pathfinder.

    1. You could categorize spells into subsequent spellbooks. Or replace abilities with subsequent categories on each cast.
    Such an example would be:
    1. first having spell level abilities 1-7 (max 7 abilities on base unit action board without attack)
    2. then school type (like illu, evo, necro, abju, transmu...)
    3. and then list of spells available.
    Spells of a same level must have a similar effect usefulness/complexness/uniqueness, and they must have their own resource ("spells per day" buffer which regenerates over time. Higher lvl slots having smaller buffer, obviously)

    You could instead have "Metamagic" spellbook which would make all eglible spells appear as higher level spells(increased cost), but with a buff to your next cast spell, such as double duration, different damage type etc. whichever "metamagic" buff you have on yourself at the time. In DnD/Pathfinder you can stack metamagic, but only until effective spell lvl 9.
    Add a second spellbook containing regular spells (as noted above)
    Buffers could be increased with higher int.

    2. If you want something more unique and simpler, take a look at Gaia's Retaliation Magician and Sorcerer classes. It uses on-hit effects, throwing balls of water and lightning bolts as side effect to basic attacks (these stack). They also have added effect depending on buffs and debuffs like lightning cleaving on crit to nearby enemies who have been hit with lightning already (debuff). Some argue it takes away the joy of "casting" but I think it looks very neat, and is a very good design.

    The only problem I have with spellbooks is inability to control your character, as in autoattacking etc.
    If you welcome vJass, I can help with a spell combination system (component abilities + slots for result ability)
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018 at 11:47 PM
  6. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    Okay, so how about this: The "main" spell is the blast, and using other spells before it adds effects based on whatever classification you end up using (if you're not going by spell effect or element).

    Effects such as the spell's damage and radius, restoring HP/mana, or putting buffs on the caster/debuffs on the target.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018 at 7:02 AM
  7. Trill

    Trill

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    That is a very interesting idea, it didn't even occur to me to adopt slot system for WC3, while it would fit perfectly.
    I don't like spellbooks either, but I'll figure something out - perhaps I'll just replace abilities with other abilities. This would screw with cooldowns obviously, but I think spell slots combined with mana costs make cooldowns redundant anyway.

    And thanks alot for pointer at Gaia's Retaliation. While it doesn't fit the idea of the mage I'm going for, it would fit perfectly another class that until now was lacking an identity!

    Hm, that's interesting, but similar to what Ranger is doing. I guess I'll add some kind of "weaving" ability as an optional ultimate ability for the ranger, which would allow him to combine charges from arrows into more complex effects instead of just causing separate ones.

    That's exactly what Ranger is doing though. Each enchanted arrow has immediate effect and puts a charge onto the Ranger, then special attacks consume those charges for bonus effects. E.g. Storm Arrow deals extra damage on hit and grants a Storm charge. Flaming arrows put a short strong DoT onto the enemy and gives a Flame charge. Now the Ranger uses Fly True, which not only hits the enemy for heavy damage, it consumes Flame charge to leave a patch of fire on the ground, and Storm charge to cast mini-Forked Lightning at enemies behind the target.
     
  8. cleavinghammer

    cleavinghammer

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    How about every spell cast puts a different buff on the mage, and every X spells these buffs are dispelled and provide some kind of bonus?

    For instance, casting only defensive buffs casts a strong AoE armor spell, healing spells gives high AoE regen, offensive gives a big damage multiplier to the mage or causes all allied cooldowns to reset, casting multiple types works like a weaker Arcane Scroll, etc. Sort of like your original idea, but now the player needs to think about what he casts and in what order to get the right bonus.
     
  9. Lord_Earthfire

    Lord_Earthfire

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    I think you want to give mages a certain personality that make them interesting to play, adds spmething uniqie into their rotatiom and fits their lore.

    Seeing mages as almost omnipotent spellcasters, not bound to special schools, i would probably pick that up and try to play with their power:


    Give them a stability meter. Mages play with the very fabric of magic and thus the world and are alaays at a risk to face repercussion. Each spell increases the instability of the threads of mana in the world, shown by a Percebtage Textcoubter at the wizard. Small soells have very low impsct on the counter, like an ekemental bolt only adding 1% on it, while something like a blizzard puts 10% on it. The mage got a base degen on instability of 1% per second. The higher the instability is, the higher is the mages grip on the thread, increasing the power of hus spells the high instabilized he is. Should he go over 100%, the world around him is unstable. In this state, the spells power is highly increased, but every further touch of the threads can cause a major disfire. Whenever the mage casts a spell while over 100% instability (that is no cap, it goes all the way to 200%), his spells have a (%Instability-100%) chance to misfire, causing a random detrimentical effect to all allies abd enemies in the area. Effects are, among others:

    -being polymorphed
    -suffering from heavy burns
    -EXPLOSION!!
    -Being frozen
    -Calling a tornado

    Each rupture causes the stability to regenerate by 20%, potentionally going under 100% again. Also, each rupture damages the mage above.

    This causes some playstyles:
    Getting the instability up and juggle it with small skills to put up sustained damage.
    Going in with big spells and using the ruptures and offensively, more a burst style.

    Support spells could play a special role, since some manipulation could require the world to be instabilized enough to make them happen or others could cause the reality to snap back to a stabilized state, enabling support builds to use the worlds stability around them as a recource.
     
  10. Trill

    Trill

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    That's an interesting idea, though it doesn't quite fit the image I have for mages.
    However, I think I'll use it for the necromancer class - since focusing necromancer on pets is too obvious, and warlock already does that - however it will be more about making mockery of life and nature, rather than wrecking reality.