Of focus, combat, and skills/spells.

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Tieryo
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Of focus, combat, and skills/spells.

Post by Tieryo » Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:48 am

Dirge and I wrote this together. His summary will come first. I've offered a bit more in the way of technical details afterward. Attached are two text files. The raw transcript of discussion that brought this post about, as well as the 'mana sea' idea, in its original form. Both are good reading for this.
Stealth Edit: Fixed attachments, so people can add them to posts now.
Stealth edit the 2nd: 'Mana sea' based off of the original 'mana stability' idea of Xevira.



========================OOC Basic Summary of Focus=========================

With this, one would completely change the way casting, skills, and combat works in the game itself.

Focus, as it is proposed, is a pool much like hitpoints, movement, or mana. It is based off of the intelligence, constitution, and wisdom stats, with INT and CON playing a bigger part than WIS. Focus would be integrated into abilities such as skills, spells, and the concept of rituals, via a command we will call 'commit'. Commit would allow the player essentially put more of themself, more of their own skill, mana AND focus, into the spell or ability used. For example, a player casting a spell such as Sanctuary might have to pay a continual upkeep of focus to keep the spell active and powerful. During the casting phase of this spell however, they could use the commit command to put more focus into the spell itself, greatly increasing the power, but on the flipside, lessening their own ability to cast more for the duration of the upkeep. Each spell might cost a certain amount of mana and focus. Skills might only take a certain amount of focus to use, unless they were of a type that continued to act for more than one tick, in which case more focus would be used.

In simplest principle, Focus is your mind's ability to do things. Even the greatest wizard might get mentally fatigued after a time.


===================An indepth look at Focus' ties to the World Itself==================
Now we come with the principle of the mana sea, ley lines, and nodes. The mana sea itself is covered in Lukus' writeup, though I may give it in brief. It is essentially a backdrop of the entire world, a fluctuating sea of magical power that may be closer to the surface of our world at any point, making certain areas more powerful than another. This would allow for greater regeneration of mana in such an area, and also a greater regen of focus. Such areas or points would be nodes, or the crossings of ley lines even. Places that generally remain strong, even through fluctuation. Each place in the world might have a certain power rating, or lack there of. As noted, this is covered in greater detail in Lukus' writeup.

The mana sea ties in partially with Focus, though not entirely. One proposed change would be to make the meditation skill available to all, in a lesser form than it's current ability. This would allow anyone to regenerate their Focus a bit faster. Now, Monks, who currently have the meditation skill, would get a higher form of it. The ability to regenerate focus anywhere, with greater speed than others. As stated, the mana sea only ties in partially to all this. Greater points of power -would- allow for greater mental clarity, but that isn't the greater source of regeneration. Certain regions, such as tranquil forests, or a silent mountain top, would be perfect places for meditation, allowing fewer distractions and therefore, greater mental clarity. The physical environment would have great impact upon not only a person's ability to focus in combat, spellcasting, or ritual use, but also on their ability to shrug off the mental fatigue of sorts that would come from using Focus.

Focus, as it was thought out, would only increase every 5 or 10 of a player's levels, and the amount increased would be determined by said player's INT, CON, and WIS. This would prevent lower level players from learning incredibly powerful rituals, and it would keep combat between certain level groups fairly even.

As a bit of a side note, environment might also have a great deal of effect upon the power of an elemental spell. In the Tundra, for example, a single ice shard might set off a huge blizzard, where as an inferno would last a matter of seconds. On the other hand, in a dry, arid region, an inferno might set off a firestorm, possibly injuring the caster or anyone else who might have been in the area. Greater power depending on region. Factor this in with focus and the mana sea, and you have it so that each situation would require a certain amount of tactical thought. This also brings into play a proposed skill like assess, which would tell you what your opponent's mana and focus were allocated, giving you the ability to devise a counter-strategy. This would also give a meaning to the skill Judge, which is currently useless as it stands, as all remorted players can see alignment. Judge might be turned into a greater form of assess, in which you might see exact numbers in your opponent's committed focus and mana. Assess itself would only give a general idea, such as 100-120 mana and 200-230 focus, where as Judge might give show you 116 mana and 219 focus, AND the level of the spell being used, so that one could devise a proper counter-spell. To counter any spell, it would be required that you commit more mana and focus than is committed on the spell being countered. It might also be said that the Illusionist class could counter the assess and judge skills, so as to confuse their opponent of the actual amounts of mana and focus being used. The spell used in doing so might be called veil. For example, a cast command of veil might take on two forms. The first and simplest being 'cast veil' which would jumble the numbers anyone else using judge or assess on you might see. The other would be more specific, but require greater mana and focus to maintain. Say for example, you wished to veil how much focus and mana you have committed to the Sanctuary spell. The command would look something like this: cast veil 'sanctuary' 50 '10m' '3f'. This would show the level 50 Sanctuary spell as having 10 mana and 3 focus committed. A way to confuse your opponent. This form of veil would be harder to detect, where as the simplest form would be fairly easy to pierce.

These are examples, but not all that such a system would be able to do. The necessity for having a higher level to fight something might also be reduced with such an implementation.

"Levelled Spells"

To go along with the above, allowing casters to specificy a level to a spell would be helpful. The current level of the caster would be the maximum, of course, but they could specify anything below that, as well. An example:
'cast sanc 50 dirge' would allow me to cast level 50 sanctuary, on Dirge. Hand in hand with settable levels would be a fairly drastic reduction in casting costs, though based on level. Armor might cost a single point of mana for every five levels, for example.
Effectiveness of spells would no longer be a flat rate. Sanctuary would reduce damage by 50% at max, but lower percentages at lower levels.
Dispel, too, would be changed, in that it could wear down the level of a spell cast on a player, rather than outright removing it. In that, it could also be targetted, if the caster knew what spells the enemy was using, for a reduced cost.
"c 'dispel magic' 75 dirge" Might cost me 100 mana or so, and reduce up to 75 levels divided up among a random selection of Dirge's current affects. On the other hand..
"c 'dispel magic' 75 dirge sanc" would cost 100, but focus all 75 levels on Dirge's Sanctuary spell.

=======================================================================================================

"Commision of Stats into Skills and Spells"

In addition to spells or skills having an upkeep cost in either mana, focus, movement, or even hp, a player would be able to commit stats to them seperately.

"commit 50 mana sanc" would give a bonus against the spell being dispelled, as well as, effectively, making making it a permanent spell, until then (or until the player stopped commiting that stat). While a stat is commited, the player may not regenerate that amount of it. In the above example, Lukus would have 50 less max mana, until the sanctuary spell was ended. A player would see the totals of commited stats in their list of affects, as well as how much (if any) of a stat is being commited to any particular affect.

With the following, it would be as follows:
"c 'stone skin"
"c armor 60"
"c bless 106"
"commit 50 mana 'stone skin'"
"commit 10 focus 'stone skin'"
"commit 5 mana armor"
"commit 3 focus armor"

aff
Total Commited Stats: 55 Mana, 13 Focus
Spell: bless : level 106, modifies hit roll by [amount] for 116 hours.
Spell: armor : level 60, modifies armor class by [amount] permanently. (5 mana, 3 focus commited)
Spell: stone skin : level 110, modifies armor class by [amount] permanently. (50 mana, 10 focus commited)

There would be caps on how much of each stat is commited (not sure what it would be yet), though this cap can be raised by two skills.

"Mana Control" would be for mages and clerics, allowing for higher amounts of focus and mana to be commited.
"Body Discipline" would be for thieves and warriors, allowing for more commision of hp and movement.
=======================================================================================================


Rituals and Techniques, as mentioned in the transcript, can be covered in a further post, if there is demand for it.
"The pig go. Go is to the fountain. The pig put foot. Grunt. Foot in what? ketchup. The dove fly. Fly is in sky. The dove drop something. The something on the pig. The pig disgusting. The pig rattle. Rattle with dove. The dove angry. The pig leave. The dove produce. Produce is chicken wing. With wing bark. No Quack."

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Tieryo
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Re: Of focus, combat, and skills/spells.

Post by Tieryo » Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:52 pm

Whoops. Fixed the attachment problem. I totally suck. And hey! Users can still edit. Oh, so very useful, these bugs I fix. :roll:
"The pig go. Go is to the fountain. The pig put foot. Grunt. Foot in what? ketchup. The dove fly. Fly is in sky. The dove drop something. The something on the pig. The pig disgusting. The pig rattle. Rattle with dove. The dove angry. The pig leave. The dove produce. Produce is chicken wing. With wing bark. No Quack."

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Re: Of focus, combat, and skills/spells.

Post by Dirge » Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:55 pm

I should probably mention that any feedback is welcome here, as we'd enjoy knowing what everyone thinks of the concept.
You forgot Poland.
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Re: Of focus, combat, and skills/spells.

Post by Pravus » Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:33 am

I read through the focus brainstorming transcript, and really like the "spirit" of the idea. I personally think techniques/rituals using focus sound like a great addition to the game, and earning/learning these powerful weapons sounds like tremendous fun, not to mention the enjoyment of trying out a newly practiced technique or ritual on a foe.

Leveled spells sound really cool... Hrm... It almost seems that the way the level of a spell could/would be set is by the ammount of focus dedicated to it. I think it would be interesting if mastered spells/skills, with enough focus/stats dedicated to them, would have added or improved effects such as improved damage, more impressive echos of the spell effect, and/or a subaffect for a spell, such as a mastered energy drain with enough focus would drain more than hp/move from a target, possibly draining some hr/dr from the target temporarily, not to mention an echo along the lines of Pravus' dark energies surge out and lift Emperor Yurien into the air! Pulses flow through the dark energy from Emperor Yurien and empower Pravus!

I think certain spells, like detect invisibility, should only be able to bypass a lower level of its counterpart, so a level 110 improved invisibility could only be pierced with a level 110 or greater detect spell.

The idea of a natural flow of energy overlaying the world sounds fantastic. I have yet to read the mana sea transcript, but I think that a fun additive to having varying levels of power across the world would be places of lawlessness across the wilds, embodied as npk/cpk spots. That would require a bit more player cooperation if some horrible bandit lord *points Mythology* were to take up residence near a well traveled path and close to a point of power. I think ranged spells would be a great addition as well, especially if one could tap into a node or ley line to fuel them or empower them.

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