Multischool spell proposal


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

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Halls Hopper

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Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 07:54

Multischool spell proposal

I had an idea a little while ago, pertaining to the troubles that any hybrid faces multi-school spells. In my opinion, it's a little crazy that spell success for spells with more than one school require significant investments in all schools, or over-investment in one, to stay competitive with single school spells. For instance, let's say you need X skill in Hexes to cast Slow at Excellent. At that skill, Ensorcelled Hibernation, the same level of spell, would be much less effective without Ice Magic skill. To get EH to Excellent, you'd either need to train Hexes to 2X, which would be a lot harder than training it to X due to increasing exp costs, or train Ice Magic to X as well, which would be pretty useless if you didn't intend to cast any other Ice Magic spells. This leads to silly things like IMB being easier to increase in power than Mephitic Cloud for the same character, and other such inconsistencies that lead to multi-school spells being punished compared to single school spells.

The problem lies in the function that calls on spell levels, which simply averages all the spell levels of the called-upon schools. My proposal is to weight that average more towards the character's highest skill- If a High Elf Skald is competent enough with Air and Charm skills to cast Deflect Missiles at Excellent, he should at least be in a somewhat better position to cast Freezing Cloud, despite having no Poison Skill and a minor Conjuration. Thus, instead of using 33% of his Air skill + 33% of 0 (pois) + 33% of his minor Conj Skill, he should be allowed to benefit from perhaps 60% of his Air skill, 30% of Conj, and 10% of 0. Likewise, 2-skill spells would get 75% from the stronger skill and 25% from the weaker one, as opposed to 50-50. Numbers may of course be tweaked.

This would buff specialists, allowing the player to more effectively choose a school and stick to it, although they'd still get diminishing returns at high primary skill levels from increasing exp costs. Likewise, it would reduce the benefit the player receives from training their secondary schools, but not eliminate it. A character with equal levels in both schools would not gain or lose anything; however, it'd make like way easier for the Fire Conjurer who'd like to pick up Ignite Poison, for example.

Vestibule Violator

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Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 09:56

Re: Multischool spell proposal

The higher exp investment is part of the point of multischool spells, and the spell levels are set with this disadvantage in mind. For example if EH was single school it would probably be level 3 instead of level 2. Also I don't think this would be a buff to specialists, it would be a buff to every caster. Generalists might benefit even more from this change than specialists. And I don't think casters need a buff.

The easiest way to implement something like this would be to add up the skill points from both schools, then distribute them 50-50 to determine spell success and spell power. So 20 Conj and 0 Fire would give the same Conj/Fire sucess and power as skill levels of about 13/13, instead of 10/10 like it currently is. I still don't see a reason to implement it however, casters don't really need a buff. Also it would eliminate some interesting decisions and dilute the difference between spells that share a secondary school. It would make it easier for an FE to pick up Throw Icicle for example.
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Blades Runner

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Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 11:44

Re: Multischool spell proposal

Galefury wrote:And I don't think casters need a buff.


that. spells could stand to be harder to cast, not the other way around. in particular, picking up spells for cheap when you have little to no investment in one of its schools is a problem.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 13:02

Re: Multischool spell proposal

picking up spells for cheap when you have little to no investment in one of its schools is a problem


Alternative to above to address the above - Use geometic mean for spell levels, slightly modified to cope with level zero

  Code:
for 2 school spells - [(A+1)(B+1)]^(1/2) -1
for 3 school spells - [(A+1)(B+1)(C+1)]^(1/3) -1


so level 8 and unknown goes to level 2
and level 7 level 3 and unknown goes to level 2 as well
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Spider Stomper

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Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 18:13

Re: Multischool spell proposal

On top of all the balance problems noted upthread, it doesn't make any sense that a spell should require different proportions of skills for different players or at different points in the game. Every time you cast a spell, it's the same spell, so it seems it would need the same sort of procedure, and thus the same proportion of spell skills. Spells shouldn't change themselves around for your casting convenience.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 20:17

Re: Multischool spell proposal

Galefury wrote: For example if EH was single school it would probably be level 3 instead of level 2.

That's exactly the kind of thing I dislike about the current system. It doesn't seem cohesive that spells with multiple schools are that much better and that much more difficult to cast than single-school spells of the same level, even if the caster chooses to increase their skill in both schools of a dual school spell. I was really just posting this because it's been floating around in my head for a while and it's always bugged me, but I suppose the effort to fix and rebalance it outweighs the benefits of more transparent spell difficulty for newbies and more options for branching out to new spells that share a school as an early caster.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 22:40

Re: Multischool spell proposal

Zuboki wrote:
Galefury wrote: For example if EH was single school it would probably be level 3 instead of level 2.

That's exactly the kind of thing I dislike about the current system. It doesn't seem cohesive that spells with multiple schools are that much better and that much more difficult to cast than single-school spells of the same level, even if the caster chooses to increase their skill in both schools of a dual school spell. I was really just posting this because it's been floating around in my head for a while and it's always bugged me, but I suppose the effort to fix and rebalance it outweighs the benefits of more transparent spell difficulty for newbies and more options for branching out to new spells that share a school as an early caster.

Currently at the same level, a multi-school spell is harder to cast because it needs more skill investment but it costs the same amount of MP and hunger. You're suggesting to make them easier to cast, but those spells are balanced to be harder to cast. Increasing their MP/hunger cost would be another way to fix this "inconsistency". But I'm not sure what the problem is. The fact that it's been bugging you is not an argument, and what you suggest is a huge rebalance of all spells. You'll have to explain us precisely what are the gameplay problems of the current system before we ever consider this.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Tuesday, 26th July 2011, 02:18

Re: Multischool spell proposal

galehar wrote:
Zuboki wrote:
Galefury wrote: For example if EH was single school it would probably be level 3 instead of level 2.

That's exactly the kind of thing I dislike about the current system. It doesn't seem cohesive that spells with multiple schools are that much better and that much more difficult to cast than single-school spells of the same level, even if the caster chooses to increase their skill in both schools of a dual school spell. I was really just posting this because it's been floating around in my head for a while and it's always bugged me, but I suppose the effort to fix and rebalance it outweighs the benefits of more transparent spell difficulty for newbies and more options for branching out to new spells that share a school as an early caster.

Currently at the same level, a multi-school spell is harder to cast because it needs more skill investment but it costs the same amount of MP and hunger. You're suggesting to make them easier to cast, but those spells are balanced to be harder to cast. Increasing their MP/hunger cost would be another way to fix this "inconsistency". But I'm not sure what the problem is. The fact that it's been bugging you is not an argument, and what you suggest is a huge rebalance of all spells. You'll have to explain us precisely what are the gameplay problems of the current system before we ever consider this.

Yeah. That's exactly what I'm saying. I posted this because I was wondering if anyone else felt the same way about it. I'm not forcing my opinion on anyone. My bad for trying to promote discussion.

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