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Spellcasting - Breaking Concentration and Balance 
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I think making people un-attackable is a pretty lame option though.
It would get abused to no ends, and why should it really be an option
to be able to play the game "safe" all the time?


We would see alot of people turning the option on to grow/death recovery
then once they are recovered/in a position of upperhand, they just turn
it back on and kill people, then idle out the time restraint before it can
be turned off again.

Bottom line is such an option would just get abused, and I personally
do not think that its a good way to go, getting attacked by other players
are a part of the game. Disabling that aspect of the game would turn the
game into a carebear MUD, how much fun would it be to always now that
your safe and that you have 0 risk of death? I think it would take away a
big part of the game if it was introducded.



As for Rhynox, your remarks on how a Ranger told you magic concentration could
be broken if enough damage was dealt out to the caster, just looking through
the log Hektor posted earlier in the thread,

Code:
You are physically feeling rather hurt and mentally slightly degraded.
The swarthy savage male minotaur is feeling very well.
Bofur is feeling very well.
Lindros is feeling very well.
X is feeling very well.
You mentally call upon Psuchae for power.

A soft wind blows around your ears carrying the voice of Y whispering:
Ship arrived now, and stays for 60 seconds

You are physically feeling rather hurt and mentally slightly degraded.
The swarthy savage male minotaur is feeling very well.
Bofur is feeling very well.
Lindros is feeling very well.
X is feeling very well.
>
The swarthy savage male minotaur tries to hit you with his runed mithril warhammer but misses.

You are already concentrating on a spell.

You are already concentrating on a spell.
>
Lindros batters your body with his sledgehammer of the colossus.
Bofur batters your right arm with his sledgehammer of the colossus.
Bofur pounds your left arm with his sledgehammer of the colossus.
The swarthy savage male minotaur pounds your legs with his runed mithril warhammer.

The swarthy savage male minotaur viciously whips his long horns across your legs, tearing a nasty wound.
You are already concentrating on a spell.
>
You aid yourself with your healing powers.
A pleasant warmth briefly overcomes you as you feel your injuries healing.


If 2 Battering and 2 pounding hits is not enough to break concentration, I ask what is?
Thats at least 2 lvls of health taken of anyone with normal con, maybe more?

Magic system of today is not working at all, just look at how got good the magic users
are at grinding? In the past(prior to the change to breaking concentration) spellcasters
had to rely on a tank to kill things, but thats not the case today, especially not when
people are of the size/have the abilities-skills of today.
In the past mana played a part, but with multiple herbs/potions/items restoring mana
its really not an issue for most spellcasters(speaking from own experience everyone might
not share my opinion)but I just know that with imm mentals/high spellcraft/and previous
mentioned items, mana was never a problem for me at least).


10 Mar 2010 17:39
Site Admin
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Joined: 04 Mar 2010 01:14
Posts: 279
It's extremely hard to break someones spell concentration now.

What was happening was that any spell with a cast time of more than a combat round was always broken.
The problem was that the formula used did not scale at all with how the damage output of players has increased over the years.
Imagine being hit interrupting your special attack preparation. Breaking concentration as a concept does not work when all spell casts can be interrupted.


10 Mar 2010 18:27
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cotillion wrote:
It's extremely hard to break someones spell concentration now.

What was happening was that any spell with a cast time of more than a combat round was always broken.
The problem was that the formula used did not scale at all with how the damage output of players has increased over the years.
Imagine being hit interrupting your special attack preparation. Breaking concentration as a concept does not work when all spell casts can be interrupted.



While the previous system was somewhat flawed as well, at least it gave none magic users a way to defeat magic users,
by hasting up and making sure to do alot of damage.

Problem is that the current system is just as flawed, as it gives magic users more or less unbreakable casting.


I hope to see the new system in place, where a compromise of sorts can be reached, where spellcasters should not have their
spells broken by any hit(but I do think a batter or pounding or special coming off)should have a pretty good shot of breaking the
concentration. Currently you can deal out a 2 health lvl hit and still get the spell thrown at you.

Hopefully the new system will find a mid-way, where both groups can be happy. Cause keeping the current system
isn't a good option, seing how it makes a myth spellcaster a tank with nukes.


10 Mar 2010 19:01
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Joined: 03 Mar 2010 07:50
Posts: 473
Let's work through some of the balance concerns here. The concern is that if fighters cannot break a caster's concentration, it would be unbalanced because the caster would always win. However, the opposite is also applicable, that if a fighter can always break a caster's concentration, then the fighter would always win.

Consider the following scenario. If a caster does exactly the same damage as the fighter's specials, should there be the possibility of the caster losing his spell due to concentration checks? The fighter would then have an obvious advantage since the caster cannot break the fighter's specials at all. This would be unbalanced. If they have equal damage, then they should have equal chances to deal that damage. That would be considered "balanced". This is a very simplistic view of the options though, because fighters don't worry about mana usage or components while casters have only a limited amount of each that they can use before they run out.

That little fact aside, in the ideal theoretical world (like in Physical where you assume no friction), it would seem that the balance between a caster and a fighter is dependent on the relative amount of damage that they do. A caster who has twice the damage of the fighter and has a 50% chance of losing his spells would do roughly the same amount of damage over time as the fighter. That would thus make them equal. The closer their damage potential is with each other, the less their concentration checks should matter.

Now, this is all nice and theoretical but in practice, it is much harder to balance than that. Suffice it to say, there are many many factors in the balancing of casters, and a fighter who encounters a caster rarely has a chance to see all the factors and thus feels it is unfair. A caster, on the other hand, sees a fighter being able to grind easily all the time without paying heed to any of the things that they are concerned with, and feels it is unfair as well. But as they say, the grass is always greener on the other side =P I cannot control how people feel in my role.

My job is to make sure that people are able to play the roles they wish to play and not be at a disadvantage compared to others in these roles. Many factors like adaptability, PvE, and PvP play into the strengths and weaknesses of each guild. Strengths in one area typically lead to weaknesses in another for that is the nature of balance.


10 Mar 2010 19:32
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Well, while your thoughts has some merit, I disagree.

I think a fighter should be able to break a casters concentration
relatively easy(not like in the past, but alot easier than currently)
We have to remember, that Casters vs Fighter damagewise is not anywhere
near equal in damage, not to mention many spellcasters have stunning
spells, not to mention they often have ways of healing themself.



As for grinding, I am not sure if your up to date on whats going on in the
game, but out of the 3 occ magic guilds, 2 are very good at gridning.

I've witnessed these players grind in Qualinosti/Mithas/Icewall/T-trolls
these being the so called "top notch" xp areas, where most people cannot
kill on their own(I would say some myths and DO/SU are the exceptions).


I am still of the belief that if your a spellcaster, you should not be able
to tank hardhitting/multiple foes and at the same time cast complicated spells.
To me it doesnt make sense to be able to do both at the same time.

If you allow casters to easily be able to cast spells while tanking you
give them an unfair advatange, seing how they often have nuke power/heal/mana
regen spells-potions etc.


Just like how fighters in most cases have to rely on herbs or super equipment
to be able to heal or do extreme damage, I think casters should have to rely
on people tanking for them otherwise their spellcasting gets interrupted.


But I am sure most of the casters will disagree with me on this, but I think
ask the players, and I believe that most people will agree. Spellcasters can
do it all today, with the huge stats people have along with how guilds are progressing
we've created superkillers, myth spellcasters with thousands of mana poins and with
easily obtained mana regen, you have people going around casting spells for hours
on end, gaining more experience than a melee fighter can get in hours of slaying/on
their own.


10 Mar 2010 20:11
Myth
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Joined: 09 Mar 2010 20:33
Posts: 1331
Location: UK
Glad to see such open discussion going on.

In most RP games casters have many ranged attacks, magic missile, fireballs etc.
In those games if the fighters are able to weather the storm using protections etc and get close to the caster, well its lights out for the caster.
As specialist casters are not normally so hot when it comes down to melee action.

With everyone being in the same room fighting ranged combat is something that we have never really got to grips with in Gen.
So the casters all seem to have pretty decent ability to stand up to direct melee fighting.

Breaking concentration should be possible to avoid the game becomming too simplistic.
Chances for this should be greatly improved with weapons like the jagged black scimitar, heavy steel club, other mana draining weapons.
Tactics and preparation should be able to give the knowledgeable player the edge.
But things such as being able to stop all magic going on with an item seem too powerful.
The same way if there was a potion or spell to stop all melee damage hitting it would be too powerful.

Spells should do lots of damage.
They should sometimes fail.
They should have a chance of miss fire and back fire on the caster.
There should be resistances that can be built up to reduce their effect.
I also hope that spells completing when the caster is stunned after the recodes will be a thing of the past.
Being stunned should at the very minimum pause preparation of a spell.

I know that a certain layman caster guild that had a pretty nasty missfire possibility, with the comedy ACME anvil dropping on the casters head. I knew one large player who wouldn't cast any spells below very bad shape for fear of killing himself.
That is good and this sort of thing should be more common.

It should take a lot of nerve on boths sides for a down and dirty fight between a caster and someone else.

Perhaps to create the ranged effect casters could have more specials to put distance between themselves and their attacker.
Balanced by being more limited in the ability to avoid melee damage. So if keeping the target away fails all could go nasty very fast.

Some of the most imbalanced combos in the past have been the tank mages.
When someone with great melee damage avoidance also gets the wiz bang fun.
Two of these where layman guilds were involved had a long PARTY time then were nerfed viciously.
But the fact is that the masses (who were happy to flaunt their powers) just got in on a little bit of what the "elites" can do.

PS I like the talk of the change to casters mana in the new magic system, spells cost a lot more and mana recovers a lot faster.
Mana recovery is not much of an issue currently for those in the know, better to level the playing field and make casterish stats more important.

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10 Mar 2010 20:20
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Myth
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Joined: 09 Mar 2010 20:33
Posts: 1331
Location: UK
On the point of grinding, casters should go about the same or slower on avg than melee.
Becuase of a greater need for components and gathering, ie down time.

I believe a balanced scenario is that the magic user can own bigger enemies than the melee so they should be able to get the great gear.
The melee guy may still get the good gear with help of course.

But once the melee specialist has their gear its hammering time with little downtime.
Hence they catch or overtake the caster in the grind.

Situations where the casters can get the gear, and have very long up-times killing - far outstripping what melee can do are sick.

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10 Mar 2010 20:26
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Tarax the caster guild in mention by you no longer has misfires that do any harm. They were removed when the most potent spell the guild had was removed.

However the system made spellcasting fun and exciting. There was a misfire that instantly killed you, the Acme anvil did lots of damage and could quite possibly kill you, they helped make the guild a little more balanced.

Things like that would be extremely interesting to see implemented in the game again. However you cannot sit there and say that in close combat quarters that a spellcaster would have the upper hand on a fighter or even a team of fighters (unless maybe they were airbenders like in Avatar.) And while the guilds still need playability there needs to be more than one way to break a spellcasters concentration. Also, spellcasters like archers in my opinion should be able to initially enter combat from rooms adjacent to where their enemies are standing.


10 Mar 2010 21:23
Champion

Joined: 04 Mar 2010 06:29
Posts: 672
How about instead of damage output, we look at what typically, RP wise, breaks a spellcasters concentration, causes spell failure and misfiring.

First thing that comes to mind is using a blunt object (club shield) to stun/bash the caster in the head to break concentration. Looking at Hektor's log, you can see Lindro's team doing alot of damage, but not to the head nor with a stun of any kind. I think the spell should be able to be broken, but with a less percentage chance than with blunt weapons or shields.

The second thought was an unavoidable amount of damage taken would do any of the above. If the spell caster is hurt and get mauled to vbs in such a short time, depending on his spellcraft/intelligence/dex he would have a scaled chance at failure due to damage taken.

The last thought I have is creating anti magic items in the game. Maybe a weapon and a shield that absorbs or has charges to nullify offensive or defensive magic.

B


10 Mar 2010 23:01
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Champion

Joined: 04 Mar 2010 00:36
Posts: 585
Why does it seem like people automatically accept the premise that you should be able to interrupt a spell being cast in Genesis?

It's not like you can interrupt a special or a normal swing with a sword, so why should a magical means of doing damage be any different?
There are stuns that can stun players as it is, if these work with spells as well as sword swings, then I don't see the reason to make it more difficult for spellcasters.
If anything, look at the damage potentials of spells, and adjust that. Or adjust the frequency with which they can be used, and the difficulty of using said spells in terms of components, guild rank etc.

In other words, look at the damage per minute/second of a spellcaster and a fighter, and balance those, with the added factor of how easy they can use their damage abilities (equipment vs components etc).

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10 Mar 2010 23:16
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