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Posted by Skar on 09/29

I'd like to be able to play a wizard -- a character that relies upon his magic to defeat his enemies, NOT a fighter/mage. I want a wizard that does as much damage per round as a strength fighter, because, like a strength fighter, this wizard won't have the dex or con to dodge damage or outlast his opponents.

Right now, that level of magic is impossible, because it's too easy to take an expert mage and give him expert fight skills, or take an expert fighter and give him expert magic. This ensures that fight skills will always be necessary and magic is merely a cool add-on.

In order to provide for the kind of character I want, first the code has to separate fighters and mages to a large extent. This can be accomplished the way Legend separates skills now -- using levels, stats and rent.

1. The stats necessary for 3c magic are too low. It's far too easy to get a high combat stat and still have 3c spells. At minimum, 3c spells should require 80 mind. 60 mind for 3c is ridiculous, and unfair considering that expert fight skills require 80 in their stats. The more stat points (and rent) spent on magic, the fewer available for combat stats.

2. Mana should be calculated with a formula that also uses spirit. The more stat points (and rent) spent on spirit, the fewer available for combat stats. My pet formula uses (mind + spirit) - 2/3 instead of just mind. A 100 mind/spirit mage would have an equivalent to a 133 mind, which would get them about 900 mana.

3. Charmed mobs should have their hp dependent on their master's mana, according to a percentage. For instance, greater summonings could have hp equal to 70% of their masters mana. For 750 mana, that would be about 525 hp. For 900 mana, it would be 630 hp. Is that too high? Not considering that you'd have to have 100 mind and spirit to have that much mana, or invest in +mana gear (which means still less rent for combat stats -- this wizard is getting weaker and weaker, combat-wise).

4. Spells should do more damage, and cost correspondingly more mana. Legend briefly had immolates that did 100 hp and cost that much in mana. Given the two-round spell lag, that was 50 hp per round, which seems like a good start for a puny mage. Stronger, more expensive damage spells would drain the mana of any puny half-mage, making them the province of mages that are puny at combat. 5. I also like the idea of allowing weaponless mages to cast spells every round. If this was adopted, spells wouldn't have to have their damage increased so much. 6. I want spell tools that augment spell casting in different ways -- more duration, more damage, less mana cost, less spell lag, etc. Perhaps even spells that aren't available without a spell tool. However, these spell tools would cost still more rent. Steps like these will let fighters be fighters and mages be mages. You'll still have fighter/mages, but they won't be as powerful as they are now. Using steps like these would let the coders balance magic on its own terms, with less worry about what someone with 100 dex, str or con will use it for.

From: Fiammetta Monday, September 24 2001, 04:32PM Yah, those are good suggestions, but i think they are all suggestions that will be prolly incorporated only in skilltree if something like that will come to Legendmud before we are all dead. Still will be nice when mages will be actually different from fighter/mage till then i guess we should try to be happy on what we have, and kudos to immortals to actually coding a nice change on create.

From: Chaykin Monday, September 24 2001, 05:41PM

Your scenario seems fair, but I would add one condition to the part about a one-round spell lag if a mage is weaponless. If this is done, the damage on spells should be randomized more. As of now, the damage on a spell like immolate is pretty consistent, and certainly far more consistent than the damage a str fighter (who, I find, have a practical damage range of about 20-88 hp) does. I feel that nobody should be able to do 70-100 hp of damage a round, consistently.

Here's another thought: what about simply taking expert fight skills away from those born in Agrabah?


From: Dashiva Monday, September 24 2001, 06:29PM

good sugestions skar, I like all of them it would make me a weak person in the end, but man, the chars people could create...

From: Fook Tuesday, September 25 2001, 03:07AM

On taking expert fight skills away from Agrabah:

Supposedly Agrabah gives us master thieves (whatever a 'thief' in Legend is)

Wouldn't that allow them expert dex fight skills at least?

Thieves most certainly would need to know how to fight.

I would say the presence of any 3rd circle words would negate expert fight status.

Or raising 3c to 80 mind would probably do the trick.

From: Wren Tuesday, September 25 2001, 06:46AM

Hmm, I don't like the idea of taking expert skills away from agrabah characters...without allowing the characters created there to change their hometowns.

If say, I have 10 c3 mages, all of whom have expert fight skills, and I don't like mages who don't have expert fight skills, it doesn't seem terribly fair to make 10 characters whose personalities I might like totally un-fun for me to play anymore.

It's not the idea itself I object to, mind. It's having it implemented without any alternatives for the c3 mages who _do_ have expert skills (more than half the mud?)

It's a little like Lima. -giggle- I still have a bone to pick with the way Lima's been made obsolete in terms of its surgeons!

I stopped playing an innately social character because of the combination of factors that made liman surgeons obsolete. I think that I'm not the only person who had/has a liman surgeon who's done the same thing. Some characters just aren't fun if they can't make any real contribution. Or if whoever is playing them feels like they can't. I stopped playing my liman because on big runs, with a level 50 liman surgeon, I felt like a level 50 leech.

So, well. The idea itself is an interesting one, but please let it not be implemented in a way that makes it so that I either have to turn all my c3 mages into "pure" mages or quit playing them.


From: Nanna Tuesday, September 25 2001, 06:00PM

I like the ideas. Don't take expert fighting away from agrabah though, only take it away if someone learns a third circle word?

From: Darla Tuesday, September 25 2001, 06:48PM

Just a few comments...

Why should expert thieves have expert fighting skills? Just as a mage concentrates on her magecraft studies and thus learns less of fighting, a thief concentrates on learning thievery and doesn't know how to fight well. In most rpgs I know, the 'thief' char is not as good a fighter as the 'fighter' type: she has less attacks/round, can use a smaller variety of weapons and armor, and other ways. The difference is that here we only have a few skills that make a thief, and those don't have very high stat reqs so most chars have them. Perhaps this is something that will change with skilltrees.... In the meantime, are there any chars out there that consider themselves thieves, or at least aren't mages with the hometown Agrabah?

Nanna's suggestion makes sense, but I'm guessing that the code isn't really set up for anti-prereqs. Taking away expert fight skills for Agrabah is a simple solution, or better yet, add a fourth level of weapon proficiencies--master--and make it only available for med and indust hometowns.

On the side issue of Lima, I think it is a good thing for Lima to be a good hometown for jack of all trades, but the lowered surgery abilities is a little too much. I would like to see either more skill added for only Lima (perhaps bardic skills?) or make the heals for Lima and London be the same, but give more specialist surgery skills to Londoners.

From: Chaykin Tuesday, September 25 2001, 09:51PM

Exactly, a 'master thief' is exactly that, not a master fighter. A thief has high dex only insofar as it helps them be tricky and sneaky and steal stuff and get away, not to help them rip to shreds with a heavy dagger.

The points about the trickiness of it being implemented are good ones though. I would think removing expert fight skills from 3c mages would be accompanied by something to augment 3c spellcasting along the lines of things Skar has suggested. This would make it worth your while to continue to play the 3c mages you already have. It's definitely a radical idea. But I think it's worth tossing around in the interest of magic actually being the method of battle for a mage, rather than just an addition to the melee combat skills everybody else has. How cool would that be?


From: Jade Wednesday, September 26 2001, 01:52AM

well, something you'd have to consider is that Create's really don't have a great damage spell, and with a little effort, charmies are easy enough to get around, for anything but a pure fighter. I'm all for Create's getting upgrades, but I think taking away expert fight skills is a step in the wrong direction. I'd rather see focus given to walls, having each wall with a different pro and con, instead of each wall made useless with detect/dispel illusion. IE: fly and climb for stone walls, detect illusion for wall of fog, etc.. also spells like earthquake, being made more powerful. maybe upping the damage for create firy/watery death. Dispel (spell only) knocking out a sink and all effects in one shot (would be too powerful if dip worked that way). I think after tweaking like this, and only after tweaking like this, will create's every be ready to give up expert fight skills. Cause on the other hand, probably wouldn't require near as much tweaking. Maybe faster cast rates, I'd say that would just take some player testing to decide. I'd kinda hate to think of a 100 mind firestorm/immolate every round, with a ring of fire added in, that's prolly a bit much, so I'm thinking maybe 2 casts per ever 3 rounds, or something like that, maybe make it random like backstab. Who knows, lots of things can be done other than just saying you can cast every round. Anyway, yes Skar's idea sounds fun in theory, but Creates just aren't ready for it.

- Jade

From: Skar Wednesday, September 26 2001, 09:18AM

I have to say that I'm not in favor of limiting fight skills merely because of hometown. All of our hometowns have had great warriors in myth and history.v From a gaming perspective, I think players should have the option of growing their characters in different ways throughout their careers. Bored with being a thief from Agrabah? Change your stats and learn 2c or 3c spells! Not happy? Change back! I don't think it's necessary to institute 'anti-prereqs'.

As for thieves, I believe that thieves are worse off than mages. It would take a lot more effort to make a specialized thief competitive. You'd not only need new code, but new areas. The whole mud would have to be re-examined from a thief's perspective, providing sneaky ways of getting xp and eq.

I'd love to see quests that require what I think of as 'second-story' skills -- sneak, climb, pick lock, hide -- that let you break into homes or fortresses to carry out an assassination or burglary. Legend has a cool skill set for thieves, but the areas make them useless. For instance, far too many mobs react to characters that sneak or hide, reducing their effectiveness.

It has always annoyed me that I can have a high-perc and high-dex thief and have a hit-or-miss hide, but my low-level mage gets an automatic, no-fail hide with a simple spell using one 1c word. And why do mages have the sneak spell? Sure, it's useful, but not in character. These spells make thieves less attractive. Why not play a mage? Oh, excuse me -- fighter/mage!

Finally, I agree that with our current options, creates aren't strong enough to remain competitive if my suggestions are implemented piecemeal. You have to give with one hand as you're taking away with the other. That means stronger minions and spells, which is why those suggestions were also part of my list.

I think that most of Jade's spell ideas have merit, but you're not going to get significant upgrades so long as mages are also kick-ass fighters. In my opinion, fight skills are holding mages back from their true potential.

From: Jade Wednesday, September 26 2001, 08:28PM

ok, I'll agree with skar that creates won't get these upgrades without losing something. ;)

From: Stain Friday, September 28 2001, 05:00AM

I personally feel that upping, duration especially, spell potency/ dam as well as dropping cast lag to 1 or so round couldn't possibly end up anywhere near balanced. The bonus, or advantage, for having higher stats than your opponant seems to be WAY higher with mind. A differance of 30 mind gets me worse for wear stunned REPEATEDLY You arn't gonna see repeated para backstabs/stagger headbutts, kicks that NEVER miss(but on the rarest occasion fail) with a mere 30 stat point gap. There are many spells that do a LOT of damage VERY consistantly, as well.. gusts, watery deaths, immolate, firestorm. I don't mess with casters much nowadays, anyway, but with a 1 round chant lag, wouldn't much matter that they don't do damage on rounds. Stuns are tumbleable, yes, but percentages are insane on the ones that arn't tumbled. Immolates and such can be failed, but really, how many times does a high mind mage fail them? Log of the pk tourney on McDonald's page shows some supprised folks when Aginor missed ONE immolate. I sooo wish I could even sneak with half that consistantcy. Rasing req's and all these other ideas to seperate magic and fight all look like making it harder for fighters to heal while at the same time making the damage they take hurt more. By fighters I am meaning all the non casters. Maybe as a way of evening out consistancy these mental monster 'wizards' could lose the ability to tumble and dodge, this mastering of magic taking such dedication that thier physical abilitys are neglected and suffer. I don't expect anything that ex- treme to even be considered, just an example of the wicked gap that already exists between levels of 'speacialism' for spells and skills. @\

From: Skar Friday, September 28 2001, 09:56AM

Rather than allowing weaponless mages a cast lag of 1 in all cases, perhaps it might be easier to balance if some spells, like damage spells, had a 1 round lag when weaponless, but other spells, like stun (just as a for instance) still had a 2 round lag.

As for tumble and dodge, I would expect that the stat reqs for expert magic would preclude having the dex for those skills. I mentioned 80 mind as my opinion of a minimum stat req for 3c magic, but I think other word reqs should be increased as well -- whatever it takes to tone down the mages' combat ability.

In addition, a new reliance on spirit for spell potency and the inclusion of attractive, but renty, spell tools would also reduce the rent available for dex eq -- meaning no tumble or dodge.

From: Sammael Friday, September 28 2001, 12:16PM

who would use stun if they weren't wearing a weapon?

From: Chaykin Friday, September 28 2001, 03:15PM

Stun spells would be pretty much worthless to a weaponless mage (except for wfws) but hey, as a player with several non-mage chars, I wouldn't complain ;)


From: Stain Saturday, September 29 2001, 12:06PM

I was simply using stun to illistrate how much more of an advantage you already get from a larger stat differance with mind than other stats. What really sounds nasty about this whole 'wizard' idea is if the damage spells arn't WAY toned down, and made seriously more random. Or maybe make it possible to miss with an immolate or gust or something. Even if there was a 2 round lag, a gust would do some thing like 45 hps per round, GUARENTEED. Only char that ever decimated on nearly every round against me was Wuss, and back then I had really low dex/perc, low ac, and even then he had 'slash' and 'slash hard' rounds.


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