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Posted by Merlinn on 10/01

Ok I have reported this skill on the BUG command a few times already but I get no responce so here goes

I have studied the spellbook for etheric archer succesfully 26 times

I have studied it till I cant studie it anymore

I have spent a LOT of time and mana studing and from what I got for my efforts and time is to what I see nothing!

I still fail this spell LOTS. The last time I tried to use it I failed the spell 5 times stright. From what I understand the STUDY command was to better the cast level of that spell.

But from what I can tell it has not done anything. I dont think this is only my chara cause I have heard from other mages say the exact same thing about this.

I would really like to know if this is how the spellbooks works or if theres a prob with this command, I would really like to get a responce from a imm about this

Thank You

From: Rufus Sunday, September 26, 12:18PM

There was a bug in study, and I think Ea! fixed it a day or so ago so the fix should be in next friday.


From: Davien Sunday, September 26, 09:01PM

Are you saying that we spent 500 odd mana studying the book, 3 odd hours getting the items to study the book, and we have nothing to show for it? That would be .... annoying.

While the book is being studied, why are the older players of the game being penalised so heavily in this area? ok I can see we should have to work a bit to improve our cast level here, even though our poor cast level is no fault of ours. But why this much?

My understanding is that studying the book 7 times gets one cast level. I could understand this if it didn't take such a large amount of time to get the items. But I have yet to understand WHY it takes so long. I mean, new characters only benefit from the book if they are halfwits. Again, my understanding is that the spell cannot be improved past the level where yo learned the words for it. This means that the only new people who can benefit are those who 'forgot' to cast it before they levelled again.

Someone told me new players could leave the words for the spell till last then train them up, but if the rules I mentioned before are correct, then I don't see how this would be possible.

Can someone please explain to me why characters created after the spell was imped are being required to do so much work?

Davien Holyoake.

From: Rufus Sunday, September 26, 09:33PM

I'm sorry if you feel it's a waste of time. But for those 'half wits' (also known as people who have never played the game through before and don't read cheat pages), spellbooks can be an added bonus. Also, it gives ways of improving spells if we add them. If you don't like it, stick with your crappy cast levels. At least now we ARE offerring a way for those people who didn't have good cast levels on new spells ways to improve. Sorry to pull the silver platter out, though.


From: Brew Sunday, September 26, 10:01PM

jeez, ya try to help people and they come crashing down on you Next time I won't give you the heimlich, if you feel so sore about having a rib cracked.

From: Merlinn Monday, September 27, 02:00AM

Ok well If studying the book 7 times =1 cast level that means I only raised it 3 cast levels. Gee a level 47 cast level on that spell

And may I add that i cant study the book anymore for some reason

And might I say that 7 studies for 1 cast level is a rip off

The ammount of time and mana It will take to get at least a decent cast level is just insane, Its almost like xp running very boring


From: Davien Monday, September 27, 03:15AM

I don't see where I said it was a waste of time. All I asked for was an explanation of WHY it takes so long. I am sure you have reasons for why it was made to take so long, but mere mortals who levelled to 50 before the spell was introduced have no way of fathoming those reasons. I quite like the spell, even if I think it costs too much, and a better cast level would make the spell far more user friendly. Taking 6-7 combat rounds to get an archer, with the associated mana loss for failed spells detracts greatly from the effectiveness. Hell, I even said we should have to work for the right to get greater cast levels. Is it so hard to explain the reasons it was made so hard to study, or do we mere mortals not have a need to know such information. After all, we're only the ones using the spell.

I would also defend my use of the term half-wit. Any player who is in a position to use said spell has been playing the game for a goodly period of time. The level requirement to learn the involved words determine that. To say otherwise invites comment on the xp scale, a completly different can of worms. More to the point, someone reaching that level who has no idea how the magic system works, either through the help files, other players, or through their own experience, can make a fair claim to that title. You'll note that even if they started as a fighter who decided to learn magic, the book won't help them as they never learned the words.

Do we now need a silver platter to study the book?

Davien Holyoake, who apparently doesn't justify an explanation.

PS, if we aren't allowed explanations, how does the question answering in the LT work?

From: Mugwump Monday, September 27, 08:15AM

At least you people were able to study. When I got a spellbook, the first time i tried to study i got the message 'you can no longer benefit fron studying this spell' (or words to that effect), So which bug was fixed? The one where studying wasn't possible or the one where studying didn't do anything when you were able to study?

Oh, and as for Daviens question about the LT question column- has there been one? I may be behind in my reading and may have missed it. Last I heard nobody had sent any questions in, but since then I sent one. Looking forward to seeing what kind of answer it gets too, because I have plenty more.


From: Rufus Monday, September 27, 08:11AM

Okay, maybe my post was a tad on the reactionary sign, I apologize as I was a bit too harsh. In all honesty though, the one thing that's bringing me down is having to justify every nuance of what code I do.

The reason we made it so that multiple reads were required on spellbooks is because we wanted ways to vary them. If it's a low level spell, it should have fewer reads, because the spells are less complex. We also have the option to base the number of reads on the availability and difficulty of a book to obtain. Being the first spellbook, we erred on the side of caution. We didn't want books to be an instant 'gain a spell level' item, we wanted to emulate prolonged study.

Originally, you could read a book once per day then once per 8 hours, the decision was made to give the study attempt a mana cost in order to limit the amount of studying possible. Also, originally, if you failed at any study attempt, the book automatically vanished and you had to start anew, re-aquiring the book itself. This will be changed as well (I thought I changed it before it went in, but looking at the code, this does not appear to be the case) so that the book doesn't disappear on a failed read.

Yes, studying may seem tedious for those who would have gotten the spell at the level at which they could potentially have learned it (since we do not track when you learn words, we only track when you learn spells) so the limit is based on when the words are learnable, not on when you learned the words. This also gives mages a bit more discression in choosing skills over spells in order to help them level, if they wish, or for those mages who didn't decide to really become mages until later in life. They can, through work (study), better their cast levels.

It just happened to work out that this was also a good way to avoid large amounts of nasty code figuring out what spell levels people should learn things at if we add a new spell into the game. Doing so requires an iteration of the pfile version, which is not a difficult thing to do, but has the potential to actually be very dangerous, even ruining characters on a wide scale (I think when we did the HP reroll, we had to go through 4 different generations of pfiles before we got it 'right' -- what a pain). Sure, it's a little tedious, but less so than never having a good cast level on it.

As far as studying yielding no results, as I stated before, there was a bug in it, one that was introduced post testing. The code was a bit rushed in, I'm afraid to say, but that's how things go sometimes.


From: Davien Monday, September 27, 05:52PM

Thankyou Rufus. From your explanation I gather my understanding of spellbooks was not correct, meaning some of my conclusions were incorrect. I apologise for any misunderstanding that may have caused and thankyou for the information.

Davien Holyoake.

From: Asterix Tuesday, September 28, 04:49AM

hey from what i've read from this board, i still do not quite understand the skill study

as i wasn't online for a few months when it was implemented what i just wanted to say is that the immortals here are willing to admit to their mistakes whether they have been to harsh or overreactive

that's a good sign

and the players are gracious enough to 4give them too

just a boring boar


From: Darkheart Tuesday, September 28, 09:19AM

The way I understood spellbooks, I thought they poofed after they managed to lower your spell level by one, and then you had to re-obtain them to get it lower.

From what I read, it seems that they're yours until you get sick of lowering the cast level of a certain spell.

Well call me crazy, but gee whiz that's a good deal... create mages that have chalices and have to wait to get to starving to pk or mobrun efficiently have heaps of time and mana left over in the middle of things... and from what i understand, it doesn't even seem necessary to finish studying in one sitting (could be very wrong in that).... study once here, once there, when you are waiting for repop... mmm.


From: Rufus Tuesday, September 28, 09:47AM

No, they poof after you've successfully studied the book entirely.

Let me clarify something, there's really 2 terms at work here:

1) Study attempt: 1 attempt at reading a spellbook. A book may require anywhere between 1 study attempt and 2.14 billion study attempts (realistically, I doubt you'll ever see one higher than 10, but we're using integers to track it, so the numbers are large =). A successful study attempt means that you're one step closer to lowering your spell level. Studying takes mana, the same as it would for casting the spell. Therefore it may not be possible to do all the studying in 1 sitting. You can space it out over the course of time. After you have started studying a book, no one else can start studying that exact same book.

2) study session: Kinda a loose term, really, as before this, I didn't really have a name for it. This, I'll define as finishing a spellbook from start to finish. If a book requires 5 successful study attempts, then after 5 successful study attempts, the cast level is decreased. Upon finishing the study session, the book vanishes.

There are also a few other factors at work here. A spellbook can require other objects to be in the posession of the person that studies it. A cure critical spellbook might require a caulderon and an angelica plant for each study attempt. On top of that, these resources can be consumed -- they don't have to be, they can be. The caulderon can remain for the entire study session, the angelica, though, could be consumed each study attempt.

The reason for the design was to emulate research of spells. It was not meant to be a diablo style right click get mystically better at a spell, it was meant to emulate a significant time and mental devotion on part of the caster.

I've always been a fan of emulating things over time in small steps rather than huge waits (eg, make staff), which is why I chose this method. We're also seeing a test-bed, basically because this is the first spellbook in the game. And, for popularity's sake, it's better to err on the side of caution than anything else. If we were to release the current spellbook at 2 study attempts per successful study session, then realize that maybe that's too imbalancing, players feel slighted at having something they've become used to all of a sudden being raised to 5 or 7 study attempts. We made a conscious decision to start at the top and balance downward instead of upwards.


From: Mugwump Tuesday, September 28, 11:00AM

Thanks, Rufus, for the excellent explanation. Shows how much I know about code, sounded like two separate bugs to me. Anyway, people are always going to discuss why something works the way it does, no matter what you do or what game it is. Look at how baseball fans debate the new playoff structure. Or even the lawsuit some guy just brought against the makers of the Pokemon card game for making some cards rarer than others. (Hmm, can I sue over random stat eq? :p). What concerns me more is how things work. In this case, people were misinformed about how many cast levels they could improve by studying. That sort of thing should be in the help file if possible, instead of mentioned here on the board once, because relying on word of mouth just doesn't work. I can just see 6 months from now someone asking about it on chat and getting a dozen different answers. Here's an experiment you can try yourself ask people what the damcap is, see how many different answers you can collect.

From: Darkheart Wednesday, September 29, 06:17AM

hrm, now that we have spellbooks, how about allowing clans to 'share' spellbooks among its members -- by leaving it in clan hall, the book won't poof til everyone on the roster has learned from it. Of course we should probably add a specific piece of furniture that 'keeps' the spellbook there (an arcane bookstand?) which costs immense amount of rent to maintain -- and if possible the furniture should be restricted to one or two per room making only the most active of clans to maintain anything even close to a library.

just figured it'd be something that may make clans more active. :p


From: Rufus Wednesday, September 29, 10:15AM

Um... 'no?' =)


From: Pharku Friday, October 01, 12:32PM

Shoulda just written a small program to update pfiles setting cast levels to when the word was learnt. That may not be stored specifically but could be obtained from other spells that contain the words.

From: Rufus Friday, October 01, 01:04PM

It's not that easy =) that 'small program' isn't that small.



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