Saturday, February 25, 2012

A non-sucking combat system

There is no melee combat, only magic.

Each spell has a casting time of several seconds (so lag doesn't matter so much). You see exactly who is casting what spell and how long it takes (by a progress bar over the casters head) but not what's targeted. When an enemy casts a spell on you (or you assume that you are the target) you have three options:
  1.  move out of range before casting is finished
  2. cast an appropriate shield spell on yourself (you can only have one active at the same time)
  3. hit the attacker with a weak but fast spell hoping to break its concentration (useful when he isn't protected against your element)
Protection spells only protect against one element, so you must be prepared to change them when an enemy attacks with a different one.

Mana regenerates but health doesn't. Not a problem because everyone also has healing magic. But preventing damage with protection spells is always more economic (both in mana and in time) than healing yourself.

Quick ShieldQuickly cast reaction shield, with a small buffer against one element
Strong ShieldTakes too long to cast to do it spontaneously, but offers a much larger HP buffer when you know what element you will be dealing with
Team ShieldA quick shield on someone else instead of you. Note that you can only have one shield spell active at the same time, so while your teammate is protected you are vulnerable. On the other hand these shields are cumulative, so a large party can make one of them almost invulnerable. You can also use it to help out a party member who is attacked while casting a powerful spell
BoltStandard attack spell.
BlastMuch quicker to cast than the bolt, but less powerful. A useful counter-spell.
StrikeTakes very long to cast, but is deadly when the enemy doesn't manage to do something against it.
HexHuge range, but low damage. Mostly an annoyance and distraction.
BallAn area-of-effect attack,
StormA large area-of-effect attack. It does damage over time, so it can be used for area-denial.
Cast-CancelVoluntarily interrupts the spell you are currently casting. You lose the mana, but you may keep your life.
HealRecovers hit points. Can only be cast when the target is not protected.


Willpower: Your max HP and your ability to avoid interruption while casting.
Intelligence: Damage of your spells
Wisdom: Max MP and variety of spells you can cast
Creativity: MP regeneration

The Spellbook:
Every mage has a spellbook which contains the spells he or she can use in combat. The spellbook can only be edited while in town.  It has a maximum number of pages which depends on the users Wisdom stat. More advanced spells take up more pages.

Spells can gain experience and can be leveled up. For each level, the spell can be enhanced with an upgrade point on damage, range, mana cost or casting time when added to the spellbook. But each enhancement increases the number of pages the spell takes up. So a player might decide to trade power for flexibility.

The most important equipment of a mage are hat, robe and staff (other equipment are gloves, shoes, belt, amulet and rings, but their stat boosts tend to be a lot lower). They tend to enhance only a single element, and also tend to be color-coded accordingly. So when you face an opponent dressed in red, you should prepare your fire shield. Said opponent could, however, be bluffing and has his spellbook filled with spells of entirely different elements. He might not get any equipment bonus for them, but the element of surprise makes more than up for it.

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