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Casting without reagents?

Discussion in 'Release 9 Feedback' started by Azurafox the Moon Dragon, Aug 21, 2014.

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  1. docdoom77

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    That is only for the test. They have said on multiple occasions that training skills will require a trainer.
     
  2. Lord_Darkmoon

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    Ok, still I would love to have it in the game that you would have to find spells, too. That would certainly add interesting adventures to the game.
     
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  3. docdoom77

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    I'm actually on the opposite end of the spectrum. I don't mind of certain powerful techniques or spells require training or grimoires, but the idea that a person can't learn anything new without a trainer is both incredibly ludicrous and moves the game further into the 'tedious' side as you have to hunt down the right trainers, put off leveling until you reach certain areas, etc. I've never liked trainers, but i absolutely hate the idea of them being required for everything. Plain silly. I've learned a great deal in my life without an instructor, as have most people.

    It's not a deal-breaker or anything. You won't find me fighting too hard for it, but it definitely detracts from the game in my mind.
     
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  4. Zyco

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    Well maybe all skills will be that way.. t1-2 anyone can train and t3-t5 can only be trained at trainers or from being truly dedicated to the art
     
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  5. docdoom77

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    One can hope.
     
  6. Lord_Darkmoon

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    Another thing that occured to me is that magic without reagents or memorizing spells makes magic to an element that is nothing special. If you look at other games, for example D&D, a mage cannot cast a hundred fireballs in a few minutes. This makes magic something special, mysterious and powerful. You always have to tactically calculate when to use magic. In the system we have now, you basically can cast fireballs like shooting with a machine gun. This takes the mystery out of magic, making it too common.

    I know this is done because of PvP, to balance PvP and make PvP exciting, but I have to say that other elements like the atmosphere and even the story are suffering from this. I think the world would be much more exciting if magic would be something rare, powerful and dangerous to use. Every spell you cast could destroy you. This of course would make magic in battles, especially PvP to something you would use rather seldom. So you have the dilemma of having a mysterious, powerful, dangerous magic system tied to an exciting story versus a system in which casting fireballs is as common as breathing, making for fast PvP battles...
     
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  7. docdoom77

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    I agree in part. Any random chance to blow yourself to bits is not a good balancing factor though. I want magic to be special, but in an mmo-style game I just don't see it happening.

    One argument for reagents that pops up with some regularity is that magic should be more powerful, but have larger cost involved. That makes sense. It's why reagents worked in the single player Ultimas. But in a competitive multi-player environment, it's of little consolation when mages always blow you to bits every fight to say: "hey, his reagents were expensive, so it's okay that you keep losing."

    So, to keep things fair, magic has to be of a comparable strength to other fighting styles. But then, if you have expensive, rare reagents, you're not getting the bang for your buck.
     
  8. StrangerDiamond

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    That shows that nobody understand why PvP is fun anymore. It's become the thing to do when you're bored or got something social to get.

    In my opinion extreemly flawed overall design, especially for a "spiritual" rpg. It kinda saddens me to almost only find games with this *sorry* stupid system.

    IT'S ALL THE SAME !!!
     
  9. Lord_Darkmoon

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    Exactly that is the problem. I see the focus of SotA shifting towards a competitive multiplayer game. MOBAs are very successful right now and are relatively easy to make. Everyone seems to jump on this wagon nowadays, everyone wants a fast competitive element in their games.
    But this also means a lot of compromises have to be made in order to have this focus on competitive multiplayer. Competitive multiplayer needs to be very fast so you cannot have a combat-system that slows down combat but would otherwise be more tactical and maybe more interesting. You cannot have a skill system in which you really have to work to master your skills as otherwise people who are in for the fast action would quit. You cannot have the players go on an extensive quest to find a new spell as this would impact the pace of multiplayer.

    I wonder when we are going to see compromises that have to be made in favor for the single player mode? I guess never. I doubt that we will see complex companions as this would impact the PvP. I doubt that we will see choices and consequences as this will also impact the MMO-part and I also have some doubts that we will see an interesting conversation system as this would also impact the MMO-part.
    So where are the compromises in favor for the story and SP-part? Wasn't this game meant to be both? MMO and SP-RPG? Just having the ability to play alone and follow a story is not what an SP-RPG is about.
     
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  10. Zyco

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    Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) and single player shouldn't really be in the same sentence
     
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  11. StrangerDiamond

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    each time you write SP I hear SIEGE PERILOUS

    :p
     
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  12. Shadoweaver

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    There is no written rule that someone who uses the mystical be bound by material objects. Material objects with mystical and enhancing powers however should be available. Magic itself does not come from reagents. Magic is magical.

    I can easily accept some/all (weak) spells requiring no reagents at all with major advantage being given to the caster that posses magical materials.
     
  13. Poor game design

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    There's no written rule that dogs can't look like cats or balloon animals can't be made of cheese. There's no written rule that people who think "everything happens for a reason" can't also be a mathematician that specializes in randomness. You can imagine whatever you like.

    But if you're going to follow a traditional rule set for magic, then YES casting spells requires reagents. I didn't make this up, it's just the way it is. It's like saying the sky is blue or the grass is green. This is just a game so you can certainly make a purple sky and puce grass if you want to. But it's no longer going to be considered traditional. That's a fact.
     
  14. Shadoweaver

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    I agree with what you say. I would add however that I am under the assumption that this game is not strictly traditional. There are countless examples of magical abilities in games that do not require reagents. I in no way suggest doing away with reagents completely. But I see no reason to not include some basic or low level spells that are reagent-less. Having super powerful spell casting abilities using reagents should in no way prevent a well trained mage from casting a low level light spell, or spirit speak without reagents.

    My point being, they can co-exist.
     
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  15. Poor game design

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    If that's your point, so be it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Everyone's not entitled to their own facts however, and I appreciate that you recognize the difference.
     
  16. docdoom77

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    That's right! Only Baron Drocis Fondorlatos is entitled to his own facts. LOL.
     
  17. Poor game design

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    The sky is purple is an opinion, the sky is blue is a fact. There are a lot of people in the world that don't understand this. Our political debates are a perfect example. I don't mind if someone (Shadoweaver, you, or anyone else) has a personal preference for non-traditional magic, but you can't change history. Why you can't modify your arguments to accommodate the truth is beyond me. You could simply say "yes traditional magic requires reagents, but I'm not a fan of traditional magic and I think for the sake of convenience the game would be better off having zero reagents required for magic although I would be ok with high level spells requiring them."

    That seems like a reasonable argument to make. I still disagree with it. But I respect your right to have a different opinion.

    But no, you have to dig your heels in and argue that the sky is purple. Whatever.
     
  18. Greymarch

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    It depends what you mean when you say "traditional magic".
     
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  19. Shadoweaver

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    This discussion is going in a direction that I do not quite understand. Seeing as magic does not as far as we know exist there are no "facts" about its use. You say that it is traditional to use reagents in some/most games. But there are also a large number of games that do not have any reagent system. I suppose you are saying there is a tradition in the Ultima universe, but if memory serves, reagents did not come into play until Ultima IV. This of course ignores that fact that SOTA is not a direct sequel nor is it required to strictly follow any game mechanics of any game before it.

    I am not at all trying to argue that a large number of games use reagents. That is a fact. However that particular fact has nothing to do with the issue at hand, which is as the devs create this NEW world for us to play in we have been requested to express what we like and do not like (our opinions) about what it is they are creating.
     
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  20. redfish

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    When I think about traditional magic, I think of the Earth lore from which fantasy games are derived... not even D&D and Tolkien, but back to the primary sources.

    There were many types of magic. The most practical and common form was using something material like reagents, because nature had magic powers, and it was up to the person to pull it out. There were also incantations alone, though this was usually explained as calling on the help of some demon, occult forces, or, in other cases like exorcism, the divine. Still, in many of these instances, herbs were still used -- hellebore and rue were used in exorcism. I there were some simple cases like charms that didn't require anything. And curses. And carving in runes into things like into swords could bestow on them some magic, though generally invisible powers.

    Anyway, Ultima doesn't need to follow anything traditional, one way or another. And in fact, U7 had some basic spells that didn't require reagents -- Linear Spells. From the manual,

    "There are certain spells that a mage will immediately be able to learn upon completing his apprenticeship. They are called Linear spells because they do not directly correspond to any of the eight circles of magic that exist in the ethereal waves. Linear spells are the only types of magical spells that require no reagent to cast."

    So, Ultima already broke that ground already -- even if you don't count the first few Ultima games.

    What Drocis is right about I think is the designers still do have to think about where the magic comes from.. and how the spell-caster is doing what he's doing. Moreso than in U7, because we assumed the Avatar started out knowing magic, while in the game you're training for it. And things like Fire Arrow are more complicated than the sort of barely useful Linear Spells.

    If its just words of power, and no reagents, why is it that a trained mage can say words of power better than a fighter? There are explanations, I guess, like there were for Linear Spells. The mage, through training, has gained some affinity. I'm supposing that could explain passive magic in the tree, like fire resistance... which I don' think can be explained in any other way, because the mage isn't even casting a fire resistance spell, he just gets it automatically.

    Still, my view, which I stated, is that making all magic work like this makes magic feel a little cheap, since its not going to be easier than learning fighting skills. So again its just that reagents are a good barrier to entry to make it feel like magic has a cost.
     
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