ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:35 am
Posts: 704
One of the (IMO) problems with T2 mages is that, as I've opined many times, they tend to turn out mostly the same. One way to change that might be to add sufficient utility spells to each school to make the schools stand on their own. This way mages would be encouraged to invest heavily in one or two schools, instead of following a standard usage pattern for all of them.

Some ideas for additional spells, and modifications of current ones:

Mana: Leave as is, for now anyway. Nerf Manathrust a little, give Elemental Shield an AC bonus.

Fire: We've already got a Holy Fire attack (Fireflash), let's make this realm the one for pious types.
Detect Evil - obvious. Should have longer range than other detection spells.

Water: Good as is, but Geyser and Vapor need improvement. Geyser should probably have a knockback effect. Maybe Ent's Potion should heal in addition to its other effects?

Air: Needs better utility spells.
Listening - detects monsters.
Dispersion - phase door, minus the jumpgates.

Earth: mostly good as is, though Strike is not very useful.
Tunnel - dive into the ground and pop up somewhere else (i.e. teleportation).
Shatter - make the ground erupt in a ball of shards.

Conveyance: A Conveyance mage should bounce around and throw things like a mad monkey.
Kinesis - hurl an inventory or floor item at a monster for high damage.

Divination: Second sight, anyone?
Lookahead - lets you look a short distance into the future, granting boosted speed, armor, and accuracy.

Temporal: Leave as is.

Mind: Confuse and Stun should probably be damaging.
Psychic Drain - As per Mindcraft.

Nature: Leave as is, I think.

Sound reasonable? Unbalanced? Any other ideas?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:39 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:49 pm
Posts: 1715
Location: West Virginia
Another approach would be to separate the schools into so that some had utility spells (like Knowledge or Conveyance now) and some had offense spells. The idea would be that you could get all of the necessary spells from full investment in two schools and maybe a few points in a third. So each category of mage might have good bonuses to an offensive school and to a utility school. This is basically what Mindcraft does.

Right now there is only one offensive spell that is always effective against high-level monsters, and that is Manathrust. Strike has potential if it was beefed up; maybe Geyser if it was very much beefed up. Fireflash and Noxious Cloud are great except that there a many high level monsters that resist them. Ice Storm, Tidal Wave and Thunderstorm might be useful also but I never use them.

Similarly, there are only two sources for most of the utility spells: Mindcraft and a single school. Various detection and conveyance spells could be added so that there were different combinations possible.

This is what I use when playing Sorcerors:
Manthrust- necessary
Remove Curses- useful (or scroll)
Light- useful early (or Phial)
Fireflash- very useful
Noxious Cloud- useful
Stone Skin- useful
Dig- very useful (or from digger)
Stone Prison- necessary (or Grow Trees)
Shake- useful (turns vaults into ordinary dungeon)
Ents Potion- necessary (or scroll/randart)
Disarm- necessary (or rod)
Teleport Away- very useful
Recall- necessary (or rod/scroll, but only 1/3 the effects)
Probability Travel- necessary offensive (or dwarf ability)
Healing- necessary (or rod/potions)
Recovery- necessary (or rod)
Regeneration- useful
all Divination spells are necessary (or scrolls/potions/Eru/Mindcraft)
Meta, Mind I never use
Essence of Speed- necessary (or rod/potion, but not as effective)
also some kind of unbalanced ones:
Curse- lethal against anything
Genocide- necessary for sorcerors in the Void; very useful for cleaning out vaults in the Halls (and generating YASDs)

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:35 am
Posts: 704
Separate the schools into...?

I do like the idea of a mage investing in at most two schools though.

The other problem, IMO, is the way books currently work. You either have single-spell books, or tomes containing all a school's spells. I consider that a bad state of affairs, especially if we're adding more spells, but I don't really know how to solve it (other than making school spells bookless a la Furyband, which would create its own problems).

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:35 am
Posts: 704
A different way, which I think I covered before: make more spells multi-school, and remove the "all skill levels greater than 0" requirement for multi-school spells. Unfortunately this makes the Udun school a problem, because its multi-school spells can now be used without any Udun investment at all...

Still might be worth trying though. I'll get cracking on it.

Edit: too Byzantine. And the help files would really have to be updated. I'll try the original approach, I think.

Edit 2: This is not going to be easy with hardcoded schools! The effects and the spell info are in separate files. Not fun.

Edit 3: The multi-school approach makes the game far too easy. I'm backing off on this for now.

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