Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby VentilatorOfDoom » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:42 am

Tiavals wrote:Shame about the overpowered Dominate Monster. It made the true final fight of KOTC1 childishly easy(just dominate the balors and tadah). But ah well.

Have you ever beat that - childishly easy - fight without dominating the Balors & Undead? Yes? Make a youtube video, I want to see that.

BlueSalamander wrote:On Dominate Monster, I'm leaning more towards keeping three targets, but no target can be selected more than once, and the duration is just eight rounds.

Not so sure about the 8 rounds, but it seems OKish. As I said before, the cheesy feeling mostly came from the possibility to use all 3 attempts at the same target, tripling your chance to overcome the saves/spell resistance of very powerful enemies. Without that I really don't see the need for further nerfing. As for NWN2, my fault, I probably mistook it for Mass Charm Monster which was also lvl9.

As for spell picks and spell scrolls availability: I really hate it if your spellbook is empty. Where's the fun in that. Darksun or even Icewind Dale 1/2 were notorious in that regard. In IWD it'd be very possible to be able to cast lvl5 spells, but actually having found zero lvl4/5 spell scrolls. Cool. Whole spell levels empty in your spellbook. So picking 2 spells at lvlup is good, plus at some point into the game there should be some magic shop that sells 2 copies of each spell so you can complete your spellbook(s) if you want to spare the cash.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby Tiavals » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:34 pm

VentilatorOfDoom wrote:Have you ever beat that - childishly easy - fight without dominating the Balors & Undead? Yes? Make a youtube video, I want to see that.


It's only childishly easy if you use Dominate Monster. But I have beat it without using the spell, it's much, much harder. I suppose I could make a video. Any suggestion for a program I can use to "film" it?

And that only makes the problem with Dominate Monster so much more apparent. With the spell, a fight becomes so much easier than without it, that it isn't even funny. Comparing it to the other 9th level spells is a joke. Though if you do boost the rest of the 9th level spells to it's level, then it won't be a problem.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby SilentLion » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:31 pm

Tiavals wrote:And that only makes the problem with Dominate Monster so much more apparent. With the spell, a fight becomes so much easier than without it, that it isn't even funny. Comparing it to the other 9th level spells is a joke. Though if you do boost the rest of the 9th level spells to it's level, then it won't be a problem.

I agree with you, whenever I used Dominate Monster it almost felt like cheating. Especially when dominating a named "boss" enemy. Personally, I would change it's duration to only 4 rounds. Dominate the enemy, wreak some havoc, but not in a battle-breaking way.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby screeg » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:49 pm

Whether the spell picks on level up are 0, 1 or 2, the issue is whether BS provides a sufficient number of scrolls to be found, bought, learned, etc. in game. Giving one per level sounds good to me, but I disagree that merchants should stock every single spell. I want to explore and find things or earn them through a quest, not find a pile of gold and just go to a store and buy stuff. Since characters go up to level 20, you'll have ample opportunity to fill out most of your spells. The decision to drop crafting makes sense for the same reason, it really dulled the sense of discovery of new items. Not having crafting will hopefully force players to innovate a little.

The challenge element in RPGs has really plummeted in the last ten years. Hypothetically speaking, wouldn't it be interesting to play a game where you never get Fireball, or whatever spell you've come to heavily depend on? Summon Elemental was a great spell in KotC, I used it all the time. But if for some reason I couldn't get it, it would have forced me to try new and different strategies.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby Tiavals » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:14 pm

The problem is if you choose the spells you would get from the ground. Nothing sucks more than choosing Fireball, and then finding a scroll for it. You have effectively wasted your precious, only spell choice for the level.

It's the opposite situation than fighters face. A fighter would be delighted to find a weapon that fits his weapon spec, but a wizard would curse finding the same spell he chose.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby VentilatorOfDoom » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:28 pm

Tiavals wrote:It's only childishly easy if you use Dominate Monster. But I have beat it without using the spell, it's much, much harder. I suppose I could make a video. Any suggestion for a program I can use to "film" it?

Dunno, FRAPS maybe?
Remember to keep the NPCs alive.

You could also try to use the spell in the way I proposed (only 1 attempt per target) and check out - given how often you will waste your level 9 spell achieving nothing - whether you still think that's overpowered.

screeg wrote:Whether the spell picks on level up are 0, 1 or 2, the issue is whether BS provides a sufficient number of scrolls to be found, bought, learned, etc. in game.

Of course, depending on the frequency of scroll drops it might be a non-issue.

screeg wrote:Giving one per level sounds good to me, but I disagree that merchants should stock every single spell.

It worked well in ToB. Also, it wasn't available at the start but pretty much right before the end (of the expansion to the main game). A merchant with 2 copies of each spell, so if you had several arcane casters and still lacked a couple of useful spells for some of them, you had the opportunity to learn a few more spells.

screeg wrote:I want to explore and find things or earn them through a quest, not find a pile of gold and just go to a store and buy stuff. Since characters go up to level 20, you'll have ample opportunity to fill out most of your spells. The decision to drop crafting makes sense for the same reason, it really dulled the sense of discovery of new items. Not having crafting will hopefully force players to innovate a little.

Sure, innovation sounds cool. But when it ends up like in Darksun or IWD it's innovating a bit too much.

screeg wrote:The challenge element in RPGs has really plummeted in the last ten years. Hypothetically speaking, wouldn't it be interesting to play a game where you never get Fireball, or whatever spell you've come to heavily depend on? Summon Elemental was a great spell in KotC, I used it all the time. But if for some reason I couldn't get it, it would have forced me to try new and different strategies.

Player choice. Wouldn't it be cool if it was up to me - the player - to decide which stategies I want to employ? Wouldn't it be cool if I decide to play an enchanter I'd have access to the enchantment spells I'd like to use instead of relying on innovation with the evocation scrolls I've found?
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby Tiavals » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:58 pm

VentilatorOfDoom wrote:Dunno, FRAPS maybe?
Remember to keep the NPCs alive.


Okay, I admit it's impossible if you need to keep the NPCs alive. :)

You could also try to use the spell in the way I proposed (only 1 attempt per target) and check out - given how often you will waste your level 9 spell achieving nothing - whether you still think that's overpowered.


Hmm, it's true that if I tried it in practice, it'd be much more of a learning experience. I guess I'll have to try it and see if I still think so.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby BlueSalamander » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:20 pm

Tiavals wrote:Shame about the overpowered Dominate Monster. It made the true final fight of KOTC1 childishly easy(just dominate the balors and tadah). But ah well.
Dominating the balors was easy only because you could try up to three times per round. FRAPS is a good programme to record videos of DirectX games.

For the wizard, it's good to have at least 2 per level, since there's so many to choose from. For the cleric/druid/ranger/paladin, 1 might suffice.
Maybe. Thanks for your point of view.

As for spell picks and spell scrolls availability: I really hate it if your spellbook is empty. Where's the fun in that. Darksun or even Icewind Dale 1/2 were notorious in that regard. In IWD it'd be very possible to be able to cast lvl5 spells, but actually having found zero lvl4/5 spell scrolls. Cool. Whole spell levels empty in your spellbook. So picking 2 spells at lvlup is good, plus at some point into the game there should be some magic shop that sells 2 copies of each spell so you can complete your spellbook(s) if you want to spare the cash.
Okay. So we have two voices in favour of 2 Wizard spell picks per level, against one in favour of zero or one. Fully agree on Icewind Dale, I hated this (along with the constant 'have to pick up the 3 gold coins dropped by every single dead enemy just because there might be some cool magic item in the drop'...). However, I don't really agree on having every spell available at a magic shop (agree with Screeg on that). Because then, it doesn't really matter what your spell picks were, and two high-level wizards can be almost identical. At least in Dark Sun you could have two wizards (preservers) and they could have completely different spell picks (for example one would have level-4 Stoneskin while the other would have level-4 Ice Storm).

Tiavals wrote:Though if you do boost the rest of the 9th level spells to it's level
How? How do you boost Energy Drain, which already gives 2d6 negative levels to a target without a save? (SRD version gives only 2d4 negative levels)

The problem is if you choose the spells you would get from the ground. Nothing sucks more than choosing Fireball, and then finding a scroll for it. You have effectively wasted your precious, only spell choice for the level.
Very true. If spell scrolls are rare (high-level ones should be), and you have only a single pick per level, then it encourages metagaming, the planning of all your spell picks from the start according to what you know will be available. Not fun. Hmm.

SilentLion wrote:Personally, I would change it's duration to only 4 rounds. Dominate the enemy, wreak some havoc, but not in a battle-breaking way.
Thanks for the suggestion.

VentilatorOfDoom wrote:Of course, depending on the frequency of scroll drops it might be a non-issue.
In my view, scrolls of low-level spells should be available easily while scrolls of high-level spells should be rare (or even only available through player pick).

Tiavals wrote:Okay, I admit it's impossible if you need to keep the NPCs alive. :)
It would still be interesting even without that condition.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby BlueSalamander » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:58 am

Some changes I made to the pages:
-Mass Heal and Mass Harm now have a full-round casting time.
-Chaos, Power Word Chaos and the Cleric's Pandemonium domain can make a creature go berserk.
-Replaced Death Knight's Healing Surge by Life Drain.
-Updates to some spells, including Druid's Produce Flame, Cleric's Greater Command, Control Person, Dominate Person, Control Monster, Dominate Monster, Dominate Undead
-Added Crystal Focus feat for the psionicist.
-Added Orb Master feat for the wizard and rogue.
-Added Deafening Pipes feat for the bard.
-Added Fast Expansion feat for the Psychic Warrior and Fast Cell Division feat for the Psychic Warrior and Psionicist.
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Re: Fantasy World Engine initial design feedback

Postby Tiavals » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:33 am

The final battle without Domination spells is proving to be quite a bit more difficult than I remembered it to be. Last time I didn't have the Vrock-demon there as I do now, but I doubt he matters that much. The tactics for the battle are quite simple. Use arrows of slaying against the medusa and the giant spider(as well as disintegrate). Once they are dead, Wall of Stone the entrance away(no enemy mages left = no dispelling). Any fighters may be on the other side, but they don't matter, since you can resurrect them on the other side easily. Now you can buff yourself with whatever you want. Then put another wall of stone in place, this time so that it allows the medium creatures to enter, causing the grimlocks, warriors and vampires to attack. They are quite manageable by themselves. The Thrikren usually stay behind at this point for some reason. Once the enemy has been slain and you have healed yourself, the easy way out is to simply blast Dehydrates through the 1 square gap in the wall of stone, until everyone is dead. Cheap? It surely is, but so is Dominate Monster. ;)

I'll probably try it a few more times, but despite having the exact plan of what I'm supposed to do, it may be so hard that I can't do it this time. In fact, the difficulty of the battle makes me wonder if I actually succeeded in it so long ago or dreamt it. I know I tried it, but it may be that I failed even on the first time and arrogantly remember that I succeeded(wouldn't be the first time). Perhaps I just won it with the Dominate Monster, but failed to do so without it.
Regardless, I'll have to think about ways to boost the other 9th level spells to the level of Dominate Monster, since even with single-target-per-casting-x3 it's quite powerful.

The worst spells on the 9th level are Mass Hold Monster and Weird at the moment. The others are fine, since they don't use Will saves primarily, making them more versatile. But Mass Hold Monster is bad for several reasons. First of all, they are merely paralyzed, they don't get on your side. Domination is doubly effective in this case. And since they are only paralyzed, they can try a will save to get free each round, which isn't the case with domination spells. Second, there are more monsters that are immune to paralysis than there are those immune to domination spells. The greater area of effect might be a good enough reason to cast it in some cases(such as a great amount of enemies that are fairly weak, but still not pushovers). But because they can get free from it, you probably won't have enough time to Coup-de-grace them, making the spell effective only as a means to slow the enemy down, like Web or Confusion or such.

As for Weird, I suppose it's good for slaying a great amount of foes with poor saves, but so are many other spells. The fact that it allows 2 saves to avoid death makes it fairly poor. The foe will almost surely succeed in one or the other. The partial-effect from succeeding the fort save is okay since it stuns the foe. But since it had to fail the Will save, you can't help but think how much more useful it would've been to cast Dominate or Mass Hold. If the spell radius were larger, then it might be worth casting in some cases. 20 feet perhaps? Maybe 25?


Added Fast Expansion feat for the Psychic Warrior and Fast Cell Division feat for the Psychic Warrior and Psionicist.

Does this mean you can manifest Expansion as a Move action, then use another Power as you standard action?
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