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Ideas for Utility Spells

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#1 BlkSabbath74
Ideas for Utility Spells
 
The thread refers back to another, in which I suggested Utility spells as a way to balance the game between AR and Online play…
http://forum.maguss.org/thread-12541.html
 
There have been numerous other threads and mentions of utility spells as well. This thread is for brainstorming about those.
 
For Exploration/Chests
 
Detect Treasure – Invocation
Instead of happening automatically, the player must purchase this spell and cast it in order to reveal the direction and distance to the nearest treasure. It could work on a timer, so that it lasted for a certain amount of time, and only for that treasure, before being cast again. This could be one of the basic compliment of spells with which players begin the game.
 
Summon Treasure – Sorcery
Works the same way as currently, but it is a spell. It summons the detected chest to your location.
 
Open – Incantations – This spell would automatically cause the chest to open. This could be set to only open chests of a tier equivalent to the caster’s Incantations skill.
 
Disable Traps – Sorcery
This pre-supposes that traps will eventually be added to some treasure chests, and should be a higher tier spell. It will disable any traps that may be protecting the chest
 
Destroy Chest – Dark Arts
This pre-supposes a suggested mechanic for Mimics. If the chest is a mimic, it is automatically killed and the player gets the reward. If not, the chest and its contents are destroyed.
 
That is 5 utility spells (which could provide an Exploring Player with XP towards Level and Spell Casting) just from Exploration/Treasure.

Brewing Spells

Stasis - Invocation
Stasis would be a spell that could be cast when brewing a potion, so that if the potion reached it’s time limit, it would not ruin the potion or drop it to a lower quality. This would solve people’s major problem with potion brewing, and allow brewers to gain Sorcery XP. You could limit it to initially only having one Stasis at a time, and make additional castings a perk of higher levels of the Invocation skill.

Alarum – Incantations
This incantation would cause an alarm to sound on your phone when a potion is ready.

Alchemy – Sorcery
When cast, this would raise the final quality of the potion by one tier/level. If it was already Perfect quality, it would have no effect. This spell would be an insurance policy against botching a glyph or missing a deadline.

Bitter Brew – Dark Arts
This spell overcooks the brew, causing the potion to be ready instantly, but at the Weak quality.
I skewered him where he sat and saw the startled expression on his face as the wound began to flame.

"Oh, basely done!" he cried. "I had hoped for better of thee!"

"This isn't exactly the Olympic Games," I said, brushing some sparks from my cloak.


- The Courts of Chaos, Roger Zelazny
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#2 Mortimer
I like the utility spells but not those for the potion brewing since it seriously lowers the difficulty in brewing, which actually is what makes it more entertaining. Detecting treasures sounds good but I'd like to take the idea and apply it to another aspect, mainly the finding of ingredients. Right now I go to the leaf icons on the map and pick up what I find but with a utility spell I can find either more ingredients, increasing the number, at the leaf icon or it will simply reveal more icons in the immediate area.

Your open spell for chests seems fun but it removes the need to buy keys at all, I actually wish the decrease timer option did not reduce the time as much as it does. However I think the opening of chests without a key would be a cool utility spell but it should not instantly do so but be the means by which you unlock them without a key; alohamora, I think, from Harry Potter if you will.

The disable traps one should likewise have an element to it much like brewing potions; the more complex the trap the more components need to be hexed to disable it.

I don't think the spells should count towards skills since I then could simply recast a utility spell over and over and increase my level for it. Perhaps they are the spells you learn from whatever group you join and could be part of a tutorial and function as certain cantrips in D&D such as prestidigitation or dancing lights; not exactly necessary but useful.
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#3 BlkSabbath74
(07-17-2017, 02:43 PM)Mortimer Wrote: I like the utility spells but not those for the potion brewing since it seriously lowers the difficulty in brewing, which actually is what makes it more entertaining. Detecting treasures sounds good but I'd like to take the idea and apply it to another aspect, mainly the finding of ingredients. Right now I go to the leaf icons on the map and pick up what I find but with a utility spell I can find either more ingredients, increasing the number, at the leaf icon or it will simply reveal more icons in the immediate area.

Your open spell for chests seems fun but it removes the need to buy keys at all, I actually wish the decrease timer option did not reduce the time as much as it does. However I think the opening of chests without a key would be a cool utility spell but it should not instantly do so but be the means by which you unlock them without a key; alohamora, I think, from Harry Potter if you will.

The disable traps one should likewise have an element to it much like brewing potions; the more complex the trap the more components need to be hexed to disable it.

I don't think the spells should count towards skills since I then could simply recast a utility spell over and over and increase my level for it. Perhaps they are the spells you learn from whatever group you join and could be part of a tutorial and function as certain cantrips in D&D such as prestidigitation or dancing lights; not exactly necessary but useful.

You would definitely have to place some safeguards on any Utility spells to keep them from being abused. However, when dueling, you can potentially get 70+ XP every 3-5 minutes.

So if you had Detections Spells that lasted 30 minutes, and could not recast them while active, that gave you +15 XP in that Magic Skill, then it wouldn't be worth it to spam it (compared to Dueling).

Pretty much any Utility Spell could be placed on a timer that would prevent it from being spammed.

If you'll read back to the older post, the whole point (from my point of view, at least) of having utility spells is to give players an Augmented Reality (ie- walking around outside, exploring, fighting monsters, taking fortresses, exploring dungeons) alternative to Online Dueling for leveling up.

As it stands, you can earn well over 1000 XP per hour while sitting at home dueling online, put would be hard pressed to achieve 100 XP (towards Magic Skills and Level) in an hour exploring in the park. I don't feel that is a healthy balance for a game marketed as Augmented Reality.

Utility Spells were my suggestion as to one potential way to balance that out, by giving players utility spells that would help in other areas of the game more related to exploration or spending time out of doors.

I love the 'Alohamora' suggestion...that actually works a lot better. Keys can be used to open them instantly, but otherwise a spell must be performed rather than picking locks.

Also, I had meant to brainstorm some ideas (other than detection) related to Herb Lore and gathering. I just haven't had the chance.

I'd also like a Dark Arts spell Detect Evil, that would reveal additional, more powerful monsters. Other than that, though, fighting monsters is good XP, when you can find them.

But, to me, at least, the idea of an AR game where your best option to level up is to sit at home and duel online seems a bit antithetical...and there are plenty of online fighting games.
I skewered him where he sat and saw the startled expression on his face as the wound began to flame.

"Oh, basely done!" he cried. "I had hoped for better of thee!"

"This isn't exactly the Olympic Games," I said, brushing some sparks from my cloak.


- The Courts of Chaos, Roger Zelazny
Online
#4 Mortimer
I think that varies on where you live though, the idea that you can earn over a thousand xp per hour. Moreover, the utility spells do not carry the same risk with them so while the reward may be lower, they are more valuable in comparison and while that one utility spell would only give you fifteen xp, casting say four would already give you 60 points for doing nothing. Half an hour seems very long for say finding, what I'm just going to call, a mini boss so let's half that. In that case you could get 240 experience points every hour for doing nothing, a 120 if we don't half it. But I do get your point so while half an hour seems like a very long time, I do like the idea of a timer.

The herb finding spell is actually based on what we see in one of the trailer or promo videos where you can see this woman 'revealing' more ingredients in her immediate surroundings. Here too I would have put a timer but rather than something that lasts a certain time I'd put it on a casting time like with creating potions; a two minute window where you have to stand still as you are 'searching' for more ingredients.

I would make a difference between utility spells, some like you say on a timer that give xp while others that you can spam as they do not give you xp. For example I know that they are planning dungeons. I'd have a spell for that which you can spam; stand still and it shows you which way you need to walk to get close enough to cast a second spell, one that does give xp and therefor has a cooldown of for example ten minutes, to reveal it and allow you to enter the dungeon. The first spell, let's call it 'guidance' leads you towards the entrance and makes it more of a treasurehunt type deal while the second spell, 'reveal', removes the magical barrier that hides it from the ordinary folk and weaker mages. In this scenario you'd have the cantrip and the spell since I can imagine a lot of other utility spells that are needed more often and therefor cannot have a cooldown timer. For example sending messages could have a cantrip attached to it or wanting to sell to others could be linked to a symbol that you need to draw on your map to transport you instantly to the market place. If we're talking about immersion then you need to find ways to draw people in and having them make mystic symbols for mundane tasks allows you to do so more easily.

I bought the wand and can already imagine how cool it would be to draw a symbol and be transported to a magical market to sell of my mandrake root and find that damn potion shop and buy some more healing potions.
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#5 BlkSabbath74
(07-17-2017, 06:15 PM)Mortimer Wrote: I think that varies on where you live though, the idea that you can earn over a thousand xp per hour. Moreover, the utility spells do not carry the same risk with them so while the reward may be lower, they are more valuable in comparison and while that one utility spell would only give you fifteen xp, casting say four would already give you 60 points for doing nothing. Half an hour seems very long for say finding, what I'm just going to call, a mini boss so let's half that. In that case you could get 240 experience points every hour for doing nothing, a 120 if we don't half it. But I do get your point so while half an hour seems like a very long time, I do like the idea of a timer.

Gonna' break this into more manageable sections, but let me first say thank you for taking the time to have this conversation with me.

It doesn't vary based on location. I'm talking about Online Dueling only, which is the same for everyone everywhere. I would lump face-to-face dueling in with the Augmented Reality aspects as you would actually be out and about, with a possible social aspect.

But you can get up to 19 XP per Skill (22 if you only use one) in each combat. So if you set your spell book and strategy up to use all 4, and battled for several rounds, then win or lose, you are getting 76 XP (19x4). Most combats only take 3-5 minutes, but by that point, you've already earned your XP and can bow out, probably in 3 minutes. Therefore, using a pretty conservative estimate, if you are getting 76 XP per fight, and fight 12 times in an hour, you are getting 912 XP per hour.

Also, until a death mechanic is introduced, what risk is there? Win or lose, you get your XP. Beyond that, you could jump into a battle, earn your XP, and jump back out, without being killed. This can be accomplished in about 3 minutes.

So 240 vs 912+? And really, it could be 10 XP per detection, or 8, or 5. Or you could make the timers longer to compensate. Something would be better than nothing.

So Spamming Duels would still get you more XP than Spamming Utility Spells.

However, I don't really think that Dueling needs to be nerfed, and don't really want Utility Spells to be Spamable. All I am looking for are ways to balance out online play vs. walking around playing in the real world...especially since Maguss have monsters and herbs everywhere, regardless of where you live, unlike most other AR games.

(07-17-2017, 06:15 PM)Mortimer Wrote: The herb finding spell is actually based on what we see in one of the trailer or promo videos where you can see this woman 'revealing' more ingredients in her immediate surroundings. Here too I would have put a timer but rather than something that lasts a certain time I'd put it on a casting time like with creating potions; a two minute window where you have to stand still as you are 'searching' for more ingredients.

That was actually a usable spell when I first started playing. There would be sparkles on the map denoting hidden objects, and if you cast the spell, they would be revealed. It revealed both monsters and herbs.

So if that was already implemented (and there may be some practical reason why it was discontinued) then it follows that it shouldn't be too difficult, theoretically, to create multiple Detection spells for different aspects of the game;

Detect Magic - Herbs
Detect Evil - Monsters
Detect Treasure - Chests
Detect Friends - ?List of 25 nearest players ~ Friend Finder?
Detect Fortress - Fortress for Territory Wars
Detect Dungeon - Dungeon Entrance

Duration and XP reward could be adjusted to make the spells not worth abusing, but to still give some honest reward for players who are using them.

(07-17-2017, 06:15 PM)Mortimer Wrote: I would make a difference between utility spells, some like you say on a timer that give xp while others that you can spam as they do not give you xp. For example I know that they are planning dungeons. I'd have a spell for that which you can spam; stand still and it shows you which way you need to walk to get close enough to cast a second spell, one that does give xp and therefor has a cooldown of for example ten minutes, to reveal it and allow you to enter the dungeon. The first spell, let's call it 'guidance' leads you towards the entrance and makes it more of a treasurehunt type deal while the second spell, 'reveal', removes the magical barrier that hides it from the ordinary folk and weaker mages.

The mechanic that was discussed for Dungeons was that the player would find a Dungeon  Symbol on their map, and once in range of it, if they touched the symbol, a door would appear with several (2-5) sigils engraved on it, and the player would have to make the appropriate sigils, correctly and in order, to open the Dungeon.

After that, the dungeon route would be overlaid on your map, for you to follow. I suspect this mechanic has been discarded, as it proved too difficult to implement, but no real word on that. Everything since then has pretty much been guesswork and suggestions by players, with some very good ideas being bantered about.

It was never stated whether the Dungeons would be fixed in place, or randomly appearing.

(07-17-2017, 06:15 PM)Mortimer Wrote: In this scenario you'd have the cantrip and the spell since I can imagine a lot of other utility spells that are needed more often and therefor cannot have a cooldown timer. For example sending messages could have a cantrip attached to it or wanting to sell to others could be linked to a symbol that you need to draw on your map to transport you instantly to the market place. If we're talking about immersion then you need to find ways to draw people in and having them make mystic symbols for mundane tasks allows you to do so more easily.

I bought the wand and can already imagine how cool it would be to draw a symbol and be transported to a magical market to sell of my mandrake root and find that damn potion shop and buy some more healing potions.

I don't know that I'd want a utility spell for every small aspect...chatting and communication is already difficult enough without slowing it down. I think you could create the illusion of magic for many of these things without players actually having to draw sigils or purchase spells.

If Utility Spells are ever re-implemented, I'd think you'd probably only warrant it for magical effects worthy of gaining XP. Otherwise, they would be, as you say, cantrips.

I do REALLY like the idea of using sigils to open special options in the game, but only if they are implemented as such (as your above example to transporting to a magical bazaar).
I skewered him where he sat and saw the startled expression on his face as the wound began to flame.

"Oh, basely done!" he cried. "I had hoped for better of thee!"

"This isn't exactly the Olympic Games," I said, brushing some sparks from my cloak.


- The Courts of Chaos, Roger Zelazny
Online
#6 Mortimer
You're actually wrong about one very important thing and, like real estate, it's location, location, location.

Let's say for simplicity's sake that there are one hundred active maguss players. Now simply based on population density and country size, let's say that conservatively one third of those players are located in the US. That's 33 of a hundred people who play the game who are online in a time zone. I live in The Netherlands and I think, based on that reduction of actual players, that I'm one of two people who plays this game in my country. Now even if I cobble together countries around me in a similar time zone, I doubt I'll come close to those 33 meaning that it is far more likely that those playing in the US will actually manage to do those nine battles.

Whereas, and once again using your numbers, I can log in, cast four of those spells and can, on average gain just as much XP in two minutes of play time rather than sixty. That's why I said that it's baased on where you live.

As far as the other things you discussed, which you added in later you scamp, I did not join this forum until recently and haven't kept up much with development as it progressed so the removal of dungeons for example wasn't something I knew about. And while I agree that messaging other players using a spell or symbol would be taxing, they were merely examples of those mundane tasks that would make the game more immersive and the game more, you know, fun rather than the collection of numbers. And if they do implement Utility spells, there would have to be a difference between cantrips, which you simply have or could be given to you as part of a tutorial, and those that grant XP and have to be bought. As an example of these cantrips, on top of the market, you could also include guild or order halls which should have a more important role when the game is actually finished, since at the moment I think everyone got thrown into a random one.
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#7 BlkSabbath74
(07-17-2017, 08:20 PM)Mortimer Wrote: You're actually wrong about one very important thing and, like real estate, it's location, location, location.

Let's say for simplicity's sake that there are one hundred active maguss players. Now simply based on population density and country size, let's say that conservatively one third of those players are located in the US. That's 33 of a hundred people who play the game who are online in a time zone. I live in The Netherlands and I think, based on that reduction of actual players, that I'm one of two people who plays this game in my country. Now even if I cobble together countries around me in a similar time zone, I doubt I'll come close to those 33 meaning that it is far more likely that those playing in the US will actually manage to do those nine battles.

Whereas, and once again using your numbers, I can log in, cast four of those spells and can, on average gain just as much XP in two minutes of play time rather than sixty. That's why I said that it's baased on where you live.

I'm talking about Online Duels.

Face to Face dueling is not implemented yet, and as stated, I would lump that in with other AR activities, and it would functionally be no different from battling monsters, in terms of XP.

When you hit the Duel button, you are matched online with an opponent that could be anywhere in the world. I could be in a crowded club in New York City and you could be on a remote mountaintop in Tibet (assuming you had phone service) and we could duel. I've dueled people from all over the world...some whom I've met on here or a magus chat group.

So in terms of Online Dueling, location is not a factor, and anyone (of sufficient level to have the spell slots to do so) can pretty easily knock out 1000 XP per hour while dueling.
I skewered him where he sat and saw the startled expression on his face as the wound began to flame.

"Oh, basely done!" he cried. "I had hoped for better of thee!"

"This isn't exactly the Olympic Games," I said, brushing some sparks from my cloak.


- The Courts of Chaos, Roger Zelazny
Online
#8 Mortimer
I understand the idea of online dueling, I'm talking about the difference in time zones and activity meaning most people who play this game are ASLEEP when I'm hitting that duel button. It won't matter that they have the game or where they are, the simple difference in playing time means that I won't be paired with as many players due to the fact that I'll be asleep when they are playing and vice versa.
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