Virilneus’ GS4 Idea Book

March 27, 2011

Training Point Factoring Bug

Filed under: Game Balance — Virilneus @ 8:24 am

I call this a bug, because it would seem unintended, unless you intend all professions with AURA or DISCIPLINE as a prime stat to have a TP penalty, which has been fully taken into account in regards to game balance and mangler costs (I doubt it).

But, by all means, if this isn’t an unintended bug, say that it is intended that some professions receive less TPs without having training expectations adjusted down by the same ratio.

This issue is very similar to the Sorcerer/hybrid CS issue that was finally, thankfully, fixed after many years of complaining by myself and others. It is a mathematical anomally. I’m hoping that it too can be fixed like the CS issue was. Though, this is arguably a bigger deal since it involves TPs. When I have brought this up in the past I’ve been told it wasn’t a big deal, but you factor it over 100 levels and you’re looking at significant TPs. Consequently I had also been told the CS issue wasn’t a big deal, so I’m hoping maybe attitudes have changed. Anyways…

In GS3 all professions had the same TP formula, which double counted DISCIPLINE and AURA, thus making them important to all professions for TPs. With the change to GS4 professions were differentiated by using prime stats for each professions. However DISCIPLINE and AURA were still treated differently, namely counted twice and then halved.

On the surface, doubling something then halving it would seem to be a wash, which is probably why it passed review originally. However, this is not the case in practice as you will see.

So here is the formula today:

MTPs = 25 + ((LOG + INT + WIS + INF + ((AUR + DIS) 2) 20)
PTPs = 25 + ((STR + CON + DEX + AGI + ((AUR + DIS) 2) 20)
Note: A character’s prime requisites are doubled for the above formulas.

For the sake of easy math I’m going to give every stat a 100, this will show the disparity at the most extreme point, but in actuality the value non-requisite stats matters little to the disparity, it grows as your prime stat approaches 100, which, because it is a prime stat, tends to happen at early levels, so we really are talking about 100 levels of this disparity.

MTPS = 25 +((100+(100*2)+(100*2)+100+((100+100) / 2) / 20) = 60
PTPS = 25 +((100+100+100+100+((100+100) / 2) / 20) = 50

MTPS = 25 +((100+100+100+100+((100+100) /2) / 20) = 55
PTPS = 25 +(((100*2)+(100*2)+100+100+((100+100) / 2) / 20) = 60

Do you see the pattern? Pure has a max of 60 MTPS and 55 PTPS, square has opposite.

You would think wizards would have the same pattern? You would be wrong

MTPS = 25 +(((100*2)+100+100+100+(((100*2)+100) /2) / 20) = *57.5* truncated to 57
PTPS = 25 +((100+100+100+100+(((100*2)+100) /2) / 20) = *52.5* truncated to 52

The wizard has AURA as a prime stat, so it gets doubled, however, because it then is divided in half, the bonus is divided as well. As such, in the formula, if you have 100 in your prime stats, for a cleric, warrior, rogue, ranger, empath, paladin, the prime stat bonus is 100. If you’re a wizard, bard, or sorcerer, the prime stat bonus is 50. So when you divide by 20 you end up with a difference both sides. So the wizard gains 2 PT, but loses 3 MTP. Considering what point is more useful, that is a net loss of 2 MTP. Over 100 levels that is 200 MTPS (202 if you count level 0). The equivalent of 4 full levels of training points. For a mathematical quirk!

Most people don’t even realize this is going on.

This is especially, IMO, injurious to sorcerers who already have game-high training point expectations, and we have to do with 5% less than others, a factor which obviously was not accounted for in our TP costs.

Lets look at SEMIs

MTPs = 25 + ((100 + (100*2) + 100 + 100 + ((100 + 100) /2) /20) = 55
PTPs = 25 + ((100 + 100 + (100*2) + 100 + ((100 + 100) /2) /20) = 55

MTPs = 25 + ((100 + 100 + 100 + (100*2) + (((100*2) + 100) 2) 20) = 57.5 truncated to 57
PTPs = 25 + ((100 + 100 + 100 + 100 + (((100*2) + 100) 2) 20) = 52.5 truncated to 52

So, bards receive 2 MORE MTPs than rangers, but 3 less PTPs. Because Bards and rangers do not have obvious TP preferences (like pures do) this is harder to say that it is a penalty. I cannot necessarily say Bards are being penalized.

However, wizards and sorcerers definitely are when compared with the other pures (clerics/empaths) because for these professions MTPs are preferred and needed (I myself have almost 6000 PTPs converted)

In practical situations, the disparity will not reach 202 mtps unless you put your AURA to 100 at level 0. This isn’t often done. However, because AURA is so very important (spirit, mana, etc) it isn’t often tanked, 80s, 90s, are common, even for low levels. The disparity for your average typical training over 100 levels probably is somewhere around 180 mtps, still a big number.

I think it is a big deal, I think it should be fixed. Yes, it would mean giving wizards & sorcerers a TP boost after the fact, and that may seem egregious, but you’re only giving us TPs we would have earned over the life of our characters had this mathematical quirk of a penalty not existed. It is only fair.

The fix, by the way, would be to remove the prime stat bonus, if it is AURA or Discipline, to AFTER the stats are averaged and divided by two.


If Profession = Wizard or Sorcerer:
MTPs = 25 + ((LOG + INT + WIS + INF + ((AUR + DIS) 2) + AUR 20) = 60 (with all 100s, just like a cleric or empath)
PTPs = 25 + ((STR + CON + DEX + AGI + ((AUR + DIS) 2) 20) = 50 (with all 100s, just like a cleric or empath)
Note: A character’s prime requisites are NOT doubled for the above formulas.

If Any Other Profession:
MTPs = 25 + ((LOG + INT + WIS + INF + ((AUR + DIS) 2) 20)
PTPs = 25 + ((STR + CON + DEX + AGI + ((AUR + DIS) 2) 20)
Note: A character’s prime requisites ARE doubled for the above formulas.

405 Proposal

Filed under: Spells — Virilneus @ 5:37 am

E-Lore Review is MIA. And I don’t remember 405 even being in the preview, but I feel strongly it needs work. It takes skill into account almost not at all, and in general just works pass fail. But rest assured, I’ve worked it all out:

When cast on yourself/others/monsters

Works as currently done, add lines to identify any current elemental resistances. It is “elemental detection” afterall, in lots of other games similar spells do this. “Critter is weak to fire.”

When cast on items

Currently this is just pass/fail if you know the spell, you can identify it, this should change. Like when cast on yourself when young and unskilled you can only identify known spells, but as you get more skilled you can start to identify other spells, and get durations too.

1 1d100 roll, used twice.

1. Spell detection: Take your mana control skill in the applicable sphere, plus your die roll, and divide by 10. If the level of the spell is less than or equal to the result, you are shown which spell is in the item. If you’re trying to detect a hybrid sphere (like empath) take the two mana controls and average them first. This would encourage off native mana control training for some people.

2. Spell charges: Take your MIU skill, plus your die roll, and divide by 10.  If the number of charges left is equal to or less than the result, show the exact number of charges remaining. Otherwise, show “Too many for you to discern.”  So the “too many” threshold would be different for each player, and each cast with the roll component. A maximally trained player would be able to detect up to 30 charges if they rolled a 100, 20 if they rolled a 2. A typically trained just-capped pure (1x) would be able to see a max of 20 charges if they rolled 100, 10 if they rolled a 2.

Use the same roll for both halves, should be more efficient that way, but because of training difference it would be possible, on say a minor mental spell, for a player to detect the charges well, but still not get the spell name.

Possible Forseen Resistance to Change

Bards: You’re stealing our turf, no one will love us anymore.
Response: This would not detect rechargability, so you will still be needed for that. Also, with the introduction of the enhancive treasure system, your work load ballooned exponentially. People need you more than ever to check their enhancives. Don’t worry, you still have a purpose.

March 25, 2010

2010 Sorcerer Review

Filed under: Sorcery — Virilneus @ 12:19 pm

I’ve done this before, this is updated. If a GM did decide to ever work on our profession. This is a cheat sheet for getting them started. I would say most of the items on here have broad agreement among sorcerer players, some are just my ideas though.

701 Blood Burst

NO Change

702 Mana Disruption

It needs to be brought into the fold in regards to GS4 design principles. IE - damage modified by lore. Or, in this case, mana controls. Look to spells like 302 for an example. It doesn’t need to be huge, just a moderate increase in damage for added mana control training.

703 Corrupt Essence

We got the losing end of the stick when Forget was taken from us to be for vaporware Savants and we were given this instead. Forget prevented the prepping of spells, and made you forget any one currently prepped. Corrupt Essence merely prevents the casting. So if you prep a spell, the second it drops you can cast it. Whereas with forget, you needed to wait for it to drop to prep. As such, Forget actually had a functional effectiveness time of 15 seconds + critter prep RT. Corrupt Essence is just 15 seconds. We got a downgrade, and it was not intended. Just make the duration 30 seconds (or 25) to make up for it. Also… FIX THE ITHZIR MENTAL RESISTANCES TO OUR NON MENTAL SORCERER SPELLS. I am utterly tired of being penalized for casting mental spells when we are not mental. This has been happening for years, we’ve been posting about it for years, and all that happens is buck passing. “Talk to the creature person, talk to the otf person, talk to the sorcerer person, talk to the creature person, round and round”

Someone, please, fix, it. 703, 706, 717, 713.

704 Phase

We were told 7 years ago that phase, when self cast, would provide us with manuever defense akin to 911, 313, or 1109. It does not. We are the only pure without a manuever benefit as such.

Also, someone had the idea of 704 preventing rapid decaying critters from decaying so fast, seems like a good idea to me.

705 Disintegrate

It also needs lore modifiers, it currently has none. Either do mana controls or necromancy.

Also, make it a dual cast spell like Web, with a bolt version.

See here for more:

706 Mind Jolt

No change, other than, fix the ithzir. It isn’t mental.

707 Eye Spy

No change, or possibly move to 713.

708 Limb Disruption

Extra damage/limbs removed on high end rolls. More information:

709 Quake

No change

710 Energy Maelstrom
1. Change the messaging. The spell needs a messaging update probably more than any other spell in game. It has messaging that makes it look elemental, but it isn’t. It needs better messaging.
2. A lore or mana control tie in would be welcome.
3. Let us SHIFT, more info:

711 Pain

The one sorcerer attack spell that is built right in regard to lore standards. No change needed.

712 Cloak of Shadows

A sentient cloak should flare on more things than armor flares because it knows and thinks and armor does not. Make sure it is flaring on everything it is supposed to. Otherwise, no change, except maybe an AS buff. Read more:


Make Nightmare a Curse. Then free up this slot of a new AS based attack spell, or move Eye Spy here, and make 707 the new AS based attack spell. It depends how powerful the spell is. I vote for this slot personally. Read more:

714 Scroll Infusiong

1. Allow more control over unlocking. Allow us to tap the runestone to select the spell slot we wish to unlock, like how my book works.
2. Change dikar’fyn to do any spell up to level 50. No fresh above level 20 scrolls exist outside of the arcane circle, so let us use the rune on them.
3. Lots of good auction item ideas with this spell. x per day runestones (not a pouch that makes them, but like a quiss’fyn with 5 uses a day). Or magical fountain pens with infinity ink. Those are all other posts though.

715 Curse

Hold onto your butts!

1. Make it verb based (curse seer itchy)
2. Make Nightmare & Disease curses
3. Add Curse buffs (when self cast a positive effect is done upon the caster)

716 Disease

Make Disease a Curse. Then free up this slot for a new attack spell. Read more:

Or, possibly, if we get Harbinger for 735 we won’t need another CS spell, so, a utility spell of some sort. Something to do with runestaffs maybe (something where we make something would be nice), or maybe even a buff of some sort. We have very little utility & buffs in our circle.

717 Evil Eye
No changes, except, I think it should get a TD pushdown back. Honestly. It is a 17 mana spell, that at most stuns unless you’re severly underhunting. It deserves a pushdown, or a reevaluation of thresholds.

718 Torment

No changes, maybe do some more with demonology, make sure it uses the disruption crit table instead of unbalance (unless you have already done that, honestly, I don’t use torment much).

719 Dark Catalyst

1. Allow us to pick damage types:
2. Better idea: Chain Reaction. Dark Catalyst is basically already a reaction of magic, why not let that reaction spread to other targets?

So sexy…. So very very sexy…

720 Implosion

1. Add disarming ability:
2. Make flying creatures more susceptible. They’re flying, they are relying on air pressure to stay flying. A sudden drop in air pressure should mess them up. Instead we have stupid things like griffin immunity to open implosion. It makes absolutely no sense for a griffin to be able to outfly a vacuum. It would be like a fish winning a race on a dry creekbed. How are they swimming? There is no water.

725 Demon Summoning

Lets not do a GS3 thing and have two spells for one thing. We don’t need minor summoning and major summoning, we need summoning.

1. Cut all lore thresholds in half. Seriously. Sorcerers have ridiculously high training costs, it is mathematically proven. We spend 0/20 for lore to affect all 3 of our circles. A wizard spends 0/6. Our lore training costs are literally 300% higher than other professions. Read more here:

If you do not want to adjust costs, you can adjust requirements. So, cut all lore thresholds in half for demon summoning.

2. Change the uncommon rune system. Allow any sorcerer to summon any demon by name, or try. Have runestones merely give bonuses to success. So, with enough demon lore, you can summon demon X, but if you have a demon X runestone, you need 20 less lore ranks.

3. Add a new demon attribute for all demons called TEACH, or LORE. Whatever. The idea is, if you have a demon summoned, it helps you with other demon tasks, thus giving you an effective lore benefit. Some demons can be better teachers than other. This is one reason why I did not say to cut demon lore requirements for phase, or cloak of shadows, only 725. The idea being a sorcerer will have an easier time with lore with those spells (again, to make up for our costs) by summoning a demon first.

4. Allow the teach ability to extend to other sorcerers in your group…. if possible allow this form of enhancing to break the current +50 skill enhancive limit because….

5. Add new major demons with new awesome abilities to the demon system.

6. You can put these demons at really high lore requirements. What about a demon that requires 300 or 400 lore to summon? Impossible you say? See #4 and #5.

So, to summon such a demon, you’d need a group of sorcerers working together. Using the enhancive system as such allows you to create the need for a ritual and teamwork without actually having to code such a requirement. Just do it with lore thresholds.

Someone with 100 lore ranks might be able to summon a weak major demon (still better than any current demon). Someone with 200 a middling one. But to get the highest guys you’d need groups working together.

You could do some ridiculous banaltra demon at 1000 lore requiring a group to get together, summon minor demons to teach, then use that knowledge to summon major demons that are even better teachers, then finally summon the ridiculous banaltra demon, who could crap out high level enchant potions or something.

Teamwork, ritual, complexity, all without needing another spellslot, hooray.

I suggest having contests to design the major demons and a few good brain storming sessions to think of abilities.

730 Animate Dead
1. Fix Bugs
2. More control: tell animate attack

(spell number)
3. Allow us to reanimate previously animated critters or players (essentially a refresh, at the cost of another crystal and another gem)
4. Cut lore requirements (because again, of our training cost requirement)
5. A better healing ability
6. Self animation
Read more:

735 Harbinger

Basically, this allows us to cast any other spell as a mass spell. Think rangers, think bards. This is our mass CS spell.

Basically you would

prep 735 for 719

prep 735 for 705

prep 735 for 711

Costs can be worked out in commitee.

740 Planar Shift

I personally think we should be able to teleport into almost any restricted area in the game using high quality chalk. Broken lands, the rift, darkstone. It makes sense from an IC perspective. High quality chalk should have no barriers. But this isn’t a huge deal.

750 Deadpool

Read my post from a couple days ago, or go here:

March 1, 2010

750 Deadpool

Filed under: Sorcery, Spells — Virilneus @ 2:16 pm

I recall seeing someone post that they wish sorcerers had an easier way of getting mana because sacrifice is so marginal.

I personally think sacrifice could merely be tweaked. And we had a really productive brainstorm about it maybe like 18 months ago, or 2 years ago, before Evarin quit anyways. But of course, no GM participated or acknowledged us and so, I think those ideas are probably gone now.

So… here is the spell.

A reverse mana node. Instead of increasing mana return for everyone in it, it DRAINS mana from everyone in it. Except the caster or those grouped to him.

The drained mana, of course, going to the sorcerer. How much is drained and recovered being then based on mana control skills.

Additionally, the deadpool corrupts the essence of the entire area partially, making any non 700 circle spells not cast by the caster group have a chance of failing as if the caster had 703 cast on them. Base the chance on lore or mana controls or something. I could give it a pretty significant chance though.

If you’ve read the ever-so-ponderous Wheel of Time Books… (and it has been a few years for me) like that one dirty place where the source is corrupted.

Additionally, I could see any 700 spell cast (including by critters) To have a CS boost, while in the deadpool.

Finally, the pool would break any sanctuary when cast, and prevent new ones from going up while active.

Call the spell, magical poison.
Addendum - the downside of deadpool is that you’re spending 50 mana to make a spot you cannot move from, modern hunting techniques typically involve almost no such camping, so that is the downside. Though, it would be interesting if we could cast the deadpool, and then walk away from it while still be “Beamed” the mana it drains (maybe less, at distance, and of course the CS boost etc would no longer apply). Like how we can 701 something and walk away and still get blood. Such a feature is worth discussing. I could also see it limited per day like how 1150 and 350 are. Definitely though, each sorcerer should only be allowed one active deadpool at a time. And yes, casting it in town would generally be a bad thing - though having the constable arrest you for such would seem like bad comedy. Does he really understand high level magic like that? It’d be far more better (yes, more better) if you got tossed in a guild jail by someone from the guild for doing that sort of thing.

Addendum 2 - a nice ability for a new major demon could be a walking deadpool, whereas they permanently have one that of course follows them wherever they go.

October 16, 2009

Updated Curse Proposal

Filed under: Sorcery — Virilneus @ 7:34 am

I don’t know why I post this, no one cares. But I was thinking more on this last night.

Our profession sucks, it needs work, it needs work in a bad way. We pay the highest cost for the lowest abilities. Unlike wizards with 2 unique circles, and empaths/clerics with 1 and a half, we’ve got 1 circle ourself, and then two circles that are the village bicycles of Elanthia. Some of the spells in one of our circles were designed to benefit rogues the most for crying out loud.

So our professional circle really needs to kick butt, end of story. For balance, factually based on training costs, the 700s deserve to be the most powerful circle in the game.

I could write 5000 words justifying this, explaining in minute detail, but I’ve done that all before, so I won’t bother again. Our penalties, slights, and higher costs are all factual, they must be dealt with. (by the way, both curse and disease were listed among the official 2005 development goals, seriously)

One of the few avenues for dealing with this issues is with curse, because as presented it is a very flexible spell, that could be made more flexible. I would request that any GM that decides to (finally) work on our profession, start with curse, as it’ll be easier work overall, as well as set the table for the rest of the circle, and provide us with more benefits quicker.


Make curse verb based.

Instead of…

stance neu
prep 715
cast at seer
stance def

You would merely type

CURSE seer clumsy


Curse diamond itchy

Like how beseech & regenerate work.


Roll disease & nightmare into curse. These are not worthy of spell slots. Nightmare is no better than a curse, it is a curse. It has almost no practical function. Disease is not 16x better than bloodburst, that is for sure. We’ve spent years thinking of ways to make it better, but they rarely make that much sense. Easier to just design a fresh-concept attack spell (or utility spell) for the 16 slot, and put the disease concept into curse.


Curse Buffs. As stated above, we’ve got the fewest spells that are “ours” than any other pure, we need to make up for that with multifunction spell slots. (since we won’t be given minor mental).

The concept is, if you self cast a curse you get the opposite of the negative effect. If you fumble while self casting the curse, you get the negative effect still, and of course you can wear only one flavor at a time.

CLUMSY CURSE - Either protection from knockdown manuevers or just protection from manuevers in general, aka either phantom dodge ranks or something else (like what 313, 1109, 911, all provide), or a CMAN bonus like from a moonstone cube.
ITCHY CURSE - what do you really lose? Dexterity, so how about a dexterity bonus?, like +15 to dex bonus.  Or protection from being disarmed, or protection from distraction attacks. Or a DS bonus. or all of the above.
FORWARD CURSE - the AS penalty curse obviously translates to an AS bonus. As the only pure without a native AS bonus spell, we need this.
GUARDED CURSE - TD penalty obviously translates to TD bonus
NIGHTMARE - resistance to fear based attacks, like what you get with 211 or 215, like what we were supposed to get with Will Enhancement (RSN!), or like those new alchemy drops.
DISEASE - what’re you losing? Health? vitality? Maybe a boost to CON, or a boost to health return. Or resistance to disease, or all of the above.
We currently have two damaging curses, Advanced and Defensive, Advanced also includes an AS penalty. Do we need both? I don’t think so.

Opposite could be phantom damage padding or crit padding like what sunfist has. A stone-skin like effect. An empath like ability to cast while wounded. Something along those lines.
Having curse be this flexible somewhat makes up for our lack of a second unique spell circle, and of course our ridiculously high training costs (WHICH STILL NEED TO BE ADDRESSED EITHER WITH MANGLER CHANGES OR LOWER LORE REQUIREMENTS).

We also free up 713 and 716 for more development, and 707 could easily be moved to either slot thus allowing us to be able to think of a concept attack spell that costs 7, 13, or 16 mana, nice range there.

August 24, 2009

The Biggest Idiot in Gemstone

Filed under: Game Balance — Tags: — Virilneus @ 7:56 am

Simutronics has a rather stupid forum system, things are not archived, they eventually pass into oblivion with no record. One might think that, perhaps, this allows someone to act like impressively dumb and that there will only be a short term memory of their purposeful stupidity. Sometimes though, you just can’t stand for that, there can be such a egregious example of stupidity that it needs to be archived for all time.

 I used to have respect for Doug (Dionket) but he showed his true colors a couple months ago in an argument about training costs. He was in the sorcerer folder, and he was telling all of us we were wrong and he was either purposefully acting dumb to annoy us, or indeed has some mental impairment.

Now normally, would I feel the need to call out an individual poster? Not necessarily, and in fact though I saved the most stupid of his posts I did not post it here. However Simutronic’s has a new stupid thing were they label supposedly knowledgable and helpful posters with blue names in their forums, and they gave Doug such a label. As demonstrated by his posts he is either one of the most ignorant people on game mechanics I have ever seen, or he purposefully likes to act dumb, either way, it seems an odd behavior to reward. So, if they’re going to ignore this type of thing, I feel that I cannot.

 First, Doug’s post.

I will apologize in advance if my table skills do not pan out. I’m sure there are better ways to format this, but hopefully this will serve.

I elected to use Tsoran’s trainer for this purpose, to rapidly cycle through the calculations (Thanks, Tsoran!)

I will also point out that my analysis has three assessment points across the pure / hybrid spectrum (explicitly, Clerics, Empaths, Sorcerers and Wizards). The race selected was dark elf (should not be statistically significant) throughout the exercise, and for purists, I can post the stats if desired (likewise, should not be statistically significant for my purpose here).

The first assessment is every profession getting the most total training possible based on profession for each category (Armor and Weapons, General, Combat and Magic). In other words, if the profession could train 3 times in something, I trained in it three times. An important note — this categorization is the one published on the website supporting our lands — I chose it explicitly for that reason, so that there would be zero confusion or possibility about spin being applied.

The second point is parity, or a “we all train the same” review. I did this only for the categories of Magic and General. It’s possible there may be something in Combat that is different, but for Armor and Weapons every one of the professions listed above could only train 1x per level in, so there seemed no point. What the parity training is intended to cover is a force cast of training exactly the same (same number of ranks) skill at the least common denominator. As an example, if all professions could train 2 times, except an empath could train 3, 2 times was selected for all.

The third assessment is closer to ’standard training’. This one is harder, and debatable. I elected to keep some categories of training completely consistent (for example, despite the need / plan for empaths to train 2 or 3 times a level in physical fitness, everyone got 25 ranks as a goal to maximize hit points.) This does not attempt to account for the myriad choices a player may feel compelled to make while advancing — but as a consistent baseline, it should serve well enough.

As a final note, none of these plans seem achievable even by cap.

I hope you’re seated. The results are — interesting.

Max Magic Training possible — Cleric loses
Profession Physical Mental
Cleric 909 21,715
Empath 909 19,897
Sorcerer 909 21,109
Wizard 606 20,503

Max General Training possible — Sorcerer / Empath lose
Profession Physical Mental
Cleric 3,535 5,252
Empath 3,939 4,949
Sorcerer 3,838 5,252
Wizard 3,232 4,848

Max Armor and Weapons Training possible — Sorcerer loses
Profession Physical Mental
Cleric 7,474 1717
Empath 10,100 1,818
Sorcerer 10,200 1,818
Wizard 9,999 1,515

Max Combat Training Possible — Empath loses
Profession Physical Mental
Cleric 7,373 5,555
Empath 8,888 6,565
Wizard 8,282 6,060
Sorcerer 8,282 6,464

Checkpoint 1: Sorcerer clearly disadvantaged in General, but is not the most disadvantaged in Magic.

Parity Training (”we all hunt the same, we all train the same”)
Parity Magic training (same ranks all across the professions)
Profession Physical Mental
Cleric 909 18,685
Empath 909 16,281
Sorcerer 909 15,857
Wizard 606 18,483

Parity General training (same ranks all across the professions)
Profession Physical Mental
Cleric 2,929 4,848
Empath 2,929 4,545
Sorcerer 3,232 4,848
Wizard 3,232 4,848

Checkpoint 2: Clerics clearly disadvantaged in Magic, as in checkpoint 1. Sorcerers and Wizards share the disadvantage in the General training. The real surprise for me is the flip of Sorcerers to the best spot. Intuitively, though, it makes sense if one considers the ‘least common denominator’ approach to this part of the review.

Training by profession (”closer to standard”)

General training plan for this purpose is as follows:

4 ranks of armor — traditional training for the pure in full leather
25 ranks of physical training — traditional suggestion (24, but who’s counting? That’s a little math joke, there).
30 ranks of climb — traditional suggestion
50 ranks of swim — traditional suggestion with advent of Nelemar
40 ranks of perception — perhaps somewhat arbitrary, but selected based on years of reviewing discussions on perception to ‘find’ things like cracks and rocks
Max ranks for AS, MIU, Harness, Spell Aim
2x core Mana Control (elemental for Wizards, spiritual for Clerics and Empaths)
-0- Special note — trained Sorcerers 1x in both Spiritual and Elemental MC
25 ranks in non-core Mana Control (includes mental MC) for all professions
3x spell training — not achievable short term, but maximizes the pure potential at / after cap
1.5x core lore (here defined as the cheapest lore available to the profession.)
.5x secondary lore (here defined as the second cheapest lore available to the profession)
.5x tertiary lore (here defined as the most expensive lore available to the profession)

And the results are:

Profession Physical Mental
Cleric 1,211 14,637
Empath 1,239 14,209
Sorcerer 1,239 13,581
Wizard 932 14,181

Please feel free to double check these results. I cannot profess to exacting 6-sigma accuracy in the environment I ran the numbers in. However, even if they’re within a percentage point or two, there are a couple of threads we may discern from this.

First, sorcerers training is challenging, but no more so than any other pure profession.

Second, the position that sorcerers have training point gaps that are significant are not apparent in reviewing the numbers in conjunction with the Simutronics framework.

Third, sorcerers challenges (and they do exist), do not get addressed by attempting to change these numbers. If nothing else, the raging debate I expect to see over the training plan used in the final tabulation should be indicative of my position.

Bottom line — get a guru, ask for and welcome happily every bit of support you get no matter from what quarter, address the CS disparity in the spell lists (don’t need training point adjustments to do that), answer the AS / CS discussion once and for all (training in Magic and general training plan maximizes CS and AS, so you don’t need training point changes to answer that).

On a totally independent note — I saw in the Minor Elemental folder a suggestion by one of this profession to ensure EMC was specifically hooked into the Elemental Lore review. Great suggestion! A bit more negative than I would have liked — the ‘downtrodden profession’ is wearisome and unnecessary to those who care. But the suggestion itself is part of what I enjoy seeing in these lands.


Now, for emphasis….

Training by profession (”closer to standard”)

General training plan for this purpose is as follows:

4 ranks of armor — traditional training for the pure in full leather
25 ranks of physical training — traditional suggestion (24, but who’s counting? That’s a little math joke, there).
30 ranks of climb — traditional suggestion
50 ranks of swim — traditional suggestion with advent of Nelemar
40 ranks of perception — perhaps somewhat arbitrary, but selected based on years of reviewing discussions on perception to ‘find’ things like cracks and rocks
Max ranks for AS, MIU, Harness, Spell Aim
2x core Mana Control (elemental for Wizards, spiritual for Clerics and Empaths)
-0- Special note — trained Sorcerers 1x in both Spiritual and Elemental MC
25 ranks in non-core Mana Control (includes mental MC) for all professions
3x spell training — not achievable short term, but maximizes the pure potential at / after cap
1.5x core lore (here defined as the cheapest lore available to the profession.)
.5x secondary lore (here defined as the second cheapest lore available to the profession)
.5x tertiary lore (here defined as the most expensive lore available to the profession)

And the results are:

Profession Physical Mental
Cleric 1,211 14,637
Empath 1,239 14,209
Sorcerer 1,239 13,581
Wizard 932 14,181

So… according to Doug, if you were to do an accurate comparison of professional training costs in a standard plan (his words) clerics should be .5x trained in elemental lore and .5x trained in sorcerer lore. Wizards should be .5x trained in spiritual lore and .5x trained in sorcerer lore. Empaths should be .5x trained in sorcerer lore or elemental lore as well.

He posted this darwin-award winning claim in a thread where everyone else was posting in good faith, with accurate information. Then he spent a few days defending his claims as accurate when everyone immediately attacked him for either being stupid or posting in bad faith. We’d all done comparisons showing what professions actually need to train in, in fact he read my posts on the subject prior to his post (supposedly) and I go into great detail not just on the results, but the methodology of statistical comparison used to counteract differing professional needs (like wizards having no need for spiritual lore training) and ROI of training ranks. And yet, he chose to ignore all of that and post his figures which include, as standard training, a plan no character has probably ever followed.

And hey, Simu chose to award this loser with a badge denoting helpfulness and a knowledge of game mechanics. Someone who would tell a wizard to get spiritual lore training as a standard part of their training plan.

Bottom line on Doug is this. He either is just dumb, which maybe isn’t his fault, but it should generally mean he should be ignored and not considered an accurate source of information. Or, (more likely) he is just the type of person to be purposefully disengenuous to the point of incredulity in an attempt to win an argument. Mark Twain may have said “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” But had he met Doug, he may have said “There are lies, damn lies, statistics, and shit Doug says.”

July 20, 2009

Demon Lore Bonuses

Filed under: Sorcery, Spells — Virilneus @ 10:51 am

Sorcerers have the most expensive training costs of any pure, especially in the lore category.

Wizards get bonuses to casting some spells when their familiars are present, why not allow sorcerers to do the same with demons?

Let having a demon summoned provide a enhancive +20 demon lore ranks (plus or minus X depending on demon type, but let 20 lore be the baseline) like some Assume Aspect functions. As if the demon were giving us pointers on keeping our cloaks in line, or summoning a presence for torment, perhaps holding our hands as we shift between planes. It makes perfect sense.

 Since you cannot summon a demon without another demon being present, you couldn’t use this to boost your own demon summoning directly. Also, by adding enhancive lore ranks you’re making implementation easier by just making the spell produce an enhancive effect, rather than coding in new hooks in all demonology using skills or spells.

 I would also consider grouping bonuses. You gain have the ranks of the bonus of any sorcerer you are grouped with. This would encourage player interaction, and help when people are teaching others how to use demons. If a young sorcerer is having trouble summoning, joining with an older sorcerer with an existing demon (who would be, conceptally, providing pointers or assistance to the sorcerer) would help them summon.

 You could also add new uncommon runes that require ungodly amounts of summoning to use, such as say 300 or 400 ranks. The only way then to complete that summoning would be to have many sorcerers join together with helper demons.  Another neat group RP application.

Chain Reaction DC

Filed under: Sorcery, Spells — Virilneus @ 10:29 am

If 409 and 415 are going to get multi target additions added, these being minor circle spells. I think time is right to revisit chain reaction DC as an improvement to our supposedly superior professional circle.

The concept behind DC is that it is a a chain reaction within the target’s body that makes their mana explode, with any extra mana shooting out to the sorcerer as a refund.

The concept behind chain reaction DC is that instead of the extra mana going to the sorcerer, it goes to another critter in the room, runs through DC again, and if there is still mana remaining, a third, a fourth, etc.

DC, being a mana manipulation spell, doesn’t lend itself to sorcery lores, instead, like _mana_ disruption, it lends itself to mana controls.

I favor mathematical systems as opposed to arbitarily set boundaries, I would not want to see a seed chart for mana control bonuses defining X number of critters to be hit. Rather I’d like the spell to work as close to the concept as possible where the chance for extra targets is directly related to the mana returned from the cast, which is itself directly related to the mana the critter has. So the more mana a critter has the more susceptible it is to this effect. Furthermore, the more mana the second critter has, the greater chance a third will be hit. So for instance if you DC an ithzir seer and it jumps to an ithzir adept there is a chance it’ll jump to a third target (perhaps back to the seer if it still lives). But if you DC an ithzir seer and it jumps to an ithzir janissary, well, it’ll probably stop there.

What I would so propose then is have mana control act as a modifier the efficiency of the spell in converting critter mana.

The formula would be simple. Total_ranks_mana_control_caster/targets_level = modifier. Assuming you are hunting like level that means a sorcerer with 2x in mana control would have a 200% modifier on critter mana efficiency. A sorcerer 4x in mana control would have a 400% modifier, and a sorcerer 6x in mana control would have a 600% modifier.

A typical pre-cap training is 1x in mana control, or no modifier. Some may do 2x if they’re really dedicated runestaff users and sacrifice training in other areas. Post cap most eventually get up to 2x, 3x or 4x possible near 15 million experience. 6x would only be possible if the sorcerer also got 200 ranks in MMC, which would be highly unlikely to happen unless they were around 30 million experience or higher (and I don’t think any sorcerer is even close to that).

A sorcerer can also trigger this affect by infusing more mana into their initial cast of DC, to make up for any shortage in their mana control training or in the mana refund of the initial target.

Critter base mana returns may need to be tweaked for balance issues.

If we pick a number like say, 12 mana, to spawn a subsequent DC, and the critter returns 6 normally, you’d need to be 2x in mana controls to do it without extra mana, or you’d need to infuse 6 with the initial cast.

If the critter returns 4 mana normally you’d need 3x in mana controls or infuse 8 with the initial cast, or a combination thereof.

Finally, the sorcerer may decide to go all out and infuse very large amounts of mana, 100 mana perhaps, to try to get his DC to be strong enough to destroy the whole room.

This idea is balanced and appropriate to the profession. Other pures indeed have multi-target spells near the 19th slot, one even with unlimited targets at no extra cost.

 The use of elemental lores for boosting damage otherwise could stay with the spell.

July 5, 2009

Give Sorcerers Minor Mental

Filed under: Game Balance, Sorcery — Virilneus @ 4:59 pm

Sorcery sucks.

There are deep faults running through the profession that go to the design of GS4 at it’s core. Keep the utter lack of improvements and GM attention, and the very very sparse development over the last decade, going so bad that Melissa, then PM, had to apologize to us for forgetting us, forgetting an entire profession, hah, keep all that aside.

The main problems with sorcery is that it is the games only true hybrid profession, and the various unique trappings of it being a hybrid cause it to be second class compared to others.

We have two minor circles, the only such profession with two minor circles. Minor circles are by definition less powerful than major circles. This is a penalty.

Because of the way CS calculations work from spell ranks 33-66 we develop penalties to our CS in the 400 and 100 circles.

Because of the way lore training works our cost/benefit ratio is 300% that of wizards or clerics. Training in ANY lore for our minor circles is usually only doable postcap. We even spend more on spiritual lore than empaths do, the non-hybrid profession.

Add those two things together and we pay more, for less. We’re mediocre at 2/3rds of our spells, and no one seems to care to fix that. This is intrinsic to our definition as a hybrid.

Hybrids are supposed to be defined as having weak secondary circles, but their unique multi-sphere knowledge allowing them to have a more powerful primary circle. Unfortunately we only have the former, our primary circle has been nerfed and neglected. For our secondary circle suckiness to be justified our primary circle needs to be made the most powerful spell circle in the game. I do not say this out of professional patriotism, this is a fundamental fact if you care at all about balance. We don’t need parity with now-far-better other pure professions, we need superiority. Otherwise we’re getting the penalty of being a hybrid without the benefit, and that is wrong.

Many sorcerers would much rather have a situation like a wizard or a cleric and have 3 good circles you can easily lore modify and that you’re supposed to be good at. Especially wizards with their 2 full circles of exclusiveness.  But that is not how we’re defined, and by our definition and balance needs the 700 circle is supposed to be the most powerful in the game.

The problem is players fixate on such issues and if all is not equal they complain. If we got our old DC back, for instance, people would be in an uproar because they’re too shortsighted to realize that is the reward we get for our crappy secondary circles and our highest-among-pures training costs.

The second option would be to drastically reduce our training costs so we’re paying less for the less power. Not only reducing our costs for parity (as should be done anyways), but reducing them below parity. Paying less for spell ranks, less for lore, less for arcane symbols, all down the line. This is probably unlikely.

What is perhaps the best option though is giving us access to a third secondary circle.

In an argument on the forums it was repeatedly insisted we’re not allowed to be good at 2/3rds of our spells because we’re hybrids, we get breadth. This is false currently because 700/100/400 is no more breadth than 400/500/900 or 100/200/300. It is all a different range of the spectrum, but it is the same amount of spells.

If our all challenges are to have a reward, and breadth is it, give us a third secondary circle, minor mental.

Did you fall out of your chair? It really isn’t as drastic as you think.

1. It fits, do you know sorcery was once the mental class? We still have ithzir penalties to prove it. Additionally we’ve had some of our spells taken away for the mental sphere, replaced with clones with different descriptions, and some of our older spells are still mental in description because they haven’t been updated in forever.

2. It would fix the CS penalty. The additional secondary circle CS from the first 33 ranks in MnM spell training would make up for the CS penalty exactly. Exactly.

3. We would be even more mediocre at the 100s, 400s, and the new minor mental sphere as well. Sorcerers would not be getting more points, nor the ability to quadruple spells. We’d simply have more choices to make, in spell training, lore training, and mana control training.

4. Another downside of sorcery is a relative lack of utility & buffs in the 700s, this is a throwback to when we were “masters of destruction” and not allowed utility.  MnM would give us more of such, making up for that lack.

5. The one buff we do have, 712, could be downtweaked if there are self-cast-only spells in MnM (like 1109) that were not designed with the idea that sorcerers would wear them every hunt. For instance if we’d be gaining DS boosters, the DS bonus from 712 could be lessened. It’d be a wash.

Some TP costs would have to change, of course, to reflect us as native mentalists. You could do two things.

1. Remove sorcerer lore entirely, achieve sorcerer lore effects with existing elemental, spiritual, and mental lores & mana controls (best option)

2. Keep it sorcerer lore, maybe reduce the cost, reduce cost of mental lore to 0/7 or 0/6 (I think 0/6, its still a ton of TPs to spend on lore for 1 circle)  so it matches the other ones, and of course reduce mental mana control as well.

Empaths were supposed to get MnM, they said no.  Let us have it. It would slide in perfectly, fix a lot of what is broken (though, not everything,our spell list still needs an overhaul, it’ll be the only one that hasn’thad a review), and you could do this quickly, since MnM is almost done. Thus maybe getting all those sorcerers who cancelled accounts to come back, and stop others from doing the same.

I know, this sounds drastic, think about it though, the more you think about it the more sense it makes. Sorcerers will have a professional circle on par with the professional circle of other pures (after some upgrades), but we’ll have three minor circles (instead of one minor and one major like every other pure) and be mediocre at all three in comparison. Still, having 4 circle access will finally be a unique benefit not found elsewhere and will make up for 3 of those circles being mediocre.

(ps, when I say a circle is mediocre, it means two things: the circle is minor, so designed to be less powerful than major, and because of how training and CS calculations work, and it is mediocre for sorcerers. a wizard is not mediocre with the 400s, they do not have the same penalties, etc The mediocrity is specific to sorcerers using the circle.).

June 18, 2009

719 Lore Benefit Research

Filed under: Sorcery, Spells — Virilneus @ 3:13 pm

I collected data from myself to get a decent sample size. All casts are on an Ithzir Seer, if you want to view the raw data, which includes critical data (if someone wants to analyze criticals, or compare damage only when the critical is the same, have it) go here.

Otherwise, here is the result, click for a larger picture. Sample size of 900 some casts, 380 with 0 lore ranks, the rest with 10 lore ranks.

The below graph was done by Denil with my data after he plugged in the crit ranks.

I also did the following data analysis.

Avg(Endroll)::Critrank at 0 Lore

149.1667 1
167.0000 2
152.9200 3
149.1282 4
154.6522 5
170.5882 6
171.0339 7
172.0000 8
193.9450 9

Avg(Endroll)::Critrank at 10 Lore

121.5000 1
126.0000 2
146.1176 3
152.6765 4
157.7544 5
163.0933 6
168.9870 7
172.8169 8
187.1186 9

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