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Virilneus’ GS4 Idea Book » Sorcery

Virilneus’ GS4 Idea Book

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: http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2007/12/08/disintegrate-improvements/

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: http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2007/12/03/a-bloody-troll-torso-rolls-down/

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: http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2007/12/03/maelstrom/

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: http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2007/12/08/712-improvements/

713
——————————————————————————–

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: http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2007/12/08/713-or-716-major-disruption-or-essence-ball/

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)

http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2007/12/03/curse-improvements-disease/
http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2007/12/08/curse-buffs/
http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2009/10/16/updated-curse-proposal/

716 Disease

Make Disease a Curse. Then free up this slot for a new attack spell. Read more: http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2007/12/08/713-or-716-major-disruption-or-essence-ball/

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: http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2007/12/08/dark-catalyst-improvements/
2. Better idea: Chain Reaction. Dark Catalyst is basically already a reaction of magic, why not let that reaction spread to other targets? http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2009/07/20/chain-reaction-dc/

So sexy…. So very very sexy…

720 Implosion

1. Add disarming ability: http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2008/12/07/720-update/
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: http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2009/05/14/sorcerer-training-costs/

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:
http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2009/05/05/animate-dead-alchemy-fixin-whats-broken/
http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2007/12/03/animate-dead-improvements/
http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2007/12/08/lich-form/

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
cast

prep 735 for 705
cast

prep 735 for 711
cast

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:

http://www.virilneus.com/blog/2010/03/01/750-deadpool/

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.

STEP 1

Make curse verb based.

Instead of…

stance neu
prep 715
cast at seer
stance def

You would merely type

CURSE seer clumsy

or

Curse diamond itchy

Like how beseech & regenerate work.

STEP 2.

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.

STEP 3.

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.

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

May 14, 2009

Sorcerer Training Costs

Filed under: Game Balance, Sorcery — Virilneus @ 7:38 pm

I believe sorcerers (and wizards) should have training costs changed. I have no idea how the current situation we have was created, but it is obviously unbalanced, and should be rectified.

It is my belief that professions that hunt in equivalent ways should have equivalent training costs. This is not the case. Among the 4 pure professions there are serious differences in training costs where some pure professions have cheap skills and thus can train in them more, or pick up more hobby skills, and others have far less flexibility. I won’t even try to add in non-hunting experience gain 2 pure professions have. That is a balance issue unto itself.

PHYSICAL TRAINING COSTS
Aggregate Total for all weapon/armor/cm/dodge/moc skills

Cleric: 128/57
Wizard: 158/66
Empath: 159/68
Sorcerer: 160/68

Remember as well, that clerics and empaths need less overall ranks in armor use to wear heavier armor, thus, it is a double bonus (or double penalty for wizards and sorcerers).
UTILITY TRAINING COSTS
Aggregate Total for all pt, first aid, survival, climb, swim

Empath: 13/2
Cleric: 18/3
Wizard: 21/3
Sorcerer: 21/3

MAGICAL TRAINING COSTS
Aggregate total for HP, Spell Aiming, MIU, AS.

Wizard: 2/7
Empath: 3/9
Sorcerer: 3/9
Cleric: 3/10

MANA CONTROL TRAINING COSTS
This one is harder to calculate, because of hybrid status. Mana control can function as a lore skill, so a wizard can train in 1 control and get benefit (after the lore review) to 3 circles. Same with clerics. Empaths to two circles, a sorcerer to one each, or one and a half each. As such, on that sorcerers pay the most for the least benefit. But ignoring that. Looking at mana return benefit…

Cleric: 900 MTPS for +15 mana return per pulse.
Wizard: 1200 MTPS for +15 mana return per pulse.
Sorcerer: 1200 MTPS for +15 mana return per pulse.
Empath: 1200 MTPS for +15 mana return per pulse.

Anyone surprised clerics actually have 25% less mana control training costs for the same mana return benefit? Are they really the most mana returning profession? The mana control portion of alchemy further tilts it towards clerics (and wizards) by existence of a hybrid penalty.

LORE TRAINING COSTS
On this one you can’t just look at cost, you have to look at cost benefit. A wizard spends 0/6 to benefit 3 circles. A cleric spends 0/6 to benefit 3 circles. An empath spend 0/12 to benefit 3 circles. A sorcerer spends 0/20 to benefit 3 circles.

What is further ridiculous with this, is sorcerers as well spend more on spiritual lore than empaths, AND WE’RE BOTH SUPPOSED TO BE HYBRIDS! A sorcerer spends 0/7 for each minor circle he is a part of, an empath spends 0/6 for each.

THE CHALLENGE

I challenge any GM to post a reasonable justification for this disparity. I did not make these numbers up. These are not my opinion. This is basic math that does not add up. Balance, by definition, is would mean that if you take from one area, you give to another. There is no give here, not for sorcerers. What benefit do we get for these much higher costs? We get to hunt in guarded? Please, almost every profession does that now, including bards and rangers. Such an excuse might have flown 12 years ago when we were the only profession (outside of clerics on undead) that could reliably hunt like that, but that was 12 years ago, things have changed, why have all these restraints on our profession not changed? We’re hindered because from-guarded CS hunting is so overpowered? Wake up and smell the dead ithzir, everyone hunts like that now. Have you seen bane/smite, boneshatter, immolation?

But go ahead, explain to me why sorcerers should have such higher costs. Tell me what we are getting in exchange.

THE SOLUTION

I will not ask you to nerf clerics or empaths. It won’t happen, I know it won’t happen. I will not ask for it. Instead, I ask you to help wizards and sorcerers BY LOWERING OUR TRAINING COSTS (mostly sorcerers, a little wizards). Since you are only lowering costs this doesn’t really require reallocation. You’d simply log in, and get free TPs from the adjusted costs. Well, not really “free” TPs. That is a bad word to use. Reimbursed TPs, reimbursement for the equivalent hunting you did compared to other pure professions.

Wizards first. Wizards should have 0/1 in MIU and BE ABLE TO TRIPLE (currently 0/1 and only double). Wizards should have 0/2 in AS. Currently 0/1. This is for consistency, and I’m making up for this by asking you lower wizard HP costs to 0/3, and EMC to 0/3. This should offset the ridiculously cheap physical skills of the two spiritual pures.

Now sorcerers. IT IS WRONG THAT WE SHOULD HAVE THE HIGHEST PHYSICAL AND HIGHEST MAGICAL AND HIGHEST UTILITY TRAINING COSTS. There needs to be sufficient adjustment so we’re not the worst in every category. Either that or, our spells all need big uptweaks as a tradeoff for what we pay for them. It is horrible game design to have a profession have universally higher training costs with no trade off.

So, here is what I propose.

1. Lower AS to 0/1 and let us triple. (making us the best in AS, something we deserve)
2. Lower HP to 0/3 (tying us with wizards here as best, which we both deserve, considering the shafting we get on physical stuff)
3. Lower Elemental lore to 0/6 and spiritual lore to 0/6 (a decrease of one, to give parity to what empaths pay)
4. Lower sorcerer lore to 0/5 (minus 1, it sucks enough, might as well make it cheaper, and we only get 1 circle of benefit out of it, which means it is the least beneficial lore in the entire game, no other lore, NO OTHER LORE, affects only 1 circle). I think I could even justify this going to 0/4 or 0/3 but I’d accept 0/5.
Would this make sorcerers the best in any one area? NO. Clerics would still be the best in physical skills, we’d be the worst. Empaths would still wipe the floor on utility skills. We’d be the worst. Wizards would still edge us out on core magical skills (thanks to a 1 PTP edge on spell aiming, fair enough), but we’d be 2nd, and ahead of empaths and clerics as a tradeoff for their leads in the aforementioned areas. We’d still have the worst cost/benefit lore ratio, but it’d not be _as_ bad. And mana controls, on the proxy-lore benefit scale, we’d STILL have the worst cost/benefit ratio. On the mana return scale, clerics & wizards would be tied for first, us and empaths would be tied for second (or last, as it were).

But what this would do, outside of course of letting the players of sorcerers know we’re not red headed step children, is allow more diversity in our profession by freeing up TPs for hobby skills that most of us, quite frankly, cannot afford.

AN ADDENDUM

I hope you guys are thinking about these issues when you lay out the costs for Savants. If you just do it based on “how you visual the profession” without looking at balance, you’re only going to upset more players. A new profession that not only diverts needed coding resources from us, but also has cheaper costs than us (and they’re bound to have cheapo brawling anyways, so its probably going to happen)… ya, that’d probably drive more sorcerers to quit.

May 5, 2009

Animate Dead & Alchemy, Fixin’ What’s Broken

Filed under: Sorcery — Virilneus @ 2:47 pm

Animate Dead needs a lot of improvement, the improvements to combat systems are one side of the equation, such as allowing us to tell our stupid magical animates how to attack to be more effective, or how to spell us up. I classify these as command improvements, and I’m not addressing them today.

Instead I’m going to talk about other improvements that thusfar alchemy has tried to address and failed.

I speak on this as someone who can already do most of what I ask be made available. Making these changes will make my soulstone wand far less valuable. I care not. They need to be done.

1. Animate Healing

Animate Dead is already the most component intensive spell in the game, dwarfing even spells that permanently enhancive items. And far be it a one time use spell, animate dead with it’s duration is an almost per hunt spell. A heavy player would want to cast it multiple times a day. The component load is overbearing.

To add insult to injury, if your animate is wounded, like a horse it must be put down. You also must be very careful in killing the creature, for if it has severed limbs, it’ll make a poor animate. This means a mana intensive killing process, which is a further drain on usefulness.

To add torture to injury, alchemy was supposed to address this, and we’re presented with a ridiculously difficult to make potion requiring 4 deathstones, a somewhat rare teras only drop, and a screaming elf child. This alchemy solution is an abject failure and has inspired a few sorcerers to quit. It is wrong with a capital W for a healing potion to cost more than it would cost just to kill it and get a new one.

To fix this. Have the initial cast of 730 heal wounds based on the value of the gem used. Let it be in direct relation to duration. IF you use a cheaper gem you might heal all the wounds but your duration will stink. If you carefully kill the critter you’ll get a longer duration out of it. I am not seeking to nerf the duration of the spell, god no, it needs to be increased or a method devised to refresh it. The baseline duration for an average wounded animate should be the same before and after this change. Extremely wounded animates would result in a lower duration (more gem mojo used for healing) less wounded animates would result in a longer duration (less/no gem mojo needed for healing).

Secondly, let a second cast of the spell on a creature already animated while holding a gem heal it again in proportion to the gem value, a cheap gem for minor wounds, a nice gem for major wounds. Plus of course 30 mana. If you want you could also have this manuever add to duration like the above, and if you did so you’d have a lot of happy sorcerers. Thus, it is slightly cheaper (no crystals) to heal an animate as it is to make one.

2. Animate Duration

This needs to be redone. Either do as above and let a gem cast both heal and extend the duration, OR allow a second treatment with crystals, AND a gem cast, extend the duration. Because of the myriad limitations placed on AD many hunting areas do not have suitable animates. So a sorcerer wanting to use this spell has to hunt twice, once to get the animate they can use, then another time to do their actual hunting. Not being able to refresh the animate places an undue burden on these sorcerers in regards to mana and hunting time. This method would make a refresh cost as much as an initial cast, minus the time/mana cost to find and kill the animate originally. I find this fair.

3. Alchemy Potions

So, we want to make that alchemy healing potion useless, should we do away with them? No, lets change them.

I propose the lesser potion add 4 BCS levels to your animate. This makes it unique and useful, and not altogether too powerful (we’re talking 12 AS bonus, less than just casting strength on the beast). I think it’d make the cost more realistic in turning it into a special occassion potion rather than a every time potion. You use it only when you really need it, like a ruby amulet. Assuming there is a greater potion I propose letting it add 8 BCS levels to your animate (you could also do 5/10), not to be stacked with the lesser.

December 7, 2008

720 Update

Filed under: Sorcery, Spells — Virilneus @ 8:27 am

Simple change, when FI is cast on a critter have there be a chance the items in their hands are torn free and sucked into the void. Give it the same restrictions as 1002’s blowing up feature. That is all.

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