Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/virilneu/public_html/blog/wp-includes/cache.php on line 36

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/virilneu/public_html/blog/wp-includes/query.php on line 21

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /home/virilneu/public_html/blog/wp-includes/theme.php on line 540
Virilneus’ GS4 Idea Book

Virilneus’ GS4 Idea Book

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.

January 17, 2009

More Stuff Simu doesn’t want you to know.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Virilneus @ 8:15 am

Hide the truth… do not give your opinion that Simutronics is not the best software company evar! You could be flaming!

Dear ASPEN,

Your message has been removed from the GemStone IV Forum for being disruptive and encouraging other people to flame Simutronics.  I understand that the game can be frustrating at times and we do encourage constructive criticisms that will benefit everyone.

However, posting text such as:

>>IMO Simutronics is one of the most poorly run companies I’ve ever seen.

 is both off-topic (it has nothing to do with 2009 Sorcerer Dev Goals) as well as inflammatory to the Company.  If you have CONSTRUCTIVE criticism to offer to the Company, you can do so on the Simutronics Forums or via Feedback.

To date, this is your second post removed for flaming Simutronics.

If you have any questions about my action in removing your message, please don’t hesitate to email me at GS4-EMERADAN@play.net so we can clarify the issue to your satisfaction.

Sincerely,

~
GM Emeradan
GS4-EMERADAN@PLAY.NET
GemStone IV Forums
~
GemStone IV:  One MMORPG to Rule Them All.
“Master of the Black Helicopters.” — BROWNA94
==== BEGIN COPY OF POST ====
Forum:    GemStone IV
Category: Sorcerers
Topic:    Developer’s Corner - Sorcerers
Msg#:     5876
Subject:  Re: 2009 Sorcerer Development Goals

>How many years has it been since sorcerers had something specific to our spell list on the Dev goals? 3 years?

Longer than that. You can actually trace the lack of sorcery development as a pattern going back to Hot Summer Nights in the late days of GS3.

I still have the saved post somewhere where Melissa apologizes to our profession as a whole for leaving us entirely out of two consecutive release events. One of them was more like “Ranger Summer Nights” where they had like 3 spells released and companions and everything else.

Then the only thing we got in the switch to GS4 was 712, which we HAD to have as otherwise we’d be 100 DS below any other pure. Meaning they did the bare minimum.

Then AD was supposed to be released… and it was… 2 years late, and still buggy.

Meanwhile the next big project after EN was major demons… err no…

Its a pattern, its just how it is.

The worst thing is, I think that we have some of the smartest players in the game playing this profession, and the most creative, and as much as I tend to dislike say, your ideas Jesse, the fact is, we post ideas, we debate things, we are full of players who have ideas for our profession. A GM could post a request for a new sorcerer spell at X level and get 10 really well thought out, complete, and unique ideas within a short time (not to mention countless of less thought out ones). All we lack is the coding.

IMO Simutronics is one of the most poorly run companies I’ve ever seen. In addition to them needing to increase the trial length, lower the base price, and engage in better referral marketing, they need to make the game open source, allowing any player with the idea and the time to add to the game. They could even toss out a base empty test enviroment for us to play in with our creations. Then, rather than having GMs do coding, many of them could simply QC and the implement things players do.

SO SO SO many software companies are run like this now. There is a core software package, and then there are hacks/contributions/mods that extend it. When the mod becomes popular enough (and or is good enough, or useful enough, or genius enough), it is integrated into the core.

Look at what players have done with the tools available to us. Shaelun made Lich, Jamus made PSInet, Tsoran did his maps (Which is a time commitment, if not a technical commitment). Lots of players have coded scripts and extenders. I combined a bunch aggregated data into a frontend to make RoomData. Then, we can’t forget Xygon, who has scriptbot players that run around scanning all of our playershops, which is a far more complicated way of accomplishing something than if GS was opensource (and Simu cooperative) he could have just done a direct data transfer.

I bet if all players had the tools to contribute to the game engine (and I don’t mean the joke of an intentional timesink that is Alae) I bet sorcerers would be one of the most fleshed out professions.

Virilneus

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.

December 6, 2008

Read What Simu Doesn’t Want You to Know!

Filed under: Game Balance — Virilneus @ 9:59 pm

Seriously, I mailed feedback months ago, no response, so I REPORT this bug on the forums hoping that they FIX it. What do they do? They cover it up! Maybe they don’t have the manpower to fix it, (believable) maybe staff doesn’t prioritize it, maybe, just maybe, the people who currently abuse it are friends with GMs (I know, I’m being purposefully incendiary, so sue me). Well, screw them, 3-400 active players view this site daily. Maybe its okay to them to just have a few “special” people abusing game mechanics generating millions of free silvers monthly, but if I tell you all how to do it perhaps it becomes a big enough problem for them to finally fix it. Not that a fix would even be hard, you have to stop a single event that happens once per month and this isn’t ovulation I’m talking about here, they know when it happens down to the minute.

You know what grinds my gears? Telling me not to report a bug on the boards… sheesh… I swear if they marginalize the officials any further by putting in cumbersome and frequently changing and or different depending on who you talk to rules… No discussion of broken game mechanics now? What is the game mechanics subforum for then?

Maybe they should have staff spend more time fixing problems than preventing players from discussing them. There is a thought.

Dear ASPEN,Your post was hidden from the GemStone IV Forum.  Discussing and/or promoting methods of abusing game mechanics can harm the game and ruin the fun for other players.  Such methods should be reported to staff via in game bug reporting methods or email.  Check the Contacting Customer Service information in the Help section of our web site to learn more ways to report methods and incidents of game mechanics abuse.

The problem area of this post is:

The whole post.  There is absolutely no reason for you to post messages detailing how to abuse game mechanics.  Even if you think the proper channels are ignoring you on such issues.

Please remember that you agree to abide by the Rules for Posting and the Terms of Service each and every time you login to our services.  If you need to review these items, they can be found via the Forum Policies link at the top of every forum’s page and from the customer service page, respectively.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at MOD-GSRALIEL@play.net.

A copy of your post is included for your reference, below.

-Raliel

==== BEGIN COPY OF POST ====
Forum:    GemStone IV
Category: Game Design Discussions
Topic:    Player-Run Shops
Msg#:     3552
Subject:  How to Abuse Game Mechanics to Buy a Shop CHEAP

I sent a feedback to Simutronics about this awhile ago, no response, I didn’t want to post the bug letting others take advantage of it, but since no one wants to fix it, might as well let everyone know about it.

So, if you don’t visit your shop for 6 months or don’t pay rent your shop gets repossessed. At this point it can be claimed by someone else.

The thing is, when this happens is known and can be manipulated.

Shortly after 1 AM eastern on the 1st of every month the game server goes through each shop and updates it. It takes a little while (and different towns go at different speeds) but when it is done you will be able to buy a deed. Just set up a script to start spamming the command and run it at 1 AM and you’re all set.

But a deed is not a shop, the guy will sell you, and anyone else, a deed so long as there is a vacant shop, he could sell 100 deeds for 1 vacant shop, then it is whoever gets to that shop first. What you can do is have a movement script to immediately run and spam every room of the shop area trying to claim your shop, and if that doesn’t work in subsequent months you can skip the deed buying portion (they don’t expire) and just room spam starting at 1 AM.

If you MA you can have all your characters get deeds to increase your chances. You can also hit multiple towns in a single night because they stagger.

If a shop in WL goes for 10m, and a shop in FWI goes for 5, and SOL and Mule go for 5 each, imagine how much money you can make! All you gotta do is abuse this game mechanic (it is mechanics abuse because you’re using OOC knowledge to give your character an unfair in game advantage - not unlike say imbuing ranger rods repeatedly for sale at the pawn, who remembers that one?)

So you claim the shop, then sell it to another player, pocket the silvers, rinse repeat every month.

Some players have already been doing this for a long time, reaping tens of millions of silvers in profit, don’t you want a shot too? Just drink some coffee, the next cycle is new years eve so you’ll probably be up late anyways.

The obvious solution to this, considering how few vacancies there are, is to have some GM schedule a monthly real estate auction and let players bid on the property. Put it on the calendar. It’ll be good RP, it’ll drain silvers from the gain, and you’ll be stopping this abuse.

But until then, its like the Oklahoma land rush. Mark it on your calendar’s folks! New years eve, after the GM openhouse, ready your scripts or macros and head to the shop deed guy with note in hand. You could turn a 100k deed into millions!

August 7, 2008

An Open Letter to Simutronics

Filed under: Uncategorized — Virilneus @ 6:18 pm

One doesn’t have to look far to see far more successful games out there, I am surprised you’re not doing more to emulate them, your business model stinks.

The hard costs of running an IT business have dropped by ridiculous amounts since GS3 launched, but prices have been steadily rising since the move to the web. Bandwidth is cheaper now, hardware is cheaper, and skilled employees are cheaper. There is no longer a shortage of IT workers.

You, as a company, need to hire more people with business degrees. Does anyone with an MBA work for Simutronics? I would be very surprised if they did, you seem to hire programmers or fans and eventually through seniority they end up in a position like project manager with what experience exactly? What training? (no offense to any former or existing PMs, but lets be honest here).

If you did have such people working for you, I think they would tell you what I am telling you now.

You need to sit down and figure out what your fixed costs are, and what your variable costs are. Your fixed costs are the costs it takes you to run your business regardless of the number of customers you have. Your variable costs are what it costs you to serve your customers. Your fixed costs do not go up when you add more customers, your variable costs do. So what you need to do is figure out the incremental variable cost for each new customer, what does it cost you to serve one additional customer.

Then that has to be the point at which you work on pricing.

Your pricing model stinks. The ideal business situation is where you charge everyone exactly what they’re willing to pay, optimum pricing. A common example is that if you’re selling hotdogs on the street and someone is starving and has $10 in their pocket, they may be willing to spend $10 on one hotdog, someone else may merely be looking for a snack and not think it is worth it to spend more than $2 for something on your cart. If you can charge the first guy $10 and the second guy $2 you’ve hit optimum pricing. You lose no revenue by under pricing, and lose customers by over pricing.

You guys do fine with the $10 people, but you do crap with the $2 people. Your game is just too expensive for some people, I’m not one of them, I go to every pay event and have multiple premium accounts, but some people can’t afford it. This is where knowing your incremental variable costs comes into play. If you can service a new account for $1, why not only charge $5? Better to get $5 for a customer than $0 because they don’t play.

Many, many, many, many, many games, software providers, and other online services make money with a free basic level of service and then charging for upsells. You get someone using your service and you nail them on the upsells. Get them addicted, them charge them for more features. That is a business model.

You could, indeed, have a free level of service subsidized by incentivized affiliate programs. Allow people to play for free if they complete enough affiliate offers through an incentivized affiliate network. In your affiliate links you pass a unique identifier for the customer account, in the reports that is passed back to you. The software portion of tracking such things is as such very very simple. There are free websites out there that make seven figures monthly off of things like this. It isn’t small potatoes.

For free or cheaper ($5) levels of play I would recommend limiting to 1 character per account, and forcing them to stay in a player start city. No traveling. To travel, they have to buy the upsell. Also, no type ahead lines, a weaker assist queue, etc. Maybe even a lower character item limit to encourage those who would merely use them as lockers to buy the upsell.

You also need a realistic referral program. Your best method for gaining new customers is referrals from existing customers. Do you even still have that ridiculous referral program? Everyone who refers someone in a month gets their name entered into a hat for a free alteration? Ohhh… a chance at a free alteration, that’ll get me to push this game on my friends.

It costs you nothing (nearly so) to give away free premium points for referrals, not just to “the lucky winner” of the monthly raffle, but to everyone who refers a paying customer to you.

Give everyone who refers a friend 100 (or more) PPs if the friend continues playing after their trial. Give them 10 pps per month for every month their friend remains a paying customer. How hard is that? Now only do you then encourage people to refer their friends, but you encourage them to make sure their friends stay active, they give service beyond the sale. Maybe 100 pps for a referral, 100 more when they end their free trial, 100 more at 6 months. Then 10 a month after that.

Finally, your free trial needs to be longer, 90 days. You should know your own game and you should know that the single cause for people continuing to play is attachment to the character they create. You can build 3x more attachment in 90 days than you can in 30. For necessary reasons do not allow transfers of characters off of free trial accounts, or accounts less than say 6 months old, unless it is a premium account.

Understand this, your eggs are gradually going into fewer baskets, and that is not desirable, you want a large customer base, broad bases are stable. Understand that interaction and communication are one of the main draws of this game, and having more players increases opportunities for those things, for everyone. Understand that many areas of the game seem like ghost towns because of the low population, and that such things encourage other people to quit, which results in a spiraling problem that has gotten out of control.

Gemstone does not have to die, you’ve survived passed the dawn of graphical competition and are still here, but you need to make changes.

May 29, 2008

112 - Spirit of Adventure

Filed under: Spells — Virilneus @ 8:28 am

Water Walking is a problematic spell, it works differently, or not at all, depending on the pool you’re swimming in, and yes… swimming, not walking, swimming. It doesn’t make sense. Begone with it!

 Instead, call it “Spirit of Adventure” and have it give a flat bonus of 5 phantom ranks to each Swimming, Climbing, and Survival. Much better.

January 4, 2008

Hybrid Mana Control Penalties

Filed under: Game Balance — Virilneus @ 12:17 pm

Some game formulas, such as the mana return formula, give bonuses to the tune of counting your highest trained mana control fully, and next highest trained one at half. This balances out TP costs and rewards between hybrid pures and pure pures. It is a fair and equitable way to do things.

 Other game formulas, such as a few in alchemy, simply average the mana controls for hybrids. This results in hybrids spending twice the TPs for the same bonus as pure pures.

 Obviously, all game formulas should use the setup used for mana returns, and the alchemy formulas, and any other formulas in game setup that way, need to be changed. Else this is just-another-hybrid-penalty.

December 31, 2007

Maximum Possible Enchant, Forging, and Metals

Filed under: Game Balance, Skills, Spells — Virilneus @ 6:25 pm

There is a problem with enchant and how it relates to forging, namely, thanks to the change with enchant to allow wizard enchanted weapons to be blessable, it is now cheaper and easier to forge perfect steel weapons and enchant them to 4x than to forge a perfect vultite weapon.

 It makes no sense that more common metals should be more desirable, but they are, and that is a problem.

 Some would say this is a forging problem and should have a solution found within that system. I think however that since an enchant change caused this issue, maybe another enchant change could fix this. Futhermore, the idea I have come up with I feel helps the enchant system in many other ways as well.

 The concept is the same that is found in almost all other magical item manipulation based spells or abilities in the game, namely that materials have a quality and that that quality determines how much magic they can hold. You find this with scrolls, and all imbeddables. You find this system in place in the Scroll Infusion, Imbue, and Recharge Item spells. However, this is not the case with metals for the enchant system. All metals, no matter of base quality, can be enchanted to the same 10x limit by players (with the right, rare, potions of course).

 Why is it, that this system alone, the system that perhaps generates the most benefit, places so little importance on the base material quality? It goes against the grain of all other magical systems, and it should be changed.

I propose that all metals should be given a maximum possible enchant, not unlike their current minimum enchant (aka starting enchant aka natural bonus). This enchant being the maximum possible level a player would be able to enchant the item to.

The easiest formula I can think of for this would be a +20 or 2x(base enchant) whichever is higher. So Golvern & Veil Iron would have a max of +50. Vultite, Rolaren, etc would have a max of +40. Glaes, Mithglin, etc would have a max of + 30. Imflass +24, Mithril, Steel, Ora, and anything else +10 or lower would have a max of +20.

Or, it could be a set amount + the initial enchant. Say metals under +20 base enchant would have a max enchant of +20 over their base. So imflass at +32, mithril at +25, Ora at +30, steel still at +20. Then metals above 4x would have +25 added to their base (so that a theoretical 10x is still possible).

The third option would be for GMs to just go through and assign maximum enchant values for each metal and wood type, so they would be able to make unique considerations for each.

 Some may see this is a nerf to enchant, it is not. This doesn’t change the power of enchant, the demand of enchant, or the value of enchant. All this does, really, is change which metals a customer is likely to hire a wizard to enchant with.

Some may see this as “unfair” because they have a say mithril themed outfit and now they won’t be able to use mithril without taking a loss on the enchant value. Firstly, this system would of course grandfather in all existing gear, secondly, you can always use your “rp metal” as the hilt, as embellishments, as spikes, cross guards, trim, edging, and all the other nifty ways you can add secondary materials to your item’s description. It just will not be the base metal.

In addition to fixing the little forging problem I think this would also help enchant in that it would create an additional restriction on high level (8x+) enchants. The creation of a new restriction, metal types, should logically lead to a lessening of the existing restriction, potion availability. In other words, I feel that this change would result in more high level enchanting potions being released.

Finally, this would also help the game and enchant by likely lessening restrictions on other metal types or enchant methods. GMs may not want players to be able to enchant razern to 7x or 10x, but if razern had a maximum possible enchant of +25 maybe GMs would allow it to be enchanted, in spite of the natural crit weighting it has. The same goes for Rhimar, Drakar, Coraesine, Zorchar, Gornar, and all the other special property metals. All these metals that are currently not enchantable might be made enchantable so long as they have a maximum enchant built in.

 If you do not want to simply outright put a hard limit on enchanting certain metals beyond a theoretical maximum amount, then a compromise could be those metals simply gaining exponential increases in failure rates beyond a certain point, so that they are still possible, if very risky, to enchant further.

 Irregardless, metal (and wood I guess) quality should play a larger role in enchant, and perhaps other magical systems. It adds more depth to the game, and supports the official documentation on material rarity and desirability.

December 10, 2007

Flesh Golems

Filed under: Sorcery — Virilneus @ 10:51 am

Someone proposed a skill that would involve us taking parts from slain creatures and using those parts to create something, Frankenstein’s monster like. Well… I like it.

Now lets talk about golems. All in game history says that golems were created by wizards, which I think is just laziness. The word “wizard” the default when talking about anything magical and I think the GMs who wrote such information simply did not think things through.

Golems are a much more sorcerous creation than wizardly.

Golems are humanoid in nature, which profession has more to do with the first aid skill (which really should be called the anatomy skill)? Sorcerers. Which profession has animate dead? Sorcerers. Which profession deals in body parts (and I don’t mean healing them)? Sorcerers.

Wizards I’m sure had something to do with elementals, glacei, things of that nature. Golems however are definitely sorcerish.

So, lets say that sorcerers a long time ago created golems, perhaps in their experiments leading up to the discovery of animate dead. Why not “rediscover” that practice?

Imagine how fun this would be. You could go hunting for body parts, of course limb disrupt will get you the limbs but then there could be a guild skill (and first aid) involved in cutting off heads and other parts and bringing them back to the guild.

Then there is a room in the guild with a strange looking table where you can lay the parts down and stitch them together. Then through a process involving some of our spells, perhaps a combination of ensorcell, animate dead, and call lightning, the flesh golem comes to life.

What would be the purpose of this? Well what if the golem could be a permanent type companion like animal companion? Where a sorcerer could store it in the guild’s dungeon and take it out when wanted. Additionally the golem could be trained and taught some skills, rudimentary to be sure. The training itself should also be long and involved, requiring a significant investment of time. Also the golems could fight but I think the process of making one should be involved enough that if they die you feel it, kinda like an enchanting project exploding.

The fun part comes when picking out body parts. Your golem will have the strength of the critter that donated the arms, the health/constitution/weight of the critter that donated the torso, the speed of the critter that donated the legs, and the intelligence of the critter that donated the head. The critters would look like “A hideously disfigured flesh golem with the head of a Ithzir, the legs of a griffin, the arms of a pyrothag, and the body of a troll king, all stitched together with a coarse metal wire.”

I’m not entirely sure what kind of data you store on each critter, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be too difficult to get this kind of information.

So there you go, a fun guild skill that would create endless variety and would increase intra-realm travel and exploration, and that doesn’t give a direct benefit to hunting.

« Older PostsNewer Posts »

Powered by WordPress