[MUD-Dev] The Best Guy on the Mud Thing

J C Lawrence claw at varesearch.com
Fri Sep 17 15:11:28 New Zealand Standard Time 1999

On Thu, 16 Sep 1999 18:14:21 -0500 
Koster, Raph <rkoster at origin.ea.com> wrote:

> So Asheron's Call has this spell language, whereby you combine
> gestures to make spells. The combos are actually predesigned, it's
> not literally a spell language. 

Can you compare to Waving Hands at all?

> And they made it so that the more spells are cast, the weaker they
> get.

Cast by the individual?  Cast in the entire game per unit time?
Cast in the local game aera per unit time?  What is the actual
scalar here?

> A link with discussion of this from a beta tester's perspective:

> http://www.acvault.com/features/i_mages_edit.shtml

Worth posting:


So you want to be a Mage? 
By: Utildayael

I have traveled near and far and have heard the same complaint
regarding magic users. They are too weak. While I can simply say
they are too weak and challenge Turbine to fix this problem, I feel
it would not be given justice unless I define exactly why *I* think
they are too weak.

The global mana pool severally cripples spells over level 2 [since
1 & 2 aren?t affected] the reason behind this, everyone knows the
spells! Spell lists and how-to?s are passed out on the internet and
are quite easy to obtain and understand. My suggestion for Turbine,
eliminate this global mana pool. It was a noval idea at the
beginning, meaning it?d be cool if you had a spell no one else did
and it did more damage/effect because only you had it. That wore off
fast when everyone knew every spell in the game thus causing the
mana pool to have only a negative effect.

Magic resistance is a bit of an issue for a lot of creatures. At
level 15 I could easily kill a Drudge Ravener with my archer. At
level 15 with my mage, I was resisted nearly 90% of the time. I
constantly would see archers and warriors out-damage me against a
variety of foes. One would think that war magic would be able to do
more damage than a lousy arrow! Which would you find more
intimidating: a whirling blade, or an arrow? The blade of course!
However when the arrow hits and the whirling blade is resisted, the
argument swings in favor of the arrow.

I have claimed time and time again that a mage can not solo well.
The only viable options I have seen mages do to gain experience is
to camp somewhere where they are relatively safe, on a wall, on a
tower, on a hill that monsters can not get up, etc. You just sit
there and shoot without worrying about a thing in the world. Run out
of mana? Just lay down and rest, regain the mana, stand up and shoot
again. Mages get quite a bit more viable at higher levels, however
to *get* to the higher levels you are almost required to do the
aforementioned camping procedure.

Grouping is also a problem with mages. People for some reason just
don?t seem to understand that having a mage around to raise their
stats or heal them is a good idea. Many people scoff when a mage is
in town advertising his services in hopes of getting a place in a
group of warriors to gain some experience without having to camp a
tower or whatnot.

The apparent primary purpose of a mage is that of support. A mage
can [as said before] raises stats, heal, etc quite well. Quite the
jack of utility especially with creature/life/item magic combined. I
have a few ideas as to how Turbine can make mages a much more viable
solo character.

Eliminate the global mana pool. It was a good idea but lost it?s
value once everyone learned every spell.

Give mages direct damage spells that are NOT bolt related.
[meaning they can hit something without physically throwing a
magical bolt at it]. The only requirement would be a direct line of
sight, meaning no shooting through walls. EverQuest has spells such
as this, ie: Burst of Flame or Shock of Blades, and quite a few

Add summon spells. The ability of a mage to be able to summon a
golem/elemental/undead creature/rabbit/etc to help them in their
struggle would be wonderful! The summoned pet would act as a tank
for the mage who can blast the monster while the pet takes the

Add effect spells. Examples would be damage over time spells such
as disease, poison, etc. Spells that could be cast on a monster and
continue to affect them even after the initial cast.

Add root/stun/paralyze spells. This goes with my last phrase about
making mages more solo-able. A root spell being a spell that anchors
a monster into the ground for a set amount of time so the castor can
inflict some damage before the enraged monster loosens itself and
pummels the mage. These spells could increase in level and give the
mages a bit of an edge in soloing. Of course to keep play balance,
make the root spells a bit resistible. =)

Modify portal spells. Right now they are the most awesome force
upon Dereth. Travel from place to place in an instant is wonderful!
They should be modified to be direct portals. I.e. "Portal to
Holtburg" spell or "Portal to Fort Tethana" spell. I loved this part
of EQ. A mage would start with a simple gate spell that could be
used to return to the last place they were bound. [Generally there
home city till they could bind themselves at lvl 12/14] cast gate,
boom you?re home... had a long casting time on it so you cant just
dissapear in the middle of a fight. At higher levels, mages would
get Portal to X and Portal to Y spells. At even higher levels, a
mage would get what would be a Portal Fellowship to X spell. [I saw
fellowship because I?m thinking that?d be the easiest way to pick
who goes with the castor]. These spells would also have very long
casting times but would take everyone in the fellowship to place
X. For this, I think they?d have to put limitation on how many can
be in a fellowship. =) Portal?ing a group of 20 from one place to
another would have the school bus effect and would be cool... but I
dunno if Turbine would like that =)

Make items that only a mage can use. Define a set of standards that
would make someone a mage as opposed to a warrior who picks up a
magic school at a higher level. Perhaps a limitation, if you pick
war/life/creature/item magic then you can not pick sword or bow?
etc. The classical RPG standards for mages comes to mind, only staff
or dagger can be equiped when casting magic. You could do this by
simply making a "pseudo template" that you pick for magic user and
it removes certain skills and adds new ones. [This could be done
within the skill menu too, pick war magic and it removes sword or
whatever] the removed skill will never be able to be trained however
the mage will have more skills to train in, such as the other
schools of magic, mana conversion, etc. I think they could do
wonders for mages if they added in some more spells geared towards
mages who solo. Robes for mages would be an awesome addition. Have a
decent al on them and be VERY lightweight so a mage could physically
carry them. The way it is now, you can?t really focus all on your
magic because you have to spend experience/ability points on
strength and quickness so you can run away from danger and so that
you can carry the spell components and maybe even try to carry some
decent armor. Having mage only weapons and armor would be a definite
plus. Another thing on robes, they?d set magic users apart from
others quite well. You could walk into a town, see the warriors in
their chain and platemail? and the mages in their robes.

Reduce the cost of skill credits to train the magical schools so
mages can specialize more. For example, right now, it costs a ton to
specialize war magic. This could be reduced and with an addition of
more mage inclined skills, could lead to better character
development. [characters taking trade skills such as alchemy, or
jewel craft [if its added] or permanent item enchantment [would go
great with armor/weapon making trade skill] ?

Modify the magic mode. Make it so a mage can attack and cast spells
while in that mode. This goes along with limiting their weapons to
staff or dagger. You can sit and attack a creature while you wait
for that last mana point to cast Force Bolt or whatever.  Lose the
wands too... its pathetic to see a group of mages all standing
around rocking back and forth holding little wands.

Eliminate cross training for classes. By this I mean, do not let a
warrior or archer EVER have access to a school of magic. This
eliminates the hybrid warrior who can cast item magic to make his
armor/weapon better. This also adds a *need* for mages within the
game. Instead of 3 warriors sitting there saying "well Joe has item
magic and Bob has creature magic, we don?t need a mage" they?ll be
asking around for a mage to come with them to cast the magic on

Figure something out for the component burning problem. A mage
spends an obscene amount of money at a lower level on components,
especially while researching. I don?t know if total removal of
burning components in a component based magic system is the answer,
but at least reducing the current burn rate would help.

Make x amount of spells available for purchase per level. Like how
EQ merchants would sell you spells but to get all the spells for
your level you would have to research some which would require
finding the components. Applied to AC, I think that there should be
a type of "level" you reach within your magical training. First
ring, second ring, etc. Not just the numeric "98" skill or
whatever. Meaning you would have to achieve the "second level" of
life magic to cast Heal Self II, etc. This is in place now, however
its not hard and fast. I think you should be able to right-click on
the school of magic and see what ring/level you are in and how close
to the next ring/level. Not really a major help, but more of less a
organizational thing. You can buy spells as you achieve higher
levels, in the form of scrolls. Make scrolls available up to level
6. Perhaps have 10 scrolls for lvl 1, 8 for lvl 2, 6 for lvl 3, 4
for lvl 4, 2 for lvl 5, and 1 for lvl 6. To keep the magic merchant
organized, make a submenu for Life, Creature, Item, War spells. By
offering some spells as buyable and some as researchable, even if
you?re a terrible researcher you?ll at least get a new spell as you
advance in level/ring. Which reminds me, if they choose to keep the
mana pool, consider making the spell components harder to find, at
least some of them, enough to make having all the spells quite hard
due to lack of components.

Make volley and blast spells more viable. I was hit by a level 4
volley spell for about 14 damage today. That?s just a joke
considering it?s a level 4 spell. They use more mana than other
spells, make them at least equal in damage to their single shot

Crank up the damage rating on the war magic spells. A mage should
clearly be able to out damage a warrior to make up for the fact that
the mage will die from being beaten to death before a warrior
does. Mages lose the aspects of melee and melee defense to gain
their power. Make it worth their while. Also, make the spells hit
for their max damage a bit more often.. I?ve had spells that did
like 15-30 damage and almost always hit for 15!

This is about all I can think of off the top of my head. I urge
Turbine to read this and put it into consideration as I have had
discussions like this via email with many people who support my

Turbine: If you have any questions, want elaborations /
clarifications / etc on any of my ideas stated within this editorial
please feel free to contact me anytime at
Utildayael at vaultnetwork.com where can can arrange any other means of
communication necessary.

Others: Feel free to link this editorial within the Newsgroups, as I
do not have the time to read them or post on them.


J C Lawrence      Life: http://www.kanga.nu/   Home: claw at kanga.nu
---------(*)                Work (Linux/IA64): claw at varesearch.com
 ... Beware of cromagnons wearing chewing gum and palm pilots ...

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