[MUD-Dev] Striving for originality

Matt Chatterley matt at eldoops.co.uk
Fri Jun 7 10:23:22 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


On Wed, 5 Jun 2002, shren wrote:
> On Tue, 4 Jun 2002 szii at sziisoft.com wrote:

> 'skills' able to do different things, functionally.  You can
> inflict ranged damage with a bow?  Fine, but why do you need
> another source of ranged damage other than "bows"?  It seems you
> then end up trying to balance bows, slings, and crossbows with
> "magic", which never seems to work.  One is more powerful than the
> other, always, and any attempts to balance them never seem to work
> out.  Melee weapons should do melee damage, ranged weapons should
> do ranged damage, and magic should do all sorts of useful things
> that arn't melee damage or ranged damage.

In a way, yes, in others.. no. Surely one of the big attractions to
magical characters is the ability to make an oncoming group of orcs
explode in a big purple flash?

To my mind, the place of the battlefield mage is at the back, behind
the others -- the same as we might use artillery support in a more
modern battle.

One approach to limiting the effectiveness of mages in combat (and
one which I will most likely use) is that of distraction. If you're
carefully weaving the threads of a spell together, the last thing
you need is to be whapped with a sword, kicked in the groin, or to
get shot. As soon as someone on the other side spots the signs of
spellcasting, you'd become a target -- they know that magic thrown
against them could be devastating, and would really want to prevent
it.

Hence there might be several different types of battlefield
mage. The one who stands right at the back and throws in the big
bangs; the ones who cast a few protective spells beforehand, then
draw their sword and wade in, and so forth.

I suppose I'm really moving towards different specializations and
such -- the ability of the player to build the sort of mage
character which they want, by refining their skills, and selecting
their repertoire of spells.

Balance will be a key issue, of course. If a war-mage can shield
himself and fight as well with a sword as most warriors, there will
probably not be many warriors..

--Matt

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