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Thread: The Wizard Wars spell system - Part 1

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    The Wizard Wars spell system - Part 1

    Hey,

    I thought I'd start sharing how we designed the game and how we are thinking about the future. The spell system is in my opinion the most awesome part of Magicka - being able to combine elements to spells on the fly is simply fantastic fun! To keep this from becoming a text-wall-of-doom I thought I'd split it up into several parts, beginning with the high level principles of spells in Wizard Wars and the differances from the original Magicka. Much of this has been said already but it might be good to have it in a single post.

    Why only 3 elements?
    We looked at the feedback from the original Magicka and there were a few things that kept popping up; Spell balance was an issue, the majority of the spells were poor choices and that it was difficult to remember the spell combinations. So, we looked at the spell system to see if we could streamline it without losing complexity. And trust me, we love complexity!

    The sweet spot ended up with 3 elements. That gives us almost all the complexity from the original (except ARSE mines and other spells with 4 different elements) but is a better fit for muscle memory in Wizard Wars fast paced spellcasting combat. It's better for remembering what the spells actually do and - best of all - they are balancable in such a way that we can make all spells useful choices! It's safe for me to say that there are way fewer bad spell choices in Wizard Wars then in the original Magicka, but I'd even dare to say that there are more good choices as well! ARSE mines are great, but in Wizard Wars ARE, ASE and SRE mines are all working, balanced choices that are useful in different situations. I'll return to this example in another post if you like, with more detail on the spell types and how the elements work.


    What about the subelements Ice and Steam?
    They are still in the game, but they are not combined into one element in the element queue. So, QRQRQRQRS from the original Magicka is now done QRS.
    Why? Two reasons; first is that subelements are confusing to new players - the bewildered look in their eyes when they struggle to grasp what happens in the element queue is a sad sight. Second reason - do you remember Lightning+Steam? Making people wet and then zapping for double damage was great fun in PvE but it just doesn't work in PvP. We think that the amount of special combination/separation rules that is required to make the subelements understandable, failsafe and balanceable just isn't worth it. And Patrick (our great animator) utterly owns me with deadly ice shards so subelements are very valid choices!


    What is this context sensitive stuff?
    It's quite simple really - where to cast a spell depends on where you click and how it is cast depends on whats in it.
    Adding elements to the element queue and clicking on yourself will cast the spell on yourself (cast self). Clicking on the ground will cast it on the ground (cast force).
    Middle mouse button (MMB) will cast self regardless of cursor position.

    If the element queue contains beneficial stuff - Life/Shield elements resulting in Healing, Resistances etc - the result is cast self.
    If the element queue contains painful stuff - Fire, Lightning etc - the spell is cast as an area of effect (cast area).

    Cast Area also neutralizes your status, so if you are on fire and cast Water self, it will become a Water AoE that douses the fire.
    Cast Area does not induce status on yourself, cast Water self will become a Water AoE that does not make you wet. There are plenty of other ways to do that.

    Why did we do this? Well, we want a player to be able to play with only a 2 button mouse. It will be slow and cumbersome but it actually works which we think is pretty amazing and it really helps getting new players to understand the spell system in all its beauty. But of course better accessibility for new players must not lead to the experiened players being forced to play in some form of dumbed down mode - MMB as selfcast is of course there.


    What about the cast weapon spells?
    They are currently not in the game. Why? Because we made a really fun melee combat system! I'll go into more detail in an future meleefocused post, but we have combos, movement, great effects - all sorts of stuff that makes you want to use weapons as weapons!

    Also from a game balance perspective, cast weapon lead to players having a massive burst damage capability and that is simply not fun in PvP. We want all players to have a chance, however slight, to survive a surprise attack and by skilled blocking and countermeasures win the fight. Weapon Cast+high damage spell = death before the target can react.

    Magicks?

    As you probably has seen in the screenshots, there are 4 Magick icons with a little bar below them in the ingame HUD. We want to get the game in your hands as quickly as possible so we have exactly 4 Magicks in the beta; Haste, Revive, Summon Death and Meteor Shower. We would love to add a bunch more, but our focus is absolutely to get you into the game as soon as possible! Anyways, we have experimented quite a bit with different methods of preventing Magick Spam - it's not a fun experience to have spammable Revives or Meteor Showers in a PvP game. The method we have chosen is a focus meter, similar to a super meter from fighting games, as an example Street Fighter. It works like this;
    • The meter goes from 0 to 100 focus.
    • Players gain focus over time, and by playing the game well (killing enemies, capturing control points etc).
    • Haste cost 25 focus, Revive 50, Summon Death 75 and Meteor Shower 100 focus.
    • So, using Meteor Shower requires 100 focus and you lose all of it, but you can instead cast 4 Haste or 2 Revives with the same amount of focus.

    Magicks are activated by clicking the corresponding icon or pressing a hotkey (1,2,3,4). Haste instantly makes you move faster and Meteor Shower will be centered around your wizard, while Revive and Summon Death are placeable, you go into a Magick cast mode and can place exactly where you want Death to spawn or who you want to revive (it can be several, I believe the office record is 3 enemies and 2 friendlies.) Placed magicks are telegraphed, IE all players can see on screen that Death is spawning here or that a Meteor will land on this spot in 0.5 seconds.


    To summarize;
    We want to keep complexity but increase accessibility of the spell system.
    We want to make the game playable with simpler hardware and make macros pointless.
    We want to make the game balanced and that all spells are good choices or at least useful in specific situations.
    We want to accomplish this without dumbing things down.


    Make no mistake; Wizard Wars is a complex, fastpaced, hardcore skillbased PvP game. It will also be fun and accessible!

    Next time I thought I'd go through the different spell types (beams, projectiles, barriers etc) in more detail. If you have other suggestions, please let me know.
    Now, fire away any questions, thoughts or suggestions and I'll do my best to answer in a timely fashion!

    Best Regards
    /David

    (edit: Added magicks)

  2. #2
    Thanks for the review. I like that self casting shield and life will result in benefits to the caster, however how will painful elements work? Setting yourself on fire in the original Magicka was valid when you were trying to escape from a grapple very quickly, for example with snow trolls. Painful elements were not painful to some robes in Magicka, for example Flamos and CyberRobe. Will these variations in robes be unavailable in Wizard Wars? How are Magicks handled in Wizard Wars? Only 3 elements means that spells like Vortex, Summon Death, Summon Elemental, Thunderbolt, etc are unable to be cast. Very powerful spells like these were complex and difficult to cast as it prevented spamming very powerful spells. It's great that there are new mechanics for weapons, although who doesn't enjoy casting a wall of icy death (QRQRESA, weapon enchant) and watching the explosions? I agree that in current Magicka the icy death wall is too powerful, because once the weapon is enchanted you can do whatever you want in the meantime and wait to use it when most optimal. It'd be great if we could still have the spirit of that icy death wall, maybe as a Magick? It'd be great if our favorite 4+ spells could still be represented as Magicks, as they were rewarding skills learned.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisshagen View Post
    To summarize;
    We want to keep complexity but increase accessibility of the spell system.
    We want to make the game playable with simpler hardware and make macros pointless.
    We want to make the game balanced and that all spells are good choices or at least useful in specific situations.
    We want to accomplish this without dumbing things down.
    Well you are dumbing down, but in this case, I think it's a good thing.

    Also, I am very curious about the melee system.

  4. #4
    w!z@rD, worshipper of Assatur purple wizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisshagen View Post
    To summarize;
    We want to keep complexity but increase accessibility of the spell system.
    We want to make the game playable with simpler hardware and make macros pointless.
    We want to make the game balanced and that all spells are good choices or at least useful in specific situations.
    We want to accomplish this without dumbing things down.
    You fail.
    Okay.
    That can be down without screwing the whole system.
    Unfortunately you just did.

    I don't have much time right now, you get my wall of text later.
    [Lemons]
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    Hi,

    at first: thanks that you guys explain all the changes you make to us.

    before I post a text-wall-of-doom I want to ask: How much experience in Magicka pvp does the paradox north team have? How much have you really played the game you want to improve?
    You donīt seem to have a lot experience in Magicka PvP. A lot of stuff you say about Magicka is not correct; At least not for hardcore players. This may result in wrong asumptions about how to change the game. If you want to make a hardcore skillbased game then you have to think from that perspective.

    Also you are always talking about keeping the complexity but all that you do is removing ways to get creative with the casting system and with it you take the complexity away.
    (Only 3 elements, no tricking around with steam and ice, less ways to cast each element combination, etc.)

    greetings, Auron
    Last edited by Auron Darkmoon; 28-05-2013 at 12:57.

  6. #6
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    Nice post, I like the way changes are going, one of my biggest disappointments with magicka was that it was more often just simpler to summon a D-D-D-D-D rock and crush everything under, making spell choices simpler and more interesting (because people do like to play casually) is really something I look forward to.

    Also I'm quite curious about the melee system, the uselessness of melee weapons in magicka was another big disappointment.

    Not everyone has the time to spend hundreds of hours of play memorizing ten different ways to do the same thing, diversity in the results is something I quite welcome (and I'm positive about the creative thing being still there in the end, have faith in the devs !).

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    w!z@rD, worshipper of Assatur purple wizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisshagen View Post
    Why only 3 elements?
    We looked at the feedback from the original Magicka and there were a few things that kept popping up; Spell balance was an issue, the majority of the spells were poor choices and that it was difficult to remember the spell combinations. So, we looked at the spell system to see if we could streamline it without losing complexity. And trust me, we love complexity!
    I usually ask everybody I play with, what they think of Magicka, and what they think about a reduction to 3 elements. The majority of people I have asked, tell me the same.
    They love the almost endless possibilites of spells and combat. At first they had problems (like everybody else, me included), but it's pretty addictive after you get the hang of it.
    I think that's the average reaction to Magicka. Hard at the beginning but totally awesome if you have some more skills.

    Furthermore, have a look at all the reviews of Magicka (articles and youtube reviews). The complexity and possibility is apparently what makes the game so outstanding.
    http://www.magickagame.com/about-the-developers (just a little side note)
    nuff' said


    Quote Originally Posted by Nisshagen View Post
    The sweet spot ended up with 3 elements. That gives us almost all the complexity from the original (except ARSE mines and other spells with 4 different elements) but is a better fit for muscle memory in Wizard Wars fast paced spellcasting combat.
    Are you serious?!
    You can't even maintain the complexity of the countless 4-element spells with just 3 elements but you want to be close to the original with 5? With every element less in a spell there are less modifications of each small spell possible while the longer spells become completely impossible.
    You may maintain the system behind the combinations but what the player can actually combine is not even close to the complexity of the original.

    Here, have some examples:

    EDSQ, a pretty neat spell, one of my favourites.
    - it doesn't break instantly like ice walls do
    - it does arcane damage and pushes back light and unarmoured units
    - the water effect doesn't vanish if it comes in contact with fire
    With space for only three elements I could either cast QED or EDS, which are both lame.
    QED, does have the pushing effect, but doesn't do arcane damage. The water vanishes if it's mixed with fire, which makes it pretty much useless against skilled players. (match making system?)
    EDS, on one hand does arcane damage but on the other hand, it neither wet units nor pushes them back.
    The same applies to ERDS and EFDS.

    or another example, that needs even 5 elements.
    QF E A S F, A nice protecting spell that protects against steam and fire (and also lighting and arcane).
    OP you say? I say no.
    it doesn't protect against physical damage, cold, ice and push. There are a lot of spells, that can kill you even with this protection.
    I'm sure you have experienced enough battles to think about a few spells and scenarios.

    Another thing that would dissapear, is the ability to influence the duration and range of spells. And also the power of certain elements in the combination.
    E+D is a simple stone wall, that breaks after ~20 seconds (untouched)
    E+D+D is another simply stone wall but breaks after ~30 seconds.
    Now where is the space for elements like fire or cold?

    Another example, QSD
    Kinda lame, if you only cast QSD. Poor knockback and damage.
    But you could add more water elements! That would result in QSDQQ, fast flying missile that has insane knockback. OP you say? I say no. You could easily defend by self casting ED.
    I don't know how this'll be handled in Wizard Wars, but giving spells a prescribed effect area and power will just reduce the possibilities (again).

    Do you know canonballing? No? Well, have a look at this guide (you might need to scroll down a bit, the loading pictures move the site).
    As short overview: It's about moving very quickly by pushing yourself around with water spells. More water means flying further. A really good tactic to escape hopeless seeming situations but also very risky.

    Good bye, I will miss you...


    Quote Originally Posted by Nisshagen View Post
    It's better for remembering what the spells actually do and - best of all - they are balancable in such a way that we can make all spells useful choices! It's safe for me to say that there are way fewer bad spell choices in Wizard Wars then in the original Magicka, but I'd even dare to say that there are more good choices as well! ARSE mines are great, but in Wizard Wars ARE, ASE and SRE mines are all working, balanced choices that are useful in different situations. I'll return to this example in another post if you like, with more detail on the spell types and how the elements work.
    As far as I understood, you just want to lame down and disable the good spells, that every spell is as useful as as every other. Or should I say useless?
    In the original Magicka you would use ASRE and EARAR as well. Or also SER if you want to bomb a cyber robe to Niflheim.

    It IS EASY to remember everything once you've overcome the "letter-thinking" and move on to logical thinking.
    There is a system behind it! Knowing the combination for all the thousands spells and what they do isn't hard if you understand it.
    And learning how the system works is NOT something you can not expect players to do. In every game you need to learn certain things to play it properly.

    Do you like examples? I do:

    If you see a white, spiky wall on the field you know it has E+QR as base.
    If it explodes on breaking you know the combination also contained Arcane, S.
    If there is also purple glowing you know there has to be lightning, A.
    Conclusion: QR E A S

    You see a stone flying in your direction.
    -> it contains stone, D
    If it explodes on impact and wets you but doesn't push you away it's Steam
    Conclusion: D QF (or QF S D, if there was also red glow with some grey)

    Yes please, return to this again.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nisshagen View Post
    They are still in the game, but they are not combined into one element in the element queue. So, QRQRQRQRS from the original Magicka is now done QRS.
    Why? Two reasons; first is that subelements are confusing to new players - the bewildered look in their eyes when they struggle to grasp what happens in the element queue is a sad sight.
    ;_; I'm so sad for the new players...
    No seriously, that's a common issue for new players in most games.
    And do you know the main reason for that issue? The tutorial!
    Yes, the tutorial! Most people just rush through it, being like "fuq dis sh*t, I don't need it anyway, it's just anyother easy game" or just skip it anyway...
    And then BOOM, "how do I cast that wind element?"
    As far as I can remember there is even a little dialoge (or two) in the party room, pointing out that there are two additional elements, Steam and Ice.
    So, if newbies have problems with ice and steam and the game in general it's THEIR fault, not the game's.

    With this change you just reduce possibilities and fun for experienced players. AGAIN.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nisshagen View Post
    Second reason - do you remember Lightning+Steam? Making people wet and then zapping for double damage was great fun in PvE but it just doesn't work in PvP. We think that the amount of special combination/separation rules that is required to make the subelements understandable, failsafe and balanceable just isn't worth it.
    Steam + Lightning didn't work in PvP? Sorry but I have to ask, why? What was wrong with it? The steam-lightning beams were(/are) good enough to do serious damage, but every commonly used protection made them useless. EASR, EFQASF, EFQFQASR(auras), ESDR, ESDF, EDSQ(armours), walls and simple shields are able to withstand them well.
    Making those protections protect against only 50% of the damage maybe does the balancing trick, but really, can't you think of anything better?
    EFQAAA as the steam-lightning clouds are hard to use in Pvp because they easily vanish and have a similar problem as the beam. The only overpowered steam + lighting spell is one that nearly none knows how to cast: The Steam-Lightning-Arcane-Ice-Wall!

    Include Steam and Ice in the tutorial and everything will be fine. Just make sure it's unskippable.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nisshagen View Post
    And Patrick (our great animator) utterly owns me with deadly ice shards so subelements are very valid choices!
    ASRE selfcast?
    Shield barriers?
    Stone walls as defence?
    Fight back/protect before the ice shards are charged?
    You disappoint me.
    Or is this already experience from Wizard Wars? (I'm sorry if it is.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Auron Darkmoon View Post
    before I post a text-wall-of-doom I want to ask: How much experience in Magicka pvp does the paradox north team have? How much have you really played the game you want to improve?
    You donīt seem to have a lot experience in Magicka PvP. A lot of stuff you say about Magicka is not correct; At least not for hardcore players. This may result in wrong asumptions about how to change the game. If you want to make a hardcore skillbased game then you have to think from that perspective.
    Any chance we could see you in combat, Nisshagen? (and also the other developers :3)
    In the original Magicka of course, and also in Wizard Wars when it's presentable.
    [Lemons]
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by superkamiguru View Post
    how will painful elements work? Setting yourself on fire in the original Magicka was valid when you were trying to escape from a grapple very quickly, for example with snow trolls. Painful elements were not painful to some robes in Magicka, for example Flamos and CyberRobe. Will these variations in robes be unavailable in Wizard Wars?
    Beneficial/Painful elements is a simplified phrasing - let me remedy that.

    By Beneficial spells I actually mean selfcasting any element combination including at least one Shield element or only Life element. These result in Resistances, Immunities or Self Healing.
    By Painful spells I meant selfcasting any other element combination; Water, Cold, Lightning, Death (previously known as Arcane), Earth, Fire, Life and Only Shield on yourself.
    If you selfcast Life+Lightning, you will do an area Lightning with Healing. Adding Lightning increases range and damage, adding Life increases Healing.
    The system does not take any equipment into account, regardless of what you are wearing it will work the same way.

    One of the key issues we want to solve is to make players less prone to accidentally kill themselves. It's great fun in PvE but it is frustrating in PvP. We prefer players to fight eachother, not the controls.
    So, DDD+Self will cast an Area Earthquake, not drop a stone on your head. Pain goes to others, not to you.

    How are Magicks handled in Wizard Wars? Only 3 elements means that spells like Vortex, Summon Death, Summon Elemental, Thunderbolt, etc are unable to be cast. Very powerful spells like these were complex and difficult to cast as it prevented spamming very powerful spells.
    Ah, thanks - I should have included this. I will edit my original post to add the explanation.
    As you probably has seen in the screenshots, there are 4 Magick icons with a little bar below them in the ingame HUD. We want to get the game in your hands as quickly as possible so we have exactly 4 Magicks in the beta; Haste, Revive, Summon Death and Meteor Shower. We would love to add a bunch more, but our focus is absolutely to get you into the game as soon as possible! Anyways, we have experimented quite a bit with different methods of preventing Magick Spam - it's not a fun experience to have spammable Revives or Meteor Showers in a PvP game. The method we have chosen is a focus meter, similar to a super meter from fighting games, as an example Street Fighter. It works like this;
    • The meter goes from 0 to 100 focus.
    • Players gain focus over time, and by playing the game well (killing enemies, capturing control points etc).
    • Haste cost 25 focus, Revive 50, Summon Death 75 and Meteor Shower 100 focus.
    • So, using Meteor Shower requires 100 focus and you lose all of it, but you can instead cast 4 Haste or 2 Revives with the same amount of focus.

    Magicks are activated by clicking the corresponding icon or pressing a hotkey (1,2,3,4). Haste instantly makes you move faster and Meteor Shower will be centered around your wizard, while Revive and Summon Death are placeable, you go into a Magick cast mode and can place exactly where you want Death to spawn or who you want to revive (it can be several, I believe the office record is 3 enemies and 2 friendlies.) Placed magicks are telegraphed, IE all players can see on screen that Death is spawning here or that a Meteor will land on this spot in 0.5 seconds.

    It'd be great if our favorite 4+ spells could still be represented as Magicks, as they were rewarding skills learned.
    Please list them! We'd love to know your favourites! Do keep in mind that we do not use the first three elements from Magicka only. A maxcharged DDD rock in Wizard Wars is the same size and does similar damage as a DDDDD rock in Magicka.

    Best Regards,
    /David

  9. #9
    Field Marshal Al. I. Cuza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auron Darkmoon View Post
    At least not for hardcore players. This may result in wrong asumptions about how to change the game. If you want to make a hardcore skillbased game then you have to think from that perspective.
    That is your wrong assumption. Hardcore players in Magicka? Maybe 10 in total. You want Wizard Wars to have a greater appeal, you make it easier.

  10. #10
    w!z@rD, worshipper of Assatur purple wizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. I. Cuza View Post
    That is your wrong assumption. Hardcore players in Magicka? Maybe 10 in total. You want Wizard Wars to have a greater appeal, you make it easier.
    Hardcore players is probably the wrong term. He most cerntainly meant "more experienced players". And there are a whole lot more than just 10.
    But yeah, there aren't many "hardcore players" in Magicka. :/
    [Lemons]
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. I. Cuza View Post
    Well you are dumbing down, but in this case, I think it's a good thing.
    I guess I should have started with what we've added instead of what has been streamlined.
    I'd say that the complexity level is similar but the game is more accessible.

    Also, I am very curious about the melee system.
    I'll be happy to discuss it with you soon!

    Best Regards
    /David

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Al. I. Cuza View Post
    That is your wrong assumption. Hardcore players in Magicka? Maybe 10 in total. You want Wizard Wars to have a greater appeal, you make it easier.
    i think your assumption is the wrong one. I barely can play pvp in magicka, but that is certainely not due to the difficult magicks system, only to the poor network infrastructure and matchmaking system. When not having steam friends who are that good at magicka or want to improve, it's impossible to find an online match with a complete stranger, and thus to improve. But when i watch replays on youtube, i wish i could get to that level of skill masterizing, certainely not by having a skill masterizing level dumbed down to the level i currently have, but by having the possibility to train provided to me. As purple wizard says, there is a system behind it, a system which you must learn and know, that's for sure ; a steep learning curve is not removable from a true hardcore multiplayer experience and is part of the joy in that kind of games (see Dota). But once you remove that system... what is left ?

    Also :
    Quote Originally Posted by Nisshagen View Post
    The meter goes from 0 to 100 focus
    So this is like a basic system of mana, and 4 added keys for casting spells (to the original 8). I... am not convinced. Though i wait to see how it works... but really, the appeal of casting a magick in magicka is that it does not rely on some number virtually representating your focus bull*** like in all the games in the world, but rather on a system that would really challenge your real life focus. Thus you had the feeling to be actively part of the magical processus, removing a little of the barrier between real life magick and virtual magic... Here it's replaced by remembering 4 additional keys, and traditional mana system. But maybe it's not that bad, depending on how fast you regain that "focus" - if it's like, 1 point per second, then it's silly... if it's more like you have to wait 10 secs, it would be ok, cause you could only use one "major" magic per fight, or 4 teleports. I guess this could do.

    edit : i might sound a little grumpy, and want to apologize in advance for that.
    Last edited by QRARSE; 28-05-2013 at 19:30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Auron Darkmoon View Post
    How much experience in Magicka pvp does the paradox north team have? How much have you really played the game you want to improve?
    The Paradox North team has extensive Magicka experience, several in the team has previously worked for/at Arrowhead and we're all great fans of the original game!
    Magicka PvP experience is trickier - there's not many people playing Magicka PvP. Connectivity issues and lack of players makes it difficult.
    However we do have a quite impressive pedigree when it comes to other PvP games. We have several previously pro gamers in the team, great senior staff from Avalanche/DICE/Rockstar etc. Personally I've worked as a designer on PvP oriented online games for 6 years (Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, Battlefield 3, Battlefield Online). So, I firmly believe that Paradox North has great experience in online PvP games - experience that we will put to best possible use in making Wizard Wars PvP a crazy fun experience and build a great PvP community together with you!

    Also you are always talking about keeping the complexity but all that you do is removing ways to get creative with the casting system and with it you take the complexity away.
    My bad, I should speak more about the things that we are adding.

    Best Regards,
    /David

    (edit: finished a sentence)

  14. #14
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    Most of the skill required for the current Magicka PvP is mechanical, APM, you have to be faster at pressing keys than your opponent. And I do agree, it makes for wonderful matches between equally fast players. But as soon as there is the slightest difference in APM you will see the slower player being destroyed, because he simply cannot keep up.

    And there is no strategy to that, there is no thought involved, you just spam a couple of spells, knowing that your opponent can't manage to put up the right defences, even if he knows what he should be doing.

    And this is why I think this new system is actually good. Less elements means less focus on APM, and more on strategy, besides eliminating the advantages of macros.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethanol View Post
    Nice post, I like the way changes are going, one of my biggest disappointments with magicka was that it was more often just simpler to summon a D-D-D-D-D rock and crush everything under, making spell choices simpler and more interesting (because people do like to play casually) is really something I look forward to.
    You can think of it like this if you prefer - you experienced players will have more noobs to crush.
    Thank you, we will do our very best to make this an fantastic game!

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    Quote Originally Posted by QRARSE
    Quote Originally Posted by Al. I. Cuza
    That is your wrong assumption. Hardcore players in Magicka? Maybe 10 in total. You want Wizard Wars to have a greater appeal, you make it easier
    i think your assumption is the wrong one. I barely can play pvp in magicka, but that is certainely not due to the difficult magicks system, only to the poor network infrastructure and matchmaking system. When not having steam friends who are that good at magicka or want to improve, it's impossible to find an online match with a complete stranger, and thus to improve. But when i watch replays on youtube, i wish i could get to that level of skill masterizing, certainely not by having a skill masterizing level dumbed down to the level i currently have, but by having the possibility to train provided to me. As purple wizard says, there is a system behind it, a system which you must learn and know, that's for sure ; a steep learning curve is not removable from a true hardcore multiplayer experience and is part of the joy in that kind of games (see Dota). But once you remove that system... what is left ?
    I completely agree with QRARSE.
    Iīd like to add that making it easier does not necessary mean to limit possibililties. Beginners can start with easy spells and learn them without knowing the whole system. But as you play you discover new stuff and you understand the system bit by bit. With a proper matchmaking system there shouldnīt be frustrations about being crushed by a experienced player. If this is given anyone can get into the game and think of it as fun.
    Currently it seems the upper limit of complexity will be rather low compared to Magicka. A lot of possibilities will be taken away.
    They said they wanted to make a hardcore skillbased PvP game so thinking about hardcore skilled people is nothing wrong. (And as purple wizard already said: "Hardcore players" are NOT people who play Magicka 10 hours a day. It means people who are skilled, understand the system and like to play the game).


    •The meter goes from 0 to 100 focus.
    •Players gain focus over time, and by playing the game well (killing enemies, capturing control points etc).
    •Haste cost 25 focus, Revive 50, Summon Death 75 and Meteor Shower 100 focus.
    •So, using Meteor Shower requires 100 focus and you lose all of it, but you can instead cast 4 Haste or 2 Revives with the same amount of focus.

    Magicks are activated by clicking the corresponding icon or pressing a hotkey (1,2,3,4). Haste instantly makes you move faster and Meteor Shower will be centered around your wizard, while Revive and Summon Death are placeable, you go into a Magick cast mode and can place exactly where you want Death to spawn or who you want to revive.
    I donīt really like the fact that Iīll have to wait for haste but for the stronger spells it is a good way to solve it. Being able to aim with magicks now is nice. However please make sure that players donīt have to wait too long until they can cast magicks.
    A idea I have:
    Players can also gain focus by absorbing a lot of damage with shields, walls, immunities, etc. You could call it a reward for staying alive for a long time in battles.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nisshagen
    Quote Originally Posted by superkamiguru
    It'd be great if our favorite 4+ spells could still be represented as Magicks, as they were rewarding skills learned.
    Please list them! We'd love to know your favourites! Do keep in mind that we do not use the first three elements from Magicka only. A maxcharged DDD rock in Wizard Wars is the same size and does similar damage as a DDDDD rock in Magicka.
    Spells that Iīd like to see as Magicks in Wizard Wars:
    ED, a simple armor as magick. Why not? As wizard wars will not have armors and physical resistances istead it may become a popular magick to have this damage absorption.
    EQRQRAS F, casted like a weapon enchant. A mighty attack that costs a lot of Focus. If there is summon death wich kills instantly it should be no problem to have other spells that do massive damage.
    These are the only two that come to my mind for now and are reasonable enough. There are a lot more spells that I will miss though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nisshagen
    You can think of it like this if you prefer - you experienced players will have more noobs to crush.
    Thats a bad thing, you know? Who said that crushing noobs is fun? If itīs too easy itīs no fun.

    edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Nisshagen
    Also you are always talking about keeping the complexity but all that you do is removing ways to get creative with the casting system and with it you take the complexity away.
    My bad, I should speak more about the things that we are adding.
    Yeah. That might possibly maybe eventually have popably the potential to change my oppinion. ;D

    Quote Originally Posted by Al. I. Cuza
    Most of the skill required for the current Magicka PvP is mechanical, APM, you have to be faster at pressing keys than your opponent. And I do agree, it makes for wonderful matches between equally fast players. But as soon as there is the slightest difference in APM you will see the slower player being destroyed, because he simply cannot keep up.

    And there is no strategy to that, there is no thought involved, you just spam a couple of spells, knowing that your opponent can't manage to put up the right defences, even if he knows what he should be doing.

    And this is why I think this new system is actually good. Less elements means less focus on APM, and more on strategy, besides eliminating the advantages of macros.
    I agree that speed is a great factor in Magicka but it can NOT replace tactics. I know someone who spamms 9 QDF missles per second (I counted them in a video that was slowed down to a quater of normal speed). I can spamm only 4 missles per second. I beat that guy in 95% of our matches thanks to my better tactic and spell choices. Speed is a advantage but NOT everything you need to win.
    And as we have less elements per spell in the new system there will be a lot of tactics from Magicka be missing. Including defensive ones that can stop people with a lot more APS (actions per second) than you have.
    Just talking based on experience.

    sorry for this extremely long post,

    greetings, Auron
    Last edited by Auron Darkmoon; 28-05-2013 at 20:54.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by purple wizard View Post
    I usually ask everybody I play with, what they think of Magicka, and what they think about a reduction to 3 elements. The majority of people I have asked, tell me the same.
    They love the almost endless possibilites of spells and combat. At first they had problems (like everybody else, me included), but it's pretty addictive after you get the hang of it.
    I think that's the average reaction to Magicka. Hard at the beginning but totally awesome if you have some more skills.
    Furthermore, have a look at all the reviews of Magicka (articles and youtube reviews). The complexity and possibility is apparently what makes the game so outstanding.
    I fully agree with your statement, being able to combine elements into spells on the fly and having the entire toolset of offensive and defensive spells at your fingertips is what makes Magicka magical .
    And for CooP/PvE I think 5 is an excellent number of elements. But, for PvP I believe the rules are much harder. You won't have the same time to experiment, any balance issues will be ruthlessly exploited - and I would much rather have player learning the game by playing the game instead of tutorials or fighting training dummies before they know enough to enter combat.


    You may maintain the system behind the combinations but what the player can actually combine is not even close to the complexity of the original.
    Here, have some examples:
    EDSQ, a pretty neat spell, one of my favourites.
    - it doesn't break instantly like ice walls do
    - it does arcane damage and pushes back light and unarmoured units
    - the water effect doesn't vanish if it comes in contact with fire
    With space for only three elements I could either cast QED or EDS, which are both lame.
    QED, does have the pushing effect, but doesn't do arcane damage. The water vanishes if it's mixed with fire, which makes it pretty much useless against skilled players. (match making system?)
    EDS, on one hand does arcane damage but on the other hand, it neither wet units nor pushes them back.
    The same applies to ERDS and EFDS.
    First, you are assuming that spells and barriers work identical to Magicka. We have changed a lot of things and I'll go through the details in the next part.
    A quick reference; elements in barriers are not removed by their opposites, barriers explode on despawn/destruction and do AoE damage, they last about 6-12 seconds depending on earth elements, barriers absorb physical objects and ground lightning but are highly vulnerable to beams and sprays. A player can also only have one barrier up at any time.

    But, back to the point - With three elements you can't have it all in a single spell. You are forced to make a choice. A barrier with either Extra Duration, Pushback or Damage - not all of them.
    Our challenge is to make all these choices viable, fun, balanced choices. As you said, QED and EDS are nonviable choices in Magicka because EDSQ is superior in all aspects.



    QF E A S F, A nice protecting spell that protects against steam and fire (and also lighting and arcane). OP you say? I say no.
    it doesn't protect against physical damage, cold, ice and push. There are a lot of spells, that can kill you even with this protection.
    Yes indeed there are. I think it's balanced because you can still attack with spells that does damage if you have 5 elements in the element queue.

    Another thing that would dissapear, is the ability to influence the duration and range of spells. And also the power of certain elements in the combination.
    E+D is a simple stone wall, that breaks after ~20 seconds (untouched)
    E+D+D is another simply stone wall but breaks after ~30 seconds.
    Now where is the space for elements like fire or cold?
    Again, you now need to make a choice. Long duration or Fire, not both. This actually increases complexity for the player since there are more valid choices.
    We also affect how spells behave in a new way, but that will have to come in spells - part 3.

    Another example, QSD
    Kinda lame, if you only cast QSD. Poor knockback and damage.
    But you could add more water elements! That would result in QSDQQ, fast flying missile that has insane knockback. OP you say? I say no. You could easily defend by self casting ED.
    I don't know how this'll be handled in Wizard Wars, but giving spells a prescribed effect area and power will just reduce the possibilities (again).
    Chose one; SSD for High damage, QSD for damage and knockback or QQD for high knockback.
    QQD in Wizard Wars would have about the same ingame effect as Magickas QQQQD, SSD would be like Magickas SSSSD. We're removing the "boring" things in the middle, not the fun extremes!
    Also, there will be new ways of affecting effect aura and power on spells, more on that later.

    Do you know canonballing? It's about moving very quickly by pushing yourself around with water spells.
    It's great fun (and really hard!). It is however tied to the physics implementation in the original Magicka and doesn't work in our new engine.

    If you see a white, spiky wall on the field you know it has E+QR as base.
    If it explodes on breaking you know the combination also contained Arcane, S.
    If there is also purple glowing you know there has to be lightning, A.
    Conclusion: QR E A S
    I think you'll be pleasantly surprised in how the spells communicate what they contain. Our goal is that you should be able to identify a spell and respond to it before it hits you.



    The Tutorial! Most people just rush through it, being like "fuq dis sh*t, I don't need it anyway, it's just anyother easy game" or just skip it anyway...
    And then BOOM, "how do I cast that wind element?"
    I believe that people learn faster and better to play a game by actually playing the game. Tutorials shouldn't be mandatory, even if they are a great help for new players.


    Steam + Lightning didn't work in PvP? Sorry but I have to ask, why? What was wrong with it?
    Let's see - Induce Double Damage with an element in the same spell that contains said element? That is a design flaw that took quite a bit of time and effort to fix. Also, requiring players to walk around with defenses already up isn't very fun. We really want players to be able to react to whats happening, a surprise should be an advantage, not a guaranteed win.

    Any chance we could see you in combat, Nisshagen? (and also the other developers :3)
    In the original Magicka of course, and also in Wizard Wars when it's presentable.
    Certainly! I'm sure you will annihilate me in Magicka and I will probably pwn you in Wizard wars for a few rounds until you learn the changes. Looking forward to it!

    And, we really appreciate your passion!

    Best Regards
    /David

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. I. Cuza View Post
    Less elements means less focus on APM, and more on strategy, besides eliminating the advantages of macros.
    Yes, you said it better then I could! Thanks! Strategy in Wizard Wars includes movement, it's very rare to find a non-frozen wizard standing still.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QRARSE View Post
    So this is like a basic system of mana
    Oh **** no! If it only grew over time, that's a mana bar and a mana bar is not going anywhere near Wizard Wars.
    You get focus from playing well - if you Pull a Meteor Shower and kill three people you have gained enough focus enough to cast a new one right away - or haste right to their respawn and summon death at them... It's like keeping up a chain combo in fighting games. If you fail to kill someone with your Meteor Shower, you'll have to play well with what you have until you can use it again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Auron Darkmoon View Post
    I completely agree with QRARSE.
    Currently it seems the upper limit of complexity will be rather low compared to Magicka. A lot of possibilities will be taken away.
    They said they wanted to make a hardcore skillbased PvP game so thinking about hardcore skilled people is nothing wrong. (And as purple wizard already said: "Hardcore players" are NOT people who play Magicka 10 hours a day. It means people who are skilled, understand the system and like to play the game).
    Well, the best way to test this is to get you to try it first hand - we're working hard to make that happen as soon as possible!



    I donīt really like the fact that Iīll have to wait for haste but for the stronger spells it is a good way to solve it.
    Heh, Haste was actually the thing that led us to the solution. As the round started, you had 4 people hasting away towards control points. We put a delay in there so it beca,e available mid-first-fight works is much more fun!


    A idea I have:
    Players can also gain focus by absorbing a lot of damage with shields, walls, immunities, etc. You could call it a reward for staying alive for a long time in battles.
    Great idea!


    Spells that Iīd like to see as Magicks in Wizard Wars:
    ED, a simple armor as magick. Why not? As wizard wars will not have armors and physical resistances istead it may become a popular magick to have this damage absorption.
    EQRQRAS F, casted like a weapon enchant. A mighty attack that costs a lot of Focus. If there is summon death wich kills instantly it should be no problem to have other spells that do massive damage.
    ED will most certainly be available as armor! - I'll need to get the spells part 2 up soon so you can get a good grasp of the game mechanics.
    And EQRQRASF is hilarious!

    Best Regards
    /David

    (edited to make quotes work)

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