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1607094087578.png

For people not in the discord
 
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Do the ai know how to use magic better this time around?
 
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The Interface of Elder Kings II, Part 2: It just Works

Magic in EK1 made use of decisions and target decisions to cast spells, with CK3 adding GUI modding a custom interface is possible.

Aptitude & Magicka

Magical proficiency is governed by a new pseudo skill called aptitude, which can be thought of as a counterpart to prowess. A character may have a high learning but be inept at magic, or have no learning but exception magic. The limitations of modding prevent aptitude being added as a true stat, making it somewhat laborious to maintain. Due to this it may be cut or modified at some point, in which case learning will be used to govern magic under similar rules.

1608889918948.png

char view, magicka + aptitude

Magicka is generated by playable characters and their court mage (we will get there later) at a rate of one tenth of their aptitude up to a maximum of ten times their aptitude - note that these values are subject to change.

Accessing

1608889960053.png

menu & accept screen

The spellbook is accessed via a character interaction. The AI currently auto accepts being subject to magic, but will be able to refuse eventually as well as cast their own magic. By default the player is the caster, but it is possible to switch to your court mage and have them cast magic for you.

Court Mage

1608890009902.png

council view with Court Mage

The court mage is a new council position that allows a ruler unskilled in magic to still access some spells. The average court mage will have only a small selection of spells available to them, with even the most capable having a restricted selection compared to a mage ruler. The exact restrictions are undecided, but having a court mage will not make focusing on magic pointless. For players who are skilled in magic, they will find it hard to maintain a court mage if they constantly bypass them and cast their own spells - job security isn’t great when your employer can do your job. Similarly, arrogant and ambitious mages may become stressed if their court mage is more capable than them.

Spellbook Interface

EVERYTHING SHOWN SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WIP/PLACEHOLDER
The spells and effects shown are there for illustrative purposes and do not represent the final spell list or their effects.

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overview picture

The top shows the caster, castee and a summary of the interaction. The button in the top right of the player portrait allows the caster to be switched between the player and court mage.

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player caster + CM caster

The tabs below are the schools of magic based on the five from Skyrim + Necromancy. Thaumaturgy and Mysticism have been considered but do not have enough content to be worth separating.

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school tabs

Each of the five main schools are loosely associated with a skill, more for visual appeal than any mechanical reason - a high martial skill does not imply skill with destruction magic.

Under the tabs is the list of spells in that school, each showing the name, cost and type of spell.

1608890266215.png

Example spell list, destruction

Spells at the top outlined in gold are known spells that can be cast if the conditions are met, a grayed out button indicates that the spell is uncastable for some reason such as insufficient magicka - both may be selected to see their effects. A completely grayed out spell with hatching is an unknown spell that the caster has not learned yet - you cannot even view it’s effects.

The name and cost of the spell are self explanatory, the symbols on the right denote the spell type, consisting of:

Normal
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A normal spell is cast by the caster on the castee, with no extra effects.

Hostile
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A hostile spell usually causes harm of some kind. In addition to the regular effects, it causes an opinion malus with the castee and cannot be cast on self.

Province
1608890379748.png

A province spell targets a county, currently limited to the target’s domain. It has an effect on both the county and the castee.

Hostile Province
1608890402327.png

A combination of effects from hostile & province. The target county is limited to the player’s location and must target a county of someone you are at war with. Selecting the spell will also automatically change the castee to be the owner of the target county.

Selecting a province spell will add a button above the cast button allowing the available provinces to be viewed and the target changed.

1608890545267.png

county select button + menu open

The current system is far from complete, but compared to EK1 magic should be more accessible and less powerful with AI usage and distance restrictions - you will no longer be able to turn the King of Alinor into a chicken from Vvardenfell.
 
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Will the Lich/immortality rituals be making a reappearence?
 
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As someone who enjoys playing well-read rather than stereotypically dumb pure warriors/knights, I approve of the aptitude/learning split.

That said, I sincerely hope the available court mage spells for non-mage rulers will be a bit more generous this time around compared to CK2's EK. Like, from a gameplay balance perspective, I get why you wouldn't want to have easily available spells like regerating lost eyes and limbs and such. CK is all about the danger of a sudden death. But lore-wise, does that really make sense, especially if I get a legendary master court mage? Isn't consolidating the power and resources of the region into one person what rulers are all about? If I'm Emperor of Tamriel, surely, getting a mage to regenerate my lost eyesight would strictly be a matter of finding one skillful enough and providing the proper compensation, not of some unwillingness on principle of all mages in the world to cast their advanced spells on behalf of non-mages?

Spells like turning into a lich or creating a daedra army and such, I very much understand being mage PC-only. I actually kind of like the idea of some secrets only a player mage can access. Still, I somewhat dislike having a hard cap on that. What if your court mage is also your lover, spouse and friend? Imo, you could gate some higher spells under that sort of condition. Maybe the whole thing could even be not about which spells are available on principle, but about managing the mage's ego, motivation and loyalty relative to their capabilities? Or just make a game rule to switch between CK2 rules for those who want a more dangerous and vicious world as a non-mage, and more broad rules which I feel would make more sense lore-wise.
 
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As someone who enjoys playing well-read rather than stereotypically dumb pure warriors/knights, I approve of the aptitude/learning split.

That said, I sincerely hope the available court mage spells for non-mage rulers will be a bit more generous this time around compared to CK2's EK. Like, from a gameplay balance perspective, I get why you wouldn't want to have easily available spells like regerating lost eyes and limbs and such. CK is all about the danger of a sudden death. But lore-wise, does that really make sense, especially if I get a legendary master court mage? Isn't consolidating the power and resources of the region into one person what rulers are all about? If I'm Emperor of Tamriel, surely, getting a mage to regenerate my lost eyesight would strictly be a matter of finding one skillful enough and providing the proper compensation, not of some unwillingness on principle of all mages in the world to cast their advanced spells on behalf of non-mages?

Spells like turning into a lich or creating a daedra army and such, I very much understand being mage PC-only. I actually kind of like the idea of some secrets only a player mage can access. Still, I somewhat dislike having a hard cap on that. What if your court mage is also your lover, spouse and friend? Imo, you could gate some higher spells under that sort of condition. Maybe the whole thing could even be not about which spells are available on principle, but about managing the mage's ego, motivation and loyalty relative to their capabilities? Or just make a game rule to switch between CK2 rules for those who want a more dangerous and vicious world as a non-mage, and more broad rules which I feel would make more sense lore-wise.

It is too early in development to give meaningful answers, spells haven't been added and tested so what the exact balance should be is up in the air. Having an exceptional CM should pay off, but we don't want to make it so that becoming a dedicated mage is pointless/detrimental beyond roleplaying. From a lore perspective consider that the orthodox story of Tiber Septim has him get his throat slit, lose the ability to shout and "command Tamriel with a whisper". The specific meaning and veracity is up for debate, but the fact that it is believable at all that the most powerful man could not find someone to heal his throat gives at least some support to restricting access to magic.

I to tend to dislike hard caps, however they are sometimes necessary. What you propose is possible, but why should the CM be able to regenerate eyes just because they are my best friend? I understand you don't mean entirely based on relationship, but it feels excessively complex for what it achieves. Not to say it shouldn't factor in at all - the CM's opinion and dread effects should be considered, but I do not think they should heavily impact the available spells. If you don't like the system on release then you are free to tweak it or create a new one.
 
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It is too early in development to give meaningful answers, spells haven't been added and tested so what the exact balance should be is up in the air. Having an exceptional CM should pay off, but we don't want to make it so that becoming a dedicated mage is pointless/detrimental beyond roleplaying. From a lore perspective consider that the orthodox story of Tiber Septim has him get his throat slit, lose the ability to shout and "command Tamriel with a whisper". The specific meaning and veracity is up for debate, but the fact that it is believable at all that the most powerful man could not find someone to heal his throat gives at least some support to restricting access to magic.

I to tend to dislike hard caps, however they are sometimes necessary. What you propose is possible, but why should the CM be able to regenerate eyes just because they are my best friend? I understand you don't mean entirely based on relationship, but it feels excessively complex for what it achieves. Not to say it shouldn't factor in at all - the CM's opinion and dread effects should be considered, but I do not think they should heavily impact the available spells. If you don't like the system on release then you are free to tweak it or create a new one.

When I brought up the relationship thing, it was under the assumption that court mages in CK2's EK were unwilling, rather than unable, to cast such advanced spells. After all, you could well have an immortal legendary mage with Learning 50 as your court mage. If that's not the idea, then forget about this bit.

Like you said, the Tiber Septim example could really go either way. It's a legitimate interpretation. Personally, I would guess that sufficiently skilled magic could fully heal a normal mortal's throat, but Tiber was a Dragonborn, and so his throat might've well had qualities akin to an Aedric artifact and thus beyond mortal comprehension. But it would seem odd advanced healing being impossible on principle considering that we know mages can do things such as transfer souls between bodies and give life to automata, which seem much more complex.

To be clear, I'm not saying this should be easy to do or universally available. I'm actually in favor of interpreting magic restrictively, I like diseases having more bite in EK than in the actual TES games, so restoring a lost arm could well be a Master-tier only spell. Just not a fan of hardcaps. I feel that so long as your court mage has enough magic skill and is willing, they should be able to cast advanced spells "commonly of interest" for you. Then you could keep more obscure spells like turning into a lich or changing race for the player only. One idea to balance court mage advanced spells would be a cost beyond magicka, i.e. the spell takes a long time to be completed during which the mage is completely occupied, or it requires monetary resources, or doing it too often leaves you with a permanent health decrease.

Funny you mention that, I actually recently modified the CK2 EK spell system for personal use only that way. Didn't want to rewrite all that code from the ground up to account for the court mage having a separate magicka pool, so I just made the PC have a "realm magicka" stat that combines the PC's and the court mage's values, and made all spells available if either the PC or court mage meet the requirements. Once the new EK is out, IF there is a demand, with permission, and IF I can figure out the new scripting language, I might release that as a submod on the workshop, sure.
 
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The Spell UI looks amazing, as does everything you´ve shown so far. I´m really excited for the new modding possibilities of CK3.


I apologize in advance for me giving my unsolicited opinion. I understand that the team might follow a different vision and i´m sure that the magic system will be fun and engaging in any case- And likely superior to my suggestions. (Also, since i don´t know how magic will work, exactly, most of what i´ve written might be moot in any case. My remarks are heavily influenced by the way magic worked in EK1.)

I wonder how spells like "flame" or "frostbite" will work.

You have stated that it´s no longer possible to target somebody at the other end of the map, which is great, but for something small like "flames" anything not in the same province seems too much. In addition, spells such as this one are so "inconsequential and basic", for anything but the weakest mage, that making them active spells seems unnecessarily "complicated" to me.

Long-range damage to other characters can still be very neatly represented by making up some kind of curses or by giving spells like a "firestorm" a chance to also hurt characters residing in a province hit.

Another thing which troubled me in the CK2 Version was that the a.i. couldn´t use magic at all. Now in CK3 it will be easier to make the a.i. use magic, but i imagine that the player will still be more adept at using it.

If it were up to me, i´d split spells roughly into different categories in order to try to both reduce the micromanagement for the player and enhance a.i. decision making.

Many spells would become "passive", e.g. they wouldn´t be cast by clicking on them, but would be used in events. They should still be listed in the spellbook, together with an explanation in which circumstances they might be used.


Personal-Battlefield-Spells: Those spells are not actually cast, although they can and should be learnable and listed in the spellbook. Those would mostly make a character stronger in combat; Either providing simply a boost to their prowess, or to make it more enganging, by adding battlefield events relating to those spells. I hope that the base game and EK both will add duels down the line, where spells such as "flames" or "oakflesh" might shine.

Tactical-Battlefield-Spells: Those spells would represent the variety of magics which could be used to great effect on the battlefield- Such as incinerating a detachment of soldiers, camouflaging soldiers, etc. Those should also be governed by events which might pop-up; Representing a possiblity to capitalize on a spell in a suitable battlefield situation, such as a skilled destruction mage being given the chance to unleash a conflagration on the enemies soldiers when fighting in a forest.

By making those "passive" as well micromanagement is reduced and the playing-field could be leveled between players and the a.i.

Strategic-Spells: These are the spells which can be cast outside battle, and can range from cursing another character, to devastating a province with fire.

Ongoing-Spells: These are spells which can range from minor, personal spells, like enhancing your charisma, to summoning daedra. In order to minimize micromanagement, and again, to make it easier for the a.i. to use them, i´d suggest making them toggleable- While active they would reduce the amount of magicka available.

In my humble opinion, by making many spells "passive/event based" and others toggleable one can make the system more fair and balanced for both the a.i. and the player, while also reducing micromanagement. Constanly keeping track of your magicka reserves, constantly opening the spellbook during battles, constantly checking whether your timed spells run out, can end up being an "unnecessary annoyance".

Now, one could argue that by turning stuff like "unleashing a firestorm on the battlefield" into events instead of active decisions, the magic system becomes less engaging. While true on some level, i think that the advantages prevail- And i also believe, that, if a robust system of studying and discovering magic is added this becomes a non-issue.

If it´s rewarding and engaging to research and unlock new spells, the player won´t miss not being able to actively click a button for each single spell.



That´s it. I´m sure you have thought of much of what i´ve said already and came up with better approaches.

Keep up the great work!
 
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bobpotato

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I wonder how spells like "flame" or "frostbite" will work.

EVERYTHING SHOWN SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WIP/PLACEHOLDER
The spells and effects shown are there for illustrative purposes and do not represent the final spell list or their effects.
They are among the placeholders. Battlefield events will be handled separately if added, the ai will have it's own system as it cannot use the player one. Toggleable spells are feasible, but not a priority or even guaranteed. Personally I am against them as the ai component and general integration would be more complex and I don't think that having to cast a few spells every decade to keep your buffs is that bad, it is possible to add a notification when a timed spell runs out, so checking becomes less necessary.
 

plansburn

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I kind of like the idea of a powerful mage that is also callous and ambitious has a chance of triggering a necromancer and eventually lich transformation event. Powerful zealous/callous lunatic mages summoning armies of daedra, either as rebellions in their own realm or under their control. Just random events to spice things up. Some good, some bad.
 
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anbc

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I may be talking out of my arse here, but regenerating limbs is generally beyond even advanced magic, save for divine or daedric intervention. If elaborate rituals become a thing, it would fit right in that category. Might even give you another reason to stay on good (or better) terms with your supernatural patrons. Maybe even get some form of mission from them to even get the opportunity.

Now about General Talos' shaving accident: In-game lore is never a primary source, so any interpretation can never be anything more than just that - interpretation. And since he himself wrote the history concerning himself, one can always contend that that stuff was written to profit him. So here are two more takes on that:
  • The wound was cursed, and thus not even the divines could help him.
  • He lost his powers (or was coming close to being discovered as never having had those powers in the first place, or at least not permanently) and needed an excuse.
Hey, maybe he wasn't exactly uninvolved in Cuhlecain's death, and losing his powers was divine retribution for being an uncontrollable murder hobo.
 
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plansburn

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I may be talking out of my arse here, but regenerating limbs is generally beyond even advanced magic, save for divine or daedric intervention. If elaborate rituals become a thing, it would fit right in that category. Might even give you another reason to stay on good (or better) terms with your supernatural patrons. Maybe even get some form of mission from them to even get the opportunity.

Now about General Talos' shaving accident: In-game lore is never a primary source, so any interpretation can never be anything more than just that - interpretation. And since he himself wrote the history concerning himself, one can always contend that that stuff was written to profit him. So here are two more takes on that:
  • The wound was cursed, and thus not even the divines could help him.
  • He lost his powers (or was coming close to being discovered as never having had those powers in the first place, or at least not permanently) and needed an excuse.
Hey, maybe he wasn't exactly uninvolved in Cuhlecain's death, and losing his powers was divine retribution for being an uncontrollable murder hobo.

Could just gate regeneration behind religious events. Beseeching your patron deity for aid at the cost of piety and the risk of failure or even causing offense. Maybe a random quest could be assigned to your character. Build W, kill X, redeem Y, obtain Z, and only then will you be healed.
 
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klopkr

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Regrowing a limb might not be within the typical magic systems abilities but making it look like you did would be possible with illusion spells.

It would be cool to have an illusion spell that gives you a different lost limb trait that doesn't have a visual impact and doesn't have opinion maluses but keeps all the others.

Also a good wabbajack will fix your limbs... and probably randomize your traits or turn you into a chicken.
 
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MoffXavis

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This is looking great. It makes me think about how battlemages are going to work, will it be a separate position to knight, or will knights with good apititude be assumed to be functioning as your battlemages?
 
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Immortal2

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Hi, I have some questions:
1) Can you give me the discord link?
2) Pls, more informations about Black Marsh/Argonia and Argonians as playable, argonian model (is possible use the skyrim model?) and more about Hist religion (I think that the three base should be Reincarnation, Sanctity of Nature and Carnal exaltation (Ok, it's a joke, "The Lusty Argonian Maid), and Communal Identity.
3) When will the mod be up?
 
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