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Heroes Community > Heroes 5 - Temple of Ashan > Thread: Secrets Of Mana
Thread: Secrets Of Mana This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · «PREV
Moonlith
Moonlith


Bad-mannered
Supreme Hero
If all else fails, use Fiyah!
posted August 04, 2007 01:46 AM
Edited by Moonlith at 01:47, 04 Aug 2007.

I have to admit at first I was disgusted with the H5 magic schools. It just didn't seem right after Heroes 3 that lightning and fire spells went together in one school, that just didn't match in my book after the element schools.

But gradually I began to appreciate it and right now I love it, although at times I do wish there were better mixes, as the current schools can quite limit you... With the Heroes 3 or Heroes 4 magic schools, you could have various options.

Elvin, I share your nostalgic feelings

Now I do wonder what they would have in store for a Heroes 6....

One option which I would love is a mixture of Heroes 3 and Heroes 5... Each spell having two attributes and thus belonging to 2 magic schools. For example, Fireball belonging to the school of Fire Magic and Destructive magic. For example, Resurection belonging to the school of Earth magic and Light magic.

This way spells could turn up in various places, and be learned by having either of the two magic schools. Also, I would like the idea of increased effects when the hero has a certain skill in BOTH magic schools of a spell.

Warlock knowing both Earth Magic and Destructive magic = boosted Meteor shower and implosion.... Oh I would love to see that... What do you guys think?

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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted August 04, 2007 03:01 AM

At first, I had very mixed feelings about the H5 Magic system, but I must say the more I work with it and try to come up with suggestions for improvements, the more I realize how brilliant it is. There are also some things which you could wish to be a bit different, but when you have to compromize all the different facets, I think they've done a more than excellent job this time around.

One thing I really appreciate about the new schools are that they are specialized. In Heroes 3, there was a pretty big overlap between the schools - if you had Air Magic, you had access to Haste and Lightning Bolt, and thus you could survive without Water Magic, which would give you Prayer and Ice Bolt - and vice versa. With each class, you got a little bit of everything, and thus never went completely wrong: Each class had some buffs, some curses, some destructive spells and some adventure spells. Sure, there was a certain icing on the cake for each school, like Resurrection, Town Portal and Dimension Door (well, that was in fact only two of the schools ...), but still - you could go all-round with all of them.

That's no longer the case in Heroes 5: You have to choose what you want as your aim: Light Magic for buffs, Dark Magic for curses, or Destructive Magic for direct damage. Sure, sometimes it hurts that you can't be more alround, but I think that's what adds the tactical element to the game. In fact, in Heroes 3, you only needed to investigate three of your eight skill slots (Wisdom, Earth, Air) to become a really excellent all-round caster that could deal with almost anything (if you really wanted to play it safe, you would take Water also) - in Heroes 5, you need to use at least three or maybe even four of your only five skill slots to get the same expertise, which narrows your abilities down a lot - which is a good thing, mind you. Heroes 3 left too much room for Might/Magic hybrids that excelled in both.


So, does that meen that everything is perfect? No, there are things I think could be better. Most importantly, we need more spells. 4 spells at each level of each class would be fitting for the obvious reason that the Destructive School has 4 classes: Air, Water, Fire and Earth. 4 spells on each level would be a handy way to ensure that each element had one spell on each level. If one increased the number of available spells, the spells provided by the Mage Guild should also be more numerous: I would go for 4 spells from levels 1 and 2, 3 spells from levels 3 and 4; and 2 spells from level 5. That would give you are broader range of spells, which opens for more versatile playstyle. With only one school of magic now, your options very quickly become very limited to making the same choice every time.

I would have liked to have emphasized the concept of Magic Classes within each magic school: Currently, each school has three formal classes corresponding to the "mastering" abilities. This should be changed to four classes for each school, so that Destructive for instance had the four elements. What I think would be really nice about having 4 classes in each school is that, since there for each Skill is only 3 related abilties, you could make a slight difference between the Hero Classes: Thus, Sylvan might have option for Master of Air, Water and Earth (but not Master of Fire); whereas Dwarves might have Master of Fire, Earth and Air (but not Master of Water) to reflect the different elemental afinities of the races. This would allow to make small changes of focus for each School of Magic between the classes, so that the Dark Magic that Knights use would not be quite the same as that of Necromancers, because one of their abilities would be different.

One of the last thing I would like to address is the Number of Schools. Moonlith mentions an example of each Element having its own school, and then Synergy could happen. Such a model is simply not possibly, because of the very low level of skills each Hero can learn. When you can only learn 5 skills (which is at least one too few, but that's how it is) it does not do to have 8 different schools of magic in my oppinion. I think four is a pretty good number, though one more could have worked. I would rather have more spells in the excisting schools, though.

And then I need to leave a comment about Summoning Magic. That school really needs a complete overhaul, most of the spells simly are not very good. I think Summon Elementals at level 4 is a joke, and Earthquake is not a very good spell either. Magic Fist is just plain useless (Black Dragons - yeah, who cares, as if you would ever do enough damage to kill one of them anyeay). On the other hand some spells of this school are almost broken, like Wasp Swarm, Phantom Forces and Phoenix - clearly in an attempt to make up for the fact that the others are so bad. There could have been soooo many cool spells in this class, and TotE will add three which will help out on it, but it's still not as good as it should be.
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What will happen now?

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Moonlith
Moonlith


Bad-mannered
Supreme Hero
If all else fails, use Fiyah!
posted August 04, 2007 12:35 PM
Edited by Moonlith at 12:36, 04 Aug 2007.

Well I mentioned a suggestion for a potentional Heroes 6 Which could mean more skill slots. But that little fact aside, in my opinion it could be very interesting to have 8 schools of magic (light, Dark, Destructive, Summoning, Water, Fire, Earth, and Air), and having each spell represented in two of those schools. Fireball > Fire and Destructive. Cleansing > Light and Water. Resurection > Light and Earth.

It would make the options a lot more numerous, and increase the tactical choices in my opinion. Also it would make it easier for certain factions to choose. For example, rather than Inferno having to choose for Destructive or Dark, they could go for Fire which would feature most cursing spells and destructive fire spells.

And if the hero has both elements of a spell (such as Destructive and Earth + Meteor shower) the effect would be boosted - definately an effect most MAGIC oriented heroes would have to consider.

But I think most importantly this way of dealing with magic gives you the choice to either specialize (light, dark, destructive, summoning) or go more all-around and versatile (fire, water, air, earth) OR to try and go for overlapping spells. For some factions the choices are rather easy and pretty much set. Warlock's best friends are MS and Implo, thus Destructive and Earth would be its best go. On top of that earth magic would open the door to a spell that has been severely missed and has been quite available to Dungeon in heroes 3 > Resurection. Wizards would find themselves having a far greater range of paths available.

This is all theoretical, of course. Think outside the box, don't limit yourself by thinking "only 5 skillslots"

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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted August 04, 2007 02:14 PM

Quote:
It would make the options a lot more numerous, and increase the tactical choices in my opinion. Also it would make it easier for certain factions to choose. For example, rather than Inferno having to choose for Destructive or Dark, they could go for Fire which would feature most cursing spells and destructive fire spells.


I think that would make the Elemental schools overpowered. If Fire offers you both Destructive Spells and Cursing Spells, for instance, who would want to go for Dark Magic and Destructive? Yes, I know you get more spells in each group with those two, but generally, you don't need that many different spells. After all, you can only cast that many spells during a combat. Of course, you could balance it out by saying that you didn't get the mass option for curses, for instance, but then wouldn't they loose their importance? So I must admit I have a bit of trouble seeing it would really improve the game.

Also, form a more practical point of view, you would have to deal with the fact that 8 schools of magic means 10 Magic Skills, which you would have to balance out with new Might Skills, because there are only 6 Might skills currently. And what should these skills be? Personally, I think they've done an admirable job in including some of the useless skills from previous games as abilities in the more important skills.
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Moonlith
Moonlith


Bad-mannered
Supreme Hero
If all else fails, use Fiyah!
posted August 04, 2007 04:08 PM
Edited by Moonlith at 16:12, 04 Aug 2007.

Well it would depend. Fire magic wasn't exactly overpowered in H3 dispite having decent damage and cursing spells. But it definately becomes a good choice for Inferno. Besides, for better magic potency you would still need either dark or destructive magic alongside it to boost the spells that fall into both catagories, so I don't think the specialized magic classes would become abundant. Necromancers would more likely still favour Dark Magic and Summoning magic over elemental magic, but the point is you don't NEED to get more magic schools, just that it creates more diversity and options.

As for might skills, well that depends. Both Magic and might heroes have the same amount of slots, and might heroes do make use of some magic regardless. Even so it shouldn't be too hard to think up new might skills. Such as a skill that boosts creature's health, with a minor regeneration ability for example. Just an idea.

Mind you, I do agree they really did a grand job on working out the skills and abilities in H5. But I'm just being theoretical here on how 'fun' this idea could be, and wether it would make the game more diverse.

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Daystar
Daystar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Back from the Dead
posted August 04, 2007 04:17 PM

While you mention that: does anyone else think tactics should be a full skill?

Also, I think there should be 5 schools:

Light: Blessings
Dark: Curses
Summoning: Summoning
Destructive: Raw power of the elements
Weather: All of the above

Weather magic works, not one effect at a time, but by compounding upon eachother.  For instace:

Hero Xander casts: Cloudy (lvl 2)
[intermitent battling]
Hero Xander casts: Gale (lvl 3)
Hero Anya (other side) casts: Rain (lvl 3)

Cloudy: usually just makes the battlefeil less luninous, lowering morale for Humans, Elves, Nagas, and Mages.  Initiative boost for Undead, Demons, Dark Elves, and Orcs.  Fire spells less effective.

Gale: Gale increases the speed of all flying units, but decreases their initiative porportionally.  Also, when they try to chose a location, it will be in an area twice their size, and they can land anywhere in the area.  Air magic more effective.

Rain: Dampens intiative for Humans, Mages, Demons, and Dark Elves.  Nagas increase initiative.  Battle feild becomes muddy after one turn, and small creatures can be knocked backwards by big ones. (they slip in the mud)

Now, all these together form the very powerful "Storm" spell, level 4, which has all the aforementioned effects, plus random lightning strikes.  It takes a while to set it all up, and creatures can be damaged by the lightning, but it can pay off for the right faction.  

Weather magic complete list of spells:
LVL 1
Warm
Cold
Mist

LVL 2
Cloudy
Sunny
Dense Fog

LVL 3
Gale
Rain
Snow

LVL 4
T-Storm
Snow Storm
Flood

LVL 5
Hurricane
Typhoon
Earthquake (moved out of summoning, uberfied)

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How exactly is luck a skill?

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alcibiades
alcibiades


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
of Gold Dragons
posted August 04, 2007 05:53 PM

Quote:
While you mention that: does anyone else think tactics should be a full skill?


God forbid they went back to that, at least in Heroes 3 style.

Heroes 4 Tactics was a really good skill (the best?), but really has nothing to do with the current Tactics ability.
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Daystar
Daystar


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Back from the Dead
posted August 04, 2007 06:12 PM

Actually, I liked the H3 style, it made battles go so so so much faster.  
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How exactly is luck a skill?

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Endless Revival
posted August 05, 2007 12:26 AM
Edited by Elvin at 00:28, 05 Aug 2007.

Glad to see this has sparked a discussion while I was away I had given some hints about how a system should be according to my taste so it's time for me to elaborate on that.

I'll start from the number of schools and I do believe that 4 are a fine choice between simplicity and unnecessary complexity. I just would redesign them to fit a broader theme and be more sufficient on their own.

Before I proceed with the elemental spells I have to say that I prefer these spells in one group so as not to make it obligatory to have 4 different elemental schools. H5 makes the game more varied exactly because of that plus it shows that spells from another school may have an element property. I will simply make it so more spells have an element property in other schools so that the element masteries can be creatively combined with each type of magic.

Elemental magic: It deals with the four elements exclusively but does not focus on their destructive side. Spells like a mud field that works as the H3 slow but with an area of effect, geyzer that may launch a unit to another tile, gust of wind for displacing units within a radius towards a direction of your choice, purifying rain as anticursing and mild healing, air shield versus ranged units etc could also be in. The amount of innovative spells here can make it so much easier for balancing with the other spells while not requiring the obligatory light to counter dark magic as in H5.

[Having to consider the gameplay having more than three basic abilities would make a chaos with the skill-picking in the level ups - just think what would happen if you choose 2-3 basic skills. In this regard there are two ways: One is as Moonlith suggested to have 4 masteries but because some races are more tied to a specific element they would miss on it's opposite as dwarves that would have earth but no air mastery. However that would mess with the balance as it is possible to get the wrong spells(air) and a mastery that cannot affect them(earth).]
So, I'd go for the current masteries of fire, water and air with earth magic being the heavy damage dealer and having a fixed area of effect for each spell as with H5. The area of effect could change but only with advancing your elemental magic. Example meteor shower has a 3x3 effect which becomes 4x4 with expert elemental magic. The effects for the others are given as stun, freeze and say ignite(rather than armour decreasing) but with specific additions according to spell. Air can give an extra displacement tile to air spells, water heals more and makes units more vulnerable to lightning with rain spells and fire giving an attack reducing property(say -2 attack each time you are attacked) in fireshield or spells of similar nature. With this in mind chain lightning could become an aoe that not only hurts units but also soaks them for the next lightning spell to come if you have the water mastery. Or the mudfield having increased effectiveness with water. That way masteries can affect spells from another element as well.

Light magic: A blend between the H5 light and H4 life magic, this school is about protection, resurrection, blessings as well as healing and the bane of the undead. I never liked the ward spells as they could be a potentially useless spell but healing spells are a distinct light flavour and I'd like to see some back again. A mass healing like divine interception that could be a mass resurrection with no hp reduction - I always hated how it resurrected heroes only. Guardian angel was a brilliant spell and I was also fond of regeneration, martyr and divine shield(?). Holy word is a pathetic excuse for lvl 5, I'd make it lvl 2 or 3 and change it to sacred wrath  which would damage evil units(double that to undead) and would also give a bonus to friendly unit's damage if having master of wrath. Naturally prayer would also have to be in as an aoe with the master of blessings giving it extra area of effect.
As for the abilities. I believe a healing mastery would be needed as it is a light trademark - it improves the healing power and area of effect for some as regeneration. Master of wrath for the damaging(evil), hasting and stat increasing spells and master of blessings that is mostly protection, prayer, encouraging spells. Healing unlocks a passive resurrection skill for the living units(after combat) and also increases resurrection power. Master of fire gives a small fire percentage to some buffing spells of the wrath category, master of air gives a bonus to haste.

Dark magic: As you guessed the same idea is used here, dark also includes death. This domain deals with cursing, darkness, spirit raising and debuffing. There are various types of cursing so I will refer to those that are stat decresing from now on. Death should include more effects than just the ones we have. I could easily imagine a wail of the bansee to decrease enemy morale and initiative, a fear spell that makes a unit skip its first turn and have a chance for that each turn, raising different types of undead from enemy stacks, draining life or mana, infection that makes a unit more vulnerable to physical attacks, a darkness domain that gives bonus to dark units and weakens the living, bad luck etc.
First we must have a sickness mastery, one that decreases stats and causes damage. A darkness mastery associated with slow, fear and mind spells(not puppet master ) and a spirit specific one. That summons dead reinforcements from fallen troops, summons powerful avatars(grim reaper, banshee). A conjuration mastery strengthens your spirit affinity.

Summoning magic: Something similar with the one we have now spiced up with some nature and illusion. In this direction we have various summoning spells apart from the classic summon elementals(again elemental mastery strengthens specific elements), phantom forces, creating obstacles or mines(), entangle, banish which affects magical energy and can in turn dispel magical properties  as it can banish summoned units. I would be fun to have a summon similar to those of final fantasy, have a guardian attack with a varying effect and disappear
For this I would have a conjuration ability that boosts summoned unit numbers(strengthens the spirit mastery in dark), illusion that gives incorporeality to illusion spells(but also strips it from enemies that use illusion) and gets them to act faster and an environment mastery that increases number of mines, strengthens entangle, increases area of effect to obstacle spell. I could envision water mastery boosting entangle and master of blessings summoning 'blessed' troops that deal an extra holy damage or are better protected from curses.

The adventure spells are obligatory, I just would add some more in an adventure only part of the guild. Basically as it is now but you wouldn't always get summon boat in lvl 1, you might get view mines etc. As it is there are too few adventure spells and there is absolutely no randomness. Scouting spells, scrying(towns, mines, heroes, resources), teleporting. Naturally I would (slightly)boost again dimension door(no movement speed decreased) and town portal for which you would be able to choose your destination at the cost of your remaining movement speed. Yes, summon units helps with that but takes away all the fun of using the spell. The problem with them was that you could use them repeatedly in H3. I'd also add the retreat from battle option to town portal that was fun


Now as for the guild: Having one specialized school makes things a bit linear and less creative so I'll keep the H5 way with a few modifications. Humans should be more about light with the rest random, the death affinity would seem a bit out of place. Undead mainly dark and summoning with a touch of elementalism. Demons dark and summoning with a tendency for fire spells from destructive(better chance for inferno than chain lightning). Wizards summoning and elementals with a touch of light - heck what kind of wizards would they be otherwise? Warlocks with elementals and dark primarily, then summoning. And of course rangers with light, summoning and a bit of elementalism. For a magic-only race(assuming there will be such a surprise) the guild would be totally random.

Of course that still leaves some randomness right? Damn straight it should but this way each school is more sufficient against abuses such as those we see in H5's dark spells. There are dispels, there are counters, skills interact with each other so having more than one school can be a benefit. What I definitely would like removed is that half initiative reduction from mass spells and the level cap slightly lowered so that more skill picks are possible. And maybe a refresh in the guild every two or three weeks so that some people that pursue only one magic type do not lose because they got the wrong spells. In any case I would want to see a research skill from enlightenment that allows spell research. That would either give a new spell after some days or could make the refresh come faster.

The guild lvl 1 has 5 spells, two of which being selected from the town's primary schools and one from the secondary. Three in the case of the knight as he has only one. [for instance 2 light, 2 summoning, 1 elemental for ranger]
The second has 4 with one for each primary, one randomly chosen between the two and the last of the secondary. [here that's 1 light, 1 summoning, 1 of either and 1 elemental]
The third has 3 with each representing the three schools. [1 light, 1 summoning, 1 elemental]
The fourth has 3 with the same format.
And the fifth 2 spells from the primary schools only. [1 light, 1 summoning]

For the library I would make one twist: Build an annex of your choice so that you know what will come out of it.

I will not add any percentages and formulas, this is not my stuff but I may get back to organize some spells and check the balance. If I have accidentally stolen any ideas I am sorry but I don't read the proposals from the altar For all I know all these may have been proposed already. This was my try to give flesh to the system I proposed, not make a perfect magic system.
____________
A lot like squirrels. Squirrels are pretty much the crocodiles of the trees.
-Bliz

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