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Heroes Community > Heroes 5 - Modders Workshop > Thread: Magic System Variants
Thread: Magic System Variants

Famous Hero
posted January 14, 2016 07:27 PM

Magic System Variants


i took this post from devilfire in considaration to create a new topic to discuss a "mix" of our magic system.

devilfire said:
The spell system in HOMM series has always been mixed (buffs, debuffs, damage spells, utility in the same spell schools), while in HOMM 5 its more specialized. Some of the distinctive perks of this kind of spell system are both pros and cons in the same time:

1. Its specialized, maybe too specialized - want to buff? pick Light, want to debuff? pick Dark, want to wreak some havoc? pick Destructive, want to have utility and creative spells? pick Summoning

-> On paper its good to have exactly what you paid for, but the problem is that you get that and only that.. nothing else. There is no versatility in the schools - Light can only buff, Destructive can only damage etc.

2. They are themed in a slighty different manner - they are themed by their functionality as a whole - buffing (no matter if its offensive or defensive buff or healing or anything else), debuffing, damaging, only summoning got diverse spells

-> This is both good and bad. Theme wise its good because its easy to learn - one school is doing one thing (with the exception of summoning), the bad is that the schools cannot be balanced entirely that way because super buffed armies will always be better than the high damage spells (mostly mid to late game, considering that in MMH 5.5 there are more ways to get army and there is much more magic resistance)

3. Having only one kind of spells per school is leading to monotone battles that you know exactly what to expect, even the order in which the spells are executed

-> Again, its easier to learn it this way, but HOMM has always been a
chess-like game, not a checkers-like. Fireball is always going to be better than Circle of Winter etc. which means that you would expect a lot of Fireballs from a Destructive magic master and perks only makes that more obvious. The surprise factor is missing entirely.

What are the advantages of a mixed spell system ?

1. It will bring diversity - no more monotone and predictable spell usage, Fireball will still be better than Circe of Winter only if you have both, but it won`t be that easy to achieve that because they will be in a different spell schools, also having their perks in different trees means that you can pick the extra effects from one and leave the other, or take both if you want.

2. More versatility - if you want a specific spell go for it and get a lot more in the package without penalties

3. Balanced spell schools - Destructive is great in early game but it fades off, while Light and Dark are the other way around. Now that every school have both damage spells and buffs/debuffs it will be a lot more comfortable to pick the school that you want because you will have the freedom to play as a damage dealer in early game but still use buffs and debuffs in late game when you feel the need to.

4. Every spell will have its place - in the current system fire based spells and skills are all over the place, while the other elements are almost non existent, this is making certain skill paths and strategies a lot more viable (I`m looking at you fire path in destructive).

5. A lot new strategies that are more interesting than "buff your army with every single buff in the game".. (just a few examples: lower the armor with a fireball and hit with a buffed attack/damage stack or summon an earth elemental and buff his defense even further to have the ultimate tank or lower the defense of a enemy stack and then flash freeze him for one hit K.O. etc etc)

6. They can be organized theme wise in a balanced way - for example water/ice is associated with healing, so its a natural choice for regeneration, fire is associated with damaging so its a natural choice for divine strength or righteous might etc but in a way that you would still pick a offensive/defensive/utility path but it would be executed in a more versatile and balanced way, so that one spell school cannot have the best buffs, debuffs and damaging spells. Also they can be centered according to what they do - fire can be centered around offense and damage, earth around defense and terrain based spells, water/ice around support and slows and lightning around utility and stuns

7. Occultism and mostly Empowered spells will be a good choice for every spell school instead of just for Destructive as it is now, also Mark of the Sorceror and Counter spell will be a lot more interesting because they will require a lot more thought to be used perfectly

8. Magic resistance is going to be more useful all around, not just against Dark and Destructive as it is with the current system

One thing that is both advantage and disadvantage is that if the schools are mixed it won`t have might OR magic differentiation in the class based skill trees, but this will lead to more diversity in that the different classes would utilize the same spells in a different way and with a different strength.

What are the disadvantages of a mixed spell system ?

1. It will require a lot of work to transition from a specialized spells system to a mixed one - perks will need to move from one tree to another, some of the perk names will have to be changed to better fit their school

2. The perk support is not as versatile as it could be, so some compromises have to be made, atleast they are already balanced in a way that they buff certain spells (for example master of wrath is buffing Righteous Might and Haste which are both offensive spells etc)

3. Some spells are not fitting very well - Curse of the Netherworld, Word of Light, Summon Elementals can fit in every school. Maybe Summon Elementals can be given to every school?

4. For ultra polish it would need to have a different icons along with the name changes and maybe some visuals can be changed to fit better (for example Blade Barrier can be renamed into Ice Barrier and have a ice blocks particle)

5. Dungeon`s Elemental vision.. that one is a hard one if it cannot be made that every damaging spell is receiving the effect of elemental vision instead of just Destructive ones. On the other hand if it can be made, then they will be a true master of elements, not just Destructive.

I will be happy if someone want to express their thoughts and feelings about the mixed spell system.

I take magnomagus RC5 as base.

I took his ingame picture of skills and mixed some of them around.

I would like to "change" some skills into new schools.

1. Bless lvl 2
2. Dispel lvl 1
3. Divine Vengeance lvl 5
4. Haste lvl 1
5. Holy Word lvl 5
6. Regeneration lvl 2
7. Teleport lvl 4
8. Frost Ring lvl 3 (Change Icon to a yellow one)
9. Icebolt lvl 2 (Change Icon to a yellow one)
10. Ressurrect lvl 5
11. Deep Freeze lvl 5 (Change Icon to a yellow one)

1. Berserk lvl 4
2. Blind lvl 4
3. Curse lvl 1
4. Disrupting Ray lvl 1
5. Forgetfulness lvl 3
6. Hypnotize lvl 4
7. Slow lvl 2
8. Unholy word lvl 5
9. Animate Dead lvl 2
10. WaspSwarm lvl 1 (Changing Icon to a dark one)
11. Vampirism lvl 5
12. Sorrow lvl 2
13. Boss firewall lvl 5 (hits all creatures on battlefield except demons)

1. Armageddon lvl 5
2. Fireball lvl 3
3. Plague lvl 2
4. Implosion lvl 5
5. Meteor Shower lvl 4
6. Stone Spikes lvl 1
7. Plague lvl 2
8. Weakness lvl 1
9. Earthquake lvl 3 (Change Icon to a red one - hardcoded spell issue with dmg)
10. Firewall lvl 3
11. Land Mine lvl 2 (Change Icon to a red one)
12. Magic Fist lvl 1 (change icon t o red one)
13. Uber Chain lightning lvl 4 (red fireshot like chain lightning)
14. Uber Meteor Shower lvl 3 (lower dmg meteor shower - with some other effects we could change it and create a "new" area dmg spell)

1. Lightning Bolt lvl 2
2. Chain Lightning lvl 4
3. Anti Magic lvl 5
4. Deflect Arrows lvl 4
5. Summon Elementals lvl 2
6. Arcane Crystal lvl 1
7. Blade Barrier lvl 3
8. Conjure Phoenix lvl 5
9. Phantom lvl 4
10. Summon Hive lvl 3
11. Magic Arrow lvl 1 (changing icon to a bright blue one)

Well we are not able to create new speels during hardcode issues...
What dou you think of the ideas?

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Adventuring Hero
posted January 14, 2016 10:27 PM

I`m thinking about the classic magic schools - fire, water, earth and air

The Destructive spells can be divided by their damage type (fireball into fire, lightning bolt into air etc).

1. Fire:
- Fireball
- Armageddon
- Summon Phoenix
- Divine strength
- Cleansing
- Divine Vengeance
- Decay
- Vulnerability
- Frenzy
- Firewall
- Summon Elemental

2. Water
- Ice bolt
- Circle of Winter
- Flash freeze
- Magic Immunity
- Blindness
- Phantom Forces
- Wasp swarm
- Summon give
- Blade Barrier
- Arcane Armor

3. Earth
- Deflect missle
- Endurance
- Stone Spikes
- Meteor Shower
- Implosion
- Slow
- Confusion
- Raise dead
- Arcane Crystal
- Regeneration
- Earthquake

4. Air
- Lightning strike
- Chain Lightning
- Teleportation
- Haste
- Righteous Might
- Sorrow
- Vampirism
- Weakness
- Suffering
- Ressurection

5. Neutral - Magic Arrow, First of Wrath, Curse of the Netherworld (preferably in Earth because of Raise Death), Word of Light

Reasons apart from the obvious that some perks have teamed up spells (Master of..):

1. Fire - it is focusing on offensive play, both with high damaging troops and abilities. It have the least defensive and lose prevention but it have plenty of ways to creep.

2. Water - it have plenty of ways to preserve and prevent loses with slowing (even more with Master of Ice), blocking, magic immunity, shields, illusions etc. Its focus is on preventing the damage.

3. Earth - highly defensive school. It favors turtling and slower battles. It focuses on absorbing the damage.

4. Air - highly aggressive with a sustain. It can do a really big damage swings (Righteous might and Suffering and Weakness). It focuses on maneuvering and offensive support.

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Famous Hero
posted January 15, 2016 08:46 AM

Well to fit them we Need to create new Icons (or search them somewhere). Unfortunately im not good in that (was able to retexture a creature but didnt try something else).

How would you add the "neutral" spells? As far as i know, every skill Needs a School to be obtainable in game.

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Adventuring Hero
posted January 15, 2016 09:35 AM

By neutral I mean that they are versatile enough that they can be in any school and it will still do good.

Divine Divinity Original Sin have good icons, but it would be great if we had different particles on some spells to fit them better with the theme

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Famous Hero
posted January 15, 2016 11:53 AM

Hmm ok now i understand... I will try something out this Weekend

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Adventuring Hero
posted January 16, 2016 07:29 PM
Edited by devilfire at 19:34, 16 Jan 2016.

Tiptoe_McGuffy said:
devilfire said:

- arcane crystal`s and blade barrier`s core is the same -> blocking with an object, eventually one will be better than the other but why do you need both in the same school if you can have one of them in a different school and open an entirely new option for it ?

Arcane crystal has been extremely useful to me when fighting banks, for blocking shooters and revealing stalkers. All this discussion about "yeah, but this spell is better when..." just goes to show that each (well, almost ) spell is more useful in some situations than others, which is near ideal.

-> Noone said that Arcane Crystal is not good, its just too similar to Blade Barrier. BB is essentially the same but a little longer. Its like having Righteous might that give you 10 attack and another one that gives you 15 attack and call them different spells.

Mass Decay may not be good in the endgame of large maps, but it can be pretty great early on or in castle fights where the enemy at first just tries to stay clumped together and shoot you without moving anything. It's a lifesaver with Agrael vs. Gilraen in C2M3 on Heroic (Although I played that on 1.0 so probably not still relevant.) But what IS relevant is that, while MMH5.5 is multiplayer-oriented, it doesn't have to be multiplayer-exclusive. There's a HUGE potential for fantastic custom maps and campaigns, especially once an RC is finalized so we won't have to worry about future updates invalidating parts of our maps. (if that ever happens or if it's even something I should worry about.)

devilfire said:

- exactly, his Fireball won`t do as much damage as expected, but if he had mass Divine Strength he could just go all-in and it would be surprise for you because he just played around your Fire Resistance. Thats entirely different approach to the battle rather than just throwing some Lightnings

A hero with destructive could get mass Divine Strength by also taking Light because he's a magic hero. This was my original point about how specialized schools encourage surprise and diversity by taking more schools, instead of being able to do everything with just one.

-> You won`t be able to do everything with just one ever. One will always be better at something than every other at that particular thing, but they will be diversified in a way that you can pick any school and play by your rulls. You can`t play as a nuker with Light or a buffer with Destruction right ? Well, you will have that opportunity with the mixed spell system, Ice or Lightning won`t be as damaging as Fire, but it will still be decent, while Fire will not have the powerful buffs of Ice and Lightning but it will still have its uses.

devilfire said:

There is no "out of the box" option about the current system. They will have the exact same playstyle that cannot be changed no matter what.

Light uses Teleport THEN Mass Haste, teleport is devastating.
I think, in the replay, the hero is actually Dark Magic and got the light spells from Teleport Assault and Power of Speed, which slightly undermines my point, but not too much. Diversity and surprise. When you see an assassin in the Tavern, you might think Dark Magic, maybe Destructive, but certainly not Light.

-> Assassins don`t have access to Teleport Assault because its in Light and they cannot learn it. The clip is epic, thats exactly what I`m talking about. The current system can still provide you with some surprises, no doubt about that but it can be improved even further.

-> If you have any ideas I will be glad to hear them

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Adventuring Hero
posted January 16, 2016 07:48 PM

strigvir said:
devilfire said:

All in all some spells function in the same way and are too similar in general and the one will always be better than the other if they have to compete for the same place.

If you move them to other schools, then the schools will have to compete with each other. It won't make Deflect more useful, just the school having it less desirable.

-> It will not be less desirable because it will have other strengths that will be better than the school that have Endurance. Every school will have its strengths and weaknesses and one skill will not change that in such a drastic way.

devilfire said:

I will give you another example. You picked every Fire damage enhancing item and perk in the game, but you are against Fire resistance and Magic immune creatures. You can always throw some Lightnings but why do you specialized into Fire then ? Now give divine strength to Destructive and you got another option -> go all in with your creatures because now you have the damage to do so. Its your choice.

You went all fire but didn't take Occultism, even though you know there are hard counters to it?

-> How is Occultism going to help me against Shatter Destruction ? Also we are talking about an playstyle change in the middle of the battle, there is no such option with the current system.

devilfire said:

Another example - you decided to take every bit of magic resistance that you came across. You enter the final battles only to see that your opponent have Light and Summoning and you counter just a few spells of his entire skill set. Now your Magic resistance is wasted. But with a mixed spell system it won`t be, because every school will have damage and debuffs that you can counter, so your Magic resistance will actually force your opponent to play differently because you will be able to counter 50-60 % of his spells.

So you basically want to make magic resistance mandatory?

-> Its a mechanic like any other, so it should be as desirable as any other. It won`t be mandatory just useful all around, like any other stats - Attack, Defense, Speed, Initiative etc.

devilfire said:
3. Magic heroes will have a wider arrange of spells to deal with different situations

Two schools already give a wide arrange of spells, and you can take them without "gimping" a magic hero in general.

devilfire said:

4. This system will promote using different schools together because of the spread out spells and perks which mean that if you want to be a true master of the elements or buffer or debuffer or summoner you will have to combine them instead of picking only one and using the full benefits of it.

I guess that explains why I always go for 2+ schools as a magic hero, because the current system doesn't promote combining different schools together.

-> Thats right, you got a wide arrange but every spell from the same school have the same base - Light got only buffs, Destruction only damage, Dark mostly debuffs, they are like one trick ponies. They are one trick ponies with the exception of Summoning, this is a school that is done right!

devilfire said:

Many new combinations will open. For example if you give Decay to Fire school, couple it with Ignite you will have the possibility to play as a damage over time caster. You can do that now, but I highly doubt anyone would prefer to use Decay over Mass slow or Vampirism etc.

Why would I choose Decay over Phoenix, Elementals, Mass Haste, Teleportation, Deep Freeze and Implosion? You are comparing a single low-level spell versus either perk-only or level 5 spells. You wouldn't build a DoT-based character with Decay moved around, as even the direct damage spells scale poorly with the army size, let alone DoTs.

-> Because most of those will be in different schools than Decay, also Phoenix can be easily killed with more than one ability, so its not always good to start with it, elementals will not make a difference, mass haste is a good one, but it won`t be in the same school with Fire because that will make the Fire school too overpowered, same goes for teleportation, deep freeze and implosion.

devilfire said:

Mixed Spell system will mean mixed Perk System too, so you will be able to choose what you want to do with your spells. A good example of that can be Master of Storms and Ignite. Its not that Master of Storms is bad, its just not better than Ignite, but if Master of Storms didn`t compete for the same place as Ignite then you could freely pick it up without cutting the other, more benefical path.

Master of Storms would have to compete with other mass spell perks then, how exactly does it change anything?

-> There will be one or maximum two "Master of.." perks per school, so there will be a place for Master of Storm if you need the stun, also it could lead to something really neat.

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Adventuring Hero
posted January 16, 2016 08:02 PM

I don't really have any brilliant new ideas; what I'm trying to say is that the system is great as is. If a hero only takes 1 magic school, s/he is limited in what s/he can do. And that's the way it should be.

If you want one school to do many things, you can play H3 SoD, HotA, WoG... instead of trying to turn this mod into them.
As I understand things, MMH5.5 is to be an expansion and improvement of the ideas, concepts, mechanics, and gameplay of H5, not converting H5 into H3. There are more than enough H3 mods for improved H3!

If I'm coming off as belligerent or narrow-minded, I don't mean to be. I just think MMH5.5 should be its own thing, instead of falling into the vortex of H3 worship that so many things seem to slip into. (I was quite relieved when magno kept H5 spell names!)

I think I need to use more emoticons.


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Famous Hero
posted January 16, 2016 08:44 PM
Edited by lotihoti at 20:45, 16 Jan 2016.

We would do the project on his own. I only said "MMH5.5 is the base", because most of our aktiv players have that mod and use it.

I try to do the mod without conflicting with MMH5.5 - so you just need to remove one file to get base mmh5.5 or add my file so you can play with our tryings.

The only thing i need to clarify with magno is, if he stays on the same file structure (need spell + heroclass + skills.xdbs)

I dont want to force anyone to use it. Magno did his own great projekt wich is actually a real great mod where he puts a lot of effort in.
But why shouldnt there be any "add ins" around to switch common player styles?

Only that was my thought about it.
If someone has any ideas, pls post it and why you would consider that as a "valid (balanced)" option to improve strategy varieties etc.

In therms of "replayable" new variants are always welcome. Otherwise during our play days maybe the game loose some of the faszination. With good add ins its possible to keep the game a life (got now 74 days of playing on raptor xD).

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Adventuring Hero
posted January 16, 2016 08:58 PM

Exactly what lotihoti said. Like I said in the other thread I am not suggesting "change the spell system now!", I am just suggesting that with some effort and hopefully more minds into this we can make an alternative that is balanced and interesting and worth trying.

Sooo don`t be so negative about it, we are not trying to steal your MMH 5.5, just trying to give it more variation as an optional content that you can apply if you want.

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