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5/27 Update: New Spells: Ryuusei, Asutoron & Megante

  • Asutoron (Guardian, level 29):

This spell replaces the old Mahokanta, which caused an annoying bug in LS 1.3: enemies under the effect of Reflect Status became immortal. Besides, even if I liked the idea of a “reflecting shield”, later on in the game it became either too powerful or useless. That is because, if Mahokanta really did cast all spells back to the enemy, bosses would be hit by their own spells, and that’d be ridiculous. On the other hand, if I made it so that Mahokanta wouldn’t work with all spells, it would have become almost useless.

Asutoron, instead, works as a very powerful magic damage reduction. The shield will last for two turns. I am thinking about turning it to “All Allies”, rather than just one: that would make much more sense. This spell comes from Dragon Quest. The name means something like “Turning into iron” and it should also cause some movement impairment. Guardians will learn the ability when reaching level 29. No other class will learn Asutoron.

  • Ryuusei (Magician, level 27):

Ryuusei, also known as “Meteor”, is possibly the most powerful and spectacular spell in the game so far. You can see the animation in the video above (0:15). Other than “Earth” and “Bagima”, there was no other skill dealing Earth damage. Ryuusei costs 34% MP*1283 vs. 29*1083 (Ionazun) and 31*1198 (Ultima). However, Ryuusei will not target all enemies: it will be cast twice and it will target randomly either once two enemies or twice the same one (Scope: “2 Random Enemies”). Magicians will learn this ability when reaching level 27.

  • Megante OD (Guardian, level 31):

You can see the animation above (1:10). This is an Overdrive Technique, damaging all enemies and cutting their HP by 100%, at the cost of the caster’s life. Since it deals elemental damage (Sacred, the same as the Cleric’s healing spells), I will make all bosses immune to it: that’s mainly because 100% means 100%: if an enemy has, say, 109,000 HP, Megante will deal the exact same damage output. In the video above, Davian is immune to Sacred, which is why Megante is uneffective. Guardians will learn this ability when reaching level 31. I will also make a spell that will lower an enemy’s resistance to Sacred, meaning that Megante would still hit bosses, but for 50% or less of its capability.

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5/24 Update: Polishing

  • Animations:

The animations for the following spells have changed: Hoimi, Behoimi, Behoma, Prayer, Holy Ray, Starshine, Mana Well, Mera, Merazoma, Hyado, Iora, Ultima, Manuusa, Mahotoon, Medapani, Rarihoo, Expose, Delay and Shadow Descent (Some animations are shared by other abilities which haven’t been listed here). Watch the short video below to see some of these new animations in action. The animation layers were made mainly by Mr. Bubble and LexusX.

  • Shadow Descentnew spell (enemies only)

Whenever an encounter takes place at night, enemies will be able to cast Shadow Descent: the spell cuts all targets’ HP by 9%, and it can also cause Blind Status. Not all enemies will be given the skill. Moreover, Shadow Descent will be simply added to the action patterns, with a rating from 3 to 5 (which means between 1/3 and average). Here’s a reminder of how ratings work:

  • Other features:

There are at least two other features that I would have wanted to add to the game, but I have decided not to.

  1. Profession System: this is a rather common feature in RP games out there. I already have the Scripts necessary to achieve this feature, and it would not take me that much time to create the items/materials to gather. The thing is that adding this feature would mean to reorganise the whole game, making recipes and materials to gather according to level and game progress. Besides, the number of items already present in the game has already grown from a few tens to more than 200. Adding materials, recipes and crafted items would mean to double this amount. However, one more reason is that I don’t want players to get too easily distracted with too many options in such a small world. If the world I am drawing were a lot larger, perhaps, and if levelling took more quests and travelling, then a Profession System would be ideal.
  2. Chat Options: I would have loved to have more lively dialogues, which is pure role-playing from my point of view, because it lets you decide what kind of character you are impersonating. Here’s an example of what I mean. The little girl asks Lauron to bring a message to her grandfather Posis, here you get two options: “I sure will!” and “Why me? Your legs are fine”, and she reacts to this answer in a way or another. I could have added the option to flirt, to make fun, to insult, and so on. On the one hand, this feature would make the game much more fun, while on the other it would force me to rewrite all the dialogues. Not to mention that in my opinion it’d be useless to get to choose any answer if absolutely no consequence comes from it in terms of parameters, rewards or reputation.

1.3 Overall Preview (Part 3)

Part 3: Abilities

Updated 6/13/2011

This is how abilities will look like at level 60, which is the cap level for “Lemorn Sword” since vers. 1. 3. This is a level 60 Healer’s Abilities screen (outside combat):

You will see that all casters make a higher use of their Mana. The reason is that learning abilities quite early in the game progress made their Mana cost ridiculous at higher levels; the Healer’s Mana in particular was never-ending, which in turn made characters kind of invincible as long as Traben or Eilnys could heal. I wanted to make it a little bit more challenging.

I wanted all classes to make wiser, more efficient choices when using their abilities, to save their Mana, and to adjust Mana cost so that it wouldn’t become ridiculously low when reaching higher levels. I’m using KGC_MPCostAlter (written by TOMY, translated by Mr. Anonymous; you can find the script either here or here) to turn Mana cost into a percentage of the character’s base Mana. Except, it then seemed unfair that those who had higher levels of Intellect > Mana Points would suffer from higher costs for their abilities, and made it pointless to increase their Intellect parameter using Talent Points.

The tag <MaxMPCost> means that the ability in question uses an amount of Mana depending on the character’s Intellect > Mana Points, whereas the tag <PropMPDamage> means that the effectiveness of the ability is also influenced by the character’s Intellect: as a matter of fact, the effectiveness of the ability is proportioned to its Mana cost. In other words: the Mana cost becomes the real and only multiplier to determine the effective damage or healing of the ability. So, higher Intellect > higher Mana_Cost > higher damage or healing.

For instance, “Hoimi” will heal about 538 * 17% (Mana Points) + Spirit Bonus +/- 20% variance, which basically means results can change slightly. That’s about 2856 HP healed by a Lv. 60 Traben (3079 total MP, reasonably talented and equipped – no buffs).

The effectiveness of these spells is based on the assumption that all characters reaching Lv. 60 will spend some of their  Talent Points to increase their HP up to 11280 (and up to 14280 if they also manage to be well equipped). Obviously, players might not do so, but later on I’ll be making enemies dealing over 11.000 damage, meaning that it’ll be just impossible to survive those battles without reaching the maximum Stamina. Yes, if you have less HP, healing overall will feel more effective, because it relies only on Intellect, not Stamina: compared to 9999 HP, for instance, 2856 HP is the 28,5% of maximum HP, with an 8,5% increased effectiveness. Since I didn’t want players to sacrifice too many  Talent Points on Stamina, at the expense of other stats, I made it so that HP increases by 50 every 2 points. Now consider that you’ll earn 460  Talent Points when reaching Lv. 60, so if Lauron reaches 7075 base HP, it means he’ll spend 168~170 TP (={11280-7075} /50HP * 2TP) to reach 11280 HP. 168~170 TP, compared to 460 is low enough, so it doesn’t feel like sacrificing too many points. Also, consider that 460 are the TP earned only through leveling, excluding those Talents rewarded by Quests, my guess is around 714: see Quests Overhaul.

Running some tests, as intended, “Hoimi” should heal about 20% of total HP, which means that 2856 is the best to achieve. Mana cost increases for higher ranks of spells: for instance, “Behoimi” will spend 22% Mana with a base of 783 (results around 5712 – 40% of total HP healed), while “Behoma” will spend 28% Mana with a base of 923 (results about 8568 – 60% of total HP healed). Also, don’t forget that healing spells can produce critical hits (using Custom Damage Control  by Yanfly) since vers. 1.2.

Applying these changes and increasing Intellect, it became significant to add a few ways to recover Mana, both in and outside combat. Apart from potions and items consumable outside combat, Healers and Mages can cast “Mahotora”, absorbing Mana from their enemies, while almost every class has “Mana Restoration”. Some other classes (like Guardians) can use “Mahoageru”, which transfers 24% of the user’s Mana to one ally. Don’t forget that Mana Potions can be crafted and brought to battle.

The tag \CHARGE[…] adds cooldowns to the game (it’s Modern Algebra’s Recharge Skills, you can find it here). Every ability takes a specific number of turns to recharge and can’t be used before then, unless casting “Meditation”, which refreshes all remaining CDs at the cost of removing all beneficial effects from the target. Healers get a small discount, of course, so that they won’t run out of healing spells. It also means that there is no action that can be performed twice, apart from normal attacks, which makes battles more lively.

Later on in the game players will obtain some pieces of gear to wear that will reduce the time for abilities to recharge even more (see above: the tag “\RECHARGE[-1]”). It also means that a Lv. 60 Healer will be able to cast “Hoimiat every turn (although, see 6/13 Update). Now, spending 17% Mana at every turn, healing about 20% HP every time, means the possibility to cast “Hoimi” 5 times (100% HP), without recovering Mana in any way. For example, depending on the damage dealt by the enemies, Healers could simply cast “Hoimi” at every turn, on the most injured party member and then use “Mana Restoration” every 5 turns (“Mana Restoration” immediately restores 41% 32% MP, and another 22% over time). Obviously, 20% HP healed isn’t that significant, since enemies will deal more damage than that at Lv. 60, but then again, since Healers are also pretty strong on Haste, so they’ll very likely make the first move and be able to keep everyone alive.

Last but not least, you can see above the Lv. 60 Mage’s Ablities screen (outside combat). It works exactly in the same way: except, these are damaging spells, not healing. For instance, “Mera” will deal a base of 476 * 9% (Mana Points) + Sp. Bonus +/- 20% variance: that’s about 1559 fire damage at Lv. 60; “Merami” will deal a base of 634 * 18% = roughly 4657 damage for a Lv. 60 Mage; “Merazoma”: 1318 * 26% = about 11620, excluding the buff provided by “Greater Intellect”, the enemy’s weakness to elements, critical hits and critical bonuses.

The only CON to the system is the resultant uselessness of Spirit, which will no longer play any role in the process of calculating the amount of damage and healing, not even as a “Magic Defense”, like it used to. Of course I’m looking for a solution to this issue. I’m considering requesting a Script which will take a percentage of Spirit and turn it into Mana Regeneration after every turn.

So now Spirit will provide, instead, Mana Regeneration at the end of every turn. More precisely, 25% Spirit = amount of MP regenerated. You can read this topic to see how I’ve resolved the issue.

  • The Mana cost of all abilities, when equal to zero, is hidden (Hide 0 MP Cost, JFace, edited by modern algebra).