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Reader Comments (86)

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 3:10PM rsrupert said

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The '4 elements' are not elements per-sey. They are the 4 elemental states of matter. All matter can be a solid, liquid, gas, or a plasma, ie, earth, water, air, and fire.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 3:13PM rsrupert said

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That being said, it would be nice to have different types of magic. There ARE other ways of doing it.
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Posted: Nov 5th 2010 8:12PM (Unverified) said

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Yes, but it would be nice to see other forms of magic. What about weapon magic? Poison magic? Animal magic? Illusion magic? The possibilities are limitless. If you don't believe me, go read some chapters of Fairy Tail (a manga, and not mispelled!). It's all about mages and magic, and includes many forms of magic other than the four elements used by almost all MMOs currently. It sounds dumb, but it's actually really good. No fairies or mythical creatures (apart from some sparsely placed dragons).
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Posted: Nov 7th 2010 11:00AM (Unverified) said

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Actually,

There was a game which had magic systems apart from the normal "four". That game was "Asheron's Call". The game was a completely original world with completely original creatures, inhabitants, etc...

The magic types were: Creature, Item, War, Life.

Creature magic was statistical buffs and debuffs.
Item magic was portal summoning, teleporting, and item bufffing/debuffing
Life Magic dealt with draining or restoring life, stamina, health, as well as altering regeneration rates both positively and negatively. Life magic also had a couple very nasty debuffs.
War magic was all of the offensive damaging spells, of which there were many types that have never been seen in another game.

War magic featured projectile based spells which could be dodged in pvp. There were missiles, bolts (fast travel for better accuracy at the cost of damage), Rings (Concentric rings going outward from the caster), walls, etc...

And the best part about war magic? The damage types were as follows: Slashing, Piercing, Bludgeoning, Acid, Lightning, Frost, Fire. Only two from the "normal four".

Asheron's Call ... the best game I ever played.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 4:12PM Nyold said

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This, and that explains why the element of earth usually pertains to being a tank (huge HP, heavy, etc). Solids are solid because their molecules are intertwined together in a crystal structure.

Element of water is usually associated with healing, air with speed, and fire with destruction. Those associations can be explained or linked with what happens at the molecular level when matters become liquid, gas, or plasma.

I sometimes RP and my explanation of light and dark magic is that light magic prefers order while dark magic prefers chaos. Order meaning that there is a hierarchy of beings, while dark magic sought to destroy everything and make everything equal (equally empty, void, that is). In scientific terms, it could be said that light magic decreases entropy, and dark magic increases entropy. That's why light magic tends to do things that we can't do in real life (resurrection, healing, etc) and dark magic tends to do things that we already do in real life (killing, debuff, damage).
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Posted: Nov 10th 2010 3:05AM (Unverified) said

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i believe oots sort of subverts this, even though it isn't a mmo, when a caster summons titanium elementals. also the comic adventurers, in the protagonists search for all 150 elemental stones. that uranium stone made me feel weird....
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Posted: Nov 10th 2010 8:39AM (Unverified) said

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The states of matter thing is cute, but in fact the "four elements" actually derives from the ancient Greek belief that everything was made from four different basic elements in different ratios. A similar belief existed in the Far East, though they had five elements (with Earth being replaced by Metal and Wood). Since most fantasy worlds take place in a pre-science medieval world, it makes a certain amount of sense that the magic would take after the beliefs of the time.

This doesn't explain the lack of bloodletting, balancing of the humours, or other similar non-scientific beliefs of the time, however.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 3:21PM Nibbana said

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Additionally, spiders are not insects. Spiders (order Araneae) are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every habitat with the exception of air and sea colonization. As of 2008, approximately 40,000 spider species, and 109 families have been recorded by taxonomists; however, there has been confusion within the scientific community as to how all these families should be classified, as evidenced by the over 20 different classifications that have been proposed since 1900.

Anatomically, spiders differ from other arthropods in that the usual body segments are fused into two tagmata, the cephalothorax and abdomen, and joined by a small, cylindrical pedicel. Unlike insects, spiders do not have antennae. In all except the most primitive group, the Mesothelae, spiders have the most centralized nervous systems of all arthropods, as all their ganglia are fused into one mass in the cephalothorax. Unlike most arthropods, spiders have no extensor muscles in their limbs and instead extend them by hydraulic pressure.

All this to say, giant spiders are not only possible, there's one right behind you.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 3:27PM Interitus said

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To sum up

Spiders =/= bugs
2 body parts, not 3
8 legs, not 6
No antennae
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 3:33PM Dblade said

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I don't think giant spiders are possible though. Something to do with the weight of the exoskeleton compared to the spider. Beyond a certain point, it just gets too heavy for the spider to support it. I think that's why the largest crabs and other organisms you only see underwater: there are hard upper limits to the growth of organisms.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 3:37PM (Unverified) said

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I looked behind me. :(

Cruel!
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 4:00PM (Unverified) said

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Just a couple points of clarification here:

(1) Read carefully -- I did not say that spiders were insects, I just lumped them together for the purpose of explaining why they cannot exist in the proportions we often see them in MMOs.

(2) Here's another fascinating read on why big things couldn't really function if shrunk, and why small things (including ants, spiders and misc. insects) would be helpless if huge: http://fathom.lib.uchicago.edu/2/21701757/
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Posted: Nov 5th 2010 11:40AM (Unverified) said

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In addition to what Dblade said, spiders have the same respiratory system as other terrestrial arthropods, and it limits their size. The largest known species of spider is either the Goliath Spider (Theraposa blondi) by virtue of mass or the Giant Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda maxima) by virtue of legspan. The former is about the size of a dinner plate, the latter has a much smaller body but a legspan of about a foot.

Neither is anywhere near the size of even the least powerful MMO spiders ;)
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 3:25PM Interitus said

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Poor Ma-Ti, Heart still doesn't get respected. And it never will.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 7:26PM DataShade said

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There's nothing about that show to be respected, really, but Ma-Ti's "heart" is the fifth point of the pentacle - spirit - and gets quite a bit of love in some systems, like Dragon Age, where Spirit Magic is fully one-third (or one quarter if you count Blood Magic) of the entire magical system.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 3:33PM Dblade said

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There's the reverse of the skimpy armor problem. Why are people not fighting in mounted combat wearing full plate armor?

It's heavy, it's not that much protection unless mounted because you can get knocked down and stabbed through a vulnerable point, the helmets restrict peripheral vision, and other reasons.

You want to weed out adventurers, put them in heavy full plate with ornamental paldrons and capes. Most would probably wear cloth, leather, or chain/ring mail.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 3:40PM Kalec said

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I like massively ... I really do, even if from time to time I don't agree with some of the posts ... but this one is just wrong.

I can't agree with anything mentioned here except for 2) but I like it that way so meh.

I'll put it this way.

1)Giant Spiders do exist (not to that exact scale but they do, they could exist ... there is no "crushing of their own body due to exoscheleton nonsense)
2)I like it that way so plz ignore me here.
3)I blame WoW (even though it's not wow's fault, that is a remnant of the old days when there wasn't much else you could do in an mmo)
4)Mages are ppl wo dedicate their lives for study ... they fisicly can't wear giant plate armor, plus they are similar to monks as in they have a deep touted tradition that includes ... wearing robes.
5)Rob is right about this one.
6)Gameplay balance and death penalties ... enough said
7)Do you prefer bandages ?
8)Game limitations ... nagging won't help
9)You want to play a game where you periodicly have to ... go to the bathroom ... mmm exciting.
10) Legal implications ... wow has kids ... who cares about them any way ?

Srry, this was just bad

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 4:09PM Anatidae said

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Clearly the article missed an 11th item in every modern MMO:

11. The player who has been brainwashed to believe in the previous 10.


Thanks for reminding us.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 3:43PM (Unverified) said

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Given how horribly dangerous a lot of these worlds are you should not be surprised that all the families have sent their young ones to live with their rich aunts and uncles, who live on the edge of a lake in a pristine, and very safe, mountiain valley, far from the migrational patterns of trolls giants and dragons. That's probably why most of your NPC's are so poor, paying for school out by that pristine lake is really expensive.

As for the lack of procreation, I'd say you aren't looking hard enough for it, but i'm not really sure you'd want to find any of it. And really let the people have their peace dangerous times don't need the added stress of you peeping on them while they try to relieve some built of stress.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 3:45PM mttgamer said

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Ok I love short film animations. That rat picture looks like something out of that category. What movie is that from?

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