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Reader Comments (53)

Posted: May 22nd 2011 8:09AM Danteeeee said

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I believe that magic use is at its popularity peak in games currently. With the new graphics available to improve the overall looks and effects of spells, people love to see it in action.

However, it is mostly the same. In the next few years people will become bored of it, and currently, I can't think of any alternative.

Posted: May 22nd 2011 9:09AM BigAndShiny said

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@Danteeeee
I agree. No more cloth armor, and a radical overhaul to the system and style of gameplay needs to happen. Mainly I would like to see dynamic combat. That doesn't mean skill based like an FPS, or that you need super hand eye coordination. It means NO COOLDOWNS mostly INSTANT abilities, and a series of chained tactical moves and effects.
Casting the lift up spell won't do damage, but if i can slam after that it will double slam's damage.
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Posted: May 22nd 2011 10:06AM Borick said

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I'd like to see the standard mechanics expand to include more cooperative magic. Flinging fireballs and levitating is great for the single magic user, but why don't we see more ritual group effects?

Rather than an encounter where the mages are all competing to score the perfect rotation, we should see group magic where the effects scale to be greater than the sum of any of the individuals and the effects are less an opportunity to compete against your partners for DPS, but a challenge in sustaining cooperative self-sacrifice.

It's not that any of the existing systems are bad, it's that they're now standard-fare and pretty mundane. We need more magic in our magic systems.
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Posted: May 22nd 2011 11:36AM Vunak said

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@Borick
I like the idea of group combat actually being group combat, not you chain your skills and I will use my rotation. I think combat in general should take a slight overhaul and implement more group behavior for combat. If you cast that waterspell, and my next weapon attack does lightning damage we should see a more impressive effect.

Magika had a really amazing magic system. Your spells augmented each other. Maybe even having it where you can store spells. Waterjet, waterjet, waterjet, and finish it off with lightning storm for a really awesome damage increase. Maybe a melee DPS sees your about to use that really nice spell combo and does an attack that lifts the target in the air making it more vulnerable.

People would argue well mages will just run around with spells preset so if they get jumped in pvp they just let this massive barrage of spells go. Well you could make it where storing so many spells is straining on them and it reduces there movement speed per spell stored. Or even put a limit on the amount of time they can store spells, like 15-30 secs.

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Posted: May 22nd 2011 12:17PM jeremys said

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@Borick You just made me remember something pretty amazing. Many months ago, there was word that Runes of Magic developed just such a system.

Party attacks consisted of each member needing to fire off a particular key or rotation within a given time. The requirements would circulate through the party and if everyone hit what they were supposed to within the time-limit, a party attack or spell would go off.

I love the idea and can't remember whatever came of this news. I must hunt down this news again. Thank you.
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Posted: May 22nd 2011 12:41PM jeremys said

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@Borick A little searching goes a long way and I was reminded that LotRO has Fellowship Maneuvers, which are essentially what I saw Runes of Magic talking about a long time ago.
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Posted: May 22nd 2011 2:37PM WyattEarp89 said

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@jeremys The Fellowship Maneuvers ahve always been one of my most favorite things in Lotro. I like how the group has to pay attention when a FM is activated and we each have to make sure we choose the correct color that we agreed with before the fight.I can see this feature being upgraded into something more.

And as to Runes of Magic, that would be awesome if they add that to the game. It would make dungeon fights more fun, to me at least.
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Posted: May 22nd 2011 8:13AM (Unverified) said

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It's funny, magic is something that has been a convention in gaming, and specifically MMOs since the beginning of the genre, that it's something I took completely for granted. Magic, and the way it's designed aesthetically and mechanically just seems like a staple to me, and it's never anything I've questioned. Now that I think of it, it would be interesting to see the mechanic get an overhaul. Whether it needs one, I'm not so sure.

Posted: May 22nd 2011 8:15AM Aen said

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Hero's Journey. If they ever get off their ass and release it. You will draw an Arc in the ground and that is where it will cast a wall of fire...stuff like that.

Posted: May 23rd 2011 1:21AM Space Cobra said

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@Aen

While anything is possible (Duke Nuke'em), Hero's Journey has been in development longer.

"When Hell freezes over," seems an appropriate guideline/answer to waiting on this game; yeah, they are "working on it", but they've pretty much licensed the engine to other games and I think that will be the extent of what we will hear from now on.
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Posted: May 22nd 2011 8:19AM Twitchy5 said

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I agree.
(This is all my OPINION, I'm not stating it's fact)
They need to go more in depth with the magic system, put science (strange, but true) behind it, how it would ACTUALLY work if it existed. When summoning monsters, could you just summon them from a dark abyss? Or would you have to have enough concentration to make your own creation appear and stay there. The thing about magic is that it isn't by mana alone, but concentration for a spell, if that mage is a professional, he won't be distracted by getting sliced at, but a newbie will so the newbie wouldn't be able to cast the spell.

If you look at naruto (hear me out before you start flaming), they actually did it close to what it would be like. With the walking across water thing, they had to keep their "mana" concentrated on their feet so they could do it. Naruto had to concentrate his "mana" to do that little ball of explosioness thing.

Books aren't correct either, I think it's wands (Yes like Harry Potter). Wands help you concentrate your mana to the wand so it's easier to cast a spell. The thing with saying the spell is that it helps you concentrate on the spell and not go on a whimsy (from Eragon).

You may call me a nerd, but remember, we're in a discussion on a news site for MMO games.... you can't say ****.

Posted: May 22nd 2011 10:12AM Borick said

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@Twitchy5

Well said. Rather than arbitrary systems that are always out of balance, it would be nice to be given a consistent toolkit of 'magical physics'.

I don't want to be a shaman who is just a mage with different color sparklies and a different pattern of buttons to mash. I want the mechanics to support my choice of actions with results unique to how I put things together.

I know. Balance. None of this can happen until we step back from the exclusive focus on combat as the definitive MMO architecture.
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Posted: May 22nd 2011 11:02AM ErikC said

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@Twitchy5 That's sort of strangely limited and specific. Magic doesn't have to use mana in a particular way, or use mana at all. It can involve intense concentration or virtually none. It's a made up thing. It's not a matter of doing it correctly, but in a way that is interesting (and yes, following a set of rules is indeed interesting).
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Posted: May 22nd 2011 8:28AM elixabethclaire said

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I will not be content until my necromancer actually has to draw out her pentagrams and trace them with lines of powdered thyme and dried blood. Until her incantations parallel the 20-minute building vocal frenzies of a true summoning, I shall not rest.

srs: I would really like more complexity to magic systems and a more thorough look (even just in a little pamphlet or something, or even on the game's wiki) at exactly how the magic of a world works.

Posted: May 22nd 2011 8:36AM Haleth said

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I agree, magic systems in MMOs need to be more original. I recall an earlier post where you were talking about how there were only four elements to choose from in an MMO. Modern MMOs are beyond the point of fire and ice balls. We need something more..magical.

Posted: May 22nd 2011 8:45AM MMOaddict said

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I play casters. A lot. Don't mess with my favorite class choice or we'll have a problem.

Heheh, anyway, while I enjoy most game's caster types, some could use some work or have a nuance to them never seen before. If any of you have read Brandon Sanderson's books(he's the guy finishing the Wheel of Time series), he tends to build a giant magic system for each story/world. Some of them are really cool and almost seem to have designs that would fit better in a video game.

For example, his Mistborn trilogy has a magic system that hinges on the attributes of certain metals. Those who can use the metal, basically ingest slivers or nuggets and they then "burn" it and certain magical qualities come out. Like burning Iron in order to enhance strength in their bodies. It is more developed then that, but you get the idea.

Another interesting magic system is the Jim Butcher series, Calderon's Fury, where people have an elemental being, Furies, come to them at some point in there life and each enhances certain aspects in creation.

Earth enhances strength, Air allows one to fly, Water allows one to heal and manipulate features, and so on. I can imagine a game where the magic system is this deep, of course I think it would fit better in skill based games.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I think persuing this idea would help many a "shallow" game become deeper. Also, read those books devs, if you want some awesome magic system ideas.

Posted: May 22nd 2011 9:10PM elliotrock said

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@MMOaddict

Good stuff.

With ancient Mythology and modern fiction, the pool of ideas is massive. I to feel bored about learning my class.

I really enjoy the melee characters but want a greater depth. The Dark Templar in AoC for example or my favorite the Death Hand in TCoS. A melee character with massive debuffing, magic attacks, posion, heals on attacks/AoE heals, AoE posions, ranged debuffs and typical melee attacks. Most powers have second and third abilities that could be strengthen with Sigils, say for example: http://spellborn.wikia.com/wiki/Devour_Spirit

IS an AoE heal that took 3-4s for the heal to come back, making a good starter but mainly because the magic debuff on characters attacks, and for a short time any damage you dealt would reduce certain affinities. You could sigil it so those 2nd and 3rd effects would be incfreased.

I want more than just to do physical damage with a melee character, I want more attacks and to go on a path of learning an alternative to classic power sets.
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Posted: May 22nd 2011 8:48AM BarGamer said

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E=M*(C^2), solve for Magic. :P

Posted: May 22nd 2011 5:45PM Daeths said

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@BarGamer M (magic) = E/c^2. There. solved. now just need to find out what the new variables/constants c and E are
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Posted: May 22nd 2011 9:04AM Anshin said

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Magicka has a nice magic mechanic, you have 8 elements keybinded to 8 different keys. Certain elements nullify each other, but it offers millions of combinations to perform dozens of spells.

On another note, i always wondered why, with ASWD movement in most games nowadays, and where your mouse controls the view, why you can't use the mouse to also "carve" spells in the screen so you can cast them. I always thought this would be an interesting take on mages.

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