Typos fixed in this version, aside from some website format errors:
Might be a bit easier on the eyes too. Actually I really recommend it.
Well, I did say I liked thorough posts… And I haven’t been able to drool over someone else’s so I made my own.
Post has been edited quite a bit, possibly at loss of some fun / readability in exchange for concise clarity / readability. Who would have thought…? Non-edited area starts around section III. Feel free to skip the technical stuff, especially in section 0.
Took a couple hours to write, but a lot more time to revise… That said I’d still be happy to edit in any clearer or more “motivating” content into the post if needed. I’ll probably do more revision in general tomorrow. First I need sleep.
- Full elemental wheel returned to Conjurors. Umbral/Astral magic returned to Thaumaturges.
- Allow party and self-targeting.
- Spell histories tracked per unit (enemy / friendly) to the latest application – calculations are made with each addition of spell “mass” (below) to the unit.
- Return of multiple spell levels within each element – i.e. Aero, Aerora, Aeroga.
- No spell critical hits. [Keep in mind that this does not change caster damage at all in its current incarnation seeing as that will already be gone, and the gameplay will be plenty variable and “crit”-like without being dependent on random dice-rolls to cover the function.]
To replace the current combat mentality insofar as these changes are relevant (casters) to one that is immensely strategic in a freeform manner. The gameplay centers on the idea that elements fit into certain spectrums (like Heat, Saturation, Light), with different methods of application and bypasses of defenses, that are put into strategic use in combination, paired with a high use of angular, deployment, and order-of-strategy coordination. These differences are fundamental, not minor repairs, but require fairly little coding. Animations may be needed for upper spell types.
The examples I give through the majority of this thread are very simplistic within the range that this system can be used, in order to be understandable at the time that they are used. I ask that you do not judge its extents based on them, but rather imagine how you would like to use it. And I can almost certainly promise that no matter how grandiose or complex the idea is, this system can cover it.
0C. Predictions for future uses:
Large-scale advancements to AI based off new fundamental categories, leading to both smarter and more unique elements and therefore their fights; changes to layering of defenses, variable order of operation defined by active to passive or outer to inner defenses instead of simply flat to percentile; split weapon damage types, armor penetration and armor bypass reforms (gear damage reforms, repair reforms); more responsive and significant defense categories (parry, block, etc); larger role of senses in combat, especially as it applies to AI [what you couldn’t see due to darkness won’t specify enmity on the unseen attacker, but it can make the mob afraid of the dark.]
0D. FAQs [Growing with edits]
1.There are. They are covered by more basic general factors, such as Heat for the above. In this way the elements not only have bonuses in and of themselves, but in combination, with a vast total amount of unique uses greater than can be made in such a preset fashion. That’s the point of all this – freeform, complex strategy.Why are there no unique properties to the elements, like DoTs for fire, slows for ice, etc?
I. Split spell damage into Mass and Potency.
- Mass: directly converted from the caster’s stats, this is how “much” of the element is put into play on the target / affected area. Obviously, mass is not resisted, only avoided / evaded / blocked / etc.
- Potency: the multiplier that turns Mass into actual spell damage. 100% Potency would be 100% of the spell Mass dealt as Damage. Passive resistances average about 20% for “non-resistant” or “normal” mobs, with certain defensive features making that much higher against certain mediums.
- Keep in mind a mob can be weak to an element while still having some defensive feature that makes it very able to resist that element until bypassed. Most bypassing is done through using a different element medium, commonly transferring the other element’s mass through that medium.
- Medium: the method of application for a given element, or which element will be in control of moving elemental mass in a given form or area.
- When one element is cast upon another, the element mass and certain characteristics (see [Section II] below) of the first is converted into the larger mass (Heat acts as an additional multiplier in this calculation for Fire, Water, and Ice), taking its medium.
- For example, whether Water mass is a Water medium, Ice medium, or saturated Wind medium depends on temperature. Water added to a higher -Fire mass x heat- will convert the water (Water medium) to steam (Wind medium), at the cost of some heat within the not yet quenched flames (Fire medium). Fire added to a higher -water mass x heat- will become Water medium (hot water). In either case the Heat characteristic is retained when changing to a new element medium, and the Saturation characteristic is retained in changing from Water to Wind medium.
II. Create elemental factors in accordance with more basic physical factors.Negligible. Would hide if I knew how to make a "Spoiler" function, along with a lot of other stuff...
Fire – No true medium
Water – Liquid masses (not including fine amounts) – can carry solid mass
Ice – No true medium
Lightning – Plasma [rare - incredible amounts of Heat can allow Lightning spells to move the full Heat (and Fire mass) from one target to another]
Earth – Ground
Wind – Flames and anything airborne
- Heat (Increasing leads to increased Fire potency and Burn [here defined only as a DoT], while decreasing leads to increased Ice potency, Slow, and Heavy. Characteristic retained for converted Fire and Ice.)
- Light (Involved heavily in Astral/Umbral magics. Utility uses may include Blindness and Collusion [likely to be renamed if done].
- Saturation (Characteristic retained for converted water.)
- Solid Mass (Characteristic retained for Earth and for Ice when not melted into Water)
Use of these categories allows almost all spell effects to be carried from multiple stacks of different elements without having to remember all the different spell masses, and interact with other systems of elements in their relevant categories without having to check all the different element masses involved in that system.
To do otherwise would cause the amount of calculations to increase factorially. This instead adds only one constant category per magic-affected enemy (or friendly), another often calculated [Heat], and a couple occasionally calculated [the rest], each checked only when affected, reducing server load. This can be handled by the current servers, and can be smoothly handled by those of version 2.0.
III. Mediums and Element – Dominating Mediums. This applies to two basic rationales, though their points will overlap. I apologize for what might seem repetitive. Think of them as two ways of explaining mostly the same content. [Original idea / unedited post begins... May get more sarcastic, less technical.]
1. First the easier one to explain: damage can be carried over from previous element types as the previous element medium is removed and replaced. For example, with the Fire to Water sequence on the crab monster, the literal flames are extinguished by the water, removing that medium, but the water spell carries over the majority of the Fire mass into the Water medium.
Continuing on with less technical stuff though, the basics of this are that mass is not “lost” once cast, except through natural degeneration (a game constant, if you will). It can be transferred, either from being moved or from its medium being changed, but not lost. Now as for the sort of order or criteria for dominating mediums:[This percentage that carries over is due to Heat, which is one of the reasons why you really might purely fire-nuke certain enemies. Adding enough water would extinguish (convert) the incredibly intense flames, but due to the extreme heat they’d be converted only into Steam (Wind medium), which disperses the flame mass much more than the water medium. Unless you need a smokescreen it’s probably not worth the loss.]
This actually works pretty logically. You can’t turn Water mass into a flame medium to make… water flames. But you can leach the heat out of flames into a water medium to make boiling hot water. Or, you can evaporate water to create steam, which can then be moved by Wind medium, including both the remaining heat and saturation. You can transfer an initial Lightning medium (plasma?) into water medium to create electrified water.
2. Even while two elements might work on opposite ends of the same spectrum, they will not necessarily cancel each other out, because they vary in method of application, in addition to position on that spectrum. To make sense of what I just said, let’s consider this in the two most basic combat types, PvE and PvP.
PvE: if each element cancelled out its opposite, your party would, per target, be limited to half their elemental pool. While this might be interesting for timing dps vs. conservation and timing lingering effects as to be able to switch between damage and utility and the right moments (swapping from Fire to Ice for example), it would be immensely annoying for any team not entirely coordinated. It would also, on the whole, carry less possible strategy than what can be done with a full elemental wheel, given reasons for carrying out exact purposes at precise times through the mixture of elements… kind of like messing around with paints, but killing shit every time you form lavender in a… lavender situation. I’ll give a better example later, I swear.
PvP: [Ex 2] Now let’s go back to that “method of application” part I glanced over. Let’s say someone’s trying to set me on fire. Now, I could use Ice (the opposite on the Heat spectrum) to counter this, but to actually “block” it I would have to be able to change the way I use the spell to form a wall or some matter of armor. [More on why spells should or should not have this option in part IV.]
But even in that sense, the important part is simply that I’m blocking the element from reaching me with a physical barrier. Earth would serve just as well. Or perhaps I could aim a Water attack at him, starting from my position, intercepting his Fire spell cast; whatever. [More on necessary angular precision and uses in part V.]
The point is, if those options are impossible [as without the ability to turn elements into walls or armor directly], I can’t just freeze myself without taking some additional damage. Moreover, it’d be competing directly with the Fire element spell’s Heat even in forming the spell, and the flame medium won’t be gone until I’ve eliminated it via Ice.
I can however soak myself, extinguishing the flames at cost of possible damage taken from the Fire that has transferred through the Water medium, and then immediately cool myself with Ice magic thereafter to eliminate that damage, using the water mass as basically free Ice mass minus the cooling I have to do. The closer I time the Water and Ice together, the less damage I take. Combination-casting this with party-member could cut it down to no damage at all. And personally, in an (2.0 Limsa Lominsa arena, yes!) arena fight, if I really hated both DoTs and being slowed via Frost, I’d stack frost resistance and just blast myself with a full Blizzard spell…
IV. Spell Application – “Friendly-fire limiters” & “At what level is too much control?”
- “Friendly-fire limiters…”
Now, there was an obvious question from the last paragraph (end of Ex 2) that I’d like to address now, mostly because it fits what follows. Why wouldn’t Water cause damage too?
First is that there is a small semblance of realism alongside the pursuit of complex gameplay. Water does not have to hurt unless the caster means it to hurt. Ice on the other hand, will hurt at least a bit regardless. They have different extents to which damage can be cut back when friendly-casting.
However, that doesn’t mean that there are “safe” and “unsafe” elements exactly. Water might still cause a little damage—I don’t know, it’s a negligible detail in my mind right now. Besides, it’s a matter of “doesn’t have to”, which means there must have been an option in play. Or this case, AI, mostly. Basically, when casting on an ally, it will assume friendly intentions, and do the best to meet them. This is actually easily doable. [If people actually end up being strategy junkies enough to want manual control, that can be programmed with one simple function (a spectrum) added and the UI to control it.]
- This is basically detecting things like the amount of negative spell mass on the friendly and whether that mass came from an enemy or friend, and then acting accordingly.
- By accordingly I mean something like… using only approximately enough Water mass to stop the flame, or only enough ice to cool you to neutral, no negative effects in either direction. This level of exactness will probably come from a stat—Piety or Intelligence—or a mixture of them, or whatever applies to the exact spell type. Additionally, potency is very low except when transferring enemy element mass, or when the enemies use your own spell mass for their abilities. For example, if one enemy set you on fire, and you quench it with Water mass/medium, they can still use any remaining Water mass left on you to add to their next Ice ability (on you).
This is getting incredibly long… I didn’t think I could write this much in a couple hours, and I’m noticing more and more that even if the fundamental changes might be simple by comparison, that comparison is being made to any hundreds of situations I can make just off the top of my head for using this system… Now before I leave this section with a long sigh and a face-roll… that other part I mentioned:
- “At what level is too much control?”
To which I say nay. Now the important part: why. Basically, I think it will reduce strategy and synergy. While turning things like Stone into Stoneskin makes sense, I think it should do so by using something from another class, or at least a spell like Protect, in order to acquire that Medium (a shield). If you could simply walk in (coated in armor of Ice), freeze everyone in their tracks (with Ice), impale them all (also with Ice), feel no pity like a cold-blooded bastard (takes a lot of Ice), walk out coolly (Ice!), and have a cold drink (yes, with Ice), then what freaking point does the rest of the player base, classes, strategic sequences, or elements have for you?This basically addresses the question of “Why not allow me to turn my Blizzard into Ice armor? We’re masters of the elements, right? We should be able to do this.”
I enjoy the feeling of friendly modesty I get from FFXIV. In my opinion if you should kick ass that much (as above), it’ll have come as a credit to and from the team. That’s where the majority of strategy and fun is going to occur — in the team. It can still be done as a single player too, but it’s done by knowing that not every purpose and source will match immediately, and in the aggregate strategy of finding the best solution for the immediate, thereafter, and well down the line.
V. Angular Precision and Use of Angles in Strategy (purpose continued in VI)
This is actually pretty simple, I just felt I needed to go over briefly. I will NOT be proposing the adoption of Front-Side-Back-Above-Below combo systems, and certainly not as a requirement. No, what they will be used for will make sense, and be as lenient as they exactly deserve.
Takes this as an example: I have a Thaumaturge (returned to old Light/Shadow magic), and Conjurer spamming spells that include lighting (not a typo) from one side. Want to take the inductive leap here? If not, well, the Thaumaturge is casting shadow-based magics from the opposite side, aided by the shadows cast from the Fire and Lightning. Fire has a conical shadow. Thunder has a shadow below the mob. Whatever spells take advantage of that would be additionally effective to be used now.
Things like this also apply even to simply guarding off attacks. Let’s take a Glady, with his shield of course. Now, he can block a portion of an oncoming fire spell in front of him, right, only makes sense. But a Thunder will not be blocked because it hits him atop the head.
In short, angle of application too affects the types of defense it goes through / will encounter.
Additionally it affects, chain-casting! If you haven’t died yet, enjoy a section on chain-casting, you masochist…
VI. Chain Casting
Okay, so let’s say we (random party with many Conjurors) have this big, heavily fire-resistant enemy [A] among a bunch of not-so-fire-resistant enemies… We can kill the big fire resistant guy last, and there’s an order to which we want to kill the many smaller guys. Additionally, the have quirk of going into a panic when faced with large (conical or radius-around-target) AoEs, restarting all enmity counters.
- We are going to nuke the only Fire-resistant enemy… with Fire.
- There is an order to this madness. (Remember, spell mass remains until dissipating naturally, and I am spamming Fire.)
- So let’s say all… 4 of us are just blasting away with single target fire spells, stacking more and more fire mass on this guy, without pulling threat because we’re barely dealing damage, allowing the tank to be as defensive as possible, sacrificing threat to stay alive… because none of us are healing. …Maybe one of us.
- Now let’s say we have one Thaumaturge, and that Dia’s back too, but works as it’s its icon looked. It’s an Astral DoT, as before, but it also pulls in shit (spell-mass). He’ll use that soon. [Nope, never got to that, sorry. It's a few steps later in the scenario, after my head died.]
- One conjurer breaks off from the Fire-mass stacking, and starts sequentially casting Blizzard in some sort of connect-the-dot fashion between the mobs we next want to kill, in reverse order. (Cooling will dissipate on the first cast first after all.)
- With only enough people still casting Fire to keep it from dissipating, the rest of us move so that the most cooled mob [B] is directly behind [A], and close enough to have plenty of Aerora range left (let’s say it keeps going, even past the target, for approximately 10 yalms, variable with Wind Mass (which stacks when casted this close to each other).
- The Aerora will be focused into the line of cooled units, affecting only one target at time down the line, keeping it from counting as an AoE, while transferring Flame mass into the Wind medium. In other words, you incinerate a domino-effect chain of mobs using a stacked, focused blast of wind, with threat shared between all conjurors who cast the Aerora.
________________________________________________________________________I could probably easily give some 20+ more examples even now—these are all pretty simple scenarios and seem to have one type of strategy when that’s not the case. I simply only gave one so far. They have many, many more, as is the purpose of these changes.
Just real quick, since I’ve been pulling –ra’s and –ga’s out of a hat lately… Let me classify them. They all seem to pretty well match the FFXIII break-ups of single to AoE to Large AoE, however the shape and directionality of the AoEs vary, along with the size (density).
Earth types all come from below, starting with what looks like a pillar or mound blasting up, to a fracture (linear) [Stonera] to an earthquake (target-centered) [Stonaga].Water types start from sources of moisture or the caster. In other words, if you hit an enemy with water, the next cast will hit from the last place you hit him if that distance is shorter. Starting from the caster they look like blasts or waves, depending on size, with an impact animation basically the same as what already exists.Fire and Fira begin at the caster. Fire is single-target, as before the reform. Fira will reach the target and then spread (it can be blocked / absorbed by the central target before the AoE). Firaga will separately both start at the caster and at all sources of heat near the target. The AoE cannot be blocked.All Lightning spells begin above the target. Thunder is single target, though it can be spread via water. Thundara will hit the target but any resisted damage can jump to nearby enemies, and will prefer wet ones. Thundaga will AoE around the target, preferring the target and all wet enemies in the area of effect. Each strike is counted separately.Only Aeroga is does not start from the caster. All will carry transferable element masses in or along the area of effect of the spells. Aero will end at the target. Aerora will continue past the target for up to a total of ~10 yalms, based on total combined Wind mass. Follows thermodynamics a little more than is realistic, targeting cooled objects and gaining potency from heat, but also moving away from heat.Ice magics start at caster or area of relative cooling. Blizzard is single target. Blizzara is primarily single target but can hit additional mobs if packed tightly enough. Blizzaga hits the first target and then shatters outward. If I had to give them a physical damage type, Blizzard is mostly piercing, Blizzara is crushing, and Blizzaga is crushing then turned into piercing...