Spells That Pack a Punch
Published on November 17, 2010 By ScottTykoski In Elemental Dev Journals

Since launch, one of the major complaints about Elemental: War of Magic was that the last bit of our title (the "Magic" part) was found to be...lacking (to put it gently). Global mana addresses areas of cheese, but without a significant overhaul to the Spellbooks and Spells you’re casting, that side of the game would still feel weak.  We’ve taken the following steps to rectify this in 1.1....


1. Spellbook Re-evaluation: There were several problems with the way spells have been organized in Elemental thus far, the most damning being the selection of Elemental based spells when designing your Sovereign. We’ve now moved these out of customization and into the tech tree, so you can make the choice to grab those books as shards are discovered. In their place, players can select books specific to a given strategy. The “Mobility” book has movement and teleportation spells, “Enchantment” gives the players city buffs, “Combat” does damage and protects friendly units relative to the caster’s INT, and “Terraforming” gives players the ability to sculpt the landscape in interesting ways.

2. No two spells should feel the same: Spellbooks in v1.0 through v1.09  were filled with tons of spells that all felt the same: Lightning, Fireball, Hurl Boulder, etc.  They were various tweaks on the formula, but the end result was a magic system that lacked interesting (and cool) choices.  Our motto going into 1.1 was that each and every spell (and each spellbook, for that matter) should feel unique and tempting over the use of another.

3. Bigger, badder, more ballsy high level spells: When I get a level 5 spell, it better not be a ‘slightly stronger version’ of a level 1-4 spell, ‘cause that would be lame.  Instead, I demand serious L5 muscle to my magical might - uniquely awesome options as I conquer the world.  For example...

L5 Mobility - Call of the Titans
A unstoppable spell that gathers ALL friendly unstationed troops and lets you target them directly into enemy territory.

L5 Air - Tornado
Cast upon the army of your foe, this spell will scatter all units in the stack, making them easy targets to pick off.

L5 Life - Death Ward
Taking 250 mp and 1mp/turn maint., Death Ward will allow any champion unit to escape death at the end of a losing battle (even if the battle is fought on enemy soil).

At the end of every spellbook the player will be greeted by a spell that was worth the effort to learn it.


Most of the old spells have been stripped out, and the v1.1 beta will have 68 new and improved spells. While the final 1.1 build will have around 75 spells to help your rise to power, we’ll continue taking suggestions on how to best make the ‘Magic’ half of our subtitle really shine!

Enjoy!

 


 


Comments (Page 1)
on Nov 17, 2010

cant w8 for the 1.1 beta too test it out

 

75 new spells sound promising

 

when 1.1 is live how much spells will be avaible 75+ ?

on Nov 17, 2010

That sounds absolutely awesome.

I'd imagine this part of the 1.1 beta will need plenty of bug hunting, so I hope everyone's really going to dig into that.

on Nov 17, 2010

This makes me happy

on Nov 17, 2010

Excellent.  WIth each update 1.1 appears to be the game we initially bought.  Bravo. 

on Nov 17, 2010

I'd imagine this part of the 1.1 beta will need plenty of bug hunting
It will, though we did push it back a week to weed out the most glaring issues (though new effects, paintings, and icons are all forthcoming).

What I'd love to see is the modders kick around the new GameModifiers and various tags added to extend spell functionality. If we've added a feature where, with relative ease, we can make it considerably more useful to modders, I'll be happy to get it in!

on Nov 17, 2010

Ok that covers the spells but what about new special abilitys? Also please teach the Ai to use the Movement book in a proper way. If we have teleport spells the Ai needs to use them in a functional way. Apart from that? Apart from that i say my investment into this game just, once again, got justified. Keep the good work!

on Nov 17, 2010

Any global spells?

on Nov 17, 2010

Yeah, new spell!

on Nov 17, 2010

very exciting! i've stopped playing Elemental until 1.1 - 1.1 is sounding like where the game SHOULD have launched. And I'm very excited about it.

on Nov 17, 2010

Those example spells you listed are great imo. If the rest of the spell overhaul follows the same suit then 1.1 is just a recipe of success

I also like your answer to replacing the elemental spell books in character creation with the moblility, enchant, combat and terraforming books. I was sad that the original spell books were going out of char creation, but these new ones seem much more important to defining player strategy then the old books ever were. Great job guys. I look forward to exploring the new magic system fully!

on Nov 17, 2010

on Nov 17, 2010

Sounds great Stardock! I can't wait!

on Nov 17, 2010

Sounds awesome. I just hope you do give us the beta before the weekend

on Nov 17, 2010

I hope the strategic spells are improved especially its variety, as right now it's mostly about tactical spells. Late game strategic spell like curgen volcano, earthquake or tsunami are insanely powerful, but it is only available in very late game, not to mention that it need shard. Elemental lack low level useful strategic spells.

on Nov 17, 2010

BoogieBac


What I'd love to see is the modders kick around the new GameModifiers and various tags added to extend spell functionality. If we've added a feature where, with relative ease, we can make it considerably more useful to modders, I'll be happy to get it in!

I've never been big on custom magic myself. The only request I've made about magic, if I remember correctly, is making sure SpellResourceCost worked better in tactical combat. In tactical combat, it didn't pay any attention to if you actually had the resource or not, unlike in strategic mode. Did that make it into the patch?

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