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  • Spells, mages and all that

    OK, I've decided to revisit the idea of Thievery mages. If you're not interested in the concept then stop reading here, because I was thinking of a new gametype orientated around magic and so it won't affect normal Thievery play.


    Basically, I'm struggling to see a way of implementing magic in Thievery without losing the thieves-stealth/guards-bruteforce balance that we've got at the moment.
    Here are the two main systems I've considered:

    -Spells are classified under Combat, Utility and Passive, which will replace the Melee/Ranged/Item headings in the loadout menu. Players have to purchase spells but then have unlimited access to them in the game. Naturally spells use mana, which will recharge over time (remember Thievery is a time-limited game, so this could prove a nice anti-spam approach). Also, players could purchase the same spell multiple times, to power it up for a greater effect.
    I'm as yet undecided whether both teams should have access to magic, but thieves DEFINATELY WON'T receive much in the way of attack spells (ie. no fireballs, lightning etc. guards will be receiving stuff like that), since I want them to remain Thiefy.

    -Alternatively, I could remove some of the confusion over having a larger range spells by grouping them into "elements". You're bound to have seen this concept around before, spells are classififed under Fire,Water,Earth,Air,Light,Dark,etc and a player has to choose the element he wants to represent. He then receives all spells of that element, and maybe some statistic boosts (ie. Fire-players would receive lesser fire damage, Air players would move faster, and so on. I can already hear the RPG-haters groaning).
    With this approach, we could get some fancy skins to indicate a players element and different elements could have different roles in their team.
    I suspect I might have to limit this approach to just affect guards, I can visualise Fire-thieves going on mass rampages and generally pissing people off.


    So, those are the ideas that I've been thinking over, any feedback is welcome.
    There are two good examples of Magic in UT out there, "Dark Magic" is one and the wizard class in "Unreal4Ever Fortress" is another. I'll probably seek permission to "borrow" some code from either, should interest arise in Thievery mages.


    Note: I have got other things to script at the moment and there more than a considerable chance that I won't ever start this project, but thats mostly because I'm iffy about the idea working out in practice, so thats why I'm asking for feedback.

  • #2
    If you need to borrow code from Dark Magic , you can ask Claw (posting as Zarkazm at NaliCity) who's in fact still working on the mod , it's not dead... he's somewhat interested in Thievery and would help integrate spells to the mod for sure.

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    • #3
      Cool
      ]V[]V[

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm interested. Go for it.
        Garlisk's Fantasy Art Gallery
        www.usyetzer.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Rather than an entirely different gametype, it occurs to me your approach may be better suited to specific custom map environments, in much the same way the guards are in Soul's Harbor. Create a map that would naturally have mages guarding it, and modify the shop to include spells instead of the normal guard items and weapons. Include a custom skin, and possibly even mesh (talk to Cythe, maybe?) If the cost of "spells" was sufficiently low, they'd not even need replenish, like the guard supplies don't replenish now. Maybe even allow guard players to choose standard guards or mages, though I don't know how that would work out with the shop, respawning, etc.

          The end result would be something very like the Mage's Towers (or whatever that mission was called) in Thief Gold.

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          • #6
            Hmm, but it feels like a bit of an extravagant modification for just one map.

            Given the choice between normal guards and mages, I can see more people opting for the mages. Especially after a few games as guard where you just sit there and don't see anything for the whole game. I reckon they'll all want to be mages, or guarding is gonna have to become a helluva lot more interesting.

            Once the weapon/item framework for the spells is set up, I could probably knock together a mute that randomly makes a few of the AI in a level turn into mages. But I couldn't really say that only the people that inhabit those guards become mages, & the rest become normal guards, because people will moan immensely about it.


            I'd like to develop some proper character classes for Thievery (Thievery Fortress anyone?) for both sides, but this gonna create even more complications upon what is already a hard to learn game.

            We could always say that mages recover mana at the supply chest, or perhaps they receive their own modified supply chest (in some other form, like a huge crystal or something) that regenerates the mana of nearby mages.


            Keep those ideas coming (I'm hoping to expand the current range of gametypes by at least 6 more types, even if some of them are variations on Thieves Vs Guards, in the hopefully near future)

            Comment


            • #7
              Here are a few suggestions.

              Any guard can become a mage, but there are of course, a few restrictions.

              All guards receive a mana bar above their life bar. Depending on the armour they wear, their amount of mana changes.

              Guards will select either:

              Full armour. It offers the same protection as the current armour, but it is cumbersome to use, and gets in the way of the intricate gestures required for spell-casters. These guards can not cast any spells, but recieve 150 hp, and the crossbolt.

              Chain armour. If offers less protection, but is less cumbersome. These guards recieve 25 mana, and the ability to buy any of the elemental spells. They recieve 100 hp, and the crossbolt.

              Leather armour. It offers much less protection, but is almost unrestrictive. These guards recieve 75 mana, and can cast all the elemental spells. However, they do not recieve a crossbolt, and can not buy a mace. This guard receives 90 hp.

              Mage robes. They offer barely any protection, but instead enchance magical abilities. These guards receive 100 mana, and can cast any spell. They can not buy a sword, crossbolt, or mace, but instead use a free quarterstaff. This guard receives 75 hp, and a 25% mana regeneration bonus.

              Alll guards move at the same speed (Mages are weaker, physiicly, so they can't move at the speed of a well-built guard).

              Thieves can use the Water, and Air schools. They receive 25 mana, and their mana takes 15 mins to fully regenerate.

              Reasons to play plate guards:

              Arrows won't be killing you in 2 shots.

              You do not waste your money on spellbooks, allowing you to buy more traps/bolts

              Reasons to use chain:

              Arrows are still not deadly, and you can still use a mace. Basicly, if you want traps, go plate. If you want a sturdy guard, but limited spells, go chain.

              Reasons to use leather:

              If you want to actually kill a thief that you catch, but are fine with good amounts of mana, leather is for you.

              Reasons to use robes:

              Using mage robes lets you cast special non-elemental spells. You also get a sizeable mana increase, and mana regen bonus.

              Mana:

              All your mana will regenerate in about 10 minutes, starting from 0. Use your spells wisely, my friends...

              Spells:

              There are four elemental spell shools: Fire, Water, Wind, and Stone. Spells from these schools can be cast by all guards, except plate ones.

              There are also three advanced mage schools: Divination, Tempral, and Summoning. They cost a lot of mana, and can only be used by full mages.

              Fire spellbook: 300 gold.

              Flare: Creates a magical tag-bolt like flare. It has a slightly larger light radius then a flare. Costs 10 mana.

              Firebolt: Creates a bolt of flame, that moves quicker then the crossbow firebolt, has a smaller splash radius, but large explosive damage. Costs 25.

              Immolation: Creates a weak aura of light around you, setting your mana regeneration to 0. It has a smaller effect then Flare, and can be activated, and deactivated at will.

              Water spellbook: 200 gold. ---AVAILABLE TO THIEVES---.

              Cure light wounds: Heals 20 hp of damage to your target. Costs 20 mana.

              Ice bolt: Deals 75 damage to your target, and paralyses them for 2 seconds. Costs 25 mana, and travels at the speed of an arrow. Doesn't arc, no splash.

              Air spellbook: 200 gold. ---AVAILABLE TO THIEVES---

              Lightning bolt: Deals 30 damage, nearly instantly to the target. Lights up a tiny area as it flies, and a slightly larger area of impact. Greatly lights up the caster. Costs 10 mana.

              Gusts of wind: Allows the caster to jump 50% higher for 10 seconds. Costs 25 mana. You have to stand still for 1.5 seconds to cast.

              Earth spellbook: 300 gold.

              Slow: Fires a bolt of earth, slowing the target (If hit) by 50% for 10 seconds. 25 mana to cast.

              Stoneskin: Absorbs up to 5 blackjack/arrow/sword blows for the next 25 seconds. 50 mana to cast. Each charged hit removes 3 skins. Takes 1.5 seconds to cast.

              Divination: 200 gold.

              ESP: Allows the mage to sense the presense of thief minds in a 20 meter area. The mage receives a message such as: There are 4 thieves in the area, when it has been cast. 50 mana.

              Infravision: Allows the mage to see invisible thieves within a 10 meter radius for 10 seconds. The thieves highlight red. 60 mana to cast.

              Temporal: 300 gold.

              Essence of speed: Increases movement rate of the mage, and all guards in a 5 foot radius by 2x for 10 seconds. 75 mana to cast.

              Zeal: Increases attack speed of the mage, and all the guards in a 10 foot radius by 1.5x for 10 seconds. 75 mana to cast.

              Summoning: 250 gold.

              Animal taming: A quick-moving ray is fired from the caster's hands, taming the target spider/fish. The animal follows it's master, attacking thieves. 50 mana to cast. Does not work on big greeny.

              Summon spider: Summons a medium-size blue spider. A caster that has tamed a spider/fish can not summon/tame another untill their pet dies. 75 mana to cast.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The_Dan
                Hmm, but it feels like a bit of an extravagant modification for just one map.
                Yes, but so were the mods for Soul's Harbor. OK, not quite as extravagent, but the scripting would be done for any future maps of similar nature. I wasn't all that crazy about my own idea to allow guard players to choose regualr guard or mage anyway, so I have to agree, more or less, with your comments there.

                Part of the reason for suggesting what I did is that I think mages should be... well, rare. You shouldn't be seeing them in every map. They should be specific to their setting. That keeps them an unknown and mysterious, which is how it should be. It destroys the atmosphere of Thievery to think of mages running around on the rooftops of Flats.

                As far as Swiss's suggestion goes - too RPG-ish, and far too complex. Can you imagine the confusion trying to learn to play four different "classes", or even trying to figure out WHICH to play?

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                • #9
                  Basically, if you add anything horrendously complex for a first timer, just give them an easy way to skip it and get on with playing.

                  ie:
                  [code:1:6e9b6b1116]
                  Select your class:
                  -> Guard
                  Guard
                  -> Specialise
                  Guard Speciality 1
                  Guard Speciality 2
                  Guard Speciality 3
                  Guard Speciality 4
                  -> Thief
                  ...
                  [/code:1:6e9b6b1116]

                  blah blah blah.... the point is you can provide people with default and easy options so that they can worry about the more complex areas when they're familiar with the game.

                  Personally I like the idea of making the classes a little more complex.

                  Oh, and i agree with LaughingRat, mages should be in a specific map. Allowing any guard player, on any map, to choose to be a mage just doesn't seem to fit in...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think it should be map specific too, but they should all be in the class hireachy so mappers can throw them in wherever they want. Inhabiting a different guard/thief class should be just like joining guards or thieves, one join button for each class.

                    Spiders should also be inhabitable (yay, 2 more player slots on Bourg).

                    And rrrrrobots!
                    Robots should have a standard cannon, and buy ammo for it in the shops, and maybe from a special 'chest' as well. Also it can buy cannon upgrades and special launchers.
                    ]V[]V[

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      LR, the purchase of armour would be Firearms-like.

                      Firearms is a pretty good Half-Life mod, which, among other things, has a curious buying system. It goes through a very long list - you select your armour, sidearm(s), grenades, sub-machine guns, rifles, ect. Thievery could possibly use a page-like buying system (First you select whether you want to buy a sword, then you buy arrows, then potions, then items).

                      While Firearms isn't that newbie-friendly, there are pre-determined loadouts that newbies can use. Thievery could also use a system like that.

                      The way I think of spellbooks, is you have to be unarmed. You then select spells by cycling through your inventory, and right click to cast. Some spells hold you in place for a period of time.

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                      • #12
                        Wouldn't a mage use a quarterstaff to cast spells?
                        The only constant is change.
                        (And I wouldn't have it any other way.)

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                        • #13
                          The system for different armour levels was mentioned previously as a seperate idea, and while still an excellent idea (for normal Thievery play), I think it should be kept seperate from the magic stuff.

                          I want to give players a different way of playing the game, but it should still be Thievery, not some completely unrecognisable game that takes a load more learning than normal TUT.

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                          • #14
                            I think spellcasting should rather be like weaving magic in the air. And mages aren't forced to stand in place, in fact, mages should be about as agile as thieves, and maybe even more so with the help of magic. But, weaving the magic propperly is no easy task while you're moving about. If you attempt to weave a spell and it fails, the magic you used will be lost. Also, every mage has a mage sight, so he can switch to this sight to get a visual image of the flows of power in the area. It helps greatly with spellcasting, as you can see what you're weaving much more clearly. Also, you can detect devices of magic in the surrounding area. It can even see larger collections of power through walls. However, this sight completely replaces normal sight, so you'd be pretty much blundering about while you have it on.
                            Lastly, you can feed other mages within a certain radius some of your own power to boost their spells (and maybe even create Uber-spells).
                            Oh, and if a mage's mana points reach 0, he dies.

                            You guys have been reading too much Harry Potter, wizardry isn't that easy in real life.
                            ]V[]V[

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                            • #15
                              I like the idea Dan. I would also agree with making them more a map specific option. I do not see any reason for thieves to have magic (save for thepotions they now use). I see it more like the Thief maps where you break into the mage fortresses and the like. Mages add to the gameplay by having different strengths and weakness then guards. For example, mages might rely on powerful ranged attacks, but be fairly useless in close combat. Instead of whislters, mines caltrops they might have poison dart plants, attack vines, somthing that cause thieves to leave glowing footprints, etc. More organic/elemental weapons and traps, etc. Anyway, looking forward to whatever the end result is!
                              Give some taffer fire, and you'll keep him warm for the night with one less reason to cause trouble for the master.
                              Set a taffer on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life, and have no need to bother the master.

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