Spell Points formula

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Ralzar
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Spell Points formula

Post by Ralzar » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:10 am

So I was just thinking about how if you want to make a spell user in Daggerfall, you pretty much HAVE to take Inreased Magery * 3.

I've taken a look at the formula for Max Spell Points and it's easily moddable.

At the moment it simply does this:

Intelligence * multiplier = Max Spellpoints

The default multiplier is 0.5, then you can increase it by taking Increased Magery to change it to 1, 2 or 3.


What I was thinking, was to give you additional Spell Points based on how many spellcasting skills you have in Primary and Major?

So, for example:

For each Primary Magic Skill: 20 extra spell points
For each Primary Magic Skill: 10 extra spell points

For a Magic-centered character this makes little difference, because he'll have high Int and *3 Magery, giving him around 200+ Spell Points.
But for a character with only one Spellcasting skill, and say... 60 Intelligence and no Magery advantage, he'll go from 30 to 50 spell points, which might be the difference between being able to cast a spell or not.
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L57
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Re: Spell Points formula

Post by L57 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:29 am

I actually love Arena and Daggerfall approach that magic is an Art for the few, and it doesn't allow you to use it easily. If you're going to be a mage, 3x INT is a must, and I think it is how it should be. 2x INT and 1x INT are still nice options for those mixed classes who rely on magic as an auxiliary tool. Nightblades and so on. And don't forget other classes still can benefit from magic using potions, after all, this balances it out too.

I would not relax these requirements personally. Rather, it would be more interesting to make magic actually more viable for those who specialize in it without any weapons. Even if you have 3x INT it seems too hard to roleplay (almost) pure mage. I don't remember DF gameplay that good to judge this though, and never tried purely magic-based roleplay (still waiting for DFU updates and mods to begin new expirience :) ). But this is how other players often react.

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Ralzar
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Re: Spell Points formula

Post by Ralzar » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:56 am

There was another experimental mod that tried to introduce Magic Point regeneration. Which worked great until it crashed. (I actually think that mod has permanently broken my Mage character :D)

I might try to implement something like that. It helped a lot with Mages not having to constantly rest to regain Magic Points.

As for needing the Magery advantages, I'm a bit ambivalent. I agree in theory, but the other side of the coin is: how can you have spell skills as your primary skills while not being actually able to cast a spell?
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L57
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Re: Spell Points formula

Post by L57 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:23 am

As for needing the Magery advantages, I'm a bit ambivalent. I agree in theory, but the other side of the coin is: how can you have spell skills as your primary skills while not being actually able to cast a spell?
I always perceived this as protection from jacks of all trades. :) Kinda 'broken class' to me, just as many other bad skill combinations.

This is just my personal preferences though, I do not really argue. Just trying to provide a different perspective regarding these ideas.

Frankly I don't like magicka regen. I hope another way to re-balance magic exists, more sophisticated and delicate.

The reason is that mana regen feels like 'perpetual motion machine' too much and effectively breaks the Lore, making it too 'high fantasy'.

I mean, I hated it in Oblivion in Skyrim, because why do you need to make bonfires and waste your logs, if you can build the whole economy on mages providing you with loads of free energy? Yes, you can make mana regen really slow, but still... I'd prefer to find another way.

I think magic must be very costly, but also very devastating. If you're elite Empire battlemage, you are intended to be much stronger than any warrior. But guys like you are also very rare... there is a reason why armies in Tamriel are made up of ordinary warriors mostly, and battlemages function as an elite squad.

EDIT So, possible solution can be like this: you have many mana points as a pure mage, have low cost spells (if you are already trained enough), and these spells are very powerful,. so you can beat the whole dungeon with them if used wisely. However, you can't regen mana in general (and probably you regen it quite slowly even at rest). This will allow much more strategy-based fights, you have to plan your mana spending and all. While warrior can behave much dumber :) sleep often and all.

Warrior relies more on endurance and physical durability. Mages are fragile but, in fact, much stronger if they use their abilities wisely.

This needs a lot of effort to re-balance this in an adequate way though. But it would be worth it! Today many games tend to make mages as good as warriors - almost symmetrically, the only difference is that there fireballs instead of swords. That's actually not a good thing. :) Mages and warriors should differ conceptually

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Ralzar
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Re: Spell Points formula

Post by Ralzar » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:23 pm

L57 wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:23 am
As for needing the Magery advantages, I'm a bit ambivalent. I agree in theory, but the other side of the coin is: how can you have spell skills as your primary skills while not being actually able to cast a spell?
I always perceived this as protection from jacks of all trades. :) Kinda 'broken class' to me, just as many other bad skill combinations.
I dunno, I allways felt Daggerfall kind of wants you to make a mixed fighter/magic character. But then, like many other parts of the game, doesn't quite manage to reflect that in the mechanics.

The other way to go here that might actually be better if I could figure out how to do it, is to change the starting spells. So the game checks which spell skills you have in Primary and major and then gives you a set of custom spells based on that. I know that mod idea has been discussed before.


As for your ideas about playstyle, I agree in theory. However, this seems like it would quickly lead to something tasting of D&Ds system of resting to memorize spells, which I think no one wants :D Alpha-strike everything until out of spells: rest however long it takes to be able to alpha-strike again. Repeat.
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L57
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Re: Spell Points formula

Post by L57 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:43 pm

The other way to go here that might actually be better if I could figure out how to do it, is to change the starting spells. So the game checks which spell skills you have in Primary and major and then gives you a set of custom spells based on that. I know that mod idea has been discussed before.
Yeah, such mod is almost necessary I'd say. These starting spells spoiled many magic-based characters.
Alpha-strike everything until out of spells: rest however long it takes to be able to alpha-strike again. Repeat.
Don't forget there are quest time limits in game ;) I think it's a powerful tool if you fine-tune this to avoid resting abuse.

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DigitalMonk
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Re: Spell Points formula

Post by DigitalMonk » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:20 pm

L57 wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:23 am
The reason is that mana regen feels like 'perpetual motion machine' too much and effectively breaks the Lore, making it too 'high fantasy'.
I like a suggestion made somewhere around here for a partially regenerating mana. It conceptually splits your mana reserve into "mana health" and "mana stamina" (my words/phrases, not theirs). I don't remember the particular numbers, and he may have let it be configurable, but as a talking point, let's say that:
  • 75% of your mana points are part of your mana health, and don't regenerate.
  • The other 25% are your mana stamina, which does regenerate as you catch your breath.
This lets you use "small" spells as needed, regenerating light uses. But if you burn too much mana, then you're draining your mana health, which won't regenerate until you rest or drink a potion. So, if you're crawling the dungeon and dealing with the occasional rats and bats, you can still use your "small" attack spells without worrying too much about mana stores. But when you find the Ancient Lich tea party and decide to unload the BFS9000, you're going to need a nap or a drink afterwards.

It brings magic users into a little bit more parity with physical fighters. Fighters burn stamina with attacks, but they get that stamina back just standing around (or all at once in a 1 hour rest). This just gives magic users a similar ability to handle basic day-to-day chores without worrying about recharging, but also without giving them an infinite supply of zero-point energy to beam around the world.

I'm not sure if splitting by percentage is the right way to go. Magic users will already be able to fit more spells into fewer points as they get better at the spells (and those spells do more because of per-level effects), so also letting the regeneratable amount increase as they gain INT might totally overwhelm things. Maybe it's a fixed number of points, enough to cast a starter combat spell once as a beginner. If you're not much of a magic user, that means that your entire mana supply may be regeneratable, but it doesn't much matter because you're not relying on it anyway. And if it was fixed at that low of a level of points, it will be a very small fraction of a powerful mage's capacity. It would be a bit like cantrips in some other systems (I'm thinking of at least some Ultimas, where cantrips are the only spells that can be cast without requiring any resources).

(Doesn't really matter unless someone's going to try implementing this, but there is a little trickiness in tracking this properly. Simple, but it needs to be done right.)

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