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Skyrim's way. And the mmo Mabinogi. In Skyrim you buy what you want to learn with perks. In Mabinogi you buy what you want to learn with AP. Anything you want to learn. Tho in vanilla Mab you had to go to school which I liked. A school system. I can see why others might want to forget school exists in fantasy tho. I am all about options and free choices and not being forced into a set way of doing things.
Also, I did like how Skyrim had a bonus for your race but only because it was a single player game. In mmo's I get outraged when other players have an advantage over me because they are human. I am always elf or drow and if I can't get that I go furry. It's annoying to created a werebear char and work hard to get a special sword only to find out some puny little human gets better hit points because of their race. And makes no sense because were's should be stronger. Race benefits should be for role playing purposes only and have nothing to do with combat systems. But I'm an advocate of Sims-like player characters where they have a bar that depletes over considerable time when they don't eat or use the toilet. I could see race stats covering hygienic values.
This is how I would do it:
- Predefined spells categorized into many schools (Explicitly NO spell making like in oblivion).
- You level a school by appointing skill points to it. Only with enough points in a school can you learn a certain spell.
- Skill points are used globaly for everything (Attributes, magic schools, skill categories, professions, HP, Mana etc.). It's up to you how you want to shape your character.
- Every player can select a single self-buff before leaving town which boosts all spells of a single school or skill category (by 33%).
- Your items have sockets in which you can socket spell / skill boosters (for example +15% fireball damage or x0.5 teleport cast time). Together with the self-buff this will allow for both specialized or hybrid characters. Depending on the bonuses the casting animation (glow, runes etc) as well as the spell effect should have a different look (for example more brigthness).
- You can only use 7 preselected skills / spells outside of towns.
- Spell combinations like in GW2
- Execution: Casting is slow but spells are strong. Using a weapon to attack or block will abort the casting but the mana is gone. The cast time is increased if you move or you are hit. Magic projectiles and fields can be dodged and can hit allies. Yes, this means you can kill your party with a badly placed fireball.
--> Easy to use, hard to master
---Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
"Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, and small minds talk about people." - Eleanor Roosevelt"Americans used to roar like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security." -Norman Vincent Peale
I find a lot depends on whether you intend people to be playing non-mages.
In a world where players are choosing between magical and non-magical classes/skill-sets, there are huge constraints on how powerful magic can be and I'd be tempted to make spells another form of gear ( your spellbook is a backpack of known spells, but before you go into combat you have to prepare a spell, like equipping a weapon ), complete with having fireballs that come in a whole range of power levels and visual effects.
Utility magic and magical research is where the design can really have fun.
You can have whole minigames around non-combat schools of magic (alchemy is an example of magic turned into a trade skill)
I always liked spells as a minor collectable minigane (possibly because of the influence of one too many card games), but perhaps not for the core combat spells.
I like Ryzom's stanzas system (that was mentioned earlier by GeezerGamer), but I tend to favour splitting the deep theorycraft (for both mechancis and asthetics) off as a minigame. Then have a seasonal competition amongst wizard-researchers where one set of spells is selected to be released as the next playable school of magic.. Splitting it off this way also means you have more freedom to have player-created spell sets it as a stretch goal that can be added at a later point.
I'd like someone to do something sort of... slider based re-branded to something that fits a setting. Where you could choose:
0-100 points in Damage
0-100 points in Defence
0-100 points in Crowd Control
0-100 points in Healing
At various levels you would open up/close off abilities. Leveling up would give more points.
This would make each person a little bit different and it would allow you to constantly change your role.
I prefer the schools of magic that follow the D&D rules, along with it's attributes. Some variations are okay (like what Blizzard did to create Holy paladins), but not if they conflict with the class itself (Holy paladins that can carry a dagger with poison, for example).
Schools like: Divine/Holy; Elemental; Arcane; Magic; Nature; Physical, etc.
I also like the traditional DnD where you have specific defined classes
I like the idea that each can be capable on its one with a single dominant strength. That a Warrior and an Enchanter can band together and each of its abilities can supplement but not negate the others strengths.
I hate the idea that someone can be a warrior / Priest (paladin) because it negates the reason for a Warrior and Preist to get together when a Paladin can do both jobs.
I'd like to see a system where perhaps a warrior priest gets together and after spending time fighting together they become more efficient (get bonuses) so that another warrior and priest who just joined up would less effective than the former team.
I like the idea that if a warrior solo's he becomes more proficient at soloing and when joined by another team becomes less efficient but that reduced efficiency is counteracted by the added heals.
So perhaps a warrior who has soloed exclusively to level 20 when fighting a priest and warrior who just got together has a increased chance of beating the duo. I guess you could call it a passive codependency that adjust to recent play between mixxed classes.
In terms of raiding a guild that has a solid consistent membership base would be more proficient at performing than a guild that has adhoc raiding groups based on whoever is on at the time.
Something similiar to how military teams become better and more efficient the more they bond and work together. I think it would add an additional dynamic that couldn't be powerleveled into random alts. A maxxed out alt who just sat there getting xp from kills from its high level main would be terrible at first when acting in a team for the first time, rather than just a premade copy of every other character of its class.
Currently playing: Eldevin Online as a Deadly Assassin