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Re: [Adonthell-devel] On combinations

From: Mike Avery
Subject: Re: [Adonthell-devel] On combinations
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 17:24:35 -0500

Kai, have you coded this yet? :)  I'd like to see how I could incorporate 
this in with the melee stuff and form more generalized combat mechanics.   
One set of mechanics calculations that could handle all of this as well as 
melee would be cool indeed.

Just to be sure we're all on the same page:

Is everyone in agreement that magic is to be handled through the use and 
combination of foci?

On further thought to my initial request of "choosing a pimary foci".... This 
may not be necessary.  The primary element is determined through examination 
of the foci's properties.  As you mentioned below, having a Fire-heavy foci 
which has secondary attributes would imply that Fire is the primary 
attribute, and thusly the base modifier for damage calculcation and 
resistance accounting etc.

the other school of thought was to have foci inherantly "pure".  Any foci 
would have a single primary property, and perhaps some other attributes which 
do not involve core foci powers. (like perhaps some stat benefits).  This 
then would require the player to make an "arrangement" of foci in formulating 
a recipe.  The resultant spell then is the weighted result of the combination 
of the foci properties.  Even here, choosing a foci to put into a primary 
"slot" is not necessary, since the weights can be derived from the foci's 
potency etc.  It does bring up some other questions though...

Let's assume that I have a very strong Fire foci, and a somewhat weaker 
"area" foci.  I want to make a spell which is useful primaily for its ability 
to effectively damage several enemies moreso than its ability to damage 
severely.  By placing the weaker Area foci in the primary position, the 
caster can emphasize concentration on that foci element, increasing the 
effective ability of the caster to damage multiple enemies.  The Fire foci 
then, placed in a secondary position, consumes less of the caster's mana or 
"concentration", and the effects of the fire damage are reduced.    We can 
sacrifice raw potency in favour of general effectiveness. We end up with a 
finer level of control over the recipe's outcome, and we add a third 
dimension to magic making:  The ability of the player to have direct control 
over the concentration of their casting character, and the ability to place 
direct control over a spell's intended purpose.  This would also alleviate 
the cut-and-dry search of players for a foci with a higher potency.

What do you think about that?

This would mean that placing a Fire Gem in the primary position with other 
foci in secondary/tertiary positions would cause the Fire attribute to be the 
base modifier, and the primary spell attribute?

Let me know.

Mike Avery

> If we want to use reagents to create spells, there are basically two
> possibilities. Either you define all posssible mixtures, which means that
> there wouldn't be too many of them. And defining them would mean plenty of
> work.
> The other possibility would be to calculate the result. In that case you
> had virtually zillions of possible combinations.
> I spent a couple of hours and came up with something that might be
> interesting, so here it is.
> In general, if you want to calculate the result of a combination, the items
> you combine need properties that you can do some maths with.
> For lack of better ideas I came up with the following five:
> * Quality
> * Water
> * Fire
> * Air
> * Earth
> Quality defines how much power the ingredient has.
> The other 4 define how the item is made up, with the following additions:
> * The sum of the 4 equals 100.
> * For valid items, none of the values may be less than 0.
> * Air and Water are going well together as do Fire and Earth
> * Fire and Water oppose each other, as do Air and Earth
> With those basics in mind, when combining items the following will happen.
> Each item will be desintegrated, and in the process, the stronger element
> of (Air/Water) and (Fire/Earth) will get a boost from the weaker one. At
> the same time, the weaker one will be further suppressed by the stronger
> opposing element.
> Heh. I'll better give an example
>     Item 1: (Quality 20)
>     Fire (F)  = 15            E_new = E + F/2       = 42,5
>     Air (A)   = 20    --->    W_new = W + A/2       = 40
>     Water (W) = 30            A_new = A + W - E_new = 7,5
>     Earth (E) = 35            F_new = F + E - W_new = 10
>              ------                                ------
>                100                                   100
> Each item used in the combination will undergo a similar transformation.
> The new item is created by simply adding the individual elements weighted
> by that item's quality.
> Lets do the numbers for another item to see what will happen:
>     Item 2: (Quality 10)
>     Fire (F)  = 10            A_new = A + W/2       =  70
>     Air (A)   = 60    --->    F_new = F + E/2       =  15
>     Water (W) = 20            W_new = W + A - F_new =  65
>     Earth (E) = 10            E_new = E + F - A_new = -50
>              ------                                 ------
>                100                                    100
>     Result of Item_1 + Item_2:
>     F_res = 11.67 (= 20 * F_1 + 10 * F_2 / 30)
>     A_res = 28.33
>     W_res = 48.33
>     E_res = 11.67
>            ------
>             100
> In that fashion you could combine any number of items. With the resulting
> ratios of elements, you could look up the spell that fits to those values
> in a previously defined table.
> However, if one (or more) of the resulting elements are less than 0, the
> combination will fail and the reagents and ring/amulet/staff to be
> enchanted will be destroyed.
> What about the quality of the enchantment? Simply adding the qualities of
> the reagents would be quite lame, so how about distributing it equally over
> the elements of each reagent and then weighting it with the resulting
> element values?
>     Q_res = (11,67 * (0.3 + 0.1) + 28.33 * (0.4 + 0.6) + 48.33 * (0.6 +
> 0.2) + 11.67 * (0.7 + 0.1)) / 3
>           = 27
> That way, the quality of the enchantment is pretty hard to guess, although
> it *should* usually be greater than the quality of the reagents involved.
> The way I imagine it, the quality of the enchantment would represent how
> much you can charge the spell.
> In combat you should be able to define how much of the charge you want to
> put into an individual spell casting. So you could either cast a fairly big
> number of weak spells, or a few strong ones before you need to recharge.
> Guess I'll have to code that up and do some testing to see what comes out,
> but I guess the more ordinary spells would be composed of all elements in
> the range between 10 and 50. (I might be wrong, as I'Ve just done that
> single example.) Less common spells would require more extreme
> combinations. All in all, with combinations of 4 different values, we
> should be able to have a fair number of spells. :)
> Kai
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