The mana situation

The tale of the siblings Althea and Shea https://www.winterwolves.com/seasonsofthewolf.htm
User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

The mana situation

Post by yayswords » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:20 am

This came up in the fixed items thread, and I think it's an important discussion to have. The current story of the game is: No regen in act 1 (birthday gift aside). No regen in act 2, unless you're very lucky or very patient. Then you get Jariel and you suddenly have like 10 SPR on everyone.

This means you go from a playstyle that is to some degree conservative (make your mana last for all the battles you plan to do) and to some degree expensive (pay to replenish it) to one that is neither. Cast whatever spell you think is right for the situation. Is this a good transition? If yes, there should be some (easily available) SPR in act 2 to make it a smooth transition. Furthermore, SPR should become more and more available through acts 3 and 4 so that you don't have to use Jariel, and if you do use him you can actually pick some other buff-song than Vigorous Sonata. If no, then Vigorous Sonata needs a pretty hard nerf (something like static 2 per turn).

My opinion on this: I enjoy the game more with "infinite" mana than with the act 1 situation. It's not ideal, but I don't think Jack is up for rebalancing it so that SPR doesn't allow us to outgrow mana problems altogether. Frankly I'm not sure how I would suggest he do it even. I would definitely want to see some SPR introduced in act 2 (without casino), and then more and more available through acts 3 and 4. But I would want it to be a sizable payoff. I would want SPR to feel really expensive, perhaps not so much in terms of gold as in terms of "item budget": If an item has high SPR, that's pretty much all it has. You want a 5 SPR necklace? Okay, but there's also this 15 magic 5 speed necklace... just saying.

So let's fire this discussion up, and with one request. I usually find myself discussing with renke, fabulaparva and Jack, with Anima and Troyen sometimes interjecting some choice words. I don't know if it's obvious but I'm not really trying to design "the ideal game for yayswords", still when more casual players don't speak up I have to figure out what might be good for them. Surely even the people playing mostly for plot have an opinion on the mana situation, so let's hear it.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

User avatar
jack1974
Pack leader
Posts: 14792
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:43 pm

Re: The mana situation

Post by jack1974 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:23 am

Well, a solution could be simple: Jariel Vigorous Sonata could replenish 5% or 5SP each turn, up to 15-20% of target's total SP. This could already balance the battles a bit ?
Could do the same with the HP regen too.

User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

Re: The mana situation

Post by yayswords » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:26 am

Clarify. Do you mean that if I have 200 max mana, it doesn't work unless I'm below 40 mana, or do you mean that it will replenish 40 mana for me and then stop working until the fight is over? The former is not much of a restriction I'm afraid. Sure I will always be on "low" mana but that doesn't matter if I can always afford my spells through the regen anyway.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

User avatar
jack1974
Pack leader
Posts: 14792
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:43 pm

Re: The mana situation

Post by jack1974 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:45 am

The former, but this way you can't spam the special attack. Example:
Krimm's Wreak Havoc: cost 40. You use it and have 10 SP left. Even with the Sonata running, assuming I put a fixed 5SP/turn regen, you need 5 SP x 6 turns before your SP are back to 40SP and you can use it again. So you would be either forced to use other SP regen skills (wasting turns) or potions (wasting money) ?

User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

Re: The mana situation

Post by yayswords » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:51 am

Hmm. I guess that doesn't sound so bad. VS would be some measure to take to scratch and claw with a little mana. I assume you would make SPR gear generally unavailable together with this?
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

renke_
Elder Druid
Posts: 580
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:26 pm

Re: The mana situation

Post by renke_ » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:00 am

This skill will result in many support requests "fscking Sonata doesn't works! it gave only one char lousy 3 SP back!" -> skills with conditions based on some percentage of some value are counterintuitive, I don't have a simple way to discern if my party members have 20 % mana or 40 % mana (same applies for HP and both pools on the enemy side).

Something like "+5SPR up to 20% mana max, above +3SPR" would give a better user experience (the skill works all the time, but under special conditions it simply is more effective).

About SPR and the development between Act 1 (nada) and Jariel (I'm drowning in SPR) in general:
- I outlined SP regen potions in the fixed items thread
- Jariel's Sonata could redesigned as +200% SPR (only a booster for already existing regen items/skills), but then we need guaranteed SPR for everyone (8 fixed +2SPR rings? every char comes with built-in SPR +1? the sonata gives not only <existing SPR>*n but also a small fixed mana regen?)

User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

Re: The mana situation

Post by yayswords » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:05 am

renke_ wrote:- I outlined SP regen potions in the fixed items thread
I was going to comment on that...

I checked the stores ingame, didn't find any mana potions. Now I did. Now I can say "that's just a slow mana potion" :P
Something like "+5SPR up to 20% mana max, above +3SPR" would give a better user experience (the skill works all the time, but under special conditions it simply is more effective).
Still allows regen dancing though. But Energize already does that, so no matter what we do with VS, it's still possible to regen dance, it's just a matter of patience.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

User avatar
jack1974
Pack leader
Posts: 14792
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:43 pm

Re: The mana situation

Post by jack1974 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:18 am

I like the progressive decrease idea. Something like 5SP initially and then gradually goes down as the percentage of SP/HP is filled. Seems the simplest solution, also to balance. Changing the HP/SPregen multiplier could have issues later in the game, while with this system I know exactly the impact of his songs. Will try that :)

User avatar
jack1974
Pack leader
Posts: 14792
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:43 pm

Re: The mana situation

Post by jack1974 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:19 am

yayswords wrote: Still allows regen dancing though. But Energize already does that, so no matter what we do with VS, it's still possible to regen dance, it's just a matter of patience.
With the new enemy AI, I don't know if you'll have much time to dance around :twisted:

renke_
Elder Druid
Posts: 580
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:26 pm

Re: The mana situation

Post by renke_ » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:19 am

regen dances are not my main issue, if the engine allows it it will be used - and I think it's legit. My point is usability, and though you're probably able to write down mana pool sizes and current amount of your last save game without even thinking, I am way too lazy for that. Estimating the percentage is even a pita if I look at the char details in combat and see "SP max 170, SP current 40". (yes yes, a little bit over 20 %, but categorically not a calculation I want to do while playing a cRPG.)

Post Reply