Monday, June 25, 2012

Question of the Week - 46

Do you think we should remove the spell learning system and just allow players to start as maxed out casters?


  1. If we really want to go that far Id rather say learn 1 path per event.

  2. I don't think that we should allow players to START as maxed out casters, but I do believe that the process should be expedited. As it stands, the game is a little exclusive to those new to the genre in general; Fighter requires a lot of expensive gear and training to pull off, while spellcaster requires you to hit a bunch of events to learn spells.

  3. I like the spell learning system. It allows new players to be introduced slowly enough that they can actually absorb it all. Now, I'm a fighter, and I've never had any spells, but I do work often with spellcasters, have NPC'd with some spells, and have made a point to try to learn as much about the magic system as possible for the past year and a half. If I were to start playing a three-path now, I would be overwhelmed by the amount of stuff to remember all at once. On the other hand, learning one spell per event would allow me to build my knowledge gradually, so that by the time I learned a new spell I would have learned not only how but when and where to use the previous one.

    If anything, sometimes I think fighters should have a similar system to gradually introduce them. At your first event, you can use single short; at your second, you can choose one combo, then choose another combo at your next event, then choose one-point armor... I was lucky enough to have SMAS to teach me the nuances of different weapon styles and how to call armor well before my first event, but if I'd just shown up at an event without having been taught anything, I would be totally lost trying to keep track of calling shots and trying to safely (never mind effectively) wield weapons, much less adding armor into the picture. (Not that I'm actually advocating for such a system. I just mention it for illustrative purposes.)

    So, all that to say, I like the learning system for spells.

  4. only if casters learn them through churches or guilds to help regulate the learning process ;)

  5. The system does what it does, and does it well... that being said, I've had people/friends join realms with the express intent of being a 3 path caster with little interest in any fighter anything. And it's a little sad to know they'll have to attend 18 events before they are really doing what they want to do.

  6. As someone whose first event was 13 years ago, plays multiple casters, hits about 3 events a year, and has no maxed characters, I would like this very much. In the case of veteran players, I have a hard time seeing the down side. It would allow novel builds to be explored more easily and more fluid learning system would in theory help the evolution of the spell system.

    Another point we accept fairly readily is that the game is balanced around full path characters, and not people halfway up a progression.

    The important points against are:
    New players need a tutorial period to get used to the mechanics, learn verbals, keep track of castings/components, etc.
    We don't want to foster an environment where characters have a different set of abilities every event. A substantial portion of players would min/max from event to event if learning restrictions were gone.

    The damage the latter would do is arguable, and can be discouraged by requiring 2 (or insert other reasonable number here) events in between changing spell builds. It may even be more fun by allowing a quest oriented caster to play that same character as a fighter for back to back summer war/tourney events instead of encouraging them to play a character they may like less due to the utility.

    The former issue is harder to nail down, but the players who would gravitate towards 3 path casters are likely the ones who enjoy the mental games of cast counts, verbals, and the appropriate use of spells, and it may be less of a problem in practice than in theory. We have certainly playtested spell systems at events where people can use whatever build they want and anecdotally, people tend to have a lot of fun with it.

  7. James (that old guy)June 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    No, I do not think players should start with a full build.

    NEW players should be able to start with 1-5 (1-4 with armor) of any path they want, then learn new spells one per day of an event. all spells will still have to be signed off by a teacher.

    yes, one per day of an event.

    an "almost one path" is pretty usefull, but does not have a 6th or 7th circle spell on there first day in the realms.

    no changes to unlearning/breaking spell restriction

    my .02

  8. Honestly, when I was first starting spellcasting, the amount of time it takes to learn spells was really intimidating and annoying to me, especially since I don't have the time or money to hit tons of events. That's why I was so excited for Aspect System playtests, because I could actually have useful spells.

    However, when I actually got to the Aspect playtests, I had a ton of new spells all at once, and realized that it was way too much to keep track of. So, that way I learned the value of learning only one spell per event.

    However, I still think it's way too slow to learn spells... I have two character concepts that I want to make that are both 3-paths, but the chance of me getting either of them to that point are slim. Honestly, I think it would be much better if you could learn two spells per event. That way, spell progression goes twice as fast, but players wouldn't have to learn a crazy amount of spells all at once. I'd also be in favor of this:
    #SpellsLearned = 1 + (event days attended)

    I like James's idea of learning one spell per day of event, but it would also be nice to speed up the process for those who can usually only attend one-day events. This way, players can learn spells faster without learning too many at once. It also makes longer events more worth going to (for the purpose of learning spells, anyhow).