Evening the strength of the 5 realms of magic

Anything else to do with the original Master of Magic
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Implode
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Evening the strength of the 5 realms of magic

Post by Implode » Tue May 16, 2006 9:29 pm

Ok now I've tried and tried and tried (and failed) to have a successful game using Chaos magic, I figured it was time to start a post about how to even out the 5 realms of magic.

And BTW I will always provide a database XML file with the rules unaltered from the original - what I'm talking about here is my building an alternative database including "author's recommended changes" :D

My opinion on how the 5 realms of magic compare in the original MoM. For the moment assume we're talking about 11 pick starts as in the original:
  • Life magic is the bomb - you can pick practically any race and life magic will make them great. They have great spells at all 4 ranks (Common -> Very Rare). With Altar of Battle, Lionheart and Crusade its not particuarly difficult to take out even the toughest nodes.

    Death magic has its plusses and minuses, which is how I think it should be. They get some awesome mid-range summons (Wraiths and Shadow Demons) that give them a huge advantage early on. However they don't get much better - Death Knights aren't really much better than Wraiths, and Demon Lords don't seem that great either, and their non-summoning spells are fun, but not particularly useful (except for Dark Rituals, oh yes :twisted: )

    Sorcery magic I don't mind either, they have a tough start (I know some folks thing Phantom Warrious are awesome... I think they're fair at best), Storm Giants are equally not bad, but hard to get a really good start with. However they make up for it by having the most awesome Very Rare spells in the game like Spell Binding and Time Stop.

    Nature magic I don't mind, I've won games just using Basilisks, and they have some other really useful spells too like Iron Skin, Transmute and Herb Mastery.

    Chaos magic really annoys me. It just seems like it should be so awesome once you can get spells like Flame Strike. But I've tried over and over to play a good Chaos game, forget a high score, I can't even win! No strategy seems to work. Their summoned units all suck (Doom Bats and Chaos Spawn are a joke, Gargoyles with Immolation are fractionally better, Efreets are just too darn expensive). All their awesome combat spells like Doom Bolt and Flame Strike cost a lot of mana to cast, so you need to spend a lot on skill to get enough skill to be able to use them. So you have to rely on regular units, which you can't cast Heroism on, so you're stuck with low rank regular units, and even with Flame Blade, Eldritch Weapon and Chaos Channels, you still take massive casualties trying to take out anything more than raider cities. If you pile all your army in one spot you might just be able to take out some low power nodes or lairs, but defending against attacking enemy wizards or trying to take an enemy wizard's fortress is practically impossible!
So really, I think Death and Sorcery magic are perfect. Nature might be fractionally underpowered but not so much so that I'm desperate to change it. The two real problems are that Life magic is too good, and Chaos magic just sucks.

So the changes I am considering are:
  • Make Incarnation (Torin) a Very Rare spell so you can't pick it at the start. Then by the time Life wizards get Torin, other wizards will have Sky or Great Drakes, so that's fair. Change Inspirations (+50% production) down from Very Rare to Rare to keep 10 spells of each rank.

    Make Heroism Uncommon instead of Common and significantly bump up its casting cost (say 250 instead of 100). Change True Sight down from Uncommon to Common to keep 10 spells of each rank.

    I think Chaos Spawn attacks are fine, they already have -4 modifiers, any higher than this would be excessive - they just need some defence. So bump defence up from 6 to 10, and resistance from 10 to 12.

    Drop Efreet upkeep from 15 to 10.

    Knock 10 off the casting cost of all rare chaos combat damage spells. So Warp Lightning costs 25 instead of 35 (15 instead of 21 with a 40% reduction). Doom bolt would cost 30 instead of 40 (18 instead of 24 with a 40% reduction). Magic vortex would cost 40 instead of 50 (24 instead of 30 with a 40% reduction). Flame strike would cost 50 instead of 60 (30 instead of 36 with a 40% reduction).
So, thoughts anyone?

Implode.

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Re: Evening the strength of the 5 realms of magic

Post by Sammual12 » Wed May 17, 2006 4:12 pm

Implode wrote: So the changes I am considering are:
  • Make Incarnation (Torin) a Very Rare spell so you can't pick it at the start. Then by the time Life wizards get Torin, other wizards will have Sky or Great Drakes, so that's fair. Change Inspirations (+50% production) down from Very Rare to Rare to keep 10 spells of each rank.
Torin is flat out unballanced. He needs to be toned down. There is nothing you can do to the spell to make him ballance.
Implode wrote: Make Heroism Uncommon instead of Common and significantly bump up its casting cost (say 250 instead of 100). Change True Sight down from Uncommon to Common to keep 10 spells of each rank.
Sounds good.
Implode wrote: I think Chaos Spawn attacks are fine, they already have -4 modifiers, any higher than this would be excessive - they just need some defence. So bump defence up from 6 to 10, and resistance from 10 to 12.
Chaos Spawn should be very All-or-nothing.
Raising the Def by 4 might be a bit much.
I would rather see the Def raised by 2 and the HP bumped up a bit if you think they still need something.
Implode wrote: Drop Efreet upkeep from 15 to 10.
They need something but I would rather see them get a small boost and less of an upkeep reduction.
Implode wrote: Knock 10 off the casting cost of all rare chaos combat damage spells. So Warp Lightning costs 25 instead of 35 (15 instead of 21 with a 40% reduction). Doom bolt would cost 30 instead of 40 (18 instead of 24 with a 40% reduction). Magic vortex would cost 40 instead of 50 (24 instead of 30 with a 40% reduction). Flame strike would cost 50 instead of 60 (30 instead of 36 with a 40% reduction).
I think knocking 10 off the casting cost for all the rare chaos combat damage spells would make them WAY too powerful.

I can see -10 to Warp Lightning, Magic Vortex, and Flame Strike but I think -5 would be better.

Doom bolt needs to stay expensive. As it is my heroes fear it greatly. If the cost dropped at all Heroes would be MUCH less usefull and I think that is a large part of the fun in the game.

Thanks,
Sammual

P.S. Did you ever think about moving to a Hex Grid rather then a square grid? The diagnal movement bugs the heck out of me.

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Re: Evening the strength of the 5 realms of magic

Post by Implode » Wed May 17, 2006 6:34 pm

Sammual12 wrote:Doom bolt needs to stay expensive. As it is my heroes fear it greatly. If the cost dropped at all Heroes would be MUCH less usefull and I think that is a large part of the fun in the game.
Good point - I was finding Doom bolt not really very useful in the game I was playing, but you're right its a killer against heroes so will have a greater effect in multiplayer games.
Sammual12 wrote:Did you ever think about moving to a Hex Grid rather then a square grid?
Ohh yess... in the end I'm not just trying to write a new MoM game, I'm trying to write a configurable engine for turn/map based strategy games, and there's one other game I've got very much in mind to do next. That game will work on a hex grid and so the engine will support it - my map components already do support it from my last attempt at writing that "other game". I am generally in the process of making ALL the graphics configurable via an XML file, including all the scenery graphics (0.8.7, the most recent downloadable version had the start of this... look in the "Master of Magic Graphics.xml" file and search for TERRAIN.LBX... although good luck trying to figure out how the tile smoothing and the bitmasks work 8) )

So in the end it should actually be possible to just put a flag on the new game screen in MoM IME for "do you want to play on a square or hex map?"

Of course it would need some extra work on the map generator and city screens and so on... but its definitely being planned for.

Implode.

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Re: Evening the strength of the 5 realms of magic

Post by Sammual12 » Wed May 17, 2006 7:48 pm

Sammual12 wrote:Did you ever think about moving to a Hex Grid rather then a square grid?
Ohh yess... in the end I'm not just trying to write a new MoM game, I'm trying to write a configurable engine for turn/map based strategy games, and there's one other game I've got very much in mind to do next. That game will work on a hex grid and so the engine will support it - my map components already do support it from my last attempt at writing that "other game". I am generally in the process of making ALL the graphics configurable via an XML file, including all the scenery graphics (0.8.7, the most recent downloadable version had the start of this... look in the "Master of Magic Graphics.xml" file and search for TERRAIN.LBX... although good luck trying to figure out how the tile smoothing and the bitmasks work 8) )

So in the end it should actually be possible to just put a flag on the new game screen in MoM IME for "do you want to play on a square or hex map?"

Of course it would need some extra work on the map generator and city screens and so on... but its definitely being planned for.
[/quote]

Very cool.
I have been teaching myself C++ in an effort to write a Hex based MoM clone. I found that if you take a square based map with each row of squares offset a half-unit you all the advantages of a hexmap.

I am a web developer so I wrote my Map Generation in Cold Fusion for now. I had a lot of fun with it.

Sammual

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Post by nazrix » Fri May 19, 2006 6:30 pm

Please allow us the choice of playing hex or square map. I've been playing MoM for so long, my brain's not wired the hex way.

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Post by Richrf » Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:15 am

I think there is no doubt Life is the strongest, but I agree, the way to correct this should be to bring up the power and usefulness of all realms to the level of Life, rather than bringing Life down. MOM is a pretty slow game already so we should try to make spells more powerful rather than less to increase the pace of the game

Comparing common spells,

Life

Good : Practically every common life spell, particularly Heroism,Healing , Endurance, Holy Armor, Holy weapon , Just Cause, etc.

Decent-weak: The only common life spells that fall into this category are the situational Bless, True Light and Starfires. And you often run into sufficient death/chaos monsters in lairs for them to be occasionally useful. True Light has the potential of affecting many units like a black prayer, which is pretty handy.


I would say of these 3, Starfires is by far the weakest in my experience. For some reason it doesn't seem to do enough damage to even down a lowly ghoul or zombie. I would up Star fires to a strength 20 magic attack (instead of 15)

Chaos:

Good : Eldritch Weapon, Fire Elemental

Decent: Hellhounds, Lightning bolt, shatter,warp wood,

Weak: Firebolt,corruption ,wall of Fire , disrupt


Firebolt is way too weak. It produces a 5 strength attack for the basic 5 mana cost and adds 1 attack per additional cost . Also you can only target one *figure* in the unit.

Compare to healing. Healing cost 15, and restores a full 5 hit points. At the same cost, your firebolt infllicst on average (5+10)*0.3 = 4.5 and can affect only one figure!

Compare Healing carries forward to the next figure.... Not sure how to fix this.

Lightning bolt is slightly better than firebolt, even though it costs 5 mana more, armor piercing is great!


Wall of fire is pretty pointless. I would lower the maintance cost to 1 (from 2) and/or up the attack strength.


Corrupton- it's fairly cheap and the computer loves to cast this a lot, but I'm not sure if it is efficient...

Shatter is decent for a 15 cost and effect (reduces melee, thrown,missile attack to one), but the problem is it isn't certain. Reducing the unit's attack to 1 strength is great, but the units you most want this to work on (units with much higher than 1 attacks), probably have high resistances... And the ones that won't resist this, are pretty weak anyway.

This spell needs minus to saves, or maybe boasted spell gives minus to save.

Warp wood is great sometimes, but a bit situational...

Disrupt - way too expensive for a 15 mana cost. Depriving the enemy from the advantage of a wall is hardly worth 15 mana. Lower cost to 10 or maybe 5.

Hell hound is a decent to good summon unit. Fire elementals too. I might be overgenerous putting them in the good category.

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Post by Richrf » Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:02 am

Nature

Good : Web, Stone skin, giant strength

Decent : Water walking, Sprities, resist elements, war bears?

Weak : Earth to Mud, wall of stone, Earth lore.

Web- Everyone knows how useful this utility spell is. It would be nice though, if you could boast and put more mana into the spell to create tough webs.

Stone skin - Pretty good unit enchantment. Still Life's Holy armor is a touch better, it gives +2 defense instead of +1 at less than double the cost (18 vs 10).

Gaint strength - I think this one is excellent and is very cheap , almost 50% cheaper than holy weapon. For most normal low end units with low attack high figures, giant strength is actually better.

Sprities are okay , because you can use their shooter abilities...

Not sure about war bears , I never found them very strong because of only 2 figures.

Water walking is fine I guess, but I prefer flying...


Earth to mud , stone wall and maybe even earth lore is just weak all and all, I'm not sure how you are going to improve them.

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Post by Richrf » Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:18 am

Sorcery.

Good : Confusion, Counter magic, Psionic blast, Word of recall

Decent: Phantom warrior, Floating island, naga, dispell magic true, blurr, resist magic, nagas

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Re: Evening the strength of the 5 realms of magic

Post by Richrf » Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:24 pm

Implode wrote:
  • Life magic is the bomb - you can pick practically any race and life magic will make them great. They have great spells at all 4 ranks (Common -> Very Rare). With Altar of Battle, Lionheart and Crusade its not particuarly difficult to take out even the toughest nodes.
Have to agree, Life has very very few stinkers , particularly for the common spells it is unrivalled.
Death magic has its plusses and minuses, which is how I think it should be. They get some awesome mid-range summons (Wraiths and Shadow Demons) that give them a huge advantage early on. However they don't get much better - Death Knights aren't really much better than Wraiths, and Demon Lords don't seem that great either, and their non-summoning spells are fun, but not particularly useful (except for Dark Rituals, oh yes :twisted: )
I personally find death a little weak. Dark rituals seems to be the be end and all end of death. And also it seems quite a few spells aren't working the way they should be, such as famine, cloak of fear etc..
I think Chaos Spawn attacks are fine, they already have -4 modifiers, any higher than this would be excessive - they just need some defence. So bump defence up from 6 to 10, and resistance from 10 to 12.
Chaos spawn main weakness is that they are slow, they get killed by ranged attacks before you can reach the enemy. Allow them to fly with 2 movement bump up defense 2 points, and they will be deady.
Knock 10 off the casting cost of all rare chaos combat damage spells. So Warp Lightning costs 25 instead of 35 (15 instead of 21 with a 40% reduction). Doom bolt would cost 30 instead of 40 (18 instead of 24 with a 40% reduction). Magic vortex would cost 40 instead of 50 (24 instead of 30 with a 40% reduction). Flame strike would cost 50 instead of 60 (30 instead of 36 with a 40% reduction).[/list]

This might work, but I think the main problem with chaos is that it has relatively weak commons, the rares are not that bad just average, so we should improve commons not rares.

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Post by drakon » Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:52 am

Y'know, with all the house rules floating around, I wonder if anyone will be able to find a game they want to play. Personally, I'd leave it stock, with necessary bugfixes, and only give the option for larger/smaller map sizes. There are already enough options in the server screen to alter MoM so much that it could very well be the inverse of the original game, and without proper and BRIEF information in the server info window, it could be a downfall.

As for evening the magic out? I win more often with life/chaos or chaos/nature than any other spell colors. I never win black.

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Post by Richrf » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:02 am

If you start mixing colors, of course the story changes, for example, 2 or 3 chaos books is good, because you can get a couple of good/decent chaos commons , also allows trade.

The point is not all the spells in each realm are equally important and useful, so there is little point in investing too many spellbooks (unless you want the 11 book strategy) to get everything.

Add the fact you can get spells by trading, as treasure etc, it's clear to me that multi-color strategies are far superior.

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Post by Implode » Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:38 pm

Richrf wrote:Add the fact you can get spells by trading, as treasure etc, it's clear to me that multi-color strategies are far superior.
Single player, I've got my best ever high score using multi-colour. But I just don't see it working multi-player. Someone who picks 11 books is going to show up with Wraiths, Storm Giants, Invulnerable units, etc. etc. and wipe you out while you're still stuck with useless Common spells. But we'll see :)

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Post by Richrf » Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:07 pm

If you read what I said I specificly excluded 11 book strategies since that was an annomly, because the difference between 11 and 10 book is a big jump. You might want to fix that depending on how powerful 11 book strategies eventually end up.

Certainly there is very little differnece in haveing 7-10 books in one realm, I would rather split them out. 7 +2+1 rather than 10 in one realm for example.

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Post by Implode » Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:50 pm

Richf,

Yes... you're right about there being little difference between 7-10 books. If you want to eliminate the 11 book super-starts, my suggestion (for my version at least) is to play on a customized difficulty level and only start everyone with 10 books. Actually I think it might be fun to play with really low numbers of books, say 2 or 3... so you really have to hunt out nodes and towers trying to find more books to get the decent spells :)

Implode.

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Post by Lupinedreams » Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:20 pm

that does sound cool - maybe an option to change the chances for certain random rewards? could probably make some new artifacts to add to the rewards table without too much trouble...even new heroes, though I imagine those would be more of a pain and deviating farther from the original MoM

that said the oldschool heroes were not that balanced at all - some were vastly better than others of the same tier

aaand I'm rambling again.

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