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 Post subject: Suggestions how to overcome unwelcome effects of blotching
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 2:04 pm 

Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 3:42 pm
Posts: 20
I strongly suggest the change of the way blotching a spell works in Lostlaby 4.6.0.
The main disadvantages are:
1) The risk of spellcasting is increased the more someone invests in spellcircle and spellpower. In my opinion an investment of skillpoints or levelpoints should allways be beneficial.
2) To avoid beeing killed by its own spells a mage's lp have to be increased prior to increasing spellcircle and spellpower. My opinion is: The need for a lot of lp is typical for fighters. Mages should rather invest their points in mana.
My experience: A set of skills which was quite successful for a mage played in 4.5.0 would need constituion instead of weak and udjat eye to be comparable save after upgrade to 4.6.0. This is a harsh -6 malus in skillpoints.
(Calculation: spell prismatic spray, circle 13 at Power 15 => damage by blotching 7-20lp, average blotching damage: 14lp. Weak: 10 lp; constituion + 3 levelpoints spent: 27 lp; 17 lp gained at 6 skillpoints spent: lp increased enough for surviving a single blotch and little left)

To solve this problem I have two complementary suggestions:

Simple solution: Remove the blotching mechanism from the game

Complex solution:
a) If a player got a certain school all spells of the school are available from the beginning.
b) Spells belonging to spellcircles lower than that of the player's can be used without lethal risk.
c) The more spellcircles are missing the higher the risk of failure is.
d) The more spellcircles are missing, the higher the damage in case of a failure is.
e) Formulas to calculate success and damage:
-To me it would be appropriate to reduce the success rate to 66% of a spell belonging to the next lower spellcircle. This might be modified by the luck of the character.
-I would calculate the damage by a formula like
((4+x)/10 + random*0,5) * MaximumLifepointsOfThePlayer
where x is the difference between the spellcircles of the mage and the spell.
This formula might be modified by the luck and the spellpower of the character. Better luck or better spellpower help to lessen damage. I would suggest that every 3 points of spellpower or every 5 points of luck should have the same effect as 1 more point invested in spellcircle. No modifications of spellpower count (e.g. spells like arcane power, or items like rings ...).
- If the decision is: every fatal casting causes a loss of lp, than for lower spellcircles calculate a percentage as measure of the damage. Reduce the lp of the player by that percentage. Example:
Player has a max of 12 lp. 5 lp are already lost. 7 remain. A damage of 60% is calculated. Rest: 7*40/100=2,8 => 3 lp are left.
f) Freemagic, Spellsongs and Scroll Lore do not allow an access to spells of higher spellcircles.

The advantages of this suggestion are:
1) Mages with higher skills in spellcircle or spellpower have better chances to survive their own castings than those with lesser skills.
2) There is no need to make a mage strong in lifepoints in order to survive the dangers of its own castings.
3) Its the gamers decision whether he makes spellcasting save by investing enough points or whether he likes to take the risk.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions how to overcome unwelcome effects of blotchi
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:38 am
Posts: 161
Location: Norway
This has been solved by vastly reducing damage taken from botches. Damage no longer depends on Circle or Spellpower, but rather on the level of the spell you are casting. (i.e Level 1 spells are usually harmless to cast while Level 15 spells can be dangerous)

In addition, the Way of the Magic skill called Sorcery halves the chance for spell botches.

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions how to overcome unwelcome effects of blotchi
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:38 pm 

Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 3:42 pm
Posts: 20
Sounds quite good!
For when is a release with this scheduled?


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions how to overcome unwelcome effects of blotchi
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:38 am
Posts: 161
Location: Norway
Hopefully this week. We are looking into any serious issues we need to fix before we can do the release. (like items spawning inside walls, crash bugs, trainers not working etc.)

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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions how to overcome unwelcome effects of blotchi
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 12:37 pm 

Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 3:42 pm
Posts: 20
Sounds like big changes and preparing for Version 5.0.0 rather than for 4.6.1.

Just a comment sorcery skill:
I would not consider choosing sorcery if it only reduces the chance for a blotch. Reducing the chance for an event only pays if the character survives the first occurrence of that event.
So to reach level 30 or higher, you have to design your character to survive at least the first occurrence of any bad event that might happen in order to get an opportunity to heal. The reason for this: until you reach level 30 the worst case will happen quite surely, even if the probability for the worst case is reduced by 50%.
Therefore if someone likes to design characters and to test the design in the labyrinth, this person would prefer a sorcery skill reducing the maximum damage because this frees the design from needing very much lifepoints and leaves the possibility to improve the character in other ways.

Statistically there is a big difference between sorcery skill and dodging skill in its design: Dodging works on all monster attacks. Monster attacks happen frequently. There are also some ways to reduce the lethality of monster attacks, i.e armor.
Sourcery only works on castings of the character and only if the casting fails. This failures are quite seldom events. On the other hand there is no way to reduce the lethality of blotching.
That makes a big difference:
Dodging makes use of the statistical law of large numbers which promises an average of 50% less damage.
Sorcery fails to make use of the law of large numbers: Once the character is dead the dice rest and there will be no large numbers of rolls any more.
Its not the calculation formula, its the statistics which determines the effects!

If I were the lead designer of lostlaby I would rename dodging to "avoid dangers", place it in the way of adventures and would give it both the benefits of dodging and sorcery. That would make it an interesting choice even for mages.
If not, sorcery would be far too expensive for its quite little benefits.

But hopefully the reduction of blotching damage is enough to keep powerful mages in the game until level 30, which is my personal peak when levels grow too large that going further begins becoming a little too time consuming and too boring and urges me to quit and to try something different beginning at level 1.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions how to overcome unwelcome effects of blotchi
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:38 am
Posts: 161
Location: Norway
Sorcery skill also improves cast chance to 99% for all spells (normally 50% + 5% per casting). It is a skill that is already in the game, but we are going to improve it's usefulness by halving botch chance in addition.

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Check out my other game: Egoboo


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 Post subject: Re: Suggestions how to overcome unwelcome effects of blotchi
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:48 pm 

Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 3:42 pm
Posts: 20
Got it. Sounds good. I think from now on I will play the English localization to become better used to the English names. :-)


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