Balefire (713)/saved posts
Two important changes have occurred in the Sorcerer base spell circle.
1) Nightmare, formerly 713, has been moved to the Curse spell (715). New nightmares have been added, and other minor cosmetic improvements to the spell have been made.
2) Balefire has been created as the new spell 713. Balefire is a plasma-based ball-type aimed spell. Like other aimed spells, Balefire will use the Spell Aiming skill, dexterity bonus, and other magical factors to calculate Attack Strength. A successful hit has the potential to injure multiple targets. Multi-Opponent skill will increase the minimum number of targets struck. Demonology Lore skill will increase the maximum number of targets struck as well as increase the spell's damage factor.
In addition, if the caster has a minor demon present, the demon can (involuntarily) contribute damage to the initial target of the spell. The chance that the demon will do so is improved with the caster's skill in Spiritual Mana Control and Elemental Mana Control. If the demon contributes damage, it will lose two mana points in doing so. The demon can only contribute damage if it has at least two mana points stored. The type of damage done by the demon depends on its native valence.
Keep in mind as you read this that none of these things are official yet. The team is still reviewing this spell, so any of these details may change at any time.
The current spell in the 713 slot, Nightmare, will be combined with the current spell of Curse to become one of many new features of that spell. In its place will Balefire, a new ball-type aimed spell. It will use existing ball spell mechanics, meaning among other things that a successful hit can result in an explosion that damages multiple targets, and the Multi-Opponent skill will increase the minimum number of targets struck. Demonology lore will be the factor that increases the maximum number of targets, as well as increasing the amount of damage dealt to the first target.
The damage being done is plasma-based, and features a completely new damage table (for those who like to experiment with such things).
In addition, if the caster has a minor demon present, the demon can be forced to contribute damage to the initial strike at the cost of a few of the demon's mana points, never more than 3. The cost can be reduced based on the sum of the caster's Spiritual Mana Control and Elemental Mana Control bonuses. The damage done by this extra attack will be roughly proportional to the critical damage done by the caster in the initial strike.
The type of damage done will depend on the demon's native valence:
- Grik'tyr: randomly either disintegration or crushing damage
- Shien'tyr: randomly either vacuum or unbalancing damage
- Lorae'tyr: randomly either steam or disruption damage
>prep 713 You trace an intricate sign that contorts in the air while forcefully invoking Balefire... Your spell is ready. >cast troll You gesture at a jungle troll. You hurl a ball of greenish-black flame at a jungle troll! AS: +232 vs DS: +66 with AvD: +39 + d100 roll: +52 = +257 ... and hit for 66 points of damage! Skin blasted away leaving exposed and bloody muscle! The jungle troll is stunned! An inquisitive pure white imp shudders slightly as chaotic energy is drawn from its form and fused with the attack. (Your pure white imp loses 2 mana.) ... 20 points of damage! Blow leaves an imprint on the jungle troll's chest! The ball of greenish-black flame strikes a jungle troll, blossoming into a much larger sphere of flame upon impact. ... 40 points of damage! Intense arc of energy flays the jungle troll's arm to the bone! A burst of flame from your ball of greenish-black flame flies off and hits a jungle troll. ... 45 points of damage! Superheated energy causes the artery in the jungle troll's leg to explode! It is knocked to the ground! The jungle troll is stunned! A burst of flame from your ball of greenish-black flame flies off and hits a jungle troll. ... 40 points of damage! Searing wave of plasma cuts through skin and muscle on the jungle troll's leg! It is knocked to the ground! The jungle troll is stunned! Cast Roundtime 3 Seconds.
That's with 50 demonology ranks, versus the trolls' natural brigandine-like hide. As you can see, the spell has been completed on the development server, and some of the other GMs have already been trying it out. I can't give any indication of when it might be ready for release, however, because the spell introduces a number of incidental issues like the two below:
I anticipate that people will complain that demons, like most pet-type creatures, have a habit of lagging behind the owner by a few rooms, and that in a combat situation where timing is critical, that bonus attack will often be lost while the demon is catching up to a fast-moving owner. We plan to address that by changing these creatures so that they follow much more quickly, possibly instantly.
People will also be quick to point out that the presence of a direct aimed attack spell represents a major change in the composition of this spell list which makes it similar to the other pure caster's profession lists, and yet there is still a glaring disparity in the lack of a bolt AS enhancer. We already have plans for this, but that will be discussed in another (future) thread.
>>Glad to see you're keeping a close eye on balance, Oscuro. Why is it the strongest BALL BOLT spell, again? Because of the demon tie-in? That has two additional costs. 1. A demon being present, and 2. Up to three mana. Without it, you're talking about DF's. Is there a substancial DF increase beyond what wizards can manage with their lore-based upgrades? And remember, lore doesn't factor into balance of spells, else we should revisit ANY NUMBER of equations which might begin to look lopsided. Right? -Evarin
The base DF is the highest of ball spells. It has the exact same lore benefits as 907 and 908 for DF and number of targets, the same MOC benefits for number of targets and also has the demon tie-in. Ignoring mana cost, it is objectively the best ball spell in the game. Considering mana cost, it may not be the most efficient, but high level attack spells always sacrifice mana-efficiency for power.
I'm glad you guys like the spell so far. All the discussion and analysis and suggestions are welcome, even if we can't use most of the ideas presented. It gets me thinking laterally about issues and opportunities elsewhere in sorcerer development.
We're going to be tweaking some of the specs slightly. Previously the demon's crit would cost it up to 3 mana from its pool. That cost will be fixed at 2 points. (If the demon has less than 2 mana, it won't trigger the extra crit.) The chance for the demon's crit to fire off will be based on the caster's elemental and spiritual mana control skills. For each point of bonus on the seed chart for both EMC bonus and SMC bonus, the chance for the crit goes up by 2%. For example, someone with 30 ranks or 120 bonus of EMC and 40 ranks/140 bonus of SMC has 2 * (15 + 16) = 62% chance of getting that crit. 200 ranks of both gives you 96%.
Illusioned demons won't contribute a crit and thereby won't blow their illusions.
The spell will be available on scrolls. I haven't decided yet if it should be available in regular treasure wands, but there will be an alchemy version. It will also be imbeddable.
The example cast I gave were kind of lousy in retrospect... dan/gnimble was correct in suspecting that the level difference between me and the troll was a little unfair. I think I was in level-100 mode at the time. I'll try to get a few more realistic examples posted tonight.
The rank of the demon's crit is intended to increase with increases of the caster's crit rank, but still be a bit lower. A rank 4 followed by a rank 1 as in the example is possible, but it's the worse-case secenario with respect to ratio of ranks. I think crit randomization got me that time. Hopefully you'll see it more clearly when I post again.
I'm all for including a simple RP feature or two, "simple" meaning something that doesn't provide combat advantages. (Combat advantages have to be considered separately.) Holding a floating ball of flame would be neat, but it would have to be subject to the existing 30-second limitation on prepped spells. That's something I think we'd want to give to wizards and others as well. Keep the suggestions coming.