Back from vacation, I decided, well, I’m out of the loop on AC information. Hell, freakin’ Zashi Watta, Ubervassal, has passed me in levels. Better go check the forums for the news. The most prominent news seems to be “maegs r 2 poewrfull k thx”. Having played a mage for months now, I know this is news to me.

From a thread on the ACSS forum…

Arp
posted 08-25-1999 02:16 AMI saw some of those “exploiter”

They just use the same bug over and over. Arg..

Last I saw was a way to cast spell through wall, lugian we’re falling like flies

Log of the Chat, No names are changed…

Sentinell: *cast a spell
Visir: Hey wait a minute
Sentinell: Cast, Cast, Cast
Visir tell Sentinell: How do you cast through wall?
Sentinell: Cast, Cast, Cast
Visir tell Sentinell: What is this bug you exploit?
(Visir try to cast through wall, nothing work)
Visir tell Sentinell: Too easy *Visir thinks hey hey easy exp*
Sentinell: Cast
(bang lugian fall down)
*Visir go downstair and loot, hey hey he get the exp but at least I get the hammer*
Visir tell Sentinell: Please do a bug report
Sentinell: Remain silent

Hum… Well I don’t know if it’s ok. There a bug, it’s beta. Even if I don’t know this bug, maybe I would have just “exploited it” to “beta the highest level *grin*” but for sure the bug would be sent to MS in the meanwhile

In case some of you might be wondering about what this is all about, Sentinell was using Life magic, which has a couple of attacks which are really weak and cost a ton of mana compared to War magic, but do not require line-of-sight. It’s one of the few breaks that mages get, and provides for a greater variety of combat styles, both for NPK’s, PK’s and monsters (who also use it). If this is still confusing, here’s my annotation of the above post.

Sentinell: *cast a spell, sees Visir approaching
Visir: Hey wait a minute
Sentinell: Cast, Cast, Cast, thinks, “hey I’m working here, give a mage a break”
Visir tell Sentinell: How do you cast through wall?
Sentinell: Cast, Cast, Cast, thinks, “He must not be too experienced… of course I can’t tell him about life magic, or the spells I’m using, since that would weaken the spell economy… maybe I’ll explain later”
Visir tell Sentinell: What is this bug you exploit?
(Sentinell thinks, what an asshole)
(Visir try to cast through wall, nothing work)
(Sentinell shakes his head sadly at Visir seeing anything he doesn’t understand as a bug exploit, and laughs at the spectacle of a bunch of force bolts bouncing off the wall)
Visir tell Sentinell: Too easy *Visir thinks hey hey easy exp*
Sentinell: Cast *Sentinell thinks, fuck you YOU try playing a life mage and then tell me how easy this is*
(bang lugian fall down)
*Visir go downstair and loot, hey hey he get the exp but at least I get the hammer*
(Sentinell thinks: jackass, he better hope this doesn’t get on a website or something or it might make him look stupid)
Visir tell Sentinell: Please do a bug report
Sentinell: Remain silent, thinks “DICKHEAD”Sentinell submits bug report: Hi, I’m trying to play the game but there is a monster called “Visir” which yammers at me like a newbie, then loots my kills and acts self-righteous about it.

However, Visir is hardly unique. It’s not really magery in general that bugs people; it’s watching other people do things that they can’t and thinking that it must be unfair. Does any of this remind anyone of the old grumblings on UO forums about “archery being unfair because it can hit people at a distance?” No shit. I expect to see some of this soon.Here’s the deal with Asheron’s Call, magic, archery, melee combat, etc… they are not supposed to all work the same way. I know that this comes as a shock to many people out there who still whine about the fact that they can’t find the railgun/rocket launcher/BFG10K in Quake II deathmatch and accuse anyone who kicks their asses of using a bot. Each method of killing things in Asheron’s Call has strengths and weaknesses, and are sometimes more apropos is certain situations than others. There is still some balancing that needs to happen (this is why it’s in beta), but in general the philosophy of the fighting systems is solid.

For those people who are not playing the game, or for those people who have only played one kind of character and believe that all others use exploits, here is a brief rundown of the various combat systems and character types:

MELEE COMBAT
Use of hand-to-hand weaponry and/or unarmed combat to do damage at point blank range. Melee fighters have very high physical statistics, and are able to haul around a ton of armor and loot, and have a lot of hit points. They also generally have melee/missile defense to avoid a lot of damage, and typically have a high running speed to escape if need be. Advantages: very arguably easiest character to play; low maintenance and high profit; fast advancement; little downtime between engagements; plenty of great weapons (especially swords) and armor; good in 1-1 combats or even swarms due to high melee defense. Disadvantages: you have to risk being hit; no ranged attack option; late career expenditures on things like Arcane Lore can be slightly annoying; effectiveness somewhat dependent on equipment.ARCHERY
Use of bows and crossbows to do damage at long range. (I guess you can also group thrown weapons in here, but I’ve never actually seen anyone use one.) Archers tend to have similar stats to fighters, i.e. high physicals, defense, running speed, etc. They tend to be a little less well armored due to lower strength (in favor of coordination/quickness) and the need to haul around UO-like quantities of arrows. Advantages: quick advancement by finding a ledge or tower to fire at powerful monsters from (who can’t fight back), short downtimes like melee fighters, excellent outdoor fighting ability. Disadvantages: Archery at point blank results in a slightly worse defense, need to buy tons of arrows and carry them around, stopping to retrieve them after protracted battles; difficulty hitting moving targets; effectiveness somewhat dependent on equipment.

Note: Archery right now seems slightly overbalanced, as evidenced by the amazing number of archers running around Dereth. Part of the problem is how to deal with the penetration power of the English longbow or the awesome Swiss heavy, while keeping in mind that people used to run around battlefields with lots of arrows sticking out of them and do just fine. Game designers tend not to think in terms of differing penetration and damage, since that complicated the equation a bit, and so you wind up either with bows of vanquishing (which everyone has now) or toys (like bows in the early days of UO, before they were all bows of vanquishing). As I don’t play an archer regularly, I could of course be wrong about this, but everything I’ve seen and heard points to archery as the method of choice for the well-bankrolled power leveler.

WAR MAGIC
Use of sorcery to fire magical projectiles at long range. Sorcerors tend to have low physical stats at creation time, since tons of points need to be put into focus and self, and so tend to have crappy armor when they have any at all. Straight sorcerors also suffer from poor defensive skills, and rely only on their ability to hurt things at range to save their asses. Advantages: War Magic is the easiest college to research; new mana costs are low enough to make war magic a viable combat option; ability to snipe from shelter a la archery; excellent for aboveground ambushing of lone creatures at range; war magic has better target movement prediction than archery. Disadvantages: physical stats and abilities suck, so sorcerors can carry little armor/loot and die quickly as they plod slowly away from danger; sorcery is mana-dependent, requiring large amounts of downtime; magic must be researched and components bought, requiring even more time in shops and huge cash expenditures; must be combined with other schools of magic to overcome the fact that all war magic does is shoot things; close quarters are bad, placing the feeble mage right next to his enemies; weakening of the magic economy from idiots shouting out spell formulas.

LIFE MAGIC
Use of Life magic to attack creatures at short to medium range by draining and otherwise messing with their vital statistics, i.e. health, stamina, and mana. Life magic is common as a “supplementary school” to other schools like War and Creature Enchantment, and so its practicioners are usually just as weak and slow and sorcerors. Life magic attacks are not nearly as mana-to-damage efficient as War magic, but they don’t require line of sight to use. Advantages: Able to attack through walls and floors; some spells are very effective vs. very strong creatures; Life magic can also heal and protect yourself and others (again, no line of sight required); excellent dungeoning ability due to no LOS. Disadvantages: mana costs are extremely high compared to damage done, so a life magic attack can take a very long time; range for life magic spells is much shorter than war magic; normal problems associated with being a physically inept mage; very slow advancement; hard school to research; high expenses due to difficulty of life magic spells and higher component burn rate; same problem re: magic economy and idiots.

Creature and item enchantment magics, although they can affect combats and the stats of creatures, are more supplementary skills, i.e. using Creature to make a monster slow and clumsy and attacking it with an item-enchanted weapon.

Why am I rambling so much about this? Well, it’s because I am prejudiced in favor of the mage. I have been playing a mage for about as long as I’ve been in beta, and it’s no freakin picnic. Being a mage is very difficult, slow to advance, expensive, and super frustrating, all so you can wind up with a character who is weaker than a guy with a sword. And yet, those guys with the swords are the same ones who love to “catch” me standing on a wall shooting at ravers and berate me for being cheesy before they try and train a bunch of banderling scouts past me. (One time this happened, and I killed all the scouts in face-to-face, but somehow the guy who trained them still thought I was a cheeseball. I think he just wanted to loot me.)Since I have had more experience with the mage than the other classes, here’s a brief history of a mage character who has suffered to high levels.

Creation. Cringe at your low physical stats. Try and guess whether it’s OK to be slightly worse as a mage in exchange for being slightly better at running away.First few adventures. No profit, as all the money goes into spell components and really crappy armor. Watch fast fighters run in and loot your kills before you can haul your porky ass over there. Die a lot due to negligible hit points and slow ass speed.

Middling levels. Still poor as hell. Spending experience sucks, since you know you should get smarter in order to be a better mage, but you’d like to be able to run away from a drudge someday, and dream of surviving a reasonable combat someday. Skills and stats get diluted (rather than specialized, as an all-physical fighter would be doing). Effectiveness against creatures of similar levels goes down due to dilution, making it harder to advance. Advancement further slowed by need to rest to regain mana, and time off in the shop to research. The couple of times you find an advantage to magery, some dipshit accuses you of exploiting.

Higher levels. See “middling levels”.

Around level 12+. You can almost do as well as an equivalent level fighter in some situations, and have an advantage in others. Magery finally begins to pay off. Still a lot of dipshits around though.

Magery is hard. It should be hard. Accomplished mages should be rare people who worked really hard to achieve skill in a field which is a huge freakin pain in the ass most of the time. Mages get killed constantly due to the profession’s inherent weaknesses. When you see a guy casting life spells through a wall, or a sorcerer standing on the battlements of a fort and blasting away, you may think, “What a cheapass way to play.” That mage is thinking, “FINALLY a situation where I won’t be annhialated right away… hey why is that guy looting my kills?”Okay, I have a headache again. More rants coming soon which have nothing to do with message boards, including some crap I talked about with a guy I kidnapped from his job at Turbine. And I talked a little with Sabin after the last rant… if Visir happens to read this, I hope he @tells Sentinell in game and apologizes, then gives back the lugian hammer he stole in his misconception that because he didn’t understand shit about magic, it was okay to rob someone else’s loot. if you think someone is exploiting a bug, for God’s sake make sure you’re not just a clueless moron before deciding to punish him by theft. Better yet, why not try being a mage for a while, then tell me how cheap and easy magic is. Like, after 2 months of it.

Leave a Reply

*

© 2009-2018 Howard Collins All Rights Reserved

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline