Should Water and Ice be different elements?

AkiraKotatsuhime

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[Fire] is burning air (not ~exactly~, but you know what I mean), [Wind] is fast moving air, also [Thunder] is not so far away from air, but you'd maybe never put them all together aswell (I guess).

There are two systems I know and understand well enough to be okay with and my answer if ice should be part of water depends on which of them resembles more your entire choice of elements (counting out [Light] and [Dark]):
★ [Earth] [Wind] [Fire] [Water] where [Thunder] is part of [Wind] as well as [Ice] in [Water].
★ [Earth] [Thunder] [Wind] [Ice] [Fire] [Water].

We could also slightly alter the 2nd one by replacing/renaming elements to more point out what they are meant for, like this:
★ [Ground] [Electricity] [Storm] [Coldness] [Heat] [Liquid].

Now it's not that easy anymore to e.g. just put cold-stuff into the liquid-part. But still, if you want to keep such system as simple as possible, having less elements will mostly never be a wrong choice (and if water and ice are defined as "same", wind and thunder should always be, too).

~炬燵あ
 

TRIEBE

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There's no right or wrong interpretation about the independence of ice as an element. It literally depends on what makes senses inside your own world. People from it could even have different, conflicting views about such question.

I personally like @AkiraKotatsuhime 's proposal.
 

Milennin

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Either way is fine, depending on how important it is to have them together or separated in terms of gameplay systems. If there is a high emphasis on elemental weakness systems, splitting them up might be better. If building a more compact system, you could just keep them the same element.
 

woootbm

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To me, "ice" makes me think of frozen water. So it sounds redundant to have both. Maybe have cold and water if you want to have that many elements. This is all irrelevant anyway, because whether you should have more elements or fewer elements should purely hinge on your scope and your design.

In terms of scope, do you really want to make both types of assets?
In terms of design, do you have distinct enough skills to justify having both? Are they both compelling?

If you want to get really philosophical, heat and cold are the same "element" since temperature is the measure of how much heat there is; there is no such thing as a negative amount of heat.
Which is why the theoretical coldest temperature is referred to as "absolute zero."
 

Crowverlord

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If you're going for a small elemental wheel with very few elements, no.

If you're thinking big with at least ten, it's obligatory.

'Earth' and 'Metal' have more chemical differences than Water and Ice anyways.
 

ATT_Turan

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I mean, I suppose that strictly speaking there are changes enough at molecular level to warrant a different element
Strictly speaking, that's not accurate - water isn't an element, but the elements that create it at the molecular level (two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen) are exactly the same whether it's water, ice or steam.

So if you're going by actual molecular makeup, neither water nor ice should be considered an element :stickytongue:

If you're not going by that, then you're already making things up and you should simply make it up in the way that seems sensible/logical/balanced to you.

As you reference in your opening post, there are dozens of existing video games that use elemental magic and have it both ways (water/ice being the same and being different), so...take your pick. I don't think other people's opinions need to influence yours.
 

Silenity

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Depends on the game naturally.

I tend to gravitate towards the usual RPG 6. However, I do like Theo and Akira's logic on elements.
I'm actually working on something that combines the two and strips it down to 3 action elements and 4 classic elements.

You have 3 action damage types: Slash / Pierce / Strike
and 4 elemental damage types: Burn / Cold / Storm / Earth

Burn represents Fire/Explosion
Cold represents Water/Ice
Storm represents Lightning/Wind
Earth represents Stone/Nature

Still kinda working on the naming conventions for the 4 elements but it gives you a good idea.

Damaging skills will always deal an action damage type but not always an elemental damage type.

Here are some quick examples:
Laser Beam: Pierce + Burn damage
Aqua Jet: Pierce + Cold damage
Stone Smash: Strike + Earth damage
Vine Whip: Slash + Earth damage
Lightning Arc: Strike + Storm damage
 

Dark_Ansem

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I'm in dismay I forgot to add a poll option to this.
 

Phantomsurf

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The choice to combine them or keep them separate is really up to the game designer- I've had fun with games where they're separate and ones where they're combined. It all depends on the game design itself accommodating them well. Pokemon is a great example of how separating them just adds unnecessary complexity and a type which is basically useless in the modern meta. HEARTBEAT is a great example of how separating them can make an interesting elemental wheel that doesn't feel out of place.

I personally wound combine them. It's simple and this also makes a great "opposite" to fire. Fire can melt the ice or evaporate the water, while water can douse the fire. It also just makes the water moveset a lot more varied and interesting, so it's not all bubbles and tsunami waves (always my favorite element anyways though, lol).
 

JohnDoeNews

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Yes. With water and ice you can do such different things.
 

jonthefox

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Depends on your game obviously, but I'd say yes. Having "water" spells in a game that also has "ice" spells to me is like having "wind" spells in a game that also has "thunder" spells. I would not combine thunder and wind as the same element, nor would I combine ice and water. If my game has water and wind spells, I would make them their own elements, or I would just make those spells unique and not part of a specific element category.

This is also similar to how I would use a "quake" spell. If my "earth" element were for boulder and quake spells, fine - and I would NOT put "poison" spells as "earth" element. If my "earth" element were for poison and acid spells, then I would NOT also put quake in this category. They're different. Just my preference!
 

kirbwarrior

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If you use a water jet/torrent, you are not doing water damage. You are doing impact damage.
If you are using an ice spike, you are not doing ice damage. You are doing piercing damage.
To me, I'd assume the first attack does water/impact damage, the second does ice/piercing damage. A fire cares about the water, while a wall shrugs off piercing damage.
 

TheoAllen

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To me, I'd assume the first attack does water/impact damage, the second does ice/piercing damage. A fire cares about the water, while a wall shrugs off piercing damage.
Fire is heat damage, being wet adds resistance to heat-based damage :p
Also, ice could also be categorized as cold-based damage. Because being frozen is also damaging.
 

kirbwarrior

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Fire is heat damage, being wet adds resistance to heat-based damage :p
Being wet is a great state wait

Also, ice could also be categorized as cold-based damage. Because being frozen is also damaging.
Yeah, cold definitely makes sense as a damage type.

Which, cold vs water makes sense as differing "elements". Ice is just a representation of cold and thus would explain why it was named such in many rpgs. But to break things down further about the above, I like systems where there are "damage" types and "elemental" types. This usually means having exactly one of the former and at least one of the latter. So "Icicle" would be piercing/water, "Torrent" would be impact/water, "Freeze" cold/water, etc.
 

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