The Bipolar Mage

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Kyutaru, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Kyutaru

    Kyutaru Software Engineer & Ninja Veteran

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    New Jersey
    First Language:
    English
    Class concept, too annoying or the right hint of interesting?

    Typically when a Red Mage or Sage exists possessing the powers of both White and Black magic, the class is tragically nerfed in effectiveness for the sake of balance.  Never quite the master of magic a purist can become.  But the Bipolar Mage has manic-driven behavior on his side and obsessively masters both at once!  Granted, he's not exactly mentally stable anymore...

    When the Bipolar Mage casts a spell, he is locked out of that spell until he casts the polar opposite magic.  This means casting Slow bans Slow from being cast again until Haste has been cast.  Once Haste is cast, it cannot be used again until Slow is repeated.  The same goes for Fire and Ice, Light and Dark, Buffs and Debuffs, Curse and Cure, and a slew of other potent spells that ordinary mages must segregate into schools to keep from being a walking powerhouse Elminster clone.

    This is meant for a game with unusual character classes and limited number of them, so the characters are more flexible in the the scope of their abilities.  I did not just want to mesh the two schools together and call it a day.
     
    #1
  2. Solo

    Solo Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    1,104
    Likes Received:
    154
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    This sounds totally awesome. It would be even better if the character's personality was explosive and unstable to match their class.
     
    #2
  3. servantb7

    servantb7 Servantb7 Veteran

    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    First Language:
    English
    Very creative. Do you think making it that specific might be too difficult for the player to use though? Like, perhaps instead of having Fire and Ice as opposites, you could have Black Magic (attack) and White Magic (healing) as opposites, with a few choices within each category? Just a thought, because if there are too many pairs to keep track of it might make it so that the character isn't even worth using.
     
    #3
  4. AwesomeCool

    AwesomeCool Bratty and spoiled little sister Veteran

    Messages:
    2,877
    Likes Received:
    1,951
    Location:
    Behind you! BOOOO!
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    I agree with servantb7. If you make it too specific, then that adds more and more complexity the more types of spells you add to the character.  I would stick with attack and healing as opposites.
     
    #4
  5. ZendarDarklighter

    ZendarDarklighter Warper Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    I love this idea, but it would have to be done very carefully.  As stated, the supporting characters need to make up for this "handicap", and to have the player use this character maybe make them the main character.  Just a thought.
     
    #5
    servantb7 likes this.
  6. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    13,661
    Likes Received:
    7,530
    Location:
    Texas
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I would also try to find another name for the class. I know it's easy to throw around the word "bipolar" but for those who truly suffer from bipolar, making it as a characterization of a "crazy" person might be upsetting. I actually know people who suffer from it, and I would never call them "crazy".
     
    #6
    SunDog likes this.
  7. kerbonklin

    kerbonklin Hiatus King Veteran

    Messages:
    1,728
    Likes Received:
    281
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Complexity is good. Keep it the way you have it.

    As long as the system can't backfire in any major form. Testing would be needed for whatever spells (and their opposites) you make.

    As for the name itself, if the game itself is dirty-humorous, then it's fine. (Look at South Park - Stick of Truth for instance) I don't really see it as offensive though. It is what it is.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2014
    #7
  8. Kyutaru

    Kyutaru Software Engineer & Ninja Veteran

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    New Jersey
    First Language:
    English
    The name and concept came from me trying to conceptualize myself into an RPG.  I actually have bipolar disorder and know well the double extremist attitude it brings on, the back and forth swings between mania and depression, wanting to nuke your cake and heal it too.  It's merely reflecting mental instability, not outright insanity.  "Crazy" is different from "awkward".

    I like the idea of swapping between Black and White magics though complexity does add more tactical choices.  It's tough to say which idea sounds better at the moment.  I'll have to run simulations of boss battles and see which version ends up being the most fun.  Glad everyone seems to enjoy the idea, hopefully it meshes well with the three other classes I came up with.
     
    #8
  9. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    13,661
    Likes Received:
    7,530
    Location:
    Texas
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    In that case, I would trust that you would be able to do it in a way that is not insulting to people who truly experience bipolar. I spoke from a place of knowing people who throw around the word bipolar too casually just as "gay" and "retarded" are too casually thrown around and that was my concern.
     
    #9
    servantb7 likes this.
  10. Alexander Amnell

    Alexander Amnell Jaded Optimist Veteran

    Messages:
    3,405
    Likes Received:
    1,730
    Location:
    Zaječí
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
        I like this idea, my only concern is when the opposites are elemental such as fire and ice. For instance, if you are in a volcano fighting lava monsters then typically you'd want to douse them with an ice spell, but then you have to cast a fire spell; not very good idea for fighting lava monsters. Granted, simply dividing it between white(support and healing) and black(damaging and debuffing) kind of kills the charm as well. My suggestion would be just to make sure that each element has both offensive and defensive spells to them, and that any spell of the opposite element will unlock the last element used. So maybe after casting an ice attack you could cast a fire spell on an ally that raises their fire resistance or else increases there attack power or something just to avoid having to use an element on an enemy that would heal him/or be nulled and waste a turn just to use magic to damage it effectively again.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2014
    #10
    servantb7 likes this.
  11. Kyutaru

    Kyutaru Software Engineer & Ninja Veteran

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    New Jersey
    First Language:
    English
    I've run tests on the original idea and the Black/White splits, neither is that effective in boss battles.  The game is complex when dealing with the single spell swaps and can lead to scenarios where a spell cannot be recast without wasting a turn doing something inefficient, while the diametric split leads to increased item usage and a class whose very role is uncertain from moment to moment.  So here's some followups:

    1) Manic-Depressive.

    The mage bounces between two extremes of hyperactive "mania" and sluggish "depression".  This splits the spell category into two groups that are neither completely Black or entirely White.  When casting a Manic spell, he falls into a Depressive state and must cast one of those spells to return to Manic state.  In this way, elements aren't much of an issue because you can still return to the opposite element by casting a different spell.  You just can't chain cast Haste spells, Cure spells, or Fire spells, you need to alternate rounds between buffs and debuffs.

    Manic/Depressive

    -----------------------

    Fire/Ice

    Lightning/Earth

    Haste/Slow

    Buff/Debuff

    Cure/Drain

    Esuna/Ailments

    Revive/Death

    2) Balance Druid approach.

    After casting a spell from one category, the other category receives buffs.  Casting White or Black magic at any time would still be possible, but inefficient.  The mage would be able to chain three healing spells in a row, but they would get progressively weaker as his black magic grew stronger.  At some point the player must decide to use some black spells to power up his white magic, leading to a class that in my opinion would primarily cast black magic repeatedly to enhance his white magic for a larger effective Heal every now and then, or if it suits you a healer that would spam heals and then get to followup with a mega death black magic spell.  This has the potential of leading to significantly more powerful magic than the mage should otherwise be capable of.

    3) Elemental Recursion.

    All spells are given an element.  Healing spells typically have Holy element, debuffs typically have Dark element, Haste would have Fire element, Slow would have Ice element, etc.  Lots of room for growth here.  The mage has a total of six elements at his command: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Earth, Holy, Dark.  Casting one category of element locks out that element until the opposite element is cast.  So instead of having to manage hordes of different spells, or being given a one access pass to all typed magic, the mage only has three spell categories he needs to watch over.

    Fire/Ice -- Lightning/Earth -- Holy/Dark

    At any given time, three of these elements will be accessible, with the player having control over which ones are available by casting spells.  Each elemental category will have both offensive and defensive spells, such as Lightning also granting Magic Barrier protection while Earth can Protect from physical damage.
     
    #11
    ZendarDarklighter likes this.
  12. Needle

    Needle Sharp as a Tack Veteran

    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    First Language:
    English
    I like the original idea, and I don't think it would be too difficult to implement either. Let's say you have twenty total spells, then make a list ten spells long. When one spell is cast, it turns into its polar opposite on the list. This way to you never have "greyed out" spells or annoying warning messages about what you can and can't use. When you can use Fire, that slot on the list is Fire. After you use it, it turns into Ice automatically. You just have a list of ten spells that's constantly changing based on the last used of each pair. It would be less complex and easier to manage as a player. I imagine something like this could be scripted pretty easily with simple switches, too.
     
    #12
  13. SunDog

    SunDog KHAAAAAAAAN! Veteran

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Texas
    First Language:
    English
    Maybe you could call him the Tesla Mage?

    Tesla invented Alternating Current.
     
    #13
  14. SLEEP

    SLEEP grunge rock cloud strife Veteran

    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    210
    Location:
    radical highwAY
    First Language:
    emglish
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    Even if you have Bipolar, I think it would be in bad taste for a class name. It's like having classes named druid, warrior, and autism... two of them are jobs description, one most certainly isn't. And it's easy to see why people would be upset with this terminology, even if you mean well! If you put a Bipolar character in the game, and want it to inform their abilities, that would be really great, and more power to you! But I feel like using Bipolar as the sole word to describe their job would be in poor taste. However, I don't have Bipolar, and wouldn't want to tell you how to grapple with your condition. Except I just did. Whoops um...

    Sounds neat. Don't overthink this, your original idea was fine. 
     
    #14
  15. Julien Brightside

    Julien Brightside Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    862
    Likes Received:
    140
    First Language:
    Norway
    What about Revolver mage? As his skills revolve.

    Or Double edged mage?
     
    #15
  16. wildhalcyon

    wildhalcyon Villager Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    7
    An alternative to locking the character out of spells or skills is instead giving them a penalty for casting them in succession. For example, suppose that you have two spells, cure and fire. They are considered polar opposites (one is healing, the other is offensive). You cast fire and do 100 damage. The next time you cast bolt you only do 75 damage. The third time you do 50 damage. The fourth, and every time after you do 25 damage. If you cast cure after any one of those spells you cure for full power (again, suppose you're curing for 100 HP) and your next fire spell will deal 100 damage (but your next cure will only heal 75 HP).

    It seems like an interesting character concept regardless of which path you go down, partly because it requires some strategy to use. The character can't be one thing all the time. They HAS to, by necessity, change roles and classes in battle if they want to maintain their edge. Battles where a consistent white mage support is needed/useful would be difficult because this caster can't support the others on their own in this manner.

    TWO of them though... that could be downright dangerous. Especially if they got a bonus to their spell power when used effectively as a trade-off to the penalty of alternating spell use.
     
    #16
    Kyutaru and Chaos Avian like this.
  17. Fernyfer775

    Fernyfer775 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    1,297
    Likes Received:
    797
    First Language:
    English
    This idea excites me in ways only fuzzy handcuffs can.

    I really like the idea of using "X" type spells get weaker if you use them back to back, and visa versa.

    That could lead to some pretty cool strategy, ala Boomkin from world of warcraft.
     
    #17
    CobeSlice likes this.
  18. Ralpf

    Ralpf Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    152
    Location:
    Sparta, TN
    First Language:
    English
    I like the base idea, but, as you have found it, it would lead to effectivness issues.

    What I am thinking is the character could have abnormally high magic power to offset the fact he may not be able to cast what he wants, when he wants to cast it. Also you might try some sort of 'clear your thoughts' action, such as using a physical attack, to reset everything. If in the world you are creating mages can have elemental wands/staves or use other weapons, then he could still be useful.

    Also, I really like this idea:

     
    #18
  19. Curia Chasea

    Curia Chasea Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    14
    First Language:
    Polish
    Reminds me of South Park The Stick of Truth classes actually....

    Anyway, I'll have to suggest this for your mage:

    Make it not a 1-1 trade with spells, but a 1-3 spell swap. Casting one of your abilities will swap 3 others. On that note, give him a low amount of starting spells so he is easier to use. For example:

    - attack spell (medium damage)

    - healing spell  (medium healing)

    - buff spell (medium buff power/duration)

    - utility spell (medium utility)

    Now, when he starts a fight, he has the 4 basics. However when casting one of the spells, the pool changes to 4 others, that have the traits of the spell he cast. 

    Let's say, he cast an attack spell. Because of that his next turn has these spells:

    - Very Heavy AoE Damage Spell (Very High Damage)

    - Drain HP spell (Low damage/Low Healing)

    - Deal damage to all enemies and debuff them (Low damage/Low buff power)

    - Deal damage to one enemy and convert a % of it into Gold (Low damage and Low utility)

    If he however cast a Buff Spell, it would look like this:

    - Deal damage to one enemy and debuff him (Low Damage/Buff)

    - Recover a small portion of HP to whole team and grant a buff (Low Heal/Buff)

    - Buff your team, while debuffing the enemy team (Very powerful buff/debuff effect)

    - Buff a target ally and scan an enemy (Low power/Utility)

    What you get out of it is basically an Attune Mage. You can also make that casting the "same type" spell twice in a row will now make the skill unusable till he uses something else. 

    Anyway, the reason I am suggesting this course of action - You are giving players more options instead of giving them frustrating limits. If you have a scenario in a battle where "Fire" is the way to go, and yet you cast it once and remove that option for Ice, you put the player at a disadvantage. He needs more fire, but he has to waste a turn. Granting him 2x Magic power will simply make him a super heavy burster who wrecks the enemy team in one blow. 

    The druid option is similar in that idea, however it has the problem that the character gets very powerful as time goes. After all, the character would just cast buffs at the start of the fight and afterwards nuke the enemy into orbit. You CAN balance him out, but it will be a difficult process. If you have the time to spare for it and the patience, the druid is an option.

    I suggest having the starting spells be reliable - simple effect spells that become affected by the choice of the first spell. You create options for DPS scenarios, Burst Scenarios, Buff Scenarios and Healing. You could also give his Fight command receive the same utility as the spells he casts AND make the attack reset him back to starting state. 

    This is how he could work:

    When player needs consistent damage:

    - Attack Spell - Fight - Attack Spell - Fight - Attack Spell - Attack/Utility Spell - Utility/Attack Spell - Fight - Attack Spell

    When Burst is required:

    - Attack Spell - Heavy Attack Spell - Fight 

    When Healing is required in Huge Amounts:

    - Heal - AoE Heal - Buff - Heal - AoE Heal - Buff

    And other choices go in similar fashion. Its relatively easy to balance this when you think about which combinations the player would require and you give him options instead of taking them away.

    Of course - this no longer is the Reverse Caster you originally planned for. The question is what direction you are aiming for -> just altering the spells he uses OR intentionally having this "Can/Cannot Use" style. 
     
    #19
  20. Julien Brightside

    Julien Brightside Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    862
    Likes Received:
    140
    First Language:
    Norway
    If he has two wands, could it be that when he cast spells of one type, the "type 1" want needs to cool down, thus sealing certain types of spells for some rounds depending on the spell.
     
    #20

Share This Page