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Old March 3, 2009, 16:51   #1
PowerDiver
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merging mage and priest books

I mentioned in another thread that I believe the mage and priest books should be merged. I have not pushed this in the past because I do not have a full solution in mind, but I am starting this thread so that people can discuss the basic ideas.

The basic principle that led me to this idea is to reduce TMJ [too much junk]. If the spellbooks are merged, all books are useful to all classes except warriors, rather than being junk to over half the classes.

There is already the ability to specify availability, minimum level, mana cost, and failure rates for each spell for each class. The only major gameplay change is that some spells like identify are currently only dungeon books for one type [priest] but are in town books for the other [mage]. Even that can be taken care of by producing two versions of the spell, in the two different books, and then setting availability.

I wanted to reduce the spells to 9 spells per each of the 9 books, and was unsuccessful. However, if some of the useless spells such as sleep/confuse/slow were removed, it might be possible, perhaps not. I personally would not mind seeing those spells occur only in devices. Another option is to increase beyond 9 spells per book, or to increase the number of books.

To reiterate, I like the general idea of merging the books, but I do not have the specifics required to discuss it reasonably. I guess it wouldn't hurt to start general discussions now.
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Old March 3, 2009, 16:59   #2
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Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
Another option is to increase beyond 9 spells per book, or to increase the number of books.
XAngband has 10 spells per book. I don't suppose that having more spells per book is that uncommon.

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The only major gameplay change is that some spells like identify are currently only dungeon books for one type [priest] but are in town books for the other [mage]. Even that can be taken care of by producing two versions of the spell, in the two different books, and then setting availability.
That sounds a bit icky to me. It would be OK for an attack spell or something where you can just change the name and pretend it's different but an identify spell is an identify spell.

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There is already the ability to specify availability, minimum level, mana cost, and failure rates for each spell for each class.
So I suppose that 'mage-ish' spells could be made higher failure rate + higher mana cost for priests (and vice versa) ? I don't have anything against that in principle but if it means low level priests/mages will have a beginning spell book that they can only use half the spells in (at low level) I don't suppose it will be very popular.
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Old March 3, 2009, 17:00   #3
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Couldn't you just don't spawn the "opposite class" spellbook?
Eg. priests and paladins only find prayer books.
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Old March 3, 2009, 17:02   #4
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Originally Posted by Narvius View Post
Couldn't you just don't spawn the "opposite class" spellbook?
Eg. priests and paladins only find prayer books.
To a low level character "opposite class" spellbooks are valuable treasure they can sell back in the town. (not the beginner's one, though)
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Old March 3, 2009, 17:03   #5
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Then *replace* the opposite class spellbook by yours. Then you can sell copies of books you already possess. This also would help no-shoppers and ironmen, I think.
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Old March 3, 2009, 20:17   #6
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Old March 3, 2009, 20:57   #7
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Originally Posted by PowerDiver View Post
To reiterate, I like the general idea of merging the books, but I do not have the specifics required to discuss it reasonably. I guess it wouldn't hurt to start general discussions now.
In O/FA, mages have 9 books, but rogues only use 5 of these - and the spells are just rearranged to fit in these five. The simple solution would just be to have 9 book objects, and make the spells in them (and the name and colour if you wanted the flavour) depend on class.

Mind you, Narvius's solution is equivalent to this.

@pav - this is aimed at fixing the junk problem. The main argument against it that I can see is loss of atmosphere - that and not seeing Timo complain about only getting mage books when he's playing a priest
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Old March 3, 2009, 21:04   #8
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@pav - this is aimed at fixing the junk problem.
If you consider the amounts of books dropped today a junk problem, I'd say this whole Junk Effort is getting hysterical.
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Old March 3, 2009, 21:06   #9
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@pav - this is aimed at fixing the junk problem. The main argument against it that I can see is loss of atmosphere - that and not seeing Timo complain about only getting mage books when he's playing a priest
I think what's most scary about the idea is that it seems to imply a gradual convergence of priests and mages. I'm not terribly fond of the Z magic system where the distinction between the two is somewhat blurred - the most visible differences being the spell stat and being unable to select your next prayer if you're a priest. It's a mostly irrational fear, probably.

Then again, as Eddie points out, there isn't a whole lot of difference between the two spellsets to begin with: my recent feature request to merge dTraps & dStairs bears this out - it's one of many very superficial differences. It's clearly been difficult to make a case for having two distinct sets of spells: in most cases they're simply rearranged or renamed.

But I'd rather see the two classes become more different than more similar. I haven't got any good ideas of how this might be accomplished, though. Maybe glean the variants with realms for inspiration.

edit: Upon reflection, I think I've overstated the similarity between the priest and mage spell sets. The attack spells are completely different, and the bless spells + clairvoyance make for a markedly different experience. Also, if we want to cut some spells, I'd recommend the later permutations of Bless for this. It would make more sense to have its duration ramp up with clvl rather than move to entirely different spells.
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Old March 3, 2009, 22:03   #10
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I think the two spell realms are quite different. Priests have way more healing spells, and sort of 'holy' spells like Dispel Evil and Holy Word. They have hardly any elemental spells, where mages have lots. Of course they both have detection spells - any spellcaster without would be barely playable.

But that doesn't really matter. Whether we do this or not is not about whether it's implementable - it clearly is (though we might have to argue about a few individual spells to get down to 81 or whatever). It's just about whether the flavour of finding the 'wrong' type of book is worth more than the efficiency/simplicity of merging them.

Personally I'm in favour - there are lots of spells I never use, so binning a few wouldn't spoil the game for me at all. I don't see any great merit in having two different types of books, other than flavour and history. I can't see myself missing finding the wrong type of book.
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