Hello everyone, and welcome to TotA Dev Blog #9! So far, I've been covering lots of general topics, so today I figured I would go into specifics as to some of your options when playing Tales of the Arcanimus.
Early on I talked about "nontraditional magic," and how one can use melee or stealth "spells." But some of you may still be wondering about magic of the more orthodox kind. Last week's Alchemy was a step closer to the more magicky magic, but I know what you aspiring wizards-to-be really want.
Let's talk Sorcery and Conjuration.
Tales of the Arcanimus has two purely magic skills. The first, Sorcery, handles all direct magical attacks. This skill includes spells like Fireball, Chain Lightning, and Blizzard. Fireball is a medium range spell that does high damage, though it grants no additional critical damage. Anyone hit by it is set alight, taking further ongoing damage until they extinguish themselves. Chain Lightning does less damage than Fireball and it does not burn enemies, but it has its own critical bonus, and has a chance to hit everything within a short range of your target. Blizzard, meanwhile, is special in that it is one of the few spells that cost two Focus Points instead of one (TotA's equivalent of mana.) Just to learn this spell, you have to already know a number of other ice abilities. It's well worth it, though; everyone within a nice distance from you takes a good chunk of damage. On a critical, they're all frozen to boot. You can even increase the freezing odds by using this attack on wet targets.
Not enough shenanigans for you? Conjuration has got you covered. This skill gives you access to a wide variety of enchantments, conjurations, summons, and other nifty magical spells. You can create walls of earth, and circles of fire. You can enchant your weapons (or your allies' weapons!) with elemental power to give them more potency. You can place magical runes on the ground to act as traps should enemies step on them. You can conjure animations of flame and frost, pelting foes with minor attacks of their given elements. You can even cast protective barriers.
Barriers are a particularly interesting option, actually; they offer damage reduction in the form of a mechanic I like to call Protection. Typically, players have Protection: 0, meaning none, but there are various options, like spells and elixirs that offer Protection bonuses. Say you have Protection: X; each attack that hits you deals X less damage than it normally would, with the exception of critical hits, which bypass Protection. "Barrier" grants Protection: +1. On the 10 scale of damage, that can actually make quite a difference, and there are higher power versions of this spell that offer even more. However, there is an effective limit to how much Protection you can stack onto a character. That being said, beware of non-player monsters in the world of Tales of the Arcanimus, which may have significantly more, particularly boss monsters. While this mechanic is intended to give players some defensive edges in TotA's sometimes brutally fast paced combat, we nevertheless had to be careful to avoid damage reduction to the point of complete shutdown: enter "Penetration."
Yes, our mechanics are called "penetration and "protection."
Anyway, here is how Penetration works: certain weapons and spells have a Penetration value. Against targets with Protection (or any other form of damage reduction, such as blocked shields), that value is the minimum amount that the damage can be reduced to. This gives you an option against people running maximized defenses, allowing you to still deal damage against any foe.
It's fascinating to watch the emergent meta between offense and defense evolve with testing each week, and I hope you all will be interested in the final result! As always, you can find us on Facebook and on Twitter. Don't forget to tune in next week!