Spellmaking and Enchanting: factor harmful effects as negative

Feedback on past, current, and future development.
User avatar
DecumusScotti
Posts: 49
Joined: 08 Jul 2016, 17:26

Spellmaking and Enchanting: factor harmful effects as negative

Post by DecumusScotti » 24 Apr 2020, 19:33

It is no secret that Morrowind has more than enough exploits already. But anyway:

Many spells or enchantments in Morrowind, and RPGs in general, follow the idea that a strong positive effect must be counterbalanced by a negative one, e.g. Boots of Blinding Speed or Mantle of Woe.

I think, it would be really cool, if one could create magical effects (spells and enchantments) in the same way, meaning that opposing effects decrease the cost. AFAIK there is already a categorisation of spell effects into hostile and non-hostile (the former being a crime if you apply them on someone friendly) which could be used to this end.
As an example, the cost could be calculated like this: two positive effects, two negative ones. Both are summed up (including those pesky costs for multiple effects), and the larger sum becomes the maximum cost. Then the smaller sum times a factor (e.g. 0.5) is subtracted to calculate the total cost. With a factor of 0.5, the cost could never be lower than half of the maximum cost.

What do you think?

kuyondo
Posts: 238
Joined: 29 Mar 2016, 17:45

Re: Spellmaking and Enchanting: factor harmful effects as negative

Post by kuyondo » 24 Apr 2020, 19:43

We have to figure out if an effect is negative or positive. Because a healing effect for example can be negative or positive. You can heal friendly actor and enemy units. So it is positive for friendly actors but also.

User avatar
DecumusScotti
Posts: 49
Joined: 08 Jul 2016, 17:26

Re: Spellmaking and Enchanting: factor harmful effects as negative

Post by DecumusScotti » 25 Apr 2020, 01:27

Not really. It's sufficient to have every effect belong to exactly one of two categories, for which the hostile/non-hostile flag should be sufficient.
The cost is then based on whichever of the two categories produces the larger total cost, minus some factor, like .5, times the total cost of the effects in the other category.
The system does not need to know the player's intent. Here's an example:
If you want to increase your speed, and you wish to counterbalance that with drain fatigue, then let A be the cost of fortify speed with your desired magnitude, and B be the cost of drain fatigue at its magnitude. The total cost C is then:
C = A - 0.5*B, if A>B or else
C = B - 0.5*A

(So there's a minimum at A ~= B, which also makes sense)

Note: this means that a player may not know whether a spell is hostile, but that's already the case, I think.

User avatar
Pop000100
Posts: 79
Joined: 18 Aug 2014, 21:17
Location: Loitering around Gnisis.

Re: Spellmaking and Enchanting: factor harmful effects as negative

Post by Pop000100 » 25 Apr 2020, 01:40

This is something I have wanted for a long time this, and make different charges have a effect for soulgems for constant effect.

as a point in favor of this daggerfall had this sort of thing the second "best" soul is the dragonling but the most powerful soul was the daedra lord but it made the item heavier and you take damage in holy places while also making it do more damage to daedra.

Source

mikeprichard
Posts: 52
Joined: 16 Dec 2018, 19:42

Re: Spellmaking and Enchanting: factor harmful effects as negative

Post by mikeprichard » 25 Apr 2020, 03:09

Although I like the idea in general, as kuyondo pointed out, this has some issues. Building on kuyondo's example, if a spell is used to target a hostile creature at range, a healing effect will likely be a "negative" effect, and a damage effect "positive". If the same spell is used to target a friendly creature at range, these effects' benefits and drawbacks will be reversed. There may not be a simple way to reconcile this, as a one-size-fits-all approach to categorizing the effects will fail to take this reality into account.

As for Daggerfall's "Soul Bound" enchanting disadvantage, there was always the clear-cut disadvantage "built in" to the effect whereby if the enchanted item were to break, the creature contained in the soul would be released to attack the player. Although Daggerfall's enchanting system was also extremely exploitable, this clear-cut disadvantage does not apply to Morrowind.

User avatar
DecumusScotti
Posts: 49
Joined: 08 Jul 2016, 17:26

Re: Spellmaking and Enchanting: factor harmful effects as negative

Post by DecumusScotti » 25 Apr 2020, 08:25

Maybe I don't understand the question then.
I think this can happen already: if you create a spell with both a hostile and non hostile effect, the game must make a decision, which of the two your new spell is (and which school it belongs to).
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the game decides based on the effect with the highest cost, so the framework exists already.

User avatar
Jemolk
Posts: 226
Joined: 20 Mar 2017, 02:12
Location: Sadrith Mora

Re: Spellmaking and Enchanting: factor harmful effects as negative

Post by Jemolk » 30 Apr 2020, 00:55

As I understand it, the issues you all raise shouldn't be a problem necessarily. If, for example, I were to create a spell that heals and blinds, then if the healing effect is more powerful than the blind effect, it would be thoroughly ineffectual as a blind spell used on opponents. If, on the other hand, the blind effect were more potent, it would be distinctly less than ideal to use as a healing spell on allies. Thus, if the heal effect is stronger, the blind effect cost is subtracted and the spell is nonhostile. If the blind effect is stronger, the heal effect cost is subtracted and the spell is hostile.

I really, really like this idea. I've certainly thought about things like this before. I didn't really think it could be done just yet, prior to de-hardcoding, but if it can, that would be absolutely delightful.

jmelesky
Posts: 45
Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 20:52

Re: Spellmaking and Enchanting: factor harmful effects as negative

Post by jmelesky » 30 Apr 2020, 18:13

Jemolk wrote:
30 Apr 2020, 00:55
then if the healing effect is more powerful than the blind effect, it would be thoroughly ineffectual as a blind spell used on opponents. If, on the other hand, the blind effect were more potent, it would be distinctly less than ideal to use as a healing spell on allies.
How do we determine "more powerful" in this situation? If I heal at magnitude 10 for 20 seconds, and blind at 50 for 5 seconds, which is more powerful?

User avatar
Jemolk
Posts: 226
Joined: 20 Mar 2017, 02:12
Location: Sadrith Mora

Re: Spellmaking and Enchanting: factor harmful effects as negative

Post by Jemolk » 01 May 2020, 00:25

jmelesky wrote:
30 Apr 2020, 18:13
Jemolk wrote:
30 Apr 2020, 00:55
then if the healing effect is more powerful than the blind effect, it would be thoroughly ineffectual as a blind spell used on opponents. If, on the other hand, the blind effect were more potent, it would be distinctly less than ideal to use as a healing spell on allies.
How do we determine "more powerful" in this situation? If I heal at magnitude 10 for 20 seconds, and blind at 50 for 5 seconds, which is more powerful?
Effect cost, I'd say. So in this case, assuming unmodded spell costs and vanilla formulae, and an on-target spell, area 0, we get (using https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Morrowind:Spellmakers for the calculations):
Restore Health effect cost: 78.75
Blind effect cost: 22.5
Total spell cost, assuming formulae proposed above: 67.25 Magicka (78.75 - (22.5/2))

This does make me think of something else, however: for this to work, I think you'd need it to only apply when the range and area parameters for the effects are the same. Otherwise you could abuse this to make kinda broken spells. For example, you'd be able to make the Blind effect have an area of 50, causing it to affect all enemies near the targeted ally while also reducing the cost by more. Similarly, if the Blind effect was on touch and the heal on target, you could cast the spell from a distance without problems, getting the cost reduction basically free.

jmelesky
Posts: 45
Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 20:52

Re: Spellmaking and Enchanting: factor harmful effects as negative

Post by jmelesky » 01 May 2020, 19:08

Jemolk wrote:
01 May 2020, 00:25
This does make me think of something else, however: for this to work, I think you'd need it to only apply when the range and area parameters for the effects are the same. Otherwise you could abuse this to make kinda broken spells. For example, you'd be able to make the Blind effect have an area of 50, causing it to affect all enemies near the targeted ally while also reducing the cost by more. Similarly, if the Blind effect was on touch and the heal on target, you could cast the spell from a distance without problems, getting the cost reduction basically free.
I guess that's what I'm getting at: MW's magic system is extremely flexible, so adding complexity is going to need to handle that. I have a hard time seeing the proposed feature not allowing for extremely broken spells.

You could limit the flexibility, by redoing the spellmaker to only allow certain good/bad combinations, but that would be a substantial overhaul. Or make the "drawbacks for lower cost" a completely separate category that had a set list of options (e.g. "Drain Fatigue X on self for spell duration, for X/10 cost reduction", "Blind X on self for spell duration, for X cost reduction"), but that would require significant additional functionality.

Post Reply