I'm sorry to all our loyal enchies at TheRunes and elsewhere who have been eagerly anticipating this writeup about my trip to San Diego, but I got sick somewhere between Mexico and Texas and have been really out of it. But anyhow now I feel better, and I'm breaking up the interviews into seperate parts.
EJ Mooreland aka EvilJohn!
Started out in a breakdown section with EJ, of which you can find the complete transcripts available at IGN or Vaults network, along with a few other sites (I know warcry has some video of it). That not being enough, I crept up quietly on EJ during some of our excursions and this is what we talked about.
Spells are broken up by type, for simplicities sake we will make our example spell MegaNuke. When you attain level 1, you get MegaNuke as a Mage. MegaNukes properties are 100 range, 20 damage, and cost of 20 mana. This is what is referred to as a Artisian One
spell, which is the default you recieve for just leveling. Now our friendly Sages can do wonders with these spells, if you collect them a few foraged and dropped materials, they can produce levels two through ten of artisian spells. Now I run off to my buddy who happens to be a sage also (you are duel classed as a artisian and a adventurer archetype). He sends me off to collect a few components, and I return shortly with the goods. He takes us over to the wizards tower in North Freeport and I peer over his shoulder as he works. He selects the different quality materials that I have provided him, puts in different amounts and carefully begins to scribe the spell, in a way similar to selecting different spells during combat. Hurray he is succesful and has produced me a artisian level 2 version of MegaNuke. This new version is 110 range, 22 base damage, and 19 base mana; now If he were a higher level scribe, or I had gathered or bought better materials for him, the stats on my spell would have been better or it would have been a higher level artisian spell. The basic breakdown is that each spell has base stats for duration, distance, mana, damage, and resists. A skilled artisian can modify these dependant upon his skill and the quality of the materials he has at hand. Each spell is pre-balanced around the min/max range that is set. So a Lucy entry for MegaNuke might look something like this:
It makes alot of sense for you to try to have scribed the best possible version of each spell you can use, higher level artisian versions overwrite lower versions. Now theres also an anti twinking mechanic, and how this works (which is similar to how gear works), is that each spell has a required skill level be it based on thaumaturgy, abjure, etc.. for example our MegaNuke artisian 1, has a base evoke of 10, which is great because as a level 3 mage when you recieve that spell, your evoke = 10. Now our artisian2 MegaNuke requires evoke 15 to scribe, which means we cant scribe it till we are level 4, when say our evoke = 20. We will speak of these Tier systems in great detail later.
Now being a Die Hard Enchanter
, I of course pressed about what happened to our spell lines, and the feel of our class. As you level up you are capped at level 6, then must leave the Isle of Refuge (nooby isle, which btw is fully instanced, and there is a mechanic to travel between instances to be with your friends, through the use of a bell on the docks), and travel to your city that you will become aligned to. Being of dark skin and darker intents, I was naturally suited to the cruel ways of Freeport. I immediately wished to explore the towers of the Arcane Scientists, but I was blocked as only citizens may enter Freeport Proper. I immediately showed those scruffy "Non-People" that I was their master, and they granted me access. With access granted to the Arcanists, they quickly taught me all about the different kinds of magic and sorcery available to a citizen of freeport. At the class level (10), you finally achieve your class title and spells, before that you quest to become a aspirant of your desired class. Enchanters specialize in many things still; our powers of charm and coercion are unrivaled, the difference between Illusionists
(qeynos's subclass) and Coercers
(freeports subclass) is one of freewill. Illusionists accomplish their will through trickery and deceit wherein a Coercer will attempt to dominate the minds of those weaker then them directly. Enchanters gain illusions, charms, enthrall type spells, more damage spells, evacs, and many more creative spells I am forbidden to reveal the secrets of to the uninitiated. One of the biggest differences you will notice in spell lines is for crowd control. Most mages accomplish this through the use of arcane chains and upgrades to that (type 1 of CC), this still allows the creature to attack but is fairly effective, type 2 is the enthrall lines which removes the creature from battle entirely until you desire to destroy his weak flesh, this makes us very desired in higher level encounters (pulling is very different then in EQ1, mobs are linked and adds must be dealt with), type 3 and perhaps the most dangerous, but of course the most rewarding is actually to bind them to your will and turn them upon their one time allies through the use of confusion and domination spells, this is very satisfying and the quests that teach you the fundamentals about these magicks are amazing.
The spell system in EQ2 is tied very closely to the ability system, in essence every class is a caster, and his abilities/spells are tied to his power bar. Mages are the healers of the power bar, being able to increase its restoration or directly transfer their own. Every class has approximately the same number of spells/abilities. Animation wise, there are several base animations/spell conjures for each of the 4 archtypes (priest, scout, mage, fighter), then additional ones unique to each class (enchanter, summoner, etc) then ever more unique to each subclass (coercer, illusionist). You will be able to tell a persons class and approximate level just by the spell effects, and by the arcane ring that forms around them during casting (think leafblower effect for druids, mystic sigils for mages etc).
Concentration also becomes quite the limiting factor in what we can accomplish as mages, you have five total slots, and you never recieve more, so if you are maxed concentration you must drop a spell in order to sustain more. All mage types recieve a self buff used for soloing (ac/hps/mana etc) which goes a long way towards keeping them alive, unfortuneately it requires 4 slots, so basically can sustain only 1 other spell with this. Mages also before level 10, recieve a group mana buff (intel and regen), that requires two slots, so you cannot stack this with your self buff, requiring you to make a choice.
Well I've eaten up enough of your time for now, our next lesson will be later this week... be on time, or you will be scrubbing out the laboratory!
---Nanyea The Wayward
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