Spell Wheels (A way to implement magic casting.)

This is my take on how to handle the casting of Magic in ATT.

When a player holds a wand or a staff they can activate casting by pressing the grip button once, or the trigger and grip button at the same time if the player has their staff/wand locked in their hand (this would work for vive, but oculus should be able to do something similar (Don’t own one so not sure)) which would bring up a spell wheel (level of the wheel would be dependent on what magic skills the player has) that relies on the player’s memory and the dexterity of their hands/lower arms to cast a spell.

Spell wheels level one, two and three. Note there no more than three levels.
The numbers are to show how many different sections per wheel there would be for the different levels, and wouldn’t be in game.

Basics of the spell wheel

The spell wheel would function as a sort of combination casting system where spells would be comprised by sets of directions with basic spells using only directions that appear on the first wheel (up down, left right), more intermediate spells having directions that are on the level two wheel (top right, bottom left, etc) and the most advanced spells using directions found on the level three wheel.

Spell strength

The strength of a spell would be determined in part by how far into the combination the player gets before ending the casting process, with the weakest version being the first two wheels (since this is needed to determine the spell) and spells that can be cast with a level one spell wheel would require a level three wheel to complete the full combination and as a result you get a more potent version of that spell.

Number of potential spells

While this could be adjusted in some ways, the system would have a maximum potential spells of 256 with the first wheel having 16 of these, the second adding 48 more, and the third adding 192 more, Though this system would in no way need this many to be implemented.

How this system fits this many spells in (as alluded to earlier) uses the first two inputs (such as up, down, or left, left) to determine the spell being cast. This number could be increased, but the higher it is, the more complicated spells are need to be at their very weakest, though one or two more wheels wouldn’t be too bad and would increase the maximum implementable spells for each wheel (64, 512 and 4096 for three wheels needed) (256, 4096 and 65,536 for four wheels needed, which is just overkill) but that can be changed later on after the system being implemented, since it wouldn’t change the combinations needed of preexisting spells, just that it can’t be finished with the first two.

Modifiers for spells

One thing besides spells that the 256 slots could be used for is modifiers, which (would most likely) have a shorter combination that the player can complete before completing some of the main spell.

While most spells would already have a predetermined targeting system (where/what the player is looking at, fired from the staff/wand, centered on self, etc) there could be some modifiers that change the targeting type, this would only be good if there are enough spells that could benefit greatly from it, otherwise it’s not worth it.

Modifiers could either have different strengths like spells, but never use the up direction and sue that to signify finishing a modifier, or have it so that modifiers have a set combination that must be finished before starting on the main spell, there is also the option of letting players use modifiers more than once, which might lead to some broken spells.

Some simple modifiers would be:

Longer range and/or bigger area of effect
Longer lasting
Speed boost (aka faster “bullet” or animation)
Guided targeting (follows where the target goes if they move from when it was cast)

Charged (diminishing return power boost for stored spells)
Store spell (You could store a limited amount of spells on a staff or wand. The amount of stored spells could be based off of the magic tool and/or the skill tree)

Multiply and store spell (same as store spell, but has a much longer combination and fills up the stored spells) (this modifier, not storing spells in general, was inspired by the potion mage system by @Eturian (I mean I’m pretty sure it was))

Storing spells

While it was already mentioned in the modifiers, I should go into more depth on the reason behind it and how it would work.

Since casting spells take time (especially if you are a beginner or casting a complex spell) you wouldn’t be able to use your best spells in the heat of combat, so storing spells would let mages prepare for battle in their downtime and, if needed, prepare more than one spell behind cover before going back into combat.

I’m not sure what would be the best amount of spells to be able to store but it would most likely go up with a skill from the mage shrine.

Stored spells would appear visually on the staff/wand it is stored on. I was thinking it appearing as a combination rings, one ring per spell wheel used in creation, but it could look different, such as a a unique ring for each spell and extra rings come from modifiers, but I think the best option is having a spell be represented by a ring with each spell wheel being represented by a nick in the ring, and as with the second option, it would have extra rings for modifiers.

Idea, for the rings, inspired by @Eturian ‘s idea

Grabbing the rings could be used to select that spell to be cast next.

Here is a picture showing a mock up of what the rings would look like and how it would look on a staff.


(Looks like the website supports transparent pixels, but not semi transparent ones.)

What magic idea do you like the most

  • The potion mage idea by @Eturian
  • This spell casting idea.
  • Spell casting by making symbols.
  • Something else!
  • Let all the mages burn.

0 voters

Note: I was putting this together in a google doc and stopped adding to it for like a week, added some more and I just want to get it out at this point.

Note: I messed up and posted this before needing sleep, so I won’t be able to respond for some hours.

I have nothing to say except I love this

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Thank you very much, that means a lot.

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Don’t really like using a staff imma be honest

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I don’t use magic a lot in games, but I like the circle idea. Though what if instead of a staff and numbers on the wheel, you used a book of spells, and the numbers were like runes or something? It could allow for simple spells to be a bit longer as you would have the instructions written down, and there could be some unwritten spells that would be like the strongest.

If durability is concerned with this, the ink on the pages could fade with use, making the player either need to remember the spells, or go craft the page again.

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I just realised I never made a note saying the numbers where to show to help see the amount of options in every spell wheel level.

Spell casting using a book has been brought up before (not here but on the discord) and one problem that was brought up was that turning pages in a book and movement conflict each other a lot.

I think the book would make casting a lot slower, and you couldn’t speed it up with skill, since flipping pages is a lot less precise.

Thanks for the input though!

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There is the option of using a wand. I didn’t add gloves/hand casting (it could work, but would need even more hand movement than the wand.) because the devs didn’t want to have any hand casting iirc.

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Not bad. I feel like at least half of this has been suggested already on Discord, in whole or in parts, but I’ve not seen modifiers and storing spells mentioned before. My first suggestions for magic used a spell wheel / casting circle with multiple steps to select each spell, very similar to the basic concept of this idea, and @Zebulaun did a lot of work on a spell wheel and spell combinations too. But so many people always say they don’t want X and Y etc and no-one’s ever completely happy. Some want a staff or a wand, some hate the idea, and it’s the same with any other suggested mechanic.
Some love “classic” magic casting while others complain it’s too unoriginal … which is why my most recent version was so unorthodox.

That said… I’m still interested in the spell wheel idea. How would it work in this suggestion? Like how do you select each stage of the spell and advance through it and trigger it once complete? How would you suggest that the modifier stage could be incorporated to the casting? How do you remove it from the staff/wand/hand and store it for later? Any thoughts on mana or the limitations/durability of spells/staff/wand etc?

5 - hours later additional edit. Had a new idea for a system all based on a spellbook. No wands/staffs or spell wheel/circle. Will try to draw and post it over the next few days.

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I’m confused, when did any dev say they didn’t want hand casting?? Was i not there for that convo?? Anyway, I personally prefer @Eturian 's idea much more but its just my opinion. Doing combos sounds kinda cool.

Yeah, I’ve no idea about the “no hand-casting” thing, but maybe I missed that too. I just know they said that they’d handle mana in a more original, non-traditional way.

From what I remember, they said they weren’t worried about magic at all other than the original mana system. They said they’d let the community decide

Hopefully the community will only influence them and give suggestions they might not have thought of. I don’t think the community as a whole will ever fully agree to decide on ONE definitive system. Much better that the devs make the decision and we just get what we’re given.

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The devs mentioned way back when that they actually don’t want a single definitive magic system. Not sure if that’s still the case, but likelihood is that we’ll have different kinds of magic with different mechanics, progression, flavor, etc. Maybe your idea for potion-based magic would work well with the “elemental magic” that’s on the roadmap, and this wheel-based system would work well with “spellcasting,” which is also on the roadmap.

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That sounds nice to me. If there are different sub-classes or significantly diverse skill-tree routes, or even complete separate classes, that would be great. It’d likely be OP to give one class access to every variety of spell across all of the game’s magic.
If there are Sorcerer, Enchanter, Conjurer, Elementalist, Bard, Cleric etc etc … then that’s wonderful. Variety = good.

The three types of magic listed on the roadmap are alchemy, spellcasting, and elemental magic. I picture alchemy being all about long term buffs, spellcasting being about shorter term buffs, debuffs, and summons, and elemental magic being about just piling on the damage. It will obviously be more fleshed out than just that, but that’s my take on it.

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I think that would be good, since casting can fit more spells, it would work for more niche spells, non combat spells and buffs/debuffs (rewarding being able to remember a variety of spells for a variety of situations where some debuffs work on a select few enemies.)

That is why you would need to spec skill points for different kinds of spells. (I think I didn’t really mention this in the post though.)

Yeah, devs say that “just because an idea gets a lot of likes, doesn’t mean it will be added” (not direct quote, but basically what was said by one)

Would hate for ideas to be added just because the community was forcing it.

Quite a while ago, can’t remember much but I was very for hand casting before that, I could try finding it.

Gosh dang it I must have forgot to put in more than I thought.

You put the tip of the staff or wand on one of the sections of the spell wheel, and a new one would appear and players could continue through the spell’s combination and finish it, if they have the time, or finish it early for a weaker spell. in both cases the player would most likely have a “trigger + grip button” action to finish it like how they started it.

Modifiers are added at the start and they have a shorter combination that, after it’s finished, goes to the start of casting (basically where you are when you start casting) and then you could add another modifier or cast the spell now that the modifier is added on.

If you are talking about storing spells, they would stick to the wand/staff until they are used. If you are talking about modifiers, they are applied to only the spell that is casted after it.

Don’t really remember any of that on the discord, but people read stuff and forget until they think it’s their idea all the time. So idk.

I mean you can’t really please everyone, you get the best solution as you can and you work from there.

I really didn’t like the idea of using a staff and really wanted to use hand casting, but I got over it.

I’m more for going a “classic” route since it satisfies more people than a niche system

Also because I just don’t like the idea weird tools for casting, sure other games have magic based bard, but I just like the more magic directly used to cast a thing"

Another reason why I want a more “classic” system is because this is a VR game, you can’t really be unoriginal when putting magic in a VR game unless you give the player a menu with a selection screen of all their spells or have them say the name of the spell to cast it, since the casting in it self isn’t something most games have, normally it’s just press a button.

but what if you could train it so you don’t need a wand

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Hmm maybe if as a mage skill higher in the shrine skill tree.

If I was wrong about the hand casting thing, there would still be the problem of it taking a lot more movement to cast with hands, and it might be hard to fit in a button on the empty hand that tells it you want to start casting, maybe the grip button?

Edit I think this is where I got no hand casting or at least something similar to it this, though it was taking about just spell slinging
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Here is another two thing he has said about keeping different magic separate, not as related, but I thought was interesting.


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Though I still don’t know how you separate spell slinging and elemental magic when those things aren’t exclusive and a fire ball would fit in both.

Edit: I just realized one problem with hand casting is it has to take up a whole button from the empty hand which might cause problems.

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i love the idea and hope something simullar will be added.

my one problem is that i want to use a sword and not a wand i dont think am the only one so if it would be a way to infuse magic in to a weapon then this would be my favourit idea so far. :slight_smile:

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I think that would more fall under enchanting which would most likely be a bit of a different system, so you aren’t casting some kind of spell on the item every you go into battle but get that power infused with the item that would last for quite a while, maybe something like the Skyrim enchanting system, but with better enchants.

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