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    Implementing Melia's spell mechanic (from Xenoblade Chronicles)

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    Zarkof

    Posts : 64
    Join date : 2013-02-15
    Age : 26
    Location : New Hampshire

    Implementing Melia's spell mechanic (from Xenoblade Chronicles)

    Post by Zarkof on Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:24 pm

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    Before I get into any real detail on my next champion, Phennig, I'd like to discuss mechanics.

    For my inspiration, I am looking at Melia from Xenoblade Chronicles. She uses a unique spellcasting mechanic where she has multiple elements that she can "invoke", granting her passive bonuses. She can invoke up to 3 elements at one time and they have no duration. She then has an ability that allows her to "release" the last element she invoked. The "release" usually results in damage to an enemy or healing Melia. Each element has a cooldown on "invoking", but there is no cooldown on "releasing". She also has other spells that don't follow this mechanic (e.g. an AoE Sleep spell). Each character in Xenoblade Chronicles also has a "talent" ability, and Melia's is that she charges up power with every "release" and when she maxes it out, her subsequent "releases" deal additional damage and this effect lasts a certain number of casts.

    For example, Melia invokes Lightning. This procs a 15 second cooldown on the invoke and grants her 1 stack of Lightning, increasing her damage by 10%. She waits 15 seconds and casts it again, granting her an additional stack of Lightning. She then immediately invokes Fire, granting her a stack of Fire. She then waits out the cooldown on invoke Lightning and begins to engage an opponent. She releases fire for AoE damage then immediately invokes Lightning, and begins to release all three charges of lightning for massive single target damage. An alternative would have been to keep the 20% damage bonus from the stacks of Lightning and cycle through the other elements (fire earth water).


    There were 2 things I was debating over in order to accomplish a similar style of play to Melia:

    A) Q W E become different elements (not necessarily the classic elements, I can very well change the demographic to something more unique) each with 6 ranks (like Karma). Ranking up a spell would increase its passive bonus while invoked and damage on release. Invoking a spell would cost mana and put that invocation on cooldown. R would be available at all times and would perform the function of "releasing" a spell, having no cost and being on a 0.5 sec cd. "Release" would perform the spell based on what element was last invoked, consuming that invocation. The passive would align with Melia's "talent", causing Phennig to stack up to 5 charges (that grant no bonus) and on the 6th, he gains a buff that causes him to deal increased damage for 10 seconds or 1-4 uses of "release". He won't be able to charge up his passive while in this effect.

    The main problem with this style is that you only have 3 spells with unique effects and the only depth you can get is from having different spells invoked for their unique bonuses. The playstyle would revolve solely around the passive charging and the order in which you casts spells. You can have 3 invoked elements ready for the start of a fight and all 3 invocations off cooldown. You release the first element, invoke another, release it, invoke a 2nd, release it, then invoke the last and release all three. I had an idea of having each element put a debuff on the affected units that stacked, granting a unique reward for different spell combinations. Upon reaching 3 or 4 stacks of a unique debuff, there would be an additional triggered effect, such as a stun or additional damage. The other type of debuff would affect the other subsequent spells cast on the affected targets (e.g. Release fire on champ A, he gets a debuff that causes subsequent spells to have additional effect in an AoE).

    Another problem is the recharge time on invoking spells and being able to react quickly to a fight. Melia's elements are on 15+ second cooldowns, some with 30 second cooldowns. You'd have to run around charging you elements outside of combat for a while in order to be ready for combat with a full set of elements invoked. There are different ways to set up the elements in this kit in order to fit it into a fast paced environment: 1) Have shorter cooldowns (~8 seconds) on all the elements, 2) Utilize an ammo mechanic which can be done in two ways: A) Each element generates ammo every 10-15 seconds, stacking up to 2 or 3 times, and can only be invoked if a charge is present. The problem with this is that you can cast too many spells if they're all fully charged. B) Create a single ammo system that every element pulls from, have it charge up a stack every 6-10 seconds and cap at 3 or 4. This way, if you need a certain passive bonus from elements, you can dump your current elements and invoke new ones and this allows you to invoke the same element 3 times in a row quickly. The problem with this is that it gives a potential of casting the same element 6 times in a row.


    The other idea I had was this:

    B) Q becomes the release spell, W becomes a "Pick-an-Element" like TF's W, E becomes a silence/snare, and R becomes a massive AoE burst that decreases targets' Magic Resist. Ranking up Q increases the damage of the release, W increases the passive buffs, E increases the duration, and R increases the damage and shred. W would function with no cooldown to cast it, but selecting an element would put that element on cooldown, preventing it from being selected for the cd. You can still select the other elements. The pro for this method is a larger skillset. The cons are having Q be independent from W but still have synergy (since you can't level them both at level 1), most of the same problems with the 3 invoked elements, and providing a unique feel to each element without allowing the champion to do too much.


    I am leaning towards the first idea (QWE elements, R release). Please let me know your thoughts and feel free to ask any questions in order to better understand my ideas for this concept.
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    Void22

    Posts : 30
    Join date : 2013-02-12

    Re: Implementing Melia's spell mechanic (from Xenoblade Chronicles)

    Post by Void22 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:08 am

    Interesting. I very much like the first idea. However, it will be decidedly tricky to pull it off. Best of luck.
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    Zarkof

    Posts : 64
    Join date : 2013-02-15
    Age : 26
    Location : New Hampshire

    Re: Implementing Melia's spell mechanic (from Xenoblade Chronicles)

    Post by Zarkof on Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:54 am

    So I guess I'll be working with the first idea.


    My first run through of the idea goes something like so:

    There will be a single ammo mechanic called "Incantation". It will generate one charge every so many seconds and cap at 3.

    Q W and E will all require one charge of "Incantation". Casting each spell will not procure a cooldown unless Phennig has already invoked 2 of that "element". So, lets say that Q is an offensive spell, W is a defensive spell, and E is a mobility spell. Phennig has invoked Q twice to boost his offense, and then the third cast of Q procs a longer cooldown (twice as long as the ammo generation). Phennig then gets into a teamfight where he needs defensive bonuses, so he dumps 3 casts of the Q "element" and casts W twice to get his defensive bonus up. This uses up 2 charges of his ammo. He then invokes Q, releases Q.

    Another thing I could do is to make his Ultimate available at level 1 like Jayce and Elise and provide bonuses for ranking it up. For example, R could hold the passive of generating an "Incantation" every so many seconds, and the cooldown on the charges reduces with rank. This would allow me to retain the original idea I had for a passive.

    I could very well turn this mechanic into some sort of Ranged Carry. Each passive bonus could affect auto attacks in some way or some base stat, like movement or armor. I could create a sort of AP Auto Attacker where you'd need to balance the burst of each spell with the passive bonuses. I can see two styles of play: Burst play, where you stack up your invocations and release them all at once for a sort of guerrilla style; Prolonged damage, where you always keep 2 invocations active for their passive bonuses and use your new charges as they come while auto attacking in between. With the prolonged method, you could keep 2 different "elements" invoked so that you wouldn't proc the cooldown on that one element that you want. You can also use this for the setup.

    Some other things I could do to inhibit the "stack 3 Q's, release 2, and continue to invoke and immediately release Q another 3 times" would be to cause decreased effect on a target after they've been affected 3 times (something severe, like a 50% damage reduction or reduced effect) which wouldn't completely limit that style but would encourage branching out into different areas.


    The second run through would go something like this:

    R requires ammo to cast. These charges generate every so often and cap at 3. This limits the number of spells Phennig will be able to release, rather than limiting the number he can invoke.

    Q W and E would all have no cooldown and have strong passive effects that diminish by a % if you invoke more than 1 of the same "element". Imagine them to be sort of like Udyr's stances, except about at ~50% strength (individually) but being able to have 3 up at once. There would be less of a penalty for releasing the same element 3 times in a short time and even possibly be rewarded, since you can only cast 3 spells in a row. The trick is to not have the passives buff the spells too heavily.

    This method will allow him to invoke the spells he needs quickly. I could also incorporate a mechanic where if he targets himself with a "release" he refunds that element's cost and removes the buff without costing a release charge, but this might be tricky to work into skillshots or AoE spells (if I go in those directions). Another thing would be to have "release" buff the next auto attack like Sheen. While the buff is active, the "release" spell will turn into "refund", allowing you to cast it again to refund the buff and clear the passive element buff. To completely clear your invocations, you could just press R 6 times and then quickly invoke 3 new "elements".


    This is a big branching point in this development. Right now I am looking at:

    A) A mage focused more on versatile burst spells that leave debuffs rather than the passive buffs
    B) Auto attack Carry focused more on the passive buffs rather than burst.
    C) A mage focused more on the interaction between passive buffs and active spells (so it really matters which spells you have invoked to get the desired effect out of your "release") However, this becomes increasingly more like Invoker from DotA2 the further you weave the web of interactions.

    1) Limiting the invocations via:
    -a)cooldowns
    -b)universal ammo
    -c)situational cooldowns+ammo
    2) Limiting the "releases"


    I'd love more input. Personally, I'm leaning more towards B and 2.

    On a side note, I don't intend on following the path of a "classic elementalist" that uses earth wind fire water etc. I have already done that and feel like this mechanic can apply to a multitude of unique demographics.

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    Re: Implementing Melia's spell mechanic (from Xenoblade Chronicles)

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