[.10] - Relics impressions

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
So, let’s talk about Relics.

First, I appreciate the decision to give Earth an additional resource to try and close the gap between E and C. It feels like we’re getting somewhere on that, and that’s great.

Second, I’d like to breakdown how this is effective, and how it isn’t.

The power of any given ability is based upon the likelihood you can use it, and the strength by which it accomplishes its goal. Wands, as an example, are usable in every fight where the enemy isn’t immune to the entirety of SLIF. In my experience, I’ve never fought an enemy that was completely immune to SLIF, but I have to assume that they do exist, but are probably extremely rare.

Relics are useable, by comparison, in any given fight where Alteration, Command, or Curse is used. That’s niche. That’s not as niche as, say, Earth Blade or Destroy Undead, but still pretty niche.

So, meh. In terms of usability, I give Purify an A+, but I rank Relics a C+.

Now, in terms of power to accomplish its goal.

1 minute of roleplay? Per effect? The equivalent of First Aid? Come on, now. That’s not combat friendly at all. Sure, that’ll be fine for the Earth Casters who don’t backpack, but that’s utterly terrible for Earth Casters who want to actually be part of a team, a Core Aspect of Alliance.

Relics continue to push a mindset that Earth Casters are not meant for combat, even though Alliance already designed a “not for combat” class, the Artisan.

If you really want to push this whole “We want to give Earth a resource, but we don’t wanna just give them Healing because it seems lame even though it’s totally easy to do,” thing, fine. Drop Relics to the length of time it takes to do a Break Command, add Protectives as a Relic choice (which would open up the ability to memorize combat spells instead of Protectives, and really give some value to Relics), and we’re in a much better spot.
 

Samyania

Scholar
Seattle Staff
Honestly I'd be much happier with just a reduced time. Even halving it to 30 seconds per the Enhance ritual is a pretty long time, and that requires getting your hands on a ritual to accomplish.
 

Tantarus

Squire
Yeah as a long time earth caster, I am not super excited for this. It is nice that they are trying to at least giving a wand equivalent. But this falls far short. Why not a earth/chaos wand? So only works offensively for undead, and can pump out slow healing, which would allow earth casters more flexible memorization.

How many times are people going to have to spend 1 minute kneeling during fights between this, medding to reset spellparrys/etc, and resetting armor? That is just not compelling game play to me.

If they cut the charges down by 1/10th and sped up the use time to 10 secs would be far better and more useful.

Also it appears you cant even use it on yourself for most effects, just feels like it is not even in the same ballpark as the wands.
 
I keep looking at the Awaken option and see the same problem that I have seen with the "Remove Command" racial ability ever since it was introduced. Any duration longer than "instantaneous" is meaningless for more than half the effects.

Berserk? - Never happening
Fear (if such an effect still exists... I'm not quite certain) - Not until they have already run halfway across the site
Dominate / Charm / Vampire Charm - If the caster gives orders well, that is never happening
Shun - Again, only once the target is well away from the caster

Only Sleep is easily removed with this and the last time I looked closely at the rules, you could wake someone from Sleep by slapping them around for a minute (that rule is probably long gone, but I don't know for sure one way or another).

-MS
 

Eldor

Artisan
As others have said, I appreciate that Earth casters are being given something to compensate for wands, yet relics are a far cry from being comparable.

The points that mikestrauss brings up only exemplifies this. In order to use a relic on your target, you must first incapacitate them, (likely using other spells or skills instead of just casting a purify or one of the spells a relic replicates to instantly aid them), move them to a safe location away from combat, then spend one minute not aiding others involved in the combat, just to save a spell, or the 2 silver it would cost to have the available potion or alchemy on hand that you can use in a 3 count, instead of 60 seconds.

The effects that a relic are useful on are rare enough to make the few silver you might save on potions and alchemy almost irrelevant considering anyone could carry and use the potions and anyone with basic alchemy training could use antidote elixirs. Not to mention potions and elixirs take effect immediately.

Relics seem more like a boon to people who dabble in healing then a boost to earth scholars. I am sorry, there is never a time when an earth scholar needs the ability to use Cleanse, Antidote or Awaken more than a few times a day. I could personally use a relic 80 times of which I may use 5 at best in a given day vs a celestial casters wand that would let me throw 5 damage that i will likely use all 80 times every day.
 
I'd love to see relics allow the user to spend a charge to provide the target (possible to use on self) with an instantaneous meditate for one eligible XP-bought skill. That would make it a support ability that isn't tied to healing and that can be used offensively or defensively, and can be used solo or in a team. The number of charges per day would obviously be up for debate, but I think the concept is balanced and also helps to soften the blow of a lot of other new rules in the playtest.

-MS
 

Muir

Fighter
Mike, I'm not really a fan of that from a game design perspective because it falls in with much of the rest of playtest Earth Caster design.

Most of the class changes for Earth have seemingly been built around the idea that the point of Earth casters is to make everyone else's game more fun and get rid of effects that prevent others from actively playing. I'm not sure this is the intent, but it deeply pidgeonholes half of the casters in game into effectively service positions.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I'd love to see relics allow the user to spend a charge to provide the target (possible to use on self) with an instantaneous meditate for one eligible XP-bought skill. That would make it a support ability that isn't tied to healing and that can be used offensively or defensively, and can be used solo or in a team. The number of charges per day would obviously be up for debate, but I think the concept is balanced and also helps to soften the blow of a lot of other new rules in the playtest.

-MS
Lord, no. We don’t need another ability that pushes a mindset of “Earth Casters need to save their resources for other people’s fun.”

I understand why you think something like that would make a good concept, but we already have “Save your 9ths for Life spells or you suck,” we don’t need another thing like that, too.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I have no issue with Earth Casters being support (debuffs for enemies, buffs for allies, heals and status removals, etc), but let’s talk about Life for a second.

Life is the only thing that brings back a Dead person. This is why people hate seeing Earth Casters use Death spells and give them flack over it. Mike, you -yourself- acknowledged that this social issue exists because Life has a unique property.

Give Earth Casters another “unique help friends” ability means they’re going to be expected to maximize its availability. Because that already happens.
 

Tantarus

Squire
Oh man, this is only going to get worse now that Life and Death are different spells on the same level.
I have been saying this for years. This is a pretty big nerf to earth that people are not even talking about. Currently you can dumb life spells for death spells if you get in trouble. But in 2.0 you have to make the choice at logistics. And when people see you toss deaths they know you gave up life spells ahead of time to do it. Which as previously discussed can create drama and hard feelings.

Maybe just take life away from spells and have the Relic be the way it gets cast. Reducing charges to like 1/10th of current numbers. Maybe 1/20th.

Have Life be replaced by Complete Heal (100 pt heal) at 9th that reverses into Corrupt.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I have been saying this for years. This is a pretty big nerf to earth that people are not even talking about. Currently you can dumb life spells for death spells if you get in trouble. But in 2.0 you have to make the choice at logistics. And when people see you toss deaths they know you gave up life spells ahead of time to do it. Which as previously discussed can create drama and hard feelings.

Maybe just take life away from spells and have the Relic be the way it gets cast. Reducing charges to like 1/10th of current numbers. Maybe 1/20th.

Have Life be replaced by Complete Heal (100 pt heal) at 9th that reverses into Corrupt.

If Life could be activated from Relics for, say, three charges? I’d be down with that. I wouldn’t even memorize a Life spell except for Rebirth.

Shoot, make it five charges.

(This is assuming the formula for charges remains the same.)

Considering that Expanded Enchantment is going away, this would fill the gap pretty nicely.
 

Mulgrum

Newbie
Honestly, having life tied to a relic at five charges per cast would give lower level earth casters something useful to do, open up spell higher level spell slots, and keep it in the hands of earth casters. I'm sure the number of charges would need to be looked at, but being a numerical value it would be easy to adjust if it proved to be over or undertuned. This is the best solution to the relic issue I've seen yet.
 

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
This.... has a lot of potential. Makes relics useful, unique to Earth, good for combat and back row healing builds alike. I dig it.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I’m so angry that if this idea actually gets support from the owners that @Tantarus is gonna rub it in my face forever. ;)
 

Mulgrum

Newbie
With this change the 9th level Earth list becomes: Death, Corrupt, Cure 50, Earth/Chaos Storm, Magic Circle. Turn Corrupt into the other relic choice to keep the whole balance thing we're so fond of in Earth land. Perhaps create a new spell for 9, a super protective? I'm just spitballing here so feel free to tell me I'm dumb, but a spell that lets a target ignore the next three hits on them. Regular strikes, special martial strikes, spells, poison, massive, you name it. The spell has its uses, feels like a powerful end game effect, it even has a weird balance with celestial. Earth and celestial share binding and protectives, Celestial gets the super bind Prison (Which I know isn't in the binding school, but its a bind.) Earth gets the super protective. Once again, just a spitball, feel free to tell me I'm dumb.
 

DiscOH

Artisan
Alternative suggestion:

Relics let you spontaneously swap spells for healing. Relic high magic and/or ritual lets you spontaneously swap spells for Life / Corruption (depending on aspect).

Relics require a hand. Relics require a 3 count to equip.

This means earth casters get to take whatever magic slots they want (happy casters). Earth full casters are better at casting the spells they know (happy class balance).
 
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