Enhancing sorcery channels

The harnessing and manipulation of nether.
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jerc
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2022 3:26 pm

Enhancing sorcery channels

Post by jerc » Sun Jun 05, 2022 10:56 am

It's a common complaint that the sorcery skill doesn't really do a whole lot. As of this post, the only significant things are more channels (up to three), occasional reduced energy use for channels 2 and 3, shadow cloak duration, and familiar block chance. It does nothing for offensive rolls, damage dealt, energy transferred, etc.

The channels themselves also don't do much. Their only effect right now is increased damage on raw casts. Nothing at all for the other combat abilities or any non-combat abilities.

My suggestion: lean harder into channels as the source of sorcerous power.

Apart from the familiar, make nothing scale on sorcery skill. Instead, add more channels either naturally as skill increases or by spending ability points limited by skill thresholds. Then, any abilities that require a channel to be open can scale step-wise on the number of channels open. This gives sorcerers a more fine-grained choice between damage and energy/RT costs for dropped channels. It also adds more flavor and sense of progression as sorcery skill increases, along with a great way to flex your skill by rolling up and opening all of your channels at once. There would need to be some tweaking to the channel drop rate to be proportional to one's open vs maximum channels rather than static per-channel, but it could probably be made to feel more or less like it does today.

So what should the scaling look like? Should the existing scaling simply be divided up among the newly enlarged pool of channels? That makes each channel feel less impactful, since you'd end up with around 0.1 DF/channel. What about continuing the increase linearly(ish)? That's just ridiculous. Nether blobs getting 200-damage endrolls seems excessive.
Instead, cap the scaling at ~3 channels and leave it mostly as-is.

But... why have the extra channels above the scaling cap? This is the really fun part. Rather than have a single channel "type" that governs all aspects of scaling for sorcery spells, add additional channel "types" that scale spells in different ways. For example, some ideas:
  • Raw: Increase the damage factor of combat spells. Raw casts, eleech damage/drainage, etc.
  • Lingering: Increase duration for spell effects. Binding tendril duration, shadow cloak duration, echoing whisper duration, etc.
  • Resilient: Reduce the roundtime and cool down of spells.
  • Accurate: Increase combat rolls by some percentage. This keeps ranged skill a pretty hard requirement rather than letting sorcery simply replace it.
  • Precise: Add an extra reroll per channel. Max roll potential stays the same, you just get more consistency.
  • Protective: Some sort of defensive channel, maybe like the cryosorcerous disc I've read about in the Other Game? Or an actively maintained "blur" effect that improves dodge?
Having more channel options that stack to a certain extent and not enough capacity to use them all at once gives sorcerers more choices to make. Do you take all damage and higher rolls and sacrifice consistency and crowd control? All effect duration and defense for maximum support, but piddly damage? Or a little of everything and be left more or less where sorcerers are today? If/when channels get dropped due to armor interference, do you re-open channels of the same type, or do you change things up mid-fight to suit the situation?

Misc Thoughts/Details:

How many channels should there be? I like five "extra" channels - one every 150 sorcery ranks, and one at 700 (150, 300, 450, 600, 700), for a total of six channels and six RT to open them all, assuming maximum quickchannel. This also leaves nightblades with their 2-channel maximum.

Syntax/display? SORCERY <channel type> seems like it should work pretty well. Would also need an indicator as to which type got dropped due to armor interference. Could maybe also have different colors/symbols for the channel indicator in the prompt line?

How do you get all of these channels? I kinda like getting "basic capacity" directly from sorcery skill, but having to spend an ability point for each channel of each type. That way you could potentially buy enough of each type of channel to get every possible combo, but it would take far more points than the bare minimum to fill your capacity. That way you can choose to sacrifice general flexibility for sorcerous flexibility and vice-versa.

Bonus crazy idea: Do away with "fire and forget" sorcery buffs altogether and make them just another channel type. Shadow cloak now has to be maintained and will drain a bit of energy (or reduce your maximum or regen rate) while you've got it on, and it'll be subject to armor interference. Same deal with echoing whisper, which could be held open as long as you have blood, energy, and lack of interference.

Thank you for attending my long-winded 'lock talk 👋

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Xandrea
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Re: Enhancing sorcery channels

Post by Xandrea » Sun Jun 05, 2022 11:39 am

I have a great love/hate relationship to this.
Having been a Warlock for a very long time in COGG specifically. Yeah I want more to do with it. Very badly! Considering my main character's involved with it.
The only idea I take great exception to here is making the "Fire and forget" spells something you have to maintain. If I had to maintain it then the energy cost wouldn't outweigh the usefulness. (For my build at least. Others may get a lot better use. So I won't say it's an objective con. Just my con.)
  • Raw > I don't think will have enough use. Unless it boosted the damage of abilities. Not the raw casts. I think the raw casts are perfect as they are. Making them any more powerful might go into 'too powerful' territory.
  • Lingering > I really want this. I know the early binding tendril seemed to last forever and the tweak to make it weaker was good. Outside of fighting in a group. It's no longer useful as a solo fighting ability. The majority of opponents break it before roundtime is even over. (As far as my experience with it has been. To the point where I don't use it outside of a group much. If at all.)
  • Resilient > wouldn't be useful 'right now' but, when we get more abilities to utilize I think that would be very solid.
  • Accurate > For raw nether slinging. I would kind of like this but, it might conflict with Binding Tendril's job. Binding gives them disadvantage to dodge which is pretty strong. (When they don't break it super quick.) I didn't comment on Precise because the two of these sound the same. I run a combat heavy Warlock but, I know I'm a supporter.
  • Protective > There's potential in this but, it's another slippery slope. I'm willing to bet blood that our Familiar's eventually going to get more cool things. It's ability to outright stop attacks is amazingly good. (When it wants to.) Burning more energy to give your familiar even a single roll of advantage would be immensely useful.
Overall I love the idea but, I don't know how it could be implemented whole sale. Having a lot of channel options can turn into micro management. So putting them on a toggle-type of thing might be beneficial. As an aside I understand why every Warlock wants max sorcery. It took me a loong time to finally be ok to 'not' have super high Sorcery. I don't know if this old knowledge still applies in COGG but, Nether 'wants' to be used to an extent. The barrier to entry is low but, mastery is high.

To advocate for that and try to be on board with the idea. 100/200 sorcery per channel effect. Assuming we have different ways of channeling them. We can kind of treat it like old pattern weaving. You're willing those extra effects onto the nether you're pooling up. The amount of effects and/or the effects themselves causing different barriers of complexity. So higher sorcery grants an understanding to channel complex. Raw channeling might be simple but, weave that into your channeling along side Precision and Accuracy and you're doing a LOT at once. It's not simply opening combat with a surge of lines. It's seeing the sheer weight of what is being brought to bare.

While I won't have a super high Sorcery. I don't want it to only matter for channeling or my familiar. Worse than anything In the universe. I don't want to have a replacement of the Other World's 'channeling' skill. I hated that with a passion and I'm happy it's gone. I 'would' like to see Warlock abilities scale in strength to the channels we have open though. Or even potentially hit multiple times/targets. Could you imagine a Warlock with three channels open binding a whole group? (More targets reducing the rerolls.) To me if the number of channels simply 'evolved' your abilities on the three-tier scale. That would create a world of complexity of it's own as we get more abilities over time.
How many Sorcerers does it take to read a book?

jerc
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2022 3:26 pm

Re: Enhancing sorcery channels

Post by jerc » Tue Jun 07, 2022 9:11 am

Xandrea wrote:
Sun Jun 05, 2022 11:39 am
The only idea I take great exception to here is making the "Fire and forget" spells something you have to maintain. If I had to maintain it then the energy cost wouldn't outweigh the usefulness. (For my build at least. Others may get a lot better use. So I won't say it's an objective con. Just my con.)
Hehe, there's a reason that was labeled "Bonus crazy idea" 😉
Xandrea wrote:
Sun Jun 05, 2022 11:39 am
  • Raw > I don't think will have enough use. Unless it boosted the damage of abilities. Not the raw casts. I think the raw casts are perfect as they are. Making them any more powerful might go into 'too powerful' territory.
Yeah, I intended for my suggestion to apply to the damage (or drainage) of all abilities, not just the raw casts.
Xandrea wrote:
Sun Jun 05, 2022 11:39 am
  • Accurate > For raw nether slinging. I would kind of like this but, it might conflict with Binding Tendril's job. Binding gives them disadvantage to dodge which is pretty strong. (When they don't break it super quick.) I didn't comment on Precise because the two of these sound the same. I run a combat heavy Warlock but, I know I'm a supporter.
Accuracy would give you a higher roll potential. Like if you got a 10% boost per channel, you could roll d600 for offensive abilities at ranged cap. Precision gives rerolls, so you wouldn't have a higher roll potential, but you'd roll closer to your potential on average.
They both shift your average roll to the right, but in different ways.
I'm not sure it really conflicts that much with binding tendril. BT also has the additional protect-you-from-damage effect, is useful to team members, requires repeated application, and could need specialization to be really useful, while accuracy/precision would have "always-on" benefits and miss out on the crowd-control and team benefits. Tradeoffs!
Xandrea wrote:
Sun Jun 05, 2022 11:39 am
Overall I love the idea but, I don't know how it could be implemented whole sale. Having a lot of channel options can turn into micro management. So putting them on a toggle-type of thing might be beneficial.
Yeah, I definitely hear the micromanagemet fear. Certainly wouldn't want to complicate it to the point where scripting is nearly a necessity, which it could be if someone were to try to keep the same set of channels open during combat while they're getting dropped. Toggleable is interesting though. Maybe a "set and forget" allocation system with some roundtime to change allocations? Then you wouldn't have to worry so much about what type of channel you're opening all the time. It would lose some flavor though.
Xandrea wrote:
Sun Jun 05, 2022 11:39 am
To advocate for that and try to be on board with the idea. 100/200 sorcery per channel effect. Assuming we have different ways of channeling them. We can kind of treat it like old pattern weaving. You're willing those extra effects onto the nether you're pooling up. The amount of effects and/or the effects themselves causing different barriers of complexity. So higher sorcery grants an understanding to channel complex. Raw channeling might be simple but, weave that into your channeling along side Precision and Accuracy and you're doing a LOT at once. It's not simply opening combat with a surge of lines. It's seeing the sheer weight of what is being brought to bare.

While I won't have a super high Sorcery. I don't want it to only matter for channeling or my familiar. Worse than anything In the universe. I don't want to have a replacement of the Other World's 'channeling' skill. I hated that with a passion and I'm happy it's gone. I 'would' like to see Warlock abilities scale in strength to the channels we have open though. Or even potentially hit multiple times/targets. Could you imagine a Warlock with three channels open binding a whole group? (More targets reducing the rerolls.) To me if the number of channels simply 'evolved' your abilities on the three-tier scale. That would create a world of complexity of it's own as we get more abilities over time.
There's a lot of context here about systems from the Other Game that I don't have. Got links to how pattern weaving or the old channeling systems worked?

Also I really like the multiple hits/multiple targets idea. Could be two new spells even?

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Lexx416
Posts: 321
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Re: Enhancing sorcery channels

Post by Lexx416 » Tue Jun 07, 2022 10:13 am

I do think that Warlocks need something to help with their raw casts, and my suggestion on how to improve that remains more or less the same as they have elsewhere (just in slightly more detail here).

Giving warlocks an ability (or two - maybe a "basic nether manipulation" and an "advanced nether manipulation") that lets them alter their raw casts based on toggles would (for me at least) be a lot of fun. The general premise being they get access to a new command (MANIPULATE, or something similar) that lets them enhance and manipulate their raw casts at the cost of a little bit of extra energy paid per casting (maybe between 1 and 5 energy, depending on the exact enhancement).

I don't have an exhaustive list of the kinds of enhancements I'd like to see, but there are a few that roll around in my head that I think would be really cool and thematic.
  • Sanity Drain - When enhancing raw casts in this way, roll sorcery vs Meditation. Positive endroll (in favor of the sorcery) causes the target to lose a little sanity (scales up with a better endroll; I would cap this at around .2 or .3 sanity loss, since it can be SUPER detrimental, and I'd also put a cooldown on how often an individual can be affected by this)
  • Linger - This causes nether blasts that hit a target to linger for a short bit, doing damage over time (either on the tick, or every second, duration and damage scaled on Sorcery)
  • Solidified - This causes a nether bolt to "harden" and "sharpen" so that it does additional piercing (maybe upgraded to puncture at 700 sorcery) damage (scales up slightly with higher sorcery skill)
  • Gaseous - This reduces the overall damage the nether bolt does, causing it to instead linger and do a little damage to the body part in question, but also increase the energy cost of each action the target performs as the gaseous nether fumes hanging around them are breathed in

In an ideal world, it'd be awesome to have some of these enhancement stackable/mixable, so you could toggle 1 or 2 to get different combinations (I wouldn't make all of them compatible), at an increased energy cost (that is higher than the sum of the two enhancements by a little bit).
"You hear the Woses, the Wild Men of the Woods... Remnants of an older time they be, living few and secretly, wild and wary as beasts."

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