Spellstones Feedback

Discussion in 'Mythic Survival' started by 8ohmy, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. 8ohmy

    8ohmy Member
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    I haven't tested these spells exhaustively - most of what I've written here is conjecture based on my knowledge of the spells' mechanics - and I can't speak for other players.

    Monstrosity
    Spooky scary skeletons
    I don't have a monstrosity spellstone, chiefly because I can't see the point. Unreal armour is enough to ensure that no vanilla mob poses any real threat to me (as far as I know, Monstrosity doesn't work on named mobs). You could theoretically use it to hide from other players in PvP, but this is already done by Illusion - and done far better, since it's hard to distinguish the real player in a crowd of illusions, but it's blindingly obvious that's there's something fishy about a zombie walking as fast as a player.

    Frost Aura
    Now look at this net
    The Aura spells are my favourite by far. Frost Aura has showed its worth time and time again in boss fights, especially against the Warden's minions (which are difficult to hit when they're moving, due to their small size) and against the archers summoned by the Corrupted Wisp (which usually try to run away from you). The ability to freeze those troublesome mobs in place would make Frost Aura worthwhile in my eyes, even if it didn't do damage on top of that. If I were to find a flaw with it, it would be the non-optional friendly fire ("Throw it at him, not me!"), but even that isn't really a problem since A: the damage isn't life-threatening and B: every nearby hostile mob has just been frozen in place, so the affected player usually doesn't have to worry about being attacked while they're immobile.

    Lightning Aura
    Unlimited power
    Very similar to Frost Aura.

    Polymorph
    Nobody calls me chicken
    Much the same as Monstrosity, as far as I can see.

    Explosion
    Boom goes the dynamite
    Since my damage tests showed only half a heart of damage to an unreal-armoured player on a direct hit, I can't help but be reminded of the scene in the most recent Star Wars film where an artillery barrage left a sizeable crater without doing any noticeable damage to its target.
    I have some difficulty finding a practical use for Explosion, since using it on bosses will damage my arenas and no player is going to stand still while an orange cloud makes its leisurely way towards them. I had some joy using it on withers, but the low speed of the projectile and the extremely low rate of fire makes Explosion less effective at that than a good bow. TNT seems more useful for griefing and is also a lot easier to acquire. Explosion seems to have more in common with Schmuck Bait than anything else, since apparently at least one player has tried to open a chest with an Explosion spellstone in their hand, with predictable results.
    That being said, an argument could be made that since Explosion is the reason that the spawn is currently missing four quartz stair blocks next to the southern portal, it's the most powerful of any of these spells.

    Illusion
    I am Spartacus!
    I don't really get involved in PvP, which is a shame, since that's probably where Illusion excels. It's very difficult to find the real player in the chaos and confusion of being mobbed by a swarm of illusory players. I've mostly seen Illusion used on bosses, however, and although the sheer size of a boss's healthbar makes it difficult to tell how much damage an individual attack does, I'm sceptical in the extreme that creatures which take three hits to kill a chicken can be of any use against a boss. It's possible that they can be used to distract a Warden's minions (I haven't tried it), but a 2x1 pit lined with open trapdoors will distract them a lot more permanently.

    Spiritwalk
    Have you seen that before in a gift shop?
    Spiritwalk perplexes me. Before I got it, I assumed that since the spellbook is a legendary item, the spellstone would return to my enderchest when the spell ends. Not only is this not the case, the spellstone doesn't even drop in the place where you start spiritwalking - it drops in the place you are in when you die. I was under the impression that Spiritwalk was intended to be used as a tracker - to piggyback on other players while they teleported, and thus discover the coordinates of their base. Now I'm less sure. If you can do this successfully, you're almost guaranteed to lose the spellstone, since one of four things is going to happen (in these scenarios, 'base' refers to any useful location you can discover the coordinates of):

    1. The target player notices the spellstone which has dropped from your deceased astral form and picks it up. They store it in their base and you get it back when you raid them. This is the best-case scenario.

    2. The target player notices the spellstone which has dropped from your deceased astral form and picks it up. They trade it away or lose it before you have a chance to raid them.

    3. The target player notices the spellstone which has dropped from your deceased astral form and picks it up. They store it in a location other than their base, the coordinates of which are a mystery to you.

    4. The target player does not notice the spellstone. It lies on the ground until it despawns, since you are unlikely to get to their base before this would happen.
    In all but one of these cases, you have effectively lost the spellstone forever. In some cases, the target player even benefits from your efforts. #3 is especially bad as it implies that the 'base' you've found isn't where they store their valuables, so you're unlikely to even recoup your losses by raiding it. The duration of the spell is too short for you to have much chance of hiding, since you'd be lucky if you can last long enough for them to warp to their base. That brings me to my next point: so far, I've only looked at successful scenarios, and not only is success not guaranteed, it doesn't even seem to me to be especially likely. Let's look at all of the things that need to go well for you to succeed:
    1. You know in advance that you will be in the same place as the target player. Since you're trying to raid them, it's reasonable to assume that the two of you aren't on especially good terms. With that in mind, arranging a meeting is likely to be difficult. Simply jumping on them when they go to spawn will either require you to know in advance when they will be at spawn, so that you can dump your inventory and equip the spellstone, or it will require them to remain at spawn for long enough for you to do all of that while they're still there.

    2. The target player doesn't notice a cloud of green particles flying towards them. I'm not saying that it's impossible to do it stealthily (fly up behind them or the like), but all it takes is for them to look at around at an inopportune moment, and you're rumbled. Even players who don't recognise spiritwalk are unlikely to warp away just after they notice a mysterious cloud of particles floating about. If you fail at this point, they're a lot more likely to recover the spellstone than you are, since you won't really have time to run away (the spell doesn't last for long enough).

    3. The target player warps to their base while you are spectating them. Given how short the duration of your stay in the spirit world is, you would need to be a master of good timing to get this right. If they warp away before you reach them, that's not great, but you can probably recover the spellstone. What's more likely is that they'll just be sitting around while your astral clock is ticking. You'd need to know exactly when the spell ends in order to be able to call it quits at the right moment.

    4. The target player doesn't realise that someone has followed them home. Once they've warped, you probably won't have time to run off and hide before you die, and if the target player notices that they've just picked up a spellstone, it's not that hard to join the dots. They'll have ample time to move their valuables to somewhere safe while you're foot-slogging your way across a 160,000km^2 expanse (RIP elytra), and when you finally arrive, you will find that for your troubles, and for the expense of an epic item and at least one legendary, you have inherited the bare shell of what used to be someone else's base.
    Of course trackers should be costly. Of course they should give players a chance to protect themselves. But being forced to sacrifice something with such an abysmal drop rate, when you usually won't get anything in return, seems like too much. Since mystic scramblers are, in my experience, almost as rare as legendary items, Spiritwalk spellbooks seem to me to be borderline useless.

    In Conclusion
    If I had to summarise how I feel about spellstones in one word, I would choose 'disappointed'. None of the spells are useless, but although they're very flashy, it feels like they fail to meet the high standard set by the other features of Mythic Survival. Frost Aura is great and Lightning Aura is decent, but they're the exception rather than the rule. Most spellbooks are like uncommon items: they're exciting when they're new, and although you gradually think of them as less and less valuable as you stockpile more and more of them, most players will still be able to find a use for them once in a while. The problem is that in order to use spells, you need a spellstone for each type, which are epic items with a very low drop rate. If they were more common, they could be fun little throwaway items like Grandpa's walking stick. As it is, I would rather have a mystic scrambler than a spellstone.

    tl;dr = I'm disappointed with spellstones because I think they're less useful than the other things in their rarity bracket
     
  2. Naxdy

    Naxdy That Guy
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    Hey 8ohmy,

    sorry for the late reply, but I just got to reading through your huge feedback post. Many thanks for that!

    There are a few things I'd like to address here, and many of them are already going to be handled in the new Mythic Survival update coming soon (I'll make a post about that in a sec!)

    Monstrosity & Polymorph
    These spells were designed for newer players to have a way to safely escape non-player combat while in the open world. The problem right now is that spellstones are epic items and are very unlikely for a newer player to drop fairly soon. This will be addressed in the next update.

    Spiritwalk
    Time and time again I've tried to come up with a good solution to implement a viable strategy to track & raid other players' bases on such a large open world as in Mythic Survival, but the methods were either unfeasible or straightly too overpowered. Spiritwalk on the other hand meets the perfect balance I think (except for the spellstone being dropped part).

    I can see your issues with the spell, and am happy to say that these will be addressed in the next update as well. Look out for my news post! (coming in a few min)

    There will also be some new exciting spells coming in the next few updates, which will be more than just a bit gimmicky :p

    PS, regarding explosion: Minecraft's explosions are very buggy and from what I've tested with the current explosion spells is that they sometimes absolutely obliterate a player (even in full unreal gear), but only on level 10. What level was your spellstone on?
     
  3. 8ohmy

    8ohmy Member
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    My Explosion spellstone was level 10, but I've used it a bit more since then, and it seems to have done some more significant damage on other occasions.
     
  4. Naxdy

    Naxdy That Guy
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    That's what I was talking about. Sometimes it seems Minecraft puts the explosion source inside a block, which is when it won't do full damage. If it hits an entity however, the explosion source will be above ground, in which case it will do its full damage.
     

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