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Aquillion

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Everything posted by Aquillion

  1. It seems like he spent the money setting up a company (which can be frightfully expensive, though it was also obviously a terrible choice to make in this situation.)
  2. I agree that the large number of skills is vital for the game's flavor. The problem, I think, is that the authors of adventures, events, and actions often tend to forget about some of the more obscure skills, leading to them not being available even when you'd logically expect them to be. I am not sure what can be done about this. Does the game have one centralized tool for the writers that indicates how many options each skill has for usages across the entire game? That might be useful, since it could be used to identify which skills aren't seeing enough use so they could have options inserted for them. Obviously some skills are always going to be more useful than others (in a magical school, Negation is flatly more valuable than Heraldry, and it would be silly to expect otherwise), but everyone likes the feeling of being able to use an obscure talent to succeed. Perhaps also produce a list of adventure / event pages which currently have few options, so under-used skills could be matched with them.
  3. Something I noticed... Study Mastery: Botany grants +1 to all Botany rolls and +1 stress maximum. Study Mastery: Zoology grants +1 to all Zoology rolls and +1 Fitness (which amounts to +2 stress maximum, +2 vitality maximum, a bonus to a huge number of rolls and faster learning for Fitness skills.) Isn't that a bit unbalanced? Or are there other advantages to Botany that make up for it?
  4. A related suggestion: Could your clique members be listed at the top of any list of students you have to select things for when choosing ability targets? You often want to target them (especially with Gossip) and it's a pain to constantly have to dig them out.
  5. Also: Right now, the feedback on your chance of successfully using Befriend is utterly unhelpful. Some of its behavior might even count as a bug; I'm not sure. First, the action itself seems to always be purple in your list. While I can guess why (it depends on your target), it would be more helpful if it showed you a color based on your chance of befriending a target with 0 or 1 relationship or something, rather than just always being purple. When you select it and open up your confirm-day menu, it remains purple in that. When you select a target to befriend, it changes color, presumably to represent your chance of actually befriending that specific person. This is as close to accurate as it gets currently. But, it seems to ignore some vital aspect -- I assume there's additional rolls against all your other clique members that it doesn't take into account. In any case, it's possible for it to be green and for it to fail constantly, which it probably shouldn't do. Finally, if you close the end-day menu and reopen it, or if you open it with someone already selected (because they were selected before) the color always goes purple, regardless of whether you actually have a chance at them or not. That's the part that I presume is a bug. Maybe I'm misunderstanding some aspect about how all this works, but either way, it needs to convey what's going on here and your chances of success a bit more clearly. (These issues are shared by any action that varies in success chance based on its target, but Befriend is particularly affected because there's presumably additional rolls which the player isn't given any feedback at all on their chance of passing.)
  6. Do all clique members benefit from the clique abilities of all other clique members? That is, if I recruit a clique member whose ability gives +1 charm, does everyone in the clique get that bonus, or just me? Related... the player has no clique ability, right? EDIT: Another question. You get informed about an ability if you attempt to use it in an adventure or event and fail, right? What if you try and succeed? I sorely wanted to unlock Planning, and had the option to use it in an event -- but I used it successfully and was not informed of it.
  7. Related to an earlier idea I posted: When a subskill is listed as an option for an action, it'd be nice to show what its parent skill is, too (so you'll know you need to unlock it if you want to focus on that parent skill.) Some are unintuitive, and right now it's a huge pain to figure out the parent skill of a subskill (I've been reduced to googling the wiki.) How am I supposed to know, say, that Memorization is a subskill of Blackmail?
  8. Once thing I noticed is that if I want someone to do something specific for me -- a specific action, that is -- there's basically two ways to proceed: First, I can rip out their free will with Mastery and turn them into a Mind-Slave. Second, if I am the ultimate master of invitations, I can use an invitation to override their will. There's no option to just ask someone to do something. Even if they're my best friend, a member of my clique, and I've helped them repeatedly in the past, there's no way to even request that they take a specific action. It'd be useful to have an easier-to-get way to request actions from close friends and/or clique-mates; possibly only usable once every so often, maybe with other restrictions (people would likely reject requests to skip major exams or others self-destructive actions, say, and it'd probably be harder to get someone to skip class to do something for you than it would be to get them to do it over the weekend.) But overall it seems weird that I can compel my enemies to do things for me, but have no easy way to request stuff from my friends. (Of course, they could occasionally have requests for me, too -- in general, cliques could be made more live-feeling like that.)
  9. Also, would it be possible to somehow indicate subskills you don't have when they're presented as options in an event or adventure? It's nice to know that you're being presented with the option to unlock them, and currently it can be a bit of a bother to check all your skills to see if that one is absent.
  10. One thing that bothers me about the game is that currently, the precious nature of actions tends to keep me from doing a lot of stuff that would be fun -- it's rarely worthwhile to take an action that doesn't provide some permanent bonus (or help you get a permanent bonus later.) Something I think that would help with this would be to add the concept of "minor actions" -- a subcategory of actions and weaker spells which only take a few minutes of your time. Generally, they'd be actions that you can do at the same time as other stuff. Perhaps you could take a certain number of them per day, and maybe you could go beyond that limit at the cost of stress or vitality by overworking yourself. Minor actions would almost never provide a direct personal benefit. Perhaps, if you explicitly take minor actions at the same time as your other ones, you'd have to take them in the same place? So, for instance, if you're studying in the kitchen, you could take a minor action to swipe some food. This would make location more important (currently it's just a matter of choosing the obvious optimal one most of the time). Taking too many minor actions could also increase the chance that your main action for that period could fail. (Basically, the idea is to make the game more interesting by providing players with choices to make even when their character is studying all the time -- even the most dedicated student in the world, who studies morning, afternoon, and night every day, can still find time to do other meaningful things.) There's a lot of existing actions in the game that seem like they should fall into that category. For instance, chewing a caramel chew currently takes your entire morning, and its mechanical benefit just isn't really worth it; it seems a bit awkward conceptually to have to choose between spending the morning studying or chewing a single piece of candy. Or is there some other solution for this in the works?
  11. Ha, I should have known that thinking of something that hasn't already been considered would be almost impossible, given the game's size and depth! But that's all cool to hear. Is it possible to manipulate time with magic in Academagia's world? Could there be a spell to travel back in time to the beginning of the week, or to make the weekend last longer, or similar things? (Obviously balance-wise those would need significant limitations, but I'm curious if it's metaphysically possible in the setting and what sort of magic it would fall under.)
  12. I've no idea if any ideas in a thread like this will be useful or workable, but in any case, it seems like a fun thing to do. So let's try thinking of some ideas for spells (or even general frameworks and types of spells) that might be neat to see in a future year of Academagia (or in a very similar game.) Obviously, this is mostly ignoring engine limitations (or speculating about future years or derivative games that might have a different / enhanced engine.) Some general thoughts... One thing that would be interesting to see would be some spells that last indefinitely or until they're dispelled. This would solve part of the problem I have with spellcasting (most of the bonuses are temporary, and most of the other actions you can take provide permanent bonuses.) This might require a few other mechanics for balance -- making it harder to enchant someone who is already heavily-enchanted, or adding a chance of a backlash or of side-effects for having too many spells on you, or events that might remove such effects. Possibly spells that require material components would also be interesting -- it might just make a spell feel more 'magical' if you have to get an eye of newt and a wing of bat somewhere to cast it. I mentioned this elsewhere, but it'd be neat if the game supported the addition of other actors aside from students and teachers capable of taking action. Some of these could have scripts for what actions they take; others might be controlled by the player through the control screen. So you could, say, summon a giant spider that goes around biting people of a particular clique until they deal with it. These could be abstracted out without actual actors, but using actual actors would also make many offensive spells and actions more useful. Of course, this could be used for things other than magic, too (having janitors and the like exist in the school might be useful for some things.) It might be interesting if magical effects or some sorts of actors could block off specific rooms, making them unusable for everyone. So, for instance, you could cast a spell to fill the Incantation classroom with stinking clouds for several days, resulting in classes being canceled; or target it at a library so nobody can use it. Or, perhaps, a spell that gives the room a soothing aura so anyone who uses it in the next few days loses 1 stress, etc.
  13. Hrm. If it's a matter of creativity, do you think a thread to suggest spell-effect ideas from various users (for future years, of course) would be worthwhile? Obviously engine limitations could limit a lot of what could be done, but it could be fun to discuss them, or even basic mechanical frameworks that we feel could make magic more interesting.
  14. Does Mastery allow reading minds? Or does that fall under another magic?
  15. With regards to the usefulness of Mastery, it would be interesting to see Mastery spells that add or remove moods; these could be useful both offensively and, more constructively, for removing negative moods from yourself or your friends or adding positive ones. Of course, Glamor can probably do that as well, but not as effectively... you could use Mastery to completely remove all of someone's moods or some such thing. For a student, I'd imagine that using Gates to teleport around could drastically reduce your chance of being discovered when you need to be someplace you're not allowed... though, on the other hand, if you do get horribly unlucky you might be discovered mid-teleportation. Oops. (I was a bit disappointed that the game doesn't allow things summoned with Gates to be represented as actual characters in-play the way students and teachers are; it would be nice if there was a category for "other" people and beings at the school who are neither teachers nor students but can still take actions. Gates could then bring those in, temporarily or permanently, as could events, adventures, etc. But I assume that's just an engine limitation.)
  16. The vast majority of the spells and phemes in the game raise or lower subskills or attributes; a few give bonuses or penalties to success rates (which amounts to the same thing), and a small number heal or harm others. Raising your own stats is sometimes useful, sure. But it's... not hugely interesting to me. Maybe it's because everything else in the game is already manipulating these stats; it makes spells feel less unique and interesting. Maybe it's because these bonuses tend to be fairly small -- unless a subskill is already very high, usually I'd rather spend two or three actions raising it permanently rather than one raising it temporarily, especially since I get other benefits for a 'real' increase. The fact the the bonus is usually fairly small also tends to keep spells from feeling like they're having dramatic effects. (Now, granted, there are some that grant higher bonuses, and I'm sure you can get more by playing with phemes. But that raises a related point -- my pheme list gets pretty huge, and it's a bother to sort through it to use anything. And even more than spells, most phemes are just +1 to a few subskills. The game sorely needs some sort of better organization of phemes based on what they do.) Worse than this are the spells that affect others. There's a huge range of options for temporarily impairing your enemies, but, generally, I haven't seen any particular reason to want to impair people in most of those categories -- especially when it's only a temporary penalty, and I'm giving up an opportunity to permanently improve myself through study in the process. Which is my biggest problem, I think: I would use some of these spells, perhaps, if I got a chance to cast a free spell every so often; but almost none of them seem worth sacrificing a chance to (say) study at the Emperor Sphinx's Room. Even if I have an adventure where the immediate bonus seems useful, it almost always seems to make better sense to just put it off until my natural skills are high enough to do it. (Some of this might also be my mindset -- I like to optimize perhaps a bit too much, so I feel like I'm "crippling" my character every time I take an action that doesn't permanently benefit them or which isn't aimed at ultimately permanently benefiting them.) But all that aside, while this is subjective -- I just wish there were more spell effects that did strange stuff, weird effects that breaks the otherwise-established rules of the game in various ways. It's somewhat depressing to read about how my character can conjure storms, summon strange creatures, fly through the air or invade people's dreams... and then get to the end and have it just be + or - to certain subskills for a few days, with no other effect. Obviously the game engine and the general level of granularity on which the world is represented constrains what's possible, but it's still a bit of a pity. Anyway, am I wrong about this? I was hoping other people could have more interesting stories about how they've used spells, something that could prove me wrong or get me to view them differently. It's just that right now, spells seem, to me, to be awfully uninteresting for a game focused on playing a magus-in-training.
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