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89157Z

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Everything posted by 89157Z

  1. I'm going to try to make a mod that does this.
  2. That would be much too reasonable to expect from the faculty. I swear, sometimes it seems like they cause magical mishaps meaning to make the students handle it themselves. I've little doubt that Professor Ringraeyer would be sharp enough to notice. She's probably sharp enough to defray the aura to a sane level without the speaker noticing, even. The better question is whether she would. Given her focus on proper manners... She might. It'd be terribly rude to fall asleep in front of a guest. Then again, perhaps that's the challenge. She's intending to lecture the class afterwards... perhaps after waking them all up with a loud noise herself.
  3. I was hoping for something more along the lines of the faculty issuing a rebuke to the other students for not using magic, and then removing the highest score from each curve-graded class so as to avoid people failing at things they understand quite well enough.
  4. That would result in tanking relationship scores and a mess of rivalries, wouldn't it? Please tell me Y2 will have some kind of special handling for the playful scorebusting that we Y1 players have been doing.
  5. So when I have a character score over 350 on my Arithmetic exam, does that mean the grading curve forces everyone else in the class to fail?
  6. Playthroughs of Academagia always leave me feeling strained for time. There's so much to do and so little time to do it! Except marginally less soul-crushing than when that happens in day-to-day life. It's probably good for me.

    1. freespace2dotcom

      freespace2dotcom

      Yup! It almost kills me the last week or so.

    2. 89157Z

      89157Z

      The entire last month is the worst. I want the game to continue!

  7. It wouldn't take an engine hack. Just add another two parameters to each spell. One parameter requiring the appropriate level of the 'power source' skill be present in order to cast, and another parameter causing the spell to inflict drain on the power source while it was active. My problems with Enspell aren't about Less is More. I hate Enspell because the Phemes skill is an offense to the lore, the Diction skill has beautiful lore but is under-utilized, and Concentration as currently used is critical to every character. The Phemes skill is the worst subskill ever. It's just a grabbag of phemes. The game has massive numbers of phemes. All the others are sorted in a thematically appropriate manner, attached to skills that obviously ought to grant them. The Phemes subskill has only a flimsy excuse for existing at all.
  8. I just had an idea for an event. I'm not going to give it a full writeup at the moment, but I'll record what I've come up with so far here. Maybe someone else will expand on it. If not, I'll come back and finish it up eventually, probably. Glamour spells can be used for calming, right? A neat random event would be a guest speaker showing up for a Glamour class to teach conflict-averting magic. Unfortunately, he or she shows up wearing an aura of peace that is both subtle and powerful, resulting in the class gradually falling asleep across the lecture. The event exits would be giving in and napping, struggling to take notes in spite of it (Study Habits), powering through the spell (Concentration), asking the guest speaker to turn down the aura (Character), or waking the class with a very loud noise (Practical Jokes). Turning down the aura would be based on Character because it's an aura of peace, requiring that the request be phrased delicately. Imagine Phillipe Marchant demanding that an aura of peace go down and you see why this is relevant. Oh, and waking the class back up is easy, the practical jokes skill check is for doing it in a way that doesn't result in detention or demerits. Edit: Probably ought to have a 'counterspell' option in there too, but I couldn't decide what skill check was most appropriate. Negating it outright is inappropriate for the same reason that normal persuasion is inappropriate. It's likely to give offense.
  9. The thought that brought this on this time was my thinking that the spell system might be better balanced if there was some system of power sources for magic to use. This could be aptly encapsulated in a Spellpower skill, which would have the subcomponents Ritual, Concentration, Will, and Reserves, in ascending order of speed. Tests that cared only about total power output without regard for the timespan (appropriate for formal testing) would use the overskill. Tests that compared about power output in a specified timeframe would use the appropriate subskill. Reserves are 'spike' power used for instant castings. When you cast a spell that uses Reserve power, you suffer a 2-5 skill level penalty to your Reserves score for 1-3 days. If that penalty would drive your Reserves negative, you don't meet the requirements to cast the spell. Events that have you reflexively casting a spell to solve some problem should assess this cost as well. Formal spells should only use Reserves for spells that are intended to be castable in Duels. Will forms the root of 'fast' power used for quick but not instant castings. When you cast a spell that uses Will for its power, you suffer a 1-2 skill level penalty to your Will score for 1-3 days. Will goes farther, but it still depletes eventually. Events where the character has a moment to think but is still under time pressure should count as casting Will spells. Will is appropriate for many formal spells, and can even show up in Duels, though in duels it should be primarily for 'support' effects rather than the big flashy invocations. Concentration is 'slow' power where efficiency matters and a mage is taking care not to exhaust themselves. Spells that use Concentration for power should charge 0-1 skill level penalty (free or cheap), unless you have to concentrate the entire time to keep the spell active, in which case the drain should more closely resemble Reserve drains. Events which don't have explicit time pressure can be treated as concentration castings. Almost all formal spells not covered by Will or Reserves should be Concentration based. In Duels, Concentration spells should be weaker than water if they're castable at all. Ritual is 'glacial' power, generally used where massive amounts of energy must be accumulated and utilized precisely. Casting time is sacrificed entirely to this goal. Ritual skill levels are never drained by casting, but then there wouldn't be many ritual spells to use them on anyways, not for a novice mage. Obviously, none of them are ever fast enough to use in duels or random events. I was actually envisioning Spellpower as a field of study appropriate to first year students (possibly even exclusive to first year students). If I had free run of the code via tools that were up to the task, I'd dump off Enchant* to help make room in the curriculum. Not that Enchanting isn't awesome, but the crafting system is rather busted! Craft-focused classes just aren't useful in Year One. It makes more sense to relore the game so that first year students are forbidden from craft-style works. (If anyone reads this and wonders why you can't use reserve and will interchangeably, it'd be because reserve power is inherently explosive. Once opened up, it all wants out at once. Spells not designed for that can't handle it; spells designed for it require it.) *EDIT: I'd also cannibalize Enspell, my least favorite skill group.
  10. I absolutely cannot play Academagia without wanting to modify it. There are things I want to condense or remove pursuant to my Less is More philosophy, there are things I want to add in flagrant contravention of it, there are hybrid concepts which add some things and remove others... I always get new ideas when I play through the game. If only the mod tools were not so slow! I remember from my forays into them that they're occasionally confusing too. Is there going to be an update to the mod tools at some point?
  11. Obligatory disclaimer: I think there are too many backgrounds, and I am ashamed of myself for having suggested more in the past. That said... Backgrounds that give you skill levels straight out are not very useful. Furthermore, everyone has some kind of heritage. I recommend the Heritage traits be reduced to zero cost, and that an appropriate one of them (or an equivalent thereof for students from exotic locales) be applied to each of the NPC characters. This is partially an excuse to hand some more starting skills to the NPCs. Do they already have heritage backgrounds applied to them? They really ought to. Sure, not everyone can have been born amidst shattering mirrors under a streaking comet like the Mary Sues we're all playing stereotypical player character, but everyone comes from somewhere.
  12. What is a reputation? Why is your reputation neutral? Why is my reputation neutral? Why is everyone's reputation neutral? What are the effects of reputation?

  13. Over two years later, I still want to know what the Reputation: 0 means, and how to shift it. I care about my bad reputation!

  14. This is officially dead as of today. I just deleted the files associated with it. I wasn't documenting myself well enough. I still believe in the project, and I most especially wish the Potions stuff would be officially patched out of the game, but it was very hard going. The mod tools are quite slow, and even without adding new content, this is an extensive project.
  15. I'm thoroughly behind on updates and such. It's been ages since I actually played. My experience with the mod tools frustrated me. That frustration had a personal angle, too. As I was making changes, it was far too easy to lose track of what changes I made! It's embarrassing. The mod tools have problems, but my failure to effectively track my own usage is entirely my own fault. I'm not as conscientious as I'd like to be.
  16. It's been ages since I was around these parts. It's good to see you're still active, and that Y2 is still a thing.
  17. Some actions are strictly inferior to other actions. This is no terrible thing. Players handle action obsolescence with aplomb. One of the frustrating things about the AI is that it doesn't. I propose that actions should have obsolescence logic attached to them. When an AI discovers an action it should immediately check that action for attached obsolescence logic. Strictly inferior actions should be blocked off at that point. Just take care not to include spurious superiors... The Sphinx may be beloved by players (and I got the sense that it's so bored, the affection is mutual), but sneaking off to meet with it is very forbidden. NPC characters really shouldn't be encouraged to do that. Actions can also go obsolete when they no longer have any effect. Instead of having AIs simply get discouraged as a result of wasting their precious actions, something that has already been demonstrated to fail when they cannot accurately judge what constitutes a success, they should instead have a 'check for mastery' function which triggers when their skill levels increase. Maxed-out skills should result in blocking actions that primarily serve to increase that skill. Attaching the same logic to players would result in... play experience oddities. It's just something that the AI should have. That said, a voluntary blocked-action list wouldn't be wrong in order to fight interface clutter. Got all you can out of an action? Never going to cast a certain spell? Throw it into the bin of things you won't do and you won't have to scroll past it constantly.
  18. If I remember correctly, part of the reason why first year expulsions were removed was due to stupid AIs tending to get expelled before the year was out. That's why you can get any number of detentions without getting drummed out of the school. I think the AI actions are similarly a hack to improve the AI without requiring their behavior logic to be overhauled. Academagia has massive scope. Making AIs who behave correctly within what's available to the player is quite a challenge. I really wish, at the very least, that AIs understood when their skills and study levels were capped out.
  19. Tightening up the skill system - especially for Year One - would have produced a more focused experience for the player. There are some skills that are defined and used inconsistently. There are other skills that probably should have been condensed into one skill. A shorter skill list might also make it easier to wrangle the AI behaviors into shape. Poorly behaved NPCs is one of the flaws of the game.
  20. I think one of the problems of Academagia is that it's afraid to give a characterization to the player. It's supposed to be totally open-ended, but that... doesn't quite work. The random events suffer from this somewhat. They're full of artifacts and it's fairly common to get events that make you go, "What? That doesn't fit me." The adventures suffer from this most of all. They're not connected to one another. There's no sense of them all making sense for one character. Something that would have been really cool is if the game had... character content packs. Mods, essentially, that cause the game to 'tighten up' on a specific character arc. I've complained in the past and struggled with the mod tools to remove content that shouldn't have been in the game. I've also struggled to remove content that should have been in the game, but should have been optional, toggleable. Academagia is not as modular as it should be. Nor is it as moddable. It packs all the content into its basic setup. The result is scattered and unfocused. You end up with characters who have a huge skill list and little sense of personality. It's just so tempting to systematically work on skills. At best, diversions from that become their own monomania - accumulating absurd amounts of glory, or befriending everyone in the school. I can't count the number of times I've gone out of my way to raise the War skill to 2 for that easy Insight boost...
  21. I don't think that would really help. There are a lot of steely-eyed people in history who've been blackmailed anyways.
  22. The Blackmail action should be harder against targets with the right skills, and 'the right skills' should be more than just the target having Blackmail themselves. Temperance, Ethics, Character, Intrigue, and Rhetoric should all provide bonuses against it. These skills all reduce the odds that the person will have anything to blackmail them about, and/or they make it more likely that they'll be able to defend their reputation effectively against blackmailers. I notice in the Modtools that the Blackmail action gives the target a static +4. Perhaps the static bonus should be replaced by a series of smaller bonuses based on the skills listed above.
  23. I actually really like that idea. I wonder if conditionals like that work, so the emotion triggers when Clockwork rises above Befriend, and ends when Befriend rises above Clockwork. I still think it should require some familiarity with Astrology. That may not be necessary in the real world, but in this setting, using Astrology to predict the future really works. Not to mention that there are several clockwork machines used in astrology referred to in the game. Orreries are clockwork creations! Natural Philosophy may not be appropriate. It's so rare, and you probably don't need it in order to become convinced that natural order has a rigidity. Maybe replace Natural Philosophy with... Uhm... 'Nothing' may be appropriate. Clockwork is already a rare enough skill that your average player character is unlikely to accidentally stumble into a state where they're more skilled with machines than people.
  24. I've heard rumors that cross-college cliques will have a rougher time as their Academagia career progresses, especially if they cross the specific rivalry lines.
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