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joku
08-15-2010, 09:21 PM
I've just begun the preliminary work on a new class tentatively titled the "Summoner".

The Summoner differs from the Conjurer in his almost singular focus on Necromancy and Evocation. He wasted no time on elemental magics, and so has a greater mastery of the summoning arts, able to call forth more powerful, and more specialized beings than a mere Conjurer is capable of. He avoids direct conflict, instead relying on his minions to his work for him. He's weak, weaker than a Conjurer. His studies left him with no time for fitness. He'd rather strive for the strength that he might achieve through demonic possession, than settle for what mortal strength may provide him.

That's the preliminary backstory (more will be coming), and it explains the basis for this class. The Summoner relies solely on summons and support skills. Direct conflict is strongly discouraged through two means. The first: there are no directly offensive skills whatsoever. The closest you'll get are curses. The second: the severe gimping of the Summoner's physical attack capabilities. I want the player to rely on his minions, not his staff.

Clearly this class will have a lot of summons, allowing the player to control a small army at later levels. This army will consist of many specialized summons that will fulfill the role of many of the skills of other classes, like healing and AOE spells (some detailed examples below). I think this purely summon based method will provide for a rather unique, and potentially more strategic gameplay experience.

Aside from summons, the Summoner will also have curses to weaken your enemies, auras to buff your minions (auras to be handled much in the same way as the Priest's Prayer skill), a weak healing spell (more powerful healing will be handled by a summon), and hopefully a skill which will cause all of your minions (or maybe the nearby ones) to attack a target that you designate.



So hopefully you can see where I'm going with this. If you're at all interested, feel free leave questions, comments, concerns, suggestions, or any feedback at all in this thread.


A list of planned skills to follow in the next post.

joku
08-15-2010, 09:22 PM
Here's a list of the skills I currently plan to implement as well as a few other ideas. All names are tentative.


Bomblets

A bomblet is a clone of the Scarabus Burst with a few variations: it's much smaller, moves very fast, and will only ever use its suicide skill (no attacking). With each use of the skill, three bomblets are summoned. They will seek out the nearest enemy and explode. This skill is a sort of replacement for various AOE skills, like Fireball.

Compared to such skills, each bomblet's burst would do a little bit less damage, but all three combined would do quite a bit more damage. The bomblets would have an advantage in that if one bomblet is enough to kill your target, then you have two more that will live on until they find a new one. This may seem at first to be overpowered (and it may very well be), but there are disadvantages that balance things out a bit. Bomblets will take significantly longer to summon, acquire a target, and detonate than it would to cast any spell. Also, there's no guarantee that a bomblet will choose the target you had intended. And a bomblet can die before going boom. This would be a low-mid level skill.


Poison Imps

These imps/pixies can be summoned two at a time to a maximum that increases with more skillpoints. Each one has little health and a weak poison attack. However, with larger numbers attacking a single target with stackable poison (should be doable), they could end up being quite powerful. But in most cases they'll be attacking different targets and die off quickly. Even still, their poison should still weaken your enemies. This would be a low level skill.


Healer

This summon will serve as the healer of your masses. It will cast fairly powerful healing spells when it feels appropriate. Perhaps it will have an aura that will slightly increase max health. Ideally, it would primarily be non-aggressive, only attacking when attacked, and even then relatively weakly. While it's healing abilities would be strong, they would also be unpredictable. Using your own healing spell (weak though it may be) may prove necessary. This would be a mid-high level skill.


Elementals

These summons would basically be the Priests protection spells in creature form. They would share skill points and only one can be summoned at a time. Each one would provide an aura for a different elemental resistance. They would also have an elemental attack that's different from the protection they provide. For example, the summon that provides fire protection would have an ice attack. I figure many enemies that do fire damage are also resistant to fire, so why offer resistance to its attack, but then attack it with what its resistant to? This would be a mid-high level skill.


Greater Demon

This skill would be the highest level. Basically, you summon an overpowered demon for a limited time. Summoning this demon would take a long time (10-20 seconds?) and would have a massive mana requirement, but would be absolutely devastating to most anything you'll encounter save some of the stronger bosses.


Demon Dog and its Demon Master

This skill would summon a demon dog and some other kind of demon as its master, simultaneously. Ideally, I'd find some way to link them together.


Scavenger

Pretty much just a scavenger. I'll find some way to modify it, but a scavenger on its own can end up being pretty powerful.


Base Skill/Bonus

For the base skills or bonuses (whatever you want to call them), I'd have one of them work so that rather than add to your damage as your strength increases, it takes away your damage. So when you're starting out, have a weak set of minions, and will actually need to attack yourself, you'll be able to do enough damage to do so. But as you level up and your army grows in power, your damage output will weaken, thus discouraging direct conflict, and forcing you to rely on your minions.


Auras

You will be able to have auras to buff your minions. There'll be auras for things like improving damage, improving defense, improving attack speed, providing thorns damage, etc. I'll set them up much like the Prayer skill. They'll be continuously active so long as you don't attack (further discouraging direct conflict) or use a skill. This will automatically mean that you can only have one aura active at a time.




Other Ideas

- I'll probably use much of the Necromancy skill tree.
- One of the summons will cause a fire nova on casting.
- Perhaps one of the summons has a chance to turn against you at a weakened state?
- Perhaps some kind of vampire or shapeshifter?




I have more ideas, but no time to type them up tonight.

Shadow
08-16-2010, 11:02 AM
Sounds interesting.

Zengrath
08-16-2010, 09:26 PM
Great idea's, i myself enjoy summoner classes, I've played a necromancer in guild wars and it was by far my most favorite class in a game i ever played, i don't know why. I tend to play ranged based characters in most games i play, and get bored of melee types and usually the mage types just don't fit well for me (mostly probably due to knowing how bows and arrows works and having no clue how magic works, lol). But any game that has a necromancer in it i always have to try, and was first class i played in this game.

If you turn out a quality mod and make the summoner class more challenging or interesting then i will definitely try this later.

My problem with necro i made was that all my pets would die instantly all the time from traps. So many times i spent a great deal of effort keeping all my pets alive, only to run over a trap in next room and boom they are all dead, I'm left with being forced to keep at least one offense skill up so i can regenerate pets, (i only had pets that could be summoned from dead corpses). Even though i really enjoyed playing him when i had all my pets up and running, it was very annoying to continue to loose them all by every trap i walked over :(

Hopefully your class will have pets that can be re-summoned with enough mana and time if you get stuck in a situation like that where they all die from a trap, and possibly a skill to protect yourself or run away quickly if that does happen so you can eventually build your army again.

I didn't try playing a summoner in this game yet, just necro so far.

joku
08-17-2010, 01:48 PM
Excellent points, and I think they'll all be addressed in my mod.

I think part of the difficulty you had with keeping your pets alive is that you didn't really have any way to heal them. The summoner won't have this problem. You'll be able to heal your pets directly with a weak healing spell, you'll be able to heal them indirectly with a strong healing pet, and most of the pets will be able to use healthstones.

As for traps that will do enough damage to kill your pets even at full health, I don't think that should be much of an issue, except maybe at low levels. You should have enough pets out at any given time that a single trap won't be able to hit all of them, and plus your pets will have varied defenses. So, for example, if you trigger a fire nova trap, it might kill all of your pets except for the one with really high health and the one with great fire resistances.

Regarding the resummoning of all your pets, it should be a bit easier and faster than with a conjurer. I'll probably have all of the summoning skills require less mana than they would for a conjurer, and they'll probably have a faster casting time (or maybe a passive skill that decreases casting time). Plus some of the skills will summon more than one pet at a time.

And I like your idea for a skill that protects you when you don't have your army. I'll see if I can't do something interesting with that, otherwise I could always just do a Holy Shield + Haste kinda thing (with a large cool-down time).


I don't know about a quality mod (this is my first major mod for any game), but I should certainly be able to make this class interesting and challenging. Thank you for your input.

Laborer
12-14-2010, 08:39 AM
I've just begun the preliminary work on a new class tentatively titled the "Summoner".

The Summoner differs from the Conjurer in his almost singular focus on Necromancy and Evocation. He wasted no time on elemental magics, and so has a greater mastery of the summoning arts, able to call forth more powerful, and more specialized beings than a mere Conjurer is capable of. He avoids direct conflict, instead relying on his minions to his work for him. He's weak, weaker than a Conjurer. His studies left him with no time for fitness. He'd rather strive for the strength that he might achieve through demonic possession, than settle for what mortal strength may provide him.


I think based on the back-story you should give him an active skill similar to the Conjurers Lich. I think you should have some temporary demonic possession skill where he can be possessed and achieve major stat boosts for a very short while.

But then again that's just my opinion you can just ignore this whole post if you want.

joku
07-05-2013, 04:19 PM
After three years, I've taken this mod back up.

Back when I first started this mod, I was having quite a bit of difficulty getting my first summon to work correctly. It would summon a random monster instead of the one I made. I couldn't find my error so I got frustrated and decided to set it aside for a short time which ended up being not so short.

Well I revisited the problem yesterday and found my error. I was modifying files under Database/Monsters, so I had made a Monsters folder within my mod. All the files I put in that folder weren't working. I figure this out, put the files directly into the Database folder and suddenly my mod is working correctly.

So I'm making progress now. I have the Bomblets working as intended, though the suicide animation takes a little longer than I'd like. I'm working on the Poison Imps now, trying to find the ideal way to get them to inflict poison damage. I'm trying Wampir Poison, but with my limited testing it doesn't seem to be stacking the way it seems it should. Perhaps I just haven't had multiple imps attack the same creature and have that creature survive long enough for me to see the stacked poison. I'm also testing Poison Imbued to see if that will work out better.

I am having one issue with both of these summons. The plan was to have both of these summoned either two or three at a time. With the Bomblets, I want to summon them three at a time with a maximum of three out at one time. But when I cast it a second time, only one of the three existing Bomblets is removed while three more are summoned. This results in a total of five. Cast it again and get two more. I'm having the same issue with the Poison Imps which I want cast two at a time. Unfortunately, I may have to require they all be summoned one at a time.


I'm going to keep working on this. Once I have a couple more skills done, I'll release it to the public so you can check it for yourself.