In the last two articles, we wrote about the general lore behind the magic (arcana) in Eldfall Chronicles. Make sure to read them if you’re interested – they should serve as an explanation of the gameplay to an extent (Article 1, Article 2)! Today I would like to write about the actual gameplay involving the magic system.
What Was the Inspiration?
In Eldfall Chronicles, arcana (magic) is designed to be a vibrant variable that adds complexity, utility, and unpredictability to the gameplay. Spells represent a large portion of the gameplay as many factions offer the player a variety of characters, who are well-versed in the use of magic.
The developers at Freecompany all love the nostalgic feeling of magic in various genres and we always wanted to play a game, where we feel we are actual scholars of magic. Therefore, we made a system of magic, which is intricate and diverse, but also requires a bit of thought from the player. While it may be intimidating at first, when mastered through replaying the game, one might find it the most fun to think about the different strategies, spells, and approaches to the game.
What Is the Actual Role of Spells?
One other thing that I might add is that the game is played with characters, who have their distinct skills, roles and attributes (at first there will be 3 per faction; this will be expanded through stretch goals and later on). This means that one character might have a large array of available spells, while others might not have a single one -they rely on other martial skills. In any case, this means that if you choose to play an advanced magic-user, you will have to choose which spell to cast depending on what benefits you in that exact situation.
Magic and the Types of Mana Available Depend on Factions
What kind of magic is available to you when playing the game, is widely related to the faction you choose. As per the lore, each faction is different even in gameplay. Even though other factions will allow you to build a party of magic-users (later on, when we add more characters), choosing a more spellcraft-oriented faction like the Sand Kingdoms and the Helian League is better, if you prefer that kind of gameplay.
So, What Can You Expect From Playing a Spellcraft-Oriented Faction?
Magic can be a game-changer, but it is in no way omnipotent, or rather, the spellcasters aren’t!
In terms of combat, mana is much more damaging than regular weapons, but the arcanists themselves are usually fragile and their focus for mana is not infinite. They only have a limited number of spells they can cast in a certain timeframe and some spells even take all of the Activations an arcanist has (things one can do) in a turn. (In terms of lore, soulrot that was discussed in the previous article, is another reason why an arcanist cannot use an infinite amount of mana.) Spells also have a more limited range (reach) than other missile weapons such as bows.
A More In-Depth Look at Magic
The Magic in Factions
The Helian League:
– Magic is balanced and is accessible across the faction; the faction is very good at healing and at offensive spells,
– the predominant elemental affinity is fire, which is mostly offensive,
– has good supporting models: a few exceptions have access to the divine element, which is good for supporting the party and healing.
The Sand Kingdoms
– The most spellcraft-oriented faction; each character is a spellcasting “toolbox”
– Characters can summon constructs and creatures, which other factions don’t have access to,
– Despite the default element of their spellcasters being Elder, the upgrades give the faction the most variety in elemental mana and in different disciplines, allowing the player lots of character customisation and different playstyles.
The Thenian Coalition
– The faction will not have a lot of variety when it comes to spellcasting (as per the lore, they use magic passively, mostly for enhancements and other abilities like teleportation-like skills, skills of deception, illusion etc.),
– will receive characters (perhaps even from other species affiliated with the Thenrin), that offer powerful spellcasting support.
The Empire of Soga
– The faction will receive mystics – spellcaster that unlike mages, cast spells through their devotion and introspection. The preferred element of human mystics will be earth or water, while Kitsune will grant you access to fire,
– the spellcasters will mainly offer support and offer relief, while there will be some rare exceptions, who will be powerful offensive magic wielders.
Let’s talk elements. As we mentioned before in the previous articles, mana is omnipresent in the environment; it is the foundation of nature itself. In a gist, wielders of magic channel raw elemental mana and shape it into unique forms known as spells.
Mana can be categorized into different elemental manas: earth, water, fire, air, elder, divine and profane; each has its own properties.
The intensity of mana of a certain element depends on the environment it flows through. While all of the elements are found almost everywhere, some are a scarce resource in certain areas. For example, in the presence of warmth, one can easily channel mana of the fire element, but if the temperatures are low, one might find it difficult to focus on the element. In preparation for the areas, where certain elemental mana is difficult to sense and form, arcanists may carry mana stones close to their bodies; these act as reservoirs or amplifiers of their preferred elemental mana.
The elements the arcanist can control and shape into spells, depend on their affinity (talent for an element).
(Read more about Elemental Relationships here.)
Discussing the Differences Between the Elements
How do the elements differ and in what way are they most commonly used?
FIRE – PYRO
The element of fire, or rather, the elemental mana of fire excels when used offensively. Most of the fire spells, that cause damage, have the Burn trait. This can cause the target to potentially catch on fire and suffer additional wounds from the attack.
WATER – HYDRO
Water is a balanced element: in terms of utility, it is most useful when attempting to control the field to your advantage. For example, you can use water-based spells to thwart the enemy’s advance, slowing and staggering them with different spells. Some spells are meant to freeze the opponent’s forces, causing them to suffer additional damage from Frostbite.
EARTH – GEO
The element of earth is well-known for its straightforward might. It is not cunning, but packs a powerful ‘punch’. The simpler spells can entangle and immobilize the enemy. Meanwhile, the offensive spells can level structures and act as if you’re essentially bringing a catapult to a skirmish. Most of the starting summonable creatures are of the earthen element: notable for their sheer Toughness and durability, they offer protection and offense.
AIR – AERO
The element of air is subtle. While it might appear the least harmful, air-based spells can actually ruin the entire strategy of the opponent. Air spells have a large repertoire: from bursts of wind (useful for keeping melee enemies at bay) to wielding lightning at later levels of mastery. Enchantments of air also add lots of tactical options to the player, as they offer increased mobility on the field.
ELDER – PROTO /AETHERO
The elder element is difficult to grasp. It offers versatility as it is the oldest of elements. Some might argue it is an element of the mind, where imagination is the wielder’s weapon. It allows the user to view the contents of the opponent’s thoughts, travel different planes of existence, and manipulate time and perception.
The last two elements are rare and distinct. The divine and profane elements are the exact opposites of each other, but they are as well most similar to one another. They can be understood as otherworldly; present in the world without an exact source of origin. They are balance themselves, existing across all dimensions and realities. In general, they provide the wielder with miraculous or dreadful abilities.
Sorry for the long article, folks!
I hope it can help you choose your faction a bit, even though we would encourage everyone to try different factions, just because we think that’s exactly what makes the game so fun to play – the possibilities are yours to explore!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us on any platform and in any way! 😀