This week on Falmea Thursday, the question revolves around some of our secondary schools - the Astral Spells. These three schools are first encountered in Celestia, the first world in the second arc and our introduction to the magic that Morganthe attempted to master. (Didn't anyone tell her the trainers were in Celestia Base Camp?)
Professor Falmea asked the following:
Today, let's talk about the sun, moon, and stars, or at least spells that draw power from them. That's right, let's chat about Astral Spells. Today, I'd like you to dream up a Sun, Moon, or Star spell if you could wave your wand and do so, and tell us about it. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone would create!
I've been wanting to talk a little bit about each of these schools and I figured this was an ideal time to address them and use this post as an opportunity to provide an extended answer to Professor Falmea's Feedback Friday.
Sun Spells: Enchantments and Mutates
Some of the Astral Spells were more exciting than others. Mutates have not been particularly successful because they traditionally transform one school spell into another. The problem with this is that a school who has the required spell to mutate probably can't use the power pips for the mutated version. One possibility for future mutate spells is to mutate them into a different version of the spell but remain the same school. I created one for the Dryad spell, which would be non-traditional as it's converting a healing spell rather than an attack.
The extremely successful end of the Sun school has been the enchantments. I would like to see Bolstered Ward, which has been on several equipment pieces, become a trainable spell. So we have +10% to positive wards, +10% to negative wards (Potent Trap), +10% to positive charms (Sharpened Blade), and so it's only natural that we add the final piece. Caustic Charm is my idea for that. Besides new spells, I would love to see continuations of old paths, including of Primordial. I think that as the healing bonuses increase, they will see more use. Imagine doubling a Sprite with these. Of course, the damage and accuracy/piercing versions would also continue.
Moon Spells: Polymorphs and Shifts
These spells have some of the coolest effects but see the least play. You're considered a pretty poor player if you use Moon Spells in PvE and an absolutely clueless player if you use them in PvP. I'll admit to trying some for fun at times, but that just won't work when fighting with others in higher-level worlds. Polymorphs are already such a disadvantage with losing your stats and cards for six rounds with no option to cancel. Some have filled some very specific roles, but they really have to be stepped up to be viable even in PvE.
Shift spells are where the real potential in the Moon school lies. The Shift spells in Khrysalis had a lot of potential at 4 pips. The problem is that you can't use power pips with them, and at the Khrysalis level, if you're not using power pips, you're simply inefficient. And at 8 pips, they're really terrible spells. If KingsIsle is not going to give us a Moon Mastery Amulet (and even then amulets are getting good enough that normal mastery amulets are having a hard time competing), they must make these spells more efficient. With spells that cost 2, they essentially cost 4, but there is some wiggle room with power pips.
Star Spells: Auras
Unlike the other two forms of Astral Spells, Star spells have needed no additional type. They not only perform effectively, but are staples now in both PvE and PvP. Players even go to such lengths as to gather treasure card versions for tough bosses and PvP fights. Auras are an added buff that aren't often removed. That's a big plus with so many cheating bosses that are disallowing blades and traps.
What I would like to see is Auras not just played on the caster, but on the enemy. It's an absurdly simple concept - you can only have one aura at once, so why not do more than cast one for yourself? Ruin your opponent's, too! Even though just about everyone has trained at least one aura, these would encourage others to train them and play them as well. Instead of bubble wars, you have aura wars. Remove a negative aura on yourself, or remove the opponent's positive aura? There are many possibilities.
The examples I made would essentially be inverses of existing auras, causing opponents to take bonus incoming damage, do less damage, or lose pips for casting Satyr or being hit by a big spell. Additionally, there is one called Volatility. Suppose you don't want the others available in Treasure Card form or whatever the case may be. Volatility can be the exception because it's random and requires an existing aura to be in place. This means that lower levels which are paired with high levels have a means of combating the Auras in play if the enemy is just over that threshold of being able to train them. Besides that, it also means you can carry this card without keeping other auras around in order to sabotage opponent auras and transform negative auras on yourself into something else. It has many uses.
These ideas are less set-in-stone card concepts and more directions I'd like to see the spells go, with a few specific examples and a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each school.
What do you think of these spells and directions, and what sort of Astral Spell would you create?
Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral! Credits: Thanks to Iridian Willowglen, Jayce, and Vanessa Mythdust for their images of casting Astral Spells!